Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => Topic started by: MellowJo on May 04, 2015, 11:56:55 am

Title: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 04, 2015, 11:56:55 am
An Eastern Cape/Lesotho trip has been on my bucket list for a long time. Circumstances have just not been right to do the trip for the last few years, but at last the planets aligned. We would use the week with the two long weekends of end April to early May 2015. While the guys are still sending their pics, I will get the ball rolling with a Trip Report.

The Group
Sidpitt became part of my family when my son, Archangel, married Sid’s daughter, and so we now share a son. Sid grew up in Lady Grey and wanted to share a trip to the area with his sons, Charles and Brent. The invite then extended to his son-in-law Archangel and to me. I also lived in Maclear when I grew up. Brent invited his housemate, Toffie, and I invited my brother Godfried (Fried) to join the party. Sidpitt was the organiser/route master and named the trip the “Dads & Lads 2015” trip.

The Bikes
Sid has a weakness for 80’s Yamaha XT Tenere’s, so he used 2 of his fleet of 4 on the trip. Brent was on his Honda XR650L, Archangel on his KTM 950, I on my BMW 1150GS and Fried on my project BMW 1100GS called Scrappy http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=154905.0. (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=154905.0.) Sid brought along his Isuzu Frontier with a 3 bike trailer as backup vehicle, which would be driven on a rotational basis.

The Route
The route was basically an anti-clockwise route around (and into) Lesotho. Sid and his sons started at Middelburg (Cape) after the Mighty Men conference, while me, my son and Boet would start from Colesberg.
 
Day 1: Colesberg/Middelburg – join at Steynsburg then Burgersdorp, Lady Grey         375km
Day 2: Lady Grey – Joubertspas, Wartrail, Lundeans Nek, Tiffendell, Naude’s Nek, Maclear     350km
Day 3: Maclear – Bastervoetslaanpas, Bottlenek Pass, Rhodes, Naude’s Nek,  Matatiele      360km
Day4:  Matatiele – Ramatselitso Gate, Sehlabathebe, Sehonghong    150 km ?
Day 5: Sehonghong, Mokhotlong, Sani Pass    
Day 6: Sani Pass – Golden Gate     400km?
Day 7: Golden Gate to Colesberg    500km?
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 04, 2015, 12:00:29 pm
Day 0

After all the excitement of the preparation, the Friday before the trip arrived and Fried and Archangel arrived at my place to pack the bikes on a trailer. We would trailer the 800km to Colesberg to save fuel and tyres for the real gravel part of the trip.

After strapping on the three large bikes, we did a last minute lights check, just to find that the trailer’s newly wired lights did not work.  :deal:

We blew a few fuses and nearly stripped the Landy to find the short in the new trailer plug, but by midnight we were ready to go the next morning.

So on a very misty Saturday morning, we departed from Melbos (Cape Town) on our way to Colesberg.    

Yeeehaaa the trip started   :ricky:
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 04, 2015, 12:17:33 pm
Day 1: Colesberg to Lady Grey

We booked in at Nimmo’s place (Sunset Chalets) in Colesberg and transferred all the luggage from the Landy to the bikes. Nimmo was so kind to allow us to leave the Landy at his place for the week. Nimmo also joined us for the first part of our trip to Steynsburg where we would join the rest of the group.
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: JonW on May 04, 2015, 12:25:07 pm
Sounds like this must have been an awesome trip, some of my favorite routes included.

Looking forward to reading the Ride Report.
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Aprilian on May 04, 2015, 12:27:25 pm
That Gs looks sic!!
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 04, 2015, 12:27:42 pm
A few more pics, signs to Steynsburg .....   :deal:

Tea in Steynsburg, waiting for the rest of the group
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 04, 2015, 12:36:08 pm
First break after we joined the rest in Steynsburg ....

FLTR   Sidpitt, Archangel, Fried, Toffie and Charles  ( Brent is hiding somewhere )
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 04, 2015, 12:54:03 pm
At Lady Grey, we stayed in the Mountain View Inn, where Sid worked as a teenage barman    :laughing4:
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 04, 2015, 01:31:30 pm
Wag nou eers vir die ander manne se "Dag 1" fotos voordat jy verder gaan...

Trip reel no 1: Wag by die intersections totdat almal daar is!  :deal:
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 04, 2015, 02:04:47 pm
Wag nou eers vir die ander manne se "Dag 1" fotos voordat jy verder gaan...

Trip reel no 1: Wag by die intersections totdat almal daar is!  :deal:

Yup, don't worry, exactly what I planned, waiting for the rest to upload their pics ....
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 04, 2015, 04:13:10 pm
Hier is enetjie van my af...  ::)
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: DirtRebell on May 04, 2015, 06:35:07 pm
Fantasties!
Lyk of julle die beste van 'n goeie saak gemaak het!

Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Sidpitt on May 04, 2015, 11:16:43 pm
Some of us ride 30 year old XT's and are a bit slower than others!   ;) ;) ;)

I'll be there in a bit.........with my day 1 pics. (Keep practicing "Trip reel no.1"



Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Joyride on May 05, 2015, 12:47:10 am
Hey Ouboet, die Geelkameel....is dan nou Wit? Ja ek het die thread gevolg maar iets is missing. Oukei ons sal gewoond raak aan daai Colonialistic bike, die Wit kameel.....koei?  Aai tog Archie, halfpad buite die pad.......soos gewoonlik :biggrin:

Lyk sover goed, 'n tick op die bucket list.
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: DirtRebell on May 05, 2015, 08:33:56 am
Hey Ouboet, die Geelkameel....is dan nou Wit? Ja ek het die thread gevolg maar iets is missing. Oukei ons sal gewoond raak aan daai Colonialistic bike, die Wit kameel.....koei?  Aai tog Archie, halfpad buite die pad.......soos gewoonlik :biggrin:

Lyk sover goed, 'n tick op die bucket list.

Hy het onlangs sy huis uitgeverf, toe gooi hy sommer die vark ook in die mix.
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: COLES on May 05, 2015, 09:03:28 am
thank u for sharing great pic,s
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Nimmo on May 05, 2015, 09:05:16 am
Sub  :ricky:
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Lem on May 05, 2015, 10:31:45 am
This is currently my ultimate dream long trip to do in SA  :thumleft:

will really help, thanks for sharing
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 05, 2015, 10:54:50 am
Just a little teaser of what lies ahead...  :pot:

Excuse the bad quality, I had to zoom in quite far in order to provide enough details that you can see what happened.

http://www.youtube.com/v/BUKLVLmXXFc

Ek't nogals hard gelag vir hierdie omval, op die plat stuk na die mal tegniese deel!!!
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 07, 2015, 12:41:49 pm
Just to explain some of the pics that might follow...

Each day typically followed a template:
07h breakfast
07h30 departure
10h morning tea
12h lunch
15h afternoon tea
17h arrival at destination with just enough time to unpack etc before sunset at around 17h30 (winter sunset times around Freestate/KZN and Lesotho)

This last item on the list was "adjusted" from time to time, resulting in less than favourable riding conditions, which makes for great adventures and stories.  :ricky:
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 07, 2015, 01:31:08 pm
Nog 'n paar kiekies, alles tussen Steynsburg en Lady Grey.
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 07, 2015, 01:34:46 pm
Afternoon Tea was held at a dry water crossing...
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 07, 2015, 01:46:21 pm
Some of the guys without helmets...  ::)

1. MellowJo & Godfried

2. Brent, Arch, Charles, Toffie

3. Sid as barman at Lady Grey Hotel, roughly 30 years after he poured his first draft there...   :biggrin:
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version - Day 1 Video Added
Post by: Archangel on May 07, 2015, 03:29:26 pm
http://www.youtube.com/v/ZETkffNO2_w
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 07, 2015, 04:06:45 pm

Nice footage Arch    :thumleft:
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 07, 2015, 04:15:14 pm
Btw, the vote for the hottest bike on the trip was unanimous.

The R1180GS (can I coin that name?) aka Scrappy was found the prettiest by all on the trip and most who we encountered along the way...
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 07, 2015, 04:24:12 pm
Day2 : Lady Grey to Maclear

After a deep sleep and excellent breakfast, we made a quick visit to Sid’s parental home. Then it was out the “back-door “ of Lady Grey up the Joubert’s Pass.

We were just a few kilo’s into the pass when we noticed that Sid and Toffie was not with us.
Later we heard that the one XT did not like the fit between the output shaft and the drive sprocket. Sid still has some good connections in town, so they towed the stricken XT back and welded the sprocket to the shaft.

This broke again, but this time a friendly farmer helped to ensure that the welding was done to farming standards. No futher problems were experienced on this front.
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 07, 2015, 04:32:16 pm

Joubert's Pass has quite a history .....
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 07, 2015, 04:42:36 pm

After Joubert's pass, we turned onto the Wartrail towards Lundeans nek ....

We found the sign lying next to the road and arranged ourselves for a pic .....

Of course, some had to test the boundaries of vertigo  ....
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 07, 2015, 05:30:04 pm
My videos of day 2 are limited (but then, so was day one  ;D ) due to my GoPro accidentally being switched on in my pocket and therefore losing most of its battery before getting to the nice areas for taking vids...  :-\

Anyway, what I have is currently being uploaded to da toob.

In the meantime, some pics...
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: DirtRebell on May 07, 2015, 05:53:35 pm
Lyk of julle 'n baie lekker trip gehad het.
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 07, 2015, 05:55:35 pm
 From morning tea (when you see it!  :o  )

To Lundeans Nek...
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 07, 2015, 05:56:53 pm
And my Vid of day 2   ;)


http://www.youtube.com/v/awR8Y6JzSwE
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Ride Alot on May 08, 2015, 10:13:51 am
WOW  all I can say !! it seems like a wonderful world to drive in.... looking for the rest.
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 08, 2015, 12:19:50 pm
Btw, listen to the sound of Godfried's bike as we enter Maclear...  :pot:

So here's some details that are missing:

Between the 1st and 2nd welding attempt of te XT's sprocket, the bike was loaded onto the trailer in order to transport the bike to nearest farm for the next repair. In this process, the strap snapped (not chaffed or anything, just snapped clear) and the bike fell on its side onto the trailer. The result is a severely dented tank. This was now the third bit of damage to this bike, after the busted main drive gear/front sprocket issue and the oil filer cover that was falling off. Yes, we neglected to mention that this bike arrived in Steynsrus with a ratchet strap around the motor to hold the oil filter cover in place. The inside of the engine casing has stripped, so the bolts simply fell out...  :o

After fixing the bike again, the bike and the vehicle + trailer was trying to catch up to the remaining group, who by this time have spent around 2 hours waiting for them. Communication was lacking due to bad signals in the mountain areas.

We obviously used this time wisely: Maintenance was done to the other XT, which was severely misfiring and trying to shed the number plate. So the number plate plastic holder was removed and we bolted the number plate straight onto the tail light holder bracket. For the backfire/misfire, we tried to clean the air filters and had a look at the inline fuel filers but all seemed in order. At that stage we simply blamed the increased altitude. (More about this later)

After the two hour wait, we got the go ahead to move forward, with the second XT and vehicle in hot pursuit. We headed up to Lundeans Nek and back and just when we got back to the road heading towards Maclear, the XT and backup vehicle joined us. So forward march!

We have lost quite a bit of time waiting to hear from the guys in the backup, which lead to this day stretching a bit longer than intended and we had to make proverbial hay while the sun was shining. We still had the whole War Trail towards Tiffendel and Naude's Pass ahead of us. This slightly rushed approached resulting in one or two off. Toffie went off side of the road into the grass, but didn't fall. Godfried later came up with a term for this: "grazing", which was used throughout the trip, way more than we'd like to admit.

SidPitt had a put down from a standing start.

Somehow we neglected to mention that Godfried actually fell on first day. He went into a corner too fast and rode into one of those parallel gravel heap water channels created by the road scrapers to channel water away from the side of the road. Luckily the pots fitted between the two heaps nicely and the bike was simply parked on a slight angle, almost less than when on the side stand.

Anyways, back to day 2. The rush also took it's toll on the bikes. The rattling and shaking of the day's ride resulting in Scrappy (Aka R1180GS) shaking loose some of its wiring, which included the headlight, not to mention that the exhaust rubber grommet broke off, which left it hanging. So Mellow and Godfried removed the exhaust (note the sound as she rolls into Maclear, last 10 seconds of YouTube clip).

Now the headlight issue was problematic since light was fading, which resulting in an even more rushed approach to "GET THERE". Luckily SidPitt fitted some bright spots to the XTs so they lit the way for most, nothing else happened and we all arrived safely in Maclear, in the least possible bit of daylight. Little did we know that this day kinda set the pace of what we were to expect on the trip...

Anyways, luckily SidPitt bought some lekker meat at Lady Grey for a braai. We've just unpacked the bikes and... Meat is still in Lady Grey Hotel's freezer.  :-\

So as the guys were fixing bikes, Sid and I decided KFC to the rescue!

What a day, what more can a man looking for an adventure ask for?   :lol8:
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 08, 2015, 04:42:25 pm
'n Laaste paar pics van dag 2 in geen logiese orde...

Teen more vertel ons julle verder van dag 3, Maclear tot Matatiele  :deal:

Pic 1: MellowJo riding out of Lady Grey. Early days and high spirits, not yet high on spirits...  :pot:

Pic 2: Colours of early winter

Pic 3: Toffie full of jokes as usual

Pic 4: It's not called the War Trail for nothing. This road is treacherous, or so we thought at that point in time...

Pic 5: Sun setting over Naude's Nek, our destination and moods.
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 11, 2015, 03:10:05 pm
Day 3: Maclear to Matatiele

This was to be one of the toughest days, but we were still to find out just how tough.

After a quick brekkie in the mist, we were off. The day started with a short stint of tar from Maclear towards Ugie, after which we hit the notorious Baster Voetslaan Pad aka Dr Lapa Munnik Pass.

Now something that was said during the "War Trail" section leading up to Tiffendel was reiterated during the previous evening: The worst is behind us. Nothing can be as tough/bad as that section of road. Boy were we wrong!

(Video is upload, so only pics for now)

Pic 1: Our accommodation at Maclear.  :thumleft:

Pic 2: Just before we hit the pass. It was easy pickings up to here, so the guys are still looking fresh.  :3some:
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 11, 2015, 03:25:23 pm
After the BASTARD VOETBLIKSEM pad, we did a short detour around Bottelneks Pass, before heading the Rhodes.

Some of you might know about the "Rhodes Must Fall" saga, resulting in a number of colonial statues being vandalized etc. Well I can tell, Rhodes was still standing strong. Unfortuntaely I couldn't say the same for the rest of us...

From Rhodes we headed back over Naude's Nek before making a left (Easerly) turn towards Matatiele. This lead us over a beautiful stretch of some of the best condition gravel roads I have ridden in my life. It was at this point where we, once again, were slightly behind schedule and the sun was setting on our backsides. Unbeknown to the "front runners", the backup vehicle (aka Matusalem) managed to get a flat tire, which then lead to another forced tea time / maintenance period. By the time we hit the tar road with approximately 70 km to go, the sun was behind the the mountains and we were in last light. Luckily all the lights of all the vehicles were in functional order at this point in time.

Great, of to Matatiele we go.

As we drive into town, the GPS informs us that the accomodation for the night was about another 10km on the other side of town. By this time it was pitch black dark with not a breath of wind in the air. In other words, the dust was hanging in the black air and the 6 bikes were in hot pursuit (@20kmph) of the Matusalem, whom we chose to lead the way at this point in time. Needless to say, this last 10 km of semi-technical gravel towards the farm house was more than we hoped for after the long day's ride.

Anyhow, all made it to the house/villa we parked the bikes in a little shed, ready for the maintenance team to do their thing before the next stage  :ricky:
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 11, 2015, 03:28:45 pm
Bastard Voetslaan captured in about 4 minutes of GoPro footage...  :thumleft:

http://www.youtube.com/v/WxvEAUtJTFo

BTW, quality of video should improve over the next 5 minutes, as youtube finishes running their compression etc.
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MickeyT on May 11, 2015, 03:51:26 pm
 :sip: Lekker man, lekker!
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 11, 2015, 03:59:24 pm
 8)

Note that spot that Chales picked to loose it, after making through everything else...  :eek7:
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 11, 2015, 04:26:41 pm
Halfway there, we had to stop and wait to give Matusalem a rest.

Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 11, 2015, 04:37:08 pm
Mmmm, I see this this is now a family thread ....   :imaposer:

I was still wanting to comment on the ascent to Tiffendell on Day 2.

We were approaching Tiffendell from the west i.e. not the tourist approach.
Man, there was quite a steep rocky start to this route that had me wondering about the next days Bastervoetslaan and Matabeng passes .....

I could clearly smell my clutch complaining about the abuse ...... but we all made it to Tiffendell unscathed (pass Loch Ness no less).

On the downhill from Tiffendell to Rhodes on the nice concrete road, I must have cooked my rear brake as there was no rear brakes for a while .....
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 11, 2015, 04:42:42 pm
Anyway, on with Day 3 ....   :biggrin:

I must say, hats off to my boet Fried for taking the 1100GS up there. This was his first trip on the bike after we just finished it the week before.

Looking at the footage on Page 2, I am just more impressed !!
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 11, 2015, 04:43:46 pm
Mmmm, I see this this is now a family thread ....   :imaposer:

I was still wanting to comment on the ascent to Tiffendell on Day 2.


Ja ja, julle het die hele naweek kans gehad.  :deal:

Btw, it might also be worth mentioning both the big Beemers might have had slight worries about their brakes boiling on the downhills, but KTM on the other hand, was overheating on slow sections due to lack of airflow over the radiator.

On Baster, Godfried had 2 offs in about 3 meters, Charles came off and Metusalem almost lost the front bumper. Other than that, the bikes held up nicely.

Nog 'n paar kiekies voordat ons vir julle meer vertel van Bottelneks, Rhodes, Naude's en Matabeng passe.
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: keithk on May 11, 2015, 04:52:29 pm
What a super trip to both dads and lads , what a privilege to be able to experience the adventure together. Maybe we meet in the deli again.  :thumleft:
 
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 11, 2015, 05:02:14 pm
Nou ja, ek sal nou nie verder jaag nie. (Cue KTM chirp)

Ons gee maar die agter osse ook 'n kansie om op te vang (Cue BMW chirp). 

:biggrin:

To the rest of the team: feel free to chip in with comments, emotions, experiences, pics, videos or whatever turns your motor...

Side Note: Toffie chose this trip as the time to learn how to kickstart an 80's XT. This resulting in some entertainment, which included, but was not limited to coaching, shouting, praying and swearing and generally took place after each stop we made.

At the end of the trip, Toffie was able to do his magic dance and make it rain with the first kick.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 11, 2015, 06:27:46 pm
Hee hee, Arch, Check out the 4x4 Video and listen to the comments on the pass ......   :imaposer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zg8r0vdXAHE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zg8r0vdXAHE)

Sid's Isuzu 4x2 did the pass with a trailer in tow ......  :imaposer:
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 12, 2015, 08:36:20 am
 ;)

http://www.youtube.com/v/zg8r0vdXAHE

Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Sidpitt on May 12, 2015, 10:29:21 am
Hee hee, Arch, Check out the 4x4 Video and listen to the comments on the pass ......   :imaposer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zg8r0vdXAHE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zg8r0vdXAHE)

Sid's Isuzu 4x2 did the pass with a trailer in tow ......  :imaposer:


It's all about the driver guys!!!!
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 12, 2015, 11:07:45 am
Hee hee, Arch, Check out the 4x4 Video and listen to the comments on the pass ......   :imaposer:

Sid's Isuzu 4x2 did the pass with a trailer in tow ......  :imaposer:


It's all about the driver guys!!!!


I can't tell you how many times somebody said "I'm glad I'm not driving the bakkie today..."
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Sidpitt on May 12, 2015, 11:38:32 am
I'll catch up with my contribution this evening.

Some of us spent the last 4 days in PE setting a new direction for South Africa..... :biggrin
 
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 12, 2015, 11:55:29 am
OK, so here goes...

Bottelnek Pass is a short section that stretches from the R58 (tar) to the R393 (gravel), which then leads to Rhodes.

This piece of road was in the process of being scraped (you'll notice the CAT in the video), so even though the general road condition was good, the surface was extremely loose with pebbles in some areas. This tempted you to ride faster, but had everybody on their toes with many "almost" events until Toffie decided to simply not turn in the same direction as as the road. The result saw him going off the left shoulder of a right-hander. This was more than just a fall over...

The bars of the bike was bent, the middle braces was broken off and further damage the the tank was sustained. Toffie was a little shaken up, but other than a few scratches and bruises, he was OK. Phew!

From there, the road conditions improved and we could easily travel up to 80kmph towards Rhodes, where we stopped for our afternoon Tea and rest.

[Bottelnek Pass Vid to follow soon]
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 12, 2015, 11:56:08 am
I'll catch up with my contribution this evening.

Some of us spent the last 4 days in PE setting a new direction for South Africa..... :biggrin
 

Typical DA, no service delivery...  :pot:
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 12, 2015, 02:35:19 pm
Bottelnek Pass

Hierdie is amper die hele pas, teen 6 keer die spoed en met mal baie image stabilization...  8)


http://www.youtube.com/v/ZDqnC5vFWA4
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 12, 2015, 03:53:02 pm
OK, so here goes...

Bottelnek Pass is a short section that stretches from the R58 (tar) to the R393 (gravel), which then leads to Rhodes.

This piece of road was in the process of being scraped (you'll notice the CAT in the video), so even though the general road condition was good, the surface was extremely loose with pebbles in some areas. This tempted you to ride faster, but had everybody on their toes with many "almost" events until Toffie decided to simply not turn in the same direction as as the road. The result saw him going off the left shoulder of a right-hander. This was more than just a fall over...

The bars of the bike was bent, the middle braces was broken off and further damage the the tank was sustained. Toffie was a little shaken up, but other than a few scratches and bruises, he was OK. Phew!

From there, the road conditions improved and we could easily travel up to 80kmph towards Rhodes, where we stopped for our afternoon Tea and rest.

[Bottelnek Pass Vid to follow soon]

Toffie's off was at the corner at 2.32m into the video ......

When I got there, he waved me by, showing a thumbs-up ....   :thumleft:    :laughing4:
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 14, 2015, 03:56:33 pm

OK, so to finish off day 3 ......

We had lunch snacks at Rhodes, before we again skipped over Naude's Nek, but this time we diverted north to Mount Fletcher an Matatiele.

1. On our way to Rhodes
2. Rhodes Lunch stop
3. We wondered why the back-up vehicle was taking it's time, Tyre Change   :deal:
4. Repairs to Scrappy's lights as we were expecting to arrive at Matatiele in the dark.
6. At Matatiele we stayed at Ian's place. He was so kind to help with spare parts, especially a set of handlebars  for the one Tenere
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 14, 2015, 04:00:43 pm

At Ian's place just outside of Matatiele, we all shared the rondawel.

It must have been an interesting chorus of snores that night .....  :imaposer:
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 14, 2015, 04:16:25 pm
Day 4 : Matatiele to Katse dam ?

We woke to the beautiful views from Ian's place. At last the day arrived that we would venture into Lesotho. We were treated to a great breakfast, and then returned to Matatiele to stock up.

From  Matatielle we proceeded to Ramatselitso Gate. Ian warned us that there were a few interesting rock banks/steps just before the gate.
This was indeed so ......
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 14, 2015, 04:30:08 pm

From  Ramatselitso Gate we turned East towards Sehlabathebe on a beautiful road, Lesotho was a breeze   >:D

After tea next to this road, we eventually turned north at Sehlabathebe towards the Matabeng Pass.

This was a completely different story, not as bad as Bastervoetslaan, but still a challenge ..... with spectacular views
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 20, 2015, 10:27:00 am

OK, so over Matabeng we went and we descended into a beautiful valley .....

 ...... where we stopped for a lunch break ....
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 20, 2015, 10:31:09 am

After waiting some time the bakkie and trailer, we realised that something was wrong, the bakkie and trailer could not take sooo long to reach us, so one by one we started to track back to see what was happening .....

This was the problem .....
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 20, 2015, 10:37:05 am

The trailer broke a spring, and we tried to substitute the spring with a log .....
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 20, 2015, 10:38:34 am

Unfortunately this was not strong enough to withstand the hammering and lasted only a few kilometers ....
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 20, 2015, 10:43:22 am
While various plans were tried to keep the trailer going, the afternoon slipped by .....

Eventually it was decided that we would have to camp where we were, and then make plans the next morning ....

Sid went to the local chief's house and got permission to camp.

We had the perfect campsite spot, right where the trailer finally refused to continue any further ...... It was under some trees, next to a little stream where we could get water .....

This turned out to be the best night of the trip.
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 20, 2015, 11:01:17 am
We had a lovely braai and some beers to end the day ....
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 20, 2015, 11:55:08 am
Day 5: Matabeng Pass to Sani Pass

The next morning it was quite brisk.

While some braved the cold for a shower under a little waterfall, others attended to a leaking XT fuel tank .... while others prepared a monster breakfast .....

The tank was basically patched with some Pratley Steel ....
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 20, 2015, 12:02:53 pm

While we were still finishing our breakfast, a truck appeared on the road ......

We negotiated a lift for the trailer to the next little shop ..... where it could wait till it was rescued at a later stage ....
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on May 20, 2015, 12:59:02 pm

From here we could now proceed along the Qulu river to where it runs into the mighty Orange River, where we turned north towards Sehonghong ....

It was quite a steep climb out of the Valley ...
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 21, 2015, 05:27:36 pm
So to add a little more points to ponder on while we rode into Mataiele in the dark...

1. The road over Mount Fletcher is better than most tar roads in the area, so I'm not sure how the driver of Matusalem managed to get a flat on this stretch.  :scratch:

2. What are the odds that you rock up at someone's place and they have a spare set of handlebars that fit the bike which bars happened to break on that particular day?

3. Don't over tighten the the clutch/mirror cluster bracket on an old Tenere, those things are made of cheese. Just ask Charles.  :ricky:  :angry7:

4. KTM topboxes are not made to carry weight and should be kept in position to prevent them from smacking you in the back.

5. We have arrived at night 2/3 days, which makes it hard on the maintenance team.

6. Who cares about points 1-5, we're having the time of our lives! And we haven't even reached Lesotho yet!!!
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on May 21, 2015, 05:29:51 pm
So as Mellow already mentioned and were yet to find out, the toughest day was lying ahead of us. Bucket list, here I come...

Bike through Lesotho - Check

Break down, sleep next to road - Check
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: DirtRebell on May 25, 2015, 07:59:07 am
Julle het omtrent 'n avontuurvolle trip gehad, Johan.
En pragtige foto's!

Nou wag ek maar vir die res :sip:
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on June 01, 2015, 11:53:57 am
Ek dink dis tyd dat ons nou die res van die storie vertel...  :thumleft:

Ek sou graag, maar sit in die hof  :peepwall:

Sal vanaand of more weer 'n bydrae lewer.  ;D
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: DirtRebell on June 01, 2015, 01:06:30 pm
Ek dink dis tyd dat ons nou die res van die storie vertel...  :thumleft:

Ek sou graag, maar sit in die hof  :peepwall:

Sal vanaand of more weer 'n bydrae lewer.  ;D

Ek hoop nie daar is 'n noue verband tussen die hof en die res van die storie nie?
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Lem on June 01, 2015, 01:14:30 pm
Ek dink dis tyd dat ons nou die res van die storie vertel...  :thumleft:

Ek sou graag, maar sit in die hof  :peepwall:

Sal vanaand of more weer 'n bydrae lewer.  ;D

Ek hoop nie daar is 'n noue verband tussen die hof en die res van die storie nie?

of soos hulle se in hofterme....n kousale verband  :lol8:
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: keithk on June 01, 2015, 02:30:39 pm
Geez ! guys keep it coming this is amazing some really good pics :thumleft:
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Sidpitt on June 02, 2015, 10:36:04 pm
Ok ...ok   sorry man....had other trips to do and only getting to this now.... ::)
You guys write and tell the story so well that you're definitely coming with next time!

My "quick" catch-up version of the trip so far....

Day 1:
I couldn't sleep the night before and the anticipation was driving me mad.
Drawing the short straw and having to drive the back-up vehicle first also didn't help my itchy ass much either.
Then, trying to tell the boys to keep the speed down on those fantastic Eastern Cape gravel roads was pointless as the testosterone got the better of them and those poor XT's were awoken from their normal Thump Thump Thump to a constant wheel spinning Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
A nostalgic day for me as we passed familiar spots were I fondly remembered visiting a girlfriend on a farm, a fishing spot with my Dad, a guinea fowl shoot with friends.
Arriving safely at Lady Grey Mountain Inn and having a beer in the bar where the wooden racks and other woodwork done by my Dad some 50 years ago still serves it's purpose and then having a great meal with the "manne", completed my day like you cannot beleive  ;D

Favourite pic of the day : Suppertime with smiley faces!

Day 2: 
It was my turn to ride Jouberts Pass with a XT. What more could I wish for?
After only about 2kms the XT stripped the splines on the shaft and sprocket.  :'(
A quick spot weld had me going again but only about 2/3rds up the pass when my welding skills failed me.
Loaded the XT and trailored  over Jouberts Pass into the valley where I knew a few farmers.
After finding a welding machine and the helpful farm labourer doing a "proper job" on the sprocket and shaft I was making dust again.
Magic magic magic is all I can say about the rest of that day...............seeing the smiles on everyones faces and the autum colours was an awesome feeling.
Bidstone or Volunteershoek pass was a rude awakening to all of us but a good test of tougher things to come.
Naudes Nek felt so short and quick?

Those last few kms into Maclear in the dark was not so cool though.

Favourite Pic of the day: That feeling when you know your bike is fixed again and ready to go! :biggrin:

Day 3:
Cage duty up Bastervoet Pass with a trailer, how bad can that be? ???
Blixem!!!!  :o
Although I haven't done it myself  ::) ::) ::) I will agree that this is the ultimate pass in SA that should be a must on everyones (bike) bucket list.
The Lads came through with flying colours and definitely earned their stripes.
We may have to change the name next year to the "Manne and Toppies Trip"

As for Fried, the "first time rider on the big GS" - RESPECT!
Riding Naudes Nek for the second time in 24hrs was just the cherry on the top!  ;D
Our hosts, Ian & Jen Mc Donald were just the best hosts ever!
Ian was so amazingly helpful fixing our bikes that had taken a hammering on the Blixemvoet Pass, he even gave me a handlebar to replace the one that broke in Toffies minor off near Rhodes. Thank Jen for the awesome meals. :thumleft:
 (Call me if you want his contact details)

Favourite pic of the day: Obviously you would think it's the one of everyone on top of Blixemvoet Pass.....but no, its this one with happy boys ON their bikes!


Day 4:
Lesotho hier kom ons.......maar eers nuwe tyre vir Matusalem koop.
Mathabeng Pass is  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
No doubt the most exhilarating ride of my life.
I rate it the best thing to happen to me since cable ties and duct tape!!! 
This one makes Sani and in places even that Blixemvoet Pass feel like Sunday afternoon drives.

My "biking high" bubble was burst when the trailers spring snapped. :'(
Knowing the possibility that any one of the bikes (the 30 year old XT's most likely) could develop problems and that we would need the trailer to get them out of Lesotho, I thought of all the plans I could to "save" the trailer without spoiling the trip.
As Mellow Joe already said, it resulted in a fantastic night under the Lesotho stars.

Favourite pics of the day: Smiling faces on the top of Mathabeng Pass
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Sidpitt on June 02, 2015, 11:38:32 pm
Sidpitt's Day 5:

Late the previous afternoon a chap in a bakkie came past and said that he would be able to get a replacement spring in Sehonghong and would bring it back the next morning.
The next morning (Day 5) after leaving a bottle of the KWV maskadel with the Chief and some ZAR's for the shop owner where we left the trailer, we hit the road for Sani Pass.
Along the way we met with the owner of the scrapyard where the "alleged" spring was.
Mellow Jo and I waited for him at the scrapyard to return whilst the rest of the team headed off to Sani.
Disappointingly the spring he had was no good and we arranged that I would fetch the trailer in a few weeks time.
(Ek werk met 'n plan man!)

Off we went to Taung and the A3 to Sani Pass via Mokhotlong, how bad can that be? ???
Yikes!  :o :o :o (Once again....not lekker in a loaded cage)
The images on Google Earth are most definitely NOT the same road we experienced.

From the GPS I see that we took nearly 3 hrs for the 68kms from Taung to Mokhotlong and the highest point was at Menoaneng Pass at 3046m
It will be faster without a backup vehicle.
The next 44kms to Sani Pass was a quick one on the tarred road and welcome smooth gravel. Highest point at 3252m at Kotisephola Pass.

A lekker meal at the lodge and a comfy bed at the backpackers was a great end to a fantastic day.

Pics:
1. Toffie 'Borrat" taking up a dare to have a shower under the waterfall in the stream below.
2. Mellow Jo @ Sehonghong taking time out - Thinking!!! ???
3. Sehonghong to Taung - Pure gravel heaven!
4. More gravel heaven!
5. The "real" A3....
6. Mellow Jo taking in the awesomeness!
7. Day 5 Favourite pic
8. Gravel ready for tar between Mokhotlong and Sani
9. XT Tyre after 5 days




Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on June 18, 2015, 04:56:51 pm

Nice Sid, thanks for your view on this.

As I said in the beginning of the report, This was SID's trip !!
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on June 23, 2015, 02:32:06 pm

OK, lets move little on this RR.

So on our way to Sehonghong we had a drinks break where we met the friendly local mechanic.

He promised to get the trailer and bring it to Sehonghong where we will see if he has similar springs in his scrapyard.
So me and Sid  waited at Sehonghong for the trailer to arrive, while the rest proceeded along the A3 to Mokhotlong and then on to Sani.
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on June 23, 2015, 02:39:24 pm
So the Brat pack tackled the A3 to Mokhotlong .....

When the mechanic pitched up, we find that he only has massive truck springs. We concluded that he would keep the trailer there until Sid would fetch it later.

We then started to chase after the Brat pack to get to Sani before nightfall.

At Sani it was starting to chill and we warmed ourselves with some Old Brown and a fire at the Backpackers.

The end of Day 5, a lot of adventure, nice warm bellys and nice warm beds !!!
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on June 23, 2015, 03:33:39 pm
Day 6:  Sani to Golden Gate

Next morning it was nice and chilly.

The plan was to breakfast at Sani top, then amble down Sani, then left around Lesotho to Golden Gate. We were supposed to sleep in Clarens, but CLarens was booked out for the long weekend .....


We had a great breakfast, and a chilly get-away ....
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on June 24, 2015, 05:09:47 pm

So down Sani, through passport control and left towards the Free state ......

We had two little incedents on this stretch .....

1. ) First the R1180 BMW started to lose its rear subframe ..... who put in the new clutch plate ?    :imaposer:
2. ) and then we nearly dismantled the KTM, which ran out of fuel !!!! :dousing:

Anyway, we stopped for lunch in Bergville and then amble along the R74, and turned left just before Harrysmith .....

At Clarens we could not get a spot for a mouse, and so we returned to the Golden Gate camp site.

It was Flippen @%*&#(@ cold that night ....
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: DirtRebell on June 24, 2015, 10:26:34 pm
Ek ry nog lekker saam, dankie.
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on June 25, 2015, 02:32:51 pm

Day 7: Split of the Group, half going back to Cape Town and the rest to the Free State

And so the last day of the trip arrived.

Half the group proceeded to Bloem and Kroonstad, while the Capies started the trek back to the Colony.

It was freezing, probably the coldest day of the trip as we Capies skirted Lesotho via Fouriesburg, Ficksburg, Lady Brand, Hobhouse towards Colesberg where our trailer was parked.

While we were filling up in Smithfield, we were suddenly swamped by BMW Airheads .....  ???  Oh, it was the BMW Airhead bash that weekend ...   :ricky:

So we arrived at Colesberg just after lunch and decided that we would load the bikes on the trailer and head straight on home.
We had nicely surprised family members when we knocked on the door just after midnight .....
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: MellowJo on June 25, 2015, 02:34:29 pm


Just one more great THANK YOU to Sid for all the effort and finances of the trip.   :thumleft:

one more bucket list item checked .....And so as they say in the classics,

......"Fluit, fluit, my storie is uit" .....
Title: Re: Dads and Lads 2015 Lesotho trip, the Mellow version
Post by: Archangel on June 29, 2015, 10:19:36 am
Besig om 'n paar videos op te laai, hang vas...

http://www.youtube.com/v/JtwvQHU66YI