When we moved from Cape Town up to Gauteng towards the end of last year, both me and the fiance realised it would not be easy, but we needed to try. In this spirit, we’ve been actively looking for different things to do on the weekends, trying to get out to actually enjoy a different area of the country. Much as we South Africans lament the current ruling political party governing it in to the ground, we stay here because it is genuinely one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
During the last few weeks I have been spending increased time working on the truck to get it ready for the camping trips we plan to take as the year goes on, ultimately preparing us for the trip to Botswana end of August. I’ve been lurking and posting once a while on a 4×4 forum called the http://www.4x4community.co.za in the hope of seeing how to do different things, from building packing systems to what tyres are good and bad.
This last weekend, there was a bit of a gathering out at De Wild 4×4 track, and we decided that we would go with. With only 4×2 and diff-lock, I was told the vehicle would be fine for the grading 1 to 3 obstacles. We met up with another member in Centurion, and went off to meet a Audi Q7 and its driver before going to the facility. Once we arrived it took about an hour for everyone to arrive, including a older Mercedes Benz ML who would be competing with his future father in law’s Fortuner 4×4..
Once the convoy set off we hit the first obstacle of the day, a axle twister that the ML just managed to do, but it broke a front bumper and popped out a spotlight. For the rest of the vehicles including my Colt Clubcab it was less of s struggle, though I did have the advantage of a very experienced co-driver showing me the lines (this after he did it effortlessly in a V8 Land Rover Discovery 2).
We did another climb and then stopped for a stunning viewpoint, at which turn I asked my fiance if she would like a turn to drive. We then asked Philip (who turned out to be a 4×4 instructor) to drive with her, while I was a passenger in the aforementioned Discovery 2. Little did I know that at this point it would turn in to the day that I lost my keys…
The route takes you through several different types of obstacles, and some we could just not do with the 4×2, like the infamous ‘Gert se Klip’, but I managed to experience it as the passenger of the Discovery 2. Every obstacle that could be done was attempted by the future-wife in the Colt with her co-driver. He patiently walked her through every obstacle, showing her which lines to pick and then driving with her as she attempted it.
The only obstacles she missed on recommendation of the instructor were the mudholes, due to potential damage it can cause to rubber seals, radiator etc.
In the meantime I saw in the passenger seat of the Discovery 2 with Althea in the back seat watching Pieter do the magic with his vehicle. He went through all the mud etc, seeing as he does all the work on his vehicle himself and thus isn’t too worried about damage.
There was a few places that I watched the truck go and thought ‘How is she going to get it out of there?’ but under the watchful eye of a competent instructor she managed fine and didn’t bump, scratch or damage the vehicle in any way (except it’s now dirty as hell again).
At the end of the day we reached the mud pit and spotted some drunk guys trying to ride up a embankment and doing nothing but damaging the vehicles and their ego’s. The one thing about the forum members, they were very strict about alcohol consumption on the route. No drinking and driving. Once everyone was back at the rest area and the vehicles parked it was fine to have a beer, but not on the course. Eventually I got my keys back as the day wound down, with future-wife smiling from ear to ear having had way too much fun with my car.
We got home around 3:30pm and promptly slept for 3 hours before attempting anything else for the evening. In the end we realised that the move to Gauteng is what we make of it. It’s taking the opportunities that present itself and using them
** Due to the theme I use, some pictures are cut off, click on them for the full pic.