With only days to departure from Wineham, we have hardly given the trip the kind of attention that’s needed but we have been planning this for the past 6 years and the main things like vehicle preparation and visas are pretty much in hand.
Some final mods to the Land Rover such as new shock absorbers and a snorkel, as we are anticipating some river crossings in the ‘Stans and Mongolia. Also looking to relocate the computer from under the drivers seat to the bulkhead behind my head. Have to paint the aluminium box made for the roof rack, in white so it is not untouchable in the sun. A front wind deflector is to be fitted to the front of the roof rack. A new large Hella fan in the sleeping compartment for the hot nights anticipated.
To give the vehicle the ‘Overlander’ look we have enlisted the help of Mortimer Design of Rotorua to create a graphic world map for each side, complete with stick on city names to be attached as we go. The reason for the elaborate design is to not only be able to create a point of interest to interact with locals but that the vehicle can be seen as a serious travel vehicle and hopefully deter opportunistic officials. Mort and his team are great people to work with.
The help of Greg Paul of Rally Tours in Auckland, and his team, was sought to get special multi entry visas into and out of Russia, including a permit for the Special zone of Murmansk, where we are entering Russia from Kirkeness in Norway. Still have to get our visas for Uzbekistan and Tajikistan when we get to London. Greg organises tours across Asia and South America and has the Kiwi, ‘can do’ attitude.
The first step of the journey is our departure from NZ in mid April then a ferry from Newhaven to Dieppe three weeks later.