The Bank Job....
Major update on the cost page with the 12 Month cost analysis. Our trip in numbers is slightly amended.
Still waiting for a few shipping quotes buwe have another back and its much more than the others.
Julie is formulating some other information which may be usefull to other travellers. Fuel pricing for example.
If you've seen the new Avengers movie you will be familiar with Black Widow. Well she seems to have come to live in the campsite power box where we were about to plug in Matilda.....she didn't survive the Baygon (Raid Spray to the English). Niether did the egg sacks she's made after eating her husband. Not the sexy sexy good eating you might have heard Borat mention but the bad kind of eating spiders do......
Last night we visited the windy most southern point. Met the Greeks that have been robbed of their passports (robbed three times!!!) and the Austrians in an Italian truck. The first real overlanders we have met for a long while. We are of course excluding Nick and Vicky as they are retired overlanders, for now at least.
Shipping quotes are becoming a pain. The fees in S.Am seem to be twice the cost of all other countries in the world. Update on that tomorrow, we hope!
Fees at this end (A) plus the shipping (B) $2500, Fees at other end (C) $2500!!. So that means C = 2A (where B = Zero). Its twice the price!!!
A Year and a Day..
Last night to celebrate (the following is becoming a habit) we slept in the car park outside a restaurant. This has happened before and those of you who read the blog will remember us doing this in Uganda on our wedding aniversary. This time to celbrate being on the road for a year. We dined at Ocean Basket....if you don't know what this is you can google for the menu and choose what you want to eat (like my mother did) so if you ever get to Southern Africa, as they have them all over, you can realise the dream. Its not the first time we have eaten here and its usually good. This time was no different and we had some Kahula Dom Pedro's to finish. This is an addiction passed onto us by Des and Hennie our South African freinds. You can also google to find out what they are.
We've met the famous Greek (3 thefts from their car!) party in Cape Agulhas and the last time it was their passports so they are stranded here for three months. Some strange rule that you cannot get a replacement passport for three months if you are Greek. Might be that they need to borrow the money to get them printed.
We've also just met a team of Austrian overlanders who also came down the west coast in their Bremach truck. They are on their way back up the East.
So tonight we are in a backpacker place in Cape Agulhas and i've had to let the car tyres down to get in. I've also used it as an opportunity to check the height of the car with the roof rack attached to see if we can get it in the 2.28m container. It might just work. Once in the container we can pump them back up as its only the door thats low.
We have a quote from an agent in Uruguay to release the truck from the port and its not good news...VERY expensive. Still waiting for additional quotes.
We're on our way ever nearer to meeting Henning after many months. Will there be tears, I doubt it.
The Big Year.....
I know you've not seen it, niether have I.....I'm sure Jack Black is very proud of it. Owen Wilson might not remember making it....
So this is it. A year on the road (ignoring the holiday back to the UK) So for those of you who want to be accurate. Congratulate us in another month.
We are actully moving again having left Cape Town. Just went up to see Nick and Vicky of langebaan-sunset again. They are getting itchy feet. See you in South America !
We also went out for a meal with Des and Hennie....will the hospitality never end. These South Africans put us Brits to shame. Message to Kobus and Alett, were on our way up the coast (Garden Route) and may only be in South Africa for another month!!! Get your skates on.....
We investigated getting a sedimentor for the fuel line but the only one they had was a local brand. I need a Delphi one. Still hunting. We also looked for a water tank so we can ditch the jerry cans and release some space in the car. We've found one and also got someone to fit it. We just need to order it. I will also check around for better pricing though.
We have one quote back for the shipping. The other should come monday. The problem is the agents here don't have agents in South America so getting the car on the boat and over to SAm is easy, getting it off at the other end will involve finding an agent. An agent who speaks english! If we ship to Argentina that may be difficult. So we want to ship to Montevideo in Uruguay to avoid 1984 politics and to get it cheaper. Shipping is 12 to 19 days.
The trip up Table Mountain lasted for less time than the queuing for the tickets. The view is good and the weather was good. Today the weather is shocking again. Wheres the summer we were told should be here by now? Table Mountain had been closed for 4 days so the queue was a bit long....
So today our £12,000 carnet left South Africa for sunnier climates....I'm doing SA an injustice as the weather is now good,,,,, but too windy to go up Table Mountain. The cable car is closed and I cannot be bothered to walk up.
The carnet should arrive in the UK in one working day !!! OMG ! ONE ! I don't beleive it ! and it was only £10. Royal Mail take note ! DHL if you get it there that fast and don't loose it you have my custom for ever.
Some photos as promised. Did I mention Table mountain was closed. Bah !!!
Whilst we were at home my father, whos an avid bird watcher was in the local nature reserve going where he shouldn't (according to form)! He tripped over a fence (not climbing over it you understand) and broke his leg. Now my Uncle and Auntie, Roger and Sue are also both bird watchers,,, actully you could say they we both "twitchers" and Sue is part of the nature reserve "management", if thats the correct term. He won't be making a claim for damages.....he's been told off. Every time we visited whilst we were home we knew he was on the way to the front door as we could hear the squeeking of aluminium from his zimmer frame. He needs the practice using it as he's getting on a bit.......He's lucky he only broke his leg and not his neck.
The two suitcases we took back to South Africa contained half a Land Rover and half a pharmacy. Enough said....
Steve, my mate from Railway days will enjoy the photos of the kite surfing locals. 7 - 7.5 kites and 25 knot winds. We heard a debate on if it was safe to use a 9......me thinks not. He's doesn't read this anyhow, do you Steve ?
There are other photos from home of our nieces, my mother and Julies Gran. We have omitted all and some due to the fact that teenage girls only post photos on facebook and if their Uncle took the photos and posted them, it would be embarassing. This strange mindset is why teenagers are very strange. We were all teenagers once....I think. My father still thinks he is....climbing over a fence indeed !
Henning our Danish "mainlander" biker friend wants me to do a bungie jump....I think not. Father take note.....BTW did the cast come off today ?
We should of course thank all that looked after us whilst we were at home. We were wined and dined by all the family (Mum, Dad, Gran, Auntie Sue and Uncle Roger). I think my brother even bought me a pint without me having to sign a contract stating I would pay it back. This was the way of things when we were younger and it worked both ways. We had beer and frolics with old work collegues and friends and some of them also bought us food and alcohol. So THANKS to all. THANK YOU.
Mike C, Alisair M, Tracy M, Lindsey F, Sue B, Roger B, Sheila K, Michael B, Maureen M, Karen T, Martyn H, Jessica H, Jade H, Myung Suk B and Noel L.
Today has been pretty productive. We've contacted to shipping agents and they have committed to get us some quotes. Knowing how unreliable they are we shall see if they fulfil their commitments. (now that would be a fitting title for the next blog entry if they come through).
We also went to Customs House (SARS) and after a bit of discussion and head scratching they stamped out the old carnet and the new carnet in. I could shout with joy!!!
The lady on the counter didn't know what to do and was just about to ring Pretoria when the specialist carnet guy returned from his lunch break. He knew exactly what to do and after much stamping, signing, writing all over the carnet and paperwork, he photocopied it all, sent us on our way. Now I’m a sceptic and considering the risk is highest in South Africa of a claim on the carnet being filed, we are obviously worried. I’ve emailed the RAC to see if thats it. The guy at SARS was confident thats all thats needed but I'm not sure. The carnet process is pretty terrible and poorly implemented worldwide with very few people knowing actually what it is. The customs go through the motions and don't actully know what the carnet does or what to do with the two pieces of paper it generates in each country. We've learnt that the exit piece of the paper work should go back to the entry border. Does this ever happen? I very much doubt it as some borders didn't even know how to fill it in and we have to explain. No doubt the ones that do are the ones that claim on the carnet all the time,,,,Egypt and South Africa anyone?
So we now need to DHL the carnet to the RAC and see what happens. Watch this space.......its only £12,000 of my money...they have the other £4500 for the new carnet also !
I promise to post a few photos in the next post....
Morgan Freeman in Hard Rain not really his best film but considering the rubbish weather yesterday in Cape Town the title is fitting. The wind and rain putting a real dampener on my spirits quite literally. Very strong wind a lashing rain. Couldn't even unpack my spares which were quite literally smuggled into South Africa,,, only to be smuggled out again. This is the problem with crossing countries, they want tax for everything even if the things imported are being exported again. I understand the rules but do not understand the implementation of them. Proof below....
The flight was eventful, shouldn't that be un-eventful? They wouldn't let us fly as we didn’t have a return ticket! So a frank discussion in Heathrow and Julie demanding they ring immigration in SA solved the issue. The manager on the South African Airways counter in UK getting told by SA customs that they had no problem with letting us in without a return ticket as we were leaving by car or by other means. How the nice lady in the UK ever thought it would be a problem is anybodies guess. Looks like its an airline rule an not a customs rule and a "jobsworth airline" rule at that. The airline being scared of something because they get fined if we get rejected in South Africa. Something they think might happen so all the staff get the jitters. Anyhow she sorted it out and we are exremely greatful that sense prevailed. Thanks lady in red.
We picked up the car from Roverland and paid 300Rand for parking for a month so about £22. Thanks to Martin. The car started like a Land Rover (4th time) and I thought there may be water in the tank but Martin thought it would be air in the fuel line. Maybe either. Had a bit of white at startup so looked like water but could be under fuelling/air? Some of the more learned Land Rover readers may like to comment. Fuel seeping back into the tank over a month possibly.
The rain and weather here have filled the rooftop "ammo cover" canvas bag with water so everything is out drying in the wind and sunshine today. None of the canvas sold in South Africa is waterproof.
You may note from the map we've moved. Des and Hennie may be getting worried as we are just up the road. We actually met Des in Joburg airport in our mad rush for the connecting flight. The flight from the UK was delayed as the crew didn't turn up having been stuck in the traffic on the M25. So 300 or so people were waiting for them to turn up. Would they have been so forgiving had I been 3 hours late? I don't thing so. We were in fact 5 hours early having left enough time for things like that to happen. They do not, they just keep us waiting. We think some people in the same traffic jam were allowed to check in as there were people turnin up at the gate very late indeed. After the listed departure time in fact.
We left my backup hard drive at home.....big mistake. DHL will come to the rescue.
Planes Trains and Automobiles.....
We're on the road again......another year in the making. See you in South America (via South Africa).
Not sure who we are shipping with yet but any suggestions for places in South Africa would be great. We have to go round all the ones we can next week. Hopefully we can be on the boat within a month.
The Postman Always Rings Twice
This weekend we went to Derby drinking with ex-work colleagues. It was a late night with much beer being drunk. It was good to see some of the old team. Jade, our neice was there, as was Noel an even older freind from previous employment(s). I know Jade was pretty drunk but she never reads the blog so will never see this........
After the event we stayed at a buddies house in Nottingham (thanks Mike and family) and in the morning we went to the post office to get my IDP. Some of you might recall the problem woth the photo at the last post office in Newcastle. No such problem this time and the same photo was accepted without question and both IDPs issued. Just goes to prove that a jumped up little tart (and manager protecting her staff) have no idea how the check passport photos. Me thinks the Post Office in Newcastle need more training and a lesson in customer service. Especially when IDPs are pretty pointless anyhow.....
How to tell if a passport photo is good.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service....
Don't you just love it when service is like it should be ?
We both bank with Santander and today after visiting our branch to see the manager (how often can you say you see the manager?) we came away happy as we always do. Jo, our branch manager has done all our banking in 2 hours. Condensed from 12 months into 2 hours. She really is a star !!! AGAIN !
So thanks to Jo, our branch manager for servicing us both again! Oh missus....
She did manage to open a few more ISA's (those in the UK know what these are) and register us for no tax as we are now not earning anything so need to pay no tax. This is how banking should be and how it used to be, so all is not lost in the UK banking system. They just need to stop taking on toxic debt and screwing up the economy........Oh, and removing foreign call centres would be a major start for the majority of banks. Santander are all in the UK as far as I know.......
Well done. 123 guys....
Lost in Space....
The other day whilst trying to get maps for my Garmin satellite navigation box (actually, its just a hand held GPS) I updated the firmware using the Garmin online updater. It managed to kill it completely. I did everything to the letter as the GPS is very importantfor the trip. Now its broken. I've sent it to Garmin to be replaced and they promise it will be returned in five days....we shall see. If its not back before we leave we are in big trouble. I will need to buy another as we cannot risk not having it. We will be truely "Lost in Space" without it. Although we have maps for South America they are not good. We actually have six maps for South America but they don't come close to the free GPS ones available. (Open Street Maps for example)
We have two cases full of stuff to take back to South Africa and most of them are replacment parts for the car. Things we've used on the road need to be put back in stock in my spares box. Things we origionally had in Africa and then used as maintenance are being replaced. I'm not worried about the weight but the silly customs rules for going on holiday to South Africa. They have a really low import limit for personal items entering South Africa. We're not up to the limit with new stuff but if they include ALL our stuff in the limit things like mobile phones (and this and that) then we might possibly be over. Who knows how much old phones and stuff are worth and really is anyone bothered to add it all up before getting on the plane. I would think the spares are covered by the Carnet but I'm not sure.
Contrary to popular belief we did not come back to the UK to watch X Factor although since my mother is an addict we have had to watch it....
Can't wait to be back in the Land Rover with no TV.....
Three Feet High and Rising.....
On Tuesday we went to see our niece Jessica at Newcastle uni. Shes only been there for two weeks so we just missed her when we came home. Thankfully we still get free rail travel so we went for a visit. She has a really nice room in halls and they are not at all like I remember. The ones i've seen before were rather poor in comparison.
As part of the trip we I took to opportunity to get myself an International Driving Licence from the central post office. The only problem being the jumped up little tart on the counter who decided that my photos weren,t good enough!!!? Now these are exactly the same photos used for my passport, my last IDP, my visas and in fact every other official document I've obtained recently. The immigration in about 25 countries think I look like the person in the photo and the UK passport agency think they are of good enough quality to use for a passport. So now we need to go to another post office to get one as they don't do them locally.s
We still have one one quote for shipping and its too expensive. All the car parts and maps are on order for the trip to South America. We've spent a lot of money today.
Get notifications of new Blog Entries by filling in the box below. No risk.