L: So, with only 30 days to go, from tomorrow, I am sitting listening to the gentle clunk and occasional, not so quiet, clangs as Steve struggles to get the upper ball joints of the steering arm on the bakkie replaced and upgraded. And now, poor thing, has realised that the tool that he bought is for small ball joints and has to dash off to our local Suburban Spares for the bigger tool. He is doing the idler arm and tie rod ends at the same time. Luckily it is fairly cool and shady here for him and I am plying him with coffee and toast…….
An hour later, it is back to Suburban Spares to get a refund on the tool that has stripped……Nothing seems to be made very well lately, we have just been refunded for a Multi-Purpose Hand Trolley which we used to move things and it didn’t last for longer than an hour!! Almost “Made” in China.
Now that we have moved out of our house and put in the new tenants for 6 months, he can focus on doing the rest of the repairs and servicing and buying of any spares that we may need along the way. I am so impressed that Steve is being so thorough as we literally have a service department or should that be a service compartment in the back of our car. Remember, that we are not taking a trailer so everything has to fit in or on (ha ha) the bakkie so it is going to be a logistical “nightmare” to pack it all………
We heard yesterday that our home is also sold, to another couple, who will move in when the tenants vacate – so that was a great birthday surprise for Steve…… :-)) He had a lovely day and got spoilt rotten by the girls and I. Nicole cooked his favourite – gammon!!
I had a good chuckle when we went away for 4 days last weekend, to the Cederberg. As we left Steve said – “We are as packed now as we will be for our long trip except for a few more food supplies!!” What a joke. I reminded him that I will be taking all my baby blankets and there are a lot already!! (for our outreach project), 5kgs of flour, pasta, rice, cereal and potatoes to name a few as we have seen on our previous trips that these items as well as fresh fruit and veg are not always available or of the standard that we have come to expect. We also bought 4 packets of instant meals by Wayfarer from Due South with a voucher that Steve’s sister, Sharon very kindly gave us……Will be nice to try those.
Dalene, Steve’s cousin, has given us a blanket for our project and is busy knitting up another load of squares and crocheting them together to add to the collection. Thank you. Also to Hope from Mountain View Baptist for some more wool.
We are now “squatting” with our friends in Constantia – what a laugh….- we have the most amazing upstairs suite (with separate entrance) with en-suite bathroom and extra shower and toilet on the other side plus the entire upstairs floor that has a lovely, sunny lounge and fully equipped kitchen with 2 bar fridges (one is ours). It is great and we have space for all our clothes, bedding, and boxes for our trip as we sort through the last things and decide what needs to come with and what has to be left behind. Thanks so much to the Glaums for your kindness. Whenever we house-sit they say that this is our suite, but never dreamed that we might be on their doorstep with our suitcases in hand – for 5 weeks. (We are house-sitting for them now as they are away for a few days, so at least we can “give back” in a small way.
While on the subject of generosity – wow, we have really been blessed and spoilt in so many ways. We have tried to recall and mention each time that someone has helped us, but we are sure to leave some people out, but, please, know that we appreciate all the love and encouragement and help that we have had along the way……..And all the great comments on the blog and e-mails, smses and calls that we get along the way.
Mention must be made of the help that we received last week from BondStick, Ann in particular – for the special glue and bonding liquid to fit a new patch onto the cover of the rooftop tent (as it was sunburnt and had started cracking in places). The patch was kindly donated by Hannibal (rooftop tent supplier) when Steve went to enquire about fixing it.
When we arrived in the Cederberg and Steve opened the tent (zip and flip – as I call it…..) we found that all the rain from the previous few weeks had soaked through those cracks and wet the mattress and board for the tent. Yes, I did say that we needed to do this before the rain, but Steve didn’t think that it was such an issue. I should explain that because we tend to go on quite a few quick breaks and the occasional long break, I suggested to Steve that we leave the rooftop tent on top of the bakkie permanently as if we had taken it off I knew that it would often be too much effort to put it back on for a quick weekend away. So the sun damage was expected. The paintwork of the car (10 years old next year) is also not in a great condition, but it is put through its paces and many rivers and trees so it blends in ;-P
We had a great time camping with Dave, Shirley, William and Hannah
(now our youngest blog-followers) and a lot of their friends :-))
S: On Wednesday, as I am on leave, we went to get a few of the “chores” done. These included – FNB to order our Forex and enquire about a travel debit card. We also went to the Travel AA (Automobile Association) office in Claremont to order our Carnet de Passage (which is a passport) for our vehicle. It is required for Kenya and Ethiopia, but as ours will have 10 pages we can add additional countries, where a Carnet is not essential, to ease our passage through all the African border posts. We have to put down a deposit for the amount of the most expensive Carnet needed which in this case is Ethiopia at a cost of R20 000 which is refundable when the car is returned to South Africa?? Considering the fact that the cost of shipping it back home is +/- R20 000 means that we have said goodbye to that little chunk of change :-/. There is also an additional fee for the 10 page Carnet document that we need which is R3 100 as well as an admin fee to AA of R230.
By the way, we have made the decision not to drive into Egypt with our vehicle as the AA requires a 200% of the value of your car as a deposit for the Carnet and then the cost of the ferry from Sudan to Egypt etc. So we hope to take a tour into Egypt from Jordan using public transport.
We have also purchased travel insurance through AIG, Chartis at a cost of R5 594 for the 6 months that we will be away. This covers us for any hospitalisation outside of South African borders as well as getting us back home in case of illness or injury. We are also taking out a hospital plan to cover us if we end up having to come home and be in hospital for any reason in South Africa. There are a lot of bases to cover, in case……
We also stopped off at Suburban Guns in Plumstead to enquire about storing my firearm while we are away. This is a fairly painless process as it only costs R50 per month with the first 6 months paid upfront.
L: So now, as you can see, we have been doing all the little things that we need to make our life on the road easier and safer.
On Monday we are going to the SABC (South African Broadcasting Association) for a interview for a radio-program that is produced and presented by Karen Key (who I know from Kirstenhof Crime Watch). One of the shows she does is on Wednesday evenings 9 – 10pm, called Time to Travel (SAfm) and has kindly offered to let us chat about our trip. She would also like to chat to us along the way – via satellite phone to get some updates and will follow our blog.
We have still not been able to pick up a second hand sat-phone, seems they are like hen’s teeth and it looks as if we will have to bite the bullet and buy new. Which is a rather costly expense. Please keep your ears to the ground for us. **
Well, this is over and out until our next post. Thanks to you all, once again for all the support.