Bakenskloof 20-22 March 2020

Another wonderful weekend at this rustic but stunning site. We decided very late to join the trip to Bakenskloof and in retrospect it was a good decision.

We set off Friday late morning and travelled via Franschoek where we had a lovely lunch after which we slowly continued via the pass towards Greyton as we were towing our little Series 3 which we used for the drive up the mountain. We drove past the Theewaterskloof Dam and followed the dirt roads towards Bakenskloof. As we arrived, Walter and Val were already setting up camp and Andy and Colleen had the Caravan setup. There were plenty sites available, and even though the lawn had not been cut, picking a nice spot was easy.

We got stuck in and got done in no time and then Ken and Shona with their Grandson Jamie arrived, and not long after Lawrence, Mandy and daughter Courtney and then last but not least Rob drove in. Everyone wary to shake hands, and the discussion obviously went all about the Corona Virus and its spread.

The site had a big fie pit and there was plenty firewood which everyone brought, as well as dried apple tree stumps….which was a feast for the pyromaniacs amongst us.

We had a nice braai, a few drinks, lots of chats and then everyone hit their beds.

Next morning most of us headed for Greyton to go to the “Farmers Market” or for a breakfast. There was some doubt if the market would happen due to the restrictions in place to have maximum 100 people together, but the Greyton community was smart and spread the market up all over their main road. At 11 we had a quick Beer at the craft brewery and then headed back to Bakenskloof. I needed to weld a slight crack in the A-frame of the Landy for towing, and Reenen was very helpful in letting me use his equipment. He hopped around his overfull workshop so I could get the repair done.

As it was cool enough, it was decided to head up to the mountain top earlier than planned. It was a good 2 spoor, until at the incline, there were ruts and rocks and loose sand. As the cars climbed up, the rocks and stones were flying and cars were bouncing over the obstacles. Everyone made it without any damage to the little parking area. I took the Series 3 up to the top with Walter as my passenger. Some nice rock steps and fairly steep incline and I was at the top. The track continued down a steep valley and then up a long steep incline with loads of loose rock. Thank goodness the Landy did not die of fuel starvation as it did on the other inclines.

We stopped for some refreshments and a lot of chats and words of appreciation at the absolutely stunning scenery. Mountains and crevasses as far as the eye could see. The area had rain and was surprisingly green for the time of year.

Ken, Shona, Liechen and I stopped at the dam so 11 year old Jamie could get his first taste at driving. A very concentrated Jamie behind the wheel, we started. Low range first gear, clutch in and then drive off. Then again, stop, clutch and brake. Over and over. He did extremely well, and I think the bug has bitten. I think in the near future Ken will be a passenger and Jamie will be driving off road!

Once back at the camp, everyone chilled out or had a swim in the river and then prepared for the evening.

This time we transported all the remaining apple tree stumps to the fire pit, obviously with the intention to have a large fire. After everyone finished their braai, the wood went on and it was our own Africa Burn for that duration. Sparks were flying and the heat became too much for us all, but we just made the circle bigger and enjoyed the glowing embers and then discussed the solutions to this world.

The Sunday morning was rather overcast and cool, so everyone decided to pack and head on home or in some cases to Baden for another couple of nights.

It was a relaxing weekend once again with great company and stunning views.

Thanks to Andy and Colleen for organizing and the rest of the clan for making it enjoyable. Also for Reenen and his dog Tim for showing us up the mountain on his quadbike, and that in a cast as his foot has torn tendons.

Trip report contributed by Dieter and Liechen.