A lot of us take our Land Rover’s off-road, but this is ridiculous!
A farmer from West Yorkshire, England has been planning a trip to take his Land Rover around the world for six years now, and he is finally ready to get going. So what took so long? First, there was the permission he needed from the Russian government to cross the Siberian peninsula. Oh, and then there was the trick of how exactly to cross the Bering Strait – the 56 miles of water that separate East from West between Siberia and Alaska – in a road vehicle.
The 52-year-old set off from his farm in Mirfield on January 29 in the purpose-built vehicle, traveling more than 30,000 miles to the southern tip of South America via Russia. The expedition's route goes through the Netherlands, Germany , Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, The Bering Strait, Alaska, Canada, USA, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina and finally Chile, ending at Cape Horn.
But first, of course, "We needed to prove we could sail it across the Bering Strait," he said.
"In 2004 we built a prototype and crossed the Irish Sea which is about 25 miles. It just floats across; it has two big air bags and a propeller and it worked perfectly.”
Well OK then.
The Land Rover can also be fitted with tracks to cross the snow and ice of Siberia.
Steve estimates the journey will cost close to half a million dollars. "The cost is so great I have had to raise money in sponsorship. The Bering Strait will be the main thing and the bit I am most looking forward to."
And as to the obvious question of Why?
"It's boys with their toys," laughs Steve, a beef cattle farmer. "I love travelling and experiencing other cultures and places. This started when I was looking at a map and saw that there is only a bit of sea.”
Yes. A bit.
But one drawback (OK, another drawback) is that partner Nicky Spinks, 40, is to stay home and look after the farm.
"I'll miss Nicky," said Steve. "She will come to Moscow but she's not going to do the crossing. She was going to come the whole way but I took her to Alaska in January when it was -28 degrees and she said 'Count me out! It's too cold!'
We’ll keep you posted as we hear more of Steve’s adventure. In the meantime, for more details go to www.capetocape.org.uk.
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