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Series Weekend – Willem’s Rus: A Celebration of Heritage, Adventure, and Togetherness

07 August 2023 - Clint Mason
In August 2023, the Land Rover Owners Club of Southern Africa (LROC) embarked on a memorable journey, etching a chapter into our Club's history. From the 4th to the 6th of August, Landy enthusiasts gathered at the idyllic Willem’s Rus campsite, nestled in the expansive beauty of the Dinokeng Game Reserve. This wasn't just any weekend getaway; it was the LROC Series Weekend – Willem’s Rus, a tribute to Land Rovers' legacy, an opportunity to form connections, and a chance to revel in the timeless charm of these iconic vehicles.

The event paid homage to the storied history of Land Rover vehicles, with a special focus on the revered "Series Vehicles." However, it welcomed all Landys, resulting in a diverse array of vehicles gracing the gathering. Beyond being a congregation of automobiles, the event acted as a vibrant platform for enthusiasts to unite, driven by a shared fondness for the brand and the remarkable journeys Land Rovers have embarked upon over the years.

For many, the festivities began on a brisk Friday, August 4th, 2023, as attendees converged upon the campsite for an overnight stay. I am certain that the excitement was palpable, as passionate Land Rover aficionados assembled for a weekend of bonding, story-sharing, and a deep admiration for the off-road lifestyle. In light of work commitments, Michelle and I embarked on our journey to the campsite on a bright Saturday morning.

Set amidst the breathtaking Dinokeng Game Reserve, Willem’s Rus emerged as a haven of tranquility. The campsite boasted impeccable facilities and enticed with a crystal-clear pool and well-maintained ablution amenities. Here, attendees found solace from urban clamor, immersing themselves in the natural wonders of the Dinokeng Game Reserve.

As many who've explored Dinokeng can confirm, while the park is renowned for the Big 5, they remain elusive in the southern reaches. This fact steered our journey in a different direction, leading us to the captivating Arlington Brewery. A haven for craft beer, gin, scrumptious pizzas, and delectable burgers, Arlington Brewery became a hub of social interaction for many of the Landy enthusiasts.

As the day progressed, we returned to camp to bask in the adventurous spirit of Land Rover and pay homage to those early Landys that pioneered Africa. The event's magic wasn't just in its picturesque setting, but also in the tangible sense of community it fostered. From early risers to night owls, the campsite was adorned with Land Rovers of varying types, each reflecting its owner's spirit of adventure.

As the sun dipped below the horizon and stars emerged, a communal braai was ignited under the African sky. Beyond a culinary affair, this gathering provided an opportunity for kindred souls to connect, share laughter, and craft a rich array of Land Rover anecdotes. The flickering flames mirrored the warmth of human interaction, and the night resonated with the genuine passion these vehicles ignite.

The communal braai segued into an LROC social around the mesmerizing fire pit, nestled beneath a canopy of majestic trees. Stories flowed like embers carried by the gentle breeze. Adventures were recounted, advice shared, and friendships formed anew. As the night matured, the fire's glow blended with the tales woven, creating a mosaic of shared experiences.

As the night progressed, attendees gradually retreated from the fire's allure, seeking solace in tents, trailers, and caravans. Just before the final embers dimmed, Michelle seized her "second wind," igniting a lively "kuier session" fueled by a potent "Polisie Koffie."

With the effects of the Polisie Koffie evident and the night deep, the remaining souls bid the fire farewell and stumbled toward rest. Sleep swiftly claimed them. One could only speculate that the ensuing Saturday night proved less frosty compared to the Friday.

Sunday dawned early, as the scent of brewing coffee wafted through the campsite. The coffee ritual, of a more conventional kind, united individuals in a shared moment of morning serenity. As the sun ascended, casting a golden hue, the realization dawned that it was time to collapse camp, bid fond farewells, and journey back to daily life.

While the LROC Series Weekend – Willem’s Rus was brief, its impact was profound. Amidst the embrace of nature and the symphony of Land Rover engines, connections were forged, and a sense of belonging affirmed. This event testified to the enduring spirit of Land Rover ownership—a lifestyle that transcends mechanics and unites enthusiasts through shared passion and camaraderie.

As Land Rover enthusiasts dispersed, echoes of the weekend's adventures and camaraderie resonated in their hearts. The LROC Series Weekend – Willem’s Rus had etched a unique chapter in the ongoing narrative of the Land Rover Owners Club of Southern Africa. Through laughter, exchanged stories, and new friendships, this event underscored an undeniable truth: Land Rover ownership extends beyond driving; it's about forming connections and sharing experiences that will endure for generations to come.



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