And so, finally, the time has come.
When I saw that the minimum temperature forecast for Saturday night was a rather nice 14 degrees Celsius, I realized that it was now or never. A perfect time was not going to present itself, we'd have to grab any opportunity we can get. And with winter looming a chance like this might not present itself again soon.
On our previous ride I identified a spot and Asterix did sleep there when he joined us on the 2008 Southern Cape Trail Ride. Now I had another spot in mind and with the help of my dad it turned out to be the best one yet.
We arrived on the farm on Saturday morning and soon the guys were kitted up and ready to ride. With the short notice there were only 3 of them, my two sons and a pal of Asterix:
Joining the CRF70, CRF80 and Conti 90 on the morning outride were the two dads with a DT125 and a CTX200 I also invited my dad with and after some persuasion he agreed. He took the CTX200 and I got relegated to having to negotiate the big bike through the mountain trails.
With all the commotion going on some of the farm kids came to have a look. I love this pic!
Soon enough we headed off with Asterix leading the pack.
Every so often he'd stop to allow the group to regroup and make sure everybody is still there (part of his responsibility as group leader).
One of our favourite scenic stops. Some nice sweet mountain water to drink here.
Then we left the gravel roads and got onto the real trails. The indigenous forest here is simply amazing!
You could just loose yourself on these trails. Another favourite spot / pic from the day:
Eventually we had to start heading back. My youngest enjoying the ride:
Back on the farm my dad got the fire going for lunch before the rugby started. I had my CTX200 back and again we headed off so that the young adventurers could inspect the spot where we'd be camping that night...
Down we go heading for the forest.
And what a spot my dad prepared! Right next to a little running stream! The sitting area:
A nice spot for the evening's festivities:
Great flora around here too:
Close by there's a spot where some cows came to drink water. The result is some exposed clay next to the stream which is a great source of ammo for a kleilat! A quick demonstration going on (yeah, dad's never grow up Why would we?)
(Kleilat = mud missiles)
Getting their own latte and ammo
And soon we had a little war going with teams each side of the river.
With the stamp of approval on the camp site we headed back to the farmstead for lunch and to watch the rugby, and as quick as could be the three boys headed out again to pitch camp. It would only be them in the forest tonight with myself joining as "special guest" (to keep an eye )
Soon the camp was set up and we could get the fire going. Note that we brought our own wood. Removing wood from an eco-system is not a good thing to do.
The feast: Some chips, two bags of marshmallows, enough cooldrink, some dough for stick bread, each had a chop, boerewors and a chicken wing and last but not least - I had a nice bottle of wine, chilled to perfection of course
My dad and stepmom also came over for a quick hello.
Baking (braai'ing?) some stick bread - always a hit when camping.
After dinner we chatted around the fire well into the night. At one stage the forest got really really dark and the bravery of the afternoon diminished notably, but no-one talked about it and I "didn't notice". After a while the moon alleviated the situation a bit.
Eventually we decided to turn in. Our accommodation for the night:
We had just settled in when we heard footsteps slowly approaching... Who would be here in the forest in the middle of the night?
Suddenly the tent ripped open! The last thing we saw was a bloodied axe glistening in the moonlight...
Nah. Nothing happened. We had a good night's rest. It wasn't even cold.
The boys enjoyed it thoroughly. This is something that will definitely happen again in future!
The three adventurers breaking up camp the next morning:
And leaving the campsite without a trace that humans spent the night there. Tread Lightly!
I'm glad I finally made time to do this. It's something the boys will remember for a long time to come.