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Author Topic: Country TRAX Angola and Namibia Expedtion 2012  (Read 32695 times)

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Offline HP FREAK

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Re: Country TRAX Angola and Namibia Expedtion 2012
« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2012, 01:32:23 pm »
 :sip:
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Offline espresso

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Re: Country TRAX Angola and Namibia Expedtion 2012
« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2012, 01:50:03 pm »
 :sip:
 

Offline SGB

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Re: Country TRAX Angola and Namibia Expedtion 2012
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2012, 01:55:05 pm »
Day 2: Omaruru to Ruacana
Distance: 620 km



We had breakfast at the Omaruru Rest Camp, and started offloading, unpacking, packing and generally getting ready for the ride.  The support vehicles were all parked around a large concrete apron which made the sorting and loading easier.  The luggage rule was that all your stuff had to fit on your bike, in case we had to load a bike or 2, or a vehicle breaks down or whatever.  Some would have a small problem, I suppose donating a bag of clothes en route would be in order.





Once packed, we had a bit of a "briefing" where everyone got to know each other a little better, setting the scene for the riding, and receiving the nice visible orange jackets.  From now on, many things could go wrong, but a team member was not going to be left behind - that is for sure.  That orange is of the BRIGHT variety....  Great idea....

Johan and Danie at their truck.  We are going to put them on Master Chef.  These guys know how to make a meal, and their value to the team was amazing.  Champions....



Group photo, before departure.



Damara Bottle Store - the watering hole in Omaruru, pop in when you are around.



We departed and took the open gravel roads towards Khorixas.  The Namibian roads are well maintained and Francois shows how they should be ridden.  One or two bikes had some small niggles - they have not been ridden since being serviced.  Fixed easily and the shakedown was down by the time we reached Khorixas.



The scenery was good and we had a pleasant ride.  Filled fuel in Khorixas, and again in Kamanjab.  







From Kamanjab, there is a section of tar, which eventually changes to the great white gravel highway.  



We arrived in Ruacana after dark.  Checked in a Eha Lodge for camping.  The log team cooked up a storm and most of us were in bed fairly early.





The long days were now past us and from here we knew that the roads will become the way we love them and times would be good.  
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Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Country TRAX Angola and Namibia Expedtion 2012
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2012, 02:18:37 pm »
Lekker! :thumleft:


Keep it coming.
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Offline WP

Re: Country TRAX Angola and Namibia Expedtion 2012
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2012, 03:17:04 pm »
 :sip:
 

Offline heti

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Re: Country TRAX Angola and Namibia Expedtion 2012
« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2012, 03:48:53 pm »
 :drif:  Keep it coming!!
 

Offline Doug C

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Re: Country TRAX Angola and Namibia Expedtion 2012
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2012, 04:25:24 pm »
A fascinating report. Look forward to each instalment.
 

Offline SGB

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Re: Country TRAX Angola and Namibia Expedtion 2012
« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2012, 05:36:17 pm »
Day 3: Ruacana to Riverbed Camp towards Cahama
Distance: 112 km



We had a good night's rest and a realtively slow start.  Some tyres were changed and things were given a final check-over before crossing into Angola.  We were able to leave some rations in a freezer at the lodge, as we were planning to exit Angola at the same place again in a week's time.  Lighter loads on the bakkies is always a good idea.

We had a good breakfast, courtesy of the log team.







Our plan was to head for Namibe via Pediva.  We were then told that Pediva hot spring was no longer a good spot as the local cattle farmers have taken over and we would not be able to enter the area.  A plan is a basis for change, and we had a good look at the map.  Most of the team have not been to the Lubango / Humpata area and we decided to head for Lubango via Cahama.  The tar roads were a little bit of a problem and we wanted to avoid down town Lubango for the traffic and police delays.  We had a democratic meeting and the new plan was accepted.



The convoy was under way by 9:30 and we headed for the fuel station and the border post.  Border procedures are not a rush job here and on the Namibian side each rider / driver had to produce police clearance for his vehicle.  Chassis no's and Engine no's were checked by a single police officer and written down in a book. All 17 of them, 1 digit at a time. Passports were stamped and at customs each driver wrote down his vehicle details in another book.  We placed a sticker on the boom gate, and moved to the Angolan side.



On the Angolan side, we had to produce passports and letters of invitation.  All 21 passports handed in and promptly returned with departure forms to complete, and handed in again.  The official checked each visa and letter and passport number / full names in detail and it took 1/2 hour of explaining when one letter had the official puzzled.  Martin's Swiss passport was also a new thing, and it took some time to explain that Switzerland is a country, it even has an Angolan consulate.  Then all the details were written down in a book.  By one official.  Once complete, we had to move to customs for vehicle permits.  All the vehicle details were written down, in triplicate, but there is only one piece of carbon paper.  So he has to write it all twice.  Outside, all the vehicles were checked again, with details written in another book.  Including your father and mother's names, I kid you not.



Border procedures.  There was nobody else at the border, exept for a Himba or 2, who crosses the border with a stamp on the back of a very worn piece of paper.



Himba crossing



We handed out some Portuguese Bibles at the border, the good part was that some of us could learn Portuguese and read half of the Old Testament in the time the process took.  





Anyway, the process is the process and we were not rushing.   This kind of thing is part of the trip and it is good to park of and share wisdom whilst our ears are not under the helmets.  All part of the experience, and we are on holiday after all....

Once through the border we went for a quick stop on the Ruacana dam wall, just to ensure everyone knew the traffic rules.







Once done, the road "improved" immediately and we were having good fun.  This is what Angola is about - riding these tracks.  The twin track winds through the trees for miles on end and the locals we encounter are all friendly.  It took a while to get used to travelling on the right hand side of the road, those oncoming Chinese bikes had a few moments when our team swerved in the same direction as them for starters.  It was late afternoon already and we found a nice river bed to camp for the evening.

The roads are great!



Some local interaction,



Sharing wisdom whilst waiting for the bakkies.



Locals at the camp site.  They offered to let us sleep in their village, which we politely declined.





Our camp for the night.





The sand is quite "soft" here....



Evening fire, where the log team looked after us very well (again....)



This guy arrived later in the evening, tanked up and ready to fight.  He left a good friend, Bible under the arm and proud owner.  His friend even left his stick behind, you will not often see an African man give away his weapon.  This was a nice touch of Africa, great experience for us.



The first few hours of "proper" riding were good and we were looking forward to the next day.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 06:49:36 pm by SGB »
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Offline Losper

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Re: Country TRAX Angola and Namibia Expedtion 2012
« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2012, 05:45:42 pm »
Lekker man, lekker :thumleft:
We do adventure and enduro bike tours, specializing in Lesotho, Namakaland and the Richtersveld.
 

Offline SGB

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Re: Country TRAX Angola and Namibia Expedtion 2012
« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2012, 06:48:27 pm »
Day 4: Riverbed to Strawberry Farm near Humpata
Distance: 348 km



We were up early and got going just after 8.  (7 Angolan time).

Getting back to the road was a good warm-up.



The road remained great!  Jan and I were riding side by side in the 2 tracks, and really enjoyed the terrain.  River crossings, rocks, sand, ruts and Chinese bikes to keep you awake and positively occupied all day.  The KTM's were behaving well - in fact I am convinced that you would never be able to cover ground at this rate with any other "litre class" bike.  I had many conversations with Mr Peters in my helmet and had to say thank you to him on several occasions.  Even a Super Enduro can bottom out - I heard it myself - quite loud too....  :o
I am not saying that you cannot do it with another bike, you can.  It would just bring the progress down to much more in line with a Landcruiser.  It will work, but the smile will be smaller.  We knew what we were looking for, and found it - in abundance!

The lack of pictures of the actual riding is a pity.  You cannot photograph and ride...

Check this Chinese bike.....



This guy had a broken chain, which he managed to fix with a rock and a machete.



Stopped in a village to wait for everyone, and the locals had some free TV!  They came from all directions and quite a few Bibles found new owners.  We are not good at mission work, and this is not what the trip was really about.  On most of my mission trips, the missionary's life is changed the most. (No exception this time around...) What we have seen however, is that nowhere else in Africa do you see the joy that a Bible brings like you see it in Angola.  We saw it previously, and since then we just cannot go to Angola without Bibles.  I think we should learn Portuguese, they read something different in a Bible, for sure!

 







The Chinese bikes are all over.  Look at this Dakar version:





And the 125's provide transport to the masses, there are 1000's of them.



Just before Cahama, we went to a monument that the Cubans built where 5 Cubans and 200 Angolans died during a South African air strike in 1982.  They used an unexploded part of one of the bombs in the monument.







The graves are still visible in the area adjacent to the monument, but clearly no maintenance is being done here.

Nice Baobab



Water transporter.



In Cahama, we fueled up again and had to justify our existence to the police.  They were a bit puzzeled as to why we would come to Cahama via Ruacana if you could use the tar road via Oshikango.  How do you explain to an Angolan policeman that the road we took is "better"?

We had to do some tar from Cahama towards Lubango, until the turn-off to Humpata via the Dorsland trek oxwagon route.  This is a nice ride, quite "technical" here and there with some sand and rocks and stuff, but very enjoyable.  

The road ends on the tar between Lubango and Humpata, and we saw a new campsite on T4A.  It was a pleasant surprise when we found Gary and Erica Davidson here.  They are from SA, managing this strawberry farm which produces strawberries all year round.  They charge $10 per person for basic facilities including a modern long drop, hot showers, safe camping area and a nice fire place with wood.  The right place to stay in this densely populated area.  Good find...

Gary and Erica





We spent a peaceful night here, Lubango can be very noisy at night, we had none of that.  We had a great meal of Eland steak - have I mentioned that our log team CAN cook.  We were hoping to loose some weight on the trip.  There was none of that!  Lots of wisdom was shared around the fire that night - tomorrow we do the tourist thing in Lubango.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 09:32:56 pm by SGB »
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Offline poplap

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Re: Country TRAX Angola and Namibia Expedtion 2012
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2012, 07:10:34 pm »
Very nice trip sofar, I will be glued to this until the end. Please do not make us wait to long. :thumleft:
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Offline GSing

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Re: Country TRAX Angola and Namibia Expedtion 2012
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2012, 08:52:21 pm »
Lekker een, SGB!! Gooi nog!!!!
 

Offline Would I?

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Re: Country TRAX Angola and Namibia Expedtion 2012
« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2012, 09:07:38 pm »
Keep it coming..... :biggrin: :biggrin:
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Offline BiG DoM

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Re: Country TRAX Angola and Namibia Expedtion 2012
« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2012, 09:20:33 pm »
SGB RR GOLD! - SUB  :ricky:
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Offline Brakenjan

Re: Country TRAX Angola and Namibia Expedtion 2012
« Reply #34 on: August 20, 2012, 09:25:58 pm »
Lekkerrrrrr SGB!!  :thumleft:
 

Offline HP FREAK

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Re: Country TRAX Angola and Namibia Expedtion 2012
« Reply #35 on: August 21, 2012, 08:02:59 am »
Eendag ,eendag ,eendag wil ek ook saam gaan.
Ek dink dit is n belewenis.
Great RR my maat  :thumleft:
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Offline SGB

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Re: Country TRAX Angola and Namibia Expedtion 2012
« Reply #36 on: August 21, 2012, 09:17:37 am »
Day 5: Strawberry Farm to Flamingo via Lubango
Distance: 305 km



Today is tourist day.  The plan is to visit the Lubango attractions and then take an easy drive down to Namibe, and on the beach to Flamingo lodge.
The log team did some magic with last night's leftovers and we had a 5 star breakfast.  We said good bye to the Davidsons and made for the first tourist attraction.  The 45 m Jesus statue or "Christo Rey" as it is known here.  Most of you will know that there a 3 of these in the Potuguese world, one being in Rio.  This one is unique - the only one with bullet holes in the face.





You also get a good view of the city from the hill - lost of people here....



They are still worried about something potentially shooting at them here too.



Next up was Tunda Vale - the deep ravine where the landscape drops 800m down a cliff.  The ravine is 400m deep, and rich in history - a lots of people were executed here during the civil war.  Since our last visit, the road has been tarrred and it is clearly being managed as a tourist attraction nowdays.









We made our way back through the outskirts of Lubango, the traffic was not too bad.  At Humpata, we do a quick stop for the log team to get some supplies.







Pro Action Humpata



The tourists continued to Leba pass where we took a few pictures from the view point.  This pass is also on the Tunda Vale, and the altitude drop 800m in the pass.





Lunch spot at the bottom of Leba.



Below is the altitude profile of the pass.

To be continued.....
« Last Edit: August 21, 2012, 09:22:59 am by SGB »
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Offline wildside

Re: Country TRAX Angola and Namibia Expedtion 2012
« Reply #37 on: August 21, 2012, 01:33:01 pm »
A most enjoyable and interesting RR. I was surprised to hear that one needs a 'police clearance certificate' and a 'letter of invitation' to enter Angola ??? 
You have captured some amazing sights that I have also recently seen on the latest Getaway magazine that also got the adventure riding juices flowing.  :drif:

Great stuff.....looking forward to reading more.
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Offline Brandt

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Re: Country TRAX Angola and Namibia Expedtion 2012
« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2012, 01:54:50 pm »
sub...
 

Offline Kerritz

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Re: Country TRAX Angola and Namibia Expedtion 2012
« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2012, 02:09:45 pm »
BLIKSEM!! Dit lyk lekker!  :thumleft:
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