Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register

Author Topic: Sani - Lesotho Weekend on XR's  (Read 3480 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline XTZFegen

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Triumph 800 XC
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 2,754
  • Thanked: 139 times
  • Audere Est Facere
Sani - Lesotho Weekend on XR's
« on: May 07, 2012, 08:02:29 pm »
Lesotho – Long Weekend

One day in the office out the blue I heard my boss say “I want to do a trip to Lesotho – like you did last year”. He had his KLR now for a few months and felt it was time for a long distance bike ride. I said “Okay” and started looking at some dates. There in April just after Easter I saw a few days available for the two of us, I looked over to him and asked him if he is keen on those dates? He just nodded and quietly said “Set it up...let’s go” and that was how another trip to the mountainous land of Lesotho started. It would be my third time to the African Alpine kingdom and my third time going to Sani. I made up my mind, damn it, this time I will make sure I get a photo of myself in front of that pub sign that reads “Highest pub in Africa”...

Oh when the Spurs, go marching in, oh when the Spurs go marching in, oh Lord I want to be in that number, oh when the Spurs go marching in.

Come on you Spurs.
 

Offline XTZFegen

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Triumph 800 XC
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 2,754
  • Thanked: 139 times
  • Audere Est Facere
Re: Sani - Lesotho Weekend on XR's
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2012, 08:03:49 pm »
The last time my boss (and good friend) asked me to arrange a trip to Lesotho he had to bail out the morning of the ride due to personal issues (read – nagging wife  :imaposer:   :pot:  :peepwall: )

Because of this I decided to put a post on the Wild Dogs site under the XR section and invite a few Honda riders with for the trip. I didn’t want a large group and wanted something a bit more intimate. Through this invite I met 2 fantastic boyjies who joined us for the ride. I must say I really enjoyed the company of Elton and Richard. 2 laid back cats who like myself just enjoy been on a bike and riding all day. The three of us met up at the Spur in Alberton to discuss the trip, I had my wife and kids with me. My wife sat on her own and just listened to us boys planning the ride.

Afterward our breakfast on the way home my wife turned to me and said “I think you are going to have a fantastic ride with those 2 boys, you all have the same sense of humour and I get a good feeling from them, I think you met some really good guys there”. I just looked at her and said “mmm you think?”.

On the morning of the ride we were also joined by Uncle Davey Dave Enselin, who pulled into the Engen garage at 06h45 on his new African Twin. Sani Pass is Dave’s nemesis, every attempt at going up  Sani for Dave has ended in failure...this time he would summit Sani even if it meant ME pushing him up all the bloody way.

(Nemesis: A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent)
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 08:34:07 pm by KLR650Fegen »
Oh when the Spurs, go marching in, oh when the Spurs go marching in, oh Lord I want to be in that number, oh when the Spurs go marching in.

Come on you Spurs.
 

Offline XTZFegen

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Triumph 800 XC
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 2,754
  • Thanked: 139 times
  • Audere Est Facere
Re: Sani - Lesotho Weekend on XR's
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2012, 08:05:12 pm »
Day one

My first bit of fun started on the N3 highway, I really enjoyed lane splitting through all these cars who are just sitting on the highway, heading in the same direction as me but because they are not on bikes the only thing they can do is sit, wait and listen to that irritating wackhead, jackhead on 94.7. While riding I looked up and I saw a long line of red taillights, a bit like a line of lava just moving back and forth as the cars move forward and brake...some twat in a white VW deliberately pulled his car out in front of me and blocked me from riding past him. What a tosser! When the traffic opened I pulled up next to him and gave a good “Wanker” sign with my right hand. I don’t think he appreciated that but I didn’t appreciate him blocking me. It’s not my fault he’s a twolly in a car going to Durban on a long weekend. “Wake up earlier wanker, maybe then you won’t be in such a bad mood!” I found myself shouting at him through my helmet.
Pulling out the tolls the weather turned nasty, we were riding into a headwind and it was getting chilly. My XR is brand new and I’m still getting to know her. After around 200km my bike suddenly started to splutter and spurt, it took me a few  seconds to understand what was happening. I had run out of fuel. 200km!! What the hell? I switched over to reserve and got another 30km and then was completely dry. So there we were with the first problem of the day, Richard started to empty fuel from his tank and we started to siphon the liquid gold into my tank. We also tipped the XR onto its side to get all the remaining fuel in the tank onto the petcock side. We managed to get the XR to the Harrismith Engen...I was suddenly very nervous. 200km tank range was a concern especially since I had the IMS long range tank fitted to my bike. Elton popped up and said he saw my bike is smoking badly when I decelerate.

“Fuck” I thought, means valves. Oh well the weekend motto started early and it started with me “We will fix it when we get back”...
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 08:27:44 pm by KLR650Fegen »
Oh when the Spurs, go marching in, oh when the Spurs go marching in, oh Lord I want to be in that number, oh when the Spurs go marching in.

Come on you Spurs.
 

Offline XTZFegen

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Triumph 800 XC
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 2,754
  • Thanked: 139 times
  • Audere Est Facere
Re: Sani - Lesotho Weekend on XR's
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2012, 08:06:34 pm »
Finally we hit some sand roads just after Harrismith, cruising along admiring the views. As I came over a small hill I saw a bike tyre skid mark that was about 50m long. I thought someone fell but I couldn’t see any of the guys bikes lying on its side, I was a bit confused until it was explained to me that Eltons sleeping bag which was attached to the top of his bike had come loose and managed to wedge itself in between his back tyre and the bikes frame. Elton very eloquently said to me “I fucking shat myself, I thought I seized the motor, the fucking back wheel just locked up bud”...I listened to Elton, looked at the sleeping bag wedged into the bike and then looked back at the skid mark and burst out laughing. Not even 5 hours into this ride and already two things have happened...
Oh when the Spurs, go marching in, oh when the Spurs go marching in, oh Lord I want to be in that number, oh when the Spurs go marching in.

Come on you Spurs.
 

Offline XTZFegen

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Triumph 800 XC
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 2,754
  • Thanked: 139 times
  • Audere Est Facere
Re: Sani - Lesotho Weekend on XR's
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2012, 08:07:47 pm »
With everyone okay, we jumped back on the bikes and headed for Underberg, the road was fun, full of dirt and sand and the views were awesome. I was starting to get into my rhythm now and was enjoying the XR. I was starting to Zen out and just enjoyed been one with the bike and the scenery. The sound of the exhaust almost hypnotizing me. This is when riding is bliss, you ride for kilometres and when you stop it takes a few minutes for reality to set back in.
My reality was a hooter blowing behind me. It was Dirk on his KLR, he was waving me down. I stopped the bike and asked him if he was okay. He said he thinks someone fell and we should go back. I agreed and headed back, coming up a hill I saw Dave had taken a tumble and the boys were picking up his Twin Africa. Dave looked pissed off, “Fucking wind caught me and I just fell” he said. I asked him if he was okay and he said he was. I looked at the damage to his bike and reverted to our weekend motto “We will fix it when we get back”...Dave looked at me and suddenly he had a smile on his face.
We rode through some awesome back roads and I was reminded time and again how beautiful South Africa is. Just a few hours out of Johannesburg and you are in the sticks and everything including the air is fresher and better. 3 incidents already I thought, at least things happen in 3’s and that should be the last of it. I finally caught up with the boys at some abandoned farm house that I believe (in my mind at least) was owned by some rough and rugged colonial settler who spoke with a Irish accent and used to sell biltong and beer to the locals, if you wanted your condense milk he was the guy to go to  :thumleft:...  and parked the bike for a protein bar and some good old H2O.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 08:28:21 pm by KLR650Fegen »
Oh when the Spurs, go marching in, oh when the Spurs go marching in, oh Lord I want to be in that number, oh when the Spurs go marching in.

Come on you Spurs.
 

Offline XTZFegen

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Triumph 800 XC
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 2,754
  • Thanked: 139 times
  • Audere Est Facere
Re: Sani - Lesotho Weekend on XR's
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2012, 08:09:00 pm »
While we were parked off  Dave was telling us about his crash, after a bit of a rest we saddled up and started moving off, I got down the road and this time Dave was waving me down. I stopped and yelled to Dave “What the fuck now?”...Dave looked at me and said Dirk has a puncture.
“A puncture? Shit man, what happened to things happening in 3’s”; I turned the bike around and headed back to the farm house. Which now wasn’t owned by some cool settler but was just a piece of crap abandoned building. I was now not in such a good mood, the day was getting on and we had a long way to go before Himeville and I didn’t want to ride the last bit of the day’s journey in the dark.
My mood changed quickly though, I saw Richard and the boys were standing next to Dirks bike all full of smiles. I love a puncture, I love fixing punctures. The reason I love a puncture is because when I started riding the thought of getting a puncture scared the crap out of me. I didn’t know how to fix them, then I met DocKLR and after spending a bit of time with him and learning a few tricks I’m now confident enough to fix punctures on the back and front wheel.
We had that KLR’s front wheel off in a jiffy and before you could blink had the CO2 canister ready to inflate the tyre. Word of warning here when using  a CO2 canister, it gets flipping cold once the gas is released, you want to have a small rag around the thing or else you will melt your hand to the canister  :biggrin: (well of course I’m exaggerating, your hand wont melt but it does get icy cold).
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 08:28:59 pm by KLR650Fegen »
Oh when the Spurs, go marching in, oh when the Spurs go marching in, oh Lord I want to be in that number, oh when the Spurs go marching in.

Come on you Spurs.
 

Offline XTZFegen

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Triumph 800 XC
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 2,754
  • Thanked: 139 times
  • Audere Est Facere
Re: Sani - Lesotho Weekend on XR's
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2012, 08:10:04 pm »
Again we were off, the wind was seriously pumping now and it made riding very difficult. I was getting blown back and forth. I came around a bend and there was some little kid waving his arms at me and pointing to a bushy area. I looked over to my left but couldn’t see anything and continued down the road. I reached a T-junction and saw Richard.
“where’s Dirk? He was right behind you...” I asked.
 Richard shrugged his shoulders and said he didn’t know. I told Richard to wait there for the other guys I would go back and see if Dirk possibly took a wrong turn somewhere.
I got about two kilo’s down the road and saw Elton and Dirk riding side by side, I let them pass and then swung the bike around and met up with them and Richard again. While I was pulling up next to Dirk I heard him telling Richard that while coming around a corner the wind caught him and pushed the bike off the road. He fell hard and there was a bit of damage to his KLR. He looked alright, a bit shaken but he looked alright.

Shit it wasn’t even lunch and we had 2 crashes, 1 puncture, run out of fuel and a rear wheel lock. Flip this trip was starting to shape up to be a bit of a challenge.
After lunch it was a beautiful ride to Himeville, lots of dirt roads, lots of twisty sections and lots of views. The only problem was the sun was setting and setting quickly, we were riding on really dusty roads and once the dust comes up and the sun is in your face you can’t see anything in front of you. After a while you tend to ride on faith and just hope you will spot the bend in time. 4 or 5 times I over shot the corners and almost ended up going off a cliff. Elton was riding behind me and having a fat laugh, later that night at the camp site he admitted he had his camera out and he was just waiting for the shot of me going off the cliff. I laughed and said to him at one point of was wondering if I would let go of the handle bars or if I would hold on and go over with the XR.

Captain always goes down with his ship  >:D

We managed to reach Cobham camp site just before 6pm and quickly set up our tents. We had to ask our friendly neighbourhood campers for some wood and sponged off Dave’s travel food for supper. Around 9pm after a few sot of Old Brown Sherry I was suddenly tired and decided to call it a day and hit the tent.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 08:29:43 pm by KLR650Fegen »
Oh when the Spurs, go marching in, oh when the Spurs go marching in, oh Lord I want to be in that number, oh when the Spurs go marching in.

Come on you Spurs.
 

Offline XTZFegen

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Triumph 800 XC
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 2,754
  • Thanked: 139 times
  • Audere Est Facere
Re: Sani - Lesotho Weekend on XR's
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2012, 08:11:13 pm »
Day 2

Why do I enjoy riding a bike and doing these rides. I have three reasons...

1.   I enjoy the adventure of travelling to places I haven’t seen. I enjoy the challenge of riding a bike on rough terrain and the satisfaction of knowing I managed to sort myself out even when things are tough and not going my way and I’m out of my depth skill wise.
2.   I really get closer to the Lord on these trips. I find I wake up and thank the Lord for my blessings and I just really feel my faith increases.
3.   I miss my family. Its these types of trips I realise how much I love my girls and my wife and how much I miss them. I also realise what an awesome wife I have because she just lets me get on with my adventures.

My day started early, I needed a shower and I was hungry. When I woke up it was still dark and a little chilly. After a can of sardines we were packed up and out of Cobham by 07h30 and heading for breakfast at Himeville Arms. Dirk decided to get the first incident of the day out the way and dropped his bike.
Because of where it fell it was a bit tricky to pick up the KLR. I stopped the boys from picking the bike up so I could take a photo. Dirk wasn’t impressed about this photo opportunity move of mine and his mood wouldn’t change much during the course of the day, in fact it would get worse and then better.

But I wasn’t too worried about that and I had a laugh that we had a bike down before we even did 2km’s for the day.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 08:30:39 pm by KLR650Fegen »
Oh when the Spurs, go marching in, oh when the Spurs go marching in, oh Lord I want to be in that number, oh when the Spurs go marching in.

Come on you Spurs.
 

Offline XTZFegen

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Triumph 800 XC
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 2,754
  • Thanked: 139 times
  • Audere Est Facere
Re: Sani - Lesotho Weekend on XR's
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2012, 08:12:48 pm »
Our next problem was at the Sani border post.

We all lined up at passport control like good school boys with our passports in hand ready for our entry stamps. Up steps Uncle Dave and booom...Entry denied. Eish...passport expired dude, thank you for trying, please come again, don’t collect your R200 on your way out...
Dave had packed his old passport and had left the new one at home. Credit to Dave though he didn’t lose his temper with the officials and just continued to pester them and politely asked them to let him through.  They eventually told Dave that they wouldn’t stamp his passport but they would let him go up and try get in Lesotho  because in their words “The border officials that side can’t read”. I burst out laughing when I heard them say that. I told Dave to relax, I would make a plan for him once we were up at Sani he should just get on his bike and concentrate on getting up the little hill that was in front of him.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 08:31:11 pm by KLR650Fegen »
Oh when the Spurs, go marching in, oh when the Spurs go marching in, oh Lord I want to be in that number, oh when the Spurs go marching in.

Come on you Spurs.
 

Offline XTZFegen

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Triumph 800 XC
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 2,754
  • Thanked: 139 times
  • Audere Est Facere
Re: Sani - Lesotho Weekend on XR's
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2012, 08:14:25 pm »
Okay I know you hear it every time...”jeez man, Sani is the worst I’ve seen it” but the reality for me was that Sani this time around was the worst I had seen it. The rocks were sticking out the surface, loose gravel and stones and the wind was pumping. Also just to up the ante a bit there were a shit load of 4 x 4’s going up. I really mean a shit load. Maybe there was a 4 x 4 convention or something because I couldn’t understand what the train of vehicles going up Sani were doing there. All I knew was that these buggers were going to make it tough for us bikers. Shit I hate these 4 x 4 pricks in their little air conditioned cars that do everything for you except steer. They always think because you are on two wheels they can take the best line and you must somehow miraculously get your bike over the big boulders and loose stones. Bunch of twats...
I love Sani, I enjoy how easy she starts and then as the kilometres go she gets a bit tougher and a bit more slippery. The views as you climb her just get better and better. I tend to stop on a few corners and park the bike to take a look at the view below me, this also helps me get a view of the next incline and the best line to take going up. The last thing you want to do is get caught half way up a incline and stop the bike. It’s very tough to get traction and get going again.
Near the top where the going gets tough I was pushing up behind a land cruiser or land drover or some kak car that had “Land” written on it. The twat just stops his car so that his bimbo wife can climb out and take stupid photos. I almost went into this guys backside, slammed on brakes and hit a small slide. Suddenly my bike started sliding backwards, I had both the front and rear brake locked and it did nothing. I was just sliding backwards, I went off “You fucking prick!” I yelled , “Get back in the fucking car and take photos at the top!”. The poor aunty got such a fright that she jumped back in the car and the next thing the driver just pulled off kicking stones and dirt into my visor. I managed to stop the slide, took a deep breath, dropped the clutch and sped off, back wheel kicking up all sorts of Sani stones and sand.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 08:36:13 pm by KLR650Fegen »
Oh when the Spurs, go marching in, oh when the Spurs go marching in, oh Lord I want to be in that number, oh when the Spurs go marching in.

Come on you Spurs.
 

Offline XTZFegen

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Triumph 800 XC
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 2,754
  • Thanked: 139 times
  • Audere Est Facere
Re: Sani - Lesotho Weekend on XR's
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2012, 08:16:17 pm »
Unfortunately this threw my momentum off and I struggled to get back into my rhythm. I was angry at the car driver for just stopping and found myself concentrating on that when I came up around a bend to find another vehicle parked off because his trailer was stuck. I moved to his right and tried to overtake him but got caught between two big rocks sticking out the ground. I just chose the wrong line.

Bang!  Down I went. I was surprised by how hard I fell because I didn’t think I was that far from the ground  :biggrin:. A rock had jammed into my hip and thigh and I hit my head on another loose rock, cracking my helmet in the process. I was up in a flash, had the bike up and was ready to move on. Only one problem, all I saw was rocks and loose gravel, I tried to get moving but all I did was slide backwards. I turned to the guy in the 4 x 4 and asked him for a push to get me going. He ran up behind me and gave me enough momentum to get going again.
“Thank you” I yelled and sped off...

Bounce, bounce, bounce – I played the bounce game all the way up to the next bend where I could stop and get some rest and regain my thoughts. (The bounce game – A game I invented – I play this game  when riding through rough rocky areas – your tired, you have no riding skills and you’re stuck. So what do you do? You choose a line, drop the clutch and just watch your front wheel bounce off every single rock in your way from one side to the other side until you get through. The bounce game.) Getting to the top of Sani this time was for me a real sense of achievement. The little XR handled brilliantly and the bike had earned a lot of respect from her rider.

I found myself going...”KLR what? KLR when? Who owned a KLR? Huh?”  :peepwall:

Some people on this site are so fickle  :imaposer:  :pot:
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 08:38:19 pm by KLR650Fegen »
Oh when the Spurs, go marching in, oh when the Spurs go marching in, oh Lord I want to be in that number, oh when the Spurs go marching in.

Come on you Spurs.
 

Offline XTZFegen

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Triumph 800 XC
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 2,754
  • Thanked: 139 times
  • Audere Est Facere
Re: Sani - Lesotho Weekend on XR's
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2012, 08:18:15 pm »
Sani – Top Of The World (or at least above the clouds)
Oh when the Spurs, go marching in, oh when the Spurs go marching in, oh Lord I want to be in that number, oh when the Spurs go marching in.

Come on you Spurs.
 

Offline XTZFegen

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Triumph 800 XC
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 2,754
  • Thanked: 139 times
  • Audere Est Facere
Re: Sani - Lesotho Weekend on XR's
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2012, 08:20:20 pm »
Onwards to Afriski...

At the border I took all the passports. I then put Dave’s passport below Elton’s passport. Let me explain, Elton is some secret service CIA American I.T guy who has spent the past few years working with the American Navy Seals in Afghanistan. I shouldn’t be mentioning this in my Ride Report as I was warned that once I publish this on the internet I would proberly get visited by some serious marines who will stick things up my bum and tie my nuts to things that spark. But I’m not scared...  :ricky:
 
However I will not mention the cool night vision, infra red toys we had with us which allowed us to see all the aunties who had just had their boobs played with glowing red as they walked out their tents  ;D. Did that really happen? I don’t know.. only joking...

Elton’s passport is thicker that the yellow pages with so many visas and silvery, shiny stamps in it, I knew that it would confuse the crap out of the Border control guy when he saw it and that once it was stamped and he saw Dave’s passport he wouldn’t give it a second glance and would miss the fact that Dave’s passport had in fact expired and also didn’t have a South African Exit stamp on it.
STAMP!! Access Granted. I felt like that oak from the A-Team who smokes a cigar and says “I love it when a plan comes together”...off to the pub for a Castle.

After Sani we headed through the beautiful mountain pass towards Mokhotlong. I stuffed up here though and because of my mistake I put Dirk in a seriously foul mood. I didn’t tell Dirk that we would be riding straight and that he shouldn’t take any turn off’s. I made an assumption that he would be able to stay with us and I also made the assumption that he knew where he was going.

I cocked up, he didn’t stay with us and he didn’t know where he was going. There were a lot of small little roads that pulled off the main road and once Dirk had lost us he started the mental battle of “shit I’m lost”, “I don’t know where I am”, “These guys have left me behind, they have turned off somewhere and I missed them”...

This is a trick your mind plays on you when you first start doing these sorts of rides. It waits for the moment you are alone and vulnerable and then like a Mike Tyson upper cut, WHAM!! Sledges you in the gut. Its starts with a question and before you know it panic sets in and you doubt everything you have done for the last 50km’s. Your mind back tracks on every little side path, you look at every cloud of dust just over the horizon and it goes out its way to convince you that you have made a mistake.

“You’re lost” it says,

 “You’re a twat” it says,

“You’re a crap rider, you couldn’t even keep up with the other lads” it says,

“You’re in trouble now, you all alone, you better go home’, it says.
 
When this little fellow pops out and starts jousting with me I shut him down straight away, I recognise the little fucker immediately and I just put him back in his place before he can even start spreading his message of failure. He got the better of me once on my first solo ride and after that I had the little fucker marked with a capital X. The second he pops his little doubting head up and starts whispering to me I tell him to fuck off. I’m in control, I’m in charge. If I’m lost, I’m lost. If I’m alone, then so be it I’m alone. I can handle anything and I won’t doubt myself or my abilities.

Dirk wasn’t familiar with this little guy as yet and allowed him to get the better of him. He pulled his bike over to wait for Dave, no Dave. He jumped on his bike and pushed on. Every kilometre travelled convincing himself more and more that he had made a mistake or missed a turn somewhere.

In the mean time Richard, Elton and myself where waiting at the crossroads for Dirk and Dave. We waited and waited. Eventually we agreed we would go back and see if they were alright. Elton said he wanted to do the route again and he really didn’t mind going back for the boys. I told Elton there was a petrol station about 30 km’s up the road and that we would meet them there, we also agreed that if they weren’t there by 15h30 Richard and myself would drop back and go look for the entire group.
 
15h30 came and no one...we jumped on our bikes and headed back to Sani. I was getting really worried now because in my mind every return kilometre we did meant that there might be a serious problem. I was just hoping no one was hurt.
Suddenly out the horizon I saw Dirk, behind him was Elton. Dirk rode past us and I swung the bike around. I could see he was pissed off. We all met at the filling station again and waited for Dave. Dirk pulled his helmet off and let rip about been lost, not knowing where he was, riding up and down trying to find us. He was upset and it was actually my fault, I didn’t brief Dirk correctly and made assumptions. He was in a seriously foul mood and wasn’t enjoying the trip. We all just jumped on our bikes and headed towards Afriski. It was now late in the afternoon and the sun was dipping over the mountains.

I could feel the tension between the boys because suddenly everyone was riding on their own. It was a small change but I did pick it up, guys weren’t waiting for each other and the gap between riders was bigger than it had been. The sun was setting quickly and it was beginning to get cold. It was difficult riding because when you had the sun it was in your face and blinding. When you didn’t have the sun it was flipping cold. My hands were starting to cramp up a bit. The road started to deteriorate seriously and I felt like I was riding through craters on the moon.

The XR was awesome, I rode in on one side of the pothole and rode out the other side and didn’t even feel a bump. At one point the road and my vision were so bad I could do nothing to avoid all the potholes or even see the road in front of me.
I was getting cold and I really didn’t want to camp alongside the snowy hills. I just dropped a gear and floored the bike lifting the front wheel whenever I could to avoid the forks taking any serious knocks. This was fun, the XR was seriously starting to impress me now. She was light enough to move from side to side and giving the front forks a good push together with a quick release of the clutch I was able to hope out and over a lot of the ruts and potholes.

The sun was now almost gone and we were riding on very little light. I was looking for a place to pitch a tent because I was tired and cold. Suddenly I saw a sign that read Afriski 5km. Jeez I was happy to see that sign. We pulled into Afriski, booked our accommodation for the night and hauled our luggage upstairs. We then went down to the restaurant for something to eat. Everyone was smiling and if there was any tension it was all gone by now. Everyone was laughing again and joking about the events of the day. Dirk had a major headache and our CIA agent gave him a concoction of pain killers (which I think are used by the Navy Seals) which put an end to any immediate plans the migraine might have had.

We ended the night chatting away in front of a fire and eventually I went to bed, the only missing was a few games of cards. 
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 08:41:37 pm by KLR650Fegen »
Oh when the Spurs, go marching in, oh when the Spurs go marching in, oh Lord I want to be in that number, oh when the Spurs go marching in.

Come on you Spurs.
 

Offline XTZFegen

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Triumph 800 XC
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 2,754
  • Thanked: 139 times
  • Audere Est Facere
Re: Sani - Lesotho Weekend on XR's
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2012, 08:21:50 pm »
Last Day

We were up relatively early. Had a breakfast which consisted of noodles, sardines, coffee and eat sum mores. Packed our bikes and headed for home. The road from Afriski to Fouriesburg is beautiful. It is worth doing a ride to Lesotho just to ride on this beautifully tarred road. You start at an altitude of around 3000 feet and you just ride down and down these wonderful sloping roads. Bend after bend and the views just go on and on. At one part of the road you ride up an incline and come around a corner and as you do this the whole mountain side just opens up and you look down into the valley. With the sun behind you it’s a view that literally takes your breath away. There is no better way to start your day than this...no better way.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 08:31:53 pm by KLR650Fegen »
Oh when the Spurs, go marching in, oh when the Spurs go marching in, oh Lord I want to be in that number, oh when the Spurs go marching in.

Come on you Spurs.
 

Offline XTZFegen

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Triumph 800 XC
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 2,754
  • Thanked: 139 times
  • Audere Est Facere
Re: Sani - Lesotho Weekend on XR's
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2012, 08:23:42 pm »
Heading out the border wasn’t a problem, Dave hung back and waited for all of us to return with our stamped passports. We rode out as a group and went to the Wimpy for a brunch.
As usual with any trip back it didn’t have much excitement except for kippie over here who ran out of petrol again. Something was seriously wrong with my bike, I was now only getting 180km to a tank and I wasn’t happy about that  :dousing:. I pulled out the jerry can and filled her up and carried on.

I got home that afternoon, gave my wife and kids a big hug and kiss. Had a shower and unfortunately for the family fell asleep on the coach watching NCIS. Some hardcore adventurer I turned out to be  :ricky: I was out cold by 7pm. 

I got up the next morning and dropped the dirty XR off at Honda in Boksburg with a laundry list of problems I had (Kak service but that’s another story all on its own). After 5 days the bike is still with them and they haven’t even started looking at what the problems could be but anyway.

I had a fantastic long weekend, I enjoyed the XR on the dirt roads of Lesotho and was thoroughly impressed with the boys who rode up Sani, while other guys turned back my team mates just throttled on past all the obstacles.

Lessons learnt
Be careful when passing white BMW’s as you might pass a puddle of water and accidently spray some water on their doors and then the owners will chase you down and threaten to moer you (another reason to dislike BMW).

Ensure all riders in your group know the route and are aware of possible meet up spots should they get lost or separated from the pack.
Have a sense of humour. It really helps and relaxes the group when tensions are high.

Don’t pack your items in plastic packets. When you wake up at 04h30, rummaging through your stuff trying to find a headed ache tablet the other riders in their tents might feel the need to express their opinions and politely tell you to “Fuck off – your making a noise”  ;D

Carry eye drops.

Always be ready to be self sufficient.

And above all stop and enjoy the ride because on Monday morning you will be back at the office answering emails, finding yourself in meetings again, attending to a million phone calls and find yourself day dreaming about how you can make a TV show about your travelling biking adventures. There must be a way to pitch this to Mnet, here you have the Travel Channel, The History Channel, The Reality TV channel...aah but to dream.

Just a final word to Dirk, Richard, Dave and the CIA agent Elton. Thank you guys for joining me on this ride and thank you for making it a awesome weekend. You guys are alot of fun and out of all the scenery, beautiful riding we done I will remember the laughing, joking and the smiling the most. True troopers...

Well done boys!!
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 03:36:52 pm by KLR650Fegen »
Oh when the Spurs, go marching in, oh when the Spurs go marching in, oh Lord I want to be in that number, oh when the Spurs go marching in.

Come on you Spurs.
 

Offline XTZFegen

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Triumph 800 XC
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 2,754
  • Thanked: 139 times
  • Audere Est Facere
Re: Sani - Lesotho Weekend on XR's
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2012, 08:25:00 pm »
Photos...
Oh when the Spurs, go marching in, oh when the Spurs go marching in, oh Lord I want to be in that number, oh when the Spurs go marching in.

Come on you Spurs.
 

Offline XTZFegen

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Triumph 800 XC
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 2,754
  • Thanked: 139 times
  • Audere Est Facere
Re: Sani - Lesotho Weekend on XR's
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2012, 08:26:27 pm »
photos...
Oh when the Spurs, go marching in, oh when the Spurs go marching in, oh Lord I want to be in that number, oh when the Spurs go marching in.

Come on you Spurs.
 

Offline SuperDavexlv750r

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Honda XRV 750 Africa Twin
    Location: Europe
  • Posts: 1,557
  • Thanked: 13 times
    • My business
Re: Sani - Lesotho Weekend on XR's
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2012, 09:25:57 pm »
It was a great ride with a great bunch of guys,

 I couldn't believe my tumble. I took the outside line to apex the corner and smooth the curve.

As I entered the bend I was close to the edge which was a pile of sand and loose stones about 300mm high - normally this would not be a problem but an almighty gust of a cross wind blows me - almost picks the bike up it is so strong -pushes me offline into the loose gravel and before I know it the rear wheel comes around at an unexpected speed while the front wheel washes away and there I am having a slide across the road.

Fortunately no real damage caused - crash bars are wonderful items to have fitted to your bike.

Yes I was very miffed but lightened up soon after as the riding became more enjoyable.

Sani - well that was a real challenge.

But the roads after Afriski Resort passing Oxbow were great and I chased the XR's down until I caught upwith Richasrd and we devouredthe mountain passes.Seriously nice roads to travel over rivers and passes with amazing scenery and lekker roads to push hard on.

Yes this is the 2nd timeI have manged a border crossing with passport problems. The 1st was at Vioolsdrif where I managed to cross without passport to go get fuel 2km into Namibia.On my return to SA crossing into SA this really serious looking lady -Captain nogal asks for passport - sorry I don't have. Can I have your ID ... sorry I don't have.Eish and you just been in Namibia - please sir please just go I don't want to know how you did it.

If you don't wings - you will never fly!

Honda XLV 750 R, Suzuki DR 650 R, Honda CBR1100xx (Blackbird), Honda XRV 750 Africa Twin, Suzuki RF 900 R, Yamaha FJ 1100, Honda CBX 1000, Suzuki GT 750, Yamaha DT 125
 

Offline Jacoboos

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 140
  • Thanked: 2 times
  • Tomorrow is not another day
Re: Sani - Lesotho Weekend on XR's
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2012, 07:27:42 am »
Hey Dave, glad you could finally make it all the way..
on a bike sometimes you win and sometimes you don't...but you never lose
 

Offline Halfdaft

  • Forum Vendor
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Honda XR650L
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 678
  • Thanked: 6 times
    • Team halfdaft Dual Sport Motorcycle Accessories
Re: Sani - Lesotho Weekend on XR's
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2012, 08:40:11 am »
As always the riding was fantastic, but for me, it would have been nothing without a great bunch of guy's - Mitch, Dirk, Elton and Dave. Thanks for a great ride. Look forward to the next one.

In my opinion, the little mishaps and problems turn a ride into an adventure, with a better sense of achievement at the end.

Richard
All the world is daft, but thee and me, and thee's halfdaft, so that leaves me.
2003 Honda XR650R
2008 Honda XR650L
1981 Honda XL500S
1978 Yamaha DT250F