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Our last day brought us a relatively short distance from Bloemfontein to Jo'burg, just a short 400km. We set out a little late, as breakfast turned from a planned quick bite, to a 2 hour analysis of the characteristics of each of the 4 cars represented and a wonderful long lazy breakfast with many opinions, ideas and general banter on the trip and the cars so far.

What really added a fantastic dimension to this particular trip was the fact that we have all put at least 1,000km on each car ourselves, so we can offer first hand opinion on each driving experience. In fact, bearing that in mind it was surprising we go out of the hotel before the reset the tables for lunch.

Back on the road, and with the typically blue skies above and smooth asphalt beneath we stormed the last 400km and arrived into Jo'burg sometime around lunch with only 1 stop to 'meet and greet' the local traffic constabulary, which ended as being a relatively pleasant experience in the end! :crowngrin:

All cars (bar the lovely GTS :cry3:) cleaned and returned to the garage spots, we said our farewells, and the international travellers amongst us departed for O. Tambo airport. Dinner and drinks in departures, as the sun set across the runway, and one by one we departed for our respective boarding gates and a return to reality...
 

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The Final Credits - the THANK YOU

Whilst it was certainly dominated by the "P" enemy :ears:, FLED SA was every bit a Ferrari Life Epic Drive. All the characteristics of the Fleds that have preceded it and some extreme days driving in the most incredible landscapes and environments that I have been fortunate enough to experience.

It would have never occured, without the many friendships forged on FL and in particular without the generosity of Mike ('Schumacher') and David ('Vitalone') who incredibly offered their cars to some crazy European petrol heads who simply jumped on a flight and landed in South Africa.

Gents, that was truly the spirit of FLED and far above and beyond the call of duty. :thumbsup::steeringwheel::thumbsup::steeringwheel::thumbsup::steeringwheel::thumbsup:

South Africa really has to be seen to believed. As I sit in a cold wet Dublin office now, it seems so far away, but one thing is for sure. I will be back again, of that there is no doubt!:steeringwheel:
 

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I'm gasping with awe!:thumbsup:

Those Porsches look great in the African back drop! Would you consider getting one, Barry?
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
Thank you for all your wonderful comments Barry.

Thank you Mike for having us at your home, "lending" us your cars thru "the wild" and being a so enthusiasic motorhead to always ask firstly : "What you think of this car, what of that" !!:thumbsup:

Thank you David. How many fleds have we done already together, 5,6,7 ? All in total friendship and enthusiasm. Never drove together for so long and far on an individual Fled before...epic indeed. And thanks for lending your cars as well. Wouldn't be possible otherwise.

Thank you John (non FerrariLife member) to bring your Porsche enthusiasm towards us. You are a wonderful motorhead and deeply knowledgable in so many aspects. It was very enriching in many senses. Who cares about if we drive on certain occasions Porsche's or Ferrari's or mix them up ? It's the enthusiasm who counts...and I do not know many Ferrari owners, who are as nearly as enthusiastic and knowledgable as you are on Porsche's.

Thank you Barry for your nice arrival mail. You said it in the best way: "As ever, the spirit of FLED is alive and kicking. Not that we need to prove it, but such trips constantly reinforce for me the necessitiy to grab life by the horns and live each and every moment" !!!

You're all a buch of great guys ! Thanks again.

P.S.

Namibia.....Botswana....or already "Nirwana" next ?...new thread to follow soon ..;-)
 

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I'm gasping with awe!:thumbsup:

Those Porsches look great in the African back drop! Would you consider getting one, Barry?
Yes, Capo I certainly would. I was very impressed with the 911E. Light nimble and punching far above its weight. Could certainly enjoy one in my garage!
 

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Yes, Capo I certainly would. I was very impressed with the 911E. Light nimble and punching far above its weight. Could certainly enjoy one in my garage!
Me tooooo!!
 

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P.S.

Namibia.....Botswana....or already "Nirwana" next ?...new thread to follow soon ..;-)
Namibia and Bots absolutely but don't forget Zimbabwe. It's coming together now so getting petrol is not an issue any more. People are very friendly in Zim. We could go and see the wild rhino and chat with the International Rhino Foundation and speeding tickets are negotiable.

In Bots they have some of the world's biggest elephant in the Okavango Delta. It is the least populated sub Saharan country.

Namibia is a wonderful mixture of different climate zones. I drove a couple of thousand clicks there some years ago. Everybody speaks German in Namibia so it's Porsche country again!

Mozambique is another place to go. The marlin fishing is world class at good money. Other game fish a lot cheaper.
 

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What an epic adventure! An adventure like this will either make or break a friendship. New friendships were made and deeper bonds were forged thanks to the great companionship. No egos rather flexibility, enthusiasm, stamina and above all open minds ready to enjoy new experiences. Rolf and Barry with their joy at being in SA allowed me to see my this beautiful country in a new light, from the outside looking in.

Over 4,000km to drive. In a week. In classic cars. In the heat of the Summer. Without aircon.

So much to tell, I will try to sum up what jumped out at me each day.

Last Thursday
The alarm goes off at 4am. In Windhoek, I have a plane to catch to Johannesburg. My dear friend Mike will meet me at the airport. Mike and I share the 911E and 930. When Mike heard that Rolf and Barry would be flying in for FLED SA, Mike immediately offered to host them on their arrival, agreed that the E and 930 should be shared between us and offered his gorgeous 308 GTSi even though he would not be able join us for the drive. That's a true friend!

Through the farmlands of the Freestate with its big sky and wide open land. We are treated to dramatic clouds, bolts of lightning and good rain. Even a bit of hail.

Unbelivable starry sky in the Karoo that we admire after dinner before turning in.

Last Friday
A hot sunny day. I take the wheel of the 308 for the next 500km. It feels great to be back behind the wheel of
a 308! Oil and water temperatures remain pegged at the halfway mark despite our fast cruise in the hot sun. Foolishly I discard the FLED SA bush shirt that Mike kindly gifted us. My left arm is still several shades more sunburnt than my right arm. Bush shirt is put back on after our petrol stop. Spectacular landscape dwarfing
our technicolour quartet. While the 964 Carrera 4 and 930 feel effortless, pilots of the 308 and 911E feel like heroes.

After lunch in Calitzdorp on a cool veranda watching the small town life and admiring our impossibly exotic cars (in this setting), we hit some incredible twisties. Now I am behind the wheel of the 930. Ponderous in the bends compared to the light and dancing 911E. Until I start to make use of the turbo. The road is smooth with fast open bends flowing from one to the other. Desserted. Under a blue sky. Scan the open road for the next
two corners, drop into third to bring the revs to 3000-4000rpm. The turbo awakens from 3000 rpm but can be
held back at these revs by feathering the throttle. There's the apex, make sure of your line and bring the turbo in hard yet smoothly. The roar of riding revs competes with the scream of pressurised air, the cars hunkers to the ground and slingshots out of the bend with power and composure that takes my breath away. The 964 disappers behind me in a sustained lunge of power and torque multiplied by the turbo. The legend is true, the 930 is a supercar that dishes put the thrills at warp speed. Just make sure that she is set up for the next two corners in advance. A dab of brakes to balance her and the right gear selected to bring the turbo in at will. Just before the apex deploy and hold on as there is an immense sustained rush of power, the steering wheel wriggling in the hands like that of the dancing E and the scenery blasting past at warp speed. I have touched the greatness of this legend and I am on a high for the rest of the trip.

Last Saturday
Rolf dives with the sharks while the rest of us take the gentler option of taking a boat to get closer to the whales in Hermanus. Not too gentle as it turns out, there are huge swells. Chew lots of gum and keep the eyes on the horizon. After 2 hours it is good to be back on land. Queasiness replaced by concern at the flat right rear tyre on the 930. Our whale guide inflates the tyre and we drive to the tyre fitment centre. A rusty nail is found in the tyre. Repair done and off to the filling station for oil and petrol. Barry supplies the coffee and muffins while this is all going on and we feel very pleased with ourselves. The E is tranformed when we discover the right rear is .2 bars more than the left. The early 911s are particularly sensitive to tyres and pressures.

Last Sunday
A drive along the coast to Cape Town with a coffee stop in Gordon's Bay. Then we hit some more passes including the Franschoek pass. Picture the scene: a group of friends stopped at a picnic spot admiring the view of the Franschoek valley. The silence shattered by the roar-scream of the Ferrari and the rasp-howl of the E in hot pursuit. Dramatically the red and orange orchestra pulls in, the drivers jump out and lie on a ledge. And fall asleep. The silence is once again shattered. This time by the apocoleptic thunder and gargling of the 930 and deep roar of the 964. That in turn thunder in the parking spot. The driver of the silver beast leaps out and offers the stilled group a bottle of marmalade. Explaining that it was rolling around in the car causing some distraction. The group accepted this "gift" with some trepidation...

This past Monday
A leisurely breakfast, a cruise from Sea Point to Clifton, Camps Bay, Hout Bay and for a swim at Bishop'sCourt. The E is in her element on that smooth twistu road out of Clifton. Steering wriggling happily in hands as she tells me every nuance of the road as we dance along keeping her on her on her toes in the sweet spot between 4000-6000 rpm. A capuccino at Viglietti, the SA Ferrari agent and the cable car to the top of Table Mountain. No wind, clear day, spectacular views.

This past Tuesday
A little over 1,0000km to cover to get to Bloemfontein before nightfall. 180km into our drive and the plucky 308 says enough. Epic drives bring to the fore any weaknesses and the 308 is crying out for a Birdman fusebox. Barry and I wait the 3 hours in the dusty, windswept Karoo town in the middle of nowhere, for the tow truck. Whose driver is of Italian descent and is over the moon to be picking up a Ferrari. The car is loaded up expertly and off it goes to Viglietti in Cape Town. Fortunately for Barry and I, our three hour wait was from the inside of the Karoo Chicken Kitchen where the pancakes and coke floats were delicious. While the wind blew the dust up and the signs creaked. As Barry said, Top Gear meets Tarrantino...It is 2.15pm when we hit the road again. Barry and I agree that it makes no difference whether we reach our hotel at 9,10, 11 or whenever
pm. The main thing is to enjoy the adventure and to get their safely.

The E settles into a comfortable cruise at the 150km/h mark, effortlessly passing the many trucks on the otherwise quiet road. Range is about 450-500km on a 62 litre tank at this speed. Happy with this. Filling stations few and far between. Perhaps we should have stopped at the unwelcoming Beaufort West. Not sure if we will make it to Colesberg. Suddenly I become one of the happiest person in the world. In the middle of nowhere, or Three Sisters to be precise, we find a Shell UltraCity. Complete with a Steers Burger joint. Both the cars and us will enjoy a feast before we head out into the early evening. I take the wheel of the 930. The feeling of security is huge, feeling the effortlessness of her in my hands. The E looks even more beautiful being driven on the open road in the spectacular Karoo scenery than it does when sitting still. The unique crisp rasp of the mechanically injected 911 just adds to the allure of this pure beauty.

Donkeys wandering across the N1, ducks in the filling station forecourt and a big cup of coffee and we arrive at our hotel at 11pm. Straight to the bar for a Jagermeister chased by an ice cold Windhoek Draft beer. It was
hardcore. The cars were well up to it.

Yesterday
A wonderful leisurely breakfast. An easy 400km cruise to Johannesburg. Cars washed, packed and off to the airport. I was so shattered, in a good way, that I did something that I never have done before. Once the seatbelt signs went out I fell asleep and stayed that way for the next nine hours.

Everyone rose to the occassion and made this a wonderful epic adventure. A FLED in other words. Personally I bonded with our glorious E once again after 16 years of ownership, fell for the turbo more than I thought possible and bonded with the country of my birth once again. Thanks to my dear friends Rolf, Barry, Mike and John.
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
Wonderful writeup David. Thank you and your friends many times over again. Without your all great heartiness, it would not have happened.
 

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I have enjoyed this so much. If I can organise the cars I would love to host one.

David.
 

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The pictures, the write ups, the phone calll:thumbsup: - it has made me feel like I was there with you. I'm so glad you just missed the donkey, that could easily have ended in hospital !! But the doctors are good in SA so I believe they would have fixed the donkey!:crowngrin:

Your adventure truly was epic, cheers!:thumbsup:
 

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What an epic adventure! ....
What a great write up David. Such an action packed week that I had forgotten some of the incidents already! (the marmalade gift to the astonished sightseers was priceless :crowngrin:)

Today I feel human again, so today I must do some work... but I keep getting drawn back towards Ferrari Life :ears:
 

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Discussion Starter · #76 ·

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Really enjoyed reading about your adventure and the great photos - thanks! :crowngrin:
 

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Hi All

I hope all is well.

The adventure continues...

Good news on the 308 is that it was the distributor rotor that went. The Cape Town Ferrari agents have repaired it and all has worked out well as I am arriving in Cape Town for a couple of weeks' break with the family. I now have the 308 to run around in while I am there!!!

Wishing you all a great festive season!!!

Warm regards
 

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Schumi!

Good to hear it was not a Ferrari part that broke down but a German rotor.:thumbsup:
 
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