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West Coast Cruise

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Story and image by Richard Van Ryneveld

When a plan comes together

The A-Team’s Hannibal Smith was often one to say, ‘I love it when a plan comes together!’ But I’ve discovered that you can have a helluva lot of fun when a plan doesn’t come together. This is what happened recently on a trip up the West Coast. I’d been due to visit this area in a fancy new sedan towing a camper trailer, but that plan fell out of bed just before departure. While we were scratching our heads for a back-up plan, I had the brainwave of doing the trip in my old bus, a Mercedes 508 D motorhome, as seen on the cover of the March 2014 issue.

This vehicle is named Mrs G and she was the perfect choice for a sedate trundle along the West Coast. The cool breezes wafting off the cold Benguela current would keep me chilled; a welcome change from the soaring summer temperatures back home in the Overberg. Unlike some of the luxurious vehicles I get to drive, it’s hot and noisy in the cab of this old motorhome, and she’s slow; dead slow. But there’s something very special about the old girl. For one, she’s a people magnet. Why? I hadn’t worked that out yet. Perhaps the trip would provide an answer.

It was scorching hot the day I left, and having two flaps stuck, in the heater box, didn’t help. I felt like a chicken in a tandoori oven; but two tuna tins cut to size kept the heat at bay for another day. It was already dusk, and cooler, as I turned onto the gravel Helderstroom road to Villiersdorp; the light was superb, and I stopped for photographs before heading on… to Worcester, Wolseley, past Tulbagh and Porterville, and on to the N7 before heading up Piekenierskoof Pass.

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