Julia Albu, the 81-year-old granny who drove from Cape Town to London and completed the journey in July, was assisted by a Scotsman who, after meeting her for no longer than 20 minutes, decided to drive her car, ‘Tracy’, from Alexandria in Egypt back to Cape Town after illness prevented her from being able to drive it back home herself.

As reported by the Cape Times, 63-year old Ged Meechan started the drive in Albu’s beloved 1997 Tazz Conquest from Alexandria to Cape Town on November 21.

He arrived at her family home in Cape Town at 1.30pm on December 17 after travelling 10,624km.

On her blog, My African Conquest, Albu explained that her and Meechan had met briefly in a restaurant in Ethiopia months before, and thought they would never cross paths again.

“Many months later I am lying in my hospital bed thinking how am I going to bring Tracy home when I am not able to walk and can hardly talk when my daughter bursts in and says “Mum you must read your iPad there’s this man who says he will drive Tracy home”,” she said.

“Who other than Ged from Scotland via Ethiopia who has offered to drive her home. I was speechless and rang him and yes oh yes please!”

Meechan told the Cape Times that his and Albu’s brief meeting at the restaurant was random. He was surprised that she was attempting to do the trip, but as an adventurer himself, he loved the idea. Meechan is also retired and on his Facebook page says that he is on a “journey to see and find kindness across Europe and Africa”.

He was travelling two months behind Julia in his own Citroen from Birmingham, and it was through her Facebook page that found out she had become seriously ill while in Italy.

Julia had been driving Tracy across the continent on a solo road trip to raise awareness for literacy and to fulfill her lifelong dream of driving through Africa before she fell ill on her trip while in Alexandria.

According to Meechan, Albu had contracted bilharzia from snails in an Ethiopian river and needed to be airlifted back home to South Africa. She had to leave her long-standing partner in crime, her car, behind.
Meechan told the Cape Times that the biggest challenge he faced was getting the car released to him from customs officials in Alexandria, but he felt a responsibility to get Tracy back to Cape Town.

He drove through Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Zambia, and South Africa in 26 days.

Julia is still in hospital, but was reunited with her car on Monday afternoon.

Pictures: My African Conquest/Facebook

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