Blog_001: Prelude

Thank you for reading our first blog entry.

We have been asked by lots of people to give an idea of our preparation for this expedition and an insight into what we have left to do in the three weeks before departure.

Lets just say there is plenty on our plates including shipping, flights, money, equipment, route planning and all the stuff you do everyday like work. That is part of planning any trip and it is always in the back of your mind that you have more things to do. We are trying to be as relaxed as possible, enjoy the preparation and are getting pretty excited about it all. Amongst the Charlotte of webpages we have a vehicle to prepare.

If you do not bring this car back, I will punch you in the face
— David Jeffery, High Lanes Garage

As Dave laughed I could not help but feel that he was being slightly serious. There is good reason for him to say such a thing. It all started a year ago today when I bought Yolande the Landy:

A 2.5L 200 tdi with 163,000 miles on the clock. My hearing suffered hugely with Yolande and overall I can say she was pretty high maintenance (new radiator, silicon hoses, head gasket, clutch, fuel injection system, fan & much much more) .

Sadly in June we found that the chassis was rotten and full of filler at one very important point...under the back suspension. This was the most disappointed I had been in a very long time, as instantly I knew that the car I had spent so long preparing was not going to be able to do the journey I had dreamed about. The time it would take and the cost of replacing it was going to be too much for my time frame and budget.

Dave and I have only known one another since September, but through spending lots of time at High Lanes and speaking to each other most days on the telephone you would think it had been years. After seeing the colour drain from my face and the realisation that it would take a good while to get another vehicle expedition ready, Dave reluctantly sold me his pride and joy:

Another hurdle was overcome and the trip was back on. Although mechanically I knew we were going to be okay, there was still plenty of work to be done...the roof being the main issue. I sourced one very quickly on Facebook via the Cornwall and Devon Land Rover group. I turned up post nights to a farm in deepest Cornwall and before we had even introduced ourselves the man in front of me said

I’ve seen it all now, driving a Defender in flop flops!
— Nick Searle


After a drive in my newly purchased Landy, he was impressed with Dave's handywork. Nick was a great person to meet. He sorted us out with what we needed, was extremely friendly and an interesting person to talk to.

We are now 9 days away from shipping the Landy to New York and as of last night this is where we are up to:

Probably fine?! Having a roof over your head is overrated anyway

Probably fine?! Having a roof over your head is overrated anyway

After I got a metal splinter in my eye and used all of the eye wash in the workshop, Dave asked me to step away from the power tools. My punishment was to look on at something I was not trusted to do through a tear filled eye. It was like being back at medical school.

80DW HQ x