Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register

Author Topic: Travels through God’s own motorcycle country  (Read 7753 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Sheepman

Re: Travels through God’s own motorcycle country
« Reply #200 on: October 11, 2017, 09:36:55 pm »
Absolutely the right title for your report - Stunning !
 

Offline Lou1

Re: Travels through God’s own motorcycle country
« Reply #201 on: October 12, 2017, 07:31:30 am »
THIS is adventure riding!
 

Offline ClimbingTurtle

  • Forum Vendor
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS Adventure
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 4,499
  • Thanked: 4 times
  • Give It Horns - Save Our Rhino's
    • View Profile
    • Majita Tool Supplies
Re: Travels through God’s own motorcycle country
« Reply #202 on: October 12, 2017, 08:07:24 am »
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:

And now I have to get the right bike and go there too....
Oh - and do some sand training....
One day!
 ;)
www.majita.co.za - we sell tools!

"And if I knew I was going to be this thirsty, I would have drunk more last night"

2010 R1200GS Adventure - 1981 XT500 - 1980 XT500 - Gone to Mud Island for a better life with Roadcat the Lordly, Keeper of the Mead...!
 

Offline MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,072
  • Thanked: 9 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • View Profile
    • Team 525
Re: Travels through God’s own motorcycle country
« Reply #203 on: October 12, 2017, 05:58:37 pm »
Day 14: Last rites - Brandberg to Spitzkoppe



How was it not possible to wake up feeling a little blue today? It was the last full riding day of our trip - tomorrow we’d be getting back to the car and beginning the journey home. Such a long ride, so many things seen and experienced. I felt jam-packed with sensations, images and memories, happy to be thinking of home, but also down to be leaving this episode of life behind.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We still had a gorgeous day’s riding ahead of us! First things first - a filthy filch of a jackal had been in camp during the night and robbed us blind. What could he possibly want with a bright pink, plastic Barbie coffee mug, I ask you? Take it home to luvvie and let her lick out the last remnants of last night’s hot chocolate? We’d camped  in a huge, flat sandy plain and I walked around for fifteen minutes and couldn’t see it anywhere. Oh - he’d also napped a small frying pan/lid of a billy can. WTF??!?

The riding looked great, so we loaded up pretty quickly and got to it. For the last hour yesterday we’d been seeing these massive holes in the track:



Please will someone tell me what lives down there? There were dozens and dozens of them spread out all over the place. If you weren’t careful your front wheel was going down there - about a metre across and half a metre deep on the biggest ones - and you were going flying.

We were now skirting the southern edge of the Brandberg, no longer purple in the morning light, but still dramatic.







There was a fierce competition going on. Midge and I both have 5.3 gallon tanks - 20l if you believe Acerbis and 19l according to KTM. He’d been crowing about the miserly DR650 but I’d been blown away by the frugal 500 on this trip so I’d wagered him at Palmwag on who would run out first. The route was supposed to be 360km, and I was pretty confident I could do it on a tank, but I’d been short shifting and super easy on the throttle the last two days just in case, to try and stretch the fuel out. The only exception was the race through the river bed for 80km yesterday, but Midge was involved in that too, so even Stevens.

When I checked his bike this morning, he looked a lot worse off than I did. I goaded him into upping the ante, and he foolishly got involved, promising to bring me an ice-cold beer on his knees at the next stop if he ran out. Haha! Game on.

The trail stretched out longer than expected, and since I was up front, I threw in every diversion I could. 350 kilometres, 360 kilometres… the Midget was looking deeply concerned. The DR was sucking on air, petrol hardly visible in the tank. 370… we turned onto the road to Uis and still he was hanging in there. Clocking 380 just as we turned into town, I looked back one final time, hoping to see the little fella off and pushing. Sadly it was not to be. Buttercup puttered into town on her last breath and died at the fuel pump. Bugger.

The 500, on the other hand, was cruising… easy streets!



She took 17.5l on board - so still had at least 50km left in her. That’s a 430+ km range! Just sensational. I knew from my 450 at Amageza that it could do 270 on a tank under race conditions, flat out in the sand, but I think this 500 may be even more economical.

We took on board fuel, food and breakfast in Uis, and then headed out for our final night at Spitzkoppe. From here we’d be retracing our steps - perhaps a fitting way to end… re-wind the clock, play back the memories from what seemed like such a very long time ago…

Time had faded the memory, I guess, because I’d completely forgotten about our sensational Omaruru river bed on day two! Check this out:



This ride wasn’t going gently into that dark night… we were jumping onboard a freight train, and hanging on for dear life. Just glorious!









Honestly, riding this river bed in reverse was right up there with the best riding we’d had on all our travels:







And then it happened! I was leading and came around a bend in the river flat out in 6th, when I saw this!



Jam on the anchors, Lords of the River Gods be praised! A bloody pachyderm!! Right there in our river bed! A parting gift for all the wonderment, perhaps. Believe it or not, this was the first ellie we’d actually ridden into properly in a river bed, the whole trip, and maybe it was appropriate we had to wait until right at the end?



He was about 80m away, eating grass and minding his own business. We took photos, marvelled and enjoyed, and eventually decided it was time to pass. I was elected one-most-likely-to-effect-a-reliable-180-degree-emergency-turn and told to test the route past him. I rode slowly forward, and stopped again about 30m out. He slowly turned to look at me, I looked back. He ate some more grass and then lumbered off extremely slowly into the bushes. Gone.

On we rode…









Goodbye to the final river bed. And what a ride! As we exited the river bed a ranger of some kind approached us at the gate of a ramshackle farm building.

“Have you seen the elephants?” He asked.

Apparently there were two of them in that river bed - one recognisable by a missing tusk - and they’d been causing havoc. The elephants had been sucking water out of the farm tanks, and the farmers had been feeding them. Then several nights later they had returned and trashed the place. Now the farmers wanted them shot. A sad reminder of the disturbed and edgy relationship between humans and animals. I hope that wasn’t how it ended.

We turned south and made our way slowly towards Spitzkoppe. I think nobody could bring themselves to ride at any speed, and I’m sure it wasn’t just me lost in my own thoughts.





Spitzkoppe was as profound and beautiful as it had been the first night. We bought beer, climbed a little koppie and watched the final rays of the sun disappear.






Offline Renrew

Re: Travels through God’s own motorcycle country
« Reply #204 on: October 12, 2017, 06:07:31 pm »
Truly magical MaxTP! I hope to be passing through this very route over December if all goes to plan.

Do you perhaps have your route loaded on this thread?
Kraftfahrzeuge Trunkenpolz Mattighofen
KTM 1190R
KTM 990R
KTM 950R Super Enduro_0km ;)
KTM 300 XC-W
 

Offline isiTututu

Re: Travels through God’s own motorcycle country
« Reply #205 on: October 12, 2017, 06:33:33 pm »
I may be wrong, but I think these are aardvark holes. Any place they get the scent of termites or ants, they'll burrow after them for dinner.

 

Offline MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,072
  • Thanked: 9 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • View Profile
    • Team 525
Travels through God’s own motorcycle country
« Reply #206 on: October 12, 2017, 06:47:45 pm »
They must have been hungry - there were a shitload of them.

We missed you, brother. The second half was sad without you!

Offline MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,072
  • Thanked: 9 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • View Profile
    • Team 525
Re: Travels through God’s own motorcycle country
« Reply #207 on: October 12, 2017, 06:49:04 pm »
Truly magical MaxTP! I hope to be passing through this very route over December if all goes to plan.

Do you perhaps have your route loaded on this thread?

Na - will pull one together soon and post it. Or PM me.

Offline armpump

Re: Travels through God’s own motorcycle country
« Reply #208 on: October 13, 2017, 06:58:54 am »
Very very cool and thanks for sharing.

 

Offline MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,072
  • Thanked: 9 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • View Profile
    • Team 525
Re: Travels through God’s own motorcycle country
« Reply #209 on: October 13, 2017, 07:04:42 am »
Day 15: The good ole wheel of fortune keeps turning - Spitzkoppe to Windhoek



Perhaps it was a fitting that we started today doing something other than motorcycling. Personally, I thought climbing Spitzkoppe in the dark in motorcycle boots was a ludicrous idea, but I wasn’t going to be the only one staying in camp either.





We got a bit lost on the way up, but eventually reached one of the mini summits just in time.















And like the undeniable, unmovable mass of the mountain, sometimes you just have to recognise that the trip is over.



These are truly odd trees - what are these things called again?









I think it was less than 60km straight out to Usakos, where we picked up the car, thanks to the really nice manager at the Engen, and loaded up on some very wet, sweaty biltong.

And then it was into the car for the three hour drive back to Windhoek, were we’d spend the night. The Midge and The English would be jetting home the next day to their lovelies and offspring, and Camel had pulled the unlucky ticket and volunteered to drive home with me - my original drive partner was languishing in Cape Town with his leg in plaster.

Nobody was very talkative. I think everything we’d been through in the last two weeks - was it only two weeks?? - was still sinking in and thoughts were turning back to home, and the lives we’d put on pause.

We were half way to Windhoek, when The Midge suddenly let out a loud, high pitched squeal!! I almost drove off the road. WTF??

He was gesticulating wildly in front of us at the Amarok bakkie that had just overtaken us. Suddenly I realised what all the fuss was about. There, languishing in the back, like a lone cow on her way to market, was el Professore’s motorcycle!!!

The gods be damned!! I flashed like crazy and put the hazzards on, and the bakkie pulled over. In a few minutes I heard what was going on in the cab. The driver, Loftie du Toit, was on the phone to Hardy de Kock:

“Hardy, I’ve just caught up with a bakkie and four bikes - I think it’s the okes who own this bike!”

“OK man - pass them and see if they recognise you…”

Recognise him, we did.





I’ve never met Loftie, but I know his brother Gerrit from several successive Amagezas. What a small world, and what a strange coincidence! Loftie works in mining in Swakop, and Hardy had called him up and asked him to take a huge drum of fuel to Puros for them.

“Sure, I’ve got nothing better to do… I’ll drive 1,000km north for you to bring you a can of gas."

When he got there, Hardy then asked him to drop the 690 in Windhoek, to spare it further indignity of languishing on the back of a Honda rescue caravan in the full glare of the motorcycling media. Perhaps there was an omen there - 20 Hondas travel around the entire northern half of Namibia and the only bike they have to recover and evacuate is a KTM!

But for us, the Good Wheel of Fortune keeps on turning… Thank you Loftie!!







We weren’t even back in Windhoek and already we had Gav’s ride back, ready for the trip home.

We were back in Windhoek in time for a brief afternoon nap, and then I drove over to the Safari Hotel to go and meet the Honda crowd, who had finally caught up with us, and say thank you to Hardy.

Isn’t that a testament to the true essence of South African warmth and friendship? We lose a motorcycle in the far north of Namibia, virtually on the Angolan border, and more than 2,000km away from South Africa. We abandon it in a campsite with a local we’ve just met, and a letter for someone else we’ve never met, and no sooner do we get in our car, a week later, than the the bike is dropped off with us on the side of the road, ready to be loaded and repatriated.

The Safari Hotel was a bit of an experience - all kinds of Friday night Windhoek crazy was kicking off in the various car parks of the huge place - but I located my good friend Andrew Johnstone/Kamanya and hobnobbed with him for a while. I think he knew he was in the running to win his Africa Twin at the function later that evening, so there was quite a bit of excitement bubbling. I believe he was the runner up in the end - bummer Andrew!

Eventually we found Hardy, and I got to shake his hand for the first time. What a cool guy. A whirlwind of admin was exploding all around him, and everyone wanted his attention, but all he wanted to do was talk excitedly about our route - where had we gone? What were the highlights? Which bits did we love? The Valley of Desolation, Little Serengeti - some of our favourites were his secrets shared, and they had been as sweet as you like. What a cool guy - thank you Hardy!!

Then it was back to our corner of the city, and our last supper at Joe’s Beer House. We all ate way too much meat, drank way too much, and crawled back to our urban tents to collapse.

All that remained was to get back home.

Offline edgy

  • Bachelor Dog
  • *****
  • Bike: Honda CRF-1000L Africa Twin
    Location: Eastern Cape
  • Posts: 11,685
  • Thanked: 1 times
    • View Profile
    • A Stone's Throw Bed & Breakfast
Re: Travels through God’s own motorcycle country
« Reply #210 on: October 13, 2017, 07:43:42 am »
Sorry I missed what the issue was, why was the 690 left and why was it on the bakkie?
www.astonesthrow.co.za

'16 Africa Twin CRF1000
'12 KTM200
`11 CRF 230F `12 KTM 200  BEER..."I drink it when I`m happy or when I`m sad. I drink it when I`m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. Trifle with it if I`m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it - unless I`m thirsty"
 

Offline RobLH

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Bike: Honda CRF-1000L Africa Twin
    Location: Kwazulu Natal
  • Posts: 25
    • View Profile
Re: Travels through God’s own motorcycle country
« Reply #211 on: October 13, 2017, 07:46:02 am »
Fantastic report and superb photies, thank you.

PS. Agreed on the holes being made by Aardvark.
 

Offline Xpat

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: AJS (all models)
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 2,866
  • Thanked: 2 times
    • View Profile
Re: Travels through God’s own motorcycle country
« Reply #212 on: October 13, 2017, 08:02:03 am »
Fantastic report, thanks MTP!  :thumleft:

And kudos to Hardy & his gang for helping the orphaned KTM out.  :thumleft:

Offline Damaraland

Re: Travels through God’s own motorcycle country
« Reply #213 on: October 13, 2017, 08:08:32 am »
Thanks for a fantastic report, we did much the same two weeks ago and the writing really takes me back.

"Apparently there were two of them in that river bed - one recognisable by a missing tusk - and they’d been causing havoc. The elephants had been sucking water out of the farm tanks, and the farmers had been feeding them. Then several nights later they had returned and trashed the place. Now the farmers wanted them shot. A sad reminder of the disturbed and edgy relationship between humans and animals. I hope that wasn’t how it ended."

His name was Kambonde and unfortunately he was shot, along with another bull called Tsaurab between the 18th and 20th of September.  Word is that the so-called hunter put 7 bullets in Kambonde which didn't kill him - MET official had to put him out of his agony.  One day we will pay the price for all this shit.
Video RR - Messum & Ugab (https://goo.gl/Uhd1vb)  / RR - Solitaire (http://goo.gl/cbfxnS)
Video RR - Southern Namibia (http://goo.gl/WpRdRE) / Video RR - Ugab (http://goo.gl/dr57i9)
Video RR - Omaruru River (http://goo.gl/RCTajv)
 

Offline isiTututu

Re: Travels through God’s own motorcycle country
« Reply #214 on: October 13, 2017, 08:12:48 am »
Thanks for a fantastic report, we did much the same two weeks ago and the writing really takes me back.

"Apparently there were two of them in that river bed - one recognisable by a missing tusk - and they’d been causing havoc. The elephants had been sucking water out of the farm tanks, and the farmers had been feeding them. Then several nights later they had returned and trashed the place. Now the farmers wanted them shot. A sad reminder of the disturbed and edgy relationship between humans and animals. I hope that wasn’t how it ended."

His name was Kambonde and unfortunately he was shot, along with another bull called Tsaurab between the 18th and 20th of September.  Word is that the so-called hunter put 7 bullets in Kambonde which didn't kill him - MET official had to put him out of his agony.  One day we will pay the price for all this shit.

Makes me sick!  >:(
 

Offline isiTututu

Re: Travels through God’s own motorcycle country
« Reply #215 on: October 13, 2017, 08:13:33 am »
Sorry I missed what the issue was, why was the 690 left and why was it on the bakkie?

Edgy, you're going to have to read the report ;-)
 

Offline frankmac

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Singer (all models)
    Location: Kwazulu Natal
  • Posts: 1,267
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • You want my what??
    • View Profile
Re: Travels through God’s own motorcycle country
« Reply #216 on: October 13, 2017, 08:21:25 am »
"These are truly odd trees - what are these things called again? "

Are those not Impala lilies?
 

Offline MaxThePanda

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Vespa (all models)
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 2,072
  • Thanked: 9 times
  • As in 'Even more Panda'. Also likes sharks.
    • View Profile
    • Team 525
Re: Travels through God’s own motorcycle country
« Reply #217 on: October 13, 2017, 08:27:48 am »
Thanks for a fantastic report, we did much the same two weeks ago and the writing really takes me back.

"Apparently there were two of them in that river bed - one recognisable by a missing tusk - and they’d been causing havoc. The elephants had been sucking water out of the farm tanks, and the farmers had been feeding them. Then several nights later they had returned and trashed the place. Now the farmers wanted them shot. A sad reminder of the disturbed and edgy relationship between humans and animals. I hope that wasn’t how it ended."

His name was Kambonde and unfortunately he was shot, along with another bull called Tsaurab between the 18th and 20th of September.  Word is that the so-called hunter put 7 bullets in Kambonde which didn't kill him - MET official had to put him out of his agony.  One day we will pay the price for all this shit.

Oh my god this is just horrible. The other bull, Tsaurub, was probably the elephant we encountered in the river bed. He had both tusks, and I believe there were only two in that area. I fucking hate the killing of animals for sport, fun or trophies. I hope one day the perps get to line up naked in front of some angry bastard who gets to wreak bloody vengeance on them.

Offline Xpat

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: AJS (all models)
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 2,866
  • Thanked: 2 times
    • View Profile
Re: Travels through God’s own motorcycle country
« Reply #218 on: October 13, 2017, 08:49:34 am »
MTP, what was the problem with the second 690 - the one your brother spent whole night fixing at Marble campsite? I read the report but do not recall you saying what turned out to be the root cause.

Ta

Offline KiLRoy

  • A serious man...
  • Administrator
  • Bachelor Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 13,605
  • Thanked: 7 times
  • You said it, man. Nobody fucks with the Jesus
    • View Profile
    • Wild Dog Adventure Riders
Re: Travels through God’s own motorcycle country
« Reply #219 on: October 13, 2017, 10:40:06 am »
Time to move this RR to where it belongs.

Well done okes and thanks for sharing your story
Whataboutism . When Cold War criticisms were leveled at the Soviet Union, the response would be "What about..." followed by the naming of an event in the Western world. It represents a case of tu quoque (appeal to hypocrisy), a logical fallacy that attempts to discredit the opponent's position by asserting the opponent's failure to act consistently in accordance with that position, without directly refuting or disproving the opponent's initial argument