So, this is my Blog, my thoughts / feelings / ideas. You may comment if you like. If you attack me, I come back at you with reckless / racist / suicidal abandon. If you compliment me, I thank you. If you don't ever visit again I don't care. Other than that, just enjoy what I write, or not.

LIU - Look It Up!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Rhino Rally -South Africa

So, continuing on my previous post about the road trip myself and LuckyL undertook:-
We arrived in Harrismith around lunchtime, Friday 28th Sept. Paid our entrance fee, made our way down to the Rally Office, got our badges, and then drove around the very extensive camp site, looking for the ideal place to set up camp.

Some places were too far from the "events" center, some too near, some too close to the water (dams and stream), but eventually we found a spot which we liked. It happened to be right next door to a section cordoned off for sole use by the Roadhogs, a bike club I used to ride for many, many years ago.
So, we set up camp. Put up the tent and gazebo, unloaded the bikes, and took a ride around. Not long, and we saw the weather start to come up, so we went back to the car, got in, and decided to have a nap while the rain fell. Rain, hail, and incredible wind!
With the wind blowing later, we moved the trailer next to the tent, and tied the gazebo down onto it with ropes. However, with the storm that came over, the gazebo "lost" two of its legs, so we had to make a different plan.
This was plan B. Relocate the tent on top of the trailer, and the gazebo, with 2 long legs, 2 broken legs over the trailer, ans tie the whole thing down onto thew trailer.
 This was now, in effect, a caravan! We put our bags with clothing into the tent, and slept in the back of the car - double bed mattress and all! No way I was going to risk being blown away, rained on in another freak storm. This configuration held up well, and drew many comments from passing bikers!

Fallen tree.....
The storm that came up suddenly was so bad that it blew a tree down, crushing 2 tents (luckily uninhabited at the time), and and crushed some poor sods motorbike!!!

Smashed bike.....
As soon as it was over, we went back down to the events area. Pretty soon the wind came up again. At some point it blew away a few gazebos. Then it destroyed the tent of one of the stalls. I quickly ripped the back panels off of the next rent, as this was also going to take a flight, and let the wind blow through it. LuckyL and I spent some time helping the guys salvage what they could, and then left them to rebuild their stand best they could.

The remains of the structure of some poor sods gazebo - or 2!
We made our way around, checking out the damage to the various stalls, and some of the private tents. Eventually we ended up at the bar counter, inside a massive marquis. Just outside,some guys were trying to better secure the tent poles / ropes, with some of the 1m and 2 m long rope pegs having pulled out of the ground!
I bought a sheet of tickets, so that we could get some drinks. The wind was, by now, challenging the massive ropes and long tent poles. I went inside, much to LuckyL's dismay, to get some drinks. I bought a sheet of tickets (they can't trust their barmen with cash) and at that point the first main tent pole lifted off the ground, and gave way! He went outside - calling me. I demanded a round of drinks. The barman and lady were shocked and stunned - well, was I really going to spend who knows how much time without a drink if this tent collapsed? The second pole lifted off the ground. LuckyL came running back in :
"Dad, lets get out of here man, before it comes down on you head!" Coming, I said, picking up our drinks and following him out. Outside I realized this tent was in trouble. We stood to one side while the wind lashed at it - people were running into the tent to get the bikes out that someone had parked inside - cause they can!
 LuckyL did the honorable thing - opened a beer and filmed the tent collapsing! I will get the video from him and post it here.
The collapsed marquis tent - that's the end with the bar - the other end housed the stage and music / sound equipment. Check the water around it - 4 - 6 inches deep!!!
And then just as suddenly, the wind died down, and the rain fell softly. Simon Fourie - he of Bike SA owner and organiser of this rally walked past. I stopped him and commented "Think you have a problem", to which he responded - Already sorted - the guys are on their way from Durban as we speak! Now that's impressive organising! I offered my assistance if he needed it for anything - he replied - can you put up this tent? Smiled, and went on his way!
The next morning......

That night at about 8.30 pm, a truck arrived out of which climbed about 10 - 15 guys. They couldn't believe what they saw. By 3 am the next morning, the tent had been rebuilt, with new rope pegs, and all clean and sorted. They left off the side sheets, and that would have been the answer the day before, to remove them, and allow the wind to blow through. Anyway, they got it fixed.

Stalls - or rather what was stalls.

Simon Fourie -we got him to wheelie that scooter

There were some crazy stunt riders doing some shows, and they came through the camp sites,and decided out braai was a good obstacle...
Anyway,  Saturday was a nice clear day.
More to follow.


1 comment:

Divemaster GranDad said...

Fark....must have been a helluva storm...