For Stef and I, our trip began on the 14th June 2003. It involved a dubious car journey in a Russian off road vehicle, a flight from Manchester to Chicago using a nearly bankrupt Airline and a late connecting flight from Chicago to our first pick up/meeting point. Although long and tiring the plane journey from the UK was not altogether bad for a transatlantic flight, with the assistance of four inches of extra of leg room and edible food the time passed manageably. Twenty hours after that first nerve wracking drive we stood dazed and sweating at the lobby of an air conditioned hotel in the French quarter of the great historical city of New Orleans. It was 7pm US time and although we were tired we were also eager to meet our travelling companion.