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// Nikon D7200 | 51.4419 : 0.7585 | alt. 10m

Such a long way……. north, to start a trip in Africa from the south tip :p

I’m glad I had friends on the way to make a few stops and to share a few drinks. A big THANK YOU to Sylvain and Mathias 🙂
Rest of the road… but wait, why again driving all the way to Uk to travel in Africa ?

Well after 6 months of research about ships connecting Europe to Africa, I found 2 options in Africa (Namibia and South Africa). Now on the european side, Spain, France, Germany and Uk are on the list. Now since I live in southern France, the obvious choice would be France or Spain, but think again. Shipping prices go from 800eur to 2500eur, depending of shipping locations. Long story short, each shipping company or port applies different rates for storage, loading, tax, paperwork…….. Uk was already the cheapest and after the brexit, bringing down the pound close to the euro, it was a “bargain”.

Same on the other side, looking at different quotes in Namibia or South Africa, it was a no brainer. Namibia is way cheaper regarding fees and other expenses. On top of that, I feel much more comfortable waiting a few days for my van in the lovely town of Walvis Bay than a big port in South Africa.

Now back on the road, 1200kms to reach Calais, then a very quick ride on the eurostar, and the last 150kms on British soil to hit Sheerness in the night. You cannot imagine how tricky it was to drive properly on the left hand side of the road with a left hand drive vehicle, after 1200kms on the other side 😀 I must admit, it was night time, I took a few round abouts on the wrong side.

First night of the trip is obviously a ……..mc Donald, in front of the docks. The only place I found to park, like many trucks…….. (insert sad emoticon here)

Next morning, 8am, I drive to the gate, show my shipping note, get a beautiful yellow reflective jacket + a map of the port. Driving slowly to the export/RORO area, final check at a new gate, someone comes back, put a number on the windshield followed by W Bay (looks like the correct destination 🙂 and …… that’s it, or like he said with such a typical accent : Yo ‘all done mate !

Well not exactly ! I still have a few stuff to do ! First thing first, deflate both tyres and suspension. (yup, the van has to fit below 2.10m !) at this point, the driver is coming back every 5 min to remind me he will have to drive the van !
“Yeah yeah, don’t worry, just leave me alone !”
I remove everything from the front, even the small tiny led on the roof, lock the safe and doors, put on safety bars on the sliding doors, disconnect the batteries, final check, and lock the trunk and spare wheel holder with 2 other locks. It really feels like putting a chastity belt on your princess while you’re going on a quest.
Ok it took me some time, and now the guy is gone ! (I guess because the princess is locked :P)
I cannot find anyone, and I have no other choice but to leave the van with the ignition key on the dashboard. Please forgive me, son.

So here is the thing, I will never know if the van was actually below 2.10m, or if anything else happened….. big stress. Now is time for hope, and the long wait begins……

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