The Plan

INCEPTION

Jerome has spent a fair amount of time traveling to various points on the globe, and I’m very keen on travelling too. We met in Sydney on New Years Eve 2011 whilst I was on holiday from the UK, which led to me joining him here in Australia. In August/September 2012 we spend 63 days camping and travelling around Australia in his weapon of a 4WD – the Nissan Patrol GU.
Jeromes’ brother and his partner are getting married in Nepal in February 2014. So we thought (as you do), yeah why not do a trip to the Himalayas while we are there? But then we could go a bit further and see a bit of India afterwords… and Pakistan, China, and the rest of Central Asia! We would probably want to buy a vehicle to tour in too. And so the journey begins…..

THE VEHICLE
Firstly Jerome is paraplegic and confined to a wheelchair so we needed to chose an automatic 4WD that could be fitted with hand controls to allow him to drive it. Secondly, the vehicle had to be diesel as it is more available than petrol in most places, plus the petrol is known to be as low as 81 octane in Central Asia. This could potentially ruin whatever we are running. Thirdly, we wanted to be able to live out of the vehicle, and sleep in it.
The initial plan was to buy a car in India, fit it up with the hand controls and get going. It soon became obvious that we wouldn’t have much choice on what we could buy, and that any modifications and improvements would have to be done in India with whatever resources we could find. We quickly scrapped that idea and decided to buy a vehicle here in Australia, fully customize it and then ship it over. But what vehicle should we buy? Being an experienced mechanic, Jerome was the man for this task. Within a few weeks of our travelling idea, Jerome found a 1994 75 series turbo diesel Toyota LandCruiser Troop Carrier which had been converted to Auto. Bloody perfect! Needless to say, we bought it. Jerome inspected it thoroughly and I was given the honor of test driving and then the maiden voyage to get it home. Man, this thing was klunky! Leaf spring front suspension was the biggest issue.
Jerome sold his VERY beloved Patrol to make room for the Troopy, and boy did the Patrol sh*t all over the Troopy in terms of suspension to say the least! We have our work cut out for us there. Jerome has drawn up a list of mechanical modifications for it, whilst I am designing the interior conversion.
Now that we have the vehicle – there’s no going back. Our plan to ship the vehicle is expensive so we have now decided to add Africa on to our trip. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity – so we had better do it right!
Planning for the trip started in February 2013 so we have just under a year get the Troopy mechanically sound and converted, plan the route, sort the visas, shipping, equipment…… so this is the very beginning of the big trip; that once in a lifetime chance to see the world. See you on the other side!

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