My Havelterberg

Early 2006 my kids and I wanted to make a sspecial mother’s day present and we decided that we would create a more or less official sign for the land. We had plenty of humongous tree trunks laying on our land and decided to transform one of them into the sign. 

The land, or plot, I live on is named after a small village in the Netherlands near where I was born and raised. A very popular tourist destination called Havelterberg.

Laying in between lots of natural forests, military fields and dolmen (hunnebed in Dutch, a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb where they buried dead people… DEAD PEOPLE!)

A perfect place for a bunch of young teenagers to do what the lord told us not to do. And to get there we had to cycle about 10 km through open fields and farm land, trying to out-cycle vicious farm-dogs and climb a hill called… Havelterberg.  

And that is the name we used for our signpost, and after some days of chipping, designing, painting and varnishing, we finished the sign! And it still hangs proudly in the middle of my land, surviving the wind, rain and the sun. 

Back in the 80’s and 90’s we had to ride our bicycles on the same roads as the motorized vehicles. Not on the highway of course, but on the provincial roads. That was not without risks, especially after nights out. 

Only in 1997 did the Dutch government introduce a national traffic safety program called “Duurzaam Veilig (Verkeer)”, or “Sustainable (Road) Safety”.

We had to survive our way back home, be it coming from school, or on a Sunday morning after a night out. Maybe a few close calls, but I was never involved in major accidents. 

And almost all provincial roads had these concrete signposts (muhsrooms), guiding bicyclists to any point of interest. 

I was quite thrilled to have found the one we cycled passed on our Havelteberg tour, while surfing the WWW. 

I don’t know if they still exist. In my time they were considered more dangerous than any oncoming motorized vehicle. 

One didn’t have to be drunk to collide with one of those mushrooms and get all bruised up… although being drunk did help. And just for your reference… I was born in Meppel, grew up in Nijeveen and Havelterberg was about 1 km away from Havelte. 

Sometimes they had a proper sign screwed on a pole or a tree, marking the route to where ever. I don’t know why or how, but one such sign decided to keep following me where ever in the world I lived… 

I ended up giving it a place on the roadside at the entry of my plot here in South Africa, on the “Rooireier” (Rode Reiger) road. Ain’t that weird, though?

Thanks kids, we had fun, created a life-time of memories, both good and bad. Who knows, we might do it again! 

What a memories to relive!

My Kids.


Do it here.

Feel free to share…

Thank you!

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