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Author Topic: Tankwa Trek (16 - 30 Sept 2019): Oh I don't know where I'm going  (Read 4450 times)

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Offline Ri

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Re: Tankwa Trek (16 - 30 Sept 2019): Oh I don't know where I'm going
« Reply #100 on: October 19, 2019, 08:39:55 pm »
Why would I suggest smaller bike? For this kind of trip your bike is just fine and I would never recommend or attempt to do it on something like high strung 450/500, that I like for more technical trips.

And learning to change a tube doesn't require to sacrifice riding or anything. You can do it easily during work week in the evening. And if you fail or get tired of it, it is easy to take to a mechanic to finish off. All I'm saying is being able to fix flat will encourage you to explore even further off the beaten track knowing that should flat happen - as they inevitably do - you will be able to fix it and move on with the trip without too much delay or drama. I'm useless mechanic, but this really doesn't require much of a skill and increases your independence manyfold. But of course it is ultimately your call  :thumleft:

I would love to do more technical rides. Much more fun than some of the gravel highways seen on this trip ::) But my bike setup needs some more thought, and I need more practice and experience, and also learn to change and fix tubes first. I'll do Kaokoland yet, although not necessarily the technical routes you and @Minxy did.
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Offline Ri

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Re: Tankwa Trek (16 - 30 Sept 2019): Oh I don't know where I'm going
« Reply #101 on: October 19, 2019, 08:47:41 pm »
Day 12

Today is a busy day and I'm up and out early. First I pop in at the retirement home to see my mom, then I stroll over to the one coffee shop in town, the Purple Malva, to have lunch and tea with a new friend. I insist on paying, as her husband died recently and the estate isn't finalised yet and she insists on contributing, which I accept.

Then I meet my sister for a family meeting, in part to clear the air and in part to discuss family matters. I regret not organising to stay over on their farm, as I love the place, and she says, what's stopping you? So after visiting my mom for the afternoon, I pack up and head out to the farm, one of the best places on earth.




There are two roads to the farm house. One is the old way which I've always known, with a tricky little switchback covered in humps up a small pass that, no matter how you negotiate it, something will scrape over, then a long stretch covered in bumps, light sand, and shale. The other is the "new" road which is actually the original road, which my bro-in-law recently re-opened for the new wider sedan they bought. Less bumpy, it follows the river and is lower and sandier, and goes between the rocky little hillocks.

I choose to ride the "new" road, standing up on the sandy bends with the sun low on the horizon behind me. To my surprise, I find the one gate on the road open and wonder for a moment whether I should close it, but my bro-in-law doesn't sommer leave gates open, so it must be open for a reason. I carry on, and reach the house in the glorious golden hour.

First thing they want to know is, of course, whether I closed the gate. Apparently there was a WhatsApp in this regard. I really should learn to trust my hunches... Never mind, the road is so awesome I eagerly offer to go back. My niece enthusiastically offers to accompany me on my bro-in-law's little DR200 with friend pillioning. I quickly drag all my stuff off the bike and then don my helmet, jacket and gloves again.

My niece and her trusting friend roar off into the lowering sun, wearing no protective clothing whatsoever, while I follow, looking like a little helmeted alien. The sun glowers through the dust my niece kicks up and the golden haze blinds me. It is a glorious chase, standing hunched over the handlebars, trying to guess whether the approaching bump is friend or angular foe. I become airborne a few times.

We reach the gate, and I tell my niece to turn around and go back, I'll close the gate. Maneuvring to turn my bike around is a little more involved than turning the light little DR200 and when I finally manage, my niece is waiting to close the gate and waves me on home. A chase ensues again to the house and we arrive, exhilarated, for dinner.




A river runs next to it... The willows circle a long, narrow dam next to the road. Apparently a favourite spot to go down on bended knee.




Gate closing mission accomplished





After discussing route options for the next day, I get to bed early and sleep well for a change.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2019, 09:20:09 pm by Ri »
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Offline Xpat

Re: Tankwa Trek (16 - 30 Sept 2019): Oh I don't know where I'm going
« Reply #102 on: October 19, 2019, 08:47:51 pm »
Well, if you want to do more technical rides, then smaller bike is in order.............. :biggrin:

Offline Ri

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Re: Tankwa Trek (16 - 30 Sept 2019): Oh I don't know where I'm going
« Reply #103 on: October 19, 2019, 09:03:04 pm »
Well, if you want to do more technical rides, then smaller bike is in order.............. :biggrin:

Minxy invited me to sit on her 500 and it is surprisingly saggy, bit like the DR650, I managed to touch terra firma on tippy toe :biggrin:  Might not need a big shock adjustment. I've also seen some lovely specimens for sale.

But for now the DR650 will have to do. It is surprisingly capable, and even though a little heavy for Kaokoland (for my size and capabilities) I reckon I'll be able to tackle most other places. Dwerg said my DR650 rode best in the sand in Marienfluss - he doubted anyone could have caught him that day. Yes he rides much better than I do, but knowing the bike is capable gives me confidence.
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Offline Minxy

Re: Tankwa Trek (16 - 30 Sept 2019): Oh I don't know where I'm going
« Reply #104 on: October 19, 2019, 09:27:46 pm »

Some pussy for those of us with feline fetishes :P









KITTIES!!! :love10:

Well, if you want to do more technical rides, then smaller bike is in order.............. :biggrin:

Minxy invited me to sit on her 500 and it is surprisingly saggy, bit like the DR650, I managed to touch terra firma on tippy toe :biggrin:  Might not need a big shock adjustment. I've also seen some lovely specimens for sale.

But for now the DR650 will have to do. It is surprisingly capable, and even though a little heavy for Kaokoland (for my size and capabilities) I reckon I'll be able to tackle most other places. Dwerg said my DR650 rode best in the sand in Marienfluss - he doubted anyone could have caught him that day. Yes he rides much better than I do, but knowing the bike is capable gives me confidence.

Like I said before, I think you'll enjoy the 500 big time for more technical riding, but the DR 650 is a great bike, good all rounder. It looks like you are really enjoying your bike and riding some lekker roads on this trip :)

And as for the puncture business, I agree with Xpat, being able to fix things like a puncture does give you peace of mind. We learned how to do it with some ladies training a few years ago. I literally never had to fix my own puncture before though, as I never ride solo, but it's good to know how to do it, even if you can just give somebody a hand when they help you :) And it really isn't difficult, I'll show you when you get a chance to visit us again :D
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Offline Ri

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Re: Tankwa Trek (16 - 30 Sept 2019): Oh I don't know where I'm going
« Reply #105 on: October 19, 2019, 09:57:14 pm »
Day 13

Today is a day of indulgence, albeit butt-numbing, knee chewing indulgence. Long ago, before I learnt to pick up a motorbike, a friend pillioned me to  Fraserburg, On the way back we rode the Rante road which follows the plateau ridge to Sutherland. Since then I've been very keen to ride that road again. Today is the day.

I also plan to ride Ouberg Pass, a pass I first rode in March 2 years ago and have longed to attempt again. The destination for today is Cederberg Oasis, meaning another looooooong day in the saddle.

I'm awake and packed up fairly early, eager to get going. I say fond farewells to my loved ones. My planning shows that I'll cover about 387km today - not much less than the 405km of yesterday.




Leaving the farm, it's hard to imagine that it's barely 20km outside Fraserburg, it looks and feels so remote.






Jet trails




The trails used to cross right over the farm from south to north, but with the new SKA, the planes are rerouted around it to not interfere with the signals.




I head into town to say good bye to my mom, then turn towards Sutherland. Just beyond the edge of town I take a left onto the Rante Road. Today is a warm day, and it's good to be on the move.










A farmbike greets me along the way






The plateau drops away a bit and more vistas open up



I'm so busy looking around I almost overcook another corner, but by grace manage to save it. Lovely ruins await, and I decide it's time for a comfort and photo break.

Dry riverbed to one side










Fallen down korbeel. Beautiful stonework still visible.





« Last Edit: October 19, 2019, 10:01:33 pm by Ri »
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Offline Ri

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Re: Tankwa Trek (16 - 30 Sept 2019): Oh I don't know where I'm going
« Reply #106 on: October 19, 2019, 10:03:31 pm »
Day 13 (cont'd)

Some curving stone wall kraals built against the rock.








Seems like this area saw a bit of rain










This isn't even the pleatau ridge; that is further to the left.




Still, it feels like one is looking out onto forever. It is surprisingly green here, considering the drought over the Northern Cape.












Time for another comfort break, due to my diligent intake of fluids. Throne with a view.










After a detour of an additional 20km, I join the R356 again and turn towards Sutherland.


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Re: Tankwa Trek (16 - 30 Sept 2019): Oh I don't know where I'm going
« Reply #107 on: October 20, 2019, 05:11:30 am »
Beautiful road. I've never ridden that side of Sutherland. Some day...
 

Offline Ri

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Re: Tankwa Trek (16 - 30 Sept 2019): Oh I don't know where I'm going
« Reply #108 on: October 20, 2019, 08:37:07 am »
Beautiful road. I've never ridden that side of Sutherland. Some day...

It really is. Beats the boring R356 between Fraserburg and Sutherland by a mile! On the R356, the distance between Fraserburg and Sutherland is 100km. Rantepad adds a beautiful meandering 20kms to that distance.
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Offline Monkey#13

Re: Tankwa Trek (16 - 30 Sept 2019): Oh I don't know where I'm going
« Reply #109 on: October 20, 2019, 01:16:42 pm »
What a journey! One can sense how thoroughly you enjoyed it - inspirational! Makes me want to get on the saddle and start riding in a general direction for a couple of days (or weeks) too. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Tankwa Trek (16 - 30 Sept 2019): Oh I don't know where I'm going
« Reply #110 on: October 20, 2019, 02:20:20 pm »
Very nice RR.  :thumleft: :ricky:
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Offline Ri

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Re: Tankwa Trek (16 - 30 Sept 2019): Oh I don't know where I'm going
« Reply #111 on: October 23, 2019, 12:40:08 pm »
Day 13 (cont'd)

From the turn-off onto the R356 towards Sutherland, it is still a long way into the town itself. I keep my eye on the shiny observatory on a far off hilltop, which is surely for me the marker for the town, even though it's more than 10km away.  The road is wide and a bit marbly and rutty due to all the truck traffic, and not much fun. The only traffic I find is a few bakkies heading in the opposite direction. I wave a greeting, as is the custom in the "plattelandse" areas, and people wave back.

"Plattelands", meaning rural, literally translates as "flat lands" which is a bit of a misnomer, considering my current mountainous surrounds. Maybe it refers to the lack of high rises in the rural areas?

Sutherland is a beautiful tiny little town. The most time I've spent here was one night, arriving in the dark at 8 pm and leaving the next morning at abou 8 am. Usually I stop for fuel and then move on again. Today is no different. I note with approval that there is now two fuel stations on the road to Fraserburg, and make sure to fill up my tank.

Then I slowly ride through town, remembering my previous stay with two friends and a banged up knee. I was force fed a few Myprodol and ordered to go lie in a hot bath until I was less cranky, for fear I'd strangle the other friend, indignant Mr Fine-I'll-stay-in-the-guesthouse-but-only-coz-you-INSIST-on-paying. It was pay or murder, and I'm too pretty for jail.

It's not a long ride and soon I'm through town, foot on the rear brake and keen eyes peeled for the sign, and then -- there is it:




The turn-off to untold wonders, a road I would not have considered riding by myself in my wildest dreams even 4 months ago. I maybe should have heeded my erstwhile caution.




I recall slightly more traffic on this road, 2 or 3 vehicles travelling in the opposite direction, but as I travel further it becomes more deserted. I speed along at a confident 70kph, sitting and 'gooing' my hips, trying to steer Panther with my seat... a bit difficult when you sit in almost on the tank, but I manage slightly. I consider modifications I can make to improve the ergonomics of my bike, but there's not much I can do. I need a SD bike built on a scale of 0.9 to 1. How the tiny Taye Perry does it, racing those tall bikes, boggles the mind - her balance must be superb! :o

The vistas beguile the mind into a dream state, but the swoops and curves blip the adrenaline throttle unexpectedly.




A blind rise flickers warning lights and I slam on all the breaks and come to a sliding stop: I was facing the opposite direction, yet I remember this place.










I take the opportunity for a comfort break and a look around. The views are magnificent.






Best bike in the my world :love10:




The road falls away rather steeper than I remember, but it is as rocky and eroded as I recall. I metaphorically gird up my loins, thankful that my bladder is empty as there is a suspicious pressure in that vicinity.

Quickly I mount the Panther and push off before my body can realise my courage decided not to join us. I slowly wiggle around the first few hairpins and hurtle downwards in inexorable slow motion, uncomfortably fast but terrified to touch the clutch and lose engine braking.  The road evens out slightly and I come to a shaky halt. A quick kick confirms my suspicion: I'm in second gear.

I find myself in the wrong gear more often than I'd like to admit. Once on the move, it takes a firm kick to get Panther into first gear and I don't always manage. Added to this, the torquey Panther is waaaaayyyyyy too comfortable pulling away in second and even third gear, especially downhill; I often don't realise I'm not in first gear - as happened in this case - until I gear up.




Up ahead, the road falls away again.




Crawling the next even steeper downhill section, my body catches on that my courage went AWOL, and throws a wobbly. I start shaking. Panther promptly slides to the ground as I make an undignified dismount.




I'm cross with myself, knowing it will take time to untie and then retie the pannier bag after lifting up the bike, and I'm barely halfway for the day. But the bike is lying at a steep angle. Hmmmmm, maybe.... Lord, I pray, please, I don't have time for the pannier bag. Please give me strength to lift the bike... I hunker down with my bike to Panther, grab the handlebar and the toolbag, and start to strain upwards. Panther begins to roll downhill and I lower him quickly, turning the air blue explosively before casting a repentant eye to the heavens.

I can't reach the gear leaver to check because Panther is lying on his left side, but there's no way he could be in gear, I self-talk. I bend down to my task again, and this time shift with Panther as he rolls forward another inch, then stands his ground as I lift him up slowly. I quake with adrenaline and exertion while Panther leans against my hip, singing jubilant praises to the heavens. Yaaay!  Then I manage to kick out the sidestand and take a breather.

The gravel road condition is always best where you take the photo... ::)




I nervily get going again and ride the rest of the pass without incident. The road evens out as much as is possible in such a mountainous area and I can pretend that I'm racing the Tankwa Rally. 


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Re: Tankwa Trek (16 - 30 Sept 2019): Oh I don't know where I'm going
« Reply #112 on: October 23, 2019, 02:47:37 pm »
 learning to change or patch a tube

While you cannot do it yet you might want to fill your tubes with some slime or Gatvol. That way you can at least pump it up if it is a small hole like wire or nail and reach the next town. Allways have a spare tube or two with you so that whoever fixes it have tubes because they are scarce in one horse towns.

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Offline Ri

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Re: Tankwa Trek (16 - 30 Sept 2019): Oh I don't know where I'm going
« Reply #113 on: October 23, 2019, 04:54:08 pm »
learning to change or patch a tube

While you cannot do it yet you might want to fill your tubes with some slime or Gatvol. That way you can at least pump it up if it is a small hole like wire or nail and reach the next town. Allways have a spare tube or two with you so that whoever fixes it have tubes because they are scarce in one horse towns.

Lekke RR. :thumleft:

Thanks Chris ;D

I've thought about slime or such, and will investigate. It's a good idea, because I do have a compressor. And I'm really NAFI about learning to change a tube...
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Offline Xpat

Re: Tankwa Trek (16 - 30 Sept 2019): Oh I don't know where I'm going
« Reply #114 on: October 23, 2019, 04:59:11 pm »
learning to change or patch a tube

While you cannot do it yet you might want to fill your tubes with some slime or Gatvol. That way you can at least pump it up if it is a small hole like wire or nail and reach the next town. Allways have a spare tube or two with you so that whoever fixes it have tubes because they are scarce in one horse towns.

Lekke RR. :thumleft:

Thanks Chris ;D

I've thought about slime or such, and will investigate. It's a good idea, because I do have a compressor. And I'm really NAFI about learning to change a tube...

Except - if you do that, you cannot patch that tube anymore. So if the slime doesn't work (which it most time doesn't) that tube is a throwaway. So just make sure that once you have spare tube in you don't get another puncture or that you know how to patch it. Whatever you do - do not put slime into your last tube.

Offline Ri

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Re: Tankwa Trek (16 - 30 Sept 2019): Oh I don't know where I'm going
« Reply #115 on: October 23, 2019, 05:48:13 pm »
Day 13 (cont'd)

Seeing the sign for the Tankwa Karoo National Park, I'm very tempted to deviate from my plan and ride through the park. Except I would miss Gannaga Pass because it's further up, and I would face 20km or so from the park gate to Skittery and Katbakkies Pass on the tyre- and soul-destroying R355.




I pass the unassuming sign for the Apollo de Karoo and consider taking a look, but it is 10km from the turn-off to the camp and back. I decide to push on.






I speed onwards until suddenly I hit ... TAR!  WHUT?!! >:(

I somehow missed a split in the road - I'm pretty sure I know where - and instead of reaching the R356 towards Ceres, I manage to connect with the R354 tar road from Sutherland through Verlatenkloof towards Matjiesfontein. :xxbah:






Off course (female navigation - suspect, to say the least... ::) )




It's only a few kilometres of tar to the turn-off onto the gravel R356, but it's a few kilometres of tar I could have avoided >:(











Where I *should* have joined the R356




With the unexpected detour, the route for today becomes about 405 km. I turn Panther's nose towards Ceres and wrench open the throttle. It occurs to me that, having ridden the R356 from Karoopoort to the turn-off towards Bike X Cape, and now heading the same way from Sutherland side, I will in effect have ridden the R356 from end to end.

I'd ridden the R356 from end to end once before, from the Ceres side, last year on my way to Loxton for the Kaokoland tour. That did not go so well for me, and I guess that's why I remember so little of the road I'm now riding in reverse. It feels endless, and the beautiful mountains I ride over are completely new to me. Maybe last year I had bumped my head harder than I thought? It is a thrill to explore this "new" route.




In the distance, that little horn or knob sticking out in from the mountain to the left, Hangklip (why are they all called "Hangklip"?) is etched in my mind as the "funny" rock extrusion that caught my eye before my fall in 2018, and now serves to show that the turn-off towards Tankwa Padstal and the R355 is at last approaching. It must be pretty close to the middle of the R356.




Soon enough I reach the turn-off and head towards Tankwa Padstal, where I stop and ask whether they stock energy drinks. They have an energy drink for me, but the wifi, and therefore all electronic payment devices, are on the frits. They can't use my card for  payment, and I don't have enough cash. The new lady behind the bar very graciously tells me not to worry about it. I can pay another time. I will be sure to stop there again, and in the meantime they have my everlasting gratitude.





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Offline Ri

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Re: Tankwa Trek (16 - 30 Sept 2019): Oh I don't know where I'm going
« Reply #116 on: October 23, 2019, 06:15:12 pm »
learning to change or patch a tube

While you cannot do it yet you might want to fill your tubes with some slime or Gatvol. That way you can at least pump it up if it is a small hole like wire or nail and reach the next town. Allways have a spare tube or two with you so that whoever fixes it have tubes because they are scarce in one horse towns.

Lekke RR. :thumleft:

Thanks Chris ;D

I've thought about slime or such, and will investigate. It's a good idea, because I do have a compressor. And I'm really NAFI about learning to change a tube...

Except - if you do that, you cannot patch that tube anymore. So if the slime doesn't work (which it most time doesn't) that tube is a throwaway. So just make sure that once you have spare tube in you don't get another puncture or that you know how to patch it. Whatever you do - do not put slime into your last tube.

Yes, this is what I've heard too. I'll go read up some more. I usually carry spare tubes for both tyres, but didn't really have an opportunity to ask Siya to patch up my old tube and give it back to me.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2019, 06:59:21 pm by Ri »
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Re: Tankwa Trek (16 - 30 Sept 2019): Oh I don't know where I'm going
« Reply #117 on: October 25, 2019, 11:45:25 pm »
Day 13 (cont'd)

From Tankwa Padstal it's a sho't right to Skittery and Katbakkies Passes - which is, as always, too short - and too soon I reach the t-junction where I take another right towards Cederberg Oasis.




A little piece of Eden virtually on my doorstep: only a few hours' riding away on some awesome gravel roads, as easy or as exciting a ride as I'd like to make it. (I have some plans to switch it up a bit ;D)




I arrive at Cederberg Oasis to luxury accommodation - a double bed! And with the camp almost empty, I have the ablutions to myself as well. Luxury indeed! It is a hot and muggy day, and my riding kit is soon drying on the tent lines. I really should investigate some lighter MX or enduro-style gear.






I unbend and unpack and then go off in search of Gerrit and some refreshment, not necessarily in that order. I find Gerrit chatting to a neighbour who brought his young family on an outing. I passed some of their farms on the way, and the neighbour very neighbourly offers to share his gate codes with me if I want to ride through his property. Hmmm, I wonder if he'll remember the offer when he's sobered up a bit? Sounds like it could be a fun ride.

Gerrit is looking great after his hip replacement operation earlier the year. He is walking without walking aids, and invites me to go quad riding with him the next day. I'm not a quad fan but a ride is a ride, and he's keen to show me some areas where I'll not be able to go.




I go to sleep with the wind grabbing at the tent flaps. During the night, I hear some soft rainfall. What a glorious sound! Nothing better than lying in the tent that's not leaky, listening to the rain pattering on it.
Tales of the Purple Turtles: Ride Reports
PROJECT SAS WILDEHOND III Contributions: R Snyman Capitec Savings Account 1545860511 Balance (2017/12/07): R3,190.23 - R1,600 for steel purchase
 

Offline Ri

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Re: Tankwa Trek (16 - 30 Sept 2019): Oh I don't know where I'm going
« Reply #118 on: October 26, 2019, 03:01:10 am »
Day 14

I lie in bed for a long time. My oats-and-berries/raisins breakfast is soaking, and I know the coffee is brewing in the restaurant. When I finally rise and try to shine, it is late morning. The clouds are threatening more rain, and people are fleeing Oasis like rats from a sinking ship. I have the going-home-blues, or, more accurately, the I-don't-wanna-go-home-blues. I feel quite melancholy at the thought of saddling up Panther tomorrow for the last time and wander around, moping.

I notice some new arrivals, and perk up slightly:




I go in search of the owners of these sexy bikes and find them waiting for lunch. I hear their foreign conversation and leave them in peace, but while I stand outside taking photo's, the lady also walks out, and we start chatting. Their lunch arrives and she invites me to join them. They are Martin (Tiny) and Xenia, aka @XT Adventures, a young couple from Switzerland who are riding around the world on their Yamaha XT660Z and R respectively. They thought of staying in the Cederberg, but need work done on their rims. They are riding to Cape Town today, and will probably stay there for a week.

We talk about bikes, their X and R in particular, their adventures in SA, their adventures elsewhere, and other things, quickly frisking any topic that accidentally strays near the conversation. While we chat, a few big raindrops clatter on the tin roof. Martin and Xenia finish their lunch and hurriedly kit up - they are going to make a dash for Cape Town before the rain comes down in force. Their kit is waterproof, and it seems like the weather is travelling in the opposite direction to where they are riding. I later see their photo's on Facebook showing so much hail it looks like snow. They were caught in a proper hail storm and had to wait it out at Mount Ceder.

Very interesting and friendly couple.






They give me one of their XT Adventures stickers, and I stick it on the fridge door at Oasis for them and for Gerrit.




Apparently Tinu also rides on a flat tyre until he can find someone to fix it for him. I don't feel so bad about not knowing how to change a tube anymore :biggrin:  But then, they also once fixed a tyre so threadbare it was splitting, by heating a needle and "sewing" up the tyre (sorry, can't remember with what, steel thread? Nylon?). Seems the solution gave the tyre the ghost of a new lease on life.




Tales of the Purple Turtles: Ride Reports
PROJECT SAS WILDEHOND III Contributions: R Snyman Capitec Savings Account 1545860511 Balance (2017/12/07): R3,190.23 - R1,600 for steel purchase
 

Offline Ri

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Re: Tankwa Trek (16 - 30 Sept 2019): Oh I don't know where I'm going
« Reply #119 on: October 26, 2019, 03:01:50 am »
Day 14 (cont'd)

Soon after they leave, the rain starts to bucket down, and then hail starts to bounce around.  We simply stand there taking in this wonderful sight.

I mention to Gerrit that this is perfect weather for pancakes. He agrees and enquires hopefully, but his womenfolk are unwilling/unable to make any. I am stunned to hear my voice offering to bake the pancakes. I am even more stunned at my confidence. Memory threads an ancient, stuttering reel: the juggling of pans of different sizes and materials to turn rapidly blackening pancakes; the old stove whose hot plates, no matter how carefully tuned, never quite synchronised. The added urgency of a dislodged "vatlappie" around a hot handle. The fight to claim a "flop".

I can bake pancakes! And very well too, thanks to exhausted parents willing to eat anything for dinner they didn't have to make, and resourceful children who grabbed a cinnamon sugar sprinkled opportunity when it came along.






When the hail eventually stops, we hear Jacques' excited voice, and rush through the rain to view an amazing sight, incidentally right behind my tent.










Gerrit invites me along in the bakkie to go look whether there is any damage to the newly repaired road. We first head to the bottom, and note that quite a bit of the road is washed a way. Gerrit navigates carefully, but suddenly the front right wheel sinks into a deep hole and the bakkie lurches violently. My forehead painfully rearranges the rear view mirror's angle, but no visible damage is done to mirror or head, and we carry on slowly. The streams of water is beautiful to see. We turn around and go look at the stream crossing the road just above Oasis. It did a bit more damage.

While we stand watching the flood of water, people arrive on the other side. They'd left Oasis earlier, but turned back for some reason. They then left for Clanwilliam, and we didn't see them again.










I am still sending people photo's of the floods when Gerrit tells me they found two packets of pancake mix, and I remember my earlier offer. I dutifully head to the kitchen, where Gerrit's daughter is proudly whisking the thick mixture.  I look at the single smallish pan, thinking sadly of my three-pan glory days. Ah well. I ask for a jug of water, and thin the mixture to the consistency of butternut soup. I ready the pan with a bit of oil, and apply myself to this self-appointed task.

Eventually Gerrit calls his daughter. He wants her to join him in a ride up river on the quads. I glance after them longingly, then focus on the business of baking thin, even brown pancakes, and mourning the end of my vacation.






It feels like an eternity until Gerrit returns at dusk. They rode about 10kms along the road before turning back, and the condition doesn't look good. He is astonished to find me still baking pancakes. It is slow going with the single pan, and he feels bad for not giving me more pans. I shrug my shoulders, throwing the last mix into the pan. It's done now.

By now I've lost my appetite for pancakes, and only eat two. Gerrit and Jacques polish off the lion's share, and Gerrit shares a story of his mother getting caught in a similar situation, working all day to bake for all the guests something she had made one or two friends as a favour. The pancakes are a real treat though, and he considers adding it to the menu.

Gerrit and I chat a while and Chantelle walks in. Gerrit tells her about the pancakes and she quickly disappears into the kitchen for "one or two". When she returns, she wears a Cheshire cat grin: she'd finished off all the pancakes. I'm glad that she enjoyed them, and that I could make a small contribution.

I head out to my tent, feeling a bit better. Tomorrow might be the last day of my holiday, but I still have the ride home to look forward to, and it doesn't have to be the shortest route :ricky:
Tales of the Purple Turtles: Ride Reports
PROJECT SAS WILDEHOND III Contributions: R Snyman Capitec Savings Account 1545860511 Balance (2017/12/07): R3,190.23 - R1,600 for steel purchase