|Bessie Rutherford - 1956 Africa by Bus route|
In 1956, Retief and his wife Bessie, led a group of South African's from Pretoria to London. Driving two Karrier Gamecock buses with Rootes engines, the groups of travelers headed North...
Graces Guides describes the Rootes engine as a two stroke diesel marketed with two horizontally opposed piston in each of the three cylinders. More on the engine here
You can read all about the trip, written by Bessie Rutherford, via the Go! website: Across Africa by bus.
Historic Journey: From South Africa to London via Karrier Gamecock
Upon reaching London, half the team flew back to South Africa whilst the remainder of the team drove the buses back to South Africa.
The following paragraph, published on the Go! website, was very insightful:
In his book about our epic journey, Die Verste Sandduin, Retief writes:
As the waves of the Mediterranean Sea lap at my feet, I realise that those who dream of a road from the south to the north, a big tourist road to Europe, are dreaming empty dreams. It’s impossible. Man can overcome the geographical challenges with ingenuity, but the human factor – changing politics and the fancies of a democratic people – will never be conquered. The journey from the south to the north of Africa will always be an adventure.
57years after writing his book, Retief Oosthuysen's statement remains true: 'The journey from the South to the North of Africa will always be an adventure."
Their daughter, Hanna, mentions her mum and dad in a blog post and how her brother Dries, rode his motorbike from South Africa to Israel in 1994. It's great to see that the overland spirit passes across generations...
|Photo from ADVRider|
1956 was a big year for trans-continental overland journeys... Read more about the other trips: 1956 Overland Travel