Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register

Author Topic: 2 Weke solo trip, waarheen?  (Read 864 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Ebredenhann

  • Pack Dog
  • **
  • Bike: KTM 1190 Adventure
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 170
  • Thanked: 20 times
  • Ry die ding...
2 Weke solo trip, waarheen?
« on: April 07, 2020, 06:38:15 am »
Start:
I simply could not believe it, and I asked myself:  Where could I have contracted it?  Where have I been, where did I have contact with an infected person, where-o-where did I get this Corona virus?

As it was very clear that I had Corona, I mean, one of the first obvious signs will be a fever. However, after a few days of severe fever, but no dry cough, it dawned upon me that I have had this fever for a very long time already, years probably. 

The fever of anticipation to ‘One Day’ find the time and opportunity to get on my bike, with bike-camping-gear, and to set off into the distance trying to find the new horizon every day.  Whether with one or 2 good riding buddies, or simply on my own if it comes to it.  And why this long-lasting fever was burning me up from the inside thinking it was Corona, was simply because I happened to stumble upon that ‘One Day’ due to a few variable changes in my life.  And I had a bit of time to answer this call to cool down the fever of anticipation.

And I made up my mind on dates, and started asking a few of you for guidance on routes and places to stay, see the link to this particular topic:  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=245847.msg4427965#msg4427965

I mentioned that I have about 2 weeks available, and I am yearning for some routes in the deep Northern Cape, Richtersveld, Namaqualand, Tankwa Karoo, Southern Cape towards Baviaans, and once I am in the Eastern Cape, I will decide the best routes back to Pretoria, based on impulse.

As always, I got some good ideas on routes and overnight sleeping spots, thank you to the likes of Losper and other.

And, part of this fever was the itch to go buy myself some bike specific camping gear, pack it onto my steed, and be self-sustainable for as long as I want to. I also wanted to feel a bit like David Livingston or one of those early pioneers, and pitch a small tent and sleep out under the stars.  I have done a good number of fairly remote bike trips, even on a 500 or 690, but always there was a lodge somewhere, and the times I had to sleep in a tent was on organised biking events or on mountain bike races, but I have never done this stoksiel-alleen with my own tent and some gear with the big dog (1190).

So off I went to buy these, intending to use all of this again in the future now that I have taken the leap, and at least it was not too expensive, I think.  And this gear had to be tested before I set off for this trip…
If you wanna run with the big dogs, don't pee like a puppy!
 
The following users thanked this post: RobC

Offline Mev Vis Arend

Re: 2 Weke solo trip, waarheen?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2020, 06:48:32 am »
 :sip:
Honda XR250 - Given to daughter.  BMW 1200 GSA met Karretjie  -  Suzuki 125 Scoota with a KTM topbox - sold.  Honda CRF 250 L
 

Offline Ebredenhann

  • Pack Dog
  • **
  • Bike: KTM 1190 Adventure
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 170
  • Thanked: 20 times
  • Ry die ding...
Re: 2 Weke solo trip, waarheen?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2020, 06:48:49 am »
Day 1:
Pta – Vryburg – Kuruman – Hotazel – Van Zylsrust:

A long tar stretch to get out of this concrete city and closer to anything remotely resembling a adventurous location, so I got up early, hit the road at a speed slightly above the legal limit (blink-blink).  At least this was the longest planned stretch of tedious tar for the entire trip. And at least the last stretch onto Van Zylsrust was about 100km of gravel into the first real Kalahari area.

So rather high speed, hot and uneventful for the first day.

OR NOT:  The pic with the gravel road, small yellow flowers and the beestekraal towards the left, is where I parted ways with the tar.  What a relieve to part ways with the tar, and melt away in the red Kalahari veld, my senses opened up, my heart opened up, my spirit opened up, my tyre valves opened up to deflate my tyres to around 1.5bar, it was still fairly early, and I set off on the gravel road. 

And then my arse also almost opened up about 3 km down that beautiful (devious) gravel road. 

And let me explain why, as this was the first of a few lessons to come across my face for this trip.  Take note, not new lessons to be learned, no, instead rather old and well-known lessons to be taught again, in harsh ways.

Before I continue, let me both ‘boast’ and confess in the same breath.  Sand is nou maar ‘n bliksem, however even if I have to admit myself, I am fairly competent/confident in sand as far as my riding buddies are concerned, and have done proper sand races like the Pongola 500 red route on a 690 etc.  And I have tried my hand a few times at a skills challenge or 2 done in deep sand pits with the 1190, and came close a few times to last man standing.  BUT confession, you never ever underestimate sand, regardless of how aware or cute you might think you are. 

To link this back to my newly wedded bond with the first gravel for the trip, 3km down that beautiful devious road, it became almost a 2-spoor, and I was going at only about 15km/h, pushing hard to keep momentum and some kind of a line.  I had a few quick warnings from the front wheel that this was going to test all my bravery, let alone skill.  And I run a full knobbly in front, standard feature for my 1190 at any given time, and the Mitas E07 Plus big block at the back.  Both deflated as I mentioned, but my centre of gravity was simply too high. 

And I realised very quickly after a few close calls, that I am going to have to think deep and clearly about my approach on this solo trip, and not get caught off-guard.  Simply put, I can fight this sandy road alone, might get to Van Zylsrust 4 of 5 hours later at that slow speed, no water, I was already sweating and grasping for breath like a shopper standing in a Checkers queue during lock down, and the person in front of you starts to sneeze…with or without a face mask.

Because a silly fall-over can hurt you, and you are stuck out in the boendoes.  Big probability of no cellphone signal!!!  If you are more than one rider, or with a back-up vehicle, the probability of risk is lower, but on my own like this, one has to put ego away, think clearly, and make the right choices.  So with a moerse gesukkel I managed to turn the bike in the deep sand, headed back the same 3km, funny how it felt like almost 10km suddenly.

Back on the tar, and stopping for an afkoel under the first few Kameeldoringbome, inflated the tyres again, and just breathing the stunning scenery, and thousands if not hundreds-of-thousands of these whitish/yellowish little butterfly’s.  The veld was green, seemed like they had good sustainable rain, any Wilddogs from this region?  But it was simply so beautiful to just drink in this scenery, as I haven’t’ been here for more than 30 years. (As a small boy a few outings of my early hunting days with my late dad took place in this region, I grew up in Reivilo, let’s see who is familiar with long forgotten aardrykskunde/geography).

Even though I was back on the tar with only about 100km to go at around 15.00, I rode at only about 100km/h on that deserted tar road, just taking in the scenery of the Kalahari, no rush… And coming into Van Zylsrust I was following the tail of a quick thunderstorm, awesome riding!!
If you wanna run with the big dogs, don't pee like a puppy!
 

Offline gee

Re: 2 Weke solo trip, waarheen?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2020, 09:28:18 am »
 :sip: following want ride a similar route
 

Offline 4 Kays

  • Race Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: Honda XRV 750 Africa Twin
    Location: Eastern Cape
  • Posts: 1,362
  • Thanked: 12 times
  • Live your life - you only have one to live !!
Re: 2 Weke solo trip, waarheen?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2020, 09:54:33 am »
 :sip: sounds challenging
 
The following users thanked this post: 73 Peanut

Offline Rexc-w

Re: 2 Weke solo trip, waarheen?
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2020, 10:02:12 am »
Lekker!
Ek het so einde Februarie amper dieselfde dag 1 roete gedoen.  Sien uit na res!
Rex
(KTM 1190 Adv R - 2013, BMW R1200 GS Rallye (Sport) - 2017, Specialized Epic S-Works)
 

Offline Ebredenhann

  • Pack Dog
  • **
  • Bike: KTM 1190 Adventure
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 170
  • Thanked: 20 times
  • Ry die ding...
Re: 2 Weke solo trip, waarheen?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2020, 10:59:03 am »
Day 2:
Van Zylsrust – Askham – Upington – Kakamas – Augrabies

Leaving Van Zylsrust Hotel and adding another 44kg to my bike carry-load after that breakfast, I set off on a gravel road towards Askham.  Looking at my Basecamp route now again it seems I deviated from the route as I was not supposed to go via Askham, but I did in real life. The result was still immense pleasure and satisfaction on that particular gravel road to follow my departure from the hotel…

Before I get to the gravel road…Pre-departure I have re-packed my bike early this morning in the dark with a headlight, managed to get the centre of gravity and weight much lower by forcing (with the accompanying relevant child-unfriendly adjectives and words), my laptop and carry bag into one of my side soft luggage holders.  And swop the much lighter small inner bag with clothes to the top of the bike where the laptop used to be the previous day.  Note to self, never-ever-ever-ever bring a damn laptop with charger and accessories with on a bike trip ever-ever again.  As much as I promised myself to do some work in the evenings, it was the nuisance of a lifetime for me, and I did not work at all.  Absolute stupid idea, just adding extra unnecessary weight, do not underestimate the added weight of a laptop and bag, charger, books, all packed inside another protective carry-bag, high-up on a bike.  Did I mention what a stupid idea this was?

However, I am not enough of a poet to try and explain how I enjoyed this whitish, sandy-ish gravel road.  For more than a 100km it was wide, sandy, up and down, fast, Kameeldoringbome, dunes, Kameeldoringbome and have I mentioned Kameeldoringbome and sand.  And in-between the dunes there were these ‘dune-streets/valleys, I found a puddle of water here and there in the road, and one could see the shortish greenish grass as far as you could see in these dune streets.  And the occasional small herds of springbok and a few gemsbok almost resulted me ending up next to the road a few times as I was trying to imprint these images into my brain while doing around 100 – 120km/h just floating over this gravel road.

It was not necessarily fast going for the type of terrain; a culmination of factors resulted this gravel road and scenery to be so enjoyable while comfortably doing this easy speed, standing foot-up non-stop for a 100km-plus, just enjoying the feel of the bike under your body.  Deflated tyres, centre of gravity much lower, more rhythm and confidence as it was now day 2 and you ‘get into it’, lots of sand but not the catch-you-out-grabbing-the-front-wheel-type of sand, so while maintaining a good speed you hit these patches of sand and just remind yourself to look up and far ahead, and the bike starts to dance under you as you begin to trust your equipment and its ability.  Hat off to you my dear 1190!!  And meanwhile in my Sena earpiece I listen to random selected tunes to the likes of CCR, Dire Straits, Chris du Burgh, Johnny Clegg, Deff Leppard, Smokie, some childhood Bad Boys Blue & Modern Talking, and Ricus Nel doing Don Williams tribute, while that 1190 dances and soaks up the sand, and the scenery makes you wonder how the first pioneers of the Kalahari must have experienced this…and Rhythm is a Dancer also plays in your ear…

This evening was my first camping evening, I was the only person in this whole place, very nice.  Place was called Kameeldoring Camping, recommendable.

If you wanna run with the big dogs, don't pee like a puppy!
 

Offline Ebredenhann

  • Pack Dog
  • **
  • Bike: KTM 1190 Adventure
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 170
  • Thanked: 20 times
  • Ry die ding...
Re: 2 Weke solo trip, waarheen?
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2020, 11:01:11 am »
Some more pics for day 2...
If you wanna run with the big dogs, don't pee like a puppy!
 

Offline windswept

Re: 2 Weke solo trip, waarheen?
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2020, 11:13:46 am »
 :happy1:
 

Offline HB 9

Re: 2 Weke solo trip, waarheen?
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2020, 11:18:39 am »
 :sip:  :thumleft:
Tread lightly
 

Offline RobC

  • Stoepkakkertjie
  • Bachelor Dog
  • *****
  • Bike: Kawasaki KLR 650
    Location: Free State
  • Posts: 14,724
  • Thanked: 901 times
  • Bloemfontein
Re: 2 Weke solo trip, waarheen?
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2020, 11:20:14 am »
Ek gaan beslis volg! :thumleft:
 

Offline Ian in Great Brak River

  • Race Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: Honda CRF-1000L Africa Twin
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 3,373
  • Thanked: 158 times
Re: 2 Weke solo trip, waarheen?
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2020, 02:56:32 pm »
This is going to be good ...

 8)
1978. It's 6am, mid winter...two up on a XL 185S ... off to my first casino ever with all of R40 and we've got a full tank of fuel, so enough to get there we reckon.... that's determination...

Old bike: '82 Eddie Lawson Replica Replica.
Other bike: '05 Honda Varadero 1000
New bike: '16 Honda Africa Twin.
 

Offline Ebredenhann

  • Pack Dog
  • **
  • Bike: KTM 1190 Adventure
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 170
  • Thanked: 20 times
  • Ry die ding...
Re: 2 Weke solo trip, waarheen?
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2020, 03:22:25 pm »
Day 3 part 1, before I had mental scars:

Augrabies – Pofadder – past Klein Pella – Namaqua 4x4 trail – amper my gat gesien net hierso… - Vioolsdrift,

The pictures of the first part of the day will tell the story.  Stunning scenery, some farm gates to test your sense of responsibility, some stunning winding gravel roads, slow rear wheel power drive corners with the littlest of wrist itching, Kokerbome and fun. 

I will continue to tell the story for the latter part of the day, this could have turned bad in some way or another, but I will tell just now…
If you wanna run with the big dogs, don't pee like a puppy!
 

Offline Ebredenhann

  • Pack Dog
  • **
  • Bike: KTM 1190 Adventure
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 170
  • Thanked: 20 times
  • Ry die ding...
Re: 2 Weke solo trip, waarheen?
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2020, 04:00:07 pm »
Part 2, How to get mental scars…

See if you can identify 2 particular pictures of where my day went bad?  In short, taking the 2-spoor into the Namaqua 4x4 trail, I very quickly realised the exact same thing as day 1, when I turned onto the sandy gravel road for the first time.

Same scenario, I battle to get going in the thick sand, even with wheels deflated, having to decide and weighing the risk vs pleasure equation.  Do I turn around, or do I continue for a bit to see?  As I had zero signal, no water, no back-up and the likelihood of a 4x4 family coming past very slim to none.  Why slim?  Rumours of the pending lock-down already started going around the previous day.  Klein Pella for instance was already closed for the public due to Corona, and I ever saw only one bakkie just outside Klein Pella, which was a long way back, and it was a farm worker.

But curiosity (read uneducated ego) lured me into going a little deeper into this trail.  I stopped under an overhanging rock to gather some thought, and just the 20 or 30 meters out of the 2-spoor to get to the rock should have been warning signs.  But after taking some pics, I continued a bit, keeping the momentum, going over rock faces, through a riverbed or 2, crossed over the sandy off camber side of a few koppies, with breath-taking scenery all around.  After every slight dip in the landscape, or coming around some rock faces, with every uphill part or slight ascent in the 2 -spoor I could see the sand monster like a crocodile just under the surface of the water.  (Mind you, after this day I probably rather try my luck with a crocodile next time if given a choice). 

Anyway, ek ken mos sand, vertel ek myself, and like a champ I manage each of these thick sand patches with momentum and simply keeping that 1190 growling up the slight hills/koppies and around the slow, sandy corners.  And then!  Next thing….see the pictures and you decide which words to use next!!

In short, this was almost an emotional affair, thinking of what could have happened this day, but let me summarise;
12.00 mid-day, 36degrees, no water, thick hot-as-hell sand absolutely trying to swallow that bike.  So, 3 hours later, unpacking complete bike 3 times, getting stuck on numerous different places, some minor scratches on bike cosmetics, me laying under a rock in 30cm wide shade every few minutes to try and get my body temperature down, praying that I will sell this bike after this trip, provided I got out of there.

All jokes aside, the thought of being there until nigh fall, or forever, hoping for a very unlikely passer-by, or getting stuck there for days, in that heat, dehydrated, perhaps even the possibility of worse results, all crossed my mind many a time. I wrestled, deflated tyres to below 1bar, bike on its side a thousand times, pulling the back wheel out of the sand pit and sideways a thousand times, and trying to get going again, just for the bike to suck into that sand again, up to its bash plate only 30cm further, every time!!  This happened over and over again just to try and turn around and move 10 meters.

And the reality dawned upon me that this is it today, and somehow and somewhere with a final effort I got it going again, up the next hill to park next to a small bush where I tried to stash all my gear and luggage in the shade.  I am really not sure how much further I could have pushed, as I was absolutely fatigued and dehydrated.
If you wanna run with the big dogs, don't pee like a puppy!
 

Offline Ebredenhann

  • Pack Dog
  • **
  • Bike: KTM 1190 Adventure
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 170
  • Thanked: 20 times
  • Ry die ding...
Re: 2 Weke solo trip, waarheen?
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2020, 04:24:04 pm »

I hardly managed the 2-spoor back to the gravel road, turning toward Vioolsdrift direction.  Being such a dry part of the country, and so very dry here, fortunately the farmers have dams and drinking posts for their animals ever so often, and close to the main roads.  I knew I had to make it to the first possible water post in order to get water.  I really did not feel well, even sucking on a small, smooth stone to try and moist the inside of my throat and mouth did not even help to stimulate saliva production.  It felt like my throat was ripped inside out, I was in real discomfort.

And then I found this spot, cool fresh water in the drinking trough for the sheep.  I promise you, at that time you could not give a damn if it is clean or not.  I climbed with my kit, bar the jacket and helmet, inside this trough.  There was an animal-proof tap from the tank into the trough, so I drank clean, cool life-giving water as much as I could, for as long as I could.  To climb indie the trough again, drinking again, and repeat, for what felt like an hour.  I then sat down on my arse inside a little shade-netted room, see pic.  I probably rested here for 30 minutes.

And then a very nice thing happened.  In the distance I could see a herd of sheep coming towards the same water hole (or is it called a flock of sheep, or a band of sheep??)  Turned out these were 400 sheep, as I met Terence, the Namaqua guy staying on this farm for 30 years, flocking the sheep day in and day out.  Very pleasant chap, amazed by the fact that I was a lone rider this part of the world (as was I at this point to be honest) and the sheer beauty of my 1190 haha.

What an experience - Just to be surrounded by 400 sheep, water, the openness and desertedness of this world, people with very little clutter in their lives as Terence fixed himself a zol (no not dagga), and the fact that I had survived this day to tell the story.

That evening in Vioolsdrift, I did not camp as planned, but upgraded myself to a nice self-catering unit, swimming pool, braaipak, and 6 very cold beers.  What a day!!
If you wanna run with the big dogs, don't pee like a puppy!
 

Offline Ian in Great Brak River

  • Race Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: Honda CRF-1000L Africa Twin
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 3,373
  • Thanked: 158 times
Re: 2 Weke solo trip, waarheen?
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2020, 04:37:38 am »
Bliksem ... I can feel the heat from here!
1978. It's 6am, mid winter...two up on a XL 185S ... off to my first casino ever with all of R40 and we've got a full tank of fuel, so enough to get there we reckon.... that's determination...

Old bike: '82 Eddie Lawson Replica Replica.
Other bike: '05 Honda Varadero 1000
New bike: '16 Honda Africa Twin.
 

Offline Mev Vis Arend

Re: 2 Weke solo trip, waarheen?
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2020, 06:08:21 am »
Wat 'n fantastiese (maar scary sonder water ) trip en fotos.   :thumleft:
Honda XR250 - Given to daughter.  BMW 1200 GSA met Karretjie  -  Suzuki 125 Scoota with a KTM topbox - sold.  Honda CRF 250 L
 

Offline Frannarossi

  • Vendor
  • Race Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS Adventure
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 3,656
  • Thanked: 13 times
  • karoorooster@gmail.com
Re: 2 Weke solo trip, waarheen?
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2020, 09:27:44 am »
Waars die res van die storie? :pot:
Hel man,ek sal nou wat gee vir so trip!!!!
If you don't live on the edge,you take up too much space!!!
 

Offline Ebredenhann

  • Pack Dog
  • **
  • Bike: KTM 1190 Adventure
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 170
  • Thanked: 20 times
  • Ry die ding...
Re: 2 Weke solo trip, waarheen?
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2020, 09:39:18 am »
Day 4:
Vioolsdrift – Helskloof/Nababiep Nature Reserve – Steinkopf – Port Nolloth – Kleinsee – Hondeklipbaai – Kamieskroon.

Roundabout this time I have also received a few Whatsapps from close friends and family confirming the official lock-down, and I realised that this is the end of my initial trip, as I will have to turn back the next morning, in order to get back to Gauteng with a day to spare for the looming hibernation-preparation.

But back to today, left bright and early from Vioolsdrift Lodge, see the dark blue/black loop on the map.  This was my intended route for the day, and I have heard many a good thing about this particular loop.  I think quite a few bike-groups have done this, or they approached this loop from the other inverted direction towards Vioolsdrift.

However, after a few kilometers into this loop, the road became a 2-spoor once again, rocky, gnarly and rough, extreme slow going.  Perhaps the thought of yesterday’s near traumatic experience was still hovering like an angel over me, but I realised again…As much as I can continue, and the road is rough but certainly doable, I do not know what is waiting, no back-up, no water, not signal.  At least sand is soft to fall for bike and body, but rocks might break a bike and leg easier…?  Not sure?

This was the time I wished I had a riding buddy, or someone who has done this route before, for all I know I could have carried on for just another 1km, and then it was safer, but this was exactly this thinking that got me into poefie the previous day.  ‘n Donkie stamp nie sy kop twee keer nie, so I decided to play safe, also remembering Corona lock-down looming.  I turned around for another few gnarly black rock kilometers back to the gravel road, and later tar back to Steinkopf, then I turned West towards the coast, Port Nolloth, which was not in my initial planning.

Actually this was a nice divert of my route, beautiful landscapes, if desertedness is in your repertoire of uneeq and beautiful.  From Port Nolloth I turned straight south down the coast, with some fog and sea coastline hugging me on that sandy gravel road to Kleinsee, and after to Hondeklipbaai.

And at Hondeklipbaai I sat down for a magnificent seafood lunch, and bumped into an elderly couple asking me if I was the chap taking pictures of my bike in the sunflowers outside Ventersdorp in the early morning a good few days back… (see day 1 pics).  The world is a small place.

From here inland to Kamieskroon on nice scenic gravel roads. Lots of mountains, and corrugation, but it becomes smooth if you open the throttle a little more.  Kamieskroon, the only camper in this very nice spot, Kroon Lodge.

See the very first post, with the map, the black arrow is where my route came to an end, also due to a fever.  This time the real Corona fever clamping down on our freedom the same way it apparently clamps down the oxygen in a victim's lungs.  Whenever this madness comes to an end, and our worlds come back to a normal (hopefully new set of standards for normal), I will try to continue this trip, as I was specifically looking forward to the part to come.  So perhaps in future, I will be able to continue this ride report.  Until then, enjoy/hate the current hibernation, stay safe!!
If you wanna run with the big dogs, don't pee like a puppy!
 

Offline HB 9

Re: 2 Weke solo trip, waarheen?
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2020, 09:41:59 am »
Wat sou die rede wees dat jy nie water saam gery het nie?

Baie bly jy kon toe by die water uitkom  :thumleft:
Tread lightly