We were the first to arrive at the gathering point, the Texaco petrol
station in Roosteren, Limburg. Within about half an hour approximately
ten other Land Rovers arrived and we were complete. I was accompanied
by my neighbour Bert Slingeland, and my son Roderick. See the boy wandering
about waiting for the real fun to start.
Organizers Rein Vercamme and Remco Gerbrands are locals to Limburg. They
explain here to the participants what we are about to do: first we
drive to Belgium (2 km), and there follow greenlanes in the forelands
of the river Maas, south. Then we'll cross back to the Netherlands and
have lunch at a nice field behind the Airport Maastricht, and in the
afternoon we'll do a greenlane trip further south, nearly to the
southern border, finishing off with a real fording (this is a big
promise, as fording is unheard of in the Netherlands).
Greenling on a grassgrown road somewhere in the south of Limburg.
I expect that there is a mine tunnel down below...
Here we arrive at the lunch field. It was the flat top of a hill,
hard to find, but easy to climb on. There's Bert beside me.
During lunch, we tried out some mud tracks on top of the hill.
Very glorious mud, but with the BFG MTs I had no problem whatsoever.
Downhill wasn't significantly difficult. Uphill, the MTs working together
with the ETC, showed their worth: I drove up where a sideslided 110
couldn't even be winched up.
Very impressive, these tracks, especially the first time through.
But the MTs work flawlessly.
A whole different meaning to the port in Airport: there is
so much water and mud here that you could do with a ship.
More lunch driving. Here I got a bit bolder, having driven this
track several times, and knowing now where the bumpy bit was.
Very kindly, Cath allowed me a go at the field tracks in her Series
III 88. A very awesome experience: the whole car shakes, you really
have to work the steering wheel, and you can't see a thing through
the puny tiny windscreen. Now I realize that in a SIII just getting
here in the south of the Netherlands is a major trip in itself. Thanks
Cath for letting me have a go.
Doing the tracks, I have to hold back for Rene in his 109 SII Ambulance.
Very nice on-going camper conversion. Although the SII is rather
swaying, Rene has lots of off-road experience, and it is always
imposing to see that he gets his car through, undamaged.
Now who is this Mister Mischief? ''No, Dad, honest, I won't
touch any button. Really.' I turn around. ''HONK HONK'' :-)
Considering that it had been some very cold and wet weeks before,
today we had excellent weather. Greenlaning of the finest kind.
The tracks goes directly into the river, with a sharp turn
right. Then the fording is approximately 80m with reasonably
the same depth all over (just half my tire size, I'd say, i.e.
50 cm or 20 inches), and gravel as river floor. A few metres
before exiting, you have to drive up a small ramp, and then
out onto the rest of the track. End of todays drive.
And it cleaned the mud of the underside fairly well.
Enough to drive home without the need of a further cleanup,
although back home with high-pressure water, there still
was plenty of mud to be removed.
Text and editing Copyright © 2002 Wim van Dorst; Photographs Copyright © 2002 Remco Gerbrands, Rein Vercamme, Bert Slingeland, Wim van Dorst