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Offline White Rhino

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Re: 3 Idiots take on Nam!
« Reply #80 on: May 27, 2012, 06:42:25 am »
Enjoying reading this - I don't remember the terrain being so coarse. I think the huge storms and floods they had in 2010 must have exposed and shifted more rocks.
The effort and endurance you need to muscle 230kg through that, takes nothing less that guts. I can't compare - we had it easy, we had a backup vehicle with our luggage (that went directly from Opouwa to Epupa) and we bounced around on plastics. Our trip organiser, always said "use the right bike for the right terrain".  ;D
You will never forget this section - something you will share with your offspring in years to come :thumleft:
« Last Edit: June 03, 2012, 05:07:07 am by White Rhino »
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Offline XT JOE

Re: 3 Idiots take on Nam!
« Reply #81 on: May 29, 2012, 02:58:53 pm »
Nice ride/read :thumleft:
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Offline Hermit

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Re: 3 Idiots take on Nam!
« Reply #82 on: May 30, 2012, 12:16:11 am »
Hats off to you guys for doing that road !! I know how you felt ...  :mwink:  And I know where you missed the turn and went the wrong way ... nearly did the same !  ;D 
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Offline Dirtrider69

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Re: 3 Idiots take on Nam!
« Reply #83 on: May 30, 2012, 07:27:45 pm »
Day 8 Epupa Camp - Rest Day

After the three of us, and the bikes, took a serious beating the previous day, we were keen on taking a rest day, servicing the bikes and spending time at the pool nursing ourselves back to health with a few lagers (well, more than just a few…).  We stayed at Epupa Campsite and the half built chalet we slept in was right on the river’s edge by the falls. We woke up to an amazing view of river and the falls.

Our view from the chalet. We paid the R120 per person camping fee for this view. I really felt it was worth it!







Our 5 star luxury accommodation. The loo seemed to be a bit out of place. Maybe it’s a Namibian thing…







Liam is a professional photographer and he has his way of taking photos. And he absolutely hates it when we look at the camera when he's trying to take a "natural photo". So, obviously we just have to look at the camera - just to see the expression on his face!



Epupa Campsite



The previous night we just went to bed and left everything at the bikes, our boots, helmets, jackets and even the keys in the ignition. And nothing was taken. I just love Namibia.



As we’ve done quite a bit of riding the last couple of days, we decided to walk (yes, walk) to the other two campsites and check them out. Right next to Epupa Campsite is Omarunga camp. This place is beautiful. There’s a pool, bar, dining area, tented camps and lots of palm trees.  Really nice place. From there it is about 800m to Epupa Camp. This is where we found the other riders that did the same route as us. Now this campsite is awesome! With the pool being right on the edge of the river, we were sold and decided to stay there for the night.

Epupa Camp reception area:



The tented camps. Very nice.







But then the thought, of walking back the 800m, packing up all our stuff, loading the bikes again, riding 800m back and unpack everything, just seemed to be one moer of a mission, so we asked the kind lady at the campsite if one of their drivers can take us with a bakkie to fetch our stuff. Within 5 minutes we were on the back of the Cruiser! The people in Namibia are just to good!

We quickly put all our stuff on the bakkie and went back to Epupa Camp. After putting up camp and settling in, we decided to service the bikes first, and then go for a beer. This was a wise decision!

Our camp site:







 Now when I mean “service the bikes”, I mean starring at the bike from all angles, tightening a few screws and maybe lube the chain. Then stare at the bike again. We are the 3 Idiots and have no idea whatsoever on how to properly service these bikes!



 Then we actually decided to clean the air filters. “Wa de moer is die air filter, tjomma?” “Nee, ek weet nie! Wa is myne?” I found mine on the Dakar and sort of cleaned it. Gummi found his on the 990, but we couldn’t get to it! We couldn’t figure out how to get to the filter without stripping half the bike, so we just looked at each other and said: “Eks seker hy’s fine, kom ons gaan drink bier”.

The bikes and the gear took a bit of punishment and we had a couple of things to fix.







One of Liam’s panniers melted against the exhaust and this left his spare rear tube all crusty with a moerse hole in it, his hand pump was slightly shorter and the multimeter was also oddly shaped. I told him to use cableties to fix it and he did a brilliant job! He must have had “naaldwerk” at school…









Liam’s fork seals were completely busted and the oil was pissing out all over. Obviously we couldn’t fix that.



I used superglue to put my indicator lens back and one of the springs on the side stand came lose which we just took off so that I don’t lose it completely.



My membership sign to an elite, secret organisation. I'm sure you guys haven't seen one before.



Gummi only had to put back his number plate. Besides some scratches on the crashbars, his bike didn’t have any damage. But his rear tyre was completely shot! Moer toe! It is true – 990’s have no mercy for tyres. We did about 1800km by then and this is what was left.



After attending to bikes we headed to the pool area to cool off, plan our route and patch the pinched tube – all while enjoying a few Lagers.







My two lady friends having a special moment by the pool.



Our original plan was to head off into Kaokoland, go down Van Zyl’s Pass, through Marienfluss, down to Purros and Sesfontein. But we had a problem. Actually a few problems. First of all was the fuel. Our last fuel stop would be Okangwati and then at Sesfontein again. This a 480 odd km stretch where there is no fuel. During our initial planning, we calculated that with each of us carrying 10L of extra fuel, we should have been able to make that stretch. But this was under normal riding conditions. While doing the river road, riding lots of rocks, sand and technical terrain, the bikes consumed way more fuel. The 990 gulped fuel like a beer downing world champion! The Beast got about 190km on a tank of fuel that day. Daai ding suip petrol!!!!! So clearly we were not going to make it with only 10L of extra fuel each.

The second problem was that we had no more spare 21” tubes. We did patch the one tube, but we learned earlier in the trip that patches sometimes come lose and then it’s unpatchable. Then there was the clutch lever issue. I’ve already used the spare lever for the Dakars and if we break another clutch lever in technical terrain, we are stuffed. Lastly was the 990’s rear tyre. It was moer toe. On normal gravel roads that isn’t a problem, but where we wanted to go and because of the distance we still had to travel to Windhoek, a good tyre was necessary. So, during our Tafel infused brainstorming session, we decided to head straight down through Opuwa, Sesfontein, down to Palmwag. We were going to skip Kaokoland completely. And this was rather disappointing.

Later that afternoon we jumped on the bikes and went to see Epupa Falls. Well, I did at least. My two lazy ass buddies didn’t want to walk that far and stayed at the cliffs of the main falls. I didn’t ride all the way to the most northern tip of Namibia, all the way to Epupa Falls, and not see the falls. Come on! I walked round to where you could properly see the falls and it was worth it!

Having a quick lunch and a beer before we go to the falls. They don't seem very excited though.



Only half of me went to lunch.



Epupa Falls:























My crazy brother on the edge of the cliff.



After we went back to the camp site it was time for another luxury dinner consisting of bullybeef and sweetcorn. Again. We didn’t have any firelighters with us, so the Bear Grills in all of us came out and we made plan. After lots of huffing and puffing and sending smoke signals to the people in Siberia, we finally had a fire going.



I had brought along  3 hip flasks filled with Chivas, and that night under the full moon, we sat around the fire, on the banks of the Kunene River, enjoying a good old whiskey. Life was good.

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Offline zacapa

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Re: 3 Idiots take on Nam!
« Reply #84 on: May 30, 2012, 08:51:55 pm »
Great Ride Report! I'm much enjoying reading about your trials and tribulations in northern Nam, cool pics too.
If you get to WHK at any stage drop by the TipTop tyre puncture repair kit place in 5 Bell Street, Southern Industrial area.
Sells anything from bicycle to truck size repair kits made in Germany. They work and get the job done, no more patches
coming loose.
Link: http://www.rema-tiptop.com/portal/home-english.html

Planning myself to get there sometime this year to stock up on supplies and do v.Zyls - Marienfluss again with a bunch of
Nam biker buddies. Enjoy rest of trip and keep us posted...... :thumleft:
« Last Edit: May 31, 2012, 09:47:19 am by zacapa »
 

Offline White Rhino

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Re: 3 Idiots take on Nam!
« Reply #85 on: May 31, 2012, 05:00:28 am »
Aw man, such a dissapointment, I'm sure. To go, but not to go. Sheesh, you gotta go and see the Marienfluss - it's breath taking - especially from the lookout spot at the top of vZyl's pass.

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Offline Kerritz

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Re: 3 Idiots take on Nam!
« Reply #86 on: May 31, 2012, 07:31:54 am »
Bliksem maar dit lyk lekker!  :thumleft:
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Offline Frannarossi

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Re: 3 Idiots take on Nam!
« Reply #87 on: May 31, 2012, 08:23:10 am »
Baie nice fotos :thumleft:
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Offline dassie

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Re: 3 Idiots take on Nam!
« Reply #88 on: May 31, 2012, 08:37:30 am »
looks awsome  :thumleft:
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Offline Dirtrider69

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Re: 3 Idiots take on Nam!
« Reply #89 on: June 02, 2012, 12:17:15 pm »
Day 9 Epupa Falls – Palmwag 435km

After the previous day’s rest we were recharged and ready for a new day in Nam. We first had a very leke breakfast at the lodge because we knew it was going to be a long stretch. 435km doesn’t sound that much, but we always planned on rather doing shorter distances each day and have some time to stop, take a few pics and enjoy the scenery.

When “servicing” the bikes the previous day I noticed that my bike’s oil was low, but I wasn’t too worried. But just before we left the campsite I checked again and there was absolutely no oil in the oil tank. Nothing! I don’t know much about bikes, but one thing I know is that oil is pretty important! We started to ask around, we went to the tuck shop, the lodge went to check in their store room, but nothing. I couldn’t find the correct oil. Then at Omarunga Camp, the friendly lady had some engine oil for me and the bike took a serious amount of oil. There was no leak, so I don't know why it was so low on oil. I offered to pay for the oil, but she didn’t want to accept payment for the oil. The people in Namibia are just the best!

The first stretch of the road was the same as we did when we rode in the dark (the road where I killed the bunny), but this time it was a lot more sandy and slippery. I guess that in the dark you don’t see the sand sections and just ride the bike and let the bike do its own thing. The same reason why you should look up ahead of you and not down at your front wheel…



At Okangwati  we stopped at a local bar/tavern for a cold drink and we supported the locals by buying a couple of arm bangles. This is where we were supposed to turn off towards Van Zyls Pass, but it wasn’t going to be. Although it was a bit disappointing not doing the original route, it was still exciting to do a route that you didn’t plan on doing. And it was a beautiful route! The landscape changed constantly.





At Opuwa we fueled the bikes, stocked up on some canned food and chowed a toasted sandwich for lunch. This is a busy town with lots of people, but to be honest, it’s a bit of a shithole. There are many streetkids begging and lots of traditional Himba people just hanging around hoping for a better life. It was a very sad sight. When we were doing the river road, we saw many Himba villages and it got me thinking. These people live way out in the bush, in their huts in small communities, with their live stock and they live off the land. No one bothers them and they live a kind of “care free” life. But the Himbas that have moved into towns have gotten used to money and they need money to survive. And as soon as money got involved, that is when poverty set in. Who is the poor one? The one that lives in town, begging for money and food every day, or the one that lives in the bush that has no money, but doesn’t need money? Who has the easier life? Modernization is ruing these people in my opinion.

Fueling and checking tyre pressures:



Traditional Himbas just look out of place in town. I felt sorry for them and think that money is destoying their culture.



From Opuwa we headed down the C43 to Sesfontein. The road soon started to become twisty with ups and down and there was lots of green vegetation. This was a beautiful section. Again we were hoping to see elephants, but all we saw was elephant crap. That bakkie carrying elephant crap must have gone by here…

At one point we came across a huge herd of cows on the road and it took forever to get through them. I took a picture of the other two idiots and the cow herder shouted at me:”it cost money, it cost money! It cost money for picture”. I just explained that I was taking a picture of my friends and not his cows. I guess you will do anything to make a few bucks here.



The heat was unbearable and after hours of riding we stopped under the only shade we could find to take a breather.





The scenery just got better and better and almost over every hill the landscaped seemed to change. The riding was incredible we were really enjoying ourselves. One of the best things we had on this trip was the Sena SMH10 Bluetooth communication. You can share your thoughts and experiences with the others while riding and this really adds to the whole experience. If you don’t have Bluetooth comm yet – get it! It’s well worth it!







After having a quick cold drink and fueling the bikes at Sesfontein Lodge, we set off again and headed for Palmwag.



















It was getting late and the sun was hanging low, but this is when we got a bonus for the day. All the animals started to appear and soon there were animals everywhere! Oryx, Springbok, Zebra, Giraffe, Kudu….. It was incredible to see so many animals roaming wild. In SA you have to go to a reserve to see these animals, but in Nam they just walk freely!

















As the sun set over the mountains we pulled into Palmwag Lodge. The friendly staff sort of squeezed us in and gave us this small little concrete section to camp on, because the campsite was full. We weren’t bothered at all – any place to sleep was fine! We quickly set up camp and started with dinner.





The canned food in my panniers showed evidence of a rough ride!



Eating like kings!



Back at Epupa Falls, we arranged with the other bunch of KTM riders that we are going to meet them at Palmwag. They were taking a slightly different route than us and doing Robbies Pass. Throughout the evening we were listening out for the rumble of the big 950’s, but they never came. We later learned that they got a bit stuck in the mountains and had to sleep at Sesfontein. It seems that we all had our fare share of adventure in Nam!
« Last Edit: June 02, 2012, 01:52:10 pm by Dirtrider69 »
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Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: 3 Idiots take on Nam!
« Reply #90 on: June 02, 2012, 12:41:26 pm »
Weird thing your Dakar useing so much oil?
Mileage?
Does it still use so much or was it the strech along the river that made it thirsty?
I remember my last long trip on my Dakar was 6500kms and started at 52 000 and it
did not use a drop of oil. That was also Epupa and back.
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Offline Dirtrider69

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Re: 3 Idiots take on Nam!
« Reply #91 on: June 02, 2012, 02:04:40 pm »
Weird thing your Dakar useing so much oil?
Mileage?
Does it still use so much or was it the strech along the river that made it thirsty?
I remember my last long trip on my Dakar was 6500kms and started at 52 000 and it
did not use a drop of oil. That was also Epupa and back.

The bike had a full service at BMW at 40 000km and we started the trip on 44 000km. I can't remember if I actually properly checked the oil before the trip, but I'm sure that would still have been fine after only 4000km. Maybe the oil was low when we started the trip? Don't know...
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Offline Ian in Great Brak River

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Re: 3 Idiots take on Nam!
« Reply #92 on: June 03, 2012, 12:20:02 am »
Man Alive, great trip this !!  The roads we did not get to do on our ride ... great to see your report on it.

Keep it coming.

 8)

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Offline Bring It On

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Re: 3 Idiots take on Nam!
« Reply #93 on: June 03, 2012, 01:38:56 am »
What a truly Awesome RR!! :thumleft: :thumleft:

Reading through everything & viewing all the Gr8 photos, just confirms my desire to one day to also enjoy the opertunity to experience a trip to Namibia :drif: :drif:

Thanks a lot for sharing you experience & I look forward to reading more. :thumleft:
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Offline Frannarossi

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Re: 3 Idiots take on Nam!
« Reply #94 on: June 03, 2012, 04:30:56 pm »
Jislaaik,elke keer as ek die RR verder lees raak ek al hoe meer lus vir nog 'n trippie Namibie toe!Nice fotos en report man :thumleft:
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Offline Dirtrider69

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Re: 3 Idiots take on Nam!
« Reply #95 on: June 05, 2012, 02:27:26 pm »
What a truly Awesome RR!! :thumleft: :thumleft:

Reading through everything & viewing all the Gr8 photos, just confirms my desire to one day to also enjoy the opertunity to experience a trip to Namibia :drif: :drif:

Thanks a lot for sharing you experience & I look forward to reading more. :thumleft:

Book two weeks out a couple of months from now and just do it! Get on your bike and just do it!
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Offline Ian in Great Brak River

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Re: 3 Idiots take on Nam!
« Reply #96 on: June 06, 2012, 02:36:33 am »
Have I said that I like this "Dual RR" approach to this ride ... cool bananas.   8)
 
1978. It's 6am, mid winter...two up on a XL 185S ... off to my first casino ever with all of R40 and we've got a full tank of fuel, so enough to get there we reckon.... that's determination...

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Offline Dirtrider69

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Re: 3 Idiots take on Nam!
« Reply #97 on: June 06, 2012, 02:59:00 pm »
Day 10 Palmwag – Spitzkoppe 334km

We got up very, very early (just before 04:00) because Liam’s watch said it was 05:00, but that was still on SA time. What an idiot! We had a luxurious gourmet breakfast consisting of imported Cape Sardines and freshly pureed tomatoes, served with organic whole wheat brown bread and a hot coffee with Ellis Brown creamer. But to be honest....it wasn't that good.





When we left Epupa, we all put our 10L reserve fuel into our tanks, except for me. I left about 5L in the red container just in case the 990 needs fuel. That’s the kind of thing I do for my friends, you know. Well, on this morning I felt that I’ve been carrying that fuel on the back for long enough and that it’s time to go into my tank. That would later turn out to be a big mistake….

At first light we pushed those happy buttons and slowly made our way to the main gate. Even before we got to the gate we saw this huge herd of Oryx to our right. What an amazing sight!



That morning ride was one of the best rides ever! The air was crisp (actually cold) and fresh and with the sun light just creeping over the mountains, it was truly beautiful. We then realized what we actually have missed every morning by only getting on to the road at 9 or 10.

Liam was wearing a cheap Airflow jacket and he was freezing his nuts off! He really kakked that morning in the cold! Every now and then you’d hear Liam on the comms: “Dude, ek kry fkn koud!” Gummi and I obviously found it very funny…

We spotted this Kudu lying next to the road and stopped for a photo. Then we noticed that he was hurt and wouldn’t get up. Probably hit by a car. We felt sorry for it as it was slowly dying.





Then my two riding buddies, David Hasselhoff and Chuck Norris, came up with the idea of performing a mercy killing and taking the poor Kudu out of its misery. Now I would’ve loved to see these two okes take on that Kudu, armed with a Swiss Army knife (probably fake) and a plastic spoon. But I soon realized that with both of them impaled by moerse Kudu horns and looking like “kebabs”, my day would also be ruined. So, I talked them out of it and we moved on.

David Hasselhoff and Chuck Norris:











Our next stop was Twyfelfontein Lodge, but first we went past the lodge for a few km’s to check out Burnt Mountain and the Organ Pipes. This was a bit of a disappointment though and we headed back to the lodge.

Organ Pipes:






Burnt mountain:





This lodge is in the middle of nowhere! For miles and miles there is absolutely nothing and then suddenly you get this amazing lodge. It’s like an oasis in the desert. It was still early when we got there and we actually had a coffee instead of a beer.











To our amazement there was fuel available and the 990 can always do with a fill up. Gummi filled the Beast and Liam put in a couple of liters. Because I put in that extra 5L of fuel in the morning, I still had more than enough fuel to get to Uis, so I didn’t fuel. Another mistake…







We got back onto the main road and headed for Uis. Again we were taken away by the beauty of this place. Every now and then we just stopped to look around and take in the beauty of Namibia and every time we were kind of overwhelmed by the amount of space and “nothingness” in this country. For miles and miles and miles there is absolutely nothing! Just you and your bike on a lonely gravel road. Adventure biking just can’t get better than this.







This is Brandberg again.



At Uis, we popped in at local restaurant for some lunch and we had one of the best burgers ever!





Spitzkoppe was our next destination and from what we read and heard there is no drinking water available, so we walked over to the shop to buy some water. As luck would have it, the people we walked into the shop just before us, bought all the big bottles of water. So, we took one 500ml water each and figured that we could probably buy some water at Spitzkoppe, because apparently there is a bar there and bars normally have water, right? Wrong. Then we needed to fuel the bikes. Another stroke of bad luck – both filling stations were dry! What now? The fact that I used the last of the reserve fuel and didn’t fuel at Twyfelfontein, was probably going to cost me. We quickly got the maps out and started our calculations. Because the Dakar has no fuel gauge, I always zero my odometer with every fill up so that I know how far I can go. According to my calculations, at 20-23km/liter, I should make it to Spitzkoppe and then I would probably run out fuel 10 – 20 before the town of Usakos. The 990 still had enough fuel to get to Usakos, get me some fuel and return. Obviously Liam had nooooo idea of how much fuel he had or how far he could still go. We figured that he still had enough fuel.

I decided to seriously nurse the bike to Spitzkoppe and averaged 60 – 70km/h. The road was very corrugated and at that slow speed it almost shook the fillings from my teeth! But because we left Palmwag so early that morning we had enough time and we got to Spitzkoppe early in the afternoon. I think we got a bit lazy towards the end of the trip, so that night we chose to sleep in one of the wooden chalets. It’s more of a very basic hikers hut, but we had a bed with a mattress! And this made it 5 star accommodation!







We took off all the gear from the bikes and drove to where there is a natural rock pool. Unfortunately the water was only about 30cm deep with crap at the bottom, so we couldn’t do any swan dives or even sit in the water. Bummer! So, geared with our fake crocks we decided to do some mountaineering and climb all the way to the top of this moerse boulder. And it was worth it! What a view!! From the top of that rock we could see forever! It’s only then that we truly realized how vast this place is and how “in-the-middle-of-nowhere” we really were. Spitzkoppe is an amazing and magical place!





























After our little mountaineering expedition, we were very thirsty. Very! The locals have built this little bar/shebeen place where you can have a cold one, and we quickly became very comfortable there. We sat there the whole afternoon and well into the evening, just talking crap and quenching our thirst. The locals even went to fetch us some more beer after we cleaned out their fridges.  The people in Namibia are just amazingly friendly and helpful.









With our last beers in hand, we headed back to the cabin, got a fire going and made another luxurious canned food dinner with some Chivas for dessert. Another unforgettable day in Nam.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2012, 03:12:39 pm by Dirtrider69 »
"Ride it like you stole it!"
 

Offline Hermit

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Re: 3 Idiots take on Nam!
« Reply #98 on: June 06, 2012, 07:39:36 pm »
Baie lekkerrrrrrr .....   :thumleft:   
Ek beplan om dalk in Julie weer in daardie rigting te ry.   :ricky:    Hoe lyk die paaie oor die algemeen ?
Ek hoop julle gaan deur die Khomas Hochland ry vanaf Usakos na Windhoek toe !!!! Baie lekker pad.
An' here I go again on my own
Goin' down the only road I've ever known,
Like a "drifter" I was born to "ride" alone
An' I've made up my mind
I ain't wasting no more time = Whitesnake
 

Offline DirtRebell

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Re: 3 Idiots take on Nam!
« Reply #99 on: June 06, 2012, 07:51:52 pm »
Ek wil nou iets hier skryf maar ek weet nie wat nie.

Bedonnerde trip wat jy so goed in die RR weergee.


I must go to Namibia very soon or I will go crazy.