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Author Topic: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country  (Read 29225 times)

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Offline frankmac

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #180 on: October 10, 2017, 06:58:18 pm »
I can just imagine a lion's consternation on approaching your lager as to how he would manage to break through the perimeter defences
 

Offline Pilchie

Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #181 on: October 10, 2017, 10:21:12 pm »
 :imaposer:
I can just imagine a lion's consternation on approaching your lager as to how he would manage to break through the perimeter defences
:imaposer: :imaposer:
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Offline tulips

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #182 on: October 11, 2017, 09:57:34 am »
:imaposer:
I can just imagine a lion's consternation on approaching your lager as to how he would manage to break through the perimeter defences
:imaposer: :imaposer:

 F thats funny  :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer:
Great read
Very funny Mr Geller can i please get my bike back
 

Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #183 on: October 11, 2017, 03:41:31 pm »
Day 13: Through the Valley of Desolation I shall fear no evil



Alive! Alive! We were all alive!



Consternated lions not withstanding, we had made it through the night. The boma had held against the onslaught! We would live to ride another day.

My enthusiasm about my mattress surviving the Great Burning had been premature. The bloody thing would pretend to hold air for about 15 minutes, and then slowly sink down to the ground, depositing me on the semi sandy hardness. I barely slept.

Still, the morning was pretty breathtaking, and we set off into the soft early light.





It was surprisingly cold, and before long we were stopping to pull on extra warmth. If Iím not mistaken this was the very fist time weíd done that on this trip.





The surrounding hills were smothered in a heavy layer of cloud, and for a while I began to think it might actually rain on us. That would have been quite a shock for this part of Namibia, at any time of year.

Literally five minutes after that last stop, the trail suddenly descended, and we rode up onto a koppie for an unobstructed view over the magnificent Valley of Desolation.





I must be honest - I hadnít been exactly thrilled about riding through a place called that. Weíd done hot, dry, and desolate to exhaustion on this trip already. How great could another place like that really be? Pretty fucking great, is the answer. Just look at this!!





The GPS indicated we were taking that twee-spoor off to the left, but a big part of me wanted to just ride straight for the horizon. After a short while, there was a small encampment in the distance to the left, hidden around a small water hole and some grasses. It looked like a person was standing there watching, following us with binoculars, but it was hard to make out for sure. We rode on, and it was glorious.





Iím running out of adjectives on this story, but it really was all that. Magnificent terrain that made you want to look up, and stop concentrating on where you were going. Iím glad I didnít because the next thing I saw was bloody great footprints tromping directly down the track we were on. And very, very fresh too, cause there was wet dung on the side of the road. Rhino!! How amazing would it be if we got to see one of those?? There was basically zero cover for him, either, so I rode on with my eyes super peeled in the hope of spotting the beast.



Perhaps he was some hours ahead of usÖ or maybe weíre half blind (probably the latter) but we never did spot him. Disappointing, but the feetprints still seemed like a bit of a win. We crossed the dry Huab riverbed, and turned left between some strange rocky mountains. So symmetrically smashed were these rocks, they looked like the byproduct of some mining operation, but I think itís actually natural.







The views across the Doro!Nawas Communal Conservancy were again just stunning in every direction. We climbed out of that little canyon and onto a flat plain, and before long it was time for morning tea.








Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #184 on: October 11, 2017, 03:42:29 pm »
After tea, probably - and I say this extremely hesitantly, bearing in mind what youíve already witnessed - one of the most unexpected and dramatic hourís scenery unfolded before us. It doesnít even have a name on the map, but this is the canyon leading down to the Ugab river.









The walls of the canyon got progressively taller and tighter, and the rock formations and vegetation ever more strange and dramatic.









I mean look at this bad boy:



There were old track marks, but Iíd guess that if you broke down here and were unlucky, it could be weeks before someone found you.



Suddenly, like passing through a set of gates, we were into the Ugab river. The Ugab was the river that Hardy had warned me off the most. Itís received a fair bit of rain and is overgrown, and literally crawling with animals. This far west thereís also a much higher chance of lion. Evidence of that is everywhere - tracks, dung, broken trees from elephant - I hadnít seen any animals yet, but it felt like weíd walked into a large dinner party where everyone had suddenly got up and rushed outsideÖ plates still laden with food, candles smouldering and drops of red wine slowly dripping down glasses.

The dayís trail was so long Iíd split the GPS route into two parts, and the first one ran out right here:



When I saw the Midge stripping off his helmet and looking like he was about to put his feet up and have a break, I literally yelled at him:

ďAre you out of your mind?? Look at this place. Get the hell out of here.Ē



Perhaps I was being overly dramatic. But then again, maybe not. Anything could have run out of those reeds and bushes at any point, and we were sitting ducks. Itís a wild, wild country and we were one hell of a long way from any kind of human habitation or help.

We only had 5km in the Ugab, and then the we hooked a left and climbed to the south, over some rocky outcrops and down into the next valley. Just look at this for contrast!



It was like being in some kind of fast-moving time capsule - no sooner had you steadied your feet and taken in your surrounds, then you get whisked away to somewhere completely different. Blink and we were in a wide open, sandy desert plain, stretching away to the south as far as the eye could see.






Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #185 on: October 11, 2017, 03:43:06 pm »
The Professor had charted this day on Google Earth and heíd spanked it out of his socks. The sky had cleared and the sun was out, but it wasnít warm at all, and I think that contributed to the otherworldly feeling.

The miles were flowing fast under our wheels, and it didnít seem long before we passed a sign for the Dorob National Park. This place is characterised by more red and black rocks, but they were unlike anything weíd seen before. One thing about el-Professore is that he has a loathing of sand due to the fact that all his riding has essentially been on big bikes. In control of the GPS, heíd charted a careful path around any signs of the stuff, but he wasnít here and I was in charge. Weíd now hit the Messum river, in an area thick with giant Welwitschia plants, and there was no way we were bypassing that river bed. I zoomed out a bit on the GPS and noticed that in about 70km we could cross his track again, and so left it was. Wouldnít you?





The Midget was feeling exceptionally frisky, and so was Buttercup, and he set off at a furious pace.



Never one to miss an opportunity for a little desert racing, I hooked onto his right shoulder and started hounding the little Dakar racer. It was hilarious - we were hard on the throttle and the track marks were seesawing wildly in the open river bed. That KTM 500 is sensational in these conditions - so responsive on the throttle you can lift the front at any moment, and the suspension is smooth and progressive enough to feel entirely predictable. Left, right, faster, faster!!! I took out my crop and whipped that lazy carthorse Buttercup into a frenzy of excitement. Faster she galloped, till the cold dry air burned in her lungs and the knobs started to burn off the edges of her tyres.

Out of the river bed, and onto more open plains. I run out of description - it feels like Iím repeating myself over and over - and yet with each new vista the brain buzzed and fizzed with even more excitement. Around 4pm the Brandberg came into view in the far distance, a purple shimmering haze.







Finally a monstrous plain opened before us, like the red sea before the Israelites, and cross it we must.



Light was fading, and the mountains growing closerÖ the end of a truly memorable day. I think, on points, the overall most stunning day of the trip, but that is just a highly subjective title. There had been so much, we had been humbled into a stunned awe.









And in that distance is about where we stopped. Another sublime campsite in the shadow of the big mountain, surrounded by sand. The sun duly sank with a golden glow.











We dragged a huge log to the fire, but couldnít work out how to burn it, and it just became camp art.













How can one put such a day into words? I think the Midge says it best.



Camel celebrated the end of a glorious day by cooking us naan bread on some hot rocks.





I think I was asleep by 8.

Offline armpump

Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #186 on: October 11, 2017, 04:10:08 pm »
Incredible terrain
 

Offline WheelieDog

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #187 on: October 11, 2017, 04:16:28 pm »
Thank you for this incredible RR gentlemen.

I've been following along in amazement. The pictures and writing are top notch.

I made the mistake of clicking on the link to your Angolan adventure and have basically done no constructive work for the last two days. Certainly not time wasted though, I am richer for sharing your experiences!

Big up to you guys for taking the time and writing this report, and for sharing it here :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
For the love of it.
 

Offline Offshore

Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #188 on: October 11, 2017, 04:22:31 pm »
Awesome, thank you for sharing.
 

Offline TinusBez

Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #189 on: October 11, 2017, 04:50:01 pm »
Epic epic epic

Roll on
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Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #190 on: October 11, 2017, 04:56:36 pm »
Thank you for this incredible RR gentlemen.

I've been following along in amazement. The pictures and writing are top notch.

I made the mistake of clicking on the link to your Angolan adventure and have basically done no constructive work for the last two days. Certainly not time wasted though, I am richer for sharing your experiences!

Big up to you guys for taking the time and writing this report, and for sharing it here :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

Thanks WheelieDog! The joy is as much in the reliving of the experience as it is in sharing, but one always hopes people are going to enjoy travelling along. Hopefully the wilddogs site lasts forever - my plan is come back and re-read these in my rocking chair in 40 years time!

Offline TinusBez

Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #191 on: October 11, 2017, 05:05:33 pm »
Thank you for this incredible RR gentlemen.

I've been following along in amazement. The pictures and writing are top notch.

I made the mistake of clicking on the link to your Angolan adventure and have basically done no constructive work for the last two days. Certainly not time wasted though, I am richer for sharing your experiences!

Big up to you guys for taking the time and writing this report, and for sharing it here :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

Thanks WheelieDog! The joy is as much in the reliving of the experience as it is in sharing, but one always hopes people are going to enjoy travelling along. Hopefully the wilddogs site lasts forever - my plan is come back and re-read these in my rocking chair in 40 years time!

I re-read (if there is such a word) many old RR's including yours especially the Ngola one.

I do have a question. Seems you pack awfully light and I like that. You mentioned in an earlier post about carrying oil for the oil change done. How much oil did you carry and where the f... did you put it. I'd reckon the bulk of the luggage was probably oil and the rest camp gear, would that assumption be more or less correct? Guess we're going to get there still and will (im)patiently wait but did you do another fuel change? average km per day/hours. Seems like 7-8 hours of riding per day and at service every 10-15 on the 500 have you only changed oil once?
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Offline Xpat

Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #192 on: October 11, 2017, 05:20:23 pm »
Now you are just getting annoying! I have ridden there 4 times, but never heard of Valley of Desolation. So now - just because of you - I have to go again?!

Thanks a bunch!  :peepwall: :pot: :ricky:
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 05:27:44 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #193 on: October 11, 2017, 05:32:19 pm »

I do have a question. Seems you pack awfully light and I like that. You mentioned in an earlier post about carrying oil for the oil change done. How much oil did you carry and where the f... did you put it. I'd reckon the bulk of the luggage was probably oil and the rest camp gear, would that assumption be more or less correct? Guess we're going to get there still and will (im)patiently wait but did you do another fuel change? average km per day/hours. Seems like 7-8 hours of riding per day and at service every 10-15 on the 500 have you only changed oil once?

Hey Tinus

Yeah - been trying to cut out stuff every time we go! :) Look, it's probably not necessary for this kind of riding, and I know the Motology crowd did 5,000km between oil changes on their recent ride in S America, but I want to keep this bike a while, and I figured I'd be nice to her. So, plan was less than 2,000km on an oil change. I had 2 litre bottles of Motorex in one side of the Coyote - they're flat so it's not really that bad - the bike uses 1.5l. I also had 2 spare foam oil filters, pre-oiled and scrunched up in ziplock bags - that was probably more important.

We did under 3,000km in the end - the oil was probably necessary! The manual says 20 hours on the 500, I think, but that's race conditions. I'll do a full technical and gear post at the end of the RR.

Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #194 on: October 11, 2017, 05:35:21 pm »
Now you are just getting annoying! I have ridden there 4 times, but never heard of Valley of Desolation. So now - just because of you - I have to go again?!

Thanks a bunch!  :peepwall: :pot: :ricky:

Haha  >:D . Writing this I'm looking at all the places I left out. If you haven't done Little Serengeti that's a must. I'd love to ride the whole of the Hoanib and Huab. Damaraland is where it's at!!

Offline TinusBez

Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #195 on: October 11, 2017, 05:43:24 pm »

I do have a question. Seems you pack awfully light and I like that. You mentioned in an earlier post about carrying oil for the oil change done. How much oil did you carry and where the f... did you put it. I'd reckon the bulk of the luggage was probably oil and the rest camp gear, would that assumption be more or less correct? Guess we're going to get there still and will (im)patiently wait but did you do another fuel change? average km per day/hours. Seems like 7-8 hours of riding per day and at service every 10-15 on the 500 have you only changed oil once?

Hey Tinus

Yeah - been trying to cut out stuff every time we go! :) Look, it's probably not necessary for this kind of riding, and I know the Motology crowd did 5,000km between oil changes on their recent ride in S America, but I want to keep this bike a while, and I figured I'd be nice to her. So, plan was less than 2,000km on an oil change. I had 2 litre bottles of Motorex in one side of the Coyote - they're flat so it's not really that bad - the bike uses 1.5l. I also had 2 spare foam oil filters, pre-oiled and scrunched up in ziplock bags - that was probably more important.

We did under 3,000km in the end - the oil was probably necessary! The manual says 20 hours on the 500, I think, but that's race conditions. I'll do a full technical and gear post at the end of the RR.

Thanks, yeah I forgot about those hours being race conditions. The motology crew may have gone overboard and agree on air filters, fortunately they're small.
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Sweat dries, blood clots and bones heal, Suck it up princess
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #196 on: October 11, 2017, 05:46:57 pm »


Hey Tinus

Yeah - been trying to cut out stuff every time we go! :) Look, it's probably not necessary for this kind of riding, and I know the Motology crowd did 5,000km between oil changes on their recent ride in S America, but I want to keep this bike a while, and I figured I'd be nice to her. So, plan was less than 2,000km on an oil change. I had 2 litre bottles of Motorex in one side of the Coyote - they're flat so it's not really that bad - the bike uses 1.5l. I also had 2 spare foam oil filters, pre-oiled and scrunched up in ziplock bags - that was probably more important.

We did under 3,000km in the end - the oil was probably necessary! The manual says 20 hours on the 500, I think, but that's race conditions. I'll do a full technical and gear post at the end of the RR.

Did you really go through 2 spare air filters on this trip? Couldn't you go with one and just clean it regularly? Ta

Offline isiTututu

Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #197 on: October 11, 2017, 06:11:41 pm »
The Professor had charted this day on Google Earth and heíd spanked it out of his socks. The sky had cleared and the sun was out, but it wasnít warm at all, and I think that contributed to the otherworldly feeling.

The miles were flowing fast under our wheels, and it didnít seem long before we passed a sign for the Dorob National Park. This place is characterised by more red and black rocks, but they were unlike anything weíd seen before. One thing about el-Professore is that he has a loathing of sand due to the fact that all his riding has essentially been on big bikes. In control of the GPS, heíd charted a careful path around any signs of the stuff, but he wasnít here and I was in charge. Weíd now hit the Messum river, in an area thick with giant Welwitschia plants, and there was no way we were bypassing that river bed. I zoomed out a bit on the GPS and noticed that in about 70km we could cross his track again, and so left it was. Wouldnít you?

That's just plain cheeky! So you opted for yet another sandy river bed in order to circumnavigate the Messum Crater in its entirety. Shame on you  ::)
 

Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #198 on: October 11, 2017, 06:40:13 pm »
What? No surely not. Your road just ran next to the river! We must do Basecamp and check this out!!

Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Travels through Godís own motorcycle country
« Reply #199 on: October 11, 2017, 06:41:25 pm »


Hey Tinus

Yeah - been trying to cut out stuff every time we go! :) Look, it's probably not necessary for this kind of riding, and I know the Motology crowd did 5,000km between oil changes on their recent ride in S America, but I want to keep this bike a while, and I figured I'd be nice to her. So, plan was less than 2,000km on an oil change. I had 2 litre bottles of Motorex in one side of the Coyote - they're flat so it's not really that bad - the bike uses 1.5l. I also had 2 spare foam oil filters, pre-oiled and scrunched up in ziplock bags - that was probably more important.

We did under 3,000km in the end - the oil was probably necessary! The manual says 20 hours on the 500, I think, but that's race conditions. I'll do a full technical and gear post at the end of the RR.

Did you really go through 2 spare air filters on this trip? Couldn't you go with one and just clean it regularly? Ta
Actually I find that more of a hack. Carrying filter oil and having the right conditions to clean them is a pain if youíre camping. I prefer the spray oil anyway...