Monday, October 17, 2011

Lagos to London - 1973

Vehicles, technology, and people have changed across the decades.  However, the one familiar trait is the need to use a vehicle, a bit of technology and to travel.  In 1973 Brian M left Lagos, Nigeria heading for London, UK.  His Land Rover Series II 109 was loaded and packed... the route simply headed North and finally in Algeria and across the Med to Europe.

The photo below is linked to Brian's additional photos he scanned from slides:
Brian M - 1973 Overland
Brian mentioned in an email the reason the bonnet was open:



I do indeed remember why the bonnet was open a lot :-) Most picture opportunities were at stops, first thing in the morning was always a good time. You'll see that from the shadows. We checked fluids, hoses and belts every morning, as well as having a look around the vehicle checking that all was OK. 
One picture shows shorter shadows, so was closer to midday. We had two stops for problems, one for a stop due to loss of power. We stripped the carb and found the float bowl was full of sand, due to the wonderful oil bath "air filter" standard in those days :-) A good clean out and all was well again. 
The other stop was when the fan cowling fell off, onto the fan. The speed nuts has rusted through ! The Land Rover had spent the previous 14 years working in tropical rain forest for a wildlife documentary company. Still, it gave us a huge fright, as it made a huge racket ! You've never seen anyone de-clutch and switch off as fast as I did ! A great relief to find it was only the cowling making a break for freedom :-) We simply took it off and put it in the back, checking the belts and hoses were undamaged. 
It was scary until we saw there was no serious problem, as we were midway between Tamanrasset and In Salah, about 590 miles if my memory of the Michelin map is accurate. A long way to walk if it was a blown engine, which was my first thought as the noise started. Whew :-)

Otherwise, we had no other vehicle problems in about 12000kms (road distance) and 29 days.

Just for interest, the mountainous scenery is mostly on the scenic drive around the Hoggar Mountains, when we had a trip up to the Hermitage near to Tamanrasset.

More stories to follow...