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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by metaljockey, Oct 19, 2009.
Go Thumper Go!
She loves riding.
Local dog, I have a Rottweiler, no space in the pannier though, so he had to stay.
Day Two- Canõn Roadhouse to Brukkaros Crater
Our camp the next morning.
At sunrise I’m on top of the mountain.
There are only six campsites, but nicely spaced. Notice the overlander trucks .
There is a bitterly cold wind blowing. We have to go via Keetmanshoop for fuel and by the time we get there the cold has become such a factor that we abandon our plans to get to Brukkaros and we scout around for a place to stay.
ChrisL warned us that August is the worst month to travel Namibia, and he was right. Right about the East Wind, right about the cold and right about the haziness. But what can you do, this is the time we could manage, so this is the time we’re going.
We pull into the Quiver Tree Forest Rest Camp and make camp right by the ablutions to try and get out of the wind.
Peanut is keen to learn how to pitch her own tent, so I help out with some handy pointers.
Some Meerkat checking out the action.
Peanut gets to practise her levitation while watching warthogs.
One of the fattest ones I have ever come across. Clearly life is good when you are eating from the kitchen.
The Rest Camp also does work with Cheetah rehabilitation and at feeding time we can enter the cage and watch them up close.
Some are kept in open camps.
Tharina has a fascination with Quiver trees and she goes off to take some sunset pics while I get a fire going. She comes back with these.
And check out this one.
I was waiting a long time for any new report from metaljockey, and here it goes an amazing family ride, awesome!
Another MJ ride report! Yeeaaaaa Baby!
from now on, leave her the camera
keep the cam, will you
ask dad to do something with the saddle in order for you to be higher instead of stuck to him.
sorry, I mean "summon dad".
ok, I'm out
Thanks for the RR.
Day Three - Quiver Tree Forest, Brukkaros, Maltahöhe
The next morning at sunrise I ride out to the Giant’s Playground, about 15 km away. It is an area where rock formations have eroded to the extent that it looks as if they were stacked by giants. On the way there I have the unique experience of a cheetah racing me on the other side of the fence.
It is a huge area stretching to the horizon, one can spend years here taking pictures.
The white streaks give away which stacks are colonized by dassies (rock hyrax).
Check this one out, easy to see the progression.
We hit the road and the cold front is still with us. Around here every cold front comes from the Cape of Good Hope, and we are travelling with it.
We are using D roads. Namibia has B - tarred main roads, C - gravel main roads and D - secondary gravel roads. We choose the D roads for the lack of traffic and to see some new things. The D roads also have the benefit that it periodically resembles a track more than a gravel road. Here’s a river crossing ;
and interesting rock formation or petrified mud.
On the way the road crosses a pan. Time for some photos.
and some water.
That there in front is Brukkaros crater. On these plains you can ride for hours and always have the crater in sight.
Time to hit the road again, and I must say, really lekker riding, I can feel the trip seeping into my bones. That deep peace you get when you are on the road and there is no schedule and no fixed itinerary, just moving along sucking up the surrounds.
Some freaky white quartz, the size of dove eggs right here on the purple shale.
When we get to Brukkaros I am glad that we did not arrive here yesterday afternoon as was planned. All three camp sites are out of commission due to renovations and there is no water.
I had read that one needs to stay overnight when coming to Brukkaros, because the best views are to be had by hiking a couple of kms to the far rim. We are not going to stay over now, so we take our leave without seeing the good stuff. What I can tell you is that from what we saw it is pretty spectacular, and well worth doing.
The track leading up to the camp sites is pretty rough. It is steep and used to be cemented for traction but this has since broken up and washed away. Tharina went up without any hitches and I am quite chuffed, but I expect trouble on the way down. She has a major hang up with anything that remotely resembles a downhill. It’s bad, believe me.
It stems from a trip that we did in Lesotho. Tharina was on the 640. It was just one of those unfortunate hills. It was very loose and very steep and pretty long. If you were on the right line and you were applying your skills properly, it was no problem. If you were two feet off the line, it was going to turn into a downhill runaway scenario, with or without brakes.
She was two feet off the line.
The resultant runaway and the off at the bottom of the hill flipped a switch in her head. She had never been in a situation where a bike picked up speed whilst the wheels were locked and she lost all confidence in the ability of the bike to descend in a controlled manner.
The very next downhill, which was just nothing at all, she just could not force herself to let go. The moment the bike inched forward, she would grab the front brake in a panic. Try as I may, since then I have not been able to get her past this head problem/obstacle.
Back to Brukkaros. I am fully expecting to have to take her bike down. But she takes me by surprise. Only once does she stop to ask about lines and from there she rides down in one go. This track is several levels more technical than other stuff where I have seen her freeze up before. I am well impressed and very happy.
Lovely views, down below you can see the town of Berseba.
We hit the road again heading towards Maltehohe. It’s a zigzag route of various D-roads and it turns out to be a fantastic variety of surfaces. From loose black rocks the size of kidneys, to corrugation, to deep sandy river crossings, to freshly graded surfaces, to just about anything you can think of. We ride hard because we bit off a little more than we should have. We expected to sleep over at Brukkaros and have a whole day to do this section.
We only stop once in the late afternoon to discuss whether to make camp next to the road or push through to Maltehöhe. So forgive the shortage of pics. I did take this one.
There are some little forgotten and ignored settlements in Namibia that seems to eek out a living in the middle of desolation. We pass through Kutenhoas, which is a miniature example of a society being torn apart and destroyed by alcohol.
Just before sunset the DRZ runs out of fuel. I fitted a long range Clarke for this trip and it transformed this bike. Where it used to get about 190km to a tank, today it runs dry at 356km. Happy happy! The X has a 25l combined capacity and if we share it out equally between the bikes, we can do 450km before needing to carry extra fuel. So that’s what we do, I take 4l from the X and the DRZ can do another 100 km.
We are riding hard again but a Kudu-scare quickly brings the pace down to about 80km/h. Shortly thereafter it gets dark and our speed goes down to about 30-40km/h. The road surface is sandy ridges and corrugation. Both these bikes are fitted with headlights that appear to be there only to make you visible to other road users. They sure as hell were not designed to light your way.
By the time we crawl into Maltehöhe we are very, very happy to lay eyes on the Maltehöhe hotel, and almost as happy to chug a couple of Windhoek Draughts to get the putty out of the gullet.
I can recommend the Maltehöhe hotel, nice rooms out back, good food, cold beer and a very friendly owner, Jurgen, who will stamp and post your Hotel postcards on your behalf. They even have a website.
Another interesting thing; on a farm just outside Maltehöhe is a pan that gets covered in pink and white vlei lilies for about 5 days in January or February depending on the rain. Judging by the pictures it is really something spectacular to see. If I’m ever in Namibia that time of year, I’ll certainly make a plan to come by here.
PS. Sleeping in a proper bed with linen can be quite a pleasant experience from time to time.
Great to see another RR. I have only ridden the very southern end of Namibia and it looks like I definitely need to see a lot more of it!!!
Great report mate!!, great pictures too, and the company could not be better. Family is a great plus
demmit daai laaitie is 'n tuff kabouter. mooi so man!
Dit lyk lekker...
Now thats how to make family memories!
I like this one
Great trip report - I like the pictures of the trees at sunset - but also like this one -
I just snapped a similar one - bigger feet, smaller playa cracks -