05-01-2006, 06:43 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Location: Eastern Cape, South Africa
Day 6 starts with three helluva hangovers.
We're back in the saddle and before long we hit a riverbed again. Nardus & Hennie are the type of riders that are only happy if the terrain is difficult. Therefor we stick to riverbeds and single track as much as possible. Twin track is still allowed but when we have to use a gravel road they bitch and moan like you won't believe.
This specific river is to be a shortcut rejoining the road we were on. Hennie says "it's about 7km as the crow flies". A word of advice; if anyone uses the phrase 'as the crow flies' in your presence, slap him immediately. You are bound to want to slap him some time later.
This 7km turned into 4 hours in the riverbed from hell with no escape route. The 1200 doesn't like sand. I don't like sand. It's all good and well to say stand up look up open up. It doesn't work that way however in a narrow twisty riverbed with rocks that you have to swerve trough.
This river had the loosest sand that you can imagine. I fell off that front wheel probably 10 - 15 times. After the pick up it's pull away, bog, push the bike over to get it on top of the sand, pick up, pull away, bog, push over, pickup, pullaway, bog, push over etc. By the 4th time someone will help push with the pull away. I will then go for about 30m with engine screaming and then bog again. I even once went from floating along nicely at 45km/h to bogging down to the belly plate with the back wheel still doing 45km/h.
It was fckng hot. My legs was already shaky to start off with due to the previous nights excesses.
All the while the river got narower and twistier. Mentally you are in a bad way because after 2 hours of this you still don't know whether it is even possible to follow the river to where the twin track crosses again. for all we know there can be a drop off or step up that we can't do. The GPS shows that no-one had gone this way previously. Also, you are past the point where you have the strength to turn back and redo all the suffering you just went through.
I really worked hard. My shins were also getting an almighty bashing.
Pleading, praying or letting the tyres down. Take your pick.
I took my tyres down to 0.7 of a bar and left it at that for the rest of the trip.
I'm used to heat and humidity at the coast. The heat here is something different entirely. It's like a fckng furnace. The sun just plain blasts away at you like it wants to kill you.
Then we come to an area where the river level goes up three steps. We can't get out of the riverbed to go around and we don't have the balls to turn around and go back.
We walk the area and it looks do-able. I go first.
Its a little tricky, when your front tyre starts climbing onto the rock your back wheel is still doing about 50km/h. I get to the top of the first step no problem.
I make it to the top of the second step.
I also clear the third one and I'm feeling like No1!
Things were to turn ugly really quickly though.
Hennie lining up for the first step.
Clearing it nicely.
After Nardus also makes it to the top he notices that the 1200 is bleeding profusely.
We......... are......... FUCKED!
No recovery vehicle can even get close to here.
We quickly throw the bike on it's side to try and keep what oil is left inside.
There's the problem. just above the bashplate mounting thread.
Now, lets turn the clock back 24 hrs. We're at Epupa falls. The river is thundering over the falls, lovely shade under the palm trees and Nardus & I go to have a beer or two at a nearby cuca shop. I am surprised to see four cans of motor oil on a shelf between the normal cans of chilli sardines and bars of sunlight soap. I think to myself :wtf, motor oil, here? It's got to be a sign. So I buy a can.
24hours later , hell yeah, it was a sign.
An hour or so later and we are almost ready to roll again. Pratley Steel to the rescue; the best thing since the invention of the crank case.
The bike must have come down straight onto a bash plate bolt. It's not recessed like the original plate. Also the mounting rubbers was removed when they sheared off three days prior. So, it appears the german engineer bstrds are brighter than me. But let me say this; it's a bonehead idea to mount a bashplate straight onto an engine casing in the first instance. It is the achilles heel of the GS and will also be so for the HP2.
Back to the trip. We also finally make it out of that damn riverbed. I used up two days supply of water though and when we come to a borehole I fight a herd of goats for a refill.
metaljockey screwed with this post 07-01-2006 at 10:43 PM