The weeks are ticking by and we are getting perilously close to take off. I still have not found someone to sort out the car electrics, the mechanic still has not/confirmed a date for the car to have its preparation, despite taking a deposit for the parts and I am getting worried as to whether we will ever get ready.
Jim is making progress on the route and the timings and we seem to be leaving earlier but this leaves us with very little time to nag anyone into doing the work required.
The house clearing and the packing is progressing and we have a decorator lined up. We need to sort out the passports, the visas, the carnet, any inoculations and to work out the mapping, so much to do and there is still Christmas!
Tilly dog needs to be confirmed in Cornwall and I need to get to grips with this little Samsung so I can leave my Apple Mac behind. Still more to do.
A week later and things are getting quite busy. Jim now has a plan for us to get big passports. to hold all the visas when we get back from Dresden next week. Then we get our Chinese visas, then our Iranian visas.
Whilst all this is going on, we need to book any inoculations get the electrics in the car working properly, including the heater. See if we can get the photovoltaic panels upgraded on the roof, fit and replace the battery charger, and get the mechanical bits sorted. Some of this is programmed and some is not!
Had a great afternoon with Blanca. I have still not really managed to get to grips with Maps Me entirely. We have our root from Google maps imported into Maps Me. Great! I can add bookmarks to it, when for example we have passed through places. However, I am trying to export the maps from Maps Me to the blog. I have managed to import the url from Google Maps to the blog, but I really want to export the Maps Me version which will have little pins showing where we have been as well as our root. Help!
The other disappointment this week, is that the back up drive from my Apple Mac with lots of files on it, will not connect to the little portable Samsung tablet which I was planning to take. Why O why. Nor will any other drives that I have knocking around as of 29th November. Although I seem to be able to get Blanca's one attached. So it looks as if the Mac is coming after all.
Three days before Xmas, with lots of shopping to do for food and a Charlton match between today and Xmas dinner, I drove hundreds of miles late at night, down to Ledbury. Chaps are working on the suspension and various things to do with brakes and leaking power steering.
I find myself perilously close to Wales and Abergavenny, with greasy hands and overalls, having very quickly reached the limits of my mechanical competence with the land cruiser. Reassuring noises in the background are Julian of Overland Cruisers, sorting out the suspension, with the car up on ramps. I did try to fix the rear window demisters, but got flummoxed by the electrics, after making two smashing holes in the car door to feed through the wires. So next stage, someone else! The car still needs the second photovoltaic panel fitting, but young Errol is lined up after Xmas. The diesel heater is still to be sorted and SE Auto Electrical Services are lined up in January. The reversing camera is still to be fitted, but Holloway Electrics are supposed to be doing that at the same time as re-routing the electrical input plug which is currently hanging perilously close to large wet puddles.
The biggest achievement this week actually goes to Jim as he has managed to obtain our first visas. Uzbekistan here we come. One down, only about another 15 to go!
Whilst sitting in the garage contemplating the rear end, I noticed that our clean bedding, tucked up into the pop top, was looking less inviting than it had at first, owing to, what looks like, a leak through the roof hatch. Looks like another job to fit in before we go.
I am delighted to have found my father's (un-used) UN car badge, which was given to him by WFUNA. He had always imagined driving across the Sahara in a 4x4 and I just had to have it with us on our journey.
And did I mention that we have our first viewing of the London house, which is due to be rented out in March. That is so quick as we only signed up with John Payne yesterday. So fingers crossed.