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Author Topic: My Ben10 Solo Trip  (Read 897 times)

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Offline Skeltonsc

My Ben10 Solo Trip
« on: September 27, 2019, 02:17:20 pm »
After reading all the reports of the guys doing the Ben10 I decided this is something I really want to do. After all, if some guys can klap this in a day how hard can it really beÖÖ
I was originally planning to do this in Jan 2020, but life happened and I rushed into this being the impulsive person that I am.
Bearing in mind that I had not really done any off-road since 2012 with DocKLR and Cracker doing some gnarly black route donkey paths stuff in Lesotho, but I also did do Sani and I thought it was a walk in the park.
I had watched all the videos on YouTube and before going I already had some idea of what I would be in for, well lets say videos make it look tame there is no real depth perception in a video and no sense of how steep things really are, oh and did I mention Iím afraid of heights.
Well letís start at the preparation.

I knew this would be done solo so I needed to make sure I can look after myself if the proverbial shit hits the fan.
So, I packed as light as possible but still think I over packed
I had 2 oxford pannier bags, a 40-litre sports bag and a very small tank bag
I had to pack the following into these bags

Left Pannier bag contained
1.   3 x pairs Sox
2.   3 x underwear
3.   3 x T-shirts
4.   1 x Jeans
5.   1x pair Crox
6.   Spare batteries for GPS and power bank along with cell charger
7.   Paper maps because you know murphy

Right Panier bag contained
1.   Small gas stove (cheap alva model with gas canister)
2.   Small pot and metal cup
3.   Small tins of coffee sugar and milk powder
4.   Smallish First aid kit with some Rehydrit sachets
5.   Some pain killers and alergex (non drowsy version)
6.   Fork, t-spoon and knife


Sports bag contained the following
1.   2 man tent
2.   10 litre fuel can (I needed this for the last day)
3.   Small 6 can cooler which had all my puncture stuff including tyre levers slime compressor valve puller and patches with glue
4.   2 x tie downs and 2 small rachets
5.   Small metal coffee flask
6.   Small camping lantern Ė this thing is cheap as chips but can charge with its own solar panel
7.   My home made jack Ė 2 pieces of pipe that fit into each other with holes drilled to adjust the height Ė turns out I needed this
Then I had one of those camping mattresses

Small tank bag contained all my tools, and yes I had lots of tools

1.   sockets sizes 8,10,12,14,17,19,22,24
2.   Spanners in the following sizes 8,10,12,13,14,17,19
3.   small ľ inch rachet
4.   long extension with Ĺ inch socket on it
5.   Pliers big and long nose
6.   Vice grips Ė you would be surprised what you can do with these when the need arises
7.   Cable ties Ė never leave home without them
8.   Duck tape
9.   Insulation tape
10.   Pratley steel
11.    2 Screw drivers
12.   Sharp knife
13.   Small can of tool in a can Ė can be used a chain lube etc

I uploaded some videos that I have made, note these are actually quite boring as I don't know how to edit or speed things up, its just mostly the raw footage of a few of the passes

Ben 10 Eco Challenge - Bastervoetpad Pass - skip to 12 minutes for the actual pass

<iframe width="1008" height="567" src="
" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

TTT [Tiffindell-Tenahead Traverse]

<iframe width="1008" height="567" src="
" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Ben MacDhui Pass

<iframe width="972" height="547" src="
" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Carlisleshoekspruit Pass

<iframe width="1008" height="567" src="
" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Volunteershoek Pass

<iframe width="1008" height="567" src="
" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Lundinís Nek Pass

<iframe width="1008" height="567" src="
" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

« Last Edit: October 03, 2019, 09:39:23 pm by Skeltonsc »
 

Offline Skeltonsc

Re: My Ben10 Solo Trip
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2019, 02:20:42 pm »
The little KLE was quite heavy on fuel as I was cruising around 130km/h into some pretty strong winds so was only getting around 15km/litre and although I was carrying an extra 10 litres just in case I ran short.
Every 45 minutes or so I had to stand and ride for a few km as my knees and ass were killing me, this calmed things down and made it bearable for another 45 or so minutes.
I made a small mistake in the fact that being alone on this trip would make trips to the shops very difficult as I was very paranoid of theft from the bike and I really was not going to unload everything into a trolley just to get into the shops. This would prove to be the worst part of the trip, getting supplies.
I would buy anything I needed at the garages which being expensive but would give me some piece of mind that I could park in front of the door and at least keep an eye on the bike.

Needless to say I certainly did not eat like a king for the next 3 days.
I was planning on spending my first night at Lady greyís municipal camping sites but decided against this the second I entered the town, as you cannot stop anywhere without some kids or beggars begging for money. I understand that these towns are just shadows of their former selves but Iím no saint and have a limited budget myself to do this trip.
I filled up the bike with fuel at the Garage in town and spoke to the Fireman driving the towns fire truck. He told me that the whole mountain had basically burnt next to town and that he had been pretty busy the last 18 hours or so, hats off to these guys.
After paying for fuel I decided to try find some camping spot out of town. I had seen on Google that there is a camping ground about 25km along the road to Barkley East called Karnmelkspruit - http://campsa.co.za/camp-detail/?n=karnmelkspruit  and decided to go find out if I could camp for the night.

Upon reaching the campsite I met a group of guys in their 4x4ís nice bunch of elder gents and their wives, who told me the Reception to the camp ground is a little further along the road 2km to be exact and that the owners name is Ian.
So off I went to speak to the owner who is a very friendly chap, and we discussed my plans for the coming days and he did mention that if I needed any assistance along the route I should take his number and contact him.
If you just need a place to camp for the night and need a warm Shower I can highly recommend camping here as the amenities are neat and clean and cheap at R100 for the night. I will also mention that there is no signal here so call your loved ones before heading down to the campsites
He also told me that there was a group of bikers that got caught on Bastervoed pass in some rain recently and that one guy broke his leg and another his ankle and that there is virtually no cell phone reception on any of the passes.
WellÖ..  this got me a little worried but I had come this far, no turning back and this was my mantra for the rest of the trip.
 
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Offline Skeltonsc

Re: My Ben10 Solo Trip
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2019, 02:26:15 pm »
Whenever I reached a technical section on a long steep uphill with tons of loose rocks, I would get a little stressed as to which line I need to take, I would say to myself you have come this far there is no turning back.
Turns out this mindset works quite well, be positive and donít second guess yourself, trust in the bike that it is far more capable than yourself and it will get you were you want to be.
Nowhere more was this put to the test than on Ben MacDhui Pass but I will get to that a little later.

First nights camping went well and I was up at 6am made some coffee and packed the bike.
I then spoke to some of the guys who were also doing the passes in their 4x4s and they said that some of the passes were in bad shape, this put a smile on my face as I was here for a challenge Afterall.
I left the campground and headed back to Lady grey to fuel up and headed up Jouberts pass,
This is a piss easy pass with no technical sections, I took it easy and made my way to the top.
I will say that the all the grass had burnt a day before so there was not much scenery getting to the top.
After sending my Misses and a few friends some photos I headed down the other side back towards the Barkly East road, this is a nice section with beautiful vistas and a few farms along the way.
I did not take many photos on this pass as I was enjoying the riding so much.
 
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Offline Skeltonsc

Re: My Ben10 Solo Trip
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2019, 02:29:02 pm »
Otto Du Plessis Pass
Next up was Otto Du Plessis, getting here takes a long time, but I was not in much of a rush and took the gravel roads at a leisurely pace of around 50km/h on the straights and a little slower in the corners.
Just before the pass there is a gate that you need to open, and I overshot the little monument at the top. But found the Ben10 signboard lying on its side, I wanted to start the bike but for some reason she would not start, the starter was dead. Oh well I thought itís a decent downhill I will just run start the bike till I get time later today to sort the problem out. So I took a pic of the monument from where I had stopped and took a pic of the sign board and run started the bike and carried on.
Otto Du Plessis, this is a lekker pass and was quite challenging due to some rockfalls and steep drop-offs to the right and lots of loose grapefruit sized rocks to ride down. Did I mention I was only using front brakesÖ. Also I had forgotten to switch on my helmet camera for this pass, could kick myself now, but such is life.
Anyways at the bottom of that section which is not long maybe 100m or so I stopped and said to myself ďWell that was funÖ. But is that all, this is now my favourite pass of all timeĒ
Next up was fuel in Eliot, then remember I told you that the bike was dead and would not start with the starter well it turns out that my nanny switch on my Clutch had packed up and now the bike would only start when in neutral. I decided I will not fix this till I get home as it was not so important, just do not stall the bike on a technical section and you will be ok.
 

Offline Skeltonsc

Re: My Ben10 Solo Trip
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2019, 02:30:35 pm »
Barkley pass

Barkley pass which is tarred and this is no challenge. So only a pic at the bottom of the pass at the signpost, also saw this guy jogging up the pass but didnít think too much of it, except thinking to myself this oke is mad.
I then headed further up the tar to the turnoff for Bastervoed, this section was tarred and time went quickly.
 
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Offline OomD

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Re: My Ben10 Solo Trip
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2019, 02:47:20 pm »
 :ricky:
 

Offline Skeltonsc

Re: My Ben10 Solo Trip
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2019, 02:49:13 pm »
Bastervoetpad Pass
The gravel roads getting to the actual Bastervoetpad Pass were very quiet and I did not see a single vehicle, just lots of derelict old houses, and I was thinking to myself if the bike breaks thatís at least a place I can get shelter for the night. From then on I made a mental note of all the houses and how far back they were just in caseÖ
Iím a smoker and did stop to light a cigarette every now and then, at the same time I would check for signal on the cell phone and find none, I had both MTN and Vodacom sim cards and MTN more often than Vodacom during the trip although there are very long sections with no signal.
Anyways getting to the top of Bastervoetpad Pass was relatively easy there are 2 steepish sections that I actually had to stand on the pegs to get up and ride around some large rocks but it was not that steep that if I stopped I could not get going again
When I got to the top I still remember turning around to face the road that I just got up saying ďWhoo hooĒ I had done it. Well little did I know. So I took some photos at the top and realised that there is some rain coming and that I better get a move on as I donít know how far it is to Ugie from there. And it looked pretty far on the maps.
Just as I was about to leave there were two plastics coming up the road behind me so I waited for them just to say howzit chat about the passes. These were the only 2 guys I saw on the passes all day.
Turns out they are a Father and son riding a KTM and a blue plastic, they commented on my loaded bike, and that I had balls doing this solo. They also mentioned they had a friend who was jogging all the passes, and this turned out to be the oke I saw on Barkley pass, I would see him a few more times during my trip.
By this time it had started to drip and I said my goodbyes and headed down the other side towards Ugie.
The first 100 meters I thought well this is easyÖ..
Now let me just say I would rather battle up steep passes with rocks and slide down them so I prefer uphillís.
Well Bastervoetpad Pass  is steep with a few not too technical sections, with great views and very far drop offs, I had to keep telling myself to look where Iím going and not look at the rocks in the road cause you tend to hit what you are looking at.
At the end of the pass there is some long sections of clay, these were starting to get slippery due to the rain, but they were still manageable, this must be where those okes got hurt.
When I finally got to the Pinetree plantations it was properly raining now but at least the road was really easy.
By the time I got to Ugie I was properly wet and starting to get cold, it was already around 16:00 in the afternoon and my plans to get to Rhodes via Naudes Nek went out the window.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2019, 02:51:06 pm by Skeltonsc »
 

Offline Skeltonsc

Re: My Ben10 Solo Trip
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2019, 02:52:37 pm »
some more of Bastervoed
 
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Offline Skeltonsc

Re: My Ben10 Solo Trip
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2019, 02:55:29 pm »
I filled up the bike with petrol and called around looking for a camp ground for the night and ended up camping a few km north west of Maclear at the Woodcliffe country inn, the owners name is Phillis and she really made an effort to make me comfortable, showing me where the showers were, offering me use of the Wi-Fi and where to stand if I needed cell reception, I could only get MTN signal here.
That night was cold and wet as all my kit was soaked but this time including my sleeping bag. Needless to say I did not sleep much, I had to change socks a few times cause they would soak the water in from my sleeping bag. Did I mention it was KAK COLD.
Anyways I finally fell asleep around 4am and awoke at 7 with the sun shining on my tent, I got out and made some coffee.
I then put my wet jacket and kit on the fence to dry a little while I packed up the tent.
This is a beautiful little place and very neat with a cottage or two in the back and a little camping area for hikers, also not bad at R130 for the night, they also have a plug to charge phones power a light etc.
Around 7:45 Phillis came out the main house and brought some coffee and she spoke about life in the Eastern cape and how the area has only recently opened up to the tourists. She also told me the story of the injured bikers getting stuck on Bastervoed pass till 23:00 at night.
I will say people are friendly in this part of the world.
I left Woodcliffe around 8:15 and a 4km down the road the bike felt very squirrely in the rear so I stopped and my heart just sank. I had a bloody puncture in the back.
Now let me tell you I can change a tyre quite happily I have all the kit and I normally always fit my own tyres including the EVIL Mitas E07.
So maybe itís the altitude or the lack of sleep but after around an hour of messing about trying to break the bead a farm worker walked up the road and asked me in what I think is Zulu if I needed help.
I actually said no, but he called his Boss on the radio and within 5 minutes he came with his TW200 asking if I needed help. I told him that I cannot get the bead to break and would really like some help.
So off he raced up to his farm to fetch the land cruiser.
I just took the rear wheel with me and tools I needed to change the tyre I left all my kit next to the road, Ryan the Farmer said not to worry there is no crime here, well the Gautenger in me reluctantly left the whole lot there and got in the bakkie.
In a few minutes I had the rear rim in his workshop and ended up putting the tyre in the vice just to break the bead.
I fitted the new tube and used some grease on the bead which made fitment a breeze. I normally always fit my own tyres and always use grease on the bead cause then they tend to come off without too much difficulty. I now made a mental note to myself that I would from now on always fit my own tyres and apply a little rubber grease to the bead on the tyre.
Cause if this had happened on Bastervoed I would have certainly spent the night there.
I then got chatting to them and he was telling me that his family has been farming this land since the early 1800ís and he also told me about the cameras on the dirt roads that are there for stock theft.
I then thanked him and his son for their assistance and he took me back to my bike.
I was so surprised to find nothing had been touched everything was exactly where I left it.
I then fitted the tyre packed up everything and set off up Potriver pass towards Naudes Nek.
By now it was already 11am and I had a long day ahead of me.
 

Offline Skeltonsc

Re: My Ben10 Solo Trip
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2019, 02:59:56 pm »
This is also a lekker stretch of road with some nice long turns with nice views.
I passed quite a large SAPS compound which looks deserted, I think in a few years ago they used to post all the problem officers to these compounds for punishment as there is nothing for miles around.
Just before Naudes Nek I rode past the Father and Son I met previously on Bastervoed and we exchanged helloís I could not stop as I knew I had one hell of a day ahead of me and I had already lost 3 hours with the puncture.
Naudes Nek Pass
I took a photo at the bottom of the pass at the Sign marking Naudes Nek then headed up the pass. This is a lekker easy pass with no technical sections just great views of the valley.
At the top of the pass I saw the Jogger again, this time he told me heís doing the Ben10 and he reckons he is mad but he is nearly done so might as well carry on.
I then rode about 10km further down the pass towards Rhodes before seeing another hiker and decided I really need to stop wasting time and go back to Tenahead.
 
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Offline Skeltonsc

Re: My Ben10 Solo Trip
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2019, 03:02:30 pm »
TTT [Tiffindell-Tenahead Traverse]
The TTT or the Tenahead Tiffindell  Traverse is a long section that took a few hours to complete, it has great views and some really deep valleys, there are also a few technical sections with lose rocks and steep sections. Just as I was passing Tenahead lodge, I saw two 4x4ís and the rest of the pass I was alone, there is also no signal on this pass until you get close to Tiffindell. There are a number of blue shipping containers that look like little outposts for some poor SAPS oke, there was also another derelict police station along this route which could become shelter if the need arises. A person thinks about these things when you are alone in the mountains.
This route was one of my favourites with the great views and deep valleys.
I was thankful to eventually see Tiffindell ski lodge at the end of a long traverse as daylight was running out and I still wanted to do Ben MacDhui Pass then get to Rhodes before 6pm
 
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Offline Skeltonsc

Re: My Ben10 Solo Trip
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2019, 03:05:21 pm »
Ben MacDhui Pass

When I reached the sign post I took a picture and headed up to Tiffindell, which was the busiest section as I saw too Honda XRís leaving as I pulled in and there was a KTM 1x90 (didnít check which one) and GS800 parked outside.
I headed up to the managers office and could find no one there so I was now getting impatient as I still had to get up the pass and back to Rhodes so I called their head office number in JHB saying that I could not find the manager. Within 5 minutes the manager had arrived, turns out he watches TV in the coffee shop in the off season. I asked if I needed to sign the register and he said I can do it on the way down.
No let me tell you just standing at the bottom of this very steep pass gives me the heeby jeebies and I was starting to think I had bitten off more than I could chew, but like I said in the beginning Iíve come this far, there is a clinic at Tiffindell so hell, why not.
I remember now that I mentioned leaving all my kit at the bottom of the pass then going up empty well by the time I got to the first corner I remembered this and thought well oh what the hell lets just do this. Also I was too tired to still take everything off the bike then have to strap it all on again on the way down. So like Nike says ďJust do ItĒ
Turn 1 is kak sharp and should be taken wide same as Turn 4, also DO NOT STOP
Once at the top there are a few step-ups these are quite intimidating but easy enough just pick you line and donít stop and feather the clutch to keep the revs up and you will be fine.
At the top its pretty amazing I think the lack of oxygen and exhaustion was getting to me, I somehow thought of Titanicís iconic line ďIím on top of the worldĒ I took a few photos at the top and thought hell if the monkey can climb the tree to the top he has got to get down again.
No at the top it can be a little confusing cause this time in the afternoon the sun is in your eyes and its easy to take the wrong line so I took it very slow down the step-ups and proceeded to the steep sections with the sharp corners, then I really missed having rear brakes, at the first corner I nearly washed out the front but thanx to my folks giving me long legs I kept the bike upright. I know knew I was tired and a little dehydrated as when I got to the bottom of the pass and parked at Tiffindell I was feeling kind of weak. I went to the coffee shop and signed the guest register, the Barman said I was mad to go up with a loaded bike, he really didnít think I would make it.
Well I showed them.
By the time I got down the KTM and BMW were gone.
I then thought to myself I wanted a challenge on this trip and I certainly got one. This is why Iím here Afterall.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 11:43:44 am by Skeltonsc »
 
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Offline Skeltonsc

Re: My Ben10 Solo Trip
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2019, 03:08:59 pm »
I then headed down the Carlisleshoekspruit Pass down to Rhodes,  this pass is easy with the concrete sections, some of the turns I had leaned quite far and had to remind myself Iím not Rossi, but think I was still suffering from oxygen deprivation from Ben MacDhui. Anyhow I got to Rhodes around 17:20 and first headed to the camp ground and spoke to some other guys who were camping there, and asked who I need to speak to, they said I should head up to Walkerbouts inn and enquire there.
I then hopped onto the bike and headed over there, when I got there I didnít find anyone in reception and walked to the back where I met Dave whom I think is the owner, large oldish chap with a long grey beard, if you had to imagine Santa in his workshop that would be Dave. He was sitting in his office surrounded by racks full off odds and ends for repairing pipes and stuff.
I asked if her knew about the camping costs and he said he thinks its about R40/person but asked why I donít stay at the inn, I said I donít really have the budget for it, so he promptly told me no to worry he will sort something out. He said I could stay for R300 bed and breakfast as long as I ordered supper at the inn and had a few cold ones at the bar.
Now being buggered from the lack of sleep the previous night I could not argue with that so I paid for the night and promised to be back before 7 to order.
I ended up at the Bok house which is a 4 bedroom house just on the corner near Walkabouts itís a very old house with all sorts of antiques in it, I thought to myself I could never bring my kids here.
So after switching on the geyser then unpacking the bike, I had the best shower I have had in a long time, I really felt like a new man after that.
I then got dressed in my jeans and clean T-shirt, with my MX boots cause I cannot wear crox to any bar. I also had the house key with about 30cm of broom handle attached to it which I shoved down my boot and headed up to the bar.
When I got there I ordered a Pizza with salami topping and after the first two nights it felt like heaven, had a couple of Castles while watching the episode of Voetspore which was covering the passes I had just done, funny thing is they only show you the nice bits not the hard technical sections, once that was over I headed down to the house for some much needed R+R in in the heated bed, a far cry from the previous evening thinking I was going to die from hyperthermia.
Next morning the alarm went off at 7 as I set it a little later because I only had Volunteershoek Pass and Lundinís Nek Pass to still do, and besides it was still very cold outside.
I had done just under 200km since I last filled up at Ugie and chucked in the 10 litres petrol that I had dragged around since JHB. This 10 litres filled the tank to the brim and I was pretty chuffed as I had worked out I needed to do about 160km that day so I knew I would be ok.
Now while I was packing my bag I checked my puncture cooler bag  and could not find my tyre levers, in their place was a little whole where they had made their way out into the bigger sports bag and made another whole to make their escape into the big wide yonder.
So feeling very stressed out due to the previous mornings puncture an knowing I will probably not see anyone else for most of the day, I asked any oke on a bike that I could find, nobody had spare tyre levers. I even thought I could make it to Barkley east and maybe buy a set, then it dawned on me that this was a public holiday and I would just be wasting more time doing that.
So packed the bike and headed to Walkabouts to hand in the key.
When I was pulling out of the parking Dave greeted me, and I asked him if he knew of anyone who may be able to help with Tyre levers, he directed me to Shaun De Beers house, I think his surname is De Beer, so please correct me if Iím wrong.
Anyways when I stopped there Shaun was out and his wife was there, she really went out of her way to search for a possible tyre lever for me, Iíve said this before and I will say it again people in the Eastern Cape really are a different breed, always helpful and friendly, we are simply not used to that in Gauteng,
Anyways I then decided that time was getting on and I will take a chance, I said a quick prayer to keep me safe and let me have a good day and left.
As I had plenty other screwdrivers and spanners if I really needed to I would make a plan.
So I left Rhodes and headed up Carlisleshoekspruit Pass where I met that Jogger again this time he had two walking sticks with him. He must be buggered, so ďGive that man a BellsĒ
At the top of the pass I took a photo at the board that I had missed in my rush the previous afternoon to Rhodes.
Then just before Tiffindell I took the War Trail to reach the Volunteershoek Pass
The road getting there was nice and peaceful, a little cold but not much wind that morning, with clear skies you could see forever.
 

Offline Skeltonsc

Re: My Ben10 Solo Trip
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2019, 03:12:34 pm »
Volunteershoek Pass

I was a little concerned about this pass as the guys I spoke to in Rhodes the previous evening had said its in a really bad condition and that the slid most of the way down the steep sections, they told me that they didnít think a bike would make it up the other way, but then again they had not done Ben MacDhui Pass yet, and the fact that I was going down this didnít worry me too much.
The thought lingered in the back of my mind that I donít really have rear brakes.
But I had come so far and conquered a few hairy passes the previous two days, so really how bad can it be?
Turns out this was one of my favourite passes, was really not nearly as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Look to be honest coming up those tyres would be an obstacle but not impossible.
I took a photo at the sign near top of the pass just past  a stone house that I though was pretty cool in the middle of nowhere. I then continued down the road to the toll point.
No donít get me wrong I hate tollís on any road but this is one toll I would happily donate to because we know where the money goes.
The local farmers maintain this private road and it must be quite expensive and not easy to keep this road open.
Volunteershoek is absolutely stunning with some of the best views in my opinion.
I made my way slowly down the pass to a gate at the bottom which marks the end of the pass.
I then took some photos and headed off to Lundinís Nek, the road to War trail is very good and one of my most enjoyable of the trip. Some of the farmers in this area really are isolated Iím actually quite jealous of them and their lifestyle, and when you ride past they always greeted back.
At the intersection of Barkley East and Lundinís Nek I stopped had a smoke and took a quick photo, then mounted up and set off in the direction of Lundinís Nek
 
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Offline Skeltonsc

Re: My Ben10 Solo Trip
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2019, 03:15:57 pm »
Lundinís Nek Pass

This pass realty is easy it even had green sections for the GS boys, and a few deep holes where they have fallen over and ploughed a trench. About halfway up is another deserted SAPS compound.
When I reached the Lundinís Nek signpost I stopped took some pictures. Hanging on this sign is a really dead snake, I think it was some sort of Cobra or Rinkals, its probably been blowing in the wind for some time.
Once I finished I decided to carry on past the sign to see whatís on the other side of the mountain you are greeted by a wonderful view of the valley below, with some overhanging rocks on the left.
I just had to climb up there and take some pics.
 
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Offline Skeltonsc

Re: My Ben10 Solo Trip
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2019, 03:18:37 pm »
I felt a little sad that my Ben10 adventure had come to an end but I enjoyed the dirt roads to Barkly East as the pressure was sort of off that I had completed the task I came to do and ended up riding a little faster on these dirt highways than what I had done the previous few days.
My plan was to go down to my folks for a few days but my parents talked me out of that due to the distance from Barkley to Mosselbay, and even though I really wanted to go down, my boys back home were driving my misses crazy, along with the fact that we had an attempted break-in at home. So, I knew I simply had to get home just to restore the balance at home.
No let me tell you the 140km I had done that morning and the next 797km I did getting home took their toll, I got home around 22:30 that evening absolutely frozen and tired. But it felt good to be home.
I know I said I wanted to see my Dad as I had not seen him in a few years, I will do that trip next year, but this time it just wasnít meant to be. Everything happens for a reason, sometimes we may not like that reason, but it all turns out alright in the end.


Some takeaways from my trip.

1.   Doing this solo was probably not my best Idea, those roads are pretty quiet and if something had to happen you would probably not have signal to contact anyone without walking some distance.
2.   Traveling alone poses problems when you need to stop for supplies as theft is always a concern.
3.   Wear sunscreen and lip balm, the sun is pretty potent at these altitudes, my nose and lips are pretty burnt now.
4.   Make sure your bike is 100% mechanically before attempting this, I made a small mistake of not riding with my MX boots before hand and realising that I could not effectively use my rear brakes.
5.   Front brakes are not so bad when off-road.
6.   Make sure your bags are waterproof as its no fun sleeping in a wet sleeping bag with wet socks.
7.   Make sure you can break the bead on your tyres, if you are tired and the altitude is against you it makes it a lot harder than being at home in your garage. I was simply lucky that it happened in a place that someone could assist.
8.   Donít fall off and get injured it will be a long time before anyone finds you especially on Bastervoedpas and the TTT as I felt these are the most isolated passes of the 10.
9.   Fuel is available in Rhodes at Shaun De Beers house.
10.   Most of all trust yourself and your bike, pick your line, it doesnít have to be the perfect line, your bike will amaze you at its abilities.
Would I do something like this again, most certainly I loved every second of it even with the very real threat of hyperthermia on the 2nd night.
I will start planning my trip for next year pretty soon. There certainly is lots more of this beautiful country that I want to see.


 
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Offline BullFrog

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Re: My Ben10 Solo Trip
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2019, 03:55:35 pm »
Just browsed through the pics quickly...

What a trip, man! Well done.

From your selfies I can see you had a blast!!!!!

I will read the details over the weekend.

Thanks for sharing!
'70 Triumph Bonneville 650 T120, '84 Honda VF 1000 RE, '01 Yamaha YZ 250 N, '12 Honda XR 650 L, '14 Honda NC 750 X

If I REALLY wanted to ride a BMW, I would join the Tshwane Metro.
 
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Offline Grappa

Re: My Ben10 Solo Trip
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2019, 04:15:14 pm »
Enjoyable read, thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences.
 
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Offline OomD

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Re: My Ben10 Solo Trip
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2019, 04:58:27 pm »
Very lekker RR, Skeltonsc! Looks like you enjoyed your trip thoroughly!  :thumleft:
 
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Offline Oubones

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Re: My Ben10 Solo Trip
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2019, 05:46:32 pm »
I like your style off doing things! :thumleft:
Thank you for sharing and it is still on my list!
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