On the road at last!
Update: Thursday 1st October 2009 - We're back!!! Check out our new site for the next stage of the epic journey!! www.drivingoz2uk2.com
NB: ATTENTION ALL ANIMAL LOVERS!!!! (Update as at May 2010 Penny has some helpers but is still keen to hear from animal lovers whether qualified or not to add to her team.)
If you're interested in doing some voluntary work helping at an animal shelter in Cochin, Kerala in return for free parking for overlanders and/or free accommodation please see the "Cochin & Calicut" page in our India section and the website http://www.maddogstrust.com
Having initially started on the trip of a life time round Australia we have stretched it somewhat to be the trip of a lifetime round the world. The initial plan had been to pit stop in Darwin, restock the funds and carry on to Perth, leaving from there on a more conventional back packing trip to the UK but a chance encounter with someone who had done a similar trip started us thinking, and the thing took on a life of its own!
I don't think you ever feel you have planned enough for a trip like this but we have certainly put in some hours mainly in Darwin library. The thing that enables this to happen is the Carnet de Passage which is effectively a passport for the vehicle enabling us to drive through countries without changing plates and without having to pay import or export duties. This document is issued by the AA in Australia and recognised by the majority of countries we pass through who have reciprocal organisations.
Obviously we have spent a great deal of time pouring over maps and plotting our route. Whilst this has of necessity to be subject to change it is important to have a clear route in mind, and Hema Maps really helped in this regard. We spent many hours crouched over them! Hema were really helpful giving us a few maps we didn't have and we are really grateful to them. If we have inspired you to get on the move please see the link on our sponsor's page to see where you can buy their quality maps for your travels.
The last few weeks have been a blur of preparations but we are now on the road in Singapore and the Toyota is sailing the high seas to Surabaya. We had a scary moment when it looked like we might not be able to get her in the Shipping Container, the wharfies were,shaking their heads and tutting in a worrying way but as you see we got in with millimetres to spare!!
We will back pack down to pick the car up and from there we drive through to the Southern tip of Java, to Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa retrace our steps to Sumatra where we take the car ferrry to Malaysia drive to Thailand, Laos, China, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Eastern Europe to Spain and finally home by car ferry to Plymouth in South West England..get the kettle on mum!
The exact route is as we say open to change but please see our itinerary for the current plan.