Adventures Booking

Now booking for our popular adventure running from the 23rd April 6th 2018. This incredible adventure a mix of campsites and lodges and is a journey across awesome landscapes where you will see desert elephants, giraffes and possibly Lion. This adventure will cost from £4100 per car (includes hire 4x4) with two tents so a family of four to five can enjoy this adventure.
[More]
This adventure is running between August 13th to 27th 2018 and will cost £2300 per car. The route is a wonderful mix of forest tracks, river crossings and sandy beaches.
[More]
Impala Support Range Rover on Plage BlancheDates 23rd October to 9th November 2017 and will cost £2650 per car. This new adventure in Morocco follows some of the infamous Legionnaires routes across the Moroccan Sahara. The reconnaissance went extremly well and has resulted in a varied and very interesting route across the east of Morocco. [More]
 

News

14 Nov 2016
Desert RatThe Desert Rat (ancienus sasius) [More]
8 Dec 2014
Sunset over lakeWild camp in Spain [More]
3 Dec 2014
Discovery on a duneBack from Morocco [More]
 

December 2006 - Russian Border

Each year at the border crossing between Finland and Russia the rules change slightly. We never quite know what will happen and our crossing in the summer of 2005 was an eventful one.

The first change resulted in Alec and myself driving a round trip of 750Km to solve and the second caused a lot of consternation for a Dutch clients wife.

As we approached the Finnish side of the border the sun was shining and all was well. Everyone had been briefed and we were all ready for an enjoyable and trouble free crossing into Russia. A smartly dressed Finnish border guard strolled out of the border post and greeted us warmly,asking us where we were going in Russia . Everyone here thinks that we are mad as historically they have lived dangerously close to the bear and old preconceptions take time to fade. In fact all that we ever get in Russia is friendship.The guards next question set me back a pace or two "Do you have insurance for Russia ?" he said "No ” I replied “ we buy it at the border post in Russia" His reply of "The rules changed two weeks ago and they have decided that you need to buy insurance at one of their recommended brokers" made me stop momentarily in my tracks!!.This was going to be a slight problem as we at first had no idea where to find a recommended broker.The customs guard very kindly made some calls to the Russian border to shed some light on proceedings, which was only a few hundred meters away. The call was answered very quickly which surprised us as he had just told us that sometimes the Russians just do not answer the phone.He discovered for us that they is a broker in the local town but that he would not be available until November 2005.This would be a little late for us as we were hoping to be back in England by early September!!

Some time later after more phone calls the Customs guard discovered that we could get the necessary insurance from the Finnish border town of Salla which was close to a border crossing further south. He gave us the phone number of the broker and we phoned to say that we were coming from Ivalo. This caused a lot of initial consternation as the distance between the two towns is over 300km on forest roads and the broker felt that we would be hard pressed to get there before he closed for the day. We had no option but to make the round trip as quickly as possible, I did not want to delay our entry into Russia by more than 24 hours.Our first task was to find a suitable camping place for our clients which we duly did after some discussion with the Finnish border guards as it is not normally possible to camp close to the border. After settling everyone in Alec( my right hand support man) and I set of in the blue Range Rover to search for the insurance cover. We drove quickly and had covered the 350 plus Km in just over three hours, twenty minutes before the insurance broker closed.When we arrived at Salla we were surprised to find that the broker was not at an office but was part of a chainsaw and fishing shop. We arrived in the nick of time and managed to get all of the insurances in place before they closed.Our journey back was a blur of forest and funnily enough every time we stopped for a rest it rained on us but we did not care as the important documents were safely in our hands and we were most definitely not going to let a small amount of water falling on our heads deter us.

It was dusk when we arrived at the camp and most of our clients had turned in for the night. we were greeted by Folkert and Netty (two Dutch friends) with a glass of whisky in hand for both of us and a warm log fire to sit by and relax before turning in ourselves. Insurance in hand we presented ourselves once more at the Finnish border and within two hours we were on our way into the forests of Russia again.

The next 14 days were fantastic as we worked our way across rivers and bolder fields to the white sea. The sun shone every day and we all enjoyed the 18 hours or so of daylight.

All to soon it was time to return to Finland . The Russians had one more surprise for us at the border. We leave Russia some 300km south of our entry point at Salla(where I and Alec went to get the troublesome insurance) and for some reason there are many more checkpoints on this way out. They are friendly enough and we were soon at the penultimate post. My car is first through and for some reason the douane wanted to see our first aid box. He carefully looked through the contents and took some tubes of antiseptic cream ad some antibiotics. He and I then went over to a computer and checked them against a hitherto unknown list of prohibited drugs in Russia . All was well. This was another first!!

Vaughan and lisa's medicine cabinet passed with flying colours as did Mark Carey s and two of the three dutch cars.The third dutch car of Ron and Yvonne did not. Yvonne has a bad back which she keeps under control with some very powerful pain killers. These painkillers were not on the prohibited list but on "the should have declared them on entry" list, another first. The customs officers told Yvonne and Ron off and the ensuing paperwork took some 4 hours to complete before they were allowed through. I at first did not know what the problem was so phoned my friend who lives only 30km inside the Russian border who knows the border staff very well. He managed to find out what the problem was, oil the wheels of bureaucracy a bit and get a far lighter sentence than would normally be the case. The result was this

1. A court case was going to take place sometime in the next month or so at Murmansk, which they did not have to attend

2. There would be a small fine of around £ 70

3. They would be most welcome to return to Russia but must declare the contents of their first aid box in future.

Interestingly in August of this year we were able to buy insurance from ordinary garages in the North of Finland and also even more surprising was the Russian border guards complete indifference to any first aid kit let alone list of contents!!!!!.