April 25, 2014
Jonine was so wonderful to us I bought her flowers. The roses were almost as red as her hair and both accentuated her beautiful blue eyes.
We thought today would be departure day but bureaucracy prevails and it takes us all day to get a road worthy certificate on the truck and get our license plate renewed. Still pretty amazing that in six days we have purchased a perfectly outfitted 4WD and upgraded it with some frills, installed a full on safe big enough to hold laptop, cameras and more, got insurance, and have the truck registered in our names, bought groceries and tools and some camping gear we did not want to fly with, have cell phones and more. The registration alone often takes locals 3-4 weeks to accomplish.
It has been fun seeing the other people come in and out of the Bushlore 4×4 rental shop to get their vehicles for their 2-4 week trips. One couple we met today had bicycled though Zamiba and Botswana and were treating themselves to a 4WD to see a bit more country. Rob, Jonine and crew at Bushlore have been fantastic. They helped us every step of the way and were totally committed to making sure the truck was in optimal shape for our trip.
Late this afternoon we got a call from our friend Tina who lives near Durban and whom we met while sailing across the Pacific – a rendezvous is planned in a few days.
April 23, 2014
Today we went to Bushlore – the 4WD Safari rental company from whom we are buying our vehicle. It was in great shape and the company is fantastic. What a buttoned up operation. They helped us get our paperwork with the motor vehicle department, our insurance, the vehicle emergency tracking system in our name and made sure the vehicle was all set to go. You can tell this company is successful because they take great care of their customers. After going over all the gear in the truck we did an equipment shopping run to a big Target type of store called Makro (a chain we used often while sailing through Asia.) We were able to pick up 90% of our long list of gear all in one place.. We have another day or two of sorting things and buying food and we should be off. Buying this fully outfitted vehicle while we were still in the US easily saved us two weeks or more.
We love learning local colloquialisms in our travels. Australia of course is the most colorful with an entire language called “strine.” One example from Australia is that a baby’s pacifier is called a dummy and when an adult throws a tantrum or starts screaming about something he is referred to as “spitting the dummy.” Australia’s neighbor New Zealand has a colorful description of outhouses- they are called “long drops.” The one we heard here today was one I’ve heard once before elsewhere – some one was telling us to go down the road past the speed bumps which he referred to as “sleeping policemen.”
April 19, 2014
In Heathrow airport. 9 hour flight behind us , 12 hour flight next. The coffee shop in the airport is named Giraffe-just to get us in the mood for Africa
April 18, 2014
When Dee made our flight reservations she traded miles for the tickets but we still had to pay nearly $700 each in taxes and fees. We later realized that because of So. Africa’s extended Easter holiday we would have 3 days to cool our heels in Johannesburg before we could pick up our truck. We considered delaying our flight a day or two but in the end kept the initial reservation.
Last night we arrived at DIA for our flight to London and on to Johannesburg only to find that BA had switched the London flight to a smaller airplane and our flight was now overbooked. They offered us $800 cash each to stay in Denver an extra day and travel the next day. On top of that they comped us meals and a hotel, (though we turned down the hotel and returned to my mom’s house). We’ve both traveled something approaching 2 million airline miles and most of it was for business when we were always on a tight schedule. How nice to flexible and take advantage of this and get paid for a BETTER schedule.
So thank you BA- we are $1,600 richer and have traded a day of waiting in So. Africa for a day of getting to see good friends in Denver.
April 16, 2014
A week ago I sent an email to a number of friends telling them of our trip. One friend responded she was jealous. I replied that the truck had a back seat and could hold two more. Over the next few hours more emails went back and forth. Bottom line – within 48 hours of hearing about our trip our friends had made the decision to join us in Namibia and purchased tickets. Carpe Diem– how’s that for seizing the day.
Our friends who will be joining us are Brian and Sarah who live in New Zealand and owned the sailboat Anon. We sailed together from Australia through Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. We are always excited for new adventures with old friends.
Can’t wait to see you guys.
April 13, 2014
The countdown continues. We’ve finally bought every item on our long list. We spent some time today spraying our clothes with a semi permanent insect repellent called Permethrin which we have used before successfully. Hopefully it will keep away those malarial mosquitos. The next few days we have to vacate the house we are in and move all our stuff either back into storage or to our motorhome.
We’ll be missing summer in Salida. That means missing mountain biking and kayaking. Right now is the transition of seasons- the end of winter and ski season and the beginning of spring and summer sports. The last few days I managed to cram in a day of flying my gyroplane, one day of mountain biking and a last day of skiing. It is fun to watch the quick transition here from skiing to kayaking. The ski hill is still open but in the warm afternoons we are already seeing kayakers on the river that runs right through town. Some of the locals like to combine the two so the switch of seasons is really seamless.