Now what do axles, pool noodles and toilet paper all have in common you wanna know?
Loading our precious cars into the container is what they have in common as today was L-day (aka D-day) and after a long night yesterday, we were ready for it!
We had enough time this morning to pick up a last parcel (our safe) at the DHL office which we were hoping to have fitted to the car before leaving, but at least we can shove it into the car so we can have it installed in Malaysia.
As we were waiting for the others who still had to finish vacuum packing the last rolls of toilet paper for the first 3 months of the trip into their trucks, we opened the box and tested the safe. And that’s when the key got stuck. Not just a little stuck, but very stuck. To cut a long story short, it’s still stuck and currently sitting in our living room with the key still in it. We decided that a safe which cannot be opened is a little bit too safe for our liking….
Luckily the loading went a lot smoother.
First up was Lara. It was an easy reverse drive in with plenty of space on all sides. Tied down with 4 ratchet straps and 4 chocks she won’t be able to move for the next 3-4 weeks. Next up was the Wanderoos truck from Rob and Robyn which was reversed into the same container. She needed to be pushed in the last meter as you can’t open the doors to get out once she is in, that’s how close the fit is for these big earth cruisers. They had brought some pool noodles for cushioning, but didn’t need them in the end as the big forklift truck was used to shift her over a bit more to the middle. Quite handy having those big toys driving around.
Last today was Bumblebee, the yellow truck from Guy and Cheryl. The fit is even tighter for this one and she needed 2 smaller wheels at the back to get her in. Guy managed to reverse her into their container in one go (apart from some height and space checks). Nice work. Climbing over and under the back axle to fit the chocks and add the straps was pretty hot work (but heaps of fun).
And that was it. It’s all done. She is loaded and will be transferred to the docks later today. The ship (Xutra Bhum) will be loaded on Monday and will sail on Tuesday we have been told, taking some weeks to get to Kuala Lumpur where we will be anxiously waiting for the containers to be opened again.
In the mean time we are back home (thanks for the lift home Rob and Robyn and thanks for lunch Guy and Cheryl!!), wondering what we have forgotten 🙂 and getting ready for our next challenge: packing up the house and getting everything into a 10m2 storage loft.
Here are some pictures from today:
Those were very wise words that were spoken to me many, many years ago in my first class of a woodwork course. They are very true, but now I would like to add my own wisdom to these words as I discovered it is even more important to know what size you need to measure before you can start measuring… Thinking you know how big a piece of wood needs to be and measuring that size and checking before you cut it doesn’t help if it needs to be a different size!
Luckily we had enough spare wood to make up for these beginner errors (you’d think we were experts by now after already successfully making other boxes for Lara!) and we are now finalising the last 3 storage boxes. We’ll see how far I get today, but they need to be finished (painted and all) by tomorrow evening latest. A huge challenge, but we have decided to pack the car this weekend as we have no other weekends left before Lara is loaded into the container that will take her to Kuala Lumpur. Well, not exactly true. We would have another weekend, but we decided to use that weekend to ride in the Tour Down Under Community Challenge and catch up with friends in Adelaide instead. So packing this weekend it is. We’ll let you know how that went, but just in case I have added a big panic button here. You never know if we need it after the weekend.
At the moment we think we are in good shape (unfortunately not physical fitness shape which means we’ll struggle on the Tour Down Under ride), but we had a pretty successful week in terms of preparing Lara for her imminent departure.
Yesterday Jon picked up the aluminium roof box we had made and it is perfect. As you can see Jon fits in it very comfortably so all we need to do is add a bit a foam as a mattress and his bed is ready too.
We now also have:
- most of our spares, including some sump washers sent to us for free by a fellow Defender owner (thanks Hamish!)
- a GPS – to ensure we don’t kill each other
- tie down straps – for in the container
- a shovel – so Jon can dig us out of trouble
- shoe racks – an awesome job done by Davies Sheet Metal in Milton (they did all our aluminium work and have done a fantastic job)
- pink hiking boots for Jude – the most ugly, but very comfortable boots I could find
- storage – cheap, but we need to get everything in there using a forklift as it is above another storage unit with no fixed access! If you can help let us know!
- our first vaccination for Japanese encephalitis and typhoid – only 3 more injections to go (the second one for Japanese E and 2 more for tick borne E)
- flights booked to Singapore
- new tyres on the car, including spare wheel and second spare
We’re still waiting for a few things we ordered online. Soon we will be the new proud owners of:
- a new camera – small but with great zoom
- new driver’s licences – we had to renew them as they would have run out in the middle of the year which would be slightly impractical
- a safe – to be added to a secret location in the car 🙂
- a sat phone – second hand but still with warranty (thanks Andre for picking it up for us!)
- a mini safe to put our spare key in – yes, we expect to loose our key at some point, wouldn’t you?
I’ve decided to start collecting e-books and audio books for on the way as I might get bored of Jon’s taste of music. If you have any you can email or dropbox me that would be really appreciated! I have a few already, so more than happy to do some swaps.
Yesterday evening we got together with Rob & Robyn, Guy & Cheryl and Miles. We are going to ship our vehicles together with the first 2 couples so we wanted to make sure Lara and Rob & Robyn’s truck would fit in the container together. They do, with 36cm to spare (on a total of 12.01m internal length of the container). Plenty of space.
And, we also have decided on a name for our trip (everybody has a name of their trip so we didn’t wanna be left behind): LOST + FOUND ADVENTURES. We will lose things (and hopefully find them again) and we’re hoping we will get lost along the way too, maybe we should have a chat with Clayton to get some advice on how to find those shortcuts! But most importantly we hope to only lose time and find lots of great memories and friends along the way!
We’ve made a logo for it as well:
Do you like it? Did you notice our route in the background on the suitcase? (we think it is brilliant!) I’ll add it to our blog soon, but now I’d better get on with the making of the mozzie box, the wine box and the box with no name yet.
On Friday 16 November we dropped off Lara at the local sheet metal work place where she was fitted with some aluminium shelves to create more easy storage options. They did a great job and we now have a space for our table and chairs, and the clothes area has been separated from the main storage area which means you can now only access the clothes area via the gull wing doors.
As we have already made some cloth bags with velcro to hang them up, we have now also attached the velcro to the inside of the clothes pods. We’ll take some pictures once the glue has dried up properly and we can hang the bags in there.
Our next job is to make some some wooden boxes to go onto the shelves. The first two we are working on is the kitchen box and the wine rack.
The kitchen box is heavy!! and will sit in the bottom right hand corner. The wine rack will sit on the left hand side in the middle, just above the chairs.
All the kitchen stuff we want to bring is in the kitchen box already, but we are going to make some dividers to keep it all in place. We’ll post a piccie when it is finished (and painted!)
The 3 plastic tubs you see at the top will be our food pantry. They fit perfectly on the top shelf and all they need is a strap in front of them to stop them from sliding out.
We borrow Zoe’s sewing machine (thanks Zoe!) to get started on the clothes pods. We will have 4 each and will be accessible from the gull wing doors. The idea is to hang them with velcro into our current storage bins above the rear wheels. We’ll add some photos of that once the gull wing doors are in and the aluminium shelving is in place.
This way we should have plenty of space for all our clothes and shoes.