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Offline MellowJo

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Namibia 2009 Adventure: the Mellow version
« on: May 12, 2009, 11:05:32 pm »
In 2008 we did an epic trip through the Kalahari (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=23724.0) and decided there and then that we had to do a similar trip through Namibia. The two long weekends at the end of April presented us with the perfect opportunity to give it a bash, using the least number of leave days for a 10 day, 5000km trip. We decided to do a 'clockwise' route with via Cape Town, Vioolsdrif (as Sendelingsdrif's pont was closed), Luderitz, Sossusvlei, Walvis, Henties, Windhoek, Koes, Onseepkans, Pofadder and Back to Cape Town.



The group was made up of myself(1150GS), Ridealot(Vara), Joyride(Vara), YellowFever(1200GSA), AndSon(650Funduro), Frans(AT) all from Cape Town and  Fred(1200GSA) and Adele (2 month old 1200GS) from Gauteng. Frans’ wife, my wife and my daughter joined us in a backup pickup with a bike trailer. They joined us at Luderitz on Day 3

I did not record the exact distances of each leg of our journey, so the distances are just rough indications of what we did each day. First instalment … (And yes TR, this is my version so it features my bike)

Day 1: Cape Town to Doringbaai (150 km Tar, 150 km Gravel)

It was Friday 24 April 2009 and the bosses conceded that we were not contributing any more …. So we were left to start our Namibian Adventure. By 3pm we congregated at my house and we started out towards Doringbaai along the West Coast. The weather was nice and cool and we were excited about starting on our journey.

About half way, at Velddrif, we saw some showers drifting in from the sea, but we did not ride in the rain. Just after Velddrif we got onto gravel. As we got close to Lambertsbay, we rode through some nice and soggy clay where a shower passed over. On our way we saw various other groups of bikes also on their way to the north. At Doringbaai we stayed over at Christo’s place, thanks Christo and Lonnie for the bean soup!!

Next Morning



Day 2: Doringbaai, Brand-se-baai, Garies, Vioolsdrift (200km Gravel, 200km Tar)

After an early rise and some coffee, we split into two groups. The sane group went via Lutzville to Nuwerus on the N7 and from there to Vioolsdrift along the N7. They met up with Fred and Adele (from Gauteng) at Springbok.

The adventurous group went to Lutzville and then back towards the sea at Skaapvlei, towards Brand-se-baai. From there we went via Kotzesrus to Garies on the N7 and eventually to Vioolsdrift.



Once we hit the gravel outside Lutzville, it was clear that there was some rain the previous evening. I had a serious tank slapping moment loosing the front end on a damp patch.



Soon thereafter YellowFever had his first dunk of his newly acquired GSA (Go Softly Andrew).



A little further we crossed a salt pan where AndSon had a more serious off, losing it in the mud with his DS tyres. (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=31616)



A quick repair of rear brake pedal and we were going again. From the salt pans to Kotzesrus, the road was basically a two track sand track, which really challenged our sand capabilities. Both YF and AndSon had a few put-downs, but nothing serious.



When we eventully got to Kotzesrus we stumbled onto a church bazaar where we bought pancakes for lunch.



From Kotzesrus the road improved towards Garies, but was muddy in places from the rain. We filled up at Garies and proceeded along the N7 to Vioolsdrif for our overnight camping stop at Aquacade.



At the camp site we noticed that I lost a block of tread from my rear tyre. Good thing that we had the backup vehicle meeting us the next day with some spare tyres!

Day 3: Vioolsdrift, Rosh Pinah, Aus, Luderitz (200km Gravel, 200km Tar)

After a quick border crossing we turned West along the C13 following the Orange river.



After about 40 kms the group again split into two. One group went North on the C37 towards Ai-Ais, Fish River Canyon and from there onto the C12, B4 towards Aus and Luderitz.



AndSon and I kept going along the river towards Sendelingsdrift and Rosh Pinah on the C13, despite the “Road Closed” sign. This is a lovely route through the Ai-Ais Game Park with the river on the one side and the mountains on the other side.



After filling at Rosh Pinah we went north on the tar C13 to Aus.



At Aus the backup vehicle met up with us and we turned West for the run through the desert into Luderitz.



At Luderitz we stayed at the Obelix Village.



Some of us had sundowners at Diaz point before supper. The rest went to the yacht club for the same ....





Next days to follow soon ....
« Last Edit: May 15, 2009, 06:34:07 am by MellowJo »
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Offline Smithey

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Re: Namibia 2009: the Mellow version
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2009, 11:09:42 pm »
Keep it coming  :thumleft:
 

Ganjora

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Re: Namibia 2009: the Mellow version
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2009, 04:15:59 am »
lekker.   more.
 

Offline Mark Hardy

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Re: Namibia 2009: the Mellow version
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2009, 06:08:57 am »
I'm in
 

Offline bradleys

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Re: Namibia 2009: the Mellow version
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2009, 08:13:41 am »
Can Ihave some more please :thumleft:
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 MrBig

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Re: Namibia 2009: the Mellow version
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2009, 10:10:57 am »
yes please
"I know you think you understand what I said, but what you don't understand is what I said is not what I mean."
 

Offline charlw

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Re: Namibia 2009: the Mellow version
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2009, 11:46:57 am »
cool - lekker!!
The traveler sees what he sees.  The tourist sees what he has come to see.  ~G.K. Chesterton
 

Offline Rooisand

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Re: Namibia 2009: the Mellow version
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2009, 12:45:27 pm »
 :happy1:
 

Offline MellowJo

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Re: Namibia 2009: the Mellow version
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2009, 09:33:05 pm »
Ok, lets add a little to the story so far ...

Day4: Luderitz, Aus, Bethesda(Sesriem) (120km Tar, 300km Gravel)

After a hearty breakfast we left Luderitz, not knowing how an eventful day this would turn out to be. First however we visited the Kolmanskop ghost town.



YF decided to go earlier than the rest to practice his photography skills. The results are at http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=31756

The desert ....



From there we filled up at Aus and turned North on the C13. Again the group split into two. One group went West along the D707, next to the Naukluft Park. The other group went North towards Helmeringhausen and then west on the C27. We would meet up at a T junction where these two routes meet.



After a nice ride, our group stopped at the T-junction and waited for the other group (who did the supposed ‘easy’ route). A tourist bus came passed and indicated that somebody fell a few kms back. We jumped on our bikes and sped to the scene where we found a ‘shaken-but-not-stirred’ Adele and a slightly battered GS. She was thrown from the dancing GS in a bad sand patch. Luckily she was not hurt and the bike not seriously damaged.



The bike was strapped to the trailer,



and as we wanted to ride we found the bakkie had a puncture.



Fixed the puncture and we proceeded along the C27 towards Beta. At Beta we found that the bakkie overheated. After cooling it down, we checked everything for leaks, found nothing and just filled the water system. From here we were always worried about the water loss of the bakkie, but it did not overheat again. (Later back in Cape Town, a cracked radiator was diagnosed).



We carried on along the C14 towards Sesriem where we camped at Bethesda. At bethesda we had a great dinner at the lodge and also started to piece together one modified GS screen ..... but more about this later



Day 5: Bethesda, Sesriem, Sossusvlei, Solitaire (150km Gravel, 140km Tar)

We decided to go into Sossusvlei without our baggage. After 40 kms gravel  (and seeing hot air balloon) to the entrance to Sossusvlei, we travelled the 70 kms tar into the heart of the desert.



What an experience!! It is amazing that nature provided us with this highway, (2-5km wide) dry riverbed into the desert.





Just before the vlei, the tar road ends and you need a 4x4 for the last 4 kms. We all squashed into the backup bakkie.



The vlei itself was dry, but it was obvious that there was water recently. The whole area (of about 4km diameter) is covered with trees, where we had breakfast in the shade.



The energetic amongst us, trekked up a dune for panoramic views of the area. This visit was one of the highlights for many of us.





After breakfast we went back to Bethesda to collect our camping gear and rode out on the C19 towards Solitaire. The route took us through wildlife areas where we saw springbok, gemsbok, small jackals and meerkats. We eventually got to Solitaire which is basically a general dealer with fuel and a camp site, all in one.



At Solitaire we saw that the backup bakkie developed a diesel leak. A quick investigation revealed a pipe that chafed through against the underside of the body. We quickly fixed it by replacing it with a rubber gas pipe. It was getting late and we decided to sleep over at the Solitaire camp site.



This allowed us to walk into the veld and to experience a beautiful Namibian sunset.



Adele also bought a lovely apple crumble pie for desert after the braai. Solitaire is to be recommended as a good, affordable, enjoyable stop-over (also has a bar and a swimming pool).

More over the weekend ....    ;)
« Last Edit: May 13, 2009, 09:38:59 pm by MellowJo »
Don't worry, be happy ! Don't take yourself so seriously !!
2 x FS1, 200Roadmaster, 400Hawk, XL500R, XS750, XR500R, 600TT, CX500, 1150GS, R1100RS, R1100GS, R1200S, R1200RT, 1150GS (2), K100, R1100S & 35 Cages !!
 

Offline DirtRebell

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Re: Namibia 2009 Adventure: the Mellow version
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2009, 09:41:43 pm »
One of the nicest RR's i've seen. Wish I was there. :thumleft:
 

Offline Matroos (aka JJred)

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Re: Namibia 2009 Adventure: the Mellow version
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2009, 11:10:58 pm »
That Namibia stays an abselute DS riding paradise

Great report so far  :thumleft:
 

Offline michnus

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Re: Namibia 2009 Adventure: the Mellow version
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2009, 12:41:01 am »
Come on post more, this can't be it, put your back into it, get some whiskey and start typing and get the pictures up.  :thumleft: :biggrin:

Offline MellowJo

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Re: Namibia 2009 Adventure: the Mellow version
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2009, 04:14:08 am »
Ok, a little more .....

Day 6: Solitaire – Swakopmund (300km Gravel, 70km Tar)

After a good night’s rest, with jackals howling in the veld, we packed and started on our way towards the coast and Walvisbay. This was a very good gravel road, and it ran through two small passes (Guab and Kuiseb) . Adele was ready to get back on her (reconstructed) bike. After starting slowly, we tuned her bike’s suspension a little and eventually she was flying like before (the little mishap, I mean).



Crossing the Gaub



As we left the grasslands behind, we suddenly found ourselves in the middle of the desert again. Here the desert is not the red sand dunes from Sossusvlei, but more the flat, rocky white gravel type of desert.



At last we saw the Red dunes again as we neared the coast. At the entrance to Walvisbay, we drove past the infamous Dune 7 on the right and a red marble mine on the left. After another hiccup with a flat tyre on the backup bakkie, we eventually made it to the Walvis Wimpy for a very late brunch.



While the bakkie was being looked at, the bikes started the last leg towards Swakopmund. This road runs literally on the beach, with the sea on the left and the dunes on the right, usually with some fog around.



At Swakopmund we stayed at the Desert Sky Lodge, great, friendly, affordable accommodation.
At Swakopmund we enjoyed an evening out with pizzas.

Day 7: Swakopmund, Hentiesbay, Spitzkoppe, Usakos, Karibib, Windhoek (500km Gravel)

From Swakopmund we split into two groups again. Fred, Adele and (Joyride oops sorry!!) Ridealot made a dash to Windhoek along the tar B2 to have Adele’s bike looked at. The rest would go via Hentiesbay.

After our usual breakfast of coffee/tea and rusks, we started north on the salt road to Hentiesbay. With the mist, we were very worried about the slippery look of the road.



We all filled at Henties and turned East towards Spitzkoppe leaving the desert behind.



Close to the entrance of Spitzkoppe, we had an intersting river crossing .... I will leave the evidence to the parties concerned  ....  :pot:



From Spitzkoppe, we passed Usakos and at Karibib a small group turned South towards the Langer Heinrich mountains and the C28 Khomas Hochland road. We climbed the spectacular Bosua pass and raced towards Windhoek to beat the setting sun.





At Windhoek we just had to have the dinner at Joe’s Beerhouse.


« Last Edit: May 14, 2009, 10:14:48 pm by MellowJo »
Don't worry, be happy ! Don't take yourself so seriously !!
2 x FS1, 200Roadmaster, 400Hawk, XL500R, XS750, XR500R, 600TT, CX500, 1150GS, R1100RS, R1100GS, R1200S, R1200RT, 1150GS (2), K100, R1100S & 35 Cages !!
 

Offline Mark Hardy

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Re: Namibia 2009 Adventure: the Mellow version
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2009, 06:05:47 am »
 :thumleft: keep it coming, very enjoyable report.
 

Offline bradleys

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Re: Namibia 2009 Adventure: the Mellow version
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2009, 08:17:14 am »
Aaagh,Joes, good steaks,lekker report ,keep it comming :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 Hoofseun

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Re: Namibia 2009 Adventure: the Mellow version
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2009, 08:24:06 am »
Excellent report, I am keeping this one high on list of references as we are doing similiar next year February or maybe move to period over 2010 soccer, will see.
"You are never to old to learn something new"


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Offline bmad

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Re: Namibia 2009 Adventure: the Mellow version
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2009, 08:37:56 am »
Nice one Mellojo  :thumleft:

Brings back lots of memeories from our similar last year.
Namibia is a must do for every DS rider  :biggrin:
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Offline Operator

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Re: Namibia 2009 Adventure: the Mellow version
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2009, 08:38:53 am »
Cool report......keep going  :thumleft:
 

Offline yaartbrak

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Re: Namibia 2009 Adventure: the Mellow version
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2009, 09:04:59 am »
brilliant report!!!!!! ........ I wish that i would be in a position to do something like this before my time on earth expires ;)
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Offline Sprocketbek

Re: Namibia 2009 Adventure: the Mellow version
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2009, 09:12:00 am »
Good one guys  :thumleft:

Saw MellowJo's missus the other day, she stopped in the middle of the road to relate the whole trip in 2 minutes flat. :imaposer: Clearly enjoyed it!  
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