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Old 05-29-2011, 10:09 AM   #1591
Phil
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:56 AM   #1592
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From film back to digital - Cape Town and Cape Peninsula

We did not spend too much time in Cape Town, although it proudly stands on many a traveller's final destination on their venture through Africa, something like a longing or a grand finale. For us it wasn't. We were there mainly for business - to apply for an Angolan visa which they say Cape Town is the most likely place to get one. Meanwhile we saw a little of the legend, but maybe it was because it was so little that we could not really appreciate what it had. It was very civilised though, so you could almost have it mixed up with some cities in the Old World, but somehow we missed that special something.

Or maybe not… While trying to find some space to park in the city centre, a guy called Stefan (if you happen to be reading this, please correct us if the spelling is wrong!) came talking to us, saying that he had been following us on ADVrider. Then he went and came back in a little while, and… put some money in my hand. It is only later that we counted the money and found it to be a considerable amount. We really felt humbled. Thank you Stefan!

And also, thanks to the anonymous guy in a Harley who rode past us on the N2 soon after Tsitsikamma National Park whom we caught again in a toll station queue and who waved us to pass him as he had paid the toll for us. Totally unexpected and absolutely heart warming!

South African biking community has received us extremely well, sending us invitation letters, providing us with food, shelter and heaps of useful information, and just being there for us. A great bunch of people. Thank you Ian, Conrad, Steve, Michnus, Elsebie, Donald, Charl and Sean!



Cape Town.















Panorama of Cape Town (click to enlarge)


But back to Cape Town. Considering the geography, we would have expected to find something similar to Rio de Janeiro, with all the sea and mountains. But it wasn't there. Maybe it just lacked the samba and the bossa nova, I don't know. Or was it that our minds were too much occupied with more mundane subjects such as the visas. Yeah, the Angolan visas. Hard to get and expensive. We'd go around that country if we could, but the only viable option would mean shipping the bike, and this does not sound interesting. So as soon as we hit Cape Town we headed to the consulate, where once again we were convinced that it would take a lot of money, paperwork and patience. In that order.

The money was perhaps the easiest, although not really painless - around 100 EUR per person for the 30-day visa. Not the cheapest, but hey, not the most expensive visa we've had so far either.

The paperwork was a headache, because unless you are applying for a five-day transit visa (which, considering the sheer size of Angola, is not impossible, but very tight, especially in the rainy season which has already begun) you need an invitation letter from an Angolan citizen/entity that has to be notarized and sent to the consulate from Angola. Finding a friend in Angola was not difficult as we had met in Nairobi a Portuguese guy called Gonçalo who had been working in Angola for quite while and was then travelling through Africa on his R1100GS, so he has some contacts. Notarizing the letter wasn't too difficult, but finding a fax in Angola… oh well, it obviously took days, but the consulate would not accept anything but a fax from Angola. Who would have imagined that even Angola has switched to internet by now, except for their foreign representation ;) In addition to the invitation letter we took along multiple copies of our bike's registration, my drivers licence and the Carnet (because we do not have any flight tickets to show), yellow fever certificates and an explanation letter about the motives of our trip in Portuguese (because it's an official language in Angola, just like in Mozambique). When we got to the consulate with our filled-in applications they just frowned upon them because they were filled in with blue ink, but they wanted it to be black ink. So we had to do it again. In two hours at the consulate we had finally managed to get our applications in.

We were told it would take 7-10 working days to have the applications processed. A long and nerv wrecking wait… Thanks to Donald and his kids who hosted us in Cape Town it wasn't that painful to get organized.

Not to become too frustrated while waiting we decided to play tourist a little and headed to Cape Peninsula just south of Cape Town. It was soon clear that it was not only us that had come to play tourist there as there were busloads of people there trying to fight off the ferocious winds while posing with various landmarks. But the landscape was truly fine, so no complaints.



Panorama from Cape Peninsula (click to enlarge)













Wider panorama (click to enlarge)













The bays had funky names - Neptune's Dairy.

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Old 05-31-2011, 01:53 AM   #1593
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Into Klein-Karoo

It was, of course, nothing more than a one-day, or even a half-a-day ride, so it was not nearly enough to get our minds off the visas. So we took the decision to head out to Karoo which is basically a huge semidesert - huge enough to get lost for as many days as you could possibly like. We'd heard it would be something like central Australia where you can ride for hundreds of kilometers without seeing another vehicle and where the stars are particularly bright at night. The southern edge of Karoo is more mountainous and home to countless vineyards, so it seemed only logical to start from there.

Riding the roads in the Klein-Karoo, or Small-Karoo as this area is often referred to, offered a complete change of scenery, way of life and mindset from the bustle of a metropolis like Cape Town. Here too it was difficult to understand that it is actually Africa - the Old World style wine cellars and road houses, pubs like out of a Western looked and felt totally un-African. And the wine! What could be better than to open a bottle of nice local wine and to thing that regardless of all the trouble and uncertainty, life wasn't so bad.



The beginning of Karoo desert















Ronnies sex shop - actually it's just a pub.















Good South African wine to acompany us in the evening.















Ostriches.

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Old 05-31-2011, 02:55 AM   #1594
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What happened to the noon day gun and fish and chips in Hout Bay? Life is weird in a nice way - i just had a feeling the whole time i would bump into you when you reach CT although the day we met i was totally out of my normal way....and we`ll meet again someday.

Not sure how far you are out of CT but if possible Kenhardt Hotel is a must stop. The owner`s name is Eaton and he is a legend, bike lover galore. He has a wall dedicated in his pub just for bikers and your name definately belongs there.

Dustsucker screwed with this post 05-31-2011 at 03:19 AM
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:59 AM   #1595
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Oil leak...

Gonçalo, the portuguese you met in Ethiopia had some problems with his bike "Miss Ann". He is very fond of her.
In Angola, he had to swim from a hole leaving her completely sunk.
After some weeks she was nicely clean and ready to continue his " Africa of my heart".
Recently, in a forum we visit, he asked for help with a leaking oil evidence. After seeing the photo and cause I had been rereading some of your Asian legs, sent him to post 431.
How happy he was with the solution for his leak. Solution means, identification and how to make it.
It's just another bonus from this RR, as if the story telling and photos weren't enough.

Cheers and keep on rolling
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:04 AM   #1596
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustsucker View Post
What happened to the noon day gun and fish and chips in Hout Bay? Life is weird in a nice way - i just had a feeling the whole time i would bump into you when you reach CT although the day we met i was totally out of my normal way....and we`ll meet again someday.

Not sure how far you are out of CT but if possible Kenhardt Hotel is a must stop. The owner`s name is Eaton and he is a legend, bike lover galore. He has a wall dedicated in his pub just for bikers and your name definately belongs there.
We did get fish & chips

Kariina got some bug in CT though (maybe just a "winter" cold), so it was a week in the bed for her and just waiting for me, so by the time she got better and we got the visas we were terribly eager to move.

We're already out of CT for some time now, but have good memories left of it.

The World is a wierd place, we'll definitely meet someday again.


Quote:
Originally Posted by legasea View Post
In Angola, he had to swim from a hole leaving her completely sunk.
After some weeks she was nicely clean and ready to continue his " Africa of my heart".
Recently, in a forum we visit, he asked for help with a leaking oil evidence. After seeing the photo and cause I had been rereading some of your Asian legs, sent him to post 431.
How happy he was with the solution for his leak. Solution means, identification and how to make it.
It's just another bonus from this RR, as if the story telling and photos weren't enough.

Good to know about Gonçalo! Do you know where is he now? In any of the Congos?

I hope he carries a spare FD bearing and a seal with him!

Fingers crossed and you never know, we may bump into him somewhere on the road up north.

Ride safe,
Margus
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:40 AM   #1597
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Where's you guys at? Looking forward to Namibia Pics, Ride Safe
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:55 AM   #1598
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Where's you guys at? Looking forward to Namibia Pics

You've hit the nail there. Soon! But first things first
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:55 AM   #1599
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One of the great highlights of the Small Karoo was the Swartberg pass across a mountain range with the same name. Truly spectacular, and offering a different perspective every 100 meters!




Panorama of Karoo near Swartberg pass (click to enlarge)













Panorama of Swartberg pass.













Panorama of mountanous Karoo.













Panorama from the road to Swartberg pass.



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Old 05-31-2011, 09:28 AM   #1600
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Swartberg pass




Climbing higher.















Mountain top in Karoo desert.















Crossing the Swartberg pass.















A canyon in Karoo.


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Old 05-31-2011, 02:22 PM   #1601
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close to Namibia .. I have a good friend other there .. if you are interested just let me know .. please ..it will be a pleasure for me to contact him and .. he can give you a little bit of Italy
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:04 AM   #1602
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Great Karoo

Once we'd crossed the Swartberg Pass, there was a great change in scenery. We were in the Great Karoo. Broad, empty, lonely, full of power. No people, no cars, only a few lonesome sheep farms dotting the far horizon, with huge windpowered water pumps making slow, tired, squeaky turns. It would be great to life here for a while to let the thoughts to settle and to let the soul cool down.

We had quite a ride in the Great Karoo, without any specific plans or destinations, taking random tracks and just riding, taking in all that the journey had to offer. Hundreds of kilometers of gravel, revealing a new sight, a new formation behind every corner. Mountains in the morning mist, half dreamy half forgetful desert, a track running between rocks radiating the suffocating heat they'd accumulated. Just as if the time had stopped, and for us it had, because we could not care less if it was morning or evening. We just lingered.

By the end of the day we'd always manage to find a campsite (unfortunately, all the roadside is fenced in South Africa so you'd be lucky to find a spot for bush camping - I do not know if it is for the wild animals orif it is someone's private property) and enjoy the view of the stars in the Southern sky with a bottle of local wine. No, really, it would be great to live here for a while…



Typical Karoo landscape in panorama (click to enlarge each one)













Panorama from the road through Karoo National park.













Karoo landscape panorama.













Road through Karoo National park.















Helping a tortoise off the road.




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Old 06-01-2011, 07:36 AM   #1603
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Ride safe !!!
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:12 AM   #1604
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Karoo colors.















Typical Karoo roads - all fenced by farmers.















Autoportrait of Tsiklonaut.















Leaveless trees in Karoo.















Wind operated waterpump - same like in Australia.














A riverbed in the Karoo.















Road...




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Old 06-01-2011, 09:48 AM   #1605
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Beautiful...
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