This blue marble

– and yet it spins

3 ladies and a monster car

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4wd-1Three ladies and a monster Land Cruiser. Four-wheel driven, stick shift, and to be driven on the left side of the road. Requires two people to get it into reverse gear. With two (in principle) pop-up tents on the roof, which in practice require two tall, strong people to pop them up or fold them down – or three ladies climbing all over the car for 15 minutes to do the same job.

This car would take us anywhere safely, and thus is not cheap. Which was also the reason for why the German owner of Africa on Wheels seemed reluctant to hand it over to us. Our every move was tracked on an interactive online map, and if we oversped we got a warning signal – or a phone call from the rental company. In exchange, however, they resolved every issue we had: from locating the barbecue supplies to actually resetting the speed limit signal system when we complained about overspeeding alarms when we were driving under the limit.

This car, together with Google Maps, took us through 3 hours of driving past sunset (uninsured, mind you) on the first day, through the desert, where locating small junctions in the sand was nearly impossible without great beams and a GPS map. It took us through beach sand and seriously bad trails to camp sites, for an entire week. It consumed about 20 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers, partly due to bad aerodynamics, but in return became like a trusted friend.

And I finally learned how to drive on the wrong side of the road.4wd-2(Namibia; July 2017)

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