Thursday, September 29, 2011

You packed what?

I was recently reviewing my equipment list I used for my BigSky Adventures Africa overland trip.  The list had plenty of items on it which got me thinking about the kit that I should have left behind...

One of the most obscure items I packed, which I only used three times, was a little photo printer.  The idea was to take photographs and then print them out for the people we met.  The idea was fab however the fact that the printer was stashed deep in the bowels of the Land Rover Defender meant that we only used it on those few occasions when we were camping.

Another obscure item I packed was a traditional three-legged Dutch oven or potjie-kos pot.  My idea that I would be able to use it daily to cook with passed us by as we tended to use gas or charcoal for cooking.  The gas hob was quick & easy whilst charcoal (when available) was excellent for cooking roasted vegetables or the usual BBQ.

The last item on my list which I thought was pretty useless were two hiking backbacks. Initially we had throught that we would use them to go on various treks, however they proved to be cumbersome to pack due to the straps and size.  We used them once...

Here's a link to the original equipment list...  Let me know if you think of things that you packed for some obscure reason!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Land Rover Expo - Sydney, Australia

The annual Land Rover Expo was held on Sunday 25th September in Castlehill, Sydney.  The weather forecast predicted rain, just like a UK Land Rover Show, however the tropical rain did not deter the few Land Rover owners that Australia has.

Land Rovers are scarce in Australia - esp. if you are looking to purchase a Series vehicle so I was keen to see what the show had to offer.
The few Land Rover Series vehicles that braved the weather where in showroom condition.  A credit to the owners for looking after the vehicles in such detail.

One of the Series II Land Rovers on display was an ex army Ambulance.   I liked the Safari roof that was fitted to the vehicle.

There were a few expedition prepared vehicles and a few trade stands offering expedition kit. A company called Mulgo had a few Land Rover 130's for viewing.  The tilting roof added that extra comfort for those long overland journeys.

There were a few camper conversions, the most unique was the modified Discovery II:
Camper mounted on a Disco II.

In summary, it was a real pity that the tropical rain caused such havoc as the event hosts had prepared a good days outing.  The goody bag has some useful reading material and the trade show owners kept their enthusiasm.  I am already looking forward to next year...

Additional photos:

Friday, September 23, 2011

South Sudan - Overlanders needed...

It's interesting to see world maps change as new countries and new borders begin to emerge.  The most recent is South Sudan.

Mashable, a social media website, picked up on the Google Maps story and how people petitioned to get South Sudan recognised on Google Maps.  Read more:

I am eagerly looking forward to reading about the first Overlanders that venture into this new country.  The possible route might be heading North from Uganda or West from Ethiopia.  
Time will tell if it is even possible to get a tourist visa.  Exciting times though!

View Larger Map

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Six months of silence...

It's a daily occurrence for my mind to wander onto the topic of overland travel.  Random thoughts populate my head as I glance at someone's overland prepared 4x4 driving down the road, or a photo on my laptop computer.
Yet, over the last six months, I have not managed to put my thoughts to this blog. The primary reason was the move to Sydney, Australia with my family.  There was an overland route planned yet the timing did not work out so 24hours of travel in airports, planes and taxi's safely landed me on a new continent.  The amount of admin and time needed to move a family to a new continent is unreal.  It has been six months of hard work with little thought for anything else.

So, what's next... Over the next few years, I will be exploring the best of the Australian outback, and her tremendous coast line.  The Africa Overland Network site will continue (currently over 1000 trips listed) and the Overland Live podcast will resume in the late Autumn (Northern Hemisphere).

For now, I shall leave you with Google Maps route from London to Cape Town...  I think we need a volunteer to contact Google to let them know that the route proposed is not quite possible in today's political climate.