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Author Topic: Thump & Paul's PE to KZN Wilddog Bash trip Day 1 to Day 9 (complete at last)  (Read 4798 times)

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Offline >>Thump°C

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A few months ago, there were rumblings of a possible KZN Bash near Underberg. :ricky:
I was immediately keen and chatted to a few friends who also liked the idea.
The Plan was, take a week off ride up the higher Eastern Cape with the fly rods, maybe do a bit of Lesotho and then the bash. Riding a bit and starting and ending the days flying for trout.

But as we got closer to the time most the guys who were keen couldn’t make it. :xxbah: Times are tough in the EC economy at present. But I had booked and was going what ever. Luckily my mate Paul had also committed.

From a business point of view it ended up a bad time to leave for a week, but I had committed to Paul so said nothing,  just ignored my concerns and went.
When chatting afterwards I found that he had the same problem, only going because he had committed to me.
Ain’t life great?
We’re both glad we went.

After much posting and asking for advice we settled on this planned route.
(This is a great forum http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=38141.0)



The only accommodation booked was at Silverstreams resort for the Bash.
We agreed to ride and although we had approximate daily targets we would decide on route depending on how we felt as to where we would sleep.
The preliminary sleeping spots were Barkley East, Ramabanta, Katse dam, Silverstreams(3 nights), Rhodes, Stutterheim.

But all good adventures start with the plans being changed as you go.

Day 1 - Sunday 20th Sep 2009
PE – Alicedale – Riebeck East – Adelaide – Winterberg – Balfour pass – Queenstown – 430km

After a week of sorting the bike out, fixing everything and packing I was ready to go.
Checked that Paul had checked everything, especially the battery water. This tends to evaporate suddenly when you least expect it (I’ve got some distilled water thanks to Fugly)
All fine so Sunday I meet Paul at his place. All ready to go.


When I try to start the bike.. Nurring. Battery flat. (I’d left the ignition on while waiting for him)
So there we are trying to push start a loaded bike but it’s not playing with.
I use his bike and go fetch jumpers at my place. I decided to take them with to prevent problems on the gravel.
Never needed them again

Great start to our ride. I just new we were in for an adventure.
Finally we’re off. This is the route we did for the day, deciding to stop over in Queenstown when we got there after 4pm. My Garmin charger wasn’t working properly and I wanted to try get a new one in the morning.


Most of the pics and Videos below were taken while riding, so excuse the lack of quality.
I also haven’t edited anything.

First bit of dirt on the gravel highway to Alicedale.


Alicedale to Riebeck East via Burchells game reserve. I’ve ridden this route often so not too many pics.
Area is very dry at the moment. We saw very few animals in an area normally teeming with wildebeest and buck.




We veered off the road to look down the valley to see if maybe they weren’t down at the river.
 Nurring


From Riebeck East to Adelaide we also went through some game reserves and a few gates but only saw a few buck in the distance. But the roads were fun.


Trying for the artistic shot


Intersections with memories of previous rides entertainment. (Hey Bakkie?)


Animals in the distance


And our first sign of a potential water crossing


Adelaide was basically closed.
Just bought a chocolate and coke for lunch. Didn’t feel like the take away’s on offer.


Then into the Post Retief, Winterberg area.
I used to work in this area 20 years ago but don’t remember the roads much.
It was definitely greener back then. I still have fond memories of our  4x4 adventures in the rain and mud all part of the job. Good days.

Adelaide’s dam


Sheep must have thought I’m Australian. See how they run. I’m always scared of sheep as they don’t have much logic. Often crossing right in front of you instead of staying where it’s safe.


Some wildlife again. Note the albinos.


Left or right? Lets go the long way.


Stopped at this bridge to see this little chap sun tanning below. Paul tried to get it to move to watch it swim but it took a lot of persuasion. Was not scared of anything. He was well over a meter from nose to end of tail.


The bridge


Some more along the route. Very nice roads until just before the top of Katberg pass where there are a lot of round stones making things a bit tricky.




Then we joined with the top of Katberg pass, on to Devil’s Bellows Neck.
Paul had lost his petrol can so we turned around to find it. When we stopped his bike had it’s first rest.


Luckily paul's a good sport
Pics with a frame around them like below are videos



Then the road got prettier with some greenery for a change.



Then on to Wittlesea.




Wide open roads
GS country


We spent the night at Roydon game farm. Great place with very friendly and helpful staff.
We practically had the place to ourselves.


The cottage (Each had one to our self)


The soap. I nearly managed to get Paul to think it was fudge, but he held it under his nose too long while talking and got the smell. Eish, I wish he’d shut up and eat.


The tame animals.








And the braai.


All in all a great start, Just was a bit worried about my Garmin Charger.

Day 2 to follow.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2009, 05:11:28 pm by Thump »
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Offline Smidty

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Re: Thump & Paul's PE to KZN Wilddog Bash trip Day 1
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2009, 02:31:40 pm »
 :happy1:
All things are difficult before they are easy

 

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Re: Thump & Paul's PE to KZN Wilddog Bash trip Day 1
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2009, 02:42:27 pm »
 :happy1:
 

Offline Jman

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Re: Thump & Paul's PE to KZN Wilddog Bash trip Day 1
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2009, 03:01:18 pm »
Looks lekker, I did'n know you carried slowpoke with you on the trip
 

Offline >>Thump°C

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Re: Thump & Paul's PE to KZN Wilddog Bash trip Day 1
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2009, 03:13:32 pm »
Day 2 - Monday 21st Sep

Queenstown – Dordrecht – Barkley east – Lundeans neck – Rhodes. 330km

Day started with breakfast and entertainment by the Meerkat and the puppy cocker spaniel.




And someone left his mother in law here. Please come fetch her, she’s disturbing the guests.


After wasting time looking for a Garmin dealer with a charger we bought a 5l oil and headed out towards Dordrecht. ( When I returned from the Steytlerville bash the pipe from my air filter to the carb was off and the bikes being using a spot of oil since then. All in total, I used the 5 litres over the 3300km we did)

Day 2 route


First a bit of tar
 

Then after Dordrecht we turned onto the gravel again towards Barkley East.
Once again a lot of fast roads and very dry countryside.




They were just hooking up a Police Bakkie that had rolled on this corner when we got there.
A reminder that it’s not so much how you ride but watch out for how the other okes drive on the dirt roads.
 


& summor




Touches of green


Crystel clear water.


And into Barkley East for Lunch.


Paul spent a lot of time trying to sort out issues with projects.  Shame



We left Barkley East and headed towards Lesotho via Lundean’s Neck.
The scenery started improving dramatically as we reached the mountainous areas. But still dry with a lot of veld fires.

The pic


And the effort we go to for the shot, LOL.




Just imagine if I had skill! Ha Ha



Mountain Streams.


Beautiful rock formations.



And friendly birds that eat fingers.


Lundean’s Neck was awesome.




Going down the other side about 20km from the border post with Lesotho, I decide to ride off the road and park my bike on this rock for a photo.



Just then a strong gust of wind blows the bike over… breaking the front brake lever. ^%$#@
Out with the Pratley steel and a 1,5hour wait.




We explored the area a bit while we waited, appreciating the old farming practices.
This guy uses caves like this for the newborns all around the mountain. He has ±400sheep roaming around.


Now I wasn’t to convinced about this repair job and did not want to tackle Lesotho without front brakes after all the stories I had heard, so we decided to head to Rhodes and arrange for a Brake lever to be sent to Underberg. We reached Rhodes just after 5pm so everything was closed.
Speed limits here.


Entering Rhodes


We found a place to stay and hurried down to the river to finally try for trout. The lady renting to us explained how her daughter had caught 12 in the river that afternoon. We managed ± a half hour of fishing but no luck.
We fish worse than a teenage gurl. Sies.


Then we went to the hotel for supper and while we were waiting I got a dose of real KZN Wilddog friendly helpfulness.

I had “Wooly Bugger’s” number so I phoned to find out if he knew the nearest Kawasaki dealer and could possibly get the number for me. I was still explaining what had happened when he say’s “Don’t worry, I know a few KLR riders and will contact them and come back to you”.

With in half an hour John W had agreed to go buy one in the morning, give it to “Wooley Bugger” who will courier it up to Underberg. These are all guys I had not even met before but they where going out of their way to solve my problems. Great okes what?
Thanks again guys :thumleft: :thumleft: :ricky:
 We had an early night as we planned to get up early for some fishing.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2009, 05:09:53 pm by Thump »
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Offline Wolweseun

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Re: Thump & Paul's PE to KZN Wilddog Bash trip Day 1
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2009, 03:37:24 pm »
Nice

I have been looking forward to this report
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it's women who make it hard"

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Offline Roné

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Re: Thump & Paul's PE to KZN Wilddog Bash trip Day 1
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2009, 03:38:41 pm »
nice  :thumleft: keep it commin
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Offline Gee S

Re: Thump & Paul's PE to KZN Wilddog Bash trip Day 1
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2009, 03:42:17 pm »
Nice. :ricky:
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Re: Thump & Paul's PE to KZN Wilddog Bash trip Day 1
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2009, 05:08:35 pm »
great pics and RR   :thumleft:
Keep it coming
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Offline LeonDude

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Re: Thump & Paul's PE to KZN Wilddog Bash trip Day 1
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2009, 05:25:48 pm »
Nice one Thump!  :thumleft:

Now how about some Zeta's to protect those levers?
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Offline >>Thump°C

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Re: Thump & Paul's PE to KZN Wilddog Bash trip Day 1
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2009, 05:40:11 pm »
Zeta's?
How do they compare with barkbusters?
I definitely need to get some.
Us clumsy okes need all the protection we can get :ricky:
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Offline >>Thump°C

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Re: Thump & Paul's PE to KZN Wilddog Bash trip Day 1
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2009, 05:48:06 pm »
By the way..
That pipe was bent before I stood on  it to take the photo  :peepwall:
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Offline LeonDude

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Re: Thump & Paul's PE to KZN Wilddog Bash trip Day 1
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2009, 05:52:23 pm »
I just got Zeta's because that's what AdventureMX had in stock. Don't know if barkbusters are better or worse.
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Offline edgy

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Re: Thump & Paul's PE to KZN Wilddog Bash trip Day 1
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2009, 06:27:35 pm »
Enjoying so far! :thumleft:
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Offline >>Thump°C

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Re: Thump & Paul's PE to KZN Wilddog Bash trip Day 1
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2009, 06:31:52 pm »
I just got Zeta's because that's what AdventureMX had in stock. Don't know if barkbusters are better or worse.

Thanks, I'll check around.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2009, 07:38:20 pm by Thump »
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Re: Thump & Paul's PE to KZN Wilddog Bash trip Day 1 & Day 2
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2009, 08:18:57 pm »
Nice Thump....

Those levers are cheap at Davies bike spares in North end
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Offline >>Thump°C

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Re: Thump & Paul's PE to KZN Wilddog Bash trip Day 1 to Day 3
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2009, 09:02:11 pm »
Day 3 - Tuesday 22nd Sep

Rhodes – Naudeas neck – Lower Pitseng - Matatiele – Underberg – Himeville - Underberg 360km

Day 3 started out great. Up at 5AM and down to the river to catch that elusive trout.
There was a slight chill in the air so I put on a jersey and raced down not wanting to waste any time.



Although my casting is improving, the ability to convince the trout is still lacking.
So I decide to capture the moment while wondering what to try next.


Suddenly Paul gets his first trout.
It’s a bit small and I joke about what size a trout must be to count (Jealousy and all that) but this turns out to be our largest trout of the trip.



After a number of unsuccessful casts I start making my way further upstream.
Casting becomes a bit more difficult, and with frustration I look at the rod.
Ice had being forming on the eyes of the rod restricting the line. So there was a slight chill in the air… it wasn’t my imagination. LOL :imaposer:


Luckily I enjoy just being out there and fish is just a bonus so I had fun anyway.
(Hey I know that sound like C&@p but it works for me, hey!)
Lot’s of newborn animals here too.
Spring is definitely pop out season, even if it’s dry this year



So we go pack up and head to the place to go hand the key back.
As I stop the front brake leaver breaks again.


We were going to go up to Tiffindale ski resort on our way out so I suggest to Paul that he go up on his own while I try re-glue the lever.
Eventually after I have twisted his arm like a koeksister,  he goes up to Tiffendale and I start work.
Some pics he took, I may just have to go back one day.





He gets back after an hour or so and we head out.
I still don’t use the front brake as I’m not sure the stuff has cured in the cold.

But the road is good and I don’t need them, but I keep wanting to use them out of habit.

The route for the day.


I have managed to use insulation tape to hold the connection of the Garmin charger in just the right angle to work so I’m as happy as an oke who just received a new KLR.

The road out of Rhodes continues to meander along the scenic Bell River.
My emotions alter between awe and appreciation of God’s art and wonders and jealousy that I don’t live there. But that is a problem I will have for most of the tour and is the kind of emotional turmoil I can live with.












Towards the top of Naudea’s Neck the mist starts building up and I stop at the top for a photo.
As I ride the bike up a mound of stones in front of the sign I grab the front brake to stop from rolling back and it breaks again. So I just pack it away.


The slope ahead looked steep but was no problem when going down


I take the moment to put on my rain suit and we start down again

But after a few km’s there is no more mist, just a great overcast day. Life is good.
Now I’m riding along taking video’s and pics using throttle adjust when changing gears and with no front break. After a while I put the camera away and use my clutch to change down before a bend.
But when I let it out it stays stuck in.
So I stop and wait for Paul to return with my Miracle Tool (oil spray) and spray it full of oil. What a lot of dirt came out, but it never gave problems for the rest of the tour.




We then went on and had lunch at this scenic spot.




Eating out is a process requiring deep thought


And on we went


And on


Lovely roads again


To Matatiele where we filled up and started out again.
My bike reached a milestone, a third of the way to being fully run in.
(It had 2800km when I bought it in May 2007)


Then the rain started as we hit the dirt again but not to hard. No bad mud but it did lower the temperature.

When we got to Underberg after 6PM we went to the couriers who had promised to stay open for me but the brake lever hadn’t arrived yet. The lady was kind enough to phone the “under the berg” B&B and get prices and book us in. So we went and unpacked after which I got a call that the lever had arrived. After fitting it we went out in search of Supper.

Underberg was closed. We were told to go to Himeville Arms ±6km away. We had a burger and beer and after getting plenty of advice from a Professional Fly fisherman who has his Springbok colours, we headed home.
We had only dressed to go ±200m but now had a 6km ride in the icy cold. Both our jaws were sore from clamping them against the cold by the time we got back.

That warm shower was magnificent.
Slept like a baby.
(NO I didn’t wake up with a crappy nappy)
« Last Edit: October 11, 2009, 05:11:45 pm by Thump »
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Offline >>Thump°C

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Re: Thump & Paul's PE to KZN Wilddog Bash trip Day 1 to Day 4
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2009, 09:15:06 pm »
Day 4 - Wednesday 23rd Sep

Underberg – Silverstreams – Underberg and around - 170km – trout fishing in the river

The days route


The revised plan had been to book in at Silverstreams (41km’s from Underberg) buy groceries and then head into Lesotho towards Katse dam. Sleep the night and then return to Silverstreams via a different route.

But when we awoke to mist and rain we decided it will be a waste to do Lesotho if we can’t see anything.

So we went looking for flys and flyline.

Two very helpful gentlemen at the Highlander trout and bass fishing shop gave us great advice and sold us some good equipment at half the cost we’d pay in PE. Then still gave me discount.
(I think the trout claimed the discount back)
The one gentleman’s son works for Enduro world, so we got chatting about bikes etc. and how I bought my KLR from Gary Franks, etc.
Pics a bit blurry, but if you step back and squint a bit.
Any one watching will larf at you Ha Ha


We booked in at Silverstreams, came back along a different route for groceries and then back to try out the spots in the river.








Dumb horse thought his grass is better than mine.


The right road.


The possie. This was a great place for the bash, Accommodation cheap but good and the staff where very friendly and helpful. I was really impressed by the friendliness of the KZN People in general.
(having been born in Pietermaritzburg I knew that good people come from there. It’s good to know a lot stayed. :peepwall: )








Only fingerlings live here, but it was fun stalking them. Paul's second one.




Rounded the day of with a chicken braai.

« Last Edit: October 11, 2009, 05:12:00 pm by Thump »
Boys will be Boys.
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Offline mountain man

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Re: Thump & Paul's PE to KZN Wilddog Bash trip Day 1 & Day 2
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2009, 09:48:46 pm »
Enjoying this - and the great pics...
 

Offline JonW

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Re: Thump & Paul's PE to KZN Wilddog Bash trip Day 1 & Day 2
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2009, 10:03:34 pm »
Great Ride Report Thump, very good to meet you at the bash.

Will have to meet half-way between Pmb and PE for a beer sometime, maybe the Wild Coast is a good idea?
How can I be lost when I have got nowhere to go?