It was a lazy Sunday morning at Glenburn Lodge in Muldersdrift and a few crew members tucked into a magnificent buffet, discussing the chances of a giraffe sighting. But they knew it was the calm before the storm. As the clock struck 9:30, the parking lot was invaded by six teams, some waving, some singing and some sporting impressively strange accessories. In the background, something to do with a Gangnam Style resonated.
The Castrol Magnatrek 2012 officially kicked off yesterday and this year is the Family Edition. Each team consists of three family members and they’re competing for a grand prize of R100 000. No wonder they’re so enthusiastic. They all have their own team names, twitter handles and slogans and spirits were high as they met each other for the first time.
So how does such an epic event start? With a patch of grass, a neatly formed circle arranged according to teams and a crazy man orchestrating a good old ice breaker.
And as these things go, it wasn’t long before the circle disintegrated, the colour coded t-shirts got mixed up and members from different teams were running into each others arms.
With all awkwardness and inhibitions forgotten, it was time for a bit of sticky business. Nothing weird this time though. The teams needed to brand their cars with all the sponsors and a few crafty team crests. After Ford, Castrol and Jacaranda FM were neatly stuck all over the cars, and the two-way radios were installed, it was time for the first convoy drive.
With horns blaring, flags waving and teams already singing songs and making funnies on the radios, a convoy of eleven cars hit the streets around Johannesburg…
…to fill up on petrol.
But know that even a petrol stop becomes a chance to take over a parking lot with pumping music and cheerful enthusiasm.
As we arrived at Glenburn Lodge’s Bush Willow tented campsite, it was time to start competing. And what better way to kick off the competition than with a good old potjiekos competition in a boma. Teams of two had to work together to create a potjie that was both well-presented and delicious at the same time. But as this wasn’t nearly a big enough challenge – teams had to conceptualise either a Jacaranda, Ford or Castrol restaurant in the middle of the bushveld with only glue and some paper and scissors to assist.
It’s then that I realised why these teams were selected out of the record number of entrants this year – they’re made for this. What used to be a simple thatched boma became Mama’s Magnetic Shebeen, LTBH and Blu Ski Diner. And I’ll be honest when I say that I’ve never seen potjie and pap presented so creatively.
The judges ate.
The judges critiqued.
But in the end, there could only be one double-team winner for the first night on Castrol Magnatrek Family Edition and it was none other than Mama’s Magnetic Shebeen. The two teams who worked together were the Clever Khueles (#cleverkhueles) and the Rough-Busting R.V’s (#roughbustingRVs). Definitely two teams to be reckoned with as the competition continues.
You might think that was the end of the night, but alas, it was Jacaranda FM DJ, Janina’s turn to get in on the action and hand out fines to however she felt deserved them – something that should become increasingly difficult to predict as the week commences.
Here’s a video to give you a better idea of Day 1’s action. Watch it and enter the competition to win a Glenburn Lodge full day couples grande vino spa package valued at R2 300.
To get in on the action, you can tune in to Jacaranda FM. Janina (@janinasays) will be doing live updates from the trek. You can also follow the teams on Twitter or find @Magna_Trek or @JacarandaFM. I’ll also be tweeting (@Adelgreen) from here. If you’re in the Gauteng surrounds and you spot the Magnatrek convoy (it’ll be hard to miss) tweet us a picture.
You’ll surprised at how close this lodge is to Johannesburg, and the moment you drive through the gate you’ll find yourself in the bushveld, just on the outskirts of The Cradle of Humankind and surrounded by giraffes, impala and many other beautiful creatures. The lodge rooms walk out into a beautiful garden with a lake while the Bush Willows tented camp is closer to nature without taking away luxuries like showers, flush toilets and electricity.
Visit www.glenburn.co.za for more information
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