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Offline oo7

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A Gelande strasse and a (cheating) piece of flat dirt
« on: July 22, 2008, 02:15:22 am »
Day 1 of 2

Well, after a very brief ten year absence from die goeie ou Kaap, this boy managed to pull a couple of strings and got himself a job in the Mother of all cities.

Having lived in Joburg for basically half of that 10 years (and the rest abroad), I honestly do not have one bad thing to say about living in Johannesburg. The place treated me very fairly. I haven't been affected by crime, the work experience gained was awesome, and definitely the best thing about the place, in my opinion, is the weather. Summer climate is just superb as it‚??s not too hot and winter is even better as it‚??s not too cold. Of all the places that I have lived in here and abroad, Jozie, without a doubt, has got the best climate in the world. And of course its got the Butcher Shop & Grill. And then I haven‚??t even gone off about the awesome people living here (The only bad thing that I can say, perhaps, is that it is maybe a tad too close to Petoorsdorp.   >:D.

In fact I feel so strongly about Joburg being an awesome place that I am thinking about starting a new thread where Joburg people should post good things about Joburg ‚?? it will be interesting to see the different things that protrude.

However, having said all of this, the Cape has got the mountain, the sea, kayakable rivers, the wine lands and still my heart. And nothing can beat that, I guess ‚?¶

Getting the job on the one hand was one thing, but that was where the fun and games stopped and the logistical nightmare started. Without boring you with the details, part of the logistics issue was how to get my cage and my bike down to Cape Town when I have no leave and with the long haired chief of staff still working over da seas, I decided, yet again, to obtain the services of my trusted wingman, (now fellow) petrolhead, and just plain good old friend, the Brakenator! He, after all, was instrumental in the collection of the GSA from Vryheid a month or so ago.

The Brakenjan-mobiel posing in my favourite piccie of him, in front of the Spitzkoppe last year in Nam on his ex orange beast:


To cut a long story short, I asked him if he would be keen to help me to take the cage and the bike down to Le Cap during this last weekend, suggesting we make a bit of an adventure of it.

What was I thinking? Of course he was!

So we yet again had the (by now usual) 5am sharp start and headed out to the Paris of the Freestate.  We planned to take turns on the GS and I vowed to head butt the cold with the first stretch. The first bit of excitement came when we struck a very thick bank of fog, just outside Joburg on the N1 south, basically just before you get the first Engen 1-Stop shop/petrol thingy just after the Potch turnoff. It was extremely weird, as you couldn‚??t see the road surface in the dark, so extremely thick was the fog. I could barely even spot the yellow line which I was frantically trying to follow, all the while trying to hold my balance and keeping an eye on the Hilux‚?? hazards. For some reason it felt the whole time while riding in that fog as if I was about to fall over and that something was wrong with my balance. After a while it was so bad I was contemplating stopping, but then I wiped my goggles and would you know it, suddenly half of the ‚??mist‚?? was gone!! Stupid frieken idiot!

We blasted (as far as a 2.5 diesel Hilux can ‚??blast‚??) through Parys, past Vredefort and Viljoenskroon, hoping for a Wimpy brekkie in Hoopstad. By now the sun was starting to rise and we decided to stop for a leak at this crossing just outside Viljoenskroon. It certainly wasn‚??t the most beautiful place to stop (note the smoggy township air, burned grass, power cables, jagged edge of the almost defunct road, etc and yet, it still was a magic sight to see the sun rise ‚?? I guess that‚??s how people manage to live in places like this ‚?? you ignore the ugly and (try to) take the beauty out of it?


My monster in front of Brakenjan‚??s monster  :biggrin:


Note the state of the back TKC 80 ‚?? Does that look like a tyre that has done 7500km‚??s?

On the opposite side of the sunrise the moon was still high in the sky ‚?? this pic does unfortunately no justice to how nice it really was (the moon is the one to the right of the big banana):


So far I haven‚??t been cold at all (the GS‚?? temperature gauge hovered between 0 and 5 degrees), but since the sun came up, it was frieken freezing  - does anyone have an explanation for why it is always the coldest JUST after sunrise?

Just had to stop for another pic of the rising sun ‚?? this time above a co-op‚??s impressive grain silos


Upon entering Hoopstad I spotted this ‚??welcome‚?? sign and remembered having seen a similar picture flashing on top on the WD site as part of a photo banner‚?? so here‚??s version two: (But I think it‚??s a lie ‚?? I didn‚??t even spot one Afrikaner and certainly no beeste in town. I was also without any hoop when we were told that the nearest place where we can get a brekkie at 08h30 on a Saturday morning was in Bloemhof ‚?? belaglik! Who can live in a place like this!! Btw ‚?? Amanda Coetzer, former SA tennis star hails from Hoopstad)


At one stage we both remarked on how much maize we saw next to the road. I know it is in the heart of the so called maize triangle, but it remains impressive. Here is an already harvested land, which I certainly thought was big. But I also read somewhere that South Africa is only Africa‚??s third largest producer of grain (wheat & maize) after Egypt and Morocco. To me that must be a load of snot - I have been fortunate to have travelled extensively through both Morocco and Egypt and nowhere can I recall seeing anything on the scale you see in South Africa.


So we left the place with no hope, no Afrikaner and no beeste and with a stomach remaining empty, we had no alternative but to set our sights on the mighty metropolis of Bothaville for a decent cup of Wimpy coffee.

No luck. No Wimpy.

Next stop Hertzogville.

Another sad place.

But at least the local petrol jockey directed us to an establishment where we could sit down, have a wonderful cup of Frisco instant dry-freezed molasses type substance with half of Hullets‚?? turnover added to palate the taste. My goodness. It must have been the worse cup of coffee I have ever drunk. And I‚??m not a fussy bliksem. As you probably have noted by now I basically don‚??t particularly mind what I eat. But this stuff . . . yo yo yo. The accompanying breakfast was also in a similar sort of class ‚?? we still don‚??t know what type of sausage we left behind on our plates. And the restaurant itself was basically in a stoor (warehouse) with no d√©cor and just bare bricks for walls, corrugated iron roof with no ceiling and a friendly omie with a big boep and a khaki shirt serving us.

Anyway. At least we were entertained by a farmer boy arriving in this thing for his breakfast. Reminded me of that one Top Gear episode where the Hamster had to go and fetch lunch in a similar sort of tractor in a small English village with roads half the width of these roads:


The omie with the big boep gave us directions via the shorter dirt road to Boshof, which was a good choice, as the tarred road was by now becoming boring and was looking like this the whole time:


Boshof came and went. I remember passing through the place a year ago on the KLR ‚?? stopped at the Bosof Hotel at around 14h00, on a normal Wednesday afternoon for a quick cold one and to my surprise was delighted to see a couple of old timers skoffeling around on the ‚??dance‚?Ě floor in the pub. Another fine establishment.

From Boshof the GPS told us the shortest route to Orania is via Kimberley, Modderrivier and then before Hopetown you kap a left off the N12 on a short cut to this (in)famous Afrikaner hideout ‚?? something we both have wanted to check out for a long time.

This picture was taken on the road between Boshof and Kimberley. As you will note, I was posing behind my bike as Sam Casey, the invisible man from Intersec. (Couldn‚??t get the gloves to play along though)  :P


This was taken just after we left the N12 on the ‚??short cut‚?Ě to Orania. The temptation was just too big not to relinquish to demands from the right side of my brain to have a go at an artistic picture attempt of the railway line:


Both ways, of course:


The GPS then beeped and told me to turn right. Which I did.

But the road was closed off with a hump of dirt preventing you to continue. I was immediately upset, because nowhere was any indication of the road being closed and since we have done already about 40km‚??s from the N12 turn off, I wasn‚??t happy entertaining the idea to turn back and basically waste an hour and the odd 80km‚??s of petrol (On the other hand, I have a bike with a 33l tank  >:D).

We had a quick brainstorm and I was (very happily) delegated to investigate the reason for the unexpected road closure. About 200m from the turn off I came across a dry riverbed with a bridge that was completely demolished by a flood a while ago. So is this what has become of our fine country? If a bridge is swept away in a flood it just doesn‚??t get repaired anymore? Or could it be, under the new government, that this bridge, on the road to Orania, is on purpose NOT being repaired? Be that as it may, we have come to see what Orania is like and after some deliberation (and shoving some rocks around), I was happy that the 4x4 cage would be able to easily manage through the dry river bed.

This is the line that I picked:


The cage about to enter the riverbed:


« Last Edit: August 20, 2011, 02:54:38 pm by oo7 »
 

Offline oo7

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a (cheating) piece of flat dirt
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2008, 02:21:12 am »
The other side was even less of a challenge:


With the cage having safely crossed over to the darkside (Get it: Orania = Orange?)  >:D it was now the turn of the 2by1 to cross:


 I was almost starting to feel like a proper Voortrekker van ouds, crossing rivers with basically all my belongings with me on the wagon  :biggrin:

Or was it perhaps the omnipresence of Orania messing with my head?

As expected, the 2x1 did just fine:


Of course, all my conspiracy theories of why the bridge wasn‚??t repaired were thrown to the wind when we came across the new road about 500m on the other side of where we crossed, which must have been constructed after the collapse of the bridge. Had we just carried on another 1km or so we would have found the ‚??new‚?? right turn on this ‚??new‚?? road, and wouldn‚??t have had to pull the Voortrekker stunts to get across to the dark side of Orania.

Stupid idiots.


Further along on this particular stretch of road that winds along the Orange river towards Orania, you could sense that the farmers were doing particularly well. Huge circles of irrigated (spilpunte) patches of land, new tractors were you look (all of the same size as that one we saw in Hertzogville) and just a general feeling of wealth was in the air. I suppose as a farmer with the river next to you, at least the risk of drought is mostly excluded from your operations and your production per hectare is also a lot better than normal dry land farming.


On the bridge crossing over the Orange, just before the road between Hopetown and Orania:


To the darkside:


So we pitch up in Orania.

To be quite honest, I really didn‚??t had a clue what to expect. And actually it was just like any other purpose built town. By purpose built I mean a place like Rosh Pinah or Aggeneys for example, which are all places where a company, usually a mining company, decided to provide accommodation for its employees, working on some large economically feasible project. Here, the only difference of course was the absence of any economic sense of establishing a town. Obviously the people that did establish the town had their own political agenda for doing so, but apart from the one OK Grocer and little gift shop and restaurant and guest house and so one etc I honestly do not know how these people make a living. The town itself is neat and looks like any other middle class suburbia expected of a small town in the platteland. Funnily enough all the streets are concrete as opposed to tar. I suppose its cheaper that way?

The town appeared to have been established on both sides of the public road, with this sign greeting you on one side:


I guess that‚??s how they legally manage to get away with their ‚??ethnic‚?? exclusivity, by having the whole town being ‚??proclaimed‚?? (or not?) on private property.

While driving through this funny place, we definitely were being eyed very suspiciously by all present. I‚??m not sure if it was caused by the handsome steed between my legs, the upside down giant banana on top of my cage, or just the general good looks of Brakenjan? Seriously, the place had a funny feel but I couldn‚??t lay my finger on it.

We also spotted these guys working in a trench, around 14h00 on a Saturday afternoon.
Being the racist pigs that we are, we immediately assumed that it must be some coloured people doing the job. Closer inspection however proved us wrong ‚?? it was Orania‚??s finest!


I have to admit though ‚?? these guys weren‚??t lying around on their shovels, giving us the usual looks while driving past. They were digging!

My mum drove through the place a while ago and told me that apparently they had erected a statue in honour of the Koeksuster. I didn‚??t believe her. At first we didn‚??t manage to find this and I decided to flag down a laaitie on his fifty (without a helmet ‚?? private property, remember!) to ask him were it was (if of course there was something like that at all). He was extremely friendly and offered to take us there instead of giving directions.

This is where he led us to:


FFS. Its true! What kind of people erects a statue in honour of some baked delicatessen!!?? Fair enough, the thing is probably OK when you taste it, but nevertheless!! Personally I would have rather raised my hand during the milktart vote. This is one seriously funny-weird place.

The laaitie then explained to us that we should go and look at the statutes of ‚??ons leiers‚?Ě on top of a koppie on the outskirts of the town.

This is what greeted us:


And then we took Oom Paul for a ride. I always knew he was a closet supporter of adventure riding in his time ‚?? he seemed to have enjoyed it ‚?? you couldn‚??t wipe that satisfied grin off his face in a million years!



Upon leaving the town we also spotted this exclusive establishment:


Michnus, its not by any chance one of your enterprises?  :biggrin:

We then had to leave this most interesting place behind as we still had the odd 450km‚??s to do to get to our planned overnight destination of Verneukpan in the Northern Cape. Verneukpan, as you probably know, was where Malcolm Campbell had an attempt at the land speed record in his car Bluebird during the first half of the previous century. And its sadly also the same place where Johan Jacobs crashed in 2006. Both Brakenjan and I seriously wanted to visit the place, hence the decision to overnight at the pan. I came across this website (www.verneukpan.co.za) and booked accommodation with the farmer, Louis, for R80pppn. Some nice pics about the place on that site.

So we hit the road to Hopetown. Brakenjan pointed out that the Cape Province had Hopetown and die Vrystaat het vir Hoopstad. So?

After the Cape version of Hoopstad we hit the dirt road to Prieska, which probably wasn‚??t such a nice road for the cage, but the beemer was in its element (again). By now I had done in excess of 600km‚??s for the day and I honestly felt as if I only have gone to the 7-11 for a loaf of bread.

After Prieska you get the turn off for Copperton and then on to Vanwyksvlei. Here we are somewhere between Prieska and Copperton:


And then suddenly joy again as tar turn into gravel, about 60km‚??s before Van Wyksvlei.


Although Tracks for Africa indicates Verneukpan as a waypoint on the Northern Cape map, I weren‚??t happy just to blindly follow the GPS to it, simply because Louis‚?? farm (which is the farm called Verneukpan) could be at a totally different location. So we ended up phoning the farmer‚??s wife to get some directions as I have lost the previous written directions to get to the farm given to me by Louis. She explained this way and that way and then left and then right and then 30km‚??s here and then 30km‚??s there and then you will get to a bordjie saying Verneukpan ontvangs. Shit ‚?? I wasn‚??t sure about these directions, but since Louis wasn‚??t close to a phone and time was not our friend, we decided to risk the lady‚??s directions and push on. Fortunately, only her distances were out (i.e. 30km‚??s turned out to be only 16km‚??s and 40km‚??s turned out to be more in the region of 70km‚??s  . . .if you ever decide to visit Verneukpan make sure you get Louis‚?? instructions and not his wife‚??s). It was now seriously getting dark and the road turned out to be an experience. Apparently they had 160mm of rain a week or so ago which must have turned every road into a mudslide, judging by the tracks left by other vehicles. Fortunately the Beemer handled everything thrown at him with compound interest and this last stretch of road, although completely ridden in the dark, turned out to be the most enjoyable ride of the day!


Louis turned out to be an extremely friendly and helpful gentleman and showed us to the rather spartan accommodation in the form of two 1950's caravans. I suspected that it could have been remnants of Campbell‚??s mission that were left behind, but couldn‚??t care less as I was tired and hungry, having last had to force a seriously burned Hertzogville egg through my cakehole nearly 9 hours earlier.

So we lit a fire and had a fantastic piece of sirloin, courtesy of Safari slaghuis, Boshof.


After the half dead cow, I was ready for bed, having done in excess of 1000km‚??s on the day. And my ass wasn‚??t even sore.

What a bike!

And poor Brakenjan had to be satisfied the whole day with navigating a dead slow diesel cage while I was performing the one ballad after the other around him‚?¶


Day 2 of 2 to follow.


« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 08:26:33 am by doubleoseven »
 

Offline Stofstreep

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a (cheating) piece of flat dirt
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2008, 08:09:32 am »
Nice!
Be careful of the words you say.
And keep them soft and sweet.
For you never know from day to day.
Which ones you'll have to eat.
 

Online Eisbein

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a (cheating) piece of flat dirt
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2008, 08:17:57 am »
Haven't read the report (no time to properly do it this time of morning - but I will!)

Just want to say so long - there's some awesome photos in here!

02/02/12 - RIP Glen - the Arrow of Elliot and the little man with the big heart that truly was larger than life.

You have touched us and left us better for having known you - even if it was only briefly.

For grabbing the moment and living the day It's been way too early that you were taken away
 

Offline letsgofishing

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a (cheating) piece of flat dirt
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2008, 08:24:57 am »
Great stuff do far - keep it up!
There is nothing you can do about the past and you can't predict the future...all you have is the now...live it to the fullest.

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Offline PARAMED

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a (cheating) piece of flat dirt
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2008, 08:26:57 am »
Lekker...... So this means that we can meet up for a beer sometime soon...? Looking forward to the next installment! :)
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Offline Ama ride ride

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a (cheating) piece of flat dirt
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2008, 08:28:53 am »
007, you sure does have a knack writing a lekker report :thumleft:
Gewoontlik n@@i ek reguit aan op fyndraai.

 

Offline JonW

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a (cheating) piece of flat dirt
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2008, 09:05:48 am »
Great pics and an interesting well writtrn report.

Looking forward to the rest.

Thanks for making the effort.
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Offline Hentie @ Riders

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a (cheating) piece of flat dirt
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2008, 10:12:35 am »
Kom,kom hoekom vat jy so lank ons wag!!!!!!!! :pot: :bueller: :thumleft:

Offline Lootch67

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a (cheating) piece of flat dirt
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2008, 10:36:09 am »
In contrast to Eisbein I had to satisfy myself with just reading the story as our firewall is not a fan of photobucket. Great story thus far Bubbleoseven!
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Re: A Gelande strasse and a (cheating) piece of flat dirt
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2008, 10:50:57 am »
Awesome ou, absolutely freakin awesome! Jis hoe mis ek julle manne nou  :lamer:

Sorry you could not get a wimpy breakfeast......Maaauu HA hA HA HAAAAAAAA (evil laugh >:D)





ps. ETA T-minus 1 Month, 20 days, 3 hours and 9 minutes  ;)
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Re: A Gelande strasse and a (cheating) piece of flat dirt
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2008, 10:51:50 am »
In contrast to Eisbein I had to satisfy myself with just reading the story as our firewall is not a fan of photobucket. Great story thus far Bubbleoseven!

Ek het tog al die kiekies ook gesien  :P  :biggrin:
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Offline growweblaar

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a (cheating) piece of flat dirt
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2008, 11:28:51 am »
More! More!

 :blob10:


Whahahahahaha - classic!:

« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 11:35:26 am by growweblaar »
 

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a (cheating) piece of flat dirt
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2008, 02:05:00 pm »
Great writing.
I have been curious about Oranje but this statue is the decider.  I have to get to see this.


Unlike you, I hail the person who decided to erect a statue in homage to a koeksuster.  That it looks like a priapic octopus is even better.  Gotta see it and the busts of the heroes.  Zany and splendid.
 

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a (cheating) piece of flat dirt
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2008, 02:25:21 pm »
So that‚??s where the koeksusters came from!
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Re: A Gelande strasse and a (cheating) piece of flat dirt
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2008, 04:07:10 pm »
Great writing! Making even the dreary JHB to CT route exciting.
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Re: A Gelande strasse and a (cheating) piece of flat dirt
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2008, 04:23:22 pm »
Lekker report, keep it comming.....
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Re: A Gelande strasse and a (cheating) piece of flat dirt
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2008, 05:15:53 pm »
Great report 007 - keep it coming!!! :thumleft:
A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...but a true friend will be sitting next to you saying........."Damn..We F*cked Up" - Anon.


 
 

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Re: A Gelande strasse and a (cheating) piece of flat dirt
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2008, 07:46:23 pm »
Awesome pics 007! You should convince Brakenjan to smile every now and again. Can't wait to see what his face looked like when he got back into the bakkie after the pan... >:D
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Re: A Gelande strasse and a (cheating) piece of flat dirt
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2008, 08:34:04 pm »
Hey you, you could've let me know. Wilddogs in Hoopstad too!!! Could've made you a proper Afrikaner brekkie!! Great Pics!
Trials are survivable. We must keep our eternal perspective through the tough times.

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we donít give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.Ē (2 Cor. 4:8-9 NLT)