Show Notes for Podcast #147
Andrew St. Pierre White Shares the Stories of 4x Overland
Scott Brady interviews Andrew St. Pierre White about his stories, films, books, and overland adventures around the world by 4WD.
Andrew St Pierre White
A body of work spanning 40 years
Andrew St Pierre White (AKA ASPW) is likely the world’s best-known 4×4 writer, commentator and adventure-travel filmmaker and is commonly referred to as’ The David Attenborough or 4WD’.
Andrew is often seen as the father of 4WD television and was one of the very first globally to produce a TV series dedicated to the love of 4WD exploration. He first made his mark in 1993 when he published The Complete Guide to Four-Wheel Drive and almost singlehandedly launched the 4×4 information industry in South Africa. Since then, another 15 4×4 books, an award-winning memoir and nine TV series broadcast in five countries. He now speaks to a worldwide audience of millions through his YouTube channel and Instagram. Andrew is based in Western Australia.
Broadcast TV And YouTube
In a 38-year long career as a TV broadcast professional, Andrew spent his early years editing TV commercials, and won prestigious international awards including Cannes and New York TV Gold. Clients included SAB, Nedbank, Toyota, United Bank, General Tyres, Firestone, Canon, Minolta, FNB, Ford, Rocoh, Peter Stuyvesant for agencies such as Hunt Lascaris, J Walter Thompson and many more.
He is now a highly-acclaimed adventure-travel filmmaker and has produced and presented some of the world’s best loved overland travel films. They are especially sought after by 4WD and motorcycle enthusiasts because his programs mix the wonders of overland exploration with the grit of men, women and machines. His works includes nine13-part series for TV, a host of 4×4 training programs and a batch of aviation documentaries broadcast by major networks including Discovery Wings.
His main YouTube Channel 4xOVERLAND has over 285K subscribers and 68M views and receives an average of 700K – 1 million views every month.
I’m half 4WD enthusiast, half filmmaker. Both of these pursuits germinated when I was very young, and developed alongside each other during my professional career.
I bought my first 4×4 at 22 and won my first international film editing award at 24. At 29 I bought my second 4×4. Around this time I gave up full-time editing and went into publishing my own 4WD books and maps. Somewhere in between, I learned how to fly. Gliders became a second obsession. When I was about 50 I returned to full-time filmmaking, producing 9 series of an adventure travel show for South African TV that have since been broadcast in six countries.
I started teaching filmmaking in 2015 while living in the UK and launched Beafilmaker.com that has so far inspired over 26 000 students in 130 counties. All my courses err on the creative rather than the technical, because there is so little creative teaching available on-line.
During all this, I’ve owned another 17 4x4s and have driven on five continents in 19 countries. I’ve fallen in love with Land Cruisers, Mercedes-Gs, Land Rovers and even a few other vehicles that I’ve been loaned.
So now I’m supposed to be nearing retirement age. I can’t see that happening anytime soon because I love what I do far too much. I echo the words of Noel Coward: “Work is more fun than fun.”
To sum up, my passions include aircraft and glider flying, making documentary films, family time and travel—especially into the wilderness in my 4×4. That obsession has been with me since my father took me to the Okavango in 1972. It was here that I sat in my first 4×4: A Series-3 LWB Land Rover.
The first 4×4 motion I ever experienced was the Land Rover being backed hurriedly into a tree to avoid an elephant. The tail light broke. My second ride was in a Series-2, SWB open-top Land Rover at Xaxaba Camp on Chief’s Island in the Okavango. It was here that I went off-road for the first time: I remember fabled Lloyd Wilmot using the Rover to chase a hyena across a runway he was building. The vehicle hit an anthill and shot me high into the air. I landed inside the spare wheel lying in the back of the truck. From that moment, I was hooked!
In the 90’s I spent the first year of the decade living in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. It was there that I wrote my first book on a subject that at the time was no more than a hobby. It was called ‘The Complete Guide to Four-Wheel Drive’. With the immediate success of the book (which sold uninterrupted in South Africa for 24 years), a second followed. It led to the creation of 4xOverland.com, a publisher of books, DVDs, videos and maps aimed at the worldwide 4×4 community.8
You can follow Andrews adventures on his website:
Website: 4X Overland
Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal and is often credited with popularizing overlanding in North America. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and includes three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar expeditions include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. @scott.a.brady
Scott Brady: Hello and welcome to the Overland Journal podcast. I’m your host, Scott Brady, and for this week’s episode I interview Andrew St. Pierre White at the Overland Expo. Andrew St. Pierre White has been overlanding in driving off highway since 1993, and he is known for his incredible books on the subject and his travels around Africa and Australia. Andrew also has a very popular YouTube channel for 4X Overland. We had a wide ranging conversation, including some great storytelling from Andrew about his adventures around the world. So please enjoy my conversation with the famous Andrew St. Pierre White. This content is brought to you by Overland Journal, our premium quality print publication. The magazine was founded in 2006 with the goal of providing independent equipment and vehicle reviews along with the [00:01:00] most stunning adventures and photography. We care deeply about the countries and cultures. We visit and share our experiences freely with our readers. We also have zero advertorial policy and do not accept any advertiser compensation for our reviews. By subscribing to Overland Journal, you’re helping to support our employee owned and veteran owned publication. Your support also provides resources and funding for content like you are watching or listening to right now. You can subscribe directly on our email@example.com. Well, Andrew, thank you so much for being on the podcast.
It’s, it’s such a joy to have you. I’ve been a, a longtime fan of your work. You have traveled around the world and you’ve produced some of the most exceptional inspiring and, well-performing content that we’ve seen in the overland space, and we’ve got lots of questions that we’re gonna dig [00:02:00] into. But the thing that I’m, I’d like to know, because I don’t know that a lot of people know it is, is where did you start from? Where, where did you grow up? What was the thing that inspired you to do this?
Andrew White: Well, thanks for the invitation. I really do appreciate it. My backstory is quite an easy one to tell. 12 years old, is my father was a foreign correspondent, working in London. So I was born in the uk. And he was invited to go to South Africa to be their correspondent there. And being an adventurous type, he decided, well, we’re gonna go for a holiday, family holiday. Not to your normal family holiday destination, but to the Okavango But the Okavango then is a, it’s a wetland in middle of the Kalahari is not a place where tourists go much. At the time there were only three lodges in the entire area. Now they’re probably 120. We drove in a Triumph 2000, which is a low slung English main saloon car, and I remember on the long gravel road that my knees were gradually getting closer to my chin as the belly plate of the car was being dented. We are arrived in the Okavango. We got on board some dugout canoes [00:03:00] and I was. It was a cathartic moment because I actually have a recording of me 12 years old. This little voice talking about the sunset, talking about the light on the water, talking about the, the mirror image and the, and the shadows of the trees in the water. And I’m 12. There’s something there if I look back at it and the thought, there’s the seed, there’s the kernel of what I do. And that was an incredible place That was, is still my favorite place on the entire planet and that was my love of the outdoors pig there. Several years later, my father bought, a Range Rover. We went back to England for a short spell back to South Africa with a Range Rover and the Range Rover. Then I was sent in 1974. Was very, was unique. I mean there were literally 11 in all of Southern Africa. Ours was actually number 11 that was imported and this was of course a four wheel drive and very capable off-road four wheel drive. My father knew nothing. Yeah, sure he knew nothing, but he did know enough to, well let’s put in some jerry cans cuz we are not gonna have enough fuel. He knew that much and some water. And a tent and four of us [00:04:00] packed in this range of no roof rack, no fridge, nothing. All of our food was out of a tin can. We went back to the Okavango, but this time we drove. You can’t actually drive much in the Okavango, but you can drive around it. And we again, experienced it in a four-wheel drive and this was just, it was it. It changed my life. Obviously it changed my life. So when I turned, 22, I could afford my first four wheel drive. And of course. And.
Scott Brady: You were still living in South Africa?
Andrew White: Still living in South Africa. Yes. I left home, I had my, I was a film editor. I was editing TV commercials, which it turned out I was quite good at. I won some awards around the world for, even though there, there were South African productions, but they were entered into competitions in New York and cans and things like that. And I won editing awards. I was quite good at it. I loved editing. My passion out of work was expedition travel. And so I bought myself a Range Rover. Of course, of course I would. You know, and I was of course a Land Rover file. I had nothing. I was interested in anything else. It didn’t matter. It had to be a Land Rover.
[00:05:00] I did.
Scott Brady: It’s definitely an affliction. I think. I can appreciate it.
Andrew White: No, it absolutely is. The, and I built up my Range Rover and. And beat the living daylights out of it on some extreme expeditions, with friends and later with Gwen, who I then married soon after that. We, we, we got together and then I took her on Expedition and then she absolutely loved that thing as well. So we had that connection and we just started doing lots and lots of expeditions. And in 90, about 91, we actually left, we literally sold our houses and everything. We just, I sold an airplane, I sold editing equipment. I just sold everything but my Land Rover. Then I was driving a Land Rover one 10, the predecessor to the, to the defender. We had the V8 3.5 and, kept that. But we then spent one year in the a of anger running a lodge, and during that year, I wrote the book, the Complete Guide to Four Wheel Drive in Southern Africa. And that book remained on sale in South Africa in different editions for, 24 years non-stop from that point. [00:06:00]
Scott Brady: Yeah, I remember, I remember seeing, the first copy that I noticed of it was, I’m trying to remember the name of the four wheel drive store that was in Johannesburg, but I went in there and I was looking for local guides on four wheeling. And I remember looking at, a lot of your books that had lined up?
Andrew White: Yes.
Scott Brady: Because that was, I think my first trip to Africa was 2010, something like that, so Andrew White: Oh, really? Even, even in 2010, cuz I left in 2013, so 2010. Yes. There would’ve been several books of, of, of mine.
Scott Brady: Yes. That’s right. Yeah.
Andrew White: Yeah. And maps too. I then started, I started a mapping company, mapping business, and the idea was existing map, existing maps didn’t help remote travel enough. They were just roadmaps and most of the tracks were missing. So I thought, okay, no. We are gonna do, we are gonna find areas in southern Africa that are remote, difficult to navigate through with standard maps. Go out there and map them, redraw the maps from scratch with GPS coordinates. Cuz of course GPS then didn’t, they weren’t maps. They would, they would just give you a latitude, longitude. Okay. So then you, you could basically look at a map and look at an [00:07:00] intersection. Read the Latin Long and on the g p s say, yeah, that looks like we are there. You know, within a few seconds or two, the accuracy was about 300 meters. Certainly close enough.
Scott Brady: Yes. For yes, for sure.
Andrew White: To, to make sure that intersection was the one that you thought you were at. So you used it just for reference, which is still way I use a GPS today. I glance it and say, yeah, I’m where I think I am, but I’ll use a paper map. I can’t. I can’t get rid of paper maps, I find.
Scott Brady: Oh, they’re just, they’re just a wonder to use. And I, I find that the advantage of them as well is that it, you stay paying attention if you focus entirely on the, so like, on the gps people, they, they don’t, you ask ’em where they’re at on the map. If you take out a paper map, they say, well, I gotta get my gps. Well, you should probably know what if that thing stopped working. And they do.
Andrew White: And it’s so, and it’s so, so, so true. If you are aware all of the time of your location and the direction in which you’re driving. You have this mental, big mental picture in your head. If you stare at a tiny little screen, that’s all you’ve got in your head [00:08:00] is a tiny little screen. And when that fails, I always say when, when training I’ve got, you’ve probably seen my overlay, overland workshop.com. I have various training courses and, and one of them I talk about navigation and I say, you’ve gotta keep your head involved with your navigation and never turn on auto rooting when in a remote area. Because gps cannot tell the difference between a, between something that you can do 60 miles an hour on another, that you have to go into low range. It doesn’t know the difference.
Scott Brady: And plenty of tourists around the world have gotten in trouble with that, especially in Australia. I mean the number of, the number of Germans that seem to be dying on a regular basis in the Outback in Australia, it’s quite.
Andrew White: It’s quite terrifying.
Scott Brady: It’s terrifying. Yeah.
Andrew White: Yeah. The worst one was in fact that they found the vehicle, two deceased people. One had walked away from the vehicle and the vehicle was engaged in four wheel drive, but they hadn’t been told that they needed to lock the front hubs cause it was an old fashioned type land cruiser with, with lockable front hopes and didn’t tell ’em. And they were in two wheel drive and they weren’t even in particularly deep sand and had cost them their lives. [00:09:00]
Scott Brady: Yeah, I think I’ve heard that story. And I even remember there that they, all they did was lock the hubs and let a little air outta the tires and they drove out.
Andrew White: That’s what they did. Yeah, they literally did exactly that. And they just drove the car straight out.
Scott Brady: That’s, yeah. It’s terrifying. Yeah. So you are still in South Africa now Around 1991. Things were starting to get fairly intense in Southern Africa. Is that part of the, the reason for going to the Okavango, just to kind of get out of some of that intensity or?
Andrew White: No, it was just, our work had just gone on top of us. It just becomes so we needed that sabbatical. We needed that break from that intensity. We were living in Johannesburg, very intensive city. We just needed a break. And it was the, and we still, and we wrote a book and I wrote a book. 10 years later, we published it 10 years later while we were there. We kept a diary of every single day. 10 years later, Gwen, who was writing fantasy novels, who was really, really rather good writer, then took our journal and turned it into a book and we won an award in the UK for that book.
Scott Brady: And what’s the name of that book?
Andrew White: It’s called Torn Trousers.
Scott Brady: Okay. I’ve seen it. I [00:10:00] haven’t read it.
Andrew White: Received huge acclaim. And it’s funny and it’s, and it’s, when we were going through the manuscript, when we were. We were laughing at ourselves. Saying you cannot make this stuff up, but it is all the only adaptation we did. It’s true. It’s absolutely true. What Gwen did is she wove it into a story that flows really nicely. And that’s all she really did. There’s some very, very funny stories in it, and they’re absolutely true. Yeah. And that was, still now we think one of the greatest parts of our entire lives. We still look back at it, with enormous fondness.
Scott Brady: And maybe to help the listener, because so many people admire you and look up to your work. It’s always nice to hear when you have those transformative points in your life. What were the things about that year that you felt was made it so special?
Andrew White: Oh, that’s a, that’s, that’s an interesting question because I, I think the one thing that we decided when we came back, we said, okay, we want a family. And the Aang is [00:11:00] not a place where you have to bring up, you can bring up a family. With any kind of normality. So we went back into city life and I continued doing film editing and then, The book was published a year after we returned the four, the four wheel drive book. It was so successful that we ended another, we ended a third, which was commissioned by a big publish, another secondary big publishing organization, and we realized we could make a living out of this, but we made a decision. How are we gonna live our lives? And there was one simple rule. None of us were going to accept that we needed to commute. We were not going to spend half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening in a car, in the traffic to commute. So whatever we did, that was the rule. And it might seem simplistic, but everything was guided. Guided around that we wanted to take some of ourselves out of the rat race. Which is what had sent us. Scurrying off to the A of anger to escape. We said if we come back, we can’t do the same again. If we do the same again, we’ll get the same result. Do something different. So this is the rule, and we started a family and we, we built a house. Actually it was not a, [00:12:00] not in the city, it was kind of in the country. A bit of a drive, but. And it worked. And I used to travel quite frequently. And we actually then, then, then, moved down to Cape Town. Beautiful place to live to.
Scott Brady: It is gorgeous.
Andrew White: It is not my favorite place. Cape Town is a wonderful place.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Beautiful.
Andrew White: So we lived in Cape Town for, it must have been 12 years or so. I haven’t mentiond recently, but a significant amount of time. And we brought up our kids there. And then used. Cape Town is our base good four-wheel drive, industry, which was quite small and it’s grown since significantly. And, I used that as my base and then traveled all over and did some of my longest and most exciting expeditions based from Cape Town. It was, one publication after the other maps books, and of course I got back into film using my film skills to make South Africa’s very first how to drive a four-wheel drive. It’s actually on the, it’s actually on my channel. The whole thing is on my, on, 4X Overland YouTube channel and how to drive four drive. And I’m think, tell me if I’m wrong and ask you a question. You, you, you’ll be the right person to answer this question. I have never seen anybody do this. I [00:13:00] think I might be the only one, and I might be wrong, when teaching people how to drive off road to talk about the balance, the weight, balance, the center of gravity between the front and the back. In other words, if a front wheel. Let’s say front left wheel has dropped into the hole. How do you get traction on that front left wheel? The best way is to lift the rear right wheel.
Scott Brady: To put pressure back on.
Andrew White: Transferring weight forward. As opposed to trying to stuff stuff under the front. So I talked about weight balances. Left, right. And I had some fantastic, examples of I would’ve be driving a discovery mark, one discovery over some rocks. And we kept, I kept slipping out and I kept slipping out and we kept on doing things and I thought, this is a fantastic teaching moment. And that’s what the whole video became. I would go out research and trails, get into some interesting four-wheel drive situations. Hey, roll camera. This is a great teaching moment. And then I would teach it. You know, And it was, it was, it was, it was great fun.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Vehicle dynamics are such a fundamental [00:14:00] part of, of what we do, and you really learn them quickly under the higher speed, like racing conditions because you have to be constantly adjusting vehicle dynamics.
Andrew White: And, and fast. And you’re doing it at high rate of very high speed, not climbing out of the vehicle, looking at it. And they’re making a decision. Yeah.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And that’s, that’s, those drivers, that’s what they do. They’re constantly, if you lo, if you watch f1, they’re all about how do we. Transfer weight to the front. Under braking to get the vehicle to turn in. And it all those same dynamics apply off road.
Andrew White: Yeah. Just in slow motion.
Scott Brady: That’s right. Thankfully. Thankfully.
Andrew White: Yeah. Thankfully.
Scott Brady: Yeah. That’s why I don’t race anymore. I enjoy, I enjoy going more slowly now, so.
Andrew White: Okay. You still ride bikes a lot then?
Scott Brady: I do, yeah. And that and yeah. Weight, weight balance is a lot of that and it’s usually me becoming the weight balance. Moving around on the bike.
Andrew White: Yeah. I edited a book. For a, a bike rider who rode for South Africa’s very first motorcycling book. And I actually, we actually published it on his behalf. And we worked closely together and I read it through and I was actually the editor and I thought, I’ve gotta get into, so, but motorcycling, I’ve just got, I just, [00:15:00] I was captivated, but I was 50 years old. And I thought, you know, and then a friend of mine tried and he came off and he injured himself quite badly. And then there was somebody I knew from, from, I think he was worked for Mr. Bii and that actually lost his life. Also late in life, learning how to, and then going on a motorbike. And I thought, you know, it’s too late to be good.
Scott Brady: And you, you have all these people in your life. You have your children and you have your wife, and yeah.
Andrew White: I, I, risk, risk is okay. Mitigate the risk. It’s not bad to take risk. That’s a, that became okay. That’s a stupid risk. Yeah, because you’re not, you’re not 25, you’re not gonna learn fast enough to keep yourself safe. At 50 years old on how to handle a bike.
Scott Brady: No, that’s good advice. And I think you’re, I think you’re right.
Andrew White: I did actually, I’ll go and do something else.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And I don’t, I don’t, I don’t have children and, and so I think I take more risks. Because I, yeah. But if I, if I did have kids, I wouldn’t ride a motorcycle. They need you around. At all levels, at all ages of life. So, [00:16:00] well, that’s interesting to hear about the bike. I didn’t know that you had even looked into it. So, because you’ve, you know, been such a practitioner of the four wheel drive, so your, your books come out, your videos come out, and you start to plan these longer trips. So what was your first. Really long distance, overland adventure that you did, that, that comes to mind.
Andrew White: That would’ve been, Botswana with friends. We had two range rovers, both similar age, both. Mine was a 71 and his was a 73 Botswana. We did the classic Botswana, Chobi, Mimi route that everybody does. But then.
Scott Brady: Third, third, what is it? Third bridge and all that third bridge.
Andrew White: Actually, my dad and I went to Third Bridge in his Range Rover in 1974. That’s how, that was the first time we had ever we had ever been there. So, but then I, my vehicle, you know, my trip, oh, well our trip was then in 87, I think it was 80, it’s 86, and then we did another one in 87. We circumnavigated the Okavango and then crashed. I don’t know, there’s a quite a well-known story on the channel. We [00:17:00] had a semi head on collision on a bush track with a Let Toyota Land Cruiser. It goes without saying The Land Cruiser won. The whole Range Rover’s bonnet was literally ripped off its hinges, but I rebuilt the front of the Range Rover in the bush with parts I had, I used to carry a case of wire and, epoxy, putty and bolts and nuts and re little bits of bar, threaded bar nuts, you name it. Just a mishmash of stuff. By the time I got that car running, no bonnet. All the bonnet was gone, front bumper was, was bent back, destroyed a real a wheel rim The battery had been crushed, but I was carrying two batteries, one for a winch. So I used the secondary battery, even used my, I had a quite a heavy hammer underneath the radiator, wedged it in with wire so I could lift the radiator up. And then a stretch that I removed from somewhere else in the Range Rover to make sure that the radiator didn’t fall back and hit the fan. Because it was a steel fan, it would’ve just chewed a hole in the radiator.. And we drove it thousand, a little more than a thousand miles all the way home and only ever actually stopped once. [00:18:00] Guys at the border post were looking very strangely at this car with no bonnet. You know, and they said, what happened? I said, oh, your roads are so bad. It just fell apart. And the guy actually believed me for a moment.
Scott Brady: Yeah, yeah. Cuz you wouldn’t really want to tell me he had an accident.
Andrew White: Well, actually the cop, the cops came. And took some statements. They were very civilized and we explained to them and then we just thought, okay, we’re gonna drive it home and we might get stopped a few times. Let’s see what happens. Yeah, and we got all the way home. And I called and I called it The Strange Rover, which is, it had no front end.
Scott Brady: So at some point you will switch over to vehicles for a minute because this will be a fun one. At some point, you transitioned at least partially from your Love for Land Rovers to a love for Toyotas. What was your first Toyota or your, or I guess your first non Land Rover vehicle that you took on trips?
Andrew White: I was, I was invited to a lot of precedents, particularly by Toyota, South Africa. Who had read the book and saw my publications and thought we need to get this guy [00:19:00] out of his Land Rover. And I loved my defender. It was fantastic. Still love that car for different reasons that I love other cars, but it, it was fantastic and it worked very, very well for us. The marketing director came and said, Would you like a long term loan of the Land Cruiser 90, that was called the Prada. It was the second generation Prada. It was the 90. It had a three liter turbo diesel motor. And he said, would you like to, would you like to, what would you do? And, Oh, fantastic. And I took it for a run, took it for a month and thought, this is good. This is a good car. It’s not gonna match the, the Land Rover off-road. It easily surpasses it on-road. It uses far less fuel. It’s far more comfortable. It doesn’t have the payload, but then again, my, my vehicles are light. I, I never even, well, I was never close to maximum payload on my, on my Land Rover, even on the heaviest trips. Yeah. I was really, really light. So weight wasn’t an issue and I put a rooftop tent on it and did some trips in it and Toyota was my friend. And they were very, very happy. I [00:20:00] drowned that car. It was the first time I had actually drowned a car. Offroad. I had been told drive it offroad, do your stuff. That’s that. That’s the only mandate. We have, just continue doing what you’re doing. Take lots of pictures of our car. That’s it. You can have it for a whole year. And I was driving in very, very deep water, very carefully. And I Right, I messed it up. I mean, it was my fault completely. And I, oh idiot. You know, you want, it’s the kind of thing that you look at other people and say, moron, okay.
Scott Brady: We’ve all had those moments.
Andrew White: We’ve all had those moments. And then I remember climbing out and the Engle fridge that was in the back was floating. And it blew a fuse in the Engle fridge. It actually continued working and you know, afterwards. And then I, I, I was driving with a friend of mine who was a diesel mechanic and he actually, I knew what to do to clear the motor cuz as I, as it stopped, I, my hands reached for the ignition and this little voice said to me, what do you, no Stop. And I kind of, why am I trying to start it? You’re an idiot now. You really are an idiot. If you try and start [00:21:00] it. So I then climbed out full of water and everything and. We, we hauled the, the, the 90 out. This friend of mine, diesel mechanics, said no. He showed me how to clear a motor of water. And interestingly enough, put it in fifth gear, lift up the one of the back wheels. Okay, put it in and with a closed center diff.
Scott Brady: strap there.
Andrew White: And then rotate. The rotate the back wheel by hand. But we’ve, we’ve taken out all of the glow plugs. And then some, some, some to, to the cylinders had water in them. If I had cranked it, motor would’ve bent. So out came all the water, we took out the air cleaner, we removed it completely to let it dry, and drove about a kilometer back to the camp. And then next morning refitted the air filter that had dried in the sun. And, I thought, What a great teaching moment that was. I, I would’ve done something similar, but not that well. That, that was really smart. Cause he, he, I understood the mechanics and probably had done it before, [00:22:00] so There you go.
Scott Brady: Another advantage of the manual transmission.
Andrew White: Indeed.
Scott Brady: If it had been an automatic.
Andrew White: Oh, no, no. It was auto. It was a manual. It was a, yeah. We would’ve been.
Scott Brady: It’d been a lot more.
Andrew White: We would’ve found another, we would’ve had.
Scott Brady: To use a starter.
Andrew White: You would’ve had use a startup, but he was saying it’s so much more gentle. On the, on the, just to turn it and turn it and rock it. Rock it and eventually it starts turning. You can feel the motor turning and it’s gentle. It’s it’s mechanical sympathy.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I actually watched, an interesting video. It was a 70 series and they, they put it up on a bottle jack starter had failed and they wrapped a recovery strap around the wheel. So all the other wheels were on the ground and a bunch of guys they ran with the strap, spun the wheel, and it started the, the motor. It’s fantastic.
Andrew White: I’ve seen people do that on a C 47. The, the Dakota. Wrapping a rope around the propeller moss on a Dakota and like six guys, 1, 2, 3, go. And this great big radial started. If you think of the gearing, The boss is [00:23:00] only what, 30? It’s an, it’s a, it’s a foot wide or so, maybe a bit longer, but that’s the gearing of this enormous propeller and this, and they started it. That was fantastic.
Scott Brady: And I, there’s even a really neat story of this sailor, solo sailor and the engine. They lost the starter on the engine and he used the main sheet, all the mechanical advantage on a sailboat. So we let the, the main sail swing with the wind. Which went through a series of pulleys and started the diesel engine.
Andrew White: Oh, that is so fantastic. That is fantastic.
Scott Brady: I love it. I love it when people figure that.
Andrew White: Ingenuity.
Scott Brady: Yes, exactly. And that’s, I think that’s one of the joys of what we do, is that you’re constantly solving problems. And for some people that’s terrifying. I think that they romanticize the idea of overlanding, but when you get out there, it’s literally, it’s an adventure, which means things are going wrong. You’re constantly overcoming little challenges.
Andrew White: Absolutely. Lots of little ones. Hopefully no big ones.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Well, and the big ones can happen too, and that’s, that’s part of the risk of that. Oh. Speaking of that, have you, have you felt like that there was any, any big events that have [00:24:00] occurred, you know, like other than the accident with the, the Land Cruiser that you felt like you learned a lot from?
Andrew White: Yes, I, I was in my, in the 90 and I was doing a trip on the place, one of my favorite places called the Mac Salt Plants. It’s a, a very, very broad, it’s the second biggest salt plan in the world. It’s in the middle of Botswana, middle of the Kalahari, and we had tried to get to a place called Koya Island. And I’d been there once before. Knew that the mud conditions could be tricky, and we decided to give it a go and we were, we were on our own and in retrospect, not a great idea. Anyway, dropped the tire pressures down, headed in a straight line. There was a fence line, and they hadn’t finished the fence line. There were some poles, and I remember in this the, the poles became significant later because the troubles are that mud. As it clings to the tires, it actually, it literally clings to the tires. See, it will get bigger and bigger and bigger. Then it’s a case of saying to yourself, I wish I hadn’t done this, but it’s too late now because if I stop and, so I’ve got these lops of mud flying past the windscreen thinking I [00:25:00] shouldn’t have done this. There were some tussic grass and I thought, I’m gonna stick, but if I can stick on the tusser grass, yeah, I can at least keep air underneath the vehicle and not have this vacuum problem. Which worked. I got onto the tussic grass and the tussic grass held the vehicle aloft. It got stuck, but at least I didn’t have this vacuum formed when a vehicle bellies. I got out and it was incredibly hot white surface and I had the day before overdone it a bit with my photography and things and I had made myself a bottle of rehydrate cuz I could identify a little bit of. A little bit of, a dehydration issue. You know, and possibly is sun strokes. I realized that I was in a delicate decision, so when this happened, I thought you are even more of an idiot now because you, you, you’re on your own and you probably shouldn’t have done this. Now you’re stuck. And I said to the, my companion, I said, we are gonna have one try cuz as the vehicle [00:26:00] stopped, I shouted to him the poles. And he knew exactly what I was talking about. We needed those poles that were about 200 meters behind us to put under the vehicle to stop it sinking. Cuz we knew that if it had buried, we were finished. We ran back, we got the poles, so by the time the poles were underneath the vehicle, and actually we didn’t actually need them to stop the vehicle sinking. We used them as. Max today. Max tracks. No such thing. At the time we used them as traction aids, so they did help our recovery. But the running back and the running forward, the heat, my condition, I said to him, we’re gonna have one try and if this doesn’t work, we are building a shelter. We’ve got a shade in it, we’re gonna build a shelter and we are gonna sit, we’re gonna sip the water and we are gonna wait until we’ve got a full moon tonight and we’ll pull it out at night. We got it out first try.
Scott Brady: And you had a winch on board or you would just use them?
Andrew White: No, we had no winch on board. We had, we had a high lift and which would’ve been a hell of a lot and that’s what we were gonna use the high lift and push the vehicle off the, you know, lift it. Shift, push. And we were gonna lift it up and push it [00:27:00] onto the poles. And, but anyway, I won’t go into the too much detail in the story, but for the fact that when we finally got out, cuz of course we had got some seed netting, we our, our grass net Yeah. Hadn’t worked very well and we’d, we’d, we were overheating. Not massively, but we were overheating cuz some grass had got through it and into the, into the radiator. I learned a lot about seed nets then too.
Scott Brady: And you need those in Australia for sure.
Andrew White: In the front of the vehicle. It’s not the most important part, it’s underneath. And that was the mistake we made. Most of the seeds got in from underneath, not from straight on. So it was a learning moment Yeah. As well. And I realized that that was, you know, risk mitigation. If you’re gonna take a risk, think about it. And what, how do you get out if this goes pear shaped, what are you gonna do? And have a plan in mind, don’t just see the wild blue yonder and say, let’s go. Ah, it could be, could be a bit sticky. It’s, it’s, it’s 103 outside. You know, and it was our last day and we had, we had less than 20 liters of water for the two of us, so we’re also a bit low on water. [00:28:00] You know, you’ve gotta, you know, so that was learning moment. Again, a really important learning moment. Yeah. That was probably in 97, 90. 98, somewhere around there.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And then, I don’t remember the year, but somewhere in the early two thousands you were looking to leave South Africa and I think you moved back maybe to the UK first.
Andrew White: In 2013. Yeah, I moved back to the uk, mainly because, I had a television show going in South Africa for nine years. I had a, I had a series. I was becoming more and more difficult to produce that series because the broadcasters were asking more and more money for us to broadcast it. It’s not as if you produce a show and then they will pay you for it. No. They will pay you to broadcast it. And it became untenable. And I spent all my time looking for sponsors. And so little time actually making creative, creative content. And I thought, well, you know, I’ve got a great body of work. I could probably get some really good significant. Work in the uk, which turned out to be wrong. [00:29:00] But the UK movers was good, but in terms of my kids, The future in South Africa didn’t look good. Good for them.. And economically it was falling apart. The, the, the president at the time was a basket case and stealing all the money from the economy and the country socially and economically was a, was a really difficult place to live. And I thought, I wonder, I want something better for my kids. Moved to England in 2013 and didn’t like it at all. Didn’t like it at all. I think the weather was the most thing. The weather and the number of people. Was it, it got us down from living in Africa and we did kind of say, what on earth have we done? And then because my mother is an Australian and I had Australian citizenship, I then, applied for residency for the rest of my family for the three girls, and Gwen obviously. And, we were granted it, a year and a half later we were granted it. And we moved to Australia and Australia’s. Fantastic Absolutely.
Scott Brady: It really is a beautiful country and beautiful people.
Andrew White: Fantastic. I cannot, I can’t, I, yeah.
Scott Brady: Very special.
Andrew White: But the politicians are just as annoying as anywhere in [00:30:00] the world.
Scott Brady: Yes. Like every other place.
Andrew White: Yeah. But as a country, as a people, as a place to be and as a place to overland. Yeah. It’s fantastic place to overland.
Scott Brady: There’s so much of it. I mean, the, just getting to Alice Springs, you know, it’s, it’s a, it’s an adventure. Just giving that from, from. And where do you, where are you located?
Andrew White: In, north of Perth
Scott Brady: Oh, Perth.
Andrew White: North West Australia.
Scott Brady: Got it. Oh, I did a, I did a wonderful trip the last time I was in, in Australia. We did all off road along the great Australian bite, so we did the whole southern part. I know that of the country and it’s very remote there. I mean, incredible sand dunes, absolutely brilliant white, massive sand dunes along that coastline too. Yeah, very cool.
Andrew White: Very, very nice. Yeah, you’ll know that road cuz in 2020 during the height of Covid of course couldn’t leave. I bought this old Range Rover. And to kind of relive my old past. And kind of, kind of that it was.
Scott Brady: You had your midlife crisis?
Andrew White: In effect. That was my midlife crisis. I bought an old [00:31:00] Range Rover. I went to Melbourne. It was a 74 75 model. It was in reasonable shape. Spent four days working on it. To, and then drove it unsupported all the way across Australia, along that road talking about, but I didn’t go off road. I, I stayed on road. I was gonna be sensible. And then of course.
Scott Brady: Isn’t that called the Nubo?
Andrew White: The Nubo.
Scott Brady: So you did the Nullabor Highway. Which is yes. I don’t think that that’s any less dangerous than the, very much than, than, than the pavement or, and then the off-road because it’s, there’s nobody out there.
Andrew White: And then I, you took those, I take those side roads down to the bite.
Scott Brady: Yeah. That’s great.
Andrew White: The roads go right to the cliff edge. I drove the Range Rover and here’s an interesting story. Before I bought the Range Rover, I went looking for my original one in South Africa. And somebody who’s obviously nutty about Range Rovers had came communicated with me and said, well, I know, I know about your car. It was scrap, gave me a date, and I have the original builder’s plate of my original Range Rover. I thought, that’s fantastic. Will you sell it to me? He said yes, and he, I think it was a hundred pounds or whatever, and I said, I, I bought it from him and then on the bite, on the [00:32:00] Nullarbor, yeah, opened the pack. I had not opened the package. I took it with me, but I had not opened the package and on the Nullarbor with my new Range Rover. New Old Range Rover. Opened the builder’s plate and kind of showed it up. And that was my, that was my new Range Rover and that was my old, my old builder, my old builder’s plate.
Scott Brady: I love it.
Andrew White: Kind, kind of closed deck story.
Scott Brady: Well, you’ve had a lot of different vehicles from, from all of that experience. What would you say is your top three, the three that you, if you, if someone was to say and they could somehow get any one of these vehicles, what would you recommend? What would be your, your top three?
Andrew White: Land Cruiser 78 troop carrier, because it’s light compact, really strong, proper forward, off-road, four wheel drive, and being a compact van. You can kind of live in and out of itself if the weather really gets bad. You can actually, you know, make a meal or certainly get comfortable inside, or to even chill, chill out inside of it if the weather gets bad. And the trippy is a lovely combination. And all these cars, you, you could, they’re good [00:33:00] points and bad points. The trippy is no exception, but it’s got so many good points. The triple is when you buy it from the off the showroom, which is becoming more and more difficult. It’s a very basic car. It’s very basic and that in a way is nice. Because you’ve taken this very basic platform and it’s not nice to drive. Not well, Elizabeth, the ride is. Awful. But it doesn’t cost very much to make the ride really quite acceptable. You fix up the interior, do good battery systems and good hot water systems. I’m at this age, I need a good shower. Many years ago didn’t worry me. Now if I’m in the bush, I wanna shower. But you can now have. A good job. Easy. And that, so I’m, I’m building in these systems to make camping and overlanding comfortable.
Scott Brady: And is that your current vehicle? Is it 78?
Andrew White: My current, I actually have two. Nice. I have two 70 eights. I’ve just bought one in Africa. So I have my 78 V8 in Australia and I’ve just, and it’s a series running currently on my channel. I took the risk and bought a half a million kilometer. Land cruiser, troop carrier 78 [00:34:00] troop. This one is the one he said the 4.2.
Scott Brady: Yeah, So simple.
Andrew White: Diesel motor. Pretty simple motor. I can’t. Pull the skin off a rice pudding is an expression other people have used, but it, it’s, it’s very underpowered. Very reliable, simple. Paul Marsh and I are now building it in Cape Town. So I went over and, we spent, seven days working on doing all the mechanicals. He’s now doing a build for the interior, so I’ve got true troop carriers. So I like troop carriers.
Scott Brady: Well, and speaking of Paul Marsh, he’s one of the most exceptional human beings I have ever met in my life. I mean, he is not only incredibly accomplished as an overland traveler, several trans Africa trips and. And he actually helped us prepare the 78 series for Antarctica. So he, he helped us get it lifted in the big tires on it and everything.
Andrew White: Extremely highly qualified individual in fact.
Scott Brady: And he’s humble and just Yeah, incredibly competent.
Andrew White: He’s a great teacher cuz he’s the co-teacher on Overland workshop. He’s the co-presenter. So we both, we both, we put, we came together and we said, We’ve done so much content [00:35:00] teaching people we need to, we need to put at a place where everybody can find all of it and, and, and it’s in different courses.
Scott Brady: Well, Paul was a great choice for that. He’s someone that I just genuinely admire, so I’m looking forward to seeing him soon. The 78 series was your first choice, which is I think that’s an a great one. What would be your, what would be number two?
Andrew White: Number two is the Mercedes Argon. But specifically the 4 61 series.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Big difference.
Andrew White: I, massive. Massive difference. They’re not the same car. They might look similar. They’re not the same. The 4 61 is the, I had two I, my last one was a NATO speck, so it had the taller wheels. It had the taller springs and, very, very, like a trippy, very, very basic. But it had the front and rear lockers and there’s something uncanny about the, the, the G wagon’s ability over rough ground. And I loved my, I’d get another one tomorrow. I wouldn’t use it as an overlander, cuz actually the troop is better as an overlander. [00:36:00]
Scott Brady: Little more space. Yeah.
Andrew White: Yeah. It’s more space, it’s more practical. But the G is fantastic. Fantastic car. I used to go home.
Scott Brady: That was the car I owned the longest was a G wagon.
Andrew White: I know.
Scott Brady: Over 12 years. Yeah.
Andrew White: Yes you did. And I remember when you.
Scott Brady: Really enjoyed it.
Andrew White: When you sold it. I used to sit, I used to arrive at my friend’s game farm in Natal. It was a five kilometer run from the main road down to the camp on the, on the river. But it was rough track and I would literally brace myself in the seat. Take a little bit of weight off my bum. And, and hammer it down that road. And the G wagon would track absolutely brilliantly lighten. You couldn’t do that in a troop carrier.. It would be thrown all over the place. The G would just track. It was marvelous.
Scott Brady: Yeah. The breadth of capability in that vehicle is quite. Quite incredible. All right, so that’s number two. What’s number three?
Andrew White: Number three is more difficult. Ah, because I’ve got it in the back of my mind, you know, if I had to buy, if I had to build something.
Scott Brady: What does your heart say? What if, if you had to buy one with your heart, not your head.
Andrew White: Right now? Well, I did. I bought an old two-door Range Rover.
Scott Brady: That’s perfect. That’s, I think that’s a great number three.
Andrew White: That’s just, it’s a play thing. It’s nothing more than the play thing. [00:37:00] So that would be number three. That would definitely not be number three. Yeah.
Scott Brady: Yeah, yeah. Oh, those old range rovers are just beautiful. It, I, I didn’t know this until, until somewhat recently, but. It’s the only automobile that’s ever been in the louv because of the design of that thing was so exceptional, and even today it is so such a handsome vehicle to behold it is. Yeah, they’re, they’re just my favorite. I just, I think the old ones are better too. I had a 95 soft dash and it was, it was just at the start of it being so complex that it was pretty much unusable.
Andrew White: I had the same one. I had a 96 soft dash,
Scott Brady: Pretty much unusable.
Andrew White: So, and I didn’t keep it for long cuz it was getting too complicated.
Scott Brady: Yeah, just too complicated for sure. If someone was to come to you, new to Overlanding and they, they’ve said, okay, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve just purchased a 78 series troope. What are the top three or four or five things that you would recommend that people, not so much like as a luxury, but what are the things that people need to get started?
Andrew White: So, I would always say no matter [00:38:00] what vehicle I, I think it’s probably more difficult to answer it, saying if it’s a troop carrier. Cuz the first thing you might do with a troop carrier is just make it nicer to drive by checking the suspension. And putting some decent tires on it. But I, I, I like to teach the, the principle of a least flexible. Most flexible. So when you just look at a vehicle and you say, okay, even before you buy it, what do I need? And make two lists. Mm. Most flexible and least flexible. So for example, if you are basic Yeah. Simple example as possible. I have, my partner and I have two kids. So what’s gonna be least flexible? I need four comfortable seats. Top of the least flexible list. Everything else has a place on those lists. Well, I, it’s only two of us, but I might want to take a friend, so maybe I’ll put a third seat in. Well, is that a. Really important thing for you. If it’s a really important thing to put in third seat, then put it on the top of the least flexible list. But if it’s a, I would like it. Well then it’s gonna come further down the list, isn’t it? So that when you’ve built the car, you don’t look at it and say, I really messed up [00:39:00] because I forgot about the third person that I was thinking would be not, how important is that third person? So you then start saying, I now know what I want because I’ve given this process of least flexible, most flexible. Some thought on, I have these lists. And it’s okay to change them, but the principles, those things that stay at the top of least flexible in a vehicle built will stay there. And the other things might move about a bit as you go through the build.
Scott Brady: That makes sense.
Andrew White: And it, and actually you do that and you’ll end up with a car that you wanted.
Scott Brady: And I think that it’s, it’s also so important, and we do this on the podcast all the time, is. Just to remind people that there’s a difference between needs and wants and, and most of the time you need a lot less than you think. I mean, once you get a good set of tires and a decent recovery kit so you can get yourself unstuck and a decent little toolkit and some, some basic spares. And a way to communicate. If you get into real bad trouble, you’re pretty much ready to go. I’m just about anywhere in the world.
Andrew White: I’m glad, I’m glad you mentioned tires. Actually, it’s the first thing. Yeah, tires [00:40:00] just forget. It doesn’t matter.
Scott Brady: Especially at 78, the tires they come with are almost unusable.
Andrew White: I drove all the way from Johannesburg down to Kran with these tires. And we actually did a little off-road drive. Yeah. And the PR in front of me was actually pulling a trailer, quite a light trailer, and he was wandering in front of us. No problem at all. I couldn’t get through. I know I had to, I had to really drive it really well. To get it through just because of these terrible tires. Yeah, so.
Scott Brady: It was the same for us when we built the set, the E seven trucks. I took it out for some baseline testing and I thought that the vehicle was broken. It would not, it would not go through the obstacle with the diff locks on it. Everything, it was all four tires were just spinning.
Andrew White: No grip at all. Yeah, exactly. It’s amazing actually, they sell ’em like that.
Scott Brady: Yeah, I know. I, well, I think they’re just a commercial vehicle. They’re just such a basic functional commercial vehicle.
Andrew White: Yeah. On the one we bought was obviously used by mine as a, may have been an ambulance or something, I’m not sure. But anyway. It was not loved, but it was in better condition, we thought. Yeah. But it was definitely not loved.
Scott Brady: I [00:41:00] know though Africa is, and so is Australia, those two environments are very abusive on vehicles. Yeah. You know, we find in North America that our, our routes are shorter, but they tend to be more technical, but the speeds are much lower. So if you. Drive along a corrugated road at 80 kilometers an hour for a thousand kilometers, that’s an, an enormous amount of abuse on the vehicle. Whereas if you drive, you know, 10 miles of rock crawling and you’re going slow and gentle, it, it seems to actually be easier on the car.
Andrew White: It is. I think so. Yeah. And Australia has the most brutal corrugations I’ve ever found anywhere.
Scott Brady: Yeah. You could bury, you could bury this coffee. Mug inside a one and not see it.
Andrew White: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. It’s a, it’s astonishing how, how rough they can be. And then sometimes you get to the point where, you know, when you, you hit corrugations and you say, okay, I’ve gotta find a comfortable speed here, cuz the speed will allow, it’s like planting a boat. You get the wheels to ride over the corrugations, but the trouble is sometimes to get to that speed, the car is being shaken to. Pieces. And then you get to that speed and sometimes the speed is actually too high. [00:42:00] You know, it might be 75, 80 kilometers an hour. And you realize this is not the kind of tracker you really wanna do 80 on. So then you slow down and then the car wants to shake itself to pieces. So what do you do 10 miles an hour?. To preserve the car.
Scott Brady: And yourself in, in many, in many ways. I mean, and, and the, the other challenge is you air down low enough where that starts to help, but then the tires start to overheat. It’s hot in Australia.
Andrew White: You’ve gotta limit the amount. You let ’em down and.
Scott Brady: You can only go so low.
Andrew White: Yeah. And just, I always feel the tire. I just get out and moment just Yeah. It’s a habit. Feel the tires. Absolutely. And if they’re, and they get hot and if they’re warmer than a warm coffee mug Yeah. They’re too hot.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Okay, so let’s talk a little bit about. Filmmaking cuz one of the things that I find so impressive about what you do is that most of the films that you’ve produced, these incredible adventures. You have self-produced them. You are the presenter, you are the expedition leader, you are the cameraman, you are the the audio guy, you’re the di. [00:43:00] You handle all of the downloading Yeah, the backups. Yeah. And then you also not only edit it, but then you produce it, market it, and get it out to the world. A lot of people that are listening would probably love to be able to do a better job of capturing their own stories. And now that social media allows for so many people to share their own experiences, what are some pieces of advice that you would give to someone trying to self-produce? What kind of camera should they consider? How should they capture it? Maybe just a couple pieces of advice cuz you’re, you’ve become a master at it.
Andrew White: Keep the camera equipment simple. Keep it as simple as you possibly can. All of this fancy gimbal stuff. So you’re taking 10 minutes to set up for a shot and by the time you’ve got the shot, the sun’s gone down. You know, you’re shooting most of your stuff in the last two hours of the day. And the first hour or so in the morning, maybe two. Try and keep it there because that’s where the light is. Bare light is everything. Light is everything. Okay?
Scott Brady: Yeah. Light then location.
Andrew White: Yeah. But in terms of storytelling, Audio is everything. All my stories are led by the audio [00:44:00] track because the audio track is the intellectual information. The video is the, is the stimulation, the, or the visible stimulation. So information stimulation. And, I run courses as well on beafilmmaker.com. And I, and I, I do one, one thing that I quite, quite.
Scott Brady: Don’t mean to interrupt, but is beafilmmaker.com. Is that another one of your properties?
Andrew White: Yes.
Scott Brady: Okay. And you, you have stories and information about. What we’re talking about now.
Andrew White: Exactly.
Scott Brady: Oh. So if people wanna find out more.
Andrew White: There are five courses on storytelling and filmmaking and videography and things like that.
Scott Brady: So for those that are listening, beafilmmaker.com, you’ll be able to.
Andrew White: One word. Yes.
Scott Brady: Yeah. You’ll be able to find out more about what we’re talking about now. That’s great.
Andrew White: And I, and I presented, and I actually at this, this the Overland Expo in the past. I’ve done lessons on it and will say, I’m gonna teach you five things, five things today, five things today that you need to know. But only, you only need to remember two. Now it doesn’t matter which two you remember when you walk out outta here, just remember at least two of these things, okay? I’m gonna relieve release. Reveal all five to you now. Yeah, [00:45:00] and they’re all exactly the same. Audio is more important than video. Oh, they’re all exactly the same. If you remember that, you’ll be a good storyteller because it’s led by the audio. It’s led by emotion. It. It’s led by, yeah. Not by, not by visuals. Visuals are treats. The audio is the story. And you have.
Scott Brady: Well, first of all, you have a British accent, so you know, that.
Andrew White: Does, does that help?
Scott Brady: I think it helps a lot. I think it helps a lot. I think it helps a lot. I mean, I, I have a face for radio. At least I’ve got a. I’ve got a radio. I had one. I do, I do, I do have a voice that projects well. But there is something about a British accent and then your enthusiasm that comes across in your film to camera, you’re so excited about Wherever you’re at, 30 years later, you’re equally excited. And I think that, that it’s infectious. It, it makes people excited to listen to you.
Andrew White: Here’s the rule. If I’m not excited, keep the camera on this box. Ah, well you’ve gotta be genuinely excited. I can’t. I’m hopeless at putting on excitement. Yeah. I’m either excited or I’m [00:46:00] not and I’m not interested in the place, and the place is boring. Well, then it’s gonna be boring to my viewers as well. If it’s boring to me, it’s gonna be boring to them. It’s not about getting content. And filling up space in time. It’s about telling a story and getting people ins inspired. And when I’m inspired, that’s easy to, as, as easy as anything to inspire somebody else because I’m inspired. So I just point the camera at myself and start wrapping on about something. Either fill it with some nice images and I get a, I get a good story, a reasonable story at the end of it. But you have shoots that are, I come away from saying, yeah, that was just absolutely brilliant. I, it was just the, this is why I do this. And you get other times where it was, Hmm, that’s, that’s okay. Not all are really as good as, you know, you know, they’re not as good as the best. And I shot something last year called The Friends Crossing the Canning, and it was the best work I’ve done in 10 years or more. And I.
Scott Brady: Is that one of your favorite pieces that you’ve produced?
Andrew White: So I’ve crossed the, I’ve crossed the canning stock route, which is a, a route of you, you think about this. This is a bit difficult for many people to appreciate.
Scott Brady: I [00:47:00] love this round. It’s so great.
Andrew White: One. So you’ve done part of it, you’ve done the northern part of it?
Scott Brady: I did the whole thing. Yeah.
Andrew White: Did you do the whole thing? Okay. So here’s the, here’s the deal. 1000 miles. Off road.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And there’s only it one place to get fuel along the way. Yeah.
Andrew White: That’s my favorite track. And of course we did it. I did it in 17, was my first outback trip in, in Australia, which was pretty ambitious. But I took Paul with me. I knew I was in safe hands. Mechanically. But we built a good vehicle just before that trip and I kept that vehicle for several years and then I did it with the old Range Rover. So the old, yeah, the old 40, 45 year old Range Rover. Somebody said, why didn’t you take it on the canning as he said it, I thought, I wanna, I wanna smash your head in. You’ve now put this, how can we take this old Land Rover on that vehicle breaker? Yeah. Is this crazy? But you’ve sewn the seed. I can’t let it go. And he was one of the chaps that actually came on the trip. I said to him, you have to come. This is all your fault. And if this goes pear shaped, I’m gonna blame you. And, it was a magnificent trip. And the, the [00:48:00] Range Rover and the, the, here’s the funny thing about that whole story. The Range Rover did give us some problems. Not too many cuz it’s so simple. The vehicle that everybody thought, including ourselves, that would sail it. The hilux gave us engine problems. So there’s the story. So I do these gratuitous pans of the of the hilux, which is broken, and it’s got his back wheels off and there’s a brake problem. And I pan onto the ranged rover, which is sitting with his bonnet clothes. Happy as a clam. And I play the music land of hope and glory, just to stick it to Hein who was driving the Hilux was getting more and more ticked off with us because we kept on giving him a hard time, but he would play it back to us. We, we lost the Range Rovers lights. We had to do some night driving cuz we’d lost a lot of time. We, we’d decided to do a bit of night driving and the Range Rovers lights, the actual switch disintegrated. It literally, the interior just melted. Just, it didn’t melt, it just fell apart. So he was so happy when the Range Rover broke down. [00:49:00] And then Rob, who’s the, who was the English guy that was driving the Range Rover, most of the route pointed out that if the Hilux hadn’t broken down, we wouldn’t have needed to have driven at night. It was a great story. Wonderful.
Scott Brady: So the canning stock route film that you just, and is that out for people to watch now?
Andrew White: So, there are episodes, there are about three episodes on YouTube. Okay. But the full series, the full 13 part series. Is actually on, video, on demand, on Vimeo. So if you find it on the channel, you’ll see links on the inner description of all the videos. And then you can download the, and I promise you, it’s infectious. It’s, it’s, it gets, every episode is a little better than a little funnier. And I have, I’ll get a little spoil. Tiny little spoiler here. The last bit of shooting we did on the last day, which was the wrap up. We were the, the, the four of us were camped somewhere. This was after we got back. Month after we got back. We were talking about how great the trip was and what was your best moment, what was your best moment, what was your best moment? And the range rover was parked on the edge of this like little hill, little green hill. And this rainbow appeared, and [00:50:00] I’m not kidding, it was, it looks like Hollywood production, this massive double edge rainbow goes all the way over and the Range Rover is right in the middle. And as they were talking, I said, that’s my InShot. And actually you can hear me saying, that’s my InShot. And I grabbed the camera and I leave it running and I just pointed at the Range Rover with this. That was our final shot of the series. How is that for serendipity? I mean it was just, you know, the gods of cinema was saying, yeah. I’m gonna give you this one, mate.
Scott Brady: Oh, well. So then what is another series that you think people would really, or one that you’re most favorite, one of your favorites?
Andrew White: I think I still, my most favorite is in, in 2010. I. Decided to relive my boyhood dream of finding the source of the Okavango cause. The Okavango was the source of my love of the of off road and overland and wilderness. And I would go and find its source, but this source is in Angola. And I could find no information anywhere about the source of the AOC of Angu. I knew it was on the Kanga River in Angola and we would go and find it. So I did a solo trip. Crossed [00:51:00] the entire NA desert on my own. In my 1 0 5 land cruise, which is actually my as third, my third favorite vehicle, if I talked about it.
Scott Brady: Such a special car.
Andrew White: Fantastic. It’s the, it’s the 100 body with a 80 series chassis. What a fantastic combination that is.
Scott Brady: And the one eight Z. So it’s such a simple motor.
Andrew White: And I had a one. Absolutely. We then did that and it was a 66 day expedition, and I was joined by people in Angola after I’d done my solo trip through the number, and they took us into Angola, which is. Just mind blowing, just the colors, the textures, the smell. It’s just beyond anything I’d ever experienced before. And then into Botswana, and we followed the Aang River and the amazing thing was, We followed it from, its very, very source, the highest point in the valley. I took some water from that little pool and decided that I would empty it at the end of the river. Cause of course that river never finds the sea. Its finds the Okavango. But after its finds the Okavango, it spills out into the Bott and Nabi rivers. And we felt in the bott is the longest of those rivers. And we followed the poti until it. Ended and it [00:52:00] literally stopped in a riverbed, but it was moving at probably quarter mile an hour. As this water was trickling, we stopped. We jumped outta the car and said, there’s the end of the river. Some villages had come down. They hadn’t seen water in that river for 25 years, and they were marveling at the fact that this water had now arrived. Most of the people standing there had never ever, they were under younger than 25 years old, had never seen water in that river. So we got filming and I poured the water slightly ahead of the water advancing down the river and kind of just poured it ahead and watched the two meet and kind of, I made the river tiny bit longer with this bottle of water that I’d captured. That to me, I think that moment in overlanding that, that one moment is a kind of culmination of my career. It was a fantastic series. It got broadcast in that, that series got broadcast in a lot of countries. It was a, it was probably my best work. That’s, and the canning that I’ve recently done. My best work.
Scott Brady: And what’s the name of the, of the series on the OK Mongo.
Andrew White: It’s recording search of the, it’s in search of the source of the A of [00:53:00] mango. And it’s also on Vimeo video on demand. That’s, and if you go into vi Beyond Demand and you type in Anderson Pier White, you’ll probably find it. If not you, again, YouTube, you’ll find links there.
Scott Brady: So one of the things that I like to ask, it’s more of a selfish question, is what are some of, you’ve written many books yourself, but what are your top two, three books that you have enjoyed in your life? On any subject.
Andrew White: I love audio books. And when I’m traveling, I gobble ’em up.
Scott Brady: Yeah, me too.
Andrew White: Inter Thin Air. John Krak,
Scott Brady : It’s a good one.
Andrew White: I’ve listened to it about four times. I love history, but I’m quite selective on my historians. I love, war history. Max Hastings is a, is a favorite of mine. I just finished a book called A Nemesis, which was the USA and Japan Conflict of, that ended in 45. And he’s a very even-handed historian. You know, he’s, he’s, he’s English, but he doesn’t keep re waving the, the, the, the Union jack all the time. And, and, you know, he seems to be very balanced and I really like his, like his work. Other books, [00:54:00] I, I don’t have any, I don’t have any particularly particular favorites, but I, I, because I’ve collected comedy all my life, one of the best autobiographies I’ve ever read, Eric Idle always look on the bright side of life. And it’s not about Monty Python. It’s, and it’s wonderful. It’s a wonderful, wonderful.
Scott Brady: That’s a great suggestion.
Andrew White: And, and the book that I’ve just put down now is called Unnatural Causes. I can’t remember the author’s name actually, but it’s basically a, a, a pathologist and he, he was a, he was kind of a top pathologist in the UK and was actually called to, to, as acting British pathologist and after the 9 1 1 tragedy. And so his story about dead people, Yeah, but it’s so well written. And it’s absolutely captivating what a job that is.
Scott Brady: Oh, incredible. Yeah. Well, Andrew, it has been a joy to have you on the podcast. It’s so great to see you again. I think the last time that we spent time together was. I think it might have been at the Aer and Allred, maybe slightly before that was [00:55:00] at the Overland Expo at Mormon Lake.
Andrew White: That’s right.
Scott Brady: We got to have a conversation.
Andrew White: I think it was all, and it was 15, I think. Yeah. I had my tripe, I, I drove my tripe from, because I, my tripe that I built in South Africa. Then imported it into the uk, And then actually sold it there. But before I sold it, I actually took it to Ashire. And it was so interesting because all of the guys, cause that lift, lift, that, camper conversion. I actually designed it so all the other guys from Tom’s and Extreme all came around, you know, can we take pictures? And I said, well, I don’t know. And they design, go for it. Make yourself at home. And it was nice to see that they adapted to quite a few of my ideas into their thank it was quite nice to see.
Scott Brady: How do people find out more about you? Let’s talk about where they find you on the web, on social media.
Andrew White: So my website is forxoverland.com and on there, there are several badges, you know, points of and and I and my videos. My courses, all of the things that I do. I also, involved in a company called [00:56:00] Egon. We’ve, we’ve seen, myself, teamed up with a mechatronics engineer. We are seeing shortcomings and needs in the electrical fitment, parts of four wheel drives and campers and things. So we developed some products there, but that’s the best place to find me is for forexoverland.com. And, from there, there are lots of links to all of the many things I do. And of course, Instagram is, forex overland underscore com is my Instagram channel.
Scott Brady: Nice.
Andrew White: Which, and that’s, yeah, that’s me.
Scott Brady: Fantastic. Well, thank you so much, Andrew. It’s a pleasure to see you. Hopefully I’ll bump into you, on another continent soon. Maybe in Africa. You never know.
Andrew White: Well, I’m there next April. To take our Africa cruiser on. Its very first trip.
Scott Brady: Oh, fantastic.
Andrew White: I’m planning on Malawi and Zambia and Malawi. That’s what we planning.
Scott Brady: Well, thank you again Andrew, and we thank you all for listening and we’ll talk to you next time.