land cruiser says, “I’m high maintenance!”


The day I wrote my last blog entry was the day our land cruiser began giving us a lot of trouble and interfered with our plans. When our guide, Stephan, left Joburg to pick us up in Cape town (about a 18-20 hr drive), the 2008 Land cruiser (only 40,000 km) got stuck in 4-wheel drive. Stephan stopped at a few Toyota mechanics but none of them could be bothered enough to figure out the problem. So on he drove in 4-wheel, the land cruiser guzzling diesel twice as fast. We drove 10 days in 4-wheel drive until we reached the first proper town of Swakopmund. A proper town being more than a one horse town with more than a bottle store (drankwinkel), post office, petrol station, general store and a church. We arrived on a Saturday so everything closed by midday and Sunday the whole town was shut with only a few restaurants open. Must have been how life was in the States 30 years ago.

After getting my fill of activities-sand boarding and quad biking on the dunes, we were ready to continue our journey according to plan.  Stephan woke really early to go to the mechanic only to discover it was the rear def shaft causing all the trouble. The part was no where to be found in Namibia so we had to fly the part in from South Africa. Ok fine, will have an extra day in Swakopmund. Bundu safari’s booked us a free dolphin cruise to make up for the delay. Very nice. Saw plenty of dolphins but I just wanted to be back on the road.

To our dismay, some high profile idiot at Toyota decided to ignore the urgent message and the fact that Bundu paidn plenty for the part to be sent by plane and put the part on a truck. A 2nd day added to our stay in Swakop. Instead of 2nights it became 4nights. It became a joke. Hmmm… maybe will be stuck in Swakop and have to open a business here. The Norwegian couple joked they’d open a bakery. I said I’d open a psychiatry clinic for all the people who can’t get out of the darn town. HA.  The day we were meant to leave we grabbed a bite to eat at a small Italian café. The couple was very Italian and when we asked how they ended up in Swakop they said they were on holiday and liked it and Italy has too many immigrants these days so they moved… to be immigrants themselves.hmmm. Don’t think they realized the silliness of there statement. HA. Why they’d choose to move to Swakop, I’m not sure. It has all you’re necessities with desert and ocean but I’d go a little crazy. I couldn’t live in Namibia.

The car was still not fixed but we couldn’t loose any more time as we already lost 2 days of our itinerary so Stephan made a plan and hired a local guide to drive us to Etosha National Park so we could be on schedule. Meanwhile, Stephan waited till the land cruiser was fixed. Turns out Maurius, our temporary  guide was quite upmarket.

We arrived at camp and before we even pulled into our campsite, we all got out and had a drink at the bar. He was too lazy too cook so we enjoyed a cooked meal at the camp. Not cheap. He was also too lazy to pull out cereal boxes, yougurt and light the propane stove for tea and coffee in the morning so we enjoyed the luxury of eating at the camp. The following day was the same… another night of lodge/camp cooking. No complaints but it felt a bit strange.Maurius was being paid quite well to virtually just drive and share his knowledge. He should have been cooking but he didn’t care.  He was sending Bundu the bill.





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