Life continues apace. Trying to get this trip organised Nepal – India – Bangladesh – Bhutan. Bhutan has been the sticking point as we have been wanting to get in with a combination of British Diplomatic, British Army and UK privately-owned Land Rovers, so as you can imagine the paperwork issues have been traumatic. So the plan has been changed slightly and as much as anything to enable us to have a more in-depth look at the place the trip has been split in two; on Saturday I’m off to Nepal, to make a two -week traverse of the country from west to east – driving from Rara Lake to Ilam on the eastern border with a Defender, a Discovery and a Range Rover. Then in August when we’ve had chance to let the paperwork grind out of whatever large intestine of bureaucracy it is working its passage through, we are heading for Part Two through Bhutan. Bit of a bugger but it will give a decent chunk of time to see Nepal, so all to the good.
Camel-wise I have been using her as a daily drive, and all seems well, apart from there’s a lot of noise from what my granddad would have called the ‘tappets’ – the valves. They are clattering away and this is a new phenomenon. Also she stalls when revs drop as you slow for a junction. Could be carbon buildup in the intake manifold, not sure. Going to get the local LR specialists in Dubai have a look at her when I get back from Nepal. As I was explaining to a pal the other day, this is half the battle in N Africa and the Middle East. First, you find a decent Land Rover that is an appropriate spec. Then, second, you get it to be reliable, which might take a year or so, undoing all the buggering about that locals have put the poor thing through. Then, three, you use it. I’m just starting Stage Two!
Right I will let you get on. More anon!