EGTN South Africa Trip Update 5 – Road Trip!

Max and I are safely at QTO after our 10+ hour road trip from BTO, through Cape Town and up to QTO. Our drive was literally a tale of two stories.  We’ll go bad news first.  Well it isn’t really that bad of news, as it could have been much, much worse.  We left a town after getting lunch and continued up the road with over a quarter tank of gas (yes, you see where this is going).  We kept cruising along for a couple of hours without seeing another gas station. I thought surely we’d come across one. Then the gas light came on, which led me to look up where the closest one was.  Turns out we had another 50 ks to go. That is when nail biting time came in a little bit and right as we started scheming on how we would get out of this pickle we crossed over a hill and saw the most glorious of all gas stations.  The show how dire it was, check out the range estimate according to the truck:

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That is effectively 5 miles… And sure enough, after we passed that gas station we saw another 3 over the next 15 ks. Thankfully it is just a worrying story and not one that saw us figuring out how to get gas in the middle of Africa…

On the flip side, we took the “whale route” as recommended to us by our host.  This added about 45 total minutes to our drive and was 45 minutes well worth it.  Just a little distance into the drive, we came across this vista point.

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We didn’t see any whales, but views like this made the drive worth it for sure.  Just a little further way down the road we saw a sign indicating a particular kind of wildlife. We figured it was worth the minor detour and I’ll let this picture answer how the detour went:

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Past that it was a gorgeous drive along the coast with many different views of mountains and sea.  A great recommendation and worth our little side trip.

After completing our drive up to QTO last night, we were exhausted so headed into town to grab dinner then proceeded to crash pretty quick there after. Today we got an early start to first rip the shed to pieces and then put it back together bit by bit.  This involved taking down just about every wire and all work we did during our last visit, cleaning up inside and then rewiring everything with the inclusion of the new sensors on site. Our goal for the day was to not have any backwards progress and keep the same sensors online that were operating nominally before we arrived.  We met this goal for the day and plan to have the shed fully running tomorrow night!

In the process of cleaning, it was clear that a few different animals had taken up residence inside of the shed.  This is natural, but unfortunately we saw one of our tenants who did not have as good of a fate as they likely intended:

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Following work on site today, Max and I headed into town to a restaurant where Max last conquered the 1 kg steak. This was our first time back, and the first time we were able to see his name on the wall:

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So another productive couple of days here in South Africa. With all luck, our next update will come with a fully upgraded QTO, QTO v2.0! Hope everyone’s work week is off to a good start and talk soon.

Cheers,
MJ


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