Judith let out a prolonged fart as me and George gently squatted into our hammocks, slung from her boot-hinges and two prickly evergreens tightly packed in a line shading the campsite. The top edge of her trim gracefully leaned towards us in recognition of our weight, and then finally, as our arses sank deeper into the dip of our hammocks, she held strong – strong and stable.

We’d spent a good few hours arguing between us as to how we’d attach our hammocks. Our original plan, the roof rack, had been late in arriving – so late it was still nowhere to be seen. And so, with few other options, we scoured the factory fittings and kinks and crooks that Judith, our 2001 Nissan Micra now with shiny new decals from Nissan Retail Group, had to offer.

Two small hinges amateurly held on the tailgate. Sitting above the seal of the back door there was just enough room to slide in a rope and loop it around. It took the weight surprisingly well, and the trees opposite hoisted the other end a touch higher, raising our heads above our feet.

With under two weeks until we head off our on 10,000 mile adventure to Mongolia, we’d driven to the wild extremities of Oxfordshire to meet up with other fellow ralliers and test out our kit.

I’d learnt that a hat and sun cream were the most important things still left to pack – ending the weekend a bright shade of magenta and in a mood that would rival any angry vodka-fueled Russian border guard. George had discovered that he was less skilled than he’d thought in motorcycle riding, having fallen off a two-foot high child’s bike used by the Adventurists in their monkey-run rallies.

Our hammocks and accommodation for our eight-week trip were surprisingly…not as comfy as we had hoped. With just a single point of connection on the car we ended up being so close to each other than our collaborative orchestration of snoring became intolerable to us both. Alex however, our camera-lady for the duration of the journey, had a brilliant night sleep in her 4-man tent, wearing an eye mask and ear plugs.

On the plus side, Judith looked fantastic. With a facelift from Nissan and all her Mongol Rally stickers stuck in place, she’s more fit and ready than we are!

Whilst we’re away we’ll be sending out our latest updates once a week. Keep up to date by following us on Facebook or signing up below!

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Have you donated yet?

Our trip is raising money for the awesome charity Cool Earth. We’re so close to our target now every tenner helps! To show your support, please give a donation however big or small by going to: www.justgiving.com/rendezvoude