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Author Topic: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid  (Read 83591 times)

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Offline Trailrider

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #200 on: October 25, 2009, 04:04:39 pm »
I posted on page 1 and left this report ;D I was not going to let you torture me by waiting and waiting for each snippet of this report. 11 Pages... I thought that the report must surely be finished by now. ::)

And so I wait for the next installment...
« Last Edit: October 25, 2009, 04:05:06 pm by Trailrider »
 

Offline mountainboy

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #201 on: October 26, 2009, 07:32:16 am »
all has already been said

but geez, what a trip

and the words to decribe them!!

in your second language....

speechless
I love my bike..................
 

Offline Would I?

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #202 on: October 26, 2009, 07:58:33 am »


That reminds me of Haak-en-Steek which is a little bush here in the Western Cape.  But when I look it up in Palgrave Trees of Southern Africa it takes me to Acacia tortilis which is the classic umbrella thorn.  That could be a small umbrella thorn but I suspect it is some other Acacia.  I would not translate haak-en-steek as 'Hook-&-Prick' but rather 'Grab-and-Jab'

Bliksem your vrou can ride through sand that makes me shudder.  Huge respect to her.

I experience with the HAAk EN STEEk bos in Koes. Every year we race in Koes on the salt pan and those bushes tore us to pieces. If your riding shirt was new after the race it was old and ready for the trash bin.

It might be the black thorn better known as "swart hark". We do some bird shooting on the botswana border neer Vergelee where it is really thick. If a downed bird falls in the bush you bleed to get it back. Those thorns really tear you to pieces.
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Offline Sir Rat

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #203 on: October 26, 2009, 10:34:30 am »
Awesome awesome awesome Ride Report!!!!   :thumleft: Those feeling in your head. One word to sum-up it all.

LOVE!!!!  :)
 

Offline The Gentleman

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #204 on: October 26, 2009, 11:14:50 am »
Inspirational MJ! Thanks mate. U make our dreams a reality!
 

Offline X Banana Boy

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #205 on: October 26, 2009, 03:18:40 pm »
Awesome MJ.  Am loving reading this and following your story.
 

Offline Doringboom

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #206 on: October 26, 2009, 03:19:16 pm »
Because I am the only one that still have not said something, I guess I must say it now:

This is beautiful ride report in every respect – the photos, the text, the thoughts it evokes, the aspects of life philosophy that are being touched upon, ….everything! I see it is also a box office hit on Advrider. This ride report should really appeal to an audience far beyond the borders of adventure motorcycling. Congratulations :salut:
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Offline DeonDj

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #207 on: October 26, 2009, 07:20:08 pm »
Very nice MJ, very nice pics, I have forwarded this thread to my brother as he was the base commander at Sesfontein in the army years, he did write back that it brought back many memories, the swimming pool you guys swam in, he was in charge of three bases, one in the Etosha and one in Tsinsabis and the Sesfontein one (Sector 30 or Sirkus 30), but you did an Iron butt whith that bike and respect for the wife and the kid, I enjoyed it! :thumleft:
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Offline Plothond

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #208 on: October 26, 2009, 10:21:35 pm »
I actually have no words .......

Enjoying it all  :thumleft:

This I do know. It is in my power to go back there again......  and so I will.   :)
Thankyou for the inspiration
oh.... and BTW - the family issue. We have pretty much decided. You cannot control the external influence, but you can control your reaction  :thumleft:
I used to be indecisive, but I'm not so sure anymore

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Offline Catchy

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #209 on: October 27, 2009, 08:09:41 am »
Truly awesome& inspirational stuff! Reports like this don’t come around very often and your writing will “move” any adventurer.
Maybe without knowing it, you have inspired many people to just get out there, ride and enjoy life to the full!!

 Well done.  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Always keep your "kant" clean !
 

Offline Metaljockey

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #210 on: October 27, 2009, 12:01:12 pm »
Purros to Epupa, Day 2






During the night, what looks like a leopard passed within 30m of our camp, he probably looked at me lying there in the hammock.





First Baobab we see in a long time, check out the nest.





You can see the feathers of the young one stick out.





Down below, the parent.





This is the seed pod of the baobab tree. In Afrikaans a baobab is called a kremetart boom, kremetart is a food seasoning called ‘crème of tartare’ in english.





This is where it comes from, that white stuff, you can eat it straight out the pod.





As we go higher into the mountains, the track gets rocky, or is it pebbly?





On one steep loose section Tharina drops her bike.





When I take her bike to the top Peanut tells her with relish “See, that’s how you do it mommy”.  





This rocky stuff is slow and we plod onwards and upwards for an hour. After almost two hours we have only covered 25km. Shit, at this rate we are not going to get very far. I knew yesterday that it’s a bit of a long shot to do Purros to Epupa in one day. But if things continue at this rate it’s going to take us three days to reach Epupa.





Not that I am complaining about the scenery, it’s a lovely area to travel through.









We are very happy that we get to see these in bloom.









The road surface makes you pay attention, especially me after yesterday’s story. If you want to cross this centre ridge you must do so with conviction.









When we get down to level ground again we are in Himba country.





Bush avoidance claims another victim.





When we get to a settlement, I fill up with water as the first order of business.





Not long before this one can do it’s own in house nose scratching.





This is the junction with the Etanga – Otjitanda road and there is a shop with the standard canned food and cold beer.





Good quality bull bar.





Time to get some fuel from the tanker. This means that we have about a 100km left before we both run dry.





No help at all.





We spot a perfect spot for a lunch break.









Luncheon roll and cookies again.









We pass by the Van Zyl’s pass turnoff and are now on the home straight to Okongwati, where we will be able to get fuel and water again. From there it is good fast gravel to Epupa.

Ok, maybe home straight is not the correct term. There is a rocky patch to get through first. I remember it as maybe 7km or so. It turns out I remember wrong.

Check out this spectacular lack of talent.





Just to show that I did catch it.





The rains have messed up the road somewhat. Remember the hill on the Goat Meat trip that ripped my bashplate off? This is it here.





And if I am not mistaken this is the rock that did it, clearly still claiming victims after all these years.





Here is where Tharina’s downhill phobia is going to be either conquered or cemented.









Check those tyres work.









She gets down all by herself and with feet on the pegs like it should. Far out, I am happily surprised.

Out the other side of that donga and it is starting to look like I miss remembered things. I recall one technical uphill and then it flattens out but still with a lot of rocks. This one technical uphill leads into another and another and another.  





It is really hot in amongst these rocks that have been baking in the sun the whole day. Tharina starts finding the going difficult. She has very little experience of technical rock riding.





She chooses the worst lines and, as was inevitable at some stage, she goes down. We discuss clutch control and lines and momentum. Well, we discuss as much as one can while standing in an oven.





The next time she drops the bike I’m ready with the camera.





She cannot pick the bike up loaded as it is. So each time I have to find a place to put my bike on the stand, take my helmet off, unstrap myself from the kid, pick the kid up off the bike, take her neck brace off, take her helmet off and go and help Tharina pick up her bike. IT IS HOT.

I am not bitching, I brought her here, this is my job. But she is getting angry at herself for hitting the deck and having to put me through this again and again. This is not right, I should be the least of her worries.





I tell her that the best line almost always is the one straight up. I see that she listens to me (this means she must be really tired), and it goes better for a while. I see her attack some crazy steps and get up them, the DRZ’s tyres pumping like pistons. Good thing that suspension is so soft.

The next time she goes down she gets trapped under the bike and has to wait until I get there. I ask if I can take a picture and I get an incredibly rude reply. So I take the picture.





The next time she goes down I do not take a picture. I am getting concerned. Things are not working out so well here for us.
You can only drop a bike so many times before it gets damaged. It’s already lost the tip off the clutch lever, we are not going to be so lucky for too long and we cannot afford losing a bike.

It is too hot for us to spend much more time here, it is getting dangerous, and our water is now not enough anymore to spend the night.
I need to communicate this to my wife (the importance of not dropping the bike) without it sounding like I am criticizing her. She is way past tired and is cramping, she is collecting bruises at an unprecedented rate and she still feels like it is her fault that we are spending hours here instead of half an hour.

The next fall happens when she spins out, coming out of a donga. Again just taking the wrong line, half a foot to the left and she would have been fine.





She has one more fall after this one on an easy straight section, but thankfully we reach the plato where there is air and we can use second gear too.  





But it is too late, we have taken it too far already and the next time she hits the ground, she does so at a good rate of knots.  And there are tears and she stays down. I feel her clavicle hoping to high heaven that it didn’t break again. She broke it previously when the 1200 dumped her in the Hogsback forest, and now she hit the ground with that shoulder again. It makes a grating sound but it seems to be intact.
 
We need to stop and we need to stop right now. Luckily we are out of the heat in those ravines, so we can camp here, but we have maybe 300ml of water left. That is not going to take us through the night in the dehydrated state that we are in.

I leave her and the kid under a tree and ride on to where I know a borehole is a couple of kilometers on. This is the borehole where I competed with the goats for water on the Goat Meat trip. When I get there, the hand pump is broken. Shit man. What’s so difficult in keeping a hand pump operable? I ask the Himba that live there where they get water from. They say Etengwa. Etengwa is about another 15km on. It is on our way but I also need to keep an eye on the fuel. That day at Purros when we explored the canyon we used the 50km buffer that I calculated in when we filled up. So our fuel is now just enough to get us to Okongwati, where we can refuel.  

I go back and explain that we need to keep going until we get to Etengwa. We take it slow and careful. When we get to Etengwa, which by the way is a collection of huts, we are astounded to find that the borehole pump there is also broken and have been so for years.

We ask around and a Himba explains that they get water out of a well not far up the riverbed. He offers to show me. In the mean time the children get to playing.





When we get to the well, I am less than impressed. It is an open well with all sorts that fall in every day. This water looks damn dodgy. I have a cup and it tastes fine though. Beggars can’t be choosers and we need water badly, so we fill up.





As we pull out of the river to find a campsite we ride slap bang past a shop. Well knock me over, I cannot believe our luck. We buy three litres of warm colddrink with the promise to return the empties the next day.

We ride into the bush to make camp. We are only 30 km from Okongwati but it is a physical impossibility to get there today.





We boil the water for peace of mind but it does nothing for the colour.





And so the sun sets on a difficult day. There is not too much talking going on.



« Last Edit: October 27, 2009, 12:03:39 pm by Metaljockey »
 

Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #211 on: October 27, 2009, 12:22:29 pm »
I know that feeling MJ. Wife finding the road difficult and I feeling bad that I brought her there. The worst is you HAVE to finish the road!! You cannot fly out of there. Good call to stop for the day! :thumleft:
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Offline Nardus

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #212 on: October 27, 2009, 12:43:18 pm »
Holy crap MJ, I recall how difficult and demanding the stretch to Epupa was. Cannot believe you take the poor unsuspecting wife there. Great respect Tharina !!
Let the snake slide and the lizzard slither and LET IT BE !
 

Offline Archangel

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #213 on: October 27, 2009, 01:44:38 pm »
 :happy1:

Offline GSJeri

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #214 on: October 27, 2009, 02:40:02 pm »
Holy Smokes   :P
If you want to be happy for a day..... Drink
If you want to be happy for a year..... Marry
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Offline Metaljockey

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #215 on: October 27, 2009, 03:51:00 pm »
Purros to Epupa, Day 3





With our powers restored the morning’s ride into Okongwati is a doddle.





Check out the birds, and the water, running all over like it's not a precious commodity.





We buy fuel out of cans at a stiff mark-up.





How’s that for cutting it fine, what’s left in the DRZ’s tank.









We try to raid the shops but still the stock standard range of canned food is all that is available. So it is Chilli pilchards, bully beef and Luncheon roll then for another week.

The road from Okongwati to Epupa is in excellent condition, and blindingly white. I take a picture of my arm because that’s the only red thing to be seen anywhere.





As we near Epupa the scenery improves.





We get a campsite at Omarunga Camp and head to the river for a dip. We have a lot of dust to get rid of after three days.









Some local talent (not safe for work) http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/653119448_kXCmp-L.jpg



Check out this lizard. 





Here with one of what appears to be his many wives.





This place has excellent spacious outdoor showers, we abuse the opportunity.





Peanut finds a friend her age and we see very little of her from then on.

Makalani pips, the centre is very hard and looks like ivory, the locals do intricate carvings on them.





And night falls at Epupa falls and everybody is happy again.




Offline Would I?

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #216 on: October 27, 2009, 03:57:46 pm »
Awesome!!!!! really enjoying this. :) :) :)
You either make dust or you eat dust.
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Offline Metaljockey

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #217 on: October 27, 2009, 04:16:34 pm »
:thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Fantastic; great find the elephants; not always guaranteed, great pics and very good report; like the others you did,  

------may I ask what camera you were using?

Tharina used a Panasonic Lumix FZ-18 that I bought from Rival, a forum member. We are very pleased with it. In fact, Knopkop has one for sale now http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=38306.0. Check out the link to the review in his post if you want to know more.

I have a Nikon Coolpix S4, unfortunately discontinued, otherwise I would have bought another one.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2009, 05:48:25 am by Metaljockey »
 

Offline Wooly Bugger

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #218 on: October 27, 2009, 04:17:40 pm »
Respect! This is the highlight of my day! :thumleft:
 

Offline EtienneXplore

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Re: The Wife, the Ex and the Kid
« Reply #219 on: October 27, 2009, 04:31:36 pm »
:thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Fantastic; great find the elephants; not always guaranteed, great pics and very good report; like the others you did,   

------may I ask what camera you were using?

Tharina used a Panasonic Lumix FZ-18 that I bought from a Rival, a forum member. We are very pleased with it. In fact, Knopkop has one for sale now http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=38306.0. Check out the link to the review in his post if you want to know more.

I have a Nikon Coolpix S4, unfortunately discontinued, otherwise I would have bought another one.

 :ricky: :ricky:

Faaark that, now I am keeping that camera!!!!!
 :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

MJ and Tharina, again, some really AWESOME photo's in this report, thank you so much for taking the time and effort to put this together in such a easy to read and follow report. As always, your reports keeps on inspiring.....

Thanks.
 :thumleft: