Sunday, 2nd August. Wineham, West Sussex, U.K.

Catching up with some of the family after quarantine.

Having been in the U.K. for 7 weeks, Poki has just caught up with us, 2 days later than scheduled. We collected her from Southampton Docks last Monday afternoon. This turned out to be a very simple procedure. Much to our extreme delight and after weeks of worrying, she is in one piece and everything inside and in the roof boxes is untouched. The route to/from Veracruz is notorious for pilferage, so we are considering ourselves very fortunate.

Tuesday was spent unpacking her, followed by machine loads of washing, with all the bedding and some clothes which has been left in her. All smelling somewhat musty after weeks shut in boxes.

On Wednesday we took Poki to our local Land Rover specialist for some very necessary TLC. She needed a new windscreen to enable her to pass her MOT, the warrant of fitness required for all vehicles to be allowed on the road in the UK. The scarring she received from a stone thrown up by a manic truck driver in northern Canada, eventually formed a crack running from top to bottom of the windscreen.

Some other maintenance, such as a new steering box and some other minor matters were also necessary. I am not the technical one, so that is all the info I can provide!

The weather has felt almost like Mexico with temperatures reaching the mid 30’s during the week. Thunderstorms were forecast, but haven’t happened yet.

On Friday, we picked Poki up from the garage and having spent a small fortune on her, after we returned home she flatly refused to restart. Despite all Dennis’s efforts, she remained as dead as a dodo. On Saturday Morning she was ignominiously taken away on a trailer, being towed back to the garage by another Land Rover.

As there has been a relaxing of travel restrictions here, we have booked to go to France for 2 weeks, leaving early on Tuesday morning. We are not very good at staying in one place! It is just a short trip to Normandy, Brittany, Vendee and the Loire. France will always be our favourite country. Fingers are being kept crossed that Poki’s problem will be resolved. Otherwise we’ll by piling a tent and all our camping gear into my tiny mini-Cooper.

We plan to visit our friends, Mike and Wendy, in Normandy. We spent our first night on the road in May 2018 with them and had not expected to be back there this year. It has also been lovely to catch up with my family. Especially to see all my 5 grandchildren – ages from 1 – 15. Nothing is as we expected it to be this year, though.

Now our longer term plans are to return to New Zealand in October. Spend the winter in New Zealand and then come back to the UK next April. We would like to be able to ship Poki back to Cartagena, Columbia and continue with our journey through South America in May. Whether this will be possible we will have to wait and see. It is very frustrating that life has become so uncertain and firm plans are impossible to make.

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  1. Maryse and Philippe

    Bonjour, we followed you since Puebla.. We are happy that you are now safe in UK. We are 2 Frenchs and with a motorcycle. Since 4 months we are stuck in Mexico, in Mahahual waiting for the opening of the borders (Guatemala or-and Belize) to continue our trip to South America. But enough is enough.. The borders still closed and we are tired to wait. We are thinking about return to France. Also could you give us the information regarding your shipping agent in Veracruz?? You look happy with him and maybe he can do the shipping of our motorcycle.. Thank you for your help and take care.. Sincerely Maryse and Philippe

    • Hey! Maryse & Phillipe. Great to hear from you. Yes, we completely understand your frustration and agree that your decision to come home is probably best. We are hoping that there will be a vaccine by next year that will allow us to resume our travels. Meanwhile we are spending a couple of weeks in France, Caen tonight. The sun is shining and it’s glorious.
      The agent in Veracruz is Cevertam SA DE CV tel +52 1(229)1783515 Website Luis is the contact and very helpful. We can suggest accommodation a 30min walk away from their office, if you need it. Good luck. Dennis & Jen

  2. Hi Dennis and Jen. We have been eagerly waiting for a update on how you both are getting on. It is awesome to hear that the shipping went well. We would love to catch up when you both arrive in NZ. Our winter has been rather mild (18 degrees) in Christchurch last week and a comfortable 15 degrees today. Safe travels to France.
    Kind regards
    Carl and Renee

    • Hey you two….great to hear from you. We’ll be home in October and may get down south at some point. Would look forward to a catch-up.
      Meantime, we are loving France.
      Congrat’s to the Crusaders. We are keeping up with NZ news daily. Well done to the team of 5million.


      Dennis & Jen

  3. DB, that Land Lover’s starting to sound like Grandfather’s axe!
    Travel safe, the pair of you.

    • Hi Neal, I hope you still have that axe and it’s sharp!! I think a new Defender look-a-like Grenadier is on the cards!!


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