Since the whole idea of a blog is to keep my readers / viewers updated as to the extent of my travels, I thought I’d better put together a good video covering my recent trip to Oman. My last, text only post was deliberately brief, since when I posted it I was well on my way toward finishing the video you’ll see below and since parts of the drive through Oman had been through incredible scenery, I felt a video would do them more justice.
However I definitely need to work on my video production skills – it’s taken me countless hours over almost a week to put this one together, and though I’m broadly happy with the result, clearly when I’m on the road full time I’ll struggle to spend as many hours creating every video so…..
In future I’ll try to shoot fewer clips, record more narrative when I’m driving, and not be quite so pedantic when editing the clips together.
In a day or two’s time there should be another video ready, one which specifically covers the rather hair raising drive down from the top of Al Hajar Ash Sharqi – a true test of TTT’s mechanical prowess and my own determination to make it to the bottom unscathed in a vehicle twice the length of that for which the road was intended!
Having finally got to the bottom of the core problems behind my vehicle’s underlying juddering within the transmission – and solved them – I headed out with two friends, David “Streaky” Chambers and Manuel Schmidt in their Y61 Patrol LWB and Defender SWB respectively, for an eight day tour of Oman during Ramadan. Though the temperatures were already in the mid Forties, our plan was to camp at altitude whenever possible, and when on Masirah Island, stay on what we hoped would be the cooler beach. I of course could enjoy the benefits of the air conditioning I’d had installed in my KrugXP cabin but with Streaky and Manuel sleeping in roof tents, they were determined to find cooler air!
Things didn’t work out quite that way on Masirah though; the winds were howling at 20 to 30kmh – which played havoc with my top speed when driving into wind – so we found a secluded wadi to camp in instead. Where I promptly slipped and stumbled down a 20 foot rock face and very nearly did myself a very nasty injury. But don’t panic – I saved my Canon 5D III camera and 24-70 L lens from certain death by landing on my elbow instead. And people say I don’t know my elbow from my…… This, just two days after setting fire to my brake pads driving down Jebel Shams. And yet, we all got through it unscathed, for which we thank our lucky stars…
Here’s a few more photos for now, look out soon for a couple of videos recalling our adventures.
If there’s one thing I do enjoy it’s a car show and when my friend and serial automotive business entrepreneur Phil McGovern announced his latest “Caffeine & Machine” meet, I realised this would be my first chance to show TTT off to a wide audience and generate some interest in the vehicle, my journey and this blog. So with TTT duly washed and polished I drove down to the event at the superb Port Rashid venue. The directions themselves were enticing “Go in through the main gate, tell them you are with Caffeine & Machine. Go over the first roundabout, left at the lights, then turn left at the Queen Elizabeth II”.
No, Her Majesty was not actually there to meet me in person, but the cruise liner the QE2 has been moored in Dubai for 10+ years now and whilst it’s a shame she’s not been developed as the tourist attraction which she could be (along the lines of the Queen Mary in Long Beach CA), she’s still an imposing vessel. As I entered the port there was a 1930s Ford pick-up behind me and a modified Unimog in front of me, so I knew I was going to enjoy the show. I drove past my friend Laurie Bridger’s gorgeous 1959 Cadillac convertible, waited for a couple of 1960’s Mustangs to park, queued behind a Lamborghini LM002 4×4 to get to the ‘off road’ display and parked alongside my business partner Ian Barker’s Chevy LS2 powered rally prepped Nissan Patrol (it’s for sale, details here http://newtrixracing.blogspot.ae/ )
I hadn’t been out of the vehicle five minutes and was still opening up all the panels and attaching information sheets (to save me explaining things a 100 times) , when the first intrigued passers-by came over to chat. It must have been two hours later when I realised the sun was beginning to set and I’d yet to take any photos. So I made a very brief walk around a fraction of one of the display areas, between the McLaren P1s and Lancia Stratos, vintage Jaguars and Porsches, Ferrari 365 and 308s (mmmmm!), VW split screen campers and…and…and…
I was in automotive heaven, but sadly lack of light curtailed my photography, and by the time I returned to TTT there was a queue of visitors waiting to take a look around. If I’d have been charging admission I’d have made a fortune. I reckon I showed over 30 groups and families around the truck, met up with a number of my journalist friends who were finally able to see the vehicle for the first time, and generally just had a great time.
Six hours later I drove home, a very happy man, and with any number of new followers of this blog – so “Hi” to you all and Thanks for coming along and meeting me. And Thank you Phil for the trouble I know you must have gone to, to get the event off the ground.