Author: Beady

Welsh Hillrally 1997 , was it really that long ago, how old am I really?

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Always be careful when having a tidy up,

After a Scottish Hillrally sticker was posted on Facebook it brought back memories,

and then I started have a merciless tidy out and found this….

21 years ago, and this year Chloe and Milly are taking the plunge and doing the 2018 Welsh hillrally in 88″ ALRC spec car.

I bet the course doesn’t go through the forest like back in 1999, I still have the maps and the one in the picture is through the Halfway forest, a really tough stage and in October in Wales, you know it was wet.

 

 

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The Ramblers society actively promote off-road vehicles on footpaths.

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Same old story….  Ramblers want to destroy the countryside by themselves but blame 4x4’s and bikers.

This petition popped up on my Facebook page, please sign it to show your support.

https://www.change.org/p/a-petition-to-the-chief-executive-of-the-lake-district-national-park-to-keep-our-green-lanes-open-in-the-lake-district

 

Sign the petition don’t be lazy.

 

The Ramblers ( and general hikers ) are hypocrites to an unbelievable level, they appear to just want no one else to use the countryside, they persist with their perpetual battle with off-roaders, either 4x4’s or trailbikes and even Horse riders and Mountain Bikers!!, It appears now be more of a left wing class war than a protest with any real basis of reason. They claim that these motorised vehicles destroy the countryside.

Lets looks at some interesting facts.

1.       The ramblers society actively promote off road vehicles on footpaths.

http://www.ramblers.org.uk/advice/walking-with-a-disability-or-health-issue/people-with-limited-mobility-and-wheelchair-users.aspx

make no mistake these are motorised off road vehicles for which they want more access to legal foot paths and open countryside, while trying to ban 4x4’s on legal highways.

If you think they are not off road vehicles then check this out.

https://www.disabled-world.com/news/uk/disabled-ramblers.php.

 

Looks like an off road vehicle to me. 

     Many 4×4’s  help disabled and limited mobility people access the countryside, but what’s the difference ?? none really, so what is the Rambler/Hikers issue really about.

200kgs and road registered is the limit according to the disabled rambler organisation, checkout this beauty https://www.terrainhopper.com/products they have no power limits and no wheel travel limits, no regulations on tyre patterns, everything a normal 4×4 must abide by.

racing quad anyone?

I have no problem for people of limited mobility to visit the countryside, just the two faced methods used by the walker/hikers .

2.       Ramblers/Walker are destroying the countryside via Land erosion. There are many cases were the walkers cause huge environmental impact, lots of feet make for big damage on the enviroment, it’s a number game.

https://pathwaysconsultancy.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/fix-the-fells-path-evaluation/

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/scafell-pike-scarred-erosion

This is major problem, one thing missing when you read the reports is that they use a lot of vehicles to get equipment and people to the sites they are repairing .. interesting that they ignore this hypocrisy when it suits them.

A simple google of walkers land erosion brings up many more problems from walkers in the countryside.

walkers/hikers appear to be unable to take litter home with them, should we do a study on their mindset?

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/tourists-accused-leaving-one-wales-12429270

 

 Snowdon, everyday of the year

 

and it’s not just a UK problem, maybe it’s something to do with people who think they are saving the planet by walking that they have done there bit and can now just throw their trash away.

Hikers in Hong Kong are just as bad as the UK,

why is it that they can easily carry the packaged items to the walk, but not carry the rubbish home and think they can just dump it in the beautiful countryside they come to view?

3.       Ramblers are so high and mighty in their views of themselves that they believe that they can help fix the general traffic problem.

http://www.ramblers.org.uk/advice/facts-and-stats-about-walking/environmental-benefits-of-walking.aspx  this states that walking doesn’t involve cars, however most walkers do not walk near their homes instead they drive to the Lake District, Snowdonia etc, and in doing so add to the what they see as the problem, anyone going to any countryside area on a bank holiday weekend will see the huge amount of cars blocking roads and parked on grass verges so they can feel righteous about trampling over any farmers field. Hence the walker/hikers  are actively promoting the use of cars and a good amount of them will be 4x4’s, hypocrisy yet again.

 

any weekend in the countryside, blocked by hikers NOT using their cars so that they keep the countryside pure.

 

4.       Abuse of the emergency services and mountain rescue.

It was amazing to see how many people who enthusiastically keep 4x4’s for recreational use came to the rescue of the general public over this winter taking lot’s of risks and for no reward just goodwill, I wonder how many of the righteous ramblers were among those rescued by the volunteers, people who learn their craft by greenlaning on the tracks the ramblers actively want shut down to them. Not only do ramblers & hikers drive around ( not walking) to work etc unprepared for the weather on normal roads hence relying on 4×4 volunteers they also do their best to overstretch our emergency services by walking  out and about in the countryside and getting stranded ( no links, just google it, it amazing how many are feckless). The mountain rescue ,using 4x4’s  rely on tracks and knowledge from the 4×4 community to get them close to help them be rescued and they are happy for them to drive over the open countryside when it’s there neck they are rescuing, many tracks when not used by 4x4’s become narrow and inaccessible as walkers/hikers just jump in the field and avoid the blockages allowing the tracks to deteriorate from lack of use, if the local farmer has no use for the track then they become totally blocked very quickly.

 

I bet there eyes light up with joy when they see a 4×4 like this on the moors, to help them get out of the shit.

 


 

These are just some points to illustrate the  single mindedness and hypocrisy  of people who think they are morally above anyone else, a trait that appears to be engulfing the whole UK in many forms, however these people  are the same type that have destroyed the RSPCA’s reputation by not seeing the wood for the tree’s, what’s needed is a more pragmatic approach to the issue of countryside access like many other countries in the world and for the ramblers need to show that they are not prejudiced to everyone who doesn’t think like them and that there are benefits for all.

 

If you’ve read this far and use a 4×4 or trailbike  then join the class war and keep the countryside open for all by joining GLASS or the TRF

If you are a rambler/hiker and your blood is boiling then please look at the two organisations below to see what they do for the countryside you may be surprised about your own blinkered prejudice.

 GLASS    https://www.glass-uk.org/ or the TRF http://www.trf.org.uk/

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The Alternative best tourist places in Dubai

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Names, places, locations and situations are all fictional if you think you recognise yourself/garage then when we meet at the Dubai Baja in a few weeks it will be awkward wont it ? 😉 but as I never can remember names or faces then the embarrassment will be all yours..I think..er maybe.


FOR MY WIFE : thanks for enduring 29 years of hell with me

 

Or as I like to phrase it   ‘never a dull day with BD’

 


Surprise your wife everyday for a happy marriage

After surprising Milly with a 10 day luxury trip to Dubai for our 29th wedding anniversary I moved the game on a bit further, her poncey donkey fettler mates will have to try harder now.

I decided to really push the boat out with the entertainment while in the land of opulence, not for her are the endless boring, run of the mill luxury shopping malls ,the snow skiing in the desert , the sky high buildings and amazing marinas and so on , oh no

We visited the back street off the tourist map hotspots ( some may call workshops), more than 15 were visited and assessed in detail .Then after a day of driving up and down industrial estates past cement factories and groups of Indian migrant workers sat inexplicably on dusty roundabouts like gaggles of disorientated Canada geese , I allowed her to quietly sit in silence in the hotel room while I emailed the data back to the team at HQ to be drafted into corporate reports for no one to ever read them, because I can’t think of anyone who would be remotely interested in my obscure opinions on Dubai backwater tourist attractions but let’s not forget this was a trip for our wedding anniversary.

 

Here’s a quick view of some of the ‘not on the tourist map places’ that we got to visit,

 


Dubai night life , a world you never knew existed.

The night life was even better, and at no point was she offered any alcohol or the chance to listen to music in a lively bar, what a lucky girl, she was just in heaven, I could tell because she was speechless every time I suggested another garage ( tourist attraction) that needed visiting.

 


Shop till you drop in Dubai

At one point I had to drop into the perfectly formed Mall of the Emirates and show Milly the shop that I had specially named for her to show how much I love her, you can truly get anything done here in Dubai, she didn’t believe that I had done it just for her or that if I had then I had wasted the money doing it ( her exact words ‘your are a Fu£%ing muppet’). Either way I think she was a little overcome from being in such a perfect neat ,tidy and well organized place, a bit like when she is in my man cave at home.

 


See the real UAE up close

After four days of enjoying the alternative Dubai  she said seemed like it would last forever ( oh what memories we will have) we went out of town away from the shiny hum drum of glizzy boring mega rich Dubai to the poorer Emirates to view what the real Emirati live like. We manage to find some local wild life, I don’t think it’s indigenous to Dubai I think its an import from a welsh lap dancing club.

 


Family day out

We called in to a custom car show and viewed some amazing exhibits made by the local tribe the ‘Bodgerati’ .This tribe are not restricted by the huge unlimited budgets of the Dubai or Abu Dhabi car builders and manage to craft cars of excellence that they call ‘racy racy pop bang slider cars’ ( drifting cars to you and me) from anything they find in the skip or on side of the road , another middle eastern local called them “pilesofcrap” well I think that’s how you spell the Arabic word he used at least that’s what it sounded like   . Although the footfall of public was low (zero) the exhibits were unusual and innovative. The dusty compound /come drag strip ( race car not crossdress type) added to the ambiance of being in the town of bumfuck nowheresville. The local custom of wailing on the throttle pedal while listening to the valves bounce and the rev limiters chop up the rhythms of the engine, an engine that a engineer once spent his life trying balance is a generational thing I must accept I am never going fully understand , an attempt to bond with the younger generation by respecting an engine and it’s limits is the equivalent of dad dancing at parties or trying to get down with music of the youff. In my day 10 seconds of trying this would see a con rod exit the side of the engine, the kids just don’t know how lucky they are these days.

One night I even arranged for Milly to sit out in the crisp fresh cold night air while I sat chatting about important things such as the amazing casting styles of differential casing around the world and UJ articulation angles of pre war Mongolian 4×4 mule carts with my mate Ahmed whilst drinking Pocari sweat, a strange Japanese drink that tastes exactly how it sounds, but like the peculiar girl that you find attractive for no known reason I am drawn back to it every time I see it dripping in its sweaty beads in a cooler at Ahmeds . The lovely cold air managed to gift Milly with a chest infection that confined her to the room for the next day , how lucky she was that the horse size antibiotics I got her from the Official car park sewer grid watcher at our hotel repeated in her throat again and again giving her endless pleasure in the loo trying to regurgitate it. She also had 23 channels on the TV with which to learn Arabic, or watch the only one in English … CNN. I think she knows Arabic now 🙂 no one can watch hotel room CNN for any length of time.


An ancient relic to cement our next 30 years together:

As a final gesture of 29 years of marriage I revealed that I had managed to procure an amazing   ancient archaeological relic for a feature in her new dining room at home, a tough find sourced through contacts of Punjab Pete the Indian Walla that watched the kettle boil at the drift track. The ancients always amaze me on the way they could make things from limited resources and no modern tools , she insisted it was fake and had been artificially aged just to look like Ben Hur’s racing chariot brake caliper, a trick used to catch out naive tourists , she said If I believed it was real then I was special in a “sunshine bus” way which I took as compliment as any praise from Milly is very rare and always welcome. She could hardly believe that I was going to be able to take it home , away from the place she said it belonged too , the scrap pile, and that I would even think about putting such an unbelievable object in our suitcase .I think she secretly must have realised it’s true value , she insisted I stick it somewhere more appropriate, but I said I couldn’t put it there as it would look suspicious on the scanners at the airport , and it may make my eyes water, she insisted that she would help me insert it , but in the end after an hour weeping with her head in her hands (with joy, I think ) she agreed I could put it with my socks in my suitcase because with any luck my socks may dissolve it before we got home.

 

Genuine brake caliper from the original chariot used by Ben Hur before he became a film star.

 

Time has not been kind to this ancient engineering marvel, but the great used part restorer of west Yorkshire will with a little wd40, a bit of emery paper and a tin of grey paint will make it look new again without even dismantling any part of it.


The best surprise at the end of the trip.

At the airport I announced to Milly’s shock delight, that I had upgraded her onto Emirates Airlines latest flagship airplane the Russian Ilyushin IL76 Shitbird, the words of admiration she came out with were just triple choc cookies to my ears I will remember them for ever, or at least until the ringing in my ears stops.

 

 

For anyone that knows Milly you can imagine

  1. the content ,
  2. the volume
  3. the passion

that she poured over me as I lifted up into the cargo bay to view the luxury roomy first class onboard bedrooms.

 

 

I look forward to our 30th Anniversary next year, how can I possibly improve on this trip…. If I am still married.

 

 

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Last stop Essoauira. then straight on the motorway all the way back to J17 :-(

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To make sure the trip ended well and just in case living in a small 4×4 for 4 weeks had proved hell.

I had quietly booked a 5 star spa hotel adjacent to the walled medina. However living in the Tardis works so well ,it gets better every time we use it and with the minor list of fixes/upgrades sorted when we get home it will be excellent for long periods or maybe indefinitely and we both felt guilty for abandoning our special truck to the hotel car park. They are strange things human emotions for inanimate objects.

I thought I would post some images of Essaouira for the family and friends, for the ones who have been here and the ones yet to visit. Easyjet fly twice a week from the UK for £35 one way ,that is cheaper than the taxi to the airport!!

The place has expanded its tourist flavour but at the moment not so much that it is destroyed the charm, The docks still sell every living(now dead) thing from the sea and the gulls and cats scrap over the entrails thrown on the floor, every alleyway now has a shop or restaurant with an impossible level of character and charm and unique style , a level that Disney could never achieve, couple this charm with a feeling of safety and a relaxed atmosphere makes Essaouira a destination that is a must for anyone wanting a genuine experience with the feel of the exoticswhile somehow feeling you are in a pirates of the Caribbean movie set. Even the touts selling ‘Space cakes ‘and a ‘good smoke’ appear to be from a Family movie, somehow being rebellious yet unthreatening and charming at the same time. I suppose it’s a sort of perfect puritanical middle class American image of the exotic , you know the boy/girl at school/college that is SO hot but is the local rebel yet  underneath they have a heart of gold type shit. I suppose this is the real metaphor for the current Essaouira experience..

 

It’s quiet here at this time the year (January) and rain is not unknown but the temperature is pleasant and sunny, even so in this quiet time we counted 4 bar/restaurants with live music ,we made our way down hauntingly amazing alleyways beside the fortified sea wall to have a pizza in the restaurant that we sat in 11 years ago while watching Ridley Scott film ‘The Kingdom of Heaven’ with the girls, Casablanca beer on tap made for a great night out. Some live Moroccan/Berbere music in a bar overlooking the main square and harbour finished the trip off just great.

 

In any other place the alleys of a unknown town are not the most relaxed places to be, but this is not the case in Essaouira

 

A small glimpse of a treasure to behold.

So we both agree until we are 80 years old and in a large plastic motorhome, or maybe a training session in a race car then we are done with Morocco for the coming years, the Tardis has more exciting places to take us.

 

 

Also I may be onto a real treasure maybe even a novel …

look at this customs building on the gates of the harbour, half way up is a cryptic symbol

Looks like a secret symbol of the Da Vinci code type, don’t ya think???

 

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Agadir is like any Spanish holiday town ,Easyjet fly from Manchester three time a week all year round for £160 return.. Hmmm.

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We travelled north through Agadir for an alcohol restock ,this is a huge metropolitan town and greatly improved, in 2004 while doing the Plymouth-Dakar challenge with Chris and Sandra we camped just north of the city on the flat plateau that stretched for miles out towards the sea with hundreds of other motorhomes, now it’s all gone , vast new holiday resorts and a posh new roads are the signs of progress, all the plastic motorhomes are on huge campsites with water parks, quad bike hire and all the other normal holiday type stuff, the plastic motorhomes are driving down the road in two’s and three’s every few minutes there are thousands of them.

I suppose the new motorway that now reaches Agadir and the new dual carriageway that goes through Tisnit to Guelmin helps them all come and enjoy the winter sun.

Coast road to Essaouira.

We found a nook in the coast and camped with some surfer dudes for the night, then took the coast road to Essaouira, at the moment this road is track , some rough, some graded, so we saw no plastic motorhomes , we found an amazing fishing village down a really rough steep track.

It wasn’t me dad it was like that when I got here ….

 

 

And found skeletons hanging in trees !!!

Wrong turn!! maybe

 

then we got stopped by a tortoise crossing the road

why did the Tortoise cross the road?

Milly eligantly tries to save the tortoise from the wheels of doom.

 

On the Fort bou jerif road we got stopped by kissing rodents.

 

 

I suppose it better than when we had to wait for the duck getting raped when we were in Wales in 2016..

 

We arrived in Essaouira, the fact that Easyjet now fly direct to the new posh airport in town from the UK hasn’t changed it a bit….. OK, its heaving and every nook and cranny in the town is full of tourist tat there is lot’s of flat bloated tourist’s  munching through nasty Tajines and consuming Watney’s red barrel, cue Monty Python travel agents sketch. There are two huge 18 hole golf courses and we thought we had seen a lot of RR Evoques and new RR sport’s on our travels but it appears Essaouira residents have a liking for new Aston Martins we have seen three of them all on Moroccan plates!

off to the 5  star medina resort and Spa for a little late trip pampering for Milly and a steak and chips  in the souk.{when in Rome}

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Onto the Atlantic coast and a beach of our own.

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After supplies were gathered at a big supermarket on the new ring road in Guelmin we headed for Fort Bou Jerif.

I was sure this would be tarmac and it was for a while until the ravages of this years rainwater washed all memories of a manmade road away, again Result.

We headed out of the river bed onto the moorland tops heading for the sea to find the memorial to the war fought here in 1944 but darkness was better than our speed and we ended up slowly tracking through mud and soft sand to the waypoint, what a surprise it was when in the middle of nowhere next to the memorial was an amazing Fort type campsite , beautifully done as an old fort, we used the facilities and left the next day for the beech which was only 10km westward.

To our surprise over the next hill was the original legionnaire fort bou jerif and you could see all the old military buildings it was a great Urb-ex day.

The only picture you can see is the pit from the vehicle repair bay, the rest you have to come and see for yourself.

BeaDy in his pit.

TIP: unless you need a shower then stay at the fort by the wadi, a much more genuine camping location.

 

The piste on from here was bad and we had already seen a large 4×4 camper turn around and take the 150km of tarmac round trip to avoid it. Not us, this was fun time, the TARDIS took it in its stride and we where soon gliding along the coast road looking for a place to stay the night

The new Garmin 276Cx GPS really came in to its own and up popped a beach that looked promising.

Here it is.

HEALTH WARNING: Gratuitous , ‘look what we did that you didn’t do’ or  ‘look were we are and you weren’t’   photos that may cause severe depression from people sat in the cold cold dark UK.

Two days on our own with 5km of beach in each direction, just the fisherman out to sea for company. but we ran out of wine, not a problem for 50% of the community but for the other 50% it was a big problem!!

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