A Nuts & Bolts 2016 Adventure

21/October/2016
Karl Tessendorf
nuts-and-bolts

When I first saw the Nuts & Bolts logo with its strapline, “You gonna do what?” I didn’t really give it much thought. Now that Thirsty, Greg and I are back from the four-day rally I can safely say, I get it. We’ve done a lot of road trips with Thirsty during the filming of Beer Country but nothing, I repeat, nothing even comes close to the Nuts & Bolts rally. It was seriously rough, hectically tough and absolutely epic.

At its core, the rally is a fundraiser for the Love Your Nuts Foundation, but there’s more to the journey than just a road trip. The rally is designed to draw a parallel with the tough road of beating testicular cancer. As Pieter the Nuts & Bolts founder described, “It’s all about the ups, downs and challenges, and some days are easier than others”. When times got tough on the rally they were pretty brutal. The environment while being incredibly beautiful was relentlessly unfriendly.

As we crossed the Tankwa National Park, the Karoo tested the cars and passengers to the limit. If you’ve ever driven on corrugated dirt road, you will know how horrible it is. It creates enough rattling to loosen teeth and we drove over it for almost an entire day. From there we hit the Ou Berg mountain pass which scoffed at the convoy as we tried to traverse its heights. At one point there were about six cars backed up with their hoods open trying to cool the radiators down – and this was on the first hill of the mountain pass.   

Cars had mechanical problems in their dozens but it was incredible to see the comradery of the men and woman on the trip. Cars were falling apart and still they kept on going with a little help and enough cable tying. One car’s engine eventually fell out onto the road and still the spirits were high. Another car’s petrol tank fell off in the middle of the Karoo and after a little bush mechanics they kept going. One of the car’s even finished the rally on the back of a trailer. This is what the rally is about. The journey, the struggle, and the fight to get to the end.

If you’re looking to challenge yourself in 2017, I’d highly recommend the Nuts & Bolts rally. It’s four days of dirt roads, wide open spaces, braais, gees and adventure. We’d like to thank Pieter of Nuts & Bolts, Torsten of Love Your Nuts, and Cape Brewing Company for sponsoring Thirsty on this epic journey. We’d also like to thank Roverland, other than a windscreen wiper issue, Thirsty was bulletproof. And lastly thanks to TJ’s Lekker Braai for all the wood and charcoal for the many, many braais. Until next year, cheers and #LovetheJourney. 


We’ve put together a little video of the adventure because pictures, 1000 words and all that. Check it out!

Need to know facts about testicular cancer

  • A man’s lifetime risk of developing testicular cancer is approximately 1 in 250
  • It usually affects young men (age 15 – 39) in their prime of youth
  • Testicular cancer has the highest cure rates among all cancers (>90%)
  • Most commonly there are two types of testicular cancers–seminomas, or slow growing cancer and non-seminomas, or fast growing cancer
  • Prominent symptoms include pain/swelling/lumps in testicles/groin areas
  • Prominent risk factors include undescended testis (cryptorchidism), family history, mumps and inguinal hernia
  • Surgical removal of a testicle will not affect fertility. Chemotherapy, on the other hand, can harm sperm count/quality. Sperm banking may then be considered.


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