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Author Topic: Knopkop and tankgirl sliding through the Eastern Cape (Beware - Lots of Pics!)  (Read 13588 times)

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Offline BLK

fantastic pics,great story,beautiful countryside.

Thks for the RR

Blk
 

Offline EtienneXplore

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It was raining all through the night and when we left the next morning, it was COLD and WET…….. We were back into slipping and sliding our way up and down the slippery muddy dirt roads



About 10km into the slippery mud fest, I saw tankgirl stopped and looking at her rear wheel……….it was flat! We rode to the next petrol garage and pumped it and it seemed to be holding air, so we decided to ride from petrol garage to petrol garage and see if we cannot get it fixed in Umtata. She did mention that riding slippery mud in the pouring rain was much easier with a flat rear tyre than a pumped one!


After running around Umtata for a while dodging crazy drivers (felt exactly like I was back in Lusaka traffic), we eventually found Transkei Yamaha, and they sorted us out with a new tube……It turns out that tankgirl also managed to pinch the tube!


After the tube was sorted we left in the rain and headed for Himeville in the hope that KZN and Lesotho will be a bit drier so that we can blast up Sani Pass and through Lesotho on the way back to Pretoria. The original plan was to head up Ongeluks Nek and then through Lesotho via Semonkong, but with all the rain in the Eastern Cape, we knew that Ongeluks Nek was a no go this time!
We arrived at the Himeville Arms, wet and cold and again opted for a room in the backpackers, the difference in price between camping in the rain and a soft, dry, warm bed is so little that these choices becomes easy to make!


We woke the next morning hoping for a dry day to head up Sani and through Lesotho, but as we opened the door, it was very wet outside with a thin misty rain soaking everything through and through. We decided to head to Nottingham Road for breakfast via the Lotheni dirt road, I absolutely love this road! When I bought my very first Dual Sport bike and did my very first ride on dirt, I rode this road and then we rode up and down Sani Pass and that was my first proper ride on dirt, and you always remember your first one!







Everything in Nottingham Road was closed, so we decided to head to Mooi Rivier for breakfast, and then I suggested that we go and try to ride up Bezuidenhoudts Pass on the way back to Pretoria. I have been up and down Bezuidenhoudts a number of times as I grew up in Harrismith and I know that pass can be a nasty piece of work. Some Aussie friends of mine, Mick and Tan, with whom I spent some time with in Lusaka did Bezuidenhoudts when it was in pretty bad shape (Check out their RTW blog here - www.earths-ends.com ) I knew that the pass had been scraped and made into a perfectly good and easy dirt road for the BMW GS Challenge or whatever they call it these days, which was held close to Bergville a few months earlier…..Another Aussie friend of mine, Pat Davey (go and check out his London to Cape Town ride through West Africa here – www.facebook.com/drcanafricanadventure/  ) went down Bezuidenhoudts about a month earlier and he just laughed it off as a complete non-event now that it has been fixed up. But that is all good and well when the pass is dry….. We arrived in the rain, it was wet, muddy, slippery and after 100m, this is what a TKC front and a D908 rear looks like….



We decided to turn around and headed up Middledale Pass (Tintwa Pass) that leads up the escarpment from Geluksburg.



A fill up and Red Bull in Harrismith, and slabbed it home to Pretoria, arriving, yes you guessed it, in the rain……


I want to really thank tankgirl for being such awesome company on this trip, I could not have asked for a better riding partner. I cannot wait for the next adventure!!

And that is about it!

Thanks for reading!!

tankgirl will post the video soon, and I will attach a GPS File with our route tomorrow  ;) ;)

Cheers!

Offline adv

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Nou is ek lus vir ry en V*kken honger.
 

Offline tankgirl

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Thanks for letting me crash your would-be solo trip amigo, you’re welcome on any of mine  :P
 
 
Some random thoughts and highlights for me:
There was that time when I was slowly losing my sense of humour on Baster Voetpad and then finding it again with weird and wonderful drinking buddies in Cofimvaba…
Riding mud always makes me feel hysterically vulnerable, and so I resort to just laughing my way through it.
But when your clutch-hand can’t pull another save and you engage the splits against your bike that weighs twice as much as you, the comedy of it all dissolves into sarcasm…
Meeting Chris and Thabo over a quart of Black Label restored all our faith in riding ridiculous roads again.
I don’t know if it’s the security of my armoured jacket and knee guards that gives me the confidence to chat up total strangers or what, because in real life I'm the polar opposite of a people-person but somehow out there on the bike (and off the bike) I actually enjoy meeting folks. Perhaps it’s because I know I’ll probably never see them again. I dunno.
 
Baviaanskloof! Amped but nervous for the infamous Smitskraal. It wasn’t as deep as I’d feared, it was longer though! After a number of concrete water crossings it was certainly refreshing! And I knew there and then that dry boots were just a vague and distant memory.
 
It’s not often you meet someone you admire who’s exactly how you imagined. After one short hour it felt like we'd gone halfway around the world together. Such a wealth of knowledge and adventure all wrapped up in one lekker down-to-earth dude. Michnus, I look forward to buying you and Elsabé a beer when I bump into you somewhere up in Africa someday!
 
Dare I say I rather enjoyed getting to fix (most of) my own puncture. It’s not something I get to do very often but it felt good knowing if shit went down that I’d be okay. Mine was only a little pinch... not a big one like KnopKop's.
 
We felt bad to outwardly complain about the rain since it’s what everyone had prayed for, but when the weather ruined that stunning day we had planned through the Transkei, it was unanimous, we were happy to revisit the steaming, endless showers at Himeville Arms Hotel where, incidentally, my alter-diva “Chikita” was born :P
  

Here is a compilation of our video footage – enjoy...
<a href="https://youtube.com/v/KmoYmMb0TSQ" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://youtube.com/v/KmoYmMb0TSQ</a>


To the ends of the earth! :)
« Last Edit: February 04, 2016, 08:26:27 am by tankgirl »
 

Offline cloudgazer

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wow  - very cool trip.
makes me wanna ride.

And damn that tenere is really starting to grow on me.

Nice pics too. thanks for sharing.
 

Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Na hierdie RR post ek nie weer n foto op Wilddogs!! :eek7:
Jis jy mag maar foto's neem!!
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Offline Lem

Ek het hierdie roete nou baie geniet om te lees :thumleft:

die fotos is puik!
Faith is not knowing what the future holds, it's knowing who holds the future
 

Offline Nigel X

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Awesome pictures.

Way better than my cellphone picture of the snow at the same Katberg junction
looking the other direction.
Quench my thirst with gasoline.
So Gimme Fuel,
Gimme Fire,
Gimme that which I desire
 

Online Bundu

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BLUXUM! for an oke that drinks a too sweet rum, you take AMAZING photos!  ;) :thumleft:
 

Offline Stichhom

Awesome RR and stunning pictures. Thank you for sharing. Just an observation - you do`nt need a 1 000cc plus size bike to have the best fun in the world!
Keep a cool head - life is precious!
 

Offline DIRT SKUNK

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Hi there Eugene
Great RR, great photos :thumleft: a trip like this is on my todo list but for the fact I'm a biker with a work problem ::)
Great meeting up with you on the 2nd Jan when we did our ride to the fish river lighthouse.
DS
Love is? Tarmac, throttle wide open! and the pipes screeming like banshees
understanding "Madness does not always howl! Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "Hey,  theres room in your head for one more?"
Honda 175XL rode, broke, fixed, then sold ;CB900 Bol'd'Or sold; BMW r100T & CB1100XX Super Blackbird
 

Offline Mikie

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Thanks for letting me crash your would-be solo trip amigo, you’re welcome on any of mine  :P
 
 
Some random thoughts and highlights for me:
There was that time when I was slowly losing my sense of humour on Baster Voetpad and then finding it again with weird and wonderful drinking buddies in Cofimvaba…
Riding mud always makes me feel hysterically vulnerable, and so I resort to just laughing my way through it.
But when your clutch-hand can’t pull another save and you engage the splits against your bike that weighs twice as much as you, the comedy of it all dissolves into sarcasm…
Meeting Chris and Thabo over a quart of Black Label restored all our faith in riding ridiculous roads again.
I don’t know if it’s the security of my armoured jacket and knee guards that gives me the confidence to chat up total strangers or what, because in real life I'm the polar opposite of a people-person but somehow out there on the bike (and off the bike) I actually enjoy meeting folks. Perhaps it’s because I know I’ll probably never see them again. I dunno.
 
Baviaanskloof! Amped but nervous for the infamous Smitskraal. It wasn’t as deep as I’d feared, it was longer though! After a number of concrete water crossings it was certainly refreshing! And I knew there and then that dry boots were just a vague and distant memory.
 
It’s not often you meet someone you admire who’s exactly how you imagined. After one short hour it felt like we'd gone halfway around the world together. Such a wealth of knowledge and adventure all wrapped up in one lekker down-to-earth dude. Michnus, I look forward to buying you and Elsabé a beer when I bump into you somewhere up in Africa someday!
 
Dare I say I rather enjoyed getting to fix (most of) my own puncture. It’s not something I get to do very often but it felt good knowing if shit went down that I’d be okay. Mine was only a little pinch... not a big one like KnopKop's.
 
We felt bad to outwardly complain about the rain since it’s what everyone had prayed for, but when the weather ruined that stunning day we had planned through the Transkei, it was unanimous, we were happy to revisit the steaming, endless showers at Himeville Arms Hotel where, incidentally, my alter-diva “Chikita” was born :P
 

Here is a compilation of our video footage – enjoy...
<a href="https://youtube.com/v/KmoYmMb0TSQ" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://youtube.com/v/KmoYmMb0TSQ</a>


To the ends of the earth! :)

Fixed
:paw:

Pronounciation:
M-aai-kie
My-Key
 

Offline EtienneXplore

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Hi there Eugene
Great RR, great photos :thumleft: a trip like this is on my todo list but for the fact I'm a biker with a work problem ::)
Great meeting up with you on the 2nd Jan when we did our ride to the fish river lighthouse.
DS

Shot, thanks for the chat! That area is real good for some awesome riding!

 :thumleft: :thumleft:

Offline EtienneXplore

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Ok, so here is the GPS file for anyone who is interested in the route.

 :thumleft: :thumleft:


Offline Mev Vis Arend

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Jis, maar julle kan toor met "kameras".  Die prentjies is geweldig mooi. 
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Offline windswept

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That is one awesome video. :thumleft:
 

Offline Hentie @ Riders

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Great RR  :thumleft:

Offline EtienneXplore

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Awesome pictures.

Way better than my cellphone picture of the snow at the same Katberg junction
looking the other direction.

Hehehe,
I just copied your pic and edited it in Snapseed, it took all of 20seconds   :P :P

see, its real easy!


Offline Adventurous

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Awesome Video  :thumleft:
Live it. Ride it. Love it. Make an adventure of every day…
 

Offline Rokie

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Great RR
Thanks for putting in the hard work so that we could share in your adventure :thumleft:
Previously owned:
3 x Suzuki DR 600 (1986-ish model)
2 x Honda XR 200 (1985-ish model)