CAPE TOWN – An 80-year-old granny has embarked on an adventure of a lifetime: a roadtrip across Africa through to London in her trusted 20-year-old Toyota Conquest.
Julia Albu‚ from Jakkalsfontein in the Western Cape‚ started her journey on June 13 and has made her way to Zambia.
“This trip is not on the bucket list. It is the bucket list‚” said Albu on her travel blog‚ My African Conquest.
She’s also doing it for charity. Shine Literacy will benefit from her epic trip when she raises awareness about the work the Cape Town-based organisation does.
“It has been a lifelong dream of mine to drive through Africa. When I realised that my trusty Toyota Conquest‚ Tracy‚ would be 20 years old this year and I would be 80‚ there couldn’t be a better time to fulfil my dream and together with 100 years of life’s experiences. Together‚ we hope to set off on the adventure of a lifetime.”
Albu decided to take the travel plunge after losing her partner of 33 years recently.
“I have decided that its time to be the master of my own destiny and what better time than to set off on the adventure of a lifetime? People look at me in horror when I tell them I’m venturing forth across Africa in a 1997‚1600 Toyota Conquest with close to 400 000kms on the clock. But who else would I choose as my partner in crime? For a quarter of my life‚ Tracy has been my trusty stead. Windows wound down‚ music playing‚ seatbelt clipped in‚ I could always roar off into the sunset when I needed to‚” said Albu.
So far her travel highlights include receiving a wad of Zimbabwean cash from a “super couple”‚ a high tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel and taking in the magnificent Victoria Falls.
“Then came‚ certainly my most thrilling experience‚ the Victoria Falls in all its glory. The majesty of it left me weepy. This is an absolute must on everyone’s bucket list … There is only one word to describe the falls and that is magnificent. It is so huge and makes one feel insignificant and aware of one’s mortality. For me it was a religious moment‚” Albu wrote on her blog.
“Oh‚ I forgot to tell you about high tea at The Victoria Falls Hotel. A beautiful old lady‚ she is surrounded by equally old trees and breathtaking views. The tea was worth looking at‚ a three tiered stand with scones on the bottom then sandwiches topped by carrot cake brownies and macaroons.
we sat like ladies on the veranda‚sipped local tea and gazed out at the breath taking view of the mist the bridge. Dare I say but I expected David Livingston to appear‚” she wrote.
Albu’s journey will end in London‚ via the east African coast‚ where she will be distributing books and conducting lessons with children along the way.
She has the backing of a few sponsors while a Toyota dealership has ensured her car was road-ready. She will catch a ferry across the Mediterranean Sea to drive across Europe.
Follow Albu’s journey on MyAfricanConquest.
PHOTO: 80-year-old Julia Albu embark on a journey around Africa with her trusted Toyato Conquest.