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Author Topic: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian  (Read 20852 times)

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Offline Xpat

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2018, 02:25:16 pm »
Day 1 - part 3
(pictures in this episode can be viewed at better resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskyFq9p9)


It was a bit of a push to get going after we all got very lethargic in the shadow of the tree, but we managed and set-off again through the barren rocky desert:







We bumped into herd of oryxes along the way:































We came upon few Welwitschias, and Bertie commiserated how unlucky they were to be dying slow death there. So Justin and I explained that these are indeed the oldest living organisms on the planet, and that the next time they will bloom, none of us three will be around. Bertie never heard of Welwitschias before so fascinated went to investigate one closer.







Stig's orange cousin:




And onward we pushed through quite frankly absolutely stunning scenery:





















































« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 03:54:54 pm by Xpat »
 
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Online armpump

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2018, 02:30:33 pm »
Might help free up some real estate over tank for future trips

 
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Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2018, 02:47:57 pm »
The terrain is incredible :)
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2018, 02:51:11 pm »
Day 1 - part 4
(pictures in this episode can be viewed at better resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskyFq9p9)


We were making good progress, but with all the stops (breaks, as well as my photoshoots) it was getting a bit late, but we were still on track to make it to Palmwag in good time. That is the point at which Justinís Tubeliss, which until that point never let him down, decided to call it a day. I donít remember what the cause was. Justin carried spare inner Tubeliss tube, but managed to pinch it during installation. So he was out of options, so out came my spare tube and he proceeded to install it in. I had this argument many times with people on different thread, but I have to repeat it here again s l o w l y: the only solution out in the sticks that will get you reliably out - regardless if you ride tubed, tubeless tyres or Tubeliss (like Justin and I did), or mousses (like Bertie did), is good old tube - because it is the only solution that one can fix reliably multiple times. Simple.










Again, the scenery made the wait easier:
















While at the spot, we got passed by couple of 4x4s with young boys standing on the railings on the outside. They proceeded to ride up the near dunes before they continued on their merry way, hopefully making it home in one piece.
















Once done we crossed impressive Hoab riverbed and continued north on the rocky trails that should deliver us eventually to C43 highway.









































































Just few km short of C43, Justin scored second flat on the front tube - despite the fact that he was riding it at over 2 bars. So out came the flat tube and in went Berties spare tube. We were on the last front spare tube now, but of course we would be able to patch the pinched one later. Justin even believe he will be able to patch the Tubeliss inner tube, but I was sceptical as it has to withstand 7 bar pressures.
















By the time we were ready to go again, the sun was setting fast.







We made it to C43 just as the sun disappeared behind the mountains and we gunned it up last 60 - 70 km to Palmwag. Before we set-off we agreed firmly that we are not going to ride in the dark. And here we were the very first day riding the last 30 - 40 km in the dark. On the positive side, both Bertie and I were mightily impressed by the 500ís standard lights. At the end of the day it is an enduro bike, and if our experience with our prior rides ranging from TE610/630, Tenere, KTM 690 with Rally kit were anything to go by, 500ís lights were basically as good as dead. But not - they vastly outperformed any of those bikes and were actually pleasure to ride with - for the limited period of time of course. Another win for 500 - and the one none of us seen coming!

In Palmwag we headed to the lodge where we booked a campsite and rushed for dinner as the kitchen was closing soon. All in all - great day, the punctures did slow us down a bit, but that is just part of an adventure.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 03:55:18 pm by Xpat »
 
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Offline Straatkat

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2018, 02:58:42 pm »
The one thing about the whole trip that struck me from day one, is the absolute harshness of the terrain. I was thinking aloud in my helmet that it is totally amazing that man has made bike tyres that can withstand such torturous terrain, every moment you are riding over stuff that makes you think that your tyre must be damaged by now, and when you stop, nope, they are still fine. I ran mousses in my tyres where the other 2 guys were running Tubliss. Martin had brand new ones in his tyres and Justin had older ones in his tyres. Martin and myself had Maxxis up front and Mitas CO2 backs.
As far as the tankbag goes, bad call, it restricts movement so much and after a few offs the stitching came loose and I had to secure it with a bungee....never again.
I suppose I am not yet fully on the minimalistic thing and was probably carrying way too much stuff. Most of it I never used.
Current rides: Husqvarna TE 610 (2009),  KTM 950 SE(2007)
 KTM 500 EXC (2016)
18 till I die.
If hard work pays, show me rich donkey.
 

Offline Straatkat

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2018, 03:11:13 pm »
Martin also seems to be in the same boat of packing too much, but in the event of one needing something to get out safely and you don't have it...with 3 guys the chances of that happening is slimmer, but there is nothing like the feeling of being prepared for virtually every eventuality. I made lists of modifications to make to my packing list and a few more things to get and some things to change. That for me is another big advantage of riding with some other guys, you get to see how they do things and learn what to change, rather that trying many things on your own and eventually finding the right solution.
Current rides: Husqvarna TE 610 (2009),  KTM 950 SE(2007)
 KTM 500 EXC (2016)
18 till I die.
If hard work pays, show me rich donkey.
 

Offline Ri

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Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2018, 04:07:47 pm »
That scenery is just ...  :eek: :eek: :eek:

Can't wait to ride there too :ricky:
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Offline Offshore

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2018, 04:42:33 pm »
Great RR. Thank you. What is your Range with those Tanks?
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 04:58:17 pm by Offshore »
 

Offline Big-G

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Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2018, 04:58:57 pm »
WOW WOW and WOW
Awesome pictures..........unbelievable scenery

Thanks for sharing
This is bucket list stuff
I used to have Superpowers but my therapist took them away from me!!!!
 

Offline JustBendIt

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Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #29 on: April 10, 2018, 05:34:46 pm »
Great RR. Thank you. What is your Range with those Tanks?

The tanks hold 20 litres - in "touring" mode this is good for 400 km
The older I get the faster I was
 

Offline SchalkL

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Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2018, 07:28:06 pm »
I HATE you for this RR.
Makes my stomach turn and i even a little adrenaline flowing when watching those pics.
This is what a RR should look like!!!
I have so many questions re this trip and your choice of bikes but will ask them later. I did solo frm AI Ais via the coast to Brandberg but was to scared to carry on alone and now have a itch that wont go away.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 07:31:27 pm by SchalkL »
Sometimes you don't need a plan, just balls :)
I'd rather ... be riding my motorcycle and thinking about God than sitting ... in Church and thinking about my motorcycle.
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2018, 09:05:26 pm »
Day 2 - part 1
(pictures in this episode can be viewed at better resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmiw29nP)

In the morning we raised at sunrise (i.e. too late as the sun rises in Namibia this time of the year only at about 7:00 am), broke the camp, and went for breakfast at the lodge.  Then we geared up and headed for refuel at the Palmwag garage. Justin also wanted to patch the pinchd tube, but they sent us back to the workshop in the lodge to do that. So we went back and while the guys were fixing the tube under Justinís close supervision, I scavenged in the workshop new bolt for my wonky sidestand and replaced the old bent one (due to some somersaults in Lesotho, which made the sidestand unstable) with the new one, Loctiteing the shit out of it. It made it marginally better, but wobbly sidestand will be a headache for the rest of this trip (I have replaced it now with steel one).










By the time we were done and set-off again, it was past 11:00 am. The late morning starts (usually past 9:00 am if we didnít have any issues to attend to) unfortunately became the norm and as a result we ended up riding in the heat of the day a lot and often late into the afternoon. I tried to lobby for earlier starts, but came short of physically waking the other two still in the darkness of the morning and eventually just resigned myself to the rhythm of the group. Later on at one or two occasions I even became the cause of late start myself due to some sloppy morning routine. The late starts I think contributed somewhat to some issues we were to run into later on in the trip.

The main highlight of the day was the ride through Little Serengeti and Khowarib Schlucht/Gorge - one of the things I have missed completely on my prior trips. The original plan was to ride through those in the morning and then make it in the afternoon as far as possible on D3705 running between Sesfontein and Kaoko Otavi towards Robbies pass for an overnight bushcamp. Taking into account the long day of riding day before and late start I decided to just complete the morning route and then stop early for overnight at the campsite in Ongongo warm spring (or Warmquelle in German) about 20 km north of exit from Khowarib gorge. Which was only about 160 km or so away, so the plan was to arrive there soon enough to relax a bit in the spring pool, before we push again hard next day. Here is the route:




First 60 km or so we just gunned it up C43 highway towards Sesfontein until we arrived to the track heading east towards Little Serengeti over the nearby mountain range.


































We had some fun crossing the mountains, but nothing dramatic and soon made it to the flat plains covered by sparse bush called for some reason Little Serengeti. All the known African critters are supposed to roam there, but we havenít seen any - maybe with exception of impala or springbok or some such.







Pretty soon though we found remains of an animal that probably have had run into one or two of those critters. Justin, who seemed pretty oblivious to the beautiful scenery we were riding in stopped immediately and roped Bertie into playing with the carcass.


Initially it looked innocuous enough:













But when Justin started to put the bones in his mouth I got alarmed:




So I was quite relieved when they found different, I like to say safer, way to play with the bones:







But I celebrated way too early - it took less then minute for Justin and Bertie to combine the games together and hey presto there was Justin with the bone in his mouth again.




Luckily, like all the little ADHD boys these days, they had attention span of a squirrel, and abandoned their game as soon as they spotted a lizard perched on the swingarm of my 500. Thank heavens they didn't try to lick that...







That kept us busy for about a minute or two and we were off again.





« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 03:56:20 pm by Xpat »
 
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Offline Xpat

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2018, 09:50:10 pm »
Day 2 - part 2
(pictures in this episode can be viewed at better resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmiw29nP)

Pretty soon we came across the Ombonde riverbed which we were to follow for the next 15 km or so until it joins the Hoanib river at the start of the Khowarib gorge. The sand in the riverbed was deep but compacted with many crisscrossing tracks. We set-off down the riverbed and straight away Bertie was squealing with joy like a teenage girl at Justin Bieber concert. All the past sand anxiety was gone and he was deliberately hitting the middelmanetije (central divide in American) just for the heck of it. All of this sitting down like a gentleman - Bertie doesnít stand on a bike even in self-defence. The lightweight 500 unveiled its magic beautifully.










He still had a fall or two, but those were all just because he enjoyed the riding so much that he couldnít be bothered to put his feet down from the pegs when he stopped (notice the deep concern in Stig's demeanor):





















The 15 km flashed by in a blink of an eye and we came upon bigger Hoanib river where we were to turn west again and ride through the Khowarib gorge. I had to go and chase down Justin who continued straight going in the wrong direction confused by my shoddy GPS tracks. Once regrouped we set-off again down Khowarib gorge in our usual order - Justin opening the track, Bertie in the middle and me playing at photographer at the back.




























We bumped into number of giraffes along the way, but still no luck with elephants (and lions).













As in Ugab, I was surprised how green Hoanib was, and there were even long sections of standing water with reef growing all over the place.















































« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 03:56:50 pm by Xpat »
 
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Offline Xpat

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2018, 10:01:02 pm »
Day 2 - part 3
(pictures in this episode can be viewed at better resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmiw29nP)

Further down the river we came upon section of fesh fesh, that gave us quite a bit of workout. When we arrived at it I told the others not to worry - there is similar section past Sesfontein and it is a piece of cake. Within 15 meters I almost ate my words. For some reason it was almost impossible to gauge where the center of each deep groove is and one was constantly thrown around like little rag doll. But we made it through with only few minor drops, so all was good.











































After that it was just short ride past lodge at the bottom of the gorge to connect back to C43 and than we took that for another 10 or so km to Ongongo, where we stopped to buy some provisions and beer, before we proceeded another 5 km or so up rough track to the hot spring and adjacent campsite.






















Once we set-up the camp, we headed straight into the pool, where Bertie and I spent the rest of the afternoon basking in the warm water. Justin had a quick swim and then went to do what he likes to do the most - patching rubber. He was determined to fix the inner Tubeliss tube so well that it will indeed hold required 7 bars. We will see how that pans out in the next episode...
« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 03:57:23 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline Straatkat

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2018, 10:30:11 pm »
Day 2 was probably the best riding I have ever done, bar none. That Ombonde riverbed was just magic. My bike and I was reveling in the thick sand and was awestruck by the beautiful mountains. At speed the sand was such fun, but when you stop you dig a deep trench to get going again, and stopped we did plenty as the scenery was quite breathtaking. If I had a fear of sand it was completely gone now, sand, bring it on!! The 500 is such a magic bike, I was wondering if I need anything else in my stable. Justin was saying he wants to buy a second one just to have a backup if anything happens to his current one....I am completely smitten by my 500. Keep wondering why it took me so long to get one. Riding sand with this bike is almost like cheating it is so easy! AND as Xpat mentioned I never stand.
Current rides: Husqvarna TE 610 (2009),  KTM 950 SE(2007)
 KTM 500 EXC (2016)
18 till I die.
If hard work pays, show me rich donkey.
 
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Offline YamaV

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Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #35 on: April 10, 2018, 11:11:56 pm »
Awesome trip guys!  :thumleft: :thumleft:
 

Offline Ama ride ride

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Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #36 on: April 11, 2018, 06:30:40 am »
10 outa 10.... :thumleft:
Gewoontlik n@@i ek reguit aan op fyndraai.

 

Offline ClemS

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Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #37 on: April 11, 2018, 07:55:20 am »
Sub  :thumleft:
 

Online armpump

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #38 on: April 11, 2018, 08:30:36 am »
Incredible terrain....thanks for taking the time and sharing again Xpat
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #39 on: April 11, 2018, 08:33:40 am »
Thanks for the comments and following  :thumleft:

@SchalkL: Glad to be of service  8)