THE STUB­BORN TRUCK

Go! Camp & Drive - - Letters -

Our car doesn’t like go­ing on hol­i­days. Or rather, our 1995-model Pa­jero 2.8 Tdi, likes hol­i­days so much, that it re­fuses to go home af­ter a va­ca­tion! We bought the car in 2007 with 218 000 km on the clock, and the first hol­i­day where the ve­hi­cle threw the prover­bial span­ner in the works was at the end of 2007 in the Richtersveld. We had de­cided to go camp­ing in De Hoop, but it was De­cem­ber and un­re­lent­ingly hot. One af­ter­noon the car’s tem­per­a­ture gauge read 62°C on the Akkedis Pass. So we weren’t that sur­prised when the truck gave a few pe­cu­liar jerks when we ar­rived at De Hoop later. But we weren’t par­tic­u­larly con­cerned. The plan was to drive to Sen­del­ings­drift the next day, where we planned on see­ing in the New Year (2008) from our tent. The next morn­ing we were up be­fore dawn, but the truck was com­pletely dead. The diesel wasn’t get­ting to the right places and it needed a “diesel drip”. This in­volved fas­ten­ing a 5 litre can onto the bon­net with a pipe lead­ing to the right place, while the car was mov­ing! (Note for the next hol­i­day: duct tape doesn’t stick to diesel). This meant that De­wald had to hang half­way out the win­dow and hold onto the diesel can while I had to drive over the Akkedis Pass. We did the maths and knew what our av­er­age diesel us­age was. But as we drove, we watched how the diesel dis­ap­peared! We were barely over Akkedis Pass when the diesel ran out! Af­ter a while a guy in a Landy drove past. He of­fered to tow us to Sen­del­ings­drift and once there, helped us look for the prob­lem. By this time De­wald just wanted to drown the car in the Or­ange River. A pipe had bro­ken off and needed to be brazed. ( That’s when you weld metal with a blow­torch and cop­per rods –Jaco). And we found some­one who was will­ing to help us on New Year’s Eve. Af­ter this, the ve­hi­cle left us in the lurch on hol­i­days to Bad­plaas and the Kruger Na­tional Park. But on our most re­cent va­ca­tion it hap­pened again! We’d driven to Cape Town and shortly af­ter New Years, on our way back to White River, the bad luck struck again. The rev counter and tem­per­a­ture soared. De­wald pulled over and phoned his dad. His father’s ad­vice was that we should “see how far we could get,” but 26 km be­fore White River, we heard the most almighty noise and stuff be­gan run­ning out from un­der the truck. It looked like blood on a bat­tle­field and the truck breathed its last breath. I have a few New Year’s res­o­lu­tions, and one of them is to never step foot in that ve­hi­cle again. And al­though I was mad at the car, I know that it taught us how to pray! And ac­tu­ally, it didn’t fare too badly. We drove more than 188 000 km in it and saw won­der­ful places. But now we’re pray­ing for a new truck. Marne Nel wins a pack of In­staLenses to the value of R950! In­staLenses are magnetic, op­tic lenses that can be fit­ted to any smart­phone, tablet or gad­get with a built-in cam­era. Th­ese lenses in­stantly trans­form your smart­phone into a fancy cam­era! The prize in­cludes the In­staLens Su­per and Tele­photo. For more visit in­stalens.co.za

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