Posts tagged with “Caracal Route”

Namaqualand National Park – Part 4

Wednesday, 18 April, 2012

Thomas’ story

By the time we get to the coffee we got Thomas and Marienka to give us a more detailed version of their story. Thomas made it to “Soft Sand 4×4 Only”. The first part went fine.

Then he got to the second part where we let our tyres down. At that time Thomas still had his tyres on 2,2bar.

Immediately upon entering the thick sand, he got bogged down. This is also the part where he got bogged down last year. He managed to unhitch the trailer and push it back and out of the way. He then decided to rather go and look for us and get another vehicle to tow the trailer. Just as an aside, inside the trailer was also Pieter rubber dinghy. But whatever they had in mind for the dinghy, it never materialised.

So Thomas and Marienka set off in the Jeep, leaving the trailer there. However, only a few hundred meters further on the Jeep ran out of ground clearance and got bogged down.

Two hours later there were two mountains of sand next to the road as they tried to dig the Jeep out. Some people really have all the fun, huh?

I did not get the impression that they quite enjoyed playing in the sand, though. One aspect that seems to drive home this fact is Marienka’s broken plastic cake bin. This was used in the digging process. However, it was not the digging that led to the demise of the cake bin. No, it was a well aimed (or maybe a badly aimed?) throw of a stone that went right through the bin, rendering it unfit for further use.

Eventually Thomas decided that the writing is on the wall. This Jeep is not going anywhere soon. So, as is required from a diligens paterfamilias he stuffed a few things in a bag. They are going to set out on foot.

Not so, said Marienka. Those wild Struthio camelus that they have seen shortly before getting bogged down may chase them. Ostriches mos do that.

They won’t, Thomas assured her.

Ja, you also said the Jeep can get through here. But in any case, we can’t leave the car here, reckoned Marienka. The next guy coming past may just bump into it.

Well, for the past two hours nobody came past, countered Thomas, so what are the chances?

Before the matter could escalate into a domestic difference, the two Land Rovers arrived on the scene. And the rest is history.

When we eventually went to bed my wife suggested that we rather turn around with our heads away from the sea. It’s rather noisy. Surf’s up, you know. So we turned the other way.  I can’t say that the drone of the sea was any less intrusive, but it was more comfortable sleeping uphill, rather than downhill.

Saturday, 7 April

It’s a rainy day. Nice. For hours we just hang around in our tents. Or coffee crawl from trailer tent to trailer tent. The kids play on their PSP players, or listen to the music in the cars.

We have a tent with a view.

The kids play touch rugby on the beach.

During the course of the morning Nekkies and the rest of the rescue team of yesterday come driving past and pay us a visit. Someone mention in passing that Rinus’ Discovery is leaking sufficient oil to make an Arab smile.

Nekkies immediately offers to check the problem out. He is a Land Rover mechanic at Gateway Offroad Centre in Wellington. A few minutes later the problem is fixed. It seemed to have been an oil filter that was not properly tightened.

Orange is not quite my colour, but I must say, on Nekkies’ Land Rover it does seem to add a touch of class.

Today we’re not going anywhere. By early afternoon the rain stops. Rinus and Thomas get the fire running for their lamb potjie for the evening.

Only then do we notice the colony of meerkatte watching us from a distance. One of them seems like he is the sentinel, because he stays there all the time watching us. However, he is a lousy sentinel, if that is what his function is. I mean, he is totally unaware of what’s happening behind his back!

Quietly approaching him from the rear is the junior bunch of our outfit. It’s nice that the kids have this interest in things nature. However, you don’t go out to look and learn from nature with two catties with you, do you?

Fortunately we see these appliances of war before it could be put to use. A few loud reprimands (they were a distance away, mos) accompanied by hand signs (but not the one that can be successfully executed with only one finger) we indicated to the junior corps that they better have a change of heart, mind and direction if they do not want trouble. They then opted for the trouble free outcome.

Save for two short bursts of rain the weather held. Early evening the pot is ready. The lamb is so soft, it comes off the bone. Very nice! My understanding is that there would have been some form of pudding for which Marienka’s cake bin would have been required. As stated before, said bin was not fit for further use, and we had to settle for café chocolates. Not that it was bad. I mean, I am still to meet the café chocolate that I do not like.

And, of course, we had coffee. Rinus was fortunate to escape serious burns by jumping away from one of the coffee pots that toppled over. Fortunately no harm done, and the spilt coffee could be replenished with no ill effect.

[Part 5 to follow]

PG Jonker…