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Author Topic: From Ashes to ashes.....and then some bliss!!!!!  (Read 19481 times)

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Offline Pote

Re: From Ashes to ashes.....and then some....
« Reply #80 on: October 04, 2012, 09:11:30 pm »
en ek kon ook daar gewees het  >:(

Lekker ride report sover, wag om te hoor van Dwerg(ie) en die storie in Lesotho  :thumleft:
 

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Re: From Ashes to ashes.....and then some....
« Reply #81 on: October 04, 2012, 09:30:18 pm »
Pragtige stories en asemrowende fotos...

Wel gedaan Luitenant en kie...  :thumleft:
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Offline Dwerg

Re: From Ashes to ashes.....and then some....
« Reply #82 on: October 05, 2012, 07:02:44 am »
Stop en dis hier wat 'n dronk versin bergie met Dwerg kom kak soek terwyl hy ewe rustig op sy bike sit. Ek kon nie die detail hoor nie....hy sal beter kan verduidelik.



Daai ou met die sweetpak was so gesuip mens sal sweer hy was by die bash  :lol8:
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Re: From Ashes to ashes.....and then some....
« Reply #83 on: October 05, 2012, 07:30:26 am »
Fokkit!!
Die jaloersgeid loop by my ore uit.... :drif:

Maar hierdie laaste paar posts bevestig my besluit was die regte een.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2012, 07:30:59 am by bud500 »
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Offline Circlip

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Re: From Ashes to ashes.....and then some....
« Reply #84 on: October 05, 2012, 09:07:42 am »
BEVANGE!
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Offline IDR

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Re: From Ashes to ashes.....and then some....
« Reply #85 on: October 05, 2012, 10:01:56 am »
Just a note before I start the next day...  We all felt that after the afkak the previous day up Ongeluksnek, that we would give the shortcut to Semonkong over "Plothond se pad" a skip.  FYI, the river crossings through there are now not an issue anymore as the Chinese have built bridges over both rivers (Senqu and Senqunyane) - all visible on Google Earth.  It also seems that they were preparing the road to connect those bridges to the tar of the A4, or at least that's what it looks like from the 2006 satellite imagery.  Also, once in Semonkong, apparently some 4x4s had done the trip down and back up in one day, so this should really have been quite do-able for us.  This would have meant a 130-odd km as opposed to the 360 we ended up doing.

Day 2: Letsie Dam to Semonkong (359 km)

We awoke to an awesome setting - calm lake, sun busy rising in the east, just the tips of the mountains around us bathed in light.  Between the wind and cold, and the party of snorers, moaners and whimperers we had in the tents around us, nobody really got a great night's sleep.


peek-a-boo


Kom sonnetjie!!!!

We got breakfast going, and slowly everybody was getting themselves ready for another day - solitary walks up and into the mountain around us.


Breakfast of champions

We were approached by a herd of sheep, and as the morning progressed, we were eventually surrounded.  This one very vocal little lamb kept blaring at us, so Her Stigness promptly walked up to it, sat down next to it and calmed it down.  It must be a combination of her motherly instinct and farm upbringing, because eventually, once she got up and came back to camp, this little thing had obviously adopted her as its mother and was determined to come back home with us!


Shoo!!

The saying "as innocent as a lamb" was quite apt, seeing as we had some of its brethren going on the coals!  It couldn't have been a couple of days old, but eventually Carrots took action, and delivered it safely back to its mom.


...after posing with it first of course

After breakfast and packing up (and Dwerg napping on his bike while we were at it), we were off, over a water crossing at the dam wall, and onwards into Lesotho.

It wasn't long - literally 5.0 km - and we stopped at a tavern for second breakfast ;D  Really great to see Lesotho village life.  They are highly dependent on their animals - horses and donkeys for transport, sheep and cattle for other provisions, and dogs for everything else.  And everywhere you see people, you'll find cold beer!

After the beer we headed off in the direction of Mt Moorosi, Mohale's Hoek and Roma on the way to Semonkong.

Truly spectacular riding here...









More light refreshments in big bottles at mt Moorosi, and then we were on the tar.  More awesome riding all along the Quthing river, all the way to Mohale's Hoek, where we filled up with petrol and other supplies.

This was a long day though - seemed like the tar was never-ending, but we pushed on all the way to Roma, where we were scheduled to top up with fuel again, before the dirt road to Semonkong.

However, the KTM wouldn't start... Carrots has an HID high beam, and Nightbreaker in his low beam, and I had seen his lights flashing quite a bit earlier, and had warned him about it.  I had assumed that either the HID or Nightbreaker was drawing his battery flat, but we had to make a plan nonetheless.  Some friendly oke at the petrol station where we had stopped guided me to the Trading Post in Roma, where the friendly and trusting owner lent us his jumper cables, with the idea that we would return them when we pass back through Roma.  We got the bike jump started (with a little drama) and off we went.

They are busy redoing the tar road between Roma and Semonkong, with the plan to eventually tar it all the way.  This makes for some really fast riding and a couple of surprises (wet surface, heaps of gravel, AWESOME gravel speed bumps, etc).  There was also a bit of a hold-up where they had two backhoes lowering a bridge strut into place, blocking the bridge entirely.  At this point Carrots was still under the impression that his battery was flat, so kept the bike running.  This 5 minute wait turned into 15 minutes, and the temperature on the bike was climbing in the afternoon heat.  Eventually he decided to just take it for a spin up and down the hill to get some air through the radiator, but then fuel was also a concern (through all the battery issues, he had neglected to fill up).

Once back, he switched off the bike and I was like 'oh...shit', ready to get on my knees again to get the thing jump started, but fortunately he was able to test the battery on the downhill, and everything turned out fine, so we surmised that it must have been the lights drawing the battery flat.  

We had a quick snack (now effectively powdered eggs in my egg carrier) with some bully beef, mussels and crackers, the bridge was opened, and we headed off for the last stretch to Semonkong.  Once again, the riding was spectacular, steep climbs and descents, switchbacks, and very good road surface, away from the setting sun.

Once at Semonkong, Dwerg lead us in - finally seeming to have worked out how his GPS works ;D  The sun was about to set, and the beer at Semonkong Lodge was calling.  And man, what a place.

They have a fully licensed pub and restaurant, the food was incredible, the beer cold, and the wine CHEAP!  Our lodgings were also amazing.  Understand that we had wild camped the night before, so our perceptions might have been a bit skewed, but it really was just an incredible relief to have come across this gem.

If you ever get the chance, please do support them:
Semonkong Lodge
www.placeofsmoke.co.ls

We checked in, unpacked, ate, had some wine, and then crashed into bed, in anticipation for our rest day.


We deliberately missed the dirt shortcut between Mohale's Hoek and Roma to make time



PS: I don't have many photos to contribute, as the camera I took with was wholly unsuitable for DS riding.  You need something a lot more compact and easy to reach than the big thing I lugged along.  OR you need to make a lot more time to stop for photos.  Either way, fortunately the others were well covered in this department.

« Last Edit: October 05, 2012, 10:07:44 am by IDR »
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Offline briv

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Re: From Ashes to ashes.....and then some....
« Reply #86 on: October 05, 2012, 10:38:17 am »
"Just a note before I start the next day...  We all felt that after the afkak the previous day up Ongeluksnek, that we would give the shortcut to Semonkong over "Plothond se pad" a skip.  FYI, the river crossings through there are now not an issue anymore as the Chinese have built bridges over both rivers (Senqu and Senqunyane) - all visible on Google Earth.  It also seems that they were preparing the road to connect those bridges to the tar of the A4, or at least that's what it looks like from the 2006 satellite imagery.  Also, once in Semonkong, apparently some 4x4s had done the trip down and back up in one day, so this should really have been quite do-able for us.  This would have meant a 130-odd km as opposed to the 360 we ended up doing."

We tried and could not get trough, they balsted the one cliff away 26 km in ...... :thumleft: and we had to turn around and head for Roma.. :-\
oor B..erge en RIV..iere sal ons ry,
mag dit altyd tog so bly....
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Offline Dwerg

Re: From Ashes to ashes.....and then some....
« Reply #87 on: October 05, 2012, 10:43:29 am »
"Just a note before I start the next day...  We all felt that after the afkak the previous day up Ongeluksnek, that we would give the shortcut to Semonkong over "Plothond se pad" a skip.  FYI, the river crossings through there are now not an issue anymore as the Chinese have built bridges over both rivers (Senqu and Senqunyane) - all visible on Google Earth.  It also seems that they were preparing the road to connect those bridges to the tar of the A4, or at least that's what it looks like from the 2006 satellite imagery.  Also, once in Semonkong, apparently some 4x4s had done the trip down and back up in one day, so this should really have been quite do-able for us.  This would have meant a 130-odd km as opposed to the 360 we ended up doing."

We tried and could not get trough, they balsted the one cliff away 26 km in ...... :thumleft: and we had to turn around and head for Roma.. :-\

Het julle report gesien en gewonder of dit die stuk was wat ons sou ry  :thumleft:
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Offline briv

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Re: From Ashes to ashes.....and then some....
« Reply #88 on: October 05, 2012, 11:06:20 am »


We tried and could not get trough, they balsted the one cliff away 26 km in ...... :thumleft: and we had to turn around and head for Roma.. :-\
[/quote]

Het julle report gesien en gewonder of dit die stuk was wat ons sou ry  :thumleft:
[/quote]

Julle trip lyk amper die reverse van ons sin..... Lekker man en mooi pics  :thumleft:
oor B..erge en RIV..iere sal ons ry,
mag dit altyd tog so bly....
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Offline Dwerg

Re: From Ashes to ashes.....and then some....
« Reply #89 on: October 05, 2012, 11:13:58 am »
Like IDR said, none of us had much sleep but as soon as the sun came out it was all worth it! What a beautiful morning and setting!



IDR looking for a nice spot to read his morning paper.


Locals doing what they do



My riding for the day started with a bang. A very load one. I am sure Carrots will post the video shortly.

Carrots leaving the camping site


Our first beer stop. I had a serious 5 day compound hangover by this stage and couldn’t get any beer down or have a cigarette with out almost being ill.


I’d say the first 50km of this day was easily my favourite riding of the trip. IDR and Carrots started chasing one another quite early on and I stuck with Justin and Her Stigness most of the way. Not to look after them or anything, after the previous day it was clear that they were quite capable of looking after themselves. I, on the other hand was going to need some help if I got a puncture or something  ;D

Some scenery






Preparing to jump Carrots’ bike. Almost blew some stuff on my bike in the process. He was seriously pissed off but still managed a smile



Snacks while held up at the bridge





Myself, Justin and Theonette held up by the blasting. Pretty cool to witness. Justin was looking the other way and got such a big fright that he almost moered off his bike  :lol8:


It’s amazing how long 350 odd kays can feel in Lesotho when you are tired and under nourished. Towards the end of the day I went into full auto pilot mode, making mistakes and hitting rocks and ruts that I shouldn’t have, just following the dust trail ahead of me, setting 5km interval goals for myself and trying to stay awake. Pity because the last 40 odd kays were awesome!



When we arrived at the lodge I decided to skip on the booked dorm accommodation and upgrade to my own little hut with fireplace. I also had something other than meat for the first time in 5 days at supper that night.
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Offline Justin

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Re: From Ashes to ashes.....and then some....
« Reply #90 on: October 05, 2012, 11:28:37 am »
Justin's log - Monday - Lake Letsie to Semonkong


Yes, what a lekker previous night. However it got really cold overnight. I remember waking up seeing flashes of light and hearing funny noises. Looked out of the tent and saw Carrots sitting by the fire and keeping the flames going. At 2am or something!


Check our tents at the bottom there


A closeup of our camp life

We had a lekker bacon breakfast and some bossies to clear the bowels and off we went.

Before we left Carrots asked if I was awake. Huh, I asked, what a silly question.
However, he went ahead and saw the water crossing on a tight turn. I got to the water crossing, realised the concrete is broken and gone really. Big rocks under the water, nowhere to go but forward.
I opened up and literally bounced left and right and my word, over. I think I exited the water crossing sideways, but I didn't go down. If I did, Her Stigness would have killed me. 5mins on the bike and wet!

We head along this little track along the river which was brilliant. Shaded areas made it difficult to see the holes in the ground, but I didn't care.

Finally at the top of a mountain we decided to have some refreshments. And the locals decided to pose a bit.


Our bikes at the top







After that it was a lot of tar to Roma. The tar was quite good and we made good progress. However, by this time I was tired.


Filling up just before Roma.

As Dwerg mentions, I also went into auto pilot. I could honestly not concentrate anymore. Is Brain Deadness a real illness?

The lodge however had ice cold beers. And vegetable soup! We have only had meat for 5 days! LOL.
Carpe diem!
 

Offline Kerritz

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Re: From Ashes to ashes.....and then some.....
« Reply #91 on: October 05, 2012, 01:31:39 pm »
OK so there is not much more I can say about Lake Letsie and how awesome it was that wasn’t said already. I woke up in the night sometime and went and sat by the fire….salig en rustig. I think I might have had a little bit too much red wine…but it was cold and the wine tasted good.

Dwerg waking up



Tjommies







Dwerg got on his bike and started fiddling with the GPS



Fok boys…..die pad is rof en moerse zig-zag hier uit se hy..….sommer net ommie draai…….IDR gaan kyk



Nou dadelik begin ek bietjie nip…..as dit enige iets is soos ons gisteraand hier aangekom het gaan ons van vroeg af hard werk.

Ek besluit toe maar om RatKas reg en warm te kry….die ou trekker vat ‘n rukkie en ek hou nie van hom enigsens hard ry as hy koud is nie.

Klim op die bike sonder die helmet en cruise net rustig af in die pad.

Ag nie 100m nie maak die pad skerp draai en hier is ‘n watercrossing voor my. Ek het nie ‘n keuse nie….commit en gaan deur. Nie te erg nie…….maar klomp groot los klippe wat die bike bietjie gooi. Draai om en terug kamp toe……met 'n vet grin....en dis wat ek vir die mense vra of hulle wakker is. He he…..ek weet darem wat kom.

Ek wens ek kon Justin se attempt op video kry maar ek was te laat. Dit was legendary…..en hy ‘n het ‘n moerse goeie save uitgehaal. Ek was weereens impress my sy skills veral met The Stigness agter op.

Dwerg se morning glory scare

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/0pEtYnMmpyE" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/0pEtYnMmpyE</a>

En bleddie goed gedoen om hom te save ook daar....ek was so bang jou bike gaan olie uit pis teen die tyd wat jy by my stop. Ek kon van ver af hoor wat jy in jou helmet gese het.....en dit was nie hentie nie...... :peepwall: :pot:

Ons is dors.....en almal is sommer baie wakker eweskielik















Ek stop op ‘n stadium om na ‘n view te kyk……Dwerg pull langs my in…..en julle kan vir julle self luister wat hy gese het. Ons het seker vir 5 minute net daar gesit en staar.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/wdKugFzTpEI" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/wdKugFzTpEI</a>

Van hier af ry ons toe lekker…..bietjie rof hier en daar en die zig-zags op die GPS was toe af…so dit was eintlik baie enjoyable.











Tipiese village in Lesotho…..en brakke wat jou jaag…….en voor iemand wil moan....dit was self defence....

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/zxcyJ1RcryI" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/zxcyJ1RcryI</a>

Juice





Na ons my battery uitgesort het is ons Semonkong toe en bliksem was ek bly oor daai snacks wat ek ingepak het(Thanks Deon vir joune ook…….helfte le versprei oor Lesotho van paar keer van die bike afgedonner maar die wat ons kon red was befok)



Dit het ons krag gegee om die laaste stretch aan te pak en dit was awesome riding. Dit het weer net vir my gevoel asof alles in plek val en dit was weer pure bliss.





Ek en IDR het lekker gelag vir Dwerg wat besluit het genoeg van die shared accommodation en in ‘n bleddie suite gaan inbook het.

Die res van die storie ken julle….lekker gevreet en goeie wyn gedrink en gaan kip……ons was lekker kisboude. More is dit die watervalle.

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Offline Hondsekierie

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Re: From Ashes to ashes.....and then some....
« Reply #92 on: October 05, 2012, 01:34:31 pm »
Thanks vir al die moeite met die RR, dis n excellent een :thumleft:
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There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
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Re: From Ashes to ashes.....and then some....
« Reply #93 on: October 05, 2012, 01:46:16 pm »
Kry nou einde met die report, ek wil nie meer sien nie.... :patch: :lamer:
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Offline Dwerg

Re: From Ashes to ashes.....and then some.....
« Reply #94 on: October 05, 2012, 02:03:38 pm »
Dwerg se morning glory scare

Jis my hart het gesink daar! Ek was vas oortuig dat ek WEER my engine gaan moet oor bou  :patch:

Gelukkig is daar nie skade gewees nie
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Offline Justin

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Re: From Ashes to ashes.....and then some.....
« Reply #95 on: October 05, 2012, 02:07:44 pm »
Dwerg se morning glory scare

Jis my hart het gesink daar! Ek was vas oortuig dat ek WEER my engine gaan moet oor bou  :patch:

Gelukkig is daar nie skade gewees nie

Ja, as ek so kyk het jy dit maklik deur gemaak. Ek dink rerig ek was die heel tyd op 1 wiel...dwars! Her Stigness sou verseker my gemoer het met haar helmet as ek haar in die water gedunk het. LOL!
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Offline Dwerg

Re: From Ashes to ashes.....and then some.....
« Reply #96 on: October 05, 2012, 02:12:43 pm »
Dwerg se morning glory scare

Jis my hart het gesink daar! Ek was vas oortuig dat ek WEER my engine gaan moet oor bou  :patch:

Gelukkig is daar nie skade gewees nie

Ja, as ek so kyk het jy dit maklik deur gemaak. Ek dink rerig ek was die heel tyd op 1 wiel...dwars! Her Stigness sou verseker my gemoer het met haar helmet as ek haar in die water gedunk het. LOL!

Ek moet sê dit was hoogs entertaining om van agter af vir julle te kyk! Lanklaas twee bene so op 'n bike sien rond swaai en keer vir val  :lol8:
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Offline Crowley

Re: From Ashes to ashes.....and then some.....
« Reply #97 on: October 05, 2012, 02:44:35 pm »
Dwerg se morning glory scare

Jis my hart het gesink daar! Ek was vas oortuig dat ek WEER my engine gaan moet oor bou  :patch:

Gelukkig is daar nie skade gewees nie

Nice save there.
 

Offline IDR

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Re: From Ashes to ashes.....and then some....
« Reply #98 on: October 08, 2012, 01:00:00 pm »
Day 3: Rest day in Semonkong (8.6 km - Average speed of 0.4 km/h ;D )

This morning after an awesome night's sleep in warm, soft beds with the fire crackling in the hearth, Justin and Her Stigness left us, home-bound to their two kids.  Carrots, Dwerg and I awoke leisurely, had leisurely breakfast, and then a couple more leisurely Lesotho breakfasts, pondering over what we will be doing today.  It was terrible!!  Sitting in the morning sun, drinking beer and thinking about where we COULD have been: behind our desks staring at computer screens... :biggrin:


Woe!!

When in Semonkong, the natural (only?) thing to do is to visit the Maletsunyane Falls.  From Wikipedia:
Maletsunyane Falls is a 192 meter (630 ft) high waterfall in the Southern African country Lesotho.[1] It is located near the town of Semonkong.


Not very descriptive :angry7:, but I do know it's the highest single-drop waterfall in Southern Africa.

I've been meaning to come past here to check it out, having seen lots of photos on the forum and elsewhere.  And let me tell you, it's impossible for any photos to do it justice :eek:

But first, there's the getting there.  We were contemplating taking the bikes out, but didn't feel like getting all geared up again.  The Lodge have a shuttle that can take you at R 200 a head, BUT apparently it's just a short walk (~ 4km) and, being a keen hiker, I was quite up for it.  More carbo-loading was done over the decision, and we settled on a nice walk out to the Falls.

As you set off from the Lodge, there is a steep (-ish) uphill for about 400m and then the rest is plain sailing, or so Armelle from the Lodge would have us believe.

So, finished up our beers, dressed accordingly, put on some sunscreen and off we went.


The view down from the hill back towards the lodge


What was really going on...


Some scenery along the way


Naturally, we found a beer stop along the way


Approaching the falls - Dwerg used for scale.  "Objects in the mirror may appear smaller than they really are" and all that






Breathtaking!


Dwerg supposedly has quite the fear of heights...


It's quite a ways down!!


Which he overcame in a record 8 minutes

We headed back, worked in another beer along with some sunburn on the way, and relaxed at the pub for the remainder of the day and late into the evening, where Lebogang had us working up a sweat around the pool table.


Getting hustled by a shepherd...

Tomorrow we head out, on the way home :(



« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 01:05:33 pm by IDR »
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Offline Ploegskaar

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  • Bike: NER-A-CAR
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 184
Re: From Ashes to ashes.....and then some....
« Reply #99 on: October 08, 2012, 01:51:28 pm »
Great RR manne, julle maak ons lekker jaloers. 
Currently "Bikeloos"
SOLD - KTM 990 Adventure S
SOLD - Yamaha YZ250
Too many other bikes owned in the past to mention
You have to learn the rules of the game, and then you have to ride faster than anyone else.