Archive for September, 2013

Bring it on !

That’s meeting number three well and truly done and dusted. I think everyone went away happy but thoughtful. As usual we had a lot of ground to cover but cover it we certainly did. The whole team is getting anxious to be on the road, but whilst the next three weeks are going to drag for some, they are likely to pass in a mad blur for me as I head off to London tomorrow to collect the visas for Mauritania and then fly out to Madrid to check out that the newly instigated visas for Senegal are going to be forthcoming…

I think Jon may be fairly busy too as he preps the Pajaero and trailer for it’s second round trip to Bansang. If it runs as well as it did last year I for one will have no complaints. Our chef, Andy was busy trying out his recipes on us Friday night and if that is the quality of food being served up en-route I’m sure everyone will be very happy; I can’t see us losing much weight this time around! One team member not quite so happy was Chris, with a second engine disintegrating on him on the run across from Leicester! It appears that they have both suffered the same problem; lack of oil. However the oil had been right up to the mark when he left Leicester about 150 miles earlier. The strange thing is that it is seemingly exactly the same issue I had with the first Chinese engine last year; Most odd!

With a little over three weeks left before departure thoughts are now turning from preparation to the reality of the trip we are about to undertake. 4000 miles on a 90cc motorbike really is quite an epic journey. It is not only physically tough but also mentally challenging; testing both riders and machinery almost to their limits. One thing is certain, nobody comes back from the experience unchanged !!!

It’s coming up fast!!!

With October rapidly approaching preparation for the forthcoming trip is now reaching fever pitch! Next weekend sees the last of our three planning meetings at Wonastow, but I still have a lot of work to do including getting to London to organise our Visas for Mauritania which I haven’t been able to do yet due to various people being out of the country so not having their passports…. As always the meetings so far have not been without their little controversies, and the last one will I fear be no different.

Nearly £2000 worth of spares for the Hospital bikes have been purchased and are ready to be loaded onto the trailer. Every year it seems to get harder to get spares donated by bike shops and suppliers! It also looks as though I may have another 2 C90s turning up this week to strip for spares. Additionally screwfix and the various courier companies have been kept busy delivering a host of other stuff for the hospital along with last minute bits and pieces for the trip.

The trip itself will follow the tried and tested format of using a mix of campsites and wild camps, along with the odd hotel or cabin where absolutely necessary. Costs are kept to a minimum to ensure that the hospital gets the maximum possible benefit from the monies paid by the trip’s participants. As this years trip is relatively small with only 9 of us, the along, the budget will be under a some pressure to stretch.

Our route will also be similar to previous trips once out of Morocco and into the wastes of Western Sahara, but after my recent recce trip on the airhead I have found a slightly different and hopefully better route down through Morocco whilst still making the obligatory stop over at Marrakech!

Whilst we are at Bansang Mike White from last years fabulous trip will be flying out to fit the new Dental Surgery that he has sourced along with a qualified dental engineer and Nick the Plumber will also fly out to sort various plumbing issues and do a bit more training of the Maintenance units plumbers. It’s always nice when previous trip participants and other sponsors return to offer more assistance.  Also there to meet and great our arrival will be a host of sponsors and dignitaries so I think it will be a spectacular arrival for the team.

This years final team are: Jill Ollis, Chris Smith, Steve Smith, Andy Powell, Jon Davis, Andrew Duckworth, Joe O Carroll, Peter Wright and of course yours truly Dennis Robinson. Jon & Peter were missing from this team pic.