Writing these posts has become one of my great pleasures, I try not to think about “what next” and let it happen, but sometimes I engineer a situation in the hope of generating some kind of adventurous story.
Cape Town is a magical place; the light, the air, the food, the wine, the people, the price and the environment are all about as perfect as you can imagine. I can’t think of a place that is better suited to fun filled holidays than the Cape, it really does tick every box. (Especially if the threat of being robbed at any moment adds a certain knee trembling frizzant for you)
With a trip to Cape Town in the diary for Christmas I started planning the adventure side of our holiday and in particular getting my boys into the bush for some African camping. What better way to do that than from a 20 year old Land Rover Defender 110. I was lucky enough to come across Bushpig Safaris an awesome company run out of a suburb of Cape Town that supplies expedition ready Land Rovers. I got in touch and persuaded Dave to rent me a Land Rover 110 not so much expedition ready, but more cruising The Cape ready.
This thing was awesome.
I feel very disloyal to my Pajero, but really a Defender is the epitomy of cool vehicles, oozing British African heritage. I bloody loved it. We cruised about the Cape for our whole holiday in proper style in one of the coolest vehicles I have ever driven, deploying the “Defender wave” at every opportunity we could.
I had planned a long weekend expedition into the Cederberg Mountains (about 4 hours north of Cape Town) in particular to a Kagga Kamma, a private nature reserve that has some stunning 4×4 routes, wild enough wildlife to blow the boys minds and amazing campsites. In particular I was heading for Bobbejaanskraans Camp. Bushpig safaris were kind enough to rent me camping equipment so I didn’t have to buy anything, so I provisioned the truck, planned my route (bought a map for the wrong place…crossed my fingers google might work) unpacked, checked and repacked the kit, checked the car over (kicked its tyres, all seemed in order) loaded 2 excited boys up and headed for the real wilderness, for a proper adventure.
It all was going rather well, rather too well.
What I hadn’t taken into account was one key member of the team not playing ball.
The f*cking Land Rover broke down. Of course it bloody did.
The clutch pedal sank to the floor like a wet flannel, I know it wasn’t good. We coasted to the side of the road and all dreams of adventure came to an equally abrupt halt. After some McGuiver like bush mechanicerary we limped into a petrol station to await rescue. The clutch slave cylinder had blown it seals and dumped its liquid onto the road, the only solution was a replacement cylinder and that wasn’t a quick enough fix for us to get back on the road that day.
You don’t rent a twenty year old Land Rover without the expectation of spending some time at the side of the road, but I found it hard to mask my disappointment. Fortunately South Africa’s other great treasure than adventure is wine, so I found a way through the disappointment. Our schedule in Cape Town didn’t allow for any other mega road trips, so we took to the surf, the mountain, the national park, the beaches and the restaurants for a different kind of adventure.
Incidentally Bushpig Safaris were awesome. They rescued the truck, gave me a different defender to use whilst they fixed the green one and then returned it back to me in excellent working order. The truck didn’t miss a beat after that, we just couldn’t fit in another proper adventure around Christmas and New Year.
Maybe next year…