After 25 000 miles, our Land Rover has lost its shiny orange sheen, its clean smelling interior, and its bump free bumper. We have driven it across rivers, bumped across potholes and reversed into several lamp-posts. It now has a ‘lived-in’ look. But it is still running as smoothly today as it did on the day we picked it up.
However, when we arrived in Tampa we had a kind invitation to stay with Pete Sweetser. There are four things you need to know about Pete. Firstly, he is English and has tea in his house. Secondly, he is a Land Rover nut and understands everything you need to about replacing intake pipes, loosening sprockets and cleaning filters. Third, he and his wife spent over a year driving around the world in a Defender, so realised we would have a bundle of very dirty washing on arrival. Fourth, he runs Dimmit Land Rover in Clearwater and could have a team of mechanics look over the car.
From our perspective all of this was a godsend. Pete’s expert mechanic (Bill - see above) gave our car a thorough going-over, frowned at our lack of technical knowledge and refilled all of our grease and oil reserves. Pete advised us on how to stay out of trouble for the rest of our expedition. And his lovely wife and family kept us busy with games, delicious food and a hundred questions about life in the UK.
And so with a fresh smelling car, we set off on the road again, heading down to the Everglades and the prospect of a thousand mosquitoes eating our faces. Huge thanks to Pete and the Sweetser family, and to everybody at Dimmit Land Rover
for their help.