Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top 10 Reasons Your Website Should Go Mobile

A while ago I blogged about the free website tools that your overland site could use. The next phase is the mobile web...

Here's a quick article that I came across:

Top 10 Reasons Your Website Should Go Mobile:
"The mobile web is a fascinating space that is still in its infancy. If the current capabilities of mobile devices are a sign of things to come, I can only imagine what will be possible five years from now."

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

LR Series offroad

Spent the day bouncing around at my local 4x4 event.  Plenty of bumps, humps and water ditches.

My vehicle is the 1972 Land Rover Series III (green with beige canvas roof).

Enjoy the following video:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Overland with Kids...

I have been actively following Andrew & Ann as they prepare for their overland trip from the UK to Oz.

There blog updates have been very informative and offer valuable information.  This one, linked kids schooling, with overland travel.  A subject very close to my heart after I became a dad.

We brought a small box containing reading materials, spellings and maths for both Jessica and AJ. We also brought a journal for Jessica to fill. But, what we failed largely in doing was to have was a set daily structure. We did regular reading each night and Jessica’s journal was completed most days but spelling, maths and any special topics and plans were non-existent. Just the daily journal writing with Jessica we found a struggle at times (e.g. to make Jessica concentrate - to make us concentrate!) As parents, we were as bad as the children (or worse!) in terms of preferring the sun, bikes, beach, sight-seeing, lazing or eating - as precedence over any educational need. We know our faults and are now doing some pre-planning and research into home schooling to ensure we have a more consistent and structured approach to daily educational requirements.

Well worth reading the rest of the blog.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Some snow fell last night...

Some snow fell last night in the UK.
Makes me long for the heat and dust of Africa...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Land Rover Experience - East of England

I was invited last week to the Land Rover Experience site in the East of England.  The aim of the half day event is to show the capability of the Land Rover offroad and then to persuade you to buy a new vehicle.

Our guide for the day was the son of the well known Vince Cobley.  Vince is best known for his company Protrax and his tours to Morocco with the Land Rover Adventure club (Photos below of his Defender) Luke Cobley, his son,  is a young guy full of passion for the Land Rover marque.  His knowledge of the Discovery 4 (our chosen vehicle for the day) was perfect and his enthusiasm for offoading meant that we had a fantastic couple of hours exploring the capability of the D4 and pushing it to the limits.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Six Overland Trips - One Land Rover Defender (Called Maggie)

Once a vehicle has been prepared for an Overland expedition, it is often resold and reused for a similiar trip.  Scrolling through previous trips on The Africa Overland Network reveals a number of websites which have used the same vehicle.

Here is one such vehicle - a 1991 Land Rover Defender 200tdi

Here's a quick history of the Land Rover Defender 200tdi called Maggie. She was called Maggie based on her colour blue and the famous statement about Maggie Thatcher that as Prime Minister of Britain, she was 'Not for Turning'.  Hence, Maggie the Land Rover, was not for doing U-Turns and returning home with unfinished business.

Her specifications are:
  • Year: 1991
  • Engine: 200Tdi Diesel (2.5L Turbo Diesel)
  • Current Mileage: 225 000 (roughly)
  • Fuel capacity: 80Ltrs + 40Ltrs extended tank + 2 x 20L Jerry Cans
  • Tyre Compressor mounted inside the engine
  • 40L Engel Fridge with AC/DC cables
  • 2 x gas bottles + 2 ring stove
  • High lift jack + piston jack
  • Eezi Awn Roof tent
  • Portable rear mounted vice on back ladder
  • Garmin GPS with external mounted antennae
  • Brownchurch water filter
  • 3 x 20L water bottles
  • Sand Ladders & Spade
  • Dual Battery system - Optima
  • Internal side mounted cupboards for easy out of the way storage.

The First Trip:

Richard & Jo Hepper - 1998

The Second Trip:
Colin & Wendy Clements - 2000 to 2004

In South Africa, Colin was introduced to a store full of overland and 4x4 equipment.  He quickly made a few changes which included a new Eezi Awn rooftop tent, Hannibal side awning, Engel Fridge and tyre compressor.

The Third Trip:
The biggest change Colin did to the vehicle was a total chassis strip-down and rebuild.  This rebuilt, undertaken in Kenya, modified the 90 into a 110 model.  The only new parts added were the rear tub.  The doors, engine and roofrack remained the same.

The Fourth Trip:
Martin & Debbie Solms - 2004 to 2005
I purchased this vehicle after chatting to Colin about the merits of the Defender 110 compared to my LR Discovery.  Buying a fully kitted vehicle for our trip meant that we only had a few mods to do.  I added sidelockers, and rear cupboards to the interior.  I opted to remain with the tried and tested Michelin XZL tyres.

Trip Four B
Sam Watson - Kenya & Tanzania
Sam borrowed the Land Rover called Maggie for a month of overland travel in August 2005.  His destination was Kenya and Tanzania.

The Firth Trip:
Jamie & Charlene Davies - Dec 2005 to July 2009

As you begin approaching Kubu Island you are unable to see very much as you travel through very tall grass and some trees, but all of a sudden the grass and trees disappear and all you see is another dried up pan with this small (from a distance) cluster of rocks and baobabs in the middle of the pan.

The Sixth Trip
Noel Peries - November 2009 to current
Departed the UK heading South on 5th November 2009.

Meeting the Owners:
The four generations of owners meet up:
From Left to Right: Martin, Jo, Wendy, Charlene, Colin, Jamie and Richard (photo excludes Debbie)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Overlanding then and now -Times Online

Charlie Hopkinson, writing for the Times Online, has written an interesting article on commercial overland trips.

The site has a number of good photos dating back to the 1970s.

Overlanding then and now -Times Online

Here are a few photos from the above article:

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Website Creation - Free Tools to get your Overland Trip online

Do you need a website for an overland trip?  What are the benefits that a website and online media offer to the overlander?

In this blog, I outline my thoughts on the matter of creating a website, social media (facebook & Twitter),digital media (video & audio) and concepts like Geotagging and RSS.  In essence, the tools that will enable you to create your expedition website whilst keeping your financial costs low.

New Trip Added... Singapore Dreams

New RTW trip on a motorbike - Singapore Dreams -