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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by metaljockey, Apr 27, 2006.
Simply awesome. No more, no less.
You cannot over emphasize the importance of trust and cooperation from riding partners on an adventure of this magnitude. Well said and good choice of mates. Great report, thanks.
For the luck of better expression all I can say is woooooooooooooooooooooooooooow
For everything about this report, wow for the trip, wow for the idea, wow for your friendship, and big thanks for sharing all with us
btw this is great
more pls, more pls, more, more, more !!!! please
Damn. There aren't adjectives enough to describe how awesome your report is. Keep it coming.
Very nice write up and even better pictures, great job!
Only that and those
Wow the report and the pics get better and better.....
Thanks for sharing, I can't wait for the rest!!
On one hand I feel like I'm being redundant when I say... FANTASTIC!... On the other hand, I feel compelled to share my joy. This report is what this site is about. I must visit Nambia and Morocco!
The next morning we continue down the river.
With the surface water we come across lots of game, springbok, oryx, elephant etc.
As a special treat for my birthday we stop to enjoy a sixpack.
Nardus enjoying the early morning sun.
A split second after this pic Nardus accelerates and I get a litre of river water chucked into my helmet. Bastard.
We keep riding until sundown. We follow several riverbeds and sandwashes. The sand also turns from white river sand into a dark rocky shale type. Once again I find the going challenging.
One memorable off has me rocketing out off control out the riverbed up the rocky slope with the throttle open hoping to come back down in a graceful arc. Deep washaways in the rocks puts a rather sudden stop to this, chucking me over the handlebars. I end up in front of the bike but luckily still holding on to a grip. That means no seperation and therefor it doesn't count as a fall. The Hepco & Becker crashbar get slammed back into the cylinder however and splinters the plastic protector on it. No damage to the head or tappet covers though and I am thankfull for having spent the money on the H&Bs.
For some reason I only have 2 pictures of the whole day.
Here they are.
We camp again in a riverbed. Elephant sign everywhere. Like I said, I'm not the bravest when it comes to wild elephant. I sleep that night exactly where I'm sitting, in between the fire, two logs and a bush. I know elephant are quite sensitive about what they step on.
Notice how blue and swollen my feet are. The bruising on my shins from a week of cylinder head bashing seems to be migrating southwards. Lesson learned, next time I'll bring kneeguards.
Day 10 starts in the early morning hours with adrenalin rushing through my body like a cold shiver. An elephant is breaking bush not 30m away from us. The fire is out and I can see him clearly in the moonlight. He's frikken huge. After much whispered shouting I get Nardus and Hennie to share in my fear. They leopard crawl closer and we get the fire going again as quietly as possible.
The next morning at sunrise we find that we panicked well after the fact. By the time I woke, the elephant had already inspected us up close. We find his tracks right by the bikes, more or less by the dark spot behind the Dakars.
The funny thing is, we catch up with him that morning in the riverbed where he is still peacefully going about his business, and it turns out it is a young bull. About half size. Not big at all. The moonlight must've had an optical illusion effect .
The morning is spent playing in the sand again.
There are lots of wildlife and with the still morning air it's just excellent riding.
And excellent lighting.
I have one almost serious off when I sideswipe a rockface with the backwheel and get spun around rather violently. No damage though.
Powder dust. Tricky because you ride through it like water. Sometimes you'll find that rocks had been put down below to get stuck vehicles extricated. Because it's below the surface you don't see these. Best thing to do is to keep up a good rate of knots.
We get to Sesfontein around midday and chilled drinks makes the place feel like paradise.
About 120km on we we turn west and head into Damaraland. This region is almost devoid of human life. Beauty abounds though.
We start off with a rocky track. To date still the worst piece of riding I had ever done on the 1200.
The rocks are all cube shaped and vary in size from baseball to basketball. No subsurface, only loose rocks. Absolutely impossible to get any momentum going. So it is feet out, bounce, slip, front wheel sideways roll, bounce, hit, slip, back wheel spin out.. fuck, facing the wrong way again. I believe it was only about 7km. (It's always 7km)
When we get to the end of this lot and we can get some traction again we find that Nardus is missing.
Could be he'd broken an ankle or is caught under the bike somewhere with his leg being turned to charcoal by the exhaust. We decide to wait. What the hell, he does have his leatherman. That's how bad that piece of track was.
After about an hour Hennie folds and decide to go back. We agree that if he doesn't return, I should sleep over at the spot. He'd see to it that either he or someone else will return the next day. I did'nt even get up. I was very comfortable.
Hennie finds Nardus and this is the problem.
Hennie carried all the tyre fixing tools and Nardus could do nought but wait. They make it back to where I'm still lying and we camp right there.
It was another good day.
What an outstanding report.
All days should start like this.
We break camp with the prospect of another spectacular day's riding.
And Namibia doesn't disappoint. You can just point the camere anywhere and get pics like this.
We had by now run out of all the adjectves we collectively knew. It's frustrating not to be able to express your absolute wonder at the beauty that you are travelling through.
We come to a windpomp (sorry, don't know the english word).
Around here you never pass on an opportunity to top up.
No wind? No problem, manpower.
Solitude takes on a new meaning out here.
When you stop and shut down the bike the quiet presses on your eardrums.
One has a lot of time to think out here. It's good to be able to get some clarity and to look at yourself with some measure of objectivity.
You find that a lot of stuff is surprisingly uncomplicated.
You find that surprisingly little of what you thought was important, really is.
You find that it is the simple things that have value.
You find that the plant life here have known the value of simplicity for quite some time.
Dakar promo shot.
Of course we need to do the daily riverbed.
We cross vast hot rocky plains.
The year before a dutch couple on holiday ran out of fuel here. By the time they were found in their 4wd truck a week or two later the husband had already died and the wife was saved just in time.
I don't even want to think of the mental aftermath of having your partner die of thirst and heat on the seat next to you over several days.
Remember this borehole?
It was the closest water to the spot where they were stranded. About 40km as the crow flies. A reasonably fit man making good time at night could have made it here on foot. If he knew where to go.
We stopped at the place where they were found. It was as beautifull as any of the pictures you see here.
There is nothing more rewarding than travelling in these remote wilderness areas. It requires however that you take it seriously. Mistakes often have serious consequences.
Sorry, don't wanna preach.
Here's more pictures. Like I said, we ran out of adjectives. Next time I'm taking a dictionary.
Damn, that deserves being posted again.
That captures the essence of Namibia, a country that will leave no-one untouched. A place I love.
I just had to take a picture of this anthole. The little dusty path leads to one solitary tuft of grass, the only one for hundreds of metres around.
Through the heat haze we see the Ugab valley come into view.
As we come closer the vegetation returns.
Then.. in the background Brandberg arises. That's where we camped the first night. The trip is drawing to a close.
And yes we had to get through that red sand. No pictures, just lots of picking up of bikes and swearing ensued. When we eventually drop into the Ugab river again Hennie's forkseals had just about had enough.
The Ugab river takes us up to an excellent camp site. White Lady I think it is called. Again an elephant infested place but one feels better having more people around.
The next day we take the fast route to Usakos. Three happy bikes snuggle in for the return trip.
Fluit fluit, my storie is uit.
There aren't enough superlatives in the Oxford English Dictionary to do justice to this report.
Thank you for showing us there's a whole other world out there.
Good report, nice pics
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I must say again this is the kind of a write-up that keeps me coming back to this site time after time, after time, after. . . The pictures, while great, I am sure do not do the justice to the countryside. As for skipping the narratives to the next post: not a fucking chance in hell. The friendship you spoke of is a rare thing and one should count him/her self lucky to experience it. As you said, this sort of thing can be only forged by sharing all the good and the bad that the life dishes out. Being on the road together only strengthens the bond and makes you want to go further and push harder than you ever would on your own, simply because you know that when shit hits the fan theyll put their ass in the sling to cover yours. I count myself lucky. While I do enjoy long range solo patrols for cold beer and hot women, when solitude allows me to think about all kinds of shit and ponder the meaning of life, I know a few individuals that I wouldnt hesitate to go to end of the world with if the opportunity would present itself (right duct tape boy?). I had a taste of the desert in the American south-west and got hooked on it. Growing I spend time on the Baltic coast and hiking over parts of the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comffice:smarttags" /><st1lace>Carpathian Mountains</st1lace>, but always wanted to do <st1lace>Africa</st1lace> on the motorbike (even before I was old enough to ride), so I cant get enough of the scenery in your photos. By all means post more, as Im willing to bet vital parts of my anatomy that others cant wait for more as well. Some ride reports have great pix, some have great write-ups, some touch the subject on much deeper level; yours nails it all.
Thanx for taking us along for this ride.
Best report I have read. You made me so homesick i almost cried. Fanstastic man. Those are some hellava memories. Thanks boet.
Metaljockey, all I can say is Thank You very much.
The pictures and ride report and your general thoughts were
great. Thanks again.
Fantastic report man! One of the best I've read, and being a consumate lurker I have read a few...
Realistically, vicariously riding beautiful regions like this through trip reports like your's is as close as I'm ever going to get to exploring Namibia. Thanks for taking the time and effort to bring me along.
awesome, sorry the trip is over, you are some adventerous dudes, imagine wild elephants wow, thank you
To just say thanks for the report seems to be very, very inadequate. What a gr8 trip report, thoughts on the area and the pics are simply spectacular. Thanks again for sharing................
That looks like a great trip! Simple ride, Simple landscapes, simple plants (that made me snort), that's what I want to see. It sure doesn't seem like we get much of a break from civilization or roads nowadays. I hope someday I'll get a chance to make such a venture. Keep up the awesome material!