Thorsten and I decided to take a long road trip from Joburg to the Eastern Cape, down through the Free State to the Sunshine Coast and back. We were super excited and had everything planned. But we had a vehicle problem. Our driving options were: 1) My beloved but tiny hatchback with bagel-sized wheels; or 2) Thorsten’s single-cab bakkie (bakkie is South African for pickup) without a radio or air conditioning.
We could have made it work with one of those vehicles. But luckily we didn’t have to. A blogging miracle occurred and we received a brand-new Ford Ranger FX4 pickup, which was literally just released in South Africa, to test-drive during the trip.
The FX4 came equipped with FordPass, a high-tech connectivity system that allowed us to manage many aspects of driving the car through an app on my phone. (I could start the car, even when I wasn’t inside, by pressing a button on my iPhone screen.) When I connected to the app using a QR code on the windshield, my phone asked me to provide a “nickname” for the FX4.
“What should we call it?” I asked Thorsten.
“Phyllis,” Thorsten said, without hesitation.
We needed our own nickname, too. So we decided to call ourselves the Blogitects since our traveling duo is half blogger, half architect.
Thus, the Blogitects and Phyllis embarked on a nine-day adventure across South Africa.
Map of our route.
Our road trip was exciting and wonderful for many reasons, which I will elaborate upon in future posts. But this post is dedicated to Phyllis and the joy she brought us during every kilometer of our journey.
I don’t really “speak car” (thanks to my journalist friend Carla for introducing me to that phrase), but I can tell you this: Phyllis practically drove herself. She navigated dirt roads, gravel roads, potholed roads, and off-roads with ease, and we barely felt it. Phyllis drove us to many places we never could have driven without her, and looked damn good doing it.
Suffice it to say, Thorsten and I were very sad to say goodbye to Phyllis yesterday. I hope her next drivers appreciate her as much as the Blogitects did.
Expect several more Blogitect Road Trip posts in the near future.
My Ford Ranger FX4 test drive was courtesy of Ford South Africa. Opinions expressed are mine.