Questions


How much driving do we do per day? We went on another tour that started at 7 am every morning and we were in the vehicle until 6 at night and as you can imagine, it didn’t seem like much of a holiday.

The simple answer is that it is your holiday. I guess you’ll hear me say it quite often, but it’s true. I’m not going to force you out of bed in the morning or keep you winching in the forest all night when you want to be sitting by the beach. The pace of the tour and even the route are dictated by you. Normally we’ll be on the road before 10 and at the next place in the early evening. There are a couple of longer days, but only a couple.


Can you give us a list of spares that you recommend we take? What are 4x4 parts like to get hold of abroad?

My philosophy is if you can fix it at the side of the road then take it. Wheel bearings, UJ’s, oil for top ups, alt/fan belts and water hoses etc. If it’s something a little more experienced I have friends all over Croatia who can source items and it’s never too hard to find a little village workshop for a bit of welding and machining. Russia is a little different though, it’s much more remote, but then the local mechanics are even more ingenious!


What happens if I break down and it’s not reparable, I have recovery but what if I break down in the middle of nowhere?

The simple answer goes without saying ... as much as I can. No one is going to be left in the middle of nowhere, but then neither am I going to hold the tour up while someone waits for some simple spares to be delivered. It’s not an official service, but in Russia, if something major happens we’ll tow you with the ’bus’ to the border ...


Would you recommend I bring my own food along with me for the camping part of the trip or is it easy to find grocery shops where we go on your tours?

In Russia we’ll provide all of your food for you. On the Croatian tours we’ll stop for supplies as and when we need. I’ll recommend the good cafes we pass by, get picnic supplies from local shops and if you want to cook instead of eating out it won’t be a problem to find mini markets.


You recommend that all vehicles taking part on one of your tours needs to be fitted with under-body protection, but for what parts is it needed and to what degree?

Anybody driving off-road on unchecked trails should seriously consider protecting the most vunerable parts of the underneath of their vehicles, as low positioned steering arms and axle casings were never intended be used as ploughs. Unlike on an off-road course where the location of every boulder is known, when you drive on virgin tracks, the first thing you’ll know about a rock or tree stump hidden in the grass is when you hit it square on with your drivetrain. It's not for me to say what is needed for each vehicle as it is entirely up to the individual owner to decide what degree of preparation they want, and being so equipped is not a perquisite to join our tours, it’s just a recommendation for a sensible precaution.


The tours themselves cost X amount, but what about the extras, especially visas and fuel? How much extra will a trip end up costing? And what quality of fuel, both petrol and diesel are we likely to find in Eastern Europe and how readily available will it be?

Different people have different budgets, which is why we can arrange different types of accommodations for the same evening, so some can camp, while others can stay in a nearby hotel. Croatian campsites are not the cheapest in the world, especially on the coast, but unfortunately wild camping is illegal ... and I’ve heard some nasty stories about other tour company’s customers being arrested and fined ... and that’s not something I want for my clients, so it’s ’official’ accommodation every night. Figure on between £5 and £10 a person a night.
Fuel is not that much cheaper in Europe than it is in the UK, but in Russia it is 40p a litre and these days the quality is fine.
Your Russian visa will cost around £30, but the cost of the Arctic tour will cover the cost of your invitation and registration.


If on the journey through Europe to the start point I have a problem which makes me late for the start of the holiday how do I contact you, will I be able to catch up?

We’ll exchange phone numbers before you leave for the tour, my phone has emails and I’ll also give you the number of a good friend of mine in Zagreb who helps me out every now and again. If you’re going to be more than a couple of days late, I’ll give you the GPS and directions to where we are staying.


Russian adventure tour and warnings about bears and other sharp toothed beasts. I like the idea of camping on the shore on an untouched lake, but not if I am going to become boar dinner. Seriously, are wild animals a big risk?

Arctic Russia is utter wilderness populated more by wild animals than it is by people, but all wildlife will be terrified by the approach of noisy, smelly trucks and by the smoke of our camp fire. Problems with bears occur when they are used to human intrusion into their habitat ... where we’re going that won’t be an issue. In Croatia the worst animals you need to take care of are pot-bellied German campers ... they are very territorial creatures!