Saturday, 21 March 2015

Our Amazing Race Ended With A Flat

Seeing that the Easter school holidays are just around the corner and by just around the corner I mean in a couple of days time, I think it is about time I finished my December holiday posts. I finished off rather abruptly in this post and will carry on from there. Now is as good a time as ever to do all the posts, but I will schedule the posts, so as to not flood your feeds and be all spammy.

You know what it is like when you get to KZN (KwaZulu) Durban, South Coast or North Coast, as you spot the sea, you know that as you drive towards the ocean you will get to your destination and you will get there soon. All roads lead to the sea and the seaside town you are visiting.

Not the Cape or should I say West Coast. We drove past a lagoon and it was getting seriously late, considering that the sun goes down later than we are used to, it was pretty late. We were following the Garmin and the directions I was sent and we saw the sea, so we should be there soon.

We drove and drove and drove, we saw the sea, we imagined that we saw the sea and we wished that we saw the sea. We were getting tired and the heat of the day and the long hours spent in the car was getting to us. Mark looked in the mirror at the exact same time that Chad heard a noise and there was bits of tyre in the road. It was our trailer tyre - we did not have a flat, we had a shredded tyre and buckled rim. These were brand new Dunlop tyres that got so hot from tar friction that it burst and shredded to pieces. Fortunately Mark was driving and not Chad or myself.

We don't have car problems when we go away - we have trailer problems. We have had a trailer chassis break in half in Mozambique when their roads were so bad ten years ago, worse than ours are now. Mark and Chad have had a hired trailer's bearing seize at midnight in the middle of nowhere with a tractor on it. They have had this same trailer's bearing seize at midnight with scooters on it in the middle of nowhere on their way to Ballito, so you would think we would be prepared for something going wrong with the trailer. No we were not.

The spare wheel was not only buried under everything in the back of the bakkie (pickup truck), it was also flat. The tool box was buried under everything. It was freezing cold and very windy and Mark and Chad had nothing warm to put on, despite me telling them to grab something warm as we were walking out the door - it was met with "Nay its fine". The jack and torch was also buried in some forgotten space and when the jack was located, it would not lift the trailer high enough to get the wheel back on. Tempers flared as our egos got in the way of common sense as they always do. We have big personalities that clash under trying circumstances and if we had to ever take part in The Amazing Race it would make for riveting television with an age restriction of 21L. However, our Amazing Race was no longer amazing and we were now over it. Our trips always seem to be more adventurous than the next person, like spending the whole day at the Mozambique border and then driving through such thick smoke that we could see less than a half a metre in front of us.

After many attempts at trying to lift a heavy trailer, of trying to find a flat rock to put under the jack to lift the trailer high enough to get the wheel on, woman's common sense and logic prevailed. The jack was put under a bar further from the wheel, which happened to be a different height to the bar close to the wheel. It was glaringly obvious, but what did I say about big personalities and egos. We got the wheel on and with the luck of Chad bringing his Power Station with wherever he goes, the wheel was pumped up and we were on our way. Again thinking that we HAD to be a block away from the sea and our holiday destination. Again we drove and drove following the Garmin and the directions from the hotel, until we reached a town and an intersection when Mark decided, because we had seen the sea to the left of us at some stage of our journey, we had to turn left and not right. With the irritating voice of the Garmin lady squawking and recalculating, Mark hit panic stations, because the sign post said we were on our way to Malmesbury and he thought Malmesbury was the Cape Flats. If you don't know what or where the Cape Flats are, lets just say even the Pitbulls carry flick knives in the Cape Flats and you don't want to end up there late at night and lost. Tempers flared again as Mark cursed the directions and he was determined to believe the place we were going to was a dump. When he finally admitted that he just assumed that we should turn left and after phoning the hotel for directions, we made our way again.

We finally arrived at Strandloper Villas, tired and irritated. I knew that we would get there late and checked first if we could book in after hours and I was assured that it was not a problem. We just had to go to the hotel, book in and we would have a staff member take us to the Villas. In the dark of the night, we made our way to the hotel, it sounded a bit dodgy, go past the containers, turn left turn right and we found it. We were then pointed in the direction of our Villa and off we went, no staff member accompanying us, it was pitch dark, not even a single light on in the Villa that was pointed out to us or the neighbouring ones. The key we were given did not unlock the door of the Villa, so it was calling the hotel again. Yes we are at the correct Villa, she will send the security and she did. It was the right Villa, right key, but the back door key and not the front door and the Villa was not even locked. Who would have guessed that in the dark of the night.

How inviting does that bath look? We unpacked and within 30 minutes all the stress of the trip down lifted and we all felt relief that we arrived safely and the place was not a dump and we had a clean comfy bed to sleep in.

Chad's Room

Chad and I explored a bit and we were happy to see the sea was in front of the Villas in front of us and the road was more of a lane than a road. Mark was just worried that we would get bitten by a snake whilst walking around at night.

Exploring over and after a lovely hot bubble bath we went to bed a lot more relaxed and ready to face the next day. All was not as it seemed, but that was to be tackled the next day after a good night's rest. Everything always seems better in the morning, but this wasn't to be.

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