The day everything went wrong!

August 5, 2016 - Beaufort-West, South Africa


We finally got away at about 11.30!!!  Everything that could go wrong went wrong!  But at last we were on the road.  The Hex River Valley was beautiful with snow-capped mountains to our left and the grape vines and fruit trees shining in the sun on a lovely clear day.


We then headed on into the Karoo, a large flat open semi-desert region.  It was once a huge inland sea before the continents started drifting apart.  An fossil rich area beloved by paleantologists.


All went well until we were close to Matjiesfontein (about 250 km from our destination) when Terry started to look worried – the engine temperature was going up!  We stopped in Matjiesfontein and waited for the water to cool down, filled the radiator and limped to Laingsburg (another 100 km, or so).  We found a workshop in this little Karoo town, and were told that we probably needed a new cylinder head gasket and they would have to order one from Worcester (the nearest big town) which would mean we would be held up until at least Monday.  However, the mechanic suggested that we limp on to Beaufort West (another 250 km) as that is a bigger town and they would have repair shops and spares.


So we set off gingerly, driving at 80 kph, with the heater on full blast to keep the engine cooler.  Also we had lots of water with us in case we needed to top up the radiator.  As it happened we made it to the Karoo National Park (our stop over point) without any more temperature problems.  But by now it was 7.30 pm and dark and getting cold.  So we made a fire and set up the tent in the dark.  Fortunately we have a good light which meant we weren’t in complete darkness.


Feeling really low:


Will we find a repair shop in Beaufort West?


What if we are stuck n Beaufort West until Monday


It’s freezing cold!!!


Kgalagadi 2013 742


Richard Hines:
August 5, 2016
It makes our trips to the Isle of Wight seem a bit tame.
We look forward to your next report
Richard & Pauline
Barry Thomas:
August 5, 2016
I'm envious that you're on the road again even though we just arrived back today from 2 months in the UK ! Got loads of tales to tell when you get back
Barry and Mina
Heather Howell:
August 6, 2016
Thanks for the "backslash", Mary. We wondered why we couldn't get through. Hope all goes better from now.
Heather and Peter
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