002 – Preparing to leave the UK – 1st April 2019

With the Land Rover on its way there’s only a little time left now before we fly out to be re-united with it (from the tracking app we are pleased to say that at time of writing the container ship ship is docked at Port of Halifax, as below).

Be gentle when offloading our cargo

I am sure you can appreciate that there has been much to do in preparing for our adventure and at a few times when we have been up to our necks in muck and bullets we have had to remind ourselves that all the stress and hard work would eventually be worthwhile.

It hasn’t helped that our direct flight to Halifax with Air Canada was scheduled to be on a Boeing 737 MAX 8. With all planes of this type now grounded for safety reasons our flight was cancelled by Air Canada without any notification. We have since been in contact with the airline and have made alternative plans to fly to Halifax via Toronto. This is obviously no longer a direct flight but the end result is only a few additional hours of flying time. It could have been a lot worse!

There has, however, in recent days been an event that brought some light relief to our busy schedule. We were invited by one of the teachers, Miss Power, of the Great Barton Primary School to give a talk to her class of 10-11 year olds as she felt they would be interested and possibly inspired by our planned adventure.

It was with a little trepidation that we found ourselves wandering into a room of around thirty pupils all waiting to be informed and entertained.

Miss Power advised that once we had explained a little about ourselves and our plans she would allow the children to ask some questions.

We began with our introductions, showed a number of photos of our recent bike tour in Sweden & Norway and then moved on to talk about the Land Rover and the conversion work we have done to it to make it more like a house on wheels.

No sooner had we mentioned this than the first hand shot up in the air, a young boy near the front of the class, who was bursting to ask his question. He’s sitting near the front, obviously a clever lad, he’s bound to have a well thought out question. “Yes” I said “what is it you would like to know?”.

“Where will you go to the toilet?” he asked. I smiled and explained that we will spend a many nights camping at locations where there will be toilet facilities and on those occasions when there aren’t any we would take our shovel and toilet paper into the woods.

Almost instantly another hand shot up, this time a lad nearer the back of the class. I pointed at him and said “yes?”

“What if there aren’t any trees?” he asked. Again I smiled and suggested that in that case we would drive a short distance until we found somewhere suitable”.

“What if you were on a one hundred mile long bridge, where would you go then?”. “What if you run out of toilet roll?”. Toilet related questions were coming thick and fast until Miss Power felt it was more appropriate to move the children onto other topics of interest.

After receiving some very interesting questions on the subjects of inoculations, foreign laws, foreign currencies and discussions about some of the countries we would be visiting Miss Power said there was time for just one more question.

A longer haired boy sitting near the back, who had until this point in time remained pretty quiet, raised his hand. “Yes” said Miss Power. With a serious look on his face he asked “will Brexit have any impact on your trip”.

It was a great question for a 10-11 year old but not one that we had a real answer to – mind you I’m not sure why we should know when those in charge don’t have a clue. We responded by saying that we hoped Brexit would be sorted out before we arrived in Europe but we couldn’t be too sure that it would given the way things are progressing at the moment.

A day or two after meeting with her class Miss Power sent us a lovely photo of the children with a good luck message from ‘Hare Class’

The wonderful Class Hare of Great Barton Primary School

We did question the fact that a number of the children looked like they were only taking part in the photo because Miss Power had threatened some form of punishment if they didn’t but she explained that she had made them face the sun while the photo was being taken (why are teachers like that!).

To the children of Hare Class Chrissie and I would like to say a big thanks for a most enjoyable afternoon and to Miss Power we would like to say that you are obviously a wonderful teacher, and you have a great bunch of children, but once you have finished with them go and have an adventure of your own – you know you want to!

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