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Offline GundaGunda

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A few weeks in Thabazimbi
« on: November 17, 2008, 03:20:22 pm »
For the last six years I have been employed to do a yearly consulting job at a platinum mine in the Thabazimbi area of Limpopo.

The job involves a number of interviews on the mine, and rather than traipse backwards and forwards on the R511 for the two weekends, I book into one of the many B&B’s in the area and make a little trip of it. Needless to say my bike would get pissed of if she was not invited along on the trailer, and would probably respond by throwing me off next time I rode her - a risk I won’t take. Also there are many roads to ride in the area and I am not going to sit in the pub or B&B and leave them unridden.

This trip the weather was not too kind from a riding perspective, although great for the farmers as it rained almost every day, but there were enough gaps to get out there and ride a bit, and hence  these pics and report.

The roads ridden – the ones marked with letters were this year, the others were last year. 



I could not organize a single booking for the whole period, and had to move a couple of times. This pic was taken from the Hardekool deck one evening – looking towards the Waterberg. 



A similar view from the deck of the Maroela guest house, and then back at Hardekool The mountains are in the Marakele National Park. Great to visit, but no bikes allowed I am afraid.





Most evenings (weather permitting) I would take a “sundowner burn”. Met a farmer reaping his wheat and asked if I could take a pic of the bike in the field. He, and his merry gang, thought I was crazy, but I like the pics.





First “outride” was the road marked “A” on my map – to Rooiberg. Had been raining the day before and roads were a bit slushy, but rideable at GundaSpeed.



Was looking forward to brekkie in Rooberg at the Koekepan – but unfortunately not open.




Took a detour via the wheat fields in the Crocodile rover valley – love the smell of a wheat field after the harvester has finished. It smells like a stable with fresh bedding, but before the horse has peed on it.



Rodin’s thinker posed on a small bridge over the Crocodile.







More wheat fields – never grew tired of it.



Following weekend took a ride to check the roads for a possible long ride on Sunday. Like an idiot I had already marked the invitation thread as <<mudded out>> , but when I got out I found that most of the water had been sucked up, and the roads were quite rideable.

These pics are from road “C” on my map. 









So on Sunday (16th) I headed out to do Bakker’s and Rankins passes. There were a couple of  places where it was wet, but nothing serious.

Bakker’s pass.

This pass rises from the plain  below onto a “step” on the south side of the Waterberg. An easy climb of about 400m





On the “step” on the south of the Waterberg.





Got a bit confused as to why many of the stones were either white or red, and then found this piece of coarse shale - half white, and half red. Must ask DeepBass9 what happened in Geological time.



Some Eland, Blesbokke and Pajamadonkies in a game farm next to the road. 





The top of Rankin’s pass (“E”). The pass is just a shallow straight drop down to the plain below, with only one turn, and hardly qualifies as a mountain pass, but it is really scenic.



Nice to see the stroompies running. The water in this one tasted like iron filings, mud and grass roots, so I had some cappuccino instead.





Have to have an “ag shame” picture. I suspect this little brahman had never seen a bike, in fact I suspect he had never seen anything.

Mama was not keen on him having his pic taken, and I was pleased there was a fence between us.



The multifunction shop in Rankin’s pass.



On the section marked “F” on my map. Waterberg in the background.



The “Big 5” Restaurant in Vaalwater. Good place for a stop.



From there I took the R517, but took a detour on the road marked “H”.
Whew, but this road was tricky – at least for me and a KLE.

What was not washed away, corrugated or rocky was sandy, and there were many times I regretted the decision to ride it.

No photos I am afraid, as it was a full time job just trying to keep the bike upright.

The good news was that by the end I was not nearly as scared of sand as I was at the start, and the last straight bit to Sentrum I was flying along on top of the sand at a good 70-90 Kph.

Made it safe and sound back to the R510 and tar, found a tree and sat for a while just to enjoy life for a while and let the adrenaline levels subside.   






« Last Edit: November 17, 2008, 03:36:03 pm by GundaGunda »
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Offline Welsh

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Re: A few weeks in Thabazimbi
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2008, 03:41:45 pm »
OK, so I might have been up for Sunday if you hadn,t called it off.... but anyway, what about "G" I do not think I have ridden that? I agree Rankins is Tame, Bekkers is slightly better but only just  :biggrin:
When is this "Old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
 

Offline GundaGunda

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Re: A few weeks in Thabazimbi
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2008, 03:46:34 pm »
OK, so I might have been up for Sunday if you hadn,t called it off.... but anyway, what about "G" I do not think I have ridden that? I agree Rankins is Tame, Bekkers is slightly better but only just  :biggrin:

Yup. Forgive me for a premature call-off. I never realized how fast a warm day can dry then roads out.

And the weather bureau lied. they said there was more heavy rain .

"G" is just the tar road from Vaalwater to Lephalale.
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Offline Welsh

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Re: A few weeks in Thabazimbi
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2008, 03:50:47 pm »
OK, so I might have been up for Sunday if you hadn,t called it off.... but anyway, what about "G" I do not think I have ridden that? I agree Rankins is Tame, Bekkers is slightly better but only just  :biggrin:

Yup. Forgive me for a premature call-off. I never realized how fast a warm day can dry then roads out.

And the weather bureau lied. they said there was more heavy rain .

"G" is just the tar road from Vaalwater to Lephalale.

Thought the route looked familiar :biggrin:
When is this "Old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
 

Offline blazes

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Re: A few weeks in Thabazimbi
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2008, 08:09:55 pm »
I Agree the Big 5 restuarant is a good place to stop in Vaalwater. Good food.

And Welsh. When you are Not trying to Disect two WD's on a Sunday ride :peepwall: Join me for this  section North West of Lephalale. And maybe i can contact the consortium and go through the Reserve again.
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Offline Yefimovich˛

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Re: A few weeks in Thabazimbi
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2008, 08:20:24 pm »
Wow! Nice ride Gunda and for work too   :o
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Offline Welsh

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Re: A few weeks in Thabazimbi
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2008, 08:55:55 pm »
I Agree the Big 5 restuarant is a good place to stop in Vaalwater. Good food.

And Welsh. When you are Not trying to Disect two WD's on a Sunday ride :peepwall: Join me for this  section North West of Lephalale. And maybe i can contact the consortium and go through the Reserve again.

Please, please and I promise not to do it again  ::) ::) we might have acomodation up there soon anyway  :biggrin:
« Last Edit: November 17, 2008, 08:57:19 pm by Welsh »
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Offline GundaGunda

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Re: A few weeks in Thabazimbi
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2008, 07:44:57 am »
Wow! Nice ride Gunda and for work too   :o

Tanx. I only get paid when I am on the project, but I am tryting to work out a way to get paid while riding.

I suspect the client may query "riding hours" on my timesheet - meanie !  >:(
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Re: A few weeks in Thabazimbi
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2008, 10:01:08 am »
I Agree the Big 5 restuarant is a good place to stop in Vaalwater. Good food.

And Welsh. When you are Not trying to Disect two WD's on a Sunday ride :peepwall: Join me for this  section North West of Lephalale. And maybe i can contact the consortium and go through the Reserve again.

Isnt that D'njala?
 

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Re: A few weeks in Thabazimbi
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2008, 10:01:59 am »
Lekker one GundaGunda. I lived in those parts for 3 years.  Also had a KLE500 in those days. Thanks for the pics, brings back lots of memories!
 

Offline ROOI

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Re: A few weeks in Thabazimbi
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2008, 10:10:58 am »
Nice report and yes stunning area ,where did you take the pic off the calf ? we were riding in that area about a month ago and saw a calf who were about a minute old when we passed ,all over stopped and took some pics I will see if I can get hold off them when we were there it was just after a serious field fire must look stunning now   :ricky:
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Offline GundaGunda

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Re: A few weeks in Thabazimbi
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2008, 10:33:02 am »
Nice report and yes stunning area ,where did you take the pic off the calf ? we were riding in that area about a month ago and saw a calf who were about a minute old when we passed ,all over stopped and took some pics I will see if I can get hold off them when we were there it was just after a serious field fire must look stunning now   :ricky:

The calf was on the farm between Rankin's Pass - the actual pass - and Rankin's Pass police station.

Yes. The area was green - almost like the Natal Midlands after the rain. 
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Offline malgat (RIP)

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Re: A few weeks in Thabazimbi
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2008, 10:49:25 am »
dammm,,,i know those roads,,,everyone of them,,,,

that last stretch to lephalale i rode with blazes, splash, ktmer and it had just rained and the whole road was in a mist,,,seemed like riding in a fairy land,,,,

damm i miss that stretch of road,,,

wel done gunda,,,,thanx a zillion for the report and pics
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Offline Frog

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Re: A few weeks in Thabazimbi
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2008, 11:11:40 am »
Hey Gunda,
When are you back in JHB, there's a serious shortage of organised rides! ;D
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Re: A few weeks in Thabazimbi
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2008, 12:50:02 pm »
I see work and LOTS of play for GundaGunda! :) Like the thinker pose, but where's the coffee?? ;)

Nice one GG :thumleft:
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Re: A few weeks in Thabazimbi
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2008, 01:25:41 pm »
Nice report and yes stunning area ,where did you take the pic off the calf ? we were riding in that area about a month ago and saw a calf who were about a minute old when we passed ,all over stopped and took some pics I will see if I can get hold off them when we were there it was just after a serious field fire must look stunning now   :ricky:

The calf was on the farm between Rankin's Pass - the actual pass - and Rankin's Pass police station.

Yes. The area was green - almost like the Natal Midlands after the rain. 
Yeah I am sure it is the same place .
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Offline GundaGunda

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Re: A few weeks in Thabazimbi
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2008, 04:20:43 pm »
I see work and LOTS of play for GundaGunda! :) Like the thinker pose, but where's the coffee?? ;)
Nice one GG :thumleft:

Sorry - The Cappuccino ended up on the cuting room floor, but I have corrected the omission. 



Coming back to Centurion tomorrow for a couple of weeks to write the mine's report, and then down to KZN to teach a two-week course, and only back after that - about Dec 20.

but my crystal ball has a few more rides in it.

- Hazyview
- Back to Thaba to ride some more sand 

You guys see my thread on the GPS tech day ?

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=24806.0

I am still hunting a venue to hold it - Any ideas ?

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Offline Misty

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Re: A few weeks in Thabazimbi
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2008, 04:22:26 pm »
ok that's better, what would it be without the cappu!!! :thumleft: :)
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Re: A few weeks in Thabazimbi
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2008, 08:53:52 pm »
Lekker ride and photies GG.
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Offline Jay

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Re: A few weeks in Thabazimbi
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2008, 02:56:40 am »
Quote

but my crystal ball has a few more rides in it.

- Hazyview
- Back to Thaba to ride some more sand 


Would love to tag along Gunda :mwink:

I Agree the Big 5 restuarant is a good place to stop in Vaalwater. Good food.

And Welsh. When you are Not trying to Disect two WD's on a Sunday ride :peepwall: Join me for this  section North West of Lephalale. And maybe i can contact the consortium and go through the Reserve again.

Please please may I come :biggrin:

I'll be home by the 17th of Desember :thumleft:
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