He is Dennis Brown from Titahi Bay, Wellington NZ. She is Jennifer (Jen) Cole from deepest Sussex, UK. He’s the Kiwi, she’s the Pom.
Whats a Kiwi?
A Kiwi is a flightless, endangered bird unique to New Zealand. New Zealanders are commonly referred to as Kiwi’s.
Whats a Pom?
Aaah, thats interesting. During the 1800’s many were transported from the United Kingdom to the empty spaces of Australia, for often minor crimes, at His, or Her Majesty’s pleasure. One belief is that they were therefore ‘Prisoners of Mother England’, or POME’s for short. That term has been shortened and Brits, or more accurately Englishmen and women in the Antipodes, are affectionately known as Pom’s.
Dennis and I, Jen, are a “mature” couple fortunate enough to have homes and spend time in both New Zealand and the UK. Our home in NZ is located in the centre of the North Island in Rotorua, famous for its geothermal features and adventure tourism. Home in the UK is in Wineham in deepest rural West Sussex. A cosmopolitan family, we have 5 children and 9 grandchildren between us, located in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and Japan.
My working career was spent in sales and marketing in the airline industry, but I am now “retired” – but seem to have no spare time! Dennis is “semi-retired”. He guides and drives tour groups around NZ in the summer season. Update. No, he now tells me he’s definitely retired.
The vehicle we are using for our Overland adventure is a 2001 Land Rover Defender TD5. Purchased in 2012 and considerably modified since. Over the last 6 years we have tested those modifications and additions with trips to Greece and Turkey, Corsica and Sardinia and Spain, Ireland, France, Germany and Morocco, but still have plenty of preparation to do before we set off in May. Dennis has what might be termed, an obsession with Land Rovers. What we like most is their adaptability. It is our home in every respect. A Caranex fitted to the rear when we stop, provides extra space and shower and toilet when needed.
Dennis has undertaken a similar journey before, having driven a Series 2A ex British Army Land Rover from the UK back to NZ in 1970 with two Kiwi companions. Life, however, was very different then. Less “red tape” as far as visas, permits, insurance etc are concerned, and far less traffic!
What we both have in common is a love of travel and adventure. Our first journey together was a 4000km bike ride using the Eurovelo 6 route from Saint-Nazaire on the west coast of France to Constanta, Romania on the Black Sea. We have clocked up over 13,000k’s on our bicycles and sleeping in our Hilleberg tent, through Europe and made some wonderful friends in the process.