21st of July 2018
While the Landcruiser was in for it’s service and DPF software fix we spent the days doing some great things. On Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday we managed to get tickets to go out to Robben Island where he spent a big part of his 27 years held in incarceration. However just before the 11am departure we were told that our trip had been cancelled due to a mechanical fault on the boat but I think it was just that they hadn’t taken into account the 100 or so students who were also going out to the island for his 100th birthday celebrations which included planting a tree with a silver spade! So instead we went to the Chavonnes Battery Museum which was on the original shore line but is now some way in land! It was a fortification protecting Cape Town with the foundation stone being laid down in 1714 but then partly demolished in 1860 to build the Alfred Dock. However in 1999 when a new multi story building was about to be built on the site the builders discovered the remains of the battery while excavating the sites underground car park. It was in incredibly good condition and we had a great few hours of looking around. There was also a photo exhibition by well know South African photojournalist Nic Bothma who amongst other things covered many uprisings in Africa but also was famous for his sports action shots.
So we were up early again the next day and battled with peak hour traffic to get into Cape Town for the 9am boat to Robben Island.
It was a thought provoking day for sure but we came away feeling that the experience could have been so much better. It is a very popular trip and I know they need to keep people moving but we felt we were pushed through like cattle, barely having time for even a photo.
It would be great if people were given the option of wandering around by themselves and having a lot more information boards in place. It would be a perfect place to get around on a bicycle.
We also spent some time in the winery region of Stellenbosch and Franshhoek sampling some of the regions beautiful wines.
As I alluded to earlier in the last post, on our way into Cape Town from the Garden Route for some unknown reason the Landcruiser after having been running so well started blowing white smoke. There was no loss of power or any other cause for concern so we decided to keep going for Stellenbosch where it was already booked in for a service. It wasn’t pleasant for anyone behind us especially Veronica and we did get some quite disgusted looks but really didn’t have much choice. Once at the Toyota dealership they went to work and could not come up with a solution so the decision was made to send it to a specialist not far away to see what he could do. On the scene came Leon Engelbrecht from “L&M Automotive Performance” and I’m hope I’m right in saying that he downloaded the software from our ECU (engine control unit) then rewrote the software so that it didn’t recognise the DPF or anything associated with it. Once done he reloaded the software back on to out ECU and just like magic, everything worked fine. No more smoke and no more permanent engine warning lights on the dash! Thank you Leon for your amazing piece of magic in getting the Cruiser running well again. On Thursday we were able to pick up our Landcruiser and then on Friday start heading out into the Karoo for a test run and to visit the Mountain Zebra National Park. This time I don’t think I need to cross my fingers!