Land Rover AFRICA Magazine - - FEATURE -

here are some who seek so­lace in the luxury of off-road ve­hi­cles. With their bums perched com­fort­ably on leather-cov­ered seats, they get their kicks from the qual­ity of their sur­round-sound sys­tems and ev­ery­thing elec­tric – from push-but­ton seats, sun­roofs and even DVD screens on the head­rests. Then, like our team, you get those who seek real adventure. Those will­ing to travel on ar­du­ous roads in 50-year-old Se­ries Landys and where ameni­ties and lux­u­ries are quickly forgotten. All they seek is the smell of lin­ger­ing dust, the sound of crick­ets chirp­ing and the rolling, lu­nar-like land­scape of the Ka­roo which is more vivid and high­def­i­ni­tion than any­thing you’ll ever find on a 6-inch, widescreen mon­i­tor. Along with a cou­ple of die-hard Land Rover AFRICA Mag­a­zine read­ers, I set­tled in for some break­fast at a familiar cof­fee shop in the quiet ‘burbs of Dur­banville at 07h00. From here, we were sched­uled to meet up with the rest of our party in Welling­ton. Af­ter break­fast, Piet ar­rived with his 1965 Se­ries Sta­tion Wagon 109. The ex­te­rior looked a bit worse for wear, but Piet as­sured us that it had just come back from a full ser­vice at a rep­utable Land Rover garage and ev­ery­thing me­chan­i­cal is in tip-top con­di­tion. The early morn­ing drive along the back­roads to Welling­ton pro­vided dra­matic scenery of dry, har­vested wheat fields and con­trast­ing lush, green vine­yards. As we ar­rived, we were greeted with a voice­mail mes­sage (you can’t hear a cell­phone ring in a Se­ries for ob­vi­ous rea­sons). It’s Piet. His Landy won’t start and he’s stuck. So a res­cue team were de­ployed to save Piet and his Landy. Af­ter a long wait, we de­cide to take the con­voy to Ceres via the beau­ti­ful Bain­skloof Pass. For Stephen in his slightly un­sta­ble 1958 Se­ries, the wind­ing pass proved to be a bit of a chal­lenge as the man has a se­vere case of acro­pho­bia ( bang vir ’n berg­pas). I re­mem­bered that my wife has the same fear and all I could do was to en­cour­age her to “not look down”and “close your eyes”. We stopped at the top for a leg-stretch and a few pho­tos when we re­ceived the mes­sage from Piet. “The Landy is fixed…(some­thing about burned points and a fuel pump)… and we’re fi­nally on our way.” When we ar­rived in Ceres, I re­ceived more bad news: “Piet’s bro­ken down again. Some­where be­tween Tul­bach and Wolse­ley”. This time, Nekkies and his 1972 Sta­tion Wagon came to the res­cue. An hour later we got the call, “please bring five me­ters of fuel hose, a fil­ter and clamps”. For­tu­nately, with 10 min­utes to spare be­fore the lo­cal spares shop closes, Chris­tian set off to their aid. The rest of the party headed off to­wards Tankwa stop­ping at the fa­mous Tankwa Pad­stal (farm stall) to cool down with a few drinks. About 70 km out of Ceres in the di­rec­tion of Calvinia lies the pad­stal. It’s a gem of a place, re­cently burned to the ground by a dis­grun­tled lo­cal and now com­pletely re-built with a sepa-rate bar and restau­rant, in­clud­ing a shop area. We met Hein Lange, his brother Wally and their wives, and were amazed at what they did to make the place more ‘green’.

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