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Author Topic: Zingela via Darkest Africa  (Read 685 times)

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Offline SwampDonkey

Zingela via Darkest Africa
« on: August 10, 2015, 09:44:32 pm »
My mate Jimmie, let me know of a ride that was due today, which was heading out to Muden via the Karkloof valley, then on to Zingela for lunch via Darkest Africa 4x4 trail. It has been a fantastic days ride, but I am now tired and my brain isnt as sharp as is was a few hours ago, so forgive me if a I cant remeber everyones names.

So this morning at some unholy hour the alarm goes off and after a quick breaky and tea I headed out to the Merrivale garage for the rendezvous at 7:00am.

My mates 650R which I have just recently finished a rebuild on. Now just for a decent days test ride

The 7:00am meeting... more like a KTM convention. I turned out to be the only honda rider. I am sure they were all envious :pot: :peepwall:

After a quick coffee to help thaw us out a bit, we headed out to the Karkloof via the tar road, and past Mbona onto the D221 district road.

It was so bloody cold i couldnt stop shaking and my hands were so cold I was battling to grip the handlebars properly.

We hooked a right along the way, and headed out along a great little track to a small mud hole. On the way there, the group somehow got separated and some of us ended up riding up a rocky track a shortways in the wrong direction. After a quick turnaround and a regroup we headed back towards the mudhole. it was here that we had the first off of the day. Fred crossed through the mud with no hassles, came to a stop on the other side and promply dropped his bike at a standstill :lol8: One of the chaps had a puncture, so we all milled about offering a combination of tips and encouragement and cheerful abuse to help pass the time.

At the mudhole.

The group got itself separated again after the mud hole, same bike...same puncture... So we waited under a tree, talked crap... the usual!

We eventually regrouped again and headed out to Muden for our first refuel.  With full tanks and a bit of a breather, we headed out to Darkest Africa 4x4 trail. It was my first time riding this area. All I can say is that this place is brilliant! completely off the beaten track, a heap of twists and turns to help you get lost in a hurry. Plenty of rocky decents and rocky track to pick your way along. Blake mentioned that a chap ended up getting seperated from his mates during an Alfie Cox weekend and he endedup spending the night out in the bush on his lonesome. So be warned, as great as this place is to ride, you can get lost pretty quick and end up riding in circles all night.

It is here that I must mention that I spent a great deal of time yesterday getting my gear ready and the helmet cam dusted off to get some footage to show the wife and kid back home. there were so many parts of Darkest Africa that I wish I had taken pics of, or managed to get on film, but for some unknown reason, the bloody thing stopped working from when we fisrt got to the mud hole earlier in the day. So all those great, yet hectic rocky decents remain undocumented.  :lamer: And I was too busy riding to take any photos :-\. So for those of you who were along for the day and managed to take any pics, please post them here.

Sadly, Darkest Africa came to an end and we turned back onto the district road and aimed for Zingela. By the time we got there it was after 1:00pm, I think the original plan was to get there by 11:30am. Funny how quickly a plan comes apart when you least expect it to. :eek7:

Lunch at Zingela was awesome. Thanks to Mark Calverly for your hospitality. I was fairly beat by the end of lunch and all i wanted was a hot cuppa coffee and a snooze, so I didnt even think to take any snaps while at the lodge :-\ . But take my word for it, its a beautiful spot and the atmosphere is very relaxed.
After luch we said our goodbyes and thank yous. One or two chaps stayed at the lodge and the rest of us left in dribs and drabs, heading back to maritzburg. The ride back out to the main road from Zingela was uneventful, as was the ride all the way along the D55 to the mooi river/greytown road. Just dusty as all hell.

THis has been the first long day ride on this 650 after its rebuild. I have been thinking of buying this from my mate Jimme, but have been hesitant because I love my XTZ too much. Though I have to say that after today's ride in the terrain that we rode in, this is most certainly the bike for me. It handles the rocky terrain like a dream. It is such a confidence inspiring bike to ride that I almost feel like I can ride a bike quite well(still a noob hack though :ricky:)

Blake and Jimmie heading home

By the time we got back to the greytown road it was freezing cold again and all I could think of was to get home asap to a warm house and hot tea. Jimmie and I waited a few minutes for Fred to catch up. By the time he arrived he was also frozen stif and was keen to get home and out the weather. We rode the 12kms towards Greytown and turned off the D622 and headed through the back of the Karkloof Valley via the Lebanon. A decent into a beautiful valley at the end of a long day, certainly makes it worth chattering your teeth a bit. Jimmie and I had a quick burn up the old Kyber pass while Fred took the easy route around. Jimmie and I caught up o Fred again at the bottom of the pass again, and we legged it the rest of the way to the Curries Post road. We said our farewells here, and while they slabbed it back to the big smoke, I rode out to the shafton road and back through the sappi forrest tracks, which eventually winds its way to within a km or two from my front door.

Arrived safe and sound, but am completey knackered. I cant remeber the last time I had a bit of a technical ride, let alone a days worth. But I tell you, as I sit here typing away and my eyes keep sliding shut, I still have a big grin on my face!!

So thank you all for an epic day out. A big thank you to Blake for organizing the ride. Its been a blast!

Most motorcycle problems are caused by the nut that connects the handlebars to the saddle.


Offline JonW

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Re: Zingela via Darkest Africa
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2015, 10:11:47 pm »
Hey Charlie, enjoyable route that

Glad to see you keeping the Honda flag flying  :thumleft: :ricky:
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Offline BIGMAC

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Re: Zingela via Darkest Africa
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2015, 09:20:46 am »
Great day with 3 punctures and some great laughs. Thanks to all who came. :laughing4: