The countdown begins
When Jo returned from a holiday in Thailand a few years ago and announced that she was going to drive a tuk tuk back from Bangkok to the UK I never thought for a second I'd be sitting here four years down the line studying maps and wondering which route we are going to take through Kazakhstan. And now here we are, with two months till lift off, frantically planning every aspect of our 10,000 mile odyssey. Within the space of a few months I feel as if I have been transformed from a TV (assistant) prodcuer to a bona fide explorer.
Until you embark on setting up a mission like this you have no idea of the massive amount of organisation involved. Everything from which roads we are going to brave to which tent is the best has to be carefully planned. Nothing can be left to chance. Last weekend we were at the RGS, home of cutting edge scientific exploration, to do a wilderness medical training course. There were scientists who study snow leopards in Siberia, biologists off to Greenland, botanists heading for Borneo...and Jo and I, the Tukkers. I think the weirdest thing we learnt all weekend was that the American military suggest a 'rectal Mars Bar' in the case of all unconsciuos diabetics. And that 25,000 people die in India every year from Rabies. Gripping stuff.
This weekend its off to the wilds of Devon for more training. This time its Survival Skills courtesy of Intrepid Expeditions (www.intrepid-expeditions.co.uk) I'm horrified to see that the kit list includes mess tins and sleeping mats. Camping was never my forte but I had better get used to the idea if we're going to survive in the Central Asian steppes when there won't be a power shower or a Wi-Fi connection for hundreds of miles. Let alone Sushi or a black cab. Just us, a pink tuk tuk and the Great Outdoors.
People keep asking if we're nervous but at the moment it just doesn't seem real. It feels as if we are planning the trip for someone else. I wonder when it will seem real? When we switch on the engine for the first time and the GPS says in that irritating voice 'Go to the end of the road and turn left'? Or when we find ourselves stranded ina Russian pothole?
Very excited about the fact I can officially ride a fat bike now. Looking forward to buying a speedster on our return.