The goodbye trail …….

S: We have had our calendar rather full these last few weeks. We had a family get together(Steve’s family) in Monte Vista last weekend with a pizza making evening and Spanish omelette breakfast. L:  It was great fun, but tinged with sadness saying goodbye for who knows how long……

farewell cake

Wednesday night was a traditional South African supper with our Bible study group (L:  which feels like family too), Thursday was a tea and braai very kindly hosted by our friends, Margie and Steve with lots of friends and loads of treats, and then there have been separate visits to a whole lot of other people. Unfortunately there are some people we have not been able to get to as time has caught up with us. As it is we will be dropping in on family on our way out on Wednesday to say goodbye.  L:  Thank you to everyone for the visits, gifts and prayers and best wishes for our trip, we will keep you all in our hearts.

L:  Thanks too to Derek and Dalene and the supply of knitted blankets to add to our outreach program as well as a huge pile of bible study books to take along to hand out on our way.

S: Yesterday we moved all our household stuff into permanent storage. This time with the trailer, home PC and the rest of the stuff we decided we were not going to need. It took us the whole day with the help of our friends Hannes and Louis from our chuch, Mountain View Baptist, in Lakeside. Thanks again guys! We have a bigger unit now, further out of town, which is considerably cheaper. It was a fine way to spend our 28th wedding anniversary. The best part was the celebratory supper last night with our hosts, Lesley and Trevor, joining us for pudding and coffee.

L:  We also popped in to wish our tenants Andre and Verona a goodbye…As well as Alayne and Alex and Annari – thanks too for the wool, Annari.

Our move took much longer than we thought so we did not catch up with Linda and Gary as we were meant to, but we hope to see you on Wednesday on our way past.  Thanks so much for the use of the “amazing” lens for the camera, we are thrilled and hope to do it justice.  Mwa.

We also hope to catch up with my sister, Linda and her family on Wednesday and we saw my other sister, Judy,  Elana, Monica and all the family today. Thank you for the amazing spread you laid out for us as well as the presents we received.

S:  Last Saturday, while changing the bushes on the rear leaf springs, I discovered that one of the shackles was corroded and needed to be replaced. That meant a call to Mitsubishi, Paarden Eiland, who ordered it for me on Tuesday and I picked it up on Wednesday and fitted it on Thursday, the public holiday. No more car on bricks! (L: Yes, I sure find it stressful every time Steve jacks up the car and starts fiddling with something when we have to have it ready in a few days time!!)

The new and the old

The new and the old



The old corroded shackle and the new replacement

The old corroded shackle and the new replacement



However, while under the car I noticed that one of the rear shock absorbers looked like it had been leaking. So it was phoning around and researching replacement shocks. I decided to go local and bought a complete set of Gabriel Safaris. Partly because they generally had a good report and partly because they were so reasonable.

I have fitted the rear shocks today and will be keeping the new front ones as spares. However, after seeing how bad the rear ones were after removing them, I would have liked to replace the front ones as well. It is a much longer job to do them, but we  have run out of time. L: And my nerves can’t take it again.  S:  The best thing now is  the vehicle feels much better even though it did not feel that bad before and the squeaky noise is now gone.  L:  I am sure that you will find another one, or a budgie in the car…..

New Gabriel Safari shock absorber

New Gabriel Safari shock absorber

S:  Some other little jobs I did get to was to check and waterproof the water level gauge pickup in the tank, add a rim around the top of the frame over the fridge (so things would not slide off) , fix a sheet of wood on the tailgate to form a better flat surface (L: to act as a work surface or table while preparing food or for our many coffee stops etc) and a few other odds and ends, one of which was fitting Lesley’s “inheritance” on the roof rack. It was the only place I could find to fit it. Works like a bomb. Maybe I will record it sometime and put the sound clip on the blog.


Table top on the tailgate and edging on the top of the frame around the fridge.

After reading through my notes last night I discovered that some countries might require a police clearance certificate for the car. I had completely forgotten about it. It will most likely not be asked for, but the fact that I have the info means that it has been asked for at some point. So I am going to run around for the next two days trying to acquire one. I would rather have one and not need it than need it and not have it.

L:  Today we said a tearful goodbye to all our church friends and our Pastor, Kevin, prayed for us and for travel mercies.  We have been at the same church since it started 21 years ago so, as you can imagine, we have seen a lot of families grow up and these are great friends to us. Thank you all for the greetings and prayers, we will watch out for you all on the blog.

I am so excited as Steve has bought me an AFRICA road map as I am an “old-fashioned” girl and like to see where we are going, on paper.  Thanks, Dear.

I have spent a long time (with Steve’s research) sourcing all the various medicines and equipment that is recommended, right down to having our own drip-kit, syringes and needles etc.  Wow – what a lot of stuff and quite an expense, but we could not be unprepared.

Ok, I hope that I get this right……. If you would like to contact us while we are away, starting Wednesday 7th May – our satellite phone number is +(or 00)870776752673  or you can e-mail us on or send us a free sms by typing the following address into an internet browser: and filling in the relevant details.

We will switch on the phone every night for a while to pick up any messages. Lesley still has her number and should be reachable through Namibia and Zambia via roaming. Except when we run out of airtime as we cannot recharge, I think.  We will also be able to receive our normal e-mails so keep them coming.

Three more sleeps ……….




Categories: Uncategorized | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “The goodbye trail …….

  1. Good luck guys and enjoy. It is today exactly 1 year ago that we started our trip…..time flies. It is difficult to adapt after finishing our journey through Africa.

    Arno & Elize

    • Ha ha, I am sure…….and when did you get back? Where are you living now?
      Thanks so much for the good wishes – we will keep you up to date. Thanks, Lesley and Steve

      • We are still camping at Mountain Breeze near Stellenbosch. We came back in December for 3 weeks and then did a West coast trip north and back. House is in Mossel Bay, we are working in Paarl and heart and soul is still overlanding Africa:'(

      • Oh wow!! Now I understand, but guess we will be in that same boat afterwards!! Gypsies, they call us. :-))
        Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom – let your email find you!

  2. Jean Emms

    Dear Lesley and Steve Been thinking of you so much. Just two more sleeps. Went camping in Tulbagh, so weren’t at church to say our goodbyes. I am so glad we have got to know the two of you recently so that we can share in your amazing adventure. I really believe it is God ordained and sanctioned and I know you will be continuously covered in prayer by all who know and love you. You can have no clear idea right now as to how God is going to use the trip for His glory as well as blessing you. Go with and in God and enjoy each day, no matter what it brings. So long until we meet again and fellowship some more. Ian and Jean Jean Emms ITC Facilitator Rosebank Junior School

  3. Thanks so much, Jean and Ian. Thank you for all your kind words and prayers. We will keep you posted. God bless and keep you and the family. XX

  4. So excited!! Running around doing all the chores while Steve is finishing his last day!! And the tyre pressure gauge arrived just in the nick of time……..That is it now, Steve ;-)))

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