A New Adventure
Over the years, Yun and I have traveled to and lived in a lot of different places. Until we moved here a few months ago, Yun had never managed to come back to South Africa with me, for one reason or another. Apart from missing out on seeing this beautiful country, it also meant that there were a lot of jokes and expressions that she didn't get when my family, friends and I were talking. One of our reasons for moving here was for Yun and Stefano to get to know the place where I grew up.
Shortly after arriving we decided that only staying in Johannesburg wasn't enough, we needed to go around and see more of the country, and this thought lead to a crazy idea. To spend 6 months or more driving a circle around South Africa, living out of our car and tent!
So we bought a car - a beat up old Land Rover that we have named The Beast. A petrol guzzling, rumbling, noisy jumble of metal parts that should hopefully carry us around the country without too much fuss.
Now we aren't totally crazy, so before taking on a six month trip we organized a maiden test voyage - straight through the middle of the country down to Cape Town, to work out any problems before the big loop.
The first problem didn't take long to arrive. After about a zillion trips up and down the stairs from my sister’s apartment to our car, it was clear…we had too much stuff! A planned 10 AM departure turned into a 2 PM departure. It turns out, filling a car to the point of almost bursting takes quite a while - the only bits of the car which weren't hidden beneath a mountain of belongings were Stefano’s seat and the driver’s seat. Yun, on the other hand, was twisted into a pretzel yoga pose in one of the back seats, her legroom taken up by a couple of bags shoved in at the last second.
‘See you in a month’ - I shouted to George ( The main guard of my sister’s complex) as we rumbled off, The Beast leaving behind a trail of black smoke and fuel vapors…Famous last words.
First stop, buying a few unnecessary last minute items to take shove into whatever tiny space we still had left in the Beast. Last minute shopping, a late lunch and before we knew it it was starting to get dark. Final departure time - somewhere around 6PM! Whatever, OFF WE GO!!!!!!!
50km down the road…’Crunch’!!!
That doesn't sound good… The revs aren't showing… there is a weird noise coming from the engine - now the the speedometers gone too. It’s pitch black, I cant see anything on the dashboard. and when I put my foot down - nothing happens.
No, I'm not pulling over this car over on the highway in the middle of nowhere.
Well, the Beast has other plans - the alarm is going off, the battery is beeping a red signal and the car is not responding to anything I do- yep we are stopping on the side of the road.
Why did we decide to do this again? It’s freezing cold - I don't want to get out of the car - but Im not about to let us stay seated in here while cars/trucks/buses fly past us at 120 km/h and up. Why did we buy this lump of metal again!!!!!???
The Beast - is what we decided to call it. The Bust - would have been more appropriate.
After a few freezing hours waiting for a tow truck, we were towed back home and sent the car in for repairs the next day. The belt tensioner failed and needed to be replaced - a minor mechanical fault.
Just a day or two and we'd be back on the road!