Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => Topic started by: Xpat on January 05, 2019, 09:36:13 pm

Title: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 05, 2019, 09:36:13 pm
Introduction

First of all - boogie woogie: Tony who initiated this trip came up with that and the rest of us born after the WW2 just assumed that it’s a made up noise he probably uses to endear himself to infants. Back home, quick interweb check revealed it actually has meaning. Here an excerpt from Wikipedia: “Boogie-woogie is a musical genre that became popular during the late 1920s, developed in African-American communities in the 1870s”. Now it started to make sense taking into account how ancient and African Tony is - it was clearly a subconscious flashback to his youth and he expected a lot of knee action on this trip. He wouldn’t be disappointed.

Here a video example of Boogie-woogie:


Just to be sure - for those who may want to skip this enlightening video I would like to point out the second comment below this video: “The blonde isn't wearing a bra.  I know that isn't important in the scheme of things; but, I seldom scheme at things...”...

Tony (TK in WD lingo) came up with the idea of this trip and he roped in his usual riding partners - Bertie (Straatkat), Greg (GregF) and Henk (Chopperpilot). I was invited to join in later on when I returned back from overseas.

The initial plan was the typical thorough Tony job: we will trailer bikes to Clarens and have 4 days of riding around there. Knowing that for some in the party 4 days of riding (+ 2 days trailering there and back) is an opportunity that comes about once in a decade, I wasn’t thrilled to waste 4 days around Clarens which is a nice weekend destination for heavy tourists with artso pretenses, but doesn’t have much to offer to a lowly DS loving bunch like us.

So I suggested an alternative that would provide for more meaty and exquisite DS riding - 4 day loop starting and ending in Katse dam:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4864/46433848111_12e3b5595e_h.jpg)


The plan was to trailer to Katse and from there ride as follows:

Day 1: Katse to Mohale, following track I have plotted last year offroad over the mountains.
Day 2: Mohale to Semonkong, including Jockstrap and Baboon’s passes
Day 3: Semonkong to Thaba Tseka via Mantsonyane shortcut
Day 4: Thaba Tseka to Katse following some new routes I found last year, including river track all the way up to Katse dam.



I expected some resistance due to longer commute (Katse vs Clarens) and the more technical nature of the route, but the plan seem to have been quickly accepted. Not long after though Henk pulled out stating family reasons, but I couldn’t help wondering if it wasn’t the new route that swayed him to stay away… :pot:

I checked with Bertie who I expected to be a bit apprehensive and managed to calm him by explaining that there isn’t any bit too difficult for him to ride - maybe with some help from us in few places. Which I was kind of semi-confident about - the individual bits were all doable, I was just not sure what will happen when we will string them all together into 4 solid days of riding without any rest in between.

Then I checked with Tony. I knew he procured two non-running 525s over that last year (I guess in a hope that them may breed him brand new 500 if he leaves them alone or some such) so I expected him to bring one of the 525s. But it turned out none of them was working yet (nor the attempt at farming 500 came to fruition yet), but no worries, said Tony, he will bring his TE610. Which is what I was worried about. While Tony, older than me and yet still way stronger physically and mentally, could probably wrestle that whale through each individual day, I knew it would become a major liability for him in 4 days of solid riding. He didn’t want to budge initially, but I eventually managed to sweet talk him into rather bringing his Beta 400 with a Coke bottle or two for petrol to extend the diminutive range. Granted, that Beta thingy will be the sore on the eye in otherwise purebred orange 500 lineup (and will end up sucking some of their blood as we will see later), but at least it was light.

I didn’t bother calling Greg - he is the type who given the choice of perfectly fine steep pass made out of coconuts sized sharp rocks and nearby vertical cliff will go for the cliff every time. I actually hoped he will bring his TE630 to even out the playing field a bit. He did not, so the final score was 3 x KTM 500 & 1x Beta 400.

Henk was still out, so I checked with Losper if he doesn’t want to join. He was keen, but eventually couldn’t make the dates, so we at least tortured him by sending lots of photos of pretty passes as we were riding them - Lesotho back & beyond seems to have much better 3G coverage than most rural SA.

With that all settled we were good to go and set to meet up at Katse on 29th of November for a start next day.

The perpetrators:

Bertie (Straatkat) - on the right:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4816/46369924461_1ad13e939c_k.jpg)


Tony (TK):

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4832/46325202822_ac0eb4c719_k.jpg)


Greg (GregF):

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4823/45535926504_97ed084a30_k.jpg)


And myself (that would be Martin since I outed everybody else):

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4809/31673617717_cde55e7534_b.jpg)


Edit: Attached are the GPS tracks for the routes we took each day.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 05, 2019, 11:34:53 pm
Day 1 - Katse to Mohale

The rendezvous point for the trip was Katse lodge, where we converged day before from different directions. I have been in Lesotho already for a week exploring eastern Drakensberg escarpment, so I had relatively short commute from Maloraneng lodge in the valley below Letseng mine to Katse, where I arrived in the early afternoon.

The other three were coming together from Joburg. Given the age of some of the participants with associated insomnia, it wasn’t entirely surprising that we start receiving Whatsapp messages at 3:00 am about how they are going to start at 7:00 am sharp from Joburg or some such. So when nobody arrived by 6:00 pm I started to worry a bit. By 7:00 pm I have finally received message that they are in Fouriesburg - quite an achievement, considering it is about 330 km from Joburg, they probably went through Durban or something. When they still didn’t arrive by 10:00 pm I started to worry, that all that worrying is not good for my health and rather went to sleep.

I was glad to see in the morning that they eventually made it - apparently the Mitsubishi something they arrived in was overheating going over Lesotho passes and they had to stop frequently. Anyway, they were here, geared up and after breakfast we set-off (the cars were parked for the trip at the Katse lodge).


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4879/45710811404_c7eca99eec_b.jpg)


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1971/45335086375_6fba099ffa_k.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4805/46197307262_c2d1cb5a26_k.jpg)


The plan for the day was to follow cattle tracks over the mountains to the Mohale dam for a sleepover at Mohale lodge, basically crossing from Malibiamatso river valley (the river flowing into and out of Katse dam) to Senqunyane river valley (the river flowing to and out of Mohale dam). The route had 3 distinct parts: first climbing from the Katse dam at about 2200m altitude to the top of the ridge between the two valleys at about 2900m, then following the top of the ridge for 10-15 km across to the Senqunyane valley, and last descending down to Senqunyane valley and following the river all the way to the Mohale dam & lodge.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4876/45710804234_3df6da9662_k.jpg)


We set-off on the dirt road following the south shore of Katse dam and after about 10 km turned onto rough double track heading up the valley first through a village and later on the open slopes above the village:


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1920/45524219454_358a54c3e3_k.jpg)


Soon we scaled the first ridge and the main much higher ridge we had to ride up came to sight. I knew from my prior rides that getting up on this ridge, especially up the top part was the most difficult bit for the day, and warned the others. The main ridge is on the top right of the following image and you can clearly see the cattle tracks we were to follow up there:


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1969/45524271624_6c5485f9c3_k.jpg)


Getting to the set off point for the climp up the ridge on the other side of the valley:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4839/46197381382_560fd0bf59_k.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4896/44431059860_29a2271be8_k.jpg)


Greg waiting at the bottom of the valley at the start of the main ascent - the cattle tracks will quide us up, thugh we will avoid them initially and use them only at the steepest top part:

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1961/44431078320_127fd0568c_k.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4809/44431101530_5606244985_k.jpg)


As I've done it before, I went first to show the others the best route IMO. The approach was easy - gun it up along the cattle tracks more or less straight up as high as one dares to (the slope became more steep at the top, plus there were rocks and holes in the slope so one had to watch what he is doing otherwise cartwheel became very real option with all the 500 power at the rear wheel), and then drop into the cattle tracks that zig zag through the toughest top part.

I've made my dash as far as I dared and then stopped to take picture of the others. Greg gunnig it up:


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1952/46248285191_8429d51fb5_k.jpg)


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1937/45524467414_a0c0f5680a_k.jpg)


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1937/45335340095_efeade9587_k.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4808/31309181907_ba09f84bf0_k.jpg)


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1956/31309238637_3f910d3af1_k.jpg)


Bertie climbing up in less flamboyant style:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4867/45524515854_36652d8434_k.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4879/46248402831_81c21b3c4a_k.jpg)


Everybody made it to the first base without much drama:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4913/46248421871_c17369463c_k.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4859/46248440361_e7e44a666c_k.jpg)


Here Greg decided to do his own thing and instead of following the sensible advice of elders (I'm few years older), he just wanted to gun it up the slope to the right. Despite inauspicious start (seeing his straight away even before he set-off) he persevered - and lost naturally:


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1968/46197658662_b45a1b9086_k.jpg)


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1913/44431307440_e3c578355c_k.jpg)


He made it quite far (he is somewhere in that picture), but eventually had to come back and follow the wise ones:


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1954/44431360830_7f0b27edfe_k.jpg)


Tony scaling the next steeper section up the ridge in style watched by Greg and local herdboy:


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1942/31309410217_71ca068e6a_k.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4839/45335652125_7108f3634e_k.jpg)


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1965/31310086977_9ad5b0d78b_k.jpg)


Where we regrouped for the next section - the toughest one:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4887/46248613361_74f0e3ef61_k.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4848/31309477977_71e65e5aff_k.jpg)


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(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4913/45524869034_d5df056c3c_k.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4830/32376343358_e41c4de56c_k.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4895/32376362198_0c1c0c9b10_k.jpg)


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1958/44431554210_a80fa42b65_k.jpg)


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(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4859/32387721518_fd9ecc9884_k.jpg)


Bertie struggled a bit, but pushed on. Unforunatelly at this point he is about to flip the bike which ended up on top of him.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4876/31320722187_4b5c09ba0b_k.jpg)


I didn't take picture of the aftermath as this didn't look like laughing matter even to the cynical bastards like us and Tony and I rushed in to pick the bike off Bertie. I was really worried that he might have broken leg or both as the bike seemed to drop full force on them, but per usual Bertie just stood up and said he is fine. He was a bit rattled and his mood fouled for few moments before he rebounded and agreed to continue provided we ride his bike to the top of this bloody ridge.

It was quite a wake up call as a broken leg would stop the trip right there and more importantly trying to get Bertie with broken leg off that mountain would be a logistical nightmare, probably involving helicopter. So I was greatly relieved that there were no broken bones. As an X-ray month later shown, Bertie actually did break a leg there - fibula in his left leg. As I was told when I broke mine, that is considered just a flesh wound, and Bertie manage to grow his one back together even without knowing it is broken. As you can see it seems more or less mended by now:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7920/46562610062_f0ae3b6364_k.jpg)


So the broken leg seems to be kind of tradition on these group rides of ours as I broke mine on our ride together in Swaziland. The only difference really was that when I broke mine (together with tibia) I laid in a dirt right where I fell and cried like a bitch until they Voltarened me to the lepricorn dimension and then transported me in complicated logistical operation involving two different ambulances in two different countries to a hospital, while Bertie may have lost it for a minute and use few expletives, after which he calmed down walked to the top of the ridge, sat on his bike and continued with the ride. Apart from that it was more or less the same...
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on January 06, 2019, 12:20:36 am
Another epic on the way ....

 :thumleft:
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Straatkat on January 06, 2019, 12:20:59 am
Firstly I want to thank Xpat (Martin) for sharing his awesome routes that he spent weeks exploring on his own with us, it was magical to have those routes to ride and they were ridden before, so there was never a point where we had to turn around because we could not get through a certain part. After my little mishap in the morning of the first day, I actually got off very lightly probably thanks to my Alpinestars Tech7 boots, riding up steep mountains should probably be left to the 30 and 40 something year olds, not some-one more than halfway past 50, but hey I tried! My injury would impact on the rest of my trip, but if you are given lemons, make lemonade!

When we reached the mountain climb, Martin nonchalantly rode almost all the way up, almost like he has done it before! On a previous trip his bike cartwheeled down that same mountain, so take it from me, that is higher grade stuff! Tony and Greg ride gnarly stuff all the time, so they were fine. For me it was like 200% over my ability!
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 06, 2019, 09:05:14 am
Once we made sure Bertie is OK, we turned our attention back to the climb. We still had about 50 - 60 altitude meters to do. Tony and Greg went to look for  a way up in the wrong direction so I pointed them to a single path heading off the washed out cattle tracks in the opposite direction of their search. We regrouped at the start of the path once we got all the bikes out of the deep ruts of the cattle path.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4831/46209209902_6c4a5586bd_k.jpg)


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1935/32387903908_0fe0593ee3_k.jpg)


After little rest we hit the path that took us zig zagging all the way to the top of the ridge. Greg went first:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4808/31320830857_666c136a18_k.jpg)


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1972/45347175985_b3c480f877_k.jpg)


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(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1906/46259952751_eaffe30c5b_k.jpg)


Then Tony:


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1928/31320990767_807a4baa14_k.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4804/45347306465_a57fafd912_k.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4917/32388149658_23281f636f_k.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4831/45347384865_835c359054_k.jpg)


And then Greg again took up Bertie's bike, while Bertie hiked up the slope (the valley far below at the bottom of these pics is where the Katse dam is and where we came from):


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4805/32388197398_eddc295a0d_k.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4888/32388283078_599823b168_k.jpg)


I followed last and caught up with them near the top where I had to show them how to get up the last piece (basically just gun it up over rocks and ruts):


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1916/45347519545_109ef123a1_k.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4862/31321210497_4e1497b5e8_k.jpg)


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1937/45347551945_54ee7740e4_k.jpg)


At the top we took a break and enjoyed the view and the fact that the toughest bit has been conquered. There was still plenty of juicy riding ahead, but this bit has the biggest potential to bite and as we have seen, it did. Bertie was the typical trooper, refused to go back (I offered to escort him back) and pushed on with us for the rest of the day.

Bertie walking up the last bit, while Greg heads down to bring Bertie's 500 up the last bit:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4806/45347565315_cebee3dc55_k.jpg)


As is usual in Lesotho everywhere, we had a company of couple of herdboys watching over their herds from the top of the mountains.


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1907/46260293741_4cd57ea4e5_k.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4810/32388441208_41bdc04407_k.jpg)


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(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4883/44443221200_1ee496d570_k.jpg)
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 06, 2019, 09:23:07 am
After the break we followed reasonably flat top of the ridge for the next 5 or so km heading west. After the workout on the climb the riding was comparatively much easier, but still proper offroad riding over the rocks and bushes following cattle tracks.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1927/46260377091_c4cd98e1e4_k.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4911/32388517518_7d89556a31_k.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4901/32388526768_f6c1ccb57a_k.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4895/46260468641_cf2c78dcb4_k.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4901/44443368510_e99b31a1ec_k.jpg)


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(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1903/31321570387_5811a88761_b.jpg)


We took another break at empty herdsmen hut before we were to hit another major climb for the day - though this one much milder than the first one.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4822/45536872694_0e9874e110_b.jpg)


Tony executing dismount he learned in the 19th century:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4913/46210057512_68b7de2c9d_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4870/45536909514_3bd98b8edd_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4880/45348027525_79e836dab2_b.jpg)


Behind Bertie and Tony here is the climb we had to negotiate next. On my first ride here I made a mistake of followin cattle tracks running to the left of that mountain down to the next valley and it took me good 4 ours or so to get out of that valley back onto the ridge and then to the correct valley further on - I had to sleep out in the mountains on that run. So I knew better now and we could avoid that costly mistake.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4858/31321731757_d80190b9d8_b.jpg)


We had a little chow to keep the energy up for the next half of the day:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4806/45537071584_059e90ae99_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 06, 2019, 09:45:58 am
Another epic on the way ....

 :thumleft:

Cheers Ian  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: TK on January 06, 2019, 07:57:24 pm
OK Martin........ You suck. Will that make the next page.

Sent from my EML-L09 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: TK on January 06, 2019, 08:03:05 pm
Bertie mentioned a descent pair of boots made the difference to a potentially disastrous trip.

Sent from my EML-L09 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 06, 2019, 08:04:58 pm
After the lunch break we kitted up and headed up the hill we were sizing up through the lunch. As I've done it before I headed up first to show the others the best route and the others followed.

Greg heading up - you can see the hut and kraal where we had our break on the oppisite slope:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4901/31321808387_290dd665d7_b.jpg)


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1958/46260909741_3f336cf62d_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4883/46210316252_372b2d44ca_b.jpg)


Bertie made it up without a glitch:


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1903/31321945597_f5b75fb192_b.jpg)


And Tony sweeping:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4803/32389009938_668184b43c_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4864/45537256314_a128c8063c_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4815/46261025361_4fe53b5910_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4827/45537321044_5a5286d028_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 06, 2019, 08:07:03 pm
OK Martin........ You suck. Will that make the next page.

Sent from my EML-L09 using Tapatalk

Well, it helps!  :thumleft: Few more back and forths and dick picks and we are there  >:D
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Straatkat on January 06, 2019, 08:21:35 pm
The idea of getting up on the mountain and then riding along the top is quite a novel idea for me. It is proper off road with rocks and bushes, we pretty much each chose our own route to more or less get where we want to go, constantly watching for lurkers behind bushes, quite nice riding on top and of course with the vantage point that you have from up there the views are just stunning.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 06, 2019, 08:35:08 pm
Once everybody made it to the top, we followed the ridge for the next 5 - 10 km all the way to the Senqunyane valley.  The terrain got more open and we were drifting each in our own pace towards the valley.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4898/44443922380_596a7a736a_b.jpg)


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Heading towards the end of the ridge and descent to Senqunyane valley ahead:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4830/46261378311_189c9b60cc_b.jpg)


Tony admiring the scenery:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4893/45348673685_d25e3b6dd0_b.jpg)


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Senqunyane valley and the last stop before descent:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4822/32390834518_796f1042a8_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4808/46212374962_eca798db9f_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 06, 2019, 08:43:50 pm
Bertie mentioned a descent pair of boots made the difference to a potentially disastrous trip.

Sent from my EML-L09 using Tapatalk

That may have been actually the cause of the incident - Bertie using descent boots on an ascent...  :lamer:
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: TK on January 06, 2019, 08:45:18 pm
This Pic is my favourit of the trip. The views of this part of Lesotho are the best.  Lebensraum.

Sent from my EML-L09 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Tom van Brits on January 06, 2019, 09:23:47 pm
Lekker trip, I cant do a ride like this but I am thinking of hiking trip there some time to see a bit more of the Mountains.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Straatkat on January 06, 2019, 09:37:37 pm
A few pics of the start of the trip.
Please excuse the quality.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Straatkat on January 06, 2019, 11:41:59 pm
Bertie mentioned a descent pair of boots made the difference to a potentially disastrous trip.

Sent from my EML-L09 using Tapatalk

That may have been actually the cause of the incident - Bertie using descent boots on an ascent...  :lamer:


Yes Martin, that is definitely the reason for the fall. Got to wear the correct boots for what you are doing. Focus, I must Focus!
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Ri on January 07, 2019, 07:40:25 am
Lovely photo's, entertaining storytelling - the makings of another great report :deal:

OK Martin........ You suck. Will that make the next page.

Sent from my EML-L09 using Tapatalk

I'll just leave this here...   :peepwall:
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: IanTheTooth on January 07, 2019, 10:16:03 am
Complete aside but my first job in Penicuik, Scotland was for a dentist called JF Mitchell who was married to one of the Andrew's sisters (of boogie woogie fame.) He also got shot in the States in a dodgy land deal and returned to Edinburgh a wiser man.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 07, 2019, 11:24:50 am
Lovely photo's, entertaining storytelling - the makings of another great report :deal:

OK Martin........ You suck. Will that make the next page.

Sent from my EML-L09 using Tapatalk

I'll just leave this here...   :peepwall:

Than you Ri  :thumleft:

I know there is an option to change number of posts on the page somewhere, but I guess most people wouldn't bother and have left it in default, so I prefer to try to limit number of pictures on standard 20 post page as much as possible, otherwise for standard user the page may take way too long to load.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 07, 2019, 11:26:54 am
Complete aside but my first job in Penicuik, Scotland was for a dentist called JF Mitchell who was married to one of the Andrew's sisters (of boogie woogie fame.) He also got shot in the States in a dodgy land deal and returned to Edinburgh a wiser man.

You see, we live and learn all the time Ian  :)

I hope Oz is treating you well - must be beastly hot up in Mackay (have some retired doctor frends from Slovakia up there and they run away to snowy Europe for Dec/Jan).
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 07, 2019, 11:59:55 am
At the end of the ridge, we hit the long abandoned badly washed out steep former road heading down the Senquanyane valley. Greg went first and to my annoyance made it all the way to the first little settlement at the bottom of the road - ashamed (as being watched by the whole village), I had to walk last 20 meters on my prior trips as well as on this one, as I just found that last bit way too steep for comfort.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1948/31323895747_5e53ff99d1_b.jpg)


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1934/46262949191_947636ccfd_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4856/44445809550_0f64e2ce3c_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4804/45350224885_e6e7d0cc80_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4915/46212507372_c583799416_b.jpg)


Being the daredevil he is, Tony also rode all the way down to humiliate me even further:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4828/46263080971_1cf521c7e3_b.jpg)


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1959/45539340234_8e269d48bc_b.jpg)


To prevent any further humiliation I have sent Tony up to walk down Bertie's bike. Bertie not knowing what is going on fell for this ruse and let Tony walk his bike down as he hasn't seen the critical section yet. Once he came upon it he asked why he had to give up his bike - he was perfectly happy to ride it down. So it seems I'm the master wuss of the group...


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4842/45539389494_9da94c04b0_b.jpg)


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1971/45350400755_edf8cd4105_b.jpg)


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1911/45350411105_4bacb53620_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4916/32391150128_f2a8303721_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4878/31324128007_accfcefd20_b.jpg)


Tony and his hearts & minds campaign:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4903/46212641342_d697062818_b.jpg)


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1917/44446077730_7bfb17223f_b.jpg)


After Tony socialized sufficiently with the local infants, we rode down past the settlement until we hit the old unused road heading down the valley following Senquanyane south towards Mohale dam:


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1952/44446088940_f4ba005b40_b.jpg)


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1915/46212707942_65b67e4ae1_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4911/31324253687_0fabbda749_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: woody1 on January 07, 2019, 12:22:36 pm
 :ricky:
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 07, 2019, 12:27:22 pm
While the road cut out in the steep slope of the valley is very welcome (I wouldn't be able to ride that off-camber), its clear it ceased to be used long time ago. I would bet the last motorised transport here was me on my prior ride in February. So it badly neglected and washed out and we had to stay focused in order to not tumble over the edge.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4836/31324274627_692dfac742_b.jpg)


After km or 3 we came to the next village at the bottom of the valley and the first Senquanyane river crossing:


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1971/31324309117_a82e4198c3_b.jpg)


I have crossed here twice before and the river was the lowest I have seen it so without my usual careful precautions I just jumped in and straght away just barely saved my ass, using all mu strength just to remain upright standing few meters in. The bottom which was nice solid rock block was super slipery and neither my tyres, nor both of me boots can get any purchase and I was almost washed downstrem (in about 10 - 15 cm of water and barely noticeable current). I shouted for help and Bertie and Tony waded in and helped me to get out of bother. When I made it to the other side I looked back to see this:


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1904/31324322667_6bb69e1d05_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4866/46263342311_5b34104fd2_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4842/45350590775_b932907d13_b.jpg)


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1971/32391361108_bbc13132bc_b.jpg)


Clearly as soon as they couldn't balance themselves on the bike they lost it and ended up in Tony's case up to his neck in about half a meter depth of water, to the amusement of the spectating locals. That river bottom was just insanely slippery.

Greg tried other path and after a fall or two managed to find slightly more manageable crossing, where there were rocks at the bottom (rather than one solid rock block), which - albeit also slipery - cancelled the slipping out to an extent as the wheel got between them. Tony and Bertie followed Greg across with me giving them a hand to stay upright.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4839/32391308148_aabd9b3aa5_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4819/46212857862_6110893a3a_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4821/32391388138_8ecf29bee8_b.jpg)


We pushed on through a little tricky path to the village on the other side of the river where we continued on still badly washed out road following the other side of Senqunyane.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1948/46263441411_86c6fb9850_b.jpg)


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1901/45539716114_71384247f5_b.jpg)


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1927/45350774075_7c5985a468_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 07, 2019, 12:57:57 pm
We followed the road for another 10 or so km until we had the cross the river again. I knew from experience that this one can be a bitch with more water, but since the water was down it was basically just crossing a rock garden. Greg, Bertie and I crossed without glitch, Tony decided to make part of it his own:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4879/46263611231_d87265f419_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4913/45350891835_5e88efa216_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4867/44446520840_02377b848a_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4860/45350927525_c07ff9ddf0_b.jpg)


Greg waiting for Tony to stake out his piece of Lesotho:


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1958/31324676627_def4e99a25_b.jpg)


Mere 200 meters further on there was another river crossing. Though this one is weird as one doesn't really ride across the river, but rather had to ride in the river along the bank to pass steep cliff and ends up on the same side of the river. Again, because of low water level, it was a dry crossing. Tony liked the area so much that he bought another plot straight away:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4887/32391725768_638c159748_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4865/31324774287_cd0e1c631e_b.jpg)


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1903/31324811207_ca18ff2b41_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4913/31324861377_8063a7da99_b.jpg)


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1912/45540217934_ab80dd81b2_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4912/32391964178_57c40a420d_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4843/45540281584_2ac03d6acd_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4907/45351267175_c7ffc35637_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4804/45540288884_2f11920556_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 07, 2019, 01:16:37 pm
After that we had just one last technical bit to negotiate before we will hit dirt road suitable for m otorized vehicles heading all the way down to A3 and Mohale lodge. We had to climb up the valley to the village about 2 km away and from there drop back down to the start of the road at the bottom of the valley.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4868/45540334894_8fb7e248c8_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4825/46213508702_66e3e8d436_b.jpg)


Bertie with broken fibula negotiating the last tough bit for the day:


(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1919/31325108767_7eb9ba22a4_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4855/44447015640_6639ff0582_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4883/46264160871_c06a5a37d6_b.jpg)


At the village on the top of the acent:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4830/46264078421_dc2b1987e6_b.jpg)


With good part over, we hit the dirt road for liaison to the lodge about 30 km away. I was leading, but fell into the sleep mode and got us all lost for a bit, adding about 20 km to the commute. But we made it to the lodge just before the evening rain hit, so all was good.

That concludes day 1. I am heading for another trip so will finish this once back in about 10 or so days. Thanks for following.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Straatkat on January 07, 2019, 10:41:37 pm
As soon as we hit the dirt road, after the rough terrain we rode all day, I was so exuberant that I twisted the throttle with all I had, and briefly forgetting I swopped the front sprocket out for a 13 tooth one, the 500 started snaking like never before, usually I get to catch the snaking just before the inevitable high side occurs, an old party trick, but this time the bike went mad on me and started veering off the road, and towards a  moerava long drop off to the river, it was completely sideways before I caught it in the nick of time! if I went over the edge I might not be writing this! Thinking back, it was so close I rather not think about it.There goes another life, this cat is going to run out lives, not many of the original 9 ones left!
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Kortbroek on January 08, 2019, 09:03:23 am
That concludes day 1. I am heading for another trip so will finish this once back in about 10 or so days. Thanks for following.

This is just damn wrong getting us all riled up like this and then making us wait. MODS, I want to report a tease  :deal:
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: ROOI on January 08, 2019, 01:23:02 pm
SUB
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Highsider on January 08, 2019, 07:05:35 pm
Bring it on...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Awesome
Post by: Osadabwa on January 09, 2019, 03:47:43 pm
Looks rocky out there in ol' Lesotho! Very cool!

Whats it with broken legs these days? Over Xmas we ended up putting one of ours in a cast as well. Had to fly him out in a little bush plane. At least he had the sense to do it a couple kms from the lodge. Like you, I didn't enjoy the thought of extricating him from some of the other places we'd been that day. Glad your mate's break was thin enough for him to keep riding!

Next?
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Oubones on January 09, 2019, 06:26:58 pm
That concludes day 1. I am heading for another trip so will finish this once back in about 10 or so days. Thanks for following.

This is just damn wrong getting us all riled up like this and then making us wait. MODS, I want to report a tease  :deal:
I think they must put a watch on him!
This is just plain nasty! :ricky: :drif: :dousing:
Title: Re: Awesome
Post by: Xpat on January 09, 2019, 08:41:20 pm
Looks rocky out there in ol' Lesotho! Very cool!

Whats it with broken legs these days? Over Xmas we ended up putting one of ours in a cast as well. Had to fly him out in a little bush plane. At least he had the sense to do it a couple kms from the lodge. Like you, I didn't enjoy the thought of extricating him from some of the other places we'd been that day. Glad your mate's break was thin enough for him to keep riding!

Next?

I need to catch up with your report - i have fallen behind. Im back in Lesotho - today i finally managed with help from Losper to reach source if Orange river, i have failed at  previously about 10 times. Now i can give lesotho little rest...
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Highsider on January 10, 2019, 04:32:55 am
Nice work, Martin.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: alanB on January 10, 2019, 07:50:07 pm
Very jealous!

Looks like another fantastic ride guys!  :thumleft:

Very impressed with Bertie just shrugging off a broken leg!

I need a 500 it seems....
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Kortbroek on January 14, 2019, 12:07:09 pm
@Xpat    :peepwall:
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 14, 2019, 05:10:28 pm
@Xpat    :peepwall:


Im still busy working in Lesotho. Life is not just fun and games you know, some of us have to work hard so that other people (like the lot in this report) have somewhere to ride...

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190114/aaa21faac73a644c4d94d69117e0b2b0.jpg)

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190114/d0bf85c619edd3527bc50d37d2396ad5.jpg)

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190114/78e86ac55780a29eb9724922a34839f8.jpg)



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Malcolm on January 15, 2019, 08:03:28 am
Hey Xpat
Cant wait to see the route you guys got to work to source of Orange,  I havent managed to plot a route with any real viability, please share when you have the chance !!!
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 15, 2019, 08:34:26 am
Hey Xpat
Cant wait to see the route you guys got to work to source of Orange,  I havent managed to plot a route with any real viability, please share when you have the chance !!!

I will post it once back home. It goes from khubela valley though and hits orange at the top of escarpment.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: TK on January 17, 2019, 01:05:41 pm
Very jealous!

Looks like another fantastic ride guys!  :thumleft:

Very impressed with Bertie just shrugging off a broken leg!

I need a 500 it seems....

Its the drugs.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: TK on January 17, 2019, 01:08:49 pm
Gees Bertie.
Looks like Alan is alive after all.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Straatkat on January 18, 2019, 12:06:22 am
Gees Bertie.
Looks like Alan is alive after all.

Stranger things have happened, but it was very long ago!
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: alanB on January 19, 2019, 01:33:18 pm
Gees Bertie.
Looks like Alan is alive after all.

Stranger things have happened, but it was very long ago!

Does this mean I have reached mythical status?
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 20, 2019, 08:12:14 pm
Back again from Lesotho where we managed with Losper to plot new routes for this lot, that should ensure no shortage of broken legs this year either.

So, let's get going on this one again.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 20, 2019, 08:46:23 pm
Day 2 - Mohale to Semonkong

We woke up in the morning after heavy overnight downpour glad to see the sky clearing out. View from the lodge:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4844/46278358181_698072f99d_b.jpg)


Plan for the day was to ride to ride two iconic passes of the ROA fame - Jock Strap and Baboon's, and overnight at Semonkong lodge. Bertie didn't feel fit enough for both passes so he would join us for the ascent up the Jock Strap and then take tar from top of the pass to Semonkong:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4895/32561834588_a10b5d3b21_b.jpg)


After breakfast at the lodge we geared up and set-off on A3 west towards God Help Me pass (who comes up with these names?). First few dozen km was winding tar up and down the pass and I was leading up front. Tony and Greg usually go into sleep mode on tar so they fell behind out of sight. Bertie on the other hand is speed damon and despite his near death experience when he overcooked corner day before blaming it on mousses or some such, I could literally feel his breath on the back of my sunburned neck. So I just waved him of and he disappeared withing two curves down the pass - mousses nothwithstanding.

I eventually caught up with him at the turn off to the dirt road heading south towards Jock Strap and once Tony and Greg caught up with took the dirt - this time in reverse order. The road was initially good wide dirt road heading up wide valley in the morning sun:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4908/45554924374_6db829d204_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4862/32406785858_ffb4111ed6_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4842/32406802408_7e77e9d329_b.jpg)


Soon enough we caught up with stationary Greg and Tony at a turnoff to little single track. I was surprised as I thought the road will take us all the way to the bottom of Jock Strap, but they said that is where the track I have came up goes. So we assumed the dirt road probably ends soon and took the track:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4828/45554963844_5f2f2a4277_b.jpg)


Bertie needed a little encouragement and Tony tried to cheer him up:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4917/46228289242_d47880a49c_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4868/46228302402_35d8ea42e2_b.jpg)


The track was a local footpath and it soon got noticeably gnarlier and off-camberish. I was following Bertie and could see that he is not enjoying himself. Eventually he felt enough is enough and decided to turn back, retrace to the tar and take main road to Semonkong. I could understand it but was still a bit perplexed how we ended up on the track as I could clearly see the dirt road heading up the valley on the other side of the river. So I had a closer look on the track and it said something like Roof 2016 or 2014 or some such and suddenly I understood. I downloaded this track I think from Losper without giving it the second glance, and this was clearly used on one of the previous Roofs. While the track was extreme, Bertie with his unknowingly broken leg rightly decided to err on the safe side and opted for the comfort of tar:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4915/44461702020_d4d9da964f_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4874/45365907925_ab77e03a35_b.jpg)


The rest of us kept pushing up the valley on the Roof track that weaved back and forth on both side of the dirt road all the way to the bottom of the Jock Strap about 10 - 15 km away:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4815/32406873728_6cece62b08_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4876/45365924485_9d5fe0eb8d_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4885/32406892738_3cd8fb5ed6_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4861/46228369042_6ddbd5ebf7_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4911/45365978975_c584f4d866_b.jpg)


Sooner than I expected we arrived at the start of the Jock Strap:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4902/45555108944_bd0ea353c3_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 20, 2019, 09:28:33 pm
At the bottom we took obligatory photo and then, flanked by swarm of kids from the nearby village who circled us like vultures expecting to make quick rand or two pushing us up, we set-off up the pass:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4830/45366015485_19df17a3ee_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4812/32406974668_6db7f7c66c_b.jpg)


Heading up the pass:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4898/32406992158_be8c8e10e8_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4831/31339991617_47eaf44598_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4853/45555190184_04a23bb091_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4868/45555201004_5d495ddd1c_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4811/46278671651_77968f62e8_b.jpg)


Greg boogie woogieing up the pass:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4840/46278703441_4c1b7904bf_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4905/32407131038_b2c6bd69d5_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4817/46278720471_1f5f16ccbb_b.jpg)


Kids eagerly awaiting inevitable stumble:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4915/44461995820_8116278967_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4880/46228587082_28068d4960_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4833/46278764651_f56b2ac4d9_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4901/45373383955_58e8a34ce6_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4809/45562616924_a2361ba2ea_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4838/46286224651_f50239586b_b.jpg)


Right about here Tony who supposedly has done the pass already some time ago said that the most difficult bit is over. Not sure what his point was as it turned out to be BS, but given his age his memory was most probably just failing him:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4872/45562648204_d18d50c68b_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4847/45562659834_23e241af47_b.jpg)


This turned out to be the only place where we needed help on the pass itself from the kids when Tony dropped his helmet down the hill. He will still need to get bailed further, but that was just on easy peasy meadow as we will see soon enough:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4917/46286297221_b3c09e0de6_b.jpg)


We continued to push up now the easy part of the pass:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4841/31347416327_d580f712d6_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4856/45373531935_8c85e4a6e1_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4879/32414635088_64dea69a94_b.jpg)


There was little village half way up:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4911/45562768614_6b59e4798d_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4830/45562782254_4ce55f04c9_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4887/45373583955_c2c60a3a94_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4913/45562806334_f4879dd81f_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4879/44469527880_2ce3669d93_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4814/44469539190_736dfb6f03_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4820/32414783808_3e00cee082_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4845/46236210242_56d063dfa3_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4831/31347614157_58b2e78cde_b.jpg)


We have made it to the top of the pass fairly quickly and without any major drama. There was a spill or two but all resolved before I could get them on camera, so they didn't really happen. Top of the Jock strap is wide  valley/meadow sloping slowly up to the tar road running higher up the valley between Rambanta and Semonkong. It is easy peasy riding and Greg and I made it up the valley in no time where we checked on Tony. And there was no Tony. He has this maverick streak where he always has to look for some other routes than us normal people take, but the thing was we could see at least km or two down the valley in all directions and there was no sign of Tony. Greg went back to investigate little river running at the bottom of the valley - the only place where he could have possibly crashed out of sight. but alas no Tony.

So being the good friends we are we figured he is big and ugly enough to take care of himself and headed up towards tar. And then from the higher ground we spotted Tony stuck deep in a mud in higher part of the valley surrounding by clump of local herdsmen. We rode down, laughed at Tony and let hersmen earn their keep by pulling him out. Some of the herdsmen were quite excitable as you can see:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4907/31347623007_13d8bd2cfc_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4812/32414927448_8ccdd1426f_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4815/44469770760_a3e465260e_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4897/46236373372_a18bc0a1e1_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4895/31347735707_715ff63ae0_b.jpg)


Once Tony paid his dues we headed up the valley, hit the tar and headed down the road to Rambanta about 10 km away for lunch break at the lodge:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4884/46236432622_7f0bbf8fbe_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Amsterdam on January 21, 2019, 11:26:14 am
Xpat, some great photos here.  So nice to see some areas where you can ride without fences etc.  The Western Cape has its limits.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 21, 2019, 03:01:11 pm
We had lunch break at Rambanta Trading Post and then went out looking for petrol. Tony was very keen to get some as he had small standard 8 liter tank on his Beta, plus two plastic bottles with petrol one of which he has already lost by this stage. We have been sent all over the place by variety of people, but no luck, Rambanta was dry.

Eventually we managed to calm down Tony by promise that we will siphon petrol of our bigger tanks should we run out and we set-off towards the pass. We calmed Tony so well that he headed off first with gusto, missed turn-off to the pass and went for a sightseeing tour around Rambanta for about 15 minutes making his bike lighter by burning some more petrol. Greg and I knowing we will have to cover that petrol deficit and hence not keen to burn more of ours didn't follow and rather waited at the turn-off, until Tony stopped daydreaming around and came back. With that sorte we hit the track heading up the pass.

None of us has done Baboon's before (I think Tony claimed that he might have done bits and pieces, but with him you never know if it may not have been somewhere in Limpopo), and we have heard that it is about 20 - 25 km long with most of it easy peasy and only last 2 - 3 km geting a bit gnarly. Now we got a bit of surprise when Losper while still planning to join us during preparation said that he may skip Baboon's and rather do some cattle tracks he knows from the top of Jock Strap to Semonkong, as he is getting too old to kak off, or something to that effect. Also, Tony has spoken to Russel Campbell a roof veteran if there ever was one, who has done the pass recently and told Tony that it was the gnarliest he remembers it. Well there wan't much to it but to find out for ourselves.

We hit it off and the track straight away started to climb up the valley side in series of in places quite gnarly serpentines. It continued climbing up gnarly rocky sections with only few short smoother sections giving a bit of relief. We have stopped after km or two and agreed that we must have got it wrong - it was the first 2 km going up that are tough and the rest of it will be easy. Nope, it turns out we understood it exactly right.

Now, it wasn't super extreme or anything like that - all of us could and did ride all the way up without assistance with exception of one step at the very top where we helped each other (well the youngsters did, the old man made it up no his own). But it was a relentless workout from the beginning till the end for 20 - 25 km, when we had to constantly bash through big loose rocks, with only short smooth sections where we could get out of 1st/2nd gear. And yes, the top section was the gnarliest, but we didn't notice it much as we were trying to outrun a storm (unsucessfully) and were riding with a bit of reckless abandon at that stage.

Initial sections getting up on the ridge we were to follow to the top of the pass 20 km away:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4829/31347800117_748417e0da_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4809/31347844907_a28b605e83_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4885/44469938500_e7a520f22b_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4857/45563236324_2a2d1e0ce9_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4816/46286812301_5a7cb95689_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4876/46286844861_a2185c5650_b.jpg)


Higher up near the top of the ridge the riding eased up a bit, but not for too long. The views though were impressive, especially with the clouds above colouring the mountains in different hues of brown and green:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4873/44470046770_aa43771b69_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4898/46286859221_2ab2f118ef_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4882/31348049307_fe2f9573b5_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4885/31349010927_c988e7e1d8_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4833/46237557772_70a152a2f6_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4868/45375185575_f923980c18_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4842/45564274184_0ee780ac55_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4807/46287916101_0b2be8032d_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4842/31349119607_68c56c4153_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4906/46287969381_26ecf08105_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4873/46288002811_35ae4f0fc1_b.jpg)


Eventually we came to the point where we could see the mountains at the top of the pass where we were heading:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4872/46237758322_79b66e4fc9_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4904/45564489594_13b7a2286a_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4812/46288073141_a222ed9101_b.jpg)

Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 21, 2019, 04:36:13 pm
By this stage nasty clouds were closing in so we were pushing on trying to outrun them to the top of the pass.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4916/45564503984_b425f9e764_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4897/45564527494_5f27452899_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4831/31349322287_3153c15188_b.jpg)


About two thirds of the way we came to a village, where the road on my online maps ends. So we assumed that the real fun will only begin - which it did, the track got steeper and gnarlier, but still manageable. The biggest concern was hitting the electric storm right at the top of the pass, which eventually despite our best efforts did happen:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4863/44471262000_5f5efb8a98_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4886/45375455315_2b2042a45c_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4808/46237857212_d8af2e5869_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4874/45375483805_87dcc3453d_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4903/32416468008_ce6577e2be_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4858/45375528855_68ce4746dc_b.jpg)


We came upon something called Yeehaa hill on GPS (again, who comes up with these names???)- a very steep lose dirt section of the track probably - 100 - 150 meters long. This one looked as proper challenge, but by the time Tony and I arrived Greg already made it to the top, so we had no choice now but to make it up on our own to preserve our dignity:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4886/46237947742_a207a2585b_b.jpg)


Tony digging trenches up the hill:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4861/44471354210_af50c14e25_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4870/45564738864_4e53b522c7_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4855/31349520337_3b2b536853_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4811/45564781184_8c5c0973d2_b.jpg)


This is what it looked like from Greg's perspective:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4901/45376954605_35dd01cc75_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4886/32417941848_cee46ebea3_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7911/32702061988_9990a263c3_b.jpg)

Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Tom van Brits on January 21, 2019, 04:49:02 pm
 :o wow....that's some serious riding in a day!
Title: Sure... easy peasy!
Post by: Osadabwa on January 21, 2019, 04:50:31 pm
You boys really get stuck in! I hope I can ride Lesotho before it's ruined. Probably wouldn't choose the BRP for that trip, I'll grant you. The photos are especially crisp. Place looks stunning!

Ok. Continue.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 21, 2019, 08:33:00 pm
After Yeehaa hill there was the last 2 km or so of the pass to cover. I'm guessing this was the sectionthey told us to be the toughest - to us it more or less looked the same. We pushed on trying to outrun the storm, but got caught by rain almost straight away:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4861/46288355961_c1daf71673_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4822/46238094892_f8d3fc00c8_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4839/32416671348_abf4c3e96a_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4852/45375713625_0b28a2b85d_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4820/44471500830_fdcc5981d9_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4870/46238160722_5454ca9f00_b.jpg)


At this point the lightnings were hitting all around and Greg managed to block the only good line over these rocks. Greg and I - compared to ancient Tony more or less easily frightened millenials - huddled under a nearby rock with little bush on top that gave us false sense of security from thousands of ampers hitting around. Tony who was born before electric age and therefore blissfully unaware about what strong electric current can do to human body, just rode off up the pass probably too deaf to hear the regular lightning hits.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4873/32416716228_80882c56d0_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4912/46288533241_b916aa4620_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4820/44471608550_092ec305aa_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4817/44471632410_384c80dc14_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4842/44471645700_336a7b7aea_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4844/45565022024_7ae388575a_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4803/32416822768_0226724eb7_b.jpg)


Once the lightnings receded and rain eased up, Greg and I picked ourselves up from underneath the bush completely soaked and followed Tony up the pass:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4811/32416839178_34ca11ec39_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4871/44471697400_1e25fbe845_b.jpg)


We caught up with Tony few hundred meters further on at a big rocky step. He somehow managed to walk his bike up the step and was no directing us to the right line. Greg had a different idea, tried to bypass the step on the side and paid the price:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4889/45376690985_53aa5bfc79_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4896/45565926464_38c7db6a1f_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4897/44472540110_42d8624586_b.jpg)


Tony helped me to get my bike up the step and then rode off leaving the youngsters to help each other:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4889/31350730397_ec4d88b072_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4824/32417827478_9dbda90b81_b.jpg)


With Tony gone I helped Greg get his bike up the step and we followed Tony. We were now very clearly very near or at the top of the pass so it was just matter of finishing few km to the tar.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4863/31350774947_ee52c76863_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4877/46239279272_6bd177af75_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4847/45376855085_43f7116dc8_b.jpg)


Soon enough we caught up with stationary Tony and situation reversed - he needed us to bail him out as he run out of petrol. But first why pass an opportunity for a little piknik:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4870/46289567671_67302ee800_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4906/31350813547_0ea51059cd_b.jpg)


The refuel turned out to be a bit more complicated than we initially expected. As our bikes are fuel injected, we coudn't get any petrol out just by unconnecting the fuel line from the tank as it was self closing. So we had to turn Greg's bike (he had biggest tank) almost upside down to get petrol out from the normal filler neck.  Greg and Tony get on with the job, I played the role of health and safety officer, reminding in regular intervals Greg that doing this operation with cigarette stuck non-chalantly between his fingers or his lips makes him a bit clumsy.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4878/45566128694_5c67452a60_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4884/31350860267_a02b175421_b.jpg)


With couple of liters in Tony's tank we set-off again and made it to tar about 3 km away. Earlier I have sent message to Bertie asking him to come back from Semonkong and bring us petrol to the top of the Baboons. There was no Bertie waiting at the tar, so we agreed that I will gun it fast down to Semonkong about 20 km away, fill-up and come back to fill them up, while Greg and Tony will take it easy down the road conserving fuel.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4903/45376951755_117ddef7a5_b.jpg)


Few km down the road I bumped into Bertie coming in opposite direction with full tank and let him sort out Tony and Greg while I continued to the lodge in Semonkong. The other three arrive shortly after me and we settled into our respective chalets that Bertie organized for us already.

This was the toughest day of the trip (even for Bertie despite his tar route - when he arrived to Semonkong and got into his chalet, he sat down on sofa in his full gear to take a breather for a bit and woke up about 3 hours later in the same position), but I was properly chuffed that we have done Baboons as it was on my list of things to do for a long time.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: IanTheTooth on January 22, 2019, 01:56:12 am
Congratulations again! I haven't felt a pressing need to do Baboons again since I did it in the roof. I was quite intrigued to see your pictures of Jockstrap pass and realise that was the "shortcut" that Iain McDonald took me and Barry on when we were spectating the Roof last year. I've always been a bit suspicious of Iain's "shortcuts."
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Rexc-w on January 22, 2019, 10:20:58 am
2008 was the last time I've been up Baboons and riding in that area. Somehow seeing these pics makes me lus to go and do that again - on the 300 though :thumleft:
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: TK on January 22, 2019, 10:38:11 am
Gees Bertie.
Looks like Alan is alive after all.

Stranger things have happened, but it was very long ago!

Does this mean I have reached mythical status?
No

Sent from my EML-L09 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 22, 2019, 12:34:41 pm
Xpat, some great photos here.  So nice to see some areas where you can ride without fences etc.  The Western Cape has its limits.

Thanks  :thumleft:

And yes, if you want to ride freely without the constraints of private property, you need to head to Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Zim or Mosambique. I'm afraid WC is not the place to be for that.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 22, 2019, 12:38:17 pm
@IanTheTooth and @Rexc-w : Baboon's wasnt actually that difficult technically, just relentless hard work. For me it was quite doable on 500 even with luggage. I guess combining it in one day with Jockstrap may be a bit too much for normal weekend warrior (we were properly tired afterwards, but enjoyed every minute of it), but if you start in the morning in Rambanta, Baboons itself will provide for nice ride to Semonkong IMO - if one likes to ride rocks of course.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Rexc-w on January 22, 2019, 01:41:37 pm
We used to stay at Ramabanta (Tannie Rose was our host) and do day rides from there.  Will gather the old riding buddies and organize a weekend.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: alanB on January 22, 2019, 01:56:14 pm
Gees Bertie.
Looks like Alan is alive after all.

Stranger things have happened, but it was very long ago!

Does this mean I have reached mythical status?
No

Sent from my EML-L09 using Tapatalk

Oh
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Oupa Foe-rie on January 22, 2019, 02:45:19 pm
 :sip: :sip:
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Sheepman on January 22, 2019, 07:51:08 pm
Well done - you ous don't want to ride rocks.....you CAN ride rocks....and that on big bikes  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Amsterdam on January 23, 2019, 07:15:35 am
Xpat, some great photos here.  So nice to see some areas where you can ride without fences etc.  The Western Cape has its limits.

Thanks  :thumleft:

And yes, if you want to ride freely without the constraints of private property, you need to head to Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Zim or Mosambique. I'm afraid WC is not the place to be for that.

This ride report has inspired me to put a note out to my regular riding buddies.  Plan is to head to Lesotho in April.  Now I must just go through some of the resources on WD to determine a route.  How many riding days was this adventure?
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 23, 2019, 07:18:24 am
Xpat, some great photos here.  So nice to see some areas where you can ride without fences etc.  The Western Cape has its limits.

Thanks  :thumleft:

And yes, if you want to ride freely without the constraints of private property, you need to head to Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Zim or Mosambique. I'm afraid WC is not the place to be for that.

This ride report has inspired me to put a note out to my regular riding buddies.  Plan is to head to Lesotho in April.  Now I must just go through some of the resources on WD to determine a route.  How many riding days was this adventure?

This was 4 days of riding plus 2 days commute from/to Joburg. I will send you the route if you want and can suggest other routes as well that you can combine with this one for longer trip if you want - there is much more out there. But I'm assuming you are coming on 500s or some such. Anything bigger will limit you greatly in your options in LEsotho.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Amsterdam on January 23, 2019, 07:25:51 am
Xpat, some great photos here.  So nice to see some areas where you can ride without fences etc.  The Western Cape has its limits.

Thanks  :thumleft:

And yes, if you want to ride freely without the constraints of private property, you need to head to Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Zim or Mosambique. I'm afraid WC is not the place to be for that.

This ride report has inspired me to put a note out to my regular riding buddies.  Plan is to head to Lesotho in April.  Now I must just go through some of the resources on WD to determine a route.  How many riding days was this adventure?

This was 4 days of riding plus 2 days commute from/to Joburg. I will send you the route if you want and can suggest other routes as well that you can combine with this one for longer trip if you want - there is much more out there. But I'm assuming you are coming on 500s or some such. Anything bigger will limit you greatly in your options in LEsotho.

Would appreciate if you can send some suggestions/routes - jldevos58@gmail.com.  Plan is for the 500s.  As you have mentioned before in the other 500 thread, it makes many things just so much easier.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 24, 2019, 02:51:52 pm
Day 3 - Semonkong to Thaba Tseka via Mantsonyane shortcut

The objective of the day was to make it to Thaba Tseka via well known Mantsonyane shortcut. Bertie again opted for his own individual program with bassically meant getting to Thaba Tseka on tar enjoying the twisties. Here is the planned route:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4918/46433853271_cbd00cff38_b.jpg)


And here is umpteenth repost of my video of the best bit of that Mantsonyane shortcut, another ride I have done few years back on TE630 just in other direction, from Thaba Tseka to Semonkong:




After all the rock bashing of prior two days, we woke up late to a very slow start. After lengthy breakfast, we eventually moved out leisuredly way past 9:00 am. First order of the day was to fuel up at the local petrol station (using the word losely here):


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4892/46369730991_0e54da6596_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4915/45457180765_3a62096acd_b.jpg)


Next stop was the obligatory detour to the main tourist attraction of Semokong (and Lesotho) - Maletsunyane waterfall:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4841/44552926980_85e6d0d19b_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4815/46369794271_8b97e8a94e_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4842/46318872192_420df33338_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4905/45457246055_2078eac963_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4857/46369874641_380478cdc3_b.jpg)


Merry bunch, this lot:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4845/46319034182_5b8fdcc197_b.jpg)


Some more merriment: Tony is one of those old lizzards, who until very recently didn't know that smartphones exist and calling him on his old pushbuttony cell phone was always a thrilling adventure not knowing which part of the message got through and which got scrambled in the inner circuits of that Nokia or whatever it was. But once shown just a glimpse of the wonders of the modern mobile photography - specifically panorama - he turned right back 6 again:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4872/44617254200_463d6e233b_b.jpg)


No, that is not photoshop, just Tony running behind Greg from one side of the picture to the other while Greg was panning the panorama froms left to right.

After that we bid farewell to Bertie who was going to do his own route and jumped on the hardpack dirt road heading back to Semonkong. By this stage I have spent many days riding 1st and 2nd gear through gnarly passes (I was in Lesotho already week before guys arrived) so I couldn't resist twisting 500s ear a bit and show off my powersliding proves. So naturally in about second turn I made an ass of myself and overcooked it (or my preffered explanation - rear C02 provided much much less grip on very hard packed dirt with just slight layer f lose seasoning on top) and wiped out at about 50 kmh. Apart from little bruise I emerged from this little incident unscathed (goes without saying that 500 as well - its a dirt bike build to crash, not fragile adventure bike), but from then on I took it extra easy on all hardpacked dirt roads.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 24, 2019, 03:18:44 pm
With all those diversions we have reached the dirt road in Semokong heading towards Mantsonyane shortcut only at about 11:00 am. We dealt quickly with the initial 20 - 30 km of dirt roads until we turned off onto the jeep track heading towards the Senquanyane river escarpment - the main obstacle on this route (the one shown in the video).

After we km we reached the village on top of the track heading down the escarpment. I sent Greg and Tony ahead as I knew this was the bit where I'm going to loose my dignity and didn't want them to witness that from up close. The initial section going down escarpment is steep downhill mostly on naked rock (old washed out road) with big rocks laying losely strewn on top of that rockface. This and steep off-cambers freak me out the most as I have a feeling that my front wheel is going to wash out any moment on one of the rocks and I'm going to faceplant down the hill. I would merrily ride this in the opposite direction going up, but going down I just frooze and ended up walking the bike down the worst 100 - 200 meters.

Greg and Tony rode down without worry in their mind and waited half way down together with about half of the vilage who walked with them down.

Greg heading down towards the start of the real descent, followed by Tony:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4914/46369980951_014646a6a2_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4824/45647092314_c86d1bef95_b.jpg)


Kids excited about upcoming show:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4809/44553123080_15d31a3780_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4839/45647140184_81c7486d46_b.jpg)


The eagle's view on the worst bit of the road straight below:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4873/45457485465_3a7a6a77de_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4835/45647170884_ff78d64c7c_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4887/45457538485_fe88da2cce_b.jpg)


Senyqanyane valley below with the track on the other side of the river somewhat visible:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4804/44553218260_5ffbc20d9d_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4822/45647246914_7fdeb5a2c7_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4804/32498408328_67843479ab_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4901/32498423068_26f457f7be_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4894/45457619185_6346954d8c_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4804/44553218260_5ffbc20d9d_b.jpg)


Eventually (after long wait for the other two) we made it to the bottom of the valley where there is pedestrian bridge over Senquanyane. It was way past noon now, so we took lunch break in the shade of the bridge, before heading up the other side of the valley:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4812/45457643095_4c7a67737c_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4803/44553292470_3fa98eba61_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4909/44553313920_04792df1da_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 24, 2019, 10:21:52 pm
After the lunch break we crossed the bridge and hit the track climbing up the valley on the other side. The bottom part is the steepest and there are one or two places that can catch one out (last time I was here I got stuck on one of those and spent quite some time getting unstuck - but I was on my own). This time we all managed to clear all the obstacles without too much drama and made it to the flatter upper bit quickly:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4831/31431134207_df69e1b332_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4879/31431193687_fd7e72204c_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4878/44553421880_e813d4c3ba_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4913/31431247007_70fa212acc_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4901/31431294137_3e18a91133_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4910/32498696178_b9bc86ac5b_b.jpg)


The flat bit was the end of the toughest bit, but there were still few workouts before we made it to the village and jeep track on the top of the range:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4899/45647596964_1aaff4a8e5_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4853/31436584657_8a4f3a6c3e_b.jpg)


Greg and the track we came down on behind him:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4806/31436605637_2afded81eb_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4845/45463431835_17531be263_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4886/46375915421_1a1245714a_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4883/45652969664_5b3201cac3_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4896/46325043492_750b752629_b.jpg)


We took a breather at the top of the ridge, being hackled by the locals with their usual vocabulary of 'give me something' and 'sweets':


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4861/46325076562_ec213106f3_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4860/31436721837_02ff8499c7_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4876/46376040551_92a171fbb8_b.jpg)


The jeep track from there follows the ridge mostly north all the way to Mantsonyane about 40 km away. While much easier than the Senqyanyane river crossing it is still a workout and can catch one out in few places:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4827/31436770807_d93acb6025_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4909/45463608085_c489dbec6a_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4910/45463615815_9e3b4859df_b.jpg)


Interesting track on the other side of the valley, maybe some other time...


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4904/45653127184_6bb41239f1_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4906/46376112261_c857ba75cb_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4832/46325202822_a86ecd20d4_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4881/45463652745_089459a772_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4831/46325237042_85ae68c414_b.jpg)


Few km before Mantsonyane, the track connects to the dirt road heading south east towards villages deeper in the valley that side. I have plotted our route that way as there is another abandoned and very rocky service road there connecting to Thaba Tseka and bypassing tar from Mantsonyane. That was our original plan, but by the time we arrived to the crossing it was way past 3:00 pm and Tony and I were knackered. Greg, who was there first didn't wait for us and rode out straight towards the service road (which is another 30 km away).

Tony and I weren't keen to follow, so we just laid down at the crossing and waited for the youngster (he was youngest of the group in his early 40s) to realize that we really don't want to do it, which took him quite a while. He eventually turned back and returned and all three of us rode down to Mantsonyane where we located local petrol seller and filled up:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4835/46376178801_742ca6b20e_b.jpg)

With that sorted we jumped on tar A3 and cruised over the high pass to Thaba Tseka about 50 km away. We have arrive there just as the sun was setting, filled up again at the chinese petrol station and got to the Motherland guesthouse. Bertie was already there - though he arrived only shortly before, as the tar road is much longer than the shortcut us three took (plus he got lost).

We had dinner at the guesthouse and retreated to our rooms for early night - the three days of rigorous riding were starting to take its toll on us.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Malcolm on January 25, 2019, 01:42:49 pm
Awesome stuff as always Mr Xpat.  Thanks for sharing, looking forward to the route file   ;)
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Highsider on January 25, 2019, 03:28:22 pm
This RR is making me want to add some teeth to my sprocket...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 25, 2019, 03:37:06 pm
Awesome stuff as always Mr Xpat.  Thanks for sharing, looking forward to the route file   ;)

I will post tracks in the end.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 25, 2019, 03:38:28 pm
This RR is making me want to add some teeth to my sprocket...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I thought you already did. Honestly, there was nothing on this trip as tough as that waterfall section going up from Sehlabatthebe. I believe this would be perfect loop for you and your other 500 mates.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: IanTheTooth on January 25, 2019, 11:51:57 pm
The waterfall section: As Iain said, someday someone will find the proper way through!
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 26, 2019, 12:26:45 am
The waterfall section: As Iain said, someday someone will find the proper way through!

I see nothing wrong with the waterfall section Ian. It's the sieve - if you make it through there, you know you will make it all the way to Sani  ;)
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Highsider on January 26, 2019, 05:50:58 am
This RR is making me want to add some teeth to my sprocket...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I thought you already did. Honestly, there was nothing on this trip as tough as that waterfall section going up from Sehlabatthebe. I believe this would be perfect loop for you and your other 500 mates.
Yes I have fitted a 52 on the back.  My comment above was figurative, along the lines of “I gotta grow me a pair and go get me some of that action”.  Your Lesotho RR are simply outstanding and motivational.
The waterfall route at Sehlathebe almost broke me; it was for me the fear of failure and the unknown which I had to overcome.  Like the journey down the river in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.
That day was a big learning curve; it permanently pushed my comfort zone limit out a good few notches.
Having done that section, I would do it again.  More prepared this time for what was coming. 
I’m looking forward to the rest of the RR and the tracks. 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 27, 2019, 04:58:04 pm
Day 4 - Thaba Tseka to Katse Dam

Last riding day of the trip. I have deliberatelly planned it as a relatively easy as I expected that we will be tired after 3 days of proper rock bashing. Still, even though easier than prior days - there was still nice riding to be done following rarely used roads I've found last year on the high ground east of the Malibiamatso river for the first half and then dropping down to the river and following along it all the way to the Katse dam wall in the second.


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7809/32561836148_3fac45aaaa_b.jpg)


Bertie was to join the rest of us on this one (he still didn't know his leg is broken  :peepwall:), while on the other way I wasn't going all the way to Katse, but was to split off half way through and head for Village Chief road on the way to Mokhotlong for another of my many failed attempts at riding up to the Orange river source (yes I have managed to get there eventually but 3 trips later and it will be subject of different RR).

It ended up little diffently - at one stop where there the roads split I had checked my phoneto see if we are on the right track and gave Greg and Tony who were riding sharp end the go ahead and only then realized that the other road crossing over to Senqu valley, which wasn't part of our route, may with a bit of a luck actually allow me to cross Senqu river offroad and connect to A3 - thus finding new exciting track between TT and Mokhotlong. So I just sent my farewell to Greg and Tony via Bertie and unceremoniously went my own way. I didn't manage to find way across Senqu there that day and had to retrace to Village Chief Road, but we have manage to cross there eventually with Losper about month later - so yes, there is another very interesting track available there, but again that will be subject of another report.

The other three made it without glitch to Katse dam in the early afternoon, and from what they were saying really did enjoy the river section as it was something different from the prior 3 days (and much easier  >:D). As the main group photographer was out of the picture so the speak, we will have to rely on the very few pictures these three took between themselves. Which will make for very short installment  :imaposer: - here goes:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4879/46325305392_9d14c5b258_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4870/45463748455_ce63754558_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4810/45653241224_5d416666ee_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4872/44559333590_fa149cd949_b.jpg)


The river section:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4813/44559335950_762cb28228_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4899/46376266631_d76d5c0ce8_b.jpg)


Tony unleashing his inner creativity child again:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4890/44559340100_7a226b5509_b.jpg)


Katse dam:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4879/45710811404_c7eca99eec_b.jpg)


And some parting sentimental shots:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4859/45710810904_49699e5ec0_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7837/44617246550_7cc1d4349b_b.jpg)


Thanks for following. I will attach the GPS routes to the first post for easy reference.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 27, 2019, 05:03:45 pm
The GPS tracks are now attached to the first post.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: roxenz on January 29, 2019, 11:22:58 am
Wow! I wouldn't have thought of taking a motorbike where you guys go! Unless it is a 1:72 scale model in my backpack while I'm hiking those mountains...  :biggrin:

Brilliant RR, enjoyed it heaps!  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 29, 2019, 11:26:00 am
Wow! I wouldn't have thought of taking a motorbike where you guys go! Unless it is a 1:72 scale model in my backpack while I'm hiking those mountains...  :biggrin:

Brilliant RR, enjoyed it heaps!  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

Cheers Roxenz  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Kortbroek on January 29, 2019, 11:27:15 am
Another great RR Xpat. The only reason I'd consider selling the XR is getting something lighter for rides like these. Ideally I should just get a second bike  :lol8:
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 29, 2019, 11:29:46 am
Another great RR Xpat. The only reason I'd consider selling the XR is getting something lighter for rides like these. Ideally I should just get a second bike  :lol8:

Just get DR650. Much better than XR, just because it has starter (good luck kicking your XR for 50th time every day), and as you posted elsewhere - much better than any KTM  >:D
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Sheepman on January 29, 2019, 11:30:09 am
Well done, again. How did the Beta do ? ( except the small tank issue )
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Xpat on January 29, 2019, 11:32:13 am
Well done, again. How did the Beta do ? ( except the small tank issue )

According to the old man who rode it very well. But at various stages he said many strange things, like 'the worst is over' that made me take anything he says with a big grain of salt.  :pot:
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Sheepman on January 29, 2019, 11:34:07 am
Cool  :lol8:
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Kortbroek on January 29, 2019, 11:52:55 am
Another great RR Xpat. The only reason I'd consider selling the XR is getting something lighter for rides like these. Ideally I should just get a second bike  :lol8:

Just get DR650. Much better than XR, just because it has starter (good luck kicking your XR for 50th time every day), and as you posted elsewhere - much better than any KTM  >:D

 :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer:

The XR only has two drawbacks for me in tech terrain, no happy button and it is very tall. But damn man if you've ridden an XRR there are just not many bikes like it at all. I need a second bike  :deal:
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: IanTheTooth on January 30, 2019, 02:43:20 am
As usual Xpat is quite correct.
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Straatkat on February 02, 2019, 09:25:58 pm
Thanks for documenting our ride Martin, always excellent reading about our adventures!
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: TK on February 04, 2019, 11:04:56 am
Well done, again. How did the Beta do ? ( except the small tank issue )

The Beta didn't miss a beat. Very happy with it If anything its the nut that holds the handle bars that a bit loose.  :biggrin:
Title: Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
Post by: Straatkat on February 20, 2019, 11:30:28 pm
Another great RR Xpat. The only reason I'd consider selling the XR is getting something lighter for rides like these. Ideally I should just get a second bike  :lol8:

Just get DR650. Much better than XR, just because it has starter (good luck kicking your XR for 50th time every day), and as you posted elsewhere - much better than any KTM  >:D

 :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer:

The XR only has two drawbacks for me in tech terrain, no happy button and it is very tall. But damn man if you've ridden an XRR there are just not many bikes like it at all. I need a second bike  :deal:



Dude ride a 500 ktm before you get lirical about a XRR.