Vagabond, yes I try!
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: South Africa
The beauty of the surrounding area was just mind blowing, if only I had the capacity to keep a mental video clip. The smells, the heat, the dust, all contributed making this a perfect memory. Just a pity my picture taking ability canít do justice to this incredibly beautiful place.
We took another break just outside the small settlement called Witbank on the banks of the Orange River. Itís midday and itís close to 37 degrees. The puncture in the back tube on the DRZ was back ... This was becoming a mild irritation ... MJ and myself thought we knew how to fix punctures, but for some stupid reason we were unable to kick this ones ass.
The electric pump MJ brought with on the trip had a short swim in spilled petrol and the seals inside got damage. It was up to the tried and tested hand pump to stand in, exactly 100 strokes per bar, give or take some.
Just to mention, we figured we would be able to get petrol at Vioolsdrift, so no need to carry extra petrol except for the DRZ, and again the trusty doos-wine-silver-plastic bags had to do. It was one of them that got a small leak and damaged the pump.
Close to our overnight-spot at the river the DRZ back wheel went flat again. Fuck!!! It was around fourish in the afternoon and the sun was still trying to burn you into the soil. We had to get out of here, and fast. As long as you ride it cools the body, the moment you stop your heat gauge hit max and the sun sucks the moisture out of you.
Decided to fit a new tube and fix the other later that night, in haste I did not do what I was suppose to do ... inflate the tube slightly before fitting ... it happened, the tube got a snakebite!!! FucK me!! Basterd, this was all we needed now in this heat!
In the end we left the bike there for the night and decided to come back early the next morning with the fixed tube. It was already close to six.
A beautiful morning, how would you like to own a property right here, and wake up every morning to this view? Just spectacular. We had some coffee, enjoyed the cool water and were off into the direction of Goodhouse.
Again a puncture, we havenít even travelled 40km and itís flat again! For some reason the patches do not stick, we tried new solution different patches, drying longer. Nothing worked. One thing I vowed to do when back home, was to find ways of fixing a flat when every thing else fails. Surely duct tape can also work!?
We have used most of the patches and we could not take a chance for the rest of the trip, somehow we had to fix it and get new tubes somewhere.
Goodness, the people from Goodhouse are all just the Goodest people you will meet in your life. We had a rest at this house serving as a tuckshop. We bought all her cold drinks and even got a guy to organise us some big Carlings.
MissMJ, as usual, quickly made some friends and a KLR badge oil leaking wire car took up all of her interest.
We left an hour later and as we rounded a corner outside Goodhouse the DRZ back wheel was flat again!!!!!
At this stage both of us were really tired of the shit, and we decided, I would ride to Springbok and go buy some new tubes. It was only a 160km round trip. In the meantime the rest could enjoy the hospitality of the river.
The road to Springbok is biking nirvana, fast, lots of fish tailing, turns, and slides. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Coming back I was met with this picture panorama of desolation and expanse. What a place!!
The sun was setting fast and we decided to camp at the nearest place we can find close to the river. As with all the locals a friendly young man at a home next to the river showed us a perfect camping spot right on the banks with our own lawn and splash pool.
The next morning the moment the sun broke the back of the mountain, we were up. It was going to be a difficult day, we just did not knew it yet.
We stopped at the house again to say thanks for the help and got offered water and a 5L frozen water bottle. What a pity none of us could carry it.
The locals beds are under the carport, everybody sleeps outside. I ask the man what they do for a living, he just replied. ď No not much, we just stay hereĒ Does not sound to bad to me, I can get quite use to this laid back no nonsense life. Some people are truly rich!
More sand, great, but this is a different style, fast, ďsand grabbersĒ and the sand ridges weaves into each other, gas it! gas it!! Because you open up the throttle all the time, you end up fish tailing going down the road at high speed. This is fall-your-ass-to-kingdom-come-country. Why is it then so difficult to stop smiling I just loved it, it's addictive, crazy, man it's pure fun.
What are we waiting for dad? Letís go!
The three most important things on any trip........The third: Always carry new tubes.
The riding would get much more challenging..........