SHELBY ANDERSON drives a Maui 4 motorhome to Durban and finds courage en route
I’ll never forget the first night our family of four went camping. A Mozambique monsoon blew, our hired caravan nearly capsized, and our tent got stuck in a tree. I’ve wanted to own a proper camper ever since, so you can imagine my excitement when MAUI Motorhomes lent me one of theirs.
When I collected the Mercedes diesel 2.5l 4 sleeper single chassis from the Kempton Park depot, Thulani showed me everything from how to start the vehicle to where to check the batteries. With the air-con on the roof, I had to reverse extra carefully to ensure low hanging trees didn’t scrape the top of the vehicle but road handling was smooth and easy.
What a pleasure not to have to lug a suitcase around! There is a place for everything including the MAUI-supplied bedding. The bathroom has a flush toilet and a hand shower with a 50L water capacity plus a place for toiletries. I hung my clothes in the long cupboards and packed other garments overhead. I was grateful for the aircon/heater and thick fluffy blankets. The kitchen with a kettle, toaster and two-plate gas stove even had a spot for spices.
Being a proud associate of the Riding for a Limb, Kirsty Watts Foundation, which raise awareness and funds for children who have lost limbs, I was driving to Durban to meet Gerda (du Toit), Charl and Noel, who were doing a 4000+ km trip around South Africa. Gerda, a courageous mother-of-two, who lost both legs to the mismanagement of diabetes, is the first double amputee to do such a journey on a Cayenne World sponsored motorbike.
I drove down to Pennington on the South Coast, where I stayed at a private caravan park. After breakfast, I met Gerda, Charl and Noel in Yellowwood Park, Durban. We drove to Howick and met again in Van Reenen Pass. I stuck to the recommended speed limit of 110km/hour for the van – anything more made me feel slightly unsteady as the wind was hectic, so the bikes always made it to the next stop half an hour before me. Together with five more riders from Cayenne, we met at the famous Green Lantern Inn.
Built in 1892, and previously known as Van Reenen Hotel, the Green Lantern Inn is a landmark along the spectacular eponymous mountain pass. With the mighty Drakensberg as their backdrop, Oaklands Manor — a magnificent place, reminiscent of colonial days – was our stay-over point. Thanks to owners Annie and Caroline, we had a fabulous time.
As we made our way back to Joberg with the riders (to much fanfare), the MAUI motor home was a hit with everyone I met along the way, including petrol attendants. All asked if they could peep inside. Everyone loved my driveable mobile home, and me most of all. Thanks MAUI. I look forward to many more adventures …by