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Author Topic: The Snail, the Tortoise and the Big Red Pig  (Read 13132 times)

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Offline Trailrider

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Re: The Snail, the Tortoise and the Big Red Pig
« Reply #40 on: November 30, 2008, 08:48:26 am »
Great report! And so you make us wait again for the rest...
 

Offline Metaljockey

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Re: The Snail, the Tortoise and the Big Red Pig
« Reply #41 on: November 30, 2008, 09:31:47 am »
Jinne boet, there still just is nothing like Kaokoland and Damaraland. I see one picture and I'm right there, I can smell it, I can hear the silence, I am so fkn homesick I can't help myself. And it's not even my home.

Thank you for posting, it's like being there.

One thing I notice; you guys are pretty competent riding offroad, and you have someone with you that have been there before. That makes all the difference. If you doubt your skills, think hard before attempting something like this.


Offline husky

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Re: The Snail, the Tortoise and the Big Red Pig
« Reply #42 on: November 30, 2008, 09:52:22 am »
Great stuff; respect to you guys that rode up and down van Zyl's with loaded bikes. The worst part is actually before van Zyl's (Ovivero area). Brings back good memories of a 4x4 trip and a few days at Epupa and Otjinhungwa on the Cunene. The corrugated road to Puros through the desert (we didn't take Rooidrom Pass) took forever in a 4x4 and is known as the worst road in the world!

The pity is that, due to private concessions only being able to access the Skeleton Coast National Park in northern Namibia, and the lack of fuel on a bike, that you can't explore the Hartmans Valley, the dunes to the sea and Cunene River mouth (although I'm told it's a bleak and windy spot).

Looking forward to tne next part!
 

Offline Beserker

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Re: The Snail, the Tortoise and the Big Red Pig
« Reply #43 on: November 30, 2008, 11:01:45 am »
Day 8

Puros to Palmwag


What followed was the most horrendus corrugated 96 km to Sesfontein.

Fortunately, contradictory to all reports, there was petrol at Sesfontein. I was on reserve, and having had to stop a few kays before town to tilt my bike so the petrol could run to the lowest petrol tap on my Acerbis, were running on fumes. Danie made it with a liter to spare , and Gideon ran out of petrol about a 100m from the petrol station.

Filling up never felt so good, and we left for Palmwag. After the Marienfluss, the road to Ongongo felt overpopulated, so we opted for the Hoanib river trail.

We managed to dodge this one, and once we made it to the safety of the opposite riverbank, proceeded to tune him, and also took some photographs.



At Ongongo we had a quick dip. What worked well was to wet our clothes, and then get on the bike and ride‚?¶you would be dry within 30 minutes, but it worked wonders too keep us cool.



From Ongongo,  the route was pretty straight forward to Palmwag, where we filled up with fuel. Going through the Vet gate saw us bailing through the Torra conservancy, and finding a suitable spot after about 20 km, we bushcamped as there was no other options available.

Braaing some wors we bought at the shop at Palmwag, we set about planning the route for the following two days. Having grown accustomed to the wide open spaces, and having developed an appetite for the more off road type trails, we scrutinised the GPS Nuvi 200 for the best options, settling for a route via Twyfelfontein to Brandberg Wes, circumventing the Doros crater.


Day 9

Palmwag to Uis


A quick spin down the C43 got us to Twyfelfontein lodge, where we had refreshments whilst I charged my camara, courtesy of the lodge.




From Twyfelfontein, we tracked south, and then followed the Doros river in an easterly direction. From the north of Doros crater we again tacked east, eventually following the Desolation Valley eco trail to the Rhino Ugab camp.



At one stage we were lost, once again, and consulting with the GPS, we got a curt ‚??sorry, you are not on a trail, can not be routed‚?Ě message. (We were not only on a trail, but at a cross roads)  What could we do but to follow the tracks down the Ugab river, clueless and hot as hell.


 

The riding was great, some riverbed, then following a twee spoor across some Kalahari type red sand dunes.

 

Of all the sand riding we did, this red sand business was the most difficult for me, my arms were pumped after about 5 km, and we had to do about 40 km.

We followed the Ugab, skirting Brandberg to the South and exiting near the White Lady.








Not being the deeply cultural types, we skipped the lady, and made for Uis, where we caught the local Spar open, ‚?¶fresh provisions for the first time in more than a week!

We splurged, Lamb chops, tinned peaches, you name it. Filling up with petrol, we followed the D1930 south, and at the Omaruru river bushcamped, with the idea of following the Omaruru  and then entering the Grosse Spitzkuppe from the West.

To follow: Uis to Spitzkuppe
My Ride  :ricky:  Angola   Namibia  Northern Cape  Kids
 

Offline Beserker

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Re: The Snail, the Tortoise and the Big Red Pig
« Reply #44 on: November 30, 2008, 12:31:54 pm »
Great report! And so you make us wait again for the rest...

Hey, I type with two fingers.. :D

Thank you for posting, it's like being there.

One thing I notice; you guys are pretty competent riding offroad, and you have someone with you that have been there before. That makes all the difference. If you doubt your skills, think hard before attempting something like this.


I agree..even though we were there about 20 yrs ago, and the place has changed a lot, some of the stuff like the heat, lack of water, bushcamping, remoteness was the same and not a surprise that we had to deal with on top of the riding.

In terms of competent off road riders, riding with someone like Gideon and Danie, even though they said nothing,is a huge boost.

Also, like with climbing, mountainbiking..weight is an issue and I probably would have experianced it a lot differently on a big bike, hats of to you on your big BM :notworthy:


.... and the lack of fuel on a bike, that you can't explore the Hartmans Valley, the dunes to the sea and Cunene River mouth (although I'm told it's a bleak and windy spot).

Looking forward to tne next part!

Oi, sitting on top of Van Zyls, looking in that direction...wanted to go there big time.
My Ride  :ricky:  Angola   Namibia  Northern Cape  Kids
 

Offline Stev0

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Re: The Snail, the Tortoise and the Big Red Pig
« Reply #45 on: November 30, 2008, 10:04:59 pm »
Donner, ekt geweet ek moes eerder n XR koop..

 

Offline bradleys

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Re: The Snail, the Tortoise and the Big Red Pig
« Reply #46 on: December 01, 2008, 08:13:02 am »
Keep the report comming,great stuff,cool pics. :ricky:
ROUTE DIFFICULTY
1 = tar
2 = good gravel /pillian friendly
3 = interspersed with sand, mud, sand , bush / not pillian friendly
4 = lots of sand, technical riding 5 = expert only
 

Offline Maverick

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Re: The Snail, the Tortoise and the Big Red Pig
« Reply #47 on: December 01, 2008, 05:15:47 pm »
This makes me absolutely sick, sick of jealousy that is  :biggrin: All I can say is if you done a trip through the Namib once you will be haunted for eternity going back so be aware  :drif:

The water carriers on the bikes is great, certainly something that will feature on my bikes in the future  :thumleft:

Great report keep it coming  8)
Maverick Disclaimer: This thread is intended for the use of the individual(s) named above and may contain information that is confidential privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humor or irrational religious beliefs. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination, distribution or copying of this thread is not authorised (either explicitly or implicitly) and constitutes an irritating social faux pas.
 

Offline Beserker

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Re: The Snail, the Tortoise and the Big Red Pig
« Reply #48 on: December 02, 2008, 12:30:58 pm »
DNSlessness had me stumped...to carry on:

Day 9

Uis to Spitzkuppe


After a liesurely breakfast, we packed up and got on with the business of doing the 100 odd kays to Spitskoppe, our shortest daily distance for the tour.

It is quite amazing to see Spitzkuppe rising from the barren plains, this view was taken from about 60 km away.



Arriving at Spitzkuppe, we confirmed hot showers (we needed to clean up for the long way home the next day), booked in and made camp for our last night.

We then visited the local watering hole.




 Afterwards, going for our confirmed hot showers, we were bluntly told ‚??why hot‚?¶the sun is shining outside, you do not need hot water‚?Ě, and not being able to argue with such logic, we had a v-e-r-y refreshing shower.

We got some wood for our last campfire, Gideon doing his Farmer Brown impersonation.



As we had the whole day (not riding, damn)  me and Danie went exploring by foot. Spitzkuppe is an amazing place, and although I had no climbing gear, I still managed a few scambles.

Following is a bit of the flaura, views and countryside, with our campsit thrown in for good measure.


     

Clockwise, from top left, the koppie behind our camp, our camp with the blue tent visible, the plains towards Henties,  our last sunset, tree and Klein Spitzkuppe.

Lazing around the fire that night, we allready started planning our next trip (Angola) and also doing Namibia with the wifes (Them in the Cruiser back up and us on plastic bikes with no luggage)

It was during this conversation that one of the ironies of the trip came up‚?¶Gideon mentioned that he was going to put a roofrack on his Cruiser, with a ladder to facilitate getting up and down, when Danie interjected with a no,  no,  it won‚??t do‚?¶.at our age getting on a roof in the middle of nowhere is an accident waiting to happen. This after twelve days of bailing down riverbeds helter skelter, over rocks etc., buying farms in general‚?¶.go figure.


Day 10

Spitzkuppe to Windhoek and home.



Amazing how riding fit one gets, over a short period, if you ride everyday. ‚??Klapping‚?Ě the 320 odd keys to Windhoek was a non event in terms of numbbumness.

From Spitzkuppe we went Usakos, Karibib and turned of for Windhoek on the D1958. Crossing the Swakop river we travelled gravelled up to 15km from Windhoek through the Khomas Hochland

Below, the gravel stops here:


 

In Windhoek, after packing the Bakkie, we hit the B1 home.

Arriving in Stellenbosch, we had to adjust to the rain and everything being as green as an emerald in the morning sun.

Dropping Danie and  Gideon, I headed home, kind of weird after being away so long. That night I had a great meal, a soft bed and a warm body next to me‚?¶morning came to soon and I saddled up for the last leg.

Some technical riding, a bit of sand, steep ascents, dam wall crossings‚?¶


     

To date, even though I have been  using adjectives with gay abandon, I have refrained from asking "Is this not what riding is about?"

Well, is it not?
My Ride  :ricky:  Angola   Namibia  Northern Cape  Kids
 

Offline Trailrider

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Re: The Snail, the Tortoise and the Big Red Pig
« Reply #49 on: December 02, 2008, 12:45:52 pm »
Great report!

Thanks.
 

Offline Ratel

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Re: The Snail, the Tortoise and the Big Red Pig
« Reply #50 on: December 02, 2008, 12:52:04 pm »
Loved it :thumleft:
"Stercus accidit..."
 

Offline Tonteldoos

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Re: The Snail, the Tortoise and the Big Red Pig
« Reply #51 on: December 03, 2008, 03:50:26 pm »
Thanx for sharing the experience!!
Challenge = Innovation = Change
 

Offline Beserker

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Re: The Snail, the Tortoise and the Big Red Pig
« Reply #52 on: December 03, 2008, 04:12:15 pm »
Finally, the route



 

Some Stats:    :deal:

Total distance (on bike)     +/- 2500km
Total gravel/off road      +/- 1500km
Longest between fuel stops   480 km

Technical rating from difficult to easy:

(This is highly subjective, and influanced by the fact that the only big falling-over I had)

1. Doros crater, Desolation valley to Ugab
2. Kunene river trail. (Where I fell and got trapped under my bike, also very hot)
3. Ovivero & Van Zyls

Mandatory kit:

30l of fuel
6l of water
GPS (even if it is a basic one like the Nuvi 200 which we used, with T4A)
Map
Passport
Medical insurance information (MRI etc.....Danie used the "stof maar af" policy  ;D
Registration papers of all vehicles.
Short term insurance release to take the car from SA

Medical kit (used little but big issue if you do not have it)

Medication

Eye drops, eye pad
Strong pain killers for broken legs etc.Voltaren supository,Synap Forte, Tramal, or for second prize, Tramadol
Common pain killers
Antiseptic cream, Zambuk will do as an antiseptic cream and also for chapped lips, burns,Anti-bacterial ointment (Bacitracin, etc. for lacerations and wounds),Betadine (for cleaning wounds)
insect bites,   its in a tin so no messy spills.Epineferine pen for bee stings
Anti nausea tablets
Anti Diahorea tablets (Immodium) Kaopectate ,Lomotil (or equivalent)
Lip Balm
Staal druppels - stops bleeding instantly.
Sugar (for shock)or glucose sachet
Ranihexall
Oil of clove (for relief of toothache)
Cytomax (or similar electrolyte replacement drink) (for relief of muscle cramps and systems of heat exhaustion)
Water purification tablets, 1 bottle (Steritab)
Penicillin tablets (much cheaper that capsules, doctor?s prescription)
Burnshield, Burn dressings (various sizes)
Suntan/Sunblock lotion

Software

Cotton wool
1    triangular bandage
2    75mm x 5m roller bandages
2   compression pads
1   roll elastoplast
1   pack assorted adhesive strips
10   assorted safety pins
5   sterile gauzes
4 or 5    assorted dressing pads
1   small scissors
1    small tweezer
1   small dettol/similar or alcohol swabs
Wound Super Glue or Butterfl y plaster
Cotton swabs, 1 package (for cleaning lacerations, eyes, etc.)
Earbuds
A pair of disposable gloves (for working with blood that may be HIV positive)
Razors, 2 disposable (for removing hair before taping)
Syringes and needles (10cc)
Emergency blanket
Scissors (med.surgical type)
Surgical needles and thread
scaple blade

Tools + spares

Keep in mind that I have an XR, it does not use fuses etc. With the following I can practically strip the bike, set valves and everything. Also share and do not duplicate amongst group.

Front/Rear heavy duty tubes
Patch and solution
Qbond with powder
Pratley steel
2 x Chain link
Chain lube
Zipties
Hose clamps
Tow rope
Assorted nuts and bolts
Needle nose vice
Wide mouth Shifting
Duct Tape
Electrical tape
5 mm Allen
8 mm Allen
Phillips screwdriver
Flat screw driver
Copper thistle brush
Tyre valve tool
¬Ĺ Hack saw blade
Tyre levers with integrated wheelspanner (Front and Rear)
Spark plug + spanner
Needle nose pliers
Nail file
Fuel hose
¬ľ ‚?? 8,10,12,13,14,15 socket with extension
8,10,12,13,14,15, 17 Ring spanner
Feeler gauge


If there is any information that you need that prevents you from going, shout....I can even refer you to a good micro lender that will accept your bond  >:D

My Ride  :ricky:  Angola   Namibia  Northern Cape  Kids
 

Offline wimpie

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Re: The Snail, the Tortoise and the Big Red Pig
« Reply #53 on: December 03, 2008, 04:49:43 pm »
Great stuff Beserker! I was working just west of Klein Spitzkoppe a few weeks ago and saw bike tracks coming up from the Omaruru river towards Sptizkoppe. Must have been you guys then.
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Offline Mark Hardy

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Re: The Snail, the Tortoise and the Big Red Pig
« Reply #54 on: December 03, 2008, 05:53:38 pm »
What a read and what a trip. Thanks for taking he time and putting all together for us to see.

Thanks for the route map and postscirpt, very helpfull.

I'm busy planning a trip for 2010, your western route through Namibia is very similar to what I have in mind.
 

Offline DRAZIL

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Re: The Snail, the Tortoise and the Big Red Pig
« Reply #55 on: December 03, 2008, 10:11:53 pm »
Awsome awsome ,bloody great trip, after seeing that there is now a longing/calling inside my chest.Strange so many of us that spent time there long to go back. :thumleft:
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Offline JourneyMan

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Re: The Snail, the Tortoise and the Big Red Pig
« Reply #56 on: December 03, 2008, 10:39:00 pm »
Thanks Beserker.

Enjoyed this very much! Well done on the trip and report! 8)
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Offline Matroos (aka JJred)

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Re: The Snail, the Tortoise and the Big Red Pig
« Reply #57 on: December 04, 2008, 12:39:39 am »
Fan-fking-tastic !!
 

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Re: The Snail, the Tortoise and the Big Red Pig
« Reply #58 on: December 04, 2008, 07:36:19 am »
Ongelooflik. Great man
 

Offline Briekmerk

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Re: The Snail, the Tortoise and the Big Red Pig
« Reply #59 on: December 05, 2008, 01:31:03 pm »
Beserker, is that Gideon Joubert who joined you guys?