London 2 Cape Town crew back on the road with Edna the Hilux after turning down Toyota’s offer

Karen, James and Spence are back on the road with Edna the Hilux. Picture: via Instagram.

Karen, James and Spence are back on the road with Edna the Hilux. Picture: via Instagram.

Published Jun 7, 2024


After setting off on a journey from London to Cape Town back in March, three British friends have had the adventure of a lifetime while also attracting a huge following on social media.

Karen, James and Spence have had their fair share of ups and downs on this epic journey, which has so far taken them as far as central Africa in their 2010 Toyota Hilux double cab called Edna.

For 65 days into the journey Edna’s chassis snapped in half, because she’s an old bakkie whose chassis has rusted after years on Britain’s roads, which are salted during winter (read our earlier story here).

After a plea for help on social media, Toyota South Africa offered to kit them out with a brand new Hilux GR-S to tackle the remainder of their journey, but the trio turned the offer down, opting to instead repair their beloved Edna.

Edna’s central and rear sections had a huge disagreement with each other. Picture: via Instagram.

And now the crew have hit the road again, after forking out for some expensive repairs in Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon.

After the chassis broke, the friends were able to limp Edna to a nearby hotel and as luck would have it the hotel owner knew of a “good” mechanic nearby.

While they were waiting for the repairs to take place, they were whisked off to the luxurious Tagidor Resort, a few hours away in the mountains, whose owner gave them the Presidential suite for the weekend in exchange for some publicity on their social media channels.

While on their way back in the hotel’s shuttle the friends learned about Toyota’s offer, which they acknowledged was very generous, but after thinking about it long and hard they decided to turn it down, primarily because their own Hilux had been specially configured for their planned route.

Edna has built-in back up batteries as well as an extra fuel tank, which allows them to camp, cook, power devices and travel to more remote locations where a refuel might not be possible.

Edna was also three days into her repairs when they found out about Toyota’s offer, so sticking with Edna made the most sense overall.

“We travel to such remote areas that it is critical we have all of these mods for the rest of the trip,” Karen said.

“We had spent months modifying her for the trip and a new car just wouldn’t be able to support us.”

The following day, after arriving back in Yaounde, the trio took delivery of Edna, sporting a rebuilt flat bed and newly reinforced chassis. However, some followers on their Instagram account questioned the competence of these repairs, with one describing it as a bad welding job.

The crew have since crossed the border into the Democratic Republic of Congo, where they camped out in a bug-infested jungle on the first night and also had to endure wet bedding as their roof-top tent cover had been removed during Edna’s repairs and the contents rained on.

That’s as much of the journey as Karen, James and Spence have shared with us for now. For security reasons they are posting updates with a delay of more than a week.

At the time of writing they had covered 14,186km over 73 days. It’s probably too early to tell whether Edna’s chassis repairs will stand the test of time, but one thing's for sure - many of their fans will be relieved to see them cross the finish line in Cape Town, whenever that might be.

Follow the trio on Instagram

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