Rory and Lucy Macdiarmid and The Van Plan
Adventure before Dementia
Having just been told there doesn’t seem to be a plan I tend to agree.
Here is the plan. To drive around the North coast of Africa, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt then down the Nile to Sudan into Ethiopia, Kenya and on South via Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe,Mozambique Botswana and Namibia to South Africa.
Well we have done Morocco which was great, given up on Algeria, too complicated to enter from the South ( the border with Morocco is closed) so via Spain and a boat to Tunisia where we ran into a revolution and spent time with friends then onto Libya, Egypt ( who sent us back to Libya ..because of the Revolution) back to Egypt thankfully missing the Libyan Revolution…. but catching the end of the Egyptian one! Into Sudan with 100’s of Sudanese construction workers from Libya who were being repatriated. From there to Ethiopia where we hit some rain and then into Kenya and the Marsabit road which was as bad as everyone says…so we are had pause in Nairobi. Back on the road in May and on South via Tanzania, where friends Bruce and Madeleine joined us for 2 weeks. Malawi where we drifted down the lake very aware that there was no fuel and in a land locked country that seemed bound to lead to trouble ( it did, rioting shortly after we left).
Zambia where we had the best game viewing in Flatdogs South Lauangua of the whole trip and then Zimbabwe where we were made so welcome by so many people.
My goodness everyone deserves a break there. Wonderful time in Namibia where our children joined us for a couple of weeks ( end of August) Van was still going well but constant shock absorber trouble caused by an altercation on the Marsabit road was still a nuisance but hopefully the Mercedes shock fitted in Maun will do the job.
South Africa is like a breath of fresh air. Everything works and you can “buy stuff” like at home in England. The roads are pretty good too. Shock absorbers behaved perfectly!
The Van is now on the high seas due back in Southampton (Uk) on the 11th October. Cheaper than you may think!
We both love to travel and have enjoyed family holidays in Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas. We were also fortunate enough to spend many years living overseas and after another short spell in Hong Kong in 2007/08 Lucy and I decided to make a real go of it and travel round the world for an extended period whilst we were both young enough to enjoy it.
Initially we thought that a boat was the answer but over a bottle of wine Lucy announced, you can’t see the Taj Mahal or Machu Pichu from a boat and the van plan was born.
After a lot of soul searching and a couple of false starts in the UK employment market we decided to put our home on the market in the spring of 2010, a difficult time to sell and with the additional emotional turmoil that comes with a working water mill reputedly dating from 1460, not an easy decision. We both felt that now our 3 children were employed and making their own way in the world that the house was far too big and too much work for the two of us. We sold the house over the summer and both of us gave notice at work. Phase 1 is Somerset to South Africa and we are on our way!