“If you want to buy a pint of milk, take the car. If you want to get back to the UK, fly Virgin.” This was the advice that we received from a reclining, hiccuping Jeremy Clarkson at the Mount Nelson hotel after he heard about our forthcoming trans African overland adventure.
Lula, our Landy, already had a roof tent, fridge, freezer and heated shower, a bit like a hotel-on-wheels but now her windows have been tinted and she has been properly pimped at the Safari Centre. We are ready for expedition with more security, safes, a water tank and even a snorkel.
Each modification has brought our comfortable time in leafy Constantia closer to it’s end. It is dangerous even here (there have been three armed robbery’s in our street in Cape Town this month alone) and the prospect of camping out is quite terrifying! The enormous gulf between rich and poor means that there will always be crime in Africa and when we hit the road we shall be counting on the kindness of strangers who have very little. Lachlan and Bow Wow seem unperturbed but as our journey becomes more of a reality and our departure imminent I can’t help but worry for our safety.
We have been spending lots of time with our great friend, Pat, the pilot. She is like Indiana Jane having traveled SOLO all over Africa in her defender, tiger moth airplane and yacht. She had some wonderful advice for us; its all about attitude apparently and it is much safer to be assertive than submissive. We are to always carry sweets, not for the children but for the grown ups, especially at border crossings and we must be friendly but aloof.
She also told us that the idea of driving through the whole of Africa in one great step is too much. We have to see it in small steps, planning each day as it comes and eventually, in much the same way that we take the car to buy a pint of milk everyday, sooner or later, we will make it home.
Just in case we can’t get the real deal, powdered Klim (‘milk’ spelt backwards) is one of the must have items on our survival list!
We leave this week… Lucie x