Glamping In Style - Have Keys and Wheels Will Travel
(Drum Roll, Drum Roll, choir of angels) Right off the bat you must please accept my apologies, I will be boasting and bragging in this blog. I think I have all the reason to. I know! I know it’s very rude. But then, so be it. Please indulge me. Every time I alight our carriage I feel I have arrived.
We were tickled pink when, on a beautiful sunny day we were informed we could fetch our baby. She was ready for us, shiny and new. We went through her with a fine tooth comb and couldn't find a single fault. In a jiffy she was signed off, sealed and delivered. Hein posed for a last photograph and then Butch wound down the fabulous awning and off he went.
Now the Honey Badger is licensed, road worthy, she weighs a perfect 5 tonnes with all her tanks filled. She has been registered and has new plates. She is beautiful. Slim, sleek and super sexy. As I’m fond of saying, she’s as white and pure as the driven snow.
Poor girl needs new tyres and rims but that will happen this week, if all goes well. The rims ordered, all the way from Australia will arrive too late, so custom built rims will be delivered. Her new tyres are ready and waiting. An urgent S.O.S has been dispatched re a winch which is sorely needed to assist in the hoisting of said tyres.
With my photographs I'll take you on a tour. Step up, on the automatic descending stairs. Climb aboard and cast your eyes around. You’ll be surprised by how spacious it is. With careful planning the space looks quite deceptive, a mere 10 square meters. We’re all convinced it’s the monochrome palette. White. In all its shades. Different textures on the walls, ceilings, counter tops, cupboard doors and drawers draw the eye inward. Some surfaces reflect light, others absorb light and a few strategically placed mirrors enhance space. The natural texture of the grainy wooden floor is warm, comfortable and non-slip. Kitchen and bathroom fittings are modern and very functional. Brushed stainless steel is aesthetically pleasing and scrapes and scratches will be camouflaged.
White blinds can be wound down at night and is repeated over the crawl through hatch. Every window has mosquito and bug netting. The two roof hatches add brilliant light and a cool circulation of air in the living space and bathroom. The padded ceiling adds a touch of glamour, but, most importantly it buffers sounds and vibrations. Since the cab's ceiling has been restored we can hear each other while driving, we could even listen to our Audible book.
While enjoying early morning coffee it will be possible to open the large picture window in the dining area, this will also allow for the perfect shot at a water hole. On Saturday we spotted our first wild life in the dust bin, a huge rain spider!
Space is limited and the island-style bed has been tapered at the foot end to allow easy access to storage space, wardrobes and cupboards. Clever curves on countertops in corners e.g. the dressing table, deceive the eye. Although very slight the space saved is immense.
The refrigerator, stove and sink are all Dometic and work perfectly. The hot water geyser is powered by gas, or electricity. Electricity is either 12v or 220v and supplied via 4 deep cycle batteries which are charged by the truck's alternator, 2 solar panels and when available outside electricity. We are told that we should be able to keep the lights burning for 5 to 6 days just on the batteries. 'Bye-bye Eskom! We're off the grid! There is a very fancy convection/microwave oven. If all goes well I'll be baking soon. In a few seconds the oven heats up ready to go. Mind boggling when I consider how long it takes my Defy to fire herself up.
On my wish list - sufficient plugs. We have them! All over the show and what's more we have three prong and two prong sockets, we even have USB ports for our electronic equipment. Thanks to our electrical supply equipment, we should not run out of light.
On Friday we packed up only the bare essentials for a weekend’s camping expedition to Onrus, our home from home. Spring is clearly visible as trees are starting to blossom, vineyards are budding and Canola fields are almost in full bloom. In the nick of time.
The caravan park was virtually empty so we had the pick of sites. Our choice was one with open stands on either side, full afternoon sun and a view of waves crashing onto the rocks. By Sunday we’d taken up three spots spreading ourselves out very comfortably. Onrus caravan park must surely be one of the prettiest in the country. Sadly, I believe security is a problem, regular campers have had bad experiences and are very hesitant to return. I did find the maintenance lacking, but it's winter, hopefully by spring and certainly summer things would've improved. The ladies at the gate are very friendly and trusting, we only settled our bill on Sunday. I did notice security doing patrols during the night too.
After a successful braai on Friday night we sat outside and watched the moon eclipse into a blood red moon. Like our Badger, awesome. We were all exhausted so after a good sighting we succumbed to sleep. Spooning in our new bed is recommended. No good going to bed in a huff. I drifted off after a few pages enjoying the brilliant sleek bedlights.
It was all systems go very early on Saturday morning. We had invited all our friends and family to an open “house” and later a boerie roll (hotdog). Our guests had to bring a chair, hat and beverages. With limited space we aren’t able to be as generous as we’d like to be. It was while I was making the bed on Saturday morning that I renamed our soft toy, a traveling Honey Badger, in future she will be known as Mearl. It suits her.
By 11h30 Butch had set himself up comfortably on his outdoor director’s chair. He looked like a sales person at the Bloemfontein Agricultural Show. All he needed was a client. He had all the relevant information, statistics, volumes and amps down pat.
The day turned out beautifully. Compliments were flying around as we beamed like proud new parents. My dad did a very close inspection of every seam, nut, bolt and finish. He was impressed. I do believe we surprised even the sceptics with our very professional Overlander truck. Boys will be boys and a thorough check of her under carriage was made too.
On Sunday more friends dropped in and once again they loved our Honey Badger. Packing up late on Sunday afternoon went at a brisk pace, but, we decided to spend another night in her and drove back to Worcester at a leisurely pace on Monday morning. Later, during the morning, I re-packed removing all the unwanted items, I swept, dusted and wiped while I grinned like a Cheshire cat.
She’ll be serviced before her new treads arrive and hopefully we’ll be off on another expedition next weekend. This time to the Tankwa Karoo, where we’ll have to battle the elements without electricity. Bush camping. We can’t wait.
Filling up the two diesel tanks was an eye opener, I was dumb struck as I watched the litres and SA Rands clocking up at an alarming rate. "'n Plaas se geld" (the price of a farm) I tell you.
Once again I’d like to thank all the staff at AC Motor Homes and in particular Hein, a man of his word, who knows what’s best and stood his ground when I became demanding. He certainly knows his oats. He does not change a good recipe, I know why. Thank you Juanita from Multi Blinds and Décor for your input helping us choose fabrics and my beautiful headboard. Johan Lochner thank you for being willing to help, always with a big smile, nothing is too much trouble or impossible to achieve. Brandwacht Diesel will be servicing her this week. Thanks Ben. Mossie at King Tyres always gives us good, sound advice. His enthusiasm is infectious. Lastly I'd like to thank you, readers of my blogs who have followed this journey with us. Watch this space we're hoping to give you good stories and titbits in the future too.
This is going to be our pension, on every trip we will be depositing photographs, stories, adventures, thrills and spills into our memory bank. We're going to have a glorious old age.
"If you end up with a boring, miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it!" Frank Zappa