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Offline Joyride

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Blast to the past detour: The Kalahari, Molopo and Verneukpan
« on: October 13, 2008, 11:21:45 pm »
A LITTLE BIT OF BACKGROUND

The opportunity presented itself in the form of a wedding that took place in Upington. The distance between Upington, Olifantshoek, van Zylsrus, Askam, Noenieput, Lutzputs, Keimoes, Augrabies and Verneukpan on the way back to Cape Town was just to small to ignore and turn back to Cape Town once the wedding was over.

We grew up on a farm called Dedeben, somewhere halfway between Hotazel, van Zylsrus and Deben, close to the Koranna Mountains. Al of us decided to attend the wedding and take a trip down memory lane through the Kalahari the week after the wedding.

My brother just bought a spanking new  BMW1200GS Adventure and it was easy to convince him to join me on motorcycle for the trip through the Kalahari and the Molopo Echo Trail between van Zylzrus and Askam.

Me on the other hand decided to do the trip on my 27 year old Honda XR500R as part of the going back in time theme. My sister and brother in law drove the one backup bakkie carrying the luggage and other necessities while my sister in law drove the other backup vehicle towing a trailer just for in case. My mother who turned 70 last December decide to join us as well, riding in the backup vehicle.

I spread the word and Ridealot decided to join on his XR500R as well. We also arranged to meet Mello Yellow (BMW1150GS) and JohnnieL (Transalp 650) in Olifantshoek on Sunday, the 5th of October.

Day 1 ‚?? 3 October



The bikes on the trailer, ready for the adventure.



We decide NOT to travel ligth but do it in style.



‚??Padkos‚?Ě and coffee between me and Ridealot ‚?? what more to eat the kilometeres away.


‚?¶‚?¶.and away we go!!!



We saw this in Nieuwoudville, but decided to leave it behind.



We arrived to this at De Werf in Keimoes.



‚?¶‚?¶and met up with my brother from Gauteng.


Day 2 to follow....

Code: [Select]
Modified by Funacide to resize pics
« Last Edit: October 19, 2008, 09:17:35 pm by Joyride »
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Offline GO GIRL

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Re: BLAST TO THE PAST
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2008, 09:42:03 am »
This is going to be fun...... :biggrin:

next........
 

Offline Stev0

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Re: BLAST TO THE PAST
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2008, 09:45:43 am »
dooie bliksem! this is gonna be a good thread
 

Offline Lourens ツ

Re: BLAST TO THE PAST
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2008, 11:04:40 am »
Mmm, I'm settling in for a great RR!  :happy1:
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Re: BLAST TO THE PAST
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2008, 12:41:27 pm »
Njam, njam... What? You're back? No phonecall yet? Sies ;D
 

Offline Joyride

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Re: BLAST TO THE PAST
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2008, 09:19:13 pm »
Sorry about the photos of day 1. Thanks Funacide, I just had to struggle with Photobucked but seems to be ok now.


Day 2 ‚?? 4th October

We woke up in the beauty of De Werf and the crisp clear skies of the Northern Cape.



As you can see the biltong are roaming free in the camp keeping the green grass short and neat.

Keimoes was our second hometown for the duration of my high school career in the late 70‚??s and I was looking forward to looking up some old friends at random and riding the area by motorbike, seeing al the places me and my brother rode with our 50cc bikes years ago.

The temperature, which could easily go up to 43¬ļC in summer, was a nice 22¬ļC and it was a pleasure to ride under these circumstances.



‚?¶‚?¶me



‚?¶‚?¶Ridealot



‚?¶‚?¶Brother, on his nice new monster

First we decided to go up on Tierberg mountain for a birds eye view of Keimoes and the surrounding vineyards along the Orange river toward Kakamas and Upington.



The new and the old‚?¶if they could talk to each other they would certainly asked something like ‚??what are they up to now‚?Ě. Little did they know.



This is Quiver Tree country. To me still one of the most beautiful trees‚?¶.simple,
tough, honest.







Birds eye views of Keimoes, the vineyards and fields along the Orange river towards Kakamas and Upington.

We spotted some activity from Tierkop and remember someone talked about a Boeredag during breakfast, so we decided to go down and see what was happening. We hoped to meet some of our old school friends but with the exception of one or two no luck.

We rode through the rest of the islands for the remainder of the day and soon realized that it was time to take a shower and prepare for the wedding.

We all realized that the actual trip would start the next day when we enter the Kalahari from Olifantshoek.

Day three to follow
« Last Edit: October 15, 2008, 10:54:54 pm by Joyride »
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Offline letsgofishing

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Re: BLAST TO THE PAST
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2008, 07:21:44 am »
Good stuff  ;D
There is nothing you can do about the past and you can't predict the future...all you have is the now...live it to the fullest.

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Plore

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Re: BLAST TO THE PAST
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2008, 08:06:39 am »
Lekkerrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!
 

Offline bradleys

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Re: BLAST TO THE PAST
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2008, 08:41:47 am »
Bring it on ,done lots of the dirt around there,the molopo trail is lekker even if its dry,will be up there in April.Cant wait for the rest of your report and pics, :thumleft:
ROUTE DIFFICULTY
1 = tar
2 = good gravel /pillian friendly
3 = interspersed with sand, mud, sand , bush / not pillian friendly
4 = lots of sand, technical riding 5 = expert only
 

Offline Joyride

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Re: BLAST TO THE PAST
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2008, 10:52:51 pm »
Day 3 ‚?? Sunday 5th October

The formality was out of the way now and we headed for Olifantshoek to meet up with the other two who ride from Cape Town to Olifantshoek on there own. I took the 1200 GSA for the first shift to Olifantshoek and was mighty impressed with it‚??s road holding. There was a moderate to strong cross wind all along but it didn‚??t seem to bother at all as I was cruising along at 160km/h. About 60km outside Upington I spotted a vehicle and some movement around the vehicle and I realized it could only be KK‚??s that will be camping there alongside the road with nothing else close by. I slowed down and gave the KK-salute, (just three toots), pinning the throttle and picking up speed in no time. Must be very frustrating for them to realize they lost this round.



Getting to Olifantshoek we found the two comrades waiting for us. They slept at Boegoebergdam the previous night and ride to Olifantshoek via Witsand. They looked a bit wasted after 3 days on the road and I assure them it is only 80km‚??s to Louisrus, our home for the coming two nights. I did not, of course, mention anything about a little sandy patch here and there and a few badlly corrugated
sections ahead. Luckily they were released of their luggage which went onto the backup vehicles.


Unloading the XR‚??s in Olifantshoek.

Then it was playtime al the way into the Kalahari. No telephone, limited cell phone reception, no computer, no congested tarred roads, no taxis‚?¶‚?¶just motorbike heaven for the next week.

So, we ride and ride and ride‚?¶‚?¶












Stop to regroup


The road behind


Next stop for a group photo



Not everybody was happy to see us, or maybe it was just excitement








Our nice homestead and outbuildings for the next two nights




The surroundings, beautiful and peaceful.




Two tired comrades who traveled by bike from Cape Town


Discussing the pros and cons of the 1200GSA....and solving a few other matters as well


Mellow Yellow decided to pitch his tent. The four unaccompanied males had to sleep in a room with four stacker beds. Maybe he knew the sounds from the orchestra would have way to much base and decided to give it a pass. Seems that Ridalot find out about that too late because we found him in the living room the next morning. He was too polite to give us the real reason for relocating the next evening as well.

Day 4 to follow ‚?? The Gamagara Loop
« Last Edit: October 16, 2008, 12:33:01 am by Joyride »
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Re: BLAST TO THE PAST
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2008, 05:51:38 pm »
Ag ok, ek is net 'n bietjie jaloers... ::)
 

Offline Joyride

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Re: BLAST TO THE PAST
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2008, 06:21:40 pm »
Day 4, Monday 6th October ‚?? The Deben/Gamagara Loop



Sunrise in these parts of the country is really something special. The house is surrounded by mountains. To get out or in by road you have to go over the mountain on the one side using the little pass and and on the other side the road is leading through some kind of a wide kloof.

We have close ties with Deben concerning school, boarding house, church, etc. and today we will be paying the town a courtesy visit.



I planned a little detour witch took us on a red, sandy road that connects to the Hotazel/Deben gravel road about 15km outside Deben.




This gravel road runs alongside the dry Gamagara riverbed toward Deben.

This would be a good practice run for the sandy sections to follow once we hit Van Zylsrus and the Molopo.


Arabic style

Straatvalk style

I have some doubts about this one style

Aaah, this looks better


We visited the Veldskoen factory and drive through the town.


Horsepower (HP) or in this case Donkeypower (DP) is still in high demand maybe because it is not affected by the high fuel prices.


 We also stock up on the liquid refreshments‚?¶.a wide variety. What a choice.


We then headed back to the farm and visited some old friends and enjoy the farm activities.


The bike without a happy button is always the last one to leave


Back at the farm Ridealot discover that there is a weak cell phone signal a few km‚??s from the house and it became a popular spot.


This is Stokkies, the mak Meerkat


He‚??s living in harmony with the rest of the farm animals.


Some lambchops to be


Then it was sunset and time to reflect on the day and what tomorrow will bring on the way to Van Zylsrus.
 
Day 5 to follow ‚?? Louisrus to Van Zylsrus via Tswalo and Sonstraal
4 wheels moves the body, 2 wheels moves the soul

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Offline Joyride

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Re: BLAST TO THE PAST
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2008, 06:34:27 pm »
Ag ok, ek is net 'n bietjie jaloers... ::)


Ed, sit vir die Vara diefwering aan dan gaan ons weer. Ek is nog lank nie klaar met daai deel van die land nie.
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Offline Joyride

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Re: BLAST TO THE PAST : A DETOUR THROUGH THE KALAHARI
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2008, 02:55:45 pm »
Day 5, Tuesday 7th October -  Louisrus to Van Zylsrus via Tswalo and Sonstraal

Today‚??s route would take us deeper into the Kalahari up to van Zylsrus. Our first stop would be Dedeben, an old Police post where my late father was a Policeman for 14 years. I spend the first 14 years of my life there. It consists of 2 houses and a police station situated on 150 acres of land.

The Police station had been closed and sold to Tswalo, the game ranch belonging to the Oppenheimers. They bought about 160 000 hectares of land since Tswalo was initiated. Farm names like Vêrwater, Steenekamp, Gosberg, Witberg and Dedeben vanished as it were taken up into one game ranch, nowadays all known as Tswalo. Unfortunately a lot of cattle farming seized to exist as well. One of the positive things told to me by a local farmer is that they want to relocate a few wild dogs on Tswalo in the near future. Maybe I will volunteer to be one of them.




Our first stop on ‚??the Nek‚?Ě just above Steenekamp

The name Deben means first watering hole (Eerste drinkplek) in Tswana and Dedeben means second watering hole (Tweede drinkplek). The Gamagara river must have been constantly flowing in the early years. At Dedeben there is a fountain in the kloof with water coming from under the rocks constantly.




Dedeben


Johnnie with the Union Jack kidney belt and Mellow Yellow ‚?? POSERS!! >:D :biggrin:


Stop at Sonstraal where we joined the road between Hotazel and van Zylsrus


The entrance to van Zyls






Sundowner on a dune just outside van Zyls


Pofadder for the braai


Waking up after a night being terrorized by Mozzies and looking for scorpions.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2008, 03:03:03 pm by Joyride »
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Offline Joyride

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Re: BLAST TO THE PAST : A DETOUR THROUGH THE KALAHARI
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2008, 04:58:22 pm »
Day 6, Wednesday 8th October -  Van Zylsrus to Askham via the Molopo Echo Trial

We were up bright and early and start preparing for a long day ahead. The previous day was hot and we didn‚??t know what to expect for the day.








Into the Molopo




















On the trial


Highway on the Botswana side








Out and around at Middelputs border post






The Lodge

What a fantastic route and scenery. The route also gave us all kinds of surface, from stones, sand to hard gravel. I can recommend this to anyone.

Next day - Askham to Augrabies

« Last Edit: October 17, 2008, 05:00:47 pm by Joyride »
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Offline Joyride

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Re: BLAST TO THE PAST : A DETOUR THROUGH THE KALAHARI
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2008, 07:44:40 pm »
Day 7, Thursday 9th  October -  Askham to Augrabies via Noenieput, Lutzputs and Keimoes

We decided the previous night that although it is a detour we would take the road via Noenieput and we did not regret this decision. This is genuine Kalahari with a hint of Namibia and no wonder because we were very close to the Namibian border at some stages.

We would drive to Keimoes were the party would split, the Gauties back to Jo‚??burg and the Capies still to visit Augrabies and Verneukpan on their way home.









We hit the road bright and early




Seems that overcrowding is not only limited to the cities






Ridealot tying to get away from the Yellow monster‚?¶‚?¶.


‚?¶‚?¶‚?¶and it was not this one. >:D








Somebody was looking for company




Bobbejaankrans outside Kakamas


The big roar


The route on gravel - Olifantshoek to Augrabies

Next day ‚?? Augrabies to Verneukpan

« Last Edit: October 17, 2008, 08:35:49 pm by Joyride »
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Offline buzzlightyear

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Re: BLAST TO THE PAST : A DETOUR THROUGH THE KALAHARI
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2008, 08:42:59 pm »
What a nice trip, and a nice mix of bikes.  :thumleft:
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BigEd

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Re: BLAST TO THE PAST
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2008, 11:05:01 pm »
Ag ok, ek is net 'n bietjie jaloers... ::)


Ed, sit vir die Vara diefwering aan dan gaan ons weer. Ek is nog lank nie klaar met daai deel van die land nie.

Dis op my "to do" lys, maar heel bo is 'n job waar ek ten minste MAG verlof vat ::)
 

Offline Joyride

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Re: BLAST TO THE PAST : A DETOUR THROUGH THE KALAHARI
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2008, 12:54:56 am »
Day 8, Friday 10th  October - Augrabies to Verneukpan

This was our last trip to a new destination before returning home the next day.


Before we left Augrabies we took a quick ride into the park and came across a nice water crossing


Then it was time to say goodbye and head for Kenhardt


Soon we would be looking back on this trip


The nice road between Kakamas and kenhardt


Lunch in Kenhardt




Waiting for the temperature to drop before we ride out to Veneukpan.








Then it was time to ride.


‚?¶‚?¶but still hot


‚?¶‚?¶..and eventually, playtime






‚?¶until there were dust everywhere


Sunrise the next morning


Our route from Augrabies to Verneukpan and Brandvlei where we load the two XR‚??s on the trailer and headed back to Cape Town by tar while M/Yellow and Johnnie took the road home via Ceres . http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=23724 for their RR.

Videos:

The slow way round


The fast way round


The long way out


Thanks to all for a memorable trip. Till we ride again.

« Last Edit: October 18, 2008, 09:41:01 am by Joyride »
4 wheels moves the body, 2 wheels moves the soul

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Offline Joyride

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Re: BLAST TO THE PAST
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2008, 02:42:11 pm »
Ag ok, ek is net 'n bietjie jaloers... ::)


Ed, sit vir die Vara diefwering aan dan gaan ons weer. Ek is nog lank nie klaar met daai deel van die land nie.

Dis op my "to do" lys, maar heel bo is 'n job waar ek ten minste MAG verlof vat ::)

Hierdie is eintlik terapie. Dit word gedek onder siekverlof. >:D
4 wheels moves the body, 2 wheels moves the soul

STELLENBERG, CAPE TOWN

Kawasaki KLR600; Yamaha XT250