We had so much fun camping at the West Cape Tractor & Engine Club Annual Show in Malmesbury recently that when another opportunity to camp, combined with a Vintage Road Run was suggested, it met with enthusiastic support!
The Road Run was organised by Canzius and Rykie Swart of Khomeesdrif Caravan and Camping Site, a few kilometres east of Riviersonderend, in collaboration with Edu Roux of the Villiersdorp Tractor & Engine Club, for Saturday 13th September. The central location was also convenient for members of the Bredasdorp Club, who turned out in force. It was unfortunate that the Breede River members were unable to attend. The occasion was organised as a fund-raiser for the Riviersonderend and Greyton NGK congregations.
Khomeesdrif is situated on the southern banks of the Riviersonderend and has about 30 stands and well appointed ablution facilities. There is one Chalet which was booked by the Committee of the Villiersdorp Club!
Loading facilities are on the farm next door, at a suitable height for an 8-ton lorry. Members started arriving and setting up on Friday afternoon.
The picture above shows Eniel's Chev with passengers as we approached The Oaks, which in the last six years has been superbly and accurately restored and is now considered the most authentic Cape Dutch homestead, including encircling wall, outside the immediate Cape Town area.
After breakfast...... we hardly needed any more feeding till supper time!
We were privileged to meet owner and restorer Gert Ehlers, who told us this farm is said to have been the first in South Africa to use a metal mouldboard plough! During the restoration, all plaster was removed from the buildings to find the exact positions and sizes of the original doors and windows, which were reinstated.
..... and the Mill (right, below). Unfortunately there was no milling machinery and it wasn't possible to reinstate the mill stream. The building on the left was the first outpost of the Genadendal Moravian mission which predates the Homestead.
Lunch of lasagne and green salad was served in the Church Hall, after which we relaxed under the trees next to the church:
On the way back, some of us stopped off at Het Ziekenhuis which I had read about in Burrows' Overberg Outspan. He describes it as small but I was expecting something more than an (active!) beehive!
Further exploration was organised for Sunday morning, after church to Oubos. We couldn't wait so we went up in advance to the farm of a prominent Villiersdorper, recently deceased, whose vision was to return to his father's farm and develop 160ha of orchards in two years. He died after the first half had been done, his children have completed his dream. His father is said to have been unimpressed by the performance of his McCormick 10/20 and cultivator, so he hung it up in an Oak which has grown considerably since!
The orchards are planted on slopes where baboons need a walking stick! 12 (newer!) tractors and spray machines are needed to keep the trees pest and disease free!
The event was a huge success, with 26 vintage vehicles, including two classic cars, two lorries and a Jeep. The remaining tractors included a McCormick:
...two Lanzes, this one needing vigorous effort to start,
.....the other starts electrically and makes wonderful smoke-rings
I think we certainly livened things up at Khomeesdrif and we hope their fundraisers were a success after all the effort which was put in, we certainly enjoyed the experience and hope to make it a regular event on our calendar! It looked as though the wives, girlfriends and children enjoyed the experience, some of the children only came in from swimming in time for dinner! It was great meeting and spending leisure time with them all :-)
14th September '14