Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => 'Roll of Honour' - Best Ride Reports => Topic started by: Metaljockey on October 15, 2009, 11:41:43 pm

Title: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 15, 2009, 11:41:43 pm
To clarify

The Wife
 
(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/668943377_STStr-L.jpg)



The X
 
(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653085166_FRrtQ-L.jpg)



The Kid

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653196653_5hNto-M-1.jpg)



The wife I’ve had for years, getting a bit long in the tooth already. The kid, not so long. The X, two weeks, this was going to be our introductory ride, 9000km through  South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.

And yes, I know it should be pronounced ‘cross’ and not ‘ex’, but ‘The Wife, the Cross and the Kid’ would make no sense, now would it?



Let’s get started.

Some orienteering, we’re over here.
 
(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/681944079_mrYn4-M.jpg)



This is where I meet my family, I’ve been on the X for a week already and have done 3000km following this route.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/681939746_nBert-M.jpg)


Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 15, 2009, 11:53:12 pm
Day one - Vioolsdrif to Canõn Roadhouse

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/685547542_h8ehz-M.jpg)



The happy family, ready to go.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652317858_S6WEx-L.jpg)



Vioolsdrif is on the Orange river, the Orange river is the border between South Africa and Namibia. It looks like this.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652317762_snTAx-L.jpg)



Embarrassingly the wife’s DRZ runs out of fuel as we enter the Namibian border control, and we have to lie it on the ground to get the last dregs from the non petcock side, so we can make the fuel station 2km further.

We refuel  the bikes and we refuel ourselves.  

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652318059_gu7YY-L.jpg)



My plan is a short run down the river and then an off-road ride through the Kamgab Canyon (thanks Jacko) just to get the joints nice and loose. Just 187km for the day, giving some leeway for the inevitable getting away late and other first day niggles.

Next to the river on the Namibian side there are some vineyards and this is how some of the labourers live.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652318120_HwKtV-L.jpg)



The road next to the river is nice fast gravel.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652318163_98Den-L.jpg)



This is the first time I ride with Peanut (the Kid) and the luggage all together and my first impression is that it is hellova cramped. I’m having to resort to the pannier position, one testicle each side of tank.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652318185_muC2W-L.jpg)



We turn off into the canyon and it looks like it was a good choice.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652318260_TZyEk-L.jpg)



Harsh country but good riding.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652318497_yfTik-L.jpg)



Namibia has a knack of making one feel small.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652318322_EkCAg-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652318376_t4sf4-L.jpg)



Tharina is styling it, looking like she knows what she is doing.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652318521_xSknP-L.jpg)



And another pic just because I like the look of the X.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652318439_yWuKf-L.jpg)



Coming out of the canyon, we stop for a rest and some water. Did I mention I like the way the X looks?

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652318708_qogMu-L.jpg)



A closer look at the stick above reveals this.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652318555_pZH7z-L.jpg)



And even closer.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/671220795_WjD3h-L.jpg)



From here it is good gravel to Canõn Roadhouse where we get a nice campsite, and eat well in the restaurant. The first day went off well, there’s a long way to go still and starting off on the right foot is heartening.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Sprocketbek on October 16, 2009, 02:58:25 am
Beaut pics so far MJ.
You just have the knack with RR's................
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: JustBendIt on October 16, 2009, 05:17:53 am
Howzit Eric and Family

I last saw you guys when we left RAW (KTM Richtersveld event early Aug) and your wife and daughter had arrived to join you - you guys are all obviously well if this ride report is coming through - keep it coming - your stuff is great

Cheers

Justin

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Brink on October 16, 2009, 06:07:45 am
Another classic in the making :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Eselbank on October 16, 2009, 06:18:34 am
This could get very interesting - keep it rolling bru!  :drif:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: edgy on October 16, 2009, 07:16:35 am
Subscribed! :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Dusty on October 16, 2009, 07:24:09 am
This is going to be good  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Puddles on October 16, 2009, 07:30:56 am
Lovely RR & Pics ... it's such a great experience to do a trip like this with your family !!!  :3some:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Kykdaar on October 16, 2009, 07:34:55 am
 :drif: <subscribe>
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: CHorse on October 16, 2009, 07:44:02 am
Enjoying this...and it's only just started  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Trailrider on October 16, 2009, 07:55:36 am
Keep going! ;D
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS on October 16, 2009, 07:55:47 am
Finally my waiting for this one is over!   :drif:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: mtbbiker on October 16, 2009, 07:56:16 am
Subscribed!   8)
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: JustBiking on October 16, 2009, 07:58:10 am
Another classic in the making :thumleft:

+ 1 - <subscribe>    :thumleft:

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Oupa Foe-rie on October 16, 2009, 08:01:13 am
 :happy1: Ek sien uit na hierdie RR  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Pistonpete on October 16, 2009, 08:35:06 am
subscribe
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: EtienneXplore on October 16, 2009, 08:50:48 am
Whoo Hoo !!!

Thank you for treating us to another awesome Ride Report, cannot wait for the rest!!!


ps. Your Ex is pretty hot!  :drif: :drif:


 :biggrin:
 
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Diesel & Dust on October 16, 2009, 09:14:53 am
My, how your kid has grown

I only read your Angola etc reports yesterday :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: IceCreamMan on October 16, 2009, 09:18:16 am
Metaljockey , u get to places i only dream about ... i salute you for posting these rides because i live them vacariously.

 :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 16, 2009, 09:19:19 am
Day Two- Canõn Roadhouse to Brukkaros Crater

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/684595208_MNhnX-M.jpg)



Our camp the next morning.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652318761_nQDSj-L.jpg)



At sunrise I’m on top of the mountain.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652318842_YyJa9-L.jpg)



There are only six campsites, but nicely spaced. Notice the overlander trucks .

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652318830_pdzG7-L.jpg)



There is a bitterly cold wind blowing. We have to go via Keetmanshoop for fuel and by the time we get there the cold has become such a factor that we abandon our plans to get to Brukkaros and we scout around for a place to stay.

ChrisL warned us that August is the worst month to travel Namibia, and he was right. Right about the East Wind, right about the cold and right about the haziness. But what can you do, this is the time we could manage, so this is the time we’re going.

We pull into the Quiver Tree Forest Rest Camp and make camp right by the ablutions to try and get out of the wind.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652319381_nnqTp-L.jpg)



Peanut is keen to learn how to pitch her own tent, so I help out with some handy pointers.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652318906_ZVuQU-L.jpg)



Some Meerkat checking out the action.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652318864_2yhiA-L.jpg)
 


Peanut gets to practise her levitation while watching warthogs.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652319170_N6iRA-L.jpg)



One of the fattest ones I have ever come across. Clearly life is good when you are eating from the kitchen.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652319125_wx7Vh-L.jpg)



The Rest Camp also does work with Cheetah rehabilitation and at feeding time we can enter the cage and watch them up close.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652318925_uanA4-L.jpg)



Some are kept in open camps.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652319204_pGCvc-L.jpg)



Tharina has a fascination with Quiver trees and she goes off to take some sunset pics while I get a fire going. She comes back with these.



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652319342_Zjmzq-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652319235_Cr6m2-L.jpg)



And check out this one.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652319310_b6FxQ-XL.jpg)
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: growweblaar on October 16, 2009, 09:27:34 am
Nice  :thumleft:

How does the Kid find the pillioning?
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: JackShit on October 16, 2009, 09:39:14 am
Ons het lank gewg MJ, maar dit lyk asof dit weereens die moeite werd sal wees! Baie dankie. Ek vermoed dat hierdie RR in 'n hele paar gevalle gebruik sal word as oorredings-materiaal om mamma te laat toestem tot 'n lekker trip!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 16, 2009, 10:00:11 am
Nice  :thumleft:

How does the Kid find the pillioning?

She loves it, when we get on the bike it's "Lets go!" and whooping and waving at the inevitable spectators, and when we stop it's a new universe to explore. We try to take a lot of breaks, it is a holiday after all, but more than once we spent the entire day on the bikes, and she never complained, she just sleeps when she gets tired.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: MrBig on October 16, 2009, 10:02:03 am
Quote
ChrisL warned us that August is the worst month to travel Namibia, and he was right. Right about the East Wind, right about the cold and right about the haziness. But what can you do, this is the time we could manage, so this is the time we’re going.

Interesting - A few years ago I was in southern Namibia during August - we got rained on twice in three days and rode in the kakkest, coldest winds I have EVER ridden in. I still recount that road from Grunau to Upington with horror.  :D
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: cloudgazer on October 16, 2009, 10:20:33 am
Awesome stuff.
Keep it coming.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 16, 2009, 10:27:56 am
Day Three - Quiver Tree Forest, Brukkaros, Maltahöhe

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/684595276_S3Rst-M.jpg)



The next morning at sunrise I ride out to the Giant’s Playground, about 15 km away. It is an area where rock formations have eroded to the extent that it looks as if they were stacked by giants. On the way there I have the unique experience of a cheetah racing me on the other side of the fence.

It is a huge area stretching to the horizon, one can spend years here taking pictures.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652319510_DZHi6-L.jpg)



The white streaks give away which stacks are colonized by dassies (rock hyrax).

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652319454_iPnqF-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652319601_erngi-M.jpg)



Some pics.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652319431_SsMQ9-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652319555_9XrPu-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652319581_eBF4N-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652319698_hWYPy-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652319676_J38t4-L.jpg)



Check this one out, easy to see the progression.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652319631_v9sMJ-L.jpg)



We hit the road and the cold front is still with us. Around here every cold front comes from the Cape of Good Hope, and we are travelling with it. Even where I live on the other side of the continent, the cold fronts come from the Cape. I don’t know why we put up with it. The only good thing that ever comes from the Cape is the Blue Bulls on their way back from giving die streeptruie a hiding.      
    
We are using D roads. Namibia has B - tarred main roads, C - gravel main roads and D - secondary gravel roads. We choose the D roads for the lack of traffic and to see some new things. The D roads also have the benefit that it periodically resembles a track more than a gravel road. Here’s a river crossing ;
  
(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652319770_aSCex-L.jpg)



and interesting rock formation or petrified mud.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652319792_xcAui-L.jpg)



On the way the road crosses a pan. Time for some photos.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652319872_UQDJG-L.jpg)



and some water.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652319831_XCobs-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652319846_mziQ2-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652319988_tzWXY-L.jpg)



That there in front is Brukkaros crater. On these plains you can ride for hours and always have the crater in sight.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320005_UYcfR-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320043_Hube5-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320059_37gwc-L.jpg)



Time to hit the road again, and I must say, really lekker riding, I can feel the trip seeping into my bones. That deep peace you get when you are on the road and there is no schedule and no fixed itinerary, just moving along sucking up the surrounds.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320078_mcKSj-L.jpg)



Some freaky white quartz, the size of dove eggs right here on the purple shale.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320132_PbLBQ-L.jpg)



When we get to Brukkaros I am glad that we did not arrive here yesterday afternoon as was planned. All three camp sites are out of commission due to renovations and there is no water.

I had read that one needs to stay overnight when coming to Brukkaros, because the best views are to be had by hiking a couple of kms to the far rim. We are not going to stay over now, so we take our leave without seeing the good stuff. What I can tell you is that from what we saw it is pretty spectacular, and well worth doing.

The track leading up to the camp sites is pretty rough. It is steep and used to be cemented for traction but this has since broken up and washed away. Tharina went up without any hitches and I am quite chuffed, but I expect trouble on the way down. She has a major hang up with anything that remotely resembles a downhill. It’s bad, believe me.

It stems from a trip that we did in Lesotho. Tharina was on the 640. It was just one of those unfortunate hills. It was very loose and very steep and pretty long. If you were on the right line and you were applying your skills properly, it was no problem. If you were two feet off the line, it was going to turn into a downhill runaway scenario, with or without brakes.
She was two feet off the line.
The resultant runaway and the off at the bottom of the hill flipped a switch in her head. She had never been in a situation where a bike picked up speed whilst the wheels were locked and she lost all confidence in the ability of the bike to descend in a controlled manner.
The very next downhill, which was just nothing at all, she just could not force herself to let go. The moment the bike inched forward, she would grab the front brake in a panic. Try as I may, since then I have not been able to get her past this head problem/obstacle.

Back to Brukkaros. I am fully expecting to have to take her bike down. But she takes me by surprise. Only once does she stop to ask about lines and from there she rides down in one go. This track is several levels more technical than other stuff where I have seen her freeze up before. I am well impressed and very happy.

Lovely views, down below you can see the town of Berseba.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320205_NWerN-L.jpg)



We hit the road again heading towards Maltehohe. It’s a zigzag route of various D-roads and it turns out to be a fantastic variety of surfaces. From loose black rocks the size of kidneys, to corrugation, to deep sandy river crossings, to freshly graded surfaces, to just about anything you can think of. We ride hard because we bit off a little more than we should have. We expected to sleep over at Brukkaros and have a whole day to do this section.

We only stop once in the late afternoon to discuss whether to make camp next to the road or push through to Maltehöhe. So forgive the shortage of pics. I did take this one.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320217_2Ht92-XL.jpg)



There are some little forgotten and ignored settlements in Namibia that seems to eek out a living in the middle of desolation. We pass through Kutenhoas, which is a miniature example of a society being torn apart and destroyed by alcohol.

Just before sunset the DRZ runs out of fuel. I fitted a long range Clarke for this trip and it transformed this bike (thanks Topbox). Where it used to get about 190km to a tank, today it runs dry at 356km. Happy happy! The X has a 25l combined capacity and if we share it out equally between the bikes, we can do 450km before needing to carry extra fuel. So that’s what we do, I take 4l from the X and the DRZ can do another 100 km.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320313_2f5KN-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320262_FvuWu-L.jpg)



We are riding hard again but a Kudu-scare quickly brings the pace down to about 80km/h. Shortly thereafter it gets dark and our speed goes down to about 30-40km/h. The road surface is sandy ridges and corrugation. Both these bikes are fitted with headlights that appear to be there only to make you visible to other road users. They sure as hell were not designed to light your way.  

By the time we crawl into Maltehöhe we are very, very happy to lay eyes on the Maltehöhe hotel, and almost as happy to chug a couple of Windhoek Draughts to get the putty out of the gullet.

I can recommend the Maltehöhe hotel, nice rooms out back, good food, cold beer and a very friendly owner, Jurgen, who will stamp and post your Hotel postcards on your behalf. They even have a website.

Another interesting thing; on a farm just outside Maltehöhe is a pan that gets covered in pink and white vlei lilies for about 5 days in January or February depending on the rain. Judging by the pictures it is really something spectacular to see. If I’m ever in Namibia that time of year, I’ll certainly make a plan to come by here.

PS. Sleeping in a proper bed with linen can be quite a pleasant experience from time to time.



Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: JC on October 16, 2009, 10:31:08 am
awesome so far MJ  subscribed

Does the kid ever ride with Tharina? 
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Shotgun on October 16, 2009, 10:36:49 am
Subscribe..
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Mother on October 16, 2009, 10:52:36 am
nice....man :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: popipants on October 16, 2009, 11:01:00 am
NO stop it!!!!!
I have work to do!!!


Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Oetie on October 16, 2009, 11:03:13 am
subscribe
what a privilige to see and share the adventure with your family!!!
 :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Go Big on October 16, 2009, 11:06:55 am
Nice

Where did you keep the dog the whole time I see you let it out at the border  :imaposer:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 16, 2009, 11:50:18 am
awesome so far MJ  subscribed

Does the kid ever ride with Tharina? 

No.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Steady on October 16, 2009, 11:53:01 am
Superb, as always. :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Puddles on October 16, 2009, 12:49:49 pm
Wow ... wow .... wow .... your pics are "out of this world"  :thumleft:  ... can't wait for our next trip ...  :-\
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: oo7 on October 16, 2009, 01:28:28 pm
MJ, with pic's and narrative like this, why do you waste time posting here?

If I were you I will sommer gooi directly in "'Roll of Honour' - Best Ride Reports"

 :thumleft:

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: fat b on October 16, 2009, 02:22:50 pm
Very nice RR so far .Subscribed
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Wooly Bugger on October 16, 2009, 03:11:52 pm
Very nice RR so far .Subscribed

+1
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: roxenz on October 16, 2009, 03:31:12 pm
OK, work'll have to take a  break now...   :biggrin:  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Gee S on October 16, 2009, 03:34:10 pm
Great RR. Keep it coming.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Beagle Boy on October 16, 2009, 04:01:00 pm
Awesome RR, love the fact that the family does this as a unit  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: >>Thump°C on October 16, 2009, 04:07:10 pm
Awesome RR, love the fact that the family does this as a unit  :thumleft:
+ plensch
excellent stuff dude

BTW, that first pic, did your wife have you on your knees again?
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Hentie @ Riders on October 16, 2009, 04:34:26 pm
Dit lyk verwoed nice  :drif:  :drif:  :thumleft:  :thumleft:  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Wolweseun on October 16, 2009, 05:16:37 pm
 :peepwall:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: edgy on October 16, 2009, 05:24:13 pm
You need a publisher boet!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Marnus on October 16, 2009, 06:00:10 pm
Wow - excellent stuff!  It looks like a different planet altogether.

And so special to be able to do it as a family - count your blessings  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: JourneyMan on October 16, 2009, 06:37:47 pm
Great stuff MJ! Keep it coming. 8)
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: KTM BIGGER on October 16, 2009, 07:00:01 pm
As always a great report.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: THROTTLE JOCKEY on October 16, 2009, 07:18:23 pm
You are in a country I love. ENJOY. If  your feet have ever walked the dunes of the South West you will always be a South Wester. :ricky:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Iron Shark on October 16, 2009, 07:23:24 pm
Stunning pics and a great RR mate!   :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Jman on October 16, 2009, 07:29:29 pm
Awesome stuff, thanks for sharing  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Lootch67 on October 16, 2009, 09:53:34 pm
Glad I didn't see this when I was still at the office. Boss would've moered me!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Lourens ツ on October 16, 2009, 10:46:48 pm
I love your pics!!!  Excellent RR!   :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: RobC on October 16, 2009, 11:03:38 pm
Man that was a good RR and to have done it as a family makes it extra special!
Thanks for sharing and inspiring! :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Tonteldoos on October 17, 2009, 01:13:04 am
Nice one!!  :drif:
Why must I start reading this in da middle of the night  ::)
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Jovan on October 17, 2009, 05:27:41 am
awesome RR

inspirational stuff!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Frannarossi on October 17, 2009, 09:38:56 am
Great RR so far,thanks for sharing :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Plothond on October 17, 2009, 12:11:35 pm
Great  :thumleft:

Love the pics and looking forward to the rest - always good
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: funacide on October 17, 2009, 02:07:31 pm
Simply awesome stuff MJ (as usual). You know of course that I hate you because I can't go on a trip right now and your report makes me want to pack the bike and leave today...

Awesome report thanks and keep it coming soon please!!!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Jay on October 17, 2009, 03:05:38 pm
Life does not get better than that MJ...... Life is good  ;D

Fantastic RR  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Bessie on October 17, 2009, 06:54:50 pm
you are one lucky guy!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Swanniebraai on October 17, 2009, 07:09:32 pm
Subscribed - Front seat!   :happy1:

MJ your RR's hit the "kwyl-klier  :drif:", allways!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Bumblebee on October 17, 2009, 08:18:29 pm
I'm along for this Ride

Awsome stuff, Dude! :thumleft:

Keep us posted
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: XT JOE on October 18, 2009, 06:02:58 pm
Yes really nice, thanks for super nam pictures.  :)
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: SACK on October 18, 2009, 07:49:19 pm
Great stuff Sir!

If I may ask, how old is your daughter now and when did she first start riding with you? Also, did your wife want to get her own bike or did you suggest it?

Looking forward to the next installment.
Makes me want ro ride.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: White Stripes on October 18, 2009, 08:32:53 pm
Moerse cool MJ. Lovely place to visit. Waiting for the rest.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Stofstreep on October 18, 2009, 09:55:29 pm
MJ, I love this RR!!!
You and your wife style of Photography is fantastic and really inspirational to me!
I'm keeping my eyes on this one, for places to put on my must see list ;D
Brukkaros Crater: Check
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: eikeboom on October 18, 2009, 10:14:49 pm
Awesome to say the least. Photos, story, everything.
 ;D
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: DRAZIL on October 18, 2009, 10:39:06 pm
Totally enjoyable,great bonding experiance with the family. :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 18, 2009, 11:49:02 pm
Day Four -  Maltahöhe to Solitaire

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/684595324_xkHrr-M.jpg)



Solitaire has that solitary thing going. Or it used to. Fifteen years ago it was a fuel pump and a shop sitting solitary out on it’s own on the dusty C14. In the shop you could get fresh apple crumble. This apple crumble was written up in travel magazines as the best in the world.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320328_inWmD-M.jpg)



Now tourists from all over the world come here to have apple crumble. There is now a lodge, camping, two shops, a garage and a restaurant. And if you were looking for some solitude, it’s not in Solitaire anymore.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320385_unhop-M.jpg)



Oh, and the apple crumble you ask? It’s ok.

Namibia has actually changed quite a bit recently. Tourism is very well developed in certain parts of the country. Luxury lodges have sprouted all over and they aren’t scared to charge a pretty penny either. A room generally goes for anything from R800 pp (yes, per person) to R3000 pp per night. At Canõn Roadhouse for instance a beer is R16 and a double Brannas & Coke will set you back R45.

You generally get two kinds of tourist, self drive and overlander truck groups. The C14 has plenty of these. A vehicle would come past at least every 10 – 20 minutes.

We thought that by doing this trip just after the July school holidays, we will have the place to ourselves. What we did not take into account is that August is high season for the entire Northern Hemisphere. So the whole of Europe is over here on holiday. Germans, Spanish, Dutch and a lot of Italians all over.

We check out the lodge and it is full. We check out the camping but it is just too busy, so we decide to ride to the first guest farm that looks lekker. Just 500m down the road we get a turn-off to Solitaire Guest Farm & Desert Ranch. http://www.solitaireguestfarm.com (http://www.solitaireguestfarm.com) . The road in is a red sandy affair that is a joy to ride if you go at 70km/h. This turns out to be a wonderful place with pool, honesty bar and everything else you could want, including a hospitable Simone to make you feel welcome. They also have four camp sites, each with its own private ablutions. I can highly recommend this spot.

There’s a tame springbuck that likes to kiss, or lick the salt off people’s faces, who knows?

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320436_5Rw2V-L.jpg)



Note the Pratley putty on his horns; springbuck are notoriously combative little bastards. This one hasn’t become too much of a problem yet, but better safe than holey, haha.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320507_A7QuZ-M.jpg)



The kid is getting on nicely with the tent pitching thing, I am only needed at the last step where the poles have to be bent to fit.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320563_HVQHd-L.jpg)



At long last it looks like we have outrun that cold front, or maybe we are far enough north to be shot of the cold weather for the rest of the trip. We go to bed happy and content. Tomorrow we ride the Spreetshoogte and Remhoogte passes.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320587_SNS9q-L.jpg)


Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 18, 2009, 11:52:30 pm
Thank you everybody for the replies.

If I may ask, how old is your daughter now and when did she first start riding with you? Also, did your wife want to get her own bike or did you suggest it?

She is five now and started riding with me about a year ago.

Tharina wanted a bike, she says she has no interest in sitting on the back of a bike with a sore ass getting pummelled by the wind for hours on end. I get that.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 19, 2009, 12:16:13 am
Day 5 – Solitaire to Swakopmund

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/684595525_bj8ku-M.jpg)



The next morning it’s like a zoo, with springbuck eating books and meerkat using our tent as a playpen.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320613_63QNc-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320686_Z98Wo-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320727_7N5tB-L.jpg)



Cute little nippers.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320786_eJuMi-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320886_NUh6K-L.jpg)



It’s a most beautiful setting on the grasslands with the mountains as backdrop. The kid also wants to take pictures but we think it best to ease her into it with the tripod only.
(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320671_Ci7N7-L.jpg)



This here is a Rosy Faced Love Bird. They occur naturally from the Southern Border Right up to the Northern Border of Namibia.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320914_KBnTH-L.jpg)



Our first order of business is to do a loop up the Spreetshoogte pass and down the Remhoogte pass. The Spreetshoogte pass is not open to vehicles that are towing anything. It turns out to be not that extreme at all but it also turns out to be really beautiful. One should descend it if you have a choice. Tharina’s downhill phobia that I referred to before, is the reason we chose to go up.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652320943_dt7Yg-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652321020_jfXX9-L.jpg)



When we finish the loop, we are back at Solitaire and it is close to mid day. When Tharina met me in Vioolsdrif she brought the flu with her. Today is the day that the flu peaks, she is coughing and her eyes are so sensitive to light that water just streams out of them wetting her helmet foam. She just feels like crap and the better thing would be to get her into a proper bed for the rest of the day. So we try to get a room at the lodge we camped at last night – sorry, rooms fully booked, camping too. We check the lodge at Solitaire – sorry fully booked. Now and then when your girl really needs you to step up and organize some luxury, one likes to perform. I really want to, but it is not to be.

So after having had lunch and wasting time to try to get accommodation, when we finally decide to hit the road to Swakopmund, it is late. I am not too happy with the decision.  We have already done 150km this morning doing the passes loop. The C14 is one shitty piece of road. It is as wide as 4- 5 lanes of traffic. Now that sounds quite lekker but it isn’t. It is probably one of the most used C-roads and therefor in a bad condition. A narrower road would have had clear tracks, but because this thing is so wide, cars and trucks go all over to avoid corrugation and holes. So you cannot pick a line because there is none. Just corrugation, ruts, sandy ridges and then extended sandy parts full of tracks, all at high speed because the thing is so wide and we are late.

I have modified the DRZ quite a bit to allow Tharina to get her feet on the ground; this includes changed rear suspension linkages and dropping all preload. It gets the job done but unfortunately messes up the geometry and consequently the handling.

I ride at her 4 o’clock and I get too clear a view of the DRZ repeatedly getting out of shape at 100km/h. When it starts going ape shit she jumps up on the pegs and gasses it. That’s right and that’s how I taught her but it’s not a good thing to watch in real time. I pull her over and we turn the damper up. It looks like it is a little better but this road is not nice, and Tharina is not fresh and perky. When she hits those sand ridges combined with heavy corrugation especially, the bike just gets violently out of shape.
 
Watching her ride turns into an ordeal for me. I know that if she goes down at this speed on this road, she’s gonna get hurt properly, braking bones and shit. Twice I feel the adrenaline shooting into my scalp when I think she's going down, but she rides the throttle hard and long, and she pulls it through.

But the reality of it is, that this is what I expect of her every time I go away on a trip. She sits at home not knowing if I’m going to come back happy, broken or not at all. And this is her choice, she wanted to do this trip, she is a grown woman who knows the risk and accepts it. I should respect that. So for my own sanity I fall back a kilometer or two. Not having to see it makes it easier.

When the C 14 finally leaves the plains and turn into the Kuiseb canyon I feel really relieved.  Slower speeds and better surface.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652321003_JgjkK-XL.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652321244_8upXe-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652321041_RipZF-L.jpg)



Out of the canyon and onto the desert plain and it is easy fast riding, and beautiful, I can feel her enjoying it as much as I am now. I love this country, testing you and rewarding you, always and in so many ways.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/682425585_CSYg9-XL.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/682425529_FsMga-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652321141_jMQzv-L.jpg)



As always , the coastal strip is foggy and cold as we hit the 40km tar between Walvisbaai and Swakop. When we pull into Swakopmund half frozen, we get a nice self catering unit at Alte Brücke and take off our filthy clothes and have a hot shower and get into bed – for two days.

We talk about the day’s riding and how crap the C14 was. I am taken aback when Tharina says that she never felt that the bike was out of control, never thought that she may lose it. And here I was having one panic attack after another watching her. Probably one of those things that just looks a lot worse than it is.

One noteworthy thing. There is a pizza called a Napolitana at the Napolitana restaurant in Swakopmund with springbuck, chili, garlic, mint, etc. in a calzone. This is the best pizza in the world.  The best pizza in the world. If you are ever in Swakopmund, remember, Napolitana.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652321370_yycV6-L.jpg)



Oh yeah, another thing, there is a bar right on the beach at the south end of town called Tiger Reef. Also recommended.



Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: funacide on October 19, 2009, 01:03:43 am
Hey MJ

Awesome stuff, keep it coming please... Looking forward to the rest.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Oppad on October 19, 2009, 01:46:03 am
In awe as usual
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: GreenMachine on October 19, 2009, 02:09:54 am
What a ride report. Thanks for sharing.

And great pictures  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Beagle Boy on October 19, 2009, 08:31:39 am
This is one fantastic RR, it’s totally inspirational to those of us dreaming of doing something like this!!  :ricky:

The pic's are fantastic   :thumleft:

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: MrBig on October 19, 2009, 12:14:45 pm
Quote
One noteworthy thing. There is a pizza called a Napolitana at the Napolitana restaurant in Swakopmund with springbuck, chili, garlic, mint, etc. in a calzone. This is the best pizza in the world.  The best pizza in the world. If you are ever in Swakopmund, remember, Napolitana.

 :biggrin:
Reminds me of something I wrote a few years ago:

"Another favourite was one night when we went to an Italian(!) place called Napolitana and asked for a focaccia as starter.
It wasn't on the menu and the waitress stared blankly at me eventually asking me to repeat my request.
After saying "focaccia" a couple times more she said replied "Yes sir, we do have avocado salad".
Unbelievably she had never HEARD of focaccia before and I had to explain it to the kitchen staff in order for them to make it!"
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Sakkie on October 19, 2009, 01:01:32 pm
Wow! I havn't read the whole RR yet , but man you have inspired me so far!

So many awesome photo's! 
It must be great to have shared it with the Wife & Kid.
This photo of your sums it up for me :

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: KAT-WP on October 19, 2009, 01:25:25 pm
really superb pic's & RR and even better 2 be able 2 do trips like this with the whole family :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Big E on October 19, 2009, 03:08:57 pm
Awesome  :drif:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 19, 2009, 04:00:22 pm
You have a lot to answer for Metal Jockey! In 2007/8 I was stuck in Northern Sweden (a particularly uninteresting part of the world), and chanced upon your ride reports - Angola, Goats, the Camel Man, etc. You single handedly inspired me to get back to the most beautiful part of the world, and to buy a bike. Now you are reaffirming my decision. Thank you!

Far out. Glad I could do some good.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS on October 19, 2009, 04:19:52 pm
Enjoying this MJ. Have to agree about that 40kms after Solitaire. Ive done it about 5 times and this year it was the worst.
Not scraping it as often as they normally do and touristnumbers would be the main reasons.
Everybody coming from Europe rents a 4x4 or a Yaris to drive where the 4x4s go.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Nardus on October 19, 2009, 04:21:40 pm
My Kroon !!

Have been waiting for this for a couple of weeks, but as always - it was worth the wait ! Thanks .... gooi mielies !!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Would I? on October 19, 2009, 04:42:24 pm
Really fantastic photo's and RR!!!!

I just love that country. Looking forward to doing a trip there with my wife.

Keep it comming.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Leo on October 19, 2009, 05:22:30 pm
MJ you're a gifted man.

Congrats on a gr8 RR.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Brakenjan on October 19, 2009, 05:49:11 pm
I don’t know why we put up with it. The only good thing that ever comes from the Cape is the Blue Bulls on their way back from giving die streeptruie a hiding.

Prophetic words MJ!  :D


I have modified the DRZ quite a bit to allow Tharina to get her feet on the ground; this includes changed rear suspension linkages and dropping all preload. It gets the job done but unfortunately messes up the geometry and consequently the handling.

I ride at her 4 o’clock and I get too clear a view of the DRZ repeatedly getting out of shape at 100km/h. When it starts going ape shit she jumps up on the pegs and gasses it. That’s right and that’s how I taught her but it’s not a good thing to watch in real time. I pull her over and we turn the damper up. It looks like it is a little better but this road is not nice, and Tharina is not fresh and perky. When she hits those sand ridges combined with heavy corrugation especially, the bike just gets violently out of shape.
 
Watching her ride turns into an ordeal for me. I know that if she goes down at this speed on this road, she’s gonna get hurt properly, braking bones and shit. Twice I feel the adrenaline shooting into my scalp when I think she's going down, but she rides the throttle hard and long, and she pulls it through.

But the reality of it is, that this is what I expect of her every time I go away on a trip. She sits at home not knowing if I’m going to come back happy, broken or not at all. And this is her choice, she wanted to do this trip, she is a grown woman who knows the risk and accepts it. I should respect that. So for my own sanity I fall back a kilometer or two. Not having to see it makes it easier.



This gave my goose bumps - it is exactly why I cannot get myself to share my passion for motorcycling with my wife (she is not interested in the pillion-thing either). It would freak me out to see her out of shape on the bike! Then again, I am clearly missing out on great experiences like yours...

Thanks MJ - as always, this is awesome stuff!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 19, 2009, 05:59:09 pm
Day Seven – Swakopmund, Uis, Brandberg

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/684595556_kWAcu-M.jpg)



Moving up the Skeleton Coast from Swakopmund is a salt road. It is made of salt and the perpetual fog next to this cold ocean keeps it wet and clear of sand.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652321382_9hG8a-L.jpg)



Turning away from the coast towards Uis you are rewarded with one of the best open desert roads to be had. Now, just try to tell me this doesn’t appeal to you.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652321508_xvpJP-L.jpg)



We ride directly inland in a cold coastal wind for 50km. Then, suddenly the wind direction reverses and the temperature shoots up by easily 15-20 degrees, leaving us totally overdressed and having to stop and get rid of clothing.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652321414_nSU3V-L.jpg)



After refueling in Uis (abandoned, bought and resurrected mining town), we travel north to get to White Lady Lodge and Camping at the foot of the Brandberg. Peanut is sleeping again.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652321524_j2S4F-L.jpg)



We get camp set up and I am just pleased as punch. We are now in the territory of the Goat Meat trip. The Goat Meat trip was one of my trips that was really special, opening my eyes as to what was possible. If you have some extra time between updates, have a look at this: Goat Meat, Good Friends and Riverbeds (http://tinyurl.com/goatmeat).

At the time I so much wanted to have Tharina experience the things that I did, because I knew that she would absolutely love it. Yet, I knew that she would probably never have the skills to do that kind of trip with me.

Let me give a little background on my wife. Tharina does not have the obsession that I and a lot of you have with bikes. She rides because I ride. Because she likes me and wants to be with me.

Regardless, she has done a lot as far as riding goes. Here’s some pics.

She did Rhodes on the DRZ.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/684913448_3sTyU-XL.jpg)



She did the Transkei many times on the DRZ.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/46902127_sZmCp-L.jpg)



She has done Gamkas kloof and Baviaans on the DRZ. She enjoyed that trip.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/190687771_dhtAf-L.jpg)



She did Lesotho on the 640. She did not enjoy that trip.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/127592873_zem6r-L.jpg)



She did a 6000km, six country trip around Southern Africa on the 1200. It blew her mind.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/99922324_xq7pw-L.jpg)



So she is well travelled, yet, she only does these trips and no riding in between. Her skill level stays pretty much stagnant.

Then we did a trip in the Northern Cape where I misjudged the difficulty level somewhat. Also, it was my first trip with my kid on the back, so I could not give the necessary support to my wife and she kakked off. I personally saw her go over the handlebars of that DRZ three times, and there were more.

But at the end of that trip I saw that she saw. She saw what it was about, where I found the joy. For the first time she felt that elation of having been pushed far past her limits and finishing the job, sore and battered maybe, but the MAN. Because she did it, she started it, she finished it, and by herself.

I think it is that trip that made all the difference. When I on a whim suggested a Namibia bike trip with the kid, she immediately responded “Yes, let’s do it”. I didn’t expect that, but there it was and in a very short time I planned my ideal route.

And now, here we are, on my ideal route, doing what I love best, with my wife and kid with me. Fucking fantastic man! Sometimes life is just so good that it feels unreal.

And Namibia delivers sunsets like only Namibia can.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652321589_Fckms-L.jpg)







This day, this night, here, right now, is where I want to be. Everything is as it should be. Look at that.







(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652321618_gnXrp-XL.jpg)




Perfection.




.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: THROTTLE JOCKEY on October 19, 2009, 06:07:16 pm
Absolute perfection!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: EtienneXplore on October 19, 2009, 06:08:03 pm
Eish.................

 :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Stofstreep on October 19, 2009, 06:31:32 pm
:drif: :drif:

A maze Ing!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Gee S on October 19, 2009, 07:16:24 pm
You are one lucky guy to have your family share your passion.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Dogless on October 19, 2009, 07:35:52 pm
Fantastiese RR. Jy't 'n yster van 'n vrou MJ!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: SGB on October 19, 2009, 08:27:54 pm
Top class story once again MJ!  Did you use one of those "strap - in" gadgets to stop the kid jumping off whilst dreaming? 
Thanks you.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: eikeboom on October 19, 2009, 08:59:44 pm
Brilliant. I'm jealous. This stuff is like art - a very personal thing to share.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: >Herman< on October 19, 2009, 09:03:05 pm
 :drif: :drif: :drif: :drif: :drif:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Fire Cracker on October 19, 2009, 09:16:17 pm
What an inspiring RR.  I cant wait to be at a skills level to do this kind of trip with my husband.  I've never been to Namibia and am now dying to go!  Hubby goes every year for fishing so now we MUST go ride it too! :)  Your wife is also an inspiration!!  Thank you :hello2: :salut:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: White Stripes on October 19, 2009, 09:19:09 pm
Merrycan must read this. It will do the trick. Thanks man!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: funacide on October 19, 2009, 10:45:32 pm
Damn MJ

You just have a way with words.... PLEASE ONE MORE TONIGHT??????? :lamer:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 20, 2009, 06:06:01 am
Top class story once again MJ!  Did you use one of those "strap - in" gadgets to stop the kid jumping off whilst dreaming? 
Thanks you.  :thumleft:

Yes, I had her strapped to me, the same system we used on the Onseepkans trip, just simplified a little.

Damn MJ

You just have a way with words.... PLEASE ONE MORE TONIGHT??????? :lamer:

Aaah sorry, went to bed already. I'll do another one today.

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: KTM BIGGER on October 20, 2009, 06:37:29 am
excellent RR
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Spore on October 20, 2009, 09:33:50 am
MJ and Family - you have my respect for doing what you do and the manner in which you do it - perfect! For me at least experiences like yours are spiritual and therefor many thanks for sharing your adventures with us. May the lonely roads and many unknown destinations never end for us!! Greetings :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 20, 2009, 11:16:23 am
Day 8 Brandberg

Brandberg is a special place, sitting on a plain on the edge of the desert, with the Ugab river skirting it’s skirts. It is part of wild Namibia, with free ranging everything, including elephant.

We are staying two nights which gives us the opportunity to explore the area today. Early morning we pull off on an attempted circumnavigation of Brandberg. I want to see the giant Welwitschias on the far side of the mountain. The easy route is there and back on gravel around the southern perimeter. Problem being the distance, and that you ride the same area twice. The tough route is one way around but it includes a short 40 km around the northern perimeter which is mostly in the Ugab river. So that’s the one we take.

The weather is perfect, cool and overcast, which surprises me, I didn’t know that the ocean fog intrudes this far into the interior. 

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652321771_J7Wrb-XL.jpg)



The first section is lovely hard packed twin track in the most beautiful surroundings. 

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652363798_t6biH-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652363429_NjMdX-XL.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652363831_FJiQS-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652363902_XzUPU-L.jpg)



Look at that style, damn!

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652363939_nJ9xQ-L.jpg)



Where the track drops into the Ugab Tharina takes a couple of minutes to get herself psyched. This is where the skills learned the hard way on the Onseepkans trip is going to show it’s worth. 

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652363996_mcEaa-L.jpg)



And off she goes!

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652364030_YqNN3-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652364072_MVmu7-L.jpg)



And so do I.
(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652364189_psi3i-L.jpg)



Our first stop is where Tharina hit the deck.   

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652364127_FfNsk-L.jpg)



She agrees, she fell for no reason, probably just nerves.

And off again



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652364164_Xe5JL-L.jpg)



As we continue up the river we stop every couple of kilometers to rest.  And the spectacular scenery astounds.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652364286_23LHn-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652364468_fxm5i-L.jpg)



Pictures can be misleading. See how controlled this looks.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652364402_L5wAJ-L.jpg)



Have a look at her track in the sand, that gives a fuller picture.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652364435_fqDMt-L.jpg)




(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652364506_ouyci-L.jpg)



It is nice manageable sand but it tires you out pretty quickly so we take a break every couple of kms.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652364546_zUJx3-L.jpg)



I start wondering about the tread left on my Michelin Desert. I can feel that I am not getting the grip I should have, a change in the revs takes too long to convert into a change of speed. I doubt these tyres are going to make the trip.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652364630_yZUjd-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652364370_yiVij-L.jpg)



Another rest stop in the shade.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652364659_hjpEX-L.jpg)



When we get to the western edge of Brandberg, we climb out of the river into the silty flood ares.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652364810_fiK4K-L.jpg)



The scenery stops you in your tracks.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652364845_Z5VJW-XL.jpg)



With the large amount of rain that Namibia had earlier this year the grass shows off the rocky ridges.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652365166_o4Asg-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652364889_fdHSV-L.jpg)



For some reason, only certain trees will be populated with nests while others have none.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652364927_Nf3Uj-L.jpg)



Can you imagine the full 180 degree picture?

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652365389_599pS-XL.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652365448_YvnLd-L.jpg)



Tiny little Welwitscia.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652365260_8rPLY-L.jpg)



We stop and just take in the views, this place is really something.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652365559_M5wJW-XL.jpg)



The mountain is actually quite expansive, the top has it’s own eco system, to ride around it, like we are doing, is a 200km trip. Check it out on Google Earth.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/686849037_DJnZr-M.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652365594_DFtaT-L.jpg)



Once you have DRZ-butt, you can pretty much sit on anything and be blissfully unaware.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652365628_X7Ugj-L.jpg)



We search but cannot find the same Welwitschias that we stopped at on the Goat Meat trip.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652365739_kdFsR-L.jpg)



We find other equally large ones though. The Namib desert is the only place on earth where they occur. And this one has been here since before the middle ages..

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652365783_bYCfe-L.jpg)



Just to give you an idea of the strength of the leaves.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652365662_X8jKG-L.jpg)



Later that afternoon we stop under a bush for lunch and have hot chocolate and biltong.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652365912_Bhres-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652365998_L7k8t-L.jpg)



The last 40 km in is this kind of thing, with herds of springbuck crossing the way every so often.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652366068_ETVcL-L.jpg)



Back at the lodge we stop in for some cold beers and firewood. Again meerkat keeps the children fascinated.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652366129_8YU8L-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652366161_39F85-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652366311_bAePE-L.jpg)



This is a special place, this was a special day.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652366508_MGZSJ-L.jpg)






Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Herms on October 20, 2009, 11:28:39 am
Inspiring stuff MJ !!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Crop Sprang on October 20, 2009, 11:46:29 am
Really Amazing RR
Well done to you all
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Puddles on October 20, 2009, 12:49:03 pm
Gosh, thank you for all your effort in putting such a great rr together. 

Much appreciated & inspiring  :thumleft:   :3some:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: dakardrix on October 20, 2009, 01:04:08 pm
 :thumleft: This is like wow man!  Showed my wife, she looks at me all funny, frowning...
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: KTM BIGGER on October 20, 2009, 01:16:54 pm
My wife is following all the way long.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Pistol on October 20, 2009, 01:28:53 pm
Just spent a whole morning reading this and the Goats meat trip - respect for you and the family, and envy from me and mine :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Reg on October 20, 2009, 01:38:40 pm
Blown away......respect.

Awesome report, keep it coming.

I got my wife to read it, hint hint.. my daughter is 2.5 now so we have a few more years to train her up.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: eSKaPe on October 20, 2009, 02:18:36 pm
Geez fantastic RR - the pics, the words, the story.... lucky man you!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: funacide on October 20, 2009, 02:25:19 pm
 :drif: :drif: :drif: :drif:

MORE, MORE, MORE, MORE, Please!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: GStry on October 20, 2009, 02:44:38 pm
Fantastic RR!  :thumleft: Fantastic pictures  :thumleft: Well done to all of you.
Holy smoke, feel like packing my kit.  :biggrin:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: bradleys on October 20, 2009, 03:15:21 pm
WOW ,what a great report and fantastic pics, you are blessedin your writing,your photography and your family,awesome just blady awesome . More please............ :peepwall:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Wooly Bugger on October 20, 2009, 04:01:21 pm
it just gets better and better......
 :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: >>Thump°C on October 20, 2009, 04:12:05 pm
So the DGW on the number plate.
Is that for Dirty Great Wobble as below

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652364435_fqDMt-L.jpg)

Or Damn Great Women  :thumleft: :thumleft:

very nice family stuff, that's awesome.

memories to last long into conquering those problems some guys have with their kids in the teenage years
Lekker man





Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Would I? on October 20, 2009, 04:53:34 pm
 :thumleft: :thumleft:

Thanks........ keep it comming!!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Doerengone on October 20, 2009, 06:21:22 pm

MAGIC.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: GreenMamba1974 on October 20, 2009, 06:24:33 pm

MAGIC.  :thumleft:

100%  thanks MJ, inspiring report!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: nemodakar on October 20, 2009, 06:52:27 pm
This is great stuff!!!
We are following you guys with envy. WE have hard times getting Klippies to the hostel, because he might miss a report or 2.
Enjoy and keep it coming pllllleeeaaaasseee!!!!!! :drif: :drif: :drif:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Fire Cracker on October 20, 2009, 07:49:48 pm
Absolutely awesome, can't wait for tomorrows chapter!  I read the whole report last night then could hardly sleep because I couldnt stop thinking about the trip.  Keep the inspiration flowing for us newbies!  Thank you  ;)
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 20, 2009, 09:52:56 pm
Day 9 – Brandberg to Palmwag

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/684595613_hKXKz-M.jpg)



Sunrise the next morning and Brandberg shows where its name comes from. Check out the 4x4 with rooftop tent. This is the most common rental vehicle in Namibia. People hire them fully kitted and spend a week or weeks travelling the land camping where there are no other facilities.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652366566_fP4Hi-L.jpg)



This is our camp.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652366587_3W3XV-M.jpg)



Our peace gets disturbed by the German woman at the next camp screeching in what sounds like a demon possessed falsetto bass voice. Apparently those are the sounds they make when their children are gored by wild animals, more specifically, this wild animal.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652366636_KxYXV-L.jpg)



Like I said, springbuck are combative little bastards. Ten minutes after the sounds from hell next door subsided and the kid stopped crying this okie also took me on.
 
Let me give you some springbok fighting tips. They go in low and normally get you on the shins, the immediate reaction is to grab hold of the horns to get the pain away from your shins, but that is a mistake. That’s what they want, now you are fighting them the way they know how.

What you should do is lean right over and give him a mighty smack on the flank. Takes him completely by surprise and gives him sudden respect for his opponent.

Otherwise they are the cutest pets.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652366674_4eXg7-L.jpg)



When I was here in 2004 there were elephant all over the camp. The camp is not fenced. I had hoped that we would get elephant here but all the tracks and dung I see are too old. Yesterday in the riverbed we came across fresh tracks a couple of times but we saw nought.

Not 5 km from camp, as we cross the Ugab on our way to our next destination, we run into very fresh tracks, fresh enough that they were probably made as the sound of the bikes drew nearer.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652366715_EFLmC-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652366791_my2mz-L.jpg)



We proceed very slowly, I have no intention of crowding an elephant. Less than 200m on we catch sight of them.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652366842_T8YdQ-L.jpg)



We get out of the sand and onto a lekker track, but not long and I spot an ellie right next to the track.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652366962_5C9te-L.jpg)



We are not going to get past this one, unless he moves off.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652367212_ZtzWY-L.jpg)



So we get off the bikes (hurriedly) and onto a rocky outcrop where we get a nice view. 

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652367632_o82vU-L.jpg)



Excuse me while I powder my nose.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652367337_dXt44-XL.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652367509_CbBRG-L.jpg)



About half an hour later he wanders off and we can get down and continue.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652367733_S3sa6-L.jpg)



Brandberg in the background.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652367810_bxS9u-XL.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652367839_H22X2-L.jpg)



Very scenic and very entertaining riding.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652367857_nnsUc-L.jpg)



Check out the rock growth.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652367921_6Znn9-L.jpg)



Once on the gravel we almost get caught out by washaways. Tharina in fact stopped in the rocks, coming from the far side of this one.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652367953_jASh7-L.jpg)



We stop in at Aba Huab for a quick beer and pull in for fuel at Palmwag. Not what one would call a metropolis and cash only.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652367982_hfK3r-L.jpg)



Our overnight stop is at Palmwag lodge where we get a nice secluded camp (there is only one, the others are all on top of one another).

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652368203_pAL72-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652368238_YcTzx-XL.jpg)



We eat in the restaurant before we turn in for the night.

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Mother on October 20, 2009, 09:59:42 pm
nice one  :thumleft: was in this area in July brings back nice memories
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Lootch67 on October 20, 2009, 10:13:21 pm
Hel, laat jou vrou my nou sleg voel. Ons was ook in die Ugab met ons trip want ons wou met Divorce Pass uit gery het, maar het uit geklim omdat ons nie gemaklik was met die sand / olifante kombinasie nie. En hier gaan ry sy dit sonder probleme. Respek!! :headbang:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 20, 2009, 10:46:15 pm
Day 10 Palmwag to Ongongo

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/684595442_VkY49-M.jpg)



Today’s ride is a short one, less than a 100km. Our destination is Ongongo. It is a fresh water spring that comes out of the mountains and cascades into a pool. In this dry area it is quite a thing.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083108_j6Nph-L.jpg)



The kid wastes no time, she loves water.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652368754_Y65tS-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652368572_hsubd-L.jpg)



She also likes dancing.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652369153_QRnkP-L.jpg)



We spend the day swimming, lazing around, taking some pictures and we are the only people there. Also the ideal opportunity to get some laundry done.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652368493_cNsXC-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652368826_S6Uwm-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653082970_yBA8E-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652368653_HEwFi-M.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652369293_BBPxC-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653055042_b5WEj-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/652369039_MV9Zw-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083291_BLKvd-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083350_M64MC-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083339_5pmpU-L.jpg)


As we sit under a tree by the hammock, we hear something behind us and see a very pretty snake of about 1 – 1.2 m coming past on its way to the pool. I fetch the camera but he is not keen on me following him around so this is the only picture I get. Not long after another similar but smaller one goes by the same way.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653055008_aAKYa-M.jpg)



When I ask the staff about it, they say it is a Zebra and he spits venom. I do not know this kind of snake, but it turns out that it is a cobra variant that is very short tempered and spit for very little reason. They account for the most human/snake incidents in Namibia. Like all spitting cobras they are very accurate and if you do not treat your eyes quickly, it leads to permanent blindness. Some weeks later when at another lodge their assistant chef got hit in the eyes by one of these while we were there.



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083062_9Ypyv-L.jpg)




When you climb to the top of the pools there are many smaller hot tub type pools.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083225_tmS6e-L.jpg)



This is our camp.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083017_iLzzx-L.jpg)



And the kid’s camp, she wants her own space.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083080_iqMdw-L.jpg)



Fashion police alert.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083053_NMydA-L.jpg)


This day of relaxation and swimming does us a world of good. After we go to bed, an overlander group arrives. If they intend departing in the morning again, I fear they have missed the whole point of coming here.




Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Iron Shark on October 20, 2009, 10:55:28 pm
Stunning pics MJ, it looks great up there!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Oppad on October 20, 2009, 10:56:35 pm
In awe. As allways
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: funacide on October 20, 2009, 11:15:04 pm
Thanks MJ more than one fix today...

Looking forward to the rest O0 O0
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: eikeboom on October 20, 2009, 11:16:29 pm
An adventure of epidermic proportions, I tell you
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: oo7 on October 21, 2009, 03:01:25 am


I’ve been on the X for a week already and have done 3000km following this route.


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/681939746_nBert-M.jpg)

MJ - the stretch between (from what appears to be) Alexander Bay and the Orange River/Vioolsdrif - was this the bit that you referred to in Michnus' Onseepkans RR that you never got to do?

Did you follow the road from Alex Bay next to (south) of the Orange towards Sendelings, and then turned southeast (via Koeboes?) to Eksteenfontein - from where it seems that you followed tracks (as per GE below?) to reach the Orange basically where it turns north?

Thanks - I'm interested in riding here next year.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 21, 2009, 05:47:37 am

MJ - the stretch between (from what appears to be) Alexander Bay and the Orange River/Vioolsdrif - was this the bit that you referred to in Michnus' Onseepkans RR that you never got to do?


Did you follow the road from Alex Bay next to (south) of the Orange towards Sendelings, and then turned southeast (via Koeboes?) to Eksteenfontein - from where it seems that you followed tracks (as per GE below?) to reach the Orange basically where it turns north?

Thanks - I'm interested in riding here next year.

Yes, The only deviation was at Kuboes where we tried the track that runs through the mountains and joins up again on the Eksteenfontein road. Unless you like pain, avoid that part maybe.

The section between Eksteenfontein and the river that you refer to we did do though. That is the route we took when things looked too hairy on the one I wanted to take.

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: KTM BIGGER on October 21, 2009, 06:33:14 am
Keep it coming
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Misty on October 21, 2009, 07:40:29 am
But at the end of that trip I saw that she saw. She saw what it was about, where I found the joy. For the first time she felt that elation of having been pushed far past her limits and finishing the job, sore and battered maybe, but the MAN. Because she did it, she started it, she finished it, and by herself.

 :thumleft: :thumleft:

AWESOME RR!!!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: eSKaPe on October 21, 2009, 08:05:45 am
But at the end of that trip I saw that she saw. She saw what it was about, where I found the joy. For the first time she felt that elation of having been pushed far past her limits and finishing the job, sore and battered maybe, but the MAN. Because she did it, she started it, she finished it, and by herself.

Agree with Misty - thats what its about...

 :thumleft: :thumleft:

AWESOME RR!!!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: bradleys on October 21, 2009, 08:24:21 am
Awesome ,keep it comming :peepwall:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: GundaGunda on October 21, 2009, 08:44:29 am
I feel a coffee-table book in this RR !

Amazing
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: gswannabee on October 21, 2009, 09:12:20 am
Absolutely awesome!  :thumleft:  Your pictures are stunning too!

Thanks for sharing  8)
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: GStry on October 21, 2009, 09:43:59 am
Great stuff  :biggrin:  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Eggs on October 21, 2009, 11:01:13 am
Brilliant report thanks. My wife has no idea what she is in for.....mmmmmm
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Gee S on October 21, 2009, 11:05:45 am
WOW!! Well done :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: popipants on October 21, 2009, 11:33:36 am
I hate you!!!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Would I? on October 21, 2009, 11:58:28 am
Keep it coming.

Awesome photo's.  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

You have started something in our household and I fear my wife (Fire Cracker) is hatching a plan!!! Your ride report is keeping her awake at night.......  :) :)
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: cloudgazer on October 21, 2009, 12:35:04 pm
I hate you!!!!


hahaha. Well said.

I wanna do Nam next year. Will only have 10 days at my disposal, and fear it's nowhere near enough time.

This RR is one of the most inspirational I've ever read.
 :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Mikedabike on October 21, 2009, 01:15:49 pm
Awesome and I salute all three of you...truly inspirational stuff :thumleft:  :thumleft:  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Maverick on October 21, 2009, 02:06:45 pm
Great as always MJ, well done to the whole family hope I can replicate something similar one day when my laaitie is old enough  :ricky:  :biggrin:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: weskus on October 21, 2009, 02:37:03 pm
You got me hooked on this one, now I only need the family :lamer:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: NISMARK on October 21, 2009, 02:44:23 pm
You got me hooked on this one, now I only need the family :lamer:

 :imaposer: :imaposer:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Frohan Visser on October 21, 2009, 03:40:11 pm
MJ, weereens 'n stunning trip en 'n baie cool RR!!

Julle het 'n paar baie mooi foto's geneem!!!!!!!!!

Jy is een van die manne op die forum wat baie happy kan wees met 'n vrou wat dit geniet en die "guts" het om saam te gaan op so 'n trip, koop vir haar elke week 'n bos blomme!!!

Ons wag vir die res!!!

Cheers
Frohan
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: doublediamond on October 21, 2009, 03:50:40 pm
Dude you are a Legend!!  :notworthy:
Thank you for sharing!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: mtbbiker on October 21, 2009, 07:30:51 pm
Dude you are a Legend!!  :notworthy:
Thank you for sharing!

No I think MJ you AND your family are Legend :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Martin-DR650 on October 21, 2009, 07:53:00 pm
Wow! Realy nice ride report!!

Love your bikes and excellent foto's!

What more can I say. . .  :thumleft:
 
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Fire Cracker on October 21, 2009, 09:56:46 pm
You got me hooked on this one, now I only need the family :lamer:

hey, I can help - we have more kids than we can put on the back of our bikes  :pot:  :ricky:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Fire Cracker on October 21, 2009, 10:01:31 pm
I am loving this RR thanks, but i am getting way too little sleep trying to work out how we can do something like this too :(  Too many kids so might need a support car to bring the kids but that kind of spoils the whole point of the trip, so maybe just a hubby and i trip  :-\
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Andy660 on October 21, 2009, 10:04:02 pm
MJ , Stunnig pics and Ride report.
Respect to your wife and daughter for sharing the trail with you.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Disselboom on October 22, 2009, 04:44:49 pm
I am loving this RR thanks, but i am getting way too little sleep trying to work out how we can do something like this too :(  Too many kids so might need a support car to bring the kids but that kind of spoils the whole point of the trip, so maybe just a hubby and i trip  :-\

Let's start a Wilddog babysitters group, trustworthy babysitters are just so hard to find....... :deal:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Kamanya on October 22, 2009, 05:16:00 pm
I shouldn't have left you at Vioolsdrif!

Stunning!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Scrat on October 22, 2009, 05:29:52 pm
Stunning RR!!

Yis ma ek verlang nou na Nam..... wag lat ek gou 'n Tafeltjie gat oopmaak!!  :thumleft: :thumleft:

Great Foto's!!

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Tweets on October 22, 2009, 05:57:15 pm
Absolutely Awsome.  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: I'm very, VERY, jealose of your adventure. Wish I could do the same. Maybe in 3 or 4 years time when both kids can legally ride their own bikes.

Keep the RR coming. Just Awsome

When you are home again, lets put together a small bash  Ha:laughing4: :laughing4:Ha, and view all you folks fodies, and "de-brief" us . We will come from far afield to enjoy your company, listern to your trials & tribulations. THAT IS  A MUST

GOD speed, and may HE bless you with many km's being trouble free.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 22, 2009, 08:06:53 pm
Day 11 Ongongo, Sesfontein, Purros

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/684595360_wfidE-M.jpg)



The next morning we break camp and find our way out. Today we need to do just over 100 km but it may take a while.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083406_oVg9k-L.jpg)



Notice that there is nothing but dirt under the trees, goats do that.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083469_8zhMH-L.jpg)



The first 20 odd kms is nice fast gravel on the way to Sesfontein.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083427_yemM8-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083461_t9zd7-L.jpg)



Some palm leaf art.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083479_EkAfZ-L.jpg)



Here we fill up with fuel and fill our extra fuel bags too, it will be a while before we can get fuel again. We also stop in at the roadside ‘restaurant’ for some breakfast.  

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083540_rwAo5-L.jpg)



We have some very tasty vetkoek and some astonishingly tough goat meat.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083512_uks7K-L.jpg)



Just out of town and we take the adventurous route into the mountains.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083567_vuTxx-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083584_MhCB3-L.jpg)



It quickly becomes clear that only animals still use this route.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083596_dWF3B-L.jpg)



At one stage the road is pretty bad going down a hill, getting close to a possible runaway situation again.  

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083644_YAMay-L.jpg)



Not wanting to tempt fate I go back to bring the DRZ down too.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083738_ntZbx-L.jpg)



It is a very scenic route but it takes a very long time and we are not making any distance to speak of.  

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083774_ibdrE-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083818_vPGxX-L.jpg)



The track also steadily deteriorates, by now we are riding in a rocky river bed.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083800_v8npN-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083787_c2XFm-L.jpg)



Lucky for us this is the last part and doesn’t last too long before we rejoin the main route to Purros.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083886_C9p6e-L.jpg)



For about a hundred kilometers we ride in between two mountain ranges, wonderful scenery, and I can see Tharina is enjoying it immensely, stopping to take pictures every so often.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083859_4SXJK-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083979_w3CMi-XL.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083898_Hcti4-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083911_wQYeZ-L.jpg)



Then the road starts alternately following and crossing a riverbed.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653083936_sacjq-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084015_utNJA-L.jpg)



As soon as I was through this bull dust section I knew Tharina was going to fall so I turn back and …

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084025_WmPYE-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084050_jRPBH-L.jpg)



This silt is just really crappy stuff to ride. I doubt I’ll ever learn to enjoy it.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084074_xj4Dq-L.jpg)



When we get to Purros it is late afternoon, so Peanut and I set out immediately to get some firewood for the night.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084084_gcReT-L.jpg)



Tharina goes walkabout too and takes the most amazingly beautiful pictures. I’m not even going to apologise for posting so many.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084195_TY4PM-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084220_zVb9K-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084274_YFnai-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084381_fKtC8-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084326_Fg9cj-L.jpg)



And then the sunset. You cannot imagine the beauty.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084422_jEyoD-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084459_qneRE-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084547_Ekiby-L.jpg)



Purros is wild, it lies on the Hoarisib river and the Hoarisib draws a lot of wildlife. The camp site is community run and is spread out on the riverbank. There are only six sites, widely spaced, out of sight of each other.

That night we sleep with the kid’s tent right against ours. You don’t get to sleep late however, these things make one almighty racket from first light.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104713_PrkMn-L.jpg)



Because this is such a wilderness area, you take out what you bring in, hence the flattening of cans to go back into our luggage.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084589_vcWBg-L.jpg)



We are staying another day so we can spend some time in the area, we should also see some elephant here. We take the bikes and move down river.

The whole place is full of elephant tracks and the track we are on winds in and around trees, so we go dead slow. You’ll be surprised how an elephant can hide within 15m from you without you seeing it.

And before long we find what we were looking for.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084653_DEme4-L.jpg)



An elephant feels pretty damn real when you are on foot.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084611_ijpZE-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084727_o57D3-L.jpg)



When he turns sideways, I see the musk leaking. It’s a sign that he may be a little grumpy, but he gives no sign that we annoy him.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084793_eWkVZ-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084843_i7Sns-XL.jpg)



Check out the thorn tree blossoms on his forehead.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084688_FkdPL-L-1.jpg)



As we move on our next sighting is a giraffe.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084854_3Vqgr-L.jpg)



From my viewpoint.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084865_s7acs-L.jpg)



And then he poses for Tharina.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084935_cbjDL-L.jpg)



We are on our way into the Hoarisib canyon, where there is surface water.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653085100_yNsML-L.jpg)



Lunch break.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653085123_bTHv9-L.jpg)



And an opportunity to take more pictures of my bike. Pretty, ain’t she?

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653085166_FRrtQ-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653085183_8eMEN-L.jpg)



Going down the canyon you cross and recross the river all the time.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653085199_Uk5ZS-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653085226_tY3Di-L.jpg)



I glance down at the GPS and see this.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653085265_mHZer-M.jpg)



Hmmmm. I am not keen on lion, not unless I am in a closed vehicle.
Luckily lions don’t hang in the same place all the time like rhinos for instance. So my theory is that, yes, someone saw them here, but the odds are against us running into lion here.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653085272_QiZ6T-L.jpg)



Then we reach the Poort. This is where we celebrated my birthday on the Goat Meat trip.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104044_A6FuP-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104058_Sk5Zh-L.jpg)



Check out the patterns in the rock.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104152_K5ELn-L.jpg)



I would have walked past this little bush.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104186_eorJc-L.jpg)



Tharina gets down on her stomach and takes pictures.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104279_vepNx-L.jpg)



Until she gets this.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104341_8JPc6-L.jpg)

I would have been oblivious.



The kid loves water crossings (just like her dad) and she makes me ride the deep ones repeatedly.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104380_KK57b-L.jpg)



And finally Tharina gets her Oryx shot. It is (to me) the most beautiful of all the antelope, and Tharina have been wanting to get a picture of one for years.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104421_mm7vm-L.jpg)



Hamerkop, translation – ‘hammer head’

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104584_aFkdf-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104552_6ybpF-L.jpg)



This is just the best riding in the best place. I think that the next time I come here I will stay for a couple of days.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104613_AvbYM-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104625_eeaeW-L.jpg)



On our way out, we have to do a couple of kms in the dry riverbed. It is deep white sand and we keep in the track made by other vehicles. This kind of thing.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104645_vfm6j-L.jpg)



As I come around a curve I get what I have been dreading, an elephant coming my way from the front and he’s pretty close.

I’m in a deep track, if I try to jump it I risk going down. Luckily he is still far enough that I can hit the brakes, and start trying to spin my way out of the deep track. The bike makes an almighty racket though and I cannot seem to get any speed up, paddling away. Although I am now slowly putting distance between us, the noise of the bike is upsetting him quite a bit. The next thing Tharina comes flying along in the track standing on the pegs. She doesn’t stop, nor try to leave the track. She passes about 30m to the right of the elephant and he storms off into the bush.
We stop a little way further to watch this guy .

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104443_Wabnm-L.jpg)



I tell her that she probably took the right option and I didn’t.
“What do you mean? “
“To keep going past that elephant.”
“What elephant?”
??????????????????????   “The ELEPHANT sized elephant right next to the track you  were on!”

How’s that for focus? She passes 30 metres from an elephant with flapping ears and whatnot and the only thing she sees is the next 10m of track.

While we sit there discussing how it is possible that she misses something the size of an elephant, a couple that is doing a round the world trip in their 4x4 pulls up. It appears they were here two weeks ago and saw lion in the canyon, just about where my GPS said they should be. Well, so much for my theory then.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104600_wH8Bm-L.jpg)



This is what Purros the town looks like.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104523_sBw4k-L.jpg)



There is a shop too.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653084962_VcpXR-L.jpg)



Our camp

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104692_q3vJp-L.jpg)



My fridge.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104650_N3hwS-L.jpg)



Peace.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104661_2gQcP-L.jpg)



The showers. Each camp has it’s own.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104726_PFkuz-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104738_dfyUz-L.jpg)



Time for some maintenance. This trip is just everything I expected of it and more.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104704_jsqiU-M.jpg)



This is the donkey that supplies the shower. The staff come and make a fire every afternoon.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104779_QLm3D-L.jpg)



Ideal oven for pot bread.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104792_3jCkN-L.jpg)



Another day chock full of memories and another sunset.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104763_PytLz-L.jpg)




Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: KTM BIGGER on October 22, 2009, 08:28:55 pm
Fantastic MJ....
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: frank on October 22, 2009, 08:38:13 pm
Ongelooflik
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: MrBig on October 22, 2009, 08:44:44 pm

Thought you learned your lesson!  :biggrin:

Quote
Suffice to say I won't forget that night easily. Nor will I touch that vile Copperband widowmaker shit again. And goat meat? Forget it, Iv'e had my fill.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: White Stripes on October 22, 2009, 09:02:56 pm
You really did a fine job. Really. Excellent.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: tok-tokkie on October 22, 2009, 09:06:29 pm
MJ I link my non-biking friends to your RRs; it is not just the fantastic pictures that you use to hold the story together but also the lovely way you write about the place your are going through.  You care about and appreciate it and it comes through so gloriously.

Those pictures by Tharina are brilliant.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: dakardrix on October 22, 2009, 09:17:25 pm
 :blob8: :blob3: :blob5: :blob6: :blob7:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Mr.T on October 22, 2009, 09:25:00 pm
Excellent. Congratulations on a great trip.  8)
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Lootch67 on October 22, 2009, 09:52:20 pm
Hell this brings back memories. Thanks MJ!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Andy660 on October 22, 2009, 10:43:27 pm
 Absolutely awesome !
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: funacide on October 22, 2009, 11:16:23 pm
Loving every minute of it. I really appreciate the effort taken to write the report...

 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Drusky on October 23, 2009, 12:07:51 am
Quote from: MJ
One noteworthy thing. There is a pizza called a Napolitana at the Napolitana restaurant in Swakopmund with springbuck, chili, garlic, mint, etc. in a calzone. This is the best pizza in the world.  The best pizza in the world. If you are ever in Swakopmund, remember, Napolitana.

No you said it wrong, for maximum effect this is how you do it:

"Yo Other Pizzas, I'm really happy for you , an I'ma let you be finished but Napolitana makes one of the best pizzas of ALL time...one of the best OF ALL TIME!"

Awesome RR, Inspirational. Once you have enough together you can publish a book, seriaas  :)
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Sprocketbek on October 23, 2009, 12:44:49 am
Fukkit MJ & Tharina, don't you want to post a shitty picture just to prove that you're human?

Your trip has got me by the balls. ::)
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: ThomTom on October 23, 2009, 06:01:57 am
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Fantastic; great find the elephants; not always guaranteed, great pics and very good report; like the others you did,   

------may I ask what camera you were using?
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: bradleys on October 23, 2009, 08:33:23 am
Sweeeeet ,awesome blady awesome,more please.........
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Tengai on October 23, 2009, 09:07:29 am
Great Ride report MJ.

This must be the best RR on this site  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: eSKaPe on October 23, 2009, 09:25:57 am
Still awesome - trip of a lifetime in many ways - the kid won't forget it ever, nor you and the wife for that matter
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Would I? on October 23, 2009, 09:37:55 am
 :laughing4: :laughing4: Elephant?? What Elephant ?? :imaposer: :imaposer:

Great report!!

more, more, more....
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: KTM BIGGER on October 23, 2009, 10:06:53 am
I am addictied and need anothe DAYS fix please..
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Hidalgo on October 23, 2009, 12:28:23 pm
WOW MJ !!!!

Thanks for sharing this awsome trip with us  :thumleft:

Im amazed and totally in awe, not only at the awsome report, pics and scenery but with you doing this as a family like that - its amazing !

And it seems like you had time to relax and chillout too so it was not just about crunching miles everyday and getting back home buggered anyway.

Now I have to do some work ..... but hell I'd much rather go ride my bike to some far off beautifull place - absolutely inspiring report.

Thx
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Watty on October 23, 2009, 12:37:50 pm
(http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-happy112.gif) on the RR
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Wooly Bugger on October 23, 2009, 12:59:16 pm
(http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-happy112.gif) on the RR

+1 000 000
 :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Catchy on October 23, 2009, 01:27:53 pm
Great Ride report MJ.

This must be the best RR on this site  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

Best RR ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: GStry on October 23, 2009, 05:36:35 pm
Really cool  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 24, 2009, 12:55:17 am
Purros to Epupa day 1

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Namibia-2009/SPurros1/684595407_saqRU-M.jpg)



We head out in the direction of Orupembe. There is a road that goes there, but we opt to follow the riverbed route up the Huarisib and then later going up the Khumib river.

Leaving camp, we ride the plains for a while.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104951_NvFTB-L.jpg)



Even in these upper reaches of the Huarisib is there surface water. It is an exceptionally good year for Namibia.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104977_Wx3EY-L.jpg)



Before long we decide to get out the riverbed and follow the route running on the bank next to the river. This way you get some chance to look about (and maybe see the elephant next to the track), and it is less tiring. We are going to spend more than a 100km following these rivers and if you spend it on the pegs fighting the bike all the way, we just won’t make it all the way.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104807_GkoB5-L.jpg)



It sure is rewarding to look about.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104840_4qjqx-XL.jpg)



How’s this, Tharina taking pictures of her bike. A good sign if ever I’ve seen one. 

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104899_MnBak-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653104850_amQd4-L.jpg)



Makalani palms, I like them.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105012_pqnQm-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105093_i3mWP-L.jpg)



Let me show you the worth of a mega zoom. Have a look here. Under that tree is an oryx. 

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105053_XtvEb-L.jpg)



This picture is of the same oryx, taken from the same spot. No photoshop effects, just heat waves and a mega zoom.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105046_ZBxv9-XL.jpg)



When we come to where we need to leave the Huarisib, we stop for a rest .

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105200_f48LS-L.jpg)



My fridge still doing it’s job. Sweet.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105119_Pi52q-L.jpg)



Time for brunch, Luncheon Roll and cookies.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105141_LpVzV-L.jpg)



I just want to point out here, that since leaving Uis, the only canned food available anywhere is Luncheon roll, Chilli Sardines, Bully Beef and Vegetable Currie. So variations of this is what we eat every day.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105152_oDPRQ-L.jpg)



Elephant dung, most excellent fire starter.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105222_Kafzf-L.jpg)



When we leave the Huarisib behind us I look back often, I really like this river.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105237_URJq6-L.jpg)



The heat is intense.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105252_Y9fWu-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105264_xy3tV-L.jpg)



Hot hot hot.  But spectacular.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105268_uiajz-L.jpg)



Namibia, always testing and rewarding.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105316_EkQqS-L.jpg)



Shoulder muscles take a beating.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105590_7j46N-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105604_ypPeP-L.jpg)



When we reach the Khumib we go past a couple of huts. It is incredibly hot, I cannot fathom how people that live here can deal with the heat. This is not even the hot season.

This kind of river sand is the worst, that purple shale stuff. It’s very loose. It is not easy to ride and we are giving it all we have.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105387_rK5Jf-L.jpg)



I stop to take a picture of some giraffes that share the riverbed with us.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105437_tkEQW-L.jpg)



And again Tharina comes past and sees nothing. Just focus, focus, focus.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105409_CuiSy-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105420_W9JVP-L.jpg)



These riverbeds in this heat takes it out of you. Properly. We take a long break in the shade.



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105554_L79di-L.jpg)



As we lie under the tree we are spent. It’s damn hot and I’m damn tired and I am aching all over. I tell Tharina that this is as extreme as I would want my trips. I do not need more. I don’t really want to work harder.

I am just so impressed with my girl. We’ve done over 2000km already and she has ridden anything and everything that Namibia can throw at her. And she is good in sand, really good. Except for the oops in the Ugab and the silt tilt over, she passed all the tests and kept the rubber side down. That is no small thing.

When I was planning the route I could see that she was worried about some of the places I intended going. I also heard from her friends that she was scared for what was to come. But I knew that if things got too hard for her we can alter the route on the fly. Yet, two weeks in and here we are still doing the exact route that I had hoped we could.

On this trip I can see that she is putting in a lot of effort, she is trying really hard to overcome and to reach a new level. And here, under this tree, it is clear to me that she has reached a new level. An important one, the divide that kept her out of some of my trips, is no more.

Peanut knows nothing of all this, just finds new stuff to play with. She is just the easiest kid ever, happy when we stop and happy when we go.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105461_ubYVZ-M.jpg)



In the afternoon we reach Orupembe. The kid makes friends with the local police, the guy in the blue is the station commander.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105686_ghvu4-L.jpg)



We are very happy to be able to fill all our bags with water at the police station.

Our route from here heads toward the mountains across flowing savannah.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105787_cXe4s-XL.jpg)



Young leguaan.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105797_e3xZv-M.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105816_xZnnS-M.jpg)



The shadows are starting to stretch and the going starts to get rocky.


Next thing we’re on the deck. Me, the Kid and the X. No damage, we weren’t going fast, maybe 30 km/h.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105823_qsDmt-L.jpg)



The kid was sleeping when we went down. So she woke up a little disconcerted, not much reassured by me asking if she’s OK.  I unstrap her and she gets up and I see the tears starting to well up, she’s heading towards crying, so I tell her to stop it and she does. She’s quite good that way, it is very seldom that she does not stop crying when I tell her to.

I know that sounds a bit harsh; I crash with her while she is sleeping and then tell her to stop crying like she is in the wrong. But it’s not harsh, it’s doing her a favour. I don’t want her to get the idea that crashing is a bad thing.

Let me explain, actually, let me tell you a little story. Picture the scene;
Johannesburg. I am running across 3 lanes of traffic in a rage. I am in a blind rage, totally out of control. In one fluid movement I storm up the steps of an eight ton truck, rip the door open and as I make a grab for the driver’s collar to pull him down onto the tarmac, my blind rage, in that instant, turns into a seeing one. Because in front of me sits the biggest fucken human being that have ever been squeezed into the cab of an eight ton truck. Instead of sitting in it, he is wearing that cab like a shirt. Massive expanse of a chest, like two of mine, side by side. So I pat him twice with an open hand on the orange overall that covers this massive chest and say: “Moenie dit weer doen nie” (Don’t do that again), and I close the door and I get down of the truck and walk away.

I walk away a very lucky young man and also a little changed. Changed because I learned something. I learned that there is no such thing as blind rage. It’s just the way you bullshit yourself to justify your actions. The fact is you do have self control. If you do bad things when you lose your temper, you are doing what you choose to do. No excuses.

I was nineteen.

And please do not get the idea that I am a violent person, I am not, quite the opposite.

What I have learned since is that there is a very important distinction to be made between the event and your response thereto. And here I am not only talking about events that create a rage response, but also other emotions. It is important to understand that no event can dictate your response, it is not a linked entity, you are not bound to respond in a certain way. The event is an external influence, and as such you may not always be able to control it, but your response is internal, you can control it, You  get to choose your response.

Take for example people who commit suicide (no disrespect intended). People commit suicide because a partner left them. People commit suicide because they are going insolvent and cannot stand the embarrassment.  People commit suicide because they don’t want to go to jail. People commit suicide because they failed matric. People commit suicide because they think they cannot deal with life as a paraplegic. Yet there are many thousands of other people in the exact same circumstances that don’t commit suicide, they go on living good lives.

What is the difference then? Not the event, the event is the same. The only difference is what happens in your head. And like I learned in the cab of that truck, you can control what happens in your head. You can choose how upset you want to be. It does take practice, but it is a skill that can make your life immeasurably better.

Longwinded, I know, but to get back to Peanut, this is why I do not want her to be upset when we fall. I would like to have her understand that you do not need to be upset if you don’t want to.



Anyway, why did we fall? Rider error of course. It’s always rider error. There is a kind of bush that grows here that was my nemesis on the Goat Meat Trip. I never put it in that report because I could not find out it’s name. It looks like this.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105878_o2ncU-M.jpg)



What makes it special is it’s thorns, and it’s suppleness. Have a look here.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105866_QvRRr-L.jpg)



Those short hooked jobbies make very effective grappling hooks as you pass by. The branches are supple and amazingly tough, they do not break. If you are in a track and one of these bushes gets a hold of you, it has the ability to pull you and your 200kg bike totally off line before the thorns rip free. It caused me no end off hassles in 2004, and this specific one caused the crash. Not because it got hold of me, but because I tried to avoid it and I edged onto the side of the middelmannetjie (I don’t know if there is a word in english for that centre ridge). With these damn eggs being the riding surface, the front just washed and we went down.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105853_BuoiM-L.jpg)



The other factor of course is fatigue. We have been riding since the early morning and the riding had not been easy. It is now 16h00 already and our concentration is up to shit. I wouldn’t be surprised if fatigue and loss of concentration generally cause more offs than any other single factor. But it is a lesson that we never learn.

So, no damage, and we continue. Just a couple of kilos on and Tharina hits the deck in a riverbed.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105890_t47P4-L.jpg)



What did I just say about fatigue? We decide to start looking for some place to make camp, because clearly we need to get off the bikes. Half an hour later we find a lekker spot under trees in a riverbed. Lots of firewood around and a nice sandy place to pitch the tents.

We are pretty knackered.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653106044_oKhZm-L.jpg)



The sun falls out of the sky like a ball of fire.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105974_ACpzo-L.jpg)



When Tharina and the kid goes to bed I stay up. There is a lot of noise in my head. I have lot of stuff to sort out.

I think of the day’s riding, I think of my crash, I think of my wife, my riding, I think of that guy in the eight ton truck I told you about earlier, I think about risk, I think about duality, I think about good and bad, I think about Michael Jackson, Bob Mugabe, I think about the day my kid was born, I think of the impact I have on those around me, I think of a lot of other stuff I do not enjoy thinking about.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653106055_wf5sy-L.jpg)



Crashing with the kid was no big deal, no damage and no real risk. But it’s a big deal for me. When I started riding with her I decided that I will never crash with her. And there is a difference between deciding to do something and deciding to try and do something. A lot of people don’t seem to get that distinction and those kind of people often piss me off. If I decide to do something, and I fail at it, it bothers me. It impacts on the person I believed myself to be.

When I was considering starting riding with the kid I spent a lot of time thinking it through. In thinking it through I had to cover a lot of ground. I have seen several bike accidents at close quarters and am well aware of the violence an out of control bike can unleash. I had to visit these worst case scenarios in my mind, picturing the possible results and imagining a life after. These were very unpleasant places to visit, and after having come to a decision to ride with her, I have avoided going there again. Tonight however I have to go back there, because I did crash with her and I need to re-evaluate. This kind of thing is not conducive to sleep and I spend hour after hour in the hammock staring at the fire reflected in the leaves above me.

I know that there are many people who will say I’m pretty fucked up to ride this kind of terrain with a kid this young. There are many people who will say it is pretty fucked up to ride at all if you have kids to provide for. I know many guys that stopped riding because they got married. There are a great many people who think all bikers are pretty fucked up to take an unnecessary  risk.

And the funny thing is, all these people are right. For them.

That’s the thing about risk, it is always a personal thing. There is risk in everything we do, and I mean everything. Every person, every day, have to make hundreds of decisions on whether to accept risk or not. There is just no way in hell that two people will ever have an identical approach regarding all the various risks that we deal with. Therefore no-one is right and no-one is wrong. The only constant is that every man must make his own decisions.

Risk is a very varied subject, and there is a lot to be said about it, but one thing I do know; fear of risk can cripple you as a person. Joy of life and fear of risk are directly apposite concepts. I personally rate joy of life as the highest possible prize that a human being can strive for. 

The first time I really started noticing the power of risk-angst was funny enough when I brought Tharina and the newborn Peanut home from hospital. I never had any doubt that I can raise a kid and I never had any doubt that I will be a good father. But I was blindsided by the change in how I perceived risk. Driving home, I was trying with all I had to ride smoothly, make smooth gear changes, not have to brake hard; it felt like I had a bowl of jelly in the car that could catastrophically be destroyed at any moment. I was crawling home on a double carriageway at 60 km/h, viciously eyeballing every other vehicle on the road like they were out to kill us. I know, I know. There are a whole lot of guys rolling their eyes right now, thinking what a twat. But the guys with kids will know exactly what I am talking about.

Having a baby makes you see your house differently too. My stairs, with the aluminium edging, scared the shit out of me. So did the pool, the electric gate, my Rottweiler, the electrical plugs scattered at crawl height, the chemicals in the kitchen, the car in my driveway, the hot engine parts on my bikes. And that is just the start, there are a thousand other things, and if you let it, it will drive you insane. So I learned to consciously try to relax about things. If you are going to have any shot at being happy, one has to live the life that you perceive as normal, and I try and do just that. I want to be happy, and if I get the opportunity to do something that may bring me joy, I do it. This here trip, is one of those opportunities.

Back to the peeps that think that it is pretty fucked up to ride this kind of terrain with a kid this young. I take her to school on the bike every day in peak traffic. That scares me. Some days it takes a large proportion of my courage to continue to do so. In relation to that, riding here in the bush with no other traffic, at a pace and on terrain that I choose, is nothing. Nothing at all. I am totally at peace with the risk and I truly believe that I can continue to do so without ever falling with her again. And that is what I intend to do. Never again fall with my kid. One day when she is old enough for her own bike and stops riding with me, I hope to have been successful in this one aspect. And even if she never understands the magnitude of it, I will, and it will give me great joy.

These are some of the things I think about and it keeps me up all night, I try to go to bed, but it is futile and so I go back to the hammock, feeding the fire now and then until the sun shows itself on the other side of the earth again.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118588_AF9PV-XL.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118512_yDYC2-L.jpg)



No rest, but the noise in my head had cleared, and I am good to go.



The source of my insomnia, non the wiser.


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653106086_rHCwE-M.jpg)

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: MaxThePanda on October 24, 2009, 02:13:19 am
Mmmm. Your reflection/writing reminds me very much of Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. You've read it? Hi from a fellow X, from Buenos Aires by the way... spending a couple months over here. The mountains and deserts look really pretty here too (from what I've seen in pictures - haven't made it out there yet).
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: mtbbiker on October 24, 2009, 07:33:31 am
If your RR becomes a book I'll buy it - Inspirational !!!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: eSKaPe on October 24, 2009, 07:51:53 am
Still loving it - the words, the pics, the story...
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Swanniebraai on October 24, 2009, 08:02:39 am
Ja, jy sal MOET skryf MJ, jy sal kan aftree met jou boeke one day!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Stofstreep on October 24, 2009, 08:55:39 am
Hi MJ
I've had these kind of thoughts too, and came to pretty much the same conclusions about fear.
Kids are so resilient and the only thing they really require is know that they are truly loved.

I'm still on the edge of my seat, loving this report to no end.
:thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Fire Cracker on October 24, 2009, 02:24:17 pm
I am loving this RR thanks, but i am getting way too little sleep trying to work out how we can do something like this too :(  Too many kids so might need a support car to bring the kids but that kind of spoils the whole point of the trip, so maybe just a hubby and i trip  :-\

Let's start a Wilddog babysitters group, trustworthy babysitters are just so hard to find....... :deal:

Now THAT is a brilliant idea! :) :ricky:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: White Stripes on October 24, 2009, 02:34:50 pm
Cool MJ. I'm a bit further down that road. The kids, I mean. The response to the environment, the Victor Frankl thing. It is wonderful, this journey. My kids are 21 and 23 and 6. I lost the young one to his mother and he is somewhere in Europe. I don't know where. It is driving me crazy.

With the other two it is the same, regarding the fear and growing to be a parent. I am afraid it does not stop. It is a journey, however, that I won't give up for the world. I see myself in my kids. They are what we make of them.

I spanked my son back onto a horse at that age when it was just at the point of using or losing it. I was very upset with myself, but I felt at that time that it was the right thing to do. He was about 5? We still joke about it and he still remembers the lesson. He took it like a man, then and now. It was also about conquering fear.

The journey is rewarding and it never stops. At the point where they learn that you are human and love your flaws, it is even better.

May you enjoy your quest to teach your kid to live life to the fullest, but more so, to be an example to her to become the best that she can be.

Did I mention that I like the report?
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: lemac on October 24, 2009, 04:15:07 pm
Not fair ;D ;D
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: eikeboom on October 24, 2009, 05:03:02 pm
Deep sand, deep stuff.
 :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Oetie on October 24, 2009, 08:23:39 pm
MJ, I am speechless...........

I think you should seriously consider putting a book together with your ride reports.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: BiG DoM on October 24, 2009, 09:42:35 pm
China - you have a talent for writing and adventure riding, no question. RR is awesome and captivating. Respect.  :ricky:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: CHorse on October 24, 2009, 09:58:01 pm
Brilliant report MJ.

I was back in my car driving my first kid home from the hospital again...life changing/defining moment.

Thanks for sharing this trip (all of it) with us.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: doublediamond on October 24, 2009, 10:17:53 pm
MJ, I am not known to be one who is often at a loss for words, your RR leaves me speechless,
for a whole host of reasons that would be unfair to write about here.
Huge respect dude, to all 5 of you !
FREEDOM
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Iron Shark on October 24, 2009, 10:20:35 pm
Excellent MJ, man I'm gob smacked... love your RR mate, the Mrs and I have been following it from the start and both thorough enjoying it !    :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: tok-tokkie on October 25, 2009, 08:26:02 am
(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105866_QvRRr-L.jpg)

That reminds me of Haak-en-Steek which is a little bush here in the Western Cape.  But when I look it up in Palgrave Trees of Southern Africa it takes me to Acacia tortilis which is the classic umbrella thorn.  That could be a small umbrella thorn but I suspect it is some other Acacia.  I would not translate haak-en-steek as 'Hook-&-Prick' but rather 'Grab-and-Jab'

Bliksem your vrou can ride through sand that makes me shudder.  Huge respect to her.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Crossed-up on October 25, 2009, 09:36:43 am
Brilliant report!  It even drew my wife in to the point where she was saying, "Perhaps I should get a bike"!  Thanks MJ, you remind us all that, "It's not about the bike, or what an amazing rider you are, but where you go and how you react to these places and the people, and what it means to you".  Great respect to you.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: KTM BIGGER on October 25, 2009, 11:51:20 am
(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105866_QvRRr-L.jpg)

That reminds me of Haak-en-Steek which is a little bush here in the Western Cape.  But when I look it up in Palgrave Trees of Southern Africa it takes me to Acacia tortilis which is the classic umbrella thorn.  That could be a small umbrella thorn but I suspect it is some other Acacia.  I would not translate haak-en-steek as 'Hook-&-Prick' but rather 'Grab-and-Jab'

Bliksem your vrou can ride through sand that makes me shudder.  Huge respect to her.

I experience with the HAAk EN STEEk bos in Koes. Every year we race in Koes on the salt pan and those bushes tore us to pieces. If your riding shirt was new after the race it was old and ready for the trash bin.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Trailrider on October 25, 2009, 04:04:39 pm
I posted on page 1 and left this report ;D I was not going to let you torture me by waiting and waiting for each snippet of this report. 11 Pages... I thought that the report must surely be finished by now. ::)

And so I wait for the next installment...
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: mountainboy on October 26, 2009, 07:32:16 am
all has already been said

but geez, what a trip

and the words to decribe them!!

in your second language....

speechless
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Would I? on October 26, 2009, 07:58:33 am
(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653105866_QvRRr-L.jpg)

That reminds me of Haak-en-Steek which is a little bush here in the Western Cape.  But when I look it up in Palgrave Trees of Southern Africa it takes me to Acacia tortilis which is the classic umbrella thorn.  That could be a small umbrella thorn but I suspect it is some other Acacia.  I would not translate haak-en-steek as 'Hook-&-Prick' but rather 'Grab-and-Jab'

Bliksem your vrou can ride through sand that makes me shudder.  Huge respect to her.

I experience with the HAAk EN STEEk bos in Koes. Every year we race in Koes on the salt pan and those bushes tore us to pieces. If your riding shirt was new after the race it was old and ready for the trash bin.

It might be the black thorn better known as "swart hark". We do some bird shooting on the botswana border neer Vergelee where it is really thick. If a downed bird falls in the bush you bleed to get it back. Those thorns really tear you to pieces.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Sir Rat on October 26, 2009, 10:34:30 am
Awesome awesome awesome Ride Report!!!!   :thumleft: Those feeling in your head. One word to sum-up it all.

LOVE!!!!  :)
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: The Gentleman on October 26, 2009, 11:14:50 am
Inspirational MJ! Thanks mate. U make our dreams a reality!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: X Banana Boy on October 26, 2009, 03:18:40 pm
Awesome MJ.  Am loving reading this and following your story.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Doringboom on October 26, 2009, 03:19:16 pm
Because I am the only one that still have not said something, I guess I must say it now:

This is beautiful ride report in every respect – the photos, the text, the thoughts it evokes, the aspects of life philosophy that are being touched upon, ….everything! I see it is also a box office hit on Advrider. This ride report should really appeal to an audience far beyond the borders of adventure motorcycling. Congratulations :salut:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: DeonDj on October 26, 2009, 07:20:08 pm
Very nice MJ, very nice pics, I have forwarded this thread to my brother as he was the base commander at Sesfontein in the army years, he did write back that it brought back many memories, the swimming pool you guys swam in, he was in charge of three bases, one in the Etosha and one in Tsinsabis and the Sesfontein one (Sector 30 or Sirkus 30), but you did an Iron butt whith that bike and respect for the wife and the kid, I enjoyed it! :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Plothond on October 26, 2009, 10:21:35 pm
I actually have no words .......

Enjoying it all  :thumleft:

This I do know. It is in my power to go back there again......  and so I will.   :)
Thankyou for the inspiration
oh.... and BTW - the family issue. We have pretty much decided. You cannot control the external influence, but you can control your reaction  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Catchy on October 27, 2009, 08:09:41 am
Truly awesome& inspirational stuff! Reports like this don’t come around very often and your writing will “move” any adventurer.
Maybe without knowing it, you have inspired many people to just get out there, ride and enjoy life to the full!!

 Well done.  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 27, 2009, 12:01:12 pm
Purros to Epupa, Day 2


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Namibia-2009/Spurros2/684595427_DMaq9-M.jpg)



During the night, what looks like a leopard passed within 30m of our camp, he probably looked at me lying there in the hammock.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118633_R5T84-M.jpg)



First Baobab we see in a long time, check out the nest.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118636_4DSxm-L.jpg)



You can see the feathers of the young one stick out.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118657_2ouf5-L.jpg)



Down below, the parent.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118680_gbEV2-L.jpg)



This is the seed pod of the baobab tree. In Afrikaans a baobab is called a kremetart boom, kremetart is a food seasoning called ‘crème of tartare’ in english.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118683_6RdCh-L.jpg)



This is where it comes from, that white stuff, you can eat it straight out the pod.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118689_8v33V-L.jpg)



As we go higher into the mountains, the track gets rocky, or is it pebbly?

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118694_Vy7Md-L.jpg)



On one steep loose section Tharina drops her bike.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118782_jyD8Y-L.jpg)



When I take her bike to the top Peanut tells her with relish “See, that’s how you do it mommy”.  

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118792_wYkeC-L.jpg)



This rocky stuff is slow and we plod onwards and upwards for an hour. After almost two hours we have only covered 25km. Shit, at this rate we are not going to get very far. I knew yesterday that it’s a bit of a long shot to do Purros to Epupa in one day. But if things continue at this rate it’s going to take us three days to reach Epupa.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118865_3utvz-L.jpg)



Not that I am complaining about the scenery, it’s a lovely area to travel through.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118736_RrA9A-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118743_e6i72-L.jpg)



We are very happy that we get to see these in bloom.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118765_qCFsj-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118721_z4wrF-L.jpg)



The road surface makes you pay attention, especially me after yesterday’s story. If you want to cross this centre ridge you must do so with conviction.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118769_aQEAW-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118803_izz3D-L.jpg)



When we get down to level ground again we are in Himba country.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118776_oMMjM-XL.jpg)



Bush avoidance claims another victim.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118834_vdrGU-L.jpg)



When we get to a settlement, I fill up with water as the first order of business.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118848_tpEPU-L.jpg)



Not long before this one can do it’s own in house nose scratching.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118869_SYbxd-L.jpg)



This is the junction with the Etanga – Otjitanda road and there is a shop with the standard canned food and cold beer.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118894_HGUoV-L.jpg)



Good quality bull bar.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118903_XPjKz-L.jpg)



Time to get some fuel from the tanker. This means that we have about a 100km left before we both run dry.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118955_vM6ph-L.jpg)



No help at all.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118935_Q4uf8-M.jpg)



We spot a perfect spot for a lunch break.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118907_tj2B9-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118916_eyRzj-L.jpg)



Luncheon roll and cookies again.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118920_MTTxj-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118927_QKRCS-L.jpg)



We pass by the Van Zyl’s pass turnoff and are now on the home straight to Okongwati, where we will be able to get fuel and water again. From there it is good fast gravel to Epupa.

Ok, maybe home straight is not the correct term. There is a rocky patch to get through first. I remember it as maybe 7km or so. It turns out I remember wrong.

Check out this spectacular lack of talent.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118975_95bad-L.jpg)



Just to show that I did catch it.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118983_MPuCS-L.jpg)



The rains have messed up the road somewhat. Remember the hill on the Goat Meat trip that ripped my bashplate off? This is it here.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653118991_bnXme-L.jpg)



And if I am not mistaken this is the rock that did it, clearly still claiming victims after all these years.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119041_ETfaw-L.jpg)



Here is where Tharina’s downhill phobia is going to be either conquered or cemented.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119070_mSKVV-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119076_NU2ob-L.jpg)



Check those tyres work.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119106_CaDzh-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119098_bzngp-L.jpg)



She gets down all by herself and with feet on the pegs like it should. Far out, I am happily surprised.

Out the other side of that donga and it is starting to look like I miss remembered things. I recall one technical uphill and then it flattens out but still with a lot of rocks. This one technical uphill leads into another and another and another.  

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119122_Q2Awi-L.jpg)



It is really hot in amongst these rocks that have been baking in the sun the whole day. Tharina starts finding the going difficult. She has very little experience of technical rock riding.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119180_azEQ9-L.jpg)



She chooses the worst lines and, as was inevitable at some stage, she goes down. We discuss clutch control and lines and momentum. Well, we discuss as much as one can while standing in an oven.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119141_EcxHy-L.jpg)



The next time she drops the bike I’m ready with the camera.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119189_EZwCu-XL.jpg)



She cannot pick the bike up loaded as it is. So each time I have to find a place to put my bike on the stand, take my helmet off, unstrap myself from the kid, pick the kid up off the bike, take her neck brace off, take her helmet off and go and help Tharina pick up her bike. IT IS HOT.

I am not bitching, I brought her here, this is my job. But she is getting angry at herself for hitting the deck and having to put me through this again and again. This is not right, I should be the least of her worries.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119159_rTzyQ-L.jpg)



I tell her that the best line almost always is the one straight up. I see that she listens to me (this means she must be really tired), and it goes better for a while. I see her attack some crazy steps and get up them, the DRZ’s tyres pumping like pistons. Good thing that suspension is so soft.

The next time she goes down she gets trapped under the bike and has to wait until I get there. I ask if I can take a picture and I get an incredibly rude reply. So I take the picture.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119195_U2MUW-XL.jpg)



The next time she goes down I do not take a picture. I am getting concerned. Things are not working out so well here for us.
You can only drop a bike so many times before it gets damaged. It’s already lost the tip off the clutch lever, we are not going to be so lucky for too long and we cannot afford losing a bike.

It is too hot for us to spend much more time here, it is getting dangerous, and our water is now not enough anymore to spend the night.
I need to communicate this to my wife (the importance of not dropping the bike) without it sounding like I am criticizing her. She is way past tired and is cramping, she is collecting bruises at an unprecedented rate and she still feels like it is her fault that we are spending hours here instead of half an hour.

The next fall happens when she spins out, coming out of a donga. Again just taking the wrong line, half a foot to the left and she would have been fine.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119206_NpYvJ-L.jpg)



She has one more fall after this one on an easy straight section, but thankfully we reach the plato where there is air and we can use second gear too.  

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119222_59cy3-L.jpg)



But it is too late, we have taken it too far already and the next time she hits the ground, she does so at a good rate of knots.  And there are tears and she stays down. I feel her clavicle hoping to high heaven that it didn’t break again. She broke it previously when the 1200 dumped her in the Hogsback forest, and now she hit the ground with that shoulder again. It makes a grating sound but it seems to be intact.
 
We need to stop and we need to stop right now. Luckily we are out of the heat in those ravines, so we can camp here, but we have maybe 300ml of water left. That is not going to take us through the night in the dehydrated state that we are in.

I leave her and the kid under a tree and ride on to where I know a borehole is a couple of kilometers on. This is the borehole where I competed with the goats for water on the Goat Meat trip. When I get there, the hand pump is broken. Shit man. What’s so difficult in keeping a hand pump operable? I ask the Himba that live there where they get water from. They say Etengwa. Etengwa is about another 15km on. It is on our way but I also need to keep an eye on the fuel. That day at Purros when we explored the canyon we used the 50km buffer that I calculated in when we filled up. So our fuel is now just enough to get us to Okongwati, where we can refuel.  

I go back and explain that we need to keep going until we get to Etengwa. We take it slow and careful. When we get to Etengwa, which by the way is a collection of huts, we are astounded to find that the borehole pump there is also broken and have been so for years.

We ask around and a Himba explains that they get water out of a well not far up the riverbed. He offers to show me. In the mean time the children get to playing.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119229_v8Pgt-L.jpg)



When we get to the well, I am less than impressed. It is an open well with all sorts that fall in every day. This water looks damn dodgy. I have a cup and it tastes fine though. Beggars can’t be choosers and we need water badly, so we fill up.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119240_RuaJ3-L.jpg)



As we pull out of the river to find a campsite we ride slap bang past a shop. Well knock me over, I cannot believe our luck. We buy three litres of warm colddrink with the promise to return the empties the next day.

We ride into the bush to make camp. We are only 30 km from Okongwati but it is a physical impossibility to get there today.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119285_qa93f-L.jpg)



We boil the water for peace of mind but it does nothing for the colour.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119250_7Th8v-L.jpg)



And so the sun sets on a difficult day. There is not too much talking going on.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119264_SCbX2-L.jpg)

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS on October 27, 2009, 12:22:29 pm
I know that feeling MJ. Wife finding the road difficult and I feeling bad that I brought her there. The worst is you HAVE to finish the road!! You cannot fly out of there. Good call to stop for the day! :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Nardus on October 27, 2009, 12:43:18 pm
Holy crap MJ, I recall how difficult and demanding the stretch to Epupa was. Cannot believe you take the poor unsuspecting wife there. Great respect Tharina !!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Archangel on October 27, 2009, 01:44:38 pm
 :happy1:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: GSJeri on October 27, 2009, 02:40:02 pm
Holy Smokes   :P
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 27, 2009, 03:51:00 pm
Purros to Epupa, Day 3

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Namibia-2009/SPurros3/684595445_CwQXM-M.jpg)



With our powers restored the morning’s ride into Okongwati is a doddle.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119309_PJgni-L.jpg)



Check out the birds, and the water, running all over like it's not a precious commodity.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119312_n5QWZ-L.jpg)



We buy fuel out of cans at a stiff mark-up.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119321_ZjGTn-L.jpg)



How’s that for cutting it fine, what’s left in the DRZ’s tank.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119337_TE6vx-M.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119350_2BFo2-L.jpg)



We try to raid the shops but still the stock standard range of canned food is all that is available. So it is Chilli pilchards, bully beef and Luncheon roll then for another week.

The road from Okongwati to Epupa is in excellent condition, and blindingly white. I take a picture of my arm because that’s the only red thing to be seen anywhere.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119377_tKPoc-L.jpg)



As we near Epupa the scenery improves.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119354_eWfVA-L.jpg)



We get a campsite at Omarunga Camp and head to the river for a dip. We have a lot of dust to get rid of after three days.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119415_7aRQA-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119422_g3aKK-L.jpg)



Some local talent (not safe for work) http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119448_kXCmp-L.jpg (http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119448_kXCmp-L.jpg)



Check out this lizard. 

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119389_Rz4kM-L.jpg)



Here with one of what appears to be his many wives.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119543_2ncjo-L.jpg)



This place has excellent spacious outdoor showers, we abuse the opportunity.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119463_S7WXh-L.jpg)



Peanut finds a friend her age and we see very little of her from then on.

Makalani pips, the centre is very hard and looks like ivory, the locals do intricate carvings on them.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119562_k7isk-L.jpg)



And night falls at Epupa falls and everybody is happy again.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119510_nt9FL-L.jpg)

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Would I? on October 27, 2009, 03:57:46 pm
Awesome!!!!! really enjoying this. :) :) :)
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 27, 2009, 04:16:34 pm
:thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Fantastic; great find the elephants; not always guaranteed, great pics and very good report; like the others you did,  

------may I ask what camera you were using?

Tharina used a Panasonic Lumix FZ-18 that I bought from Rival, a forum member. We are very pleased with it. In fact, Knopkop has one for sale now http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=38306.0 (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=38306.0). Check out the link to the review in his post if you want to know more.

I have a Nikon Coolpix S4, unfortunately discontinued, otherwise I would have bought another one.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Wooly Bugger on October 27, 2009, 04:17:40 pm
Respect! This is the highlight of my day! :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: EtienneXplore on October 27, 2009, 04:31:36 pm
:thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Fantastic; great find the elephants; not always guaranteed, great pics and very good report; like the others you did,   

------may I ask what camera you were using?

Tharina used a Panasonic Lumix FZ-18 that I bought from a Rival, a forum member. We are very pleased with it. In fact, Knopkop has one for sale now http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=38306.0 (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=38306.0). Check out the link to the review in his post if you want to know more.

I have a Nikon Coolpix S4, unfortunately discontinued, otherwise I would have bought another one.

 :ricky: :ricky:

Faaark that, now I am keeping that camera!!!!!
 :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

MJ and Tharina, again, some really AWESOME photo's in this report, thank you so much for taking the time and effort to put this together in such a easy to read and follow report. As always, your reports keeps on inspiring.....

Thanks.
 :thumleft:

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Gee S on October 27, 2009, 04:48:17 pm
Great Report. Respect to Tharina she's got more guts than a lot of men I know
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: GStry on October 27, 2009, 08:03:38 pm
MJ, absolutely amazing.
Can just imagine, (or maybe I can't),  how tough some of what you did, was for Tharina, she is one tough lady to have got back on that bike, again and again and attacked those rocks. It would have been a challenge for anyone.
Photo's, just don't show exhaustion, pain, aggravation, the heat, how big the rocks really are and a host of other factors. I imagine she must have hated that day.....she deserves a medal, as does Peanut....wow!
Again, well done to all of you :thumleft: and you spin a good story and love the photo's.  :thumleft:   
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: blazes on October 27, 2009, 08:44:11 pm
What can i say  ??? Nothing--I am Totally Speechless. What a Trip-Awesome Pictures and what a awesome RR.

Great stuff MJ and family-Thank's for taking the time to share this epic trip with us.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Leftless on October 27, 2009, 08:50:38 pm
fantastic - respect
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Jerrycan on October 27, 2009, 09:47:39 pm
Thanks for sharing, excellent writing, photography and riding skills!  This should be published to do it justice  :deal:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: funacide on October 27, 2009, 10:04:49 pm
Damn awesome MJ, thanks...

Looking forward to my next fix.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: TTMAN on October 27, 2009, 10:50:04 pm
Ek wou vannaand werk.  Toe begin ek by bladsy 1.  Nou etlike ure later is ek hier.  In one shot gelees.  Wat se dit vir jou?


MJ Tharina & Peanut julle is n inspirasie.  Ja ek weet almal het dit al hier gese. Maar hoe kan ek dit als lees en nie lieries raak oor wat julle beleef het nie.  En die FOTOS!!!  

Julle is net GREAT.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 27, 2009, 11:49:11 pm
Day 16 Epupa to Swartbooisdrif

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Namibia-2009/SEpupa/684595241_MdZSJ-M.jpg)



Morning rituals, hot chocolate and Pro Nutro.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119594_ygpJx-L.jpg)



We take our time packing the next day because we are going to bush camp again and have nowhere to be. The plan is to follow the Kunene eastwards towards Swartbooisdrif.

We first have lunch in the settlement that has grown markedly since I was here last.  

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119680_jt5qU-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119675_G2wfe-L.jpg)



Ready to rock and roll.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119688_cYQhZ-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119692_kx3Dt-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119702_xTXEc-L.jpg)



One of the reasons I included Epupa in our route is that this track brings me opposite Monte Negro, the village where we had such a memorable time on the Angola trip.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119726_HVgsS-L.jpg)



That is the tree that we camped under.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119746_Mo7ov-L.jpg)



I brought with me a selection of pictures we took when we were in Monte Negro. Unfortunately I cannot swim across because I am afraid of the crocodiles. I leave Tharina and the kid to picknick while I try and find a way across the river.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119807_srrYF-L.jpg)



Late that afternoon I finally arrange someone from the Angolan side to row me over. Before I get in the boat I show them the pictures and it turns out that every single policeman that we partied with had been transferred. Now, I’m all for sneaking across borders, but I am not stupid. Who knows what the new policeman’s attitude will be to such willful disrespect? So I just ask my ferryman to pass the pictures on to the locals that are still in Monte Negro.

My mission semi-accomplished we move up river to where we find what looks like a lekker place to camp. While the sun sets we sit in the river, so different from two nights ago.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119810_FWTYC-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653145837_7SGMM-M.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653145909_pL5mA-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653145851_LQMRS-L.jpg)



Just 20km for the day, that’s probably a record.



The new day starts with fresh wings, so to speak.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146019_BNwtQ-L.jpg)



We have the whole day, or even more if we feel the need, to get to Swartboois drif. It’s the most scenic route up the Kunene, I can recommend it to anyone.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146033_8gsCu-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146104_aWeT5-L.jpg)



We stop at various Himba to enquire about the whereabouts of one chap who’s picture I still carry. But we have no success.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146121_MHMf8-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146151_wuuMM-L.jpg)



See the leaves circling their tree.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146160_B9N2k-L.jpg)



You  ride either rocks or sand, nothing inbetween. That is actually pretty accurate for the whole of Kaokoland.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146179_Ve63R-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146253_BPBq5-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146263_XDtgQ-L.jpg)



Like I said, happy to ride, and happy to stop.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146403_jyZJa-L.jpg)



We cross a lot of streams and washes leading into the Kunene.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146601_rkThU-L.jpg)



And we also ride a lot of rocks.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146616_hddZa-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146649_mWmpe-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146691_J6bpa-L.jpg)



It seems that the serial falling down of the other day has not done Tharina any good. The switch in her head flipped back and today she just cannot force herself to let go of the brakes on any loose downhill. After she dropped the bike about three times I rather take it down the gnarlies.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146809_PBFQW-L.jpg)



In the meantime the kid is trying to get some shuteye and is not enjoying being loaded and unloaded repeatedly. When she wants to sleep, she wants to sleep.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146737_Qf5LZ-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146723_vu8hw-L.jpg)



Periodically we see Makalanis with footholds sticking out of them and I have been wondering what it was for.  

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146573_epUrF-L.jpg)



It seems we are about to find out.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146324_uxjWG-L.jpg)



It turns out the Himba are making beer up there. They start with a live palm and cuts off all the leaves and opens the soft top part which is then hollowed a little, and it ferments with some muti I didn’t understand.

You need to spit out the insect pieces but otherwise it is quite an enjoyable drink. It tastes like ginger beer without the ginger and without the sugar. Refreshing and fizzy.  I have three cups, I’d hate to be known as the type that turns down a free beer.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146369_JojvY-L.jpg)



They tell me that they can make it like cooldrink or they can make it as strong as brandy, Each palm is used to make a different strength.

I go up to get a better look, you are supposed to sit in the top when you drink. It is plenty flippen high and some of those pegs are spaced just so that you have to pull yourself up before your feet reaches the next rung.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146448_T9aWy-L.jpg)



The fermenting liquid boils over and the good stuff drips into this container, which is where you scoop out of.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146524_VrTcr-L.jpg)



My companion  will make a convincing elephant track impression. By the way, this the preferred foot wear for Himba men. Long lasting stuff. Women go barefoot.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146501_x5sxV-L.jpg)



I take a picture of the inside of the palm, but I maybe shouldn’t have.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146547_Jisv4-L.jpg)



These are very nice, genuine guys and if you pass this way, try to stay at Eniandi Camp. It is a community thing and because they have an English speaker, you can learn a lot.

We continue on our way and I have to say, you need to have a love of rocks if want to ride here.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146883_DYNXF-L.jpg)



Tharina seems to be getting back her groove.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146903_vkmC3-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146919_hcFJz-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146937_8DUd4-L.jpg)



We find the exact place that we camped at in 1995, fourteen years ago.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146952_j4qDo-L.jpg)



We stop for a swim.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653146976_pDgrf-L.jpg)



I keep the crocs at bay with my “What the fuck do you want?” look.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147003_QHbCo-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147040_brj79-L.jpg)



It’s very hot and we wet our clothes before we pull off again.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147057_Cvoxf-L.jpg)



That lasts about six minutes, then we are dry and the heat returns.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147071_bDdBW-L.jpg)



When we get to Swartbooisdrif we pull into Kunene River Lodge. This is the official end of our Rambo part of the trip, from here on it’s more tourist orientated, staying at lodges, riding proper graded gravel, you know, holiday stuff. Cold Savannahs never tasted so good, I gulp down half a dozen.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147087_MTrZB-L.jpg)



The kid has long fake conversations with Ouma. She just loves this kind of thing.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147186_MZSoR-L.jpg)



Electricity too, I am not holding back, nothing is too good for my girl.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147215_jdgjh-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147293_KZVbv-L.jpg)



Check it out, just the kind of thing that we need.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147241_QLdbF-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147272_YSA7J-L.jpg)



That night we eat steaks, big man sized meaty steaks. Aaaaahhhh.

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Swanniebraai on October 28, 2009, 01:58:39 am
MJ, brilliant, you give the needed "flavour" AND "defenition" to true adventure riding, this is it!!

ME VOTE: Best RR of 2009!! :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: funacide on October 28, 2009, 05:42:36 am
At the airport this morning thinking what am I going to do while I wait... Well the latest installment made my day, gone is the tiredness, just a yearning to be on my bike....

Thanks for the update MJ. You guys really are an inspiration to us all. Respect to you and mostly to your family for having the guts to join you on this trip. Peanut you are an inspiration to us all. Well done!!!!

 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: eSKaPe on October 28, 2009, 08:29:09 am
Just brilliant - the words, the pics, the story - and yes, to have done the trip with the wife and the kid must be for you the best part. Little Peanut seems to have taken it all in her stride so well - she must be a great daughter - trips like this build extra-special bonds, not to mention the everlasting memories for all of you. Wish I could get my daughter on a bike...
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Katundu on October 28, 2009, 09:10:13 am
This is inspiring to change the my mind about my December plans
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: BiG DoM on October 28, 2009, 09:30:48 am
Just more 'amazing' stuff ! A family adventure of a lifetime, and you have a wife that many of us dream about ... one who will 'ride the ride at our side' ... and the kid is top drawer and is going to make a man very happy too one day - for sure this is character building.  :3some:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 28, 2009, 02:08:03 pm
Day 18 Swartbooisdrif to Rundu


We find it difficult to leave, opting for a couple of hours next to the pool first.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147322_p7PUA-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147357_ZBjkQ-L.jpg)



Tip for packing light – pack underwear that can pass for a swimming costume.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147396_scGfY-L.jpg)



What did I say about graded roads? Have a look at this beauty.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147469_a5PjP-L.jpg)



And this one.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147593_VVsnn-L.jpg)



When we get to Ruacana we are completely flabbergasted at the variety of everything in stock at the garage shop. We have 150km of tar left to get to Oshakati, but one hell of a headwind and the fact that Ruacana has a very nice lodge catering for the staff of the Hydro Electric Scheme, makes the decision to stay easy. We sleep in a bed for the second time on this trip,  and again, we take a lot of stuff for granted. It is positively luxurious. 
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 28, 2009, 02:14:04 pm
Day 19 Ruacana, Oshakati, Eenhana

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Namibia-2009/SRuacana/684595471_eLAXc-M.jpg)

My trip started a week earlier than the family’s and I have covered 6000km so far. The Michelin Desert on the rear of the X is just about on it’s last legs and will certainly not last the remaining 3000km until the end of this trip.

I was able to get an SMS through to Michnus ‘the Organizer‘ some days ago, so hopefully a new rear tyre would have found it’s way to Oshakati. That’s our first target for the day.

That’s if Angola isn’t calling too strongly, we do have our passports. Unfortunately visas are also required.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147604_rT66a-L.jpg)



True to his reputation, Michnus delivers. Thanks swaer. One of the local bikers bring the tyre around that had been forwarded to him by post from Windhoek. And having the luxury of a fitment centre means I just have to remove the wheel.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147625_ymiWY-L.jpg)



We continue, swinging away North to avoid the tarred roads.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147653_QuxEN-L.jpg)



We aim to stop over at Eenhana. The town is bigger than I thought having even a clothing store.
We stop for the night at the NRK, which just happens to be the only accommodation around. We get a room with aircon and breakfast and dirt cheap too.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147668_Rn4Rb-S.jpg http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147727_eRV8q-L.jpg)



Here in the far north on the Angolan border we notice that a lot of the commerce is geared towards Angolans.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147709_54jRw-L.jpg)


Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 28, 2009, 02:30:03 pm
Day 19 Eenhana to Rundu

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Namibia-2009/SEenhana/684595187_vjmnA-M.jpg)



We hit the gravel and it’s wide and fast and boring as all hell. This used to be known as Oom Willie se Pad.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147747_ywPKW-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147775_Fcuhv-L.jpg)



Sitting on one straight road for 300km is mindnumbing and butt numbing. And the arseholes sharing this road with you just choose a line that feels good and stick to it, so you get bakkies coming at you on the wrong side of the road and they just don’t move over resulting in us dodging oncoming traffic all over.

We take a break at a store but it is closed as it is Sunday.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147790_fEDgG-L.jpg)



That proves to not be the biggest problem and within 20 minutes the shopkeeper is fetched from the bush and they’re open for business.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147803_kxxuq-L.jpg)



That is one trait of Africa that I really like, no rigid rules, you need something, it can be organized.

Daily chores, fetching water for the household.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147836_nv3DW-L.jpg)



We make it to Rundu and have lunch at an upmarket lodge. Then we move to a spot recommended to us by the chap in Oshakati. Friends of his had set up a new camp on the banks of the Kavango river. It is called camp Hogo. We pull in just in time for sunset.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147855_7AECt-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147930_QjtnU-L.jpg)



There are platforms for pitching your tent and I find that to be an excellent idea. No lying in the dust.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147896_Anb6x-L.jpg)



The spotlight at a long exposure. You can see the individual wing strokes of the moth.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653147977_z3Nx9-L.jpg)




Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Sakkie on October 28, 2009, 02:55:37 pm
Riviting stuff!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 28, 2009, 03:13:04 pm
Day 20 Rundu to Divundu

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Namibia-2009/Srundu/684595529_54uuE-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653148000_nJXie-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653148066_M6Nhw-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653148091_TzyA4-L.jpg)



The DRZ’s chain have been giving warning signs for several days now and I have to tighten it almost daily. It is certainly going to go in the next 3 -4 days. Rundu is the last town of any significance that we will be in so this morning it is into town for shopping.

I was never made for shopping. Tharina have taken over those duties and avoids taking me along because I have such difficulty to be a pleasant person when shopping. We have been traveling in bliss for three weeks now. Less than an hour in this bustling people setup and and both me and Tharina start to become tetchy with each other.

The short and the tall is that the only place to get a chain from is Windhoek. That means staying put in Rundu for another two days.

I strike it lucky though. The Toyota dealer has two brand new CRF250X’s that are awaiting delivery to a client. The dealer is amenable to me stripping one off a bike and paying him cash for a replacement. The OEM chain is a continuous chain with no master link. Lucky for me I packed a chain breaker and it takes me seconds to get the chain off.

We leave Rundu, where by the way, we come across the first bike travelers since we left south Africa. A quick 200km of tar and we reach Divundu, at the beginning of the Caprivi Strip. Here we turn south for the first time.

We go to Nunda Camp because I had read good things about it. And it turns out to be all true. A very nice place, owner run by very nice people and the best staff complement we have come across on the entire trip. Good, mature, courteous people. Their camping is full but we can stay on an undeveloped part of the property until tomorrow when a camping spot will open up.

We pitch our tent here.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653148332_r38tT-L.jpg)



It is still the Kavango river but by now it has been joined by the Quito river and it flows dark, fast and silent.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653148244_ZnLwt-L.jpg)



There are hippos all over and during the night they splash all around our little laager.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653148217_oqhbf-L.jpg)



Sunset on the Kavango, I love it here.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653148280_HpFZE-L.jpg)



The next day we move to our new site and I have the time to do a leisurely maintenance job on the bikes. I change the chain on the DRZ. Having the chain cutter, it is light work to cut the old chain off and cut the new one to length. Neither the new or old chain has a master link, luckily I packed one.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653148500_558nF-L.jpg)



While I am entertaining myself thus, Tharina and Peanut are swimming and sun tanning at the pool.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653193737_NQyri-L.jpg)



Peanut makes new friends. This is Thandiwe, from Zimbabwe.
 
(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653193833_UpsHH-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653148340_433qX-L.jpg)



I also take a ride out to Ngepi Camp to see how it has changed in the 14 years since I was there last. It’s still a very relaxed setup, but I am happy to confirm that we are staying at the better spot.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653148530_wftpD-L.jpg)



Nunda is a high end lodge with quality everything, construction, décor, setting etc.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653148644_DH5LY-L.jpg)



That is one of the idiosyncrasies of Namibia that I like, lodges charge top dollar for a room or chalet, yet you can camp at R80 per person and have access to everything that the well heeled patrons have.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653193600_fcpq4-L.jpg)



And another sunset on the Kavango.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653148604_sCkqY-L.jpg)



I’m starting to feel guilty for bombarding you lot with the sheer volume of sunset pics.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653193580_knVMs-L.jpg)



The sun making way for the night.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653195337_XZeTx-XL.jpg)



The moon taking over the watch.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653195387_RuVYF-L.jpg)



This is our second day here but we like it so we stay another.

Early the next morning I’m up to get some hippo pics and an otter comes out the water to have a look around just meters from me, but by the time I get the tripod to do what I want, it has disappeared again.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653193667_DJYNe-L.jpg)



The tripper hanging in the tree becomes a very popular watering hole for ants. At night it is quite disgusting to grab a hold in the dark and it is just hairy ants.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653193908_QGqek-M.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653195403_4waaN-L.jpg)



Tharina goes for a boat ride.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653195357_SHokR-L.jpg)



These rapids are called Popa Falls.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Namibia-2009/P1050111/653194489_MmW5a-XL.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653194373_CrcLC-L.jpg)



Our camp as seen from the river.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653193959_VX4WQ-L.jpg)



Young crocodile.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653194020_yapGn-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653194249_3pNRa-L.jpg)



I find this pic particularly potent. In the background man putting up permanent structures. In the middle the next step, leisure activities. And in the foreground the wildlife that can do nought but look on as their way of life is being destroyed.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653194762_vqMBp-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653194828_RA4C4-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653194575_cPxv2-L.jpg)



While Tharina is on the boat I get comfortable at the lodge.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653194927_CjV3M-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653195057_hZudB-L.jpg)



Damn, life is tough here in Africa.




.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Wooly Bugger on October 28, 2009, 03:18:37 pm
 :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: lemac on October 28, 2009, 03:19:35 pm
Thanks for the great photo's of Rundu!! We know the South African doctor there and want to go no more than ever!!!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Stofstreep on October 28, 2009, 04:12:46 pm
Wow Again!!!
I'm In Awe!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Big E on October 28, 2009, 04:21:40 pm
MJ, Jy kan moet jou adventures in 'n boek sit!!!!

Ek sal dit koop!!!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: bradleys on October 28, 2009, 04:52:09 pm
Damn damn damn what a report ,this is the best by so far ,respect once again MJ ,Tharina,and not least of all Peanut, well done.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 28, 2009, 07:12:56 pm
Day 24 Divundu, Botswana Border, Shakawe, Drotsky’s Cabins

Today we head for Botswana and the Okavango Delta. I’ve never been there so am looking forward to it.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653195446_35dTp-L.jpg)



You have to go through Mahango National Park to get to the border. Just a formality of filling in vehicle particulars.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653195503_iCegj-L.jpg)



Some wildlife next to the road.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653195569_pAgc4-L.jpg)



These are Swartwitpens or Sable Antelope.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653195640_A9FWS-L.jpg)



Mother and child.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653195668_niASa-L.jpg)



We go through the border posts with no hassle at all and as soon as we are on the Botswana side there is a speed trap. We expected it and stick religiously to the speed limit. After drawing Pula at Shakawe (don’t mistake it for a metropolis), we turn into Drotsky’s Cabins to see if they can help us with lunch. We have such an impressive spread that we fold and decide to stay over.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653195993_QcZGf-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653195707_h6ukf-L.jpg)



Spot the foreigner.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653195775_oWVjV-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653195803_EEui2-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653195924_Nzz4z-L.jpg)



Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Chuck U Farley on October 28, 2009, 07:23:46 pm
Hey MJ, another stunner from you! I've been following some of the replies you're getting over on ADV Rider. You seroiusly do our part of the world proud!!!!!
(not even Julius Malema can undo the good you do for Southern African Tourism!!!!)

Way to go, boet!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 28, 2009, 07:25:42 pm
Day 25 – Drotsky’s Cabins, Etsha 13, Delta Island

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Namibia-2009/Bots1/695690164_L5BUy-M.jpg)


The next morning we keep moving south. At Etsha 13 we turn off the main road and brave the sand to find the camp of Real Mokoro. It is a local community run setup that takes guests on trips into the Delta, for one or several days. The lodges that offer this kind of thing charges upwards of P3000 per person. These guys charge P400 per mokoro per trip and the camping on Islands is at P80 per night.

The only access to Real Mokoro is by 4x4. The sand is something to behold.  

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653196130_ueDXb-L.jpg)



Elephant sign is everywhere and they push over trees everywhere making things more difficult.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653196497_8EUFg-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653196215_ufHex-L.jpg)



The going is very difficult. I cannot get any flotation and because the tracks weave in and out of trees there is barely 20m of straight anywhere. Tharina gets flotation but lacks a stretch long enough to make any notable progress.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653196361_wp3bi-L.jpg)



Tharina goes down which surprises me a bit.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653196467_yUyYQ-L.jpg)



But then I see the culprit.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653196288_opguB-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653196448_ugs3H-L.jpg)



Twice we get a nice shona area, but soon they do not last long.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653196527_RHr7N-L.jpg)



We make it to the camp finally though, pretty relieved.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653196572_Asqgy-M.jpg)



We negotiate a trip into the delta where we will sleep on an island. We leave our bikes and most of our gear at the camp.

We meet our poler, Ram, and we are off.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Namibia-2009/P1050187/682321598_MGchL-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653196720_wni5h-L.jpg)



Periodically we will meet other swamp dwellers.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653196801_Fb84c-L.jpg)



This is the way I pictured a mokoro trip into the Delta to be like. Poling in open waterways.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653197171_avpbj-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653197036_293ny-L.jpg)



But a lot of it is like this, channels cut by the locals that is very narrow. I quickly learn to appreciate that poling is actually very hard work.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653197200_jkRRg-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653197251_Ddyxc-XL.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653197306_tW7HZ-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653197340_YFjco-L.jpg)



Some of it is what looks like open grasslands, except the grass grows in water.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653197387_MyRJh-L.jpg)



And then sometimes we follow hippo paths. We are assured that the hippo stay put during daylight hours.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653197590_QJNBi-L.jpg)



We check out one or two islands for a suitable place to camp.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653197607_YLxdU-L.jpg)



And then set up camp as the sun sets.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653197655_bkCHQ-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653197745_QBmD5-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653197773_X7g2C-L.jpg)



That night hippos have massive fights in the shallows in front of our tent. Very impressive.

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: MeerCat on October 28, 2009, 08:12:58 pm
Absolutely bloody awesome.  Needless to say I am jealous and envious. (apparantly not very good qualities but ...).  I have only completed page 6 and have to go do something or the other now.  I can't wait to get back to your story (And amazing, soul stirring pic's).  As a result of what I have already read I want to read your other stories.   I also want to ride through Namibia as well.  There is just so much awesome, amazing scenery here inn the Southern Cape that there is little reason to go elsewhere.  Having said that South America looks good as well....      Thanks MJ
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: MaxThePanda on October 28, 2009, 08:16:27 pm
Hey MJ - I've been running Maxxis 6006 on my X for about 10k km cause they're cheap and tough - looked like a 6006 that you fitted to your bike along the road. Was there a significant performance difference from the Michellin Desert you had on before?
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: funacide on October 28, 2009, 10:58:49 pm
Run out of nice things to day..... I am REALLY Enjoying this one...

MJ Were you not concerned about the lions on the isalnd in the Delta?

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Philemon on October 29, 2009, 06:21:57 am
Absolutely AWESOME RR.

Riveting and entertaining.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: ThomTom on October 29, 2009, 07:45:58 am
I loved every minute of the report so far and fantastic pics.  The report makes travelling in that area looks easier than it is.....

The Himba making beer; "where there is a will, there is a way"; it is easy to see why the R10 to R15 bottles of beer will be a problem for a nation when making alcohol in the pass was such a mission?  Beer for me, remains one of the best discoveries; around the world; almost all nations; made their own alcohol?
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 29, 2009, 09:29:08 am
Hey MJ - I've been running Maxxis 6006 on my X for about 10k km cause they're cheap and tough - looked like a 6006 that you fitted to your bike along the road. Was there a significant performance difference from the Michellin Desert you had on before?

Max, the main reason I don't like the 6006 is that it only comes in a 130, so it looks a little aneamic on the bike. Otherwise I'm almost sure that in sand it performed worse than the Desert, it is thinner and the pattern is not arranged in rows like the Desert which aids traction in sand. I won't fit another.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 29, 2009, 09:30:38 am
Run out of nice things to day..... I am REALLY Enjoying this one...

MJ Were you not concerned about the lions on the isalnd in the Delta?



We had a guide, if he is at peace with it, so am I. And every island has trees.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: madmike999 on October 29, 2009, 09:45:27 am
man this is the coolest and best RR i have read ever

my daughter also like riding with me but this will blow her mind

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Catch 22 on October 29, 2009, 09:53:53 am
Hats off.....wish my family was as adventurous!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 29, 2009, 09:57:40 am
Day 26 Delta Island to Etsha 13

We get going early, we are going for a game walk on one of the bigger islands.  

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653197939_gKLK5-L.jpg)



The elephant here seem to enjoy the bark off the baobabs

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653198087_4D8UD-L.jpg)



Ram opens a baobab pod for us and the Kid enjoys the snack.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653198134_8RFy9-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653198209_YJjkv-L.jpg)



Small leopard track.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653198515_C7jDu-M.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653198657_YZiDx-L.jpg)



If you want to know what it looks like when ‘shit hits the fan’, this is it.  

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653198703_gTbNX-M.jpg)



(http://)That there is hippo poop. They have a ‘spray it’ policy, using their tails as a high speed fan. The story goes that God made hippo to live in the water, but being insolent as they are, they sneak out onto land at night when God isn’t watching. So as not to leave big turds lying around as clues that they were naughty, they spread their droppings around.



Little hippo bones.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653198892_w5sW8-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653199104_VW96C-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653199153_QZDxQ-L.jpg)


We do not see any big game, but I don't mind.  We were very close to elephant but we were upwind so they crossed to the next island before we got to see them. And the whole place is full of animal sign, so you get the wilderness feel.



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653199271_agKaS-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653199334_bbjmb-L.jpg)



There’s our camp, under the tree.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653199384_iBZBY-L.jpg)



Ram made a necklace for the kid.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653199466_WPuZn-L.jpg)



Lunch being prepared.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653238488_Tfz7s-L.jpg)



And consumed from a novel seed pod bowl.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653238546_MobGG-L.jpg)



We buy some fish off the local fisherman.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653238602_JPG4a-L.jpg)



On the way back to the mainland, we stop off on their island. It is a fabulous setting under large shady trees, Robinson Crusoe type thing. Well, it would have been if it was not for the overwhelming stench off fish. These two guys live here catching and drying fish, which they periodically take to town to sell.  

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653199541_PpVhq-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653238735_wud9s-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653238803_ALeEj-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653238856_XiJf7-L.jpg)



What is quite interesting is that we are using a fibre glass mokoro. Ram tells us that it costs about P3000, but that the guy who manufactured them, Brian, had died some time ago and that new ones cannot be obtained. Apparently the original mokoro, carved from a solid tree trunk, are prohibitively expensive. It aslo appears that everybody prefers the lighter fibreglass one, on this fishing island for instance, the wooden mokoro lies unused.

Fish Eagle.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653238402_dMxob-L.jpg)



Sun tan lotion.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653238916_5C3Qu-L.jpg)



I keep on dipping my hat to cool down but the sun dries it again in minutes.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653238942_XDVm7-L.jpg)



It’s a trip of several hours to get back to camp, and the kid uses it wisely.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653239026_YvVM6-L.jpg)



That night we have fresh bream for dinner.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653239057_rPAS8-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653239211_3heeH-L.jpg)




Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: funacide on October 29, 2009, 10:08:19 am
Damn another thing to add on the list of things to do....
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Oetie on October 29, 2009, 10:20:35 am
This RR is getting better by the day :thumleft:

Thanks MJ!!!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: cracklin on October 29, 2009, 11:13:06 am
MJ, brilliant, you give the needed "flavour" AND "defenition" to true adventure riding, this is it!!

ME VOTE: Best RR of 2009!! :thumleft:

X infinity. definitely the best rr !!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: popipants on October 29, 2009, 01:33:49 pm
Thanks MJ, we are enjoying it, and it must have taken some to time to write.
Thanks for the effort!!!




Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Avontier on October 29, 2009, 02:06:49 pm
The report is not even finished yet, and already viewed by more people than a lot of the RR's in the Roll of Honour. Easy to see why! Thanks for the inspiration MJ.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Frohan Visser on October 29, 2009, 02:40:05 pm
MJ, this is Roll of Honour stuff this!!!
Thanks for putting the time and effort into this report!!
I dreamt about this trip last night!!
I will cantact u later for some GPS points!!
Cheers
Frohan
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Would I? on October 29, 2009, 02:44:56 pm
Fantastic !!!!!!....... I am enjoying the daily read. :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Shakes on October 29, 2009, 03:01:52 pm
MJ, this is Roll of Honour stuff this!!!


+1
WOW is all i can say   :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 29, 2009, 03:13:49 pm
Day 27 Etsha 13, Namibian Border, Tsumkwe

We are woken early by banging of pots at a nearby village. They are driving elephant out of their crops. They are also driving elephant our way but when they come through camp they are not keen on socializing.  

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653239307_D5rsv-L.jpg)



We leave very early because I want to hit the sand while it is still cool and tight.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653239897_Fpoh4-L.jpg)



It turns out not to make much of a difference. When a vehicle track closes up in a V like this, you know you are not going to be riding on sand, you are going to be plowing in sand.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653239843_iUoR8-L.jpg)



My speedo says 28km/h but that is just the back wheel spinning. The progress is so slow, that I have to use my feet to stop us from falling over.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653239441_thMC7-L.jpg)



In second gear, the engine just does not have enough grunt.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653239586_jxEXm-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653239794_aQH7T-L.jpg)



Twice the temperature warning light comes on and I have to let the X cool down.  

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653240032_phXBN-L.jpg)



When I offload the kid, suddenly second gear becomes useable.  

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653240187_DNARS-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653240343_dXLRu-L.jpg)



Amazing what a difference 20kg can make.

It takes us just over an hour to do the 9km from camp back to Etsha 13.



When we take the main road south again, we see that the dead apparently appreciates a shady resting place.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653240391_DqnXL-L.jpg)



We are heading for Tsumkwe in Namibia. The road from Nokaneng to the border surprises us again. Every now and then you think that you have seen it all, ridden all the kinds of bad roads there are, and then you come across a totally new variant.

And then I'm still requiered to play mind games at the same time too. About an hour on this crappy road and I stop for a pee. Peanut says she has been wanting to pee for a long time.

Me: But you must tell me baby, I will stop.
The Kid: I did.

Now that is very possible, she is very vocal on the back, sometimes she sings, sometimes she points out things she sees, sometimes she has long dialogues with imaginary toys. Many times she asks me things, and I just go “yes, I see that” because if I want to hear what it is she is on about, I have to stop and shut down the motor, and that way we will just get nowhere.

Me:         I cannot hear you back there, you must bang on my back.
The Kid:  Ok
                                                         My subconscious: That may have been a mistake.
                                                         Me: Ignore

As we are about to leave, Peanut asks for another jelly bean. Tharina says she can have one when we stop again.

                                                         Subconscious: That’s definitely a mistake.
                                                         Me: I know. What’s done is done.

We pull off, far to go still today. Just as shift to top gear I get the banging on my back.

                                                        Subconscious: I told you so
                                                        Me: I know, shut up.

I slow down, stop, switch off the motor, open my visor,

Me:           Yes?
The Kid:   I want a jelly baby.
Me:          Mommy said only when we stop.
The Kid:   We are stopping
Me:          Oh….. er ……no, we don’t stop for jelly babies, we have never stopped for jelly babies. When we stop to rest again, you can have a jelly baby.

                                                        Subconscious: You are not too bright are you?
                                                        Me: Shut up.
The Kid: OK

Pull off again.  Still within sight of the pee stop, banging on the back again.

                                                        Subconscious: I saw this coming.
                                                        Me: Well, speak the fuck up next time.

Slow down, pull off, shut motor down, open visor.

Me:          Yes?
The Kid:   I want to rest.
Me:          No Peanut, we can’t rest, we just rested. You don’t say when we rest, I say when we rest. You understand?   Don’t  stop me for nothing again, we are wasting time, we have far to go.

Pull off once more. If I knew that we were going to spend half the day to pee, I would have held it in until we got to the border.

                                                       Subconscious: You know what’s coming next, dont you?
                                                       Me: What?
                                                       Subconscious: You told her she can have a jelly baby when you stop.
                                                       Me: So?
                                                       Subconscious: You told her you’ll stop to pee.
                                                       Me: Dammit, if she does that, we are going to have to have that nasty ‘don’t ever lie to me’ scene again.

On the backseat of the bike the gears work slowly, but they work.  About 8 kms on, banging on the back again. Goddammit!

                                                       Subconscious: I.. Me: Shut the fuck up!




We finally get the stop start thing under control and we head for the border.

The last couple of kms to the border is deep sand, 4x4 stuff. This surprises me because on the map it looks like it is a big border post, fed by the C44 on the Namibian side. The C44 is a big gravel highway.

When we get there things look decidedly passive. The gates to Namibia are padlocked. The immigration guy tells us we are the first customers today, it’s 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Very friendly chaps though and we breeze through there and through the Namibian side too.

On the C44 they have these signs for in case you miss the very obvious elephant tracks crossing the road every couple of hundred meters.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653240597_daATC-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653240637_CoxBs-L.jpg)



We pull into the fuel station in Tsumkwe. Apparently the town gets it’s electricity from a generator. Sundays is no electricity day. Well, ok.

We go to Tsumkwe lodge, the only option in town and get a campsite.

Long day’s riding. Good thing we have a hammock.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653240816_m6UMc-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653240747_JtxC9-L.jpg)



Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Dewie on October 29, 2009, 03:40:27 pm


Me: But you must tell me baby, I will stop.
The Kid: I did.

Now that is very possible, she is very vocal on the back, sometimes she sings, sometimes she points out things she sees, sometimes she has long dialogues with imaginary toys. Many times she asks me things, and I just go “yes, I see that” because if I want to hear what it is she is on about, I have to stop and shut down the motor, and that way we will just get nowhere.

Me:         I cannot hear you back there, you must bang on my back.
The Kid:  Ok
                                                         My subconscious: That may have been a mistake.
                                                         Me: Ignore

As we are about to leave, Peanut asks for another jelly bean. Tharina says she can have one when we stop again.

                                                         Subconscious: That’s definitely a mistake.
                                                         Me: I know. What’s done is done.

We pull off, far to go still today. Just as shift to top gear I get the banging on my back.

                                                        Subconscious: I told you so
                                                        Me: I know, shut up.

I slow down, stop, switch off the motor, open my visor,

Me:           Yes?
The Kid:   I want a jelly baby.
Me:          Mommy said only when we stop.
The Kid:   We are stopping
Me:          Oh….. er ……no, we don’t stop for jelly babies, we have never stopped for jelly babies. When we stop to rest again, you can have a jelly baby.

                                                        Subconscious: You are not too bright are you?
                                                        Me: Shut up.
The Kid: OK

Pull off again.  Still within sight of the pee stop, banging on the back again.

                                                        Subconscious: I saw this coming.
                                                        Me: Well, speak the fuck up next time.

Slow down, pull off, shut motor down, open visor.

Me:          Yes?
The Kid:   I want to rest.
Me:          No Peanut, we can’t rest, we just rested. You don’t say when we rest, I say when we rest. You understand?   Don’t  stop me for nothing again, we are wasting time, we have far to go.

Pull off once more. If I knew that we were going to spend half the day to pee, I would have held it in until we got to the border.

                                                       Subconscious: You know what’s coming next, dont you?
                                                       Me: What?
                                                       Subconscious: You told her she can have a jelly baby when you stop.
                                                       Me: So?
                                                       Subconscious: You told her you’ll stop to pee.
                                                       Me: Dammit, if she does that, we are going to have to have that nasty ‘don’t ever lie to me’ scene again.

On the backseat of the bike the gears work slowly, but they work.  About 8 kms on, banging on the back again. Goddammit!

                                                       Subconscious: I.. Me: Shut the fuck up!

:laughing4:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: cloudgazer on October 29, 2009, 03:44:30 pm
LOL, that part with your daughter was seriously funny.

I can't get over what an awesome RR this is.

Must say though all that sands freaks me out.

I guess i just don't have that much experience in the soft stuff.

You have an impressive family dude. Respect!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Stofstreep on October 29, 2009, 04:50:04 pm
Brilliant!!!!! ;D
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Adventurer on October 29, 2009, 05:23:40 pm
Run out of nice things to day..... I am REALLY Enjoying this one...

MJ Were you not concerned about the lions on the isalnd in the Delta?



We had a guide, if he is at peace with it, so am I. And every island has trees.

And MJ had his best 'What the fuck do you want?' stare on..... :biggrin:
Brilliant RR, loving every instalment. Creates a SERIOUS lus to return to Nam....
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Maverick on October 29, 2009, 06:29:37 pm
Simply AWESOME!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: cheesy on October 29, 2009, 06:34:17 pm
What a life changing experience for the 3 of you!! The "education" Peanut is getting will not be found in any book/document. The stories the Kid will tell her friends and extended family, amazing stuff.
I have recently read Circulating the Great Karoo, a good read, your report is brilliant, respect to you and your family.
Please keep it comming.
Bum in the saddle
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Chuck U Farley on October 29, 2009, 09:18:35 pm
................your wife can ride in thick sand AND she has a flat stomach!!!!!..........................damn, some guys have all the luck!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Kat on October 29, 2009, 10:00:09 pm
 :thumleft:    nice trip,I love Nam
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Fire Cracker on October 29, 2009, 10:05:11 pm
Oh I absolutely love this report Thank you! :) The self dialogue nearly landed me on the floor!  :imaposer:  My husband and I had such a nice ride this week-end together, because it was just us together and exploring new roads, pushing ourselves a little more each time.  We want to do a Namibia trip next year - maybe August, but it looks like i have some serious saddle time to do!  Thank you for the inspiration.  Steep rocky or sandy downhills still scare the shyt out of me (my first few lie downs), but this keeps me wanting to achieve more and try harder all the time!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Groenie on October 30, 2009, 12:33:49 am
Brilliant! I had a good laugh at the me-myself-I conversation.


Please do me (and a lot of other okes) a favour and write your whole story and then post it in one go. The suspense is killing me.........(kak sê ding nê)

Carry on regardless
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Ektoknbike on October 30, 2009, 06:01:16 am

MJ, 'n klop op die skouer vir jou en groot respek aan jou vrou en dogter. :thumleft:
'n Trots vir enige pa. :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: ThinkMike on October 30, 2009, 08:17:42 am
MJ - You had me in absolute stiches!!! My Eyes are still watering. So tell me who is the most head-strong, you oir the Kid. (Like father like daughter).

Im loving this RR. And big big big respect to the Wife!!!! Ive got Think Pillion reading it from the start - She made it clear already that the only way we do a trip like this, is her on the back!!

TM....
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 30, 2009, 10:40:49 am
Day 28 Tsumkwe, Omataka, Otjituuo, Grootfontein

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Namibia-2009/Stsumkwe/684595601_aoLkP-M.jpg)



I just want to say, Tsumkwe Lodge is affiliated to Twyfelfontein Lodge, which I can highly recommend. Tsumkwe Lodge on the other hand I cannot. The campsites are ok if you do not mind rubble as a view.  

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653240660_TqYsa-M.jpg)



The chalets are asbestos squares standing in the sun that they charge R700 a night for.

The ablutions had broken toilets, broken showers, almost no working bulbs and although one can see that when it was built it was neat, now all the plumbing have been replaced and it runs surface, defacing the place.

And I just hate this false façade shit.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653240779_Cpfhn-M.jpg)



It is such a graphic reminder of our society’s obsession with form over function, image rather than substance, re-enact rather than get the real thing, cover version rather than the original, get paid for being at work rather than working,  I can go on and on.

Does nobody care anymore? How little do you have to care if this is the lodge’s pool, right by reception.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653240906_FB3SD-M.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653240945_KnCMg-M.jpg)



Not surprisingly, last night in the restaurant I had a T-bone steak that was tough and had no physical resemblance to a T-bone. There was one guy there that cared, our waiter. He wanted so much to be a lodge-staff kind of guy. But no training and no backup.

Me:     Is there shrimp in the seafood starter?
Him:    You want  champagne?
Me:     No, I want to know if there is shrimp in the starter.
Him:   Oh, let me check with the kitchen.
Lots of discussion in the kitchen, some heads poke out to look at us. He comes back.
Him:    No, no mushroom in the starter.

It's like the word 'shrimp' is an orphan or something. I send 'shrimp' out into the world and it just never comes back to me. I get 'shampagne', I get 'mushroom', but 'shrimp' is lost in the wilderness, never to be heard from again.

I think I may be turning into a grumpy old man.

We break camp and load up the bikes and as we start up the DRZ is stone dead. Luckily I brought a test light and a multimeter. So in no time I identify the battery as the problem. Luckily I also brought jumper cables. To get to the X’s battery, I have to remove the Touratech tank, so while I’m in there I also fit a jump cable that stays on the bike permanently and that is accessible from outside. The battery never gave any further problems.

The ignition on this bike though can turn through the ‘on’ setting to a ‘park light’ setting, where the keys can be removed. I think what may have happened is that Tharina was standing in front of the bike when she took the keys out and so turned the key the wrong way.



We take our leave and our Eastern Namibia trip starts. And its great.

There are two Namibias. One consists of off road trails, wilderness, survival, living by your wits and terrain ranging from challenging to impossible. The other is wide, good graded gravel with vast distances to be covered at speed and in solitude.

The last couple of thousand kms of our trip will be the latter. Fantastic gravel highways through breathtaking country. This is the kind of thing I am talking about.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653241377_gH4Fv-L.jpg)



We head down the D3306. After about  20km we find ourselves riding into a cattlepost and when the road dead ends in a guy’s yard, we start to suspect that we messed up somewhere.
Ok, there’s no we, it’s just me, I navigate.
As we turn around the owner, Hugo, pitches up and invites us in for some cold ginger beer. It turns out we are in Omataka. The D3306 has been fenced of and closed for some years, but it is still on the maps being published each year.

Omataka also is not the backwater it appears, sitting at the end of a dead end road. A hospital is being built as well accommodation for staff, a new school and hostel for it. He also tells us that Omataka is special in that it gets about 600mm rainfall annually, many times that of the majority of Namibia.

We head out on a new route we put together with Hugo's help.

Along the the way you can smell sweet blossoms.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653240964_h5iwT-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653241143_ePuZ5-L.jpg)



The route takes us through a private game farm called Eden. Very nice and we see a wide variety of animals.  

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653241666_EbgFv-XL.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653241639_S6wRD-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653241249_iAUpL-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653241335_xXvx5-XL.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653242141_Ef9cA-L.jpg)



Although none of our maps show Otjituuo to have fuel, Hugo assured us that there is . The fuel station turns out to be a re-selling from drums kind of place. This is also the day that the owner has gone to Grootfontein to fetch more stock. And when he is not there, no fuel gets sold.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653241840_CCxai-L.jpg)



This changes our plan because without this refuel, there is no way we will get to the next fuel stop.  Luckily my fuel tanker has some to spare for the DRZ and that allows us to make it to Grootfontein. I was hoping to avoid Grootfontein, as my only experience of it is limited to the desolation of the Deurgangskamp, and if I never see the place again, that is quite alright by me.



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653241710_rCMCF-L.jpg)  



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653242010_2AKLQ-XL.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653242169_mMzRC-L.jpg)



Grootfontein turns out to be not a bad spot at all and we find a very nice B&B with a bath which impresses Tharina no end. It’s our first bath of the trip.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653242210_Wkotp-L.jpg)


Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Lootch67 on October 30, 2009, 11:36:28 am
Now you're in my part of the world. Trying not to give in to the temptation to drink all the bath water at once...
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: madmike999 on October 30, 2009, 12:42:48 pm
this is the kind of stuff that needs to be in a book
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Stofstreep on October 30, 2009, 12:44:42 pm
I'll Say it again!
:drif:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 30, 2009, 12:46:38 pm
Day 29 Grootfontein, Okamatapati, Okondjatu, Hochveld, Omitara, Arnhem Caves.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Namibia-2009/SGrootfontein/684595258_ds4fQ-M.jpg)



We continue to pull a dust trail through Eastern Namibia.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653242198_qbnWu-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653242322_Wipxa-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653242358_coCZJ-L.jpg)



Okondjatu, we take a break.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653242403_FqJcb-L.jpg)



Peanut makes friends.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653242435_viq36-L.jpg)



This is the tyre I got in Oshakati. I don’t really care for it, but the lettering makes a nice effect in the dust. 

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653242463_HUWEn-L.jpg)



When we reach Hochveld, where we have to refuel or be stuck, once again the fueling station is closed. I manage to find the pump attendant at his house and we are mobile again.

Our target for the day is Omitara. Our maps show fuel and a hotel, so it should be reasonable size. Except it isn’t. The hotel is closed and there is no other accommodation. In fact it takes us a while to find the town because there is no town, just a trading station. You can assume nothing in this country. The trading station has fuel at least, so we continue south and as the sun sets we find Arnhem Caves where we get a chalet.
 
(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653242507_6rrpq-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653242479_EFYb2-L.jpg)


This is now the second day in a row where we spend the whole day riding side by side on these gravel highways. Other traffic is just about non-existant. It is the best riding and I am constantly thinking of my 1200 at home. I still love that bike.

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 30, 2009, 01:09:30 pm
Day 30 Arnhem Caves, Gochas, Stampriet, Koës

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Namibia-2009/SArnhem/684595184_sUNwR-M.jpg)



The caves was used to mine bat guano and has the largest population of bats in Namibia. The caves is something like 4km long and is apparently well worth seeing, but we are on a roll now and get going before sunrise.

This is also when we find out that another Cape cold front is moving up Namibia. Very, very cold. We stop to wrap plastic bags around our gloves, we are not geared for the cold. While we are riding I’m thinking, just 30 min more, then it should start warming up. By 10 o’clock it becomes clear that this is just a piss cold day and it's gonna stay that way.

When we refuel in Stampriet, we pop into a lodge for something to eat. Even there in the warm lounge I sit shivering for the better part of an hour. When we leave there we feel much better.

Some roadside scenery.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653242630_u5ZiY-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Namibia-2009/P1050386/653242550_txGM2-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653242762_fBjSQ-L.jpg)



This is a sociable weaver nest. These birds can build massive nests. This is a smallish one. 

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653242684_wwNuE-L.jpg)



I’ve been looking forward to today because we get to ride the dune rollercoaster between Gochas and Koës.
 
(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653242873_pe2KY-L.jpg)



The road that had been running in a dune street turns 90 degrees and then goes up and over dunes every 500m for about 20km.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653243094_J9pyk-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653243133_rS5yf-L.jpg)



They are nice and high and the road is in excellent condition.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653243186_ERNoX-XL.jpg)



The ideal speed is 160km/h, then the bike loses traction at the top and you get that lekker stomach-in-your-throat feeling as you drop down the other side. Unfortunately the X is not that fast and I have to make do at 140km/h. Still very entertaining.

Tharina is also hanging on the cable.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653243232_p6h2U-XL.jpg)



When we pull into Koës Hotel, it is locked up.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653243829_woWB8-L.jpg)



Wtf? In the last couple of days we’ve had a whole road, the D3306 disappear, we’ve had Otjtuuo with no fuel after local knowledge confirmed there is, we’ve had Omitara with no place to stay, the hotel having closed down and now Koës. And I know Koës, I’ve stayed here many times. In this hotel.

Another couple from Germany also arrives looking for accomodation. Some asking around and half an hour later Tharina has the owner on the line. It appears that this is the weekend of the Keetmanshoop Landbou Skou, a 130km away. So he closed the hotel and went to the show.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653243270_fN9AY-L.jpg)




But it’s no problem, we can go round the back (the dogs are fine but watch the warthog), it is open. We can take what we need from the fridge and the keys to the rooms are in the kitchen. He’ll be back later tonight or maybe tomorrow.

Namibians. You just don’t get better.

So we have wine, cheese and biscuits on the stoep with the Germans.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653243931_DxUyh-L.jpg)



Just across from the hotel is a farm with some tamish oryx. I try many times to get a good pic, but everytime I take a picture, this clown pulls a face.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653243541_Uo8Yx-L.jpg)



Ah, got him.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653243332_Vyx42-XL.jpg)



We braai that evening and just before we turn in the owner arrives. His name is Bonzai, and he has an interesting job. He ‘harvests’ game, like springbuck and oryx, all over Namibia.

A farmer may have, for argument sake, 400 head of springbuck that he wants to convert to money. To get paying recreational hunters that each shoot maybe 3 or 5 buck is impractical. So Bonzai and his team come and do night harvesting where they shoot and slaughter about 150 head in a night. They have a mobile abattoir that operates on the farm where they are harvesting. They pay the farmer per kilogram, and they supply to butcheries, export etc.

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: madmike999 on October 30, 2009, 01:17:29 pm
this is so wrong to read, i'm sure we all want to go there and to the same

MJ what were your costs on this trip
if you don't mind me asking

still the best RR
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 30, 2009, 01:22:28 pm
Day 31 Koës to Karasburg

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Namibia-2009/SKoes-to-border/684595289_PfD4a-M.jpg)



Just outside Koes is a pan where we take a couple of pics before we hit the road.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653244216_n7kSm-XL.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653244071_6Z3wn-L.jpg)



We have only done a hundred or so kilometres when the DRZ snaps it’s new chain. As I expect it turns out to be the masterlink that went its own way. I just don't trust those things. Again, luckily I had packed another masterlink and I’m able to fix it by the roadside.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653244395_rH8Ea-L.jpg)



Normally the metal chain guide around the front sprocket stops the chain from bunching in there and breaking the engine casing apart. In some manner the chain managed to get past the guard and wedge itself between the sprocket and the casing. We are lucky not to have more damage.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653244519_43EQX-L.jpg)



A quick run to check that all is well again in DRZ country.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653244603_cb4KN-L.jpg)



Humorous farmers.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653244666_hRsnp-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653244711_uTW7g-L.jpg)



And just really good riding in beautiful surrounds. For the first time in four days we have to break up our two abreast riding style as the road starts twisting through the Karasberge.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653244730_Hy9C8-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653244757_ELvjd-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653244780_A2SAT-XL.jpg)



We keep going and stop for a sleepover in Karasburg.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Oupa Foe-rie on October 30, 2009, 01:24:07 pm
Yes MJ ................... and what a nice guy this Bonzai is. Did you meet his mom and dad ......... Johan and Grietjie Combrinck ? Johan was the local dominee and hotel owner when I was there some years ago. We stayed there for about a week and I went on one of the night harvest's with Bonzai. Hell that guy can shoot .................  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 30, 2009, 01:30:00 pm
Karasburg to Vioolsdrift

The last day of our trip and the cold is still making us wrap plastic bags around our hands. Airflow gloves were never made for this kind of thing.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653244893_JEugs-L.jpg)



The last stretch, up ahead is South Africa.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653244918_wdKrL-L.jpg)



And we’re back. Six thousand kilometers later. Everybody safe, and with a great sense of accomplishment.  Every one of us having learned a whole lot, having grown a whole lot.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653244952_PU7m8-XL.jpg)



On our way home. Immeasurably richer than a month ago.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653245274_oqTuw-M.jpg)



ONE OF THE BEST TRIPS I HAVE EVER HAD



.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS on October 30, 2009, 01:37:17 pm
Yes MJ ................... and what a nice guy this Bonzai is. Did you meet his mom and dad ......... Johan and Grietjie Combrinck ? Johan was the local dominee and hotel owner when I was there some years ago. We stayed there for about a week and I went on one of the night harvest's with Bonzai. Hell that guy can shoot .................  :thumleft:
And Johan were the dominee at Van Wyksdorp near Ladismith Cape before he bought the hotel in Koës. Bonzai is Johans son-in-law.
Stunning people all of them!
Im glad you had a safe trip MJ and family.
Thanks for posting.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Pistonpete on October 30, 2009, 01:37:40 pm
MJ....thank you so much for sharing you and your families trip with us. When i met you at Wildthings base at Vioolsdrift & you said you were going on a ride in Nam i had no idea it would be so epic!
Ride and stay safe to you and and your wonderful family :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 30, 2009, 01:39:25 pm
this is so wrong to read, i'm sure we all want to go there and to the same

MJ what were your costs on this trip
if you don't mind me asking

still the best RR

I'll check with Tharina and get back to you.


Yes MJ ................... and what a nice guy this Bonzai is. Did you meet his mom and dad ......... Johan and Grietjie Combrinck ? Johan was the local dominee and hotel owner when I was there some years ago. We stayed there for about a week and I went on one of the night harvest's with Bonzai. Hell that guy can shoot .................  :thumleft:

I only met his dad some years ago. Yes, Bonzai is quite the character, his wife is also very nice. I believe the crew on the night harvests are only allowed to shoot headshots, that's going to take some skill.

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: LuckyStriker on October 30, 2009, 01:40:17 pm
Wow

that was a great read

thank you very much MJ
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Puddles on October 30, 2009, 01:40:39 pm
Wow . :o ... thank you for that very inspirational, entertaining RR ... I look so forward to our Namibian trip .... to be planned not too far in the future.  :3some:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: u-go on October 30, 2009, 01:41:48 pm
WOOOHOOO!!!

Baie baie nice MJ. Dankie vir die deel, dit is inspireerend!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: MrBig on October 30, 2009, 01:43:20 pm
fantastic!   :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Frog on October 30, 2009, 01:46:00 pm
That was one great report!. Thanks 
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS on October 30, 2009, 01:46:39 pm
this is so wrong to read, i'm sure we all want to go there and to the same

MJ what were your costs on this trip
if you don't mind me asking

still the best RR

I'll check with Tharina and get back to you.


Yes MJ ................... and what a nice guy this Bonzai is. Did you meet his mom and dad ......... Johan and Grietjie Combrinck ? Johan was the local dominee and hotel owner when I was there some years ago. We stayed there for about a week and I went on one of the night harvest's with Bonzai. Hell that guy can shoot .................  :thumleft:

I only met his dad some years ago. Yes, Bonzai is quite the character, his wife is also very nice. I believe the crew on the night harvests are only allowed to shoot headshots, that's going to take some skill.


Its true about the headshots MJ. Having said that a lot of those hunters are Springbok shots(bisley)(spelling)! I witnessed one such a hunt one night. Any Springbok shot 4 fingers below the ear they pay a penalty on.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: LuckyStriker on October 30, 2009, 01:51:03 pm
I'd love to read a bike critique of the X some time
it is sure to be interesting and probably a little controversial ;)
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: ChristoffGS on October 30, 2009, 01:51:22 pm
Thanks MJ, Tharina and Peanut for sharing this great RR!   :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: tok-tokkie on October 30, 2009, 01:56:01 pm
Great report.  Thanks

Tharina's bike has Tubliss but yours does not it seems.  Why?
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: buzzlightyear on October 30, 2009, 02:06:50 pm
It has been great to be part of your journey, thanks for taking us along  8)
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Big E on October 30, 2009, 02:09:29 pm
 :'( :'( Does this mean this RR has come to an end?
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Reg on October 30, 2009, 02:13:35 pm
Thank you for sharing such a wonderful inspiring Ride Report.

Tharina and Peanut you are truly amazing, well done. It shows us all what can be done.

On another note, if you don't mind me asking, what did this trip cost you?
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Lootch67 on October 30, 2009, 02:18:07 pm
Thanks for posting MJ. Awesome trip and report.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Old Dog on October 30, 2009, 02:22:03 pm
This is truly a very gripping road report. It reads like it needs to be published. Thanks to all three of you for sharing this epic journey with us.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 30, 2009, 02:34:47 pm
Great report.  Thanks

Tharina's bike has Tubliss but yours does not it seems.  Why?

I had Tubliss on the front. They don't yet make one for the rim size on the rear. Interestingly that is also the only tyre to get  a puncture ion this trip.

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: MeerCat on October 30, 2009, 02:49:44 pm
If your RR becomes a book I'll buy it - Inspirational !!!!

Sometimes that music sounds like heavy metal and sometimes like classical.  Not only do you write with humor but also with sensitivity and deep insight.  You and your family sound like really good people.  I hope to meet you sometime on some trip.  Peace to you.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: gswannabee on October 30, 2009, 03:15:07 pm
Oh no!  :(

I'm kinda sad it's finished. First thing I did every morning was to come and check for an update and then read the whole report over again. (I even read the one on ADVRider just to make sure they didn't get more story than us  ;))

Thanks again so much for sharing  :thumleft: and I think you have an awesome family!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Stofstreep on October 30, 2009, 04:18:39 pm
What a journey!
Thanks for taking us with you.
You guys are an inspiration to so many of us.
Respect!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: khf on October 30, 2009, 04:24:18 pm
 :thumleft: Thanks for a stunning RR!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Swanniebraai on October 30, 2009, 04:39:29 pm
What a journey! . . . for us "co-travellers" too!

Dankie MJ, dit inspireer sovele van ons, meer as wat jy kan besef!  :thumleft:

 :salut: :salut: to you and your prescious family!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: briv on October 30, 2009, 04:40:12 pm
Thanks ...  :'(  die trip waarvan drome gemaak word... keep going  ;)
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Hermit on October 30, 2009, 05:23:59 pm
Magtig, dit was lekker !!!!!!!!!!! :thumleft:
Thanks for sharing a magnificent trip. So bad it always has to end.   :(
Cheers.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: funacide on October 30, 2009, 07:34:39 pm
MJ

Thanks for taking the effort in putting this together. I am glad it is finished but also sad not to get my daily fix. I will now be going back to the beginning to re-read it at leisure this weekend...

Respect....... We are not worthy :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky:

 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Oetie on October 30, 2009, 08:56:18 pm
MJ
Thanks, this is an amazing RR!!

Big thumps up to you and the family :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: GStry on October 31, 2009, 12:04:34 am
MJ, thanks, it was great :thumleft:  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: dakardrix on October 31, 2009, 12:06:29 am
I'm almost in tears, dunno why...  thank you so much for the journey!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Iron Shark on October 31, 2009, 12:36:19 am
Hi MJ, its MRS IS here.

Just wanted to tell you that IS and I have been following this report and have been sitting together every night to read your latest updates.
Not only have you given us something to look forward to reading each night, but we have been living vicariously through you and your family.  :thumleft:

It really sounds like you had a terrific trip

Thanks and looking forward to reading the next RR :pot:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Plothond on October 31, 2009, 12:48:25 am
Excellent..

Hats off to the report being done so promptly. It is a lot of work and takes time - Thankyou
It was a great read  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: BiG DoM on October 31, 2009, 08:39:09 am
 Poetry in Motion :sign14: :ricky:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Brakenjan on October 31, 2009, 10:26:34 am

So sad that your RR is now finished!!   :'(

Thanks for taking us along MJ - it was one hell of a ride!   :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Polo on October 31, 2009, 11:46:26 am
Beautifull Stuff.......Great pics and wonderfull words....well done
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: oo7 on October 31, 2009, 03:37:38 pm
You made me proud, happy and sad.

Proud that you are a fellow (South) African, living life here on our great continent in a fashion that we all should (would like to) be and treating people from all walks of life (including your family) in a way that I also believe people should be treated.

Happy when I read about your experiences, in places that I love dearly and doing things that make my heart beat faster.

And sad that this honest, epic piece of adventure motorcycle riding literature is now something not to be enjoyed in "real time" anymore.

Mr Metaljockey, I look forward to buying you a cold one one day.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: ogies on November 01, 2009, 03:48:14 am
MJ and family, tx for the GREAT report and allowing all of us a glimps into your live while on tour!!

This was a great RR and I am sure quite a few other dawgs would like to follow your tracks..

The pics and the story telling was absolutely brilliant!!

Tx and please take us with on your next trip!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on November 01, 2009, 09:36:38 am

On another note, if you don't mind me asking, what did this trip cost you?


The fuel for the two bikes was in the region of R4500, I budgeted R6000.

Accomodation was R8000, I budgeted R7000. That averages out to about R265 per day. It can be done a lot cheaper.

I don't really count food because you gotta eat, wherever you are. But for those that are interested, food and beer and all incidentals - R 7000. That averages out to about R250 a day.




Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on November 01, 2009, 10:07:05 am
Tharina's note -

Dear Wilddogs

Thankyou for all your heartfelt comments and compliments.

This trip has been wonderful in so many ways, and probably once in a lifetime. I have experienced the freedom of mind and soul by just having to deal with the here and now. Sometimes it was very hard to deal with, but I got through. Mostly it was fantastic.

Peanut is a very easy child and a joy to take along. We also got to see the trip through her 5-year old eyes.

I now understand the euphoria that Erik experiences on his trips!

Cheers
Tharina




Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: TravelGravel on November 01, 2009, 11:59:34 am
Noooo ..... you can't be finished.... Surely there are some details which you didn't cover properly in the rr. I am looking at a tough week at work and need a daily fix to get through it.  :thumleft:

Only had the pleasure of travelling through Namibia once so far (next trip planned for April next year) but your report brought it all back to life in vivid technicolor. Especially the dynamics of riding together as a husband and wife combo, as JustBiking and I have to deal with that as well. I always think of our trip through Namibia as an excellent team building exercise. :biggrin:

Thanks to you Tharina and Peanut for sharing your experiences with us. Can't wait for you three to leave home again.  :ricky:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: gummikuh on November 01, 2009, 01:51:35 pm
Hi!

Again ..impressive trip! Would be nice to meet you  for a cold one...if we will make it back to Afrika once ;-)


Sunny Greetings from Alice Springs!   Werner+Claudia
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Philemon on November 01, 2009, 05:55:57 pm
Hey Mj 'n clan

Awesome RR - thanks for the "entertainment"

 :thumleft:

Philemon
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: wino on November 01, 2009, 06:06:01 pm
awesome, awesome, awesome! you are privileged! and so are we!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: GO GIRL on November 01, 2009, 08:13:14 pm
MJ Tharina and Peanut

How privileged you all are 

Tharina Hats off to you Well done..... :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

I am sure that the 'bug' has bitten ....you 'like'/love MJ more 8) 8) 8) and maybe, just maybe you will 'like'/love being on the bike more.... :mwink: :mwink: :mwink:
 :mwink: :mwink: :mwink: :mwink:
and as MJ said you all came back so much bigger in so many ways having experienced something intrinsically tangible as a very close family :mwink: :mwink: :mwink:

What a wonderful experience you have all had :biggrin:

Thank you so much for taking us all along on such a wonderful trip and sharing such intimate moments and thoughts.... ;)

AWSUM AWSUM AWSUM

must agree with Kamanya we should have just gone on from RAW... :biggrin:

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: BiG DoM on November 01, 2009, 08:52:04 pm
Tharinna for 2010 WD Calendar!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: chalsam on November 01, 2009, 08:54:08 pm
WOW !!!! .... what a fantastic read from start to finish!  

Mj, Tharina and "Peanut" ... the three of you should be an inspiration to many.  Words cannot express the respect I have for you all.

If ever you decide to write a book (hopefully you do), I would be first in the queue to buy.

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: GO GIRL on November 01, 2009, 09:39:48 pm
Tharinna for 2010 WD Calendar!

 :mwink: :mwink:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Goose on November 01, 2009, 11:00:39 pm
Tharinna for 2010 WD Calendar!

 :mwink: :mwink:

 :thumleft:

I'll second that !!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Lourens ツ on November 02, 2009, 03:48:53 am
This was the best RR by far ever!  Awesome pics and great story telling!   :thumleft:

Note to self:  Do not start reading a MJ RR at 12 in the night.  Its 4 hrs later, I just could not stop!!!!  ::)
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Ama ride ride on November 02, 2009, 07:05:30 am
MJ, T and P

Thanks for making time to take awesome pics and write this report. Quality family time. :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Minora on November 02, 2009, 07:40:33 am
 :o Kan nie glo dis klaar nie, MJ - wanneer is die volgende trip . . . :deal:

Nou gaan ek actually weer moet werk, was lekker om die afgelope rukkie hard besig te lyk voor die PC, dink ek gaan maar weer van voor af moet begin lees.

In daai ander wannabe se woorde: "It is all about the bike always have been, always will be."
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: CHorse on November 02, 2009, 08:16:54 am
Thank you so much for sharing this experience with us  :thumleft:

All three of you are amazing, actually doing it and not just dreaming it :ricky:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Dustdevil on November 02, 2009, 08:47:34 am
Hi!

Again ..impressive trip! Would be nice to meet you  for a cold one...if we will make it back to Afrika once ;-)


Sunny Greetings from Alice Springs!   Werner+Claudia

Hey Werner, you and Claudia should make work, then you can do the same with a little one on the back ;D
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: bradleys on November 02, 2009, 09:04:08 am
Real nice  pity it had to come to a end.Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: popipants on November 02, 2009, 09:06:17 am
Agggg noooo...

This was great!!

Post some more pics....I need a new background   :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

How would you compare the X to the 640 ?
Seeing as you have spend a lot of time on both.




Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: EtienneXplore on November 02, 2009, 09:19:26 am

How would you compare the X to the 640 ?
Seeing as you have spend a lot of time on both.


+1

Dying to know.....

 :biggrin:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Wooly Bugger on November 02, 2009, 04:01:50 pm
what a great report!
what an absolute pleasure to read
stunning photographs

thank you for sharing this epic trip!
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: CrazyPorra on November 02, 2009, 05:37:59 pm
Thank You very much MJ and family for sharing your trip with us.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Fire Cracker on November 02, 2009, 07:38:17 pm
Dear MJ, Tharina & Peanut,

I'm close to tears!  I can't believe this is over, I've been there with you every part of your trip, I've loved it, thank you.  I'm so blessed to have been a part of your journey at this stage of my life :)  You see I've only been riding a few months and this is what makes me want to experience life like the 3 of you are.  It makes me want to be great on a bike so that I can share these experiences with my husband too (Would I?).  We are planning our first trip to Namibia next year August :)  It started on the first night I started reading your report! :)

I'm going to miss your beautiful pictures, humourous and touching words and daily kick of inspiration, but somehow I imagine another ride report like this will not be too far in the future for us junkies to wait for ;)  I'm also pleased to know I've some history to go read as well, in your other reports.

Thank you,
 
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Kat on November 02, 2009, 09:02:33 pm
Yes MJ ................... and what a nice guy this Bonzai is. Did you meet his mom and dad ......... Johan and Grietjie Combrinck ? Johan was the local dominee and hotel owner when I was there some years ago. We stayed there for about a week and I went on one of the night harvest's with Bonzai. Hell that guy can shoot .................  :thumleft:
And Johan were the dominee at Van Wyksdorp near Ladismith Cape before he bought the hotel in Koës. Bonzai is Johans son-in-law.
Stunning people all of them!
Im glad you had a safe trip MJ and family.
Thanks for posting.
The best report,that I have read,,well done all of you.


Chris by the way,your mother were me and Bonzai's english teacher
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: GO GIRL on November 02, 2009, 09:59:07 pm
This is an inspiration ;)
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Reg on November 03, 2009, 08:55:21 am
Day 29 Grootfontein, Okamatapati, Okondjatu, Hochveld, Omitara, Arnhem Caves.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653242322_Wipxa-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653242358_coCZJ-L.jpg)


Beautiful tortoise, but this is for all you dogs out there who come across these on a weekly basis.

FYI: As a matter of interest, a Tortoise keeps a store of water in his shell for those dry spells. (He moves at KLR speeds, it takes while to move from one water source to another)

When you pick them up, they don't pee on you, their stash of water falls out. To remedy this problem, give him some more water to drink before you leave, it could save his life.

Best bet, pick him flat, to move him off the road, if you want to look at him, try and get to his level.

If he has lost his water, dig a small furrow, put some water in it and put the tortoise inside it, he will collect what he needs and move on.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on November 03, 2009, 09:45:26 am
Beautiful tortoise, but this is for all you dogs out there who come across these on a weekly basis.

FYI: As a matter of interest, a Tortoise keeps a store of water in his shell for those dry spells. (He moves at KLR speeds, it takes while to move from one water source to another)

When you pick them up, they don't pee on you, their stash of water falls out. To remedy this problem, give him some more water to drink before you leave, it could save his life.

Best bet, pick him flat, to move him off the road, if you want to look at him, try and get to his level.

If he has lost his water, dig a small furrow, put some water in it and put the tortoise inside it, he will collect what he needs and move on.


That is very interesting, I'll keep it in mind.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on November 03, 2009, 09:53:06 am
Thank you all for the replies. You should get a pat on the shoulder too. You wouldn't know it, but if you got this far you worked your way through about 600 pictures.

One more.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Namibia-2009/P1040661/653118548_mGZc9-L.jpg)

This collapsible tripod made life very pleasant. Ace piece of kit.

The other piece of kit that stood out once again was the hammock. We just needed two from time to time.



For the guys that wanted some detail on the bike, here's the thread. http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=40257.msg783316;topicseen#new (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=40257.msg783316;topicseen#new)

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Goose on November 03, 2009, 10:30:36 am
Thank you all for the replies. You should get a pat on the shoulder too. You wouldn't know it, but if you got this far you worked your way through about 600 pictures.

One more.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Namibia-2009/P1040661/653118548_mGZc9-L.jpg)

This collapsible tripod made life very pleasant. Ace piece of kit.

The other piece of kit that stood out once again was the hammock. We just needed two from time to time.



For the guys that wanted some detail on the bike, here's the thread. http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=40257.msg783316;topicseen#new (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=40257.msg783316;topicseen#new)



Looked at exactly the same type of stand being sold at Sportsman's Warehouse. Stainless I seem to remember and folds totally flat when the one leg is unclipped! Nice...........
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: roxenz on November 03, 2009, 01:08:56 pm
Thanks, thanks and more thanks, MJ!  That was really great to read (and watch)! a month of riding, dust, heat and simple things to enjoy - done it several times with family in the 'Cruiser (or on exploration trips for work), can't wait when my son is old enough (only 18 months to go!) - I promised him a trip like that - dad & son riding and sleeping where the road takes us.

Thanks, a most enjoyable read!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Grootseun on November 03, 2009, 02:19:16 pm
Thanx for sharing an awesome report Metaljockey.

the general rule of thumb is that this type of trip goes out the door when one has children, but what better way to do it than in this fashion.

Looking forward to the next one!!!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: mannemerak on November 03, 2009, 03:27:48 pm
Reading this was just absolutely bloody amazing!
I am longing, wondering why one would want to spend time in an office, except for financing the trips!
And that's a work day wasted...well will be according to the boss, I beg to differ!

I am with Pastor-Willem and others, BEST RR of 2009!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Jim on November 03, 2009, 04:13:20 pm
What is this doing here? Should have been in the roll of honour days ago :)
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Just Blip It! on November 03, 2009, 09:41:59 pm
This was a stunning trip report MJ, I enjoyed it immensely, thank-you for sharing it with us all. I reckon you should publish the trip in a book with all your photos, it was that good and so informative, the photos are spell binding. I followed your trip from day to day, read every word and studied every photo. Thank-you.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: PeterO on November 03, 2009, 10:03:29 pm
I've read it, re-read it and am reading it again.  Love it and your camera work is outstanding!  Inspiring.  Makes me wish ...
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Tengai on November 04, 2009, 10:55:51 am
Thanks MJ. Reading this makes you realize that we do have all the privileges in life, here in Africa.

Well done!!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Spore on November 04, 2009, 11:01:02 am
I want to recommend this RR for the Roll of Honour!
Thank you MJ and Family for the RR, Pics and comments - this have actually taken me with you on the trip. As a novice adv rider I have also learned a lot and can honestly say I admire you and your family!
Hats off to all of you!! :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: PinkGoat on November 06, 2009, 10:48:33 am
WOW!!! I can't describe what reading your RR does to me!! Absolutely beautiful! I've had tears well up in my eyes on numerous occassions while reading it... Moments of melancholy... longing for places I've never been, missing people I've never met... Some laughs and smiles at all the good things, and just admiration for what you've done and the fact that you get to share it with the people you love most!!

Absolute respect to you and your family!! Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts with us!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: the_BOBNOB on November 06, 2009, 12:47:25 pm
very nice MJ  :thumleft:

and respect to your wife and child for doing it with you  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: the_BOBNOB on November 06, 2009, 02:11:59 pm
MJ you think the DRZ400 is a good bike for the wife ???

If you are going to be doing a lot more of these trips with the missus would a DR650 with a huge tank not be better ???
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: NISMARK on November 06, 2009, 02:12:27 pm
Very very nice trip and RR!!  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on November 06, 2009, 04:52:55 pm
MJ you think the DRZ400 is a good bike for the wife ???

If you are going to be doing a lot more of these trips with the missus would a DR650 with a huge tank not be better ???

She loves it and can handle it easily. I don't see how a heavier bike will be of any benefit.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: the_BOBNOB on November 07, 2009, 12:07:09 pm
MJ you think the DRZ400 is a good bike for the wife ???

If you are going to be doing a lot more of these trips with the missus would a DR650 with a huge tank not be better ???

She loves it and can handle it easily. I don't see how a heavier bike will be of any benefit.

good point

was just thinking the dr650 is probably a little lower than the drz and you get the 27 litre safari tank - no more distance issues  :ricky:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: bonova on November 07, 2009, 12:48:40 pm
MJ - RESPECT is the only word that i try use.  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: letsgofishing on November 08, 2009, 01:14:20 pm
MJ, Tharina and Peanut - what an awesome experience you had!
I'm finding it difficult to writ any thing that has not been said already, but   Pink Goat's post  comes closet to my own feeling and experience of your amazing journey:

WOW!!! I can't describe what reading your RR does to me!! Absolutely beautiful! I've had tears well up in my eyes on numerous occassions while reading it... Moments of melancholy... longing for places I've never been, missing people I've never met... Some laughs and smiles at all the good things, and just admiration for what you've done and the fact that you get to share it with the people you love most!!

Absolute respect to you and your family!! Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts with us!!


Bless you for sharing this with us.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: roy_nec on November 08, 2009, 01:51:42 pm
Metal Jockey does it again!!! Big up to Peanut and Tharina!!

MJ, what kind of tool kit/spares did you pack?
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on November 09, 2009, 09:03:05 am
Metal Jockey does it again!!! Big up to Peanut and Tharina!!

MJ, what kind of tool kit/spares did you pack?

I packed flippin everything. Normally your mates would also pack tools, so if you need something, between the lot of you, a plan can be made.
Here however, I packed both bikes, so I had to pack everything that I could possibly need. I have been on two trips where the pump broke before, so I even had two pumps.

I was quite pleased with the way things worked out. When I needed a chain breaker, I had one, when I needed a masterlink, I had one, when I needed another, I had another, when I needed a multimeter, I had one, when I needed jumpercables, I had that too.

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Sakkie on November 09, 2009, 12:54:53 pm
Now how do we get this ride report here:

'Roll of Honour' - Best Ride Reports
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?board=32.0

Preferably on the top of the list!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Misty on November 12, 2009, 02:39:30 pm
Only now managed to finish reading your RR (although everyday eSKaPe asks me, have you finished it, have you finished it??) :) :)

And I really cant add anything new that hasnt been said by all the others of how awesome this RR is, but I can just say again WOW and RESPECT to all 3 of you for the roads you rode and especially Tharina, you really inspire me!!!!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Stofpad on November 12, 2009, 09:19:44 pm
A very enjoyable read. Thank you very much for sharing.

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Major Tom on November 16, 2009, 10:29:58 pm
Whew - thought I would get an early night!  Did a trip with 3 friends through the Kaokoveld in a Landy in 1995, and your report brought back some good memories.  Thanks very much!!

What a wonderful way for a family to draw closer together.  Well done!  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Camelman on November 17, 2009, 07:34:56 am
What a awesome report. Page 12 now. If I don't leave for work right NOW, i'm going to be late! Will have to read more this evening!

Great report MJ. Flippen hell!  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Copernicus on November 18, 2009, 11:34:09 am
.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: 1X on November 20, 2009, 09:00:05 am
Baie Dankie dat jy dit gedeel het!!!

Maak my lus om weer n bike te koop........ My vrou sal nooit ry nie maar dit wys jou net wat kan gedoen word!

Die inspirasie is daar om dieselfde met my gesin  te doen!

Absoluut Befok!!  :headbang: :hello2: :notworthy:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: AntonW on November 20, 2009, 05:03:57 pm
Very special RR. Thank you
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Frohan Visser on November 24, 2009, 01:48:18 pm
When is this RR going to the "Roll of Honour Section"  ??????
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: bonova on November 24, 2009, 01:50:06 pm
I agree - mods??
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Warren Ellwood on November 24, 2009, 04:49:57 pm
Thank you.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Tweets on November 25, 2009, 10:26:58 am
I Agree Frohan. It must go to Role of Honour
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Berm_Rooster on December 01, 2009, 03:51:00 pm
Just finished reading this over the last 3 days. Only heard about it when I was in CT this past weekend.I had to read every word and look for all the detail in each picture. This is awesome, inspiring, envious stuff man (and your women). There is not much else to say that hasnt been said already. :thumleft: :thumleft:  :drif: :drif:

I dont know how you feel about it but on the sore topic of the coffee-table book, my ma-in-law made me and the missus a book of our wedding. It cost over a grand, but if I had the trip you guys just experienced, I would definitely have one printed, showing off in my living room. You gotta preserve it! :lamer:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Trailrider on December 04, 2009, 09:17:28 am
I also finally had the time to read the whole thing with undivided attention. Wow.

MJ, you sir are the master.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: madmike999 on December 04, 2009, 03:35:29 pm
I also finally had the time to read the whole thing with undivided attention. Wow.

MJ, you sir are the master.


+1 0000 0000 0000
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Frohan Visser on February 10, 2010, 03:33:44 pm
This story is still not at "The Role of Honour" section?????????????????????
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Berm_Rooster on February 10, 2010, 03:51:26 pm
Jan nee hel, ek weet ook nie wat die base van die plaas doen nie!  :amazon:

Speel seker net weer heeldag op die interweb ???

Lets vote:

I vote yes for: " Move this to ROH".
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Would I? on February 10, 2010, 03:54:48 pm
I vote YES TOO!!!!!  Move to ROH!!!

Best book I read last year!!!! Kept me up late at night and kept me out of productive work for hours at work :) :)
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Avontier on February 10, 2010, 04:48:15 pm
 :wav: Move it, move it, move it, move it, move it, move it......
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Jughead on February 10, 2010, 06:39:37 pm
I like to move it, move it ...

MOVE IT NOW!!!   Pleeeeeezz!   :biggrin:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Sakkie on February 10, 2010, 08:57:10 pm
Yip - move it, move it.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Dustdevil on February 11, 2010, 01:16:12 am
What are we waiting for ???
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Stormer on February 15, 2010, 10:24:27 am
Yeeeaaa!!! it has been moved.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Mike B on February 15, 2010, 04:42:57 pm
Fantastic Namibia

Excellent RR

Wondeful Family

Gettin my wench on a bike asap  ;D
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Tubeless on February 23, 2010, 11:51:50 am
Most deservedly moved to ROH - from the master's  pen (keyboard) -  :thumleft: MJ
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Husky Boy on May 12, 2010, 12:25:42 pm
Fantastic RR, Fantastic Pix, Fantastic journey! Well done to you all, truly inspirational...i'm gonna show my wife this!! Nice one!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Baches on May 13, 2010, 01:33:20 pm
Weereens 'n treffer. Sit jou trips in boek vorm. Sal definitief verkoop
!!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Ras on September 06, 2010, 01:37:25 pm
Weereens 'n treffer. Sit jou trips in boek vorm. Sal definitief verkoop
!!!

 ;D  :thumleft: + 1000  000
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Ned_da_biker on September 07, 2010, 02:26:16 pm
By far the best Ride report ever!  :thumleft:
Absolute Respect for you and your Family, keep doing what you doing coz you doing it right!
Nam is so special  :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on September 15, 2010, 04:07:03 pm
HI MJ

As a 7 year old I read "Jock of the Bushveld" it set my mind alight and took 10 years for me to stand next to his memorial.

As a 47 year old I read your reports and find myself printing each and every map you have in the silly hope of being able to emulate is some way a small part of this incredible journey in the future, words fail me as so may others have tried to say how they feel about this RR of yours. What an experience for a 5 year old !! One she'll treasure for ever.

MJ, you need to write a book... any book that has 2 wheels at it's heart... I'll put down the R200 deposit for a copy today still...and I mean that.

An inspiration to others in no uncertain terms.

My thanks to you and yours..

BR  Ian

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Lem on March 03, 2011, 03:40:46 pm
wow. paar uur gelede hierop afgekom toe ek eintlik vir die Onseepkans trip gesoek het.

briljant!!!!

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: domstes on March 03, 2011, 03:59:50 pm
I think MJ should just start his next RR in the Role of Honour section. ;D
Then all this moving business is not needed.

What is he doing next by the way? Riding up Kilimanjaro? O, SH%T now I have planted the seed...  :mwink:

Seriously though. I love to read his reports. 
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Gérrard on May 14, 2011, 07:52:09 pm
Absolutely mind blowingly awesome.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Pietcoke on December 20, 2011, 09:05:13 am
MJ hierdie een het ek ook nou eers raak gelees.
Dit is absoluut verstommend hoe 'n mens jou RR kan geniet. (Verslawend)
Ek wil jou net komplimenteer op jou skryf styl. Dit is fantasties. Hou so aan. :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: V-Strom on December 20, 2011, 02:07:41 pm
MJ hierdie een het ek ook nou eers raak gelees.
Dit is absoluut verstommend hoe 'n mens jou RR kan geniet. (Verslawend)
Ek wil jou net komplimenteer op jou skryf styl. Dit is fantasties. Hou so aan. :thumleft:

:thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on December 23, 2011, 06:06:35 am
Dankie Piet.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: ThomTom on December 23, 2011, 09:42:25 pm
ditto; an old favorite, you better show us a photo of kid again, on the back of your bike, she must be ready to ride her own bike; … planning a trip on bikes there in 2013, this rr was first inspiration, followed by others….
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Fuzzy Muzzy on December 23, 2011, 10:37:35 pm
Awesome stuff, Many of us have been on these roads but having a kid on the back.. man, that is just great stuff.  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Kokopelli1 on December 25, 2011, 10:31:43 am
I've read this report on advrider and absolutely loved it. I'd love to ride Namibia before I am too old to do it. A friend of mine got killed by an elephant in Kenya, the night before he was due to leave for home. Seeing these animals with nothing between me and them would scare the hell out of me.  Thanks for a great report, it's inspiring.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: ShaunF on December 25, 2011, 10:59:15 pm
Wow, what more can I say, loved every word, and I hate reading, but I love reading this RR. I feel like I know you guys personally.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 07, 2012, 09:33:01 am
Very nice writing style -Schalk
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Funtana on August 03, 2012, 02:48:17 pm
Netjies gedoen MJ.  In gesins verband.  Lekkerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: iamgigglz on September 17, 2012, 09:01:01 am
(Almost) three years later and the compliments will keep on coming. Spectacular ride report sir! Apart from one snapped chain, everything just seemed to go perfectly!

Thank you for posting such a comprehensive report, and thank you for the inspiration you have provided me and numerous others!

Cheers  :ricky:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: dassie on October 16, 2012, 04:33:42 pm
Hi MJ
Stumbled onto your RR   :thumleft:
Just two words;
F*&king amazing
The RR had me glued to the screen. We are planning to go to the area where you guys were at Bots, i have so many new places to go to now thanks to you.

And another thing. Your family rocks man. I bow down to your wife and kid, they are legendary stuff. :notworthy:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: HB 9 on March 10, 2013, 09:24:30 am
MJ and family,

Just read your amazing RR again.

Absolutely an once off trip in a lifetime - Nothing you do in future, can replace such an experience!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: RassieGS on March 28, 2013, 01:40:48 pm
MJ it took me 2 days to read this report and WOW great trip and you and your family really earned my respect. I just want to add this pic of you and Peanut`s fall. Is that not the best photo of the trip with her reassuring you "That`s ok dad it happens sometimes but I am here, dad will be ok" Outstanding!!

(http://i1340.photobucket.com/albums/o735/etienneerasmus/12%20Jan%2013/Just/653105823_qsDmt-L_zps91065665.jpg)
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Rinkhals on March 28, 2013, 03:09:06 pm
Wil net my 2sent byvoeg......
Dit wys jou die kinders hoef nie by die huis te bly nie!!

Seker die beste RR wat ek tot dusver gelees het en ek dink dit sal regtig iets besonders moet wees as daar n RR moet verby kom wat dalk beter kan wees.......

Awesome stuff!!!!!!! :sip: :drif:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Pietcoke on March 28, 2013, 03:27:00 pm
Wil net my 2sent byvoeg......
Dit wys jou die kinders hoef nie by die huis te bly nie!!

Seker die beste RR wat ek tot dusver gelees het en ek dink dit sal regtig iets besonders moet wees as daar n RR moet verby kom wat dalk beter kan wees.......

Awesome stuff!!!!!!! :sip: :drif:
+100
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: V-Strom on March 28, 2013, 10:22:21 pm
Daai is nou nie stront nie. Die beste!!!! RR
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Poena on July 10, 2013, 03:41:55 pm
http://[url][/url]
Inspiring stuff MJ !!
Love this country.Beautiful pictures
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: subie on July 10, 2013, 06:24:48 pm
een van die top RR's vir my. Ek lees hom omtrent elke jaar of wat :thumleft:
Nie dat ek self so iets wil/kan ry nie maar tog lekker om te beleef met RR
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Sardine on July 18, 2013, 10:35:09 pm
Thank you for a spectacular RR.

It makes me regret rushing through Botswana, while driving from Pretoria to Maun; if I had just slowed down, I probably would've seen a lot of wildlife. Alas, all I saw were a few bokkies, vultures, and locals giving me the finger.

The simpleness of places like Namibia and Botswana, is what I crave. I think that if I could ride or drive the many routes these countries have to offer for days, weeks, months, living out of a bag, I'd be quite happy.
And I'm so glad that Peanut got to experience the trip; I'm sure it's something she will always remember.

Respect!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Tweets on July 20, 2013, 07:52:50 pm
een van die top RR's vir my. Ek lees hom omtrent elke jaar of wat :thumleft:
Nie dat ek self so iets wil/kan ry nie maar tog lekker om te beleef met RR

I agree. Envy you guys.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on July 24, 2013, 11:20:36 am
Thanks for the replies guys. Yes, it was a special trip for me, not easily forgotten.

I have since one a trip in Guatamala with the same companions but Guatamala is not Namibia. I have yet to find a country that rewards like Namibia does.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Gérrard on July 24, 2013, 11:25:53 am
Are you done with the round Lake Malawi trip ? We going to get an RR ?
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on July 24, 2013, 11:32:59 am
Got back yesterday. A report may follow in due course.  Sparse on pics though, lost my camera.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: cloudgazer on July 24, 2013, 04:58:15 pm
wasn't there a PDF of this RR?
I need to get my wife to read it.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Eagle1 on July 24, 2013, 09:30:42 pm
Seker die beste Ride report nog. Wat dit ook uitstaande maak is die land waar dit gebeur het.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: ALLEN I on September 17, 2013, 10:54:31 pm
awesome inspiring the depth u took us all into. the brilliant photos, u intimate feelings on the ride. it was a privilege fore me to read as i suppose it was to others. a brilliant RR.
well done to u and u family. good one
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Draadtang on October 17, 2013, 03:14:49 pm
Baie dankie,it was an eye opener :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: porcupine on October 17, 2013, 03:45:59 pm
I am in awe of this RR. Must show it to my wife.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Biker Al on October 17, 2013, 03:56:39 pm
Just went through the Photos, Very nice.

I will be reading the ride report in its entirety soon.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: GIRL BIKER on January 22, 2014, 08:39:19 pm
Gorgeous pictures, fit for a coffee table...
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: StofVreter on January 31, 2014, 03:40:00 pm
BLIKSEM!!! Lanklaas in my lewe n' storie so geniet. Julle is baie gelukkig om so n' fantastiese avontuur saam te kon doen. Groot respek vir julle vasbyt en uithou vermoe :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: TWE-TWE on October 19, 2015, 02:06:06 pm

Hey Erick,Tharina en Clarissa,

Ek het julle al drie vinnig ontmoet laasjaar op die Nasionale Bash en meer met julle dogtertjie gesels….hierdie jaar op die bash was alles vinnig verby en weer eens kon ek julle nie die vrae vra wat ek wou nie……..

Ek het die afgelope naweek julle RR stuk-stuk gelees en kan verstaan dat mense trane in hul oe kry en plek-plek lag want dis asof mens die avontuur saam met julle beleef….

Dis n onvergeetlike reis en julle is super gebless deur dit te kon doen en meer nog dat julle dit gedoen het…
Ek bewonder julle gesin…..meeste van almal vir Tharina wat soveel “guts” het en elke keer opgestaan het..…daar is nie baie vrouens wat dit eers sou probeer nie..

Ek dink jy is baie eerlik oor jou emosies…vrese…om te leef en rerig te leef..en om ook fun te he…..en selfbeheersing……..dis awesome…

Dit is nie noodwendig in almal se DNA om so iets te wil doen en dan aan te pak nie……dis defnitief in die WD’s se gene…….. en ek vang myself dat ek dink so-iets  vir my ook n moontlikheid kon wees,maar net op baie kleiner skaal…… en met bietjie meer ervaring agter die blad….

Die beste idee was die hangmat…!!.....die keteltjie op die tripot is pragtig…

Tharina,jou fotos is ongelooflik…

Erick,ek salueer jou en jou familie…..julle bewys dat dit tog moontlik is …… :lol8: :thumleft:

Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Metaljockey on October 20, 2015, 11:00:16 am
Dankie vir die mooi gedagtes.

Ja, die laaste Bash was net een lang party. Nooit by 'n klomp mense uitgekom nie.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Ventana on April 20, 2016, 09:54:45 pm
Hi MJ, nearly seven years since you did this trip.....thanks for the fantastic RR......my wife and I leave for Namibia in 2 days....this is the story that inspired us.....thank you very much  :thumleft:
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Robust on September 28, 2016, 12:22:56 pm
WOW!!! I just couldn't stop reading this.   I'm so keen to do this trip.
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Lourens ツ on January 25, 2017, 08:29:59 pm
Just read through this RR again.  It is still one of the best reads on WD!  Inspiring stuff!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Noneking on January 25, 2017, 08:32:51 pm
Always a nice read
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: skywalker on May 13, 2017, 07:36:32 am
Hello Mj
Awesome RR!!!
Would it be possible to mail me your track logs/gpx file?
Very interested in the nice canyons and real offroad sections
Fpsdreyer@gmail.com
Thanks!!
Title: Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
Post by: Highsider on December 22, 2018, 07:21:36 pm
I’ve just stumbled upon this RR.  What a gem, and to think it’s nearly a decade ago since this epic journey was undertaken!  It’s impact is quite substantial, for all the reasons given at the time.  Mostly, it’s inspirational and I’m sure was the motivation for many an adventurer following in MJ’s tyre tracks...


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