Day 01 - Saturday 5th December 2009
UNITED KINGDOM = = 6 DAILY PHOTOS
On Thursday 3rd December 2009 I did a massive 500 mile round trip from Maidenhead to Bradford, then Manchester and back to Maidenhead to collect Medical Aid from some very generous Pharmacies up north. To my surprise I had over 50 boxes waiting for me of all sorts of Aid, including Medical, School Stationary and Educational Material, Baby Clothes and brand new Adult Clothes. This totally filled up the vehicle, so much so that I was struggling to even hit 70mph on the way back. I eventually made it back at 4am Friday morning. I suppose it was good practise for the road ahead. I should also thank BARNEY for providing the in-car entertainment on this long journey.
Then Friday 4th December 2009 began very early for me, as final preparations had to be made, and checks undertaken.
I'm not Palestinian, I'm not even an Arab, but seeing innocent people suffering and doing nothing is not an option. So despite all the head ache I am preparing to go again. My Co-Pilot Mr Almas Maqsood Ali has been very successful on the Northern Front, the Communities up north have been very supportive, some have actually donated and sponsored several Minibuses and Ambulances for the cause, others have facilitated and become a Collection Point for the Aid, they have happily been promoting this worthy cause.
So now here we are at Saturday 5th December 2009, today the day is being spent totally emptying the Minibuses and re-boxing everything so that it is Customs Compliant, which means making a record of everything and producing a Manifest, and then printing off 10 typed up copies. We are then heading off to London where the vehicles will be checked, and all Aid will be sealed. We are aiming to arrive around 11am but to be honest I will be lucky if Almas and his clan (wife and 3 kids) are able to leave Manchester by 11am.
....Almas and Co arrived around 4pm, and due to the masses of last minute Aid drops we ended up misisng the initial registration stage in London, which was to take place at the Gateway Service Station. Thankfully we weren't the only ones, so are aiming to be ready by tomorrow and to group all the vehicles together at the M25 Clackett Service station which is between Junction 5 and 6, eastbound.
....Currently 7am Sunday morning and no sleep, it was an all nighter, took until 2.30am just to unpack and repack everything in proper boxes, then do the customs manifest, now I'm just doing the last minute rushing around to get everything in order and still need to pack. The start is always stressful but when you hit the road it is a different sort of stress, a stress without the deadline pressures.
GOOD NIGHT is not happening tonight, non-stop working through the night just to get everything sorted. Without support it is so tough, possible but tough, so much to do and so little time.
TOP TIP - Unpack everything and then repack it all yourself, plus ensure that you have plenty of thick marker pens, sellotape and card board boxes at the ready. And don't leave it until the last minute.