Full - Dads & Lads do Namaqualand & Karoo (South Africa)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Archangel_SA, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Archangel_SA

    Archangel_SA Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    59
    Location:
    Melkbosstrand, Cape Town, South Africa
    Sidenote: While Spiekman was in the loo at Kammieskroon, Honda Centurion phoned him, so I picked up and they asked if I'm happy with my BRV. I said yes and the told me about a new special on CRV's. "Great, I'll take two. Can you deliver them two to my house? And please let me know if you have stock of the 450L?" I said.

    The rest of the trip, Honda phone Spiekman every 2 hours to confirm delivery details... :imaposer
    #21
  2. Archangel_SA

    Archangel_SA Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    59
    Location:
    Melkbosstrand, Cape Town, South Africa
    Anyway, back to the riding: The 80km stretch from Kamieskroon was supposed to be a formality and we could almost smell the salt in the air.

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    We stopped at this little intersection and Sid said "Give me a moment to ride ahead, I want to take some pics"

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    Spiekman, Jo, myself and Brent followed in that order. Sid stopped just on the other side of a cattle grid to try and warn us about this dangerous little rise on a bend.

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    Sid, Spiekman and Brent were connected through their SENNA S20 headsets. Jo and I had a more old school approach of "wave like a mad man" to show the following rider to watch out for the hazard. Spiekman, Jo and I went through the gate without issues and Spiekman stopped just around the next corner, as he was going out of comms range with his Dad and Bro. Jo and I came past and he gave us the thumbs up, and a nod to go ahead, which we did. I stopped about 1km further at a place where I could grab a nice video of them coming round a corner, into a dip and out the other side and then waited...

    Jo came meandering back at snails pace about 5 min later and the two of us started to make our way back, expecting the lot to have the droewors ready when we get there. The picture looked almost exactly the same as the previous time I came up them, Brent on his back with Charles and Sid bent over him. Except this time he didn't jump up... [​IMG]

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    30°18'47"S 17°36'45"E

    Brent came round the left corner a bit fast (from the top right in the pic) and you can't see the cattle grid and right turn till you're very close.

    From there onward, cattle grids were referred to as Brent Gates. [​IMG]

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    #22
  3. Archangel_SA

    Archangel_SA Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    59
    Location:
    Melkbosstrand, Cape Town, South Africa
    After some initial assessment, Brent hadn't broken anything obvious, but he was a in a terrible pain. He tried to get up and then fainted into Spiekman's arms and was out for about 30 seconds. Charles and Sid put him back down and just tried to make him as comfortable as possible while Jo and I looked at the condition of the bike.

    As Brent was coming up to the "Brent Gate", he couldn't make the right turn in time and hit the concrete slab on the left with his crashbar, exhaust header and pod, spinning the tail anticlockwise before high-siding Brent, who landed on his back and rolled about 4 or 5 times before coming to a stop against the fence about 15m further. The bike flipped over in the process, banging the right side of the dash and handlebars. The frame for the dash and screen was so bent that the bars couldn't turn, but apart from that, the bike actually wasn't too badly damaged.

    After about 30min while we were trying to figure out what to do, a bakkie approached and the driver confirmed that he was going to Hondeklipbaai, so we coerced him into taking Brent to the guest house where we could regroup and better evaluate the situation. Spiekman followed the bakkie with Brent in to the guesthouse.

    We also used tools form the bakkie to bend Bren't bike into such a state that it could be ridden, checked that the lights were working and hid it behind some trees and damn, from where it could be recovered when we get a chance. From there Sid, Jo and I made good ground and arrived safely in Hondeklipbaai with some 30 min before sunset.

    Getting the busted bike back to where we were would open our options for the next day, so after quickly unpacking, I hopped on the back of Jo's bike and we made our way back to crash site, collected Brent's bike and rode into the same sunset for a 2nd time in one day. Only this time, it was dark pretty much just after picking up the damaged 1200, so we took it slow but made it safely back to base in the pitch dark, greeted by cold beers and fresh Fish & Chips.

    Later that night, Spiekman and I were going through the phone and GoPro pics of the day when we saw this...

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    Note Sid's skidmark in the bottom of the pic where he also almost overshot the corner.

    For those who have GoPro's, you'll know that there's a slight delay in when you press the button and when the actually pic is taken. Sid had no idea that he would capture this. Just a pity that it wasn't a video!
    #23
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  4. Archangel_SA

    Archangel_SA Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    59
    Location:
    Melkbosstrand, Cape Town, South Africa
    And that, ladies & gentleman, is how you paint your ass blue. [​IMG] Btw, did we say "Happy Birthday", Brent?

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    Damage to the bike [​IMG]

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    #24
  5. Archangel_SA

    Archangel_SA Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    59
    Location:
    Melkbosstrand, Cape Town, South Africa
    When we got to Hondeklipbaai, we pooled our meds and phoned a doctor friend to find out how we should go about this. Taking their advice, Sid went to the closest "pharmacy". [​IMG]

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    When we finally got all the steeds in the camp for the night.

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    After the meals and discussing the day's events, we settled into bed without a proper plan, as tomorrow was our scheduled rest day and we had the entire day to figure out what to do.
    #25
  6. Archangel_SA

    Archangel_SA Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    59
    Location:
    Melkbosstrand, Cape Town, South Africa
    Wednesday 19 June - Day 5

    I awoke pretty early, quite a bit before sunrise, as I heard some chatter in the kitchen. Fried apparently woke up with the idea of riding his bike back to Cape Town to go and fetch Jo's Tuareg and a trailer for Brent's bike. The plan went through several revisions while I was lying in bed, but the obvious solution to me would be that somebody would ride Brent's bike down to Cape Town along with Fried and then the two could drive back, swapping drivers when needed and without pulling a trailer (leave Fried and Brent's bikes at Jo's place).

    Knowing that I would inevitable by the one going with Fried, I was hesitant to pitch what would become the final version of the plan, but in light of logic and efficiency, I took one for the team. Fried was already almost geared up and would leave with 1st light. I had a quick coffee, geared up and followed not long after.

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    Theme song for the say... "Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset"

    Riding while the sun was rising over these pristine gravel roads is really something I can recommend. We never left before sunrise, but it's something I'll consider doing on future trips.

    I caught up with Fried while still on the gravel and we cruised together into the sunrise. The last 20km towards Garies is tar, but still very pretty.

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    The dash on the bike was busted, but the speedo and rev counter worked, but I had no idea how much fuel I had in or what the warning lights meant, so I filled up in Garies, just to be sure that the bike was full. Fried still had enough fuel and his bike/riding style was a bit slower, so we agreed to move on our own pace and we'd meet up in Melkbos. There's cell reception all along the N7, so we could communicate if the plan needed to change for any reason.

    Aware of the long road ahead and eager not to waste any time, we didn't stop for many photos. The fuel light came on just before Clanwilliam, so I filled up there again before gunning it home. The fuel light just blinked as I turned into Jo's place. My 2 stop strategy worked perfectly. [​IMG]

    I let the group know that I was in Melkbos (around 12h) and at exactly the same moment, Fried messaged that he was in Piketberg. This meant that I had about an hour to get everything ready for our return mission, which included fueling up, grabbing some supplies, getting subscription meds for Brent, packing the car and making a coffee for the way back.

    As Fried rolled in, I handed him a travel mug and he literally just climbed over into the Tuareg and we were on our way back by 13h30 ish. A quick driver change at Clanwilliam (for no other reason than boredom) and a last change back after turning off at Garies, with the sun setting quickly on the horizon...

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    Looking back towards Garies.

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    We arrived with last light for the 2nd day in a row, just in time to watch the Proteas (South African cricket team) lose to the Black Caps (New Zealand). Luckily the crew had made some proper West Coast dinner plans to brighten our day. I'll let Jo tell us what they got up to...

    PS. At least we had no punctures on days 4 or 5 either. [​IMG]

    So with the rescue team on their way to ditch the broken bike in Melkbos and to fetch the car to transport the patient to Cape Town, the rest of the crew attended to the patient.

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    and then went to look at the sights of the metropolis of Hondeklipbaai

    "A big gneiss rock resembling a dog inspired Capt Thomas Grace, a ship’s captain who discovered the small natural harbour in 1846, to name the place “Hondeklip Bay”. Some more history at http://www.hondeklip.co.za/index.php/history-of-hondeklipbaai

    The three remaining discoverers rode the few kilos south to look at the shipwreck of the Aristea

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    "Aristea shipwreck, Hondeklipbaai. The Aristea was a fishing trawler for I&J until she was called into duty in WWII as a minesweeper. The Aristea met her unfortunate end on the rocks outside Hondeklipbaai after her captain drunkenly neglected his duties. The Aristea was built in 1934 in Scotland and she ran aground on 4 July 1945 just south of Hondeklipbaai."
    https://hondeklip.com/aristea-shipwreck/

    It was spring low tide, so they doodled around on the rocks and in the rock pools

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    And took a few samples from the sea in case of we could not scrape together enough money for fish from the boats

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    We trundled back towards town and later bought snoek from the returning ski-boats. This would become dinner, so for lunch theyeach had a few mussels, and toast with peanut butter and bully beef from the local spaza shop.

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    After lunch and a bit of rest from the heavy morning, after which they went for a ride to the light house

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    and then to the so-called Copper Bay where the sand is copper coloured and quite dense (heavy/volume)

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    We had some very fresh craywfish (still crawling), and the snoek to prepare for dinner

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    Sunset of the day

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    #26
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  7. rider1150gsadv

    rider1150gsadv Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Oddometer:
    7,818
    Location:
    Ft Likkertail , USA
    Quite the adventure!!!:clap
    #27
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  8. Archangel_SA

    Archangel_SA Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    59
    Location:
    Melkbosstrand, Cape Town, South Africa
    Thursday 20 June - Day 6

    Before sunrise, we were up and packing. Brent had his posse in the back of the Tuareg sorted, ready for the long haul back to Cape Town with Fried sacrificing the remainder of his trip to aid and abet the criminal in our midst.

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    And with that, we all said: Hondeklipbaai... So long, and thanks for all the fish.

    The plan for the remaining musketeers was to fill up at Garies, head towards the Knersvlakte, then over Helsekloofpas to Nieuwoudtville (thanks to Oom Chris en sy travante) and finally end up in Calvinia.

    They day started just peachy. [​IMG]

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    The slightly smaller group of riders meant that the traveling went a bit quicker. We concluded that 4 people is the optimal group size, even though we had to open and close many, many gates... [​IMG]

    Spiekman almost took a tumble quite early on. Actually twice. I took over Brent's headset and was connected to Spiekman and Sid for the first time. I was just behind Jo coming up to a deep and steep concrete low water bridge and saw him just making it while bouncing around. I waited for Spiekman to warn him and calmly told him all about this bad boy, without realizing that I wasn't connected at the time. Spiekman thought I wanted to take a photo, so he sped up and before it was too late, he bottom'ed out his front and back on the XT, but managed to keep it all together. Lesson learnt. Next, (not too much further) he went through a badly eroded river bed with some thick sand and steep middle heap. This time he was properly warned and he talked me through his tank slapping over the SENNA. My French isn't quite what it used to be, but I got the picture... [​IMG]

    In order to enter the Helsekloofpas from the West, we had to take a stretch of gravel going South along the railway line. We could see the mountain range and road that we had to cross on the other side of the spoor. The train passed while were were riding along this stretch and I felt like a cowboy in a Western movie. Until my steed was once again wounded in the hind leg... [​IMG]

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    Yeah, that's not going to keep any plugs. We tried, but the tire itself was too soft and flexible and the plugs just popped back out with inflation. $170 dollar tire buggered!

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    Ah, the familiar sign of my bike without a rear wheel. It's been too long. [​IMG]

    At this point, nobody was stressed and the team was well equipped in dealing "events". Off came the rear and it was loaded onto Sid's bike for attempted repairs with Vanrhynsdorp or Vredendal in mind, accompanied by Spiekman.

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    Jo and I was to take shelter under the railway, out of the sun for the time being.

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    We had a quick pot of tea before making ourselves comfortable, as we estimated that the crew would be back at around 4pm.

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    Apparently I was asleep first? [​IMG]

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    And there in the distance on the other side of the railway line is the little path over the Helskloof that so dearly wanted to take...

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    But with light quickly fading and not knowing in what condition the wheel will be when they get back, I accepted that this little gem would once again probably stay on the "To do" list... [​IMG]
    #28
  9. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    5,909
    Location:
    Temecula CA
    I’m glad Brent wasn’t hurt worse and had to explain the mankini as emergency personnel were cutting it off him...:lol3
    #29
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  10. StinkyCheese

    StinkyCheese Red or Green? Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    960
    Location:
    Las Cruces, NM
    Great report. Sorry your mate got injured but it looks like you all had some good times on your adventure.
    #30
  11. Archangel_SA

    Archangel_SA Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    59
    Location:
    Melkbosstrand, Cape Town, South Africa
    Last bit coming soon, just catching up with some work... :deal
    #31
  12. flei

    flei cycletherapist

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
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    8,992
    Location:
    Western Mass.
    Great ride report with awesome photos! Thanks for posting it up.
    #32
  13. Archangel_SA

    Archangel_SA Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Melkbosstrand, Cape Town, South Africa
    OK, so where was I? Oh, right...

    Sid & Spiekmam kicked up some good dirt along the railway line to the N7 and onto Vanrhynsdorp where they met the most helpful guy ever! "Jan Tyre" is a man you can bet your bike on. He had one look at the plugged Anakee and raised his eyebrows! Without hesitation he stared calling just about everyone on his phones contact list and eventually found a brand new tyre for us in Vredendal.

    Without delay, Sid was off and 15 mins later he was in front of the car dealer in Vredendal. Unfortunately, it was for a new 1250 and wouldn't fit on the 1150 rim. [​IMG]

    Then Jan sent Sid to the Continental dealer where the found a pretty new Hedi K60 with a gator. Sid asked what they wanted for the tire and he said "Nothing, I can't guarantee that tire and I don't want comebacks!"

    Back in Vanrynsdorp, Jan fitted this tire, pumped it up and looks like it kept its pressure! Jan Tyre also went further by arranging with his brother in Calvinia to bring another 2nd hand tire to the guesthouse where we were scheduled to sleep that night.

    We asked Jan's brother what we owed him for the tire and he also said "Nothing, just enjoy the rest of the ride!" and then smiled the most genuine smile like only a small town guy could muster.

    So with light once again starting to dwindle, the made haste back towards where Jo and were rising from our afternoon hibernation.
    #33
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  14. Archangel_SA

    Archangel_SA Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Melkbosstrand, Cape Town, South Africa
    I'd like to add that while Spiekman was waiting at Jan Tyre with Jan [​IMG] he continued to work his way down his contacts list to find another back tyre, while doing so one of the contacts mentioned that he just saw a post on a Garries Facebook group that a lady picked up a wallet dropped close to the road by bikers... Jan immediately put Spiekman in contact with the friendly lady from Garries and she confirmed his suspicions that it must have been MINE, even though I had no idea that I had lost it.

    We quickly fitted to wheel with the "new" rear tire (Tire 3 for the trip) and headed South on our updated route that now didn't include the pass I wanted to do. But it also meant that we had to go over Vanrhyns Pass. What a view...

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    We rolled into Nieuwoudtville bang on sunset and slabbed it to Calvinia arriving in last light.

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    Shortly after our arrival, Jan Tyre's brother rocked up with another tire that we could take with as spare. We invited him to ride with the next day, but he'd just arrived back from a week long rugby tour in Kimberley, so his family wasn't too keen. Next time... [​IMG]

    We checked in with the family with the latest update that we're all safe at our stay-over spot for the night and after a quick shower, we walked next door to Die Blou Nartjie for dinner.
    #34
  15. Archangel_SA

    Archangel_SA Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    59
    Location:
    Melkbosstrand, Cape Town, South Africa
    Friday 21 June - Day 7

    Somehow Jo got his dates and days wrong. He had to be back in Melkbos by Saturday night and therefore planned to give Sutherland a skip and ride back through Tankwa and home instead of sleeping over at Sutherland. Even after realising that there was an extra day available to ride, we committed to his initial plan which meant that we had longer day ahead.

    The plan was to go down Gannaga Pass into Tankwa from where Sid and Spiekman would turn East and go over Ouberg to Sutherland (same road we did on Day 1) while we headed straight to Ceres.

    As we sat down at our breakfast table, discussing the ride ahead, Spiekman came in with this little wheel he picked up... "Guys, our luck is changing. There's even tires lying in the road now!"

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    I wasn't convinced and packed the extra tire anyways.

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    We stopped at the big red postbox for quick pick and were on our way...

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    Before hitting some more glorious gravel roads!

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    Jo overshot this corner and by the looks of the sign and the open gate, he wasn't the first...

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    We stopped at the lodge for a quick beer, as we thought we had time on our side.

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    And then headed down Gannaga Pass

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    As we were descending into the Tankwa, we could see a massive dust storm in the flats. The side winds shook us up properly and the going was as easy as earlier in the day, but the riding was still fun, until around 12h30 when this happened...

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    After plugging the tire twice, we realised that this wasn't going to work, so we stopped to change to the spare tire I'd been dragging along.

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    We've just fitted the spare, we saw that the reason it was removed by it's previous owner was a gaping hole in the side. [​IMG]

    Out come the plugs again [​IMG] We plugged the hole and behold, it stayed plugged. For now, at least. [​IMG]

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    Jo was all too quick to comment, as our next voyage only lasted about 5km before he too had yet another flat!

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    By now, we were quickly approaching 15h and the short day turned into a long day without much riding. Sid & Spiekman joked that they can't let us go on our own, as we wouldn't make it to the next turn, so they joined us up to the Tankwa Padstal for a very quick coke, chips and pee break.

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    From there we said cheers to Spiekman and Sid who headed towards Ouberg while we continued to make our way towards Ceres.

    This time, the plug in the TKC lasted a good 10km. [​IMG]

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    The 2nd time around, we weren't so lucky as they plugs kept on being pulled or pushed out. We tried to cable tie them into position, which lasted about 5km.

    The solution?

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    Jip, duct tape. Btw, we're in good company here...

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    Meanwhile, Sid & Spiekman made some good ground, staying just ahead of the fast approaching storm.

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    And made it safely to Sutherland, bone dry and without any punctures... [​IMG]

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    Meanwhile Jo and I finally made some ground and got to the tar road that would lead us back to Ceres. And with the beginning of the tar, so came the rain and wind. Add a sunset and it quickly turns into miserable riding conditions with terrible visibility (dirty orange light covers don't help) and a slowly deflating knobbly tire on a slippery, wet tar road. [​IMG]

    We fueled up a Ceres, re-inflated all necessary tires and took on the next stretch. We made it all the way to Malmesbury with that duct tape and we were extremely lucky, as the tire actually just-just made it there.

    At Malmesbury, we re-plugged and re-taped the tire, ready for the last 40km stretch home to Melkbosstrand.

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    All the road construction, bad light, bad tires, rain, wind, cold and fatigue made even this most boring stretch of road that I'd done 100's of times, very challenging.

    We rolled into Melkbosstrand at around 20h30 with the wives eagerly awaiting our return, so that they could offload the kids and take a break, because we've been on "holiday" for a week and it's now our turn, so that they can rest for a change... [​IMG]

    Boots full of water, tires full of holes and hearts full of joy... [​IMG]
    #35
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  16. Archangel_SA

    Archangel_SA Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    59
    Location:
    Melkbosstrand, Cape Town, South Africa
    Saturday 22 June - Day 8

    The second last day started off a little slow for the remainder of the crew with Spiekman picking up a high fever and feeling proper crap. Knowing they had a long day waiting (571km to Orania), they had to get going early. The slight rain of the previous night made the tar a little slippery but the gravel was a dream due to the lack of dust.

    The gravel road to Fraserburg was a beaut and proved to be the perfect medicine for the sickness, whatever it was.

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    Just other side Fraserburg Sid stopped and showed Spiekman where "Racheltjie de Beer" spent much of his first night. Sid decided to write my name in pee on the spot, you know, just to make it official.

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    They then hit Loxton for lunch at Die Rooi Granaat. From there it was all the way to Orania where we checked into the Hotel at “Die Oewer”. Amazing place to stay right on the river, super cozy with great food at the restaurant. Note if you are not proper Afrikaans you might need an Afrikaans dictionary to decipher some of the Items on the menu.

    I would like to point out that this was by far the coldest they have gotten all trip, despite staying in Sutherland on the winter solstice during sleet rain, Orania was way way colder.

    The last day from Orania to Kroonstad was also quite lengthy but due to only being two and the gravel roads so flat and straight we covered the kms with ease.

    We had a bit of a slow start due to not knowing the petrol station in Orania only opens at 12 on a Sunday.. .luckly with a quick phone call someone was sent to help out with the “noodbrandstofversoek”.

    The gravel stretch between Orania to Koffiefontein was quite eventful with a lot of washouts, some sand and some really crappy rocks. It was proper fun though and warmed us up quickly.

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    The rest of the way to Kroonstad they decided to hop on the tar. Most of those gravel roads we had already done and cold and tired bones were eager to get home.
    #36
  17. NeoScout

    NeoScout Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Newnan, GA
    Quite the entertaining RR! Thanks for sharing
    #37
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