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Author Topic: Drakensberg Meander  (Read 1029 times)

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Offline JonW

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Re: Drakensberg Meander
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2019, 03:13:30 pm »
After our refreshments we left the shebeen and headed north towards our accommodation for the night, Thamatu Lodge in Thamatu Village which is about 10km north of Sehlabathebe.

The Lodge, if you can call it that, was built by a friend of mine here in Pmb and is run and used mainly by khotso Horse Trails as an overnight stop for their horse tours into Lesotho. The Lodge is pretty basic and very rural, but it is safe and clean and very well equipped for self-catering guests.

Phone Khotso Lodge in Underberg to make reservations.

We had a good night at the Lodge, helped along by a few beers that we brought with from the shebeen, and went to bed pretty early, all of us a bit tired from the sun and the riding.
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Offline JonW

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Re: Drakensberg Meander
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2019, 03:46:00 pm »
The next morning I was up with the sunrise and raring to go.

After a few cups of coffee and some instant oats for breakfast we were out the gate of the "Lodge" and heading north into the mountains along cattle tracks and paths.

The riding was absolutely awesome, wide valleys surrounded by majestic mountains under a clear blue sky.

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Offline JonW

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Re: Drakensberg Meander
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2019, 03:53:51 pm »
Our first destination was what looked like a viewsite we had seen on GE

What a find, it was magnificent.

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Offline JonW

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Re: Drakensberg Meander
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2019, 03:57:50 pm »
Some more views
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Offline JonW

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Re: Drakensberg Meander
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2019, 04:04:55 pm »
Over-dosing on the scenery

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Offline JonW

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Re: Drakensberg Meander
« Reply #25 on: November 05, 2019, 04:45:40 pm »
We then carefully turned around our bikes, aware of the steep 100m plus drop-offs on either side and rode back of the little peak the way we had come.

We didn't really have a set destination from here, just rode where it looked most interesting.

Unfortunately then disaster struck whilst we were least expecting it. While I was riding I noticed that my GPS bracket was loose on the handlebar and my GPS was rattling quite badly, about to fall right off. We stopped and I had to ask the others for an allen key to tighten the bracket. I had left my tools behind to save a bit of weight. Luckily Hihgsider had the right size allen key so I could tighten up the bracket.

Disaster averted.

This was in fact the only mechanical issue that any of the 5 bikes had on the whole trip, but with our combined mechanical and problem solving skills we were able to overcome it.

After a while we stopped for something to eat and Dawie and Rob went off to explore the path leading up to a waterfall that Highsider had passed on a previous trip.

Before long they were back and we set off on a different route back towards Sehlabathebe and the Chinese shop as we were running low on fuel. Except for rob that is, his 500 EXC seems to sip fuel compared to my bike, and with that 20l tank he can go forever.


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Offline JonW

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Re: Drakensberg Meander
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2019, 05:07:21 pm »
After fuelling up at the Chinese shop we decided to go back to the top of Thule Pass using a route that Iknew that went round the back of Sehlabathebe that we had not been on yet this trip.

At the top of Thule Pass we had to decide whether we should go straight back down the pass and head back to the cars at the hotel, which would mean we could all head straight home, or should we go back into the park and find a possible pass down into Kzn that none of us had seen before except on Google Earth. If we went for this option we would get back to the hotel late in the evening and have to stay another night and head for home the next morning. Sanity prevailed and we decided to head straight down the pass.

It was definitely the right decision, The track we were thinking of doing might not have been rideable or had a fence or any other obstruction, which would have meant doubling all the way back to where we were and probably finishing in the dark.

Going down Thule pass was awesome, we all agreed we enjoyed it far more than the ride up. It was pretty gnarly and definitely no walk in the park.

The first thing we did back at the hotel was hit the pub and tuck into a few ice cold beers.

We then loaded the bikes, bid farewell to Dawie and Shaun who had to drive all the way back to Pretoria, and made our way back to Pmb, where we arrived late Sunday afternoon.

Awesome weekend and great ride.

Would miss watching the World Cup final any day for this kind of riding  :ricky: :ricky:

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Offline BLK

Re: Drakensberg Meander
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2019, 05:07:52 pm »
Brilliant looking trip backed by good weather.Out of interest do you use Moose's.Thks.
 
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Online Ganjora

Re: Drakensberg Meander
« Reply #28 on: November 05, 2019, 05:13:43 pm »
Wow.
 
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Offline JonW

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Re: Drakensberg Meander
« Reply #29 on: November 05, 2019, 05:15:20 pm »
Brilliant looking trip backed by good weather.Out of interest do you use Moose's.Thks.

Thanks  :thumleft:

Of the 5 of us only BeeBob on his 500EXC has mooses.

The rest of us old fashioned tubes.

No punctures at all this trip
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Offline Kortbroek

Re: Drakensberg Meander
« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2019, 06:45:21 pm »
This is stunning man. Great stuff.

It's RR's like these that are planting the seed that I need to swop my XR for a road legal 450 or 500  :patch:
- you reckon that thing will pop a wheelie? We're about to find out, SLAP that pig!
 
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Offline Sheepman

Re: Drakensberg Meander
« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2019, 08:31:22 pm »
Great RR.....yet again.Thanks for sharing  :thumleft:
 
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Offline Xpat

Re: Drakensberg Meander
« Reply #32 on: November 05, 2019, 08:34:22 pm »
Lovely riding!  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

@Highsider: I see you used smaller tank than on our trip (good decision for Lesotho - I also swap tanks for Lesotho. Did you change you sprockets and if so, how did you like it?

Offline JonW

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Re: Drakensberg Meander
« Reply #33 on: November 05, 2019, 08:45:54 pm »
This is stunning man. Great stuff.

It's RR's like these that are planting the seed that I need to swop my XR for a road legal 450 or 500  :patch:

As you well know, I truly loved my XRR and was desperately sorry to sell it.

Now I am really happy with the 520 and I doubt I would ever go back to an XR.

I do think though that I would be even happier with a new 500  :biggrin:
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Offline Xpat

Re: Drakensberg Meander
« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2019, 08:51:35 pm »
This is stunning man. Great stuff.

It's RR's like these that are planting the seed that I need to swop my XR for a road legal 450 or 500  :patch:

As you well know, I truly loved my XRR and was desperately sorry to sell it.

Now I am really happy with the 520 and I doubt I would ever go back to an XR.

I do think though that I would be even happier with a new 500  :biggrin:

No need for a new one. They have been around for a while with minimum changes (I think since 2012), I'm sure you should be able to find nice second hand one.

And yes, those injected engines are very frugal all things considered. I remember riding with Losper in Lesotho on one of his first outings on 500 - he had standard tank and coming off 300 was constantly worried about petrol, and yet always amazed how much petrol he had left at the end of each day. That is a good thing in Lesotho, where you may need to take long detours if the track you are on turns too gnarly.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2019, 08:53:48 pm by Xpat »
 

Offline exkdx

Re: Drakensberg Meander
« Reply #35 on: November 05, 2019, 09:14:48 pm »
Thanks for sharing this stunning ride :biggrin:
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Offline Highsider

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Re: Drakensberg Meander
« Reply #36 on: November 06, 2019, 12:58:02 am »
Lovely riding!  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

@Highsider: I see you used smaller tank than on our trip (good decision for Lesotho - I also swap tanks for Lesotho. Did you change you sprockets and if so, how did you like it?
@Xpat itís the same tank, the Clarke.  Maybe it looks smaller thanks to the riders bulk?  With its 3 gallon capacity itís perfect for Lesotho.
Sprocket however is a 52 and I havenít looked back.  I was in 2nd gear quite a bit and used 1st where necessary.  I had tubes in the new-ish CO2 rear which was fine.  We didnít do any of the really off-camber stuff.
My biggest worry on this ride was to look after my newly acquired left knee joint, and am happy to report that apart from being riding-unfit (5 months out of saddle) the new knee joint was pain free and confidence inspiring.
I never even popped any Myprodol which I used to do as a matter of habit every (riding) morning as a preventative measure.
My Myprodol was instead given to Rob who, in an attempt to ride like Toby Price, was riding like a pro with an injured right wrist.


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Re: Drakensberg Meander
« Reply #37 on: November 06, 2019, 07:36:17 am »
Great ride report Jon. The weekend was amazing. Riding with like minded bikers all with ideal bikes and equipment for the trip. The weather played ball as did the Boks. Kevin played good music on his cellphone in the evening while Jon strutted around in his Nirvana T-shirt.
Nirvana summed up the Lesotho weekend perfectly, :nirvana[ nir-vah-nuh, -van-uh, ner- ] "def3 - a place or state characterized by freedom from or oblivion to pain, worry, and the external world."
We are so blessed to be able to escape the rat race and experience rides like this in our backyard.
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Offline ETS

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Re: Drakensberg Meander
« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2019, 08:57:50 am »
Jooooo looks so good! Thanks for sharing!!
If i had to explain you would not understand anyway......
 

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Re: Drakensberg Meander
« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2019, 10:07:34 am »
Thanks Jon for another awesome ride. It's always great riding with capable riders who are likeminded in interests and spirit. Let us know when we're ready for the traverse - we'll be there in a flash.

Here are a couple of my pics from the weekend.
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