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20.04.2011 - Mali – Home

Our time in Africa was short now; in a few months we would be back in Europe, back in the UK, back home. Read more..

Reducing the ‘to fix’ list

September 13th, 2009

As mentioned last week sponsorship has been a prominent theme recently with many companies generously agreeing to help us prepare for the trip by supplying equipment. We are delighted to announce that Kenlowe fans have agreed to provide us with one of their market leading electronic fans. Whilst there are many difficulties that cannot be easily prepared for, we know that overheating is something that we are bound to face and fitting an additional fan which kicks in when required will be another weapon in our armoury against the equatorial heat! Thank you very much to John Nixon for his help organising this. We would like to extend our thanks to Don Johnson at K & N filters for supplying us with replacement air filters. Whilst the standard filter needs changing every 10,000 miles the K & N filters do not need to be changed for 60,000 miles – and even then they can be washed clean! Two of those should be more than ample to see us through 30,000miles, despite the ‘dirty’ nature of many of those miles. The other item we have received in the last week is the land anchor from Simon at X-Eng Engineering. This anchor will allow us to winch ourselves out of tricky situations, most notably deep sand in the desert, saving hours of digging and a lot of sun-burn!

On the fundraising side of things we were amazed to hear that St Joseph’s furniture market has agreed to donate £500 to our chosen charities. Thank you very much to all concerned with the furniture market and once more to all who have donated, it is very generous and the work of these charities is extremely worthwhile – both change people’s lives. Whilst the Paypal icon on the homepage does not show it, our total amount raised is now £1100.

For those with an interest in cars and particularly Land Rovers, keep an eye out for Land Rover Monthly, we have just written a large article for them all about the trip and our preparation which is schedulaed to go out at the end of the month. Having seen a mock-up of the article we think it is going to look very slick!

On the mechanical side of things we have continued beavering away each evening and through the weekend fixing the incredibly long list of broken items on the car –some small, some large. We can tick off a couple of leaks stopped with a new rear diff plate fitted and a new rocker cover gasket. A few particularly bad rust patches have also been filled and sprayed however no DIY shops stock ‘10year old farm white’ so the colour match is not 100% correct. Thanks to our good friend Ricky Packham (an international motorsport mechanic extraordinaire) we have many electrical issues fixed. Pre-Ricky we had no reverse light, rear number plate light and the headlights flashed whenever the indicators were operated. Post-Ricky everything is fixed and working! Thanks very much mate we are very very impressed and grateful! A clutch leak is the latest issue so we are currently in the process of changing both the master and slave cylinders, both of which are recommended to be replaced before a trip of such scale irrespective of our leak.

We have also been busy planning with Matt Stockdale, project director at Link Ethiopia, for the 3/4weeks when we will be stopping in Gondar in Northern Ethiopia. With the help and guidance of an experienced teacher Susan Kent, plans have been made for us to go into local schools around Gondar and deliver some Sports Leadership lessons. The basic idea is to help children increase their independence, confidence and teamwork using sport/physical activities as the medium to better keep their attention than in a classroom situation.

This week we will continue to work on the car as the ‘to-fix’ list hasn’t reduced in size quite as much as we wanted. Valuable skills and knowledge are constantly being acquired, but it is pretty worrying with our provisional leaving date of 13th October fast approaching and our overall schedule is already pretty tight. Finally on Friday night we shall be talking to See Green Scout Group, hopefully helping inspire the next generation of adventurists!

Thanks for reading.

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