Both listed on the Internet website of the Land Rover Club Holland, I exchanged e-mail with Martin Veltkamp as he happens to live in Laren, merely 3 km from us. He's a good friend of Frans and Chris Fontijn, known from their merchandise booth, presented at various LRCH meetings. Chris is an active off-road driver, and participated with top results in some of the recent international off-road events. Frans is certified off-road instructor. Martin, humbly considering himself a novice to off-road driving, has arranged a lesson's day out with both of them, and kindly invited me and some other to join in Amsterdam, west harbour area.
It still is clearly signposted as 'Dangerous area,' but unfortunately, access is only restricted for people who can't cross the unused railroad lines. Nothing that a Land Rover will notice. There's seven of us: four Defenders, a LightWeight, a quad and one Discovery Series II (guess whose). We had a very nice blubber bath today. At night, I think I hosed at least 20 kilograms of mud from the car. And as it is educational (go for you limits), I got stuck twice. The second time, they clearly told me NOT to open the door, otherwise the car would have been flooded with liquid mud.
We did some very nice exercises, under the informative indications of Frans. Not even difficult exercises, but very educational. I gathered again important experience, also by merely watching others do the same thing. Later on the afternoon quite a crowd showed up on the area with off-road motorcycles (racing idiots), and custom built S*z*k* cars or karts (some with outrageous behaviour), so we called it a day.
Duties done (hot work, it was!), back in Laren, we pleasantly enjoyed a cool drink in the garden, with a friendly chat. That was what Laren was all about.
Text, and editing Copyright © 2001 Wim van Dorst
Pictures Copyright © 2001 Groote Barn group, and Wim van Dorst