Diary Day
ashley's Diary
Date 30 Jul 2006
Country Botswana (Okavango Delta)
Weather Sunny
Diary LR with no name has somewhat blotted its copybook and I have renamed it S**t Rover at the moment. Left Maun towards the Okavango Delta and had a great time spotting lions, elephant, hippos etc etc and fording rivers as all the bridges seemed to be down….so about 100 yards from a large herd of elephant a strong smell of diesel permeated everything…out I jumped, removing my shirt and with instructions to the kids to “watch what the ********* elephants are doing, I don’t want to be stepped on!” I disappeared under the rear of the car. I re-emerged after about a minute covered in a mixture of diesel, mud and water looking like the creature from the black lagoon….diesel was pissing from the top of the tank – easy to diagnose, but impossible to fix on the spot. One of the high pressure feed pipes from the tank must have split (not completely broken as the engine was still running so was still pressurising the fuel system) To fix this I would have to take off the tank guard, drain the tank, drop the tank and replace the hose (I didn’t have a spare anyway) so the decision was taken to try to drive as far as the campsite at South Gate and organise a tow back to Maun from there. Bit of a race between spewing diesel, range and distance to get back to gate….phew…we made it to find the campsite completely empty apart from a few scabby hyenas….luckily, as if on cue, a couple of Dutch people arrived and wonders of wonders, they had a satellite phone which we used to call Maun (Thank you Paul and Ingrid) and help. Embarrassment of being towed the 90km to Maun behind of all things a Toyota Landcruiser!! Got to Sunrise Motors by 2pm, put the LR up on a lift, and by 4.30 we had got the fuel tank dropped enough to find that the fuel return pipe had indeed split…next problem was of course was that by cutting the pipe and reattaching the fittings would leave a pipe too short by about 6 inches, of course the LR dealer had no stock so ended up being driven at high speed across town by Peter Van Der Grift (owner of Sunrise Motors) to buy a QD pipe coupling and a length of pipe from a freight distribution centre (with an attached truck servicing facility) One (professional) bodge job later, the LR with no name was continent again…hope it lasts. A big thank you must go to Peter and his mechanic from Zimbabwe as without their help we would have probably still been waiting for the genuine LR part. Thanks lads, you taught me how to smile again! A little aside from this was the fact that we had stopped earlier in the day for Paul and Ingrid (our saviours!) when we noticed them by the side of the road with their bonnet open. Their bonnet catch had broken off so I gave them a bungee strap (Gods’ own invention) Paul said “Can I pay you for it?” to which I replied “Of course not, just stop and help the next broken down LR you see” Must be psychic or something. The other thing was when the kids found out he was a dentist they all brushed their teeth well, without complaint, shock! PIC SHOWS: OUR SAVIOURS, PAUL AND INGRID>
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