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Offline 1ougat

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Re: Hearts in the Desert
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2019, 09:02:45 pm »
 :sip:
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Offline Xpat

Re: Hearts in the Desert
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2019, 09:04:08 pm »
Glad to be of service  :biggrin:

I wonder which section that might be. I will wait patiently for the story to develop   8) :thumleft:
« Last Edit: September 26, 2019, 09:24:53 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline Amsterdam

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Re: Hearts in the Desert
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2019, 06:51:41 am »
I like to use the setup of the GL bag and tank bag myself but have found that it often leaves little space for me to comfortably fit in between (especially in the soft sand).  Look forward to reading how you guys found it.
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Offline Straatkat

Re: Hearts in the Desert
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2019, 07:28:47 am »
You are welcome, glad I could help.
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Offline Hondsekierie

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Re: Hearts in the Desert
« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2019, 08:01:44 am »
Glad to be of service  :biggrin:

I wonder which section that might be. I will wait patiently for the story to develop   8) :thumleft:

Haha, something to do with endurance..

I like to use the setup of the GL bag and tank bag myself but have found that it often leaves little space for me to comfortably fit in between (especially in the soft sand).  Look forward to reading how you guys found it.

There is really ample space if you use the Coyote saddle bag combined with the Diablo tank bag. 

The Coyote was designed to be positioned on top of your rear fender according to the manual, unlike the Great Basin that requires the are where the pillion seat is.  I could never trust all the weight on the fender and opted to have a portion of the saddlebag rest on top of the seat.  For that I installed an anchor point (strap) approximately 100mm behind the seat and strapped the bag down properly (can show you with pics later).  This prevented any forward movement which normally causes space problems.

I replaced the lower sub frame bolts with button type ones and used the GL hooks - this basically gives you the anchoring from the front part of the bike.  If you tighten the straps over the saddle bag legs properly you won't have any problem with movement - usually why the space becomes problematic.

Lastly - we used the Diablo tankbag  because of it's size which is brilliant for the 500.  Anything bigger and you'll struggle with space.

I'm a particularly big specimen with proper girth not easily found elsewhere and I can promise you, I had huge space to move around on the seat -  except if you have puffed up child bearing hips  :imaposer:  We could still strap Minxy's full 6L Desert Fox on to the GL, behind her bum, and it didn't interfere with her movement.

The GL is a brilliant product for these bikes and I would recommend it to all.  I must say the MoskoMoto really attracted me more because of the modular design which makes organizing a bit better but beggars can't be choosers, so GL it had to be.. :ricky: 

Hope it helps a bit.  Shout if you need more info 
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Offline Minxy

Re: Hearts in the Desert
« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2019, 08:33:56 am »
Thursday the 12th of September 2019

So the actual plan was to leave, very very early the following (Friday) morning, this would give us enough time to sort out our last things at work, and to pack our personal clothing/toiletries etc, the only things we haven't packed yet. That is exactly what we did the last time we traveled to Namibia. Leave from Pretoria at 3am for Skilpadshek border post and then do the entire Botswana section in one day, up to Windhoek.
It is a really long way though, and Johan said, why don't we still leave this afternoon? We can be through the border and at Lobatse early in the evening.

We again frantically packed our last few personal belongings, loaded the trailer and bakkie and off we went. It felt almost surreal. I can't believe we are going to Namibia, to the Damaraland, to the Kaokoland! WOW! None of this was planned less than a week before. I hope we took all our things haha!?

We got to the Skildpadshek border post as it was getting dark, shot past the trucks, and the crossing and everything went smoothly. It's a good thing we got Pula from the bank earlier, just makes everything easier. We spend our first night at the Cumberland Hotel, Lobatse. Alarm clock is set for 5am, we'd be leaving early so we can get to Windhoek in good time.

Friday the 13th of September 2019

Is there such a thing as a "lucky" Friday the 13th? Yes, there is! Errrrr.... ???


Somewhere on the Trans Kalahari Highway


We see many big land chickens. Huge convoys of grain trucks make their way across Botswana. Birds big and small feast on the grain spilled from the trucks next to the highway. I must say we notice less donkeys than before.

After many miles and lots of sing along karaoke on the long drive, we finally make it to the Buitepos border post near Gobabis, Namibia. Again everything goes smoothly.



EXCEPT, Friday the 13th happens and we get pulled over by a Namibian cop. Supposedly we are speeding, going over 130 in a 120 zone. The fines for this start at R1500! We need to pay! Shit... Johan opens his wallet, which we have cleverly emptied beforehand, just in case. You learn things like this when traveling through Africa... R400 is extracted. The cop says it is fine and send us on our way. Sigh. Corruption is everywhere, but technically we were in the wrong, so what can you do. We won't let this detract from our journey.

We get to Windhoek, and opt for camping at the Arebbusch Travel Lodge. We brought our big pop up tent and big sleeping bags/mattress extra to make camping easier. Our smaller camping kit is reserved for our bike trip.




Damm I need to get my white lily ass a tan. The winter has been too long :imaposer:


Our neighbour at the campsite. One of these is worth around R 12 mil? Ons los dit maar vir die laanies :'(

Another Friday the 13th moment when we look through our things and realize we forgot to pack the little camping stove and gas cylinder... Good thing we are still in civilization and it is off the Outdoor Warehouse at the mall nearby to buy this. It feels good to still be in civilization and I insist on walking through the mall a bit to look at what shops they have. Sorry @Hondsekierie I just had to look at perfume prices and clothes while in Namibia lol!


We made a cosy camp and retired for the night after a lovely meal at the restaurant. Camping here is noisy, I guess... It is in the middle of Windhoek :P But we are so tired we roll over and sleep. Excitement is really kicking in now!
« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 11:17:59 pm by Minxy »
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Offline Minxy

Re: Hearts in the Desert
« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2019, 05:46:56 pm »
Saturday the 14th of September 2019

We travel from Windhoek to Uis. We'd be leaving our vehicle at Brandberg Restcamp with Namibian adv riding legend, Basil, who has ridden his classic Africa Twin all over the country in years past.


My "I've been waking up at 5am for the last couple of days face."

Quick coffee in the town of Omaruru. All the towns/cities in Namibia we went though were so neat and tidy, a nice change to what we are used to in SA.

We arrive in Uis and put up camp. The afternoon is spent carefully putting all the luggage onto our bikes, sorting out more things... making 100% sure gps routes are all there.


This is the last time we'll be seeing our bakkie and trailer for a couple of days. Honestly we have thought about getting a bigger group of friends together to do this trip (safety in numbers), then having someone drive a backup vehicle, but urgh, sooooooo much logistics. Just getting everyone to take leave at the same time is a nightmare lol :P And we enjoy each others company... A lot! :) So the decision was made a long time ago already, that if we do this, we'll do this alone. The bakkie is a little bubble of safety and it is quite scary to think we'd be at least a few days away from it if we were to suffer a break down, or worse, an injury. Traveling alone in the desert is dangerous no doubt, but we thought our odds were as good as they'd get and we decided to take the gamble.



Anyway... Now for the fun part...



Test ride our bikes in the parking lot, with all our luggage!




Weeeee! Feels good! Luggage setup is perfect.


The sun sets over Brandberg Rest Camp. All our things are ready, as ready as we could get them in the short time we had. We are positive. The alarm is set for 5am again.

« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 05:40:52 pm by Minxy »
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Online windswept

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Re: Hearts in the Desert
« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2019, 07:22:57 pm »
 >:D :sip:
 

Offline Straatkat

Re: Hearts in the Desert
« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2019, 08:19:45 pm »
Won't miss this RR for the world!
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Offline Buff

Re: Hearts in the Desert
« Reply #29 on: September 27, 2019, 08:29:35 pm »
Sub  :ricky:
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Offline Highsider

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Re: Hearts in the Desert
« Reply #30 on: September 28, 2019, 10:56:48 am »
So keen to do this ride...


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Offline zacapa

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Re: Hearts in the Desert
« Reply #31 on: September 28, 2019, 05:27:52 pm »
Nice RR and a great idea of how to spend quality time. When you get to Orupembe #1 send pitchars...That ride from Uis to the Ugab River lodge and then around Brandberg to Brandberg West is a very cool ride.Everything north from there is just so damned special. I left Nam in 2007 - I need to get back there sometime.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 05:33:47 pm by zacapa »
 

Offline Minxy

Re: Hearts in the Desert
« Reply #32 on: September 28, 2019, 08:00:48 pm »
Sunday the 15th of September 2019

Awaken, awaken, the time has come.





We set out in the dark, the sun comes up late in September and we have no time to waste. We are guided by headlamps tied to our helmets, and by the moon.




The full moon over the Brandberg.

We are glad to be met with the rising light and we turn off from the main road not far from Uis.




The morning is cold, but don't be fooled, it is never cold for long...


The mountain would be our marker for a while.


The roads lead us to Brandberg White Lady Lodge. This is where we stayed and left our vehicle the previous year.  We briefly stop to ask the guides working at the lodge about the elephant. On our last trip to the area we skipped riding in the Ugab riverbed all together as we were warned against the ellies. This time however the guide assures us it is fine, the elephant are much further down the river than we intend to go.


From here on we will be following seasoned rider @Xpat 's route :) We both enjoyed the ride report where he, @Straatkat and @JustBendIt went on their own Namibian adventure and it is a privilege to follow in their tyre tracks.

"Take me down to the riverbed
Take me down to the fighting end
Wash the poison from off my skin
Show me how to be whole again" - Linkin Park



We follow the Ugab riverbed.






There are so many beautiful landscapes. I wish we could photograph them all.


I see the place where Xpat and co had gotten out of the river. We decide to ride on a bit further to see if we can get through. We quickly realize why they turned around. The wide riverbed we were riding suddenly becomes uncomfortably narrow. The thought of an elephant walking into the road suddenly becomes more and more real. The guide did tell us the elephant are further down, but that was yesterday, not today. We make a call to turn around and rather exit the riverbed as well. We don't want to take any silly risks on our first day. Sometimes you have to listen to your gut, this is one of those times.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 08:02:57 pm by Minxy »
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Offline Xpat

Re: Hearts in the Desert
« Reply #33 on: September 28, 2019, 08:29:54 pm »
We bailed there, because the river was flooded at that point as far ahead as we could see and when I dived in it was quite deep and I bogged down almost immediately. So we took the detour.

Our approach to mitigate potential elephant danger was that as I have lived life to the fullest already (i.e. I have ridden Damaraland and Kaokoland before) I was deemed expendable by the other two and sent riding way ahead as a bait to flash out whatever may be lurking there (there are also lions there) so that the other two would have plenty of time to duck, should I get into trouble.

I wonder which one of you two was doing the baiting ...  :)
« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 08:31:00 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline BLK

Re: Hearts in the Desert
« Reply #34 on: September 28, 2019, 08:38:29 pm »
Fantastic RR.I was following your pics on FB as you know.You both have great spirit and strength for life.Thks for sharing.
 

Offline geopat

Re: Hearts in the Desert
« Reply #35 on: September 29, 2019, 02:07:45 am »
I have walked down the river for a few km after that bailout point and it gets worse before it gets better I recon it would only be passable in the driest years
 

Offline Minxy

Re: Hearts in the Desert
« Reply #36 on: September 29, 2019, 08:47:27 am »
We bailed there, because the river was flooded at that point as far ahead as we could see and when I dived in it was quite deep and I bogged down almost immediately. So we took the detour.

Our approach to mitigate potential elephant danger was that as I have lived life to the fullest already (i.e. I have ridden Damaraland and Kaokoland before) I was deemed expendable by the other two and sent riding way ahead as a bait to flash out whatever may be lurking there (there are also lions there) so that the other two would have plenty of time to duck, should I get into trouble.

I wonder which one of you two was doing the baiting ...  :)

Oh dear, I ride in front most of the time, I guess I will be the entre  :imaposer: :P

And I see I see, I thought it was the elephant that scared you guys away, but I understand. It was fairly muddy when we went through as well, even though they are experiencing drought.

I have walked down the river for a few km after that bailout point and it gets worse before it gets better I recon it would only be passable in the driest years

It should be doable now if you want to brave the ellies :) Only a little bit of mud and water. Deep muddy ruts from 4x4's though.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2019, 08:47:52 am by Minxy »
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Offline Straatkat

Re: Hearts in the Desert
« Reply #37 on: September 29, 2019, 09:15:43 am »
We also saw very fresh elephant spoor that was on top of the vehicle tracks, so they were there not long ago. That is why we sent Xpat out in front :P
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Offline Amsterdam

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Re: Hearts in the Desert
« Reply #38 on: September 29, 2019, 10:38:35 am »
Just remember that the first bike merely surprises, angers and annoys them.  By the the time the second one comes in view they are focused and ready to charge.

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Offline Minxy

Re: Hearts in the Desert
« Reply #39 on: September 29, 2019, 02:32:15 pm »
Sunday the 15th of September 2019 (continued)

What I love about this part of the world is, just how quickly the scenery around you can change. We see many faces of the Damaraland today.


This track leads us further away from the Ugab river.




The abandoned cars let me think of a song.

Plain talking (Plain talking)
Take us so far (Take us so far)
Broken down cars (Broken down cars)
Like strung-out old stars (Like strung-out old stars)

Plain talking (Plain talking)
Served us so well (Served us so well)
We traveled through hell (We traveled through hell)
Oh how it felt (Oh how it felt) - Moby







You never know what you will find around the next corner.


A quick break under the trees of a riverbed we cross. We haven't eaten anything yet. I find I don't get hungry when I'm riding my bike. Afterwards is a different story though ::)






One of the abandoned mines we would pass on our trip.

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