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Author Topic: A Soutie and his Airhead- Loeries Verneukpan and beyond. (completed)  (Read 3975 times)

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Offline Abu

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Okay let me try again! ( and ignore the date stamp on the photos)
My bike had been down since October when I had a tank slapper on the way to the National Bash. After months of insurance haggles I got it back late in May and a trip was called for.
Having enjoyed the Anvil bash so much Hingsdings Loeries to Verneukpan sounded great. My plan was to leave on Thursday and return on Monday but after persuasion from Occy and SWAMBO I made it that I would return before the next weekend. Where I was going to go after Verneukpan was left open.

Occy and I took the Slanghoek road, at the causeway one could see the recent high water mark.



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Stopped of at The Spur in Ceres to have lunch with my younger brother and his family. They have recently bought it and want it to be biker friendly.

Top of the pass between Mount Cedar and Oasis – an obligatory beer stop.


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Oasis in the distance – We stayed at Nuwerus though, had a nice braai and watched Italy beat Germany.


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The next morning it was overcast on the way to Eselbank. The road was too good, almost too good, but a nice intro for someone who has not ridden off road for 8 months.



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Just past Engelsmans grave we stopped for lunch and JC came past.



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Almost in Niewoudtville, after a nice quick ride (for old school that is)



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That amazing garage.



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The waterfall on the way to Loeries – well worth a visit. I am told the Kokerboom forest
a bit further on is also well worth a stop.



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Loeries, around the fire.



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Skaapkop eat and receiving some advice from Carroll for future sessions.


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End part1.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 11:03:31 pm by Abu »
 

Offline Buff

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Offline Carrol

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Very nice! Where's the rest... ;)
 
 

Offline Abu

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Very nice! Where's the rest... ;)

Hopefully soon - I am embarrassed to say that this first part took me almost 4 days  :biggrin:
 

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Offline Abu

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Later that night.
The chalets on the way to bed and before the KTM midnight caller!



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Pote’s feeling on the cold.



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Trouble with Occy’s bike – unfortunately he had to trailer home but it does mean another visit to the pan to show him what he missed. :biggrin:



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Interesting flat section of rock making up the road/river bed on the way to Brandvlei, I chased on this section as I did not want to miss the crowd in Brandvlei as I had no idea how to get to the pan!



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Brandvlei  re  group , some ate and others just had liquid refreshment.



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Turnoff on the way to the pan – somehow I did not come past this point on the way out!



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 Pote, Hilsa and Heimer were kind enough to let me tag along behind them on the way to the pan – we stopped at Swartkop waiting for some of the others but after awhile headed out to tackle the gates. Oh and the very impressive Mr and Mrs Wildhog were also with us.



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As we got close to the pan it was love at first sight and I knew that I was going to be here for more than one night.



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Pote at the turnoff to the camp. The road that we come in on, left in the pic, splits the pan. The other section is private.



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Camp slowly starting to take shape as people arrive. Unfortunately most had beaten the bakkie with the grog!



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Rider in the dusk.



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At the bell.



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A walk on the pan with suspicious looking enamel mugs – definitely not coffee!
Carrol, Gillian (thanks for the oranges) Mapsource and Fenderbender –I think I have it right.



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Man its lovely, sunset, sunrise, midday, even the middle of the night. The most beautiful sight was the full moon setting over the pan on the Tuesday morning. I could not get a decent shot of it  :(



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When the bar has no light n’ boer (Hinksding) maak n’ plan!



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End part 2
 

Offline Firecoast

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Happy to hear and see that you are back on the bik Bruce!!!

Lovely RR. Thanks for sharing!
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Offline Abu

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After everyone had left and I was alone on the pan the lucky guy who owns this part of the pan came to clear up. He made me feel at home and said I could ride where ever I wanted to.



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I then put on my new minimalist running shoes which pack nice and small, took the camera and went for a jog across the pan.



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Looking down the “track”



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On my return the donkey was lit and I had a nice shower – it must conjure up terrible images but it feels so free to get undressed at your tent and be able to stroll to the shower. You are lucky that pic did not come out :biggrin:



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An afternoon ride on the pan.



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The next morning was a lot cooler.



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One early morning ride on the pan and I knew I had to stay over a third night.



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So off to the farm to arrange the extra night, the farmer was in Upington but his assistant Gerrit or his wife were supposed to be there, I found the place deserted besides the guard geese and the lab,

The jet dragster from 2006



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The engine.



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4 gates there and 4 back!



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Crop Circles



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Size of the furrow.



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After changing into pan riding gear I set off to find Sir Donald Campbells record site – I decided to follow the compass but after a fair bit of riding found that it was on the other side of the fence and had to get back onto the road.



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Relaxing with a noontime beer and then a little shut eye.



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Getting late on the last afternoon , put the bike in its garage, checked fluids and started getting ready.



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Last sunset.



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Over a few beers I had decided I better slowly start heading South to avoid a long ride on Thursday , the day I wanted to be home, so my first choice had been to head for Oasis and spend two nights there whilst riding around the area in the day. The more I thought about this, after being on the pan, it felt like going to Jo’burg, just too busy. So that idea was binned, I then remembered staying in the Tankwa park in what they call “unserviced sites” in other words x marks the spot and you bring everything you need and find your own toilet etc. You leave it pristine like you found it. Just what I wanted, so off to the Tankwa via Calvinia for provisions it was going to be.

Tuesday morning at 8.30 I left for Swartkop with the 8 gates ahead of me and then onto Calvinia , or was it?



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End of part 3.

 

Offline ChristoffGS

So off to the farm to arrange the extra night, the farmer was in Upington but his assistant Gerrit or his wife were supposed to be there, I found the place deserted besides the guard geese and the lab,

Hey Abu, don't forget about the maroon double cab Isuzu - that was me and my parents on our way to Calvinia from Douglas.  I had convinced them that we needed to go see the pan.  What a spectacular place!  Must have been quite an experience having the whole place to yourself.
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Offline Abu

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So off to the farm to arrange the extra night, the farmer was in Upington but his assistant Gerrit or his wife were supposed to be there, I found the place deserted besides the guard geese and the lab,

Hey Abu, don't forget about the maroon double cab Isuzu - that was me and my parents on our way to Calvinia from Douglas.  I had convinced them that we needed to go see the pan.  What a spectacular place!  Must have been quite an experience having the whole place to yourself.

You should have told me that you rode bike!
I have had to leave a lot out.
Just after you left I thought  that I would see you on the pan and that I would ask you to send and sms to my wife so that she knew I was okay, but by the time I had done all the gates you guys were gone! Not sure how I missed you if you were on your way to Calvinia.
It was really great - especially the days - the nights got long and cold what with not having much wood.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 08:38:08 pm by Abu »
 

Offline Chairman Meow

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Very Nice Abu  :thumleft:....We'll catch up nex week.
 

Offline Abu

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Back to Swartkop and then onwards – I did not turn left at Swartkop as my GPS said right turn 46m ahead and sure enough there was a right turn, so not in a hurry I decided to see where the road took me. Not quiet on the way to Calvinia but very nice anyway! ( In hind site I think it had me having turned and the right was in 46km!)  ;D



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After breakfast with a nice glass of Port I then set of once again for Calvinia. The landscape changed from the red sand near Kenhardt to the sparse fields around Brandvlei and then mountains near Calvinia. My bike guard!



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On the way to Calvinia I knew that I would not make Tankwa before sunset so I would stay in Calvinia. As I got closer I saw the turnoff to Middlepos and reckoned with a quick visit for supplies of food, cash, grog and petrol I could still get to Middlepos which would be better than over nighting in the city of Calvinia.

The shadows start to get long on the way to Middlepos.



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Middlepos in the distance – yes I will be in before dusk.



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After a lovely dinner and warm night I awoke to howling wind. At breakfast I asked my hosts about the weather and the verdict was that rain was on its way. I quickly packed and set off for Gannaga Pass.



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Shortly after the rain started.



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And then it started to rain harder and the road got wetter.



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I was determined to stay up on the pegs and not lose my confidence. Every so often I had to stop and regain my composure but after awhile I reached the lookout on the pass  and had some well deserved Namaqua Port.



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A landy came past and the driver stopped, he said the road was better at the bottom but with some slippery patches. I mentioned I was worried about the slippery road and had intended to go Skaapwagters pos for the night, when he heard this he mentioned he too was going to go back to Skaapwagterspos and that really heavy rain was forecast.

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View of the pass through the clouds.



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I decided to check in at Roodewerf and examined the weekly weather forecast  for the Tankwa , and it was fine with a slight chance of rain that day and clearing! Me thinks that the Landy driver fibbed! So I checked which un serviced camp had no people staying over and headed off for Steenkampshoek.



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The last 4 k’s were rather rocky and a bit technical which made one sweat a bit. One rest stop and one beer stop.



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I followed the road past the camp to where it ended on a soft fine gravel section.





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Heading down a bit to the camp site.



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The view from my camp site looking at over the Tankwa!



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The camp.



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The view back towards the mountains.



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I had two “lekker kuier” days, Sunday afternoon at the pan and then again sitting in the sun around my fire in the mountains above the Tankwa. I took this photo because on the label it states a whole bunch of things one is supposed to taste in this Port and I could not taste any – it was still very, very nice – and I wanted to ask Weskus what gives.





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The setting sun on the mountains



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Sunset – my last night.



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The next morning it was off to the R355 and Ceres.



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The Tankwa Padstal.



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The bar side.



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The shop side with Oom Piet in the background – he was visiting with his son in law Marius. The honey in the shop comes from Oom Piets farm.


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Marius who is a retired builder from PE. He must have been one hell of a builder to retire at is age. He was leaving the next week for Kaokoland for 3 weeks.



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The last gravel.



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Dropping down to Ceres. Then a quick lunch and off towards Bainskloof, Stellenbosch and then Baden Powell drive.




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False Bay and the local fishermen were doing a trek. This is the boat that took the net out.



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Muizenberg, Kalk bay then up Redhill Pass and a quick stop to take a photo from the look out. It was done in true Japanese tourist style – zoot in, keep helmet on quick snap and off again. Much to the amazement of some people parked there.



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A quick drop down the other side, past the well know Redhill Pottery (I have to give it a plug!) and on to Scarborough.



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Home!



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Man I Love my bike!



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Distance 1760km over 7 days which turned out to be nice a nice and enjoyable balance between riding and relaxing.
 

Offline ChristoffGS

So off to the farm to arrange the extra night, the farmer was in Upington but his assistant Gerrit or his wife were supposed to be there, I found the place deserted besides the guard geese and the lab,

Hey Abu, don't forget about the maroon double cab Isuzu - that was me and my parents on our way to Calvinia from Douglas.  I had convinced them that we needed to go see the pan.  What a spectacular place!  Must have been quite an experience having the whole place to yourself.

You should have told me that you rode bike!
I have had to leave a lot out.
Just after you left I thought  that I would see you on the pan and that I would ask you to send and sms to my wife so that she knew I was okay, but by the time I had done all the gates you guys were gone! Not sure how I missed you if you were on your way to Calvinia.
It was really great - especially the days - the nights got long and cold what with not having much wood.

We kept straight after the turnoff to the camp site.  I think by the time we turned back you were allready through all the gates on your way to camp.  We were a little pressed for time... :-\

It seems you had an epic solo trip!
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Re: A Soutie and his Airhead- Loeries Verneukpan and beyond. (completed)
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2012, 04:51:59 pm »
Nice one Abu.
What's with the Namakwa while you rideing? Also your steeringdamper like tgg? :mwink: :thumleft:
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Offline cloudgazer

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Re: A Soutie and his Airhead- Loeries Verneukpan and beyond. (completed)
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2012, 05:01:14 pm »
Nice.
 

Offline Fenderbender

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Re: A Soutie and his Airhead- Loeries Verneukpan and beyond. (completed)
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2012, 05:08:00 pm »
Nice RR Bruce  :thumleft:
 

Offline Heimer

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Re: A Soutie and his Airhead- Loeries Verneukpan and beyond. (completed)
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2012, 05:13:49 pm »
An enviable trip Abu. Thanks for sharing it  :thumleft:

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Re: A Soutie and his Airhead- Loeries Verneukpan and beyond. (completed)
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2012, 07:43:42 pm »
Very nice and very inspiring. It must have been an amazing feeling to be on your own on Verneukpan. :thumleft:
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