Posts tagged with “Gourits”

Holiday Season 2014 – Part 2

Saturday, 10 January, 2015


Preparing food is nogals a big thing when camping.

I’m not much of a cook, but under the watchful eye of my wife I can these days boil water and even some more without causing injury.

Braai is, of course, the preferred mode of cooking. A conditio sine qua non, so to speak, for camping.


A lamb chops and wors combination is a good start. The chicken kebabs we got from the big shop in Mossel Bay went down well. Only, we too late realised that the red bits on it were chili that the chef chose to add to his spices. We don’t actually do chili.

Potatoes, buttered and covered in feta cheese and then wrapped in tinfoil to bake in the coals make a fine side platter.

For quicker food we make pasta, or resort to vetkoek and mince. OK, to go even quicker we sommer attend Koffiestories, the new coffee shop at Gouritsmond.  They serve milk tart pancakes as a novelty.  Pancake filled with milk tart filling.  So what you see is pancake, but what you taste is milk tart.

Potbrood takes a bit of time, but it can in itself make a principal meal.

One morning our angler neighbour’s fishing expedition came to nought, and we decided on an impromptu brunch.  Brunch in the form of sausage, eggs, tamato, pineaple, greenpeppers, onions and toast all done on the pan on the fire.

Die brunch pan

No, not all at once.  Step by step, until you get to the end result.


My neighbour, being the avid angler, comes home from time to time with fish to braai.  These, I’m told, are called “silver”, although it is red.  Perfectly logical mos.


For the past many years a friend donated a lamb for a spit braai for old year’s eve. Due to bad weather, though, the lamb was this time reduced to tjops, ribs, and leg of lamb. The ribs were made in a potjie, with onions, where it simmered for three hours to make for marvelous rib.  Well, so I’m told.  By the time I got to the pot there was nothing left!

This was followed up by roly-poly desert also made in the potjie on the fire.  I managed to get the ‘before’ picture.

Roly Poly

There was no time for the ‘after’ picture.  I did not think the empty potjie would count for an ‘after’ picture.

In the beginning we used to stock the caravan up before coming to Gouritsmond. It turns out, though, that meat is somewhat cheaper at the local shop than in town. So from time to time we got some really good steaks to grill on the coals.

One morning my wife went to buy steak, but she was advised by the lad manning the power tools there that he cut his hand, and there will be not further meat cutting for the day. Which is probably not a bad idea. I also thought one might want to wait a day or two before you buy meat again. Just to be sure, you know.

Some 7km away is the Stoepsit restaurant pretty much in the middle of nothing. That turned out to be a rather nice hangout. The kids went there for a dance on old year’s eve.

My neighbour does afval potjie (tripe) but swears by one butcher only from whom he sources his afval. I don’t do afval, although I have to admit his end product looks rather appetizing.

Christmas dinner with the family at Montagu is an elaborate affair. It actually starts with the previous evening’s dinner with a braai. Having the meat still simmering on the coals by 22h30 is not strange.

Christmas dinner consisted of chicken, leg of lamb, mustard jelly, cucumber jelly (no, really) roast potatoes. The previous evening’s Casata ice cream is equalled by grandma’s trifle and ice cream.

Ok, I guess you know what this is?


Yeah, I …

HOLIDAY SEASON 2014 – part 1

Wednesday, 7 January, 2015

Getting the wheels ready

Last year my holiday ended with my whole rig and my family being delivered at our house by a tow truck.

Travelling in style

The thing with these little discomforts is that it normally makes for good reading. Afterwards.

After our rather peculiar mode of arriving home, I was under pressure to have the family transport upgraded to something that the family would perceive as more reliable. My seventeen year old vehicle with 290 000km’s on the clock just did not do it for the family any more. I was not yet convinced that a replacement was called for.

But I was overtaken by events. Our second set of wheels (also older than a decade) suddenly needed acute repairs that simply did not seem worth its while. So I had to replace those wheels. And thus, I still have my trusted bakkie.

But in a bit of de ja vu I started experiencing mechanical problems on my bakkie just in the month before departure. With three weeks to go and all moving parts in the starter circuit already replaced with new ones, I still had a problem getting the bakkie to start when hot. My auto electrician then performed an experimental repair that he believed would solved what turned out to be a voltage drop.

Problem is, I would only finally know whether it worked when the bakkie travelled a bit. Which would mean that only on the first leg of my holiday travel would I know. So just to be sure we decided that the second set of wheels has to travel along as a back-up vehicle. It did remind me of the mechanic to whom I spoke shortly after I acquired my bakkie many years ago. He said of course I can go do heavy offroading in Kaokoland with said bakkie, as long as the tow truck went along.

The departure is the now well known drill, ie getting the caravan out without taking bits of gutters, gates, walls and bougainvilla along. After doing this for ten years, we now seem to have got the hang of it.  We now get it right without the shouting and the cursing that the neighbours used to complain about. There is just no replacement for experience.

After the pit stop at Worcester it was with trepidation that I started my bakkie again. And walaa! It started! It seems like my autolec actually got the problem fixed! I am happy to report that, in the end, the bakkie gave sterling service.

Off to sea

At Gouritsmond’s annual library book sale I buy two books for the quiet moments of the holiday. Robert Ludlum’s Matarese Circle, and Geoffrey Archer’s Eagle Trap. I’m not sure either of these gentlemen would be happy to know that their works of art are being sold for the equivalent of the princely sum of some 17 British cents (R3) each. But then again, with the strength of the Pound Sterling one never knows. I certainly got a lot of value for my money.

Holidaying at the sea, of course, makes it mandatory to go to the beach.

On day one I accompany my 12-year old just to check on him. When his older boet was that age the two of us got swept away by a strong backwash that came close to turning out tragically. So I prefer to keep an eye on the chap.

Gourits strand

For the occasion I don my brand new garish red trunks. It seems to hit a nerve on the beach. I cannot help but notice the people taking cognisance of me. Some even openly point at my larnie swimming trunks. Although I profess to be a humble man I have to confess that I do have an ego. Which ego took kindly to the attention of especially the girls on the beach. So I put a bit of a …

To the East of the West – Part 3

Saturday, 12 July, 2014

Knysna and The Heads

Knysna is really a beautiful place.  It is advisable not to travel through the town on Christmas or New Year.  But then again, if you have nothing to do on those days, that would be a sure way of passing the time.

But I would not want to sound like I’m running the town down.   A cursory look at a map would give a fair indication of (at least part of) Knysna’s popularity.


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

Returning from Harkerville we went down to the Knysna Waterfront.  It’s a rather cool place.





This guy was giving a display of utter motionless.

PuppetHowever, he did lick his ice cream from time to time.  The guy in front, though, did not move.  I later thought he might be dead or something, but no medics arrived.

We then boarded the John Benn.

John Benn

The John Benn is the one on the far side.  It’s pretty much like a double decker pub.

John Benn inside

I reckon from a boating perspective it must also pretty much drive like a pub.  The keel depth is half a meter, according to Cornelius who skippered the John Benn.  Given the prevalence of the various sand banks, it is understandable.


The John Benn was clearly not built as a testament to speed and agility.

The Heads route[Source: Imagery ©2014 TerraMetrics, Map data ©2014 AfriGIS (Pty) Ltd, Google]

On the way to the Heads, you drive past the Featherbed restaurant.  If you so wish, you can take the ferry destined for lunch at Featherbed. Apparently you also get a game drive included in the outing.


The Heads.

The Heads 1

The Heads 2


The weather on the day was a bit overcast, with a rather chilly wind blowing.  In spite of that it was a very enjoyable outing.  Next time we’ll try to include Featherbed in the itenary.


Just for the petrol heads that might be reading here.  The 2009 Tucson 2.0 GLS manual offers quite a bit of car for your money.  I’m tempted to say its weight in gold, simply for the reason that this 2×4 SUV weighs in at 90 kilograms heavier than my double cab 4×4 Mazda bakkie.

The 2.0 GLS engine offers 104 kW (as opposed to the Mazda 3.4’s 108kW) but is geared differently.  It feels vastly quicker and nippier than the Mazda, especially given the mass it needs to drag along.

The seven passes road we did we obviously did at a very leisurely pace, but the car handled the road with aplomb.

On the open road it can easily keep up with traffic.  Although I prefer to drive at 110km/h, if need be the power is there to get you out of a tight spot.

Average fuel consumption over most of the trip was 11,2km/l.  A strong headwind, and thereafter having a trailer full of wood hitched to the Tucson brought the fuel consumption down to just over 10km/l.

Rather splendid, I thought.