Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Paying attention at the back.

Greetings from Cairo! We were privileged today to deliver a talk on our LRDG Expedition to Year 7, 8, 9 and 11 Students at Futures International American School in the Maadi Region of Cairo. My friend and our guide, Mahmoud Marai sorted this out as it is where he teaches. I sat in on his Chemistry lesson which was very orderly, but with debate and questioning encouraged. When the lesson finished the attentive students listened to me ramble on about the war time history of their country and Jeeps, whilst Mahmoud forwarded the pictures on his laptop. The talk was well received, with many students coming up afterwards, shaking my hand and thanking me for the talk. All of them spoke perfect English and were polite and interested. If the rest of our time here is as enjoyable and rewarding we shall all have a great time.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

All at Sea

This is Cap Harvey, the container ship transporting our two Jeeps to Alexandria. A photo downloaded from the remarkable Marine Traffic web site. We have been tracking progress of this important ship since she left Felixstowe on 23rd March. Due in Alex on 31st, via Malaga, it will give adequate time to release the Jeeps from the clutches of the Egyptian Customs and be in Cairo for 5th - we hope/Insh Allah
Assuming all goes according to plan the next thrilling instalment will be from Cairo!

If you are Manuel Hernandez (the photographer) Thank you very much and if we owe you a fee for usage please get in touch.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Contained excitement.

In the final chapter of the first stage in our Expedition it is time to say some thank you’s.

This Monday, 5th March, Matt and I drove down to Felixstowe to drop the Jeeps off at the docks ready for shipping. The trip went well and is documented, with route, here, using the Spot Location device.

We left Matlock fully loaded with the Willy’s MB in ‘knock down’ form in the back of the Land Rover 101 and the Ford GPW on Matt’s trailer. We had not tried out the trailer idea with a fully loaded 101, but it pulled well, cruising at 50 - 55 mph. Approaching Felixstowe the sky turned from sunny blue to heavy black clouds at the coast. We have made the decision to off load the Willy’s that afternoon to avoid doing it in an unknown yard in Felixstowe the next morning. It takes about 2 hours from start to finish.

As we pulled into the car park in Aldeburgh it really lashed it down with rain, pushed by a strong wind. In the cab of the 101 we formed a plan - Ford off trailer, trailer off 101, roof off 101, Willy’s out of 101 (the long bit of the operation - 1 hour) trailer back on 101 and Willy’s onto trailer ‘dock ready’. The wind and rain made this very difficult and after an hour we were cold and wet, but we carried on getting the whole process completed in a record 1 hr 40 minutes. Fortunately the Hotel was only 100 yards away and soon we were warm and enjoying a pint of Adnams Bitter!

Tuesday morning the rain had stopped and we made good the bits of packing rushed the evening before and set off for Felixstowe, 40 minutes away. Having found Pentalver’s yard the process could not have been simpler. Within half an hour both Jeeps were secure in a 40 foot container and should set sail for Alexandria in the good ship Moranto on 12th March.

We have not had any special deals from anybody really, but many have been more helpful than they needed to be.

A big thanks to:

My son, Matt Savage, who along with Barry and Andy, build both Jeeps retaining much of the original 1943 steel. And young Edward Savage - chief test driver!

‘Wet Paint’ Tony Sinclair at All Drive UK for mechanical help and MOT’s on both Jeeps and the 101.

The friendship and support of John Carroll and Sam Watson. The three of us shared this dream about 3 years ago.

Jason Paterniti, Bob Attwater, Karl-Gunnar Noren, Mike Van Pelt and Rick Pewe for sharing the same idea. Mahmoud Maria for making arrangements in Cairo.

Mike and Anthony Deacon at AMD 4 Wheel Drive who sold me the Jeeps originally. Just what I wanted and at a reasonable price.

Jeeparts in Shrewsbury for having all the parts needed and if not, getting them to Matt’s the next day. Great service.

Jason Woodward for convincing me I really needed his Land Rover 101 and organic milk. Then agreeing to store the 101 at his farm when I didn’t need it.

Paul Cordle at Michelin tyres for help in supplying tyres for the Ford Jeep and the 101. Great tyres!

Andrew Graham at AlliSport for fitting a double sized intercooler to the 101 and making it pull like a train!

The test drivers on two weekends last Autumn: Matt Savage, Will Savage, John Carroll, Karl-Gunnar Noren, Jason Paterniti, Stephen Riley, James Platt, Paul Warren, Bob Attwater, Alistair Calvert and not forgetting Keiran Johnson of Free Spirit 4x4 for putting together a great route in The Peak District.

Magazine Editors’ Jonathan Hanson (Overland Journal USA), Rick Pewe (Petersens 4x4 USA) Simon Ward- Hastelow (LRW) Hils Everitt (4x4 UK) and Nigel Fryatt (4x4 UK) for kindly running Press Releases and articles relating to the trip.

Jonathan Mansfield at Web Design Works for creating an excellent web site.

Chris Jennings at Noodle Doodle Design for designing the logo.

Paul Gowan at the RAC for arranging the Carnet de Passage.

Mariana Uzunova and Matt McHale at SeaGo Line for arranging the shipping from Felixstowe.

And finally my partner, Jo Halford, for putting up with me and proof reading all articles, press releases and text.

The next Blog report should be from Cairo!