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Offline Andyg

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Hillcrest/Bhamshela/Tugela Mouth
« on: January 23, 2020, 05:52:32 pm »
I will not try emulate the other awesome ride reports we find here. Just report on our trip. First time I'm doing a report on here so will copy and paste from KLR site

And so it came to pass we were ready for our trip. Friday morning dawned and arrangements made to meet with Simon at the Engen Garage in Waterfall early to set off. Patrick and Brett would slab after work on Friday and meet us at Tugela Mouth.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 06:12:16 pm by Andyg »
 
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Offline Andyg

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Re: Hillcrest/Bhamshela/Tugela Mouth
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2020, 06:17:17 pm »
Set off again and hit the dirt. Rough and bumpy in places but enjoyable. Simon is turning 70 this year and is a bike fanatic. Owns 7. Did about 80km of dirt and stopped in the shade to/rest and have some liquid :laughing4:
« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 08:28:02 pm by Andyg »
 

Offline eberhard

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Re: Hillcrest/Bhamshela/Tugela Mouth
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2020, 07:48:59 pm »
You are doing great!! Love the pitchas.  :thumleft: :thumleft:
Only one problem with your first report .  and stopped in the shade to ... to do what?   :drif:
You are keeping us in suspense.
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Offline JonW

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Re: Hillcrest/Bhamshela/Tugela Mouth
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2020, 08:09:08 pm »
Good start Andyg............. :thumleft:
How can I be lost if I've got nowhere to go?
 

Offline Andyg

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Re: Hillcrest/Bhamshela/Tugela Mouth
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2020, 08:33:26 pm »
Met a friendly local who confirmed we were on track
 
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Offline Andyg

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Re: Hillcrest/Bhamshela/Tugela Mouth
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2020, 08:37:24 pm »
Hit the dirt again and after about 30 kms hit a nasty section with off camber corner sections and really slippery surface. Nearly bought some land twice. 20 kms on lost signal and track was not showing. Got to a 3 way split and not sure which way to go. Took the path which seemed to be in the right direction and saw a bakkie under a tree with two gents standing next to it. Stopped and asked the kehla if we were on the right track to Bhamshela.
He confirmed that we were and must carry on for another 20kms until we hit a tar road then turn left. He warned us to beware of what I thought he said corrugations at the top of the mountain. What he actually said was congregation. We crested the top and saw an amazing sight. There were thousands and thousands of Shembe followers all who had erected makeshift shelters. We had arrived in the middle of their annual pilgrimage to their holy mountain. I estimated at least 50 thousand members. We puttered along slowly along the top of the mountain which was dead flat. I really wanted to stop and take some pics but was worried about causing offence so sorry nothing to show. Pic of the mountain sign was taken at the bottom of the holy mountain where we reached tar

« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 08:39:28 pm by Andyg »
 
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Offline Andyg

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Re: Hillcrest/Bhamshela/Tugela Mouth
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2020, 08:43:02 pm »
Headed left to Bhamshela and found a new Total Garage and stopped. Our camelbaks liquids were now warm and not lekker. Bought some juices and a chocolate and rested for 15 min. It was now cooking.
 
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Offline Andyg

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Re: Hillcrest/Bhamshela/Tugela Mouth
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2020, 08:46:16 pm »
Set out again for Kwadakuza where Simon indicated he was hungry and I realized that I was as well. Found a Total Garage with a Steers. Not my favourite but it was food.

 
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Offline Andyg

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Re: Hillcrest/Bhamshela/Tugela Mouth
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2020, 08:48:20 pm »
Last leg now to Tugela Mouth. Did the last bit of gravel for 10km and then tar for the final 30kms
Arrived and booked in. Immediately requested 2 ice cold quarts from the pub. Simon only drinks Brandy and ginger ale or stoney ginger beer. They had Brandy but none of the mixers. He would have to wait till we headed to Mandini for provisions.
I need to mention that Simon wears hearing aids but can't when riding so every stop communication is by gestures :laugh:
It takes about 20 minutes to unpack them and insert batteries etc. When we arrived at Kwadakuza he dropped a battery and I spent 5 minutes on the floor looking for this thing which is about the size of a sperm cell

Simon mentioned that his hip was fairly painful. Same gent who dropped his KTM 950 on a day ride with us about 3 weeks ago
I valiantly :lol: :laugh: offered to ride the 15kms to Mandini for our provisions.
My top bag today was a cooler bag which I strapped on and fitted everthing. It was now going to be used for our food and dops.
Arrived at the Mandini Spar and parked the bike under a little tree which offered the only shade. A Hilux with GP plates pulled up next to me and the gent jumped out. He asked if was cooking in the heat and I affirmed this. He told me it was 43 deg. It was now 14h00. I ran(walked quickly) for the air conditioned comfort of the Spar.
Managed to fit all our groceries and drinks into my cooler bag and rokstrapped it down. What a good buy those were.
Arrived back at camp and Simon's face lit up as I offloaded the Brandy and ginger ale
« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 08:51:32 pm by Andyg »
 
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Offline Andyg

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Re: Hillcrest/Bhamshela/Tugela Mouth
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2020, 08:54:41 pm »
Simon and I now sat and awaited the arrival of Patrick and Brett.
After quite a few Brandy and ginger ales and black labels later we receive a message they have stopped for a quick drink.

Middle of a sports field in Kwadakuza.
They finally arrive at 18h30 after having missed the turn off to Tugela Mouth and continuing to Gingindlovu. Read the whatsapp directions chop :laugh:
They arrive hot and bothered
Supply drinks to placate the emotions
« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 08:59:50 pm by Andyg »
 
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Offline Andyg

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Re: Hillcrest/Bhamshela/Tugela Mouth
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2020, 09:04:50 pm »
Because I'm a nice guy I have bought the meat and rolls and also the ingredients for a nice green salad. Hearty meal is had by all along with copious amounts of cold beverages. Also the Captain had found me
We noticed that Brett had disappeared and we found him face planting his mattress
 
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Offline Andyg

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Re: Hillcrest/Bhamshela/Tugela Mouth
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2020, 09:07:46 pm »
Eventually we headed for bed. Still horribly hot and humid.
A really kak nights sleep.
Brett had mentioned he needed to leave the next day but another mate was arriving in the morning on his Harley. :sick:
I was up and about at 04h00 and had a cappuccino waiting for the others to surface. When they did Julian arrived at 06h00 on the Harley. We graciously gave him a cappuccino as well.
I had mapped out a gravel route for the Saturday ride and Patrick told Julian to take his KLR and join us for a bit of off road. What a nice offer and Julian accepted
We left the camp and after 1/5 a km hit the gravel track. About a minute into the ride that I was leading we hit really thick sand. I mean really thick. I was doing about 80ks and just stood and leant back and blasted it. Got through the first patch and stopped and looked back. I saw bikes fishtailing and legs akimbo but fortunately nobody went down. This repeated itself 3 times and we eventually hit hard gravel again. Simon pulls up next to me and shouts(not wearing hearing aids) NO MORE SAND ANDY! Please understand I had mapped this off Google Maps and I had no idea of the sand involved. WTF. I gave him a thumbs up and we carried on. After about 2kms I notice that my front left spot light is hanging by the wire. Stop and clip it off and throw it in my top box. Head off again and fortunately for Simon (and us) no more of the really deep sand. Arrive at the tar road and go to a total garage to check Tyre pressures and put fuel
We then headed through Mandini to show the guys the single bridge over the Tugela River. Just as we approached the bridge and over some horrible speed humps I felt something hit me in my back and the next second I see my top box sliding down the road. By some miracle it did not burst open and I retrieved it and clipped it back on and secured it with a bungee. Took some pics at the bridge
« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 09:12:11 pm by Andyg »
 
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Offline Andyg

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Re: Hillcrest/Bhamshela/Tugela Mouth
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2020, 09:15:43 pm »
Now routed back for Tugela Mouth with a detour to Fort Tenedos. Old Anglo/Zulu war site.
Julian looking for Zulu warriors
 
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Offline Andyg

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Re: Hillcrest/Bhamshela/Tugela Mouth
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2020, 09:21:10 pm »
After our morning ride the worms are hungry and 1 slice of toast each does not constitute a meal.
I remember from a previous trip that there is a curry bar in the Pink Panther Centre(sounds gay I know) in Mandini that does an  awesome mutton bunny. We jump onto our bikes and the 5 of us head for Mandini. (Reminds me of the movie Wild Hogs) Reach the venue and park outside the pink building.
We enter and it feels like we have stepped onto the movie set of a redneck movie. The locals swivel and look at us and their faces light up when they see visitors from beyond the border of the Tugela. We are treated like celebrities(kid you not) We grab a seat and when the owner notices that we are feeling warm he promptly moves a local couple from their table and puts us there as it is the only table that has a fan trained on it. So this is the lifestyle of the rich and famous. I enquire about the curry bar and we are told that they are no longer there. However the one gent who has a small snack bar there says that he can whip us up a curry within 40min in his pressure cooker. The rival food stall owner(Rudi) then approaches and offers Dagwood Burgers on special at R30 including chips. We take up his offer as the curry will take too long and we are hungry. Undeterred the other gent(Billy Bob or Bo Junior lol) carries on with his curry. Rudi then arrives with our burgers. He unfortunately had no rolls so stuck them in bread. The chips looked like they had been made for a dwarf. The other guys Patties were not too small but mine was about the size of an Oreo biscuit. All this time Rudi hovers over us asking/telling us how tasty the food is. He whips our plates away and Billy Bob arrives and informs us that our bunnies are ready. Aghast we look at him. He has just seen us eat the finest Dagwoods in the country and is now bringing us bunnies. Julian sees the look of dismay on his face and tells him that we will take the bunnies with us. 2 have already been placed in front of us so he rushes off to pack the other 3 as takeaways. His dignity is restored. We now look at the food. He has indeed managed to cook it in 45min but it certainly ain't a curry that I'm used to. He proudly tells us that just last month a group of Indians had stopped by for a meal and had ordered his curry and that they had given him a rating of 11 out of 10. The roadkill is tender I will grant him that. The takeaways arrive and we fall over each other's feet in our haste to leave. Rudi slips me a card and whispers that next time I must phone ahead and place an order and it will be ready by the time we get there. He tells me his curry is far superior than Billy Bob's. We roar off and look back at the locals waving us goodbye with tears in their eyes.
It was an unusual and unnerving experience I can assure you. We rode out of town with relief and at the Tugela River Brett continued towards Durban and we headed for our cabin.

 
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Offline Andyg

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Re: Hillcrest/Bhamshela/Tugela Mouth
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2020, 09:24:34 pm »
The rest of the day was spent lazing around and swimming and drinking. We had forgotten to buy meat etc whilst in Mandini and no one was in the mood to ride the 15km to go and purchase.
Simon and Julian remembered that there were still 3 takeaway Bunnies and elected to have those. Patrick and I ordered fish and chips from the venue which was delicious. Tired from the previous night and mornings ride we elected to head for bed. By this time it had started raining which did not bode well for our ride back in the morning. It rained lightly for most of the night as I had to make my way to the ablution block several times due to a bout of the Calcutta Splutter. Methinks it was Billy Bob's revenge for hurting his feelings.
Awoke in the morning and had a quick coffee and slice of toast. Simon had already started packing an hour earlier as he takes a while. He still had a hungry gleam in his eye and asked where we were stopping for breakfast. We had been told that Tinley Manor had a nice little shop so we set out for there. Rain had eased off and it was pleasant riding. We stuck to tar as Simon had requested no more dirt as his hip was really painful and he did not want to risk a fall. We have agreed in our little riding group that no one is forced to do anything and that we stick together as a group. We arrived at Tinley Manor and found 2 shops but both were closed. I don't think anything opens there on a Sunday even parachutes. Julian said he knew of a nice spot in Ballito so we routed for there. We hit a coupe of patches of rain and got to Julian's spot. The Harley club had arrived before us and we had to wait for a table. Julian ordered a croissant and I thought that was going to be tiny. We all ordered various meals and waited. Food arrived and Julian's croissant was huge stuffed with fillings. The others food was also of similar proportions. Mine arrived and I've seen bigger helpings off a kiddies menu. My poached egg was the same size as the solitary cherry tomato on my plate. Oh well I decided it was not my weekend for food and left it at that. Carried on with the last leg for home and Julian left us at the Cornubia off ramp as he stays in Umhlanga. We headed up through Nandi Dive into the Molweni Valley which comes out near where Patrick and I live. Very very scenic so we stopped a couple of times for pics and for Simon to vape.
 
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Offline Andyg

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Re: Hillcrest/Bhamshela/Tugela Mouth
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2020, 09:34:18 pm »
Couple more
 
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Offline Andyg

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Re: Hillcrest/Bhamshela/Tugela Mouth
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2020, 09:36:39 pm »
As we got out the valley the rain started. We parted ways with Simon as he stays in Assegai which was further on.
All in all a very lekker weekend with some awesome riding. Thanks guys, look forward to the next one
 

Offline Andyg

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Re: Hillcrest/Bhamshela/Tugela Mouth
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2020, 09:37:44 pm »
Hopefully some enjoyed

Cheers

Andy
 

Offline eberhard

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Re: Hillcrest/Bhamshela/Tugela Mouth
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2020, 10:16:55 pm »
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
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Offline JonW

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Re: Hillcrest/Bhamshela/Tugela Mouth
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2020, 06:22:38 am »
Thanks for the Ride Report Andy

Say hi to Simon for me  :biggrin:
How can I be lost if I've got nowhere to go?
 
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