The two weeks since we got our shipment from South Africa have been rather intense. I have been on vacation for the past week and we are now finally ready to head off on our West Africa Wander, having spent most waking hours doing something related to expedition prep. We in a much greater state of preparedness than we were a week ago.
Since we received the South Africa shipment two weeks ago we have installed the storage drawer system, fastened the Eezi-Awn Rooftop tent to the carrier, which involved some modifications to the carrier itself, purchased a propane tank and fastened it and the water carriers to the outside of the vehicle, had a second (deep cell) battery purchased in South Africa installed, together with an isolaor purchased in Egypt last October so the starter battery is protected, together with the fridge and charge accessories for toys (cameras, phones). We have put in an inverter (borrowed at short notice from Chris D. – thank you) to run a laptop from the Landy. and put in the rear drawers to stow the kitchen and cooking gear and various other stuff. We have designed a system on the roof to carry a 3`x 3.5 foot table which itself was adapted from a card table we had in the house. We have had the engine cleaned and replaced a gasket that was causing some loss of coolant, and we have had the oil and all filters changed. With help from Ruby at the High Commission we got the Landy re-registered with diplomatic plates, and made all the arrangements for multi-country insurance. Mercy helped us get visas for Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali. We even had a party to show off the `finished`product to work colleagues. We bought new tires. A major endeavour of the past week has been packing. We need to carry all the kitchen gear to cook and eat, we need to plan what to take, from tools to toiletries.
Tomorrow we are heading east towards Togo. One of the things we have not spent much time doing is route planning. The broad outlines of the route are pretty set but there is nothing like an itinerary. After the first night, which we may spend in Ada Foah an hour and a half down the road on the Volta River at our sailing club, we have no idea where we are going to stay.