We left Coffee Bay on Monday 31 July. Bertus started with the first turn which was a good sign. We drove through the same villages again, passing the black pigs and luckily not scaring any kids this time round, reaching the N2 with one minor hiccup when we stopped for fuel. The car would not start but that was fortunately easy to solve, this time but nearly ended with me in a big puddle of, let us say mud…?
Navigating through Mthatha was quite a mission as Bertus does not have the best brakes and everybody seemed to brake for no apparent reason other than to annoy us. We made it through without incident which is a miracle in itself and continued north. Just after Qumbu, Bertus realized that he has not given us many issues today so he decided to stop working. Just stop. No warning, nothing. It could not be the petrol because we filled up less than 50km ago. We checked the spark, it was working so it was not the coil. Not sure what to do this time round we stood next to the side of the road waiting for the white bakkie that always seems to arrive just as we are in need of help.
I have a theory about that – I imagine our guardian angels sitting somewhere, eating popcorn, watching all of this going down, when all of the sudden they realize that hey, those are their monkeys and this is their circus. So they pick up the phone and call the guy in a white bakkie – who they by now have on speed dial – and 5 – 10 minutes later he arrives.
This time our guy in a white bakkie were 2 cops, soon followed by the sheriff of the court in Qumbu, also in a white bakkie. After walking around the car a couple of times, not sure what to do, the cops gave us their direct mobile number and told the sheriff to stay with us until they return (they were heading off to a crime scene and very official police business). Clayton figured out that there was an airlock in the fuel tank and after blowing on a couple of pipes, fiddling here and there, Bertus decided to start again. We waved goodbye to the Sheriff – a very nice man – and continued on our merry way, feeling much safer knowing that we had the local SAPS direct mobile number.
Just after Kokstad the scenery changed from treeless hills to dense forests and without any warning we were driving in the rain through beautiful mountain passes surrounded by trees. Close to Harding, Bertus decided to stop again. Clayton got out, blew on a couple of pipes and off we went. There was a bizarre normality to it by now.
We arrived in Port Shepstone just after 18:00 – it took us 8 hours to drive 380km from Coffee bay and we were exhausted. We got to the Spot Backpackers, made pasty soya mince and smash and went to bed. I honestly wished I did not have to write the previous sentence but hey! beggars cannot be choosers.