by Andy Green
I was very hopeful about the trip to Turkey. What little I had been able to learn about the surface had been promising – it was huge (over 20 miles long), thick salt (over 30cm), dry for much of the summer – it sounded like we could drive BLOODHOUND there. A Land Speed Record hadn’t been set in Europe since Malcolm Campbell last ran at Pendine in 1927. Tuz Golu (Lake Tuz) could be the answer to all of our hopes.
Sadly, it was not to be. After several hours of struggling to get to the lake shore, we eventually found a small track to take us to the edge of the main lake area. The surface was very soft for salt with the water table only just below the surface even at the end of the dry season:
Left: A small hole reveals water within 30 mm of the surface
Undeterred, we decided to try and get further out, where experience said the salt should be harder. This was not a good idea:
It took 14 hours to recover the hire car (please don’t tell Avis this is how it got dirty). This included ‘phoning our Turkish neighbour (on holiday in Spain at the time) to act as translator for basic holiday Turkish such as: ‘stuck in the salt lake, need a tractor’. Strangely, this phrase was not in our Turkish phrase book. After our eventual rescue, we gave up. We won’t be trying to run a 6-tonne jet car here....