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Apr 17 2013

Getting itchy feet

Our time in Johannesburg has not been idle time!

With much to do, and our departure date of 27th April – at the latest – looming, we are keeping active.

Most importantly, of course, is meeting up with fellow overlanders.  As I have mentioned many times, it is such a welcoming community, so generous with knowledge, and frequently you get to know people very well online.  So, we were very excited that we could cross paths with Arno & Elize of Arnize go 2 Africa (arnizego2africa.wordpress.com).  We have been chatting on email for a while, so it was great to finally meet up.  We had a delicious braai (barbeque) one evening, and shared our adventure so far, and compared notes for the coming section – we are both heading up the east coast of Africa.

Our repacking of the vehicle is going well.  We have taken everything out, and have now gone through everything.  We are relieved to have been able to take out quite a lot – but have added back a few well-chosen items that will make the next stage a little smoother.

Brodie has gone for a visit to the mechanic:  Jonathan, recommended by friends of ours, has been tending to our home on wheels.  Of course, EVERYTHING takes longer than expected, and there are ALWAYS a few more surprises than anticipated, but we are glad that these issues are being sorted out now rather than becoming stranded in Botswana or further north.  The clutch needed replacing, and we discovered the current one has worn down to the studs and was halfway burnt out.  Yikes!  Then, the seals for the prop shafts needed changing.  This was something we needed to do in the UK before we departed, but couldn’t find anyone to do the job.  Glad Jonathan is able to fix it.  Next up, the mounting bracket for the gearbox was broken.  No spares available in Johannesburg, so we drove to the ‘nearest’ scrapyard specialising in LandCruisers … a mere 100km away.  Viking Explorer had great fun rummaging in bins and exploring the lot.  Success.  So now we wait for the Cruiser to return.

We have also been out doing some mountain biking.  Northern Farm is a popular spot with 3 marked trails of different abilities, and only about 40 minutes drive away.  It is always good to be back on the bike – and we always wish we had time to do even more riding.  We had overslept and made a late start, but it turned out that played to our advantage – most people had already finished their ride and were enjoying a cuppa at the cafe when we ventured onto the trails.  The weather was stunning – I mean, it is autumn and we were cycling in short sleeves!  Gotta love it!  Our general level of (un)fitness kept us on the shorter, less technical trails, but we still enjoyed the scenery, and being out.

In between everything, I have been writing articles for publication in print media.  It has been fun to relive the early part of the adventure – particular Morocco!  That country in particular brings back such great memories.  Watch this space – you’ll be the first to know when there is an article on a newsstand near you!

To say our feet are itchy is an enormous understatement.  We are longing to return to the road.  The National Parks are calling.  And autumn is rearing its head – it only reaches about 25C during the day – so definitely time to head north.

2 comments

  1. Vic

    Blue sky!! Sun!! Eish, how we miss you…

  2. Arno & Elize van der Merwe

    Thanks for sharing our nice get together on your blog guys:-)
    Enjoy your last week here. Will contact you next week when we are back in Johies.

    Arno & Elize

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