First thing you notice is the fine layer of red dust that covers everything. There is a compass and Michelin Map “Africa South” on the dash. This is joined by our GPS system and the power inverter for the laptop. The windscreen has around 2000 bug and mud stains on it that never seem to leave even in the heaviest equatorial rain storms. The floor is littered with bottled water, flip flops and the rubbish bag. The back seat has backpacks, sun glasses, sun cream, boiled sweets, various guidebooks and a jar of jam. There is a cable from the radio that leads to an Ipod, this is constantly stuck on shuffle to stop Cold Play and Snow Patrol being overplayed. The overhead console has more guide books, maps of Europe, Turkey, Arabia and Africa East. Finally we come to the centre piece, an air freshener that hangs from a sun visor. This is made up of two furry balls and covered in tiger print. We named these the Tiger’s Testicles and they swing back and forth in different directions depending on who has their window open. From the back there is a constant rattle of loose kit. Spanners, the socket set, air compressor and water jerry all rhythmically bang around in the back as Doris runs over bumps and pot holes in the road. Our personal kit is stored in four bags that squeeze into one compartment. Below this is our fridge, sadly it hasn’t worked since we left Belfast and is now a storage space for food. However, our diet is somewhat questionable. We have a number of Ration packs, these are known as silver nasties due to the silver packet they come in. The flavours include Bacon and Beans, Lamb Naverin, Treacle Sponge Pudding, Steak and Veg and the dreaded Corn Beef Hash/Rash. The titles are somewhat grander than the contents so to supplement this we have Indomie Noodles, tins of Tuna and a tin of Halal Frankfurters made of Egyptian reclaimed meat. Behind the food box is the item we hope remains untouched. The first aid kit. This leather bag holds, 4 trauma bandages, plasters, antiseptic cream, tablets for all forms of ailments, a thermometer, scissors and a mountain of rehydration sachets. Lets hope it stays where it is. From our spares we always seem to reach for the same items, insulations tape, fuses, duck tape, wires and the unsung hero of the trip, the cable tie. Outside on Doris we have our lighting rig which makes us look like a massive truck in the dark, our spare tyre held on with “Strap, Utility” and our roof rack which holds our tent, roll matts and garden chairs. Finally I must mention the BF Goodrich Mud Terrain Tyres which have carried us 9,653 miles so far without a single drama. Lets hope they carry us the rest of the way.

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