Sunday, 29 April 2012

We've bought a car!!!

After a stressful day yesterday we can now announce: WE HAVE BOUGHT A CAR! Our trusty (?) steed for the Mongol Rally will be a 9 year old silver Suzuki Ignis.
The three of us have been spending the couple of weeks scouring autotrader for a suitable vehicle. After several hours of skype conversations and shortlist after shortlist, we visited some ugly looking Fiat Puntos and Stilos at some dodgy looking dealerships. None of these ended up being to our liking, and some were already sold. It turns out trying to buy a cheap car is about as demoralising and time consuming as flat hunting in London.

Eventually late on Saturday afternoon we found a small ad on Gumtree for a Suzuki Ignis without any pictures. After inspecting the car I (Rach) took it for a test drive in the pouring rain; the stressful situation combined with the bad conditions and steaming up windscreen did not result in my finest ever driving display...

Buying a car when neither Rory nor I have done so before was a bit interesting as we didn’t really know what we were doing, we had many worried phone calls to Ant in Bristol. The guy selling it had only bought the car a few days ago (I know, I know its not a good sign) and didn’t even have the paperwork in his name yet. But anyhow the relevant pieces of paper have been sent to the DVLA and hopefully the paperwork will all be in order by the time we leave the country in July.

Meanwhile I’m sure Rory will add in a couple of embarrassing videos of me freaking out below....

As requested, Rach!  Hope you all enjoy Sneak Preview 1 of our adventure video.

Easter Holidays

Over the Easter break I (Rachel) decided to get in some rally practice by going on canoe club Easter tour to the Pyrenees.  As well as the usual long distance driving practice including a successful mission through central Paris at 3am, some unexpected challenges also popped up. These included crossing borders with an out-of-date passport: which proved to be easier than expected to quote passport control “yes, immigration are clamping down on this, so um, carry on. You may need to answer some questions on your way back”!! So much for tough border controls in the UK (the journey home proved just as easy). Lets hope all our border crossing go this smoothly!
Pyrenees in the Sunshine: lovely

However it wasn't all plain sailing, halfway to one river, driving down a rather potholed untarmaced road we were advised by a local “ you no drive down there; you turn around now”. Needless to say we ignored him completely and carried on. This resulted in us getting the bus completely stuck in a field, requiring the brains and brawn of 9 Imperial students to move the van. This took over 2 hours...
1 hour in and we're stuck in a new patch
 No doubt all this practice will come in useful, although hopefully our car will be somewhat lighter than one overloaded ICU minibus! Overall I had a great easter tour, we even got some boating in too.
Me on the upper Ara