Sunday, 29th October, 2023. In Wineham, West Sussex, U.K.

For the last few days the weather has been abysmal. Heavy rain with thunder at times. Hence we are confined to barracks and it is a good opportunity to update you on Poki and future travel arrangements. 

Poki’s progress.

Poki is at last on the high seas. The Maersk, Santa Clara, left Durban with Poki’s container in the early hours of 25th. We were tracking her on a marine App, but it only lets you do this for a few days before it wants you to pay a hefty subscription fee. The Santa Clara was travelling at a rapid rate, over 21 Knot’s and was heading up the west side of South Africa, when we were last able to view her

The Santa Clara is scheduled to arrive in Rotterdam on 7th November. This was the original date given when she was due to depart on 7th October, so having departed 18 days later, we expected her to arrive later. However, she is travelling fast and we are still being advised she will arrive on 7th. Fingers crossed as we have now booked our return flights.

Returning home.

On Tuesday, 28th November we will start our journey back to New Zealand. First we will stay over in San Francisco with my son, James, daughter-in-law, Sarah and grandchildren, Jasper 9, Anna 6 and Siena 3. We haven’t seen them for a year, so I am really looking forward to our visit. We will arrive back in Auckland on 4th December. In good time for Christmas.

I have been checking fares and the cheapest way to get to Rotterdam to collect Poki. We would like to travel by Eurostar train, as we have never experienced Eurostar before. However, flights from Luton Airport to Amsterdam are very cheap. Even with the added rail fares to Luton and from Amsterdam to Rotterdam, it is still much cheaper. I don’t know if the recent fire at Luton Airport car parking which destroyed the car park and 1500 cars has anything to do with the fare being so cheap.

I’m reluctant to book anything until the Santa Clara’s arrival date is definite. The shipping agent in Rotterdam who is looking after the arrival formalities for us, has advised it will take around 5 – 7 days for Poki to clear Customs and be ready for collection. He will advise us when we will be able to pick Poki up.

Friends we met in Africa

We have been keeping in touch with some fellow Land Rover drivers we met en route. Kez and Troy, also a Pom and a Kiwi. We met them at Audi Camp in Maun, Botswana. Kez has been sending gorgeous pictures of the Sani Pass and Lesotho. This was where we were heading when we had our “accident” so we sadly never made it there. Very envious.

Also Lilian and Rob a lovely Dutch couple. We met them in Malawi at Cool Runnings Camp beside Lake Malawi. They are currently in Tanzania but will leave their Land Rover in storage in Tanzania and return to The Netherlands shortly, to catch up with their family for the festive season, before continuing with their journey through Africa.

Sports results

Changing the subject, Dennis is not a happy bunny today after yesterday’s sporting results. New Zealand were beaten in the Cricket World Cup by Australia by 5 runs and the All Blacks lost the Rugby World Cup final by just 1 point to South Africa. England aren’t doing any better in the cricket though! South Africa, however, are on a roll, as they also lead the Cricket World Cup to date.

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