Thu January 17 2013  —  e-mail Manfred

Foley 6x6 Land Rover Defender

About Travel Photography,
Colors of the World.

Manfred is creator of ThisFabTrek.com, travel photography, a travel blog and a photography blog (a journey from 2004 to 2013). 'I set out to see the colors of the world, always I try to capture the colors'.

Seeing, is understanding, so I report and photograph, but formost enjoy and live those different conceptions of life (all that TV [and the web] cannot give). I reject jealousy, animosity, bigotry. Be free!

Manfred in the desert of the Western Sahara

The mind, when pondering at night and always asked those questions. What am I doing in corporate wonderland of bank, university, office or church? Who is the other animal asleep deep inside, the thinker, punk, creative, or Indian, vagabond and healer, maybe artist, writer, photographer, traveler, globetrotter? Oh God, dare you to think. When I saw the lies, gambles and manipulations I follow the old dream and set out for the journey of life lived, the journey to see the colors of the world.

During years on the road I have taken the turns as they came along, and realized one thing: Only such a small part of the planet can be explored and such a vast land and sea mass will always remain unknown, to me; many swamps, jungles, deserts and oceans will never be traveled. But then I am father of twin boys, Daniel and David, my most important, and I show them some of the wonders and colors out there.

ThisFabTrek, Photography and Journey, the Stories from the Road and Life around the World, stopped in August 2013 after more than 9 years, Love and Peace.

Last vehicle.

G20, Chevy Gladiator.

Chevrolet Gladiator G20, The boys in Cordillera Blanca, Peru.
The boys and Chevy van, Peru.

The G20, the vehicle that came to me for the Americas adventures.

6 wheeled Land Rover.

Land Rover Defender 6x6
Link to Foley

The vehicle of the Africa adventures, a Foley 6-Wheeled Land Rover Defender.

Before, the MB307.

Manfred and MB307
Journey, Middle East.

The vehicle of the Middle-East and North-Cape Journeys. See all vehicles.

Daniel and David with nanny Aisha, the best we ever had, black African Woman carrying white twin babies, in Bamako, Mali.

Link to Foley

Travel Blog

contains Festival/Fiesta/Art photography.

"There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo.

"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it, to tell the tale." Living to Tell the Tale - Gabriel García Márquez.

"They never taught wandering in any school I attended. ... they never taught the art of writing a book, either. It's all so mysterious."
"Wandering is an art in itself. Wandering and writing don't mix"
"Writing demands commitment and if one thing your wanderer is allergic to is that very quality of commitment, for once one is committed he runs that very risk of failure ..." Wanderer - Sterling Hayden.

"Photography enables you to grasp a place first time round. ... Photography is a means of exploration, it's a vital part of travel, almost as essential as a car or a plane. " - Wim Wenders.

"The worst prejudice we acquire during our youth is the idea that life is serious. Children have the right instincts: they know that life is not serious, and treat it as a game..." , Egon Friedell.

"How far you gonna go. Before you lose your way back home" - Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World, Achtung Baby, U2.

"If you want to be a hero well just follow me." - Working Class Hero, John Lennon.

"When I think of all the things I have done, I know that it's only just begun." - I love you, Lou Reed.

"One does not escape the Sahara - the Sahara let's you go or not" - Touareg.

"Planet earth is blue and there`s nothing I can do" - This is Ground Control to Major Tom, David Bowie.

"Glory for the crazy people/in this stupid world" - Ahmed Fouad Negm.

www.thisfabtrek.com > land-rover

Foleys 6x6 Land Rover Defender

6 wheeled Land Rover and Snow
January 2001, Taunus, Germany.
Land Rover and Hay in the back
2002 spring, Burgenland, Austria.
Land Rover and roofrack.
2004 spring, Burgenland, Austria.
Paul and Stuart Foley.
Foley brothers, Feb 2005, Roydon, UK.
Cockpit Land Rover, desert drive.
Cockpit, driving desert roads.

My Land Rover Defender in Jan 2001 shortly after I bought it! Sunshine was bright and warm when we drove to one of the peaks in Taunus, a low-altitude mountain range near Frankfurt.

Down in town, we had been drenched in misty rains for weeks, life was really getting more miserable by the day. Irene and I were driving out of town to take some first pictures of the Land Rover. With the sun out when we reached the top it seemed as if nature was trying to send a message that this was not just a new toy, but maybe a first step towards a whole new and different life.

It is a 6 wheeled 130 Land Rover Defender that I bought here from Marc Olof Voss in Heidelberg, Germany. Marc by the time owned another Defender 6 wheeler which was even longer then the one he sold to me. And Marc had been into 6-wheelers for a while and had traveled Africa. He is said to have rolled a Land Rover or two, ..

Maybe the one he sold to me....

Marc as I later found out had the 6-wheel conversions done by Foley Specialist Vehicles in Roydon near Harlow, Essex in the UK (north of London/near Stansted Airport). And it is Foleys that has all the experience in converting Land Rovers and preparing them for overland travel in Africa.

The company is managed by two brothers Paul and Stuart, who inherited their fathers business. Paul spent 7 years in Africa manging Foley's subsidiary there, formerly in Livingstone, nowadays in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. Part of their business is to rent out Land Rover bush campers to tourists.

My Landy was originally a 90 Defender, still has many of the 90 features, like a tank under the front seat.

Summer 2003: I purchase a big roof rack have it sandblasted, electro galvanised and painted. At Foley's I will have it strengthened and supports mounted in the rear.

In May 2004, before leaving Vienna, the Land Rover is thoroughly checked with the very nice people at Doubek garage in Neudoerfl, Burgenland, Austria. I spend myself some days in the garage with them and they explain to me how stuff works and answer all my questions.

In London, Jan 2005. At Foleys the Landy is converted to a 6x6 vehicle. Springs/suspension are being renewed. Stronger springs seem an obvious solution for all the weight I am carrying with the draw-backs of putting more strain onto the chassis and pillars.

A roll-bar is being fitted, additional headlights, a dual battery system, a 40 litre water tank and a 3rd fuel tank taking the capacity up to nearly 160 litres. That should allow a cruising range of more than 1.000km. The roof rack is being strengthened and supported and additional padlocks installed at all doors. Sand ladder and high-lift mounts are being installed on the side and the rear respectively,

Finally in March 2005 I reach Morocco. The Landy has been in Africa ever since and will stay there with me for a while as I travel this great continent.

Land Rover at Foleys.
at Foleys, Feb 2005, Roydon, England.
Rollbar mounted.
Rollbar mounted, Feb 2005, Roydon, UK.
Sandladders mounted.
Sand ladders mounted, Feb 2005, Roydon.
Foley's 6x6 unit.
6x6 transfer box, unit, Feb 2005, Roydon.
Land Rover Defender 6x6
2005 spring, finally in Morocco.
Land Rover Defender 6x6 on Tifnit beach with Austrian flag.
In case you forgot I was Austrian...

Here is some raw data.

Land Rover Defender 130 6 wheeler
Diesel engine 2.5 litres 300TDI, 4 cylinders, 111 HP (83 KW).
Maximum speed ever 125 km/h
Dead weight 2,500 kg
Length 5.2 m
Width 1.79 m
Height 2 m
Height with roof gallery 2.35 m (with the boxes on top even higher)
Dimensions of roof rack 2.68 m x 1.48 m
Tyres BFGoodrich All-Terrains
LT 265/75 R16
Space in back of vehicle
(living in a box)
width 1.43 m
length 2.42 m
height 1.16 m (0.95 m measured at the sides over the wheeles)

Repairs undertaken in Africa; reliable Mechanics I know...

My Mechanic Issa Diara, Bamako.
4x4 Mechanic Issa Diara.

Repairs have been too plenty to list them all. Mechanics in Africa are plenty, many are butchers, some are really good.

The Land Rover Equipment...

Food box.
Food box.

Wow, there is loads still in the Land Rover.

Funny how I look back at it all, some was useful, tools, etc.; a lot was useless, broke, even more stuff was never ever used. And I deemed it necessary when I first started out 2004.

Have a look at the Equipment and gadgetry page then, or how convinced/proud I was stuffing it all in boxes. Fact is today I go on a journey and try to fit everything in a knapsack. So I can take a plane back/abandon my car/change my plans/see my kids.

The Back/Interior of the 130 6x6 Land Rover Hardtop.

Interior of Land Rover
View inside, my construction.
Interior of Land Rover
The bed, the fridge.
Interior of Land Rover
it's even fuller while moving about.

The fun is driving the 6x6 Land Rover on beach and desert.

PS 2011/04: I abandoned the Land Rover in Mali years ago. One day I will go back repair it with my mechanic and take it through the whole of Africa. But for now there are other things to do.

6x6 Land Rover Sebkhet Chemchâm flat desert, Mauritania.
6x6 Land Rover in Sahara Dunes, Mauritania.
6x6 Land Rover on Beach, Mauritania.
6x6 Land Rover on Big Rock, Mauritania.

www.thisfabtrek.com > land-rover

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