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Offline LeonDude

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Re: Rides, Reflections and Repairs Year end bash via Namibia
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2011, 04:05:45 pm »
Thanks guys, Day 7 coming up.  :thumleft:
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Offline LeonDude

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Re: Rides, Reflections and Repairs Year end bash via Namibia
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2011, 04:22:45 pm »
Day 7
Night camp to Bash Venue



I get up before five in the morning, with some urgency to get the show on the road. Cave Girl had to get up during the night for pain medication, so Im not at all sure how the days riding will go. Initially her leg is stiff, but after excersizing it for a while she finds she can move without too much difficulty, as long as she doesnt bend the knee too far.
I try to do most of the work to pack up camp and get the bikes loaded, but CG doesnt go down easily and she helps with everything, so by seven we are ready to roll out of there.

Knowing full well that we cannot afford another off, I tell her that we are not going to ride the gravel beds anymore, we will paddle the bikes through them. This goes fine for the first gravel bed, but its hard work. The second gravel bed is longer, and paddling through it drains our energy. We have no alternative but to ride them. We still take it slow, but riding through the sand instead of trying to paddle them makes life a lot easier.

After less than an hours riding I suddenly hear an almighty noise behind me, and Im not at all surprised to find that its Jules and wife Li overtaking us at Jules usual mad pace.
They stop and pull over for greetings and some photos. It turns out they had camped very close to where we had camped. Jules tells us that hed actually stopped at the point where CG had gone down and pointed it out to Li you really couldnt miss that big piece of farm that now belongs to CG.



On the whole gravel road, we were only passed by one truck, and Jules and Li. That really is a desolate place, where houses are scattered few and far between.
At some stage a cold front sweeps in from the west, and we have to stop and put on warm clothes. This is much more pleasant than trying to keep cool, and I think we were both glad for that cold front. For now, that is.





The riding in the morning is once again spectacular. With the mountains to our right and more open ground to our left this really was a great place to ride through. We concentrate hard on the road though, because the little gravel beds are well hidden and will catch you out if you dont take care.


 



The rest of the road to where the gravel road meets the tar C13 goes without incident. We turn left on the tar road and head South to Rosh Pinah, where we try for the first time to buy coffee at a Wimpy. We are unsuccessful though, the Wimpy is closed down and we have to push on. So far on this trip, we have not had one meal or even a coffee out of a Wimpy.
Just south of Rosh Pinah the tar road runs out, and after signing it at some security gate we take the road through the Ais Ais National park. This road starts off with a sign that warns that the road is in a very bad condition for 80 kilometers. The sign really did not disappoint us, but unfortunately it was not good at all. It is true that the scenery on the road was very good, and the roads twists and turns along the Orange river with high mountain sides to our left. But, the road was very badly corrugated and just no fun to ride at all.







At one point we pass a person sitting in a car that had rolled, waiting for help to come. I decide not to take a picture of him, it would probably not make him feel any better.






After eighty kilometers of bone jarring corrugations we get back to tar, and its a beautifull road, still twisting along the Orange, but now with lush green vineyards between the river and the road.

Soon though, we reach the little town of Noordoewer, and after filling our bikes with petrol we run through the quick Namibian border formalities and head back over the river and into South Africa. Here we wait a bit longer because theres a big family crossing over into Namibia, but once we get helped it goes quick again, Im sure it was not more than ten minutes once we got helped at the first counter to when we were finished.
From there its a hop, skip and a jump to the bash site, where we take a bit of time to locate an empty site and set up camp. Then, of course, the kuiering broke out in full, and Im sure you have read more than enough about it on the bash thread!

In case youve noticed that my GPS track sometimes has bits missing, its because the batteries sometimes die. I dont like looking at the GPS much when Im riding, (I keep my eyes on the road!) so sometimes Ill do a few kilometres before I notice that the GPS is dead.

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Offline LeonDude

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Re: Rides, Reflections and Repairs Year end bash via Namibia
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2011, 04:36:24 pm »
Day 8
Bash Day

Im not going to tell you much about the bash, as the bash thread has enough of that, but Ill add a few of my photos here.
Bash day was, however, our rest day and the day that I had to do maintenance to our bikes and camping stuff, and CG did a whole lot of washing and other things.

This is what CGs air filter looked like after shed followed me on dusty roads for a week. Im sure her bike was a bit relieved to get that filter swapped out!



Kamp KiLRoy, with some of the usual suspects.


Camp Commander KiLRoy himself.


So the morning passed quickly, and then it was time to get the groot kuier going again.
We knew we had a far road to go the next morning though, so even though we kuiered hard, we kept our drinking down, and actually went to sleep quite early.

Stoetie entertaining us with some superb impersonations.



Misty and eSKaPe having sundowners on the river


The beautiful view from the bash site.

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Offline DRAZIL

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Re: Rides, Reflections and Repairs Year end bash via Namibia
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2011, 04:48:30 pm »
fantastic trip you both had. :thumleft:
Good to have seen you and Sharon again. :thumleft:
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Offline LeonDude

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Re: Rides, Reflections and Repairs Year end bash via Namibia
« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2011, 05:17:42 pm »
fantastic trip you both had. :thumleft:
Good to have seen you and Sharon again. :thumleft:
Thansk Drazil, hope we see you soon!
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Offline LeonDude

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Re: Rides, Reflections and Repairs Year end bash via Namibia
« Reply #25 on: November 21, 2011, 05:18:06 pm »
Day 9
Bash site to Port Nolloth.



Sunday morning we pack up carefully and say our goodbuys to the guys at the bash, then roll out of the campsite and head North.



The plan is to ride through the Richtersveldt on a path that LuckyStriker had told me about in the planning thread. On this path I was to re learn a lesson youd think Id know by now. The lesson is simply this what one person sees as a good path is not a good path for the next person.





Not knowing the condition of this path, I had miscalculated how far we would be able to ride for the day, and instead of sleeping at Die Houthoop that night, we only made it as far as Port Nolloth.





That path was for the most nothing more than a 4 X 4 track that ran for hundreds of meters through pieces of dry riverbed, climbed over hills as steep as that of Mafefe and down again. The path itself was boulder strewn and I found myself paddling my bike over some of the more gnarly stuff. A few times I had to take CGs bike through some of the rougher patches, but mostly she rode it herself.







After seven days of riding our confidence was great, and even though we found the path challenging we were enjoying it tremendously. At one point I came flying around a corner a bit too fast and hit a sand patch, almost losing the back wheel. I managed to keep it going though, and took the next left bend at the end of the sandy patch and then looked for a level piece of ground to stop and tell myself to cool it before I got hurt. I got off the bike and took off my helmet, and immediately noticed that CGs engine was quiet. I walked back around the bend and there she was, once again resting next to her bike. This time the only injury was to her pride though, and the bike had landed on the berm so it was standing almost straight up, and we quickly righted the situation and continued on our way. Once again, I did not take any photos of the bike lying down, I was far too concerned about CG.







CGs bike has been lowered, and of course this was to have a bit of a consequince. At one stage, on a particularly rocky and steep uphill, she parked the bike on a stone on the bashplate. It was a bit of a dance to get her off the bike and me onto it, and then I still had to take the bike back a bit so that I could clear the obstacle to the left as the bike was just not high enough to climb over the step up. Once again Grootseuns training took over, and after struggling to get the bike into first I could slowly let the bike run back bit by bit, while all the time CG was shouting at me that I was going to go over the edge and fall into the ravine if I went back even one more bit. I almost dropped the bike, but fortunately CG helped me keep it upright, then I got going and squeezed the bike through a little gap in the rocks and we were out of trouble again.






In the end, the track took the two of us two and a half hours to complete. That is two and a half hours to do fifty kilometers from the bash site to the end of the track. (The track itself is about thirty kilometers long). I rate that track amongst the top ten of the best rides I have ever done, and if you are ever in the vacinity and your bike skills and bike is up to it, it is a must do. Even Cave Girl, although she needed a bit of help from me, thought that it was one of the best rides she had ever done. The scenery is spectacular, and I promise you my photos just cannot do the area justice.
At one point we stopped and were passed by two other bikers coming from the bash, who quickly stopped to enquire if everything was ok. Thanks for stopping guys, its always nice to know that the dogs care about each other.

And so we hit the end of the track, and turn North once again to Eksteenfontein. This road turns out to be extremely sandy and corrugated.









By this time we hardly notice the sand, but the corrugations will forever be an issue. In Eksteenfontein, which is just a collection of houses, we find a guy on a superbike screaming up the road with no kit whatsoever, not even a helmet. And when I say road, I use the word loosely.
If they have superbikes here, the road to Alexander Bay must be in very good condition, we tell each other, but apparently he got that bike home on the back of a 4 X 4. Right after Eksteenfontein the bad stuff starts again, up and down and in the riverbed, its as if were back on LuckyStrikers path again. This time I dont have to help CG with any of the obstacles, but the condition of the path slows us down again, and by the time we hit the main road we are very, very late.
Its past three when we eventually get to Alexander bay, and were tired and hungry. Its
Sunday afternoon too, so we find the only open caf and buy a loaf of bread and a tin of bully beef for CG and a tin of Sardines for me, then we head off to the mouth of the Orange river for our next goal of the trip, to visit the western most point of South Africa. (Earlier this year wed done the Northernmost point).



Stupid bloody Vaalie, playing on the beach in full ATGATT.


There we eat our lunch at half past three, and somehow I let myself be talked into riding the hundred or so kilos to Port Nolloth by CG. So back on the bikes we go, and we hit the slab down to Port Nolloth, which we reach, after once again stopping to put on warm clothes, about an hour before sundown. Once again Sunday afternoon bites us as all the restuarants are closed. We book ourselves into the hotel in a room with a balcony overlooking the ocean, and spend a fantastic time having sundowners and taking as many photographs of the sun setting over the Atlantic as we can. Then we have a shower and head down to the hotels restaurant, where we blow our budget on supper.



What a sunset!


I really enjoyed the bit of Port Nolloth that I saw while I was there, and would like to go back to spend a few days there.

Great news, my book 'Sniffer' has seen the light of day on Amazon Kindle!
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Offline Cave Girl

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Re: Rides, Reflections and Repairs Year end bash via Namibia
« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2011, 05:47:12 pm »
Port Nolloth was stunning and I just wish we had an extra rest day to have been able to spend a few more hours there!
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Offline Heimer

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Re: Rides, Reflections and Repairs – Year end bash via Namibia
« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2011, 05:53:44 pm »
I did that same road a few years ago and can confirm there are few things that compare to reaching Port Nolloth, some beers and the cool west coast ocean after traversing the richtersveld.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 05:54:24 pm by Heimer »

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Re: Rides, Reflections and Repairs Year end bash via Namibia
« Reply #28 on: November 21, 2011, 05:58:22 pm »
You were lucky with the weather in Port Nolloth.  It's usually either fogged-in or sand-blasted.  But, yes, it's a cool place. I don't know if there's still a golf course on the salt pan.  You could drive the ball for a kilometer and had to use a bakkie to get around.  The balls were painted bright colours so you could find them.
 

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Re: Rides, Reflections and Repairs Year end bash via Namibia
« Reply #29 on: November 21, 2011, 05:59:02 pm »
lekker ride LD and CG.
just found the RR now,  and am glad i did.
keep it coming.
 

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Re: Rides, Reflections and Repairs Year end bash via Namibia
« Reply #30 on: November 21, 2011, 06:42:24 pm »
Nice one CG and LD.
Jip that's the spring on the farm Huns.
This how I looked like in April of this year in the same drif. The mud just caught my frontwheel and I went down.
Drowning my R5000 camera!!!! Let it be known this driffie has a camera fetish!!!! :deal:
Also note that I was still under my bike when my fellow WD and friend first took a pic before
coming to help me!!!! Dankie Stofdonkie!! :thumleft:



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Offline GRUNT

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Re: Rides, Reflections and Repairs Year end bash via Namibia
« Reply #31 on: November 21, 2011, 06:50:31 pm »
Very, very nice! this is adventure riding at its best :thumleft:
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Offline LeonDude

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Re: Rides, Reflections and Repairs Year end bash via Namibia
« Reply #32 on: November 23, 2011, 05:52:13 pm »
Day 10

Port Nolloth to Springbok



Early in the morning we make coffee and take it down to the beach, where we spend some time just chatting on the rocks.









 Before we leave town CG stops to buy some painkillers for her knee which is still hurting, and in the pharmacy she comes upon a good camera which she buys, so now she can take photos again.

Some photos of our bikes, sporting stickers from all over place.




We were supposed to have spent the previous night at Die Houthoop after hearing many good things about the place, but having only reached Port Nolloth we were a bit off our track, and changed the route accordingly, deciding to slab it to Springbok and then on to Augrabies falls where we would spend the night.
A few kilometers out of Port Nolloth we find two bikers next to the road. I pull over to see if I can help, and its the two bikers that had stopped to find out if we were ok in the Richtersveldt. One of them is just pumping a bit of fuel out of a fuel reserve, so all is well. Sorry guys, I did not get your names. I hope you guys had a safe journey further.
We leave the guys and head out again, but I soon find that CG is missing.
I stop and wait for her, and once again she shows up with a sick bike. The bike is doing what it had done outside of Prieska. This time I go straight for the draining plug on the carb, but this time it doesnt work, the bike wont rev higher than two thousand revs. So once again the luggage is undone and I start faultfinding as I go along, eventually replacing the spark plug after once again stripping off all the plastics and the petrol tank.
Nothing, nada, the bike just wont rev. We decide to limp further to the next town, hoping we will be able to find help there. The next town is Steinkopf, and if you have ever been there youd know there is nothing there but a few houses.
However, when CG tries to start the bike it refuses to start. It just makes a weird sucking noise. Now Im going to find the fault, I think as I try to find the sucking noise, but unfortunately I trace the sucking sound to where I had forgotten to re attach the fuel line and suction hose after testing. Miraculously, when I re attach these the bike suddenly fires correctly, and I tell CG to go for gold while the going is good.
We roll into Springbok at around lunchtime.

Springbok comes as another pleasant surprise to me. I had always thought of Springbok as a dusty town on flat plains where the sun will kill you if it finds you alone. Instead it is a beautiful little town nestled in the mountains. We have lunch at a restaurant and then head out for Augrabies.
About eighteen kilometers out of Springbok Cave Girls bike starts acting up again. Its doing the same thing spluttering and caughing above two thousand RPM.
We decide to limp back to Springbok to find a garage that can have a look at the bike. Back in Springbok we ride the broken bike all around town, but there is no bike shop and nobody else is prepared to have a look at the bike. Its getting late, so we find a camping spot and CG starts making arrangements to have the bike traillered.

Because of CGs bike being broken I have to go buy supper that night, and cant resist taking this photo. Yes, you get disabled Harley riders even out in Springbok.


I make phone calls to try to find out what the fault can be, and with a bit of encouragement from CG decide to strip the carburator. Now you have to understand that Ive never done this kind of thing before and Im very apprehensive, but I keep on bugging my old mate Groenie for advice over the phone and eventually find a bit of dirt in one of the jets.

Groenie, I got trouble mate, this thing aint going anymore


Wait, wait, I think those thingies are whatsanames. Do you remember how it looked before I took it apart?


This looks like that jet thingy Groenie was on about! Let me just take it out and try to look good for the camera.




Little did I know that this was in fact the idle jet, not the main jet. I also found a surprising amount of grit in the float bowl.
Surprisingly, when I put everything back together the bike roars into life.

GENIUS, IM A GENIUS! She is going!



I take it for a spin to town where I try to buy a fuel filter, but not one of the shops have one, and Ill have to wait for morning to get into the Midas.

I go back to camp and we have supper, another excellent meal prepared by CG.
On that note, I must say that having CG along on this trip was a treat when it came to mealtimes. This must be the first trip that Ive been on where I came back fatter than when I set out. There were veggies EVERY night.

We spend some time exploring with the scorpian light, and find this little critter.




We also find this old camping van. Not sure if its a Venter though.


During the night the wind starts blowing a gale, and by morning our weight inside the tent is the only thing that is keeping it on the ground. Some gusts are so strong that the tent bends down until it almost touches us.

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Offline LeonDude

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Re: Rides, Reflections and Repairs Year end bash via Namibia
« Reply #33 on: November 23, 2011, 06:25:23 pm »
Day 11

Springbok to Augrabies



In the morning the wind is howling, there is a thick mist that is threatening to turn to rain and its freezing cold. CG cancels the call she had made to have the bike transported, and after packing up camp we head out to town to buy a fuel filter for her bike, which I promptly install right in front of the Midas.


With the cold front upon us we were to spend most of the day doing battle with the wind, until at last we rode out from under the storm.
Im going to have to admit right from the start that this was not the most interresting days riding as far as roads and scenery was concerned. What was interresting was how much I was stressed about CGs bike. Riding kilometer by kilometer while stressing about a bike is not fun. It was only once we had passed Pofadder that I started to relax, knowing that if we had to phone for help we could at least be given a lift to Upington or somewhere where there might be a bike shop that could fix the bike.
Pofadder was exactly the small dusty town that I had expected it to be, right down to the two dusty bikers filling up with petrol in the dusty street. Ok so the two bikers were us, but we had to colour in the picture, right?









Scenery and wildflowers along the way.




My fears were unfounded though (or so I thought) and we reach our destination, the Augrabies National Park, quite early in the day. Here CG decides to treat me to a comfortable bed in a chalet because of my efforts with her bike, and after a bit of shopping for supper we do the photo thing at the falls.


Look, you cannot see the waterfall in photos, you have to go there yourself.


I really wish they would fix that boardwalk, its sad to think that South Africa is letting one of our natural wonders go to waste like that. I wonder what the visiting guests from other countries think about us.
At sunset we let fly with our cameras and take about a million photos of the red sunset.





Then its time to light the braai fire and get some food going.


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Offline LeonDude

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Re: Rides, Reflections and Repairs Year end bash via Namibia
« Reply #34 on: November 23, 2011, 07:01:25 pm »
Day 12
Augrabies to Verneuk pan



Another early morning photography session gets under way as we watch the sun rise over the falls. It surprises me that so little of the other visitors are up and watching the sun rise. Watching the distant hills change colour with the rising sun is fascinating.







We have a long distance to cover to Verneuk pan, so we head out early, but not before I do a bit more work on Cave Girls bike. The bike is making a strange clacking noise when she goes over bumps, and I trace the fault to the centre stand hitting against the linkage knuckle. I fix the problem by slitting open a length of fuel hose and tying it around the offending metal centre stand with cable ties and once again were ready to go.





The gravel road from Kakamas to Kenhardt starts out very badly corrugated, but soon turns to good road and we make good time, with plenty of stops. The wind is picking up again however, and I can feel the cold front that we had outrun from Springbok is catching up to us.







In Kenhardt I go straight for the hotel. Ive read many stories about what a wonderful person the owner is, and I want to meet this Eton person for myself. Im disappointed though, because Eton is not there. There is the usual beggar hanging out in front of the hotel and I dont want to leave my loaded bike there. CG stays with the bike while I go hear if there is a safe place to put the bike. At the bar a friendly and helpful lady tells us to take our bikes round back, where there is a gate and a dog. The gate is as high as my knee and the dog actually lifted its head up to look at us before going back to sleep, but with our bikes parked I decide that we can at least have lunch at the hotel.




We order a beer at the bar and CG goes in search of the toilets, and while she is gone a guy wearing overall pants and a shirt comes into the bar, heads straight for me and hes cruising.
Where are you guys from? he asks and I immediately know Im speaking to Eton. He introduces himself, and by the time CG arrives were knee deep in conversation about motorbikes, bike trips and other stuff. As I order lunch from the lady behind the counter Eton calls his wife on the cellphone and orders her to the bar.
Jy moet kom, hier is kuiermense!




Needles to say the kuier dragged on, and when he eventually had to go to the kitchen to prepare a sheep for the spit for a function, it was with strict instructions that when we finish eating we grab another beer and join him in the kitchen. This we duly did, and it was with a sad heart that we eventually departed from the Kenhardt hotel. The place had lived up to its reputation, and if you want a really good chat with a fantastic host, give Eton a visit.

Our names now on the wall of the Kenhardt hotel.


Eton also phoned the people at Verneuk pan to find out if they were there, and they told him that the key would be in the tyre.
We head out of Kenhardt to Verneuk pan, and now the wind is really blowing. As we take the dirt road we immediately encounter thick, thick sand. After the first gate the sand gets worse, as does the wind. At some point we encounter a biblical plague of locust, and I spend some time chasing after the little guys with my camera.



Some shots from CG




After the second gate the sand becomes less, but by now were tired and taking it slow. The road from then on was actually in a good condition, and once we enter the pan, after five gates in total, the road is solid pan road, and if it wasnt for the wind that was by now freezing cold and howling at gale force, we would have enjoyed it.

At the turn to the pan we decide that we dont see ourselves riding another twenty kilos in that wind to go to reception, and there is no cellphone signal, so we find the key in the tyre as instructed and go straight to the camp site. The campsite is deserted, it is only the two of us there.
If youve ever been to Verneuk pan you will know what the boma looks like, with the bar like counter, the fridge and so on. Well to get out of the wind, we pitch our tent behind the bar like counter. We then stack our luggage on the side of the tent to try to ward off more of the wind. Once camp is set up we challenge the wind on foot to go and look at the bell, after which we dont stay out too late. Its cold and unpleasant, so we crawl into our tent to wait out the windy night.







Great news, my book 'Sniffer' has seen the light of day on Amazon Kindle!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N664WIH
Check out my website for free short stories!
http://www.leondekock.com/short_stories.html
 

Offline LeonDude

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Re: Rides, Reflections and Repairs Year end bash via Namibia
« Reply #35 on: November 23, 2011, 07:05:47 pm »
Ok, having some editting issues here, that photo of the church is obviously the church in Kenhardt, not the hotel!
Great news, my book 'Sniffer' has seen the light of day on Amazon Kindle!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N664WIH
Check out my website for free short stories!
http://www.leondekock.com/short_stories.html
 

Offline Crossed-up

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Re: Rides, Reflections and Repairs Year end bash via Namibia
« Reply #36 on: November 23, 2011, 08:42:24 pm »
Ok, having some editting issues here, that photo of the church is obviously the church in Kenhardt, not the hotel!


To each his own religion!

That was AntonW and me that you met in the Richtersveld.  I'm sorry to hear about your troubles.  We were also in Springbok that evening and might have been able to help.

Enjoying the RR.
 

Offline LeonDude

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Re: Rides, Reflections and Repairs Year end bash via Namibia
« Reply #37 on: November 23, 2011, 09:09:34 pm »
Ok, having some editting issues here, that photo of the church is obviously the church in Kenhardt, not the hotel!


To each his own religion!

That was AntonW and me that you met in the Richtersveld.  I'm sorry to hear about your troubles.  We were also in Springbok that evening and might have been able to help.

Enjoying the RR.

:thumleft:
Next time, I think I would like to spend a night on that path, just to experience the desolation of the place.
Great news, my book 'Sniffer' has seen the light of day on Amazon Kindle!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N664WIH
Check out my website for free short stories!
http://www.leondekock.com/short_stories.html
 

Offline Pistol

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Re: Rides, Reflections and Repairs Year end bash via Namibia
« Reply #38 on: November 24, 2011, 11:08:14 am »
Lekker LD and CG :thumleft:
 

Offline DJ

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Re: Rides, Reflections and Repairs Year end bash via Namibia
« Reply #39 on: November 24, 2011, 11:54:19 am »
Nice trip and great RR, thanks for sharing.  :thumleft:

Previously owned: Vuka RM200, Aprilia Pegaso Cube 650, Suzuki DRZ400E, Kawasaki KLE500, Suzuki DR350