Newsletter - April 2012
Winter has passed and outside the birds fill the air with their song, heralding the start of spring. It is time for The Impala Spring Newsletter that is also full of the promise of good off road adventures for the year with a group of friends all over the world.
Those of you who follow my antics on Facebook and also read the story behind the photograph will know that during February my time was spent in the north of Finland some 200 miles above the Arctic Circle with Porsche. It was immense fun driving and instructing on the frozen lake Pasasjarvi near Ivalo. One extraordinary thing was that even though the temperature was -20 or less it did not feel as cold as -5 does in England. This is because the air in Finland is dry and the locals always talk of the temperature getting dryer NOT colder.
Quite a few of you have been trying to cajole me into running a reconnaissance trip with you on-board. I have been swayed and will produce for the Impala Adventures Group on Facebook and all of the friends who receive the newsletter a price and date for next January / February 2013. Can any of you interested please contact me to register your interest?
This month I am getting a spare wheel cover made for my Discovery Series 2 and if I am satisfied with the quality of the product we will make it available for you all to buy. Again if any of you are interested let me know.
We still have a few places left to fill on our South of England adventure in June so if you or any of your friends would like to join us then give me a ring on 07930910870 or send in a booking form. The week costs £390 and we will be camping every night.
In this edition of the newsletter we have South of England, Treasure Hunt, Picos Mountains in Spain,Morocco, Russia and a special piece on Hydration
Impala Adventures 2012 / 2013
South of England Greenlane Adventure
17th to 23rd June 2012
The route has now been finalised and I am delighted to be camping on a friend’s farm for the last night. Rob Newall farms at Mapperton and his land looks out towards the sea from Beaminster. Rob and his wife Hazel have set up a Safari tent with a long drop loo, very much in the spirit of Namibia so we will feel at home there. The week of offroad driving is going to be fantastic and the route is outlined below for you so get excited about it and book a place.
Sunday June 17th: Marlborough Town Centre to the Woodbridge Inn Campsite
Your adventure starts in the historic market town of Marlborough where you will meet Neil and Louise from Impala at a cafe from 1200 for a briefing about the week’s adventure.
Monday June 18th: Woodbridge Inn to Round Hill Downs and Sugar Hill, returning to The Woodbridge Inn
Some of the route for today will pass along the famous Ridgeway. It will also be able to enjoy that very important option of a pub lunch!!
Tuesday June 19th: Woodbridge Inn to Vale of Pewsey and Breakheart Bottom, returning to The Woodbridge Inn
The routes today wander across Military Training Grounds and It is an indication of our countries freedoms that it is possible to drive across some these training areas without any repercussions.
Wednesday June 20th: Woodbridge Inn to Pulham’s Mill on Exmoor via Upton Great Barrow.
Today you will travel 112 miles or so on a mix of road and lanes that will enable us to work our way across this beautiful countryside to Exmoor where we will be camping at Pulham’s Mill. Pulham’s Mill is a treasure trove of a craft workshop that nestles in-between the rolling hills that surround Wimbelball Lake and is run by some very good friends of Impala.
Thursday June 21st: Exmoor National Park to North Devon via Tarr Steps to Westermills Farm, Exford.
The water crossing at Tarr Steps is one of the highlights and you will cross it twice, once in the morning and it is the last off road of the day. Exmoor itself is a very wild place even in the summer and we will cross it on our way to enjoy a good selection of tracks in North Devon.
Friday June 22nd: Exmoor National Park to Lyme Regis via The Culm Valley
There are a surprising amount of very little used unclassified roads here in Devon and you will find yourself dropping down off high hills into tree lined tracks that are narrow enough to have to “squeeze” your car through, this makes today very picturesque but also quite challenging. We always have an alternative route for any tracks that you may find to be difficult or two wide.
Saturday June 23rd: Lyme Regis to The Cerne Abbas Giant and camping at Mapperton Farm
The route today in Dorset passes the incredible Iron Age Fort of Eggardon Hill. From the fort the route crosses the hills of Dorset, finishing off at the Cerne Abbas Giant. The campsite for your last night of this adventure is at Rob Newall’s that overlooks the sea from the hills above Bridport.
The South of England £390.00 (inc VAT) per car (2 people)
Treasure Hunt in Wild Wales
We have booked dinner, bed and breakfast at The Hafod Hotel at Devils Bridge and clues are well under way. This May I am in Wales with a Dutch group so I will be spending some time looking for the clues that you will need to solve. The clues will involve the following:
Navigation using maps and compass bearings
Matching of photographs
Picking up hidden clues-probably a Father Christmas or two!!
We will also have some fantastic prizes down to 5th place.
The Treasure Hunt is back. This very popular event to blow away the cobwebs, or freeze them away, depending upon what Mother Nature throws at us will be running this December from The Hafod at Devils Bridge.
More details to follow, except the route!! So, If you would like to enjoy some festive fun then book now to confirm a place by downloading the booking form now.
Treasure Hunt in Wild Wales £525.00 (inc VAT) per car (2 People)
Picos Mountains and Cantabria
This event is being planned for 2013 and will run from the 19th to 26th April. I have been in contact with a friend who runs a business near Santander. He knows the local tracks and more importantly the local dignitaries so that we can get the necessary permissions.
During the later part of this year Neil and a small crew of Impala Support will be enjoying an adventure setting up the roadbooks and hotels for this event. I always enjoy a reconnaissance because when you are searching for exciting tracks and places to visit sometimes you find yourself in a challenging predicament which can take a bit of extracting to continue further on with the reconnaissance!!. I have often been quite stuck, on my own.
We are taking bookings now so download the booking form to reserve a place with a deposit of £100.00.
Morocco, High Atlas And The Sahara
his adventure is running for the second time and uses the last two un-surfaced tracks across the High and Anti Atlas, before entering The Sahara from the delights of the Hotel Kasbah Azalay which sits on the banks of the Oued Draa at Mhamid El Gezlane.
The Sahara at this time of year can be very exciting as the stillness and serenity of the start of the day can by sunset to have turned into a billowing sandstorm. Our Wild campsites are very much dependant as to which direction the weather has turned so by late afternoon you will either be camped in the shadow of the dunes or in amongst the rocks of Fossil Valley.
After the desert we will be camping high in the foothills of the Atlas near Cascade D’Tizgi where you will be able to meet the eccentric Omar, who will if you take some milk down to the Cascade prepare a cup of coffee or a glass of mint tea and will even charge in that delightful Moroccan way for the pleasure of making it for you.
As always our journey back to the north of Morocco pauses in Marrakech so that a last visit to the maelstrom of life in The Place can be absorbed before the structure of Spain and beyond.
Hotel Option: £2,700.00 per car (2 people)
Camping Option: £1,900.00 per car
Russia, The Kola And White Sea
What can I say: this adventure is astounding! The route that we take across the forests and lakes near Monchegorsk, The summer track along the ridge between Umba and Oktyabrsky and the old sand road running along the White Sea make this adventure a challenge of Camel Trophy proportions .
Both you and your car will be tested well here in the forests of Russia. We will be crossing rivers with bonnet high water, rock fields and marsh as well as working our way around the edge of a lake. Along The White Sea the tracks are sand with some exciting estuary crossings as well as mud through the forest.
Hydration and Impala Adventures
One aspect that always concerns all of us at Impala when we travel into the heat of The Sahara is hydration, or more correctly De-hydration. It is very easy to get carried away with the excitement of the adventure and forget to drink or just not drink enough. The result as some of you will know is headaches and a debilitating loss of strength. In Libya we even had a client start to hallucinate and we found out that the four liters of water that he said he was using he used to cool down and not drink!!!!
A good friend of mine, Andy Blow runs the Porsche Human Performance centre and they specialize in driver fitness and hydration. We at Impala will be from now on working with Andy and his team to make sure that you all have the correct hydration program for the desert next time you are there with us: He has very kindly put the information together below for us all.
“Precision Hydration are experts in the field of hydration for human performance. They work with a range of clients in professional sports and motor racing to provide tailored hydration drinks. Clients include F1 and World Rally drivers, Desert Marathon competitors (Marathon Des Sables) and numerous professionals people in triathlon, cycling and team sports.
Human sweat varies in it's composition from person to person (sodium loss varies up to 8 fold) and therefore re-hydrating with an electrolyte drink that is matched to your losses as an individual is preferable in environments and situations where sweat losses are high (e.g. in high ambient temperatures and/or during physical exertion).
Precision Hydration offer a sweat testing service (it does not require any exercise to be done, sweat glands are stimulated with painless iontophoresis) and a range of low calories electrolyte replacement drinks in effervescent tablet form to help you replace your losses. If you can accurately replace your sweat losses with the right drink you can expect improved energy levels, physical and mental performance in the heat.
Sweat testing for clients of Impala Adventures is available for £95 on a one-one basis; either from one of Precision Hydration's partner test sites (see http://www.myh2pro.com/sweat-testing for details) and preferential group rates are available for 3 or more people taking a test together. During an assessment, which takes about 30-40 minutes in total, you have the chance to talk to a Precision Hydration sports scientist about the practical application of your hydration regime for the adventure you are going to embark upon. “
For more information on their services and products please see www.myh2pro.com
To book a sweat test please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01273 900277.