Just to check something,, I really ought to write what's happened shouldn't I?
May 19, 2008
Posted by Alex at 7:27 pm
April 23, 2008
Always the same isn't it, no blogs for ages and then three come along at once. Don't worry this one's much, much shorter.
Had an e-mail into Paisley-Peking HQ today and thought I'd share the good news
I would love to be kept abreast of your travels.
It sounds like an absolutely idiotic idea - I love it :-)
Let me know when you get going and we can discuss how to get pictures and video to us. I can probably get photos to my friends at UTV & Off Road (used to be Cart Wheelin) as well.
Who's Doug Meyer, you ask? Well Doug Meyer is the man behind ATV Television - check them out at atvtv.com . You can watch their shows on the web, or on XONTV if you're in the US. Their shows feature tests on a range of all-terrain vehicles, 4x4s, advice on how to look after and uprate your ATV, and adventures off-road, and Paisley-Peking is really looking forward to keeping their viewers in touch with our "idiotic idea", let's hope they love it as much as Doug does.
Posted by Alex at 4:59 pm
The search for suitable vehicles continues, just when I think I've found the perfect one, along comes something new, and today's new vehicle is the Polaris Industries Ranger RZR 800 Efi, complete with high and low ratio 2 and 4 wheel drive.
So why is the RZR in the running? Well for a start Polaris Industries have been making quads and snowmobiles for years, so they know their stuff. The RZR is small enough to get anywhere, and the 4 wheel drive means it should get out again. It's 800cc fuel injected engine should give us all the power we need and that fuel injection means it can cope with the range of altitudes and temperatures we'll experience, along with the dodgy low-grade fuel we're likely to find along the way. There's also a huge range of accesories, from Lock & Ride fuel cans, to luggage boxes, to cab heaters, you name it and they seem to have thought of it.
The web is full of reports of how good these things are and YouTube is full of them flying over sand dunes, crawling over rocks, snorkelling through bogs and even charging through the snow on tracks!
There's also a great owners forum, RZRForums.net, so there's plenty of advice to be found, stories to read and contacts to make.
Polaris are holding open days the 16th & 17th of May so check back for our experiences of the RZR, and a report on what we think.
* It's a RZR (razor) get it?
Posted by Alex at 4:15 pm
Well OK, long time no blog actually. I'd love to say it was because we were so ludicrously busy getting ready that we didn't have the time, but that's not the case at all. In fact we've been hanging round waiting.
Waiting for what? Well waiting to hear back from people, the one thing that's really beyond our control. And that's meant that our start date has been pushed further and further back, back till we miss our weather window for the Altai region of Russia, where it borders Mongolia.
It's this part that is probably the most remote, the most adventurous part of our journey, the Altai mountains have heavy snows in winter, and the roads can become impassable, some even say that the Mongolians shut the border crossing when the snows come. Whatever the case is, a winter crossing is likely to be very difficult, very cold and potentially very fatal.
But that doesn't mean a winter trip is completely discounted. I've been reading Tobias's website where he talks about his winter crossing of Siberia, check it out it's well worth a read, and his pictures are stunning. He makes it quite clear that the "Trans-Siberian Highway" is passable all through the winter, so we could still go ahead, we'd just have to make a couple of route changes and instead of crossing Mongolia East-West, we'd drive North-South.
So watch this space.
Posted by Alex at 4:01 pm
January 16, 2008
I sent Cameron and Ruth a huge long e-mail today, called it my nag list, it had all the things we ought to be doing. And what did he send me in return? Yup, this picture of him, err, practising.
Makes you wonder hey?
On another note, I went helmet shopping the other day and discovered I've got a supremely big head. I was aiming for a nice combination full face/enduro helmet like the Arai TourX2 and couldn't find any that fitted. I think French people must have small heads.
So if you're reading this and know what I'm talking about, leave me a comment saying where to get them.
Posted by Alex at 7:41 pm
January 14, 2008
I'm delighted to report that I'm much better at adventuring than I am at blogging. Well, at least I've adventured before. So, bear with me as I venture fearlessly where I've never ventured in the past. I hope getting into China is easier than getting into a blog...
Posted by Cameron at 4:01 pm
January 01, 2008
"So Cameron, have you blogged yet?" I said yesterday, knowing full well that I hadn't either. So here goes, the first post.
People keep asking me, why Paisley - Peking? Why go to China? And why go by buggy? So here's why.
For years I've been dreaming of the great overland journey, I've looked at maps, read travel books, and watched Ewan & Charlie's Long Way Round till the DVD's almost worn out. I thought about trying for the first car across the Bering Straits, looked at amphibious vehicles from strange Russian makers, but decided I didn't want to freeze to death somewhere in the Arctic seas. Then one day I spotted China.
China, land of mystery, still hugely unseen by westerners outside the cities, a place of mystery to me. I've seen pictures of the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Terracotta Warriors, but that's almost all. So China became my new dream destination, to unlock just a few of its secrets, and experience its culture, in this period of rapid change.
So the trip began to form. Chatting to my friend Ruth (founder of Sanctuary) she told me about her friend Cameron Stout, well known for being the last sensible winner of Big Brother, but little known as being another crazy traveller. E-mails flew (and bounced), MSN chats popped up, and Paisley - Peking was born.
Why buggies? My fault again, I think. I'd started off planning to use the little Fiat Panda 4x4. I reckoned this was a great combination of silly tiny car and great off road abilities, but then one day I stumbled across the Quadzilla buggy on the web. I just knew we had to use them. With their chunky tires and nippy Piaggio engines they're almost unstoppable off-road, their open design lets you be as much a part of the place as you can be, smelling the air, feeling the wind on your face, and no-one has driven one that far, yet.
And that's it: Paisley - Peking, two blokes, two buggies, to Beijing.
Posted by Alex at 12:00 pm