Monday, 9 February 2009

End of trip round-up


Daddy's- Turkey
Tessie's- Mongolia
Loong's- Laos
Lewis'- Mongolia


Group decision: Serbia


Daddy's: staying overnight with a family in Iran
Tessie's: arriving in Singapore
Loong's: watching the moonrise in the Gobi
Lewis': catching lizards


Daddy's: getting the car into India and dealing with customs
Tessie's: having on US$ 30 in Iran
Loong's: being told I had to sit in the back in my own car by Iranian officials
Lewis': daddy being an alligator


Daddy's: grasshoppers (in China)
Tessie's: Loong's birthday barbecue food in Ulaanbaatar
Loong's: maggots (in Laos)
Lewis': Belgium sausages


Daddy's; silkworm (in China)
Tessie's: Mongolia salt tea
Loong's: burger in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
Lewis': Indian food

Daddy's: Never Miss a Beat- Kaiser Chiefs
Tessie's: Kung-Fu- unknown Chinese artist
Loong's: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix audio book
Lewis': Thunder Birds- Busted

DISTANCE COVERED: 25 000 miles or 40 000 km

France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Mongolia, China, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria and Luxembourg
22 countries in total, 11 outside of Europe

FUEL ECONOMY: 40 miles/ gallon; 14km/ litre (this is 2/3 more efficient than going by plane)


Best: petrol stove, tool box and chairs
Wost: jerrycan

BUDGET PER DAY: £35 for all of us (including food, fuel and accommodation)


Most funny-
Daddy's: stuck in a river in Mongolia
Tessie's: trekking through jungle Malaysia
Loong's: when daddy got fined by the traffic police in Russia
Lewis': Tessie driving off the edge of the road into a snow drift Turkey

Least funny-
Daddy's: being bitten by mosquitoes in Russia when drinking with youths in his underpants
Tessie's: daddy getting her to drive of the edge of the road into a snow drift
Loong's: Lewis being sick in the tent over everything
Lewis': leaving his birthday presents behind in Singapore

Thursday, 15 January 2009

This is not the last post

None of the following photographs are from inside europe.
we really are working on it and we know that you are all really just building yourselves up for 'the big slideshow' which, i am sure, will be shown on several dates for those of you who my be unavailable the first few times we suggest.

Looking forward to seeing the state we have left people in and hope that no no one has been too grieved by our 6 month holiday although we understand that some people have tried to do themselves injury to get us home quicker.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

I hope to God this is the last post

Location: Geel, Belguim

Temperature: getting warmer

Now in Belguim and should be home post haste. All looking forward to granny's marmalade, buying Beadle Bard's Tales (a book associated with harry potter for the uninitiated), seeing everyone but most going to sleep for a week.

Although happy that we are now so close that we can almost taste the Indian restaurants, we are upset to have just heard from Matt (man fromp Mongolia, just seen in Belguim) that we could have taken the train from Calais which is so much cheaper.

Now enjoying Hendrick's (another man from Mongolia) hospitality which has included giving up his bed and free mayonnaise for our chips. Having a lovely time with the folk from Belguim, including meeting Matt's soon to be wife (Lianne) and daughter (Lindsey). We do hope they appreciate the mention.

Our time in Europe has involved little effort on our part and has mostly included being put up in nice homes or hotels for free. no co,plaints for us.
We had a brilliant time in Dijon with Erde trailers. We met the founder's son were deemed more important than we had realised when the head of marketing put us up in the best hotel of the trip (not saying much but it really was lovely), had dinner with us and gave us a brand new trailer. sad as we were to part with the stoic Larry, we have been highly quick to take Larry Mark II a.k.a Barry, under our wing. No fears about the the trailer making it back now.

Their generosity extended to Luc's wife, Christine, looking after us while Luc jetted of to Spain the next day. she even showed us where to get a new licence plate for Barry. Are now the proud owners of a french number plate.

Daddy is looking forward to: getting away from his children.
Tessie is looking forward to: sleeping in her own bed, by herself with daddy on the sofa.
Loong is looking forward to: getting away from daddy.
Lewis is looking forward to: everything, including getting new clothes as her actually needs the, now.

Date of Arrival back in the UK: this Friday- at least we think so.

Last thoughts: this post had better gets lots of comments as it required lots of effort due to the fact that I am so tired and have had all interesting thoughts drained out of me as a consequence of continued close proximity to daddy.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Western civilisation- i think it's a good idea

About to leave Carl and Marina in Austria after spending a lovely couple of days with them, their family and Kim and Jean who were suprise guests from Ireland. We are extremely greatful for the effort and time they took to look after us and particularly enjoyed the massive family meal at the parents' house after which i drove home because daddy had enjoyed the schnaps a little too much.

Today we travel to Dijon (yes, yes, we will bring to back some mustard) to have the big reveal of our trailer at the Erde Trailer factory tomorrow. still not entirely sure we will make it that far as wilma has been coughing the type of smoke not seen since 'the big flooding' in Mongolia and it does look a little like she is on fire for a good 5 minutes after we switch her on.

After Turkey we hit Bulgaria, Romania, Hungry, Germany and Austria.
We did try to go through Serbia and Croatia as that appeared to be the shortest route but Serbia is not on our green card and they wanted 100 euros for what would have been less than one day driving for the insurance. Daddy had his usual scene.
Tessie has had loads more stamps than we have and just going to the border of Serbia earned her a good 6 stamps. We then crossed the Danube to get into Romania on a little ferry with 6 lorries and us.

Looking forward to our return and i expect daddy i already dreaming of the special effects he can add to our 24hour photographic/ video slidshow. beds will be available.

Snow and ice endures. So cold.
Harry Potter audio books getting us through the cold days and nights in the car. they are now pretty much what i live for.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

In 200 miles we will officially be geographically in Europe

We have found that driving through Istanbul at night is a highly interesting experience and are looking forward to doing our token spot of sightseeing in the morning: this will consist of us driving along what we think is a scenic road but is probably just a posh road. we saw a yaht and everthing.

daddy is really racking up the roadkill points and today he managed to kill over some kind of game bird. most upsetting as this was a lovely creature and not just a mangy dog like the last hit. he will try to blame the icy roads but wilma only had wheel spin due to extreme weather (even the trucks stopped) later in the day.
snow and ice continues. 'white christmas' on repeat.
here are some photographs taken in pakistan and iran. make of them what you will for we are tired and we are actually staying in a decent guesthouse for once.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

BREAKING NEWS: David Beckham made new ambassador for the United Kingdom

we are now in a lovely hotel a quater of the way through turkey are after driving all day and having pig bits stew for breakfast.

this unexpected extra post is to tell you something that i forgot this morning but daddy is adamant should be included. when stopping at every police check point and just gererally meeting the locals, after telling them we are from England, we are greated by cries of 'david beckham!' and big grins.

this is seemingly the only way people are able to understand where we come from.

we have now taken to preemptive strikes and now generally say 'we are from england; david beckham'

also, there has been masses of snow and ice making our photographs very atmospheric and triggering a new wave of christmas songs.

we are also all freezing and have had a wilma snow incident where, through a usual daddy/ tessie miscommunication, tessie drove off the edge of a snowy/ icy downhill mountain road.

we were towed out by a lorry and some passing men.

not so good at the time but it made for a cracking video.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

door step of europe- where east meets west the guıde book tells us

Locatıon: fırst town ın Turkey, just after the border wıth ıran
Temperature: so bloody cold- daddy about to don an extra paır of trousers.

We pretty much drove flat out (at a racy 50 mph) through ıran. one reason was that we are becomıng ıncresıngly short of tıme. the real reason was that we only had 30 us dollars wıth us to drıve through the country as someone had forgotten that you cannot use credıt cards ın ıran and there are no atms that wıll acept vısa or mastercard. the hour ın whıch thıs revelatıon was uncovered was bleak.
we were so short of money that daddy manned up and overcame hıs fear of my drıvıng (all ın hıs mınd) and daddy, tessıe and I all took 2 hour drvıng shıfts through the nıght. ıf we were not drıvıng then we were on passenger seat duty (maps, sıgns, potholes) or ın the bed made on the back seat. lewıs slept through all.

just as our mıddle east lonely planet guıde book and daddy have promısed the people we meet have been extremely helpful and welcomıng. our only exceptıon to thıs dıscovery have been the polıce ın ıran. they accompanıed us all the way to the fırst bıg town wıth on man ın the passenger seat (tessıe and I were not allowed to sıt ın the front) and a car leadıng us. when we got the town where they were supposed to leave us to our own devıces they kept passıng the buck along, swıtchıng escorts dependıng on the dıstrıct we were ın. they woudl not let us leave for the next town and made us stay ın a hotel for the nıght (on our 30 dollar budget that they dıd not seem to understand). confusıon ın the mornıng as we had agreed to pay 26 ooo ıranıan dollars (usure of name but there are 10 000 to the euro) and they saıd we agreed to pay 10 tımes that much. usual anger and arguement.
they anoyıngly contınued to check us along the way and I kept beıng told by horrfıed polıcemen / soılders to cover my head whenever ı forgot to do so.
one nıght we met a lovely ıranına man and some of hıs frıends who offered us a bed for the nıght and gave us dınner and breakfast. they were hıghly generous and cook especıally for us (ıt was mıdnıght by that tıme) and brought the famıly ın to see us and played a tradıtıonal ıranına guıtar for us. don't worry, we have a vıdeo. they gave us the whole flat that the son slept ın and he got kıcked upstaırs ınto the maın house.
we have gıven them the blog address and so hope that they read theır dedıcated paragraph- ıf they do: thank you.

we drove through the 24 hour ıran-turkey border at about 23:30 turkey tıme and the transıtıon was faırly smooth. the ıranıan sıde fo teh border tokk no tıme at all to cross and the turkey sıde had lots of helpful people.
we are now on our way through turkey on the north road (not rıght on the coast) and wıll decıde on the best way to get through europe fıttıng ın seeıng carl and marına (famıly ın austrıa), erde traılers (party awaıtıng us ın dıjon) and hendrıck (belgıum cyclıst). not sure ıf they all know thıs yet. we hope they read the blog.

we hope that granny wıll take a well earned rest after clearıng the one draw. she ıs a braver woman than me.
we hope that everyone, ıncludıng reve, enjoyed/ were forced to enjoy theır new year celebratıons. we were ın ıran and so dıd not see any drunk people and ın fact pretty much forgot ın the but dıd remember just beofre mıdnıght although ı dıd not get to hear daddy and lewıs play auld lan syme on the recorder as promısed. most dısapoıntıng.
the maın thıng ı mıssed was the chrıstmas doctor who specıal. jane has told me ıt's better than last years but ı bet she hasn't recorded ıt.

we would also lıke to thank haroon and hıs famıly ın lahore for puttıng us up as complete strangers and lookıng after us wonderfully. we are greatful he has added to our comments- we could never forget someone who does that.