Category “English – Touring”

Beaverlac and Montagu

Monday, 14 February, 2011

By PG Jonker

We had one of those extremely long weekends in May 2008.  With a view on the upcoming tour to Vic Falls we were planning we decided it’s time for a trial run.

We were a party of three vehicles that hit the road to Beaverlac, just North East of Porterville.  We took the back roads.

Just past (North of) Porterville is a worldwide renowned hang-gliding spot. For the benefit of the hang-gliders they tarred the little mountain pass.  

It looks like nothing, but believe me it is nogal steep up there.

On top of the world.

In winter the land in the background become lush green wheat lands. Quite a sight then.

Some of the attractions at Beaverlac are the pools, and the foofy slide – hence the rope.

Of course we also did the camping thing, as was the purpose of the exercise.

At the fire:

We only stayed for one night, and thereafter left for Montagu. Due to a slight error in judgement we ventured into Montagu dorp on the Saturday morning.

Payday, Holiday, Easter, all compounded to make it a very busy morning. 

At the end of the weekend we headed back home, and waited longer than a hour just to get through the Huguenot tunnel!

Nice weekend, though.



Monday, 1 November, 2010

By PG Jonker

How it happened

Over a cup of coffee Pieter let it slip that he had a caravan site booked at the Calitzdorp Spa.  I did not know that Calitzdorp had a Spa.  Actually, I did not even know where Calitzdorp was.  Nevertheless, I then promptly booked a site for my family as well.  After all, we had a brand new second hand tent that had to be taken for a test drive.


Packing for a tour is not per definition ‘touring’.  However, in this case the packing requires some comments.  See, this new tent of ours was a rip stop dome with a “diner / extension”.   Apart from the day that I took delivery of it and pitched it just to check that everything was there, this tent had not been camping with us before. 

Given the size of the tent with extension, though, it was clear from the outset that there would not be space for our fold out mattresses.  In fact, there would not even be space for the “diner / extension” if we do not take a trailer along which we did not have.  Out of curiosity I weighed the equipment, only to find that the whole package weighed a cool 70kg’s!

Standing back to inspect after packing our stuff the Friday evening before our departure, it appeared that I might, with a bit of rescheduling, get that diner/extension in as well.  So the packing started all over again.  Everything had to come out of the double cab again.  Rather proud of myself I managed to get the complete tent with the extension in.  After all, the whole idea was to see if we could get this right before the upcoming tour to the Kgalagadi Park a few months later.  All that remained was that “last few things” that comes in the morning of our departure.  Experience have taught me, though, that this “last few things” often gets very near to breaking the camel’s back!

Calitzdorp spa

We departed early Saturday morning.  Twice.  At Kraaifontein, about 10km’s away from home, we had to turn around the switch off an electrical appliance.  The second attempt was more successful. 

Calitzdorp is far from Durbanville, especially if you later find that your eyes have become watery because of a need to visit the restroom.  To make matters worse, the road signs did not play along at all.  By the time we should have reached Calitzdorp, the road sign said it was still 10km’s away.  When we eventually reached Calitzdorp, we learnt that the Spa was still 20km’s off.  And when we eventually reached the turnoff to the Spa, there was yet another sign indicating the Spa to be still 7km’s away!  Paah!  Eventually, though, we got there.

Pitching tent

It took a while to pitch the tent.  Quite a while.  No. Let me rephrase.  It took a ^&*($@# long time!  By the time the last tent peg was in, it was 15h00 – just in time to go find a TV to watch the Tri-Nations rugby test between South Africa and Australia.  The test, I am happy to report, was won by South Africa, albeit with a small margin.

It was a wonderfully quiet full moon night.  However, by 21h00 one got the feeling that your denims are just too cold against your skin for comfort.  Pieter warned that it became rather chilly the previous night – they came a day earlier.  Now how cold exactly, we asked.  Quite cold, reckoned Pieter. 

It turned out to be -1 ° Celsius.  Cold, man.  Like in Kimberley-in-the-army-in-winter kind of cold.  Eish!  You can put more clothes on, but it only prolonged the process of the cold eventually getting into your bones – it cannot prevent it.  This is not, let me tell you, my idea of camping. 

During the course of the night my wife did her rendition …

West Coast Tour – Gallery [1]

Monday, 1 November, 2010

First Stop: Langebaan

Weskus toertjie

[Source: Map data ©2014 AfriGIS (Pty) Ltd, Google]

At Mykonos yacht club.

Kite surfers on the beach


Just around the bay to Saldanha.  A panoramic view from the koppie overlooking the bay.  If you know what to look for you can see Mykonos in the middle in the background.

Jacobs Bay

Jacobsbaai hotel


Walking distance away from the Jacobs Bay hotel


Paternoster beach

Shopping at Paternoster


Where Tietiesbaai got its name from

Camping at Tieties Bay

Cape Columbine lighthouse

West Coast Tour – Gallery [2]

Monday, 1 November, 2010


Stompneusbaai / St Helenabaai


[Source: Map data ©2014 AfriGIS (Pty) Ltd, Google]

Stompneus Bay

Shopping at Stompneus Bay

Mid-West, St Helena Bay

Sandy Point Harbour


The bridge over the Berg river

Port Owen in Laaiplek


Rocher pans


Elandsbaai hotel

Lambert’s Bay


Bird hide


Side walk cafe – Isabella’s