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Offline MRK Miller

Re: Xmas Xtreme
« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2019, 09:46:10 pm »
Nice report, Nice area.
Seeing as you enjoy the mud so much, have you ever gone riding in Venda's mountains?

now that must be something to do. Did a hike there, a long time ago and it is absolutely awesome area
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Offline MRK Miller

Re: Xmas Xtreme
« Reply #41 on: January 16, 2019, 09:56:44 pm »
Lekker report Minxy. 

We rode that little secret pass on our 2017 trip and I did it twice last year.  Last time up and down.  Stunning section.

In 2017 we crossed the Olifants easy where you had to turn around.  In Sept/Oct 2018 we managed to cross but with a bit more effort.  Both water and soft sand on the river banks. Had good fun.
There is an alternative crossing for when the river is too high - minimum tar involved to cross over a weir not too far. Keep this in mind for future needs. Then you go via Dublin to start of OB.

We hit rain at the bottom as we started OB. Somewhat interesting with luggage and pillion.  And super slippery at the top on the clay surface. We did the slippery clay split once near the top. All doable at the end.

I love the area and plenty of riding to do :thumleft:

I have videos and photos, but too kind of clueless to upload and share.

Well noted thank you
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Offline Minxy

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Re: Xmas Xtreme
« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2019, 10:29:33 am »
Lekker report Minxy. 

We rode that little secret pass on our 2017 trip and I did it twice last year.  Last time up and down.  Stunning section.

In 2017 we crossed the Olifants easy where you had to turn around.  In Sept/Oct 2018 we managed to cross but with a bit more effort.  Both water and soft sand on the river banks. Had good fun.
There is an alternative crossing for when the river is too high - minimum tar involved to cross over a weir not too far. Keep this in mind for future needs. Then you go via Dublin to start of OB.

We hit rain at the bottom as we started OB. Somewhat interesting with luggage and pillion.  And super slippery at the top on the clay surface. We did the slippery clay split once near the top. All doable at the end.

I love the area and plenty of riding to do :thumleft:

I have videos and photos, but too kind of clueless to upload and share.

When we see each other again you must show us! I remember seeing some of your photos on facebook. I would love to know exactly where that crossing you are referring to on the Olifants river is, that could have saved us a lot of time  ;D

Aha! I found the bridge :biggrin: Noted this for next time. If we just continued more east from where we stopped we could have reached it. Problem is if you don't know beforehand and there's no cellphone reception, it's too much of a risk running out of fuel to go off exploring with no set route. Oh well, next  time! :D

https://goo.gl/maps/NHYFcCnuA5u
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Offline Rexc-w

Re: Xmas Xtreme
« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2019, 11:18:03 am »
Jip that is the backup route. First option is the adventurous one.

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« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 09:06:55 am by Rexc-w »
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Offline Minxy

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Re: Xmas Xtreme
« Reply #44 on: January 19, 2019, 11:22:04 pm »
The time has come to leave the beautiful Tzaneen area, and cozy Oppie Oewer where we had an amazing stay with Gerrit and family.

I plotted an interesting route going east towards Polokwane, the first part going through the Woodbush Forest reserve. Gerrit mentioned they probably wouldn't let us through though as it's forestry roads and there's a boom gate. He offered to ride along for the first part of the trip. Bikes are packed, we say our goodbyes and get going with Gerrit as our guide one last time :)

There's a bit of tar, before we eventually get onto dirt again. There are indeed guards at the boom gate, but they know Gerrit so just nod and let us past. Luckily it is not as slippery as last time through the forest and we stop to view a very interesting tree. This whole place looks like a jungle. The road is twisty and we take it slow and just take in the beauty of the place.

     



     

Gerrit takes us a bit off track to show us this beautiful waterfall, his daughter actually got married here. It is quite the local secret and didn't even appear on my map.

We stop to put in fuel at Haenertburg. This is also where we say our goodbyes to Gerrit. What an awesome time we've had visiting them at Oppie Oewer.

I didn't stop to take many photos on our way to Polokwane, there were many dirtroads. I remember a very bumpy one with plenty of jumps just after Haenertburg where I think I lost my bag (more on that later). The roads were also busy, it was the 24th of December, and many travelers like us were scurrying along to get to their family's on time.





Some of the beautiful landscapes we rode through following some forgotten two track near Polokwane.

It was somewhere at a T-Junction just before Polokwane HSK asked me. Where is your top bag? I was like HUH? Looked behind me and BAM... My bag with all the Xmas presents was gone. My heart just sank immediately :( We wondered what to do. There were so many people on the road, and taxi's. There's no way we'd be able to find it. We don't even know how far back it could have fallen. The last 100km wasn't even technical or bumpy or anything, how could it have fallen? I see the cableties I'd reinforced the bag with have broken, the cargo net is hanging and hasn't fallen off though, at least I've got that.
I felt really bad about losing the bag! The Xmas presents I was carrying for everyone made it all the way to Tzaneen in one piece, even with all the tech riding we did up OB pass, just to lose it somewhere on a nondescript dirt road. Oh well, we decide there's no point to go back and continue onward. The route is taking longer than expected and we still have about 220km to go to get to Lephalale.

We get going again, and in the rush and busy traffic etc, neglect refueling in Polokwane before we leave the city outskirts.

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Offline Minxy

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Re: Xmas Xtreme
« Reply #45 on: January 20, 2019, 10:51:26 pm »
The tracks we followed from Polokwane to Lephalale were quite eventful to say the least :o



Somewhere, in the middle of nowhere, is this deep sand track that goes on for about 10km. The sand gets worse and worse near the end, so much so that even the 4x4 climb out at one stage, making a bit of a sand bank where they cut to the right of the road. I remember riding this sand with the bike constantly swaying from left to right in the deep sand track, you need nerves of steel riding this on a bigger bike with luggage... It's all rutted and churned up from the many 4x4's that have come through here. This was no easy section. For those who have been to the "Beach" at Rhinopark, it was kind of like that sand... We ride at about 80km/ph to stay on top of things.



HSK didn't see the sandy track takes a sudden right where it goes next to the road. He hits the sand bank at full speed. He remembers hesitating and momentarily tapping off the throttle. The front dives and rear wheel kicks up sending the bike CARTWHEELING! I am just behind HSK on his right hand side when this happens. I see the bike flying, and poof, a big cloud of sand. His bike falls into my lane. I immediately go into evasive action mode and do an emergency stop  as not end up on top of the fallen bike.



HSK, who already had sore ribs from the fall in the mud on top of OB pass, manages to get up and starts shaking off all the sand. "Shit are you ok!?" I ran and flipped the kill switch on his bike, the wheel still turning. I see blood on his face. Oh crap, oh crap. He takes his helmet off and luckily it's just a scrape on his nose. Everything else seems to be in order. After he takes a breather, we quickly pick up the bike together. Damm the SE is heavy when you are trying to pick it up in thick sand and 35 degree heat... A quick inspection reveals that there is virtually no damage to the bike, except for a slightly bent plastic panel? Damm, that's good at least.



We scrape ourselves together and get going, there is still about 100km to go before we get to Lephalale, and we are already running late.
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Offline Ri

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Re: Xmas Xtreme
« Reply #46 on: January 22, 2019, 01:19:00 pm »
Geee what a fright that must've been! Glad the damage was minimal! :o

Enjoying the RR and the lekker photo's, thanks :biggrin:
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Offline Jobe

Re: Xmas Xtreme
« Reply #47 on: January 24, 2019, 09:56:17 am »
Me and a friend did Iron Crown in 2017, Him on his 990 KTM, and me on Tiger 800.  I think it was more or less the same route you guys did (from the pics, I think I recognize that stream...).
Attached a screen grab of our route. 
That climb after the stream was... an experience.. especially as it was high 30s and the Tiger was a bit heavy on some of those loose rocks, but we did it.
 :thumleft:
« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 10:00:40 am by Jobe »
 

Offline Minxy

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Re: Xmas Xtreme
« Reply #48 on: January 24, 2019, 07:29:54 pm »
Me and a friend did Iron Crown in 2017, Him on his 990 KTM, and me on Tiger 800.  I think it was more or less the same route you guys did (from the pics, I think I recognize that stream...).
Attached a screen grab of our route. 
That climb after the stream was... an experience.. especially as it was high 30s and the Tiger was a bit heavy on some of those loose rocks, but we did it.
 :thumleft:

That is awesome! Thanks for sharing.
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Offline MonkeyNot

Re: Xmas Xtreme
« Reply #49 on: January 24, 2019, 09:37:08 pm »
Looks like some proper thick sand!

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Offline Minxy

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Re: Xmas Xtreme
« Reply #50 on: January 25, 2019, 07:30:39 am »
Looks like some proper thick sand!

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I have to say it again and again... I was VERY happy to be riding the 701 on this trip. Makes things a bit easier :ricky: The 950SE, though it is an amazing bike, is still heavy for terrain like this :o
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Offline Minxy

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Re: Xmas Xtreme
« Reply #51 on: January 25, 2019, 08:37:49 pm »
I'm glad HSK is good to get going again. It was really scary to see him fall like that in front of me. We do quite a bit more sandy roads passing the odd village, when HSK's bike comes to a halt.

It's dead, completely... Won't start... Ok so 75% of the KTM's that have been a part of this trip had officially broken down now :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer:

We look at the obvious things and of course nothing obvious is broken. We are about 45km from Lephalale, our destination. My dad and them are already waiting for us, i mean it is almost Christmas eve! And to top things off, my bike has gone into reserve.

We decide we'll do the towing thing. Hook the strap on my right footpeg and on HSK's left. Now, if you want to test how strong your relationship is with your partner, you tow them for 45km in the sand... #Relationshipgoals! :P

It was stressful... There was an idiot truck behind us at one stage that just couldn't realize we were towing... He was driving almost right on top of us! I literally felt like a dakar rider with one of those big trucks pulling up right behind me, scary stuff! I pull HSK off the sandy track to the side of the road so the truck could come past. Phew, made it without falling in front of the truck! This towing thing is higher grade, especially in this sand.



One of the dirt highways we followed before HSK's bike broke.

We got into a rhythm with the towing thing and I upped the speed to about 60km/ph which was a comfy towing speed for me. This is one of the first times ever I was actually HAPPY we got to the tar road :imaposer:
We crawl into town as it is getting dark and top up with a bit of fuel as my bike is running on fumes now. The Husky must have taken strain pulling the 950. Eventually we get home, well, my old home at least and I am overjoyed to see my family.

Yes, the bike broke down, yes I lost all the Christmas presents, but it's not about that. It's about being with the people you love and * blah blah blah, continues soppy story*. MY BROTHER INTERRUPTS ME!!! He says, somebody just called saying THEY FOUND MY BAG! It is with a farmer near Haenertsburg!, Wow, that fell off almost right at the start of our trip in the morning. It truly is some X-mas miracle we have made it this far in one piece, with HSK having minimal injury while tumbling with the bike, as well as the amazing luck of somebody finding our bag and locating us.

We have an awesome dinner and hit the hay, another long day behind us.

Xmas Day, time for repairs.





HSK strips down the bike. It appears to be the fuel pump. We are in luck though, as we magically happen to have a spare fuel pump with us! HSK installs the new Fuel pump, but the bike still won't start... My dad thinks it's an electrical problem and starts testing some of the connectors etc. About 20min later HSK realizes the bike is still in gear :imaposer: :peepwall: He puts it in neutral and it fires up  YES, tomorrow our journey continues back home, sweet home to Gauteng.

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Offline Ri

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Re: Xmas Xtreme
« Reply #52 on: January 27, 2019, 02:23:38 pm »
WHOAAAA Hectic!! You were really tested on this trip!

Really great that the Christmas pressies were found :biggrin:
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Offline wildside

Re: Xmas Xtreme
« Reply #53 on: January 27, 2019, 04:20:34 pm »
A great RR Minxy. I don't know that area  at all so it's super to see all those pics.....really pretty out there and makes for some hectic riding. Well done. :thumleft:
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Offline Minxy

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Re: Xmas Xtreme
« Reply #54 on: February 04, 2019, 09:56:06 pm »
26 December, it is time to make our way home :)

Bikes are packed, goodbyes are said and we make our way out of Lephalale and onto the Witkop pass road. The plan is to ride Witkop pass, Bakkers pass, Rankins pass and then some back roads all the way to Pretoria. HSK's ribs and shoulder are now very tender from his falls both in the mud on Orrie Baragwanath and the tumble he took in the sand. We'll be taken things easy and see how he feels.



Something out of the ordinary caught my eye. Ho ho ho!!!! Somebody had decorated this tree with some random X-mas decorations  :thumleft:



This has to be one of the most random things I've seen in my adventure biking escapades so far :imaposer:



The beautiful Witkop pass, a must if you are visiting the area. The road borders all along the D'Nyala nature reserve.



     

The route gets moderately rocky and loose in places, there is also a fair amount of sand closer to the start of the pass near the river. All an absolute breeze on the Husky though. I have really been enjoying riding a lighter adventure bike, it just makes things so much more enjoyable.



We cruise over the pass and make our way to the famous Big 5 in Vaalwater where we stop for breakfast :)


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Offline >Herman<

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Re: Xmas Xtreme
« Reply #55 on: February 06, 2019, 12:08:49 pm »
Next please!

Offline Minxy

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Re: Xmas Xtreme
« Reply #56 on: February 07, 2019, 10:03:55 pm »
After Vaalwater we go through the Bakker's pass, nice and sandy at the time :ricky: , Rankins and some other dirt roads. I wished I had stopped to take more photos... We initially wanted to do a longer route, but HSK's ribs were getting progressively worse and we stuck to the more scenic roads just to be safe. We've done lots of riding in this area before so know most of roads by now, not a biggie if we miss the last part of our intended route.



We briefly stopped at the old blockhouse at the crossroads. I wonder what the history behind this building is?



There is a gem of a place near Warmbaths called "The Shack". Last time we came past it in a group it was closed for business. It was good to see they had re-opened. We catch a break, grab a cold one and then get on our way again.




That pool... So tempting! ::)

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Offline Minxy

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Re: Xmas Xtreme
« Reply #57 on: February 24, 2019, 08:31:26 pm »
I haven't been too excited posting about the last part of the trip...

When we left The Shack, I pulled in the clutch and it was gone... Nada, nothing. Well that's disappointing...
We put in some clutch fluid into the cylinder on top by the clutch lever and decided we'd rather change plans and get onto the tar from Warmbaths the rest of the way to PTA.

When we get off the dirt-road and onto the tar HSK gets a front wheel blowout!!! I just see him go off the side of the road and coming to a stop. Scary business, that sure was a good save by HSK.







Well, there's nothing else we can do so we take out our last "21" tube. There is a storm approaching and we try hurry things up. We unpack the tube (an older one from the spares cupboard) and when we open it... It turns out to be a 19"... WTF, why is that even there!? What the hell do you do with a 19" tube!? How'd that get mixed up into our emergency kit!?...  ???

With no other tube to use we get out the patch kit. Now patching tubes requires a special kind of skill, a special kind of patience. Many of us failed this silly test at Quest bootcamp, having stuck on the patch too soon. I tell HSK, we must wait for it to cure a bit longer. The dark clouds loom overhead. We wait, wait, wait. The rain really starts getting threatening and there is thunder crackling over the horizon. Shit, it better be ready... We test the patch, it seems to be holding up. We start inflating the tube to test it. Nope, it's not ready... SIGH!

It starts pissing down. It is raining cats and dogs. And then, lightning and as if that wasn't enough, HAIL!





We sit under a lone tree in the rain. The hail gets worse and eventually we put our helmets on for some protection against the rain. We laugh at our luck. Wow, what a romantic couple's getaway this is...

After about an hour just sitting in the rain it starts clearing up. We dry things up as best we can and try the patching business again. It seems to be holding better and we fit the wheel back onto the bike.

We continue riding. My clutch is gone again... I pull the lever, nothing. All the fluid we added just got eaten somewhere by the hungry husky. I can ride without a clutch, but it's not very comfortable... And... About 500m down the road HSK comes to a halt. The front is flat again.

HSK and I look at each other. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Patching the tube in the rainy conditions is near impossible, riding with no clutch all the way back on the N1 or via Hammanskraal is just looking for trouble and also, at this stage we are pretty gatvol...

We call up a friend. He offered to recover the bike before HSK managed to fix it back in Ellisras. We ask him if he feels like driving through. He says he'll get the trailer and he'll be on his way.


We get ourselves comfortable. We are going to wait for a while.


Obligatory "we are so bored waiting for our friend" selfie!



100% of the KTMs (white ktm included) are now officially out of order :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer:


Anton, all smiles to the rescue.

While driving back home on the N1 highway I thought about what happened.

Was it a let down that we couldn't "finish" our trip?

No, ultimately things like this are part of a journey are they not? We had a few things go wrong, but we also had a few things go right. This wasn't a long extended trip to an exotic destination, or a hardcore adventure to tick off a bucket list item. But somehow this trip just felt EPIC, it felt right. It was testing, we traversed uncharted terrain, we pushed our limits and at times it was even emotional, a rollercoaster of ups and downs.

To me at least, this was one of our best trips.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2019, 08:35:38 pm by Minxy »
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Offline Hondsekierie

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Re: Xmas Xtreme
« Reply #58 on: February 24, 2019, 08:48:57 pm »
Thanks for all the effort in posting this little RR, you sure have a knack for capturing these trips for what they are.  This trip will go down as one of the more extreme ones for me as well.  I mean, what luck to smash your rib cage on both sides, 3 x days apart, and then have a front blow out :eek7:

I'm just glad you didn't ride over me when I cartwheeled my bike, that you managed to tow me all that way out of that rural area and last but not least - that we didn't get hit by lightning  :biggrin:  You surely earned your stripes as one serious bad ass girl who can handle adversity and still manage a smile - love you lottles  :love3:



 
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 Ri

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Re: Xmas Xtreme
« Reply #59 on: February 25, 2019, 04:07:42 pm »
You surely earned your stripes as one serious bad ass girl who can handle adversity and still manage a smile

For sure @Minxy!! I can only aspire...  :notworthy: :biggrin:
« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 04:08:09 pm by Ri »
Tales of the Purple Turtles: Ride Reports
PROJECT SAS WILDEHOND III Contributions: R Snyman Capitec Savings Account 1545860511 Balance (2017/12/07): R3005,00 - R1,600 for steel purchase