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Offline ROOI

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Re: JIMBO'S FULL MOON KRUGER PARK FENCE RIDE
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2012, 02:39:16 pm »
SUB  8)
FTS
 

Offline ClemS

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Re: JIMBO'S FULL MOON KRUGER PARK FENCE RIDE
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2012, 02:55:55 pm »
 :happy1:
 

Offline Stevie

Re: JIMBO'S FULL MOON KRUGER PARK FENCE RIDE
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2012, 10:03:00 pm »
As we decended the last turn into Barberton, I locked up my rear wheel on the hockey-stick left hander. There were some fresh skid marks of a bike that had gone straight on the same turn.
The funny things that go through your mind when you don’t have all the control and a vehicle may be coming from the other side …… nasty.
Jim admitted later that evening to also hearing his wheel lock up, but “only momentarily” - talent and experience, what can one say.




We met Dassie at the Barberton caravan park where he introduced us to about 80 000 billion ants in and around our chalet. Uncharacteristic of Jim’s rides we were able to have a shower and use a proper toilet – nice.


At bedtime I opted for one of the top bunks in the chalet as Jim had commandeered the double bed. Dassie and Mike choosing the two bottom bunks.
 

Dassie was having a tough time sleeping and was very relieved when Mike jumped up complaining of creepy crawlies in his bed at 04h40. The ants found Mikes Dawn body lotion a little too tempting and were trying to make his closer acquaintance. 

Sean: the early morning start ascending the pass was great, I definitely preferred going up than coming down.




JIMBO SHOWING US HOW TO DO IT ON THE WAY UP



STUNNING MORNING VIEW




Day Two: 
Jim: A lively start, as we had missed the Shyalongubu / Louw’s Creek forest loop the day before.  We soon did the loop and were at Kaapmuiden, and after a shaky start in Matsulu were on the fence line proper. 


Sean: As we entered the forest road I let the big guys go ahead and dawdled along at the back – keeping the safe dust gap. Those forest roads were a treat with all sorts coming at you on every corner, stones, rocks, dust, mud, roots – lekker.
Jim enforced a 20 minute stop to allow one of the forestry trucks to get ahead – just not safe for all to pass. We absorbed the solitude of the forest sounds while we waited.




There was a beautiful tranquil dam that we raced past and at one of the junctions here in the middle of nowhere 2 bakkies had had an accidental meeting – never can be too careful. Jim warned that the descent would be tricky and no heroics were required. The road varied from great to crap in a matter of 100m, marble sized stones, big rocks, dust pockets and even mud from the water bowser trying to keep the dust to a minimum. The ride down was good, but even a small mistake here was going to see plenty of airtime if any of us overshot one of the tricky corners.


Jim: We were relieved to find the slippery crossings almost dry, but trod carefully any way.  We had the opportunity to try every conceivable way of riding over the hundreds of road drainage whoops.



Sean: We struggled to get onto the route, but after a few u-turns we were well on our way. Drainage whoops = thousands. The boys had a jol here as we went over the whoops in all sorts of fashion. I started ramping all of them, both wheels off the ground, then powering over the uphill ones keeping the front wheel up and roosting the back wheel, eventually trying to keep them as smooth as possible by keeping both wheels down. More than a few snuck up when concentration levels waned and necessitated an ungainly front wheel landing. This was great fun but I also had to eventually say – enough already.

A LONE BUFFALO BULL ENJOYING A MORNING SNACK...








One or two deeper water crossings saw Mike out with his video but fortunately no names were thrown away.

Jim: We raced the last 10 / 15km into Hoedspruit, and when Dassie passed me I could see his sleeved rear tire would pop soon at that pace.  I signaled him to slow down, and we got to Hoedspruit OK, but soon after the tire blew out giving Dassie his first experience of a medium speed rear blow out.  Help was called and arrived within the hour.  The farm pool, and a magnificent meal put together by Dassie and Pillionbok completed the day.

Sean: After help arrived Jim opted to travel back with the bakkie forcing Dassie to ride the 40+ km on Jim’s bike. Dassie does have a new found respect for us DR riders seat tolerance.




DASSIE'S ATTEMPT TO CONFIRM THE PROBLEM GAVE MIKE AND I PLENTY TO CHUCKLE ABOUT AS DASSIE DISCOVERED THE INTERNAL TEMPERATURE OF A RECENTLY BLOWN OUT TYRE... ONLY ONCE HIS FINGER WAS FIRMLY STUCK INSIDE @#%&&*@@  :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer:




After a brisk swim in the 19 ̊ C pool a great evening was had around the campfire.
This was a sad time for me as work commitments were forcing me back to Gauteng in the morning and I would have to leave the pack just as the real trip was starting.




MORNING FIRE AS WE WAITED FOR JIMBO TO WAKE UP




Day Three:  A lazy start while Pillionbok fed breakfast to the troops. Unfortunately Sean had to leave us here. Good fast gravel roads to Gravelotte where we fueled up, then more good fast gravel road to the Letaba River. 



WHILE WE ENJOYED BREAKFAST, JIMBO KITTED UP ON THE SLY JUST SO THAT HE COULD TAP HIS FOOT WHILE HE HAD TO WAIT FOR US - MUST HAVE HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH OUR COMMENTS RE HIS MORNING TARDINESS!!!



MIKES NEW-LOOK GS,



Parting ways




Sean: after splitting at the entrance gate I took a leisurely ride onto the tar road keeping speed around 95km/h. I stopped often took a few pics and routed home via Ohrigstad, Lydenburg, Dullstroom, Belfast and Middelburg. After Belfast I spent about 20km on the N4 but was totally bored with all the crazy traffic and sitting behind a Greyhound bus. I turned off the N4 along the Arnot road towards Middelburg and had the road all to myself. There were some huge potholes and some bad pockmarked sections of road, but nothing the little Suzuki dual-sporter couldn’t handle. I may have seen 6 cars on that section – schweet.
The remainder of the trip was incident free apart from seeing a fellow lady biker that had just been involved in an intersection misunderstanding – she was already strapped in the stretcher and thankfully help was already at hand – sobering.   





AND THAT CONCLUDES STEVIE'S CONTRIBUTION, I NOW HAND YOU OVER TO MIKE AND JIM FOR THE REALLY COOL SECTION




 

Offline ThinkMike

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Re: JIMBO'S FULL MOON KRUGER PARK FENCE RIDE
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2012, 09:38:44 am »
Back to Day Two

Barbeton accommodation municipal chalets, if you are passing through is a good option.  Sleeps 6.



Stevie and Dassie water crossing.

When we stopped before the crossing, Jim said to me “what do you think?” So my Reply was looks fine - go for it, I’ll be right behind you.  We choose the right hand track and well ….. and then Stevie and Dassie showed us the line we should have taken, and made it look so easy!!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/iK7XXVSc7kM?fs=1&amp;amp" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/iK7XXVSc7kM?fs=1&amp;amp</a>   


Dassi, we need your recount of the blow-out. I looked in my mirrors, he was there, I looked again and he was on the opposite side of the road on the grass.

At the end of an absolutely lekker day’s riding, we were spoiled by our hosts Dassie and Pillionbok as we watched the rise of the full moon. Thank you!!!







It’s a Farm Dog’s life!!


As I came to learn, Jim is not one for luxuries on a hard-core ride, such as tents, fire, coffee, food etc. (Basically fuel and water and a mat to sleep on). So far we had chalets night 1 and Dassies farm night 2.

So the plan was to braai enough meat to last us 2 nights 3 days in the bush. We did 3 of these braai grids full of meat. No we never went hungry!!



Jim was talking about sleeping outside under the stars this night. Stevie and I said not a fork we gonna make the most of a soft bed thanks you.  Here is my campsite for the night.




Dassie’s farm is a big 5 farm. There is an electric perimeter fence around the dwelling area to keep the big boys out.  There is one particular Male elephant (forget his name) who used to take pleasure in pushing the gate down and bringing the herd in in for the Vegie garden, Marulas, avocados etc. So Dassie electrified the gate with strands from bottom to top.

This boy was too clever for that, as Dassie watched, he folder his trunk flat against his forehead and pushed his tusks under the bottom, lifted the gate out of the rails and let it plop over.



Those orange wires around the trees above are his latest attempt to keep them at bay. Good luck with that Dassie.

I nearly wet myself when Pillionbok told us the story of when one night the lions were getting a bit close to the farm house and the Gate was open. She kept telling Dassie to go close the gate. But Dasie has been a game ranger and farm manager for 15 years and chuckled to himself as a lion 8 kms away can sound like a KM away.

Anyway he could hear they were getting  closer so got up and went outside, walked down to the gate, closed it and came back and got into bed. A minute or 2 later there were some roars, at which point Dassie thought mmm ja must be close for the windows to rattle. Pushed back the curtain to see the pride that he had just walked past in the dark and now Locked in by closing the gate!!!!

THE GATE IS NOW REMOTE CONTROLLED!!!



It’s a farm dog’s life – this one just  couldn’t get close enough to the coals.



Tx Pillionbok


Sorry Babe I am still riding.
 

Offline ThinkMike

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Re: JIMBO'S FULL MOON KRUGER PARK FENCE RIDE
« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2012, 11:49:53 am »
Just before we get onto day 3, here is the overall route we did


Day 1 – 479 Km    Yellow
Day 2 – 312 Km    Green
Day 3 – 218 Km    Dark Blue
Day 4 – 190 Km   Red (its Red for a reason – hardest day)
Day 5 – 242 Km   Light Blue
Day 6 – 442 Km   Magenta



I will post the GPS Track later.


As a matter of interest Fuel Consumption on the 1200 GS was very similar to the 350’s and 650.

Best    23.8 KM / L  (4.2 L / 100 km)
Worst    19.23 KM / L (5.2 L / 100 km)
Average was around 20.8 KM/l

Sorry Babe I am still riding.
 

Offline dassie

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Re: JIMBO'S FULL MOON KRUGER PARK FENCE RIDE
« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2012, 11:54:56 am »
Back to day 1 at Barberton

When Mike woke up at 4 o clock in the morning, i was relieved to have conversation, as i lied awake most of the night. When i told Mike my ordeal, he repolied......Kaaaaaark and burst out laughing. Aparently he was still chatting to me the night before when the snoring started  :imaposer: Sorry Mike and Stevie.
I nearly burst out laughing when i saw mike with his headlamp, hunting down all the ants in his bed  :mwink:
After a few attempts he decided to give up, and moved to the upper deck next to stevie. Stevie and i was wondering about that as the scratcing continued for quite a while after he moved  :imaposer:
Mike was still trying to get rid of the ant feeling for more than an hour.
After a while we all decided  get up and start packing up.

Riding the second day was a great experience. I however caried some of our little six legged friends with me that day. They were walking around in my helmet and pants. At some stages one was walking around in my ear  :eek7:
Any way, the ride was awsome. Stevie and Mike comented at one stage about my exhaust disturbing their tranquility  :laughing4:
All in good spirit though, we had a bunch of fun.

Just before Hoespruit, we did a drag race (with DS bikes and knobly tyres  :imaposer:) and Jim signalled me to slow down as my back tyre was busy disintegrating. Oh man, that tyre gave me hassles since the beginning...

Going the last 70 Km, we decided to nurse the bikes (especially mine with the tyre  :dousing:) . We averaged 90 Km/h. About 30 Km out of Hoedspruit my back tyre had a blowout  :eek7:
Faaaaark was that scary........
My pony started behaving very very odd.....I was steering as straight as i could and my back was at a very impossible angle...nearly nearly saw my behind  :patch:
Then suddenly she did the same, but on the oposite angle WTF. then i started bleeding off the speed and was able to get the two wheels to stop on the oposite side of the road. Oh my word. that was freaky freaky shite  :o

By the time i got my nerves to stop jumping and jiving, the other guys were back. What was their first question....What on earth are you doing this side of the road  ::)
Thank goodness i got pillionbok to take my bike back on a bakkie, and i drove Jimbo's bike to our next stop (which is my home), as Jim decided he was going to enjoy the comfy bakkie seat the last leg.
By the time we arrived, i realized why Jimbo took the comfy seat. Those DR riders are much tuffer than us KLR riders my word. Its like sitting on a flippen fence pole riding one of those  :laughing4:

That night, i replaced my back tyre with a kenda dual purpose tyre, the one i normally use on my bike. It felt so good putting that wheel back on my bike, i knew then everything was going to be fine.

We enjoyd a nice visit around the fire that night, and Pillionbok treated us to all her specialities around the kitchen table that night and the following morning.

The next day we flaged our farwells to Stevie as he abandoned us  :pot:
Just joking stevie  :laughing4:
uhhh yes doctor, i know im adicted.....
 

Offline dassie

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Re: JIMBO'S FULL MOON KRUGER PARK FENCE RIDE
« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2012, 11:59:18 am »
Just before we get onto day 3, here is the overall route we did


Day 1 – 479 Km    Yellow
Day 2 – 312 Km    Green
Day 3 – 218 Km    Dark Blue
Day 4 – 190 Km   Red (its Red for a reason – hardest day)
Day 5 – 242 Km   Light Blue
Day 6 – 442 Km   Magenta



I will post the GPS Track later.


As a matter of interest Fuel Consumption on the 1200 GS was very similar to the 350’s and 650.

Best    23.8 KM / L  (4.2 L / 100 km)
Worst    19.23 KM / L (5.2 L / 100 km)
Average was around 20.8 KM/l



One thing i forgot to mention......

Mike with his 1200 GS is a monster. Man he handles that babe like a MX rider. Good on you mike, after i saw you ride that GS, i will gladly buy meself one someday, as i know now the endless possiblities.
uhhh yes doctor, i know im adicted.....
 

Offline ThinkMike

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Re: JIMBO'S FULL MOON KRUGER PARK FENCE RIDE
« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2012, 02:04:00 pm »
Day Three: 

Jimbo “A lazy start while Pillionbok fed breakfast to the troops. Unfortunately Sean had to leave us here. Good fast gravel roads to Gravelotte where we fuelled up, then more good fast gravel road to the Letaba River. “

Mike  - At Gravelotte we were to meet up with one of the fellow dogs. Unfortunately tragedy struck with one of his inner circle the day before.

Jim drawing the route for us in the sand.


               
Looks like this section will be no go soon – as we turned off the main dirt road towards Letaba, we spotted the fence poles dotted along the main dirt road.





Jimbo  “Crossed the Letaba and traveled downstream a bit until we hit the fence proper, and then full speed to the north.  At the Klein Letaba River Mike wanted to play in the sandy river bed with his 1200 BMW.  It was very soft, eh Mike? and hard to get up speed.  Elephant spoor and steaming dung on our side of the fence – yeh plenty.  Always ready for an Elephant Turn. “



Jim’s bed mat had fallen off during the Klein Letaba crossing (Klein? WTF).  Dassie retrieved it and then offered to go in search of his missing octopus strap on foot (thought it would be easier than going back on the bike – the sand was a real bitch for some reason – he had helped me get unstuck twice)





Returning empty Handed




<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/cm2d_aVZopc?fs=1&amp;amp" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/cm2d_aVZopc?fs=1&amp;amp</a>   


From here on we had some undulating twisty jeep track, ranging from hard pack to stony to thick sand. I came into an s-bend in thick sand and got outa shape, caught, it, lost it, caught it lost it…. the front wheel digging in and me running off into the bush. When Dassie appeared, he saw me running back to my bike to hit the kill switch.

He stopped to ask if all was good and I just waved him on to Jim, who another 30 meters further was also lying under his bike.



This was as good a time as any to re-fuel. And note  Jimbo’s reliance on technology – that’s his GPS between his tank and seat!!


 


Jimbo “ My Suzuki decided the middle of the Shingwedzi river bed would be a good place for the battery to pack-up. “



Jimbo  “We decided on this diagnosis after checking every terminal, solenoid, switch, connection and fuse. “














We were stuck in the riverbed in the hot sun for around 1.5 hours. As Murphy states, a battery will not pack up on the top of a hill to make life easy.


Dassie couldn’t get out fast enough.  He just loves that KLR with his aftermarket front and rear suspension. I recon the KLR is such a capable all-rounder (also just love that thumper sound with a pipe).   


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/WEJeeZ1J408?fs=1&amp;amp" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/WEJeeZ1J408?fs=1&amp;amp</a>   


Jimbo “ The DR will push start and run without a battery, but to push it first required that it was dragged backwards up the river bank, and then pushed down to start - OK.  After that Mike’s 1200 was used as a tow motor.  I guess the BMW guys will love this.” 



Well if it was the BM’s battery that went we would have been stuffed – no way you gonna push / pull start it on dirt.




With all the heat, hard work and lots of sweating, Dassie has run out of water, so we head into a village to find water. We find a shop, he tops up and we buy a 2L coke which we flatten and head out.

My side stand kill switch had taken a rock at some point and was playing up after the Letaba sand. Leaving the village I collected the remains of a bundle of barbed wire fence and all went dead.  20 minutes later Dassie had patched the switch casing together and cable tied it up out the way on the frame – No more problems:







Jim Thinking “These bloody BMW’s with their fancy electronic crap, only good for a tow start”




Jimbo “The rest of the day was good riding, with plenty of challenges.  We camped in the bush about 25km south of Punda Maria.  Full moon.  Very pleasant. “



I had seen this barb earlier in the day, but it was going to stay right where it was – not leaking and it was its own plug













Awesome moon rise


We may have mentioned it earlier, but the Fence is down in so many places, with the big game on our side as well as in.

Just as we are settling in on our mats, we hear some hyenas close by.  So as a mostly city boy, I think just as well we have the bush king, Dassie with us cause he knows what’s what in the bush and I have nothing to worry about.




Just then he says  “ Fuck I hate hyenas and they scare the shit outta me when you are in the bush like this “. WTF…… and then he goes on to tell us absolute horror stories.

Ja now I must go to sleep with images of hyenas dragging me into the bush by my face…..

Last I remember was the fading drone of Jim and Dassie’s voices – and then next thing, I woke up still alive and it was morning!


Ugly Buggas


Sorry Babe I am still riding.
 

Offline africanSky

Re: JIMBO'S FULL MOON KRUGER PARK FENCE RIDE
« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2012, 04:56:19 pm »
Great report! keep it coming.
 

Offline ThinkMike

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Re: JIMBO'S FULL MOON KRUGER PARK FENCE RIDE
« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2012, 05:08:22 pm »
Nice guys, looks like a great trip. Looks like Jimbo was expecting another tough trip - whats this I spy?

After this night, I started getting an idea as to why Jim, Dassie and Stevie were carrying!!  :biggrin:
Sorry Babe I am still riding.
 

Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: JIMBO'S FULL MOON KRUGER PARK FENCE RIDE
« Reply #30 on: May 17, 2012, 07:51:40 pm »
:hello2: :hello2: Epic stuff!

I don't know how you fell asleep with those bloody things nearby.

What an adventure! please keep it coming  :thumleft:
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Current bike: KTM 350 EXC   Previous bikes:  2010 WR450F, 2006 KTM450EXC,KTM 450RR, BMW800GS, KTM450EXC, BMW650 GS, BMW650 Dakar, and Honda XR250
 

Offline Would I?

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Re: JIMBO'S FULL MOON KRUGER PARK FENCE RIDE
« Reply #31 on: May 17, 2012, 09:26:46 pm »
Great RR. Keep it comming.
You either make dust or you eat dust.
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Offline dassie

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Re: JIMBO'S FULL MOON KRUGER PARK FENCE RIDE
« Reply #32 on: May 18, 2012, 12:21:40 pm »
Mikes version of the trip is spot on. I just have one thing to say.....I wish i could capture the images on some of our falls and twisties. No words can describe the fun we had.
Mike, great pics man. At least someone had a camera  :biggrin:
uhhh yes doctor, i know im adicted.....
 

Offline XXL

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Re: JIMBO'S FULL MOON KRUGER PARK FENCE RIDE
« Reply #33 on: May 18, 2012, 01:17:01 pm »
Great ride report...this is genuine adventure :thumleft: Sleeping with hyeanas....no thanks ::)
 

Offline sidetrack

Re: JIMBO'S FULL MOON KRUGER PARK FENCE RIDE
« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2012, 02:05:53 pm »
Gr8 report !
Little by little, one travels far

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Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline Bashplate

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Re: JIMBO'S FULL MOON KRUGER PARK FENCE RIDE
« Reply #35 on: May 18, 2012, 02:42:19 pm »
Awesome!!  :thumleft:
 

Offline EATMYKTM.

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Re: JIMBO'S FULL MOON KRUGER PARK FENCE RIDE
« Reply #36 on: May 18, 2012, 02:44:45 pm »
Please Sirs, may I come with next time? :ricky:
Got to take the time to do the things you wouldn't normally do.
 

Offline ThinkMike

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Re: JIMBO'S FULL MOON KRUGER PARK FENCE RIDE
« Reply #37 on: May 18, 2012, 04:23:01 pm »
Day Four

Jimbo “ Another lively start. “   (he is referring to the ride once we were awake, not these lazy ass pics of a lekker lie-in)







2 Hour Rule

Jim has a great rule (well not a rule, more a guide), the ride generally starts 2 hours after sunrise. Must admit I didn’t quite understand it at first, but remember this has come from Jim’s years and years of experience on trips like these.

It removes any tendency to rush or overlook things and provides the opportunity for individuals to FIX whats broke without that worry about holding up the group. 


Firing up the Suz routine.




Poaching

Just near this spot where Jim took a rest, we saw a skinny dog on the inside of the fence. Dassie explained that these are commonly used by poachers.  When I think poaching, I think of the Rhino debacle, but as Dassie explained, there are huge numbers of subsistence poachers who are out there day and night trapping / snaring smaller game for food.



These guys in turn become the eyes and ears for the Rhino type poachers passing on info about location and movement of rhino. So they know exactly where the rhino are all the time as well as the rangers etc. – very sad.

On Dassies farm he has deployed extremely pro-active poacher combatting activities which start with the elimination (almost) of the subsistence poachers. Anyway we hold thumbs that he can keep his record of not a single rhino loss. Good stuff boet!


Jimbo  “Decided to go west to the Thohoyandou / Punda Maria road to re-fuel, and then back to the fence and on to Punda Maria.  Unfortunately Dassie had to leave us at this point. “



We were sorry to see him go but there was an issue on the Farm that had to be taken care of. Dassie is not only a nice guy with a pretty face, but quietly instils an air of confidence in the group with that  “BOER MAAK N PLAN” ability.

And he is a strong little bugger – we certainly could have used him later today as we would discover!!!  But not to worry, he and Pillionbok would join us on Tuesday night at our last night on another friend of Jim’s Farm (Gees  he has lots of friends despite himself).
 



Jimbo “ To get around the mountains to the north of Punda Maria required us to do a loop to the west, and then north again on homeland roads to meet up with the fence again.  When approaching the fence the road became very sandy and winding, with no chance of getting up to proper sand speed.  There were a few tumbles, but no real crashes or injuries. “

The good thing about being the one taking pics, is that there are no pics of you under your bike.  I did first check if he was OK.  A tougher bugger you won’t easily find.




Getting the Suzuki started in thick sand sometimes meant low speed padling for us both till firm ground was available.




Jimbo “On arrival at the fence we were confronted with loose boulders in very loose sand.  The fence line was now quite steep.  A few hundred meters of this proved very exhausting.  I stalled once on down hill, and managed to get going again, but when I stalled again I had to call to Mike for assistance. “




The track was getting worse and worse, I hit a series of boulders that threw me off line and I fell against the fence. Picked up the now very heavy beast and left it and went to assist Jim.




Jimbo “ After three push-start attempts with beer crate  size rocks to contend with I was fired up again, but further down the hill in hostile territory and nearing exhaustion.  As luck would have it we found a game track going off on a contour which looked more promising than the way we had come.  It was hot, and water was getting low.  We decided to abandon this section or face complete exhaustion. “

No Pics for a while I am afraid – we were just too exhausted to even bother. It took us 2 hours to get out because it was such a bugger to start the flat battery bitch and we were going further into the valley with each attempt.

We had one or 2 spills on the way out back to the sand road, adding to the exhaustion when having to pick up bikes in the soft sand and heat, and then get the bitch started again.

The instant we reached the sand road, we parked under a shay tree, gulped down water and scoffed some of our huge reserves of the best tasting steak and chops.







Jimbo “ We were still determined to get to the Limpopo River one way or another.  We headed to Masisi (Which is definitely the place to be seen), and then to the Northern Frontier (good gravel and sand roads).  “





Jimbo “At the border fence we turned west (which is actually a military operational area) until we reached a point where we could get through the fence and ride down to the Limpopo River bed, a distance of about 2 km. “









Traveling West on the Northern frontier road, we reach a locked gate ahead of us. To our left, just off the road, we spotted a military base camp obscured by the bush. A few military men quickly came out on hearing the bikes, to see what was happening. We answered a couple of questions and told them about our quest to reach the Limpopo and then asked if they would let us through the gate.

No not an option but then they pointed to a foot path and said we could go down there, which they said leads to the river about 2 Kms away.  So we said that cool but we wanna take the bikes.  OK they said, we just had to make a plan getting them through the fence.

We asked if we could Camp there – We got these looks of astonishment - NO absolutely not 3 main reasons.

1.   Can’t have us caught in potential cross fire - This is an active operational area with frequent engagement with poachers and illegal border crossing attempts from Zim.
2.   Direct threat from poachers / illegals stumbling across us at night.
3.   But more important – they reckon that the buffalo and elephant in this No-man land area are extremely aggressive with humans, from the relentless contact with poachers, shooting, snaring etc.

So we agree that we will be an hour and we will be back.


Jimbo ” The elephant were in plain sight, but a bit away.  This turned out to be a slight mistake, as on two occasions I was stalled in sand, and Mike was bogged down 50 meters away.  However with some lifting, rock and stick carrying and pushing we were both fired up again and riding out of the river bed, whew!!  Slept very tired in the bush near Masisi.  “


Don’t you just love this view of an Ele?  (Moving away from you that is)






We’ve made it, the foot path took us right to the banks of the Limpopo. Here the foot paths were those created by elephants and other animals.  We were hoping that big herd we saw was not heading to the water. Everywhere you look their dung is scattered.



















The SANDF guys told us whatever we do, don’t go across the river to ZIM (I am guessing they meant Swim – they do and will just shoot!! These guys appeared running down the far embankment from out of no-where the instant we stopped the bikes.














Happy to have spent some time at the river taking in the wonderful views we decide its time to fire up the Suzuki and head back. And that’s when we run into some sand issues after only a few hundred meters, starting with the Suzuki stalling and me bogging trying to tow start.  This was easily sorted, just turned the bikes around and 15 meters back we were on hard ground.



While Jim was bogged I continue over a very sandy hillock which I made, but it took some riding effort .

So when I returned to Jim, I decided to do a little recce and try find us another way out and half way up a 15ft embankment I feel the bike sinking in. Throttle wide open I make it to the top but most of my momentum has left me and surprise surprise I make it another 10 meters on flat top before it’s on the bash plate. 

Sorry – no pics for the next hour (funny how the last thing on your mind is taking pics, when your sense of humour fucked off into the distance to watch you kak-off,  from atop a hard surface embankment!!!!!).

Then it was push her over, fill the hole, find sticks, rocks, pack, lift her up, get a meter and repeat.  1200 GS (Yes it does stand for Geen Sand) is just so freekin heavy, even when you’re not exhausted. 

However the positive is I developed a very useful technique for us small guys with these huge bikes, when your ‘e on your own, stuck in proper sand.  To give you an idea, I couldn’t even drag the back around once I had pushed her over to clear the hole from the back wheel.

If you are big and strong no need to read this – just use the sand recovery training they teach for normal people.. haha

1.   As soon as she starts bogging proper close the fucking throttle!  (promise no magic traction comes along from nowhere)
2.   Go find smallish flat rocks – even if you gotta walk far
3.   Dump the rocks on the left side of the bike
a.   Position a rock for the side stand for when you lift her.
b.   Position another on the right side at the back wheel
4.   Unpack bags (don’t have to tell U this,  do I – well fuck face here tried twice before taking the weight off)
5.   Push the bike over onto the right side.
6.   Fill the hole
7.   Lift the bitch up (I can only use the “back to bike” method – cause I AM SO FUCKING SHORT)
8.   Still on the right side, push the bike onto the side stand so it lifts the back wheel enough to slide the (well position) rock with your foot under the wheel.
9.   Now pack rocks between from and back wheel, and one or 2 in front of the front wheel.
a.   This will give you a runway to build momentum
10.   I run the bike out until on firmer ground, then jump on and do the weight back, standing, open up blah blah blah (and no I don’t look up – TOO FUCKING Tired by now)

Last little stick in the sand , used the above method and out in a flash. The whole time I had the elephants in the back of my mind and with around an hour of light left, it probably incentivised us to get out.





Any way Jim and I were um.. really FUCKED by the time we got out onto firm track and we had used almost all our water for today and tomorrow.

So we followed the single track back out to the road and got through the fence and reported back to the SANDF guys. Sorry the 1 hour turned into around 3.

I ask the chap if they have water for us. We follow him to a water bladder strapped to a tree and I fill 2 x 2L coke bottles – I notice the brownie, greenie coloured water together with insects etc. –look at Jim glug down some pass it over and he glugs some. No position to be picky.


Snuck a quick pic of the base with Jim marching out…


Back to our bikes. You can see the fence we had to negotiate our bikes through in and out – SOOOO Worth it.




They wanted to know where we were sleeping so we said Masisi. Yeah Sure… we were gonna camp in the bush but couldn’t tell them that – they made it very clear this was an operational area. By now we were running outa light quick, so off we went. Stopping for a quick sunset pic on the Northern frontier road.



Man they were serious about the operational area – on hearing the bikes, we had a guy run out of the bush fully loaded with R1 (I guess) ready for action (or a lift haha). We just kep riding and the look of bewilderment of his face was quite amusing. (no shots fired)




Just after this pic, we met an army truck coming the other way  - it was the big makulu baas we had originally spoken to about going down the track to the river. Eish it was a Cab filled with smiles – they seemed very happy to see us (surprised to see us make it out maybe haha). Had a quick chat, thanked them again and waved good bye – (lekker Guys).



Traveling south away from the border line we pulled into the bush about 10 Kms before Masisi to set up camp. Light was almost gone. Had enough time to pull the boots off, set out the mats and then take this pic.




Jim and I didn’t talk much for the first 30 minutes – just lay there staring at the stars and taking in one hellava days riding, while feeling the exhaustion easing off quietly into the dark as the weary muscles came back to life.

A bit later, I remember we ate some meat and chatted a bit (don’t recall about what) and next moment I think I hear rustling, walking other side Jim who is 8 meters from me. It stops, I sit up and ask Jim did you hear that?  No nothing. There it is again crisp and clear – There Jim, hear? Nothing – WTF are U deaf it is so clear? but still he hears nothing. Its probably the bloody Hyena coming for my steak (or me – Jim is too old and tough for them), or maybe it’s a poacher wanting my horn?!

The moon has not yet risen so it is very dark and I had lost my head lamp 2 nights before at Dassie’s place. Jim is too tired to worry about noises I can hear and he can’t, so I’m on my own.  I am peering into the dark past Jim, when I pick up summing black and small in my peripheral vision right in front of me on my ground sheet. I can see it cruising past me but cant see what it is.

So I grab the camera point and shoot, check the LCD – nothing. Third time lucky it was this little bugger – I was so relieved I wanted to kiss him and asked if he would like to share my sleeping bag for the night – no he just kept going.




Whoosh - Morning arrived so fast!
Sorry Babe I am still riding.
 

Offline ThinkMike

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Re: JIMBO'S FULL MOON KRUGER PARK FENCE RIDE
« Reply #38 on: May 18, 2012, 04:26:47 pm »
Please Sirs, may I come with next time? :ricky:

Yes - but Why didnt you come this time??? IT WAS FRIKKEN AWSOME
Sorry Babe I am still riding.
 

Offline africanSky

Re: JIMBO'S FULL MOON KRUGER PARK FENCE RIDE
« Reply #39 on: May 18, 2012, 04:55:41 pm »
Very cool ride!
Out of interest what was everyone (except Mike) packing - Jimbo seems to have some form of portable field gun?