We are very happy in the car and our full size double. Its actaully better to sleep in than a normal double. You don't fall out if you get to the edge so it feels bigger. It also have probably 5cm (more maybe) of additional width but i'm not sure what the window to window width inside the back of the 110 is.
On the humid nights the boat fan is a must as it keeps the air moving. We can have the sides open as we have stainless nets on them and also on the rear door winding windows. We've fitted a hanging mosquito net so we can actaully have everything open. We've just purchased another boat fan (they aren't cheap !) but we're having fun trying to decide where to put it. Its a Hella Turbo and the old one is a Jet. The jet draws 300mA and the Turbo 600mA on full speed. It doesn't make a dent in the 50Ah leasure battery. The constant noise also help drown out all other outside noise so It makes the noisiest places OK to sleep.
With the fan on It worries me a bit as we cannot hear outside but if we are locked up its unlikely something could happen that wouldn't wake me up even with the fan. The Alpine windows are our side security as we can sit up in bed and see almost 180degrees at each side. Julie looks out the back window and I can jump into the front. Not that we've ever had to.
If we had to do the window tints again we'd get blackout on the sliders and rear winding windows, the alpines in 5% (as they are now) and the rear with blackout at the bottom and a strip on 5% at the top. We've also got blackout curtains on all the windows and these are supprisingly good for insulation and condensation protection. The sleeping bags don't touch the windows and the curtains go all the way round the bed so it stops any dampness on the bags.
We bought the new fan because if the Jet breaks were are in real trouble. You couldn't sleep in the car if its hot without one. The floor gets hot and when its 40c you need to park early otherwise the car is at 60c. The floor gets to 65c on a bad day and 50c normally. If its cool the floor gets to 30c so it helps keep it warm in the car but we have the diesel heater (Webasto Airtop 2000).
We like being in the car more than a bed in a hotel. We can camp almost anywhere and it just looks like a parked car. We camped in the VA Waterfront Mall in Cape Town and along the Nile in Aswan and had no problems. You just need to choose the spot. Too quiet and we might have issues so if theres a few parked cars around we just park up. We do stand out obviously but most of the attention is on the many flags on the back door.
Mechanically the car is good. Testament to changing almost everything before we left. Things that weren't changed have failed. We'd not had a single failiure that stopped us and in fact we've not had a single failiure other than the clutch slave seal that meant I had to fix it right then. Although the shocks were changed we could have still driven. Almost everything is maintenance based on normal visual checks.
We've had a clutch slave seal go in Kenya. I got a mouthfull of Dot4 from the housing.
We keep breaking rear shocks. Top ring usually. We now have some BOGE 130 rears in the spares box as the Bilstien rubbish is leaking on one side but the Armstrong on the other is going strong . I put this down to being heavy and a weak anti roll bar although we are not sure.
Stuck piston on front brake caliper but just needed cleaning. >400c on the wheel !!!! (stripped entire hub and re-greased on side of road)
Wheel bearings keep coming loose but they get checked and sorted all the time. One is worse than the others so i might change the stub axle.
Transfer box is a pain in the ass leaking so I had it sleeved in Cape Town. The centre diff lost its thrust washers. We've had the transbox out 3 times. I wonder if some very poor EP oil in Sudan affected the washers.
Changed the airbags in the rear for 130 helpers in Tanzania as the airbag mount was broken, as they all do. Thanks Airlift....utter rubbish.
Changed the rear anti roll bar UJs. First we made new bushes using my dremel and some spare old shock absorber bushes.
Changed rear drive members and shafts . They were worn and not changed before we left.
Changed a rear prop UJ twice as its not greasing properly so was wearing. Its still not right and its a Hardy Spicer. The Allmakes ones seem better as they have a metal seal on the cup. The Hardy's have a rubber one and it doesn't seem to keep the grease in.
Wore some holes in the snorkle pipe, sealed with aluminium airconditioning tape.
Leaking pipe on the power stearing res. New pipe clip but still leaking slightly. Needs sorting.
Cap on clutch master cylinder broke. Used the spare.
Changed the water pump as it was leaking a bit. Used the spare.
Changed the fuel lift pump as it was leaking a bit. Used the spare.
Changed the headlights to the other side ones and stuck with them even in Africa where they dive the same as us.
Change the oil every 5000 miles / filters every other change but often every
Change the transbox oil every 7000 miles.
Change the axle oils every 10,000 miles.
Check and grease about every week (or two).
If I had to say (repeat other peoples wisdom) what made the difference is everything on the car is standard kit. Its the best advice to other travellers I can offer. The other would be to take a Land Cruiser if you don't want to carry spares as theres 3 dealers in every village !
The only thing that wasn't standard was the crappy Big Bore shocks and these were a real problem. We ended up putting dropped shock mounts on the rear and normal length shocks. The shocks run smack in the middle of travel now but they are still breaking. A few have said we should go back to normal mounts and normal shocks but even carrying 2950kg we seem to be running with a lift. We will never fathom this problem. Maybe the BOGE HD 130 shocks will last the rest of the trip.
Tyres are BFG AT and are flawless. The older BFG MTs split but the newer ones do not by all accounts. East Coast ATs. West Coast MTs are a must. In South Amercia we shall see....I've just got new ATs.
Set off in October and miss the rains all the way down the East Coast. Arrive in May in South Africa.
Just like the film. See the action live....
The wait in Port Elizebeth,,, which we were not told about makes me angry. We could have saved a LOT of money had we been told !!!! 10 days of hotels to be precise and $400 USD !!!! We paid for this and would expect that this little snippet of info would hve been passed on. We were in PE and came back here to load !!!!!! We could have stayed in PE !!!!!! and saved money....ARGH!!!!
Track Matilda from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth
Track Matilda from Port Elizabeth to Buenos Aires
You might need to go to the second or third page on the links above to see the current leg of the boats sailing schedule. Using the right hand bottom page selection button to do this. Send me a message if you have problems.
The container is MOAU670593 if you want to track it here. Pretty pictures and everything.
We've managed to find a hostel in BA for a princely sum. Hopefully its OK. My trusted trip advisor says it is but you can't tell sometimes as they all seem to give everything loads of stars for no reason. Lets see what a real review reveals. Its not too late to cancel and we are still looking.
We've made contact with the shipping agent in BA and after the panic of yesterday I hope everything goes smoothly at that end.
I've forgotten to mention quite a few things on the blog recently and its been family asking questions thats reminded me.
We got back the £12,000 for the carnet we managed to swap over in cape town SARS office. The RAC in the UK were actually pretty quick so well done to them. We DHL'd the carnet back for a whopping £10 and it took longer to get from Heathrow to Bristol than from Cape Town to Heathrow. The delivery was a special rate. We used the DHL office just down the road from the SARS office.
We left my portable Hard Drive in the UK by accident.
This was UPS'd back to me using Interparcel.co.uk and a phenominal service. Picked up by UPS literally 30mins after it was booked for collection from my mothers house around 3pm and in Cape Town by 11am the next day. This time it was £35.
Matilda is in the container as you can see from the photos. We had to pay for shipping va wire transfer from the UK. £25 of my money paying for them to send my money in Rand over here with a really crappy exchange rate. So not only do they charge you for the service they make a fortune from the exchange rate. Bloody banks....anyhow good service and nice people on the phone.
To get here in the container with a door height of 2.28meters we needed to remove the roof top jerry cans and gas bottle. This got us down to 2.32 or something so we then had to let a lot of air out of the tyres. With three on the rear step she went in the container fine. Pumped up the tyres and tucked her in.
Not two hours after we loaded her they changed the ship from one that arrives in BA, Argentina on the 11th Decmeber to one that arrives on the 18th. This is way too late for our current plans so I complained and after a frantic few hours wondering what we would do in BA for a month, they moved it back. Thank goodness !! Thanks to the shipping company for saveing my Xmas and giving me two hours of stress.
Matilda is on the MOL Grandeur from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and then the MOL Gratitude from PE to BA. (we hope!) Departs here on the 19th Nov and arrives BA on the 11th Dec. If you are shipping is quicker from PE. Much quicker but we've only just figured this out and really we should have been told by our suppliers. More on the entire shipping process after its all happened.
We've been to see Bourne Legacy. Wow. Really enjoyed it. Strangely the new James Bond film does come out here until the end of November so unless a miracle takes place and its on in Argentina in English we won't get to see it at the cinema. We'll just have to illegally download it because of the silly release dates ! Here is me willing to pay for it as well. Are you listening Mr MGM?
We've rented a car in lieu of Matilda. I hope shes not the jealous type. Its a one litre Kia Picanto. Since both my Mother and Step Mother have one of these, it seems to run in the family. Its not bad although the boot is small. We can fit the case in the boot,,,just. The cases we used form coming back from England are being recycled.
We found a bed a breakfast without the breakfast (cheaper that way) for 400rand per night. Its got a king size bed so we are happy. Its really near some shops and bars and stuff in an area we now know very well. Its in Table View near Dolphin Beach. Its walking distance from Ocean Basket and/or Cattle Barron. Des and Hennie.....only three nights left.....
All the receipts we have from stuff we have purchased are in the SARS office waiting to be stamped. Hopefully we can claim back the VAT. I'm not holding much hope on this as they have some impossible rules that I cannot meet. If we were flying home with the car as baggage we get all the tax back in the airport but since Matilda is off to Argentina I don't think they will give us it back and we will have to get some stamps in Argentina and pay import tax there before they will pay us it back here. This will be next to impossible as the stuff is all fitted to the car so is tax exempt there so how can we pay tax there on something now included on the carnet. Watch this space....
A few productive days!
We've been back to the Garage to have the transfer box looked at again so they took it out again.....the thing was leaking again. Looks like the O ring on the inter shaft was duff. It was meant to be a VERY good one but looks like it wasn't. Anyhow its changed and it was all done for free. Wilson the box "fundi" or expert was on hand to sort it out. The're a nice bunch at Roverland.
We managed to get somewhere to stay for 400rand a night near to restaurants and stuff so we can go out in the evening. The lady did us a good deal as its normally more expensive. Why can't all hotels and B&Bs do that? Its either you stay empty of you make money with a discounted rate. I know what i'd rather have if I ran a B&B, someone staying and make some money.
We also managed to get another fan for insode the car. This is our only means of keeping cool on those hot nights so we have got another. They arn't cheap! They are designed for Yachts/Boats and have very efficient motors that arvery reliable. The one we have has been run for at least 100 nights for 10 hours. It hardly makes any impact on the car battery as it only takes 300mA. The new one is a little bigger and draws 550mA. These are the things I spend my days thinking about. Sad I know. The place in Cape Town is C-Dynamics for all your boating electrical needs. To an overlander this means all stuff we use in the cars like Gel batteries and LED lights and stuff. They were really helpful. The fn was an OK price considering. Cheaper than the UK but not a cheap as they are in ther USA. Worth it for a nights sleep though.
We need to start making preparations for leaving. We need to decide what we are taking and get it packed. Once the car is in the container thats it, we are on our own. This is on the list for tomorrow. Thursday we go looking for a retal car to get us around once we load Matilda. Do we leave Dash in the container with Matilda for company. I think we should.
So we are back in Cape Town at the camp site where we've stayed quite a few nights already. Problem is we lose the car next Friday. What do we do then? The current idea is rent an apartment for nearly a week. Actually its only four nights thinking about it. Then when we get to Argentina we need to do the same....In Spanish ! Julie took spanish lessons before we left. Lets see what she remembers.
We also need to rent a car here which is no big problem to the budget however the accomodation, it seems, may be....The backpacker places are more than a hotel. What are they thinking? I'm sure we can get a flat for ~300rand...it doesn't have to be pretty. 400 at a push.....
We've not taken any photos recently as we are, to be honest, sick of South Africa and want to leave. Its not that we don't enjoy it here and all the people we have met but its just that we've been here TOO LONG ! Arn't we meant to be travelling? I bet you're getting bored of the blog too. You want to see some South American scenery and stuff. Well me to !
A lot of updates on the shipping with photos of loading the car we hope and info on prices and who we used will come later. I will try to make a page just dedicated to shipping so you can use our experience as a guide in case you are foolish enough to attempt the same.
So we've finally booked the shipping to South America (Cape Town to Buenos Aires) with stuffing (loading the car into) the container on the 16th November. The car should be in SAm by the 21st December. The cost for this little excursion for Matilda is $5,200 USD. OMG ! (about £3400)
Flights are booked to get us to Argentina a few days later on Qatar Air. I'm begining to regret this already as thier customer service is shocking and the flight is 30hours via Doha. It stops in Cape Town, Joburg, Doha, Sao Pualo and BA. The connection in Doha is 55 mins....so we will miss the connection, i'm sure of this but they say 45mins is plenty. The other stops are for picking up people so all included in the 30 hours we will be in the air for 27 of them. Another OMG !!!
We've also had to book another flight in SAm due to the silly airline rule that you cannot fly on a single ticket. You must have a return or a ticket somewhere else. Theres no way round this as this is the same thing that happened to us when we came back to South Africa. They wouldn't let us come. In reality they blame immigration and immigration just don't care as long as you have enough money to get you home or out of their country at some point. Even a bus ticket is good enough but seemingly its not good enough for the airlines. The cost of the flight is £920 for us two to Buenos Aires and then the flights we won't use is another £400. We can refund the one we will not use 100% which is why its a bit expensive for the 150mile flight from BA to Montevideo. So take note that Argentinian Airways do a 100% refundable ticket.
The last few days we've completed our detour around the garden route and are now going back to Cape Town to rent a car and get an apartment or hostel for the duration till we fly. Once we get to SAm we will also need an apartment or hostel or something to do....more money. Total is ~£6000,,,, anyone want to sponsor us ??? We've collected £400 for charity so I think we deserve it. Oh wait thats another overland team, not us. I feel like another rant over others that do charity and I again point out that you MUST collect more for the charity than you spend on the trip. Rant over.
We met Kobus and Alett in Port Elizabeth for some drinks and food. We also borrowed their shower in their apartment. Thanks again guys.
My stress levels are high as we have a lot to do before we can ship. Lots of stuff to sort out like paying the locals in Rand via bank transfer from the UK.
Last night we slept in a Truck Stop just like the ones you've all seen. It wasn't too bad actually and half the price of any of the rubbish camp sites in the area. The showers were hot and the toilets were OK. A bit grubby but OK for the price. What else do you need in a campsite? It was in walking distance of the 24 hour store and fast food outlet (choice of two!). The entertainment was the drunk truck drivers in the TV lounge. I had a conversation with two of them. Well actually they had a conversation with me as I didn't understand 50% of the first one and any of the later one at all. Its a mix of Afrikaans and English and usually starts as Afrikaans and turns to English when the reaslise i'm not. In the case of the latter conversation I can honestly say I didn't know what language he was speaking. Drunkaans possibly.
Tonight we sleep on the street as the campsite is, to be honest, just too awful to stay in when you have to pay for the privilege. Port Elizabeth is actually an OK place and the wind has finally let up so the weather is good. Finally. I'm not sure how long it will last as after having almost a year with good weather we have sort of got used to it.
Picture of the bungie bridge Henning was supposed to jump off. He didn't.
I'm going to try to post a fuel costing sheet on the costs page. Lets see how that goes. Weebly is rubbish at cut and pasting.
So yesterday we finally met up with Henning (and Fridah) in George. We had some food and chatted about our adventures. We also delivered his medication, maps and stickers he'd ordered whilst "online shopping" at the "overlandbirds shop". I didn't know we had a shop on our site but we must have one as we had all sorts of stuff he'd ordered off us !!
After the long anticipation of meeting up we departed again this morning. Following the long tradition we camped on the street outside his hotel. The hotel wasn't willing to let us sleep in the car parked in their carpark but was willing for us the park the car in their carpark and sleep in Hennings room for free. I can't see the difference. A parked car is a parked car, even if we are not inside it. Anyhow its their choice. So we slept directly outside the hotel in the car almost 10 meters from where we wanted to sleep.
The shipping quotes are coming together and it won't be long till we depart Africa for South America. We are planning on leaving on or around the 20th of November. If all plans fail we have a mind to drive back up to the middle east of go to India via Iran. We've also had an idea about getting a round the world air ticket so we don't get lumbered with no return ticket in South America. It maylso be cheaper, as daft as that sounds even to me.
Name that bird....the one in the last photo.
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
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....
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.
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.
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