Thursday, April 16, 1998 Published at 22:28 GMT 23:28 UK
Hoping for the best, planning for the worst
Practice makes perfect: preparing for the roads of Central Asia
Darius Bazargan reports:
Five men and one vehicle over three continents; it all adds up to one very big headache. Putting together even a relatively modest expedition like EurAsia 98 is a lot more difficult than you might think says the BBC's Darius Bazargan.
A course in off-road driving gave us a feel for the vehicle and provided lots of fun, although if things go according to plan we shouldn't need to put our newly acquired skills into action. Still, when putting together this kind of escapade, "better safe than sorry" has to be our operating philosophy.
Tools of the trade
Putting together a digital kit bag of equipment met with mixed success: Olympus donated a digital camera but the sole manufacturers of equipment we need to send information via sat-phone chose not to sponsor us in the end. We have opted instead to download to the web-site via fixed landlines on a bi-weekly basis.
I also decided to invest some time and money in a variety of practical, hands-on training courses. A "Hostile Environments Risk Awareness" course run by the Royal Marines and the Royal Geographical Society's "Expedition First Aid" training weekend.
Only time will tell if our preparations have been thorough, our research comprehensive and our training absorbed although we are feeling confident if exhausted. In fact, the only thing that is really going to disturb my sleep at night is the dreadful possibility that wherever we are in June - we won't be able to watch the World Cup.
Darius Bazargan is accompanying the EurAsia 98 expedition, you can read his regular reports here.