South Africans astound German traveller

2019-05-30 06:01
=Lilli Pilli and her beloved 30 year old Toyo, Toyota Land Cruiser, with which she travels through Africa.                                              Photos:FACEBOOK

=Lilli Pilli and her beloved 30 year old Toyo, Toyota Land Cruiser, with which she travels through Africa. Photos:FACEBOOK

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GIVE South Africans half a chance and they will show you their kind hearts to the fullest.

This has just been proven again by Lilli Mixich, a 62 year old German lady travelling solo through Africa for the past two years in her 30 year old orange Toyota Land Cruiser.

On Facebook she uses her nickname Lilli Pilli.

Less than two weeks ago, she asked on the Addo Elephant National Park Facebook page whether somebody could share a camping site with her in this popular national park as she will be sleeping in her car, thus the extra space could be shared to save costs.

South Africans responded overwhelmingly - the most offering her a place to stay close to the park.

“I received so many wonderful responses, invitations and encouragements from so many people. It is just unbelievable. Thank you to all of you, you made my day,” said Lilli, who originally is from Munich.

On the road since 1979

Lilli Pilli started her “MyAfrica” tour during November 2016 in her Tanzanian registered Land Cruiser she calls “Toyo”.

For a year she travelled East Africa, visiting Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. She then turned direction south, travelling through Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, staying an average of three months per country. Now she is heading to Swaziland and then back north.

She’s been travelling Africa since 1979 three times with two ex-husbands.

“I am hooked on Africa and love it. My beloved Toyo was part of my divorce settlement. Now I travel only to the countries where I feel comfortable, namely the East and Southern regions of Africa. I also love the wild life.”

Wherever she goes, she sleeps in her car.

“It is my home, everything has its exact place. It is my privacy.

“In fact, I have not lived in a flat or house since 2001, but in different cars. The more you do it, (sleep in a car) the more you know what makes you feel comfortable. I do not sleep somewhere else, because then you have to unpack or take a beauty case and then you forget things.”

Mechanical mind

Regarding mechanical issues of her Toyo, Lilli says, “I have a scientific mind, but I’m also mechanically minded. Theoretically I know a lot about my car. I cannot fix it myself, but I know a lot.

“If you have been travelling for so many years, you experience many breakdowns. This actually is one of my biggest challenges as I have to take full responsibility and make sure it is well maintained.

“I will never leave my car at a workshop. I will stay there and look what the problem is and how it is being fixed. As a woman I’ve been through enough situations of being done in.”

She says every time she posts on Facebook or Instagram about her Toyo’s mechanical problems, people respond to her saying she must buy a new car. She won’t do that.

“If I buy a newer car, I would have the feeling that I do not have the money to go travelling.

And I love travelling, taking only the back roads.”

Lilli does not listen to music whilst driving, as viewing the landscapes are like music to her soul, she explains.

Fear not

Asked about being afraid of possible danger, Lilli said, “With all my travel experiences, I’ve learned that fear mostly starts in your head. Your imagination makes a situation much worse.

“One needs to be responsible and prepared. It actually does not matter what you do, as long as you do what you like and if you feel comfortable with it.”

Working vs travelling

If travelling gets under your skin, you will go to the utmost of not falling prey again to the deadly routine of an eight hour working day.

“I could have chosen to continue working, then I would have had a flat, car, maybe four weeks of holiday a year, daily open and close the pharmacy and have a few social chats … but no ...rather shoot me!

“If my money is finished, I will make a plan. I enjoy what I do and I will keep on doing it until I can’t anymore.”

After spending some time watching the Addo elephants, Lilli and her Toyo will be travelling to Swaziland and then head back north again.

  • Follow Lilli Pilli’s travels on Facebook.
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