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Offline charliepappa

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Re: Our Story of the Honda Quest 2017
« Reply #80 on: October 01, 2017, 09:49:50 pm »
This whole experience is still something that I find myself thinking about and milling through in my mind…

When this Quest – True Adventure initiative was made public by Hardy on this forum, I’m sure my reaction was the same as most other entrants: Sure, why not; nothing to lose and everything to win. On Monday 17 July I wake up to an e-mail from Gené stating I’m one of the semi-finalists. Next was 3 weeks of chatting on the Whatsapp group, organising accommodation & lifts to the semi’s, getting on the Africa Twin to not look like a noob at the semi’s and then still trying to convince yourself this is not a dream!

Bootcamp was a bit surreal as well. A lot has already been written about Bootcamp so I’m going to skip over going into details. We all slept, ate, wrote tests and socialised in one big hall. Cold is not the word to describe the nights. That part of the country in not know as the Kouebokkeveld for nothing! Bootcamp was also the first time I got on a DCT. I think most people thought: an automatic adventure bike? This must be madness! But from minute one I spent on the DCT, I knew this is the way of the future. It’s such an easy and comfortable bike to ride (but a lot more on that later).

Leaving Bootcamp I’m sure no one let their phones out of sight and was eagerly awaiting the phone to ring with the good news… I got the call 10:30 the Monday morning and I actually missed it! Luckily it wasn’t one of those “if you miss the call, you miss your chance” situations! And so started to longest 4 weeks of my life.
I decided to control the things I could and make the best of the things I couldn’t. Hearing all the “horror” stories of the temperatures we were going to encounter and getting weather updates of 34 degrees in the beginning of August in Northern Namibia made me focus a lot on fitness. I figured this would help in the second part of Quest when we got to Van Zyl’s Pass and the desert. Another thing I had control over, was the presentation we had to do. Everybody received a topic on an African “landmark” and had to prepare a speech that would be about 15 minutes. My topic was the vast Saharan Desert; more on that in the next installment.

Getting two weeks’ worth of gear in an 85 liter duffel bag was a mission as well as deciding what tools to pack. Looking back I would have taken less riding clothes (but more warm clothes to sleep in, the nights were cold) and more snacks. Not that we didn’t eat well, we had red meat every night which was a treat, but snacks to keep the blood-sugar high is always essential. Almost every other day we camped at a venue where we could either wash our own gear or pay the locals to wash our gear. The best gear I packed was the 2nd bladder for my hydration pack. We drank A LOT of water…with Re-hydrate in it as per Ockie’s instructions.

I didn’t have a proper nights’ sleep the 4 weeks building up to Quest, but that last night before leaving for Namibia took the cake. I took forever to fall asleep and was awake before the alarm went off. Eventually got the farewell committee in the car and off we went to OR Tambo. Excitement was in the air and everybody was eager to get thought check-in and passport control and board.

The initial plan was to go through passport control, get to the bikes and do the setup on them and then head to the hotel, but after spending an eternity at the airport due to some hold-ups, we went straight to the hotel. There we received the “pool” intro you guys saw already. We had a couple of beers to settle the nerves and off to bed it was because tomorrow the adventure of a life time was about to kick-off!
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Offline Kobus Myburgh

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Our Story of the Honda Quest 2017
« Reply #81 on: October 02, 2017, 08:58:44 am »
Day 1 – Windhoek to Spitzkoppe

We woke up the morning of 5 September with excitement that haven’t been seen since boyhood.  We walked faster, talked faster and just had a good feeling about the day, nothing that felt this right could possibly go wrong.

Passports were handed in for safekeeping, well …. all but Gryph’s.   :lol8:  And then it was the wait for transport to take us to Honda Pupkewitz.  Everyone was excited to be united with the steed that would carry us for the next 11 days through whatever lay ahead.

Our transport arrived and we were fortunate to be in the first bus on our way to Honda.  On arrival everyone was in awe of the showroom floor that welcomed us.  22 Africa Twins, fitted with Rumbux crash bars, bash plate, GoGravel radiator guards and oh man did they look the part!  All that was missing was some of the numbers and the contestant names.  I set off scouting the bikes – I wanted a white one and wanted the familiarity of a manual.  The DCT was still a strange concept, even though having the opportunity of a quick spin during bootcamp.









Everyone was in a frenzy busy fitting their tool bags and other little creature comforts.  Courtesy of ChrisL and Dustriders, I had a brand new 4X tankbag and Basepack 6.5 from Enduristan, neatly strapped down with Enduristan Rok straps.  They worked a treat and the tank bag was the perfect size not to interfere with any movement on the bike when riding in any position.



Tyres showing us which bike he'll be taking home.



 Schalk Burger (Pupkewitz Honda Dealer Principal) welcomed us, after which Barend Fouche (Honda – Head of Motorcycle Division SA) and Hardy also addressed us.  To even attempt to recall what was all said would be a totally unfair expectation of a man getting ready for the experience of a lifetime!





 Somewhere in between we had a finger breakfast courtesy of Honda.



And then it was time to go.  I clearly remember getting on the bike, looking at my boots, then the slippery showroom floor and thinking aloud – Ag Here, ek weet ek gaan een of ander tyd val, maar moet asseblief nie dat dit sommer hier in die showroom wees nie!

I made it safely out the showroom and we were led out of Windhoek with Tau in the lead and Jaco Kirsten riding sweeper.  Although the ride was easy and the pace relaxed, it was amazing to be on the bike and your mind wondering to what could possibly lie ahead, who would be your partner and how will I cope with the next 11 days.  (And can Hinksding really be this  grumpy for 11 days non stop?)

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

The first stop on route.











We finally arrived at Spitzkoppe where we would stay the night.  What a site!  You simply can’t describe in words the beauty of the approach and the final beauty of the landscape staring at you upon arrival.  Everyone was in high spirit and in awe of this magical place.









We were then introduced to offloading the Iveco and setting up camp, something that we would get very used to in the time that lay ahead.  If you want to know what the Iveco load bin looks like, Scalpel will describe it in detail.  He was the Tetris king when it came to packing.  With camp set up, the majority of contestants headed for the mountains to enjoy the spectacular view. 

Offloading the Iveco, with Scalpel in the back.



Minxy, Kamanya and Angus












Spitzkoppe

The Spitzkoppe (from German for "pointed dome"; also referred to as Spitzkop, Groot Spitzkop, or the "Matterhorn of Namibia"), is a group of bald granite peaks or inselbergs located between Usakos and Swakopmund in the Namib desert of Namibia. The granite is more than 120 million years old and the highest outcrop rises about 1,784 metres (5,853 ft) above sea level. The peaks stand out dramatically from the flat surrounding plains. The highest peak is about 700 m (2,300 ft) above the floor of the desert below. A minor peak – the Little Spitzkoppe – lies nearby at an elevation of 1,584 m (5,197 ft). Other prominences stretch out into a range known as the Pontok Mountains.[1]
Many examples of Bushmen artwork can be seen painted on the rock in the Spitzkoppe area. The Spitzkoppe Mountains were also the filming location for 2001: A Space Odyssey in the "Dawn of Man" sequences.

In 1896, a trading post named Spitzkopje was built below the mountain by the German Colonial Society, the centrepiece of a 120,000-hectare farm. The Society built a five-room farmhouse and stables, storerooms and other outbuildings. In 1899 the farm held 120 horses, 1,500 cattle and 4,000 sheep and goats; its manager was a German settler named Carl Schlettwein.[2]Later it was transferred to the Farmer Jooste and a police station was built (the foundation walls are still under Pontok 4 chroma noise).[clarification needed]
In 1964, under the "Odendaal Plan" of the Odendaal Commission for the creation of home territories (home lands) for the black population, the farm was expropriated with compensation. In 1970 they moved multiple Damara families here, which were in fact a village with a church and school development. Since 1998, the municipal campsite and the area was declared as Gaingu Conservancy on 7 September 2003 around the Great Spitzkoppe. A Hollywood film company[who?] erected a high game fence which cuts off the entire area between the large Spitzkoppe and Spitzkoppe Pontoks. This represents about half of the camping places which ceased to exist, access to many climbing rocks and also the normal route to the Great Spitzkoppe barred. The popular Circumnavigation of the Great Spitzkoppe (1–1.5 hours) is no longer possible.






More a bit later.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 08:19:01 am by ktmkobus »
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Offline GRyPH

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Re: Our Story of the Honda Quest 2017
« Reply #82 on: October 02, 2017, 09:26:11 am »





And then it was time to go.  I clearly remember getting on the bike, looking at my boots, then the slippery showroom floor and thinking aloud – Ag Here, ek weet ek gaan een of ander tyd val, maar moet asseblief nie dat dit sommer hier in die showroom wees nie!






 :imaposer: :imaposer:

Jy was nie aleen opdie een  nie kobus.    Ek het amper afgeklim en die bike uitgestoot.  :imaposer:  maartoe dink ek , netnou gly my voet en laat val die bike sonder dat jy op hom is?   Dis beter om hom te ry 😂

« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 09:28:29 am by GRyPH »
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Offline Kobus Myburgh

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Our Story of the Honda Quest 2017
« Reply #83 on: October 02, 2017, 12:43:09 pm »
With the fire lit, we gathered round for the first presentations of our expedition. 



First up was Charliepappa, telling us everything there is to know about the Sahara.  This very first presentation was setting the benchmark very high for any act to follow!



Next up was Throttle Jockey entertaining us with facts of the Fish River Canyon and the story of the Vespa’s taken through there.  I’ll let him elaborate on that should he so wish.



And then came the team announcements….. 



I watched as everyone went up with their team mate.  So focused that I didn’t realise that our team was the last one left.  And then I heard it …….. Gerrit du Toit (Scrat) and Kobus Myburgh.

Holy crap, how can I be this lucky!  This is not only Gerrit du Toit, or Scrat, this is also ‘Gerrit does Amageza’, the guy I’ve been following on Facebook for quite some time and was so stoked to finally meet at bootcamp. 



At this point I had a calmness about me and knew everything is going to be fine for what lay ahead. 

The day ended with teams 9 (Twister & Scalpel) and team 10 (us) on kitchen duty and an excited bunch of newfound friends heading off to bed.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 12:51:24 pm by ktmkobus »
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Online Kamanya

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Re: Our Story of the Honda Quest 2017
« Reply #84 on: October 02, 2017, 12:57:02 pm »
Day 1



I started a Whatsapp group where almost everyone in my contacts list was added. I was hoping to keep people informed a little more than the official stuff that was going to be going out every evening. I didn’t think I’d have reception the whole way but something was better than nothing. I’d also asked if any wanted their spouses on I’d give them the link. It quickly got a bit out of hand.



After a reasonably humorous evening, myself and Gerrit headed off to bed.

I slept well…. Apparently.

Others, not so.





Everyone was chirpy with lots of banter, but mostly being polite with each other. It was a bit of hurry up and wait. I just wanted to get the show on the road. Faffing and goodbyes are not a strongpoint of mine.





Seeing the bikes in the flesh was super cool. I felt a bit like a rockstar - the bike I was given for the day was 55k’s old!



Brand new rubber. It really was a bit over the top.





Apart from checking the tires, I left it as I found it.

All dressed up looking cool





I normally follow a bit of a banting lifestyle, this was the first of 12 more days where that wasn’t going to happen.



Then, once the speeches had been taken care of, it was saddle up and get the show on the road,



Fuelling was simple,



And just like that, we were out of Windhoek heading west. There wasn’t much of an order, it was just stay behind John and ahead of Jacko.

I can’t remember much of the ride other than a growing anticipation for the whole competition to start. I know I spent a bit of time wondering who would be my partner, as I imagine, did everyone else. First Hardy had said the evening before that the partnering was completely random, then changed his tune to state that it was taken only from the scores at bootcamp where the top half were mated with the bottom half. I was sure he was just fake newsing us, I didn’t believe him. I was pretty sure they’d spent some time putting the pairs together. I was trying to work out what all the other contestants were like and also what would the criteria be that they’d pair us off on. I presumed that riding skill would be one aspect. All the riders were above average, but the Western Cape guys to a fair degree held the advantage in sand and I thought that that might be one angle. Another might be personalities; a more outgoing one with a quieter one?

I had asked the evening before to the group whilst we sat around the table, “so, of the potential partners that you could get, who would you NOT like to be paired with?” Well that was a conversation dead end, there was dead silence. I’d been thinking about this one too. I really only knew Gerrit du Toit pretty well (Scrat). Clinton Pienaar and I had formed a friendship from the 250 rally launch. Minxy I’d bumped into over the years through Amageza and various bashes but I didn’t know her that well. I would have been very happy to get them as partners. But for the rest, I didn’t really have much to go on other than first impressions. I was certain that they wouldn’t put me and Gerrit together, it would have been unfair; Two such handsome looking characters! (we’d raced Amageza together 4 times – I think that fact would have barred that pairing).

I was hoping that I got paired with someone who was not just grateful for the opportunity, but was also fiercely competitive and was in it to win it. I wanted someone who fancied their chances and was going to go for it.

Personality clashes are a reality and make for great TV but don’t win these types of things. I suspected that with my outspoken and opinion’ed ways, I might not be the favourite flavour for some. I was guessing of course, but from the few small interactions so far, and with these two criteria of mine and my guesses about Hardy’s way of choosing, that left about 5 or 6 guys that were question marks for me. Not good odds I surmised.

Fortunately, looking back now, I’d been very wrong.

Anyway, places to go, things to see







Lunch







The day passed quickly enough, and just like that, the light changed and the Spitzkoppe were before us. I’d not been there before and wondered just what all the fuss about the place was. There is much to fuss about!



It really is a picturesque place







However, sightseeing was short lived, before the partnerships would be revealed, Charl and Glenn, chosen at random, had to do their presentations before supper.

Charl whacked his out of the park. He’d brought along props! He set the bar very high.



Something that I hadn’t anticipated was that we would have to give them a score. I was generous with both but favoured Charl’s for his great preparation and easy way of telling it.

I also got a bit of a fright. My topic was…



I hadn’t thought to bring anything along for it, it just hadn’t occurred to me. Also, I wasn’t going to be as factual and had taken some liberties in the interpretation of what was expected. Thanks goodness I hadn’t been asked to go first, I had some work to do!

Then with little fanfare, Hardy announced the pairings. He made some speech about that from then on, it was game on and that we’d never be referred to by our names again. It was numbers from then on only.

Phillip Groenewald from George was the unlucky chap who got me. I’d had him on my list of question marks; He’d lost his passport the evening before, so I’d thought, “well, he’s not that organised and I’m pretty useless at detail too, so that wouldn’t be good”. Also I’d massively underestimated his competitiveness. My first words to him were, “Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m here to get that bike!”, he shot back, “Good! Because so am I!”

Oh goody! I can work with that were my next thoughts!

We’d be team 6, Phillip #11 and me #12.

We were handed our bibs that we were going to have to wear for the next 12 days except when sleeping. Also our personalised stickers. In races, it only really gets real when once registered, you get your stickers. Well, it was the same for me here too. We put each of our names on both bikes instead of both of ours on the one, it seemed more appropriate to do it this way.





Phillip had also taken notes



And just like that, the game was on. If you have a weak stomach, maybe skip the next few paragraphs…

Even though it seemed like not much had gone on, it was reasonably late before we all headed off to sleep. When we had arrived, myself and Gerrit had paired up in a tent, now that we had our official partner, this was the last night he had the pleasure of my company. Only my night was just beginning. Around 12 I awoke with that sudden dreaded feeling of needing to shit the bed. I had 4 days previously eaten chicken that had flown right through me and made me sick as a dog. Things had seemed to be firming up so to speak but for some reason, that chicken returned with a vengeance.

I mumbled my apologies to Gerrit for having to open the tent and stumbled off to the highly unpleasant ablutions they have at this community campsite. There was no water or showers, just 2 longdrops both with serious contra-indications. The one that had a bit of a reed wall and roof was seriously full and disgusting. The other was just this in the open but less full.



Because the first one was the closest and I was in serious mincing mode, it got the full brunt of whatever was adamantly wanting out. The relief washed over me but was short lived. Next was frustration and worry; first day of a 12 day bike mission in a desert with the trots is not healthy or fun. Dehydration would be a massive potential game breaker. Not to mention having to stop regularly to sort it out. I wear knee braces and having a boskak is not easy. But, my flood of emotions wasn’t over yet, Panic with a capital P was next up. I’d left the loo paper behind! Bondiblue were the unlucky sponsors of the evenings entertainment, I’ll never look at a sunglasses pouch the same way again!



And so began 2 hours of back and forth. Much later Bernadine, one of the crew who was helping with that evenings editing asked what was up. It resulted in the crew being woken and Ockie the medic being hauled out his tent to treat me. I’d already dosed myself with rehydrate and Imodium and was sucking on tons of water. My only concern was keeping hygenic. With no running water in the camp, keeping everything sanitary was going to be a challenge. Occkie gave me some alcohol swabs to clean my hands. It was a miserable night, but at least whatever was in me to start the evining wasn’t there by the morning, that’s for sure.

Gerrit hadn’t heard a thing, he slept through it all.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 01:08:38 pm by Kamanya »
I wonder where that road goes? And that, has usually made all the difference. Appologies to Mr Frost

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Offline Bwana

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Re: Our Story of the Honda Quest 2017
« Reply #85 on: October 02, 2017, 02:03:44 pm »
Good Honest reporting. I feel for you one of the worst feelings in the world having the shits. I think we have all been there.The excitement and build up could have also added to the problem.
 

Offline THROTTLE JOCKEY

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Re: Our Story of the Honda Quest 2017
« Reply #86 on: October 02, 2017, 03:51:40 pm »


"only one or two contestants being singled out for having
strange objects in their carry-on luggage. I won't mention names. Cough. Glenn. Cough."


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Re: Our Story of the Honda Quest 2017
« Reply #87 on: October 02, 2017, 05:15:42 pm »
Fantastic, really good read.  Thanks everyone :thumleft:

Saw Angus's write-up on his blog which gives quite an interesting angle on how he experienced the event. Interesting and insightful and I guess we'll also read more on here as the event unfolds.  Keep it coming  :ricky:
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Offline Kobus Myburgh

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Re: Our Story of the Honda Quest 2017
« Reply #88 on: October 02, 2017, 05:21:26 pm »
For those that didn't follow the official website, we'll post the daily video as the report unfolds.

"If you have men who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don't want them.  I want men who will come if there is no road at all."

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Offline Minxy

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Re: Our Story of the Honda Quest 2017
« Reply #89 on: October 02, 2017, 05:22:52 pm »
Fantastic, really good read.  Thanks everyone :thumleft:

Saw Angus's write-up on his blog which gives quite an interesting angle on how he experienced the event. Interesting and insightful and I guess we'll also read more on here as the event unfolds.  Keep it coming  :ricky:

A link to Angus's write-up, he's not on Wilddogs and put this on his blog:

https://adventurebikediaries.wordpress.com/2017/10/02/honda-quest-true-adventure-the-finals-deep-in-the-sandy-heart-of-namibia/

Anyway, really been enjoying everyone's write ups so far, can't wait for more! Will add in again soon :)
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Offline McSack

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Re: Our Story of the Honda Quest 2017
« Reply #90 on: October 02, 2017, 07:51:52 pm »
In all honesty I was at the same time surprised, ecstatic and apprehensive at being chosen for Quest. Surprised because a bootcamp I had had a “little off” which got into my head and which I kind of considered a competition limiting move.
Ecstatic because just a year before I had spent some time around Swakopmund and had vowed to return some day on a bike ... and here I was
Majority of my riding is solo and I definitely wouldn’t rate myself as being anywhere close to being an accomplished technical rider ... so apprehensive. I enjoy a bit of technical rocky stuff but riding solo has made me by nature a fairly conservative rider ... added to that, sand and me have never been friends. This trip was apparently going to include plenty sand so to say I was kukking myself a bit would be an understatement.
Starting the morning at Pupkewitz Honda wasn’t doing me any favours either . I just wanted to get on the bike and ride. Only way to quell the nerves in my opinion is to get out there and do it. That first bit of day one flew by me in a blur so I’m just going to post a pic or 2. I reckon other people have already described the mood and feelings far more eloquently than I ever could
I wasn’t even thinking about who I would like as a riding buddy, the moment was just too huge for me. HingsDing had even sidled over to me earlier and asked if I was alright because I looked in serious need of some lightening up ... and that is something coming from one of the most serious looking okes I have ever come across in my life while at bootcamp
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 09:14:13 am by McSack »
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Re: Our Story of the Honda Quest 2017
« Reply #91 on: October 02, 2017, 08:04:59 pm »
And then ... finally ... it was time to make like a jewish foreskin and be off. Check the "relief" inside my helmet just after filling up.
Some tar to get out of Windhoek and then glorious dirt highways (well they felt that way to me anyway) all the way to our first night's camp at Spitzkoppe

[meh! having some hassles with inserting pics here so I'm just going to use forum attachment function for now seeing as I've already started. Apologies for multiple posts]
« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 08:34:35 pm by McSack »
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Re: Our Story of the Honda Quest 2017
« Reply #92 on: October 02, 2017, 08:19:40 pm »
I was really glad to be teamed up with Throttle Jockey for the next (almost) 2 weeks of riding. At bootcamp I found TJ to be a straight shooting dude who pulled no punches when speaking his mind which is something very few people really do nowadays. We were in for some tough riding so having someone to ride with who tells it like it is and isn't pissy about anything right from the start is a big bonus
He is also a great technical rider and loves the deep sand so I was hoping to pick up some tips. ... and boy what a great riding buddy I landed up with. Honestly think I might not have finished this thing without him... faaarkkk the oke has energy :thumleft:
Strangely enough I rode much of the the 1st day just behind, just in front of, or next to him even though we didn't yet know who our team mates were going to be
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 09:15:39 am by McSack »
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Re: Our Story of the Honda Quest 2017
« Reply #93 on: October 03, 2017, 07:38:39 am »
Awesome read!  Agree 100% with your take on Throttle Jockey.  He really sounds, from all accounts, like a giant of a team mate  8)

We just need to also know what the airport didn't allow him to take with with.  TJ?  ;)

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more"
 

Offline gser

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Re: Our Story of the Honda Quest 2017
« Reply #94 on: October 03, 2017, 09:04:20 am »
Wow . . . !
 . . . .what an adventure !
 . . . . well done adv - turers ! (although , "paid for" :-) )
 

Offline GRyPH

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Re: Our Story of the Honda Quest 2017
« Reply #95 on: October 03, 2017, 10:58:33 am »
My Day1 -   from Windhoek to Spitzkoppe



There's not a lot that I can add to what has already been said of day 1.
My main goal for the morning was to get to Honda and retrieve my folder with my passport and presentation.  As soon as I walked in, I went to Schalk's office, and saw my folder on his desk and heard angels sing. Immediately I took my passport to Christoffel who was safekeeping everyone else's passports as well.   

With my passport signed in for safekeeping, I could start to focus on getting to Spitzkoppe where we would hear who we would be teamed up with.

The road to spitzkoppe was a little bit of tar (getting out of Windhoek) and the rest was gravel highway.

below a few photos that I took on the way, as well as in Camp.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 10:59:37 am by GRyPH »
Focus on the journey, not the destination.
 

Offline KarooKid

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Re: Our Story of the Honda Quest 2017
« Reply #96 on: October 03, 2017, 07:04:51 pm »
Day 1: Let The Games Begin

The air was filled with anticipation and all were eager to get this expedition started.

We were told to be ready by 7 to get familiar with our new routine for the next 2 weeks - packing the Iveco puzzle first thing every morning.

Sure everyone will mention the bikes and the crew as we go along, but this specific vehicle and it’s drivers are something special. Carrying a huge load over all kinds of interesting terrain. But more on that later.



We arrived at Pupkewitz Honda for a warm Namibian welcome, some breakfast and to pick up our bikes.

As we arrived everyone picked a bike and started fiddling with it. I thought to myself- good lord these guys are organized. Each had their own way of setting up their bikes. From tool bags to tank bags and all sorts of interesting extras.



Being a hipster and used to BMW on-call I packed more clothes than tools so helped myself to some snacks as I did not have much to do. Dammit I love snacks and who knows when I’ll see food again.



Oh yes and coffee. Lots of coffee.

Off we went. Desperate to get out of Windhoek and onto some dirt.

Immediately competition mode started in my head - what will they judge us on? Should I try and ride as economically as possible to conserve fuel and especially the tyres? Who will be my teammate??? All these questions?

And then for a moment I forgot all about the competition as we rolled in to Spitzkoppe. It is a surreal wonderland with breathtaking views all around. I just had to take in this moment.







After a brief walk up to take some pictures it was time to get real.

The first presentations and team announcement to follow.

As was mentioned before Charl Potgieter set the bar with his presentation. Not knowing what was to come except for my own I made the comment - just give him a bike right now.
This guy greeted us in Arab and dressed up for the occasion. FFS why did I not think of that.

Let’s be honest waiting for your turn to do your presentation is like waiting to go to the principals office. Constantly bugging you and making you stress for a day and time you are not yet certain of.

Then the big moment - team announcement...... Charl & Barbara. Team 4. Number 7 and 8. Ladies Team. It all happened so quickly I did not even have time to think about what happened. We had to go to our bikes and prepare them for the next day. So off we went whilst having brief discussions getting to know each other.

Knowing we will have to change bikes everyday we tried to set up the suspension and other small things exactly the same. Checked tyre pressures and stuck our names to the bikes. Chuffed.

As there was no showers close by I just went to bed dirty. Living the Bergie dream.

Hope I can fall asleep. These guys sound like an orchestra when snoring. Tomorrow is a long day.




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Offline GRyPH

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Re: Our Story of the Honda Quest 2017
« Reply #97 on: October 04, 2017, 11:44:03 am »
Day 2       Spitzkoppe - Palmwag


With newly formed teams in place we headed out for our next destination.

I was teamed up with Kamanya, and I was quite happy about that as I knew my sand skills was not quite up to par, and I thought perhaps I can learn a little from a riding partner with more skill.  (Little did I know exactly how much I would end up learning from him during the trip, and for that I will always be thankful.  Thanks partner! @Kamanya  )

After packing the Iveco (tetris for grownups as we dubbed it later), having breakfast, and a quick brief about the day, we headed out to Palmwag.

At this stage a lot was going through my head, what the trip will hold, what would be required of us in the competition, will Andrew and I get along well, and the ever present thought of the presentation that I still need to do.  Luckily we had a lot of helmet time to sort everything for yourself.

The first figurative bridge we had to cross as a team, was exactly how we would be riding together. Both of us have ridden up close to someone else or in formation before, however we did not know each other yet and riding in pairs needs a bit of synchronisation and trust.  We picked up quickly what worked for us and it worked out all good.  I prefer to ride the left side line and Andrew prefers to ride more to the middle, so that is what we stuck to as it made us both comfortable. It took me a while to accept the "stranger" on my shoulder, and at first I was hesitant to move over out of my line when there was a bad patch of road thinking I don't want to spook Andrew.  He quickly came up to me though and said that I don't need to worry about his line and from there on we just slotted in next to each other gliding along km after km with ease.

To say the road to Palmwag is corrugated would be selling it way short.  Jaco put it perfect in one of his articles when he said, to say the road was corrugated would be like to say Mike Tyson was "not feminine ".     I can honestly say that I have not seen corrugation like that before, and it just keeps going, non stop. That said, I was surprised at how well the Africa Twin's suspension handled the road. Andrew would tweak the settings every now and again, and before long he had it set up perfectly and it was pretty smooth sailing from there on out.

Later that evening we pulled into the petrol station at Palmwag, and filled up the bike before we would head out to the campsite.

At the petrol pumps I was still feeling great!, we had a good system going in our team, we had a good days riding behind us and now we can go "relax" (relatively speaking)
However in the short time that it took us to move from the station to the campsite, I was feeling pretty sick. Kamanya came up to me and instinctively new something was wrong.
He told me immediately that I look dehydrated and that I should get some ReHydrate and drink a lot of water.   I was still thinking that it wasnt a particularly hot day and that I finished my camelback through the day.It was amazing how quick it crept up on me but I was feeling, for a lack of a better word, kak!
As I was drinking my rehydrate and forcing down water I heard Kamanya have the same discussion with Throttle Jockey.  It seems he was also feeling the wrong side of the hydration curve.

About an hour later myself and Throttle were feeling a hell of a lot better (except now we needed to run to the tall grass every 5 minutes  :P,    a small price to pay to feel better) Thanks again Andrew for spotting that so quickly.

From that day onwards, I upped my water intake to anything between 8 and 10 liters per day, with 2 packets of rehydrate a day, and some slowmag fizzys to prevent cramping up.
My goal each morning was to finish my 2litre camelback before breakfast, refill before we ride, then refill once during the day and once again when we reach camp. Finally I would have my rehydrate and fill the camelback once more before we went to sleep.

During the time that I was feeling the effects of the dehydration, our team also had our camera interviews with the content crew. I am normally not a good impromptu speaker already, and the fuzzy head and slow thoughts that the dehydration brought really didn't do me any favours in the interview. To top that off the questions they ask really catch you off guard. The one question they asked was , what is the worst trait of your partner. That just hit me for 6 and I couldn't even answer the question. It really doesn't surprise me that the only part of my interview that made it to the video was where I said the name of my partner.  :imaposer:  I was just happy I got that one right ( i got it right, right?)   :imaposer:

That evening most of us opted not to pitch a tent and slept under the stars. It was also the last night I did that, as I think I look like a Christmas buffet to every mozzie in a 10km radius. needles to say I did not get a lot of rest so from there on, I pitched the tent every night, but left the rain sheet off. In other words just a net to keep the mozzies at bay. 

We were also told that the local elephants like to come into camp at night, and that if you wake up at night with a elephant's trunk sniffing your ear, you should please suppress the urge to scream like a little girl as that would only agitate the elephant more.  :imaposer:
After hearing that I packed a couple of camping chairs around the only side the elephant would be able to approach my stretcher.  Knowing it wont stop it but at least I would be awake by the time it gets to me. :biggrin:

At about 4 am that morning the last possibility of sleep was out the proverbial door when I heard the telltale sounds of a Hyena. That woke me up completely and for the next hour I just lay there listening to the night sounds of the veld. This unfortunately also included the chorus of the other contestants scattered through the campsite.   :lol8:



I dont have a lot of pics to share from day 2,   and I still need to work through my gopro footage.

Below pics:    Me and Kamanya getting to know each other on the road.

                      Sunrise at Palmwag

« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 11:46:32 am by GRyPH »
Focus on the journey, not the destination.
 

Offline windswept

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Re: Our Story of the Honda Quest 2017
« Reply #98 on: October 04, 2017, 02:00:23 pm »
Ok... before I add my part of the story I think I need to quote this post from the other Quest thread.
As someone said allready, we made a whole lot of friends on this trip,but I know all of them by name and not a lot of them by forum name. ( Exept for the obvious forum names like "Hardy de Kock")

Please let me know if I missed someone that is on the forum and I will edit this post.

Teams updated as per the website.

Johannes Haasbroek -- Gerrit Visser ( Tyrebraaier )

Cornelis Nelson (NISMARK) -- Angus Welch

Clinton Pienaar -- Andries Haasbroek

Charl du Plessis (KarooKid) -- Barbara Muszynski (Minxy)

Grant Pentelow (McSack) -- Glenn Koch (THROTTLE JOCKEY)

Phillip Groenewald(GRyPH) -- Andrew Johnstone (Kamanya)

Marcel Vladar ( DjFloyd ) -- SP Dreyer ( skywalker )

Charl Potgieter ( Charliepappa ) -- Johannes van Heerden( Tyre)

Francois Ebersohn (Scalpel) -- Pieter Lourens (twister)

Gerrit du Toit (Scrat) -- Kobus Myburgh (ktmkobus)

And with Hardy, tau, hinks and Jacko there were twenty dogs, that qualifies as a mini bash. 8) Lekker RR, keep it coming. :thumleft:
 

Offline THROTTLE JOCKEY

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Re: Our Story of the Honda Quest 2017
« Reply #99 on: October 04, 2017, 02:25:15 pm »
Well!!! speech done. Forgot most of it and then picked up again, give me numbers any day. I remember those easy! Partners chosen awesome match! Grant and I where in the same team at boot camp and we had got on well there. I predicted this match and was more than happy, we just fitted and as I said to him this is like a marriage and we will make it work. Ironically his strengths where my weaknesses and I learnt a lot from this man. Life lessons thank you Grant. Day two was as said above a day of convoy riding, getting used to partners and the rituals that would become second nature at Quest. The heat and hydration issues where quickly addressed (thank you Andrew). Life at Quest was starting to get good after the second night under the stars.
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