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Online Sprocketbek

The Fyndraai Experience
« on: November 15, 2010, 10:53:36 pm »
For preparation I started off by doing some aerial reconnaissance of the bash site:  ;D

But in actual fact, we used the more conventional means to plot our route: Mapsource, T4A, maps.
Abel & myself had managed to get a week off work prior to the National Bash as well as a week thereafter. The oppurtunity was just too good to miss. On our bucket list were a few places to see and people to visit.

Prepped the bikes and packed our stuff. His Honda XL600R developed a nasty misfire after he had washed it a week before the trip; the topgasket was oozing some oil out on the R/H side and when it starts it would emit a puff of smoke at the gasket. Despite all attempts the misfire persisted, and it was a bitch to kickstart.

Nevertheless, there was no stopping us. We hit the road the Saturday before the bash.  ;D

First gravel was just outside Melkbos: Darling, Moorreesburg, Koringberg area. Crossed the Berg river at Sanddrif.
The previous time we were there it looked like this:

That time I had to be dragged back out in reverse, cut the motor just in time.
This time it was no challenge:

Despite some planning we were carrying more luggage than optimum. It actually looks heavier than it was. I took a 7.5 cm Thermarest as I was not prepared to sleep badly. Rather bulky but it really sleeps well.

Next up was the beautiful Kapteinskloof:

The tar road to Elandsbaai is closed due to roadworks. Traffic gets diverted via Paleisheuwel. A Daewoo Matiz with two girls in turned onto the gravel road just as we arrived at the intersection. We stopped for a cooldrink & smoke and then set off in the same direction. We were not far behind them when the driver lost control on the loose gravel surface, hit the verge and rolled it:

The passenger had banged her head badly so I waited there while Abel went to the nearby farmhouse. Police were called etc. but another woman stopped with a SUV and took them to hospital.

We crossed the N7 and Olifants River at Clanwilliam and rode gravel to Klawer (past the Bulshoek Dam), then tar to Vanrhynsdorp. Quick refill, bite to eat & 2 beers. Waterval Oord was our destination for the night but we took the scenic route via Gifberg. This was our first Ouberg Pass for the trip. (I see it's not listed in the passes index......yet).

It was rather cold, we pulled into the campsite just as it got dark. After a brief negotiation the owner offered us a chalet for a price that couldn't be turned down. He had cash in hand, we had a roof over our heads. Everybody happy.  :deal:

The waterfall can be seen on the horison. No time to explore, though.

That morning we retraced our steps and went up Ouberg pass and then looped along Gifberg. The roadsigns were confusing so I guess we turned left a bit late. We encountered very rough terrain, deep sand tweespoor and about 40 gates. Eventually we arrived back on the track we were supposed to be on. Less hectic but still tweespoor with sandy patches and more gates.

This Puff Adder lay next to the road. Makes you keep your eyes open a bit more  ::) :

We carried on with small gravel roads to the foot of Vanrhyns Pass. A bit of left-over red wine from the previous night while we donned rain clothes:

Refilled in Nieuwoudtville and headed for Brandvlei via the Hantam area. There are some spectacular backroads in this area, the last time we did them was with Leftless and Andy660 on the return from the 2009 bash. The best bits eluded us this time though: slight navigational error on my part.

« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 03:40:08 pm by Sprocketbek »
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Offline Firecoast

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2010, 10:56:14 pm »
pragtige foto's SB. kan nie wag vir die res nie!
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Offline Snafu

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2010, 11:37:25 pm »
I was waiting for this one, keep it coming you two!!

looks like the "new" Oubergpas needs a reccie! :)
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Online Sprocketbek

Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2010, 03:23:36 am »
That night we slept over at friends of ours about 45 km north of Brandvlei. Johan & Yolande's farm is next to the old road to Kenhardt. I've known them quite a few years, her brother is a school friend of mine, but I've never been to their farm before. Mischievously, I ignored their directions and tried a road indicated by the GPS and on maps. Within a few hundred metres it was clear the road was no longer in use, weeds were growing in the tracks. So we did the 30 km of tar and 15 km gravel.

They received us with open arms and we talked deep into the night. Had a lovely braai, slept like logs.
I was very impressed with their wind charger / solar panel set-up.

In the morning we set off again, skirting Verneukpan. Gave it a miss this time, had other targets.

We tried another road we had plotted toward Van Wyksvlei. Also turned out to be a dud, had to stick to the more regular route. My KTM's hydraulic clutch needed topping up, I always carry some Johnsson's Baby Oil with me for that. This was the first time I had to top it up since the Springbok Rally in September. Mineral oil, which it's supposed to take, barely lasts 10 km.
Refill in Van Wyksvlei and a quick beer or two. Chat to the lady that runs the "Hotel" about the way things go in the town. Most small towns on the platteland are going through a tough time and I fear the prospects are not good.
Apart from the bar and the off-sales the rest of the hotel is derelict: They don't bother with rooms anymore.

Passed Copperton and headed for Prieska. What does one do in Prieska?  ???  You visit ETS, of course!!!  :biggrin:
He entertained and put us up in 5-star style, big thanks ETS.  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

Next morning, as always, the Honda is very reluctant to start, and I notice the headlamp is not working. No low or high beam. We head out towards Niekerkshoop. All along these roads the telephone poles have huge versamelvoel nests.
What's that in English? Conglomorate birds? Corporate birds?

A trucker stopped next to us when I took this photo. The truck had a container on the back, they transport Tiger-Eye boulders from the area. He strongly recommended we should not take that road; on average he loses a tyre per trip. We thanked him for his concern and carried on regardless.

Drive through Niekerkshoop. What a dump. It has a huge church and a few streets of houses. Some of them have broken windows and it seems like squatters have occupied some of them. Not a single garden is tended.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 03:37:39 pm by Sprocketbek »
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Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2010, 05:49:03 am »
Very nice pictures ou boet. Seriously. I hope you put one in the competition.

Looking forward to the rest.
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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2010, 05:56:23 am »
Thanks for the compliments!

The better pics are yet to come, and the drama will kick in soon........
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Offline Pistonpete

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2010, 06:48:06 am »
'Routine is the thief of time'

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2010, 07:32:37 am »
Great pics of a lekker trip.  Thanks Sprocket and Abel.

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Offline Butch

Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2010, 07:44:08 am »
Nice one! Ek skryf in.  :thumleft:
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Offline Frohan Visser

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2010, 07:49:34 am »
Lekker Sprocketbek en Abel.....ek wag vir die res!!
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Offline ®©errie

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2010, 07:54:50 am »
Nice pics, cant wait for the rest. We passed you guys in the Cederberg @ Oasis on the Friday. Saw the KTM an XR from the road. Lekker manne :thumleft:
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 07:56:32 am by RCerrie »
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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2010, 08:01:08 am »
Lekker trip en mooi fotos, wat se tank het Abel op sy XL600?

Offline RobC

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2010, 08:45:22 am »
Lekker trip and RR... :thumleft:

Offline LuckyStriker

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2010, 08:55:47 am »
Very nice so far
can't wait for the rest!

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2010, 09:47:29 am »
Hoe het daai XR geloop? Julle bly darem maar in mooi wereld!
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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2010, 10:13:11 am »
Ook gewag vir die ene!! Ingeskryf.
Verander net die Van Wyksdorp na Van Wyksvlei op die derde dag. Die mense sal dink julle is verdwaal!! :mwink:

Offline AntonW

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2010, 11:02:19 am »
keep it coming,  :biggrin:
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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2010, 12:17:24 pm »
Nic my ou maat dis lekker om die fotos te sien!!! Dit was lekker en n plesier om julle te he!!! Kom asseblief weer!!! Enige Hond!!
If i had to explain you would not understand anyway......

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2010, 12:45:00 pm »
Lekker man!!  :thumleft:

Offline Walkaway

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Re: The Fyndraai Experience
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2010, 12:52:26 pm »
Great photo's and a nice read - waiting in anticipation .......
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