I had a Land Rover, I was a speed freak (how I got cured is another story). In
March 2000 I embarked on my first holiday with my truck. We decided to go
down to Mosselbay and then onto Montague for a 4X4 trail. Seeing that it
was going to take a long time to do the 1300 odd km’s to Mosselbay, we
decided to take the scenic route and do it over two days. I am driving a
Land Rover Defender the
photographs are taken either by my wife or The Famous Alan Foster (TFAF),
unless stated otherwise. Apologies for the lack of Landy pics, but this
was more a route documentation trip.
Friday morning, we are packed and ready to go. Being nervous and mostly
paranoid I did my routine preflight check. I discovered that the engine
was leaking water from somewhere. Great start! Eventually at 17h00 we are
on our way from Forsdick's LR in Westgate. We headed for Kimberley where
we stayed overnight. Well, the road really sucked. This was the same road
that Bles (Bridges) was to die on a few hours later. Anyway we got to
Kimberly very late.
of the whole idea was to take dirt roads as far as possible. You know, to
travel off the beaten track…We went from Kimberly to Hopetown by tar
road. Then from Hopetown through Poupan(No
pou and no pan in sight), Potfontein,
we headed down the first dirt road from Hopetown to De Aar, we hit the
first mud bath. Yes, a mud bath in the middle of the Great Karoo. I have
never seen so much water in the Karoo(Ok ok I haven’t been there that
much, but it was a lot of water)
As we went slip
sliding past the occasional (very occasional) shocked local community
member waiting on the side of the road, a few things came to mind:
It was stupid to travel off the beaten track alone…
Conti Tracs don’t handle mud well.( I had to replace the Contis
after a mere 30 000Km’s…)
The ARB airlocker was well worth it (The history of my locker will
be looked at on a later occasion)
I wish I had a snorkel.
filling up at De Aar we headed down another dirt road to Richmond via
Dieput and Mynfontein.
sliding and driving sideways at times…From Richmond we took the N1
towards Kruidfontein. The plan was to go through to Prince Albert via
Kruidfontein on the R353. We took the Prince Albert turn off ignoring
the “road closed” signs. I explained to my wife that this is a Land
Rover and that we can go anywhere we like. We came to this section in the
I told my wife, “no problem. The government is just trying to get us to
go the long route so we can use more fuel and pay more fuel levies!” I
just couldn’t resist taking a picture of the sign above :
my conspiracy theory didn’t last for a long time…
still struggle with this in my dreams. Could I have made it across?
Doesn’t look bad at all on the photo. (Apologies for the quality) I am
sure I should have tried. Anyway I will never know, because we turned back
and didn’t attempt the crossing. We found another road, R328, that was
also closed but managed to get through quite easily, despite it being
washed away in places.
Prince Albert we took the Swartberg Pass to Oudtshoorn. Swartberg pass was
beautiful going up.
coming down. It was really slippery and the mist didn’t help.
the other side of the pass we saw rivers where there shouldn’t be any
t was really interesting way to travel to the coast. We saw some really
lonely places and no other traffic. I doubt if it will ever be so muddy
again, but we got lucky with the mud.
the end of the holiday we went to Mont Eco nature reserve. Great place,
but that is another story with more Pictures of Landys.
Submitted by Sats Oosthuizen