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Finally, we are caravanners!


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    I grew up in a family that loved to go on holiday in our caravan. After I was married, my husband and I still went camping, but as newlyweds on a small budget, we had to settle for a tent.

    We started off with a small two-man tent and gradually worked our way up the food chain to a tent that was big enough to stand in, and to have two camp beds in it at the same time.

    I remember one time that we wanted to go camping in Fouriesburg in the Eastern Free State.

    There was a lovely small campsite in a gorge that we loved to visit. On our way there, we saw heavy louds
    gathering in the sky; but, eager to get away for the weekend, we pushed on. By the time we arrived at the gorge entrance, the rain was pouring down. We had to cross a low water bridge to get to the entrance of the campsites, but as the water level had already risen over the bridge, we decided to turn around and check out the campsites in Golden Gate National Park.

    However, it was raining so hard in Golden Gate National Park that the mountains looked like natural waterfalls. Once again we decided to turn around and backtrack to Bethlehem, as it hadn’t been raining there when we’d driven through it earlier.

    At 9pm we stood exhausted and depressed in front of the gate at Bethlehem Dam, with the rain still pouring down. Our only option was to go back home, but at that time of night it was also too far to travel. So we paid our entrance fee, pitched our little A-frame 2-man tent, and jumped into bed with only a hot dog for supper.

    We slept like babies, and woke the next morning with the sun in our eyes, but with a howling, icy wind outside the tent! We tried to cook breakfast, but this was almost impossible with the wind, and we eventually decided that it was time to pack up.

    About three years ago, we had another of our adventures in Molopo National Park on the Botswana border in the middle of December. Yes, in the middle of December, with temperatures in the mid-40s. We braved the heat for two days, and then took down our tent to clean it before folding it. Apparently we’d been camping on a scorpion nest… hundreds of little scorpions were running around like ants!

    It was then that we decided it was time to upgrade to something higher off the ground than a tent, and started our search for a caravan or camp trailer that would suit our needs.

    Although we found luxurious caravans and trailers, we did not want to break the bank or buy a big towing
    vehicle with all the extra cost involved in that − we had only recently bought our Nissan NP200 bakkie, and wanted to keep it. So, we started looking at the smaller caravans like the Sherpa Tiny, Panther, Skipper, and Teardrop.

    Our final decision was made on the day we saw an advertisement for the new Sherpa Tiny Lite. We phoned Mike in Cape Town, and placed an order. You can imagine our surprise when Neville from head office in Edenvale phoned to say that we could collect our caravan before they closed for the December
    holidays. As hubby had to work, it was my dad and I who set off to Joburg to collect the Tiny Lite.

    It exceeded all my expectations. We had no trouble towing it, even in the Joburg traffic; and when we reached the open road, my dad offered me the wheel of his Bantam 1600 – and it was just a breeze all the way home.

    We couldn’t wait to get all our camping stuff loaded in and sorted, so we “camped” in the back yard for two days, just to organise and admire it.

    The family was planning to go camping over the Christmas weekend, and we were burning to go along, but work commitments did not allow this. I was over the moon when on the Friday before Christmas, hubby told me that we could go for one night. We packed in a hurry and were on the road early that Saturday morning − the day before Christmas.

    Within five minutes of our arrival at the campsite, we’d pitched the awning, our chairs were out, and the canoe was in the water.

    It was an awesome day with the family, with a picture-perfect sky and breath-taking sunsets. And, as the
    ultimate bonus, dry cosy beds without any nasty bugs.

    I cannot wait for this year’s camping trip. Sherpa Tiny Lite rocks!

    By Leon & Yolanda Myburgh

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