Originally Posted by metaljockey
I've been following this thread for some time now (no pun intended, I also battle to write in a shorter time than the trip).
I much enjoyed it, one tends to forget that even an on-road trip can be a rich experience. And fun to see it through foreign eyes too.
I'm glad you had a good time over here.
I appreciate you taking the time to read my report - getting a little positive feedback certainly makes the whole endeavor feel more worthwhile.
As far as the road riding is concerned: personally if I'm visiting a different country - let alone another continent - for the first time, my primary motivation is to see as much of the place as possible; so given the typical time constraints that most of us unfortunate working stiffs are planning around, I feel a mainly road based trip is usually the best way to accomplish this.
The day after we battled through the sand to Lamberts Bay, I remember Gary mentioning that he wasn't even bothered about doing any more off roading unless there was actually something worth seeing at the end of it, which certainly struck a chord in my mind. There's plenty of difficult terrain to ride in the U.S.: so for me, spending time doing that in another country, when I could be soaking in so much more of the environment on a bigger mileage day is just not worth it. Of course all of this is moot given a larger time window to work with.
Assuming all the parameters of my particular circumstances, I felt like it was the perfect solution for a first time visit, and furthermore, even though I wasn't initially too happy about the prospect of travelling with such a big group, I'm totally sold on the idea after the overwhelmingly positive experience we had with the SA crowd.
Riding through the sparsely populated northern section of the country, one observation I did make - which may or may not be correct - was that there weren't that many off road options anyway. I'd assumed there'd be little dirt roads running off in all directions, but the alternatives looked pretty limited to be honest. I don't really remember noticing if other areas of the country were any different.