Monday, May 24, 2010

Good Luck to Langebaan Sunset

To our good friends Nick & Vicki (Langebaan Sunset) - have a fantastic Overland trip through Europe and South via West Africa. Travel safe, enjoy the sunsets and don't look back!

L to R: Nick, Debbie, JB, Steve, Michele and Vicki

From Overland Vehicles

The Website Links from the various folk in the photo:
Nick & Vicki - Langebaan Sunset
Steve & Michele - Africa Wanderer
Martin & Debbie - BigSky Adventures

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Back to Broke - 'That I May Die Roaming'

I wanted to take a moment to introduce a blog by Oisin Hughes.  This blog is a detailed overland journal about his first trip across the Americas and his current trip around the world on his BMW motorbike.  His journals, photos and videos are worth viewing. Website: Back to Broke

An exciting development is his new book which he has just published via Google Books.  His book is now available to download via Google Books.
It's a good read and well worth downloading a copy.

Additional links:

Back to Broke Blog
Picasa Photos

Monday, May 17, 2010

Packing Lists

I was trawling through the archives when I found the BigSky Adventures packing list.  The amount of equipment, vehicle spares and digital accessories can sometimes prove a huge quagmire of boxes.

This list, originally created by Michael Lowe from the forum, proved a very successful spreadsheet for our overland trip. Categories include Paperwork, Food and Camping equipment.

Feel free to download a copy of the file: Packing_lists.xls (an example is below)

Friday, May 7, 2010

RGS Overland Workshop

RGS Overland Workshop (UK)

I thought I would give a quick update about the show as it's only three weeks to go.

Event Date: 28/29th May 2010

I chatted to the organiser, Sam Watson, last night and got an update on the activities.  There are a number of guest speakers, trade stands and most importantly an opportunity to meet other overlanders. The event is filling up and looks to be another exciting year.

If attending, be sure to bring a pen and notebook to jot down peoples names and various tips that the guest speakers have to offer.

An overview of the event can be found on the Overland Network website - RGS Overland Workshop

Monday, May 3, 2010

Asia Overland - notes from the archives

Asia Overland - majority of overlanders, whilst glancing at a world map, plot a number of routes across the continents.  By far the most popular is Africa, however, Asia was the preferred route of choice a few decades ago. In this blog I pull out a few interesting facts and figures from the archives of various authors:

The Asia Overland route options:
In the 1970's a common route was from Turkey into Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and into India.  We recognise today that this route is closed and that more travellers are crossing Russia and China before heading to Singapore.

The Cost of a Trans-Asia trip:
Colin McElduff, in his 1976 edition of  "Trans-Asia Motoring" writes:
It is not possible to provide true and accurate costs for an overland journey across Asia because of the ever-changing conditions that will be encountered. Local price variations, weather conditions, road conditions , political developments - all these factors can affect he ultimate cost of the journey as a whole... you should constantly bear in mind the fact that an overland journey across Asia is not the cheapest method of travelling!

Peter Fraenkel, in his 1975 book 'Overland' writes that the three basic cost elements to any overland trip (and still relevant) are:
  1. Pre-departure costs - buying, preparing a vehicle, equipment etc
  2. Costs related to distance - the costs of running your vehicle will be roughly proportional to the distance covered. 
  3. Costs related to time - These are mainly food and accommodation and tourist related ventures.

A 1974/5 budget for a 90day (16000mile) trip was roughly £633 of which the largest propotion was costs related to distance (fuel, oil, tolls, repairs).

Words of Advice from the authors:
Jack Jackson writes in 1979:
By hard experience of using some 50 Land Rovers of the various models over 10 years in extremely rough conditions on this route (Asia) and in Africa, I have discovered what difficulties are most likely to occur and can suggest ways to avoid or correct them. No vehicle will remain in mint condition after thousands of miles of heavy use. 
The diesel Land Rover is not in general nearly so reliable as its petrol counterpart and spares are more difficult to obtain.
It's a good thing that since 1979, the reliability of diesel engines, and the ability to find spares has proved the opposite to the authors advice.

Jack Jackson:
It pays to be helpful, cooperative and very, very patient at borders. The customs officials and border police are all-powerful and can cause you and enormous amount of difficulty.
Peter Fraenkel
Someone who is keen on maps makes an ideal navigator, and his main function is to look after the maps, guide the driver through cities, find out as much as possible about places worth visiting and how to find them, and keep day-to-day records of mileage covered, fuel used and road conditions.
All travellers should keep a log or diary. Years later it will bring back memories which otherwise would have been lost for ever.
Colin McElduff:
If you break down, you should immediately consult your journey log together with the relevant map and route itinerary, in order to establish a fix or position. You should then enter the details in your log, together with an appreciation of the situation.

Reference Books:

The Asian Highway - Jack Jackson and Ellen Crampton

Trans-Asia Motoring - Colin McElduff

Overland - Peter Fraenkel

Current Asia Overland Trips: