Now we are Nine!

On Friday 2004-04-02 K-Nine, Speed and Imp arrived at the camp site just outside Opatija (Croatia) where OJ, Womble and Mog were waiting. Although the camp site was officially closed it was very kindly opened especially for us.

For the first time on the trip all six vans and nine participants met.

From left to right Stephen (Mog), Peter (Imp), Ann (K-Nine), John (OJ), Maureen (Womble), Clive (K-Nine), Olwyn (OJ), John (Speed) and Pat (Mog). The van in the background is John's van Speed.

Burnt out wiring from Womble.The group has had its first serious mechanical problem. Womble's starter motor had been intermittently failing to work . This was eventually traced to a failure of the grounding strap on the engine resulting in all the starter current flowing thru the alternator ground cable which had melted and shorted with several other cables.

After replacing the burnt out wiring and adding a new heavy duty ground strap Womble appears to be OK.

Stephen Stewart.

First Thoughts from OJ.

Some initial thoughts from OJ in Croatia at the outset of the journey proper. This will be our longest overland journey by far and we feel that we are part of the cross-section of humanity - the nine people who will travel together for the next seven months. As is the case with everyone else, we are accustomed to journeying alone, more than in company, but for an undertaking like this we recognise the need to join together whilst retaining the concept of still being independent travellers.

There will be ups and downs in the dynamics between us all, which is normal during close proximity traveling, and we are full of optimism. There are bound to be some issues for the rest of the group in the fact that a Black woman is is traveling with them, that we are a diverse group of individuals coming from a variety of values and beliefs, which will no doubt create some interesting challenges and compromises. For the "O" in "OJ" being a Black woman, in an all White group, can bring pressures to bear, as her experience of the world of travel differs.

Other thoughts centre around the group dynamics of those who have already trod the Silk Route and those of us who await the experience, the feelings and sensitivities of existing in a totally different culture - some linked to the awareness that we are traveling at a time of unrest,.

But we wait with baited breath to see the Karakoram Highway, especially to glimpse K2, and remember absent friends. So were off on a journey with a group of people whom we have met a few times, to travel to lands we thought we might only see in our wildest dreams. Will the effort of preparing for the journey be worth it? Only Time will tell.


Home - This page last changed on 2004-10-12.