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Glossop to

...and back

No, this hasn't fallen off a keyring. It's a real fire engine for the Off-Road section of the Motor Show. Instead of some manufacturer taking the advertising initiative, and providing a 4x4 pickup bristling with fire-fighting equipment, there were two of these tuk-tuks.

Everything was miniature. The ladders might have reached the top of a box of blazing matches, the red-flashing light would have been visible only during a total solar eclipse, and as for the siren, I've passed wind louder.

But what the heck. The driver (suitably equipped in fire-retardant flip-flops) was proud of it.

Complain I shouldn't: it was our taxi from the 4x4 ground to the main hall.

Anyway, after meeting Eric, Jo, their two little-uns and Yami at the Malaysian/Thailand border, it took a few days to get to Bangkok. The Bangkok Motor Show to be precise.

The show was organised (partly?) by a publisher of, among other things, a 4x4 magazine. A Japanese 4x4 magazine was also present, and wanted pictures of three Land Rovers together. I don't think they'd seen LR's before, let alone three of them together.

Here, we also met the guy who had meticulously organised the route for the coming week, Pong, and some of the rest of the team.

The off-road tour was to be around NW Thailand, 500km to the north of Bangkok. Starting town: Tak.

It is difficult to describe the experience concisely, but the next week differed from the 20-odd before in that previously the journey was a challenge: this one felt as if I was on a "holiday".

We toured the area, staying at campsites in the forest, going to places about which most Thai's don't know. Pong gets an A+ for his research
and approach with this tour. Flexible, but focused throughout.

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Weeks 21 and 22 (continued)