Overlander Car Issues With ‚Tina Tortuga‘

A bright lamp enlightened all the issues of my newly named landrover Tortuga, #tinatortuga. I was standing under the lifted car with a mechanic to check the state of it. There’s an oil leaking and some unsolved problems with the prop shaft, what brought me to this mechanic. The source of leaking was founded quickly, but as I requested we went trough the entire vehicle, more or less.

Beside the leaking from transfer box there’s also leaking from oil filter housing, Even the tank is leaking and had to be repaired as some bushes and hoses has to be fixed and replaced too. Despite there isn’t much electronics in that vehicle it turned out difficult to find the bug which is blowing my indicators and hazard lights continually. In short, quite an overhaul.

I need a stay for the time of repairs. The estimated period of four to five days was doubled, as the costs of repairs was too, due some difficulties, mainly with the transfer box. All bearings of that part must be replaced. I didn’t care so much about the time, since there was heavy rain predicted. All i needed was a quit and dry spot to be.

Luckily I found a beautiful place outside town of Mbombela/Nelspruit. Friendly hosts welcomed me and showed me around the self catering house where I got a nice room with a glass door towards pool side and amazing view to the valley. That’s the place to stay for a few quit days. Reading, writing journal and sorting photos next to the pool. Having a beer or a glass of red wine in the evenings, after cooking myself a tasty meal, and chatting with the owners, while waiting my car got fixed. That’s all part of traveling too and must try to use the time as good as possible. 

Just the day before I could pick up ‚Tina Tortuga‘, another Landrover Defender arrived at the Lodge. Same model as mine and even the same color. A couple got off the car and settled in the accommodation. It turned out they are from Brazil and already four years on the road. So there was lots to chat about and share travel stories and experiences. And of course, as a Landy driver there’s also about workshop stories. That lovely couple gave me a lift to the landy-workshop and get a oil/filter change for their ‚Pandora‘ too. Who wants to see more of the journey from Eduardo and Rafaela visit their website: www.pandoraontheroad.com.br

Ten lazy days later I checked out of ‚Highland Creeks‘ and got ‚Tina Tortuga‘ back from the workshop. Since it was late of the day and weather forecast predicted another storm with heavy rain, I decided to stay another night at an apartment on my way out of town. Another jewel in the mountains as I found out. After all, the day ended beautifully with a glass of wine and a bath in a tube with a view. 

making of: music clip with my travelcar

At first sight of the scenery i got confused. A girl was dancing on my dirty Land Rover and many spectators were watching her. As i noticed the film crew with all the equipment and the loud music from the back, i realized  my Land Rover gonna be part of their music clip. I didn’t find that clip on internet now, but desperately wanna see it when it’s published. And i’ll share it with you!

Tanzanian Maasailand (part 1)

It’s a little while since, but i don’t want hold back the pictures from my last Tanzania trip any longer. After the safari tour to Serengeti and Ngorogoro crater with – a rather disappointing – safari tour operator. I was happy to continue traveling with my own car and pace. On the safari tour i met two young tourist girls, who wanted to go to Daressalam too. I offered them to join me trough Maasailand instead of a boring, long bus ride direct to Dar. They agreed for sharing fuel and food.

The day before departure, the three of us went to local market to buy food. It’s hard bargaining if one goes with typically dressed tourist girls to the food stalls. Somehow we managed to get our supplies, as the girls told me about their appointment with the owner of the safari company we went days before. The same guy who cheated me and gave false informations to me, was inviting those young girls for pizzas and swimming pool at the most expensive hotel in Arusha and paid them even their room in a backpacker hostel. I joined the girls for that appointment and got at least a pizza myself and some relaxing hours with wifi at the pool at „Mt Meru Hotel“. The pizza was tasty, the pool refreshing and the view of Mount Meru splendid.

The first day traveling didn’t brought us very far, but to a wonderful oasis i knew from earlier visit. Hot spring and pool with crystal clear water was a delight after a dusty road trip. Since we supposed to travel as friends, the girls had to help with cooking while i pitched their tent for the night. With the highest mountain of Africa – Mt Kilimanjaro – we camped just next to the hot spring.

On the next day, we got deeper in Maasailand, with no specific route, just follow south on dusty roads. We passed some huts and villages which seemed to be abandon. Some kids lead cows somewhere, looking bewildered as we crossed their ways. The rain brought much green food for their cows. For us was it easy to find a quite place to camp in that lush, green bushland and enjoy a peaceful sunset.

Ryokan Warabino

The Ryokan Warabino has been a peaceful oasis on my stay in Yufuin. Friendly staff, delicious food and  -most of all- the quite, spacey, relaxing rooms made it unforgettable. In those days packed with lots of tours, invitations and experiences i enjoyed every single minute in my private space …most enjoyable in the hot bath tube outside.

Das Ryokan Warabino war die ruhige Oase während meinem Aufenthalt in Yufuin. Freundliches Personal, leckeres Essen und vor allem die grossen Zimmer gaben entspannende Rückzugsmöglichkeiten. In diesen Tagen mit vollem Programm genoss ich jede einzelne Minute, die ih in diesen Räumen verbrachte …am meisten aber in der von heissen Quellen gespeisten Badewanne auf der Terrasse.

Yufuin, Japan / The Flora-House

The Flora House is not only the name of a traditional Japanese hotel, so called ryokan, but the concept of this family run accommodation. The cosy rooms and an ‚onsen‘ ( a hot bath with water direct from hot springs) with view of mount Yufu is worth to stay a couple days. The food too is absolutely delicious. The owner explains proudly how they use all ingredients from own garden and greenhouses or at least from nearby area. When the belly got satisfied, a bath in the scents of the most beautiful flowers and orchids is another delight.

Flora House nennt sich das Ryokan (traditionell japanische Unterkunft) zu recht. Blumen und Orchideen finden sich überall um’s Haus und in den Gewächshäusern. Diese liefern auch die Zutaten für das leckere Essen. Stolz erklären die Besitzer, dass alle Zutaten aus eigener Produktion oder zumindest aus naher Umgebung kommen. Und so schmeckt das Essen auch; frisch, lecker und authentisch. Gemütliche Zimmer und ein heisses Bad ( Onsen genannt), gespeist von den heissen Quellen der Umgebung, machen den Aufenthalt zur Kur.