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The Essence of the Traveller's Tale - Part 6

SOUTH AFRICA | Sunday, 6 January 2013 | Views [97]

The Off-Ramp

“Most journeys have a clear beginning, but on some the ending is less well-defined. The question is, at what point do you bite your lip and head for home?”

Tahir Shah, In Search of King Solomon's Mines


Full speed ahead to August 2012. The situation I was dreading in January had materialised. No more financial sponsorship had surfaced and my petrol money was running out fast. I was only seven months into the project and it looked like I might make it for a few more weeks if I spend money only on fuel. This would only bring me to September; four months shy of the 365-day target and a few towns short of the 200-mark.

I decided to speed things up while still driving slowly (to save fuel) and covered two provinces and approximately fifty towns in one month. Once I was within shooting distance of Cape Town, I reasoned, I could cover the more condensed Western Cape until my petrol tank ran dry.

That day arrived, a little ironically, on the 24th of September: Heritage Day. The EXPEDITION Project for 2012 covered 192 towns and all that remained was to process photographs and start planning for 2013.

Not long after that, the Isuzu Trooper that served me so well gave up the ghost. The 1991 import was old, but it looked the part and it did the job. And it still was my backup plan for 2013. But the repairs would have cost half the vehicle’s value, so I had no choice but to sell it for a pittance. The driver has become the hitchhiker.

“The driver has become the hitch-hiker.”

To be continued...

Tags: africa, expedition, in search of king solomon, roadtrip, south africa, tahir shah, the expedition project, volunteer

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