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Ultimate Challenge 2
As you can see we have released a book and a film of our incredible journey around the world.
We have much more in the planning stage and news of upcoming Challenges will be published on this page in the future.

So please keep visiting this page within our web site for the latest news updates

Thank you for showing interest in our activities
2018 new year update

Better late than never, Happy New Yearn to you all. At a time when I should be bringing you good news about UC2 (The Ultimate Challenge 2) and the programme we are bringing together, I find myself unexpectently telling you about my lovely wife Vi being struck down by a reappearance of Lymphoma, an illness she contracted a two years ago, having been given the all clear at that time we were both shocked when notified by the consultant that it had returned to cause havoc once again, in such a short time. It started as an unidentified illness at the end of September worsening during the period up to Christmas when it was diagnosed as likely to be Lymphoma had returned. I have been spending every minute of my time with Vi to give her encouragement support while she is undergoing special chemotherapy. I pray that the treatment will be effective and Vi emerges once again as the smiling lady we all know.
It goes without saying that we will be struggling to drive UC2 and the Programme forward while I am looking after Vi so we will be treading water, so to speak, for a while. I guess that’s all I can say at the moment. My very best regards and will keep you posted.Les  
November 9th update
Hi everybody I trust life has been good to you over the past few weeks, sorry for the delay in publishing the latest update, I had been hoping to receive some news that I have been waiting for, for some time, and whitch would have enabled me to move everything forward. The info I have been waiting for, still hasn’t arrived, and to make matters worse I was informed a few days ago that the two Suzuki Vitaras scheduled to arrive during November will not now be available until sometime in January, so everything organised for after they arrive will now have to be rolled back to January, Two steps forward, one back. Fortunately we have given ourselves sufficient time, and providing the vehicles arrive no later than mid-January we should be able to get everything up and running for the end of March as previously planned. One of the reasons for the delay in us receiving the vehicles is that Suzuki are selling all the Vitaras they can produce, so allocating two off the production line to us, isn’t high up on their priority list, roll on next January.

You will recall that a few weeks ago we organized a competition to choose a graphic design to be overlay on the vehicles; the result was that we selected designs 1 and 4 as the best of the bunch and  have been sent back to Trevor of New forest designs to be tidied up and receive the finishing touches.  In due course we will publish the finished designs. Throughout the competition we asked you to select only one design so why do I mention that we have selected two.  Initially it was thought that the same design will be applied to all 4 vehicles taking part and would remain so throughout the three year programme, that is up until we gave it further consideration. In brief, the two Vehicles mentioned will form the basis of a roadshow that will figure prominently in our three year programme of events that will be organised and travel throughout the UK and Ireland.  These two vehicles will be overlaid with the graphics from picture 1, then prepared and dressed up, so to speak, to reflect a very much British image which is fine for the UK and Ireland.  To additional vehicles arriving later will be specially prepared for UC2 and will depart the UK on March 31st 2019 to travel twice around the world, but not all the countries we will be driving through will welcome us with open arms particularly if we drive through the town or city glowing with Britishness. It may be that we should lower our profile and project a more neutral image from the graphics and other trappings on the vehicles, with this in mind we are having another look at picture 4, I will let you know what we decide.

Bringing everything together hasn’t been easy and would test the stamina and ability of someone half my age, but we are stuck with the situation and if we want to get the show on the road we will just have to get on with it. Ok I have had my mone for the day now let’s talk about what we have managed to achieve while we are waiting for something to happen. For a start we have been able to put more time into researching everything planned for the programme and UC2, a good job to it has thrown up a number of issues that need to be looked at. The three year programme of events and UC2 will need a lot of money to fund it adequately so I have been busy upgrading my sponsor presentation and talking to possible sponsors, discussing with companies about upgrading the vehicles, making enquiries about public liability and vehicle insurance and following up anything that might be helpful to us. As you can see I am keeping busy.  Just to keep us on our toes Guy and I are trying to arrange a meeting with a very big charity organization, if we are able to put something together will seriously liven things up, more on that as it happens. Take care, till next time

September 30th Ultimate Challenge 2 (UC2) update
Hi everybody I am back with you on time as promised with the last of the fortnightly updates and the last of the four graphic design options for the Vitara’s, but more on that later. First of all I am happy to say that the sort of, log jam, that was holding things up over the past months has finally cleared and I have been able to drive everything forward. To help us on our way I have been working on a Programme Agenda, guidelines if you like, as to how everything should come together, if adopted, it will mean that we will all be singing from the same hymn sheet, it’s a bit of an epistle but necessary bearing in mind what we are proposing. I revamped my sponsorship presentation to include recent changes and expect to start talking to possible sponsors in a week or so. The slight hold up here is that Suzuki GB and Ireland has appointed a new oil supplier and we have someone talking to them on our behalf about sponsorship so hopefully I should know something within a few days, when I know what their commitment, if any, will be I will be able to approach other likely sponsors.
Irrespective of what else I have on the go sponsorship, the roadshow, and UC2 are on my short list of priorities, I have no problem with sponsorship or the roadshow both those should be in the bag by next March, but UC2 twice around the world, roughly 26 countries and 35,000 land miles I think will make an old man of me!  UC2, I can tell you, will be no picnic, but I will promise you I will keep you informed as it comes together.

VITARA GRAPHICS, no one is more excited than me about choosing the graphic design for the vehicles, although a little disappointed that we haven’t had a better response, but you have had an opportunity to have your say or at the very least preview the designs we are considering. You have already seen 3 designs which are similar to one another, but leave plenty of space for sponsor logos. For the 4th and final design, I gave Trevor and Loydd at New Forest design a free hand to produce something different, and they did just that, we would like to know what you think of graphics picture No4 so please contact us via our Website Click Here
During the next few weeks we will know which graphic design will be applied to the Vitara’s and I should be talking to sponsors as well as kit and equipment suppliers, on the face of it everything seems to be shaping up nicely.  The fortnightly updates come to an end but future news updates will be pretty regular bringing the news when it happens, thanks for your support speak to you soon.
September 15th Ultimate Challenge 2 (UC2) update
Hi everyone I am back with you as promised , last time I was a bit concerned that we wouldn’t make the publishing date for the last update, but full credit to Keith who manages our website he pulled all the stops out and we published  on August 30th as planned so it look like we are back on track. Since the last update I have received long awaited replies to emails and enquires that I have made about various issues related to the road show, UC2 and the programme in general, in addition, I received confirmation that the two Suzuki Vitara Boostedjet vehicles we will use for the roadshow will be available during November as promised, so things are looking up.
It has been a frustrating time for me over the past few months waiting for something to happen, so I am very relieved to be able to drive everything forward once again and eventually get the show on the road, excuse the pun.  As Project Director it is my responsibility to drive the programme forward as well as dealing with any issues that present themselves as everything comes together. Just so you have some idea of the time scale of the programme it is from now and the middle of 2020, a 3 year programme. There is five of us working on the bringing everything together, four of which have other full time commitments but will put their shoulder to the wheel as and when  required, they really are a great bunch of people.  As for me I suppose that you can say that I am a hard working retired person, if that makes sense, I have driven around the world once already so I know what needs to be done and I work best if I am left to get on with it.

That’s fine at the moment but by March of next year we will probably need to review the situation and delegate as a result of the expected increase in activity.  As already mentioned we don’t at the moment have an army of helpers, but as we progress I hope other people of all ages, male and female, will want to join our merry band and become involved in some way or other to help out.  Because of the activity of the last week or so, I now have a number of things on the go, one of which, and probably the most important is funding.  Signing up sponsors is never easy and sometimes it can be soul destroying but come what may, we need funding if we expect to complete the programme we have set ourselves. Just so you know what we are up against,  when I talk to companies and individual people are generally interested to hear what we have to say but in most cases the response is that they wish us success but are unable to help due to some reason or other. However there are a few companies who are more than interested and can see the advantage of having there company logo on our vehicles as we travel around the world and will make a cash contribution. There are also many more potential sponsors we will be talking to who will be more than willing to sponsor us in kind, by supplying services or equipment, it all helps. Last but not least are the public contributions, by way of taking part in the many fund raising events we will be organising throughout next year. I am looking forward to getting the roadshow up and running it gives me a chance to meet and talk to people.

Today we publish the third of four pictures illustrating the graphic designs overlaid on the Vitara that we will initially be using as the main feature of the roadshow.   Once again we are asking you to give us your opinion as to which one you think is the best design, bearing in mind that we have to create  as much space as possible for sponsor logo’s and promotions.  
It’s a competition so be imaginative with you comment you might win a prize, JUST IN CASE, THE ANSWER IS NO, WE WILL NOT PAINT THEM PINK.  Have a go we want to hear what you have to say. The fourth and final picture of the Vitara will be published on the 30th of September, till then keep smiling and be happy. Les

August 30th Ultimate challenge 2 (UC2) update
Hi everybody it’s good to be back with you once again, and my apologies, the August 14th two week update was ready on time but I failed to take note that our Website Wizard was already committed at that time so we were not able to publish as planned.

The first thing I would bring to your attention is from here on when generally referring to The Ultimate Challenge 2 I will use its abbreviation UC2.  What have I been doing during the past two weeks, I have to say not as much as I would have liked. Being August most of the population of the UK and the whole of Europe are on holiday so progress has slowed a bit. I did however spend some time looking for information about fitting up rated springs and shocks to the Vitara’s, we need to raise the cars by at least 50 but hopefully 75mm when loaded with the standard payload. With luck I should have this particular issue sorted within a week or so.
The programme is coming together and once the team and I have had a chance to review and agree to what’s on the table I will be able to prepare and publish a programme and list of events. As already mentioned we won’t be receiving the two Vitaras until November and by the time we get the graphics overlaid and the kit fitted it will be December/ January.
The importance of getting the Vehicles up together is that they will be needed as the centre of attraction for the ROADSHOW. Those of you, who followed us last time, will recall we did something similar then, only this time the roadshow will be a much larger and grander affair requiring much more input from me and the team so as to get it right. The roadshow is one of the main events, when up and running; it will operate continuously throughout the three year programme promoting and flag waving on behalf of UC2 and other events that we organise, as well as raising money for our charity, Heaven can wait I’m busy.  The roadshow as it travels up and down the country will provide an opportunity for our followers and the public to meet up with us, and have a chat to members of the team; we would be pleased to meet you when the time comes.  The two vehicles I have already mentioned above will remain in the UK their function, to be the centre of attraction of the Roadshow.  The two Vitara’s that will be driven twice around the world will be two separate Vehicles although basically standard will be specially prepared for the job and will appear later in the programme.

On the 14th August we published the first of four Vitara images with graphic overlays and we asked if you will let us have your comments about the individual design and which one you think has the most public appeal.

We haven’t exactly been swamped with your comments and we certainly would like to hear from you so here’s your chance to say what you think of the Vitara graphic design No 2 of 4. Give it a try contact us via the contact page on the website.  Under the present arrangement a lot of the information I am passing on to you is what I think will happen but when reviewed by the team there may be some changes.
Hopefully I will have more news next time till then keep smiling.   Les  

August 14th Ultimate Challenge update
Hi everybody its two weeks and I’m back with you once again with another update, Just to recap, last time we were able to announce that we now have in place a workable programme that will extend from August 2017 to July 2020, A THREE YEAR PROGRAMME OF EVENTS. We also announced that for safety and security reasons the start date of the Ultimate Challenge 2 has been rolled back to March 31st 2019, the reason for the changes I will go into later. Before I continue I would briefly like to go back in time so that you have some idea how we have ended up where we are today. For the benefit of those who have only recently joined our band of merry followers, at the beginning of 2011 I decided to drive around the world. What started as a two people one car adventure, ended up becoming a challenge for me and six other old guys mostly in there seventies driving two Suzuki Jimny’s and starting our journey on the 31st March 2013 to drive around the world and arrive back at the UK 150 days later the guys unharmed and the vehicles undamaged. We achieve what we set out to do and I spent the following two years writing and publishing a 450 page book documenting the journey as well as working with Viewpoint productions Ltd to produce a film as a six part series for TV, both the book and the film as a DVD set are available from our website shop. Looking back at what we did then you can’t help thinking it was one hell of an achievement.

Publishing the book and releasing the DVD set created a lot of interest resulting TV and Radio appearances and numerus articles being published in the dailies and magazines. When being interviewed by the media or when talking to people in general about what we did the inevitable question is always asked, what are you going to do next? So many people ask me the same question I couldn’t help thinking about it, thinking about what I could do if my lovely wife Vi wasn’t watching me like a hawk for any hint that I was up to no good!  However that to one side I couldn’t help pondering the question, what could we do that was so challenging and demanding and has not already been done? I eventually came up with, driving twice around the world from East to West and then North to South non stop. I am sure it has been done before in one form or another but probably not non-stop.  The idea has been adopted by the team and is referred to as Ultimate Challenge 2 or as recently suggested by David, one of the team, UC 2 and witch is the main event of our three year programme. From here on I will refer to the team, frequently, although I have referred to it previously I will mention it again to make sure you know who everybody is and what we do, The team as I call it, are a few people who helped and worked with me to bring together the 2013 challenge and we have remained together ever since, There are four members of the team including myself, Les Project director, Alun, Suzuki, Guy, Newman’s Suzuki Totten, David Viewpoint Productions Ltd. The team organises and manages the programme in conjunction with our registered charity “Heaven can wait I’m busy”. Our team and our charity, represented by myself as trustee and chairman will at times come together to support other charities.

What have we done recently, back in march Alun at Suzuki organized the loan of a Vitara to enable us to make an assessment as to the suitability of the Vitara to take on a journey twice around the world? My wife Vi and I drove the Vitara to Lands’ End, Cornwall and back to carry out a fuel check and get some idea what it would be like driving it long distances, the car did pretty well. A few days later we drove the Vitara to Thruxton racing circuit and put it through its paces on the skid pan and of road section, the car performed as expected and will perform even better with equipment upgrades.
Where are we to day, let’s say I am more confident now than I was six months ago there has been lots of occasions when I have not been able to do anything other than wait for replies to my emails or the return of my phone calls, or not being able to deal with a particular issue because of waiting for related information. Thankfully most of that is behind us now and things are starting to come together. We Have a draft of a very exciting workable programme that meets the criteria we have been seeking, after some tidying up I am sure will be adopted, but it still maybe subject to change.

1   Alun at Suzuki has informed me that we won’t receive the Vitaras allocated to us before November, he also tells me that the Vitara is selling so well the factory can’t keep up with demand, so we are not at the top of the priority list. We can bring the delivery forward by becoming a customer, so if there’s anybody out there who has just inherited a fortune and would like to join our merry band please contact me.

2    We won’t receive our vehicles until November but we can probably borrow one from ether Suzuki or Guy if he has one available at his dealership to take measurements for equipment or to visit a specialist manufacturer for advice. Surprisingly there is quite a lot of work to be done sorting out what equipment we need for the journey we are proposing that can be fitted to the Vitara’s without defacing the vehicles such as wheel rims and tyres, high lift shocks and springs etc.

3    Vehicle graphics is another area where we can work on the vehicles without the vehicles being available. About a year ago having some idea that if I were to take on another challenge it was likely that the vehicle we would use would be a Vitara. I contacted Guy and told him what I wanted to do and he loaned me a White Vitara for the day.  I met up with Trevor and Loydd the bosses of New Forest Designs, (they did the graphics on the Jimnys last time) we met in the new forest for a photoshoot with the car, they got what they wanted and I returned the Vitara back to Guy. A few days later and after some consultation between Trevor and me he produced a stunning design. Because of the lack of activity at the time it was put to one side, so we already have one design for our car and a possible basis for our first competition.


This could be our first competition, every two weeks or so for the next eight weeks, we will publish one of four Graphic designs overlaid on a Vitara, we would like you to have a look at each one that Trevor and Loydd have produced let us know which one you think is the best design and likely to have the most impact. Illustrated is the first image of 1 of 4 you can comment individually beforehand as well as at the end after all 4 have been published, each of the designs  will be amended or adjusted as we go along. Send your comment to our website contact page, if what you have suggested warrants further discussion let us have your phone number and I will contact you.  Let’s see what the general response is before we decide to run it as a competition. If you want to become involved with us your comments on the above could be your first step

From here on I will be focusing on current activity and developments within the programme generally and some of the details relating to UC2  (Ultimate Challenge 2) and how it will come together. Till the next update at the end of the month, keep smiling.   Les  
July 31st Ultimate Challenge 2 Update
Hi everyone it’s time for an  important announcement and news update, As you already know, over the past few months I and the team have been struggling to bring the Ultimate Challenge 2 programme together. For one reason or another we have not been able to get a workable programme together, however we now have enough pieces in place to make a start that will lead to us getting the show on the road, so to speak.  A few days ago and after a lot of research and the experience gained from the last time I drove around the world, we now have in place a workable programme.

To accommodate everything we proposed  to do we have had to accept some changes, the most notable being that the PROGRAMME OF EVENTS WILL NOW EXTEND FROM AUGUST 2017 TO JULY 2020, A THREE YEAR PROGRAMME. Also for Safety and security reasons the start date of Ultimate Challenge 2 has been rolled back a year to March 31 2019.
Every two weeks until further notice we will be posting a progress update on our website; the idea is to share with everybody what is happening on a day to day basis as we bring everything together. The series of events we are planning is ambitious and extensive and whenever possible will include our supporters and public involvement. Initially our activity will be centred in and around the south of England and when we are satisfied that everything is running as it should be we will extend our activity and meet up with our friends in Scotland, Wales, and the whole of Ireland as well as places in between. We will publish a list of proposed events in due course, which in turn, will become an annual events calendrer.
Although we will not receive the two Vitaras until later this year we would, however, like to hear from you if you know of any Event, Show or Exhibition in your area you think we should attend during 2018. Starting the middle of next month and continuing every two weeks thereafter, we will be posting an information update, the first one will be full of useful information, if in the meantime; if you come across anything you think we should know about or if you just want to let us know you are there, please contact me through our website.

Till next time, keep smiling. Les
Les Carvall Project director
77 year old who thinks he is still 40
3rd July 2017                                    
Hi everybody I am back with you once again, later than intended mainly because I was determined that next time I talk to you I was going to give you some good news. At last I have the good news but before I let you know what’s happening, today the 3rd July is my birthday I made it to 77 only heaven knows how I got this far. At 67 I thought I had done pretty well considering the scrapes with death I have had as I negotiated the minefield of life, but here I am, still breathing but I must confess not so upright.  At 6.30 this morning Vi my lovely wife!!! gave me my birthday cards to remind me how old I am and suggested that I really should take it easy today.  Having told everybody I was quiet capable of antifouling our 36 year-old boat,( will I ever learn). Having spent many hours getting” Ragamuffin” ready, I went to the boat yard yesterday determined to get the first coat applied so that I could finish it with a second coat today.  I arrived after first stopping at the chandlers to collect the paint and assorted rollers; I nearly fainted when the girl, still smiling from wishing me good morning, told me the antifouling was £75 for a 2.5 litre tin, (time to sell the boat).  Kitted out like a professional, including one of those white all in one disposable suit, I set to work. The outside temperature was 36 degrees with hardly any wind so it wasn’t long before I stated to simmer like an in the bag, oven ready dinner causing my glasses to steam up and bumping my head on the blue paint I had just applied. This situation continued to a point where I was getting paint everywhere other than on the boat. Half way through the day my supple back and legs decided not to be supple anymore so I spent the rest of the day finishing the first coat mainly on all fours unable to get up. I eventually got home  Vi looked at me and commented, you was supposed to paint the boat.

Not wishing to drag the story out, Vi cleaned me up as best she could and at the same time mentioned, perhaps you should get someone to help you, we exchanged a few choice words the outcome being, I will spend most of the following day, my birth day, applying the second coat. I awoke the following morning to Vi singing Happy Birth day and handing me my birthday cards from the family. My back and legs still not working properly I showered, ate my breakfast and ever confident, telling Vi I will be home for lunch! The day started badly having to stop at the chandlers to buy more paint, the girl behind the counter still smiling relieved of another £75. There was a storm forecast and we were to expect the wind to gust up to 80kts. My extra, extra, large disposable all in one filled up like a hot air balloon that threatened to carry me away if I let go of the chocks holding up the boat. After a struggle to get myself organised I was ready to pour some of the paint into the roller tray, leaning into the wind that was coming from the left I attempted to pour some paint into the tray, as I did the wind increased causing the paint then in mid flow to move at an angle to the right missing the tray and pouring over my right foot, not a nice thing to happen when you are wearing open toed shoes. The day continued the way it had begun the wind showing no mercy and only abated when I finally finished. As I was clearing up I walked into the rudder cutting my head, what a day. Similar to the day before I managed to paint myself as well as the boat, my all in one gave up half way through the day so paint found its way into places it shouldn’t.
I arrived home late afternoon and attempted to clean myself up ready for a surprise birthday party  Vi helped as best she could but in the end it will be a day or two and many showers before I regain my natural colour. I arrived at the party to a chorus of happy birthday that quickly turned to laughter; my skin had a hint of blue in it, my forehead had a gash that was still throbbing and my hair looked like it had a blue rinse.  What a birthday!!!

Enough of my ramblings, how about some GOOD NEWS for a change, I have kept you posted as to our progress over the past months; It’s been a bit of struggle at times but I am pleased to say that bearing in mind the current instability within our country and the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, Suzuki GB and Ireland have, through it’s PR office, agreed to support the Ultimate Challenge 2 programme, similar in a way to what they did when we first drove around the world 2013.. The details as far as to the extent of Suzuki’s support will be finalised over the coming weeks and in due course we will let you know how generous they have been. We are at the moment working on the programme and in particular Re-examining the proposed route we will travel so as to identify the hot spots that are likely to raise safety issues, every time I look over the route the more it concerns me, more on this later.   For the period from when we receive the vehicles from Suzuki and up to departure date we will be examining a list of suggestion and proposals we have compiled that will include events organised so as to involve s our supporters and members of the public. During the run up to departure date will be an exciting time for us, but everything we propose to do, including organising events, meeting people, talking to sponsors, and the preparation for Challenge 2 all has to be approved by the team and given the go ahead before it becomes a part of the programme, and of course, you are informed accordingly so we have our work cut out.
I will be responsible for posting on our web site progress notices so that everyone can see how the programme is coming together the first notice will be posted two weeks from now. (That’s a promise). Till then keep smiling and be happy.   Les

Ultimate Challenge 2 up-date
Hi Guy’s I’m back with another up- date ( don’t get excited ) what a miserable time I have had over the past few weeks I’ve been working away at various parts of the project but it seems I don’t have much to show for my effort, It is like that sometimes. The motor industry is buzzing at the moment as they duck and dive to get one over on a competitor by launching a new model, and so it is with Suzuki,The people I need to pin down to get conformation as to how far they will support Challenge 2 are all over the place launching new models. However I did get a chance to talk to the boss of Suzuki GB head of press and PR, a big supporter of what we are doing and we are getting together some time the middle of June to formally discuss what’s being offered.  From previous discussions I have some idea what the likely deal will be, and I can carry on, to some degree, on that assumption, but it prevents me talking to likely sponsors and making announcement to the media, I will keep slogging away at it and hopefully have it wrapped up soon.
Although progress has been slow in some areas I have had better luck in others, I have the basic maps of the proposed route and I have been able to amass a lot of information for the team to mull over when the time comes but more important I was able to identify some of the areas of conflict, or would be volatile areas, and hot spots, we will pass through or close to as we travel. How the world has changed in the last four years, to get as much information as I could about how the increased risk to Safety and security will affect the team, I Visited the F.O.C, (The foreign& commonwealth office) travel advice, also the UK Foreign office travel warning Websites, it all made depressing reading particularly south America. There is always an element of risk in what we are doing and Challenge 2 will be no exception, as it all comes together we will have crew safety and security at the top of our list, When I find out more about this issue I will pass it on.
I recently received a note from one of our committee members, who I respect, reminding me that I am chairman of our charity and as such I should spend more time raising money for the worthy causes we support and not so much time on Challenge 2. I suppose it’s a fair criticism and so as to keep the peace, I promise to try harder in the future. Anyway to make sure you have a clear understanding of what the structure of the organisation is and who does what let me run it by you.
“Heaven can wait I’m busy” is our registered Charity, it is the organising authority for The Ultimate Challenge events, I am Chairman and project director, there are two other trustee committee members. Because of the nature of the Challenge events they are organized and managed by a team of specialist people including myself, our current undertaking is of course, The Ultimate Challenge 2. There are two parts, for want of a better word, of the organization one is to raise money and donate it to, in some cases small charities who are struggling financially and two, to raise money as a result of the Challenge series.  To do more in the future for the charity and help raise money for worthy causes, perhaps we can organise fund raiser events of one sort or another.
When we receive the Vehicles from Suzuki and to keep everybody happy maybe we can put together a roadshow and travel the country hosting events to raise money for our charity and at the same time give all you guys who follow what we  do, to meet us and say hello. More on that later, I wish I was able give you better news, but perhaps next time.
May Ultimate Challenge 2 up-date...
Hi Guys I guess you are about ready for another up-date, I won’t go back over the past weeks as you already have a pretty good idea as to how busy we have been. After all that activity I needed to allocate myself some quiet time, I just wanted to sit in my office alone and undisturbed to think about the enormity of the task we are taking on. Thinking through the issues that have presented themselves and the options available to us, it has thrown up some serious questions that need to be addressed as soon as possible. However dealing with problems and making important decision’s is second nature to me, but more important at this stage is to firm up on the arrangement with Suzuki GB.  When I decided to use the Suzuki Jimny to drive around the world the first time my decision to do so was correct the Jimny proved to be reliable, rugged and economical and the support package, worldwide, provided by Suzuki GB was second to none.  We didn’t have a backup crew then, to fix things if they went wrong, and I feel confident enough that the Suzuki Vitara we propose to use will be just as reliable as the Jimny, plus the added advantage in as much that it will be kinder to my old bones over the bumps, more seating capacity for people to join us as we travel, and more economical a big cost saving factor.

I think I can safely say with some degree of certainty that we have the support of Suzuki similar to that we received for the first ultimate Challenge.  Knowing the Vehicle we will use, its performance and fuel economy, we are now able to finalise the logistical detail, the route and Itinerary, and the people who will be taking part. Once we have the answers to these questions and a lot more we will be able to tighten our costs and finalise the budget. Ultimate Challenge 2 will be a mammoth undertaking and a logistical nightmare to put together, but achievable. While everything is coming together around us we will be talking to possible Sponsors, hopefully next time we talk we will have some news for you. Keep smiling. Les
April 8th Les Doing a Book Signing...
As you can see Les has been very busy since his announcement of his next big adventure the "Challenge 2".
Play the short clip above to see Les at Waterstones in Lymington at his recent Book signing and by all accounts it went very well with good support from the public.

Keep checking back here to see what he gets up to next!
April 4th..Les Interviewed on Meridian TV...
Challenge 2 is gathering pace now that the news is getting around, watch the interview with Meridian TV talking to Les about the upcoming Challenge 2.

More news will follow soon on this web site
            The BIG Announcement on Friday 31st March 2017                 Ultimate Challenge 2

Click picture above to listen to the interview

Hi everybody the day has finally come when I can reveal what we have been up to over the past year or so. I am pleased to introduce you to the Ultimate Challenge 2, a journey twice around the world.   It will also be a record attempt as well as supporting our charity “Heaven can wait I’m busy" to raise money for our FOOD FOR AFRICA APPEAL.  The journey will take approximately 255 days travelling 35,000 miles transiting 24 countries. The significance of making the announcement on the 31st of March 2017 is because it will be 365 days (one year) from this date on the 31st March 2018 that the Ultimate Challenge will depart the UK on its journey twice around the world.

We will be counting down the days on our website and will post regular up-dates so that you can read about our progress. We are still working on the route and Itinerary but I can tell you that we will leave the UK via the Tunnel, travelling through Europe, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, and Japan.  By ship to Vancouver, then travelling north to Prudhoe Bay, north of the Arctic Circle. After a rest period we will start the second part of the journey from Prudhoe Bay travelling south through Canada North America and Mexico, and continuing south to Tierra-del-Fuego the most southern city in Argentina. The final stage will be to travel north to Mexico then travelling in a North-easterly direction to New York USA and journeys end.
I will keep you posted. Les

Les Gets a Suzuki Vitara to Test...

Hi everybody I trust you are well and still smiling, I have some great news for you but first a bit more info about testing the car. The Vitara allocated to us for testing arrived as promised last Monday, it was late arriving but at last I was pleased to get my hands on it. The Guys at Suzuki GB must be confident that we would look after it because they supplied us a “NEW” top of the range diesel 1.6 DDS AllGRIP model.  It was too late to do anything on Monday but first thing Tuesday morning I was up early having a poke around and checking the list of tests I wanted to do before the rest of the team get their hands on it. First job was to fit the driver and front passenger seats with waterproof seat covers to keep the seats clean then lay dust sheets over the backseat and foot well. I did the same with the area behind the rear passenger seat, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t cause any damage when I load the car with Engineering bricks to simulate a loaded Vehicle. I wanted to drive it around fully loaded for a few days to get the feel of it, to see how it performed as well as carrying out the fuel economy check with a vehicle fully loaded.  I packed the bricks into the car but stopped at 200 kilograms rather than the 300 kilograms required as I didn’t want to break the car.

Wednesday morning, VI, my wife and navigator and I set off on a 500 mile round trip to Lands’ End Cornwall with a loaded vehicle being driven along the hilly and twisty A35 and A30 ,so the little diesel had to work hard at times. By mid-day I was getting a good feeling about the car that just got better the more I drove. I will be producing a full and detailed report of my test drive in due course but just to let you know the outcome of the fuel efficiency test . The Vitara performed very well driving at a steady 60 mph, engine rev’s at 1750 rpm, a comfortable cruising speed, achieving an average of 52 mpg but on the odd straight and level stretches of road 60 plus mpg was achieved. More soon.
The Ultimate Challenge 2
Everything is coming together fast and I will make an anouncement to our friends, followers, supporters and the media on Friday 31st March, next week. The significance of this date is that it will be one year, 365 days, to the 31st March 2018, when The Ultimate Challenge 2 departs the UK on its epic journey. Through our website and the media we will be counting down the days, with regular progress reports and up-dates together with a comprehensive programme of public involvement.  I have no doubt we can bring this ambitious event together but it will depend on securing sponsorship, it’s always difficult securing sponsorship, but I am confident a sponsor can be found.

I know I am asking you to wait a few more days before reading about the detail of what we are proposing; however I can tell you that The Ultimate Challenge 2 is a journey twice around the world !!!

Next Friday 31st March is the day when all will be revealed ,an announcement will be made on our website, Facebook and Twitter. The same day, I will also be on the Julian Clegg show BBC Radio Solent any time between 7.30 to 8.30 am.  Hopefully the same evening I will be on the ITV Meridian news at 6 pm. It looks like I will be busy that day. Les
March 2017 Update from Less...
Hi everybody it’s good to be in touch once again, I have been busy spinning the plats so to speak as well as running around like a headless chicken. Never the less things are starting to move, the first thing is for me to correct what I said last time. I said that we will receive the Vitara from Suzuki on the 20th February and return it on the 13th March, well that never happened, due to conflicting arrangements. We will not now receive the car until the 20th March and we will have it for two weeks.  I have already mentioned when we receive the car it will be tested and assessed for its suitability for what we have in mind for Ultimate Challenge 2, trust me when I say we will need strong and reliable vehicles. One thing I learnt when I was putting the Ultimate Challenge 1, together, was that if you want to make sure something is going to work when the time comes, or if we have planned to film on location or something similar, whenever possible, I made a point of checking it out personally beforehand. My approach when bringing Ultimate Challenge 2 together will be the same. To give you an insight as to what goes on when you bring a project together such as Challenge 2, first we have to consider carefully what Vehicles we choose, in this case we are considering using the Suzuki Vitara, we study the manufactures information to see if it has a technical specification that suits our requirement, if so, we arrange with Suzuki UK for a loan of a car for road testing and assessment.

The Car allocated to us on this occasion is a 1.6 DDIS AllGRIP, a top of the range diesel ,a nice car but probably not the model we would use if we decide to go with the Vitara. Our car will arrive on the 20th March I will take charge of it for a few days, David Ellery Producer, and I have already drawn up a schedule of dates for testing, and the two week testing program will be filmed as part of Challenge 2. The first few days will be taken up by establishing the true kerb weight of the car (empty) then loading the car with engineering bricks to simulate the payload and gross weight (loaded) we then weigh the car once more to confirm the gross weight. Having simulated a fully loaded car including a full tank of fuel I will drive about 500 Miles over varying road surfaces to establish a cruising speed that is a compromise between the speed you would like to achieve over the ground and best fuel economy. Most of the journey will be driven at the selected cruising speed so when we refill the fuel tank we calculate the miles driven by the amount of litres we need to refill the tank to arrive at the true fuel consumption, bearing in mind the fuel consumption will vary depending on road surface conditions at the time. When I have finished the weight and road tests I will spend some time measuring the inside of the car ready for when we kit it out, checking the roof bars to make sure they will support a loaded roof tray, and having a good look under the car to see if we can turn it into a vehicle that would be up to the job. When I am satisfied with the simulated road testing I will join up with my good friend Guy, one of the team, at Thruxton race circuit on the 29th to drive on the skid pan and a section of the off road circuit to get the feel of the Vitara under extreme conditions.  David from Viewpoint productions Ltd will also be there to film what we get up to, no doubt to catch us on camera when we get it wrong! ! I should mention at this stage that the Ultimate Challenge 2 and what we are planning to do realise on us finding a sponsor or sponsors willing to support us, but ever the optimist, I am optimistic we will be able to sort something out. Last Wednesday I drove to Melksham for a meeting with Cooper tire and rubber Co, they sponsored the tyres for the Challenge 1 the outcome of the meeting was that it looks like they we will be running on Cooper tyres when we start Challenge 2. Keep an eye on the website as there may be an official announcement at the end of the month about Ultimate Challenge 2!!!!   Les

Les is Planning something BIG!...
Les is planning something BIG! called The Ultimate Challenge 2 and it could involve the new Suzuki Vitara.  Les has been busy planning the next challenge and will be evaluating the Vitara over the next few weeks to see if it is able to take on  The Ultimate Challenge 2.

More news will appear on this web site over the coming weeks, so keep checking in to read the latest news and see what Les is up to.

January 2017 update from Les....

Hello everybody I’m still breathing and upright and pleased to be back with you once more. It’s been almost seven weeks since my last website up-date and once again there’s been a lot of water under the bridge so to speak. I am pleased to say that I have some good news for you about the events we are organising for 2017, but before I let you know what’s happening I would like to deal with other matters first.  Now that Christmas is behind us I am able to concentrate on “Heaven can wait I’m busy” fund raising programme.  One of the ways we will raise money for our charity’s this year is by organising for private venues a film show or giving talks about the journey around the world. The film is very entertaining and gives you an insight as to what happened as we travelled. I am sure you have worked it out for yourself by now that I can talk for Britain so we have available a film show or a talk show with a short film, you have a choice. It’s against the law to sell tickets in advance but the public can make a donation in lieu of a ticket at the door. If you are within easy reach and would like to organise a film show or a talk at your club venue please contact me through the website.
I would like to thank all those people who have purchased the “Heaven can wait I’m busy” book and DVD’s, part of the money we receive contributes towards the donations we make to the charity’s we support.  From someone who has published his first book it has been very well received so I will keep knocking on doors and calling at book shops to get the numbers up, every little helps for our charity. The latest news as far as sales of books and DVD’s is that I had a meeting with the manager of Waterstones Lymington, the outcome was that he has agreed to organise a book signing event on Saturday 8th April so if you live anywhere near Lymington please come along and say hello. The “Heaven can wait I’m busy” book, E-book and the Ultimate challenge DVD set are available from our website, every time you make a purchase our charity benefits, thank you.
Let’s talk about something that will bring a smile to our face’s, I shouldn’t really get excited when I think about what we are planning but I can’t help it, at my age I should be doing a deal with the local undertaker and not be thinking of driving to faraway places. Since I spoke to you last the picture has become clearer and the bones of a workable programme for the period 2017 and 2018 has come together and the final details will be dealt with over the coming weeks.
However I can confirm at this stage that March 2018 is the proposed departure date of Ultimate Challenge 2, for various reasons I am not able to release any more details other than to say what we are proposing will make your hair stand on end.  From now to the departure date will be the preparation period for the Ultimate Challenge 2.  You may recall that when we drove around the world we drove the trusted and very reliable Suzuki Jimny.  So as to increase our carrying capacity, fuel economy and do something about crew comfort, we are considering using the new Suzuki Vitara. We will be testing the new Vitara during the 20th February to the 13th March. We propose to put the Vitara through its paces, testing it’s suitability to handle very long journeys fully loaded, fuel economy at best cruising speed and mileage from a full tank of fuel, and driver fatigue after a 10 hour journey. Most of the testing will be carried out in the south and where ever possible will be filmed and no doubt it will find its way onto our website and pop up on Facebook and the media in general.  Now that we have got our act together I will keep you posted through the website and our Facebook page. I will talk to you again towards the end of February.

Take care keep smiling and drive safely.   Les
December 2016 update from Les....

Hi everyone I would like to wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.
Another year is slipping past but to be truthful I am not sorry to witness its passing, I don’t know where the time has gone.  For someone who is supposed to be retired, I  haven’t stopped. The year started with the shock at being informed that the love of my life had cancer and needed urgent treatment. The process of recovery is almost at an end and expected all clear at the end of this week apart from periodic checks. That was a close call. In between dealing with household chores, and fetching and carrying for Vi, the time I had to myself I struggled to finish my book Heaven Can Wait I’m Busy, get it printed and into the market place, what a nightmare. In the end I ended up becoming the Author, publisher and salesman and set about selling not only the book but the DVD set as well. I managed to get good reviews in the local papers and magazines also live time on local radio and TV resulting in the book being sold through most major book shops. Not bad for a kid from Hackney.
Now that the book and DVD set is getting established in the market place I have been able to think about the next Challenge. You may recall from the up-date I write for the web site I mention that I am in discussion with Suzuki GB about whether we could work together to organise  a series of challenges for 2017. The discussions have dragged on mainly because of the difficulty of getting around a table with the man that matters, fortunately we have been able to do this on two occasions, the last one only a few days ago, resulting in an agreement that Suzuki GB will support in one way or another a series of events planned for 2017. To firm up on what has been discussed and agreed so far we are meeting once more before Christmas  When the programme for next year has been finalised I will let you know.
The year, although starting out badly it has ended up bringing a smile to my face. So Until I can give you more news I would like to say on behalf of Keith Rimmer our web wizard, David Ellery Viewpoint productions Ltd, and myself, also Charles Scott and Glyn Maher trustees of Heaven can wait I’m busy our charity, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
    Bye Bye for now  Les Carvall
November 2016 update from Les....
Hi everybody I have finally got around to producing my latest up-date relating to what I have been doing recently, It’s later than anticipated but my wife Vi and I needed a break  so we packed our bags and went to Greece for two weeks. I didn’t realise how knackered we both were until we got there, we have a house on Lefkas Island in the Ionian, and we haven’t been there since last January, although we have people looking after the place, as well as two dogs and a cat but as you can imagine we couldn’t help worrying if everything was  alright, but as it happened everything was fine the doge were over fed and the cat created alarmingly because the dogs  ate  her food!
Back to the business in hand; let’s reflect on what has been happening the most important thing is that Vi has fully recovered as the result of the cancer treatment and been given the all-clear subject to periodic checks, what a relief. With what time I had to myself after doing the chores around the house I divided between the Heaven Can Wait charity work, together with Glyn Maher and Charles Scott my fellow trustees, and talking to various people about the next challenge.  Before bringing you up to date with these issues I would like to mention that we made the donations to the three charities referred to in the previous up-date., the £1,000 cheques were received by the principle of each charity with sincere appreciation. As you are aware by now the book, EBook and DVD set are in circulation, we are not exactly flooded with orders but there is a lot of interest and orders are trickling in. One of the nicest complements I have received was from Pauline from Wales who emailed me to say she is enjoying the book so much her husband can’t wait to get his hands on it, and her son after him, can’t be bad. From a charity point of view there is a spin- off in as much as we have been able to put a film show together and I am at the moment calling at clubs of one sort or another in the area offering to put on a film show. Those at the club wishing to see the Ultimate Challenge film can do so by making suggested donation at the door (it is however not legal to sell tickets at the door) the money received at the door is collected and handed to our charity for distribution to other small charities, we make no charge for our services and 100% of the money raised goes  to charity, I will keep you posted as to how it works out.

I have been in discussion with Suzuki for some time now relating to The Ultimate Challenge 2, it’s a long process with Emails to and fro  and long phone calls and discussions with this or that person. I have submitted a whole package of really good exciting proposals for The Ultimate Challenge 2 and other events. There is a lot of interest but the last thing I want to do is to become a pest so all I can do is wait and hope I hear something soon.  In the meantime I received an email from the Managing Director of Newman’s  Suzuki, Southampton asking if I would be available to attend a new vehicle launch on the 26th of October and do a presentation during the evening about the Ultimate Challenge the journey around the world. As you know I am able to talk for England given half a chance so decided to have a go. I did some preparation, prepared a bit of a script and turned up at the showroom as requested and soon settled down and chatted to customers about what we did. Before the time came for me to be introduced and start my presentation Guy Foster the MD of Newman’s ran a 10 minute clip of the film so that everybody had some idea what it was all about. I started my presentation nervous at the beginning but I soon settled down and it seemed to flow smoothly, everybody listened intently to what I had to say and asked questions at the end, I was quite pleased with myself with the outcome and will not be quite concerned if asked to do it again in the future.  I hope the news will be better next time, till then take care.   Les

An Update from Les ....
Hello everybody I trust you are well and eager to find out what I have been up to during the past few weeks. As I recall from my last update, I mentioned that I was going to focus my attention on promoting the Book, EBook and DVD set we now have available and if an opportunity presents itself I will talk to TV companies about showing our film on national television.  Well I managed to do what I set out to do with pretty good results.  Before proceeding any further I must mention that to get the show on the road, so to speak, I had to set myself up as a publisher and I have to tell you self-publishing is not for the faint hearted.  Trust me when I say, on occasion, its soul destroying hard work, fortunately it’s like water of a ducks back to me. With a little help from Keith our website wizard and David the Boss of Viewpoint productions the producer of the film and DVD’s, it wasn’t long before with had in place a sales and distribution set up through our website. Having the means to respond to a sales enquiry, I then set about getting the book reviewed. Fortunately and without exception those who have read the book have been very complementary so with hand on heart I was able to say to people if you start reading the book you probably won’t want to put it down. I distributed complementary copies to reporters of the local papers and magazines TV and radio stations and anybody who I thought could help in one way or another then pester the life out of them with follow up phone calls.

The net result of my effort was very good,reviews in all the papers and magazines that I contacted, I managed to get a 6 minute slot on air with ITV Meridian South 6 o’clock news Friday July 15th followed two weeks later with an hour live interview with Julian Clegg’s early morning show on BBC Radio Solent.  Not bad for my first effort and there is more happening that I will tell you about next time.  
As to what we will do next, all I can say at this stage is that I am involved with a lot of discussion relating to a number of exciting Ultimate Challenge events and hopefully it won’t be long before I will be able to make an announcement.

I would like to mention to everybody that  “Heaven can wait I’m busy” is our charity and is run and managed by myself as Chairman and trustee together with Charles Scott and Glyn Maher trustees. We organize and oversee all the projects and where possible we raise money through donation or sponsorship. As a result of the Ultimate Challenge our journey around the world and eventually from the sale of books and DVD’s we are able to make donations to local charities, I am pleased to announce the latest round of donations of £1,000 each are as follows.
Wessex Cancer support, they look after people who are on their own and suffering from cancer.
Marcus Rutherford foundation, they make lots of small donation to people where a £100 or so will make all the difference to their lives.
The Flatterby fund, a charity very supportive of people in need in one way or another.
You can find out more about the charities we support by checking out their websites.
That’s about it for the time being, take care and speak to you soon.   Les

Les gets Interviewed by ITV News!...
Les along with two of the team Roland and Keith who travelled together on their epic journey around the world were interviewed on the ITV regional news recently.
Click on the picture below to watch the interview.

The Film

The epic story of the Ultimate Challenge is told in a six-part TV series and DVD set, due for release spring 2016.

We follow Les Carvall and the team from planning and training for the journey of 18,600 land-miles and share the emotional highs and lows of the journey, stunning scenery and their triumphant arrival in New York after five months on the road!
Click above to watch the Trailer

Nearly 3 hours of television featuring footage captured by the team throughout their incredible adventure and reflective interviews with everyone who took part.

Click HERE to order your copy
The Book

The book begins with an autobiographical account of Leslie's life and what motivated him to take on The Ultimate Challenge, then continues with Les and the team, all in their seventies, driving two Suzuki Jimny's around the world.

Les tells this story in his own inimitable way

Based on Leslie's daily diary's... it is a full, frank, no holds barred account of a journey that the group undertook  overcoming  the logistical, personal, technical and mechanical challenges along the route.
Click on the book to order your copy at only £9.99
an ebook version is also available at £3.99 incl tax

Click HERE to find out more about the book

Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.
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