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Author Topic: Of Dust & Men (Day 1)  (Read 1212 times)

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Offline wino

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Of Dust & Men (Day 1)
« on: January 30, 2006, 10:48:10 am »
Seeing that the ta.org page got hacked and KiLeR is slow in uploads, I think I'll post our excursion of Sept '05 here - enjoy!



This trip has been a long time coming. Since our first excursion last December we?ve been talking about our next roadtrip, where we are going to, when etc.
We eventually decided on a route, made the necessary pre-bookings and we were on our way. The idea was for four of us to meet up in Uniondale, from where we would explore the Baviaanskloof, Die Hel and enjoy the freedom of the Karoo?s roads less travelled. www.thegreatkaroo.co.za
Day 1


I rode down from Joburg, mainly because I was keen to visit the Owl House and the Valley of Desolation, which were both not on our designated routes. Venter and his brother Chris put their bikes on a train from Joburg to Port Elizabeth from where they would ride to Uniondale. Heinie, my riding buddy from the December trip, was going to ride up from Cape Town to Uniondale.
I did not have the greatest of starts. The night before my big adventure I incubated some funny stomach virus and slept for only about 3 hours, which led me to begin the journey an hour later than the unconstipated schedule.



The first part of the morning was trying to leave behind the city and the smaller industrial towns to get on the ?open? road. Well, the road was not the only thing that was open! Luckily, this time I made a point of it to pack ?Wetwipes? ? well, they held true to their name!
My first decent stop was in the town of Petrus Steyn, mainly because I accidently took a wrong turnoff. No prob, it only added about 10k?s to the original plan. It was also before this town that the bike acted funny, as soon as the throttle was opened it would gasp for fuel and lose power. I stopped, checked the spark plugs and pulled on some wires, but everything was fine. Already I had a vision of my bike being trailered back to Joburg, with my friends running amok in the Karoo. Well, as soon as I filled up again in PS, the problem went away. I guess that the previous petrol that I put in was either contaminated or they put in leaded. Ahh, it was good to turn the throttle again!



The road was mostly flat and straight ? if it wasn?t for the awful sidewind it would have been a pleasure to have tucked in behind the fairing and enjoy the glide. But, the wind was going to be adversarial the whole trip.
In the town of Lindley I had breakfast, well only what could be kept down counts as breakfast.



Well, the town is 100 years old, and that is all one can say about it?



As I came nearer to the Lesotho border and the town of Ladybrand, the scenery started to change, more hills and turns than before. In the far distance I could make out the Drakenberg mountain range ? soon I will visit Lesotho.



Ladybrand, what a revelation. Hidden in a valley it provides for spectacular views riding in and exiting again. I did, however, stop for a healthy lunch and rode around admiring the old stone houses.



Outside of Ladybrand on the way to Wepener.



At this stage I should mention that I fitted the bike with a pair of Sirac?s and thicker tubes, having an idea of what we were going to encounter. After about 350k?s:



The town of Hobhouse (I think) in the background.



The scenery was again starting to look dull, even this fire provided some stimulation for my senses.



The wind in the meantime was howling again, making the ride a little bit uncomfortable. All the time while ?Ze Germans?, the two brothers with the BM?s were relaxing on the train. A few times I found myself wishing?





The wind, the wind, the damn wind?





Getting closer to Colesberg?



Eventually I reached Colesberg. If you check the route that I rode you will notice that if I stuck to the N1 national highway from Jhb, it would have been a much shorter ride. Well, I?ve been on that road plenty of times and I had the opportunity to experience a different area.
In Colesberg I booked into a chalet, had a good shower and treated myself in town with a Mexican pizza and cheap wine, just to show my stomach that I am not afraid! And then chased it down with a Jagermeister!
 

Offline LiveInTheOutdoors

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Of Dust & Men (Day 1)
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2006, 11:04:44 am »
Cool Wino - keep it coming mate!!!!

Looking forward to more...

 8)  8)  8)  8)  8)
very minute is a chance to turn it all around - Vanilla Sky



>Mav... started gym. Officially at 95kg....<
 

Online KiLRoy

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Of Dust & Men (Day 1)
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2006, 11:07:15 am »
The Lone Ranger .. ah Rider :D

Cheers
Tondo

Ps. T: Kimashabi, we are surrounded by hostile Indians.  
LR: What shall we do Tondo?
T: What do you mean 'we' Kimashabi.
 

Offline Maverick

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Of Dust & Men (Day 1)
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2006, 12:36:57 pm »
It's pics like this that brings a tear to my eye....ahhhhh so much open space :cry:



Now there goes that blerrie song in my head again...country roads take me home...to the place ........where I belong...... :lol:

Cool piccies Wino, I don't know why but the wind sure can pump through the Freestate at the best of times and it becomes hard work to keep your bike in the road.
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