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Author Topic: Lesotho ROCKS !!!!!!!!  (Read 26508 times)

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Offline Groenie

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Re: Lestho ROCKS !!!!!!!!
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2008, 08:32:41 pm »
Ons kom by die ROCKS....hou vas
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Offline JourneyMan

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Re: Lestho ROCKS !!!!!!!!
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2008, 08:34:58 pm »

Het julle ook gesien hoe baie dagga tussen die rye mielies geplant word.

En daar begin die sequel se beplanning sommer vanaand nog.  :mrgreen:
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Offline GIDEON

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Re: Lestho ROCKS !!!!!!!!
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2008, 08:37:49 pm »
Lyk blerrie lekker


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Re: Lestho ROCKS !!!!!!!!
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2008, 08:38:22 pm »
Lekker een Groenie.
Great news, my book 'Sniffer' has seen the light of day of Amazon Kindle!
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Offline Pepe

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Re: Lestho ROCKS !!!!!!!!
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2008, 08:39:13 pm »
Kan nie verstaan hoekom die foto's geblur is nie, na al daai nat verversings moes jule baie steady gewees het.
 

Offline Watty

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Re: Lestho ROCKS !!!!!!!!
« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2008, 08:38:26 am »
 

Offline Smithey

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Re: Lestho ROCKS !!!!!!!!
« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2008, 09:44:10 am »
Eeeish i get so jealous sometimes. Lekker report so far.
 

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Re: Lestho ROCKS !!!!!!!!
« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2008, 09:50:32 am »
Ons kom by die ROCKS....hou vas

Groenstes, you work in automation!!!!! You don't HAVE work to do!!!!!!

Get on with that report now!!!!!!!
 

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Re: Lestho ROCKS !!!!!!!!
« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2008, 09:54:29 am »
[ Wat ook baie interessant was, is die klein wit klippies wat oral in rotse gesien kan word.

Nadat een lava laag hard geword het en daar het reen geval en dalk poele water gestaan , (Kon dalk maande of jare tussen lava vloeie gewees het) het n volgende laag lava daaroor gevloei. Water is dan onder die lava vasgekeer , dit het stoom veroorsaak en die lugborrels het dan in die vloeibare lava op beweeg maar in die proses het dit n tonnel agter die lugborrel gelaat.
Die tonnels het so gebly en deur die jare het minerale en soute daarin versamel en versteen. Van daar die wit stukkies.

As jy die rots vertikaal oopkap al langs so n wit tonnel af sal jy sien dit is nie reguit nie maar het n kurwe. die rigting waarheen die kurwe buig soos dit opgaan wys dan in watter rigting het daardie lava laag gevloei.

Waar die Katse dam vandag staan het ons proef gate geboor om te sien of die ondergrond die dam sal kan hanteer.
 

Offline Groenie

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Re: Lestho ROCKS !!!!!!!!
« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2008, 11:04:41 am »
Het Katse ook aardbewings veroorsaak toe hy volgeloop het? Het op Discovery of een van daai gesien dit het gebeur by die Hoover dam.
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Offline Biesie

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Re: Lestho ROCKS !!!!!!!!
« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2008, 11:13:51 am »
Het Katse ook aardbewings veroorsaak toe hy volgeloop het? Het op Discovery of een van daai gesien dit het gebeur by die Hoover dam.

Hey !! Hou op om die onderwerp te verander ...we are waiting  ;D ;D
 

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Re: Lestho ROCKS !!!!!!!!
« Reply #31 on: March 12, 2008, 11:53:10 am »
Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Groenie's playing with his ....!
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Re: Lestho ROCKS !!!!!!!!
« Reply #32 on: March 12, 2008, 12:28:42 pm »
Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Groenie's playing with his ....!

Just MAYBE it is a tad difficult to type a report on a laptop that has no keys in the keyboard!!!!!! >:D >:D
 

Offline Groenie

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Re: Lestho ROCKS !!!!!!!!
« Reply #33 on: March 12, 2008, 02:09:25 pm »
I had day 3 finished last night, but when I saved it, it just went missing. So I had to rewrite the whole thing. Almost done.....
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Re: Lestho ROCKS !!!!!!!!
« Reply #34 on: March 12, 2008, 02:12:42 pm »
Befokte trip so ver Groen man....

Did you know Gert had an accident last night?
Gewoontlik n@@i ek reguit aan op fyndraai.

 

Offline Groenie

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Re: Lestho ROCKS !!!!!!!!
« Reply #35 on: March 12, 2008, 02:16:27 pm »
Day 3 and D7 was up quite early. It was COLD, very COLD.



When I eventually dragged myself out out bed, Albert and Gert were already packing. The coffee pot was whipped out and a cup of the best was brewed. I hadn't seen Albert in a while and it good to sit on the stoep, waiting for the sun to warm us up a bit and catch up on the news.





D7 wanted to show me the "Saddle", so we decided not join A&G for brekkie. 30 mins of quite technical ride lay ahead of us. You go onto something that may once have been a 2 track spoor leading away from the Lodge. It's ROCKS and mud. I was glad to have left everything at the room. The track was really quite difficult, but it was a much needed confidence booster for what lay ahead. After a lot of mud and rocks we arrived at this spot







Spot the KLR rider



We returned to the Lodge after a while and spotted the fairy circles. Apparently those pools are quite deep



We had a beer for brekkie ...



... and saw Albert off down Sani. They are on an epic journey. Off to Swaziland now, but  will see them soon, as they intend passing through Pta on their way south again.





Katse dam was the target and we had differing reports of the road conditions, ranging from: Aag it's a dirt highway, to: Too difficult, had to turn back. So we did the usual pay the bill, load the bikes and hit the road. I felt good this morning and took the lead. D7 normally likes riding in front in the mornings and we swap over later in the day, but the quick ride was just what I needed.

As we were nearing the Black mountain, I saw a track leading off to the right and decided to wait for D's input. He just raced up the mountain ...



... and turned onto the track. If you can call this a track





And that is the easy part.I didn't feel like walking down all the way. The ride up the rocks was difficult, 30cm step-ups in coconut sized rocks. Some more confidence building happening here. It was all worth it in the end. Beautiful scenery awaited us. This also where I learnt something about the herders. They are everywhere and as soon as you stop, out comes 5-10 of them and you are greeted by the Lesotho salute - outstretched hand, palm turned up and the words "Gimme money/sweets/etc"being mumbled. If you don't comply you get rocks thrown at you around the next bend. They are everywhere and a bloody menace.



A bit further on, I found these ruins and tried out my arty farty photography again





This is what it looks like in full technicolor



The road going to Mokhotlong is quite good and the scenery just stunning. This one of my favourite shots of the whole trip.



It was still a long way to go to get to Mokhotlong for juice and already past 11. But we were on a booze-cruize and got very thirsty from all the riding around the mountains. So we stop at the next shebeen for a cold one. They don't like you leaving with their bottles, so if there's no cans available, you have sit and finish your beer before moving on.



Gulp down a beer and head out again, no time to waste.....yeah right. An hour later we do the same.





We get petrol and beer in Mokhotlong. I didn't bring a coolerbag for nothing! When you get to these shebeens, all thoughts of hostility towards the population disappear as you greeted warmly and feel at home among the people. But the rocks are never far from your thoughts. At the next beer stop we meet a young herder, about 10 years old, that speaks quite good English. What does the future hold for him? A bright young laaitie, that will most probably never see much schooling after std5. On the other hand, he may just be happy to herd sheep for the rest of his life. Wouldn't you like to live here?



Like everything in Lesotho - contrasts. Beauty and harshness.

Suddenly we meet up with the Senqu river again.



The next stop is near Taung at a T-junction. They have a bar and off course we have another cold one.



When we leave, there's a commotion at what seems to be the bus stop. A real live snake! The only one we ever saw over the weekend, but it's tiny and rolled up, the size of my thumb. I should have placed a lighter next to him for scale.



By now it's almost 4 and we still have a moerse long way to go to get to Katse. We reach the crossing over the Senqu 10 minutes later.





Just after 5, we stop outside Thaba Tseka for another cold one. I should have called this report - Shebeen run through Lesotho. :)





And D7 promptly shows me the international biker salute.



I had found my groove during the day and was seeing speeds of over 100km/h on some of the straights. The road has been stunning all day long. Smooth, enough bends and switchbacks to keep you on your toes. I was loving it, sliding into corners and powersliding out of them, until D7 said he was not comfortable at that speeds and worried about pushing it to far, just to keep up. Ahh, the voice of reason....but I'm enjoying myself! Off curse he was right, you DON'T want to have an accident on these remote roads. So I settled down to an easier pace, but by now I was one with the bike. Even with the excessive weight and the tankbag making it difficult to stand up. Yes, us KLR dudes do stand.

The sun was winning the race and was about to set when we stopped for our last daylight beer break



That was the last pic of the day. We had been riding since early this morning and was still a long way from Katse. Anther lesson here: Don't try and more than 200 km in a day in Lesotho. Unless you want fly through the country and miss the beauty of it, take your time, stop wherever you can, talk to the people, drink beer with them. Lesotho has to be savoured slowly as it does sometimes have harsh, unfriendly side as well.

We only got to Katse just before 8 that night. I didn't like the place at all. Maybe because of the stone throwing and tiredness. We did meet the odd friendly person, but commercial interests reigned supreme and the Lodge was a rip-off. We found, with the help of Clementine at the lodge's reception, a very cheap place to crash, some tourist info centre. They allow you to pitch a tent in their grounds for R20 per tent. The guard agreed to let us sleep inside on the floor for R30 each. We were very tired after a long, hard day's riding and we had been rained every day of our trip. My boots weren't taking it too well. Maybe that's why we slept so well that night.

So, what do I think of Lesotho so far?

Up to now, the roads have been remarkably easy, except for this morning's ride to the Saddle and back. I may even bring my wife with one day soon. It will be difficult for her, but not impossible.
The people piss you off and then just around the next bend you find them warm and friendly. Contrasts and rugged beauty. I love/hate Lesotho and tomorrow will be the big one we came to conquer.......

To be continued.... here
« Last Edit: April 07, 2008, 02:58:33 pm by Groenie »
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Offline logie

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Re: Lestho ROCKS !!!!!!!!
« Reply #36 on: March 12, 2008, 02:39:38 pm »
This pic looks familiar.... 2 KLRs at the backpackers in Himeville...!





Awesome trip Groenie, well done. Spoonless and I took the same road to Katse in December.
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Offline Groenie

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Re: Lestho ROCKS !!!!!!!!
« Reply #37 on: March 12, 2008, 10:01:53 pm »
Day 4 - the BIG day.

I have been having nightmares about what lay ahead for today. There's very few pics of the Kao mines road on the forum and Google Earth makes it look difficult to say the least. So far I only toppled over once and that was at the SA border post in the parking lot. Seker maar bietjie moeg gewees na die klim ;)
The previous day's good riding upped my confidence levels quite a bit and I was ready for today. Or so I thought....

We were up early and had the coffee pot brewing quickly. We waited around for the sun to warm up a bit and checked out our surroundings.



Arriving so late the previous night, we never even saw the dam. Quite impressive and it will get more so during the day's ride around the dam.



I'll leave the facts about the dam out of my story, as facts only confuse matters. Suffice it to say it's F-ING BIG, no, HUGE, no, GI-f-ing-GANTIC. It really is a moerse groot dam. Geddit? (yes, it's the biggest dam I've ever seen)

So we ride around trying to find petrol, which there's none of around here and almost gladly leave the place. It really doesn't stick in my mind as place to visit again. Sure, if you haven't seen it, go check it out, but don't bother too much about the parts around the dam wall. It's the rest of it that makes it impressive.
You take a round-about way to get to the road on the other side and it leads you across the outflowing river below the dam wall. Now there's a place to camp.



Further up the road, as you climb higher, you get to a nice view point. A few quick piccies and we set off to find our usual breakfast.





In Ha Ntsooa we stop and I love Lesotho again. It's like day and night.The people here are the best.



Check the beer delivery trucks in this area



They don't have it easy and get treated quite harshly, but that's the way of life here, I suppose. D7 finds a mechanic to check his bike over quickly.





He's about as old as the twins and for the first time this trip, I really miss my family. But he's got his family around and Mom wants to try D7's bike out for size.



Brekkie done and we move off. Higher up in the mountains you get to see the sheer scale of this dam. I won't say it again, but it's ginormous.



We don't stop as often as the previous days and when we do, it's just a quick smoke and we're off again. As we come over the mountain, the bridge near the intake tower comes into view.



We stop here and have a Brandy & Coke. Dutch courage is called for today. The usaul bunch of youngsters come rushing over and there's about 15 of them, all giving us the Lesotho salute. But my mood is up and they don't distract from the scenery or bother us too much.



The water flowing into this tower eventually ends up in the Vaal dam.



A few k's further on, I find my holiday island. I wanna buy this piece of land and start a resort.



It's remarkable that nobody has started a holiday resort at the dam YET. There must be huge fish in there. You can see the turmoil they cause on the surface from miles away. There's also no boats on the water. At east we didn't see any.
We head up further down the dam and sheer size of it boggles the mind. There must be a few brazillion cubic meters of water in there. And the scenery just is stunning. Another bridge over the dam.



We reach Ha Lejone at 10:30 and buy juice from the local store. Lesotho style filling station and it it costs over R9 a liter.



They decant it from a larger container into a 5 liter one and fill you up from that.



As you leave Ha Lejone, you go down a steep, rocky descent and then up and down a few more. I was thinking that if this is what the start looks like, I don't even want to imagine the rest. Then you come to this bridge and the road levels out a bit and the climbs and descents are not as steep.



Just before 12 we reach Kao mine and the worries about the bad trails ahead are almost forgotten. Yes, it's rough, rocky and muddy, but nothing a KLR can't handle. And then you get to this!



Quite few times so far, I have wanted to say to D7 that we are biting off more than we can chew and was thinking of ways to try and get out of doing this particular piece of road, but here I stood in front of it and there was no going back. I was shit scared and had to force myself into taking this next step. With my confidence at the lowest level ever, I pulled off and promptly moered down in the mud and rocks 20 meters further. D7 was gracious enough not to take a pic before he came to help. We got the HEAVY bike upright again and I started up the rocks again. Only to moer down again 10 meters on. This time it was worse. I was lying head downhill and the bike had my leg pinned under the tank. Petrol was flowing out the fuel cap and D7 was all the way down the hill again. The first 10 km took us 50 minutes to complete. We were in KAK!

This is what the trail looks like just past my second farm (Courtesy D7) See the ROCKS? Well, there's actually thick mud hidden in there as well.



ROCKS? What rocks? The whole Lesotho is one huge pile of rocks with lots of mud patches scattered in between. 20 minutes later and 1.5 km further I almost moered down again. This becoming a bad habit. I actually just got stuck in the mud coming up the hill. (again, thanx D7 for the pic)



Our first stop for sake of stopping was only about 10 km from my first fall. It took us 50 minutes to get there. But what a ride! After the second fall, I decided to just twist that ear, even if I only seem to be getting stuck. The torque and the D606's came into their own on this section. I don't think we would have been able to do it without knobbies or on any bike bigger than a KLR. This was by far the worst section of the whole trip. The ciggie was one of the best as well.

Looking back at the way we just came.



From here the going was difficult, but manageable and little did we know, the worst was behind us. It's very difficult to get your speed up high enough to hook 2nd gear, but 1st is just to slooowwwww. Most of the riding up to the first 10 km was done in 1st, but whenever I got the chance I would hook 2nd and if at all possible, 3rd. The higher speed made the going a lot easier. You just flow over the obstacles and the bike isn't affected by them as much. My confidence was returning.

Today was a "dry" day, not many beers to be enjoyed, so we stuck to the smoke-break thing. The next stop was a longish one to rest a bit and recover. The clouds were rolling in again and I thought we were in for it A-f-en-GAIN...

(D7's pic)


There was a line of these piles of rocks and we went up to stack one on top for good luck. I think they mark the provincial boundary



We came from over there ....



... and were going that way. Although it's difficult terrain, we had our KLR's and nothing was going to stop us now. Except, but just maybe, the threatening rain.



Our water (yes, no beer on this section) was running low and we stopped at the river you can see in the previous pic, to refill. This is where D7 eventually dropped his scoot. Hehehe. Now don't feel so bad with my 2 and a half for the day.



See the rocks in the bottom of the pic? Why do you think I called the report Lesotho ROCKS? Here's 2 pics showing the typical road/track/trail surface were encountered.



This is downhill from the same spot.



We were really getting the hang of this enduro-style riding. Try to keep it in 3rd, drop to 2nd/1st as you encounter large obstacles and use the torque and grip to power over them and up through the gears. It was becoming more of a jol than an adventure. And then, all of a sudden, it was over....



We reached the tar in 2.5 hours. 60km of the worst and best trail I have ever ridden was behind me and I felt on top of the world. Well, I actually was and was going to the real "Highest Pub in Africa" for a cold one, NOW! We set off to the AfriSki lodge and ordered them to open their bar immediately. They complied and we spent a while there recovering our energy. Here's proof of my statement. Sani is only 2880m according to my GPS.




So, I'll be the first to post a pic of me and D7 having a dop at the REAL Highest Pub in Africa.



For now, this is enough. the rest is here.
 
« Last Edit: April 07, 2008, 03:00:52 pm by Groenie »
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Offline GIDEON

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Re: Lestho ROCKS !!!!!!!!
« Reply #38 on: March 12, 2008, 10:06:17 pm »
bevange pictures


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Offline Stofstreep

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Re: Lestho ROCKS !!!!!!!!
« Reply #39 on: March 12, 2008, 10:26:38 pm »
Wow Baie nice groenie
Be careful of the words you say.
And keep them soft and sweet.
For you never know from day to day.
Which ones you'll have to eat.