South African Hospitality
After spending 3 nights in Kruger National Park (we’re still sorting through the pics and we’ll post them in our next Field Status Report) we headed to Nelspruit to stay on Wilhelm’s (quite possibly the most interesting man alive) macadamia nut farm and visit our new friends Susan, Eckhardt and their dog Jesse whom we met at a backpackers in Joburg. Eckhardt served up the best boerewors we’ve had in South Africa! After hiking to a waterfall near Kaapsehoop, Eckhardt and Susan brought us to a fantastic little South African pancake house (closer to a crepe than pancake) – Michel was in absolute heaven! South Africans are incredibly welcoming and Susan (although Australian) and Eckhardt are surely no exception.
We treated the Land Rover to fresh front and rear differential oil, flushed the radiator and picked up a few last supplies before heading north. The last and final complication to registering the Land Rover in South Africa as foreigners, required that we drive back to Pretoria (320km one-way) to pickup our Republic of South Africa issued Traffic Register Number – TRN and finalize the vehicle registration paperwork. After a ‘quick’ 85 km/h trip from Nelspruit-Pretoria, one hour at the licensing department (all time record and no further hassle, complications, confusion or surprise requirements) and we headed straight back to Nelspruit. Despite the countless roadblocks, we’ve now successfully bought, licensed, registered and insured a vehicle in South Africa! All done legitimately without any of the unofficial shortcuts or backdoor arrangements that were offered. Feel free to contact us if you’re a long-term traveller or expat looking for advice on purchasing a vehicle in South Africa as we’re well versed in the convoluted process and willing to share advice based on our experience. If you don’t already have a TRN, allow 2 weeks for the TRN to be issued. One last repair in the Makro (similar to Costco but owned by Walmart) parking lot saw Michel swap out the starter solenoid before trucking to Sabie and Graskrop.
Next to the Fish River Canyon that we hope to visit as we head from Cape town to Namibia, the Blyde River Canyon is the second largest canyon in South Africa. More pancakes in Graskrop, god bless South African pancakes! Tamaira had the chilli filled pancake and Michel tried an Indonesian influenced traditional South African bobotie and chutney specialty; both very tasty.
Kruger round # 2 here we come! We’re looking forward to meeting Susan and Eckhardt at Satara tomorrow.
Cheers, Tamaira & Michel