Landy Stuck - big trip - landy stuck - guyana


No shoes and no traction...

...unless jacked up

Straddling deep ruts

Wednesday 28 August 2002

We thought the 470kms road from Lethem to the first town of Linden in Guyana would be a rough potholed track, easily handled in a landy. For 140kms it was just that but then we reached the start of the rutted muddy sections that would continue on for another 90kms. We did the first 5kms in 5 hours, the track was very narrow with thick vegetation on both sides making driving in the ruts the only choice. Much use of the high lift jack and the sand ladders was necessary. The thick clay mud filled the holes in the ladders every time making them weigh about 30kgs each which isn't conducive to lifting them up. The jack didn't like it much either, needing to be washed and oiled often if the mechanism was to work at all. Walking around wasn't much fun either, sinking up to our knees in deep bogs, getting covered in mud from head to toe wasn't very wicked.

As darkness approached we decided to camp by the side of the track which entailed lots of digging out of the ruts to enable the landy to climb out. We got the winch out and attached it but the landy simply climbed out on its own. We ate and fell asleep exhausted, ready to turn back the next day.

Big holes

A push helps a lot

More holes

Bedford cracks some suspension leaves

Sticky mud makes light work of brake pads

Unstoppable Bedfords

Toyota stuck

As much mud as you like

Axle articulation test

The morning came along with the chance arrival of a Toyota taxi and a Bedford delivery truck, who regularly make the journey. They rubbished our thoughts of turning back and we continued along with them, working together made things a lot easier. The truck pulled us both through the long rutted sections where there was no alternative side route. When we could make progress we zoomed off ahead, hardly getting stuck thanks to the Toyota drivers knowledge of the track. At the very last few kilometres of the trail before the ferry we all got stuck at the side of the track parallel to an enormous hole where the trucks drive through. We dug and winched through until the Bedford arrived, winching through the ruts and we hooked the landy then the Toyota on to the back and got out, just making it to the 6pm ferry crossing.

After cooking some dinner on the other side of the river, we set off again for Georgetown, safe in the knowledge that there was no more mud, just some water and sand said Jerry and Dennis. At the water crossings, Jerry would walk the precarious route, poking around with a stick for the shallow parts, and spot for the drivers. This worked well until the landy lights failed suddenly and in the pitch dark B drove a metre to the left of the shallow part, becalming the landy, front wheel in the air, rear lights underwater. An hour of jacking up, digging the sand ladders under the rear wheels whilst being pulled by the Toyota and we managed to get free.

At the very next puddle we came to a stop 2 metres from firm ground, stuck again but not as badly this time. More jacking and ladders got us free but not for long. Twice more the soft sand claimed the landy wheels, to the exasperation of all involved! It was only later into the night when taking off diff lock that we realized the halfshaft had snapped again in the first waterhole, that was why we had got stuck so easily.

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