SASS Supply Run

Wake up and the cat is gone from the base of Drisdelle’s bed. It jumped on Mark’s chest in the middle of the night and he let it out. We pack up our gear and dump it into the Truck. Time for one last breakie by The Backpack’s worm farm.

Priscilla is nowhere to be seen. That goldfish is probably hungover af. The owner of The Backpack isn’t about either. She was hoping to see us off and give us some tips before we go. Ahh well, no time to dilly dally, we gotta get this SASS underway. We get out the ladder and Shovel we somehow remembered to stow last night and strap them back to the truck.

“Godspeed, gentlemen!”, Andrew comes out to send us on our way. He’d recommended we park right out front so the security guard could keep an eye on the truck over night. “Have a great time, enjoy Africa, be safe but not too safe.”

I volunteer to take first drive. We leave the wonderful Backpack and hit the Cape Town streets in our oversized behemoth

Damn, it is haaaaard driving around the city. The dimensions of the truck are deceiving. Can’t judge shit in the mirrors. We navigate our way to a grocery store for supplies. Where do I park this beast? Parallel parking this thing on a busy street sounds nightmarish. I go down a side street and it ends up being a one way dead end and I have to turn around. I’m looking at a 40 point turn here, great. Peter gets out and I can see him in the mirror directing me. Yep, this truck is tough to maneuver. We get it spun round and back to the street, “Hit the road and get supplies outside the city somewhere?”, “Yep, good call.”

I get us on Hwy 1 East out of Cape Town and soon we’re in a place called Century City. Looks like there are a number of places to stock up here so we exit and look for an entrance to the mall. How do you get in here? Ahhh this doesn’t look right, we’re at a security gate. The guard waves us down, he looks confused, “Are you working?”, “No we’re.. ah.. shopping?”, “No, no can’t go this way.” We go through the gate and spin it around, wave at the guard and go try to find the entrance again.

Take a right and a right, I keep hitting the windshield wipers when I go to signal. The levers are reversed on this right hand drive for some reason. We’ll have to start a tally on that. Ok, here we go, found the path to the covered parking garage. There’s one of those yellow striped gates with a bar hanging on chains that says “Warning 2.5 meters”. Are we taller than 2.5 meters? I drive up and the swinging bar slams off of the firewood box above the cab with a metal on metal clang that scares the fucking shit out of us. “Haha Yep. Taller than 2.5 meters for sure!” Fuck sakes. We get out to inspect the damage. There is none, we’re in a tank. Ok, well… shit, now I’m backing out of here and we can hear the bar scrape along the roof as I do it. Well this is a great first day in the truck already. Please no cars come while I’m backing out of here. No cars. No cars c’mon… Sweet, no cars.

We back out of the drive and whip it around to a Shell station with lots of space to park. Seems a bit sketch but we should be ok without leaving someone by the truck. We hoof it over through the garage and up some stairs into the mall. Oh god! Pee smell in the staircase is gaggy. It’s vile. Too hungover. Daaaah! run.

Not a bad looking mall, we find our way to a Pick and Pay. Man, this is a poorly laid out grocery store. Basically have to scour every aisle for what we need. No sensible organization at all. Alright, this is taking too long. Time to pair up, “We’ll do non-food, you do food?”, “Yep.” Mark and I leave the boys to the groceries and head into the mall to look for supplies.

We pass by a crazy Mandela mosaic visible from the second floor that’s made entirely of canned goods. Like.. thousands of them. That’s impressive, who is the can wizard that came up with that? And how long did that take?

Spot a store called Blades and Triggers that looks intense.

We find a sporting goods store and figure a first aid kit for the truck wouldn’t be a bad idea. We locate one by the ping pong balls. Extreme first aid beer pong? Sure, why not. We also find a percolator. A bit expensive but we’re tired of walking round this mall. I expect we’ll need a lot of morning coffee on this trip. 

Ok that also took longer than expected, we back track through the mall to the liquor store by Pick and Pay. The boys have gotta be done by now. They’ve got a shopping cart filled with various meats, bread, veggies, camping supplies, the works. We park it out in the mall walkway and start looking at booze.

Probably need enough for a couple of days at least:

  • Klippies and Coke
  • Tullamore Dew
  • Bottle of Chivas
  • Gin, Campari, Vermouth for negronis
  • 4 bottles of local wine
  • 24 beer and tonics

We drop it on the counter and it looks silly.

Actually we should probably get more beer. There are four of us and this is only 6 each. Yep, more beer. We grab a 2-4 from the fridge and an employee brings a box to help carry everything. “Two boxes?”, “Yeah, I think so.”

Load everything into the cart and our haul is overflowing. “We’re just rolling this shopping cart to the Shell station, right?”, “Oooooh yeah. I think we have to.” Through the mall, out the front entrance, through the covered garage, back into the nasty pee smell, down the lane by the yellow striped beam, and over to the Shell station.

The shovel on the side of the truck is twisted weird, looks like someone tried to take it. Guess we should be leaving someone by the truck at all times after all. We open the back and the two side panels to the kitchen area and fridge. This truck is ridiculously rad. We start organizing our supplies as best we can but are starting to draw attention. There are sketchbags hovering nearby, eyeing up our stash. One guy wants to return the cart for us. “He’ll want money for that ‘favor'”, “Oh, right.”

Ok, all of these crows are getting way too close for comfort. “Just biff the stuff in, we can organize shit at camp”, “Yep, let’s get out of here.” We toss everything in the back and close up shop. It was a good supply run, hard to tell how much stuff we need or how long things will last. It’ll work itself out.

Enough errands, time for the fun stuff. We look up directions to the Fairview Winery. Heard it was a good spot to drink wine with goats. Then we’ll see how far North we can get en route to the Namibian border. Waldo had suggested a wilderness area called Cedarburg to camp at. Hopefully we can make it that far today.

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