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Aug '09

Day 12: Thursday, 13 August 2009

Posted by steve@buddyandme.co.za

Categories: Buddy and Me

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Hi it’s us again and have I got a story for you!

Beares - Stanger

Beares - Stanger

It starts with me leaving Richards Bay at 8am yesterday (Wednesday the 12 Aug) after yet another hearty breakfast made by Monica. All went well, Buddy started beautifully and purred along the highway to Stanger. I was stopped three times by passing motorists to have pictures taken of Buddy and me and to chat. On all three occasions Buddy started – no problem. I was intending to leave Stanger early (12:30) but got delayed chatting to Roshin Mahomed (the store manager) and her really friendly staff and was waiting to chat to the local police, court officials and press so my intended departure was extended to 2:30. After bidding goodbye to Roshin and her staff, I jumped into Buddy, waved goodbye, turned the key and …..NOTHING! We tried jumper leads and Buddy started but as soon as we disconnected them Buddy cut out, so it unanimously agreed that it was the alternator/generator. A call was made to Micky’s Auto Electrical and he arrived with a new battery, Buddy started and with a fully charged battery Buddy was taken in for yet more surgery.

It was decided that due to the late hour of the afternoon, I should find accommodation close by as I could not get to Richards Bay, and return in the morning. A call was made to the Palm Dunes Beach Lodge/Conference Centre and holiday resort in Blythedale Beach and the management agreed to assist with my accommodation for the night. WOW what a place, absolutely beautiful, right on the beach. So after being shown to my room, I had no luggage, it was all in Richards Bay, I headed for the dinning room/pub to enjoy a couple of Millers before supper… I was starving. Here I met the two barmen of note, George and Kevin (check out the picture). These two guys pour mean cold Millers (but then again how can you go wrong doing that). George originally hails from Mozambique and arrived in South Africa about twenty five years ago. He gave me some great info about child rape in the area and believes that if the South African government got serious about trying to stop child rape by implementing harsh punishments which would be a deterrent instead of pussy footing around they could stop the scourge sweeping across our country. I agree whole heartedly George.

George and Kevin

George and Kevin

Just prior to my arrival at the lodge, a large group of, I think 27 people, arrived from Johannesburg on a ‘seminar’. They were from the Johannesburg City Parks department and had flown in that afternoon for a five day seminar. When considering the shocking state of the Johannesburg City Parks, and the fact that every time the council is taken to task over the condition of the parks and their response is “There is no money to spend on up grading or looking after the parks”, I shudder to think what it cost to fly 27 people to Durban, hire transport to take them to Stanger/Blythedale and then put them up in a 4 star Lodge and include their drinking bill into the deal. On this account I was gob smacked when every time drinks were ordered from individuals who probably drank Castle Beer when paying the tab themselves were ordering Johnny Walker Black, doubles nogal, with Coke/ginger ale/sprite and appletiser and Tequila Gold, and this went on till 3am. Ya well no fine.

Okay, so after this, I returned to Stanger this morning only to be told that there is nothing wrong with the alternator or the battery, they are both 100% fine. So the search started for the electrical short which had to be somewhere. Now, when I had prepared Buddy in Jhb, I had siliconed the bonnet down, all the edges so that rain could not get into the electricals, I did a pretty good job of this even if I say so myself, and so when it came to breaking the seal and removing the bonnet I must admit I was just a little reluctant, but it had to be done and so all the dashboard wiring was exposed. The brake fluid reservoir pipe had been leaking for a while so I decided to use the opportunity of the bonnet being off to tackle this task as well. I discovered that the pipe wasn’t the problem, in fact the nozzle to which the pipe was attached had cracked and so I needed to find a new reservoir bottle – in Stanger – RIGHT! And so my search/walk started. Now I failed to tell you that last night I hardly slept because of the horrible bug I have picked up. I hardly slept because of a chronic sinus headache which even spread down to my jaw. At one stage I thought I might have contracted Swine flu but I realised that I didn’t have the symptoms for this which are: Runny nose, sore throat, coughing and the irresistible desire to make love in the mud. I didn’t have the last one so it couldn’t be Swine Flu.

But walking the streets of Stanger and enquiring at about 7 different spares shop proved fruitless, not to mention exhausting and punishment on the bug which has invaded my body. But eventually I walked into a spares shop called Blue Flame motor spares and on seeing the bottle in my hand, Sanvay (I think/hope that’s how you spell his name) confirmed that they had ONE! He fetched it from the back and I couldn’t believe my luck. His partner Kevin arrived on the scene and they unanimously agreed that I could not pay for it as it was their contribution to the project, so to the guys of Blue Flame Motor Spares – Stanger – thank you for your kindness and generosity.

When I returned to Micky’s auto electrical, Micky had located the short in the dashboard, repaired the problem and Buddy was once again out of surgery. I said my goodbyes to Roshin and her friendly staff at Beares, and here I must give a really special thanks to Krish without whose help and connection (Micky) I would probably still be sitting on the side of the road somewhere between Stanger and Richards Bay. So tomorrow I head out for Empangeni and then I return to Richards Bay where I hope to set up camp at the Richards Bay Caravan Park, hopefully I can twist their arm into sponsoring me a site for a few nights.

There are a few facts I learnt today about child rape and the infrastructure – which does not exist – to support the victims of this despicable crime, but I think I have said enough about Buddy and my travels for today, and so keep tuned to this web-site for more ‘fascinating’ experiences of Buddy and Me.

Caring Regards
Buddy (The Beach Buggy) and Me (Steve Heath)

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