12 November 2012- Durban
We have Landy! 🙂 This morning on the way to get her we were both excited as if going to the airport to pick someone up. I was surprised at how nervous I felt, ready to see her and make sure everything was ok. She is absolutely fine and picking her up was painless. Val kindly dropped us into the city and we went out to the docklands with the shipping agent Maurita. She had told the customs man that we were picking up ‘important people’ in Namibia so he had to come first thing this morning so we could get on our way. He met us there as planned, as he had to be there when the container was first opened. So within 15 minutes of arriving Olly cut the seal off and the doors were opened. Customs only checked the VIN number, signed a few things, shook our hand and left. Then nothing happened for 2 hours. We were fine with waiting but didn’t know what we were waiting for and it seemed neither did anyone else. Maurita was brilliant – we were watching and learning! When things came to a halt and it was looking like they would not release Landy today she was the perfect mix of patient and pushy, flattery and demanding. It was back and forth about the carnet and whatever else and after one final phone call suddenly the unpacking guys walked over to our container and we hurried after them. They unshackled Landy, Olly connected the battery, we put the AUS sticker on the back (required to drive a car internationally) and within a few minutes we were driving away to the nearest petrol station. All we have to do now is go pick up the original carnet in a few days.
Driving through Durban in Landy was pretty surreal and very exciting, not to mention feeling much more conspicuous than in a plain hire car. We def got some stares and the guys at the petrol station chatted away to us and were very curious about the New South Wales plates and that we plan to drive the length of Africa. We have already had someone beep and give us a thumbs up! We can’t believe Landy (our Landy!!) is here, in South Africa!!! It was great to get in her and see our little home – only in the different surroundings of Durban!
This afternoon Olly was down the road at Val’s neighbours, Brian and Judy who have very kindly offered some garage space and some tools for Olly to do a few bits (not mechanical more security etc) that we want to do.
Besides picking up Landy, the last few days we have been out and about with Val, and also doing some jobs like getting things we need to cross borders (warning triangles, special stickers for different countries, flouro vest etc) and checking out Durban. We also had a great afternoon on Sunday with John and Candice and their lovely little boy Tyron. John is a very special family friend (pretty much family really) that Olly has known his whole life and Olly was very excited to see him and meet Candice and Tyron and I was really looking forward to meeting them all. We had a really good afternoon eating, chatting and got to see their new house they’ll be moving into in the next few days.
We will have a few more days in Durbs finishing off a few bits, and then off to the Drakensberg!
L and O