Another vehicle is coming towards Gunther Holtorf without slowing. It’s going to be a tight fit.
He brakes and steers the Mercedes G-Wagen towards the verge. It’s soft and gravelly, and the thick vegetation conceals a steep slope. Slowly the car slips, then starts a slow-motion roll. Mid-roll, it stops for a second, then it turns again – but hits a spindly tree, just strong enough to peg it in position on its side.
Remarkably, this is the first accident Holtorf and his car, Otto, have experienced in 26 years on the road. There have been minor incidents – a kangaroo flying into a side door, an Indian lorry reversing without looking – but in 177 countries and 884,000km (549,000 miles), nothing worse than a dent.
Holtorf, 76, undoes his seat belt and lifts himself out of the open passenger window. He’s unharmed – not a scratch.