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Author Topic: Lesotho Boogie Woogie  (Read 6230 times)

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Offline Oupa Foe-rie

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Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
« Reply #60 on: January 22, 2019, 02:45:19 pm »
 :sip: :sip:
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Offline Sheepman

Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
« Reply #61 on: January 22, 2019, 07:51:08 pm »
Well done - you ous don't want to ride rocks.....you CAN ride rocks....and that on big bikes  :thumleft:
 

Offline Amsterdam

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Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
« Reply #62 on: January 23, 2019, 07:15:35 am »
Xpat, some great photos here.  So nice to see some areas where you can ride without fences etc.  The Western Cape has its limits.

Thanks  :thumleft:

And yes, if you want to ride freely without the constraints of private property, you need to head to Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Zim or Mosambique. I'm afraid WC is not the place to be for that.

This ride report has inspired me to put a note out to my regular riding buddies.  Plan is to head to Lesotho in April.  Now I must just go through some of the resources on WD to determine a route.  How many riding days was this adventure?
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Offline Xpat

Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
« Reply #63 on: January 23, 2019, 07:18:24 am »
Xpat, some great photos here.  So nice to see some areas where you can ride without fences etc.  The Western Cape has its limits.

Thanks  :thumleft:

And yes, if you want to ride freely without the constraints of private property, you need to head to Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Zim or Mosambique. I'm afraid WC is not the place to be for that.

This ride report has inspired me to put a note out to my regular riding buddies.  Plan is to head to Lesotho in April.  Now I must just go through some of the resources on WD to determine a route.  How many riding days was this adventure?

This was 4 days of riding plus 2 days commute from/to Joburg. I will send you the route if you want and can suggest other routes as well that you can combine with this one for longer trip if you want - there is much more out there. But I'm assuming you are coming on 500s or some such. Anything bigger will limit you greatly in your options in LEsotho.

Offline Amsterdam

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Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
« Reply #64 on: January 23, 2019, 07:25:51 am »
Xpat, some great photos here.  So nice to see some areas where you can ride without fences etc.  The Western Cape has its limits.

Thanks  :thumleft:

And yes, if you want to ride freely without the constraints of private property, you need to head to Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Zim or Mosambique. I'm afraid WC is not the place to be for that.

This ride report has inspired me to put a note out to my regular riding buddies.  Plan is to head to Lesotho in April.  Now I must just go through some of the resources on WD to determine a route.  How many riding days was this adventure?

This was 4 days of riding plus 2 days commute from/to Joburg. I will send you the route if you want and can suggest other routes as well that you can combine with this one for longer trip if you want - there is much more out there. But I'm assuming you are coming on 500s or some such. Anything bigger will limit you greatly in your options in LEsotho.

Would appreciate if you can send some suggestions/routes - jldevos58@gmail.com.  Plan is for the 500s.  As you have mentioned before in the other 500 thread, it makes many things just so much easier.
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Offline Xpat

Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
« Reply #65 on: January 24, 2019, 02:51:52 pm »
Day 3 - Semonkong to Thaba Tseka via Mantsonyane shortcut

The objective of the day was to make it to Thaba Tseka via well known Mantsonyane shortcut. Bertie again opted for his own individual program with bassically meant getting to Thaba Tseka on tar enjoying the twisties. Here is the planned route:




And here is umpteenth repost of my video of the best bit of that Mantsonyane shortcut, another ride I have done few years back on TE630 just in other direction, from Thaba Tseka to Semonkong:




After all the rock bashing of prior two days, we woke up late to a very slow start. After lengthy breakfast, we eventually moved out leisuredly way past 9:00 am. First order of the day was to fuel up at the local petrol station (using the word losely here):







Next stop was the obligatory detour to the main tourist attraction of Semokong (and Lesotho) - Maletsunyane waterfall:
















Merry bunch, this lot:




Some more merriment: Tony is one of those old lizzards, who until very recently didn't know that smartphones exist and calling him on his old pushbuttony cell phone was always a thrilling adventure not knowing which part of the message got through and which got scrambled in the inner circuits of that Nokia or whatever it was. But once shown just a glimpse of the wonders of the modern mobile photography - specifically panorama - he turned right back 6 again:




No, that is not photoshop, just Tony running behind Greg from one side of the picture to the other while Greg was panning the panorama froms left to right.

After that we bid farewell to Bertie who was going to do his own route and jumped on the hardpack dirt road heading back to Semonkong. By this stage I have spent many days riding 1st and 2nd gear through gnarly passes (I was in Lesotho already week before guys arrived) so I couldn't resist twisting 500s ear a bit and show off my powersliding proves. So naturally in about second turn I made an ass of myself and overcooked it (or my preffered explanation - rear C02 provided much much less grip on very hard packed dirt with just slight layer f lose seasoning on top) and wiped out at about 50 kmh. Apart from little bruise I emerged from this little incident unscathed (goes without saying that 500 as well - its a dirt bike build to crash, not fragile adventure bike), but from then on I took it extra easy on all hardpacked dirt roads.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 02:55:10 pm by Xpat »
 
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Offline Xpat

Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
« Reply #66 on: January 24, 2019, 03:18:44 pm »
With all those diversions we have reached the dirt road in Semokong heading towards Mantsonyane shortcut only at about 11:00 am. We dealt quickly with the initial 20 - 30 km of dirt roads until we turned off onto the jeep track heading towards the Senquanyane river escarpment - the main obstacle on this route (the one shown in the video).

After we km we reached the village on top of the track heading down the escarpment. I sent Greg and Tony ahead as I knew this was the bit where I'm going to loose my dignity and didn't want them to witness that from up close. The initial section going down escarpment is steep downhill mostly on naked rock (old washed out road) with big rocks laying losely strewn on top of that rockface. This and steep off-cambers freak me out the most as I have a feeling that my front wheel is going to wash out any moment on one of the rocks and I'm going to faceplant down the hill. I would merrily ride this in the opposite direction going up, but going down I just frooze and ended up walking the bike down the worst 100 - 200 meters.

Greg and Tony rode down without worry in their mind and waited half way down together with about half of the vilage who walked with them down.

Greg heading down towards the start of the real descent, followed by Tony:







Kids excited about upcoming show:







The eagle's view on the worst bit of the road straight below:










Senyqanyane valley below with the track on the other side of the river somewhat visible:



















Eventually (after long wait for the other two) we made it to the bottom of the valley where there is pedestrian bridge over Senquanyane. It was way past noon now, so we took lunch break in the shade of the bridge, before heading up the other side of the valley:








« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 03:21:26 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
« Reply #67 on: January 24, 2019, 10:21:52 pm »
After the lunch break we crossed the bridge and hit the track climbing up the valley on the other side. The bottom part is the steepest and there are one or two places that can catch one out (last time I was here I got stuck on one of those and spent quite some time getting unstuck - but I was on my own). This time we all managed to clear all the obstacles without too much drama and made it to the flatter upper bit quickly:



















The flat bit was the end of the toughest bit, but there were still few workouts before we made it to the village and jeep track on the top of the range:







Greg and the track we came down on behind him:
















We took a breather at the top of the ridge, being hackled by the locals with their usual vocabulary of 'give me something' and 'sweets':










The jeep track from there follows the ridge mostly north all the way to Mantsonyane about 40 km away. While much easier than the Senqyanyane river crossing it is still a workout and can catch one out in few places:










Interesting track on the other side of the valley, maybe some other time...
















Few km before Mantsonyane, the track connects to the dirt road heading south east towards villages deeper in the valley that side. I have plotted our route that way as there is another abandoned and very rocky service road there connecting to Thaba Tseka and bypassing tar from Mantsonyane. That was our original plan, but by the time we arrived to the crossing it was way past 3:00 pm and Tony and I were knackered. Greg, who was there first didn't wait for us and rode out straight towards the service road (which is another 30 km away).

Tony and I weren't keen to follow, so we just laid down at the crossing and waited for the youngster (he was youngest of the group in his early 40s) to realize that we really don't want to do it, which took him quite a while. He eventually turned back and returned and all three of us rode down to Mantsonyane where we located local petrol seller and filled up:



With that sorted we jumped on tar A3 and cruised over the high pass to Thaba Tseka about 50 km away. We have arrive there just as the sun was setting, filled up again at the chinese petrol station and got to the Motherland guesthouse. Bertie was already there - though he arrived only shortly before, as the tar road is much longer than the shortcut us three took (plus he got lost).

We had dinner at the guesthouse and retreated to our rooms for early night - the three days of rigorous riding were starting to take its toll on us.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 10:25:05 pm by Xpat »
 
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Offline Malcolm

Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
« Reply #68 on: January 25, 2019, 01:42:49 pm »
Awesome stuff as always Mr Xpat.  Thanks for sharing, looking forward to the route file   ;)
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Offline Highsider

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Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
« Reply #69 on: January 25, 2019, 03:28:22 pm »
This RR is making me want to add some teeth to my sprocket...


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Offline Xpat

Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
« Reply #70 on: January 25, 2019, 03:37:06 pm »
Awesome stuff as always Mr Xpat.  Thanks for sharing, looking forward to the route file   ;)

I will post tracks in the end.

Offline Xpat

Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
« Reply #71 on: January 25, 2019, 03:38:28 pm »
This RR is making me want to add some teeth to my sprocket...


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I thought you already did. Honestly, there was nothing on this trip as tough as that waterfall section going up from Sehlabatthebe. I believe this would be perfect loop for you and your other 500 mates.

Offline IanTheTooth

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Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
« Reply #72 on: January 25, 2019, 11:51:57 pm »
The waterfall section: As Iain said, someday someone will find the proper way through!
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Offline Xpat

Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
« Reply #73 on: January 26, 2019, 12:26:45 am »
The waterfall section: As Iain said, someday someone will find the proper way through!

I see nothing wrong with the waterfall section Ian. It's the sieve - if you make it through there, you know you will make it all the way to Sani  ;)

Offline Highsider

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Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
« Reply #74 on: January 26, 2019, 05:50:58 am »
This RR is making me want to add some teeth to my sprocket...


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I thought you already did. Honestly, there was nothing on this trip as tough as that waterfall section going up from Sehlabatthebe. I believe this would be perfect loop for you and your other 500 mates.
Yes I have fitted a 52 on the back.  My comment above was figurative, along the lines of “I gotta grow me a pair and go get me some of that action”.  Your Lesotho RR are simply outstanding and motivational.
The waterfall route at Sehlathebe almost broke me; it was for me the fear of failure and the unknown which I had to overcome.  Like the journey down the river in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.
That day was a big learning curve; it permanently pushed my comfort zone limit out a good few notches.
Having done that section, I would do it again.  More prepared this time for what was coming. 
I’m looking forward to the rest of the RR and the tracks. 


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Offline Xpat

Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
« Reply #75 on: January 27, 2019, 04:58:04 pm »
Day 4 - Thaba Tseka to Katse Dam

Last riding day of the trip. I have deliberatelly planned it as a relatively easy as I expected that we will be tired after 3 days of proper rock bashing. Still, even though easier than prior days - there was still nice riding to be done following rarely used roads I've found last year on the high ground east of the Malibiamatso river for the first half and then dropping down to the river and following along it all the way to the Katse dam wall in the second.




Bertie was to join the rest of us on this one (he still didn't know his leg is broken  :peepwall:), while on the other way I wasn't going all the way to Katse, but was to split off half way through and head for Village Chief road on the way to Mokhotlong for another of my many failed attempts at riding up to the Orange river source (yes I have managed to get there eventually but 3 trips later and it will be subject of different RR).

It ended up little diffently - at one stop where there the roads split I had checked my phoneto see if we are on the right track and gave Greg and Tony who were riding sharp end the go ahead and only then realized that the other road crossing over to Senqu valley, which wasn't part of our route, may with a bit of a luck actually allow me to cross Senqu river offroad and connect to A3 - thus finding new exciting track between TT and Mokhotlong. So I just sent my farewell to Greg and Tony via Bertie and unceremoniously went my own way. I didn't manage to find way across Senqu there that day and had to retrace to Village Chief Road, but we have manage to cross there eventually with Losper about month later - so yes, there is another very interesting track available there, but again that will be subject of another report.

The other three made it without glitch to Katse dam in the early afternoon, and from what they were saying really did enjoy the river section as it was something different from the prior 3 days (and much easier  >:D). As the main group photographer was out of the picture so the speak, we will have to rely on the very few pictures these three took between themselves. Which will make for very short installment  :imaposer: - here goes:














The river section:







Tony unleashing his inner creativity child again:




Katse dam:




And some parting sentimental shots:







Thanks for following. I will attach the GPS routes to the first post for easy reference.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 05:53:24 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
« Reply #76 on: January 27, 2019, 05:03:45 pm »
The GPS tracks are now attached to the first post.

Offline roxenz

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Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
« Reply #77 on: January 29, 2019, 11:22:58 am »
Wow! I wouldn't have thought of taking a motorbike where you guys go! Unless it is a 1:72 scale model in my backpack while I'm hiking those mountains...  :biggrin:

Brilliant RR, enjoyed it heaps!  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 11:23:27 am by roxenz »
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
« Reply #78 on: January 29, 2019, 11:26:00 am »
Wow! I wouldn't have thought of taking a motorbike where you guys go! Unless it is a 1:72 scale model in my backpack while I'm hiking those mountains...  :biggrin:

Brilliant RR, enjoyed it heaps!  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

Cheers Roxenz  :thumleft:

Offline Kortbroek

Re: Lesotho Boogie Woogie
« Reply #79 on: January 29, 2019, 11:27:15 am »
Another great RR Xpat. The only reason I'd consider selling the XR is getting something lighter for rides like these. Ideally I should just get a second bike  :lol8:
- you reckon that thing will pop a wheelie? We're about to find out, SLAP that pig!
 
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