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Author Topic: 3 Countries in 3 Days - 2000-and-something kay's on a DR650  (Read 4598 times)

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Offline Kerritz

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days - 2000-and-something kay's on a DR650
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2015, 03:03:59 pm »


Leg 1 - Sunningdale to Vioolsdrift   663km   05:00 - 16:00
            

Leg 2 - Vioolsdrift to Windhoek   800km   07:00 - 17:00
      
               
Leg 3 - Windhoek to Maun   809km   07:00 - 18:30
               


Holy crap....met 'n single en so gelaai....amper se ek jy het groot knaters.... :pot:
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 03:26:52 pm by Carrots »
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Offline Sardine

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days - 2000-and-something kay's on a DR650
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2015, 03:07:26 pm »
Day 1 – Friday 20th February 2015
Blouberg to Vioolsdrift – 663km

We were up at 05:00, with the hopes of leaving by 06:00. We would have made it, but typical woman that I am, I ended up repacking half of my stuff. We still got going by 06:00 though :)

It was an awesome start, watching the sunrise from the N7. I took the lead and set the pace (or tried to at least. I think I eventually managed to keep it at a fairly constant 115-120km/h).


^Somewhere near the N7

As we approached Malmesbury, the temperature plummeted, and I was cursing my airflow jacket and summer gloves. But as soon as the sun appeared over the mountains, it warmed up considerably and I felt refreshed.



With fuel topped up and tyre pressures checked, we continued. We had breakfast in Clanwilliam, when we eventually got there; directionally-challenged human bean that I am, I saw the turn off we had to take, and proceed to continue straight past it. Missed turn-off #2.

We stuck to the N7, stopping at almost every petrol station so I could fill up.
The DR was doing well, and I was settling in quite nicely, apart from the two 5l containers; I couldn’t figure out where to put them. If they were behind my legs, I couldn’t ride with the balls of my feet on the pegs. If I draped them over the tank, they got in the way of my knees and the handlebars. Eventually I draped them over my lap; it was more comfortable to ride like that, but a mission when topping up with fuel.

Dodgygloss almost had an off leaving Bitterfontein; he didn't see the loose gravel and gunned it a little bit too much  :patch:



Luckily the scenery was breathtaking, and soaked it all up (I’d never been that far north on the N7).



We arrived in Springbok around 14:00 and pulled in at Wimpy for lunch. I was expecting a much bigger town. Oh well. On that particular stretch we did about 170km non-stop. Bad idea. The last 50km was agony, and I could feel my concentration starting to slip. I vowed then that I wouldn’t do more than 120km without a break for the rest of my trip.


^Lunch in Springbok

Fuelled and rested, we mounted our trusty steeds once again, and set off, destination: Vioolsdrift Border Post!

The landscape was remarkable, especially as we approached the border; beautiful winding roads in canyons had me wishing my bike was light so I could really enjoy the twisties. The only downside was the temperature, which had shot up considerably!

We arrived at the border at about 16:00. We had made good time! Clearing the South African side was quick and easy, and we met up with a German(or Polish, I can’t remember) fellow on a GS (Conrad), who had, funnily enough, ridden up from Somerset West. We chatted and invited him to stay with us in Namibia.


^Left to right: Dodgygloss' XT, my DR, and Conrad's (friend's) BMW

We were sweating like pigs, and dying for some food and a cold drink, but unfortunately clearing the Namibian side of the border (Noordoewer) took painfully long (it must have been close to an hour, which is probably considered short by African standards).

But eventually we were through!


^Dodgygloss


^Yours truly

Our accommodation for the night was Amanzi River Camp, which was a couple of k’s away, and situated on the Orange River. Dodgygloss took the lead (and missed the turn-off :D ).
The road there was mostly tar, with massive whoops; loads of fun. And the last few k’s were decent gravel (‘Don’t fall, Heather. Don’t fall, Heather. Don’t fall, Heather.)

Dodgygloss suggested this place, and I’m glad he did; it was beautiful! We set up camp, and were soon joined by Conrad (who bought us drinks – instantly put him in our good books ;) ). I stuck my toes in the Orange River for the first time in my life, and we were treated to a warm Namibian Welcome; a double rainbow, and a bit of rain.







^Setting up camp


^From the river v












We braai’d and talked biking and rubbish. The wind had picked up considerably and was threatening to blow my tent away. I can’t complain though; Conrad didn’t even have a tent. We retired around 22:00, and I settled in, using my jacket as a blanket as I didn’t want to have to spend time rolling up my sleeping bag in the morning. Bad idea.

The temperature plummeted around midnight, and that combined with the howling wind meant I kept waking up every few minutes. I decided that getting decent (warm) sleep was worth waking up 5 minutes earlier to roll up a sleeping bag, than lying there shivering my (very smelly) socks off.

I eventually got a few hours of sleep, and was up at 04:00.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2015, 11:30:46 am by Sardine »
 

Offline Sardine

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days - 2000-and-something kay's on a DR650
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2015, 03:19:53 pm »
Day 2 – Saturday, 21st February 2015
Vioolsdrift to Windhoek, 805km

I tried my best to pack up my camp as quietly as possible, so as not to wait Dodgygloss who was snoring away nearby. As Murphy would have it, the wind died down completely shortly after I started packing up. I got some water on the boil for coffee (than goodness Dodgygloss had packed a little gas burner!) and set about getting ready.



I had had a brilliant idea for my fuel containers either the night before, or sometime early that morning while tying my tent down for the umpteenth time. Instead of securing them so they ran parallel to the bike, I would turn them 90 degrees. That way there would be a lot of space for my boots. Genius!

I was ready to go at about 05:50, but it was still dark, so I waited a while. Dodgygloss woke up and wished me well, we had a last photo, and I was off by 06:15.
The ride was off to a good start; I was now comfortable and settled in within the first few k’s. And I was treated to an amazing sunrise.









I had to get used to not having someone riding just behind me, and I was hit with the realisation of how big the world is. Here I was, on a motorbike, alone, on a beautifully open road, in Namibia. How cool is that?!?!







I passed some cyclists within the first hour or so, I passed a few cyclists. Respect to those people! I don’t know where you were coming from, or where you were going, but you didn’t have much on you!

I was also found cursing my summer gear once again, as the temperature dropped. But I kept telling myself to enjoy the cold, as I would be sweating and wishing for a cool breeze in a few hours’ time.


^Aaaaallll alone...







After about my second quick stop, I found my concentration slipping. Which is scary when driving a car, and completely freaked me out on the bike. But Keetmanshoop wasn’t too far away, and I managed to keep myself focused long enough to pull into the Wimpy there at about 10:00.

I had a huge cup of coffee, and lekker brekkie, and then just sat and relaxed for about 15 minutes. It’s amazing how you can recharge like that!
And then it was back on the bike, next stop, Tses!


^Excuse the nasty earplugs. But look, 50 000km old!!!


^Mirage in the distance


^VERY hot out there. Stopping for some Powerade


^Nothing-ness

About 80km away, I entertained myself by singing. Unfortunately I only know all the lyrics to about 5 songs, so it was a bit like a CD stuck on repeat. But it kept me busy. So much so that, you guessed it, I missed the turn-off for Tses. Well, it was a combination of my singing, and me thinking ‘Surely that dirt road isn’t the turn off...’.

But I turned back, and the road seemed to lead towards the buildings, so I took it. I really got into it and was just thinking that I should switch the GoPro on. Well, I went to Tses in search of fuel, and found sand instead. Thick sand. In a tight turn. While I was travelling at a reasonable speed. I had never really ridden sand before. And before I knew it, the bike was all over the show. I managed to keep it upright initially, but then the sand won, and I was flung off.

Great. This is the very thing I was worried about! I got up and hit the kill switch, and turned the ignition and spot-lights off; the last thing I needed on top of this was a dead battery. I took off my helmet and gloves in an attempt to stay cool.

And I tried to pick up the bike. The last time I dropped a bike while alone, I cracked a rib and also faceplanted while trying to pick it up. I didn’t want a repeat of that. While figuring out the best way to lift it, I saw two kids walking nearby, a girl and boy, probably about 7 years old.

I shouted for them to come over. “Hey guys, how are you doing? I need some help please! Are you feeling strong? Ok, I need you to push over there,” I indicated near the topbox. They grabbed onto whatever they could find, and I grabbed onto the handlebars. “Okay, one-two-three-PUSH!”. We lifted it up enough for me to able to get my right hip under the seat and use most of my body weight to get the bike upright. But I swear, these kids did most of the work.

I was so grateful, and I kept thanking them. They were really cool about it. I walked the bike to firmer ground, almost dropping it a few times in the process. The kids were babbling away, and flanked me, ready to help catch the bike. They were probably saying “Look at this idiot; can’t even push a motorbike!”

I was knackered. They gave me directions to the petrol station, and I cautiously set off. Only to find a perfectly good tar road. I hadn’t missed the turn-off for Tses! If I had carried on another 200m, I would have found the tar road. Idiot!

I filled the bike with fuel, and took the time in the shade to rehydrate. A local pulled in and we got chatting. He was impressed by the bike, and insisted on helping me tape up a spotlight which was starting to rattle loose. Turns out he was from Oranjemund, but had moved to Tses to retire and farm livestock. Cool oke.

Once I had suited up, he asked me to rev the bike, which I duly did. I tried to look cool, revving it like crazy, only to almost stall and fall over as I pulled out of the petrol station (it was on gravel, okay...).

The scenery continued to impress, and the temperature continued to soar. I crossed the Tropic of Capricorn just before 16:00, and stopped for selfie.


^Here you can see the fuel container clearly




I reached Windhoek around 17:00 and was blown away (no really, there was rain and the wind was blowing).
But...
There were mountains. And twisties. And a proper town lay before me. I was expecting something a lot more like Maun. This was awesome! Why didn’t I move here?! They even have go-karting and laser-tag!


^Seeing Windhoek for the first time


I eventually found my accommodation (I told you I’m directionally-challenged!); the Arrbusch Travel Lodge, recommended by Yami Super 10.



I got to my room, chained my bike to a pole, took the valuable stuff off, fought with the lock on the door, dumped everything in the room, and took a shower for the first time since Thursday morning. Just what my aching body needed after 800km’s on the road!

I watched TV, and then headed to the restaurant. I ordered some ribs (really good ribs), and a beer, just so that I could say I drank a Windhoek in Windhoek. I was hoping they would have some exotic Namibian beer, but alas, there was only Windhoek and Tafel.



I went to sleep early, and the last thing I remember was my head hitting the pillow.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2015, 11:32:25 am by Sardine »
 

Offline Sardine

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days - 2000-and-something kay's on a DR650
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2015, 03:26:34 pm »
Day 3 – Sunday 22nd February 2015
Windhoek to Maun, 810km

My alarm clock sounded at 05:00 and I shot out of bed. Which is unusual for me; I like hitting snooze. I got some coffee on the go while I packed up my stuff, and was, once again, ready while it was still dark. So I waited, and set off just after 06:30.


^Check that sunrise!!!

I managed to find the B6 without getting lost (amazing!), but didn’t come across any petrol stations. ‘Oh well, I’m sure there will be one at the airport’ which was about 50km out of town (though one sign said 50km, and then about 2km later another said 40km).

That was a mistake. One I had made before, in Durban. I was low and petrol and approaching the airport, so I decided to pull in there to top up. I drove around and around, and, no petrol station. By now my fuel was well in the red. And then I went the wrong way when leaving the airport. Long story short, I managed to find a petrol station before running out of fuel.

So, you think I would have learnt from that experience. Nope. I got to the airport, and drove around and around, and, no petrol station. Great. I could do about another 60km, and the next fuel station was 140km away. But, I did have 6l spare in the containers.


^Beautiful road

So I pushed on, and ran out of fuel once the odo hit 195km. I topped up from the containers, took some photos, and carried on.
Luckily there was a town (Witvlei) before my planned fuel stop (Gobabis), and I pulled in there to fill the bike’s tank and the containers.

I wouldn’t be stopping anywhere for breakfast or lunch, so when I filled up in Gobabis, I took a little longer than usual, checking tyre pressures and munching on a cereal bar. After about a 30 minute rest, I set off again; next stop, the Border!

I was in high spirits. Not even the storm ahead of me could dampen them. Though it did dampen my clothes; my bright green poncho torn and streaming behind me like a cape. I thought of stopping to take it off, but figured ‘Screw it, I’ll leave it; I might just give the other motorists a laugh!’.


^Storm ahead. Luckily it was moving south quite rapidly

I reached the border just after 11:00. Clearing the Namibian side was quick and easy. I stopped at the check-point and no one was there. After waiting a minute, I continued and stopped at the next building. Where I was asked to complete a declaration of Ebola-free-ness. And when I went to hand it in, was told I was in the wrong place; that was to enter Namibia. The lady said “No, you don’t need to come here. Your passport has already been stamped. Now go to Botswana!”. Oops.





So I went to another checkpoint and the cop and I got chatting while he checked my passport. He asked about my fuel range and I said it was only about 200km, so I was a bit worried. And he said “Ja, you will need to fill up in Gobabis, and then Windhoek”. Hang on... That wasn’t right.
“Sorry sir, but I think I’m in the wrong place. I want to go to Botswana.”
“Eish! Then you musn’t be here. You must do a U-turn! This is to go back into Namibia!”


^If you see this sign, you're heading back to Namibia!

...

If we hadn’t got chatting, I would have ridden straight back into Namibia. Laughing, I thanked him profusely, turned around, and found the road to Botswana. Eish!
Clearing here was painless. Once through, I took another food break. Not long now and I would be home. I was getting excited!



Not much happened. The road was brilliant; few potholes and only a couple of animals, which scattered at the mighty roar of the DR. Now, if you ever want to see a cow get a skrik and run, ride a DR past it. It was hilarious! The donkey’s however, didn’t care.


^Goat, anyone?
A normal sight in Botswana

I stopped in Ghanzi for fuel, and enjoyed a lunch of Energade, a chocolate and a Cornetto (first one in years!).



This would be my last fuel stop, unless there was a petrol station in Lake Ngami. 300km to go!

It was really cool riding through the little villages; the kids would run to the road and wave, and even the adults would look up from what they were doing and give a thumbs up or wave. I felt famous!


^So green! V


If there is a petrol station at Lake Ngami, I didn’t find it. But then, I didn’t look for it either. I decided it was a good time to see how far my bike can go until the tank runs dry. 235km.




^Near Lake Ngami V


I stopped one more time to top up from the containers, and savoured the last 70km or so to Maun. There were hills, and even a little valley, with green trees and grass and shrubs lining the road. Beautiful!



I pulled into Maun just before 18:00, and immediately had to adjust to Africa-time, where everyone drives at 40km/h.

My journey was over. I pulled into the driveway, parked me steed, took a deep breath and smiled. I had done it. I had travelled through 3 countries, in 3 days, 2/3rd’s of which was solo.


^Home sweet home!

Living the dream!
« Last Edit: March 08, 2015, 11:33:38 am by Sardine »
 

Offline bud500

Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days - 2000-and-something kay's on a DR650
« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2015, 03:42:46 pm »
Very well done!!

Only realised I was reading a girl's ride 1/3rd into the report.

Respect!
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Offline Bens

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days - 2000-and-something kay's on a DR650
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2015, 03:47:14 pm »
Kudo's to you.

So glad I went the KLR route when I saw your fuel range, but the DR is good looking.
 

Offline StuartC

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days - 2000-and-something kay's on a DR650
« Reply #26 on: February 25, 2015, 04:00:09 pm »
Lady,,,, you are a fucking legend nuff said !!
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Online subie

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days - 2000-and-something kay's on a DR650
« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2015, 04:03:48 pm »
Huge respect Sardine  :thumleft:
You lazy @#$%  Imagine freezing in your jacket so as not to have to repack the sleeping bag again.  :imaposer:
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Offline Kykdaar

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days - 2000-and-something kay's on a DR650
« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2015, 04:04:15 pm »
Very well done - an epic ride and a great ride report :thumleft:
 

Offline Sardine

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days - 2000-and-something kay's on a DR650
« Reply #29 on: February 25, 2015, 04:09:25 pm »
Thanks, all.

Subie, I was knackered! And it wasn't cold initially  :peepwall:

A video will be up at some stage.

And Dodgygloss will add his side of the story soon.

Offline Dux

Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days - 2000-and-something kay's on a DR650
« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2015, 04:21:47 pm »
 :thumleft: :thumleft:
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Offline Offshore

Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days - 2000-and-something kay's on a DR650
« Reply #31 on: February 25, 2015, 04:22:47 pm »
Well done Girl :thumleft:
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Offline Kerritz

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days - 2000-and-something kay's on a DR650
« Reply #32 on: February 25, 2015, 04:48:32 pm »
Excellent and huge respect
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Offline Dodgyloss

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days - 2000-and-something kay's on a DR650
« Reply #33 on: February 25, 2015, 05:03:28 pm »
Thanks for giving me an excuse to do a ride I've been eyeing out for quite a while! I only wish I could have done the whole trip. Perhaps in a few months.

The ride home was great for me - I was practically alone for the whole of the Northern Cape, I may as well have been on Mars.

Made it back in slightly less than 8 hours, which was surprising given huge delays in Citrusdal. I reckon it's a 6.5 - 7 hour trip if you get it just right.

The last 50km felt more tiring than the rest put together... As soon as I saw the mountain, I went into "I need a shower and a nap" mode.

So... Cape to Cairo next year?   ;)

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Offline Dodgyloss

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days - 2000-and-something kay's on a DR650
« Reply #34 on: February 25, 2015, 05:04:58 pm »
PS. Beer to whichever dog sticks a paw print on that Tropic of Capricorn sign.
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Offline westfrogger

Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days - 2000-and-something kay's on a DR650
« Reply #35 on: February 25, 2015, 05:07:01 pm »
Excellent stuff.  :thumleft:
 

Offline King Louis

Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days - 2000-and-something kay's on a DR650
« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2015, 05:33:49 pm »
Well done Sardine, good stuff and thanks for sharing! :thumleft:
 

Offline Sardine

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days - 2000-and-something kay's on a DR650
« Reply #37 on: February 26, 2015, 07:55:51 am »
PS. Beer to whichever dog sticks a paw print on that Tropic of Capricorn sign.

Challenge accepted!

Offline Ian in Great Brak River

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Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days - 2000-and-something kay's on a DR650
« Reply #38 on: February 26, 2015, 08:22:09 am »
Well done Sardine, good stuff and thanks for sharing! :thumleft:

Well done indeed.

 :thumleft:
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Offline Mev Vis Arend

Re: 3 Countries in 3 Days - 2000-and-something kay's on a DR650
« Reply #39 on: February 26, 2015, 09:07:44 am »
Honda XR250 - Given to daughter.  BMW 1200 GSA met Karretjie  -  Suzuki 125 Scoota with a KTM topbox - sold.  Honda CRF 250 L