TICK, TICK, TICK………Well, with 75 days left to go, we are really starting to “get into gear…….!!”
We have bought a “reverse camera” and after much deciding exactly where to place it, Steve spent a very hot and tiring afternoon fitting it to the back of the bakkie and then threading and hiding all the wires. The camera is a minute little device which we found gave us the best view when we had it just above the back number plate.
The screen now replaces our existing rear-view mirror in the front of the car. The reason for this is since we have tinted all the windows in the canopy, it is almost impossible to see through to reverse or know what is happening behind us in traffic except for the limited view through the side mirrors. Also, of course, the bakkie is always packed to the roof so there is no way to see out and another thing is that with sunglasses on it makes it really difficult to see through the tint.
Now, the way Steve has the reverse camera fitted we can see a full picture, fitting an entire car on the screen in full colour with no reflection being distorted.
It cost just over R1000 and was delivered to our door in less than 24 hours, so we are very impressed. It is connected to the cigarette lighter connection so will switch off with the engine.
Another addition to the bakkie is a snorkel. Steve spent another exhausting day installing it and it is now done except for the pipe between the fender and the air filter. The one supplied was incorrect and we are still waiting for a replacement.
We are starting to sort out our house and paint and repair a bit here and there (after being here 12 years) to get it ready for the market or rental market, whichever way it works out.
We have sold a lot of our extra camping gear and various other bits and bobs that we don’t want to store or take with us. It is quite exciting to start thinking about what we are packing to take.
Steve has now had his spectacles renewed and upgraded so that he will be able to handle the continual glare while driving. We are expecting the temperatures to average around the 30 degree Centigrade mark and that can be a strain on the eyes. I have really good long-distance sight, myself and only battle to read small print in bad light so only need sunglasses.
We have just been to the doctor for Steve’s follow-up appointment (and x-rays) after his double pneumonia and we are happy to report that his lungs are back to normal. He has started training again for the Argus Cycle Tour in March, and I wanted to be sure that he is ok. It would be a terrible risk to do a +/- 5 hour cycle if his lungs are not able to cope.
Speaking of doctors, we also need to get our various injections and inoculations done, specified by the countries we are travelling through and so are researching whether that will be cheaper to get done at our GP (who we have to visit anyway to get scripts for the various meds etc that we need for our +/- 6 months away) or from the Travel Clinic in Tokai.
One of the interesting things that we have discovered is that our GP cannot give us the Yellow Fever jab as you need to have a special licence to do that one!!
The others that we need are:-
Steve also made an appointment to see the Service Manager at Mitsubishi and they were kind enough to do an inspection of the vehicle and report any issues that they could find. Fortunately there were no surprises but there are a few worn items on the front suspension and steering that need to be replaced sometime. They will also assist with discounting any service spares we might require. The amazing thing is that filters are almost half the price at the agents compared to other places.
We have also approached a retail chain and asked if they could assist in some form of sponsorship of gear that we still require. We are really excited and so appreciative to receive any help as you can well imagine, this is a huge expense travelling so far and for so long.
We have also been discussing what foods to take with and want to try to get people to give us recipes from any of the countries that we are passing through on the way to London, mostly that we can do simply on a fire, gas or occasionally when we stay in a self-catering unit.
We will be taking a lot more provisions than normal especially things like:- 5kg of cake flour, 5kg rice, dried pasta – probably mostly spaghetti as it packs flat, powdered milk, coffee powder, tea etc as a lot of these things are notoriously difficult to source up Africa or the quality is suspect. Also, dried meat e.g biltong as we are not sure of the quality of live-stock in a lot of countries.
Yes, it sure is a lot to think about and to plan for, but that, along with getting the house and car ready is keeping us mighty busy.
S: This is me now. I was researching current diesel prices in the countries we will be travelling through. A good thing to know if you want to save on the cost. You try and fill up when it is cheaper. Rather interesting. So interesting that I added another page called ‘Arbitrary Info’ and put the graph on it. At the moment the least we would be paying is 0.88 cents/litre in Saudi Arabia and R24.58/litre in Italy. Go check it out.