Archive for the ‘Preparation’ Category

Departure imminent

6th June 2010 by Helen

Card from Ros & Ken

Thanks to everyone who has wished us ‘bon voyage’ over the last few months.  Your company, cards and good wishes have been much appreciated.  We will miss you all.  Please keep in touch via the blog or email.  We will reply when we can but please bear in mind our Internet access may be intermittent in places and the amount of access time (and funds) we have available for data transfer may also be limited.  Even when we cannot reply individually we will keep the blog up to date so you know where we are and what’s happening.   Even when we cannot reply we will still appreciate hearing about what’s happening back home.

Our apologies to friends and family for the last few weeks.  We know we have not been able to spend any quality time with you, and we’ve been a bit tardy about keeping our blog up to date.  We hope you will forgive us.  Our only excuse is that in order make our booked ferry date we have been manically busy with final preparations on the car as well as having to completely move out of the house ready for the new tenants to move in.

Progress Update

26th May 2010 by Helen

We’ve been non-stop busy with final preparations since we finished the UK Schools Tour (more about that later).  Just a taster of some of the things that have been happening.

house is let - another milestone - rotatedWithin just a week of giving Miles & Barr the go-ahead to advertise the house to let they found us our new tenants.  Pending the finalisation of all the usual contractual paperwork they will be moving in on 8th June.  We will have been gone by then.

The keys parts for the final connections of the fuel and water (held up in America due to a certain volcano erupting not so far from here) arrived safely and have now been fitted.

DSC_0002Paul has been ultra creative in applying some of the lessons we learned from our Shakedown Tour in completing the fitting out of our storage compartment at the rear of the vehicle.  He is particularly proud of DSC02566the auxilliary diesel tank filler he constructed, proving yet again the value of his Naval Dockyard Engineering training all those years ago.   And for sheer inventiveness, the use of gaffer tape to attach a nut and washer to a spanner so as to reach the bolt in an otherwise completely inaccessible place, I think, deserves a gold star. 

We are much relieved to have received our Russian visas.  The Kazakstan visas are now somewhere in the post.

What’s in a Circumnavigation anyway?!

16th May 2010 by Paul

world_map-shaded-outline-wiIt’s amazing what you learn when you’re curious enough to follow threads of information!

This week, I was surfing the web for some information on shipping vehicles from Russia to America ( as you do).  In the course of my web explorations, I came across something I didn’t know:  A True Circumnavigation of the World involves some ‘gentleman’s rules’.

In adventurer terms, an expedition involving travelling around the world can only truly be called a circumnavigation if it meets some criteria;

  • It must start and finish from the same point
  • It must travel in one general direction
  • It must cross the equator at least twice
  • Any distances ‘backtracked’ must be deducted from the overall distance
  • After subtraction of any ‘backtracking’ the distance covered must be at least that equal to the Tropic of Capricorn
  • It must cross every line of longitude at least once
  • It must pass through at least one pair of Antipodes

Yes, I didn’t know what they were either!

Antipodes are places on the surface of the Earth that are exactly opposite each other – so the North and South poles are Antipodes.  This is so that you can definitely say you have been to the other side of the Earth.

Our route is a True Circumnavigation because it meets all these criteria.  However, because we are travelling across the oceans on a container ship and will not be in control of the route taken whilst at sea, our options for meeting the last criteria – the pair of Antipodes – are pretty limited.

The only two land areas on our route that allow this criteria to be met are a small area (comparatively) near the Mongolia / Russia border and a correspondingly small area of southern Chile.  Our challenge is that whilst it will be relatively easy to travel to the Antipode in the Mongolian / Russian area, in Chile, the Antipode falls in dense forest and / or remote mountainous regions.  I feel a long walk coming on!

I just love it when another challenge appears!