Posts Tagged ‘tent’

We’ve arrived in Mexico

4th May 2011 by Helen

Another one of them veritable cascades of blogs about to follow (dated according to when they happened).  But just in case you don’t want to read them all – here’s the summary.

After a quiet couple of final days in Texas (blog titles: Heading out; Our final day in America) we crossed the border into Mexico on Easter Monday.  It was a bit of a dash away from the border, as this is where most of the ‘troubles’ are at present.

The last week has been a bit of a cultural week for us.  We spent a couple of days at Real de Catorce (blog titles: Arrival in Mexico; An old Mexican town; Chicken broth), a lovely old silver mining town but probably better known now as a tourist spot and its role as a film set.  Then we spent a day at San Miguel de Allende which was the seat of the uprising and independence movement in 1810.  After that we headed out to the pyramids just north east of Mexico City.  We spent a couple of days in this area because we discovered the local town Tecamac was just starting a week long celebration with lots of amazing displays of local dancing and music, street vendors selling food, and lots of other stuff going on.   More detail and photos in the blogs for those days.

The advice we have been given is to stick to the towns and main roads and not to travel at night.  We have largely heeded that advice.  But that has meant that wild camping has not really been possible and so we have reverted to the habit of Siberia and been camping among the trucks in the truck parks.  No-one seems to think it odd to see a little Land Rover with a tent on the roof in a truck park and it’s been an easy little routine.  The trucks around us make lots of noise with reversing alarms, air brakes, running engines, generators, coming and going generally.  Of course, as usual, I pretty much sleep through all this.  Paul has found the answer in ear plugs!!

I have also discovered an amazing (new to me) crisp flavour – chilli and lime – the lime flavour is really strong and yanks the saliva from your saliva glands ready to spray your burning tongue from the chilli.  Really works and very tasty.

We both suffered from the effects of some ingestion that disagreed with us.  Paul took delight in making me eat chicken broth in my recovery – a memory of childhood illness and subsequent torture he suffered.  I tell him it’s nothing compared to the dry toast and cornflour mixed in milk my mother inflicted on me as a child, to pleas of “do I have to eat any more?”!!  I think I had the worse deal.

Ice in the tent

28th January 2011 by Helen
a cold and frosty morning

a cold and frosty morning

We woke this morning to thick fog outside.  Or was it cloud?  Same effect, no doubt due to the height we were camped at (5361 ft).  The beautifully etched sandstone cliff faces we had seen last night were shrouded and all but invisible.  The silence was still the first thing we noticed, although the cold overnight had left us with thick ice on the inside of the tent.  After breakfast, and with little sign of the fog lifting and defrosting the ice before we could pack the tent away, we heaved it shut, to the crackling sounds of the ice breaking up inside, before we set off again in search of Moab.

Since shortly after leaving Wendover we have been driving the US version of ‘off-road’ – classified as unpaved and suitable for 4×4.  However they were in very good condition with only a brief stretch of corrugations.  We really didn’t notice much difference between these roads and the paved roads.  Paul in particular was disappointed as he had been looking forward to a good bit of off road driving through the desert. 

Back on the road again we realised just how fortunate we had been in stopping at last night’s campsite, as we were almost immediately back on to the paved roads, where the main difference is that they are harder to get off and find somewhere to camp.  Gradually, the fog lifted and the sun came out.  We passed through the towns of Delta (with me singing the few words I could remember from the old song Delta Dawn) and Holden before getting back on to the main Interstate system and passing through Scipio, Salina and Green River, before finally reaching Moab in the sunshine.

During the day we have climbed higher and higher in some of the mountain passes – reaching some 6,900 feet at one point. 

By now it was late and dark.  With the cold and cloudy weather this morning we had not been able to dry and air the tent.  We figured it would still be full of ice and so opted to sleep in the cab in a rest area just outside Moab.  One of the hazards of a roof tent in below freezing temperatures!!

Campsite – Rest Area 22 miles south of Moab

Distance travelled – 298

Weekend Magic

4th May 2010 by Helen

Joining the Invicta Land Rover Club on their 4×4 stand, we had a great time over the bank holiday weekend at the Kent County Fair at the Hop Farm in Paddock Wood.  The company was absolutely excellent all weekend and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  All in all a relaxing weekend away from preparation and planning.

We even had some fun in the arena as we tried to set and break our own speed record for putting up and taking down again, our roof tent.  The task was to put up the roof tent, starting from getting out of the car, me (Helen) getting all the various bits out of the back, like ladder extension and tent pegs while Paul started on the roof of the car undoing the cover of the tent, through to putting in the springs that hold up the door and window covers and the tent pegs.  We began well on Saturday with putting the tent up in 4 minutes 5 seconds, improved that in heavy rain on Sunday to 3 minutes 50 seconds, and finished off on Monday with a time of 3 minutes 3 seconds.

Completing the task in reverse, from removing the first tent peg, until we were both in the car, on Saturday we managed 6 minutes 29 seconds, improving our time on Sunday to 4 minutes 26 seconds (although I think Paul’s descent from the roof might have been speeded up by skidding off the roof due to the rain), and again on Monday to a very impressive 3 minutes 26 seconds.  I had finally convinced Paul of the value of a little folding step stool from Argos the day before the show, which certainly helped our timings as I can now reach the windows and zips from the ground.  However we have yet to learn the impact a prowling hungry lion might have on these times.

The generally bad weather all weekend kept the crowds away, which meant we didn’t get too many spectators, but we were delighted with a round of applause in the form of tooting horns from the other Land Rovers in the club.  Thanks guys.

While the impact of the bad weather was disappointing for us, it was disastrous for the traders, many of whom probably made a loss on the weekend.  With many of the visitors who were around we had some great conversations about Land Rovers and overlanding.  The guys from LRM (Land Rover Monthly) came along and got some great shots of the off-road course for the magazine.

We came home tired and happy.