31-May-2003 -- This visit is dedicated to the late Dr Anthony George Chamberlain.
Mike and Heather Pitcher came over for a visit one evening after their holiday in the UK, their home country. Mike showed me the Garmin etrex that he "inherited" from his father-in-law, Tony Chamberlain, and we immediately decided that this etrex had some unfinished business to do. One evening at dinner on what was to be Tony's last visit to South Africa in Oct/Nov 2002, we talked about doing a confluence-visit while they were here on holiday. Sadly, due to the usual so-much-to-do, so-little-time situation, it did not materialise. Mike and I consulted maps to see which unvisited Confluence Point was closest to Pretoria where we live. 24S 27E was the closest, approximately four hours' drive from home.
We set off in Mike's Suzuki Vitara early Saturday morning, via Warmbaths and Thabazimbi, and reached the CP just before 12 noon. The point was on a farm, about 600 meters from the road. We entered the gate to the farm Rooiboschpan, a cattle and game farm. We found the owner at his hunting lodge, entertaining guests. Before getting halfway with the explanation for the purpose of our visit, the very friendly Mr. Jaco Wentzel gave us permission to go searching for the CP. We located it a mere 100 meters from the lodge, following a vehicle track leading to the feeding and watering place for his cattle, which was right next to the CP (see picture facing west). Technically this was one of the easiest CPs I have ever done, and we could have parked the car right on the spot, had we wished to.
24S 27E is dedicated to Tony Chamberlain, my father-in-law. Tony loved South Africa and he loved his Garmin etrex GPS. It was given to him by his wife Hevina, and it was his favourite toy. In fact he never went anywhere without it when he was visiting us here in South Africa from Bangor, North Wales. Tony took immense pleasure from knowing exactly where he was, exactly where he was going, exactly how far he still had to go and exactly how fast he was going. When Ferdi Schenck first told us about the idea of "confluence hunting", his imagination was fired up and we talked of hunting Confluences using his GPS - a few near the road would have suited him well, just like 24S 27E. Sadly however, he died this year unexpectedly of a heart attack. Hevina thought that in South Africa I could make good of the etrex, so she kindly asked me if I would take care of it.
So here's to Tony. I bagged my first Confluence, and we did it with the etrex. 24S 27E is a funny little spot to locate in the vast bush of Africa, but it is a special spot, and I think he would have liked it here.