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Old 09-17-2011, 02:27 PM   #106
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Stopped for a drink the roads just go on and on and on, this was part of an 100k stretch
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Old 09-17-2011, 02:34 PM   #107
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Rode over 180 k's on roads like this today, fun but hard work some of it was 1st and 2nd gear stuff was exhausted by the time I fisnished this stretch or 100 k's and only saw one car while riding it so was in the middle of absolutley nowhere.Well sort of nowhere the outskirts of the south end of Richterveld World Heritage Area.
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Old 09-17-2011, 02:38 PM   #108
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The day on the way to Stellingsdrif was an absolutely great day of riding from flying along amazingly smooth highways to the crappy dirt roads it had it all. I know this isnt fast but one handed using the camera fully kitted it was fast enough.
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Old 09-17-2011, 02:45 PM   #109
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Rembrant the Dutch guy I met in the middle of nowhere riding his little Chinese 200cc motorbike around Africa. It was nice to chat to him he had actually lived in Byron for awhile so knew all the spots from home.
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Old 09-17-2011, 02:51 PM   #110
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Stellingsdrif to Vioordrif border crossing

Wow im stuffed, today rode back from the Sendellingsdrif border crossing, in my wisdom I thought I follow the paper map as the Gps had me going back the same way I came over and as much as I enjoyed the ride 280 k's of a ride I did yesterday didn't appeal to me. I hit the road early at 8 as I thought with my detour cutting across and around the Richterveld World Heritage area I would save time and get there before it warmed up to much, how wrong I was, friggin ended up being 250 k's, 180 of it on shitty dirt roads and I mean shitty. At one stage the road was actually a dry river bed, sandy rocky and definatly first gear material. As much as I was having fun it was bloody hard work and when your by yourself in these environment's you just have to be a little more careful as there isn't many people coming along to help you out. You would go across one great expanse of land wind you way up a mountain range only to come down looking at the road winding off into the distance again and I mean distance. At one stage I had 70 k's of nothing behind me and 50 in front of me to the left Richterveld World Heritage area and to my right just this great expanse of nothing, absolute classic. It crossed my mind more than once that if the bike carked it here it would be interesting.

At no stage did I get my speed above 80k's, the road just went from ok, to deep soft sand and on more than a few occassions I was so close to going down. The worse thing about it was all the roads that ran off the main track where everywhere and pretty much looked the same as the road I was on so everytime it was a lottery on which one to take. Took a few wrong turns but the furthest I went down one of them was 8 k's they basically turned into goat tracks pretty quickly, you soon realised you made a mistake on most cases.

On one of them I took after Ekkersfontain I started down and kept going, the track was really rough and I mean first gear winding along deep sand then real rocky. Ok the name of it probably should of given me a tip on what it would be like Hellgootes Pass yeah go figure. It was only about 50 k's but 50 k's of this would be absolutely crap and I wasnt sure if I was up to it, look probably with someone else there I may of gone for it but I really do have to err on the side of caution by myself, I did have water and sleeping equipment but no food and 50 kilometer's of waking in desert heat if anything went wrong would be very interesting, I could garuntee there would be no one coming along to help where as on the other road I had been on today id passed 3 or 4 cars so those roads do get used to some degree. In the end I took the pussy way out and decided to turn around as this road was an absolute a goat track and was hardly distuigushable as a road road anymore, not to mention I wasnt a 100% sure if it was even the right way, the tipping point was when I got to a steep incline and thought I wont be coming back up that on the bike by myself if I go that way and its the wrong way so in the end it was an easy decision.

Headed back towards Ekkersfontain I had passed a dude herding his goats so when I got back to him stopped and broke out the bungers they all love a smoke. He couldnt speak English so we tried a jibberthon for about 10 minutes while I refuelled my bike got my map out jestered at him and said Vioorsdrif via Stankoff or that way pointing to Hellgootes Pass then pointed to him so obviously got what I meant and he pointed down the better road and said Stankoff Vioorsdrif then pointed back to the other way jestering that it was very rough. Couldnt understand the distances but it certainly was alot further on the map down through Stankoff and as id just put my last 10 litres in I had about 200 k's so did toss up on driving back in to Ekkersfontain to see if I could find some fuel as tiny a town as it was there must of been fuel there somewhere.

In the end I though f$%k it as going backwards again even just 10 or 15k's didnt appeal to me at all so jumped on the bike and headed off. Ok this road was a little better still some soft sand in patches but was able to get it up to 80 odd k's safely. Was still pretty isolated saw one car in the 85 kilometer so as you can imagine there was bugger all around other than dirt roads mountains more road and more mountains. I eventually got to the highway and seriously I was so stuffed jumped off the bike and relaxed for awhile.


Still had about 110 k's of highway riding to get to Vioorsdrif so stopped at Stankoff for petrol and to grab something to eat. While the guy filled the tank a little kid game over looking at the bike so gestered to him jump on while I went into the shop to grab a roll and drink and grab some money from the Atm. I came out and we sat down i asked him by pointing at my drink if he wanted one he nodded yes so we walked back into the shop and he grabbed a coke. We went back outside i said you like soccer football Orlando Pirates Kaiser Cheifs he understood that so we tried to have a little chat about the game the other day, was easy cause Ajax got a penalty but the guy dived so it was easy to make that clear enough.
Sat down for awhile longer the temperature was 32 on the bike thermoter so it was pretty warmish and was feeling absolutely stuffed, so did think about just finding some where there but decided id just go straight up to Vioorsdrif and get somewhere near the border. Let the young bloke jump on and start the bike for me revved it up a few times then jumped off on I got threw him a wave and I was on my way.

Was 70 k's to the border, my head was about to explode, id had an absolutely huge day of riding, ill certainly get ride fit doing days like that theres no doubt about it. I got to about 30k's from Vioorsdrif and there was a cop car broken down on the side of the road with his wheel off. I've got a couple of those compressed gas cans so offered it to him. The slash on the tyre was fairly big so might not of been much use. The problem they had he could get the spare off the car, they are pretty tricky on these new utes you need to have the extended jack piece to wind it down and you guessed it there wasnt one in the cop car. As we were looking for it his boss from the border turn up so left them to work it out and said if they dont use that can of stuff i'll get it tomorrow when I cross the border.

Arrived in Vioorsdrif and thought to myself what a day, as you pull into Vioorsdrif theres a great place to stay 550 a night for a self contained Chalet again but very nice. they have a pool here so I ripped off my gear and went and jumped straight in. Was so nice and cold too was so refreshing. Walked over the shop to grab a bit of grub for tonight came back and just chilled out. What a day.



A good section of the road around Vioorsdrift.
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:17 AM   #111
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There certainly is some great riding to be had around here and the scenary is pretty special but certainly out of the way so take some supplies and be prepared for a decent hike if anything happens.
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:20 AM   #112
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The Orange River at the Vioorsdrif border crossing.
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:23 AM   #113
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And left it is though I ended up spending three nights in a nice lodge on the border in Vioorsdrif.
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:29 AM   #114
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Overlooking Vioorsdrif and the South African Namibian border crossing.
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:32 AM   #115
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Looking over the Orange River into Namibia.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:54 PM   #116
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Last day in South Africa

Ok ended up taking a day off after that few days of off road riding my back was sore as shite. This little chalet on the border of South Africa and Namibia is quite nice and very relaxing so its been good to chill out and do a bit of research or where im heading too. Well I did a little research, the Fish River Canyon is only an hour or so away so i'll head there in the morning after breakfeast so not a real big day ahead. I actually knew it was in the south but had thought it was about 3 hours away, oh well tough day at the office tomorrow.

Went and rode the other end of the Helgootes Pass, the goat track I dogged the other day. The road wasnt to bad on this end. I only road about 30 k's up the track so on the gps had about another 50 odd k's to go so I was a little disapointed I didnt go for it the other day im sure it would of been fine. Next time.

Ive really enjoyed the few days around here even if it a quite little spot there certainly is some good riding to be done stunning scenary and by myself the sense of just being one with nature is a pretty cool feeling, just loved being so out there in the middle of nowhere by myself. Interestingly the only wild life I saw out there was a few squirrels, well I think thats they were. I took water and a bit of food with me when I rode as once you get out in the hills it pays to be prepared for anything that might come up around here.

Had a chat to Bruce one of the guys that works here, he and his wife are from Zimbawe but got run out of the country as they were against the political situation there. He has 3 kids still there that live with his mother, not an ideal situation but I guess you cope with whatever situation your put into. The people all seems really nice around here, you can sense the cultural difference again with the local people. Its funny without being an expert an even knowing what the differences there are you can see it in there demeanor and the way they are.

Anyway this is my last day in South Africa and I have to say i've loved every minute of it, ive ridden over 9000 kilometres here but theres still so much to see, maybe one day i'll be lucky enough to get back here to explore more of this beautiful country. A big thank you to everyone that I have been lucky enough to come in contact with in the last three months I really have appreciated all your help and friendship along the way.

Next stop Namibia, adios South Africa xx
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Old 09-24-2011, 02:54 PM   #117
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Hey dude - I've finally caught up to the end of your posts - been reading this for the last few days - really great to see someone just riding for the joy of riding and telling it like it is - not all testosterone and macho cra@p!

I grew up in the foothills of the Drakensberg mountains in South Africa and although I haven't lived there for 15 years the memories of riding in SA all came back to me - I'm watching the next stage of your trip with interest as you live the dream that many of us have but don't have the balls to do.

Good on ya mate - best of luck and keep the posts coming!!
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:01 AM   #118
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Thanks Maxxx been in Namibia at the Hot Springs, Fish River Canyon,Luderitz, Keepmanshoop now in Windhoek, Been pretty limited with internet since crossing tbe border into Namibia but will update my blogs from those missed days tomorrow, had an amazing 3 months riding around South Africa, had dinner in that iconic pub joes bar in Windhoek last night what a classic place, cheers for the support mate
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:15 PM   #119
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Ais Ais Hot Springs

Well that was a tough day about an hour and half in the saddle on good roads. Before I left went up and had breakfeast which was the standard eggs and bacon deal, was nice of the lady there to invite me up for a free breakfeast. Had a chat to a few guys that were staying in the Lodge last night they were up here to source some produce for different times of the year and they gave me the run down on how to get to Ais Ais hot springs so that was handy. Also had a chat to Bruce and took a picture and printed a few out for them so they could send one home to their kids. Jumped on my bike and headed off around 10 and rode up to the border crossing up the road.

Turns out I could of crossed at Sendellingsdrif as the Southern African Uinion which includes South Africa Namibia Botswana Lesotho Swaziland dont need stamps in and out so all you need to do is get it stamped when you leave and head into Zambia, oh well bit of a bummer someone at the other border crossing couldnt of told me that but I had some amazing riding in those days so it was all meant to be I wouldnt of changed it for anything, was really fantastic and good training to for the remoteness that lies ahead.

As I pulled in to the border post I noticed a couple on Bmw's so walked over to have a chat with them. They had ridden down from europe but cause of the trouble in Lybia and Syria had flown from Turkey to Nairobi to bypass Egyt and all those places notorius for hassles with visa's and carnet's. He told me of once when he tried to declare a camera in Egypt they hit him up for 6000 pounds or something then when he went to leave and expect it back they said you can take it to court but you will loose anyway. That is expensive camera equipment so maybe they classified him as a professional photographer or something, going to making money out of photos of their country but there certainly does seem to be issues up that way, time will tell. The good thing about my trip is im not in any hurry at all so might just have to stay somewhere long enough to get to know the locals and then deal with it. The other option might be to fly in and get a multple entry visa then go back to my bike and do it that way oh well, i'll deal with that when it happens.

Bumped into a few of the guys I had met over the last few days working at the border so that made things a little easier, they pointed me in the right direction. Stamp stamp smile and im through. Headed over the Orange River and the k up the road to the Namibian border post. Stopped to take a picture of the welcome to Namibia which was a mistake as a bus load of tourist went past me so when I arrived at the border post I was in a long line of tourists. Oh well I just sat down and had a drink and chatted to some guys, they told me again about a few of the spots I should visit while im in Namibia and told me to take the back road and gave me directions so all good. Rode off and headed up to the grocery store and bought a Namibian sim card for my phone, ill wack that in later and work it out. Took of in the direction of Ais Ais Hot Springs and it certainly is remote out there, in saying that your only 40k's from somewhere so not all that remote in reality, maybe its just that your the only one out there that makes it feel like that.

Arrived at the hot springs and booked in was going to camp but it was 150 rand to camp and 600 to stay in a plush pad with breakfeast included so guess which one I went for. Got into my room then walked straight over to the bar and grabbed a beer and met Andy and Sven from Cape Town on a 10 day ride around Namibia. We ended up having a few and then they went to grab their bikes to refuel them as they were leaving in the morning. Went back to my room for awhile but there's nothing happening there so when I saw Sven riding his bike over to the fuel pump and it looked like it was down on its ass so I thought I would head over to see what the deal was with. He had picked up a flat tyre so the boys got to work on that and we had a few drinks and a bit of a laugh.

We ended up back over to the bar having dinner and hit the piss, we ended up quite hammered, im guessing if they felt like me this morning it might of been a tough start to the days riding. All in all a very good day, some good riding on really good dirt roads and lots of laughs with good people. Hope you had a safe trip home on the bikes boys.
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:23 PM   #120
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The roads are pretty good but remote out here, probably not a good spot to be if you get lonely easily lol
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