Living in a Landrover

Some early thoughts on life in a Landrover.

A place for everything and everything in its place….

All the time, all day, everyday! With such a small space everything has to be where it should be all the time. Not such a problem for someone like me who borders on OCD but in any event likes to be organised but it definitely has the potential to drive you mad.

To be honest we get used to the routine – I get something out, use it, put it back. James gets something out, uses it, I put it back 🙂

But you do find you spend an inordinate amount of time opening cupboards and drawers to get whatever it is you need, often the same cupboard over and over again when you realise you forgot that one important thing……

We have enough space!

Amazingly we are carrying everything we need in life and yet there seems to be plenty of storage space. We are even finding spare space for little extras – I haven´t worn my walking boots yet, choosing to live in my trainers which is a surprise but also means my large boots need to go somewhere that is not on my feet! They have fitted comfortably in my clothes box with even enough space to store my enormous camera bag alongside.

We have brought stuff with us that we had in stock back in the UK and needed using – a tissue mountain, loads of half-empty cans of antiperspirant, more firelighters than you could shake a stick at! As we use it all even more space is being freed up, we´re going to have to think carefully about what to do with it all! My mind is already finding a place for the travel cat to sleep…..

Henry is the most comfortable home imaginable

Our bed is fabulous! Memory foam mattress on springs with duck down duvet and egyptian cotton bedding. Luxurious, cosy….home.

We pull it out a few inches when we go to sleep to allow a little more foot space at the bottom then push it back when the first of us gets up to allow more space for dressing and using the sink. Once we´re both up the bed gets tucked into the roof and we can stand up inside and use the space perfectly happily.

I have a window on my side which I love. It can be rolled up completely or propped open on little rods of it´s cold or wet – and either way a mosquito net gets put up. Every night I fall asleep looking out at the stars with a gentle breeze on my face.

My favourite place though is the back step where I sit to drink my Red Bush tea and have breakfast in the morning as well as many lunches and the occasional glass of wine in the evening. From there I can admire any view and watch the world go by feeling safe and protected by Henry´s solid and unmovable presence.

Army Boot Camp Training!

I train every other day for around an hour first thing in the morning – if I don´t get it done first thing it doesn´t happen, I learnt that many years ago.

Training when home is a Landrover means training outdoors – whatever the weather, terrain or local insect population!

A quick Citronella spray before starting keeps the worst of the flies off when I start to get a bit sweaty. But I´ve been feeling like I´m in army boot camp when I´m doing my first few exercises trembling in t-shirt and lycra leggings in 4 degree temeratures, rain and mud…..

Mosquitos are not your friend!

Goes without saying I guess but they are by far the worst part of our new lives. Particularly for James as he reacts very badly to them but they love him – making a bee-line (or maybe a mozzie-line) for him every day.

Our choice of camping location is almost entirely dictated by how likely it is to have mosquitoes – keeping away from rivers or other bodies of water – and we are getting through the various mosquito sprays at a rate of knots. But we are both still covered in bites most of the time…..and we haven´t even left Europe yet!

If I could change one thing about our nomadic lives it would be mosquitos!

We are Royalty!

There is something about Landrovers. So many people are fascinated by them, they exude some sort of romantic image that inspires the imagination and tempts the soul.

There are plenty of travellers in plenty of different vehicles but Landrovers are set apart from the rest. You may think the Toyota Landcruiser is the better off-road vehicle, and you may be right in some respects, but it´s not a Landrover. It is a generally accepted truism that if you want to meet people whilst you travel, drive a Landrover and people will come to you.

We are finding out just how true this is!

And we are not just driving a Landrover – Henry is a class apart even from these iconic vehicles.

As we drive down roads we get waves and stares. In towns people stop on the street and watch us go by. Meeting another vehicle when off-road illicits a slowing down, thumbs up or wave at least – being hailed to pull over for a chat and a tour at most!

And pulling in or out of a campsite is often a quite bizarre experience with other campers stopping what they´re doing and watching us. At one in particular we were slowly driving out with crowds of people on both sides watching, pointing, smiling – I felt like doing the royal wave as we went by!

We have rarely stayed in a campsite without someone coming up to us starting the conversation with something along the lines of ´wow, nice Landrover….´ and staying for hours chatting about the build and our plans.

But the funniest event was being hailed by a group of French adventurers following the trails on quad bikes. The leader was the only one who spoke English so he did the talking and translated for the rest.

As we patiently answered his questions about the build and showed him some of the clever features we were greeted with nods and smiles from the rest. When he translated that we lived in Henry and had no other home there was a collective breathy ooooooohhhhh and when he explained to them our 12 year round-the-world route there was a group gasp! Somewhere in my mind images of the Minions flitted by…..