Dublin to London in search for a Trailer
On 15th of Dec we take the ferry from Larne (in Northern Ireland) to Kirkcolm (Scotland). We go down south in zigzag searching for ex-military Sankey trailers.
They're widely sold in the Midlands and we want to get a good idea of what's on the market.
On 16th once more we pass the Yorkshire Dales first to Burley near Ilkley in West Yorkshire (Jake Wright), then south to Misson near Doncaster in South Yorkshire (L. Jackson). On the 17th we see Witham SV in Colsterworth, Lincolnshire and later in the day Craddock's in Cannock, Staffordshire to.
Our efforts are worth it, we get to see a great many trailers of varying conditions.
Later in January we would decide against buying a trailer. The Land Rover already has 3 axles and that would just have to be enough for now.
Christmas and New Year in London
18th we reach London. We first stay with Claudia till the 25th. 19th is my birthday. 21st I meet Stephen and Jon again (both I got to know while walking the West Highland Way in August). 23rd I meet Simon and Mathias and later Richard, friends from my time as a trader. Christmas goes by, not a non-event.....
25th I go down to Brighton, never seen it that quiet. On 26th Heidi and I move out of Claudia`s. She's a witch.
On 27th we see WHW-Jon's cover band SEP playing Sex-Pistols in the Molly Malone's Pub in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. Jon's loud Telecaster driven sound is refreshing after those dull Christmas days. We enjoy a great evening.
From 28th onwards we stay on the Abbey Woods campground in London. Arranging and rearranging stuff is the name of the game. We enjoy fine weather and spend most days outdoors moving stuff around between the Land Rover and the Audi - the idea being whatever comes to rest in the Audi in the end will move back to Austria eventually.
New Year Eve, we cook pasta and enjoy a few Carlsbergs and 2 bottles of red. Spending all our time outside gives us a great sense of freedom.
Those days should rank amongst the best Heidi and I have enjoyed during our trip.
3rd of Jan we are leaving for Roydon, Essex to have the Land Rover serviced by Foley SV. But only after we spend another day or so rearranging stuff.
A variety of things are being done: Apart from a general overhaul, suspensions/springs are being fixed, additional fuel and water tanks fitted, the roof rack strengthened, a roll-bar mounted, sand ladder and high-lift jack mounts fitted and a couple of other smaller things undertaken.
Leaving the LR behind we move to London, Bayswater where we find cheap accommodation. During day light we are busy researching Africa in bookstores, getting information from embassies and receiving a lot of vaccinations in the British Airways travel clinic on Piccadilly.
In evenings we are enjoying the city life with frequent visits to cinemas, museums and exhibitions (the Wildlife Photographer of the Year show in the Natural History Museum should be noted here), restaurants (especially we like London's curry-houses from Bayswater to Brick Lane) and pubs wherever we can find them.
Again Austria and the Fuji Finepix S3 Pro.
and it's cold - down to minus 15 degrees. Ice-age?
Monday the 17th we leave for Austria with Heidi's Audi packed up to the roof with all the gear we would not need for the "real" trip (that unfortunately includes my beloved bike - I have not used it much recently - I will do more walking instead in the future).
A couple of days in Bludenz followed by 2 weeks and a bit in Vienna.
A new passport, international drivers license and vehicle certificate (the prime reasons for coming back) are organised quickly.
On the equipment front I finally get myself to invest in a Fuji DSLR FinePix S3 pro. I'll report about this in the equipment section in due course. For now it's just too many new buttons, RAW or JPEG, white balance ..., that's a bit complicated.
I should be back in London on 9th of Feb, Heidi has a flight the day after. I hope to take over the LR soon thereafter and test it. If things go ok I should be back on the road by 12th of Feb to France and Spain and eventually Morocco.
Will Heidi be with me? That is a tough one. It has not been going well recently.