As everybody knows there is a lot of planning that goes on behind the scenes before we all arrive at the start point. From booking the hotels to cancelling the milk, we have all been planning this trip for months, if not years. And in 48 hours many of us will be setting off, some have already done so.
Tucked away safely in everybody’s hand luggage is our road book. Loving collated by Robin and Charlotte, with contributions from other members of the team, it is the trip bible and no car is ever without one. We have done one for every rally so far and so the Vietnam trip is no different.
If you haven’t seen one yet it here is a little bit about them and why we do them
Safety is paramount on our trips, and they are not races. Whilst we all spend the night in the same hotel, and often have lunch or dinner together, much of the time is unstructured to enable everybody to stop and see sights they might know about, or happen to stumble upon without thinking they have to miss something to keep up with the main party.
Unless necessary we don’t travel in procession but at our own pace. It is always fun to find out at the end of the day what friends have been up to each day, or pass a familiar car parked outside a coffee shop and offer a jaunty wave.
We like to ensure, therefore, that everybody has as much information as possible about the route for each day so we can all plan where we might stop for lunch and also not have to rely on street signs that might be in a language we don’t recognise, or be non existent! The road books are painstaking put together with distances and directions from on the ground route planners, and the help of Google Earth to ensure they are accurate as humanly possible. It is also crucial that we know where the next fuel stop is so these are also listed.
With safety in mind the road books also list what to do in case of breakdown or emergency in each country and how we ensure that everybody is “checked in” each night with a system in place to keep everybody in constant touch if needed.
We also cram them full of useful phrases and information and at the end of the day there is no phrase more important that “another beer please!”:
If you have a loved one or friend on the rally and would like to be kept up to date with where they are each day then do subscribe to the blog at the bottom of the home page and you can get those updates direct to your inbox every day. And make sure you follow us on Twitter / Facebook and Instagram too as we shall be sharing updates throughout the trip.
Can’t wait to get started.
Although the Road Book is as accurate as it can be compiled remotely, there is one Golden Rule to be honoured; “There is no such thing as a wrong instruction; only the wrong interpretation of the instruction”. Having not recced the route on the ground, even Google Earth can throw up conundrums………
We shall see.
That is a very good rule to live by!
Well!! …. they look more understandable (and more informative and interesting) than our first experience in “La Gira Andina”. (And as a lot of you will remember, we were real experts at losing our way – but I am a Surveyor after all!)
I am already loving the initial blogs but, as your departure and the start of the Rally gets closer, not being on it with you is beginning to hurt more and more – but there is always “the next one”.
Trish and I want to send our very best wishes to you all, particularly our good chums from South America: Andy & Sheila, Neil & Olivia, Robin & Charlotte, Tony & Karen, David & Adele, Stuart, Gerry & Corrie, David & Lorraine, Neil, David & Tessa, David & Debbie, Jean & Anne and, of course, spanners Paul.
Hope it all goes well and hope you have a wonderful experience with huge fun.
Johnny and Trish Stokes
Datsun 240Z Nov 1969, Number 59 off the line.
“La Gira Andina”
Thank you so much for your lovely message John! I have taken the liberty of sharing it on our Facebook page so that some of those people will hopefully see your kind words.
As you say, there is always the next one!
Tim & Helena
As we hibernate here in the freezing Cotswolds, we are envious of your forthcoming adventures in warmer climes. We send our love and best wishes for a safe and successful rally. T & H
Here’s hoping they bring some sunshine back for us all freezing here!