We have spent most weekends getting our house ready for rental. We decided to use a local agent and were delighted when someone wanted to rent it on the first day of viewings! We plan to move out at the end of April and will go and stay with my ( Jen`s) Mum and Dad for a few weeks before we go. Dad is already planning how much to charge for each week of our stay! Before we leave Leeds, we are having a leaving party at the Adelphi and we are currently working on our playlist which includes some travel based tunes! I (Jen) leave work officially on the 31st March, although with holiday, the actual date is sooner. I only have 2 weeks left at work after 22 years of working for the Probation and Youth Offending Services. Gav leaves his IT job at the end of April after nearly 13 years. We will definitely have to work again at some stage, when the savings run out!
As Ruby was fully prepped a while ago-there is not much more to be done to her except bits and bobs. We recently decided to remove the back passenger seat, which we had originally left in for use by guides/giving people lifts etc. We decided it would be better used for storage-so we removed it and Gav boarded it out so it fits with the work we have already had done. Gav is also going to fit a raptor dash. We are going to visit Ben at Black Paw 4x4, in April, before Ruby ships and he is going to give her a thorough service and do any last minute snagging. This will leave us a few weeks to drive her and make sure everything is in working order.
We have made contact with the shipping agents again-one on the UK and one in Columbia. There is a weekly service from London to Columbia, who will take our landy, so we hope to book her on fairly soon. We know we will have to remove the roof tent for shipping and store it in the container. We are almost sure we will fit Ruby into the container (she has a roll cage and small roof rack) if we let the tyres down and we have practiced this and measured the best we can. There is a container storage company near us and we are contemplating hiring a container for a short period and practicing getting her in! We will also be able to use the container to store all our packed wolf boxes -as we don`t want to leave them in the landy.
I have been doing lots of research about various aspects of the trip such as banking, insurance etc. We have found good information on Martin`s money saving website related to travel and this has led us to getting a credit card (Halifax Clarity) and bank account (Norwich and Peterborough) which will be so much cheaper when we travel. For our insurance we are leaning towards True traveller as they allow for extensions whilst on the road, which is a necessity when travelling for over a year. I have also been researching workaway placements-as we hope to do a few of these along the way probably starting when we reach Ecuador.
Since our last blog, I have attended two first aid courses! The first one was for half a day run by British Red Cross. I had never done any first aid before and thoroughly enjoyed it! The instructor said that she had never seen such an “enthusiastic” participant. I nearly knocked the practice dummy into the adjoining room when hitting her on the back, dealing with choking! My CPR was also very energetic! We both attended a 2 days’ wilderness medical course over the Valentine ’s Day weekend in Surrey with the Lifesigns Group. It was excellent and I would highly recommend it for both content and value. It was a mixture of theory and practice for situations when medical help might be longer than 2 hours or so away. As well as a reminder of basic first aid, it also covered common injuries/ailments when outdoors and in different climates. We also had to problem solve by using items that are likely to be in our ruck sacks to assist with first aid. It was great way to learn and I particularly liked the role play situations! I really got into the part which made all the others laugh as it was the BAFTAS that evening and they thought I was attempting to win one with my BAFTA winning performance. My role in the scenario was someone whose partner had fallen off a ledge and was unconscious and waiting for help. Gav and another woman were roleplaying the “help”. As they came round the corner I started to shriek “I think he`s dead” and started to actually snivel! Even the casualty started to giggle-as this was all happening outside in a car park in Tongham!
Next weekend we are going on an off road driver`s training day with basic recovery techniques run by LROAC training days in Peterborough-I am sure there will be some tales to tell!