I would like to share my story about a visit to Kaokoland. We drove in two vehicles, but between Opuwo and the Marble Camp we hit a snag. The one vehicle’s steering arm had broken – the bolt that held it all together had fallen out. We were lucky and found it about 10 yards back in the road, but the thread was stripped and couldn’t be tightened. Fortunately, we were able to make a plan and tied the two pieces together where the bolt had been with a ski rope. We carried on, but pulled over every now and again to make sure the rope stayed put.
This debacle delayed our journey and we arrived late at our overnight stop, Marble Camp. The campsite was full, but someone was willing to share their stand with us. They were so friendly, they even offered to share their braai fire with us.
Initially, we had planned to drive over Van Zyl’s Pass, but luckily decided against that endeavour. We wouldn’t have made it with a broken steering arm.
The steering arm had to be fixed, but our only option was to drive on cautiously. We checked the rope regularly while heading to Swakopmund where we hoped to find help. Meanwhile, we reached the little town of Uis and called a car dealer in Swakopmund in advance to find out whether they had the part in stock. Unfortunately, they didn’t and a new one from South Africa would take 4-5 days to be delivered. That didn’t work for us and we continued to Walvis Bay. The dealer there also couldn’t help, but referred us to Greg’s Motor Spares, who in turn sent us to Cymot Midas. Would you believe it, they also couldn’t help but called around for someone who could. And that’s how we got to Autozone. There we finally got the part but, I wondered out loud, who could help us fit it? The manager came to our rescue and reached out to one of their customers, a guy called Frank. The rope held the mechanism together for a good 1 000 km, and Frank replaced it in 17 minutes.
I would like to say thank you to everyone in Walvis Bay who assisted us. You are helpful and kind and went out of your way. Thank you very much, you are such wonderful people.
GUSTAV BESTER Kokanje, Modimolle