And it gets worse.

Trip Start Mar 12, 2011
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Trip End Dec 15, 2011


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Flag of Turkmenistan  , Balkan,
Monday, April 4, 2011

If the length of the blog was to mirror the excitement of the day, it would end here.

We were told this morning that we would be docking around lunchtime.
We were told this lunchtime that we would be docking around dinner time.
We were told this afternoon that we would be docking around 8pm.
We were told this dinner time that we would be docking tomorrow morning.
Either its too foggy, or its too rough, or they want us to spend more in the dinner room. No idea.
I had a breakfast of 2 fried eggs and bread, and tea. Fried in deep fat. Not healthy, but at least hot fatt has to kill all the bugs. Martin wnated some more of the Pronutro, so we went to the car for that.
Bread and cheese and salami (that we had bought in Baku) for lunch, with an orange.
This afternoon, Martin started walking up and down the deck, to get some exercise, or to relieve the boredom. I decided to go for a run round the ship. After 3 laps, the guy came out of the bridge and told me to stop. Not sure why, either he was worried that I might sweat and make the place smell, or my pounding the decks was making the ship roll, and might cause an increase in the swell, so they couldnt dock. So I sat and did a page of Sudoku.
Oh, we used the Sat phone to try and find out whether our guide had given up in disgust and gone home, and contacted Dave back in Baku to sort a couple of things.

Now its just gone 9, and we are preparing for another early night. Not much to do here, as you may have gathered. Ablutions still foul, although apparently some of them do flush, its just a case of finding which one at any given moment.

As you can see, its an event laden day. If you find the current blogs boring, then spare a thought for us, it lasts longer that your 2 minutes to read it, it takes us all day to live through.

Martin's marine moment:
I think the only chance this hulk has of reaching shore is a tsunami.My theory is that they wait until departing ferry from Turkmenistan is full and then swop over.Meanwhile  a queue builds up in Baku and the process repeats itself.As the main cargo is a freight train (there are only about 6 lorries and our car on board) it must be that which drives the timing.Its not a timed service.As Mike Horgan would say its at best a just in case one.In a way I'm thankful we did not roll off tonight - arriving in new city in dark is not a good thing.We are due to meet bloke from people who are organising visas for us - he has apparently been here for 3 days.Or rather there.We're here but we cannot get there.
So its Day 24 of our journey.After 14 we were a 1 1/2 days ahead but now after 9 odd days of relative inactivity we are 2-3 days behind.This is recoverable provided we have no major issues.Of the 9 days 5 were scheduled in to sort out the ferry we now call home.
I know you are all waiting with baited breath for the next instalment of Abdullah and Ivor but quite honestly this is no time for us to enjoy ourselves.
I'm enjoying reading George Orwell - thank you Jamie - but feel anxious that I will run out of pages.I need to string it out.
We've had a couple of evening meals on board.last night SpagBol and tonight Rice and Sparrow.Liberally oiled and with the benefit of ageing.We're eager sippers of tea -served black in rose - patterned teapots and dispensed into a thumb and finger thimble.I have mine with sugar cubes and am getting quite used to it.Nothing new for you Emily.
We wonder when we will have an opportunity to transmit this tosh to the world at large and are not sure when to break radio silence and assure our families that we are still around.Possibly suffering a little from cabin fever but surely tomorrow will see a change of surroundings.


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Comments

Pats Sampson on

OMG.... You two guys are INTREPID! I mean Top Gear would have thrown all their toys out of the cot by now, good grief even Michael Palin would not have had a smirk on his face. Abdul, Ivan AND Marco were pussies when it came to survival in the wild, I mean even they had back-up teams & certainly not a temperamental motor vehicle!!
Keep on keeping on, I'm all agog! I think you're going to win back the Empire!!

Janet & Dave Parsons on

Still with you in spirit, wherever you are! Going mad here just thinking about cabin fever (and you are managing to make me (J) laugh in the process). Where are the camera crew and sound recordest?? Surely this will be on TV in the autumn. Roger - remember you are due here in June!

daniel on

Good work, keep it up. Lets hope you've reached dry land by the time you read this, don't forget dad they can always make you an omelette if they run out of eggs!

Tim on

Martin and Roger...I'm feeling your frustration as I read it. Rest assured that the misery and desperation of your situation is being transferred through the blog beautifully...It makes me want to scream reading it...
Maybe you could just drive overboard in the car and go for it....
I hope that you don't have to spend another night on that hell hole, but look at it this way, it can only improve....can't it.? Am praying to the gods of ferry docking for you today.

MIKE B on

i would say that st, jude is your best chace now .

Mike and Anne Horgan on

We can feel your frustration but keep your peckers up, that's if they've not vanished down the pan. Anyway it's probably raining, blowing gales and freezing cold in the Western Isles. And what with the price of petrol maybe your excurstion is not such a bad choice. Safe travelling. We're willing you on.

alison on

I think delerium has set in but it certinly makes better reading this end.Your sense of humour has really blossomed Roger and yours has reappeared Martin after a very dark patch.Lets hope the Turkmen guide has mechanical magic tucked up his sleeve.The country looks very flat so get the wind behind you and you`ll be in Uzbekistan in a flash.Keep smilimg!

Emily on

I've just looked up Pronutro. I find it very funny that you are addicted to honey cereal Dad. Although I think anyone in your situation would fancy something dry, as you seem to be surrounded by liquid, whether it be water, oily food and...you know what!
Yes! First mention of the blog! Black tea with a spoonful of sugar is just the job. The question is, will you be able to go back to milk?
Hoping the car is going well

david on

You are possibly at the part in the film where you have just reached the foot of the monster sand dune..........so beer's not for a while and you need to start cranking!!
Martin, you've been fixing old cars for as long as I have had the good fortune to know you, so its just another day at the office and if anyone can work out the problems then its you. Roger, .we don't know each other but great blogging...... I am so thoroughly amused and laughing by most of the entries, and it sure does make for great reading. What an adventure, lets hope it doesn't get too boring or easy, or else you wont have anything to be sarcastic, ironic, cheesed off or just plain funny about!
So I here's looking forward to the next exciting stage. But jeez, you chaps sure are due a break soon. :-) So heres to some better luck. Take care. Now.....eggs.....

david on

Having slept on the awkward predicament you gents are facing, I thought some alternative strategic guidance might be welcomed. ........
.........So, swim to shore (minus stanley), find hotel, have a beer & a bit of grub, wait for the conspiricy to wear off with the ferry captain - maybe let off few fireworks on the outskirts to lure captain & said ferry in on the chance that he's missing a local knees up and pick up the car as it comes in............maybe worth consideration?

JEM on

This all makes my maiden voyage on a camel look rather tame. Keep your spirits up. I return to <marrekesh tomorrow in lovrly weather, havent spent all our money yet but trying to.

JEM on

This all makes my maiden voyage on a camel look rather tame. Keep your spirits up. I return to <marrekesh tomorrow in lovrly weather, havent spent all our money yet but trying to.

Jemma on

Hey Roger and Dad,
Just think you have survived all this it can only get better from here on in. Everything will be a luxury.
The Ivory Coast is now in trouble and Gaddafi is sending love letters to Obama. Hope radio contact is up and running again soon.

Mary R on

Liberally oiled rice and sparrow for me please, Martin. We are thinking of you and very glad you're not rolling around on the Dawn Treader any more. Michael Palin never had it so bad I'm sure. What an achievement to have crossed the sea, at one point you wondered if it would ever happen! Hooray! Very sunny here in England so all the loons have their flip-flops out, let's not get overexcited though shall we? xxx

argieuk
argieuk on

Unfortunately MIke and Anne, we can assure you that NOTHING went down the pan. Now, over the side is a completely different thing.

argieuk
argieuk on

The Pronutro was mine. I allowed Martin to share it through the goodness of my heart. R
Seems strange to have brought packeted sand all this way -M

polly on

Can it get any worse? I read the first half of the new blog before I went out, I was late as wanted to get through all the new entries. If there are some spelling mistakes now can I also blame them on the key board?

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