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Author Topic: Lesotho, the hard way.(Complete)  (Read 41180 times)

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Offline Dustdevil

Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #80 on: February 07, 2010, 09:04:46 pm »
Lekker stuff so far...cant wait for the next one!

What vid camera did you use and can you tell us a bit about how you did some of those shots? Were you filming by hand or was the cam setup on the bike?

We make use of digital still cameras. The quality of these videos is not exactly broadcast quality but it is much better than what you'd expect. These small cameras allow us to shoot much faster and is much less intrusive so we tend to get more natural behavior from our subjects than when you shove a large video camera in their face. The compact size is also a bonus when traveling on a bike.

The tracking shots is done handheld and also by mounting the camera to a specially modified helmet. Very low tech but incredibly effective and much better quality than most helmet or pencil cams.
 

Offline Dustdevil

Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #81 on: February 07, 2010, 09:39:13 pm »
So the next morning saw us up bright and early and fully refreshed. It was a quick run to Vosburg, one of those little Karoo towns that will take you by surprise, the place is still mostly the same after a hundred years. Beautiful little cottages most of them in a well kept and original condition.

We needed water and it is obvious that either the whole town is still asleep or at church being just after 8 on a Sunday morning.
We drove around some of the back streets appreciating the victorian architecture of the place when I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye. We pulled over and asked the woman if shed help us with some tap water to fill our bladders and water bottles.
She was friendly but cautious at first pointing to the garden hose but after some chatting she warmed up to us and started sharing all the latest town gossip. Her young, friend still in his pajamas, arrived and was very impressed with the bikes.

Soon after we were on our way to Orania still following only dirt tracks through the back country.

Friendly Vosburg residents.


Vosburg architecture.


Getting lost between Vosburg and God knows where.

 

Offline Michiel

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #82 on: February 08, 2010, 07:50:45 am »
What vid camera did you use and can you tell us a bit about how you did some of those shots? Were you filming by hand or was the cam setup on the bike?

This is the camera I used for the riding shots, as mounted on the "specially modified helmet"  :thumleft:



For the riding shots I had it hand-held though. The dust and sand that HPN kicked up got into the workings
of the lens and today the camera is no more...
« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 07:59:05 am by Michiel »
 

Offline Michiel

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #83 on: February 08, 2010, 06:03:07 pm »
Good thing we left the remaindure of the 1st day's ride for the next because the road between
Pampoenpoort and Vosburg is a stunner. One can easily do up to 120km/h while drifting into turns and
flying over cattlegrids here and there. They are off-set from the road but choosing your line you don't even
have to slow down.

Once in Vosburg we found what seemed to be a ghost town. After a while of searching I almost jumped
a fence to get some water. By now we were facing dehidration. Luckily a young lady made her appearance
and came to the rescue by allowing us to use the tap in her garden. She's been living in this town her whole life.
Warming to our conversation she offered some frozen bottled water as well. Dustdevil cut this up and into
his Hydrapack it went.




 
« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 06:09:26 pm by Michiel »
 

Offline Dustdevil

Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #84 on: February 09, 2010, 11:49:15 pm »
Orania have been on my mind for a very long time. It is the only community in South Africa that is using its own currency and one of a small handful in the world doing the same. The purpose behind this is to encourage community members to buy and support local produce in an effort to reduce carbon footprint but also the reliance on larger corporations and suppliers.
In my mind Orania have become the model for political independence, self-sufficiency and sustainability.

There was one aspect about Afrikaner culture that I have misjudged and this ensuring certain failure of their ideologies and complete disappointment on my side.
The Afrikaner and his religion has been inseparable over decades, even though it acts like cyanide in small doses, never aware of it killing you gently over time.

It is then no surprise that the biggest split in the 600 plus community is church related. So why can the concept of an independent community not have a healthy chance in a religious group?
Simply because religion makes its subjects judgmental and it breeds intolerance toward those that do not conform with their believes and cultural dynamics. Religion even have the ability to foster fanaticism.
To proof my point Michiel and I visited a family that have been a part of Orania almost from the start. We were invited for dinner but after I made some comments about the fact that Jesus is nothing more than a mythological figure created by the original christians, I got a scalding by the youngest daughter and the wife informed Michiel that I would not be welcome at their table on account of my believes.

My biggest disappointment though was that although the town was neat and well kept it had no character. There does not seem to be a feeling of cohesion, it is still everyone for himself. I found no community veg gardens or other projects one would expect that will bring community members together to help each other create something more than just a bunch of individuals with the same ideologies.
The only shop open on Sunday was selling "imported" goods only and their was no restaurant open anywhere even though many town members believed there was, sending us of driving in circles only to find another closed place or somebody's pipe-dream that never got of the ground.


The sun food I was eventually denied by the christians, what happened to the good samaritan?





  PS: If you feel you need to make a comment about my religious and political views, please do so by starting a new thread in "Religion and Politics" under "jou Ma" You are welcome to post a link from this thread but remember I am only telling a story from my perceptions and experiences and it is not intended to be a statement in any way.
 

Offline fat b

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #85 on: February 10, 2010, 08:44:29 am »
I don't want to comment on your religious views or interpretations of christianity , but I would ask you to please keep it out of a otherwise brilliant ride report so far . I don't think a ride report is a platform for these subjects to be mentioned , I thinkl most readers want to know more about the riding , and see photos etc ... keep it upbeat , these type of subjects are very dear to some peoples hearts and might end up souring a sterling RR .

Now more photos of that HPN doing what it does best please , and MIchiel gooi daai fotos !  :drif:

 THE CHALLENGE MAY NOT BE EASY , BUT IT'S NOT IMPOSSIBLE.
SO MANY PLACES, SO LITTLE TIME !

MOSSEL BAY
 

Offline Doerengone

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #86 on: February 10, 2010, 04:41:54 pm »

You write with an obviously keen interest in the workings / economic potential of the system. Thanks for sharing.
KTM640 Adv, R1100GS.
 

Offline Michiel

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #87 on: February 10, 2010, 07:44:25 pm »
As we sat there in my friendís (Jacobus) parents living room, eight people in the round, the air so
thick I was choking on it. First thought that went through my mind was that Dustdevil could have
been a bit more gentle in stating the facts. Unable to stand the tension I quickly changed the subject
by asking about vegetablesÖ

Later on Jacobusís mother pulled me aside and asked if I shared Dustdevilís views. Sadly and rather
cowardly I sidestepped her by telling what she wanted to hear. With this I secured a place at the table
and some sun food but we decided to get back on two wheels. Rolling out of Orania with full petrol tanks
and empty stomacks I could barely hold back my excitement. Home and my dear family was now only a hour away!

Fauresmith is a neighbouring town to my hometown, Jagersfontein. The town boast a very peculiar attraction
right in the main street. Train tracks running right through the centre of town. Nowadays there are no more trains
running this way but I can remember a time when they still did. Imagine.



Town Hall.



The old Standard Bank. Closed down a couple years ago but the building did once feature in a television commercial.
They parked a train right in front of it. Fancy that...



Now in Jagersfontein I just had to go show Dustdevil the famous myngat. This Big Hole was dug
completely by hand and some of the biggest diamonds in the world were found here. According to
sources the quality of the diamonds mined here set the standard for Blue-White Diamonds in the world
and were subsequently called Jaggers Blue-White.

"1893 Saw the discovery of the Excelsior Diamond measuring 972 carats. Formed from the purest water
this gem now described as a blue white diamond is estimated to be worth R1.2 Billion."



They mined in total something like 9,5 million carats of diamonds before the operation was closed down.  



In itís heyday Jagesfontein had no less than 5 hotels. One can still see the remaindures of this once sprawling
town in the amount of churches from the different religions to be found. I can think of at least 6.

Once the mine closed down in 1971 a downhill battle started. As a young boy during the late 80ís I can still
remember the town to be a clean and stately place but in more recent years things really turned for the worse.
The municipality, as in many other towns in our country, found it better to spend the residentís taxes on flashy
parties and shiny cars.

Today even the most basic services have ground to a halt. Itís not uncommon for residents not to have water
or electricity. The roads are in an appalling condition and people have to remove their own refuse. All this caused
a uprise of the townís poorer and more vulnerable people and they decided to show their dissatisfaction by burning
to the ground the Municipal Buildings. The Town Hall narrowly escaped with repairable damage as farmers and police
intervened. I can only wonder how this will help the situation. They should have targeted the bloody mayor's house...

« Last Edit: February 10, 2010, 10:36:05 pm by Michiel »
 

Offline Chairman Meow

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #88 on: February 10, 2010, 10:04:34 pm »
Really captivating ride report. As for the above statements and opinions regarding Orania and it's demented inhabitants, write what you like., it's your experiences and your ride report , way better than the usual 101 pics of dirt roads,bikes and the same type of scenery anyway.
Keep it up! :thumleft:
« Last Edit: February 10, 2010, 10:07:23 pm by Chairman Meow »
 

Offline Dustdevil

Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #89 on: February 11, 2010, 01:11:15 am »
Thanks for the thumbs up Chairman. 8)
 

Offline Beserker

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #90 on: February 11, 2010, 01:22:20 am »
Thanks for the thumbs up Chairman. 8)


After 1 in the am...no rest for the sinners, eh?
My Ride  :ricky:  Angola   Namibia  Northern Cape  Kids
 

Offline Mark Hardy

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #91 on: February 11, 2010, 06:01:22 am »
 :thumleft:

More please and keep keeping it real. Express what you see and what you feel.

 

Offline Sir Rat

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #92 on: February 11, 2010, 08:52:34 am »
Nice story and pics guys!!   ;D  :-[  Ride reports are about the experience in it's whole. Keep it coming!  :thumleft:
 

Offline Hondsekierie

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #93 on: February 11, 2010, 09:46:45 pm »
I don't want to comment on your religious views or interpretations of christianity , but I would ask you to please keep it out of a otherwise brilliant ride report so far . I don't think a ride report is a platform for these subjects to be mentioned , I thinkl most readers want to know more about the riding , and see photos etc ... keep it upbeat , these type of subjects are very dear to some peoples hearts and might end up souring a sterling RR .

Now more photos of that HPN doing what it does best please , and MIchiel gooi daai fotos !  :drif:


+1

Brilliant RR and photos :thumleft:

(DD:  If you're disillusioned, tell us about it in R&P)
ďThere is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more"
 

Offline Dustdevil

Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #94 on: February 14, 2010, 10:06:21 am »
I think the time for being "politically" correct is over, besides being political is hardly ever correct.
We are entering a period where huge change is inevitable, large developing industrial nations is placing ever more pressure on resources and environment alike and in the end we will find ourselves in one of two situations; we will be forced to live almost imprisoned lives over regulated by laws and taxes to the extend that we will completely loose our freedom to do what we want, this of coarse except for the ultra rich that will demand more from the rest of us and being able to buy their way around all the laws, regulations and taxes.
We do on the other hand have the freedom to chose to leave behind our consumer oriented lifestyles forming smaller self sustainable communities similar to that of Orania. Now this is where my inspiration for this trip was born, I wanted to travel to communities, new and old to try and see what makes them successful and where they fail.
If you will bear with me I have a lot to say once we are in Lesotho being able to first hand experience the Basotho lifestyle. Perhaps we did not take enough time to learn to understand their political and social structures but I saw enough to know that they are very successful at being self sufficient and have been able to sustain this lifestyle for hundreds of years.

I would have liked to spend more time with the people of Orania and although I do not agree with their religious preferences, I appreciate their hospitality and friendly nature.
We needed to move on to our next stop so we left the unattractive flood-plains of the Orange behind us heading for the farm on Jagersfontein.

The next day I said my goodbyes to Michiel and his wonderful family as I headed of to my own family in Hofmeyr.
On the way I needed to stop at another small community in Oviston to visit a friends parents that chose to retire in this quiet little town build to accommodate the construction workers building the Fishriver tunnel. The name in Afrikaans from Oranje, Vis, Tonnel.


HPN at the abandoned and deserted Steynsburg Station.



« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 04:22:56 pm by Dustdevil »
 

Offline oo7

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #95 on: February 14, 2010, 11:25:52 am »
As always I find myself facinated with your extremely interesting views & next level pic's, A! (& Michiel's pic's as well of course)

Looking fwd to some more of that, provided you gents keep that HPN monster in the loop too.
 

Offline Brakenjan

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #96 on: February 15, 2010, 09:51:48 am »
As always I find myself facinated with your extremely interesting views & next level pic's, A! (& Michiel's pic's as well of course)

Looking fwd to some more of that, provided you gents keep that HPN monster in the loop too.


Well said Dabbelou! Ditto  :thumleft:
 

Offline Dustdevil

Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #97 on: February 15, 2010, 04:09:53 pm »
So the time have arrived, it is 28 December and I am packing my bike on the family farm 35km outside of Hofmeyr. Besides the usual luggage I carry for camping, roadside repairs and everyday needs I am also packing a Mac Powerbook, 320Gig portable drive, 30Gig worth of memory cards in both SD and CF cards for the Canon 5D and G11 as well as batteries, chargers and cables.
We wanted to make sure we will cover this trip from all angels with both stills and video.

I set of on the Karoo gravel highway into town where I am meeting Michiel around noon. I was early and stopped by my dad where our conversation quickly turned political. He was cut short with a doctors appointment and Michiel also arrived at the Co-op across the street to fill up with fuel.

The dusty streets of Hofmeyr.


« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 04:20:21 pm by Dustdevil »
 

Offline fat b

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Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #98 on: February 15, 2010, 04:16:36 pm »
We wanted to make sure we will cover this trip from all angels with both stills and video.

 :angel13:      :imaposer:     :pot:  

Is that ANGELS OR ANGLES  ???
« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 04:18:07 pm by fat b »

 THE CHALLENGE MAY NOT BE EASY , BUT IT'S NOT IMPOSSIBLE.
SO MANY PLACES, SO LITTLE TIME !

MOSSEL BAY
 

Offline Dustdevil

Re: Lesotho, the hard way.
« Reply #99 on: February 15, 2010, 04:26:38 pm »
We wanted to make sure we will cover this trip from all angels with both stills and video.

 :angel13:      :imaposer:     :pot:  

Is that ANGELS OR ANGLES  ???


Stupid spell checker??? it should know when a word is out of context and warn me before I make an ass of myself. :lamer: