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Author Topic: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)  (Read 11060 times)

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Offline BoskakBruce

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Re: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
« Reply #60 on: December 01, 2020, 08:43:03 pm »
We meet up again and this time I take the lead.

One thing I didn’t think about before coming here is that because of the global travel restrictions, there have been very few tourists in Namibia. This meant that most of the 4x4 sand tracks have been filled with virgin sand.

This also means that animals haven’t seen many tourists in a while. I don’t know if that made the animals more wary or more curious.

It certainly made the riding more fun and at times it felt like we were the only people in the whole of Namibia. It was quite a special feeling. One that we may never again feel once tourism returns to normal here.

Not 5 minutes later I notice some VERY large prints in the track… then some very large (and fresh) kak in the track.

ELEPHANTS CLOSE BY!

I’ve never encountered elephants on a motorcycle, so I stopped and waitied for Jan Lucas and Marc so that we could continue slowly together.

We drop into the Huab riverbed…
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Ride Reports: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
 

Offline BoskakBruce

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Re: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
« Reply #61 on: December 01, 2020, 08:43:46 pm »
And around the corner… Our first elephants – a mom and a calf.
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Offline BoskakBruce

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Re: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
« Reply #62 on: December 01, 2020, 08:44:33 pm »
We hang around for 5 minutes taking in the scene. It’s amazing to see these beasts from the saddle of a dirt bike. No car to protect me (not that it would, but at least it feels safer).

It was then that I was grateful that I hadn’t put an aftermarket exhaust on my bike.

Marc’s 690 has a freeflow Akro on it and it’s so bloody loud that I can hear it a kilometer behind him. I found myself wanting to get ahead of him so that he didn’t scare all the animals away before I got a chance to see them myself.

Anyhow, the elephants were chill and didn’t pay any attention to us (this time).

We continued in the riverbed for a while riding slowly just in case there were more elephants around the corner.

We were in for a treat. There were.
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Ride Reports: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
 

Offline BoskakBruce

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Re: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
« Reply #63 on: December 01, 2020, 08:45:52 pm »
Man, what a first day!

Just when I thought that it could not get any better, we head down a red sandy track towards Twyfelfontein.

It’s heaven to ride and I’m thinking to myself, “If this is only the first day, imagine what lies ahead…”
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Ride Reports: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
 

Offline BoskakBruce

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Re: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
« Reply #64 on: December 01, 2020, 08:46:58 pm »
Now, our plan was to camp half of the time. But as we pulled into Twyfelfontein, camping started to sound less and less appeaing. So we went to check out hte lodge just in case a deal was possible.

We limp from our bikes to the reception (with sore feet) looking like dusty vagrants who have walked out of a Mad Max movie.

The hotel manager greets us. Marc ushers Jan Lucas and me aside and signals that he is going to negotiate to see what kind of deal he can get. I'm grateful becasue at this point, I can barely speak anyway.

We stand back and let Marc do his thing.

The manager asks him if we are just having a drink of planning to stay. Marc says that it depends. We know that this lodge is usually R2000 a night per person.

The manager kindly informs us that she has a special going on of R580 per person per night.

I’m thinking “What??? That’s a bargain! Let’s do it!”

Marc then delivers one of the best negotiation lines I’ve ever heard:

“Can we camp on your lawn?” he asks her.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 08:58:11 pm by Overland Bruce »
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Offline BoskakBruce

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Re: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
« Reply #65 on: December 01, 2020, 08:48:36 pm »
I’m almost choking trying to contain my laughter. I can’t keep it in, so I head to the bar with Jan Lucas while Marc works his magic.

As we leave for the bar I hear him saying something like “I was thinking of more like R250 per person…”

I chuckle, slightly embarrassed, but knowing that this is how the game works and curious to see what happens next.

We order beer. This is good.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 08:59:48 pm by Overland Bruce »
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Offline BoskakBruce

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Re: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
« Reply #66 on: December 01, 2020, 08:50:09 pm »
Before I left Cape Town, Johnny Wood @WildWood  took me aside and told me that as long as Jan Lucas finds cold beer at the end of the day, he will be a great travelling companion. Johnny was not wrong. We laughed and recounted our day.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 09:00:35 pm by Overland Bruce »
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Offline BoskakBruce

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Re: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
« Reply #67 on: December 01, 2020, 08:52:30 pm »
Marc arrives and says that the manager is going to get back to us.

She arrived 5 minutes later and announces, “Gentlemen, I have an offer for you… I can put you all in 1 room for R580.”

“Each?” I ask.

“No, for all 3 of you.” She replies.

I scratch my head. We offered her R750 and she counters with R580?????

Clearly this woman did not pass high school math.

But we are not going to argue, so we unanimously shout, “YES!”

Man, that was a funny and happy moment. Sitting in a luxury lodge, sipping cold beer overlooking the valley and looking forward to a comfy bed and good meal for less than R200 each.

This would not be the last time we ditched camping for a luxury lodge costing less than a campsite.

And that, my friends, is the end of our first day. More fun to come tomorrow.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 09:01:22 pm by Overland Bruce »
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Offline cocky

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Re: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
« Reply #68 on: December 01, 2020, 08:55:09 pm »
AWESOME reading! :thumleft: :thumleft:
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Offline XRRX

Re: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
« Reply #69 on: December 01, 2020, 09:47:19 pm »
Awesome!!!  :happy1:
 

Offline funacide

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Re: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
« Reply #70 on: December 01, 2020, 11:11:00 pm »
Really enjoying the read, thanks for sharing.

Reading your coffee attempt reminds me of our first trip to Namibia, I had a similar plan with coffee filters

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=19247.msg311936#msg311936

Being a bit of a coffee addict myself, I now make sure I chuck out some extra clothes and other non essentials to always take a 2 Cup Bialetti with on trips.

https://bialetti.co.za/product/moka-express/

The rule is that I get up and have 2 cups on my own before making coffee for anyone else.

I have now taken it on all trips after 2008 and would not think of changing. It makes mornings before packing up amazing!!!

« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 11:12:17 pm by funacide »
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Offline teebag

Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
« Reply #72 on: December 02, 2020, 07:41:15 am »
think it’s called a GSI Java Drip




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: December 02, 2020, 07:41:36 am by teebag »
 
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Offline BoskakBruce

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Re: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
« Reply #73 on: December 02, 2020, 08:59:19 am »
Thanks for your COFFEE ideas, guys. Your comments got me searching online and I found this one:

https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/reviews/camping-and-hiking/camping-coffee/primula-coffee-brew-buddy

I looks more durable than the GSI Java Drip and is still as light. Ordering one now.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2020, 09:12:06 am by Overland Bruce »
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Offline BoskakBruce

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Re: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
« Reply #74 on: December 02, 2020, 09:13:49 am »
Really enjoying the read, thanks for sharing.

Reading your coffee attempt reminds me of our first trip to Namibia, I had a similar plan with coffee filters

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=19247.msg311936#msg311936

Being a bit of a coffee addict myself, I now make sure I chuck out some extra clothes and other non essentials to always take a 2 Cup Bialetti with on trips.

https://bialetti.co.za/product/moka-express/

The rule is that I get up and have 2 cups on my own before making coffee for anyone else.

I have now taken it on all trips after 2008 and would not think of changing. It makes mornings before packing up amazing!!!

My wife have travelled with one of these for years. Normally, I'd use one too as the coffee tastes great. However, travelling on extended trips solo on the 500 doesn't allow me the luxury of space to carry one of those (and carry spares, tubes, camping gear etc...).
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Ride Reports: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
 

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Re: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
« Reply #75 on: December 02, 2020, 11:46:40 am »
for a light durable coffeemaker, Google AEROPRESS. they work very well
 

Offline Baches

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Re: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
« Reply #76 on: December 02, 2020, 01:42:56 pm »
Beautiful part of Namibia to ride with adventure bikes. We are so blessed to have places like this on our doorstep.Sub.
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Offline Amsterdam

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Re: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
« Reply #77 on: December 02, 2020, 08:41:46 pm »
As the boys blast off into the distance, I stay back again to avoid eating all their dust and getting my air filter dirty.

But then, the track opens up into a huge sandy trail and I just can’t help myself.

We’re blasting at 100km/h down the track.  It’s insane fun.

Bruce just needed a little time to find his rhythm.  Having spent years riding a Honda XR250 Tornado he was not used to the speed of a KTM when it idles along in 3rd gear.  On top of that I had planned a somewhat overly ambitious distance for day 1 so I did feel we needed to keep moving a bit.  The good thing is that after a while we all settled into a pace that worked well for all of us, that is, a pace that got us to cold beer before dark.
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Offline BoskakBruce

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DAY 2 – Twyfelfontein to Palmwag
« Reply #78 on: December 02, 2020, 10:04:40 pm »
We woke up early again. A night in a comfy bed had done us all good.

As usual, while the boys were showering, I was working on my bike trying to debug my suspension woes. Yesterday, after setting the sag correctly, the bike did seem to handle better. The fishtailing was gone, but the front wheel was digging into all the sandy corners making it difficult to corner in sand without risking a tank slap.

Perhaps lowing the forks yesterday was the problem. So I raised them in the triple clamps again to the stock position. Let’s see how that works out…

We then enjoyed a hearty farmer’s breakfast with freshly baked bread and pretty decent coffee. We were definitely NOT roughing it as planned. I could get used to this life 😊

We set off looking for fuel and after filling our tanks we all relaxed a little more knowing that we had about a 400km range to play with.

We dropped into the Aba-Huab riverbed.
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Ride Reports: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
 
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Offline BoskakBruce

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Re: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)
« Reply #79 on: December 02, 2020, 10:05:55 pm »
Jan Lucas was up front, Marc behind him and me keeping up the back marker. The dust was unbearable, so I stopped to wait for it to settle.

Of course, by the time I got going, the boys were far ahead of me and I couldn’t figure out where they had gone. These riverbeds are wide with multiple tributaries branching off from the main riverbed.

I took what I thought was the turn they had taken, but quickly realized that there were no bike tracks in the sand. I turned around, but couldn’t find their tracks anywhere.

There’s no cell signal. They have a sat phone. I have a Garmin Inreach. So I could have sent a message to the satphone from the Inreach, but I figured that they were riding and hadn’t realized that I was lost.

I took another turn. No joy.

Then backtracked some more and took another turn.

Joy!

There they were waiting for me. Phew.
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Ride Reports: Virgin Sand In Kaokoland (a post lockdown adventure)