Sunday, April 06, 2008


This weekend we wanted to try out some 4x4 trails to test out Foxy's new rear diff lock and low range gears, break open our new high-lift jack and try sleeping in our roof-top tent.

So late Saturday afternoon (after another day of running around and preparations), we drove 30 minutes north of Cape Town to Melkbos 4x4.

This place was definitely not one of your usual charming and pretty South African campsites. It looked more like a junkyard with sand and litter and abandoned vehicles everywhere. No wonder there were no pictures on their website.

Upon arriving, we realized our low range gear did not engage properly, and so there was no point in going on the trails. We had to get it fixed first.

Still, wanting to make the best of it, we camped in our roof-top tent for the first time and with friends Maria and Paul joining us, cooked up a delicious braai dinner and sat around a big bonfire. Maria even remarked the "campsite" didn't look so bad in the dark - and after some wine and champagne.

The next morning we woke up to some vicious wind and rain and unanimously decided to head off in search of a warm cozy cafe somewhere to have breakfast.

In a way, the night was a good test to see if the tent could withstand all the wind and rain. I'm happy to report it did, beautifully.

The only slight worry is a small tear forming on the one side of the canvas which will have to be repaired immediately. Another item to add to our ever- growing list!

We found an open cafe (not easy to do on an early Sunday morning) and warmed up with hot coffee and cappuccinos. See pic of us chomping on cinnamon french toast and flapjacks, happy to be somewhere with four walls and a roof.

I think we'll have to develop a bit more tolerance during our overland drive though since there won't be too many opportunities to escape to such comforts. Still.

The day wasn't wasted as we managed to take apart the gear box and fix the low-range gear stick problem!!

Bursting with pride as ad-hoc mechanics, we spent the rest of the day with Matt fixing the console box, amplifier for our sound system, hood latch, etc., and me sorting out all of our gear and equipment in piles.

Our living room floor is bare no more! Now the real challenge lies in trying to strategically pack every single piece of item in Foxy to maximize her space and minimize hassle of finding that item when we desperately need it, like say, in the Serengeti desert.

It's all coming together; i can chart our preparation progress, albeit slower than we want. But soon we shall be on the road, date still undetermined, and we'll know we will have done what we could to prepare for this journey.

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