Tag Archives: Camping

I lost a friend at Oppikoppi

11 Aug

Before I write any post-Koppi band reviews, share any camp stories or post any pics, I need to get this emotional burden off my chest.

I have lost a friend. A companion that has not only been with me for so many years, but one that really saved my ass on several occasions.

Oppikoppi 2011You have been with me to my very first Oppikoppi Festival​ in 2011, and each one since.
Now this might not seem like a big deal, but to those who know how tough Koppi can be, will understand how impressive this is. But it wasn’t just in the dust where you supported me.

One RAMfest​ (sorry about the others you missed, but you only seemed to enjoy camping) proved that you weren’t scared off by little knee deep mud and torrential rain. You came with me to Mieliepop Festival​, twice. Apparently the cold never bothered you anyway. The same number of times you accompanied me to STRAB​ in Mozambique (sorry for this year, I couldn’t arrange transport for you). When I needed you, you joined me at Park Acoustics. Two Otterlake Easter Festival​ experiences proved that you have a charitable side too.
Mieliepop 2014 - Photo by Henno KrugerSpeaking of charity, you never seemed to mind when people used you. Even if I didn’t know them from a bar of soap. You always made it your mission to make sure visitors to our camp sites had a comfortable stay.

Ramfest 2014 - Photo by Henno KrugerYou shared in so many camp fire stories, random drunken moments and way too many rounds of our beloved game, Kings. Whether it was at a music festival or a braai at my place, you never folded under the pressure of dealing with my social dealings.
You’ve been in my life for longer than all my serious relationships put together, and supported me even more than the same.

Thanks for the memories, I will miss you, my dear green Campmaster chair.

Otterlake 2014 - Photo by Henno Kruger

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Eating at Oppikoppi

4 Aug

Oppikoppi by Henno KrugerHave you ever tried to hold some pastrami, pickles, cheese and mustard between two slices of Amstel?
It doesn’t work.
Beer is not really like bread.

Another lie we need to get out of the way sommer right now, is that eating is cheating.

It keeps you going for longer. This is a marathon, not a sprint (and yes, I realise the slight irony of using a fitness analogy in a post dedicated to mostly unhealthy things).

Therefore, eating at Oppikoppi deserves a special mention. It is, after all, important.

Oppikoppi KampvuurAs someone that looks like the perpetual before-picture in a gym testimonial, I see myself as a bit of an expert when it comes to the whole eating thing. I also don’t like effort, especially at an event like Oppikoppi. So herewith, do peruse my list of food-related tips before heading off to that awesome bit of chaotic heaven near Northam:

  • Braai – Especially if you’re going before Wednesday. Freeze your meat, take a small braaier, remember wood, lighters, bread, salt and some form of sauce. (Keep it basic)
  • Bacon – Buy in 500g packs. Freeze. Pan on gas it in the morning.
  • Chips/Crisps – work on 2 bags per person per day. You won’t eat it all, but sharing is caring.
  • Canned stuff – Some like it more than others, but face it, a can of sweetcorn or spaghetti & mince is an easy, quick meal.
  • 1kg Viennas and 24 rolls.  Use sauce from braai-bullet. Might add bowl of pre-grated cheese.
  • Marshmallows – Take two big bags. You’ll end up eating one coz you’ve got the munchies, and the other you can braai Voortrekker-kamp style. Do take sosatie sticks. The branch you break off was a latrine 10 minutes ago.
  • Oppikoppi CampingCoffee – The coffee bags that look like tea are perfect. Also, kettle that can go on fire/gas, and some long-life milk.
  • Rusks.
  • Paper-plates, plastic cutlery and a pocket-knife/multi-tool, braai tongs and some tin mugs for the coffee.
  • Braai-grid, spade and some form of  table might come in handy.
  • Drink WATER (so TAKE water).
  • If you are in a bind, there are some lekker people missioning around the camping area handing out pancakes. Ask around, you’ll find them.

You might notice that the above could potentially cater for pre-Koppi, quick snacks and light eating. That is because you need to get your main sustenance at some of the legendary food stalls near the stages. It is how you do Koppi. Stop trying to think of an argument.

Stalls you MUST visit:

BraaiBoy en Borries

  • BraaiBoy – He will be there in full force with his mate Borries, serving up tons of pulled pork burgers and kilometers of BraaiBoy’s signature boerewors. Grab a boerie, they’re awesome. BraaiBoy has also graciously agreed to play host to our annual #KoppiTweetup, so tweeps will meet there. The bonus of BraaiBoy at Koppi, is that he is not just a food stall, but a party-destination in itself.

Burger Express

  • Burger Express – At least once at Koppi, have a legend burger. 500 grams of bacon stuffed onto a massive burger patty grilled to perfection. Add onions, mayo and some other stuff, and you have the makings of a true legend. And remember, a fest is not a fest without Burger Express.

Kobus se Gat

  • Kobus se Gat – I hope they will be there this year. They should be. Kobus saved my life one night. Stumbling tent-ward and hungry as fuck (I didn’t have someone write a nice post like this before I went to my first Koppi). I had fokkol geld, fokkol energy, fokkol fokkol, and they gave me the last bit of boerewors they had left after closing. Check them out for moerlekker spare ribs and legendary roosterkoeke.

Oppikoppi Camp kuiersIf, between the 3 up here and the plethora other food stalls on the farm, you cannot find something to tickle your taste-buds and sustain you through the awesomeness, you are full of shit and don’t belong at Oppikoppi.

Now, I have to go and stock up for my Koppi experience.
See you in the dust!

 

By the way, if you want a list of bands I feel you should go see, take a look at this post Henno Kruger did on Running Wolf’s Rant.
Ed England also asked me a few Oppikoppi questions for his blog, Why-Ed

 

 

 

 

Oppikoppi Virgins speak

2 Sep

Oppikoppi BewilderbeastYes, I know, Oppikoppi 2013 is a distant memory… Heck, I’ve even managed to get all the dirt out from under my nails, tents are clean and we are all buzzing bout new things to come (such as the MASSIVE band announcement RAMfest made yesterday).

I am however going to do just this one more ‘koppi post, seeing as I only heard back from my designated virgins now.

I had a chat with my mate, @LekkerCharlie (he was still @Ch2rlie when we recorded this) while driving home after this year’s awesome Oppikoppi. It was his first time, so we talked a bit about losing his ‘koppi virginity and how his expectations matched up to reality… You’ll spot Charlie in the video below this post, he’s the beard with the man attached behind it.

(Warning: It is mostly Afrikaans)

 

Here’s another ‘koppi-virgin experience, as shared by my friend @BronSutcliffe:

After weeks of preparation it was finally here, Oppikoppi Bewilderbeast 2013. With the car packed to the brim, we started on our first Oppi journey. Wanting to do it right, we got there on the Wednesday to experience all that Oppi has to offer. After getting slightly lost in the city that is Northam we finally found our way to the farm. We got our blue bands and followed the cars in front of us to the infamous Mordor. Driving past Kreef hotel was very confusing because one would think it was an actual hotel and not just a bunch of pre-pitched tents that all look the same. Needless to say we were glad we weren’t staying in the Kreef hotel because there would be 100% chance that we would climb into the wrong tent. We then spend 20 minutes trying to find our campsite but eventually we found it, pitched the tents and cracked open the soon to be warm beers.

Francois van Coke at Oppikoppi 2013One thing that has to be said about Oppikoppi, you meet the most weird and wonderful people that tend to stick with you once you leave. We definitely made lifelong friends from the first day and ended up spending more time with our new friends than with the people we planned on going with. Having a prime camping spot proved how spoiled we were for Oppi virgins. Camping right by the toilets and entrance to the stages, we did a quarter of the dreaded walking that everyone warned us about. One thing is for sure though, people weren’t lying when they said wet wipes would become your best friend.

Table tennis, kings and card tricks kept us entertained for during the day before and in-between the bands we wanted to see. Bands like Fokofpolisiekar, Die Heuwels Fantasties, Crash Car Burn, Jesse Clegg, Arno Carstens, Koos Kombuis and Mango Groove proved just how talented South Africans can be and were shows that left a beat in your head and a song in your heart. As for our guests Yellowcard and The Deftones were also a treat except for the fact that Yellowcard loved reminding us between each song how great it was to be in South Africa for the first time. Never the less the bands were amazing and definitely shows why Oppikoppi is an event on everyone’s calendars from the day they get there until the next years one.

Henno Kruger and Baas de BeerEverything else that Oppikoppi had to offer such as the naked mile (yum), food stalls, bars, bull riding, amazing stages, a view from the top bar that would melt even the hardest of hearts and even the dust helped to make it the most amazing weekend of our lives. The only thing bad about going is the Oppi blues that stick with you the following week. When you can’t sleep at home because your house is too quiet you know you’ve got it bad.

Oppikoppi is what it is and what it is just happens to be absolutely mind-blowingly awesome. There must be something in the dust that keeps us coming back for more, so till next time Oppi we say in the dust we trust.

************

Thanx Bronwyn!

Now, in case you haven’t seen any camp-footage of Oppikoppi, or even if you just want to experience a bit of what we experienced, here’s a quick video I took on the Saturday morning:

Lastly, as we were driving back, one of my friends sent me this video… Now if you don’t  think that this is super cute, you probably also hate puppies and love and have no friends… Thanx for sharing Dadine!

Well ladies and gents, that’s it. If you want listen to a podcast I recorded with other mates, where we discussed (mostly) Oppikoppi, check out The Whistle on Running Wolf’s Rant

Can you still remember your first Oppikoppi? Share your memories below and you could win a hi5 when I see you…

(all pics thanx to Henno Kruger Photography )

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