Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ride Baby!

This is the vehicle I'm driving today. A UK-registered 300TDi that's seen some hard adventure action.

Nope, I haven't traded in the O-beast. She's sitting at home, carb-less thanks to an experiment in reconditioning by the owner of the above vehicle last night, which left her unable to go anywhere until certain things are fixed.... So today I'm driving his truck while he's overnighting in Cape Town.

The truck was shipped out by a 70-ish-old couple from the UK for their third 6-month trip in it, arriving and leaving from Namibia. It's dusty, it's dirty, it's got things that are threatening to part company with each other and the truck, it's fully overland kitted, it's been-there-done-that. It's a serious Landy, a REAL Landy.

It's my first shot at Defender driving, and my first experience with the 300TDi engine. I'm impressed with the power it has - even loaded down that much it tackled hills that both Olivia and Favourite Man's Discovery 2 TD5 can't handle well. The 5-speed gearbox and close gear changes took some getting used to, but it moves excellently. And needless to say it's the coolest thing on in traffic today :-)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Never-ending Story

Nope not the movie(s). The ongoing saga of fixing up Olivia. We signed off the big jobs last week and have had to redefine what to do with our spare time ever since! Well, sorta...

You see - this is a Land Rover. An old Land Rover - and something is always falling apart, failing, unexpectedly giving up or springing a leak. Leaks were the Big Thing this week - namely the discovery that the Safari roof is leaking at the join with the body in the gutter. All the old waterproofing putty stuff is either missing, cracked or peeling off. So it's been hauled out with a few impliments of torture and silicone inserted all-round.

Or it would be if the rain hadn't decided to unseasonally cause local flooding, close highways, and generally dump half the ocean on us. So now we wait for the seam to dry out, hoping it doesn't rain any more. The good news is that the little bit we did works well - but we'd really like to get this thing behind us!

Meantime there's electrics to sort out. There's random unexplained issues that keep cropping up. And there's still a rear fuel tank in the back yard.

One never runs out of things to do when one owns a Landy...

Tip Jar

There's a new button to the right of this blog - a MoneyBookers "tip jar". Planning Olivia's adventures is turning into an expensive business and I've realized I can't do it alone. If you'd like to contribute to keeping the adventures coming, leave her a tip! The more tips, the more adventures - and the more you'll have to read right here... :-) You can send your tip in any currency, from anywhere in the world.

Olivia thanks you - see you off the beaten track!

So.. what's in it for you? Well, for a donation of 10GBP/USD or more, I'll send you something by Real Snail Mail from the adventure you helped to fund. It could be a postcard, it could be an item found along the way, it could be anything! Go on - when last did you get snail mail? :-)

Friday, November 16, 2007

On the road again

Yes, it's true - Olivia is back on the road! We completed the final big jobs last night, took her for a celebratory test drive to a rather wind-swept beach, checked the spotlight focus, and this morning I drove her to work.

She's heavier, she's WAY cooler, she's pimped out properly, and she starts immediately. She's a very different truck. There are still a few small jobs awaiting attention, but she's no longer standing forlonely around in pieces. She's smartly footing it down the roads, daring any BMW driver to cut in front of her (beware the lights, the "fog horn" hooter, the really strong bumper...).

Favourite Man has done awesome things on that truck. He's put blood, sweat and tears into her. She's a ride worthy of admiration from all! And I'm grinning again.

I'm also starting to plan some adventures, dream again. There's some very good stuff in store.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Coming together

Olivia's coming together very quickly! Last night the renewed roofrack went on. Every day we're another step closer to being back on the road... and making one helluva impression in the process.