Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => Topic started by: Xpat on April 10, 2018, 10:35:28 am

Title: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 10, 2018, 10:35:28 am
OK, Iím Czech actually, but most people here do not understand the difference (even though we provided one of the giants of the modern SA society - Radovan Krejcir) so I may as well stick with the Russian for better effect.

I have been on sabbatical for a while now focusing on what I like most - doing bugger-all intersped with riding. After spending some time riding Lesotho and Botswana last November and December, I had to choose where to next. I ride mostly solo, but surprisingly enjoyed  quite a bit the Botswanian stint with my mates from Europe - must be getting old or something. So I decided to give this group riding thingy another try and tested waters with my usual riding compadre - Bertie (Straatkat on WD). He was keen so I decided to show him the best Southern Africa has to offer - north-western Namibian combo of Damaraland and Kaokoland.

I have ridden there few times before so it wasnít the obvious choice, but after reading MaxThePandaís report from their ride there last September, I realized that I have missed some nice juicy areas in Damaraland on my prior trips, such as Little Serengeti and Valley of Desolation. Also Hardy de Kock gave me tips of some alternative routes that I havenít done before - like Robbieís pass. So I wanted to rectify that and also introduce Bertie to the area.

Bertie was so keen that he bought and kitted brand new second hand KTM 500 just for the trip (he may keep it now though). The only problem was that about half a year ago he fell off a table while making a phone call (cell coverage on his farms is not ideal) and hurt his knee. After trying the standard remedies - positive thinking, reiki, healing crystals and tarot cards reading without success, he resigned himself to a life of misery and pain.

Which I wasnít keen to deal with in Hoarusib river so I have put serious pressure on Bertie to look at some - admittedly far-fetched - alternatives, like going to see a knee doctor. Who confirmed after FMRI scan that his knee was indeed broken and needs an operation. Bertie was able to get the op scheduled only week before planned departure, so I thought the Nam trip is over and went for a ride to Lesotho. But Bertie is made of tougher stuff and to my surprise told me few days after the op that he is going.

While all this was happening, Justin (JustBendIt here on WD) contacted me for an advice on Kaokoland trip. Spurred by his mateís MaxThePandaís trip he wanted to organize a group of Capies for their own trip. I made a mistake of mentioning that we might be heading up there. So he dumped the idea of organizing his own group straight away (knowing full well that about 100 people would sign up in blood straight away, just for all of them to dump him day before departure using some superficial excuse like family or work or some such) and started selling himself as a pillar of society, beer loving Boy Scout, great cook and love connoisseur.

Iím a picky bastard and normally wouldnít agree to take someone I donít know on a trip of this magnitude. But I knew that Justin has finished Amageza couple of times indicating he could ride better than Bertie and me combined, and also seen somewhere that he is better with spanners than Bertie and I (Iím useless). And I remembered laughing a lot while reading some of his ride reports, so figured we might be just able to hang together for two weeks trip. In other words I agreed.

Pictures of the crew:

Bertie, the ladies man:

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/897/41349314541_204fe08629_b.jpg)


Justin, the babysnatcher:

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/891/26477735907_cd03a37fb4_b.jpg)


And the dodgy Russian - as you can imagine he is not too keen to be photographed, but I managed to source through my channels this low quality selfie (you may want print it and hang in the nearby Pick'n'Pay to warn off his potential victims):

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/888/39550949670_c4f4750307_b.jpg)


Oh yes, and all of us will be riding the new benchmark for adventure riding, basically the best bike out there full stop - KTM 500. You might disagree or argue with that, but that is all you can do about it.

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/873/40465038645_e865aae074_b.jpg)


With group settled, I have planned and distributed the route and everybody got their gear and themselves ready for departure. I choose Uis as the starting point and arranged with Basil - owner of the Brandberg Rest Camp - that we can leave our cars there for the next two weeks. We were to meet there on 4th of March and had to set-off day before as it is long 2 day commute - about 1800 km for Justin from Cape Town, and about 200 km less for Bertie and I from Joburg across Botswana. The commute went to plan and we met up at Spitzkoppe, from where we drove together last 100 km to Uis.

A-team packing and on the way:

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/806/26477715917_e3eb525799_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/897/41306520072_0f8905ebac_b.jpg)


The reserve team coming from the south (us Vaalies didn't know Mazda makes bakkie, as we actually care about what we drive in - Cape hippies clearly not so much  :pot:)

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/882/39540407600_3f159bf0a1_b.jpg)


Here are few highlights to whet the appetite:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/805/39540661840_a8706a056b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/804/26477774867_a5f2388f9c_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/870/41349096661_65670db579_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/812/39540650320_6aa02d80c1_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/811/27477636618_8befe76142_b.jpg)



This is going to be mostly a picture report. I have way too many pictures even after final cut so your bandwidth may take a strain. And I am lazy and short of time to comment too much (unless Justin or Bertie take overÖ) so I will try to let the pictures tell most of the story.

Also, I am leaving for another trip this week, so will start now, but finish only when Iím back sometimes in May, sorry about that.

Attached below, are the GPX tracks of the routes we have ridden on this trip.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on April 10, 2018, 10:49:16 am
 :happy1:

Oh ...you're Czech ...I thought you were just retarded
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: VaalBaas on April 10, 2018, 10:54:48 am
:happy1:

Oh ...you're Czech ...I thought you were just retarded

Not the best of days to find this report, but anyhow. Thanks. Shall enjoy immensely  :lol8:

Baie mooi fotos sover
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on April 10, 2018, 11:00:19 am
:happy1:

Oh ...you're Czech ...I thought you were just retarded

Not the best of days to find this report, but anyhow. Thanks. Shall enjoy immensely  :lol8:

Baie mooi fotos sover

My opening comments are very much tongue in cheek - I made a new friend for life in Xpat and we shared an amazing trip together  :thumleft:

I have not seen his photos yet ...and I can't wait

I will chip in here and there with my own ramblings and photos
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS on April 10, 2018, 11:02:00 am
Cannot wait for the rest. :thumleft: :drif:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 10, 2018, 11:02:16 am
:happy1:

Oh ...you're Czech ...I thought you were just retarded

Not the best of days to find this report, but anyhow. Thanks. Shall enjoy immensely  :lol8:

Baie mooi fotos sover

My opening comments are very much tongue in cheek - I made a new friend for life in Xpat and we shared an amazing trip together  :thumleft:

I have not seen his photos yet ...and I can't wait

I will chip in here and there with my own ramblings and photos

Yeah, don't worry, I will get back at you soon enough...  O0 >:D
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: MonkeyNot on April 10, 2018, 11:08:18 am
 :sip:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Sputnik080 on April 10, 2018, 11:11:49 am
This is going to be awesome!
Can't wait!
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: woody1 on April 10, 2018, 11:23:25 am
 :ricky:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Breekbeen on April 10, 2018, 11:27:06 am
sub
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: RobLH on April 10, 2018, 11:43:29 am
Fuck, there goes my work week - sub.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Ri on April 10, 2018, 11:47:41 am
 :sip:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 10, 2018, 11:56:04 am
sub
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Rexc-w on April 10, 2018, 11:56:45 am
The picture quality is great.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Dorsland on April 10, 2018, 11:58:36 am
I'm going to Czech this thread out.  :lol8:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: frankmac on April 10, 2018, 12:38:12 pm
Already some great humour and counter-chirps.  :sip:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 10, 2018, 12:40:12 pm
Day 1 - part 1
(pictures in this episode can be viewed at better resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskyFq9p9 (https://flic.kr/s/aHskyFq9p9))

The plan for the day was to make it up to Palmwag through some of the best scenery Damaraland has to offer north of Brandberg, including section of game rich Ugab river, Land Cruiser hill and tracks running past Doros crater and near Valley of Desolation:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/867/27475924208_502a463fbf_b.jpg)


The day before we settled into the Brandberg Rest Camp, off-loaded the bikes and packed up all the gear we will need for the next 12 days. Basil, the owner if the Rest Camp and avid biker, gave us advice about some of the routes we were planning to ride and we had the first dinner together.

In the morning we parked our cars in the Rest Camp carports, had breakfast, geared up and set-off. Bertie was very quiet so I checked whatís up and he admitted to being anxious about the riverbeds and sand we were going to hit soon. He is perfectly capable in dirt, but refuses to stand at any cost which can become a problem in the long sections of deep sand.

I probably didnít help much, informing them the night before that we are going to hit the most dangerous part of the whole trip - section of 10 - 15 km of Ugab river - straight away. Ugab north of Brandberg mountain can be quite dodgy as it is overgrown with dense vegetation and there are plenty of dangerous crickets living there, including the elephants and lions. Last time I tried to ride there I ended up abandoning bike in the middle of the riverbed and beating Usain Boltís best times up a rocky outcrop. In Sidi Crossfires.

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8626/16655615982_eb4e0d4017_b.jpg)


(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8682/16469169530_4f47ceaf9e_b.jpg)



So there was a good reason for concern and I pondered for a bit the chicken route running across a dune field away from the river. But I decided to stick with the plan for few reasons. First of all, Basil told us that elephants have moved upriver and are not in the area. Second, we were on lightweight 500s that are joy to ride in sand even sitting and agile enough (unlike Tenere above) to turn around in a hurry should be bump into grumpy elly. I would be the scout through the area and told the other two to stay way behind should I run into trouble.

With that little encouragement we set-off from Uis heading 30 km or so on the dirt highways to the White Lady Campsite, where we hit the Ugab river.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/892/26296397437_34cb216f23_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/873/26296422297_16e2cd4ac9_b.jpg)


Soon enough we reached the dodgy narrow section of the river and as you can see yourself from the tracks, straightaway found out that Basils intel was outdated. There was plenty of fresh elephant spoor. And the place was greener than I have ever seen it (this will be common theme throughout the whole trip) so visibility was very limited. We proceeded with caution giving whatever was lurking out there enough time to move away.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/810/40272873885_02deff0c54_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/888/39358345650_2bf6f8e76f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/889/39358355570_f5bb4c7836_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/817/40456242314_42224e7bc4_b.jpg)


Soon enough we came upon long flooded section running through dense reefs. I went to check it out while the other two waited behind and it got deep very quickly. Not keen to drown bike in this jungle where one can feel the eyes watching his back, we found an alternative tracks heading north away from the river. This detour brought us back to the river further downstream where the river was wider and water less.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/886/27295124308_409549e921_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/795/27295146948_130a9ae60d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/867/39358448810_501f80fa20_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/879/26296521767_3cd9ed9d37_b.jpg)


I am a big believer in natural order of the things. While I was supposedly the leader of the group as I was there before and planned the route, by now it became pretty clear that Justin was by far the fastest one of the bunch and keen to ride fast not that bothered by the scenery. I on the other hand was the slowest, because I was stopping frequently for the pics. Justin had GPS and the tracks (I insisted that everybody must have GPS and the routes I have sent, so that if we split either by accident or by decision, each of us can find our way out), which is perfect for this kind of scenario so I send him ahead, with Bertie (who is not keen GPS user and thought he forgotten his at home - he found it few days back at the bottom of his day pack) riding between us. We have more or less stuck to this riding order for the rest of the trip, allowing each of us to enjoy the aspects of the trip each of us liked the most.

The track I plotted run unbeknownst to me away from the river on the Brandberg side. I havenít been there yet so I wasnít complaining and enjoyed the scenery only this part of Namibia can offer.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/819/41169136411_56a3335996_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/893/40456339524_7e71a7bbc1_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/810/41169145581_69360ed6a1_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/876/39358542350_ec1b548e35_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/894/40456393234_878fb4ef44_b.jpg)


At one point I caught up with Bertie who had a little mishap, being helped back to his feet by an Austrian guy in 4x4 whom I have met 3 months ago in Kasane, Botswana. He was very envious of my 500 in Kasane, and doubly so here (he used to work in KTM and as a bike guide in Alps). Small world.

We eventually reconnected to the river, at the point where we were going split from the river heading north up a T4A ĎNot Recommendedí track that will bring us up to the ĎLand Cruiser Hillí sitting at the top of a dunefield.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/799/40456406904_c26d9dcc93_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/809/41124700242_b8d10dc332_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/793/26296603847_903d1ebb81_b.jpg)


Track up to Land Cruiser Hill - not recommended by T4A, as far as I'm concerned - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/867/26296618727_3de14ddda1_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/886/40273180375_e7c488b7a5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/892/26296657707_2689f52ba4_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/796/40456511984_30d801e0c3_b.jpg)


We have made it to the top of the dunefield and took a short break, before pushing onto the sandy plain ahead.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/803/39358718780_1a5eb64acd_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/875/40273257035_02ab318799_b.jpg)


Location, location... would pay good money for this one:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/877/40273280215_d2cd6ecc53_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/884/40273297355_e1a75f3f9e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/881/41124873542_737baacdb6_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/784/41169399561_ed19569e9f_b.jpg)


Brandberg - highest mountain of Namibia delineating southern boundary of Damaraland (I think):


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/817/39358814150_005ac52333_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/865/41169431271_bb3beee84e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/893/41169621811_9419f1e26f_b.jpg)




Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: KTMvan on April 10, 2018, 01:20:12 pm
Now I am itching to return to that area :-) lovely pics!
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Oupa Foe-rie on April 10, 2018, 01:46:12 pm
Whuaaww .......... another great RR in progress ............ :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 10, 2018, 02:04:42 pm
Day 1 - part 2
(pictures in this episode can be viewed at better resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskyFq9p9 (https://flic.kr/s/aHskyFq9p9))

Now on the high ground above Ugab, we continued across the sandy plains intersped by rocky sections west towards the Doros crater:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/820/40273365955_7f7ae9c9b0_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/793/40273394575_56948345c4_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/812/27295594848_1d5498801a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/899/26296839657_d55c63a98b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/811/40273432275_30d0522d77_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/813/26296880747_2aa8ca8352_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/885/41125052662_6a974338f0_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/788/39359035050_15bd036541_b.jpg)



We came upon an old abandoned settlement with car wreck nearby which brought out the boys hiding in Justin and Bertie:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/877/41169687151_5649223245_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/816/41169695971_874675a84c_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/889/41125163782_47b3cc9130_b.jpg)


Despite his morning anxiety, Bertie was doing fine. He took a tumble here and there, but all laughing matter and nothing serious. However after having to lift his bike for umpteenth time Justin had a good look at Bertieís luggage and spotted the problem. In his attempt to not put too much load on the subframe, Bertie had his Coyote back mounted too much to the front, which together with the tankbag that he foolishly brought with wedged him into fixed position without any possibility of movement so important while riding offroad. So we stopped at the most convenient shade and Justin helped Bertie to rectify the problem by moving Coyote further back (annoyingly though there was nothing we could do about the tankbag - it was going with us all the way).


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/883/39359130360_cc1a75d96e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/902/26297002137_d7e1a8ec22_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/902/41169754191_cdd7aa330d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/874/40456998364_46e2425794_b.jpg)


Once done we pushed on soon hitting the rocky high plains near Doros crater:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/822/41169821951_13ccb9f5f0_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/876/41169830501_c9353c8c87_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/899/41125350512_06737911b0_b.jpg)


Bertie with Doros crater in the background:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/894/40273796215_bbcc2e14b9_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/884/27296151988_959525f635_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/889/41169916031_1b6c18ca55_b.jpg)


Within 10 - 15 km of the last stop we stopped again at little dry riverbed for lunch break. It took me a bit by surprise as I usually do not like to linger out in the sun in the middle of nowhere during the day depleting my water reserves and tend to focus on making it to the destination, or at least the place where there is water available. Also stopping in the middle of the ride gives body wrong signals - itís time to chill - and it came to bear when Bertie did and I almost did fall asleep. I would have much preferred to have eaten if necessary (I usually donít eat during ride - just morning and evening) during the last stop when we adjusted the luggage. But this was our first day and we didnít discuss any of this upfront as we were just getting to know each other, so no biggie - I just made a note to lobby later for minimizing number of stops (by which I mean real stops, when you climb off the bike and take your jacket off and generally get into chill mode - not quick stops to take picture or two, which is one of the objectives of these trips, at least for me) in order to get to the destination earlier and rather chill there. That all said, the scenery was quite alright:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/866/40273854695_4f36b59394_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/888/40273862335_4ca6e648d8_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 10, 2018, 02:25:16 pm
Day 1 - part 3
(pictures in this episode can be viewed at better resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskyFq9p9 (https://flic.kr/s/aHskyFq9p9))


It was a bit of a push to get going after we all got very lethargic in the shadow of the tree, but we managed and set-off again through the barren rocky desert:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/812/40457190534_1277619f1a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/787/27303437218_47fb4f961f_b.jpg)


We bumped into herd of oryxes along the way:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/866/41177413061_f0dd73cf39_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/819/41132928172_1fbfc17324_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/888/27303482268_1b3ae61112_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/807/27303520948_e419b5c118_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/822/39366801230_4f3b97b18a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/888/41177527601_d17c2b21cf_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/810/40464583714_97ea2b91f3_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/790/40464599474_32ee9831ac_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/885/27303612428_97b32abc5a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/895/41133101292_ddd36f6e31_b.jpg)


We came upon few Welwitschias, and Bertie commiserated how unlucky they were to be dying slow death there. So Justin and I explained that these are indeed the oldest living organisms on the planet, and that the next time they will bloom, none of us three will be around. Bertie never heard of Welwitschias before so fascinated went to investigate one closer.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/813/39366892160_7622de6653_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/875/27303694518_3d93faa270_b.jpg)


Stig's orange cousin:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/881/40281348995_174572e9f8_b.jpg)


And onward we pushed through quite frankly absolutely stunning scenery:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/871/40281378205_08bf07efe7_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/802/27303712908_cb64540467_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/877/41177630241_afa2e2f639_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/871/26304907477_eb96deb58e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/887/26304932387_c862bd80db_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/790/41177710651_2ed46201e7_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/900/40281517975_368716e738_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/791/41133336072_cf120c1fa9_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/799/41177750351_131edd86e9_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/817/41177778501_52400a51b3_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/878/41133381802_2e63846667_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/803/39367158730_614757c751_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/795/40464887844_5f4d6ff076_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/799/40281649695_0be96b1a4a_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/880/26305223697_774bc30ae4_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/789/40281725155_7ebd874b6b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/787/40464958794_ce0eb0739a_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 10, 2018, 02:30:33 pm
Might help free up some real estate over tank for future trips

(http://www.gnarlyparts.ca/assets/images/npbOnBikeLarge.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 10, 2018, 02:47:57 pm
The terrain is incredible :)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 10, 2018, 02:51:11 pm
Day 1 - part 4
(pictures in this episode can be viewed at better resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskyFq9p9 (https://flic.kr/s/aHskyFq9p9))


We were making good progress, but with all the stops (breaks, as well as my photoshoots) it was getting a bit late, but we were still on track to make it to Palmwag in good time. That is the point at which Justinís Tubeliss, which until that point never let him down, decided to call it a day. I donít remember what the cause was. Justin carried spare inner Tubeliss tube, but managed to pinch it during installation. So he was out of options, so out came my spare tube and he proceeded to install it in. I had this argument many times with people on different thread, but I have to repeat it here again s l o w l y: the only solution out in the sticks that will get you reliably out - regardless if you ride tubed, tubeless tyres or Tubeliss (like Justin and I did), or mousses (like Bertie did), is good old tube - because it is the only solution that one can fix reliably multiple times. Simple.


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Again, the scenery made the wait easier:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/887/26305321017_6e421bb515_b.jpg)


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While at the spot, we got passed by couple of 4x4s with young boys standing on the railings on the outside. They proceeded to ride up the near dunes before they continued on their merry way, hopefully making it home in one piece.


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Once done we crossed impressive Hoab riverbed and continued north on the rocky trails that should deliver us eventually to C43 highway.


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Just few km short of C43, Justin scored second flat on the front tube - despite the fact that he was riding it at over 2 bars. So out came the flat tube and in went Berties spare tube. We were on the last front spare tube now, but of course we would be able to patch the pinched one later. Justin even believe he will be able to patch the Tubeliss inner tube, but I was sceptical as it has to withstand 7 bar pressures.


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By the time we were ready to go again, the sun was setting fast.


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We made it to C43 just as the sun disappeared behind the mountains and we gunned it up last 60 - 70 km to Palmwag. Before we set-off we agreed firmly that we are not going to ride in the dark. And here we were the very first day riding the last 30 - 40 km in the dark. On the positive side, both Bertie and I were mightily impressed by the 500ís standard lights. At the end of the day it is an enduro bike, and if our experience with our prior rides ranging from TE610/630, Tenere, KTM 690 with Rally kit were anything to go by, 500ís lights were basically as good as dead. But not - they vastly outperformed any of those bikes and were actually pleasure to ride with - for the limited period of time of course. Another win for 500 - and the one none of us seen coming!

In Palmwag we headed to the lodge where we booked a campsite and rushed for dinner as the kitchen was closing soon. All in all - great day, the punctures did slow us down a bit, but that is just part of an adventure.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Straatkat on April 10, 2018, 02:58:42 pm
The one thing about the whole trip that struck me from day one, is the absolute harshness of the terrain. I was thinking aloud in my helmet that it is totally amazing that man has made bike tyres that can withstand such torturous terrain, every moment you are riding over stuff that makes you think that your tyre must be damaged by now, and when you stop, nope, they are still fine. I ran mousses in my tyres where the other 2 guys were running Tubliss. Martin had brand new ones in his tyres and Justin had older ones in his tyres. Martin and myself had Maxxis up front and Mitas CO2 backs.
As far as the tankbag goes, bad call, it restricts movement so much and after a few offs the stitching came loose and I had to secure it with a bungee....never again.
I suppose I am not yet fully on the minimalistic thing and was probably carrying way too much stuff. Most of it I never used.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Straatkat on April 10, 2018, 03:11:13 pm
Martin also seems to be in the same boat of packing too much, but in the event of one needing something to get out safely and you don't have it...with 3 guys the chances of that happening is slimmer, but there is nothing like the feeling of being prepared for virtually every eventuality. I made lists of modifications to make to my packing list and a few more things to get and some things to change. That for me is another big advantage of riding with some other guys, you get to see how they do things and learn what to change, rather that trying many things on your own and eventually finding the right solution.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Ri on April 10, 2018, 04:07:47 pm
That scenery is just ...  :eek: :eek: :eek:

Can't wait to ride there too :ricky:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Offshore on April 10, 2018, 04:42:33 pm
Great RR. Thank you. What is your Range with those Tanks?
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Big-G on April 10, 2018, 04:58:57 pm
WOW WOW and WOW
Awesome pictures..........unbelievable scenery

Thanks for sharing
This is bucket list stuff
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on April 10, 2018, 05:34:46 pm
Great RR. Thank you. What is your Range with those Tanks?

The tanks hold 20 litres - in "touring" mode this is good for 400 km
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: SchalkL on April 10, 2018, 07:28:06 pm
I HATE you for this RR.
Makes my stomach turn and i even a little adrenaline flowing when watching those pics.
This is what a RR should look like!!!
I have so many questions re this trip and your choice of bikes but will ask them later. I did solo frm AI Ais via the coast to Brandberg but was to scared to carry on alone and now have a itch that wont go away.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 10, 2018, 09:05:26 pm
Day 2 - part 1
(pictures in this episode can be viewed at better resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmiw29nP (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmiw29nP))

In the morning we raised at sunrise (i.e. too late as the sun rises in Namibia this time of the year only at about 7:00 am), broke the camp, and went for breakfast at the lodge.  Then we geared up and headed for refuel at the Palmwag garage. Justin also wanted to patch the pinchd tube, but they sent us back to the workshop in the lodge to do that. So we went back and while the guys were fixing the tube under Justinís close supervision, I scavenged in the workshop new bolt for my wonky sidestand and replaced the old bent one (due to some somersaults in Lesotho, which made the sidestand unstable) with the new one, Loctiteing the shit out of it. It made it marginally better, but wobbly sidestand will be a headache for the rest of this trip (I have replaced it now with steel one).


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By the time we were done and set-off again, it was past 11:00 am. The late morning starts (usually past 9:00 am if we didnít have any issues to attend to) unfortunately became the norm and as a result we ended up riding in the heat of the day a lot and often late into the afternoon. I tried to lobby for earlier starts, but came short of physically waking the other two still in the darkness of the morning and eventually just resigned myself to the rhythm of the group. Later on at one or two occasions I even became the cause of late start myself due to some sloppy morning routine. The late starts I think contributed somewhat to some issues we were to run into later on in the trip.

The main highlight of the day was the ride through Little Serengeti and Khowarib Schlucht/Gorge - one of the things I have missed completely on my prior trips. The original plan was to ride through those in the morning and then make it in the afternoon as far as possible on D3705 running between Sesfontein and Kaoko Otavi towards Robbies pass for an overnight bushcamp. Taking into account the long day of riding day before and late start I decided to just complete the morning route and then stop early for overnight at the campsite in Ongongo warm spring (or Warmquelle in German) about 20 km north of exit from Khowarib gorge. Which was only about 160 km or so away, so the plan was to arrive there soon enough to relax a bit in the spring pool, before we push again hard next day. Here is the route:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/784/26497193087_b693437b07_b.jpg)


First 60 km or so we just gunned it up C43 highway towards Sesfontein until we arrived to the track heading east towards Little Serengeti over the nearby mountain range.


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We had some fun crossing the mountains, but nothing dramatic and soon made it to the flat plains covered by sparse bush called for some reason Little Serengeti. All the known African critters are supposed to roam there, but we havenít seen any - maybe with exception of impala or springbok or some such.


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Pretty soon though we found remains of an animal that probably have had run into one or two of those critters. Justin, who seemed pretty oblivious to the beautiful scenery we were riding in stopped immediately and roped Bertie into playing with the carcass.


Initially it looked innocuous enough:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/870/41149526662_a6a2ee6ba9_b.jpg)


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But when Justin started to put the bones in his mouth I got alarmed:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/884/39383983190_cf737ae9d9_b.jpg)


So I was quite relieved when they found different, I like to say safer, way to play with the bones:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/808/40480823334_9f0d698293_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/888/39384036830_75feec0165_b.jpg)


But I celebrated way too early - it took less then minute for Justin and Bertie to combine the games together and hey presto there was Justin with the bone in his mouth again.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/896/41194724231_1c0b910dbd_b.jpg)


Luckily, like all the little ADHD boys these days, they had attention span of a squirrel, and abandoned their game as soon as they spotted a lizard perched on the swingarm of my 500. Thank heavens they didn't try to lick that...


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/818/41194746021_81a76a43ff_b.jpg)


That kept us busy for about a minute or two and we were off again.


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/795/40298696625_7721a073ab_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 10, 2018, 09:50:10 pm
Day 2 - part 2
(pictures in this episode can be viewed at better resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmiw29nP (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmiw29nP))

Pretty soon we came across the Ombonde riverbed which we were to follow for the next 15 km or so until it joins the Hoanib river at the start of the Khowarib gorge. The sand in the riverbed was deep but compacted with many crisscrossing tracks. We set-off down the riverbed and straight away Bertie was squealing with joy like a teenage girl at Justin Bieber concert. All the past sand anxiety was gone and he was deliberately hitting the middelmanetije (central divide in American) just for the heck of it. All of this sitting down like a gentleman - Bertie doesnít stand on a bike even in self-defence. The lightweight 500 unveiled its magic beautifully.


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He still had a fall or two, but those were all just because he enjoyed the riding so much that he couldnít be bothered to put his feet down from the pegs when he stopped (notice the deep concern in Stig's demeanor):


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The 15 km flashed by in a blink of an eye and we came upon bigger Hoanib river where we were to turn west again and ride through the Khowarib gorge. I had to go and chase down Justin who continued straight going in the wrong direction confused by my shoddy GPS tracks. Once regrouped we set-off again down Khowarib gorge in our usual order - Justin opening the track, Bertie in the middle and me playing at photographer at the back.


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We bumped into number of giraffes along the way, but still no luck with elephants (and lions).


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As in Ugab, I was surprised how green Hoanib was, and there were even long sections of standing water with reef growing all over the place.


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Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 10, 2018, 10:01:02 pm
Day 2 - part 3
(pictures in this episode can be viewed at better resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmiw29nP (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmiw29nP))

Further down the river we came upon section of fesh fesh, that gave us quite a bit of workout. When we arrived at it I told the others not to worry - there is similar section past Sesfontein and it is a piece of cake. Within 15 meters I almost ate my words. For some reason it was almost impossible to gauge where the center of each deep groove is and one was constantly thrown around like little rag doll. But we made it through with only few minor drops, so all was good.


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After that it was just short ride past lodge at the bottom of the gorge to connect back to C43 and than we took that for another 10 or so km to Ongongo, where we stopped to buy some provisions and beer, before we proceeded another 5 km or so up rough track to the hot spring and adjacent campsite.


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Once we set-up the camp, we headed straight into the pool, where Bertie and I spent the rest of the afternoon basking in the warm water. Justin had a quick swim and then went to do what he likes to do the most - patching rubber. He was determined to fix the inner Tubeliss tube so well that it will indeed hold required 7 bars. We will see how that pans out in the next episode...
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Straatkat on April 10, 2018, 10:30:11 pm
Day 2 was probably the best riding I have ever done, bar none. That Ombonde riverbed was just magic. My bike and I was reveling in the thick sand and was awestruck by the beautiful mountains. At speed the sand was such fun, but when you stop you dig a deep trench to get going again, and stopped we did plenty as the scenery was quite breathtaking. If I had a fear of sand it was completely gone now, sand, bring it on!! The 500 is such a magic bike, I was wondering if I need anything else in my stable. Justin was saying he wants to buy a second one just to have a backup if anything happens to his current one....I am completely smitten by my 500. Keep wondering why it took me so long to get one. Riding sand with this bike is almost like cheating it is so easy! AND as Xpat mentioned I never stand.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: YamaV on April 10, 2018, 11:11:56 pm
Awesome trip guys!  :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Ama ride ride on April 11, 2018, 06:30:40 am
10 outa 10.... :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: ClemS on April 11, 2018, 07:55:20 am
Sub  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 11, 2018, 08:30:36 am
Incredible terrain....thanks for taking the time and sharing again Xpat
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 11, 2018, 08:33:40 am
Thanks for the comments and following  :thumleft:

@SchalkL: Glad to be of service  8)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Straatkat on April 11, 2018, 08:41:20 am
The black dog in the picture at the Ongongo campsite....he scrounged some leftover food from us after dinner, and took it upon himself to protect us, sleeping next to our tents and growling the whole night at the slightest sign of a threat!
During our trip we saw plenty dogs, and they were all terribly thin, some of them walking skeletons! I suppose if you have barely enough food for yourself then the dog gets next to nothing. Quite sad.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Dwerg on April 11, 2018, 08:45:20 am
Great stuff  :thumleft:

XPat, some of your photo's are so good you should consider listing them on shutterstock. Might make some spare cash to pay for the next trip
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Slim Jim on April 11, 2018, 08:47:06 am
Loving this  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on April 11, 2018, 10:27:01 am
@ Xpat - your photos are excellent !!!

I'm so glad now I waited so long for you all day every day  :pot: your photos are worth every moment of sunburn and dehydration
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 11, 2018, 10:34:04 am
@ Xpat - your photos are excellent !!!

I'm so glad now I waited so long for you all day every day  :pot: your photos are worth every moment of sunburn and dehydration

Haha If you wanna be fast you must be prepared to wait............. and carry your own spare tubes  :imaposer:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: MaxThePanda on April 11, 2018, 10:42:33 am
Also, I am leaving for another trip this week, so will start now, but finish only when Iím back sometimes in May, sorry about that.

Jesus. You weren't joking about biking non-stop, were you?
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Straatkat on April 11, 2018, 10:53:32 am
Xpat I must commend you on making the time to take all those lovely pics, when it's hot and you are tired it is very easy to just keep on riding and forget about the pictures, but on this trip I followed your lead and also took quite a few pics and stopped regularly to do so. You took several thousand photo's and I managed about 600.
Also the camera and it's accessibility is a big factor, the camera needs to take high quality pictures and be handy when you need it. If it is hidden somewhere in your luggage you are not going to stop and take it out enough, jacket pocket is first prize here.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 11, 2018, 11:04:30 am
Straatkat how tall are you ?
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: ClimbingTurtle on April 11, 2018, 11:27:56 am
Straatkat how tall are you ?

Swhat i wondered.....
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on April 11, 2018, 11:30:44 am
Straatkat how tall are you ?

Tall enough to be "big spoon" in all the rooms we shared on our trip
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: BiG DoM on April 11, 2018, 11:50:56 am
Awesome, and some more  :ricky: :ricky: :ricky:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Edgar on April 11, 2018, 12:17:01 pm

I have been on sabbatical for a while now focusing on what I like most - doing bugger-all intersped with riding.


This sounds awesome!!!!!
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Nev on April 11, 2018, 12:37:14 pm
Awesome thread, I need to get my lazy ass moving, and  :ricky:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 11, 2018, 12:38:30 pm
Straatkat how tall are you ?

Tall enough to be "big spoon" in all the rooms we shared on our trip


Now i understand why he will not stand.............ergonomics are all wrong and transition between sitting and standing are HUGE.

Must feel like doing a full squat every time he attempts standing  :lol8:

 
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: ROOI on April 11, 2018, 01:10:11 pm
SUB  :laughing4:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Straatkat on April 11, 2018, 03:30:38 pm
Armpump to be totally honest, when Justin stand and I sit we are on the same level! When I stand it feels like I am on stilts and have to perch over to reach the handlebars, most uncomfortable. AND my knees are not new anymore. I have learnt to ride sitting, much easier even if I have to give up some control. I can pick a line and stay with it much more accurately than if I was standing. On the odd occasion I might lift my arse an inch or two off the seat to see some undulation through.
Hijack off.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 11, 2018, 04:10:46 pm
Well as long as you know there are options to help you get more comfortable

Now hunt a picture with Xpat actually ON his bike  :)

Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: onderbroek on April 11, 2018, 04:25:40 pm
Day 2 - part 2

 




(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/897/26321663197_ce57518828_b.jpg)



Straatkat is so lank dit lyk asof hy n fifty ry
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: THROTTLE JOCKEY on April 11, 2018, 04:46:43 pm
 :sip:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS on April 11, 2018, 05:03:25 pm
So sad to see hardly any rain fell there this year. :(
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Amsterdam on April 11, 2018, 05:40:06 pm
Also the camera and it's accessibility is a big factor, the camera needs to take high quality pictures and be handy when you need it. If it is hidden somewhere in your luggage you are not going to stop and take it out enough, jacket pocket is first prize here.

This is the reason why I like having a tank bag.  But as you say, you can get awfully pinned down that way.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 11, 2018, 05:52:47 pm
Day 3 - part 1
(pictures in this episode can be viewed at better resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskzbfRuw (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmiw29nP))

In the morning Bertie and I broke the camp keen to get going, except Justin had different idea. Last evening he has patched the inner Tubeliss tube and was keen to put it in and try it out. Naturally Bertie and I were not crazy about the idea, as the current tube was working just fine so why change something that isnít broken. But Justin persevered and claimed that it will be very quick (yeah, right), so Bertie not keen to argue decided to join in to get it done and over quickly.

I bitched a bit longer, but eventually let it go as I thought we should be able to make Opuwo comfortably even with another late start and on alternative route I havenít done before. The only potential snag may have been Robbieís pass we were to encounter. But I figured - if 4x4s occasionally make it and even some German D650s did, how difficult can it be on 500? It turns out - quite difficultÖ


Beautifull bodies in motion - pure poetry:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/817/41324869871_1d5b8eb734_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/891/26453190947_70971f7960_b.jpg)


The idea of riding Robbieís pass came from Hardy de Kock, who suggested it as an alternative to my original plan. Which was to ride over to Purros (already night before instead of stopping early in Ongongo as we did) and take Hoarusib river from there all the way to Opuwo. I have done the lower reaches of Hoarusib around Purros few times, but havenít ridden the upper reaches heading up almost all the way to Opuwo. Hardy has done it in a 4x4 and said that the route is beautiful, but he also warned me off strongly as had two friends ride through there recently coincidentally also on 500s and one of them ended up falling into deep hole trap covered completely by fesh fesh, broke his collarbone and had to be evacuated. Apparently there is this phenomena happening every few years at the confluence of Hoarusib and its non-name tributary when I guess (complete speculation here) the flowing water - a rare occasion in this parts - creates whirls at the confluence of the two rivers which dig out deep holes in the riverbed and then covers them later on with soft sand that dries into fesh fesh. So Hardyís friend was riding nice sandy riverbed same like dozen others in Kaokoland, when the ground let go from underneath, and he hit the hidden hole ending up to his neck in fesh fesh and with broken collarbone.

That was definitely something to take note of, but to be honest on itís own wouldnít dissuade me from riding there - now that I knew about the hazard, we should be able to avoid it. But Hardy suggested alternative (understanding that the main C43 dirth highway is not an option for us) - riding from Sesfontein over the Robbieís pass to Kaoko Otavi and from there on D3707 to Opuwo. He called it very technical which naturally tickled my interest, so I found a video on Youtube of couple of Germans doing it on DR650, and was converted. Here is that video:




So the plan for the day was to make it to Opuwo riding the tracks over Robbieís pass. Here is the route we did and as you will notice, we made it to Robbieís pass, but not Opuwo - you will see why by the end of this episode.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/884/41381632211_98fe30d72c_b.jpg)


Back to Ongongo and the Tubeliss experiment, once the other two got the inner tube finally installed, we packed up and set-off - as usually past 9 am. First we had to do short 20 or so km dash on C43 highway to Sesfontein and I led the way. About 15 km in I stopped at the crossing where C43 turned north towards Opuwo, waiting for the other two to make sure they take the right turn. Bertie arrived soon after, but no sight of Justin.

It didnít take a rocket scientist to figure out what happened. And sure enough much later Justin crawled in on flat front tyre. On the upside - in scientific experiment even negative result is good, because the rest of humanity (that includes Justin - not completely sure about that though) can avoid the mistake of trying to patch 7 bar tube. On the downside - we were going to lose more time.

As Justin was able to ride the bike, there was no point trying to fix it on the side of the road, so we pushed on the last 5 km to Sesfontein, where we first stopped at the supermarket to stock up on goodies we have used up last night like Spam and most importantly sweetened condensed milk, and then we drove another few hundred meters to the petrol station adjacent to the Sesfontein Fort lodge. Where we were told that they are out or petrol (unexpected funeral sucked them dry). They were expecting petrol truck sometimes later that day from Otjiwarongo 450 km (half of it dirt) away.


Leaving Ongongo camp:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/893/41321825262_171e652b62_b.jpg)


Sesfontein street life:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/809/41321829682_c0511d1f54_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/867/41365177991_987ebbfdc8_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/901/41365201341_fe12002694_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/819/40469891515_6645c81cde_b.jpg)


We rode back to the town enquiring if there may be somebody selling petrol from drum, but while that is now widely available even in very remote villages in Kaokoland (as we were to find out later on), there was no point selling drum petrol here - at the end of the day they were a proper town (speaking in relative terms here) and had a petrol station.

We (or rather Justin) still had to deal with flat front tyre, so we retreated to the Sesfontein Fort lodge, where we had proper breakfast after which Justin proceeded to put in the tube he took out 2 hours ago.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/902/40469958585_ab601f58fb_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/816/27493898438_cdeef07630_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/895/41365258981_c0255593f8_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/805/40470000575_e247e7bd9d_b.jpg)


Waiting for Justin to finish I became suddenly acutely aware of the grave danger we were in and the other two were completely oblivious to. Beautifully maintained palm tree shaded courtyard with blue pool and virtually unlimited supply of cooked food and drinks and most importantly - WIFI - stirred one of my worst demons - the inner gastro tourist. Cloaked by the fog that has settled over my brain, his claw reaching from my guts got a good grip on the brain. His voice whispering things like Ďthere is nothing we can do - we have to wait for the petrol here, which will probably only arrive tomorrow, so we may as well settle into one of the air conditioned rooms right nowí. I have lost this fight many times before - indeed 2 or 3 times in this very same establishment.

On the brink of another crushing defeat, I jumped into the action with whatever little willpower I have left and called for a conference. Luckily, Justin was just about done with the tyre so we sat down and pondered our options. We knew this is Africa and the truck would be there at best in the evening (ĎI told youí said gastro tourist in my head smiling, his golden tooth glistering brightly). Theoretically we should have enough petrol to make it to Opuwo 170 - 180 km away (weíve done so far about 180 since last refill), as we should be able to make 400 km on a tank. But we didnít know how much our consumption was affected by all the sand and rock riding. Our best guess was that we will either just make it, or just not make it. But we figured, we might be able to get petrol in Kaoko Otavi about 40 km short of Opuwo and even if not, as a last resort - should we see we are running low - we would just get all the remaining petrol into one of our bikes, and one of us will then shoot up to Opuwo and bring petrol back to the other two left behind.

With that settled (and gastro tourist positively pissed off), we had one more Coke for the road, geared up and set-off again. By now it was past noon and we had about 180 km of unknown terrain to cover. I have investigated two routes up to Robbieís pass - the preferred one following up the Ganamub riverbed, and the back up D3705. With such a delay, I settled for the D3705, which was shorter and headed up north straight out of Sesfontein  - while the Ganamub required ride out west towards Puros.

D3705 turned out to be much better than expected. None of tha nicely maintained D road stuff like D3707 (which to be perfectly honest I like as well), but rather almost abandoned rocky double tracks with few tricky climbs thrown in to keep it entertaining even on 500, while still enabling us to keep pretty steady pace covering good distance in decent time. These will give you an idea:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/867/40470085455_79a4da4ce1_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/876/39555677930_9c3e41cca7_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/789/26493912377_1ebbaa0efc_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/791/40651630364_858ab19048_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/787/40470145145_f49ae808f0_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/870/40470164765_60cd7ce86e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/873/39555776110_50be8acebf_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/818/27494141778_242e806343_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/805/41322253822_40eac5253e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/812/41322281522_e4e81aafb5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/893/40651791484_ecd978af64_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/895/41365600711_918e194b64_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/802/41322379742_904a757e6a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/813/41365681991_03fda27a3d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/878/40470556325_bb4fdd52df_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/811/41365773801_32e485739f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/895/41322667092_8d2c806284_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/789/40470680335_79fecfa5a8_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/808/41322726562_85ac409e97_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/785/40470727765_e58f96e7d1_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/801/40470749615_931ab2b686_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/799/26494452487_33caef4579_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/895/40652265094_b83aee63ea_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/785/39556318960_8c820ba14a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/867/27494714428_406b32a6d4_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/884/26494673647_7598d99ebf_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/868/26494696117_14d4af0121_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/872/26494739597_c264513489_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/878/41323104472_73602fdbcf_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/798/40652440864_b5fa0538c2_b.jpg)


We were making good progress and made it to the last village before Robbieís pass, about half-way through to Kaoko Otavi, at about 14:00. At this pace it looked like we may still be able to make it to Opuwo for the night, so the inner gastro tourist started to visualise medium rare steak straight away.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 11, 2018, 05:56:15 pm
So sad to see hardly any rain fell there this year. :(

Why do you say that Chris? I'm no expert, but I have never seen the area so green and full of water. Hoarusib was even flowing down the Puros canyon. And we had clouds overhead most of our trip and even had pretty good rain in Sesfontein - first in 5 years.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 11, 2018, 05:58:32 pm
Great stuff  :thumleft:

XPat, some of your photo's are so good you should consider listing them on shutterstock. Might make some spare cash to pay for the next trip

Thanks, but I'm old school and do not like to mix business and pleasure. Maybe next life I'm lucky and a bit more Kardashiani. Plus all those images were taken with little compact camera with ultrazoom lens (meaning crappier quality than less ultras), so once magnified, the technical quality is not there for example for wall print. They are good enough for screen.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 11, 2018, 06:00:54 pm
Also, I am leaving for another trip this week, so will start now, but finish only when Iím back sometimes in May, sorry about that.

Jesus. You weren't joking about biking non-stop, were you?

Nope. Though I do spent quite a bit of time being idle, so that balances it out...
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS on April 11, 2018, 06:08:55 pm
So sad to see hardly any rain fell there this year. :(

Why do you say that Chris? I'm no expert, but I have never seen the area so green and full of water. Hoarusib was even flowing down the Puros canyon. And we had clouds overhead most of our trip and even had pretty good rain in Sesfontein - first in 5 years.
No grass or hardly any. If the rivers had water in it means it could have rained higher upriver.

It could look like this after good rains.

Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 11, 2018, 06:15:12 pm
Also the camera and it's accessibility is a big factor, the camera needs to take high quality pictures and be handy when you need it. If it is hidden somewhere in your luggage you are not going to stop and take it out enough, jacket pocket is first prize here.

This is the reason why I like having a tank bag.  But as you say, you can get awfully pinned down that way.

I have tried that - doesn't work for me. Too much effort to unzip and zip the tankbag, especially if there is a lot of dust and one's hands are tired from days of bundu bashing. And it gets in the way - especially on small bike like 500.

After long experimentation with different options, I came to believe that the best choice is quality compact camera in the jacket pocket. I would have ended up with way less pictures if I would have to get the camera from tankbag.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 11, 2018, 06:17:30 pm
So sad to see hardly any rain fell there this year. :(

Why do you say that Chris? I'm no expert, but I have never seen the area so green and full of water. Hoarusib was even flowing down the Puros canyon. And we had clouds overhead most of our trip and even had pretty good rain in Sesfontein - first in 5 years.
No grass or hardly any. If the rivers had water in it means it could have rained higher upriver.

It could look like this after good rains.

Well, that is Marienfluss, further up north and in different valley that may have different climate. But don't know that for sure. The riverbeds were definitely the most wet I have ever seen them and the rain in Sesfontein also seemed indicative of good level or rain - may have been just freak accident though.

Edit: Oh yes, and I almost drowned the bike later on in Hoanib...
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on April 11, 2018, 07:05:42 pm
I'm going to dip my oar in here

I have totally lost faith and given up on Tubliss - even though I have good experiences with this on Amageza

It is way too delicate for DS touring type riding and way too complicated and time wasting to try and fix in the bush

Since coming home from this trip I have junked the Tubliss in both wheels and reverted back to good old fashioned tubes ... but with a twist

I am now running heavy duty super thick enduro tubes inside a cut open old tube - total thickness for something to have to penetrate and puncture is 8 mm ...and the enduro tube is filled with self sealing slime

and as a backup I am carrying normal lightweight spare front and rear tubes

Straatkat used Michelin BIB mousses on this trip and had absolutely no problems whatsoever ...but he did nurse them constantly and never exceeded 100 kph - I can't do that - drives me insane to ride so slow
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Ri on April 11, 2018, 07:15:31 pm

But Hardy suggested alternative (understanding that the main C43 dirth highway is not an option for us) - riding from Sesfontein over the Robbieís pass to Kaoko Otavi and from there on D3707 to Opuwo. He called it very technical which naturally tickled my interest, so I found a video on Youtube of couple of Germans doing it on DR650, and was converted. Here is that video:



 :o :eek7:

Gonna need high-heeled, thick-soled riding boots ... and years more experience  :-\
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 11, 2018, 11:47:41 pm
Day 3 - part 2
(pictures in this episode can be viewed at better resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskzbfRuw (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmiw29nP))

We arrived at the affluent suburbs of Ohohorwa with a bang. The orange Darth Vader upfront scared local kids so much that a 10 year old girl run in blind panic past her parents and past their huts and literally run up a tree about hundred meters away. Leopard wouldnít stand a chance against her in tree climbing competition. Now kids in remote places usually run away from bikes they never seen or heard before, but generally they run to hide in their houses or behind their parents, not just cut loose completely.

This is the reason why I insist that open face helmets should be used for proper adventure riding in the remote areas like this. I mean I would have run up a tree should that lifeless figure would came rushing towards me in Midrand, just look at it once again:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/881/40281348995_174572e9f8_b.jpg)


The rest of the locals were gathered in the shade under a tree cooking a communal meal in a big pot. Justin, who as the only extrovert in the group by now established himself firmly as the groupís liaison officer, zoomed right in jabbering even before he disrobed and turned from an alien into russian babushka (ouma).

On his prior engagements with locals he showed keen interest in their sex life - or Ďjiggy-jiggyí as he called it accompanied with demonstrative pelvic thrust, and the price of women and children. Sometimes his little risque jokes left a local or two somewhat baffled and missing the gist of the joke (or rather getting it crystal clear?). So I suggested earlier to rather play it safe as we didnít need any unnecessary misunderstanding. Should we have an emergency here, the locals were our best (or rather only) chance to get it sorted out (yes, we had two satellite phones with helicopter squadron on speed dial, but check MaxThePandaís report how well that worked for them), so I didnít want to risk antagonizing them by misunderstanding.

Justin took the advice to the heart and in an attempt to present himself as funny uncle (or rather let me and Bertie score few pictures without having to fork-out money - thanks Justin!) let every kid in the group sit on his bike. He seemed to really like playing with little kids - but then he also likes to play with animal carcasses, so I was ready to intervene should he start putting them in his mouth. Which to his credit, he didnít:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/809/27495259638_11a4fe243f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/872/41366351301_48f829c57d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/798/40652578964_52786d26c2_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/864/41366438621_f39696f2da_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/820/41323390782_5aa5408292_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/806/41366544781_52c3310fa6_b.jpg)


After this little hearts and minds soiree - or rather clandestine photoshoot - we asked where is the shebeen, and set-off in the indicated direction. Elated from all the kiddy interactions, Justin lost concentration for a moment and wiped out on perfectly flat double track, breaking of his GPS mount in the process. Which he then proceeded to cable tie back onto the handlebars:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/812/41323554272_fd6e85ac7d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/872/41323989692_5cd7e2013e_b.jpg)



When we arrived the spaza shop/shebeen, Justin was genuinely dumbfounded by the shop set-up, with bars over the counter and such. In turn Bertie and I were dumbfounded by Justin being dumbfounded, as the shop looked more or less the same as any other spaza shop/ shebeen in Africa north of Tankwa Padstal and east of Baviaans. Looks like the Cape hippies donít get out of their little peninsula much.

I have checked with the shebeen lady where they get their stock from and was surprised that it was from Sesfontein. Opuwo was about the same distance to the north and bigger and better stocked town. Clearly the Robbieís pass much have had something to do with itÖ


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/788/40471868375_3b8b6a5d0f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/885/41324079182_ea81e73375_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/875/26495642077_e231c876a1_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/809/27495759598_51edef7ebd_b.jpg)


Rehydrated, we got on the bikes and headed few km north where the track turned east and headed into the gap in the mountains - i.e. the Robbies pass. The mood was good and we pushed on up the initial section of the pass.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/865/40471927285_fbaf9ed2d4_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/785/40653289964_84efc4b796_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/784/27495860868_bdc1ec37cb_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/783/41324172182_eaa8ba592d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/816/39557448660_e9e0ac276a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/789/40653462094_83098b9c7d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/813/26495862787_13e195f926_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/879/27496043978_8685c29961_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/864/39557612510_f1e07b06c6_b.jpg)


The going was slow, but nothing could dampen the spirits of these men!


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/784/27496102688_5eee441e97_b.jpg)


The pass was basically a rocky riverbed cut into the mountain and the going got progressively tougher as we went deeper into the mountains. Bertie had a spill or two that luckily ended without any injury and we pushed on. However both Bertie and Justin struggled quite a bit in the rocks and the progress was slow.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/898/39557695700_3f8e3a23a9_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/881/26495990217_c88dc54aff_b.jpg)


Whoopsie


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/892/39557842620_b9063c4cdd_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/817/40653795184_1d925b555f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/803/41324610642_c85c34bf5b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/789/39558015910_38ffa176f3_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/800/40653974644_b18b2496aa_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/865/27496401788_c608843843_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/790/41367623321_dc6bf4c6ce_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/877/27496458168_b33fa17253_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/863/41324816692_7312586dd1_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/898/41367801081_a876df87bc_b.jpg)


Whoops - seems like I was a bit hasty. Looks like Robbie's pass may be actually able to dampen the spirits of these men...


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/884/39558254350_b3ce1217a8_b.jpg)


On the other hand a month of riding I have spent in Lesotho between November and January was paying off and I was actually enjoying the rocks quite a bit. So much so, that when the clouds closed in the rain looked imminent (that would be the first I would see in these parts), I have overtaken them both and went ahead to look for a place where we could find shelter should the storm catch us. I could see on GPS that few km ahead was supposed to be dry waterfall with cave so pushed on ahead to see if I can find some shelter. I have made quite quickly it to the top of the pass and saw that the nearby cave was deep in a ravine and we could not get to it easily.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/874/41324970542_4c8c633ed8_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/803/39558287850_e28375720b_b.jpg)


With nothing else to do, I left the bike there and walked back to see if I can help the other two to get over the pass faster. They were still quite far behind, but pushing slowly ahead, even though the initial enthusiasm was long gone overtaken by exhaustion. Now it was just business of getting it over.


Darth Vader on the outside / Ouma on the inside in a tricky section:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/804/27496715778_5c887a064f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/897/41368016561_c3b5f3bcba_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/796/41368071071_e76d4bb8d5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/816/40654563114_0f54bc2c7d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/792/39558467940_2460742817_b.jpg)


Bertie holding up faster traffic:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/797/26496718597_39a4736af4_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/884/40473263325_421dd17329_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/796/40473286485_c6144c4870_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/796/27496962248_2404e520e4_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/868/26496832577_cdfbf77e23_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/868/26496871687_a6a5a1656a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/807/41368297081_db10d66a4a_b.jpg)


Ravine with dry waterfall and cave at the top of the pass:



(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/876/41368426061_ac6f7b8c95_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/882/27497168368_6af70f672e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/793/41325514302_712469277e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/872/40654808444_dd0078a055_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/863/27497248088_8dd84236ca_b.jpg)


By the time Justin and Bertie made it to the top of the pass, there was very little daylight left. So we decided to sleep right there on the road, set-up a camp and warmed up variety of cans for dinner. Luckily, the rain didnít come and we ended up having a good night of sleep up there.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: TinusBez on April 12, 2018, 05:10:09 am
 :sip:

Proper trip.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: frankmac on April 12, 2018, 06:18:57 am
Paparazzi everywhere, just when you don't want them  :biggrin:

Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: >Herman< on April 12, 2018, 07:53:41 am
 :drif:

Very cool ride report

 :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 12, 2018, 08:16:11 am
That sure looks like tire eating loose rock/stone :(





Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: BiG DoM on April 12, 2018, 08:23:41 am
That sure looks like tire eating loose rock/stone :(

What tyres you running?
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on April 12, 2018, 08:27:29 am
That sure looks like tire eating loose rock/stone :(

What tyres you running?

I had Mitas C23 upfront and E09 on the back (which was total crap and did not last)

Bertie and Martin both had Mitas C02 StoneKing on the rear (which was brilliant and lasted well) and some cheapy Maxxis upfront which was also good

Robbie's Pass has a few small stones and pebbles ...with some sand in between  :biggrin: .....this "pass" makes Van Zyls look like a freeway

I did the Montague National Enduro about 10 years ago on a KDX200 ... basically riding in riverbeds over rocks for 50 km laps ... this is what Robbie's Pass is like - but now you are on a loaded bike
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: ClemS on April 12, 2018, 08:28:57 am
Bliksem Manne, dis nou 'n EPIC trip! As ek 10 jaar jonger was sou ek dit regtig graag wou doen!! Hats off to you all!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: BiG DoM on April 12, 2018, 08:37:30 am


I had Mitas C23 upfront and E09 on the back (which was total crap and did not last)

Bertie and Martin both had Mitas C02 StoneKing on the rear (which was brilliant and lasted well) and some cheapy Maxxis upfront which was also good

Robbie's Pass has a few small stones and pebbles ...with some sand in between  :biggrin: .....this "pass" makes Van Zyls look like a freeway

I did the Montague National Enduro about 10 years ago on a KDX200 ... basically riding in riverbeds over rocks for 50 km laps ... this is what Robbie's Pass is like - but now you are on a loaded bike
[/quote]

Any tyre insurance?  :peepwall:  :pot:

I use the C02 on my Husky 610 and been very happy with it and good lifespan  :thumleft: Definitely more gnarly than the E09 I use on the HP2 (you get two versions - Dakar is stronger with extra sidewall ply).  That said - what was the contingency if one of you got a large sidewall cut?

Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 12, 2018, 08:50:46 am

I had Mitas C23 upfront and E09 on the back (which was total crap and did not last)

Bertie and Martin both had Mitas C02 StoneKing on the rear (which was brilliant and lasted well) and some cheapy Maxxis upfront which was also good

Robbie's Pass has a few small stones and pebbles ...with some sand in between  :biggrin: .....this "pass" makes Van Zyls look like a freeway

I did the Montague National Enduro about 10 years ago on a KDX200 ... basically riding in riverbeds over rocks for 50 km laps ... this is what Robbie's Pass is like - but now you are on a loaded bike

Any tyre insurance?  :peepwall:  :pot:

I use the C02 on my Husky 610 and been very happy with it and good likespan  :thumleft: Definately more gnarly than the E09 I use on the HP2 (you get two versions - Dakar is stronger with extra sidewall ply).  That said - what was the contingency if one of you got a large sidewall cut?

What is tyre insurance? Tyre is a consumption material like oil filter. Can you get oil filter insurance? Quite frankly if one has a mindset to buy tyre insurance, they shoiuld not go for trip like this. On this kind of trip the whole bike is consumption material.

Contingency is very simple and I already mentioned it here - spare tubes (regardless whether you have extra rubber, pure air or foam in your tyre) + lotsa patches (something I forgot to instruct the other two to bring and it has almost bitten us in the ass later on). Nothing beats good old tube out in the sticks.

Edit: and just to put things into perspective, Robbies pass is about 5 - 7 km long, so not such a big load on the tyres (even though it took us about 3 hour to cross). I think faster riding on rocks like you have seen on those more open sections kills tyres faster. That said C02 worked like a charm - Bertie had new ones and I believe at the end of our 2000 or so km long loop he had probably over half of the thread left and mine  - which I already used in LEsotho prior to this trip - still had plenty left.

Justin's E09 wasn't new and wasn't Dakar version (they do not import it in the approximately right size for 500). So unsurprisingly it was a toast at the end of this trip.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on April 12, 2018, 08:56:18 am
That said - what was the contingency if one of you got a large sidewall cut?

Comfortable walking shoes and a big floppy hat to protect your pip from the sun
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 12, 2018, 09:08:31 am
Bliksem Manne, dis nou 'n EPIC trip! As ek 10 jaar jonger was sou ek dit regtig graag wou doen!! Hats off to you all!  :thumleft:

How old are you? Bertie is 56 or some such and I think there are people over 60 often on Wildwood tours (though they do not ride the stuff we have done so far).

On my last trip in Kaokoland when clutch on my Tenere died half way up Van Zyl's pass, I got my ass saved by Swiss mechanic on RXV450 who was very close if not over 70 riding solo day trips around and liaising back to his tour group only in the evenings.

I don't think age matters that much - more the level of health and fitness. On a right bike (that is paramount - most people rock up on too heavy bike) most of this is quite easily doable by well preserved 60 year's olds IMO.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Buff on April 12, 2018, 09:22:16 am
Wow, absolutely stunning riding terrain and photographs, loving the RR, thanks guys  :thumleft:

This one is certainly going onto the bucket list  :drif:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: BiG DoM on April 12, 2018, 10:26:56 am

Any tyre insurance?  :peepwall:  :pot:

I use the C02 on my Husky 610 and been very happy with it and good likespan  :thumleft: Definately more gnarly than the E09 I use on the HP2 (you get two versions - Dakar is stronger with extra sidewall ply).  That said - what was the contingency if one of you got a large sidewall cut?

What is tyre insurance? Tyre is a consumption material like oil filter. Can you get oil filter insurance? Quite frankly if one has a mindset to buy tyre insurance, they shoiuld not go for trip like this. On this kind of trip the whole bike is consumption material.

Contingency is very simple and I already mentioned it here - spare tubes (regardless whether you have extra rubber, pure air or foam in your tyre) + lotsa patches (something I forgot to instruct the other two to bring and it has almost bitten us in the ass later on). Nothing beats good old tube out in the sticks.

Edit: and just to put things into perspective, Robbies pass is about 5 - 7 km long, so not such a big load on the tyres (even though it took us about 3 hour to cross). I think faster riding on rocks like you have seen on those more open sections kills tyres faster. That said C02 worked like a charm - Bertie had new ones and I believe at the end of our 2000 or so km long loop he had probably over half of the thread left and mine  - which I already used in LEsotho prior to this trip - still had plenty left.

Justin's E09 wasn't new and wasn't Dakar version (they do not import it in the approximately right size for 500). So unsurprisingly it was a toast at the end of this trip.
[/quote]

Sorry the tyre insurance question was a joke  >:D  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=222968.0

My question regarding tyre contingency related directly to the possibility of a large gaping cut in the sidewall - would you try and patch inside, hold closed with cable ties or go for the sunhat and takkies as JBI suggests  :biggrin:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Buff on April 12, 2018, 10:46:17 am
Regarding the issue of repairing the inner tube of the tubeliss system:

Theoretically it should not be a problem at all because that small tube is essentially just a bicycle tube. Most modern road bicycles have their tires pumped to between 7 and 9 bars depending on the weight of the rider. Some even go as high as 12bars with modern clinchers. I have often repaired mine and pumped them to 9 bar without any further issues.

However, thatís only when repairing pin picks from devils thorns etc. If the tube is cut from a pinch flat (which is the most likely thing on a tubeliss system) and itís anything larger than 1 or 2mm, the repair will not hold due to the volume of air escaping onto that patch. You can try use a bigger patch and give it time to cure but time is not always an option when stuck in the field.

I totally agree with Xpat, tubes remain the best form of backup... just make sure to check your tire thoroughly for thorns before fitting it if you previously ran tubeliss because chances are you'll have one or two sticking through that the slime has plugged and they will puncture your fresh tube.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 12, 2018, 10:56:15 am
@BiG DoM: I have dipped into that insurance thread and run away immediately.

Regarding contingency: if you mean really catastrophically big cut, then I'm not sure what contingency would be. But I'm sure we (and by we I mean Justin, who despite being Cape hippie is also one of the best McGyvers out there) would figure something out. From top of my head - Bertie had mousses, so he would probably be fine to ride it out. and three of the remining tyres had for most of the part Tubeliss in, which one should be able to ride out completely flat easily as the Tubeliss will hold the tyre on the rim (assuming that one is not punctured of course).

With tubes I would try to stabilize the cut with duct-tape or cable ties - should work fine on knobblies. Rode almost whole of Ethiopia with duct tape around a gash - here not very good image - it is the silver thingy on the front wheel;

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-000Wpxpkgwg/VEGbFua0FrI/AAAAAAAACcY/rOUHSLKNwCA/s800/051211%2520128-06.jpg)


(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-nhjBH0nzsmY/VEV_TfcjeEI/AAAAAAAAClc/gn2b8W6ZolQ/s800/051215%2520131-03.jpg)


And the last resort - I have seen somewhere Adam Riemann to fix flat on his tubeless 1190 by stuffing tyre full with grass and riding it out. If some Aussie can do it, sure South AFricans can (the Russian would just let the South AFrican ride his bike out)!
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 12, 2018, 11:01:14 am
Regarding the issue of repairing the inner tube of the tubeliss system:

Theoretically it should not be a problem at all because that small tube is essentially just a bicycle tube. Most modern road bicycles have their tires pumped to between 7 and 9 bars depending on the weight of the rider. Some even go as high as 12bars with modern clinchers. I have often repaired mine and pumped them to 9 bar without any further issues.

However, thatís only when repairing pin picks from devils thorns etc. If the tube is cut from a pinch flat (which is the most likely thing on a tubeliss system) and itís anything larger than 1 or 2mm, the repair will not hold due to the volume of air escaping onto that patch. You can try use a bigger patch and give it time to cure but time is not always an option when stuck in the field.

I totally agree with Xpat, tubes remain the best form of backup... just make sure to check your tire thoroughly for thorns before fitting it if you previously ran tubeliss because chances are you'll have one or two sticking through that the slime has plugged and they will puncture your fresh tube.

Interesting Buff, didn't know that bycicles run at those kind of pressures. So can one theoretically (if the size is right and valve of course) use bicycle tube in Tubeliss?

And if the inner can be actually patched, does it mean that Justin is actually useless at patching tubes? That would explain why he had to spend almost every day lubricating rubber...
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on April 12, 2018, 11:05:23 am
Regarding the issue of repairing the inner tube of the tubeliss system:

Theoretically it should not be a problem at all because that small tube is essentially just a bicycle tube. Most modern road bicycles have their tires pumped to between 7 and 9 bars depending on the weight of the rider. Some even go as high as 12bars with modern clinchers. I have often repaired mine and pumped them to 9 bar without any further issues.

However, thatís only when repairing pin picks from devils thorns etc. If the tube is cut from a pinch flat (which is the most likely thing on a tubeliss system) and itís anything larger than 1 or 2mm, the repair will not hold due to the volume of air escaping onto that patch. You can try use a bigger patch and give it time to cure but time is not always an option when stuck in the field.

I totally agree with Xpat, tubes remain the best form of backup... just make sure to check your tire thoroughly for thorns before fitting it if you previously ran tubeliss because chances are you'll have one or two sticking through that the slime has plugged and they will puncture your fresh tube.

Interesting Buff, didn't know that bycicles run at those kind of pressures. So can one theoretically (if the size is right and valve of course) use bicycle tube in Tubeliss?

And if the inner can be actually patched, does it mean that Justin is actually useless at patching tubes? That would explain why he had to spend almost every day lubricating rubber...

I will gladly teach you something else from Cape Town ... it's a little saying known as J M S P
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: BiG DoM on April 12, 2018, 11:09:56 am

And the last resort - I have seen somewhere Adam Riemann to fix flat on his tubeless 1190 by stuffing tyre full with grass and riding it out. If some Aussie can do it, sure South AFricans can (the Russian would just let the South AFrican ride his bike out)!

Ja seen the grass trick a few times  :biggrin: 

So I am right in saying you were also running Tubliss? (sorry you may have clarified earlier)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 12, 2018, 11:13:40 am

And the last resort - I have seen somewhere Adam Riemann to fix flat on his tubeless 1190 by stuffing tyre full with grass and riding it out. If some Aussie can do it, sure South AFricans can (the Russian would just let the South AFrican ride his bike out)!

Ja seen the grass trick a few times  :biggrin: 

So I am right in saying you were also running Tubliss? (sorry you may have clarified earlier)

Yes, Justin and I were running Tubeliss - well Justin had to repolace his front with tube on day1 and I had to use a tube for one day, until I got inner Tubeliss spare from Justin. Bertie was on mousses - which I tried to dissuade him from (at least I forced him to bring spare tubes should the mouses go south), but to be fair they did work without a glitch on this trip
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Dwerg on April 12, 2018, 11:18:52 am
My concern with mousse is what do you do with it after a failure? You have to carry that thing with you until you can get to a place where you can discard it. Can't stuff it in a bag and certainly can't dump it in the bush.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 12, 2018, 11:21:46 am
My concern with mousse is what do you do with it after a failure? You have to carry that thing with you until you can get to a place where you can discard it. Can't stuff it in a bag and certainly can't dump it in the bush.

You have to lesser extent the same problem with Tubeliss, you need to pack the hard inner red liner somewhere and it is a bit unwieldy - you can see it strapped to Justin's luggage on some of the pictures. And it is quite expensive, so you might not want to discard the thing and have to carry it all the way.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: BiG DoM on April 12, 2018, 11:30:35 am
My concern with mousse is what do you do with it after a failure? You have to carry that thing with you until you can get to a place where you can discard it. Can't stuff it in a bag and certainly can't dump it in the bush.

You have to lesser extent the same problem with Tubeliss, you need to pack the hard inner red liner somewhere and it is a bit unwieldy - you can see it strapped to Justin's luggage on some of the pictures. And it is quite expensive, so you might not want to discard the thing and have to carry it all the way.

True - that is the expensive part, Tubeliss tubes are like R180.  And yes to cart that black mamba mousse will also be a PIA - messy things - and yes again seen a photo of a discarded one on Doodakker  :-\
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 12, 2018, 11:35:41 am
I read a folded bank note works a charm at keeping tube from popping out on side wall cut

Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: BiG DoM on April 12, 2018, 11:38:41 am
I read a folded bank note works a charm at keeping tube from popping out on side wall cut

 :imaposer:  I would opt for the stronger but less buoyant credit card.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Breekbeen on April 12, 2018, 12:24:26 pm
Regarding the issue of repairing the inner tube of the tubeliss system:

Theoretically it should not be a problem at all because that small tube is essentially just a bicycle tube. Most modern road bicycles have their tires pumped to between 7 and 9 bars depending on the weight of the rider. Some even go as high as 12bars with modern clinchers. I have often repaired mine and pumped them to 9 bar without any further issues.

However, that’s only when repairing pin picks from devils thorns etc. If the tube is cut from a pinch flat (which is the most likely thing on a tubeliss system) and it’s anything larger than 1 or 2mm, the repair will not hold due to the volume of air escaping onto that patch. You can try use a bigger patch and give it time to cure but time is not always an option when stuck in the field.

I totally agree with Xpat, tubes remain the best form of backup... just make sure to check your tire thoroughly for thorns before fitting it if you previously ran tubeliss because chances are you'll have one or two sticking through that the slime has plugged and they will puncture your fresh tube.

Buff, the little I know about Tubliss is that the inner tube only seal spokes and act as a rim lock, so there are nothing sitting on the outside like the tire of the bicycle.
Is this correct?
That is why the tubliss inner tube is so thick.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 12, 2018, 12:27:41 pm
(http://tubliss.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/TUbliss-Flyer-English.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Breekbeen on April 12, 2018, 12:49:02 pm
(http://tubliss.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/TUbliss-Flyer-English.jpg)

This is what I thought, so a bicycle tube will just inflate till it burst, no way you will get a bicycle tube to 7 bar in that way.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 12, 2018, 01:02:22 pm
No, it will not - only the blue thing is tube, the red thing is hard liner.

Let's keep this please focused on the trip and topics that are related to it. I know I asked the question but it was in the context of Justin trying to fix the tube or use spare in the sticks, as that is the problem he run into.

If you are interested in how Tubeliss works please open separate thread.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Grunder on April 12, 2018, 01:58:19 pm
 :sip: really enjoying this R&R
Title: He he he...
Post by: Osadabwa on April 12, 2018, 02:33:57 pm
That rocky section looked fun, the riverbeds too!

Namibia is fantastic, particularly the sections you're seeing and the way you're seeing them. Love it!  I'd be more jealous, but I've been doing about the same thing up here on and off for the past couple of weeks. With rainy season making everything green it was fantastic. I even led a bunch of KTM 500s with my XR through bits of N. Tanzania... If that sabbatical is extended, come on up! Or if you get stuck at work, then just come vicariously via the RR (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=219546.msg4027859#msg4027859).

Next day please.

 :snorting:

Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: TinusBez on April 12, 2018, 05:31:56 pm
If you are interested in how Tubeliss works please open separate thread.  :thumleft:

 :laughing4: :imaposer:

456 roll on with the RR already
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: TinusBez on April 12, 2018, 05:44:11 pm
I thought tank size on the 5huny only goes to 15l. I fitted an Acerbis 15l replacing stock and mighty impressed.

15l takes some getting used to 20l with 10-15 on day 1 hitting the hard stuff must have taken some getting used to. 
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Damaraland on April 12, 2018, 10:45:38 pm
I thought tank size on the 5huny only goes to 15l. I fitted an Acerbis 15l replacing stock and mighty impressed.

15l takes some getting used to 20l with 10-15 on day 1 hitting the hard stuff must have taken some getting used to.
Largest you can get on the >17 models is the IMS which clocks in at about 16.5 Liters. Largest Acerbis is 15.5. The 20L tanks were for the '16 and older models.

Sent from my VTR-L29 using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 12, 2018, 11:25:19 pm
Day 4
(pictures in this episode can be viewed at better resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmdTcZH3 (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmdTcZH3))

Plan for the day was the catch up the loss from yesterday and make it all the way to Epupa Falls, original destination for day 4. This was to be the longest day of the trip over 310 km, but most of it on dirt highways, so technically a liaison stage. The only potential snag was the first 50 km from Robbieís pass to Kaoko Otavi sd I didnít have a clue if there isnít another Robbieís pass lurking there, but as we found out soon enough, there wasnít - it was a smooth sailing on easy dirt all the way to Kaoko.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/873/41363080922_a1573f97dc_b.jpg)


In the morning we went through by now pretty well rehearsed routine of breaking the camp, random breakfast and setting off at about nine-ish. As said, there were no more technical traps waiting for us and we rode steadily on good dirt roads until Justin spotted local Himba cemetery, where we stopped. Unlike Christian or Muslim cemeteries, most of the tombstones here didnít include religious symbols, but rather favourite objects of daily use of the deceased, such as cow, or Kalashnikov.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/890/27533753918_420074c63f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/813/41361932812_f999965420_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/885/26533634287_d4d974bc3a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/813/41361993152_08c9df8d83_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/792/27533861948_041056ec90_b.jpg)


Guess what is going to be the favourite object on Justinís tombstone:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/811/27533845588_00f31fcf6d_b.jpg)


We were still at risk of running out of petrol so we asked around and a local told us that we should be able to get petrol in Ongango about 20 km further on. We made it there in no time and sure enough, the shebeen lady owner  had petrol for us (most of the business in these parts is run by women - men focus solely on idleness). Bingo!


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/816/40690589104_396e61f177_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/869/26533740447_72ee0068ab_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/892/40690575304_13ef3ed20a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/870/40690627514_5d74c6f315_b.jpg)


Petrol station in Ongango - run as most imporptant things here by woman, which is a good thing as men are mostly drunk and/or asleep:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/892/41362290372_433757d7ec_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/878/41404528471_13756e474f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/784/26533779117_522754266f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/895/40690677354_4a2984f6ca_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/811/41404579811_3997b97848_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/885/39595831170_4104828aca_b.jpg)


After that it was a non-event ride on soon to be finished dirt road up to Kaoko Otavi, where we joined D3707 for the last 40 or so km to Opuwo. Opuwo - Paris of Kaokoland I like to call it - is provincial capital of Kaokoland, and  proper shithole with drunk naked Himbas laying and begging all over the place.

But we arrived at about noon so the Himbas were spread lethargic in the various shades and the hassle was much less than Iím used to - another bingo. We  filled up and stopped at the new Spar for some shopping and lunch at the Spar buffet. They had WIFI there, so we stared mesmerised into our mobiles making sure that the world doesnít pass us by for way longer than advisable, and eventually left only way past 1 pm. The security guard at Spar told me with authority that it is 90 km to Epupa Falls, which confused me for a bit as I was pretty sure that it is double of that - actually more as we were not going straight but via Swartbooisdrif and Kunene river road. Quick check of GPS confirmed that he was wrong, but I didnít dispute the matter and we set-off.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/879/40509316945_0404d5efe3_b.jpg)


We were making steady progress looking forward to the rest day in Epupa Falls. The highway up is quite pleasant with rolling hills covered by typical African bush with baobabs thrown in here and there. But it is still a highway so it gets little boring. So Justin, to keep himself entertained, shot ahead full speed (he had longer gearing on his 500 than Bertie and I - otherwise Bertie would would have annihilated him as there are very few things he likes as much as proper drag race). When that got boring, he orchestrated another puncture to get another chance to play with rubber. We pulled up under a tree to get it my tube installed in and were immediately accompanied by local HImba herdboys who were at regular intervals asking for random things such as trousers, jackets, etc. Justin gave them his punctured Tubeliss inner tube so they can make a catapult, but that worked only for a while, and soon they were asking for our shoes.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/817/41404671101_d7a6114a69_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/898/40509252335_6a4fee1f27_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/801/27534016888_9dce550805_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/889/39596005350_0b72fea9ec_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/887/41404739721_d17ca382db_b.jpg)


Once sorted, we pushed on and soon turned north onto D3701 running straight to Swartbooisdrif and Kunene River. Now my original plan was to turn west off D3701 about half way up and follow a riverbed I spotted running northwest through the Zebra mountains and connecting to Kunene river track much closer to Epupa Falls. Here it is the intended track shown in yellow (if anybody here knows if it is doable, or even allowed to ride on bike, please let me know):


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/889/41363079902_ecb222139d_b.jpg)


I was really keen to check this track out as it could provide an alternative to the boring highway, now that the Kunene river track from Swartbooisdrif to Epupa has been graded just another gravel road and lost most of its past charm. But because of the holdup on Robbieís pass, we were late arriving to the intended turn-off only past 4 pm.

Justin and Bertie were adventured-out for the time being and wanted just to get to Epupa falls the easiest way possible and enjoy proper chalets, food and the next day off the bikes. I was still keen, even if that meant another night out in the bush eating spam and no rest day for me. So I explained them how to get to Epupa (very easy: go straight, at T junction left and follow river all the way to Epupa) and they set-off.

I turned west onto double track running through the bush towards the Zebra mountains and pushed on trying to make it to the riverbed as soon as possible. The inner gastro tourist was lurking in the shadows and should the river bed be not rideable or off limits  (highly likely as I have never heard of anybody doing it, even though it seems like logical alternative to the highways - at least for people who like to ride/drive off the beaten track), I may be able still to gun it back that night to proper bed, medium rare filet and beer.

I pushed hard on a typical north Namibian bush track. It was good riding but I was keen to get a look at the riverbed as soon as possible. However the track I was on was mostly west and I needed to start turning north-west. I have tried couple of small riverbeds I came upon heading in right direction but sooner or later they all ended up in dense thorny bush.



(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/869/40509379635_bdc9c66239_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/891/40509393185_b828b53c1c_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/822/39596040880_227ece531b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/896/26534041097_c6418378c9_b.jpg)


Zebra mountains - quite weird and aptly named, they are basically hills of loose rubble with strips of vegetation:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/786/40690906334_d2b3eac1a9_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/798/41404793641_2bd8992218_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/788/41404817711_7303d8ae38_b.jpg)


None of the shortcuts I tried to take worked, so I decided to follow the double track and see if I might get lucky and it may turn north. I made it about 20 km deep west pretty close to the mountains, when my rear tyre went suddenly flat. I was riding Tubeliss, and thought that I can sort it out quickly with a plug, but when I checked pressure in the inner tube, there was none. So this was the second Tubeliss failure on this trip (in Justinís case the tube got torn next to valve) - a bit annoying to be honest.

Like a devoted consumerist (or gastro tourist) I have never put in or taken out Tubeliss, and rather paid Runner to get it done. I made a token effort by watching youtube installation videos, but that was it. Suddenly I was missing the Capie hippie - congratulations Universe, you win.

But I wasnít too fazed - I had all the necessary tools and how hard can it be? So I took out the tools and tubes and stuff, got the rear wheel off and proceeded to take the tyre and Tubeliss off the wheel. It wasnít that difficult, but I still managed to damage slightly the red Tubeliss sleeve with the tyre levers.

But I wasnít concerned about that. My main concern (or rather gastro touristís who by now took over the reins) was to get the spare tube in as quickly as possible and make a mad dash for the high end civilization of Epupa falls. It was obvious by now that there is no straightforward access to the river and I would need more time to find it - which I will, next time.

And as you probably expect by now, it is never good idea trying to get tube in in haste. While I have done nominally all the right steps, I didnít inflate the tube sufficiently (I had mountain bike pump) before getting the tyre over the rim and sure enough I pinched it. There goes medium rare steak, and here comes spam (and sweetened condensed milk that helped to cushion the blow). Gastro tourist wasnít happy.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/789/40509471095_826126de6d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/790/27534226938_d772c4c3c7_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/795/40690967694_57c76a30b0_b.jpg)



But there was not much to just being pissed off - so I took the tube out, and patched it. However, in my piss-offness I somehow wasnít sure if I have to let the glue dry before applying patch or put it on straight away. Now I knew that in the good old times not so long ago, when tubes were actually made from rubber, one had to wait for the solution to dry and vulcanize the rubber. But nowadays when tubes are made from some weirdo chemical compound one has to use rubber cement instead of vulcanizing solution and thes Sandton ranger didnít know if the drying procedure is the same. So I kind of compromised - i.e. didnít put the patch on straight away, but also didnít wait for the glue to dry up sufficiently and put it on when it was still wet.

Logically then, I ended up with compromised fix - it kind of held on, but I could also see it coming off slowly when I pumped the tube up to test it. That clearly wouldnít do so I ripped it off for another try. By now it was getting dark, so I put another patch on (still not the right way - this time just making sure that the circumference of patch is pressed on properly, but still applied the patch too soon) and then set-up a camp. I decided to let the patch dry overnight with some rocks over it hoping that the time will help it to set in properly. After that, it was time for past sundowner with can of condensed milk and then it was bedtime.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: aka.Goliath on April 13, 2018, 01:19:07 am
Ok so tell us, what punctured the tubliss tube.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Highsider on April 13, 2018, 06:17:10 am
Really enjoying this RR.  I have a set of new Tubliss for my 525 that have been hanging in my shed for a year.  Jury is out on them at present...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: tsk tsk tsk...
Post by: Osadabwa on April 13, 2018, 06:37:03 am
I was really hoping you'd make it through that riverbed! Hopefully tomorrow?

Xpat, I'm surprised how much solo riding you do to very remote places but don't know for sure how to patch a tube! Takes balls amigo!

When we open up that Tubeliss thread, I'll be ready to contribute. Been using them for awhile now with equally mixed results.

Ok lets go. Keep riding. Come on.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on April 13, 2018, 06:48:18 am
To ride solo you need to be comfortable and happy with your own company ...which Xpat is

You do need to have some mechanical skills and should at least be able to fix flat wheels ...which Xpat can (but maybe not first time)

I have had this same discussion with others who immediately say you should not do it because it is dangerous ... to which I say yes and no

What is the dangerous part ?

There is no danger from the local people - you are an oddity to them - they try and sell you trinkets but generally keep to themselves

The only real danger factor is yourself and knowing or not knowing your limits and capabilities.

The further away you are from home the slower and more carefully you should ride - we definitely do not race through areas like this because you can easily fall and hurt yourself , plus you don't see anything at speed

What Xpat does is super safe (I have ridden with him - he can ride but does not race, he is prepared with food and water, he knows where he is going and where he has come from ...and his basic spanner skills can get him out of a jam)

Danger is perceived more than being real ...us millenials live in a soft world surrounded by cotton wool and BMW-on-call around every corner - most of us have forgotten to be men but are now manginas

Everyone dies, but  not everyone lives  ... after spending time with Xpat listening to his stories and travels of 100s of 1000s of kms on all kinds of different bikes in all kinds of different places I can tell you that this man has lived 1 000 000 lives compared to most
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 13, 2018, 07:34:03 am
From what i make out on his trips

(https://assets.entrepreneur.com/content/3x2/1300/why-slow-steady-wins-race.jpg?width=700&crop=2:1)

Adventure mindset ...........oh and the love of talking pictures to record his adventures to share with us :)

Justin did you get a picture of him ON his bike perhaps ?
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on April 13, 2018, 07:43:14 am
I have plenty of him ...but he threatened me at gunpoint and made me sign non disclosure agreement

Apparently all his ex wives and girlfriends are looking for him and so far he has been able to remain at large
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 13, 2018, 07:56:02 am
lol

Guess there is no chance of one of them recognising him from that swollen eye pic

 :imaposer:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: frankmac on April 13, 2018, 07:59:02 am
lol

Guess there is no chance of one of them recognising him from that swollen eye pic

 :imaposer:

Maybe that was inflicted by one of them  :biggrin:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: BiG DoM on April 13, 2018, 08:00:36 am
lol

Guess there is no chance of one of them recognising him from that swollen eye pic

 :imaposer:

Maybe that was inflicted by one of them  :biggrin:

More like Selfie inflicted  :imaposer:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: SchalkL on April 13, 2018, 08:02:17 am
If possible please attach a gps track of the route at some time. Tx.  :sip:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: BiG DoM on April 13, 2018, 08:06:11 am
Ok so tell us, what punctured the tubliss tube.

While trying to avoid a Tubliss thread hijack just a quick question - have you tried Tyre Shield in the inner tube? (not during fitting but actually in the tube).
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on April 13, 2018, 08:35:16 am
Ok so tell us, what punctured the tubliss tube.

While trying to avoid a Tubliss thread hijack just a quick question - have you tried Tyre Shield in the inner tube? (not during fitting but actually in the tube).

YES - and it does not work ... I think the inner volume of the tube is too little and the pressure too great

None of my Tubliss failures have been from punctures to the tube - they have all been tube failures - mostly the valves tearing out or splitting on seams
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Grunder on April 13, 2018, 08:42:47 am
Tubliss section has been opened  :peepwall:

Bring your expert advise.  I'm keen to hear it.  I have been contemplating tubliss conversion for a while now  :pot:

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=223092.msg4039147;topicseen#msg4039147
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: BiG DoM on April 13, 2018, 08:55:01 am
Ok so tell us, what punctured the tubliss tube.

While trying to avoid a Tubliss thread hijack just a quick question - have you tried Tyre Shield in the inner tube? (not during fitting but actually in the tube).

YES - and it does not work ... I think the inner volume of the tube is too little and the pressure too great

None of my Tubliss failures have been from punctures to the tube - they have all been tube failures - mostly the valves tearing out or splitting on seams

"all" - how many?
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 13, 2018, 08:59:08 am
Please go ask on tubliss thread opened so we don't pollute this one
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on April 13, 2018, 09:01:56 am
Ok so tell us, what punctured the tubliss tube.

While trying to avoid a Tubliss thread hijack just a quick question - have you tried Tyre Shield in the inner tube? (not during fitting but actually in the tube).

YES - and it does not work ... I think the inner volume of the tube is too little and the pressure too great

None of my Tubliss failures have been from punctures to the tube - they have all been tube failures - mostly the valves tearing out or splitting on seams

"all" - how many?

Please let us make this the last discussion on this ride report regarding Tubliss - for all other questions and answers please go here http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=223092.msg4039147;topicseen#msg4039147

in 3 years I have had 6 Tubliss inner tube failures - this is not a problem on a day ride when you are close to home but when you are miles away from nowhere then it is a big problem, especially if you don't have spare tubes with you

AFAIK Tubliss was originally developed for use on MX circuits - the benefit being that the ability to run such low pressures with resulting huge increase in traction was a major benefit and advantage ...but then you are on a closed course with help and spares not far away at the pits

Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on April 13, 2018, 09:23:03 am
I have plenty of him ...but he threatened me at gunpoint and made me sign non disclosure agreement

Apparently all his ex wives and girlfriends are looking for him and so far he has been able to remain at large

I can neither confirm nor deny that these are picture of him
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 13, 2018, 09:28:36 am
Thanks for sharing...................think first pics on bike i have EVER seen :)

 
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: BiG DoM on April 13, 2018, 10:06:01 am
Please go ask on tubliss thread opened so we don't pollute this one

Yes Sir.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: KTMvan on April 13, 2018, 11:32:51 am
Please go ask on tubliss thread opened so we don't pollute this one

Yes Sir.
Chris & Martin I just saw a fb post of Ryan and Sarah (owners of Camp Syncro) that the North West had good rains the last few days. Hoarusib flowing strongly and roads around Kaoko Otavi looking like rivers.....

Sent from my SM-A510F using Tapatalk

Title: Justin, I agree!
Post by: Osadabwa on April 13, 2018, 12:02:38 pm
To ride solo you need to be comfortable and happy with your own company ...which Xpat is

You do need to have some mechanical skills and should at least be able to fix flat wheels ...which Xpat can (but maybe not first time)... .
etc.
     etc.
          etc.
               etc...

Justin! I think what we have here is a classic failure to communicate brought on by the internet and not enough beers.

I was hoping to tease and encourage Xpat. Tease him for puncturing his spare tube and encourage him by saying he has balls to do stuff himself. I don't know him well enough to do it properly, so I mealy-mouthed it a bit. The internet can do that; lead to poorly worded comments, in-depth rebuttals and then a rebuttal of the rebuttal. You came to his defense as a mate, good on you.

Now I must defend my own honour by puffing up my solo-riding cred:
HERE (http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/osadabwa%C2%92s-retro-africa-ride-report-2004-2005.1043480/)is a 7 month trip I did across Africa in 2004, much of it solo... I did it with no knowledge of anything and I was on a ghastly BMW! We did the Kunene River route and at that time it was waaaay over my head.
HERE (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=191888.msg3551263#msg3551263)is a short ride I did where I expound upon the value of solo riding.
HERE (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=219546.msg4032060#msg4032060)is 430km I did last week to TZ alone in which I got stuck in a riverbed and had to dig myself out.

Let's be mates! Have a look at some of the riding we get up to in Kenya and come visit! We should organize an exchange program even... an AirBNB for bikes maybe!

Xpat, on with the ride! Sorry for the mixup/hijack! I will now shut up.

 :snorting:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on April 13, 2018, 02:13:28 pm
No problem Osadabwa

We encourage all comments and abuse ...Xpat has thicker skin than rhino's arse
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 13, 2018, 03:02:32 pm
Day 5
(pictures in this episode can be viewed at better resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmdTcZH3 (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmdTcZH3))


Getting out of the tent in the morning still in the dark, I half hoped that bush fairies or Himba AA did a courtesy fix for me, but no luck. I checked the tube and had my doubts straight away as the patch didnít seem to be set strongly enough. I blew the tube up and the corners started lifting, so I just ripped it off.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/867/41404855681_af3a734695_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/880/39596174190_8362db2bb4_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/801/40691027544_0b6b7627df_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/901/26534152117_988d5f44ac_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/892/40691057914_cf87f9427d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/874/41404973511_b64a09bf32_b.jpg)


I checked my sat phone and found message from Justin with detail patching instructions - I have sent him a message night before asking for advice. And sure enough, my downfall was not letting the glue dry enough before applying the patch.

So I patched the tube for the third time, this time making sure that glue was properly dry before applying the patch. I gave it a lot of time to set and then installed it in the tyre, and everything seemed to be good. So I broke down the camp, packed everything, geared up and set-off.

By now it was way past 10 oíclock. I was tempted to try find the riverbed shortcut one more time, but eventually decided against it. I was already blowing through our only planned rest day, and we still had good 7 - 8 days of pretty intense riding to do after the 4 we have just done. So I opted to rather take it easy and try to conserve - ideally even recover - some of the energy back. I turned back and back-tracked 20 or so km back to the junction where I parted with the other two, and followed D3701 all the way to Kunene.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/878/40509682695_97f13ea87b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/891/26534240367_1232023246_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/805/39596328240_432d45bd68_b.jpg)


Once there I decided to go for a bit or refreshment, turned right and headed down to Kunene river lodge about 5 km away for late breakfast/early lunch. I chilled at their wooden veranda overlooking Kunene river for well over 2 hours enjoying couple of tuna sandwiches, about 10 cokes and worst of all - wifi.

I had a little chat with the new lodge manager. It got slightly awkward, once he exclaimed with a bit of pride that he is a hunter first and foremost. I am no tree hugger, eat meat and have no problem with hunting for food, or to prevent overgrazing or some such, and obviously for self defence but I cannot wrap my head around trophy hunting. Unless it is fundamentally just for the two reasons I mentioned in the las sentence- which it probably mostly is so admittedly I do not have much leg to stand on here.

But for better or worse I do feel strong sympathy towards the desert elephants and other animals living this side of the world and do not like the idea of people shooting them basically for fun. I am not saying he did that, but I got suspicious when he started to question whether there is such a thing as Ďdesertí elephants, claiming they are all just ĎEtoshaí elephants, whatever that is. Now, Iím no biologist, and if you put a desert elephant next to a bushpig I may not be able tell the difference, but I have seen firsthand the differences in behaviour of elephants in Kaokoland and Damaraland riverbeds, and for the bushes of Botswana. Simple pass of a herd of elephant through bush in Botswana makes it look like Vietnamese jungle after an agent orange attack - more or less all trees and bushes destroyed. While here in the desert elephants take great care not to break a branch, but rather nibble at the leaves grooming them into a semblance of English garden, only nicer. They clearly understand that if they destroy the vegetation, they are toast. Iím not sure Ďnon-desertí elephants get that and that local riverbed vegetation would survive few passes of those. And there are so few of elephants adapted to this environment that I just donít see a point in shooting them.

Now, Iím not implicating the manager in anything - he seemed decent enough person, and as far as I know he never shot anything around there. Iím just showing what a precious snowflake I am and how easily I get triggered by what may have been perfectly innocent comment (that and the fact that one or two elephants MaxThePanda & the gang encountered there got shot a week or so later). End of the sermon (fuck, and I call Justin a hippieÖ).

Here are few pictures from the lodge (none of them actually showing the lodge):


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/893/26534264677_c35b1dc48c_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/869/26534282657_02a3c30a5f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/895/41405094931_396fb4f58f_b.jpg)


First pink dog I have ever seen. Manager's son found him on the side of the road already colored and adopted him. Cannot wrap my head around why would people color dogs, but the boy told me that Americans do that quite often. I doubt Americans brought their pink dog for safari though...


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/874/27534518068_5ee0fd3e00_b.jpg)


Eventually, way past 1pm it was time to rein in the gastro dude and hesitant animal rights activist and move on - otherwise I wouldnít make Epupa before dark. So I had the last Coke for the road, geared up and set-off.

I have an ambivalent relationship to the dirt road between Swarbooisdrif and Epupa. On the one hand as far as Namibian dirt highways go, this is one of the best, with plenty of steep uphills and downhills and turns keeping one focused and entertained, and running through scenery of bizarrely colourful mountains to the south and palm trees flanked Kunene river to the north. But I still remember how much more fun it was to navigate the old double track alternating between the mountains and the river. 90 km to Epupa now takes 1.5 - 2 hours of ride/drive, while at that time only 4x4s applied and they took between 8 - 12 hours to get there (bikes about 3.5 - 4 hours on appropriate bike, on big SUV - if the rider was brave/stupid enough, more). Just for the old time sake, here is my video of riding the old track sometimes in 2012:




And here are few pictures I took this time:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/890/41405153221_7ecee7bba7_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/892/26534369167_1e3b9cb95d_b.jpg)


Zebra hills from the other side:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/867/27534590708_cdc793dffe_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/871/41362722812_b65a636183_b.jpg)


When I came to that river I wanted to take through the zebra mountains day before (i.e. where I would have exited the mountains should I succeed), I took it up for km or two to see what it is like. It looked very doable running through a wide valley in the mountains, and there were even tracks of 4x4 or two who came to play there. Next time I'll make sure I have a time to investigate it properly:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/899/41405171391_a9fa90e76e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/892/41405196581_5cbaf2befc_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/784/41405225281_7d1cc652d5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/784/41362801042_829cf0e94d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/815/26534489707_a13326b86a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/899/41405269551_5b0dd099c2_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/821/39596542580_b35a60147c_b.jpg)


I arrived at Epupa Falls after 3pm and found the other two holed up in their chalet in the Epupa Falls lodge all sweaty in their undies and fast asleep. When I woke them up they made up some bullshit story about how they went for a walk looking for crocodiles in the morning, but I would bet they didnít get their asses out of the bed since breakfast. They didnít even bother to go and have a look at main attraction - Epupa Falls, which their chalet sat right on top of.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/868/40510154685_64d2d098d4_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/797/26534771157_c2283b2e59_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/815/41405419631_34e6798071_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/896/41362831232_fa370dc620_b.jpg)


After I scolded them they grudgingly agreed to go and have a look before it gets too dark and I went to settle into the next chalet. When I laid down for a bit of my own shuteye, Iíve heard two 500s come to life. Granted, it is about 100 meters to the falls going around the next campsite and they were being under strict recovery regime, but I still - I found that a bit lazy.

I didnít manage to fall asleep and once they came back I walked to the falls myself. There was  plenty of daylight left, but the sun was already low and the falls were in shade. Not ideal for pictures, but here is what I got:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/817/41405308331_2d4e88c7a6_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/808/26534552907_2cb01eb2c0_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/866/27534743178_27477f530f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/815/27534792538_d1799ee2e5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/783/41362898142_7b0536e8e1_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/870/40691425414_5777ca950f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/901/39596641170_6d0473a351_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/878/26534659317_b39d5fe22b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/901/27534880498_37231c3434_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/787/40691499594_4f740116c3_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/812/41362989122_4b368aa810_b.jpg)


When I came back I went to fetch something from the bike when I heard sudden Ďpfffftí and the rear went flat. Oh, for fuckís sake - not this shit again! I wasnít even pissed off because the tyre went flat, but because I believed that it was because of my sloppy patchwork.

It was too close to dinner, so I went to eat first and after dinner Justin and Bertie helped me to take the punctured tube out, and put Tubeliss back, this time with Justinís spare inner Tubeliss tube. I watched closely how Justin installed the thing in and it looked easy and safe enough when done in slow methodical way. The only problem was that we just couldnít get the tyre over the rim afterwards using whatever force we could muster. We were baffled, until Bertie, who spectated the whole proceeding noticed the problem: we have started with the tyre at the rimlock side and by the time we got to the other side, it was too tight as we couldnít push the tyre into the center of the wheel at the rimlockís side to ease the tension on the other side. So we swapped, starting at the opposite side, and everything went on smoothly. The thing that cheered me up - my patch from the morning was all good and well, it didn't off as I suspected. I just got another puncture.

With that sorted, we hit the beds hoping for a first early start next morning.
Title: Re: Justin, I agree!
Post by: Xpat on April 13, 2018, 03:14:48 pm
To ride solo you need to be comfortable and happy with your own company ...which Xpat is

You do need to have some mechanical skills and should at least be able to fix flat wheels ...which Xpat can (but maybe not first time)... .
etc.
     etc.
          etc.
               etc...

Justin! I think what we have here is a classic failure to communicate brought on by the internet and not enough beers.

I was hoping to tease and encourage Xpat. Tease him for puncturing his spare tube and encourage him by saying he has balls to do stuff himself. I don't know him well enough to do it properly, so I mealy-mouthed it a bit. The internet can do that; lead to poorly worded comments, in-depth rebuttals and then a rebuttal of the rebuttal. You came to his defense as a mate, good on you.

Now I must defend my own honour by puffing up my solo-riding cred:
HERE (http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/osadabwa%C2%92s-retro-africa-ride-report-2004-2005.1043480/)is a 7 month trip I did across Africa in 2004, much of it solo... I did it with no knowledge of anything and I was on a ghastly BMW! We did the Kunene River route and at that time it was waaaay over my head.
HERE (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=191888.msg3551263#msg3551263)is a short ride I did where I expound upon the value of solo riding.
HERE (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=219546.msg4032060#msg4032060)is 430km I did last week to TZ alone in which I got stuck in a riverbed and had to dig myself out.

Let's be mates! Have a look at some of the riding we get up to in Kenya and come visit! We should organize an exchange program even... an AirBNB for bikes maybe!

Xpat, on with the ride! Sorry for the mixup/hijack! I will now shut up.

 :snorting:

Oh, for fuck's sake, can you to stop turning this thread into khumbaya sobfest?! I understood the nature of the Osadabwa's jab perfectly well - we exchange those regularly on our respective threads. All in good jest (and I did fix the tube eventually and fixed it well, smartass  :snorting:). I just didn't reply as I was busy composing slopy story about desert elephants that I just posted.

I never met Osadabwa (but as he said considered seriously riding up there for some fun), but I would merrily go for a trip with him. He seems big and ugly enough to go his own way in the middle of Samburuland without hard feelings should we not hit it off. The most important quality I'm looking for in people I want to ride with.

With regards to the balls (and yes, I understand it was used in a jest) one doesn't need much of them for this trip. The dirty secret  is that the world is a very, very, I mean VERY safe place. I know it is difficult to believe if you watch TV or internet, but it is so and you can check it for yourself easily by going out on a trip like this (just go on your own, not on organized tours which will keep you in a bubble). Once you see that there is not much to be scared of, you don't need courage/balls/whatever. You are at much higher risk of crime in your home in Pretoria, Joburg or CT - it's absolutely non-issue up there in Kaokoland. And in terms of riding risks - daily commuting on N1 or weekend breakfast run to Harties with all the other stressed people on the road is ten times more risky.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 13, 2018, 03:15:51 pm
Please go ask on tubliss thread opened so we don't pollute this one

Yes Sir.
Chris & Martin I just saw a fb post of Ryan and Sarah (owners of Camp Syncro) that the North West had good rains the last few days. Hoarusib flowing strongly and roads around Kaoko Otavi looking like rivers.....

Sent from my SM-A510F using Tapatalk

Thanks, that is very good to hear  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 13, 2018, 03:19:00 pm
lol

Guess there is no chance of one of them recognising him from that swollen eye pic

 :imaposer:

You don't know Russian women, do you? All I'm going to say is stay clear of those Russian bride websites...
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 13, 2018, 03:20:56 pm
Tubliss section has been opened  :peepwall:

Bring your expert advise.  I'm keen to hear it.  I have been contemplating tubliss conversion for a while now  :pot:

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=223092.msg4039147;topicseen#msg4039147


Thank you Grunder  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 13, 2018, 03:26:32 pm
I like late afternoon colour and shadows  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 13, 2018, 03:28:38 pm
Please go ask on tubliss thread opened so we don't pollute this one

Thanks again, just to be sure - I may have been a bit too nazi in my comment about offtopic: I don't mind - actually enjoy - little sidetracks the conversation takes spurred by the events in the report - like tubeliss issues and the attempted fix. Makes for interesting conversation and I can learn from some of the reply's, which is great. And I would like to encourage you to say if I for example get something factually wrong or if you see that we were doing something blatantly wrong and you know how to do it right.

I just would like for people to exercise a little judgement and not let the thread to be taken completely offtopic. Of course this is subjective, but as an example: If somebody has actually fixed Tubeliss inner tube sucessfully, please let us know here (or in the other thread) as it is directly related to what Justin tried and failed to do on the trip, and we will all benefit from the knowledge.

On the other hand, lenghty explanation about what Tubeliss is and arguments about 'my Tubeliss is better than yours' or even worse 'my tubeless tyre is better than your tubed' - those I'd like to steer clear on this thread as they distract from the story and are irrelevant in the contest of this thread. Ta
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 13, 2018, 03:30:49 pm
I like late afternoon colour and shadows  :thumleft:

Yes, more or less everybody does. But 15 - 20 minutes earlier the colors would have not been dramatically different and I would have been able to get the whole waterfall in a proper light. Not just the biggest one - the falls are about 2 km wide with plenty of side waterfalls around.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 13, 2018, 03:34:30 pm
If possible please attach a gps track of the route at some time. Tx.  :sip:

Will do that once the report is finished (which will be only in May as I'm leaving for trip) - as I am quite busy now. That said, if you have Basecamp and Tracks4Africa, you should be able to plot it yourself very easy just following the maps I have posted. Those are just screenshots from Basecamp and all the routes we have ridden are on T4A, so it is just matter of 15 minutes - max half an hour to plot them there.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: frankmac on April 13, 2018, 03:35:51 pm
From the photographic evidence thus far, we've only seen you seated during the process.

We need to know whether you meerkat please?

Asking for a friend
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 13, 2018, 03:36:23 pm
Ok so tell us, what punctured the tubliss tube.

While trying to avoid a Tubliss thread hijack just a quick question - have you tried Tyre Shield in the inner tube? (not during fitting but actually in the tube).

No, I haven't, I avoid that stuff. I believe most problems with Tubeliss are related to incorrect installation, but I have only limited experience and will post about that rather on the Tubeliss thread.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 13, 2018, 03:39:57 pm
From the photographic evidence thus far, we've only seen you seated during the process.

We need to know whether you meerkat please?

Asking for a friend

On this kind of trip very rarely - that is the beauty of 500 that it allows one to sit and ride sand and rocks, conserving energy in the process. On 690 I might have been standing a lot of time. And on Tenere that was the last bike I used there I stood most of the time as it is such a fat pig.

And of course if I take 500 through a enduro loop like DeWildt I stand a lot as well. I do whatever it takes in that particular case  to ride smoothly and enjoy myself.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 13, 2018, 03:46:01 pm
Ok so tell us, what punctured the tubliss tube.

I think I already posted this in 500 thread, but here it is: it was pinched/punctured on the inside. So it wasn't caused by external thorn as I suspected because I was riding in some crazy bushes when I was looking for the river. By the look/shape of the pinch Justin and I speculated that it must have been damaged during installation, and just took long time to finally start loosing the air.

Title: Khumbaya, you wankers, khumbaya!
Post by: Osadabwa on April 13, 2018, 04:00:38 pm
Dear Xpat, thank you for your kind words. The interwebs are so full of grumpy bastards taking offence at everything, I thought I would opt for a kinder, gentler approach for once. I wanted to break the cycle, you see.

Ah fukit. Back to the usual then: How the bloody hell did you ride so long, Xpat, and never learn how to patch a freaking tube properly? Fafaksake! Invite to Kenya revoked! We have enough wankers up here already who can't tell a tyre lever from a left handed crescent wrench  :lol8:

And make haste with the next writeup already! You write slower than you ride!

 :snorting:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 13, 2018, 04:09:47 pm
lol fat pig


ps See if bite/pinch aligns with rim lock perhaps.



Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on April 13, 2018, 04:18:10 pm
lol fat pig


ps See if bite/pinch aligns with rim lock perhaps.

It cannot be from the rim lock because the inner tube sits inside the red liner and the rim lock is on the outside of the red liner

I am sure that triangular pinch is from a tool ...like a tyre lever  ... I think the inner tube got "hurt" when it was first fitted and just took a while to wear through and leak - by this stage of the trip Xpat had done maximum 1000 km on the new Tubliss system
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Ruan 87 on April 13, 2018, 04:25:33 pm
Two things that are evident In your RR:

1) Stick to basics ( tubes )
2) There is going to be a few more Nam RR's in the near future.

Great stuff :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: BiG DoM on April 13, 2018, 04:29:47 pm
Basics 1) may well be rally mousses like the Nitro ...  ::)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on April 13, 2018, 05:54:19 pm
Basics 1) may well be rally mousses like the Nitro ...  ::)

Rally mousses inside rally tyres are the way to go

I was speaking with donovanwho (our malle moto Dakar 2018 boykie) a few days ago - he has mousses that he has done 10 000 km on and almost all of that flat out as fast as he could go ...he reckons the high speed Michelin rally BIB mousse in a rally tyre (like Michelin Desert Race) is the way to go - his mousse failures have only come with soft enduro tyres at sustained high speeds 
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: BiG DoM on April 13, 2018, 05:58:50 pm
Basics 1) may well be rally mousses like the Nitro ...  ::)

Rally mousses inside rally tyres are the way to go

I was speaking with donovanwho (our malle moto Dakar 2018 boykie) a few days ago - he has mousses that he has done 10 000 km on and almost all of that flat out as fast as he could go ...he reckons the high speed Michelin rally BIB mousse in a rally tyre (like Michelin Desert Race) is the way to go - his mousse failures have only come with soft enduro tyres at sustained high speeds

Great info from the (race) horses mouth. The big trick with mouses is to service (clean and lube) them regularly that reduces friction and therefore heat (the mousse killer). Also seal the valve holes(s) with silicone to reduce water and mud ingress. Run two rim locks on rear if possible.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 13, 2018, 07:11:01 pm
But no pressure control....if you want
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: BiG DoM on April 13, 2018, 07:12:52 pm
But no pressure control....if you want

True but there are variable pressure versions coming. Seen the Tyre Ball system?   :3some:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: SchalkL on April 13, 2018, 07:37:24 pm
Guys show some respect for Xpat's thread and take the other topics elsewhere as requested please  :xxbah:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: BiG DoM on April 13, 2018, 09:05:18 pm
Guys show some respect for Xpat's thread and take the other topics elsewhere as requested please  :xxbah:

 :o
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: KTMvan on April 13, 2018, 09:07:17 pm
Dear Xpat, thank you for your kind words. The interwebs are so full of grumpy bastards taking offence at everything, I thought I would opt for a kinder, gentler approach for once. I wanted to break the cycle, you see.

Ah fukit. Back to the usual then: How the bloody hell did you ride so long, Xpat, and never learn how to patch a freaking tube properly? Fafaksake! Invite to Kenya revoked! We have enough wankers up here already who can't tell a tyre lever from a left handed crescent wrench  8:

And make haste with the next writeup already! You write slower than you ride!

 :snorting:
Left handed crescent wrench..... oh dear..... no clue

Sent from my SM-A510F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Straatkat on April 13, 2018, 09:25:25 pm
On one of our trips Xpat and myself got involved in some deep discussions, I quoted a old biker's saying: "you ride alone, you die alone" to which he answered you die alone anyway. If you are on your deathbed and there is a room full of people, not one of those fuckers are going to volunteer to die with you! That is why we get along so well, it is hard to argue with logic. He always thinks through all the bullshit and transforms it into pure logic!
When we were struggling through Robbies pass (that is not true, it was a highlight of the trip for me) and we were exhausted, Justin and I was entertaining the idea of camping down in the pass, which is nothing more than a rocky riverbed (with some nice sandy patches just big enough for pitching a tent). When we ran this past Xpat he said we best attempt a really steep rocky road out of the pass onto higher ground as the possibility of a flash flood was too high, the sky was rather dark and gloomy, threatening rain at any minute. I voted for the higher ground camping, so that was 2 against 1 and we rode up the steep hill, which actually was not that bad after all.
If we camped in the riverbed I would have missed one of the coolest things I ever saw, an ant route march! An entire ant colony came rushing out of the bushes where we were going to camp, in front were the strong able bodied ants all carrying food or eggs, they probably made up a third of the colony, then followed what I assume was the wimmen, loudly chatting away (I imagine!) followed by the children and at the very back the sick and cripples. there were quite a few corporals running up and down either side of the column making sure everyone was keeping to their order and I even saw some of them helping and carrying some of the cripples! Justin and myself were watching this passing parade and as they came, they disappeared into the bushes on the other side of the "road". Most fascinating.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: KTMvan on April 13, 2018, 09:36:56 pm
On one of our trips Xpat and myself got involved in some deep discussions, I quoted a old biker's saying: "you ride alone, you die alone" to which he answered you die alone anyway. If you are on your deathbed and there is a room full of people, not one of those fuckers are going to volunteer to die with you! That is why we get along so well, it is hard to argue with logic. He always thinks through all the bullshit and transforms it into pure logic!
When we were struggling through Robbies pass (that is not true, it was a highlight of the trip for me) and we were exhausted, Justin and I was entertaining the idea of camping down in the pass, which is nothing more than a rocky riverbed (with some nice sandy patches just big enough for pitching a tent). When we ran this past Xpat he said we best attempt a really steep rocky road out of the pass onto higher ground as the possibility of a flash flood was too high, the sky was rather dark and gloomy, threatening rain at any minute. I voted for the higher ground camping, so that was 2 against 1 and we rode up the steep hill, which actually was not that bad after all.
If we camped in the riverbed I would have missed one of the coolest things I ever saw, an ant route march! An entire ant colony came rushing out of the bushes where we were going to camp, in front were the strong able bodied ants all carrying food or eggs, they probably made up a third of the colony, then followed what I assume was the wimmen, loudly chatting away (I imagine!) followed by the children and at the very back the sick and cripples. there were quite a few corporals running up and down either side of the column making sure everyone was keeping to their order and I even saw some of them helping and carrying some of the cripples! Justin and myself were watching this passing parade and as they came, they disappeared into the bushes on the other side of the "road". Most fascinating.
You die alone indeed

Sent from my SM-A510F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Ri on April 13, 2018, 10:01:54 pm
This tree.

Day 5

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/866/27534743178_27477f530f_b.jpg)

Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: KTMvan on April 13, 2018, 10:13:55 pm
This tree.

Day 5

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/866/27534743178_27477f530f_b.jpg)

Ri my sister just bought a cÚol looking DR 650. Hope she will be as happy with her's as you are. Previously she had an Aprillia 650 which had lots of issues....

Sent from my SM-A510F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Ri on April 13, 2018, 10:49:21 pm
Ri my sister just bought a cÚol looking DR 650. Hope she will be as happy with her's as you are. Previously she had an Aprillia 650 which had lots of issues....

Sent from my SM-A510F using Tapatalk


If she isn't - I'll take it :biggrin: But I'm sure she will be. Slender, light and reliable, and better looking than KLR - what's not to love :ricky:

/hijack off
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Straatkat on April 14, 2018, 10:40:44 am
But no pressure control....if you want

True but there are variable pressure versions coming. Seen the Tyre Ball system?   :3some:


My mousses were soft, probably about 0,5bar when compared with pumped tyres, What more do you want? I am sold on mousses, I am the only one on the trip that had zero puncture/tyre issues in over 2000 hostile terrain kilometers. Yes I kept my dirt road liaison speed to 100, but at no stage did they get hot, so I was probably just nannying them unnecessarily. How I wanted to chase down Justin on several occasions but instead just cruised along, suppressing the speed demon that lurks inside! Your mousses will thank you!
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 14, 2018, 11:06:21 am
Would be nice to go 1.2 on hard pack carrying that weight to prevent some tire roll.

But lets rather see more trip report :)

Title: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: aka.Goliath on April 14, 2018, 01:46:25 pm

But lets rather see more trip report

+1
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: zacapa on April 14, 2018, 08:46:13 pm
Very lekka RR Xpat and enjoying it muchly. Takes me right back to 2002 when I did van.Zyls and Marienfluss Camp Syncro trip with a mate on his MZ Baghira and me on my F650GS Dakar. Nevermind the truebliss saga but when next in Windhoek check out these local guys that do the best german tube patches - REMA Tip Top,

https://www.seppthalmaier.com/
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 14, 2018, 10:20:00 pm
Day 6 - part 1
(pictures in this episode can be viewed at better resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskwemyDk (https://flic.kr/s/aHskwemyDk))


In the morning we had a breakfast at the restaurant, packed up and set-off as usually about nine-ish. We were definitely heading for Van Zylís pass, but the final objective for the day wasnít entirely clear. The traditional route would be to head after VZP all the way up Marienfluss valley and stay at camp Syncro (or community camp) back at Kunene river. Which is the route I have plotted and distributed, but by now I also wanted to have a go at those upper reaches of Hoarusib, which I havenít ridden yet, later in the trip.  So I was tempted to skip Marienfluss and instead turn south after VZP and sleep over at the Marble campsite at Onjuva. That would save us about 120 km or petrol and may give me extra time later on for Hoarusib exploration. I was figuring out how to sell this to the other two (who quite frankly didnít care - I should have just told them we are going Marble and they would merrily follow) as I felt I may be robbing them of Marienfluss experience, but then it resolved itself organically later in the day.


Darth Vader leaving the lodge:

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/874/26534950357_02b409a0dc_b.jpg)



We headed down south to Okongwati about 70 km away on a dirt highway, where we would turn off to the double track west heading to VZP another 70 or so km away. The ride down to Okongwati was a non-event and once there we stopped to attend to few admin tasks - two to be specific. Fill-up on petrol and get patches for tubes as we were down to last two thanks to Justin using up many of my patches, to fix many of his holes and thanks to me using many of the rest to fix one hole (and thanks to the fact that I was the only one who bothered to bring any patchesÖ)

Last time I was here there was only one fuel depot selling petrol, so I was surprised to see petrol advertised all over the show. Obviously it must be a good business and the situation to our relief was the same later on in inner Kaokoland where petrol was available in Onjuva and Puros. Still, the first place we pulled up to was dry, but they send us to their sister in the next street who should have some. The sister - Brenda - did indeed have some and we filled up no only the tanks, but also took 4 - 5 liters spare earh in Coke bottles and fuel container.


Brenda eyeing our ladies man, Justin looking on with jealousy:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/800/27535168588_7302738ece_b.jpg)


You see what I mean:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/882/27535178748_bf0981fb4d_b.jpg)


Again, jealous Capie spoiling otherwise perfectly good photo:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/899/40691909454_7703815fe9_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/885/40691854044_b70286249d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/886/26534960867_68eee7c86d_b.jpg)


Filled up, it was time to locate some patches. We went back to the first place where we asked for petrol, as they were also advertised as tyre repair shop, but the owner wasnít there and they sent us to the main shop in the village on the main road we came from called creatively ĎGood road marketí. They didnít have any, so Bertie and Justin settled themselves into a shade there and I went prowling the village for patches. Walking the main street I asked in every shop and they all were directing me back to the Good road one - not a good sign. I eventually ended up the tyre repair shop for the third time and the helpful lady directed me to another shop where she was absolutely sure they do have. But no luck, the half dead saleswoman there, barely able to raise her sleepy eyes to meet mine, just shook her head no.

This became a major concern as it didnít seem particularly clever to hit inner Kaokoland with basically our day ratio of patches (if we are lucky). I wasnít keen trying to ride out hundreds of km on rocky roads on flat tyre, so I felt we should not go unless we will be able to sort this out. Walking dejected back past the tyre place I was intercepted by the nice lady asking if I got them. When I said no, she said bullshit or some such and dragged me back to the shop shouting at the woman there and sure enough, she pulled up a box with about 100 of them, of all sizes and shapes. I bought about quarter of them, and the mummy apologized that she was asleep first time (Ďno shit Sherlockí).

I thanked the helpfull lady profusely and walked back to good road with a spring in my step. Bertie and Justin by now developed fondness for lethargy so prevalent among the local men, so it took a while to gear up and get going again.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/818/41363288052_f29e1d0a33_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/817/41363297362_69b9694edc_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/877/40691939104_f3763fa288_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/801/39597149490_5d449a5d35_b.jpg)


By the time we set-off, it was way past noon, and naturally very hot. We crossed the village and hit the double track heading west. Initially reasonably good, the track winding through the bush and alternating between sand and rocks gradually deteriorated. Nothing extreme, but the going was quite slow. This is the thing that catches many people going to VZP out - getting to the pass takes much more effort than riding the pass itself, as it is very short (probably 2 km) and not that difficult - at least on the right bike.

We were riding in our usual order, Justin opening the track and me sweeping. And Bertie between us, falling way too often for my liking. Now, we all fall on trips - otherwise we are not trying hard enough, and Bertie fell many times in the prior days. But this was different. In prior days it was mostly (with possible exception of Robbieís pass) easy spills that we all laughed about and took pictures. But now the falls were getting more hazardous - usually at quite a always ending with Bertie stuck under the bike facing in the wrong direction and woven into thorny bush or tree. It wasnít funny anymore and I was dreading the moment I come around and find Bertie in agony with broken leg. I have ridden with Bertie before and could tell what the problem was. It wasnít the terrain or lack of skills - he has already ridden over 800 km of similar terrain without a problem just on this trip. It was exhaustion. Snowball of multiple days of hard riding and late starts has caught up with us and was getting worse. And one day of rest in Epupa clearly wasnít enough for him to recover sufficiently to ride safely.

I didnít say it, but I was contemplating whether we shouldnít turn back, knowing full well that once we are down VZP it is at least 250 km of offroad riding (that is the good alternative - the bad one is onroad riding - i.e. horribly corrugated D3707) to get to some kind of civilization in our direction. But Bertie is a trooper and assured me each time I enquired that all is fine, so we pushed on with me keeping close eye on Bertie.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/898/40510492255_4ca2de1d4c_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/801/41363339392_d348fbe99d_b.jpg)


Justin and Bertie feeling unbelievably blessed and lucky to be able to ride such a nice tracks:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/787/40692021724_7c73d6652b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/807/40510562645_464973bf74_b.jpg)


Meeting the locals. Justin keeping them entertained, while I sneak some pictures from the flank. You can also see Bertie trying a little clown trick on the arrival (this one was actually funny, because soft):


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/883/41405928431_64dcd815ce_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/810/39597275460_28e65546cb_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/806/41405957381_cbed84cecd_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/788/27535403728_0d9fabf827_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/902/40510668735_1b51d3e63c_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/880/40510690495_50e7ea5f75_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/806/27535465208_1f48751c71_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/810/27535605308_16f9f42d6c_b.jpg)

Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 14, 2018, 10:58:46 pm
Day 6 - part 2
(pictures in this episode can be viewed at better resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskwemyDk (https://flic.kr/s/aHskwemyDk))


And onwards we go:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/872/26535519047_b2b9b18814_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/878/26535528227_bb9bd2a414_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/888/40510988615_a5051ed2f1_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/800/26535555887_f38d064923_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/891/39598031690_468a754864_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/868/26535582167_e496e17991_b.jpg)


Until Bertie hit the ground again, this time hard. It took him a while to recover and be ready to go again, but luckily no serious injury - though he collected plenty interesting bruises:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/871/41363775952_978b39b938_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/887/26535418627_756c0f787a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/871/27535656528_e4eecb64d6_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/896/40510901445_a14a6f683a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/896/40510922635_60cc2bf271_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/801/41406226061_c0344aaf90_b.jpg)


Eventually we came to the IMO toughest bit of the whole VZP section - about 100 meters very rocky climb fe km before Otjihende village. Justin cruised up, but Bertie didnít have such a lack and dropped the bike at the beginning. Seeing him struggling to his feet I suggested to ride his bike up and he agreed. I jumped on his bike and rode it up gingerly immediately noticing few things that made my (and more importantly Bertieís of course) life more difficult than it needed to be. The tank-bag was just real nuisance. But the suspension was even more annoying. There was no rebound dampening in the shock and I was bouncing up and down like on a pogo stick. Which is quite unnerving when you are trying to time your steps between big rocks.

I was glad to make it up without binning it. Justin seeing me come on wrong bike wanted to have another go and went down to ride my bike up. He flew up the rocks like a champ and realized what made me such a smooth operator in the rocks - lowered and properly set-up suspension (his was too hard). And as we speak he had his 500 adjusted accordingly. I cannot stress enough what a difference well set-up suspension makes, especially for newbies and less talented like myself. I see sometimes people say things like Iím not good enough to need good suspension. As far as Iím concerned it should work exactly the other way around; the shittier rider, the better suspension is required to save their biscuit when they will inevitably screw up.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/816/41364237342_1b97cddd3f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/879/27535799218_cd68f6ef00_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/812/41364049942_df6b1a8614_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/876/39597850520_2d784f784b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/877/39597860010_e48599d94a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/872/41406565241_f95f6ed686_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/789/27535992428_75585ae3c8_b.jpg)




In Otjihende and stopped for a drink at the shebeen. When I stopped here last time about 5 - 6 years ago, It was a charming Himba village with elders playing checkers or something in the shade under a tree and nice lady selling cold drinks in shebeen. Not anymore. This time it had that mercenary feel with traders who came in being already drunk and a bit rude in shebeen and a dude bothering Justin for money because he took picture of slaughtered and gutted goat hanging off the tree. So we didnít linger, had our down our Coke or Fanta, and pushed on.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/879/40511243015_e927f4a77c_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/811/39597948860_20814c85c3_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/788/40511249815_1e23139342_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/786/39597961290_5cd70a984e_b.jpg)


Another 10 or so km later, we came upon a sign for Van Zyl pass campsite. It was already past 4 and we asked Bertie, whether he wants to push on or call it a day. Beaten and bruised he wisely chosen the later and we settled ourselves in one of the campsites situated in the dry river bed.

In my head I was already evaluating different options. Quite frankly, I didnít see this coming during planning. I have made it in one day from Epupa to Syncro twice before - once on bike and once in 4x4, and while it was a long day in slow 4x4, I expected it to be perfectly doable on lightweight 500 in good time. I knew we will going to be tired after the first 4 days - that is exactly why we had rest day in Epupa. But it clearly was not enough for Bertie, and the question was how much more tired he is going to be next day.

But there wasnít an easy way out - going back to the main highway was about the same effort as getting down VZP and onto Onjuva - so there was nothing to it but push on and wing it based on Bertieís condition. Onjuva, the next closest campsite was only about 75 km away - although across VZP and Red Drum pass, so hopefully we should be able to make it at least that far.

On the positive side - we were not going to Marienfluss, so I may get the shot at Hoarusib (depending how far we get tomorrow).


Van Zyl's pass campsite:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/902/41406686301_4a6fddba81_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/888/26535961467_d424a0d704_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/804/41364201772_914af4bee7_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/865/27536132568_c9b7964908_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/818/27536209298_02ec2617fe_b.jpg)


Bertie faking elation:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/874/40692946174_2f2ba1dea0_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/888/40511475625_b422f4d2b6_b.jpg)


At one moment Justin pulled out his satellite phone, and sneaked away hoping we wouldn't notice. I did and smelled rat straight away. And sure enough - less than 2 minutes later his accountant showed up with a green sleeve in her armpit full of what I'm guessing only could have been Gupta invoices. I'm telling you - you can never trust Capie! It was too far for me to eavesdrop - all I got is this visual evidence. If you know her, call Interpol - or Justin's wife. At the end of the day even Al Capone got finally nailed through his accountant:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/795/27536295978_e3ab9f33d9_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/863/39598130700_a31e232935_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/801/39598141020_7ab889d1da_b.jpg)


They were clearly missing a ledger or something, because next thing this runner rushed in with goodness knows what under that skirt:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/802/41406923131_9126250cc4_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/800/39598183560_80f53959e7_b.jpg)


Bertie completely oblivious to the corruption happening right under his nose. He must have really been tired:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/891/40693044404_6a7e8375f2_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/816/40511620715_e7dbdb9136_b.jpg)


After we set-up camp, we got nice fire going and had the usual dinner of spam, beans and condensed milk. The night was very cold and I didnít get good sleep. Expecting hot weather (which surprisingly wasnít the case often as we had clouds overhead most days), I didnít bring sleeping bag, just thermal inner liner, and had to put all my clothes on to make it till morning.


Route for the day:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/818/41454276731_9e4d40abe4_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 15, 2018, 07:25:32 am
Suspension set up sure is best money you will spend on dirt bikes.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on April 15, 2018, 07:54:34 am
Am loving this RR Xpat ...keep it coming please ... your photos are incredible  :thumleft:

Superfoxi lowered my bike 25mm front and rear and dialled in all of Hylton Haywards suspension settings that I "stole" off Xpat's bike.

I rode my 500 yesterday in some seriously shitty deep sand and enduro trails around Macassar yesterday - what a massive improvement - the lowered suspension has gotten rid of all those "oh shit" moments when my legs are too short and the inevitable fall over happens - 25mm / 1 inch lower is just enough for me to save it every time without affecting ground clearance too much 
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 15, 2018, 08:05:58 am
Day 7 - part 1
(pictures from this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmg4D71M (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmg4D71M))

I was up much earlier than the other two, but tired from the cold night, so it took me forever to pack up and get ready. After quick breakfast of whatever we could find in our packs, we set-off.

Plan for the day was not clear again. We were not going to make detour up to Marienfluss - that much was clear, but I didnít know if we were going to make it all the way to Puros over 200 km away - which was the planned destination for today - or only to Marble campsite in Onjuva about 75 km away (or somewhere inbetween should we get caught out in the bush). It all depended on Berties condition.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/804/40693091734_31213f45ca_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/804/26536250187_be4293e72a_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/809/26536288987_de3a3bd12f_b.jpg)


We hit the track with the bang:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/901/39643834370_bddeaf51f9_b.jpg)


I mean literally:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/817/40738290024_127cd4ab89_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/808/40558971835_d0c8121ddc_b.jpg)


We survived and pushed on:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/865/27581489428_030c571bba_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/820/40738355314_894a232aeb_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/866/26581713377_973c6fe05c_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/813/39644006200_ab7cdd69c9_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/873/27581761808_41d16d4395_b.jpg)


We were making steady progress and Bertie seemed to be doing fine after the night of rest and we made it to the Van Zylís pass viewpoint in about an hour or so without any major drama. Obligatory stop at the VZP viewpoint where even Justin may have taken a photo - not sure though, he seems to photograph only little babies and animal carcasses:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/794/39644180230_ea12bb34ae_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/801/40559348365_6ab5745d55_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/795/41410168062_8fc080ef81_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 15, 2018, 08:27:17 am
Day 7 - part 2
(pictures from this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmg4D71M (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmg4D71M))


Going down the VZP the first and only (more or less) serious obstacle is short usually badly eroded section of Ďstepsí. It can be quite nerve wrecking in 4x4, but not too bad on the bike. But I have to be honest here. Not want to - have to, because certain hippie may have photographic evidence that he may use to shake me down if Iím not (strangely enough, he was ready with the camera even though he usually cannot be bothered unless there is dead animal around - maybe he was expecting a roadkill). I have resorted to walking 500 down those steps when I found myself on the line that run along the highest point of the track and a misstep would have been painful. I couldnít be bothered to try to reverse bike uphill into another line, so just dismounted and walked a bit. There you have it, no hard earned money will have to be sent to the peninsula.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/793/27582021188_d67bb0431a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/787/40559661995_be300076d4_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/870/40738997114_2b59727699_b.jpg)


I stopped to reflect a bit at the point where I killed the clutch on Tenere few years back and there was another bang:


Blast from the past:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7288/16890668236_d4cf2f15bf_b.jpg)


(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8747/16730438409_920105546b_b.jpg)


And back to the present - with another bang:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/799/41453513361_ca7c777645_b.jpg)


Didn't catch the exact moment unfortunatelly, but you can see the puff of dust left top and the aftermaths:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/902/40739244414_bf18d6e8d5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/881/40739275034_26be03089f_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/793/41410843202_5fe297c965_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/812/41453734781_0501da0ceb_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/813/27582660378_3e4b937739_b.jpg)


There is one more gnarly washed down section close to the end but we managed without any further incident:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/791/27582691408_e197568106_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/818/39645123970_e98dc5348b_b.jpg)


We have made it to the bottom at about 11:00 am without single fall for Bertie, so things were looking good. Justin on the other hand, judging on his VZP bang bang record, was clearly somebody to keep an eye on. How he finished those two or three Amagezaís, I will never know.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/896/39645174610_b8a0620dae_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/889/41453913241_47d36245a3_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 15, 2018, 08:28:08 am
Very lekka RR Xpat and enjoying it muchly. Takes me right back to 2002 when I did van.Zyls and Marienfluss Camp Syncro trip with a mate on his MZ Baghira and me on my F650GS Dakar. Nevermind the truebliss saga but when next in Windhoek check out these local guys that do the best german tube patches - REMA Tip Top,

https://www.seppthalmaier.com/

Thanks. I use Rema Tip Top glue already, now just to source box of the patches.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 15, 2018, 08:29:28 am
OK, that is it for now - I'm heading out for another trip. Will be back sometimes in the first week of May. Thanks for following  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on April 15, 2018, 09:15:35 am
For the record I only ever entered and rode in one Amageza ... the 2015 edition ... and I finished 18th

I pit crewed for Kamanya in 2014 and spectated at others

I am certainly no great rider
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 15, 2018, 09:19:11 am
For the record I only ever entered and rode in one Amageza ... the 2015 edition ... and I finished 18th

I pit crewed for Kamanya in 2014 and spectated at others

I am certainly no great rider

Relax - just pulling your leg  8)

You also made it up and down Road to Hell few times, didn't you? I chickened out there - because of broken subframe to be exact, bu still...
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Draad on April 15, 2018, 09:20:49 am
Absolutely brilliant....thanks for sharing  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Straatkat on April 15, 2018, 10:09:19 am
OK lets get things into perspective here, Martin will tell you he is no great rider, to which I say he is a very good rider when it comes to slow technical stuff. He is also very careful out of necessity because he often rides alone and has to be. So you will not often find him speeding, he prefers to ride slower, stop often for photo's and is always thinking one step ahead, simply because he has so much experience in these matters. Justin is the best rider between us, he is fast and fairly good in slow technical stuff, and I say fairly only because he has short legs and his bike was very tall for him. With the Superfoxi fix his 500 is now now lowered and will be a champ in the slow stuff too. It helps a lot if you can put your feet down. Justin is 40, and a little out of shape, Martin about 5 years older and has spent the last 6 months more or less constantly on his bike on trips, so he is probably in the best shape, also lost a stack of weight recently after he gained some with the inactivity that comes with a broken leg. I am the oldest of the group at 56, just had knee surgery and a little overweight so the odds are stacked against me in age and fitness department. I suck in slow technical stuff, (but the 500 helps a lot), and love speed, coming from a superbike-trackdays background. Having said all of this, we all fell down at some stage, when gravity claimed its victims! That speed demon was going to bite me in the next thrilling episode!
Martin, thanks for doing such a sterling job at documenting our trip, I for one really appreciate it. At the time it seems like such a hard ride, but looking back at all the pics I realise how much I enjoyed it and how privileged I am to have been riding with you 2 gents.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Highsider on April 15, 2018, 10:24:31 pm
Thanks Xpat, this RR is excellent.  I have a question on engine maintenance, having an older 525 I have two air filters which are on rotation and change the oil every 15hrs, filters every 30hrs.
Did you guys do any of this?  I canít see how you could carry liters of engine & air filter oil with you...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 15, 2018, 10:36:25 pm
Thanks Xpat, this RR is excellent.  I have a question on engine maintenance, having an older 525 I have two air filters which are on rotation and change the oil every 15hrs, filters every 30hrs.
Did you guys do any of this?  I canít see how you could carry liters of engine & air filter oil with you...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thanks. We had spare airfilter each, which we oiled properly at the beginning in Uis, packed into zip lock bags and squeezed tight with duct tape to the size smaller than tenis ball. We had replaced the airfilters half way through in Epupa Falls. If you are riding in very dusty conditions and may want to replace more often, you can do the same, just put even more oil on the airfilter in the ziplog bag and when you change the filter, just wash the dirty one, and put it back into the same ziplock bag and squeeze and pack the whole thing tight again with duct tape (or Justin used bycicle tube), I"m pretty sure that it will be more than enough oily - that would give you two clean airfilters (maybe more, depending on how much oil is left in the ziplock bag).

Apart from that, we had one little can of chain spray which we used once in a while - like every 3rd/4th day, and that was it. The whole trip was about 2000 km, and in non racing mode I'm pretty sure 500 can do that on one change of oil - no problem. If not, we will find out soon enough  :imaposer:. But I'm not worried at all and after standard service I'm leaving for another 2 week trip on 500 tomorrow.

And I had oil and new oil filter, as well as spare rear tyre (wouldn't need it actually, but had just in case) in the car as I was considering coming back from Nam on the bike doing some tracks in Bots, which I eventually didn't do. But if I wanted, I just needed to do the oil change in Uis once back at the car and I was ready for return trip to Joburg (offroad of course).
Title: Trip according to Justin - the visual artist from Cape Town
Post by: Xpat on April 16, 2018, 12:12:10 am
Trip according to Justin - the visual artist from Cape Town


I have managed to finally get my grubby hands on Justin's photos. To my surprise, he took almost 500 pictures - Bertie and I expected 10 - 50 pictures (Bertie took couple over 500, myself over 7500). And to my astonishment, some of them are almst good - especially considering he was taking them on some kind of disposable box camera he found at his grandmothers cellar. You might even spot the secretive Russian here and there. But you have to focus - he doesn't like to be seen and uses elaborate disguises such as helmet hair and prosthetic double chin to stay out of limelight. In reality he is very handsome man - in his mind's eye anyway.

So here is quick recap of the trip so far from the Justin's camera point of view:


Day 0 & 1 - SA to Uis to Palmwag


Meeting the A team for the very first time at Spitzkopfe. Must have felt very intimidating, as you can see Bertie and I clean up really well here:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/873/41478608211_edd6d08acc_b.jpg)


Packing the bikes evening before in Brandberg Rest Camp in Uis:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/902/39670370150_c7da297608_b.jpg)


And the morning - posing before departure. Bertie trying to look confident, like he doesn't give a hoot about sand. Justin just happy that he managed to get his two week pink slip signed:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/813/39670635990_289a2b8b11_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/811/26607151527_cf145fe95b_b.jpg)


And the Russian trying in vain to look approachable:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/812/41478769401_c8216fac2f_b.jpg)


On the way:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/879/41436496702_cdab48769b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/883/41436568632_4c9a1b6cfe_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/881/41478945411_009dfcddb7_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/791/40586266325_f6442ea68a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/866/41436903282_fac1cf1683_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/816/40765587094_28c6c2d80d_b.jpg)


Charlie Chaplin discovering tube for the first time:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/891/40586362495_4de1bc9613_b.jpg)

Title: Trip according to Justin - the visual artist from Cape Town
Post by: Xpat on April 16, 2018, 12:27:08 am
Trip according to Justin - the visual artist from Cape Town


Day 2 - Palmwag - Little Serengeti - Khuwarib gorge - Ongongo


Dirt highway:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/795/40586448685_99d15dc7fd_b.jpg)


Crossing the mountains on the way to Little Serengeti:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/815/39671618680_2de0f2e2cc_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/809/40766234584_1d62fc2eb6_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/795/26608167807_ea23596aec_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/803/41480025381_2c6f2ce884_b.jpg)


Ombonde river:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/863/27608862648_1806389a81_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/888/40766647244_535a27ec66_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/817/40587426535_4172ed02de_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/877/27608913338_ab4deb451d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/783/27608883228_72173d8f03_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/793/41480258591_0ae7f256f3_b.jpg)


Crossing Hoanib in Khuwarib gorge:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/897/39672465760_335705c9fa_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/880/27608951008_75d3031a7e_b.jpg)


Fesh Fesh:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/890/27609058528_65c3e5f460_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/878/41480869801_706d2b1275_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/821/40588073405_5c7f363518_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/787/40587837015_cb052862d6_b.jpg)


Ongongo mall parking lot:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/806/40587972725_7c5135b157_b.jpg)

Title: Trip according to Justin - the visual artist from Cape Town
Post by: Xpat on April 16, 2018, 12:46:17 am
Trip according to Justin - the visual artist from Cape Town


Day 3 - Ongongo - Sesfontein - Robbie's pass


Another shopping spree - this time in Sesfontein:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/872/26609854887_6a813e8036_b.jpg)


D3705 - heading up north to Robbie's pass:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/813/41439092322_65ee57c97e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/794/40588104625_18e18086f2_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/808/41439431522_c6b55a8e39_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/807/41481569711_603e5c2295_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/888/40767806734_b43a769edf_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/787/40588550805_b951b614ec_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/870/27609704038_6fc5f2b6c9_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/786/39673167660_49796114b4_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/887/26610336907_834f106ff4_b.jpg)


Herero fun:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/874/41439761202_9be49c1174_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/807/27610164048_fec3251442_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/894/41483003841_f92798146c_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/869/40769621924_585daa3e9b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/867/27610058998_9352956343_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/813/41439880222_18b64f7c0b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/873/40588746755_b7f0d74cc7_b.jpg)


Robbie's pass rodeo:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/880/27610346178_b806aea940_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/876/40768527104_325e86c8bb_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/874/26610648587_a7510b24b1_b.jpg)


Pure nirvana:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/870/40768457424_a6f8d524d7_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/867/26610812817_bfaf70c10e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/800/27610366438_dfe9d9fb9d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/789/27610422908_70c55eb6f6_b.jpg)


Bushcamp at the top of the pass:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/873/41440183592_721c3dd2d0_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/819/27610606048_2354c6b065_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/879/26610879247_a9693e396e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/880/26610939477_7d0f1c4b82_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/876/40589142355_3889a2c425_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/803/26611897807_205fef2e29_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/880/27610565178_3827bbd913_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 16, 2018, 05:37:31 am
Some good pics :)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: ClemS on April 16, 2018, 08:39:01 am
Wel Straatkat, ek het vroeer in die RR gese as ek maar net 10 jaar jonger was sou ek so 'n trip bitter graag wou aanpak, ek is nou 57 en ek moet eerlik wees: Ek haal my hoed af vir jou Meneer!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Amsterdam on April 16, 2018, 11:54:35 am
Day 6 - part 2

Seeing him struggling to his feet I suggested to ride his bike up and he agreed. I jumped on his bike and rode it up gingerly immediately noticing few things that made my (and more importantly Bertieís of course) life more difficult than it needed to be. The tank-bag was just real nuisance. But the suspension was even more annoying. There was no rebound dampening in the shock and I was bouncing up and down like on a pogo stick. Which is quite unnerving when you are trying to time your steps between big rocks.

I was glad to make it up without binning it. Justin seeing me come on wrong bike wanted to have another go and went down to ride my bike up. He flew up the rocks like a champ and realized what made me such a smooth operator in the rocks - lowered and properly set-up suspension (his was too hard). And as we speak he had his 500 adjusted accordingly. I cannot stress enough what a difference well set-up suspension makes, especially for newbies and less talented like myself. I see sometimes people say things like Iím not good enough to need good suspension. As far as Iím concerned it should work exactly the other way around; the shittier rider, the better suspension is required to save their biscuit when they will inevitably screw up.


Thanks for taking the trouble to do this write up.  Very enjoyable.  Having ridden through some of those parts myself on my 690 which had an incorrectly assembled shock ex-factory  and zero rebound damping as a result I can sympathise with Straatkat's troubles.  And seeing your riding buddies cope with ease makes it even more frustrating.  The following suspension set up document is worthwhile reading for all who are afraid to turn those adjusting screws.  Hope this will help someone.

https://www.teknikmotorsport.com/assets/brochures/Offroad_Setup_Guide.pdf
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Amsterdam on April 16, 2018, 11:56:54 am
Wel Straatkat, ek het vroeer in die RR gese as ek maar net 10 jaar jonger was sou ek so 'n trip bitter graag wou aanpak, ek is nou 57 en ek moet eerlik wees: Ek haal my hoed af vir jou Meneer!  :thumleft:

You should consider contacting Wildwood and go on a trip with him.  That way your luggage and fuel etc are all carried in the back up vehicle and you can still ride in Kaokoland in a much easier fashion than it is when you have to carry all your stuff on the bike.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 16, 2018, 02:00:35 pm
Having to carry all your shit with you is part of the "adventure" i recon.

@Xpat where you going this time ?
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 16, 2018, 02:10:56 pm
@JustBendIt 


I notice your bar ends

Care to explain why ?

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/869/40769621924_585daa3e9b_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on April 16, 2018, 02:20:38 pm
I once owned a BMW F650 Dakar - was probably the smoothest single cylinder bike ever (but also the heaviest with the worst suspension ever) - this bike had bar ends

While surfing the net one day I saw the Yamaha Dakar rally bikes had bar ends too.

I used to do quite a bit of cycling and all my bicycles had rubber inserts in the end of the handlebars to dampen vibration

My hands are not lekker and I suffer badly from carpal tunnel issues

This got me thinking ...

So while prepping my 525 for Amageza 2015 I got a set of BMW Dakar bar ends and chopped them down and modified them to fit on my 525

There was a noticeable difference in "buzz" through the bars into my hands, especially on long boring straight roads

So I kept those bar ends when I sold my 525 and fitted them to my 500 ... and it works for me ... it does not eliminate the buzz completely but it does reduce it substantially ... and they are as hard as fuck so they work very well in protecting the ends of the bars when you bliksem the bike down

Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 16, 2018, 02:57:24 pm
You not had any issues with digging in and bending bars instead of sliding a little ?

Weighted bar ends for superbikes very common and sure also help when binning it as a slider on tar


 

Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 16, 2018, 03:03:33 pm
I do see HDB (Hand guard people) make anti vib inserts

https://www.highwaydirtbikes.com/index.php?app=ecom&ns=prodshow&ref=TI-200

(https://www.highwaydirtbikes.com/media/ecom/prodlg/TI_200.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Ri on April 16, 2018, 03:05:52 pm
They also work a treat to knock off car mirror cover if it unexpectedly closes in on you :-\
Title: Trip according to Justin - the visual artist from Cape Town
Post by: Xpat on April 16, 2018, 10:55:22 pm
Trip according to Justin - the visual artist from Cape Town


Continuing catch-up/recap with Justin's photos.


Day 4 & 5 - Robie's pass - Opuwo - Epupa Falls


Refuel in Ongango:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/800/39682975190_5e6cf0a413_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/901/41491779751_ebca19825b_b.jpg)


Opuwo:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/797/27620416648_c277224ab5_b.jpg)


Not sure why Justin felt a need to take picture inside Spar supermarket - don't they have them down in CT?


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/874/26620814647_6c05c9a81b_b.jpg)


Kunene river:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/870/27620439518_26ee04ae16_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/807/40598448825_0f66b39142_b.jpg)


Epupa Falls:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/897/40598466145_308232f1b8_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/886/26620902967_680c516118_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/881/41491911001_0d8235df3a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/807/41450079092_17946e4407_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/820/26620986487_bfb1a1ca2a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/873/27620536988_516b27e222_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/793/40598572755_2787957172_b.jpg)


Holy Moly - I'm blushing under the push-up bra just looking at this! Hotness redefined!


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/817/41492020581_886af61a0a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/869/40779094874_4aa45b7739_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/899/40598632895_c181cd8610_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/891/27620636718_e2975c5d2a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/793/27620652508_cc5d391a9a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/863/26621236067_77dbf94516_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/866/27620664578_f64bec43ef_b.jpg)

Title: Trip according to Justin - the visual artist from Cape Town
Post by: Xpat on April 16, 2018, 11:13:13 pm
Trip according to Justin - the visual artist from Cape Town


Day 6 & 7 - Epupa Falls - Okongwati - Van Zyl's Pass


Okongwati:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/869/39683325640_bfbf69c559_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/815/26621295357_ec4ef37e73_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/792/40779290014_453ac87ec2_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/875/27620758128_f0a08b987c_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/863/39683426390_c2c2127cfa_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/889/40598787345_091e82c872_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/880/41450436942_661b6e9845_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/901/39683511580_aaa611d165_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/809/39683530130_dc7acf1a51_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/887/40779445154_13208ccc13_b.jpg)


On the way to VZP:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/892/41492415651_741e86e11a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/886/26621516687_89789f7d4b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/886/26621555147_4464924794_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/817/41492480221_fdc41a288e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/889/26621594757_06c4c876d7_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/816/41450592642_023a383f60_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/895/41492565781_bae6bb8a79_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/789/26621733997_a296d194c1_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/813/41492629631_cd41b40ce8_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/796/27621113788_7cb3652a39_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/871/26621826787_933c824cff_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/887/40779725234_911d2f0250_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/885/26622023257_014feddee7_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/877/41451146462_da5b009e25_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/819/40599456845_0d22fd2be9_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/792/27621624558_66a511cc84_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/819/41492825461_b278f23892_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/891/39684163590_e1cbaeae7e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/784/39683890510_86e2491bc1_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/810/41493135071_3376dd5163_b.jpg)


Van Zyl's pass:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/898/40599794175_97c3fe498b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/877/39684401810_6f3816db87_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/893/27621806328_657e0e3206_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/801/41451296982_7beac1491a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/899/40599898735_18f630bd23_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/901/40599915725_92302c4284_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/821/27622014028_c53a32449b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/900/40600094265_8cc9875e70_b.jpg)


Damning evidence of russian cowardice...


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/900/41451458872_8333aa2bcb_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/816/40600031625_f148f01e6c_b.jpg)


OK, now we are caught up. I will include Justin's picture from now on in the future episodes.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 16, 2018, 11:14:09 pm
OK, now I'm off for real. Cheers.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: chopperpilot on April 17, 2018, 02:52:47 am
They also work a treat to knock off car mirror cover if it unexpectedly closes in on you :-\
DR 650 comes stock with those bar ends.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 17, 2018, 05:14:38 am
OK, now I'm off for real. Cheers.

Travel safe
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: facmp on April 17, 2018, 11:23:25 am
weird. posting some of those pics in the Ladies and bikes thread will get you life long ban.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: BiG DoM on April 17, 2018, 11:27:56 am
weird. posting some of those pics in the Ladies and bikes thread will get you life long ban.

Ja that has been said before here as well  >:D
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on April 17, 2018, 11:49:07 am
Honestly think it's nice to see some cultures still preserved out there.

Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: facmp on April 17, 2018, 12:21:18 pm
absolutely agree
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Straatkat on April 19, 2018, 11:26:42 pm
Trust me there is nothing sexual about their exposed body parts. Is a bit weird for a Westerner to see them wandering around inside the Spar with tits swinging, but the second time you see them it is almost normal.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: sidetrack on April 20, 2018, 01:14:18 pm
 :thumleft: ride !
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Saddle Up on April 20, 2018, 01:53:40 pm
Another epic ride. Thanks for the trouble in posting this and encouraging us by doing so, to also go and explore these tracks.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: m0lt3n on April 29, 2018, 09:27:53 pm
Damn Intook forever to read this RR. Except for you lot that cant decide if tubeliss is the worse thing or mooses are the best since sliced bread, on this RR the pictures dont show on my work pc while normally Xpats's stuff do show. Finally caught up on the phone now.

Another great report xpat. You are a lot more relaxed/informal than normally it would seem. Great and motivational riding as always.

How many days are there left to the trip? And then add another day to get to there and another to get home?
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on April 30, 2018, 06:54:35 am
About 5 days of riding still to go. Will be back from lesotho on Friday, so will try finish once back. The best scenery still to come - though i may be the only one to enjoy it...
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: SchalkL on April 30, 2018, 09:57:27 am
About 5 days of riding still to go. Will be back from lesotho on Friday, so will try finish once back. The best scenery still to come - though i may be the only one to enjoy it...
Sounds like its getting a bit rough out there  :peepwall:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 02, 2018, 07:13:55 pm
Day 7 - part 3
(pictures from this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmg4D71M (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmg4D71M))


Ok, letís get this thing wrapped up. Back to the bottom of Van Zylís pass at about 11:00 am of Day 7.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/889/41453913241_47d36245a3_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/896/39645174610_b8a0620dae_b.jpg)


To my eternal confusion, so far the other two seemed mostly unimpressed by the best riding sceneries this side of Mars. But when I mentioned that few km ahead we will be passing a bakkie that has been blown up by a landmine, they popped right up, jumped on the bikes like two ADHD teenagers on adderall and I could barely keep up with them. Next time Iíll save myself a trouble and expense and take them to a scrapyard.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/884/26601607607_896bc8042c_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/804/26601660587_49dfdd8b3d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/795/27602176018_7ca95199e7_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/820/41430834322_c5f6ea0d6d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/783/39665063930_3eafe132f9_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/895/41473783001_92c03df1a2_b.jpg)


Weíve made it to the car wreck at the bottom of the Marienfluss valley and the other two clearly in their element started playing at forensic experts, analysing where the blast came from, the velocities of shrapnel and bullets at different impact zones, and such. Here is something for your domestic forensic experts to comb over:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/879/40759836294_3cd09ecc8f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/869/41430933342_30d6a35003_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/877/41473447381_16c7a1ba20_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/814/41473472421_4ba6669ed5_b.jpg)


Once satisfied with the wreck, Justin turned his attention to two Himba ladies sitting next to the wreck in the shade of a bush, selling little trinkets. One of them was pregnant which gave Justin smooth opening for his usual jiggy-jiggy research. Who would have thought that in this remote valley he will be able to entertain so fully two of his main passions - carcasses (in this case a car one) and babies (or rather the production process).

To his credit, he also bought a bracelet or something, that increased his handsomeness to about 500% for the rest of the trip and gave me a distraction to scavenge a photo or 10:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/867/41431225812_74c7fc1269_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/893/41431101812_eeb15fb6ca_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/812/26602038437_781e640156_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/894/27602577968_fcc07a36ec_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/961/40022241790_fe9b006f1b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/908/40022298320_da21a54f57_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/822/41473679521_bdbcf5aa3b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/871/41473504001_a5989fdc1b_b.jpg)


From the wreck it was another 15 or so km the sandy bush and rocky track to the Red Drum. Red Drum is exactly that - a shot-up red drum in the middle of nowhere that serves as a main navigation point in these parts. As such it is prominently marked on all maps of the area giving the impression of major settlement. But there is none (well there is actually little settlement about km away, but nothing at the drum itself) - just the drum itself.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/786/39665535030_9185acbb54_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/901/40581072725_5869734064_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/789/26602272557_3de643d3f9_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/818/41473899931_0cbe3c126f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/790/40581183065_faa0852d55_b.jpg)


Iím rather not going to comment on these, except for this legal disclaimer: no goats were injured in the making of these photos:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/894/41431424192_2b317bc273_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/814/40760338334_7bb2dc5c76_b.jpg)


After the goat play we continued south on the rocky tracks running over the mountains to Onjuva village, location of Marble campsite, about 35 km away.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/790/40581228195_1bbc95926c_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/801/40581256395_af48e0b4a5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/891/40581272755_6d83c9d418_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/890/40581309105_0825feec88_b.jpg)


On the way we had to negotiate the last slightly technical pass for the day - Red Drum pass:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/868/27602998808_e11bb709d5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/880/41474193391_b539fe1116_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/887/26602637227_57f561d789_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/890/41431756272_86b94eea7b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/789/26602735157_391ff1849c_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/865/27603272568_5634bd35a8_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/804/41474428291_782eb25495_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/889/40581627925_4a174d92be_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/803/39666079400_54db7503f9_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/902/40581753425_200ee5d70a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/806/39666215200_482c961001_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/888/41432165072_73acb51e87_b.jpg)


In Onjuva we turned into the village (i.e. about 10 huts spread on about 2 square km) and stopped at the very empty spaza shop (not even drink) - but to our nice surprise they had petrol in the next hut. I got petrol here in village before but few km away in the separate hut in the bush and was surprised to find it here in a very shoddy dwelling. The price - 107 rand/dollar for 5 liters solved this mystery to me. Iím pretty sure that the dude out in the bush was still selling probably for standard price of 100 Dolars for 5 liters, and these guys were just buying from him and adding their 7 Dolar margin.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/804/41432234192_5d7c3d06a7_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/814/41474704891_8489fdca9d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/870/41828859891_941355815d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/824/41786948672_5fd6345f71_b.jpg)


After refuel we moved to the next hut about 500 meters away, where we stopped again this time for a cold soda or three.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on May 02, 2018, 08:28:07 pm
More awesome ,thanks for updates
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 02, 2018, 08:56:29 pm
Day 7 - part 4
(pictures from this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmg4D71M (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmg4D71M))

At the stop in Onjuva I checked with Bertie how he was feeling. It was past 2 pm, we were out of the mountains now and it was fast open plain and riverbeds riding most of the way to Puros, 130 km away. Alternatively, we could call it a day and stay in Marble campsite about 1 km away.

Bertie felt good, so we decided to push on. Justin took a while to get ready, so I just gunned it down the valley first keen to stretch 500s legs a bit on the open sandy bush plain, a nice break after the slow slog over the mountains we had for past day and a half. I made it to the T junction at the bottom of the valley about 10 km away in no time and stopped to wait for the other two.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/880/41432285702_4967b0efcc_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/881/39666324310_a56c2961fd_b.jpg)


The other two were nowhere to be seen. Initially I just thought they took it easy - I enjoyed quite some speed coming down - but eventually I realized something was not right, and with an uneasy feeling in my stomach slowly rode back. I found them about km or two back. Bertie was sitting on the ground in the shade visibly shaken trying to get his breath back, while Justin collected debris from Bertieís crash. This one was a good one - Bertie lost it at about 80 kmh and ended up again in crashing against a tree/bush. All things considered, he got away lightly - he was badly bruised and shaken, but luckily not harmed seriously. The bike required little bit of maintenance such as straightening the bars and such that Justin attended to, but again luckily was also OK.

We took a long break allowing Bertie to recover a bit. I suggested that we can return 10 km back to Marble campsite and call it a day, but once he caught his breath, Bertie opted to continue on to Puros. I gave him half heartedly by now very overused spiel about taking it easy, and reverting back to our usual riding order with Justin upfront and me sweeping behind Bertie we set-off again.

We had about 20 km of open track running on the west side to Khumib river to the D3707 and Orupembe turnoff, where we would jump into the river and follow it for another 50 km south, at which point we would jump over one of the most scenic passes I know to my favourite - Hoarusib river and follow that another 25 km down to Puros.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/891/26603215527_7b09100702_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/797/39666376860_758272db83_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/868/41432359292_a11afe45ca_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/804/41432386792_ed553b3ef7_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/880/41474856431_96a8556ca8_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/890/41475275601_c6c5291bf1_b.jpg)


We have made it to the Orupembe turn-off without glitch. Normally I would turn into the village to get some drinks  and photo at the famous Orupembe Shop 1, but we just had some in Onjuva, so I decided to skip it and we just jumped into Khumib riverbed and rode down the river for the next dozen km or so.

About half way through in the riverbed Bertie had another mishap, nothing too dramatic, but still he ended up with the bike facing the wrong way and more importantly his feet stuck under the bike in unnatural direction. Again, we got lucky - he just scored bad bruise on his feet that would bother him for the rest of the trip, but no broken bones. But I sensed that he is more or less out of it. So I took a lead and took us out of the riverbed onto the double track running on the open plains east of the Khumib river. Bertie, keen to get to Puros asap pulled his head down and pushed steadily first without any stops or so much as a glance to the beautiful scenery. Justin followed with with occasional stop to take picture of particularly interesting Himba female, and I swept, stopping to take picture of every new rock I came upon.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/796/40761541964_00d5c750d4_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/883/41432985682_a2148958f0_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/895/40761624364_3acab0aa23_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/897/40582452125_34567b826d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/863/26603732737_72816b6f3d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/817/40582474745_cb5cc5ea39_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/897/26603775357_d75aa9e939_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/806/41475449891_d13752ef4c_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/866/41475467781_d93ed51599_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/791/40761781844_303c23a803_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/877/27604362448_562bb5718d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/791/41475569171_99c9774b6a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/882/41475616501_06a4a94b9d_b.jpg)



We regrouped again at the turn-off to the Hoarusib river. Bertie was waiting silently, not enjoying himself one bit. By now even Justin was hurting. He suffers from carpal tunnel ailment and his throttle hand was giving him a lot of pain. None of them complained, but it was pretty clear that both of them just want to be done and over with the day as quickly as possible. It was sad really, as we were entering in my estimation the most beautiful part of Kaokoland - the pass between Khumib river and Hoarusib, followed by the upper Hoarusib section. While Khumib river is a nice river on its own merit anywhere - except for Kaokoland, it is very poor cousin to Hoarusib.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/864/27960894608_83f6f065d5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/953/41828966651_8389ab3304_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/871/41787024882_ec4df7bbd0_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/796/26603992547_9f5b624e5f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/900/40582743785_3e0af55749_b.jpg)


I was torn - on the one hand I didnít want to hold the other two, who were clearly both hurting, back. On the other hand I was about to ride one of my all time favourite areas in the golden hour of setting sun.

Bertie and Justin heading up the pass:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/792/40762284074_c8c20f782d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/948/41830139961_88faee5c31_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 02, 2018, 09:20:29 pm
Day 7 - part 5
(pictures from this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmg4D71M (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmg4D71M))

Ultimately I couldnít just gun it over the pass and did end up holding Bertie and Justin up quite a bit- sorry. Hopefully the pictures will make up for it a bit, as Iím pretty sure that they didnít notice much of the scenery they were riding through (that is why Bertie believes that Khowarib was the most scenic). Here are few examples:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/871/27962071528_93030ccafb_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/972/26962512257_b64dddba71_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/957/41830202591_ef70192b86_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/910/40023824450_7dbe205b0c_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/961/41788428092_6589569b18_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/832/40931991005_971c0fcab6_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/824/41830318901_e81f0dbaec_b.jpg)


I kept up with them for a bit until the top of the pass, after which I just had to stop almost at every turn to get a picture and they rode away:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/865/41113991304_05153d5d47_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/832/26962722377_104cf66a3c_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/832/40932085835_1e8d3e2c51_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/977/41114042644_394c82609c_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/907/27962423538_d86a908a06_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/959/41788636592_2c6f1f799a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/905/40024036040_571f80c7df_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/971/26962826697_04ce82dd22_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/909/40932244895_07250990d9_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/958/40932268955_8cf25d14f2_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/953/41788716932_2ab3cd60c6_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/976/41788727382_a7dd8c2995_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/958/40932310675_6ba6396258_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/868/40932338735_bcd10a96fc_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/971/41114217624_7c2f38fde2_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/824/41114236864_ab2b0e38d5_b.jpg)


Hoarusib river stretching underneath:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/907/41788802422_d32bca8ff9_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/945/27962653778_3bd00d74d6_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 02, 2018, 09:42:52 pm
Day 7 - part 6
(pictures from this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmg4D71M (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmg4D71M))


I eventually caught up with very silent Bertie and Justin under a tree at the beginning of the Hoarusib river section. By now I realized there is very simple solution to this conundrum - both of them had Tracks4Africa, so I just showed Justin, where the Puros Community Lodge is on T4A and they headed off leaving me behind basking in the late afternoon sun.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/865/41788834102_3bce394ca9_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/966/41114294414_9e7c21c183_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/969/26963050907_1b6241396f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/910/26963066307_dd64df953d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/952/27962721958_e128b4daef_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/908/27962738678_bb343ca5df_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/863/41788949392_fefb4cbacd_b.jpg)


Yet, even in their sorry state they couldnít resist to stop at one particularly scenic viewpoint, where I caught up with them for the last time:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/906/40932568405_16fedfdf62_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/970/41788991382_3fc1afd3a7_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/871/40932620685_0c158b8e5c_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/872/41114500014_0d2cc2a574_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/978/27962883578_0aa44e423b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/863/27962963098_5b97266a68_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/977/27962980138_858a22c3bf_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/946/41114605294_d7a923b969_b.jpg)


After that, I was on my own for the remaining 20 km of magical Hoarusib goodness:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/908/26963325557_8b8e7c4583_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/982/41114631194_65843b98a0_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/969/41789209522_3de8bf850b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/867/41831134461_f2d40f0379_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/829/41831148341_a7a19a63cc_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/955/40932863235_b31164a5d2_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/831/41114752524_b954c738b5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/957/40932891275_c7b4c94702_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/978/41114781794_aa5f2aa5b1_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/872/41831241591_e58914000d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/907/40933258485_f26e7a939e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/827/27963601638_ddb5dc5b16_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/903/40025144620_1e44c59e2a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/980/41831638821_fa9599fb2b_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/957/27963689688_42c1ddd5ec_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/828/40933386485_f1cf84be5d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/978/41789864092_c90bbe7275_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/978/41831858701_4518784542_b.jpg)


Jan Joubert's koppie & viewpoint:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/908/41115360834_06d38286aa_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/825/40933508335_1804a7343a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/903/41831897341_75a9091c11_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/903/41789989522_e552cc436a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/966/26964159737_499826f16e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/964/41789966832_958fce8e53_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/946/26964179087_fd90213cb3_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/981/40933585985_e457543ab8_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/823/41115506784_7f997e6433_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/872/26964270547_45c0e45887_b.jpg)


When I arrived at the lodge, they were both already spread out on the beds in their chalet. To compensate a bit for the hold-ups, I gunned it to Puros village about 5 km away and brought back few grape sodas (prefered drink of my hardy riding companions), some beer for me and some sweetened condensed milk for me and Justin. After quick dinner of variety of cans, we hit the sacks early.


Route ridden on day 7:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/867/40047685440_594e2bdb7f_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Straatkat on May 03, 2018, 10:24:06 am
Martin, thanks for writing this all up so eloquently, there sure was some very good riding and beautiful scenery on the way to Purros, your photo's really does the scenery justice. You must have used a lot of zoom on those Giraffes, we saw them but they were quite far from the road. It really is special to be riding among such majestic creatures. A little bit disappointing that on the whole trip we saw not one pachyderm, probably missed some narrowly on the first day going by the fresh spoor we found.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on May 03, 2018, 01:54:18 pm
Incredible terrain.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 03, 2018, 09:02:39 pm
Day 8 - part 1
(pictures from this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmjWDWMi (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmj4kc6m))

The night before we agreed to take the day off to hopefully get the gang recovered sufficiently for the last part of the trip. Everybody had their own plans for the day. Bertie opted to stay within 5 meter radius of bed - well most of it unconscious on the bed. Justin also wanted to get some rest, but was also keen to get a glimpse of the elusive elephants - so far we had no luck even though we have come few times over of what to these inner city rangers looked like fresh spoor. Locals told him that elephants were grazing down river in Puros canyon, so he decided to make a quick dash down there for a look-see.

I wanted to explore the upper reaches of Hoarusib ideally all the way up to D3707 running between Orupembe and Opuwo. I.e. the route I have originally planned for us to take up to Opuwo on the way up from Uis, but was warned off by Hardy - or rather baited away by his suggestion to try Robbieís pass instead. Hardy told me that a month or two ago two mates of his riding up there also on KMT 500s had an accident when one of them crashed into deep hole in the riverbed covered up fesh fesh and broke his collarbone. According to locals there is some kind of phenomenon occuring once every few years at the confluence of Hoarusib and one of its noname tributaries, when (my utter speculation) the whirls at the confluence of the two rivers dig out deep holes in the riverbed, which then get covered by soft sand. Basically creating a trap for an unsuspecting victim riding merrily perfectly fine dry riverbed one moment at enjoyable 40 - 60 kmh, and the next moment coming to a sudden stop in deep hole up to their neck in soft sand.

Hardy recommended to stay off, but I decided to go and have a look anyway - just take it easy and check carefully riverbed for potential traps.


Puros community lodge and surrounds in the morning:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/958/41821892092_d337d78a06_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/903/40057555580_b2921048df_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/964/41821869572_ce3a377fb6_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/908/40966162895_bccd6c7c55_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/865/27995910548_9e1cc8b98d_b.jpg)


As it was the rest day, we got even more than usually sloppy with the breakfast made out of variety of whatever we could forage out of our bags. So Justin and I managed to set-off only at about 11am, each of us heading in opposite direction - Justin south and me north.

First 25 km I was basically backtracking the route we came down the river yesterday. Iíll let mostly the pictures and their captions to tell the story - and some of the images will inevitably be repetition of the scenery from yesterday. But the beauty of the place can easily bear some (a lot of) repetition in my view, so you will just have to deal with it  O0


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/975/41821945072_c570f69072_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/950/40057593670_e8362669d4_b.jpg)


Jan Joubertís koppie, overlooking the upper reaches of the Hoarusib river on the one side and Puros valley on the other:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/965/41147586174_1da7a0ff2e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/912/41821960932_dbfc41751a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/978/26996525497_e1d0d934cf_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/969/40966264865_fdcd3d3592_b.jpg)


Himba kraal to the east of the koppie:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/912/40966273565_4919077767_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/948/41821998992_9d3494b20e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/905/41821991092_b0ccaa7c48_b.jpg)


Viewpoint at the top of the Jan Joubert's koppie:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/977/40057696310_67bf2ba147_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/977/40966348775_f39e357073_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/948/26996618617_0179884844_b.jpg)


View south at the Puros valley and its dunefields:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/911/27996081688_ccdaa3dfdd_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/959/41864925171_3a7e179160_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/866/27996168258_b1d13c4c48_b.jpg)


View to the west across the Hoarusib river:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/978/41864911901_e83a7ec1ca_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/960/27996106478_aecda23c41_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/828/41147781144_4e05f795ac_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/828/41147786294_e666efebcd_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/976/41147790264_891cf3df9a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/959/26996692907_e3c131c4f2_b.jpg)


View north following the river towards the pass to Khumib river where we came from yesterday (to the left of the peak/mountain third from the left on the horizon):


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/829/40966360495_e7fce5d1e4_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/945/27996060028_f9430cd304_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 03, 2018, 09:32:27 pm
Day 8 - part 2
(pictures from this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmjWDWMi (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmj4kc6m))


Middle part of this section of Hoarusib between Puros and the passover to Khumib river:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/908/40057807620_a8c2df9edf_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/979/40057812090_7f77015401_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/955/41822202062_e1ce7a42fe_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/963/26996738457_747ebbe893_b.jpg)


Viewpoint on a dune in the middle of the valley:


View to the north towards the pass to Khumib river (the saddle in the middle on the horizon):


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/962/41865050251_e3a8a059ae_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/824/26996760847_f37cee5f29_b.jpg)


View to the west across the river:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/977/26996750197_2939c930c0_b.jpg)


Jan Joubert's koppie to the south:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/904/41822236792_dc4a9ef90d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/960/27996372128_966bbaf181_b.jpg)


More of the middle section of the Hoarusib river north of Puros:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/963/41822261092_a01ca8da5d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/826/27996286978_d29edace97_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/866/26996802547_fcbf80e553_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/829/26996819067_807f3233f8_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/944/40057924280_ee198953a5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/944/27996330888_30d2184113_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/951/41147933244_7ab05baa59_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/946/41865146661_0a06b76f85_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/863/27996363518_01e1f35127_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/964/27996380028_fafba40cb6_b.jpg)


Heading up the river towards the Khumib turnoff:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/952/26996885437_20e3c06859_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/872/41822354582_17f86d9990_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/977/40058011260_e0a866e105_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/871/40966645645_dbb5c67b0a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/966/27996440068_4383426a3b_b.jpg)


The point past the Khumib turnoff where Hoarusib enters the mountains. This was the new unexplored territory for me (very few vehicles head this way, most of them turn off west before this point, cross over to Khumib and continue to Orupembe - i.e. follow the track we came on the day before):


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/910/40966678175_39f937ba4f_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 04, 2018, 11:06:29 am
Day 8 - part 3
(pictures from this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmjWDWMi (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmj4kc6m))

Conscious of Hardy's warning, I proceeded cautiosly up the canyon Huarusib has carved out of the surrounding mountains. There were fresh car tracks and initially I stuck religiously to them, the reasoning being if there is any dust trap, I would see where the car fell through. Otherwise they are obviously safe. But within few km I relaxed and rode whereever I liked best, just keeping an eye out for any unusual patch of sand ahead of me.

The scenery change from the wide open valley to a narrow passage carved out in the mountains by Hoarusib river:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/950/41865224941_1a2cdf798a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/868/27996467998_26cd2afdd1_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/869/26997037617_1a2877c105_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/971/41148187914_643dd05c81_b.jpg)


After about 15 km I arrived to the confluence of Hoarusib and the non-name tributary.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/978/41865392051_0ca3de0bfe_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/912/41822575512_fcc5f3f102_b.jpg)


This was the place Hardy warned me about specifically so I approached it with caution and sure enough found few of what I believe were the traps, one of which caught up his mates. They were about 3 meters deep craters in the otherwise flat riverbed, now fully exposed. Now, I cannot be sure that this was really what caught those guys, but I have never seen craters like this anywhere else in the 100s of kms of riverbeds I have ridden in Kaokoland, so feel pretty confidents this was it. They were fully exposed now with sand washed/blown away, but would be deadly if covered by what I can only imagine was soft fesh fesh. Even if you survive the sudden surprise crash into one of those, you were still IMO in accute risk of drowning in the sand - Hardy mentioned that his mate ended up up to his neck in sand. So if you are heading this way, take extra caution at this point - it's where a noname river (at least noname on T4A) joins Hoarusib from the north west, I believe it is the only distinct river joining Hoarusib between Puros in the south and D3707 north.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/980/26997139547_a0510856ee_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/981/40966860495_e5e2eacffc_b.jpg)


I had to decide which way - follow the Hoarusib up to 3707 as originally planned or take the noname river which according to my map also run all the way to D3707 and intersected it west of Hoarusib. Hoarusib tracks were on T4A and there were fresh car tracks headin up the river. There were no tracks on T4A for the noname, so naturally that is the one I took - no need to ride something other people already have done.

Initially I couldn't see any tracks going up my chosen river, but soon enough I found some less frequented ones - so no, I did not discover this river for the mankind unfortunatelly (western mankind that is - there was little Himba settlement on a hill over the river further on).


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/825/41822612892_3e62f65464_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/963/41865500691_069912c4c3_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/982/40966923735_44d8c81da5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/825/40966943935_8a7d5daa76_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/825/41148336944_5208516ee3_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/830/40058418730_aa504cb04f_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/945/40058439430_78080c1bbb_b.jpg)


It's a very scenic ride and I will definitely explore it more on one of my future rides up there. The scenery matches in places some of the best riverbeds in Kaokoland like Hoanib, or Puros canyon.. I haven't seen much wildlife except for occasional springbok. And I have came upon two stray dogs feasting on dead donkey, but they weren't that happy to see me and vere wery aggressive, so I didn't linger.

Eventually, at about 3pm I have stopped in the shade for a lunch break, about 10 - 15 km shy of D3707. I pondered my options - baring some big surprise like huge staircase or some such (which was unlikely seeing the car tracks) it was clear that I will make it do D3707 no problem, which I was very tempted to do - I don't like unfinished business. But I was also conscious of time and the fact that I shouldn't push too hard to keep some energy reserve for the rest of the trip. So far I didn't have a single rest day and thanks to 500 felt still strong, but didn't want to push my luck too far.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/828/40967042775_ab11e0dd5b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/975/40058464550_fc598b185e_b.jpg)


So I decided to turn back and backtrack to Puros. On the way back I made a detour up that pass between Khumib and Hoanib river we came through yesterday. I found shortcut from Hoarusib running behind that big rocky outcrop dominating the pass and made it up the pass where I connected to the tracks we took day before and rode down the valley all the way to Puros on the same tracks.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/973/27996830668_10bb45bd38_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/974/41822814602_e9136213ca_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/949/26997390227_a4e408b5c2_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/948/40967085795_02ae87f4c2_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/968/26997406267_83ddf2c45a_b.jpg)


Khumib - Hoarusib pass:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/980/27996889838_2d6d28ceb6_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/911/41865747771_abbcdb80e5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/869/26997421967_a14c7806c0_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/907/26997481587_9b04cf7f47_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/867/41865812401_6a1822284c_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/903/27997001568_ba863108bf_b.jpg)


Puros valley - with Jon Joubert's koppe featuring prominently in the distance in the middle of the valley, and Hoarsib again:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/974/26997619857_7bb4dd625c_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/872/41148649974_f7c6656ce1_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/977/26997630497_26e197eb74_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/966/27997047838_e54e16dafd_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/982/41865931161_431e0b2381_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/956/40058708870_4d8d56aefa_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/955/27997080028_4e786e965c_b.jpg)


Before returning to the lodge I gunned it past to Puros where I got drinks for the evening and got filled up on petrol. I was surprised how readily available petrol is nowadays in inner Kaokoland - the guy selling it in Purros seemed to be fully focused on this business and doing well. It is the green house just off the D3707 in the direction of Sesfontein. This one:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/945/26997672697_5cef7a7b38_b.jpg)



Route for the day - the magenta is what I have ridden, the blue one is Justins track:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/979/28000604368_ff05db5c60_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: aka.Goliath on May 04, 2018, 06:14:04 pm
Those giant holes in the river bed, could they have not perhaps been made by the likes of elephant digging holes to reach water in the dry season?
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 04, 2018, 07:54:13 pm
Those giant holes in the river bed, could they have not perhaps been made by the likes of elephant digging holes to reach water in the dry season?

I don't think so - never seen anything like it anywhere else in Kaokoland in 100s of kms of rivers we did (they do it though in Botswana). Plus locals say that this is a strange phenomena occuring at this particular confluence and there were couple of them only there.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 05, 2018, 10:32:39 am
Day 8 - Justin version

Since he wouldn't say anything, I'll show you how Justin's day was: He went down the Puros canyon and back and saw 0 elephants. He took total of 5 or so pictures, here is the best of selection:

His day started on a bright side - he scored a carcas even before breakfast. Luckily I was there to stop him munching it down:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/910/40057586440_fc28b8c22a_b.jpg)


Puros canyon is one of the most scenic places in Kaokoland with new stunning grand vista opening after each turn of the 35 km ride down the river (I'll show you in the next episode). This is Justin's take on it:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/979/27996387618_37ee7a9ede_b.jpg)


On the way back he stopped for a shopping spree in Puros mall (or rather Manchester United mall). Bertie was in such a dire condition, that he asked Justin to get him a can of condensed sweetened milk as well. So far it was just youngsters who were doping, but now Bertie could clearly see wrongness of his ways and that he is not going to make it through if he remains clean:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/966/27996561168_fa50387f36_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/966/41822459312_80fc42485f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/975/40058123790_e38f23e104_b.jpg)


Justin spent the rest of the day doing what he likes the most - playing with rubber:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/872/41901972911_2266e0ba11_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/976/41901957871_928236486d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/961/28032124218_75bda8dec5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/954/41858798192_01b5799e7c_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: m0lt3n on May 05, 2018, 12:56:14 pm
pictures are really good!

Xpat what stood out for you in this trip?
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on May 05, 2018, 01:25:39 pm
This riverbed was probably the highlight for me - the most scenic beautiful game rich area I have ever ridden in

I had not had a puncture that I could remember in probably 3 years ...and on this 10 day trip I had 8 punctures ...all in the front wheel ...on one day I removed and refitted the front wheel off 3 times in blistering baking heat ...not fun at all
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 05, 2018, 02:08:41 pm
pictures are really good!

Xpat what stood out for you in this trip?


Two things - 500 and to lesser extent the group ride.

The group ride (i.e. for me showing somebody else what they didn't know they were missing) was the initial impetus of this trip (if I would go solo I would go somewhere else as I have done this area already 4 times - 3 times on a bike). And while I enjoyed riding in a group for a change, it didn't work out 100% because of Bertie's exhaustion and Justin's ailments plagued the last part of the trip to the point when they couldn't really enjoy it anymore and eventually bailed out before finishing the whole route as we will see in the next episodes. Which was a shame really as I planned the trip so that we will hit the best parts - Hoarusib river, Hoanib river and Valley of Desolation) last, and they missed most of those, and couldn't enjoy as much as I thought they will the parts they did.

500, because it is the best tool for this job out of the bikes I have used here before (GSA1150, Husky 630 and Tenere) and as such made the whole experience much more enjoyable than those prior 3 bike trips up there. It gives one peace of mind because it is so simple and reliable (Tenere left me stranded there, and fuel pump on 630 died just about as I made it out in Sesfontein where I had car) and because it is so light and well suspended, one can anjoy the riding aspect (pushing it for pure joy of riding) as well as the tourist aspect (enjoying the scenery) so much more without constant 'oh shit' moments one has on hippo like Tenere and concerns if I'm giong to make it out or not due to exhaustion. It is so much less tiring - as a result I was able to ride 9 days through this trip straight without rest day - on Tenere I had to take every 3rd day out, usually sleeping the whole day. And as such it enables one to explore much more within limited period of time and having a blast while doing it.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Straatkat on May 05, 2018, 02:08:42 pm
This riverbed was probably the highlight for me - the most scenic beautiful game rich area I have ever ridden in

I had not had a puncture that I could remember in probably 3 years ...and on this 10 day trip I had 8 punctures ...all in the front wheel ...on one day I removed and refitted the front wheel off 3 times in blistering baking heat ...not fun at all

Yeah yeah, I bet you secretly indulge in the rubber play when bike riding comes to an end,(sometimes quite unplanned) to satisfy some inner need to be busy with something you construe as useful.
Next time just go mousses!
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: SchalkL on May 05, 2018, 02:14:12 pm
pictures are really good!

Xpat what stood out for you in this trip?


Two things - 500 and to lesser extent the group ride.

The group ride (i.e. for me showing somebody else what they didn't know they were missing) was the initial impetus of this trip (if I would go solo I would go somewhere else as I have done this area already 4 times - 3 times on a bike). And while I enjoyed riding in a group for a change, it didn't work out 100% because of Bertie's exhaustion and Justin's ailments plagued the last part of the trip to the point when they couldn't really enjoy it anymore and eventually bailed out before finishing the whole route as we will see in the next episodes. Which was a shame really as I planned the trip so that we will hit the best parts - Hoarusib river, Hoanib river and Valley of Desolation) last, and they missed most of those, and couldn't enjoy as much as I thought they will the parts they did.

500, because it is the best tool for this job and as such made the whole experience much more enjoyable than my prior 3 bike trips here (on GSA1150, Husky 630 and Tenere). It gives one peace of mind because it is so simple and reliable (Tenere left me stranded there, and fuel pump on 630 died just about as I made it out in Sesfontein where I had car) and because it is so light and well suspended, one can anjoy the riding aspect (pushing it for pure joy of riding) as well as the tourist aspect (enjoying the scenery) so much more without constant 'oh shit' moments one has on hippo like Tenere and concerns if I'm giong to make it out or not due to exhaustion. It is so much less tiring - as a result I was able to ride 9 days through this trip straight without rest day - on Tenere I had to take every 3rd day out, usually sleeping the whole day. And as such it enables one to explore much more within limited period of time and having a blast while doing it.
TX again for your fantastic ride reports - I have also read the previous ones all in detail .
Question:
Did you have to do a oil change on the road?
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 05, 2018, 02:17:33 pm
No we didn't - I have already answered that earlier in this thread I think. It was about 2000 km round trip, so no need to change oil for this usage. We just carried oiled spare air filter each that we changed half way in Epupa Falls. It packs smaller to about size of tennis ball once compressed properly. And I had one small can of chain spray, which we used once every few days when we remembered.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Straatkat on May 05, 2018, 02:20:20 pm
I have a list of things I am busy changing to make my adventure riding easier and better, some are things to change with my kit, some are modifications to my 500.
This is after I ran into some snags along the way, My Giant Loop Coyote bag is awesome, would not want it any different, but I did upgrade to the newer design with rolltop, but to be honest, the older zip closure has served me well for many years, just a little more cumbersome to close if you overfill it.
Also going to change my tent to something more basic and easier to erect, Martin has a First ascent Starlight 2 which is the best in my opinion.
On my bike I am going to put the extra levers and gear change lever in the airbox. Justin had his tie wrapped to the inside, that way you always have them and they cannot be left behind, and don't take space in your luggage.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Straatkat on May 05, 2018, 02:31:25 pm
Some other mods on the bike include installing my 12v lighter socket on the side of the bike with an always on connection, mine was on the handlebars, not ideal as it can get damaged in an off.
Also already ordered a Motion Pro billet side stand to replace the standard one. Mine is not broken yet, but this is forward thinking, Martin's stand broke and it is mighty inconvenient. You can see him laying the bike against rocks or trees for the latter part of the trip.
Off course losing the tankbag, and looking for alternative bags to put some easily accessible stuff like energy bars etc.
Some pieces of tube around the forklegs to slide some tie wraps into is also mighty handy. Thanks Justin for this trick. (it does mean taking the forkleg off to slide the tube pieces over.) Going to do this on all my bikes!
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Straatkat on May 05, 2018, 02:33:52 pm
On water: Martin had some liquid drops to purify the water that tastes way better than the pills I had. Also carry rehydrate and even just Game to make the water taste better.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on May 05, 2018, 05:04:06 pm
After riding Martin's bike for less than a 100 metres up a tricky technical rocky climb just before VZP I could not believe how different it felt to mine ...but why ?

His bike was 25 mm lower than my bike ...and had been properly done by Hilton Hayward

Now 25 mm is not much at all you may think but it is enough to allow me to get both of my big toes on the ground at the same time ... and its amazing how much easier it makes life on the bike

As soon as I got home I had my bike done by Superfoxi here in Cape Town ...I also dialled in Martin's suspender settings .....and voila my 500 has been transformed into the lightest most comfy adventure bike I have ever had ...so much so that I can now sit for hours at a time with no discomfort

These bikes are super sensitive to tyre pressures and suspension settings ... a few clicks either way on the suspenders and a teeny bit more or less pressure in the tyres and they can turn from super comfy soak up everything in my path to jackhammer piledriving rattle false teeth out my mouth
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 05, 2018, 11:29:56 pm
Day 9 - part 1
(pictures from this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmj4kc6m (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmj4kc6m))

The plan for the day was to follow Hoarusib river down the Puros canyon, then cross 70 km of desert south to Amspoort gorge, jump into the Hoanib river and follow it upstream all the way to Sesfontein. The standard route between Puros and Sesfontein if one looks for the best Kaokoland can offer.

Bertie spend the day before mulling things over and decided that he is not going to continue with the trip and bail back to Uis on the main roads. This was quite sad as he would miss some of the best parts of the trip such as Hoanib river and Valley of Desolation, but taking into account his exhaustion and attendant risks most probably the right decision.

He was to take D3707 dirt road from Puros to Sesfontein about 100 km away, where he would wait for us at the Sesfontein Fort lodge and then push on back to Uis on the C43 dirt highway the next day. I explained him the route on the GPS, which was to use for the first time on this trip, and gave him my satellite phone should he run into any trouble (Justin had satellite phone, so we were covered).


Route for the day - blue is Bertieís route, red the one Justin and I took:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/867/41189814344_af294d280e_b.jpg)


I woke up early still in the dark and went for the last Puros sunrise photo-session. The place is pure magic, especially at sunrise and sunset:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/959/41905763971_2a6d6dfa70_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/946/41187955534_02f9897923_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/949/41187965284_b969414d25_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/866/41006132455_2d475f4469_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/967/28035710428_dfb0bebb11_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/963/40098011800_13403b73f3_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/967/40098020930_3aa09aea97_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/962/40098027180_1131962e30_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/973/41188010524_00dc4fd1ac_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/967/40098059500_e4c7325f4a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/964/41006197545_ae3891a166_b.jpg)


Once the other two got out of bed we had last breakfast together, packed up and headed down to Puros village. We stopped at the petrol manís hut, where Bertie and Justin filled up their bikes (I filled up already night before). Justin spotted an opportunity and played at family with a local girl who was babysitting her niece - here is the proud pretend daddy, and yes I can see quite a lot of resemblance even with my glasses on. Maybe he isnít telling us the whole story:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/976/40098073890_1ac15d2b51_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/976/41188078194_8462300b74_b.jpg)


Justin - the babysnatcher strikes again:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/909/28035883098_6653f84c91_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/982/27036820917_69742217bf_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/869/28035847178_9656b2630d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/866/28035861448_6422b58b3b_b.jpg)


Filled up, we gave our farewells to Bertie and headed in different direction - Bertie south-east on D3707, us north-west for a km to Hoarusib, where we turned south-west and followed the river down the Puros canyon (the same route Justin did day before).


Metropolis of Puros:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/830/28035907438_eb9d0377ec_b.jpg)


Bertieís send-off at the outskirts of Puros. Will he make it and will we see him again?


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/824/28035924798_635dfc0951_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: evansv on May 06, 2018, 01:26:33 am
 :sip:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Mr Zog on May 06, 2018, 03:35:08 am
Fantastic pictures Martin, and wonderful story-telling.

I have heard that part of Namibia referred to as "The Land God Made in Anger", but it is so stunningly beautiful that I don't think He was angry at all...
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 06, 2018, 08:47:48 am
Day 9 - part 2
(pictures from this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmj4kc6m (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmj4kc6m))

Justin and I hit the Hoarusib river and followed it down to Purros canyon. We kept to the natural order - Justin racing upfront, with regular stops to wait for me, and me sweeping and playing at the photographer at the back.

There was quite a bit of water and the river was actually flowing at places - well the narrow stream in the middle of the riverbed was. Still, from what I have seen before, this looked like pretty good wet season.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/976/41188198704_9530470727_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/977/28035956848_c70d642e76_b.jpg)


Justin consulting with the locals the best way across the raging stream:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/982/41862699412_282ea4ee26_b.jpg)


I watched with bated breath, but luckily he made it safely to the other side:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/943/40098249840_53a55c4679_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/910/41906047431_43e03b224c_b.jpg)


Disapointingly we have seen very little wildlife in this section, so we had to make use of what we could find. Joking aside, I had an uneasy feeling about this situation. On all my prior trips I have bumped into elephants, even multiple times, but this time - apart from some probably old spoor - there was no sign of them. And I didn't like to see domesticated animals in the river - this is supposed to be proper lion - not cow grazing - territory. The fact that the locals and their cattle roamed around freely made me wonder if they haven't done something nosty to eliminate the 'wildlife risks' from the area. I tried to remain positive, but couldn't completely shake off the feeling that something was badly amiss here. Hopefully it was just my tinfoil hat inner conspiracy theorist talking.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/825/41862749392_363a2bc52e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/964/41006414005_73b1211751_b.jpg)


The poort - entrance to the Puros canyon proper about 10 or so km down the river from Puros:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/945/40098310590_3416afcdde_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/974/40098299330_142e6d0545_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/975/41006449395_3ccc72338e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/979/40098341740_d3eb53dd9d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/906/27037067667_404848a508_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/959/41862842902_540a5564f8_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/974/41188391284_9715238930_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/945/41188409694_17d0264deb_b.jpg)


For some reason Justin decided to stare for quite a while up this particular rock face - I thought he may have got carpal tunnel in his neck or something:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/864/41862879032_a5a7f8efe9_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/825/41006541275_1f02a51fbb_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/824/41188470004_ed082fe90d_b.jpg)


Eventually he got bored/healed:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/903/28036172828_a6444eb876_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/982/41906198431_58d1df2dfa_b.jpg)


I caught up with him again few km down river, but he set off as soon as I stopped behind him. Not one to waste and opportunity I took the picture of the pretty scenery ahead and getting ready to go almost missed little nasty surprise bloody throttle happy Cappie left for me in his wake. Can you spot it?


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/975/41906214391_a14c4110a3_b.jpg)


Here are few close-ups - it was positioned exactly where Justin was waiting for me and you can see his tracks to the immediate left. So he either dug it out of sand most probably while running it over, or it was trying to talk to him the whole time he was parked there, but he just ignored it.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/982/41906204081_040ba0624c_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/946/41006635405_6657a40c6d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/911/41188586704_ed12aa002c_b.jpg)


I have waited a minute or two for the cobra to move away, but it clearly expected me to show some respect instead, so I just went around through the riverbed and it finally relaxed and sliped away. I'm not snake expert but it seemed to move smoothly and seamlessly, so I believe it wasn't injured - good thing that Justing E09 was more or less bald by now.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/955/28036264868_78feeb7c4d_b.jpg)


I chased after the snake whisperer, but managed to catch him only at the bottom of the canyon where the track turns south away from the river and onto the desert plains heading towards Amspoort 70 km away.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/952/40098555320_ccb20f877a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/963/40098568040_3cdd94dae5_b.jpg)


Lodge at the bottom of the canyon, where Hoarusib enters the Skeleton coast NP (off limits for bikes) and we were to turn left towards desert and Amspoort gorge.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/864/41188652004_7d14f09cce_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/872/28036314598_007912f1d0_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/947/27037320287_5769e3b52b_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 06, 2018, 08:49:51 am
Thanks everybody for the comments and following  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Straatkat on May 06, 2018, 09:22:00 am
After I left the entrepid adventurers in Purros I went to Sesfontein on the "highway" but it was just barely more than a single track, and the track meandered through some really breathtaking scenery, with the odd truck loaded with supplies on route to Purros Lodge no doubt coming the other way. I would have loved to do that loop with the other 2, but I was spent, and had some injuries, nothing serious, a badly bruised foot, and some bruises in places where I did not even know I had places.
Crashing through a tree at 80 is not recommended! At least I felt I will ride at my own pace, not that I was ever pressured into riding faster than I wanted, but soon the road turned a little sandy and twisty and I was once again hanging on the cables! I will not make a good solo traveler, probably kill myself in some remote place and then they find my dried bones a year or two later!
 I saw quite a bit of wildlife, the usual Giraffes, by now my favourites as we have had such cool interaction with them on this trip, lots of Springbuck and even a baboon running across my path. It was very hot mid morning and I was pushing on with the image of that lovely blue swimming pool at Sesfontein lodge in my mind's eye.
I am by no means a GPS guru,being very new to these newfangled devices... and made an error on reading the GPS, it gave the distance in a straight line, so when I reached that figure on my speedo and I was still in the middle of nowhere I got a bit worried....but then I re-entered Sesfontein and it gave me a figure of another 25km to go. Funny how your mind plays tricks on you, if you have in your mind that the journey will end at a certain spot and you reach that point, anything after that seems to go on forever! That pool was getting further and further away every km I rode!!
At the lodge I had a nice lunch and had a swim and waited for the other 2 in my air conditioned room.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on May 06, 2018, 12:35:19 pm
Keep it coming :)

Love reading and looking at great pictures
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Ri on May 06, 2018, 02:21:04 pm
Addictive fred :thumleft:

Beautiful photo's.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Straatkat on May 06, 2018, 06:23:44 pm
Martin looking at what I missed, we need to go again, this time starting at the end so we catch the good stuff in the beginning.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 06, 2018, 08:56:06 pm
Day 9 - part 3
(pictures from this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmj4kc6m (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmj4kc6m))

As mentioned, the route today consisted fromthree distinct and quite different parts: about 35 km of Hoarusib riverbed running down the unique Puros canyon, then about 70 km of flat open desert running south along the boundary of Skeleton Coast NP to Amspoort gorge on Hoanib river, and the last section running up the magical Hoanib riverbed east to Sesfontein about 70 km away.

We have just came out of the Hoarusib, and after short break where I explained to Justin that it really is not cool to throw cobras at me after all that I have done for him, hit the desert with gusto. The scenery changed immediately and dramatically from green vegetation of the riverbed to the dry open desert plains with minimum vegetation and plenty of mirrages. Naturally, we opened up and moved a notch or 10 faster than in the river:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/971/41863065232_96149c7505_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/866/28036356518_19314d8c35_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/981/28036365608_07f5916bf6_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/962/41863100742_8fb5f23ea2_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/823/41863130762_9dc7c63cfa_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/961/40098693610_15114ce613_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/965/40098706880_3b2b91f451_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/903/27037455677_1b3a6f7efb_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/969/41863183742_04b02d712f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/949/28036477558_02b09ca4bf_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/824/41863227622_4539bd0a9b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/831/28036487648_7cfc6e5969_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/954/41863239612_0e05f6830e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/869/28036519228_4e4a20acce_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/977/41906509881_a284762687_b.jpg)


On top of the central plain that runs between the two rivers for about 40 - 50 km. Flat featureless vastness in every direction for dozens of km with remote solitary mountains floating on mirrage cushins above horizon can have surprisingly uplifting effects on ones soul:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/944/40098832670_929403652a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/831/41007014925_df8fc76b39_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/867/41188979854_688c8b6f94_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/977/41906545971_a8db625cc4_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/948/28036575018_2766183547_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/827/41007048405_64f4426351_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/954/28036815178_1d5d6709fd_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/825/28036823578_e574fc0191_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/943/41906786611_7182685a93_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/824/41189292924_def72ba2c2_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/956/41189325564_59203233e4_b.jpg)


As I've mentioned, Justin didnít seem to be too fazed by the Kaokoland scenery so far. So it was nice to see at one of the stops that the flat monotonous desert finally touched something deep inside him. So much so, that he suddenly felt strong urge to ďshare the experienceĒ, whipped out satellite phone, and used some of the expensive airtime to annoy few of his mates (including Kamanya I believe), who were busy rat racing in assigned corporate cages, sorry cubicles.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/971/41007424885_a5be2bbe7b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/962/40099165400_c6fe51eb37_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/824/41007441025_a90cc417e8_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/912/28036896028_a9d101bcb1_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/909/40099254290_dd5bbd5e27_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/908/28036955508_46c55684e0_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/905/40099214030_b77fdc85c4_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/948/40099241020_cf2a4702e7_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/950/40099224100_d24b7e0572_b.jpg)


Once Justin was satisfied that everybody he cared about has been sufficiently pissed off, we rode again:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/982/41863822372_cc7f2b055a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/950/41189564564_a27d0fd321_b.jpg)


Justin riding mirage:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/907/41189582844_046547e5d5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/830/41189602424_5ba083fba9_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/981/41189614524_3a02a67f05_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/981/41007670835_38481878ee_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/967/40099381620_32c081cf8b_b.jpg)


About 10 km before Hoanib, we started descending to the rivebed and the flat plain gave way to low mountains dug out probably by the water in the Hoanib watershed. The brown rocky outcrops often partially covered by the yellow sand dunes create very unique scenery that has been made famous in many travellers magazines:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/868/41007724535_33c324e9f1_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/830/27038236127_a74ea96306_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/823/27038313917_f2d0c33e62_b.jpg)


Eventually we arrived at the Hoanib river and stopped the check the local signatures.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/959/41007834175_a018596476_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/968/40099512140_eb8c0ab53f_b.jpg)


Bikes riding in the Hoanib river was a source of controversy for a while now, when private Wilderness Safari company was trying to get bikers banned from the area and in fact their guides often told bikers that they are not allowed there for quite a few years. For example I was told that last time by safari car driver and of course ignored it. I guess it was grey area as the river is the northern boundary of Palmwag conservancy, where bikes are officially forbiden - so to use an analogy one can look at it as either riding inside Kruger along the fence, or outside doing the regular and perfectly legal Kruger fence ride. Anyway, as I said, bikers has been riding this river forever (the few of them who venture up here), but according to Hardy de Kock, Namibian government -  lobbied heavily by those private fat catson some kind of 'conservancy' pretext - recently decided that Hoanib indeed is off limits to bikes. We didn't actively asked anywhere, but checked the signs at the river and there was nothing about bikes not being allowed, so after short break we hit the river with gusto. If this was to be the last time I am riding this riverbed on bike, I was determined to enjoy it to the max, as IMO this one is even more spectacular that Hoarusib. This is simply my favourite river to ride anywhere.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 06, 2018, 09:10:52 pm
Martin looking at what I missed, we need to go again, this time starting at the end so we catch the good stuff in the beginning.

Nah Bertie, the build up is important. This is the right way to do it - what is the point of continuing riding up to VZP if you have already done all the good stuff? I think we all will agree that VZP on its own is not that interesting - it's just a point to pass on the way to the really good stuff.

The trick is to try to fix yourself as soon as you break - not half a year later because some eastern European keeps bothering you, and get a bit bike fit before a trip (like go for a DeWild ride every weekend few weeks before the trip). And get suspension sorted and properly set-up. And most importantly - lose that silly orange light cover so belowed by commuters, that is just disgrace on pure breed offroad bike!

Then this is easily doable exactly how it was planned - I could have done the whole thing without any rest day, and I'm no Ironman.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: KTMvan on May 07, 2018, 11:56:32 am
One year when we did Puros Canyon with the Landy, must have been around 2013/4, we also found lots of cattle. I believe the locals keep track of the movements of lions/elephants and graze this part only when deemed safe.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: funky_munky on May 07, 2018, 12:01:18 pm
Epic Trip. I spent a couple of years in Namibia. Traveled all over with my dad. Your photos bring back many a memory.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Highsider on May 07, 2018, 12:49:24 pm
These Xpat stories and pictures need to be published someday. 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 07, 2018, 11:29:46 pm
Day 9 - part 4
(pictures from this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmhwPdbH (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmhwPdbH))


We hit the Hoanib riverbed and straight away encountered quite a lot of game. Mostly bucks though (giraffe is an overgrown buck, right?), with some old elephant dung and spoor thrown in, but still a welcome change from that snakepit Hoarusib.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/976/41058368765_9256f5e7ed_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/954/40151231630_15326ae6bc_b.jpg)


The scenery was just breathtaking, but so was the sand in the riverbed. This was the trickiest sand we have encountered on this trip and for the first time we had to pay attention a bit on what we were doing in sand even on ligthweight 500s, especially as we had to also keep our eyes up checking for potentially dangerous criter we may about run into:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/905/41058920615_53cdbd026b_b.jpg)


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Die Poort - a gate out of the Amspoort section. Ganamub river joins Hoanib river right before this point. The narrow section is less than 100 meters long, but I always approach it with caution should I run into an ellie traffic jam - which this time we didn't, sadly:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/976/40151903830_7e82ee6aa2_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 08, 2018, 08:18:43 am
One year when we did Puros Canyon with the Landy, must have been around 2013/4, we also found lots of cattle. I believe the locals keep track of the movements of lions/elephants and graze this part only when deemed safe.

Yeah, I hope it's the case and not something more menacing like locals eliminating the animals, which they sometimes do to lions. It was just weird without animals.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on May 08, 2018, 08:27:39 am
ellie traffic jam could be a little daunting.

Can test your canyon wall climbing skills :)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Padvinner on May 08, 2018, 09:00:20 am
Awsome - added to the bucket list
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 08, 2018, 09:19:29 am
Day 9  - part 5
(pictures from this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmhwPdbH (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmhwPdbH))


Right after Die Poort one can take two different ways - continue east in the Hoanib riverbed or turn north and follow Ganamub river that eventually crosses the D3707 route that Bertie took. We followed Hoanib and even though we were out of Ampoort gorge now, we still continued in narrow valley through the mountains.

View up the Ganamub river that I still have to do some time in the future:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/974/40151924230_2b08735618_b.jpg)


And good old Hoanib:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/958/28087520608_1041687d57_b.jpg)


Few km later I spoted Justin ahead running around in the river and got a bit worried:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/832/27089750577_c80c87fd26_b.jpg)


And sure enough, it was a carcas - this time particularly enticing zebra one. I was too far behind to make sure that he didn't eat any of it by the time I arived, but at least once there I made sure he didn't put any if it in his mouth, though he may have played with few bits.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/829/27089768607_27aee2dd8d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/958/27089834177_f8046dab86_b.jpg)


Yummy:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/826/41059717095_c7f13699f8_b.jpg)


Once the child in Justin was suficiently entertained, we rode on through increasingly wet and green riverbed valley:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/904/41059681765_025b4ca2cd_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/948/41059726875_219e9467f5_b.jpg)


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There was so much vegetation and water at the top of the valley before it opened to much wider plain, that we battled to find the way through. There were couple of tracks on T4A, but they all have been flooded or overgrown and it took us quite a while to scout a way through. Justin also started complaining about the pain in his carpal tunneled hand and asked if there is an easy way to get out and onto the road. Which there wasn't, or rather it required backtracking more than it would take just to get there on the route we were on. Again as two days ago, it was quite a bummer. I know I'm repeating myself here, but we were riding through the best scenery of the trip so far, which was made even more special by the rare occassion here - clouds, shadows of which emphansized even more the start beauty of the place. And Justin just couldn't wait to get out of there and be done with it due to the pain. Although, he is not the one for scenery anyway and he had a great luck with the zebra carcass, so maybe not a total waste of the day for him...

He clearly was out of shape and lost it here and there while trying desperately to find the way out of the reefs and bushes, which provided many dead ends frustrating our efforts:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/967/41059902145_0abbea1f93_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/966/41958946881_4f69245727_b.jpg)


Justin almost losing his dignity again:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/971/41240844034_c507a7584f_b.jpg)


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Just to get caught out by another dead end:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/905/41060196375_2f2df4aae4_b.jpg)


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Eventually we found a way out of the valley and onto the wide plains leading up to Sesfontein:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/825/41959296741_9a160c1e86_b.jpg)


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Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Ri on May 08, 2018, 11:21:07 am
Ah man, such a shame Justin and Bertie were in so much pain they couldn't enjoy this trip fully at the end, after your careful planning.

Thanks again for the beautiful photo's and humorous writeup.  Can't wait to see these places in reality :drif:

Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Stroke Her on May 08, 2018, 01:45:47 pm
Reading this brings back memories...good ones :thumleft:

It was where you exited the Haurisib riverbed that I had my Ellie roadblock during my Nam trip last year.

It is amazing looking at your photos how certain parts of the route and landscape gets jolted from my memory.

Lekker trip boys :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: isiTututu on May 08, 2018, 04:40:06 pm
Superb trip report Xpat, Bertie and Justin - Thank you!

It makes me want to go back and do it properly, and to see all those epic scenes that I missed after I came to grief on MaxThePanda's trip.

And it's quite obvious to me now where I went wrong: Bike too big, bike overloaded, lack of sand skills, and above all, lack of fitness. The look of exhaustion on Bertie's face brings back palpable memories for me.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 08, 2018, 10:18:08 pm
Day 9 - part 6
(pictures from this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmhwPdbH (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmhwPdbH))


When we emerged from the Hoanib canyon onto the open plain we had about 25 km to go  - last 10 km on D3707. There is a random free standing gate at the end/beginning of the canyons with little hut to the side and information table with fees one is supposed to pay for the permit when passing through. On my prior trips I just rode through as there was noone there, but this time two guys came rushing out the the hut when I stopped at the gate. Justin was already about 100 meters or so past the gate - he stopped at the gate, but noboty came out, so just pushed on keen to get to Sesfontein and off the bike asap.

I paid R200 (R100 per person - nothing for vehicle as they had only 4x4s specified so I argued my way out of it) for both of us and we were off again. No sure what is the permit for - if I remember correctly for Sesfontein conservancy and as far as I know payment of this permit doesn't bear any validity in the Palmwag conservancy we just came out of (or rather northernmost border of which we followed in Hoanib), but I paid without raising any questions as I was keen to leave good impression of bikers. It probably is not going to beat Wilderness Safaris, but I believe every little thing may help to keep the area open for bikes as long as possible.

The landscape on the plains was quite different to the canyons with dramatic clouds overhead (very unusual here) and strong wind blowing dust around, which made for eerie and yet stunning scenery:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/957/41915049282_edecf831d0_b.jpg)


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Justin posing with giraffe in the background. Perspective makes him look much bigger than he really is, the otherworldly googles making him very personable fiting right into the Mad Max like scenery:


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We had about 10 km to go to the D3707, last 5 or so of big fesh fesh plain with tracks running all over the bush looking for best place to avoid the annoying sand. I have lost Justin in the bush somewhere there and when I came to D3707, he was nowhere to be seen. I assumed he just hit the road and gunned it to Sesfontein to get off the bike, so i set-off as well, but when I arived in town, he was nowhere to be seen. Eventually he arived after me - he had a bit of hard time in the fesh fesh and I have overtaken him on one of the alternative tracks. We have stopped at the shop to get some drinks and restock on condensed milk and then rode down the road to Sesfontein Fort. Bertie was already there and got each of us our own room, with airconditioning and such. Good stuff!


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/979/41060799495_e0e80a671c_b.jpg)


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This thing was chasing me for few km and I even got a bit worried as it looked pretty powerful, so I opened up and outrun it eventually:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/910/41060937485_6ea108e373_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/959/27091194627_51e3f38291_b.jpg)


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Justin having a hard time in fesh fesh:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/829/41241753534_5a2f1aaca7_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/966/40153410250_6a5e291858_b.jpg)


Sesfontein shop with the usual suspects:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/962/41960038651_da970f0235_b.jpg)


And reminder of what Sesfontein Fort looks like:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/902/40469958585_ab601f58fb_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/895/41365258981_c0255593f8_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/816/27493898438_cdeef07630_b.jpg)


We have spend the afternoon with some high intensity sleeping and chilling in the pool. In the evenining we reconvened for dinner where Justin asked me what are the last two days about. I knew what is coming, but didn't see a point to sugar coat it and gave him realistic picture. While there was still one of the highlights left - Valley of Desolation, the truth was that he has seen already very similar scenery on the first day north of Brandberg, as our track that day run in places parallel to that track only km or 2 apart. And seeing that his hand pain doesn't allow him to enjoy the scenery much anway, there was no point to try to extend his agony. I think his mind was made up already anyway and he decided to join Bertie next day and bail out on the dirt highways back to Uis. I will finish the planned route on my own.

As I've said few times already, I didn't envisage this ending and it was a bit sad as I do consider this the absolute best riding one can get literally anywhere on this planet and they were not able to enjoy it to the end. But it was what it was and there was no point dwelling on it. We had a good ride together, and until they got caught up by the exhaustion snowball and carpal tunnel ailment they both seemed to really enjoy the trip. Even though they weren't to finish the whole route, I dare to say they still managed to ride more juicy and intense tracks than almost anybody I have seen riding up here in many years I have been following this place. So at the end of the day, they still had great trip and I will be leaving with good memories.

With that sorted, I have spent way too much time on wifi annoying people on the 'Adventurise 500' thread by posting some pretty images of 500s in Kaokoland and got to bed only at about 1 am.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 08, 2018, 10:21:09 pm
Reading this brings back memories...good ones :thumleft:

It was where you exited the Haurisib riverbed that I had my Ellie roadblock during my Nam trip last year.

It is amazing looking at your photos how certain parts of the route and landscape gets jolted from my memory.

Lekker trip boys :thumleft:

Good thing you have good memory considering you didn't bother to bring camera on the trip  :pot:

Later on in Valley of Desoation I have tried to spot those desert rhinos you bumped into, but annoyingly all I found was a spoor. And I had proper telephoto camera ready...
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 08, 2018, 10:24:23 pm
Superb trip report Xpat, Bertie and Justin - Thank you!

It makes me want to go back and do it properly, and to see all those epic scenes that I missed after I came to grief on MaxThePanda's trip.

And it's quite obvious to me now where I went wrong: Bike too big, bike overloaded, lack of sand skills, and above all, lack of fitness. The look of exhaustion on Bertie's face brings back palpable memories for me.

Thank you. How is the leg?

Funnily enough, I'm actually going for surgery tomorrow with my leg - getting pin removed from my tibia (or is it fibia? - both of them were broken) I got inserted 2 years ago in Nelspruit when I broke it in fall in Swaziland.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 08, 2018, 11:15:33 pm
Ah man, such a shame Justin and Bertie were in so much pain they couldn't enjoy this trip fully at the end, after your careful planning.

Thanks again for the beautiful photo's and humorous writeup.  Can't wait to see these places in reality :drif:

Good move Riana, I'm sure you will really enjoy it. I have this hunch that there are forces working behind the scene trying to control the area and get normal mortals on motobikes banned, so going now will allow you to avoid disapointment later.

Also going on organized tour with all the support is a right move IMO for vast majority of people (not me, but I'm an outlier). There is plenty of grind involved on trips like this that one doesn't see behind the pretty pictures and having support helping with camping and good food makes for much more enjoyable experience. Just having a camping chair to sit on at the end of the day makes big difference. We have spent quite a few camping eventing squatting on hard rocks or trees after long days on narrow 500 seats - and it gets old quickly.

That said, I will venture few recommendations to get maximum out of the trip. Basically they all center around not just following the tour blindly, but be ready to be a bit independent in case of emergency (it is unlikely, but you might get lost in dust and multiple tracks you will sometimes encounter) or just in case you want some alone time on a rest day or even on normal days (terms and conditions of the tour operator allowing of course).

- Navigation: Get the tracks from the guides upfront and load them into navigation tool you use. If you don't have GPS, make sure you have offline maps in your smartphone (I used mostly iphone with MapOut application on this trip - GPS on handlebars was just to record the route)  and load the tracks there, so that you know where you are. There is obvious advantage in this if you get lost or want to get explore on your own a bit, but even if there is no emergency and everything goes smoothly, just knowing where you are riding and your where-abouts will make for much richer experience, than just following blindly a guide without having any clue. Also every day before you set-off make sure you know where the destination for the day is and mark it in your navigation tool.
- Luggage:  I would strongly recommend to bring some minimum bike luggage and not fall for the trap of depending completely on support cars. The best are the backbone luggages like Giant Loop, but if you don't have them get saddle bags to keep your stuff low and upfront (top rollie bags are not my favourite) on passenger footpegs. I think you will breathe much easier if you know that you do have stuff to get you out of emergency (like getting lost) such as extra water, some emergency food, tools and spares to fix flat tyre, etc. Of course leverage support vehicles for stuff that is not absolutely necessary for survival like clothes and reading books and such, but I would recommend to have basic survival kit on the bike to give you that bit of independency for emergency or solo exploration. If you will feel that you don't need it, or it is hindering you in tech terrain such as VZP, you can always leave it in the car, but have the option.
- Camera: I would strongly recommend some high quality compact camera with good zoom range that can fit into the pocket of your jacket. If you don't have / cannot borrow one, then the second best for quick access is probably tankbag, but get the smallest one you can find - otherwise it will hinder your movement on the bike and that gets unpleasant quickly. You will have to be able to move on the bike freely to really enjoy the riverbeds and tech sections (the area is just two things - rocks and sand).
- Get proper knobbly tyres, none of that 50/50 nonsense. I don't know the route Hardy has in mind, but I'm sure it will involve quite a bit of sand and rocks. Make your life easier, every little margin of advantage counts out there in terms of being able to ride tougher sections and more importantly in terms of energy conservation. If your current tyres are still good, you can always put them back on once back for the Karoo highways.

My 2c
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS on May 08, 2018, 11:23:45 pm
I got inserted 2 years ago in Nelspruit when I broke it in fall in Swaziland.

Cannot be two years already?!! :o
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on May 09, 2018, 05:23:12 am
Good luck and speedy recovery
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Highsider on May 09, 2018, 05:41:12 am
Xpat, out of curiosity, what tyres did use on this trip? 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Straatkat on May 09, 2018, 08:59:31 am
Both Xpat and myself were on Maxxis Cross IT on front and Mitas CO2 Stoneking Cross.
In my opinion the best tyres for the job, if you ride a 500, and we have been through a few tyres to find these.
I had 2 new tyres on my bike and they are still more than 50% after the trip. Martin had done a Lesotho ride on his tyres and they also lasted well with still some left on the back tyre after we got back.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Stroke Her on May 09, 2018, 09:10:52 am

[/quote]

Good thing you have good memory considering you didn't bother to bring camera on the trip  :pot:

Later on in Valley of Desoation I have tried to spot those desert rhinos you bumped into, but annoyingly all I found was a spoor. And I had proper telephoto camera ready...
[/quote]

Yes I knooooow...I need to get my photo shit sorted out :o

Must be the bark of that 500's exhaust that scared of the rhinos for you... :lol8:

For those interested in the "what tyre" debate...dont forget the humble Dunlop D606.
Quite a capable tyre with a nice stiff casing...and about half the price of the Mitdas, Maxxis etc.
On my Ten last year I had plenty drive in the sand on the D606 rear and no punctures...and the Ten is a bit of a pig. I reckon on something light like a 500 these Dunlops will be quite good.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Highsider on May 09, 2018, 09:18:46 am
Both Xpat and myself were on Maxxis Cross IT on front and Mitas CO2 Stoneking Cross.
In my opinion the best tyres for the job, if you ride a 500, and we have been through a few tyres to find these.
I had 2 new tyres on my bike and they are still more than 50% after the trip. Martin had done a Lesotho ride on his tyres and they also lasted well with still some left on the back tyre after we got back.
Great thanks!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Ri on May 09, 2018, 12:14:06 pm

Good move Riana, I'm sure you will really enjoy it. I have this hunch that there are forces working behind the scene trying to control the area and get normal mortals on motobikes banned, so going now will allow you to avoid disapointment later.

Also going on organized tour with all the support is a right move IMO for vast majority of people (not me, but I'm an outlier). There is plenty of grind involved on trips like this that one doesn't see behind the pretty pictures and having support helping with camping and good food makes for much more enjoyable experience. Just having a camping chair to sit on at the end of the day makes big difference. We have spent quite a few camping eventing squatting on hard rocks or trees after long days on narrow 500 seats - and it gets old quickly.

That said, I will venture few recommendations to get maximum out of the trip. Basically they all center around not just following the tour blindly, but be ready to be a bit independent in case of emergency (it is unlikely, but you might get lost in dust and multiple tracks you will sometimes encounter) or just in case you want some alone time on a rest day or even on normal days (terms and conditions of the tour operator allowing of course).

- Navigation: Get the tracks from the guides upfront and load them into navigation tool you use. If you don't have GPS, make sure you have offline maps in your smartphone (I used mostly iphone with MapOut application on this trip - GPS on handlebars was just to record the route)  and load the tracks there, so that you know where you are. There is obvious advantage in this if you get lost or want to get explore on your own a bit, but even if there is no emergency and everything goes smoothly, just knowing where you are riding and your where-abouts will make for much richer experience, than just following blindly a guide without having any clue. Also every day before you set-off make sure you know where the destination for the day is and mark it in your navigation tool.
- Luggage:  I would strongly recommend to bring some minimum bike luggage and not fall for the trap of depending completely on support cars. The best are the backbone luggages like Giant Loop, but if you don't have them get saddle bags to keep your stuff low and upfront (top rollie bags are not my favourite) on passenger footpegs. I think you will breathe much easier if you know that you do have stuff to get you out of emergency (like getting lost) such as extra water, some emergency food, tools and spares to fix flat tyre, etc. Of course leverage support vehicles for stuff that is not absolutely necessary for survival like clothes and reading books and such, but I would recommend to have basic survival kit on the bike to give you that bit of independency for emergency or solo exploration. If you will feel that you don't need it, or it is hindering you in tech terrain such as VZP, you can always leave it in the car, but have the option.
- Camera: I would strongly recommend some high quality compact camera with good zoom range that can fit into the pocket of your jacket. If you don't have / cannot borrow one, then the second best for quick access is probably tankbag, but get the smallest one you can find - otherwise it will hinder your movement on the bike and that gets unpleasant quickly. You will have to be able to move on the bike freely to really enjoy the riverbeds and tech sections (the area is just two things - rocks and sand).
- Get proper knobbly tyres, none of that 50/50 nonsense. I don't know the route Hardy has in mind, but I'm sure it will involve quite a bit of sand and rocks. Make your life easier, every little margin of advantage counts out there in terms of being able to ride tougher sections and more importantly in terms of energy conservation. If your current tyres are still good, you can always put them back on once back for the Karoo highways.

My 2c

I saw the rumblings in the last few Nam-related RRs, so I'm very grateful I'm able to go now.

Main benefit of a tour for me is not so much the luggage/camp/food thing (nice to haves), but the guided aspect; the operator has a wealth of knowledge of the area and is very keen to share. I don't usually join groups because I'm convinced I'm a slow rider, cautious in technical terrain, slowing down the group (I'm assured I won't ::)) and my introvert tendencies. If not for this tour, I would've gone bare bones with a small group next year. Hope we still do.

- Independence - Don't know whether I'd have the cajones to go riding off on my own, but I'll try put on my big girl panties if the opportunity arrises.

- Navigation: I tried Sygic on a recommendation, works well, but will check out MapOut.

- Luggage: My tool bag with tubes, patches and very basic first aid kit is permanently on the bike (probably not good for the meds :o) I'll add some emergency food to it. I carry salted peanuts and raisins in my backpack(only Simba brand use salted peanuts). Might try riding with pannier bags and see.

- Camera: Don't have one that would meet your definition of high quality, and can't borrow. I was gifted a nice Panasonic Lumix, and wind the straps around my handlebars, like so: (https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/qhibFB1R3xgKDeLt-DXHyzRpIhlb6nBDg7-wzF4SzQnyJuQ5T_xMMcvC7GxmoCCHqnGjwPCWrGQ5n5B9EL85pXPnZY4PGEIVwI4RCkAv-Ou1nWWf9svSWkTmeUUDNdKofPd9deub9QhUUiGeN43e1COpxwSzQKRP0CVQM_RNpC1Y11C7bXnoEbvaoqDBOvXR2QD7z4XOtXqSMvFRHs8O-xkNJJl6NQrGy7uIas9QlcDPmD_YIcBF8T-jIgsc7Y3dVkgi6XCp0nnJQtPgHSNAWBwy60kiDuPbWvOdA5InFRViKUFeUGPZ-qvHbryc5u1dYhxh6-yy7jz93j90GSIQH82sJ0PEuDekR8vXlyFOKLtJPXVjFVycqYVhwPVysFxvqXZI7DKlPLJ5xsZxZjURFm51QsxzEfYJQIVoAM5ijRwgq2pHWdTgZcg7LWl-nQ2P2tSK5DCmUJdCg8NK9X0iHtvl9Z9YJLPsPtHZsTcxxi9TcgwvbnmCM7OFAqBX17ofbbEsqhqLcf-X6CRx45n0IISXGFpy4UV4zFO2fN9PNhEuGghlSLlFR9RNsdafSJMs0IBoJmRVMojODX18rAwpNNp-g1mgG5AoLIW9o90=w600-h450-no)

- Get proper knobbly tyres, none of that 50/50 nonsense.  I was wondering about this. Bike has a full knobbly on the front, and a 50/50 on the back. I have full knobbly for the back, but I'm riding to Loxton for the start, and back home afterwards. 4 days of tar and gravel, don't want to waste the knobbly :o  If a few days won't make a difference, I'll have the full knobbly fitted on the back.

Thanks for the recommendations Martin, most appreciated!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 09, 2018, 02:46:42 pm
@Ri : by day three you may see the camp/ food aspect as more than nice to have. In fact i believe Bertie could have been able to finish the trip with some of those amenities available. Again riding for two weeks in hot sun and kaokoland terrain is very demanding, and energy margins are thin. So every little bit matters much more than on weekend trip to cederberg.

I remember reading interview with Birch after his Dakar, where he didnt exactly excel. He said the terrain was easy peasy - nothing to compare to roof. But the day in day out grind for two weeks was what made that race really tough. This is similar - of course relatively speaking. Energy preservation is everything and will be deciding factor between enjoying the trip and/or just pure suffering and bailing out early.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Ri on May 09, 2018, 02:57:01 pm
@Ri : by day three you may see the camp/ food aspect as more than nice to have. In fact i believe Bertie could have been able to finish the trip with some of those amenities available. Again riding for two weeks in hot sun and kaokoland terrain is very demanding, and energy margins are thin. So every little bit matters much more than on weekend trip to cederberg.

I remember reading interview with Birch after his Dakar, where he didnt exactly excel. He said the terrain was easy peasy - nothing to compare to roof. But the day in day out grind for two weeks was what made that race really tough. This is similar - of course relatively speaking. Energy preservation is everything and will be deciding factor between enjoying the trip and/or just pure suffering and bailing out early.

Understood. Do you think he would have made this trip in June, when the weather is a bit cooler?
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 09, 2018, 03:12:58 pm
I dont think so, it wasnt very hot when we were there most days, because it was cloudu most of the time. Bertieís downfall was the unresolved knee injury prior to trip, and resulting absolutely minimal time on bike for 6 months before the trip
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 10, 2018, 06:40:31 am


Good thing you have good memory considering you didn't bother to bring camera on the trip  :pot:

Later on in Valley of Desoation I have tried to spot those desert rhinos you bumped into, but annoyingly all I found was a spoor. And I had proper telephoto camera ready...
[/quote]

Yes I knooooow...I need to get my photo shit sorted out :o

Must be the bark of that 500's exhaust that scared of the rhinos for you... :lol8:

[/quote]

Nah, i have stock exhaust on 500 that is quieter than leo vince i had on tenere. Im done with loud exhausts, they are stupid for long distance trips in remote areas with animals unsuspecting locals.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: JustBendIt on May 10, 2018, 08:43:54 am
 :thumleft:

brilliant recollection of our trip Martin ...thank you very much for all your effort in this RR
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Straatkat on May 10, 2018, 11:29:11 am
+1000
How did the op go?
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: isiTututu on May 10, 2018, 01:47:52 pm
Superb trip report Xpat, Bertie and Justin - Thank you!

It makes me want to go back and do it properly, and to see all those epic scenes that I missed after I came to grief on MaxThePanda's trip.

And it's quite obvious to me now where I went wrong: Bike too big, bike overloaded, lack of sand skills, and above all, lack of fitness. The look of exhaustion on Bertie's face brings back palpable memories for me.

Thank you. How is the leg?

Funnily enough, I'm actually going for surgery tomorrow with my leg - getting pin removed from my tibia (or is it fibia? - both of them were broken) I got inserted 2 years ago in Nelspruit when I broke it in fall in Swaziland.

My leg's more or less healed thanks Martin. The itch is returning....   the itch to ride.
I hope your pin removal went well?
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 11, 2018, 09:08:26 pm
OK, back from the hospital - I have some titanium for you Bertie, if you don't mind it comes with pieces of myself embedded.

Since the powers to be seems to be keen to shut down the Hoanib river, here is a shameless re-plug of a video from ride through Hoanib river I've done about 5 years back on TE630. The initial route from Puros is somewhat different from the one we took with Justin (doesn't include Puros canyon), but it joins the Hoanib river (in the video incorrectly called Huarusib river - my fact checking wasn't up to task at the time I made the video) at 2:19.


Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 11, 2018, 10:38:06 pm
Day 10

Despite going into bed very late last night, I was up in the morning still in the dark and headed out for breakfast as soon as the restaurant opened at 7am. To my surprise, both Bertia and Justin were there already, in their full riding gear and with bikes packed up and ready to go in the front yard. Let me get this straight: for almost two weeks I tried my best to get those two to start early in the morning to get a good start on a days when it really mattered without much success. But now with only couple of hundreds of km of dirt highway commute left, they just couldnít wait to hit the road and be done and over with the trip!! I must have done something wrong somewhere. But hey - I enjoyed the trip immensely anyway and was keen to make most of the remaining 2 - 3 days of proper riding left.

We said our farewells after breakfast, and the other two set-off towards Uis about 300 km away with gusto. Even on an easy peasy commute like that Justin still managed to squeeze in a bit of drama. He rode way ahead of Bertie (due to Bertieís shorter sprockets and mousses keeping him within 100 kmh speed) and ignored my advice to fill up at Palmwag as he keen to get to Uis as soon as possible. He then got lost taking wrong turn to Burnt mountain few km from Twyfelfontein, and as a result run out of petrol few km short of Uis. Where he was saved by Bertie who did fill-up in Palmwag and siphoned few liters for Justin to make it to Uis.

They were both so keen to put this trip behind them that they didnít even chill in Uis, and instead packed up (Justin) bakkie and set-off home straight away, making it that day to Windhoek for sleepover. Bertie was stuck waiting for me, so he left his bike in Uis took my bakkie and drove down to Swakopmund for a shopping.

Justin on the way home:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/959/40212118950_46453fc5a5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/963/41299810094_7cb8fa8fc5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/973/41975292892_8f9754e1d9_b.jpg)


And the chicken route for the day:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/951/40237511900_9623f7cbd6_b.jpg)


I on the other hand got again snagged in the Fortís wifi network on my return from breakfast, and by the time I disentangled myself it was almost 10am. With no obligations, the gastro tourist took over and I decided to have a first rest day that I have spend chilling in the shade of the courtyardís palm trees and the cool water the lodge pool.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on May 12, 2018, 10:28:21 am
Think Straatkat should make you a nice tour knife out of that titanium ;)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 12, 2018, 12:30:16 pm
Day 11 - part 1
(pictures in this episodes can be viewed at higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmhKKvFT (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmhKKvFT))

I had two days of riding left before I was to meet Bertie back in Uis. The plan for today was to get to the beginning of the Valley of Desolation track off the main dirt highways as much as possible. Ideal route that would eliminate need to ride again some of the tracks we have already done on this trip would be backtracking down the Hoanib river and take Crowther trail down to Palmwag. Unfortunately that track and the whole area west of C43 is part of Palmwag conservancy and definitely is - and was for a long time - off limits to the bikes. So the only option left was area east of C43 - i.e. Khowarib gorge and Little Serengeti, that we have done on the way up on Day 2. So I would be backtracking, but at least on the track that I wasnít very familiar with yet (first time Iíve done it on this trip). And to mix things up, I would get out of Little Serengeti using different route following the track MaxThePanda & the gang did that connected with C40 at Erwee.

Route for the day:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/951/41148393645_39d05863ba_b.jpg)


I woke up early and packed up still in the dark to set-off straight after breakfast. It was a special morning as there was short, but intense shower earlier that night - first rain in the area for the past either 2 or 5 years (canít remember which) I was told by the ranges in the lodge. Hence the air was uncharacteristically fresh and cool.

After fill-up at the lodge petrol station I gunned it down the dirt highway 30 km to the turn-off to the Khowarib gorge, where I turned east and hit the gorge.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/825/28146742198_d9d6836cf2_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/962/41119604285_4eb8149e54_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/832/41119619475_652e85a9d7_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/964/28146802448_6c54a0a041_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/979/27149905297_c4f4156704_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/831/41975401162_e0438c1138_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/943/41975424352_ef86dcd77a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/908/41975446192_05ecbee667_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/962/41299959044_fb715c5690_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/948/42020094321_26d5ff86a8_b.jpg)


The rain earlier made for pleasant riding and even the fesh fesh section we battled through on day 2 was noticeably easier. Which lasted up until I hit the Hoanib river crossing, which now held quite a bit water. If there is a slightest chance, I always avoid water crossings religiously, so I stopped and went to scout the route across on foot. It took a while, but eventually I found line through the reefs that I was sufficiently happy with, with only about 2 meter long puddle at the other side of the river. Which I didnít walk through as it looked pretty harmless. I cruised through the 30 meters of the riverbed without glitch, but as soon as I hit the puddle ready to wheelie over the bottom gave way and I fell through into a deep hole. Taken completely by surprise I got thrown left and found myself totally submerged in the muck under the bike which was balancing at precarious angle keen to go for swim as well. There were few tense seconds - that felt more like hours  - when I watched with horror tank cap getting to within few mm of the water surface right in front of my face while trying desperately do keep the bike upright while with one legged squat neck deep in the water. Eventually, using everly little bit of strength left I prevailed and managed to get the bike back up again. But there was no time to relax - I was painfully aware that my iPhone and camera were floating in a pool of water in my waterproof jacket pockets - which now worked as perfect scoops holding the water in rather than letting it drain out.

I had to get out of the water as quick as possible, but wasnít sure if starting the bike was the best idea, as during the ju jitsu the airbox and seat ended up under water for quite a while. I stalled the bike as soon as I fell through so hoping no water made it into the engine I hit the starter button and to my great relief the bike fired up and I was able to gun the front wheel up the river bank and dig the rear one into the bottom. Not ideal, but stable enough to jump off the bike without risk of it falling over and start get all the electronics out of my pockets and wet backpack.

The camera seemed to handle the bath fine, but the iPhone started acting straight away, with touch screen behaving erratically and water clearly visible in the phone camera lens. For next few days it took quite a bit of sophisticated fingering to get the phone do what i wanted, as sections of touchscreen worked fine, while others didnít so I found myself looking for creative ways to for example start the phone. But to Appleís credit, the water eventually dried out and the phone went back to normal.

Luckily there were two guys from the nearby kraal collecting water, who helped me to push the bike out of the hole and up on the river bank. I gave them beer money for the trouble and then settled in for half and hour or so waiting for the electronics to dry out sufficiently before setting off again.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/832/28146612798_f1a24d3ea9_b.jpg)


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With that sorted I rode up the Khowarib canyon without further drama, just wet from toe to the top of my head which made for pretty chilly ride:


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Once out of the gorge, I hit the Ombonde river bed for next 15 km, encountering quite a bit of game that came out to enjoy aftermath of the precious rain.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/907/41300194704_4088df7ff2_b.jpg)


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Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 12, 2018, 02:21:35 pm
Day 11 - part 2
(pictures in this episodes can be viewed at higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmhKKvFT (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmhKKvFT))


After 15 km in Ombonde river the track turned out of rivebed and hit the Little Serengeti plains. It was very dry with very little game to be seen. The only animals I bumped into were turned into biltong already.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/953/27150303957_b9816c4829_b.jpg)


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After dozen or so km the Serengeti plains gave way to the mountains with rocky trails winding south through thorny bush. I have seen few springbok and elephant spoor, but no pachyderm itself unfortunatelly:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/943/41300405174_3d0bd7ecfa_b.jpg)


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I eventually made it to Erwee - little settlement on C40 at about 2pm, where I stopped for a cold Coke at the local spaza shop. Once done I hit the C40 for the 50 km or so west to Palmwag, where I stopped at the garage to fill-up. By that stage it was 3 pm and the gastro tourist was lobbying strongly for sleepover at the Palmwag lodge, with pool, restaurant, bar and stuff. The alternative was to bush camp somewhere along the Valley of Desolation track. I have prevailed as ithere were still good 3 hours of daylight left and I was keen to still get some km under the belt, as I had quite a long route planned next day.


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So I hit C43 south for next 50 or so km, until the turn-off to Valley of Desolation. By now the sun was getting low and it was a time to start looking for campsite. As far as I knew it is not allowed to bush camp in Damaraland, so I started looking for secluded place not easily visible from the main track. Which was difficult as the landscape is very barren and open and I didn't want to go just bundu bashing across the plain with attendant new tracks and stuff. So when I saw a sign for Damaraland camp about 13 km away, I decided to go check it out. I had a hunch that it is a trap, but witout obvious alternative went to check it out anyway And yes, it was a trap. By the time I came around rocky escarpment hiding the camp, I knew I'm not going to beat gastro tourist on this one. It was one of those luxurious establishments in the middle of nowhere catering mostly for the high net worth fly in clients. there was still a chance they will not let the dirty ride-in biker in, but no - they were happy to have me, and I just gave in.

Now, it was expensive and not somewhere a self respecting adv biker should be seen, but the only other clients were an elderly aristocratic couple from UK, so as nobody would see me anyway, I just settled in. The cost didn't bother me - it was reasonable IMO for the excelent service provided (it was one of those experiences with your own personal butler). Where I did feel guilty was that it was the establisment owned by the biker's arch enemy in Kaokoland - Wilderness Safari company. But I didn't have a spine to reject the lovely challet, white linen and three course dinner, so I sold my soul and settled in for the night, including intriguing discussion about degenerate and despicable nature of communism and land grabbing/nationalisation with the aristocratic couple over candle light dinner, pretending that I also consider 6 bar house in Western Cape an interesting opportunity to park spare cash.


Damaraland:


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Damaraland camp:


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Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 12, 2018, 10:12:37 pm
Day 12 - part 1
(pictures in this episodes can be viewed at higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmjqufPE (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmjqufPE))

Last day of the trip. The objective was Uis about 200 km away. But those 200 km promised to be one of the absolute highlights of the trip, including exquisite sceneries of Valley of Desolation and Zebra mountains.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/964/28175076158_11681e8c26_b.jpg)


I knew that to get full hit of the beauty that is Valley of Desolation I better start early while the rising sun provides for the most beautiful display of colors of the breathtaking Damaraland landscape. Damaraland camp being the upmarket establishment obliged readily and provided early breakfast at 6:30 to allow me to get going just as the sun started colour the eastern horizon.

Iím not even going to apologize for the number of pictures in this episode. I tried my hardest to select the absolute best, but there are still way too many I just couldnít leave out. So unless you are into pretty pictures of rocks, or have limited bandwidth this episode may not be for you.


As I set-off the sunrise just about started coloring the surrounding mountains in dramatic shades of red:


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Later on with sun above horizon now, the colors turned orange and yellow, giving the whole scenery very otherworldly feel:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/946/41140676055_c603faecd9_b.jpg)


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Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on May 12, 2018, 10:46:23 pm
As ever you have again delivered a masterpiece of inspiration, information, observation and motivation. I had intended to wait to the very end of this magnificent RR before I start my yapping ... but alas, I cannot. Thank you for the tremendous effort you make in posting something of this magnitude, no doubt you only have 18 photos left of the 7500 you took that you have not posted ... I for one study each photo thoroughly.

Agreed on the pointlessness of loud exhausts on any adventure ride ... it is all about the sights and sound of nature and not piston noise, I still have the baffle in the ATís Akra for this very reason.

Lastly, I now know what bike I am to get if I ever want to see Namibia proper as it will not be done on the AT.

Oh ... I am also willing to sponsor you a Lifeproof cover for your iPhone for your next ride through wet terrain.

Cheers. Ian

 8)

Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 13, 2018, 11:39:19 am
Thanks Ian, appreciate that  :thumleft:

And yes, if you really want to get under the skirt of Namibia, I would recommend to get bike in the lightweight 500 category - doesn't need to be KTM, can be WR450 or KLX or some such if you have Jap preference - to do it. I think it may even get your riding buddy Alan to ride some of these places despite of his busted knees. Basically these kind of bikes will allow people who may be older or not 100% physically OK, to explore places they came to believe are off limits to them.

And if you buy second hand cleverly, you can probably sell it with very little financial loss after the trip. So you may consider to get the bike just for a specific trip like this one, and then sell it afterwards if you don't have more use for it.

Not selling 500s (or similar), just pointing out that with a right bike, one can get to ride places they may have thought are way out of their limits. Especially older people (which I'm not saying you are, just using an example) who sometimes have this attitude that that boat has sailed for them already just because they are too scared to take their 1190, AT or GS into sand. I have seen some people in their 50s here acting like the life is over, when most of them are perfectly capable of trip like this - just get the right bike and maybe get yourself on one of those guided tours for a bit of safety net and comfort. And if they need big bike for easy peasy touring they normally do, just keep it for that and sell the small one once not needed.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: SchalkL on May 13, 2018, 11:55:54 am
Thanks Ian, appreciate that  :thumleft:

And yes, if you really want to get under the skirt of Namibia, I would recommend to get bike in the lightweight 500 category - doesn't need to be KTM, can be WR450 or KLX or some such if you have Jap preference - to do it. I think it may even get your riding buddy Alan to ride some of these places despite of his busted knees. Basically these kind of bikes will allow people who may be older or not 100% physically OK, to explore places they came to believe are off limits to them.

And if you buy second hand cleverly, you can probably sell it with very little financial loss after the trip. So you may consider to get the bike just for a specific trip like this one, and then sell it afterwards if you don't have more use for it.

Not selling 500s (or similar), just pointing out that with a right bike, one can get to ride places they may have thought are way out of their limits. Especially older people (which I'm not saying you are, just using an example) who sometimes have this attitude that that boat has sailed for them already just because they are too scared to take their 1190, AT or GS into sand. I have seen some people in their 50s here acting like the life is over, when most of them are perfectly capable of trip like this - just get the right bike and maybe get yourself on one of those guided tours for a bit of safety net and comfort. And if they need big bike for easy peasy touring they normally do, just keep it for that and sell the small one once not needed.
And those 4 points are VERY applicable to a lot of dogs, so glad you post this  :3some:
I capable enough on my AT for gravel paths and a little bit of technical but after that it gets to heavy!
Because i dont know lightweight 500 class bikes i am just scared of the maintenance when doing 2-3000km solo trips but like Xpat explained to me on a pm the KTM is more than capable to handle that.

Thanks again for definitely the RR of 2018 !!
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 13, 2018, 05:05:48 pm
Day 12 - part 2
(pictures in this episodes can be viewed at higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmjqufPE (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmjqufPE))


After first 20 km covered in the previous part which headed more or less west, the track turned south and followed a valley down to the Huab river swamp another 20 km away still covered in the morning fog at the bottom of impressive mountain range:

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A short break at Krone canyon running down towards Huab river:


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Abandon ruin overseeing the Huab swamp valley below:


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Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 13, 2018, 05:16:54 pm
@SchalkL: Cheers  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: RobLH on May 13, 2018, 05:25:56 pm
Xpat, your ride reports really are the gold standard, thanks.

It's going to be a sad day for us vicarious travelers when you go back to work.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Straatkat on May 13, 2018, 07:21:10 pm
Martin you really did leave the best for last, some of that scenery is just breathtaking. Wish I was there when you crossed the water to lend a hand.
Next time I will prepare better and hopefully last the whole trip. That gorge is just stunning!
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 13, 2018, 08:24:05 pm
Day 12 - part 3
(pictures in this episodes can be viewed at higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmjqufPE (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmjqufPE))


From the house the track turned south west and was to follow Huab river for another 20 km. But first I had to get to the riverbed at place called Huab swamp.


Mountain range overlooking Huab swamp:


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And the dunes to the east of the range and south of the river:


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As I approached the river I kept my eyes open for animals, especially the rare desert rhino. But again, all I've found was a spoor - both elephant as well as rhino one. That is if rhino has three toes on its feet - sorry no picture.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 13, 2018, 08:26:20 pm
... Wish I was there when you crossed the water to lend a hand.
...

You sure about that Bertie? Last time we tried water crossing together we ended up sleeping in a swamp with broken Husqvarna...  :peepwall: :pot:
Title: Fantastic, bwana
Post by: Osadabwa on May 14, 2018, 07:47:54 am
Three things stick out from the last few sections:

1) That story about getting caught out in the water. I laughed hard! Over Easter I got stuck in quicksand alone and had to fight my way out, but it was nowhere near as exciting as that!
2) The posh lodge in the middle of nowhere. There is no shame in having a bit of luxury on the trail, but fucksake... your own butler?
3) Pics: It paid off getting up early... the desert is so fantastic in the morning.

 :snorting:
Title: Re: Fantastic, bwana
Post by: Xpat on May 14, 2018, 08:52:58 am
Three things stick out from the last few sections:

1) That story about getting caught out in the water. I laughed hard! Over Easter I got stuck in quicksand alone and had to fight my way out, but it was nowhere near as exciting as that!
2) The posh lodge in the middle of nowhere. There is no shame in having a bit of luxury on the trail, but fucksake... your own butler?
3) Pics: It paid off getting up early... the desert is so fantastic in the morning.

 :snorting:

 O0 :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Straatkat on May 14, 2018, 08:57:39 am
Yes, but now we re on 500 KTM, you can drown those up to the tank in a river and it still starts with the first try!
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Stroke Her on May 14, 2018, 09:10:32 am
Thanks Xpat...all resemblance of productivity this Monday morning is gone :thumleft:

Valley of Desolation...prime Namibian rhino country :thumleft:. This is the one place on earth that I have been (alone) where you really see how small and insignificant you are...and where you quickly learn if you enjoy your own company as much as you thought you did.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 14, 2018, 09:13:40 am
Day 12 - part 4
(pictures in this episode can be viewed at better resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmjqufPE (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmjqufPE))


Next 15 years the track followed Hoab river (I have to come back just to explore this river and Ugab in their full length - I couldn't wrap my head around how did I miss this one on my prior trips) south west and I kept my eyes peeled for any sign of pachyderm, especially in a section where the river narrowed down into narrow high bank bed with no easy escape routes available. I have seen plenty of ellie spoor, but again, no luck with the animals themselves. Which was a good thing, as the scenery kept me distracted all the time and I would have probably missed the elephant unless it would high-five me straight on.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/967/27171863747_11fcd2341d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/904/28168913898_e54ae9e01d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/960/42042279991_ae126a4760_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/956/41322041654_72377b512c_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/825/28168978678_94cd0a8f87_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/971/41322093424_70645ce9d2_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/973/41322119674_21e2c0103f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/956/41322136934_38444f68d3_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/958/42042432431_bf5c5b89c6_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/827/28169109688_7824e14d89_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/910/28169140518_dce8a1e08e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/964/42042518751_bc5255a0d6_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/912/41322245904_07edb984b4_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/904/41998243892_d92e327215_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/971/42042574191_7b251869c7_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/825/27172235117_e06dea2a46_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/907/41322337234_2fbc1637e8_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/823/41142241715_be8a0c6532_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/908/40234807690_5906d347e3_b.jpg)


Eventually the river opened up and I could relax a bit again:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/943/41998371812_f08deaeab2_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/971/28169321358_034695b619_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/907/41322434594_4eae83e5a4_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/946/40234893800_5852314a6b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/953/41142399635_8961a7e30e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/976/41998454862_38cec81401_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/912/27172404797_10c2c2437a_b.jpg)


But then the dense reefs and bushes limited visibility again, making it interesing once more:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/959/40234977860_97c9ec9493_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/972/41142481615_45eac77f4f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/951/41998560902_f7dde8e30f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/982/41142538705_0c91976eb5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/908/27172526917_e747fe2c61_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/961/41322645824_23537b7b3a_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 14, 2018, 09:18:46 am
Thanks Xpat...all resemblance of productivity this Monday morning is gone :thumleft:

Valley of Desolation...prime Namibian rhino country :thumleft:. This is the one place on earth that I have been (alone) where you really see how small and insignificant you are...and where you quickly learn if you enjoy your own company as much as you thought you did.

Good thing you do enjoy your own company, as you might need to go again (there goes your productivity for another two weeks   :biggrin:), as I suspect you have missed the best part - the one I have shown so far, as you have taken track furhter west that connected to mine only later on and seemed slightly more bland...  :peepwall:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Operator on May 14, 2018, 09:27:14 am
 :sip:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on May 14, 2018, 09:57:31 am
Agree your early morning paid off BIG time

Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 14, 2018, 11:57:33 am
Day 12 - part 5
(pictures in this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskB5oLf7 (https://flic.kr/s/aHskB5oLf7))

After about 15 km in the Hoab river, the track turned south towards Brandberg and Ugab river and I hit an open desert for next 70 km. The ever changing nature and scenery of this track is one thing that makes it to stand out from the other routes we have done on this trip (or anywhere actually), with the possible exception of ride from Puros to Sesfontein through Huarusib and Huanib river. So far I have done about 60 km and I have already done 40 km of barren red rock mountains, about 20 km of sandy and green Huab riverbed and now was about to enter open plain desert with views opening dozens of kms away. And there was still more to come...


Turning away from Huab river heading west to the Skeleton NP and Atlantic ocean (I'll be back):


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/964/42033905632_e8a23a295f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/976/27208991197_f4218ab753_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/950/42033962102_973be7ce1f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/981/41179008405_d13b2c894f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/912/41359489324_3b1c4b513f_b.jpg)


I have lived in Africa for 12 years, travelled it's length, as well as other continents, and yet this is the very first time I encountered a scorpion. And a dead one at that - not much of a consolation for the elusive elephants, but hey - better than nothing:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/965/28206549908_3c790242e8_b.jpg)


After short stop at the turn-off, I hit the track heading south towards Brandberg across the open plains that were descending gradually west towards Atlantic:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/960/42078771391_2fe5d83e67_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/982/42078725071_d6800b65e9_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/827/27209040237_a9552a2808_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/972/41359643004_fbe85e4b97_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/828/41179169745_730a00ff38_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/981/42078792511_6188728284_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/978/41359701604_29cf63d4b6_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/828/40271692690_ac5c0af45b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/824/41359739214_7195d945e4_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/946/41359753074_e622eb8431_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/982/28206710688_5875dd9d6f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/949/42078865931_9b53bb0817_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/972/41359815034_abac2e88fa_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/907/27209177437_cc5377664b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/953/41359858164_43e4b48de5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/967/40271796720_0ea9fca27e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/970/42034191362_4acb4a4c15_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/982/41179355985_c33fe5d1c9_b.jpg)


About noon-ish I stopped and feasted on a Tex bar, before pushing on south:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/945/41179375015_4e4f333911_b.jpg)


Eventualy I crossed the plains and reached high ground above Ugab river with Brandberg dominating the landscape behind the river. Just when I thought I saw it all, the landscape changed its colors and came up with whole new set of abstract shapes. This whole area is like something out of Salvador Dali painting or Pink Floyd album cover - in fact I suspect that those people must have ridden through the Valley of Desolation or at least seen the pictures and just plagiarized it:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/943/42034253252_331c77f6a0_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/970/42034235972_3b235173be_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/966/42079030981_f0c7ccf0e9_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/831/41179453175_424f3c8fc1_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/945/42079067131_8afeff395f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/950/27209336917_a7bf1345f5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/975/41360037164_1902465420_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/828/41360075714_3701d1d2f5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/912/42079159721_7bdb2f4c6f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/966/28207049228_7390dfe2de_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/980/42079185401_937dac35e8_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/975/42034494162_d36cdacbab_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/952/40272049040_e7cdb24ff5_b.jpg)


Zebra hills craddling Ugab river in this section. Basil from Brandberg Rest Camp directed me to this particular track (the one I plotted at home followed different route) and I'm very grateful for that:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/953/41179687095_dbc908acc1_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/826/41179708525_5c84430ca3_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/825/41179725795_614dfe8777_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/978/42034610122_f110f121c5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/982/42034629032_9b79c62a09_b.jpg)


Welwitschia and double track heading down to Zebra hills and Ugab further on:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/962/42034667762_2252ffc96f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/909/27209643027_e0e3c2fd83_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/951/41360305264_215fd022ea_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Stroke Her on May 14, 2018, 12:06:39 pm
FFS Martin...STOP IT!!!

Never mind wasting my whole Monday morning...you already have me pondering buying a lighter bike, taking 3 weeks leave that I do not have and cashing in my meagre pension to finance it all.

So really please please STOP IT...you are about to derail my sh%t here :imaposer:

Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 14, 2018, 12:16:30 pm
FFS Martin...STOP IT!!!

Never mind wasting my whole Monday morning...you already have me pondering buying a lighter bike, taking 3 weeks leave that I do not have and cashing in my meagre pension to finance it all.

So really please please STOP IT...you are about to derail my sh%t here :imaposer:

Take a deep breath - it is going to get worse  O0. But the end is nigh...
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Sheepman on May 14, 2018, 12:41:01 pm
Great report with the best pics  :thumleft: You surely know how to live  ;)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 14, 2018, 03:02:33 pm
Day 12 - part 6
(pictures in this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskB5oLf7 (https://flic.kr/s/aHskB5oLf7))


Again, just when I thought I've seen it all, Damaraland showed me a finger in the form of starkly beautiful canyon running down towards Ugab river through stripy zebra hills, with colors and shapes changing after every turn. Good thing I'm not into geology - probably still would have been stuck there if I was:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/950/41179871765_3c5ca07b0f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/904/28207317138_999b78f957_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/905/41179905255_2d8b0e7835_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/972/42079454251_9b92651b04_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/964/27209769837_3f12b80199_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/956/41179975535_63a37b253a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/825/42079546321_1db6c65c07_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/954/41360498874_84b78e836a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/945/27209878267_ea095e9bfe_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/972/41180063325_92a2f12eb4_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/904/41180079195_a3f432514a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/909/41180087175_e3280eec30_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/824/27209956757_0146c6b443_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/823/28207520998_1aeb4e46e3_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/965/28207658828_9271e9fa43_b.jpg)


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(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/911/27210787517_6af2135356_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 14, 2018, 03:06:01 pm
I wasn't entirely happy with how the pictures are coming out on WD site (there is clearly some downsizing happening behind the scenes) so I added under each episode heading a link to the original flickr album, where you can view the pictures in higher resolution and better color. There you can go  go full screen for best results.

So far I have done it backwards only from day 7 onwards - will add links for days 1 - 6 later on.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Highsider on May 14, 2018, 03:09:51 pm
Fantasical rock formations this close up,  just    incredible.  You see some of this tortured rock strata in Baviaans and Die Hel, but not at this proximity.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on May 14, 2018, 03:35:24 pm
Nature sure is powerful

Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Minxy on May 14, 2018, 07:18:14 pm
I started with your ride report last night and did not stop reading until I finished up to your newest update! I have enjoyed every second of your adventure, laughed out loud at your shenanigans, gawked over your 500's and just felt inspired by all the amazing photos. Some of the places also familiar and special to me as we visited them with Honda Quest. Wow I miss Namibia sooooooo much now, there is no other place like it. I do admit though, there was a couple of times riding down the riverbeds (and those damm red dunes near Brandberg...) on the Africa Twin that I was thinking I would have given what to rather be on a 500! :P Anyway I know I will go back, hopefully sooner than later and would love to follow your route.

Awesome RR, thank you again for taking the time to share your journey with us :)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 14, 2018, 07:23:04 pm
Day 12 - part 7
(pictures from this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmbM3o6j (https://flic.kr/s/aHsmbM3o6j)


Once I reached Ugab reiver, the track followed riverbed for few km west. As usualy I kept my eyes open for any wildlife I may encounter, and again - as usual by now - all I got was elephant spoor:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/972/28208302118_ee64b41a85_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/957/40273535760_3d00d49bd3_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/954/40273590670_656ffaf64c_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/944/28208387508_b1e7fb3de0_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/971/27210946507_ddbdf3eaa8_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/953/41361520314_5ce499c388_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/912/42035965982_103d3bf4f7_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/906/27211017507_6fb65f875a_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/970/42036010382_3ba399e44f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/823/27211095007_d8db17292c_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/975/27211072447_7d925c75df_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/971/41361637674_6f13f1595d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/967/27211123417_35612bb7a4_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/973/41361671064_2194aaafe3_b.jpg)


After few km the track turnes south east away from river and run through the Zebra hills on the other side of river towards D2303:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/946/42080899231_681bd63f0f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/977/42036228662_c98772116b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/965/40273931550_4e4c8804a3_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/955/41361770354_45e48bd502_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/958/40273977250_d3dd8801ab_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/976/41361809574_5757f0dc77_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/959/42081030301_eb60e08dd9_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/946/42036359202_6fd1c4b7c0_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/830/40274122750_ce6f29cbae_b.jpg)


Eventualy I came out of the Zebra hills and hit the D2303 which was to take me along the southern reaches of Brandberg all the way to Uis about 110 km away. This was basically the end of the good part of the trip. By most adv riders' standards this would still count as full on adventure ride (D2303 is quite remote and sparsely used road that probably doesn't deserve 'dirt highway' slur), but after what I have seen on that day, let alone the prior 11 days, this was just commute and I could chillax reminiscing about what I have seen on this trip. Commute or not - the scenery was still vintage Damaraland though:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/906/41361926984_ea8036f34f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/911/27211397007_66ae524d8f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/971/42081120691_3a5758cffc_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/971/42081145241_3ef36f0254_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/979/42081161101_1c4153fd26_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/829/42081181061_a2b2cbfcac_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/943/28209038818_9782a33aed_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/948/40274255070_89139e024b_b.jpg)


I arrived at Brandberg Rest Camp at about 3pm. Bertie, who has returned that day from his three day shoping adventure in Swakopmund, was waiting and after a bite and little nap, we have packed up and loaded the bikes onto the bakkie for return trip to Big Smoke.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 14, 2018, 07:34:16 pm
I started with your ride report last night and did not stop reading until I finished up to your newest update! I have enjoyed every second of your adventure, laughed out loud at your shenanigans, gawked over your 500's and just felt inspired by all the amazing photos. Some of the places also familiar and special to me as we visited them with Honda Quest. Wow I miss Namibia sooooooo much now, there is no other place like it. I do admit though, there was a couple of times riding down the riverbeds (and those damm red dunes near Brandberg...) on the Africa Twin that I was thinking I would have given what to rather be on a 500! :P Anyway I know I will go back, hopefully sooner than later and would love to follow your route.

Awesome RR, thank you again for taking the time to share your journey with us :)

Thanks Minxy  :thumleft:

Didn't I read somewhere that you guys are joining Hardy there in June? Maybe this RR can give that extra push in the right direction as I suspect it did to Ri  8)

While most of the routes can be (and has been) done with strong determination on big adventure bike (except maybe Robbie's pass), I doubt anyone apart from superathletes would be able to ride this loop in this time frame on one. That is where the smaller bike is important - to conserve energy and get maximum enjoyment out of the trip. I have seen first hand and described here, how exhaustion can ruin this trip, so the smart move is to go for energy conservation as much as possible, and proper bike is cruicial in that.It doesn't need to be 500/450 bike, your 701 will do just fine.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: frankmac on May 14, 2018, 07:34:52 pm
What an unreal trip, Martin. Your narration was full of good humour and easy to follow

Your 2nd to last pic is my favourite especially on flickr
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 14, 2018, 07:52:33 pm
What an unreal trip, Martin. Your narration was full of good humour and easy to follow

Your 2nd to last pic is my favourite especially on flickr

Thanks Frank  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Sheepman on May 14, 2018, 08:04:21 pm
High res. pics even better than the best - thanks for that  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Minxy on May 14, 2018, 08:16:32 pm
I started with your ride report last night and did not stop reading until I finished up to your newest update! I have enjoyed every second of your adventure, laughed out loud at your shenanigans, gawked over your 500's and just felt inspired by all the amazing photos. Some of the places also familiar and special to me as we visited them with Honda Quest. Wow I miss Namibia sooooooo much now, there is no other place like it. I do admit though, there was a couple of times riding down the riverbeds (and those damm red dunes near Brandberg...) on the Africa Twin that I was thinking I would have given what to rather be on a 500! :P Anyway I know I will go back, hopefully sooner than later and would love to follow your route.

Awesome RR, thank you again for taking the time to share your journey with us :)

Thanks Minxy  :thumleft:

Didn't I read somewhere that you guys are joining Hardy there in June? Maybe this RR can give that extra push in the right direction as I suspect it did to Ri  8)

While most of the routes can be (and has been) done with strong determination on big adventure bike (except maybe Robbie's pass), I doubt anyone apart from superathletes would be able to ride this loop in this time frame on one. That is where the smaller bike is important - to conserve energy and get maximum enjoyment out of the trip. I have seen first hand and described here, how exhaustion can ruin this trip, so the smart move is to go for energy conservation as much as possible, and proper bike is cruicial in that.It doesn't need to be 500/450 bike, your 701 will do just fine.

We were very close to joining Hardy in June, but sadly, we only recently realized that HSK's passport is expiring! He has applied for a new one, so hopefully we can join for the next trip, otherwise who knows, we might even wing it and go alone, or with small group. All i know is, I will go back. I have already been looking at starting in Hentie's Bay and going up the Omaruru riverbed towards Spitzkoppe and then following a similar route to yours the rest of the way. Robbie's pass I'd love to include as I have also been eyeing that one for a while and it's great to see you guys have done it :D Those rocks look hectic though! :o But yes, there is so much to do and see it is exciting just planning a trip like this! :)

As we speak I am looking at second hand KTM 500's and Husky 501's... You made a very good choice with the bike :) I rode my friends 500 and I did not want to give it back... When I fetched my 350 the other day I had a long chat with Hilton Hayward and he told me a bit about your setup and suspension, he also spoke very fondly of your 500 adventure bike :)

Anyway, let me not hijack your thread! I will send some more 500 questions your way soon though >:D :ricky: :biggrin:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 14, 2018, 08:41:51 pm
@Minxy: my advice would be to not get overambitious with the route - i.e. do not try to squeeze in too much, unless you have more time than we had (12 days of riding, 4 day commute to and back Joburg/CT). If you have about 2 weeks (16 days) I would recommend to start from Uis as we did. Even with that shroter route and being on small bikes, a I was the only one out of three who actually finished the whole route, and that is while I skipped one planned rest day. I felt fine, but I wouldn't want to squeeze in more.

MaxThePanda's gang had 2 days more if I remember correctly and they started from Usakos/Spitzkopfe, which is kind of equivalent distance for starting from Hentie's Bay. And they had to start cutting stuff out (Epupa Falls, they rode up to Opuwo on C43) and still were properly knackered at the end. So unless you are approaching this as some kind of race/competition (not recommended - you've already done that there on Honda), I would recommend to rather be conservative, and if there is any time left there are areas within this loop that you can explore (for example we skipped Marienfluss, there is Hartmans pass, that loop up the Huarusib river to D3707 and down that noname river to Puros, also Huab river needs proper exploring). That Omaruru river anyway didn't look as good as Huab, Huanib and Huarusib (but i haven't done it - just seen pictures and videos)...

Of course that recommendation holds only if you have about two weeks (i.e. 16 days ) to do the trip, including communte to and back to Gauteng. If you have more time, go crazy - just take the necessary rest days to avoid exhaustion, as that can really ruin the trip.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Minxy on May 14, 2018, 09:24:38 pm
@Minxy: my advice would be to not get overambitious with the route - i.e. do not try to squeeze in too much, unless you have more time than we had (12 days of riding, 4 day commute to and back Joburg/CT). If you have about 2 weeks (16 days) I would recommend to start from Uis as we did. Even with that shroter route and being on small bikes, a I was the only one out of three who actually finished the whole route, and that is while I skipped one planned rest day. I felt fine, but I wouldn't want to squeeze in more.

MaxThePanda's gang had 2 days more if I remember correctly and they started from Usakos/Spitzkopfe, which is kind of equivalent distance for starting from Hentie's Bay. And they had to start cutting stuff out (Epupa Falls, they rode up to Opuwo on C43) and still were properly knackered at the end. So unless you are approaching this as some kind of race/competition (not recommended - you've already done that there on Honda), I would recommend to rather be conservative, and if there is any time left there are areas within this loop that you can explore (for example we skipped Marienfluss, there is Hartmans pass, that loop up the Huarusib river to D3707 and down that noname river to Puros, also Huab river needs proper exploring). That Omaruru river anyway didn't look as good as Huab, Huanib and Huarusib (but i haven't done it - just seen pictures and videos)...

Of course that recommendation holds only if you have about two weeks (i.e. 16 days ) to do the trip, including communte to and back to Gauteng. If you have more time, go crazy - just take the necessary rest days to avoid exhaustion, as that can really ruin the trip.

Really enjoyed Max's RR too, and you are 100% right.
It is a reality that things can go wrong, exhaustion etc playing a huge part and we saw that happening first hand at Quest. Some people were affected more than others, but when it hits you, it hits you hard and it just becomes downward spiral. And of course one also must consider mechanical breakdown, accident, evacuation plan etc. I really do take my hat off to you, especially for having done trips like this solo!

Oh and we did a bit of Omaruru riverbed when my arm was broken two years ago in 4x4. I'll forward you some photos via pm :D I think it is well worth it and something to do maybe on one of your next trips.
But yes, you need time. I would stay in Epupa for days if I could, it was one of the highlights for me on our trip, but yes. There is just so much distance to cover, things to see and so little time. Logistics with fuel/food/water must also be a nightmare? Traveling with Hardy's Specialised Adventure group is therefore first choice, especially in terms of safety, structure and accessibility. But... there is always that attraction to going off and exploring on your own... ::)
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: ClimbingTurtle on May 15, 2018, 07:28:14 am
Stunning Trip Martin - thank you again for the inspirational RR.

An off-topic question - was there anywhere that you went that you couldn't take a kitted 4x4 (low range etc.) - reason is, I have a large, overweight GSA that I have no intention of riding in that area, but I know the wife would love to go in the 4x4.... Might be an amicable solution.....

Cheers,

Steve
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: LRFan on May 15, 2018, 08:37:18 am
Great report, very envy you guys. How much of this route will be doable in a 2x4 bakkie with diff lock, except those rough passes?
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Slim Jim on May 15, 2018, 08:44:00 am
Awsome XPAT, in a way I'm glad this RR is done , now I can get back to work. :thumleft:
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 15, 2018, 10:36:39 am
Thanks all for following and comments.  :thumleft: I will post one more short 4x4 episode from return home with Bertie

Regarding drigin car on these tracks - I'm no 4x4 or even car boffin (have done probably 2 - 3 car safaris in 12 years I lived here), so take whatever I say with that in mind (and I'm sure there are tons of threads about this are on 4x4 forums, as this is the main highlight of Southern Africa - or rather Africa, for them as well). I do have semi-kitted Hilux 4x4 - mostly for my family and friends as I use bikes for travel - and have done Damaraland & Kaokoland in it last year as a support driving shotgun to my father.

I would say this: Most of the tracks we have ridden are easily doable in 4x4. The only places where it gets technical is Robbie's pass (I personally wouldn't go there in 4x4, but I'm sure proper 4x4 affecionados looking for technical driving would and have) and VZP - that one we have done in my Hilux, and it requires focus and strong determination in places, but is doable by normal driver who is not complete moron in 4x4.

Is it doable in 4x2? I don't know, most of it probably yes, but there are usually few places every day that may catch you out, and you might not be able to get yourself out of those without 4x4 and low range. I personally wouldn't go there in 4x2 (that is the routes we have ridden - I can suggest route that would be perfectly fine in 4x2) even though I drive 99% of time off tar in 4x2 mode in my Hilux. I use 4x4/low range only for tricky bits and to recover the car if stuck in mud or sand, but on those occasions I find it indispensable.

For example I wouldn't want to go down VZP without low range, as it gets really steep and uneven and without low range you will have to be very good with your breaks and they will have to be very good as well. Low range gives you much more control of the car in tricky situation like that. Here are some pictures of the tricky sections on VZP (most of them are 20 - 30 meters long max, but some of them require to rebuild the road);


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4417/35670604213_e7743c36fb_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4338/36311080132_8e1cded6b2_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4386/36311034192_bcf5909fd0_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4378/36342013591_5feea27c5f_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4356/36082660930_98f0fc2afe_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4423/36480145665_d3e94c34e2_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4440/35644831544_d57991ba68_b.jpg)


Also I believe 4x4 and low range are crucial to recover the car once is stuck, like here (Puros canyon):


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4352/35672406893_5caf46991a_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4335/35672397423_d9c5bc0689_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4391/35672389033_053edc0e5a_b.jpg)


But in some cases even 4x4 and low range may not be enough - so come well prepared with stuff to get yourself out of the pinch, like shovels, towing ropes, metal/plastic plates for foundation and I would recommend high jack (I have no experience with winches that to me seems a bit over the top). And of course 2 spare wheels, 1 may be pushing it (at least if you are driving solo like we were). For example we came upon this Patrol stuck in mud in the reefs in ugab river. It took us over 3 hours to get him out, and that was with Hilux available for tow. I couldn't believe my eyes when we hitched the patrol to Hilux and tried number of times to rip it out (low range, high range, steady and slow, with run up, etc.)) from both front and back, and the bloody Nissan literaly didn't even flinch (and yes we dug trenches all around the car). It seemed like it was just a top of huge concrete block burried deep in the ground.

They had tons of kit on that Patrol, but one thing they (and us) didn't have was high jack. What eventually got it out was when the guy dug a hole under the rear diff, put his normal jack under the diff with some plate underneath it and managed to jack it up a bit. Hilux was then able with run up to rip it out of that mud hole. So immediately after the trip I bought High jack, which I didn't see a point of till then. It was fun (there were lion spoor all over the mud we were working in so walking through those reefs looking for some wood to put under wheels was exciting to say the least), but I wouldn't want to do it in a hurry again:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4351/35662187793_0c3a5a3395_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4356/36302308302_8e797c1f3f_b.jpg)


As far as 'kitted' 4x4 goes - as with bikes my recommendation would be go as minimal as possible. I have aluminium canopy and roof tent and shit, but this time my father (who used the car there before with all that crap on) insisted on going minimal - i.e. no canopy, no roof tent, just tonnal cover to hide spare wheel and jerry cans from preying eyes, and all the crap packed behind the front seats (take rear seats out). The only stuff you absolutely must have is that stuff I mentioned above to get yourself disentangled from tricky situation, and of course camping gear and lots of water - that one my father was a bit cavallier on, but I was nazi on that - have water not only for your expected route if things go well, but also for non-sunny day scenario if you have to sit it out there for few days, or walk out.

My 2c - take it with big grain of salt.


Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 15, 2018, 10:45:49 am
Oh yes, one more thing: For 4x4 trip I would use sligthly modified route - that is using the route we did as baseline. Assuming you don't want to do Robbie's pass in 4x4 (most people don't I believe), I would follow the same route we did with these modifications:

Day 2/3 - instead of going from Palmwag up through Little Serengeti and Kowarib gorge (I would do those on the way back as I did again on Day 11), I would rather go up to Puros (with sleepover on the way) via Crowther trail (couldn't do that on bike because it is part of Palmwag conservancy and bikes are not allowed), Amspoort gorge and Puros canyon.
Day 4- from Puros I would drive up the Huarusib river all the way to D3703, on which it is a short hop to Opuwo. (that upper Huarusib may not be driveable sometimes - it was not when I was there with my father in May, it was when I was there now in March - check my ride on Day 8)

After that I would basically follow the same route - maybe including drive up Marienfluss.

Edit: Here are some pictures from Crowther trail - it resembles quite a bit upper part of Valley of Desolation (that is why I recommend to do it on the way up as if you do it on the way down you would have two-three days of the same scenery) with starkly otherworldly red rocky landscape:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4441/36308583512_1a8a01729d_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4335/35668407143_434116faf0_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4375/36430721606_792950e170_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4429/36476864565_8089c4c4be_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4419/36308547802_ae31eaa199_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4356/36308541462_aaca839b59_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4347/35668362313_0b6fb305c4_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4403/36079640940_d70326e14d_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4401/36430653336_f4850558dc_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4393/35668310653_35ecbb327a_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4408/36339325741_dc724df32e_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4419/36308450752_2921cb053a_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4349/36308443602_b1a70df815_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4335/35641238284_3261011099_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4338/36476722785_02404b8bdd_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4362/36079519160_019591842c_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4420/35641162144_959351122e_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4438/36339778881_96051bab9f_b.jpg)


Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: ClimbingTurtle on May 15, 2018, 11:14:01 am
Thank you Martin - i will start he thread again and plot the route.

Much appreciated.

Steve
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: armpump on May 16, 2018, 09:47:09 am
@Xpat

I know you not big on water crossings but perhaps think of one of these for iphone

(https://cdn.igeeksblog.com/wp-content/uploads/EscapeCapsule-Waterproof-Case-for-the-iPhone-4-4S-and-5.jpg)

Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Ri on May 16, 2018, 10:04:49 am
iPhones are splash resistant and can withstand a quick dunking. Just don't go swimming with it.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 16, 2018, 09:57:45 pm
Conclusion

I have attached gpx routes we have done to the first post in this RR.


We took different route back to Joburg, bypassing Botswana and heading south instead. There were two reasons. First, to let Bertie drive some dunes north Koes to get his spirits up and break the monotony of the long drive home. Second, I wanted to debus with 500 in Molopo lodge to ride the dunes between Kgalagadi NP and Molopo river in Botswana and then back to Joburg - Bertie would be driving Hilux home on his own. I have tried and failed those dunes last year on heavy ass 690 (RR here: http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=211633.0 (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=211633.0)) and was keen to settle the score.

The only problem was my 500 needed a bit of maintenance. I came ready with new oil and filters for basic service in my car, but by the end of this trip, the sprockets and chain were shot and in the need of replacement. We called Basil and he kindly ordered new set, and by the time I rocked up in the lodge it was waiting for me. By which stage I had another problem - quite pronounced oil leak from the front sprocket - an o-ring or seal behind the sprocket had to be replaced. It was Friday afternoon, and there was no way to get that in Uis or on the way in Windhoek, so I figured I will try my luck in Upington - relatively short 130 km hop south from Molopo lodge - on Monday.

With all that sorted, we packed the car, loaded the bikes and went for last dinner in Brandberg Rest Camp, reminiscing about the trip.

Next day we set-off after breakfast and took the shortest and mostly tar route to Terra Rouge farm near Twee Rivier close to the start of the dunefield we came to drive.

Next morning we hit the dunes and Bertie had an hour or three of fun until the dune road hit the C road heading to Rietfontein border crossing. Here are too many pictures of that 120 km of dune drive stringing together 4 different D roads - D503, D579, D 616 and D615.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/976/41392037614_d8b676c993_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/829/42066316342_5af88b0163_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/904/41211194085_eb7a90bba6_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/955/40305198080_998aed9f1d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/832/42066369122_72f248924d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/944/40305232220_57cbc444e2_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/951/40305248950_247abf3989_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/955/41211271185_ac2d214156_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/976/41211283995_76a2339167_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/951/42066453382_791d2f33e5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/948/27241867147_d4f97396a5_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/949/27241891047_89338bbe5d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/904/40305369030_2a2d4b3f01_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/907/42112416451_a66dddf2f6_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/827/40305392770_b46c321d98_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/955/27241974557_e12a2260df_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/830/40305428470_d4ecf7ae7b_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/975/42066599882_be1cbef9e8_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/905/42066615282_d755e448bc_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/945/41211448395_cdf396af01_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/965/28239551368_2aa5b41218_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/976/40305501140_556a0a8f3e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/953/42066674332_2abb268d2e_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/953/41392404774_9c4484f3ba_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/976/42112563961_e80e89479f_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/976/40305573620_ed3c891334_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/826/42066716702_f38d21fc5d_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/909/28239668538_a07ed91d65_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/957/41392455804_4be6b7abd6_b.jpg)


Once the fun was over, we crossed to SA in Rietfontein, drove over Hakskeen Pan and arrived in Molopo lodge in the early afternoon. We went for lunch during which I contemplated my plan. It was unbelievably hot and the forecast didnít promise much improvement. I would have to wait till Monday and then hope that I will be able to get right O-ring/seal in Upington, where there is no KTM dealer. And my exploration drive was saturated. I guess you see where Iím going with this. The dunes will wait - I was going with Bertie home.

After lunch we hit the dirt highway R31 to Van Zylsrus where we wanted to sleep over as it was getting late. When we arrived there to my surprise the hotel and restaurant seemed to be completely deserted, so we just pushed on Hotazel, where we found a B&B to stay over. Next day was just a commute home to Gauteng.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/963/27242163667_31cfdcb870_b.jpg)


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/945/42112659841_1e10b070a7_b.jpg)


Route home:


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/912/41392015464_ab153ecc5a_b.jpg)


In conclusion: I was told once on this forum that one of the most important criteria for bike selection is what your mates ride. Being the self-indulgent bastard I am, it didnít make any sense to me, and still doesnít. Iíd rather buy new mates.

Luckily, there is a better way to get a real quality trip done with company: figure out what is the best bike for the riding you like to do, then find some sucker with similar bike - or even cajole your existing mate to buy one, and then just come up with highly attractive trip they cannot refuse.

Which is what I did here and it ended up just great. Best of all my northwest Namibia excursions so far as we managed to squeeze in about the most juicy and dense route possibly could through this unique and one of the best (if not THE BEST) riding place on the planet. Yes, exhaustion and health issues prevented Bertie and Justin to enjoy the trip all the way to the end, but they still have seen more of the area than most before them, and Iím sure will remember it for a while. Personally, I enjoyed Bertieís and Justinís company and Iím sure this wasnít the last time we have ridden together. Provided of course they stick with 500...
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 16, 2018, 10:00:05 pm
@Xpat

I know you not big on water crossings but perhaps think of one of these for iphone


I had something similar - at home in forgotten unpacked plastic bag somewhere. I have put it on after the trip.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Straatkat on May 18, 2018, 04:36:04 pm
Martin neglegted to mention, as the van Zylsrus hotel was closed, we pushed on to Hotazel...and we had to drive in the dark, Martin was driving at about 100 when a Warthog ran straight in front of us, we missed him narrowly and then he turned around and wanted to run back, which he aborted on the last minute and we missed him VERY narrowly. This sort of just re-inforces of how dangerous it is to drive at night through such animal rich country. After the episode he drove waaay slower for the rest of the way!!
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: billy-joe on May 18, 2018, 07:55:33 pm
Thanks XPat for an awesome report and inspiring pics and thanks to Justin and Bertie for chipping in every now and then.  I think 3/4's of us that have read this are searching gumtree and the likes for 500/525's for our next scoots!  Do you think a +-150kg scoot would make it through there (except maybe Robbie's pass) like a 690 or even a X-challenge?  Lastly, have you sold your 690 yet due to the type of riding you are currently doing? Lesotho is one of my favorite places in Southern Africa, def need to go back there soon.

Thanks once again!
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on May 18, 2018, 08:29:16 pm
Thanks XPat for an awesome report and inspiring pics and thanks to Justin and Bertie for chipping in every now and then.  I think 3/4's of us that have read this are searching gumtree and the likes for 500/525's for our next scoots!  Do you think a +-150kg scoot would make it through there (except maybe Robbie's pass) like a 690 or even a X-challenge?  Lastly, have you sold your 690 yet due to the type of riding you are currently doing? Lesotho is one of my favorite places in Southern Africa, def need to go back there soon.

Thanks once again!

Thanks.

650 150kg bike like 690/DR/XR/X-challenge, will do just fine there. With strong determination even over Robbie's pass. But it is going to be more tiring and if you have ambitious route on tight schedule, you might have to start cutting things out due to exhaustion snowball. But if you get fit before the trip by riding regularly you might offset that.

Still, 500 (or some such like WR450 etc) will - at least for me - provide for by far the most enjoyment out of this trip. The heavier you go, the more effort it will take.

Lesotho is different kettle of fish. There the heaviest reasonable bike is 500 (and even that is stretch) - if you want to go explore off the beaten tracks for more than just a day/weekend trip. 690 IMO is useless there for that (it is perfectly fine for main roads of course). And yes, I still have 690 and will keep it as long distance tourer. I had the rally kit removed and better forks installed and have to say that I quite enjoyed about week long trip I did to KZN even though a lot of it was on tar (I was chaperoning my friends from Europe in Hilux). And another big advantage of 500 is, that after 2 weeks on that seat, 690 standard seat feels like a lounge chair  8). Seriously I cannot fathom why some people bitch about comfort of that seat - it is literally the case of TTFU  >:D.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Scribble on May 28, 2018, 10:27:57 pm
thanks so much for sharing.
some of the most spectacular pics I've seen in ages
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Dacquiri on July 14, 2018, 08:40:43 am
Many thanks for an inspirational ride report Xpat. I definitely need to get up that way.

I see you had troubles with your side stand and was wondering what the specific problem was and how you eventually solved it?

I find the 500ís side stand a real pain in the ass as my bike almost always wants to topple over when slightly loaded. I will see if I can find the 500 adventurising thread you referred to see what mods were done if explained there too. I also find that a good sheepskin on the saddle helps immensely!
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: sidetrack on July 16, 2018, 09:52:09 am
Hmm where is Xpat, last active July 2nd. Off on another adventure I wonder ?
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: BiG DoM on July 17, 2018, 09:24:43 am
Hmm where is Xpat, last active July 2nd. Off on another adventure I wonder ?

Sabbatical can include Wild Dogs - in fact it probably should!  >:D
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: BlueBull2007 on July 21, 2018, 11:11:40 pm
Fantastic report Martin :hello2:

Huge respect to you Bertie for hanging in as long as you did, sitting the hole way, especially in that fesh fesh!

A couple of questions:

On crossing the borders did you register and pay import permits etc on the bikes (on the back of your pickup) as well?

What struck me about your report is all the control that seems to be coming in on these very remote routes - that its impossible to ride west of the C43 etc. Is there anyone actually controlling this or were you simply respecting the signs? It seems like no-one is there to do the controlling. Who are the people who manage the Palmwag conservacy for example?

A couple more comments:

I recon you missed the elephants probably by mere meters. Probably just off the track up on the shoulder out of sight... Maybe the lions as well. One lives in hope but regrettably man has a history of expansion and with it destruction, fences etc.

Speaking of which I heard a rumour that the Dakar was considering running in 2020 in Namibia, Angola and perhaps South Africa. If that was the case, can you imagine the tracks left behind by 180 racing vehicles? Fesh fesh would become a major major issue and a lot of this landscape would be shredded. Something that does not sit well with me, even as a crazy Dakar fan.

That Robbies pass looks like quite a challenge. Once again, very well done.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: Xpat on July 22, 2018, 05:23:37 am
Thanks Neil.

Here the answers:

- we did not pay permuts for the bikes neither in botswana, nor in namibia. They were nudging us to pay on nam border, but we said we will be riding strictly off the roads and they let us go.

- Palwag conservancy to the west of c43 and south of Huanib river: there are gates on tge palmwag side approaches and they will not let you in. There is a tent with guard also on the northern side on the entry from huanib, but you may not even see it abd it is easy to sneak in. You will then have to exit through those palmwag gates where they will make you pay and deal with you MaxThePanda did it. Imo not worth it - especially as valley of desilation is better, but your call.
Title: Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
Post by: BlueBull2007 on July 22, 2018, 08:45:53 am
Tx Martin.