Charlie Frew Update; Arrival at the home of Santa Claus

Charlie Frew Update; Arrival at the home of Santa Claus

Posted: Dec 05, 2010 07:42 am EST

"And so after 10,000 km, temperatures ranging from +27C in Siberia to -21C in the Arctic, x bottles of Vodka, 25 police stops, 0 bears and 1 car theft, its been a remarkable insight into one massive friendly country."

One massive friendly country

These are Charlie Frew´s words. Since we last heard from him in Tomsk in Siberia, in the middle of September, he has made his way through this vast continent, all the way to the Arctic part of Scandinavia. To the home of Santa Claus in Rovaniemi, Finland. He is full of love for Russia. He writes with passion on his blog:

"Before I arrived and like most foreign people I had my initial impressions of Russia stored in some part of my memory (mafia, corrupt traffic police, unfriendly locals and savage bears)... but I saw none of this. But why everyone wears black is beyond me to comprehend, colors are rare here! Is there a reason for this?"

Ugly Russia

That fact is not the only thing Charlie doesn´t comprehend when it comes to this vast country. He is genuinely worried about Russia´s environment and ability to recycle rubbish. And why nobody does anything about the problem.

"I genuinely think that many Russians would like to have some kind of opportunity when it comes to recycling", he notes on his blog; "Pass any habituated town and sooner or later you come across the local refuse dump site in the middle of a pristine forest or by the side of the road. Sometimes these sites are smouldering from efforts to incinerate plastics."

Arctic temperatures

After passing through the lonely vast taiga, he made it up to the Kola Peninsula, Murmansk, from where he has recently made his way into Scandinavia. Low Arctic temperatures greeted him. Driving hasn´t been easy since than either.

"Gale force winds were battering Murmask as I drove towards Norway, the final stretch before leaving Russia. Driving conditions were so bad; blizzards, snow drifts and black ice for 200 km. Using the brakes brought instant skidding. And because of my new window, I had snow blasting into the Hilux as 50km/hr crosswinds warped the plexi glass."

Hostile environment

The temperatures have been very low in November, down below -40 and after passing Kirkenes, he encountered problems with his Hilux.

"The Hiliux refused to start. Zero battery power, oil like syrup, coolant slush and frozen diesel. Even warming the sump with my stove didnt help. So I decided to call it a day and trickle charge the battery overnight. There is much to be learnt in living and working in such a hostile environment. I am guilty of not being prepared. I just hope it slowly gets warmer."

Memories of vodka

Right now, Charlie Frew is visiting the home of Santa Claus in Rovaniemi, Finland, preparing for his last stretch of his off-road Expedition. From Hong Kong to Portugal. It should be dead easy in comparison to what he has gone through. Especially after crossing Siberia. An area which in many ways changed his life.

"I will never forget the incredible Russian hospitality; its a lesson for all of us to learn. But I need to seriously forget about drinking vodka at 07:00 in the morning....."

Charlie Frew is attempting a 25,000 mile off-road expedition through parts of the worlds most fragile environments and remotest habitable places. Starting in May he is currently in Mongolia making his way across Asia and Europe and aiming to finish in May 2011 in Portugal.

When Charlie Frew is not on the road he is based in Hong Kong as a marine environment specialist. Some of his most memorable underwater experiences have been with the elusive Pelagic Thresher shark to cage diving with the Great White shark, paddling alongside Orcas, snorkelling with Southern Right whales and being part of the Sardine Run.

Part time adventure racer and crowned winner of the Landover Amazing Adventure Explorer, Charlie outsmarted bandits in Guatemala, hitched covert rides on go-fast drug boats into Honduras, escaped from active volcanoes in Indonesia and climbed Vietnams highest peak with Hmong tribesmen. (Biography courtesy of Charlies website)

Charlie got training to service most parts of his car. His mechanical team decided to replace the electrical fuel injector, alternator and gear ratio. All electrical components have been replaced by mechanical ones.

Charlie got off-road training in the New Territories near Hong Kong. According to his website the idea was to cover as much difficult terrain and obstacles as possible and to put the Hilux through some typical stuck scenarios.

Route in Asia:
Start Hong Kong Cape DAguilar Lighthouse (19th May 2010)
Asia - Hong Kong Shenzhen ChangSha Hubei Xian Hohhot Erenhot Mongolia Siberia - Arctic Circle - Northern Russia

Route in Europe:
Europe Finnmark Norway Sweden Denmark Germany Switzerland France Spain Portugal
Finish Portugal Cape Saint Vincent Lighthouse May 2011.

Charlies charities:
The Christina Noble Children's Foundation (CNCF)
SOS Children's Village
Shark Trust

#World #Trek #topstory







"I will never forget the incredible Russian hospitality; its a lesson for all of us to learn. But I need to seriously forget about drinking vodka at 07:00 in the morning....."
Image by Charlie Frew courtesy Charlie Frew, SOURCE
Gale force winds were battering Murmask as I drove towards Norway, the final stretch before leaving Russia. Driving conditions were so bad; blizzards, snow drifts and black ice for 200 km.
Image by Charlie Frew courtesy Charlie Frew, SOURCE
Pass any habituated town and sooner or later you come across the local refuse dump site in the middle of a pristine forest or by the side of the road. Sometimes these sites are smouldering from efforts to incinerate plastics
Image by Charlie Frew courtesy Charlie Frew, SOURCE
Arrival at the home of Santa Claus, Rovaniemi, Finland-
Image by Charlie Frew courtesy Charlie Frew, SOURCE
And so after 10,000 km, temperatures ranging from +27C in Siberia to -21C in the Arctic, x bottles of Vodka, 25 police stops, 0 bears and 1 car theft, its been a remarkable insight into one massive friendly country
Image by Charlie Frew courtesy Charlie Frew, SOURCE
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