Drive UK (Tetbury) to SA (Port Elizabeth)

2011-2012

Latest news update:

Our vehicle is up for sale, it's currently in South Africa (Sold, sold, sold)

Go to: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TOYOTA-LANDCRUISER-OVERLAND-VEHICLE-SOUTH-AFRICA-/170769865199?pt=Automobiles_UK&hash=item27c2ad59ef

October:

The best news and to see pics is through our facebook group, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/195167900501173/ 

Please remember that our laptop is broken and we can't upload pics but hopefully this will soon be fixed.

02/11/2011

We just arrived in Arusha, been a nice cool day. We haven't found a campsite yet, but have a few places in mind, will probably be here for a few days as we doing some work on the car to install our new fridge freeze, nothing to big, just so we can have it running permantely. We've got lots of amazing pictures but without a laptop it's had to find a place we can download them, but hopefully soon. Have found a place that can repair our laptop but at a 2/3 week wait we'll rather be on our way and enjoy ourselves. We should be in Arusha for about 4/5 days, going to do some game driving and then head for Ngorogor National Park. We keep you posted when we can, but otherwise will get my sis to update you all.

01/11/2011

Latest update of Jeremy Ferrant & Ruth Emily Harrison, they are staying athttp://www.honeybadgerlodge.com/default.aspx . They say they have stunning views from their campsite. Enjoying the pool & sun.... This is situated at the foot of Kilimanjaro.
www.honeybadgerlodge.com
Honey Badger is a family-run lodge that offers comfortable solar-powered accommodation. We organise tailor-made safaris and mountain climbing expeditions as well as other local activities. Stay at Honey Badger and help us to support our local community.

28/10/2011

Well seems you're all getting great updates, have a mobile and am able to txt, but can't txt you all unfortunately so will keep my sister updated on the happening when we don't have access to a PC. We did have Wi-fi at the campsite we stayed at, but maybe more unfortunate news is our laptop is not working, I think it's something minor so should have it up and running again soon so can update on some pictures from our last few days. Stayed at an amazing campsite on the beach, could hear the ocean rumbling at night, very relaxing and enjoyable. We off to collect our new fridge/freezer in an hour or so, very exciting. We'll be sleeping over at a couples house which we met in Zanzibar, they've just recently moved here permanently and moved into their house on Monday. They've very nicely invited us to stay for a night which will save us loads of time and also get re-organized with all our things.

We plan to leave tomorrow for Moshi (the foot of Kilimanjaro) (10 hours drive) where we'll spend a few days before we drive to Arusha (only 2 hours drive from Moshi) to see some wildlife. We plan to then drive to Ngorogoro and the Serengeti (the north) to see the buffalo migrating back to the South (we've heard that some of the herds have already began, takes about 2-3 months to migrate to the south).

So hopefully soon we'll have some pictures for you all, but no guarantees till the laptop's fixed again.

Hope everyone is doing well, with us having Jarga now we're both doing very well.

PS for all overlanders if you're planning to ship your car (tanzania or actually anywhere in Africa) do contact me, it cost us almost $1000 just to get the car out of the port without a Carne (don't listen to the RAC or AA, you do need one in Tanzania). We were told that from Tanzania down it's not a requirement but they were wrong. We managed to make friends with the commissioner of revenue and managed to get through, but it's not cheap. Also if you need to camp need Dar go to Kipepeo, great friendly place, but watch out you don't stay at Sunrise which is next door double the price and you can’t make fire, cook or drink your own drinks. We arrived at 10:30pm and couldn't find Kipepeo so stayed there, complete waste wished we had look a little longer, we planned to stay at Kipepeo for one night only but stayed three at the end cause we enjoyed it so much.

27/10/2011

ýRuth Emily Harrison & Jeremy Ferrant are trying their best to replace everything that was stolen. They have managed to find some of the items at not too expensive price. They are struggling to find an invertor so they can charge laptop, cell phone, etc. Once they have that then they'll be up & running themselves with updates. They said the campsite (Kipepeo) is absolutely magical. 
They will return to Dar-es-salaam to buy fridge/freezer which was also stolen & few extra things that they need. Also need to get more paper work from an agent & police station. Once all done they will head for Arusha (Game Park)http://www.tanzaniaparks.com/arusha.html

Also another message they gave me is that some sad personal things were stolen that can not be replaced. Some luxury items. Not sure what, but i'm sure we'll hear about it soon.....
www.tanzaniaparks.com
The closest national park to Arusha town – northern Tanzania’s safari capital – Arusha National Park is a multi-faceted jewel, often overlooked by safarigoers, despite offering the opportunity to explore a beguiling diversity of habitats within a few hours.

26/10/2011

New update; Jeremy Ferrant & Ruth Emily Harrison are doing very well. Staying at campsite along coast of Tanzania (http://www.kipepeocamp.com/index.html) Enjoying a lovely braai (bbq) tonight.
www.kipepeocamp.com
Kipepeo Beach Camp in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, East Africa for your wonderful holiday on the Indian Ocean on Tanzania's coast

24/10/2011

ýRuth Emily Harrison & Jeremy Ferrant eventually got their car (JARGA) & have left Dar-es-salaam (Tanzania). Got an sms from them & are about an hour away from their 1st campsite. Roads are good for now & seem happy that all is going well for them. Will keep updated with them & let everyone know.... (Jeremy's sister)

17/10/2011

Just to let everyone know that our things here are slowly being sorted out. While the vehicle is in transit on the ship, it travels on international waters and insurance is almost impossible, basically costs what we paid for the stuff. What happened to us happens about 1 in thousands, but we seemed to have the unfortunate luck with it. Containering the vehicle would have been the better option, but when we wade out the difference in what we saved shipping the vehicle with roll on roll off, it was less than what they stole, so placing the vehicle in a container would still have cost us more.

As for the stolen goods we are in the process to try find out where it went or who might have stolen it but chances seem zero to none. Also it was stolen between the Shipping Agent in the UK and on the ship, fingers are being pointed every where, so a bit of a dead end. Like Ruth's dad said 'there's lots of shits in the world', sad that we have people in the world like this, to have stolen from us.

Ruth and myself are both strong people and are putting it behind us and moving on, these things happen. We should have our Jarga earliest Wednesday but could take a week. The delay does mean we might have to change a few plans, but will update once we know for sure and have the vehicle.

15/10/2011

Our shipping agent in the UK was so disorganised, they never told nus that we needed to get a clearance agent for our car to get cleared to get our car so we might have to wait up to a week before we can get our car now.

Where to start:

The agent in the uk told us we recieve what they call a bill of lading which apparently we give to the port and when then can get our car, but he was not telling us everything. We managed to get hold of our agent here and has helped us big time. I called him and met up with him this afternoon. He said that our agent in the uk should have told us that we were ment to get a clearing agent to clear the car through customs and the Tanzania Port Authority, which if we knew we could ahve had the car today or on Monday, but now we dont have the paper work nore a clearing agent. Luckly for us the agent in Tanzania is very very helpful and is going to help us to speed up the process.

How it works, we have a shipping agent in the uk that takes our car and places it onto the boat and then another in tanzania which takes it off the boat for us, but from here we need to get the car first cleared which is our current problem. Ok thats part one.


Now we were able to get the agent here to get us to see the car on the boat today, meaning no one has had access or seen the car since the uk, so we know what state it is now until we see it again once cleared. This is our biggest problem, while it was in the uk it was broken into and we had things stolen, they stole the following of what we were able to see but won't know the full extent to what they stole till we get the car. What we worked for the hardest was a
£600 plus fridge freezer, a £100 compressor (for pumping up the tyres, cleaning the car, etc), both mine and ruth's Merrel hiking shoes, a power invertor, a £200 high lift jack (a specialized jack to lift the car), our £100 ground tent (luckly not the roof tent), my £300 tool box and we didn;t have enough time to look more, but it's all gone. There's nothing we can do about it unfortunately but it's just a massive unfortunate set back. There is also no a chance that they could steel more while it is waiting our papers to go through to clear the car. They did let me start the car and it is running so no car parts have been taken.

These are things we can do without and it's not the end of the world, but it will be very hard for the trip now, all our equipment for us to beable to go offroading and go to remote places as hoped we might have to no void.

From now we can only wait till Monday to go to a clearing agent (our shipping agent in Tanzania is going to help us speed things up).

It's going to be a stressful few days, but must say i'm dissapointed with the port in the uk.

14/10/2011

We're back in Dar Es Salaam probably the worse boat trip ever, wasn't busy, but just massive waves out at sea, both of us not feeling to good. We had planned to collect our paper work form DHL today to collect JARGA tomorrow, but unfortunately today in Tanzania is a public holiday in rememberance of the first presidant of Tanzania.

Note that once we get JARGA it will be 90% camping so internet will be very limited and slow, but will try update as much as possible, hold thumbs for us while we try get our car.

Chat to you all soon.

11/10/2011

So one week has past since we arrived in Zanzibar. We rented a car our for a day, but at $35 a day for an old half rusted thing we decided one day was enough, but we did manage to see most of the north of the island. On our return back to the hotel we however ran into trouble, yes a road block. They really do try get any excuse to fine you, he pulled me over, but I never used my indicator, luckly everything else was in order so he couldn't get me on anything else but he really tried, checked everything. Half an hour later and I managed to haggle him from a $50 fine to a $0 fine, woo hoo. I stuck to my story, pleaded pity and just refused to pay for it. An indicator for stopping striaght, while I hadn't ever turned off the road.
The following day we went on the ever popular Spice Tour, I'm sure by the pics it'll explain all.
We then spent a day on the beach and ended up being red tomatoes, so for the past two days it's been mostly indoors to try recover.
We recieved our latest update for Jarga and expect to have him on the 15th, but things can change, holding thumbs.
For thos following on our website, unfortunately we are having trouble to update, not sure if it's the website or our internet that is to slow, but will hopefully have it fixed soon.

05/10/2011

Arrived in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania at about 5:30 this morning, was met with the real Africa, managed to get to the harbour to catch a boat to Zanzibar, was complete chaos to begin with and did get a little ripped off, but it's what the tourists call white man price here. The flight was possibly the worse flight ever, seats that couldn't bend down, food i'd rather eat off the street and packed like sardines in a tin. However once we reached Zanzibar and found a hotel, we've gotten to relax, had an afternoon nap and then a beautiful walk along the beach, ending our day at a restaurant on the beach trying the local beers. Now a little update to you all and an early one to bed...

03/10/2011

One day left in Belgium, where we then head off to Brussels airport to fly to Tanzania. Another great succesful charity gathering, not counted the total funds raised yet but close to another £600. We now look forward to a week in Zanzibar, hope you enjoy the photos that are about to be uploaded...

02/10/2011 

We've arrived safely in Belgium, off to our second charity dinner, hold thumbs, we should reach our target (http://www.justgiving.com/jarga) at 79% now, woo hoo. Will update some pictures soon. Off to enjoy the sunny weather in a convertable on the beach front and then on a boat cruise in the canals of Belgium.

01/10/2011
WOO HOO, we're finally leaving this morning, it's 6am and about to leave within the next hour. This will be our first test away from using only internet cafe's and hopefully some wi-fi spots if we manage to find them. We expect to reach Belgium mid afternoon, where we'll be joined with Jeremy's parents and enjoy 4 days, before we jet of to meet Jarga. Keep updated, Will hopefully have some more pictures up soon.
Goodbye Tetbury....

September:
30/09/2011:
It's the last day and it's been crazy having to pac the final things, some things we'll only see again in six months, while others wil become our best friends for the next six months.

20/09/2011
We had our charity dinner and auction yesterday evening and went super well. We managed to raise over £600. Will update soon a big list of thank you's to everyone for having joined and also to all the businesses that sponsored all the great vouchers.

19/09/2011
Recieved an awesome email today, from someone that spotted Jarga in Tilbury. He's all well and ready to go.

15/09/2011
Jarga was dropped off today at The Port of Tilbury, which departs 7pm on Monday the 19th September and just over four weeks we'll meet again in Dar Es Salaam. The expected date of arrival is the 13th October where Ruth and Jeremy will be waiting to excitingly see you again.

06/09/2011
It's the final count down, we're packed and ready to go, with both 3 weeks of work left, the days can't come sooner. A big thank you to everyone for their great help over the past year with all your help, our dream is becoming a reality. We keep you posted with updates.

August:

HELP NEEDED

6 WEEKS TO RAISE £1000 BEFORE WE LEAVE

On the 1st October Ruth and Jeremy depart from Tetbury, United Kingdom to overland East Africa to Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Before we depart we're going to raise funds to help build playgrounds for schools, orphanages and other charities in East Africa.

To help donate go to http://www.justgiving.com/jarga

This is how the donations will help, the more we raise the more exciting project we can build for the less fortune.
£100 buys a seesaw
£250 buys a swing
£300 buys football posts and netball posts
£500 buys a baby complex (slide, climbing wall and steps)
£1000 buys a big complex ( 2 platforms, tyre bridge, slide, climbing wall, firemans pole and monkey bars)
£5000 builds a complete playground
Please pass on our page and get everyone to help us, every little helps.

Thanks for taking the time to visit our JustGiving page.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it’s the most efficient way to donate - we raise more, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

So please dig deep and donate now.

July:

This has been the most fun month to date on planning to our African overland trip. With our weekend in Northampton to the Land Rover Billing show was the best fun to date, well I'm sure the pictures will tell 90% of the fun. Yip, it is Land Rover and we have a Toyota, but we were more than welcomed by many. When we arrived at the Billing show it was a little miserable to begin, it was pouring down with rain, making us almost decide the look around, buy what we came for and go back home, but luck was on our side. A few hours later the rain stopped and then sun came out to say hello. On the first day we mostly visited all the stalls and tried to buy a few last minute items we weren't able to find yet. Near the end of the day we decided it was time to book a place at the camp site, start up a braai and relax. Unfortunately at £65 for the night to camp with no electricity was a complete rip off at the Aquadrome Billing. We decided to drive towards home and hold thumbs to find another, with our lucky weekend it didn't stop. As we were leaving we decided to go see the off roading track and right there they had camping at £20 a night for both, which was on the back of Billing Aquadrome, a 2 minute walk. So for those going to Billing LRO next year, do not stay at the Aquadrome complete rip off. However the Billing LRO show is well worth the visit before going on an overland trip, tons of people with the same idea, lots for sale and great to see everyone else's setup.

It's now less than 60 days left and feels like there is so much more to do, yet I'm sure it's just the nerves. We met up last week with a couple who had done the same trip in 2010 and they gave us some great words 'You're more organized than most, some leave everything to the last minute', gave us a positive outlook and looking so forward to our journey.

Keep updated as we'll be announcing our chosen charity we'll be fundraiser for before, during and after our trip.

May/June:

Lets begin with May, it started with an 'OUCH', although was not really as bad as we thought. We got our first series of many injections. Then another 'ouch' came at the end of May when we found out that the ferry between Venice and Alexandria had been permanently cancelled, a major setback as we would now have to travel through Turkey, Syria and into Egypt. But with our current bad luck, things got even worse. Syria is now, like Libya having its own war and it is not safe to travel through. We would have to come up with a new idea.

June arrived with us beginning work on our 70's series bulbar to fit on our 80's series Landcruiser, Jarga. Jeremy managed to come across a guy called Tim Lane the owner of TR Lane Fabrications in Nailsworth (close to Tetbury) and with him we managed to modify the bulbar to fit on Jarga. The welding and modification is now complete and wow it looks great, definitely recommend anyone to use him for any fabrications required if you are in the area. The bulbar is now currently getting sandblasted and then powder coated in black. We can't wait for the final fittings, it will be one of a kind that no one has ever had before. Then arrived the decals (stickers) for Jarga which were made by Wholesale Signs (our final stop) in Port Elizabeth, after loads of emails back and forth we decided on the final cut. They cut and printed out all the decals and then thanks to Jeremy's parents they brought them over from South Africa to Belgium where Jeremy collected them whilst visiting his parents. We then had loads of fun putting them on the car, we did a pretty good job seeing as we do not have much knowledge about putting on decals, but Wholesale signs were great at explaining to us all the way from South Africa.

As talked about before, we need to find a way to get to Africa to complete an overland trip to Port Elizabeth. After hours, actually days of research we have decided on a new plan. We have decided to cut forward the trip slightly and sadly loose out on three countries (Egypt, Sudan (maybe) and Ethiopia). Reason being mainly because of security and of course our lives. Egypt is having there upcoming elections, Sudan is in the process of splitting in two countries and Ethiopia because they don't have a harbour to ship Jarga to. So unfortunately with Egypt and Sudan war and crime is bound to occur as with Syria and Libya, it's not like Egypt hasn't had there share yet, so has been bit unstable since.

We have now decided to begin our trip with Jarga in Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania, as planned we will drive from Tetbury to Belgium on the 1st October. The week before Ruth and Jeremy will drive Jarga to Southampton Harbour and Jarga will be shipped to Dar Es Salaam, where we will meet again in 3 weeks time. When we arrive in Dar Es Salaam we will take a ferry to Zanzibar and relax as we await the arrival of Jarga. Once Jarga arrives we will return to Dar Es Salaam and meet up with Jarga to begin our overland journey across Africa. From here we will head north to Kenya and circle to Uganda, Rwanda, maybe Burundi and the back to Tanzania then head towards Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. We then decided to add another three countries to make up for the unfortunate lost ones, which will be Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique.

However unfortunate it might be we have come up with a few reasons why we're actually glad with the decision:

1. We won't need a Carnet de Passage (required in Kenya, but one can also get a vehicle transit visa for the vehicle at about $100-$150, cheaper than the Carnet by far). The carnet would have cost us over a thousand pounds as we would be required to place a loan to cover the guarantee deposit.

2. We will save on about 35% of fuel consumption, cut down on our carbon footprint.

3. Besides the pyramids and some temples, we would have probably rushed through Egypt and Sudan anyways with temperatures of 40 degrees plus. We will fly to Egypt another time to see the pyramids, maybe drive if they sort out all there problems.

4. Since our trip will be about 2 months shorter than planned we decided to fly to South-East Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, etc) for 6-8 weeks and backpack before returning home (we wouldn't want to return home during winter, 'brrrr')

5. So over all we actually going to see between 5 and 7 more countries than our original trip, 'woo hoo'!

Keep updated as we going to be updating out website a lot more now we have less than 3 months to go. Also don't forget to check out our latest pics.

Click below to join our facebook group:

http://www.facebook.com/groups/195167900501173?ap=1

March/April:

With just 5 months to go the excitement grows every day. March was a fun and exciting month for us. We went greenlaning for three days and also did some camping in Dorset on a farm that had limited facilities. Limited meaning no toilets, showers and the tap poured about a litre of water every hour if that. It was the perfect place to try out all our equipment. The shower was king after the third day of no shower. We used the Kelly kettle to warm the water, plugged in the electric shower and heaven. The worst item was the flint lighter, we could have sat there for hours, trust me, take matches, worked even better than the lighter. Boring to most I'm sure reading this, but for many people that overland they always test out every bit of equipment they have otherwise they end up taking loads of rubbish that never gets used and a waste of time.

So a few new items added to the shopping list. Firstly we replaced one of the car's batteries with an Odyssey deep celled battery. After reading loads of forums and reviews, I almost went for the Optima, but then found out about Odyssey and they've proved 1st for overlanders. For those that don't know, deep celled batteries can last up to 10 times longer in power than normal car batteries. The old battery will still be used however and connect to our second big purchase, the National Luna Split charger system. This will ensure that the main battery always has enough power so that we can start the engine, while the other two batteries will run all other electricals in the car (fridge, freezer, lights, laptop, radio, etc).

We are still busy with the interior to the vehicle, we purchased five black crates for storage, 60 ltr each. One will be for the African kids only, so send us those gifts to give out. After our weekend away camping we're making a few changes. This talk about having the tools and maintenance equipment at quick easy access is important, is a waste of time. We spent all weekend climbing in to the back of the car to get things and at easy access was just unused tools. So the tools (tool set, compressor, spare parts, etc) are going to be placed in the middle half of the boot and use the front of the boot for everyday things (food, lamps, cooking equipment, camping set-up equipment, recovery equipment, etc).

'Ouch', injections are on the way, we are going in May for our first Hep B injection, unfortunately we were ment to have a series over exactly 6 months. Yip, we missed the deadline, but luckily we are able to still get it and then get a booster on our return. In August we will get our Hep A and typhoid injection, the final one will be 10 days before we depart, the most important one of all Yellow Fever.

Don't forget to keep updated with our pictures. We will update a few from our off road training in the Cotswolds, loads of muddy fun. We will also have some video clips to see it all in action.

February: Being the shortest month of the year it definitely did not feel like it for us. February was by far the most stressfull month to date during our planning of the trip. Jarga's engine replacement has taken over 4 weeks and during the process we've not only replaced all as mentioned the month before but also, very unfortunately the clutch was so warn down that we had to change it, meaning another expensive brand new part. Good news however is that previously our third gear would sometimes jump out while driving and apparently this would now fix the problem. However unfortunate we have been with this enormous set back, during our 6/7 month drive down Africa we can be assured that we are driving a completely revamped vehicle. We can also be assured that when driving Jarga we have a guarantee on all parts and work done on Jarga. Not to sure what they'll do if we break down in Africa, but we guess the guarantee shows that they are sure of there workmanship.

Due to financial set backs we've had to cut back on a few luxuries, we have put on hold for now our training trip which was due the last weekend in March. We are also unsure if we are going to go through a professional 4x4 off road training school. Instead we are going to find a friend that can teach us the strings. If any one has any inexpensive ideas so that we can do some off road training please do contact us, thanks. We have however decided that since we've both booked off the weekend already through work we are going to use it to take advantage of testing out our camping equipment. Currently Wales is on the maybe for a weekend away which Ruth is planning for us, we are trying to find a camping area, but as rough as can be to try and prepare us for the worst in Africa. However funny it may sound we would actually like a rainy weekend and miserable, give us a bit of a taste of the worst.

The first week in March we expect to have our roof rack, we would have purchased it earlier, but with Jarga's engine, we had to hold back. Good news is that the previous roof rack which very unfortunately did not fit, we managed to sell on eBay, not as much as we had hoped for but for more than enough so that we can buy the other roof rack. Good news on the roof rack though is that the guy who bought it from us is planning on driving to Morocco with it, he's seeking a roof tent so if anyone has a good second hand one definitely contact us and we will get in contact with him for you. As previously mentioned we were going to decide and confirm our definite route end of March but we've decided that we are now going to decide closer to the time, possibly in August. The reason being, that i'm sure most, if not all know, that in the North of Africa there are major problems politically as well as security. As it currently stands we have two options, but remember this can and probably will change. First is we will drive to Venice, Italy and catch a ferry to Alexander, Egypt, then drive the rest of the route as planned. The second will be to drive through to Turkey, Jordan and into Egypt, if we can't get into Egypt we can then drive through Saudi and catch a ferry to Sudan, very unfortunately skipping Egypt, but most are all still maybes. Things in Africa seem to change over night and one will only be able to really tell a route when on route, making our drive our adventure to the unknown.

Check out our new added pictures of our greenlaning in the Cotswolds. Note this was with the new recon engine and the full newly installed Old Man Emu suspension, it looks awesome. Will update soon when roof rack arrives, due on 2nd March. Also loaded a few pictures from our March 2010 Europe road trip.

December/January: With the past two months being cold, raining and snow we put most things on hold. With itchy feet we couldn't wait, so once the snow stopped early January work was back on track. First thing we did was purchase Jarga's new tyres. We bought six BFGoodrich All-terrian's they were the best recommended for off and on road driving and for there long life (they can do over 30 000 miles (48 000km). They also have three layers including a steel lining, we've heard of people driving over enormous nails and they've just been bent. Then next we purchased a swing rear carrier for one of the spare wheels, with the second one going on the roof rack.

Very exciting news for us in January, Jarga getting her tax disc and insurance on the 14th Jan and we were able to put her back on the road. Jeremy will now drive Jarga as his every day car, also to ensure the car has no problems and gets used to driving Jarga. Jeremy's Golf will be stored away for now till the return of the trip. 

With all our good luck we've been having some bad luck was bound to be on it's way. The worst ever news happened to us. A week after Jarga was back on the road while Jeremy was driving her, she started overheating. As one should do we pulled over, checked the engine and waited for it to cool down. The next day Jeremy called a friends dad to ask if he could have a look at it. We found that the thermostat cover had a crack in it, nothing to major and was replaced. Then starting Jarga we found the worst news yet, the engine block also has a crack in it. Yes, we're going to have to buy a new heart (engine) for Jarga. This is a huge set back for us, as it's taken a massive chunk out of our budget we never budgeted for. The route of the problem was that the previous owner never put any anti-freeze in the radiator and the water around the engine block froze and caused the crack. It will just mean more hard work and extras hours before our departure, ensuring we leave on our planned date of the 1st October 2011. In the long run it might not be to bad news because at least we'll have an almost brand new vehicle. Having the vehicle engine completely over done, it'll prove good reliability for us on the road. We're still in discussion, but while we're replacing the entire engine we decided at the same time to do some extra work on it we'd have to probably do at a later stage anyways. We're replacing the radiator, recon the turbo charger, new injectors, a diesel pump and replace all old pipes that are worn down.

The second slight bit of bad news is that the roof rack we purchased is the incorrect size for Jarga, which we did know this in the beginning, but we were hoping to cut it smaller and weld it back. Unfortunately the roof of a landcruiser has a slight curve in it, while our roof rack is for a Land rover and is straight. Since we purchased it second hand and bought it at a good price, we're going to be able to sell it for about the same price or hold thumbs for a bit more. We've been searching for another second hand roof rack, but they are so rare and we also need a specific one so that we can place our roof tent can be fixed onto it. A new one being around 700-800 pounds for an ARB was definitely not going to be able for us with our budget after the engine; we had to find an alternative. We got very lucky and found one for about 350 (half price) brand new, it's basically exactly the same, has the same load capacity, struts, bars, quality, but it's a generic, sort of a no name brand. We can't mention the company yet as we haven't purchased it yet and are discussing to come to an agreement, which they're going to give us a discount in return for placing there logo on our vehicle, sort of a sponsorship agreement.

While we now wait for Jarga to get her heart replacement, February will be a month of hard work for both of us to try catch up on our budget. We'll have to concentrate on our jobs for the moment, but on days when we have off it'll be Africa and route research.

November: So another month has gone by and we are further than ever. The shopping list hasn't grown much, which is good news as it only adds extra costs, but we've definetly ticked off loads of item, we're 90% of the way on items we need to purchase, which is great news. The suspension arrived from Devon 4x4 which imported it for us from Australia. We've managed to install the coils, but cause it's so cold we can't get the shocks (dampers) in cause the bolts wo't come loose (the car has had the current one's in for over 18 years), but after some discussions and talks with others we've come up with a great item to get the bolts loose, a kitchen blowtorch on the bolt for about a minute and the bolts come off like cutting with a knife through butter, awesome after a lot of sweat trying first.

With a brand new bull bar being almost a thousand pounds, we need to come up with an alternative plan. No rush and spending time on the web (e-bay) we searched a bit every day to hold thumbs on a second hand, closing down company, basically try find a bargin, but of good quality for security. By chance of luck, Jeremy found a guy that was breaking down his landcruiser, saw the bullbar in the pics, emailed an enquiry, held thumbs and we got a reply, expecting 300-400 pounds for it, we got shocked, he sold it to us for 25 pounds, felt like a bargin hunter, woop, woop. Has a little surface rust, nothing Halfords rust remover counldn't do, next is a good primer and then we'll be coating it with a black hammerite pain, will look like brand new.

A big change on the roof tent desicion from last month, we managed to find a second hald Eezi Awn in great condition, we always dreamt of having the Eezi Awn but with them being well over a grand, we opted out, but I guess luck was on our side once again. With the tent we also bought the roof rack, an awning with sides and a few extras from the them, brilliant, see pics. 

While December and January we'll be put on hold for a bit due to the weather research at home will continue.

October: Our shopping list has been growing, but all still good and within budget. We recieved our Fridge/Freezer, a Weaco CF- 50 and beautiful 50 litre storage to keep our drinks and food nice and cool. We haven't yet turned it on, but it's expected to get to -10 degrees celcius even when it's 40 degrees plus outside, brilliant. The biggest project we are doing ourselves is building the interior, see our pics soon. We started building the interior and while removing the back seats and carpeting a few minor rust spots apeared. Yes, it ment some more fun work to complete. Jeremy stripped the old paint, removed the rust spots with a rust remover (some stops had to be cut out), were then refilled (used fibre glass and a specialized resin) and then the entire back interior body was painted with a special non-rust (anti rust), waterproof and heat resistant paint, 3 layers were used. The carpeting was replaced back and the interior frame started to take shape. The original design had changed three times since we originally started, but all for the better. As you'll see in the soon to be added pics there is plenty of storage space and is looking alot more impressive then ever expected.

We've planned on purchasing our roof top tent this month, been a bit of a struggle as they are so expensive. We might have found one that we'll be buying, called Terrain roof tent 1.2 by 1.4. It's all weather and has mosquito nets on all windows and doors. We have emailed the company and holding thumbs for sponsorship.

As for the exterior of the vehicle the snorkel has been installed. Not much else as we're researching on a bull bar, roof rack and a rear bar. Due to the current European laws it's been a struggle, they are available, but most if not everyone that has them available are trying there very luck with prices, asking over a thousand pounds for the bull bar alone. But as we've had so far luck has been on our side. Jeremy managed to find someone who might be able to construct all three parts for us and at a fraction of the price. Unfortunately though we will have to wait a bit for this part as we need the roof tent and the bull bar winch to ensure measurements are correct. Looking at February/March to install all of the exterior.

August/September: Well it's been a long few months for the both of us, we've been doing a lot of work over the last month  planning. As i'm sure you all know we both love traveling and camping and finding new and exciting places to discover.

When ever we get the chance to have a few days of we travel south of England and enjoy some relaxing time away but our biggest travel so far was traveling to the south of Europe over 18 days, which I'm sure most of you know about. We drove 3300 miles (5280km) covering 10 countries.

Now we've been seeking for our next big and exciting trip. We looked at Asia, South America, Australia. New Zealand, Africa, basically all over. We decided on South Africa. There is a small twist though. The trip we going to do is a trip we never ever going to be able to ever do again unless we do it now and not doing this holiday trip we'll regret it for the rest of our lives.

Yes, we are going to drive from Tetbury (United Kingdom) to Port Elizabeth (South Africa), a trip that is going to take us between 5 and 6 months, 25 000 miles (40 000km), 21 countries. We're expecting to leave on the 10th September 2011 or the 1st October 2011 (hoping not to though, this depends on how far we can get with preparation). Tetbury being the place that Ruth grew up and Port Elizabeth being the place that Jeremy grew up, from one side to the other over land.

With preparation we got so excited that we started everywhere, as un-organized as it sounds, everything slowly is coming together. We bought some maps and books (on people who've done the trip before), did our reading, research and we put out a plan. Route, vehicle, equipment, training, jabs, visa's and our budget.


Coutries to visit

United Kingom - France - Belgium - Tanzania - Kenya - Uganda - Rwanda - Burundi - Tanzania - Malawi - Zambia - Botswana - Namabia - South Africa - Lesotho - Swaziland - Mozambique - South Africa - Thailand - Cambodia - Vietnam - Laos - United Kindgom

 


Upcoming Events

No upcoming events

Recent Blog Entries

No recent entries

Recent Videos

1124 views - 0 comments