The car keys


Our issue with the car keys started at the Trans Kalahari Inn. We could not open the back canopy of the pickup to extract our luggage for our first night stay.

We tried before and after dinner, both to no avail. Perhaps, it would be better in the full light of the morning. We were not despondent though. Still high on the euphoria of arriving in Namibia and starting our adventure. This was just a minor hiccup.

 In the morning, with the benefit of full light, we tried again. Not really expecting a different result, but worth a try.

Back to the airport

So off we set, heading back towards the airport, and Henry from Thrifty Car Hire for lessons in jiggling locks. As expected Henry was there. He tried to work his magic with the lock again. To no avail. Now even if he had been able to open the lock, I don't know what we would have proposed. Would we take him with us for the next 18 days, just to open locks for us? :-) We did not have to explore that because he could not get in either. That was one of those mixed moments of glad it does not work, it was not us being stupid, and wish it was sorted and we were on our way. The person who checked us in wandered by, surprised to see us before the rental was finished. Henry made some phone calls, and said we should follow him.

So, off we go, not knowing the destination. Not long before we found out that it was to be Thrifty's maintenance depot, and safari camping vehicle center, which was in another part of the airport. We were checked through the security gates into the compound. A mechanic arrived and started with a liberal application of WD40, or similar approved. Another jiggle of the keys. Another statement that the key number and lock number don't match. Some more WD40, and another jiggle.

Henry slipped away to his normal job of pre and post inspections. The mechanic went off in search of the correct key to match the lock. He came back without success, and took us out of the sun, into a very large reception area / office for the camping 4x4. We were still happy, the problem was being resolved and we were being looked after. We were offered tea or coffee, or cold drinks. We sat and watched a long loop, a number of times,  of promotional video about Southern African safaris, and the animals that may be seen. A trip to the loo found it to be a massive room, including a shower. Just right for stepping out of a dusty, sandy, desert safari car into a plane home, clean and refreshed.

Still chilled, we saw a canopy being carried from a store at the back. Are they replacing our canopy, we ask ourselves? Did they have to drill the lock to get in, or perhaps even more damage?

Two hours

After about two hours, we were shown back to our car, with a new canopy, and a key that matched the lock. The mechanic suggested that we open the rear quarter lights of the canopy when travelling on dirt roads, to reduce the amount of dust. We blagged a 5lt bottle of water and were back in the car. 

A short discussion at the security gate, as we did not have the correct token, and we were on our way. It was now 11:39 and the odometer was 35470. From a start of 35426, we have travelled 44 km to be at precisely at the same location, the airport entrance gate. Whilst this was entirely avoidable, and totally Thrifty's fault, we were still happy, and full of the euphoria of  the beginning of our Namibian adventure.


The next article in the series is 'To Tsauchab'



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