Over the Hedge....
So today we went home for a looksee. Its still there which is pretty amazing considering. We spent the entire day cleaning up and cutting the overgrown hedge, mowing grass and starting our cars. The cars have be stationary for he year and the hedge certainly hasn't. Even though my Mum had it cut properly it was still overgrown. Thanks to my Dads long trimmer we got most of it done without the help of ladders. We normally stand on Matilda's roof to get to the top but since she's in Africa (resting) we needed some more help in the way of an Aluminium ladder. You did know Land Rovers are made from Aluminium didn't you? (Something to do with WW2 and the abundance of aluminium and the lack of steel).
Another few things crossed off the list.
I also managed to power up the PC for an update and to grab some maps for the south america section. Need to go back home again for a major downloading session to get all the maps and info for the next few months. Planning for this part of the journey hasn't even been started so i've got my work cut out for me.
Is this really what living a normal life is like? I want out as soon as possible...
A little update on the sleeping arrangements at my Mums. I'm sleeping on the floor. Can't get on with being in a bed at all. I feel like Crocodile Dundee....I should have really saved that for another blog entry. Now if the bed was like the ones on Hilton Dubai Creek I might try the bed again.
As were at home we'd thought we'd make my life hell for the entire duration so the film title works on two levels.....
Our ever growing list of things I need to do isn't getting any shorter. One list item was to complete my tax return. We got over £4000 back off the tax-man based on last years return in under a week! I didn't earn enough so as they were taxing me based on the entire years earnings and I finished in September so earnt much less than they thought. Taxing this way is normal in the UK but getting it back isn't usually easy . A few days after I submitted my tax return I have the money in the bank so I'm really happy. (its already spent)
We've also registered for zero tax on my bank account as we no longer earn anything so should be paying no tax on our interest.
My list includes Items we've already had delivered but I've not yet ordered the parts needed for Matlida. This is a quite a few. One of my parts suppliers has offered to help and given me a good price but not unfortunatly free or 50% off the cost. I should start pretending to support Unicef or something. Anyhow I've been through that already.
We got our business cards today....Thanks to an online producer. Pretty speedy and pretty cheap.
We also have a new water filter for my aged pump. It must be 20years old as my brother got it for me a LONG time ago for my birthday. The company that made it has been sold twice so I'm amazed you can still get them. We also have some new rechargeable batteries for all our stuff. Its the other things that you don;t think of, new underware and new socks for example. Now I know they sell them all over the world but its not the same as M&S pants.....
Leaving Las Vegas...
Quite out of character we seem to have eaten and drunk large quantities of food and alcohol since we got home on Holiday. Those that know us will be unfamiliar with this as we are normally so reserved...
Last night having run out of wine having drunk 6 bottles since Thursday night we resorted to some dodgy spirits my mother had in a cupboard which had been there since about 1970. Julie took to drinking Matrini Rosso and I drank some of what could only be described as "Henning's Juice". As I'm sure you will remember Henning is our Danish biker friend. The small fortune we've spent on horrid English supermarket wine only made the need to get back to a country with cheaper alcohol more apparent....so stock up South Africa....we're on our way back soon.
I should also point out that we went out driniking on Friday night with Julies sister Karen and that didn't end well. We lost Karen in some dodgy bar in town and we got a taxi home with Karens phone and housekeys having waited 20mins outside the pub in question. Personally I think she ditched us and went dancing. She does that a lot! It's a good job she has freinds who took her in at 3:26am and so she could do the walk of shame the next morning as we picked her up.
At this rate I might put all the weight i've lost back on....I checked last night and the excess of eating/drinking hasn't yet appeared on my ample belly.
The reason for this entry is some of you are getting withdrawal
So after a few days of missdirection we've arrived home for a visit. Suprising Sister, Mother, Father and Grandmother in the process as we didn't tell many people. So if you feel the need to contact us, we're back for a holiday. Now thats a strange thought, a holiday in the UK. Something we used to do but now most people holiday abroad which is what we're doing, just the other way around.
The special delivery I mentioned was actually us, not the carnet.
No we've not finished the trip quite yet but as I said were almost there with one continent.
Our Carnet de Passage ("vehicle passport") runs out in a month so this means today my Mum is waiting for a very special delivery that means we can carry on. I'll let you know later if everything goes to plan. How we get it to South Africa before the 31st is anybodies guess. Update later.....
Theres another issue. It seems the South African AA want ~850rand to swap the carnets over or 650rand to perform and extension. So I think I need to contact the RAC for some advice. Henning mentioned something about this little rip off a few weeks ago. I should have listened. The UK carnet is £195 and adding on another £50 or more pounds is a royal cheat. I don't really want to leave the SACU (South African Customs Union) just to get the old carnet stamped out and the new one stamped in. This is easy to do but its a bit of a drive from capetown to Zimbabwe or Mozambique. Moz is nearer but still a LONG way
BTW the refurbished transfer box is doing OK after a couple of hundred kilometers. Let see if it explodes later. Doom and Gloom....I always aim to please. I worry too much.
Pictures from Boulders Beach (the one with the penguins) on a very nice early summer Sunday. You can see how busy it was ! Another picture with a little reminder how far it is to get home. I could have sworn we've driven 50,000km so we've certainly taken a wrong turn or two.
Yes it was the same film. Worth a watch, not really.
So today we went shopping and also to see a film. What we watched is a remake of the Arnie fest with the popping eyes. Would it have been better in 3D, almost certainly. I can also say that Ster Kinekor, a theater operator in SA, is rubbish. Nu Metro, another operator, have better prices, better food and much better screens and sound.
Tomorrow we are back on the road again having spent enough time stationary in Cape Town. We're not sure where we are off to but it may only be to Gordons Bay. We might get a bit further. Lets see what the weather is like. Des says its going to rain! After the stunning weekend I hope not.
Note to self....We still need to go up Table Mountain.
We're still staying at Millers Point in the hardest place to stay in Africa. Just turn up here and you will see what I mean. The most convoluted, complicated and drawn out booking process in the world. You can't pay here, you need to go to the post office and pay !!! or a supermarket ??? If you turn up late then just go somewhere else. If it wern't for the locals staying here the other night we wouldn't have got in. We piggy backed on their booking as after about 4pm you can't possibly get the reams of paperwork done and paid for including travelling to the supermarket to pay. You could go to the next big town and book in but thats also probably closed. Since I don't really understand how you book into the campsite we let the sunday manager go into town a pay for us. This still took two phone calls from him to get all my details. I expected him to ask for my blood group at any second. Campsite is good but booking in is almost impossible and just try to get past the guard on the gate even after you've paid !!!
They thought we'd never leave.......
Almost a week of madness and generosity staying at Des and Hennie's. We've got a refurbished transfer box with a new sleeved Intermediate shaft. I know the Land Rover fans reading this will be jealous! Its a really nice job. The box is re-shimmed and set up although I'm not really happy with the way they did the centre diff as its too tight in my mind. They used double planet gear shims as the Sun gear shims are not made thick enough. The thickest isn't nearly thick enough so double shimming the planets was the only way. Its settling in but we shall see. The sleeve is perfect and a new "CAT" yellow o-ring fitted made from some marvellous rubber or something.
Des and Hennie looked after us very well and Des's 110 (and the VW) now knows its way to Roverland garage having taken us there many many times. Thanks Des !!!! Hennie's cooked, washed and kept me in food and beverage for the stay and garage hours. Thanks Hennie!!!! They looked after us so well we are thinking of adoption. We took over the spare room and the garage and they almost stopped everything to look after us both. We're both so greatful. We stayed a lot longer than we should have! THANK YOU.
I changed the timing belt and rebuilt the rear hub again with a new bearing as something must be making it come loose.
I spent way too much.....The box cost 4300 rand (13r to the pound). We're broke.
We're thinking of flying home soon so watch this space for info. We've got a few more things to do down here but should be home soon. Not sure when. Hennings been in contact as we are sharing a container to South America....
I forgot to say the sleeping bags have been washed and they are great. Almost perfect washing and much cleaner than the last time we had them washed. Dirt from 26 years of use has gone. When I say 26 years of use some of the dirt on them is probably that old. Thanks to First Ascent and the 222rand each they charge it was an OK price.
Photos of the box...Spot the sleeve on the Intermediate Shaft.....Jealous???
ps the ref to "Room with a View" in the previous post is in the photo from Des and Hennie's porch.
BTW The Dog is Donna and the Land Rover is Des's and they've only done 35,000km in 3 years ! He and she (x2) really need to get out more !!!
Room With a View.....
So here we are in Cape Town having spent a night with the Langebaan Sunset team who drove to their new home a year or so ago all the way from the UK. Nick and Vicki looked after us very well in their marvellous home and we, as usual drank way too much ! Luckily they both sort of work from home so all was well in the morning although Nick did have to do some real work from his office. Vicki is starting a new job soon so was tasked with looking after us. We swapped stories of their travels and also inspected each others Landies. Nick is getting our old tyres when we replace them this week. (I'll let you know where they are Nick so you can pick them up). His BFG's are VERY bald having come all the way from the UK so ours will keep them going for many months. Ours need replacing before we go to South America so they can benefit from the left over tread.
Leaving the lovely Langebaan we went again through fields of flowers in the National Park and a short drive to Des and Hennie's place. We met Des and Hennie in Zambia months ago and we'd planned the visit via Email and Phone. The visit is mostly for car maintenance and removal of the Transfer Box. Des and Hennie have a new house with a purpose built Land Rover height garage for me to drop out the transfer box. Its not quite the workshop that Kobus and Alett have but a perfectly flat surface under cover is great. Kobus, can you send me your lovely engine jack please....It would be so much easier. My transfer box needs the centre differential stripping so its a pretty big job. I hope its OK and only needs the new thrust washers mentioned in an earlier post. I've spent the last few days replacing the bearing in the rear hub, the one that keeps coming loose and also changed the timing belt. The timing belt didn't need doing really but at 70,000 km in dusty conditions I thought it wise. So thats all done. Whilst I was doing it I checked the valve clearances and noticed a valve stem cap missing. Luckily I bought some of those in Jordan all those months ago when Michiel & Jeldau had their troubles. I did pay $8 each for them !!!! They are pennies each in the UK. I have 8 of them so do the maths !
We've noted that Henning has updated his blog. We were getting worried. When I say updated his blog I mean he's just abused us verbally for a few paragraphs. Hurry up you slow, bacon loving, coffee drinking mainlander. If you want to read all about his journey and Nick and Vicki then follow these links.
Nick and Vicki's Site
We're also waiting at Des and Hennie's for our sleeping bags to be washed at the First Ascent factory. We dropeed them off the other day and It can take five days so we may be here till Friday. First Ascent charge 195rand for the washing. Contact them if you want one cleaning and follow the link to their website if you want to see the gea they sell.
Now i'm a bit partial to a rubber dress or catsuit but this has to be one of the worst movies ever. Not only is the actress in question,,,,, (literally),,,STOP....
Theres no point in saying any more. She was better in Bond. Pfeiffer on the other hand was good albeit not enough to make me happy. I saw the "genuine" catsuit in Hard Rock (i think or maybe Planet Holywood) but its not the genuine thing in these places. If it were, how come they all have one ?
Our campsite was invaded by cats. They were actually quite scary. If you remember the Dr. Who series where the monsters only came at you when you blinked, these were the same. Trun you back on the little blighters and they came closer. They wern't nice little pussy cats. Evil.....
Off to see the famouse Nick aka Langebaan Sunset tomorrow.
More waterfalls and more tenuous links to dodgy films....
Yes we could smell the flowers. Quite nice actually. They also follow the sun so if you get on the right side of them they are quite bright as you can see. No lilies and none of the bulbs are out yet unfortunately.
Julie noted that the sign was a bit lose to the water. We couldn't quite get Matilda into the space where we wern't allowed to camp so no risk of us breaking the rule.....
Last few days we were at Augrabies Falls another SAN park but to see the Falls strangely and not the animals (we've seen them). Now were are at Springbok and leaving to see the flowers. We’ve had another near miss this time with Charley Boorman who’s in Namibia. We passed a load of Bikes so I wonder if it was him. So I sent him a twitter blaming him for the trip and asking why he’s not come to see us. Some photos later once we’ve camped for the night. Had too much to do last night with the bank and stuff to get blogging.
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