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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..

We are getting there

September 4th, 2009

Before we start, a quick word on the blogs. From now, the blogs will go out every Monday morning and will be up by lunchtime. The reason is twofold. First, this ensures a snippet for everyone to read on Monday morning as they rub the weekend from their eyes and ease back into work with 5 awful instant coffees before lunch. Second, we work better to deadlines.

 This week has been good and bad.

First, it started off with a breakdown on the way to Swindon and a shredded fanbelt. Thanks to some tinkering and a thinner belt from Mr AA (who was a thoroughly helpful, patient and understanding chap, it must be said, bravo Mr AA) we limped our way home.

This has forced us into a decision we didn’t want to have to make. Due to one of the Landy’s past owners, the alternator is not factory fit and is causing the fanbelt to push onto the other pulleys, thus shredding it.

So, we have decided that we cannot afford to keep risking new belts without replacing the alternator, an altogether expensive option for us. Thus, a new alternator is on the list. Bugger.

 On the other side, this week has been a brilliant week for sponsorship and fundraising. First off, EBC brakes agreed to sponsor our trip and helped us out with all new disc brakes and top-level brake pads, engineered specifically for 4×4’s. Our thanks go to Natalie for all her help, she was brilliant with us and helped us out more than we could have imagined.

Second, we were contacted by Sentrysafe whose products we are using to keep all the travel documents, monies, visas, immunisation info and passports safe. We will be installing one of their compact car-safes in the cab and also a full bolt-down X105 safe in the back. Again, thanks go to Mark for his help and expertise as well as his generosity.

Third, David at The Offroad Centre provided invaluable advice on winches and winching equipment. Due to the weight of the car once fully loaded, David advised us that we will require a 12,000lbs winch rather than the 9,500lbs winch we had initially intended to fit. David looked after us impeccably and a winch and bumper from Goodwinch will appear on the vehicle shortly.

The guys at Britpart (Land Rover parts specialists) provided help and advice about shock and spring kits, to replace the rust-ridden ones on our ol’ bus. Thanks go to Richard here, who got back to us in no time at all and was more than happy to help out the charities and the trip.

For some time now we have been a tad worried about the wading capabilities of the Landy, as the wiring seems to have been completed at random and we recently found the air intake isn’t actually connected to the filter.

Our fears have been allayed however, by Challenger 4×4, the offroad specialists. Again, great and totally impartial advice from the guys at Challenger, especially Lucy, have meant we are soon to fit a raised air intake (otherwise known as a snorkel) to the Landy.

Finally, we need to say a huge thank you to the guys up at Trangia, Vango, Wayfarer and everyone connected with AMG Group. After hearing of our trip and agreeing to help us with kit from Trangia, they couldn’t do enough for us, going far beyond what we had asked for. If all goes to plan, they are helping us with Vango tents, Wayfarer food packs (which are bloody lovely by the way), Trangia outdoor cooking stoves, sleeping bags, shoes, sacks, etc etc etc. All in all, fantastic people who really seem to understand the trip and its aims.

 I know I’m gushing praise here and sound like a corporate mouthpiece, but there is a serious point here.

We’re in the biggest bloody recession imaginable, and yet all these companies have managed to help out us and the charities. Whilst all around were telling us to be conservative, not to expect much, we aimed for the top and found people willing to listen to what we had to say.

It goes without saying that all of the guys listed above receive letters from charitable organisations every week (in some cases every day) so for them to get behind us has really picked us up this week.

After a few mechanical, charitable and financial setbacks, we are now beginning to feel that this trip is actually possible again. Bloody hell.

  • Riders Retreat - mountain bike holidays in Morzine
  • Land Rover Experience
  • Watling Tyres
  • Draper Tools
  • Brit Part
  • hel
  • Koni
  • aalx designs
  • Bradt Travel Guids
  • Map Vivo
  • Antares - engineering with answers
  • EBC Brakes
  • Sentry Safes
  • Twisted Performance
  • X Eng
  • challenger 4x4
  • Goodwinch
  • K and N
  • Kenlowe
  • Waeco
  • Polybush
  • MM 4x4 Land Rover
  • Keith Gott
  • comma
  • Stigs stainless fastners
  • Tracmat
  • Alli Sport
  • BOSCH - invendted for life
  • Allparts - number 1 in car parts
  • Proppa
  • Goodyear 4x4
  • Aaron Radiator
  • Sign a rama
  • better Prepared
  • Devon 4x4
  • foley specialist vehicles
  • Labcraft LED lighting
  • Mammouth Premium
  • Plastor
  • Exmoor Trim
  • Terrafirma
  • sound reduction systems
  • aquarius
  • Master Lock
  • P and O Ferries
  • Dixon Bate
  • hibiscus
  • Ring Automotive
  • Roverland