To reunite with our daughters after 6 months was very special. For us it was a huge achievement to return safely earlier than initially thought but for them it was a “thank you for returning safely…..now we can stop worrying about you”! We were still experiencing a huge emotional turmoil. This up and down of emotions after an overland trip is something only other travellers can relate with….most definitely not the young people who went on with their normal lives. So we tried our best to fit into their lives, doing the normal household chores, help planning the wedding etc. but we are still feeling the vacuum that exists in our lives. We came back different people with different values in life. Now we must make the best of who we became and where we are going forward to in life. But enough of this!
The clean up started!
We stayed with Vin and Eretha in Pretoria until Vin’s parents arrived from India. We moved on to Naas and Heleen’s house in Johannesburg to help with the preparations for the wedding and to look after their house and Bella while they went to Cape Town for a week. We girls were enjoying ourselves playing wedding planners and were very busy. Methinks that the father was at times bored to death!! Heleen organized a surprise afternoon get-away with Eretha and the twins wich were huge fun. Eretha treated us (the girls) to a Spa breakaway in the Magalies Mountains.
The 2 sisters
We had a very nice get-away a week before the wedding to the Waterberge, camping first at Klein Kariba and then at The Oog near Mookgopong (Naboomspruit).
Klein Kariba where the monkeys bombarded our Hilux at 5 in the morning with you know what!!! It took Arno a long time to get the bakkie clean again
On our return from our camping trip in the Waterberge, when we stopped in front of the gate where we departed from so many months previously, the truck suddenly started missing. The long and the short of the story is that our faithful bakkie brought us up to the gate of Naas and Heleen’s house and then blew a gasket. I think it thought that it brought us home and NOW it is his turn to be cared for! Unbelievable.!!! We LOVE this vehicle. Well, it was just before the wedding that took place on the 16th of December (a holiday).
It was such a joy to meet up with the West Coast children and grandkids who arrived 2 days before the wedding.
Stefaansie, Marene and Luan forming a band with oom Naas’s instruments
The wedding was totally awesome! Between Heleen and me, Arno and Naas, we’ve done the decorations for the reception as well as all the flower decorations.The bride looked heartbreakingly beautiful, the groom dashing. Arno in a suit was adorable and I felt like a queen in a real evening dress, high hills and for once not in a short or jean! We danced the night away, stayed over at the venue, had another in prompto breakfast party between us, the bride and groom and the in laws from India. The leftover sparkling wine were immediately brought to the table and between the wine and the wedding cake, the breakfast became a real wedding feast
Ouma Lies and Marene. Oupa Arno was the videographer.
The beautiful couple
We came back late afternoon on the 17th after helping the couple at the venue. We could only start phoning around for mechanics to work on the bakkie on Wednesday 18 December…..3 days before, it seems, ALL the mechanics in Johannesburg are closing shop. The 11th guy we called was not available but they promised he will call back. By this time we were quiet frantic, making plans to maybe fly back to George or borrowing one of the children’s cars to drive back to Mossel Bay. The bride, groom and his family from India are on their way to us in Mossel Bay while we are still trying to get the Hilux fixed! Bert Osmers, owner of Auto Clinic in Randburg, phoned back and said we must bring the bakkie in. He is also closing on Friday but will have a look. He was so good to us (and the Hilux) The no 3 and 4 Gaskets has blown and the top had to be taken off. Luckily he knew an Engineering firm that could still do the top. We got the Hilux back late Saturday morning, took it for a test drive to Pretoria to feed Eretha’s cats and to say goodbye to my sister Annette and Willie. Early Sunday morning we left Johannesburg and leisurely drove to Gariep Dam where we camped at the Forever Resort.
Early Christmas with the family
Willie and Arno downloading music
Our “Johies” home
Packing to go home……
A bit sad but looking forward to the new year with new adventures
Gariep Dam….last camp in 2013
Home sweet home
We would like to say to all and everyone a Happy New Year. We were a bit busy since back in South Africa but the postscript of our Overland journey will follow soon.