The fireworks continue 28/10/10-7/11/10

Posted: November 7, 2010 in 7.UAE

Hello people, just a little update. Firstly the car, well it’s still properly broken- it caught fire again in the garage yesterday and we are still no nearer to finding out what the problem is. The lads at the A2B garage have been great though and are calling in the big guns, hopefully with an idea of why the car seems to insist on spontaneously combusting as soon as it senses the key in the ignition. No idea on what the outcome will be… The boat to Port Klang, Maylasia leaves on the 13th so somehow we have to get the car to the docks by that time.

Our plans have also totally changed. Getting the car into India by boat is a nightmare: the cheapest price we have been quoted is $2500, which is just way out of the budget. Plus we have heard from others thats it’s simply not worth the hassle, as the car could be held up for weeks/months by customs in Mumbai. We were held up by customs in Dubai for 4 hours and that was enough so we are going to do India on the train in the New Year and spend more time in SE Asia with the car (if it is fixed of course!).

So for the last week Mike and Ann have put us up in their lovely apartment in Dubai Marina and we have enjoyed the sights of Dubai. What a place, I can’t believe how much ite has changed in the last 10 yrs since I was here as a green Cadet on a container ship. We have seen the old town and spent hours wondering the malls, mouths agape at the size of them and the extravagance of the architecture.  The pictures don’t do it justice.

After a mammoth session with the UAE customs we slept soundly on our first night in Dubai, dreaming about sand dunes as our host had suggested a trip into the desert for a BBQ the next day. Our first foray into sand with the car did not go well. About 50m from the road we stopped, as the car in front got bogged down. Once he was free we tried to set off again only to find ourselves axel deep in sand with the consistency of talcum powder. An hour of digging ensued until finally a helpful Arab came along and pulled us out with his small Toyota, a tad embarrassing to say the least. We made it the the BBQ site and enjoyed the food and the local wildlife in the shape of a scorpion! No bare feet for Simon from now on.

The next day we took the car off to the garage to have all our troubles looked at, and there were a lot! We got it back a few days later and after installing a new £200 battery a small fire started underneath the car, melting a lot of the new wires. It went back to the garage where it still is to this day, so we have used our car-less time sight seeing and exploring this strange new land of Starbucks, Ferraris and Mega Yachts.

Over the weekend (Friday to Saturday here) our hosts kindly took us to Oman and an amazing snorkelling spot they know. I’ve never seen so many fish (that weren’t battered, with chips on the side), it was quite simply phenomenal. On saturday we both tried paddle skis (yeah, we had no idea what they were either). The best way to describe them is: take a canoe, halve it, make it very unstable, and you get an idea. I fell into the water around seven times before my first stroke with a paddle and by the end of the day I had swum more than I’d paddled. Megan ‘Redgrave’ Cartwright however took to it like a duck to water and was half way back to Iran before Mike could turn her around.

It’s been great having  friends to take our minds off our car troubles, and acting as tour guides and we really can’t say thank you enough to Ann and Mike. As soon as we get news on the car we will let you all know, as I am sure you are all having sleepless nights as well.

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Comments
  1. Mark says:

    Hi Hows the car going now, I hope the work we did has sorted it out for you.

    Best wishes for the rest of your journey.

    Mark the electrician

  2. Tim parrott says:

    Its good to know i`m not the only one having problems with land rovers still i`m a least still in my own home not stuck halfway around the world.Keep your chin up a give the car a damm good kick(does`nt actually have any technical advantages but makes you feel better)keep going it will be worth it in the end

  3. robin welch says:

    Sorry to hear about your troubles, it must be so frustrating for you both.

    I’m sure there are many that read your blog entries that send you their best wishes for a speedy solution and onwards journey. You have gone so far to turn around now

    Best Wishes, Robin

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