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Posts posted by Louise_Gerhard

  1. A couple of years back you arrived at the border and they would ask you if you have a 4x4. This was entered in a book and that was that. Just recently they changed the system and you now have to proof that you have insurance and that the owner of the vehicle agreed to use the vehicle in Lesotho. But again – they may ask you if you have it. I noticed two comments on the off road forum. One guy received a lot of trouble because he had no papers but they allowed him access eventually. The next guy stated that he had no problem and papers were not needed.


    I think they are going to step up the formalities. I overheard a conversation that the safety checks and balances implemented during the world cup are going to be extended to other areas. Better to have the paperwork ready.


    By the way do anybody have access to the weather conditions to Lesotho. I battle to have the correct forecast.


  2. Do not get too scared – the following log is of a man that went down this pass in a normal vehicle. Please look at the date of the log. Well done Lennu and your logs say it all. All depends on the weather but we have to be prepared. Gerhard


    22-Aug-09 by Lennu

    Here, we are. This is the continuation of the story. Please read first the beginning in the log of cache: GC1PVND


    I kept on driving from the previous caches site and soon I found myself on an unpaved road. Until this moment I was only driving on asphalt. Not the best quality I must say, but at least decent. The road was quite ok despite being unpaved. I was passing by villages which seemed to be popped out some science fiction movie. Most of the people on the road were herders. Quite often there were groups of children trying to attract my attention and leaning their hands as for asking for something (money, candies). This people are very poor, I am sure. Driving further I found myself in some sort of canyon with a small river in the middle, the road was climbing higher and higher and the surface of the road became increasingly rougher. A couple of times I was also crossing creeks. Soon I reached the site of the cache. Possibly the highest place along the road. and here..... I have a few comments for the cache owner.


    Take a look at this quote from the cache description:


    "The road is only suitable for a 4X4 but you can walk there, as the cache is near the main road."


    This sentence made me believe that the actual main road was suitable for a normal car, and only the small secondary road leading to the cache was too rough and required a 4x4. This quote was at least for me quite deceiving. I advice you not to attempt this cache with a normal car (check my car) but only with a 4x4. Specifically the road heading SE to the border is quite bad. Actually I should have looked at the picture "road" in the cache page. Look at that and you will have an idea. But let's focus on the cache now.


    I parked my car at the side of the road in the proximity of this small path. I had to walk something like 200m to the cache location. No need to say that the precision of GPS in such an open space environment was quite good. I have never seen "Accuracy: 4m" before. The peak was covered with snow but as I was approaching the cache location I noticed that the general area of the cache was almost clear of snow. I started looking around some of the stones and then I had to conclude that the cache was actually buried in snow. I started to feel cold and I realized that I left my wind coat in the car. Fool me! I was there at an altitude of 3200m and I was not going to give up! I dug some snow and I probed my hand under a promising stone. The cache was quickly in my hands, YEEEES!!!!


    I managed to sign the log with my frozen hands and I headed back to the car. I was just hoping that the road was a little bit better.


    As previously mentioned, that was the highest peak I visited. Really beautiful, no wonder it was selected for a cache. The road was going down and down again and occasionally was quite rough and rocky. I kept on driving carefully and still hoping for better surface. High hopes.....


    The road became worse and worse as it got steeper. In some points I really had to drive extremely slowly. After a while anyway I reached the valley. Altitude: 2400m more or less, if I remember correct. The terrain was flat and I reached the border gate. As soon as I arrived there was this one guy asking me:


    - Is that a 4x4?

    - No - I said

    - Have you been in the road down here?

    - No, is it bad?

    - Well, yes! Certainly not suitable for such car!

    - Wait a minute: is it worse that the one I came from?

    - I don't know - he said - I haven't been there. Just take it easy and drive carefully. You'll be alright. It is quite rocky until the South African Border.


    Apparently the SA border was far ahead. The place where I was only the "exit gate" from Lesotho.


    I got my stamp on the passport and I started driving. After a few hundred meters..... WELCOME TO HELL!!!


    The road was going down a very steep canyon and certainly was not suitable for a car like mine, actually I wouldn't personally go again not even with a 4x4 SUV.... maybe I could try with a tractor or a "monster truck". Stones and holes everywhere. You cannot actually talk about "road surface" because there was no such. A couple of 4x4 were coming down. I stopped to let them pass and they looked at me like I was crazy. I cannot blame them. Then a couple of guys with enduro bikes and a one guy with a quad. The idea of going back crossed my mind but the road was so bad and so steep that it was absolutely impossible.


    The descent into the canyon seemed to be endless. I was struggling not to panic. Actually there were a couple of times when I thought that I needed a helicopter for rescuing me and the car. I had basically two concerns: the first was to get stuck and not being able to go forth nor back. The second concern was about the integrity of the oil pan. It just takes one spiky rock to puncture the oil pan and GAME OVER. So I was trying hard to prevent the bottom of the car to touch the ground. In a couple of occasions anyway I touched. But not in vital points. I didn't stop and I carried on, there was less than one hour of daylight left. I kept an eye on the temperature gauge. If the oil pan is broken then the temperature will raise and that means I am screwed. Temperature still looked good. I kept on driving.


    As I reached the bottom of the road I stopped at the border gate. The guys with the bikes and the quad were there. They congratulated me: "Well done, you are ok! Not bad!" I came out of the car still shaking. The border offices came towards me with a big smile and he said: "Hello sir! You seem to be sweat! How come?" and I said: "How come? Try to drive THIS car on THAT road and then let's see how you sweat".


    So, this is the story, remember: don't do this with a normal car. Infact not even with a brand new shiny SUV.

  3. Photos from the Nissan web site. This will give you an idea what to expect. You do not want to fall down from this one. Could take a day to get to the bottom. :)


    At present only one reponse but lack of money and distance is killing the trip concerning the off road guys. We will still go and even if I have to go down and get the other guys at the border and up again then this is plan C. Icy corner is the most dangerous, if you come from the top down then this is the one that will cause white knuckles. I will go first of the group and my passengers will get out at this point. This one you do alone. If it is too icy then I will add chains on the wheels to break the ice and to get it loose for the rest of the group.


    The problem here is that we are going to be first at the border. We will also be the first guys at this corner. During the night this corner will ice up even more. If it is too slippery then you need to add chains to the back wheels if you are going up, chains on the front if you going down. The chain breaks though the icy layer and will dig into the gravel like a grader track. Low range and slow is the key, fast and you loose all traction and you could slide backwards and you do not want to go backwards. A bike is even worse but at least you can jump off in case of trouble.


    Maybe I must leave my passengers here and let them walk the last bit to the top. I think they will really like me after this trick. (LOL) :)












  4. There are cachers that wants to go along but that do not have access to any 4x4. Therefore I tried another option. I contacted my off road club and I hope we can get some Nissans and some of the grey bearded 4x4 drivers with us. There are some hard core guys with a lot of experience in this group.


    I also hope we get a couple of terranos with us. Maybe we can turn some of them in geocachers. As soon as there is any response I will post this on this listing. There could be space available with them for cachers that do not access to any 4x4 but that would like to go along. I will post any response on this forum and on the listing. Gerhard

  5. Nope, no luck and no will to win. Tom, I hope your team do well, best of luck for the final one and I will hold thumbs for you although I still support Germany even if they are no longer a factor and sitting in the crowd watching how others do it.


    There is a sudden influx of people into the country. Yesterday, some soccer fans had to watch the game at Durban Airport on a wide screen in the bar with a ticket in his pocket and Durban Airport was closed at one stage due to overloading. We also noted more than the usual numbers of planes flying pass our factory to Jan Smuts. Maybe there was a “wait and see” approach from the foreigners to make sure that RSA can deliver on their promises.


    I also noted that there increased activity on my listings; more foreign country visits are being seen. Just maybe we will be able to see some cache visits after the games. I think that some of these visitors will stay and they will explore the country afterwards and some could be cachers. But this will be the odd ones and not a massive increase in the number of logs. Maybe Danie must compare the number of logs 3 months before the world cup and up to present – the graph will show if there was any significant increase in cache finds. I kept and eye on some of the caches near Nelspruit and no significant increase in cache visits can be seen. Gerhard

  6. Willem that will be great.


    Anyone attending with a 4x4 and with an open space please drop me an e-mail. There are cachers that would like to fill that empty spare seat in your vehicle if it is ok with you.


    I will be in Gauteng on Friday (13/07) and I have 3 spaces left in my vehicle but I have 3 cachers that I will meet later and that is going with me up Sani. So I can get 3 cachers to the border post but from there I will a problem. If I have to than I can squeeze 3 cachers with me but then it is tight. My vehicle is a 7 seater but the two at the back is for miniature children. You can put two adults in the back when the seats are removed. All depend how much you want to attend.


    Maybe we are lucky to get an international visitor. I noticed a couple more visits on the listing. iNokia will also be joining so it appears as if the event is gathering momentum. Thanks for the support – I appreciate it. If there are any questions please do hesitate to send an e-mail.



  7. Tom, I hate to break bad news to you. We are going off topic but please forgive me as this is important.


    Geocaching is about numbers right. Geocaching is sometimes also about mystery caches and solutions and calculations. Is soccer not about numbers? Or is this a mystery?


    We have the following:

    Brazil won in 1994, 1970. Add the two numbers together and you will get 3964.

    Argentina won in 1986, 1978. Add the two numbers and you get 3964.

    Germany won in 1990, 1974. Add the two numbers and you get 3964.

    Brazil won in 2002, 1962. Add the two numbers and you get 3964.


    Who will win the world cup?

    Easy to calculate.


    Use reverse logic to resolve the problem.

    Take 3964 and deduct 2010 from it.

    You now get 1954.

    Go back and check who win the cup in 1954 to determine the nation.




    I rest my case you honor. Sorry Tom.


    To get back to the topic. I did noticed an increase in several other countries watching my caches but no visits.




  8. Guys, please ignore the comments of Mr. Pooks. You are in safe hands. Only uninformed people use exceptions to make rules. I am driving off road for nearly 30 years. My abilities are well known and well respected among the off-roaders. I was driving off road when some of us still played in the sand with matchbox cars with little snotty noses. :blink:


    Mr. Pooks I have extremely good news for you. I am in Paarl in December to further your education and to widen your knowledge base so you can make a proper statement based on something. You and I are going for an off-road trip willingly or kicking or screaming. Out of the good of my heart I will give you the three options. Sorry, unfortunately I will not allow spare underpants on this trip. Just wear overalls it is easier to wash. However, I will ask the 4x4 club to send someone along to assist you in the case of any asthma or heart attacks. You will then understand why experienced drivers get in trouble more than the newbie which never try out of fear. After 30 years I can push the limits until it is a crack. I am looking forward to meet you again in the next 162 days. See, I am already counting the days and can’t wait. Sorry, I never let go of a promise or a challenge, it is not in my nature – we will continue this thread in 165 days from now with a feedback session. :lol:


    Back to the event. The terrain rating is high because special equipment is needed and based on possible weather conditions. These trips were done with trailers in tow in the good old days when Dave Summers was still with us. About 10 years ago this pass was a severe challenge today it is a drive to the top. You now have to drive with a 4x4 taxi to get the fear feeling. We could drop the rating to 1 for difficulty and 4.5 for terrain seeming that there is no cache rating of such for your caching grid. I still feel a difficulty rating of 1 is relevant as a person in a wheel chair can drive to this gathering.


    To give you some indication of the road conditions I need to tell you the following story. About 4 years ago we were at Black Mountain pass and it was snowing very lightly. My friend Dave was around the corner out of sight when my daughter said that something is coming from the bottom. I could not believe it – it was a blue Volkswagen Jetta. We were in low range in first gear and here is a guy driving with a normal vehicle at speed while it is snowing. We pulled off the road to give him a chance to pass us and to take a photo. This is not something you see everyday. Dave and I followed him to Sani but he drove like crazy and soon he was out of sight. As we arrived at Sani we noticed the Jetta and someone busy doing something underneath it. This guy was busy sawing off the rear silencer as it was damaged. We went to the pub after this “repair” to hear the story of his life and after admiring the damage to the Jetta which had a lot of character at that stage. He was a young guy, a German student that could not afford a 4x4 for his trip. So he bought the Jetta from someone in Cape Town without any papers at a very good price. The idea was to leave the Jetta with the keys somewhere in Durban on his return to Germany. I am quite sure that they sold him a stolen vehicle. I hope the owner got it back. He then told us that he is planning to go down Sani Pass the next day. He is not allowed to go up the pass but he done his homework and he learned that they will allow him into South Africa coming down the pass. We needed to see this move so the next morning at sunrise we followed him. That day I saw how a normal vehicle turned into a snow plough. He went though icy corner and I had to pray for him. After that day I lost my fear for Sani Pass. He made it to the border. So please attend with out fear – if a Volkswagen Jetta can do it than a 4x4 with low range is more than needed. Gerhard

  9. I wanted to ask the same question. Only 4 foreigners at my caches - my ones are all away from the society so I think this is ok. It is also worth noting that I had a visit by a cacher with the name Carbon Hunter, I wonder if you know him, maybe family. (Lol)


    Thanks CH for the visit and your logs and that was one huge surprise.


    FE and dakardrix who have the most cache stashes should be able to measure the impact of 2010.


    Holland 2-0 and that will be their last win.

    Holland against Germans – Germans win by 3-1.

    Anton, Am I ruining our friendship? :blink:


  10. Ok, planning is under way. We are now 4 cachers in total, sorry Bruce you were about 5 minutes too late. But you have first right if one of the four cachers give it a miss.


    We are targeting 14 August 2010. For this proposed event an alternative location must be planned near Himville in case of extreme weather or pass closure or refusal. I am busy resolving this one and then we will try to get the event published. Gerhard

  11. We are three cachers going up to Lesotho. Date is unknown at present. But it will still be in the winter. We will probably spend a day in Lesotho. I would like to publish an event for our trip. At least if no caches are found then we have an event to log and some stories to share. (Lol)


    I was thinking along the line of getting to the border on Saturday morning first thing. Then a drive up to Sani Pass. The event will be around 09h00 to 11h00 at the highest pub in Africa. As a bonus we can go and hunt for some caches after the event, maybe even plant a couple of new ones. We should be able to find Black Mountain Pass. I think this could be the first event in Lesotho. I hope we have the opportunity to see the frozen waterfall at icy corner.


    So much for the mild stuff. Now comes the hard part. We stay for the night at Sani. This is basic down to earth stuff and it consists of a commune hall where about 20 people can sleep. If there is too many people than you will sleep on the floor. Ok, if you are tough then you can pitch the tent in -18 degree Celsius and in storm winds. Don’t worry I will take a shovel with and I will dig you out the next morning. Make sure you a have log book with you that I can sign for that find. ;)


    Ok, this is serious stuff and you need a real 4x4 for this trip. If you do not have low range then you are in trouble. Snow driving is different and we could encounter severe obstacles such as “Where the hell is the road??” So the terrain rating will be high for this event. We could have extreme weather and if we are lucky we could be snowed in for two weeks. Then we have to select other routes to get out. It happened with me before and I had to exit at the Caledon Border Crossing. So you will have to carry food and diesel/petrol and the basic repair stuff such as fan belts, tape, tyre repair kits, shovel, water and tracks.


    Anyone interested for a real adventure? If you really want some fun we can hold the event on top of Thabana Ntlenyana at 3482 meters above sea level. Highest peak south of Kili. About 7 hours hike to get there. I think Mafadi is the highest peak in South Africa at 3450 meters. My meters could be out and if yes sorry.


    Now for the question – anyone keen to go with????? If yes – which dates is suitable?

  12. I am honoured to announce this one. I received a SMS that cownchicken made the big one. 2000 finds is on their cards. This is great news and they deserve it. I knew that they were in the area and that they move around but they were not logging so we had to wait for some news. Well done, it is great. Time to celebrate.




  13. Ok if I have this correct then the following applies.

    Limpopo 1

    Gauteng 1

    Mpumalanga 3

    Expats 2 (Could be Gauteng 1, North West 1)

    Eastern Cape – 1

    It is strange to see that the Western Cape have no platinum cachers. Is this correct? Gerhard

  14. Well, Wazat if you move then you move. Well done and I see my e-mail is getting flooded again with "Wazat retrieved...", "Wazat place...". :) Busy, busy, busy. I love your TB - with it I can keep an eye on you. :D



  15. Bakgat veels geluk met die 200. Ek het gedog jy staan nog by 50 toe kyk ek gou na jou stats en toe skrik ek. Veels geluk en ek is so bly daar is nog 'n Ermelo cacher en MP cacher wat beweeg. gerhard

  16. Maybe something that someone can use. I use the following pocket queries settings for updating of GSAK. I run this on a Thursday so I am ready to rock during the weekends with the newest information. This is applicable to me - only for the default database; the ones that I still need to find. Maybe you will have to do some adjustments. Caches found by me is a seperate database with a different query.


    Maximum caches: 1000 caches.


    1. 18 Jan 00 – 23 Sep 07

    2. 24 Sep 07 – 12 May 09

    3. 13 May 09 – 1 May 10

    4. 02 May 10 – 31 Dec 11



  17. Cachers I need help. I have a cache with the name “Stone Huts” (GC1DDRY) As part of the cache hunt I also have an additional requirement which is not a prerequisite to log an find to ensure that I do not breach geocaching.com’s rules.


    For this additional effort writing the story I decided it is fair to issue a geocoin after every 11th cache visit. The issue of this coin is now due and this is a problem. All cache visits and all stories have the same chance of getting this geocoin. The cachers that have received a geocoin at this cache are naturally excluded from any future draws. All stories are included and not the last 11 ones.


    In the beginning I had this idea that once in a while a good story will emerge and that the selection will therefore be easy. However, I severely underestimated the story writing skills of cachers. The stories published on this listing are good to read and they are equal.


    I am now sitting with a situation where the coin must be issued and I have no specific story that I can say “This is the best one and it is above the rest”. There are about 5 of them that are equally good. The more I read them the more confused I get. I would not like to use the technique of “Pull a name out of the hat”. Ok, I can also print them without names and hand them to 5 people in my department and instruct them to rate as 1 to 5. Yes, I can also issue a coin to each and every one but that will ruin me. :)


    Maybe this is a shot in the dark and maybe this is too much effort but I would like to appeal to cachers to help me. Please read the stories and rate them as position 1 to 5 and e-mail it to me. Please do not publish it on the forum. I think the format should be something like #1 Cacher Name, #2 Cacher name, #3 Cacher Name, #4 Cacher Name, #5 Cacher Name.


    If you have a story at this listing please do not rate yourself as the winner with 5 names in a row. :) If more than 3 cachers respond then I will award points to each position in the list and the cacher with the most points will be the one receiving the coin. I will wait for about 2 weeks for cachers to respond if any. Thanks. Gerhard

  18. Well done to Danie Viljoen with his milestone of 1000 finds. I have this feeling that his next 1000 is going to be quicker. Welcome to the other side of the 1000 finds Danie. Thanks for the chance of escorting you and the chance to see how you achieved this milestone. It is so much nicer to have a caching friend with you. Sorry for getting you up before 02h00 in the morning but they say “Cachers do it at all hours and everywhere and there is always another one waiting”. :blink: Well done. :)

  19. Thanks Besem, I noticed that you had a great time in Bloem and it looks like you enjoyed it. You moved up quickly with the scores. Maybe I must go and visit that caching route in America where they do more than 200 caches in a day – 24 hours non stop. That should surprise a couple of catchers. Besem, did you know that you have a twin brother in Rustenburg. About a month ago I got the eye when I greeted “you”. Ja broer, die man het gedink ek hou van hom, maar ek wou net vriendelik wees, eish. :wub: Gerhard

  20. Closer to home. Gerhard (From GC17RCZ - owner Gps Storm)


    December 26, 2009 by taeros (189 found)

    As the reputation of this cache preceeds, it did not disappoint!!!!! On arriving at the cache site i had to take a couple of seconds to assess the situation, just like a Bruce Willis movie everything that could go wrong did go wrong . After reading about the recent installation of a cable car at the cache site i was confident to make it a quick snatch and grab, not to be . Being the day after X-Mas the operator was not anywhere to be found, all the costly electrical parts that were carefully sourced from a contractor (that was involved with a prominent construction project in the area), seem to have been a victim of "affirmative shopping", as for the construction of the cable car and the necessary infrastructure which was obviously done by an overpayed and under qualified contractor, was of such a bad standard that i would not have asked my worst enemy to use it, to add to my woe's there was a storm looming and it became very clear i would have to do it the hard way. This meant a long, hard hike down the gorge, through shoulder high brambles, just to reach a Pirana infested river that was turned into a raging torrent after a week of torrential rains. All that remained of the rope bridge was a couple of strands of rope hanging off the surrounding trees, after collecting enough of it I managed to swing to the other side. There i managed to find the cache, and have a well deserved rest before attempting the hike out of the gorge on the other side. To make matters worse the storm that was looming decided to let rip and all visibility went out the window, now i know what Indiana Jones must have felt like. All i could do was to take shelter in the hollow of a tree and sit it out, after ± 3 hours, 12min and 35sec i was cold, wet and hungry and still a long way from my car. To make a long story short the hike was hell. 4 Hours up and up and 5 hours round the mountain only to get to my car to find it was stripped, chopped and carted away for scrap metal or drug money . But is that not why we do this???



    December 25, 2009 by Gps Storm (326 found)

    Wow, this cache has been nothing but trouble for me, sorry Docgerhard. With help and colaboration of Docgerhard and financial boost over the merry season we where able to use the remnant anchoring poles of the escelator to put up a cable car to get you to the top easier (see attached photo hint - just in case the cammo hides it too well).

    I really hope this cable car lasts a little longer than the other solutions I've had. Have fun!!! Will any cachers please let me know if the homeless guy we hired to operate the cable way isn't there, cause he should be on 24/7 duty (thats the least he could do for the R5 a week he gets paid).



    December 19, 2009 by DiePienaars (807 found)


    This cache was on our To Do list for our holiday.

    We came prepared (Backpack with water and food), but when we parked at the waypoint, we decided to that only I would attempt it as it was clear that the terrain rating is certainly a four maybe a five, but after I did not return for a while, the rest off the family came looking me. As I reached the family I found my daughter showing signs of going into early labour. It took us the whole afternoon to get her down the hill as there are no signs off the rope or escalator. Luckily the hospital was just around the corner and reached it just in time. This incident almost spoiled our holiday in the Lowfeld but can now say with pride that I am a grandfather of twins.

    Thanks we will not forget this cache ever.

    No TB in cache found.



    November 15, 2009 by docgerhard (76 found)

    I thought everything about this cache was a joke... This is no $#%@#$ joke.

    After a nice Sunday afternoon lunch, the girlfriend and I set out to try this cache before the evening jamming session with the band at church. Arriving at the parking area, I thought to myself, "Agh, piece of cake..."; but I could not be more fooled. The recent rain storm of Friday night created a gulley or small ravine where I presume the escalator used to be... there is nothing left of it, except for what seems to have been the anchoring poles or something like that. It is unbelievable that water can do that much erosion in such a small time period, but having lived through the storm I guess anything is possible. I totally underestimated the mud and decided to navigate up along the edge of the gulley to the area to which the GPSr seemed to show.


    Apart from getting really wet and dirty (almost like the Crystal tour in the Sudwala caves), Frances slipped on the mud and went down into the gulley. Thank goodness she did not break any bones, but I think geocaching would not be high up on her to do list for the next couple of weeks - speaking of "pimpel en pers" As if being dirty was not enough, the gulley/ravine was too deep for me to reach her hand to pull her up, so I had to leave her there. After struggling down the slope for who knows how long, I finally reached the car to get a towing rope, only to face the mud a second time. With a lot of effort, I finally managed to pull her up - so much for an easy Sunday afternoon cache, but hey thanks for the additional exercise


    After catching my breath, we decided that we had to continue on to the cache despite the initial misfortune. The last 10 metres to the cache was the hardest - I did not want to get electrocuted by the electric fence marking the beginning of someone else's property. And anyway, who in their right mind wants to put an electric fence to keep things out this far out into the bush?


    I thought the cache container was brilliant and the innovation of the hider made the struggle of getting to it worth the effort.


    In: Grasshopper and soldier

    Out: Cow and dolphin


    PS The 100 trillion dollar TB is no longer in the cache.


    Thanks for the cache GPS Storm, and maybe, just maybe if you offer me a drink we can forget the initial misfortunes I suffered on this cache...


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