Driving on the ''other'' side of the road was the least their problems. One wayward driver in Mexico was certain his wrong turn had invited a police shakedown.

In Turkey, one breakdown among many ended with locals helping build a campfire on a frigid night. In Kenya, a repair took on extra urgency when the travelers realized they were in the middle of a path for drug smugglers.

Getting behind the wheel in a foreign country can give tourists greater freedom to explore, but also more ways for things to go awry. For many travelers, the extra adventures are worth the troubles.

It was a torrid, humid day in La Paz, Mexico, two years ago when Chris Collard accidentally turned his truck the wrong way down a one-way road. He quickly realized his mistake and reversed out, but a police officer noticed his error.

''I thought, here we go,'' said Mr. Collard, whose experiences with the police in other countries have not always been pleasant. An international photojournalist and owner of Adventure Architects, he was expecting to be forced to pay a bribe.

After he explained that he was little bit lost, the officer returned from his car with a map, but no ticket in hand, and said : ''I can help you find this place. Follow me.''.

What could have been a tense situation instead became a warm memory.

RAY HYLAND, a professional adventurer who puts on ''overland rally'' automotive events in the United States, and his family bought a  1954 Series 1 Land Rover for $225 in 2012, got it running and shipped it to Britain.

They eventually spent nine months driving it from London to Singapore. They noticed on travel forums that people that people ''felt they needed to build a hugely customized vehicle to go camping or overlanding,'' Mr. Hyland said.

''We wanted to pint out the folly of that, using an extreme example.'' All five family members, along with their camping gear, were stuffed into a vehicle smaller than a Vokswagen Beetle.

''Maybe not funny at the time, but it broke down every day,'' he said. One night when it was minus 18 degrees Celsius in eastern Turkey, ''helpful locals tried to build a fire under the engine to warm it up,'' he added.

The truck broke down all the time, but the Hylands had planned for that. It was cheaper to fix it on the road with inexpensive local parts and labor than restoring it before they left  Chilliwack [a Town near Vancouver, British Columbia], where they live. Local people stopped often to help, even if language was a barrier.

''Once I improvised and used a pencil to repair a failing carburetor by screwing it into the hole left when a screw fell out on the highway south of Istanbul,'' Mr. Hyland said with a chuckle.

Another part,  a seal between the engine and transmission, failed as they were climbing the Himalayan foothills. No spares were readily available, so a mechanic in Darjeeling fashioned one out of the leather from an old Gurkha soldier's hat.

The honor and serving of the delightful post on experiences and adventures, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Mercedes Lilienthal.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!