Departure booked

Sorry to have been neglecting the updates, but it’s been a bit hectic tying up a few loose-ends and coordinating everything to achieve our May departure date. Just today though (and forced by the rapidly diminishing accommodation options in Durban due to the Bank Holiday one suspects) things have become real.

Shipping: The helpful David Squibb at Kinetsu World Express (Plymouth Office) has coordinated a shipping plan – including loading the container with the vehicle, loading the container onto the vessel, shipping (25days), unloading the container, unloading the vehicle, clearing customs and collection from a warehouse in Durban. Estimated arrival first week in May.

Rachel has sent in her career break application.

My course of jabs has finished (Rachel has a couple of more dates with the needle).

Flights booked to arrive first week in May.

Hotel booked for 1/52 in Durban. Cheap and cheerful on the beachfront – a good introduction to keeping your wits about you if memory serves well – but generally OK in the daytime.

The tail lift went on to the Azalai last week and we had a weekend up in Exeter with Geraldine & Andy Bayliss as well as (on Friday) the delightful Emma Taylor – all Lions RSA Tour Vets from back in the day (the Guscott drop-goal and sambucca tour).

We went to watch the Exeter Chiefs stuff Leicester Tigers 35-10 (albeit a weakened Leicester as they stripped the squad for this Amlin Cup tie – still it was a stuffing and worth typing just for that). We parked the van in their driveway and tested the tail-lift thoroughly (no lost limbs even though wine was taken). Temperatures got down to below freezing outside and about zero degrees inside – but OK in bed. The Erberspacher (diesel heater for the pod) helped a little, but for all its jet like noise it was a little disappointing. The Wallas (heater blower from the cooker hob) seemed more effective. Might be a setting we need to check out in the instructions – otherwise I can’t see it getting too much use. Will update if we find anything.

Possibly we’ll get the tail-lift ascent turned a notch or two slower – but I can’t put into words how well OEC have done on this challenging engineering project. I did say that there was probably a story and publicity in that alone. Paul said, “Best not, I’m never doing that again!” I’m sure they can’t have made a profit – but they certainly, to their credit, they have proved a point.

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