Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Countdown Blog 4

Counting down to number 4 and all eyes (well, at least the two I have) are now on the Christmas break.  This trip planning is not only great fun and informative, but it is also doing wonders for my advance planning skills.  Would you believe it, by early December all prezzies were bought, paid for, and waiting to be packed.  Nice!

But you are probably not that interested in my humble attempts at playing Santa, and more so in what I’ve been up to since I last scribbled some notes on these pages.  Lots of bits and pieces is the short answer. 

My ongoing reading about similar trips and the countries to be visited continues, alongside taking notes in a little book I plan to carry with me.  I’ve also been pulling together all my documents, including an international driving permit, to take some good quality colour copies which I hope to use mostly in place of the originals (which will be carried with me separately and securely).  I’ll get a new supply of passport photos done as soon as I can be bothered to shave!

Picking up from earlier research, I’ve been in touch again with shipping agents for ‘Idris’ to confirm their requirements (it’s a long way for a dragon to travel – even a Welsh one!).  And I’ve been checking airline options to Buenos Aires to get me there a few days before Idris flies into view.  I’ll have all that lot booked before next month’s instalment.  I’ve been reviewing notes about insurance, both for my travel – including some really good medivac coverage just in case – and the requirements of each of the countries to be visited.  I won’t be booking any insurances until nearer the date, but it is good to have the ground work done.  I’ll post up details under The Admin once final choices have been made.

I’ve also been turning my mind to what spare parts Idris might need during the run, and which of those I should carry with me.  It seems that Idris is a rare breed in the Americas, so many of the bike specific parts may be difficult to come by.  I’ll be carrying spare inner tubes, of course, along with the associated puncture repair kit, replacement valves, a mini compressor and so on.  That will be supplemented by a good set of tools and the usual ABR bits and bobs, selected for the necessary maintenance Idris will require (no point taking tools I won’t use).  But what other spare parts should I carry?  A spark plug, set of light bulbs and fuses pretty much choose themselves, and I’ll be supplementing that with a chain and sprocket set, oil filter and spare chain links.  I’ll also be tagging spare cables to Idris’ existing ones, though I don’t anticipate having a problem in that area. 

I’ll start updating The Bike section of this site with the full details of what I’ll be carrying over the Christmas break - but if you can think of anything I clearly need, feel free to give me a nudge.  Things will start to move along pretty quickly once the New Year drinks are out of the way (only three more countdown blogs to go before I hit the road!).

All I need to do for now is sit back and wait for Santa to fill my panniers with more of that lovely ABR gear.  I think I’ve been a good boy this year, and Mrs Pat is nodding in the background so it must be true!  So until next time... ho ho ho  Merry Christmas.

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