Land Cruiser Adventure

Swiss husband and wife Paul and Brigitta Bohlen Jüni are not your average couple. Having met and fallen in love in the Caribbean, they went on to tour Australia together, cementing their relationship with marriage in Namibia. Their honeymoon wasn’t spent reading books on a deserted beach, instead they chose a 4x4 adventure through South America, finishing it off by sailing to the Antarctic on a Russian icebreaker!

After this trip, most of us would return to the routine of normal life with plans of growing old together. Not Paul and Brigitta. They instead chose to circumnavigate the world, crossing 63 countries over an incredible 280,000 kilometres.

The decision on how to cover this epic distance was an easy one for the pair: A Toyota Land Cruiser HZJ78. Quoting Winston Churchill they explained their choice of vehicle, who once said ‘My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the best’. The Land Cruiser’s reputation for strength and dependability made the decision for them.

After three years of planning, their world tour started from Switzerland on 3rd September 2006, and within a month they had been through two continents. Taking in France, Spain and Portugal, they took a rest on completion of this stage of the journey with a month long stay in Morocco.

Soon it was time to move on, and the next stop was South America. They used a 20” shipping container throughout their trip, to make transfers easier and keep costs down. Their beloved Land Cruiser, or as they began to lovingly refer to it: ‘Mahangu’ (a type of South African sweet corn that satisfies the locals hunger, in the same way the Land Cruiser satisfies the couples sense of adventure) was squeezed in to the container with barely a few inches of space left, for its one month voyage across the Atlantic.

It is incredible to think that at this stage the couple had only been travelling for three months as they arrived in Brazil. The adventure which continued for nearly seven years saw them cross some of the harshest conditions known to man, from deserts to deep snow and wild rivers to wildlife, the couple and their trusted Mahungu survived it all.

On the 21st September 2013, the intrepid duo crossed the Rhine River and completed their circumnavigation of the globe, after 2573 days. With the diesel rumble of their dependable Land Cruiser still going strong till the end, a letter the couple sent to Toyota Europe mid-way through their trip said it all: ‘The Land Cruiser is the best car you can drive around the world.’

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