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Author Topic: THE ROAD TO HELL ..... and back (part 8 THE FINAL CHAPTER now up)  (Read 20187 times)

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Offline JustBendIt

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THE ROAD TO HELL ...and back

PART 1

I hate riding with a GPS – I think it takes the adventure out of adventure biking. For me this gadget is like a crystal ball – it tells you exactly what is coming and precisely how to get there – I think that too many of us are too caught up at looking at the little picture on the screen rather than looking around at the big picture all around us.

BUT I must confess that I do have one and I do take it with on rides – I use it as a “safety blanket” if I need to follow the “breadcrumbs” and track back to get out of somewhere or find an easier way out if the shit hits the fan. I also like to mark waypoints of interesting and unusual places so that I can find them again.

The idea for this trip started in March last year – 3 of us (Kneelo, Travolta and I) were wandering around Namakwaland – lost but not hopeless. I had been there before and was riding in front – bopping along and taking every little goat track I could to get closer to the mountains and ultimately find a way over them to the Orange River.

That day was hot – we had left Springbok at 8 am, filled up at Steinkopf and soon hit the dirt to begin our adventure. In 5 hours we had only covered 20 odd km when we stumbled upon this



It looked a little different than some of the other paths we had ridden – there was lots of rocks and it was fairly steep – I thought the river should be just over the top – what the hell let’s go see

It quickly turned into this



and this



with a bit of this



only to find this



WTF ?

The Road To Hell – I thought it was a fable - up until then it was only something I had ever seen on a T4A map with a NO ENTRY sign next to it.

I was shivering with excitement and told the guys we had to go down there.



200 metres later it was quite clear that this was not going to be easy – we held a quick board meeting and decided to retreat and turn around.



I hit the MARK button on my GPS to record the waypoint – I had to come back here....

Fast forward one year and Michiel starts making noises on this forum about this road and how he would like to go there – little did he know that it was almost all I had been thinking about since we decided to turn around. Like a red flag to a bull I jumped at the chance and invited myself back to the “hell road” as we called it

Berserker joined in first, then Rovrat, See Duiwel next followed by Heddles, Nismark and Dustdevil – all in all we were now 8 bikes and riders - plenty e-mails were exchanged, permits were bought and bikes were prepped

Michiel and his HPN 663



Dustdevil on his HPN



Rovrat and his YaKTMaha



See Duiwel on a 990S



Nismark on an XT660R



Berserker on his XR650R



Heddles on his newly acquired “ex Edgy” SE



and yours truly, Powerflow Justin, on my SE



We met in Citrusdal at 7 AM on Friday 27 April with 4 days of awesome Africa in front of us







We hit the road just after 8 AM – the West Coast Trail from Lutzville to Hondeklipbaai was waiting for us

To be continued...
« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 03:26:02 pm by Powerflow Justin »
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Offline JustBendIt

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Re: THE ROAD TO HELL ..... and back
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2012, 07:38:27 pm »
sorry all - it seems my links to the pics are not working so lekker

hang in there - I am working on it

SORTED - thanks Moondog
« Last Edit: May 06, 2012, 08:01:02 pm by Powerflow Justin »
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Offline Rynet

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Re: THE ROAD TO HELL ..... and back
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2012, 07:41:24 pm »
 :happy1:
“It’s impossible,” said pride. “It’s risky,” said experience. 

“It’s pointless,” said reason. “Give it a try,” whispered the heart.
 

Offline xTzar

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Re: THE ROAD TO HELL ..... and back
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2012, 07:44:30 pm »
Man I want to come riding with you guys!  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
The older I get, the faster I was.

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Offline THROTTLE JOCKEY

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Re: THE ROAD TO HELL ..... and back
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2012, 07:52:00 pm »
Sub
Ride it like you stole it!

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Offline MX Junkie

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Re: THE ROAD TO HELL ..... and back
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2012, 09:04:33 pm »
 Subscribed........:happy1:
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Offline Triple Trompie

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Re: THE ROAD TO HELL ..... and back
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2012, 09:12:26 pm »
Cool, looking forward to the rest.
We going down there this coming August, but on 4 wheels.
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Offline Skipskop

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Re: THE ROAD TO HELL ..... and back
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2012, 09:14:50 pm »
Subscribed
" Of all the things I lost in life, what I miss the most, is my mind"
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Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: THE ROAD TO HELL ..... and back
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2012, 12:59:45 am »
I remember the forum talk about this road. Looking forward to the rest!
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Offline JustBendIt

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Re: THE ROAD TO HELL ..... and back (part 2 now up)
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2012, 06:21:13 am »
PART 2

The plan was to ride from Citrusdal to Tiergrot (a natural cave in the Richtersveld about 20 odd km into Namibia) – a distance of nearly 800 km

Some of us filled up at Citrusdal. These HPN’s have nylon tanks that can hold 45 litres which gives them a range of 700 km – WOW! and I thought a range of 500 km on my SE’s 30l Safari Tank was good.



We had a good 60 km of cold wet tar to ride to Lutzville – Dustdevil nearly saw his gat 30 minutes into the trip when the knobbly tyre on the back of his HPN let go and he did some impromptu drifting – I was right behind him and held my breath as he masterfully steered into the slide and caught it

Berserker was leading the pack and took us to Lutzville. Everybody filled their bikes to the brim and we hit the sand in the direction of Hondeklipbaai

Nismark and Heddles



I am certainly no lover of sand and am quite kak at riding in sand, especially on a big bike. Berserker had told me this road was no biggie and all would be OK

The sand came thick and fast – I tensed up and immediately backed off the throttle – mistake number 1. I realised I was talking to myself in my helmet and shouting STAND UP LOOK UP OPEN UP over and over. The bike took over and the front wheel lifted above the sand and floated along – the faster I went the easier it was. I had 6 BMWs in a row before this KTM and nothing had prepared me for this – I think the suspension on the KTM is so good it’s like cheating – I soon saw triple figures on my speedo

The West Coast Trail runs no more than 100 metres from the beach all the way to Port Nolloth – it is one of the most stunning and amazing roads I have ever ridden. It is a thick sand road that is frequented by fisherman and 4X4 enthusiasts but only a few bikers – there are some nice fast bits with hard packed sand and some equally slower and more technical bits with lots of thick fine beach sand – fortunately today was cool and the sand was damp which made it easier to ride – I would not like to ride this in the middle of a boiling hot summer’s day

The stunning West Coast



Rovrat passes me



Heddles however was not having much fun – he has been off dirt bikes for 20 years and had gotten a little rusty. The sand had got inside his head and was making him zig and zag all over the place and lie down frequently – I know the feeling

Notice the many footprints and which way the bike is pointing



I stayed with him and rode behind him, chuckling cruelly at the flailing arms and legs every time he hit a really soft patch and fought the bike to keep it upright. Most of the time he won but sometimes he lost – and went down. I was right behind him and stopped regularly to help lift the bike and his spirits. One of the falls knocked the wind out of him and cracked 2 ribs but did not break his spirit – Heddles soldiered on and cracked a smile.

We were moving very slowly – it was now past 2 pm and we had only covered about 100 km
Berserker turned around and came to look for us. He swopped bikes with Heddles and took over the 200 kg SE giving Heddles the 130 kg XR to ride. Heddles’ eyes lit up – he loved the Honda and soon we were bopping along at a fair pace and Heddles was quickly turning into a sand riding god – the fatigue, cracked ribs and the big SE were not working but on the XR he was as graceful as a ballet dancer

We made good progress and soon joined the other guys who had stopped to wait for us. Everybody knew were not going to make it to Tiergrot today and the plan was changed to rather overnight at Hondeklipbaai – still a fair distance away.

At Groenriviersmond we split up – Michiel, Dustdevil, Rovrat and Nismark hit the “sandpad” and dunes along the coast while Berserker, See Duiwel, Heddles and I would take the “easy route” inland and then we would all meet again in Hondeklipbaai

The “easy route” soon turned into my ultimate riding nightmare -  thick soft red Kalahari type sand on a very narrow tweespoor track with a middelmannetjie of fynbos flanked by more thick fynbos on both sides of the road - there was no room for error here.



My SE and I were working hard – I was fighting to keep it upright – this sand was cruel and relentless – the bike’s fan was on permanently and I was revving the kak out of it and going nowhere slowly.

Heddles was tired and sore – the lightweight XR felt like it had put on weight and had a mind of its own – we stopped frequently to pick ourselves and the bikes up, drink our water and rest.



We passed through some farm gates and I started to get my sand rhythm back and gain some momentum and was clocking about 50 – 60 kph. I saw a flock of sheep in the scrub far away on my right when all of a sudden a black and white female Dorper sheep shot out of the bush on my left straight into my path.

I hit her hard. Fucking hard.

The bike stopped suddenly and I flew over the bars and landed on my head and left shoulder – EINA! I quickly stood up, all dazed and confused, and saw the sheep wriggling in the sand, voiding its bowels and bladder in a torrent – I felt really kak ! I had never hit an animal before on my bike – it was horrible. I instantly remembered our Lesotho trip in 2007 when Gravelmad hit a steenbokkie and broke its front leg – we had to kill that little guy with a penknife on the side of the road – it was not lekker.

See Duiwel pulled up next to me and saw what had happened – he immediately shouted “Jy moet ry boet – die boer staan daar onder by die hek en hy is nou hier en dan moet jy kak en betaal vir die vokken skaap!”

I was too shocked and stunned to move. I went after the sheep which had limped into the bush and quickly caught her. I knelt on her and felt her back and legs – nothing seemed to be broken and there was no blood. The sheep did not even bleat and seemed to be enjoying the massage. Heddles helped me carry her back to the road so See Duiwel (the only real boer farmer amongst us) could take a look and give his professional opinion (he is actually a grape farmer but a farmer nevertheless)

The sheep stood up and looked at us and started to walk perfectly – no limp. See Duiwel said “Moenie worry nie boet – jy’t net hom a lummy gegee !” I laughed with relief.

See Duiwel has pics of this that I will post when he sends them to me.

Time was marching on – it was getting late. Soon we would lose the sunlight – we had to get going again.

Berserker and See Duiwel mounted up and rode off – they  made it look so easy – they f%$&d off into the distance and rode like men possessed. Heddles and I continued kakking off.

The sun set a good 70 km before Hondeklipbaai . See Duiwel roared off ahead with his HID lighting up the night. Berserker’s XR had blown its bulb and he had no light – he rode the last hour and a bit in total darkness – RESPECT

Heddles and I stayed together and limped into Hondeklipbaai – we met them outside town and rode in together. See Duiwel led us to a guest house called the Honne Hok and we were welcomed by Attie with a cold beer.



It was 7:30 PM – we had been riding for almost 12 hours. I was totally stuffed. 

We had no idea where the other 4 okes were ...

To be continued ...
The older I get the faster I was
 

Offline White Rhino

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Re: THE ROAD TO HELL ..... and back (part 2 now up)
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2012, 06:42:13 am »
Altus made it through to the GKG and told us about this trip - RESPECT - The sand monster had a field day :biggrin:

Great RR - Thanks :thumleft:
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Offline Dwerg

Re: THE ROAD TO HELL ..... and back (part 2 now up)
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2012, 07:09:18 am »
 :happy1:
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Offline GRyPH

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Re: THE ROAD TO HELL ..... and back (part 2 now up)
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2012, 07:35:52 am »
 :happy1:
Focus on the journey, not the destination.
 

Offline Mark Hardy

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Re: THE ROAD TO HELL ..... and back (part 2 now up)
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2012, 07:41:41 am »
I'm in for the ride  :thumleft:
 

Offline J-dog

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Re: THE ROAD TO HELL ..... and back (part 2 now up)
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2012, 07:45:36 am »
 :headbang:
 

Offline heti

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Re: THE ROAD TO HELL ..... and back (part 2 now up)
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2012, 07:46:56 am »
Nog!!  :drif:
 

Offline Pistonpete

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Re: THE ROAD TO HELL ..... and back (part 2 now up)
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2012, 08:16:14 am »
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: 8)
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Offline subie

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Re: THE ROAD TO HELL ..... and back (part 2 now up)
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2012, 08:24:15 am »
Nice RR.  :thumleft:
Ek hou van sandpad ry net nie daai poeier waarin bike wegsink en jou enigste opsie is om die bike te laat "plane" soos n boot bo op die sand. Elke wegtrek dan n komedie show omtrent  :mwink:
As time washes by, our footprints are all for naught
 

Offline Dusty Rusty

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Re: THE ROAD TO HELL ..... and back (part 2 now up)
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2012, 08:24:30 am »
AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Offline wacko

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Re: THE ROAD TO HELL ..... and back (part 2 now up)
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2012, 09:08:10 am »
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: