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Offline watkykjy

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Up Van Zyls Again... ;-)
« on: January 28, 2014, 12:10:46 am »
After running out of water, and stuggling up Van Zyl’s in May 2009, we thought it was time to do it again.
Here’s the first trip: http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=35018.0

Alan, Chris, Kevin and Peter signed up for this one. We left the incoming Cape winter storm on Friday, 27th Sept 2013. Chris set off from Upington on Saturday morning.



Caught in a 60s time warp, Springbok Lodge was memorable for its dining area and general off the wall feel.
At Joe’s Beerhouse in Windhoek, we enjoyed our first Namibian hospitality. Wild place. We ended up sharing a table and many Jagermeisters with a German geology professor and his young female post grad student.
Peter’s Isuzu bakkie’s engine seized 100km before Kamanjab.  :imaposer: When this forced a stop, we found that an important part of the trailer had broken as well - a disaster was avoided by the stop!

Bikes off the trailer and the first day to Sesfontein started off mildly as you can see from Chris’s relaxed confidence.


But it was soon to be Kevin’s Dust Initiation:


Kev got very tired and needed to focus.  :dousing:


At a stage, when his DR was flooded, I did a bit of towing.


Al took a tumble as well.


Some way down the otherwise dry and very sandy Ombonde river bed, we found running water.
A welcome stop and a splash. Last green grass for some time…


On the road to the Warmbad community campsite, we were alerted to “ClickClicks” by some men at a kuka shop.


There had been a serious drought in Kaokoland for the last two years. We saw hardly any game the whole trip – a few gemsbok & springbok. But we did get a rainstorm following us North on the first day.


Some BEEEG spaces to ride around in. I ride where i like!


Few choices in direction. “I think there is more chance of finding a beer if we follow this one”


After some encouragement, we got Kev to stand up, look up & open up...


The Marienfluss valley is great, with a few big dunes near the Kunene. Looking north.

Looking south.


The woman at the campsite warned us not to swim (crocs), but also said that we were white and would probably swim anyway.
She was right.


And the slow satellite comms enabled some email contact to try to get money organised for the seized engine back in Kamanjab.


Van Zyl’s was much easier this time. We worked together to get all bikes up each difficult section, and found a way around the crux section.
1 ˝ hrs bottom to top vs 6 ˝ hrs in 2009. Old age (experience?) seems to help...   ;)
At the bottom:


When we got to the first hill, we saw two vehicles coming down. They kindly gave us a cold beer each!



Some hairy parts suggested a gear carry.


Chris, Kev and I found a track around the crux, but Al wanted to ride. We ended up carrying his bike up! :lol8:



Not much traffic on Van Zyl’s, but the top lookout is worth going to, if only to support the lonely trader.


A joint was most well come after getting to the top & then going to Otjitanga to get some beer.


We had a pool challenge in Otjitanga the next morning. This bar’s owner was the big man in the village with 12 kids.
He was surprised that I had one only. Pool cues doubled up as walking sticks.


Mandatory cooling off at Epupa.


There was some Wilddog Music and dancing at a bar in Okangwati.


Leaving Epupa we set off for Swartbooisdrift following the river. At one point Chris’s skills with the GPS deserted him.
We took a wrong turn and practically ended up back in Epupa.
The decision then was to head for Opuwo and the opulence of the hotel on the hill.

 
Next day we bought braai meat in Opuwo. On the way Al had a narrow escape when his luggage was set alight by his exhaust.
Burnt plastic offerings. Thankfully the gas canister and petrol tank held out.  :dousing:



Our last camp in a riverbed. :pot:


Another friendly beer stop with herbal offerings.


Kev in a 1000 yard stare...


More friendly people!


Later, we needed to celebrate, the barman was also getting pissed.


Back in Kamanjab, still no bakkie. Peter decided to console himself with a haircut at the local tyre repair/barber shop.
Herero style was in vogue.


All into Chris’s bakkie as far as Upington. A lovely meal at Chris’s place then Al, Peter and Kevin back on
the bikes the next morning for the ride to Cape Town via the Tankwa Karoo.


Lots of fun. Except for the seized engine, and burnt luggage all went well! ;-)
Pics by Al, Chris and Kev. Text by me and Al. Great trip guys!
« Last Edit: February 10, 2014, 09:50:09 am by watkykjy »
Peter Boardman
 

Offline White Rhino

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Re: Up Van Zyls Again... ;-)
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2014, 06:11:34 am »
Storyline looks great - Not seeing the pics display ...
I'd rather have a full bottle in front of me than a full frontal lobotomy
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Offline COLES

Re: Up Van Zyls Again... ;-)
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2014, 08:30:22 am »

PHOTO,S DO THE TRICK PLEASE POST
 

Offline ALLEN I

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Re: Up Van Zyls Again... ;-)
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2014, 08:39:31 am »
Great story think ph went up in flames
Biking since the age of 11 nothing beats the freedom when u out there on u baby. Been doing it over 40 years now  (that's life)
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Offline Hanno @ Mad Macs

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Re: Up Van Zyls Again... ;-)
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2014, 08:43:19 am »
also hoping the photos will magically appear.
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Offline jaybiker

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Re: Up Van Zyls Again... ;-)
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2014, 08:51:53 am »
Hey, even I found a way to view the pics  :o

Must be dummy's luck!  :ricky:
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Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Up Van Zyls Again... ;-)
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2014, 11:41:25 am »
Excellent! Was wondering when we'd see this report... and love the beginner dude riding in t-shirt and shorts!  O0

Offline Beserker

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Re: Up Van Zyls Again... ;-)
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2014, 12:11:26 pm »
My Ride  :ricky:  Angola   Namibia  Northern Cape  Kids
 

Offline watkykjy

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Re: Up Van Zyls Again... ;-)
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2014, 12:56:01 pm »
Me a true redneck ?  :lol8: >:D
Peter Boardman
 

Offline Leo

Re: Up Van Zyls Again... ;-)
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2014, 01:21:23 pm »
Awesome, still at the top of my "to Do" list.

Did nobody give you kark for going Up Van Zyl's?  ???

I thought there was an unwritten rule you could only go East to West, in other words down?
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Offline watkykjy

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Re: Up Van Zyls Again... ;-)
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2014, 02:12:38 pm »
There were a few folks who gave use kark. But we explained patiently that bikes have a MUCH lighter footprint than 4x4's. The important thing is not to spin the back wheel. In any case we pushed some of the bike up the really steep sections...  :3some:
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Offline Heimer

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Re: Up Van Zyls Again... ;-)
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2014, 03:24:49 pm »
Awesome, still at the top of my "to Do" list.

Did nobody give you kark for going Up Van Zyl's?  ???

I thought there was an unwritten rule you could only go East to West, in other words down?

+1

Light footprint or not. Great trip - but aikona for going up

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Offline LuckyStriker

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Re: Up Van Zyls Again... ;-)
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2014, 03:42:12 pm »
Thanks watkykjy. Awesome trip!
On my to-do list
 

Offline THROTTLE JOCKEY

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Re: Up Van Zyls Again... ;-)
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2014, 03:51:31 pm »
Excellent trip. Do you have a gps route or better still a track for your trip you can send my way?. Did you do the tougher route or the standard route to the falls after VZP? Welll done.
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Re: Up Van Zyls Again... ;-)
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2014, 05:22:09 pm »
great RR and photos
Thanks :thumleft:
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Offline jimjim

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Re: Up Van Zyls Again... ;-)
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2014, 07:07:02 pm »
Heck, that pass looks epic !
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Offline watkykjy

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Re: Up Van Zyls Again... ;-)
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2014, 10:02:03 pm »
Jimjim: The pass is epic & you must be well prepared!  The sting in the tail is that you think you have "done" the pass, when the worst is still to come.
Pace yourself!   :laughing4:
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Offline watkykjy

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Re: Up Van Zyls Again... ;-)
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2014, 11:31:04 pm »
Hi Throttle Jockey - I don' have a gps route or better still a track for your trip I can send your way. But email me an di wil be able to get something to you. Otherwise let's meet for a beer. 58 Lower Main Rd, Obz good for you?
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Offline Rynet

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Re: Up Van Zyls Again... ;-)
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2014, 07:13:34 am »
WKY Respect   :thumleft:, that is apparently not a pass to take lightly, well done you guys .  :thumleft:

Loved the RR , short and sharp . Haha about the hair cut , and the Wilddog music , that is so cool.  :ricky:
 

Offline Crossed-up

Re: Up Van Zyls Again... ;-)
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2014, 07:51:17 am »
Good report!  Sorry about the bakkie motor and all your burnt kit, Alan.