Just a quick update from the land across the sea. We had an extremely eventful day today. First, we picked up the awesome caravan of vehicles provided to us by Volkswagen. These included a Amarok Ultimate with 4 Motion(4WD), a TDI320 Caddy Maxi Life with 4 Motion, a second TDI320 Caddy Maxi Life, a T5 Crewvan LWB 2.0 TDI, and finally (my personal favorite) a blue Golf Wagon 103TDI DSG. Look forward to a more detailed post about the vehicles later, but for now all I will say are that these cars are amazing. Through-out the day they perfectly filled our needs, be it towing a trailer or carrying a huge load of supplies from Costco, and were a lot of fun to drive.
Second task of the day was securing a car carrier. In the Amarok, Amando, Mike, and myself rolled on down to the town of Carrum Downs outside of Melbourne to pick up a trailer for Impulse. Big props to Amando for re-learning very quickly how to drive manual (although an Up/Downshift indicator in the display on the dashboard was a real help in showing him the optimal gear ratio, especially when it was raining so loud that we couldn’t even hear the engine rev). We had a lot of fun testing out one of our Camileo BW10 camcorders donated by Toshiba for our use during the race, and got some awesome video clips, especially on the way back when the skys just dumped rain onto us (ok I am SoCal guy so any rain seems a lot, but this thunderstorm felt like a waterfall was constantly positioned over our car, and if you don’t believe me I will link to a video recording we made with the BW10 after we get stable internet access). All I can say is that thank goodness we were in a 4WD vehicle. Even-though the roads were flooding with water and we were towing a trailer, the Amarok performed beautifully, and Amando always felt in control of the vehicle.
Finally, a second crew of people drove down to Costco to pick up some camping supplies and make a food inventory for our trip through the outback. The trip went fine, and the crew were grateful for the extra space of the Caddy. Even with 4 people and large amount of supplies, the Caddy was still roomy and very comfortable. We were very impressed by all of the storage space and extra features, including automatically adjusting windshield wipers, which came in handy during the variable amounts of large downpour during our drive. Our drivers also did a great job driving on the left side of the road.
Well that’s all I have to say. We will hopefully be picking up Impulse from our shipping container tomorrow (weather permitting) and we can soon put Melbourne in our rear-view mirrors and start making our way up to Darwin.