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Author Topic: Verneukpan, the second attempt  (Read 11349 times)

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Offline Bernoulli

Verneukpan, the second attempt
« on: October 17, 2013, 11:36:21 am »
I am sitting behind my desk busily typing away at my terribly corporate and urban existence when he suddenly appeared in the doorway: Have you been to Verneukpan?

Huh? What happened to Hi/Hallo/How are you? But these are only my thoughts, and very private thoughts they are. Because, standing in the doorway is he of many trips. Lesotho. Angola. Europe. He is the leader. I do not expect niceties. He does not have to say hallo. All he must do is decide to take me on a trip. And I think he has just done that!



And no, that is not my office but it is me performing some ancient ritual befitting mere mortals in the presence of sandriding gods like the leader. But more about that later.

There was going to be four of us. And we planned a 3 day trip to Verneukpan and back. None of us had been there. And it was going to be in August. I could hardly contain my excitement. Not only was it going to be my first multi-day trip, it was also going to be the opportunity to do sections of a trip I planned for myself in February and had to cancel when Margaret developed an inexplicable habit to cut out whenever she felt like it. I only got as far as Oppiberg before the reality of taking on the Tankwa karoo, solo, in February, with unreliable wheels dawned on me and I meekly turned around and went home and cut the lawn.

But back to Verneukpan. Planning was done, leave arranged, accommodation sorted (we wanted to travel lightly and sleep comfortably) and then the heavens opened. And it rained. And rained. And then it rained some more. So the Thursday before our planned departure on Friday we called Johan at the Gannaga Lodge.

You may be able to reach me but from here to Middelpos you will duckwalk through mud for 28 kmís. Saw 4 vehicles on the side of the road yesterday when I returned from Sutherland

We agreed to postpone, cancellation was not an option.

When the calendar presented the opportunity to arrange a 4-day week-end in September, we planned some more. The 3-day trip became 4 days, but then the 4 riders became 3. Let me not confuse you, here they are:

The leader, he of many trips, on a 1200GSA (Chum on WD)



The photographer, always smiling, on a 1200GS (Wboutdoors on WD)



And the writer, on Margaret (she is my Iron Lady)



Let the games begin!
« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 12:14:10 pm by Bernoulli »
 

Offline Mikie

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Re: Verneukpan, the second attempt
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2013, 11:39:14 am »
No Peekchaas
:paw:

Pronounciation:
M-aai-kie
My-Key
 

Offline Bernoulli

Re: Verneukpan, the second attempt
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2013, 11:40:25 am »
Struggling with it :xxbah:

Offline Bernoulli

Re: Verneukpan, the second attempt
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2013, 12:16:32 pm »
Now working, thanks Eisbein!

Offline Eisbein

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Re: Verneukpan, the second attempt
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2013, 12:18:16 pm »
Now working, thanks Eisbein!

 :thumleft:


Looks like an awesome trip !

02/02/12 - RIP Glen - the Arrow of Elliot and the little man with the big heart that truly was larger than life.

You have touched us and left us better for having known you - even if it was only briefly.

For grabbing the moment and living the day It's been way too early that you were taken away
 

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Re: Verneukpan, the second attempt
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2013, 12:39:31 pm »
*sub* :thumleft:
They call me Judy or Judes...

You need chaos in your soul to birth a shining star!
 

Offline Eisbein

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Re: Verneukpan, the second attempt
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2013, 12:53:02 pm »
Dang - I still miss mine...

:(




02/02/12 - RIP Glen - the Arrow of Elliot and the little man with the big heart that truly was larger than life.

You have touched us and left us better for having known you - even if it was only briefly.

For grabbing the moment and living the day It's been way too early that you were taken away
 

Offline troos

Re: Verneukpan, the second attempt
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2013, 12:55:59 pm »
 :drif:
 

Online woody1

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Re: Verneukpan, the second attempt
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2013, 12:56:12 pm »
 :sip:

I WOULD RATHER BE AN HONEST ASSHOLE .... THAN A FLIPPEN LIAR !   


Ducati 100cc Mountaineer, Honda 550 K3, Suzuki Gs1000E, Suzuki Gs1000G, Suzuki 1100 Katana, BMW R1100RT, BMW R1150RT,,,,,All gone. Only 2014 ST in the garage at the moment... And Honda XL 600
 

Offline Frannarossi

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Re: Verneukpan, the second attempt
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2013, 02:55:50 pm »
 :sip:
If you don't live on the edge,you take up too much space!!!
 

Offline subie

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Re: Verneukpan, the second attempt
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2013, 03:16:21 pm »
Kom nou,waar is die res   :ricky:
As time washes by, our footprints are all for naught
 

Offline 0012

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Re: Verneukpan, the second attempt
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2013, 04:02:17 pm »
Love the writing style.

Now let's get this show on the road!!!!!!!!

 :ricky:


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:(    Yamaha XT1200Z - written off - R.I.P.
 

Offline Bernoulli

Re: Verneukpan, the second attempt
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2013, 04:17:48 pm »
Dang - I still miss mine...

:(



Yes, Eisbein - these piggies do tend to "grow" on you! :snorting:

Margaret is near to 150 000km, but the intention is that it too, will pass...  :lol8:

Offline Bernoulli

Re: Verneukpan, the second attempt
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2013, 04:19:38 pm »
Love the writing style.

Now let's get this show on the road!!!!!!!!

 :ricky:

Patience is a virtue ;)

Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: Verneukpan, the second attempt
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2013, 05:27:07 pm »
Dang - I still miss mine...

:(





A client of mine has just traded one in on a 1200 RT...................................it had only
11 000 kms on the clock!!!!! :eek7:
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Offline punisher

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Re: Verneukpan, the second attempt
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2013, 06:57:20 pm »
more more more
just wanna have fun , and ride ... and ....... ride
 

Offline Hinksding

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Re: Verneukpan, the second attempt
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2013, 10:28:54 pm »
gooi gooi gooi!
Eet vleis! 'n 1 000 000 jakkalse kan nie verkeerd wees nie.
 

Offline Bernoulli

Re: Verneukpan, the second attempt
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2013, 10:34:06 pm »
Day 1: Cape Town to Middelpos via Ceres and the Tankwa Karoo
336 km, the first 130 km tar, thereafter gravel.
 
When I arrive at the Winelands N1 it is cold and rainy, and the photographer is on all fours! (Is he performing some ancient rainrelated ritual?)



Turns out the stepped through his rainsuit instead of into it! But ductape is a wonderful thing. And of course this time nothing was going to stop us.
 
Middelpos here we come!



We departed and followed our leader through Nuwekloof to Ceres, in cold, drizzling weather. We decided that Bainskloof in mist on a wet road was not an option. If it was gravel, it could have been a different storyÖ

I was wrapped in 6 layers of clothing and was snugly and smugly sneering at the weather, when, all of a sudden, Margaret flashed her big yellow sign at me signalling that she may soon want to stop for refreshments! Oh no, did I miscalculate? I knew we were going to fill up in Ceres and was convinced that I had enough left to reach it. So why the yellow light? And then it dawned on me: My commute is urban only, no highways, so lots of stop/start. And in winter I mostly start Margaret with the choke first thing in the morning. So consumption is high, hence the reduced range as now indicated by a brightly lit yellow light. OK, light explained. That still does not say whether I will make Ceres. I do mental arithmetic. Will I/wonít I? When I see the turnoff to Gouda approaching I consider it to stop but do some more virtual maths and decide to chance it. I decide that if I make it to the Wolseley turnoff, I will be fine. Should I run out of juice after that, I will do the lie-the-bike-on-the-side-and-force-the-reserve-to-the-pump-trick.

Which was not necessary, I made it!

And on the way there was good scenery.



We refuel in Ceres



and head for the Wimpy for a cup of coffee to thaw with.

Soon we are on our merry way again



but not even 10 km out of Ceres last nightís fresh snow brings us to a halt




The photographer is extremely proud of this photo he took. It not only captures the wonderful spring weather we experience, but was taken on the move and captures all 3 of us simultaneously.



Donít be finicky Ė look again, this time more carefully and you will see two bikes in front of him!

Once over Theronsberg Pass, the transition to clear skies and dry roads is dramatic. We stop at the start of the gravel to deflate tyres.
 


In an almost uncanny way it illustrates a joke a local told us at the Wimpy: Rain in the Western Cape stops at the railway line you cross when you leave town. Farmers to the north of the line have often considered moving it so they too can benefit from the rain in the Western Cape! Except, of course, that we had just crossed a mountain, so the transition we are witnessing is real!

And so is the shock when the leader discovers that he left his neckbrace in the Wimpy. We consider the alternatives and before long, he disappears in a meaningful cloud of dust to go fetch it. Myself and the photographer will slowly make our way to the Padstal where we will wait for him.

Or so we thought.



We amble north and then I notice a short tweespoor to what seems like a parking lot at the foot of a hill. Well, we have time, so why not explore!



Amazing view of a wonderfully and almost unnaturally green karoo.



We walked a short distance higher up than the parking lot, and found some interesting plants.





If you can take a photograph of me,



I can take one of you!



We are still messing around when the photographer says Thatís him, there goes our leader!
 
Now allow me to explain: Heimer organised a kop-eet at the Padstal for that day, so there was a constant movement of bikes heading north in the distance. Whilst it is possible to (sometimes) recognise bike types from our lofty vantage point, I thought it was a long shot to say that you recognised an individual. But we leave for the Padstal anyway.

Arriving at the Padstal, we are greeted by this



Recognise that Adv on the left? Yep, thatís him!
Photographer 1, Bernoulli 0 (and the leader 100!)

The Padstal has been documented well on this site, so let me not bore you with that. There were, however, some exceptional vehicles on site:





Each in its own unique way very well equipped for it's intended purpose.

We have a quick bite to eat, before we set of into the vastness that is that wonderful Tankwa Karoo.







We ride to the normal rules: You ride at your own pace and you are responsible for the rider behind you, i.e. you wait for him at every turn-off. In our case, however, another variation soon becomes evident. The leader can and does travel a lot faster than the rest of us, and when we continually stop to take photos, we sometimes lose sight of him completely. Then we tend to find him like this



Somewhere during the week-end we discussed it, and all agreed that it was working for all of us. Nobody was under pressure not to keep anyone waiting, neither did we have to test any boundaries unnecessarily. It really was a relaxing ride.

That had its momentsÖ


Offline Jondu

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Re: Verneukpan, the second attempt
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2013, 10:37:40 pm »
 :peepwall:
 

Offline Ian in Great Brak River

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Re: Verneukpan, the second attempt
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2013, 11:24:03 pm »
That's me in 10 days time ... Lovely!

Cool photos... great report.

 8)
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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