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Behind the scenes

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During the trip we received a lot of questions through the site on the detail of the organisation of the trip.  How did we handle visas?  Detail of the car, which gear, how did we choose our route, and so on.  To keep the blog interesting to most, I left the logistical detail out, with vague promises of providing the…

Transvecto One – Video from the road

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Well I’m a man of my word.  As promised in the blog, here is the first of three videos documenting the transvecto journey.  ”Transvecto One” is a 15 minute sequence of nearly every shot filmed from a GoPro camera mounted on the dashboard of Magda, from London to Sydney.  It’s high definition, so make sure you get the good quality…

Beginning of the End?

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Location: 36° 29′ 13″ S, 148° 07′ 34″ E (Snowy Mountains, New South Wales)
Distance from Sydney: 405 km
And so the final day is here.  When I planned this journey, I knew I wanted to drive back into Sydney. I could have had Magda shipped straight from Bangkok to Sydney and flown home. But it didn’t seem right. You couldn’t end…

Home James, & don’t spare the horses

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Location: 33° 33′ 25″ S, 115° 01′ 50″ E (Cape Naturaliste, Western Australia)
Distance from Sydney: 3,351 km
Here’s a free tip for all those planning to ship your car to Australia by container:
Don’t. Ship it to the moon instead. It’ll be easier.
When I shipped Magda to the UK she went via a roll-on roll-off (RoRo) vessel. I…

Continent crossed

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Location: 1° 18′ 48″ N, 103° 51′ 34″ E (Singapore)
Distance from Sydney: 6,323 kms
Thousands of Australians a year travel to Thailand. 9 or so hours by plane transports them to somewhere exotic and different north of the equator. The food is spicy and cheap, the weather humid and warm, the cities and culture different, the people warm, friendly…

Not quite to plan

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The customs officer looked out of the window and wiped his brow. It was hot. Outside the lush jungle clicked and buzzed with tropical insects. On the desk in front of him was Magda’s paperwork. He looked back at me with a pained expression:
“What colour is your car?” he asked.
I looked out at where Magda sat patiently in…

Middle Kingdom – Part 2

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After the smokey haze of the lowlands we were glad to be climbing into the mountains. These were the eastern reaches of the Himalayas, and we were headed to Juigaihou (or as we called it, GI Joe). A world heritage park, this national park was a series of waterfalls and beautiful azure blue pools cascading down from the mountains. But…

The Middle Kingdom

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Location:  26° 52′ 22″ North, 100° 14′ 06″ East (Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China)
Distance from Sydney: 8,646km
China. The Middle Kingdom. Home to the Giant Panda, the noodle, and about 1.3 billion people. It is impossible to approach China without pre-concieved perceptions; many words and ideas come to mind. Awakening super power, industrial power house, communism, proud dynastic history, environmental…

Reaching the Peak

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Location:  47° 54′ 41″ N, 106° 58′ 53″ E, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Distance from Sydney:  10,126km
So we’ve crossed Mongolia.  Like a mountain climber reaching the peak, Mongolia was our half way mark, timewise for me (3 months of a 6 month journey), and also the greatest challenge in terms of remoteness, roads and logistics.  Appropriately, like the top of a…

Enter Mongolia

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Location : 47 44′ 27″N, 96 50′ 17″E (Uliastay, Mongolia)
Distance from Sydney: 10,597km
A mini update, written just after arriving in Mongolia:
I’m meant to be trying to finish off the Russian blog right now, but I want to talk about Mongolia instead. It’s our second night in the country, and first night camping. I don’t know how to…

Everything changes

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Location : 50° 43′ 35″N, 86° 18′ 28″E (Altai Republic, Russia)
Distance from Sydney:  11,401km

They say that if you put a frog in a pot of water and slowly boil it, the change of temperature is slow enough that the frog won’t realise it’s being cooked, and will die before he jumps out.  I always wondered whether the frog at…

A long day

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An insight into a day on the road where things don’t go as planned.
Benn: 4am: I realise I am awake. Early hours of the morning, still dark outside our hotel room in Almaty, Kazakhstan. There is a car alarm squealing in the distance. I suddenly get that momentary sick feeling in my stomach as I register that it sounds…

Mother Russia

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Location: 49° 48′ 09″N 73° 05’23″E (Central Kazakhstan)
Distance from Sydney: 12,129km
Firstly, an apology. It has been quite some time since the last update. I did write a big fat juicy update almost a week ago, but shortly after completing it, the laptop died, never to be recovered. The good news is that due to Andres’ good organisation, we…

The language barrier

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Position: 45° 021’ 51” North 36° 37’24” (Kerch, Ukraine)
Distance from Sydney: 14,580km
There is an episode of Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman’s “Long Way Round” where they pass through Ukraine (see here for a recap).  In it, they get invited to a house for dinner, where no one really speaks English.  They partake in the festivities (which include the…

Detour

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Location: 48 40′ 29″ N 26 34′ 18″ E (Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine)
Distance to Sydney:  15,482km

Originally we planned to travel through Turkey, cross the Black Sea into Russia at Sochi, and head north-east from there towards Kazakhstan.  However uncertainty around the reliability of the ferry services, and the numbing heat in Turkey made us decide to circle north through Bulgaria,…

“Magda gone”

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Position: 41° 03’ 06” North 28° 59’21” (Istanbul)
Distance from Sydney: 15,080km
“Magda gone”.

It was the text message that I had hoped I would never send.  It was midnight, in Istanbul, and I was sending the text message to Andres as I stood on the empty street looking at where I’d left Magda parked 5 hours earlier.  I felt…

Steering the course

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As kids, our family holidays always involved driving.  Escaping the Tasmanian winter, we would tow the pop-top camper van, and later the trailerable yacht to the warm climate of Queensland.  Dad would nearly always drive, and mum would navigate.  Navigating the cities was an experience I will never forget, and I’m sure has been repeated in millions of cars the…

The Crisis Zone

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During the planning of the trip, Greece had always been part of the plan.  Neither of us had been there, and I’ve always been a fan of beaches/islands/very-large-cocktails.  However as the euro-zone crisis unfolded we kept a close eye on developments.  Mass protests, multiple elections, and even the real risk of an uncontrolled exit from the Euro meant we were…

The best laid plans…

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Position: 37° 57′ 56″ N, 23° 43′ 46″ E.  Athens.
Distance from Sydney:  15,448 km
One of my favourite quotes (which I remind Andres of often, mostly when something is going wrong) is “If everything went exactly as planned, where would the adventure be”.  I like this quote as it presents a nice attitude to the unexpected.  As we travelled this…

Crossing the border

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I don’t know whether it is just me, but borders have always made me uneasy (and not just the squiggly ones you did on your school project in primary school, though they made me uneasy too, all that strictness and hemming in no doubt).  But even returning to home with nothing to declare I would feel nervous and naughty walking…

Bahn-storming Europe

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Position: 43 30′ 10″ north, 16 26′ 53″ east
Distance from Sydney: 16,221 km
Travelling does strange things to the passage of time (no, no, this isn’t an elaborate excuse around why it’s been two weeks before an update from the road). Travel speeds time, but at the same time compresses. We’ve been travelling two weeks now, and on the…

And we’re off!

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Position: 50° 54′ 46″ north, 1° 50′ 50″ east
Distance from Sydney: 17,534km
So it’s Monday July 2nd, which means we should be crossing the channel on the way to France. And the good news is that we are, I’m writing this abord the Dover to Dunkirk ferry oui oui!

I have to admit the day started not so promisingly.…

Fuimonos!!

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Obviamente voy a escribir en español, por lo menos algunas partes (partly to piss you off Benn) y para realmente darle su toque mexicano a esto! Así que aquí vamos! Después de mucha espera aquí listo para despegar desde Cancún a Londres terminando una pequeña escala en playa del Carmen con un justo descanso, siendo que realmente no ha empezado…

Let’s do this

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As a kid, I remember the arrival of Christmas. The closer it got, the more excited I became. The more excited I became the slower time would pass. And the slower time passed the more convinced I would become that Christmas would NEVER arrive. And therefore of course we should open our presents immediately.
I became that kid again this…

Tracking Magda

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My obsession: Tracking Magda

I’ve become obsessed.  Ever since the booking confirmation for the shipping of Magda to the UK arrived, and it mentioned the name of the ship, I’ve become an internet stalker continuously watching the ship’s progress like a maniac.  It’s like watching grass grow except without the grass.  I relay its current location with breathless excitement to…

T minus one month

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To do: always most important last…

It’s an exciting milestone tonight.  Exactly one month from departure.  One month until I fly out for London to find Magda at the docks, sort out the last of the preparations, find Andres and head out on the trip.
Despite having started preparations for this trip about a year ago, it’s starting to get…

It all starts here.

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Trans vecto.   The drive.
An idea, the desire not only to travel and see.  But to achieve something.  From A to B.  London to Sydney.
Start the planning.

 …