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Old 09-23-2007, 08:50 AM   #6
metaljockey OP
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Joined: Jun 2005
Location: Eastern Cape, South Africa
Oddometer: 279
The next day were' up and at it early. It only starts feeling like a trip to me if the day starts with me waking up on the ground somewhere next to my bike.

The day starts out with no plan to reach any place in particular. Let me explain. The route we are planning on following is the source of most of my concerns. It goes through a wilderness area where we need to be self sufficient in all respects.

Depending on terrain, we expect it to take 4 - 6 days to reach civilisation again. This presents 4 problems.

1 - Fuel. We would have to carry a full tank plus an extra 30l each. That's a shitload of weight and space. One solution would be to take a backup vehicle. None of us were keen on that idea though. It is after all a BIKE trip.

2 - Food. We would have to carry enough food for a week. This is not too difficult. Generally one can survive comfortably on a tin of canned food a day. So each rider just have to carry 6 or so tins of bully beef or chilli sardines (for the gourmets) or whatever tickles your fancy.

3 - Water. This is a bigger problem. Riding would require you to have at least 4-5 litres of water per person per day. There's just no way you can carry that on top of the fuel load. And fuel gets preference. And when you are short of water things can turn very unpleasant.
What we do is each rider carries 5l of water. That's enough for one day or maybe even two if the riding is easy. Our route will take us to the mouth of the Kunene river where we can stock up on river water. We figure we could reach the river mouth (Foz do Cunene) at the end of day two. (We were wrong of course, it took us 4 days.)

4 - Medical emergency. There is always a possibility of getting hurt on any trip. Here however, help was going to be far far away. We were able to obtain a couple of ampules of Pethadine for that crushed-pelvis-with-bones-protruding situation. We also hoped to be able to secure a satelite phone, this however didn't happen. So if you were not able to ride out, you were going to have to wait at least 5 days for someone to come get you.
I don't deal well with pain.

So that's why we aren't going anywhere in particular. With all the beer drinking yesterday we know we have no chance of reaching Foz do Cunene by nightfall. So we are just going to ride to where we get to.

The morning ride is excellent, varying from splendid sightseeing to some more challenging stuff.













We meet some locals along the way.




They have good looking cattle.





But the people are even better looking. This girl is bringing the cattle to drink.





We take a break here and try the water but our stomachs would never make it.





We have some lively discussion regarding where we are going to sleep. There is a road (I use the term loosely) heading down to the Kunene river. There is also a track leading from the river which intersects the road we are on some ways further. It would be good to sleep at the river and it wouldn't hurt filling up our water supplies.
On the other hand, the track leading from the river has this warning on it.




If we can follow this track we won't have a problem. If we can't and have to backtrack, we may run out of fuel before we get to Tombwa (civilisation).

Why do we believe that we may be able to follow this track?

Next installment will explain all.




continued here




metaljockey screwed with this post 10-18-2007 at 12:27 AM
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