Ford Ranger #DrivesWithAMission Experience
A few weeks ago I was invited by the Ford team to be apart of a rather epic campaign that included a road trip,community work,bonding with a group of amazing women each a powerhouse in their own right and learning about the amazing work Ford is doing in South Africa.
Forty female journalists and influencers were invited to be apart of the #RangeHer campaign driving 4300km across South Africa in the #BuiltFordTough Rangers.This was the second phase of the global campaign that aims to highlight extraordinary women in their respectovr countries and industries as they next steps in their careers and personal lives.Over a period of 2 weeks 4 rotations which started in Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth then Port Elizabeth to Cape Town back to Port Elizabeth and then back home to Johannessburg.
A fleet of Rangers including the Wildtrak,Thunder and Raptor were put to the test as we drove through tar,gravel ,sand and mud not forgetting mountainous terrain.I joined the team for the last leg of the journey in Port Elizabeth.An early morning start meant I had to fly the day before with the limited flights into Port Elizabeth.Before agreeing to #DrivesWithAMission I was a lil concerned about the Covid19 measures that would be put into place.But the Ford team had everything taken care of which included the Rangers santized and sealed every evening,wipes and sanitizers were put into each Ranger.On arrival at the airport to meet the other ladies we had temperature checks taken before we headed off masked to visit a school where Ford had donated an engine for the students to work and then it was time for a fuel stop not for the Rangers but us at the cutest farm stall with the most amazing goodies.
South Africans are foodies and we love eating ! No road trip is complete without a basket of padkos and the mandatory garage stop for a pie.In SA we are spoiled with amazing farm stalls selling local produce and specialities.Nanaga Farmstall is no exception and is a foodies heaven.From freshly baked goods,juices,sweets,sauces and nuts you will find it here and more.I walked in and was drawn to the pie warmers and instantly recommendations around me kept saying Lamb Pie Lamb Pie! So that instantly became my choice and as I opened the drink fridge Fresh Pineapple juice caught my attention.Armed with my loot I headed off to eat.
The pie was stuffed with large chunks of tender lamb cooked with mint which pairs well.The pastry was very tasty and did not make a mess and no we do not eat a pie inside a car/van.As for the freshly squeezed pineapple it was so tasty and I loved the pineapple bits in it.Port Elizabeth is well known for their pineapples as it is grown there and sold everywhere.Paired with my pie it was a healthier option instead of a fizzy drink.
We then headed off to Elliot amazing scenic views,curved roads and what felt like we were high in the sky.The first day I was in the Ford Raptor and ever since then it has stolen my heart.The weather changed with it becoming rather cold ,rainy and foggy nothing the Ford Ranger could not handle.
Before I forget I must mention the Ford Tuckshop better than a school tuckshop with everything from your childhood and more.Each Ranger also had a fridge onboard stocked with water,fizzy drinks and juice.Thank you team for making road trips epic.
Our home for the night was at Mountain Shadows Hotel where we were warmly welcomed by a roaring fire and delicious home style meals.As we had arrived when it was dark we were not prepared for the beauty we saw that morning.
After breakfast we met with Themba from WWF for Nature who are supported by Ford and he gave us insight into what he does and took us offroading into some amazing routes.After been home for so long and not travelling it was amazing to be out in nature and explore apart of South Africa I had never seen before.
We were headed to a hospital to deliver faceshields that wers designed and manufacted in the Ford factory.The location of the hospital was borderimg Lesotho and through the most epic views for days.If felt like a proper adventure and the best part was having girlie conversations along the way that made the super long journey incredible.After what felt like we were on the road to nowhere and having passed tons of hospitals we reached our destination to drop of much needed supplies which the staff at the hospital were very grateful for.
And then it was back on the road to Lady Grey our home for the night before our last stop at a primary school before heading home.We stayed at a hotel that was a blast from the past.Dinner and breakfast were epic and we were hosted by the Aubrey and this beautiful wife who fed us the most delicious food and made sure our glasses/cups were never empty.
Great company,good food and wine defo make the soul happy.Early morning starts meant we needed to go as it was Saturday and we still needed to visit the Primary school for dropping off a wash basin unit,water tanks and soaps.We were welcomed by the staff and learners who were grateful for the PPE provided to them.
Then it was time to make the trek to Johannesburg and for me to catch my flight back to Durban.Thank you for giving me the opportunity be be apart of such an amazing campaign and been able to help others.2020 has been a year of all sorts but this campaign was such a blessing to be apart of.