First of all, my apologies for the lack of updates over the past couple of weeks – Leonie and I have been seeking a small dose of solitude and serenity in the wilds of Tasmania before we launch ourselves into the final frantic preparations for our July departure.  While still keeping the preparations rolling at a steady pace we have been sampling the pleasures of terra firma – a stroll through the Tasmanian wilderness, wading through chuckling streams in search of a brown trout, or just generally catching up with friends and family after a long absence.

But still the wheels roll on, and we have not been entirely idle! Perhaps one of the largest challenges of late has been an ongoing tussle with bureaucracy.  I challenge you …. Just try and explain to the officials in a small Australian state that you very much need a rifle license as you are worried that you might be attacked by polar bears …  “yes the big hairy ones that live in the Arctic” … “no, I didn’t see a corresponding box in the form and it wouldn’t be very likely would it?”…“no sir, I’m not giving you cheek … ” [CLICK] beep beep beep …

Other than several long and very confusing telephone calls regarding licensing, permits, rifle exportation, etc etc., we have also been opening the floodgates on our meager finances to get some badly needed equipment. This includes satellite phones (so we can continue blogging), wet weather gear so we have a dry layer when we are not going for a swim), personal safety beacons (to alert one of us when the other takes an unexpected swim) an anemometers (to tell us exactly what the wind chill is after we have gone for an unexpected swim), and various other shiny and very expensive kit that is piling up and nudging my baggage weight into the “critical overweight” category.

Well now it’s back to chasing some very much needed funds to re-inflate our depleted back accounts … please let us know if you know anyone interested in helping us out on our journey!!

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