Warning: This is not advice (who am I to teach anyone, but a feedback!
- Why leave?
Above all, do not leave to escape something or someone. Because 5,000 kilometers from France, it will always be the same head in the mirror, yours! And the same problems …
Go for something positive, important! Want to discover, meet, tell …
- To leave or ?
I have been in love with Africa since I discovered it 40 years ago. So Africa. Andthen once arrived in Djibouti, we say that Oman is not far and that it would be apity … And in Muscat, Bombay reaches out … So much so that the world tour has imposed itself naturally.
- How to leave?
By plane ? I worked 6 years in export and I confess to be fed up airports, customs controls, boarding halls …
On a boat ? Tempting, very tempting. But I do not know anything about it and I did not see myself learning to hoist the jib and tutti quanti …
Rest the car. I like to drive. More than 2.5 million kilometers traveled since I was 18 years old.
- Which car ?
I listened to the pros, the kind of those who are at their 15th Dakar, who come back from Turkestan … what fighters! And they advised me this: a Toyota Hilux.
5.33 meters long, when you know that the armored Cadillac Trump is 5.50 meters, you imagine! Second hand. This is one of the assistance vehicles of the Peugeot team of the 2018 Dakar. Already elevated. 12,000 kilometers. On the other hand, it must be prepared. Yes, have a reserve of water, a shield under the engine …
I met a passionate man, a madman, a man with a huge heart. I met Vincent.
- What preparation?
Vincent advised me. And little by little, the Hilux took shape: he dismounted the hard top and made a wooden floor (in brown on the picture).
And lots of other useful stuff.
Do you want the list? Here we go :
- 220 volt outlet (to recharge computer batteries in particular)
- An additional slow-discharge battery (to support accessories and so that it does not pull on the main battery)
- A voltmeter (to know where I am with this battery)
- A compressor, a pressure gauge (to inflate the tires that I have deflated during difficult passages, and a baffle to clean the inside)
- The led in the bucket (to see clearly, just stupidly)
- A large drawer (to store the mountain of stuff that I feel obliged to to take)
- A steel plate on the opening of the tailgate (to make my treasure)
- A cigarette lighter plug in the bucket (to make me a tea with my kettle of road)
- A roof rack (to support the second spare wheel)
- A handshower (to draw water from my tank) and a tank drain of water.Hooks (to stow my package)
Vincent is so crazy that I can not resist telling you this anecdote truthful: the Hilux was to be ready on October 31 in the afternoon.
That same afternoon Vincent sends me a text message “You can pick it up around 2 o’clock “. I’m thinking of a joke and going to bed.
At one o’clock in the morning, new text “Come give me a hand, it’ll be more quick “. A little bemused and not at all awake, I jump in my clothes and I arrive in the workshop at 2 o’clock.
We worked together until 5 hours !!! The strongest is that at 2:30,he phones his right arm Valentine: “Where did you put the bell saw? And
the other, as if nothing had happened, answers him without astonishment “in the shelf gray “! The following photo was taken at 2:37 AM in Montaigu (France).
Of course, this is not Vincent’s best profile!
- Which route?
Here’s how I did it (again I’m not saying it’s good, I’m telling you informs that’s all …)
I started by doing the theoretical route. I took Google Maps and I traced the road. It was easy but stupid. Silly because that did not hold counts points of interest! Imagine going to India and not going to see the Taj Mahal. When you come home, you say, “It was not on my way! ”
So I collected, country by country, the inevitable. You go to sites like Guide du Routard, the Petit Fûté … easy. But suddenly I redid a second route by eliminating what made me detours too important and in including stuff not to miss.
But my entourage put so much pressure on me that I went on the website of France Diplomatie (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and watched the security card of each country. (see the map)
So, I will not go to Tambao! (at the very top of the map) while she has one of the largest manganese mines in the world.
In a general way, I prohibited myself the red zones. That’s why my tour of Africa stops in Djibouti. After it was Eritrea, Sudan … And there it really sucks a lot. I do not want the youngest of my daughters Orphaned too quickly … Here, by the way, here is my youngest:
So I redid a third route!
And then I calculated the mileage (Google maps, very practical) to have balanced days. It was starting to take shape.
1st column the city or the place. Then the country. The date I will be there. The number of kilometers. The interest, from 0 to 3 green boxes. Finally The estimated time. And customs where appropriate.
- How long?
Given the number of countries I wanted to cross (when you’re in South Africa, I find it a crime not to go to Lesotho (the Sani Pass, will see on the net, you will discover one of the 10 mythical roads of the world).
I could have, without problem, make this trip in three years. I limited myself to two years is not bad, so I will miss two years in a row Beaujolais
new. 3 times would have been unbearable! (“This year it has the taste of banana”, you speak !)
- Which documents?
My little trip will take me to 89 countries and 3 French territories. It makes stamps! And then when I’m in the depths of a country and that I will ask for a visa, I need a 2nd passport. And here is the beginning of a hard time !
-Hello Madam Municipal employee, I would like a passport
-You do not have any ?
-If but I need two passports.
–Not possible. Next person please.
I pass you the details, a trip to Le Mans, palaver (it was for get used to Africa …) In short, I have the great pleasure to join you this photo.
2.The international driving license
In some countries, the French driver’s license is not enough.
- Re hello hello Madam employee. I would like a driver’s international license.
- (visibly relieved) It’s no longer us, it’s happening at the prefecture of Vendee.
- Good morning Madam de la préfecture, I would like …
- (with an air of blissful delight): It’s not us anymore, it’s at the prefecture of Nantes for all of France!
I send my file with the photos, the form ….
- Hello, good morning Madam of the prefecture of Nantes, it is for my permit of drive.
- Dear Sir, your request has been registered and you will receive it in some days.
- Thank you Madam.
Actually, a few days later I get my driver’s international license. And I think that when it’s effective, the public service, it’s nice !
Three weeks later, I receive another letter from the prefecture of Nantes containing … a second international driving license !! Bearing the same number than the 1st!
You do not believe me ? Look…
With vaccines at a golden price, normal that it is yellow!
3. The International Certificate of Vaccination
I took it late, very late (because I do not like bites and I have back the fateful moment!)
But, considering the journey, I got stung against:
- Whooping cough
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Rabies (an English tourist has just died of rabies in Morocco, bitten by a cat)
- Yellow fever (in Africa, as soon as you have a fever, there is a suspicion of yellow fever !)
- Japanese encephalitis (I did not even know it existed when I told toubib “but I’m not going to Japan,” he laughed …
- Leptospirosis (this is sewer disease, it is caught by rats)
- Meningococcal meningitis
- Cholera (“Cholera returns to haunt Zimbabwe” Journal la Croix du 14 September 2018.
- And … the flu!
I did not find a vaccine against the hecklers, if not to the point where I was …
So what does it do? Frankly, nothing. The needles have changed and the product that you are injected does not burn as in the past. On the other hand, a huge
tired. A remake, I take it, at least a year in advance!
Where it hurts is the wallet! Nothing is refunded! Nothing but vaccine against leptospirosis, more than 240 €. I have interest in being bitten by a rat to make money!!
4. The CPD
This is THE bad surprise of these preparations: the customs passbook.
Mandatory in some countries. Highly recommended in others. It’s made for to avoid the traffic of vehicles which would escape the taxes of the crossed countries. In theory, nothing to say.
This is asking the Automobile Club de France.
Against a deposit.
Oh, how much the deposit?
Depending on the value of the vehicle
It’s worth it ma’am!
You go to the official website of the Argus, you are stamped € 7.99 and you have the coast. And you pay us, by bank check or wire transfer, 150 % of the price of your vehicle.
I shouted, stormed, threatened to make a scandal … and went to see my bank to lend me money …
Morality: if you go around the world, go pedal boating, skates in casters or kite surfing,
BUT NOT BY CAR !!
But hey, being bad on roller skates, I still take the car.
“Go on Waze, take a Tom Tom, Google Maps …”
All these people are right. But I prefer to duplicate with cards. Not to not to do like my daughter “Why do you turn right, it’s a forbidden sense?” “Dad, I’m the GPS!”
I found most of these cards in a fantastic place: Le Vieux Camper.
Hello Sir, I would like the map of Papua New Guinea.
Third shelf, second ray!
And the Solomon Islands, you have?
Shelf next, 3rd ray.
Calmé, father Alain !!
- What material?
I wanted to do as some. I did not take into account my abilities and I bought a Panasonic HG5S with a Leika lens ….
I studied the instructions, watched lots of tutos and after 17 aspirin tubes … I offered it to a passionate!
As my grandmother told me “Do not fart higher than her c …! ”
Other than that, I bought a drone. The best, I believe. And there, I did not do a bad choice (we can not be bad everywhere!)
This is a DJI Mavic Combo Platinum that even I can manage!
At 154 meters high on the beach of Saint Hilaire de Riez (85), I did this:(Yes Madam !)
Photo 180 degrees that the bestiau assembles alone. She is not beautiful, life?
Otherwise, I acquired a Go Pro, to take pictures in the water.
But not only.
It is also to hang on the body and order the taking of photos to distance.
It’s beautiful progress!
- What clothes?
A bit like these
It is on this bewildered head that I finish this section “Getting prepared”!