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Louise_Gerhard

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Everything posted by Louise_Gerhard

  1. Well done to all for the milestones reached. Wazat - how did you get to the 800 so quickly? I will count them tonight just to make sure. Well done, Gerhard
  2. Bruce, I like your design. The question is if this is going to be acceptable to all cachers? I was thinking of a size of 400 by 300 mm. That is a the size we use at work. With a magnetic sign like this we are going to have a couple of questions. Maybe we are lucky enough to introduce a couple of people to geocaching. Are there any objections against the sign? I forwarded this idea to Rodney our reviewer, but still waiting for feedback. Do I need permission from ground speak? Ok, the symbol is added and it is registered is I assume that permission is needed. Andy with your knowledge as previous reviewer can you help me? I do not want to break rules. Just to answer some questions. Yes we are straying in a group. This is a remote area and it is better to be in a group. Border crossings are the normal hassles but sometimes road blocks can give you problems – in a group it is easier. The idea is to make it accessible to all cachers. The idea is to get together at a specific event point – then decided at that point where we go and who is going with whom, etc. At least the person without a 4x4 will have the opportunity to join in the fun and he is not limited to the camp or the tar road. Also if there is a team that does not want to go into any reserve then he has the option to do so or not. But again my second name is not Hitler so if a cacher wants to go off-road on his own and he wants to separate from the main group to explore other areas then it is fine with me. This is why we have the different events. At least we have a control or a rendezvous point where we can get together; share some stories and a check in to make sure that all cachers are fine and accounted for. At least if a team does not pitch at any of these events we need to go and find him. We will hold a starting event close to the Botswana border inside RSA. I had a look at FE’s plan to bypass Gaborone and I think he have a valid point. I am flexible and maybe I need to publish the intended route for the cachers. If there is a different idea then we change it. I do not cast anything in stone and we do the route planning as a group. The idea at the event is to share some thoughts, make sure we know the travelling plans of each and every cacher. At least there is some sort of structure or a safety net. If you are in trouble stay in your tree for the next 4 days - sooner or later I will arrive at your tree. It is vital to have these event points as a safety point and I hope I can get it pass the reviewer. From there we will move to Maun and we will stay for two days before we make the run to the north. The owner at this location is quite keen to meet with the cachers. He has a cache on his property and near them. He also wants to show us a geological formation at his location. I am busy checking with the various places to get an accommodation list. I will publish possible accommodation possibilities at the listing. Each and every cacher will have to book for himself. One of the reasons why the events must be published well ahead of time to make sure that the cacher that want to along have the opportunity to do this in good time. I can not publish the event 3 months before the trip – it could be too late. Hopefully we can have an answer from the reviewer soon. I just had good feedback from Zambia and Kafu is on my list. Again it is great to get this feedback. I do not know it all and the more info we can get the easier and the more enjoyable this trip will be. I had this dream to visit these places and a newbie but never had the time to plan for it. So it is important to plan well. I hope we can get some people together and I hope we can get some foreign cachers at this event and it will be great to meet them. By the way one of my team managers here at work, a Zimbabwean, has a farm near Kariba. His father is very influential and I was given a cell number of one of the top officials in Zimbabwe. In the unlucky event of a problem or a hassle at a road block we have permission to phone this official and he will resolve them - so nice to have a cell phone number. Here in Africa you need this sometimes and you need a friend higher up. He is also prepared to arrange for diesel and fuel for us as he has the contacts to get it cheap. I do not think it is needed but will keep it on my list in case we need something done. Thanks for the great feedback. If you have any more news or info please feel free to share this. Gerhard
  3. Thanks Anton, I forwarded you my design as well. Please do not burst out with laughter while rolling on the ground clapping your hands. It is going to hurt a lot. I did give it my best shot. I also forwarded it to Bruce but still waiting for his answer. Maybe the laughter will stop… I am busy getting feedback from the property owners with regards to the permission for the events. One of them is interesting in caches and he has a cache on his property and he is looking forward to meet the cachers. So maybe if we can get a maintenance plan going with him we can place some additional ones in this area. Because this man is so keen – we moved the event from Gaborone to his property. He also has a geological formation on his property and he wants to show it to me. If it is worth it than I will try to do an EC. At least permission will be easy. Second language is a problem. There are very few locals - only foreigners that speak more than a 100 languages. So which one is the second language? Maybe it will be needed to do a second language survey. Go to about 30 people and in an area and asked them about their home language. Majority is probably the second language. Hell, to discover the second language will take more time than to do the EC. But I guess that is what they want. In Zambia we have 74 different dialects so I guess an EC is out of the questions. My first justification letter was forwarded to the reviewer and we have to see the reaction from him and Groundspeak. I want to publish the events as soon as possible. Hopefully I did explain the urgency - if it is not acceptable than my reasoning need to be tuned and they my justification was not good enough. If they have an issue publishing them then I will have to publish them on this forum to warn cachers in time. (Short version, date time, waypoint and contact details for accommodation only) Hopefully the cachers that want to go along will notice it. I also requested permission to display the website on the magnetic sign just ion case Groundspeak have a problem with this idea. Should I push this issue – let them pay for the free advisement and the liberty to display their web site? Maybe I am asking for a hiding. Accommodation is a problem and you need to get accommodation reserved as quick as possible. You also have to get your shots and you need to have your certificate ready if asked for such. Then there are several requirements such as triangles for Zambia and red reflectors for Zimbabwe but we will publish it at later stage. We got some feedback from Zambia again and it appears as if the road and conditions is safe to do about 4 caches from Takahiro Miyoshi. Maybe if he agrees to the maintenance plan we can plant some for him in the area but that will depend if he would like to keep an eye on them or not. But he has to decide if it is appropriate or not. READY OR NOT - AFRICA HERE WE COME !!!! Gerhard
  4. Ok Trevor, Here is your answer. You can do it with a motor cycle. 1. You have to get to Gaborone, then you follow the road to Kazangula. 2. We will stay at the town on your left - safari lodge at Kasane. 3. The next day we will go to Katimo Mulilo through Chobe nature reserve. 4. You then have to go back to Kazangula and you have to turn left and you need to enter Zambia. Yep, there is no bridge but a ferry will take you across to the other side. Cost is about 25 to 14 American green ones but worth the effort. 5. Road is ok from here but we will travel through Chobe into Namibia while you travel on the other side of the river in Zambia and you then have to cross again back to Katimo Mulilo and we will see you there. If there is more than one vehicle than we could select one vehicle with you and if we return then we can swap roads again with the vehicles. Then each one will have the opportunity to drive on the other side. 6. We will stay for one day at this town and then we will head for Livingstone. 7. From Livingstone we will cross into Victoria Waterfalls the next day. 8. On our return we will go back to the ferry and not through the nature reserve. I was informed that the road is sometimes in a mess and very dusty. Easier with the tar road and around it. Bottom line you can visit Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe with a motor cycle. There is however always the risk of meeting up with an elephant or a lion anywhere but the vehicles will have to box you in to make sure that we do not have any problem. I however do love the safety of my vehicle and I am not sure if I will do this. But it can be done. I hope this answer your question. We will do camping in this area and at present we are still busy with the inquiries. My friend that side wants us to go deeper into Zambia to go and find his caches for a FTF but I am still chewing on this one. But this is tar road as well. Lake Kariba is close and we are also considering a trip to here but it depend on the safety feedback from other cachers. If there is any doubt then we give it a skip. Gerhard
  5. To help with the idea of a bike ride I included two links. One is saying not good, other one is a tour with motor bikes. So it is up to you. Lonely planet Motorbike tour Gerhard
  6. Pooks, there is thing that stays in my mind. If this was taken in for repair – what were the expected repair costs, this one is now considered redundant so probably I was in for a new one. This quest 2 just came onto the market when I bought it for R7400 – nogal ‘n lekker “special” daardie tyd. At the end of its life it was about R4500. My wife with her Nuvi at R1700 has extremely high sensitivity. But this lady and I have travelled so many places that we have a special bond and till death we part. Gerhard
  7. During my recent trip to Lesotho my GPS decided that enough is enough. It was so irritating to hear “Lost Satellite reception, Recalculating” - about every 15 minutes. Last Friday she refused to co-operate and she lost reception every 5 minutes and I was ready to throw it out of the window. As I got to work I decided it is time for major open heart surgery. This lady was stripped and everything was examined. The major fault was found on the little flap. On the one side a miniature plug and socket idea was used. But due to the movement of opening a closing the lid this little plug was loose from the antenna board. I resoldered this with a lot of problems. Age is setting in and I have a slight shake of the hand so I had to us two hands. One hand was used to hold the soldering iron and the other one was used to hold the hand that holds the soldering iron. It is hell to get old. Than with one artisan trying to put the solder where I want it to be; we gave it our best shot. Luckily this soldering was done under a magnifying glass with illumination. We then powered her up and we found one resistor getting slightly warm so we started from scratch. With some pain staking movements this was removed and we resoldered one with a higher wattage in its place. Anything that heats up with this GPS will cause instability. We then rechecked all soldering and I found about 4 joints that were not looking too healthy. This was redone. Everything was assembled and one of my artisans than asked me if it is going to be the same as before. Ok, if this operation was fatal for this lady then I will find a new lady companion. But if it works then it saved me about R5000 for a substitute so it is worth the risk. We powered her up and went outside and she was giving me 3 meters accuracy. It had me puzzled for awhile; before she was always giving me at an accuracy of 4 metres. So I took her for a drive. Even the voice sounds better and she is giving on average a reading of about 4 meters but on regular intervals she will go down to 3 meters. This is a new thing in my life and while driving home to Ermelo it felt so good to see this 3 meter accuracy. This is a new thing in my life. I am so keen to use her in some difficult terrain to see how she performs but she is responding better than the day I bought her. So cachers I am off to Bloemfontein soon with a lady that received a face lift and you are now in trouble. Gerhard
  8. Trev, You are touching on one of the issues on my list. I myself was more to the west but not to the north corner. To get this off the ground we are busy with a risk assessment. Last point of fuelling, the next point of fuelling and fuel reach is on this list. This is where I need assistance from the guys that visited this specific area. If I read the logs then a couple of guys have done this trip and they should be able to add value here. To get to Zambia you need to go through the Matetsi reserve. That could be a problem. It is a tar road but I am not sure if the big five is present. My guess is that they are there. I will do some homework. One of the questions for my contact and one to the reserve itself. I will also contact the different bike clubs to find anyone that has done this trip before if no cacher adds his comments. For your benefit I include a photo to chew on the idea of a bike ride….. Gerhard
  9. We are trying to use exceptions to create rules. A request for additional languages should be handled on a one to one basis. If I am in Germany, I will not be surprised to find it in the German Language. It is my problem to get it translated. But Google have the tool and I will get some rough indication of the topic. But we refuse to use these tools and we want to complicate the listing with another language. I used this tool several times and yes it is not perfect and the translation is sometimes crude but it does give me more or less what is needed and I can still do it. I have no problem with any one visiting my caches and he can do what he wants to do. If you want to log in Russian please feel free to do it. The problem with the rule is that the scope of the rule will start to creep. If that is ok then it is ok to log in all languages. If it applies for the listing then it applies for the log. English is the acceptable communication medium. If a Zulu do one in Zulu then it is fine with me; after all it is one of the official languages and it is his legal right to do so. But I would love to see that EC. I am an Afrikaans speaking engineer that thinks in English and I have no clue of the Afrikaans technical terms. To be honest I can not even recall reading any technical paper in Afrikaans. Better still I would love to see the geological phrases in this EC. But if a 100 English speaking people arrive at the EC and not one single Zulu then I have fundamental problem. Where is the focus? Is it on the region that is not even aware of earth caching and that have no interest whatsoever or is with the cacher visiting the cache to learn something new? I believe that one should not make it a rule in my own personal opinion to publish it in two languages. You are entering and you are breaking into a very sensitive area. All languages are equal. To be legally safe you need to publish it in 11 languages. After all then the languages are equal and level with each other. The moment you start to select a second language you will have the issue of “Why?” Then it needs justification and that is the time you get yourself in trouble. Then it begins as “What is your measurement, did you discriminate against the other languages”. Much easier to state that English is the business language than to try to chase your tail with legal issues. This is generally accepted practice. It is much easier to contact the owner and ask for a translation. If you want my EC in Zulu then I will find a Zulu to translate it in Zulu for you. If you want it in Sotho then you have the legal right to get it. If you want it in Tswana then it is your legal right. Someone is going to open a door and someone is going to get something he prayed for and I hope they can handle it. Gerhard
  10. We are planning a trip to Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Normally this is the places you do not visit alone. This trip is planned for June 2011 (DV) during the Gauteng school holiday and the planning phase has already started. The idea is to introduce cachers to these countries and to extend this to further discoveries with a 2 yearly visit if it is successful. It is also needed to include all cachers and all vehicles. It is not going to be a 4x4 only event. If we visit other places other than the 2 ply stuff then we will gather at one point and we will use the 4x4’s to get there – ok also to get back. It is not prescribed to all of the events and it is open to all. I myself never visited Zambia and Zimbabwe so I have no idea what to expect. One of the items that I have on my list still to do in my lifetime is to visit the Victoria Waterfalls and to see and to enjoy this great wonder of the world. To assist with the planning of the events at these remote areas it is a complicated logistic nightmare. To assist with the planning I made contact with several cachers that could assist us with the planning, to give advice, to help with possible locations and to assist us with anything we should know of such as hotspots, customs clearances, culture, ect. I am pleased to announce that contact was made with Takahiro Miyoshi which is a resident in Zambia. He is a very keen cacher but very limited in Zambia so it I think he will enjoy our company. A while ago he held a CITO in Zambia. Hopefully he will be able to give assistance and I am looking forward to meet with him. It will be great and it appears as if he is man with a lot of interesting caches in Japan. You can learn more from him on his web page. I will forward my skype address to him. So the planning stage is getting ahead of schedule. The event in Botswana is resolved, the event in Gauteng is easy to do, and hopefully we will have a location in Zambia and Zimbabwe soon. This only leaves one event in Namibia but I have a possible location and just need permission from the owners for such an event. As soon as we have all of them in place I will draft the events and I will forward it to the reviewer for the first run but offline. I will then keep this off line until such a time that it can be published. We will have to ask for permission from Groundspeak via the reviewer to publish these caches well ahead of time. I will forward the event details privately to the cachers that are interested as soon as the first communication was done with the reviewer. Questions and help needed: 1. I would like to design a magnetic sign for fitting to the vehicles, if any, that is prepared to join us on this trip. This will depend on the owner of the vehicle if he wants it on his vehicle or not. But it is good to identify the vehicles and it also serves as information to the public and hopeful someone will look at the web site to determine what the word geocaching indicates. To do this I will need to communicate my intention to the reviewer to determine if I am not breaking any rules, and if Groundspeak will give me permission for the use of their registered logo. I know that they are not keen on advertising. This I will do this weekend and we will pass the hurdles as we met them. Maybe the reviewer can publish his comments on this issue. 2. I am no graphic artist but an engineer with a square mind and seeing only black and white so I have a huge struggle with the design of the magnetic sign for a vehicle. If you have any artistic and/or creative side please give me some pointers with an idea for this magnetic sign. That will be great. Publish your design here. It must have the RSA flag and it must have the caching symbol (depends on permission) and it must have www.geocaching.com on it. Please help with this one, I think I need it. Gerhard 3. I do not know these areas and I will do some trips to the reserves when we are there to see the places off the beaten track. I will be grateful if any of the more experienced off-roaders can give me some feedback on these locations and what and where we need to go. Gerhard
  11. Sorry guys – my home language is German. So this is the last post in English – next one is for translation. I responded directly but this is one crazy idea of one person that did not think clearly. This is so ridiculous - I must do an EC in Zulu with not one single Zulu visiting the cache. Your focus must be on your customer – the guy visiting the cache. I hate to respond to ridiculous topics. Maybe we should consider a year long ban on all EC’s – that will force them to rethink there limitations. Kyk nou net hoe kwaad word hierdie boer. Gerhard
  12. This is a brilliant idea to do it in the official language of the region. But is it workable No – it is not. Let me sketch the scenario. In South Africa we are 53 million people with 11 official languages. Only 500 people are cachers and they do understand English. Let us take a region – any region in South Africa. For argument sake let us choose Kwazulu Natal. Majority speaks Zulu so let us do an EC in Zulu. How many Zulus will visit the EC? Easy to work this one out – none will visit. I never met a Zulu that is a geocacher. So what value did the Zulu language added to the listing, Again, none. So why the hell does you need to do it in Zulu. Oh, yes I read it somewhere. Let us make a decision and push it down on the reviewer to resolve. The reviewer will select the language. Again this is crazy. Let us take our reviewer in this case. How the hell is he going to know what language is spoken in Zambia in a certain region. Zambia has so many languages that they forgot to count them. Sorry guys – do not come forward with brilliant ideas and it can not work. How did we do this in South Africa? English is the business language. You can speak 10 languages but you will not be accepted in any position if you can not speak English. Point blank – that is how business work. But geocaching can not see it they want to diversify to such an extent that no one will understand what is potting. How on earth will I be able to show any earth caches and try to explain to them the concept with an earth cache in Zulu? How many American earth caches must now be translated into the Indian languages? Common guys let us back to reality and leave the dreams for sleeping time. So the rule must be simple. English is the one to use; with the option to add the local language. To double the server space just to add two languages of which one is of no value - is not the way to go. This is the end of any EC’s from me – for sure; and I believe that most other people will go that way. Instead of going forward with earth caching this is “One small step for man and one giant leap backwards for mankind”. Next time Neil Armstrong better speak the language of that region or else we will crucify him. The focus should not be on the region and the language of the region but on the people that visit the cache. It is so easy to understand and is should not be that hard to get this workout. Focus on the customer – with other words the guys that are doing the cache. The benefit must be for him - not the guy in the street that will never visit the cache and neither do not care in which language it is. This is absolutely absurd. Gerhard
  13. Anton you are reading my mind. This will be my last post and I will do another new one on this topic next year. I included snippets for those interested in doing this trip for background information. Ok, also to get your attention. I hope I use the correct spelling for the towns. If not then I apologize. You can travel all the way to Kaszungula with a Bitumen road from Gaborone. If you reach Nata you can also turn to the western side and you can carry on to Maun. It is amazing to see the progress compared to 1966 when only 10 km was paved. (This could be wrong; this was received via my peers in Botswana) I will do my best to make the events accessible to all cachers and to make it reachable with a normal vehicle. It is one of the reasons why we need to hold one of the events in Gaborone itself for the Botswana leg. Anyone can attend with any vehicle and you can go home the same afternoon or cross the border and stay over somewhere in RSA. Or you can stay in Gaborone at Oasis and return the next day. To make it a 4x4 event only is a little bit unfair as we immediately exclude 80% of the caching community. Only after publishing we will be able to say if we are going into the wilder places and if we are staying on the tar road and near the town. Only when the cachers agree will we go to the bush. Maybe better to say - sand. Most of the worthy places are however off the beaten track. If there are any objections then we stay on the 2 ply lanes. This final answer will also depend on the number of 4x4 vehicles that will attend, if any. I normally do remote areas with a minimum of 4 vehicles but prefer not more than 8 at a time. Also interested to note that Botswana has a population of about 1.7 million people and 80% of them live on the eastern side. The country consists of about 580 000 square km. This will give you some idée of the spread of people. Even when you travel with a normal vehicle you need to travel in a group; vehicles can break down. There are only two types of vehicles. Those that are in the workshop at present and those that will visit in the near future. Night driving is a no go at all times; but then again so is the rest of Africa. In this country you will see more than enough donkeys. They do not move they just stay on the road. The higher you go and the more to the western side the less the people and sometimes the more the elephants. There you do not hit any thing on the road and you do not get caught in a speed trap. Use the hooter at all times and go around people and animals as far as possible. The police are well organized and you have 48 hours to pay your fine at the nearest police station, sometimes they demand payment on the spot. Do not even try to bribe them; jail will be the next stop for you and the family. Do not be late with the payment and do not ignore the summons; they are quite effective and you will be arrested at the next stop. Speed limits are more or less to the SADC requirements. General speed is 120 km/hr, semi urban is 80 km/hrs and 60 km/hrs for urban/build up areas. In the bush you need to be careful. Sand tracks are sometimes deep, you have to keep momentum and revs to make sure you do not get stuck. Here petrol machines do much better than a diesel. Diesels tend to run too hot in sand. Also you need to stay in the track at the same time. In the sand the small narrow tyre as fitted on the old Land Rovers do much better than the wide ones as fitted on BMW. If you meet another group you must be alert - the inexperienced drivers could climb out of their tracks and then there is no control. Most of them are foreigners that want to rough it and they do make use of hired 4x4’s with no or little experience. Maybe it is not kind and maybe it is not right but I treat all of them as inexperienced and then there are no surprises and I expect anything. Sometimes I will also pull off the road especially when I see they do speed. Elephants should be treated with respect if we go the bush, we will meet them somewhere. If some of the bulls are in their muster season you could be worried. They do mock attacks – drive away from them at speed and they will keep on coming and they will enjoy their game and you will be doing the sweating. Best is to stop, switch the engine off and stay where you are; it is hard to do while the mind is saying something else and the feet wants to run when he is charging but you need to do the right thing. He will soon loose interest if you do not get scared and he will carry on with other things. You need to know the difference between a mock attack and a real one. Do not switch off when he does the real one – not nice to be a hamburger patty. Yes, I will not stay in the bush with any type of tent. In Lesotho we had to face a 50 km/hr wind but here you face a wild kitty that has food on his mind and honestly we are the bottom of this food chain so I do take care. Accommodation is sometimes a pain. You can not arrive at a location and expect to find something. Some of the reserves will not give you access at the gate if you can not produce a letter stating that you are booked, even with empty accommodation. The tour operators in this area do block bookings - sometimes up to 20 people. Three days before the expected arrival date they will cancel the booking if they have no sufficient numbers. When you leave RSA you need to have the accommodation resolved. That could be the biggest challenge. But for the rest - it is a relatively low risk trip. For the next couple of months we will need to plan and we will need to do some reconnaissance of this area. BruceTP will be booked but then there is no more space in my vehicle. It will happen sometime in June 2010 and it will be in the Gauteng school holiday and it will be about 10 days long. Hopefully I will be close to my 2000 mark. During winter the sand give you a little bit less problems and you do not need to go through 1 meter of water. But it is also the time when it is busy. If you drive sensible you will not get stuck or better - you have a good chance not to get stuck. But you have to learn to stop the normal way and to reverse back onto your own track and then forward and then back again. This will compact the sand and you will have the chance to get momentum during pull away. Blow down of tyres are essential and a pump must be carried with a tyre gauge. The secret of sand driving is in the tyres and to learn not to spin the tyre off the rim. The way I will precede is a simple way of starting the plan but it ends as a complex chain of events. I look at the tar roads, then I look at anything of value on that road such as scenery and caches, if there is a border crossing then I do some checks and balances as each and every border post sometimes have their own rules. For those interested in the planning I do make use of a decision tree to get to the best option for the average cacher. I then look for possible gathering places such as public places where there are some sort of open spaces and if possible where no arranged booking must be done such as restaurants or where an entry fee must be paid. I ask for permission to hold such an event from the property owner and that is sometimes quite a hurdle. I then recheck the route and test for accessibility with a normal vehicle and I check for any negatives and or risk elements such as high crime areas and I adjust the plan if anything is found. We then do a recognisance trip and we have to make sure that the plan is working. Only here we start to add days required to get there. The plan is simple – I am going to move around and I will not stay too long at one location. I am planning to leave extra time to do the final event in Gauteng – probably delayed with an additional week. The aim is also to meet with the owner of the location where the event will be held. Only when all is resolved we will proceed publishing the event. I will in all probability do a similar one every two years. But that depends on the reaction of the cachers and on their recommendation and the way they experienced it. Also it is important to note that they we do contact some of the cachers that visited the area and I will ask for info, hints and anything that we should be aware of before publishing the event. For sure, if the plan materializes and only one cacher arrived at the event then no further events to the North will be done in the future unless the next cacher sign the listing with his name in blood. No, do not use the screen – I will not see it. If there are two people then I will rethink the next one. I hope Groundspeak will allow me additional time for the event. It is for the benefit of the cacher. You need to make sure that precautions are taken against malaria and the accommodation must be resolved so additional time is needed as this is not the ordinary event. I think they will understand and if any obstacles then the reviewer will have to assist to explain the circumstance to them and why it is needed. On the other hand such an event in these remote areas should not be a problem – after all how many events will be on top of the new listings in Botswana? At least the cachers are warned of a potential chain of events that will be done next year and they are in a position to start planning and to get the resources needed. The plan was broadly discussed and you should have an idea how and what is involved. Do not worry, with this one I will lead from the front from Gaborone back to RSA. If I am not there then the team lost me somewhere in Botswana. During January we should be in a position to give the red light or the green light. You then need to decide to do the jump or not to jump. This year I am not going on leave due to this plan. But to see Botswana you have two choices. You pay the tour operator an arm and a leg or you get a group together at much less cost. It is time to convince the wife….. Gerhard
  14. Anton, I was watching the trial Timmo has left in Zimbabwe and it seemed that they had a good time without any problems. I can not comment on his behalf and maybe he is a position to tell us more about the safety issues, people, fuel and food. I do not know if Zimbabwe is fine or not - because I do not know I will rather skip it. The idea is to go right up to the top of Botswana and then only a short path to Livingstone. This will give us a quick in and out. The majority of my workforce is from Zimbabwe and they gave me some good information of the hot spots and what is happening in their country. They also showed me photos of the beautiful spots and areas worth visiting but I am not too sure if I will risk it. At the same time one of my friends visited this country and he had a good time. About three months ago I had a chat with my co-workers in Botswana. Guess what came out during this meeting. I was told that they do not like South Africans neither do they like people from Zimbabwe. The electrician with me was from Zimbabwe and he did not like it too much. I am from RSA but I just took it on the chin without fuzz. He told me that the impression is that we are an arrogant nation and we have a don’t care attitude to their country and to them and we showed it in the way we drive. It was good to listen to him and to hear his viewpoint and I made sure that I drive more careful and that I treated people with more respect. Here it still strange to see that the taxi will go you a break. People from Zimbabwe are always involved in petty crime such in breaking into vehicles. That could be his impression and belief. I wanted to plant caches in Gaborone but I was told that it is not safe for the cachers to move around the hills around the town except in large groups. This was immediately scrapped from my wish list. I know Gaborone well and I never had any hassles and I was treated better than in my own country. I think a lot has to do with the personal experience and mind set. I noticed a lot of people are visiting Angola and they claim it to be safe. Before I visit Angola I will rather visit Zimbabwe. I once paid a visit to Angola to our factory that side. I was collected at the airport and escorted to the factory with armed men in front and in the rear. At the factory I received a security induction and I was told not to leave the premises at any time. I stayed in a hut on the factory premises for three days. I just do not feel at ease and it is difficult to sleep during the night. One has the feeling that trouble is just around the corner. From there I was moved with armed escort to the airport again. Will I visit them? Nope, maybe one day when I can go for a walk outside the factory. Our personal feeling is that we are going ahead with the plan with the risk that I could be the only one at the event. That will be a real bummer but just maybe we can get some cachers to join us which happens to be in that area. Gerhard
  15. Before we go to Lesotho again we have the big one that needs to be done. Lesotho was selected for various reasons and yes I sometimes have a hidden agenda. I am planning a trip to Botswana and the Lesotho event was a test to see if there is a need for more extreme and remote events and to see if events such as this are promoting geocaching and teamwork. During the Lesotho event the following was done and I have to get this to the open. Do not be too angry with me as this was for a good cause. 1. Cachers were suddenly left alone without the event organizer and they had to accept the challenge on their own. They teamed together and they went up without a hitch. The idea was to see if they can function on their own. They did not wait for me but proved leadership in this situation. 2. I placed cachers in a difficult position with accommodation and I even placed them in a tent with a 50 km/hr wind to see how they cope with toilets locked at 22h00 and in a remote area. 3. We went on a slightly difficult trail to see how they behaved with their vehicles. They done excellent and no help were needed and no heroes were seen. 4. I observed all cachers during the cache hunt and if they can operate as a team or individuals. They surprised me; for some reason I had this mind set that cachers are more individuals than a team. 5. I place them in a difficult position with transport and they made plans to get around it. 6. I created an event with a lot of warnings and things that can frighten the ordinary person and I wanted to see if they can accept the challenge and if they can get around the fear factor. 7. I needed to see how the team will function in a remote area. What was the hidden agenda? I am planning a trip to Botswana for a while now. Something that could be called the “4 Countries, 4 event outing” somewhere in June 2011. (DV) during this trip we are targeting Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and back to RSA. At present it is just an idea that we are working on. At the end of September I need to be in Botswana again for a project that must be commissioned and we will then test if this is feasible or not and some meat will be added to the bones with my Botswana colleagues. The idea is to hold a starting event in Botswana, near Gaborone for RSA cachers with normal vehicles. Next one at the Caprivi, followed by a visit to Livingstone in Zimbabwe. Biggest problem is accommodation, backup and recovery if needed. We need to do this event in the winter – you will not like it during the summer rain. Yes, we will get to caches. The last stretch is back to Gauteng with a final event in Midrand for the stories among the cachers. This will be a 10 day trip and we will do it as a family for our yearly holiday. If the timing is good we should be able to find some cachers that want to come along. To go into Botswana alone is suicide at best but now cachers have the chance to do it as a group. For those that do not want to do the complete trip it could be possible to add Botswana on your geocaching country list with the event in Gaborone. To get this done will need careful planning and good listings or else the reviewer will shoot me down one time. The difficulty is complex and one will need to do the publishing months before the time and special permission from Groundspeak will have to be obtained but that is something that we will cross as we get there. Before this idea starts to materialize I need to ask one question. Is there anyone that would like to join if a trip like this is organized? Maybe someone have some ideas that he wants to share with the group. Is this possible? Gerhard
  16. Thanks guys but a special thanks to BruceTP that played the role of big brother. I did not say anything but I was counting the caches as we went along and I got to a count of 1500. Only at home I suddenly realized that there are three missing. That left a bitter taste in my mouth. So what did I discover? I proved that I can count caches but lack the discipline to record them properly. Luckily BruceTp with his meticulous way of recording caches in the same way he found them kept an eye on my logs and he quickly realized that this cacher need some help. Thanks for the push – it took me closer to the goal and not to the edge. Again, thanks for all the help to get to this milestone and it was great to do it in a group. Wazat and Brian helped me with that extra two that was planted. Without them it would have been only 1498. It was a great outing. To find a leopard kill at Tugela was great. I still remember the smell of the leopard near his little cave. We were standing right in his bedroom with his lunch close by. If I think about number 1500 then this leopard cache will be the first thing that came to mind. One of those caches that you can not do alone. I am absolutely positive that the leopard was close by and that he was watching us. I just wanted to get out of the area as soon as possible but Wazat and BruceTP just wanted to take photographs. I was planning for one hell of a surprise at this one for my two fellow cachers. At one stage I took the lead and I went ahead – the idea was to turn around and to sneak up on BruceTP and Wazat and to growl like a leopard. But I was not prepared for any potential heart attacks so I quickly discarded this idea. The other worry was that this leopard could hear this and he could object to the invasion of his kingdom. Now for the big one. Bloemfontein is the next stop. We need to get to them quickly. I hope someone will come along to do some real caching. If there is no one then I do it alone. Luckily I have cownchicken as backup and hope they do not mind helping an MP man. We will give the guys from Cape Town competition for sure but it will be even greater to meet them during the evening and to chat to them and to have a braai together and I am looking forward to it. Last but not least, well done to all cachers that have achieved their milestones at or after the Lesotho event. I kept and eye on the attendees and it appears as if all done quite well. Great. Gerhard
  17. At the end it does not matter who attend from where but how we do it. This is my planning at this stage. I will run a check on cache density in this area. To do more than the normal for the weekend I will then make sure I arrive on the Friday. We will then focus on the ones outside of the high cache density profile but we will focus on the ones the furthest away. On the Saturday we will then hit the area with the highest density starting from a cache that can be done in the dark and we will end with the ones in the dark. Target is simple – 50 for the day and it are good for me. Anything above - is a bonus. Breaking the record is the additional bonus but I am sure there are other cachers that are more competent and have a better chance than me. I just hope there is a cacher that are prepared to do this with me and that can stay on his feet from sunrise to sunset. Saturday I will attend the event and it will be great to meet the guys from WC. Sunday we will hit a couple more and then I will go home again. Please let me know if anyone is interested in doing this trip with me – I would appreciate it. By the way – thanks for the assistance given by cownchicken when we just had to found a cache 1.6 km away from the waypoint somewhere in KZN. Thanks. Gerhard
  18. Come on guys, this idea was born here in Cape Town... We don't want to show up in Bloem, surrounded by masses of Gauties and Sharks... Who wants to break away for a crazy caching weekend?? And one day you can tell your grandchildren that you had a shot at a South African record.. Or even better still... You held the South African record... So 'n mond moet 'n groot lepel jam kry. Ons gaan so baie wees dat julle gaan omsingel voel. Gautengers moenie wag vir my as 'n MP man nie, moet ek julle kom optel ????????????? Kom ons wys hulle wie bly ander kant die Jukskei. Gerhard
  19. Sputnik we have a lift off. It is happening. Some positive feedback. Now I will leave it for the other cachers to get the ball rolling. We have cachers that wants to cache and on the other side we have a event. This one could be the one of the year and it all started with a idea. Well done Trev. Gerhard Goeienaand Gerhard Ek sien die mense wil Bloemies van weerskante toesak gedurende 10-12 September. Dit sal wonderlik wees om hulle te ontmoet en ek sal baie graag die byeenkoms wil help reel, ongelukkig is ek nie op hoogte hoe om dit te begin nie. Ek weet byv nie hoe om op Forum deel te neem nie. Ek was vanoggend by Landrover team, hy se hy en j007 sal vanaand gesels om my by te staan. So ek hoop regtig ons sal vir jul iets kan reel. Groete vanuit n koue Bloemies LoXXXXXXX XXX XXX XXXX (name is withheld for security)
  20. Wazat, I will leave from Benoni. But that is also not a train smash. If Bakgat comes along then he will come from Ermelo. We have all bases covered. The only trick is that I am not going to play around. I cache before sunrise and I stop when it is too dark to see with no moon and only then we get hungry. (Lol) I had a good look at the cache density and this one could be a personal best so one need to give it the best shot. If not then at least you know that you have done your best. I also would like to meet the Cape guys, only Pooks and cownchicken was seen quickly but no real conversation. Pooks and I still have a challenge to do. Do not worry Pooks, jy bly my maat van yester en plaat al wil ek soms op en af spring. We will forget about that one, move forward !!! Gerhard
  21. I took the liberty of informing the cache owner (louwtjie) to join the conversation. Hopefully he will join soon. Then we can place some meat on the skeleton and get things swinging. I would love to do this one. I will have 3 seats available for those that want to do the caching spree. As long as we hit the 50 mark in one day then I will be happy. To beat the 64 mark, as set by iPajero, will not be that easy. This team can move if they move. Again this is one of those hunts you do not want to do alone and maybe it is possible to team up with some guys. Maybe we should break the old teams with a team from Gauteng joining up with a team of the Cape. Call the event "Where North meet South". Just an idea. Gerhard
  22. Well done to rufnredy. This man has 6314 caches to his name and it is honour to find his name on my EC. I have to live twice to get to this number. Well done and I hope you enjoyed South Africa. Gerhard
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