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Offline kwagga-sakkie

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Two men from Luderitz, the Taliban, and a second chance (Part2)
« on: November 10, 2009, 05:56:09 pm »
Day 4

 By now we had some routine going. Fill the desert machines up to the brim, lube the chain. Check the tires. I had a TKC 80 on the rear.  I was getting really concerned about the wear on it, and as we are just entering some real rock country it looked a little dicy. Avontuur was running a new Heidi in the back and both of us had TKC’s in the front, which I think is great for the front,
I had no option to just stick with my worn tire in the back and planned on changing it in Uppington, if it will make it to there.

Both of us were running Enduro Tubes back and front as well as putting an extra tube as liner on the outside. The tubes were also filled with Fug-it. Besides that we were carrying x-tra tubes front and back, patch and solution, tire levers and 2 hand pumps.

Our daily morning shopping consisted of energy bars, packed of “eat sum Mores”, water, 4 bottles of powerade and 2 cans of tin food.

The plan was to ride about 20kms out of Port Nolloth towards Steinkopf (tar road damn) and then turn North towards Lekkersing, Eksteensfontein and then through the mountains to Vioolsdrift where we would overnight.

I read some accounts of the RAW trip the guys had earlier the year, and was looking very much forward to the rocks and remoteness of the area.
It was very clear very early on that “remoteness “was an understatement.
As I make the first stop both me and avontuur were grinning from ear to ear as the scenery, roads was just awesome. We made a loop around Lekkersing, back down to turn left of to Eksteensfontein. Avontuur fell back, flat rear. We tried to fix it the easy way, tire-weld and air. 2 km’s later we had to stop.

It was hot and desolate.
We unpacked and fixed the tyre. Had to change tubes.

About 40 min later on the trail again.
The roads were great. Twisty dirt roads, rocks, blind rises and amazing scenery. We both were enjoying our vibrating Desert machines. The fact that it was desert conditions, desolate and rocky made us enjoying them even more.

It was about Lunchtime when we thumped into Eksteensfontein.
We found the liquor store to wash down some of the Namakwaland dust.   

We rode into a trap.There were some new friends to make.Vossie was the loudest and also had the vehicle. He used galvanized water gutters to build some spoilers for his bakkie.Apparently it has a 3 liter motor in it. He says he built it with his own hands. A peep inside reveals a bottle of Brandy, 2 liters of sweet wine, 2 Liters of coca-cola, can of Bully beef, wheel pump, sporty pedals and a sport steering wheel!
All on a Monday morning.

We bought drinks and sat in the shade next to the shop. We talked about the Richtersveld, politics ,Vossie”s bakkie,Rian’s newly acquired farm , and of course our bikes, Desert Bikes.

“Where are your bikes manufactured? “ asks Rian.”Austria” I reply.
“Ohh, that’s where the Taliban comes from”, says Donovan.

Me and Avontuur smile. Now we have Desert Bikes, made in Austria, by the Taliban!

It was well after lunchtime when the owner of this fine establishment asked us not to consume her products on the premises.Vossie and friends wanted to continue our conversation a mile further out of town under the only tree in sight. We declined as we had the unknown ahead. It was very hot and, and we still wanted to make it to Vioolsdrift.., little did we know.

We were feeling sexy when we pass Uncle Barry at the beginning of the trail. He lives in the red roof house and checks the permits upon entering the 4x4 trail towards the river. The scenery again was spectacular. The trail quickly turned nasty with serious rocks, riverbeds, accents, and decends.As the trail is mostly used by 4x4’s the sandy riverbeds was a challenge. The heavily loaded desert bikes had us overheating and we had to change into t-shirts. The bikes were also hot, the fans worked overtime. It felt like we were trapped in these huge barren mountains and was trying to escape via the riverbeds. To make things worse we saw some “plastic bike” tracks, must be a pleasure to ride those in here.

I stopped in the middle of a sand bed waiting for Avontuur. I couldn’t hear the bike amongst the cliffs. Waited about 10 minutes. I hated it but had to turn back. At this stage every 10 meters was an effort. I found him about 600m back, kit was lying all over and he was working on it.

As he brushed pass a little bush coming out of the riverbed his biked was swept sideways and he highsided.A huge rock was hiding behind the brush and he caught it with his pannier. It ripped the pannier of, dislodged the rock and also dismounted Avontuur from his bike!

We fixed the pannier with two rocks, and fixed the frame with stretches of inner tube that we carried.
It was a welcome break and we also ate our Bully beef, energy bars and basically everything we had.
We learned to ride the desert bikes hard in Virgin sand, but as soon as you hit the 2-track trails it became interesting.
Finally we reached the river.

No indication where to go. Backtracked half a km and then turned east along a very faint trail.

 This trail was sandy, and had some serious rocks. We doubted it but pushed on. It was a relief to reach some dirt roads along the river. Found the “wild things” camp, but nobody home. A few km’s further we found a small farm shop and bought bread, chakalaka, PowerAde and some Boerewors.
They advised us to use the Aquacade camp.

As we ride into the camp at dusk we were pleasantly surprised.
Reed huts separated camping spots on green grass, with clean ablution facilities, a bar, chalets and eager hosts. The rooms were booked, but the camping was as nice. After a very welcome shower we invaded the bar and had a nice meal with the other guests. This camp is highly recommended.

It was interesting to learn that the “plastic” bike tracks that we saw in the gorge belonged to the host and his manager. They are young guys that run this lodge as well as fishing and floating trips on the river.
They could not believe that we came through the same gorge as they did.
Apparently we took the wrong gorge (usually you go through oorlogskloof), but we made it.
Total for the day 220km
Tar 20km
Dirt 200km

Day 5

We could feel this morning that we have been on bikes the last few days.
Had a nice breakfast at Aquacade and hit the road. There was no Petrol in Vioolsdrift and had to take the tar road down to Steinkopf to get gas.
We were approached by a local in Steinkopf as we got of the bikes.
He made some small –talk.” Where are you guys from” He asks.
We didn’t know what to answer at this stage, Were we from Vioolsdrift,Jacobsbaai or Ellisras?
I pointed to our numberplates,which ends with the letter”L” for Limpopo.
“OH,” he says “I see you are from Luderitz”

We smile. Now we are 2 guys from Luderitz, on our desert bikes, made by the Taliban, in Austria. Good.
Treacherous sandy road from Steinkopf to Henkries.Back at the river now. Very rocky, very hot, but absolutely beautiful. By now we could not wait to get away from civilization and get in the remote areas.
Roads changed from rocks along the river to 2 track roads a little inland.
The riding was fantastic.

We were handling the Desert Bikes like 100 kg plastic bikes.
By midday we were flying on fairly good 2 track roads along the river, somewhere between Goodhouse and Witbank.This stretch was suppose to take 3 days as per the maps and information supplied by the Namakwa Tourism councel,with whom we acquired the permits and maps for this part of the trip.
I spotted a local group hiding under their makeshift verandah. I pulled off and greeted them. Very friendly goat and cattle farmers as well as fishermen.

It was lunchtime and asked them if we could use their facilities to braai our Lamb chops(got it in Steinkopf ) we were styling it”

One guy showed us his XT 500,told us that it is broken now.

He was talking with so much passion of it. Wished we could fix it.
Had and old 50cc back wheel on it. Says it does not stop spinning!

They catch Barble fish and then air-dry it. Takes about 3 days to have it cured.
A dry hot wind blows sand everywhere. On the chops too.
We spend about 2 hours with these guys, saddle up and hit the trail towards Witbank.

We pick up where we stopped and really enjoyed riding these roads. The desert bikes keep on surprising us with their ability to handle their near 200kg loads (body and luggage) add another 25kg of Petrol.
We reach Witbank tourism info centre.

From here we turned South east on good dirt roads towards Klein Pella farm.

 A very productive commercial farming enterprise. The guesthouse is outstanding. A great meal, cold beer, cool swimming pool and good company rounded of a perfect day.

The riding might have been some of the best adventure riding I have done to date.
Total 270km
Tar     70km
Dirt   200km
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Re: Two men from Luderitz, the Taliban, and a second chance (Part2)
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2009, 06:29:28 pm »
Agge nee man nou is ek lus vir ry!!!!

Offline Doerengone

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Re: Two men from Luderitz, the Taliban, and a second chance (Part2)
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2009, 07:42:49 pm »
Lekka lekka.  :thumleft:
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Offline Doggone

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Re: Two men from Luderitz, the Taliban, and a second chance (Part2)
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2009, 03:42:35 am »

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Offline roxenz

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Re: Two men from Luderitz, the Taliban, and a second chance (Part2)
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2009, 11:47:40 am »
Brilliant, man!  You guys definitely had a ride!  Thanks for the great photos, well done.  :thumleft:

Offline madmike999

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Re: Two men from Luderitz, the Taliban, and a second chance (Part2)
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2009, 11:54:15 am »
!!!!±!!!!! :thumleft:

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