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Offline Mullet

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West Coast- 4 Seasons Trip (December 2009)
« on: August 02, 2010, 03:56:14 pm »
Background to the trip:

I have always wanted to do a bike trip to the West Coast. Boet and I decided to undertake the journey to celebrate him finishing his B.Eng. Minora (a fellow WD) introduced me to WD- I used the sight to plan our trip mainly using the Planning a ride section. I must admit I am not the best planner- I don’t like doing extensive research an planning everything to the finest detail… play it by ear. We had an idea of the route that we wanted to follow and that was it.
 
Experience on bikes:

Suzuki TS 185 two stroke on the farm
Kawasaki KS 100 (Baby Ninja)

Futhest ride prior to trip- Middelburg Pretoria (130 odd km’s)

Day 0 (11/12/2009)

Getting ready was fun- in the sense that we didn’t quite know what to do and because we don’t have fancy gear. I’ve got a top box and that’s it… we used ski rope and tog bags- arm man se panniers!! :thumleft:



Day 1

Saturday: Boet and I rondezvoux at the Total in Eldoraigne… the long awaited tour to the West Coast has finaly started. We grew up with bikes on the farm but this was different- hence we are nervous with expectation… our maiden voyage …   :)



First stop Sannieshof. The nerves have settled, passing other riders waving friendly gestures knowing that they are thinking exactly what I am thinking: Wonder where they’re going?
 


No one told me that riding is so strenuous. We took a well deserved breather at the Excel just before you enter Vryburg. :P



We camped at Kurman the first night… not knowing how we’ll ever manage to get everything back on the bikes



We also met the acquaintance of a tame Meerkat- she was not yet mature…



Day 2

The blistering heat forced us to seek out what little shade was to offer en-route to Upington. Luckily I have made the same journey- on the N14- by car without an a/c so it wasn’t too much of a shock… no I’m talking rubbish- it was f@#&*ng warm out and what little water we had was past luke warm well on its way to boiling point… Luckily there are numerous picnic spots in the Nothern Cape  :dousing:

 

When we arrived in Upington I could rectify the biggest mistake I’ve made: I decided to take my clear visor and use my sunglasses but I never confirmed that the sunglasses fit underneath the helmet. Travelling West at three in the afternoon-  say no more.   ???

We kept it simple- brother is a student and for me … well I was running a tight budget. We opted to buy food stuffs at a Spar/PnP for lunch. The heat forced us to seek shade- we made use of the first glimpse of green grass and shade the streets of Upington had to offer
 




We arrived at Pofadder dehydrated and hungry. After pitching tent at Rus-i-bietjie camp site we headed straight for the first place that offered cold beer and grub- at Boesmandland Café we were soon introduced to their famous Moerse Burger. The burger honoured its name- Boet and I shared and it was more than enough (R 35 excl chips- not in Gauteng)







Day 3

Today we had to reach our destination- Port Nolloth. But first we had to tackle the arid Boesmanland/Namakwaland- we once again had to make use of the picnic spots provided along the N14. I must use this opportunity to confirm that a camera never manages to capture the full picture- the essence is there though. A seemingly simple photo like the one underneath (Boet with the bikes at a picnic spot) manages to evoke an array of feelings and emotions that you can only experience once you have made the journey- exposed to mother nature in all its glory.



We were in awe as we rode down Ananous Pass- I tried to use my imagination to picture the area filled with water, as it was millions of years ago… Beautiful  :drif:



Last stop before we enter the contradictory cold of the West Coast… Just over the mountains in the fore the ocean lay.



A picture tells a thousand words:



We set up camp and immediately befriended a farmer from Vioolsdrift- Hansie- whom just happened to have his KLR there. He was planning on making a trip from Port Nolloth to Alexander Bay via Lekkersing/Eksteens Fontein.



Day 4

We set off for Alexander Bay round 07h00- Boet, Hansie and myself…. Bikes still shining and un-scarred



A well deserved re-fill, even though the climate along the west coast is significantly colder than the previous days’ I/we had a thirst that couldn’t be quenched. :dousing:





It was on this section of the trip that we had our ONLY mishap… Boet’s XT decided to go one way whilst Boet went the other way. Lesson learned- if you are not comfortable with the speed that you are travelling at,  slow down. Luckily the damage was minimal- handlebars a bit bent and cosmetic damage to the plastics. Boet had minor scrapes and bruises, fortunate if you consider he was doing about 70km/h.

The only signs of humans inhibiting the area are the powerlines and roads- and sometimes you have to look closely to spot them!



We set up camp at Kleinzee Caravan Park. Kleinzee is a de Beers diamond mine which they are busy closing- hence the mine village has turned into a ghost town. Even though there has been a significant drop in the population it is still “operational” … if I may add- I have never come across a Spar as clean as the one at Kleinzee!

Because it is a mine we had to get permits to enter the premises and we had to be escorted into town- the owner of the caravan park a certain Mr Weyers reminded me of Dirk Pitt in a Clive Cussler novel… even though he is maybe older than the fictional Dirk he had that hard ass mannerism about him that Dirk has…





Here is Boet showing off his scars… the damage to the bike is not that eminent on the photo…
 


Kleinzee is without a doubt the town with the best infrastructure along the West Coast that we travelled through- even boasting a private airstrip. It is my understanding that they- don’t ask me who they are- are busy proclaiming the town.



Day 6

We set off for Hondeklipbaai. We travelled the stretch of tarred mine road which is now open for public. I have never seen so many tortoises in my life. This particular fellow seeked the comfort of the shade that my bike posed- these peculiar creatures actually move with a certain agility that I never in my life would’ve imagined to be synonymous with their pre-historic look.







Any one up for a rugby match- be sure to bring your full body armor!! Not for the brutality of the game but because of the abrasive nature of the pitch   ;)



The wreck of the Aristea- a WW II minesweeper which drew its last breath at Hondeklipbaai



 

The road from Hondeklipbaai to Garies was one of the most beautiful stretches on the tour:





We found the necessary supplements to fuel us (and the bikes) at the Total at Garies… a Samoosa and a jaffle each, did the trick





After lunch we travelled a small distance on the N7 to Nuwerus. We passed through Koekenaap, Lutzville, Strandfontein and Doorn Bay.



From Doorn Bay we travelled the Railway road- Toll R30 per vehicle… ridiculous I know. Luckily I managed to loose my number plate in the richtersveld- hence he couldn’t write a receipt for my bike. Boet and I managed to persuade him that it will be less of an effort if he just allowed us to pass by only paying for one bike.

We were met with some hostility at the Lambert’s Bay Caravan Park… the words “daai goed word nie hier toegelaat nie” is  still resounding in my head and my bike is still recovering from the humiliation of being called a “thing”. We managed to persuade the guard to let us enter after Boet took over the negotiations- he had to because I was erupting with anger!!

The Caravan Park at Lambert’s was ok but we should’ve stayed over at Strandfontein which had a much nicer, but slightly more expensive camp (note to myself  :) )



Once we arrived at Lambert’s I, for the first time in my 25 years of existence, suffered from the most agonizing, thumping, draining head ache. Boet was my GP and he confirmed without a doubt that it was a migraine. A direct result of a couple days’ hard riding.

Day 7

At this stage of the tour we were starting to get the hang of packing/strapping the bikes. We greeted the day round 07h00. Had coffee, breakfast, showered, did Bible study followed by the packing/Strapping of the bikes. Funny thing is- no matter what we did we could never hit the road before 10h00. The morning of the night we spent at Sutherland we overslept- I woke at 07h45 (we had a particularly hard days riding the previous day through the Karoo) and we still got away a 10h00… STRANGE

We had to go and visit the bird sanctuary at Lamberts- the most awful stench you can imagine… wow… the only thing that comes close is a pig sty.



These birds are freaking huge and aggressive! If you wandered to close for their liking the warning was clear- come any closer and I will use my beak or sh*t on you. The last part is no lie- apparently they do the nasty on you in order to defend themselves!

Bird sanctuary is occupied by large colonies of cormorants, gannets and of course seagulls; apparently there are also Black-footed penguins.





We left Lamberts quite late- our destination Paternoster. It was a lazy day’s riding- the closest we came to a day of rest… But it sucked!!!! The day had no rhythm- we were irritated and all I could think of was a cold one overlooking the ocean at Paternoster.

We passed through Elands bay, Velddrift and Vredenburg on our quest to Paternoster. The road was beautiful- we didn’t take any photos of significance… like I said the day had no rhythm.
At Paternoster we soon found our way to the Beach Camp an Tieties Bay. To the disgust of the regulars the old manager was “pushed overboard” i.e. forced into retirement due to political issues. The new management had no- and I would imagine still doesn’t have- clue what was going in the camps. Upon arrival we were told there is no space but we can go and look- never mind the BIG sign clearly prohibiting bikes. We didn’t have to pay because the manager was to come round in the evening to collect our dues- yeah right I am still eagerly awaiting his appearance. None the less we camped for free. We had our first and only swim in the freezing waters and we dined like kings at the Hotel…







Day 8

We were greeted by misty weather- just as we started packing up it started raining. A constant drizzle that made packing even less enjoyable. We were fortunate- it was our first day of rain. We purposely chose the West Coast because we knew we wouldn’t get much rain.

On this note we bid farewell to the coast and headed inland- our first stop would be Piketberg en-route to Ceres.



It is amazing how locals have no clue what is outside a 20km radius of their surroundings. We couldn’t find the signs directing us to Piketberg. We stopped to fill up in Vredenburg- I used the opportunity to ask for directions. To our amazement they had no clue where Piketberg was even though it was only about 120km away.

It was at Piketberg that we deviated from the original plan which was through the Ceder Mountains- next trip. The plan was to take the straightest road to Gauteng. Both my Boet’s and my geography knowledge failed us- we forgot that we were about to enter the desolated Karoo. Hell of a fun though :)



Imagine living on this farm:

 

It was an unexpected but good day’s hard riding- our destination Sutherland. Every time we passed over a hill we were met with the most beautiful picture of the Karoo with the long dirt road snaking along the flats before it creeps into the next hill/mountain.



Sutherland appeared as an oasis … we were tired and drained. The days riding was hard but the accumulation of the fatigue experienced over a couple of days’ riding (keeping in mind that the both of us were on our maiden voyages) equated to two travelers in dire need of rest.





The Camp site at Sutherland is really well kept. I firmly believe that the main criteria for judging a camp is by the quality and cleanliness of its ablution facilities- this one scored a 10 out of 10.



Day 9

Our destination: Prieska. We decided to stay on gravel roads as much as possible- we succeeded. We traveled gravel from Sutherland through Fraserburg and Carnarvon all the way to Prieska- some 400km of dirt road. The Karoo once again took its toll- we reached Prieska dehydrated and exhausted. It was a fun days riding. The only set back was that it became apparent that most of the farm houses are deserted and we only once saw one or two cars on the road. That together with the knowledge that I was not able to loosen my wheels with the tools we had (The wheels were fastened so tight that the nut didn’t budge when I used my little spanner) kept the little seed of being stranded alive… I am sure that if something did happen we would’ve been able to make a plan, I hope   :-\







Finally we reached Prieska:



We camped at a guest house. The luscious green grass provided for the best night’s rest I had in a long time- actually, come to think of it we slept pretty well every night… riding does drain your energy :)



Day 10

We started the day not knowing it would be the last day of our tour. The plan was to sleep at Christiana but when we reached Christiana round 13h00 we decided to push through to Pretoria. We once again managed to spend a lot of time on gravel roads up to Christiana. From Prieska we rode to Douglas, Mount Rupert, Jan Kempdorp, Christiana, Klerksdorp, Potchefstroom, Westonaria, Krugersdorp and Finally Centurion.





We travelled almost 800 km on the last day. The tour reached its pinnacle when there was a hale storm just as we passed through Potch- the hale caught me completely off guards. When the first hale struck my helmet I was wondering “watse moerse gogga was dit?” … I sincerely think we can call this the four seasons tour having experienced everything nature could throw at us except snow… will have to plan a trip to Rhodes in the winter :)



This is the list of stuff we thought necessary to take along:

Motorfietstoer

  • Tube:
  • Voor
  • Agter
  • Band Goo
Gereedskap:
  • Stelletjie op fiets
  • Shifting Spanner
  • Tang
  • Side Cutter
  • Mes
  • Jumper Kabel
  • Tou:
  • +- 10m
  • dunner tou vir bagasie
  • Clutch Kabel
  • Chain Lube
  • Patch&Solution
  • Pompie


Please do add to my list if you think that I left out something of utmost importance. I am well aware that there are numerous threads discussing this topic, however, this is my list- hence on my next trip I am sticking to it- and will appreciate you aiding me if something important is amiss.

Shot for reading

H

Ps. Appologies for taking 7 months to post the RR  :lamer:
Cheers

H

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Offline Pistonpete

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Re: West Coast- 4 Seasons Trip (December 2009)
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2010, 04:08:08 pm »
Great Ride Report & thanks for sharing! :thumleft:
You are both fully trained dogs now! ;D

Enjoyed the read 8)
'Routine is the thief of time'
 

Offline Mullet

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Re: West Coast- 4 Seasons Trip (December 2009)
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2010, 04:10:33 pm »
Cheers

H

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Offline Minora

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Re: West Coast- 4 Seasons Trip (December 2009)
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2010, 04:28:17 pm »
Enjoyed the read 8)
:thumleft:
Uiteindelik!!!

Well written report  :deal:  Glad you finally decided to put the pictures to the words
Ek weet nie wat hier aangaan nie, maar dis 'n moerse sukses!!!
 

Offline Mullet

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Re: West Coast- 4 Seasons Trip (December 2009)
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2010, 04:33:24 pm »
Enjoyed the read 8)
:thumleft:
Uiteindelik!!!

Well written report  :deal:  Glad you finally decided to put the pictures to the words
waar's jou report van saterdag??
Cheers

H

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Offline BOER!

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Re: West Coast- 4 Seasons Trip (December 2009)
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2010, 04:34:37 pm »
Jou mullet lyk nie lank genoeg vir Upington nie boet, Jy moet hom groei.

Ek het so pas besluit, ek gaan ook desember die Weskus gaan toer!
My hart kom affie plaas, Waar die Wind en die Son en die Stilte my speelmaats was.

Everybody falls off. Some get back on. Some don't. Some can't.
 

Offline Mullet

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Re: West Coast- 4 Seasons Trip (December 2009)
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2010, 04:38:34 pm »
Jou mullet lyk nie lank genoeg vir Upington nie boet, Jy moet hom groei.

Ek het so pas besluit, ek gaan ook desember die Weskus gaan toer!

 :) ha ha ... besig om hom (die Mullet) weer te groei!! sal post as dit weer 'n volwaardige Blou-Bul-Francois-Hougaard-Mullet is  O0  ... no jokes skiet my as ek dit doen!!!  :pot:

Jy sal nie spyt wees nie- great trip!!
Cheers

H

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Offline Kamanya

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Re: West Coast- 4 Seasons Trip (December 2009)
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2010, 05:00:57 pm »
A Maiden voyage!

Well done.

Nice route.

Get a camelbak and drink regularly = less tired and no migraine.
Somedays, life's like a middlemannetjie.
 

Offline Mullet

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Re: West Coast- 4 Seasons Trip (December 2009)
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2010, 05:08:18 pm »
Get a camelbak and drink regularly = less tired and no migraine.

shot for the advice
Cheers

H

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Offline FarScape

Re: West Coast- 4 Seasons Trip (December 2009)
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2010, 07:17:05 pm »
Ai your RR brings back good memories. Did that same route from Pretoria to Port Nolloth exactly 3 days after you guys. We were on the road from the 16th until the 23rd. From Port Nolloth we went south to Hondeklipbaai were were advised not to use the track that hugs the coastline up until Strandfontein.

On route to Garies we turned right and hit the farm tracks to a place called Kotzesrust. (another place only reachable by dirt road). Took us most of the day to find our way out of the maze of sandy twee spoor tracks. Bought myself some beautiful Namakwa land down there. ;)

Unfortunately on reaching Paternoster we had to cut our trip short and had to race back to Pretoria cause the ladies start threatening us with divorce.  :'(
The best time to plant a seed and grow a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is now.
 

Offline Maya

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Re: West Coast- 4 Seasons Trip (December 2009)
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2010, 07:28:56 pm »
Awesome! Ai, ek raak sommer homesick!
Springbok/Port Nolloth was my "valley" op skool.
Great ride!
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Offline Laban

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Re: West Coast- 4 Seasons Trip (December 2009)
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2010, 09:13:44 pm »


Windgat Henri, dankie dat jy dit gedeel het!! :thumleft:
..."sometimes the people around you won't understand your journey, they don't need to, it's not for them"...Joubert Botha

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Offline GStry

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Re: West Coast- 4 Seasons Trip (December 2009)
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2010, 10:18:37 pm »
Well done, enjoyed it.  Did a very similar trip in August Last year with my son, good memories.  :thumleft:
 

Offline Gat Slag

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Re: West Coast- 4 Seasons Trip (December 2009)
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2010, 10:27:27 pm »
Lekker!!!  :thumleft:
 

Offline Tonteldoos

Re: West Coast- 4 Seasons Trip (December 2009)
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2010, 11:24:23 pm »
Note to self re read this earlier in the evening..  ::)
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Offline Stofdonkie

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Re: West Coast- 4 Seasons Trip (December 2009)
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2010, 08:13:51 am »
Great trip! Great report!

Which route did you take from Piketberg to Sutherland?
Carpe BM.
 

Offline Mullet

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Re: West Coast- 4 Seasons Trip (December 2009)
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2010, 08:18:26 am »
Ai your RR brings back good memories. Did that same route from Pretoria to Port Nolloth exactly 3 days after you guys. We were on the road from the 16th until the 23rd. From Port Nolloth we went south to Hondeklipbaai were were advised not to use the track that hugs the coastline up until Strandfontein.

On route to Garies we turned right and hit the farm tracks to a place called Kotzesrust. (another place only reachable by dirt road). Took us most of the day to find our way out of the maze of sandy twee spoor tracks. Bought myself some beautiful Namakwa land down there. ;)

Unfortunately on reaching Paternoster we had to cut our trip short and had to race back to Pretoria cause the ladies start threatening us with divorce.  :'(

we struggled with heavy sand- seamed like my bike just sunk into the sand... the the bikes was quite heavily laden. we didn't have a GPS so we had to make use of my 19-voertsek map... so we had to stay on roads that the locals pointed out or that we found on the map.
Cheers

H

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Offline Mullet

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Re: West Coast- 4 Seasons Trip (December 2009)
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2010, 08:34:17 am »
Great trip! Great report!

Which route did you take from Piketberg to Sutherland?

Hi Stofdonkie- hope this is clear enough:

Cheers

H

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Offline Mullet

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Re: West Coast- 4 Seasons Trip (December 2009)
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2010, 08:37:36 am »
Awesome! Ai, ek raak sommer homesick!
Springbok/Port Nolloth was my "valley" op skool.
Great ride!

dink ek het in 'n vorige lewe daar groot geword/gebly ... hou werklik van die Noord Kaap... dink dis die mense!!??
Cheers

H

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Offline Minora

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Re: West Coast- 4 Seasons Trip (December 2009)
« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2010, 02:00:39 pm »
Ek weet nie wat hier aangaan nie, maar dis 'n moerse sukses!!!