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 Post subject: The night of many cups of coffee.
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 10:34 am 
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Joep le Riche and Gert Mouton once went on a camel patrol during a very dry period.They were hoping for water but did not find much instead all the known pan were muddy.At one specific spot they were on the crest of a dune ,Joep got off his camel and walked down and up the next dune to see if there was any water at a known pan.Joep heard a noise and saw Gert and the camels race down the dune and up towards him.On arrival he enquired why the rush as he was going to return - the reply LIONS plenty of LIONS. As it was late in the afternoon and they had found a bit of drinkable water he decided to pitch camp ( just a stretcher and a fire ) and tie the camels.The fire was burning and they were both relaxed then the LIONS started roaring close by and all over. They then made three huge fires to keep the LIONS away from themselves and the camels.Joep decided that they should get some sleep and moved his stretcher close to the camels as his presence he thought may keep the LIONS away.He said good night to Gert and told him to also take a nap as he was sitting close to the fire.As it had been a tough day Joep dozed off and just as he was falling asleep he felt a touch on his shoulder. He jumped up as his first thought was LIONS , no it was Gert offering a mug of coffee.He thanked Gert and drank the coffee (Joep liked his coffee), and went back to bed.Just dozing off he felt a touch on his shoulder , he again jumped up LIONS, no ,it was Gert offering another mug of coffee.Joep drank and then back to bed ,now he was wide awake.He noticed Gert making another mug of coffee at the fire, he then decided "oh well I can just as well get up as there was still plenty of coffee around . . . . . . . " and with the LION in the surround ,sleeping was impossible so they sat through the night , chatting , having some more coffee and listening to the LIONS until the first signs of another beautiful KALAHARI dawn.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


Last edited by gmlsmit on Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:54 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: RACING TO CATCH A POACHER
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:38 am 
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Joep and Cillie a girl from Kakamas got married during July 1934 and settled at Gemsbokplein.There Cillie tried to make a garden and succeeded in creating more habitable conditions in the previous bachelors domain.Close to the house was borehole with irrigation furrows to Cillie's garden. One day Joep saw a car stop near the furrows and a man got out and walked towards the furrows. He got suspicious and went to vehicle, the other chap not noticing him.On arrival he saw the other was washing his hands , when Joep asked him what he was doing the other fellow jumped up and ran to the vehicle and raced off. Joep knew "poachers" . He ran to his vehicle started it and on was the chase in the direction to Twee Rivieren 40 Km away.One can imagine this chase through the Auob riverbed happening in slow motion in today's standards.Twee Rivieren was getting closer and closer and still no poachers.Eventually just short of Twee Rivieren he noticed the Ford behind a bush.He drove towards the car and saw the steaming radiator but no driver.remember it was just after the good rains of 1934 , the growth was lush and the grass seeds accumulated in the Ford radiator causing it to overheat. Joep looked into the vehicle and found a Springbok carcass and the rifle , he waited and no one pitched up the culprits footprints were clear , they had run away and were hiding.Joep called and said he has lots of time they can just as well come out. Two chaps appeared . Joep told them that he was going to charge them for poaching . He made some coffee ( he liked his coffee ) and offered the two poachers some.After the coffee he escorted them to Witdraai where they were fined R 30.00 which was quite a sum of money in those old days.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


Last edited by gmlsmit on Thu Aug 07, 2008 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 1:21 pm 
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Another lovely story
Thanks gmlsmit


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 Post subject: FIRST MEETING WITH THE LITTLE PEOPLE
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 4:07 pm 
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While out on patrol during 1934 Joep and Gert came across a small group of the Little People near Sewe Panne , he described them as " a nearly extinct nomad little people " .They were a timid shy little group of about 20 not in the least aggressive but very wary . Gert described them as hungry , thirsty and forlorn. They hid among the bushes and were called but to no avail , eventually they were tempted closer with a bit of coffee and some tobacco.Communication was impossible as they were speaking their language of many clicks and clacks and the closest was Gert's Nama language .at the slightest sign of what they interpreted as unrest they fled and had to be coaxed again to come closer.Eventually some trust was established and they became more trusting.However their little black eyes were very watchful and aware of what was going on, still not trusting this sudden amicable treatment by strangers ,something they were not used to (many of them had been murdered and taken as slaves in the days gone by , by the indigenous population ) . This little group was starved , their bodies thin and emaciated full of folds and pleats . In the good times they eat well and then gain weight but this little group . . . . just dressed in their skin loincloths and carrying their meagre possessions . . . . . . . . Minister Grobler always believed that the little people should not be interfered with and left to live their little lives and practise their little cultures formed over many , many rains . as said earlier they were never regarded as poachers as their little impact on the vast expanses was of no consequence what so ever . They were respected as after all they were the first inhabitants of this wonderful area.In fact they were to be protected as they had so many enemies , most of them human.Joep pitied them and when he opened his food box most of the shyness made place for interest in what the contents were. After sharing ,food and water and of course tobacco , Joep decided that they should accompany him to Gemsbokplein where they could be taken care of until better times ,when they could leave and again carry on with their own little lives.It took them five days to travel the 120 Km from Sewe Panne ( Seven Pans ) to Gemsbokplein .With quite humerous happenings by their child like ways. Whar astonished Joep was their complete lack of personal hygiene , after , these little people were from the desert and were never exposed to the luxury of soap and water .This a typical example of the compassion Joep had when it was due.What a MAN - Joep le Riche.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 4:55 pm 
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Location: England, previously Rietvlei, Natal - hankering to be back in KTP
Thank you, gmlsmit It has been an enthralling few days for me, reading your anecdotes, a few at a time, as I run the web behind my office work! Envious of your memories KTP is very close to my heart, too. It is soul food, and one needs a good dose of it now and again. I love the feeling the wide open spaces give me and I am very humble, knowing I am a mere, insignificant speck! Only thirty nine sleeps and I shall be driving through the TR gates to spend a glorious 8 days back in my Heaven! You have made the wait bearable!

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 Post subject: CLEANING OUT BORE HOLES
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:27 pm 
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Joep decided that Gert and himself were to clean out the borehole at Klein Skrijpan.So off they went with their meagre tools : a pulley , long rope , a few spanners , a scoop ( bailer ) and a clamp.The boreholes were deep some of them in excess of 300 metres ( many people jokingly said they did not drill deep , they drilled far ).The donkeys to do the pulling would arrive later and the two of them were in the meantime to do the preparatory work.This done ,they awaited the donkeys, then Gert came up with the bright idea .The two of them should in the meantime start extracting the rods. Joep was not so sure but Gert said Joep must realise he being Gert is big and strong and it would not be too difficult. He explained his plan . He would tie the rope around his waist and Joep could do the clamping and releasing and together they could then pull up the rods.The plan seemed to have worked well for a while and then disaster struck.The rope slipped at the pulley and the rods fell down the borehole ,dragging poor Gert from more than 100 metres away . Imagine the comotion .Gert's paces were becoming longer and longer , His eyes wider and wider and wider , his face paler and paler and his shouts louder and louder and louder ,as time went by very fast.Gert tripped and his trousers got ragier and ragier as he was pulled through the scrub.Joep was at the borehole and he grabbed the rope running down the borehole . The rope grabbed Joep's trousers and nearly denuded him.Fortunately the rods hit bottom before poor Gert could be pulled up the windmil and everything came to an abrupt , dusty halt.When the dust had settled and they realised they were still alive ,they started comparing bruises , cuts ,abrasions ,aches and pains ,no one really saying much . . . . . . . . then there was giggle then a snigger and then roaring laughter . . . . . . Eventually the mechanised extracting (donkeys ) arrived and the clearing of borehole no 13 continued.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:35 pm 
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Expat you are much more fortunate than me .I have about 239 sleeps before it is my turn again. I am sure you will recognise some of the places mentioned and then possibly smile of its history . All was not blood sweat and tears , there were some laughs as well. In any event enjoy it , build up fond memories and share them with us Kgalagadi addicts

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:52 am 
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Something else that makes Kgalagadi special. Driving back to camp in the late afternoon and watch the western horizon change colour and then turn to eastern horizon and see the soft colour changes taking place on the dunes . . . . and then the clear cut image of a lone Gemsbok appears on the crest of the dune . . . . . . Heaven !

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 6:37 am 
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gmlsmit, like all of us you got it bad!!!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:52 am 
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Shakyjakes you are correct but I know my time is coming.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: War At GROOTKOLK
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 8:47 am 
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Very early in the 20 Th century there was an uprising of the indigenous people in DUITS SUIDWES AFRIKA now NAMIBIA and plundering and murders were regular happenings.The indigenous people called "die Geelkamme "were led by Simon Koper and Hendrik Witbooi. The local German army unit was in a few skirmishes with the the plunderers and pursued them . They fled and still plundered on their way.The Union was entered near where Unions end is the Germans decided to follow. Confrontation was imminent and at 05:20 , 15 March 1908 the flare was shot indicating the German force under command of Hauptmann ( Captain ) Frederick Von Erckert to start .There were two other Hauptmanne :Grunner and Willecke.Von Erckert was killed during the first assault and Grunner took over command .The fighting went on during the day , slowed down during the night and sunrise on 16 March the Geelkamme started again and were quite successful but as time went on they were gradually worn out.At 07:30 they decided that they had had enough and moved off. The battle of 'Ghaainchab " later "geinab" now Grootkolk was over.14 Members of the German force were killed and 19 were wounded. On the Geelkamme side there were 58 killed wounded is unknown with a lot of equipment lost.Next time you go to Grootkolk remember what happened at Ghaainchab , all was not always romantic ,beautiful and peaceful.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:52 pm 
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Off on two weeks fishing please fill up the web so that I can enjoy sharing your experiences on return.

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: WHAT MAKES THE KGALAGADI SPECIAL
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 6:01 pm 
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During 1938 Joep got permission to build himself a decent house at a suitable site . He looked around and found the site a few km south of Samevloeiing . First priority was do find suitable drinking water . A possible place was found for digging a well and Lukas one of the Bushman living in the area was contracted to dig the well . Now Lukas was quite an expert well digger but also very wise . He dug the well for many days , some days faster when the sand was soft and other days progress was slow when the calcrete layers were struck . Everything by hand - digging - pick and shovel and backbreaking - removing the diggings by rope and hand pulley . Eventually water was reached , palatable and slowly filtering into the well . Joep was called and now the depth had to be measured for payment . Joep would lower the rope and Lukas would call when the rope struck the bottom.Joep fed and fed but no call from Lukas . Eventually Joep decided something was wrong and called down into the well that he was coming down to see how much further, Lukas protested but Joep insisted. He climbed down and eventually in the dark of the bottom found the end of the rope in a heap.He enquired from Lukas and the reply was - " it is dark down here and I must have missed the rope" - gone is the bit of bonus Lukas was bargaining on. With water found, bricks had to be made out of a mixture of Kalahari sand , calcrete and cement . Gert mentioned that Malgas another Bushman was a skilled brickmaker . Joep enquired about where he learnt the trade , the reply from Gert "in prison ". However Joep decided to approach Malgas and a deal was struck . Malgas , Gert and Piet Moller would make the bricks . Joep had to go out on patrol and left the brickmaking to the three mentioned.Upon Joep's return after a fortnight he found that the bricks had been made and Gert Mouton had a very long face and was looking very sorry for himself . Joep enquired what was wrong and was told that when Joep left Malgas decided he was in charge and Gert and Piet had to do the labourers work .The brickmaking was done under the supervision of Malgas , apparantly he was a hard taskmaster as he hurried them in the sun and had no sympathy for sore hands,sunburn or a backache . Malgas obviously decided that the more bricks made in Joep's absence the easier the job would be for himself ( make hay while the sun shines ). The bricks were quite well made as remnants of the house can still be seen today.

_________________
I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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 Post subject: Re: WHAT MAKES THE KGALAGADI SPECIAL
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 6:09 pm 
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Welcome back gmlsmit - we really missed your stories. And thanks for your latest
How was the fishing??

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 Post subject: Re: WHAT MAKES THE KGALAGADI SPECIAL
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 6:45 pm 
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Thanks . Fishing reasonable - Kgalagadi would have been much better . . . . .

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I participate because I care - CUSTOS NATURAE
No to Hotels in and commercialization of our National Parks.
No to Legalized Rhino and Lion trade.
Done 144 visits to National Parks.
What a wonderful privilege.


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