Saturday, 13 November 2010

***Breaking News*** Burma's Suu Kyi Is Realeased !!!

Yes at 10:30 GMT today 'The Lady' was finally released for 15 of the past 21 years of house arrest.

We are all very keen to hear what she will have to say tomorrow after announcing that she will speak out tomorrow (sunday) at 12 noon after she has visited the NLD office in Rangoon.

Monday, 13 September 2010



We are all so sad to see this dream get postponed, but despite your wonderful generosity, current circumstances mean it is impossible for us to complete our route. Our window of opportunity closes in November and we have therefore been forced to postpone leaving until September 2011.

The High Commission have insisted we do not attempt to pass through en route to India due to the current situation regarding flooding, food, clean water and the outbreaks of cholera.

We have informed them of our route plans and in return they informed us that the dry, desert areas such as Balochistan now contain 12 million homeless people whom are starving.

We would inevitably become instant targets and our safety could be jeopardised. We feel that it would be foolish to carry on as we are and enter ourselves into this current unstable environment.

Our contact in Islamabad says 29 bridges are down and most roads have turned into soft silt tracks.

We are all deeply disappointed.

The First Overland 2010 team.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Unforeseable Problems

No, sadly we have not departed yet.

We are awaiting Iranian visa's still but the real problem lies in Pakistan.

Everybody who has heard the news or read the papers will know a large part of the Punjab and more, is severely under water at the moment. Now for us that is not too much of a problem as we are in Land Rovers and they are capable of fording through up to two foot of water safely. The problem is the displaced country men and the issue with the military.

The Pakistani high commission in London has advised us against all but essential travel and we would not want to arrive at the border only to be turned back.

The military fact is that as the military are working as hard as they can at the moment trying to keep the situation under control, they are not able to offer us an escort through Baluchistan or a safe place to stay in Karachi, which is understandable.

The main issue though as the team sees it is not all of this but what the poor, starving Pakistani people will do for just some food or clean water - i.e. an ambush. We have just had some news come in from a friend in Islamabad and he informs us that where there was once arid, empty countryside it is now full of starving families that have had their homes and lively hoods washed away by mother nature.

He tells us that these people are desperate and will do anything to get a drink or some food. So the team feels it is unwise to depart until the situation improves. We cannot risk being ambushed or having our Land Rover ransacked or even stolen.

We have arranged to meet with Cambridge University tomorrow to discuss our plans and from there will we will decide on a departure date which is at the moment set to be October 2nd. Watch this space!

Sorry for the bad news but our safety must come first.

F/O team

Monday, 16 August 2010

Oxford & Cambridge go to Brazil

It's with interest that i have come across the account of the 1956/7 Oxford & Cambridge expedition to South America.

The report has been typed up on a type writer and is in old fashioned purple ink. After some further digging I have discovered that there is also a British Pathe film of the expedition in Colour!

Some of the images shown in the film are quite simply amazing and its amazing to think that just 50 years ago there were still so many native tribes living with out human interference.

The account also refers to the lost city of El Dorado (Lost City of Gold) and Sir Walter Raleigh's explorations.

Of course the expedition naturally used Land Rovers, three this time and the going looks just as tough as when the 1955 team passed through Burma.

Another report goes into my Oxford and Cambridge archive


Monday, 9 August 2010

The Cost...

Our expedition budget comes to a grand total of £33331

To date we have raised £12000 by funding it ourselves.

Our £7000 petrol costs have kindly been sponsored by the Land Rover Series One Club which takes our total funds raised up to £19000.

This leaves us with £14331 to raise (or to recieve goods in kind)

Due to this quite dramatic lack of funds we have decided to put the departure date back by two weeks. This means we need to raise (or recieve goods to the value of) £2500 per week. Yes it may seem alot but remember we have had no commercial help with this expedition (except for the vehicle restorations) and we have come this far so we are not giving up now.

We do not understand why sponsors are not interested in helping this epic trip depart and be completed but that is how it is so its down to us to self-fund it.

Please help us to reach our goal of £14k, if you want something in return please email us with your ideas.

The clock is really ticking now.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Second Generation Glasses - Part 1

Yes, they have arrived!

Oxford Universities Centre For Vision in The Developing World has successfully designed and manufactured the "Second Generation" glasses that not only do away with a fluid filled lens design but they have also managed to make them look 21st century style.

The original first generation was a very successful design. 38000 pairs went to Afghanistan with many, many more going to Africa. The new target is India.

It has been the expedition’s ambition to partner ourselves with the Centre for one reason. We are set to be spending up to six weeks in India, mainly the North East carrying out tasks for our sponsored charity FutureSence Foundation. However after discovering through an ex team member there was a small university project crying out for help we decided to out line some plans to see if we could assist in some way.

We went along to chat with Owen, the man overseeing the project and we have agreed to dedicate a portion of our 6 week stay to distributing these new glasses which can be seen here , we have been donated 200 pairs but we would like to double, even triple that. How we plan to do this is to offer people wishing to watch this expedition succeed a chance to sponsor a pair at £20. After we have distributed all of the glasses we will be asking the Indian community to fill out a specially designed questionnaire, which will then be returned to Oxford. This questionnaire contains information that is invaluable to the Centre, it will enable them to further their research into poor eye sight and to hopefully in the long run, eradicate blindness.

Please contact us if you would like to sponsor a pair. Thank You F/O 2010

Friday, 9 July 2010

Land Rover Worldwide

Exciting news!

We have started correspondeance with the Land Rover dealers in Singapore and are looking at making their showroom our final destination.

We are currently in talks with them about giving presentations and talks once we arrive and putting our two trusty series ones in their show room for the duration of our stay whilst in Singapore.

So if anybody if in Singapore in early February 2011 please pop by to see us.

We are also still trying to establish a relationship with Tata. Sadly the University of Cambridge here in the uk has insisted we do this with out their help, I think its due to health and safty. Should we run into trouble they don't want to be seen as a figure who encouraged us to pass through 'risky' places such as Iran and Myanmar (Burma). Shame.

Nether the less we proceed with our heads held high fighting on.

p.s if aby body reading this thinks they can offer any help with our Tata issue please do not hesitate to contact us.