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Offline watkykjy

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Van Zyl's Pass the _WRONG_ way - May2009 ;)
« on: July 15, 2009, 11:09:08 pm »
Van Zyl’s the WRONG Way!
(Don’t do it - HAHAHA)

Four of us left Cape Town on a windy Thursday night - the 14th May 2009. The idea was to trailer the bikes to an old school friend’s farm, Khan River Lodge near Omaruru, and ride from there up the most westerly side of Namibia, before crossing into Angola at Ruakana & making for Namibe. Then to beat it back to the bakkie & Cape Town.

The team consisted of Alan Cargill (KTM640), Conrad Hicks (KTM640), Quinton Hoole (Suzuki DR650SE) and me - Peter Boardman (Suzuki DR650SE) pboardman@bowdenfarm.co.za. These pictures were taken by Conrad, Quinton & Alan. This post by me.


It’s a long drive up the N7 to the border post at Vioolsdrif, and the road to Windhoek seems endless – this was a quick “fire break” stop in the late afternoon sun.

The Long Road North


We got to Alan’s farm on Saturday afternoon & camped in a beautiful campsite listening to jackals calling as the stars moved slowly around us. It was very cold & the frost coated the ground in the morning. My frozen Suzi would not start until Conrad suggested putting some meths in the air box! Eventually, after getting all the gear packed onto the donkeys - we left. It was already hot; I needed a beer.

Leaving from Alan's farm


We headed north east towards the ex mining town of Uis. Our first exciting dirt was a smaller dirt road that went through the Sorri Sorri conservancy where there is a desert elephant conservation project. It’s a great part of Namibia with stunning scenery & rocky hills.

Elelphant warning sign near Sorri Sorri


What gear did we ride in, you may ask? Here are four pics that give the game away:

"Dressed to Fall" Peter (why the f..k is every one so slow…)



"Early Mornin' Riser" Quinton (stop throwing stones up when you overtake me)


"Knight Rider" Conrad (my Leatherman will fix it….)


”White Knuckle” Alan (bring it on, with a wee dram…)



The ride from Palmwag to Sesfontein is spectacular. There had been rain & the grass
looked lush. We saw giraffe, zebra, kudu, elephant & springbok. There are lots of good places to camp under wide open skies – this was our first. Except for Conrad, we all carried too much gear! RIDE as LIGHT, AS possible! Conrad had a good idea which we did not ruthlessly carry out: a kit inspection before we left CT. All you need is beer money, petrol money, a few spares & a few peanuts – that’s all!  No water needed – just bum water off the 4x4’s & the Himbas.

First campsite - loading all the gear!


Sesfontein was our last petrol before Okwangati, so we filled to the max, then retired to the local for some cans of lunch. Quintie was missing his family & soon developed a crush on this babe – N$30 for some pics.

Himba jail bait.


It was a hot day, but very soon a third of the N$30 went to buying a cooler…

Drinking another Cooler


We left Sesfontein laden to the hilt in scorching heat & headed north.

Second campsite (What a hairy chest Al ?!)


It’s a big, wide-open & harsh country north of Sesfontein – awesome! We came upon this large heard of Springbok wanting to cross the road.

Waiting for the Bokke


This pic was taken very close to a road that leads right to the Skeleton Coast.

Awesome country - No traffic jams. Promise you!


When I looked up at the start of Van Zyl's Pass I started to _really_ crap myself. I checked out the first 50 metres or so on foot, and before the others arrived & could witness my poor riding, I decided to get up this first section by myself. Phew! I made it. I then waited for the others to arrive. _Ride_light_!  You may need to take all your gear off to get up!

We pushed & shoved, sweated & cursed

 
It was VERY steep and intimidating - not for the faint hearted! It’s not advisable to do it from West-to-East – mainly because of the damage to the road that vehicles do. The road is maintained only by 4x4’ers filling up the deepest holes – so trying to go up causes a lot of wheel spin, especially if the bike is heavy or badly ridden!

Van Zyl’s the wrong way?


We got close to the Marien Fluss Lookout point on the first day and stopped there for the night - utterly exhausted. We had far too little water - about 2 litres per person for the whole day’s ride up. After a long, hot & frustrating day in the sun lugging gear & bikes up the first section of the pass, we had about 300 ml water per person for the night. “Madness takes it’s toll”… (remember the song?) hahaha.  I could not swallow dried fruit. Conrad was soon asleep. Alan was cramping badly. Quinton insisted on using my fleecy vest as a scarf.

At last, some rest after a day of riding & lugging gear

 
A solitary old Himba loomed out of the gloom and shared our meager dry pickings.
The next morning we woke at around 05h00. What a stunning morning!  This is a picture from near our camp site looking across the Marien Fluss valley in the early morning light.

MarienFluss valley from  the Van Zyl’s lookout


Soon after waking up we were surprised by the old Himba’s woman trotting up the pass on donkeys! Conrad shared some breakfast with them. They kept ahead of us & got to the first village before us.

Tortoise vs the Hare: Himba women on donkeys – they beat us!



Before leaving, Conrad found a local “Tess of the d'Urbervilles” and came back with 1 liter of freshly squeezed Himba milk & about a liter of her last water for N$30. WOW -  did it taste sweet after that dry night!


Despite very little water, too much gear & too little zest, when we look at it with hind sight it was not too bad. Here's a nice picture - further on the way out - of a nice rosy camp site! At last, out of Van Zyl’s – where is the COLD beer?!

Rosy camp site



Some Videos:

1.   Here’s me attempting to ride up a section, and falling over. To Conrad’s undisguised mirth! ;-)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/39972042@N05/3729116384/

2. [Conrad] Question: “How do you feel?”  [me] Answer: “Faarked!” ;-)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/39972042@N05/3728331307/

3. A video that Conrad shot after leaving Vanrhynsdorp on the way back
http://www.flickr.com/photos/39972042@N05/3728407101/

« Last Edit: July 18, 2009, 10:19:01 am by pboardman31415 »
Peter Boardman
 

Offline Trailrider

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Re: Van Zyl's Pass the _WRONG_ way - May2009 ;)
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2009, 07:58:37 am »
Nice RR! I cant wait for the rest of the pics. Well done for having a RR for your 1st post and welcome on the forum!
 

Offline Crossed-up

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Re: Van Zyl's Pass the _WRONG_ way - May2009 ;)
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2009, 08:34:40 am »
Welcome from a fellow DR650 rider!  Good stuff, Peter.  I also look forward to the rest of the pics and RR. 
 

Offline Watty

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Re: Van Zyl's Pass the _WRONG_ way - May2009 ;)
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2009, 08:45:44 am »
 :thumleft: Lekker een!
 

Offline LuckyStriker

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Re: Van Zyl's Pass the _WRONG_ way - May2009 ;)
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2009, 09:13:00 am »
aargh, the last five pics won't load on my computer

looking forward to reading and seeing the rest
 

Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: Van Zyl's Pass the _WRONG_ way - May2009 ;)
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2009, 10:15:36 am »
Same here. Waiting for the rest please!
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Offline fat b

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Re: Van Zyl's Pass the _WRONG_ way - May2009 ;)
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2009, 01:00:29 pm »
same here , cant wait for the rest !

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Offline Gee S

Re: Van Zyl's Pass the _WRONG_ way - May2009 ;)
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2009, 08:13:21 pm »
same here , cant wait for the rest !
+1
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Offline LeonDude

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Re: Van Zyl's Pass the _WRONG_ way - May2009 ;)
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2009, 08:23:41 pm »
Great stuff!  :thumleft:
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Offline Mark Hardy

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Re: Van Zyl's Pass the _WRONG_ way - May2009 ;)
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2009, 08:33:53 pm »
looks good if I could see the pics  ;D

But the writing is  :thumleft:
 

Offline Tonteldoos

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Re: Van Zyl's Pass the _WRONG_ way - May2009 ;)
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2009, 08:11:16 am »
looks good if I could see the pics  ;D

But the writing is  :thumleft:
+1
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Re: Van Zyl's Pass the _WRONG_ way - May2009 ;)
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2009, 06:20:50 am »
F-a-a-a-r-ked  :thumleft:
My Ride  :ricky:  Angola   Namibia  Northern Cape  Kids
 

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Re: Van Zyl's Pass the _WRONG_ way - May2009 ;)
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2009, 06:43:50 am »
WE WANT MORE, WE WANT MORE... :thumleft:
 

Offline briv

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Re: Van Zyl's Pass the _WRONG_ way - May2009 ;)
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2009, 10:43:11 am »
Small world ... I rented office space from Quinton's parents in the 90's. AVP was their company in PE :biggrin:
Lekker trip  :thumleft:
oor B..erge en RIV..iere sal ons ry,
mag dit altyd tog so bly....
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Re: Van Zyl's Pass the _WRONG_ way - May2009 ;)
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2009, 04:52:10 pm »
Like the 'off' video! Pete, still carrying to much kark around with you man....mini mal ism rocks !
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Re: Van Zyl's Pass the _WRONG_ way - May2009 ;)
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2009, 09:50:38 am »
Baie baie nice report en fotos :thumleft:
If you don't live on the edge,you take up too much space!!!
 

Offline Frannarossi

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Re: Van Zyl's Pass the _WRONG_ way - May2009 ;)
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2009, 09:52:49 am »
Ekt gou die video gekyk van jou val en dis wragtig eers as mens die video sien dat jy regtig agterkom hoe styl daai pas is!
If you don't live on the edge,you take up too much space!!!
 

Offline met eish

Re: Van Zyl's Pass the _WRONG_ way - May2009 ;)
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2009, 10:24:51 am »
Watched the video and having done it myself (without sounding like a wise ass its not the intention)
Next time stand and let your suspension do the work,centre of gravity is lower and you can move your weight around. But again its easier said than done hey ?
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Offline edgy

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Re: Van Zyl's Pass the _WRONG_ way - May2009 ;)
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2009, 11:53:12 am »
Looks really awesome...one of those need to do things!
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Re: Van Zyl's Pass the _WRONG_ way - May2009 ;)
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2009, 12:08:47 pm »
 :thumleft:

awsome pics and ride. On my will do list.