Motoring: My Worst Car - Nick Baker's Toyota Landcruiser

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Indy Lifestyle Online
TECHNICALLY, I'VE not had any unreliable cars, but when it comes to worst car experiences, I've got dozens.

I managed to write off my first car, a Vauxhall Chevette, on a roundabout. I replaced it with a grey Volvo 340, which I bought from my mum. The worst thing about it was just how boring but reliable it was. I did my best to kill it, but it kept on going and now belongs to someone else and it still trundles around the village. It probably would have been a more secure bet than the Toyota Landcruiser I used when making Nick's Quest.

We were in Uganda to film mountain gorillas and spent eight hours bouncing up and down on the country's "roads". After a while we started to sneeze and cough and noticed that the interior was filling up with dust. We tried to tape up the doors with gaffer tape and eventually ended up with bandannas and hankies around our heads. The worst thing was that as we sweated the dust turned into a soil like substance, then after that cement.

When I got to the hotel I had three showers. However, when I woke up in the morning I was lying in a pool of mud. I'd sweated even more of that damned dust out of my pores.

A few weeks later I was subjected to a bizarre and frightening taxi drive through Havana. We hired two Mercedes taxis to take us to the Hemmingway Bar. What we did not realise is that the drivers had some sort of competition going on and before I'd had time to shut the door they were racing each other through the narrow streets at 70 to 80mph.

Occasionally they would turn around, flash an evil smile and ask if we were frightened. When we got to the bar, we found out it was the wrong Hemmingway Bar. So the race was on yet again. It was awful, almost as bad as the time in Wales when I hitched a lift with a rally driver on his day off.

Nick Baker presents `The Really Wild Show' and `Watch Out'; his latest series, `Nick's Quest', is on Channel 5 on Fridays at 8.30pm. He was speaking to James Ruppert

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