Grannie and the Great Aussie Spring Clean (Part 1)

No, it's not a title of a children's book but our last week. The huge highlight for the week was that my Mum came to visit us and huge downside was we spent most of the week scrubbing the inside of the truck within an inch of its life. Lets start with the good stuff: My Mum and her friend Rosemary finished their month in Zambia where they are volunteer trustees for a charity for children who are affected by AIDS. Its an amazing organization that feeds, educates and helps create a future for these vulnerable children ( Unfortunately the time when we could have headed into Zambia didn't match with their time there, so Mum said she would come down to South Africa to see us for a week. When we looked at the timing it was just two weeks before the truck was due to be shipped to Australia, so we knew we would be pretty busy but she said she didn't mind. They had been working flat out in Zambia for the month so were exhausted and had loads of reports to write. So after looking at all the options we decided to head to the southern part of the Drakensburg Mountains to Glengarry, a campsite with cottages on a farm. It ended up being a perfect choice: gorgeous views; lots of space to sort the truck; baby animals for the girls to feed every day; but also very relaxing. The not-so-fun part of the week was preparing the truck for Australia. To stop the introduction of non-native species into their country, the Aussies have very, very strict rules about importing a vehicle. It has to be completely clean inside and out: "As new" is the requirement. A very tall order after having been on the road for over 2 years in 4 different continents! What do toothbrushes, earbuds, wirewool, scrubbers, wipes, kebab sticks, a brand new vacuum cleaner (which we can not even take with us as it has dust in it) and even the weird stick you use to clean the inside of a recorder have in common! Yes, you guessed it they were all brought into use to get the inside absolutely spotless. All the camping equipment, toys, kitchen stuff, scooters, school books etc. etc. All had to come out and be cleaned before going back in. All the drawers, cabinets and false floors had to come out and be cleaned under, a complete pain with the wires and pipes. All the nooks and crannies, of which there are a lot of, needed to be perfect. The mosquito nets and windows had to be cleaned with a toothbrush. In the end it took 4 days to get the inside spotless. Everyone pitched in with scrubbing, keeping the girls occupied and cooking, it was a real collective job. In the end after 90 man (woman and child) hours the inside was done. Now just the outside to do next week.....     We also got a chance in the evening to spend time together. It was so lovely to see Mum again, and reconnect with Rosemary. We did manage a day out to another area of the Drakensburg, Monk's Cowl before all the cleaning started. After what seemed like too short a week (maybe with all that scrubbing they feel differently;) we dropped them at the airport in Durban. While we headed to an apartment in the suburbs close to the MAN garage to phase II of the "Great Aussie Spring Clean". image

9 thoughts on “Grannie and the Great Aussie Spring Clean (Part 1)

  1. I really enjoyed last week in the Drackensberg with you all, especially catching up with you, again, Gilly. Fabulous scenery, food, fellowship, fun, wanderings and wine. – also candles, feeding animals and crochet! Keep at it, Alisha. A wonderful, relaxing change after the heat and work in Zambia. Thankyou, Steve, for expert driving and Lucy for giving up your seat. In future I shall follow your blog with more understanding. I have some great photos, too. Enjoy Dubai. Love, Rosemary.

  2. Unjani – Sawubona – Hoe gaan dit – Sisi !
    This will be the last South African greetings for you for some time!
    Next will be Good Day Mate -LoL

    Trust your scrubbed well and the MAN is ready to leave?
    I guess you now have a real good reason to buy new tooth brushes -!
    Look forward to your Oz adventurers.

    Totsiens & Hamba kahle


    • Thanks for this. Just finished scrubbing. The truck has never been so clean but will it be clean enough? Taking it to the port tomorrow so hopefully the rain will hold off and then we can relax and enjoy our last couple of days in Africa…for now…

    • Hi Julie
      Lovely to hear from you. We will be arriving in Perth on Nov 1st. Once out of customs etc. (hopefully) we are going to do an anticlockwise loop with side trips to Uluru and Tasmania. We hope to be in Oz for 8/9 months. We should be in your neck of the woods (either Canberra or Tasmania) in December or January. We’d love to catch up. I saw you were in Europe recently are you looking at a new posting or was it for study?

      • Hi Gilly – we are going to be in Tasmania from around 20 December to about 15 January – staying at the beach house – it is a good time of year to be there as there are food festivals (Taste of Tasmania) followed by music festival (summer mofo – see Mona museum) but it is absolutely the most crowded time of year to be there too. The weather *(unpredictable at the best of times) certainly will be cooler from March on. Love to see you. let us know when your schedule is more settled – this email reaches us; cell phone is +61 403 890 597. If you are in Tasmania same time we are, beach house has also a separate cabin set up with enough beds for the 4 of you. Good luck with the shipping and next phase!

        • Wonderful Julie, it would be so lovely to see you all. I’m sure the girls and Sasha would have a whale of a time together. It would be lovely to see you in Tasmania, hopefully we can get a space on the ferry. We will get in touch closer to the time. Gx

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