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Offline SGB

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Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« on: July 10, 2010, 12:23:22 am »
Jan du Toit instigates trips on motorcycles every so often, and the “common denominator” of all these expeditions is that places where adventure bikes have not been seen before, are visited along the way.  This time, Angola was the selected playground and Cuito Cuanavale, a town made famous by the final stages of the former SADF and FAPLA’s military scraps in the late 1980’s, was one of the places on the itinerary.  And just for good measure and to make the trip worth while, returning along the coast through the “Doodsakker” was also part of the idea.  All of these were only ideas, because we all know that in Africa it is common practice to not know the condition of the roads, where there is fuel, where one could sleep over, how the locals would receive you – to name only a few.  The team selection was a very complicated process which I do not understand at all, but it came together in the end, or should I say the beginning?  I am not sure if it was by chance or by strategy, those who know Jan will have an idea….
The process kicked off at the end of February when this letter from Jan arrived on my e-mail:
“Welkom op die Angolese uitdaging
Die antwoord op die meeste van jou vrae se antwoorde is dieselfde : “EK WEET NIE!” En as ek geweet het was dit nie ‘n uitdaging nie maar ‘n toer.
Ons gaan min of meer aan die oostekant van Angola op en kom min of meer aan die westekant af. Ons weet nie hoe ver ons gaan ry nie, ons weet nie waar oral brandstof gaan wees nie, ons weet nie waar kos of water beskikbaar is nie en ons weet nie waar ons saans gaan slaap nie.
Hierdie heeltemaal niksweet oefening is ongelukkig nie verniet nie en ‘n Rxxxx deposito word verlang. Dit is eintlik net om jouself te verbind sodat die reëlings wat eintlik nie gemaak kan word nie, gemaak word.
Daar is net 8 fietse wat mag saamgaan. Dit beteken jy is een van die min uitverkorenes op wie die dice geval het.
Elkeen moet selfversorgend wees en dit wat nie op jou fiets pas nie, gaan nie saam nie. Daar gaan ‘n bakkie saam (Bakkes en Kalie) maar dis net om in geval van ‘n flenters fiets die ding uit te ry.
Dit beloof om ‘n moerse avontuur te wees – moet dit nie misloop nie.
Die vertrekdatum is 16 Junie 2010 vanaf ongeveer Popavalle in die Caprivi en die terugkeerdatum is ongeveer einde Junie by Ruacana.
Meer detail (waarvan daar min is) sal later gegee word. Die datums is belangrik en die Rxxxx is belangrik – dis al.”


I was very fortunate to be able to make the necessary arrangements with my family and my brother who is also my partner and my trip was on.  The paperwork is a bit of a mission: Visas, police clearances, Yellow fever jabs, money and all that stuff had to be arranged through a process that unfolded at Africa’s rate.  My perception that detailed arrangements were going to follow the original letter died a slow death.  When June arrived and I knew little more than in February, I had to agree with Jan.  “If we knew all those things, it would be a tour.  This is an expedition….  It confused me slightly at the time, but now I know….  The backup strategy also confused me.  The “us and them” confused me.  I was out of my comfort zone, I had to pass control on to people I did not know.  OK, I said, so this is the trip – let’s see….

So, I had all my paperwork.  I had all the medication I needed.  I had all the spares and tools I thought might be needed.  I had my bike ready.  All my luggage fitted into two Kaoko soft bags.  Tent, sleeping bag, mattress, pillow, eating utensils in the one bag and clothes, etc in the other.  And an ammo crate for tools and spares.  A 10l Addis fuel can which I could strap on the back of the bike and my Camelbak for my own back completed my list. I was ready to attach all the above except the tools crate to my bike.  I was ready.

What follows is a daily count of the trip as it unfolded in my eyes, brain and heart.  It is not intended as a group report and some might have different views, which I accept.  Some contribution from them here will only enrich the report – please do.  Blame me for the misrepresentations, but this is how I lived the expedition.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 10:18:52 pm by SGB »
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Offline EtienneXplore

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2010, 12:33:12 am »
 :happy1:

I have been waiting for this report....

 :drif: :drif:

Cannot wait for the rest!!

Offline SGB

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2010, 12:35:06 am »
Day 1 to 3
Bloemfontein to Rundu
Distance: about 2000 km
I left Bloemfontein early in the morning and arrived at Gert’s house, our meeting point in Pretoria at about 9.  



Fred van Niekerk from Yamaha SA had the courage to offer a 1200 Super Tenere to Jan for the trip.  Jan agreed.  I have still not worked out who made the wrong decision, but that is not important any more….  The bike was at Gert’s house and we still had to go to Fred’s office to fetch a box with stuff he thought we might need along the way.  The box contained a set of crash bars and some oil- and air filters.  Gert left me and the Yamaha at his house whilst he went to do some business in town.  I spent some time figuring out how to take the Yamaha apart to replace the air filter and fitted the crash bars.  I did all of this using the tool kit Gert put together for the trip. Good experience…. Knowing the tool kit and the Yamaha would be useful later….







In the mean time, Gert had some stress.  His and Francois’s visas were declined by the Angolan authorities, and they were trying to figure out why.  Their trip was in the balance.  They were unable to make adequate progress in the day, and the sun set with their visas still not issued.  Jan and Theo also arrived in the afternoon.  We went around to Off Road Cycles to sort out some tyres.  Theo fitted some new rubber to his 950 SE, and the Yamaha received a set of Metzeler Karoo’s.  By sunset, all was set.  Except for the two visas.  The plan changed, and we delayed out departure to the next morning.  Gert and Francois were staying behind and would be on the Angolan Consulate’s case first thing in the morning.  Jan, Theo and myself left at 3:00 in my bakkie with trailer.  If Gert and Francois were in luck within the next two days, they would leave in another vehicle and catch up.  It is costing us an extra bakkie to Rundu, but that’s how it works.  Day one, and the plan is already somewhat non-existent….  
We crossed the border into Botswana at 6:00, simple process.  Passports stamped, road tax paid and off we went.  A long day’s driving later we found a place to sleep at Sepopa swamp lodge.  Theo did not feel well, in fact he was quite sick.  Jan and I put together all our medical knowledge, but our treatment had little effect.  Theo was not rising to the occasion.  :-\





The road in and out of the lodge had some water crossing....



Next morning, early start and we crossed into Namibia, also with no serious issues.  Rundu was not too far away and we arrived in the afternoon.  Our logistics team, Kalie, a Cape wine and fruit farmer and Johan Bakkes, a university professor and famous author were already there.  So was Martin and his 950 SE, from Windhoek.
Frik and Wayne arrived a few hours later, they had some adventure along the way too.  Frik managed to convince his friend Wayne with a few lies, which he later apologized for, to join the trip so that we could use his Landcruiser bakkie.  They hit a big bird in Botswana and the windscreen was shattered.  It was quite a funny sight when they arrived with Frik in all his biking gear behind the wheel.  



Martin has some connections in Rundu and a new windscreen was fitted before we went for Dinner at Kaisosi lodge.  So, it is 3 days into the journey.  We are only missing the two visa-less guys.  We have two Landcruiser pickup’s, both 4.5 EFI’s.  At least we knew we had something that will do sand without issues…..  The bikes: Jan on the Yamaha, Theo, Martin and Frik on KTM 950 SE’s with 30l tanks and me on the KTM 990 Adventure S.  Kalie and Johan were loaded with our food and fuel and Wayne carried all the luggage, some boxes of Portuguese Bibles and water.  Not too shabby for a non-existing logistics team I thought to myself…. The result of this was that we had no load on the bikes, except for the basic stuff in our Camelbaks, and we could manage a puncture or two and some small issues.
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Offline Dustdevil

Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2010, 12:41:09 am »
Ek's die eene ore!
 

Offline SGB

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2010, 12:44:57 am »
Day 4: Rundu to Camp on the Okavango on the Angola side
Distance: 273 km



We set off from Rundu after breakfast and fuel.



Switching off the Yamaha's ABS.





Johan Bakkes on his preferred mode of transport.  ;D



  Refuled at Nkurenkuru.  The border formalities at the Katitiwe border post on the Namibian side were simple, but time consuming.  One official had to write down all our details.  Passport no, ID no, VIN no, Engine no, Make, Model.  Angola side, also simple, but equally time consuming.  We needed copies of passports, visas, letter of invitation to Angola, drivers licence, police clearance on the vehicles and vehicle registration documents.  Frik and Martin explained our mission and arranged all the paperwork whilst we were waiting outside.  Some hours later we each had a vehicle permit and a stamped passport.  We also changed money at the border.  1 US$ = 100 Kwanza. Used the time outside to brush up on my rusted Portuguese and gave away some Bibles in the process.  The bikes draw large crowds.  Once cleared to go, we headed for the Calai ferry over the Okavango river.  Crossed the river on the ferry without incident, and hit the road towards Calai.  







This road started off not too bad, and things were good.  



That changed quickly and we were greeted by a sandy twin track detour, with signs in the trees telling us that there are landmines around.  We were now in Angola proper…..  



The bike riding was great.  No luggage and we were able to give our best.  We negotiated the terrain at decent speed and really enjoyed the riding immensely.  The varying conditions kept us very awake.  And there are some serious snakes….  Some of them are still dizzy from having to make fast U-turns….  And some riders showed how to change gears and brake with the same foot whilst the other leg was kicking in the sky with a terrified serpent wound around it….





We found a good camping site next to the river, and made a camp fire for the first time.  The crocodiles’ exit was visible a few hundred metres down stream, and we had a nice picket fence along the river, courtesy of the locals.  Kalie and Johan put together a good meal which did not touch sides before it hit the right spot.  Only now I realized how much we enjoyed the bikes today!  Some energy replenishment was in order….. A little bit of wisdom was shared around the fire, and we went to sleep.  The one thing I did not expect in Angola was cold weather.  This is supposed to be tropical, isn’t it?  The mercury dropped to -6 degrees Celcius!  I slept in all my riding kit, and everything else I brought along.  So much for travelling light….


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Offline SGB

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2010, 12:53:50 am »
Day 5: Okavango Camp to Calai vicinity
Distance: 132 km



The -6 degrees mentioned was still on the thermometer Frik has on his bike.  Those who took their socks off were now iced up (the socks…) and had to be thawed over the fire to get them usable again! 







We set off and thoroughly enjoyed the ride once again.  The Yamaha was by far the heaviest and lowest bike.  Jan rode it really well and it impressed in the sand.  The suspension is very good for a bike this size.  It is not only about the terrain, but the rate at which the terrain was negotiated certainly caused all the bikes to really work. 







Theo was still not 100% (must be something with the medical treatment in Botswana), and he took a big crash in the sand.  His SE came to a halt upside down.  They righted it again, and it only ran for a few seconds and refused to go any further.  They loaded it after cranking the starter until it ended with a flat battery, and we re-grouped at Calai.  Calai is a little town just across the river from Rundu.  The police stopped us here and wanted to see all our documents.  In the mean time, we stripped Theo’s bike and diagnosed the fuel pump as the culprit.  Opened the pump, did some magic with the contacts and relays, jump started it and it was as good as new. 



We now headed for the Cuito river, with the blessing of the police.  They warned that the road was very sandy.  They were right.  The sandy track is one thing, but there are trees and cut stumps very close to the road and they grab handle bars, bash plates, etc and the riding was getting really challenging.  The Yamaha and Jan misunderstood each other at one of these catchers, and the bike went down to the left.  Picked it up, and off we went again.  What we did not know, is that the fan on the side pushed into the radiator and got stuck.  The temperature went up, and Jan stopped to see why.  By now the fan motor was burnt out and we now had a challenge on our hands. 



We made contact with Fred, and he in turn made arrangements to have a new fan couriered to Rundu overnight.  And we had some good news from Gert and Francois, they now had visas and were on their way!  All of this took some time and we decided to set up camp right there in the road.  One Cruiser each side of the camp area secured the spot in the road, we could not move too far off the track due to the landmine threat which the Calai policemen reiterated.  After some more deliberation, we decided to load the Yamaha and turn back towards Katitwe and meet Gert and Francois in the vicinity of the ferry.  At the same time, they could pick up the fan in Rundu and bring it along.  This way, we fix all our current issues. 



The only difference was that we would now approach Cuito Cuanavale from the Menongue side.  Theo was also quite happy that Jan could now ride his bike, which gave him some additional recovery time.



The campfire wisdom was great.  Jan and Martin received some lessons in steak braaing, and Theo and I had the opportunity to make a large pot of proper Vrystaat pap which would last us for 3 days.  Slept well!
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Offline SGB

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2010, 12:59:32 am »
Day 6: Calai road camp to Menongue road camp
Distance: 207 km



The plan was made and we headed back to Calai.  We were a little disappointed about having to miss the Cuito river ride.  But given the situation, it was the right call. The police were not too surprised to see us again and they wished us well for the rest of the journey.  With Jan on the SE, I had to work a little harder to keep up – we noticed a little change in his personality whilst riding Theo’s bike…. Just an observation….



We made good progress.  Jan and I were riding side-by-side in the two tracks and another big snake came on its morning cruise.  The snake managed to get its head and most of its body on the “middelmannetjie” at speed and it was quite a relief to see him standing up in the rear view mirror….   We came around a corner some km’s later, and there was a guy lying in the road.  Some proper emergency braking saved him, and I was convinced that he was dead when I first saw him.  A few light kicks later we figured that he just had a long night, and we helped him off the track into the shade, preventing some more bike and Landcruiser tracks over his head.  



We made good progress until we reached the ferry again.  



The operator had bad news.  One of the two big diesel engines on the ferry would not start and therefore the ferry could not be used.  We were stuck on the wrong side of the river!  The good news was that they have called a mechanic and he is expected within 2 or 3 days.  We had a look and determined that the problem was a loose battery terminal and the big machine fired up straight away once fixed.  The operator was very happy and we crossed first at a preferential rate.  



Our timing was perfect.  Gert and Francois had just crossed the border into Angola on their HP2’s and we found a good camp site a few km’s North of the ferry crossing.  The Yamaha fan arrived with them and we fitted it in the evening.  





For the first time the whole group of 7 bikes and 2 Landcruisers were together and the atmosphere in camp was festive.  The fire burned high and we were looking forward to the next day’s ride.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2010, 04:36:26 pm by SGB »
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Offline SGB

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2010, 01:11:42 am »
Day 7: Menongue Road camp to Cuito Cuanavale road camp
Distance: 415 km



The gravel road towards Menongue is quite bad.  It used to be a tar road, and there are lots of detours where the Chinese are busy restoring it to it’s former tar glory.  The tyres took some hammering here.  







The loose rocks make for interesting riding, but we gave our best and had good fun.  We crossed the Cubango (Okavango) river again, and found some tar.
  






Gert’s HP2 wanted to shed it’s exhaust pipe, and it needed some bolts.  Filled up fuel, and tested the Yamaha’s handling a bit as well.  



Saw some pieces of war machinery along the road and it now started feeling like Angola.  

Found this little church and dropped a Bible.





The last section to Menongue was good tar, and I started feeling that my 990 is suffering a bit from fuel starvation during the top-end runs we did on the good tar surface.  Fuel filters were on the cards.  I hoped that it would last the trip, but I brought a set so I was not too phased.  Lower speeds were OK.  Arrived on the outskirts of Menongue and whilst waiting under a tree for everyone to catch up, a policeman arrived on a Chinese bike.  There are lots of Chinese bikes around here.  Seems like the preferred family transport.  



 The policeman asked us to follow him, and he took us through the traffic to the police station.  We had to explain our mission again.  The police kindly agreed to escort us to the new fuel station, which they did with great enthusiasm and using all the equipment at their disposal.  At the fuel station we found a queue of Chinese bikes stretching way down the road.  I thought we were in for a long wait, but the police rescued us once again.  They cleared the way and pulled our vehicles to the front and ensured that we were served straight away.  We also bought some juice and supplies from the shop and headed out of town towards Cuito Cuanavale.

Took these photos at the garage, the police normally do not want to be in pictures.











The police asked where to next, and “Lodge” was the word that seemed to stick.  We were taken to a new lodge just outside Menongue and sent Bakkes in to enquire about camping.  They wanted to sell us chalets at US$ 150 pppn, and we declined.  We only filled our water cans there. The police waved us goodbye and went home to go read their Bibles.  One of them asked us to write our names in the front of his Bible, quite special.  We headed for Cuito Cuanavale and agreed to look for a place to camp as soon as the population density declined to near zero.  



The road surface soon declines and becomes a badly potholed mixture of pieces of tar and gravel.  The holes are sometimes bigger than the pieces of tar before and after them, and they are filled with a powdery sand / dust mixture that perfectly hide the sharp tar edges where they end.  This makes for a hard life for any front rim.  The confident riding dictated by the sand is on contrast with the care needed on those sharp edges and we have to give it some proper brain work together with a good body work-out.  We find a good spot and pulled in for another special camping night.  This one was a highlight for me.  There are lots of old cartridges, pieces of shrapnel and old condensed milk tins and stuff.  It does not feel like 20 years ago.  











It is hard to believe that we are between Menongue and Cuito Cuanavale.  For those who floated around here back then, you know the feeling.  I got that same feeling.  Theo did too.  Wow….
« Last Edit: July 11, 2010, 05:22:39 pm by SGB »
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Offline SGB

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2010, 01:25:58 am »
Day 8: Cuito Cuanavale
Distance: 332 km



Today is a big day.  One of the prime objectives of this expedition is to cross the Cuito river on the bridge.  This bridge was a crucial spot during the war.  The one the former SADF forces could never destroy, despite all the attempts.  It is where all the FAPLA and Cuban forces crossed on the way towards Mavinga / Jamba.  I wanted to drive over it.  We had in the back of our minds the trip with Col Jan Breytenbach which was televised recently, and they were not allowed to see the bridge.  We negotiated the road with the care it dictated and the speed that the excitement brought. 





We take a group photo on one of the tanks at the Longa river.









Some more friendly locals with Chinese bikes - check the taxi.





 My fuel filter decided that it now had enough, and I decided to change it there and then.  Took the tank off my bike and by the time the Landcruiser with the crate arrived, I was ready.  We were back on the road fairly quickly with the help of the two HP2 riders and Wayne.





Caught up with the rest where they were waiting just outside of town.  This place seems to only have police and soldiers around and we were quickly asked to report at the police station. 



Again we had to explain our mission.  Tourists.  We spent some time at the police station.  The hunger for Bibles here was incredible.  Full on physical fights break out.  For Bibles!  We ask the chief if it would be possible to see the bridge.  He thinks about it.  Eventually he agrees to send 2 policemen with us.  One on the back of my bike and one on the Yam with Jan.  I feel like jumping up and down.  We ride over the bridge. Wow!!!!!  We spend some time, take pictures, look at the bridge construction, walk over backwards and forwards and look again. 









Hard to believe we are here.  Eventually we are taken back to reality when someone mentions that we still have some miles for the day.  We head back to drop the policemen.  At the station, we are told that we have to follow another policeman.  We do so, and stop in front of an old house with bullet holes still visible in the front.  We are told that two of us had to come in.  Jan and I go in and Frik arrives in the room a few minutes later.  The room has no ceiling and the plaster is falling off the walls. The doors have no locks.  In front of the wall opposite the door, there is a mean looking lady sitting behind an old table with a little Angolan flag and a dirty writing pad on it.  To the left and right there are tables with official looking guys behind them.  You have to look through lots of poverty before you see the “officialness”.   And you have to look through the officialness to see the heart.  We are asked to sit down in front of the lady.  The police chief is standing next to her desk.  We are introduced and work out that she is the Governor of Cuito Cuanavale.  We are asked about our mission again.  We are asked if we were soldiers in the SADF.  Some of us have to lie.  She gives the police chief a thousand words for allowing us to see the bridge.  He tries to explain, but she is not interested.  I start to think that our stay is going to be a little longer than anticipated.  She orders one of the officials to take photos of us.  He pulls out a cell phone and takes a photo of each of us.  I take a Bible out of my backpack and put it on the desk.  We ask if she wants it.  She tells the police chief to tell us that she will take it only if it is handed over officially.  I stand up and she does the same, take the Bible, shake her hand and hand it to her.  She orders the official with the phone to take another one.  We ask for a picture too, she refuses.  We are wished well and leave the room.  What an experience.  We are refused access to the monument the Cubans built for the 20 year celebration of FAPLA’s victory over the SADF.  No pictures, no looking, just go – is the order of the police chief.  We see the monument a few hundred metres away – looks quite impressive, would have liked to look a little closer.  Maybe next time….. I ride out of Cuito Cuanavale on the clouds.
On the way back to Menongue, I stop to take some pictures of some equipment destroyed during the war.  There are not many left, but still enough to form an idea of the destruction.  Soon it will all be gone.











The day ends in the dark in Menongue.  Martin knows a Namibian contractor and we camp in his construction yard in Menongue.  Menongue is where the MIG’s used to take off from during the war, and here we are sleeping a few km’s from the runway.  Who would have thought….. We have a shower for the first time in Angola.  It feels good.  The Landcruisers arrive somewhat later and Johan Bakkes gives us a speech that ends all the day’s positive excitement in a flash.  We agree to not disrespect and leave our support behind again and have a quiet night burning some locally made charcoal and eating Bully beef souped up with some tomato and onions prepared by me and Theo.  It was our day after all.  Thank you boys!

Just as a quick reflection on the war part.  It is interesting that both sides now claim victory and build monuments to celebrate this victory.  There are various initiatives where the governments of Cuba, Angola, Namibia and South Africa are working together at re-writing the history books 20 years after the event.  And the “old” books by Col Jan Breytenbach, Fred Bridgland, Peter Stiff and Helmut Heitmann still sell.  It is probably not unique to this war.  What it shows us, is that war cannot bring finality and conclusion to issues.  It leaves more problems behind that what it solves.  The same goes for our daily interaction with people around us…..  What is more difficult?  To teach an old dog new tricks, or to teach a new dog old tricks?
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Offline SGB

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2010, 01:36:41 am »
Day 9: Menongue to Dongo road
Distance: 250 km



We do some early maintenance on the bikes.  The HP2’s both ate their number plates and the tail pieces rattled loose.  There is also the odd bolt loose on the SE’s.  Interesting to note that the loose bolts are mainly on the modified parts like the large tanks.  The Yamaha’s spokes need some work and most of the bikes have some front rim dents.  Nothing serious, except for the Yamaha which is developing flat tyres due to the bent rim not sealing properly around the tyre bead.  We get moving, heading for Lubango.  The first leg of our journey is now complete.  The second mission is to ride the “doodsakker” and the next days is the negotiation stage to get there.  The road between Menongue and Dongo via Cubango is probably some of the best riding I have ever done.  The terrain varies a lot and you have to be wide awake all the time.  The bike is very happy and it is a great learning experience and privilege for me to ride next to Jan and see how he handles the big Yamaha.  I have to dig deep to keep up, and I am grateful for being on the KTM.  The biggest challenge is to dodge the big trucks that come from the front when the sand is at it’s deepest and the road sides are near vertical.  But we get away with it and have a great time.  





We cross the Cuchi river and the contrast is quite amazing.  The old bridge was destroyed in the war, a little temporary bridge is permanently in use, and the Chinese have built a brand new railway bridge as part of the rebuilding of the entire railway between Namibe and Menongue.  Huge investments are going into infrastructure here and the Chinese are all over.  



One construction camp we passed has hundreds of trucks and thousands of containers standing around.  The Chinese are going big here.  You can even see the Chinese style in the architecture at the new stations, they clearly have no respect for the Portuguese.
Along the new railway, we are moving along a brisk pace when suddenly a big hole appears and the Yamaha has a bad landing.  Things come to a sudden stop, because the Aluminium footpeg on the right hand side also gave up.  





Upon closer inspection, we see the bash plate attachment point at the back of the sump has been ripped out and left a big hole.  The piece is still on the bash plate.  





We lie the bike on it’s side and clean up the mess.  Pratley putty is our friend and within an hour the Yamaha is as good as new again.  



Following the "bloedspoor" to see what actually caused the damage



We modify the passenger footpeg and make it work in the front.  Off we go again.  





The rest of the day is without major incident, and we ride a lovely new tar road for the last bit until we make camp just after a village called Dongo.  We have another good night’s rest in the bush.

« Last Edit: July 10, 2010, 08:19:17 am by SGB »
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Offline oo7

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2010, 01:48:15 am »
What an interesting read, Stefan!  :thumleft:

This kind of trip rarely happen more than once in a lifetime!!

Looking fwd to the rest

 :happy1:
 

Offline Dustdevil

Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2010, 02:08:50 am »
Tomorrow I'll be a zombie but this is just to good to stop reading.
 

Oppad

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2010, 03:34:08 am »
Super interesting, thank you. Waiting for more.
 

Online boere

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2010, 05:45:40 am »
Now i understand why everybody allways says. Tooltube/ Bloudraad en tang is baie belangrik.

Great report and ja DD we will all be zombi's today.

Where's the rest Where's the rest Where's the rest

WHERE'S THE REST!!!!!!!!! :dousing:
 

Offline wino

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2010, 07:09:04 am »
an excellent read thus far, looking forward to the rest!
 

Offline Welsh

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2010, 07:09:53 am »
Two trips, two Super Tenere,s both go down with a fan / radiator problem? 8)
When is this "Old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
 

Offline JourneyMan

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2010, 07:14:26 am »
Eish. The Yammie taking some punishment.  :biggrin: Well done on the road side repairs. :thumleft:



Great read so far! 8)
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Offline JVR

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2010, 07:53:49 am »
Can't wait excellent!
Life's not short,it is the longest thing you'll ever do.
 

Offline Marnus

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2010, 08:40:19 am »
Great stuff.  Some scary police officials there  :o
 

Offline SGB

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Re: Angola Doodsakker Ekspedisie Jun 2010
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2010, 08:44:13 am »
Day 10: Dongo Camp to Lubango
Distance: 288 km



We have an easy ride on the tar to Lubango.  Casper Lodge is the destination, we know that we can camp and shower there.  

The road is being re-built and it is a smooth tar surface - very good job the Chinese are doing.  Only a few small detours where they are still working on the bridges.  We pass through Matala, where we stop on the dam wall.

The old way and new way of getting around.  This is a brand new Yamaha with a very proud owner.





Lots of Chinese trucks, all driven by Chinese people.



View down stream of the dam



School kids going home.  If you want to sit on a chair under the school tree, you bring your own.



The Lubango area has been travelled by many before us, and there is good info available.  At Casper lodge, we have time to look through the bikes in clean conditions, no need to dig for bolts and spanners in the sand….  Those who needed to changed tyres and did some ingenious panel beating on the front rims.  









In the afternoon we visit the Tunda Vala, located some 20km out of town. One climbs up to 2600m to get a view of rolling hills and a sheer drop to near sea level, which is breathtaking. Part of this mountain is a vertical cliff of about 400 m deep that was used by the Portuguese and the later by the Angolans too as a place to execute people.  Amazing how you can still see the bones in the bottom (no way to get there from top or bottom), and these empty cartridges and bullets you find if you just scratch the sand a bit with your fingers. Those who did not want to jump were clearly forced.  And the little Catholic Church on the way to this cliff face was where people were given an opportunity to confess their sins before being taken to the ravine.  Quite an eerie feeling up there, what a scary way to die.



Nobody here, so we left a Bible in the front.

















On the way back, we turned in at the famous biker pub and met Jose, the owner.  We had an amazing time listening to his stories about the war.  He was forced to join the military and became part of FAPLA’s special forces. He even showed us a picture of his army days.  Another big moment when two opposing special forces members were able to shake hands with a smile.  The Falcons are not playing at this stage, he is busy re-building the place and will be back in business in August if all goes well.  We gave him some copies of the Biker Bible in Portuguese, which Jan arranged through Rene Changuion from the CMA in Portugal.  He really appreciated the Bibles, just like all the other Angolans.  We also listened to some stories from this little Spanish guy who rode with his girlfriend on bicycles from Spain along the East coast of Africa to Cape Agulhas and up the West coast to where we found them here in Lubango, 2 ½ years after they started in Spain.   The same guys who gave Roger Scheffer, Jaco and Howard some water when they had suspension issues with their GS’s in Kenya on their Durban to Dublin trip.  They also rode through Baviaans on those bikes.  They loved South Africa and Namibia the most. We feel like fashion parade girls in comparison….. Another very special visit.











Back at Casper lodge we were ripped off with an expensive dinner which paled in comparison with Bakkes’s cooking.  Some you win, some you loose….
Lubango is a noisy place to sleep.  Much better in the bush, but we survived…..


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Riding a bike is not just about riding the bike....
Do not believe everything you think....