Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register

Author Topic: Orange Desert Sky  (Read 14000 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,150
  • Thanked: 18 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • Team 525
Orange Desert Sky
« on: February 19, 2014, 06:22:20 pm »


Remember this? http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=133427.0

Well, The Midget is now a super-enthusiastic little biker fella - he's even been whinnying little high-pitched noises about the Amageza, delusional half man that he is - and he decided that we should schedule a lovely sand-riding bike trip around his annual surf trip (otherwise known as escape from servitude and the drudgery of looking after the 7 little dwarves he has sired recently) to Noup.



Tom and I do what we're told, so we signed up. The Mechanical Camel is a stubborn creature and told us all to go drink his urine and waltzed off to engage in some kind of peculiar mind-altering experience in the Amazonian jungle. I don't even ask any more.

Where The Midget leads, we follow, so we fussed, we organised, we extracted ourselves from duties, engagements and things we should otherwise be doing, and got ready. Then the annoying little pipsqueak suddenly announced the surf would be arriving late and he wouldn't be riding any more, but we were welcome to pop in at Noup any time. Little Shit! Screw him and his half-genes, stunted little, dim whitted, knee-eye-level outlook on the world! Hope he drowned.

Anyway, Tom has a shiny new DRZ, to restore his faith in motorcycles after his traumic encounter with all things orange, so we tempted fate, and took ourselves off to the Orange River for a week of wilderness.

I can categorically say that:

1. It is farking hot up there this time of year.
2. We live in the most beautiful biking country in the world.
3. Refer to point 1.

My brain is still fried and I'm busy, so few words and just a little photo essay...


Offline MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,150
  • Thanked: 18 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • Team 525
Re: Orange Desert Sky
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2014, 06:24:00 pm »















Offline Ganjora

Re: Orange Desert Sky
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2014, 09:11:08 pm »
lovely.
haven't seen so much sky since i last did: road, sky,  road,  sky,  road,  sky,  road,  sky,  hospital...
tell me this doesn't end in 'hospital'.
 

Offline N[]vA

  • Adventure Geek Extreame!
  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: Suzuki DR-Z 400
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 8,105
  • Adventure Geek Extreme!
    • Adventure Geek
Re: Orange Desert Sky
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2014, 12:17:50 am »
stunning part of the country that
So much of win it hurts! ^.^


http://www.adventuregeek.co.za/
 

Offline lj111

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Husqvarna (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 1,083
Re: Orange Desert Sky
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2014, 08:58:16 am »
 :ricky:
 :sip:
Some people feel the rain and others just get wet...
 

Offline Tommy Transalp

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Honda XL650V Transalp
    Location: Kwazulu Natal
  • Posts: 4,289
  • Thanked: 63 times
  • The Older I get... the Faster I WAS!
Re: Orange Desert Sky
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2014, 09:02:55 am »
lovely.
haven't seen so much sky since i last did: road, sky,  road,  sky,  road,  sky,  road,  sky,  hospital...
tell me this doesn't end in 'hospital'.
Hey Dave!..... maybe he doesn't smoke as much as you do! :pot:

Beautiful photo's! :thumleft:
I live in my own world...
But it's ok... they know me there!
Honda XLV 650 Transalp
Honda CRF230
Royal Enfield 500 Classic
 

Offline MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,150
  • Thanked: 18 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • Team 525
Re: Orange Desert Sky
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2014, 09:08:52 am »
lovely.
haven't seen so much sky since i last did: road, sky,  road,  sky,  road,  sky,  road,  sky,  hospital...
tell me this doesn't end in 'hospital'.

Haha. Let's just say the consequences of that would have been far worse than the injury itself.

Offline Dusty

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW F650GS / Dakar
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 602
Re: Orange Desert Sky
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2014, 09:12:29 am »
Please sir, could we have some more   :sip:
If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.
 

Offline MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,150
  • Thanked: 18 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • Team 525
Re: Orange Desert Sky
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2014, 09:18:43 am »
I'm allergic to tar, so our route hit the trails straight out of Springbok. We were doing the Pela Orange River section first, grabbing fuel in Pofadder, then heading back along our route, via Vioolsdrift for more fuel and then into the Richtersveld.

We thought we were in splendid isolation, but at our first night's camp we had about five nocturnal visitors. Just friendly people from the neighbourhood checking us out and saying hi.

These two guys and their dogs arrived at about 5am for a long chin wag. It was time to get up.







Pretty hounds!



We're normally very recalcitrant about getting out of camp in the mornings, but the heat was so severe on this trip that we were setting an alarm for 5.30 and making the most of the mornings.







So many people living in poor solitude - broken caravans and piles of junk, but the best views in the world.









Having spent most of the first day driving to Springbok, it was our second afternoon before we got to the river. And what a river!


Offline MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,150
  • Thanked: 18 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • Team 525
Re: Orange Desert Sky
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2014, 09:23:56 am »


We were now following winding sand tracks along the river and in and out of canyons. A tiny settlement called Goodhope had one spaza shop where I drank a litre of coke straight up.

The bikes were a hit.







Tom's last minute tool tube fixing then collapsed. It's no fun fixing a bike on the side of the road in 40+deg heat!



But this made it worth it:








Offline MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,150
  • Thanked: 18 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • Team 525
Re: Orange Desert Sky
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2014, 09:27:23 am »
I think this is night two. Another stunning river arrival... looks like Afghanistan!







That ain't the sun in the background!



We fortified the camp in case of visiting trolls.


Offline MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,150
  • Thanked: 18 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • Team 525
Re: Orange Desert Sky
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2014, 09:30:51 am »
Yellow bike, orange sky:





We passed so many more isolated hamlets. Hard to imagine what kind of life people living out here lead?










Offline cocky

  • Ryyyyyy net ASFB.
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 990 Adventure
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 4,158
  • Thanked: 118 times
  • DILLIGAF
Re: Orange Desert Sky
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2014, 09:38:37 am »
Another epic RR, I follow your reports with much interest.
Just because your past did not turn out like you wanted it to does not mean your marriage will not be better than you ever imagined it could be.
Die Kaapse Hoender!
 

Offline Vis Arend

  • It's not how fast you start, it's how long you endure.
  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: Honda XR650L
    Location: Eastern Cape
  • Posts: 7,558
  • Thanked: 169 times
Re: Orange Desert Sky
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2014, 10:11:04 am »
 :sip:
No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everybody on the the couch
Honda XL125  -  Sold,    Honda XR200R  -  Sold,     Yamaha TT500  -  Sold,     Honda Transalp700  -  Sold,       Yamaha S10 Fast Blue  -  Sold,   Yamaha S10 Slow White  -  Sold,   Honda CRF250 Rally - To be Sold, XR650L..
 

Offline I&horse

  • You look like a
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 950 Adventure
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 3,628
  • Thanked: 19 times
  • was Andy 950
Re: Orange Desert Sky
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2014, 10:41:28 am »
sub
Silence is golden...... Duct tape is silver

Everything works with smoke, if the smoke escapes, it stops working.
 

Offline MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,150
  • Thanked: 18 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • Team 525
Re: Orange Desert Sky
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2014, 01:35:39 pm »
The riding was unbelievable. Every few hours I'd think again... "seriously, this is some of the best riding I've had!" Wide open spaces, sand, rocks, stunning scenery.

Tom's DRZ was behaving faultlessly - thanks in no small part, I think, to the fan he'd installed at the last minute, just a day before leaving. Seems painful memories of broken bikes and missed adventures only last so long...







Dirt highways like this felt like tar, such a change were they from the off-piste.







We'd seen no signs at all of 'civilisation'. Did I mention it was oven hot? My Aussie-designed Dri Rider mesh rally jacket was on fire like I'd looked it in a microwave for 30 minutes. My helmet was a sauna pit. But we were making pace, and came upon a farm at, I think, Klein Pella.



Largest date farm in the southern hemisphere, apparently. More importantly - a guest house with beer and a swimming pool. Hours passed, we passed out under the trees and a disturbing new pattern of no photos began. Seriously, it was too hot to think of taking them.

We left around 4 - according to our new pattern of ride from first light until 12 or 1 and then rest up four hours. First, a quick check at the farm, and then out into the mountain desserts again.










Offline MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,150
  • Thanked: 18 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • Team 525
Re: Orange Desert Sky
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2014, 01:43:41 pm »
This afternoon was one of the highlights of the trip. It cooled a little as we approached the town of Pella. A wind came up from the east, in our faces as we rode out towards Pofadder and a refuel. The tracks criss-cross and meander across the open veld, and are very sandy. It's simply a case of follow a general direction on the GPS and ride where you like. I hunkered down and twisted the KTM's ear. Hard. I don't like to ride at the limit often on tours - one is far from medical help, the bike is laden, and accidents mar holidays - as I found out to my chagrin at the end of our Angola adventure last year. But I make exceptions.

After an hour of exhilarating blasting across the plains, now within sight of the main road, I stopped to sniff the air. My lens drank in the visual feast brought on by the cool air.
















Offline MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,150
  • Thanked: 18 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • Team 525
Re: Orange Desert Sky
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2014, 01:56:17 pm »
After a break, we saddled up for 30km of tar to Pofadder, and on turning on the main road I immediately realised I had a puncture. Nail straight in through the base of one of the knobs of my new E09. That tyre may be tough, but no tyre stops an inch of straight steel. I was tired and it was late, so I blew in a can of foam, and cruised in to town.

Pofadder is a charming dump, currently enlivened by 130 Spanish engineers building a massive solar plant. We slumped, stupefied and helpless at an outdoor resto/bar eating pizza and shovelling liquid into our stomaches. The heat was leaving its mark, and after 3 days of riding we were both finished. The tyre scotched any plans of leaving town that night, so we rented a room in a B&B and passed out.

My interest in taking pictures was taking a beating in the sauna in my riding gear. I don't have a single one of Pofadder - maybe Tom will chip in. Because of the tyre change and a late breakfast we didn't get away until 10 or so, and what followed was a truly horrible dash back across the tar and dirt to more-or-less where we started the Orange trail, so that we could continue in the opposite direction.

I was a grumpy sod, and honestly I think I had mild heat stroke. Stopping was impossible - it must have been 45deg - the only option was to keep on going.

After six straight hours, we approached the mountains again, and the clouds started to build. We heard thunder in the distance, even though the air still felt like a hairdryer on full blast.





But the vistas were breath-taking.



Still the clouds rolled in, and now I couldn't not stop to get the camera out.






Offline MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,150
  • Thanked: 18 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • Team 525
Re: Orange Desert Sky
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2014, 01:57:51 pm »
Just more, brilliant, wild, dramatic sky.






Offline MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,150
  • Thanked: 18 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • Team 525
Re: Orange Desert Sky
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2014, 02:03:22 pm »
We were now well into the mountains, and heading down a track towards the river.







Shamefully I don't have photos of this track. The riding was - once again - sensational, probably surpassing anything on the trip so far. The road eventually just becomes a track through the canyon, down a river bed. The bikes bounced over small boulders and drop-offs, the kind of stuff they were made for.



At one point I waited for Tom, and he didn't appear. Half an hour passed and I went back, but there was no sign of him where we'd last made contact. I retraced my steps, then finished the trail - still no sign of him. Had he lost it off into the bushes and crashed, hidden from view? The mind can play tricks in an hour of missing your riding partner... especially in the impending dark, with thunder rolling in, in utter, complete, isolated wilderness.

Turned out he'd left his backpack when we stopped, and gone back for it. But you can lose each other easily in this kind of terrain. It was dark when we found each other again, each already contemplating a night alone huddled under a bivvy. And he had the rum.