A new book, a change of dates and a Mini called Daisy - just because we're grounded by the pandemic, it doesn't mean we've not been keeping busy.
'May you live in interesting times', goes the famous old proverb. And for the past year, our everyday lives have certainly been impacted by these interesting times in which we've found ourselves. However, if you happen to be an automotive travel writer, adventurer and tour guide, your life may have been impacted more than some others.
Such is the situation Pub2Pub has found itself in over the past year.
But, despite the frustrations of having to pause the road tripping side of things, put all thoughts of globetrotting adventures on hold and not even being able to seek solace from the situation in the local pub, we've done our best to make the best of a bad situation.
The first part of these efforts came to fruition this weekend, with the release of The Road to the East, the third part in our Road Trip Trilogy, which sits between Survival of the Quickest and Pub2Pub and in doing so, ties them together into a series which documents fifteen years of adventurous road trips, in over 80 different countries.
The Road to the East tells the story of the V8Nam Expedition, which saw us drive from the UK to Vietnam, and then on to Singapore, with a couple of oversized V8s - namely, a '78 Rolls-Royce and a Corvette C4. As well as the story of this 14,000 mile drive, The Road to the East also tells the expedition's backstory, looking back at how a thirst for adventure over the decades preceding the drive led to a situation where driving a couple of old V8s across the Eurasian landmass felt like the most natural thing in the world to do.
You can get a copy of The Road to the East via Amazon by clicking here, or direct from this website by heading over to the books section.
The second part of our update is a little less positive, though no doubt expected - due to the ongoing lack of clarity currently surrounding international travel, we've had to change the dates of the 2021 Beer Italia, knocking it back to, provisionally, either the 04th - 12th September, or alternatively, next year.
Which of these two possibilities comes to pass will depend on how things look as further information is released, and international travel potentially begins to reopen, during May. While a frustrating development, we're still hopeful to be back on the road with you all as soon as possible, and it would be great if this September can see us running both the Beer Italia and the Eagle Rally, as we start to make up for these lost years of road trips.
One silver lining to this delay is, both trips will now still be open to new entries over the coming few months. So, if you fancy a late-summer Euro tour to look forwards to, feel free to check out the itineraries in the drives section of the website, and get in touch.
On a more positive note, while the lockdowns have proved handy for getting books written, another area where the forced inactivity has been useful is in moving the project car forwards.
Some of you may remember that as well as Kermit the TVR, and a Volvo 240 daily driver, I also have a 1974 Mini restoration project lying around. After Pub2Pub, I announced the intention to restore it and then drive it to an altitude of over 6,000m, to celebrate the Mini's 60th anniversary. This project ended up not happening, as other rather time-heavy commitments overlapped the time period in which the expedition would have needed to happen, meaning the Mini entered the Covid era stalled mid-restoration. However, now, with the new book written and no opportunity to travel in the coming months, I'm back on it with the restoration, and am hoping to have the bodywork rust free, and with all the required new panels welded in by the start of the summer, and you can expect periodic updates here.
And what will I be doing with Daisy the Mini once it's restored? Right now, it's too early to say for sure, but suffice to say, there are a few options in the world's more remote regions which I'm considering, so hopefully I'll have some further adventures to share with you all soon...
So, that covers most of the developments which have occurred in the past few months - a book, a Mini and a date change. I'm sure you're all looking forwards to a gradual return to the outside world over the coming months; let's all cross our fingers that it happens.