Land Rover enthusiasts tour the world
Updated: 2013-07-15 20:51
By FU JING in Brussels (chinadaily.com.cn)
Eric Ma (left), Tommy Choy (middle) and Michael Lee, all from Hong Kong Land Rover Club, organizers of Hong Kong Land Rover fans' ongoing 33,000 kilometers global expedition, pose before the hotel parking in Brussels in Brussels over the weekend. [Photo by Fu Jing/China Daily]
The road conditions in parts of Kazakhstan and Russia proved formidable.
“People were driving very fast along the two-lane highways, and this proved dangerous for the drivers from Hong Kong,” said Ma, who was involved in a traffic accident in Kazakhstan. Fortunately, he was not injured.
Driving between 600 and 700 kilometers every day has proven tiring for many team members. “That's true especially when it becomes dark, and you are told you still have 200 kilometers to go,” said Ma.
However, all team members seem to agree that the pleasures outweigh the pains in the end. Among their happy memories will be lining up with their vehicles in Moscow's Red Square for a dawn photograph one morning at 5 am.
“We will try our luck in Tiananmen Square when we are in Beijing in September” said Ma.
From the point of view of the families, traveling in Europe has been a highlight, with plenty of historic sights to see, and the opportunity to sample pubs in the evenings.
“For us, the most important thing is to have good rest to ensure a safe drive the next day,” said Ma.
Tommy Choy said the preparations for the expedition have been complex, including insurance policies for both vehicles and drivers, route planning, vehicle entry permits for each country, first aid training and the purchase of daily provisions. Each vehicle is equipped with a variety of tools and equipment in case of breakdown or other emergencies.
Since the drivers are Hong Kong residents, they have had little trouble obtaining permission to travel through most of the countries on their list. “Of the 16 countries, only the US and Belarus have required us to apply for visa,” said Choy.
As to the cost of the trip, Eric Ma, who owns a logistics company in Hong Kong, said his family has planed to spend HK$500,000 (US$65,000) on accommodation, fuel, food and other expenses during the course of the expedition.
“I'm enjoying the expedition very much, which is actually very much like being in a movie. And of course, I hope my company is still there when I get back from this happy trip,” said Ma jokingly.