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Offline Lighthouse Keeper

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Lighthouse Tour 2009 RR
« on: August 03, 2009, 01:32:24 am »
First RR so just checking that images come out and are right size

Will write up full RR if this works - Oh, what it is to be a newbie idiot!
I'd give my right hand to be ambidextrous!
 

Offline Lighthouse Keeper

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Re: Lighthouse Tour 2009 RR
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2009, 01:35:14 am »
Seems OK - will wait 48 hours for any suggestions about size, speed etc before posting RR
Thanks
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Offline edgy

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Re: Lighthouse Tour 2009 RR
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2009, 02:50:49 am »
Awesome pic! :thumleft:
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Offline Sprocketbek

Re: Lighthouse Tour 2009 RR
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2009, 06:08:59 am »
Been waiting for this one!
Sadly my schedule didn't allow me ride along.
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Offline TVB

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Re: Lighthouse Tour 2009 RR
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2009, 06:35:39 am »
What you waiting for! Great pic to open your RR, so please, I subscribe! :clock:
 

Offline Outthere

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Re: Lighthouse Tour 2009 RR
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2009, 06:38:42 am »
Pictures fine            Size is fine             Speed is fine               48 Hours     NOT FINE
 
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Offline Pistonpete

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Re: Lighthouse Tour 2009 RR
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2009, 06:39:21 am »
Is the whole tour finished? :o
'Routine is the thief of time'
 

Offline Lighthouse Keeper

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Re: Lighthouse Tour 2009 RR
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2009, 12:35:46 pm »
It all started about 18 months ago.  Sitting minding my own business at the Lighthouse and dreaming of the next ride when 2 bikes pull in.  Manne met vroutjies as pillions glide in, hungry and with a great tale of their tour around South Africa, visiting lighthouses.  Read their story on the BMW Motorrad site.  One problem – couldn’t get everywhere because they were riding a RT and Pan European Honda.  Suggestions were made about GS’s etc and they left, well slept and watered.  Then 6 months ago, Gert and Rina arrive back in Port Edward for a short holiday and casually mention that Gert now has a GSA and WHY NOT?  Much phoning around and 4 takers confirmed to do a clockwise trip from Jesser Point at Sodwana to Port Nolloth on the West Coast (First to Last Lighthouses on the South African Coast).


The manne - Dave, Gert & Bruce

Sodwana camp

Richards Bay

Zululand Airhawk seat!

Tugela Mouth

Luxury at Mtunzini

Cape Morgan

Bruce ambushed us with a great Zululand Pub

Now, Gert, is the kind of guy that you want to have planning a trip.  Frightening stuff!  He spent long hours putting together the most amazing itinery.  Bruce and I were presented with a file that detailed the trip, blow by blow.  Google Earth, Mapsource and Excel were used to their full extent.  Just read the file and you hardly need to go other than to experience the wind in your face!  His mate had to pull out and “The Git” from Lyndhurst BMW took off a long weekend and joined us for the first 4 days till Port Edward.  So, 2 GS’s, a 800 and a GSA were saddled up and we met at Sodwana,  Bruce and I eased our way up to the far North Coast whilst Gert and the Git struggled through awful weather down from Pretoria.

The sand at the campsite at Sodwana gave us an intro and blooded the spirit.  Camped out, got lost, got fed and slept like babies while the Gautengers recovered from a long ride down.  The first day we visited Jesser Point, St Lucia and Richards Bay before overnighting at Mtunzini (Tugela Mouth Lighthouse).  Great weather and a great start to the trip.  We discovered that if you send Bruce and the Git out to get milk and bread, they only appear hours later, rosy cheeked and giggling like school girls.  They forgot the rations of course!  Day 2 took us through Umhlanga, Durban Harbour (met the lads from Lighthouse Services – made them jaloers), the Bluff (Coopers), Scottborough and then on to Port Edward (North Sand Bluff).  Weird being back at Bruce and my home base but still being on the trip.  The manne from Port Edward (800’s, a Dakar and GS’s with the odd Yammie) made sure that we continued with a mild to nasty headache the next morning.  Gert still hasn’t forgiven us for the pink bow on his macho GSA!  The Git took his leave and with a nice dose of Gastro (so he claims), headed back to Pta in one long klap.


Bluff with the Git on the right

Port Shepstone

Port Edward

Transkei dawn

Transkei smoke break (only tobacco this time!)

Port St Johns

Cape Hermes

Cape Hermes entrance (very obscure)


Day 3 was a long day from Port Edward to Great Fish (800 k’s) with a stop at Port St Johns (Cape Hermes).  Great Fish Point Lighthouse is an amazing place to stay and strongly recommended for families or groups of Dogs.  We got lekker lost getting there but the day ended in luxury and wonder.   Day 4 took us through Port Elizabeth (Deal Point and Cape Recife) and then on down to Cape St Francis where we slept at Seal Point Lighthouse.  The weather up till then had been stunning but J Bay area introduced us to rain and the gale force winds through the Hummansdorp flats to the coast was fiercesome.  Hadn’t yet learnt the trick of negative steer into the wind so it was scary stuff for Bruce and I.  Gert professed to be cool about the wind but I noticed the washing machine working overtime!


Kei

Great Fish (Painting now completed)

Luxury sleepover at Fish

Cape St Blaize Mosselbaai

Port Francis

A moody predawn launch from Seal

Seal approach

Cape Recife at PE

Cape Recife

Very, very windblown sandstorm at Cape Recife

Deal at PE
Day 5 was an early start in our first cold weather.  Stopped off in Sedgefield to visit my Mum (hey, I won’t get the Toby Jug if we didn’t stop for coffee and koek).  At Mossel Baai (Cape St Blaize), Bruce’s GS spewed brake fluid all over the countryside and he was desolate about the possibility that his trip was over.  BM Assist put him onto Schroeder (spelling) Motorrad in George.  They picked him up, fed him at the Protea and fixed the pipe on top of the ABS server the next morning.  He then tore off down the coast like a hooligan to catch up with us before we got to Agulhas.  Bruce and I went from Cape St. Blaize to Yvstervarkpunt and then on to Cape Infanta.  Our first true dirt roads and they were thoroughly enjoyed.  Crossed the Breede at Malgas Pont and that is to be recommended.  I think that it is the last hand pulled Pont in the Country and that Kei Pont (motorized) is the only other Pont.  Open to correction but make these Pont’s part of your next trip – recommended!  Dissapointment at Cape Infanta as we didn’t have the correct keys to get across Armscor to the Lighthouse so we camped overnight on the beach.  Freezing but an awesome place to camp, thanks to very kind locals for the wood etc.


Dawn at Cape Infanta

Frost at the beach at Cape Infanta

Malgas pont

Stunning
Day 6 took us via Cape Agulhas (the most Southerly lighthouse and the tip of Africa).  Due to time constraints we had to miss some of the dirt roads in the area heading south but more is nog ‘n dag.  Day 7 and 8 spent at Slangkoppunt Lighthouse at Kommetjie while we explored the Peninsular Lighthouses and did the tourist things with Pete Grasso (classic 1150 gsa) as tour guide.  Thanks Pete!  Weather was truly beautiful and the locals warned us that there was big trouble approaching from the Atlantic.  2 Massive cold fronts sent us scurrying up the coast to Saldanah where we thought we would miss the extreme weather for the rest of our trip North.  Big mistake!  Day 9 was via Milnerton, North and South Heads passed (not stopping due to weather worries) and to our stay at Cape Columbine.  Another amazing place to stay.  With Paternoster Pantie Bar and Titties Baai nearby there was lots to amuse but the Lighthouse was the highlight.  Big time luxury and a great presence, it is strongly recommended for families and groups of Dogs.  Bruce of course went out for bread and milk again and arrived back in one piece without the wherewithall but full of stories about soetwyn and ladies panties.  Seeing his tracks in the dirt the next morning was a wonder – he turned 3 k’s into 6 without falling off once!
The weather was now truly nasty so we passed Cape St Martin and battled our way to Doringbaai Lighthouse (some of the signs said Doornbaai- it is doorn and gone).  Big winds and freezing cold made for a pleasure filled evening drinking dis ting and dat ting in the local bar/restaurant/supermarket/post office.


Cape Agulhas

Most southerly - go any more and you get wet

Two oceans!

Agulhas

Slangkoppunt at Kommetjie - tallest Lighthouse in Africa

Fishhoek

Cape point nature reserve

Green Point

Bikes & Birds!  Tazz, the lady who makes all the Lighthouse Bookings

Peter Grasso, our Cape peninsular tour guide - thanks Pete
Day 10 we were supposed to get to Groenriviermond and then on to Hondeklip baai but we got lost and ended up at Namaqua Sands.  The security guys told us about the condition of the roads (?) to those two lighthouses and recommended only Land Rovers etc.  We went and checked but that pink clay mud turned our tyres into slicks and we had 250k’s of it with the weather worsening if thats possible!  Too far removed to take a chance so to our great disappointment we klapped up to Springbok.  Lucky we did because the wind and rain turned extreme and the locals on the other side said that those roads are impassable in such weather and we would have been stranded.  Day 11 we headed down to Port Nolloth to complete the Lighthouse section of the trip.  Our intentions to overnight at Oranjemund having taken the coast dirt roads were scuppered and we headed back to Springbok with our tails between our legs.  We had by this stage learnt the trick of negative steer and finding the sweet spot behind the screen.  I spent most of these days sitting with one thigh on the saddle bags but we could at least maintain reasonable speeds.


Yvstervarkpunt

The smell from the fynbos in the reserve ws incredible

Yes, we also did about 300 k's of dirt

Doringbaai watering hole - soetwyn saved our lives here!

Doringbaai

Bruce, who thinks he is a doring at the Doringbaai Lighthouse

Phew, arrived at last - very cold and wet

There it is eventually

Cape Columbine

I slept inside! Vartjie had to wait outside

Bruce coming back without rations and shytefaced as usual when he went foraging!

Met Francois on the way to Springbok.  Respect dude with what you were doing.  Transalp loaded to the gills

Port Nolloth

Port Nolloth in 110k winds

The rescue tug arrived back after trying to reach stranded fishermen


Days 12 and 13 were spent heading home via Kimberley Hole and Clarens.  Gert headed north on a very long days ride from Upington to Pta (he’s an idiot when the horse is heading back to the stables).  Very cold on the trip and some of the passes were closed due to trucks and caravans being blown over.  We were going to go back via Telle, Lundean, War trail and Matat but cancelled because of the snow and went via Clarens, Golden Gate etc down to Port Edward.  Apart from the weather this was a great ride down.


-4 in Pofadder - riding was a pleasure compared to stopping.

Icy Clarens

Good morning - go ahead, sit on me, make my day! Clarens
Day 14 at home.  32 Lighthouses visited after 6700 k’s and 2 days ahead of schedule because of the weather drama on the upper West Coast.  Airhawk seats are a must as far as we are concerned and the Kioko throttle controls were also great.  Bruce had another slight problem with his bike in Kimberley but once again superb service from the local agent – he even stripped a new bike to get the bush for the fork!  Other than that the bikes went very well and are supremely suited to these kinds of trips.  Next time we will do more dirt but that would then mean at least a month!  No problem!  The next trip is the Ancient Miners inland trip of about 5000 k’s – will advise.


Bugs on the front, not back!

Thanks for reading and I really spend hours living through other Dogs RR’s – close second to riding! Hundreds more pics so just chose a few.
Contact me if you want Tazz’s number for bookings at the Lighthouses that have public cottages.  They won’t allow you to camp like we did but 6 of them have damn fine accommodation with Great Fish and Cape Columbine being exceptional.

Thanks Gert, Bruce and the Git (who is the Git anyway?), you were awesome riding companions and once again, Gert, great job with the logistics and keeping us sane and focused!

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 13, 2009, 07:50:08 am by Lighthouse Keeper »
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Online LeonDude

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Re: Lighthouse Tour 2009 RR
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2009, 12:45:19 pm »
Great stuff!  :thumleft:
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Lighthouse Tour 2009 RR
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2009, 12:51:04 pm »
Great report and great riding guys !! :thumleft:
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Offline JonW

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Re: Lighthouse Tour 2009 RR
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2009, 01:00:05 pm »
Very lekker report Lighthouse Keeper.

Sorry we missed seeing you guys at Tugela Mouth.

Why don't you come to the KZN Bash in September and you can meet more Wild Dogs?
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Re: Lighthouse Tour 2009 RR
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2009, 01:05:15 pm »
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

very sweet  :drif:
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Offline Sir Rat

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Re: Lighthouse Tour 2009 RR
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2009, 01:06:41 pm »
Yo Newbie Idiot!!!  :imaposer:  Dam nice ride report man. Pictures are very good. Well done.  Thanks for sharing.

Cheers  :thumleft: :thumleft:
« Last Edit: August 03, 2009, 02:07:13 pm by RovRat »
 

Offline cono

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Re: Lighthouse Tour 2009 RR
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2009, 01:47:45 pm »
It's great to see riders with a clear mission and objective.
A tour with a difference.
Well done on a great report and photo's.
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Offline ®©errie

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Re: Lighthouse Tour 2009 RR
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2009, 02:57:24 pm »
Nice one, I like those stickers on the panniers/winshields, keeps you focussed  :ricky:
« Last Edit: August 03, 2009, 02:58:11 pm by RCerrie »
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Offline edgy

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Re: Lighthouse Tour 2009 RR
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2009, 02:59:53 pm »
Awesome! :thumleft:
www.astonesthrow.co.za

 BEER..."I drink it when I`m happy or when I`m sad. I drink it when I`m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. Trifle with it if I`m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it - unless I`m thirsty"
 

Offline Copernicus

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Re: Lighthouse Tour 2009 RR
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2009, 03:01:24 pm »
Absolutely awsome trip!  Those pictures give me the urge to put distance between myself and here.  Idid the lighthouse route on the Canadian east coast some years ago and it was equally interesting.  I will definately plan one for SA too.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2009, 12:42:21 pm by Platbrak »
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Offline Loopy

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Re: Lighthouse Tour 2009 RR
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2009, 03:17:52 pm »
Impressive!

Nice pics, and a good read.
 

Offline Misty

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Re: Lighthouse Tour 2009 RR
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2009, 03:54:26 pm »
:thumleft: GREAT RR!!! :)
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Offline Marnus

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Re: Lighthouse Tour 2009 RR
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2009, 06:17:02 pm »
Great trip and report!  I guess you have to get along very well with your mates to do such a long trip and enjoy every moment (or have lots of watering points along the way!)