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Offline treemon

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Re: Lesotho.....otherwise
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2017, 08:09:49 am »
Gooi....
Jong, lyk my sy Afrikaans is nie so goed.
Lyk asof hy weggooi gehoor het, want hier gebeur niks?  :pot:
You right oubones, it's not great, but I'm def not done, just got lots on the go and want to make sure it's good ;)
if you don't know where you are going,
any road will get you there

Offline Herklaas

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Re: Lesotho.....otherwise
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2017, 08:20:33 am »
 :sip: I see that lady in the shop is suspiciously watching that potential thief with the basket.  :spitcoffee:
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Now 2015 Triumph Tiger 800 Xcx.and.. my favorite... 1996 Yamaha Tenere 660 5 valve single.

Offline Oubones

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Re: Lesotho.....otherwise
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2017, 12:58:34 pm »
Gooi....
Jong, lyk my sy Afrikaans is nie so goed.
Lyk asof hy weggooi gehoor het, want hier gebeur niks?  :pot:
You right oubones, it's not great, but I'm def not done, just got lots on the go and want to make sure it's good ;)
No problem, just pulling your leg :thumleft:
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Offline treemon

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Re: Lesotho.....otherwise
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2017, 02:32:51 pm »
Day 2 - Monday 19 Dec 2016 - Sehlabathebe to Sani Top - (1/3 due to character limits)

3:30am... im up again... something seriously stuffed with my body clock and unable to get back to sleep due to Donnas.... um... sleeping so well ;)

6:00am, we get up and pack the bikes, my chain needs adjusting from the noise the night before so I loosen the wheel and daaaamn... that wheel nut comes off easy (kinda scary, I was sure that was tighter before...)
Donnas fixes his gopro cos he almost decapitated himself on a low line at the Spaza shop (some lady found his gopro and came asking (what's this? , She was over-joyed at her R20 reward)

{good}

{not good}

{duck tape mount.... patent pending}

We then lube the chains and head off.... I'm still hearing the clanking and a little bit of a grinding noise, not sounding great and I am a bit worried....
It was really pretty though, so we stopped for some pictures...



A short while later the grinding noise becomes a bit much and I insist on stopping, Im sure that chain is still not right.
We stop, loosen the wheel (still coming off easily... I know I tightened it proper that morning) and it seems the chain is off a tooth (I was getting a major tight then loose spot),
It was hot and we were near a stream so I grabbed some water from the stream (we are in the mountains after all) Donnas said I was crazy to trust the water however.
we continue.....



We then start up Matabeng Pass and it truly is as beautiful and unspoiled as I've heard





Halfway up Matabeng Pass, grinding noise persisted, kinda getting worse and staying consistent.
We stopped for a smoke/pic break and looked again.... and unfortunately.... we saw something new....
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 06:43:10 am by treemon »
if you don't know where you are going,
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Offline treemon

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Re: Lesotho.....otherwise
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2017, 02:36:43 pm »
Day 2 - Monday 19 Dec 2016 - Sehlabathebe to Sani Top - (2/3 due to character limits)

Hub was splitting apart.. which, when in an urban environment, with access to the correct professionals... is annoying, when in a remote part of a remote country with no comms, internet or even people and vehicle traffic etc.... is groot kak.

We decided the best thing to do was to get back out the border and to the closest mechanic (which with my limited knowledge of KZN, was either Motorrad at PMB or Durban and as we had no internet to check... thats what we went on.)
Getting back to either of those from where we were was a similar distance going either via Quachas Nek (where we came from) or Sani Pass (where we planned on heading anyway) so we decided to press on... slowly.... to Sani Top (at least there I would be able to chk internet and find out more).
-side note, about 80km later I remembered about Rama's gate.... that WOULD have been closer... but now we actually were closer to Sani.







So we pressed on.... listening to the crunching and grinding.... and whilst it was painful to listen to the bike slowly eating itself... there was an odd albeit slight comfort in knowing what the issue was as opposed to speculating. Was also nice to know it wasn't an issue with the engine.
We stopped near another river to take some pics and even Donnas tried the water (I had forgotten my bottle and his had run dry)
Wasn't as good as the first stream.




We did another hundred meters and my bike switched off...WTF???




I've had some electrical issues in the past (stator) and -ve terminal screws working their way off the battery.
I even replaced the battery for this trip, have a 3rd party voltmeter and carry spare screws.... lucky I'll, it was just that... 1 terminal had come loose with the terrain.
After sorting that we were back on the road....

{stunning passes}

Another few km later and I saw an old bakkie, we still had about 90km to Sani and we asked these guys if they could help.
The owner of the car seemed ready to do so but noted they just need a little fuel (I had 8l in the jerry) which was ok but then an elderly lady came out, spoke very fast in basotho and the only English words that came out was 'school fees', they then said they could take us for R2500....uh... no.
We carried on slowly and managed to get to more of a min road near Taung, but still very few people and the 1 or 2 saffas which did pass us, didn't have bakkies or were completely loaded.
We tried asking a local truck driver if he was going that way.... but no...


onwards.....


Time passed....
I was hearing less grinding now.... more squeaking (from the rubber grommets in the cush drive)
Donavan was keeping me well informed about what was happening and what was going to happen, e.g., he told me the chain and wheel are getting further apart, I should expect to see some bearings fall out, then he told me as they were falling out.
We stopped near a river (we like rivers) to see if we could 'maak a plan' with cable ties (the idea being to keep the cush drive and wheel together so we could keep pressure off the swingarm.)
We used decent strength cable ties and quite a few of them so I was pretty sure they would hold out the day.....






{even the bearings ground down}

They lasted maybe 150m.
We carried on slowly and I contemplated stopping at one of the local villages and letting him go on, but we were so close, less than 80km....
We started approaching an amazing pass, Menoaneng...
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 06:44:18 am by treemon »
if you don't know where you are going,
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Offline treemon

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Re: Lesotho.....otherwise
« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2017, 02:53:33 pm »
Day 2 - Monday 19 Dec 2016 - Sehlabathebe to Sani Top - (3/3 due to character limits)


Starting up the pass, all I heard was squeaking.... then the wheel started skipping (felt like a rubber had fallen out, I mentioned this to Donavan and we knew at some stage, something's was gonna break and the wheel was gonna lock up.... and then of course, around the next corner, in the middle of nowhere... it happened.... very undramatic at about 20kph, back wheel slid, bike stopped and Donnas tuned me 'was that it?' To which I responded unceremoniously.... 'that's it'...

{end of my ride}


{sad panda :( }


{beautiful... but with a broken leg, can also see the 2 locals that helped me in the bushes}




At this point we needed to talk about our options....
It was about 4pm, a hailstorm was 5-7 min away.
Sani was 80km away, Donnas had fuel for 60. I could give him the jerry full, which would get him to Sani.... but maybe not back.

So my plan was as follows, Donnas must go on to Sani and if he can get help on the way, then do that, If I see a bakkie pass, I'll ask for help and he won't be able to miss me if I go to Sani. If he gets back and the bike is there but I'm not, chk the last village we passed, I'll try to find a place there. If we only see each other the next day, then so be it.
This was the first time he was riding alone in a foreign country, roads were getting insane with mud and he had some hectic passes to negotiate. He told me later that at that point... it became very 'real'
After he left,  I was hella thirsty. Of course.... we... I mean I.. was near a river again so got some water.
There were 2 local girls collecting firewood from the grass (yea.. I didn't see it either) and I managed to impersonate my best house/roof/sleep image and it sorta worked.
They did speak a tiny bit of english, which helped.

I wanted to take my bike to their village (about 2km back)so fiddled with the chain and sprocket and managed to get the chain back on. We loaded it back up, pushed for about 5m and chain came off again..... this was not going to work.
We grabbed all the stuff off the bike and walked the 2km (I had told Donnas that may happen) in the hail. The thunder was insane (even by Joburg standards)
At the village I was taken to a hut far back from the road.
Hung up all my wet stuff in the bedroom hut, found something warm to wear (the lady had even offered her blanket) and went to meet her family in their kitchen / lounge hut.
They were all sitting in their chairs with old phones watching youtube.... which was odd...
It was simple, but modern.... I also realized they had comms..... and we didn't....big lesson here.

{simple.... but everything you need}

Anyway, I needed a way to show Donnas where I was so I hung my bright yellow tankbag at the front of the village with a note where I was and put my red jerrycan out my hut.
Sorry.... I wish I had taken more pics of the village, but was pissing with hail and my mind was pre-occupied...
I went out to leave the note and check out the view and as I was doing so, managed to amass a crowd of 15-20 kids just staring in bewilderment at this white guy dressed in bright yellow in their village. I looked back up at the pass and saw a bike... and bakkie.... coming towards me.
It was Donnas, he had found someone who was happy to take us the 77 or so km to Sani Top in his (much more modern Toyota with 4x4) as opposed to the skedonk we had seen a few km earlier and he would do it for R500.
I said thanks to my gracious hosts, gave them R100, which they were so grateful for and made my way back to the bike.
We then found out how heavy that bike actually is, but we worked out a method.
Front wheel, then pick up backwheel, push forward and drop on belly pan, then back wheel up.
We did the very muddy pass to Sani (Donnas had fallen once in finding these guys and twice more after picking me up), he was proper moeg.

{Start of Menoaneng Pass}



{very muddy roads}





We got to Sani around 5:30 and I told the guys I needed to check accommodation availability, Donnas' face just dropped, he didn't even consider it might be possible there isn't.
Luckily, there was, at an ok price (backpackers back from the main lodges are R275 pp). main lodge was around R1300pp
I've had the food before, so we asked if we could order but were told there is only a set menu for supper at R240 a head.
As we had eaten absolutely sweet f all that day, compounded with the lack of food the day before and the day's riding we had, it was a price we were happy to pay.
It was a buffet and included the most amazing oxtail.... fish was terrible.... just have oxtail ;)

Once we had booked the accommodation, we needed to unload the bike and whilst doing this, we got  quite a few ppl asking us what happened, they had also suffered head gasket issues in a newish car and we got chatting.
After a shower, a warm amazing, omg I just want to live here... shower, We all met for supper.... and then a drink and another and another....then some Australians showed up and they liked our cheap drinks (ahem... R100 for a double Richelieu with coke) so they bought some rounds, then our new midlands friends bought rounds......
The staff were none too happy as they wanted to go to bed at 10 and they all have to stay up whilst clients from the main lodge (Aussies) are there....





We got to bed at 1am on day3

It had been really slow going, I think it took us around 11 hours that day to do the 150 odd km to Sani Top
It was a bittersweet day, on one hand, I experienced some of the intense beauty I had hoped to see.
On the other hand, it had been incredibly stressful worrying about what was going to happen and when and where we would be etc.... It kinda takes over and you don't appreciate how epic the scenery really is...
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 06:45:03 am by treemon »
if you don't know where you are going,
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Offline slicknick

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Re: Lesotho.....otherwise
« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2017, 02:59:33 pm »
dit raak nou interessant  :eek7:
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee

Offline jogi_c

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Re: Lesotho.....otherwise
« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2017, 03:08:09 pm »
sub

Offline ROOI

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Re: Lesotho.....otherwise
« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2017, 03:59:51 pm »
sub
FTS

Offline sidetrack

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Re: Lesotho.....otherwise
« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2017, 04:42:19 pm »
The hub splitting was it due to the axle not not being tight enough or a missing spacer ? Not something that happens often !
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Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north

Offline SMD

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Re: Lesotho.....otherwise
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2017, 04:46:04 pm »
Fantastic stuff....I'm soo jealous
There's always room for more!!!!!

Offline treemon

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Re: Lesotho.....otherwise
« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2017, 06:43:07 pm »
Fantastic stuff....I'm soo jealous
We can trade places if u want... there are several repair bills on the way :)


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if you don't know where you are going,
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Offline treemon

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Re: Lesotho.....otherwise
« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2017, 06:44:55 pm »
The hub splitting was it due to the axle not not being tight enough or a missing spacer ? Not something that happens often !
Not 100% sure sidetrack
Axle was tight and spacers were there.... was sorta told it happens when the bearings wear out but I'll need to confirm that still..


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Re: Lesotho.....otherwise
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2017, 10:32:53 pm »
Awesome trip guys.

Just for interest:
1. The new road between Qacha and Seshelabathebe does actually exist and is an awesome scenic road, you will just have to go back and check it out next time. (I can email it to you)   
2. The actual Seshelabathebe Lodge is just about 1km further up the road from where you guys turned around. The picture that you took of the new sandstone buildings is not the Lodge. When I was there last time they were still building it but I am not sure what they are exactly.
I have met  "Mr Brown" a number of times and I am surprised that he did not show you guys how to get to the lodge.
The lodge used to belong to two guys, a South African businessman called Nic and a Basuto citizen. The two of them could not get along and they stopped there business partnership, I think the new buildings belongs to the Basuto businessman. That will explain why Brown did not tell you about the "Main" lodge 1km up the road since I think he is a staff member of the Basuto businessman.

Have a look at the picture and you will see just how close they are from each other.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 10:34:30 pm by Losper »
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Offline treemon

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Re: Lesotho.....otherwise
« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2017, 06:52:50 am »
Thanks Losper.... very useful information.

We didnt really ask Mr Brown where the other lodge was, just asked if the rooms there were avail for the night.
We had also told him that we heard from the guys at the lodge (wrongfully assuming we were at the lodge) so I guess he through we knew where we were.
Was also after sunset and we were ready to dos anywhere :)

I would love the gpx/gdb file for that new road if you have it :)
Can you post it here as an attachment so anyone who is looking can find it too?

Thanks again

Awesome trip guys.

Just for interest:
1. The new road between Qacha and Seshelabathebe does actually exist and is an awesome scenic road, you will just have to go back and check it out next time. (I can email it to you)   
2. The actual Seshelabathebe Lodge is just about 1km further up the road from where you guys turned around. The picture that you took of the new sandstone buildings is not the Lodge. When I was there last time they were still building it but I am not sure what they are exactly.
I have met  "Mr Brown" a number of times and I am surprised that he did not show you guys how to get to the lodge.
The lodge used to belong to two guys, a South African businessman called Nic and a Basuto citizen. The two of them could not get along and they stopped there business partnership, I think the new buildings belongs to the Basuto businessman. That will explain why Brown did not tell you about the "Main" lodge 1km up the road since I think he is a staff member of the Basuto businessman.

Have a look at the picture and you will see just how close they are from each other.
if you don't know where you are going,
any road will get you there

Offline Losper

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Re: Lesotho.....otherwise
« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2017, 07:56:52 am »
Treemon,  the new road is the green one,  you did the red one  :thumleft:
The new road is an awesome gravel road with 2 or 3 passes and stunning views.

(There is also a new road from Qacha direct to Sehonghong, I have not explored it yet and will post it as soon as I did.)
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 11:19:04 am by Losper »
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Offline treemon

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Re: Lesotho.....otherwise
« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2017, 08:49:30 am »
Day 3 - Tuesday 20 Dec 2016 - Sani Top to Himeville

Sani Top to Himeville in a day....
Granted, not the longest or most gruelling of rides.
Ours went like this...

5:30am... I wake up, latest I've been up in days, It's time to take that wheel off the bike so we can see if something can be done about it.
I check out the sunrise...


Pull out the toolkit and get to work.

Chain needs to come off.... um, check..



Once the wheelnut is off, its easier to see some of the damage done to the sprocket hub...



Wheel was a bastard to get off, axle was fairly tight in the assembly, had to hammer away for about 10 min.... which was nice for everyone at that time of morning  >:D - I did apologize and most people seemed to understand.
Wheel hub looks ok....


Swingarm...... NOT ok


All the bits and pieces




We loaded the wheel onto the 1050 for Donnas to go to Himeville/Pietermaritsburg or wherever else I was going to call him with once I found out more information.



8:15am... Donnas heads down Sani and I spend the morning on the Sani Mountain Lodge wifi.
I posted the following distress call - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=203452.msg3738476#msg3738476
and was overwhelmed with the help being offered (thanks again to those of you who lent a hand)

{Donnas heading down the mountain - his first time on Sani}


{Awesome clouds in the distance}


{A bakkie lost it the previous day}

Whilst up there.... I saw a stunning bike, being ridden by an amazing rider.
It was Anna Grechishkina on her round the world solo trip, you can follow her @ https://www.facebook.com/anna.grechishkina.3 and  http://ihaveadreamtravel.com/en/
She is 3.5 years into her journey.





Back on our side....
Donnas got to someone in Himeville who didnt have the right parts, he called around, as did I and we eventually determined even if we did fix the wheel, the swingarm was damaged badly enough that I didnt feel safe riding it.
So I made a call to a friend in Joburg and asked him if he could come and fetch me and the bike.
Luckily, I have some good friends and he agreed to leave shortly.

His car however was 4x2 and I wasnt sure he would make it up the pass so we needed to figure out a way down.
We called several towing companies but they were quoting, on average.... R2000 from the top of the pass to Himeville, which was too much.
I looked around the parking lot outside the pass and saw a single cab bakkie.
I went to every person in the lodge asking if the car was theirs and when I found them.... asked if they wouldnt mind assisting.

They were a couple from Boksburg and were more than happy to take me to the bottom, no charge.
They finished their lunch whilst I went to go pack and even stuck around for another hour after we were all ready cos Donnas was on his way back. (They had seen him going down the mountain on their way up and thought he was super prepared, carrying a spare wheel :))
After packing the bike on the Ranger.... we were all ready for my scariest ride down Sani so far....

{yes... I did ride my bike down :p .... sidesaddle nogal}

We started down Sani... at speed... in a 4x2... as it started raining.
A newish Toyota had rolled the day before on one of the switchbacks.
Bike was in a precarious position and the straps were loosening (we had to stop to tighten them)
On the way down, several taxis took insane chances passing near the edges of the switchbacks, one even went fast enough as to blow the tire off his rim.
I was trying to hold on, to the handlebar with 1 hand and my hood with the other (rain)
Finally.... my very courteous helpers needed to stop several times to fill up.... :)

{good times}

Once in Himeville, we checked into the Arms and met a bunch of other bikers
1 of them was a bike mechanic and the other an aluminium welder.... I sh!t you not.
The mech said he would just put on a new block of aluminium, mill it, etc and the swingarm would be ok and he could fix the rest on the side of the road.
The alu guy said he would replace the swingarm due to the different tensile strengths in the different pieces of metal.
We spoke a bit of kak and then headed to the bar to wait for Ash to arrive.

...which was 10:30pm
if you don't know where you are going,
any road will get you there

Offline ROSSI

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Re: Lesotho.....otherwise
« Reply #37 on: February 01, 2017, 03:23:49 pm »
Very nice photos treemon  :thumright:

Offline Stichhom

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Re: Lesotho.....otherwise
« Reply #38 on: February 02, 2017, 09:11:16 am »
Thanks for sharing your RR and the nice pictures. I have learned a few things from this RR. Have repaired/replaced the offending parts since back at home?
Keep a cool head - life is precious!

Offline treemon

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Re: Lesotho.....otherwise
« Reply #39 on: February 02, 2017, 10:52:14 am »
Day 4 - Monday 21 Dec 2016 - Himeville to Joburg

More of a drive report now :p
After a good nights rest, we all wake up, load up the bike (onto an Isuzu this time... so now I've done the whole trio)
Have a good brekkies (next door to the Arms)... and head off.




Ash and his girlfriend also drove really far to get here and want to appreciate the scenery (I kick myself for not asking them to bring their passports, cos they could have easily made it up Sani Pass and the route through Lesotho is completely tarred and easy now)
Anyway, we decided to take the back roads to Notties, which is a stunning route (Sani Saunter to Nottingham Road, then to Winterton, Bergville, Little Switzerland and get onto the highway near little Switzerland)













Donnas and I chatted about how he should continue his trip solo as he hadn't seen this part of SA yet so he took the same route as us but turned near Harrismith to go through Golden Gate to go stay the night at Clarens.





We had an interesting drive, there was no radio, so lots of conversation :)
Donnas called and mentioned he punctured his new tire, so the trip was still throwing spanners :)

We stopped near Sterkfontein Dam and met another rider who sold everything and has been going on his own for the last 4 months.
You can read more about him here - https://www.facebook.com/wildcrazybeautiful/ and here - http://www.wildcrazybeautiful.com/
He is also a Wilddog.

As we were nearing Joburg, Donnas called and said he was in Clarens in a butchery and ran into the same guy and they chatted about our mutual experiences

Truly small world...and truly otherwise....
if you don't know where you are going,
any road will get you there