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Offline Jacoboos

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Re: A Karoo Adventure
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2011, 02:43:59 pm »
This is the route we had planned. (Just checking to see if it upload)



Ride down in 1 day as conveniently fast as possible and enjoy 3 days of Karoo magic and return in 1 day
on a bike sometimes you win and sometimes you don't...but you never lose
 

Offline Jacoboos

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Re: A Karoo Adventure
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2011, 02:54:50 pm »



Jacoboos and Peat



The plan was to camp at Kambro about 800km from Pta but they were full and we found another campsite conveniently on route, between Victoria West and Loxton.





After the Potch dry-out we stopped at Kimberley for lunch and other stops included this one next to Orange river near Hopetown



The Little Brak river was flowing strongly...



Kambro was full and we found another campsite between Victoria West and Loxton, Melton Wold.



This is the fullest I've seen Vic West dam.



and our campsite at Melton.









on a bike sometimes you win and sometimes you don't...but you never lose
 

Offline Walkaway

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Re: A Karoo Adventure
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2011, 03:01:45 pm »
Keep it comin'  - awesome.
What would life be like if we had no courage to attempt anything ?
 

Offline Jacoboos

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Re: A Karoo Adventure
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2011, 03:08:01 pm »


Day2 route



These curious Emu birds invaded the morning campsite and actually indulged in the braai ashes, reminded me of the local clever specie, the Ostrich.



Lovely open spaces for a big camping gathering like a GS Challenge. We were to meet the Land Rover couple at Sutherland again. The other family with cab and boswa was also a Wild Dog member, Haakbos, and they were on their way down from Khatu to Wildernis and the envy on his face not being on his 800GS was clear for all to see. Thanks for the Tafel the previous night at the braai.



Melton Wold reception. The place reminded me of the Rhodes Hotel in the Eastern Cape, same wooden floors and reception type experience. Nice lady, Jackie, that ensured our stay was enjoyable.



A day before the trip we were contemplating switching the dual purpose tyres for the more dirt oriented knobblies. How we wished we didn't stay 1000km away.




Peat had a camera pot mounted to his helmet 4km prior to this incident. Apart from my ego and a stiff knee, I was OK and so was the bike. My GPS indicated a 41km/h before the off and it happened so quickly I can only recall a sensation of WTF. Other than a  slightly  damaged top box and a small scratch on the side cover she was pretty much intact, beautiful machines these 1200's. The Boxer engine's layout was the saving grace for not worse humanly damage.



on a bike sometimes you win and sometimes you don't...but you never lose
 

Offline Jacoboos

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Re: A Karoo Adventure
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2011, 03:17:42 pm »


Peat had enough of drooling over muddy Beauty and decided to have it cleaned at the first water crossing and also for me to gather some composure. Beauty was the name of my bike when Peat bought his first GS, a black 1100. So it was Black and Beauty.



This road from the Riverine Rabbit Concervancy joins the R381 between Loxton and Beafort West.



One of my favourite roads, R381. Peat managed a 180km/h stint which shows how rideable this piece of gravel can be.





We turned off the R381 before Molteno pass onto this stunning picturesque road.





The Karoo was wet but the district of Beaufort West was experiencing a water crisis and travellers through town dropped thousands of litres of water for human consumption.




Here I was lying and absorbing the vastness of the surroundings.





Peat had a surprise or two in his top box and produced some of the best sardines I ever had.




Joining this road brought us to one of many passes carefully planned in the weeks leading to the trip. I must thank Trailrider for leading us onto some of these beautiful roads. Also Nic Yell for his writings in Circling The Great Karoo.













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Offline Jacoboos

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Re: A Karoo Adventure
« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2011, 03:24:03 pm »


Somewhere on the Oukloof road this awaited us.



I envy Peat for his folding chair he carries with him and he hates me for packing so light, you decide how you travel by motorbike.



Sit still for a while and the most amazing creatures start showing up.



Stunning formation of rocks and gorges.



Not sure if this was the actual pass, nevertheless, still breathtaking.



So many bikers must have been here, this is on many trip reports.



Another crossing. We met a farmer from Rooiheuwel Guest Farm that desperately wanted us to stay over. These farmers are so friendly and have no problem with adventure bikers exploring the area.
















on a bike sometimes you win and sometimes you don't...but you never lose
 

Offline Jacoboos

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Re: A Karoo Adventure
« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2011, 03:28:44 pm »


We got used to all the water and the riding was a real pleasure.



Onto Merweville which Peat struggle with pronouncing until he heard a Van der Merwe joke!



This looked serious but was very tame. A couple of hours earlier and I could believe it was not crossable. Peat took a couple of runs through to clean his bike. C'mon Peat, add the movies.




We arrived in Merweville and were ushered under roof at Springbok Lodge. Not having to pitch a tent was some relief as both of us were tired. The hosts were friendly and supplied us with a humongous braai pack and two salads. Solly, also a guest, supplied us with the most delicious garlic bread. That night we got little sleep as the mosquito’s bombarded us like Stuka's from WW2.




From right: Solly, Jan, son1, Jacoboos, Peat and son2. Kitchen right, sleeping behind and bikes share the space, wonderful.






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Offline Oupa Foe-rie

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Re: A Karoo Adventure
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2011, 03:29:36 pm »
Beautiful riding area .................. and a very nice report with piccies  :thumleft:
Yamaha XT1200Z ........... Take your soul everywhere and back
 

Offline Jacoboos

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Re: A Karoo Adventure
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2011, 03:49:32 pm »


Day3 - The trip pivoted around this route, what we came to experience...and what a day it turned out to be.



Front view of a campsite with a difference.



All these small towns have the most beautiful churches that have to be captured. This is Merweville.



Again, earlier it must have been in flood.



This river for which I couldn't find a name on my GPS or map, posed an initial threat but turned out to be fairly tame. It's on the outskirts of Merweville towards Sutherland.





And as we approached Rammelkop pass the mist got heavier, the going not too tuff, but no stunning photos of that beautiful view.



Not much one can do or see in these conditions, apart from cleaning the visor more often than not.



More gates to be opened and closed, Peat disappearing behind the camera.



Countless water crossings, just so to unsettle the rhythm a tad.



Finally we reached the top and the hills of Sutherland lies ahead.



The road surface has improved significantly and was easy going.



What difference water makes, great pic by Peat.






Pictures only makes you longing to be there!



We had to join a taarrgghh road somewhere.



Town of Sutherland in the distance. Known for it's low temperatures in the winter and perhaps for the unknown too..






















































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Offline DirtRebell

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Re: A Karoo Adventure
« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2011, 04:14:26 pm »
What a nice report - welldone :thumleft:
 

Offline Jacoboos

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Re: A Karoo Adventure
« Reply #30 on: January 03, 2011, 04:30:14 pm »
We identified our campsite, Sterland, next to the road before you enter Sutherland. Peat decided to get rid of his panniers for the round trip and got it locked away by the owner.  We fuelled the bikes, but did not take notice of the service hours for the next day, Sunday. From here it was onto the R354, left at Middelpos onto Tankwa and heading for Ouberg pass.



On route to Middelpos we had a fabulous lunch that Solly put together for us at Merweville in the morning, what a man!



See the camo donkey? Incidentally, every donkey has a cross on its back, ever noticed?



Middelpos, almost nothing happening here, there is a hotel however.



Memorial, not sure what this was for. "Ere aan God 1934-1964"



It was Peat's turn to alter an ego. Yesterday we decided where would not be a good place to go around the water. Here Peat had things under control up to a point. No damage, but hell that bike is heavy...without panniers. Not as heavy as "The Beast", a fabulous 1150GSA with whom Peat had a fling before "Titanium Steed". "Beauty and the Beast" had some wonderful trips together including Lesotho where Beauty almost drowned. But Titanium Steed is now the love in her life and the saga continuous.



Where not to ride, the side of the roads is where all the sand end up and water and sand mixes well to mud!



Trying to get it out of the mud, spinning with traction control galore.



While getting "Titanium Steed" out of the mud, barely 100meters away another Wild Dog was struggling. I think it was Soetduif, and he was on a solo trip.



The Tankwa Karoo apparently had about 150mm rain in one day, two days before, no wonder we were fighting the machines.



And there we were, what we wanted to see.



Not a difficult pass but a breathtaking view, also just in time...



Again, pictures can not tell.



They come to you if you have time.



Tankwa, I never told Peat about the possibility to damage a tyre irreparably, and we were lucky..



We saw a lot of them as the wind was pumping



We were fortunate regarding temperatures as the Karoo can get hot, very hot. It was only when we stopped that we realise it was damn hotter than earlier.



As we looked around we saw the storm chasing us and it was already covering the Gannaga pass, how lucky we were.



The landscape was as close to what Namibia offers and I was really enjoying it.



I now get tears in my eyes looking at this picture....



And Peat is looking at that storm..



Peat was running a newer version of T4A and it kept recalculating the route that was plotted on roads his GPS didn't recognised. He turned right and it took me a while before I could catch him! These GS’s can really motor, no matter what surface.



Once we turned left, we headed straight for the storm. Ouberg pass was left and we still wanted to see it.



It was truly under a cloud of dust and not much could be seen. The going was the most difficult of all passes I experienced but the bikes or rather riders behaved well.




As we got to the top we knew what was waiting, this time it was going to be wet and… and slippery!



A quick photo and we were off, trying to ride out the rain storm.



It was a hail storm, luckily we were at the edge of the storm. The rain coats didn't help the slightest against the punishment of the stones, and my leaking boots was wet all too quickly...again.



The roads were surprisingly easy going and no slipping whatsoever.





What an experience. The day started misty, then cleared for the most beautiful scenery, heated up to a snorter of a midday, almost blown off the bike by the wind, then chased by a sand storm, just to be confronted by a hail storm - how magnificent!



We got back late and our site was occupied, WTF. We got offered another not camping spot and it turned out to be better in any case. The ablutions were overcrowded as there was only one shower, toilet and basin for gents and the same for the ladies. The next morning, no water. Other campers were happy to be there as some  accommodation in town was even worse, really disappointing for Sutherland.



The owner offers star gazing evenings with his telescopes but we opted to have a braai and an early tuck inn.





































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Offline Trailrider

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Re: A Karoo Adventure
« Reply #31 on: January 03, 2011, 07:50:36 pm »
Great so far! 8) Glad you liked the routes. Some weather you had! :o
 

Offline Ian in Great Brak River

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Re: A Karoo Adventure
« Reply #32 on: January 03, 2011, 09:06:50 pm »
Mooi man, Mooi !!
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 sweetspot

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Re: A Karoo Adventure
« Reply #33 on: January 03, 2011, 09:22:01 pm »
Aw ' SOME Ride , they don't call it adventouring for nothing  :thumleft:
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Offline Jacoboos

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Re: A Karoo Adventure
« Reply #34 on: January 04, 2011, 09:54:45 am »
Day 4



Today is the last of the Karoo exploring days. We would have had an extra day if it was not for some work commitments. Luckily for that, I think our timing was God foreseen and we managed the roads quite well. If we had come one day earlier as initially planned, we would have been in deep mud, or trouble.



The usual coffee and rusks went down as great as the first time on the trip. Both Peat and I are coffee lovers and each carries his own brand of brewing. Peat upgraded to a larger percolator recently that works excellent and the aroma early in the morning is enough motivation not to sit around too long. I have been using a plunger since the 90's and acquire a Jet boiler to speed up the process of getting going earlier.



Why is it that we can't resist taking pictures with churches and bikes. There must be a common relation, perhaps the freedom of the spirit within.




Not knowing if it will be open on a Sunday at around 8am we found the entrance easy accessible and opted to have a look. I found the emblem of one founder comical as it still displays the original CSIR logo, it has been changed twice in the last twenty years. This I know as I've been with the organisation almost 30 years.



"Cast of the famous fossilized skull found in 1947 by Dr Robert Broom and John Robinson in Sterkfontein caves near Krugersdorp. It was the world's most complete skull of a species (Australopithecus africanus) which many paleontologists believe may be the ancestor of all humankind. Although this skull is affectionately known as Mrs Ples, recent research has shown that it is probably male rather than female (Original in Transvaal Museum)"



South African Large Telescope model in the observatory museum. While waiting for a guided tour to start at 9am we wondered through the museum and pressed all buttons of the displayed models to try and get some reaction.



As both Peat and I are opto-mechanical designers, we were fascinated by the construction of the telescope.



The tour started thankfully earlier and we were taken inside this huge white eskimo dome-like house. We were hindered by the glass panel preventing people to get closer, but it is understandable, imagine running around this thing like on a jungle gym. Anyway, the guide was talking in general about cost, time and why, and Peat was not interested in the bla-bla-bla and asked some complex questions, putting the guide on his back foot, eventually allowing Peat to explain some finer detail of the lay out, construction reasoning and material choice of the mirrors. I enjoyed his enthusiasm and the look on the other visitors faces were priceless. Good on you mate!



We had lots of pictures of us and the bikes taken alongside, but this picture of it uncluttered illustrates the majestic presence of an almost statue we can be proud of. Our department at the CSIR did quote on a specific task but it never materialised.



More telescopes. Here my camera was playing up with battery problems and I struggled to get it going. Luckily it was only some contact issues and could be resolved.



In the distance is a koppie. That according to our guide was one of the last active volcano’s that ruled this area.



on a bike sometimes you win and sometimes you don't...but you never lose
 

Offline Rynet

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Re: A Karoo Adventure
« Reply #35 on: January 04, 2011, 10:48:11 am »
awesome
I just new those pots had to be good for something

Hehe I love my pots , have put them to VERY good use over the last few years, they have saved my legs many a time   :mwink:

Lekker report and some stunning photos there guys :thumleft: , and yes LOVE that pirouette  :laughing4:
 

Offline Jacoboos

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Re: A Karoo Adventure
« Reply #36 on: January 04, 2011, 12:44:40 pm »


View from observatory site. Millions of years ago it was under water...millions of years ago...can one fathom that



So it was back onto the waterways. Maybe we don't have to try and think back millions of years, it is still here!



Such a beautiful creature. They were quite curious and came close up to Peat. Probably wanted to find out how they can convert to a GSA.



Peat's GPS was recalculating and forced him right again. Some cars were approaching from the front and we could see sprays of water and mud as they traverse through a water crossing. Maybe that is what forced mate Peat to rather go right!



Okay, it could have been this nice entrance to private owned land that made him dive right, so he continued and I could suddenly not hear his Remus baffling away....



What a great ambush the water played out to be, and the expression on that face, ah man, priceless. I shall let Peat explain what happened here, he will do it much better than my attempt.



Does he look chuffed or what. Let me tell you this again. "He ain’t heavy he's my brother" sucks, big time!!

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Offline Jacoboos

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Re: A Karoo Adventure
« Reply #37 on: January 04, 2011, 01:08:10 pm »


So we carried on from where we were before we turned right. Now this detour starts about 11km after the observatory off the R356 on the way to Fraserburg and is a must. Earlier on this morning we found the fuel service station in Sutherland only open from 11.30am to noon. Peat's GSA carries 13L more fuel than my standard GS. With about 110km from Sutherland to Fraserburg and our round route the previous day of 260km I was not too concerned about not making it. We had enough fuel with Peat but we didn't carry a transfer pipe. The detour added 30km to the route and we decided to do it anyway. Peat can fetch fuel or we can get a pipe from someone on route should it be necessary. In any case, my bike behave exceptionally well on fuel averaging around 24km/l since we left Melton Wold.



This detour road as indicated on a map is the P2259. I'm still wondering what the R356 would have been liked at the same time. More reason to come back.



These ruins of maybe home shed years gone be is now just good enough for a kraal. The walls are about half a meter thick but the weakness must have been the roof trusses and thatch roof.



Being a happy Fortuner owner I was wondering about this upside down chassis, could this perhaps be the first generation (val-ommer) to traverse these parts of the world, maybe a Jap also travelled these roads and said "ah, Hillux can go hear, so I bring family in station wagon"



The stunning Great Karoo in all it's glory.



I decided to add another feature to the BMW already overboard electronic aids. This is called PWA (Parking Without Assist) As I entered this washed away river crossing, I was late in realising it was slush and the belly pan kept the bike from sinking like the Titanic.



All around the bike wash slush and it took some effort to get her out. First levelling the bike, drag it away, get it up, start and wile revving it dropped the clutch and with additional means of paddling she reached shore.



Peat had the luxury of traction control and after finding that elusive first gear got through with no trouble. G's&G's, I now believe in all these moffie assistance the marketing guru's throw down our throats. There is a video which I hope Peat will add to demonstrate what that extra moola is worth for buying assistance.


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Offline KwaiPappaGaai

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Re: A Karoo Adventure
« Reply #38 on: January 04, 2011, 01:10:20 pm »
Looks like you guys had a nice time! Geez, that hale must have been crazy!  :-\
 

Offline Walkaway

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Re: A Karoo Adventure
« Reply #39 on: January 04, 2011, 01:22:17 pm »
This report has been brilliant - thanks again. :thumleft:
What would life be like if we had no courage to attempt anything ?