Big debate on whether to go back through the park, or pound some tarmac to get to the border with Botswana at Tuli block.
Tar wins – 1 point down to dust. After 2 hours the sign we dread – at full tilt Trev swerves off the road, pulls over, and before I can draw up next to him, has his head under the car.
Collective pulses race.
‘I heard a metal grinding noise’ he says, then incredibly adds, ‘but it’s probably not serious’
I do my goldfish impersonation ‘How is that not serious?’
We drive on, and an hour later Trev exclaims with delight that it was the speedo cable that snapped – so once again he had confounded my pessimistic realism with his labrador like faith in his vehicle.
It’s a long day so Marika takes the wheel, and fancying herself as a rally driver takes a right hand bend at speed. We get engulfed in blue smoke – not good.
Screech to a halt – bonnet up, just a pool of oil that gathered in a recess of yesterday’s cylinder head removal, spilled over onto the exhaust manifold when subjected to M’s 3 G turn.
We book in at Mapungubwe – a chalet – bliss.


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