Six weeks ago we handed over the keys to our Troopy in Australia to have it shipped to Africa. We walked away excited and nervous as all hell. It was with similar feelings we woke the day it came to collect it.
We had arranged with our (incredible) shipping agent, Maurita, that we would come down first thing in the morning to finalise payment. Unfortunately there were a couple of huge fees in amongst the many, which according to Maurita, would have been far cheaper if we had gone with a different shipping company or had been given the option/know-how by our Australian agents. Ouch.
For the overlanders out there take a look at our Travel Notes section for specifics.
With our hearts up in our throats we soon jumped in Maurita’s car and zoomed off towards the port. At this point it seemed insane that we were actually going to pick up the Troopy. We were still coming to terms with the fact WE were in Africa, let alone our Troopy!
The moment we saw the Troopy’s backside poking out of it’s container doors I squealed and started welling with tears. It was such a big emotional moment for us both. It had arrived! Celebrations were quickly interrupted when we realised our shipping guys in Australia hadn’t disconnected the batteries (which is required by law) and we had two heavy duty batteries on our hands without enough charge to actually start the Troopy.
G lurched into action fetching the jumper leads, supported by a growing crew of port guys generously helping out.
First attempt: Jump start ourselves from the auxiliary battery. Doesn’t work.
Second attempt: Jump start ourselves with a spare battery laying around. Doesn’t work.
Third attempt: Jump start from a yellow forklift. Doesn’t work.
Fourth attempt: Jump start from a massive truck that pulls into the port and offers his battery. Doesn’t work.
Fifth attempt: Switch auxiliary battery into starter battery position, jump start with massive truck. WORKS!
Que: Dancing, wolf whistles and jumping up and down. Huge handshakes and man hugs with the 4 guys standing around insisting on helping us. And Maurita in her wisdom saying, ‘Sometimes these challenges are good for your character, you know“. Just minutes into having the Troop here and already the adventure had begun!
Our little guardian angel in her tiny car whizzed us away and guided us along the streets to fill up. Lucky for us it’s no problem here to fill up the tanks with the Troopy still ticking over.
Maurita then continued to guide us all the way home to our lodge, ‘I’ll get you most of the way home, I don’t want you getting lost’. I’m not sure how she thinks we are going to get all the way up Africa if we can’t get back to the lodge, but in that huge moment of driving on African soil for the first time we were very grateful! We shared big hugs and I again welled up saying goodbye, and she cooed with a very South African ‘Uuuck man, shame‘.
Rather then spend the evening prepping the Troopy for the road ahead like good little overlanders, we somehow got chatting to a couple of Swedish guys and collapsed into their company for the evening. As if by design, it was just what we needed.
^ Troopy has arrived in South Africa!
^ Unpacking Troopy
^ Pushing the Troops out of the container to find the batteries were not disconnected for shipping and we now have 2 batteries that won’t start the rig
^ Port Traffic
^ Attempted jump start from a forklift
^ Maurita our little shipping guardian angel guiding us on our first 30 minutes on African soil!
^ Straight into Battery Clinic in Durban. Great guys who thoroughly tested it all out.
^ Our 2 strapping Swedish mates send us off
^ Leaving our base in Durban for the final time. Let’s go!