4 Corners of South Africa - via the internet.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Douf, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. Douf

    Douf Limey Bitch

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    819
    Location:
    Close to Cumming (GA that is)
    The interiors of the apartments/cells didn't look any better either. The bed clothes if they had ever been washed, undoubtedly hadn't experienced the intimate pleasure of tumbling uncontrollably in the lathered embrace of a front loader for quite some time and so, mindful of the constant nationwide publicity advocating condom use, I pulled out my sleeping bag, carefully unrolled it and, after a few clumsily uncertain moments spent fumbling for the light switch, slipped myself eagerly into its' warm confines; hoping to shield myself from the distinctly unsavory possibility of catching an unwanted disease.
    (Excerpt from Day 12's entry)


    Backstory.
    I initially bumped into Gary (and his brother Joe) at a western Colorado gas station in 2003 while on a similar trip with my good friend Mike. Since then we've done an Arctic Circle ride together ('06), and so when Gary mentioned he had an interest in touring South Africa, I asked him to keep me posted. We're both working stiffs and married to very understanding wives, so unfortunately any potential route would need to be done in a pretty short time frame. Anyway, a couple of months later after he'd made a few posts on an African Adv website (wilddog.za.net), we got an invite to hookup with a bunch of Jo'burg natives who were planning a 4 corners attempt. Sounds straight forward enough :eek1 The basic route was as follows, starting and ending in Jo'burg and traveling in an anti-clockwise direction. Total distance around 5000 miles.

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    Not saying I'm anal, but here's a shot the bags packed pre-trip. :evil

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    Must give a word of thanks to my buddy Rex who hooked me up with a full compliment of Eagle Creek packing cubes/sacs for the trip. Rex reps luggage for a living, is also a fellow rider and was nice enough to put together over $200 of free samples. You rock buddy :clap:clap:clap Actually this stuff really is awesome and makes me wonder how I managed before - Highly recommended.

    Edit: The Sierra Club is the devil incarnate and Eagle Creek has an unfortunate habit of bankrolling them. Beware!

    Pre-trip + Flight.
    $800 worth of shots (medicinal :evil) a-piece and the 16 hour plane ride beckons (Gary's flight is actually a few hours longer as he flies from Boston to Atlanta, where I board the plane). Minor drama ensues at the airport, since my passport has just under the typical 30 day requirement left on it for me to be let out of the country, but the officials are nice enough to let it slide. Fortunately the plane's half empty and thankfully cramped coach sets are magically turned into 3 abreast cots of (relative) comfort
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    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    61,031
    This will be an awesome trip :thumb

    :lurk
    #2
  3. Douf

    Douf Limey Bitch

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Close to Cumming (GA that is)
    Landing in Jo'Burg on Thursday evening we're expecting to meet Paul and Cindy (two of the crew) at the airport, but after about an hour of screwing around trying to get in contact via phone, we can't get hold of anyone (it turns out the 'area code' is different depending on whether it's a cell phone or a land line). Finally they both appear and with great relief we're taken through rush hour Jo'Burg traffic to Paul's house. I thought Atlanta traffic was bad, but this is unreal. :eek1 The security in the city is pretty intimidating too. Paul's house is in the Central Business District and all the homes there have high walls and gates surrounding them. We go to dinner at a restaurant in the area and the door is kept locked behind every diner that enters: it's because of 'the wind' we're told.:deal Hmmmmm. On the other hand, our new friends are great and I'm overwhelmed that Paul would take two total strangers into his home and treat us like we're old friends. Great stuff.:clap
    We spend a few hours after dinner chatting with Paul and Cindy, picking their brains about SA life. At some stage during conversation one of us asks:
    'Anywhere we need to avoid in Jo'burg?'
    'Definitely stay out of Soweto'
    'OK then!'


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    Paul, Cindy and yours truly - no problem with the language barrier :lol3
    #3
  4. Johno33772

    Johno33772 Johnny Africa

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2006
    Oddometer:
    959
    Location:
    St Petesburg, FL
    I'll have to cath this RR when i get back...Flying out to Sa (Jo'Burg) tomorrow for 2 weeks:D
    Keep it coming!
    #4
  5. Douf

    Douf Limey Bitch

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    819
    Location:
    Close to Cumming (GA that is)
    The plan today is to pick up the rental bikes, get vaguely familiar with SA traffic and pack for an early start Saturday morning. First thing though, we go to breakfast with a bunch of fellow riders. Paul and Cindy are part of the Think Bike crowd in South Africa (www.thinkbike.co.za) and they meet every Friday before work for coffee. I was half expecting a bunch of safety weenies, but these guys are pretty cool and South Africans are appearing to be pretty laid back in general. How many of us in the states have a group of guys (and gals) who'll take the time to stop for breakfast before work every week?

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    Breakfast with the Think Bike (TB) crowd. BMWs are pretty well represented - majority of riders seem pretty serious - commuting is common (for reasons that later become obvious) :eek1


    After Breakfast Cindy takes us down to MotoBerlin where we pick up the bikes. We'd both arranged to rent BMW's F800GS since we're both eager to compare performance with our current adventure bikes (Gary has a V-Strom, I've got a 950 Adventure, both of us have KLRs). We're a little concerned about the bikes though as there's been a little trouble getting e-mails answered in the past couple of weeks. But on arrival thankfully the bikes are both as promised (my steed is essentially new, with only 700kms on the clock :clap). Both bikes have top cases (not trunks - in SA, trunks only on elephants :evil) and come with flat kits, chain lube and chain adjustment tools, in addition to the standard toolkit. Quite a nice Motoberlin polo shirt is thrown in too.

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    Good guys to deal with: www.motoberlin.co.za

    We mount our GPSs on the bikes and Cindy leads us into the Jo'burg traffic. We're on the wrong side of the road to start with, and seriously jet lagged too, but nothing on four wheels is moving that fast, so we make our way gingerly back to Paul's with Cindy leading the way in her Jeep.

    Here we meet back up with Ian (who had originally invited us to come over to SA, but unfortunately is not able to come on the trip). Ian's offered to show us 'round Jo'burg for the day and this is where the fun begins. He lane splits through the grid locked Jo'burg traffic at a rate of knots that has to be seen to be believed. Lets see: Jet lagged, wrong side of the road, unfamiliar bike and flying up between lines of traffic with visions of Atlanta lane discipline. :eek1
    Ian stops and asks us how we feel.
    'Scared' I reply.
    'I'm the careful one in the group', says Ian.
    'Really!'

    We make a pit stop across town at the very well appointed BMW dealership (cars and bikes under one roof) to pick up a tank bag for Gary's bike.
    After riding 'round for another hour or two, Ian pulls over and takes his helmet off.
    'Listen, you guys need to stay close, 'cause now we're going through Soweto'
    Me: 'Soweto?'
    Ian: 'Yeah, just watch out for the kids throwing rocks. Don't worry about the bullets though, 'cause you won't see those coming anyway'
    Me/Gary: :eek1:eek1:eek1:eek1
    Needless to see, Ian had a couple of 800GS's pretty much riding on his luggage rack over the next couple of miles. It was pretty intimidating being the only white face around, but the locals didn't appear to be particularly restless, although there was a certain vibrant claustrophobia reflected in the number of people milling around the streets. At one stage we spotted a police cruiser and happily tailgated it out of the district. No photo's though I'm afraid.
    Ian later commented: 'That's something most white South Africans will never do' :deal
    'No shit'
    :freaky

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    Ian (dayglo bib) and Paul drinking coffee at the TB breakfast. Gary and I (in the foreground) in retrospect would've been better off with something stronger.

    After barely surviving Ian's baptism by fire, we head back to Paul's for a take out dinner. Di, another member of the crew stops by and drops off the cell phone that she's arranged for us to use over there. We pack the bikes and prep for the next day.

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    Bikes packed and loaded: (Paul's R1100S, Cindy's 1200ST)

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    Jo'burg is rumored to have 85 murders/day. I'm thankful to have survived my first in one piece. :lol3

    #5
  6. j_csquare

    j_csquare Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    121
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Interesting report. Can't wait for the rest!
    #6
  7. MikieSA

    MikieSA Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Keep em coming Douf :clap
    #7
  8. Nazgul

    Nazgul Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    87
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Great ride you have planned there. Please don't take JHB as the standard reference for any SA city! Come down here to mellow Cape Town, you'll find it a lot less stressful!:evil

    You have some AMAZING riding ahead of you. Good luck and enjoy every moment.
    Take note of how the scenery and vegetation changes as you ride. You will be passing it all, temperate, sub-tropical, mediterranean etc, etc.

    Keep left and pass right.

    Bye for now:lurk
    :lurk
    #8
  9. MikieSA

    MikieSA Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Oh thats all coming. This trip was done in Feb.
    #9
  10. Grootseun

    Grootseun Thumpin around

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Oddometer:
    87
    Location:
    JHB SA
    Nothing like the fast-paced action packed city of Jo-burg.

    Great looking report so far. Always keen to check out our country through the eyes of Visiting Adventurers.
    #10
  11. Douf

    Douf Limey Bitch

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    819
    Location:
    Close to Cumming (GA that is)
    Trip Day 1. Jo'burg-Augrabies

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    Jet lagged and dealing with a 7 hour time difference, I was expecting the scheduled 5am start to be a little optimistic for my old bones, but once again the anticipation of a day spent riding in unfamiliar territory trumps any physical lethargy and we all roll out of Paul's garage on time. :clap (I don't actually remember sleeping that much, but it could have just been latent terror from the previous day's warm-up ride 'round Jo'burg.):lol3 The first stop is just around the corner where we meet the rest of the crew at a gas (petrol) station.


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    Ready to roll: Gary (800GS), Narissa & Koshik (Fireblade), Di & Mikie (1200GS ADV), Me (800GS), Paul (R1100s). In front: Cindy (R1200ST)

    It's maybe worth mentioning at this point that as the trip departure date approached, a few extra riders had signed up, and in total we ended up with eight participants including two female pillions, one of whom is riding on the back of a Fireblade. :eek1 Since a typical trip for me usually follows the ride.eat.sleep.repeat mantra, I was a bit concerned about how this was going to pan out. Gary's an Ironbutt veteran, who I assume was thinking along the same lines. Anyway everyone's ready and waiting in the early morning darkness, so we're off to a good start. All the participants are 'Thinkbike' members and in addition to those coming on the trip, a couple of other guys showed up to see us off and escort us out of town (thanks 'BMWfan' and 'Trumpet').
    The 'escort' consists of the two outriders running up ahead (with Trumpet's piped Daytona typically bouncing off the rev limiter), stopping all traffic at each stoplight (which we'd eventually learn to start calling 'robots') and letting the rest of us cruise through like motorcycling royalty. :evil I must admit it was a bit difficult to get used to and, being a Georgia resident I had a problem getting the mental image of being either (a) t-boned by a big 'ole pick-em-up or :eek1 (b) shot at by some shotgun wielding good old boy,:huh out of my head as we passed each intersection. The local cagers seemed cool with it though (and they also seemed quite happy to move over for any lane splitting maneuvers). 'Scuse me, we're with Thinkbike'. :wave Not that it's particularly difficult to achieve, but the level of driving skill possessed by the typical South African cager is generally light years beyond what I'm used to in Georgia (and in fact the first time I got cut off on the trip was when some asshat on a cellphone almost took the front off my wife's car as we were coming back up 400 from the airport.) :baldy

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    Pitstop outside Jo'Burg after our 'royal escort' :rayof

    After leaving our escorts, we start on the trip proper. The day's ride has been billed as 900+kms of fairly uneventful plains riding in order to get closer to the good stuff over on the west coast - mainly rolling down the N14. As the day progresses, it strikes me that the start of this ride's a bit like heading west from Atlanta - you pay yer dues across Kansas to get the payback in Colorado and beyond. Actually the landscape and scenery does appear somewhat similar to Kansas in the early going, although as we head further west, it starts looking more and more arid in a similar fashion to, say Nevada/Arizona.
    In sharp contrast to the US though, we're not riding along (per Ironbutt regulations :wink:) at a GPS indicated 75mph which makes things a bit more interesting. After riding a KLR for a number of years, it hadn't entered my head that an 800GS wouldn't be 'fast enough' for this trip. I'd pictured the entire group riding along in a pack at, say 80mph-ish. However, in what is to be the typical pecking order for anything resembling a straight road, Gary and I are bringing up the rear on the two smaller GSs, cruising at (a comfortable pace for the bike) between 90-100mph, Koshik/Narissa and Mikie/Di alternate between riding with us (slow) and running up ahead with Paul who's apparently (I never got close enough to actually get a visual on this) leading and Cindy a little way behind. Paul's Thinkbike handle is 'Splat' and he's also known as 'Rabbit'. Hmmmmmmmmm...
    'You guys aren't worried about getting a ticket?'
    Apparently not.
    :lol3

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    Stopped for Breakfast at a 'Wimpy' - the first of many. I thought maybe the locals were trying to play to my British heritage and assumed I actually 'liked' crap food :lol3 Actually it's better than the gas station fare normally a staple of the '20 min max, Gary mandated gas stop'

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    Since it's Valentine's day, the girls get special treatment from the wait staff (what some people'll do for a tip, eh!). Both pillions seem to be having a great time, maybe this is gonna work after all. :clap

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    Typical shot of the first day's riding - FLAT and STRAIGHT (and fast)

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    Crossed over into the Northern Cape just before midday.

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    You make your fun where you can get it 'Hotazel?' - 'Yes it was'. :lol3 Flirting with 100F in some places (BMWs computer gives the temperature in deg C, but there's plenty of time to do the math on the dead straight roads F=(9/5*C)+32). :jjen Winds were pretty high too - did I mention it seemed a lot like Kansas? :nod

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    Not 'everything's' bigger in Texas - birds nest SA style, with man-made Albatross below :lol3

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    'Hey guys, I think I've got the hang of this SA riding style'

    At some point during the afternoon, we passed through a small town that had a bunch of burnt out tires all over the road and one or two burned out vehicles too. I'm not sure what all that was about and unsurprisingly no-one felt brave enough to stop for a photo :uhoh

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    Interesting roadside machinery.

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    Mikie sizes up a new rear for the GS :eek1 - actually something with a bit more grip might have been useful - stay tuned :lol3

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    The riverside in Uppington

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    Storm clouds loomed as we left Uppington, but the group managed to run between what looked like two seperate storms and barely got wet. :thumbHowever a few miles up the road after a gas stop miscalculation, all the bikes (besdies the big GS) were running on fumes. The Fireblade was the first to run dry, but no big deal. We transferred some fuel from the GS into the Honda (of course given our backgroud Gary and I are carrying just about everything 'cept the kitchen sink in the 'emergency' dept - so a syphoning device is ready to hand):deal There was some good natured ribbing going on of course and more than one BMW rider mentioned that the Honda seemed to run better with 'BMW gas' in it :lol3 FWIW I finally figured out a use for a 1200ADV :rofl:rofl

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    First night's accommodation at Augrabies -$20 per head which, along with the cost of the food is looking like pretty good value to the Americans.

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    At the end of the day, we made it to Augrabies in time to take a quick look at the national park and waterfall. However, although arriving at the entrance a good 30 minutes before closing time, the place was already closed for the evening. :beccaUndeterred, we rode back to the Augrabies lodge and had a great dinner, which if I remember correctly, came to about $35 for all eight of us :clap Afterwards, we grabbed a few beers and headed back to the digs for the rest of the evening. :kumbayaThe group are all happy and everyone's getting along fine. The local's are treating Gary and I like they've known us for ages, and their laid back manner and friendship is quickly turning into one of the best parts of the trip. :thumb

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    #11
  12. picoda

    picoda Dalmatia

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    221
    Location:
    Croatia
    It will be very good RR. I know that :wink:. (my signature can tell you why)
    #12
  13. Douf

    Douf Limey Bitch

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    819
    Location:
    Close to Cumming (GA that is)
    Thanks - I read your write up a while back and it definitely peaked my pre-trip enthusiasm.

    Douf
    #13
  14. Douf

    Douf Limey Bitch

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    819
    Location:
    Close to Cumming (GA that is)
    Trip Day 2: Augrabies - Port Nolloth (First Corner)

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    I'd been excited about seeing the big five (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo and Rhinoceros) up close and personal during this trip, but what Mikie found in his bedroom when he woke up, although smaller, was almost as intimidating. :evil A pretty healthy looking scorpion had made it's way into his room and I'm guessing a sting from this puppy would've put quite a dent in anyone's future plans. :eek1 Not sure if there was any truth to the rumor that it was the hotel pet, but any enthusiasm we had for breaking out our camping gear was rapidly evaporating.

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    Breakfast anyone? Mikie's unwanted house guest posing for the camera :eek1

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    Before setting off for the day, it was time to visit the Augrabies falls (which had been closed the night before). Signing it right at opening time, it was hoped that we'd get a jump on the crowd, have breakfast at the park's restaurant, see the falls and be out of there in no time. However, as in the US, national parks and their employees don't seem to be in that much of a hurry for anyone, :bubba so it ultimately took a while to get going.

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    Breakfast/lunch at Augrabies.

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    Couple of shots of the falls at Augrabies.

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    Another member of the 'small' five? A Dassie at Augrabies

    Once on the road, we still needed gas and that involved a few more wrong turns which put us in the hole -timewise - even more. However when we did finally get rolling. it became apparent that we were in for more flat/straight Nevada style riding that at least was good for making time. :ricky This area is known for being a high speed testing ground where a lot of the world's car manufacturer's come to prove out new designs. Therefore, with the chances of any hindrance from law enforcement being at a minimum there appeared to be even less regard for the nominal speed limits than usual (if that's possible). :pynd

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    Hmmm, more straight road, let's....

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    ......take a few riding photos of us....

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    ....screwing around....

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    ......look ma, no hands (at 100mph)

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    Can't think why we got no pictures of Paul and Cindy at this time...:lol3

    The route continued down to Sprinkbok, where it turned right and headed to Steinkopf, subsequently taking a left towards Port Nolloth. Here we encountered the first real twisty roads of the trip at Anenous pass where the two smaller GSs for once were able to keep up somewhat, and the bikes handled well on the curvy roads. Both Gary and I had joked with our friends back home about not being too concerned about the local wildlife chasing us as long as we weren't the slowest in the group. Well....:pot However, the road soon turned arrow straight again as we headed west. Along this stretch of the road, the temperatures were 100F or better and the wind gusted quite forcefully, which made for some arduous riding conditions. Predictably though, as we approached the coast the temperature dropped considerably (low 70's) and by the time we hit the beach front at Port Nolloth, the wind had turned into a refreshing breeze. :thumb

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    Coming into Sprinkbok, Mikie spotted a roadside vendor selling 'Mini-Di's'. He bought one and she rode along on the top of the GS's pannier for the rest of the trip - dancing merrily the whole way. :lol3

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    A corner - earlier today.

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    The road to Port Nolloth was desolate and beautiful.

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    Koshik finally attempts to get a good pic of his true love - but Narissa ruins it (again) :lol3

    Once on the beach front, we immediately located a pretty cool Italian restaurant - Vespetti's. :thumb We got chatting to the owner (Chris), who it turned out had done the same trip some years ago on a Vespa. :bow

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    Legend has it that upon seeing Port Nolloth, he decided he was quitting his day job and opening a seafront restaurant right there. The ultimate biker makes good story? He claims he's got a Vespa mounted ride for charity through the whole African continent planned in a couple of years time. :bow:bow The food was good too. :dg


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    Chris - the intrepid Vespa riding host at Vespetti's

    Continuing our good fortune, a really nice beachfront cottage, capable of sleeping all eight of us was located a few hundred yards from the restaurant, for the princely sum of about $10 each!:clap

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    Booking the cottage (no Flinstone jokes please). :deal

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    They had a couple of small shipwrecked vessels washed up onthe beach, that were now 'tourist attractions'. :evil

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    We dumped our gear and headed out to hit the first corner (Alexander Bay), which was located about 50 miles north of Port Nolloth. Unencumbered with luggage, we got the chance to test the upper reaches of the bikes' performance envelopes and in a straight line the little GSs hit 120mph without any trouble. :wingsThey were stable enough at that speed too, although there was evidence of a slight headshake (nothing serious). :rayof

    The last couple of miles was dirt/sand road, where the sanity of bringing a dual sport bike on a trip like this was starting to become apparent to the road bikers (probably not :lol3). We even got the big GS briefly stuck in the sand at the seafront trying to maneuver it into position as a camera holder. Gary and I were tasked with transporting the passengers out of the sandy terrain, during which time I twisted my knee and was subsequently limping for the next couple of days (I'm guessing possible meniscus tear, but no Dr. visit so far)

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    A rare pic of Paul and I in the same zip code :lol3

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    A road bike - stuck...........

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    ......and another..........

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    ......oh go on then, one more...........

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    .....'Let's see, I could probably get 5000 Rand for this piece of $*^t, then buy a KLR' ..... :rofl

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    The South African Formation Hernia team going for a world record of 35 simultaneously slipped disks, while moving the GS (aka 'tripod') out of the sand. :lol3

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    'This one's for you, Dave.' I found this sign on the beach and thought it'd make a good pic. However, it became oddly appropriate upon hearing that MotoBerlin's owner had suffered a total loss on a 1200ADV, when riding too close to the surf, getting the bike stick and having the tide wash it out to sea. :eek1

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    Ten second Mikie lives!

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    Eventually: FIRST CORNER COMPLETED :clap

    Back at Port Nolloth, we returned once more to Vespetti's, where some of us attempted to deplete their alcohol reserves over another excellent meal. :slurp

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    ....and another so-so sunset at Vespetti's :thumb

    Stay tuned for the next exciting installment....


    #14
  15. Douf

    Douf Limey Bitch

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    819
    Location:
    Close to Cumming (GA that is)
    Trip Day 3: Port Nolloth - Lambert's Bay.

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    Bright and early we departed Port Nolloth and set out for Lamberts Bay. The first 50 or so miles was backtracking the previous day's mileage up over Anenous pass and back to Springbok (where we would continue south on the N7). However, things proverbially went south in a hurry as Cindy, Gary and I hit Steinkopf pretty much in unison, but the rest of the group failed to show up. We waited and waited but still no sign. Eventually, just as we were about to backtrack, the rest of the group appeared. Apparently Di had left her purse at the cottage in Port Nolloth and had gone back to get it. :ddog

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    'Purse? Oh, Crap!'

    With that mini-crisis behind us, more of the same fairly straight roads led back into Springbok, where breakfast was served at the inevitable Wimpy.:puke1

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    Wimpy - our daily shrine to all things bland and inexpensive......

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    Loving the ambiance.

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    Cindy and Mikie checking on their Wimpy stock prices - probably.

    Once breakfast was choked down we remounted and set off in some seriously hot weather (100F and more). I was hoping we might be getting close to the coast line in order to enjoy some of the cooler temperatures there, but apparently this part of the country is home to a large portion of the diamond mining industry, so for some reason they don't have too many roads running through there. :gun2

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    Further south, we stopped at Garies, which Chris at Vespetti's had recomended for some excellent Biltong (a South African style beef jerky - although it's not necessarily made from beef). However, quite why my local friends were so keen on partaking of this alleged delicacy when they seemed quite happy to endure the daily Wimpy was entirely beyond me. :lol3YMMV

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    The stop did provide the ultimate opportunity for our resident road sign afficionado though. It doesn't get any better than this, eh Gary? :deal

    Further South the road bikes parted company from the GS's and carried on down the paved road to Lamberts Bay. There appeared to be some good off road alternatives, which by this stage more closely followed the coastline; so we thought it'd be a good idea to try those

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    We rode a few kms of easy twin track gravel until we got a little closer to the coast and then the road turned back to paved. Blistering hot conditions were prevalent to within a hair's breadth of the coast, but at that point the temperature subsided a little.

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    It was rather hot....

    I saw some beautiful coast line real estate and came across a number of idyllic seaside towns. For some reason I hadn't really considered the amount of coastline that's possesed by this country (duh!), but it has some of the most beautiful coastal scenery imaginable. :thumb

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    The scenery made up for the heat......

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    Wine Country anyone?....

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    Eventually the road turned back to dirt and at a fork in the road, we were presented with an option to hit a coastal stretch that was marked 'suitable for 4x4 vehicles' only. Seemed like a good idea at the time, so the three of us carried on down this route in a fairly uneventful fashion until we came through a gate with a sign that warned of sand up ahead. The trail immediately turned to pretty deep soft sand. I was a bit nervous about my knee, since it was still a bit sore from being tweaked yesterday at Alexander Bay, but both Gary and I managed to keep the smaller GS's going despite being on knob-less DS tires. The bigger bike wasn't so fortunate however, and with the added burden of a passenger, Mikie and Di were soon pitched off into a sand bank in what looked like a pretty good get off. :eek1 Gary and I walked back to the bike and fortunately both rider and passenger were OK. After getting the beast upright, we continued on through varying depths of sand, but despite Gary's urging that 'Speed is your friend' Mikie was having a difficult job keeping the thing upright. Di bailed off a couple more times before she decided that further progress on foot was safer (and probably faster too). :huh I was sent up ahead to check the subsequent road conditions and managed to ride to a sign which promised the relative safety of a washboard surface (at least I think that it was - could've been sand dunes!) :lol3. It looked like it was getting better, but the guys had already decided to turn 'round by the time I got back to where they were waiting.

    [​IMG]

    Team Mikie #1

    [​IMG]

    Team Mikie #2

    [​IMG]

    Team Mikie #3


    [​IMG]

    'Forget You! Team Mikie'


    Gary bravely offered to pilot the big GS out of there and did a great job of manhandling it back to the fork in the road without any further mishaps. Mikie rode Gary's 800 out of there, and fortunately for Gary, he succeeded in keeping it upright and therefore not jeopardizing the 30,000 Rand insurance excess required by the rental company. :rickyAs I recall Di was happy to remain on foot, whenever she got the opportunity.

    At the fork we stopped some guys in a passing truck who'd just come up the road we were intending to go down. With assurances from them that it wasn't any problem, we made pretty good time down some fine gravel/sand washboard until we came to a T-juction. Mikie valiantly managed to locate one small patch of sand at the T which was enough to pitch him and Di off one last time. :baldy

    [​IMG]

    'One more for the gipper'

    Not knowing what the subsequent road would offer, Gary once again offered to carry Di out of there and so the four of us set off once more and made time down some not particularly taxing twin track at speeds of 70-80 mph. All seemed fine and we re-joined the black-top without any further incident. However when Di took off her helmet, she was in tears. :cry I guess repeatedly falling of the big GS and then jumping on the back of Gary who was riding that much faster, had put the fear of God into the poor girl. 'Speed IS your friend, Di'. :evil Fortunately we were only a few kms from Lamberts Bay at that point, which was a good thing as my GS pulled into the next gas station with 1km showing on the 'distance 'til empty' meter.

    The roadies had already checked us in to a couple of beachfront appartments complete with locking garage parking for around $7.50/person (via Koshik and Narissa, who were by this stage acting as fixers for anything that required a financial negotiation). :thumb
    They were relaxing and enjoying the ocean breeze when we rolled in, all four of looking rode hard and hung up wet. Far from questioning the sanity of riding a dual sport bike on a trip like this, I'm sure a couple of 'em must've been wondering why anyone would choose to sweat their ass off struggling down a sandy jeep trail, when there was a perfectly good paved road to the same destination. Ah, but that first beer tasted good though. :deal

    [​IMG]

    Our Triumphant ride into Lamberts Bay

    [​IMG]

    'Koshik, I thought the view would've been better for $7.50/night.' :evil

    [​IMG]

    Koshik demonstrates Mikie's sand riding technique - now that's just cold. :lol3

    [​IMG]

    Miller Time :evil

    Paul grilled some excellent steaks on the apartment's Barbecue (Braai) and we spent the rest of the evening eating drinking, and once we'd had a few beers, discussing world politics. :eek1

    [​IMG]

    Mein host

    [​IMG]

    'Did I mention sand sucks?'

    [​IMG]

    Another rough day at the office. :clap
    #15
  16. KHVol

    KHVol Long timer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,565
    Enjoying your RR....there is something especially intriguing about SA
    #16
  17. svs

    svs Posts too much...

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    28,387
    Location:
    Huntington Beach
    Thank you for sharing..... Your group looks pretty lively...Lots of Characters.. NICE!
    #17
  18. Douf

    Douf Limey Bitch

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    819
    Location:
    Close to Cumming (GA that is)
    You're welcome. It's the first report I've done in any great detail, and if nothing else, it sure gives me some renewed respect for the guys that write these things. A LOT of effort involved!

    Douf
    #18
  19. klrmtn

    klrmtn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    227
    Location:
    Byron, IL
    Very interesting report so far. I'm subscribed. One note though, any chance you could use the next size smaller pictures, the size you are using now run off my window. Thanks.
    :lurk
    #19
  20. Douf

    Douf Limey Bitch

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    819
    Location:
    Close to Cumming (GA that is)
    I'm reloading subsequent days on a 15" format. Let me know how that works out for ya! It's possible that I may be able to resize the existing shots, but like most of the software I use, my knowledge is just enough to be dangerous!
    #20