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Author Topic: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya  (Read 7736 times)

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Offline Osadabwa

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Day 6 - Lake Stefanie and the North Horr surprise
« Reply #40 on: April 25, 2019, 08:06:56 am »
That night, the heavens opened and a whipping rain pelted down. I had pulled my bed outside on the veranda and it was like sleeping in a hurricane, but the cool air was fantastic. We awoke to clear skies and the makings of a fantastic and surprising day. We’d passed by our ride’s stated objective the day before, but we’d go back and make up for that. The downside was, we’d have to backtrack, and we’d miss out on riding through Sibiloi National Park. Neither issue bothered me too much because a) the riding was fantastic, if you didn’t have to nurse the throttle b) this would give us more time in the extreme north and c) who are we kidding? Sibiloi ain’t all that great… it’s a stony, bushy mess. So lets go!


Above: Morning pastels over Lake Turkana


Above: My bike and I had a nice, if windy, night at TBI


Above: A bit of deepish sand to get the morning going. I remember how sand used to make me tremble. After 5 years in Dar es Salaam and 5 more in Kenya, I've been inoculated.




Above: Double-take


Above: Nice to see Neb didn’t get put off by his recent wheelie whoopsie.




Above: Drifting, blasting and beautiful scenery


Above: Just out for some rock chucking

In no time we were at the junction leading to Stefanie. We started down it, but realised that there was a perfectly lovely riverbed there, so we took it instead. Since coming to Kenya, I’ve been in a dozen riverbeds, big and small. This one is my favourite. Black sand interspersed with different sizes of embedded river stones made the riding interesting and fun. It was wide enough to choose your own line, but flanked with big green trees, it really felt out there. We rode happily along until the bed began to vanish into the bush, coaxing us back out to the 4x4 track where we quickly found what we were looking for: border post C29 in Lake Stefanie.


Above: Neb does a bit of driftsplatting


Above: Very funky geology around here… couldn’t guess what earth-shattering upheaval created this formation




Above: The mix of sand and stones was really good fun to ride.





To be continued...
 
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Offline Osadabwa

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Day 6 of the Borderlands Braap continued...
« Reply #41 on: April 25, 2019, 08:09:58 am »
The track was hard to spot and farted around in the bush for awhile. Then we spotted a border post, but it was C28. Panic knew C29 was out in an open plain (remember, it was 28 years ago he visited), so we pressed on, ignoring our GPSs which indicated we were straying well into Ethiopia. Carefully crawling around the dry lake shore, trying not to get caught in slippery mud, we spotted it. Standing lonely in the middle of the lake bed, there was C29.


Above: Mission accomplished! We brought Panic back to C29!


Above: I guess it’s obvious we think the XR beats everything for this kind of thing…


Above: Once Panic had had his moment, Neb and I posed with the stone as well


Above: One tire in Kenya, one in Ethiopia


Above: Triumphant at the top of the country!



We stayed awhile at the border post watching the world and the goings on. I made a quick foray out onto the pan to write a message for anyone passing by in an airplane, marking our territory… Then we went fossil hunting along the ancient shore and found a number of unidentifiable marine shell or coral structures and several large, petrified black fish vertebrae. It really put a cap on the feeling of stepping back in time. There was a surprising amount of activity around as well, with huge herds of goats passing by with their herders and families in tow. One very old mzee parked himself near our spot, laid his rifle at his feet and casually greeted us. Neb tried to chat, but there was no common language between them. He showed us a few neat rocks from his pouch, and that was that.


Above: Our signature written in dirt on the Kenyan side of the border


Above: Tough guys up here. Borana maybe? Dasanech? An Ethiopian tribe?


Above: the men pushed the goats, the women walked ahead with gourds. The old Mzee would walk along, sit and wait, and walk along again. We felt like time travelers.

To be continued...
 
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Offline Osadabwa

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Day 6 of the Borderlands Braap continued again...
« Reply #42 on: April 25, 2019, 08:14:55 am »
Reluctantly, we set off again, heading to Dukana and on to North Horr where who knows what rotten accommodation awaited. Happily though, we could first ride back up the riverbed and the road to Dukana which was pure pleasure.


Above: Back in the riverbed… sometimes the water comes through here in torrents




Above: Re-crossing the Sele Gublo pass toward Dukana


Above: In Dukana we hit gold at the Jaribu Dukana Central duka and hoteli. Awesome mbuzi with njera and decently cold Cokes.


Above: This time, we didn’t fail to fill up the tanks…

We left Dukana in the blistering, wind-blown heat of afternoon. It was thermonuclear. It was miserable, and the riding was like being stuck in an infinite feedback loop. Once we passed the purple mountain, it was just mile after repetitive mile of straight, rocky, sandy road and mile after mile of brownish yellow sand and dirt and mile after mile of camels and blue skies. Finally, we saw a nice dry riverbed lined with big trees, and I offered to take a break in the shade but the guys just wanted to push on. I kept thinking, “What’s the rush? North Horr will be worse than Kalacha!”, but we kept at it. I swear I passed the same lonely tree with the same overheated camels under it a dozen times.









As we neared North Horr, the riding improved to sandy tracks. We pulled into town in a flash and a plume of windswept dust and began the hopeless quest to identify a decent place to stay. As a joke, Neb asked the guy where the swimming pool was. I chortled in my helmet, then I heard him reply: “Oh, you head out of town toward Loiyangilani, past the oasis where the water crosses, and turn right. Can’t miss it.” I’ll be damned if he wasn’t dead on!





Lo and behold, there was a swimming pool! And lo and behold, they had a bar attached with really properly cold beers in it! I felt like we’d hit the jackpot! We stripped the bikes and dove right into the pool. The beers piled up and we laughed and drank well into the night. The creator of the place (the jovial Kenyan Catholic priest from N. Horr!) came by to chat and gave us his blessing to stay. Swimming under a full moon with nobody else around and zero light pollution was fantastic. We put mattresses on the makeshift concrete sunbeds and slept al-fresco with bats clicking around our heads and a hyena giggling the night away just outside the fence. And all this because we were too dumb to fuel up in Dukana the day before. That’s why I say: Osadabwa.


Above: Three, two, one! Touchdown!


Above: Happy bikers at the oasis


Above: Just loving it.

Here's the moving picture for you, folks:


Next time: Mt Kulal

 :snorting:
 
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Offline Osadabwa

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Day 7 - Up to Gatab on Mt. Kulal
« Reply #43 on: April 25, 2019, 08:35:17 am »
Dawn hadn’t broken yet but I was up. Bats by the dozens were whipping willy-nilly around my head snapping up a few last dudus before calling it a night. The pool must attract some good grub, but it was so dry that we slept outside unmolested by mozzies. After a quick whiz, I was in the pool again, cooling off from the sweaty night’s sleep. We planned to get to Gatab atop Mt. Kulal where it would be considerably cooler, then decide how best to proceed from there. So, coffee, ablutions, fix something broken on Neb’s bike (chain slider I think) and we were off again.


Above: Serene morning at the N. Horr Catholic Community pool


Above: Panic and Neb organize coffee


Above: The actual N. Horr Oasis… I think I prefer the pool


Above: N. Horr Petrol Station… you think it’s windy? Check out the reinforcing bars on the awning.

Now years ago, getting from Gas to North Horr was an adventure all to itself. You could easily get lost out there trying to follow a track through the dust that just simply disappeared, as I did back in 2004. Now, though, the mystery is gone. A very wide sand track gets you from point A to point B, so I was happy to ditch it in favour of a little, rocky thing that led down the East side of Mt. Kulal.


Above: Can’t get lost getting to North Horr anymore!


Above: The little track was much more our style


Above: A few rocky/sandy riverbeds…


Above: Some funky natural stone masonry…


Above: And spectacular trees made the ride very pleasant



Amazingly, out there in the middle of nowhere, Panic decided to make a friendly house call to one of his customers, a fellow German doing mission work out in Arapal. We rumbled in, were treated to a wonderful lunch, and then guided a ways down the track to meet a fan, if you can believe it, of these Ride Reports. Moses, running a clinic in the next village, has been following along with us for quite a while now and was keen to see the Pigs up close. Rawlence, he asked about you! I told him he has to check out THIS REPORT to find out why you were nowhere to be seen.


Above: In Arapal. Thanks for the lunch you guys!


Above: Firing up the CRF230… helmet yes, trousers, no. AGATT guys, have at him!


Above: Down the track a ways, we met Moses and talked bikes a bit.


Above: Moses astride my little Piggy… I admit it made me nervous, usually people underestimate the clumsiness of a bigger bike, but Moses knew what he was doing.

To be continued...





 
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Offline Osadabwa

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Day 7 of Borderlands Braap continued...
« Reply #44 on: April 25, 2019, 08:47:00 am »
Bidding farewell to everyone, we screamed up the hill to Gatab like our lives depended on it. The road had been improved by hand all the way to the next village, so it was like a rubbly hillclimb race, and I loved it. Farther on, we reached the forest and the track became overgrown by large, shady trees. The track fizzled out and we began to wonder if we were on the right track. Stubbornness prevailed, however, and after some log jumping (of various abilities, mine being the weakest) and light enduro work (where again, my skills really shined… see the vid), we made it to Gatab and found our digs at the AIC mission guest house.


Above: Racing up the backway to Gatab.


Above: The whole valley behind, views stretched all the way to the Ndotos


Above: In the trees, feeling the cool air


Above: Can this place really be so close to that sweltering hole called Loiyangilani?


Above: At this massive strangler, we had to jump a fallen log to continue down a small path or go back… we don’t like going back.




Above: We eventually popped out to a wonderful view down on Lake Turkana, but the trials weren’t over yet.




Above: Neb led me down a mini enduro pitch and was kind enough to film me flailing down it as well. Cheers for that bit, Neb, you enduro stud! How’s your frame?

Arriving at the guest house and settling in, it was early enough that Neb and I went out exploring town. We wanted to see what is meant to be Kenya’s trickiest airstrip, one only a handful of folks (his dad included) are pilot enough to handle. I’m not a pilot, but as a passenger, I couldn’t believe it when I saw it. The wind blasts straight down it, which is good, but the thing ends in a drop-off that would pucker your bum on a good day and would kill you straight if you got it wrong. Kudos to the mad AIM pilots who used to service this place. Neb, you ain’t there yet!


Above: The end of the runway launches into infinity


Above: You’d best not get it wrong…


Above: Gatab airport, lounge and hangar


Above: While hunting for Cokes and mbeers, we ran into an old Mzee who was watching/helping/praying for us to get down that tricky section. We bought a round of Cokes.


Above: Evening is spectacular in Gatab




Above: Our digs for the night


Above: Cool air, a nice view, a couple beers and a few sips of whiskey and we were in heaven.

Enjoy the following video... it'll make you feel good about yourself


Next day: Back to Ngurunit the rocky way

 :snorting:
 
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Offline Osadabwa

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Day 8 - To Ngurunit the long way
« Reply #45 on: April 25, 2019, 08:55:50 am »
Curled up under the blankets, I was in no rush to get up, but by 7AM I was awake anyway. The day’s plan was not overly ambitious, so we didn’t rush. By 9AM or so, we were gazing off the top of the mountain down at Nyiro and Lake Turkana below. Then we blasted over to the wind farm for a bit of go-juice (thanks to some help from our friends, we were allowed) and aimed down the superhighway to the turnoff for Tuum. That area is dead boring now that the wind farm is installed. Bring your Burgman Scooters if you wish.


Above: Looking down on it all from atop Mt. Kulal


Above: At this time of day, the clouds whip past like airplanes


Above: going down was lovely, though I did manage to fall on my butt while Neb was filming. Dammit Neb, you knob!


Above: Some of the canyons on Kulal look like they hold dark secrets.






Above: The wind farm is now operational. Some 400 turbines are out there soaking up the breeze.

At the turnoff to Tuum from the North side, we were greeted with the very badly bleached “Land of Peace” sign and its AK-47. The parish should really get out there with a lick of paint one of these days. Fortunately for us, the road around the back of Nyiro was really fun. Far rockier and more eroded than I remembered, and stunningly beautiful with views down to the Suguta Valley, my White Whale. I’ll conquer you yet. We stopped in Tuum for a nice bite to eat and a beer before taking the back way to Ngurunit.


Above: To Tuum








Above: The Letuno Butchery and Hotel boasts Tuum's coolest mural


Above: The boys and their spirit animals. Mine is the He Goat


Above: A lunch beer makes Panic chatty


Above: Who's got two thumbs and wants to braaaap? This guy

To be continued...
 
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Offline Dwerg

Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #46 on: April 25, 2019, 08:59:02 am »
Brilliant. I've clearly made some terrible life choices.
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Offline Osadabwa

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Day 8 of Borderlands Braaap continued...
« Reply #47 on: April 25, 2019, 09:02:55 am »
My plan for getting us to Ngurunit was to explore little tracks and to see if there was a way over the Ndotos. On Google, the track looked pretty reasonable, but in real life, the thing was far steeper in places and rock-strewn enough that we decided we’d save it for another time. By this time Neb’s rear tire was almost completely bald… ask him why… and it was the dead heat of the day. We had some friends waiting in Ngurunit who had come up from Nairobi, so we bailed on the goat path and ripped flat out to the camp where cold beers were waiting. That night, we slept on beds under nets under the trees. Fantastic.






Above: Cool construction technique. Just wedge stones in for walls and plaster them later


Above: The backsides of the Ndotos are begging to be explored. Maybe ditch the kit in Ngurunit and do a harder day ride out. We always say that and never do it. Truth is, we like to feel the XRs eat up the long days. They're trophy trucks, not rock crawlers after all.


Above: On the goat path… very beautiful, and rideable too if you’re rested and patient, which we weren’t, and if it were a nice cool morning, which it wasn’t. It was beer-thirty.


Above: This is where we called it quits




Above: The scenery alone twists the throttle


Above: Permission to buzz the tower...


Above: Now that’s purdy.


Above: But that ain’t purdy! Believe it or not, Neb broke his frame, the big, thick, aluminium section under the engine… and he managed to blame me in a roundabout way! He says: “I was chasing you after the rocky section, jumped off a lip and landed on a stone.” As far as I’m concerned, I’m not even an accessory to this crime, but lemmings love a scapegoat. I break my own stuff just fine without being implicated in breaking others' thank you velly muchi. Happy welding, Neb!


Above: At Ngurunit, there was a party waiting. Plenty of beers, a huge meal including sausage, pasta, foie gras on rustic bread and some whisky later, we collapsed under a completely full moon and snored the night away, some of us sleeping peacefully knowing we hadn’t broken our bikes… others, not so much.

Tomorrow, we'd have a new experience...

 :snorting:

« Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 07:28:34 pm by Osadabwa »
 
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Offline Osadabwa

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Day 9 - The Mighty Milgis bites back
« Reply #48 on: April 25, 2019, 09:18:06 am »
The state of Neb’s bike cinched it for us: We needed to start heading back home in a rather direct fashion. We’d already had to ditch climbing the Borana escarpment to Timau, but Neb had organized a desirable alternative: a pilot friend finagled a place to crash at the Loisaba Conservancy’s research tents. We had our plan: Bust out of Ngurunit, ride up the Milgis Lugga to the Mathews Range for one last bit of interesting dirt, and zip up to Loisaba. Following day, slab it home. It almost went according to plan…


Above: Leaving Ngurunit was challenging with all the rush hour traffic


Above: Ndotos make a great backdrop for any XRR


Above: In the Milgis again, throttles were opening, but not as much as before. Going upstream meant we’d be hitting sandy lips from below, so we were being fairly cautious


Above: Stopping to tighten bolts or something on Neb’s bike, we parked up next to fresh elephant prints. I love knowing those creatures are out there.


Above: The Breakfast Club pose

We really were taking it easy by our own standards, but we got hit by an unexpected turn of events. I was ahead, keeping it around 80kph and was about to exit the riverbed at the big rock waterfall. I stopped to take a pic of Neb roosting his way up. Panic arrived, but Neb was nowhere to be seen. We had just stopped together, so this was odd. Looking back into the sun down the river, we couldn’t see anybody. Then, a tall silhouette appeared, like something out of the Wild West, but sans cowboy hat. Uh oh. Panic went back first and I followed. As I got closer, I could see churned up sand and knew he’d gone down hard.


Above: Toodling along, singing a song, getting knocked silly.

Neb was up and talking, so I started taking pics and shooting the shit, teasing. After being recorded by him in less than flattering ways in Kulal, I was ready to repay the favour! He pointed to his zig-zagging tracks coming along, where it hit a little sand lip and a bike length later it hit a stick in the sand. Frankly, I couldn’t see why he crashed, and he couldn’t either. He said he just started to lose control, like he’d had a blowout, but it went beyond what he could handle and he bailed. Weird as hell, but it got weirder… He started repeating himself, telling the story again from the beginning. Then he said: “I have this feeling I broke my frame…” as if that wasn’t all we’d talked about in Ngurunit last night. And when he saw it, he said: “How the heck did I do that?” Then, “I don’t remember where we slept last night.” Obviously, he’d hit his head, hard. I looked at his face then, and could see the whites of one eye was bloody. He later reported that seeing me look at his eye was the first thing he remembered after the crash.


Above: The scene… so innocuous… that little stick took him down? No way. Sand snakes maybe. Knocked his glasses clean off his schnoot.

I shot Panic a glance and he shot me one back. This wasn’t funny. Neb said for the fifth time: “Well, I’m up and I’m talking, so I’m okay.” And repeated again how the biggest bummer for him was breaking his GPS. “I love that GPS”. Then he went through the crash details again, talking about feeling like it was a blowout. I walked out to the zigzagging tracks that were a meter or less off from where Panic and I had ridden (our tracks were straight). I kicked the sand and lo and behold there was the greasiest mud you’ve ever seen hiding just under the surface. Still, it’s not like the tracks broke the surface. Anyway, this mystery would have to wait. We were now worried about Neb. Panic and I decided that I would ride ahead to a nearby camp I knew of to see if I could phone the flying doctors for advice, and he and Neb would find shade and wait. I didn’t want to blow it off and find out it was something really serious, so off I went… not so casually this time.


Above: Neb’s broken GPS after the big off

I rode 10km up the Milgis, found an exit, and climbed a scrabbly hill to the camp (beautifully situated, by the way… I’ll definitely stop there next time! They even had cold beers!) and found a chap from the Milgis Trust with a radio. Sadly, no cell reception, and his sat phone was not working. He pointed up a valley in front of us and said: Go to that mabati roofed building and look for a guy with a car, I’ll radio him. He will take you to a tree that gets cell coverage. So I did. Fun riding too, if you’re in the mood for it. I wasn’t. I found Moses (another Moses), we climbed in the 4x4, drove down the lugga, and crawled our way up the hillside in the blasting heat to the famed cell phone tree. No bars. By now, I’d been gone an hour and was anxious to check back in with the guys, so I was preparing to go back when the radio crackled to life. Neb and Panic had ridden to the camp and he was feeling better. To quote Panic: “Well, at least he’s not babbling anymore.”


Above: Some fun exploring to be had, if you’re not worried about your mate’s potential vegetative state.

To be continued...
 
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Offline Osadabwa

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Day 9 of the Borderlands Braaap continued...
« Reply #49 on: April 25, 2019, 09:30:00 am »
At the camp, we chilled a while longer, had a Coke in the shade and re-assessed. Neb could almost tell us the places we’d stayed during our trip without messing it up, and he did seem better, which was relative anyway, so we decided we’d get moving. He lamented breaking his GPS a few more times for good measure, though. Given our ordeal, we ditched the Mathews in favour of a more direct route on a very good and scenic all-weather dirt road. In no time we were in Maralal, and the trip was nearing its end.


Above: Neb was fine, just fine, enjoying the view from the camp


Above: Scenery on the good road out of the Milgis – looks like somebody done been preachin' my sermon!


Above: Neb could ride well enough… we’d test his spelling later


Above: Back in the trees below the Maralal escarpment road


Above: Last little lick up to Maralal – Panic reminded me to watch out for ditches, and I did

We fuelled up, had a big, late lunch in Maralal and set off for Loisaba. Half way down the long, seemingly endless, flat dirt road, I noticed Neb’s rack was falling apart again. We paused for him to put new bolts in, and I noticed I’d broken one of my tank brackets. Panic saw that his rims were cracking in numerous places as well. I always say Africa’s hard on gear, but it’s the only place in the world I wanna use it.


Above: A few giraffe, zebra and even an Oryx or two greeted us as we farted around looking for the entrance to Loisaba (bikes are not usually allowed, but we got a special pass… this meant we’d have to come in the servant’s entrance, so it was not exactly well marked).

At the researcher’s camp, we were greeted heartily and shown our lovely safari tents. Neb, rather than lying down and resting his concussion, ran around like a booboo gawking at the SuperCub that was parked in the hangar, which truly is a beauty, while Panic and I sipped whisky on the veranda and rehashed the day like a couple of contemplative old farts.


Above: the SuperCub… Neb’s real reason for coming to Loisaba


Above: Safari tents are always awesome


Above: Me feeling ragged after a long, worrying day…

We had a great meal, a couple of Tuskers, and called it a night (after a nightcap of course). It was dawning on us the trip was over. The following morning, we kitted up and lit out for the tarmac to get us home. On the way, we passed a little trio of elephant as a nice farewell. The tar was awful, but we were all eager to be home at a reasonable hour, and we were. Now its time to repair bikes and start planning the next one!


Above: Hornbills doing the funky chicken


Above: Our farewell from Loisaba

Well, that’s all folks! Thanks for following along. Panic and Neb, this one goes down as one of the greats! We know what we’re doing, but we learn something new every ride. Lets fix up the bikes, rest our bones and get back out there soon!

The End
 :snorting:

Epilogue: Here’s what Panic and I think caused Neb’s crash: His steering damper. This little toy is new to Neb, and he was enjoying cranking it up and flying down the riverbed. At the time of the crash, he had it on full… as if he’s a Dakar Racer or something. We reckon, with the damper cranked up, a bald rear tire on 30psi (he’s so stubborn about that… didn’t buy new rubber before the ride and ran it stupidly hard in a half-assed attempt to save tread wear instead…) and that little greasy bit of mud under the sand were a perfect combo. He started weaving, hit the grease, got off balance and because the damper was maxed, he couldn’t make the natural little corrections to save his ass, so he saw it instead. That’s our two bits.

 
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Offline Xpat

Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #50 on: April 25, 2019, 10:25:25 am »
Wow, you are a writing machine!  8)

I will  catch up in the evening, but lots of those names like Maralal, Loyangalani and Ileret bring up old memories...  :thumleft:

Offline ClimbingTurtle

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #51 on: April 25, 2019, 11:04:59 am »
Yet another awesome RR - beautifully written as always - thank you for taking the time!!

 :thumleft:

And how about a list of repairs to be completed before the next ride....?  8)

BTW - what GPS are you using?
« Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 11:05:35 am by ClimbingTurtle »
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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #52 on: April 25, 2019, 11:25:00 am »
 One very old mzee parked himself near our spot,

I see Mzee was there too!! ;) :lol8:

How would this area look after/during the rainy season? Lots of grass? IF it rains at all I guess.
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Offline CUZZY

Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #53 on: April 25, 2019, 12:06:14 pm »
Bladdy marvellous RR.  Fantastic read and pics. Really well done and thank you.
 

Offline Osadabwa

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Not much, for Panic and I...
« Reply #54 on: April 25, 2019, 04:22:21 pm »
Hey folks, glad you enjoyed!


And how about a list of repairs to be completed before the next ride....?  8)

BTW - what GPS are you using?

So the list of repairs in my case is very short, which is nice. I broke a locally made tank mount which I have removed already and have plans to re-build. The bike needs serviced (valves were checked today and are perfect). Tires are good for some day-rides, but they have taken a real beating. I popped the can open and saw that the packing has been blown through, so I'll deal with that now... Otherwise, it's all good.

Panic broke a spoke and that's it.

Neb broke his frame, his GPS, tore his fork boots, broke his rack... He needs stiffer fork and shock springs and a more thorough sense of self-preservation!

The GPS I use is the Garmin Montana. I am not gaga about it. It's good because you can have a large portion of screen dedicated to the map/tracks while still having 4 big blocks of info on the side. For me and the Pig, that's Speedometer, trip odometer, time and elevation, but there are other options. The touch screen is hyper sensitive with or without gloves, and is a royal pain in the ass. I'd rather have 2 buttons for zooming in and zooming out, but no. If the screen sits in the sun (as you know, in Africa, there is sometimes sun...), the thing will go black for awhile and be unusable. On this trip, the protector I had (another Garmin product) cracked in a million pieces one morning for no apparent reason (probably heat and moisture, not things you'd ever expect in Africa). I find Garmin's software utter garbage. Even the most basic things are a challenge. For a long ride like this, I will have added 100 self-made tracks. To add them to the GPS is fairly easy, even though the Garmin Basecamp software NEVER recognizes my GPS, but once they're on there you must add them to the map ONE AT A TIME. Seriously, no "select all" option? Come on. My Apple IIe had that feature in 1989. My mobile phone can do 100x more things than the Garmin in a smaller package and for similar price. The main reason I use the Montana is because RAM Mounts made a really good mount for it... and because I don't know what other choice I'd use. I see Lyndon Poskitt uses one too, if that matters at all. How's that for unsolicited ranting?

@ChrisL - That area would be amazing to see in the rains. I imagine the Huri Hills would make a spectacular change, however trying to ride up there in the wet poses myriad challenges. Days after we returned home, those stone and sand luggas were flowing heavily with water and I imagine all that dust turning to horrible mud. The Chalbi desert is impassible and you have to drive a stone road around it, etc. Every Easter we take a big gamble going up there right as the rains are supposed to come, but since the weather doesn't follow usual patterns, I've gotten away with it. When I did my cross-Africa trip in 2004, even the main road from Ethiopia to Kenya was a quagmire and only bikes passed (at the time I rode a crappy 650 Dakar with huge panniers, so you can hardly call it riding). Here's how that looked: LINK.

 :snorting:
« Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 05:29:11 pm by Osadabwa »
 

Offline Kortbroek

Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #55 on: April 25, 2019, 06:39:30 pm »
Another stunning RR Osadabwa. I reckon you guys have exactly the right terrain for those XR's and you'll be hard put to get a better tool than an XRR for this kind of riding. This trip just looked absolutely epic, dual sport/adventure riding doesn't get much better than that.

On the GPS front, you could always look into the Locus maps android app and a smartphone. You can download offline maps onto that, load tracks, load your own maps etc and with powerbanks these days it's easy to keep a phone charged. I also use a Garmin gpsmap 64 which is similar to the gps Neb killed. I find it super easy loading tracks and getting them to display etc.

- you reckon that thing will pop a wheelie? We're about to find out, SLAP that pig!
 

Offline Goingnowherekwickly

Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #56 on: April 25, 2019, 08:54:13 pm »
Another fantastic report Osadabwa
Many thanks, have been waiting eagerly for this
Hope Neb is fully recovered, and all good
Well done, great riding, with great spirit & humour

 

Offline Bokveld

Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #57 on: April 25, 2019, 09:31:44 pm »
   You made it look so easy. A well written RR with fantastic photography.  I can now see why your mates dump all the pictures on you. :spitcoffee:
 

Offline Ian in Great Brak River

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #58 on: April 25, 2019, 10:38:39 pm »
I found it! ... and what a great read!

Sure makes Namibia hot seem like Norway in winter.

Thanks for the excellent photos!

 :thumleft: 8)
1978. It's 6am, mid winter...two up on a XL 185S ... off to my first casino ever with all of R40 and we've got a full tank of fuel, so enough to get there we reckon.... that's determination...

Old bike: '82 Eddie Lawson Replica
Other bike: '05 Honda Varadero 1000
New bike: '16 Honda Africa Twin.
 

Offline ROOI

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Re: 2019 - Big Red Pigs in Kenya
« Reply #59 on: April 26, 2019, 08:32:03 am »
Excellent Report Thanks you
FTS