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06 Thrilling action with the Defender
Thrilling action with the Defender

From the Um el Ma lake we continued east to the Tedemka lake N26°56,095' - E13°39,887' where we hiked intensively. In the afternoon, on the way to the Gabroon lakes we planned to make a half day stop, to let our mind thoroughly soak up all the past impressions.

But on the way there it happened: 
a harmless seeming dune crossing with soft sand and side leaning approach area could hardly be crossed with lots of trouble by Ayssa. I stopped and took a different line to approach the dune. My action took me through very rough terrain, but I didn't have to go sideways sliding, almost tilting over like Ayssa. I warned Bernhard by CB radio, he followed my tracks; Gert who came next did maybe not hear my warning and took Alyssa's line. He was lucky to stop just the instant before he tilted over at an angle of 34 degree. The Landrover Defender with pop-up camper roof has a tilt angle limit of just 35 degree because of the high center of gravity. So this was very close. On the passenger side the car was so deeply sunken into the soft sand that the door couldn't be opened, even though the clearance is very high. I positioned my Rubicon, which is fitted with all necessary recover gear, dune uphill on the side of the Landy and secured him with a tow strap. Due to the fact that the Landy has nothing to hook onto, we had the strap running over the roof and back through the open windows. The Landy was secured but didn't start while angled, so we pulled with the winch until it started. Gert was recovered. The aluminum construction of the Landy didn't withstand the loads. The front of the roof was bending to the side by several degrees. This popped the window out of the rubber mount and broke one corner off. To bad!

We drove to a flat area to fix the roof and window. The broken window was quickly taken out and glued. With the winch we pulled the roof from the opposite side until the angles where right and symmetric. Just the front window rubber which was old and brittle gave us a hard time. It would have been good to have a 5mm thick smooth cable, which we didn't have. After all, with united power and significant effort we managed to mount the front window with a cord and lots of grease, to make the vehicle drivable.

After this we searched for a nearby plateau to stay overnight and to relax. After the today's action I used the break to check and tighten bolts on my Rubicon Express suspension, which I installed just before this trip was started. Finally this action day came to a happy end.