With 6 days till departure, what could go wrong?
After arriving back to the UK it’s full steam ahead to get ready for a 15th December departure.
We received Poki back from Gumtree with the Maxtrax (sand/mud recovery planks) nicely fitted to the roof-rack, and a solid 6mm aluminium steering protection plate installed and some progress towards reducing the over-fuelling situation. I say some progress, though I fear there may be deeper issues than a turbo boost, rod adjustment?
Jen has been loading supplies. We bought 4kg of whole milk powder from NZ and bought many kg’s of breakfast oats from Sainsburys. All stowed. The challenge will be to remain under the maximum gross vehicle weight of 3050kg.
A test run.
In order to assess all the work done earlier in the year and recently, we took a trip west to Hampshire and Somerset to visit friends and family. While the lovely English countryside does not quite provide the excitement of more challenging overland travel, it was great to be journeying in Poki again. Bill & Penny entertained us with some stories and an excellent insight into some of the issues we are going to have to deal with in Africa. They clearly enjoyed their motorcycle adventure in Southern Africa.
Jen forwarded the paperwork to the Carnet-de-Passage (international vehicle guarantee) issuers, but they quickly responded telling us they could not read the engine number for Poki on the vehicle registration papers.
The papers are now 21years old and continual folding had made the engine number indistinct. We decided to apply for a replacement set of papers. This sort of doubt could lead to extortion attempts by African border officials. With another postal strike imminent, it’ll be touch and go to receive the papers by departure date. To clear up the engine number uncertainty, some sand paper to remove rust on the engine block confirmed the number. The Carnet too could be delayed due to this.
Yesterday morning, the day after return from points west, and after a very heavy frost, Poki would NOT start. John, the owner of Gumtree arrived with a vehicle trailer and carted Poki away, to find the fault.
Hot off the press!
Gumtree informs us Poki has a CPU(computer) and possibly, accelerator sensor fault. That’s why it wouldn’t start, and perhaps the latter the reason for poor mpg & over-fuelling? It could take up to two weeks to have the CPU fixed or replaced. Will we depart on the 15th? I doubt it. One has to look on the positive side, this could have happened in the Sahara or miles away from help. My 1963 Land Rover never had anything more difficult electrically, than a possible broken wire or faulty condenser. Easily repaired. Do we have automotive progress, if so, at what cost?!
We’ll keep you posted on progress as information comes to hand.
Christmas is approaching fast!!!