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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 5:29 pm 
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Just did my first 150km after taking the 101 out of hibernation at a friend's place in Poland. He plan is for four months through southern Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, lots of off road in Romania, Bulgaria then up through the Balkans before heading straight from Slovenia to her next hibernation, probably in Normandy. Will put some posts up as I go, but happy to write updates for six stud if the editor wants it?? Oh, and anyone fancy joining me on route of make a convoy

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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 5:33 pm 
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And if I gt chance I will put a new website together - the old one finished when me and the ex split and the 101 and me have been through a lot of miles since...

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 10:27 am 
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Great to hear from you again Panman! Yes, you need to fill in the gaps, last I read, you were somewhere in Jordan - that's quite a hop from Poland!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:13 pm 
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To plug the gaps and to recap from the start.... Left the UK in March 2010 with my then girlfriend. We went to the Hook of Holland by ferry, south through the Netherlands, across Belgium, a fast hack to the south of France for a stay with friends in the Pyrenees and to repair a steering box with the help of club member Oliver (thanks you once again and I owe you an email - coming soon).

From there to another mate in Tuscany and then a boat to Tunisia. Five weeks touring around this diverse and enchanting country including a stint of Sahara dune driving an then across Libya to Egypt. A month in the incredible Oasis town of Siwa before driving across the country to settle in Dahab for 5 months, with the odd foray into the desert. During that time rested the 101 as it just wouldn't have been fast enough and borrowed a V8 90 from the Sand Rovers ex-pat Cairo Land Rover club and joined them on a 500km off road hack south through the Sahara. In Dahab me and my girlfriend split and I carried on to Jordan.

A long wait for new tyres to be shipped to Jordan from the UK (impossible to find suitable 9.00 16s in the region) meant 3 months in this small but very interesting and friendly country, but included more desert driving once the tyres arrived. Rubber came too late to get into Syria as it had kicked off there and the border closed the day I tried to cross (avoided all the other Arab Spring uprisings as rode ahead of it like some surfer on the face of a wave of discontent). Had to go into Israel and catch a boat to Cyprus, a route I had not wanted to take for many reasons.

After landning in southern Cyprus, drove due north including off road excursions in the mountains and a time warp weekend walking around the stil war-divided city of Nicosia. From the northern, Turkish side of the island took a painfully slow ferry to Turkey and drove in a J shaped loop from the southern coast up into Kurdistan - one of the highlights of the entire trip - warm, strong people and huge scenery of stunning beauty.

Across the mountains and down into Georgia, a country that took my heart with mountains that climb to 3500m, miles and miles of rough dirt tracks, rolling countryside, beaches, a funky and artistic capital in Tbilisi, gorgeous unique wines and stunning food and women, all wrapped in a culture which is ancient, proud and welcoming. A foray into Armenia, poorer but equally friendly and with its own stark beauty. The truck was left in Tbilisi for a quick rail and bus jaunt to Azerbaijan - the import tax was just too high to be worth it. Then a boat from Georgia to Odessa in Ukraine. A tour around the Crimea and a long drive north to Kiev and west to Liviv. Then the last (and torturous) border crossing into Poland, where I mothballed the 101 for the winter at a friend's family home.

Now after unwrapping her I am in southern Poland having attended a three day party, spent a week in Krakow before the crowds of Summer and football arrived and now driving south into the mountains and another border crossing, this time to Slovakia.....

That is the route so far. Without looking at the clock I am making a rough guess at 30,000km so far, but I could be way out. As for mechanical issues, well that would be another post. If anyone wants me to write this up for 6 Stud - let me know. Have offered before but not been taken up. Can do again if there is a desire to here more. What do you think Dave? Interested?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:32 pm 
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Just write it Huw, as we will love to read about your travels.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:38 pm 
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Yes, I remember your tyre saga, but would love to read more!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:22 pm 
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Huw, just read your update and huge respect to you for what sounds an awesome trip :mrgreen: . Please do write it up for Six Stud as it is truly inspirational stuff.

All the very best

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 6:52 pm 
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Yes please tell us more, with photos!!!! really good to read about an adventure like this.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:47 pm 
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Cheers gents, lovely to have your interest. I have sent a PM to Scott and I will do an article for him in Six Stud. Once I know what he wants I might also post updates here too if people want. Let me know. As an update, on the way south from Poland through Slovakia I stopped in a stunningly beautiful national park, Slovensky Raj and had a fantastic day hiking up a Stunning narrow river canyon, criss-crossing all the way on stepping stones or on raised wooden walk ways and climbing straight up next to waterfalls on metal ladders – soaking wet and slippery so a bit iffy in places but very, very beautiful.
Here is a quick link to some pics on google

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=podlesok&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1221&bih=658&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=BnTQT9zSGontsgbu2cGFDg#um=1&hl=en&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=slovensky+raj&oq=slovens&am%20p;aq=1&aqi=g10&aql=&gs_l=img.3.1.0l10.9631.11174.0.13637.7.6.0.1.1.0.132.665.2j4.6.0...0.0.fIkhZLVeh-M&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=7f9b3450d860b49d&biw=1221&bih=658

As of today I am in Eger in Hungary, a lovely old town with a medieval castle and lots of Habsburg architecture. Heading slowly east through Hungary over the next 10 days. I have some work to do (I am self employed and can work from a laptop, hence how I can (almost!) afford these trips. I also have a few issues to sort out on the truck. My custom 200 litre petrol tank is leaking again, despite being welded in Poland. A very long, expensive and annoying saga that boils down to an initial rush job and design error that I will get changed when I can next find a welder willing to weld it. I am a not willing to weld it myself! Also have new shoes to fit, a domestic water pump to fix or replace, hub oil seals to fit and also new plugs. All before 21 June....

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:30 am 
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Really good read keep them going! :D

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:04 pm 
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What an adventure. Would love to read it in Six Stud.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:08 am 
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"As for mechanical issues, well that would be another post."
Please post!

Fantastic voyage or what,all those places are on my list........but not all in one go!
Bon route!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:08 am 
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One of the most beautiful things about travelling with a 101 abroad is the people you meet. I travel to see new places and stunning scenery, yes, but it is meeting people that is the real treasure on the trail. The truck draws them in. Yesterday in Nyíregyháza, eastern Hungary I was having a coffee and a young couple came to find me in the cafe - the bloke was fascinated by the truck. I told him about it, the basic rundown, as I am never sure how much detail people want to hear before they decide I am a raving 101 fanatic and start to slowly back away smiling. He lapped it all up. I showed them the interior and in the process explained that the pump to my domestic water tank had packed up and one of the things I needed to do in their city was to find a new one. We exchanged emails and I thought nothing more of it. This morning Johnash (I think that is how you spell it) turned up out of the blue. He had sourced a functioning second hand inline pump for me, would not accept anything more than a coffee in repayment and that after my insistance. This is just one of innumerable instances where the truck draws people to me and I get the pleasure of meeting them and my faith in humanity not simply renewed but enhanced. There is something very special about these trucks we drive that seems to call out to people in every country I visit. Even more reason to love my 101.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:47 am 
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Impressive travels :) , i would love to emulate but i think i will stick to GB in my first year and then onto Europe later.
One small question, what do you do for insurance if you keep your vehicle out of Britain for so long?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:06 pm 
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Insurance anywhere other than the EU is easy, simply buy it as you cross the border. Prices have varied from £20 a month in Georgia to about £70 (if I remember correctly) in Tunisia. Inside the EU is a nightmare. Couldn't get anyone to insure me when I crossed from Ukraine into Poland so just had to risk the 150km drive to my mate's place where I parked up for the winter. Tried to fidn someone in the UK who would do it but failed. Problem is, no one will insure it once it is out of the UK, won't insure it because it doesn't habe an MOT. It is one of those bureaucratic black holes - no one in Brussels thought about my situation where I was out of the EU for over a year, had no valid MOT or any way of getting one and wanted insurance when I crossed back into the EU but not into my home country. In the end the incredibly helpful Paul Gowen at the RAC's Carnet dept. suggested I try a broker in the Netherlands (Alessie.com) who will issue a third party liability "Green Card" for about £120 per month plus an initial set up fee. Not cheap but the only option. If it is parked up on private property I don't need any.

Currently in Cluj Napoca, Romania. A beautiful city set between rolling hills with a relaxed atmosphere, a charming old Town with a mix of architecture and narrow streets. Got to get the petrol tank welded Monday, though already found an English speaking mechanic who will get it one for me and allow me to use the forecourt of his workshop so I can fit new shoes and new front hub oil seals.

Already I am liking Romania. I have heard from several friends that the countryside is gorgeous and very untouched. I might be here for a month I think, hoping to get some off road touring in if I can too.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:23 pm 
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How are your solar panels holding up?and are they getting much use?..we are thinking of getting the same,ideally we want to take gas out of the equation entirely,so would want to run a fridge and two hobs and a laptop off batteries.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 6:43 pm 
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Panels work really well, plenty for lighting, water pump, charging laptop, cameras and phones, though a fridge tends to demand a lot more. I have an Engle which works well, though I made the mistake of getting an upright as it was going cheap. In hindsight I would go for a top loader. Less convenient, but more efficient, as every time I open the door to mine all that lovely cold air falls straight out. As a result I don't use mine anywhere as much as I would like. In essence it just means I tend to buy less food that needs refrigeration and eat it before it goes bad. If you are going to get one I would also consider a separate domestic battery dedicated just to the fridge if you can - if you are parked up for a while with no hook up and the fridge drains the battery at least you will always have the other lighting!

Where in France are you? I may be passing nearby at the end of this trip

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:58 am 
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Yeah,I definetly see the sense in a toploader fridge,my Dad has a little Ketch (boat) with one installed,much more efficient,better use of space and stand's up to rolling about!
I can see us learning a whole new process in regards to food/diet etc,currently going the "lots of pasta/rice" route and grab fresh produce when we can....any Grande Erg raids(where we'll need to load up) will be much later on...hopefully by then we will have learned few things...

We are currently living in the Alps but plan (hope) to be on the road for the next two months,taking a lacksydaisy wander around France,...maybe we can meet up somewhere?..


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:50 pm 
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A quick update. The truck is in Romania, I have flown back to the UK for a week to sort a few things out. So far I have had a fantastic time in Romania. So much so I am extending my stay. If anyone wants to use their 101 for a European off and on road single destination 101 overland adventure trip then my vote is here. Tunisia is a good option, so is Iceland, I have driven off-road in both, yet I would personally choose Romania. It has a phenomenal amount of off-road terrain, an off-roading culture, cheap food, friendly people, varied scenery, fascinating history, beautiful architacture and a vibrant culture. If anyone wants more information, drop me a line.

Oh, and C-One - message me and maybe we can make a plan, though I admit I am strongly considering just staying in Romania the whole summer if I can find somewhere to mothball the truck through the winter, postponing my drive west through the Balkans until next spring.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:44 pm 
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Was out in Bulgaria last week...

Lovely place!

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