Africa Safari rally is offically over

August 11, 2014. 004Stewball is back. Complete with lots of African dust and dirt, 025but also the 004



Cuban cigars Marco gave Ed on the rally. Doesn’t look like customs touched anything. Maybe the dirt served a purpose. Today we  left Daytona Beach, Florida where we had spent a week on our sailboat, mostly sweating and sometimes writing. We  received word last Wednesday that Stewball had finally arrived at the warehouse in Port Wentworth, Georgia.

003He left Cape Town, South Africa a few days after we finished our rally through five countries in the south of Africa. Details are available on earlier blogs from May, 2014.

His journey was much longer than our was. He returned via Singapore, through the Panama canal and then up the East coast of the U.S. to arrive in Georgia. He was gone so long we were really beginning to wonder if he decided he liked the wander-life and would ever return.

He refused to start and had to be pushed out of the container. (More evidence that he didn’t want to come home?) Ed had this problem the day after the rally in Cape Town. He is convinced the automatic choke isn’t working. He did get the car running that day but even for Ed, Stewball wouldn’t start today. One more possibility. He is out of gas. Shippers require not much more than fumes in the tank when you leave the car to be containerized and Stewball was running on fumes when we drove to the warehouse in Cape Town.  That trip was several miles longer than we anticipated and I was seriously worried that we’d end up pushing him to the dock. Tomorrow we will fill the tank and try to tow start him. Should be interesting. It would be embarrassing to have our Beetle guru tell us the only problem was lack of fuel. After all, we just finished 5,000 miles of driving, you’d think we knew something about what it takes to keep a car running.

So this rally is over. It was a difficult re-entry. This was our most memorial one yet. We made some wonderful new friends 021

and reconnected with some old ones. We saw life as we had never seen and animals that we only knew from zoos.

Africa is a special place and it grows on you with all  0632.jpgexotic animals and landscapes.Vdub and trees




We were not the only ones who felt this way. Other ralliests described the void we felt as well.

We left Africa and this event with a special memory that won’t fade. Our 38th anniversary was the day the rally ended and we were presented with a limited-edition print from Botswana that everyone had signed. It now hangs in a special spot our foyer and we pass it each time we come into the house.Africa_anniversary_38

So what next? Paris is on the docket for September and we will meet up with some of our rally friends there. We have begun to look at other rallies-after saying this would be our last one.The Alpine Trial? Cape Horn? New Zealand? All possibilities if only time will stand still. We’d return to Africa for another rally in a flash. It will be repeated  in 2017. Are we crazy (as in too old) to plan that far ahead?

Don’t answer that question.

Next blogs will be from the sidewalks of Paris,

Jan and Ed

About ejhowle23

Authors and adventurers, participated in the World Race 2011, an automobile rally from New York to Paris, crossing three continents and 14,000 land miles. Following much the same route as the setting for our debut novel, The Long Road to Paris. This blog describes our own adventures and challenges. And now you can follow our Bahamas sailing adventure that provides the setting for our second novel, Night Watch. Our rally, the African Safari Challenge, crossed five countries in South Africa in May 2014 and in 2015 we participated in the second Trans-American rally this time from Nova Scotia to San Francisco. Spring of 2016 we travelled 28 days around Australia with friends from previous rallies and in the fall participated in our most exhausting rally through Argentina, Chili and Peru- the Rally of the Incas. We were awarded the Against All Odds award. We're still not sure if this was for us or our car. Stewball never broke down and we hardly did. We will soon take on Iceland as a self-drive tour and in the fall of 2017 we will participate in the Odyssey Italia and then back to Africa for a do-over (almost) of the Africa Safari Challenge.
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3 Responses to Africa Safari rally is offically over

  1. TBC says:

    Splendid. So great that Stewball made it home safely, albeit thirsty (we hope). Priming is a wonderful adventure. Meanwhile, we look forward to seeing him upon our return, and we are so glad we got to see your beautiful African print last time as saw Janet (Ed was attending to the boat).

  2. Viraj Mehta says:

    Wow, This is a very interesting post. I had a great time checking out your blog. I really like this particular blog because it portrays different aspects of Africa. This makes the blog a lot more interesting. Thank you for sharing this wonderful article with us. I really enjoyed reading it.

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