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Author Topic: KZN Midands/Drakensberg Trip  (Read 446 times)

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Online Andyg

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KZN Midands/Drakensberg Trip
« on: June 26, 2020, 08:16:44 am »
Midands/Drakensberg Trip

2 x Fuglies had planned a trip together to the KZN Midlands and through D roads and secondary roads to the Drakensberg. First destination and stopover was Dargle Forest Lodge for Monday night and second one a remote farmhouse deep in the Berg in the Swartberg region near the Lesotho border.
Met at the Engen Garage in Waterfall at 09h00, filled fuel, zeroed the odos and set off. Leasurely cruise through the Valley of the 1000 Hills and then a stop at Worlds View at the top of Town Hill. From there pushed  through on gravel roads to Nottingham Road. Patrick's Camo KLR handling nicely after his suspension mods front and rear and enjoying the ride. Got to the iconic Notties Hotel hoping for breakfast and coffee but they closed due to Covid. Same result at a couple of other places and eventually settle on a pie and some coffee at the Spar in Nottingham rd.
Set off for dargle and we in time for our planned arrival at 15h00. We leave the gravel and now heading on the Meander route to pick up the dirt road to the forest lodge. Approaching the intersection and I notice Patrick's headlight is not in my mirrors. Concerned I u turn and head 2km back up the road to find his bike at the side of the road and him about 400m behind that walking on the road. I get to him and he points out the black stripe on the tar where his back wheel locked up. He managed to pull in the clutch and came to a stop. He thought maybe had broken a rear caliper or picked up something and jammed his wheel. Not the case. He says Temps were good and engine showing plenty of oil. Starts to strip the left cover off and oil is pouring out. Retighten the bolts and post on the KLR whatsapp group. Pretty soon Gix replies and says it sounds like the balancer chain let go. We all know what that means. Decisions as to what to do now. I'd noticed a craft shop further down the road called Spiral Blue and head there. Introduce myself to the owner Paul and explain our dilemma and we need a safe place for the bike. Absolutely no problem and offers a parking spot behind gates on the property. Return to Patrick and he freewheels the bike down the road. Get the bike on the property and he arranges with a mate to collect his bakkie and come and fetch the bike. He asks what I want to do and I say that I will wait until he is collected and then carry on. He says no I must push on to the lodge and he will come back in his bakkie after dropping the bike. He has set his mind on the trip and wants to carry on.
OK. I set off and hit the gravel road to the lodge. Lekker ride on the dirt and the 3km ride on their driveway.

« Last Edit: June 26, 2020, 08:21:01 am by Andyg »
 

Online Andyg

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Re: KZN Midands/Drakensberg Trip
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2020, 08:22:08 am »
More to follow. Was an eventful trip
 

Online Andyg

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Re: KZN Midands/Drakensberg Trip
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2020, 08:36:52 am »
Arrive at the lodge and warmly welcomed by the owners. Accommodation is basic cabins, self catering cabins, safari tents and plenty of camping site. There is a spaza shop on site where you help yourself and write it down and settle up when you leave. All the basics as well as  braai packs, ice, beer, wine etc
Lekker to place to have a bash and the owners are super keen to host one and could provide catering and drinks etc. There is also a large communal kitchen where you can cook for yourself. A braai and Lapa area and a big kuier room with couches and fireplace etc
 

Offline EssBee

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Re: KZN Midands/Drakensberg Trip
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2020, 08:43:43 am »
We've been thinking of trying out that Dargle Forest Lodge place. Nice to see others view of it. :thumleft:
 
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Offline roxenz

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Re: KZN Midands/Drakensberg Trip
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2020, 11:50:55 am »
Those old Fuglies just LOOK like adventure! Great RR so far!
 

Online Andyg

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Re: KZN Midands/Drakensberg Trip
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2020, 10:56:48 pm »
If it's boring please say so because it takes a long time to write up and post pics

 ;)
Goingp for a short jollie patrollie in the morning
 

Online Andyg

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Re: KZN Midands/Drakensberg Trip
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2020, 03:10:00 pm »
Patrick arrives at 20h00 and gratefully accepts a strong Red heart and coke. Enjoy a lekker braai and retire to the cabin where luckily I left the wall heater on as it was frikken cold.
Wake up the next morning and enjoy a farmhouse breakfast prepared by the venue. Settle up the bill and head off for Fort Nottingham on the dirt roads.Some awesome riding to the next stop and arrive at the Engen Garage in Nottingham Rd to put fuel and wait for Patrick.
After about 25 minutes i receive a whatsapp with a pic of a puntured tyre. He is changing it and will see me in 45 minutes. He arrives and we find the local Hi Q. He needs to replace the 2 front ones as his onboard computer is not recognising the different tyres and he has lost traction control and ABS. Finish up and he tries to settle the bill but is over his daily limit on his new bank card. Manages to pay for 1 and I assist with the other. From there we hit the dirt road towards Lower Loteni/Himeville. It is a lot rougher than the last time I rode with lots of jagged rocks and loose marble rocks. New tyres do their part and and I get through to Himeville and park outside the Himeville Arms(closed) After about half an hour I hear a vehicle approaching with tyres making lots of road noise. The vehicle is Patricks and he stops and I start to tell him that his new tyres are making a helluva lot of noise. I then glance at the rear tyre and it is flat. He says the back felt a bit wobbly about a Km back and clearly this is the cause. We are right near the only tyre dealer in Himeville. 2 more tyres neede. I pay for them again and we set off for Underberg. Get 2 Spar and Tops, grab our food and dops and set off for Swartberg. It is now 16h30 and I have 50ks of tar to do and then another 45 of gravel. Get to the gravel road and Patrick leads the way. They are busy grading the road so there is rocks and sand everywhere for the first 5km's . Road firms up but is full of half buried rocks and potholes. Not a nice 45 minutes. Arrive at the farm house as it gets dark.

The old gent looking after the property tells us the house should be open. try all the doors and they locked. It is now varking cold. Patrick gets hold of his mate who owns the farm. He says he will try and get hold of the maid who does the cleaning and should have left it open for us. Phones back and says he cant get hold of her
 

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Re: KZN Midands/Drakensberg Trip
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2020, 03:16:32 pm »
I have now resigned myself to sleeping in the bakkie. At least I brought a sleeping bag with me. i noticed a noise from my bike when I braked as we arrived at the farmhouse. By torchlight I check the rear wheel and see that the pads are down to metal. Aaaaaaaaah.
After about 40 minutes we hear a motobike coming along the driveway. It is the maid. She got home and saw that she took the key and came to open up for us. She was pillion on her boyfriends TW200 :laughing4: :laughing4:

We get a lekker fire going and need the medicinal benefits of Zamaleks and of course the Red Heart which begs to be finish. Off to bed for a lekker sleep
 

Online Andyg

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Re: KZN Midands/Drakensberg Trip
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2020, 03:30:16 pm »
Some pics
 

Online Andyg

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Re: KZN Midands/Drakensberg Trip
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2020, 03:32:18 pm »
Patrick passed out
 

Online Andyg

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Re: KZN Midands/Drakensberg Trip
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2020, 03:46:56 pm »
Cold
 

Online Neo_za

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Re: KZN Midands/Drakensberg Trip
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2020, 04:01:02 pm »
Quite an eventful trip, but looks like a nice adventure nevertheless. Thanks for sharing :thumleft:
 
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Offline roxenz

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Re: KZN Midands/Drakensberg Trip
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2020, 04:17:53 pm »
Quite an eventful trip, but looks like a nice adventure nevertheless. Thanks for sharing :thumleft:
Ja. It sounds like it was mostly a ball ache, but it's funny how one remembers these kind of trips, while the ones where everything goes according to plan tend to fade in memory. But jaasis, it looks like the cold was painful!
 
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Online Andyg

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Re: KZN Midands/Drakensberg Trip
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2020, 04:27:01 pm »
Quite an eventful trip, but looks like a nice adventure nevertheless. Thanks for sharing :thumleft:
Ja. It sounds like it was mostly a ball ache, but it's funny how one remembers these kind of trips, while the ones where everything goes according to plan tend to fade in memory. But jaasis, it looks like the cold was painful!

Yup. R8000 on tyres and an engine rebuild. :(
 

Offline Psycho Porra

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Re: KZN Midands/Drakensberg Trip
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2020, 04:28:59 pm »
Remind me not to go riding with you guys, it will be too expensive for my pocket


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