Six Africa Twins to Cape Town

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Joris van O, Nov 12, 2016.

  1. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Sossusvlei is in my opinion one of the nicest places in Namibia. So it was almost predictable that after seeing my family and having enjoyed the best parts of the country the travel fatigue set in. We were riding this crappy gravel road and slowely the thought of just riding to Cape Town creeped into my head. We actually wanted to see Luderitz, a town located on the coast. But after talking to the guys, it turned out they all felt the same. No more detours. Let's just finish this!! The navigation was set on Keetmanshoop and off we went.

    In Helmeringshausen we stopped to look for a campsite and some food. The campsite wasn't really special so we only got some dinner and opted for a wildcamp. While having dinner two South African bikers pull up. One on a Teneré and one on a new Africa Twin. They walk into the lobby and ask to use the free Wifi. The owner tells them it's only for hotel guests. Voices raise and a couple of minutes later they are fighting on the street. Afterwards we heard they had a problem with one of the chains and they wanted to research something, but still, fighting over free Wifi ... So that was our introduction to South African bikers. Luckily we met a lot of friendly ones as well!!

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    Longing for camping in the wild again we found a nice flat patch near the road, just out of town. While setting up camp and getting a fire going, we enjoyed a couple of cold Windhoek Draughts we took from the shop. Best beer in Namibia!!

    Bethanien on a sundaymorning is comparable with the Skeleton Coast. There is nothing going on. The only thing in funtion was a fuel station, but other than fuel there was nothing. So we got some breakfast in Keetmanshoop and headed south on the main road.

    Fish river canyon is supposed to be one of the biggest canyons in the world. But we just couldn't be bothered to go there. After three months on the road I have seen so many things that my mind is saturated, it's a shame but that's how it goes.. another this, another that.. And you have to leave something for when you get back right...

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    So when we past the sign we just kept going south and eventually we came across a sign that said 'South Africa'. Alright that is pretty cool, almost there guys!! To keep the tradition alive, just before Noordoewer we got soaked in a massive thunderstorm. Great! After the rain super hot winds started blowing, so it was a full wash and dry program for us.

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    Pitched our tents on a campsite in Noordoewer with a braai, bar, swimmingpool and a amazing view. After a couple rounds in the pool, at the snooker table and at the bar I was done for the day. But what a day it was, tomorrow we will cross the border into South Africa. After all these countries, borders, kilometers, just one more border to cross.
    mbanzi, juno, Davidprej and 4 others like this.
  2. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Crossing into South Africa is sooo easy! Everything works, people know what they do, perfect. 2 minutes to get the passports stamped out of Namibia, then cross the bridge into SA. There a guy gives you a piece of paper that needs to be signed by immigration and customs to see if you have gone through every step. All in the same building so first immigration, hand over your passport, the guy does not even look through it, just smashes the entry stamp in there. Then to the next counter, customs. Fill in a form, and they have the TIP ready in minutes. They sign the paper, you hand that over to a guy at the last checkpoint and that's it. No costs, no problems, 15 minutes.

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    The roads are beautifull, just after the border there is a small mountainous area but it doesn't last long and then it's mostly flat. I've never been to Arizona (yet) but I expect it to look almost the same. So nice and calm.

    We eventually roll into Vanrhynsdorp and set up our tents on the only campsite there. Good place, with plenty of beers and food. There were a couple of bikers there as well who had just bought a Yamaha chopper thingy (can't remember the type) so we chatted the whole evening about bikes, things and life in general.

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    Alright, we said no more detours but between Vanrhynsdorp and Calvinia there is a gravelroad heading down to Clanwilliam, the R364. We were told it presented stunning views so a small detour can't hurt, can it? And it did not disappoint, amazing!! From Kliphuis on there is a tar road to Clanwilliam which is also very nice.

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    (Alright I took this one the next day, still stunning)

    At Clanwilliam the fun was over again and we headed south to our final destination, Cape Town. Riding into the city was something we had not experienced for the last three months. A big, busy city, with lots of cars doing 120 on the highway instead of thousands of mopeds doing 50. But when I saw the silhouette of Table mountain in the distance I couldn't help but feel a little emotional. After all this time, all these kilometers, all these borders, all the sights that crossed my eyes the last three months we were finally there, Cape Town!!

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    We got some beds at Cape Town Backpackers, and had a round of beers. Oh and celebrated my birthday, riding into this beautiful city on my 25th birthday was an experience I will never forget.
    mbanzi, juno, Davidprej and 7 others like this.
  3. bromax

    bromax Bromax Supporter

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    Happy birthday
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  4. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    The real trip, as in riding to Cape Town, is over. There is however, much to do around here. So let me finish this ride report with a little sight seeing around the area.

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    When we had just arrived, I got the chance to go shark cage diving in the morning. Unfortunately there were only seagulls to be seen. The story was that killer whales scared the sharks away. Bummer, but it's no Disneyland, they're still wild animals. The water was also 12 degrees celcius, so not going in there wasn't that bad.

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    The hostel was fully booked for the weekend, because some kind of sporting event. So we went away for the weekend, camping near Hout Bay. Taking Chapmans Peak on the way there, which is a beautiful piece of road along the coast!! The Chapmans Peak Caravan Park was also fully booked by a caravan club. Luckily we have small tents that fit everywhere so no problems there. The dreaded caravan club turned out to be pretty cool, we were invited for beers, braai and sat by the fire way into the night.

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    Having a base camp made for some nice touring around the area. A trip to Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope. I especially liked the roads to and through the park. We also stopped in Simons Town, nice little town. There was this big Danish dog that apparently became friends with all the sailors stationed on the base there and comforted them in though times. Simon even got awarded a medal and they named the town after the dog, or so the story goes.

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    Muizenberg is also a very nice town. Lots of surfers there.

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    Near our campsite there was a restaurant with live music every night. The night we were there Jack Parow, a South African rapper/singer was performing. So that was a fun evening.
    mbanzi, juno, Squily and 1 other person like this.
  5. zimtim

    zimtim Adventurer

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    A great report and some really good photos.
    many thanks for sharing
  6. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    Thank you, almost all the pictures are shot with my Iphone. Amazing what quality you get these days. When I get home I will go through the pics on my DSLR.

    I'm at the Cape Town airport right now waiting for my flight. Feels weird leaving after being on the road for three months. But some things must come to an end to make way for new things.
    OldManJoris and zimtim like this.
  7. Scooter22

    Scooter22 Gratuitous Advisor

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    Thank you for all the work you put into your ride report, I've really enjoyed following along!
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  8. Mwendo

    Mwendo n00b

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    This is so brilliantly wrong, its hilarious! :imaposer

    I also enjoyed following your trip report, thank you & safe flight home to both of you.
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  9. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    When we arrived in Cape Town, Mwendo had invited us for a ride. So after our camping trip we met him and went for a ride through the nice areas around the city.

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    I think this was in Strand.

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    He showed us all nice places along the coast until we reached Hermanus. There we went inland and took the highway 2 back to his house. Not before stopping on top of the Sir Lowry's pass. At his house he provided us with a place to sleep and his wife prepared this amazing braai. It was so good! We talked about trip planning, all the countries, the troubles (or lack of) and I think he asked me what I couldn't do without. And only this morning I realized that my quick drying travel towl is one of the best things I brought.

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    After a perfect breakfast we went for another ride. This time inland in the direction of Franschhoek and the pass just after it. The area reminded me a lot of Europe. A bit like the lower Alps or Pyrenees.

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    He also showed us a couple of water reservoirs that should provide the city of water. Unfortunately there has been little rain the last two winters so there's only one hunderd days of water left. That will become problematic if it doesn't start raining in the next couple of months.

    We decided that Cape Agulhas would be a good destination for the day, so said goobye to our awesome guide who teached us a lot and went out of his way to welcome us! So nice! Thank you Mwendo, I really loved it.
    mbanzi, juno, BIG OIL and 5 others like this.
  10. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

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    From Wikipedia re Simon's Town: The town is named after Simon van der Stel, an early governor of the Cape Colony.[3]

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  11. Scooter22

    Scooter22 Gratuitous Advisor

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  12. Rinty

    Rinty Been here awhile

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    You'll be back in time for tulip season. Really enjoyed your trip report.

    Tot siens.
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  13. just jeff

    just jeff Long timer

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  14. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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  15. Tsotsie

    Tsotsie Semi-reformed Tsotsi Supporter

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    If you guys are trying to be correct, then, "... we went inland and took the Gardenroute back to his house...." The 'Garden Route' is typically from before Plettenburg Bay, Knysna, Wilderness, George to Mossel Bay etc., some 300+km to the East of where you were riding. A great ride but more than a quick de-tour back to a house at the Cape Peninsular!
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  16. Laura.ries

    Laura.ries Adventurer

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    I am a bit late, but i'd still want to wish you happy birthday! :)

    Gesendet von meinem Moto G (4) mit Tapatalk
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  17. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    You are right, fixed it! But even the small part from Hermanus to Cape Town was in my opinion pretty good, the closer you get to the city the busier the traffic gets but still.. Beats riding at home!

    Thank you!
  18. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    I started working again last monday and it is terrifying how fast I settled back into this 'normal' life. Even the day after I arrived it already felt so far away, like some kind of dream. 'Did I just ride my bike through the whole of Africa?'. Of course people ask how it was, what problems we experienced, what the best part was but after a couple of days it's not new anymore and it's the back to the same old same old. Everything at home is the same. Same people, same places, same habits. But I feel that somewhere on the inside I do have changed (no not the malaria..), I notice I'm more tolerant, thinking different and more open about things. Having met people that have very little in life but are still happy and helpfull is inspiring, it makes you think about what is important in life. I care more about doing things that make me happy instead of just going on, day in day out. If there is something bothering you, making you unhappy, do or try to do something about it. I started to excercise (running etc.) again and will raise the bar little by little, because that's what I feel is better for me. I'm also switching jobs in the near future and moving into an apartment in Utrecht in the next month. So a lot of changes, but I am excited to see where it takes me, new challenges, new opportunities!!

    Well, better finish this ride report then.. we still had some days left!
  19. 2old2Bbold

    2old2Bbold was 2bold2getold

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    Yeah, it gets worse the older you get (73yo). I've been fortunate enough to do a lot of stuff in my life (you have a great start) climbed some big mountains, a lot of cycling, caving, rafting, worked in Antarctica etc, and looking back on it, it does seem like a dream or a story or movie that I watched. My advice.... never pass on an opportunity to try something new and always look for the next new adventure.
    Joris van O and rider1150gsadv like this.
  20. Joris van O

    Joris van O Been here awhile

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    After saying goodbye to Mwendo we rode to the most southern point on the African continent, Cape Agulhas! Not really much around other than the monument. Thing is, you can only reach the monument on foot. it's sort of fenced off! But we've not ridden all across Africa to be stopped by a little fence. After a little wiggling Hans and I got the bikes around the ropes and continued on the footpath to the monument. Patiently waiting untill all other people had taken their pictures, which took a long time. Too long! Before we even had our bikes lined up a military truck with a dozen guys in the back pulled up. Where they came from I don't know but they were not happy at all. Bert forgot he wasn't in central Africa and started a discussion which didn't help the situation. Hans and I thought it was better to just jump on the bikes and scooted off before we got fined for whatever.

    I wanted to ride back to Cape Town while the guys wanted to stay in Agulhas. So I said goodbye and took off. After 50km I stop at a fuel station to clean my visor and the attendant says my front tire looks a bit low. Crap, it is low.. Really, a flat tire at the most southern point after 21.000 km. How ironic.. I air it up and head back to Agulhas, because the guys have the tools to fix it. a quarter of the way back it is already down to 1.0 bar, so I air it up again to 4.0 and gun it to the hostel they are staying.

    Yep, that's a flat.
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    Luckily Cape Agulhas Backpackers had a place for me to sleep, cold craft beers, and a swimming pool to find the leak. Hans helped me get the tire off and on so it wasn't bad at all.
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