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Een Zuid-Afrikaans verhaal


A series of events triggered what could have been a serious disaster. First, we (the Cruiser) route scouted the river bed until we found a suitable spot to cross. Then we got the Landy and Nissan in, shortly afterwards the Hilux followed, with the trailer. In short, the Hilux got stuck, we recovered the Hilux after deflating tires, then the Landy started the water crossing (with proper bow wave and following the local path markers), one Electronic Black box failed on the Landy, Cruiser went into the river to anchor the Landy so that she didnıt start drifting downriver, then winched Landy as close possible before winch decided to take some leave, Nissan returned the assist Hilux, got stuck itself, freed at last, left the trailer behind, Hilux finally arrived and started assisting winching Cruiser, but was a little light in the pants for the Cruiser, in the mean time the Nissan got back to the beach, linked Nissan up with Hilux to anchor winching the Cruiser, put the cable doublers in place, freed the Cruiser, Cruiser beached the Landy and four hours later, after some serious mud and sand digging by the Cruiser, the Landy was on high ground! In the mean time, while the Cruiser was sitting the in the water winching the Landy, the alarm and central locking picked up some water, and later that night developed itıs own personality ­ tik, tuk, click, cluck, unlocking and locking itself! She had the last laugh at 2h00 in the morning when her alarm decided to go off, and woke the entire camp!

We were very lucky not to loose the vehicle due to everybody on the trip pitching in to help with the recovery! And for those wondering, yes, even the Cruiser took on water - the cab was ankle deep in water

We camped that night next to the river, and spent most of the following day drying and cleaning the vehicles, whilst the otherıs route scouted further down the river to see if we can find a better spot to cross. Ron, our resident mechanic, in the mean time started tracing all possible connections and cleaning them and drying them on the Landy. By midday we still had no joy in getting the Landy to move, and had to evaluate aborting the trip or finding an alternate route back to Xai-Xai, as we knew this was the closest town where we would be able to at least get cell phone reception and could then, hopefully, with the assistance from Land Rover SA, get the vehicle to move on itıs own steam - wishful thinking it proved to be! Still wondering if the computer in the black box went "General Protection Failure " Retry or Abort"

From Mapai we followed a two-spoor track that led us to a hunting and off-road camp run by Don Peterson (Gaza Safaris) - S23 13.831 E31 34.944. On the way to the camp we overnight in the bush, and from the camp we started our great little trek south east to Xai-Xai. With the Landy in tow, only able to travel in low range due to the road conditions, we reached Xai-Xai the following night. To our dismay we realised that after three days of hard travelling we were only 150kmıs north of Johannesburg. In Xai-Xai Land Roverıs support proved to be abysmal, as it also proved at the end of the trip when we took the Landy in for repairs. We repacked the vehicles so that our wet travellers ­ Stuart and Charnelle - could join us for the rest of the trip. With the Nissan departing towards Maputo to dump the Landy at Stutterfords, the rest of the convoy starting trekking north, three days behind schedule.


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