Test all limits in the Nissan Navara
Test all limits in the Nissan Navara

My Four-Wheel Partner – The green machine

Few other brands attract the almost obsessive type of affection a Land Rover does. It’s no different for one of our regular contributors, PETER FIELD, and his beloved Hilda – a 2013 Land Rover Defender 110 5-door Station Wagon. He tells their story.

Celebrating a decade of adventure this year, our Aintree Land Rover Defender 110 with its 2.2-litre Puma engine is the best four-wheel adventure partner a family could ask for. I have always adored the Land Rover brand for its incredible heritage, go-anywhere capability, the Kingsley Holgate expeditions (the legend signed his name on our Hilda!) and simple mechanics. While the latter may no longer ring true for the popular Defender plaque, our Hilda takes us wherever we want to go with ease and

comfortably tows our Bush Lapa off-road caravan. Our circle of friends and family is crazy about camping – the more remote, the better… and, being in a Land Rover, we always opt for those roads less travelled!

To achieve this, Hilda has been kitted out to the hilt – but I can assure you that every accessory has a clear purpose to suit our camping and overlanding needs. While the list is too long to go into detail, I’d say the most critical upgrade has, without a doubt, been the suspension and larger tyres. The Terrafirma heavy duty coils were fitted front and rear with Terrafirma Nitro shocks to handle the extra weight of all the accessories that were fitted.

For me, the tyres are one of the most if not the most important factors when driving bad corrugated gravel roads continuously for kilometre after kilometre on desolate backroads and farm roads. There is usually no cell phone reception available, so you are out there alone. As such, I had 30mm wheel spacers fitted to accommodate the larger tyres (Maxxis Big Horn 762 MT 305 x 70 R16). Unfortunately, the Big Horns have since been discontinued, so when it was time to replace the tyres, I settled for the Maxxis Razr 285 x 75 R16 MT. So far, so good!

Our travels have taken us from the sandy tracks of the Namaqua National Park to the corrugated gravel roads in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, and northwards to the tar roads of the Kruger National Park. A highlight was, without a doubt, a two-week Northern Cape trip we undertook during 2021, covering 2 500km (1 300km

on gravel). We visited some of the most interesting little towns, such as Matjiesfontein, Loeriesfontein (the Fred Turner Windmill Museum is a must-stop!), Putsonderwater, Zoutpoort and many more. Exclusively camping, this was a true test for both Hilda and our equipment – and we loved every minute of it! The hospitality of these small towns was only superseded by the incredibly well-maintained campsites and the pride the locals take in their hometowns!

In the last year or so, we decided to stay closer to home and continue our extensive adventures in and around the Western Cape. A bucket-list trip is undoubtedly a multi-week drive going up to the West Coast and, after refuelling at Lutzville,

travelling down to the coast past Skaapvlei. We’d then go through the start of the West Coast four-wheel drive route past Brand se baai and camp again in the Namaqua National Park (which we have done many times).

From here, we will exit the park near Hondeklipbaai and drive the Wildeperdehoek Pass, which leads onto the Messelpad Pass and camp at Nuweputs Springbok Campsite before heading to Nigramoep Guest Farm Campsite (Nabeep). Then

it’s back towards Springbok and to Jakkalswater Guest Farm Campsite (Nabeep). From there, it’s off to Klein Pella Doringbaai Campsite Orange River and the Riemvasmaak hot springs campsite, before heading to Khamkirri (on the Orange River)… and, and, and!

Oh man – there are so many places I’d like to visit in this lifetime! And for exactly that reason, I am so thankful to have Hilda as my faithful four-wheel partner – she will make all our adventure dreams come true, for sure!

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