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Old 09-05-2007, 07:36 PM   #151
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We manage to avoid hitting our dinner



And arrive at Blood River via a nice 15km or so of hardpacked dirt road





Blood River is a famous battle site where the Vortrekkers (early Boer frontier settlers) held off thousands of Zulus by forming a lager with their wagons. The battle was so brutal that the blood of Zulus polluted the river around the battlefield turning it bright red, thus the name.

I did not have a particular interest in seeing this site, however the road in and the site was surprisingly awesome. There are now steel wagons set to memorialize the battle.

Me & the Lager
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:24 PM   #152
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This is fantastic. I used to work in South Africa back in '91. I had the opportunity to stay there, and if I hadn't been 21 and interested in other things, I'd have taken it. It's one of my biggest regrets, and rarely does a day go by when I don't think about it.
Thanks for the pics - this might be just what I needed to get my arse in gear and go back.
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:40 PM   #153
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Grace, thanks for the great ride report.
I grew up in South Africa and your thread brings back lots of good memories, especially the photos of Bourkes Luck Potholes. I rode there on a Honda XL175 in about 1975.

Not to hijack your thread but here is one of my favorite pics from my ride in the Eastern Cape area last year

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Old 09-05-2007, 09:16 PM   #154
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Yo Grace

Fantastic trip and photos! I like your travel style - beers every night, brand new tour bikes - when are you coming to visit? I promise all the sand here is on the beaches

BTW, that driving on the left stuff is wonky, eh? I took to it pretty quick, but still takes concentration. If I take in the scenery for too long on a lonely street, I end up on the right. Woops!
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Old 09-06-2007, 04:05 AM   #155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorIt
Yo Grace

Fantastic trip and photos! I like your travel style - beers every night, brand new tour bikes - when are you coming to visit? I promise all the sand here is on the beaches

BTW, that driving on the left stuff is wonky, eh? I took to it pretty quick, but still takes concentration. If I take in the scenery for too long on a lonely street, I end up on the right. Woops!
Hi Erik

I will be in Oz Oct 7th - 12th. I don't have anything scheduled in Brisbane yet. I am heading to NZ too. Trying to find someone to join me to ride NZ. Any takers?
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Old 09-06-2007, 05:33 AM   #156
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Great report!

What a wonderful adventure - what a wonderful world...
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Old 09-06-2007, 07:37 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by Ray of Sunshine
Nice to see the photographer had a few RPMs left in case there was a need to go fast.
(What's 190 kph, anyhow, like 30mph?)
190 km/h = 118.060527 mph
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Old 09-06-2007, 04:34 PM   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSGIRL
Any takers?
How long of a trip? I don't have much time off worked up yet, but I'm interested.
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Old 09-06-2007, 05:02 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by DoctorIt
How long of a trip? I don't have much time off worked up yet, but I'm interested.
Probably just 2 - 3 days at most. I figure I can do it without anyone from work noticing I am gone
I will be in Auckland on the 15th and want to try and squeeze in some fun time 16th - 19th. If I don't ride, I will go to Queenstown to trek around a bit. PM me.
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Old 09-06-2007, 06:32 PM   #160
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We left Blood River and had hopes of making it to Rorke's Drift. Another famous battle site, this one when a little over 100 Brits defended their turf against an attack of thousands of Zulus. Rorke's Drift followed the battle of Isandlwana where the Brits were slaughtered earlier in the same day. Thanks LK for the history lesson

Unfortunately time was against us and we weren't going to make these other sites. But the road out of Blood River was filled with more memorable images.







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Old 09-06-2007, 11:14 PM   #161
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Very cool

What an excellent ride report and pics. Outstanding. The photo of the small truck with all the guys in suits reminds me of a couple of parts of my backpacking through from Kenya to Capetown in 90/91. 32 people on one of those small trucks and 28 people plus gear in one of the Matatus. What a place !!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-07-2007, 01:29 AM   #162
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Great Adventure !!!

Glad to see a positive African experience so much of the media coverage of our end of the world is negative it tends to overlook all the fantastic things there are in the region. If anyone wants to arrange a budget tour of the area give me a shout I am not a professional tour operator but my mates and I have ridden South Africa and most of the neighbouring countries extensively and can help plan something that will suite your riding preferences. If it isn't for longer than a few weeks we may join you for a ride it's always good to have an excuse to skip work!
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Old 09-08-2007, 01:53 PM   #163
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We came out of Blood River and were making our way towards the Northern Drakensberg region when I had a bit of a weird thing happen.

I was cruising along at about 130KPH when all of the sudden the bike just locked up !

I manged to get it off the road and luckily I had one friend behind me. So he pulled over with me. Bike was completely frozen, cold not get the wheels to move or anything.

Come to find out, the right hand guard had vibrated down and clamped on the front brake, locking it up. Thank doG for ABS otherwise I think I would be dead.

The brakes cooled down and loosened it's grip and we managed to get going after about 45 mins.

We arrived at our place in the Northern Drakensberg well after sunset, but awoke to a beautiful view.

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Old 09-08-2007, 02:13 PM   #164
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I just found this cool picture. I like it.

From riding in Hongonyi Lodge. I actually look like I can ride well off road! Must be the scenery

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Old 09-08-2007, 02:27 PM   #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSGIRL

I would definitely do another trip with them. 2009 has been in discussion with the group. Maybe Namibia But then I woul dhave to improve on my off road skills exponentially between now and then
Thanks for the report...what a place....IMHO, unless you really wanted to run in the deep sand in Namibia (which a GS12 really cant do anyway), most of the gravel/dirt roads I traversed were pretty straightforward...just carry an air pump and I think you'd be good. Just stay off the fookin' tarred roads as much as possible. The cages are off the hook there.
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