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A short drive in the Southern Hemisphere


The Route

The journey comprised of three self contained parts on three different continents, Africa, Australia and South America. The connecting voyage by ship voyage or aeroplane flight. The approximate route taken is shown on the map below, together with the route taken during the 1996 Dash from Johannesburg to Northampton. Whilst the first journey was undertaken in 48 days the last journey lasted for 15 months in all.

The Journey to Africa 

We sailed on Thursday 9th October 2008 onboard the RMS ST HELENA from Portland, England to Cape Town, Republic of South Africa.  After ten days at sea we called in at Georgetown, Ascension Island very briefly, about two and a half hours in fact, just enough time for a quick "tour" around the island and a pint of Old Speckled Hen (for Ash, fruit based drink for Gill) in the Obsidian Hotel bar. Back on board for the night, we sailed onto Saint Helena arriving at Jamestown on Wednesday 22nd October.

Ashore on the island for nine days whilst the RMS carries out a shuttle run to Ascension, we stayed at Briar Rose Cottage, from where we decided to explore the back country as well as the usual tourist haunts of Jamestown.

We then re-embarked the RMS Saint helena on 31st October to continue Southwards for the remainder of the sea voyage to Cape Town arriving on 5th November 2008.

Where is RMS St Helena now?

 The African Safari

On arrival in Cape Town we reorganise ourselves into land based expedition mode. 

7-9 November West Coast National Park

12-15 November Richtersfeld National Park

16-17 November Augrabies National Park

18-25 November Kgalagadi National Park

27-30 November Namib-Naukluft Park

1-5 December Skeleton Coast

5-7 December Etosha National Park

8-10 December Caprivi Strip

11-14 December Chobe National Park

14-17 December Moremi and Maun

17-20 December Nxai and Makgadigadi pans

Botswana Parks

22-23 December Mapungubwe National Park

23 December-5 January Kruger National Park

6-9 january Sani Pass and Lesotho

16 January Cape Town docks

The Journey from Africa to Australia

We loaded Florence into a shipping container in Cape Town on 16th January 2009, we'd next meet up in Fremantle, Western Australia. We took advantage of modern air travel to fly to Perth via the UK. We did this as we would save £3000 on our RTW air tickets by buying in the UK. So, we went home saw the family briefly and took a 380 to Oz via Singapore. We would have liked to continue our circum-navigation by sea travel but feared that the money and time would run out before we made it back home.

 Shipping Lines

A word of warning regarding Shipping Agents, there are some good ones but if you think of Estate Agents and Used Car Salesmen, you won't go far wrong. They will promise all kinds of things...more on this subject will be posted on the logistics page.

The Australian Outback

We arrived in Perth on 2nd February 2009 and met up with friends and family, spending some time exploring Western Australia. We set off on our tour off the outback on 26th March 2009 by driving to Laverton and then taking the Great Western Road to Ayres Rock, and on to Cairns via Boulia arriving there on 16th April 2009.  The flavour of the Australian section was wilderness (with a dash of tropical splendour thrown in Queensland).  We managed to avoid getting bitten or stung by anything nasty and even avoided the kangaroo hazards.  Originally we had considered circum-navigating the island with an excursion into the centre but reconsidered our plans due to the forest fires then raging in NSW. After driving straight across the middle from Perth to Cairns and seeing a lot of sand we then headed North to the rainforest and then followed (approximately) the coast back around to Perth via Darwin and the Ningaloo reef.


Australia Northern Territory

Ozzie Dangerous Animals 

The Journey from Australia to South America

On 3rd June 2009 we loaded Florence back into her hi-cube container to sail to Valparaiso, Chile.  We flew to Sydney and then to the Cook Islands via New Zealand, we didn't hang around in New Zealand this time as it was rather chilly. When we arrived in South America we had some time on our hands before Flo caught up with us, so we decided to head up to Quito to arrange some side trips to the jungle and the Galapagos Islands. Travelling can be such a chore...  Fully rested and relaxed we then returned to Chile on 15th July 2009 and after a short stay in Santiago we bussed to Valparaiso to meet up with Flo before setting off again.

Shipping Lines

Patagonia and the rest  of South America

This part of the journey tested us with a variety of countries, climates and conditions.  We started out from Valparaiso on 4th August 2009, heading North along the coast. We got as far North as Bolivia before heading East through Argentina and Paraguay through Brazil and Uruguay before heading South to Ushuaia and the Antarctic. We didn't really have much of a plan and wandered through Patagonia until we reached the bottom…When in Ushuaia we took the opportunity to join a cruise to the Antarctic before jumping back in the Land Rover and turning around and heading North back to Uruguay.

The Journey Home

On 11th December 2009 we loaded Florence into a container in Montevideo and took the boat across the River Plate to Buenos Aires. A week of R&R in BA followed before flying home to Blighty on the 18th December 2009.

We arrived home in time for Christmas 2009 and New Year 2010. We're now living more conventional lives for a while before planning the next mad journey (to Mongolia) in another few years.

Its probably raining there anyway!