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Old 10-29-2009, 06:39 AM   #196
metaljockey OP
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Thank you for the nice replies people. Tharina also says thank you for the compliments.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:43 AM   #197
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out of this world...

...except it's very much in our world, if you see what I mean.

Inspiring stuff.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:46 AM   #198
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Day 18 Swartbooisdrif to Rundu


We find it difficult to leave, opting for a couple of hours next to the pool first.









Tip for packing light – pack underwear that can pass for a swimming costume.





What did I say about graded roads? Have a look at this beauty.





And this one.





When we get to Ruacana we are completely flabbergasted at the variety of everything in stock at the garage shop. We have 150km of tar left to get to Oshakati, but one hell of a headwind and the fact that Ruacana has a very nice lodge catering for the staff of the Hydro Electric Scheme, makes the decision to stay easy. We sleep in a bed for the second time on this trip, and again, we take a lot of stuff for granted. It is positively luxurious. 

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Old 10-29-2009, 06:48 AM   #199
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Day 19 Ruacana, Oshakati, Eenhana



My trip started a week earlier than the family’s and I have covered 6000km so far. The Michelin Desert on the rear of the X is just about on it’s last legs and will certainly not last the remaining 3000km until the end of this trip.

I was able to get an SMS through to Michnus ‘the Organizer‘ some days ago, so hopefully a new rear tyre would have found it’s way to Oshakati. That’s our first target for the day.

That’s if Angola isn’t calling too strongly, we do have our passports. Unfortunately visas are also required.





True to his reputation, Michnus delivers. Thanks swaer. One of the local bikers bring the tyre around that had been forwarded to him by post from Windhoek. And having the luxury of a fitment centre means I just have to remove the wheel.





We continue, swinging away North to avoid the tarred roads.





We aim to stop over at Eenhana. The town is bigger than I thought having even a clothing store.
We stop for the night at the NRK, which just happens to be the only accommodation around. We get a room with aircon and breakfast and dirt cheap too.





Here in the far north on the Angolan border we notice that a lot of the commerce is geared towards Angolans.



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Old 10-29-2009, 06:49 AM   #200
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Day 19 Eenhana to Rundu





We hit the gravel and it’s wide and fast and boring as all hell. This used to be known as Oom Willie se Pad.









Sitting on one straight road for 300km is mindnumbing and butt numbing. And the arseholes sharing this road with you just choose a line that feels good and stick to it, so you get bakkies coming at you on the wrong side of the road and they just don’t move over resulting in us dodging oncoming traffic all over.

We take a break at a store but it is closed as it is Sunday.





That proves to not be the biggest problem and within 20 minutes the shopkeeper is fetched from the bush and they’re open for business.





That is one trait of Africa that I really like, no rigid rules, you need something, it can be organized.

Daily chores, fetching water for the household.





We make it to Rundu and have lunch at an upmarket lodge. Then we move to a spot recommended to us by the chap in Oshakati. Friends of his had set up a new camp on the banks of the Kavango river. It is called camp Hogo. We pull in just in time for sunset.









There are platforms for pitching your tent and I find that to be an excellent idea. No lying in the dust.





The spotlight at a long exposure. You can see the individual wing strokes of the moth.






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Old 10-29-2009, 06:50 AM   #201
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Day 20 Rundu to Divundu

















The DRZ’s chain have been giving warning signs for several days now and I have to tighten it almost daily. It is certainly going to go in the next 3 -4 days. Rundu is the last town of any significance that we will be in so this morning it is into town for shopping.

I was never made for shopping. Tharina have taken over those duties and avoids taking me along because I have such difficulty to be a pleasant person when shopping. We have been traveling in bliss for three weeks now. Less than an hour in this bustling people setup and and both me and Tharina start to become tetchy with each other.

The short and the tall is that the only place to get a chain from is Windhoek. That means staying put in Rundu for another two days.

I strike it lucky though. The Toyota dealer has two brand new CRF250X’s that are awaiting delivery to a client. The dealer is amenable to me stripping one off a bike and paying him cash for a replacement. The OEM chain is a continuous chain with no master link. Lucky for me I packed a chain breaker and it takes me seconds to get the chain off.

We leave Rundu, where by the way, we come across the first bike travelers since we left south Africa. A quick 200km of tar and we reach Divundu, at the beginning of the Caprivi Strip. Here we turn south for the first time.

We go to Nunda Camp because I had read good things about it. And it turns out to be all true. A very nice place, owner run by very nice people and the best staff complement we have come across on the entire trip. Good, mature, courteous people. Their camping is full but we can stay on an undeveloped part of the property until tomorrow when a camping spot will open up.

We pitch our tent here.





It is still the Kavango river but by now it has been joined by the Quito river and it flows dark, fast and silent.





There are hippos all over and during the night they splash all around our little laager.





Sunset on the Kavango, I love it here.





The next day we move to our new site and I have the time to do a leisurely maintenance job on the bikes. I change the chain on the DRZ. Having the chain cutter, it is light work to cut the old chain off and cut the new one to length. Neither the new or old chain has a master link, luckily I packed one.





While I am entertaining myself thus, Tharina and Peanut are swimming and sun tanning at the pool.





Peanut makes new friends. This is Thandiwe, from Zimbabwe.









I also take a ride out to Ngepi Camp to see how it has changed in the 14 years since I was there last. It’s still a very relaxed setup, but I am happy to confirm that we are staying at the better spot.





Nunda is a high end lodge with quality everything, construction, décor, setting etc.





That is one of the idiosyncrasies of Namibia that I like, lodges charge top dollar for a room or chalet, yet you can camp at R80 per person and have access to everything that the well heeled patrons have.





And another sunset on the Kavango.





I’m starting to feel guilty for bombarding you lot with the sheer volume of sunset pics.





The sun making way for the night.





The moon taking over the watch.





This is our second day here but we like it so we stay another.

Early the next morning I’m up to get some hippo pics and an otter comes out the water to have a look around just meters from me, but by the time I get the tripod to do what I want, it has disappeared again.





The tripper hanging in the tree becomes a very popular watering hole for ants. At night it is quite disgusting to grab a hold in the dark and it is just hairy ants.









Tharina goes for a boat ride.





These rapids are called Popa Falls.









Our camp as seen from the river.





Young crocodile.









I find this pic particularly potent. In the background man putting up permanent structures. In the middle the next step, leisure activities. And in the foreground the wildlife that can do nought but look on as their way of life is being destroyed.













While Tharina is on the boat I get comfortable at the lodge.









Damn, life is tough here in Africa.




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Old 10-29-2009, 06:59 AM   #202
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You are writing unforgetable memories for a child, and something to tell everyone for you.

I don't know what to say... Just fantastic!
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:59 AM   #203
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Wow Thank you for this great report. We are coming next Sept to ride and after following this report I just can't wait.

Thanks MJ, Tharina and Peanut for the amazing pictures.

Cheers
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:09 AM   #204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metaljockey
That is one trait of Africa that I really like, no rigid rules, you need something, it can be organized.
yep.
In Africa, "There is no problem, only solution".
(learn it when I broke my 12gs fork the 2 day of a 15 days trip)


Congrats to Madam MetalJockey !
Excellent one ;)
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:29 AM   #205
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Thumb Wow!!!

I can't thank you enough for sharing what seems to be such a fantastically memorable family vacation. After starting reading this report, I went through all of the others that you have written and have to say that this one is by far the best.

What I find so special about this trip is not just the memories that you all are making as a family but also that this is so inspiring for everyone here that you are willing to share them with. You, your wife and child are setting an example that all of us should strive for, to be able to share in these experiences and teach our children not just in school but by how we live and enjoy life.

I hope that we are all so lucky to have a family that we can share with the things in life we are so passionate about.

Thank You!!
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:33 AM   #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metaljockey
Damn, life is tough here in Africa.
.
That's living life to the fullest.. memories for life and one day when you're old and gray... you'll look back on all this with no regrets.. You are living Thanks for the awesome report and pics.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:33 AM   #207
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ok I've completely stopped work now and locked my office door. Drawn the blinds and am totally entranced by your trip. Life is easy when you choose it to be. Good luck
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:46 AM   #208
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Thank you

Thank you for sharing your trip, your family and so much of yourself in this RR! Amazing
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:36 AM   #209
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love that pic

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Old 10-29-2009, 04:44 PM   #210
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Absolutely Glorious!

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