The fi­nal word

Go! Camp & Drive - - You Say - JAN STEENKAMP MODDERRIVIER

I would like to give my side of the story re­gard­ing Danie Pien­aar’s let­ter “My farm boy heart is not happy” (Drive Out #111). I’m grate­ful for Jaco’s com­ments and I would like to add a few ex­tra facts. I did not break the farmer’s gate. There was a locked farm gate with a ve­hi­cle gate next to it. The lat­ter had a pole that was fas­tened with a bolt and nut. I re­moved the pole and then put it back. I didn’t dam­age any­thing. The road is in­di­cated as a pub­lic road on my road map. That’s why we wanted to ask for per­mis­sion to drive there, but we couldn’t find the farmer. The signs at the gate read: “Please close the gate” and “Gate locked”. There was also a sign that read: “Use ve­hi­cle gate at own risk”. Of course I’ll close the gate af­ter driv­ing through – it’s a gen­eral rule. Last point: I didn’t go look­ing for any­thing on the farm. I planned my route in de­tail. I read Gert Sar­risam’s books about grow­ing up in Na­mak­wa­land and how they landed on Bul­letrap for school or com­mu­nion. That’s why I wanted to see what Bul­letrap looks like. I found it in my Map Stu­dio 1st edi­tion 2004 road map and I planned my route ac­cord­ingly. That day we drove from Spring­bok to Nababeep, then through it and back to the N7, and took the turn-off left to “Ni­gramoep/Bul­letrap”, PROVIN­CIAL ROAD (see photo). On the map it was in­di­cated as a provin­cial dirt road that even­tu­ally con­nects to the R355 and later to the R383 to Port Nol­loth. So we did plan ahead, but cir­cum­stances were be­yond our con­trol. Fur­ther ahead on the R355 we didn’t en­counter any other gates. The other ques­tion is: If I was com­ing from that di­rec­tion (west to east), how did I il­le­gally ar­rive at the farm? From there we con­tin­ued to the R382 (Steinkopf-Port Nol­loth road) to spend the night at McDougall’s Bay. So let’s not get emo­tional. How dif­fi­cult is it for mur­der­ers to climb over an or­di­nary gate or to crawl un­der­neath the ve­hi­cle gate?

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