Two Jimnys around the world!

The Jimnys new arrival date

We have had a frustrating time over the past weeks as a result of the shipping company. Our agent in Vladivostok incorrectly coded our container incorrectly, resulting in it being left on the Hong Kong docks while they sorted out the problem.This happened not once but twice, with the result of missing two sailings. However, the good news came from our agent late yesterday confirming that our container, with, I hope, our cars inside, has been loaded on to the ship Clementine Muersk and will arrive at Vancouver on July 21st.  The programme now is that I will travel to Vancouver on July 15th  to deal with the paperwork and port clearance of the vehicles, check the equipment and re-victual.  Then I'll be ready for Roger Winkworth and Glyn Maher, my traveling companions for Stage 4, and begin the final stage of the journey around the world. My task now is to re-schedule the itinerary, to overcome the problem the shipping company has caused of the Jimnys arriving 20 days later than originally planned.  I have already produced a new draft of the route and some information on the itinerary which Maureen will publish together with further information as it becomes available. I will keep you posted     Les 

Original linkOriginal author: Les Carvall
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11,300 miles driven and inevitable weight loss

Fromleaving Southampton on the 31st March to arriving at Vladivostok on28th May I have driven a total of 11,300 miles. Now I need toprepare myself for another 7,000 miles for Stage 4 from Vancouver toAlaska, down through Canada and US to Newark on the east coast of theUS arriving around the middle of September. It was supposed to be themiddle of August, but with the poor Jimnys being left on the docks inHong Kong, it's put us back nearly a month.

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I thought it was too good to be true!!

You think you have everything organised and while you're actually on site or with your precious Jimnys everything is under control ..... or is that just an illusion??Something told me it wouldn't last.  I have nursed our two Suzuki Jimnys along since they were first delivered to me and watched over them like a mother hen with her chicks throughout the journey so far. I've rarely taken my eyes off them (apart from sleeping that is)and have been concerned for their welfare if they're not treated right. I've watched over them through Europe, Hungary, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, the hell of Mongolia and the treacherous Russian roads around the top of China to Vladivostock. We completed all the customs paperwork, we cleaned and decontaminated them ready for inspection on arrival in Vancouver and we tucked them up in the container ready for shipping to Hong Kong.  In Hong Kong they would meet the container ship the Arthur Mearsk for their main sea voyage to Vancouver.  We said our goodbyes and thought isn't life wonderful!!Our container left two days early for Hong Kong to await the Arthur Mearsk.  The little Jimnys were offloaded in Hong Kong as per instructions but there our luck ran out.  When the Arthur Mearsk arrived in Hong Kong to collect it's load the little Jimnys container was overlooked. So the Arthur Mearsk left Hong Kong without them.

The Arthur Mearsk leaves Hong Kong WITHOUT our Jimnys

So that's put our carefully planned itinerary well and truly in the poo. Instead of arriving on or about July 5th they won't be there until on or about July 14th. This means I will have to rewrite the itinerary and reschedule everything as we will be starting the next stage 12 to 14 days later than planned - very frustrating as we know you're all interested to see how we get on in Canada and the US and I am like a cat on a hot tin roof to get going again, but these situations put us to the test and we'll just have to rise to the challenge.  After all, no one said it would be easy.  Now I've got longer to wait to rejoin my Jimnys I'll write you a few more journey tales, so watch out for them over the next couple of weeks. LesOriginal linkOriginal author: Les Carvall
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Les shows off his war wound

With the two Jimnys safely tucked up in a container and on their way to Vancouver, I took the opportunity to dash off to Greece to meet up with my wife.  I needed to give her a kiss and a cuddle as I have not seen her for over two months, it doesn't do to let them get too used to being on their own, they may get to like it!Anyway some weeks ago, I think it was when driving through Mongolia that I did something to my left hand, I don't know what I did exactly but I know it hurt at the time. Being the sort of person I am, and for the good of the project, I pushed the pain to one side and carried on as a good around the world driver does, regardless. However the time came to catch my flight to Athens via Moscow and to pack everything that I needed to take with me. First I put out for packing my real fur Yeti type knee length boots, my top coat and thick roll neck sweaters as they will be out of place in mid summer in Canada and the U.S and my foul weather gear now that the monsoon season has passed, that had to go as well. This lot and a number of other items when packed into my brightly coloured laundry bag totalled almost 20 kilos, just under my limit for the baggage hold.

I also had to take with me all the filming equipment in case it got nicked while the Jimnys were unguarded along with my mobile office (another bag) containing all my documents and papers that I need to look at when I can sit still for a few minutes. So there I am, my laundry bag that I swap hands to carry and the two other bags slung around my neck, people must have thought that I was vagrant trying to sneak on the plane.  Anyway lugging these bags on and off buses and planes took it's toll on my left hand, it had swollen and was hurting real bad. I put up with it for a day or two but after that I had to give in and go to the hospital. By this time my hand was in a bit of a mess and thought for sure they will have to remove it and replace it with a marine grade stainless steel hook.

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First donation from Heaven Can Wait I'm Busy

While the Jimnys were being washed, decontaminated and loaded into their containers ready for their four week sea voyage, the home team where in Lymington making a presentation to Save the Children.

It seems a long time ago now, but it's only 8 weeks when Les and the crew were in Bensheim Germany receiving a cheque for 1000 Euros. Money that had been raised by the staff at Suzuki Bensheim in just one week to support The Ultimate Challenge. A brilliant effort and one greatly appreciated by Les and all the crew.

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