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Offline weskus

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #120 on: April 23, 2020, 11:25:03 am »
Ek hoor jou Hardy en dis seker maar een van die goed wat mens "rondom" moet werk as ons hul deel van Namibië gaan verken nê? Beautifull area en dit lyk of jul 'n lekker trip gehad net. Net 'n vinnige vraag. In watter rigting doen jul die toer? In 2006 het ek Kaokoland gedoen vanaf Ruacana teen die grens af na Epupa (2 dae daai tyd met die ou pad) en ons is af (Wes) in die Hurasib vanaf Purros oor die grasvlak en weer op (Oos) in die Hoanib na Sesfontein. Op hierdie stadium sien ek nie lekker hoe jul roete geloop het nie?? Ek luister verder op die radio..
Vorige scooters : Suzuki TS 185, Honda CD 200, Suzuki PE 250, Kawasaki Z650, Yamaha 495 IT, Kawasaki KLX 300, BMW F 650 GS Dakar, BMW F 800 GS, KDX200, KTM300, Suzuki GSXR1000, Honda CD200, KTM 1290 Superduke (stukkend geval) tans KTM 990 Adv - toer,  KTM 300 XCW- funrides,Honda Z50 Monkeybike(projek), Honda ST70 Dax, Honda CX500 Custom - bar toe..
 

Offline Rexc-w

Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #121 on: April 23, 2020, 12:02:51 pm »
Thanks vir hierdie RR.  Glo my daar het ongelooflik baie man/vrou-ure hier ingegaan.
Dankie!
Rex
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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #122 on: April 23, 2020, 04:07:15 pm »
Great rr your two.  Still disappointed that we could not make it.   :patch:

A little hi-jack and while we talking about the naked locals. 

We did a trip up north one year when Nam had more than their average rain.  All the driffies and rivers we crossed were flowing or had water in.  Close to Khowarib we crossed another "smallish" river and got stuck properly.
From no where these little Herero laaities came running along to "help".  The wife and I eventually got the bike out after all luggage were removed.  Here is some playboy phodies of the incident.     :biggrin: :thumleft:
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Offline Zanie

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #123 on: April 23, 2020, 06:58:06 pm »
Thanks vir hierdie RR.  Glo my daar het ongelooflik baie man/vrou-ure hier ingegaan.
Dankie!
Ek het met die latere paar dae van die RR se skryf begin rekord hou van hoe lank dit neem. Dis mal: net kort van 15 ure vir dag 9, 18 ure vir dag 8 en 33 ure vir dag 7! En dis net my tyd: fotos skep van die videos (dit vat die langste), besluit watter fotos om te gebruik uit ten minste n duisend en dan skryf. Dit sluit nie Lance se tyd in nie: hy maak die videos en verbeter die fotos se kleure.

Here is some playboy phodies of the incident.     :biggrin: :thumleft:
Absolutely brilliant!
 
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Offline Hardy de Kock

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #124 on: April 23, 2020, 07:09:59 pm »
Ek hoor jou Hardy en dis seker maar een van die goed wat mens "rondom" moet werk as ons hul deel van Namibië gaan verken nê? Beautifull area en dit lyk of jul 'n lekker trip gehad net. Net 'n vinnige vraag. In watter rigting doen jul die toer? In 2006 het ek Kaokoland gedoen vanaf Ruacana teen die grens af na Epupa (2 dae daai tyd met die ou pad) en ons is af (Wes) in die Hurasib vanaf Purros oor die grasvlak en weer op (Oos) in die Hoanib na Sesfontein. Op hierdie stadium sien ek nie lekker hoe jul roete geloop het nie?? Ek luister verder op die radio..

Jis Dewald - ek hoop dit gaan goed en jou nuwe besigheid bly staan deur die' gemors.

Stuur vir my jou email adres, dan kan ek 'n tipese roete wat ons doen (anti-kloksgewys) vir jou stuur. (11 dae toer)

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Offline weskus

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #125 on: April 29, 2020, 09:00:01 am »
Got it, dankie..nou verstaan ek heelwat beter :thumleft:
Vorige scooters : Suzuki TS 185, Honda CD 200, Suzuki PE 250, Kawasaki Z650, Yamaha 495 IT, Kawasaki KLX 300, BMW F 650 GS Dakar, BMW F 800 GS, KDX200, KTM300, Suzuki GSXR1000, Honda CD200, KTM 1290 Superduke (stukkend geval) tans KTM 990 Adv - toer,  KTM 300 XCW- funrides,Honda Z50 Monkeybike(projek), Honda ST70 Dax, Honda CX500 Custom - bar toe..
 

Offline Dwerg

Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #126 on: April 30, 2020, 11:23:45 am »
Elke keer as die RR weer op pop wil ek net weer vir die trip bespreek!
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Offline trevo

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #127 on: April 30, 2020, 12:38:42 pm »
Elke keer as die RR weer op pop wil ek net weer vir die trip bespreek!

Oorweeg dit ook sterk, met die skool vakansie wat net n week lank gaan wees gooi dit alle planne uit, (vroutjie het n privaat skool), en het nou twee weke eie tyd beskikbaar, soos ek al genoem het, as jy kan MOET jy n Kaokoland toer doen gedurende jou "adventure biking" loopbaan

« Last Edit: April 30, 2020, 01:21:46 pm by trevo »
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Offline Zanie

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #128 on: April 30, 2020, 05:52:13 pm »
Elke keer as die RR weer op pop wil ek net weer vir die trip bespreek!
Google stuur my nou "remember this day one year ago" fotos van Kaokoland.  :'( Ek wil so graag teruggaan.
 

Offline Zanie

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #129 on: July 19, 2020, 09:54:32 pm »
Day 10: Twyfelfontein to Brandberg (251 km)

Epic video of an epic day:
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/wLc0CiB2owU" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/wLc0CiB2owU</a>
Credit: Lance

This morning we were faced with the second-longest day of the trip. Remember the rule: longer distance equals easier riding? Today broke that rule.

There were three route options:
1) Long: Ride with the back-up vehicles on an easier / shorter route on gravel highway.
2) Longer: Ride via Doros crater.
3) Longest: Ride Doros and Messum crater.

No matter the option, it required an early-morning start.



Duncan’s bike was still trying to self-immolate thanks to a non-functioning fan. Bertie was extremely kind by lending his KTM 500 to Duncan for the day. Duncan was joining Henk, Hennie R and Brian on route option 3: “longest”.



The fact that we were served a hearty bowl of oats should have been a warning sign.



Abel, Ian and Craig took the back-up vehicle route option. Abel because he was already battered and bruised enough, Craig due to reaching the end of human endurance after accumulating a monstrous amount of kilometres thanks to his pre-Namibia leg, and Ian due to badly-blistered hands after trying to cook them on his bike’s engine yesterday.

Random biker (from another group) leaving in the dawn light:


Oubones, Gordon, Pete, Lance and I were also hoping to tackle the longest route, but the back-up vehicles left camp too late, which meant that they may not make it to White Lady campsite before dark. There was also the worry that our little group won’t make it before dark either.

We left camp only 30 minutes after the front-runners, but did not see them again throughout the day’s ride. Nevertheless, our little group stuck together. This “glue tactic” was crucial later in the day.

Gordon:


The sky was beautiful:


Initially, I was frustrated that we wouldn’t be doing the Messum Crater route. I had bad fomo after missing out on the longer route option yesterday. This made me stupid and reckless, since I figured if we went fast enough, maybe we could still manage the longer option.

I should learn: fast is not my speed. After almost overshooting some corners at a speed that many riders will find laughable, I calmed down and decided to enjoy the current scenery. Once I switched into this frame of mind, it was bliss. I very quickly realised it didn’t matter if we didn’t do Messum. This was amazing and worth it in its own right.













There were points when Hardy and Kobus joined our little group. They disappeared ahead, stopped for smoke breaks and then waited for the back-up vehicle.





This meant that, for the most part, we were on our own.

Pete in a large landscape:


Early on, Pete said we should set our own pace; not worrying about the front-runners. “Our pace” meant “Zanie’s pace”. It was really nice of everyone to chill out at my snaily speed. Oubones also needed to take it easy, but it was in an attempt to keep his KLR’s revs low in order to reduce oil consumption from a frantic guzzle to a steady siphon.

If you’re wondering why there are not too many pictures of Oubones today, it is because – out of sympathy for our olfactory organs – he decided to ride right at the back. The alternative was us being caught in a blue miasma of burnt oil.

Pete imparting wisdom while I’m trying to look like I’m going at a sensible speed:



Me followed by Pete and Gordon:


The riding was really enjoyable. It kept chopping and changing, serving up narrow, curvy roads, sometimes with a sprinkling of sand, sometimes with pebbles or rocks.



One thing was constant: stunning views.











Lance: “Who decided a road should come through here.”

























My two beautiful bikes:


Me and Oubones:


There were quite a few side-roads and splits. For navigation, Lance used his small Garmin; made for cycling, not biking. The level of zoom he set meant that he could sometimes not see whether we were on the correct road until we had gone about 100m down it. This conversation is typical: Me: “Which way?” Lance: “I don't know. Just go. I'll tell you later.”



The road did one of its disappearing acts in this landscape:



Now where?



Notice from Lance: “We should have gone straight back there, but this route joins up. It’s fine.”

Ya, right!



I did not sign up for steps!



I heard the bang through the headset comms. Lance: “Ow. Your bash plate.” Good thing he installed a sheet of metal between the Rally’s “bash plate” and its belly.

The last step was rather intimidating.



But the little dirt bike is bomb-proof. After this test, Lance figured I may just survive our upcoming dirt bike trip to the Transkei.



Now it was Lance’s turn. He was not too sure about it: “Do you think this bike can get down there?”

He found an alternative route, edging around the left lip of the step:



The others followed Lance’s lead. Unfortunately there’s no nice footage for snapshots, so the below was all I got:



Interesting note found on Gordon’s GPS at this point: It warned that people should not camp here, because it will kill the rhinos. “How?” you may ask. There’s apparently a nearby spot where they come to drink, but they will stay away if people are around.





I’m glad we took this route by accident. It looked like the main drag, but it was a side-road to a look-out point.



Lance, as he was tackling the hill: “Oh my word. I'm in first gear. It sucks.”

Spectacular view:




It may look flat, but there’s a drop-off behind me.



Back en route again.







The landscape switched to one of canyons. If you look at the satellite view of the area, you can see why the scenery became so interesting!







Gordon on his big earth-moving machine:





Unfortunately Lance’s GoPro seemed to be pointing more towards the ground than the sky, which meant that the visual goodness was often cut off. While going through the footage, there was many a time I felt like saying “look up!”













Some sand for variety.





It gets a bit too complex when there’s sand and rocks.



Lance: “What was that for?”
We should all be allowed our moments of ‘uncool’.



A beautiful pit-stop:



I’m not sure where Oubones finds the energy, because (a) he hiked up the side of the kloof and (b) he spent a bit of time creating some of those conspiracy theory features that are usually blamed on Hardy: fake elephant tracks. I remember being too tired to even take photos of Oubones being energetic! Obviously the older generation is made of sterner stuff.



It was shortly after our rest stop, after roughly 100 km since the last refuelling, that I hit reserve. The 230F does not have a fuel light. It simply dies, at which point you flip a switch to the reserve tank. No worries. Lance carried a 5 litre fuel bladder and the back-up vehicle was still behind us for additional top-up when required.

Up until this point I was running at 18 km/lit. My remaining reserve (1.5 lit) and the fuel bladder (5 lit) meant that, at the current rate of use, I could ride another 114 km, or a total of 204 km. We rode 10km yesterday after our last refuelling. Today’s route is a total of 250 km. Remember this.

Oubones also needed to rely on the back-up vehicle. The previous day his KLR was using 1 litre of oil per 100 km, but every day the situation got progressively worse, so who knows what it was today. The KLR’s oil capacity is 2.5 litres. Today’s distance was 250 km. Remember this.

It was also at this point that Gordon’s GPS either died or started playing up; one of the two. From now on, we were relying on Lance and his little bicycle-focused Garmin.



More stunning landscape:





















Check the folded rock up front:







It was just before noon when Hardy caught us yet again, to check on his slow flock. He dropped back to wait for the back-up vehicle. It was to be the last time we saw him on the day’s route.



Some good old riverbed sand or, as Lance quipped, “paddle territory!”



There appears to be some earth-moving equipment up ahead.



The ‘dozer got stuck.





Teamwork!



Oubones waiting for the traffic to clear.



Earthmoving on a smaller scale:



No-problem-Pete:



Lance left before Oubones and the blue cloud caught him, so – again – no pictures.
 

Offline Zanie

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #130 on: July 19, 2020, 09:55:26 pm »
Day 10 continued

Checking on the route:





It looked like a dead-end”



Spot the escape route:

















An unplanned detour:





“The actual road is that way!”



“What did you say?”



Back on route again:











This canyon had its own version of hole-in-the-wall. It was the first spot of decent shade in a long while. Have shade = must stop / rest.



Hindsight is an exact science. We should have waited for the back-up to catch us here. The surroundings were far more conducive to pleasant patience.



Nevertheless, onward we went, into the desert vastness, following the pre-loaded track on Lance’s Garmin.









This is a landscape where bikes and people disappear.





We stopped to take in the space, as well as the crazy welwitschia. The latter does not refer to a healthy broom-riding personage from the middle ages, but the plant.

Pete and the plants:



The welwitschia really is an oddity. The only species in its genus, it consists of two slow-growing, stiff leaves, which split into strips, so that it appears to be a dry leaf jumble. I think its colloquial Afrikaans name is quite descriptive: tweeblaarkanniedood (two leaves cannot die). Apparently they may reach an age of over 2000 years.

A male welwitschia:



A female welwitschia (see the cones):



A mad witch, with muti:



We finally reach the major decision-point in the road: to the right, Messum Crater; to the left, a more direct route to White Lady Camp, skirting Brandberg. Things start unravelling here.

Maybe we could still tackle the longer option? But we need fuel and oil. Actually, we need this regardless of the option, so we wait for the back-up vehicle.

There is not a speck of shade. Our faithful metal steeds try their best to remedy this oversight. There is not much else to do, but wait. And wait. And wait…







Some people stop so see whether we are ok. A bunch of bikers lying on the hard ground in the middle of nowhere could mean one of two things: mechanical issues or mental issues. Assured of the latter, the kind Samaritans proceeded on their journey.

Concerned citizens:


1.5 hours pass. We come to the conclusion that either something has happened to the back-up crew and vehicle, or they somehow managed to get past us. We hope it’s the second option, but worry about the first.

Either way, the clock was ticking and we needed to get to camp before dark. It was on this day of the tour that a previous group had a close encounter with lions. This is not suburbia!

Oubones was really worried about his oil situation. He wanted to stay to wait for the back-up crew. Thankfully the rest of the group overruled him. Whatever happens now, we stick together.

Left to right: Oubones, Gordon, Pete and Lance.


I was on my last batch of fuel (the 5 litres from the bladder), with a bike that liked to pee fuel when stationary, thanks to some sort of mini-blockage causing an overflowing carb float bowl. The tap-and-drain approach only worked temporarily and I abandoned it in favour of saving fuel. I just had to remember to close my fuel tap whenever we were stationary. Meanwhile, the blue cloud from Oubones’s bike hung like a black cloud over our mechanical sympathy conscience. How long before all the oil is gone?

Given this, what route do we take? Lance, on his Garmin, had the route track Hardy had given us. Do we look for a shorter route, off the marked track? Can we make it, if we take the longer, marked route?

In the end, we decided to stay on the marked track, even if it meant running out of fuel or oil on our way to camp. The shorter options were not known to us. They were minor roads and, for all we knew, could be sandy, which will end up chowing even more fuel / oil than a longer, gravel highway route.

There was also the possibility that the crew will come looking for us. They will never find us in this huge landscape if we go for the route less travelled. We were already on the route less travelled anyway; better not make it the route hardly travelled at all.

We therefore tackled the longer, gravel highway option.





Despite the good road, we were not zipping to camp at pronto speed. Nope. In order to keep the KLR’s revs down and stretch the last oil as far as it could possibly go, we stuck between 50 km/h and 60 km/h. This would also hopefully help with my bike’s fuel consumption.

It’s a long crawl to camp:


The road curves? Ya, right.



Eventually the track we were meant to follow branched off the gravel highway and headed in the direction of Brandberg.

We spent a lot of time at this split mulling over the tracks. How many bikes came past here? Do you see the tracks of the back-up vehicle? No questions were answered definitively. It’s amazing how you start second-guessing yourself in these situations.



At least our little group was still together and all the bikes were still working.



We headed down the side-road, hoping that the terrain did not get too gnarly, for the sake of petroleum consumption.

Gordon spewing earth; Oubones spewing cloud:



Another reason not to get caught riding in the dark: aardvark holes. Loads of them!



Super-sized aardvark hole:



A rare photo of Oubones in motion:



It didn’t last long though. He soon waved Lance ahead, so as to avoid culpable homicide charges of toxic fumigation.



Beautiful Brandberg:






We rode through a riverbed in a semi-bushy area. Despite what the photo below may have you believe, there were plenty of places for large felines to hide. Lance’s odd questions did not help:
“Do you want to go find the lions?”
“Did you practice your lion turn?”
And his version of comfort: “The lions only go wherever the food is. Unless the food is hanging around here...”



Interesting black stone landscape:


At this point, my bike sputtered and died again. I flipped the fuel switch a last time. This was the final reserve. I had 1.5 litres left.

Oubones, meanwhile, had worries of his own. As long as there was a blue cloud, there was life still to be had. If that cloud disappeared it meant trouble.

Oubones was stationary here, enjoying the scenery, so no blue cloud diagnostic data available:



Funky two-tone landscape:



Long shadows, signalling a dying day:





6pm and heading into Brandberg’s shadow:







We knew Hardy must be on the uncomfortable side of the worry spectrum. It was only after circling Brandberg that we picked up some signal for the first time.

Pete phoned Hardy to tell him (a) we were alive and, unbelievably, (b) we were still in motion.



There was relief on both sides. The back-up vehicle and crew were indeed at camp, which meant that they had somehow passed us, rather than hit any mechanical or physical issues. The crew were amazed that we had not yet run out of fuel. They had been extremely worried, but where do you start searching for a bunch of lost bikers in Namibia?

We were on the last leg of our journey. Even Lance was now on reserve. Despite the fact that he was riding the bike with the smallest tank out of the group (a mere 10 litres), I told him to save his worry for Oubones and me. Once the Rally hits reserve, it still has a good 60km left, unless you wring its neck at highway speeds, then you only have 50km.

We had another worry to contend with: the landscape started shifting towards one of sand. This is the last thing you want to see when you are trying to keep the revs down.



The sun was low, the sand was increasing, and there were a couple of confusing route options.

Recalculating:


The result of riding too close to earth-moving equipment:



Rerouting:




How far can an old carburetted bike go on 1.5 litres? I was counting the kilometres since I hit reserve. 30…31…32…33…



Gordon in a sand landscape:







We were now very close to camp. Yet there was one last sand obstacle.





Oubones and I were not impressed. Every twist of the throttle was a gamble.



Oubones’s bike had reached the point of not sounding happy. The blue smoke was fading:



Pete and his faithful DR:



Lance: “I’m running out of fuel! I’m losing power.”
Me: “Your fuel is fine. The Rally doesn’t have any power!”



Relief approached euphoric levels when we finally rode into White Lady Camp at 6:30pm. The KLR and CRF230F were both on fumes: oil and petrol respectively.

Our strategy of snail-pace riding was probably the saving grace. The KLR had gone beyond the call of duty to get Oubones to the end of the day. My little pink Honda had managed an astronomical 261km on 12.2 litres. That’s an average 21 km/lit!



As mentioned previously, the crew had not even known where to start looking for us, since a lost group on a previous tour had travelled via Timbuktu. Hardy said he would have felt a lot better if he had known that Lance, before a 180-degree career shift to IT developer, used to work as a navigation cadet on container ships!

Safely in camp, we compared route notes. As suspected, the bugger-up happened at the Messum Crater route split. We followed the track up to the split like religious acolytes (and why not?), but if you were familiar with the landscape, you could take one of the two short-cut options and miss our dear sunbathing spot entirely.

In the picture below, our track is in red; first heading south and then doing a sharp hairpin back on itself. The blue track right at the bottom was the Messum Crater option; followed by Team Fast. The yellow tracks are the two short-cut options; one of which was followed by the crew.



We caught up on the day’s news from the other groups. Within Team Fast, both KTMs suffered collapsed mousses. Perhaps they should have tried our 50 km/h approach!

We finished a very long day with a fortifying supper of kebabs, salad and roosterbroodjies.

Sadly, it was the last night of sleeping beneath the stars. Tomorrow night we will be in Windhoek.
 
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Offline Zanie

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #131 on: July 19, 2020, 09:56:03 pm »
Day 11: Brandberg to Usakos (196 km)

The last day of riding dawns.





It had been a cold night, but at least that meant no mosquitos!



Lance not yet ready to get up:



It was the last day of riding, yet most bikes were still semi-functional, despite various hiccups. We were facing open roads, which meant that Duncan’s KTM could cope with its non-functioning fan. Its holiday on the back-up was over.



Bertie had loaned his KTM to Duncan yesterday, but it suffered a collapsed mousse.



Miraculously, Oubones was still going! The KLR was ready to tackle the last leg, with a bellyful of new oil to vapourise.



The new KLR 2-stroke:



Ian followed Lance and I initially, but I think he got a bit fed-up when he realised we were not taking the most direct route to the gravel highway, but kept getting side-tracked by the faint, sandier options.

There are three tracks here:








I have complete faith in Lance’s navigation abilities and wanted to stretch the day’s riding as much as possible, so I was happy to go wherever.







Eventually we reached gravel highway. Sigh.





Bounce:


We refuelled in Uis. The Specialised crew were kept busy with (I think) only the second puncture of the entire trip: Pete’s DR.



Ian queried why powder was placed inside Pete’s tyre. The tube was chafed to smithereens!



The next stop was Spitzkoppe, to pick up Johan’s bike, which had been left there after his fall on day 1.



Me to Lance: “Are you filming your pee-break?”



Abel was still riding, despite all the battering received to person and bike. Big respect for tackling Kaokoland as a first multi-day gravel adventure!



Lance: “Ow! You’re throwing rocks at me.”



A sad sight was a little dog walking on his own on a very lonely stretch of road.



Spitzkoppe in the distance:



Most were waiting in the bar area while Johan’s bike was fetched and loaded. Lance, Gordon and I were not yet ready to stop riding, so we did a loop of the Spitzkoppe.

































We finally joined the others at the bar area, where Lance and I had a debate about fuel. I figured we needed to top up my bike. Lance argued otherwise, bolstered by the memory of yesterday’s once-off performance. Right. Scientific experiment 2 about to commence.



Henk zipping past on the way to Usakos:



A sad landmark of our trip: tar.



Unfortunately we combined one experiment (fuel range) with another: let’s see how fast this pink bike can go. To the unbelievers: it can go faster than 100 km/h (GPS speed), but I started feeling too sorry for the bike to push any further. And then I ran out of fuel… This time the back-up was not far behind, so I was on my way again shortly.

We finally reached Usakos. One of my other theories was confirmed: the place where some of the vehicles were stored was the hottest spot of our entire trip! The temperature seemed no less bearable than when we left, despite many days of Namibia climate acclimatisation.

The bikes were loaded and all of us climbed into either a minibus or one of the towing vehicles. This meant we cut out quite a bit of tar riding between Usakos and Windhoek. It seems there are many game farms next to the road, since we saw more giraffes and other varied wildlife on this day than any other day of the entire trip!

Brian, Henk, Hennie (R) and Hennie (Oubones):


Safari Lodge in Windhoek represented our final night’s stay of the organised tour.

Serious alley-docking skills:


The bikes were all loaded, but more work awaited. I suspect the sky-high temperature at the loading-spot in Usakos had cooked everyone’s brains, resulting in haphazard loading. All bikes were on trailers, but not all bikes were on the correct trailers!



It took some careful choreography to extract the Green Machine. Chirp from Lance: “It’s just going down Van Zyl's Pass again.”



Next up: fetching the Pink Panther.



It was past 7pm when we finally had the three correct bikes on Duncan’s trailer: my two Hondas and Duncan’s KTM.





It was the tour’s last night, but sadly everyone scattered to the four winds. Some went to Joe’s Beerhouse for supper. Others, including Lance and I, were too tired to mission there, so we had the buffet at the Lodge. The crew vanished. I suspect they wanted an early night. Actually, quite a few of us were facing monstrous drives on the morrow. Craig was hard core: he was going to ride all the way back to Cape Town!
 
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Offline Zanie

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #132 on: July 19, 2020, 09:56:38 pm »
Day 12: Windhoek to Cape Town

Duncan, Lance and I left Windhoek at 5:30am; tackling the long road home to Cape Town.

You have to be awake and aware when driving down the B1 in the dark. We spotted a couple of cows and a donkey on the road verge. We even saw one large expired creature on the roadside; species to be determined – either a cow or a donkey.

There were other dangers too: the local drivers. There were numerous trucks between Windhoek and Rehoboth. The overtaking manoeuvres to get past them, in the dark, were absolutely hair-raising.

Eventually, just past 7am, the sun rose and the roads became more sane.



Pit-stop:


We had breakfast at a Wimpy in Mariental at 9am. Their service was incredibly slow, so we were only able to leave after an hour.

By 1pm we caught Craig, the Camelman. He must be made of strong mental stuff to tackle the B1 by bike. The road is dead-straight and excruciatingly boring for hundreds of kilometres. It is far worse than the N7, which actually just has one 100km stretch that I can’t stand.

Despite Lance and Duncan taking turns driving, there were still times when they’d start to drift. Thankfully the bakkie is of some new-age AI stock, beeping at you when you deviate from the straight and narrow, with beeps getting more numerous and insistent if you happen to drift too many times in a row. At that point, we’d stop for a break.

Meeting up with Craig:


Aside from breakfast and the beep-stops, we hardly stopped. Lunch was just snacks on the road or quick bites at fuel stops. The border-crossing took a speedy 15 minutes. Yet we kept to the speed limit, like good citizens. We eventually reached home just past 10pm.

Reflections

Generally when I come back from a holiday, I’m on a high for a while afterwards. Yet there have been two trips in my life that were different; where adjusting back to normalcy was quite hard. This was one of them.

I’m not sure why it was so difficult to recalibrate. Maybe it is because life was just so much simpler on such a trip: ride, eat, chilled camaraderie, sleep, repeat. No electronics; just simple interaction with people or your bike. Exertion is physical rather than mental. Kaokoland was challenging, but not draining.

I find today’s working world exhausting. When weekends arrive, I just want to sleep or chill; not really something Lance allows! So it’s work-hard, play-hard until the point of burnout is reached. It’s telling that it took over a year to complete this ride report…

Speaking of which, I am three years behind on another Namibia ride report, this time of Damaraland. Namibia will always remain a special place to me; a place for rest and rejuvenation, with some added adventure!

Meanwhile, I am building my sand skills, so that next time (there must be a next time!) I will be able to tackle the longer / tougher routes.

I end on a video of the little pink bike in its natural territory. It was a long day: a 150 km funduro, with about 100 km of sand!

Sand starts at 30:58. The funduro version of Kaokoland’s Heartbreak Hill starts at 10:25.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/EyHQIct3Uc4" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/EyHQIct3Uc4</a>
 
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Offline dirt rat

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #133 on: July 20, 2020, 07:22:37 am »
Job well done Zanie- brilliant ride report.
Thanks for the monstrous effort.
 

Offline dirt rat

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #134 on: July 20, 2020, 08:12:36 am »
Sorry I forgot to mention Lance - Thank you.
 

Offline Zanie

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #135 on: July 20, 2020, 08:32:58 am »
And thank you to the die-hards like you, who are still following, more than a year later!  :thumleft:
 

Offline Rexc-w

Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #136 on: July 20, 2020, 08:42:44 am »
Fantastic!!!
Rex
(KTM 1190 Adv R - 2013, KTM 300 XCW - 2016, Specialized Epic S-Works)
 

Offline sidetrack

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #137 on: July 20, 2020, 08:51:41 am »
Still enjoying this ride ! I must say I think Pete's DR650 is almost perfect for this trip if I had to pick a bike.
Little by little, one travels far
J.R.R Tolkien

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Offline Samou

Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #138 on: July 20, 2020, 10:19:29 pm »
Thank you Zanie en kie I really enjoyed this RR :thumleft:
Ego = 1/knowledge
 

Offline Oubones

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #139 on: July 21, 2020, 09:21:36 am »
Thanks Zanie and Lance for this great RR! :thumleft:
The great spirit between the riders is once again manifested by the fact that we stayed together and made sure that all were save, but also enjoyed it!
I had 3 serious issues on that trip!
I could not ride sand with confidence and Craig mentored me so good on day 1 that I enjoyed sand from then on! :thumleft:
My gps would not load the tracks and Lance loaded the tracks and a program onto my phone and that went walkabout so I had to rely on riding with others to find my way.
My bike started drinking oil and smoking which made me slow and at the back, but every now and then somebody would be waiting to make sure that I am still good!
Many thanks to all of you who made it possible for me to have such a great trip and even now can keep my reliving it through this RR as I lost all my photo’s with my phone :'(
Dakar 650
SR 500
 
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