Friday, 29 May 2009

4 x 4 in North Wales.

I have wanted to go to Botswana on holiday for a very long time. To the Okavango Delta. So this year we thought that we would do just that! Then, the UK pound went into free fall against the world currencies. So, I did not think it was affordable and was not going to go. Then, The BBC had a David Attenborough programme of the Okavango on......fate! Don't know about that, but its what MasterCard is for.
Botswana is a very expensive option for tourists, this has been a deliberate strategy by the government of the country. Within the Okavango Delta, the Lodges quote their prices in US$$.
The lodge I had in mind is now costing £ 870.00 per person, per night! Thats a NO then!  However, with a bit of Googling, I found an alternative to staying at the Lodges. This is at the opposite end of the price scale, in the form of camping.To camp in the Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana you have to have a 4X4. The roads in the game reserve are notorious, and are either sand or mud, and basically can not be navigated in a car.
So with all this in mind, I booked a weekend in Wales to learn to drive a 4X4.
I found a company on the Internet called Ultra Adventure Driving, they are based in North Wales.
I have not been to that part of the world before and we booked to stay in Wrexham.
We met the owner and our ‘teacher’ for the next two days, Stuart at a McDonald's just out side of Wrexham. Stewart went through all the theory there and then, using cigarette packets to represent the Landrovers.
We then drove to a spot just under the A5, and started the lesson. This course was especially built for Landover, and whilst it looked like a field, it had many challenging climes, bridges, and verges to try out our new found skills.

We had time to go into the town of Llangollen, a very nice place, plenty of adventure holidays going on.
Then on the next day, we drove off road, over the mountains, and ended up on a 'fun' couses where we got stuck on a ridge! It was good fun and hope it will be of use in Botswana?