Category: Adventures

An Aussie Goes to Moab

Troy Bignell is Overland International's resident Aussie, and a most valued team member. On loan for an unfortunately short term, his primary function is to entertain us with funny words and cheeky anecdotes from Down Under. A skilled videographer and navigator previously employed by Hema Maps, he is responsible for making sure we never get lost. Although he has a long list of talents––his ability to build a wicked campfire has become legendary. 

This past week has been a big one for me, and certainly one of great and new experiences. I started the week last Friday when I left Prescott and headed to California to drive the famous Mojave Road. Over the course of two days, I had some great fun driving in a Subaru Forester, of all things. While the Mojave Road was excellent, this yarn is about my trip to Moab.

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Category: Adventures

Campervan Culture: Morocco Overland, Part 2

You can read Part 1 of Campervan Culture: Morocco [Here]

I awoke quite early the next morning with thoughts of the days hustle and bustle. There was no chance of getting back to sleep so I decided to get up, put some tea on and see what was going on around the campsite. It had obviously been quite cold over night. The water in the stream that runs along the boundary of the campsite was pouring steamy vapour amidst the shafts of bright sunlight that filtered through the foliage of the tree canopy. Our rendevous with our guide for the day wasn't until 10am so after a bit of tidying up around our camp we had plenty of time left for multiple cups of tea and coffee as well as a substantial breakfast. At the meeting point we found the rest of the people we would be sharing the tour with; a couple from Germany traveling with their teenage son and another German couple enjoying their retirement. The taxi arrived and we were greeted by our guide; a towering stature of a man. He must have been at least 6’ 6” and had more ear hair than I think I’ve ever seen on a single person before.

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Category: Adventures

The Americas with Tubby Xplorer: Part 14

Introduction by Paul May of 

Jack Stuhler, the founder of Eezi-Awn, is an adventurous man and has spent his entire life exploring the African Continent. After driving from Johannesburg to the UK through the middle east in the early 1999, Jack set his sights on the Americas. He prepared a Toyota Land Cruiser 70 Series Troopy by the name of Tubby for his journey and shipped it to South America. With his significant other, Margaret, their epic journey from Ushuaia to Dead Horse Alaska took over 18 months to complete in 2004/2005. They later returned south to Houston, and shipped Tubby home. Quite impressive for a couple in their 60s. Their adventures are an inspiration for us all.

Most places of historical interest are in the old city of Quito. Taking a taxi we soon dropped down towards the ‘Plaza de la Indepencia’ dominated by a somewhat grim cathedral on the south side and the ‘Palacio de Gobierno’ along the east side. There was unrest in the City. Folk were milling about the Presidential Offices. They wanted the President removed from office. Police presence was to be seen in all the ‘hoekies and noekies’ of the City centre. Strolling past the Palacio we wandered into one of the most stunning buildings Margaret and I have ever set eyes on – the ‘La Compania de Jesus’. This is a marvellous Jesuit church. It has a most ornate and richly sculptured façade and interior. Inside its multi faceted columns, ten-sided high altar plated with, it is said, two tons of gold foil complimented with gilded balconies.

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Category: Adventures

wollongong to Woolwich: China

In February 2011 my wife Kate and I set off on our motorbikes from Wollongong in Australia heading for Woolwich in south east London. In 5 months we covered about 21,000 km across 20 countries. Firstly we crossed the emptiness of the great Aussie outback and then negotiated the manic traffic of Bangkok, Kathmandu and Delhi. Next came the fabled and dangerous Karakoram Highway through the mountains of Pakistan, up and over the 4600 metre Khunjerab pass and into China. More rough roads through Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan led us to Russia, through Ukraine and then the final 5,000 km push through Europe.

“Now we were safely out of Pakistan things should have started to get easier. Not here though, not for us. Here out in the far western provinces of China, still thousands of miles from the UK our adventure continued…..”

The first job once loaded up was to get some petrol for the bikes. We pulled up at the pump of the modern looking petrol station and waited for the attendant to come over. He made it clear that the bikes were not allowed to be filled from the pump and we should move over to the far corner of the petrol station. There was nothing over there but as we were getting no fuel at the pump we pushed the bikes across and waited. After a minute another attendant came out of the main building carrying a large aluminium kettle. Was this anything to do with us? Yes, it would appear it was. He filled it at the pump and walked towards us, indicating for us to remove our petrol caps. The spout of the kettle was too short so as he tried to fill my tank, petrol spilt all over my bike. Irritated, I told him to stop and after hunting around in the bin, I found a plastic drinks bottle which I cut open to use as a funnel. With this extra bit of high tech equipment, we soon filled up and hit the road.

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