The World Offroad Expedition sponsored by Navarino recaps its journey through the pandemic

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From 2007 to 2010, with my partner Vula Netou, we were the first Greeks who travelled the entire world overland. It was an adventure of epic proportions, as we drove 167,000 kms in 1234 days across 66 countries in 6 continents. Our expedition Land Rover was fully equipped with state-of-the art satellite technology. Fitted with an Iridium sat phone, an Inmarsat BGAN satellite antenna and a GPS tracker – all provided and supported by Navarino – we could upload articles, photos and videos on our blog the same day from the remotest parts of the world.

But that was not enough. In 2018 we departed from Italy for a second RTW adventure, accompanied by our daughter Anastasia this time, in a 4×4 Iveco VM90, modified to a motorhome for three. This is The World Offroad project Vol. 2 and is also powered by Navarino technology. A MissionLink satellite dish provided by Thales Group is connected with the state-of-the art Iridium Certus network, so that we can connect to the internet or stay in touch with our families from wherever we are.

After a year of building our project and exploring Greece, its islands and nearby Balkan countries, our project took off in September 2019, with a trip towards Moldova and Ukraine and later in the year towards Turkey. But the dream to cross central Asia and arrive to Mongolia was interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In March 2020, one border was closing after the other and for a few hours we didn’t manage to enter Georgia. We were determined to keep going despite we would probably be blocked in the country for long if we had managed to cross the border. We were obliged to drive back to Greece and Europe and face quarantine and lockdown measures like anybody else. But we were determined to keep going. So after a two-month break, in the summer of 2020 when Europe seemed to reopen again, we said: “why don’t we go to North Cape”?

And this is exactly what we did. But the pandemic changed our plans one more time, due to ist second and third European outbreaks. Even if we arrived to Nordkapp in October, we had to stay six more months in Norway and nine months in all Scandinavia, before returning back to central Europe. It was a once in a life experience to survive the arctic winter in a recreational vehicle heated with a small diesel heater, but here we are to tell the story. A story full of incredible fjord landscapes, numerous sightings of northern lights, 45 days without sun and about 20 days in freezing -20 to -24° C temperatures.

A year ago, we were hopeful that the pandemic would retreat in spring 2021, the internations borders would open again and that we could organize our trip to the Americas before summer. But here we are. Still in Europe but still with the energy needed to keep travelling. The good news is that the USA have just opened their border on November 8th for vaccinated travelers from Europe, so we have arranged the shipping of our vehicle from Antwerp to Baltimore for the days before Christmas. Stay tuned…_AT

You can follow The World Offroad on the official website www.theworldoffroad.com. News with photos and videos from the expedition you can also find on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter following @theworldoffroad or @navarino. #theworldoffroadwithnavarino #theworldoffroadwiththalesgroup