In 2008, two students from the University of Oxford (Dan Nicolau and Lauren Carter) and a University of Queensland student (Drew J. Sonne), undertook The Far Eastern Expedition (FEEx), an overland drive from Oxford, UK to Singapore. This magical adventure involved crossing and dealing with border officials in 20 countries (the UK, France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, China, Laos, Myanmar/Burma, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore), 20,000 km of road, roughly 12.5 tonnes of petrol all over 72 (mostly unforgettable but occasionally forgettable) days.

Throughout the journey, we talked about a future trip to match FEEx; many ideas were raised and heated debates ensued. First on our mind was collecting the FeexMobile™ (a 97 Jeep Cherokee), which was still in storage in Kazakhstan. In 2009, Dan and Lauren returned to Kazakhstan to collect the FeexMobile™ and return it to the UK. We then spent about a year recovering from both the expedition and its physical, emotional and financial aftermath.

In mid 2010, Drew and Dan reconvened to start planning the mother of all overland drives, from Alaska to the "bottom" of South America. During the 2010 Christmas/New Year period, quasi-sort-of-final planning happened. From May to August 2011, we will (try to) travel the entire length of the Pan-American Highway from Anchorage, Alaska, USA, to Ushuaia, Tierra Del Fuego (that's "land of fire"ask ), Argentina in the Far Southern Expedition (FSEx).

This little Sunday drive will see us go through the USA, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, maybe El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. The velocity of the trip will abate for a few weeks as we try to cross the lawless, roadless, civilisation-free, super scary Darien Gap using a tiny inflatable piece of rubber. After reaching Turbo, Colombia and running away screaming like little girls, we will spend a few days coming to terms with the administrative implications of the Gap crossing in Cartagena, Colombia. We will then resume the expedition, traveling from Colombia to Ecuador and then on to Peru, Chile before crossing into Argentina in the awesomely named region of Patagonia, back into Chile for reasons unclear, then back into Argentina and hopefully finishing the 30,000 mile journey in Ushuaia, Argentina, the southern most point of South America and the closest mainland port to Antarctica.

Drew J. Sonne & Dan V. Nicolau

Attribution: Wikimedia Commons