Sorry about the picture, but I couldn’t resist it. I swapped my walking boots for 5 pints of beer.
We left Antakya, in Turkey, at 7:00 AM and drove through the forty miles to the Syrian border under a clear sky but with a chill in the air. This is typical of early mornings in most Arab countries.
Being processed by the Turkish authorities to exit the country took almost an hour.
I approached the Syrian border with some trepidation because they could rescind our visas which would be catastrophic. I had considered alternatives even at this late stage and had decided if we were turned back I would get a shipping agent and explore the possibility of shipping the cars from Turkey to Alexandria in Egypt. This should have been possible and not taken too long, but the cost would have been fairly high. There were no car ferries from Europe to North Africa that we could use.
I need not have worried we were allowed entry and the processing took another hour. During the processing we were engaged by a man from the Tourism Ministry asking where we were going and what we hoped to see. He then, very quietly, suggested that we would be well advised to transit straight through Syria into Jordan without stopping anywhere as times were a little difficult.
Given the source of the advice, we decided to heed it and made our way onto the motorway network which would take us straight through to Jordan. The roads were generally smooth without too many potholes.
We were just south of the city Homs when I realised that the traffic had all but disappeared. Then a policeman stepped into the middle of the road and waved us down. As we stopped soldiers appeared from buildings on both sides of the road and approached the cars. Some appeared friendly but others were distinctly hostile. One in particular said you can’t drive down here, go back to Hama or Aleppo. I calmly explained that we were going to Damascus and then onto Jordan. He started to wave his arms about and become excited when a senior officer that Chris had spoken to, explaining where we were going, barked an order. The hostile man backed off while the officer made several radio calls.
He approached us again and said, “Sorry you cannot drive down here as we have a problem with some terrorists and it is dangerous” Whatever you do Roy, I thought, no funnies please.
He suggested we return on the route we had arrived on and then take a diversion which he pointed out on the map. This would circumvent the problem area and deliver us back on the motorway at the city of Homs. This we did and experienced no further trouble, but we had lost another 45 minutes. We did see several tanks at various points and numerous armed groups, mostly uniformed soldiers.
The cars behaved admirably again, with Dorothy hiccupping just once. We used our jerry cans for the first time in anger. These we had filled before leaving Anatakya in case there was a fuel shortage and was I glad we did. Although there clearly was fuel available the queues were quite long in most locations.
We arrived at the Syrian/Jordanian border at around 6:00 PM and by the time we had been through the exit process it was almost 7:00 PM. There was a hotel within the border area and rather than take another hour to go through the border routine to enter Jordan I suggested to Chris that we should call it a day. We had been going for twelve hours and covered 350 miles. That was enough.
I am afraid there are only four, fairly poor photos that I took in Syria. We were advised not to take any photographs in the country at all and to hide our mobile phones. However I couldn’t resist the challenge of taking four from the car as we sped along.
The next morning, Monday, we entered Jordan and what a different experience it was with the officials at their border. They couldn’t have been more helpful and pleasant, and no ‘backsheesh’.
Amman were only 50 miles south of the border and we soon found a pleasant hotel, having first rejected the Hyatt as far too expensive. Fuel was now only 70p a litre.
During the afternoon we visited the Amman Citadel, built by the Romans in the 8th century. As is often the case the site had been used by earlier communities dating back before the Iron Age. Even older than Chris!
We spent the morning of our rest day checking over the cars. Bridget needed a little oil, her exhaust nuts tightened again, and the tick over increased slightly as she had started stalling in traffic. Dorothy needed general fluid levels topped up.
We idled away the afternoon at the Roman amphitheatre. It is in amazingly good repair and seated 6,000 in its heyday.
The drive to Petra was a pleasure. The roads were generally wide and smooth, and our cars were purring. Only a distance of some 160 miles and no sign of the previous engine problem from Dorothy although she did flood when first started up. I think Bridget is in need of some balancing on her carburettors as she is running-on when I switch off the ignition, but suffering low revs when idling. I will leave it until we do the next service somewhere in Egypt.
We found and checked into a reasonable hotel on the outskirts of Wadi Musa close to Petra and the next day walked to the Petra complex. It was a long, hot, dusty, but totally fantastic day. It really is awe inspiring and well worth the visiting if you ever get the chance. We walked around the site for over 6 hours in temperatures of around 35°C and some of the climbs are fairly severe, but it was an amazing experience.
Benji, of course, wanted to play Indiana Jones when he heard that some of one of the series was filmed there. I have to say he has been acting very strangely recently, I will have to keep my eye on him.
Our final day in Jordan was to be filled with a short drive to Aquaba followed by a three hour ferry trip to Nuweiba and checking in to a hotel for the night. So much for that plan; on arriving in Aquaba it took two hours of searching, with the help of a friendly local, to find somewhere we could buy the ferry tickets. On arriving, at 12:15 for the 13:00 ferry we were refused access as they had ‘finished boarding’, and the ship left at 12:25! The next ferry was between 00:01 and 01:00, so we ended up travelling overnight without sleep arriving in port just after 04:00 and were kept on the boat until 05:00. In fact it was approximately 09:30 by the time we cleared customs to search for a hotel.
The first two were full when we met a very helpful tour guide, Liz, who recommended a small, family owned hotel called Swisscare. If you ever visit this part of the world, and I would advocate that you should, you will not find a better hotel in the area.
We have arrived in Egypt, our seventh country on this trip, and the cars now have Egyptian registration plates!
You may already have seen Roy’s report that we have moved on from Turkey. I really enjoyed it there and didn’t want to go to Syria. I have seen all the terrible things on television and was very frightened.
We were driving down a wide motorway when suddenly we stopped and lots of men with guns jumped out. I got out of the car when one of the men started shouting. It seems Roy had brought us the wrong way and he was making us go back. I wanted to just go, but I am afraid I got so frightened I disgraced myself on the soldier’s leg and shoe! He didn’t appear too pleased so we left the way they told us too.
It was such a long day I fell asleep before we got to Jordan which was to be our next country to visit. When I woke up we were in a city called Amman. I like it here as everyone is very nice and makes a fuss of me.
Roy and Chris took me to visit a theatre place which they said was built by Romans before I was even born. It looked like rows and rows of steps which they sat on to watch shows and entertainment. Roy wouldn’t let my get my guitar, though.
I still haven’t told Roy my secret, but I am afraid he will find out soon and then I’ll be for it. He said the car will be searched when it goes on the border ferry we are catching from Jordan into Egypt, so then I’ll be found out. I think he might send me home.
More Benji photos in Beji’s Odyssey. See the Gallery page.
We spent our rest day nosing around Istanbul just like typical tourists. Visited the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapi Palace, the waterfront and discovered Istanbul’s answer to Hampstead. There is an area of boutique hotels, bars, and restaurants. It comprises mainly of restored buildings so it is clean and very, laid back for Istanbul.
As finding accommodation had taken four hours and resulted in budget breaking costs we only stayed for one rest day before moving on. Late change of mind meant we took the coast route south from Istanbul, along the coast opposite the Gallipoli Peninsula. After a hot days driving of just over 300 miles we stopped at Canakkale. This town is opposite the main battlefields, and now cemeteries, of the World War 1 action, so poignant for Australians and New Zealanders.
We quickly found a hotel close to the ferry terminal and tried to check in. Having checked, with a rather beautiful receptionist, that they had rooms available, the Manager suggested we park our cars in-front of the hotel doors and then complete the registration. As we moved the cars into position a small group of interested people gathered to look at Bridget and Dorothy. They started to ask all the usual questions; “Where are you from?”, “Is this a Porsche?”, “How old is the car?” etc. etc. The gathering increased into a small crowd all jostling to take photos. Chris and I managed to extradite ourselves after about fifteen minutes and went into reception. Whilst Chris explained things to the hotel Manager, I chatted to Kübra, the receptionist.
When things outside quietened down a little, that is no more than six or seven amateur models posing for their loved ones with our cars, the hotel staff then wanted their photos taken with the cars. This started the whole thing over again. It must have taken a total of an hour just to get to our rooms. The interest in the cars continued throughout the evening and even started again at 8:00 the next morning when we were preparing to leave. I have to say that, personally speaking, I found the Turkish culture here very much to my liking.
Reluctantly leaving Canakkale we headed south, making for Izmir and beyond. There is an unbelievably large road building program going on across Turkey and roads which three years ago were just acceptable, but not good, are now excellent dual carriage-way or motorway standard. After approximately 150 miles I became aware that Bridget’s quietly purring engine was developing a distinct growl. At first trying to ignore it, eventually I had to pull onto a garage forecourt and pop the bonnet. I had a suspicion that an old problem was recurring and quickly established that that was the case. One of the exhaust pipe fixing bolts had lost a nut and the exhaust was loose. This was a persistent problem on Bridget’s world run and although I ensure they are tightly done up they still fall off. Perhaps someone can suggest a cure, short of welding them in place.
Bridget also has an electrical problem affecting her rear lights. The obvious answer is that there is a bad earth connection causing one of the indicator lights to be dimmer than the other. However, according to the manual it is a common earth with the other rear light clusters and the effect is sometimes on the left indicator, sometimes on the right one, and in one instance affected all the rear lights. I will try to fix this during our next rest day.
Including the time to repair Bridget we were travelling for nine hours. We stopped in a small pretty coastal village called Antayaka. We have now covered a little over two thousand, three hundred miles since leaving Abingdon. Other than the minor problem mentioned, the cars have performed excellently, even in the mid-thirties temperatures. We are currently running over budget, but that was expected on the first leg of the trip. What was not expected was the appalling cost of fuel in every country so far visited. It is constantly the equivalent of £1.60 per litre, even in Turkey. The only positive factor is that we have been regularly recording consumption of 40 miles to the galleon. This is far more than Bridget has ever done previously.
I fixed the electrical fault which was caused by spares in the boot crushing the wires and disturbing the connectors. However, I also discovered another problem, almost certainly caused by the heat. A plastic connector into the rear carburettor, for connecting a breather pipe, has snapped. This is not a spare that we have and so a call to Moss Europe was required. Whilst talking with them I also asked if they could send some exhaust to manifold nuts and a set of brake pads. Moss called within the hour to confirm the spares would arrive at an address in Kenya which we supplied, now that’s service.
The following day, Monday, was a rest day and I decided to check Bridget over thoroughly and am glad I did so. With the engine cold I was able to access the two remaining exhaust to manifold bolts to find that one was very loose and the other, the most difficult to reach, had lost its nut. Having replaced that I have decided I will have to find a garage that will fit a bracket around the exhaust and attach it to the engine’s bell housing to reduce the vibration. I suggested that Chris might also want to check his exhaust as the standard mounting was the same. Sure enough he too had the problem, so we will need two fixes.
We now followed the D400 towards Fethiye where we originally planned to stop overnight but things were going so well we decided to continue further. Along the route I spied a tyre fitting depot and decided to stop and see if they could fit the exhaust bracket for me. It took just half an hour and we were on our way. We passed Fethiye and the road from Yesikoy to Kas is fantastic. The first indication was when we were suddenly presented with one of the most beautiful coastal views that I can remember. Then for the next mile 15 miles we followed a terrific mounting hugging coastal road, passing off-shore islands, delving into deep clefts in the cliff and riding a roller coaster of a road. This is a route to experience whilst it is still available because an AutoRoute is being driven through the mountains as part of the national road building programme and some of the old route will disappear forever.
We were in such high spirits we stopped in Kas where several passing British couples paused to admire the cars. We also met an Australian couple from Brisbane and a Danish MG enthusiast. All but the Australians had homes in the area and the Aussies are sailing around the world.
Eventually we prised ourselves away and drove on to Silifke for an overnight and then to Antakya arriving a day earlier than planned. This is the jumping off point for Syria and I want to be able to select the day of travel and crossing point rather than leaving it to fate.
Dorothy, currently, is experiencing some fuel issues which Chris is addressing and hoping for remote diagnostic assistance from Debbie Evans and/or Rachel MacB.
Finally, the word on Syria is very positive and we are going on Sunday. We will traverse the country in one day reducing the perceived risks. We will communicate again, hopefully, from Jordan.
What an exciting week I’ve had. I went with Roy to the car factory and it turned out to be Ferrari. Of course I am one of their best customers so I was treated like a VIP whilst Roy and Chris had to pay to get in.
I tried out several of the models which I haven’t owned and had a great day, but I think I still prefer my MG Midget.
On Thursday we all went to see the Blue Mosque, but I wasn’t very interested so I played outside whilst they went in. I was happily playing and doing no harm to anyone when suddenly I was swept off my feet by a big Turkish guy. At first I thought he said I was handsome, but the he said he would demand a ransom! I screamed for help.
Luckily a nice tourist couple were passing by and snatched me from the bully who then ran off. The couple said no to be afraid, actually she was rather nice, and took me to the community police. Eventually Roy and Chris returned and were ever so nice for the rest of the day. I started to wish they knew my other secret and now I don’t know what to do.
We have now moved on yet again to a hot, sunny place called Canakkale. I’ve made several new friends here.
You can see photos of my adventures in the Gallery; look in the section headed Beji’s Gallery.
The journey from Abingdon to Modena had been largely without incident, the exception being our excursion through Piacenza. This classic Italian town is approximately 20 miles from Modena and we were travelling on highway SS9. According to the map this goes directly through the middle of town, but the problem with maps is that they don’t get updated with road re-routing, one way systems or, in this case, pedestrianisation (not sure there is strictly such a word).
Anyway, we entered Piacenza and found the usual glut of churches, cathedrals, narrow cobbled streets, etc. Then, as we approached the bustling centre of town we were faced with obstacles blocking the road and a sign that clearly (even with my poor Italian) was informing us that traffic was not allowed between the hours of 8:00 and 18:00, except for buses. In fact buses would not make it through the majority of streets because of their size. I looked around and decided I could probably find a diversion around the area and pick up our route again on the other side. After effectively three right turns we returned to the same spot although approaching from a slightly different direction.
I sat and pondered for a few moments and was just about to return back along our original route, hoping to find an official diversion, when a BMW 4×4 passed us and squeezed ever so carefully between two of the barriers. I did the obvious and thrust Bridget into first gear, and with my co-driver screaming “Noooooo”, followed the Beema. Mentally I was thinking if we get stopped just say “I was following him”, then pretend not to understand anything.
With Chris, somewhat alarmed, but hanging onto my shirt-tails, or rather Bridget’s tailpipe, we followed the Beema for about 40 metres before he pulled into a private underground garage! Undeterred, and refusing to skulk off back the way we had come, I gave an astonished pedestrian a wave and continued down the narrowing street. We turned left and right through streets only just wider than Bridget and on more than one occasion had to take several attempts to turn into a new ‘corsa’ (my Italian is improving).
We didn’t exactly scatter the Saturday shoppers, but many were certainly bemused, and some were delighted with the spectacle of two MG Midgets picking their way through their pedestrian precinct. I kept generally heading east, which was where I reckoned we would eventually pick up the SS9 again, having to divert around the main cathedral square which was completely blocked off. Finally with the drum and chant of “Boom, boom, boom – boom- boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, — ENGLAND” ringing in my ears we exited into the sunlit balustrades beside the SS9, our ‘Italian job completed.
We stopped a little way up the road and a somewhat grey looking Chris alighted from his car, Dorothy, and said, “Never mind the bloody doors, I don’t think we were meant to do that”.
We had Sunday free and decided to do some minor maintenance to the cars. The thermostat for Bridget’s Kenlow fan wasn’t functioning and I wanted to adjust her rear brakes that should have bedded in by now. Dorothy just needed her fluid levels checked and was running rather rich. Chris wasn’t sure whether to adjust the carburettors or not, as there is always the danger of upsetting the balance. Generally both cars are running well.
Monday morning we made our way to Marenello to find the Ferrari Museum and factory. Regular followers will know I am a philistine in matters pertaining to cars and although I love some of the cars produced by Ferrari I have no idea of the various models or much of the Ferrari racing history. However I can inform others like myself that Ferrari has won 31 Formula 1 titles, 16 Constructor wins and 15 Driver Champions. Ferrari’s cars original colour was not red, but yellow, the colour representing the province of Modena where Enrico Ferrari was born. However in the early Formula 1 racing all Italian cars had to be red until in the late fifties the rules changed and all the Italian teams changed their racing colour except Ferrari. For the Ferrari fans there is a collection of photos in the gallery and some special ones in Benji’s Odyssey.
Tuesday the 20th September saw us back on the road heading down to Ancona. The drive of 150 miles took just two and a half hours. Arriving, under cloudy skies, at 13:30 we were in plenty of time to say ‘arrivederci’ to Italy and sail aboard the Anek Lines ferry for Greece.
Following a pleasant overnight voyage to Igoumenitsa we drove the best part of 300 miles across the north of Greece to Kavala. This brought us back onto the original timescales having now made up two days. Although the cars behaved impeccably the weather was changeable, from sunny to torrential rain, thunder and lighting, and even fog. Dorothy misfired a little at one stage, but we think it was probably water getting into the electrics.
Another day of good progress followed, with us arriving in Istanbul a full day ahead of schedule. The border crossing into Turkey went well, around 40 minutes, and the road, although not in such good condition as the Greek/EU highway we had been on, was still in reasonable condition and light in traffic.
Locating accommodation, however, was a nightmare. Every hotel was full and on enquiring what was going on we were told it is like this all the time in the city. We ended up taking a suite in the Best Western (seperate beds for those wishing to start rumours), which was very nice but a tad expensive.
This actually marks the end of the European leg of the adventure.
Hi Fans, MG Benji here. I am somewhere in Italy according to Roy. He has fired me from my job as navigator saying “Even GPS would be better”. It wasn’t my fault because the maps are much too big and he handed it to me upside down. Anyway I told him we had just crossed the border into Belguim and he snorted and said it was just a speed hump we had driven over. He’s taken the maps away from me now, but otherwise it’s been great fun.
I loved the WW1 battlefields. I was able to crawl about in the trenches and peer through lookout posts, and I even found some sort of gun, but it wouldn’t fire. Roy took some pictures of me.
I have a secret that Roy doesn’t know about, but had better not say what it is here or someone might tell. I heard Chris and Roy discussing a car museum but I might take myself off to a pizza factory instead
The planning was over, the route confirmed, all the paperwork was completed and even following a late health scare for Chris, from which he was given the all clear 4 days before the departure, our African Odyssey adventure was beginning.
The weather forecast for Sunday 11th September was atrocious but the God’s changed their minds and although the winds were gusting at up to 45 miles per hour the sun managed to shine for much of the day. MG’s started gathering in the Abingdon Town square a little before midday and before the official flag eventually dropped at around 3:30pm there were at least 30 MG’s of differing vintage.
Both Chris and I were kept busy chatting, not just to the many club supports, but also to interested passers-by. One particular senior lady approached on her mobility scooter and asked if she could escort us! Her scooter was capable of 8 mph and she had lived in North Africa for many years so her experience would be invaluable. I reluctantly spurned her offer as I was afraid she would out-run us.
At 3:00 pm the official town-crier announced the impending ceremony. Paul Plummer, the clubs International Director, made a presentation of a plaque for me to deliver, on the clubs behalf, to the South African MG Car Clubs to mark the occasion. Then with the rain threatening to drench every last one of us it was time to get on the road.
Jo Thoenes, from BBC Radio Oxford, had very kindly agreed to be the official ‘flag waver’. She had been commentating at the Blenheim Horse Trials until 2:00pm and had to hijack a car to bring her safely down to Abingdon in time for our departure. Jo also brought her parents along who just happened to be visiting from Nairobi at the weekend and they have offered us a nice cold beer when we get down there.
The first day driving and I was, for the moment, travelling in my traditional mode i.e. alone! Chris’s health alarm last week had put him a couple of days behind and so I went ahead to Arras, France to wait for him to catch up. Arras is some 70 miles from Calais and north of Paris. It is a pleasant market town, twinned with Ipswich, and has a picture postcard town centre. Just 5 miles away is the Canadian Cemetery at Vimy. The monument there is quite spectacular, commemorating the losses in the Great War 1914-18 and in particular those that perished in the Battle of Arras. I cannot help but think, every time I visit one of these First World War cemeteries, of the courage and bravery of the individuals, but the stupidity of man. The losses, on both sides, were almost beyond conception but they continued to waste lives for four years.
Arriving in Arras at around 3:00pm I knew immediately that I was to receive a warm welcome. As I parked in the square two middle aged couples were standing nearby with beaming smiles. As I eased myself out of Bridget one of the men could barely contain his delight as he rushed over to greet me. Although he spoke no English it became apparent that he is also the proud owner of a 1976 MG Midget garaged at his home near Paris.
I spent the rest of the day and the next exploring Arras and on Wednesday Chris arrived.
The next day was to be the first for us driving together. We left Arras at around 8:30 am with the sky clear of clouds and the wind more or less back to normal. We drove south skirting Reims then on to Chaumont, finishing in Nuits St George. The villages in this part of France are all very Disney image, complete with the classic Chateau. Nuits St George is certainly of that ilk but additionally the aroma everywhere is of sweet fermented grapes. It was really pleasant.
From here we would continue in the morning down to Chambery and then across the Alps via the Cenis Pass. Back once again to one of my favourite themes, mountains, and the scenery is just breath-taking. It turned out to be a long day starting at 8:00am and finishing in Asti at almost 6:00pm. We found a hotel almost immediately and also found out that the Palio di Asti was to be held on Sunday. I have always wanted to see the Palio and this chance just fell into my lap. Then I found out that there was not a hotel room available for miles, so I had to forego the opportunity until another time.
Asti is a pretty little town from much the same mould as Sienna although not quite as nice, but the people are great.
From Asti we made our way on to Modena. We plan to stay here for a couple of days and wanted to visit the balsamic vinegar vineyard (OK guys, if you don’t know what it is ask your good lady). However it appears that they are all away on annual holiday and so on Monday we will have to visit a small car factory just down the road instead.
That’s the end of this chapter of the adventure. There are a number of photos of the various parts mentioned. Because of the number of comments left from my round the world run and as I can’t reverse the order that they are in, I intend to delete all comments prior to this adventure. Sorry to anyone that left a comment to which they were particularly attached, but you can always try again. Finally, the charity donations are doing very well but please don’t stop now. The kids need your cash!
With only three weeks to go before the ‘off’ Chris and I visited Nuffield Place, the home of the late Lord Nuffield, previously William Morris. Nuffield Place was recently handed over to the National Trust who is trying to raise £600,000 to enable them to open it to the public next year.
The cars are pretty much ready, just minor tinkering required, and the route still remains as originally envisaged (you can view the Google map of it on the Route page). We now have most of the required maps, carnets to enable us to temporarily import and export the cars through the different borders and visas for ourselves.
We have produced a postcard showing the team outside Nuffield Place which is available for anyone that contributes to our chosen charity, CoCo. Once you have contributed, if you want a postcard sent from somewhere in Africa, then give us your address on the blog below (they will not be published).
We have established a Twitter page, http://twitter.com/midgeteers, which we will be updating whenever we can, however not all countries may allow this. So if you want the most recent events follow us on there and help spread the word by re-tweeting whenever you can. Of course, this site will be updated and photographs added whenever we get a chance.
Finally, we will be in Abingdon Town Square for the wave off between midday and 3:30pm on Sunday 11th September and will welcome all that are able to join us.
With nine weeks still to go before the planned departure day most things are in place for our adventure. However, nobody will be surprised to hear that the definitive route is still not set in stone because of the political situation in the Middle East. Our preferred route will take us through Syria, Jordan and into Egypt but we have two possible alternatives should this not be possible. The final decision will not be made until around mid August. The proposed route is shown in full on the page headed ‘Route’ and includes all the overnight stops.
Moss Europe is gathering together all the spares that we are likely to require and we will take delivery of those at the end of June. Scorpion Signs of Abingdon are putting the finishing touches to the artwork for the cars signage, including a route map for the cars bonnets in case we get lost. Also Frontline Costello will be doing a nut and bolt check of Bridget at their premises in Steventon in May just to make sure that I’ve done everything properly.
The cars are roadworthy and, hopefully, only require minor adjustments. There are a number of MG events where Bridget will be appearing between now and September such as The Old Speckled Hen run, Midget50 and MGLive, so if you want to see her in her ‘African garb’ pop along and say “Hello”.
We are receiving fantastic support from a host of MG enthusiasts based in South Africa, with some of them driving into Namibia to greet us.
Our finalised plans, together with details of our chosen charity, will appear here during August so please keep watching.
Since my last post Bridget has undergone further serious surgery. It started with my decision to replace the front springs and finished with completely replacing the springs, wishbones and king pins! One of the pins was so badly worn is wobbled around like a loose tooth, except when upright when it appeared to have minimal play. Anyway now the work is completed she handles very much more positively when cornering.
Our plans for the “Into Africa” adventure next year are progressing well. We now stand at five MG Midgets and seven people, including one very intrepid lady owner/driver. Unfortunately we have not to-date had anyone from Australia or New Zealand sign up but we live in hopes.
We have held our first official meeting and now have a confirmed route that will take us from Abingdon through France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Macedonia, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and finally into South Africa.
We will be leaving during September 2011 arriving before Christmas.
More details to follow.