Well, 2016 saw some changes to the Nystrom Adventures team, with two new arrivals. The youngest recruit is Oskar Sixten. At only 4 months old he has yet to master control of the GPS (or even his own bowels), but in every other respect he shows excellent adventurer potential. He has already clocked up impressive outdoor credentials, but has also experienced the bitter taste of defeat after a failed summit attempt on Snowdon at only 2 months. We consoled him, both with the fact that the summit will always be there and that he has youth on his side – so much so that even the sandwiches in the Llanberis café were quite possibly older than him. His ability to charm even the crustiest of border officials will come in handy on this Moroccan adventure. Being his first foray into the Arab world, we dub him “The Milk-Sheik”.
The second new member is Tonka II, a factory spec 2004 Toyota Land Cruiser 100 series. While not quite as rugged as Tonka I, he still packs plenty of punch with Toyota’s bomb-proof 4.2L Turbo diesel engine, while at the same time offering levels of luxury distinctly lacking in his predecessor. While Tonka I had an interior that even Rasputin would consider a tad austere, Tonka II cossets us with all manner of electric gizmos and air suspension. We’re well aware that this level of electronic wizardery is not ideal for overlanding, but this particular example seemed well cared for and more than up to the job. After all, if it wears the Land Cruiser badge, it can’t be too bad. The Milk-Sheik gave it the final seal of approval by promptly falling asleep during his maiden voyage in it.
In contrast to Tonka I’s extensive modifications for his 25,000km travels around Southern Africa in 2013/2014, Tonka II’s upgrades are limited to an extra spare wheel (to compensate for keeping the standard Bridgestone Dueller road tyres) and a UV filter dark tint on the rear windows (the Sheik values his privacy).
And so, on 27th December 2016 Nystrom Adventures set off for Portsmouth and the 8.45am ferry to Bilbao.