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Well the big day had arrived I awoke with a great big grin on my face today was the first day I would be going off road not only in my own motor Bodget Brian but I would be driving this time with the Nottingham Land Rover Club where as before I had only been a passenger with them.

To my surprise Wifey and the youngest daughter were also up on time so I loaded up some old wet weather gear much to a strange look from my wife wondering what that would be for along with a picnic for the three of us including the most important hot water flask for tea!
Bodget fired straight up after standing for a week proving all of my usual worrying was a waste of time thinking I would find a flat battery then we headed off for some fuel only a mile away up the road so not much charge would be going in…

But how much fuel to put in? What if he breaks down? I need to stop this crap beating myself up over nonsense that “might” happen says the more positive side of my brain and in goes £30 and Bodget fires straight up again no problems. We are meeting a few of the folk from Nottingham Land Rover Club (NLRC) on the way who will be showing us the way to Frickley so if anything was to happen to Brian we would be surrounded by Landy mechanics anyway that would by hook or by crook get us rolling again.
There was something nice about being in convoy with a couple of other Land Rovers it made you feel like you belonged to something fun with like minded nut cases that just want to play outside in their motors.

We were soon at Frickley meeting up with other members who had been camping overnight and I parked up on some solidish ground to start with Bodgets next upgrade.
The people who form the NLRC are a special breed of folk that you would be led to believe don’t exist anymore they are caring fun to be around and always happy to help out. A member who I wont embarrass across the internet by naming them but you know who you are had kindly brought along a set of mud wheels that would fit Brian ready for playing off road today. Not only that but as soon as they were out next to Bodget other folk jumped in to help change them over quickly so we could go and play…

We were soon wheeled up and ready to play but seeing as thi swas my first time out driving one of the NLRC jumped in shotgun to help me out with some instruction on how to get around how best to drive and basically not kill my car or anyone else on the site.
I am glad he had come along because we drove around and into a muddy lane that looked like a mixture of slop and sandbanks. I best say here that this is a pay & play site not a load of green lanes that had been ruined! I took one look at what lay ahead and thought “I am never going to make it through that” but I did as I was told revving the nuts off as we started to get grounded aiming for sloppy lines that took a while to notice bouncing up and down side to side and every time I thought I had a grip on what was going on Bodget would prove me wrong by pitching and yawing completely in the opposite direction! I was loving it! Wifey and daughter were laughing like mad while bouncing around we were having a blast!
I grounded out like a beached whale soon enough and I could not get the motor moving again but I walked out into the slop and grabbed the tow strap that was wrapped around my spare wheel attached it to the accommodating fellow that was driving behind us and got dragged unceremoniously backwards and clear of our mud bank. With a run up and high revs we were over and out it was then we came to the water…I don’t like water Brian is not set up for it and I was not going to be going through it. I wasn’t the only one to stop either…

It was not long though before someone had a stab at it and soon enough he got stuck…

Luckily someone else had better luck getting over and pulled him out backwards back to dry land. After a few others with snorkels fitted drove over and back we took a new track that was even muddier if that was possible than the first one then we came across the first water crossing.
I have mentioned that today I don’t like water I am not set up for it yet but the problem was I was second in line there was no where to turn around and there were 4 or 5 motors behind me. I don’t mind saying I was a little scared in that good way when you are doing something you don’t want to but also worried about wrecking my new toy. After soem assurance from my co pilot that Bodget would be fine we started wading across and made it safely to the other side with me grinning like the cat that got the cream. I felt that way for another couple of minutes until we hit the next load of water that after watching the chap in front go through it was apparent that this was a lot deeper than the first. Under instruction again I waded on using the left bank to keep my air filter intake up a bit higher but the water was deep the wave was small the revs were high and we were clear.
The relief was palpable on my part but that was then the revs dropped out. They came back again but when put under any big load they dropped out again…Hmm hey ho nothing I could do about it there and then so we ploughed on a bit and I even helped drag another Disco out of the mire which made me feel like a proper landy grown up and we headed back to camp for some food.

I have said before these folks are superb but I mean it they really are as soon as I got back I popped the bonnet up to check the engine over and half a dozen heads were straight under it looking for the problem…

One fella is a diesel mechanic by trade who shrugged his shoulders and said “you just got a bit of water in it nothing to worry about!” then another chap noticed a pipe was off of the egr valve as well and the assumption was some small amount of water must have gone in there but it had passed through ok.

The engine was ticking over nicely again but I wasn’t I was knackered. It has been a hectic few weeks in my new job and I had been battling this god awful bug that is doing the rounds all week as well so I decided to cry off the afternoons session. This brought taunts of “scared you will break your car” “didn’t last long chap” along with some more colourful friendly jibes and laughter but I was beat. The adrenaline had worn off and I felt like a bag of reheated crap so we washed the worst of the mud off so I could see out of the windows and headed towards home…

He drove home just fine with no more hiccups at all and I was surprised at how well he had done on fuel considering he had spent half of the day having his nuts revved off!

So all in all I have thoroughly enjoyed my first day off roading I have a sound motor that does it’s job well and I have been pleasantly surprised at how much abuse these old Land Rovers can take I have been scared I have laughed I have made new friends and I have made it home with my motor all in one piece what more could you ask for?

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