Posts Tagged ‘Landy’

Another veritable cascade

17th December 2010 by Helen

With all the rush and trauma of the last few weeks it’s been hard to get into the spirit of writing blogs.  That’s not to say we’ve not had a great time – we have – it’s just that the customs drama was taking it’s toll and it felt that with our whole focus spiralling in the mire of US import regulations and not knowing from one day to the next (at our lowest point) whether we would even have seen Landy again, would have led us to writing wingeing worrying blog updates.  So we didn’t.

Which means that there is now another one of those veritable cascades of information coming your way.  Apologies.

Landy has already written his piece about his worries while stuck at the port – he’d like to say how happy he is to be reunited with us again.  Paul let off steam about the import system (The Hardest Part So Far?) – which has been read by at least one customs official!!  More of that in another blog.

I’ve backdated the blogs to their approximate dates, so this will be the last in the stream.  So, for now, here’s what’s to find:

A day at the zoo
Reunited at last
Wot No Coffee!!
Spam Spam Spam
Divided by a common language ….. and other similarities


Seasons Greetings to you all

Seasons Greetings to all our readers

Landy’s update

1st December 2010 by Helen

I think I’ve been abandoned and I’m very sad.  I heard THEY had been driving a Jeep down to Florida.  I’m scared they don’t want me any more.  I didn’t think I’d done anything wrong.  I did my best.

Bike and I hurried to Seattle as fast as we could.  We got here two weeks ago!!  And we’re still at the port.  How much longer will I be here?

I know the ship docked on the Sunday and the men and lorries got to work very quick and our big box was soon sitting on the dockside.  I thought I heard Paul and Helen’s voices calling out “hello” sometime on Monday but they didn’t come and see me.

Bike and I were still stuck in that big container together.  After a few days we were moved and we got all hopeful again.  We don’t know where we were taken but we heard lots of funny noises and people talking about x-rays.  Then we got moved again.  One day it was really really cold.  We think it must have snowed really heavy because outside there was that special silence that you get with snow and it was very quiet outside.  There were no lorries moving around and no people shouting like there usually is here.

We waited and waited and waited and then some people came along.  Bike was lifted out of the container.  The people had my keys and they re-connected my battery and drove me out into some kind of waiting area.  I wonder how they got my keys?  Why haven’t Paul & Helen got them?  I’m very scared still.  That was a few days ago.  It’s nice to feel the sun and rain on my body again but I’m just sitting here.

I keep hearing people talking about the ‘wrong kind of wood’ but I don’t know what they mean.

Update: the man said the wood is OK but my bottom’s not clean enough.  I have to go back into that horrible dark container and be taken to somewhere in Seattle to have a steam clean and then come back to the port.  But there’s only three cleaners in the whole of Seattle who the port approves as being good enough.  If the port people can’t get me to one of these and back again before 14th December then I have to leave the country before I’ve even seen it.  Bike will be staying here.  I don’t want to go on a long journey in the dark all by myself.  sniff sniff 

Could it be terminal?

5th July 2010 by Helen

Saturday 3rd July

After the punishing 140 km round trip over corrugated roads between Aralsk and Zhalangash (and the ship cemetery), the clanking sound Landy has been making has worsened.  We are now really concerned about the next stage of our trip.  A stop on one of the many roadside ramps (for checking under cars) did not reveal anything.  Paul hanging on the side of Landy while Helen drove did not reveal anything either.  Finally, after a lengthy roadside stop checking virtually every nut and bolt Paul discovered the front shock absorbers had shed their dust sleeves and the top mountings were moving up and down a couple of inches.  Further investigation revealed the workmanship at Land Rover in Stavropol had been less than competent.  Some components had been fitted upside down and some not fitted at all!!DSC_0309

We were still very much a long way from any village or town and with a full day’s mechanical work ahead of him we needed somewhere to park where we had easy access to supplies.  We drove carefully and very slowly for another 50km until we reached a cafe where we could park for the night and Paul could correct the work on the shock absorbers the next day.

While Paul was diagnosing the cause of Landy’s alarming rattle Helen did some housework and removed the bodies of dozens of grasshoppers from the lights and radiator grill.  We had driven through swarms of them earlier in the day.

Realising that after our long day at Aralsk we were running low on drinking water and siezed the opportunity to stop when we saw a sign for a tap.  We were disappointed to find the water both brackish and oily, a result of it seeping up through oil laden strata.  However, this water is all that is available to the local families of the village, and which these children were collecting in containers to take home.  Look closely at the sand beneath their feet and the black crude oil deposit is clearly visible.