Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Last but not least....

First I have to get this of my chest:

I bought this little car (second hand Uno) five years ago (at the time it was already five years old) and it is still going and not just going, it has been on a bit of an epic journey.

 It did not all start so well, I hardly had her two months when the engine “blew up”, I am not very mechanically minded so “blew up” will have to do, but I do think you get the point. Then a Garage/workshop owner tried to convince me that it is not worth spending 
Zar 6 000 (for a new engine) on a car that is only (by then) worth about Zar 15 000.  I have heard that argument before and it only works when you have lots of money or are willing to waste a lot of money by paying double a cars worth (with interest). If you look at it from a different perspective and you do not have Zar 20 000 or 30 000 to buy another one cash and you are not willing to be up to your eyeball in debt, just for the sake of transport, the argument becomes a bit lame. The fact is I needed transport to get to work and back, without spending half my salary on doing so, so I fixed the little car.

That Zar 6 000 for a new engine turned out one of the best “investments” I ever made. It is five years later and accepts for the normal wear and tear, like new tires etc. there were very little problems and no monthly installments. If I had monthly installments the mighty banking bastards would have taken it back a long time ago….

I bought it in Sedgefield on the Garden Route, that is after I rolled my old Golf. Then the engine got replaced and the journey started. I drove right across the country to Vaalwater (near Botswana). That is about 1 600 km’s without any problem.  Then I got bored and decided to do the whole green/eco living mission, which meant driving all the way down to the Eastern Cape, another 1 400 or so kilometers. Mostly no problems, accept that the difference in altitude caused it to not want to start at times and at some point Riaan threatened to burn it… lucky that did not happen and the journey continued. This time with two people, a dog, a cat and a squirrel as passengers. After the KD mission and us being very poor we went to howick, again another 800 or so kilometers, without any problem or worries about monthly payments.

But that is not all! From Howick I drove all the way up to Hoedspruit (not to far from Mozambique) and then back to Johannesburg and then all the way to Stellenbosch in the Western Cape. That journey was probably well over 2 000 kilometers. This little car is nothing short of a miracle. It is also extremely light on petrol/gasoline and at the current price of the stuff this counts for a lot.

 A lot of the travelling was on dirt roads, which Uno’s are not built for, yet this little “mini Ferrari”, as we call her. (It is Italian, like the Ferrari and that is where the resemblance stops), just kept on going.

Through thick and thin, through better and worse, starting to sound like a marriage…