I am now on twitter montybedfords
we set off in 24 hours, and just in the nick of time i managed to fix the breaks, before nick found out they didn’t really work. I was going to tell him on the way down from the alps but now they are fixed. We have a rout plan, again, it looks good but a big drive on day one and two. My friend Julia is letting us stay at her house in Slovenia, that will be on Thursday night, then we head south east for Dubrovnik and then Albania. We are both looking forward to the trip, I not sure but i think Nick is particularly looking forward to my cooking!!!
I think we should celebrate this epic trip by having some business cards printed; I am going to look for a good cheap place to get them done. Oh, what’s this, Vista print, business cards for £3.12? I am signing up; this is great value.
Here is how the final price broke down.
£3.12 was for 25 cards, not a lot of use really, I want 250-n that will be £10.62
I took the opportunity to up-load my own design £1.87
And a design for the back £1.87
Black and white only on the back, I didn’t see an option for invisible ink £1.66
Gloss paper (as opposed to what…Toilet paper?) £1.87
By now I was more than a little irritated, but it was done and all I had to do was check out? Oh no Mister Bedford we still have one more opportunity to take you to the cleaners, we think a donation towards postage would be aproriet at this juncture here are the options, bear in mind we leave in a month
Standard delivery 14 days £3.59
Priority (Priority ie it hangs around on some photocopier for 7 Days) £8.16
Rush (3 Days, Amazon and eBay can get this overnight, that’s rush) £15.04
So my pack of business cards that I thought would cost me in the region of £3.12 actually cost £32.94, more than 10 time the original estimate, I will never deal with this company again, probably the most resented purchase I have ever made, HM revenues and taxes could use Vista Print as an analogy for the pain of payment, handing over my hard earned to the taxman is a philanthropic donation in comparison.
Anyway, back to the car, Yep definitely not good at present…
Today i can report the first donation on our just giving site has been made, www.justgiving.com/intercontinentalastra I am sure that this will now snowball and it has encouraged me to start promotion of the trip. So Julie of TI Automotive, thank you, you are the start of something big, well bigish. Nick has secured a premier dot com website name, we will be on goggles front page at last. Before long you will be able to type in intercontinentalastra.com and go straight to our blog. We wanted a short snappy memorable name, but none were available so we chose this. Give us a couple of days and it should go live.
News on the car, its knackered.
But you already knew that. I find it quite reassuring knowing my car is not really road worthy, rather than finding out on a wet monday morning when it dumps its oil on the Shrewsbury bypass and leaves me stranded. I am used to that concept, if it to happen again I will cope, I’ll be reassured by the fact that it’s worth just as much broken down as in ‘working order’.
I have a plan to make it go a bit faster, I am fed up of lorries overtaking me on hills. My plan is this. Get new injectors, get the exhaust fixed and change the fuel filter. It should make a difference. I spoke to Keith at United Diesel (now I have mentioned you on our website can I have a discount please? http://www.uniteddiesel.co.uk/) he recondition’s injectors, I asked him if mine needed doing, I explained the smoke, the lack of power, the starting issues, the miss firing he was fairly convinced that the reconditioned injectors (£50 each) would help. Then I mentioned the quarter of a million miles on the clock. The phone went quiet for a minute and I heard muted laughter in the back ground, then he came back on and told me they would be ready in a couple of days. I take it they need doing!
I have noticed that the fuel consumption has got worse over the last 100 thousand miles, now hovering at around 53 MPG.
Thanks to Tony for sorting out my satnav. Tony knows all things tech.
I have been very busy at home with DIY, that bit is nearly done now so more blogs and more preparation.
Catch you all again soon
I have set up a just giving page and we are hoping to raise £1000 for Hope House children’s hospice.
I am also looking into a new web site for this blog, more on this later.
The car still need work but I have fitted two new tires on the front, the old ones were near the end of their life and I wanted to have a bit of extra traction in the snow that currently covers mid Wales. I will be donig more road trip related activities over the next few weeks and will report back more often.
The plan to get the old girl into some sort of shape moved on a bit today (boxing day). I have established that the heater fane resistor pack has blown, but i can not find a replacement as yet. I have ordered a new windscreen washer pump and a radiator fan switch. Since the trip to the garage, the water pump is not leaking, the thermostat is working, the fan belt it tight and not longer squeals in pain every time the battery demands mor charge.
The brake lights have a problem, I must get this sorted soon.
Spoke with my co driver Nick, he will soon be adding to this blog and with his familiarity of all things computer, i guess we will get a few more hits…. Result
Next I need to fix the speedo or she will never get to quarter of a million mile on the clock.
It now less than 3 months till we leave and the car is showong some signs of old age, how ever that is not putting me off. Here is my list of concerns
- The fan to cool the engine is not working.
- The engine thermostat is not working
- The first two speeds of the three speed fan to heat the car are not working.
- The water pump is leaking.
- The fan belt is slipping so not charging the batery properly
- The drivers door window does not open.
- the pasengers door does not close properly.
- The bonnet does not shut properly.
- The engine heater control that helps start the car in cold weather has packed up.
- The front tyres keep going down,
- The power steering makes a noise on full lock.
- The back near side door does not open.
- The brakes are pulling to one side
- The steering is pulling to the other side,
- The rear window heater is rubbish
- The hand brake works fine unless you are on a hill
- The car no longer has the power to overtake, not even tractors.
Not to worry, it still does alomost 60 MPG (recorder 59.8 a month ago before the speedo packed up) and it has not depreciated in value for the last ted years, economy motoring!
I have a plan to fix the fan, I believe it may be a thermal fuse on the speed control resistor pack that has blown. Where did i put my screw driver?
The plan is to drive my car from Montgomery in Mid wales (home) to Asia. I have a co driver and and the route is starting to come together. We plan to leave on thursday the 4th April 2013. The trip will be around 5500 miles and take in excess of 10 days, travel through at least twelve defferant coutries. I will set up a ‘just giving’ site for sponsers to donate to Hope House, a worthy charity whos aim is to help terminally sick children in Mid Wales and Shropshire. We raised over £2000 on the Arctic circle challenge!
The car is a 1993 Vauxhall Astra, currently showing 238 thousand miles on the clock and will probably be over quarter of a million by the time we set off. The car is in a very poor state, it may or may not make the journey.
This is the first blog about our trip but there will be more thought the following weeks and months and I will be blogging every day once we set off.
Please check in once in while to see whats happening with Team Astra.