24.2 – 26.3.16


The Guestfarm Bonniedale of Nico & Danette offered some great off-road tracks. Ideal conditions to test Ernstli by heart. On top the landscape around the farm is really beautiful. On our last day there it started drizzling a bit in the evening so Peter decided to quickly load Ernstli into the garage, while I was cooking. As Peter knows now how to switch Ernstli’s light on, it was not a big deal even in the dark. Everything worked out well, Peter put the low/climbing gear in and drove up the ramp till the stop. But somehow Ernstli was not yet in its final position so Peter wanted to move a bit more forward. A bit too much power and speed an Ernstli was on the other side of the stop, the front wheels in the air. No chance to backwards as the quad was stucked on the sidebars of the lift. While cooking I heard all of a sudden somebody knocking at the door: Peter asking me to help him. I was quite astonished seeing Ernstli in that position. We fixed the ramp at the front to help the front wheels to get some grip and used the MAN lifting jack to lift the quad over the sidebars. Next step was easy: Peter sat on the quad and drove backwards – unfortunately he forgot that the ramp was still fixed at the front, so Peter did a quite big jump from the lift down to the earth. Like a cowboy on a horse. After that the usual procedure to load Ernstli started. Luckily both the driver and the Quad were not injured.

The winery Spier was indeed ideal for us. Beside the nice park and restaurant they also have a big parking located at a little lake. The huge empty parking offered enough space for Globi and we were allowed to stay there. Of course we went for a nice dinner and wine to the restaurant. When we came back we were shocked: the entire parking was full – around 1000 cars, no space around Globi anymore. We were slightly nervous how to manoever the other morning!

Even if they leave tonight – what a noise! As Peter found out talking to the catering guys, the party going on in the winery was a rock concert and that was not really the news we hoped for. For sure the visitors would be loud and it would be late in the night – like we would expect it happen after a concert in Europe. But hey, I didn’t even wake up when they came back from the concert and drove home. All the people were so quiet, no loud laugh or talking, even no smashing of the car doors. Really amazing!!! So this is also Africa!


From Wuppertal in Southafrica – as they say it’s older than the one in Germany, but definitely smaller – to Eselsbank in the Ceder Mountains a small track runs through the mountains. The girl at the information wasn’t sure if we can do it with Globi, but she told us we should try: if we manage to survive the first third, the rest would be easy. What a great reassuring advice. For Peter it was certainly THE invitation to drive that track. In small serpentines the road winds up along the steep banks. For experienced Defender Drive great fun – for Jeep Drivers most likely hell on earth.

The width of our wheels is 2.5m, the one of the road often 2.3 m only. So Peter had the choice to either let one side levitate free over the deep hollow, which is not ideal for the axes or to drive half way on the flank of the mountain, which bows Globi to a dangerous degree. Peter went for the second option. I didn’t like both of them so I rather walked up the hill and excused myself with the need to film Peter and Globi. So hopefully one day in the near future you guys can see the video of that tour on our website.

That wasn’t the only time when we had to detect, that South Africa is more a Defender country than a MAN one. We cannot count the endless amount of trees and branches we had to saw. As we left the chain saw at home, Peter has now some newly grown arm muscles. At least he feels that – not sure if you could see that….


Originally we only went to Africa because of Gabi – as Peter likes to state – and because I wanted to see all the animals you can observe here. To that end we could have gone home after the visit of the Etosha Pan. Obviously we stayed longer, as the transport of Globi wouldn’t be very cost efficient for that short period of time. And in the Sabona Game Reserve we experienced something which was more than a good reason to stay. With our guide – a young lady ranger – we could walk closely to a cheetah. We stood there, between 20 to 30 m away, and watched her eating the night catch – a little Springbock. As we didn’t seem to steel her food the cheetah felt comfortable and continued her meal. Interestingly the inner organs were left far behind – accurately removed – to avoid attracting other animals to the catch through the smell. Cheetahs are very successful hunters, and therefore a lot of other meat eating animals (lions, hyenas, etc.) try to steel their catch.


Family Schmider we met for the third time on a horse/guestfarm with a cook from india. Our MAN garage was nearby. Sometimes the world is really small.

Petra, Andreas – a German family living in South Africa – have seen our Globi several times in and around Cape Town and decided to contact us spontaneously. We then met them with their younger son Joshua in Springfontain – a lovely winery – for a great evening. That’s exactly what makes travelling so fantastic.


To stay connected with the world we need internet. To have internet we need local SIM cards. In Steinkopf they explained that you need a local address to buy a SIM card – very strange. With the help of a local lady with a bit more alcohol than blood in her body we managed to get a SIM card, but even after 2h hard working we didn’t get internet access. In Springbock we entered a Vodacom shop. And here everything was easy, all our SIM cards are working perfectly. But then our QV navigation system didn’t work anymore. So we bought a Garmin in Paarl. Of course now QV is working again!

Our generator seems to be mounted so stupidly that its motor cannot get cooled in warm or hot areas. We thought undergoing a service check, changing the oil and replacing a filter would help. But even exchanging the ventilator was not successful: our generator does not cool down.

The manipulations to the MAN alternator which have been done at the time from the builders have shortened the live time of the alternator massively. We had to replace it at MAN in Bracknell.