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Old 06-27-2011, 01:41 PM   #19
michnus OP
Lucky bastard
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Joined: Apr 2005
Location: South Africa
Oddometer: 1,317

!Khai!Khari!-! & !Urihab *(Damara for cold beers and motorbikes) 08/12/2010

It’s also at this stage where we loaded the additional petrol to get us to Swakopmund. I crank up the preload a half turn and the next moment I hear this hissing sound and there’s oil leaking onto the ground. My 3500km old brand new revamped and improved shock have just broken the preload adjuster.

This bike only made it past Sossus

I had a noise from the start of the trip on the suspension and this must have been the cause or part of it. We decided to head for Swakopmund and get hold of Martin the guy that worked on the shocks to assess the damage and decide on a possible solution. Martin’s advice to me was to ride the bike as is, the preload adjuster is only to adjust the spring it does not affect the shock itself and since we have the higher rated springs fitted we actually don’t need to have it adjusted. Luckily we travel relatively light at about 30kg luggage each.

Not nice having to start a 25000km trip with part of a shock failing. Luckily we have time on our side should we need to get a shock somewhere later. All four bikes now have MP revamp shocks in them and one has already shows failure. I hope this was just a once off and not a one of the rest that will break or go wrong on the shocks.

Since we were not able to destroy the Sossusvlei dunes with our gas guzzling echo destroying bikes, we tried to conquer Dune 7 with the bikes but that plan did not worked out to well.
Conquer Dune 7

The wonderful free feeling, meeting up with new people, experiencing new things, that’s all part of travel is addictive and I suspect it is going to get worse not better in the future, for us in any case. Not that I want a cure for this, I love this, and truly wish every person that has a love for travel and especially this kind of minimalist travel can have a change in their lives to experience it, even if it’s only once.

Swakopmund certainly is picturesque with street cafes, restaurants, good Eisbein and even bad tempered Germans!

Met up with Neill, aka Jenson Button, again as well as 3 Belgium travellers at the Desert Sky Backpackers and enjoyed a lovely evening together , swapping stories and solving some of Africa’s problems. Our new Belgium friends travelled one by motorbike and a couple in a Toyota Land Cruiser and just came down the eastern side of Africa.

All of them in their early 30’s have saved up, quit their jobs and embark on this new adventure. For them quitting a job is not a problem, they know they will find employment in Europe on their return after 9 months. It’s in stark contrast with the way we as South Africans go about our lives and decision making with regards to our future and how we live it. Just telling them we are taking 5 months had them laughing, it’s supposed to be 9 months to a year they say! ‘What do you want to see in 5 months’ they smirked.

The three Belgium's, Stefano, Stefanie and Johan.

Why they call it the Skeleton Coast

Faster faster!!!

With the hot dry summer wind in our faces, we hit the dirt roads again, passing numerous road graders. Now, a bad dirt road is okay but one that has just been graded is well … interesting. Good for cars but we had to work our asses off sliding over the new gravel with zero hard pack line to follow!It still beat the best day at the office and after a day’s riding with dust in the teeth, it’s great to gulp down a!khai!khari! (beer in Damarala)

We were heading towards Uis a small outcrop of a town and Burntmountain.
It's December and Namibia is a hot place, any place with a pool and some beers are good for us. It's remarkable to see some of these lodges rose between the rocks in this arid country.

White lady lodge near Burntmountain.

Resident young Meerkat at White lady lodge.

The best camping spots in Africa and they are in Namibia.

The Northern side of Namibia is showing a lot of development since we last toured here 15 years ago (now we are giving our ages away!). Hentie's Bay expanded quite a bit, lodges popped up everywhere along the river and scenic views. Lost is the ‘rough’ camping, hello to cool swimming pools, even cocktails, fancy restaurants and entertainment! The camp sites all are in very good shape and affordable.
In land it also seems Namibia have embraced tourism to the fullest. Namibia is one beautiful country... with warm hearted friendly people.

Riding around at Burntmountain.

Ye, what can I say, at least it's not a piece of tar.

Damaraland the vistas and views are mind-blowingly beautiful.

Stopped often to take in the silence and expanses.

My arty pics will never be a National Geographic winner.

Palmwag lodge, cold beers!

Palmwag lodge camping, right next to the river and we hoped for some Elephants but they decided not to attend our cheese and wine evening.

Happy bike.

Barbecue meat, nice Oryx come closer!!

From bottom to top of Namibia on gravel, and the only water crossing! Yeehaa for this puddle!

One sad thing about returning to Namibia is to see the influence that tourism has had on the local tribes. It's not nice to see the Himba (apparently the oldest Herero tribe) setting up ‘come see us’ shacks along the main routes – dancing in the road to attract attention, just like street beggars next to traffic lights, child on the hip. At least the crafts on sale are all actually made by themselves. Numerous curios shacks also line the once deserted roads. One even said ‘do not take a picture, come and see us inside’. Guess there’s positives and negatives for this. The influence of main stream tourism on this region has changed them forever.

You will not get me down!

Ongongo near Sesriem

Ongongo is a place where water flow over rocks baking in the sun and then into this pool. It's the perfect place to take a relaxing rest for a few days. There's no people and the locals can get you beers in 2min flat.

First of many puncture to come, at least I taught her well to do it while I rest in the shade.

I do not have the vocabulary to describe the astonishing beauty of the landscape and scenery to its fullest, if only I had paid more attention in school maybe it would have helped. Especially this part of Namibia with its zebra striped mountains and red coloured sand flowing from broken mountain sides. Why did we had to sit in school with rubbish subjects rather than being taught photography or something worthwhile to enable me to take some decent true too life pictures and to portray this incredible country.

Last time I camped here was on our Angola trip 3 years ago with Metaljockey and the gang. It's great being back.

It’s unthinkable how people can live in this arid place called Damaraland. God burned this place black and dark red in anger over Eve’s infidelity, maybe not, but I can’t think of any other reason riding through this beautiful land. If this place does not touch your soul you either do not have one or you are an alien.

The harshness of living in Damaraland is visible on people’s faces, but one thing that you do not expect is the friendliness and welcome smiles every single time you talk to one of the locals.

Bought Elsebie this necklace in Opuwo from a very persistent seller. I thought I lost it, as I took the seat off I nearly fainted from the horror, thought this fucking snake was under my ass the entire time while riding!! Well at least it's not gone.

In the end we travelled Namibia from bottom to top on gravel and it is one of the most beautiful inviting countries and an absolute on the bucked list.

That's Angola in the back ground, yes baby your next!

Angola will be a short visit and then back to Caprivi and onto Zambia.

michnus screwed with this post 07-16-2013 at 11:34 AM
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