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Offline RobC

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Re: Sak River
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2009, 11:20:32 pm »
Great RR TT! I love the history/geology commentary as well. :thumleft:
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Offline Trailrider

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Re: Sak River
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2009, 11:36:02 pm »
Great stuff!!!
 

Offline michnus

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Re: Sak River
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2009, 12:57:24 am »
Absolutely bloody faantastic TokTok!  :thumleft:

You look a bit like you riding a mini-bike  ;)

Offline fat b

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Re: Sak River
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2009, 08:08:19 am »
Great RR ! Keep it coming!

 THE CHALLENGE MAY NOT BE EASY , BUT IT'S NOT IMPOSSIBLE.
SO MANY PLACES, SO LITTLE TIME !

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Offline ratrap

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Re: Sak River
« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2009, 11:15:46 am »
Wonderfull reading!!!
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Offline madmike999

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Re: Sak River
« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2009, 11:47:43 am »
 :happy1:
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Offline 2 Stroke Dan

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Re: Sak River
« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2009, 12:05:23 pm »
A smallbike ride with a [fun] purpose! Fanbloodytastic!
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Offline tok-tokkie

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Re: Sak River
« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2009, 06:25:34 pm »
EDIT: I increased the size of my photo sizing tool to 1000 pixels across for the map as my labels were a bit small.  I forgot to reset it to 800 before converting these photos so they are all too wide for the page.  I apologise for that.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Day 6   Sakrivierpoort to Williston     090928  Monday    247 km  8h 15m

One of the VERNAC (Vernacular Architectural Society) members comes from Loxton.  Her brothers have farms in the area; I stayed with Martin and Mariaan Scholtz of Sakrivierpoortplaas for the night.  I had brought the 1:250 000 maps of the Sak river with me and Martin marked them up with his recommended route; basically the red dashed roads closest to the river.

Had a few beers, nice supper and wine before bed and was shown part of the farm.  One interesting thing is martin keeps a few Nguni cattle which are the only ones that will eat fluitriet.  There are now two types of fluitriet; the smaller local variety and the larger, introduced, Spanish variety but both spread where ever there is shallow water but these cattle keep them in check.  Besides merino sheep martin also grows garlic; large amounts have been imported from China completely disrupting the local market to the extent that the local farmers no longer hire seasonal part-time workers.  In other words locals have lost their income because of these imports.  Martin says the Chinese garlic is not at all bad but they imported so much and flooded the market with it that it stayed on the shelves for far too long and it has a limited shelf life so, in the end, it was very inferior garlic that was being sold.

Stupidly I have no photos of them or their nice farm.  Lesson learned!


This is looking downstream from the poort soon after leaving Martin’s farm.  This is, to me, the prettiest stretch of the Sak river.  Later I will post a picture of the Vis river (a tributary of the Sak) valley which is, to me, really picturesque.


First real watercrossing on the Sak; right in the poort.


The Sak as it exits the poort. 

Some more history

I recounted how there had been almost continuous commando activity for 10 years yet the trekboers were having to retreat under the continual raids by the San.  In 1795 the Cape was taken over by the British (it continued until 1803 then the Dutch regained control until 1806 and then the British invaded & finally took control).  With the new British authorities came a different approach to the border conflict problem.  They sent John Barrow to assess the frontier problems (there were even bigger problems on the frontier with the Xhosa and that was the economically more important area).  Barrow was accompanied by the landrost of Graaf-Reinet when he went to negotiate with the San to the north.  The went as far as the Gariep (Orange) and the Tarka rivers but the San avoided them except for one small party the crept up on.  Despite strict instructions from Barrow they were attacked and one was killed in cold blood; the landrost claiming that a shower of arrows had been fired at the party (Barrow was right there and knew it to be a lie).  The actions of this (unrepresentative?) group of colonists greatly influenced the perceptions of the British of what the cause of the tension on the border was.  I quote from the book:

Quote
It is no exaggeration to state that the British policy towards the San, on both the eastern and northern frontiers, was shaped by Barrow’s experiences on this occasion.  Barrow’s impression of the San was that they were ‘mild and manageable in the highest degree.’  In his opinion, they were far more sinned against than sinning, forced to retaliate as best they could against ‘the brutality and gross depravity of the boors’, who habitually enslaved their women and children while ceaselessly trying to drive them from their land.  Though Barrow acknowledged that the loose political structures of the San made it difficult to negotiate a far-reaching peace, he became convinced that the prime cause of the hostilities existing between them and the colonists was the commando system.

Please note that that one brutal event shaped the British policy.  There was a long and bitter sequence of events leading up to the ‘boor’ behaviour towards the San but Barrow formed his opinion on just this single event largley.  The British policy was to partition the country with a definite border and each group should stick to their side of it – no exceptions whatsoever.  This policy had been suggested by the veldwachtmeester of the Roggeveld, Floris Visser and it fitted in with what Barrow suggested to the Governor, MacCartney . Furthermore they decided to use missionaries to work amongst the San to convert them to a pastoral existence (in other words make them change from being San into being Khoikhoi; change from being hunter/gatherers to become pastoralists).


This is a map from the book.  It shows the boundary following the Sak river as it flows across to where it joins the Riet (and Vis) rivers between present Willeston and Brandvlei (same level as Calvinia).  To the right of the river was San territory, to the left was trekboer territory. 

Sakrivierpoort where I spent the night is just at the first kink in the river.  I followed it all the way up to the Gariep (Orange) river, though it changes its name to Hartbees along the way.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 10:10:40 am by tok-tokkie »
 

Offline tok-tokkie

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Re: Sak River
« Reply #28 on: October 17, 2009, 06:29:44 pm »
Only one mission station was established in the San area east of the Sak river by Kicherer of the LMS in Blydevooruitzig (near Canarvon probably) 1799 about 1 days journey north of the Sak river.  In 1800 it was moved southwards to be on the Sak river.  In 1806 it was abandoned as it had been dry between 1800 & 1806 – a serious drought period. The Sak river mission station is marked on one of the maps in the book as being slightly east of Fraserberg.  I stumbled upon a drawing of it on the internet  (& had huge trouble finding the source again).


Look at the shape of those hills and compare them to the hills in the last two photos – just about the same except my hills are much bigger but did the artist reduce the size to fit the picture & look at the name ‘Sak-river’s gate’ = Sakrivierpoort. *source*  I have ridden right down the river and, although this is a bit further east than the position shown in the book, I wonder if the mission was not right here.

'-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
EDIT May 2017
My wife, Antonia, is an occasional outside lecturer at the Archaeology dept at UCT.  They have been examining the Sak River Mission Station so from them we learned where it is and gained permission to access it as it is on private land & quite far from the road.  We went there in my Terios in 2015.

When I planned the original bike trip I knew approximately where the mission station was and noticed on the 1:250 000 map a farm named Kerkplaas which I guessed got its name from the mission.  It is there but the farm has since been subdivided and Kerkplaas no longer contains it.


It was a blazing hot day and we were there at noon.  You can recognise the shape of the hills from the drawing but this is actually looking from the west side.  The mission is on the opposite (east) side of the hills.  We went through but did not see the actual ruins – it was too hot to want to bash around much looking for them.

'---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Mission policy did not work out.  The San had an extremely rich and entrenched belief system so Christianity had no appeal or attraction for them.  The missionaries could not speak their language which hardly helped.  But the concept of converting an ancient society based on hunting and collecting veldkos who followed the game and veld through the seasons to be sedentary keepers of sheep and cattle was just a delusion by the authorities.  One does not simply abandon your lifestyle.


Quite a bit further along at Robertskraal farm.  I had got lost & had to turn back to get back on course.  My version of the Garmin Topo maps is not the latest and is not routable.  The topo maps are an utter disgrace as far as cartography goes.  The background colour mari biscuit, the contours are thick dark brown lines but the secondary roads that are shown as red-dashed lines on a 1:250 000 map are tiny grey dashed lines on the Zumo – absolutely invisible when you are riding.  If they reversed the contour & secondary road symbols it would be a huge improvement (& they could then make the grey lines a bit thicker to make them visible).  I ride with the scale set to 200m.  I used the 1:250 000 maps from here on until I went back to bigger roads on the way home.  The topo maps are useless, T4A shows absolutely nothing & streetmaps never claimed to be any use in these conditions.  Thank goodness i brought the 1:250 000 with.
Lots of water here.



The red dashed road I was riding.


I think that was the only river sign I saw saying Sak.  A better bridge ahead.


The bridge with what I originally thought were Karee trees but now I wonder if they are not escaped poplars.  Just about flowing still – that is a puddle under the bridge.  That is a eucalyptus tree on the left – I wrote a little about them yesterday.


Looking downstream at the bridge.


The Sak is on my left.  The nice road I was riding along. I am now riding in the Nieuweberge (old spelling) region.  This was one of the two areas where the San were very strongly established (the other was Sneeuberg north of Graaf-Reinet).  All the way to Williston that day I was in prime San territory.  That is why the mission was built in this area.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 10:15:14 am by tok-tokkie »
 

Offline tok-tokkie

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Re: Sak River
« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2009, 06:33:31 pm »

The first dam.  That is the earth dam wall on the right at the top of the picture.  This is the track I went down to get right up to it.


The concrete spillway for the dam with the earth wall behind.  Notice the slabs of rock.  There were a few ducks and coots on the dam.


Leaving.  There is still water in the river below the dam.


There was this drift on my road though that is not the actual Sak river.  I like the picture as it was just the sort of thing I was looking for on this trip; all by myself far away from anybody.


I went past this corbelled building and took a photo of it and the co-ordinates on my GPS.  What first got me to the area was these buildings.  A friend of ours, Pat, is doing a masters degree about the corbelled buildings of the Karoo now that she is retired.  There are quite a few of them  but not much is known about them.  She came on an exploratory trip and my wife Antonia, who is an archaeologist, went along to help her & I went along for the ride (not in the ‘on the bike’ sense of the word).  I wrote up about them on another site so will post that here and give you a link about them instead of expanding this thread.  *linky* The photo was just intended for Pat as a record so is not composed in any way.

The thing about a corbelled building it has a roof but no wood is used at all in its construction – except the doors if it has one & for some of the windows.  I posted about poplar trees having been introduced into the Karoo; well this is what was sometimes done before those trees were available.  Not much is known about them but Pat hopes to learn a lot and then we will know.
Notice the eucalyptus trees at this farmhouse.  Also Peruvian pepper trees – the trees that are planted as shade trees at so many roadside lay-byes in the Karoo.  They are good tough trees for this tough environment.  Lots of wood at this place now but they are all introduced trees.  Now there is timber to build with.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 10:19:24 am by tok-tokkie »
 

Offline tok-tokkie

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Re: Sak River
« Reply #30 on: October 17, 2009, 06:34:35 pm »

About an hour later at Maanhartskraal.  Notice the white salt (?) deposit. Such a peaceful river here. It must be very brak but I did not taste it.


The bridge I took the photo from.  Is it just this high to keep the road level or does the Sak come down in serious flood?  The first I would think.


Turn off the R356 back onto red dashed road. You have it all to yourself out here.


Further along.  The whole Karoo is peaceful.  I really liked being here and I appreciate why the San cared for it so deeply.


Upstream.


Downstream.  I crossed the Sak here at Weltevrede on a 1959 bridge but came back as that road leads away from the river and wanted to stay on my red-dashed route which keeps closer to the Sak.  It would seem the farmer was just as weltevrede as the San used to be.  People brought up in the Karoo are always happy when they get back.  But it was noticeable on this trip how many farmhouses are no longer lived in.  I don’t know the full story – partly many farmers now own more than one farm.  A string of farms stretching from Loxton to Canarvon are all now owned by the same farmer.


My red dashed road went through this little drift but it is not the Sak.


Getting towards Williston.  The Sak is now flowing through very level ground – it is where the line of green trees is to be seen on the left.  Nice Karoo koppies in the background.  Prime San territory I would think as they could live on the side of the koppies and check the game on the veld below


Sak river at Walkraal just outside Williston.  The last of the water.  There is a dam just upriver of here that I could not get to.  I stayed in a B&B in Williston.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 10:24:38 am by tok-tokkie »
 

Offline tok-tokkie

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Re: Sak River
« Reply #31 on: October 17, 2009, 06:55:11 pm »
This is an old post of mine from another board.  This San water storage hole is very close to where I was on this trip.

----------------------------------------------------------

San (Bushman) watergat



On the road from Fraserburg to Loxton there is a road turning south at a farm called Brandfontein (with a very smart sign at the T junction).  This road runs down to the Sak river with a farm called Sakrivierpoort nearby belonging to Celeste’s brother.  There is this interesting San (Bushman) ‘watergat’ along the road.




This is it.  They chiselled the crack in the rock surface wider so that the water trickled down to a bowl in the rock.  When we were there the spring was dry and the bowl was empty.  


But even at this dry time there was still water when you lifted the covering stone off the deepest part of the bowl.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2009, 09:18:28 am by tok-tokkie »
 

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Re: Sak River
« Reply #32 on: October 17, 2009, 07:37:39 pm »
nearly missed this report ..... thanks to a reference in another thread by trailrider i saw it

it's fantastic

 ....... no petrol station pics, no bling, no bravado

just the real meaning of 'have a bike and nothing will stop me'  in a nutshell.

lately. this is refreshing

Thanks Toktokkie
 

Offline Trokkie

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Re: Sak River
« Reply #33 on: October 18, 2009, 11:14:47 am »
Toktokkie when the Sak do come down it does with meaning. I hane a friend who farmed on the Sak and he tells me there can be a lot of water for a short time. Nice report!! :thumleft:
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Offline tok-tokkie

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Re: Sak River
« Reply #34 on: October 18, 2009, 05:04:59 pm »
Sak River Day 7     Williston to Verneukpan    090929  Tuesday    320km  8h 44m

I stayed in the B&B of Elsa van Schalkwyk.  She told me that there was a nice restaurant in the village.  Had I not been told I think I would have hesitated before ordering food.  What was off putting was the decor.  There were hand made posters on the wall for gospel singers and a rugby club outing, things like that.  The floor was yellow and white Marley tiles as wide diagonal bands across the place with pine tables and chairs.  The bar counter was in the corner behind the door with a not very interested overweight barman watching WWF wrestling.  There was an opening without a door to the room next door that seemed to be an old hairdressing salon as there appeared to be fittings for about 5 of those hair washing basin things – surely not!  The best bit was the hanging ‘bamboo’ curtain in the window behind the bar – it was made of pieces of braai wood joined together with cup hooks screwed into the ends of each.  Taking Elsa’s word I ordered beer & food & wine when the food arrived.  It was great.  I kick myself for not going back to get my camera to record the place.  These sort of places are becoming scarce as they are being replaced by franchise chains like Spur, Steer, Wimpy and MacDonalds.  I avoid those places as they are all exactly the same with the decor devised by some ‘designer’ in the pay of the corporation and are completely characterless.  I have yet to eat anything in a MacDonalds & it is one of my ambitions to never do so.  One of the best road reports I have read is on Adventure Rider; it is about a trip from Hong Kong to Tibet and it records the villages passed through and also the suppers they had.  There is a tremendous variety of food in China as you move from place to place & this guy lovingly recorded it.  We don’t have those local variations but I want to record these sort of places when I next go there as they will be gone soon.   That Chinese ride report is *here*

After a nice breakfast cooked by Elsa I was off.  She is the dowager of a farm just as I entered the village the previous day.  She has great interest and pride in the farm and the area and has written 13 typed page guide for a walking tour of the farm; she gave me a copy – I will post a OCR scan of the first part of it as the next post on this thread; it is in Afrikaans which will suit many here and it amplifies some of what I have written.
 

Offline tok-tokkie

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Re: Sak River
« Reply #35 on: October 18, 2009, 05:05:59 pm »
ZAKRIVIER

Die Zakrivier ontspring in die Nuweveldsberge, en vloei slegs na goeie reen – ongeveer 300 min per jaar. By Groot Vloer tussen Brandvlei en Kenhardt soeei die rivier oor 'n afstand van 450 km
.
Voor Desember 1847 was die Zakrivier die Noordelike grens van die Kaapkolonie.
Williston (voorheen Amandelboom), net sons die plase Walkraal, Kqffirskjoor en Bokwater wat u gaan besoek, was toe buite die koloniale gebied gelee. Die streek,wat gedurende die 19de eeu in die wandel bekencligestaan het as die Achterveld, Achterw8reld of doodgewoon Kareeberge, was op daardie tydstip die gedwonge toevlugsoord vir talle nomadiese veeherdersgroepe en enkele groepies Boesmans. Die Boesmans het verwoed teenstand gebied teen die indringing van veeherders in die gebied wat die wild in hulle jaggebiede uitgeroei het en die alters skaars waterbronne In die Kareeberge beset het.

Narrate die Boesmanweerstand in die streek gedurende die eerste helfte van die 19de eeu dear middel van meedoenlose kommando-aarivalle verbreek is, het steeds meer veeboere uit (lie aanliggende Nuweveld, Roggeveld en Hantam seisoenaal met hul vee in die gebied rondgetrek. Aan die voorpunt van hierdie veeboermigrasies het'n groot aantal!Basters asook verarmdes uit die blanks sektor gestaan. Die meeste van hierdie mense was nie opgewasse teen die korlipetisie vir grond in die digbevolkte omliggende distrikte rile. Gevolglik is hulle oor die noordelike grens van die kolonie gedruk en het hulle'n meer permanente swerwersbestaan in die Achterveld'gevoer. Teen 1845 het honderde Basters met hul vee in die Achterveld rondgeswerf en die handjievol permanente waterbronne van die streek beset. 'Tussen die seisoenale intrekkers A die aanliggende distrikte en die Bastergemeenskapr' het dikwels groot wrywing geheers oor toegang tot die beperkte water en welding van die streek. Veral tydens droogtes het gemoedere tussen die kompeterende groepe dikwels hoog geloop.

In die loop van 1843 het die Rynse Send inggenootska p op uitnodiging van die Kareebergbasters 'n kommissie van ondersoek na die gebied gestuur om die wenslikheid van 'n sendingstasie in die Kareeberge te ondersoek. Dit het uitgeloop op die stigting van die Amandelboom sendingstasie in Desember 1845 toe twee Dube sendelinge, eerwaardes Lutz en Beinecke, op Amandelboom gevestig het. Die doel van die sendingstasie was om 'n gevestigde Christelike gerneente onder die Basters te vestig.

Om in die geestelike behoeftes van 'n nomadiese gemeenskap te,voldoen was een van die g'footscte problems waarmee die sendelinge van meet ;if aan opgesaal was. Dit sou irnmers bale moeilik wees om mense wat voortdurend op trek was, suksesvol te bearbei en gedurig onder streng kerklike toesig te hou., Gevolglik het die Rynse sendelinge vanuit die staanspoor planne beraam om die nomadiese veeboere meer permanent te probeervestig. Die moontlikheid om hulle gemeente van-nomadiese veeboere tot gevestigde landboOers te verander, het in die Zakrivier gels. In hulle voortvarende inisiatief en met alle goei& bedoelinge het die sendelinge egter dikwels projekte aangepak wat direk in konflik was met die bards werklikhede van 'n semi woestyn. Toe die Zakrivier die eerste keer na hulle vestiging sy walle oorstroom het, het die sendelinge opgewonde dit in die vdoruitsig gestel om groot landerye vir graanverbouing op die vloedvlaktes van die rivier aan te 16. As daarin geslaag kon word om groot hoeveelhede koring te verbou, is in sendinggeledere geredeneer, sou dit 'n gevestigde gemeenskap in die hand werk en die alewige rondtrekkery agter vee uitskakel. Op inisiatief van eerwaarde Beinecke is mettertyd sells slulswerke en'n leidamstelsel aangel8 om water uit die Zakrivier te keer. Hierdie metode wat op presies dieselfde beginsel werk as wat deur die antieke Egiptenare langs die Nyl toegepas is, is steeds in gebruik.

Helaas het die Eurosentriese sendelinge nooit heeltemal daarmee rekening gehou dat in die Kareebergstreek in die reel Meer slegte as, goeie rednseisoene voorkom, en dat slags periodiek voldoende neerslag vat wat die Zakrivier laat stroom. Hoewel groot hoeveelhede koring sours langs die Zakrivier verbou is, kon die sendelinge nie daarin slaag om hul nomadiese veeherders¬gerneente in gevestigde landbouers te verander nie. Daarvoor was die reenval in die streak in die eerste plek net te wisselvallig. Daarbenewens was die 19de-eeuse veeboere ook te verknog aan hulle'vetstertskape,wat in feitlik al hulle daaglikse behoeftes voorsien het. Vir die meeste 19de-eeuse veeboere was vleis doodgewoon stapelvoedsel en brood 'n luukse waarsonder vir maande lank klaargekom kon word. Gevolglik het die sendelinge se tuinmaakidees, ten koste van veeboerdery, nie geredelik ingang gevind nie. By geleentheid het eerwaarde Beinecke byvoorbeeld geskok in sy dagboek k van 'n man vermeld wat so verknog was aan sy vleisdie6t dat hy dit prontuit gestel het dat hy sy mond nie aan brood sou sit nie omdat dit vir hum net soos klei gesmaak het. Vir hierdie man het eerwaarde Lutz se gereelde preke tydens droogtes dat "die liewe God dit weer goad geag het om die Easters se broodmandfle ietwat hoer te hang"' kennelik min indruk gemaak!

Totdat die Bastergemeenskap gedurende die 1860's uit die gebied weggetrek het, het die Zakrivier nietemin 'n belangrike rot in die leavens van die sendinggemeente gespeel. In die "boom- en waterlose woestyn", soos die sendelinge telkens die gebied getipeer het, was vioeiende water altycl 'n groot bron van vreugde. Wanneer die Zakrivier na droogtesiklusse weer stark gevloei het en sy walle oorstroom het, het die hale sendinggemeenteby die eerste berigte datdie rivier aan,die "afkom" was, afgesit rivier toe om die skouspel te aanskou. Normaalweg het eerwaarde Lutz 'n Idanksegglngscliens gehou waarna die toehoorders hulle in die oorvloed water kon verlustig. Inwoners van Amandelboom het ook nooit die geleentheid laat glip om, uitgedos in hulle kiskiere, belangrike besoekers aan Amandelboom by die Zakrivier in te wag en under psalmgesang te verwelkom nie. Spoggerige perderuiters en baldadige skoolkinders het clan die uitgeputte reisigers tot by die kerk vergesel
 

Offline tok-tokkie

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Re: Sak River
« Reply #36 on: October 18, 2009, 05:07:50 pm »

The museum was the Mission church.  In 1768 Johan Abraham Nel planted an almond tree in honour of his son’s birth. (That date shows he was up here pretty early on.) This tree eventually became enormous, and was an oasis in the dry treeless area of the Sak river.   Later in 1845 Johann Heinrich Lutz established a mission station named Amandelboom (almond tree) at this spot.  When white farmers later moved in they had no church of their own so the mission congregation invited them to use their church. Elsa told me that this is the only congregation in South Africa where the white congregation were originally members of a mixed congregation.  In 1883 the name changed to Williston but the coloured part of town is still known as Amandelboom.


I really liked this fence at the museum.  Those are the heads of drilling machines.  Much bigger than water  boreholes, I have no idea what they would have been used for in this area.  Anybody with something to say about them?



Elsa told me that the museum curator ran a project for children of the coloured township of Amandlesfontein to paint the vibracrete wall of the sports ground in 2008.  They had to demonstrate on paper what they were going to paint so only those with some ability were chosen to paint.  The community is very proud of the wall and when someone put graffiti on the wall the community tracked him down & had the police deal with him.  By getting the community involved the curator ensured that they identified with and took possession of the project so they now look after it.  If you just give or impose something on a community they never identify with and cherish that thing.


But look over the fence at the state of the soccer field.  SAFA has done nothing to promote soccer at grass roots level & should be hauled before the sports committee at Parliament to answer why & be held accountable.  To get a good national team you have to start by training school children, then club players and on to provincial level.  SAFA has done nothing to assist and improve soccer at a local level – if you don’t water the roots there will be no crop to reap.
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EDIT Nov 2018.  I wrote that in 2009.  I am now having to update all the pictures because of the 1000 picture limit at Flickr.  I just want to say – look at the consequences of SAFA having not watered the soccer seedlings – there is no crop to reap.  They keep firing the Bafana Bafana coaches but they have no real talent at their disposal. It is a management problem
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Outside Williston I took this red-dashed road – the Sak is over the brow of the slope.


The Sak at Bruinskop.  Wide, shallow and sandy without surface water.


A bit further on.  That is the ‘valley’ of the Sak behind.  If you want to ride nice verlate roads then go to the Groot Karoo.


This photo shows the beginning of the massive floodplain of the Sak river.  Later on it becomes the Grootvloer (north of Brandvlei) then the river’s name changes to Hartbeesrivier before Kenhardt. (Mapsource uses Grondvloer instead of Grootvloer.) 


I come out of the red dashed road to join the R353


A bit further on the R353 does a T junction where the left road leads to Sakrivier rail terminus (long since unused).  That road crosses the Sak where it looks like this and a little further on it joins with the Vis river which has come down from Sutherland.


Sakrivier rail terminus.  The last train came here a long time ago.


This is the Sak river just outside Brandvlei.  It has now gained water from the Vis river which joined it a bit further upstream.


The Vis river.  This picture was taken on another trip.  There is much more rain along the western side of the Great Karoo plain which collects in the Vis river.  It runs in a wide and deep valley.  The rain that falls along the western escarpment but not further east is what limited how far east the trekboere went.  In summer they came up here and grazed their animals but in winter they went down to the Onder Karoo (Tankwa Karoo) where they had legplaats.  A legplaats was their farm down in the lowlands where they spent the winter but in summer they drove their animals up the Gannaga, Ouberg or Verlaatekloof passes up the Roggeberg to be in the Groot Karoo.  They could not drive their animals much past the Sak river because of the lack of water and good grazing.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 10:35:28 am by tok-tokkie »
 

Offline tok-tokkie

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Re: Sak River
« Reply #37 on: October 18, 2009, 05:12:35 pm »
Here is a little information about the three groups, the Khoikhoi, San & trekboers.

Khoikhoi

Firstly the Khoikhoi.  Currently it is politically correct to refer to Hottentots as Khokhoi.  The Khoikhoi were pastoralist herders with flocks of sheep and herds of cattle.  They were migratory, moving about with the seasons following the best available grazing.  Their living shelters were made of reed mats  on a framework of sticks stuck into the ground.


That is a modern reconstruction so is in pristine condition.


These are recent scruffy ones where modern materials are replacing the traditional reed mats.


San

The next group  are the San; formally known as the bushmen. The San were hunter gatherers – they hunted game and collected veldkos; they did not plant crops or keep any animals. The San were an egalitarian society – they had no hierarchy; everyone was equal.  They lived in small groups of between 6 and 30 people with 13 been about average.  They had very few possessions; being migratory their shelters were made of a reed covered framework that could easily be carried along as they moved.


This is a modern San building (check the clothes) in Botswana.  The ones drawn in the Karoo often were flat sided simple pitched roof style.


This picture is of one in the Kalahari.
They often used rock overhangs as shelters.


Khoisan

The Khoisan is a collective name covering both the Khoikhoi and the San used when it is either not certain which were involved, or when both were involved or when talking about both communities as a single group.  Both groups were  migratory; the Khoikhoi taking their animals to where the grazing was as the seasons changed and the San following the game as they moved around in response to the changing seasons.  They lived in the same areas amicably most of the time as they were not competing for the same resources – except water at times.


Trekboers

The Trekboers were similar to the Khoikhoi in that they too were herders but they were largely of European origin.  The big difference was they had horses, wagons and some guns (ammunition in short supply).


The matjieshuis in the lower photograph is no different to what the Khoikhoi used.  It was simply a home made tent really.


The wagon was the basis of home life.


This is interesting because it is one of the corbelled buildings I showed yesterday.

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If you look back at the picture of the Sak River Mission in yesterday’s post you will see that there are several matjieshuise in it.  They could be used by any of the three groups discussed here.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 10:42:29 am by tok-tokkie »
 

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Re: Sak River
« Reply #38 on: October 18, 2009, 05:14:54 pm »

That is the beginning of the Grootvloer in the background before Brandvlei.  In flood the Sak gets lost in the Grootvloer.  Think back to that geology picture of the flood plains.  When that was taking place this place teemed with animals, there was some huge catastrophy 251 million years ago when 96% of all species became extinct – including plants.  This is long before the dinosaurs developed – they died in a later (much smaller) mass extinction.   Slowly vegetation recovered, but it takes millions of years for new plants to evolve to replace the extinct ones and the sedimentation changes slowly to record this.


From Brandvlei I decided to go to Verneukpan.  It is a place I have wanted to see since I was at junior school and read about Malcolm Campbell’s land speed record attempt (his son Donald was setting water speed records at the time which led me to know about his father’s attempt at Verneukpan).  That is a small pan on the way there from Brandvlei.


That is the beginning of the pan in the distance.


When you come in from the Brandvlei side there is a notice board about the Camp.  I had read posts on WD & knew to ignore that as the half of the pan this side is exploited by the landowner but on the other half you have free access.  But that is the pan right there – this photo was taken close to the fence between the farms around the middle of the pan looking back the way I had come.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verneukpan


That is a notice board giving details of Campbell’s record (he did not beat the world absolute speed record but did create a new 8km record).


The speed track is behind the locked gate with my sporty machine in front.


On the opposite side of the road to the 1929 speed track there is no fence & you can ride onto the pan.


Showing what the surface is like.


I got a puncture soon after I left Verneukpan.  My topbox is now the center stand (the black thing in front of it is the seat).


After fitting the spare tube I moved a bit away from the road & pitched tent.  That topbox case is now my stool.  Later I sat on the seat leaning back against the warm bike as the air cooled after sunset.


If I zoom in i can show that I had nice John West tuna salad, La Motte Millenium 2003 in a proper wine glass for supper.  Wind got up in the night but I put my riding jacket over the sleeping bag and was soon as warm as ever.

I will write a separate post about my various tyre problems.  This was the second flat I had had so far this trip.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 10:47:40 am by tok-tokkie »
 

Offline Lootch67

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Re: Sak River
« Reply #39 on: October 18, 2009, 07:37:35 pm »
Very interesting report. Thanks for posting.
98 Black AT & the wheel from a 04 KLR 650.