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Old 02-04-2011, 08:24 AM   #1
Tau Anvil OP
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Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Tulbagh, South Africa
Oddometer: 246
West Coast that became the Mini Dakar

So I have been working non-stop during the holiday season even some of the public holidays and felt really sorry for myself...
My dad told me Friday that I could take monday and Teusday the 3-4 of work.

So friday I grabbed my drybag and tent sleepingbag and some extras.

The idea was to leave Sunday morning early from Yzerfontein to Elandsbay from there gravel and tweespoor to Lutzville and then attempyt the dreaded coastal route to Hondeklipbay.

I haven't had a long ride since last December going to Nam...so 5 bells Sunday I left Yzerfontein in the dark and mist to Elands on tar. Took the railway road to Lamberts and refueled here.

Even spotted the sissen train as I stood at the tollbooth sheesh she is long.


after lamberts I took the first sandy road turnoff to Strandfontein....


I took the road to Lutville where I started to create a mobile BOMB.......
14l in my tank
7.5 in fuel bladder
2x 2l bottles in tankbag
2 x 2l bottles in backpack
so 30 liters of fuel to hopefully make Hondeklip as I hear the sand is hectic and I am loaded with my drybag and tubes compressor, bombs, tyre levers, spare bolts, jumpers, camera and my maps





My loaded scooter.



Most of the ride are these tweespoor and farely easy to ride.
I checked in on the route at about 8:30 and phoned Weskus for some last minute advice. I also booked lodging at the Skulpiesbaai lodge for the nights accommodation.

The coast here is stunning with people camping around everybend and under every overhang.
I was loving the tweespoor and sand everynow and then. I decided to drop my tyre pressure down to 1.3 front and 1 bar rear this helped plenty’s with the sand surprising every so often.
I was feeling the years stress and overworked thoughts leaving my head as I loved railing the little sandy berms and floating over the sand on Grietjie (my trusted HP2)








The road to Groen river went past in a blast. I did however experience a serious highside just before the lighthouse….I was already getting ready to crash at 110km/h when I somehow throttled out of a 90 degree tosser…
I turned into the Namaqua National Park and got a map from the ranger. And got warned about the sand.
On this road I found the dreaded tweespoor dune sand riding…whoop whoop it was so much fun.
I spotted some dunes on the left and took a road to them on some lekker DIK sand. When I stopped for a pics I didn’t even need a sidestand as the bike just stood up.
I took some of the roads down to the ocean, but most of them had dead endings so I took those with interesting sounding endings…
I went down to the Spoegriviergrotte this tweespoor is fun and sandy lekker sweating at this stage was mandatory.
I rolled into Hondeklip at around 12:00.
It is around this time when I realized that the day is still long and standing around Hondeklip for the rest of the day will be boring so I decided to fill my bike with the remaining fuel (about 8 liters) and took the road to Koingnnaas and turned left towards the Wildeperdepass (which ChrisL wrote a very nice report about) and enjoyed the wonderful views from the top of the pass back to the West.



I reached Springbok and decided that this place is too hot and I would rather go to the Orangeriver for the night. I felt a little tired now and took something that I saw On Cyrils Dakar bike….

When I reached the border I took the dirt road to the left of the river to say hallo to a friend quickly. That road by the way ends 3km down like this.
When I reached the border I decide that going over to Nam would be fun (Jacko learned me to always carry my passport and thus I had a option of crossing the orange and seeing how the area looked after some much needed rain.

I found this at the bordder trailaring his 990


Dis ok Stoetie jy kan maar nou se jy soek eintlik 'n BM
I made some new friends at the border post…….and passed both side without a numberplate on my bike as I lost it somewhere on the westcoast in a jump related incident.
I took the tar to the second Karasburg turnoff about 77km in and turned right towards Karasburg for the 90 km gravel highway that I know so well.

I saw more than a 100 Springbok on the side of the road. I felt like I was home relaxed and happy so I did a highspeed run on the HP to celebrate.


In it's natural habitat



I reached my Brother in-laws house at 18:30. I had a swim and then we had a braai.



880km for the day it was not planned, but I couldn’t stop thinking about Albert at Dakar and how he had 14 days like these to contend with I felt tired and slept like a baby (not any that I know my son wakes me 3 times a night so maybe like a cat under a aircon…..
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:26 AM   #2
Tau Anvil OP
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Day 2- 700KM

I had breakfast with my brother in-laws and his wife and then took of from the shop posing for some pics with my late Father in-laws humor.



The area to the south had some 84mm of rain and the road was lekker wet, with some seriously dangerous spots.

From far they looks small and like a nice splash


However the pools are way longer and slippery so I had to be awake not to hit them.

Lots of these wheel breakers was to be my sentence till the Cape of Warm hope…

The 110km to Onseepkans flew past on the great Namibian roads.



Passing the border was a breeze as I was the only person on both sides.My lack of a no plate once again not getting one question or remarks…
10km out of the border post I turned left towards Kkamas only to find this over a crest about 500m in…..luckily I was going slowly as the rocky outcrops had me fascinated.


I spotted an outcrop that I wanted to C upclose and took of into the veld just riding offroad. When I stopped to take these pics the local miggies and mozzies attacked me in hundereds.






don't feel too creative today so will add pics now and the words later for the rest of day 2.

this quiver tree forest on the road to Kakamas is HUGE and the trees look very healthy


I wanted to stop here, but the miggies was killing me


I refueled at Kakamas and took the gravel road to Kenhardt after 80 km of tar so sad



I was so happy to be back on GRAVEL and in the distance over Kenhardts way I could spot these clouds hoping I could get to experience soem Karroo rain. The road had some major damage and washouts luckily a grader and dumptruck was busy filling the dangerous holes. I dodn't mind bad gravel, but I literally lost one of the fillings from my broken tooth from my crash in July I tought it was moer funny when I felt the filling coming loose. At this stage I was so in my own world I spat it out and gassed Grietjie a bit more as a sign of please and relaxed state of mind.


Grietjie my ou lief sy laat my nooit in die steek al ry ek haar hard sy start sommer vanself as ek fluit ...





Plenty of these kind of washouts to keep tou wide awake.



Stopping in Kenhardt for some lunch and cooldrinks at 13;



I found this in the Hotel must be some skollies from Jo'burg or something writing on walls



Then I ripped out my PPS (paper positioning system) as I don't use a GPS they remove you too much from the rest of the world. I just asked the closest oke too the road where to next. or stop of at a farm house and ask the farmer. In this way I get updates on road condition shortcuts and sometimes a story or 3 . I love the plattteland and the people from the difficult farmer to the labourer with his comments '' jislaaik my broer die scooter loop hard soos 'n motorcar somme 220..." and then his mate reply's..." tjaa jy moet daai Opel 24 valve sien..'' so as julle wonder in die karoo loop 'n 4 cylinder Opel met 6 valves per cylinder wat 220 verby loop

So I left Kenhardt at around 15:30 and decided to go to Verneukpan as I haven’t been before. Weskus told me they postponed there trip there on the 1/1/2011 as the pan had water on and they didn’t want to sukkel in the mud. I never realized getting to the pan involved opening 7 gates……..



I saw a 1200 GS passed thru with wide tires and a smaller bike like a Dakar. They left a long sliding snake along the way I was lucky only having one or two bad puddles to content with. Ireached the pan with my side stand almost falling af I assumed the bracket was bending as all HP’s do so didn’t even take further notice as I continued to open them gates in the heat of the day. I didn’t go too far into the pan as my fuel was limited as I didn’t fill my bladder, but only 2 2liter bottles so my range was around 220km.











Ek was so bietjie moeg na al die hekke......




returned the same way as I had no Idea how the road went from here and proceeded to open the 7 gates again and take the road towards zwartkops.





Here I turned left unto the tweespoor with the 10 or something gates……I found the 1200 and smaller bike tracks from here again and felt like I wasn’t riding alone. On this road there was some super lekker jumps and my bike now not heavily loaded with fuel did some flying.

I ran out of fuel on 214km on 14 liters the best I have ever done on my standard tank. I filled the bike with my 2 x 2l bottles and rode into Brandvlei. Just before Brandvlei the Sakriver was in full flood the road into town was a mess and bakkies and a truck splashing and spinning there way thru the mud. I reached Brandvlei at 224km at 17:30. I had 2 440ml cokes and filled my camelback with water. I got from the shop. One of the beggers standing around just saw me pouring the bottle of water into the back of my jersey with no view of the camelback bladder……”myyyyyy brooooeer daai larnie het ‘n yskas in sy blazer be@$# ‘’ I decided me sweating like a fat person which I am will leave them thinking that soon I won’t be sweating anymore.

I met a man from Kenhardt that once helped me with a truck breakdown in the area and had a chat till 18:30 before I took the road towards Middelpos and Mof’s farm.

I was met by this beautiful sunset as as rode south Grietjie eating the miles and my soul drinking from the soothing cup of the majestic Karoo.







I decided that some tar would be better (not nice , but it was getting late and I was a little tired) so sticked the 80km to the Koeitjiekolk turn of and then Gravel to swawel and then on to Mof’s farm where I got a very warm welcome and accommodation fit for a king.
I told mof about my non drinking and eating less plan he promptly slapped me around so I would reach my senses and prepared some delicacies……

I had a brilliant night and braai at Mof and had the one ice cold Oros (I have a love for this stuff and his wife ntered the room with a jug, it was like heaven only better) after another before having beautiful karoo lamb and homemade bread. I was totally spoilt and yet again didn’t use my tent……


Bliksem did was lekker dankie Dr. Dirk jy is een helse gentlemen en voorwaar blerrie intelligent en jou gesprekke was weereens net bewyse dat mense (toevallig boere ) wat ver van winkels engineers shops en so bly maak darem net altyd ‘n plan en deurdink sy opsies en dan bou hy iets wat werk.

Dr. Dirk also rides the best bike in the world (Q Clarkson) an HP 2 that he had fitted with a not so “homemade looking” homemade underseat tank. He also spoke about his HP with great love and I realized we had propably had such a great chat the previous night due to us both riding the best bikes in the world (….Q Clarkson).


Skaap stertjies- dis eintlik moerse nice want die skapie wie die stert aan behoort lewe nog ….wonder of mens hulle kan teel om weer een terug te groei



Mof infront of his impressive braai area with traditional bread oven made of proper straw and clay I would love one of these as they are so much beter than those glass top split unit german stuff that use gas or power and in winter in -6 C it works as a heater too. Luuks blerrie luuks.

So Tuesday morning Mof helped me make a plan with my stand…..the bracket didn’t break the one bolt came out so we replaced it and my sidestand was good as new.
good sign…… Then when I checked my front tyre pressure the valve cap was at the bottom…another good sign, and then it happened, we went riding the good signs lead to good times.

Mof invited his neighbour Kosie on his DL 1000 to ride with to Gannaga.




The road was badly washed away and I was convinced twice that I had destroyed the rear wheel after hitting wash aways.

Mof and our bikes at Middelpos



The borswaad still looming over the top of the Gannaga pass I assumed used by the Boere in the war.




We stopped at the top of gannaga and said our fairwells. It is around this time that we noticed this on Kosies rear wheel..




I took the road down Gannaga and into the Karoo.

I got home at 12:45 and 340 km for the day in the heat with temp in Tulbagh 44 C.


So compressing the trip :

1960km
tar section was 420 km
1300 gravel
200 sand on the westcoast

I entered the Namaqua en Tankwa national parks, but passed by the west coast national park Richtersveld and Augrabies all was in reach, but I didn’t wanna site C I wanted to ride and ride and ride.

I had 0 issues with the HP (dankie Grietjie) considering I was sometimes loaded with 30 l of fuel and my luggage and riding hard. She never ran hot not even close to the warning mark.

I can confidently say that the Mitas E-09 doesn’t mind being wacked on dirt and sand and was very good on the sand. I keep at 120km/h on tar for most parts only from Brandvlei the 80km did I do 150km/h. The tyre has now done 3200km of riding 1200 more than a TKC and any other tyre I have tried haven’t even seen 2000km. I will get another.
Front I have a TKC and as ever no problems I still believe this is the only option 21”.

I had no flats (blerrie lucky) and the most no of km I have ever done without a flat …..


I carry spare tubes front and rear
Compressor from ChrisL that works a charm and is lekker small
2 x tire levers
Patches
Plugs
Co 2 bombs
Spanners and screwdriver
Tent sleeping bag
Mattress
3 l water in camelback
1 l water emergency in dry bag
1 liter energade emergency in dry bag
provitas and canned tuna and mussels in dry bag emergency and 2 x shirts and 1 x shorts


I had good service and cold Coke at Kenhardt, but the worst steak ever I was convinced it was vrot and their medium rare is well-done, HOWEVER I was out riding and not eating so serves me right. I didn’t complain and left thinking that in Dakar this won’t happen as I won’t have the luxury of steak…


This wasn’t a friendly smell the flowers trip, I enjoyed just riding and following the rains.
Riding solo has something about it that is addictive. It is certainly not safest route possible, but then riding bikes isn’t very safe now is it?

I loved the back roads and lack of vehicles on them …..(oke in the white cruiser in Tankwa if it was 4 days earlier I would have turned around smashed your windows with roost and taken your komkommer padkos brooidtjies and cooldrink and would have feed it to the kelkiewyne , jy is ‘n poephol en ek hoop jy kry papwile teen Gnnaga en die kakies kom spook by jou.. however I have been riding my bike and just smiled as you swerved at me thinking it was funny).

Sometimes one needs to just ride and go where the road takes you I never planned on going further than Hondeklip, but I still felt like traveling.

Thx to Camelman and ChrisL for their RR as they helped a lot on the west coast and Northern Cape.

Weskus ou maat ek gaan nog kom kuier dankie vir die info oor die Lutzville Hondeklip roete.

Get yourself a map book check the direction of the sun and lie of the mountains and rivers. You will find navigating like this is part of the journey. I am lucky having grown up with a traveling childhood and a flying boating father and grandfather that tought me navigation from a young age, this is however more common sense than science.

I am religious and after a trip like this I thank God even more for creating this wonderful continent of ours. If you are non- religious…..dude it is still amazing go and experience it.

So 57hrs since leaving home tired and misluk I return 1960km later relaxed recharged and reminded why I love adv biking so much.

Next year around this time I will hopefully be racing DAKAR…..yes it is real I have started buying and selling old trucks and machinery on the side to get my funds going. Like this trip growing from a small trip to a journey Dakar is the same if I don’t try making it I will never know If I fail at least I need to know I gave it my all.

So 18 days since my last alcohol and crisps I now hope to start my training program and get fit so that next time maybe my west coast trip one nighter can extend all the way to Angola….







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Old 02-04-2011, 10:27 PM   #3
Deanman
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Thanks!

Thanks for posting this Tau, I enjoyed following along. Some great pictures. Well done.
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Old 02-05-2011, 05:29 AM   #4
GB
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Fantastic! What a great ride! Thanks for the report and pics!
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Old 02-05-2011, 06:41 AM   #5
T O Double D
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Very cool ride and bike!! That "why live in the past..." sign was funny.

Cheers!
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:40 AM   #6
Tau Anvil OP
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Location: Tulbagh, South Africa
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Thx okes!!!

T O Double D: Very cool ride and bike!! That "why live in the past..." sign was funny.


Yes my late father inlaw was a funny man he passed away last year after a crash on his Gs1200ADV, atleast he left us with good memories

Cheers!

I hope to sent some more your way soon. I have fitted Grietjie with a HPN tank so now range is much beter.

We are so lucky in South Africa with riding areas. And country's like Namibie and Angola are open for exploration.

p.s: I wrote this for our local adv riders site so sorry for the bits of Afrikaans in between.
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:20 AM   #7
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trip

what a trip !
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