I started out by honing down my set to something that I thought the locals from any one place might like to hear, so I included material from “Original Contemporary” to “Colonial”.
I have taken a Mini Maton, which is a 3/4 scale accoustic, and tuned it to a modified “G” ( I call it “Buliak Tuning” or “Lower delta Rosedale Juke Joint” tuning………………how presumptuous) Blog me for the details. I have always been an Urban Rocker but whenever I go bush I find myself playing things like “Pub with no beer” and “Raining on the Rock”, funny that.
Oh you meant “Practical preparations for the trip”. A lot of info here from the Legals to the Mechanicals, I wont bore you with the details but it took us about a year and I am happy to answer any questions via the blog or “Get in touch”).
The car itself is a 2006 78 series “Troopy” (Toyota LandCruiser) with 74,000 Ks on the dial (It was still in warranty when I got it.) with a 1HD-FTE turbo diesel engine (one of the best they made). In hindsight an earlier model may have been easier to repair in remote places but Im hoping a “close to new car” will negate the need for repairs. Sounds like famous last words, doesn’t it?
I have nicknamed the car “Yoda” after the “Star Wars character” as in “Toy Yoda” “Toyota” I even have a small Toy Yoda hanging from the rear view mirror (the name was Glenn’s idea). Judy doesn’t approve of this and has named the car “Girt” as in “Girt by sea” from our national anthem Advance Australia Fair.We will see what name it becomes as we travel.
Our Northern Territory trip was a good dress rehearsal and it showed me what not to take rather to “what more should I take”. I was able to dispose of about half a tonne of unnecessary weight. Its not to say I have lost capability but having thought about some of the uses of the things I took I was able to get around their usefulness in other ways i.e.. instead of carrying a spare 20Kg steel cable (for recovery use) I have decided that I can bury a wheel and use it as a land anchor for winching ( a whole lot harder but better than lugging 20Kg for 80,000 k’s. (does that equal 1,600,000 kilogrameters? ). I also made my own recovery “Traks”-saved about $600 and 2 Kilos.(off the car,not my waist)
We ended up sending more unnecessary gear back to Australia from Walvis Bay, Namibia and on returning back to Sydney found that there were many other items that we did not actually use during the trip, however these items could have been important given the opportunity.
We both did the Toyota LandCruiser 4WD driving course and it is to be recommended as it not only gave us valuable information and techniques but also showed us our car’s capabilities.