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Author Topic: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian  (Read 18233 times)

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Offline SchalkL

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Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #220 on: May 05, 2018, 02:14:12 pm »
pictures are really good!

Xpat what stood out for you in this trip?


Two things - 500 and to lesser extent the group ride.

The group ride (i.e. for me showing somebody else what they didn't know they were missing) was the initial impetus of this trip (if I would go solo I would go somewhere else as I have done this area already 4 times - 3 times on a bike). And while I enjoyed riding in a group for a change, it didn't work out 100% because of Bertie's exhaustion and Justin's ailments plagued the last part of the trip to the point when they couldn't really enjoy it anymore and eventually bailed out before finishing the whole route as we will see in the next episodes. Which was a shame really as I planned the trip so that we will hit the best parts - Hoarusib river, Hoanib river and Valley of Desolation) last, and they missed most of those, and couldn't enjoy as much as I thought they will the parts they did.

500, because it is the best tool for this job and as such made the whole experience much more enjoyable than my prior 3 bike trips here (on GSA1150, Husky 630 and Tenere). It gives one peace of mind because it is so simple and reliable (Tenere left me stranded there, and fuel pump on 630 died just about as I made it out in Sesfontein where I had car) and because it is so light and well suspended, one can anjoy the riding aspect (pushing it for pure joy of riding) as well as the tourist aspect (enjoying the scenery) so much more without constant 'oh shit' moments one has on hippo like Tenere and concerns if I'm giong to make it out or not due to exhaustion. It is so much less tiring - as a result I was able to ride 9 days through this trip straight without rest day - on Tenere I had to take every 3rd day out, usually sleeping the whole day. And as such it enables one to explore much more within limited period of time and having a blast while doing it.
TX again for your fantastic ride reports - I have also read the previous ones all in detail .
Question:
Did you have to do a oil change on the road?
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 02:14:41 pm by SchalkL »
Sometimes you don't need a plan, just balls :)
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Offline Xpat

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #221 on: May 05, 2018, 02:17:33 pm »
No we didn't - I have already answered that earlier in this thread I think. It was about 2000 km round trip, so no need to change oil for this usage. We just carried oiled spare air filter each that we changed half way in Epupa Falls. It packs smaller to about size of tennis ball once compressed properly. And I had one small can of chain spray, which we used once every few days when we remembered.

Offline Straatkat

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #222 on: May 05, 2018, 02:20:20 pm »
I have a list of things I am busy changing to make my adventure riding easier and better, some are things to change with my kit, some are modifications to my 500.
This is after I ran into some snags along the way, My Giant Loop Coyote bag is awesome, would not want it any different, but I did upgrade to the newer design with rolltop, but to be honest, the older zip closure has served me well for many years, just a little more cumbersome to close if you overfill it.
Also going to change my tent to something more basic and easier to erect, Martin has a First ascent Starlight 2 which is the best in my opinion.
On my bike I am going to put the extra levers and gear change lever in the airbox. Justin had his tie wrapped to the inside, that way you always have them and they cannot be left behind, and don't take space in your luggage.
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 Straatkat

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #223 on: May 05, 2018, 02:31:25 pm »
Some other mods on the bike include installing my 12v lighter socket on the side of the bike with an always on connection, mine was on the handlebars, not ideal as it can get damaged in an off.
Also already ordered a Motion Pro billet side stand to replace the standard one. Mine is not broken yet, but this is forward thinking, Martin's stand broke and it is mighty inconvenient. You can see him laying the bike against rocks or trees for the latter part of the trip.
Off course losing the tankbag, and looking for alternative bags to put some easily accessible stuff like energy bars etc.
Some pieces of tube around the forklegs to slide some tie wraps into is also mighty handy. Thanks Justin for this trick. (it does mean taking the forkleg off to slide the tube pieces over.) Going to do this on all my bikes!
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 #224 on: May 05, 2018, 02:33:52 pm »
On water: Martin had some liquid drops to purify the water that tastes way better than the pills I had. Also carry rehydrate and even just Game to make the water taste better.
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 JustBendIt

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Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #225 on: May 05, 2018, 05:04:06 pm »
After riding Martin's bike for less than a 100 metres up a tricky technical rocky climb just before VZP I could not believe how different it felt to mine ...but why ?

His bike was 25 mm lower than my bike ...and had been properly done by Hilton Hayward

Now 25 mm is not much at all you may think but it is enough to allow me to get both of my big toes on the ground at the same time ... and its amazing how much easier it makes life on the bike

As soon as I got home I had my bike done by Superfoxi here in Cape Town ...I also dialled in Martin's suspender settings .....and voila my 500 has been transformed into the lightest most comfy adventure bike I have ever had ...so much so that I can now sit for hours at a time with no discomfort

These bikes are super sensitive to tyre pressures and suspension settings ... a few clicks either way on the suspenders and a teeny bit more or less pressure in the tyres and they can turn from super comfy soak up everything in my path to jackhammer piledriving rattle false teeth out my mouth
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 05:12:37 pm by JustBendIt »
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Offline Xpat

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #226 on: May 05, 2018, 11:29:56 pm »
Day 9 - part 1
(pictures from this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmj4kc6m)

The plan for the day was to follow Hoarusib river down the Puros canyon, then cross 70 km of desert south to Amspoort gorge, jump into the Hoanib river and follow it upstream all the way to Sesfontein. The standard route between Puros and Sesfontein if one looks for the best Kaokoland can offer.

Bertie spend the day before mulling things over and decided that he is not going to continue with the trip and bail back to Uis on the main roads. This was quite sad as he would miss some of the best parts of the trip such as Hoanib river and Valley of Desolation, but taking into account his exhaustion and attendant risks most probably the right decision.

He was to take D3707 dirt road from Puros to Sesfontein about 100 km away, where he would wait for us at the Sesfontein Fort lodge and then push on back to Uis on the C43 dirt highway the next day. I explained him the route on the GPS, which was to use for the first time on this trip, and gave him my satellite phone should he run into any trouble (Justin had satellite phone, so we were covered).


Route for the day - blue is Bertie’s route, red the one Justin and I took:




I woke up early still in the dark and went for the last Puros sunrise photo-session. The place is pure magic, especially at sunrise and sunset:


































Once the other two got out of bed we had last breakfast together, packed up and headed down to Puros village. We stopped at the petrol man’s hut, where Bertie and Justin filled up their bikes (I filled up already night before). Justin spotted an opportunity and played at family with a local girl who was babysitting her niece - here is the proud pretend daddy, and yes I can see quite a lot of resemblance even with my glasses on. Maybe he isn’t telling us the whole story:







Justin - the babysnatcher strikes again:













Filled up, we gave our farewells to Bertie and headed in different direction - Bertie south-east on D3707, us north-west for a km to Hoarusib, where we turned south-west and followed the river down the Puros canyon (the same route Justin did day before).


Metropolis of Puros:




Bertie’s send-off at the outskirts of Puros. Will he make it and will we see him again?


« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 02:37:36 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline evansv

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #227 on: May 06, 2018, 01:26:33 am »
 :sip:
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Offline Mr Zog

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Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #228 on: May 06, 2018, 03:35:08 am »
Fantastic pictures Martin, and wonderful story-telling.

I have heard that part of Namibia referred to as "The Land God Made in Anger", but it is so stunningly beautiful that I don't think He was angry at all...
Young enough to know I can, old enough to know I shouldn't, stupid enough to do it anyway.
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #229 on: May 06, 2018, 08:47:48 am »
Day 9 - part 2
(pictures from this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmj4kc6m)

Justin and I hit the Hoarusib river and followed it down to Purros canyon. We kept to the natural order - Justin racing upfront, with regular stops to wait for me, and me sweeping and playing at the photographer at the back.

There was quite a bit of water and the river was actually flowing at places - well the narrow stream in the middle of the riverbed was. Still, from what I have seen before, this looked like pretty good wet season.







Justin consulting with the locals the best way across the raging stream:




I watched with bated breath, but luckily he made it safely to the other side:







Disapointingly we have seen very little wildlife in this section, so we had to make use of what we could find. Joking aside, I had an uneasy feeling about this situation. On all my prior trips I have bumped into elephants, even multiple times, but this time - apart from some probably old spoor - there was no sign of them. And I didn't like to see domesticated animals in the river - this is supposed to be proper lion - not cow grazing - territory. The fact that the locals and their cattle roamed around freely made me wonder if they haven't done something nosty to eliminate the 'wildlife risks' from the area. I tried to remain positive, but couldn't completely shake off the feeling that something was badly amiss here. Hopefully it was just my tinfoil hat inner conspiracy theorist talking.







The poort - entrance to the Puros canyon proper about 10 or so km down the river from Puros:

























For some reason Justin decided to stare for quite a while up this particular rock face - I thought he may have got carpal tunnel in his neck or something:










Eventually he got bored/healed:







I caught up with him again few km down river, but he set off as soon as I stopped behind him. Not one to waste and opportunity I took the picture of the pretty scenery ahead and getting ready to go almost missed little nasty surprise bloody throttle happy Cappie left for me in his wake. Can you spot it?




Here are few close-ups - it was positioned exactly where Justin was waiting for me and you can see his tracks to the immediate left. So he either dug it out of sand most probably while running it over, or it was trying to talk to him the whole time he was parked there, but he just ignored it.










I have waited a minute or two for the cobra to move away, but it clearly expected me to show some respect instead, so I just went around through the riverbed and it finally relaxed and sliped away. I'm not snake expert but it seemed to move smoothly and seamlessly, so I believe it wasn't injured - good thing that Justing E09 was more or less bald by now.




I chased after the snake whisperer, but managed to catch him only at the bottom of the canyon where the track turns south away from the river and onto the desert plains heading towards Amspoort 70 km away.







Lodge at the bottom of the canyon, where Hoarusib enters the Skeleton coast NP (off limits for bikes) and we were to turn left towards desert and Amspoort gorge.








« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 02:37:16 pm by Xpat »
 
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Offline Xpat

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #230 on: May 06, 2018, 08:49:51 am »
Thanks everybody for the comments and following  :thumleft:

Offline Straatkat

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #231 on: May 06, 2018, 09:22:00 am »
After I left the entrepid adventurers in Purros I went to Sesfontein on the "highway" but it was just barely more than a single track, and the track meandered through some really breathtaking scenery, with the odd truck loaded with supplies on route to Purros Lodge no doubt coming the other way. I would have loved to do that loop with the other 2, but I was spent, and had some injuries, nothing serious, a badly bruised foot, and some bruises in places where I did not even know I had places.
Crashing through a tree at 80 is not recommended! At least I felt I will ride at my own pace, not that I was ever pressured into riding faster than I wanted, but soon the road turned a little sandy and twisty and I was once again hanging on the cables! I will not make a good solo traveler, probably kill myself in some remote place and then they find my dried bones a year or two later!
 I saw quite a bit of wildlife, the usual Giraffes, by now my favourites as we have had such cool interaction with them on this trip, lots of Springbuck and even a baboon running across my path. It was very hot mid morning and I was pushing on with the image of that lovely blue swimming pool at Sesfontein lodge in my mind's eye.
I am by no means a GPS guru,being very new to these newfangled devices... and made an error on reading the GPS, it gave the distance in a straight line, so when I reached that figure on my speedo and I was still in the middle of nowhere I got a bit worried....but then I re-entered Sesfontein and it gave me a figure of another 25km to go. Funny how your mind plays tricks on you, if you have in your mind that the journey will end at a certain spot and you reach that point, anything after that seems to go on forever! That pool was getting further and further away every km I rode!!
At the lodge I had a nice lunch and had a swim and waited for the other 2 in my air conditioned room.
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 armpump

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #232 on: May 06, 2018, 12:35:19 pm »
Keep it coming :)

Love reading and looking at great pictures
 

Offline Ri

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Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #233 on: May 06, 2018, 02:21:04 pm »
Addictive fred :thumleft:

Beautiful photo's.
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Offline Straatkat

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #234 on: May 06, 2018, 06:23:44 pm »
Martin looking at what I missed, we need to go again, this time starting at the end so we catch the good stuff in the beginning.
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 Xpat

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #235 on: May 06, 2018, 08:56:06 pm »
Day 9 - part 3
(pictures from this episode can be viewed in higher resolution here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmj4kc6m)

As mentioned, the route today consisted fromthree distinct and quite different parts: about 35 km of Hoarusib riverbed running down the unique Puros canyon, then about 70 km of flat open desert running south along the boundary of Skeleton Coast NP to Amspoort gorge on Hoanib river, and the last section running up the magical Hoanib riverbed east to Sesfontein about 70 km away.

We have just came out of the Hoarusib, and after short break where I explained to Justin that it really is not cool to throw cobras at me after all that I have done for him, hit the desert with gusto. The scenery changed immediately and dramatically from green vegetation of the riverbed to the dry open desert plains with minimum vegetation and plenty of mirrages. Naturally, we opened up and moved a notch or 10 faster than in the river:














































On top of the central plain that runs between the two rivers for about 40 - 50 km. Flat featureless vastness in every direction for dozens of km with remote solitary mountains floating on mirrage cushins above horizon can have surprisingly uplifting effects on ones soul:


































As I've mentioned, Justin didn’t seem to be too fazed by the Kaokoland scenery so far. So it was nice to see at one of the stops that the flat monotonous desert finally touched something deep inside him. So much so, that he suddenly felt strong urge to “share the experience”, whipped out satellite phone, and used some of the expensive airtime to annoy few of his mates (including Kamanya I believe), who were busy rat racing in assigned corporate cages, sorry cubicles.




























Once Justin was satisfied that everybody he cared about has been sufficiently pissed off, we rode again:







Justin riding mirage:
















About 10 km before Hoanib, we started descending to the rivebed and the flat plain gave way to low mountains dug out probably by the water in the Hoanib watershed. The brown rocky outcrops often partially covered by the yellow sand dunes create very unique scenery that has been made famous in many travellers magazines:




























Eventually we arrived at the Hoanib river and stopped the check the local signatures.







Bikes riding in the Hoanib river was a source of controversy for a while now, when private Wilderness Safari company was trying to get bikers banned from the area and in fact their guides often told bikers that they are not allowed there for quite a few years. For example I was told that last time by safari car driver and of course ignored it. I guess it was grey area as the river is the northern boundary of Palmwag conservancy, where bikes are officially forbiden - so to use an analogy one can look at it as either riding inside Kruger along the fence, or outside doing the regular and perfectly legal Kruger fence ride. Anyway, as I said, bikers has been riding this river forever (the few of them who venture up here), but according to Hardy de Kock, Namibian government -  lobbied heavily by those private fat catson some kind of 'conservancy' pretext - recently decided that Hoanib indeed is off limits to bikes. We didn't actively asked anywhere, but checked the signs at the river and there was nothing about bikes not being allowed, so after short break we hit the river with gusto. If this was to be the last time I am riding this riverbed on bike, I was determined to enjoy it to the max, as IMO this one is even more spectacular that Hoarusib. This is simply my favourite river to ride anywhere.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 02:36:16 pm by Xpat »
 
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Offline Xpat

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #236 on: May 06, 2018, 09:10:52 pm »
Martin looking at what I missed, we need to go again, this time starting at the end so we catch the good stuff in the beginning.

Nah Bertie, the build up is important. This is the right way to do it - what is the point of continuing riding up to VZP if you have already done all the good stuff? I think we all will agree that VZP on its own is not that interesting - it's just a point to pass on the way to the really good stuff.

The trick is to try to fix yourself as soon as you break - not half a year later because some eastern European keeps bothering you, and get a bit bike fit before a trip (like go for a DeWild ride every weekend few weeks before the trip). And get suspension sorted and properly set-up. And most importantly - lose that silly orange light cover so belowed by commuters, that is just disgrace on pure breed offroad bike!

Then this is easily doable exactly how it was planned - I could have done the whole thing without any rest day, and I'm no Ironman.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2018, 09:13:49 pm by Xpat »
 
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Offline KTMvan

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #237 on: May 07, 2018, 11:56:32 am »
One year when we did Puros Canyon with the Landy, must have been around 2013/4, we also found lots of cattle. I believe the locals keep track of the movements of lions/elephants and graze this part only when deemed safe.
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Offline funky_munky

Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #238 on: May 07, 2018, 12:01:18 pm »
Epic Trip. I spent a couple of years in Namibia. Traveled all over with my dad. Your photos bring back many a memory.
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Offline Highsider

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Re: Capie and Vaalie taken for a ride by dodgy Russian
« Reply #239 on: May 07, 2018, 12:49:24 pm »
These Xpat stories and pictures need to be published someday. 


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