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Offline Ysterman

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Boys just wanna have fun - KZN Ride April 2007
« on: May 04, 2007, 11:38:55 am »
This ride report is a bit overdue and the memory has been severely troubled in the mean time by a visit to Germany and way too many beers and Killepitsch (a liqueur only sold in DĂ?ÂĽsseldorf, unique in the world.  You can drink it right in front of the pub.  It is a liqueur for the stomach. It is mild with a strong end - 50 different herbs).  This is it ?

 

Anyway, this was the plan or rather how it turned out:  

5th April  - Jburg to Memel Thursday 5th April
6th April  - Memel to Tugela Ferry
7th April ? Zingela
8th April ? Tugela Ferry to Babanango
9th April ? back to Jburg

The tracks for the trip:



Between all the riders and non-riders, a million photo?s were taken ? fantastic memories for the trip, but I can unfortunately only show you a couple.

Day 1 & 2:

The ride to Memel was fast.  Minor traffic problems in Jburg with the long weekend took us a bit longer to leave the big smoke behind, but once we escaped it was a nice ride with only two incidents.  The first, we get pulled over by three traffic cops just outside Heidelberg cause two of the bikes had no number plates ? but with good explanations (maybe more because we were accompanied by an ingelsman from Tugela Ferry that spoke the Zulu language quite pretty) we were soon on our way again.  

Next, I nearly took myself out leading the pack by not concentrating on the cars breaking hard in front of me (a gentleman in a new model Disco overtook a truck ? realise that they will not make it and decided to go right onto the dirt next to the tar ? this means that from where I am riding there is an oncoming truck in the right hand lane, cars breaking furiously in front of me and an oncoming Disco left of me on the dirt).  Somehow I just managed to stop with a meter to spare ? and with a heart screaming for brandewyn & coke to calm it down.

The evening at the Memel hotel was an enormous success as always with a five star breakfast the following morning ? the only meal until much later ?

What a fantastic day it was ? awesome roads, scenery and adventure.  From Memel we went over Mullers Pass, past Fort Mistake, the Maria Ratschitz Mission (recently in the news where a nun died trying to save another life from a burning hospice) and filled up at Wasbank.  The final stretch to Tugela Ferry was supposed to be just a normal ride but turned out to be an adventure, but more on that a little bit later.

The Memel surroundings, pretty as always.





Down Mullers Pass and further.









The turnoff to G?s spruit ?



A quick stop at the Maria Ratschitz Mission turnoff.



Wasbank,  nothing much to say here ?



If memory serves me correct, this is going up ?Jobskop?, the view from the top and going down.









Then the day turned into one big adventure.  We decided to take the scenic route to Tugela Ferry at Wintershoek just before the Sundays River.  The jeep track wasn?t mapped on any of the GPS maps, but it appeared to go exactly where we wanted ? and we had enough time ?

Following the jeep track next to the river and the local village.



And then the road stopped ?  Lucky for us the ingelsman chatted to a local mama which ensured us that there is a path and that we will make it easy ? yeah right.  In the photo below, next to the Sundays River, you can just make out the road on the other side ? 600m as the crow fly.  That was 13:30 and with nothing to eat since Memel?s fabulous breakfast.  



First, as good GS riders do, we scouted & walked the river to make sure we can go thru.  With the path plotted thru the river, missing the underwater rocks etc it was time to plot the road to the point of entrance at the river.  Two options ? the fun way and the easy way.  The fun way included some river sand ? bliksem this sand was totally f$%&ed, deep and soft and with mud below it.  Within 10m the GSA went down twice (gently though) ? got so stuck that it took moerse boere strength to get it out.  



Just, just managed to get it out of the sand onto the river bank.  So the fun plan was canned immediately and we took the easy grass riverbank option.



And then we crossed the river one at a time.  And as mates do, the two not crossing were armed and ready with cameras to capture the first poor idiot drowning his bike.  But nothing of the kind and our confidence were at an all time high concurring the road thus far ? ready for whatever was ahead.  Time now 14:05.







After a couple of hundred meters up the footpath going up the hill, our first obstacle ? nothing too much, just a narrow section for the GSA?s to go thru.  And this is the second time that my leg got caught between a rock and a 250kg GSA ? time for those Rallye type boots me thinks.





And then there was sh$t ? the footpath turned into an almost nonnegotiable riverbed with rocks and loose stuff.  We had to stop.  



There was no way we could continue all the way up this footpath.  And there was no way that we will turn around.  So, all that was left was to criss-cross the hill/bush on foot and simply find a ?path? to get out.  And we did.  Some of what we were up against ? this bit we still did ride, however had to move a couple of biggish rocks.



Getting thru the bush and the unforgiving terrain was hard work.  We took a break a third of the way up.  By now I was really moeg.



Getting to the second stop (two thirds up).



But the Dakar was nowhere to be seen.  The Dakar has died.  A dead battery was suspected and first we tried to give it a running start.  Now imagine this ? its dense bush, there is no open space for longer than 5m and it?s sh$t uneven terrain.  After a number of attempts we wisely gave up.  Thoroughly f$%&ed by now I was ? can?t remember when last I was so blerrie moeg.  Only option was to push the damn Dakar out of there, up the hill to the road still about 250m away.



Taking a break ? almost there, another 30m to go.







And then we were out onto the dirt road ? time now 15:25, almost 2hrs to get thru and effectively move 600m!  But we have had our adventure!  And we were happy or relieved I?m not too sure!  But we were not finished yet.  The Dakar was still dead.  First tried to pull it with the GSA, but we didn?t have a tow rope.  So we tried some innovative ideas, which I will not mention, but had to give up on that.  Then tried another couple of running/push starts with no luck ? gave up on that too.  Next plan, push the bike to around the corner where there is a nice downhill for a good start.



No such bloody luck!  The Dakar refuses to start.  OK, time for a new plan.  We phone G?s brother to come and pick up the Dakar & we (me & G) will meet him somewhere.  sob89 had to stay behind and make sure the locals doesn?t turn his Dakar into furniture and some home dĂ?©cor for their huts ?

Very conveniently, G found this local store for us & decided that it was an excellent spot to meet his brother.  Time to make a plan with the dry throats, cause by now our water has also sort of run out.



At last, help arrives and we load the Dakar.



Entertainment on the side of the road while we load the bike.  Word of mouth has it that sob89 made some good mates while waiting for us to return ?  



By now it was 17:40 and getting late.  But we are not worried.  The lovely skies on the way home to Tugela Ferry.





Well, we arrived at Tugela Ferry quite late and in the dark around 18:30.  The ride there from where we picked up the Dakar was also lekker with a couple of rain drops on the way.  Nothing like dust and rain together in the dark, it really screws with your visor.

All in all an awesome day, ended with good food & Jamesons ? and the most important of all off course ? good mates.

To be continued ?
 

Offline Ratel

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Boys just wanna have fun - KZN Ride April 2007
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2007, 11:50:04 am »
Respect!!

 :shock:

So what was the story with the Dakar then?
"Stercus accidit..."
 

Offline Clockwork Orange

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Boys just wanna have fun - KZN Ride April 2007
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2007, 12:05:26 pm »
Good going chaps. Great determination shown. I  think I have seen in previous threads that there is not starting the Dakar if the battery is fugged.
When in doubt...grab throttle!!!
 

Offline Ysterman

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Boys just wanna have fun - KZN Ride April 2007
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2007, 01:49:59 pm »
Quote from: "Ratel"
So what was the story with the Dakar then?

Ja die battery was klaar.

We even tried to "jump" it with makeshift "jumper leads" - G cut his (or his wife's I think) camcorder charger cable to use.  It did start but as soon as you disconnect it - the Dakar died again.
 

Offline sidetrack

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Boys just wanna have fun - KZN Ride April 2007
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2007, 03:37:50 pm »
Nice report ! Ah the dreaded Canbus system strikes again  :evil:
Little by little, one travels far
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http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=241580.msg4325284#msg4325284
 

Offline Grootseun

Boys just wanna have fun - KZN Ride April 2007
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2007, 03:55:00 pm »
Nice report so far, good goinmg on that technical bit.

DD Dakar does not have canbus.. 8)
 

Offline sidetrack

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Boys just wanna have fun - KZN Ride April 2007
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2007, 04:03:03 pm »
Quote from: "Grootseun"
Nice report so far, good goinmg on that technical bit.

DD Dakar does not have canbus.. 8)


Well good then  :D
Little by little, one travels far
J.R.R Tolkien

Help make the TSAT a reality
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Offline Mark Hardy

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Boys just wanna have fun - KZN Ride April 2007
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2007, 09:23:05 am »
Quote
All in all an awesome day, ended with good food & Jamesons ? and the most important of all off course ? good mates.


True recipe of any great ride :) . Thanks for the reprt and pics. :)
 

Offline MuttsNutts

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Boys just wanna have fun - KZN Ride April 2007
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2007, 06:10:56 pm »
Nice one, Well done
 

Offline bmad

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Boys just wanna have fun - KZN Ride April 2007
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2007, 07:51:59 am »
Very nice Ysterman :thumbleft:

Where is the rest :?:
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!
 

Offline Ysterman

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Boys just wanna have fun - KZN Ride April 2007
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2007, 11:51:46 am »
Day 3 & 4 & 5

Day three was a relaxed day, but first there was some serious engineering / auto-electrician work to be done on the Dakar.  The verdict on the starting problem on the Dakar was indeed a dead battery ? no water in the cells normally does that to a battery.  We could jump start it, but as soon as the cables are disconnected it dies ? to overcome this a torch 12V battery was used to keep it running with ?permanent? jumper cables connected in addition.  The solution below:



The plan for the day was to take an easy ride to Zingela Lodge next to the Tugela River.  Nice ride there, especially the first hill up into the Sun Valley Nature reserve ? not too hectic but still good fun with the potential mishap if you?re not careful.  Me going up the hill ? the photo doesn?t do justice ?



Zingela Lodge ? very nice place.  Had an excellent lunch, enjoyed a couple of drinks and just relaxed there for the day.  And I must admit it was really cheap for the lunch and drinks ? will go again.  The view from the parking lot.



And then day 4 arrived.  It started off as a normal day on dirt and ended as another fantastic adventure in Africa!  Destination was Babanango hotel, unfortunately I cant remember where all the stops & photos were taken anymore.  

First stop for the day was on this pass with the local village or town in the background.  Everything seems fairly innocent at first, but if you look carefully at the next photo ? this is a dumping ground for stolen / hijacked car parts ... an engine in the foreground and lots of aother parts in the bushes and trees ...





A brief stop next to a lady in a traditional dress for married woman.



Another stop at a roadside caf�© ? it appeared that the weather will turn up ahead and time to put on the rain gear.



Nice dirt roads here thru the local villages.



And the weather did change ? stopping for a break and more warmer gear.



The Dakar strikes again ? this time with a flat front wheel.



The road up to now was the scenic dirt version from Tugela Ferry to Kranskop.  After a quick bite to eat and meeting up with the ladies in the 4x4?s, we headed off to Babanango via Jameson?s Drift.  Stunning views alongside the pass before Jameson?s.





The view from the top, crossing over the mountain before going down to Jameson?s Drift.  Unfortunately these areas haven?t been scanned by Google Earth so it also doesn?t help me to pinpoint the locations.  Next time I?ll remember to mark the waypoints ?



The KTM giving some problems, but nothing too serious.



Jameson?s Drift.



Crossing the bridge.



By now we are seriously hungry and we?re planning the route ahead and where to stop for lunch.



Lunch!  Everybody having a jol ? times like this it?s just fantastic to ride with vehicles carrying eats & drinks.  And a good thing we stopped here, because the day was about to start with some serious fun!



Soon after the stop, we started climbing a pass.  Nothing too serious at first, a bit wet and slippery but still going strong.  And then everything changed.  Almost all the bikes took a breather around this corner and went lying down for a minute.  The road turned into snot ? it was time to walk the bikes and even that wasn?t going to ensure the bikes stay upright.



The golf behind me didn?t make it much further.



? and the next moment the bike started to go down ? but somehow I managed to hold on ?



The Dakar on its side with sob89 struggling to pick it up in the slippery mud with the KTM getting his stop all wrong and busy going down ?



Walking the bikes ?  There was a couple of vehicles stuck and not going anywhere for a day or two at least.



We made it down the hill ?



And even the girls had fun!  Just look at that mud and the Touareg battling to stay on the road.  And the hubby?s walking next their lady?s ?



What goes down must go up again ?



My favourite pick of the trip.  The fog rolled in and visibility was really bad.  Unfortunately missed a lot of the scenery which looked very pretty every now and then for a couple of seconds thru an opening in the mist.



Stopping to wait for all to catch up and ensure that all is still ok.





Then we bumped into these guys coming back from a day at the races ?



It turned dark way before we got to Babanango ? still on dirt road.  With the Dakar?s problems, we had to disconnect the headlight and when we were caught by bad light, I had to ride next to the Dakar so that sob89 could at least see where he was going.  This wasn?t any fun ? riding side by side at a reasonable speed on an unknown narrow dirt road with bad light and thick fog!  And this was followed by a tar section on which we rode even faster ? not clever.

Well, we made it safe to Babanango!  Ended the day with a good meal, more Jameson?s and cricket world cup on telly.



And then it was the final day.  We hit tar to the Battlefield of Isandhlwana & the Battle of Rorke's Drift.  



Here the group split up, with the Jburgers taking the dirt roads via Dundee to Utrecht.  Spotted another GSA rider in town, filled up the bikes and decided we will take tar back home.

A fantastic weekend it was - lots of memories, great fun & adventure!  Thanks to all for making it such an awesome weekend.

Until the next ride

Cheers

Ysterman
 

Offline Clockwork Orange

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Boys just wanna have fun - KZN Ride April 2007
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2007, 12:00:08 pm »
WOW, that really looks like awesome fun. Well done to you guys for perservering.
When in doubt...grab throttle!!!
 

Offline Grootseun

Boys just wanna have fun - KZN Ride April 2007
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2007, 12:07:42 pm »
arrrrgggghhhh!!!!! the mudbitch in all her gory glory...

RESPECT

Well done to all, a great trip with lotsa adventure

 8)
 

Offline sob89

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Dankie
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2007, 04:06:25 pm »
Dankie Ysterman, goed gedoen!

I can report that the battery was completely dry!!!
Even after I was told it had been serviced and charged!???

So however difficult it is on the Dakar, check your battery as regulary as possible, because she don't go anywhere when the battery is dead!
 

Offline Grootseun

Boys just wanna have fun - KZN Ride April 2007
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2007, 04:14:55 pm »
I checked my battery water level as well the other day, shocked to see that  it was well below the required level..

now i make a point od checking it regulalry.. one cant trust thme stealerships.
 

Offline Stephan

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Boys just wanna have fun - KZN Ride April 2007
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2007, 04:41:07 pm »
Great report. :thumbright:  That mud is a real bitch!  Just came back from a trip and now you've got me itching again!
Hard reality does not often coincide with the people's wishes - Nelson Mandela
 

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Boys just wanna have fun - KZN Ride April 2007
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2007, 10:25:42 pm »
Respect! Doing the hard core wif da beeg peegs! :thumbleft:
 

Offline bmad

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Boys just wanna have fun - KZN Ride April 2007
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2007, 07:23:57 am »
Ysterman, why is it called final report :?:
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!
 

Offline Ysterman

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Boys just wanna have fun - KZN Ride April 2007
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2007, 02:50:18 pm »
Quote from: "bmad"
Ysterman, why is it called final report :?:

O hell, the ingels let me down ? wrong choice of words  :oops:

Should read:  ek is nou klaar met die trip report