Could it be we are getting a news paper artcle ? Usually they arn’t interested as we don’t have some charity to donate a few hundred pounds to. Well you know my feelings on that one. If UNICEF want to send us some pens we’ll give em out and well even pay for them. Other than that you could never collect more than you spend unless you’re someone famous. So we’ll leave it up to Chris Moyles and the like. they did very well on their Kilimanjaro Climb. Millions ££ !!!Any how this is what i’ve just sent the paper. Who said I was never good at English. This isn’t the start of the book….its only the foreword.Oh and if any future employers want my proposal writing skills, minus all the spelling mistakes caused by my sticking keyboard, send me a message.  “”We decided to do the trip about 4 years ago but had been saving for something for a long time. We didn’t quite know what we were saving for, possibly  retirement but what would we do with the money when we were old ? We were also expecting Julie to be made redundant and she was but little did we know was that Jarvis Rail went bust so her nice redundancy cheque didn’t materialise and her 22 years of working for them was worth a lot less than we thought. She had trouble finding a job in Doncaster but managed to get a temp Job at Wilkinsons Head Office which she loved and it was in the right direction against the terrible traffic caused by the new bus lane. Julie had no choice in driving to work as she worked in York for Jarvis and went very early most mornings and before the busses to catch the train. With the parking situation in Doncaster driving to Worksop knocked more than 2 hours from her commute. She was really happy there so leaving to go round the world wasn’t as attractive as it once was. She was still a temp though so what was there to loose.(for all the Wilko’s lots, yes she will come back if you will have her)My job, where I’d been for 5 years was finally safe as I worked for an Internet  company in Derby having been made redundant myself during the Dot Com bust ups. I took me a long time to find the job and almost a year and half out of work after the last one. I’d been made redundant twice but neither gave us much money but since one of us was usually working we made do with what we had and still saved like mad.We bought Matilda (The Land Rover Defender 110 300Tdi) in Nov 2009 and I spent all our spare cash and time changing parts and getting her ready for the  trip. I knew very little about cars and only what my Dad have taught me when I  was a little boy. With the help of people I met on the internet at a Land Rover  forum and some other travellers from Stockton on Tees we got Matilda ready.  There are some websites dedicated to round the world travel and we used them for planning the route. Syria and Egypt becoming a bigger problem every day. We finally passed through Syria in the midst of the troubles on 14th November 2011. The people we were travelling with across Syria broke down in Homms and we managed to stay 2 nights in Damascus whilst I fixed their car. I’d learnt so much fixing mine up that I knew more than the Land Rover dealer in Damascus. Fixing other peoples cars and helping them out seemed to be a bit of a trend from then on.We have quite a few jabs before we left and a lot of Malaria tablets ! We have  another years supply each. Asking the Doctor for 700 tablets is a difficult  conversation. Since its private prescription you can have them but for other stuff they just say “no”. Doesn’t matter that you might get ill. They don’t care, there are rules. Julie has to take a tablet every day and getting those from the NHS is impossible as they have these silly rules on how many they will give her. It’s amazing the things that you need to do whilst you are away and  you take from granted when at home. Even the most simple prescription costs a lot. Much more than at home. Isn’t the NHS fantastic when you compare it to almost zero healthcare in some place in Africa.Matilda herself was a Land Rover Defender 110. The 300Tdi engine was old and uncomplicated. There was no computer and not much that could go wrong electrically. She’s an uncomplicated woman. Which was great for an uncomplicated Yorkshireman to fix. We had three boxes of parts on the roof and a computer full of workshop manuals. Inside there’s just us and Dash our mascot. Dash is a blue teddy bear my mother gave me along with a St. Christopher to go on my chain round my neck. I think they’ve both looked after us.There’s a summary of our car problems in the link below. Might be a bit technical but it’s all there.http://www.overlandbirds.com/preparations.htmlMother is looking after our stuff whilst we are away. There’s a surprising amount of stuff that needed sorting out. The local Santander Branch Manager has been a star as we always need to do something or pay something and they both look after us very well. We use Skype a lot and we’ve have over 20 PayGo sim cards for my phone. It Internet 3G coverage is great even in Africa. The Maasai warriors have their spear in one hand and their mobile phones in the other.   Africa is expensive, which is very surprising. Egypt is certainly the cheapest place for almost everything including fuel. In Ethiopia we were very surprised as its Green! We only expected to see the sand and dust that the TV programs show but Ethiopia is a BIG place and Africa is massive. You can fit all India, China, USA and all of Europe into Africa with some other smaller countries filling in the gaps. Its BIG and it usually takes 3 months or so to drive from Europe to Cape Town. We took much longer and left Africa after one year.We slept in McDonalds car parks, hotel car parks, laybys, side of the road, in shopping centre car parks, campsites, the odd hotel, people’s houses and almost anywhere we found that was safe. We even slept in the desert under the night of a thousand stars. It really makes you realise how our little journey is nothing in comparison to the distance to some of those stars in the sky. We saw the edge of the Milky Way from horizon to horizon. Something you only get to do in places like the desert.””

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