#SubaruOfftrax – Blimey! We’re finally over the pond

After months of planning and online countdown timers the five of us have arrived in the UK. With each of us on different flights, coming in on separate dates, from different locations in Canada and the US, we’ve made it to the first of 32 countries.

After celebrating Canada Day (July 1st) together in Central London amongst a sea of red and white, Team B (Elly, Michael & Andy) headed to southern England and made camp at Nic & Masha’s (old rally friends) in Bournemouth. While in London, Jess & Corinne were hosted by the high-kicking Jenn Good and her flatmate, Roari. During this time, Corinne got to scratch off Wimbleton from her bucket list and gather amongst thousands to see Canada’s own, Arcade Fire headline Hyde Park. During this time, Corinne made a swift trip to Brussels and back to meet with Subaru and pick up our wheels for the next four months, XV.

We were also fortunate enough to meet with Joanna from Charity Rallies (http://www.charityrallies.org), our protein sponsor, Aivaras from The Meat Makers (http://www.themeatmakers.com), Clive from Robens (http://www.robens.de) and Jacob from Cocofina(http://www.cocofina.com).

Now with wheels and all our gear, we made a quick exit out of London and headed for the coast, any coast.
Outside of Bristol we found our first fast of British beaches in Brean. Though not the best water to swim in, we did enjoy being seaside and had the surprise of being allowed to drive on the beach!  A first go at our tent was a success and we celebrated watching the game at a local pub, where we were fortunate enough to receive free pitchers of whatever was on tap at the end of the night, as we happened upon the pub’s weekly cleaning of the taps. BONUS!
With so much to see and do we got up early after a restful, cozy night in our new tent and hit the road, again not to sure of where we would end up.
We quickly made it to the opposite coast and discovered a red sand beach amongst high cliffs in Shalton. To our delight we made many stops en route to see many stags, cows and castles. Matt Sully, a co-rallier got in touch and suggested we all meet up in the surf town of New Quay, Bang on! Now back on the SouthWest Coast we were stunned with beautiful white sand beaches and surrounding high cliffs. Upon Matt and Mike (Team Mongolistic Four) arrival, we left our meals to greet the boys in the parking lot. 60 seconds later were turned back to see a swarm of gulls ravaging our meals; fish, chips and all! Note to all: never leave your food unattended anywhere. Over drinks were shop-talked while guessing at our adventures that lay ahead us…

While in Bournemouth, Elly & Michael found accommodation at Darren’s, out by Bournemouth University, a brilliant man, who has Blitz Disco. He was a most generous host and Andy crashed at Nic’s. Upon arrival the Legacy Outback purchased on eBay a month ago looked great, however, the brakes were nearly nonexistent . Luckily by putting in all new brakes, it made the world of difference. The new tires sponsored by Nokian are awesome!!! and will withstand the “stan” countries. In their down time, they managed to tour the area checking out the Jurassic Coast which runs for 100 miles along the coast, featuring deep emerald greens to the deepest azul blues of the ocean. And for the hell of it a quick jaunt into Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre, a world of monkeys, all rescued from various beach resorts where they were used for tourist entertainment.

The entire team came together soon in Bournemouth. Over a weekend we installed our PIAA lights, had the best meals yet, courtesy of Ollie, our new friend from London, inaugurated the cars with a pouring of champagne, learned about British gambling thanks to some down time at a local William Hill where Jess bet on Holland coming in third at the World Cup and won 5.62 pounds!! Well done.

 Before heading back to the city and into our GoWithOh apartment we made a quick side trip to Brighton for the day to see what it was about; gorgeous pier and pebble beach. Worth the detour indeed!


With just a few more days till we set off on the adventure of a lifetime, we’re making final last minute vehicle adjustments, photos shoots, discovering our new neighbourhood of Hammersmith and trying our best to at least start the rally organized and with a feeling of preparedness. Though we all know, one is never prepared enough for what lies ahead.