Saturday, June 30, 2012

Transland Journey.....A Change of Route


Woken up just now at 4am with a 'bloody' toothache. Did the tahajjud, to no avail. Still painful. Went down to the kitchen to take one more ultracet tablet [combination of tramal and paracetamol ] and decided maybe a spot of 'writing' would take the pain away.
Just 4 hours earlier finished 3rd discussion with Peng and Bab on Transland Journey, over roti canai and popia. Another Malay Collegian [ Anwar Ibrahim's classmate , ?class of 64], Mohd Faizal Ismail, from Merlbourne, joined the discussion. He had earlier in the year wanted me to do the Australian outback with him. That has to be postponed or brought forward to December this year.
For now, Kuala Lumpur - London,   via the SILK ROUTE, has to take priority for 2013.

Myanmar probably would not open up it's borders in time for our trip next year, so the Myanmar- Nepal- India route is out of question. We would attempt the 'old' Petronas Adventure Team route via Cambodia's Vientiane- Hanoi- XIan- Xinkiang route and crossover to the Russia's many  S'tans, then head for the Caspian Sea, entering Norway via Helsinki, then right on to London. Time frame ? 2 months. We do not want to miss the many World heritage places  peppered along the way.
To avoid extreme winter cold, we need to leave  early, perhaps on the 6th day of Eid next year in mid August. 

Peng , the most intellectual of us three will firm up on the route detail. Bab will look into visa issues and 'carnet de passage' for our vehicles. As for myself, I would need to make some friendly visits  and call old friends in Sime's Land Rover and UMW Toyota for some much needed friendly 'advice' and help.

Between us we decided we are not doing this transland journey with the ubiquitous 'Landcruiser' afterall. We are firm believers in change, 'the old giving place to the young upstrarts', so to speak. Young 'upstarts', like  Hilux and Land Rover Defender 110, also deserve a decent bite at fame. We will give the new 'Hilux' a chance and  at the same time we do not want to forget our most dependable Land Rover Defender as well. It is after all an icon and we,  despite all pretenses, ARE BRITISH. Only our bottoms are not white !

My other friend , Nadzru from Ranhill Apakahnamadiadah retorted the other day that 'we are a bunch of old semi- retarded boys scouts' !
On second thought, at 60 +, for all three of us, that is a nice compliment.
'Thank you Nadzru !'

The 'bloody' pain has disappeared already. Magic !
Time for subuh Prayer.


grand pa and doc man,

I know you grand pa is a 'cherookee, landy stiff upper lip type' of man while doc man and myself are basically 'toyota cheapskate' people.

Doc man is still impressed with his prado 1997 even though it now lay rusting in his garage and repeated urge from yours truly to part with his Prado has so far failed. I want to redo his 1995 Prado for my Transland Journey. 

Myself, having gone thru Hilux double cab 2.5  turbodiesel auto for 6 years from 2005 , and now switched to a  new 'marhein' 2.5 diesel single cab Hilux, minus all the frills. My previous twin cab was OK but after only 5 years of usage mine started give funny sound every time when I engage the auto . 4 years and the auto start making this kind of sound is quite disconcerting. The undercarriage is also 'softy softy'. In the 3rd year, my mechanic outside Toyota had to replace the nut and bolt holding the shaft to the back axle joint. And I am no 4wd man thru and thru. Just the occasional jaunts in the forest of Gua Musang.
I am keeping my fingers cross with my new Single cab, working in my more auto for me though, at least not on my 4wd. Toyota does build Hilux for tough work but I would stay away from it's auto.It is not robust enough.
Having said that to be fair to Toyota, I did a fair 250k kilometres in 5 years on the previous one, one quarter of the mileage on hills and mud in 4wd mode.

This current single cab, just in 5 months covered 30k kilometres plying between KL and Gua Musang twice a month,  the rest mainly used in permanent 4wd mode ,25 days a month on the hills and in mud . Pretty hardy type of work I must say, but I am worried about the soft undercarriage.

I thot the single cab is spartan  but 4 weeks ago I test drive Sime's pick up Land Rover in gave my Toyota an instant 'SUV'  status. Land Rover Defender is  really just not any man's transport. It is a 4wd truck in permanent 4wd mode with an attitude........certainly not for sissies.

Doc man, what say you about Prado.?
grand pa, tell me more about the Defender 110, manual or auto....I am still open to Land Rover as our vehicle for our Transland Journey, especially Phase 2 and Phase 3, where we are doing the Mediterranean/Moroccan/ Libya /Tunisia/Algerian coastline countries followed by the Moscow/Siberia/Vladivostok phase. 

Probably need time to get used to it, the landy I mean, but the rating given by some motor 'analyst'  are quite disturbing........

At the end of the day, my question now is : when I do get down to doing it it, do I do it with a 'Jap wannabee' or do I do it with the 'Brits' ?.....England , my God !, played like a bunch of softy 'pondans' in the Euro.
They are just a bunch of overpaid miliionaires in football boots!

Or should I go back to  the safe option,what most people do it with : LANDCRUISER, the 1990's type I mean with few sophisticated electronics.

nik howk

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