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WRAP UP {EDITION 37}

 

HELLO + WELCOME  to the Aussie Overlanders Wrap Up {Edition 37} where we let you know what’s been going on as we make our way from Sydney to London, overland through the guts of Africa.

I read on my FaceBook feed recently that “apparently” it’s too late to wish each other a happy new year, well I say ‘eeefff that’, and Gareth and I both wish you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I have a feeling it’s going to be a spectacularly exciting year.

It’s Kirsty here with the Wrap Up today and I’m so excited to be back at the keyboard after a little festive season break.

 

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HELLO, 2014

Over Christmas and New Years we laid low. This time of year is INSANE here in South Africa. People leave their homes in droves and (unlike Australia) enter other cities in packs.

Before we arrived in South Africa we grabbed the chance to rent a house over the festive period. We thought it would be a good idea to escape busy campgrounds and at the time it made us feel gooooood to know we had a spot to lay our heads every night.

As it turned out, we struggled to settle in at the house and the busy city meant that it was tricky to muster enthusiasm to see the sites after waiting hours in traffic. We learnt quickly to get up early to see as much as we could to enjoy the city.

We watched a lot of films and lazed about on the beach, and the couch.

We spent Christmas Skyping the family we missed, fed ourselves a delicious ham for lunch and spent the evening with fellow overlanders Sonja and Jereon from Travel Maniacs (they’ve just driven West Africa, about to drive East).

We still have a bottle of Vueve Cliquot stashed away from our quiet New Years Eve celebration.To be honest, our start to 2014 has been very different to our normal new year beginnings. We feel left waiting to settle in and have chosen to pop that bottle of champagne when we feel ready. Most likely under the stars of a our next special campsite. It’s more our style to be on our own schedule after all.

 

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^ After a morning of Skype calls with family we headed down to the white sands of Clifton Beach in Cape Town, South Africa

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^ Christmas crew of two

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 ^ Christmas lunch

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 ^ A simply delicious christmas spread and a good glass of wine with my favourite person in the World

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 ^ G assuring his brothers back home he had hot English mustard to go with our leg of ham

SUPPORTER ANNOUNCEMENT: BRADT TRAVEL GUIDES

A million thanks goes to Bradt Travel Guides for sending us a bounty of African guide books. We are officially armed and ready for the roads ahead.

In my past overland travel in Africa I’ve used Bradt and thought they were brilliant. We’ll let you know our honest opinion of how they go this time.

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^ Our sweet delivery of Bradt Travel Guides for Africa. We also have a handful of Bradt E-books to lighten the load.

WHERE YOU BEEN?

We have been hiking through the dramatic mountains of the Drakensberg, slowly crawling over the never ending hills of Lesotho (and ripping through it’s mud, while dodging Chinese road builders), spotting our first lions in Addo National Park, being surrounded by 36 elephants in Kariega Private Game Reserve and weaved our way through the famous Garden Route that leads to Cape Town. Waiting for shops to open we headed North for a few days to visiting Langebaan and camp in the Cederberg ranges of the Northern Cape.

We are now sitting tight in Stellenbosch (an hour out from Cape Town) waiting for a Troopy part. Lucky for us our good friend Jacques lives here and he has welcomed us into his (beautiful) home for as long as we need. And double lucky for us, Stellenbosch happens to be the second oldest European settlement in South Africa and those old euros planted some damn good wine farms! We are in heaven with an excellent bottle setting us back a ‘wopping’ $6.

 

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^ Dream realised! Back in Stellenbosch with our mate Jacques. CBC Brewery, Stellenbosch, South Africa

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^ Just your average view from anywhere in the Stellenbosch winelands

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^ Braai time!

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^ Making cured meat loving friends at the Neighbourgood Markets at the Old Biscuit Mill, Cape Town, South Africa

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^ Mojito time at the Neighbourgood Markets at the Old Biscuit Mill, Cape Town, South Africa (it may be 10am)

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^ African Penguins, Boulders Beach, Cape Town, South Africa

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^ Hiking (and leaping) in the Drakensberg, South Africa

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^ Sani Pass into Lesotho, our first African border crossing with the Troopy

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^ Storms River, Garden Route, South Africa

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^ Cederberg Conservancy, South Africa

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^ Kariega Private Game Reserve, South Africa

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^ We reached the Southernmost point in Africa! It’s all up from here.

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^ Kalk Bay, Cape Town

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^ Chapman Peak drive, Cape Town, South Africa

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^ Beach life at Cape Point, South Africa

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^ Our favourite campsite so far found in Citrusdal, South Africa. All by ourselves after being told by the generous farmer Piet ‘Park on my farm wherever you want, and it’s on the house’

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^ Collecting water as temperatures soar to 40 degrees

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^ South Africa in bloom

TROOPY GOT HOT 

Troopy has been running exceptionally well, except for one hitch. It’s overheated on two occasions when heading up mountains.

After the festive season died off we headed straight to the mechanic. Luckily we had an excellent recommendation to go and see Alan. He found the issue and gave Troops a fastidious going over. For any overlanders out there taking notes we will put his contact details on the Travel Notes page.

Our issue was a broken thermostat. A key component that regulates the engine’s temperature. Basically ours was getting stuck and not allowing enough cool water through. The part has been on order from Namibia and after a few days wait it arrived yesterday! Yeeehah!

G is writing up a post on the Troopy trauma. Stay tuned.

 

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^ Overheating in Cederberg up the top of a pass

 

LOVING + NOT LOVING SO MUCH

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^ Dirk, Zone and the most well behaved kids in the World from The Safari Co. show us how incredible South Africa gets in Kariega Private Game Reserve

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^ Braaing in Langebaan with Langebaan-Sunset overlanders

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^ Spot the difference, with Travel Maniacs from Holland

NOT LOVING SO MUCH: Our hearts are aching from seeing the dramatic divide between the poor and rich +  Insane drivers, South Africa’s road death roll over december was 39 people a day, Australia’s was less than 1.

LOVING: South Africans generous spirit + a private game drive with Kariega game reserve +  Stellenbosch’s wine + Elephants, Lions and Rhinos! + Impressive mechanics + Starry nights + Southernmost point of Africa + Walking on a quiet beach with ostriches in Cape Point National Park. + Mastering the art of building a braai (a wood bbq) in seconds + seeing the film Mandela on South Africa’s shores + Having a South African farmer generously invite us camp on his property

 

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That’s us all wrapped up. Over the next few days we will post more details about our adventures, but we like this old routine of a Wrap Up to tie it all together and give you a behind the scenes snapshot.

Thanks as always for your support and encouragement. We are itching to get back on the road and when we get the Troopy back we will be putting our foot down and heading north towards Namibia.

 

Cheers

GK Signature

 

 

 

Aussie Overlanders Yellow Divider1

Aussie Overlanders Yellow Divider1

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