April '09

We have to go away now – we have rented out the flat and won’t have anywhere to live as of May 24th!

4x4 weekend up in north Worcestershire (perilously close to Birmingham, but still a nice part of the countryside).  We arrive in darkness and immediately notice that our car is still very much a ‘car’, whilst all the other Land Cruisers are clearly not ‘cars’.  Although seemingly enormous and intimidating in London, ours is the smallest and cleanest here by a decent margin.

Amazingly, no-one laughs at our experimental arrangement or takes advantage of our insecurity or total lack of Land Cruiser knowledge.  Fortuitously, it is a beautiful weekend so it’s an excellent dry run and we’re relieved that our idea will work.  It just needs a little upgrading.

Our mechanical, off-roading and Land Cruiser knowledge increase exponentially.  By the second night, we are both confident (but not fluent!) in discussing diff locks, the merits of 80s v 90s and Old Man Emu shocks – subjects that had been a foreign language only 24 hours before.

We are both extremely proud of our little car.  We manage to get up and through everything bar one very steep and long hill that the upgraded vehicles managed – no fancy tyres or suspension and a broken rear diff-lock meant caution, not bravado, was the order of the day for us!

If we could do this, then (fingers crossed) we should be able to do anything we face on our trip.  That said, we both agree that if indeed we do face anything as steep or treacherous as we experienced this weekend, then we’ll definitely have gone the wrong way and should turn back!

In all, an amazing weekend away with a group of fantastically fun, friendly and helpful people.

Progress in other areas too this month:

•    Create (non) business cards
•    Investigations into camping equipment, awnings/ tents
•    Start the painful and expensive process of inoculations. £120 for one round of Hep B, Rabies and Japanese Encephalitis. Each.  Hadn’t put this amount of cash in budget under ‘health’!


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