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Author Topic: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane  (Read 12238 times)

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Offline bradleys

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2009, 08:49:00 am »
Really cool report ,lekker pics ,keep it comming. Itry and end my Nam trips at Ai ais as it is so lekker to just soak in the hot water.
 :coffee2: :happy1:
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 Pistonpete

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2009, 08:52:52 am »
Awesome stuff! :thumleft:
'Routine is the thief of time'
 

Offline fat b

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2009, 08:58:10 am »
Great ride !

 THE CHALLENGE MAY NOT BE EASY , BUT IT'S NOT IMPOSSIBLE.
SO MANY PLACES, SO LITTLE TIME !

MOSSEL BAY
 

Offline growweblaar

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2009, 09:26:12 am »
FREEDOM!!

 :thumleft:


"Meneer kyk net voor jou daan sien jy waar jy ry dan het jy nie die TV nodig"  :D
 

Offline Stev0

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2009, 01:06:30 pm »
looking good!
 

Offline doublediamond

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2009, 12:36:44 am »

Day 3 Ai – Ais to Namib desert Lodge  (466 Km)

While repacking the morning after a great time at Ai –Ais, I had managed to cargo net the first bag with all my camping equipment on to the back of donkey, but I needed to move him because he was becoming unstable in the soft sand on the centre stand and I couldn’t finish packing. So still just in my shorts & slop’s I hopped on to move him to the harder surface of the road a few feet away.

The F.U.F (fuck up fairies), who had been helping me pack all morning deciding this would be the perfect opportunity to bestow a decent dollop of humiliation upon my fine person, by suggesting to donkey that it would be a great time to roll in the sand.
Front wheel dug in and I went a tumbling, the hooter choosing to lodge itself against the tank bag, bleating like a stabbed pig and notifying the entire campsite within earshot of my untimely dismount.  This as a singular event would have succeeded in been embarrassing enough, however the F.U.F, been in an unusually benevolent mood this morning, made donkey so heavy, with half loaded baggage, that I came within a nanometer of a strain induced rectal prolapse in my attempt’s to lift him.

A portly German gentleman, (who had just given his wife the Heimlich maneuver, after she gagged on her morning bratwurst out of shock from the 3000 decibel BMW hooter eviscerating itself mere meters from her chair), came waddling over with the most spotless white socks reflecting the morning sun through the straps of his Jesus sandals. He pointed to my right leg, which was bleeding from around the shin bone from the after effects of the rasping it had just received from the foot peg and attempted to assist me in lifting donkey…  Unsuccessfully .We recruited the garbage man doing his morning rounds & righted the poor beast.

I departed the camp site seriously rattled, because I had come to the sobering realization that if I binned the bike I would never lift it by myself. In retrospect it is amusing to me how big a deal this issue was to me on this particular day & I found myself constantly repeating “just take it easy & concentrate”. Later in the story I reveal why I now find my state of mind on that day so amusing.

The savage cold & insane winds were lying in wait & ambushed donkey & I the instant we drove out of the comforting embrace of the hills around Ai – Ais. I turned north onto the C37 from the C10 towards the fish river Canyon view site.

The fish river certainly took no prisoners when it scoured its way through that vast wilderness of rock that is the breathtakingly beautiful fish river canyon.

I heard someone comment at the view site how this view makes them feel small & insignificant.

I pondered this statement on many occasions during my ride and I was overwhelmed every time, by how this timeless & majestic wilderness minimizes only the relevance of all the mundane & insignificant problems I justified as valid in my life.
It invoked in me a truth, not that we are small & insignificant, quite the contrary, but rather how small & insignificant the problems in our lives are when viewed in the context of this immense & unbounded wilderness.







The warmest spot around for this bird who I found sleeping on my helmet

And then I promptly scared him away trying to get another photo








From Seeheim, along a welcome stretch of tar to Goageb, I find myself chuckling indulgently at the folly of my vacillating mindset - The fact that all I wished for was miles & miles of sand roads, yet finding myself on tar I am almost overcome with relief at the predictability of the surface beneath me and the brief respite from the intense & constant focus required while navigating treacherous sand traps & donga’s.
Left onto the C14 for fuel in Bethanien and a welcome burger and freshly made apfelstrudel in the tepid sunlight of a charming country cafés stoep. How fickle am I whose spirit soar's after a good meal?




Turning left from the C14 onto the D425 I was wearily considering how sensible it was to take what appeared to be a shortcut to the D707, bypassing Helmiringhausen , and saving me about 20km’s on what was becoming a long tiring day.  Clarity slapped me upside the head moments later when I descended into a dry river bed & rather than looking up & opening up (Ja Jan ek luister nie), I panicked & felt the front slipping away in slow motion. I got my leg out and spent every single last ounce of energy in a monsterous combination of fear and desperation for what must have been easily 10 minutes of soul sapping determination to not let donkey fall any farther than the 45 degree’s he was already lying at. I got him upright and paddle footed my way out & straight back to the C14 after brief recovery to catch my breath.


The only proof of my struggle on the D425


Earlier in the story I alluded to the fact that in retrospect I am amused by my fear of dropping the bike on this day. What I find so amusing is that later in the trip when I dropped the bike, I just unpacked the luggage, lifted it & repacked & moved on. That this thought did not occur to me early on in the trip is an indication of the fact that my mind was so busy processing the barrage of new information & experiences that this simple solution remained elusive.

I arm wrestled the wind for the rest of the day & slowly its constant pounding was reducing me to the same state as the wind weathered rocks around me.

Unprecedented rainfall the past few months caused fields to be flooded with tall grass that added a velvet sheen to the hills around me and all along the D707. This road came highly recommended & it was not disappointing, this was one of the best game drives I have ever done with Springbok, Oryx, Zebra, and Hartebeest scattered indiscriminately across the endless vistas ahead of me.

However I found myself tiredly weaving my way through alternate deep drifts of sand then deeply rutted gravel where my attention was solely focused on not falling, entirely missing most of the scenery. On more than one occasion I found myself powering through a tank slapper to prevent the backend & luggage from overtaking me. Nothing like a good poephol puckering to re-ignite your waning energy levels.


The start of the D707

One of my favourite pictures of the trip - D707




Long shadows led me to realize I would not make my destination for the night and I had no desire to navigate this road in the dark.
An Oryx watched me turning off the D707 in search of accommodation at the Namib Desert Lodge.
I sent this sms to think Mike “ I am not often at a shortage of words but my trip so far has been beyond outstanding. First 2 days - very challenging riding - very very cold weather with the strongest winds i have ever been in let alone ridden in with road conditions that were very interesting - the roads had thick sand from the wind & deep ruts !! I could not make my destination wed night so stopped off at farm (namib desert lodge) along renowned D707 for night. Farmers told me they helped 2 groups of bikers day before me that went down on the road in front of farm. European tourists no one badly injured but bikes both trashed.”


Donkey resting in front of my room at Namib Desert Lodge

I decided to climb to the top of this hill for the sunset

View of Namib desert lodge from the top of the hill

The owner of the farm told me that in 27 years they have never had so much grass at this time of the year.


Sunset was spectacular !!!









DON'T EVER COMPROMISE YOUR FREEDOM, YOUR DREAM, YOUR INDEPENDENCE OR YOUR TRUTH !!
 

Offline doublediamond

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2009, 12:38:39 am »
DD, a great RR in the making. Keep it up. Like your style.
((Please resize your pics to 800 X 600 otherwise one have to move around to read the whole page))

I like your child-like excitement as it reminds me of my own when I was in Namibia for the first time 31 years ago…..hell I am getting old…..

The Afrikaans speaking folks in the Northern Cape are some of our country’s most down to earth people and they usually hit the nail square on the head with their sayings.

There was a time that people avoided Ais Ais like a plague, but it seems there had been a turn around in the management. Its great news. :thumleft:


Ama thanks for the advice about resizing pics  & thanks for comments :thumleft:
DON'T EVER COMPROMISE YOUR FREEDOM, YOUR DREAM, YOUR INDEPENDENCE OR YOUR TRUTH !!
 

Offline doublediamond

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2009, 12:40:01 am »
Wow, first time I've Ai-Ais.
Looks like a nice place to take the family.
Very nice writing!!!

PP Ai-Ais come highly recommended & perfect for families & really cost effective  :)
DON'T EVER COMPROMISE YOUR FREEDOM, YOUR DREAM, YOUR INDEPENDENCE OR YOUR TRUTH !!
 

Offline doublediamond

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2009, 12:41:37 am »
Really cool report ,lekker pics ,keep it comming. Itry and end my Nam trips at Ai ais as it is so lekker to just soak in the hot water.
 :coffee2: :happy1:

Hi B,

I could not agree more, next time I will definetly change direction to finish @ Ai -Ais  :thumleft:
DON'T EVER COMPROMISE YOUR FREEDOM, YOUR DREAM, YOUR INDEPENDENCE OR YOUR TRUTH !!
 

Offline Excalibur

Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #29 on: August 04, 2009, 09:13:30 am »
Very cool report sofar DD and a lovely writing style. Come, bring the rest :happy1:
 

Offline madmike999

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #30 on: August 04, 2009, 09:16:11 am »
 :happy1:
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Offline growweblaar

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #31 on: August 04, 2009, 09:55:16 am »
Quote
...I found myself powering through a tank slapper to prevent the backend & luggage from overtaking me. Nothing like a good poephol puckering to re-ignite your waning energy levels.
:3some:

Great trip, great report, DD. Keep it comin'  :thumleft:
 

Offline Frog

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #32 on: August 04, 2009, 10:00:28 am »
Thanks DD for the entertaining and concise RR. I must agree with you regarding the road to Ais Ais. The road twisting between those awesome rock cliffs and finally coming out at the Ais Ais camp is a memory that stays clearly etched in my mind.    
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Offline funacide

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #33 on: August 04, 2009, 10:24:23 am »
Awesome report, thanks for sharing. I am really enjoying reading this but not the fact that I can't go to Nam again today....

Keep it coming

 :blob6: :blob6: :blob6: :blob6: :blob6: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2:
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Offline doublediamond

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #34 on: August 04, 2009, 10:30:38 am »
Thank's to all of you for words of encouragement, reassuring to see my effort in writing the report is appreciated
I will post day 4 Later this evening.

FREEDOM
DON'T EVER COMPROMISE YOUR FREEDOM, YOUR DREAM, YOUR INDEPENDENCE OR YOUR TRUTH !!
 

Offline LuckyStriker

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #35 on: August 04, 2009, 10:42:45 am »
Thanks for taking the trouble to type the words, it makes for very good reading
your pics are also a joy

I love the D707. Beautiful landscape and interesting road.

Thanks for posting. Looking forward to the rest
 

Offline Eggs

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #36 on: August 04, 2009, 02:45:45 pm »
DD
I think we all missed a trick when you asked for fellow WD to join you on this epic adventure. I guess the philosiphy holds that if you dont have a ticket for the bus, you're not going to get to your destination.

Well done mate.
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Offline JAmBer

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #37 on: August 04, 2009, 03:39:17 pm »
Awesome!  :thumleft:

Offline dazed

Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #38 on: August 04, 2009, 04:00:27 pm »
Fantastico! Looking forward to you joining us on the Pemba trip. :thumleft:
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Offline doublediamond

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Re: Nam's Labyrinth - Solo & Sane
« Reply #39 on: August 04, 2009, 04:28:50 pm »
DD
I think we all missed a trick when you asked for fellow WD to join you on this epic adventure. I guess the philosiphy holds that if you dont have a ticket for the bus, you're not going to get to your destination.

Well done mate.
Hi eggs, I am almost relieved nobody joined me as their was something really special about doing this alone.
thanks for kind words
DON'T EVER COMPROMISE YOUR FREEDOM, YOUR DREAM, YOUR INDEPENDENCE OR YOUR TRUTH !!