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Offline Thuel

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Another World Cup Traveler
« on: April 05, 2010, 07:43:17 am »
Hello everyone! 

I'm a fellow rider from Seattle, USA and I'm headed to the World Cup in June with everyone else and am hoping to fit in a short motorcycle trip when I arrive.  I don't have a ton of dual-sport experience, but I've done a lot of trail riding on smaller 250cc bikes and ride an old BSA for most of my in-town trips, so I should be able to handle a variety of terrain. 

I'll be headed out of Jo-burg the morning of June 8th and need to be back for the opening game on the 11th.  I've been leaning towards a Drakensberg trip based on research and recommendations, but I'm pretty open to most anything, just want to maximize my time.  I've been having trouble getting a good idea of reasonable travel expectations and local knowledge would be really helpful.  I'll need to rent almost everything except my clothes, but I'm open to anything from hotels to camping.  Any suggestions on reasonable loops, places to stop/stay (Clarens?), hikes, or bike rentals would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
 

Offline Rooies

Re: Another World Cup Traveler
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2010, 08:56:18 am »
Howzit Thuel,

Heading out from Jo'burg for a three day trip I reckon the Eastern Free State/Northern KZN area, as per your original idea, will be one of the better options.  There are loads of awesome sights to see and its not that far from Gauteng. 

Clarens is a must for a one-nighter.  From there you can cruise through the Golden Gate National Park and ascend into the Amphitheatre to Bergville.  From there you can see quaint little towns like Geluksburg, our version of big mountains with highlights like Cathedral Peak.  You could even go down a bit further south to places like Himeville and Nottingham Road.

If you would like a guided tour into Lesotho or the surrounding area, search for forum member Tulie and his adventures, i.e.: 

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=28386.0

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=43855.0

With regards to bike rentals, I'm not clued up on that part.  Some of the other Dogs will share some knowledge.

Hope you have an awesome time.
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Offline Thuel

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Re: Another World Cup Traveler
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2010, 09:36:48 pm »
Wow, the pictures from that trip around Lesotho look incredible!  Makes me really wish I had more time...

So would you recommend staying in Clarens 2 nights and spend one day exploring Lesotho or head over to Bergville and spend a couple days on that side exploring? 

Any particular roads/trails that I should make sure I ride anywhere in the area?

Also, any recommended places to stay?  Tulle's place looks awesome in the pictures, but is that too far away from where I want to be?  It looks like it's only a few hours from Jo-burg, which is fine if there's riding in the area.

Thanks again for all your help!
 

Offline IceCreamMan

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Re: Another World Cup Traveler
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2010, 07:18:19 am »
you will need a visa for lesotho, this can be a beauracratic nightmare....

* i stand to be corrected but as an 'merican i think you will need one"
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Offline Footloose

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Re: Another World Cup Traveler
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2010, 07:37:14 am »
Hi Thuel,

Arrive morning June 8 and you want to be back for the opening game June 11. So you have two days June 9 and June10.....?

Depending on what time you exit the terminal and how feel after your flight......?

JHB to Himeville, KwaZulu-Natal approx 6 to 7 hours (June 8) - (Black top)

Himeville via Sani Pass into Lesotho sleep at Katse Dam, 6 to 7 hours (June 9) - (Gravel)

Kaste Dam to Clarens and back to JHB.  (June 10) (Black top) 6 to 7 hours

Bear in mind that will be winter over here and temperatures are bound to drop below freezing in the early morning hours.

Otherwise look at alternatives closer to JHB and then mix it with some of the game parks nearer to JHB. Will clear with my better half and you can then base at our place.

May join you for the ride.
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Offline Thuel

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Re: Another World Cup Traveler
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2010, 08:17:45 am »
From what I've read it seems like US citizens can get a 30 day visa instantly when arriving Lesotho.

Thanks for recommendations Footloose.  That timeline sounds about right, especially considering some jetlag and logistical things to workout when I arrive.  That route seems to cover a lot of diverse ground and seems to hit some prime sights.  I'll probably try and tack on a night in Clarens on the 10th since the game isn't til the afternoon of the 11th. 

I did a little research on the Sani Pass and drooled over the pictures and now I'm beyond excited.  As always, any offers of a place to lay my head or a local guide is beyond appreciated.

It seems like it might be easier to try and avoid renting camping gear and the extra load and just stop at hostels/lodges at the various stops, so any recommendations near Himeville, at the Katse Dam (Katse Houses?), or Clarens would be helpful.  Cheers!
 

Offline Footloose

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Re: Another World Cup Traveler
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2010, 10:50:46 pm »
Himeville Arms in Himeville  (R165.00 per night) is good pozzie and at Katse Dam the Katse Dam Lodge (R199.00 per night) prices may change during the WC.

What time do you arrive in SA and what tiem does the game starton the 11th?
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Offline Thuel

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Re: Another World Cup Traveler
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2010, 12:47:13 am »
I land at 7:00 am on the 8th and then the first game is scheduled for 4:00 pm on the 11th, but the opening festivities might be a bit before, not sure yet.