The Netherlands 

We're ready, tomorrow we will be flying into Cape Town and start our trip!

Today our car started her journey! We brought her to the port of Antwerp this morning, she will be shipped on monday with Hoegh Autoliners. If all goes well, she should arrive in Port Elizabeth a few days before we arrive. We must say it did hurt a bit to leave her all alone (with another 9000 cars) in Antwerp. We'll be thinking of her...

Last minute stress!! Last saturday we found a defect at the left rear wheel, we needed a special part, but nobody had it! The next wednesday we had the part and Alexander went back to Vreugdenhill 4x4 to replace it, that went well.
We also noticed the alternator-light was sometimes blinking, dispite the brand new alternator! So Alexander replaced some wiring. But on the way home, it wass still blinking... A new alternator was ordered (again!) and the next day Alexander returned to replace the alternator. But that did not go too well, a part of the alternator broke whilst mounting it. So a trip to the alternator-people had to be made, they also made some mistakes, so more trips to the alternator-people were needed after that. BUT, at the end of thursday (car was due in Antwerp on friday at 11 a.m.) the alternator was in AND it worked!!!

Oh yeah! Our carnet has arrived! Things are really speeding up now. The car is leaving on Friday the 4th of August, so a lot of last minute things have to be done. Very very excited!

Yesterday we went to practice off-roading on the Maasvlakte. It took only 10 minutes for us to get extremely stuck... Lots of other off-roaders offered help, but we preferred on trying to get out by ourselves first, and it worked! We did have to use the winch though. See the pictures! We also mailed our application for the Carnet, finally. And wired the deposit as well. We hope to see our Carnet soon (Karina Stephani from the ADAC has been very friendly). Only 2 more weeks and our Landy will be shipped, lots of stuff to do....

Today we had another full day at Vreugdenhil 4x4 with Albert and Bertus. We checked the complete engine bay. Of couse some things had to be replaced, like the dynamo, waterpump, thermostat, all the waterhoses, radiator and some more stuff... We also made a 12V plug in the roof, so that we can install lamps on the roof when the roofrack is placed in Cape Town.

Our ship is booked! The Landy will be leaving us on the 5th of August and will arrive in Port Elizabeth on the 26th. She will be sailing on the Hoegh Durban 20. We're glad this is arranged, becausu now we can carry on with preparations...

Almost a huge problem today! Jan-Willem was driving on the A44 when he heard a loud rattling sound. He stopped and checked it out but couldn't find anything, and after that he didn’t hear anything anymore. But when he arrived at my place, we found that the left rear wheel had lost two of it's nuts! And the other three were extremely loose, we almost lost a wheel!! Strange enough, the nuts on all the wheels were a bit loose, very dangerous! How this happened? No idea, but we'll have to keep an eye on it. I also found out what the sound in the steering was. I found that the protection plate for the steering, wich was removed and altered to fit the winch bumper, wasn't bolted up correctly. Two bolts were loose. On the left side this bolt also tightens up a part of the front wheel suspension. Bolted it up and the sound was gone!

Today we picked up the Land Rover at Vreugdenhil 4x4, including the new winch (our favourite toy) and the new 2nd battery system. So we also had our first new drives with the new gearbox, brakes, weal bearings, half shafts etc. The first few kilometres, she was a bit slow, but it's getting better and better. We also played with winch, works great, huge fun, although we will probably never use it! After all this we made some 12V plugs in the rear of the car and made a power line for the fridge in the back. So everything works. We did hear a strange tick-sound when turning the wheals from one side to another, we don't know what that is.

Trouble with our tickets. We bought two one-way tickets to Cape Town, but now the embassy is telling we can't get into South-Africa with only a one-way ticket. Makes sense... We gonna figure it out, it'll work someway or another... We'll keep you posted.