YOU SAY

A clar­i­fi­ca­tion and the petrol vs diesel de­bate

Go! Camp & Drive - - Contents - GUSCO NYLSTROOM

We de­parted on a trip to Botswana and Namibia in Au­gust 2015. Our group con­sisted of a Hilux, a Jimny and a Dis­cov­ery – six peo­ple in to­tal. Af­ter a few days on the road the cam­eras’ mem­ory cards’ started get­ting full and we had to trans­fer pho­tos to a tablet be­fore we could con­tinue to Rundu (Les­son 1: Take enough mem­ory cards with you on hol­i­day.) At Rundu we met peo­ple whose car­a­van had been bro­ken into. The thieves left with their car keys and their spare keys were in their home in South Africa. (Les­son 2: Give a set of spare keys to some­one in your group.) At the Cunene the Dis­cov­ery loses a tyre. In be­tween tak­ing pho­tos at Epupa we man­age to re­pair the spare tyre some­what and af­ter three at­tempts the tyre started keep­ing its pres­sure. Our next stop was Van Zyl’s Pass, via Opuwo, where we first stocked up on sup­plies. At Van Zyl’s Pass we stopped where the twin-track forks to take some more pho­tos. Two kilo­me­tres fur­ther the ra­dio shouts “Stop, stop!”. The clever Dis­cov­ery re­alised it had lost its key. But if they turn the engine off they’re stuck in the mid­dle of noth­ing and nowhere with no way to get the engine go­ing again. There’s a dis­cus­sion and a de­ci­sion: since we al­ready scoured the area at the fork in the road and found no traces of any keys, the Dis­cov­ery should drive back to civil­i­sa­tion and have the spare keys sent from South Africa (we re­learn les­son 2). The sun is start­ing to set and in the haste of the mo­ment the Jimny’s spare tyre and the ex­tra fuel can is left on top of the Dis­cov­ery. We camp be­fore Van Zyl’s Pass and later the next morn­ing we go look­ing for the pass. From up top it looks im­pos­si­ble to drive down it but we see tyre tracks and we re­alise the road does ac­tu­ally con­tinue. At first the women are too afraid to drive down it, but soon we’re cruis­ing along. It’s ac­tu­ally not bad at all if some­one shows you where to po­si­tion your wheels. On rec­om­men­da­tion of Alex Smit of Eco4x4 we also pulled up the hand brake to help with the brak­ing, and it worked sur­pris­ingly well. Thanks, Alex. We go to Mar­ble Camp and drive fur­ther to Puros. There we get a cell­phone sig­nal and our friends let us know they’ll meet us at Twyfel­fontein – the Dis­cov­ery’s key wasn’t lost, it had just fallen some­where out of the sig­nal’s reach. We see gi­raffes, desert ele­phants and other game be­fore we meet up with our friends at Twyfel­fontein. We quench our thirst at the lodge and hit the road to Ugab, Spitzkoppe and Swakop­mund. We re­alise the tablet with the pho­tos is nowhere to be found and there’s a sus­pi­cion that it was lost at Twyfel­fontein. A phone call to en­quire yields no re­sults and we want to cry over the mem­o­ries we lost. (Les­son 3: Al­ways lock your doors.) We buy a new (big­ger) SD-card for the cam­era and start tak­ing pho­tos. Just out­side Cen­tral Kala­hari Game Re­serve we get an­other flat tyre. (Les­son 4: Al­ways take more than one spare tyre.) Three months af­ter the trip the owner of the lost tablet gets a call from a cell­phone com­pany ask­ing if he’s the owner of so and so a tablet. No, he an­swers. But, says the cell­phone com­pany, you re­ported the tablet as miss­ing? It seems a tourist picked up the tablet near the An­golan bor­der and handed it over to their travel agent in Zim­babwe. This per­son tried to con­tact the owner by means of the SIM card but ul­ti­mately had to work through the cell­phone com­pany. Af­ter a sub­stan­tial amount of rands for the courier, the tablet ar­rived home com­pletely in­tact – with all the pho­tos still on it. (Les­son 5: There are still hon­est peo­ple in the world.)

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