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Netherlands to SA...in a Beetle

2013-08-01 15:23

BACK TO THE GRINDSTONE: Having completed an epic 20 000km journey through Africa, Jos Oosterbroek will have to return to the working world… at least until he makes enough money to fund his next journey. Image: VWSA

Dutch traveller Jos Oosterbroek completed an epic 20 000km journey through Africa behind the wheel of his trusty 1982 Volkswagen Beetle. He embarked on his journey with his friend Yme Veenje and was later joined by his girlfriend Jorien Stevens.

Oosterbroek arrived at Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) plant in Uitenhage earlier in 2013.

According to Oosterbroek, his Beetle did not break down or even get a puncture, although Oosterbroek did admit that he had to fix a recurring oil leak. He has donated the car to VWSA and it is now on display at the automaker’s AutoPavilion in Uitenhage.


Oosterbroek recalled some hair-raising moments during his travels: “The closer we got to Nigeria everybody started panicking. They told us we were crazy going through Nigeria; that people would try to kill, rob or kidnap us. So we got a little scared."
Oosterbroek managed to get in touch with a fellow-countryman working in Lagos,who convinced his company to sponsor an armed escort.

He said: “In Lagos, we had an escort vehicle by three guys armed with AK-47s who took us 900km through the country to Cameroon. Every time we had to go to a toilet or have a smoke there would be two guys with guns with us. While driving, everybody on the street was pushed to the side to get our tiny Beetle through the country.

"It was super funny and a great experience -  I felt like I was James Bond.”


Another challenge was travelling into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): “This was the most challenging part of the trip. The day before I left for that country I met two Dutch guys with a Land Rover Defender who had just come from the DRC. They told me my Beetle would never cope because the hills were too steep and the roads terrible.

“The trip was very challenging. There were mud slides, steep hills with bad roads that I could only pass by going fast. Going fast on the bumpy road meant that my car was bouncing like crazy over the rocks but I completed the whole stage without any problems. That was one of the moments that I really loved the Beetle. The small car did way better than the big Land Rover.”


Oosterbroek and Stevens enjoyed enjoyed a two-week trip around South Africa in a Volkswagen T5 sponsored by VWSA.

Oosterbroek said: “Of course I really missed the Beetle but it was also so nice that we had a lot of space and a car with power. The Beetle in the end had a top speed of 80km/h and uphill it only did 30km/h. The Kombi did in excess of 130km/h going uphill! And having airconwas very welcome. The Kombi changed the whole trip from having no luxury at all to a very comfortable trip.”

So what’s next for the intrepid traveler? Having arrived back in Amsterdam he said: “It's back to finding a job. Maybe when I got a job again and save some money I will start itching again for some adventure.”
Read more on:    volkswagen  |  netherlands  |  south africa  |  good news

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