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Thursday, June 16

Go! Go! Go!

Mary: We had a few late nights (or early mornings) in the run up to leaving, putting the last of our stuff in storage and getting last minute things ready. We wanted to get going, but there was still a lot to do. We spent several hours testing the patience of the guy at Postnet and 2 cops at the Parkview police station getting all our important documents copied & certified. We also collected a stack of $1 bills as well for Zim.
We pimped our ride with stickers which made the Beast even more fascinating to general passers by – on coming out of the shops we found a crowd of 5 car guards poring over the map on the bonnet pointing out to each other where they were from – one guy commented “I like DRC, see how it makes the shape of a pointing gun!”
We also went to De Wildt and drove the 4x4 trail there with Mum & Dad which was awesome.
We left Joburg on Freedom Day, having sprayed champagne on the car with my folks, Mark & Dom. At this point it didn’t really feel real yet, as we were used to driving round with the car more or less fully loaded.
The Great North Road is pretty boring although it does have some nice hills and scenery around Louis Trichardt. It was great to finally be on the road.
We overnighted in the Aventura campsite at Tshipise on our first night and, after a long drawer fixing exercise, went for a swim in the hot pools. The pools/springs are some of the best we have been to because they don’t smell of sulphur, and it was magic to just float around in the warmth and steam on a cold night. It was hardly the early night we had planned, and it was freezing cold in the night, so waking up at 4:30am did not put me in the greatest of moods the next morning, especially considering we had to creep out of the campsite in the dark and there was no chance of boiling water for a nice cup of tea before we left…

Brett: I didn’t enjoy the first day much – somehow the car was filled with many random items (that will probably be useful) at the last minute and I just wanted to give it all away to needy people in Zimbabwe to get rid of the clutter. After a long day, we got to the camp site and the drawer slider locked in an open position (it was the slider and not the bits I had done Smile ) which meant we couldn’t close the tailgate to go to sleep – I spent 3 frustrating hours doing a headstand inside the canopy with my head through the hatch at the back of the drawers using levers and hammers to bend the sliders back into shape. I was getting ready to take the drawers out completely and find another plan, but that would mean Mary’s kitchen wouldn’t exist which would be bad news for both of us. Anyway, finally got it working and I think it may even last a few more months. Oh ya, and the cable for the IPod also broke, so we ended up listening to only the right track of the stereo music which makes the songs unrecognisable half the time.
Anyway, the champagne with the Honnets & Schroeders was great, we passed the Tropic of Capricorn, had an awesome swim and the campsite was really nice. I was really looking forward to Zimbabwe.

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