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Tierkloof 4x4 28 April 2012
Created by Craig Parsons in 5/3/2012 5:42:55 PM

Tierkloof 4x4 28 April 2012


Tierkloof   28 April 20012

A couple of alarms rudely interrupt peaceful sleep, albeit with good news: The sun’s first rays are breaking and Tierkloof is waiting! Since receiving the invitation by the newly born Jeep XJ Society, which is growing fast out of its baby boots, discussions were buzzing over the famous Tierkloof. This challenging but very satisfying route, rated 3-4, is never the same. It successfully dishes up a whole new 4x4 experience for you every time you arrive and always manages to make you want to come back once more, just to challenge that one obstacle that made you throw around a few too many stones. The discussion this year was about the start of the route: the now challenging approach to the fast climb that greets you shortly after you’ve made yourself comfortable behind the steering, a comfort that is soon disturbed with some appropriate adrenalin. The road has been washed out considerably by the last winter rains and maintenance was not done. Some say good – others contemplate if they have enough clearance....

Stephen smile.jpgA group of 4x4 Cape members gathered at the Engen Winelands Onestop, while some took the road straight to Tierkloof and the Worcester crowd were also due to go straight to the
Tierkloof gathering point. Romeo and Juliet of course had their own agenda again, seeing that Yokohama had finally managed to fulfil their commitment to the prize that Romeo had won at the interclub points event. Lights burned late into the night at the Wearne residence, to install the modified lift kit to accommodate the new beloved mud terrains. So with an aching body and matches between the eyelids, Steve took the road to Worcester at 7 in the morning for his 8h00 appointment at Worcester High-Q to fit and balance the new tekkies. We had some technical problems along the road, the hopeless wheel alignment did not provide any stability and pretty much left us driving on eggs and we chose to not think about the narrowly escaped  understeering detour through the veld when the front wheels lost traction and decided to get a mind of their own shortly after coming through the tunnel. We thank God for His protection and for keeping Stephen’s mind sound with making the right choice that pulled old Brommer straight again. Select 4WD, and continue. We arrived safely in Worcester and as the mud terrains came out the trailer a smile hit Romeo’s face that Hennie Meiring described later on Facebook as a cat that just stole 7 litres of milk.

In the meantime Mark was leading his faithful flock towards the Du Toitskloof Pass and lo and behold to everyone’s dismay decided to take the scenic route over the mountain. After all, this outing is about enjoying a good day out - this is much more interesting than seeing the inside of a tunnel, not right? It must have been the inspiration of the Witblits, because the inspired decision caused the Cape crowd to arrive 20 mines late! Not to worry Witblits, Romeo and Juliet are also on the scene, they should arrive after you.

And so it was. The well arranged convoy of bundu-bashers started off the trail in threatening weather. The group was lead off by Pierre (Jeep Rubicon), Andre and Niel (Jeep XJ’s) all from Worcester Club, followed by 5 more XJ’s tailed by 2 Fortuners (of which one a lady pilot – well done Salome!), a Ford Ranger, 3 Disco’s, and a new Jeep Cherokee. After hitting the first challenge Tierkloof scored a point by sending one vehicle home that did not have enough clearance. 

   

 

The road following was tough and challenging, scattered with stones and loose sand and thoroughly washed out.

Upon reaching The Wall, (aah... this is what we came for and some still have a score to settle here) those that have never seen it suddenly started talking much more and faster while others were disappointed by the rocks that were now packed into the groove. Now, now Boys, don’t complain! I’m sure the stones were necessary after the last winter rains. “Yes, we must consider the Toyota drivers...”, the Jeep drivers tease, upon which the Fortuner climbed effortlessly over the obstacle. Mmmm... I wonder; maybe it is all about the driver, not the vehicle, yes?

 The road wound through the absolutely breathtaking scenery. Tierkloof has recovered some of it ‘s veld after the devastating fires about two years ago which left it looking like a moon landscape, but is not yet restored to its former glory. The last challenge before we got to the top had us all waiting as the men drew on all their resources to talk our only lady driver through the obstacle who was determined not to have her vehicle harmed. Stephen eventually succeeded and after we all turned around to go back to our steeds we noticed that the Boerbok (Andre Opperman – Worcester Club) was now driving downhill? Ok, it all became clear then. He was just waiting for all of us to thoroughly dig up the road so that he could have something more interesting to do, because the road was becoming just too boring. With the crowd staring in silence the Boerbok crawled up the road once more without kicking up a stone or leaving any dust clouds. We hand it to you Andre – you are the king of Tierkloof.

 

 The road down once again left us marvelling at the scenery.

 

There were two more play-stations left in Tierkloof’s jewellery box. The one was the “sand sloot” and following that, the track of thick sand that runs uphill for quite a stretch. Both gave us all loads of fun and even I suddenly got a bee in my bonnet and decided that I want to take it on. After sitting behind the steering I wondered what I was thinking but completed the challenge anyway. Needless to say, I needed a coke and a loo afterwards to calm my shaking hands as I am not really used to driving old Brommer in such circumstances!

 

To add insult to injury Romeo convinced me that I now need to do it again, because that will calm the nerves and this time without him sitting next to me. Darn! Why are men always right!

It was such fun that I took Salome with me for the third time. Now we’re almost ready to make a ladies club! (On second thoughts - no, it wouldn’t be fun without the men around – besides there would be no-one o rescue us when we get stuck! LOL!)

Then Tierkloof scored its second point when when Andre’s Grand Cherokee broke it’s front propshaft in the sand sloot. Still remains a mystery how that could happen so easily at the place it happened. However it did and left us with an hour delay as the mechanical minded put their heads together to do a quick fix to get the Grand Cherokee back onto its feet. Thanks to Stephen & Co for rolling in the dirt for your fellow bundu-bashers!!

The Sand road was great fun and after some hectic Jeep/Toyota advice clashes everyone made it through safe and sound.

 

Back at the camp site we laughed and chatted over a few drinks and whatever snacks were left while pumping the tires to take on the road home. The initial 4 hour drive turned into a 7 hour spectacular and the braai fires had to yield to the setting sun even though the weather turned into our favour.

 

Thanks Tierkloof and everyone that made the day a great experience! We forged new friendships and shared good memories

(…and produced the winning Captain pose J)  

 

We will be back for more!

Juliet

(Technical and grammar amendments: Romeo)

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