Day 125. Monday, 24th April, 2023. Kingsburgh, South Africa.

The decision to ship from Lome appears to be turning into a bit of a nightmare. Over breakfast on Monday morning, Adam was looking at a Marine Tracking App and commented that the GF Maestro seemed to be rerouted to Lagos. This is exactly what happened previously with the Port Gdynia. Panic stations set in. What is going on? The shipping company, CGM CMA, has an office in Durban so we thought we should pay them a visit. 

Landy stuff

We had previously decided to go to Pinetown, on the outskirts of Durban, to go to Landy Spares to find out if they could supply various parts for Poki. Specifically shock absorbers and injectors. The shocks weren’t a problem, but the injectors are no longer obtainable. We then went to see Jeff at TuneServ, a company recommended by Adam, who do Land Rover Maintenance and servicing. Dennis is very impressed with Jeff and the Land Rovers will be booked in here as soon as we get them.

Kloof

We were close to Kloof, where we had wanted to have lunch on the Sunday we arrived. Being Sunday the cafe was closed, so we went to see if we would have better luck on a Monday. It was open, so we stopped for a very pleasant lunch. Very nice homemade breads and cakes. (Although we didn’t sample the cakes as we have been overindulging recently). 

After lunch we headed to Umhlanga (it’s a Zulu name meaning place of reeds. Due to the abundance of reeds on the banks of the Ohlange, river which flows just to the north.) Some names are are hard to pronounce. The “hl” is pronounced “shl”.

Visit to CGA CMM Offices

Umhlanga is an upmarket suburb to the north of Durban where the offices of CGA CMM are located. Three different ladies came to our assistance. They were all trying to be helpful. Again, patience was a necessary requirement.

It just seems incredible the amount of conflicting information and the total lack of information in the shipping industry. After a long wait the Customer Care Manager came and informed us she had their Togo office on the line. She wondered if one of us spoke French, so Adam took over the call. Adam explained we were trying to find out if our vehicles were going to be loaded on the GH Maestro in Togo on 25th, as according to the information on the internet, the ship appears to have been rerouted. The upshot of the conversation was that the Togo office didn’t know! He would find out and call back in 25 minutes.

We waited for his call and he confirmed the GH Maestro was not calling at Lome and going directly to Lagos. He said our container would be rebooked on the Chopin leaving on 10th May with an arrival in Durban on 1st June. 

Meanwhile Adam had emailed Stanley at Bollore in Togo, our booking agent, asking him what was happening with our container as we believed the GH Maestro had been rerouted. Stanley came back and said he had been in touch with CGA CGM’s Togo office and they advised the container was being loaded on 25th as booked. He forwarded a copy of the email with this advice. You couldn’t make it up!

So, now we wait and see who’s right. 

On our way back to the apartment we had to shop for provisions again. After such a stressful afternoon, I needed to buy some wine too. 

It was Adam’s turn to choose our viewing. “Don’t Look Up”. A spoof on American society and indifference to climate change by the government, politicians, celebrities and the media. Meryl Streep as the president, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, as the two astronomers who discover a comet heading to earth which will destroy civilisation. Hilarious.

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