Dragoman Steve to the rescue!

April 18, 2013

While any NORMAL person would have looked at being cooped up in a concentration camp, er I mean a construction site for a couple of days while being badly delayed from their mission of getting their car from Johannesburg to its 50th birthday party in Coventry as being just pure misery, we looked for the silver lining…. we never found it… we found GOLD LINING. The GOLD that I am referring to was the Dragoman tour operator called Steve. he, like us was cooped up in the construction site after having been dragged out of the mud a few days earlier and he not only regaled us with the most exciting stories about his wide and far travels coupled with the most exquisite photos that when it came time for us to head back on the Hell Road it was almost disappointing. Not only was he an entertainer par excellence but he also became our saviour in that he had arranged with his company in the UK that he should get to Moyale by hook or by crook so that he could carry on his tour with another Dragoman truck and to this end he hired a Toyota Land Cruiser. Now here is where he changed! He changed from being a normal oke to a first class human being, a Good Samaritan in the perfect living sense; what he did was to arrange for the Cruiser to agree to tow us with them in the event of the gong getting too tough for the little Imp. He also ensured that the Cruiser would stay with us in case we encountered trouble. AND HE DID ALL OF THIS IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT HE HAD A SERIOUS DEADLINE TO MEET IN RESPECT OF HIS OWN AGENDA! 

Wow such generosity is rarely encountered and Steve we salute you to the highest honour imaginable. Steve the next time you visit your favourite restaurant in Cape Town – Arnolds on Kloof – your dinner will be for my account.

Well the journey started off at approximately 11h00 after we had agreed on the various fees for the transportation and towing service and I believe the story is worth relating as I can honestly say it was the toughest piece of road I have ever encountered. In fact if I were to have the story of how it actually unfolded related to me I would probably not believe a word of it, it was not THAT bad it was far WORSE!!! Let’s start off by saying that the 130 kilometres road should probably have taken us about 6 to 7 hours of hard driving so well prepared mentally for a super tough day we headed off. However it took us 5 hard hours to cover a mere 20 kilometres!!! In these 5 hours we suffered front suspension that rendered the Imp completely un-drivable and almost un-towable. With the steering bend the toe in was so bad that Eddie the Toyota Land Cruiser driver stopped and came back to us and said release your brakes I can hardly pull you! To which we told him that we were nowhere near our brakes but that it was the severe toe in that was converting our Impi into a road grader!

But the day started with us heading off into the first mud bath being towed by Eddie and Steve and we noticed that our roof rack, heavily laden, was rather wobbly, much more than normal. This halted us even before we got going and on examining the situation we found the legs of the rack had broken clean off and how we never lost one is yet another miracle in our miracle journey. Realising that we were now delaying Steve in his target of getting to Moyale in time to renew his Sudan visas before his Ethiopian visa lapsed. So a bit of quick thinking we packed some of the goods into the imp making it even fuller and the remainder in the Cruiser. But the box that was bolted onto the roof rack had to remain. We then took the spare wheel fro on top of the rack and put it ON the roof and placed the rack on top of it. We then took our tie downs and strapped the rack onto the car thus.

Well in retrospect this roadside repair was a cinch compared to what we were to be faced with in the coming hours and in fact days!  




  1. Thanking you Archangles Mike and Steve – polish your halos flap your wings. HUGE thanks from ground zero basecamp in Jozie for your super-human help with Jolon Imp. May God SMILE on you always

  2. Aw poo its Eddie and Steve !!!!!!! Sorry x

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