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Author Topic: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike  (Read 6220 times)

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Offline Noneking

Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2019, 06:23:26 pm »
Really enjoying your detailed report! Brings back very fond memories of our trip almost a year ago
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Offline Minxy

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2019, 06:34:35 pm »
Great stuff keep it coming :thumleft:
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Offline Highsider

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2019, 02:05:00 am »
I’m really enjoying all the parallel accounts of this trip, the different perspectives are fascinating. 


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Offline Crossed-up

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2019, 06:45:06 am »
Great trip, great report, Zanie. Well up to your usual high standard!  :

I always admire your appetite for adventure.

I'm enjoying it muchly. :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
 

Offline Rexc-w

Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2019, 11:45:26 am »
Enjoying Namibia and the detail.
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Offline Stichhom

Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2019, 01:10:28 pm »
Zannie, wow, incredible RR, really enjoyed as if I was there in Namibia. This trip is on my extended bucket list...one day...

What happen to Johan after the fall? This proves to me the importance of a competent tour operator like Specialized Adventures and how the potentially lethal situation was remedied. Regards
Keep a cool head - life is precious!
 

Offline Bloed en OMO

Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2019, 07:34:18 pm »
Thanks Zanie for some great photo journalism.

It was a pleasure and inspiration to see you and Lance come zooming past me on the gravel highways - the epitomy of coolness and ease.
" ... until death; all is life..."  (Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes)
 

Offline Zanie

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2019, 07:33:25 pm »
Really enjoying your detailed report! Brings back very fond memories of our trip almost a year ago

Your RR is what inspired us to sign up!

Great trip, great report, Zanie. Well up to your usual high standard!  :

I always admire your appetite for adventure.

I'm enjoying it muchly. :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

I have you to thank for teaching me how to ride my pink bike! Our Sunday adventures taught me that some scary-looking obstacles are actually do-able.

What happen to Johan after the fall? This proves to me the importance of a competent tour operator like Specialized Adventures and how the potentially lethal situation was remedied. Regards

I've been on a few organised tours and the medical knowledge / back-up is crucial. I've seen another bad accident (not on this trip), where a guy's ankle was broken so badly you could see the broken piece of bone pushing against the skin from the inside and the foot was hanging at a crazy angle. There, again, the situation was handled promptly and professionally by the back-up medic on the tour.

As far as I know, Johan went to the nearest hospital, at Swakopmund, and was discharged within a couple of days.

Thanks Zanie for some great photo journalism.

It was a pleasure and inspiration to see you and Lance come zooming past me on the gravel highways - the epitomy of coolness and ease.

And absolute kudos to you for doing this as your first serious gravel tour. I would not have been cool and at ease if that was the case!! You should have seen me at my first serious sand - tears everywhere  :P
« Last Edit: October 06, 2019, 06:32:17 pm by Zanie »
 

Offline DRme

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #28 on: May 06, 2019, 09:43:22 pm »
Hi Zannie,
Great report! Very good photo and video coverage of the trip. Thank you for sharing with us in this way. Looking forward to the rest with anticipation.
 

Offline Dwerg

Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2019, 11:48:11 am »
En nou?
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Offline Malibu

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2019, 01:11:48 pm »
*sub*  :)
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Offline Zanie

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2019, 11:04:53 pm »
My apologies for the silence. Life has been a bit mad. We recently moved house and things just semi-settled before we started packing for the next trip!

I struggled to take leave last year, which is why I applied for two big batches this year. Batch one was the Namibia trip. Tomorrow we head to the Transkei with the dirt bikes. My little pink bike came back from its service today with new soft takkies, chain and sprockets. Lance is taking his 2-stroke KTM.

The two trips almost back to back means that work has been crazy as well. Unlike many on this forum, I don't get time to post during work hours.  ;)

Day 4's report and video are almost done, but they'll have to wait until we return, after the 24th May. This is a monstrous undertaking - there's 12 hours of footage to work through!  :o
« Last Edit: October 06, 2019, 06:33:49 pm by Zanie »
 

Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #32 on: May 19, 2019, 08:58:30 pm »
Enjoyable report Zanie, on one of my favourite regions.

And who better to look after you than Hardy & team?
 

Offline Lem

Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #33 on: May 19, 2019, 09:29:07 pm »
Absoluut Manjifiek  :thumleft:
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Offline sidetrack

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #34 on: May 20, 2019, 11:49:35 am »
"Sounds like a KTM trying to start"  >:D :biggrin:
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Offline Noneking

Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #35 on: May 20, 2019, 01:17:25 pm »
"Sounds like a KTM trying to start"  >:D :biggrin:

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Offline windswept

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #36 on: May 31, 2019, 08:38:32 pm »
Come on girl. Time to update. 8)
 

Offline Zanie

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #37 on: June 02, 2019, 10:27:46 am »
Enjoyable report Zanie, on one of my favourite regions.

And who better to look after you than Hardy & team?

We were very well looked after by Hardy and his team. I'd highly-recommend this tour to anyone who wants to do Kaokoland. All that we needed to do was eat, sleep and ride! No worries about carrying a mountain of stuff and spare fuel or making meals.

The area is mind-blowingly beautiful. As Hardy said, truly one of the last untouched wildernesses. It took a lot to readjust to 'normal' life after this tour.

Come on girl. Time to update. 8)

Day 4 will hopefully be posted by the end of today. I've completed the writing and choosing/linking of photos. Lance is basically done with the video (these reports are a team effort!) - just needs to do sound levelling and adding the music.

For the cause of our absense / silence, see pics attached. We were flipping and drowning bikes in the Transkei!  :biggrin:
 

Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #38 on: June 02, 2019, 11:47:06 am »
Low-flying Katoom alert!!
 

Offline Zanie

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #39 on: June 03, 2019, 07:30:06 am »
Day 4: Opuwo to Epupa Falls (229 km)

Video of day 4:
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/lwWA5_RoCZM" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/lwWA5_RoCZM</a>

Another fantastic day of biking dawns:



Revealing some creatures of the night:


Sammy prepping breakfast:


Jannie, Abel, Pete, Hennie R and Craig enjoying a breakfast of French toast and sausage:



Hennie R, Craig, Henk, Bertie and Ian:


Oubones was busy with DIY again. His luggage rack was only attached with two screws. More were required as insurance to keep the rack in place for the remainder of the ride.



On the way out, some stopped to buy ice to fill their water bladders. Others (including me!) hovered around like vultures to nab any remaining ice not used.

The ubiquitous ‘beware of cow’ sign:


And the funny ‘shady tree sprouts bikers’ phenomenon:


Oubones sharing some biltong snacks:


The C roads here are well-maintained. This one was having maintenance work done to it. I took the opportunity to claim my own lane.



It came with arbitrary speed limits. 30 km/h? Really?



A big dot on the horizon signalled the end of my lane.



I’m not about to challenge a grader for this space!



Again: a lonely tree became a bustling metropolis of activity, filled with bikers and locals.



This tree appeared to be climbing out of the ground.



A friendly local:


Craig on his trusty steed:


Abel (not sure whether to call his steed trusty, but all eventual gremlins were not of its making):



Hardy zooming by:


Kobus giving us the thumbs-up:


River crossings were never quite enough for Lance.


He had to go explore down the riverbed!





These sheep took the road markings to heart. Go right!



We visited the Dorsland Trek monument just outside Swartbooisdrift. This commemorates the final leg in a marathon of travel. The Boers didn’t like the Xhosas and Brits, so they moved from the Cape to the (then) Free State and Transvaal. Then they decided to go to Angola. There are two theories for the reasoning behind this monumental decision: (1) the Brits followed them up-country and were being annoying or the (2) ‘because it’s there’ approach, i.e. no particular reason. I would hope that they followed reasoning number one, because number two seems a rather arbitrary reason for 3000-odd people to die. Once in Angola, the Portuguese got annoyed with the Boers, so many Boers went to Namibia – then part of South Africa.





Camouflaged on the monument:


The place was boiling, with every scrap of diluted shade occupied, therefore we did not tarry long.





Unlike the Dorsland Trekkers, it had taken us only 6 days to reach the Angolan border, but this was as far north as we would go. Yet, from now onwards, the roads got interesting!



Someone had fun here:


Henk crossing the riverbed:


We were meant to stop here for a lunch of jaffles on the fire, but we were running short of time. It was decided to push on.



Chantal handed out snacks to keep us going. I still had plenty of leftovers from the previous day’s snack pack!



I’m not sure where everyone went after this point, but it felt as if we scattered to the wind. The roads were of variable surface and there were a couple of splits from which to choose. It was great fun!



Lance kept an eye on his Garmin (a well-abused small cycle computer) to make sure we were heading in a vaguely-correct direction. I have absolute faith in this vagueness. He seems to have a built-in GPS in his head.









One of the splits:




The surface was like liquorice: all sorts!









We were joined by Oubones, Pete and Duncan.

Oubones:




Pete:




I assume there are no pics of Duncan due to his penchant to zoom past and then wait. He is actually one of the medium-fast crowd, which to us means ‘medium-rare to spot back here’!

The track became fainter still:


And then ended at a river. A very wide river. Uhm. No.



Lance imagines a bridge further back.

Retreat, retreat!


Huh? But we just got here!


No bridge here either!


We retreated even further, but after reaching the same river (Ondoto – a Kunene tributary) a third time with a glaring lack of man-made constructions, we slowly came to the conclusion that this was part of the deal: the river must be crossed. Duncan appeared again at this point.

The third crossing came complete with a demo of what could happen when things go wrong: two guys with one very stuck bike. The guys looked rather tired. They were in the stand-and-stare-at-that-damn-bike point of the game.

Pete and Duncan greeting the owners of the Africa Twin and the (stuck) Triumph:



Many hands make light work. The number of people moving the Triumph were limited only by the number of conceivable hand-holds! Pete, Duncan and Oubones pitching in:



Next came the Africa Twin:


Lance lending a hand (singular):


Abel popped out of the woodwork. I have no idea where he came from, as he wasn’t on our missing-bridges excursion. I suppose we were on the path-less-travelled and were now on the main drag. Abel was uncertain about the crossing, so Oubones and Duncan went to help.

It seems very wet…


Life can be greatly impacted by your perspective on it. The below photo’s perspective shows a mud-drenched Abel.



Reality is otherwise. Abel is dry, Oubones is helping (hidden behind Duncan in the pic above), and Duncan is actually a considerate guy in real life!



I wonder what Mr. Triumph and Mr. Africa Twin thought when we crossed one by one with no incident! There is something to be said for small bikes and a supported trip, with built-in luggage-carrier services.







Though Duncan carried more tools than most. It must be a KTM thing!



We were salvaging the pride of small bikes everywhere…



…until Lance had a side-stand incident in the sand right about here:

 
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