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Offline E.T

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #180 on: March 26, 2015, 12:15:42 pm »
XPAT

Clearly you do not have a Tv, your writing skills are Excellent,Excellent,Excellent!!
I will pay you to read this stuff!

!! Platinum status on the Roll of Honour !!

PS!! When are you going to finish your RR on Africa - Photo report?
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #181 on: March 26, 2015, 08:29:57 pm »
Well, thank you very much, glad you enjoy it. To put things into perspective I would recommend you look-up RRs from Metaljockey here on the forum (few of them in the Roll of Honour, the rest you will find in his signature) - there is a reason why the highest 5 star thread rating on advrider.com, the one above 'Epic', is labeled with his name.

As for the Africa report - I'd like to finish it sometime in the future, but right now I need to wrap-up this one and catch up on the sleep deficit I've accumulated over the past month. 

Offline funacide

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #182 on: March 27, 2015, 06:41:25 pm »
Hope to see it finished soon...

Really enjoying it!
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Offline Xpat

Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #183 on: March 28, 2015, 09:16:31 pm »
Day 16

The night before I have already decided to hit the D3707 (the road crossing in the westward arch the inner Kaokoland and connecting Sesfontein, Puros, Orupembe and Opuwo - that is the one you are looking for Ian) and head straight to Opuwo, missing Epupa Falls and the Kunene river track to Ruacana this time.

My original alternative plan - should I not make it up VZP because of the lack of talent - was to bypass VZP via the Etanga pass (another pass over the mountains to the south of VZP), and head from there north on the double track going to Otjitanda, where I would connect to the original route between VZP and Okangwati. I knew it is pretty gnarly, but Iíve done it before on GSA1150, so expected it to be doable on Tenere.

But even idiot like me could see that it was just matter of time when the clutch will pack again and this time probably for good, with no Swiss mechanic in attendance. So there was no option but to chicken out and opt for the straight and easy route to Opuwo, where I planned to fix the clutch.



This wasnít a first time Kaokoland try to stop me in my tracks by disabling clutch on my Tenere. On the last trip (the one from the videos - I was actually with a mate who was on Husky while I was on Tenere and Ö eh, itís complicated - letsí just say that Tenere and my mate didnít finish the trip and I ended up doing most of it on my own on Husky) my clutch cable snapped the very first day in the Huarusib river about 10 km above Puros - and sure enough I didnít have a spare. I have eventually managed to order one from Duneworx Yamaha in Swakopmund and had it shipped to Opuwo for next day delivery.

So I felt pretty confident to be able to order new clutch from Yamaha, pick it up next day in Opuwo (which was a rest day anyway), change it and bobís your auntie - Iím ready for whatever Bushmanland and Makgadikgadi will throw at me on the way back to the Big Smoke. I have fully expected clutch plates to be a consumable like brake pads that Yamaha dealers must keep in stock - and even if they are out of stock I can probably get them from different brand or even Midas as they surely must be generic.

Which they are not. As I found in my morning calls to Duneworx and Windhoek Yamaha, they are actually very bike specific - not brand, bike (even the XT660R clutch plates do not fit XT660Z). And no, there is no stock available anywhere in Namibia. The same story when I checked with Shimwells - they have to order first, and then there is no guarantee how long the customs will take should they ship it to another country. I have to say Yamaha spare parts availability in Southern Africa (in countries they are actually officially represented) is just shambles, every little thing has to be ordered from some Durban dump. Not sure other brands are better though...

So, it looked like I will have to conserve the clutch as much as possible to get all the way from Onjuva to Joburg. Which meant sticking to tar (once I reach it in Opuwo that is) and avoiding anything remotely dirty. Not good - I was still keen to extract some adventure from this trip.

Another problem I found while deciding where to next, was that I didnít have enough petrol to make it to Opuwo about 220 km away - my original planning turned up to be pretty sketchy. I have started from Sesfontein with full tank and 7 liters in a jerry can - so a conservative total range of about 500 km. Iíve done already 380 km, so I was about 100 km short. The last resort was to use my Czech connection and try to bum some petrol off the Germans before they leave in the morning - assuming they have some left. But luckily there was an alternative. I remembered a handmade sign Iíve seen on the way to Onjuva and by luck I bumped into the local oil magnate in the camp. He had petrol available and agreed to keep 10 litres for me no matter what  - I was aware that his stock was limited and took the precaution to prevent a greedy KTM rider leaving me stranded here.

I woke up early in the morning, but it took me ages to break the camp and pack up. The Germans left quite early - also heading to Opuwo, while I took another hour and a half to get my shit together and get ready to go - there is a reason why I avoid camping. Once on the bike the first order was to get the petrol in the village about 3 km away. Iím using term village here loosely - Onjuva as most Himba villages is a set of shacks spread very sparsely in the surrounding area. I headed for the shop I knew where they encouraged me to head further into the bush and after few km of following barely noticeable track I have arrived to the shack that was indeed the petrol depot. All that said, it was great to see the entrepreneurship and quite frankly sophistication of the local guys in this very remote place (I actually caught one of them reading a book when I went shopping two days ago), big difference compared to the Himbas living around Opuwo, who just drink, beg, and live off government grants.

Petrol depot:


And a storage depot for a dog food - looks like a Pink Floyd album cover:





With refuel done Iíve retraced 25 km back to Orupembe:











Where I hit the D3707 and caught up with three German BMWs.





They must have run into some problem as they had about two hours head start on me, but they gave me thumbs up so I passed them and fucked off. I havenít seen the support truck that I thought is sweeping behind the group but I just assumed that I just missed it on one of alternative tracks. I was quite surprised to catch up with the truck about an hour and a half later and 120 km away - I stopped the truck and told them about the three stragglers they didnít have a clue about.

Iíve done this road before, but being dazzled by the riverbeds and VZP I tend to forget how beautiful even these main roads in Kaokoland are (main as not a riverbed, not main as a dirt highway). The road crossed desert and the mountain range between Khumib and Huarusib valleys and provides for some spectacular riding.




And into the mountains:



























I stopped in a Himba village on the way to get a cold drink, but no luck - there was none around except for these elderly couple and they weren't from the shop:





So I sipped a bit of my hot flavoured water and headed back into the mountains:























And down to the plains on the other side:














Crossing Huarusib river again:

















Back on tar after about 1200 km of dirt in Opuwo - Paris of Kaokoland:



Once in Opuwo, I headed straight for a bout of shopping on the high street. The local Starbucks was already crowded by cappuccino sipping German speaking adventure riding gods, their steeds blinged out with the latest Touratech apparel. Having a Touratech bashplate myself (with both rear attachment points broken through for the second time), I felt right at home and swooped in.







I was looking for a new iPhone charger. I left mine in Gobabis and had to bum charger from the Euros in the lodges in White Lady and Palmwag  to feed my internet addiction. There is no use for iPhone between Palmwag and Opuwo, but now I needed to get online to organize my trip of attrition back home.

Local hotties zoomed right in:
 












OK Grocer in Opuwo is definitely one of the most bizarre places I know. It is perfectly standard franchise shop selling the same stuff as any other shop in RSA - no iPhone chargers though. What makes it special are the naked red painted Himba women and their 19th century westernised Herero cousins browsing the shelves for a carrot or something. I doubt you would find bigger contrast of modern and tribal worlds anywhere else. Unfortunately I did not catch up any Himbas inside (though there were some weird plastic clad modern knight looking whiteys milling around), so here are at least some Herero ladies.





Empty handed I continued my quest for a mobile phone charger unicorn in the shops along the main road. They were selling mobile phones (no iPhones though), but no chargers - not even for the phones they were selling. Intrigued I asked how they charge their phones which they all have. Apparently there is a man somewhere in town who provides recharge services for a fee. Neat.


No charger in the Chinese shop:




No charger in the PEP shop:






This woman's stare made me speed up noticeably:









Me, being a whitey cheapskate - I can use the Euros in the lodge for charging, no charge. So I headed empty handed up the hill to the Opuwo Country Lodge for accommodation and a bout of interneting.









At the reception they offered me a choice of luxury or standard room. I choose standard and they choose to give me the luxury one for the price of standard. Sometimes you just have to suck it up, so thatís what I did.

Offline Ian in Great Brak River

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #184 on: March 28, 2015, 11:04:23 pm »
That 3707 is the one ... thanks.
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 ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #185 on: March 28, 2015, 11:38:28 pm »
 Paris of Kaokoland: :imaposer: :imaposer:

and they even have a permanent Frenchmen living there. :deal:
Stayed at his place twice.
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Offline Xpat

Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #186 on: March 29, 2015, 08:38:08 am »
yes, I've stayed with the Frenchman once. He seemed a bit loco...

But then who isn't in Opuwo.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2015, 08:41:34 am by Xpat »
 

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #187 on: March 29, 2015, 09:37:23 am »
How come I only lucked onto this now! Brilliant.
 

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #188 on: March 29, 2015, 10:01:21 am »
yes, I've stayed with the Frenchman once. He seemed a bit loco...

But then who isn't in Opuwo.
Yes he's been in the sun without a hat too much!! :imaposer:
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Offline Xpat

Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #189 on: March 29, 2015, 08:05:52 pm »
Day 17

It was New Year's Eve and a rest day. After 7 days of solid riding I was in a need of proper R&R. The plan was to soak away the day in the lodge pool. It didn't work out that way. As on the prior rest days in White Lady once back in my room from the breakfast, I stumbled, face planted into the bed and woke up in exactly the same position 4 hours later. Just in time for lunch, after which I repeated the process with a final wake-up for the day roundabout 5 pm. My kind of day!

When I finally managed to stay awake I went to the lounge to waste some time on interned and rehydrate. There were some tourists about, but the Germans were gone - they rode up to the Epupa Falls. I still managed to bum iPhone charger from them prior night, so made some final use of them. This being a New Year's Eve I expected the lodge to be full of tourists, but there were surprisingly few.

Pool at the Opuwo Country Lodge:







I have hooked up with an American couple Jeff and Taryn, who were doing some exciting poo research in the area. They were collecting samples of human feces and sending them US of A for some comparative study to see what makes for better shit - McDonald's or springbok diet. Saucy. Otherwise they were all right - they have travelled quite a bit around and were some kind of modern version of hippies - the research seemed to be some kind of ruse to finance their travelling from a grant. They were originally from Texas of all places, where they lived in some remote adobe village next to Mexican border.

They were already in the celebratory mood trying to organise a group for the New Year's celebration. I agreed to join them and went back to my room to clean up quickly as it was almost dinner time. While there I checked on the bike as I wanted to start early next day (subject to how the New Year celebration will pan out), and found out that my front tyre was flat.



Great! So instead of shower I took out the tools, took the front wheel off and got the tube out for a quick repair. I've mentioned before that I have yet to successfully patch a tube. This was the opportunity and I jumped at it! I cleaned the tube properly, roughed up the surface and most importantly - once I put a glue on the tube and the patch - I waited about 10 minutes before sticking the patch on. Exactly as I've seen it done in a youtube video. By the time I was done I was running out of time, so I dragged the shampoo-ed front wheel and all the other oily bits and pieces to my luxury room, stuck the tube with the patch under the bed to give it some time to bond together, took the shower and headed for dinner.

Jeff and Taryn were already there - and that was it. All the other guest were gone. Eventually one more guest appeared - an English guy Fred, about 65 looking like KFC Colonel Sanders. Jeff still keen to extract a party from these meagre picking immediately snatched him and brought him to our table. He was a nice enough, but unfortunately suffered from the rabid anti-americanism so wide spread among europeans (and people on this forum I've noticed) so had a tendency to insinuate America with anything that is wrong with this world. Jeff and Taryn were surprisingly nice about it trying to avoid any confrontation - despite being from Texas they disowned Bush unanimously.

So it was up to me to put Fred into his place, which I did with the gusto, as I find this world outlook in Europeans (and westerners in general) immensely stupid. As far as I can see America, for all its faults, is the only power guaranteeing continuation of the western way of life right now and good luck with the Chinese, Russians or Muslims if Yanks decide they had enough of the Euro whinging.

So despite Fred being my father's age I laid into him with gusto and he caved pretty quick. Funnily it was the Americans who tried to smooth out the differences with copious inflow of tequila. The things went blurry pretty quickly with the couple retreating into their love nest before midnight, while Fred and I - now on much more amicable topics concerning womenfolk - held out till midnight and then stumbled to our respective rooms at about 1am.

Offline Xpat

Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #190 on: March 29, 2015, 08:39:55 pm »
Day 18

I woke up late and with bad headache. I barely made the breakfast and still had to get my tyre on the wheel and on the bike. So I battled to be done by the checkout time (again, is there any reason why checkout here is 10:00, instead of civilised 12:00?). Jeff and Taryn left for Puros. It took me a while the day before to persuade them not to drive straight to Windhoek and instead head for inner Kaokoland, but I prevailed - I think it was the unpolluted quality of human shit I waxed lyrical about that did it at the end. Fred was nowhere to be seen so I just packed up and headed out finally at about 11:00. Not a good start for what I fully expected to be a long and boring day. The plan was to slab across Ovamboland to Grootfontein about 600 km away, where I have arranged to change my rear tyre. Like so:



I stopped at the petrol station for refuel and then headed straight east on the tar. I expected the tar to end about 60 km away at the T Junction with the road going from Ruacana to Khorixas, and then continue as a dirt highway east to Oshakati. But the road to Oshakati and all the way to Tsumeb and Grootfontein turned out to be tar. Which was a good news as I could just dial in 120 kmh saving the clutch and go to sleep mode. Ovamboland, while definitely worth exploring, can get a bit dull after a while - especially after Kaokoland - as it is completely flat. I have stopped after about 100 km for a smoke break and to my dismay discovered that the patch work I did didn't work. It was about midday, hot and I still had bad headache and about 500 km to go, so I opted for the easiest option and pumped in a can of Tyrefix. I can see that it was still leaking but slowly so I decided to continue and stop in regular intervals to pump up the pressure. My Slime compressor packed up in Opuwo so I had to use my back-up MTB air pump, but it worked surprisingly well and was actually easier to use as I didn't have to take the seat of to connect the compressor to the battery.

I continued through Ovamboland in a half awake state, stopping twice: once at a shebeen in local village for a cold drink. Here I got into little altercation with local dude with bow and arrows, when I took picture of my bike in front of the shebeen and he started to push for money for the pic. I'm not very aggressive, but with headache I snapped and started after him with determination that seen him turn tail straight away.



With that sorted I continued to the next town where I stopped for refuel and cool down in the shade. Naturally I become and attraction to the passing human traffic, but they weren't pushy about it and I let them take pictures on my bike. One of the waitresses even insisted on me taking pictures of her - probably mistaken me for some kind of modelling talent scout:










And the budding Naomi Cambell:





That's all the pics I have for the day. I have continued uneventfully and eventually made it at sunset to Tsumeb, 70 km shy of Grootfontein. It was getting dark and the rain was closing in, so I decided to stay and after dinner in Wimpy headed straight for the Mouse and Bird Backpackers I knew from my prior visits.


Offline funacide

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #191 on: March 30, 2015, 09:24:05 am »
Awesome, thanks for the latest write up's - Very Kewl
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Offline Xpat

Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #192 on: March 30, 2015, 09:08:15 pm »
Day 19

The objective for the day was Tsumkwe, capital of Bushmanland located at the border of the Naye Naye concession area about 70 km before the Botswanian border in Dube. Like so:


But I was pretty worn by the prior day's hangover dash across Ovamboland and still had to find and change rear tyre in Grootfontein so decided to play it by the ear and went shopping. Tsumeb - a mining town - was after a long while the first typical 'southern african' town with the mixture of affluent mostly white population interested with the poor mostly black one, and the attendant tension palpable in the air. As such, it had proper shopping malls with all major franchises you would find in any other SA city. So I went for the search of the elusive iPhone charger, as I knew that the next chance after this will be Sandton City. Despite the flashy shops, iPhones were not readily on offer here, but I got lucky eventually and bought a noname charger at a little mobile accessory shop run by a muslim guy. Sure enough, when I connected my iPhone it said something like 'This is not authorised accessory and will blow up your phone' or such, but it seemed to work. Score.

With the charger safely packed in I set-off at about 10 am and within an hour was cruising the busy main strip in Grootfontein looking for a motorcycle shop at the Caltex garage. Pretty soon I found one next to the Puma station, which seemed close enough so I went to investigate. And sure enough it was the one. It was closed due to the Christmas holiday, but being associated with the petrol station I was able to extract the new TKC80 there with no hassle. Score number two.

By now it was close to midday, properly hot and in my wasted state I wasn't keen to change the tyre on the busy street of Grootfontein myself. Luckily there were few tyre shops open close by and I ended up at the Dunlop one. The manager wasn't keen to work on the bike, but when I agreed to take the wheel off and put it back on myself, he eventually took the job. I waited under a tree for about an hour before it was my turn. I was a bit worried if they will be able to take the tyre off as I had rim lock on the wheel and had to explain how it works. They managed to get it off fine, but I had to help them to get it back on with the rim lock correctly in place. To my surprise the E09 Dakar I had on, had still quite a bit of thread on after about 4000 km of hard riding and I would happily ride it back to Joburg - the wear was that good probably because I spent big proportion of the trip off tar.





By the time I was ready to go it was afternoon and I decided to take the rest of the day off in some nice lodge. A lady I asked recommended some guest farm with lions about 15 km north of town, so that's where I went. I found the farm no problem, but there was nobody there. So eventually grudgingly I decided to push on to Tsumkwe still about 260 km away. I continued on tar on B8 towards Rundu for another 60 km, and there I turned east on the dirt highway heading to Tsumkwe. My clutch was holding up very well, but I was a bit apprehensive about this road as I've heard that big parts of it is deep sand patrolled by lions in places. But the road up to Tsumkwe turned out to be a good hardback highway with a bit of sand on the top in places.



I got caught up in number of short showers, the most intense I tried to hide from under a tree, where I bumped into some of the local fauna, which didn't seem to like me one bit hissing ominously:











After the rain stopped I have set-off again and within about km my GPS tried to knock me off by jumping off the RAM mount and hitting me in the crotch:


Clearly the vibrations got better of the rubber mountings. It took me another 20 minutes to fix it and by the time I was on the way the sun was setting in the west. After this I've made it uneventfully to Tsumkwe, where I filled up the tank and one of the jerry cans - it was about 600 km to Maun and almost 200 of it potentially in deep sand before I will hit the tar along the Okavango delta, with no petrol in between. The attendants in the garage as well as few hawkers hanging about were all bushmen. I've bought few supplies in the General Dealer and little bracelet from a lady to support locals and with shopping over I followed signs to the Tsumkwe Country Lodge.

It was fenced off with proper heavy duty electric fence with a guard manning the gate - a reminder that I was again in the big 5 territory. The lodge itself was OK, the huts were not great value for money, but acceptable. I've spent rest of the day before dinner doing few fixes on the bike, and chilling. There were huge clouds closing from the east which together with the setting sun provided for one of those archetypal african sceneries:



















Offline JMOL

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #193 on: March 30, 2015, 10:37:55 pm »
Seems to me this trip is busy closing down   :-\   :-[ 

Very nice RR - I read every sentence and following you on Google Maps . . . .
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Offline Xpat

Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #194 on: March 31, 2015, 07:17:38 am »
Well, the Rambo part is over. But there is still some fun to be extracted from the sick clutch...

Offline funacide

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #195 on: March 31, 2015, 09:27:08 am »
Loving this report thanks!

Battling to concentrate on work with planning for our trip there later in the year.
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Offline popipants

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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #196 on: April 02, 2015, 09:56:32 am »
I need my fix!!!
I've been on the Jameson diet for a week, so far I've lost 7 days....
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #197 on: April 02, 2015, 11:31:27 am »
Well I was busy plotting Lesotho tracks on Google maps for my regular Lesotho Easter, but annoyingly work got in the way, so you may get lucky - I'll try to finish the report over the weekend.

Offline Xpat

Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #198 on: April 03, 2015, 11:30:58 pm »
Day 20

In the morning I went to the restaurant for breakfast, where I interrogated a ranger about the conditions in the Naye Naye concession area.
For a long time I wanted to explore the area as it is properly off the beaten tourist track and I've heard/red few tall stories about abundance of the wildlife there. A year ago Clinton from Kwa Nokeng Lodge/Adventures told me story about lions pushing over his GS in the campsite there. It is one of the very few areas in Southern Africa where you can ride bike freely in the big 5 territory. Why people riding between Bots and northern Nam invariably choose instead the mind numbingly boring long detour up to Rundu is beyond me - except maybe to experience that practical joke called Popa Falls.

The ranger said that sandy tracks in the concession are easy this time of the year. I've heard that before from the locals (nof whom of course were even on a bike) in the Kalahari and Kaokoland (none of whom were ever on a bike), and assumed that it translates into brutal unforgiving sand made somewhat rideable by recent rains. He wasn't very clear about the game situation - he said I may or may not encounter my nemesis, the elephants and lions are there somewhere. The roundabout trip would be about 120 km through the concession - and that meant staying one more day in Tsumkwe.

I pondered my situation over the breakfast - specifically how my clutch is going to handle emergency elephant turn and how much of it is still left to get me to Joburg, and decided to give the concession a miss this time and head off to Maun. I still had to do about 200 km of potentially tough sand before hitting tar in Botswana, and I still wanted to cross Makgadikgadi - so I wanted to conserve the clutch as much as possible. And I was out of time - if everything would go perfectly to the plan I should make it to Joburg exactly the last day of my vacation. So Naye Naye will need to wait for next trip that was already crystallising in my mind - a trip combined with exploration of the cutlines to the north of the Okavango delta, which I missed last year.
 
Route for the day:


The Tsumkwe Country lodge with its own baobab alleyway- worth a visit if you are after a bit of comfort in the area:











It is about 70 km from Tsumkwe to the border in Dube - most of it along the northern perimeter of the Naye Naye concession. The single car width/double track runs trough the typical African scrub bush - the one where you fully expect to run into an elephant or giraffe. I didn't see anything and made it soon to the border. Following the sun east:


You got to love Africa - you cannot ride 100 kmh on main roads, let alone on a dirt road in the health & safety sick Europe! Actually, to uphold those humanistic standards, they will probably shoot you at will there if they spot you off tar.


Namibian immigration and customs in Dube, with nobody in attendance:




Just as I was about to make run for the Bots border, the officers showed up, and we went through the procedures unhurriedly. I hate border crossings, but if they have to be there - this is the way to go!


A bushman health and safety officer opened the border gate for me, sprayed my bike with that foot and mouth disease preventing concoction and send me on my way with smile and two thumbs up (a European health and safety officer would probably shoot me just for my Leo Vince pipes):








20 meters up the road I got welcomed with a thumb up from lady manning the Botswanian gate:


This is the Botswanian immigration and customs office in Dube - man I almost started liking border crossings here:


The gentleman on the right I think was the immigration dude, while the lady a customs office. Or the other way around...


Would they fit in?


And the Robocop?


The procedures went without glitch (I think I didn't even need to fill the immigration form) and in no time I was on the way:


Except, when I asked them how is the road, they said that it's easy this time of the year. So heavy wet sand ahead:










About 10 km form the border I came up on a small village - Dube I assume - where the track from the border joined the bigger better maintained road. Still lots of sand to catch me out, but much easier than the border bit:








After few km on the main road I came upon another village - as far as I remember the last one for the next 100 or so km, except for few small settlements here and there. The vegetation along the road was surprisingly dense lush green forest, I would not have expected in what is effectively a desert:
















The surrounds were alternating between dense bush - almost forest and more open areas with sparse bush. Again everything was hinting at abundant wildlife, but unfortunately I didn't spot any:


















The only game I encountered was this unlucky fellow wilddog:






An onwards east:








I took a breather about km or two before hitting the tar:





Once I hit the tar I settled to about 120 kmh and fell asleep. After about 100 km I made it to the T junction with A3 connecting Maun and Ghanzi and Namibian border in Buitepos and turned to Maun 100 km east. It was hot and I was ready for another break before the final push. The only shade available were trees about 50 m from the road. Sleepy form the boring hot tar ride I didn't think it through and idiotically headed to the first one realising only too late that it is in little depression in deep Kalahari sand. I spotted my mistake before I stopped and gunned the engine up the sandy bank, but had to use generous clutch to keep moving and could almost physically feel the remaining clutch coating disappearing. And sure enough when I made it back to tar, the clutch was slipping badly.

It was hot and the closest I could expect any real help was Maun so I just pushed on feathering the throttle and riding only up to a speed at which the clutch started to slip. Which initially was about 100 kmh, but was going down progressively and I was praying to make it to Maun. Which I did, but by the time I was there I could barely ride 50 kmh, before the clutch started slipping.

Well, at least I made it to the home outside of home - Maun and my favourite joint there, the Audi campsite. So I had plenty of good food, cold drinks and internet - and worst come worst an international airport, at my disposal to figure out solution next day.

Offline lj111

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  • Bike: Husqvarna (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
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Re: Christmas Safari - 2014 Edition (Bots & Nam)
« Reply #199 on: April 04, 2015, 03:27:35 pm »
 :hello2: :hello2: :headbang:
Some people feel the rain and others just get wet...