In the daylight we discovered that the seams of the fuel tank were sodden with diesel. One of the waiters in the hotel knew a mechanic and so we arranged for him to come and see the problem and give us a quote for removing the tank and welding the leaks.
It took two mechanics two hours to remove the nineteen year old tank from the rusty fixings of the undercarriage, and once we had drained it and removed the bottom shield, six of us stood around the tank with a piece of chalk circling the dozens of holes, just like being stood around a pub quiz machine playing spot the difference.
The garage only had the electrical welding equipment and not the better oxygen based welding guns, and so the job was only really a temporary fix until we could either get it re-welded somewhere else, or preferably get a new fuel tank.
With the Landrovers fuel tank back in place we drove up into the Simian Mountain National Park with our compulsory local gun carrying park scout who couldn’t speak a word of English. The park is home to over 6000 gelada baboons and after only a hours drive we spotted a couple of hundred at the side of the road.
We got out of the car to go and walk amongst the baboons and sat down watching and taking photos. The baboons were not intimidated by our presence, and would come within touching distance of us so long as we made no sharp movements. After a while we resumed the drive upwards to over 3,300m above sea level. We got out for another longer walk around the park seeing the amazing scenery including the Geech Abyss, a 2000m shear face of rock that dropped vertically from beneath our feet into the valley below.
We drove back to a campsite near the entrance to the park where we knew a few of the other overlanders we had met on the ferry would be camping that night. We cooked dinner on a campfire before the sun went down and I eventually got the guitar out to play a few songs to give us something to do once the sun had gone down.
- David Jennings & Nathan Topham
- Wrexham, Wales, United Kingdom
- For the past 5 years, me and my best friend Nathan have talked about the possibility of travelling around the world by land and sea, and so finally we have a route, savings and time to set off around the world. What we are doing is living out a dream, a dream we share with many people worldwide, a dream of travelling this vast, diverse, beautiful and interesting planet, but unlike the many others who keep it as a dream, we have the tenacity to make this dream a reality.