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Author Topic: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid  (Read 83013 times)

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Offline Jay

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #60 on: October 17, 2009, 03:05:38 pm »
Life does not get better than that MJ...... Life is good  ;D

Fantastic RR  :thumleft:
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Offline Bessie

Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #61 on: October 17, 2009, 06:54:50 pm »
you are one lucky guy!
« Last Edit: October 17, 2009, 06:55:20 pm by Bessie »
 

Offline Swanniebraai

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #62 on: October 17, 2009, 07:09:32 pm »
Subscribed - Front seat!   :happy1:

MJ your RR's hit the "kwyl-klier  :drif:", allways!  :thumleft:
May the WORS be WITH you!
 

Offline Bumblebee

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #63 on: October 17, 2009, 08:18:29 pm »
I'm along for this Ride

Awsome stuff, Dude! :thumleft:

Keep us posted
 

Offline XT JOE

Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #64 on: October 18, 2009, 06:02:58 pm »
Yes really nice, thanks for super nam pictures.  :)
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Offline SACK

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #65 on: October 18, 2009, 07:49:19 pm »
Great stuff Sir!

If I may ask, how old is your daughter now and when did she first start riding with you? Also, did your wife want to get her own bike or did you suggest it?

Looking forward to the next installment.
Makes me want ro ride.
Don't sweat the small stuff.
 

Offline White Stripes

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #66 on: October 18, 2009, 08:32:53 pm »
Moerse cool MJ. Lovely place to visit. Waiting for the rest.
You are out of your element, you are like a child in an empty room, wandering around, get on a bike, any one
 

Offline Stofstreep

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #67 on: October 18, 2009, 09:55:29 pm »
MJ, I love this RR!!!
You and your wife style of Photography is fantastic and really inspirational to me!
I'm keeping my eyes on this one, for places to put on my must see list ;D
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For you never know from day to day.
Which ones you'll have to eat.
 

Offline eikeboom

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #68 on: October 18, 2009, 10:14:49 pm »
Awesome to say the least. Photos, story, everything.
 ;D
Let's go into the mountains...there's likely to be peace and quiet
 

Offline DRAZIL

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #69 on: October 18, 2009, 10:39:06 pm »
Totally enjoyable,great bonding experiance with the family. :thumleft: :thumleft:
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Offline Metaljockey

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #70 on: October 18, 2009, 11:49:02 pm »
Day Four -  MaltahŲhe to Solitaire





Solitaire has that solitary thing going. Or it used to. Fifteen years ago it was a fuel pump and a shop sitting solitary out on itís own on the dusty C14. In the shop you could get fresh apple crumble. This apple crumble was written up in travel magazines as the best in the world.





Now tourists from all over the world come here to have apple crumble. There is now a lodge, camping, two shops, a garage and a restaurant. And if you were looking for some solitude, itís not in Solitaire anymore.





Oh, and the apple crumble you ask? Itís ok.

Namibia has actually changed quite a bit recently. Tourism is very well developed in certain parts of the country. Luxury lodges have sprouted all over and they arenít scared to charge a pretty penny either. A room generally goes for anything from R800 pp (yes, per person) to R3000 pp per night. At Canűn Roadhouse for instance a beer is R16 and a double Brannas & Coke will set you back R45.

You generally get two kinds of tourist, self drive and overlander truck groups. The C14 has plenty of these. A vehicle would come past at least every 10 Ė 20 minutes.

We thought that by doing this trip just after the July school holidays, we will have the place to ourselves. What we did not take into account is that August is high season for the entire Northern Hemisphere. So the whole of Europe is over here on holiday. Germans, Spanish, Dutch and a lot of Italians all over.

We check out the lodge and it is full. We check out the camping but it is just too busy, so we decide to ride to the first guest farm that looks lekker. Just 500m down the road we get a turn-off to Solitaire Guest Farm & Desert Ranch. http://www.solitaireguestfarm.com . The road in is a red sandy affair that is a joy to ride if you go at 70km/h. This turns out to be a wonderful place with pool, honesty bar and everything else you could want, including a hospitable Simone to make you feel welcome. They also have four camp sites, each with its own private ablutions. I can highly recommend this spot.

Thereís a tame springbuck that likes to kiss, or lick the salt off peopleís faces, who knows?





Note the Pratley putty on his horns; springbuck are notoriously combative little bastards. This one hasnít become too much of a problem yet, but better safe than holey, haha.





The kid is getting on nicely with the tent pitching thing, I am only needed at the last step where the poles have to be bent to fit.





At long last it looks like we have outrun that cold front, or maybe we are far enough north to be shot of the cold weather for the rest of the trip. We go to bed happy and content. Tomorrow we ride the Spreetshoogte and Remhoogte passes.





Offline Metaljockey

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #71 on: October 18, 2009, 11:52:30 pm »
Thank you everybody for the replies.

If I may ask, how old is your daughter now and when did she first start riding with you? Also, did your wife want to get her own bike or did you suggest it?

She is five now and started riding with me about a year ago.

Tharina wanted a bike, she says she has no interest in sitting on the back of a bike with a sore ass getting pummelled by the wind for hours on end. I get that.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2009, 12:21:01 am by Metaljockey »
 

Offline Metaljockey

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #72 on: October 19, 2009, 12:16:13 am »
Day 5 – Solitaire to Swakopmund





The next morning it’s like a zoo, with springbuck eating books and meerkat using our tent as a playpen.













Cute little nippers.









It’s a most beautiful setting on the grasslands with the mountains as backdrop. The kid also wants to take pictures but we think it best to ease her into it with the tripod only.




This here is a Rosy Faced Love Bird. They occur naturally from the Southern Border Right up to the Northern Border of Namibia.





Our first order of business is to do a loop up the Spreetshoogte pass and down the Remhoogte pass. The Spreetshoogte pass is not open to vehicles that are towing anything. It turns out to be not that extreme at all but it also turns out to be really beautiful. One should descend it if you have a choice. Tharina’s downhill phobia that I referred to before, is the reason we chose to go up.









When we finish the loop, we are back at Solitaire and it is close to mid day. When Tharina met me in Vioolsdrif she brought the flu with her. Today is the day that the flu peaks, she is coughing and her eyes are so sensitive to light that water just streams out of them wetting her helmet foam. She just feels like crap and the better thing would be to get her into a proper bed for the rest of the day. So we try to get a room at the lodge we camped at last night – sorry, rooms fully booked, camping too. We check the lodge at Solitaire – sorry fully booked. Now and then when your girl really needs you to step up and organize some luxury, one likes to perform. I really want to, but it is not to be.

So after having had lunch and wasting time to try to get accommodation, when we finally decide to hit the road to Swakopmund, it is late. I am not too happy with the decision.  We have already done 150km this morning doing the passes loop. The C14 is one shitty piece of road. It is as wide as 4- 5 lanes of traffic. Now that sounds quite lekker but it isn’t. It is probably one of the most used C-roads and therefor in a bad condition. A narrower road would have had clear tracks, but because this thing is so wide, cars and trucks go all over to avoid corrugation and holes. So you cannot pick a line because there is none. Just corrugation, ruts, sandy ridges and then extended sandy parts full of tracks, all at high speed because the thing is so wide and we are late.

I have modified the DRZ quite a bit to allow Tharina to get her feet on the ground; this includes changed rear suspension linkages and dropping all preload. It gets the job done but unfortunately messes up the geometry and consequently the handling.

I ride at her 4 o’clock and I get too clear a view of the DRZ repeatedly getting out of shape at 100km/h. When it starts going ape shit she jumps up on the pegs and gasses it. That’s right and that’s how I taught her but it’s not a good thing to watch in real time. I pull her over and we turn the damper up. It looks like it is a little better but this road is not nice, and Tharina is not fresh and perky. When she hits those sand ridges combined with heavy corrugation especially, the bike just gets violently out of shape.
 
Watching her ride turns into an ordeal for me. I know that if she goes down at this speed on this road, she’s gonna get hurt properly, braking bones and shit. Twice I feel the adrenaline shooting into my scalp when I think she's going down, but she rides the throttle hard and long, and she pulls it through.

But the reality of it is, that this is what I expect of her every time I go away on a trip. She sits at home not knowing if I’m going to come back happy, broken or not at all. And this is her choice, she wanted to do this trip, she is a grown woman who knows the risk and accepts it. I should respect that. So for my own sanity I fall back a kilometer or two. Not having to see it makes it easier.

When the C 14 finally leaves the plains and turn into the Kuiseb canyon I feel really relieved.  Slower speeds and better surface.













Out of the canyon and onto the desert plain and it is easy fast riding, and beautiful, I can feel her enjoying it as much as I am now. I love this country, testing you and rewarding you, always and in so many ways.













As always , the coastal strip is foggy and cold as we hit the 40km tar between Walvisbaai and Swakop. When we pull into Swakopmund half frozen, we get a nice self catering unit at Alte Brücke and take off our filthy clothes and have a hot shower and get into bed – for two days.

We talk about the day’s riding and how crap the C14 was. I am taken aback when Tharina says that she never felt that the bike was out of control, never thought that she may lose it. And here I was having one panic attack after another watching her. Probably one of those things that just looks a lot worse than it is.

One noteworthy thing. There is a pizza called a Napolitana at the Napolitana restaurant in Swakopmund with springbuck, chili, garlic, mint, etc. in a calzone. This is the best pizza in the world.  The best pizza in the world. If you are ever in Swakopmund, remember, Napolitana.





Oh yeah, another thing, there is a bar right on the beach at the south end of town called Tiger Reef. Also recommended.



« Last Edit: October 19, 2009, 12:18:12 am by Metaljockey »
 

Offline funacide

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #73 on: October 19, 2009, 01:03:43 am »
Hey MJ

Awesome stuff, keep it coming please... Looking forward to the rest.
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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #74 on: October 19, 2009, 01:46:03 am »
In awe as usual
 

Offline GreenMachine

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #75 on: October 19, 2009, 02:09:54 am »
What a ride report. Thanks for sharing.

And great pictures  :thumleft:

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Offline Beagle Boy

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #76 on: October 19, 2009, 08:31:39 am »
This is one fantastic RR, itís totally inspirational to those of us dreaming of doing something like this!!  :ricky:

The pic's are fantastic   :thumleft:

 

Offline MrBig

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #77 on: October 19, 2009, 12:14:45 pm »
Quote
One noteworthy thing. There is a pizza called a Napolitana at the Napolitana restaurant in Swakopmund with springbuck, chili, garlic, mint, etc. in a calzone. This is the best pizza in the world.  The best pizza in the world. If you are ever in Swakopmund, remember, Napolitana.

 :biggrin:
Reminds me of something I wrote a few years ago:

"Another favourite was one night when we went to an Italian(!) place called Napolitana and asked for a focaccia as starter.
It wasn't on the menu and the waitress stared blankly at me eventually asking me to repeat my request.
After saying "focaccia" a couple times more she said replied "Yes sir, we do have avocado salad".
Unbelievably she had never HEARD of focaccia before and I had to explain it to the kitchen staff in order for them to make it!"
"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 Sakkie

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #78 on: October 19, 2009, 01:01:32 pm »
Wow! I havn't read the whole RR yet , but man you have inspired me so far!

So many awesome photo's! 
It must be great to have shared it with the Wife & Kid.
This photo of your sums it up for me :

If it's not broken - ride it until it is!
 

Offline KAT-WP

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #79 on: October 19, 2009, 01:25:25 pm »
really superb pic's & RR and even better 2 be able 2 do trips like this with the whole family :thumleft: