Our daughter Tammy past away on 4th June 2012 from Leukaemia. While she was recovering from her first chemo in 2008, we discussed her bucket list and she expressed a wish to go the Namaqua flowers in Namaqualand. This was the first choice on her bucket list that she wanted to do one day once she had recovered.
Unfortunately she was not able to go as she never quite recovered from her illness, so I decided to fulfill my promise to her to take her there one day.
So what started off as a quest to take some of Tammy’s ashes to the Namaqua National Park to be scattered amongst the flowers has now become more than that. Now its about bonding with our two sons and sharing some special moments with them under the African sky while we still are able to do so. We must remember the loved ones taken from us but must also remember to celebrate the living.
Hopefully we will learn more about each other and develop the strong family bonds that already exist. None of us have ever been to most of the places we are going and I personally am really looking forward to sharing this special part of Africa with them. This has also become one of my many bucket list entries which I hope to fulfil before my inevitable demise.
Some of the areas we will be visiting is only accessible by 4x4 vehicles so we will
be in for an adventure I am sure. We will traverse desert mountains, coastal beach
tracks and desert dunes as well as many kilometres of semi-
We will keep you updated on the site for the next few months as we prepare for the trip. Follow us on our journey and post in our forum if you so please.
Looking forward to this bucket item being scratched off the list.....
Each spring the dormant arid winter lands come alive with a flamboyant spread of wild flowers including many rare, unique and endangered plants. Adapting to a climate defying all life, they survive and thrive in a beautiful land of blistering extremes.
Vast tracts of bleak, shimmering semi-
Hauntingly beautiful and seared by a blistering sun, the lava mountains and sandy plains form southern Africa’s largest mountain desert park. Fields of flowers, star studded nights, quiver trees, enormous granite outcrops and the icy Atlantic are but a few wonders that await the visitor to what is truly an adventurers playground
The Defenders name is “Tona Pela” which in Swahili means “Brave of Heart” which happens to be the Filmalter Coat Of Arms motto.
Hopefully she will get us through some of the tough sections safely and in one piece. I have no doubts as to her capabilities as she has served me well for the past four years in the Northern Cape bush doing routes for MTB races. Everything is stock standard on the Defender as I do not believe in fiddling with something that took a team engineers years to develop. Only accessories are a snorkel for the dust.
I am really looking forward to testing her full potential in the bush and deserts of the Northern Cape and Namibia..
I have been planning the route and booking venues since Dec 2012, still not finished with all the venues as I have changed the route slightly. This has meant a change in towns visited and therefore accommodation. It is amazing how much time goes into vehicle preparation, route planning, kit list and so the list goes on and on. Anyway our first night now will be in the middle of the Verneukpan, nothing but stars for company.
The vehicle is almost ready, all that is left is a custom roof rack to be manufactured
for me and my specific requirements. I don’t believe in carrying too much on top
of the roof as it messes about with a thing called ‘centre of gravity’; so its only
spare wheel, hi-