|06-23-2011, 07:18 AM||#17|
Joined: Aug 2007
Living the dream ... make it happen boet!!
|06-27-2011, 01:41 PM||#19|
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: South Africa
!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
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.
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
|07-18-2011, 12:51 AM||#21|
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Switzerland, near the border to the BlackForest
so, you guys are having a break ....
Is the borders to Syria closed? My wife and I left our bikes at Wim's n Ethiopia and will go back in Sept Oct to go on to try and make Turkey or Euro. But if you say there's a problem with the ferries or boat then going around Syria way will be the only way.
Did you ask on HorizonsUnlimted maybe some others have answers?
Are you coming through Switzerland anytime ?
There is always a guest room and cold beer in the fridge for any overlander, RTW, Transafrica, etc.
Good Luck and happy trails
Thomas & Andrea
|07-18-2011, 06:41 AM||#22|
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: South Africa
ANGOLA- CERVEJA OBRIGADO!
You only have to know these two words to have locals crack a broad smile and even hard ass police officials won’t be able to keep a straight face. Beer and Thank You are the Portuguese words you need to know when visiting Angola.
The last time I visited Angola was with Metaljockey more an off road ride, this time round it is to show Elsebie, Harold and Linda this wonderful country and to try and mix it up with some of the locals. Angola and it's people really have a way of creeping into your heart.
After years of war and unrest these people want to go on with their life's and make something for themselves.
ROAD SIDE BEER STOP
But Angola is a fickle mistress! This time she gave me a hard time coming close. Let me give you the absurd before I get to the good stuff. We were supposed to enter Angola at Ruacana border post but the more we talked to the locals at Ruacana that used the route to Cahama, the more we were advised to stay away and use the main border.
It’s the rainy season and the roads are so bad that we won’t be able to get to Cahama in a day. Despondent, we decided to crossed at Oshikango, the only major border between Angola and Namibia. Major bloody mistake!!!!!!
We gave the Angola embassy in SA the “Letters of invitation “Jose our friend in Angola sends to us for the issue of the visa. Now these numb skulls at the border wanted a copy of it! How in hell must we get them now!? They only issue the visa on having this letter, why does this numbskull now also want to see it while he sit with the visa in his hands?
MANY RUSTED UP WAR RELICS NEXT TO THE ROAD.
We tried to explain but the officials, who could quote from their system the name of the person who issued our invitation, but still they would have none of us. In the end a local fixer sitting behind us under the tree said he will go fetch the fax on the Namibian side at the local bank. Thanks to Moses, who helped us the rest of the way, his fee of about US$40 and 6 hours later we entered Angola!
The border officials also did not know what a Carne-de-passage is, nor an International driver’s license and topped it off by telling Linda not to sit on a bench that is under the tree as it is only for officials!
This fickle mistress Angola had my blood pressure at boiling point and it was also bloody 40C outside. Angola is not a tourist friendly country. The bureaucracy is mind boggling and the communism shows through now and then. Sounds stupid but that is why we are drawn to these countries, a lot less rules and still not besiege by tourist, you get to taste the local flavour of the country. It is damn expensive to stay in lodges or hotels and restaurants are equally expensive, at least beer and petrol are cheaper than in SA.
click on the picture for a bigger size
Our destination was Lubango the place of Jose the man that fought against us South Africans in the border war in the 80's and the man that entertained us 3 years ago on our Foz du Cunene trip. We were greeted by Jose at his restaurant (under renovations currently) with a huge smile although he only placed me about two days later due to the long hair. We were planning a trip to Namibe for a stay over, instead Jose would have none of that.
He escorted us to Namibe for a day trip and that evening arranged a braai and entertainment by the old band that performed for us on our previous trip. Josef the Louis Armstrong look-a-like wood saw artist.
THE TRUCK IS NOT PHOTOSHOP INTO THE PICTURE, LINDA AND HAROLD IS BUSY PASSING HIM. WHICH WAS THE MAIN ROAD IS NOW UN DRIVE-ABLE BY CARS AND TRUCKS THEY REVERT TO DRIVING NEXT TO THE ROAD.
I HELPED THIS MAN, HE ASKED ME TO BORROW HIM A JACK, YE, FOR SURE WE CARRY CAR JACKS WITH US ON BIKES! PLUGGED AND PUMPED HIS TYRE WITH SOME WORMS HE HAD 4 DIFFERENT HOLES AROUND THE TYRE, PUMPED IT AND HE WAS ON HIS WAY. MILES FROM ANYTHING WITH NO MEANS OF CHANGING A TYRE? JUST INSANE.
IF YOU DRIVE AROUND WITHOUT A SPARE AND A JACK THEN AT LEAST MAKE SURE YOU ASK THE MAN UP THERE FOR HELP.
PLAY IT AGAIN SAM
The generosity, warmth and friendliness of these Angolans know no bounds. We felt it everywhere we went. People do not look miserable and unhappy in fact they look quite content with their lives in this recovering country. Adults and kids wave to us, no stone throwing or outstretched hands– begging, so unlike the Himba's in Namibia and Lesotho kids. Maybe that is the trade mark of a tourist country versus a non-tourist country. They jump up and down with excitement when we wave back or stop for some photos.
WE GOT TOLD LOVERS LIKE TO DEFACE BAOBAB TREES WITH THE GRAFFITI.
PIKIPIKI'S (small motorcycle) ROAD SIDE REPAIRS. SKILL FULL PEOPLE THIS, NOTHING IS A PROBLEM.
MORNING COFFEE AT JOSE'S PLACE WE STAYED IN LUBANGO.
Angola also features jaw-drop beautiful landscapes and now in summer it’s even more so. You can go from tropical to desert in 170km and the sea water temperature at Namibe is close to 25 degrees. I understand why so many people immigrate to this country even though it’s is hell hard to do business in Angola, even the locals have a saying “nothing in Angola is easy”.
michnus screwed with this post 07-16-2013 at 01:08 PM
|07-25-2011, 08:39 PM||#23|
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: South Africa
Jose, our host since our first time in Angola was very persistent the day before.We had to do a separate trip to Namibe with the bikes. Obviously we were not in the mood to ride the 300km round trip to Namibe in two days. One thing that was a bit of a refresher on this suggestion were that we were going to be able spend some time at the famous Leba pass.
We left our luggage at the house and set off with Jose and his wife on his Varadero. There's quite a bike following in Lubango and they often have races in Lubango.
We set off with Jose in the lead first stop Leba pass. I can not say why I like Leba pass so much. Maybe it is because it goes back to army time, I don't know, maybe the mystery around it from that time. It's such a great feeling standing on the opposite side of the pass taking in the jaw drop beauty of the place.
Second time this Dakar get the pleasure of riding Leba
View from the top of Leba pass with the road meandering down to Namibe in the distance
At the bottom of Leba pass there's a row of small stall selling food stuff. The lot sell the same stuff, at the same price. Jose spoiled us with his favourite, chicken stomachs and hearts, a bit on the tough side but very tasty.
We left to meet up with Jose's friends in Namibe at the beach front. It's a happening spot with Portuguese elders sitting around sea facing restaurants drinking espresso and grappa the entire Sunday. We met a fisherman that's been in Namibe for 20 odd years and owns the only Harley in the town. It's well looked after bike and it's evident the man loves his Harley more than his kids.
The food at these cafe's are the best, fish and chips or local lobster.
Yes it's dead Harry!
The reason we came to Angola was for my wife to also experience some of the fun we had on this trip. Angola, it's not like they said And here we were treated to the same hospitality we had from the guys at our previous trip.
That evening it was party time at Jose's place with all his friends and their band that got together to play for us. It went on till 3 that morning. The band played anything from Abba to Creedence Clearwater. These people know how to party properly. Their warm hearted friendship was unbelievable we were treated as if we were part of the family for years.
We meet again after 3 years
The next day it was back to Namibe to Jose's beach house. The road took us about 20km North of Namibe. We had to turn off well before the town onto a real shit road. It's a desert waste land and gave the idea of a small Fish river canyon. Unbelievably beautiful vistas.
The riding in the desert was mind blowing, well for me, Linda struggled a bit but took it well and kept her head high. It was difficult for her in the sand but this woman's heart is in the right place for riding. *
The tracks run all over the place, and then come together again in a sand track just to split off again into several directions.
Fooling around in the desert.
Linda had a bit of a hard time, but she came out head high!
Jose's beach house....eeerrmm, shack more that you can call a house.
Bias dos Pipas, Namibe is where the beach party will be. It’s a colourful small little community that resembles Hentie’s Bay (no shops though). Funny the water is hot but it is next to a desert, I always thought warm coastal water ensures a tropical landscape.
We spend the day with Jose and his family, they are a lively active bunch. Jose and his family left at about 8pm for Lubango but we stayed behind to enjoy a night on the beach. How many places can you still park your bike on the beach and sleep there without a worry in the world. This place is a paradise, in fact, worth dealing with some of the bureaucratic nonsense, this country offers maybe even more free living than South Africa.
You can trust on Angola to get some tough chicken and we were not disappointed the chicken were tough but tasty, the chips as always good.
We went on till late that night finishing off the Carlsberg's they left us. Sorting out Africa's problems is hard work.
The morning after!
We met up with Agusto in Namibe the next day, he is a friend of Jose and a 40year old fisherman who owns fishing boats with his dad and to our surprise rides a Harley he bought into Angola with him 20 years ago. He was waiting for 4 of his friends from Portugal. They shipped their bikes from Portugal to Mozambique and then rode all the way to Angola and will be shipping the bikes back to Portugal again. They were apparently inspired by our previous trip report written by Metaljockey (Erik) One of them has never ridden a bike and not to miss out on this epic expedition decided to try it on a quad.
Agusto invited us to his parents’ house for a local fish braai. This is the strangest darn thing, and maybe it’s because dual purpose riders are sort of cut from the same cloth. Yes, yes it’s a generalisation but to date all these bike riders we have come to meet have become friends of Elsebie and me. These guys felt like my friends from school I have seen 20 years ago, not as complete strangers that only met 30 mins ago.
Having lunch at Agusto's parents place.
Our new friends!
I love this and I know I will see them again in the near future even if we have to fly to Portugal or them to SA. This is what it is all about, meeting people making friends and seeing new places……….life is great!
Spoiling ourselves with a night in a banda on the beach.
Heavily protected missile site in Namibe *:imaposer:
On the outskirts of Namibe and barely 1km out of town we saw these missiles pointing south towards SA, as per urban legend. The local story is some of the missiles are pointing towards the USA and others to SA but for some reason I doubt when they hit the button these missiles will go further than the town’s municipal border.
This is even more bizarre than the Custom procedures. I rode up to the gate where the officials sat and asked whether it is possible for me to take pictures of the awesome fire power………noa, NOA!! No,no, they said.
michnus screwed with this post 07-16-2013 at 01:09 PM
|07-26-2011, 10:16 AM||#24|
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: South Africa
Thanks so much for the offer we will definitively try and take you up on it. We heading back to Ethiopia in Sept/Oct and will try and make Euro by December.
I did ask on HU but not much, at this stage it is not a huge problem, will sort it as we go.
PS: Love your site ;)
|08-01-2011, 11:27 AM||#25|
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: South Africa
To get back to the missile story. Nobody knows whether the missiles are in fact real or not or maybe the Angola government just bullshits everybody in thinking they are still a force to be reckon with.
I can walk in there at night and take one as a souvenir. Stupid, absolutely bloody stupid. It might be a prank to fool Google earth to pick up on it and scare the USA with their awesome firepower. Whatever the reason I hope for the inhabitants of Namibe those old rusted missiles have been disarmed.
TIME WAS RUNNNG OUT IN ANGOLA, NEEDED TO MOVE ON
Angola provided us with a wonderful time. We will go back in the future. Agusto and I have decided to try and ride from Tombua to Foz du Cunene and back on the small bikes the locals use as transport, might make for an interesting trip. Up north from Namibe it is a riding heaven that needs to be explored.
That plan is for another day in the future. For now it was time to head back to Lubango say good bye to Jose and his family and head back to Namibia.
EERIE GHOST TREE IN A RIVERBED. STRANGE AS IT'S THE ONLY ONE AROUND LOOKING LIKE THIS.
ANOTHER FUNNY TREE GROWING IN THE DESERT NEAR NAMIBE.
On our way back to Lubango we stopped at the Dorsland trekker memorial. You only really understand what this people went through to get there in that time. They had no roads and the terrain is anything but simple. It was not your average sissy paper pusher that can do this kind of trek.
It must have been extremely difficult for these people to have trek up to Angola from South Africa.
I am humbled.
DORSLAND TREKKER MEMORIAL WITH THEIR GRAVES IN THE FOREGROUND.
LUBANGO IS A HUGE BUZZING CITY.
A MUST STOP IN LUBANGO, THE CHRIST STATUE OVERLOOKING LUBANGO
ANGOLAN WAR RUIN
ARCHITECTURE IS MOSTLY PORTUGUESE INFLUENCE AND THEY LOVE USING VIBRANT COLOURS. *
LIVE IS GOOD IN ANGOLA, OVERALL T'S GOING OKAY FOR ANGOLAN'S
We said our farewells in Lubango and head back towards Namibia. Camping spots in Angola is non existent, camping next to the road is the way to go and actually a load better than staying in crappy hotels at 5star prices. We never had problem camping next to the road as long as you stay well away from big settlements.
Eating at shops next to the road is cheap and the food although not gourmet stuff still good and big enough portions to fill even a big hunger.
The best is beers are available everywhere even remote places stock beers. *
THERE'S A DEPOSIT ON BEER BOTTLES AND THE LOCALS DO NOT LIKE US TAKING AWAY THE BOTTLES. BEST OPTION WAS TO EMPTY THEM INTO A BLADDER..........HUGE MISTAKE!
WILLEM, LOCAL ELDER WE CAMPED NEAR HIS HOUSE, OUT OF RESPECT WE ASKED HIM FOR PERMISSION, HE EVEN SPOKE A BIT OF AFRIKAANS.
Last night in Angola and we camped under huge Baobab trees. We had enough beer and whiskey and it end up in a hellova party.
NO STOP WITH ANGOLAN BEERS, NGOLA IS NOT YOUR AVERAGE BEER, YOU DRINK YOURSELF OUT OF YOUR CLOTHES.
Angola was a blast, making new friends, thrills and spills, we had it all. I will forever remember the good memories of this trip into Angola.
For now it was time to head to Zambia..
michnus screwed with this post 07-16-2013 at 11:56 AM
|08-01-2011, 12:58 PM||#26|
Joined: Dec 2005
Thanks for the report Michnus, I'm N !
ADV Relay Rider 08 (The Texas Connection)
Ride Pooie Ride
Don't stop riding until you get to the crash , you might save it!
|08-02-2011, 12:01 AM||#27|
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Switzerland, near the border to the BlackForest
Thanks for sharing your experiences, seems like Angola is a nice place to travel ..... we will keep it in mind
waiting for more ......
Greets Thomas & Andrea
|08-28-2011, 09:24 AM||#28|
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: South Africa
Back into Namibia from Angola we headed along the border towards the Caprivi strip. Harold and Linda decided to ride back from Oshakati via Tsumeb and then Rundu. For Elsebie and myself sitting on tar that much after all the stunning dirt roads we have done it was pure torture.
Sun down in the Caprivi after the rainsi
We headed East towards Rundu and would meet up with Harold and Linda near Pupa falls. The diversity in Namibia is mind blowing, there's deserts, grass lands, Damaraland and the Caprivi which offers some off the most beautiful sunsets and abundant wild life you can imagine.
SOME MEAN ASS FLIES ROAMING AROUND THE CAPRIVI
Life is great especially wen it is raining in the Caprivi
Tracks4Africa listed some community camp sites which were all empty. We stayed at one just before entering the Caprivi strip. Cost us about nothing, was safe and had a cold shower and clean toilet. Camping at these places always offers that bit more and is a bit more special to stay over with them. Most of the times you can have a good chat to the locals and sit and enjoy a beer with them. They just love to talk to these funny travelers.
The old Pupa falls campsite is now a run down dump. Luckily next to them other private lodges with really cool campsites have open up and offer cold beers and even a workshop to work on a BMW. Pity these lodges got such difficult names, Tuna Mutambura lodge.
Camping in Namibia the best in the world!
We spend two night there relaxing, and I had to fix the Dakar's steering head bearings for the first time. The lodge owner was really helpful and gave me space behind his workshop and some tools too fix the bearings.
For the rest it's easy to find peace here, sitting on the deck for hours watching the hippo's drift past and see how the sun die slowly over the horizon in a deep red glow.
The last night there we over indulged on the wine a bit, luckily our new destination was only 300km away at Mazambala island lodge. We raced there, it was damn hot and the thought of more beers and relaxation next to a river and a pool was just what was needed.
We had to pack in the luxury camping while we can, from Zambia going up, camping and nice to haves will be a thing of the past.
This is one stunning lodge, you camp next to the river and the lodge is on a island. They use boats to ferry people to and fro. We were lucky it was out of season as we had the campsite to our selves.
Super long water flower thingamajick
This feels the same as the Everglades in Florida
Time was running out for Namibia, Zambia was next.
michnus screwed with this post 07-16-2013 at 12:03 PM
|08-30-2011, 04:34 AM||#30|
on a bright side of life
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: in front of Mare Nostrum
good one :):)
funny, Michnus.... but I'm sure we stopped at the very same spot :
I even managed to write down our names on the sand :oD
keep going mate, please ! ;)
Vita brevis, ars longa, occasio praeceps, experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile
08 R1200GSA Red 21" woody's
morocco 2006 | morocco 2007 | Traces of Kimangao: An HP2 in France, Spain and Italy | Morocco 2008: a F800GS test ride | where the destination is Anamur - Turkey via Greece...
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