unURBAN Adventures - Alaska to Argentina to AFRICA!

THANK YOU

WOW ive been reading this thread since last year and i feel in a way a part of your trip/crew

thank you guys for the adventure you are taking us on and for the inspiration to change my life, because of this thread i took a trip to moab came back and got a land cruiser booked my spot for the maya rally and have began to get back in shape as preparation for a soon but not soon enough trip around this ball we call earth.

from my family and I
Thank You
 

JMichaelsJeep

GaiaExplorer
Thank You unUrban! I have just come across your thread and I read the whole thing this weekend! I'm very inspired by your journey. I have been living vicariously through you both! Good luck in the next leg of your journey "home"!
 

unURBAN

Adventurer
Thanks for kind words, and it is good to hear that our travels can inspire others. Looking forward to read about new adventures here on ExPo.

M&E
 

unURBAN

Adventurer
South African hospitality

While we were still traveling in South America we got a friend request from Luisa and Graeme on Facebook. After we mentioned on our blog that your next stop after Argentina would be South Africa we got an invitation to come and stay with them and their two kids, Jessica and Keelan, in Plettenberg Bay. It turned out that they were going to ship their Land Rover to South America and drive north to Alaska this June (www.a2aexpedition.com). In 2010 they travelled with their Landi to Tanzania. As you can imagine we had quite a lot to talk about and it was a lot of information to exchange.



But we did have time to do something else as well like eating the excellent breakfast at the Saturday Market close by.



Our Nissan Patrol needed a service and to get a few other things fixed before we can do some real offroad driving in Africa. There was a Nissan Garage in Knysna, but we had to wait a week before they had time for us and get the parts we needed. Luisa and Graeme said, no problem, and let us stay with them while we waited. One day while waiting Graeme got us on the local radio for an interview about our travels from Alaska to Argentina.



Besides getting the needed parts another reason that we had to wait for one week for the Nissan garage was that it was a long weekend coming up. Our host family took us driving and camping in the Baviaanskloof.







Scenery was beautiful, and it was great drive. We had three nights camping in the Baviaans, and in the campsites we saw that South Africans have a culture for camping. There were all kinds of tents, trailers and vehicles. But more important that anything while camping is the Braai (BBQ). As the sun was setting it was a small could of smoke hanging over the campground, and the smell from the braai’s was amazing. It tasted even better.



After braai, potjie is the other way to cook food while camping in South Africa. Along the road we saw vehicles that had a special Potjie holder on the back of their car.



Potjie is the name of the cast iron pot with three legs that you will cook in over the fire, and it is also be the name for the dish. We had lam potjie one night and two nights with braai in our long weekend in the Baviaans.

The day for the Patrol’s service came, and it was time to say thank you and goodbye to Jessica, Keelan, Luisa and Graeme, and wish them all the best for their travel in America. For us next stop is the Nissan Garage.

Malin
 

Dgurley2000

Adventurer
Incredible! We wish you the best with your Africa travels. So glad you could make it happen and look forward to and appreciate your posts! Was your radio interview in English? What all are you doing to prepare your Patrol for Africa travels?
 

unURBAN

Adventurer
Preparations in South Africa

We have been a bit slow on our updates lately, but no reason to be alarmed. South Africa is the best place to stock up on supplies and prepare for another 30-40 000 kilometers of driving. There wa a questions about preparations, so here is a short update on what we’ve been up to the last couple of weeks besides visiting friends in the area.

The Patrol was up for a service, and as some of you perhaps remember, we had a broken oil seal in Argentina that I believed was caused by worn bearings. At Nissan in Knysna I had the front axle serviced and new bearings fitted. It turned out, however, not to be a problem with the bearings after all, just a bad seal. Still, there are now new bearings on both sides, and I count on these to last me at least 100 000 kilometers on bad roads before even thinking about them again. The patrol also got new filters and a good dose of full syntetic 5w40. Next service maybe in Dar es Salam…



A big thanks to Jack and Nissan in Knysna for excellent service!



After Nissan it was the tires that was up for a check. After about 10 – 15 000 kilometers, I try to have the tires rebalanced. Had to search really hard to find a shop that could help us with our 37 inch tires, but after asking at probably 10 different places we found these guys. They even took the time to rotate the wheels on the rims to get it as good as possible. First time….



South Africa is also a paradise for equipping a 4x4 for overland travel. The South Africans are masters of bush camping, and the ware houses look accordingly. I had for some time tried to source an extra fuel tank for the Patrol, but not really with any luck. I could of course order a new Australian one for a thousand or so usd, but with time for ordering and installation we ended up buying a couple of extra jerry cans. I really don’t like the idea of driving around with fuel on the roof, but I guess I’ll just have to live with it for now. It won’t be filled up unless we really need it though.



At the 4x4 shop we also picked up some braai-equipment (braai is the South African word for BBQ), and a radiator net for driving in grass so that we don’t plug the radiator with seeds. I had no idea, but this is actually a problem for vehicles driving in i.e. Kalahari.



Didn’t buy this one though…

Next stop was a book store with a good map section. We have of course downloaded some new African OpenStreet, and also the Tracks4Africa maps. Still, we like to have an “overview” map for planning and for asking advice from other travellers, and of course a detailed paper based roadmap. After advice from a2aexpedtion we bought the National Geographic African Adventure Atlas (hardback!), massive book, but very detailed. Looks very promising so far.
We also booked an appointment with a travel medicine clinic to get an update on vaccines and medical kit advice for our route through Africa. Most vaccines are the same for Central and South America, so we were pretty much up to date on these. In Africa the yellow fever is mandatory and will be checked on some borders. We also got new stuff for things like diarrhea and infections as the medicines we bought in Norway more than two years ago had expired.

Finally we stopped by a huge supermarket and filled up with some dry food. Alsong the way in Central and South America I’ve had problems finding good breakfast cereals as I’m allergic to hazel nuts and almonds. In South Africa they have an excellent selection, and I bought 8 kilos!
So, now the car is again full of food and lots and lots of stuff. Hopefully our VISA cards will now have some time for cooling down. If we keep up our last weeks spendings, we’ll be shipping home sooner rather than later…



Planning is important, but as a wise editor in one of my favorite magazines put it, don’t let it get in the way of travelling. There is no absolute right or wrong. As an example, both of these made it all the way from Europe to South Africa!

E&M
 

HumphreyBear

Adventurer
I'm really looking forward to your journey, good luck!

As a side note the flag hanging in the shop where you bought the tyres looks like it is meant to be the Australian flag (for ARB), but is in fact the New Zealand flag. Whoops, they're like the our tempestuous little cousins anyway, so...
 

Sidebar

Observer
I just spoke to Espen and he and Malin are on their way to the Namibian border. Bon Voyage guys, we know you will be back.
 

Dgurley2000

Adventurer
E&M - Thanks for the update! I may have missed it - how long are you expecting your Africa travels to last? Do you have a route planned you could share?

P.S. Your new website layout looks very nice!
 

unURBAN

Adventurer
I'm really looking forward to your journey, good luck!
As a side note the flag hanging in the shop where you bought the tyres looks like it is meant to be the Australian flag (for ARB), but is in fact the New Zealand flag. Whoops, they're like the our tempestuous little cousins anyway, so...
You have a good eye, I didn't even think about it... And we didn't buy new tyres, they wanted more than 600 USD pr tyre. The old ones will just have to do for another few thousand kilometers. The pic is from "4x4 MegaWorld" in Cape Town.

E
 

unURBAN

Adventurer
E&M - Thanks for the update! I may have missed it - how long are you expecting your Africa travels to last? Do you have a route planned you could share?
P.S. Your new website layout looks very nice!
Yes, we do. Get back shortly with the route. And thanks for the p.s.! :)

E
 

unURBAN

Adventurer
Cape Agulhas - from here north!



As our journey has taken us all the way north in North America and all the way to the southern tip of Tierra del Fuego in Argentina, we kind of had to drive down to Cape Agulhas to start our African adventure as far south in Africa as you can get.



Out there somewhere is Antarctica

Cape Agulhas is a quiet, sleepy town, and we decided quickly to drive on towards Cape Town. We took the route along the coast, and it is a beautiful drive. It reminded us a lot of the Highway 1 in California, US.



On our way we also stopped at African Overlanders to visit Duncan at see how his new “overlander place” looked like. Are you driving through, or planning to ship in or out of South Africa, ask him for a quote. http://www.africanoverlanders.com

In Cape Town we stayed with friends in Noordhoek, and spend several days to get organized and set things up for the drive north (prev post). Fortunately, our friends insisted that we spent some time being tourists too. While I tried to hook up a temporary manual switch for our aux batteries, Malin went with our hosts to climb Chapman’s Peak. The views were not bad at all…





Espen at Cape Good Hope

Our friends also found took us on a wine tasting tour, as South Africa has lots and lots of excellent vineyards. You pay a couple of dollars and taste three – four – five glasses of wine. Great way of spending a day! This is from Rust en Vrede in Stellenbosch, and the wine was excellent! (they even let us taste a glass from a 170 USD bottle for less than 3 USD!!!)





Stellenbosch area

So, as the Patrol was ready, we were ready, and the fridge and food boxes were full, we set out to Cederberg to go camping. Our hosts came along as guides and braai-experts, and of course as great company. Another example of South African hospitality, and we start to realize that the most dangerous part about South Africa is that it is getting hard to leave.

The next morning we set out on foot to explore the Wolfberg Cracks, and to hike in to the Wolfberg Arch. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, and for other travellers: Yes, it is definitely worth a stop!





Our friends had to go back to Cape Town for work, and we continued north towards the border of Namibia.

More soon!

E&M
 
Top