Out of the bush and into the jungle

Due to the time it took to cross the border, we headed for the nearest large town to stock up and find a camp. This was Zeerust, about an hour due south of the border. We stocked up, got some mobile coverage again and headed for a camp on the edge of town. It was a spartan affair, and we made a quick pasta dinner and we started to feel the temperature drop considerably compared to what we’re used to – even Gareth put his fleece on – must be a day to note!

We were going to head to the Pilansberg park area, but on the way had a resurgence of the steering wobble problems, and so decided to head into the Jo’burg sprawl and get it looked at by another mechanic. We found a nice campsite far enough outside of the sprawl to be in the country, but close enough to get to the garage in half an hour.

We met Hugo, a Dutchman in his Iveco van who was waiting for his wife and son to turn up the following day at the airport, and had a good chat. He popped around as our dinner was cooking and asked “if we like whiskey?”. Bear, woods and Pope, Catholic sprung to mind and we popped over to his van for a nose around and to take him up on his kind offer Smile

In the morning, we headed to the garage and they thought it was because of a wheel imbalance due to a missing weight. They swapped the front right wheel for the spare to check their theory and it seemed to work. So we went off to get the original balanced and checked. We then put the original back on instead of the spare and initially it was ok. We went into the town to get supplies. We ended up in a massive mall and it was such a culture shock from being in the bush with not many around. Sadly, on the way, the wobble returned and we called the guy to try and squeeze in on a Friday afternoon. He was amenable and started looking at all sorts, even convincing himself that the driver’s side shock was a bit bent. Hopefully not as that’s a few more quid as you have to replace them in pairs…

He tried checking a few more things, but none of these sorted the problem out, so he said he wanted to give it a full going over on Monday to get to the bottom of it. We phoned the campsite again knowing they were expecting a caravan club to descend on the place and she said that not the full amount of people were coming. So we got some more supplies and headed back in the dusk, slightly paranoid about stopping at lights as stories of car-jackings went through our heads. It was all fine though and we pitched up.

In the morning we bumped into one of the two Brit accents in the caravan club party and they invited us to their dinner that evening of Oxtail stew done in a potjie, a massive cast iron pot with three legs that just sits in the fire. We went round and had a great time and the food, cooked for about 5 hours, was fantastic.

We are now spending a leisurely Sunday chilling, doing internet research on possible causes of the wobble, a bit of planning and waiting for the garage to open tomorrow.

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