African Overland Trip 2011

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Day 126 Thursday 4th August (RS): Tsumkwe ? Grootfontein

Posted by Peter Douet on August 15, 2011 at 5:00 PM

The Hawkins boys spend the best part of the morning welding re-bar to a scaffold pole to make a rigid towbar to make life easier on the 300km journey ahead. At last we set off and not 15 mins into the journey, Pete tries the Cruiser engine under no load (he has removed the prop shafts to enable towing without damaging the gearbox) and the engine idles perfectly: typical. We decide it is worth trying it out properly and so Pete once more crawls in the dust under his naughty motorcar and refits the prop shafts. 20 mins later and we are ready for the off: only to find that under load, she is not having any of it and coughs and stalls: back to towing! Rubbish!

We eventually make the distance, stopping briefly for a lunch of crackers and cold mash potato left overs, arriving in Grootfontein just before 5pm and a garage. As Pete begins to demonstrate the issue to the mechanic, he notices that the fuel filter is loose, allowing air into the system. Tightening the filter appears to rectify all issues: looks like his welding had done the trick after all but unfortunately, the fuel filter had also been changed during the early stages of diagnosing the fault and was not tight enough: turns out we could have got away without the tow after all!

We get supplies and head for a campsite on the edge of town: a game farm where we discover that not only do they have tame warthogs which like their bellies rubbed (much like a dog) but there is also a caracal and a huge male lion! Thankfully we were warned about it before it woke us in the night, grunting very loudly only a few meters from our tents (I should mention that it was in fenced enclosure adjacent to our camp). Apparently it has escaped previously and killed 2 horses instantly: the owner had to take a huge steak, get the lion to chomp down, and drag it back into the enclosure! Rather him than me! It just goes to show that some animals are not meant to be pets even though we also saw the son call the lion over and pet it through the fence.

We dined in the campsite restaurant that night and what a fantastic meal it was. Most of us opted for Eland steaks and they were lean, full of flavour and very tender: absolutely delicious!

 

 


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