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Author Topic: J?burg - Memel - Weenen - Sani Top - Fouriesburg - J?burg  (Read 3156 times)

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Offline Ysterman

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J?burg - Memel - Weenen - Sani Top - Fouriesburg - J?burg
« on: December 29, 2006, 07:59:05 am »
Before I start, have to apologize for the quality of some of the photos.  This being my first trip, I really wanted to make an effort with the photos, but unfortunately I used a setting on the camera that overexposed the images.  So, pretty disappointed with the damn camera (or perhaps I should take some photography lessons) ? anyway I?ve included some of them after some extensive Photoshop doctoring ? overexposed images cannot be fixed.

Day 1 ? J?burg to Memel

Friday morning, everything is packed ? ready to go, but first have to spend a couple of hours in the office.  Suppose to leave the office at 13:00 and meet up with P around 14:00 at the Total garage just outside J?burg.  However couldn?t wait till then and left early ? just to catch up with P after Gillooly?s who also decided to leave early.  



Stopped at the Villiers Wimpy for lunch, and then took the road via Vrede to Memel.  Passed thru a couple of rain storms on the way and got soaking wet ? luckily it was rather warm and the rain helped to cool us down.  Riding thru heavy rain & traffic wasn?t fun, but the Anakees helped.  Well, we arrived in Memel and the first stop was at the butchery - the biltong is really good and highly recommended!



Well, it turns out the butcher has a GS ? after getting the biltong, he and his wife got outside to have a chat and look at the bikes ? friendly people.  He then recommended some short dirt road trips around Memel for us to do that afternoon.  Beautiful scenery around Memel ? almost everywhere you look.  Some of the locals? homes next to the road ? really pretty.







Stayed over at the Cliffdale Hotel - small hotel with only 8/9 rooms separate from the main building, but excellent accommodation.  Also very pretty.  Some of the rooms from the courtyard.



The main building from the courtyard.



The front of the Cliffdale Hotel.



This is the small town of Memel ? although it does not show everything, there is not much more.  Stunning little town.  Great place to spend a weekend to get away from the city.  Please don?t tell anybody ? the atmosphere is just perfect as it is now ? an influx of J?burgers can just ruin the town or destroy that ?thing? that makes it special right now.



Day 1 ends in the Cliffdale Hotel pub with a couple of beers and a food basket, done mostly tar just to get out of the city and to Memel, but the butcher?s friendly advise on the short dirt roads around Memel gave us a taste of what?s to come on day 2.
 

Offline funacide

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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2006, 08:08:59 am »
Nice report TTZ, keep it coming for us poor people who are sitting around doing no riding this December!
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Offline GIDEON

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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2006, 08:27:59 am »
Apology not exepted
There is NOTHING wrong with the pictures there greate.

Memel what a place I like the bill board (Memel ultimate touring destination)

Thanks for sharing nou me and Fun can atleast smile a little. :D


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Offline JonW

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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2006, 08:34:24 am »
Hey TTZ

Nice report so far and nothing wrong with the photies.

looking forward to the rest.

Jon
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2006, 08:46:22 am »
Quote from: "GIDEON"
Apology not exepted
There is NOTHING wrong with the pictures there greate.

Memel what a place I like the bill board (Memel ultimate touring destination)

Thanks for sharing nou me and Fun can atleast smile a little. :D


I own land in memel an looking for more. i hope one day the area has a tourist boom a la clarens etc...then i make my millions and just ride all day looooong..

well either that or i win the lotto.

Nice write up TTZ...
Born to lose, live to win!!
 

Kev

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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2006, 11:31:35 am »
Memel has no cars or people in it! Where they all hiding? Are they scared of the big bad bikers?  :wink: Looking forward to the rest...
 

Offline macduff

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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2006, 12:33:33 pm »
looking good (so far)  :D
 :happy1:
 

Offline Ysterman

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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2006, 12:48:44 pm »
Day 2 ? Memel to Weenen

Saturday morning we again left earlier than planned, which is good because early mornings does something special when you ride thru awesome countryside, its just so rustig and its almost if you can really take in and experience the beauty ? and it is cooler of course.  

The 2 ADV?s were spoiled and slept in a garage for the night ? we?re ready to start a day of awesome riding and my first encounter with mud ?  and more mud ? and a couple of good Afrikaans swear words about my choice of tires for the trip ? but then again the trip was meant to be an ?experiment? in many ways and in that regard it was a humongous success ? and after all that happened, no regrets ? some decisions and inexperience did make my life hell, but its all part of learning and understanding ?



Here?s the first of the photos I mentioned that was overexposed ? we?re still in the Memel valley on our way to meet up with G at a predetermined waypoint at 11:00 close to Ladysmith.  Again, absolute stunning views all round and a nice easy ride.









Initially, we wanted to see if we could go over Collins, De Beers & Normandien Passes ? but decided not to, it would have been a moer of a rush and that was just not what we wanted ? we?ll go back there and do it another time.  Normandien pass then was the choice for the day and the roads were pretty decent and the ride nothing too hectic ? easy compared to what?s to follow, and the ride down the pass was also lekker.  Had some biltong for breakfast at the top while admiring the stunning views.  These are the views from the top.



To the left



To the right



And this is to the back the way we ?sort of? came ? the Memel valley disappearing to the left down the mountain in the back.




Once down the mountain, P felt a vibration on the ADV and further inspection revealed a semi broken bash plate rubber mounting.  Nothing to worry about for now and we continued.  By now I were quite chuffed with myself, handled the ADV with confidence and no worries from the heavy load in panniers & top box ? more than ready for everything that would come our way.  This is the view at the bottom of the valley ? we took a left down the dirt road just above the handle bars in the pic.  And soon after taking that left turn, I almost took out my pocket knife and started carving knobblies into the Anakees ?



Sorry no pics of the following events.  You probably have guessed by now, we came across a marvelous piece of mud.  P was in front quite a distance and I didn?t see him cross, but he went thru with no problems.  Then came my turn ? first my eyes turned into saucers and my heart started racing, but I told myself I can do it ? have done Swartkops & CountryTrax ? I know the basics ? I thought (never really did learn anything on mud ?) ? stand up, look up, legs open and go for it!  My first experience of mud!  Well, first mistake was the Anakees, secondly I hit the mud in second gear and thirdly I took a line that appeared solid!  A couple of meters later I was standing on my knees and the ADV looking back the way I came.  Damn, and picking that beast up in mud is hard work!  So I got back up and started maneuvering thru the mud obstacle ? this time slow speed, first gear and duck-walking, but forgot a previous lesson to check that the freekken handle bar protectors are not clamping the front brake ? down we go again ?  Anyway, to cut a long story short we eventually made it thru the mud.  Valuable lessons learned.

Met up with P as he was about to come looking for me, and we continued to Ladysmith without further hassles.  Stopped at the Wimpy for breakfast and also at a garage where I cleaned myself and the ADV with a high pressure cleaner.  Just too much mud everywhere.  Then we met up wit G outside Ladysmith.



Took some lekker winding roads thru the hills and valleys to our overnight spot on the banks of the Tugela.  Dropped of our luggage to make the ADV?s lighter, because G?s family had planned a picnic on one of the hills nearby with steep jeep tracks and more mud.  Half way up we had to stop and rest ? we were sweating like pigs in the warm humid weather.  And it was hard work ? mud jeep tracks with biggish round rocks all over.  Glad soos snot!  And momentum was required to get over and around the rocks ? duck-walking all the way.



Once on top we stopped at a local village for a beer and a chat with the hoofman (this oak has 2 wives & 21 children).  Everybody parked underneath a single tree there.





After the brief ?cool down? we then continued further to a river nearby for the picnic.  The view up and down the river.  That ?little? red scooter obviously made it thru the muddy sections much easier ?





This group of laaities were watching us from across the river while we were having our picnic.



The kids cooling down in the river.  Don?t you just whish you were young again.



On our way home we obviously had to stop at the local supermarket to get some beers.



Back home we parked at the G?s brother?s weekend house next to the Tugela for a swim and a couple of beers.  This is the view from the house ? the field across the river is apparently one of SA?s most productive dagga growing fields and the police choppers frequently visit to destroy the crop.



That brings a close to day 2 ? an eventful day with awesome scenery and riding.  Were relatively tired after a long day on the footpegs.
 

Offline Lito

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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2006, 04:17:00 pm »
great report, beautiful area there..... magnificent
 

Offline macduff

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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2006, 06:23:23 pm »
i am enjoying this report tremendously... keep it up  :)  :)

that home seems pretty close to the tugela. doesnt it get flooded often?
 

Kev

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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2006, 06:30:45 pm »
Quote from: "macduff"
that home seems pretty close to the tugela. doesnt it get flooded often?

 
Didn't they build a new dam near Ladysmith to control the flooding? :scratch:
 

Kev

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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2006, 06:38:52 pm »
Hang on, I think I am getting confused a bit... the Klip goes through Ladysmith... and flows into the Tugela... the main Tugela flow is controlled by Spionkop. Banana boys, help my out here... I am sukkeling with my geography...
 

Offline Gunner

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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2006, 08:25:28 pm »
Awesome, looking forward to the rest.

Those Adventures look mighty fine .... even if I say so myself  :D  :D
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Offline GIDEON

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« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2006, 10:13:57 pm »
BEVANGE ek like die baie


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Offline Welsh

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« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2006, 06:32:43 am »
So you have found the mud monsters secret freind, the Anakee, if the mud itself doesn,t get you, with the help of his mate Anakee he will!!

Nice report, more please.

Welsh  :D  :D  :D
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Offline Plothond

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« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2006, 08:02:11 am »
Great report - storyline flows extremely well. Waiting for more !!!
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Offline bmad

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« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2007, 08:27:42 am »
Nice report TTZ.
Memel is such a nice place to ride, lots of roads and awesome scenery (and some good obstacles after rain).
Glad you had a good ride and got to play in the mud.

Now where is the rest :?:  :?:  :?:
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Offline jacques

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« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2007, 10:13:28 am »
One day when I grow up I will find all these places  :D

Nice report, any more to come?
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Offline LuckyStriker

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« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2007, 11:26:51 am »
Fantastic route
thank you very much for the report
I hope I will one day ride those roads as well
 

Offline Ysterman

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« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2007, 11:52:17 am »
Day 3 ? Weenen to Sani Top

Day 3 we all split up ? P goes back to J?burg, G stays behind & myself heading off thru Lesotho all on my own.  Without a GPS & I like a GPS, like to know where I am, how far, how long, etc.  G?s brother recommended a route, luckily not too difficult to follow, but after taking that turn which you thought was the right one, with no route markings & riding thru countryside for miles and miles it makes you wonder if you?re on the right track and the thought of turning around crossed my mind more than once.

So off I went, G taking me thru the first couple of turnoffs for a couple of miles and then we said cheers.  I?m on my own.  Unfortunately I cannot tell you where exactly these photos were taken, except somewhere between Weenen and Mooi Rivier.  The weather also changed for the worse and it rained frequently ? check that windscreen.





This photo was taken just after that ?turn? ? no route markings, nothing but it was approximately 2km?s after I hit the tar road as I was told ?  The start of a very uncertain route, but moer beautiful.  Again, can?t tell exactly where, but this eventually goes into Mooi Rivier.  Still raining every now and then.







And then I came across ?the mud? again.  Made it thru here just fine, duck-walking off coarse.  And then some more to follow.  And them much more during the day ? I thought I conquered the mud monster!  But more to follow.   





I made it to Mooi Rivier with no hassles, except the rain.  The bike and I heavy with mud.  Decided to take the quickest route to Himeville, wanted to do a couple of other dirt roads that looked nice on the map, but the rain made me decide otherwise.  Good decision in the end ? it was pissing down all the way to Himeville, couldn?t enjoy the scenery or the ride.  Roads very slipper & I stopped at one point to inflate the Anakees to correct pressure ? thought that will be safer.  Don?t know ? is it?

Filled up at Himeville and ate an energy bar, didn?t want to sit down for lunch because I did not know what to expect ? still rained hard.  Got together all my courage and left Himeville at 13:00.  Again, not much photos here and can?t tell where up Sani pass.  Weather was absolute crap, riding was very hard ? but what I can tell you is that it is before the SA border post.  No time to enjoy the scenery, not that I could from the bad weather.  Road conditions just moer slippery ? dropped it twice, no fun in picking the ADV up also in the slippery conditions.  Me and the Anakees having lots of words.  At one point got stressed as well, took me ages, didn?t know how far and how long still to go, if I was going to make it at all ? but one thing was for sure, I was not turning around ? no &$%*! chance in hell - that would be much harder going down.







And then all of a sudden the SA border post appeared.  Still raining.  The bike and I almost washed clean from the rain.  But the worst still to come.  Thru the border post, the pass was now fogged in ? very low visibility.  Luckily the mud was no more ? just steep rocky sections with deep ruts (I think this is the correct Brits) washed in them.  Made it up three quarters ok.  Then came across a herd of goats halfway up one of those steep rocky sections.  Had to stop.  Then after they passed I lost my nerve, forgot the basics and stalled the damn ADV ? that ^$$^#% first gear!  Didn?t stand up, didn?t look up, didn?t go for it and off course the inevitable happened.  Couldn?t hold it when it stalled, just to steep, right inside one of the ruts, started sliding back and it came down ?  

Luckily that was it ? from there on I gunned that first gear & rode it like I stole it.  The road conditions sometimes are moer intimidating ? but the ADV goes thru pretty fine if you stick to the basics, which sometimes is hard to do ? commonsense tells you otherwise and it is then that things goes wrong.  The view from the top ? you can see from the photo the thick fog ? couldn?t see a thing.  By now I had lots of respect for the Savannah boots ? thru mud & water ? feet warm & dry.  Air flow gloves no good ? pretty shit when whet.

For those interested ? took me 2.5 hours up there.



Once on top, no more rain or fog.  Stayed at the backpackers.  The views from there.





South Africans are friendly people.  Stopping at Sani Top Lodge, immediately attracted attention and some Afrikaans oakes walked over and started chatting.  I though it was going to be a pretty miserable ou kers aand on my own.  Not so, they invited me in, had dinner with them, had a couple of drinks with them & played some games.  Over at the backpackers, the families again invited me in, had to help them finish their bottle of schnapps, more red wine and koffie & beskuit.  Ate their snacks and were also invited to have dinner with them.  A big thank you to you.  And before I get emotional, have some work to do and still day 4 & 5 to post.  Hard work this ...