BABOON'S PASS: The great trek . . .





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  1. #1
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    Default BABOON'S PASS: The great trek . . .

    . . . . Well, it felt like it, seeing as how we had to drag our wagons over the mountains as well. But before I get ahead of myself . . .

    After surviving this ordeal a couple of years back http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...ons+pass+andre some people always pestred me to take them as well.

    Me, being the oke with the rubber arm, had it easily twisted. Planning was done, cars were packed, and of we went.

    Plan was for all of us to leave after work on Thursday 24th Feb, Drive the quickest shortest way there,Hit the Pass very early the Friday, sleep one evening on the pass, finish it the Saturday Morning, do some sightseeing the rest of Saturday and then sleep over at Ramabanta Trading Post, Get home Sunday around Lunchtime, Perfect.

    Now remember this previous paragraph, as that's THE PLAN.

    Spoiler alert: Not one thing of the Plan worked out. NOT ONE.

    Seeing how all of us would come from the gauteng area, the common man would think that the easiest, quickest way to get there would be: Hit the N1 all the way to Winburg, turn left to Clocolan, at Clocolan turn right to Ladybrand. We also thought this would be the best route. First Night sleepover would be at Little Rock Camp Ground in Lady Brand, next Morning enter Lesotho at Maseru, and then onto the pass.

    " . . . all of us to leave after work on Thursday 24th Feb . . .".

    First thing not to go according to THE PLAN.

    In life, you get Two types of men. Those who would not flinch at Calling in sick, when in fact they're not. And those that would go to the office even if they do look/feel like death warmed up. Our group of Noble Gentleman were no different. So on Thursday morning, 8 Hours before the planned time, The calling in Sickers, hit the road. Well, sort of.



    We met up at the New Road Wimpy for a quick coffee, and then we'll hit the road. After the first coffee it was decided to have another, you know, to wait for the traffic to die down a bit. And that's exactly what we did, an hour and a half later.

    It's amazing the amount of nonsense a person can talk, and the amount of coffe one can consume in an hour and a half's time.

    I don't exactly know what went wrong, and were, but the next thing we knew, we were seeing this:



    Yep, you guessed it. That in fact, is the Vaal Dam's wall.

    ". . . Drive the quickest shortest way there . . ." Second thing, to not go according to plan.

    I guess we took a left, where we were supposed to take a right. Must've happened when I was hopped up on Caffeine, head banging to Rammstein.



    LUNAR ELECTRICAL. Helping Client's, even after calling in sick (Albert, you owe me big time for this shameless plug-in). In the background, Me and Tiaan is marvelling at the recent flood damage. At least trying to, as there wasn't any damage to marvel at.



    So there we were, next to the side of the road, busy losing the buzz of the caffeine overdose, but cackling up a storm over the VHF radios, deciding what to do next (There was a dirty joke told as well). Easy . .



    . . . hit some dirt roads. And follow the aunty on the GPS after entering, Shortest route: Ladybrand



    The Dirt road was beautiful. It had these nice swooping bends with these slow rises just before them. Afterwards, everyone of us had great stories of Four Wheel drifts, whether we wanted to have them or not. Along this route we came upon a low water bridge with nice shady trees. And what time is it when you see a babbling brook with waving willows ? It's Picnic time ! So out came the refresments and we had a qucik pre-brunch snack. Tiaan felt so at home, he had to kick of his shoes.



    UPWARDS AND ONWARDS (An old family Motto, I think)

    Somewhere along the line the dirt road changed to a Tar road and the decision was made to hammer down en get some K's under the belt. Naturally the Cosmos had to throw us a curve ball and 10 K's later we were in a STOP-GO (@#$%^& work of the Devil). There we met a very nice guy (he had to be a nice guy, 'cause even before introducing himself, he started insulting the landy) after having a bit of a chat he recommended a very nice restaurant to us in the sleepy little hollow of Lindley. Not to scoff at the recommendations of a seasoned road traveller, like our friendly diesel mech we just met. Decision was made, lunch would be at the highly recommended WOW CAFE & TAKE AWAYS. This was it:



    Item number 3 on the menu looked to be the business . . .



    and then we got down to the business of waiting (Of wich we did a lot, for this particular meal)



    Lunch was in one of the weirdest places. Inside a warehouse they were still busy building, no lights, and with a fishing net (WTF?) suspended over our heads.

    Food finally showed up. (If one could call it that)



    And it was very interesting to say the least. The Chips tasted of fish, and the pieces of rubber we were served as meat, tasted of liver and was the consistency of ,well, rubber. If the menu had said. Liver,Chip and Salad, our only complaint would have been. Hell, were do you get Liver that is as tough as this, but yet there it was, Item no 3 on the menu: STEAK, Chips and salad. Tiaan even tried to Jazz it up by putting his salad ontop of his steak. Epic Fail, A very,very disappointing meal. We didn't (Couldn't) finish our food and gave it to the cats. My Guess is, the cats are in on the disgusting food scam. Because, as soon as the waitress (She wasn't much of a talker, but when she did, she was friendly) brought us our food, atleast five (these that we could see) of them showed up, getting on the furniture around us and meeauwing. Dont' believe me ? Well, here's evidence.



    Right, bellies full, and after being chatted up by a local girl whilst having an Ice cream on the local garage's fore court (which was part of the restaurant) we were on the road again.

    Just a pee and refreshement stop somewhere along the way. If I remember correctly, I was even getting my Michael jackson on and dancing a little jig. Radio Oranje's Afternoon drive DJ was gettin' it on.




    The rest of Day 1 will continue on another post as this one is getting full, and I'm getting tired of scrolling up and down to get the correct captions with the correct photo's

    Day 1 Still have a lot of adventure to give.
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    Last edited by Andre N; 2011/05/12 at 02:21 PM.

  2. #2
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    Nice report so far
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    Come on! Come on! Otherwize I will have to start working!!!

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    Dont blerrie stop now!?
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    Methink they took the wrong route again.

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    Right, the rest of Day 1. The previous post ended with us somewhere between Lindley and Rosendal, having a pee and a dance. So let's get on with it.

    After an intolerable amount of driving I was suddenly overcame by the desire to have something cold thrown down my throat. Hopefully this would subdue that funny feeling I have in the pit of my stomach were the liver flavoured steak was busy digesting. After communicating this accute desire of mine over the radio, Morne also admitted at having the same feelings (I can always trust on that man to have my back when it comes to things of this nature). So, having the majority vote of the group, the other 2 that was left out, just had to buckle under peer pressure. Noted thou, that it wasn't very hard at all to convince them, it's almost as if they were willing. So it was a Sharp left turn into Rosendal, instead of striaght on to Lady brand (Don't worry, we'll get there eventually). As none of us knew our way around Rosendal we stopped at this place



    And asked a very nice man (He must be nice, 'cause when I called for his attention, he was busy beating the living daylights out of an old series landy, looked like something on the steering was iffy) where weary travellers such as ourselves could find something cold to drink. He first pointed us to a place that's owned by "Ou Krokodil" from 7de laan, but that was closed, so then he pointed us to this place





    It was heaven. For the life of me, I can't remember the place's name right now, but it was heaven. Not expecting guests, the bar was closed but they opened it up for us. The bartender was wearing a white cotton shirt, and had a smile as radiant as the early morning sun on his face, after serving us our drinks he got onto the business of wiping at imaginary spots of dust on his counter top. This man was the best Bartender ever.

    Like I said Heaven





    Geez, this place was relaxing. It smelled of leather, and had that cool refreshing feeling about it as only a sandstone building can give. With the creak of the corrugated Iron roof above you as it was contracting and expanding in the sun. And the Bartender was on the spot, the minute your glass got to below the halfway mark, a new one magically appeared next to it. I did not want to leave this place, I wanted to stay there, and made my intentions public on more than one occasion, but my fellow travellers wanted none of that, apparantly adventure awaited them in the mountainous kingdom of lesotho, so . . .



    off we went.

    Spooky thing happened in this General dealer at the entrance to Rosendal. Be warned, they're watchin you !



    Just before leaving Rosendal, Tiaan decided he needs more smokes (Honestly, how many smokes does one need), me not wanting any part in "Soliciting Narcotics" decided to push on, afterwards Tiaan got on the radio and told us that the shop manager wanted to know where's the fourth car, so Tiaan asks him, what he means, guy then says, when we arrived in town we were four cars, no they are only three. We were being watched.

    Right, smokes in hand, our minds were now firmly set on reaching Lady Brand before sun down.

    But first, we had to make another stop, nature was calling, and I wanted to dance. But at this stop, I did not dance, instead Me and Albert told a dirty joke.

    Albert said we must stop at this Roadside Stall just before Ficksburg, apparantly it had al things cherry. Liquers, sweets that sort of thing, so not wanting to break his heart, we stopped, luckily for the rest of us it was closed. But that did not stop us from using they're picnic tables for an impromptu snack eating session.





    We had a good couple of laughs here, as people driving by would see all the cars and the people siting by the picnic tables, they would then stop at the stall just to find it closed, but yet, here's this bunch of guys sitting and enjoying themselves. Onetime this guy and his gal showed up, same thing happened to him, after asking us what's up, we just told him we are taking a break and invited him and his girl to have a drink with us, she quickly refused (propably knowing no good could come of it) and they got into they're car and got out of there as quickly as possible. Very Funny, but I guess you had to be there.

    Some random shots passing through Ficksburg





    Quart House Your guess is as good as mine.

    And wouldn't you know, we finally made it to Ladybrand before sundown.
    Time to find little Rock Camp Grounds, but not before our cars had some time in their natural habitat.



    Finally made it to the Camp Grounds, beatiful place, iffy ablutions, but clean and usable.





    And later that night the rest of the group showed up, all acounted for, we could finally get down to having a good time.




    That's it. Day 1 done, Tomorrow Day 2. That's where the action begins.
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    Last edited by Andre N; 2011/05/09 at 03:32 PM.

  7. #7
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    Right. It's tomorrow and no update. I'd like to speak to the manager about a refund please!

    Come on Andre, I live for trip reports, specially ones with lots of photos!
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    Likewise!!!!??
    NISSAN PATROL GU 4.2D
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    Life is a journey, not a destination!!
    Try slowing down once in a while
    and soak up your surroundings.
    You might just surprise yourself.

  9. #9
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    Waiting in suspense.........
    EX: Mitsu Man

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    DAY 2. We left Day 1, with all of us getting into a serious party.

    Next morning when we finally managed to get up, almost everyone was complaining of headaches, we deduced that it must be the fresh air in Ladybrand that's the cause of it.

    Wonder what was he so happy about, I distinctly remember being grumpy at this point of time.



    Camp was packed, and we got underway. The drive to Maseru and the border crossing was uneventful. Border was quick, no checking of papers, just a stamp in the Passport and of you went. As you leave the Border Post to enter Maseru there's a Toll Booth. I had to pay double rate (R20) as I was driving a "Heavy Goods Vehicle", don't know if I should feel robbed or complimented. But hey, we were in Lesotho, and on our way to Ramabanta Trading Post to get fresh water and then onto the pass.

    Somewhere along the road to Ramabanta there was a ditch, so obviously we just had to.








    Just some nice scenery on the way to the Trading Post






    And finally we made it to the Post




    And here in the background is the first view of the pass. It's the brown smudge, on the mountain to the right of the Thatch roof. (Wonder why my lights were on)




    And if you couldn't make it out on the previous pic, here's a better one.




    Finally topped up with fresh water, we were on our way to tackle the pass.

    Remember THE PLAN ?

    Remember this Part *. . . Hit the Pass very early the Friday . . .*

    Well, this is what happened to that



    And we are only now leaving the Trading Post.

    More to follow . . .
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Some Irrate Reader View Post
    Come on Andre, I live for trip reports, specially ones with lots of photos!
    Well, it's the photos that's the problem ! You have any idea how long it takes to upload photos to the Forum, and then to add them to your Post via Links ? I know of Tar based underbody protection products for cars that dries faster than that.

    But, alas, it's a mantle I picked up myself. I will carry it through to the end. More Pictures is what you'll get !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andre N View Post
    Well, it's the photos that's the problem ! You have any idea how long it takes to upload photos to the Forum, and then to add them to your Post via Links ? I know of Tar based underbody protection products for cars that dries faster than that.

    But, alas, it's a mantle I picked up myself. I will carry it through to the end. More Pictures is what you'll get !

    Don't make your problem ours! How difficult is it to take a day's leave, close the door, upload the pics and post the whole report. Surely you have some leave left?

    Cannot wait for this story to unfold! HKGK ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loehis View Post
    Don't make your problem ours! How difficult is it to take a day's leave, close the door, upload the pics and post the whole report. Surely you have some leave left?

    Cannot wait for this story to unfold! HKGK ...
    My thoughts exactly, just pull another sicky!
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    Jy weet net hoe om 'n storie te vertel. Jy het my nou al op die "edge of my seat" vir nog.


    En ek was DAAR.

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    Ag nee, hierdie report is soos om n koek voor kinders te sit en se moenie eet nie. Vat tog daai leave assb, voor ek baboonspass doen so dat ek kan sien op julle trip.
    Pragtige report so ver.
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    Andre jy moet net minder kyk en begin skryf dan sal dit al vinniger gaan...
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    With the Trading Post far behind in our wakes, we could now get down to the Business of Driving . . . . . (There you go you Peekcha Vultures)


















    Off course driving like this is Hungry and thirsty work.

    Glug Glug Glug Glug Glug . . . . .




    . . . Hom Nom Nom Nom . . .




    . . . Glug Glug Glug Glug . . .




    . . . Hom Nom Nom Nom



    We also had a serious Competition going. First one to remember his manners and start using a plate and cutlery, looses. No one lost (so far). So something had to be done about the cooked wors, no one dared touch a plate, so "Boer maak 'n Plan" and the bumper had to earn it's keep.
    (If TJM ever uses this on their marketing material, as a point on their brochures on why exactly you need to buy their bumper, then I want royalties)




    Right, Lunch out of the way, we can now finally start with the pass.

    Huh ? I hear you say.

    What do I mean by, "Only starting the pass now", I hear you ask ?

    Well, Ya, I can see how you might think the previous pics was of the pass already, but it's not, that's just the drive up to the beginning of the pass, you know, the easy bit. This . .


    . . . is the real beginning of the pass. We are now finally on the pass, and creeping along.
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  19. #19
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    This is just like those tv series just when something is about to happen....... to be continued

    you've got us all hooked
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    Right, herewith a couple of pics. No tricks, No Tom foolery, just good honest pics of us driving on the pass.

    P.S. Just to help out on the scale of things, The SFA Ford, SFA Hilux and Cruiser were on 33"s and all the rest were on 32"s. That ought to help on judging the size of the rocks and ledges we had to drive over. We also tried to keep the cameras as level as possible, to not "Steel" some angle and make things look worse than it is. (Don't belive me, then check the angle of the shrubs and horizon when you don't trust me)

    P.P.S. You might have seen it, and thought your eyes were deceiving you, or that, that 5 day old Mushroom and Chicken burger you had for lunch was finally taking it's toll and you are now starting to see things, and that your next move, is feet first out of the door on your way to AVBOB. But No, Relax, you have seen correctly, that in fact, is a bunch of scaffolding planks on the roof of Morne's Hilux (In case you were wondering, it's the white Vigo, the one that's never going to be the same again)

    Piccies.











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