Day 173 : Space Age

6 January 2011

2011, space age right ? Why on earth are we not circumnavigating the world on a hover board? In some ways I feel a little let down by the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World. By 2011 it was suggested you could pretty much pop to the moon for a long weekend. Saying that, our little adventure would not be possible without the internet, the monster innovation that no-one predicted. The mere scale of our challenge has required correspondence with a ridiculous number of people in locations far and wide all over the world.

Without Google, we would probably still be stuck on the Russian border. Coordinating 27 crew through 9 stages in 28 countries would be almost impossible without email, skype and the web. Finding fixers (border meet and greets), logistic companies, contacting embassies and governments. The internet has also brought us facebook, twitter, youtube and blogs !!  We have published 225 blogs (18 different authors) so far which is insane!  This is a huge achievement considering the awkward (and rather annoying)  location of writing these blogs is in the back of a very bouncy fire engine. The daily grind of editing photos, cutting videos and blog writing is a pain, especially with all the other daily jobs in mind but massively worth it. What a beautiful record of our adventure so far.

Using “George’s World Blog Map” you can pick anywhere along our route and look at the blog, photos and videos from that location, incredible.  Especially a nice little tool for me as due to complete and utter exhaustion since day 2, my memory is particularly poor of the weird and wonderful events each day. Seeing how each of the crew approaches the blog writing is a comedy in self. James Morrow would spend days sweating over his, often turning them into War and Peace style epics. Barham would have his head in hands for at least and hour or two trying to come up with the opening line. Ben Haslet would be angry with himself if he spent anything more than 20 minutes on it. Nearly all the girls take notes and do their blogs on time and all of the boys are constantly late.

This week along with George, James M, Barham, Michelle and Fuad, I have been putting together a series of blogs “From the Archives”. Whilst Amy and myself cross the Pacific Ocean, every few days there will be a little recap, including videos and photos of the first 5 stages. 35,000km of high and lows …

So Auckland …  we have spent the past week staying with Jamie and Kate. A great opportunity to catch up FTFE admin and logistics. Stages 7 and 8 are looking HOT !!! A lot of graft is going on behind the scenes with Rob, Val, Ben B, Gemma, James, Brooke, Rebecca, Bill, Shannon, Laura, Globalink and NAPA. Myself and Amy are itching to get going so we can smash Canada and the USA. Lay it on !!!

Though serviced in Australia, something hasn’t been quite right with Martha of late. She’s been suffering from a loss of power so New Zealand Fire kindly offered to take a look. That “look” turned into a full service which was awesome. Looks like we were unlucky with some mucky fuel in the South Island so a good thing we jumped on it early. The lads at the Prestige Diesel & Marine (the chaps who look after all the fire engines in Auckland) were legends fixing and tweaking Martha for her USA challenge. The most loved fire engine in the world ??  Prepared by Asset co in London. Fixed by Mercedes in Switzerland, Latvia and Russia. Serviced by Mercedes in Mongolia. Serviced by the fire brigade in Singapore, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland. And we are only half way!!!

Looking back on this trip I will miss days like today the most. I love getting my hands dirty, learning stuff and fixing trucks. Oily and mucky hands… real men!!

So all that remains is for me to say ‘Hello 2011 and a happy new year’!  We hope you enjoy the look back at 2010 and everything that has been achieved so far.  Magic.

Until next time.


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