It’s Monday 3rd July 2006 and the Jeep


It’s Monday 3rd July 2006 and the Jeep

Kim is away taking a well earned rest and I caught the It’s Monday ball for this week. So hello from me! We have just come to the end of a two month program – hosting the new “Jeep” press event. Two months of preparation for two sets of three days with the journalists. You can imagine this was quite an experience for us. Here is the story and in case you are surprised to see virtually no cars in a car story I am not allowed to show you pics of the new Jeeps (the Jeeps shown are the old models).

Duncan, the man on the ground, came out in January and poured over maps with Robin, drove to most the remote spots he could get to in the rains which was very limited and said “Yes” – South Luangwa could do this! The Daimler Chrysler press event of their new Jeep would be hosted by RPS. Then two months ago he arrived with Bob and Karl, to get things ready. I have to say I was very unsure what could possibly take two months but who was I to ask.

The event is now over and he was right – every day was needed. Duncan’s vehicle alone has driven 5000 miles (8000 km) which of course 96% was on dirt tracks, over rocks, up and down the escarpment. I have lived here for 18 years but have never been up the escarpment road – he has done it ten times! And amazingly there has not been one puncture (for those of you who are “petrol-heads” the tyres were Goodyear MTR).

ravinerocky ravine

The brief was an “extreme off road trail” and so much of the time was spent finding places to really show off what the vehicles could do. This included days of walking rocky areas that I would say no vehicle could cover and then often winching boulders to make it even more extreme. This little ravine was part of the course. And yes – they did drive up and down those boulders. Amazing! preparing camppreparing camp

aEmily was our logistics lady in the bush, Kim the pivot point in camp and Rob the RPS planner and then leader of the event. The first stop of the three day safari was the mobile camp on the Mupamadzi River. We had to expand the six bedded camp into a twenty bedded camp! Emily went up a couple of days ahead with a small team and set up. We were pleased to hear the white impala we told you about last year is still around.

collecting watercookingdining tent

The next day while the journalists were tackling the ravine she zipped back down to Nkwali. Quick shower, swopped kit and with Deb, the Flying Camping guru, drove up the Chendeni Hills. Camping on top (lucky ducks!) included a howling wind (well maybe not) and not much sleep. Up early to get the lunch ready with the sweeping views of the valley stretching out before them.

The journalists drove up the back of the hills – fine, lunched – great, and then drove down the front – mad. Yes complete madness – it is a virtual drop! I thought (as did everyone else who had never driven a Jeep) impossible but they did it. That says a lot for the Jeep. It was a total success, and described as the “most extreme off road extreme event ever” and yes I had to get my head around that one too.

journalistsview

Duncan and his team lived with us “back of house” and have become very much part of the team including joining the weekly migration for pressure release at Flatdogs. Of course there was time for some play – including a game of cricket on the sandbank. Here Robin is interrupting play by searching for a beer in the stumps!

But they constantly threw us very curved balls and it was amazing to watch our team catch them and run with it. Well done Team!

searching for a beergiraffe

And thanks to Emily for the great photos!
And to the game that throughout the event wowed the journalists.

emily

All the best for the coming week, as we settle back to our normal life again!

a

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