Our second lot of training involved a trip in Ruby down South to Devon, where we spent 4 days with David Gunning of bushmechanics.co.uk. This was a superb experience and we had such a good time and learnt loads! David had geared his course to our specific requests and he was a thorough, patient and knowledgeable teacher. We camped in his garden and did the training during the daytime. We covered a mixture of theory and practice. We looked at the anatomy of a 4 wheel drive and all its systems; regular checks; common problems and fixes; tool kit and spares; wheels and tyres; recovery etc. We practiced using our hand winch in David`s garden, using his trees to secure the strops and I (Jen) did the winching whilst Gav stepped on Ruby`s brakes hard to make me work harder! The 4 days were very useful and certainly gave me more confidence. I practiced jacking the landy up and getting the wheel on and off by myself, using a spade (taught many years ago by Bob) and by sitting on the floor using my feet and arms! Gav could not stop laughing as he said I looked like an upturned beetle flailing around under the heavy wheel!
We have booked Ruby onto the ship due to leave for Columbia on the 16th May and we will take her down to Nene in Peterborough where the wonderful Bob will load her (with us "helping") into her container and she will then be driven down to London Gateway port for her journey to Cartagena. We have used an agent recommended to us by another overland couple and he has been super.
Ruby is currently with Ben at Black Paw 4x4 in York for her final service. We also have a list of bits and bobs that need sorting, spotted when we spent the few days in Devon. Ben is brilliant and we are so pleased he will get Ruby ready for her big journey. Ruby could not be in any better hands, nor could we as we always value the honest advice and guidance that Ben provides. Once we get her back, it will be final stop Merseyside for a couple of weeks before she heads down to Peterborough for the longest journey of her life! Ruby was previously owned by a farmer`s wife in Plymouth where she spent her days tootling around the English countryside. Now she is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, driving from Columbia back to the UK. And do you know what? Ruby can`t wait and her owners are a little giddy too!