Timeout issues while waiting for the simulator

Hello,
I posted this on discord but time is running out and I have to be able to demo this to the mgmt… so here goes, hopefully someone will be able to help.

I am using version 994 and can run the CarlaUE4 executable, no additional arguments, just invoking the .exe.

The simulator server comes up. When I try to run the manual_control.py I see pygame window popping up but it does not connect to the server and I get the message:

RuntimeError: time-out of 2000ms while waiting for the simulator, make sure the simulator is ready and connected to 127.0.0.1:2000

What am I missing? Should I invoke the CarlaUE4.exe with -server argument or port?
I have added exceptions to the firewall for ports 2000,1,2 and then also disabled firewall. But the API doesnt seem to be able to see the simulation server running.

Any ideas?