I'm sitting here in Jo's garden whilst she deposits her 12 ferrets around various parts of East Sussex, tapping away on the web with the help of our new Inmarsat BGAN. That's a satellite modem in lay terms. All this technology is beyond me. Basically our BGAN means we can hook up to the net anywhere, as long as the unit can 'see the sky' and talk to the nearest available satellite. And to think a few years ago I could hardly send an email.
Neither of us have really started packing properly and there is equipment strewn all over the house - GPS units, BGAN's, DV tapes, digi cameras, water filters, maps, guide books (I think we need a special bookshelf in Ting Tong to accomodate our fleet of weighty travel tomes), insect repellent, WD40, Ultraseal, solar panels....its amazing all the weird and wonderful things we have to take with us. Luckily Jo's Pa is coming to see us off in Bangers so we can give him some of our equipment and thus avoid being stung for excess baggage.
Apart from that its time to say bye bye to all. There are loads of people I want to say goodbye to properly but there just isn't time - Charlie, Ruaridh, Carrie, Bella, Pom, Nicky, Kate G, Hobbit - haven't had a chance to have a proper chat for ages, so sending a big kiss to you all. Carrie I am so sorry to be missing the wedding of the year, and you setting off to cycle to China for your honeymoon. And people think we are mad!
Wednesday was possibly the maddest day of my life - here's how it went:
7.00 Drag ourselves out of bed (Jo and I are both rubbish in the mornings)
7.30 Live interview with BBC Southern Counties Radio
8.00 BBC breakfast reporter / cameraman rock up to do a piece on us and Skype
10.30 Meet Colin Cameron from the FT for an interview - he's doing a piece in the Augiust 'How to Spend it' FT magazine on people who take time out to do amazing journeys.
12.00 Hair cut...essential!
5.30 Get to Cobden Club for Skype Press launch. Jo's forgotten to wear a bra and they want us to wear white Skype Tshirts....
6.00 Press launch
8.00 Out Tuk Off launch party starts...
2 a.m Bed.....yawn
And I'm still feeling grotty and have a filthy cold, good start....
We'll send reports from the road but if you haven't already got it, get Skype to keep in touch with us. Go to www.skype.co.uk and download it. Our skype id is tuktotheroad and we'll be holding skypecasts and all that jazz.
Thanks again to everyone who has helped us, you're all amazing. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY RICHARD x