Rideforsmiles, Solo Australian to Africa Europe and Beyond, starting June 26th 2011.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by rideforsmiles, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Thought id break out the camping gear ha ha ha. The rooms at the Sossusvlei Lodge are half tent half brickwork and very nice, we had a little bit of wind so the tent was a tad noisey at times but nothing I thought you would complain about but as usual some did, you cant please everyone can you.

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  2. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    The view back to the mountains from out the back on of my bungalow. Was pretty nice.

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  3. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Sunset overlooking Sossusvlei Lodge looking to the west and to the dunes.

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  4. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    my first view of the dunes was from the flyover always a nice way to see attractions if you got the bucks, i think it cost me about 80 Australian dollars or there abouts for the 40 minute flight.

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  5. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Just a random photo from the plane.

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  6. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    The day started well woke up in plenty of time so rolled back over for a few more winks. Have been feeling a little crook the last few days I hope im not getting sick Ive gor a bit of riding ahead of me in the next few days.

    When I met Chris the German guy with the group of Aussies last week he was coughing and spluttering everywhere and while we were at dinner I thought i better not catch the shit this bloke has, oh well it will just mean taking it easy if I do, that is funny I saw that couple on little step throughs that I saw in Swakopmund who are riding through Africa are in Victoria Falls already and I'm still only 300k's down south of Swakopmund and still havent got back to Windhoek to have my bike serviced, talk about a leisurely cruise. I must admit though it is a nice way to travel with no time constraints.

    Got up and walked over to the reception met Jonathon our guide and we were off not long after. Was just me and a Dutch couple. I must admit I felt like crap but just sat in the back and took photos from the open four wheel drive we were in. I wasnt real social wish I was feeling better they seemed like really nice people.

    Was pretty nice warmish and a nice sunrise coming up behind us as we travelled the 60k's to the dunes. Look if your going to go to the dunes pay the 630 rand, 80 bucks Aussie for the guided tour by the time you pay your 80 rand 10 bucks entry fee to the park, then the internal shuttle from Sossusvlei to the Deadvlei etc which is 115 rand 15 bucks, which by the way everyone was hanging around struggling badly in the heat waiting for one of the full trucks to come along with a seat available, you get taken to all the sites with explanations, breakfast is included and all you have to do is sit on your ass and take it all in. When I saw a few of the crew that had self driven either bogged in the last section of deep sand or holding their shuttle ticket out begging to get in all red and flustered looking like they were about to drop dead I knew I made the right decision to fork out the few extra bucks.

    Some of the interesting stuff you wouldnt know if you just lobbed in there is that the dunes were actually created from sands from the Kalahari desert which over millions of years blew south down into the Orange river flowed into the ocean and then moved back up the coast and then were brought ashore by the currents and then were blown further inland by the strong south westerlies. The dunes come in from the Atlantic 55km's so it must of taken a hell of a long time. There full of all different metals, Jonathon showed us by running a magnet in the sand which was quite interesting, he did mention the minerals but in one ear out the other with that, I did get a couple but GOOGLE IT if your interested.

    We arrived at Sossusvlei and walked up the dune, its not that high well 105 metres but just took my time taking photos its actually surprising how sore I still am in my back and chest when I do the physical stuff but harden up princess, I must admit im friggin sore as shit and not feeling 100% im actually struggling a little, well physically struggling, where im staying im not, its plush, I guess I could be at home sitting around whinging doing f(*k all but here I am bashing my way up the highest sand dune in the world in the deserts of Namibia. I try and remind myself that all the time and I have to it would be pretty easy to just go to hard basket and piss off back home. But not yet baby.

    Went over to Deadvlei and walked another few k's through the sand to see f&*k all just where a river had once run and was now blocked by the dunes. I was just cruising im on African time already you know the one, you've got the clock ive got the time, so just walked back at my own pace without pushing my body to hard. From there we went to the Sesriem Canyon by this time id had enough walking so wasnt fussed to walk down into it even if it was only 90 feet. Met a nice couple breifly from Cairns he noticed my West Tigers hat (my favorite football team back home) and made a comment about the NRL. They had hired a campervan in Windhoek and were cruising around enjoying the Namibian deserts in a bit f comfort.

    Got back to Sossusvlei Lodge walked into my room put the air conditioning on and relaxed, ok I had a nap. It was about 37 degrees celsius outside by now so pretty warmish. Hung in my room for awhile going through all the pictures and organising them then headed over to grab some dinner. Hey the spread they put on here is ok, Garlic snails go figure i thought why not give em a whirl, its dark out there and im near the fence i can just chuck em if there crap. Took a little from every section, tuna, some fish thing i cant remember, but the only one I went back for was the garlic snails they were pretty nice actually.

    Didnt want to go over board on that section cause there was still the braai or barbie to have this time I had Zebra, I think it still had the whip marks in the thing it, was tough as shit , didnt get off on Zebra at all but got it down, just. Hit the sweets section by this time I was just being a pig which by the way I do so well and took a little from column A right down to column F and you guessed it couldnt get it all down oh well im full as a boot.

    Anyway sore tired and out of here a great day to bad I had to push myself so hard to enjoy it.

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  7. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Dune 45 on the way out to Sossusvlei.

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  8. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Not to many animals out here so snapped this one when I saw a springbok grazing away by the dunes.

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  9. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Had to take a few photos on the way up Sossusvlei, always a good excuse to stop for awhile lol

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  10. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    A random sand dune photo I took while walking.Theres beautiful photos to be had everywhere.

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  11. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    I was getting pretty rooted by the time I got to Deadvlei as was everyone else by the looks on all the faces as I passed them. but stil got a nice picture.

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  12. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Sesriem Canyon was the last stop of the tour.

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  13. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Cooking my zebra up, wont be eating that again was tough as nails.

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  14. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Got up reasonably early wasnt sure how far I was going to ride today but Windhoek is there in the sights over the next two days as the bikes due in on Tuesday morning so doesent really matter as long as I chew up a few k's. Had a pretty shitty nights sleep definately not as good as id like to be feeling, definatly picked up something. Pumped a few different drugs into me. Im actually trying to remember where I actually first started feeling crappy, oh well who cares. I suppose I could read through my blogs and see but nahh

    As per standard took me awhile to actually leave being in no hurry and the regulation chat to a few people. Talked to Anastacia in the shop and we linked up on Facebook. Had a chat to the owner of the lodge, she wasnt happy cause the Australian Wallabies (rugby team) had just knocked South Africa out of the world cup, she and the pilot from yesterday were saying we has 16 men on the field with the ref on our side, I just said you shouldn't of been such cheap bastards then and paid him more but no your all just to tight.

    Met Chantelle in the carpark shes a tour guide with one of the mobs and a bike rider, she has just bought herself a Suzuki DR 650, great choice for around here she will have heaps of fun touring on it in Namibia. She had bought it off some old dude who had all good intentions of going touring and it was sitting in his garage with 40k's on the clock and thats four zero k's not 40 thousand. It is a dream for alot of us to just get on the bike and go cruising but for one reason or another we just dont get around do it. I really do appreciate every moment that im able to do this even as sore as I am sometimes, im living that dream, theres no doubt about it im a very fortunate guy to be able to do what im doing all at my own pace and own comfort level.

    Just as I was all kitted up and about to get on the bike another couple came up they were about to buy a 1200 gs and go touring two up so were interested to talk to me. They will have a ball im sure. They get the bike in Febuary so just around the corner hope it all works out for you guys, you will have the time of your life. Said my goodbyes jumped on the bike so basically pretty good time, only took about an hour or more to leave from the carpark. Rode over to the servo to get some water just in case the last thing you need over here is to break down somewhere and not have water. While I was there saw this hot chikkibabe with tatts all over her, thought hells bells what are you doing travelling with your dad lol ok it was probably her husband but worthy of being in the blog, ok we are in the deserts of Namibia its not over flowing with eye candy.

    Finally I was on my way. I still felt pretty ordinary, not to bad but about 30 minutes in and my back and neck are giving me grief, but same as usual so just keep going, think im going to have to go bite the bullet and go to a quack and get some decent pain medicine, the shelf shit just isnt cutting the mustard at the moment. Ended up in Solitaire and thought why not ask if they have a room, ive only been riding an hour but means its only 220k's to Windhoek so grabbed a room and into the pool I go. What a tough day but all jokes aside im not real flash at the moment both pain wise and flu or whatever the f*&k it is.

    Tomorrow Windhoek through apparently a nice mountain range ill find the name out later they say its an excellent ride with a few water crossings, going off how overstated people are on the roads are over here im sure that means theres a few puddles along the way.

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  15. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Had a really shitty nights sleep, felt like crap all night and no pain killers other than a few disiprin which werent cutting it, oh well on a positive note I was up early and thought stuff it ill hit the road. Hadnt eaten since dinner the other night other than a few dried biscuits so went and put some cereal and toast into me guts.

    Left the bike fully packed other than the tank bag last night its actually handy having the cover for it, i know its probably safe without the cover but it only takes one person to come along and hook the gear so its just a deterrent and keeps it somewhat out of sight. I still put the lock on it every night and when people say "oh its safe" I say when you buy a 200000 rand bike fully kitted and have it uninsured you can leave the lock off it but not this little black duck. Its another deterent they have to carry it away or undo the wheel and crash guard which quite easily could happen.

    Anyway enough of me being a skirt wearer ended up leaving at 9ish after the regulation chat as I was organising the bike and started out. Was earlier than I usually hit the road so wasnt to bad temp wise not that ive been having to many issues with it its still only getting to 36 or 37 celcius so nothing to bad. Past the c14 was glad to get off that, as Chantelle had told me that the d 1265 that I had to go along was is in good nick. The first 10k's were rubbish soft sand I was thinking oh here we go 200k's of crap like this, it wasnt a good start. Surprisingly as the road got out in the hills it improved heaps which was a nice change still only getting up to just over a 100 k's as you still had the soft sand six inches out of the tire marks you rode in.

    Came up to the Spreetesgoote Pass pretty nice little section of the ride very scenic up there so stopped and took a few pics. Was actually really enjoying the ride, I hadnt past anyone or seen any dust trails for over an hour so was isolated but really nice.

    Oh I was actually pissing myself laughing alot of the time in yesterdays blogs I wrote about the water crossings and that they may be overstated, well I wasnt disapointed heaven forbid I get my boots wet ahahah water crossings, ive seen bigger puddles when ive had a piss in the bush, absolutely to funny, I actually stopped at most of them and took pics you'll see what I mean. Kept on going it was a pretty easy ride there was a little bit of sand you just have to be careful all the time but only had a few times where i lost concentration for more than a brief second and had a few interesting moments.

    Arrived in Windhoek it was really nice to hit the tar road again, it felt great. Went and booked into the place where im staying up the road from Bmw and then went down and saw Deitar and told him id bring the bike back later and just to confirm they had the tyres and how much they would be. Dropped the bike off and grabbed some grub for later and headed back to the lodge. Its a bit of a shithole this joint but its got a bed and it'll do for the next two nights then ill go find somewhere else to stay that is a bit nicer, no air conditioning no tv no fan and no internet just doesent do it for me for the price im paying, which by the way is pretty reasonable.

    I'm still feeling a little crappy, when I was down the shop I was feeling so bad I just grabbed some food and pissed off without even looking for medicine, ill deal with the pain by slugging on a coke and a scoffing down a few ham sambos.

    Will take the next few days to research where im heading and look after myself a little so should be a pretty cruisey few days.



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  16. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    This was the first watercrossing I came across and had been warned about it took me about 30 minutes to stop laughing certainly made for a fun days riding challenging myself so hard, heavens forbid I get my boots wet hahahaha

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  17. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Seruiosly, I was cracking up after I saw this one the only thing that stopped me laughing was when I saw the fault light come on , not what you want to see in the middle of nowhere.

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  18. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    This is either the Guab Pass Kuiseb Pass rest area nice to have some shade. Im pretty sure its the Guab Pass going off the numbers on my cam

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  19. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    And you guessed it over the next hill and then the next and the next lol

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  20. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Its been over a week since I last blogged, ive just taken time out from doing anything as i've just been feeling pretty stuffed so decided to go see the quack and get things sorted out. Between the pain in my back and neck the flu I really needed to just sit still for awhile and get myself feeling better. While she was listening to my chest she spotted the long scar across my rib cage so I told her about the accident and that my right lung was collapsed and the left partially and that I had bled internally into my chest and had to have an operation on all of it so she took her time listening.

    She did say my lung that was damaged in the accident wasnt sounding to good and wanted me to go get some xrays but I just said let me try this medicine you've given me first and if im still having issues ill go get the xray. I must admit ive been feeling like crap but I have been pushing myself a little even as much as I know it seems like ive been on a leisurely cruise through Southern Africa. I've only done 12 500 k's in 4 months and people do that standing on their heads but go get smashed up by a semi trailer then do it a few years later and you'll have some idea how im feeling . Theres so much more to it as well and im seeing that come into play cause im a little run down. Losing things, leaving things i dont know how it happens the dots just dont connect lets say.

    Like today walking out of the mall after going to the shop, oh wheres my sunglasses, shit look in all my pockets, no not there, not hanging on my shirt, oh bugger I must of left them back at the pharmacy, so just about to start walking back, oh hang on there they are on my head, thought i checked my head, friggin hell idiot. Just as im doing that one of the security guys comes chasing me down the mall, you left this paperwork, oh great thanks mate, go to get my reading glasses on to read it and there gone and they are gone, oh f%^k it forget it just take a few minutes to compose myself and concentrate when you get on the bike. I know we all do that stuff at times but ALL THE TIME, its just so annoying, I guess im just getting an early look into what its like to be an old coot. They did say it may of been caused by the hit on the head I got in the accident or the blood loss when I was bleeding internally and lack of oxygen I had at stages but FUCKING HELL it shits me, makes me more determined to kick it in the nuts and push on.

    In the week or so ive had off ive had the bike serviced which was good, had a warning light that came on in the last 50 to 100 k's before I got into Windhoek was a bit of a worry when your in the middle of nowhere but checked the oil water and everything else and kept going, ended up being the headlight lamp so that was replaced and so far in the few k's ive done just riding around town ive had no probs.

    Been nice to stay awhile somewhere again, getting to know Sylvia, Ingrid and the crew that work here. Slyvia's little Grandson Janu is a classic, the little fella was shy at first but now I let him sit on and start the bike any time im going out. I took him down the shop the other day to get and ice cream and bought him a little toy motorbike and car to play with, he loves it, I think ive learnt more Afrikaans hanging around Janu whose only 4 in the last few days than I have in the last 4 months. Ive definatly made a little mate he just came over before to say good night. Slaaptyd (bedtime) I said to him he just nodded Ja and waved and off to bed he went.

    Ive decided im going to the north of Namibia then up to the Caprivi Pass from there then back down the West side of the Ochevango Delta across and up to the Vic Falls. I talked to a bloke today that said the Caprivi Pass was just a long straight road dry with not much happening other than a few elephants, sounds pretty familiar in Namibia.

    He told me to give Egypt a miss to he said he and his mate had set up camp and in the middle of the night were grabbed by soldiers or someone and were forcibly thrown on the ground at gun point and threatened saying they were illegal fisherman or spy's, they had one of the cops military fire the gun into the ground while they were lying there. Seriously though some of the stories that come out of there it sounds like a comedy almost. Maybe it was where they set up camp who knows maybe they were in a restricted area and the way things work up in that neck of the woods the soldiers just weren't taking any chances. They went through his tent and stole his camera, it really is starting to sound a no go zone but we'll see.

    He also said the bikes had been stuck in customs for 2 weeks sorting out paper work which didnt help their cause. There is a few options when i get up there Option 1 is I can go to Khartoum and get visas for Saudi Arabia then go to Port Sudan over to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and then head to Jordan then up through Syria to Turkey. Option 2 is Port Sudan to Italy by boat through the Suez Canal or Option 3 Just meet Jared in Ethiopia crate the bike up and fly with him to Europe get my bike and piss off into the sunset again which sounds easier.

    In all my researching before I left I have read so many different ways but in the end im not sure what im doing tomorrow let alone a few months. The good tip I got was that the northern Kenyan part I keep hearing about is 340k's and took them 15 hours in two days to do with no dramas at all other than being pretty hard riding. Im looking forward to heading north but have decided to just get these pills into me see how im going then take off, whats a few days in the washup to make sure im ok

    Riding around Windhoek im starting to know the place just riding around and around around its good, its not that big a town but even riding today I came across a sort of side street and came out and went oh shit there I am, its a little different these inland cities surrounded by hills its ok when you ride in and ride out but once you start going all over the place the north south east and west start to become a little blurred but just riding to anywhere every day the city just becomes familiar if you know what I mean.

    Anyway im jibbering now im having a few more days break if any of the family are reading this im ok, im still breathing and ive still got the energy to beat up on a 4yo so all good.



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