L: Isn’t it amazing – the more you do, the more you need to do. Just 2 weeks ago we had decided that we would have to delay our departure date as there were just not enough hours in the day, but now things seem to be running along “fairly” smoothly and I use the term fairly, very lightly.
Today, after 3 and a half months, Wynberg Home Affairs finally sms’ed me to say that I can fetch my new passport and unabridged birth and marriage certificates, all of which I need to prove that I am married to Steve who has an Irish passport in order to apply for my Schengen visa at no cost. Yay. I also need the marriage certificate to enter the UK.
2 weeks ago, we had not managed to get anything done as far as letting or selling the house and now we have tenants for 6 months and a buyer as well. The Lord works in strange ways. So we are now moving out in a couple of weeks and are frantically packing and sorting. Our two daughters still need to get settled before we will be ready to say goodbye for the 5 or 6 months that we will be away from home. S: And hopefully longer.
L: Steve has been so busy getting the bakkie ready that I hardly see him. He has even taken to taking the 2-way radio into the shed so that he can ask me anything without coming inside – that usually just happens to be for coffee or food…..which I often just pass out the window, no, not the food……
Yesterday we bought a second Hi-Lift Jack as the previous one is a “farm” jack and not the original. I think that means, a “namaaksel” Afrikaans word for close enough, but in this case, not good enough…..? So now we will sell the previous one (which we think is done, thanks to Gumtree…) and fit the new and improved version in case we need to “jack” ourselves out of a sticky situation or sandy situation. S: I had bought a hi-lift jack mount attachment and it did not fit the farm jack. An added bonus is that the new jack came with an attachment that you use to debead a tyre if you need to remove it. Hopefully we never need to do this, but as I have found in the past it is always somebody else you end up assisting. Which is all good as that is the spirit of overlanding.
L: Steve is working furiously to fit the correct brackets to hold all 3 fuel jerry-cans (he has just completed the last one) and gas cylinders etc. He has welded these himself. He has also bought a metal toolbox which is now mounted on the roof rack and will house all the recovery gear.
He has spent a lot of time trying to make a float to measure the level of the water in our drinking-water tank, but I see that in the end he succumbed to buying a fuel gauge float and gauge kit that does the job and is corrosion-free or we hope. He has fitted the water tank back into the bakkie after cleaning it all out and packing it ready for our trip. We are camping at the end of the month so we will test everything again.
We have bought a mosquito net which is especially for when we stay in an hotel or self-catering place as if they have one, it might be compromised and we would not want to take a chance with malaria being prevalent in a lot of the countries that we travel through in Africa. (We will also use it in the rooftop and ground tent, to be safe).
One of our friends has very kindly managed to source and donate us a box of 30 malaria test kits so that we can test ourselves if we suspect that we have contracted malaria. Thanks Margie. Much appreciated.
S: One of our prescriptions that we received from our house doctor is for a drug to treat malaria if needed.
Lesley has taken 3 (once a week) Mefliam tablets to check for any side effects and has so far not gone crazy…..the last one is for tonight so I will watch for any strange symptoms……ha ha. (This drug is a new derivative of the old Larium one which was infamous for causing hallucinations) By the way, we have both not had any adverse effect to all the inoculations that we have had.
I also bought some steering replacement parts that were recommended by Mitsubishi when they did my complimentary mechanical check. Now I have to find a minute or two to fit these.
I will also have to make mounting brackets for the Hi-lift jack as well as fit the front jacking points.
I have also just discovered that the exhaust-gas temperature gauge (EGT) is not indicating correctly so it looks as if I will have to replace the probe. The EGT gauge measures exhaust gas temperature which gives a better indication of your engine temperature. For diesel engines this is essential to prevent overheating. The maximum temperature we go to is 650 degrees Celsius. When we reach that temperature we either drop down a gear or lift our foot slightly off the accelerator which gets the temperature to go back down. In the long term, driving like this, prevents overheating and extends the life of the engine.
L: So now you can see that this To Do list just keeps growing……..
S: The ongoing saga of finding a second hand Satellite phone is a bit of a headache. We really need one, but each time we think we have found one, it falls through for some or other reason. So please keep your ears open for us.
The way we are going we will probably look like this:
This, by the way, was taken in Krugersdorp, South Africa.