Counting the Days

The August touring ‘Rig’, Mercede-Benz GL 500 and Fendt Saphir 560 SKM AR. Note the reinforced chassis. The Fendt is running on Continental 4×4 Worldcontact tyres. The Merc, however … well, we will wait and see! (Remember that the Fendt is just a ‘little bit’ of a gravel-roader)

Wouter Erasmus and his family are departing soon on another great adventure. No more preparations: it’s time to hit the road – and they can’t wait!

Luxury can be – and most probably is – an indulgence rather than a necessity. It has been synonymous with expense, comfort, ease, sumptuousness and abundance. These words define the word ‘luxury’. Hotels, resorts and the number of stars on the complimentary stationery in your suite are, for me, reminiscent of a bygone era. The generally accepted definition of the word luxury is currently fading away into the annals of time. The indicator of a luxurious experience is no longer defined in monetary value. Luxury can be an experience – a special something that makes one feel good all over. Time – if you can ‘find’ it – is a luxury. Spending time with my wife, children and friends is food for the soul for our family unit and the experienced happiness is a luxury beyond compare. We set time aside – 24 days to be exact – to experience these luxuries of time, space and companionship. Our kick-off date (7 August) is fast approaching and our preparations, both for the holiday and on a work front, are desperately behind schedule!

The Fendt 560 SKM(AR) was returned to us yesterday from the Fendt/Travelstar Service Centre in Lynnwood, Pretoria. They rechecked the wiring, re-torqued the chassis and did some miner alterations to this extraordinary caravan. The fitment of the 5 m, fully automated Dometic awning to the topside panel of the caravan was definitely a ‘now I have seen everything’ moment. I asked Dirko to ‘pitch-up camp’, put the remote control in his hand and walked away. With a typical child’s curiosity he pushed the buttons on the remote and the sudden ‘buzz’ of the Dometic awning ascending from the panel was enough to alarm the little lad.

He quickly retreated to an area of safety and, with a ‘What de hell!’ looked around wondering if his shocked expression and crude language was noted. Yes, it was! We are hard at work on planning our food amenities. Creativeness and planning is the key in turning camping food into cuisine. We are not limiting ourselves to cereal bars, dried fruit and easy meals. With some advance planning we are going to dine on ‘lamb shanks, mashed potatoes and asparagus’ – all prepared on our double camping stove and in the microwave. It won’t be frowned upon to prepare a fillet, medium-to-rare, on the open fire with a little carpaccio to spare for an entrée. Just joking … but I’m sure you’ll agree that a good bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon is better enjoyed in a proper wine glass. The value of a travelling bar cannot be underestimated. Sunrise will be greeted with a cup of freshly brewed coffee in hand … and I am well prepared for sundowners on the Chobe with our small new ice-maker and a Martini-shaker.

What can be more luxurious than basking in the glory of nature?
Her beauty surpasses the finest manmade creation and the surreal face of her landscape reveals the most extravagant architecture. Her inspirational beauty will mesmerise our senses from sunrise to sunset. The animal- and birdlife will dance through the day in a well-choreographed ballet – all for us to enjoy in the environment and the manner in which we prefer to experience it.

Herewith may I present the tow combination for our tour: Towing this altered Fendt 560 SKM will be the task of our Mercedes-Benz GL500 V8 5,5 L – and, yes, it can tow! The touring combination was thoroughly tested on our ‘preliminary test tour’ during the first week of July and, believe me, if I say that ‘the Merc was not fazed’! However … the fuel consumption was heavily frowned upon! Did I mention the fact …? Sorry, but there is somewhere a fuel gage still hunting my ‘mind’s eye’!

Towing and traveling in our own unique way, our traveling companions (the Mercedes-Benz GL 500 and the specially adapted Fendt 560 SKM) will be well tested. Long-distance travelling in the Southern parts of Africa can and will be done by us in the manner (and with the amenities) we prefer.

Okavango here we come!
NOTE: Please see the map below and keep following the blog. We will be sure to keep the updates rolling out.






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