Do you really need a 4×4 Off-roading on the West Coast with two Beetles

Winona Griggs

Do You Truly Require a 4×4? Exploring the West Coast Off-Road with Two Beetles

Let’s talk about something exciting: off-roading on the beautiful West Coast. I recently had an amazing adventure that challenged my beliefs about what kind of vehicle is best suited for this rugged terrain. You see, I went off-roading with not one, but two Volkswagen Beetles – and it was an absolute blast! Allow me to share my experience and give you some insights into whether you really need a 4×4 for your off-road adventures.

Picture this: I’m driving along a winding, rocky trail, trees towering above me and birds chirping in the distance. I come across a steep incline, and the doubts start to creep in. Can my beloved Beetle handle this? After a moment’s hesitation, I press on the gas pedal, feeling a surge of excitement mixed with a touch of apprehension.

As I reach the top of the incline, I can’t help but let out a whoop of joy. I’m amazed at the capability of these little cars! With their nimble handling and lightweight bodies, the Beetles tackle the rocky terrain like champs. The suspension handles the bumps and shocks admirably, making it a smooth and thrilling ride.

But it’s not just about the capability of the Beetles; it’s also about the experience. Off-roading with these unique cars brings a sense of adventure and camaraderie that you won’t find with a typical 4×4. There’s something special about pushing the limits of what’s possible with a non-traditional off-road vehicle.

Of course, it’s important to consider the limitations. The Beetles do have their drawbacks. Their ground clearance isn’t as high as a 4×4, so you’ll need to be mindful of large obstacles. And in particularly treacherous conditions, a 4×4 might have the edge in terms of power and traction.

But here’s the thing: off-roading isn’t always about conquering the toughest challenges. It’s about connecting with nature, exploring new places, and having fun along the way. And that’s something the Beetles excel at.

So, do you really need a 4×4 for off-roading? The answer ultimately depends on your personal preferences and the type of off-roading you plan to do. If you’re looking for a unique and exhilarating experience, the Beetles might just be the perfect fit. But if you’re facing extreme conditions or need the utmost power and capability, a 4×4 could be the better choice.

In conclusion, don’t let anyone tell you that off-roading is only for 4×4 enthusiasts. With the right mindset and a sense of adventure, you can tackle the off-road trails with any vehicle – even a pair of Beetles. So, go out there, explore, and find your own path!

Do you really need a 4x4 Off-roading on the West Coast with two Beetles

So here’s the thing: you don’t need a big, fancy car to go on an adventure. Sometimes, simpler is better. Let me tell you a story about two friends who had this figured out.

These friends had a brilliant idea. They decided to pack up their old Volkswagen Beetles and embark on a journey along the wild dirt roads of the West Coast. They didn’t need all the luxuries of a large vehicle – just their trusty Beetles and a sense of adventure.

Off they went, driving along those rugged tracks, not knowing what awaited them at every turn. They camped under the stars every night, grateful for the peacefulness and the beauty of nature surrounding them. And every evening, as the sun set, they would sit and watch, mesmerized by the colors painting the sky.

It wasn’t about the destination for them; it was about the journey. They didn’t have a set plan or a strict schedule. They simply embraced each day as it unfolded, taking in the sights and sounds of the open road.

They learned that the simple things in life can bring the greatest joy. They found happiness in the small moments, like the laughter shared over a campfire or the feeling of the wind rushing through their hair as they drove with the windows down.

And that’s the beauty of adventure – it can be found anywhere, even in the simplicity of an old Beetle. You don’t need all the fancy gadgets and high-tech gear. All you need is a sense of curiosity and a willingness to embrace the unknown.

So, my friend, remember this: it’s not the size of your vehicle that matters, but rather the size of your spirit. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and explore the world around you. You might just find that the greatest adventures are waiting just outside your door.

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Do you really need a 4x4 Off-roading on the West Coast with two Beetles

By Hendri Mouton and Dieter Pey

So, here’s the thing. When people go off-roading and camping, they tend to show off their fancy, modified 4x4s. It can turn into a competition of who has the best and newest camping gear. But, let me tell you, we decided to take a different approach.

We wanted to experience the true essence of camping, just like they did in the old days. So, we challenged ourselves to go camping on a budget, with the bare minimum. And let me tell you, it was quite an adventure.

Let me introduce you to Pierre Nortjie. He’s a big fan of old VW air-cooled cars. One day, while we were having a casual chat over a beer, he mentioned how difficult it was to find an affordable 4×4 in the crazy expensive second-hand market. That’s when I had a realization.

I looked at Pierre and said, “You know what? You don’t actually need a 4WD vehicle to get to most camping spots around here.” And that’s when the idea started to take shape.

When I came across Pierre’s Beetles, I was impressed by their immaculate condition. However, as I inspected them more closely, I realized that some of them needed a little bit of work before they could be ready for the journey. Bringing them back to life after their long period of inactivity was no easy task, but I was up for the challenge.

Pierre had a wide range of Beetles to choose from, but one in particular caught my eye. It was a vintage 1961 Bug with a beautiful dark blue color and original paint. The years had only added to its charm, with a unique patina that spoke of its history and character. It was love at first sight.

On the other hand, I also found myself drawn to another Beetle that stood out from the crowd. It was an orange 1971 Bug with a powerful 1300cc twin port engine. Its vibrant color and sleek design exuded a sense of adventure and fun. I knew that this Bug was meant for me.

As I made my decision, I couldn’t help but feel a mix of excitement and curiosity. These Beetles had so many stories to tell, and I was about to become a part of their journey. With a little bit of work and a whole lot of love, I knew that these cars would be ready to hit the road once again. And I couldn’t wait to be behind the wheel, experiencing the joy of driving a classic Volkswagen Bug.

Do you really need a 4x4 Off-roading on the West Coast with two Beetles

During our initial scenic test drive, we encountered a few unexpected issues that needed to be resolved before our off-road adventure. First, Hendri’s Beetle broke down a mere 3km from our starting point, so we spent a couple of nights in the garage to fix it up. We had to take out the engine, replace worn-out rubber parts, and perform some general maintenance. Thankfully, Pierre had some vintage roof racks for the Beetles, which came in handy for packing essential camping gear.

These racks worked wonders for fitting in bulky items like recovery sand tracks, a portable braai, firewood, and food crates. Inside the Beetles, we had to be strategic with our space, as the cooler box, drinks, bedding, and camera equipment took up most of the room. Just a few days before the trip, Pierre’s vintage Beetle had some crank seal issues, and unfortunately, we couldn’t find the right parts in time. However, he had another backup Beetle—a light blue 1968, 1500cc model—that we were able to use for the journey.

Do you really need a 4x4 Off-roading on the West Coast with two Beetles

So, picture this: it’s a sunny Saturday morning, and I’m embarking on a little adventure. My destination? Darling, via the scenic Darling Hills road. Right off the bat, I can tell you that the road conditions were less than ideal. Bumpy and uneven, it felt like I was driving on the moon! To make matters worse, I had to deflate my tires to improve the ride and handling. It was a necessary evil, I suppose.

Anyway, despite the rough start, I managed to have a quick pit stop at the Darling Brew taproom for some lunch. It was the perfect refueling station before I hit the road again, ready for the next leg of my West Coast journey.

Now, here’s the interesting part. Can you believe that my trusty Beetles handled the load like champions? Even with all the extra weight from the roof racks, they didn’t disappoint. Sure, they weren’t the speed demons of the highway, but hey, who needs speed when you’re on an adventure, right? Besides, it seems like fellow drivers were pretty cool with being behind us. They waved, honked their horns, and some even snapped pictures as they zoomed past. I guess our adventure-rigged Beetles were quite the sight to behold! Some saw it with nostalgic reverence, while others simply reminisced about the good ol’ “punch buggies” game. Ah, memories!

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But back to the story. After driving for a while, we finally arrived at Velddrif. It was a welcome sight, I tell you. The journey had its challenges, but it was worth it. The open road, the thrill of the unknown, and the joy of meeting new people along the way – it’s what makes a road trip so special.

So, here’s the thing. My orange Bug has been giving me some trouble lately. It’s been developing this annoying flat spot at low RPMs, which makes driving in town a real pain. I’ve tried to fix it before on a test drive, but no luck. Sometimes it seems to go away after giving the Bug a good rev, but that’s not a reliable solution.

As we continued on the gravel road, we soon arrived at Trekoskraal. It didn’t take long before the orange Bug began to lose power and eventually stopped running. I attempted to restart it while we were still moving, but my efforts were in vain, and we came to a halt. Thankfully, Pierre quickly diagnosed the issue – there was no fuel in the carburettor. This could have been caused by a blocked fuel filter or perhaps this Bug just had a big appetite for fuel. I opened the fuel cap and air rushed in, indicating that the fuel tank breather was blocked. With that problem solved, we were back on the road in no time!

Do you really need a 4x4 Off-roading on the West Coast with two Beetles

When I first arrived at the beach in Trekos, I quickly realized that getting down to the sandy shore wouldn’t be easy. The path was rocky and steep, making it impossible for my low-clearance car, which we affectionately call a “platkar,” to continue any further. Fortunately, there was a solution – a 4×4 bakkie that could take us where we needed to go.

As we waited at the top, a powerful Fortuner SUV appeared, tearing up the slope with spinning wheels and rocks flying in every direction. My friend Pierre and I exchanged a worried glance. How were we supposed to make it back up this treacherous hill the next day? Our Beetles, with their low ground clearance and standard road tires, weren’t built for this kind of terrain. But we were determined to find a way.

Carefully, with the help of more experienced drivers, we navigated the best path down the hill. There were a few scrapes on the undercarriage of our cars, but nothing too serious. We made it down in one piece!

Can you believe it? We were cruising along the coast, feeling as joyful as ever, on the sand that was as soft as a cushion. We passed by all kinds of 4×4 vehicles you could think of. The campers, fishermen, kids, and families all paused what they were doing just to catch a glimpse of these two incredible Beetles driving by. They were sitting beside their fully-equipped 4x4s, but that didn’t matter. The road had its challenges, with some rough spots and tricky rocks scattered throughout the sandy tracks and deep sections. But guess what? The Bugs conquered it all effortlessly, as if the terrain was tailor-made for them.

Do you really need a 4x4 Off-roading on the West Coast with two Beetles

As I cruised up and down, searching for the perfect spot to set up camp, I couldn’t help but feel excited about the adventure ahead. The whole trip had been smooth sailing, until we arrived at our campsite. That’s when Pierre accidentally sank the Bug on its chassis, leaving us stuck.

Thankfully, our friend Ryno had joined us with his 4×4 bakkie. However, we had planned for this trip to be self-sufficient, with no external help unless it was an emergency. So, we relied on the sand tracks we had packed. After a few shovels of sand and some strategic placement of the tracks, we managed to free the Bug from its sandy trap. It was a moment of relief.

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With the Bug back on solid ground, we quickly got to work setting up camp. As we did, we noticed a few 4WDs passing by, and some people even stopped to ask if we had really driven them there. It was a testament to our determination and resourcefulness.

Finally, we did it! We had reached our goal, and boy, did we deserve to celebrate. We cracked open a couple of icy cold drinks from the coolers and gathered around the fire. As we sat there, mesmerized by the breathtaking view of the waves crashing against the shore, a sense of accomplishment washed over us.

We couldn’t help but admire the beauty of it all. The sun was slowly setting, casting a warm glow on the scene in front of us. Our two vintage Beetles stood proudly nearby, a testament to all the hard work and dedication we had put into this adventure.

Sure, there were moments when things didn’t go according to plan. Breakdowns, bloody knuckles, and hours of sweat were all part of the journey. But now, in this very moment, we understood why it was all worth it. The challenges and obstacles had only made our achievement more meaningful.

As I sat there, taking in the stunning view, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of gratitude. Gratitude for the opportunity to experience this, for the friends who were by my side throughout the journey, and for the lessons I had learned along the way.

Life is full of ups and downs, twists and turns. It’s not always easy, but it’s these moments of triumph that make it all worthwhile. They remind us that with determination, perseverance, and a little bit of luck, we can overcome any obstacle that comes our way.

So, my friend, I encourage you to chase after your dreams. Embrace the challenges, the setbacks, and the hard work. Because at the end of it all, when you finally reach that goal, you’ll know just how sweet the taste of victory can be.

Do you really need a 4x4 Off-roading on the West Coast with two Beetles

I have some exciting news to share! Trekoskraal, the popular camping site, has recently made a big change. They have decided to close the overnight camping option and now only allow day visits. I was initially disappointed, as I love spending the night under the stars, but after hearing about the reason behind the change, I couldn’t help but appreciate their decision.

I recently stumbled upon a video on YouTube by Hendri Mouton and Dieter Pey, showcasing their epic adventure at Trekoskraal. They were driving these old vehicles and proved that they are still capable of handling the rugged terrain. It was absolutely mind-blowing to see what these vehicles are capable of!

I must admit, I was a bit skeptical at first. I mean, these vehicles have been around for quite some time, and I wasn’t sure if they could still deliver the same level of performance. But boy, was I wrong! These machines truly surprised me.

If you’re curious to see their adventure for yourself, I highly recommend checking out their YouTube Channel. They have some amazing pictures and videos that will leave you in awe. Trust me, you don’t want to miss it!

Oh, and don’t forget to visit their website too! They have tons of additional content and information that will fuel your wanderlust.

So, while the overnight camping option may no longer be available at Trekoskraal, it’s important to remember that change can be a good thing. Sometimes, it’s necessary to shake things up and try out new experiences. Who knows, you might discover something truly extraordinary!

Before I sign off, I want to share another interesting fact with you. Did you know that Trekoskraal is not the only camping site with unique offerings? There are plenty of other amazing places waiting to be explored. It’s all about embracing the adventure and stepping out of your comfort zone.

So, if you’re looking for a new camping experience that will challenge and excite you, I encourage you to keep an open mind and explore the possibilities. You never know what hidden treasures you might find!

Well, that’s all for now. I hope you found this little update intriguing. Until next time, happy exploring!

Pictures and videos by Hendri Mouton and Dieter Pey

You can follow their adventures on their YouTube Channel or visit their website: https://www.zombieoffroad.co.za/

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