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Offline Zanie

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #40 on: June 03, 2019, 07:30:36 am »
Day 4 continued

Back on dry land, Lance was certain that we were meant to take a more obscure path. Duncan objected when he saw the reeds. It meant one of two things: boggy conditions or elephants! Oubones and Duncan decided to keep to the ‘main road’.



Pete and I continued to follow Lance, and found neither grey mammals nor green marshes.



What we found instead was a last remnant of the old Kunene road!





Lance was bounced off the road to the left here:


A check-in by Lance at a split: “You ok with following this old road?” A unanimous: “Yes!”



It used to take people one to two days to traverse this road. My parents did it by 4x4 and needed a stiff brandy to calm the nerves.

If you dig on this forum, you will find some RRs featuring the old road. Sadly, hardly any of it is left. The new road mostly follows the old road’s route, obliterating the older track in its wake. This section was a rare gem.

Photos don’t do the gradient justice:






The Kunene River to the right:








The “wow” response!


Hardy meant for us to take this route. We were soon joined by Craig, Abel, Hardy, Kobus and the air-con boxes. I assume that most of the rest missed out.



Both Lance and Ian went down to the river, but were called back due to the very real threat of crocodiles. These sneaky logs have a deadly burst of speed and have nabbed some people before.

Continuing on the old road:




We were advised to head to the new road when we could, because today would be a long day. We found the split…



…but decided to stick on the old road as long for as long as we could.







It didn’t take long before the old road was swallowed up by the new one.



But we kept looking for the old road, taking random turn-offs during the search.

Seems legit?


Pete was with us and in a similar frame of mind. He and Lance had a short sand excursion.



And so it went, good / new road, followed by bits of old road…



…back to the new road, etc.



My closest call to a fall on this day actually happened on the new road. It still had some unexpected dongas, dips and rocks to throw at you when you least expect it. The road is like a roller-coaster, with very steep hills and dips. The gradient hides the wash-aways until the last moment.

I hit a good-sized rock on a mini-step and was flung forward over the handlebars. Lance said I was on my front wheel for a bit. I don’t know how, but I managed to hang on, with only some sore fingers to show for it (I ride with two fingers on each hand resting on my levers, as a rule).

The new road is obviously a health hazard! Time to find pieces of the old one again.





Back on the new one. Bugger!



Friendly locals:


At least the new road still had water crossing obstacles.







The bank on the other side was steep and had a donga to the right. Some local kids were gesticulating wildly. We took it as a wave or the usual “make-your-bike-go-vroom!” action, but when considering the footage, it looked more like a “slow down!” wave. Later that day we found out why: a biker had hit earth hard in that donga.



Another piece of old road:




Back on the new one:


Still pretty:


We were less than 40 km from our destination of Epupa Falls when we spotted a sign that is surely irresistible to most bikers. It said “cold beer”. Sure enough, we spotted some of our crowd.

Gordon, Brian, Hennie R, Pete and Lance:


Oubones had a prime spot:


We decided to try some cold juice. In Kaokoland, this can cost upwards of R30 for one! This particular spot (owned by someone called Corrie, I think) was more reasonably priced.

Refreshment bliss:


Don’t turn your back on the water for too long:


There were interesting objects, both of the natural variety (such as this big tree)…


…and man-made.


It was here that we bumped into the riders of the Triumph and new Africa Twin. The guy on the Triumph was obviously having a bad day. He was the biker who had come short on the donga by the waving kids. The front end of his bike looked a bit sickly.



Back on the road again, all refreshed:




Excuse the lens flare from the GoPro lens protector:


Still hugging the Kunene:


Beautiful scenery:


With a beautiful baobab:




And then we arrived!



Epupa Falls Lodge and Campsite:


Pool and beer available at the end of the magical stairs:


The Epupa Falls are visible from the deck of the camp restaurant / bar.



But the best view is out the main gate…


…and around the back.
















Given the good facilities at the campsite, it was time for some bike TLC. I was worried about my air filter, given the state of the air filters I’ve seen from Duncan, Oubones and Kobus’s bikes. I needn’t have worried. Mine was still good to go.



Next was an oil change. I like doing my own, because that means that no washers go missing (looking at you, Lance!) and all bolts / nuts are tightened to Zanie-strength, i.e. I can loosen them again without stripping a bolt or my moer.



Lance got called in to be the official oil-container-holder (pic by Kobus):



The humidity was high next to the river, which meant uncomfortable heat. I did not touch the hot water tap of the shower.

Supper was a carboload smorgasbord: pasta bolognaise, served with bread. We were being prepped for survival. Tomorrow is our first shorter-distance day. Remember what I said about short-distance days?

The high humidity and heat also meant mozzies! Craig’s tent set-up seemed like a plan. For some reason he brought his own tent (Mr. Camel Man?).



We used one of the Specialised Adventures tents, minus fly-sheet, for maximum possible air-condition.
 
The following users thanked this post: RasMan, pietas, MRK Miller, wilfwalk

Offline MRK Miller

Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #41 on: June 03, 2019, 03:56:04 pm »
Awesome. Thankyou. We were there many yeas ago, in 4x4. If only i had found adv biking then. We walked down river from the falls and swam in the river. Was young and dumb then. But it was a awesome hike down river
Op God vertrou ons vir wysheid om Sy wil te aanvaar
 

Online Noneking

Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #42 on: June 03, 2019, 08:13:26 pm »
Great RR
Waiting for the rest
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Offline DRme

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #43 on: June 03, 2019, 09:31:41 pm »
Thank you Zanie. This is absolutely great to read and see. You transport us there and bring back good 4x4 trip memories. It is of course much greater fun on a bike!
Looking forward to the rest.
 

Offline LanC

Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #44 on: June 03, 2019, 10:19:31 pm »
Day 4 was my third favourite day of the trip  :ricky:
I found some videos covering most of the old D3700 along the Kunene. It looked like a real challenge back then:
<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/CLVYEQDMLYk" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/CLVYEQDMLYk</a>
 

Offline Lars

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #45 on: June 05, 2019, 06:03:08 pm »
Great RR! These reports inspired me to get a DS bike and now I am busy overcoming my fear of sand... Your videos are awesome! Did you do the Wildcoast adventure ride?

Cheers Lars

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Offline ALLEN I

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #46 on: June 07, 2019, 11:54:39 am »
Magic ride you guys.  :ricky: :ricky:
Biking since the age of 11 nothing beats the freedom when u out there on u baby. Been doing it over 40 years now  (that's life)
Born a Biker, Live like a Biker, Die a Biker
 

Offline Matewis

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #47 on: June 07, 2019, 01:09:48 pm »
WOW,
“Don’t go where the path my lead…  Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail…” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
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https://witvosblog.wordpress.com/
 

Offline Zanie

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #48 on: June 09, 2019, 02:28:25 pm »
Awesome. Thankyou. We were there many yeas ago, in 4x4. If only i had found adv biking then. We walked down river from the falls and swam in the river. Was young and dumb then. But it was a awesome hike down river

It's a good thing the crocodiles weren't hungry on that day!  :o

Great RR! These reports inspired me to get a DS bike and now I am busy overcoming my fear of sand... Your videos are awesome! Did you do the Wildcoast adventure ride?

Sand can indeed be conquered, but a small bike helps a lot with the conquering.  ;)

I'm not sure what you mean about the Wild Coast adventure ride? I haven't been there on an adventure bike (on my to-do list), but a bunch of us did go on the dirt bikes. It wasn't really a club / organised ride in the usual sense; just one person who did a block booking and then "found some friends". We spent 4 days at Trennerys and 4 days at Kob Inn, using those spots as a base for exploration. It was epic.

"Sounds like a KTM trying to start"  >:D :biggrin:

Hy’s oppad in ń krat

Lance has some personal experience in this matter. He has a 2-stroke KTM and it did not like starting during our Wild Coast trip!
 

Online Rough Rider

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #49 on: June 09, 2019, 03:19:43 pm »
Nice  :thumleft:
Current rides: 2015 WR250F / 2016 690R / 2017 701SM
 

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #50 on: June 09, 2019, 03:56:43 pm »
Super!!  :laughing4: :thumleft:
 

Offline Just Blip It!

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #51 on: June 12, 2019, 10:21:10 pm »
Great reading! Keep it coming! :sip:
Riding Africa's lesser traveled tracks, discovering true adventure!
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2012 KTM 990R Adventure.
 

Offline pietas

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #52 on: June 13, 2019, 08:00:20 am »
Zanie, dis goedr om te sien hoe ver jy al gekom het met jou ryery. En dat jy dit geniet. Jy moes net eers die bike vind wat vir jou werk.

Dankie, ek lees lekker.
Groot berge en lang grond paaie
 

Offline Bloed en OMO

Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #53 on: June 18, 2019, 10:00:11 pm »
Day 4 continued

Back on dry land, Lance was certain that we were meant to take a more obscure path. Duncan objected when he saw the reeds. It meant one of two things: boggy conditions or elephants! Oubones and Duncan decided to keep to the ‘main road’.



Pete and I continued to follow Lance, and found neither grey mammals nor green marshes.



What we found instead was a last remnant of the old Kunene road!





Lance was bounced off the road to the left here:


A check-in by Lance at a split: “You ok with following this old road?” A unanimous: “Yes!”



It used to take people one to two days to traverse this road. My parents did it by 4x4 and needed a stiff brandy to calm the nerves.

If you dig on this forum, you will find some RRs featuring the old road. Sadly, hardly any of it is left. The new road mostly follows the old road’s route, obliterating the older track in its wake. This section was a rare gem.

Photos don’t do the gradient justice:






The Kunene River to the right:








The “wow” response!


Hardy meant for us to take this route. We were soon joined by Craig, Abel, Hardy, Kobus and the air-con boxes. I assume that most of the rest missed out.



Both Lance and Ian went down to the river, but were called back due to the very real threat of crocodiles. These sneaky logs have a deadly burst of speed and have nabbed some people before.

Continuing on the old road:




We were advised to head to the new road when we could, because today would be a long day. We found the split…



…but decided to stick on the old road as long for as long as we could.







It didn’t take long before the old road was swallowed up by the new one.



But we kept looking for the old road, taking random turn-offs during the search.

Seems legit?


Pete was with us and in a similar frame of mind. He and Lance had a short sand excursion.



And so it went, good / new road, followed by bits of old road…



…back to the new road, etc.



My closest call to a fall on this day actually happened on the new road. It still had some unexpected dongas, dips and rocks to throw at you when you least expect it. The road is like a roller-coaster, with very steep hills and dips. The gradient hides the wash-aways until the last moment.

I hit a good-sized rock on a mini-step and was flung forward over the handlebars. Lance said I was on my front wheel for a bit. I don’t know how, but I managed to hang on, with only some sore fingers to show for it (I ride with two fingers on each hand resting on my levers, as a rule).

The new road is obviously a health hazard! Time to find pieces of the old one again.





Back on the new one. Bugger!



Friendly locals:


At least the new road still had water crossing obstacles.







The bank on the other side was steep and had a donga to the right. Some local kids were gesticulating wildly. We took it as a wave or the usual “make-your-bike-go-vroom!” action, but when considering the footage, it looked more like a “slow down!” wave. Later that day we found out why: a biker had hit earth hard in that donga.



Another piece of old road:




Back on the new one:


Still pretty:


We were less than 40 km from our destination of Epupa Falls when we spotted a sign that is surely irresistible to most bikers. It said “cold beer”. Sure enough, we spotted some of our crowd.

Gordon, Brian, Hennie R, Pete and Lance:


Oubones had a prime spot:


We decided to try some cold juice. In Kaokoland, this can cost upwards of R30 for one! This particular spot (owned by someone called Corrie, I think) was more reasonably priced.

Refreshment bliss:


Don’t turn your back on the water for too long:


There were interesting objects, both of the natural variety (such as this big tree)…


…and man-made.


It was here that we bumped into the riders of the Triumph and new Africa Twin. The guy on the Triumph was obviously having a bad day. He was the biker who had come short on the donga by the waving kids. The front end of his bike looked a bit sickly.



Back on the road again, all refreshed:




Excuse the lens flare from the GoPro lens protector:


Still hugging the Kunene:


Beautiful scenery:


With a beautiful baobab:




And then we arrived!



Epupa Falls Lodge and Campsite:


Pool and beer available at the end of the magical stairs:


The Epupa Falls are visible from the deck of the camp restaurant / bar.



But the best view is out the main gate…


…and around the back.
















Given the good facilities at the campsite, it was time for some bike TLC. I was worried about my air filter, given the state of the air filters I’ve seen from Duncan, Oubones and Kobus’s bikes. I needn’t have worried. Mine was still good to go.



Next was an oil change. I like doing my own, because that means that no washers go missing (looking at you, Lance!) and all bolts / nuts are tightened to Zanie-strength, i.e. I can loosen them again without stripping a bolt or my moer.



Lance got called in to be the official oil-container-holder (pic by Kobus):



The humidity was high next to the river, which meant uncomfortable heat. I did not touch the hot water tap of the shower.

Supper was a carboload smorgasbord: pasta bolognaise, served with bread. We were being prepped for survival. Tomorrow is our first shorter-distance day. Remember what I said about short-distance days?

The high humidity and heat also meant mozzies! Craig’s tent set-up seemed like a plan. For some reason he brought his own tent (Mr. Camel Man?).



We used one of the Specialised Adventures tents, minus fly-sheet, for maximum possible air-condition.

Fantastic photos Zanie and Lance. Makes me tired once again just looking them.  Can't we repeat the trip?
" ... 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 #54 on: June 19, 2019, 09:27:49 am »
I'd love to go on a trip like this again. If you got tired from day 4's photos, wait until day 5. That's when the fun started! And when you started your collection of bruises.  :o
 

Offline Sardine

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #55 on: June 19, 2019, 09:38:09 am »
I’m on page 2 now. Wow! Wow! WOW!

Offline Tr0jan

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #56 on: June 19, 2019, 11:14:11 am »
Lekker report! Dankie
KTM 990 - Wiff twee pype and loud A-F!

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Offline Just Blip It!

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #57 on: June 23, 2019, 08:39:10 pm »
We leave on the same trip early July.........please post more!   :ricky:
Riding Africa's lesser traveled tracks, discovering true adventure!
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Offline Dustman

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #58 on: June 25, 2019, 01:45:35 pm »
Wow !!             :sip: :deal:
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Offline onderbroek

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Re: Kaokoland: a perspective from a pink bike
« Reply #59 on: June 25, 2019, 03:20:33 pm »
Awesome RR keep it coming
hak vrystaat