Our first continent is pretty straightforward in relation to prep. You do not need visas in advance for South America nor do you need a carnet. We have a loose plan about where we want to go, but this is flexible. The only fixed date we have for South America is for our Antarctica expedition. Note I cannot bring myself to call it a cruise! An expedition sounds so much more adventurous! This expedition will be on MS Fram. It will cover the Falklands, South Georgia, South Orkney Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. This will be over Christmas and New Year 2016 and we are very excited!
We have started to list the places we fancy visiting in South America and we have read a lot of excellent blogs. Some of them are:
Along dusty roads
Desk to Glory
Heather and Scott`s adventures
Song of the Road
Kev & Em Go Global
We have bought maps for all the countries in South America and will take a closer look at them over the next few months.
I did a basic mechanics course at Wakefield College. I enjoyed it although it was not basic enough for me! On day 1 the teacher told us to strip down some drum brakes! I didn`t know how to even open the bonnet at this stage! (A slight exaggeration!) . We are going to spend a day in the New Year with Ben Stowe from Black Paw 4x4 in York to do some bush mechanics. Ben is a great guy. He looks for solutions to every situation and has a great sense of humour. Whilst we are not experts we have some confidence. We have already managed a break down in Morocco when the heater matrix broke. A hammer, gaffer tape, short length of hosepipe (no we didn`t have a hose connector kit!) and jubilee clips did the job and got us around the rest of Morocco and home!
I have booked on a basic first aid course with the British Red Cross in Leeds as I am pretty clueless. We have also booked a 2 days wilderness explorer medical course with the Lifesigns group. After this we will think about what we want to take in our medical kit. We are going to use the expertise of Nomad travel for this.
We will also do a couple of days of off road driving and basic recovery skills training with these guys....
We are going to rent out our house whilst we are away through an agent. I have made some preliminary enquiries and feel confident that renting it will not be a problem. There are more people on the books looking for rentals than there are rentals available in our area. We have started to prep the house for rental. When I say we, I take only 10% of the credit as Gav has been doing most of it. We have sanded our bedroom floor ready for varnishing. We have also started to paint every room and so far have done 3 rooms. Gav hopes to have it all finished by the end of November. Then we will concentrate on the landy and on planning for the trip.
We have also been selling stuff on ebay for some time-I am now down to owning very little! We don`t plan to keep much stuff. Only personal momentoes and things we have bought on previous travels.
Adventure overland show
We decided to go to the adventure overland show the weekend of the 26th and 27th September. The show is organised by Tom McGuigan and he does a fine job bringing like minded people together. The show is a mixture of stalls, overlanders camping, great talks and fab entertainment from Friday night to Sunday afternoon. We had such a good time! We asked Tom if we could be a display vehicle due to our pending trip in Ruby. He agreed and we were so giddy to show Ruby. We made a display board and also had sweets to entice people to come and talk to us!
We met so many lovely people. Some of them we want to mention are Norman Seddon. Norman wandered over to Ruby first thing on the Saturday morning to tell us our trip looked fantastic. After 5 minutes talking it turned out that Norman had already traveled extensively with his wife Barbara. Sadly she died after returning to the UK after a round the world landy trip. Barbara had Huntingdons disease and Norman fund raises for them. Norman is going on another around the world trip next year with his 16 year old grandson! He was a gentleman and an inspiration. Everyone needs a Grandad like him!
We also met Rob, Mandy, Charles and Catherine from Where to next Africa. They have just set off from UK to Capetown in their landrover discoveries-Daisy and Ditzy! They are great young people (now I am sounding old!) and are writing a blog here.
There were loads of others including the fab Lizzybus, Mowgli Adventures, Kevin and Heike, and the unique overland birds.
We have also both visited the nurse to start the process to get all our travel inoculations. We are also deciding which malaria tablets to take and will discuss this with Nomad travel.
Finally, we have managed to get an email subscription set up for blog updates. Anyone who would like to receive emails for new blog updates feel free to subscribe here. Gav is working on a new layout for the blog which involves him writing code (beyond me!). So watch this space-it looks good!