pgjonker.co.za

Posts tagged with “sand driving”

Namaqualand National Park – Part 5

Wednesday, 18 April, 2012

Sunday, 7 April

To Lambertsbaai

After two nights at Varswaterbaai we had to pack up. Now we are heading for Malkopbaai, Lambertsbaai.

Past Kwassebaai is another stretch of pretty thick sand. At places the tracks have become fairly deep, to the extent that it would be difficult to just hop out of the spoor should there be traffic approaching. Fortunately there is a double set of tracks for some of these places, which would ease things a bit in the event of two way traffic.

Those towing trailers need a bit more speed and momentum to keep going. Of course! So that would be the reason why, by the time we were through these sandy patches, I had to give some gas just to catch up with those in front of me. Not towing anything I could quietly trundle along, minding my own business at a rather leisurely pace.

Where we have a choice, Martin opts for the spoor closest to the sea. At one spot we have to negotiate quite thick sand with severe cross-axle movement. We take turns so that the vehicles can go through one at a time. You don’t want the front guy to get bogged down with the next vehicle right on his tail.

It looks very impressive watching a vehicle with a trailer going over that spot, with the vehicle and the trailer heaving and bobbing in opposite directions.

Martin’s initial planning was for us to swing west from the Groenrivier and head for the tar road. His idea was to take the fastest, albeit not the shortest, route so that we can get to Lambertsbaai not too late in the afternoon. Fortunately by the time we arrived at Groenriver, that plan was canned in favour of one to stick to the sand tracks for as long as we can.

The rain definitely made the sandy parts easier to drive, but caused some mud pools. Nothing serious, just enough to make your vehicle look very impressive to the neighbours back home.

Just before the Groenrivier we leave the Park at its Southern gate.

At the Groenriviermond we do the been-there-dunnit pictures, and follow the spoor past the Groenrivier light house, heading south.

And what a nice drive! Eisj! What were you thinking, Martin! We nearly missed all this.

My understanding is that the roads that we now travel on used to belong to the mine, but that the land was offered to the Parks. Whether they have taken it over is not clear. It is in any event unlikely that they would have the money to develop the area.

This is probably the reason why people can camp at various places next to the beach. A bit of a free for all, where all shapes and sizes of abode seem to go.

Before we reach Brand-se-Baai we stop for lunch.

Pieter decides to inflate his tyres with his electrical pump. This attempt blows a fuse on the bakkie, ending the inflating exercise. So I decide to show Pieter how things should work, making use of basic technology – such as a foot pump. I get my foot pump out and start working (pumping just does not sound right) my tyre.

However, after a short while I decide that, as there will only be 28km’s tar road to go, I can just as well leave my tyres as they are and have it inflated at the Lutzville fuel station. I could then sommer also discretely look for a bin to chuck my now dysfunctional foot pump into.

My friend Alwyn, whom I see about once in a decade, comes driving past with his family. This, of course, increases our statistical average of meeting each other substantially.

Eventually we hit the tar road again and travel slowly on the road to Lutzville. My bakkie does not pass a fuel station by easily, and I have to …