Today we had our first ever media experience (say that ten years ago and Mum would have been alarmed). Key lesson was that you can say as much interesting stuff as you like but make a funny joke about Amsterdam then that will be what gets aired. Guess I’ll take on the bogan role in the eyes of the public. On a serious note, we are very grateful for the opportunity to get our endeavour and QIMR Berghofer some publicity. Maintaining fundraising momentum is going to be challenging and we need all the help we can get to meet our fundraising target.
As for our departure date, we’re aiming for the second week of March. Plan is to hit Darwin NLT Fri 27 Mar for a ship to Dili, East Timor. We intend to have a farewell shindig Sat 7 Mar somewhere in West End or South Bank QLD 4101 – we’ll post to Facebook when we lock something in. The main milestone in this first year is making it over Khunjerab Pass before it gets closed off by Winter. Khunjerab Pass is a 4,700m high crossing from Pakistan to China over the Karakoram Mountains and generally gets closed off from 30 Nov to 01 May. We’ll then freeze our tits off through The Stans, Iran and Turkey (have to be cold somewhere) before hitting Europe for Spring.
As for our funds, let’s just say the bank accounts don’t necessarily match the planned budget, which means you guys get to see more rice and barn photos. We’re both Project Engineers – Laws in Mechanical and I’m in Civil – and we have been working intense rosters to save for this endeavour. Contract yourself at hourly rate doing 12 hour days back-to-back over three week swings then you start doing some serious saving without any spending. The lifestyle has not been good for the soul and not something we want to be doing long-term. You suffer from a disconnect with family and friends… health and fitness go to shit… and you just generally miss out on the stuff in life that really matters. Ultimately the work has been a means to an end. Our ends have always been travel and adventure… and just quietly the means wraps up in a few weeks!!!
We would also like to mention that we have our new bikes nestled securely back at HQ – pretty important step in the preparation process 🙂