Journal & Photos
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The journal is our personal perspective of our travels, including all the trials and tribulations that come with such an epic journey.  We make no apology for the fact that it is written as a memoir and reflects our moods and emotions as well as the myriad people, cultures and landscapes we experience each passing day, week and month.

Our original intention was to depart on Sunday 6th April, after moving out of our home on 31st March. However, that didnít happen. Needless to say, packing up our household took twice as long as our (my) most pessimistic estimates, despite all the willing help we received from our unsuspecting friends and family.

Thus, 5:30 on 1st April (5:30 in the morning, that is) found Sandy and me collapsing onto the bare bed at Manor Cottage for a few hoursí sleep after packing the last few (thousand) things, and making sure the house was spotless for our tenants. Lex and Isabel came around (again) to help heft the boxes into the loft etc. and everything was finished by 10am for the tenantsí arrival.

Only at that stage could we turn our attention back to Nyathi and the other trip preparations. We moved lock, stock and barrel into Ivorís house Ė 3 full vehicle loads of stuff we wanted to take with us on our trip, stuff we might want to take with us, and stuff we would need to complete the work on Nyathi.  Ivorís garage quickly started to resemble ours Ė i.e. a huge mess.

Work expands to fill the time available, or in our case, twice the time available. We had our leaving party on the 4th with about 90 friends and family.  Thanks to all of you who joined us!  At that stage we were still awaiting our awning sides which were being sent from South Africa and with the outstanding work required on the vehicle, we already knew that a departure date of the 6th was impractical.  We decided that if we delayed our leaving by a week, that would allow ample time, and being a weekend would also suit those people who wanted to come and wave us goodbye. So Sunday the 13th, then.

We worked solidly for the whole week, most often getting to bed in the wee hours, and rising around eight. The freezer and the computer both turned into epic projects (but both successful, thus far). Once again, our friends put in long hours with us, the Oxford contingent came up to Nottingham 3 weekends in a row to help.

We finally got on the road at 13:00 on Tuesday, 15th April 2003!

Itís hard to describe how we felt as we drove off Ė an almost surreal feeling after so much planning and working. We are both very sad to be leaving everyone behind, but so happy to be travelling at last...

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