Category “English – Touring”


Saturday, 19 February, 2011

By PG Jonker

[Published in Leisure Wheels, March 2011] 

It’s always nice going back on your old tracks.  One weekend we decide to follow my wife’s old tracks where they used to camp as kids at Tieties Bay.  When they were small, long before the world discovered Tieties Bay, they used to camp there every summer holiday.

It is nice drive with the dirt road from Stompneus Bay to Paternoster.  Paternoster used to be one of those secluded spots you would visit to get away from everyone.  These days when you get there everyone is there already. 

Downtown Paternoster is busy.  Before you get the Paternoster hotel you drive  past Oep vi Koep (Open for buy)


As expected, the local courtesy befalls us:  any vehicle with a non-local registration number invariably gets an invitation along the lines of “Die Larnie willie ‘n kriefie koepie?”   (Does the larnie want to buy a crayfish) Such a transactionwould, of course, be illegal.  The appearance of a law enforcer evokes a quick recovery:  “Nei, die Lanie niem net ‘n sneppie, nuh?” (No, the larnie is just taking a photo).

Downtown Paternoster is too busy for our liking.  It is outside holiday season, so Tieties Bay should be deserted, guaranteed to render the expected splendour and quietness that we seek today. 

Not so.  Today Tieties Bay is just as busy as Paternoster itself.  Some Inter Corporate Challenge sporting event is in full swing.  Colour coded teams participate against each other.  Rowing, cycling, that kind of stuff.  We drive past all the action to where it is indeed quiet.  We park the bakkie and walk off, away from the hustle and bustle.

My wife wants to go show me a cave where they used to play as kids.  She relives the memories of big crayfish, waves and rocky pools to play in.  She remembers this big pool where she used to swim as a four-year old.  We find the pool.  It is now 3 feet deep and 5 feet long.  Maybe things look a bit bigger when you’re only 4 years old.  My wife also shows me where the older girls would tan topless, and where the dudes would then peep over the rocks to watch the sun set.

Before we can reach the cave a guy with a huge camera comes running past us from behind.  Then a whole team of participants in the Corporate Challenge also comes running past. 

The next thing a chopper appears, with another camera man hanging out of the helicopter.  Suddenly we find ourselves in something that feels like a reality show. 

My cell pone rings.  I answer, but cannot hear a thing.  The rotor of the chopper makes one heck of a noise.  Dust and foam from the water twirl up in the air. 

Eventually things become quiet again.  We reach the cave.  The cave also turns out to be not as big as it used to be when my wife was 4 years old.  In fact, it’s not really a cave, but rather a rocky overhang.  Someone had a braai there recently.  They did not clean up when they were done. 

We can see that Jordan was there.  As were Del and Carien.  And Angel digs Reija, the grafitti on the rock confirms. 

We sit down on a rock and enjoy the quiet. 

Later we drive back.  As one drive away from the sea you see the hill with the rock in the middle form which Tieties Bay got his name.  It looks like a woman’s breast. 

However, someone was not quite satisfied with mother nature’s endeavours, and decided to spice it up with something that makes the ‘nipple’ stand out more prominently.

Maybe it’s a good thing that the koppie was there before they built the lighthouse.  The name might have been totally different then.

Paternoster’s beach remains a wonderful …

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