South American Adventure Coming to a Close?

A UK couple who are travelling across South America in an old army vehicle converted into a motorhome are reaching their journeys end after an exhilarating and sometimes scary five years.

Bruce Scott and Lesley Norris, both from London, are now approaching the Brazilian city of Port Allegra after a five year epic journey that involved them making a May Day call across the world to a coast guard station in Cornwall before “local” rescue teams in Manaus managed to rescue them. It all started when their Mercedes Unimog, which has been lovingly converted into a comfortable motorhome, was crossing a bridge in a remote part of Brazil when the structure completely collapsed. The motorhome with the couple on board careered down a ravine and eventually came to rest at the bottom, the couple were unhurt but completely stranded and very shaken.

Quick thinking Lesley managed to contact her brother-in-law who lives in East Sussex by using her satellite phone. She managed to give him their GPS co-ordinates and he made a 999 call to the Dover coastguard. The Dover coastguard contacted the international coastguard centre in Falmouth who roused the nearest team to the couple’s position in the ravine. Amazingly the team were 320 miles away in Manaus and so the couple still had a while to wait, but eventually the team rescued the intrepid explorers and their motorhome.

Both travellers now have acquired an extensive knowledge of South America and are quite content having enjoyed the majority of the five years they have spent discovering the continent. They did advise other adventurers though to think twice before undertaking a similar trip. Lesley said: “It has been a wonderful experience and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, but people should not think South America is easy, it is not a case of getting a few jabs and organising motorhome insurance along with your passport and visa. Every week we have come across different challenges and they would not suit everyone. The local people are wonderful and so is the food but both take a lot of getting used to.”