Riemvasmaak Recce 2013

Tell us about your recent trip. Please add some photographs.
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ThysdJ
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Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:30 am

All I can say is it was wet, very wet. We are camping in the back yard at the moment airing and drying out the tents.. :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:39 am

Glo jou nie
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:mocking:
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Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:18 am

Seeing is believing......

:ttwwp:

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Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:21 am

Maybe they never left the back yard to start with... :twisted:
Aint it ironic that "Common Sense" aint so common after all...

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Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:57 am

Baasvark wrote:Maybe they never left the back yard to start with... :twisted:
I wish that was my back yard!!! Would have been AWESOME.. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
Thys de Jager
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Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:11 pm

ThysdJ wrote:
Baasvark wrote:Maybe they never left the back yard to start with... :twisted:
I wish that was my back yard!!! Would have been AWESOME.. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
Still not believing a word you say. :acute:
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:52 am

Thunder02 wrote:
ThysdJ wrote:
Baasvark wrote:Maybe they never left the back yard to start with... :twisted:
I wish that was my back yard!!! Would have been AWESOME.. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
Still not believing a word you say. :acute:
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Here's a taster.. :twisted: :twisted:
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:08 am

Okay I'll tell you the story..

It all started when work pressure and deadlines prevented us from taking our annual 4 week long trip in April. Work sux!! But it puts bread on the table and diesel in the tank, so we shouldn't complain too much.

We decided to take an Easter weekend breakaway to the Northern Cape, one of our most favourite areas in the country to visit. Augrabies National Park was to be our base camp, and we planned on doing a day-trip out to Riemvasmaak, and other interesting places in the Kakamas area.

We left Cape Town on Easter Friday at 0500 on a leisurely drive via Kliprand and some other nice dirt roads. Our brekkie stop at Klawer was a disaster, the place was busier than Tyger Valley on pay-day!! Lost more than an hour there, but still had ample time to make Augrabies by 1500 to pitch camp and settle in.

Then once we reached Kliprand, I reached back for the camera, switched it on and got the message "No CF Card Installed"... Darn and blast!! In the rush to get going I forgot the CF cards (more than 1) on my desk at home!!! Okay no pictures for today, we have a little Sony Cybershot but no batteries for that one either.. A shopping trip to Kakamas was definitely on the cards for Saturday!! We didnt look forward to the crowded shopping centres, but it was something we had to do.. As we went along we found that some other items were also left at home, but more on that as we progress. :shock:

We arrived at Augrabies at approx 1600 and settled in. After a boerie roll braai and a few of the Captain's finest we retired for the night. It was hot and stuffy, with thunder clouds all over the place and that night we had a beautiful light show.. this place is awesome.. :twisted: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

For those who can't read, some pictures will follow... :taunt: :taunt: :taunt:
Thys de Jager
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:23 am

On Saturday morning we woke quite early, and after a brekkie of left over boerie, coffe and rusks we too to the road. We visited the vast metropolis of Kakamas, got hold of some AA batteries and tested the camera... right there in the parking lot.

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Came out okay-ish... better than nothing.. it too a bit of getting used to the little mik-en-drik, but we managed. Next stop the Pienk Padstal...

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Where we took a picture of the route we were going to follow that day..
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Is your numberplate here??
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They even give a little history lesson for free!!!
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We hitched the pink ponies and took off..
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En route to Riemvasmaak..
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More will follow... :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
Thys de Jager
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:30 am

hier kom dinge nou reg. Thanks virrie pics
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ThysdJ
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:11 am

On our way to Riemvasmaak we took a scenic turn-off. According to T4A it was an alternative route, but after about 12km, on a 2-spoor we came to a gate with a huge rhino on it.. We had to turn around. No harm done, at least we saw a group of Elandses and a couple of giraffeses..

The 2-spoor
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The Rhino Gate..
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Elandses - They are there have a good look..
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Giraffeses..
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Some more wildlife..
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We back-tracked and took the other route... We finally got to Riemvasmaak, and went to look for the hot springs.. Wow!!
:twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
Thys de Jager
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:52 pm

Wow?!!


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Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:05 pm

Good story so far, hope there is more to come. Nice pics. :thumbup:

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Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:54 pm

Thys ek sien so in die verte hier kom weer een uitsekende reis verslag!!! Pragtige foto's tenspyte van die mik en druk!!! Ons wag nou vir die tweede aflewering!!! :thumbup: :thumbup:
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Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:52 pm

Nice, still waiting for the very very wet pics
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Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:15 am

Hoppy wrote:Nice, still waiting for the very very wet pics
Nee vrot... dit sal dalk my screen breek. Ek soek droeë pics van die nat scenery :twisted:
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Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:38 am

WOW julle ouens is ongeduldig.. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

Ek soek net bietjie tyd om klaar te skryf.. hou vas aan julle se hoedde.. :thumbup: :thumbup:
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Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:19 am

The track down into the kloof where the hot spring is situated is about 4 km out of the Riemvasmaak. It is quite steep down, with a "platkar" and 4x4 option. The "platkar" option is definitely not meant for a Citi Golfie with lowered suspension and doef-doef music system but rather a 4x2 bakkie or SUV with some ground clearance. It is also concreted for grip. It also allows only for 1 car width, so you need to take care, because somebody could be coming in the other direction, and then careful planning and a few shrieks from the passengers allows the 2 vehicles to scrape past each other.

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Anyway.. once down in the dry riverbed of the Molopo river you find yourself in a deep gorge with near vertical cliffs. A very nice lapa with braai facilities and a few thorn trees is where we met Henry. Henry is the care taker, and is a very friendly guy. We spoke at length about the warm spring about 100m from the lapa. He told us that the spring was the reason why people first populated the area many centuries ago. The spring delivers 40 liters of water per minute at 38 deg C all year round. A little pool was built for visitors to have a splash in the luke warm water.

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Henry also showed us the camp sites, and some of the bungalows that are perched on the cliffs. The setting is truly fantastic. They are in the process to upgrade their ablution facilities to attract more campers, but at the moment it is limited to a "bos stort" and a long-drop at the campsite, and 2 flush toilets at the lapa about 300m away from the campsite.

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We had a picnic in the riverbed and took the 4x4 option out of the kloof. Interesting, quite steep and cross axled, but in L/R and with diff-lock engaged it was no match for the Brood-wa Hilux. Once out of the gorge we turned left towards the Blouputs bridge.
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The track is basically 2-spoor, up and down with tight turns as it traverses all the little tributary streams that flow down to the Orange (Gariep) when it rains. We came across soem traffic from the front, and a Navara drove out in front of us, but at one steep hill where the Navara showered us with rocks and stones trying to get up the hill we decided to stop for a while.

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On our way out we came across this little koppie where somebody decided it would be fantastic to drive to the top. For no reason what so ever, just for fun. Well, it doent look like he made it, but he left his mark for the rest of time..... With the pebbles on top removed by wheel spinning, the ground underneath is being eroded every time some it rains. Granted it doesnt rain a lot, but still the damage is irreversible....

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We crossed the Gariep at the Blouputs bridge, and from there it was tar road all the way to Augrabies.

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Back at the camp we had about 5 drops of rain, I started a fire and heard a voice behind me say: "Great to see a fellow Forumite here in the boendoes"... It was one of our own members, Donovan (CRZYENG), from Johies. We had a lekker chat and shared stories of our travels. He was super impressed with the Brood-wa's dashboard storage cover and also sent his wife over the next day to check it out. He took your details Neil!! :thumbup: :thumbup:

The rest of the evening went according to plan although the weather was picking up and a few more drops of rain fell. After our travels of the day and kloutering around Riemvasmaak we were tired and went to sleep quite early with rain increasing in intensity. :silent: :silent:

Wetness to follow.... :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
Thys de Jager
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Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:26 am

Nice Thys lyk na n lekker trippie

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Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:44 am

Beautiful part of the world, that! :thumbup: :thumbup:

Great going so far, Thys! Looking forward to the rest of the story and pics. ;-)

(Sad to see that the pool area at the spring is looking a bit neglected these days. :( )
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Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:00 am

Dit is nou hier waar my jaloesie erg begin in skop
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Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:32 am

All night long it rained and at around about 0400 I heard a crash outside, but didnt quite register.. Then at about 0500 somebody wanting to make an early start crashed into the elecricity box across the road from our campsite. It was still raining cats and dogs, but our tent was dry and our bed was warm so we decided not to wander out in the wetness.



By about 0700 we decided to surface. The need for a cup of coffee was getting too overwhelming. When we opened the tent we witnessed the carnage outside. During the night our gazebo collected water... and by 0400 it got to the point where the frame of the gazebo could no longer withstand the weight of the water and collapsed. On top of our table and chairs, and dumping our towels in the mud.. Luckily it collapsed away from the Brood-wa, otherwise some scrathes and dents would have been inevitable.

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Disaster-management jumped into action, and as a team we got rid of the gazebo covering, and dumped the frame on the lawn next to our camp. I pulled the Hilux closer, and opened the eazy-awn awning so that we could have some shelter from the rain. Once that was done we had a steaming mug of coffee and surveyed the rest of our campsite. Unfortunately no photographs were taking during this time except for a few blurry ones..



Our kitchen tent was standing in a lake about 20cm deep. Our sleeping tent was fine, except for some water that leaked in thru the zips because we didnt close the fly-sheet properly before we went to sleep. We unpacked the kitchen tent and moved it to higher ground, but the damage inside was minimal. After all the mopping up was done we got dressed in dry clothes and started with the process of getting the gazebo frame dismantled to see what could be salvaged. Donovan and his wife Tony came over to lend a hand, as did my next door neighbour Barnie from PE. Thanks guys!! Despite the carnage, we were in good spirits, and were joking about the rain and our situation all day long.



During a dry spell (about 15 minutes) we went to see the waterfall for the first time since we arrived at Augrabies. The view-points that were washed away during the 2010 floods have been rebuilt and they added flood lights to light up the falls at night from 2000 to 2200. That evening at about 1700 the rain stopped and we braaied a steak to celebrate. After dinner we broke up camp, basically everything that was not necessary for breakfast the next morning and started packing up. At 1945 we went down to the falls to see the darkness being lit up by the flood lights. It is really spectacular to see.

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Hey it is a Cybershot on Night Mode setting... Not too bad!!
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There was more rain during the night but on Monday morning we woke to relatively clear skies. Quick mug of coffee and a few rusks before we broke up what was left of the camp saw us on our way home at 0800. We took the dirt road towards Loeriesfontein in order to get to Calvinia as early as possible. Our plan was to drive the Calvinia-Ceres road past the Tankwa Karoo. We have driven this road before a long time ago, but never since the Farm Stall was opened and we wanted to pop in for a visit.



Due to the vast amounts of water that came down during the previous 48 hours the road turned into one long continuous water crossing, with deep gullies washed out by streams crossing the road. This made driving a full time job as we could only ever get as far as 4th gear in the gearbox, before having to come to a dead stop to cross the gullies. This made for slow going and after about 3 hours we got to the turn-off to Brandvlei a mere 140km from Kakamas. We took the turn-off hoping to get to Brandvlei and take the tar road from there to speed things up a bit and for the first 20km the going was good and speeds of up to 110km/h was possible. Then all of a sudden!! This road got even worse than the one we were on before! Going slowed down to a crawl again and we made it to Brandvlei at about 1330!

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Once we reached Brandvlei the tank was close to empty, our tummies were way past that, and we were still a long way from home. A sleep over was not on the cards as I had an appointment with Barloworld Toyota Kuilsriver on Tuesday morning at 0730 which I couldnt miss. While I filled the tank (with 500ppm) and had the tyres inflated to tar-pressures, E went to order us toasted saarmies at Die Windpomp. Outside Brandvlei we stopped for a very late brunch after which we took the quickest (most boring) route home. It started raining again when we hit Calvinia, but we pushed on. We made a quick stop at Van Rhynsdorp for a much needed cold drink and leg stretch before we tackled the N7 and traffic.

Once again going was slow on the N7 due to heavy rain and lots of traffic, but at about 2130 after spending more than 13 hours on the road we pulled in at home, wet and tired but satisfied. We unpacked the wet stuff from the Hilux, (just about everything) and went to bed.



On Tuesday we re-pitched all our tents, chairs and other wet equipment, aired it out, cleaned and packed it away ready for next time..
Thys de Jager
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Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:44 am

Thanks vir die pics Thys... ma wat ek nou wil weet... daai flood lights wat hulle op gesit het... is dit vir nood gevalle wanneer daar 'n vloed is? :twisted:
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ThysdJ
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Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:54 am

Ek dink dit word flood-lights genoem omdat dit met die volgende flood ook gaan wegspoel... :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

Dit is nogal spectacular om die valle in die nag te sien onder ligte.. :thumbup: :thumbup:
Thys de Jager
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Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:06 am

Thys baie nice foto's en daai kloof is pragtig!!! Weereens 'n uitstekende trip report!!! Baie dankie!! :thumbup:
Johan Marais

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Vehicle: 2010 Hilux D4D 3.0 D/C 4x4
Real Name: Thys
ORRA Call Sign: HC102
Location: Brackenfell
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Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:20 am

Lessons learned on this trip

On every trip you learn out of your experiences, be it good or bad. Your equipment also gets tested, sometimes beyond its limits, and you get an opportunity to try out new stuff you bought since your last trip.

Aux Batteries/Power sources.
We tried out 2 deep-cycle batteries with mixed results. One was permanently connected to the N/L Duel battery system and the other one was in a "portable" case.

The connected battery was used to power the Engle 40l fridge at full power. It needed recharging during the trip but luckily with the vehicle being driven it was charged sufficiently to keep the fridge going.

The "portable" we used for camp lighting and charging cell phones. Worked like a charm. We have to look at alternative sources of charging our batteries, and solar panels are being researched at the moment.

Although we had a campsite with a 220V power supply we never used it.

Ice
We took a little insulated Coleman "Ice Bucket". Every evening we filled that with ice cubes and used that for our drinks. No need to open the fridge every now and then to get ice out! Ice stayed frozen in the ice bucket for a long time, and one night we even had some ice left over which went back into the fridge.

Gazebo.
The Campmaster quick erect el-cheepo gazebo should be dismantled and stowed away at the first sign of clouds cover, also as soon as the candle on the table gets blown out. They do not like wind and definitely not rain. We should have removed the cover before we went to bed on Saturday evening, but we didnt expect continuous rain. Hind sight is an exact science.. But just so you know and learn from our mistakes.

Canopy.
Leaking a lot. But I spoke to Ciske from Gomad and he will re-seal all joints and make sure all the leaks are sorted.

Eazy-Awn Awning
Without this we would have been stranded in the rain. Fantastic piece of equipment and would not originally have made the trip. I was bored one Saturday and decided to fit it, and it came along.

Camera.
Mik-en-drik can take pictures, but for the night shots I would have like the SLR. But dont forget to pack the CF cards!!

T4A accuracy
We are using the latest (2012) version of T4A and it led us up the garden path straight to the gate with the rhino on it. Always make sure you plan alternative routes when travelling in remote areas, as this is not the first time we got stopped by a locked gate using T4A. It wasnt much of an inconvenience on this trip, as we only drove about 150km, and had the whole day to do it, but when you get pressed for time and you need to make a 100km detour on 2-spoor tracks (like what happened to us the last time in Tankwa Karoo) things can get a little hairy.

Our main aim on this trip was to test our "water-proofness"... We were actually very excited when the weather forecast predicted rain for the entire Easter weekend in the Augrabies area. Seeing as we mainly tour the Northern Cape and Namibia, we tend to camp when there is little to no rain, i.e. usually not in the rainy season. We wanted to make sure we are prepared for that time when we get caught out with unexpected rain. Augrabies was the perfect spot for this, as we had the safety net of having chalets available should things get out of hand. We are sort of there, and we will be able to weather a storm of about 2 days... We have identified some short-comings in our tent accommodation which will be addressed.

As an equipment test, as well as a team-spirit booster, this trip was a huge success. Thanks to my partner in crime, Elismari, for her assistance, patience and company, and to all those guys who offered help when our camp fell down... We will do it again any time and bring on the rain! :clap: :clap: :clap:
Thys de Jager
CEO and Refreshments Manager at Team Offroad.

2010 Hilux 3.0 D4D D/C 4x4 with GOMAD "Brood" Canopy. Tripod.
1997 Jeep Wrangler TJ 4.0 Sport. The original SFA. AGA... Gooi kole
email: thys@teamoffroad.co.za

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Froll
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Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:25 pm

Nice pics and trip report Thys. We also learned a lot from our trip to Port Noloth with the rain and wind. Also have a camp master gazebo and we fortunately took ours down when the wind got too heavy. :thumbup:

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ThysdJ
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Real Name: Thys
ORRA Call Sign: HC102
Location: Brackenfell
Contact:

Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:27 am

Thanks for the feedback guys.. :thumbup: :thumbup: We really enjoyed the trip, and we are already planning the next (short) breakaway.. :clap: :clap: Where to go is the question.. :silent: :silent:
Thys de Jager
CEO and Refreshments Manager at Team Offroad.

2010 Hilux 3.0 D4D D/C 4x4 with GOMAD "Brood" Canopy. Tripod.
1997 Jeep Wrangler TJ 4.0 Sport. The original SFA. AGA... Gooi kole
email: thys@teamoffroad.co.za

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ThysdJ
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Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:31 am
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Real Name: Thys
ORRA Call Sign: HC102
Location: Brackenfell
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Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:00 pm

Just had a call from Cobus (Kaspaas) in Keimoes. Apparently 140mm of rainfall was measured in the Kakamas area over the Easter weekend. Most of that was on Saturday night and Sunday. :silent: :silent:

Good news for the farmers, they needed the rain badly, and now they need some followup rainfall just to get the veld nice and green for the dry season ahead.. :beg: :beg: :beg: :beg:
Thys de Jager
CEO and Refreshments Manager at Team Offroad.

2010 Hilux 3.0 D4D D/C 4x4 with GOMAD "Brood" Canopy. Tripod.
1997 Jeep Wrangler TJ 4.0 Sport. The original SFA. AGA... Gooi kole
email: thys@teamoffroad.co.za

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Gideonvanzyl
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Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:37 pm

lyk na n lekker trippie Thys. 140mm is baie water in 2 dae
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ROOFER
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Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:30 am

thanks Thys nice trip report :thumbup:

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b4runner
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Sun Apr 07, 2013 3:53 am

Very cool pictures. With the exception of the wild life the terrain reminds me a lot of Utah, New Mexico or Arizona in the states. I would love the priviledge of doing an off road expedition in South Africa some day. Very beautiful country. :cooldude:
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Haboob
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Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:37 pm

Very nice Thys, thanks for your effort & the entertaining T/R . You see the funny side of things & remain positive when people I know would be blowing gaskets
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ThysdJ
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Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:31 am
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Real Name: Thys
ORRA Call Sign: HC102
Location: Brackenfell
Contact:

Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:06 am

Haboob wrote:Very nice Thys, thanks for your effort & the entertaining T/R . You see the funny side of things & remain positive when people I know would be blowing gaskets
In for a penny in for a pound... No use crying over spilt milk.. it the chips are down you need to step up to the plate. Being miserable only makes the situation worse.. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: I must say, the Captain also assisted with keeping the spirits up (no pun intended) later during the day... :twisted: :twisted:

Robb, when you decide to come visit gimme a call.... :thumbup: :thumbup:
Thys de Jager
CEO and Refreshments Manager at Team Offroad.

2010 Hilux 3.0 D4D D/C 4x4 with GOMAD "Brood" Canopy. Tripod.
1997 Jeep Wrangler TJ 4.0 Sport. The original SFA. AGA... Gooi kole
email: thys@teamoffroad.co.za

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Hugo2
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Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:35 pm

Count your blessings I were in the Tankwa karoo the same time and privileged to see it raining in the semi desert!
Here are some tips in cleaning your tent.

Tips for looking after your tent

The most frequent cause of cloth breakdown is due to mildew called diamond spot. These are small black spots that multiply with the presence of a combination of moisture, heat and organic substances. After the first outing or after a longish period of storage, there may be a tendency for the canvas to show signs of leakage. This is due to the fibers losing bulk through dehydration. On damping, the fibers will swell and reseal again. This however is not enough. Sufficient resealing and anti-fungicidal compound treatment must be present as well. The efficiency of the resealing compound is directly dependent on the condition of the canvas being treated. By applying the following hints and tips, the life span of your tent will be prolonged:

1. Never store a wet tent. If unavoidable, only slightly bundle together. That limits the buildup of heat during temporary storage.
2. Never store a wet or dry tent in a plastic bag.
3. Do not wash the tent with soap or any solvent.
4. Only use a soft household broom to wipe off loose dust and dirt.
5. Soil marks must only be removed with clean water.
6. Avoid the scrubbing down of canvas. Only use a sponge or cloth to remove heavily stained marks. This will prolong the lifespan of your tent.
7. Wash plastic windows with clean water, and use a Chamois to dry.
8. Wash zips with clean water, and use e.g. an old tooth brush to remove accumulated dirt. Avoid using soap or candle wax to ease operation.
9. Tree gum, bat and or mopanieworm droppings, berries and some bird droppings cause permanent stains. Learn to identify your South-African trees; this can save you a lot of money. A light shade net (40%) can reduce these damages.
10. Store tent in a cool dry area, and not directly on cement floor.
11. Air the tent every four to six months, by pitching or spreading over garden chairs in sun light and not on grass.
12. Do not store mothballs directly on canvas; first roll it in an old hanky or cloth.

Prevention is better than cure.
Enjoy your holiday and arrive safely.
Last edited by ThysdJ on Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Dankie vir die tips Hugo... Het net die spam uitgehaal

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