Drew Griscom Roos


You would not BELIEVE the day I've had

  • Scene: driving from Cape Town to Addo Game Park
  • About halfway though, our route through the Karoo seems to include a 50-mile stretch of gravel
  • 20 miles in… right over a pointy rock; flat tire
  • Change the tire, cautiously drive the remaining 30 miles, get tire patched at a shop
  • Shop manager comments that the freshly-patched tire’s side-wall looks “kinda bulgy”
  • Fast-forward… driving on pavement doing ~75 mph
  • BOOM a different tire blows out
  • Put on spare; now have no spare
  • Stop at shop seeing if they have replacement tire… no luck
  • Continue on; encounter massive potholes. Hear a phht phht phht every time the wheel goes around
  • Get out to inspect; the spare tire rim is now dented, but the tire still inflated
  • Keep driving… phht phht, every time the dent spins to the bottom, air is leaking out. Spare tire is now flat.
  • Moment of panic ensues. Then, brilliant realization that we can swap the good spare tire onto the flat tire’s rim
  • Flag someone down, head back to shop we just left
  • Shop has now closed five minutes ago
  • Guy who gives us a lift turns out to be the brother of the shop-hand. He gets them to help us (momentarily delaying their current task of using the tire pump to inflate a huge kiddie pool)
  • Successfully transfer the good spare tire off its bad rim to the good rim of the blown-out tire
  • Head back to car with two shophands in tow; replace tire, give them beer
  • Now driving with bulgy (which as yet has not had further issues) and sparey on blow-out’s rim
  • Turns out the pothole street was a wrong turn we never had to go down at all
  • Limp along the remaining 40 km (of a 800 km drive) at 35 mph, fully expecting bulgy to go at any moment
  • It doesn’t; there was much rejoicing


  • Next day, limp onward to PE to buy new tires
  • Notice that about every fourth car passing us is another VW Polo just like the one we’re driving
  • Hatch a plan to flag down and borrow a spare when the inevitable happens
  • Thankfully (or sadly?), the story does not reach that level of crazy

The elephants were amazing, though.

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