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Author Topic: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola  (Read 53406 times)

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Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2013, 12:29:53 pm »
Okay, here goes. I'm going to kick it off, but there might be a bit of a delay while we work out how we're going to tell this story... there may be a couple of voices chipping in.

Like I said, we'd been scheming about this for some time. You get into adventure riding, and like all things in life you get more ambitious and start dreaming bigger. My first proper ride was a cross country tour in 2009. My brother had just returned from living in Cambodia for a few years where he'd done some kamikaze runs through mosquito-infested jungles on a 250 with only a hammock and some strong liquor for company, dodging landmines and stockpiles of AK47s. He claims he never blew up a cow with a rocket launcher. Beggars belief, but apparently it's quite possible, where money talks and morality is for sale.

Anyway, I digress. Allow me a moment. Mike's mate Archie has been dual-sporting since he was five. Apparently his father would send him off to cruise around the farm on his R80GS during his afternoon nap, and the young chap would return and ride in circles hooting until dad woke up and came to set his short legs back on terra firma. A solid start. Archie dragged Mike into it, and Mike dragged Tom and I into it. Tom's my best mate, and after a weekend on rented bikes around the Cederberg we were hooked, and immediately bought bikes and set off to cross the entire country without touching a tar road. We had no idea what we were doing, but we had the time of our lives and came back changed men.

Like I said, one gets ambitious. Screw civilisation. How far can we go? Give me my horse, I wanna ride!

What could be more appealing than a recently war-infested, remote, wild, rough, bizarre (sort of neighbouring) country that almost nobody has been to?

So here how it goes. Wake up at 4am on the first of August 2013 in Cape Town and get cracking. This was a tight team. Only the best. The kind of guys you want to be able to depend on when the chips are down. So who you gonna call?

Let me introduce Thomas (A.K.A. "English"):





Tom and I have done pretty much all our biking together. We've been here, there, everywhere, to hell, heaven and back again. I'd like to say he's the kind of chap you'd want when your bike is broken and you're in the line of fire, but to be honest he's just the funniest, most outrageous person I know, and life on the trail is never boring.

Say hello to Mike (A.K.A. "MechanicalCamel"):





My flesh and blood. I have him to thank for getting me into this lark, and I've done almost as many trips with my brother as I have with Tom. My friend Tini says he is a lion. I think you understand.

There's a joker in every pack. Gaza is Mike's best mate, but he didn't invite him on this trip. You see Angola isn't really the kind of place to take a novice on their first proper trip, now is it? No prizes for guessing that Tom invited him. Gaza had had a severe introduction to biking. His first trip was only six months ago, when I took him around the Postal Route on Mike's old banger Tenere. We got lost, stranded up the side of a mountain, almost died of thirst, and broke the Tenere and had to abandon it there. He calls it the best and the worst weekend of his life. Gaza doesn't even own a motorcycle. Gaza A.K.A. "The Midget":



To make matters worse he's the only one on the trip with children. And no life insurance.



I like motorbikes. I love travelling. And somehow I get lucky enough to have the time of my life in one of the best places on the planet with a bunch of oddballs:





Every trip needs a group photo dripping with anticipation, excitement and bravado. Let it begin!


Offline MechanicalCamel

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2013, 04:36:53 pm »
Max is long on pics, which I'm light on. So lets go aaallllllllll the way back to the beginning...

“I’ve invited the midget”
“Huh?”
“The midget, I’ve invited him”
“Wot you talkin’ about Willis?”
“I’m invited him on the trip”
“You’ve invited the midget to come to Angola?”
pause….  “Ya”
“Are you mad? The midget has only ridden a bike a couple of times. He doesn’t even own one. His chubby little stumps can only just touch the pegs on the TW200. This is a proper trip we’re doing, he’s going to kill himself!”
longer pause…  “Nah, it’ll be fine. Don’t you think?”
very long pause…. “Yeeeesh. OK man, but you make sure he gets some sand riding in before we leave.”

Fast forward 2 months, zero sand riding practice, and the midget is up on the pegs (he always is – his legs are too short for there to be a difference between sitting and standing), barrelling through soft sand with his open jacket flapping in the wind, ear-to-ear grin clearly visible through his badly fitting helmet. We’re 20kms away from the north bank of the mouth of the Kunene River. Who woulda thought?

At this point I was feeling pretty sheepish for doubting the wee fella. But the sheepish was well and truly overshadowed by unbridled delight at getting this far. If you compared my sheepishness with my delight it’d be like the midget standing next to a baobab (in case you needed the relative scale). This was in sharp contrast to the Mariana Trench-sized doubt that had been lingering in our happy little group about whether we’d even make it over the Angolan border. Why? Cause we’re bumbling fools that’s why.

A trip of this magnitude in a faraway land requires planning, lots of it. So we did none and headed north from Cape Town with 3 new bikes that had never done a trip with their new owners, new luggage and water/fuel carrying systems that we’d never packed or tested, one midget that didn’t know how many gears his bike had and enough excitement to launch a space shuttle.  Perfect. We didn’t get very far.

[At this point we’re 4 adventurers, 2 cars, 2 trailers with 4 magnificent steeds perched majestically thereon, and 31 cubic gigalitres of stuff, a fair bit of which was completely superfluous and never left the cars].

Leaving Cape Town proved to be a tad more tricky than expected. For starters, the Midget had welded his bike boot to his desk by accident and like a monkey with his hand in the cookie jar, couldn’t get himself free. It took some fairly unsavoury threats to get him out of the office at 5am after an all night work session and into his booster seat in the wagon. And then imagine the fun of this phone conversation 45minutes later:
[from the smurf-blue car] “Max, where are you?”
[from the other-blue car] “We’re about 70kms out, near that Engen. Where you?”
“We’re about 30kms behind you. So, [very casual voice] small question here but… we don’t need our car registration papers to get into Namibia do we?”
long pause [these happen a lot in our conversations].
“Uuuuuuh…..”
“Do you have yours?”
longer pause. “Uuuuuuuh…..”
“grrrnnnnyyaaasttttcchhh  *%&!@$&(@#$!”
This all seemed a bit unfair given that we had a 3inch high stack of documents to get the BIKES through 2 borders but what to do. Well, to turn around is what to do, and to sit in rush hour traffic to get back into town, collect documents and hack back out there to still have a perfectly clear view of table mountain 4 hours after we ‘left’. Ho hum.

I do believe that these are the things that make good roadtrips though. Ted Simon used to talk about the best parts of his trips happening when something went wrong. Seems like a good philosophy to hold onto.

So we wound our way north with sharply revised plans of making it “somewhere close to Windhoek”. The flowers were out from Clanwilliam in all their radiant glory and the big expansive scenery of the N7 never fails to lull me into a happy stupor. Just before sunset we stopped for a little team building session that was delightful in all sorts of unexpected ways. The subsequent hour was not. Clouds of bats swarmed in thick and fast. I had the windscreen wipers on full blast and the midget was standing in the passenger seat leaning out the window waving his flyswatter like a jockey’s whip. It was a dark mass of the filthy swine and they had menacing intention. We were losing the battle. Springbok was only 50kms further north but at the rate we were going they were going to have us before then. Filthy stuff. Fear and Loathing at an unprecedented scale. Turning back and running for cover became a real possibility…
 
We did end up making Springbok that night, but only just. 17 hours after setting off from Cape Town – we could have pushed the bikes there faster. We were gearing up for a Grand Oddventure of Epic Proportions. 
 

Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2013, 06:37:52 pm »
So far so very good. Anybody else thinks this guy looks like the singer, Arno Carstens?
 

Offline Bram

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2013, 07:54:56 pm »
looks like a good story to come. Cant wait to see the rest  :thumleft:
 

Offline lj111

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2013, 08:38:37 pm »
 :sip: :ricky:
Some people feel the rain and others just get wet...
 

Offline punisher

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #26 on: September 06, 2013, 09:04:24 pm »
 O0
just wanna have fun , and ride ... and ....... ride
 

Offline FATO

Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #27 on: September 06, 2013, 09:13:50 pm »
Sub.
Ex-Africa semper aliquid novi!
 

Offline MINZI

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2013, 09:38:02 pm »
Oh noo!! This is going to be one of those RR's that I will be checking on at least 10 times a day. There goes my productivity............ :peepwall:
If you do not STAND for something, you will FALL for anything!
 

Offline mtr89

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #29 on: September 06, 2013, 10:19:38 pm »
Great start to a ride report.looking forward to the rest.
KX125-sold;DT 175-sold;XT660R-sold;VFR 800-sold;SR250-soldt;2006 YZ 250 2t sold;2009 YZ 250 2t sold; 2013 XT 660Z Tenere-current
 

Offline Wit Roftie

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #30 on: September 06, 2013, 10:42:44 pm »
To say the least, this sounds befark!

Can't wait for the rest!
Loser's always whine about their best, winners go home and f**k the prom queen!
 

Offline RSA_Maniac

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #31 on: September 07, 2013, 08:27:08 am »
sub
2013 Charcoal Yamaha Super Tenere
 

Offline Mr Zog

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2013, 11:23:56 am »
Definitely subscribed  :drif:
Young enough to know I can, old enough to know I shouldn't, stupid enough to do it anyway.
 

Offline Shangali

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2013, 01:09:43 pm »
o o... hier kom kak....!!!!
  :spitcoffee:
Sub!!!!

This looks worse ... I believe it is GROOT kak ....  Fantastic Trip in the Making .....

SUB :   :sip:

 Good Luck to all of you

 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Shangali           Out with my Friends - Dirt, Dust & Gravel ..
 

Offline Herklaas

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2013, 04:23:53 pm »
 :bueller:Pleazzeee can I also come I only have a little Tiger xc???? :-[
Yamaha 50, Yamaha 400, 2 x Yamaha DR 350 LC, Honda CBX 550 F2, Honda TransAlp 650, Triumph Tiger 800 Xc,
Now 2015 Triumph Tiger 800 Xcx.and.. my favorite... 1996 Yamaha Tenere 660 5 valve single.
 

Offline Pistonpete

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2013, 05:29:20 pm »
Guys,
Your old tyres are still here & Travis is looking fondly at them for burnouts... :biggrin:
'Routine is the thief of time'
 

Offline JMOL

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #36 on: September 07, 2013, 05:48:11 pm »
I'm in  :sip:
Life is hard - even harder if you are stupid.
 

Offline MechanicalCamel

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #37 on: September 07, 2013, 07:40:11 pm »
So far so very good. Anybody else thinks this guy looks like the singer, Arno Carstens?

hahahaha. Only, like, half of the country. That handsome little mug has helped us skip a lot of queues before...
 

Offline N[]vA

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #38 on: September 09, 2013, 06:57:09 pm »
Quote
He claims he never blew up a cow with a rocket launcher. Beggars belief, but apparently it's quite possible, where money talks and morality is for sale.

hehe I know the place you are talking about!

looking forward to the read  :thumleft:
So much of win it hurts! ^.^


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Offline alli

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #39 on: September 09, 2013, 07:22:46 pm »
Methinks this one will be worth the subscription fees.... ;D



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