|THE UK BLOG|
July 3rd 2003 First Entry in the Blog (Sue)
Ed now has lots of new toys - shower, 300W invertor, water filtration system, side lockers for the jerry cans and more........all picked up from Footloose 4x4 today by yours truely. It is going to be a very busy weekend starting to fit it all! Ed is off to Conrico in Chertsey tomorrow to work alongside them as the Weasel gets its service and starts to be kitted out.
Meanwhile, I am trying to learn Spanish, complete the medical kit - which is growing by the minute - keep tabs on our project plan and progress the shipping arrangements.
July 11th 2003 (Sue)
Three weeks before we both stop work and the landy isn't quite ready to ship.........It is taking shape though and Ed is working hard on trying to fit the remaining items to the vehicle (the second side locker, shower, water filter/purifier, dual battery system...). We have also been trying out various ways of stacking our boxes in the back, making the best use of available space. Another busy weekend ahead of us.
July 19th 2003 (Sue)
The roof tent is now fitted, the remaining boxes and window guards are on order, so we are slowly making progress. The upgraded springs and suspension have increased the height of the Landy somewhat, which has meant that we now need an extension to the roof tent ladder. This should arrive in the post shortly. We are looking to ship from Felixstowe on 3rd August, so just two weeks to go.....
August 1st 2003 (Sue)
Shipping has now been delayed by a week due to various events conspiring against us: essential deliveries have either not turned up at all, have arrived damaged or have arrived with things missing. So we made the decision on Wednesday night to slip things by a week. The shipping company, Ocean Express, was very understanding and there was no problem in the last minute change. Hopefully this way we can now get everything completed before sending the Weasel on its way.
Today was my first day of unpaid leave and it is all starting to feel very real now, although I'm sure it will be another few weeks before it really sinks in that we are not going to be back at work for 6 months. Whilst Ed is busy working on the landy, I am getting all our clothes and equipment together, ready to pack in the various boxes from Plastor - including the tinned sticky toffee pudding and Ambrosia custard for Christmas Day!!
8th August 2003 (Sue)
The Weasel is now in its container, ready to be shipped, and we are both glad to see the back of it - in a nice way..
It has been a very stressful week, trying to get delivery problems resolved and the landy completed for shipping. For a brief , blissful few hours on Wednesday we began to relax after being advised by Ocean Express that the ship had been delayed until Tuesday 12th August, and we assumed that meant we could deliver the landy on Monday 11th rather than Friday morning (8th). That gave us another two days. Maybe my shower would be fitted after all.....But the bubble soon burst when Ocean Express confirmed that the landy still had to be in the container by 12 noon today, just in case the ship arrived on time after all.
After a very long and busy day's work, we finished packing the vehicle at about 02:30 this morning, had a few hours sleep and then left for Felixstowe at 06:00. Ed was able to drive the Weasel into the container, and then we watched it being lashed down and the container doors finally sealed.....Let's hope it is the same seal when we meet it again in Ecuador!
Our route on arrival in Ecuador will no doubt change now due to the various delays in shipping. We may cover some areas by foot whilst waiting for the Land Rover to arrive. This way we will see what we want to in Ecuador, without impacting on our time in the other countries. We shall see.
(PS No my shower is not yet fitted....Ed seems to think this has the lowest priority)
August 13th 2003 (Ed)
Fingers crossed the Weasel should have left the dock today and should be making it's way across the Atlantic. Weather in the UK is still unusually hot so we are getting acclimatised early. We keep finding things around the house that should have been packed but we are passed caring now. Just want to get on with it. Spending most of my time faffing about doing garden jobs.(Don't tell Sue but I didn't pack the shower)
August 15th 2003 (Sue)
Ed better have packed the shower or he's in trouble....
The Bill of Lading arrived in the post this morning, so the landy is now definitely on its way to Ecuador. Lots of jobs to do here still - arranging insurance, finances, power of attorney etc. Not very interesting but it still has to be done. Travel Insurance is proving a little complicated as few policies will cover personal possessions in an unattended vehicle. And those that do, will only cover a very minimal amount. One company has even had to refer the policy to their underwriters as for some bizarre reason driving overland is in the same category of "dangerous activities" as sky-diving! I can't quite see the similarity myself, but there you go.....We are probably aiming to leave now around 28th August as the landy will not arrive until 5th-7th September.
August 24th 2003 (Sue)
Only three days before we leave and still a fair number of things to do. Flights are now all booked and we are just waiting for confirmation of our hotel upon arrival in Quito. We won't be able to pack as lightly as we had hoped due to the many things we keep finding that we forgot to put in the Weasel in our haste to get it shipped. I'm sure Ed will carry most of it....
We have tried to track the ship's progress, to no avail. I imagine it is somewhere in the Atlantic still. Fingers crossed that it is on track and hasn't been delayed again.
August 28th 2003
We catch a plane the Quito, Ecuador.