We spotted this unusual and odd-looking vehicle in the Bear Country parking lot and we walked all around it trying to figure out what it was! We discovered it had a South Africa license plate, was a Land Rover built in 1940, had 2 spare tires and 2 propane tanks, and just looked very rugged and well-used. We noticed several other tourists stopping to check it out, too. There was a world map attached to one side, with a plastic cover, showing the places this vehicle had been. (See photo below.) We were intrigued!
Then, to our delight, on our next run through the parking lot, we saw a man inside the Land Rover. We zoomed up in our little Mule and he rolled down his window to greet us. He was indeed from South Africa and he told us a long, fascinating story about his travels, along with his wife, through 86 countries. They were retired, and had lived their working lives very frugally just so they could travel the world in their golden years. Their rig was outfitted so that they could go anywhere at all, hence the big tires and the height of the vehicle, and they could stay anywhere along the road if necessary and have everything they needed. I would have loved to have seen inside! I like to think of our RVing lifestyle as being extremely pared down, but it's nothing compared with theirs. We discussed gas and diesel prices in various countries, laws governing international travel, the safety or otherwise of what they were doing, and other aspects of their travels. You can see from the map how far they've gone, plus there were 2 or 3 trips on a ship crossing from continent to continent. What a life! The irony was that they did not plan to write a book and they did not have a website! If they had, I would surely have kept up with them in their journey.