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Author Topic: 3 Countries in 3 Days... (SOLO)  (Read 1122 times)

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Offline Vosperd

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3 Countries in 3 Days... (SOLO)
« on: October 03, 2013, 08:35:26 am »
Day 1 - Walvis Bay to Ghanzi - 950 km
Day 2 - Ghanzi to Francistown - 770 km
Day 3 - Francistown to harare - 650 km

Total +- 2,400 km

I am posting this so that I can commit myself to write about my trip and share with you guys if interested. Unfortunately i was pressed for time and it was all tar so not sure how interested the dogs will be...?
« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 08:24:35 am by Vosperd »
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Offline COLES

Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days...
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2013, 08:46:21 am »
keep it coming
 

Offline Malibu

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days...
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2013, 08:47:49 am »
Write!  :thumleft:
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Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days...
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2013, 09:30:41 am »
Francistown to Harare only 650 kms?
Seems it should be more.

Looking forward to the RR..................................................(stands for Race Report) ;)
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Offline Vosperd

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days...
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2013, 09:36:06 am »
Chris, its 650km for sure.

OK, seems i wil lhave to write. I will start tonite and hopefully give you day one by tomorrow morning!
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Offline Man from Nam

Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days...
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2013, 10:13:42 am »
Sjoe!!!
You really covered some distances daily! Wavisbay to Ghanzi is a huge distance for one day.
Can't wait to read the RR
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Offline Loneman

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days...
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2013, 12:57:26 pm »
 :thumleft: Gooi.
 

Offline troos

Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days...
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2013, 05:48:31 pm »
 :drif:
 

Offline Road Hog

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days...
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2013, 06:31:06 pm »
Great that you arrived safely, waiting for the Race Report.........................
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Offline Vosperd

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days...
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2013, 08:15:39 am »
This is my first ever RR so please be patient as I will most likely edit this as I go along. I am also trying to recall detail as I did not exactly have time to take notes….

I wish I could say that this was a dream that started a long time ago but unfortunately it wasn’t! It is actually quite simple in that I accepted a position on a 3 year contract basis, based in Harare starting September 1st. After spending two boring weekends here and getting back home it also turned out that most of the accessories and work done on the bike was also completed when I got home – so in short, it was ready to hit the road. This is when the idea came to me that maybe it isn’t a bad idea to ride the bike up to Harare as I will need to get it there at some stage (that was always the plan but with the wife in the car behind me as back up at some later stage) and then at least I have something to do over weekends. Oh forgot to mention, the wife and kids will only follow at the end of the year.

I needed to get to Harare ASAP as flying would mean travel time of 1 day. With that in mind then it was planning for the shortest and fastest route (which means tar unfortunately). That then said I would caution that most pics and the story to follow is based around my experience and not necessarily the greatest scenery etc, even though I did try (in vain) to see a bit more of what the route had to offer, but more on that later! Also, the pics were taken with my Iphone so the quality isn’t great…

With the wife not exactly “enthusiastic” about the idea and this being my first ever major trip with the bike, I pursued getting the bike ready for the trip.  That meant fitting the GPS bracket (Thanks Roadhog) and GPS, fitting the pannier racks and luggage (Thanks Geoff – SGS Motorsport) and setting up the upgraded suspension (Thanks Superfoxi). Starting to sound a bit like an Oscar speech now! So on Sunday afternoon after doing a 200km Sunday ride with Roadgog and Bombastic of the forum I packed and strapped the luggage, filled her up and went to bed.







Day 1
Got up early on Monday morning and hit the road at around 7am (gets light late in Walvis Bay…) I could hardly sleep the night before I was so excited! About 70 km outside of Swakopmund and 110 km into the trip I stopped for the first time to take a picture of the fog I was riding in, something that is not uncommon in this part of the world. It was then that I realised I never actually took a pic of my odometer and thus the pic of that…





Below pic was taken at the Karibib Engen for a quick refill and coffee.



The ride to Windhoek was fairly uneventful with the exception of 1 warthog and it was also here that I decided to rename them pigs’ road hogs ‘cause that is where they always make a nuisance of themselves. Typically most animals can hear me coming from quite afar but seemingly this one was either deaf or stupid as about 200 meters before passing him he decided to run across the road! I managed to miss him with very little space to spare! From here on in to Windhoek it was easy going and I arrived there at around 11am.

In Windhoek I stopped at bike and quad clinic and the mechanic there was kind enough to give the katoom a once over (chain tension, oil checks, checked all the nuts and bolts of the suspension again just to be sure). Got some chain lube from them, debated on whether or not to buy a rain suit but decided against it and thought I would take my chances. Had a quick refuel , bought some lunch on the go and I was off again.

I stopped 70 km outside Windhoek for a quick bite under a big old kameeldoring boom.





I have to mention that as soon as I left the fog at Arandis I started riding into an Easterly Headwind. This headwind (as I was riding East) was there for the entire trip apart from the last 180km! It was a royal pain in the arse and definitely made me think about doing something about my wind protection on the bike – and I have the touring screen fitted. From here shot through to Gobabis for a refuel. By now I had done 600 km and with that wind was starting to feel it in my back and back side. I was entertaining thoughts of sleeping over at Buitepos just before the border post but realised it would make the next day too far and decided to man up and push on. Refuelled again at Buitepos and then proceeded through the border. This was a pretty painless experience with the border not being that busy and the immigration staff all being very helpful and friendly.

After the border I post I stopped again for a break before tackling the 150km to the Ghanzi/Kang T-junction. This is  then also where the fun started for the next 1600km… Geez there is a lot of animals on the road, and off course I knew this was going to be the case as I had driven Botswana before by car, but opted for this route as I have never done the Ghazi-Maun-Francistown route before and life is too short to travel the same road twice of it can be avoided! So then began my little game for entertainment with the donkeys, goats and cows. I would approach them, forced to slow down and they wouldn’t blink an eye until I was virtually past them. I would then go back to 3rd gear, grab a handful of 990 brute force and as soon as they hear that thundering V-Twin they would disperse into the bush like they had a thunderbolt up their arses!. It was silly but a lot of fun to break the boredom with!



Stopped at the T-Junction for a quick pic and then tackled the last 40 odd km to Ghanzi where I was booked at the Kalahari Arms Hotel. Here I had very nice dinner, some ice cold tafel lagers and went to bed early – bushed after 970km in the saddle!





For someone that has never really done this before (apart from when I was young and stupid and had a ducati 600 monster that I rode for 700km on the longest stint to the buffalo rally in PE) the sense of accomplishment that goes with arriving at the destination really was quite special.
That wraps day 1 and was the least eventful of the three days. More to follow on the “adventures” through Botswana and into Zimbabawe.
Back on the horse!
 

Offline Ian in Great Brak River

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days...
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2013, 01:27:03 pm »
Nice start ... must be quite a job you're off to for 3 years.

Take care there.

 8)
« Last Edit: October 04, 2013, 07:22:22 pm by Ian in Great Brak River »
1978. It's 6am, mid winter...two up on a XL 185S ... off to my first casino ever with all of R40 and we've got a full tank of fuel, so enough to get there we reckon.... that's determination...

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Offline Vosperd

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days...
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2013, 02:25:12 pm »
Nice start ... must be quiet a job you're off to for 3 years.

Take care there.

 8)

Thanks, I actually work for a shipping company and will be looking after Zimbabawe, Zambia and Malawi and now that I have my bike here I hope tp start posting a lot more short ride reports of Zim. I am hoping to get some dogs up here at a later stage to do the three countries in one trip... any takers...  :pot:
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Offline Shangali

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days...
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2013, 06:08:41 pm »

  This is not a real Question?

 You say Jump ... & ... We Jump on the Bikes & Take us to the Eastern Highlands to Umtali .... to the Boulders on Route to Nyamapanda, for sure Matobos and Lake Kariba ....... Man you might get Local Rates to Book a Houseboot on Lake Kariba ......  jooohhhhhssssseeeesssss
 My heart beat just increased by 55 BPM ....

 I am IN WHEREVER it may take us ..... I Love Simba ...

 Vosperd ... You have yourself a Super Time there ..... 

 Day Trips in the Pipeline  ...   :drif:  ... SUB: Here & Now !!

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

Offline Vosperd

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days...
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2013, 10:14:56 pm »
Day 2

Day 2 started off slowly but that was soon to change… Got up at 6am and actually under estimated the packing up process of the all the luggage and getting strapped back onto the bike. This being my first real major trip made for a lot of learning. Come to think of it, the other reason for packing up slowly was probably because I was moving slowly courtesy of the previous day’s riding… too soft! Headed out for a quick breakfast and after filling up was on my merry way.

Here is saw the first sign of wildlife in Botswana and apart from these 3 young Kudu cows and a “kombuis” bull I only saw 2 more impala and some zebra for the entire trip. Having read the ride report of the 3 dawgs to Malawi I suppose the error of my ways was to do such long distances. I reckon if I added two days I would have seen a hell of a lot more on the same route, just deviating slightly off the main routes.

First stop for the morning was after around 110 km which by the way I was soon to learn is more or less my threshold for how long I can sit before I need to take a break!  Immediately after passing through “Kuke” do you get stopped by the police who off course want to know where you are coming from and where you are going? I found this to be the case as well around 3 weeks earlier when I did a trip by car from Harare-Lusaka-Lilongwe-Blantyre-Tete-Harare….





Anyways this is a “disease control point” and from what I could gather similar to the “red line” that you would pass through on the various points in Northern Namibia to control food and mouth disease carried by buffalo. As I was entering I did not have to pass through the bath but would have to do that later after going through Maun on my way to Francistown
Perhaps this then also a good time to mention that the KTM really draw a lot of attention and apart from one idiot (make that two on the last day) I was never given any real hassles by the authorities. People really were awestruck by the fact that 1. I was travelling alone and 2. The distances I was covering over the three days. I think adventure bikes is most likely not as common as we think they are in this parts of the world.

Anyways, I hit the road once more as it still had 660 km to go for the day and you guessed it, that flippen head wind was there to make life more interesting for me. About 80 km further you hit the town “Sehitwa”. I was hoping that I would get fuel here as it would then not require me to stop and refill from my back up 10 litres. There was one abandoned service station with nobody and no fuel there. I had another 100km to go to Maun and did not think I was going to make it on my one tank (even though in hindsight I probably could have made it). Anyways as I pull out from the service station and hit 3rd I see this sign “lake Ngami – 2km”. Now, the previous night I looked at this on a map at the hotel and wondered about it, now I knew. And I thought to myself, its only 2 km of jeep track and sand, how hard can it be, you are here for the adventure MTFU and get on with it.



I quickly realised my mistake… You see, when the mechanic in Widhoek looked over my bike he also inflated my rear tyre to 2.8 b
ar and the front to 2.5 bar. Andoff course the bike was laden, the first time ever for me to try sand with this combination. Suffice to say about 400m down the track I decided that it’s probably not worth it to be doing this alone and I needed to get to Francistown. So, I turn around and on my way out (I could see the tar road ahead and I was through the worst) I buy a piece of Botswana real estate.



Scene of the crime…

Innocent piece of road – RIGHT!

As I get up I see there is a guy at the road taking pictures of the sign and then me - falling, but I am so pissed off with myself I did not even ask him if he got an action pic. So I pick the bike up and park it on the other side of the road. This is then a good time to refuel I decide.


The luggage on the back seat and tank bag needs to come off as I need to get to my toolkit to take out the pliers (the funnel is cable tied to the handle of the fuel can). Normally I would have a leatherman in my tank bag but that one I lost in the great kalahari fire of 2013 when my bakkie burned out… Anyhow, I refuel and strap everything back on.



Get on the bike and then I see that I have (once again) rearranged my front console and screen. Guess what, I have to take everything off AGAIN to get to my tools to get the screen back in place – I am properly pissed with myself NOW as I have wasted an hour of my trip and had nothing to show for it. And, by then it was probably at least mid thirties and I was sucking on my hydration pack like piglet that hasn’t seen his mother in days… Thinking about it now though it was worth it and a lot of fun and made the trip just a little bit more interesting than what it otherwise would have been!
Eventually I hit the road again I have hardly gotten into stride and I see the first bridge and some water.



Quite a nice scene to greet me after my adventures at the (dry) lake… I stop for some pics and get going again. I enter the “town” of “Toteng” and there is the obligatory 100km, 80km and 60km boards to show you must slow down. I oblige as this gives me time to rest my back side and back and stand up a bit, meerkat style. I honestly thought I was through town and started taking off when a guy runs into the road and waves me down. FFS, my first speed trap. The copper is fairly friendly and again asks many questions about the bike, but not before telling me that I was doing 117km/h in a 60 zone… And he makes a quick and dirty calculation on the back of a sigaret packet and declares that I have been fined Pula 1,200 !!



Now the “dance” begins. About 15 minutes and some pictures with them and the bike later I am let go with a Pula 200 fine and a stern warning to observe the signs next to the road. The copper also gave me his gmail address and asked that I send him an email with the picture – which I did the day after my arrival here in Harare.
The next town I get to is Maun and its crazy town. I made a very elementary error when I “planned” my route, I say plan in inverted commas as there wasn’t a lot of planning that went into it. It was independence weekend in Botswana and this apparently lasts almost a week. On top of that it was month end and absolute chaos in most of the town that I passed through.

Having said that the people were very friendly and as I stopped to get lunch (2 packets of simba chips, beef flavour and an energade) a guy was filling his cooler box with ice. I enquired as it really isn’t worth it to buy an entire bag of ice just to put a couple of pieces in your camelbak, and he happily shared some of his ice without wanting any compensation, a really nice fellow.
I got going again and about 60km out of town I hit the next disease control point. This time I had to get off the bike, clean my boots in the little dip tank they had and ride the bike through the dip before I could proceed. Next stop was in the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park to take a pic of some Zebras that they guy who gave me the ice said I should get a view of when passing through. Pic isn’t great but suppose it’s the idea that counts.

My next fuel stop was “Gweta” IIRC and here I decided to have a coke in the shade and not just splash and dash. This was to be my second last pic of the day.

I think I forgot my phone’s “location services” on and that just chowed the battery. I took one more pic after I stopped for my last packet of simba chips just after “Dukwi” below. Here I almost got written off!

A guy in a bus was overtaking two trucks whilst he was facing oncoming traffic. Fortunately I could see quite far ahead of me but having done 600km already I was also tired but this one woke me up! I had to brake and get off the road, following the bakkie in front of me to allow this idiot to pass the trucks. It was the scariest moment of the trip (apart from the warthog incident on day1).
About 80km before Francistown I decided to stop at a shebeen type shop next to the road to buy a coke. Here I wanted to take some pics as a lot of locals had gathered to have a look at the bike and have a chat but then realised the battery of phone was kaput. When I pulled off after my coke I reckoned I have about 45min left to a cold beer, but boy was I wrong. About 40km before Francistown I started to hit some traffic and a lot of 60km zones. Now I have learnt my lesson first time around and was sitting behind a string of cars. Then there was this one oke that could decide if he was doing 40 or 60 and it is really hard to ride these bikes at those speeds (for me at least, but try and do that and you will see what I mean, the throttle is really sensitive and the difference between 60 and 80 is really millimetres on the throttle) so I decided I will pop past him quickly. Well apparently not quick enough as they got me a second time. FFS now I was fuming as the sun was setting due to my earlier stop at the shebeen and I really did not need this as I did not want to ride in the dark. 74km/h in a 60 zone sir, the magical calculation on a piece of paper and I get the verdict: 400 Pula sit for your sins.
Again, the “dance”. This cop used to ride bikes (as a lot of them do) and he was very sympathetic towards my explanation of throttle control but insisted I should be better at it. I was tempted to give him the bike and I take his bloody camera and then we would see. Anyways he wasn’t that bad as he let me go with a 150 Pula fine and no receipt… I reckon 1600 Pula in fines and to only end up paying 350 was reasonable. As I approached the bike to get going they call me back: Sorry sir the orange light is not permitted. I explain about visibility but in the end need to take the cover off. I leave it off for the rest of the trip.
Did the last 40km into town and stayed over at the Tati River Lodge. This is a really nice place with good service and if you do not feel like pitching a tent, good reasonable prices for a single room. I took pictures if the place only the next day as my cell phone was dead and it was dark (and by now my wife was getting worried, phoned the lodge several times and off course I wasn’t there yet as I got delayed by the speed fine). In the end after charging the phone for a bit I could take a quick picture of my starter that evening…

Last leg to follow at some later stage. Thanks for reading.
Back on the horse!
 

Offline stan1975

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days... (SOLO)
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2013, 06:07:59 pm »
Nice one so far, keep it up!
Ride within yourself, think ahead... Plan your escape route & be safe.... Just remember no one else knows what your thinking until you tell them...
 

Offline 0012

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days... (SOLO)
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2013, 06:36:15 pm »
lekker vosperd!!!
im looking forward to many zim RR's  :deal:
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Offline MegaPix

Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days... (SOLO)
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2013, 09:26:02 pm »
 :sip:
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