We woke up Sunday morning to blue skies. First thought was, will the sand be harder after the rain, did it rain enough? For a newbie on sand, questions like this seemed rather normal to me. After enjoying a cuppa java, the picnic basket was packed and Cricket was loaded with the necessary refreshments to make sure the driver could get lost in the dunes and be able to survive at least three days.
A nice slow drive to Atlantis was over sooner than one would think. Maybe the thoughts going round and round my brain about how much of a fool am I going to make of myself and will the bit of sand driving I did in a Sani 20 years ago still assist me. Strange however how the constant message kept on flashing in my mind, "Jimnys were made for off-roading, they're unstoppable."
We arrived at Atlantis and immediately took on the task of deflating the tyres with peace of mind that I packed the compressor and the 0,7 bar would not be a problem once back on the hard stuff.
To admit, there were serious butterflies doing their thing inside me but I could not let that show. Before I knew it we hit the soft white stuff and after the first dune there were no more butterflies.
Cricket just said, "hold the wheel and keep the revs up, I'll do the rest", and that it did.
After the first obstacle there was word of another make vehicle which was part of the convoy that had gotten stuck. That gave me a nice warm feeling inside that helped for a short while to keep away the icy cold wind that was blowing through me.
Dune after dune we drove, each one being an obstacle on its own with different challenges and Cricket took them all in its stride, conquering them as if possessed. The crowd became more chatty and part of the highlights were standing waiting for the others to complete the obstacles and listening to the general conversations of those who had already done the challenge. As if going off-roading in the dunes is not enough of a stress reliever, the jokes and banter between everyone made sure that my jaw muscles got a good workout from all the laughing. To make the day even more exciting we even had a quick glimpse of a jackal hightailing it away from us over the sand.
I was happy. For years I have been driving past on the West Coast road looking at the dunes, saying to myself, I would love to go play in there one day. That day had come true and thanks to Cricket and the Suzuki Club it was an unforgettable experience. I will be back there sooner than imagined.
After the final obstacle we parked in shelter of a dune to have some lunch and refreshments and chat about the fun we had. All that was missing was a few tents and a campfire (hint).
Another unusual sight was back on the solid stuff, watching all the vehicles re-inflating their tyres. I had the opportunity to use my compressor for the first time and it did the job of filling the oversized All Terrains with fresh air a breeze, excuse the pun.
The day ended early and the drive home was with mixed emotions. Part of me wanted to go back but I know the dunes are not going to disappear and that I will be back soon.
A truly unforgettable experience I will be talking about around many campfires to come.
Thanks Kristin, Richard and Suzuki for a great day out. Looking forward to the next outing!
Thanks to Chris and Zoe of the Western Cape 4x4 club for the story.
The next few months the Western Cape Suzuki 4x4 club is busy busy! Please diarise all dates and remember to RSVP. Guest lists are now open for all the events:
25 August: at 10am for Zevenwacht Wine Farm's trail. Cost R228 per vehicle.
21 September: from 08:30am for a "Day Out in Darling" meet at the West Coast Farmstall. All Suzuki cars are welcome. Cost is R150 per vehicle.
5 October: Newsflash to follow but we are hoping to get a spot at the NSRI 4x4 Day in the Koeberg Nature Reserve. Cost is R350 per car. Confirmation and info to follow.
We want to thank all those who have sent us trail ideas, goodies for the newsletter, pictures, stories and general news. We hope you all enjoy the read!
Participation in the Western Cape Suzuki 4x4 Club outings or events is potentially hazardous. Neither landowners, 4x4 venue owners or organisers, nor the club and its officials or servants or sponsors are responsible for any loss or damage suffered by any person or property or vehicle.