The adventures of a Land Rover!

Kruger National Park Travel Blog

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Dropping back into South Africa at Messina we planned a route down the length of Kruger Park after picking up on supplies and like all plans it would change.  I’ve had a feeling something was correct with the Land Rover for a while, those voices in the back of your head again.  Before leaving town there was a very loud squealing noise from the rear driver’s wheel.  It was getting late and we pulled into a Motel.  I striped the wheel off that night to find a piece of metal tinplate on the back of the brake pad had came off and was lodged rubbing on the rim making all that noise, nothing to worry about and pulled it out.

Before going into Kruger Park we stocked up on fire wood for the BBQ and headed in.  Then we didn’t need to voices to know something was up with the Landy again, there was a vibration from the rear wheels.

  That weekend was spent at a camp site, screwing.  That rear driver’s wheel bearing was not feeling good but I couldn’t get the centre huge nut off to have a closer look at it, a hammer and chisel wasn’t moving it.  The rear axle oil was contaminated with sparkling metal.  One of the locals, Jim, who was over for a few days fixed us up with a mechanic in  Polokwane 180kms away and a place to stay.  In the meantime he took us in his vehicle out to Crocks Corner.  This place borders Zimbabwe and Mozambique and its name came from the days used this frontier to avoid the law, and you had to avoid the many many crocodiles as its river was invested with them!  Not so many crocks around these days but people fleeing into South Africa still used this route across the National Park following the power lines, there are stories of not all of them making it becomes foul of the lions or other wild animals.

Back at the Landy (sick but never dead!) I injected grease into a small gap with my grease gun, packed as much as possible into it then packed the end cap and pushed it on with grease spilling out.  It was a very tentative drive out of the park and chose a route to Polokwane, avoiding the main highway as we travelled at max of 40km/h.  I was especially careful turning left trying not to load the right hand wheel bearing, we slowly passed more and more kms.  We eventually made it to the mechanics shop after more than 5 hours, I told him to replace both wheel bearings as they shared oil that was contaminated with metal.  Next day he showed me the old bearing in a bucket and nobody could believe we made it so far or even drive it into the shop, also me, it had completely collapsed and half of the bearing race was gone.

  With that fixed it was back to Kruger Park to continue our trip down through and into Swaziland.  BUT the Land Rover had one more surprise for us in Kruger Park, while on a heavily corrugated section smoke started to come from under Paulina’s seat!  I did not have to tell her twice to jump when I stopped  A wire mesh security cover I had stuffed into a couple of plastic bags and stored there and forgot, had managed to make contact across the spare battery and melted the wire.  Wasn’t a good place to store that thing!!  (((this was also to be the adventures of a Land Rover!)))

Mnawin says:
And nice photos..
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011
mouzouris says:
Great Blog MrDuck.
Posted on: Oct 21, 2011
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Crooks Corner
Crook's Corner
Kruger National Park
photo by: tersia