Ex­plore the moun­tains

go! Platteland - - COME AND SEE! -

Pi­eter Visser and Wy­nand En­gel­brecht re­cently com­pleted their last exam to con­duct tours in the moun­tains of Bar­ber­ton un­der the ban­ner of their new en­ter­prise, Dusty Tracks Off Road Ad­ven­tures. And they had to write quite a few of them – there was a ba­sic tour-guide’s course, a level-III first-aid course, one for ob­tain­ing a pro­fes­sional driv­ing per­mit, and even a ve­hi­cle-re­cov­ery and he­li­copter-res­cue course – you have to know how to help a he­li­copter land in the moun­tains in the event of an emer­gency.

They also had to ne­go­ti­ate with pri­vate landown­ers, mine own­ers, SANParks and Moun­tain­lands Na­ture Re­serve to gain ac­cess to some of the areas. Years of work.

They take you over rough ter­rain – Wy­nand points to paths zigzag­ging up the moun­tain at an in­cline of 60 de­grees in some places. “It’s hard to be­lieve the Voortrekkers went up there in their ox-wagons! We al­ways ask peo­ple whether they have a ver­tigo or a fear of heights.”

They both grew up here and, says Pi­eter, once Bar­ber­ton is in your blood it’s dif­fi­cult to imag­ine liv­ing any­where else. “The down­side is the small-town stuff… the gos­sip.”

“Yes,” Wy­nand adds, “ev­ery­one knows ev­ery­one else, and those you don’ t know, know you!”

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