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  #1  
Old 30 Jan 2012
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Lurker from Melbourne, Australia

Hi,

I've been lurking for a few months now and posted for the first time yesterday, so I guess it's time I introduced myself.

Over-indulgence in Overland related travel books has lead me to overland related websites and ultimately here. I am very much enjoying reading of other's adventures and soaking up the knowledge.

My travel dreams are squarely of the four-wheeled variety and mostly related to older cars. I've always been fascinated to see vehicles bearing numberplates from other countries travelling in Australia and I hope to do the reverse one day.

I have a small collection of old cars and I guess I am already preparing one of them for an overseas trip, even if only mentally. I don't know when, exactly where or how, but it will happen someday. I can feel it in my bones.

In April I will be travelling with a mate from Melbourne to Cairns via outback roads in a 1979 Fiat 131. We are participating in the Shitbox Rally, raising money for the Cancel Council. But I know this journey is only a toe-in-the-water exercise compared to international travel with a car.

As to my car collection, I have:
- A 1971 Mini Moke. This is my favourite car and the vehicle I hope to use one day in my travels, inspired by the book "Eurasian Moke". I never feel more free that when driving this thing with the top down. It's like a bathtub on wheels. I've rebuilt it from scratch and I know ever inch of it.
- A 1965 Mini Traveller in very run-down condition that completed an overland journey from the UK to Australia when it was new. I'm slowly restoring this one. My wife reckons I should drive it back to the UK someday. Maybe I will.
- A 1975 Toyopet (Toyota) Corona Coupe that I imported from Japan in 2006 and restored. Now for sale to help fund the Mini Traveller restoration.
- My daily driver, a 1974 VW Super Beetle. It never lets me down.
- A 1985 Toyota MR2 that started life in California and somehow ended up in Australia. With it's oddball history I could not resist it.
- Half of a 1979 Fiat 131 that will be used for the Shitbox Rally. It will be sold after the rally is finished.
- A 2009 Nissan Pathfinder that is our tow car and family hack.

Why do I want to use an old car for an overland journey? An old car is more likely to break down than a modern. However, pretty much anything that would break on an old car I can fix at the side of the road. And if the car was perfectly reliable, where's the adventure and challenge.

Cheers,
Brett.
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Melbourne - Adelaide - Uluru - Great Central Road - Fremantle - Nullarbor - Adelaide - Melbourne in a $1000 Mini - May 2013. We did it!
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Old 31 Jan 2012
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Welcome Brett,

I bought a copy of Eurasian Moke 15 or more years ago and still have it. I'm sure it planted a seed for me and I did my overland to Europe last year. The trouble is its addictive and I am now actively saving for and planning the next one.

Anyway good luck with the rally (even if its on 2 wheels too many) and keep daydreaming - with a bit of work you might just do the trip.

All the best
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http://awayonmybike.blogspot.co.uk/
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Old 1 Feb 2012
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Thaks for the welcome. Eurasian Moke was the second overland travel book I read. I already had my Moke when the book was recommended to me and I found a copy in a bookshop in London. I must have read it sixteen times and it now needs rebinding.

The first book of that type I read was "Don't Kiss Me, It's very Terrible" by John and Carys Pollard. It's the story of two overland journeys by one couple, thirty years apart in the same Mini! I know they have done at least one more journey since in a Mitsubishi Pajero as they appeared in an Australian advertisement.

Then came "For Love and a Beetle", "Half-Safe" and "First Overland" among others.

I would like to see Eastern Europe and bits of Asia really. Maybe start off in London and ship the car home from Vladivostock or vise-versa. I need to see the Gobi and Lake Baikal. Ideally I'd want to follow roughly the original Peking to Paris 1907 route but I know how expensive the China leg can be. I'd settle for travelling through the Gobi as far as the Chinese border.

What's stopping me? Mostly my wife and two small kids I don't want to leave for months on end. But once the kids are older it will be more achievable.

I've just returned from five weeks travelling with our caravan. The kids loved it and didn't want to go home. Caravanning is fun, but in all honesty I prefer proper camping with a tent and travelling light.

Cheers,
Brett.
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Old 1 Feb 2012
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The coincidences continue. The trip I did was the reverse of the one you just nominated; Vladivostok - Lake Baikal - Gobi - Europe (see Away On My Bike | Just another Adventure Riders Blogs site). Also several years ago I too had a wife and two small kids and out of necessity did (and enjoyed) 6 weeks in a caravan around Australia .

Caravanning never grabbed me though, too complicated and the rest of the world always beckkoned then suddenly the kids were old enough to look after themselves, the wife had moved on and I asked myself whats stopping me. So as I said keep dreaming you never know what cards life will deal you - just be ready to grab any chance when it comes!

All the best

Martin
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http://awayonmybike.blogspot.co.uk/
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Old 3 Feb 2012
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I've just finished reading your blog Martin. Great stuff. You have covered most of the places I want to visit on that trip. I couldn't stop reading and "wasted" most of a day at work.

We've had caravans for ten years now, long before we had kids. We enjoy it and have seen most of Aus that way. But as I said before, travelling light is more fun.

My son and I have had a couple of trips by ourselves with the Moke and a tent. We had more fun that way. Maybe he will come with me on an overland trip when he is old enough to share the driving. But I do hope I get a trip or two in by myself before then.

All the best with planning your next trip.

Cheers,
Brett.
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Old 4 Feb 2012
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Hey bnicho have you read about "gelignite Jack" and his Castrol oil trials through the deserts of OZ, in the summer, in the sixties and in two wheel Minis fer gawd sake, what a ride!.
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Old 5 Feb 2012
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Hi TwoBob,

Yes, I am familiar with the Gelegnite Jack stories. I have a few old films of his exploits converted to DVD. He was a total nutcase that guy. I admire his determination.

On a side note, it must be Overlander week in Victoria. On Wednesday I saw a Germany-registered motorbike in Melbourne traffic. (I'm not 100% it was Deutchland plate, but it was definitely a european one.) Maybe that was someone on here?

Yesterday I went down the Great Ocean Road and spotted a French-registered Lancruiser Camper and a German-registered Unimog camper. I have photos of the latter:





Cheers,
Brett.
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Melbourne - Adelaide - Uluru - Great Central Road - Fremantle - Nullarbor - Adelaide - Melbourne in a $1000 Mini - May 2013. We did it!
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Old 6 Feb 2012
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Man, that winch looks like it could pull out tree stumps
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