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Author Topic: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola  (Read 61501 times)

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Offline Pistonpete

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #200 on: September 25, 2013, 09:08:29 pm »
I hope you putting this on ADV Rider States side...maybe we have a new Metal Jockey?
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Offline Mr Zog

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #201 on: September 26, 2013, 08:04:22 am »
Jeez, I'm sitting here refreshing every few minutes to see if there is a new instalment... :drif:
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Offline Breekbeen

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #202 on: September 26, 2013, 11:15:52 am »
 :sip:
 :spitcoffee:
Ons wag.......
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Offline MechanicalCamel

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #203 on: September 26, 2013, 11:47:13 am »
I hope you putting this on ADV Rider States side

Yeah, we'll get there. The problem with camels and pandas and midgets is that they're a bit dimwitted and can only do one thing at a time. (Although I know a few ladeez that would disagree when it comes to the midget.) If we shift attention stateside you'll have to wag even longer, which, I think you'll agree, would be an unrighteous state of affairs.

 

Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #204 on: September 26, 2013, 03:59:57 pm »
Loving it. :hello2:


"The trees are green because of the underground river...underground rivers of water....and love."  :imaposer:

Made me think of this which I am sure you will appreciate:
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Erg4DPUMyIU" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Erg4DPUMyIU</a>


Where is the next issue? My F5 button is wearing out. Come on guys...  :deal:

« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 04:02:34 pm by BlueBull2007 »
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Offline MechanicalCamel

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #205 on: September 26, 2013, 08:56:40 pm »
So this is where we were:













All rather bladdy beautiful.


In terms of trip planning, booking a night at Flamingo was pretty much the only thing we did. And it was a necessity ‘cause we needed a letter from them for the visa. At that stage, in the comfort of my living room, I had scoffed at Max’s suggestion of booking 2 nights. “We’ll probably want to chill by then” said he. “Chill? We’ll be adventuring through Angola old boy – who needs to chill?”

I do apparently. You see, I’m mostly camel, but also part lion, and what lion doesn’t enjoy a wee afternoon nap in the shade of a nearby tree? And why restrict it to the afternoon? Turns out I’m a big fan of the rest day.

To be honest we were pretty shagged by this point. And the bikes needed some attention.



The hydraulic clutch reservoir on my bike had been leaking oil since just after Oncocua and I was uncharacteristically stressed about it, feeling very un-dood. On the 690, the pressure of the hydraulic fluid goes up when the clutch wears, not down, so when I opened it up and oil pissed out, I knew that the clutch was wearing – just not how much. I’m not overlay smart that way.

Just before the trip I cut the end off the clutch lever so it was more comfy as a 2-finger lever and I was hoping that the extra throw was partly responsible. Admittedly this was clutching (sorry) at straws.

Max also had a few minor niggles in the bike which included a grubby airbox and luggage rack tank bolts that were trying to escape. Nothing too critical although lots to cluck about.

For the Midget, Buttercup was whinnying along with barely a sweat, apart from some body art (not one panel on the bike had got through the first week without hugging Angolan dirt). His luggage, however, was an entirely different story. We all bought the ATC overlander bags just before the trip (freshly unwrapped in Opuwo where we tried to figure out what to do with all those straps). Mine and Max’s had done a pretty good job of getting food, water and a boat load of fuel to the coast. What there are less good at, is acting as a roll cage. Midge’s bags looked like someone had stuffed 2 Vietnamese potbellied pigs in them, wrapped them up tight and then tossed them into the cage of a hungry Asian tiger.

Them were some badass pigs


At this point their (we’re talking about the bags now, not the pigs. Or the tigers) role in containing anything was purely decorative – we had used almost all our spare straps to hold the things together, including the tow rope. Amazingly, unbelievably, they were to deteriorate further as the Midge continued his Angolan smackdown tour.

We should not let the bags get all the attention, however. Lets consider, for a moment, the racks to which aforementioned bags were strapped. The Midget only took delivery of his bike a week or so before we left so didn’t have time to order proper racks. Not wanting to ride for 2 weeks Sherpa-style with an expedition backpack strapped to his forehead, he resorted to asking a local expert welder (edit: and sidestand switch remote fixer) for assistance. Now, far be it for me to knock the services of someone who (edit: through great personal sacrifice) made it possible to have an Epic Adventure, but this apparatus was quite clearly the most ridiculous pannier rack ever to (dis)grace the mighty rump of a DR. It looked like the rear wheel and the tail light had been locked inside a cage fighting ring to duel to the death. In this case though, the destruction was happening on the outside, not within. Trapped between the mighty fortress of the rack and hard stony ground those bags quickly surrendered.  

If we’d had half a brain or an ounce of ingenuity between us we would have sewn up the bags with fish gut but we were either too lazy or stupid to do anything so we retired to the restaurant to stuff food into our pie-holes and our hands into the fridge.

The folks running the Lodge were really friendly and very nice to us. We were pretty unsavoury when we arrived (no shower since Opuwo) but they happily washed our clothes and dishes. The latter was a generous gesture once you consider that, given tight water supply, we’d only used sand to clean them since entering the country. How we didn’t have chronic dysentery is anyone’s guess. The PhD students were an enthusiastic bunch and loaned us their tools while making anchors for their tracking gear, using metre long pieces of railway track. A bunch of surfers also arrived that day, one Spanish, one Yankee and a few photographers and filmmakers. Camp rumours had it that at least one was paid by Kelly Slater to cruise the globe and find amazing places to surf. Not the worst job in the world. If this vid is anything to go by, Mr SL8R was going to get a decent return on investment (we don’t know these guys but they seem pretty cool):
ANGOLA - the beauty within

The rest of the folks there were a mix of uber-keen fisherman and city folk having a holiday. As you can expect from a nicely set up lodge in the middle of nowhere, the vibe was pretty chilled.

But were becoming lardy. Clean sheets and washed plates are no good for the rugged adventure rider – he cannot afford to lose his edge, soften his highly tuned survival instincts. So we had a nice warm shower and tucked ourselves in, muttering promises of an early departure…





« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 11:19:57 am by MechanicalCamel »
 

Offline FATO

Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #206 on: September 26, 2013, 09:33:56 pm »

(Confession: I was actually researching where the name ‘doodsakker’ came from. Max professed that it was related to having had the bejesus bombed out of it in the war. Any thoughts on why a weapon wielding nutjob would drop an expensive bomb onto an uninhabited desert? Anyone… anyone….  Bueller???

"Doodsakker" refers in military terms to the area or arc of fire the enemy enters while you lay in ambush. Generally not many escape the "doodsakker" as they are mowed down whilest caught in a carefully selected open area, and the ones laying in ambush fires from well concealed and protected position. Thus the name of that piece of beach. If you get caught there you are done for!

Brilliant RR. Thank you.

[/quote]
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Offline SACK

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #207 on: September 26, 2013, 09:47:15 pm »
Great report!

Looking forward to the rest.

Don't sweat the small stuff.
 

Offline MechanicalCamel

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #208 on: September 26, 2013, 10:06:37 pm »

"Doodsakker" refers in military terms to the area or arc of fire the enemy enters while you lay in ambush. Generally not many escape the "doodsakker" as they are mowed down whilest caught in a carefully selected open area, and the ones laying in ambush fires from well concealed and protected position. Thus the name of that piece of beach. If you get caught there you are done for!


Now that's what I was looking for - thanks FATO! You can be our researcher to correct all the tripe we talk.

 

Offline MechanicalCamel

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #209 on: September 26, 2013, 10:20:21 pm »
This has nothing whatsoever to do with our trip but its cool factor warrants a gratuitous post...



 

Offline MechanicalCamel

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #210 on: September 26, 2013, 10:40:21 pm »
Riding out of the lodge that morning I did feel a little sloppy to be honest. Creature comforts can blunt a man, which is why you lot should all sleep on the floor. We had chanced upon some great news that morning though, which meant that we had Another Very Exciting Ride to look forward to.

Now apologies to the geographical guru’s amongst you for not posting maps but the truth is we never really knew were we were going end up each day. Of course we knew we were broadly going in a clockwise circle, but we never knew how far we’d get or whether we’d find an irresistible distraction that needed to be explored. In the first week, we never did more than 150kms in a day, despite riding fairly long hours. The day we left Flamingo, we knew we were going north to the town of Namibe, and then turning east, inland towards whatever treasures lay there. The city of Lubango was loosely on the radar. Very loosely.



Instead of traipsing back to the tar road and up to Namibe, the great news from our host was that we could blast up the beach to a shipwreck and then wiggle our way inland to Namibe. “There are a few rocky spots and cliff sections where you have to go inland a bit, but you’ll find your way through no problem. You really can’t get lost”, he said. “Yes we can” we replied in unison.

As I have mentioned, our killer instincts were dulled so we gleefully accepted this nod to our navigation skills, fired up, and blasted up the beach.



The beach is broad and flat and it was low tide with plenty of lovely hard sand - play time. Every 100m or so the waves had pushed the sand into handy little launch pads. Now I’m no Evel Knievel, but I do like spreading my wings with my orange.

Fly like an Evel


I like it even more when we return to earth in the same hierarchy in which we left it. This was a lot of fun and from the sound of Max’s bike I gathered he was also enjoying himself. This glee was short lived though - I came over a ridge to find Max and bike, not remotely in the right hierarchy, lying in a heap in the sand.

Now I may have mentioned that Max is my brother. Seeing the big man upside down next to his bike, and knowing he had been giving it a rev, turned my stomach upside down. It was my worst nightmare on this trip – that one of us would seriously hurt ourselves. A little scrape here and there? Fantastic - would be disappointed if we didn’t have some stories. But a life changing spinal injury was not on my list of things I wanted to see that morning.

Miraculously, the Panda was shaken and stirred, but not wheelchaired. He’d got it wrong on one of the lips, flipped his bike and done some damage to his fairing, but was physically fine. I couldn’t believe it. I wouldn’t believe it actually – and kept asking him if he was really ok – to the point where he donned his lid and declared that we should piss off up the beach.

It was a serious get out of jail free card that could so, so, so easily have turned out differently. Given our bumbling it might seem surprising that it took this long, but I think we all got a little quiet after that and turned the focus up a notch.

It never lasts though does it?

« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 07:08:26 am by MechanicalCamel »
 

Offline JMOL

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #211 on: September 26, 2013, 10:50:11 pm »
Fantastic report!!

 :thumleft:
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Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #212 on: September 27, 2013, 07:04:22 am »
I know you chaps are all about the bikes, but for us ritual, ceremony and rite are an equally important part of any bike trip:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/LRWf2A4yZh0" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/LRWf2A4yZh0</a>

Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #213 on: September 27, 2013, 07:18:29 am »

Miraculously, the Panda was shaken and stirred, but not wheelchair bound. He’d got it wrong on one of the lips, flipped his bike and done some damage to his fairing, but was physically fine. I couldn’t believe it. I wouldn’t believe it actually – and kept asking him if he was really ok – to the point where he donned his lid and declared that we should piss off up the beach.

It was a serious get out of jail free card that could so, so, so easily have turned out differently. Given our bumbling it might seem surprising that it took this long, but I think we all got a little quiet after that and turned the focus up a notch.

It never lasts though does it?


The less said about this, the better, but since you got me started:

1. KTMs are evil, dangerous machines that encourage bad behaviour, and I'm selling mine and getting a mule. As soon as I fix it.

(Gratuitous picture of DR650)

2. KTM 690s are quite capable of doing an aerial flip and somersault on sand without incurring more damage than a schmangled brake pedal and cracked fairing.
3. The sand on the crest of little beach dunes is often very soft and if you really are jump to go over it at 80 you should at least be concentrating and not looking sideways at flamingos.
4. Two days trying - and failing - to drink a midget under the table on free beer are not good preparation for getting back into some serious motorcycling and its a schoolboy error to forget that the first hour and last hour of the day are the danger times and one should fuckingtakeiteasy!!
5. More on the last hour of the day to follow.

Offline lecap

Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #214 on: September 27, 2013, 10:52:07 am »
Two little remarks:

With regards to the quote "quite clearly the most ridiculous pannier rack ever to (dis)grace the mighty rump of a DR".

Feel free to show me ANY other rack which would have survived loading it like you did and than crashing it across the landscapes of Angola whilst attached to a DR650 in the manner the Midget apparently did.
I already welded carrier racks which could survive transcontinental journeys when you still pooped into your nappies - or even before that time.

In all your accumulated overland travel wisdom please tell me what's the bigger problem: Tearing a bag in a fall or breaking a luggage rack - or having to extract said rack from the space which is supposed to be reserved for rear wheel and suspension?
So I'm sure the incredulously ugly rack broke three times a day and had to be straightened every morning?

If you want something pretty go and buy a Givi Wingrack. I'm sure your friends at Café Caprice will think it's stylish and take pictures of it with their smart phones ::)



Besides that good luck next time with trying to find another selection of dodgy geezers like me and Dux who at last minute, over the weekend and through our free time patch your bikes together, servicing, fixing, rebuilding wheels etc.
Us dodgy geezers would have fixed your pathetic little side stand switch problem within ten minutes - over the phone ::)
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Offline Dwerg

Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #215 on: September 27, 2013, 11:08:16 am »
Ahhh laundry day is it?

Enjoying the report so far  :thumleft:
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Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #216 on: September 27, 2013, 11:14:10 am »
This has nothing whatsoever to do with our trip but its cool factor warrants a gratuitous post...





Nice hipster cafe racer picture, Camel! Did you find that on your ipad while waiting for a cappuccino-to-go on your way to Cafe Caprice to pick up girls on your Ducatti city bike?

Offline MechanicalCamel

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #217 on: September 27, 2013, 11:16:24 am »
Well.... goodness gracious me. It's looks like I've gone and pushed the offensive button a little too hard. So for starters, unmitigated apologies to lecap. Your sturdy metalwork was certainly appreciated.

Just 2 points of clarification:

Quote
In all your accumulated overland travel wisdom...

Surely by now you would have seen that there is not once ounce of wisdom to share between us? We're patently self-confessed, blithering idiots.

Quote
...or having to extract said rack from the space which is supposed to be reserved for rear wheel and suspension?

Well, I beg you to wait good sir. There's a rather tickling tale coming up that may surprise (although probably not amuse) you.

Although I used to enjoy a good public spat I'm more inclined to cuddle puddles these days and I don't think this is the space for tiffs, so I have removed any personal references. And again, humble apologies.

Now on with the good stuff...
« Last Edit: September 27, 2013, 11:26:10 am by MechanicalCamel »
 

Offline MechanicalCamel

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Re: Ngola Kingdom: Motorcycle (mis)adventures in south-west Angola
« Reply #218 on: September 27, 2013, 11:30:29 am »

Quote
Nice hipster cafe racer picture, Camel! Did you find that on your ipad while waiting for a cappuccino-to-go on your way to Cafe Caprice to pick up girls on your Ducatti city bike?

The hell I was! You know I'm lactose intolerant and only drink double espressos

And my city bike is a Vespa.