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Offline Biesie

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Re: Angola, Angola - a tale of “tręs cavaleiros”
« Reply #160 on: October 14, 2010, 08:27:32 am »
Biesie, my XT600E het n 130/90 Pirelli Rallycross MT21 agterop, en n 90/90 Pirelli Rallycross MT21 voorop gehad. Die Suzuki het n Mitas, weet nie watter een nie, opgehad[Watkykjy, vertel die mense watter tyres jy opgehad het!!] Die slytasie tempo van die Pirelli en die Mitas was identies, oor presies dieselfde afstand en terrein.

 :thumleft: :thumleft:

Julle moet asb aan die einde 'n bietjie van 'n opsomming gee oor die voorbereiding van die fietse  ???
 

Offline Beserker

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Re: Angola, Angola - a tale of “tręs cavaleiros”
« Reply #161 on: October 14, 2010, 09:30:40 am »
Biesie, my XT600E het n 130/90 Pirelli Rallycross MT21 agterop, en n 90/90 Pirelli Rallycross MT21 voorop gehad. Die Suzuki het n Mitas, weet nie watter een nie, opgehad[Watkykjy, vertel die mense watter tyres jy opgehad het!!] Die slytasie tempo van die Pirelli en die Mitas was identies, oor presies dieselfde afstand en terrein.

 :thumleft: :thumleft:

Julle moet asb aan die einde 'n bietjie van 'n opsomming gee oor die voorbereiding van die fietse  ???

Dissie plan...ons het almal wakker geskrik so week voor die tyd.

Het gedink toe ons die trip aanvanklik beplan het, om die voorbereiding te dokumenteer..maar om jou 'n clue te gee, die Saterdag voor ons Vrydag vertrek, het Danie 'n al 'n jerrycan by Gideon gbe-bum-- die som totaal van sy voorbereiding.

Pete se bladders was eers die Woensdag uitgesorteer, my GPS en battery het ek dit begin in-wire toe Pete al met sy bakkie en trailer deur my hek kom het om my op te laai.

Soos dit is, ek het my petrol sisteem oor my bike gehang die oggend met ons vertrek, vir die eerste keer...die eerste keer volgemaak op Ruacana net voor oms oor die grens is...'n lek sou katastrofiese gewees het.  ;D

Daar was 'n verwoede ge-sweis en ge - timmer met die deadline wat nader kruip, beslis nie tyd vir die dokumenteering nie  :P

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Offline Beserker

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Re: Angola, Angola - a tale of “tręs cavaleiros”
« Reply #162 on: October 14, 2010, 11:58:26 pm »
Angola, Angola




A tale of “tręs cavaleiros”




Day 13 and 14 Calais to Nkurenkuru via Guangar, Calais, Guangar, the Caila ferry, Katwitwi

Waking up in Calais we were eager to get going, one more day to Namibia and as far as possible to Opuwo, the next to Opuwo and packing up, the next…home. After a long, hard ride, a warm shower, clean clothes a soft bed and a warm body next to you sounds good…just the matter of sorting out a bit of fuel, as always.

Speaking to the Chefe de Police, no fuel in Calais, but in Rundu, on the other side of the Kavango…plenty. The fact that the Kavango is an international border is a small technicality best be ignored, according to the Chefe.

H personally escorted us to the riverbank, and argued our case with the Police de Fonterra (Border police) and they, being practically minded, immediately saw the merit in a cross border excursion. They did warn me though…once there and should any issue arise, they would not be able to help.


 
The Chefe then went the extra step beyond, commandeering the police motorboat, he took me across the river to show me where the best place would be to nip across.

Cross border excursion, but from a different direction:



 Landing on the other side, trying to look inconspicuous, I made my way to Rundu, got to a bank, withdrew some funds, bought beer and petrol, and made my way back…dirty as hell, with tights and motocross boots, being inconspicuous is rather difficult. It felt as if everybody was staring.

Regardless, in no time at all, I was making my way back.

From the Rundu side:


 
Slow boat to Calais.



Mission successful.


 
Notice the plastic bag with the beer..more on that later.

I noticed that I lost the bolt on my kickstarter..’n boer maak ‘n plan…we quickly opened the beers and fabricated the necessary washer.



Filling up, we had the beer and took our leave, biding our friends at the police station goodbye, and hitting the road to Guangar.


 
The 150km went quick, after the Cuito to Calais stretch, the road was almost hypnotically easy..some pics.

Initially some sand,


 
The floodplains



Heavenly..



It was still hot as hell..



And the beer once we got to Guangar welcome..Pete looking very much like we all felt:



From here it was about 40km to Katwitwi, and the Namibian border.

Hitting the police station as we exited Guangar, we realised that apart from the border, this will probably be the last time we will need to show our passports in Angola. With high spirits we made idle chit chat with the police.



At the inevitable “passporte?” we got our bags out…and my passport was gone.
Frantically tipping out my meagre belongings, scratching around, I couldn’t find it..

Retracing my steps, the last time I had it was when I nipped across the border. Coming back, I stuck it in the plastic bag with the beer in order to be able to carry the jerry cans…remember the plastic bag I had in my hand disembarking from the makoro?

The bag I gave to Peter whilst helping Danie to fill up the bikes. Peter took the bag, opened the beers and handed it to us. As I was fixing my kick-starter, Peter collected the empties…”Peter..?”

He took the empties, put it in the bag without looking, and dumped it…my credit card and everything was in there.

To say I was cheesed of is an understatement, I was livid with myself..the conversation went something like this:

Me: “Fuckit, Fuckit, Fuckit!!”
Danie: “Whats wrong..?”
Me: “My fucking passport is gone, Fuckit, Fuckit, Fuckit,!
Peter:”You have to go fetch it.”
Me: “Fuckit!”
Peter: “You won’t be able to go on without it…”
Me: “Fuckit, fuck this place, fuck going back..I’m going to find myself a fucking makoro and row myself and my bike over this fucking river, fuck the border control, tonight I want to be in Nam eating a fucking burger and chips..”

I don’t know where the burger came in, most likely the fact that I have had either bovine intestines from a tin, or sardines from a tin for the last two weeks..the prospect of riding back to Calais when the border is like an hour away..so close, so far.

Also going back to Calais is not as simple as it sounds…I will need to do the whole “fetch petrol from Rundu” thing again..we got up early this morning, fetched the petrol, fuelled up and drove here..it was after four allready..it is not a simple matter of driving a 300km round trip…this is Angola after all.

Pete saved me from my insanity by stating “It is fine…I’ll go and fetch it..” (He is crazy enough) but I realised that I can’t shift the responsibility..it was my mistake.

We quickly stripped the DR of it’s luggage, siphoned of petrol from my XR, and off I went, as Pete went for a swim…crazy…check who he was sharing the water with.



Darkness caught me about 30km from Guangar, with a 120km to go, I did not look forward to this night time trip…Africa is not called the “Dark Continent” for nothing..it is pitch black out there.

The DR also does not have the brightest of lights, and after hitting the fourth pothole at speed, I remembered that the bike is stripped of everything…I had no tools with me, not even a puncture repair kit. A flat now would be disastrous.

I stopped, had a smoke and chilled while listening to the night sounds around me…when I got back on the bike, I was at ease, unhurried and took it slow.

Riding the sand was all right, I stayed super smooth, the floodplains we crossed earlier was problematic. It is vast, and if you drift off the track, you end up driving in circles till you find (hopefully) the correct one…my GPS was still on the XR, stupid.

I made Calais just after 11 that night, and was greeted by the policemen on duty with “our brother, our brother!”

The greeting, and the solitude of a solo night ride turned the perceived “fuckin’ mission” into something that I really enjoyed after all was said and done.

I immediately found the plastic bag in the dustbin (it was the only contents)

Our interpreter from the previous day escorted me to a shop where he convinced the proprietor to open up for me, and not having any money whatsoever, to accept my helmet and goggles as security till the next morning after I have come back from Rundu.

The Chefe de Police offered me his office, I ate off his desk and slept on the floor, on a spare mattress he provided.



After dinner (and I had to take a pic…one often sees this type of  pic in ride reports, although the surroundings tend to be more "larney") I sat outside on the stoep with the police on duty.

We had a quick competition to see who could dismantle and assemble an AK47 the fastest…I was more rusty than I thought and losing got stale and after about the third time, we  all lost interest. With the language barrier, conversation was limited.  I just sat in the cool night air and listened to them chatting, feeling at peace with myself, longing for my wife and kids who seemed so far away right then.

Knowing the ropes, I was up at just before sunrise the next morning, and took this pic from my bedroom as the night turned to that pre-dawn grey ..



Making my way down to the river, I roused a makoro captain from his slumber, and as the sun broke over the horizon, we were on our way across the Kavango. An added advantage of being this early.. neither the Police de Fonterra, nor the Immigration officials has risen yet, and I circumvented the beurocratic red tape.



Getting to Rundu was a slog, no traffic, no lift and I had to walk all the way, carrying a twenty litre drum that the interpreter managed to hustle from somewhere.

Once again, got to the ATM, got some money, got to the garage and filled up the drum. As I was was paying, I noticed a stain appearing under the drum…damn, it was punctured, and to compound matters, the lid did not seal properly. Keeping a finger on the puncture and the drum upright as there was nothing I could do to the lid, I started the slog back to the river, with the drum in the “hoog-voor”.

Walking past a thorn tree, a brain fart, and I stuck a huge thorn into the puncture, some plastic litter next to the side of the road and a seal for the litter was fabricated, things were looking up.

The drum was still in the “hoog-voor” position, but at least the petrol stopped dribbling over me. With about 3km to go, just as I was starting to sweat it, and my back muscles feeling that it was going to spontaneously combust from carrying the drum, a kind soul pulled up and offered me a lift to the river…he had no issue with me getting into his car with a leaking petrol drum, smelling of sweat and the petrol that has been dribbling over my clothes…I hope I have the presence of mind to do it as well to someone in need one day.

I was back, the DR filled up, saying goodbye to the police by 7h30. They all took turns to make sure that I had my passport on me, and I left to settle my account and collect my helmet from the shop as it opened at eight.

A quick coke to quench the first, and I was on my way to Guangar, once again the solitude of riding solo, deciding my own pace and not needing to stop was good for the soul.

Some pics en route:


 




Back in Guangar, Danie and Pete worried sick…yeah sure!



A beer and some “Lunch Loaf” (the aforementioned bovine intestines, a bit like poor quality Bully Beef) and I had to rest my eyes.

The previous night I couldn’t ride with my goggles as it was tinted, and collected “muggies” all the way. Coming back this morning, the white sand and strain from concentrating on the road ahead at speed, strained my eyes. It felt a bit like snow blindness, and I couldn’t look out in the sun without my goggles.



Having time on their hands they Danie and Pete walked about, took some pics. As anywhere in Angola, the Portuguese influence, although dilapidated, clearly visible.


 








Pete can tell you more about this memorial, and the massacre it commemorates.


 


Interestingly..it had a wreath of fresh flowers.

Some graffiti, back in Unita country, whilst most of the travelling was done in areas was definitely MPLA.


 
Unita flag.



Still life with DR:



After a few more beers I was ready to go, and we hit the road…me back on the XR, what a relief.

Making way to Katwitwi, this little church. Apart from a few Roman Catholic facilities, one of two I saw:





Just before Katwitwi, you cross Kavango with the Caila ferry.





After the ferry, about 13 km to the border post, and the usual checking out, checking in drag, taking about an hour and a half.

A late lunch on the Namibian side, which seemed so near a day and a half ago….NAMIBIA!! what a relief.

I made straight for Nkurenkuru, typical men, Pete and Danie took their sweet time about it  :deal: , making it at dusk. Not wanting to carry on in the dark, we asked around and were directed to the Muharwa guest house, just behind the municipal buildings…to be recommended.

Although basic, it was clean, the dining room had a small bar with beer, the food was great (chicken and rice…at long last something that did not make it's way to us via a tin)

The proprietor and her son, their staff was hospitable and we enjoyed ourselves.

That night, starting with a feint rumble but quickly growing into a full-on artillery barrage, my stomach went into revolt. Apart from the bread, tinned sardines and beer I had in Calais, I had nothing that Pete and Danie did not have…maybe I’m just the more sensitive type. Quite knackered from my Calais to Guangar triple plus the bit from Guangar to Nkurenkuru, about 530km, the last thing I needed was this.

Regardless, I spent the night on the throne, eventually falling asleep there (do you want more detail?) , thankful that at least we were out of the bush, and loving that piece of porcelain to bits.

Day 15 Nkurenkuru to Opuvu

True to form, the next morning Danie and Pete were up and about early, eager to get going.

The intention was to make Opuvu in a single push (733km), and from there to Aussicht, a further 70km.

Me on the other hand, was less eager, I still had a love affair going with the toilet….besides, even on a good day, 800km is a lot on the XR.

I tried explaining to Danie, but a curt “It’s all in the mind..” saw me mounting up, and off we went.

I had the jodhpurs I was riding with, as well as shorts over it; taking in consideration my current intestinal control, I thought it prudent to not wear both, and I stashed my shorts for later, just in case. I was immediately dubbed Fart Vader by Danie..nice.

The road back was long and typical of the white Namibian highways we all know.



Dropping into Opuwo from the east, we were treated to a most stunning sunset.

We made town as darkness fell, in dire need of fuel:


 
The last 70km we did in the dark, and as the turn off to Aussicht is poorly marked, totally dependant on the GPS.

It was a miserable ride..throughout the day, I had a cold fever, and the last kilometres that night saw me freezing.

I was counting the kilometres down, it was as it will never end, the road just kept on and on. Ask anybody that has done the route from Sesfontein to Opuwo, it is a notorious dust trap, and it hung like mist in the cold air, necessitating us riding about 2km apart, just so that we could see.

Funnily enough, maybe because it was still early evening, quite a few cars coming from the front, and when they pass you, it was like being in a white-out that saw us running of the road….dangerous business.

About a km before the turn off, stupidly doubting the accuracy of the GPS, with my eyes darting between the GPS and the side of the road, I did not notice the cow in front of me till nearly to late..hitting the brakes hard caused my engine to stall, in the process killing my front light and all I heard in the dark night was this huge bellow, I felt the thud and then the pitch blackness around me.

I was still seated on the bike, fortunately I was going slow, not more than 40 at the time. I kick-started the bike, and with it, my light came on…in front of me laid the cow in the road, and I thought “Oh shit..”

I remember reading in the paper, waiting for Pete to finish our grocery shopping in  Oshakati, that the traditional leaders of Namibia at a national conference lamented the fact that in Namibia the penalty for stock theft is more harsh than that for murder…

In front of me laid the friggin cow, and I wondered what the penalty for stock murder was. I pushed my bike back, gave the cow a wide berth, and carried on, hoping that Danie and Pete would notice it and not crash into it, but sure as hell I was not going to hang around and wait for an aggrieved owner.

As it turned out, by the time Danie and then Pete came past, the cow was gone..traveling slowly and hitting her from the side, I hopefully just winded it.

Praise modern technology, when my countdown timer on the GPS said 6m…lo and behold, the feint turn off to Aussicht on the left.

We raced up the mountain, found a camping spot, got our gear off and had a fire going within minutes..Pete went ”bos” in the Oshakati Spar..we braai-ed pork chops, lamb tjops, steak..made fresh “salad”  - a meal fit for a king, which of course saw me sleeping on the throne that night as my stomach went into immediate revolt…




Next up….
The long road stateside..a post mortem and an executive overview by Pete..

« Last Edit: October 15, 2010, 07:55:25 am by Beserker »
My Ride  :ricky:  Angola   Namibia  Northern Cape  Kids
 

Offline Woestersous

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Re: Angola, Angola - a tale of “três cavaleiros”
« Reply #163 on: October 15, 2010, 05:50:54 am »
Piele :-)
 

Offline Diesel & Dust

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Re: Angola, Angola - a tale of “três cavaleiros”
« Reply #164 on: October 15, 2010, 07:47:14 am »
I'll take the high road. You take the psycho path...
 

Offline mountainboy

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Re: Angola, Angola - a tale of “três cavaleiros”
« Reply #165 on: October 15, 2010, 08:48:52 am »
Beserker, beside being totally pissed off with yourself, I'm sure that one night alone with the police must be a trip highlight!!

Me: “Fuckit, Fuckit, Fuckit!!”
Danie: “Whats wrong..?”
Me: “My fucking passport is gone, Fuckit, Fuckit, Fuckit,!
Peter:”You have to go fetch it.”
Me: “Fuckit!”
Peter: “You won’t be able to go on without it…”
Me: “Fuckit, fuck this place, fuck going back..I’m going to find myself a fucking makoro and row myself and my bike over this fucking river, fuck the border control, tonight I want to be in Nam eating a fucking burger and chips..”


Funny how mistakes leads to great experiences -the essence of adventure biking............

« Last Edit: October 15, 2010, 10:52:03 am by mountainboy »
I love my bike..................
 

Offline Kaboef

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Re: Angola, Angola - a tale of “tręs cavaleiros”
« Reply #166 on: October 15, 2010, 08:52:00 am »
Bloody fantastic!

The part about you having to backtrack after losing your passport is written very well.
But so is everything else..   :biggrin:

Thanks, looking forward to the rest.
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Offline ThomTom

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Re: Angola, Angola - a tale of “tręs cavaleiros”
« Reply #167 on: October 15, 2010, 11:09:31 am »
I do admire your sense for adventure.  A question that I have:  what do the people live on in southern Angalo?  No major farming going on, they are not great cattle herders, etc.?
 

Offline Beserker

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Re: Angola, Angola - a tale of “tręs cavaleiros”
« Reply #168 on: October 15, 2010, 11:22:48 am »
I do admire your sense for adventure.  A question that I have:  what do the people live on in southern Angalo?  No major farming going on, they are not great cattle herders, etc.?

First of all, not many people, so their impact is not that noticeable on the area, but what I noticed:

Along the coast, a lot of fishing, and they use the dry riverbeds to grow produce...it seems that the water is available at quite a shallow depth, when they till, the soil is quite dark.

Inland, they do have cattle, but I do not think they are into eating their personal wealth and status symbols..for that they have goats. In terms of produce, they have samp (Stampmielies) that they grow.

My honest opinion, I do not think starvation is the issue, more malnutrition as they do not have a huge diversity.

One funny thing, and I think this harks back to the Portuguese legacy..quite a bit of pork, funny fat little pigs.

If they can clean up the landmines, and get some agricultural drive going, it is the land of opportunity, they have amazing rivers that due to the fact that it is so flat, cannot be used for hydro  - electricity, the scope for dams is limited.

The rivers were also, a month before the rainy season, flowing strongly, and if you take note of what the Israelis did with a lot less water and soil that is nowhere as rich...one wonders.

Africa can become the food basket of the world, but not as long as everybody is intent on raping it for it's easy accessible resources, providing an easy income. The responsibility lies within the global community.
 
« Last Edit: October 15, 2010, 11:30:00 am by Beserker »
My Ride  :ricky:  Angola   Namibia  Northern Cape  Kids
 

Offline JC

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Re: Angola, Angola - a tale of “tręs cavaleiros”
« Reply #169 on: October 15, 2010, 11:34:37 am »
awesome report

Did you use the DR to go back because it has a better fuel range, or was it for the better seat?  ;)
 

Offline wacko

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Re: Angola, Angola - a tale of “tręs cavaleiros”
« Reply #170 on: October 15, 2010, 12:25:19 pm »
Very nice :thumleft:

Enjoying this one very much. Always interesting when the story has a twist.
 

Offline Beserker

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Re: Angola, Angola - a tale of “tręs cavaleiros”
« Reply #171 on: October 15, 2010, 12:26:24 pm »
awesome report

Did you use the DR to go back because it has a better fuel range, or was it for the better seat?  ;)

Fuel range...the better seat did not compensate for the shoddy shocks.. at first I thought "hell...this is comfortable.." till I started hitting the whoops and potholes..I'm not sure whether they were just to "pap" or the fact that they were progressive, but the boingers is the one thing I will change on an otherwise absolutely ideal bike for this type of trip.

I will, for my last installment, cover the prep, bike, documentation, kit etc...and what I thought of the bikes in general.
My Ride  :ricky:  Angola   Namibia  Northern Cape  Kids
 

Offline 2 Stroke Dan

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Re: Angola, Angola - a tale of “tręs cavaleiros”
« Reply #172 on: October 15, 2010, 05:35:39 pm »
I actually did suggest to Pete before the trip to at least fit pro springs into the front shocks, but we never got to that. The DR is indeed the best bike for this type of trip.
The XT is a bit faster on the whoops than the XR, that's how I beat Berserker to Flamingo lodge :pot:
As ek jy was sou ek nie so gelyk het nie.
 

Offline Beserker

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Re: Angola, Angola - a tale of “tręs cavaleiros”
« Reply #173 on: October 15, 2010, 06:13:07 pm »
I actually did suggest to Pete before the trip to at least fit pro springs into the front shocks, but we never got to that. The DR is indeed the best bike for this type of trip.
The XT is a bit faster on the whoops than the XR, that's how I beat Berserker to Flamingo lodge :pot:


I qoute (myself):

Angola, Angola

I could taste the beer, and left Danie and Peter for dust.




My Ride  :ricky:  Angola   Namibia  Northern Cape  Kids
 

Offline Ian in Great Brak River

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Re: Angola, Angola - a tale of “tręs cavaleiros”
« Reply #174 on: October 15, 2010, 08:00:46 pm »
Classic stuff !!
1978. It's 6am, mid winter...two up on a XL 185S ... off to my first casino ever with all of R40 and we've got a full tank of fuel, so enough to get there we reckon.... that's determination...

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Offline 2 Stroke Dan

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Re: Angola, Angola - a tale of “tręs cavaleiros”
« Reply #175 on: October 15, 2010, 09:02:24 pm »
The road in to Flamingo lodge is roughly 17kms of horrible whoopy sand and I was following Berserker at a fairly brisk pace, him obviously cruising on the XR and the XT nearing the end of it's suspension abilities. At one point I pulled up next to Dave and what would I notice? He is riding without goggles!! I then realised that if I pass him, because of the dust he will have to back off, which is what happened, Dave had to stop to put on his goggles and I made good my getaway. He arrived 00000.003seconds after me, in 2nd place >:D
Shit that XT is fast :imaposer:
As ek jy was sou ek nie so gelyk het nie.
 

Offline tau

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Re: Angola, Angola - a tale of “tręs cavaleiros”
« Reply #176 on: October 15, 2010, 10:28:41 pm »
weereens briljant ek het nog nooit 'n report so baie gelees nie.
 

Offline 2 Stroke Dan

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Re: Angola, Angola - a tale of “tręs cavaleiros”
« Reply #177 on: October 15, 2010, 10:43:10 pm »
Dankie Tau, en almal wat lees. Dave het n mooi skryftrant. Belangrik om jou toervennote reg te kies en ek sal enige tyd weer saam met Dave en Peter gaan. Ek sal saam met enige Wilddog gaan. Nooi my net.
As ek jy was sou ek nie so gelyk het nie.
 

Offline Doerengone

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Re: Angola, Angola - a tale of “tręs cavaleiros”
« Reply #178 on: October 15, 2010, 10:52:04 pm »
The road in to Flamingo lodge is roughly 17kms of horrible whoopy sand and I was following Berserker at a fairly brisk pace, him obviously cruising on the XR and the XT nearing the end of it's suspension abilities. At one point I pulled up next to Dave and what would I notice? He is riding without goggles!! I then realised that if I pass him, because of the dust he will have to back off, which is what happened, Dave had to stop to put on his goggles and I made good my getaway. He arrived 00000.003seconds after me, in 2nd place >:D
Shit that XT is fast :imaposer:


Hehehehe. Gryskoppe bo.  :thumleft:
KTM640 Adv, R1100GS.
 

Offline the_BOBNOB

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Re: Angola, Angola - a tale of “tręs cavaleiros”
« Reply #179 on: October 15, 2010, 10:55:03 pm »
Oom 2Stroke is dit dieselfde XT wat jy in Oudtshoorn gehad het begin van die jaar ???

Hy lyk dan so bietjie anders  :-\

Of is dit net die tenk wat anders is ???