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Author Topic: Simpson Desert - Kalahari Edition  (Read 4813 times)

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Offline m0lt3n

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Re: Simpson Desert - Kalahari Edition
« Reply #60 on: May 02, 2019, 07:37:59 am »
xpat would you care to share the GDB files as well?
Seems like its possible to do some of this riding over a normal weekend, and that chicken routes are available if/when I fail with the bigger bike
Dooie visse gaan saam met die stroom...
 

Offline Vis Arend

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Re: Simpson Desert - Kalahari Edition
« Reply #61 on: May 02, 2019, 07:47:25 am »
xpat would you care to share the GDB files as well?
Seems like its possible to do some of this riding over a normal weekend, and that chicken routes are available if/when I fail with the bigger bike

I told you to do the D503 on your route back from Damaraland when you did it in the cage.  I think you ran out of time on your way back.  Would have given you a good idea for future use.   :deal: :thumleft: :biggrin:
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Offline Xpat

Re: Simpson Desert - Kalahari Edition
« Reply #62 on: May 02, 2019, 08:13:50 am »
This is just brilliant! You have balls, riding these routes alone. Do you carry a satphone? :thumleft:

Following keenly. :ricky:

Thanks  :thumleft:

I do carry satphone.

Offline Xpat

Re: Simpson Desert - Kalahari Edition
« Reply #63 on: May 02, 2019, 08:14:28 am »
xpat would you care to share the GDB files as well?
Seems like its possible to do some of this riding over a normal weekend, and that chicken routes are available if/when I fail with the bigger bike

I will post GPX tracks at the end of the RR.

Offline m0lt3n

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Re: Simpson Desert - Kalahari Edition
« Reply #64 on: May 02, 2019, 08:33:34 am »
xpat would you care to share the GDB files as well?
Seems like its possible to do some of this riding over a normal weekend, and that chicken routes are available if/when I fail with the bigger bike
I did manage to do part of it. My navigator slept on the job a little, but we did manage a part of D503 and some other route which was as good.
My problem is more the time to go do this, and I have never really considered riding in Bots, never before, that is. So Xpat is 'awakening' me nicely. Hopefully I can manage something next weekend. Either this or Bray area is the plan.

Not a lot of riders here willing to push the limits so not a lot of info on these routes, like Xpat explained, the annual desert run's red route being the case in point, the red should be orange, its more about the Brandy than the riding.
I told you to do the D503 on your route back from Damaraland when you did it in the cage.  I think you ran out of time on your way back.  Would have given you a good idea for future use.   :deal: :thumleft: :biggrin:
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Offline ROOI

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Re: Simpson Desert - Kalahari Edition
« Reply #65 on: May 02, 2019, 08:46:49 am »
Brilliant as always  :thumleft: :thumleft:
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 08:47:16 am by ROOI »
FTS
 
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Offline Xpat

Re: Simpson Desert - Kalahari Edition
« Reply #66 on: May 02, 2019, 08:57:36 am »
xpat would you care to share the GDB files as well?
Seems like its possible to do some of this riding over a normal weekend, and that chicken routes are available if/when I fail with the bigger bike
I did manage to do part of it. My navigator slept on the job a little, but we did manage a part of D503 and some other route which was as good.
My problem is more the time to go do this, and I have never really considered riding in Bots, never before, that is. So Xpat is 'awakening' me nicely. Hopefully I can manage something next weekend. Either this or Bray area is the plan.

Not a lot of riders here willing to push the limits so not a lot of info on these routes, like Xpat explained, the annual desert run's red route being the case in point, the red should be orange, its more about the Brandy than the riding.
I told you to do the D503 on your route back from Damaraland when you did it in the cage.  I think you ran out of time on your way back.  Would have given you a good idea for future use.   :deal: :thumleft: :biggrin:

As I said in my last report, IMO probably the best/safest way to introduce yourself to the area is Khawa dune festival - a bike rally - that is held next weekend on 10th of May:

http://www.botswanatourism.co.bw/khawa-dune-challenge-and-cultural-festival

Khawa is slap bang in the middle of the best dunes (still getting there in the report) and is easily accessible on dirt road - it is abou 70 km from Middelpits. Border at Middelpits opens at 7:30 am, so if you start early you can be there just as it opens and be in Khawa comfortably by 9:00 am. Ride your fill of dunes, and can be even back at SA by the evening, as long as you make it to border before 4pm.

There are Saafers from the area (like VanZylsrus) participating in that rally regularly (and even former Bots president likes to race). You seem to like organized events, so this may be good start.

Edit: and if you don't want the event, you can come other time - Khawa is great base for big bike for the first try, unless you want to tackle the whole routes straight away, but then all the caveats I have listed to Amsterdam for big bike apply (in his case it is only 701, in the case 1190 those precautions need to be ramped way up).
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 09:04:52 am by Xpat »
 

Offline m0lt3n

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Re: Simpson Desert - Kalahari Edition
« Reply #67 on: May 02, 2019, 09:16:55 am »
thanks xpat.

Not a lot of info on this event, but will try to be there. Like you say, even if the event is a let down or not, there is nice roads from there further on.
And I realise the big bike is not the optimal bike, so wont go alone and will bail out if its a flop.
Dooie visse gaan saam met die stroom...
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Simpson Desert - Kalahari Edition
« Reply #68 on: May 02, 2019, 10:26:23 am »
thanks xpat.

Not a lot of info on this event, but will try to be there. Like you say, even if the event is a let down or not, there is nice roads from there further on.
And I realise the big bike is not the optimal bike, so wont go alone and will bail out if its a flop.

Barman at VanZylsrus hotel told me he has done the rally on his dirtbike. If you cannot get more info, give them a call. I'm pretty sure somebody at the hotel will have more info or be able to point you to somebody who will.

Offline TK

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Re: Simpson Desert - Kalahari Edition
« Reply #69 on: May 02, 2019, 11:46:26 am »
Thanks  :thumleft:

I will get to it in the evening - back at work unfortunately...

I was about to ask you what the hell it is you do because you are forever out and about on your bike and writing RR's while I am sitting at my office desk

Pi$$es me off!!  :lol8:

Don't ask.......it's just very upsetting.
 

Offline chopperpilot

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Re: Simpson Desert - Kalahari Edition
« Reply #70 on: May 02, 2019, 12:00:22 pm »
Great riding area Martin! ;)

Sure it's heaps of fun on the 500! :biggrin:

Twist Berties's arm (oh shit...that has been done!) for us to go riding there...the sand should be soft for a fall! :o :peepwall:
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Offline TK

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Re: Simpson Desert - Kalahari Edition
« Reply #71 on: May 02, 2019, 12:04:47 pm »
Hey Martin
Yeah.......I was not a happy man with having to have bailed out on this one. Especially now having read this RR.
Some wise words to take into consideration when a trip comes up.........SCREW THE PLUMBING.

Nicely done Martin.
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Simpson Desert - Kalahari Edition
« Reply #72 on: May 02, 2019, 07:27:52 pm »
Soon after I turned north, the scenery changed once again. It was still heaps of sand, but this time of much more orangy hue. No idea why there are so many different varieties/colors of sand in this relatively small area, but they make for very scenic riding for sure.













There were lots of horses running around. Initially I though I bumped into one of the last herds of wild mustangs, but no - they were just early sign of a nearby cattle post:



















After km or two I came upon quite sizeable post - it even has a name in T4A - Drieboom. I marked it on GPS as another source of water and then rode up to the huts with about 10 locals sitting around for a bit of chit chat. Surprisingly most of them spoke very good English and I enquired about the track to Khawa and such. After short exchange I bode my farewell and was on my way again:







After another dozen or so km I came upon yet another unique set of dunes and stopped for few pics. The colorful sand in combination with low clouds provided for some delicious scenery (yes I know, I'm repeating myself - get used to it, it's going to get worse):













After that the track turned more north east and I was yet again going mostly across the dunes, instead of following the valleys:




The rain - or rather the electric storm - ahead made me a bit nervous, but it seemed to be moving away so I pushed on keeping and eye on it. It was actually blessing, as the rain was keeping the sand wet and heavy, making for much easier progress:















Offline Xpat

Re: Simpson Desert - Kalahari Edition
« Reply #73 on: May 02, 2019, 07:48:56 pm »
This path took me to yet another set of spectacular dunes:






















At these dunes I re-connected the the main east-west path running from Khawa to Two Rivers/Stuizedam, which I have rode yesterday in the oposite direction. I turned east and pushed on towards Khawa:



















After another couple of dozen km I arrived at the cattle post where I have connected to this trail two days ago, that time coming from Middelputs in the south east:




Offline JonW

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Re: Simpson Desert - Kalahari Edition
« Reply #74 on: May 02, 2019, 07:59:29 pm »
Loving these pics Martin  :thumleft:

Us Kzn guys never get to see sand like this :ricky:
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Offline Vis Arend

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Re: Simpson Desert - Kalahari Edition
« Reply #75 on: May 02, 2019, 08:00:22 pm »
No words, that scenery is just awesome.  Brilliant stuff.  My mind is made up, these dunes will be ridden in my lifetime.   :deal: :deal: :thumleft:

Once again, thanks you for this brilliant RR.   :thumleft: :thumleft:
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Offline Xpat

Re: Simpson Desert - Kalahari Edition
« Reply #76 on: May 02, 2019, 08:25:03 pm »
This cattle post is probably the prettiest of them all, sitting at the bottom of the impressive dune. I don't quite understand why there are these islands of just sand, while just few hundred meters away there is plenty of vegetation growing on seemingly the same sand. Also there invariably seems to be water available at these sand islands:




























I checked the living quarters, but unlike two days ago, there was nobody home.








« Last Edit: May 05, 2019, 10:28:12 am by Xpat »
 
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Offline Xpat

Re: Simpson Desert - Kalahari Edition
« Reply #77 on: May 02, 2019, 08:37:20 pm »
And onwards, east, I rode heading for Khawa, still about 50 km away:













And another set of out of place dunes:




























Tracks often crossed the dunes where they often disappeared completely and it took quite a bit of guess work and riding around to find them again on the other side:




Offline Xpat

Re: Simpson Desert - Kalahari Edition
« Reply #78 on: May 02, 2019, 08:49:03 pm »
There really isn't much anywhere in Southern Africa that can match beauty of this track. Hoanib river between Amspoort and Sesfontein, upper Huarusib north of Puros in Kaokoland and Valley of Desolation in Damaraland. That is probably it.

And this still wasn't the end - I still had at least 30 km to cover just to Khawa (and from there another probably 140 km to Tsabong). Not that I was complaining, this was the best day of riding I had for a very very long time, and this is after coming off 2 years of sabbatical which I mostly spent riding the best destinations within 3000 km of Joburg.




























And another kraal - last one before Khawa, which was still about 15 km away:















Offline Xpat

Re: Simpson Desert - Kalahari Edition
« Reply #79 on: May 02, 2019, 08:59:02 pm »
Great riding area Martin! ;)

Sure it's heaps of fun on the 500! :biggrin:

Twist Berties's arm (oh shit...that has been done!) for us to go riding there...the sand should be soft for a fall! :o :peepwall:

Yes, this one is must Henk.

I will chat to Bertie once he is up for it, but he seems hell bent on sabotaging every ride we take him on  :peepwall: :pot:

At least at the beginning he tried to sabotage the trips just by breaking his bike. I have actually already taken him to ride in these dunes about 3 years ago and he promptly seized his Husky engine just short of Bray. And before that he drowned it at Makgadikgadi. Since he bought 500 the things took darker turn. As the bike is too reliable and easy to ride for him to break, he started breaking himself instead. He tried his best on our Kaokoland trip hitting a tree at about 80 kmh just few km further from where he crashed on your trip. Then he broke a leg in Lesotho - which he managed to grow back on his own without any medical assistance, and then the latest incident on your trip. It seems to escalate - I'm worried what he is going to try next time  :peepwall: :pot:

Just pulling your leg Bertie  ;). Which at current circumstances is much better than the arm twisting suggested by your Nelspruit matey  >:D

Heal fast, and we will ride again soon - the sand is the safe bet :thumleft:. Heck, we may even distract Tony long enough from plumbing that he may come along... Henk is cleary already in.  :ricky: