Oranje army turn Pretoria orange

PRETORIA, June 11 (Reuters) - Few fans go to quite as much effort as the Dutch when it comes to making themselves at home at a World Cup.

A tranquil camp site hidden from a main road in Pretoria will act as home to some 800 Dutch fans clad always in orange. They are very prepared.

Early on Friday, those plans were complete when fans lined the road to welcome two large lorries which had driven more than 1300 km to supply Heineken beer.

A vast tent which can seat up to 1200 people and boasts big screens towers over everything, while speakers dotted around the area blast out favourite 80s tunes.

The site also has a reception tent which provides mobile phones to all guests so they can communicate with each other, pre-programmed satellite navigation systems so they can find their way around and a full-time press officer for any journalists showing a passing interest.

A football pitch sits resplendent in the middle of the camp, with sponsors names plastered around the boarding.

Wieke de Vries, who is in charge of press and communications for Oranjecamping, told Reuters the group had made their initial base in Pretoria because they could march to the nearest train station before travelling on to games.

"We like to march you see, in orange, always in orange, and here we can march to the station," she said.

The group, who have travelled together to major events since 2004, also welcomed on Friday a 22-strong convoy of orange cars including a motorbike, Beetles, VW vans and a lorry which had driven from Amsterdam to Pretoria, taking almost 10 weeks.

Aart van der Toorn, at 72 one of the older drivers, said "why not?" when asked why he had chosen to drive through 16 countries instead of simply taking a flight.

"I used to be a sailor and I decided I'd do something different for a change," he told Reuters, after being handed a ubiquitous can of Heineken to celebrate.

"And my wife, who I've been with for 42 years, she said I could go. So I thought, why not? I must say she's very nice. I do still love her."

The convoy drove into the site around lunch time, with many sat on the roofs of their cars, filming the entrance.

Johan Roos, who drove an open top, orange sports car, said the cars had endured problems along the way, with his engine blowing up in Ethiopia, but he said it had been a fantastic experience, with local children waving them along the way.

"All you have to do is mention football and show them our orange and they're off," he told Reuters, holding his old leather helmet and racing goggles in one hand and a drink in the other.

"They knew all the Dutch team. We played football at the side of the road, it was perfect."

Next the group will be a joined by a bright orange double-decker bus, and around 100 mobile homes, or camper vans, which are in the process of making their way to the site.

After watching the Netherlands against Denmark in Johannesburg they will pack up and drive in a convoy of 175 cars to Durban for a game against Japan and then on to Cape Town for their game against Cameroon.

"We have another big tent waiting for us at the next venues so we don't have to pack up the tents," organiser Jokko de Wit told Reuters. "But we do have to pack up the bar and transport that and it takes a surprisingly long time to pack up a bar.

"But we're well rehearsed."