Blog 2 Planning starts
December 2006 my mother-in-law visited us and there where much deliberation over Conrad and my "crazy idea" The conversation eventually got round to what route we would take and after Conrad's Christmas stocking included a copy of "Africa Overland" we settled on a route, although not my preference, Conrad thought it would be best to go from Italy via Sicily to Tunisia then Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and down the east coast of Africa towards South Africa. I really wanted to go through the Middle East, but according to Conrad, his mother and Africa Overland it could be a dangerous journey and should be considered with care.
Conrad then got hold of Landrover International mag and spend much of his time researching and dreaming about the ideal vehicle. We both had the idyllic picture of a Landy 110 against an African sunset in mind and were naturally drawn to the Defender 90 or 110.
On 15 Jan 07 we eagerly set of to an Adventure Travel Show at Olympia in London to be inspired and get our heads round what we are aiming for. The buzz of the show and all the tour groups going through Africa was great and we looked at all the different routes and places to visit. We were past excited and would probably have jumped at the chance if any one said lets go.
Following our visit to the show we were determined to find our vehicle as soon as we can to bring the dream closer and make take our first steps to making it a reality. We were surprised at how many people at the show advised us to consider a TOYOTA Landcruiser.
Determined to keep an open mind we set of for Kent to visit a 4x4 centre to look at a landrover in our price range. Conrad and I was bitterly disappointed when we realized we would never be able to sit in the 110 for 6 months as we are both tall and super sized, but needs must and we decided to look at a Cruiser before choosing our dream expedition vehicle.
Soon after Conrad's mother left we visited a garage near Ashford that specializes in Cruisers and we both fell in love with these monsters and was contented that we have to find a manual 80 series age between 1993 and 1996. We were informed that they are hard to find, but that we need to be patient and not to get tempted by the Amazone or newer models.
See Blog 3 22 June 2007