Recent Posts

The kindness of people

When the first detachment of the Tsavo West National Park team arrived at my crash site, the leader looked at me and the car and said “you walked out of that?, God really loves you man!” a sense of gratitude has been my main emotion in the two days since …

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Breaking rule 1

I used to joke with Tony Borrill, Mark Wilkins and Duncan that rule 1 was “don’t roll the truck” as Nelson is so strong in every direction except upwards as the lifting roof prevents the installation of a roll cadge. So today, 40km from the end of the park road …

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Kenya well organised

I am working my way through Kenya quite gently, keeping the kms low as I am driving on my own and taking advantage of the generous hospitality of Lee’s cousin in Nairobi, I camp in the shadow of Mt Kenya and in the shadow of Mt Kilimanjaro while visiting some …

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Quiet Times in Kenya

Now I am in Kenya, country number 81 for Nelson and I, this is the last country of this trip as Nelson will ship from Mombasa and go into his container on the 18th June, so I have about 10 days left, four of which will be consumed on administration …

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The Last Frontier

I crossed over to Kenya today after spending the night on the bank of the Nile as it leaves Lake Victoria. I wrote in my journal that it was a pretty smooth border crossing, and it was, by my new recalibrated sense. To put some perspective on it, and to …

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Solo in Rwanda

I continue to tootle through the beautiful west of Rwanda in the mountains along the short of lake Kivu. The roads are lovely and smooth, in fact people seem to sweep them with brooms each day, no kidding, this are main roads and gangs of ladies (usually) are walking along …

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Rwanda recovering …..

Our first impressions of Rwanda were not good, for only the second time in Africa we had folks test the security of the car in broad daylight in front of staring onlookers, who did nothing… However, we are assured by many people that Rwanda is actually very safe in general …

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Rwandan excitement…..

We are just into Rwanda and had the type of experience we prepare for but do not enjoy or welcome. I have some strict protocols developed from West Africa. In dodgy towns the car is locked and windows up before we drive in, one of us stays in the truck …

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Tanzania, a tough road

You may remember that Poppy turned up a day late, due to a critical job interview, and then her bag turned up two days later. This meant that a run to Kigali in Rwanda was going to be a push and there were no reasonable airports in between to change …

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Malawi Farewell

Poppy and I have really enjoyed our time in Malawi, although the lost bag delayed us a few days, we used them well to get in some great Safari days in the National Parks, but now we have the offending bag we have to “crack on” to make up the …

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Malawi Plan B

Lee leaves for Scotland on the same plane that Poppy arrives on, which means they don’t quite meet, even though they are both in the airport at the same time. Poppy arrives, but in a rookie mistake, she has checked in her bag at London, and bag does not arrive, …

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Malawi Part 1

Malawi is the end of the road for Lee, Avril and Duncan after three weeks with me on my Africa tour, but it is delightful, more authentic than the tourist orientation of the big natural parks of Botswana, we share the road mostly with people walking and on bicycles with …

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Zambia

Zambia…. We say a reluctant goodbye to our lovely campsite at Mana pools on the banks of the Zambezi River and head up to Zambia. Our objective is South Luangwa National Park but to get there we have a few challenges. Firstly the border at Chirundu proves to be an …

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Zimbabwe, Fading Glory

We spend a few days in Zimbabwe finding the country in general to be in a bit of a mess, the local currency is essentially without value, all transactions are now done in US dollars, in the town of Bulawayo we stay at a “classic” overlanders place called Burkes Paradise, …

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Diamonds are a Rhinos best friend….

Today we headed south from the Okavango delta into the Central Kalahari of Botswana. The trees gradually gave way to the open pans and desert as we droves south and east, scrawny cattle, goats and donkeys line the road and occasionally cross in front of us. We take a little …

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Mokoro

Mokoro, a new word, amazing experience… While at the Khwai Hippo pool campsite I suggested we took up the option to do a bit of canoeing, my main hobby, while on safari. This is a little different from my normal sea kayak, more like a venitian pole barge crossed with …

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Adventure Tourists…

Our tour of Botswana is a lovely combination of different types of adventure and tourism, we take in the tourist sights of Chobe river cruises and the mighty Victoria falls on organised tours, a great start to the time with Lee, Avril and Duncan, then we head off into the …

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Makgadikgadi Pans

After another 60km of sand road and about 400km of main road we move on from the Kalahari into the Makgadikgadi Pans region and stumble on to a great little spot called Camelthorn campsite. This campsite overlooks a waterhole inside the park (which they feed with a borehole) home to …

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The Kalahari San ……..

A few quiet days from me as Mark and I have been slogging along on the less scenic tar roads of South Africa as we make our way from Lesotho, which we adored, across the flat plains to the mighty desert on the trans Kalahari highway. The problem with this …

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The Kingdom in the sky

Our three days in Lesotho has been one of the highlights of all my overlanding trips so far. The mountain scenery is as good as any I have seen and constantly amazing hour after hour, roads cling to the sides of deep gorges and blue rivers and often run along …

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The Sani Pass to Lesotho….

Today we moved into the Kingdom of Lesotho, a magical little independent mountain country surrounded by South Africa and mostly many thousands of meters above it. To get to it we go up the very scenic, and a little challenging, Sani Pass, which is something of an Overlander iconic drive, …

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Transkei, Darker shades of the rainbow nation…

The leaders of South Africa like to call it “the rainbow nation” today we passed through one of the darker shades of that rainbow, the Transkei region, home of many of the Xhosa people in the apartheid time including Nelson Mandela who came from a small village near the capital …

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The end of the garden

We are about to leave the Garden Route of South Africa after a lovely four days of travelling. Yesterday we made our way through the rolling hills with views of distant mountains to the Addo Elephant Park were we spent the afternoon on a 60km game drive, lots of Elephants, …

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Storm River

The garden route is living up to its name, as we move from Arch Rock to Storm River Park, (another one of the excellent SANPark network) clouds tumble over the escarpment in the morning sun and we cross a dramatic bridge, bungie jumping for the braver is available. Once we …

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Elephants and wobbly wheel….

Today broke our running record of blue skys and warm days with rain and a thunderstorm to wake us up. We decided to go for a little hike in the Ebb and Flow park anyway for about 5km before setting off along the garden route to just past Plettenberg Bay …

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The Tip of Africa

Many of us think that the Cape of Good Hope is the bottom of Africa but that honour belongs to a little place called Cape L’Agulhas so this morning we sought it out a few kilometers from our overnight camp, no one else there but they have a great relief …

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The Garden Route

Breakfast in Cape Towns waterfront, sea food lunch platter watching dolphins play at Hermanus (sadly not whale season) and then we make our way to the most southerly point in Africa, a nice match with the South America “fin del Mundo” moment at the tip of South America, everything is …

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The most travelled Icarus ?…..

We travelled down to Cape Town today through the Northern Cape, which is lovely countryside all the way down, good mountains and surprisingly little population. Our mission was to lay a claim to the title of “the most travelled Icarus” in Cape Town the home of the Icarus roof conversion …

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Hello South Africa

We leave Namibia behind and head into South Africa via a nice little border post at Onseepkans, by little I mean they had three staff, we were the first customers they had seen that day, and they looked a little puzzled when I wanted my Carnet stamped. We head to …

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Goodbye Namibia

The last few days in Namibia, what an outstanding country for overland travel, I can unreservedly recommend it for anyone who wants to try out real adventures in remote places, specially the North West coupled with lovely spacious campsites with excellent facilities attached. It is for sure one of my …

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On the road again

Today was my first day back driving in Namibia. Nelson is running well after the motor equivalent of open heart surgery on its fuel injector pump when I was away. So far so good. Not so good is my driving, a rookie mistake of not stopping at a deserted stop …

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Chilling out

As I write this in my cosy study in Edinburgh Africa seems a long way away already. I got back just in time for a lovely Christmas with the family Chilling… As expected, the contrast between the Scottish Winter’s depth and the Namibian summer’s heat is extreme and welcome. After …

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Country Roads

Country roads …….. Take me home. One hundred twenty days is a long time in normal life, one-third of a year, but that amount of time spent gently stressing about routes, the car breaking down, finding somewhere to stay and staying safe, away from my family, is a bit exhausting. …

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Sunsets and Dunes

Sunsets and Dunes…. Namibia continues to surprise and challenge us as we explore the south of the country, our first stop is the sand sea of Sossusviel where we drive 60km into a deep valley surrounded on all sides by majestic dunes casting shadows in the slowely setting sun. We …

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A Sky Full of Stars

A sky full of stars In the Namibian desert we sip Earl Gray tea as we do every night and try to capture the vast beautiful clear star filled sky, badly, on our phones. A poor comparisons to the amazing 360 degree reality, but not a bad picture for a …

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Meet the Flintstones

Meet the Flintstones…. Over the last few days we have been indulging in a spot of history seeking, as the desert of Namibia are so dry rock etchings are not washed away but instead have survived in a number of sites for more than 6000 years. The paintings themselves are …

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Cool in all senses

Cool, in all senses….. We move over to the Skeleton coast of Namibia and are surprised by how cold it is, we are suddenly rummaging around for fleeces and long trousers after the dry heat of the desert. A cold current (Benguela) runs up the west side of Africa here …

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A tale of three rivers

A tale of three rivers…. At the end of our adventurous loop through the north west corner of Namibia, Duncan and I were feeling very pleased that we were on the last section of the route. We came around a corner and saw a great view of a running river …

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A walk on the wild side

A walk on the wild side …. Despite the luxury of the accommodation in Namibia there is no shortage of real expedition adventure. Duncan and I are travelling alone so decide to take a big loop through the remote north west corner of Namibia on a reasonably well travelled route. …

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The lap of luxury

The lap of luxury… There is massive contrast between the rest of the trip and Namibia. This is really overland travel heaven, it has all the wild, remote, spectacular and difficult routes that are as good as Bolivia or Kyrgyzstan, with the bonus of better wildlife, yet the evening camping …

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The final Frontier

The final frontier…. Angola continued to delight, the green hills of the interior enscarpment gave way to the strange sight of a flooded desert as we made our way south to the border. Unusual rains are creating a desert bloom of green. Today is a big milestone, I crossed the …

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Namib not yet Namiba

Namib not yet Namibia ….. We continue to enjoy Angola more on the adventurous side in the last few days. We have left behind the forests and the green countryside of the north and made our way to the Namib desert, which confusingly is mostly in Angola not Namibia along …

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From the moon to the beach

From the moon to the beach…. Still loving Angola. We head south from Luanda after our diversion west to the great waterfall of kalundula and first stop is the moon, well not really, there is an area of soil erosion called “the viewpoint of the moon” in Portuguese, so we …

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Angola delights

Angola delights ….. I have been in Angola now for a few days and first impressions are great…. In Luanda Tony leaves for home and Duncan joins me as copilot for the last part of this trip to Namibia. A changing of the guard but Duncan and I have travelled …

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Three borders three days

Three borders, three days…. Borders in Africa are unlike those in Europe, usually the procedure is something like this: Local police check you into the border in a big log book. You find another office, Immigration then process passports into computer checking each page, then they send you to another …

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The wrong road

The wrong road ……. Today we continued to enjoy The Congo in the capital Brazzaville, we stay in a nice place, The Hippocampe, were we get washing done and mostly dry before the evening rain starts. We have dinner by the mighty Congo river with Kinshasa on the other bank …

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Gorillas

Gorillas ….. We make such good time in the Congo that we decide to visit tributary of the mighty Congo river for a boat trip along the river to a Gorilla reserve. Here the staff are slowly and successfully rewilding Gorillas that have been born in capativity into the wild …

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In the Jungle the mighty Jungle a landy sleeps tonight

In the Jungle, the mighty Jungle, a Landy sleeps tonight… We are now in Congo, because Gabon has closed to overland travel after the coup, and what a delight it is. To our surprise after months of potholed and difficult roads we have been on lovely roads through the deep …

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The Sultans mud

Cameroon, relaxing a bit….. After the difficult border crossing we reached the little town of Banyo and breathed a sigh of relief, a little too soon. Our first surprise was the fact that there were no functioning fuel stations in the town or nearby. However we have learned to ask …

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The road to Banyo

Accepting help….. Tony Borrill and I have had another epic day on “the road to Banyo” this road is currently the only north to south route open from Nigeria to Cameroon and hence the only road available outside conflict areas to get down west Africa, I say that because if …

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Nigeria redeemed

Nigeria redeemed …… I am sitting in the dark outside the border control at the exit of Nigeria, the friendly and funny guys who man the border are in the little mosque behind me as the Inman has just sung the call to prayer at the door gathering them. We …

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Men with sticks and guns

Men with sticks, and guns…. Since we left Lagos we have stayed in Benin city Enugu and Takum as we make our way towards the Jungle crossing to Cameroon (the only one open to tourists). We will set Nelson up for extreme off roading tomorrow morning ready for that challenge …

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It’s fun to stay at the YMCA

It’s fun to stay at the YMCA ….. Tony is back in his childhood country (0-6 years) as today we crossed the border to Nigeria, and are in the capital city of Lagos, which is, by reputation, the most hazardous part of our journey (as we don’t intend to go …

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Sunset on Benin

Sunset on Benin……. We are wild camping on the beach before crossing into Nigeria tomorrow, our final sunset in Benin. I think both of us will be content to move on after having to take things easy for a week to ensure our Cameroon visa is “live” when we hit …

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Voodoo and Snakes

Voodoo and snakes…. Today we made our way to Ouidah the voodoo capital of Benin as we crossed the bridge to the town passing the fishermen Tony stopped for a shot and I looked down to see a creepy face staring up at me from the tree in front of …

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Agbodrafo and Gabon visas

The last visa ….. but one We spent last night in the car park of a beach bar in central Lome the capital of Togo, not our usual style but options were limited and we had to go to the Embassy of Gabon first thing today to get our visas. …

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Volta floods and Luxury

  We are in the region of the Volta delta, lots and lots of flooding around in the villages but the main road is on a causeway so is still passable. Tony and I are the only “guests” in a little beach place with music, restaurant, bar, pool all the …

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Gotta Love Fred

A Fred in need As we turned into the slave fort at Cape coast the steering on Nelson suddenly went very heavy and then back to normal. Over the next few days this began to happen more and more often. This is a real worry as the next section of …

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Elmina port

🇬🇭 Vibrant, bustling, fishy … and one of my favourite photogenic locations in Africa (so far this trip). Loved every moment, thank you Elmina, Cape Coast, Ghana 🇬🇭 with Gerry Mulligan Stunning Photos thanks to the excellent skills of Tony

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Warming to Ghana

Warming to Ghana The day before we came into Ghana Tony and I ran out of daylight on the road, so as the sun was setting we pulled into a palm plantation and asked the guards If there was a safe place to stay “stay with us” they said and …

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Do it right, do it slow

Do It right, do it slow….. When I tackle a job on Nelson in a campsite you would hear me muttering this refrain if you walked past, the big risk of self repairs is that I botch the job and end up with some part of the car in bits …

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On the beach

On the beach… We started the day on the beach of a lake, the fishermen in the picture below bringing in their catch at 6am was my alarm call, pretty good catch for two hours work they seemed pleased and a bit bemused while we fiddled around with tea and …

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A big Escargot

A big escargot… Today, while shopping for vegetables for dinner, we had a dilemma about change, I did not have the necessary small notes, and the bargaining ladies claimed not to have change. The problem was proposed to be solved by my purchase of a snail or two, I was …

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Gotta love Christians and bananas

We are having good days, driving for only half the day leaves us time to stop and buy bread and bananas at the local villages, it’s fun to see bread brought to the market on wheelbarrow, even odder that they are perfectly fresh french style baguettes, so good you can …

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Nelson gets a cheer

Nelson gets a cheer, Tony’s heart in mouth I have often been asked if it is necessary to have a capable 4*4 for a trip like the one we are doing, the answer is no, many people do these trips in small cars or vans and the locals whizz around …

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Night in the Jungle

Nighttime in the jungle As I write this the jungle around me is alive with noises, crickets, and all sorts of insects calling to each other, fireflies flit between the overhead canopy and the mighty Niger River slides past 20 m away and four or Five meters lower than our …

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“Give me money !”

Conakry stand off. “You give me money!” The angry young policeman shouted again and again holding my passport and Carnet. “You give me money 500,000,(€50) , I let you go!” I patiently explain for the tenth time “sorry if I made a mistake (following a big arrow on the road, …

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Africa as you imagined it …

Africa as you imagine it. We have escaped the floods, diesel’s fumes,hustle and bustle of Dakar finally with Guinean visas safely in the document folder. While waiting I went shopping for oil and found a nice french cafe to comfort me, tummy has now settles down nicely!   We head …

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La Mimosa “Airport hotel”

Pick ups are always a little tricky on this type of trips, with all the uncertainty of border crossings, breakdowns and the large distances involved we have a protocol that the arriving person always has a hotel booking for the first night so that they are secure. Tony booked the …

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Tony and the prophet

Tony and the Prophet… After the tough day of the “Dakar Floods” things have calmed down and got better. First of all Tony has arrived so I have a copilot again, that makes navigation and problem solving much easier and, as we have travelled so often together, we fall into …

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Hard Days Night Dakar

Hard days night …. I am in need of the “feel alright” bit of the song today. After my successful alternator change last night I considered going for a dip in the lake (subsequent advice from Lee not to do that due to local parisites in the water specifically in …

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I’ve got one of those

I’ve got one of those …. Over the last two days the power from my alternator has been varying, today it went to zero, fortunately with all the battery systems I have Nelson can go quite a while without a functioning alternator. Never the less a swap with the spare …

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Diama border and Laundry

(Photos to follow, poor internet) Mauritania Couscous and Laundry Having recovered from the tough day crossing the Western Sahara to Mauritania border we needed a day off before hitting the Senegal border, we stayed in Nouakchott and the owner of the space served up special Couscous for our dinner, not …

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The desert

(Photos to follow due to poor internet) The desert…. One of the great impressions of this trip is the empty vastness of the Sahara desert where it touches the sea. We will cover nearly 2000km of the desert by the time we reach Senegal tomorrow and three countries (one disputed) …

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Fellowship of the road

(Poor internet means pictures will follow) Copied in FB posts for a place holder A friend in need ….. Meet Simon, a retired boat building company owner who was cycling across the desert, I stopped for a chat and to see if he was OK and he said « honestly …

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Marrakesh – after the quake

  We had adjust our original plan to visit Marrakesh following the earthquake, and in the process lost a quite expensive hotel booking in an old Riad in the Medina, but now five days on we could see many reports from Marrakesh saying that the city was once again open …

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Cedar cool in the wilds

The heat of the desert at 42oC was just too much for Poppy, at night only dropping into the 30s made sleeping very difficult so we cancelled out plan to cross the pistes of the desert SAS style off road and camp under the stars, and headed instead to the …

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Hot hot hot in the desert

After the night of the earthquake we got up at 5.30am, unaware at that time how serious the quake was we planned to head into the desert to see the dunes in the relative cool of the morning.  As we drove along the news caught up with us and we …

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A narrow escape…earthquake

After the violent storm of the night before, we woke up to the blue sky and still air overlooking the little dam at the village. Fresh coffee and overnight porridge with dried fruit and honey puts us in good form for the day as it does most days.  Porridge oats …

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Beaten by the road

After our easy start in the cities of Tangier and Fes and a nice easy introduction to camping at Chefchaoun, it was time to get serious with a drive over the 4WD trials of the Atlas mountains. We met up with Nick and Lillian in their Land Crusier for some …

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Hot days, Arabian nights

For the first leg of Africa, through Morroco, my daughter Poppy has joined me. This is her first time Overlanding in the truck, her first time in Morroco, and a big contrast to her normal day-to-day job in corporate law (though she is a resilient and adventurous traveller by nature). …

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Just getting there

For many people going to Spain and Portugal is an adventure in itself; my friends Polaris Overland have just returned from the Pyrenees and had a lovely two-week holiday exploring the mountains.  However, for me, given the time constraints of the whole trip and the need to meet Poppy in …

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Blessings and Flags

After two nights and a day on the Ferry from Portsmouth it was a relief to drive off into Spain, more than a relief really quite a pleasure as the Spanish roads were free, smooth and empty, a great starter for Nelson to get warmed up for the trip. I …

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Visas, Hail Mary Save on the last day

Unusually for me I made a bit of a hash of visas for this trip, partly my inexperience and partly underestimating how difficult some of the visa systems can be, especially if you want something outside of the normal standard tourist process. So my first mistake was to believe what …

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England, green and pleasant land

  For the first leg of the trip, we head south from Edinburgh to Northumbria, as we have just finished the series “The Last Kingdom”, Lee plans a route to Lindisfarne and Bamburgh Castle, which has an exhibition celebrating the series we have both enjoyed a lot.  We take a …

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Freebird, reluctantly

As we left Edinburgh on Monday with Lee I was trying out an old playlist on the ipad in the car, just as the sun caught Arthur’s Seat, the stereo started to play “Freebird” which seemed a little appropriate as I set out on my latest Celtic Safari to Africa. …

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Planning, why bother?

Some people just jump in their car and go. There are a lot of positives for that, especially if you have plenty of time and no deadlines.  In reality, spare parts can be obtained anywhere in the world, with a few exceptions visas can be obtained as you go along, …

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Visa woes

These last few weeks have been a stressful test of my perseverance with the administration of visas, I think this will be a bit of a theme for the Celtic Safari as I have come to call this trip as I am reading many reports from fellow travellers of trouble …

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Africa here we come

  Celtic Rover is back! I am once again in the intensive pre-trip planning phase of one of my “big trips”, the spreadsheets are out, visas are being researched, and Nelson is being revamped for a big trip. This time to Africa for the classic UK to Cape Town trip …

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Sheltering in Place

A week ago I was in Buenos Aries in the last days of my six month trip around South America.  Life has changed a lot for me in just a week, as it has for the majority of people in the world, thanks to the Corona virus.  I am now …

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Buenos Aries – leaving on a jet plane

As I write this I am back home in Edinburgh under lockdown and i think it is going to be one of the quietest birthdays of my life, to maximise the safety of the family Lee is with her mother in Aberdeen and I am here with my oldest daughter …

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Montevideo – faded chic

My last stop with Nelson was the Uruguay capital Montevideo, although my main purpose of visiting this city was the great reputation of its port facilities and the ease of its paperwork for sending Nelson home I did have a few days there and the city grew on me very …

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Shipping Home

Getting to Montevideo was the end of my trip with Nelson so it was time to pack up for the long sea voyage home, normally with the roof rack and the box on the roof Nelson is quite tall, around 256 cm (which is very good to print out and …

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The devil at the beach …

Now we have made it into the very last country of the trip Uruguay or properly called the Republic Oriental Del Uruguay as the sign reminded us as we entered, this was the day after our epic trip down the 200km of Playa Cassini and I was happy to be …

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A vist to Germany….in Brazil

There are some parts of South America that just do not feel like South America, usually due to the significant number of immigrants who dominate the population in a small part of the countries, so is the case in the case of the two little towns of Gramado and Canela …

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Beach buggy and beach bums

Beach buggy …. Tony and I have been exploring the beaches of Brazil in the last week of the trip before we head to Montevideo and put Nelson in his container home, mostly this has involved splashing around in the sea, wild camping beside beaches in sleepy but friendly towns …

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Missions and Falls, a few days in the Jungle

After the excitement of Carnival we were a bit sore legged tired and slightly deaf so an easy day was needed, we headed back across the river to Argentina and decided to tour the abandoned Missionary at San Ignacio.  This turned out to be the nice easy day we needed, …

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Carnival…dancing shoes, not much else

One of the anticipated highlights of the trip was to see Carnival in South America, however this caused some angst before the trip and I was quite anxious about it ahead of time as often it is the events with a lot of advance anticipation that can disappoint simply because …

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Meandering up the river Uruguay

After a week of travelling up really flat and unchanging roads we passed Buenos Aries (as we will return for four days at the end of the trip) and headed up the Rio Uruguay so we had the pleasure of long flat roads this time with the occasional forest of …

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Sea animals, some with beach umbrellas

Today was an exciting day, after days and days of flat scrubland we finally saw a tree on Route 3 !  We were so excited finally something which appears on the horizon and changes shape and size as you approach it ! After that the day just got better and …

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All Change in a week….

What a difference a week can make in Patagonia… The main change is I am now travelling with my friend Tony rather than Lee, so we have dropped into “boy mode” with ambitious days starting with a 7am alarm and packing in as much as possible (and sometimes not managing) …

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The end of the world….Ushuaia

We left our friends Camille and william rebuilding their engine and headed off to Ushuaia along the grandly titled “route find de le monde” or route to the end of the world, Ushuaia is on the big island of Tierra del Fuego literally fire island but it is very reminiscent …

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Land Rover Mary Poppins

When we arrived in Puerto Natales we decided to stay at the Yellow Plum Tree camping, this is a nice place, essentially a big back garden but with lovely showers and nice friendly owners.  When we arrived we were the third Land Rover there and had to park in the …

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Torres, just had to be done, and it was good

The last big sight on Lee’s part of the South American tour was supposed to be the mighty Torres del Paine mountains before we headed down to the island of Tierra del Fuego and Ushuaia where lee would fly home and Tony will join me for the final leg of …

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Rasta rod, Fitzroy and a mega glacier

Now that Nelson is back on the road we are very carefully working our way down to two of the big “sights” of the trip, Fitzroy mountain near Chalten and then the great glacier Moreno near Calafate.  This involves making our way down route 40 which has tow hazards in …

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Glaciers waterfalls and wobbly axels

As we started down the Carrera Astral the weather was not cooperating with my plan, this section of the road to the small town of Puyhupui is supposed to be very pretty and the remote hamlet, originally founded by four German families, nestles between massive mountains at the head of …

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From thermal Andes highs to beach chill

After our off road adventures in the Atuel Canyon and Hermoso valley we headed back down the mountain to make our way to the Argentine/Chile border with a view to stopping in the wine region of Chile.  That meant working our way out of the Hermoso valley along the steep …

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Perfect beach and perfect drive

After the lovely drive down the seven lakes to El Bolson we headed further south on route 40 before turning off on the ripo road of route 71 as this took us down to Les Alercs national park which promised a lovely drive and a few nice walks.  One of …

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San Martin and home crashes

When we got across into Argentina from LagoPellaga we were a bit wet and slightly stressed by the trip from the border in the rain, it had made us and the road very wet, which in turn made the muddy forest track really slippy for our 3te Land Rover, lee …

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The Full scottish

When you do a trip like this, even one that got shifted a bit as this one did, you research the climate of the countries to try and hit nice sunny warm weather as much as possible.  Despite what hardy souls will tell you, and I am sometimes one of …

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Wine, Canyons and hidden valleys

After the New Year celebrations we were ready to hit the road and do some proper “Nelsoning” as much as it is nice to indulge in fancy hotels in both Santiago and in Mendoza we both prefer to be camping in Nelson and exploring some nice roads and pottering along …

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Half way waterfalls

After a lovely day on the beach at Constitution we had a long drive south to the Chilean lake district, I was looking forward to the lakes on both sides of the border, as quite a few travellers had recommended them as they drove north and met me on the …

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New Year on the Road – Mendoza

For a week I dropped out of my routine, no longer was I waking to put on the kettle for coffee and get the porridge out of the fridge while I heard the rustle and thumping of Errol, Duncan and Mark in the bed a few inches above my head.  …

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Hammer time (and Norman)

So recovered from our bike ride up the hill to Cafayate we braced ourselves for the “big run”down to Santiago, it is a feature of trips such as mine that I do have a very flexible schedule but I also occasionally have specific dates to hit for airport pick up …

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A green and pleasant land

We had a nice few days by the Lido in Salta which allowed us to catch up on things after a few weeks of rough travelling over the salt plains and altiplano, it is a reasonably large city by comparison with anywhere we have been for weeks so we enjoyed …

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Crossing the high Puna to Salta

The Puna is the local name for the very high altitude plain that is divided between Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, in fact this area has been the subject of a number of historical wars between these three countries principally for its mineral wealth as nothing much can grow at 4000m …

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The Great Salars of Bolivia

After the stress of the oil flange falling apart, and the amazing recovery thanks to the mechanics in Arica, we took it easy for a day cruising down the PanAmerican highway rather than heading to the mountains, at each stop I fussed over the car checking for leaks measuring oil …

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Nelson down…and rises again

On these trips of mine I tend to have a new copilot each month or so, for me this is a six month trip and a week here or there does not really matter, for them it is a long and quite expensive holiday when flights are considered, so taking …

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Taking the high road to arequipa

Having left Duncan in Cusco I had to get to Arequipa to pick up Mark so that we could begin our journey south to Boliva, Chile and Argentina over the next three weeks before I head home for a break at Christmas.  This part of Peru is the altiplano so …

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Cusco and Duncan is off….

When we first got to Cusco I was not very impressed as I was having a bit of reverse culture shock.  Having spent a good few days in the desert and in the canyons far away from the majority of the tourists I had gained a solid view of rural …

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Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo

After our adventures in Lake Titicaca Duncan and I headed to the town of Cusco, which is the gateway to the Sacred Valley of the Incas.  Cuzco is a nice little town just on the edge of being over-run with tourist infrastructure, but clean and tidy, safe and with nice …

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Protests and Canyons, a walk on the wild side

After our day running the dunes in Parcas Park and then flying over the Nazca lines we had a choice to make, do we continue on the standard Peru trail to the white city of Arquipa or do we head directly east into the Andes across the less explored terrain …

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Nazca Lines and Inca Ports

After our day of adventurous driving across the desert we were due to drop into the tourist groove and check out the Nazca lines in the desert and the ancient Inca Ruins at Puerto Inca on the coast.  As it turned out bouncing around the sky looking at lines and …

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Desert days

I was a little concerned that the next portion of the trip with Duncan would be a little bit too “touristy” or tame, after all the run from Lima to the white city of Arequipa, the lake at Titicaca and then on to Cusco and the top sight of Machu …

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Changeover Day

It has been an interesting element of my trips that I have had different friends join me on these trips as well as Lee.  In the early days Colin Muir was my first passenger as we ran a half marathon in Belgium and then took the bicycles around the battlefields …

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Gasping…views, roads and altitude

After the surf, desert (and rubbish) of the North Peru coast Errol and I headed up into the mountains, this was to be the best few days of the trip so far for me.  I was prepared better than I had been in Ecuador and had been taking my altitude …

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North Peru coast, a bit rubbish

This trip has been marked by the incredible variety of places we have seen and the dramatic changes in climate that occurred as we changed altitude over even half a day by 3000m or more.  In Columbia and Ecuador we went through many small villages and travelled a lot of …

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Pacific beach bums

The contrast in climate of South America over small distances continues to both surprise and delight me, as I write this I am listening to Pacific Ocean waves crash down on a beautiful beach in Northern Peru.  The temperature is about 22oC there is a light breeze, no insects and …

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Day of the dead (not us)

After the Jungle we headed to our last city in Ecuador Cuenca or Quenka as the locals pronounce it.  We had a plan to meet some internet friends Pat and Neil Hay there and catch up with tips and tales from the few years they have already spent in South …

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Jungle, chocolate and monkeys

One of the themes of our time in Ecuador has been the incredible variation of the country and climate, in earlier posts I covered some of the variety from volcanos to the coffee regions and the changes in temperature that can occur in just one days drive. Our next adventure, …

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From the Jungle to the snow capped mountains

The amazing variety of Ecuador We already were thinking very highly of Ecuador after encountering the lovely roads in the spectacular scenery of the northern province, the warm German welcome in Finca Sommerwind and the authentic Saturday market in Octavio but we continued to be impressed by the capital city …

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Ecuador, after the riots…

After a nice night camped up on the lakeside and a visit to a crazy church perched over a canyon (complete with Holy hydro) we made our way to Eucador our first border crossing of South America. sunset view from our last camp in Colombia A crazy church built to …

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Colombian Reflections

Tonight is my last evening in Colombia if all goes according to plan tomorrow and we cross into Ecuador so in 24 days I have managed to get Nelson released from his container ,and driven him across a good portion of this lovely country, survived one pretty big crash, and …

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The backroads to and from Salento

We decided to take the backroads to the little town of Salento from the city of Medellin, what we did not realise is just how much of a difference there would be between the main roads, pretty much smooth tarmac, and the backroads, mostly gravel and sometimes tricky as you …

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Gutape land of lakes

After camping beside the river overnight we awoke to a sodden campground and a river which had been turned brown by the strong overnight rain (and quite frightening lighting strikes which woke both of us up in the middle of the night). Our normal breakfast of cold porridge and coffee …

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Back roads to the jungle

We had a lovely time in Bogota but we have some miles to cover so we set off for the mountains and the jungles of Colombia on our two day trip to Medellin. First thing in the morning we braved the intense morning traffic of Bogota to head north to …

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Bogota – culture of the street

When I travel I am often surprised about how wrong my perceptions of a place are based on movies or news reports over many years. Bogota was one such place as my overriding memory of it was as the setting for the movie “Clear and Present Danger” were Harrison Ford …

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Joining the Legion

The community of land rover owners is amazingly strong across the world and in Bogota the heartbeat is strong. As word of my accident spread across my overlanding connections on the internet the local Land Rover club stepped up with offers of support and advice. Within a few hours as …

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Crash and coffee

The amazing helpfulness of strangers on the road, adversity is sometimes the greatest icebreaker. One the way from the dinosaurs footprints to the lovely colonial town of Villa de Leyva I found some great small roads in the mountains with breathtaking views and the occasional driving challenge including a fallen …

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In the footsteps of dinosaurs ?

Having friends who are travelling ahead of you on a trip like this is a real benefit as you get good recommendations on places to visit. Today I headed to Las Gachas which according to local legend are the ancient footsteps of dinosaurs captured in the rock in a small …

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Into the Mountains

It was delightful to see the mountains come up on the horizon after the long slog across the plains from the beach, after two days I turned off the main road and left the city of Bucaramanga behind as the road climbed out of the plains and into the mountains …

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Between one place and another

Sometimes when you are planning a trip there is just that one bit of the trip where there seems to be nowhere to break a 12 hour journey into two 6 hour manageable bits. Experience tells me that if google tells me its a 6 hour trip and I leave …

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Beach Life – both chilled and sweaty

Day 3, country 1, 180km With Nelson safely out of the port, stocked up with groceries and snacks, it was time to head to the beach to get sorted out. When all the stuff that is normally on the roof, is inside the truck, the back is basically full and …

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What do you mean its not there?

My man in Cartagana, Yair its in there somewhere In the middle of all this was supposed to be Nelson at least that is what Maersk told us, after queuing and waiting for a few hours we met ” the guy” who imports cars. Unfortunately he is scratching his head …

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Published – a nice wrap up

At the end of our Roof of the World Tour my friend Tony made a lovely book of our travels and gave me a free copy, it is a lovely momento of the trip for me and a great piece of work by Tony In addition to this, and thanks …

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Cartagena, Ceviche and Castles

I started my trip in Cartagena in Colombia today after a 17 hour long trip from the UK, it was a pretty easy trip apart from the 4am start and I even got to visit Bogota airport as a preview for my pick up of Errol there in 14 days …

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Final Prep and “Leaving on a jet plane”

..but I do know when I will be back again 19th December 2019 (if all goes to plan). For many years I had to travel back and forward to Asia, specially to Hong Kong, as part of my job. Mostly that was a challenge, due to jet lag and time …

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Shipping to South America

Nelson is on his way ! After been driven the 7 hours to Felixstowe harbour Nelson is on his way loaded into a container organised by Martin at IVSS UK who is also the main admin on the Overland Sphere websites, his day job these days is organising shipping our …

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Update on Plans Aug 2019

This is just a short update on how the plans for South America are evolving and how the time has been spent since returning from the Roof of the World Tour. So the current Plan is for Nelson to leave the UK in September in a container for Cartegena while …

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South America Plan

Outline South America Plan for sharing Approx Date Location Comments       1st June to 21 June Norway loop Proving run for the truck prior to shipping to Columbia 24th June to 18th July Rotterdam – Cartegena Nelson shipping to Columbia 18th July to 6th August Columbia Pick up …

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Damage Control Report

After the excitement of the Roof of the World tour there was in the end a price to pay for days and days of hammering over rough corrugations and running the poor truck at 15,000 feet (not to mention bashing the roof on the exit barrier of a police fortress …

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Home sweet home

Nelson has made it home after 30844 miles or 50k kms we crossed 30 countries in just 168days – three days ahead of plan as I did not need to stop for work in Germany. Amazingly despite some dramas I got all the visas and crossed all the countries successfully …

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The fellowship of the road

One of the things which has been a pleasant surprise about this trip has been the “fellowship of the road” I was concerned about some sections of the trip as I knew I would be travelling alone and mostly in areas such as Iran and Pakistan where it would be …

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Kerman and the Lut desert

After all the excitement of Pakistan it was a relief to reach the safety of Iran, a few months ago I could not have imagined writing that sentence but it is a true reflection both of how I feel and the reality of the situation here. As you can see …

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Thank you Pakistan

Thank you Pakistan I have just left Pakistan and I am humbled by the generosity and good nature of the people of that country, I missed the fact that there was a big religious holiday in Quetta and turned up stupidly on the day all the government offices closed for …

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Lahore and a Pink Wrestler

I have not spend as much time as I should have given the great reports of other travellers, but there is only so much time for this trip before I want to be back in the UK and only so much time I want to spend away from my family …

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PROTECTIVE DETENTION – QUETTA

It is now my second full day in the courtyard of the police HQ in Quetta Pakistan, I am writing this in the shade of my truck with the prospect of two further days stuck here as part of a “security protocol”. I think that they are being a bit …

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FIRST AID IN PAKISTAN

Today I made the run from Lahore down to Sukkur, I had intended to stop at a place called Multan but I got there at 11.30am so thought I would push on to the next planned stop as the roads were so good and I could get to Sukkur before …

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Agra, Taj, just has to be done….

It was still super hot in India and camping spots are hard to come by in Agra, best known for being the location of one of the Red Forts of India and more specially the Taj Mahal, so I hunted around on booking.com for an option and came up trumps …

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Land Rover Overland Katmandu

I have had a lot of problems getting bits and pieces fixed on the Land Rover out here, but the guys in Kathmandu at Land Rovers Overland (find them on iOverlander) did a great job, they are good mechanics but I also had all the necessary spare parts ! So …

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When a Mountain lands on the only road

Today I set off from Katmandu on the first leg of my solo journey home, at least as far as I have planned its solo until Istanbul when I will pick up my godson Chris for the run to Munich and the Octoberfest.  I was in good spirits having been …

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A meeting of explorers

When I was in Turkey on my way home I was surprised to hear from Kingsley Holgate and his partner Sheelagh Antrobus (who seems to do most of the administration work for Kingsley lucky man) he is a very famous overland traveller mostly in Africa but his most recent adventure, …

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Kathmandu

Kathmandu has been an assault on the senses, first of all we had a horrible journey to get here due to a long and difficult set of road works, nearly hitting a dog that darted in front of us, and getting a bit lost in the twisty roads of the …

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Annapurna and Pokhara

For many people the Annapurna mountains to the north of Pokhara are the main reason for visiting this nice little laid back town, this is trekking central of Nepal and the streets are full of hiking boot clad westerners heading to or from the Annapurna loop treks.  For me the …

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The Terai lowlands of Nepal and Buddha’s birthplace

After the frenzy of driving in India driving into Nepal really was different.  I guess the population in Nepal is less affluent and less dense but as soon as we crossed the most western border the traffic density dropped by a factor of about ten, you can see below a …

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Haridwar – a godly drenching

Today we drove from Delhi to Haridwar where the mighty Ganges comes out of the Himalaya mountains, poor Lee had flown out from the UK in a nice BA plane, into the nice new airport and spent a day in the calm peace of the Lutyens bungalow…then we drove out …

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Hill forts of India

After the resting day in Delhi, and then the full immersion into the river fire cermony (not to mention the monsoon) it was time to get back to nature and a driving challenge for Nelson. We set a target to reach the hill fort of Lansdown in the jungle covered …

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China, Pakistan and the Karakorum Highway

The Karakorum highway and the highest border crossing in the world will be the subject of this blog once I get time enough to write it properly, for now I have uploaded some of the pictures from that trip and will fill in the story over the next week as …

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THE SNOW CAPPED ROAD TO CHINA

To cross China as an Overlander, in you own car, is one of the most difficult transits we face in the world.  The reason is that the Chinese Government does not recognise your registration in the UK, does not accept the Carnet, requires you to be with a guide, on …

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The Pamir Highway

The Pamir highway was one of the highlights of our trip, it is remote and very high at around 4700M which is a long way up when you are getting up there in just one day in the car from 1600m the day before, normally the recommended ascent to avoid …

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WAKAN VALLEY – HUGGING AFGANISTAN

As I planned this trip one of the highlights for me was the run down the Wakhan valley, I had read so much about this road, it is a mecca for adventure cyclists and has the romance of hugging the border of Afghanistan for most of its length. In the …

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THE ROAD TO SONG KUL AND OSH

We decided today to bypass the town of Bishkek and instead take a rougher but more scenic road to a little high level lake called Song Kul, We set off from our overnight campsite on a beach on the shore of Issky Kul after a nice swim We made good …

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CHARON CANYON

After Almaty we headed south east to Charon Canyon, known as the “Grand Canyon of Kazakhstan” it actually does not have the scale of the grand canyon but it is really pretty and quite dramatic as you can see from the pictures below. In the TV series “the long way …

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BROKEN HEART AND SOARING EAGLE – KYRGYZSTAN

Today was our first full day in Kyrgyzstan, before I came here I had been told this was the most interesting and pretty country of all the “stans”, which is a tall order after the lake district of Kazakhstan and the Altai region which I have raved about already, but …

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Fizzy Mares Milk and an Eclipse

Getting back in to Kazakhstan was very easy compared to the Mongolian border we crossed at Semy in a few hours, but this time instead of heading down the diagonal route to Almaty which I had done before, and was painfully full of potholes, we headed to the capital city …

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THE NIGHT OF THE GOATS

We have moved out of the deep Gobi desert and headed to the little town of Alti on our way up to the Alti mountians and the Russian border, we were lucky that the last small section of the road was smooth fresh tarmac after battling through rough roads and …

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A DIFFERENT TYPE OF OASIS

After many days in the wilds of Mongolia where the choice of food at the stops was various forms of mutton, we came across the Fairfield Cafe on the way to UB.  Set up by Australians it is an Oasis of decent coffee, great food selection and even carrot cake, …

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THE NICEST ROAD YOU HAVE NEVER HEARD OF M52

I had not heard of the Altai region before this trip but it is astoundingly beautiful and the Russian road through it is probably one of the best driving roads I have ever seen. National Geographic list it in their top ten according to the border guard on the Russian …

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Sometimes you just have to stop

This evening Tony and I are in the deep Gobi desert, it is amazing to be in a place so remote and silent we have not seen a soul since early afternoon. Mongolia has a tiny population of about 2.5m people in a country which is as wide as central …

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Race Against Time

Having fixed our oil problem by noon we set off into the desert again in search of the famous sand dunes of Khongoryn Els which were about 100miles away from the town of Dalandzadgad where we had limped to the previous night. Our journey started well with one of those …

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OIL CRISIS

We set off from Ulaanbaatar in good spirits, a bit sad to see Lee go back to the UK after such a big adventure together, but Toni and I were eager to explore the Gobi desert which we both had heard so much about. We made good time out of …

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A TALE OF TWO CITIES

(Photos to be added when internet available) For a time in the past, around 12th century, the city of Marv-i-shah Jahan was at least arguably the capital of the civilised world and was a very important city until 1221, at which point the son of Chinggis Khan destroyed it and …

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All shook up….

I managed to get to Almaty after a night sleeping on the steppes of Kazakstan as you can see below, this followed my long drive from Uzbekistan and the difficulties of the night time border crossing which I posted about already so it was nice to arrive and know I …

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Please release me, let me go…

You may think that Kazakhstan and Wisconsin seem to have very little in common but you would be wrong in some respects, I happened to live in Eau Claire Wisconsin for a little while and I have very happy memories of the work we did there and the friends I …

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Don’t stop me now

You are not in Iran any more my friend I had just begun to get used to the grooved roads, and the wheel eating six inch deep two feet wide random holes in the main road, described in the earlier post, when I had my first wake up call that …

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A groovy kind of road

TheA groovy kind of Road The roads in Turkmenistan are very variable, sometimes they are super smooth pristine new highway, Sometimes they have these enormous 6 inch high tarmac ridges that come out of no where and tramline the car or fling you into the air if you hit them …

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The road to nowhere, and not the Hotel California

Today was one of those travel days that you just have to dig through and wait till they are over, mostly. The bit that was good was on the way from Mashhad to the border at Sarakhs with Turkmenistan I found a lovely ridge that stuck out over the desert …

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An evening with Mr Vali

Mr Vali is a 65 springy energetic Iranian man who runs a homestay in Mashhad. A homestay is pretty much as you would expect from the word you go and stay in his house, more accurately his basement, and you get to join his family for tea and chat. I …

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The Shrine of Inman Reza

The reason that 90 percent of visitors come to Mashhad is not the wild park camping scene, that is something to experience, but not a feature to draw Muslims from all around Iran and abroad to pilgrimage in Mashhad. The draw for them is the holy shrine of Inman Reza, …

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Mashhad – a little too much of a good thing

After my trek through the desert I had a lovely nights sleep in the cool air of the mountains, the fresh breeze through the side windows in the sleeping area was a welcome relief from the heat of the day. I had followed a tip from my overlander website to …

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Drink till you pee – Tabas

It is academically interesting that my Iran lonely planet says the desert here is the hottest place on earth, while the same guidebook for Turkmenistan says it is their desert, and I am sure I remember the same claim being made for death Valley in Nevada when I travelled through …

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Saying no three times does not mean no…sometimes

One of the amazing things about my time in Iran has been the incredible warmth and generosity of the people.  Hospitality for travelling strangers a long way from home was a critical part of desert survival in the past, and the Persian culture which is embedded in the deserts has …

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Yazd – first taste of the desert

Once in my life I lived in the American mid west in Eau Claire Wisconsin, it was -40oC outside but life was well adjusted, the houses all had garages integrated into them and the cars and people stayed warm quite well, one evening after a dinner and a bit too …

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Shiraz

I have had a lovely experience in Shiraz, it is a little funny that, in a place which gave its name to a grape and wine type, it is today not possible to buy any wine at all. Not that this matters to me as I do not drink but …

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Welcome to Iran

One of the amazing things about Iran is how friendly the people are, there is a real culture here from the past, rooted in the desert history of Islam, that the traveller should be assisted as a matter of honour, not just of the person but the city and the …

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Difference is not the same as danger

Now I am travelling in rural eastern Turkey things are quite different from the atmosphere in the tourist towns, in these places you see all sorts of western clothes and some young ladies have clearly not read the memo on cultural sensitivity ,wandering around in short shorts and light tops, …

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Istanbul

I will add photos to the post once I get some more solid wifi Istanbul has got to be one of my favourite cites in the world and I only managed to see about 15 percent of it, probably the most interesting 15 percent however. The old city of Istanbul …

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The Friendship of Iran – before Iran

I left Istanbul and headed for the Roman Ruins in Ephesus near a city called Kusadasi, this involved taking a ferry from Istanbul as recommended by some local connections, and then driving for 7 hours or so to the south eastern coastline of Turkey.  As it was my first night …

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Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia

At then end of our trip through Corsica we came to Dubrovnik, and although very beautiful it was really overrun with Tourists so I was ready to “get away from it all” even though we were still basically in Europe so we left Dubrovnik and headed to Montenegro The next …

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Croatia and Bosnia

I had heard from friends that the Croatian coast was very nice and that has proved to be the case, we had our first night in the very nice town of Rovinj which was a little gem of an old town an easy walk from the campsite and a good …

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The generosity of Italy and the Millemigla

After three 500km and 7 hr driving days it was a relief to reach the Italian Lakes and the home of my friend Ida and her husband Angelo, Ida was a colleague and had told me Angelo was a Land Rover nut like myself and he would love to see …

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Camp Life – Settling in

  It is strange to start to settle into camp life and the daily routine so I am taking a day out in Frankfurt to sort myself out, get some exercise, and get some of the jobs done on Nelson that just dropped off the list before departure.  Everyone I …

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Leaving Thoughts

First day of my expedition to Iran, Mongolia and Nepal started with serious challenges like visiting Sainsbury’s supermarket to stock up on provisions and Starbucks for coffee to keep me awake long enough to get me down to Newcastle after an overnight flight from the US.  Strange to be on …

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Chassis change

Although I had bought Nelson as a low milage example of the 300tdi which was the base platform I wanted for the trip, and I had carefully checked under the car and the chassis and found it to be a very clean and well waxoiled example I was in for …

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Visa Wars

  This image is a good start to this post taken outside the visa place that takes care of Pakistan in London.  Getting Visas for the big trip across Asia has been a massive logistical pain in the ass, no two ways about it.  This is a whole new world …

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The Roof of the World Tour Plan

Celtic Rover Route Link

The countdown has started and we are in a frenzy of LOI and visa applications, here is the basic route Cross Europe to Istanbul via Croatia, Macedonia etc Turkey  Iran Turkmenistan Uzbekistan Kazakistan Russia Mongolia for Naadam Russia and Kazakistan again Kyrgistan Tajikistan China Pakistan India Nepal India Pakistan Iran …

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Wonderful Morroco

The trip to Morroco was the second main shakedown trip before “the big one” and was designed to push Nelson with a broad range of challenges from long motorway runs to river crossings and steep rock tracks.  The trip did all of this and more ! We were in a …

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Our Baltic loop

Our first major shakedown trip was a 3300 mile loop around the Baltic Sea, the long way round via Munich due to Gerrys work commitments, the whole trip took four weeks. Initially the long run from Edinburgh to Munich was done in three stages, down to the Ferry from Newcastle …

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Nelson Design Review – Russia trip

So we have been on the road now for three weeks and it is time to review some of the systems and design of our camper in real life   Things which are really working well The pop top Alu-cab roof is brilliant, it gives us enough space to stand …

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Riga and Kaunas

  The city of Riga in Latvia was a excellent overnight stop, the city camping ground was a modest hike to the old town, well enough equipped and had decent fast Wifi, the city itself is very pretty No matter where you go in the world there will still be …

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Germany, Hungary and Poland

The first big shakedown trip for Nelson is well underway as I write this from Gdansk in Poland after an epic 1300mile trip here.  This was not the original plan but work commitments for me gave me the opportunity to get to Germany a week early and Lee had to …

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If Carling made electrons

Unlike the Carlsberg beer advert, troubleshooting my light bar and setting up the new spotlights was not an easy task simply because I was a bit scared of the complexity of the system.  As a reminder Nelson has Three linked batteries Battery management system to monitor voltage, charging and prevent …

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Magical Orkney

Orkney has a special place in our history , it is where  Lee and I got engaged, where she spent many of her holidays as a child and has been a regular location for memorable holidays for us as the kids grew up. So an obvious location for one of our shake …

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Kit list for Nelson

PACKING LIST FOR NELSON  10 Oct 2016     Inside This trip Packed tick OUTSIDE TRUCK               SIDE OF TRUCK               Sand ladders and padlock       Awning and awning poles       High lift jack …

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Suspension and Adventure Overland Show

The next phase of the upgrade of Nelson has been completed thanks to Gemm 4*4 in Fife, the main part of the work was fitting locking differentials and upgraded suspension and then a few minor tweaks to improve power in the engine.  This took about a week and the full …

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Tour of Scotland

Nelson is beginning to look the part now that the modifications are nearly complete, still a trip enough package when it is in driving mode, but very comfortable when we stop for a few days with the full awning out giving a bit of a bigger living space and decent …

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Phase 2 upgrade

Having completed the modifications which changed the Defender from a farmers wagon to a Camper van body, in itself a big job mostly done by Coastline Campers.  The next stage is to sort out the running gear to make it robust for the long trips we have planned, in this …

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Farmers wagon to Camper van

The first phase of the work was intended to make Nelson into a camper so that we could gain experience running around Europe and the UK with the camper set up, but keeping the cost phased by not doing the modifications to the running gear and the engine as this …

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Morne Mountian Run

The preparation runs continue this time with a trip to Ireland.  The trip started with a run down to Stranrar visiting friends in Dumfries with an overnight stop in a senic layby overlooking the Solway firth to expand my wild camping experience, that worked well but a tip for the …

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Creation of Nelson our Expedition Land Rover

This is a picture of Nelson our land rover on the day I bought him at a motorway service station on the way to Edinburgh from Barnsley. The first step in the creation of the overland camper was the selection of the right base Land rover. This is a 1996 …

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Belgium and Holland

Just back from the shakedown trip to Belgium and Holland. Route for the trip was Edinburgh to Hull to catch the Ferry to Zeebrugge, drive to Antwerp for the Marathon festival and then relocate to Brugge as a base for cycling in Belgium before relocate to Den Haag for cycling …

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Shakedown Trip No 1: Crail in Fife

First proper trip out in Nelson is half way through, a four day trip to the East Neuk of Fife as the first test of the set up for the camper, and a good test it turned out to be. First night saw me arrive in the dusk, with 25mph …

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