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Offline plaasjaap

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NAMIBIA! I'm a believer! (Report completed!)
« on: May 07, 2008, 03:44:41 pm »
You know how everybody was telling forever how Nam is the place to go with two wheels!? That it's D/S biking heaven and that this is probably the best way to visit it!?
Well, I AM A BELIEVER!
Taking advantage of the lekker many off days Uncle Thabo gave us within lastweek, three of us did what it seems ALL the WD's did- go on a great long trip! In fact, to us three it was our first long trip. Before we knew it here we three noobs we riding westwards with loaded bikes with five days to get to our destination- Windhoek.
After months of "paid" research at work, surfing this incredible forum I reckoned on the one hand that we were ready, but on the other I thought we must be joking...
1-Here we are: From right is williwil, Saaakie and myself.
2-GPS on 000km
3-Jikkels didn't like it when we turned into Wilddogs and left home for 10days
 
« Last Edit: May 09, 2008, 09:15:47 am by plaasjaap »
life is too short to be lukewarm!
 

Offline KiLRoy

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Re: NAMIBIA! I'm a believer!
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2008, 03:49:05 pm »
laat waai bro - kannie wag nie
 

Offline plaasjaap

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Re: NAMIBIA! I'm a believer!
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2008, 04:18:23 pm »
Day1:
Luckily on this day we just had to get to Kuruman all on tar cause it ended up as the day with the most "problems..."
After leaving home an hour late, we needed to stop at outdoor warehouse cause willewil needed a camping matress- after this his bike didn't want to start! so we push start him and i see visions of push starting this heavy Strom-machine in the desert every day ... So 10km out on the N14 we turn around and rush back to Suzuki ToyStore: "no the battery seems fine..." "o yes!" williwil remembers that he left his ignition on at OutdoorW...! Still his headlight was very faint and I was sure his battery was moeg. But now its starts fine and we try again, not so very confident as we were earlier this morning...

Stopping at a FUEL STATION in Vryburg we understand that Kuruman is nearer than we thought (120km odd) and immediately we reckon lets not fill up. SOMEWHERE a little voice reminds me of a write up on this very forum saying never pass a fuel station when on tour...
half way to Kuruman (actually +-140km) Saaakie comes past indicating that he is on reserve! his 08KLR seeming to be fairly heavy on fuel (which we knew!) Suddenly the sum of 17km/l x 22l = WE SHOULD HAVE FILLED UP IN VRYBURG!
So we start praying and praying for a pump and low and behold here is the KALAHARI WINKEL & Tavern with a "dompelpomp"type fuelpump. First we think bargain! fuel is very cheap (pump says R6.something) then we realise this thing is not working and hasnt been for a looong time.
The friendly tannie helps us eventually selling us her husband's container lawnmowerpetrol...4 litres and we make it to Kuruman! Saaakie nearly had to buy a flat in town from her for it!

(I can hear the senior WDs saying: How did these guys make the rest of the trip!?!)

Staying with friends in Kuruman I also went to bed wondering about these kinds of things...Tomorrow the Molopo track is waiting! Maybe we were out of our minds... Maybe we should stay on tar...Maybe we do need a backup vehicle...

1: Noble steeds at Vryburg, where we DIDn't fill up!
2: PLEASE sell us the "kannetjie" tannie!?
3: Lesson learnt: Fill up wherever you see or smell fuel...
4: Will this be our last "avondmaal?"
life is too short to be lukewarm!
 

Online IceCreamMan

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Re: NAMIBIA! I'm a believer!
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2008, 04:39:55 pm »
Plaasjaap , are you the oke i saw at menlyn shopping centre on Friday the 25th in the mornin? (i was the oke with the fully laden vstrom an we chatted in the parking lot)

If so howsit....
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Offline JourneyMan

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Re: NAMIBIA! I'm a believer!
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2008, 06:53:56 pm »
Come. Come.

I like to suffer. Bring the pics!
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Offline GIDEON

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Re: NAMIBIA! I'm a believer!
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2008, 08:52:27 pm »
Thats a very short trip  ::)


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Offline bmad

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Re: NAMIBIA! I'm a believer!
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2008, 08:18:14 am »
Come. Come.

I like to suffer. Bring the pics!

Like JM said.

I leave next week, i need stimulation  ;D ;D
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Offline plaasjaap

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Re: NAMIBIA! I'm a believer!
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2008, 08:56:11 am »
Day 2:
Kuruman to Andriesvale- Molopo Magic

A fairly early start from Kuruman saw us entering into the real Kalahari past Hotazel. Becoming more beautiful all the way. After 20kms of tar to VanZylsrus we hit our first dirt. Suddenly we realise now it has really begun! Some nice loose sandy and gravel patches keeps us awake and we get a feel for the heavier bikes. But the sky is an awesome blue and the dust is slowly taking away the shiny boring city life.
After VanZylsRus we take the good gravel road down to Middelputs borderpost. A friendly policeman shows as that we should go through the gate behind us to get into the riverbed. The rocky bit into the riverbed isn't too bad, we drop down and suddenly some soft deep sand makes my overloaded "Rooivalk" unknown to me. A humbling soft fallover is needed to make me realise exactly were I am. Under a camelthorn we take a breath. What a feeling to be here!
We leave the spot with thoughts of "lightening the ship"- what can I throw overboard to make this freightship more controllable!? williwil and Saaakie are doing fine and this was all my idea- especially the offroad bits...
Thankfully the track hardens up and it's plain sailing on our "own" 180km of tweespoor track! We comment on what we would've missed out if we had taken the corrugated "normal" dirt road.

It gets quite hot and we are dreaming of coming across some oasis when the next moment we meet Daniel and his dams. Water is pumped here from the Orange River for the Botswana's building a tar road on their side of the fence. In Botswana we take a lovely illegal swim in ice cold clear water.

The second half of the track becomes a bit bigger with more loose sand and gravel. We start to realise that the faster you do it the easier it gets... every now and then you skrik yourself humble again when out of nowhere you are totally given over to powers of another kind. I still cant figure out whether these are the good one's or the bad...

Arriving at the beautiful Molopo Lodge campsite the owner, Jean, immediately halves his (normally expensive...) price for camping probably seeing our tired and dirty state.
WHAT A DAY! we pitch our tents feeling good. No, even better than that!

1: heading north past Hotazel
2: the Kgalagadi welcomes us
3: This bakoorjakkels was stil allive, but many we found run over on the road (think they came to eat the millions of dead KORINGKRIEKE)
4: Dropping down into the Molopo riverbed
5: the tweespoor track heading to heaven
« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 10:47:57 am by plaasjaap »
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Offline plaasjaap

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Re: NAMIBIA! I'm a believer!
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2008, 09:08:40 am »
Plaasjaap , are you the oke i saw at menlyn shopping centre on Friday the 25th in the mornin? (i was the oke with the fully laden vstrom an we chatted in the parking lot)

If so howsit....

Hi ICM, sorry no, it wasn't me (as the song goes...), but we actually live very close to Menlyn.
We only left on Saturday the 26th.
PS- JM, THANKS for your routes & suggestions beforehand!
Saaakie- waars die fotos van Daniel se damduik? Ek kry dit nie nou nie..

So more photos of the day:
1: hou jou broek toe wil!
2: Tar near Molopo lodge
3: 1st night Bikes & tents- this is life!
life is too short to be lukewarm!
 

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Re: NAMIBIA! I'm a believer!
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2008, 09:15:01 am »
coincidence then , i met a chap on a 08 red klr at menlyn who was also doing a trip to namibia starting the saturday...

excellent report ...
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Offline popipants

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Re: NAMIBIA! I'm a believer!
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2008, 09:29:22 am »
Great stuff.
Please make your pics a little bigger.
And where is the rest ??
I've been on the Jameson diet for a week, so far I've lost 7 days....
 

Offline plaasjaap

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Re: NAMIBIA! I'm a believer!
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2008, 09:31:23 am »
coincidence then , i met a chap on a 08 red klr at menlyn who was also doing a trip to namibia starting the saturday...

excellent report ...

OK! It must've have been Frans! (Saaakie), sorry- I'm on the "old" red KLR. JA, I remember now him telling us about you! (klop-klop, iemand daar..!?)

Thx! Rest to follow soon (depending on the boss...)
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Offline plaasjaap

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Re: NAMIBIA! I'm a believer!
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2008, 10:12:06 am »
Day 3: Molopo to Koes, make that Aus! 480km

So at Molopo we meet a very friendly EX- D/S rider (not so friendly about that fact we realised, I am convinced he would've traded his wife, bakkie and dog with any of us at that point!) convincing us that we have enough time and we should head straight westwards to Aus and from there we can include the very scenic Namib and escarpment area. So we decide on this option vs one of our previous options to do the other DesertRun leg through the pan & dunes from Molopo to Rietfontein and then straight up to Windhoek.
Let us now not spoil our fairly good track record (letterlik) we thought. My heavily loaded bike and the bit of thick sand of the day before helped convince me I must say...
It was a good decision! At least we can now say we saw some of Nam's real sites.

The road is all recently completed tar to Rietfontein border. We nearly(!) blew it again not learning from Day 1 by not filling up at the lodge- rietfontein is only 85km... Get to Rietfontein and they have no fuel... Crossing the border is a breaze and Aroap luckily had good fuel supplies only 45k's away. Collect our R100 "road permit document thingy" and after 200km of beautiful Namibian dirt highway I reckon it is OK that they charge a toll for this.
Tar from Keetmanshoop brings us to a beer at the quint little Seeheim Hotel. After that the late afternoon fairly boring tar brings us suddenly to an awesome sunset as we start dropping down the escarpment into the rocky village of Aus.

Little Aus Vista is the place to camp, but Piet didn't have place for two small tents. In town, opposite the garage Steve shows us his designated camping area. We have it all to ourselves and! "daars 'n klein stukkie gras, julle kan maar julle tente daar opslaan" So we slept on the greenest, softest 3mx5m kukuyu grass patch that Namibia has to offer! As a result we called this camping spot " Piet-se-gat-se-plek".
Every nights accommodation was getting better...

1: Happy KLR on the way to the border
2: Our 1str border crossing
3: Sunset over Aus
4: The green-green grass of Aus.
life is too short to be lukewarm!
 

Offline willewil

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Re: NAMIBIA! I'm a believer!
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2008, 10:50:49 am »
Ja weereens PIET SE GAT... :P

Me with the strom was the scared one for that molopo road...I remembered a strom being loaded onto the bakkie during the desert run and the desert run documentation reading " the alternative molopo road is not for cars and heavier bikes..." (I think a strom falls in that catagory?).  Pleased to say that piece of road has maybe 2km of technical sand (needed to keep me humble where you can easily do 120 on the rest of the road).

It was AWESOME!

« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 11:14:10 am by willewil »
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Re: NAMIBIA! I'm a believer!
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2008, 11:00:25 am »
NOG NOG!!
 

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Re: NAMIBIA! I'm a believer!
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2008, 11:01:06 am »
GR8 STUFF
 

Offline plaasjaap

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Re: NAMIBIA! I'm a believer!
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2008, 12:24:09 pm »
Day 4: Aus to Sesriem

As we rode northwards out from Aus we realised at this point that this is the kind of terrain where all of those great pics are taken and posted so cheerfully on this forum and elsewhere-you know the one's with the bikes in the foreground and this straight dirtroad dissapearing into forever across the planes inbetween the rugged mountains. Those you look at in the office and sigh as you think- "ONE DAY" I will be there!
Our "ONE DAY" had arrived. The early morning sun was making the scenes more dramatic.
Our (borrowed) camera though did not want to charge and sadly we realised that capturing as much as possible of what we were experiencing will probably not take place... From here on most of our pics was taken with our phone cameras, so appologies if the quality isn't that great.

We rode to Helmeringhausen and had Corne's nice freshly baked "appeltert". I will let one of the others comment more on her, ag I mean his, tert...
From there a beautiful road winding through the mountain brought us to the fuelstation and shop called Betta. The Duwisib Castle was worth a photo before we were on top of the escarpment again. The D831 proved to be the dirtroad last on the list to be fixed with our toll fees. It was fun with some washed away "driwwe" and serious sandy spots. Sorry, no pics of this- hope you believe us...

Down the (Ts)Zarishoogte we were doing small streamcrossings as if we were somewhere in the Western Cape! The last strip of wide (fairly loose) gravel to Sesriem was somewhat spoiled by 4x4's everywhere.
Time made us decide against riding out to Sossusvlei (which we were allowed to go to on the bikes! now we HAVE to go back), but a quick visit to the Canyon ended up in our bath for the day. German ladies are mos used to everything- she didn't look too shocked for we did have "speedo's" on...

Just before sunset we left searching for somewhere to camp. On the Solitaire road suddenly we entered into a section of the Naukluft Park. Off the road in a small dry riverbed we pitched the tents. Yet again, the site exceeded what we had had previously. This was Namibia and this was our "ONE DAY"! Now I know why the Engelsman says: "The stars are shining down on you"- looking up that night made it clear.

Pics:
1 & 2: no comment needed...
3: Zaris stream crossing
4: Helmeringhausen coffee shop
« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 12:32:04 pm by plaasjaap »
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Offline plaasjaap

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Re: NAMIBIA! I'm a believer!
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2008, 12:39:54 pm »
Some more pics of the day:
1:
2:
3: the blurriness of this photo discribes it's eeriness... some sort of a "maanmannetjie-kontak-aerial-indimiddel-vandie-namib...!?!
4: Sesriem canyon renamed to drie-riem...
5: Sunset
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Offline plaasjaap

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Re: NAMIBIA! I'm a believer!
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2008, 01:46:45 pm »
Day 5: Naukluft/Solitaire to Windhoek (+-280km)

Leaving nothing else but footprints in the park, we left for Solitaire and from there took the route over Spreetshoogte Pass. This was awesome. At (Preuts-)Spreetshoogte Pass willewil did leave behind some of his gear (fell out of his bag) and Saaakie's KLR did it's breed proud by rattling of its plastic radiator cover. (we did do the pre-departure locktite drill! but not on those 2 bolts... :-[) Both of them got it all back however with the cover coming off 2m before we stopped for the pic below and some friendly (as they all are!) Namibians in a LandCruiser picking up willewil's gear behind us and stopping us to give it back.

Once on top of the plateau the last 120km's to Windhoek would've become very monotonous was it not for the entertainment provided by Skillie and Likkie.(see below)

We rode into WinDhoek like those lone rangers from the wildwest, our donkeys had turned into noble steeds (hear the Eddy Murphy accent...), rearing (figuratively...), well- at least with a little noise..(the KLR tweetying and the Vstrom shwuching away)! Like always on this trip we felt good and a bit better than that.

So we stayed 3 nights in Windhoek attending a Leadership Training Time of our church. Needles to say- al three of us nearly felt that we were "called" to this country! But later realising that for now the motives would be pretty suspect... We had a thouroughly good time- if interested in knowing more please PM any one of us, we would be happy to share.

We still have 2 days return ride through Bots which I will post soon.
Pics:
1: Spreetshoogte
2: Top of Spreets
3: Sesriem area
4: Skillie
5: Likkie



life is too short to be lukewarm!
 

Offline Ballies

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Re: NAMIBIA! I'm a believer!
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2008, 01:48:31 pm »
Baie nice. Defnitief op my "to do" lys  8)
I want a shark with a frikken laser beam