Back in Britain for a few days

So…. midsummer in Britain. The harvest is being gathered around my home in rural Yorkshire and nearby York was thronged with tourists today. Not a great deal of overland interest – I was planning to drive to Albania but circumstances conspired to change my plans (not least of which the fact that the disastrous American trip ate into my budget hugely beyond expectations) so I’ve had a week or so at home catching up with people and doing car jobs. Tested the #Tentsile tree tent again, properly, and found it very comfortable and hugely roomy, though needing practice to make sure that the tension at each corner is equal and the thing is level. Also used the BoundaryTec camp shower again and found it very good.

I got hold of a Coleman camp oven for the US trip (not available in the UK because of some obscure regulations) and, as a test, made bread with it over a Camping Gaz Bistro gas stove (rather than the Coleman one intended by the design of the oven). Very impressive results indeed. Looking forward to its first ‘proper’ use on the Albania/ Balkans trip which has now been planned for mid-December. I intend to be somewhere remote and beautiful in the Highlands for New Year (not my usual Glencoe haunt, the Kingshouse Hotel, as it’s being ‘renovated’ – which instils a feeling of dread followed by resignation) so it will get a ‘proper’ use then 🙂

My #Discovery 2 Sahara, Tusker, has had a lot of stick this week – 600 miles on one day (Yorkshire to south Essex and back) and another blast the following day (York to Cheshire and back) and it’s been extremely pleasing – even with a full roof load (testing the roof box and Peli case both laden, plus roof tent) it cruised comfortably at 70 (more when needed) and returned sensible fuel figures. Elsa, my Defender, is more able offroad and can carry much more kit, but she couldn’t compete with that on-the-road performance.

I got hold of some excellent shock-straps from #Fourby – they are cam-controlled load-management straps but with the addition of a rubber block that absorbs and distributes shock load. The upshot of that is that when you are on a rough road (African corrugations for example) the rubber block accepts the bounciness and stretches just enough so that the load it’s controlling doesn’t get abraded as much by an unyielding load management system. Interesting idea – looking forward to giving them a go.

So tomorrow, hirecar to Heathrow (Toyota Auris, urgh) and then Azerbaijan. After a bit of poking round there, Dubai again.


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