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Offline LuckyStriker

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Wham Bam Thank You Nam! - Namibia 30 Aug to 9 Sep 2006
« on: September 12, 2006, 09:55:53 pm »
First off let me say this:
The trip was not an expedition nor was it done to prove anything to anyone. It was a simple relaxing holiday to a neighbouring country, the only distinction being that it was done on unsupported motorcycles with no luxuries (fold up chairs excluded!) and a meagre budget.

Although we are totally against drunken driving, we make no excuses for the large quantities of alcohol consumed or for the frequency in which it was taken.
 
Day 1: (a tale of wine and overlanders)
Wednesday 30 August 2006

Waking up at six was easier than I though it would be. Zanie and I set out on that bitterly cold cape morning and met our fellow riders at the Total garage in Durbanville.

The others looked equally frostbitten and after a brief inspection of each other?s bikes we hit the road.

The machines:


Butch rides an 1150GS. The yellow beast stood up well on the trip but suffered some electrical problems later on.


Kaboef is the Africa Twin pilot and the bike did extremely well. The AT was the trip?s Swiss army knife since it had electrical sockets galore and an exhaust pipe that could inflate blow up mattresses. A loose speedo cable was the only problem suffered.


Ama ride ride?s 1200GS was the pick of the bunch on this trip being the lightest bike. The only malady which befell it was a blown headlight outside Swakopmund.


And finally my 12GS Adventure which was the only bike asked to carry a pillion. I had no issues except for a loose screen and missing mirror ? more on that later?


(The tellytubbies were most upset when their home was demolished to make way for an interstate bypass)

As I said, the road north was a chilly one but the excitement of the trip kept us warm. We stopped at Piketberg to grab a coffee and check the luggage. All was well and we fell back onto the N7.


(Unsure what to do with the rather large octopus nesting on his head, Solly looked at Smoky Joe for advise)

We pulled over near the dam wall outside ClanWilliam and beheld three chaps passing a rather large zol around. I could see Ama ride ride aching for a drag but we decided to forego on the narcotics and get our fix in another way.


(The imperial guardsmen were puzzled why a stormtrooper would be aligned with rebel scum on their land speeders)

Around the corner we were pulled off by the traffic department and a contingent of police constables. Each rider had his own inspector poking and prodding the bikes and asking questions. My very own inspector seemed to be the only one completely unimpressed by us and insisted that my licence disc had expired in July until I pointed out that it was in fact valid until July of the next year. He then asked to see my licence card and remarked that the picture did not adequately resemble my face. He let me go with a stern warning and I thanked him for it?


(Unaware of the dire consequences, Terry pressed the 'launch' button on missile silo 3)

Ama ride ride has a friend who has a most fortunate occupation in a wine distillery outside Trawal. We stopped by this friend and were taken on a tour of the facilities. Every single vat and keg was sampled and we gave our expert opinions on the cultivars while feigning spitting out the wine. When we eventually got to the fortified stuff we were quite raucous and merrily filled our sticky glasses to the rims and swigged them in greedy gulps.
Eventually we were led outside and regretfully informed that no, we could not fill all our water containers and camelbacks with their international prize winning Cabernet.

With soaring spirits we headed north until we encountered two bikes aside the road. A husband and wife team from the UK heading down to Cape Town. He on a 640Adventure and she on an 800GS. They both started out on 640s but one had to be abandoned and she was fortunate to get her hands on the ancient beemer. They planned to sell the Katie in Cape Town and ship the old dear back to Blightie.


(Wily E. Cayote was ready this time. Those road runners would not escape his strategically placed boulder again!)

While the lads had a chat to the two intrepid explorers, Zanie and I raced ahead to Kamieskroon to look up old friends. This is a snapshot of Butch, Ama and Kaboef rounding the bend outside town.
The Namaqualand is in full bloom and bright green from recent rains.


(Alfie Cox's first attempt on 4 wheels ended in mechanical disaster and mental breakdown for poor Jute Kleinschmidt) - Picture taken by Butch

After procuring some supplies (booze and tjops) in Springbok we continued with our trek to the border. Outside Steinkopf Ama ride ride and I wondered what it would feel like to be behind a steering wheel of stock car. Nah, give us a bike any day of the week!


(Being a big fan of Easy Rider, Ogilvy rode his Honda like a Harley. Much to the DS community's dismay)

Just before the border we turned off towards Bushwacked camp. It is one of several places used as base camps for river rafters and Overlanders. Kaboef was a guide on the river just like Mark Twain of yore (but without the moustache and dandy hat) and organised a great campsite for us.


(While the lads planned bike trips and drank hard liquor the women silently and separately formulated plans to subjugate all men and force them to operate only electric lawnmowers)


(After being refused service at the bar, Adolf started an uprising but could only manage to incite two drunken harlots into action)

Bushwacked campsite played host to no less than four overland trucks that evening. One particular truck contained several boisterous Brits who seemed desperately in need of sexual diversification after being stuck with each other for several weeks.
Four strapping lads on motorcycles seemed an obvious target for their affections but it was Tall-Dark-Handsome Kaboef who spent the rest of the evening evading the passions of one particular Scottish Lass hell bent on boerewors.

Ama ride ride retired early to his bedroll while the rest of us performed for our hosts and drank a brand new cocktail, concocted and sponsored for us by the establishment, called 'Njakker-Woefs'.
Jana the bargirl and Willie the river guide begged us to stay another night but we were anxious to leave the republic and enter Namibia.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2016, 08:48:23 am by LuckyStriker »
 

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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2006, 09:56:35 pm »
Day 2: (?of winding rivers and straight roads)
Thursday 31 August 2006

At the border we were each charged an exorbitant N$90.00 road tax while at least spared the cost of a visa which the other tourists had to cough up.
At the Shell Garage in Noordoewer we sat and ate sausage rolls in the shade while Kaboef repacked all of the luggage on his bike.
We made it a point to look bored and restless while the poor guy worked in the dusty heat without any help offered by us.


S28 19.191 E17 22.527

We rode as briskly as our aching heads would allow and soon found ourselves on one of the most beautiful dirt roads in Southern Africa. The road follows the Orange River closely only to veer away sharply from time to time. We then had to traverse treacherous passes and narrow portals only to once again hug the great river as it made its way to the Atlantic.

Now and then we happened on small farms with struggling vegetable crops and marauding troops of baboon.
We also had one small water crossing where a father and son had been waiting for some time, not having the guts to cross it until they saw it being done by someone else first. We simply splashed through without a second thought, much to the slack jawed amazement of the cautious pair.


(The first tourist from Mars were unimpressed. Earth looked just too much like home)
S28 02.711 E16 50.824


A few kilometres before Rosh Pinah we left the Rocky valley of the Orange River with it lone Quiver Trees behind us and ascended the plateau of the great Namib.
The road to Rosh Pinah is not an easy one with random ruts in the pebbled road. We nevertheless kept our wits about us and ploughed on to that terrible little mining town with the promise of ice cold beer and cheap fuel.
We were disappointed by Rosh Pinah the moment we entered town. What a morbid place. They would not let us use the tables inside the hot garage shop unless we paid R5 each. So we each purchased our hotdogs which, were it not for our famished condition, would have tasted utterly crap.


(Expecting a huge turnout for his latest mass nude artwork, famed photographer Spencer Tunick was disappointed to find only 5 rowdy bikers?)
S27 11.157 E16 26.919


The road from Rosh Pinah to Aus used to be quite bad and I for one was not looking forward to riding it on a bike. Great was my surprise to discover that it had recently been tarred. It detracted from the desired experience of dirt road journeys but it did in turn give us opportunity to admire the spectacular views better.
Aus itself had the character of passed glories. A proud missionary church still stood near the dried up river and the people seemed to have hope that the new tar road would blow some life back into their lonely town.
The only garage was having new toilet facilities fitted and was apparently the only source of cold beer aside from the hotel.

We then headed west towards Luderitz and briefly stopped at the plains of the Wild Horses. There were several and judging from the fighting and the fifth leg sported by most of the males, we could tell that it was mating season?


(?so which house is yours?)
S26 41.729 E15 13.821


Just before Luderitz we had one last smoke break before entering into the misty coastal region. We said our goodbyes to the desperately hot interior and zipped up our ventilated jackets in preparation of the bitterly cold West Coast of Africa.

We entered Luderitz in the late afternoon and made our way to Shark Island. At the gate to the campsite we were made aware in no uncertain terms that our bikes would not be safe parked outside at night. We were invited to leave the bikes with the security guard at his little guardhouse once we had unpacked them at the bungalow nearly a kilometre away.

We thanked him but decided to make other plans. Zanie and Butch approached a nearby mansion and got the millionaire owners to open the gates of their fortress.
We could now spend the rest of the night relaxing and celebrating our first night in Namibia without having to worry about our steeds.
Ama ride ride and Kaboef went out to forage for fish and chips and returned over an hour later with restaurant food at R55 a portion. All the take away shops were closed.
 

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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2006, 09:57:29 pm »
Day 3: (?of ghost towns and ghosts in the darkness)
Friday 1 September 2006


(Envious of the charms of Paris, the mayor of Rockyroadmountain commissioned their own Eiffel Tower.)

The next morning was taken easy once we discovered that Namibia was one hour behind SA time. Instead of waking up at six, we had accidentally roused ourselves at 05:00! We also established that the Kolmanskop tour started late in the morning and we therefore took the time to ride around town and visit the tourism centre for some info regarding the next few days? travel.


(When Joe and Gurtrude returned to their beach house the next summer they discovered to their horror that gophers had completely decimated their lawn.)
S26 42.189 E15 13.872


We arrived at Kolmanskop at 9:30. Just in time to join a group of Canadians, Chinese and what I think were Portuguese. It was a windy morning and the corrosive dust scratched at our eyes. The guided tour ended mercifully soon and some of us headed for the cool shelter of the restaurant while the remainder of us braved the heat and dust to take some pictures of the abandoned buildings.

We left that wind swept ghost town and made our way to Aus along the long stretch of tar. The road was littered with small birds that flew up at the last moment. They swooped away, sometimes missing the rider in front by mere inches and sometimes they didn?t miss at all. My bike was struck several times and Ama ride ride and I took turns at point. He got a few hits on the helmet and eventually resorted to riding so slow that he could punch and kick in the air to get rid of their incessant harassment. It was so funny to watch that I nearly crashed from laughing so.

Next stop Aus. This time we stopped at the hotel and were extremely surprised by the well kept establishment. We had plenty ice cold beers and ordered chicken schnitzel while we removed our smelly boots. A group of 1 beemer and 3 KTMs thundered past without stopping or waving back at us.

The waiter was a local who had seen his town fall from grace to almost the depths of ruin but seemed hopeful that it would regain its former glory.


S26 01.093 E16 07.692

We knew that reaching Sesriem before nightfall was impossible so we headed for Duwisib Castle instead. But no journey should be rushed and we took the looping D707 along the Naukluft National Park as per Jacko?s suggestion.

The first kilometre or so had me quite nervous and I adjusted the steering damper to maximum. I soon discovered the trick of the road though. Stand up, relax and twist that throttle open every time the front gets too wild.

Kaboef also used this method but did so much throttle twisting that when he entered a turn in the road he was going way, way too fast. He struck the sand bank aside the road and for some reason managed to remain upright. He later reflected on the incident and confided in us that he was actually trying to postpone the inevitable crash until he could find a soft place to fall when the bike mercifully found it?s way back to the road again.

Zanie saw Gemsbok, Kudu, Springbok and a multitude of other wildlife but I saw only the road? I must admit, it was one of my favourite roads of the whole trip. Slightly demanding but extremely rewarding.

We arrived at Betta after dark and the pumps were already locked. There was no turning back or going forward for fuel so we rode the last 20 kilometres to Duwisib Castle in pitch darkness avoiding roaming cattle and small vermin. It was not a pleasant ride but the campsite looked promising when we finally found it.


(Despite his friends? misgivings, curious photographic evidence would later confirm Kumar Popadopolous? claims that he is in fact a saint)

The campsite at Duwisib was great! Easily the best on the entire trip. Running water at every plot. Clean, revamped ablutions with hot water and awesome trees. Each and every morning a small boy comes to rake the sand of every campsite so that new visitors will feel like the first ones there.


S25 15.668 E16 32.457

It was an awesome evening. We collected wood from the surrounding velt while barking geckos made their music. We cooked pasta and tuna with cheese sauce and drank from our large stash of old brown sherry.
Now and then we heard or saw movement in the tall yellow grass and someone set out to investigate.
Frequently someone would accost Zanie with tales of snakes witnessed in trees. She would assure us that these were merely harmless lizards and their ilk.

We concocted a new cocktail called ?Njakker-Miaau? (Brandy, Whiskey, white wine & Cream soda) and got well and truly sauced. Ama ride ride and I eventually retired to our respective tents but I shook with silent laughter when I heard the hilarious discussions still emanating from the fireside.
It was a great night!
 

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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2006, 09:58:22 pm »
Day 4: (?of sand and castles)
Saturday 2 September 2006


(Bubba liked to fry his chicken on his exhaust pipe until Bobby-Sue introduced him to more cultured meals such as KFC)

One of the little kamikaze birds on the Luderitz-Aus road got wedged in my header pipe. I clean forgot to take it out and once we got to the next overnight place, it was well and truly roasted!


(Not one but four Iron horses were left outside the walls by the vengeful Greeks, the Trojans were well and truly fucked)
S25 15.454 E16 32.480


So we packed up and rode a short kilometre to the Castle above the campsite. The story behind it goes something like this:
Baron von Wolf built it for his wife and after its completion, went to fetch her in Germany. Unfortunately the Baron died on the journey and the widow refused to travel to Africa to claim her new home.
The castle was still in good nick despite much of the content having been dragged away piece by piece over the last hundred years by impoverished locals.


S25 22.944 E16 25.454

Betta: Three pumps in the shade, a shop and a farmhouse. The grounds were kept painfully neat but I would not want to camp here.
The farmer and owner of Betta arrived to greet us a little later and shared with us the story of the Israeli woman who attempted to walk through Namibia a few weeks before our own arrival.
A bus filled with German tourists discovered her near unconscious body along the road and nursed her back to health with small quantities of jaegermeister and eisbein.


(There is nothing funny about sand ? except when the other guy falls his ass off before you do)

We decided to explore another D road (D830) just for the hell of it but the road quickly became a real bitch. The sandy ruts threw us helter-skelter and the only thing for it was to open up the throttle even wider. After a few short kilometres it became truly unpleasant and I stopped to get the opinions of the other riders. There was no one behind me! It turned the bike around thinking they had abandoned me to this crap road, now laughing amongst themselves. Before I had completed my turn I heard the rumble of Ama ride ride?s bike and promptly fell over. I was in a sandy patch and struggled to get enough speed to rise above the crazy zig-zag ruts.
So I did the unthinkable and made my wife walk while I rode the rest of the way back to Kaboef and Butch. They were also not in the mood to fight the sand in this blistering heat.

It never dawned on me to unpack the heavy luggage on solid ground and return to fetch my wife with a much lighter bike, so like a fool I walked back to fetch her. At least I didn?t abandon her entirely to her own devices.


S25 09.445 E16 15.851

We encountered a dog in this parched landscape and sandy road. There appeared to be not a single dwelling within sight but this animal followed us desperately, trying to keep up with the bikes.
We joked afterwards that perhaps the dog came to warn us of the bad road or perhaps even to eat the corpses of fallen riders?
We gave it all the water it could drink and left it to fend for itself.

Then we rode the worst road to date. No one fell but Butch and Kaboef both reported near crashed afterwards at the camp fire. The road was covered in marble sized gravel that sagged and flowed unpredictably under our tires. One or two tankslappers later and we pulled into Sesriem campsite.
We were given a plot right by the main gate. What a dump! None of us were impressed with the facilities but there was nowhere else to stay unless we opted for the very expensive safari lodges in the area.


S24 29.081 E15 48.029

Zanie used her charms to upgrade us to a much better spot but unfortunately this meant a nasty bit of sand had to ridden before we could get to our camp. This spot of sand was cause for much hilarity. We frequently sent someone off on some errand and waited to see if the rider could round the corners between camps without breaking his neck or barging through someone?s tent!
The sand in the pic is not that of which I speak (?tis but a wee sample of the stuff behind the camera)

Later that afternoon we made our way to Sossusvlei but we missed the sunset my almost a whole hour. The rest of the group turned back to start the fire while Zanie and I pushed on to the vlei.
When we got there it was dark and all we could see of the majestic dunes were enormous hulking shapes looming over us. We turned back and spent the 60km between Sossusvlei and Sesriem dodging panicky antelope and wild eyed hares.

Sesriem was perhaps a lowlight of the trip since Duwisib was such a hard act to follow and we were all pretty tired from the riding dodgy roads. The camping fees were also quite steep and bordered on theft in my humble opinion.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2008, 03:02:00 pm by LuckyStriker »
 

Offline LuckyStriker

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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2006, 09:59:01 pm »
Day 5: (?of apple strudel and sun baked lands)
Sunday 3 September 2006

So the next day we left as early as we could. We were really looking forward to the awesome road to Solitaire and onwards to Swakopmund.


S23 53.632 E16 00.329

Ordering apple strudel at Moose McGregor?s General Dealership is compulsory when you visit Solitaire. You?ll get a really big helping and drawn into conversation about the chopper he plans on building one day. Where he plans to ride the thing is beyond me.
Moose McGregor (real name Percy Cross) is the unofficial mayor of Solitaire since he is the only permanent resident and a really fine chap.


S23 30.000 E15 46.313

Frankly the tropics were a bit of a let down. I expected hoola girls, palm trees and mai-tai cocktails. We all posed for photos at the signboard though.


S23 29.091 E15 45.743
Guab Pass


S23 18.231 E15 46.386
Kuiseb Pass


S23 20.509 E15 44.709

The compulsory permit we obtained from Sesriem allows entrance anywhere in Namib-Naukluft Park. We used it to ride to Kuiseb Canyon and what an awesome sight it was. Pictures cannot convey the astonishing view.


(Patterson was completely unaware of the lion stalking him through the tall grass)


(Spiderman?s web slinging superpowers proved rather useless in the desert)


S23 03.355 E14 59.325 ? Picture taken by Butch

En route to Walvis bay we stopped at a large rock and rode up the granite slopes to cool our jets. We completely avoided Walvis on the first day and skipped on through to Swakopmund. The mist along the coast was freezing cold and quite a contrast to the blistering heat of the inland desert.

We arrived at Swakop without a drop of alcohol and all the liquor shops were closed. Fortunately the local Pick n Pay provided us with food and the Engen garage sneaked us some Tassenberg and OBS.
We met our hosts, Tannie Fien and Oom Giel at their house and they put us up for the duration of our stay.
 

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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2006, 09:59:49 pm »
Day 6: (?of sand dunes and gemsbok steaks)
Monday 4 September 2006

I visited the Namib-Naukluft Park office in Bismarck Street to obtain a permit for the Welwitchia and Moon Landscape drive but was informed that motorcycles were absolutely not allowed into the park. I could not accept this answer and requested to speak to the park manager. I got the distinct impression from him that all motorcycles are hated and that he would only let us in over his dead body. He was well aware of the differences between quads, MX and touring bikes but was adamant that we simply could not be trusted to behave ourselves. And even if we did, he would then have to make exceptions for other bikers as well.
Someone must have screwed it up for the rest of us bikers - thanks.


S22 58.164 E14 35.828

So we drove ourselves to Duin 7 outside Walvis and had a blast on the dunes. Ama ride ride was the first to fall. He tried to summit the dune from the oasis side by riding straight up it, but it turned out trickier than we first imagined!
I had a bang of a crash when I jumped a 2meter high dune without first checking out the other side of it. It was a stupid mistake. As I cleared the dune crest I found myself flying off into the sunset. The wind had hollowed out the leeside and I flew for 8 or 9 meters before the front wheel touched down in the soft sand at a near 60degree angle. It was a thumping crash and I was flung unceremoniously over the handlebars and screen. On my way off the bike I unfortunately tore off a mirror and damaged the screen mountings.

I was sure the bike was damaged but once the others came to my aid and helped me stand the beemer up, I rode away from the scene without a problem.
It was only two days later when my shoulder began to hurt like a son of a bitch.




We actually promised we wouldn?t say anything about this but a certain member of the group (I won?t mention his name) insisted and eventually convinced us to hire quads.
I for one detest the things but ended up adding my hundred bucks to the pool so that we could rent 2 kwats for 45minutes.

They weren?t as much fun as our own bikes and I actually felt less safe on them but at least I could ride these puppies hard without fear of screwing up my own bike any further.


S22 57.714 E14 29.028

After much fun on the dunes we headed into Walvis and visited the Raft restaurant to have overpriced calamari and ice cold Tafel lager.

That night Tannie Fien prepared baked Gemsbok steaks for us and they were lovely. We all stayed up late and decided to remain in Swakop for one additional day.
 

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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2006, 10:00:43 pm »
Day 7: (?of welwitchias and radiators)
Tuesday 5 September 2006







We took it nice and easy on this day. Kaboef and Zanie took the AT to see the flamingos on the pans outside Walvis bay while the rest of us slept late or hung around town.

Oom Giel learned of our predicament regarding the permit for the welwitchia drive and offered his Bantam bakkie for us to use. So we all jumped in and set off for the desert again.


S22 41.814 E14 49.050
Posing at the moon landscape ? Zanie, LuckyStriker, Kaboef, Ama ride ride, Butch


(Tsamma Bowling was a favourite pass-time among the more affluent bushmen)


S22 40.398 E14 58.958
Welwitchia ? this specimen is only a few hundred years old.


S22 39.197 E15 00.506

Near the turning back point the bakkie began to stink of antifreeze. It was overheating. After some fiddling under the hood Kaboef discovered a loose electrical wire to the radiator fan. The Bantam was quickly fixed but the damage was done. Nearly all the water had boiled out and we had almost drunk all our own reserves as well.
Urinating in the radiator help little since the system was bone dry.

So we drove for 5minutes until the needle almost touched the red and stopped for 20minutes. Then we?d drive for 5minutes and stop for 20, drive for 5, stop for 20.
There was no one on the road to help us.

Eventually after a few hours we came across some road workers operating heavy plant and they gave us water to drink and fill the radiator with. We were elated and drove 30kilometres to the nearest garage to fill up and buy lots of beer.
We decided not to speak to Oom Giel about the piss in his radiator but somehow Zanie managed to smash the side window of the canopy and we ended up having to face the kindly gent with shame anyway.

That evening we had a huge braai with Kudu sosaties, steak, salads, pap & sous and braaibroodjies.
 

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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2006, 10:01:26 pm »
Day 8: (?of big rocks and misunderstandings)
Wednesday 6 September 2006


We said goodbye to our gentle hosts and hit the road again. After saying a quick hello to some friends in Swakop we headed to Hentiesbaai to check out the Omaruru river mouth. From there we headed east to Spitzkoppe.


S21 50.569 E15 09.220

The rock formations at Spitzkoppe are truly amazing. Rocks of similar size can be found in South Africa but the stark contrast of the flat earth and the sudden jutting behemoths is quite special.

After a pick-nick between the rocks of the Spitzkoppe we headed further east to Windhoek. We would have to really push it because the sun was already on its way to the opposite horizon.
At Usakos we sat down to discuss our destination for this evening.

Ama ride ride had been to Namibia several times before but for the rest it was the first time on a bike and for some the first time in Nam at all. He was getting frustrated by our lack of progress (the distances between must-see places are quite large) and tried to push us a little harder. But we were in a completely different mood to him and preferred a happy-go-lucky approach.
So Ama decided to ride harder to Arabusch and wait for us slow-pokes there while the rest of us thought he was giving up on our laid back ways completely.

In my mind?s eye I can see Ama now, tending a big campfire and waiting for us to round the bend while we were actually checking into the ?Roof of Africa? lodge (S22 33.261 E17 05.733) in Windhoek thinking he was angry with us.


S22 33.073 E17 05.441 ? Picture taken by Butch

So that night Butch, Kaboef, Zanie and I drank a toast to absent friends in a place called Joe?s Beerhouse. Butch and Kaboef ordered the Eisbein and I got the Game Knuckle. What a huge piece of meat ? good grief!

After several large steins we were truly wasted (again) and crawled back to the lodge and its soft mattresses. But not before playing silly buggers on the darkened streets of Windhoek of course!
 

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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2006, 10:02:12 pm »
Day 9: (?of dictators and dams)
Thursday 7 September 2006

We had a late breakfast and left the city just before 11:00. The Khomas Hochland was next on the agenda and we took the C26 East in the direction of Swakopmund. About 70km in we turned left on the D1412. A brilliant road that goes up and down rolling hills and through riverbeds and cattle ranches. It was a beautiful ride despite the oppressive heat.
Too soon the road was over and we found ourselves turning back to Windhoek along the D1982.


S22 39.731 E17 04.671

Just outside Windhoek on the B1 we saw a large memorial and decided to investigate. The ?Hero?s Acre? appears to be a memorial to the fallen black heroes who through heroic actions brought about the independence of Namibia.


Impressive as it was, it reminded me of Soviet megalomania and is just typical of things constructed in countries governed by dictators (however benign they might be).

So now we raced down the smoothly tarred B1 to Mariental (or Hardap dam specifically).
It was along this road where we first became aware of beggars again. None of the towns we had visited thus far had nagging kids with filthy clothes and snot noses.

Where towns like Aus seemed to do something about their poor economy and retained their pride, places like Rehoboth seemed positively derelict and backward.
But enough uncalled for ranting about someone else?s country?.

We arrived at Hardap with an hour sunlight to spare. The staff were friendly and checked us in quickly. We made our way to the restaurant and shop overlooking the big dam and purchased provisions for the night.


(UFO interiors: Stranger than you?d think?)
S24 29.393 E17 50.785


The restaurant is like something out of a 60s movie. I kept on expecting Andre Stander to walk in. The smiling staff prepared all the tables and polished up all the silverware?but there were no guests. The next morning we saw all the tables being made up again but still there were no guests. I don?t know how people can perform thankless, repetitive jobs like this without going insane!

Anyway, we pitched our tents and inflated my blow-up mattress with the AT?s exhaust much to the amusement of Swiss tourists camped nearby.
That evening we were planning to party hard because the next day did not involve many kilometres of riding. So we built a big fire and unpacked the liquor?
Later a storm started brewing and the rain came down. Along with the rain came winds and dust. We decided to take the festivities inside but the only place available was the ablutions block.


(Here at Quality Spermbank, we choose only the best donors using completely sterile receptacles)
S24 28.897 E17 50.351
? Picture taken by Butch

A scaly salesman joined us later during the night. I briefly fell asleep on the basin and Kaboef went into a frenzied poetry reading which escalated into fervent denouncement of Afrikaans pop music such as Juanita du Plessis? Patayo mix.

I don?t know when we all went to bed?
 

Offline LuckyStriker

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« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2006, 10:02:58 pm »
Day 10: (?of Germans with surfboards)
Friday 8 September 2006

We left Hardap in our wake after crossing the dam wall just for the hell of it. A short distance before Keetmanshoop we turned off and made our way to the famed Kokerboom forest.


S26 28.888 E18 14.274

We must have impressed the farmer?s daughter because after playing with their tame warthog, gemsbok, springbok and many other creatures she slyly told us of the cheetah enclosure just beyond the aircraft hanger. Tourists were not generally allowed in?especially not before feeding time.


(Completely unaware that Lord Vader was sitting right behind him, the unfortunate stormtrooper joked about the emperor?s poorly camouflaged Death Star) ? Picture taken by Butch

You may be able to see the cats on the far right of the picture. I wanted to ride closer to them but Zanie suggested I don?t.


S26 28.902 E18 14.577 ? Picture taken by Butch


S26 27.952 E18 16.310



After spending some time at the Kokerboom forest we rode 5km to Giant?s Playground to look at their piles of rock. Please excuse my lack of enthusiasm. I had by this stage become quite used to stones, rocks and stuff that I merely followed the group from one watering hole to the next.


(Everyone laughed at Akira?s strange moped not realising it was in fact a deadly transformer battle robot) ? Picture taken by Butch

Outside Keetmanshoop (another charmless town) we took the B4 East and turned off on the C12 South towards the Fish River Canyon. It is here where we met Martin Wellein ( www.martin-wellein.de )
Martin had been riding for 9months all the way from Munich via the West coast of Africa on his way to Cape Town. He was an amicable guy and we found him instantly likeable.
Yes, those are surfboards on his bike. Yes, it?s all the way from Germany.


(Under extreme magnification, Lyle Lovett?s skin looked eerily like the Grand Canyon)
S27 35.362 E17 36.873


Together we rode to Hobas and the viewpoint over the Canyon. Unfortunately the shop at the campsite was already closed and we were in desperate want of an ice cold Tafel lager (again), so we decided to make for Ai-Ais. The road was great with long swooping sandy curves just solid enough not to disturb the front wheel.

We got to Ai-Ais in record time as the light failed but the staff closed the shop doors in our faces. Zanie used her charm again and they grudgingly opened up for us. We bought nearly all their supplies and erected our camp.


(Modern day witches prefer Heineken and chops over wolfbane and tanis root) ? Picture taken by Butch

In exchange for us paying for his camping, Martin told us of his travels through Africa. It was riveting stuff and we were truly mesmerised. The amber fluid flowed freely and soon we were hugging and speaking German to each other (or at least trying to).


(Government regulations regarding emissions became ridiculous when they introduced the exhaust fumo-collector) ? Picture taken by Butch

Martin was amazed by the AT?s ability to prepare my bed and desperately ran for his camera. It?s good to know that we holiday makers could find at least something to impress a hardcore bike overlander.


The hot water springs was a welcome relaxant but I think the others took exception to me washing out all my underwear and socks in the pool.
 

Offline LuckyStriker

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« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2006, 10:03:40 pm »
Day 11: (All good things?)
Saturday 9 September 2006


We were slow to pack up camp the next morning. For we knew we?d cross the border in an hour or so and head back to Cape Town. None of us were quite ready to go home yet.

From Ai-Ais we took the D316 to Noordoewer. A really nice road but I was preoccupied with thoughts of leaving Nam.
At the border we were well met by friendly staff and rushed through the system in minutes. Even Martin seemed a little dumbfounded by how easy it was.
The South Africa side seemed in even a better mood and the guards made jokes and mock arrested me for not bothering to fill out all the paperwork.

Next stop was in Springbok where we were of course charged more for petrol that in Namibia. Martin offered to buy us a final drink since he planned to overnight in Springbok and ride down to Cape Town with some friends who came to collect him.
We had originally planned to overnight in Alexanderbay but with Ama ride ride gone, we changed our plans to overnight in Doringbaai instead.
But now that we could already sense Table Mountain, and seeing that it was not even noon yet, we decided to changed our plans completely and head for home in one final leg.

Regretfully we turned Martin?s offer down. It was the wrong thing to do but whereas he still had a long journey ahead of him (he planned to visit Cape Town and head back to Munich via the other coast) we were heading home and were suddenly looking forward to being there.

So we rode hard and fast and got to Krige?s Pub in Durbanville just as the sun disappeared into the sea. We ordered plenty beers and sherry to warm up the cockles. Plans were made to go and paint the town red but eventually we all just smiled apologetically and said our goodnights to each other.

A reunion trip is on the cards.

Thank you. My name is LuckyStriker and yours is probably not.
 

Offline michnus

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« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2006, 10:21:50 pm »
BRAVO!! BRAVO!! :thumbup: :headbang:

Offline Mark Hardy

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« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2006, 11:31:11 pm »
Now that was a really good read :D  :D thank you very much.
Excellent report and pics :D  :D booze crouse through Nam, excellent. :D  :D  :twisted:  :D
 

Offline Lootch67

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« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2006, 01:40:33 am »
Excellent! Lekker homesick now but it was worth it.
98 Black AT & the wheel from a 04 KLR 650.
 

Offline Leon H

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« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2006, 05:40:00 am »
:cheers:  :cheers:  :cheers:  :cheers:  :cheers:

Mate that was awesome!!!!!!!!  The photo captions cracked me up :lol:

What a ride, what a country :D
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Offline GIDEON

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« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2006, 07:04:28 am »
Lucky dit was UITSTEKEND nou is ek laat vir werk  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:
Jy moet OX vra so ding moet in daardie boek van hulle kom en ALMAL JALOERS MAAK

En let wel
KYK DIE LEGENDS NANANANANANANA WEEEEEEEE  :D  :lol:  8)


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Offline >Herman<

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« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2006, 07:31:21 am »
Eish.... report of the month (maybe year?)!!!! Well done boys & girl!

Offline Welsh

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« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2006, 08:11:55 am »
These reports make those Journo diatribes we read in the magazines look totally inane.

Welsh  :D

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Offline Watermat

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« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2006, 08:29:38 am »
What a report!!!! :cheers: :cheers: :cheers:

Wat meer kan ek s?ª!!
 

Offline Grondpad

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« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2006, 08:31:26 am »
This is got to be one of the best trip reports on the forum!  Bliksem dit maak my lelik groen!!