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Offline Slim Jim

Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2017, 10:09:24 am »
 :sip:
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2017, 07:22:19 pm »
Day 2 & 3

In the morning I packed up, thanked Renier and his wife for the hospitality, and bode my farewell to Bertie. It was real bummer that his trip ended abruptly so soon. I know he would really enjoy what was to come - even though his refusal to stand on the bike would certainly come to bite him hard in the ass. But I’m sure we will do it or something similar again. There is nothing we cannot do - as long as Melinda watches our back from the base.

Speaking of Melinda, despite the early start she has spent better part of the day getting to Bertie (it turns out it is much slower going on those sandy roads in Subaru with trailer then on two DS bikes) - they got back home in Magaliesburg only at about 1 am next day.

My objective for the day was Tshabong in southern Botswana - jump off point for the exploration of the Kalahari dunes south of Kgalagadi NP. It was only 250 km or so on dirt roads, so no biggie, but I was keen to get there relatively early to get some rest in the afternoon before I hit the Kalahari proper.

I stopped at Bray to refill and have a quick breakfast next to the general store and then took the dirt roads on SA side towards McCarthy’s Rest border post, passing Molopo Nature reserve from the south.






The border was the usual sleepy easy affair (no other customers there) and I was through in no time - though they did make sure to check the license disk and bike papers. On to Tshabong another 20 or so km further, where I the first chore was to withdraw Pula from the only ATM in town (I was greatly relieved there were only 2 or 3 people waiting in the line - in Botswana outback one usually finds 100 meter long queue as government uses ATMs to distribute social security and government salaries, which people usually cash out at the first opportunity).

With Pula in hand I bought some junk food supplies for the planned afternoon siesta and then headed to my favourite haunt in the town (outside actually) - Berrybush farm - for an afternoon of chilling and hydration. The farm where I stayed on my first visit here in 2014, was situated about 8 km east of town on tar where one turns into the bush and finds the farm about 4 km deep in the Kalahari wilderness.

I wasn’t sure if it is still in operation as it used to be run by Jill and her brother, both of whom were in their late 70s, possibly even early 80s when I was there last time. There was a relatively newly looking billboard at the turnoff from tar so things look good. However 4 km of deep sand double track later I arrived to the closed gate. It wasn’t locked so I rode through but to my dismay the place was abandoned and slowly falling apart, with roof on the main building already collapsed down. It was a sad sight - Jill and her brother through their perseverance and resourcefulness built up the place over many years as a real oasis in the vast Kalahari vastness - complete with solar panels and water supply (they were completely off the grid), and it was frequented mostly by the university students from Europe who came regularly to do research on Kalahari beatles or some such. I spent here only one night in 2014 and still felt strange kinship with Jill, who had some crazy stories from her years living all over Africa.

Hungry and tired of the heat, I made a picnic in the shade of the slowly collapsing lappa and then promptly fell asleep on the ground in my gear trying to fend off the ants and flies - a bit of a compromise of the siesta I had originally in mind. I woke up and hour or two later to even more intense heat, geared up and headed out. To my immense irritation I found the gate locked now, meaning I was trapped inside the farm in Bots midday heat with not much water left. I tried to dismantle the gate, but it was hanging properly on solid pylons, so no luck. Remembering the track continued on the other side of the farm heading deeper into Kalahari I retraced back to the farm and found gate on that side not locked. I pushed on deeper through 2 or 3 next gates looking in vain for a track that may turn back in the direction of tar of Tshabong, until I bumped into a bakkie coming out of the bush in the opposite direction.

They were a jolly local couple and indeed it was them who locked the gate. Thank goodness, as I was getting a bit panicky worrying about dehydration and heatstroke. They weren’t angry about me trespassing and actually seemed genuinely happy to see me. They bought the place from Jill, and were planning to operate it again as guesthouse. According to the gentleman they were just waiting for electricity to be brought in from the main line on the tar road.

I wish they can make something out of it, but quite frankly am very skeptical. I remember Jill’s brother told me that it would cost about 1.5 mil Pula to get the electricity in, so instead - being man of reason - he made alternative plan with solar panels and batteries. Now for some reason the new owners considered absolutely necessary to get the electricity in before even contemplating opening the place for guests. They will never get that 1.5 bar back anyway (I suspect they were given kind of government grant or something - otherwise it just didn’t make sense). And in the meantime they were leaving the place to fall apart slowly. I guess that is the African way.

Anyway, I was glad to be let out and gunned it back to Tshabong contemplating grudgingly which of the not very attractive accommodation options to take. While I may appear to some as hard core adventurer who likes to ride tracks less travelled in remote areas fending off dangerous animals, the reality is I’m actually a gastro tourist, willing to alternate my route and pay a lot of money for comfortable room and some warm food. None of which is readily available in Tshabong. Eventually I bumped into a modern guesthouse with air conditioned rooms and restaurant, and booked in. I suspect it was one of the government guesthouses they build out in the outback for their government officials - the personnel attitude was definitely all government - lazy and disinterested. It was way too expensive for what it was, but by that point I would probably pay double just for the air conditioning.

It wasn’t even end of day 2 of so far very easy riding and I was already properly knackered. After nursing my leg for 9 months and not getting out of house or office much, the exposure to sun, heat and wind wore me down properly. So I spent rest of the afternoon sleeping stiff in my room with air-con blasting at full power.

Next morning I contemplated for a minute or two those dunes, and then just turned on the other side and kept my eyes shut more or less until the dinner.

This concludes the boring liaison bit (excuse the lack of imagery, but there wasn’t much to photograph) and in next episode we will finally see some of that Kalahari sand I came for.

Route on Day 2:


Offline Koet

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Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2017, 08:33:39 pm »
Sub!
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Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2017, 09:00:29 pm »
Gloriously dramatic start (sorry Bertie)!!! Kind of reminds me of an ignominious day in Opuwo and abandoning one desperately miserable Englishman at the start of our Angolan adventure. Horrible way to start a trip but looking forward to the solo journey through the dunes - that's a bit of an adventure.

Offline Kaboef

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Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2017, 10:49:27 pm »
It is so sad to hear that Berrybush and Jill is no more.

Me, Luckystriker and Butch stayed there on our Botswana trip 10 years ago or so.

I fondly remember Jill with her woolen poncho welcoming us and giving us a warm bed. My bed had a hen on top of the "karos" who just laid an egg.
Trip report here: http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=8530.msg114604#msg114604

I have always had plans to take the family there to experience the place, but now sadly they will never see it the way it was.

Great ride report. Shame about Bertie.
And he has an awesome wife indeed.

Please continue. I am hooked.


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Offline Xpat

Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2017, 10:54:51 pm »
It is so sad to hear that Berrybush and Jill is no more.

Me, Luckystriker and Butch stayed there on our Botswana trip 10 years ago or so.

I fondly remember Jill with her woolen poncho welcoming us and giving us a warm bed. My bed had a hen on top of the "karos" who just laid an egg.
Trip report here: http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=8530.msg114604#msg114604

I have always had plans to take the family there to experience the place, but now sadly they will never see it the way it was.

Great ride report. Shame about Bertie.
And he has an awesome wife indeed.

Please continue. I am hooked.

Yep, pretty sad indeed. Here are the only two crappy shots I have of Berrybush, with Jill in the second one:







I've ridden through there in December 2014, documented here:

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=168377.0

Offline Xpat

Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2017, 10:58:39 pm »
@MaxThePanda & 2SD: Yep, the biggest part of the drama is over. But there is still a little drama left thanks to my lack of fitness and judgement.

Offline lone riderer

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Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2017, 05:59:52 am »
 :ricky:
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Offline m0lt3n

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Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2017, 07:34:42 am »
Quick question, why did you not take the Bray, Verda, Makopong, Phepeng, Khisa road? (I don't know it, but have been eyeballing it)
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Offline Xpat

Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #29 on: June 28, 2017, 09:13:45 am »
Quick question, why did you not take the Bray, Verda, Makopong, Phepeng, Khisa road? (I don't know it, but have been eyeballing it)


Why would you instead of all the lovely sandy roads in the area chose the only tar for 100s of km around?

I prefer dirt to tar.

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Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #30 on: June 28, 2017, 09:26:29 am »
Quick question, why did you not take the Bray, Verda, Makopong, Phepeng, Khisa road? (I don't know it, but have been eyeballing it)


Why would you instead of all the lovely sandy roads in the area chose the only tar for 100s of km around?

I prefer dirt to tar.

Because I ride the Ultimate Fuel Bowser crossed with a Scaffolding Selection and an Arm Chair.....

But I too prefer sandy roads to tar, so an uprgrade is on the horizon....

RR is inpirational, as always - waiting with bated breath for the rest....
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Offline m0lt3n

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Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #31 on: June 28, 2017, 09:32:45 am »
Quick question, why did you not take the Bray, Verda, Makopong, Phepeng, Khisa road? (I don't know it, but have been eyeballing it)


Why would you instead of all the lovely sandy roads in the area chose the only tar for 100s of km around?

I prefer dirt to tar.

Shows what I know. I always assumed that is gravel actually. good thing I asked
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Offline Xpat

Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #32 on: June 28, 2017, 12:44:48 pm »
Day 4 - part 1

To give myself a fighting chance I skipped the breakfast (as the government employees couldn’t be bothered to accommodate early breakfast request) and was ready to roll at 6:00 am, still in complete darkness. I filled up at the petrol station and set-off.

My original plan was to hit sand right outside of Tshabong and surf it all the way to Botspits about 250 km of deep sand and dunes away. Given how tired I was just from riding easy dirt roads prior 2 days, I started to have doubts about feasibility of this plan (which of course looked perfectly doable just a week before on my Apple screen in the shade of my house). The saving grace came from a chef at the dinner night before, who came for a chat. He was from Bokspits and while not sure about the tracks, he told me there are two private ranches just west of Tshabong, that I may possibly run into. I wasn’t keen to ride possibly dozens of km of deep sand just to run into a fence, so I decided to skip the first half of the sand on tar to Middlepits about 100 km away, where I would hit the sand and join the originally planned track. This way I will save up time and energy and focus on the dunes, which start proper in Khawa village about 70 km north-west of Middlepits.

Initially I stuck to about 40 kmh an hour to avoid many of the animals milling around, once the sun came up I reverted to my normal cruising speed. I made Middlepits still early at about 7:30 am and hit the red sand double track north straight away, keen to make as much as possible of the lower morning temperature. After a long break I was initially little tentative in the proper sand, but soon got in the groove of things and got to cruise at respectable (for deep red sand double track)  40 - 50 kmh.

The track I plotted initially followed a fence of some kind of estate for about 10 - 15 km and then started weaving through open bush and across low dunes in the general north-westerly direction





















After initial hesitation I was getting bolder and bolder, enjoying the sand and speeding up considerably trying to get as much distance under the belt as possible early before the midday heat. So naturally - after such a long break - I eventually overcooked it, came a bit too hot over one small dune and noticed too late that the tracks turns sharply right behind small acacia tree. By the time I noticed I was way too fast to make it. I made half assed attempt to turn into the tree like a downhill skiing racer I used to be, but it is difficult to muster a will to stick you face in open face helmet in those thorns. So I got thrown off the track straight onto another small acacia tree, which I hit head on. Luckily it went down readily and I went down right after that:

You see that small acacia right next to the track on the right - the one behind which track disapears? Well that is the one I tried to turn around:



Right behind it is another one - this time left of the track. That is the one I am about to mate:




And the act itself:













The aftermath with the poor tree on the ground - felt actually bad about wasting a tree:









The fall was no biggie, but I was worried about any damage bike may have suffered. I inspected it and to my relief everything looked fine, nothing seemed to be broken. So after a break I set-off again this time at a bit more conservative pace. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the crash will come to bite me in the ass later.

I continued through few dozen of km of bush passing few cattle post/kraal along the way. Eventually I came to the biggest kraal, where I run out of track. There seemed to be no tracks where I plotted them based on satellite images, and the tracks that were there headed in north east direction, while I needed to start turning west.






Getting lost:



After flapping around for a while I retraced back to the kraal, where I asked the local dude for direction to Khawa. He didn’t speak English, but got the gist of my question ‘Khawa?’ and just pointed west.









I followed his direction across a dune but couldn’t find any track, and flapped a bit more.  So he come rushing up the dune on the horseback re-iterating to this dumb-ass mzungu, that he really will have to bundu bash to the electric line visible few km away on the horizon.

So with some hesitation in my gastro tourist heart, I followed hit the goat trails heading west. While I prefer riding remote tracks, bundu bashing through a tall grass is not my favourite, as one needs to ride conservatively (i.e. slow) should there be any lurkers there and at the same time the seeds clog one’s radiator. Together these two make 690 (which with the rally kit is prone to overheating at slightest provocation anyway) to overheat double quick. To be fair, I consider overheating already when the fan comes on, which I know is not right, however my mechanical sympathy doesn’t allow me to ride the bike in the heat slowly with running fan for too long, so I tend to stop a lot to let the bike cool down a bit. Which means that I start to overheat pretty soon.













Anyway about 5 km of grassy plain and small dunes later I made it to the electric line, where to my relief I found a small one car width cement track following the line in the direction of Khawa. I stopped there and cleaned the radiator guard, which by now was clogged solid.

Once the bike and I cooled off sufficiently I followed the track west towards Khawa. After the last year’s horrible drought, it was nice to see Kalahari all green with hundreds of springbok and ostriches rushing across the track in all directions.















The track eventually brought me to the main sand road between Middlepits and Khawa, and I headed to Khawa about 10 km away.




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Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #33 on: June 28, 2017, 01:03:28 pm »
Damn I love reading your ride reports
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Offline Matewis

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Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #34 on: June 28, 2017, 01:40:04 pm »
sub
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Offline Crossed-up

Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #35 on: June 28, 2017, 04:00:53 pm »
Enjoying your RR.

Camelman and I spent some time trying to put a track together between Khawa and Tsabong for the 2015 Amageza. We succeeded, but it was far from straightforward. By now I guess the game farms have probably closed off the route.

 

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Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #36 on: June 28, 2017, 04:13:14 pm »
sub :thumleft:
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Offline Xpat

Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #37 on: June 29, 2017, 12:18:56 am »
Day 4 - part 2

I arrived at Khawa at about noon. To get some local intel I stopped next to a officiously looking Landcruiser and asked two dudes in about the tracks across the dunes to Botspits. They looked at me funny and said that there are lions all over the show and that I should retrace to back to Middlepits and take tar to Botspits from there like any normal person would. Just as a test I explained that I’m not heading north across to the nearby Kgalagadi NP, but they reverted straight away that the lions have moved in considerable numbers south of the park following the abundant game there. I like to get a bit broader picture (plus the lion thread on its own wasn’t going to dissuade me - I have expected as much and I have bumped into lions on the bike before and knew that loud pipes are usually enough to send them packing) so I thanked them, asked where the shop was and headed off to replenish my water.

Khawa - set-off point for the dunes:







Ladies at the shop they didn’t have water so over a bottle of Coke I asked again about the tracks. They looked me even more funny and basically repeated story I’ve already heard. Eventually a guy stopped by and he at least confirmed that there are tracks across the dunes - actually number of them . One heading more or less straight south and connecting to the tar road between Middlepots and Bokspits. Another one, the longest going down diagonally south-west to Bokspits. And a third one heading west to Struizendam village right on the border of SA about 20 km north of Bokspits on the dirt road running up to to the Twee River gate of Kgalagadi NP. I knew already about the option 2 & 3 from my work on Googlemaps. But even he didn’t seem particularly encouraging so more intel was clearly needed :-).

I still needed water, so the ladies directed me to the local shebeen (or bar as they called it) situated on the opposite dune about 200 meters away:


Shebeen:



Despite being Thursday lunch time, the place had all the local alkies (basically most of the male population of Khawa and few clearly disreputable woman) lazing around - the typical sign of dead-end communities living off the social security payments. I was of course the biggest excitement they will have till next payday and was invited by all of them one by one to buy them a beer (which by the sight of it they already consumed few since the morning). I kindly declined, got my water and in exchange for my kindness asked for the information about the track.

I got lucky and an officially looking (though properly greased by now) older guy introduced himself as some kind of local Trust apparatchik in charge of tourism (I think his name was Gustav, but I may got mixed up) and invited me to his office about 100 meters away. To get the intel exchange going I did buy him one beer and then proceeded to his office, which to my surprise really was a tourist office with real maps of the trust area and similar tourist officy paraphernalia.

Gustav:



Although a bit greased and slurring his words noticeably, he was very enthusiastic about the tourist potential of the Khawa trust and wholeheartedly recommended the tracks across the dunes as ‘easy’, and no, don’t worry, there are no lions. He also said that every year at the end of May they have a rally there where people from all over the world - including Botswanian president - come and ride the dunes on quads and dirtbikes. My later research on the net confirmed that this was actually true (here the link:
http://www.botswanatourism.co.bw/event/khawa-dune-challenge-cultural-festival-2 - m0lt3n, you like these organized events, there is no excuse now!) and I was surprised that I never heard of it before, as Gustav stated that a lot of riders from SA and even Europe participate. He said that many of the riders make it during the race to Struizendam and back (a total roundabout distance of about 200 km) in one day. He didn’t expect the track to take more than 3 hours (so I thought I have a chance to do it in 5).

Despite the fact that he was drunk and two other sources contravened what he was saying (and some other stuff he said was clearly bullshit), I trusted Gustav, because what he was saying was what I wanted to hear. I took his number in the case I got into trouble (I carry satellite phone on these remote trips) and buoyed up by his upbeat message geared up and headed up the first dune in the general western direction slap bang at the peak of the midday heat at about 1pm.







And I got immediately lost. I have staked out the tracks I have seen on the Googlemaps satellite images and had them loaded on my GPS, but I knew these will be tentative at best as the imagery is usually few years old and the tracks in the sand probably shift a lot. I also had a T4A track in my GPS, but when I zoomed in, it said something like ‘Unconfirmed’ or ‘Unridden’ or some such and proved useless.






Without clear direction I headed in the general westerly direction and eventually I bumped into a double track, actually quite a few of them. Which became my next problem. I would be riding as fast as possible along a track to keep afloat and trying to provide some airflow to cool the engine and would come upon a fork in the track where I had to take split second decision regarding the direction. Somehow I always ended up on track that eventually veered off the direction I wanted to go and was clearly abandoned quite some time ago. So I had to backtrack or bundu bash across the grassy dunes to connect to that other branch number of times.























It was tough going. These were not the nice clinical dunes like the ones for example in Swakopmund with long run ups and nice smooth sand that one can ride across even on GSA (well I did long time ago anyway). The uneven and often long time abandoned track was weaving through the dunes, where one had to keep momentum/speed going at at the same time change direction all the time, including on the run up the dunes. The dunes were also overgrown with those grassy bushes so it wasn’t possible to just go off-piste and keep necessary momentum to make it up the dunes. While I was making progress, I couldn’t get up to speed where the bike would stay cool enough without the fan running constantly.

Pretty soon the snowball started to build up. It was hot - very very hot -  and I navigating uneven and winding track I couldn’t ride fast enough to keep bike and more importantly now myself cool enough. Stopping didn’t help much as it was like stopping in the oven with the heat radiating from both air and the surrounding sand. I was still making progress, but it became quite clear that I’m fighting losing battle.

About 10 km into the dunes (and about 90 km still to go) my good old buddy - heatstroke - called in by starting to play with my guts. I was getting dizzy and vomity. It was a high time to call it a day before my overheating mind gets too far astray. I managed to find shade under a rare acacia tree, where I cooled off a bit and decided to retrace back to Khawa, where I would sleep over and try again in the morning, when the temperature is still manageable.






















Once I cooled off sufficiently to be able again to control the bike in the sand I jumped on the bike and gunned it back 10 km in one go. By the time I was back I was again little delirious, so I just dragged myself to the shade of the shebeen verandah and spread myself on the ground desperately trying to cool down. I tried to swallow down some cold drink, but almost vomited so just used it as a cooling bottle.

This sorry sight provided once again welcome distraction to the village alkies, who gathered in size arguing at the top of their voices about what is happening to the hapless mzungu spread across the ground. I’m sure they were full of concern or compassion, but I have to say that drunk San people are about the rawest specimen I have encountered yet with no consideration in their arsenal whatsoever. I had a sense that if I make a sudden movement my inner temperature will exceed the tipping point and it will be lights out. But I still considered for a while that it may be worth it as long as I take one particularly annoying scrawny piece of shit with me.

Eventually Gustav arrived and assumed the role of the protector, or rather circus impresario, who explains at top of his voice the rapt audience about his exotic monkey. Keen to find some refuge I asked him to arrange a guest house room for me (he told me there is one), but he said we have to wait for the accommodation commissar (or whatever they call themselves there) of the trust. After what felt like eternity a lady official arrived and told us that we just need to go fetch a key from another guy and I’m sorted. I was pissed of on Gustav for holding me up, but not strong enough yet to just told him to fuck off, so he accompanied me to the key man’s house. I was glad to fuck off from the shebeen, but more importantly riding those 300 or so meters to the guy on easy sand I realized that by far the best way to cool down was actually to ride the bike - the faster the better of course.

I asked the key guy (one of the few sober people in the village) about the guesthouse, and he honestly say that it leaves a lot to be desired (I have slept in one of these establishments before and had an idea about stifling hot bug ridden rooms with no water). I knew by then that even if I stay, I will be probably pestered for the rest of the day by Gustav and the gang, and I will most probably not be able to recover enough from the heat exhaustion/stroke in the hot room to be ready for the ride next morning. The gastro tourist in me took over and set a new exciting goal for the day - to try to make it to Molopo Lodge with private air conditioned room and quality food, that I do not have to cook myself.

So I thought - ‘Fuck it dunes, you win - until the next time!’, said so long to clearly unhappy Gustav, who was losing the only act in his circus, jumped on the bike and gunned it out of the village and onto the sand road heading to Middlepits 70 km away. Riding at about 100 kmh did quickly wonders to my internal temperature and soon I was out of the red zone and feeling alright again.

Back in Middlepits the gastro tourist in me was really keen to make it for dinner back to SA to the Molopo lodge, but I wasn’t sure if I have enough petrol to make it there. In the morning I was told there is no petrol station in Middlepits so I waved down a bakkie that seemed to be carrying jerry cans and asked if they may not spare some for me. They didn’t have any, but told me that there actually is petrol station right before the SA border crossing. I gunned it there and got lucky.

With that sorted I gunned it on tar towards Bokspits about 130 km away. It was almost 4 pm by now and I didn’t know when they will close the border. It turned out I never had a chance as the border closes at 4:30. So when I arrived at Bokspits all I can do was ask around for some kind of accommodation. The only place I found was ‘BDT’ guesthouse, which I suspect is the same category as the one in Khawa, though not so remote. Stiflingly hot room, dodgy bedding and no water. The only two other guests were two young nurses who opened the gate for me in bathrobes opened down to belly button, which did confuse me a bit for a moment, but then in my sorry state I just let it slip and retreated to my allotted cave.


BDT guesthouse in Botspits:




It was a fitting end for the day of frustration - staying in stifling hot cave about 2 km away from air conditioned chalet and medium rare fillet steak. I sweated myself to sleep after dinner of biltong and lunchbar (the only food for the whole day).

Lately my trips seem to follow Clarkson’s moto ‘Ambitious, but rubbish’. I plan some nice juicy route (circumventing Okavango delta via cutlines last year, dunes in Bots this year) while disregarding the fact that I haven’t ridden properly for almost a year and am not remotely fit enough with my leg barely recovered from the fracture. So naturally I end up seeing my ass.

As for the reasons I concocted to rationalize the failure in the dunes - the lack of fitness played a role, but the key were probably lapses of the judgement on the day: I should have made sure that I have eaten proper meal before lunch and I should have skipped the morning sandy tracks from Middlepits to Khawa and rather gun it all the way up to Khawa as quickly as possible on the main sand road and then focus solely on the dunes. That would give me early fresh start in the dunes in bearable temperatures. Well, next time I will be more clever.

I was bummed out, but frankly once I have eaten I was already plotting how I’m going to try to take those dunes in the opposite direction on the way back from Namibia a week later.

Route for the day:




Offline Xpat

Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2017, 12:24:37 am »
Enjoying your RR.

Camelman and I spent some time trying to put a track together between Khawa and Tsabong for the 2015 Amageza. We succeeded, but it was far from straightforward. By now I guess the game farms have probably closed off the route.

I'm sure something can be figured out - at worst one can ride up to the southern border of the Kgalagadi NP and then take the cutline running along the southern border, from which one can probably easily bundu bash to Khawa (it is not far from cutline and I have seen tracks there).

I have plotted my own route from Tshabong on the satellite images, and if I would have had few days to expore the area I would definitely give it a go. But my main objective were dunes west of Khawa, and I wanted to save up some energy and time for those, And as you can see from the latest episode, I should have shortened my detours even more to focus only on the dunes in one day - I'm clearly no Amageza warrior.

That said if one has a time or lives close by like m0lt3n, there is no excuse to not explore the area properly. I'm sure I could find nice roundabout track through the whole area given more time, even if there may be few private ranches.

Offline m0lt3n

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Re: Why is all the good riding so far away from Kathu...
« Reply #39 on: June 29, 2017, 07:33:46 am »
I am focusing, catching some tips. Good info that petrol is available before Bokspits. I am trying to figure out how far I can go and be back home on a day trip.
(excuse is browny points, they are few and far in between!)

Dooie visse gaan saam met die stroom...