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The higher you are, the greater the fall.

Firstly, we made it! We are in Cape Town! The end, finito. London to Cape Town world cup rally is over. All a memory now. A spectacular entry into the Table Bay Hotel. People everywhere and photographers and congratulations and pats on the back and everything. totally surreal! In the end we came a comfy 32nd place. Thats what you get with sensible driving and a very well prepared car. The buzz was phenominal.


What happened next you couldnt even write it in a fictional novel. It just doesnt happen. Ever.

We turned out of the couldersac of the hotel finish line and had a (no joke) 30 meter transit to the carpark. And we hear a clunk.

Not a good clunk.

Then a few more clunks.

Then nothing.

Then more clunks and horrible noises.

After some investigation we have come to the end, we have blown up our diff. The diff center is kaput…..

It is such a shame, considering our plans to see more of Africa. But Penny won’t be touring Africa this time round, maybe/hopefully in the future she will be back. But for now, she will go on a boat back to Aus and go from there.

And us? not sure at the moment, we will work it out tomorrow if we get a hire car and tour or whatever. For now we are going to the prize giving diner (we won “agaisnt all odds” award!!). Such is life, it was meant to be. I am young enough and have many years to come back to africa, and i will! Mark my words i will!

More tomorrow.


To infinity… AND BEYOND!

Also, thank you all so much for following me thus far on this adventure. Everyone knows that the London to Cape Town world cup rally finishes tomorrow. But that is only the beginning for me and dad. Because we are planning on driving back north! Why? you might ask? Well, because we; A) are in africa, B) have a car in africa, and C) want to see more of africa.

So, we have a very vague plan of having a few days off in Capetown, seeing some good friends outside of Jo-burg, then going back north, maybe Botswana, then up to Gurun-gurun crater and the Serengeti and hopefully some gorillas and most likely finishing in Mombasa, Kenya to ship our car back home.

And this all means that i will continue to update this blog on our continued adventures as often as possible about what we are doing, and if i get arrested in the future (touch wood) and much of the same as what i have done so far. I hope you will all have the continued support and interest to continue checking and reading throughout Febuary and most likely the beginning of March. So to my friends back home in brissy, i still don’t have a solid return date yet but i will keep you informed 😀



I shot the sheriff, but did not shoot the deputy!

Bahahahah! So just came back from dinner and this story MUST be shared.

What do you get when you cross a 1923 vauxhall carrying 6 people (2 on each running board), a bunch of bored coppers in the middle of Clan William, South Africa and a 100meter journey at 15kph after dinner?

A 4000 rand fine for dangerous driving, a journey to the local watch house, a threat to be locked up untill monday for the judge to sort me out, and a bloody good story!!

Now we are coming to an end of this adventure, and alot of positions are more or less locked in place, a few of the other competitors that love Penny so much wanted to go for a little drive in/on her. And because tonights accomidation was spread all over town with a central bowls club dinner, a few of them had booked in (earlier in the night) a lift back to thier motel on the running boards! Fine, no problems, they have a rollbar to hold on to, i was doing less than 20kph and it was at maximum a 150meter journey. So Grant and simon, and Paul Carter and John Balyss and David (from the landy) all pile on and off i set. blub blub blub blub down the road. Then i turn down the main road (empty, this town has maybe 1000 inhabitants MAX) and what happens to be on the corner? The bloody cop shop, with 3 cop cars parked on the side and 8 bored coppers leaning on them. To be fair, any other country in africa you see people truck surfing (standing/sitting on top of the cab on a prime mover lorrie/semi). So they pull me over and blah blah blah lecture me about safety and then crack out, “Well, i should arrest you now and keep you untill monday to be sorted out with the local judge.” Where as at this point in time retort, “No sir, i can’t do that sir, we’re leaving tomorrow sir, i realise it was a silly thing to do sir, i’ll never do it again sir.” And he took very kindly to my – brown noseing – and then just gave me a fine. Yes i made sure i got a receipt. And i think i’ll frame it!!

THEN he refused to beleive that the car was a real car for the roads, and refused to believe it was registered untill i could fine rego papers (back in my hotel) so he took my license and i had to get rego papers and come back meet him at the cop shop and pay the fine blah blah blah. Good sir Grant Tromans helped me out for the fine as it was his idea for the bus ride after dinner.


James ‘hardcore’ Stephenson

The penultimate day!

The rally is devided into two groups the last 2 days; the fella’s that want to try and steal 30 seconds off the person in front of them and drive like maniacs, and the people that know there is no way to catch anyone and just drive with the intention of making it. And me? well because we are in our own race, and these Namibian/RSA roads are completly wonderful, i drive the time trail sections just the way i have been doing them, swiftly!

Today was another blinder of a day, we left our hot springs resort in the middle of a canyon and the first section was only 12k’s on smooth gravel with long sweeping corners. Fabulous. Now we are own well made roads we can finally get some speed up and haul our 2.5tonn car along. The results havnt come up yet but it felt like i took a podium place. I’m not really sure if another vuaxhall could have possibly done that section any faster. It wasn’t reckless by any standards, but it was fun! And i was so chuffed that none of the cars caught up to us and we had to let them pass. Top stuff Penny, you did well!

The border from Namibia to RSA was the most fluid out of all of them today, no more then 15 minutes. In and out, and then in and out on the other side. Kudos to them.

There was a few time controls that looped off the main road around lunchtime going up and down the hills to the side (would have been nice drive) on dirt roads, but the map suggested they were really windy going up and down, and it was another STINKING hot day, so we decided to give them a miss. Even plodding at regular driving speed on the main road we were running at 200 degree’s F, let alone if we started to push it to make the average speed’s set for each given section (mind you were set at 95kph, no possible chance of keeping up). And our decision was a good one, we plodded along to do Olifant River time trail late in the afternoon and made it in on our schedule time. Another short section of 11k’s and to clear it we were given 7 minutes, i clocked in at 10minutes 2 seconds. Faster than the americans in a jeep, and an MG. 😀

an easy 350k’s tomorrow with 2 short sections in the sederberg hills just out of cape town, can’t wait! Then festivities all through the night at the Table Mountain hotely/bar thing. And then a sleep in, i’ll be looking forward to having a good nice lie in on monday morning, with nowhere to drive, no times to do anything, just bumm around.