German senior's world adventure in vintage car to resume after forced stop in Emerson

Heidi Hetzer's around-the-world trek in a 1930s vintage car is shifting into high gear again, after the 78-year-old German adventurer was forced to make a pit stop in a small Manitoba town for the past week.

Parts have arrived for Heidi Hetzer's 1930 Hudson automobile, which broke down near Emerson, Man.

A 78-year-old German woman's solo journey around the world has made a sudden pit stop in Manitoba after her travel partner — a 1930 Hudson automobile — broke down near the Canada-U.S. border. 2:17

Heidi Hetzer's around-the-world trek in a vintage car is shifting into high gear again, after the 78-year-old German adventurer was forced to make a pit stop in a small Manitoba town for the past week.

Hetzer's 1930 Hudson automobile broke down near the Canada-U.S. border on Aug. 24, stranding them in the border town of Emerson, Man., while a local repair shop ordered parts.

"It is like my husband. It's my old husband; he's 85 years old! So he needs sometimes an operation," she said with a laugh.

The parts in question arrived on Monday, meaning Hetzer hopes she and her car — named Hudo — can hit the road soon.

They have already travelled through eastern Europe, central Asia, China, south Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the United States and Canada since Hetzer's journey began in July 2014.

Hetzer, who has been chronicling her journey with a blog and Instagram account, said she hopes to inspire people to connect with the world and "go out, talk to people, get ideas, be interested!"

Forged bonds with family

The forced pit stop in Emerson has forged bonds between Hetzer and the Suderman family, which owns TAC Auto Sales.

The family has comforted Hetzer as she anxiously waited for the car parts to come in.
Heidi Hetzer gets a hug from Frank Suderman, co-owner of TAC Auto Sales, as they wait for parts to arrive for Hudo the automobile on Friday. (CBC)

"She's like part of the family. She's very easy to talk to, and she's a very nice lady," said Rob Suderman, who co-owns the auto sales and repair shop with his father, Frank.

Hetzer said she has learned a simple lesson from the experience: "Family is very important."

She plans to drive along eastern Canada and the United States, then hopefully visit Cuba, Peru and Argentina before Hudo boards a ship across the ocean to Africa. From there, she intends to drive to Europe, with the goal of returning home to Berlin by next summer.


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