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Online Hardy de Kock

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The weather - a defining factor

All the signs (and Namibian weather prophets) indicate that there will be rain in the north (Namibia and Angola) during the month of May.
I am the first person to wish as much rain us possible to fall in Kaokoland - I really am but, things do get very tricky if it does.
As I type this, it is still impossible to cross the Hoarusib river, and that means that the vehicles and bikes would have to make a two day detour to turn south, after the time in the desert.
The Hoarusib is a 100meters plus at it's narrowest point in Puros and when it floods, it takes along whatever comes in its way. It makes its way into the Puros Canyon and after a 25 kilometer run through the canyon, it turns west where it channels towards the Atlantic Ocean.
Under normal circumstances one would either cross the Hoarusib and head towards Sesfontein, or you would follow the Hoarusib through the canyon for 25km, after which you would turn left into the desert and head towards the Hoanib through the Ganias plains.
If the river is flooding, none of these routes is do-able, and your only option is to head back towards Opuwo from where you can turn south again. Even this means that you will have to cross the Hoarusib, but at a narrower point over 250km in a north-easterly direction.
We will see what the weather gods have in mind for us, and we will deal with it as it happens. It will be interesting though.


Note to self - stock up on wheel bearings
« Last Edit: March 28, 2021, 06:50:11 am by Hardy de Kock »
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Puros

After driving up the narrow, rocky track to Jan Joubert koppie (small hill), you are met with spectacular scenery. Mountains extend around you and the green vein of the Hoarusib River meanders below.

This incredible view of the Puros Conservancy bordering the Skeleton Coast Park is one of the highlights of staying at the Puros Campsite on the banks of the Hoarusib River. An ephemeral river, it is dry for most of the year, running in summers of good rainfall when its catchment area fills up. Desert-adapted elephant roam the ephemeral river courses in the Kunene Region from the Ugab River northwards and the elephants are frequent visitors at the campsite.

The name Puros stems from the Otjiherero word ‘omburo’ meaning underground water that seeps up to the surface. It refers to the artesian springs much favoured by these hardy elephants that visit the springs or dig gorras in the riverbed to reach the fresh water. Animals that may be seen in the area are giraffe, ostrich, gemsbok, springbok and baboon, and if extremely lucky, the few lion that still wander through.

The camp was officially opened in 1995, becoming part of the Puros Conservancy in 2003. It was upgraded in 2005 and consists of six sites under large camel-thorn trees, each with its own private ablution facilities with flush toilets, made with makalani palm walls and cleverly placed under branches of the trees, with one site  having double facilities. Hot water is provided through ‘donkey’ wood-burners and fresh water pumped up from the borehole is available. The sites have large trees providing blessed shade in the day and are equipped with a kitchen sink and counter, barbecue area and tap. Francolins walk about the campsite, calling in the mornings and grey go-away-birds ‘kweeeee’ through the day.

The attractions of the area include the stunning scenery of an unfenced desert landscape, the springs that run between the mountains near the village – where you can view the river birdlife and experience this small Eden in the dry environment – and a visit to the nearby demonstration Himba village a few kilometres away. Guided trips are offered by campsite management to the village and the surrounding areas.

Come prepared. Purros is a very small village, although it looks bigger on the map. Fuel can usually be bought in Sesfontein and basics at the Fontein Shop. It is best to buy groceries and fill up with fuel in Kamanjab or Opuwo if travelling from the north. Fuel can also be purchased at the Palmwag fuel station and Khorixas. The camp is not accessible when the Hoarusib River is coming down in flood and it is re-commended to check the situation if travelling between January and April.

The Puros Campsite provides a good base for exploring the area and as a stopover point if travelling via Orupembe to the Marienfluss area and Opuwo or returning from the north via Purros to Sesfontein. A hundred and nine kilometres from Sesfontein on a 4×4 only road, Purros is a good desti-nation on its own for an experience of the area.

Visiting the traditional Himba village, exploring the surrounding area, watching the sun set from the viewpoint into the mountains and desert sands, and glimpsing desert elephant journeying through the riverbed are worth spending at least two nights at this riverbank campsite.

Although you may feel on arrival that you have reached the end of the world, with a bit of exploration you will discover the beauty and magic this desert world holds.

by Ron Swilling


For those of you who might be interested in reading more about this magnificent place, I have posted a link that you might find interesting


http://www.nacso.org.na/sites/default/files/Brochure%20Puros%20FPis.pdf


« Last Edit: March 28, 2021, 07:18:48 am by Hardy de Kock »
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Offline Chantal Burger

The good news is, that the sand in the Marienfluss will be compacted.


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Offline P.K.

Purros is a special place and not many people pass through it without falling under the spell of the place .

I have been lucky enough to visit the area twice in the last two years, both with Specialised Adventures: the riding is spectacular, a warm Zamalek quart on an upturned beercrate next to the Manchester United Tavern with your riding buddies is a right of passage, but viewing the sunset (or sunrise) from the low dunes outside the camp is in my opinion, one of the highlights of the trip.
 Enjoy the riding, the comeraderie, the Tavern, and all that goes with it, but do NOT miss that evening stillness and the view to the West after a great days riding , a shower and a cold beer.

This year I am in the Cruiser riding backup with my mate Hennie Roos (as copilot) who has done both trips the last two years with me as a rider. We are both amped to see Kaokoland and Purros after the rains. We will miss the riding, and as staff, will probably have to skip the warm Black Label, but after ensuring the riders are taken care of we hope to sneak off to a dune to view the sun going down over Purros.
 
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Offline dirt rat

Hardy is there any truth in the rumor that Kaokoland might become a concession area ?
 

Offline Vis Arend

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yes, analyses in Kathu.

The mine actually have a PCR machine, that thing testing the antibodies. But dont see that being used or authorised for something like this.

I managed to get a quick test kit the other day from a nurse. Result within an hour, but also dont know if that will be available for private use or even accepted at the border.
I would say google and give them a call. net nou jok ek hier



Yep - Namibia does not accept quick testing. Will phone them tomorrow.
MetalJockey just told me a girl from his office phoned Ariamsvkei (Namibia side of Nakop) and they told her that they accept 7 day prior to arrival tests??
Will phone and confirm tomorrow. 
Thanks for the advice - much appreciated

Nam side requires a PCR-Covid test not older than 7 days.   :thumleft: 
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I have had some requests for more info on what you guys can expect on the tour and decided to post a short day to day description here.

My first post will help you understand what will happen until we get to Spitzkoppe, where the riding actually starts. From there I have included a short day to day description.

a Few things to keep in mind for your trip:

- May is still very hot during the day.  At night it is probably the best time of the year.
- There will be mosquitos. The staff will have a can of anti-pest if mosquitos bother you.
- Malaria is only a risk in Epupa. After many, many tours and never sleeping in a tent, none of our crew has ever picked up malaria in the Kaokoveld.
Use your own discretion though, and speak to your doctor for advice on prophylactics.
- Start using re-hydrates at least a week before the trip, and at least twice a day on the trip. The sachets is cheap and it will ensure your trip does not come to an abrupt halt because of de-hydration. Over the years I have seen many real good riders going down because of this.
- Share tools and spares and sort out the costs later. There is no point in everyone carrying a compressor and a toolbox.
- Pace yourself – 12 days through this terrain will eat you alive if you exhaust yourself, even if you are a riding god.
- Look after your steed. Filters, oil top up and a clean chain will serve you well.
- Forget the fancy tubeless systems. It will let you down, or at least, that is my experience with it over the course of numerous tours here.
- Closed shoes in the evening, and a headlamp that works is essential.
- We will only allow one 80 liter duffel bag per guest. We really have no space extra (please do not put me in a situation where I have to enforce this golden rule)



Pre departure arrangements

Prior to you (or us) leaving for your tour in North Western Namibia we would need to get your bike and all the necessary documents from you to get your bike legally through the border.  We will arrange for one of our crew members to come to Johannesburg on a specific date arranged with the clients. Any guests from Mpumalanga, KZN, Limpopo or North West should also bring their bikes to this collection point too, together with a copy of your bike’s registration document, a letter of consent and a copy of your passport/ID. You should also bring four tie down straps of your choice with. Your bike will be loaded onto the trailer in your presence. From here the staff member will drive along the N1 through Bloemfontein to collect bikes there, and from there he will drive to Colesberg and then to Loxton. Our guests from the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Northern Cape will liaise with us so that we could make arrangements for the collection of their bikes.

Specialised Adventures Crew will leave for Namibia four days prior to the tour starting date to give us time to get to Windhoek and to purchase all the groceries etc. that we would need for the tour.

Arriving in Windhoek

Guests will fly to Hosea Kutako International Airport, where we will arrange a shuttle to collect you from the airport. From the airport you will be taken to the Safari Hotel in Windhoek where the crew (and your bike) awaits you. After you have been allocated your rooms for the evening, we will host a briefing session at the hotel pool. We will make sure you have the coldest Namibian draught in your hand while we brief you on what you can expect during the coming days. After the briefing we will all go for supper, after which we will turn in for an early night.

Early the next morning we will have breakfast at the hotel, before you will get into the shuttle for a three hour drive to the small town of Usakos. The shuttle will drive behind the crew on the way there and you guys will realise quickly why we chose not to start the tour in Windhoek. The traffic around Windhoek is hectic and it is unnecessary to risk your life on a bike.

Once we get to Usakos you will find that Willem – the owner of the Engen garage has cleared two lanes for our guests to fill up their bikes. Willem is a super friendly Ovambo and his garage is better equipped than most Engen garages in South Africa. His garage is notorious for their biltong and dry wors too.

Willem also has a lock up facility behind his garage where we will offload the bikes and store the trailers. You guys can now change into your riding gear because you are on the bikes from here. From Usakos you will ride the 25km on tar until you find the D1918 on your right. You will turn here and carry on with the D1918 until you turn right again on the D3716. With a view of Spitzkoppe in the distance you will find it hard to focus on the road. The turn off to Spitzkoppe will be on your left after about 15km on the D3716, and from the turn off it is a mere 2km to the entrance gate of the Spitzkoppe Camp. Let’s meet at the bar!

Right across the bar you will see the shower facilities – You will have to come back here later to take a shower as there are no showers at our camp. The guests that want to explore Spitzkoppe and surrounds will have ample time to do so after we have set up camp.
Tonight will be a night that you will never forget.



Day 2 Spitzkoppe to Palmwag

After breakfast we will gather at the entrance gate before we depart for Palmwag up north. Once we turn onto the D3716, you guys will have to focus on the following:

- International visitors who might be driving on the wrong side of the road – Yes, it happens frequently.
- Tour operators in tour buses not sticking to the left side whilst driving.

If I had a penny for every time we have encountered the above mentioned problems I would have retired by now. Please keep as far left as possible when you ride over a blind hill, and please assume the worst situation possible awaiting you every time you get caught up in a dust cloud.

This place is truly spectacular and unfortunately people tend to look around them whilst driving, instead of looking at the road in front of them.

We will head north on the D3716 until we link up with the D1930 that will take us on the most enjoyable scenic road heading towards the small town of Uis.  Just before Uis we will turn left on the C36 that will lead us into Uis. The Engen garage will be on your right and you can fill up there. We will exit Uis on the same C36 before we turn right onto the C36. The bikes will turn left onto the D2319 after 15 km and will continue with this very interesting and sometimes challenging road towards Anixab. This road will take you through several small riverbed crossings and you will from time to time het a wake-up call with the sand patches in areas where you did not expect it.

This road links up with the C35 just before we turn left on the D2612 towards Desolation Valley. The likelihood of us finding elephants on this road is good, and you need to take caution once we get close to the Huab River. This road is truly beautiful and the scenery will take your breath away. Carry on with the D2612 until you get to a T-junction where you turn left towards on the C39 towards Bersig. Desolation Valley is spectacular from any direction and you will stop frequently to take pictures. The C35 becomes the C43 just after the Wereldsend turnoff and we will continue our journey into the mountain passes of the Bergsig area before we turn left towards Palmwag onto the D3706. You will see plenty Springbuck, Giraffe, Gemsbuck and Zebra on this stretch so please be very careful.

After about 10km we will have to stop at the veterinary gate. Once through the gate you will find the fuel station on your left where you will have to full up. Once we have filled up, we can slowly ride into Palmwag Camp on our left. A crew member will point you towards our campsite where you can safely park your bike, get into your swimming trunks and head of the the pool /bar.
Palmwag is known for Elephant visits, so please be careful.

Day 3 Palmwag to Opuwo

After a good breakfast we will get back onto the C43 and head north for about 77km to the Khowarib Lodge. It is an old tradition for us to meet here and have some refreshments before we continue towards Opuwo.
The management of the Lodge has kindly agreed that we can use their pool (It will come in handy later).
The C43 between Palmwag and Khowarib is littered with wildlife and you guys will be able to see Zebra, Giraffe and Springbuck in abundance.
We have seen many elephants on this road before and I once had a run in with a cheetah, in the middle of the road.
Be very careful of the wet cement bridge after we leave Khowarib as it has taken many a rider by surprise in the past. Ian Timmoney will testify to this.
After the 97km mark (from Palmwag) we turn right on the C43.
This road can be very tricky if it had recent rain but it is always beautiful and undulating with plenty blind rises and blind corners.
We will meet for an early lunch in the mountain pass (cement section) before we head off again in the direction of Opuwo
We will ride through Baobab Valley up until we get the T-junction where we will turn right onto the D3707 (gravel)
This road will take us into the Kaokoland capital of Opuwo.
Please make sure you fill up at the Puma fuel station in town before you
continue with the track towards the Opuwo Country Lodge.  The local Himba women might try to sell you souvenirs at the gas station. They are not dressed like our western women – Watch out!
The lodge is high up on a hill, on the western side of town, and has the biggest thatch roof in the southern hemisphere.
We will all meet at the lodge first, for a Windhoek and a view over the Kaoko Otavi valley.
After the beer (s) we can go to the campsite where the crew will start to prep for supper.
You guys are welcome to explore the town, or to cool off at the pool.

« Last Edit: April 01, 2021, 07:33:25 am by Hardy de Kock »
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Day 4 Opuwo to Epupa Falls

Today we will make our way to the Kunene River (the border between Angola and Namibia).
Our first official stop will be Swartbooisdrift - at the Dorsland trekker monument on the hill, overlooking the mighty Kunene.
We leave camp and make our way down to the C43, where we turn left and head north for about 77km before we turn right on the D3702. Mount Otjivize - One of a few Holy Himba mountains on this tour, will be on your left as you turn onto the D3702.
After 130 km (total distance) you will find the monument on your left, just before the junction.
The road you covered so far this morning are sometimes very busy, as it is the trade route between Opuwo and the Ruacana border.
Be very careful not to overtake when there is dust, and your visibility is not perfect.
We will have lunch a little further down the river in a shady spot.
The Kunene should be in full force - Believe me that it is a sight to behold.
It is important to stick to the track in this next section as the road winds further and closer to the river constantly. You will enjoy fantastic views of the Kunene and Angola as we cover the last 93 km towards Epupa Falls.
Please note that the humidity will come into play today, and it will hurt you if you have not taken your re-hydrates.
The afternoon is yours to explore the falls.
Koos Verwey, the famous recce is the camp manager and is very strict about bike noise. Please be respectful if you arrive.
The camp does have a fantastic pool and a very nice bar, overlooking the Kunene.

Day 05 Epupa Falls to Van Zyl’s Camp

Waking up with the waterfall as background music is something else. Today’s track is only 140 odd km long, yet it will take us most of the day to get to camp.
The first 71 km takes nothing more than an hour, and we will all meet in the riverbed, under the Anna trees, left of the cement bridge that just before Okangwati.
From here I will lead us through the metropolis into the spoor track that will take us into the escarpment.
I have to be honest here - On this day and on this rather technical track some of you will question your initial motivation for joining this trip. Yes, it does become very difficult in places and some of you will take a tumble or two.
My advice is not to rush it.
Re-hydrate frequently, stop and rest every 30 minutes, don’t stress, and make the most of it. Today you are riding in a place thousands of adventure riders have on their bucket lists.
You will encounter sand, more sand and a lot of off camber sections. You will be introduced to Heartbreak Hill and true to her name, she will do her best to break your heart as well as your courage.
Before you meet her you will see countless Himba kraal and Himba cattle along the route. Just before we get to Heartbreak Hill the road splits. It is not easy to see the split so be aware (around the 132km mark). Please wait for the group to catch up (back up Cruiser too). We will have lunch here before we set off to challenge the Lady.
Once we are through the “Hill” we will make our way through the rock decent towards Otjihende (a small village just before we get to camp). Please stay on the track or you will get lost.
We will meet at the campsite after your toughest day so far.


Day 06 - Van Zyl’s Camp to Marble Camp via Van Zyl’s Pass

We will leave camp after a good breakfast. I suggest that one or two of the more experienced riders ride in the back with me as we will have to help the less experienced riders through the first three obstacles. It starts 2,3 km after we leave camp.
This day is less than 70km long but as I mentioned before - Relax, take it easy, and rest enough, or else it will eat you alive.
On the 7,6km mark we need to offer assistance again.
On the 10km mark we will gather at the viewpoint.
It should be breath-taking with the recent rains.
From the viewpoint we will continue down a very steep rocky track to the famous Van Zyl’s Pass Step. I would suggest we all stop just before the Step to look at the conditions, discuss strategy and help each other down.
It is seriously steep and undulating and the riders with short legs will definitely need a helping hand.
Once through the step we will make our way down the pass.
It drops 650 meters in 1,5 km over seriously rocky terrain.
We will meet at the rock monument at the bottom of the pass for refreshments.
Everyone is welcome to keep with tradition and write your name in a loose rock, before placing it on the monument, to confirm your status as a VZP survivor.
From here we hit the Marienfluss.
Keep left at the split on the 15,7 km mark and keep momentum as this 15km sand monster has a habit of toying with your mind.
We gather at the 29,1 km mark next to the landmine blown truck to make sure everyone is fine before we set out for Rooidrom.
You will find this famous landmark at the 38,6km mark and will appreciate the 4 shade trees.
We will take a 30 minute rest/snack break here.
No one will believe you were here without a pic of you next to Rooidrom.
After we left Rooidrom, we make our way to Rooidrom pass on the 53,7 km mark.
The secret here is to keep momentum and not to stop on this never ending slippery rock climb.
Don’t try and steer around every rock. Allow your front suspension to do its work and enjoy the experience.
Once everyone assembled at the foot of the pass we will start the climb one at a time.
You guys will find Marble camp on the 63 km mark.
I guarantee you will never forget this day.


Day 7 - Marble Camp to Puros.

Today we will ride to one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. In actual fact - it is my favourite place in Namibia.
We leave from camp early and head south towards Otjiha Plains. We will enter it after about 5km. There is always a massive amount of Springbuck in the plains, although we have seen Gemsbok and Ostrich there often.
7km later (stay on the track and please do not ride in the plains) we turn right towards the Khumib river. From here onwards we will encounter plenty giraffe, zebra, springbok and gemsbok.
At thé 23km mark we will enter the Khumib at the point where the truck splits away from us.
The Khumib allows you to ride either in the riverbed, or have the option to ride left of the riverbed on the two spoor road.
We will meet at the little koppie left of the river on the 45 km mark for coffee. Ride past the koppie, and enter it from the south.
After coffee we will ride the next 20km to the spot where we turn left for the Puros Conservancy.
At the 66km mark we split
left in the conservancy area. Get ready for some serious rocky riding soothed by the most amazing vistas.
Imagine riding rocky hills and every time you hit the hill crest, you see the green palm tree riverbed of Puros in the distance, just to lose sight of it again as you decent down the hill.
We will all meet up on the 83km mark just before we enter the Hoarusib River. The danger is real here as this riverbed is a restaurant for the elephants. I will take the lead here and ride a 100 meters in front of the group. I will ask Brian or Elio to carry a two way radio so that I can warn the group if I encounter the desert giants. This is a stunning ride and your sand skills will be tested.
The route weaves in and out of the river but the views stays exceptional.
There are several viewpoints along this riverbed and I will wait for you guys on a few of them to catch up. We will rest frequently as the sand will take its toll on your arms in this riverbed.
This is a dangerous area and you should watch the guy with the radio.
We will climb out of the Hoarusib across the river where I again will wait for the group.  You will see me as you come around the corner. I suggest you stay on the throttle as the sand is deep here.
From this point we will ride the last few km at a relative fast speed to cool off before we get to camp.
Another day you will never forget
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Day 8. Puros Canyon

This morning you wake up in one of the most beautiful places in Southern Africa. No need to rush, as this our destination - again.
After breakfast we ride across the Hoarusib and head towards the Puros village.
Colin is a local entrepreneur who keeps fuel at his make shift depot. His prices are a little high, but the luxury of having fuel available in the desert is priceless. 
Once we all re-fuelled we will get into the Hoarusib once again to explore the Puros Canyon. This is a ride that will stay with you forever and the views will be with you forever.
It will be wet, and soggy though.
I will speak to the locals to find out where Jabu is.
Both the close encounters I have had in this area was with this young bull.
We have a love hate relationship that has so far lasted the best of ten years. If Jabu is in the canyon we will discuss our options first.
The canyon is about 25 km long and you feel as if you ride between two 25km world class paintings.
The rock formations and the reflection of the sun on these rocks is really breath-taking.
We will stop a few times so that you can drink something and I can smoke, before we press ahead for the canyon exit on the left.
The exit to our left leads us back into the desert within seconds and from here we follow the gps track that loops through the desert back to our camp in Puros. In all a 70km ride.
This afternoon we have something really special in mind for you guys, so use the few free hours you have to do some washing or whatever you feel like doing.

Day 09 Puros to Khowarib

We will leave from Puros crossing the Hoarusib one last time before we hit the D3207 towards Ford Sesfontein.
The first 30km is a myriad of zig zag riding and a whole lot of small riverbed crossings.
We will stop a few times to rest under a shady Mopanč tree as this area is extremely hot.
We will eventually enter the Gribies plains.
The plains are known for a few things:
Giraffe, Springbok, Oryx, Fairy circles and long stretches of thick sand.
Momentum once again is key here and my suggestion is to commit to keeping good speed.
It is straight and that makes it easier than the Marienfluss.
After the plains we will enter the rocky mountain pass that will lead us into Fort Sesfontein at the 105km mark.
We can all meet at the Fuel pumps in town to re-fuel before we ride the last 40km towards the Khowarib camp.
We can all meet at the pub where we had refreshments on day 3. Remember to keep a pair of shorts close by on this day, because you guys will be able to cool off in the Khowarib Lodge pool.
They ask for a donation from each one of us, and we usually reciprocate as this luxury becomes priceless halfway through the Gribies plains.
The afternoon is yours to do as you like, before we all meet up at the Lodge campsite for supper.

Day 10 - Khowarib to Twyfelfontein

The Khowarib campsite is located between the most magnificent mountains.
The early risers will be treated to a beautiful spectacle as the sun takes aim at the rocky outcrops surrounding our camp during sunrise.
Normally, around this time of the trip, fatigue starts to play a role. We might also have one or more cases of minor injuries like sore ankles, sore asses etc. For those guys we planned the route via the main road, towards Palmwag.
It is scenic and very beautiful without it being technical.
For the fit and the brave we also offer the Khuwarib Schlught trail.
This trail is dangerous, technical, sandy and the chances of an elephant encounter is above average.
It starts in the fesh-fesh traps that the Khuwarib Schlught is known for, before it throws you out into the Ombonde River with its deep sand.
Once you are out of the river the technical riding starts as you make your way through Klein Serengeti, before you link up with the Otjondeka trail that finally ends approximately 45km from Palmwag, on the same road that the tired riders used.
We will meet up in Palmwag for refreshments after which we re-fuel again before we cross the veterinary gate.
You will definitely be searched for raw red meat, and your absolute patience is required here. These guys have an important task to fulfil, and to annoy them will have a negative consequences.
We will cover the 7 km to the T - junction before we turn right towards Twyfelfontein.
After another +- 40km you will have another option in terms of the route.
Like the Schlught, the Valley of desolation offers riders some seriously technical, rocky riding before you meet up with the Aba Huab riverbed.
The Aba Huab is famous for its tough sand, elephants and its lions. I highly recommend that you only attempt it if you are physically and emotionally 100% strong.
The rest of the riders can use the alternative easier road that will take you directly to camp.
Choose wisely on this day, for tomorrow you will ride the Doros 4x4 trail, Divorce pass, the Ugab river and the never ending Messum Crater.

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Day 11 – Twyfelfontein to Brandberg – The long way around

We wake up next to the Aba Huab riverbed, hopefully well rested, as today’s route is as challenging as anything we have had thus far.
For the guys that does not have anything left in the tank, there is the option of riding the truck route.
This is obviously the less challenging route that will take you to the next camp in less than 4 hours.

On the other side of the scale we have the Pro route. This route will take you past all the jewels that the Twyfelfontein area offers - places like the Burned Mountain (not to be confused with Brandberg) Organ Pipes and the Petrified Forrest to name but a few.
Once you have left all of this behind, you will have to deal with the Doros 4x4 trail. This trail will take you through Divorce Pass (aptly named) into the Ugab River. Your section in the Ugab will only be two km, but believe me you will remember it.
Once through the Ugab you will turn south towards the south western corner of the Messum Crater.
I do not recommend you attempting the Messum Crater if you are not COMPLETELY comfortable with technical sand riding for very long distances.
You probably will get punctures here so be prepared. As you exit the Messum Crater you will get involved in standoff game with Brandberg.
You are riding around her southern border heading towards her eastern side.
The thing is - She does not show you any progress. Yes, it never feels as if you are getting any closer to the mountain, and this plays in your mind, so be warned. Once we eventually make it to the eastern side we will meet up at Brandberg White Lady camp where we will treat you guys to a well-deserved beer and a swim.

My opinions and description of the routes is just that.. My own opinions. It was pointed out to me that my descriptions might scare some people off from attempting the more difficult routes.
My responsibility towards you requires that I am brutally honest in this regard.
Be honest with yourself - ride the route best suited for your skill level and physical condition and you will enjoy it much more.
It is an absolute horror story when you have to abandon the day’s riding because of exhaustion.

This last bit in Afrikaans if you don’t mind:

Kaokoland en Damaraland is anders as wat meeste mense dink, nie 'n natuur reservaat nie.
Dit is ongerepte natuur, en in meeste dele nog steeds dieselfde wildernis wat dit was 500 jaar gelede.
Dit lyk anders, dit ruik anders en dit voel anders as enige plek waar jy moontlik al was.
Dit speel met jou kop as jy ry en weet dat daar enige oomblik dalk ń olifant voor  jou kan inloop. Jy kan nie help om meer as normaal rond te kyk, net om seker te maak daai kat met die skerp kante lę nie erens in die lang gras en loer nie.
Om deur die “fairy circles” te ry en saam met die 100de wetenskaplikes wat al vrugteloos daar kom navorsing doen het, te wonder oor hoe dit ontstaan het, is onbeskryflik.
Jou respek vir die Himba groei elke dag. Hierdie stam vir wie tyd stil staan sal jou vinnig laat besef tot watter uiterstes die mens in staat is.
Die berge vertel elk sy eie storie en die wind, die rotse en die sand doen die vertaalwerk.
Dis ń spesiale plek die - en as hy vatplek gekry het in jou siel, los hy jou nooit nie.

« Last Edit: April 01, 2021, 06:06:31 am by Hardy de Kock »
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Offline Wolzak

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Great Photos :thumleft:
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Offline M3X3Z3

Great RR Hardy and very nice pikchas.

Thanks for taking the time to put it together for us homeboys.  :thumleft:
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Offline punisher

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ohhhhh to be fit .......... and nimble enough to do this .......................


Your profile says you are 55...where`s the problem?

"ADVENTURE BEFORE DEMENTIA"

fatness  :thumleft:
just wanna have fun , and ride ... and ....... ride
 
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Offline punisher

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ohhhhh to be fit .......... and nimble enough to do this .......................

You might just surprise yourself :thumleft:

i hear you ,  would not want to "let the others down tho

would have to lose a few tons aswell  :biggrin:
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VOLG!
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