Onboard footage from the kite buggy adventure

This video shows several clips from the Video VBOX mounted on Harry’s buggy, showing our accident with a power line at the end of the video…

The gauge you can see on the video is a graphic overlay, which takes GPS data to show accurate speed. Its embedded on the footage at the same time as the video is recorded. The map and g force (and any other gps info you like) work the same way. You set up a ‘scene’ in the Video VBOX software with the graphics where you want them, place the gps antenna and cameras on the car (or kite buggy in this case) and off you go!

The gear that got us here

The gear that got us here!

I remember pondering (whilst flying along at a VBOX registered 40mph!) how phenomenal the kites and buggies we have been using are.

Hitting a small beach stream at 40mph (screenshot from Video VBOX)

Hitting a small beach stream at 40mph (screenshot from Video VBOX)

You can point the buggies at anything you choose; almost no terrain is impossible. On one day, we kited across four deep rivers. The largest was around 40m wide. We have bounced over sand dunes, pounded across rock hard sand, and broken through hard vegetation. Having the PLK Outlaw buggies has provided us with the confidence that anything terrain is possible.

Navigating through rocks and sea with the outlaw buggy and ozone kite

Navigating through rocks and sea with the outlaw buggy and ozone kite

Not satisfied with the kite surfer versus kite buggy race we would love to have a race with a 4×4 over an off-road course. Having spoken to a local all terrain vehicle driver we think it would be close – especially without luggage and with more skilled pilots than ourselves!

The Ozone kites have also been brilliant. It is amazing that the kites are so easy to control – enabling us to do an expedition of this magnitude with no kiting experience. They have kept us on our toes but still provided stability over difficult terrain and turbulent wind conditions.

So there you go – we picked the correct sponsors! šŸ™‚

Dodging wind farms and annoying kids…weĀ“re trying to get to PreĆ£!

Kiting through mangroves can be difficult. Walking through mangroves is definitely harder. When the mud reached knee high, we decided to head inland to the roads. For this stage of theĀ coastline there were no sandy beaches – instead mud, mangroves, andĀ rivers. Continue reading

Night time buggying in Baleia

Buggying as the sun vanishes in Baleia

Buggying as the sun vanishes in Baleia

Our buggies have rolled over rocks, thick sand, cacti and through rivers and waves. When we reached Andreas Staehelin’s place in Baleia (paradise) we were glad to spend a day cleaning and maintaining the buggies (and ourselves!) ready for the final section of the adventure.

Kite surfer Louis Tapper trying out Charlie's PLK Outlaw buggy

Kite surfer Louis trying out Charlie's PLK Outlaw Buggy

We also spent a day swapping sports with the kite surfers.

Charlie and I spent the morning being dragged around in the atlantic waves under the instruction of kite surfing adventurer Louis Tapper, and in the afternoon Ā trailered our buggies to huge dunes east of Baleia to show the surfers what buggying was about.

It was an epic session and they were still ripping Ā around the dunes under the power of our ozone kites until after sunset.

The wind was still strong, so we kited the 5km back to Andreas house by moonlight, almost crashing into sleeping cows and zipping through streams on the beach.

We’re aiming to cover 50km and reach the fishing village of Icaraizinho tomorrow.

To complete our charity challenges there may also be leap frogging and nakedness, although hopefully not at the same time. More details here…

Kite board vs buggy – speed test

Chasing the sunset into Baleia

Chasing the sunset into Baleia

We were having the run of our lives. Cross-on wind, huge beach, consistant 20 knot wind hitting our 7m & 9m Frenzy’s, no-one else in sight.

That was until we rounded a headland, and saw a hundred kites in the sky! Continue reading

Racing the Tide

Enxe Quimado beach

Each day we only have a window of five hours in which to kite along the beaches. Any later than this and the tide is too high to give us the space we need to progress. This has seen us get up at 5.30am most mornings to set up the kites and buggies and leave just as the tide goes down.

On some stretches the combination of wet sand and the wind being behind us means that the buggies are often too fast for the kites, and it is easy to loose power and run over your lines. For these sections we strap the buggies together in tandem. The front person kites and the back person uses a large stick to brake and maintain tension in the lines. ItĀ“s not very sophisticated, but it works!

Being in tandem also means it is quicker to set up the kite, solving problems and communicating is easier too. The only problem is that the front person must channel the power to move the buggies and two people (280kg) through their legs. Due to the inertia, starting and stopping is like driving a tanker. Continue reading

One day to go…

“This is the stuff we are made of, this is what men do well, what we are equipped to do, what most men alive today never discover, this is what populated every corner of this planet, what began the civilisation that followed.”Ā 

As we assembled everything to check the gear and then packed it down to make sure it fitted in the car before leaving for the airport tomorrow, it was an inspiration to receive an email from Craig Hansen containing the sentence above. Craig and Jenny at PLK buggies in New Zealand are basically the third and fourth members of our team and it was good to get a reminder of why we’re setting off on this crazy adventure in the first place.

Assembling the buggies and packing all the gear made us realise how much planning has gone into this, and how lucky we’ve been to get all the help we’ve had. ContainingĀ all our gear and perfectly fitted, the buggy bags look

Continue reading