Preparation is key


I do not think anyone who has ever been on a planned trip can honestly say everything went according to said plan. We therefore decided early on that we would do minor preparation and the most basic research. Just enough so that we can tell people “Do not worry, we’ve got this” without our voices making that high-pitched, nervous sound.

Car preparation: The preparation was mainly getting Bertus the Beetle to look the part of the adventurous version of Herbie the Love Bug. To do that, Clayton made a roof rack for our tent, put on bigger tires (taxi edition) and lifted the suspension. This was something the Joburg Beetle Mechanic community could not quote fathom. Clayton began to phone around and finally found a place that seemed inspired after he explained what we planned to do with Bertus. After the conversion, without luggage, the lowest point on Bertus is 300mm from the ground – which Clayton assured me will be enough…

Navigation: Now that we could go anywhere with the lifted suspension, we had to navigate ourselves. If you have ever driven in a Beetle you might have noticed that the windscreen is not big. We seemed to forgot that when we bought our Garmin NuviCam GPS that basically takes up a third of the windscreen. The only place we are able to put it, is on the cubby-hole cover – making the camera part of the NuviCAM pretty much useless. Luckily, we have a GoPro that will do the job.  

Equipment: After much deliberation and numerous visits to Makro and Outdoor Warehouse we finally purchased our equipment. The list includes the CADAC Safari Chef, a table and 2 camp chairs, the usual cutlery and crockery suspects, self-inflatable mattresses and comfy sleeping bags, a tent that we can pitch without considering getting a divorce, a dome gazebo that might cause a divorce,  a solar shower, 2 Jerry cans for fuel and a portable water tank.

Bertus in progress
Fitting the Jerry cans on the sides – a sad moment for my dad who doesn’t believe we will make it pass Worcester – how can we destroy a perfect beetle body with jerry can mounting holes?! Jokes on him, we ain’t even going to Worcester!

We initially planned not to take a fridge/freezer. We told ourselves that we really want to experience local food and live off the land, but deep down we both know that it is because we don’t have space for it in the car never-mind the non-existent budget. Luckily a good Samaritan lend us his cooler that can plug into the lighter-plug. It is small and compact and therefore perfect! At least we will have cold water and drinks.

Tools: Clayton also has a bunch of tools that I am not even going to attempt to list but the words air compressor was mentioned before some basics Beetle spares – which we won’t need because Bertus is mechanically perfect, or so Clayton tells me…


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