Monday 3rd August 09 Cape Town

Stephanie is due to arrive today and the noise I heard yesterday from the rear of the vehicle returns. I head into LR Services in Milnerton. They show me some play in my drive shafts and drive members so I buy a pair of drive shafts and fit the spare drive members I brought with me keeping the old parts as get you home spares. I then head off to do laundry and then go to the airport to pick up Stephanie. She arrives about ½ an hour late and clears customs quickly. We head off and I decide to give her a little tour. We head off and visit the waterfront area and then along the coast a bit before heading back to the Formula 1 hotel which is basic but convenient.

Tuesday 4th August 09 Cape Town

We head off to see Cape Point and stop at Boulders to see the Penguin colony. Stephanie is fascinated by them and we then head to Cape Point. Just as we arrive the noise returns. The weather is cold and windy and we head up to the lighthouse but don’t stay long. The noise starts to occur more frequently and getting back to the North area of Cape Town it is horridly loud in traffic. I aim to get to the LR Services workshop and we crawl in at around 4.15. They are packing up and say to come in first thing. I decide we will stop at Salty Crax Backpackers to save a little money and also because it is by where a guy to do with shipping lives. We check into the backpackers and we walk up the street getting the attention of the lady of the house who lets us in when I explain that the guys across the road told me about her husband Nick arranging shipping for their motorbikes to Mombassa. She makes tea for Stephanie and calls Nick. I have a chat and he promises me a quote by e-mail. The girls chat away and I worry that they will talk all night. Lovely though it is I am hungry and want to get away for some food. We head to a shopping centre and eat at Spur which is a ribs and steak chain. It is a good meal and we have a nice evening.

Wednesday 5th August 09 Cape Town

It is an early start to the Landrover place with really big noises coming from the rear and kicking back through the transmission. I am convinced the wheel bearing has gone but wouldn’t tackle it at the side of the road as it usually means stub axle trouble as well and I am not carrying one of those.

The guys pack us off to a big shopping mall and we wander round for 3 hours. I call them and am told Robert will call me back. ½ an hour later he calls and tells me it is the wheel bearings and they have caused quite a bit of damage. They come and pick us up and when we get back he shows me that the stub axle is really bad and the hub and brake disc are also shot. He checks for a part and can get a 2nd hand stub axle for Friday or a new one for later in the day. The hub won’t arrive till tomorrow. His parts prices are not too bad and he trims them a bit to help me out. We leave them to it and get a lift back to Salty Crax. This evening we cook and wait to see what will be the result tomorrow.

Thursday 6th August 09 to Citrusdal

We wait till noon before we get a lift back to the Landrover place. It is almost done and while it is there I get them to do the oil change. They give me a complimentary gearbox oil change and clean the car. Don’t worry though, where we are going it will soon be dusty again.

We finally get off around 3pm and I decide we will start our trip North. We get to Gekko Backpackers and I open the tent. Some of the bedding is damp and Stephanie decides it all needs washing, so much for an easy night. Luke at the backpackers lets us use the machine and start to dry stuff in front of the fire. We end up inside in the dorm rooms. We now have more stuff wet than before.

Friday 7th August 09 to Springbok

I am determined to make quite a bit of ground today and so we get off as soon as we can although it is a lot later than I want. I need to try and impress on Stephanie the fact that the earlier we set off the more relaxed the evenings can be and also the cooler the journey will be. Luke has provided us with a bag of citrus and I will definitely see him on the way back down as he is a very good host.

We stop at Klawer wine lodge to get some wine and find it is very cheap R12 and R14 for their bin end whites and R20 for the reds.

Carrying on I get a few more provisions and we stop a couple of times for the Spring flowers which are showing here in Namaqualand.

We get to a campsite at Springbok and buy wood to make a fire. I notice a while after the sunset we are just about to get the moonrise between the mountains. I point this out to Stephanie and I think this is the first real point where she gets why I wanted to do this trip. It is also her first look at the Milky Way and the Southern Cross.