SDL Rally 2010
The SDL Head Office was the gathering place for staff and marketers early on the morning of Thursday 18 November 2010! What was different from other days was that we all knew that at 06:00 the group was departing to Pretoria for our Annual Rally!
The group of twenty six left Cape Town just after six travelling in safe and comfortable SDL motor vehicles. It was, if fact, an exceptional sight to see seven motor vehicles with SDL number plates driving together in convoy – this fact was noticed by the public wherever we stopped to re-fuel, to have a bite to eat or even where we stopped to sleep that night!
The group shouted with joy as we approached Travalia, near Three Sisters, where we stopped for a wholesome, tasty breakfast just after 11:00. After stocking up with biltong and other local goodies, we were off to refuel at Three Sisters.
On our way to the Free State the smokers amongst us were very happy with the numerous forced road building stops along the way – so, it continued until the sunshine deserted us for bouts of heavy rain and an inkling of hail! We pulled into Bloemfontein to replace two tyres on one of our vehicles and then proceeded to Maselspoort, on the Modder River, where we slept that night.Willem and Michelle from our Bloemfontein office joined us there for the rest of the trip.
After coffee and rusks on Friday morning, we departed on the second day of our adventure to the North! We continued in beautiful weather and looked forward again to our breakfast stop – this time at Kroonvaal. The excitement was mounting as we departed as we were heading for the Hartebeespoort dam where we were booked to stay for two nights at the beautiful Palm Valley Inn.
We arrived there just after 15:00 and wow! What a surprise! The stopover was majestic and we soon had our rooms and roommates sorted out. Just after our arrival, Gerhard Weyers arrived with his bus packed with members from Port Elizabeth. To our surprise, each room had a special basket, supplied by Karen Benadie, filled to the brim with fresh fruit and chocolates. Also, big thanks for the pastries and fantastic apple tart that Karen provided. Some of us explored the town with its beautiful houses on foot but made sure we were back at the Inn to enjoy the braai Kobus was preparing for us. We were also joined that evening by all our Senior Master Members from all over South Africa.
The next morning, Saturday 20th, the big day of our Rally had arrived. After our regular coffee and rusks, we were on our way to the venue in Pretoria.This year we started with with lunch at 12:00 and the Rally itself commenced at 13:00 to a packed hall of enthusiastic delegates. The singing and the waving of the SDL flags that preceded the start was indicative of the wonderful spirit that prevailed throughout the Rally – truly memorable!
In the end, we all left the venue with feelings of excitement, gratitude and an assurance of the amazing progress that SDL has made up to this point in time as well as the good times that lay ahead.
That evening the group was treated to a lovely meal at a Hartebeespoort Dam restaurant before we returned to the Inn for our second and last night at this resort.
The following day was Sunday and the day that we started our way back South.
We left early and enjoyed breakfast again at Kroonvaal after which we departed for our final stopover destination.
Driving in ideal weather and after a number of forced roadwork’s stops, we finally reached our destination: The Gariep Dam, the largest water storage dam in South Africa.
All of us enjoyed this holiday resort with vast caravan, camping and residential areas to choose from.
That evening we were all again treated to a very tasty braai prepared by Kobus and his team. This was also the last opportunity that all of us had to relax and enjoy each others company.
When we woke up the next day, we all realised that with the arrival of Monday, our brief but very exciting annual trip was soon to be something of the past.
So, we enjoyed our coffee and rusks even more before we left on the last leg of our journey home! Except for refuelling our vehicles, our last stop was at Beaufort West to fill our stomachs with some K F C.
Then we had to push forward once again and when we drove through the Hugenot Tunnel, the sight of Table Mountain was a welcome one. We arrived back at about 17:00, glad to be back safely but sad because we now had to wait a full year before we could repeat this memorable trip that was thoroughly enjoyed by one and all!