Category “English – Gouritsmond”

December Holiday – Part 1

Monday, 4 August, 2014
2013 – 2014 December holiday

The onset of the holiday

It was the first morning of the holiday that I woke up in my caravan. Today is Madiba’s funeral. In Qunu. But no, we have not been invited. Otherwise I would mos have been there. So now I’m at Gouritsmond.

The awakening is like after having received anaesthetics. The previous day’s travelling was not as uneventful as it should have been.  Then followed pitching tents, hitting what now feels like thousands of tent pegs, unpacking, repacking and all the rest.  It felt as if all the lubricants have been drained from my joints during the night. But, tadaa! It is holiday and I need not get up. I can’t.

Eventually I do manage to get out of bed.

Sitting in the wind under the gazibo feals heavenly. When sitting in the wind feels like an event in itself, you know it’s hot. And holiday.



Taking a leak

The heat has been broken by early morning showers. I wake up with a drop of watter falling on my arm. But I’m not sleeping outside. Paaah! My caravan leaks water.

Normally I set my caravan up at a slight angle to the rear. This is enough to cause water to leak off the edge of the caravan before it could form a puddle at the spot where it sometimes leak into the caravan. But I neglected to do so this time.

I get the last tube of silicon at the shop at the gate, and set to work to fix the leaks. I’m not the handiest of handymen. After a while I’ve got everything covered with the silicon. Mostly myself, but some bits of silicon did make it to what I identified as the offending areas. According to my dictionary what I am doing is termed scamp work. Well, it probably goes with camp work, huh?


I also tweak the angle of the caravan a bit. She now sits slightly on her haunches for a good leak. Of the water that runs from the roof mos now.

I’m now satisfied that the caravan will not leak again. As long as it does not rain.


Rare species

We often spot two rare species that are found here (so maybe they’re not so rare then?). The river hare and the tortoise. The one is quicker than the other.


Did you know that it takes the tortoise 13 seconds to cross a standard tar road? That’s if he takes his time and does not sense a threat in the form of a big 4×4 trundling down on him. Thén he can cut that time to 10 seconds. I’m sure this is information that you’ve been absolutely dying to know for years. Well, there you have it.

Unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to time the river hare crossing the road, but I can tell you for a fact that he is remarkably quicker.


To infinity and beyond

The Gouritsmond library hosts an annual booksale. Given the size of the town it is a remarkable sale that they put up there. We normally arrive in town in time for the booksale.


Paying between R5 and R15 for a book a R100 can solve all your idle moments for the rest of the holiday and beyond. Virtually to infinity and beyond, to quote Buzz Lightyear. Now we are geared for proper lazy holidaying.



Keeping busy

Down at the sea the beach services crowd is keeping the kiddies busy. Their master of proceedings proclaims that they will be building the biggest sand castle ever. All the pee-wees join in. I decided not to let them in on the secret, but I can sommer tell them beforehand, this won’t be the biggest sand castle ever.

Not even close.

Part 2 follows…

December holiday – Part 2

Monday, 4 August, 2014

Of bicycles and friends

The mechanics of bicycles, and more in particular of its brakes, have always been a mystery to me. Like most other things mechanical. As a safety precaution I don’t ride a bicyle of which I have worked on the brakes myself, so it has never been much of a problem.


But now our youngest is riding around with his rusted bicycle that we brought along. Fortunately he is unaware of my lack of confidence and experience in repairing brakes on a bicycle.   It works a bit like peace of mind: even if your peace of mind is based on false premises, you still have peace of mind. How cool is that.

So Kleinboet is happily riding around on his bicycle of which I fixed the brakes. I can think of no reason to shatter his peace of mind.

Then one morning our tea session with the neighbours gets rudely interrupted.

A boy of about fourteen arrives in a huge hurry. There has been an accident. Kleinboet fell on the tar he even bounced as he hit the tar he is bleeding and crying and does not look good it was an accident and he (the messenger) is very sorry he did not intend for Kleinboet to get hurt but oom must now come immediately please.

Few things can catapult one into action than a report of bodily harm to your kids. We rush over to where a crowd has formed. Kleinboet is in the middle, lying in the road. A fellow camper that might have been either a para-medic or a doctor reports that nothing seems to be broken, and that Kleinboet will survive. I pick him up (Kleinboet now, not the paramedic) and rush him over to the caravan so that we can attend to him.

Between the groaning and clenched teeth Kleinboet reports that his friend was doing these cool tricks with his (the friend’s – take note) bicycle. However, he still needed to work on the execution of one of these tricks. The problem came when he executed this one particular cool trick with Kleinboet sitting on the handle bars.



Civilisation seems to be reluctant to let go of his grip on me. I receive a call from the security company that my alarm went off. Paaah! I counted on the criminals to also at least stay at home if they cannot afford to go on holiday. Over the next few days I get another few calls. Eventually, between myself and the guy staying in our house, we get it figured out. One of my newly installed beams outside picks up on the sun’s reflection at a specific time of the day. So now we can just bypass that zone. Problem solved. No burglaries.

I often think of Bob Dylan while I’m here. The answer my friend, is sitting in the wind. Or something like that.


Kids do the darnest things

The thing with kids, nuh. Eisj……

I know our oldest has his last working day today. He will drive down from Cape Town tomorrow. But I also know that he comes off work at noon today. And I suspect Ouboet of intending to surprise us by coming today already instead of tomorrow.

At one minute past noon I receive a WhatsApp from him on how to locate Gouritsmond on the GPS, which he has with him for exactly this eason. So I assume he is now underway. Which means he should be here by 16h00.

So from about 16h00 I take up station under my gazibo from where I can watch the gate of the caravan park. By 17h30 I’m rather concerned. No Ouboet in sight, and there is no movement on Ouboet’s WhatsApp. Although I don’t want to send a message to his phone for fear of him checking it whilste driving, I nevertheless do so, innocuosly asking where he is. Ouboet immediately replies he is at a friend of his in Cape Town. I don’t believe him, but at least I know he is safe.

Just on 19h00 Ouboet arrives with a blaring hooter, very happy to have caught us by surprise. Later I notice the time on the petrol slip where he filled up at Riversdal. Exactly when he replied to me that he is with a friend in Cape Town.

The little sh*t.

Part 3 follows.…

December holiday – Part 3

Monday, 4 August, 2014

The retreiver(s)

I sometimes go swim lengths in the tidal pool.


One good morning this very happy Labrador becomes upset with me in the water. He probably thought I’m drowing, so he promptly decides to save me. Maybe it was a Retreiver. I don’t hink he thought it through properly, though. I had no intention of being retreived. Ouboet is also there and notices the problem. He decides to retreive the Labrador. The Labrador does not wish to be retreived either. Eventually the owner of the Labrador interevenes and takes away the dog.

He turns out to be the only effective retreiver of the bunch of us.

Just in time, though, because shortly thereafter the Big Retreiver arrives. Someone alerted the local law enforcement officer of the dog running amok at the pool.


Your mother…..

Our youngest parcitipates in the talent concert in the community hall one evening. Whilst busy with a bit of blues on his guitar, a slightly unruly guy with no front teeth in the audience chats away loudly with his friends. Ouboet asks him te tone down a bit. The guy does not like it at all and gives Ouboet the Cape oral version of the middle finger with reference to his mother.

The next morning my wife and I attend church to pray for us and the guy without front teeth. We are the only people there, though. There is no morning service that Sunday morning.

Pity you, larnie with no front teeth, nuh?


Gone fishing

Fishing is not my thing. Unfortunately Kleinboet really likes this pastime. He will have to work a bit on his temper, though. He really does not take kindly to any fish getting away.

I’m not much of an assistance, though. On occasion I sought the guidance of my very avid angling neighbour at the campsite. He suggested I buy some harders at the shop for bait, just to get the thing going. The exercise turned out no-good. My neighbour still finds it funny that the canned pilchards that I bought did not work well. What is it with him. And the fish. They were not interested at all. I mean, the seagulls were very happy when we ended up throwing them with the pilchards.

But then neighbour takes pity on Kleinboet and takes him along for a fishting trip on his boat. I join in. We travel up in the Gourits river before throwing out the anchor for a few hours of organised loafing.


Some fish seems to actually have personality. Nasty personalities, that is. While sitting there and waiting for fish to nible on the hooks, a shoal of flying fish comes, well, flying past. As if they are mocking us. I’m sure I saw one of them give us a rude sign, but I could have been mistaken.

Then Kleinboet gets a bite. Huge excitement! For the next many minutes Kleinboet battles it out with whatever is on the hook. The fish is not giving up the fight lightly. Now he is this side of the boat, then on the other side, back and thro. Eventually, totally out of breath, Kleinjan gets his first real fish on board. He looks like he won the lottery (but had to run to get it).


I’d say he had a happy look on his face.

Part 4 follows.…

December holiday – part 4

Monday, 4 August, 2014

New best friends

Oukersaand. The evening before Christmas. It’s a happy evening with people braaing and handing out presents.


I’m very pleased with a minatiure “fail” flute that I got for Christmas. You know that descending sound that often accompanies a “fail” moment in animation movies? Well, this flute does that. Like a minature sliding trumpet.

bandana en fluitjie

During the course of the evening we can hear our neighbours singing Christmas carols. We go over to render some assistance. It’s not that any of us can really sing, but at least we have numbers behind us. It does enhance the effort mos.

It’s quite nice, actually. It brings back good childhood memories of Christmas. And it’s quite devotional too.

Worsie is a visiting dachshund. He quietly sits next to his boss’ feet, minding his own business. But Worsie seems to like kids. So when Kleinboet wedges himself into the circle to join in with the singing, Worsie jumps up and start humping Kleinboet’s leg. The devoted atmosphere lasts for only a few seconds more, and then it shatters in thousand pieces of laughter.

Everyone enjoys the moment, except Worsie’s boss. Worsie is very happy. And Kleinboet likes the idea that Worsie likes him.

It’s quite a cute present this, I thought, giving a little hoot on my fail flute.


High days at the beach

On the big days the tidal pool is always packed with people. At least one lorry would rock up full of beach goers.

It was only from observing these visitors that I realised that the larnie new undies that my wife recently bought me are actually swimming trunks. I never knew. Now I do, although my wife still does not want me to swim with it in public.

My sister-in-law goes down for a swim at the pool. At the deep end she notices a kiddy busy drowning. She saves her. And sommer give the kiddy a lesson on water safety and how to stay afloat. When done with the lesson, she turns around. Only to find that a whole queue formed behind her.

“Antie, Antie, I also want to learn how to swim!”

Sis-in-law only came back much later.

The beach, which is about a kilometer away from the tidal pool, is just as busy. There I observe Davelin. Davelin is a rather busy little chap. He is probably about five years old. You don’t need to watch him to know where he is. You can sommer hear.

“Davelin! Don’t!”  Presumably his mother.

“Daveliiiiiinn!”  His sister. And his aunty.

“Daveliiiin! Ek moer vir jou.” Probably his uncle. Or his neighbour.

So Davelin runs past me and purposefully splashes in a puddle so that I get a good walop of water in my face. As he runs away he looks over his shoulder to check how succesful he was. Devilon actually looks like a rather likeable little stoutgat.

Well, and so the holiday comes to an end. What remains is packing up and getting back hom. Which turned out to be a lot more complicated that expected. But that story I already shared here on a previous occasion.


The end…

Easter weekend at Gouritsmond – getting there [1]

Saturday, 4 May, 2013

Part 1 of 3

By PG Jonker

Easter weekend, 22 May 2011


It feels pretty stress free to depart for Gouritsmond without towing the caravan – as we do over December holidays.  This time we rented a house, so no reason to take the mobile house along.  The incidental benefit thereof is that there is no rush to get there to start making camp. A leisurely drive is sufficient.

The teenagers depart some time before us.  A convoy of three cars full of teenagers will meet each other at the Wynland Engen outgoing, to travel together.

The rest of my outfit follows some half an hour later.  Doors locked, windows closed, alarm set, Neighbourhood Watch and neighbours alerted. And off we go.

We travel via Montagu where we need to drop off our second hand bulldog with relatives.  Bully is very happy to go along.  Once she gets wind of some packing going on, she plants herself underneath the vehicle and refuse to move – until she notices her bed being packed in the back of the bakkie.  Even then it takes some planning to catch her.  For some odd reason she does not respond like other dogs when se gets called.  It never ceases to amaze me that so much stupidity can be concentrated in one dog.

There is a festive atmosphere at the Wynland Engen about 10km’s from home where we need to fill up.  Bikers, a convoy of caravanners, taxi’s, you name is.

It is the first of the colder wintry days.  In Robertson a restaurant sports the banner:   “Dros Welcomes all bikers.” Mmm…. Good thinking, nuh?

As you leave Robertson there is a traffic sign indicating that you may not hitch hike.  True to South African nature, this has become the preferred hitch hiking spot.

When we reach Ashton we run into a wild wind.

At Montagu’s Seven-Eleven a lady is merrily licking on her ice cream in freezing wheather.

On the farm the Boerboel and the Jack Russel is very happy to see our bulldog.  Especially the Jack Russel.  If he was a human, he would have been locked up long ago for being a serial rapist.


New roads

After a good breadfast on the farm we hit the road.  Time to try a new road.

Gourits via Brandrivier


From Montagu we travel on the R62 through Barrydale.  Some 16 km’s past Barrydale we turn right on the Brandrivier road.

Brandrivier se afdraai

The gravel road is very good.  The next notice board makes us feel safe.


Over the next 35 km’s we encounter two other vehicles.

Die omgewing

Reaching the tar road again, we turned right, and travel through the Garcia pass into Riversdale.

Garcia pas

In Riversdale I get lost in my endeavours to find the N2 (no, really).

Now we hit the heavy traffic.  We manage 100km/h, but with a string of vehicles as far as you can see.  Fortunately the guys with the caravans were rather accommodating, making way with their rigs for the rest of us to pass.

And then, by 13h10, we arrive at Gouritsmond.

Welkom in Gourits

And the really wonderful thing is, I do not have to pitch a campsite for the next five hours!  The house is there.  The kitchen needs no unpacking.  Admittedly, it felt a bit like cheating to drive past the caravan park and not turn in there.

Ag, it feels good.

Part 2 to follow…

Easter Weekend at Gouritsmond – the town [2]

Saturday, 4 May, 2013

By PG Jonker

Part 2 of 3

Saturday morning my wife and I go for a walk.  It’s cold.

“Quiet, nuh?” I reckon.  My wife does not bother to comment.  However, the next moment the silence is crudely broken by a lady’s voice on a pa system with speakers on a car driving through the town and inviting all and sunder to the church basaar.  There must be very few small town churches attempting to have a basaar on an Easter weekend.

Hond Gourits

In the foreground the grave of the dog Gourits.  No, the town is not called after the dog.  The dog was called Gourits after the river, and the name of the town.

The shops at Gouritsmond (there are two) remain the core of any commercial activities.

winkelSome of the houses sport rather interesting names.

“Beautiful havens”

Mooi Hawens Milky way:

Mooi hawensSome names are indicative of wisdom learnt from experience.

“Domestic troubles”

Hys moles


Part 3 to follow…

Easter weekend at Gouritsmond – more of the town [3]

Saturday, 4 May, 2013

By PG Jonker

Part 3 of 3

Church on Easter Sunday.

KerkGouritsmond is a quiet place.  The kind of place where one can move to for the final stretch.  OK, except maybe for one more move.

Nis muurIt is a cold weekend, with very few people on the beach.

Gourits strandBut, of course, nothing comes in the way of a true fisherman.

vissermanneThere are clear notice boards, even for those who cannot read.

waarskuwingsbordjiesThe mouth of the Gourits river looks wild.

Die mondA few vasbyters braved the cold in the caravan park.  I must say, it was really unpleasantly cold, and could not have been nice in a tent or caravan.


And then, it becomes time to go home.

Maak volFill her up, mate.