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Subtropical Paradise

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[ TRAVEL ] Durban to St Lucia, KZN

Last year, I had the opportunity to take a brand new Volkswagen Caravelle and go camping for a weekend. It was fantastic, especially since our friends were joining us in their Type 2 model which they were busy restoring and converting into a motorhome.

Words & pictures by FRANCOIS HUYSAMEN

But, a weekend with such a fantastic vehicle is just not enough. So, when the opportunity came for my wife and me to go on a week-long trip in a new Kombi, I couldn’t wait to head out.

With the Kombi being such an iconic “road trip” vehicle in South Africa (and across the globe), we decided to plan our trip as such: heading up the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal, and looking for some good surf. A “surf safari”, if you will.

But, while you can plan the holiday down to a T, you can’t predict the weather…

After cramming as much clothing, equipment and gear as possible into our two suitcases, we boarded a flight to Durban, where we were to collect a VW T6 Kombi 2.0 Tdi Trendline, and a brand-new Jetstream Teardrop Trailer. From the second I stepped up into the driving seat, I knew we were in for a good time. Many years ago, when I was still in primary school, our family went on a three-week journey through Namibia in a Kombi. Two years later, it was Zimbabwe. I couldn’t help thinking back to those good times as I sat behind the wheel now, ready to head out on my own adventure.

Our first stop was Natal Caravans & Marine in Pinetown, where Geoff Courtis had arranged the Jetstream for us to tow along. With the recent increased popularity of teardrop-style caravans in South Africa, I’d had my eye on this brand for a while… but I was not prepared for what was waiting for me: something that looked as if it had been transported from Woodstock 1969.

Apparently, Jetstream has been selling their vans as soon as they came off the production line, and the unit lined up for us was already on its way to the buyer.

So, one of the owners of Jetstream Teardrop Trailers provided us with his personal caravan. The entire outside was covered in rock ’n roll imagery of bands such as Santana, Pink Floyd and BB King, as well as slogans like “Peace, love, music”. It seemed fitting to be towing this van with a Kombi, a vehicle that is an icon of the “hippie era” of the 60s.

*** For full travel story, get your Caravan & Outdoor Life magazine ***

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