Hi Guys, I have finally been cornered by Maureen; she fixed me with a steel like stare over the phone and said it’s about time you did something for the blog. Trust me you don’t mess with Maureen so here I am. We have over the past weeks been building up to the pre-planned training days February 12th and 13th, these dates had been set aside specifically for the crew to have a good look at the equipment, see how it all works, to discuss the route and itinerary and finalising the changeover locations for crew arriving and those returning home. We had to spend some time on this as we have changed the journey slightly. We have arranged the journey into four stages of 24 and 34 days, each stage has two crew seats, allowing us to make three more seat available so that more people can take part. If you would like to join us give me a call before 22nd Feb or after 2nd March on 01590 718611.
A few days ago we organised for all the crew to have an hour with an advanced driving instructor, just to see if we had any bad habits that needed sorting out, and to get the best out of the vehicles. My driving wasn’t that bad!! but I didn't have a clue about some of the questions he asked me. Anyway, we come to an agreement after I said to him that if he wants to get paid he had better not put to many crosses on my pass paper.
Back to the training days. We started Day 1, dealing with matters relating to the route, we then spent time having a close look at the vehicle, overall weight, full fuel, two people on board and fully kitted out. We will be running at about 100kilos over weight so to compensate for this we have fitted up rated springs and shocks, and larger tyres. To make sure it all works I loaded one of the Jimnys with 180 kilos of engineering bricks to simulate a loaded vehicle and drove it for some time. Apart from doing plenty of gear work up hill it pulled ok. Although I would like to lighten the load a bit if I can.
We dealt with the rest of the non-interesting matters and moved onto looking at the Tom Tom’s, Satnavs, two way radios that will allow us to talk to each other as we are driving and the satellite phone so we can keep in touch with the folks at home. We then turned our attention to erecting one of the tents on a bit of grass, we had already been shown by Towsure the supplier how to erect the tent a few days before, but it made no difference, we went at the task like the guys out of the LAST OF THE SUMMER WINE. It started with two of us tackling the job with precision movements ending with five of us all pulling against each other; it was not a pretty site. One was heard to say, can we sleep in the open, someone else mentioned about taking a caravan with us, are there any hotels in Mongolia! We got there in the end though and had a lark at the same time.
After lunch it was the turn of the St Johns Ambulance to teach us how to look after ourselves and anybody else that comes along that we could practice on. We are all qualified doctors now so don’t stand near any of us and cough, we will have your appendix out before you know what has happened.
On a more responsible note we take all the training and preparation very seriously and we are doing everything possible to prepare ourselves for the task ahead. What we are doing will test the ability of people half our age, we can do everything they can do, but it will takes us longer.
Keep Smiling Les Carvall.