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

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Got up at reasonable hour around 9 and started packing the bike getting ready to leave. Had a nice chat to the couple running the lodge and then hit the road was surprised that it was after 11 by now but no drama i'll just head north and see where I end up. I wasnt looking to cross the Namibian border today it was still 600 odd ks away. I ended up riding for awhile then needed some petrol so put it in the Gps and it took me off the highway into a small village saying there was fuel in there. I pulled in only to find there was no fuel, so a good learning curve actually not to totally rely on the fuel stops on the gps. Fortunatly I had the 10 litres on the side of the bike I still hadnt used so filled up by myself bought something to eat and hit the road again.

    Rode right up the west coast till the highway cut back in land towards the N7 the main highway. The road up the coast was pretty uneventful not much happening there. Once i got back on the N7 the countryside started to become a little more sparse, something im sure will be nothing like Namibia but for South Africa it was starting to become the long rolling hills the colorful flowers in their purple pinks yellows oranges the colours I must admit were pretty spectacular and they say I have jsut missed the true flowering period by a few weeks. Oh well you seen one flower you seen them all.

    Stopped at a servo somewhere in the middle of nowhere and had my 7000th Wimpy burger in South Africa, got to love the local cuisine they always say to eat where the locals eat and theres always shitloads of people in Wimpys. Im going to miss you Wimpy. Had a nice chat to a local couple from Porterville for awhile then said my goodbyes and got organised to get going. Hit the road and cruised along the countryside certainly started to change from here the population thins right out and you only have small pockets of villages every 30 to 40 k's great for riding and getting stuck into it. Was flying along at up to 180 ks at one stage racking up the k's. Got some video flying along lieing down under the front screen videoing while hooting along was a bit of fun. Might be a bit dnagerous but will certainly make for some cool footage if I come off at that speed, i can see it now me shouting out goooooooodbye as I fly over the handle bars at 180 kmh, I can use it as the ending if I (or someone ) makes some sort of movie up later.

    Came across a bloke broken down in a late model Mercedes he had just bought in Cape Topwn, thought id earn some karma credits and see if I could help. Was the oil light had come on and stayed on so we checked the oil and there was heaps of that so with those sorts of things they wack them on a cumputer and it tells them where the fault lies but there wasnt any oil leaking anywhere so I guess its either carry on or ring for a tow truck. He did pass me when I was doin g 140 k's and left me in his dust so he was giving it a little bit, maybe that had something to do with it. He was from Windhoek and had to be back tomorrow to orgasnise a conference good luck on that one buddy I thought as I got back on my bike to leave him to make a decison on what he should do. Using heaps of extra fuel doing those sorts of speed so the fuel consumption was pretty ordinary so had to use my own jerry can again was a good investment already .

    Arrived in Springbok a small town 115 k's from the South Africa Namibian border and cheched out the b&b and unsurprisingly first one full, second to expensive, third just right and im in. Checked in and met two couples who were up here on a holiday from Wilderness down Jefrreys Bay, Port Elizabeth way. Had a nice chat to them and then relaxed for awhile. Went back down to town and grabbed some dinner then came back and joined the crew while they had a braai or Bbq, had a nice chat for a few hours then went in watched a bit of the Champions league soccer, then crashed. all in all a really nice day the riding although alot of straight roads was excellent and the scenary is pretty nice to.

    Just some of the flowers everywhere


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  2. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,091
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Decided to stay in Springbok for another day or so not much here at first glance but rode around and enjoyed the area, its only small so basically theres only a few roads I didnt ride along in the day. Was lucky enough to get to the hill above Springbok as the guys working on the antenna up there had left the gate unlocked so up I went. Lots of flowers up there on the hill, im sure this area must be spectacular when they are in full bloom its still quite amazing. While I was up there it did occur to me that when the first people setlled here they must of been impressed by just how beautiful the colours are here. All the more reason to dig big holes in the ground and mine I guess.

    Its not hard to see how rich in copper this countryside must of been you can actually see it in the rocks not that im any geologist but its pretty obvious just with the colours of all the massive rock formations. As I was riding back up the main drag saw a guy on a Bmw gs 800 all deck out so thought id stop and say gday. Kenny had just ridden down from Cairo with a group of guys in 49 days so followed him back over to where they were staying to meet a few of them. Hung around for awhile but left them to relax they all looked pretty rooted sitting around, they had ridden for about 6 hours today and thats long enough then they had to travel to Cape Town tomorrow another 650 k's dont know if id be up for such a full on adventure, well basically I know I wouldnt the way my back and neck are.

    Dropped into the local hardware shop to pick up a few things, chain lube, a few spare hockey straps, made sure I had a spanner to get my front wheel off if needed, something that somehow I'd overlooked in my kit, I'm sure I had one in the beginning but anyway I've got one now. Basically just topped my repair kit up with shit I wasnt allowed to take on the plane. Havent had to worry about it in South Africa as I havent been to far from help but thats about to change in the next day or so, as much as there will be someone along at some stage, apparently in some parts of Namibia you may only see a few cars a day so there may be times where ill need some of it, touch wood I dont. One of the boys Kenny told me he had a trouble free trip on his 800, im hoping I have the same trouble free trip.

    Hung around the lodge for awhile walked out the front and was looking at the guy doing the gardening next door and thought they look like prison get up. I walked back inside and asked the girls and sure enough over the fence behind my room theres 110 prisoners all locked up. thats not in the brochure. Went back out to see if the young bloke was still out there he would ben in his early 20's so had a chat to him talked about what he did to get locked up. Apparently he bashed someone but is getting out in 55 days and then on parole for two years. We chatted about the local soccer i've been watching a bit of it, he was an Orlando pirates fan who are from Johannasburg. Being the first two teams I got any news of when I arrived in South Africa the Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs were my two but as the Chiefs were in black and gold the same color as my favorite team back home its not hard to know which ones I favored. He had two kids 6 and 3 so hopefully when he gets out he might not be back, He said the kids live in Springbok and come to visit all the time so thats good.

    Gave him a ciggarette then gave him the whole packet I did think I probably should of given him a soap on a rope but it might be a bit late for that now after a few years in stir. Anyway ill never know what will happen to him I guess, lets just hope he can be one of the success stories for his kids, he seemed pretty determined never to be back in there so thats a good start anyway.

    Went up the road for dinner and caught up with Kenny and the crew. Eek Andre Andy all were in there having dinner would of been nice to sit down and chat to them more than I did but they were in there own group and on their last night of their journey.

    I met Jessica who was travelling with them in the support crew but jumped on the back of the bikes all the time. She was actually from the Congo and by the way gorgeous and now in Cape Town. They did say there was some pretty women in Cape Town well she would of fitted into that catorgory quite easily, im sure the boys enjoyed having her along for the tour, thought about stealing her and taking her with me but oh well next time, got to put the sleeping bag somewhere wtf am i thinking.

    We had a chat about the Congo her brother and father are still up there. She could make money on that, a beautiful fair skinned blonde girl from the Congo, yeah right, you would never ever pick her to be from the Congo not in a million years. She was saying that the corruption with the cops is pretty full on if you go there they will always pull you over and hit you up. Jessica was telling me how in the support vechile even the piss stops were only 2 minutes and she basically had to jump into the moving van and I got to see that first hand when they were leaving Eek was saying goodbye and here they are beeping the horn everyone piling in from looking in the shops and then Eek having to jump into a moving van. Organised tours got to love em dont you, definatly not my cup of tea thats for sure Cairo to Cape Town in 49 days I better get cracking it's taken me 87 days so far to get through South africa and there was just so much more to see and do. As the great man said "il be back"

    The dinner I had up the Titbits restaruant was as nice as anything ive had in South Africa, if your in Springbok do yourself and grab a meal there bloody lush. Got talking to the owner Anne Marie and she poured us a few Springboks, they are so nice, a green liquer and Kaluha. Anne Marie gave me a few tips on what to see if I stay, but ill decide in the morning at this stage im going though. Oh well off to beddy byes

    Was able to get up this hill as they were working on the antenna at the top

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  3. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Got up and left The Old Mill guest house at around 10 headed into town to grab some needle and thread to sew my tank bag up, the little hook doovalacky is breaking again and at this rate I've only got about 200 more repair jobs in it. Had a chat to Kubis before we headed off he told me about another border crossing at Sendellingsdrif so decided to take that one rather than the highway crossing in Vioorsdrift. Was a hell of a lot further like 350 odd k's compared to just up the road but oh well sounded good at the time.

    Turned out not to be such a wise move if your coming to this border post make sure you get your carnet stamped at Alexandabaai or somewhere else if you can cause there isn't any customs office at this post. But oh well shit happens I just laughed and said to the border cop "oh well ill just have to go back i guess no drama's, he said "oh there should be more people in the world like you it would be a better place" so obviously they get a lot of people turning up and going off there nut about not being able to get their carnet stamped out here. I must admit its in the back of buggery well actually the Richtersveld World Heritage site. I'm not sure exactly how far it is buts its got to be well over a hundred k's to here on a pretty ordinary dirt road with some good spots chucked in. I got up to about a 100k's but mostly slower down to 50k's in most stages. Look I'm sure you could fang it harder but I'm by myself and there aint no one to help out here so just took it easy. I know I hear you, ya pussy.
    Was pretty amazing though, just nothing for miles. Was 36 degrees Celsius so slightly warmish but nothing to bad.

    As I was riding that last 100 odd k's I came across a Dutch guy Rembrant riding a little Chinese 200cc beast with a little pack with some water, cool hey. Stopped and chatted for awhile he told me he had just stayed a night down in Sanddrift about 10k's further on. He told me about Dicko who has a dream of riding from north of Africa to south on a Bmw so said well I better ride on into town and say g'day to this guy, as I had no idea where I was thought he might be able to point me in the right direction. Rode around Sanddrift for awhile stopped and chatted to a couple of kids then another group walked over with a Rugby ball and I give them the old "go the wallabies" to a whole group of hoots of no way. Headed off and stopped and talked a group of guys asking about fuel they just pointed to a bakke taxi heading off in the distance and said follow him so off I went.

    Eventually found Dicko, bought a few Gatorade's to put something back into me and sat down for a chat. Was nice to meet you Dicko and you to Rembrant hope you enjoy South Africa as much as did. Dicko pointed me in the right direction I had missed the turn off about 10 or so k's back so jumped on my bike and headed off to Stellingsdrif. Was starting to get a bit tired had done close to 350k's half of them on dirt the other half flying along an amazing highway through some amazing hills and along the coast at nothing under 130 k's up to around 190. I actually was doing that one handed again videoing the speedo as I'm pretty sure it will be the last time in Africa ill get the chance to do that, well at least for awhile. Seriously though the highways are dead straight for miles and miles and miles smooth as a baby's bum, no wild life anywhere well other than a black Mamba I passed back up in the hills and yeah turned round to get a picture little shit of a thing arching up at me, lucky it pissed off into the bush, it was a dead man if it hadn't, in my book a good snake is a dead snake, oh I know that's terrible Sheldon.

    After I got the bad news on the border crossing I went and sussed out some accommodation and got a chalet on the river, tough life for some of us but I'm making do. Kubis and his wife decided to stay here too so as soon as I rode in the gate Kubis saw me and came out saying, do you want a beer. Went over to my chalet and got out of my gear it was so hot in all of it, the way I've got it set up with my Fox knee pad shin guards Kevlar padded boxer under my wet weather daks off it comes in 2 minutes grab my thongs out of the back pocket of my dririder jacket and I'm walking over to grab a Heinekken and relax.

    What a day, dont know if ive ever done a day like it with all the extremes of speed on fantastic highways, absolute isolation, winding through hills on dirt roads absolutely great fun, probably why when I was told I would have to go back I wasn't to unhappy. I've checked the maps out i can go back but a different way through the hills. There is an even shorter way through the Richterveld World Hertage Area but ill talk to the guys at the border post tomorrow cause if anything happens in there I'm on my lonesome, its sooo far from anything here. You know, we've got our outback in Australia so growing up knowing and hearing stories about people being lost and you can see it happening here that's for sure, its maybe not as bad here but still not going to take any unnecessary risks and being prepared is essential especially if I am going by myself into these regions. yeah yeah I know harden up princess. You actually have to sign in when you come on this road i guess if you don't come out in a week or two they know something's up, I've watched shitloads of Bear Grills with Logan I know it works in these dangerous situations I should be right ill just get some candy off the camera man like he probably does.

    Its 153k's back through the hills to another town Eksteenfontein then about another hundred to Vioorsdrif border crossing so have some fun again tomorrow without taking any wrong turns like today. While I was riding along in the middle of nowhere like 20 k's from Sandrift where I got the Gatorades from Dicko's I came across 3 blokes sitting on the side of the road obviously waiting for someone to come along for a lift.
    Stopped to talk to them offered them some ciggies and one bloke asked if I had some water so gave them some water, he's poured it in his gob and spat it straight on the ground it must off been nearly boiling, I said to him in the zipper and he opened it up and there's a full Gatorade still pretty cold, should of seen the look on their faces like all their Christmas's had come at once, ciggies, a cold Gatorade, to easy everyone was happy.
    Finished the day off with an amazing sunset it was like the sky was on fire got a semi decent pic I'm not sure if it does it justice though. Anyway bla bla I'm rooted over and out.



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  4. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    The border crossing at Sendellingsdrif, dont go there unless you get your carnet stamped before you arrive as there is no customs office, I had read blogs on wild dogz adventure site but obviously South African bikes get through without carnets. If you do wish to try it you might be able to get it stamped at Alexanderbaai border crossing 70 k's away but you cant actually cross at Alexandabaai as its into the daimond mine area and you need a permit. Let me tell you great riding around there though and well worth a ride if you like adventure motircycling.

    This is an important update regarding the Carnet.

    I actually found out later you dont need to get your carnet stamped out of South Africa when you enter Namibia so I could of crossed at Sendellingsdrif, you get your carnet stamped in when you come to South Africa and then Namibia Botswana Swaziland and Lesotho are all part of the same union so you dont need to get the stamp out till you go to Zambia or Mozambique sorry I didnt update this earlier.



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  5. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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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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  6. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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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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  7. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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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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  8. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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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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  9. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    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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  10. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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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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  11. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    The Orange River at the Vioorsdrif border crossing.

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  12. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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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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  13. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Overlooking Vioorsdrif and the South African Namibian border crossing.

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  14. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    Looking over the Orange River into Namibia.

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  15. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

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    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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  16. Maxxx

    Maxxx tw@

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    London, UK
    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!!
  17. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,091
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    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
  18. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4,091
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    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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  19. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    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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  20. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    4,091
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Sven and Andy fixing the flat I was lending moral support with a drink in my hand.

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