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View Full Version : Cape Town to Kaokoland and back, KTM950 & AT. pt.3


Kamanya
03-04-2006, 04:59 PM
Previous part 2:
http://www.austouring.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=183




It was a little funny at times as there are some upgrades if you could call them that, where the track has been improved and rerouted. But in the dark and not bothering to stop and work out which one was the better we often rode through the older and rougher choice that only became apparent once you were committed.

Around the last bend and I could at last see lights of the camps. There are about 5 or 6 camps in Epupa. Before the trip I had phoned and booked us into the Epupa River Lodge Camp. Complete fluke saw us ride into that Camp first. And who should we meet straight off was Mark and Cathy!
The elation of having conquered the road and then running into them was brilliant. Mark immediately thrust an ice cold beer into my hand and did the same to Craig.

It was a special moment for Craig and I, well worth the sweat and toil. What a day! It was a great feeling of accomplishment.

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367619-L.jpg

Fritz the camp owner and manager showed us where to camp and it didnít take us long to get stuck into what his bar had to offer and then off to Mark and his new found Friendsí camp fire for a night of story telling and re-riding the route.


Craig got caught telling some story and was blatantly jacking up the figures and the size of the hills a bit. I am sure I must have been doing the same but I had the camera!

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367656-L.jpg

Adrenaline has worn off and the beer is kicking in.

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367621-L.jpg

Total for the day 97.53kís




Day 7

Rest day. Did little more than Sleep and swim and watch the locals play an ancient game that resembles backgammon.

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367642-L.jpg



There were other bikers there, a pair who had travelled the same track we did the previous day. One guy was on a BMW f650 dakar and the other was on BMW 80R. The 650 guy never came off once but the other guy said he stopped counting after 30, he was exhausted. His bike had blown itís fork seals and his clutch was starting to slip. Kudos to him for completing the trip. They had a buddy that had an 1150GS who had wisely elected to take the easier route.

There were 4 other BMW GSís from Austria, 3 guys and a girl. Two adventures an 1150 and an1100, they also took the easy route and one thing that they enviously had was bike to bike radio systems. Something we have decided would be a good safety factor on a trip like this. They had flown their bikes in for a Namibian adventure and were flying out in a few days time.



http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367624-L.jpg


Epupa falls is an amazing set of falls, and to think that there was a plan to dam the river at this point. It would have meant that the falls would have been underwater and lost forever. Dams are not the easy answer for power and water needs. Apart from a host of ecological disasters the local tribes would have had their culture destroyed with the dam.

What is interesting is that unusually for a major water fall, the main falls run in line or parallel with the flow of the river, so the river falls into a long slot. There is a small amount of flow that goes around the falls and creates great Jacuzzi type pools that are wonderful to laze in.

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367631-L.jpg

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367635-L.jpg

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367646-L.jpg



That night was a big decision night. I wanted to do a section of the North of Namibia that goes through a famously bad stretch of road called Van Zylís Pass. It is so bad that there is strong advice only to tackle it from one direction and that makes the pass a mostly downwards affair. The reason is that going up the pass causes way more erosion and if you had to meet someone on the trail it would be next to impossible to turn around or get to a spot where you can pass each other.
I was very confident that if we had done the Epupa river road, the pass road was not any worse, possibly easier. Plus on a bike going down is way easier than going up. Having spoken to close friends who had driven the route I was absolutely certain that it was doable.

The only hitch is that fuel is an issue; you need a range of 450kís minimum to safely do it. Now that we had caught Mark and Cathy and Fritz did have the 50 litres that I had ordered by phone. Our bikes took about 17 litres to get back to full each and 20 litres could go on Marks roof, more than enough to see us through.

The only issue was Craig, he had had his full of adventure and was not so keen. It is understandable as his introduction to off road riding had been a very steep curve. I let the issue wait till morning and then he could decide, Iíd go with whatever he chose. So there was a fair bit of Rum and whiskey to throw back and hopefully lubricate his decision making processes.

Total for the day 0kís


Day 7

Early morning, 10 meters from my tent. The falls are rumbling just to the left. Jeez! Lifeís good!

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367667-L.jpg


Looking upstream

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367669-L.jpg

"So Craig whatís it going to be?"

He took a big sigh and said, "Ok, letís just get this Van Zylís thing over with, but after that, we are doing it my way. I just want a cruizy trip after that"

Cool! Here we go! The Rum and Whiskey lubricant must have worked after all!

The 60kís to Okangwati are easy and fast, it is from there that you either turn left for the easier route or carry on straight to Van Zylís. Fritz had said that there was a touring group of 16 bikers from France I think that apparently had ridden up van Zylís on the way to his camp. We passed them on this stretch. Most of them were 525ís and 640ís and a big assortment of small calibre MX bikes, but there were 3 950 adventures too. I stopped the first guy who seemed to be the leader and asked about Van Zylís. He said that only 3 of them had done it and that it was very hard and he was on a 640. He looked at my bike and said that I would probably suffer some damage. Hmm food for thought.

I also flagged down the support vehicle, it was one of those monstrous Dakar looking things and he was really flying. He slithered to a halt just past where I was stopped and said much the same.

I made my mind up just before Okangwati. My tyre was not wearing as well as I thought it might and seemed to have taken a real bashing on the track. Also we had had such a great time and got off relatively unscathed, it would be a pity to come to any grief now. It just didnít feel right and gut feelings are not to be messed with.

When I mentioned to Craig what I thought we should do the easier route he was impressively unemotional about the decision.

Mark and the gang had just arrived and Mark was begging me to swap with him for a ride on my bike. He also has a 950 that was bought the same time as mine and he used to race enduro for quite a while. He is planning to do our route in April. He looked desperate, it must have eaten him when we came flying past him on this last stretch, and I know how I would have felt. He even offered me ice cold beer and the company of his better half! (her conversational skills of course!)

Well as we were now no longer going to do the pass, he could stop begging as we would go our separate ways. We said our goodbyes and were back on the road to Opuwo. It felt good; we had made the right choice.

In this part of world it is muscle power that gets things done. These herders are watering their cattle, they are young guys I guess about 12 to 16, they work hard!

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367673-L.jpg

Life in this part of the word is very tough and you have to be a bit of a make a plan kind of person to survive, this chap certainly had to do that. His truck that was carrying 3 massive blocks of granite ran out of diesel on a small incline and though he had all of his braking systems on, the weight of the blocks dragged him back down the hill into the bush. Weight of blocks 18 and 19 tons each, capacity of trailer 16 tons. Therefore Gravity 1 trailer 0.

He had already pulled the first trailer out with one of the blocks on and was back to get this one. You can see that the trailer is bent from the strain. I offered to attach my bike and help him pull it out. 950ís have more than enough power to do that kind of thing. I think he thought I was joking.

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367675-L.jpg

Opuwo is a grim little town were we stopped to get some anti-inflammatory pills, (Craigís shoulder and my knee), petrol and some lunch.

Then it was a long haul to Sesfontein and onto Ongongo Springs.
The camp site is a community one and it shows but the spring is the attraction. The tricky bit it is getting across the small rocky stream to where the camping is. It is very slippery with algae and it was only seconds before I went down.

Craig 4 Andrew 6!

Craig made it look easy. I volunteered to go back the 10kís to find the local guy who we had given money to to buy us a few cool drinks at the shop on the main road. We needed more than cool drinks and beer was going to do the trick.

He took a video of me trying to cross the stream again. I donít fall but it doesnít look elegant. It doesnít help the ego when you replay the video to hear him cackling in the background.

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367687-L.jpg

On the subject of falls.

Craig said that surely losing a windscreen, getting stuck in a donga and having a bike nearly crush you to death counted for way more than a piddly drop on a flat road?

"Ah", I countered, "what you are not taking into consideration are the other variables like blows to the ego and embarrassment factors". Dropping it in front of a group of Himbaís for example while showing off would rate very highly too.

He was in agreement immediately and on reflection actually started saying that my first drop was possibly capable of getting a higher rating than his donga bashing. In the end this is where our drop count ends; neither of us fell off anymore after this.

So I won. 6 Ė 4. Heíll just have to try harder next time.

Craig went to go soak his bod in the spring...

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367715-L.jpg


...while I went off to go find out about our guy and beer. He walked the whole 10k's way there and was about to come back before I found him at the Kooka Shop and told him that I was also going to need beer.

We repacked the bottles and some bully beef in my tank bag and the ruck sack that we had given him for the walk and then in front of a now big gathering of locals, I headed off with our local guy hanging on grimly.

One of the crowd, as I was getting on my bike asked if she could some too, to "visit"? Her meaning of the word and my understanding of it were two very different things. Apparently I would have to pay for the honour. "$50! cheap!"

"Um... no space, another time, maybe?" was all I could come up with before I roared off.

Once I returned it was into the spring for a good soak and a few beers and watch the bird life and the sun set.

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367737-L.jpg


That night was Bully beef and beans with the beer and a bit of whiskey.

Why do the simple meals taste so good on trips like these?

Total for the day 319.04kís

Kamanya
03-04-2006, 05:17 PM
Day 8

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367746-L.jpg

A dip in the spring to get things going and then it was off to Palmwag.
Along the way I had to catch Craig to point out the elephant spoor on the road. Like its really easy to miss 18 inch spoor and turds that look like someone had to use a wheelbarrow to leave them in the middle of the road. He mumbled something about having something in his eye? An eyelid perhaps - I think he was sleeping and riding. As I said he's not good in the morning.

There were some very big elephant judging by the size of the spoor. Desert elephants have a reputation of being a lot more aggressive that any other elephant as they are not in a park and do not often see people. It was a relief not to come over a hill and be greeted with a herd of them.
The great burger at Palmwag was interrupted by the news that a big bull elephant was in the reeds not 50 meters from the bar where we sat, he was a big boy.

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367763-L.jpg
A jump in their pool and it was time to make tracks again.

We had planned to go to Henties Bay via the Skeleton Nation Coast Park. I had phoned the Namibian parks before the trip and they said that we could go through the park but that we would not be allowed to camp in the park. So the dismay at being told at Sprinbokwasser gate that we were not to be allowed into the park as lion could be partial to motorbike

That now meant that we had a 100km detour. I tried all angles with the official but he was not buying it. Nothing for it but to make tracks. We were still aiming for Henties but that was a hell of a long way and we decided to try a short cut so that we didnít have to go via Khorixas. A short cut in Namibia can save 100ís of kiloís but if you get it wrong it can be costly. Fuel and water were an issue. We managed to get fuel at a wrecking yard and again at a lodge and water from a windmill.

Parts of the ride were very pretty. Huge open desert and massive vistas

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367765-L.jpg

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367776-L.jpg
We asked directions from a place called Mountain lodge. It is a very beautiful hotel/lodge tucked away in the Twyfelfontein Mountains. But we only had time for a coke from them before we had to be on our way again.


For the last 100kís as we made our way towards the coast the air grew noticeably colder and we were making our way towards a bank of low cloud that signalled the coast. Home for the day was not that far.

At a point our vented jackets were just too cold for the cold sea air that we were riding into. We had to stop and put the removable linings back in. With the sun setting it was pretty eerie and beautiful at the same time.

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367792-L.jpg

We finally made Henties at 8pm. I hadnít booked any accommodation as I planned to camp at any of the many campsites along that part of the coast. Bad move, we tried two places but they were full.

It was Christmas Eve and I didnít really want to be buggering around looking for a campsite. So we made a decision, we had heard that there was a campsite 12 kís out of town called Jakkalspitz. We then chose to fill the stomachs and get a drink in before we went off to find this place. If that was full after we had eaten then it would not be a problem to just ride into the desert and camp there for the night.

I canít remember the bar we went into but it was an absolute gem. The guy who offered to look after our bikes outside I thought at first was slaughtered, the Christmas spirit was definitely upon him, he looked like he was trying to act the part of the bouncer cum car guard. It was only after he said a few more words to me that I realised that he was a mentally handicapped chap earning his keep. Well, hopefully he scared others full of Christmas cheer from messing with our bikes.


We walked into the bar; there was the obligatory lonley bar flies and the lone guitarist belting out Neil Diamond one song and then regtige ou tannie treffers the next (local hillbilly stuff) . It was great, it had been a long day and double rum and coke was what was called for.


Long day in the saddle works up a bit of a thirst.
http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367793-L.jpg
The bar was big with very few people in the bar side, quite a few were on the resturant side. But it had a lot of local charater and it was pretty surreal to be decked out in gear, in a pub on Christmas Eve.

Check out the old chap sleeping into his drink, classic stuff!

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367795-L.jpg

We couldnít have looked more alien to the locals when we went through to the restaurant. There were families in there eating their way through Christmas Eve and us two uglies walk in. I had a great plate of Eisbien and Craig had the fish.


Still there was the 12kís to go so we saddled up and headed for a night cap of whiskey at what turned out the be the worst campsite in the world.
http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367798-L.jpg


Total for the day 591.28kís

Day 9

Worlds worst campsite...

Imagine a beach that has nothing going for it, then a spit of sand 3 kís long with every 10 meters a bay for a caravan or tent and then one stinking broken seat toilet for every 30 or so bays with a urinal made out of old plastic coke bottles. If you want a shower you had to queue for it at the main gate and then to add insult to injury they want to charge you double what you have paid for anywhere else. Typical government campsites!
http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367803-L.jpg

We went to go and pay and I had a word with the manager saying that I thought his site wasnít even worth 10% what he was charging. There must have been a thousand people in the camp and their daily rate per person must be ringing up quite a stash of cash. Someone somewhere is pocketing it for certain.

I told him that he could take my details but I was not going to pay his exorbitant fees and I wanted his managerís number and then left. Craig noticed that not one comment in the visitorís book said anything complimentary. He didnít seem too phased and I suspect that I am not the first to refuse his shitty camp fees.

We visited friends of friends in a unique place called Wlotkasbarken. The town by laws has only ever allowed 100 plots and you may not expand on your house without the whole community agreeing.

Next was Swakopmunt where I completely by chance ran into an old friend. Swakop is a mix of some very Germanic architecture and holiday spirit, it is pretty quant. It is also apparently the quad bike capital of the world. We had stopped at a dune to eat some rolls. There was a huge quadbike adventure centre that took people out into the dunes and a little circuit for the youngsters. One young girl we saw who had obviously never sat on a quad before was given some instructions by a very young guy then before our eyes buried the throttle and shot over the tyres that mark the course, cart wheeling the quad and fortunately getting thrown clear. She and the young instructor who couldnít have been more that 12 or so were certainly not going to give up so easily and she jumped on again. Craig couldnít watch but the vulture in me had my camera out ready for the next death defying stunt.

She had obviously learnt a bit better throttle control because she inched around the course after that. No helmet either. NOTGNOTT! (None of the gear none of the time)

Walvis Bay is interesting in that it was a bit of South Africa until recently. The only attraction there was a well known dune called Dune 7. I had to have a go at it and made it to the top; it is a monster dune maybe 2 or 300 meters high. Coming down though was a bit tricky as the bike kept digging in places. Thatís me the little black dot in the centre. Those other smaller black dots are people.


http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367816-L.jpg

I realised that to make it back to Cape Town on my tyres was going to be a finely run thing, so after trying to find a tyre shop open on Christmas Day, much like looking for the holy grail.

I phoned the great lady who would have to send my tyres back to Carlos that I had sent back after the change. We finally stopped stuffing around and headed out to our next destination Sossusvlei.


If you like your gravel desert cruising I donít think that there can be a better place to do it. It was around here that I started to pick up some hassle with the gearbox. Every now and then it was tough to get from 5th to 6th and often it took a fair amount of boot to get it in, the rest of the gears being tighter than normal. It didnít sound or feel like it was grating, just very stiff. I couldnít see anything wrong and once in gear it ran smoothly but it was very worrying none the less.
http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367841-L.jpg

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367835-L.jpg

Some 250kís later we arrived at the aptly named place Solitaire. Craig had hit the low for the trip as the gravel was not to his liking and he was pretty hot and bothered. Notice the old gas pump. (Not in use but nice touch, the whole place is like that) Notice the black board to the right of Craig, can you read what it says? "Heavy snow in living memory. Japan. Close Airports"!!!!!!!??????

I liked this place! You have to be touched to live in a place like this... and it shows.
http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367845-L.jpg
Namibia has the oldest desert in the world and as such it has had some time to create some of the largest dunes too.
This is what the next attraction was all about. Millions of years ago a river used to run to the sea but over the years the desert swallowed it and now the end of the river is nearly 60km from the sea. It has fought a battle with the dunes but has lost and is losing by inches.

The vlei where the river ends is just a dried muddy flat at the moment but every few years or so there is enough ran inland to make the river run and feed the vlei. There are successively older vleiís over the dunes surrounding the vlei, some even prehistoric but they are slowly being covered by the dunes. It is a magical place. This is where we camped for the night, well where we were close to camping. The vlei and surrounding dunes are in the National park and the camp site is 60km from the vlei at the mouth of the dunes.

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55367861-L.jpg
It had been a long day and after a beer in the bar it was sleep time.


Total for the day 430.64kís
Day 10

4.45am alarm goes off to get to the gate to the park that opens at 5, and then it is a dash to the famous dune 45 to scramble to the top in time to catch the sunrise. Craig is not the best morning person and there was not much coming out of him has we got dressed. But the early rise is worth it.





Sorry about the "To be continued..." stuff. But last round is the last few legs of the trip, hang in there...

Kamanya
03-04-2006, 07:06 PM
The dunes here average about 700 meters. That's 3/4 of a kilometer of sand high! They are truly mountains and it is difficult to comprehend. They are numbered as you drive in towards the vlei according to how many kilo's they are from the gate. This one that you climb is Number 45. What you can see is only the first bit of it. And of course it is two steps up one back. It is pretty chilly to start but not for long...
http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370449-L.jpg
A bit of cardio before breakfast?

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370450-L.jpg

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370451-L.jpg

A camera just does not do it justice.

Those are all dunes as far as the eye can see, and we werenít even on the biggest of them.
http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370460-L.jpg


If you have Google earth, you should go have a look at this part of the Earth, it is spectacular.

The precise point that I am standing on is; (and you can see just how much smaller this dune is relative to the rest)

24 degrees 43 minutes 46.73 seconds South
15 degrees 28 minutes 21.36 seconds East

This is the photo from that co-ordinate looking South, South East.

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370462-L.jpg

These dunes are some of the biggest in the world and although it looks like the one I'm on is big, if you look at Google earth you can see, it is just a baby.

It took about 30-40minutes of grinding to get up there.

I can't imagine how hard it would be to get up there during the heat of the day.


http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370481-L.jpg

Of course being a desert you can be forgiven thinking that nothing can live here. But if you look closely you can see a beetle on the right hand side of the dune (very small black dot at about two o'clock from Craig's shoulder). The moisture laden morning air comes in from the coast a 100k's away and just enough condenses to slightly wet the top meter of the leeward side of the dune. The beetles trek up every morning to the top to get a drop or two and then dive down before the sun gets too hectic. They in turn feed larger insects, animals and reptiles.
http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370471-L.jpg


One of my favourites.
http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370489-L.jpg


Followed by my most favourite for the trip

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370495-L.jpg


It is truly a very beautiful place.

That dune is about 45kís in towards the vlei. At the vlei you can only get to a parking bay and then the last 2kís or so are deep deep sand. This was the only place where my TKCís came into their own. Craig got terribly stuck and had to turn around while I had a blast getting to the vlei and back more than a few times. Just get it into high second gear and beyond and that big KTM is unstoppable. It was a LOT of fun. I think Craig was disappointed.

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370496-L.jpg


Both the bike and he are very hot and bothered. (temp gauge for both of them was in the red)

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370497-L.jpg


Me? Cool as!
http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370446-L.jpg


Deep off piste sand riding is just the best, and as in snow skiing does have it's dangers.

The trick is to read the sand and get the bike going quick enough that the speed of the bike floats mostly over the sand rather than grinding through it. Also the control of the bike is different, you use weighting to steer.

Enough of that. So back to the camp for a shower fuel the bikes and then hit the road

Next stop was Luderitz some 500kís away, another long day coming up.

If you want big horizons, canít get much better

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370518-L.jpg


We had not had breakfast and by lunchtime we were feeling the heat and distance. There is fuel at a place called Betta; there is also a little store there. It is very modest and the lady who runs the store also has to run the fuel pumps, she does a bit of running in that very hot and dry place.

The best meal we could buy was Beans, Bully beef, Pilchards, bread and Coke.

Again why do the simple things in life taste so good when you are so far away from anywhere and hungry?

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370524-L.jpg


Mmm!

We stopped at Duiseb Castle, some German chap early in the 1900ís got it in his head that he wanted a castle in the middle of absolutely nowhere. He spent a fortune building it and stocking it with stud horses and cattle then World War 1 broke out while he was visiting his wifeís family in the USA. He made a grand effort to get back to Germany (the USA being empathetic to the allied cause tried to detain him) and was promtly killed in the battle of the Somme. His wife never returned and stayed in the US. The castle is a national monument. Bit sad.

Impressive little castle.
http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370526-L.jpg

Craig taking in all the castles touristy bits from behind his eyelids again.

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370525-L.jpg

After that there was the inevitable more ofÖ big sky.

And a bit of time was spent taking it in and resting the bum
http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370531-L.jpg

By now we had decided that maybe Luderitz was a bit too far and to be saved for the next time. It was getting late and just having a rest seemed the more prudent move.

The desert must do things to you as, in truly the middle of nowhere we passed this.

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370536-L.jpg

It turns out the 70 year old chap who put it together - and lives in the house in the bottom right is not altogether there, mentally speaking. Nuts he may be but this working sculpture thing has no welds and is only bolted together. It is has something to do with pumping his water. He apparently fell off of it once and broke his hip not so long ago. The mind boggles.

It was great to roll into our campsite at Klein Aus it was peaceful and had solitude.

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370548-L.jpg


Craig tried the new sport of tent flying as his crib had proved to be not quite what he had bought it for Ė light and small and he was determined to get it to do something useful. Maybe the old guy disease had caught up with hm?


http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370565-L.jpg

That night we ate at the restaurant that the owners of the farm Klein Aus have on their property, met some crazy film guys. They had a makeup artist with them and she had used industrial eyeliner on them. This was two days previously and all of them still had a gothic look going.

And of course we had a little Rum and Coke sundowners with a perfect meal, I had the Oryx medallions and Craig went for the Lamb.. and a long time later after much introspective conversation and rum a whiskey night capÖ again.

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370582-L.jpg


Total for the day 530.68kís


Day 11
Mmm... The Rum? Or the Whiskey night cap?


http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370584-L.jpg

Last part, road to home next...
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Kamanya
03-04-2006, 07:24 PM
We went to go and settle the bill. Somebody must have been drinking on our bill said the nice lady because she said she couldnít be sure that we alone were responsible for 30 tots of Rum?

No, we assured her, judging by how I felt that morning that sounded about right.

Maybe it wasnít the night cap that made me feel a little off!

Back to our old Friend Carlos on the Orange river today via Rosh Pinah. The road to Rosh Pinah is being upgraded to tar. There are a lot of mines in that part of the world and they probably want a better road for the many trucks that move in and out.

This tree could have been a bit tricky if we had come across it while trying to overtake one of the trucks

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370586-L.jpg


Once in Rosh Pinah Craig bought us lunch, he claimed it was a balanced meal, it had all five food groups. A pie, a bread hamburger, an energy drink, a coke and a chocolate? 5 junk food groups maybe?

Finally we were heading into the Orange River Canyon, a place that both of us have spent many days guiding clients down the river on multi day tours.

It was really special to be back

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370595-L.jpg



We stopped for a swim in the Orange at one point.


http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370604-L.jpg


And then headed for the chaos of Carlosís Pre-New-Year camp (there is a massive party that he hosts for New Years, something to be tried at least a couple of times!

Ahh beer and grass, hadnít seen that for a while, the grass that is.


http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370609-L.jpg


My tyres were toast and I definitely didnít think that it was safe to make it to Cape Town. I changed back to the Scorpions. More beer and swearing, this time we used the compressor though.




Porn... The big girl without her skirts.



http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370611-L.jpg

Very advanced safety measures were used while changing the skirts...

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370616-L.jpg

The thinking biker, Rodin would have been proud. (Or was it the drinking biker, can't remember!)

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370614-L.jpg


Total for the day 320.82kís

Day 12

Ahh, get to see my girl today! This is what it looks like when madly packing to make it out of there to get to her!
http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370427-L.jpg


Here are the old and the new. The front held out well but the back was finished.

http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370434-L.jpg


The drive back was crap. A strong headwind battered us the whole way. You'd think that the wind would play fair? It had howled on the way up and now just to piss us off it did a 180 and did the same? Craig ran out of fuel 5kís from Vanrynsdorp as a result of pushing so hard into the wind.


http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370439-L.jpg


It was a bit of a story as I had for the first time in the whole trip belted on ahead about 10kís from Vanrynsdorp and when he didnít make the petrol station that I was at I thought that he had gone on to the next one in Klaver which is 20kís down the road.


When I pitched there and he was not there, out came the phone and thatís where all the confusion was cleared up. I rode back to him with fuel. And on we went. It was also at this time that when I was filling up I noticed an oil leak at the base of the rear cylinder. Now along with the gearbox that was definitely stiffening up it was not welcome. Damn! Was the old girl going to make it back to Cape Town? It is brand new bike only 7000kís on the clock to that point. Well there was not much I could do, just had to keep an eye on it and the oil level and hope for the best.



http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370438-L.jpg


Finally home, back where it all started. It was fun and we learnt a lot. Canít wait for the next one.




http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370441-L.jpg


And the moment my wife saw me.


http://kamanya.smugmug.com/photos/55370444-L.jpg

I don't think she's squinting because of the sun, it's the smell!
She phoned a friend soon after to tell her the good news but added, heís furry, dirtyÖ and stinky. I was immediately banished to the bathroom. And my kit promptly turned the washing machine water black.

The price of memories I suppose.

Total for the day 780.3kís

Lessons learned?

Lots but the biggest and most important is; Just set a date.

Worst consumption?

About 9km/l on the Epupa road.

Best?

About 19km/l

Total mileage 5886.9km


Priceless!

If anyone is keen to do something similar, it does not cost a fortune. Good bikes (BMW 1200GS and F650 - http://www.motoberlin.co.za/ they organise full tours so all the hassle is taken out of it) are rentable here for reasonable rates. Also you can hire a backup 4x4 also for a reasonable cost and piece of mind, youíd need to find a driver (Wives or SOís might be keen)

I can give you the GPS tracks and info, but I got all the info I needed from a site called http://www.tracks4africa.co.za/ It is mostly free info and the level of detail is massive in terms of points of interest.

All the places that we went to are easy to get to without having to tough it out. The one destination Ė Epupa is very easy to get to but, we chose to go the harder routes, but thatís because we suffer from a bit of that brand of stupidity that comes from not knowing you canít do it.

Total cost for the trip for the 12 days was in terms of food Ė R1700.00, fuel Ė R2117.00, camping R800.00 (Weíll exclude booze in this, but it is fairly cheep in Namibia, beers are R6)

One US Dollar will buy you about R6.20
One UK pound will buy you about R10.50

Best time to go would be out of the rain season (yes Namibia does get rain).

Around September October would be the ideal time not too hot. But you Aussie types should be able to handle the heat.

Just set a date!


Any questions or comments I'll gladly entertain or bask in.

Cheers

glitch
03-04-2006, 07:34 PM
Absolutely AWESOME !!!!!!

A HUUUUGGGE thanks for posting it up and best greetz to ZA.
Stumper of a read.