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Old 10-23-2009, 10:26 AM   #91
cinghiale
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Trip Report

I have read a lot of trip reports on ADV rider. You have posted a wonderful adventure and thanks for the photos.
Great ride, I have always wanted to ride Africa. If you can do it with your family, I can do it with mine as well. Thanks
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:50 AM   #92
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Thanks for taking the time to share!!! Very nice!!!
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Old 10-23-2009, 11:57 AM   #93
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Excellent - thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:18 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Usually2Up
Excellent - thanks for sharing.
+ 1

Loving it, please write more.
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:38 PM   #95
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WOW..!!!
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Old 10-23-2009, 03:52 PM   #96
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Day 8 Brandberg

Brandberg is a special place, sitting on a plain on the edge of the desert, with the Ugab river skirting it’s skirts. It is part of wild Namibia, with free ranging everything, including elephant.

We are staying two nights which gives us the opportunity to explore the area today. Early morning we pull off on an attempted circumnavigation of Brandberg. I want to see the giant Welwitschias on the far side of the mountain. The easy route is there and back on gravel around the southern perimeter. Problem being the distance, and that you ride the same area twice. The tough route is one way around but it includes a short 40 km around the northern perimeter which is mostly in the Ugab river. So that’s the one we take.

The weather is perfect, cool and overcast, which surprises me, I didn’t know that the ocean fog intrudes this far into the interior.





The first section is lovely hard packed twin track in the most beautiful surroundings.

















Look at that style, damn!





Where the track drops into the Ugab Tharina takes a couple of minutes to get herself psyched. This is where the skills learned the hard way on the Namaqualand trip is going to show it’s worth.





And off she goes!









And so do I.




Our first stop is where Tharina hit the deck.





She agrees, she fell for no reason, probably just nerves.

And off again







As we continue up the river we stop every couple of kilometers to rest. And the spectacular scenery astounds.









Pictures can be misleading. See how controlled this looks.





Have a look at her track in the sand, that gives a fuller picture.










It is nice manageable sand but it tires you out pretty quickly so we take a break every couple of kms.





I start wondering about the tread left on my Michelin Desert. I can feel that I am not getting the grip I should have, a change in the revs takes too long to convert into a change of speed. I doubt these tyres are going to make the trip.









Another rest stop in the shade.





When we get to the western edge of Brandberg, we climb out of the river into the silty flood ares.





The scenery stops you in your tracks.





With the large amount of rain that Namibia had earlier this year the grass shows off the rocky ridges.









For some reason, only certain trees will be populated with nests while others have none.





Can you imagine the full 180 degree picture?









Tiny little Welwitscia.





We stop and just take in the views, this place is really something.





The mountain is actually quite expansive, the top has it’s own eco system, to ride around it, like we are doing, is a 200km trip. Check it out on Google Earth.









Once you have DRZ-butt, you can pretty much sit on anything and be blissfully unaware.





We search but cannot find the same Welwitschias that we stopped at on the Goat Meat trip.





We find other equally large ones though. The Namib desert is the only place on earth where they occur. And this one has been here since before the middle ages..





Just to give you an idea of the strength of the leaves.





Later that afternoon we stop under a bush for lunch and have hot chocolate and biltong.









The last 40 km in is this kind of thing, with herds of springbuck crossing the way every so often.





Back at the lodge we stop in for some cold beers and firewood. Again meerkat keeps the children fascinated.













This is a special place, this was a special day.


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Old 10-23-2009, 04:18 PM   #97
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Old 10-23-2009, 06:26 PM   #98
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What a special trip! However, maybe not so unusual for South Africans?

I am especially impressed by the Welwitscia. To just image how a being would experience the passing of time if it were sentient. Might as well be a good thing it's not aware. I'd go nuts rooted to one place for so many years. I suppose that is why I ride motorcycles.
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:29 PM   #99
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your trip gets better and better every day. I am loving it.

Off I go for a motorbike week in Laos with some friends, will have a very different scenery...
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:32 PM   #100
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Fantastic trip M.J. and family! You are raising your daughter right! Namibia has been in my sights for a couple of years now - you are making it hard to resist.....2010 might be my year!!!!
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Old 10-23-2009, 09:50 PM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirrels
What a special trip! However, maybe not so unusual for South Africans?

.
I assume as a % more SA riders have been to Namibia purely due to proximity considerations. It is not a common tour though, being far and challenging in sections.

This is a fascinating and entrancing report.

Thanks MJ.
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Old 10-23-2009, 09:56 PM   #102
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Thanks to you and your family for sharing !!



Reb
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:36 PM   #103
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Really Great

Thanks for the wonderful RR
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:47 PM   #104
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Day 9 – Brandberg to Palmwag





Sunrise the next morning and Brandberg shows where its name comes from. Check out the 4x4 with rooftop tent. This is the most common rental vehicle in Namibia. People hire them fully kitted and spend a week or weeks travelling the land camping where there are no other facilities.





This is our camp.





Our peace gets disturbed by the German woman at the next camp screeching in what sounds like a demon possessed falsetto bass voice. Apparently those are the sounds they make when their children are gored by wild animals, more specifically, this wild animal.





Like I said, springbuck are combative little bastards. Ten minutes after the sounds from hell next door subsided and the kid stopped crying this okie also took me on.

Let me give you some springbok fighting tips. They go in low and normally get you on the shins, the immediate reaction is to grab hold of the horns to get the pain away from your shins, but that is a mistake. That’s what they want, now you are fighting them the way they know how.

What you should do is lean right over and give him a mighty smack on the flank. Takes him completely by surprise and gives him sudden respect for his opponent.

Otherwise they are the cutest pets.





When I was here in 2004 there were elephant all over the camp. The camp is not fenced. I had hoped that we would get elephant here but all the tracks and dung I see are too old. Yesterday in the riverbed we came across fresh tracks a couple of times but we saw nought.

Not 5 km from camp, as we cross the Ugab on our way to our next destination, we run into very fresh tracks, fresh enough that they were probably made as the sound of the bikes drew nearer.









We proceed very slowly, I have no intention of crowding an elephant. Less than 200m on we catch sight of them.





We get out of the sand and onto a lekker track, but not long and I spot an ellie right next to the track.





We are not going to get past this one, unless he moves off.





So we get off the bikes (hurriedly) and onto a rocky outcrop where we get a nice view.





Excuse me while I powder my nose.









About half an hour later he wanders off and we can get down and continue.





Brandberg in the background.









Very scenic and very entertaining riding.





Check out the rock growth.





Once on the gravel we almost get caught out by washaways. Tharina in fact stopped in the rocks, coming from the far side of this one.





We stop in at Aba Huab for a quick beer and pull in for fuel at Palmwag. Not what one would call a metropolis and cash only.





Our overnight stop is at Palmwag lodge where we get a nice secluded camp (there is only one, the others are all on top of one another).









We eat in the restaurant before we turn in for the night.

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Old 10-23-2009, 10:53 PM   #105
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Day 10 Palmwag to Ongongo





Today’s ride is a short one, less than a 100km. Our destination is Ongongo. It is a fresh water spring that comes out of the mountains and cascades into a pool. In this dry area it is quite a thing.





The kid wastes no time, she loves water.









She also likes dancing.





We spend the day swimming, lazing around, taking some pictures and we are the only people there. Also the ideal opportunity to get some laundry done.








































As we sit under a tree by the hammock, we hear something behind us and see a very pretty snake of about 1 – 1.2 m coming past on its way to the pool. I fetch the camera but he is not keen on me following him around so this is the only picture I get. Not long after another similar but smaller one goes by the same way.





When I ask the staff about it, they say it is a Zebra and he spits venom. I do not know this kind of snake, but it turns out that it is a cobra variant that is very short tempered and spit for very little reason. They account for the most human/snake incidents in Namibia. Like all spitting cobras they are very accurate and if you do not treat your eyes quickly, it leads to permanent blindness. Some weeks later when at another lodge their assistant chef got hit in the eyes by one of these while we were there.








When you climb to the top of the pools there are many smaller hot tub type pools.





This is our camp.





And the kid’s camp, she wants her own space.





Fashion police alert.




This day of relaxation and swimming does us a world of good. After we go to bed, an overlander group arrives. If they intend departing in the morning again, I fear they have missed the whole point of coming here.

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