35 years later and we’re Off!

Inspired  35 years ago by some guys I met whilst working in Africa who were doing an overland trip from London to Cape Town in a Landrover!     I have always wanted to do something similar with that travel bug firmly taking hold. Sue and I have travelled extensively and have talked for many years about an Overland trip. With two grown up kids and semi retirement around the corner we came to the conclusion that it’s – Now or Never !

The light bulb moment came when we were watching the Rugby World Cup in 2015 at Sandy Park, home of the Exeter Chiefs. When Sue said “lets go to the next World cup. Where is it going to be held?”  “Japan” was my response, and that was the start of it. After 31 years of thinking about it,we had four years to get ready to go!

We had been looking at different vehicles for some time and had concluded that an ex-military Landrover Pulse Ambulance, based on a Defender 130 with the respected 300 TDI engine, would suit us down to the ground. As a  confirmed Landrover fans, it didn’t take long to convince us this would be the right vehicle for our trip. Being big enough but not too big , comfortable enough but not too comfortable and reliable enough but not too reliable ( I like a challenge). Bought on an online auction without seeing her, she duly arrived and the conversion started in Spring 2016. We have christened her “Amber” the Amber-lance,and a new colour scheme to suit the name was applied in December 2017. ( Otter Amber is also our favourite local beer). She has been used on several shakedown trips and adapted to our own designs and requirements which has allowed us to let her evolve into our mobile home from home.

Roll on to spring 2019 and a looming deadline fast approaching .We were planning on leaving on 28th March , the day before Brexit,but after a slip and a fall resulting in a snapped patellar tendon, an operation and hours of physio, our new deadline is to leave on 1st May latest, to arrive in Tokyo by 14th September, my 60th birthday! Just in time for the  start of the Rugby World Cup . What could possibly go wrong ?

10 thoughts on “35 years later and we’re Off!

  1. At last you are off! You will have a fabulous time and we will be following you closely… on your blog and probably doing a similar route ourselves before too long. We will be very interested to see how the 130 Ambulance holds up to the Challenge. Too late to change our choice of vehicle anyway!!! Have an ace time and don’t rush the journey!

    All our love, Joe and Jayne xx
    PS. Get in touch anytime if you need any support, spares or repairs or any help back in Blighty!


  2. Have an amazing time Mark, Sue – what an adventure. Let me know if there is anything you want whilst away.
    Take care – love you. Hope your chariot doesn’t swing too low xxx
    Nicky xx


  3. Happy travelling! Hope alls going well, not so great in the. Chiefs camp today but apparently the hail stones put them off a bit.
    Love to you both.


  4. It sounds like a world beer guide is in the offing! Regarding oil – my experience is if it isn’t dripping there isn’t any in there! Wonderful experience!


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