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Old 09-17-2013, 11:31 PM   #5626
Radioman OP
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Riding in Africa...... September 16th, 2013

The night before we leave on this part of the ride..... We needed to pair our Sena Comm systems. Was funny walking around the house waiting for the process to happen.



Lily just continues with dinner





Bikes all packed, rain slowing down as we depart!



Cape Town to Swartberg Pass then“Die Hel” Excited about beginning our ride!(as always as I start off on a new phase of the ride) Went to bed fairly early, but heard the wind and rain start sometime in the night. The alarm went off at 5:30… I could hear the rain and wind. Hit the snooze which I never do. Too early to ride in the rain. Jorg and Lily did the same.

Finally got up and had breakfast before departing at 8:30 Was still cloudy, and little rain when we rode east on the N1 to get out to ride over Swartberg Pass and into “die Hel” (Gamkaskloff). It is on every South African Adventure riders list to ride someday!



no rain in the tunnel



Lily pressing the rocks apart so we can ride through



We turn off the N1 and head toward the mountains. New Animal signs and things to watch out for.



We stop in Prince Albert, which is the last town on our ride to Swartberg.



On the way, we stopped in for a nice lunch in town. Lunch for 3 people with coffee was around 220 Rand ($22USD). I had a tasty Ostrich Burger for lunch!



Nice little town



Then out to ride up the Famous Swartberg Pass.



The winding dirt road up the Swartberg was great! The view of the mountains as you ride up the pass were great!









These kind of passes never get old





Riding back up into the sky!! Beautiful. The rain was gone, and some blue sky was now around, just adding to our exciting of the first day of the 6+ week ride !!


Great vista on the top!!






We ride up to about half way on Swartberg......



And then we headed back west on the gravel road with some watercrossings, switchback all the way up the valley into Gamskastloff or commonly called “die Hel” to the Chalet that Jorg had organized. This is on all South Africa Adventure Riders List of places to ride!



We ride the 50 KM to the end of the road up this stunning valley!





Beautiful beyond what photos will share. The last set of Switchbacks heading into Gamskastloff









Some challenging rocky waterways and steep switchbacks going up and down the hills! Great!

The water cross near the end had some green moss which we both did a little dance on.



So we were glad to pull into our Chalet! at the end of the road! Great place with bedrooms and kitchen and outdoor fire area for cooking! was $750 Rand per night for 3 ($75 USD). Lido the owner came over to see if everything was alright!! Wow fantastic place with fine linens on the bed, and nice hot shower. Living it up as adventure riders after a long 460KM ride into the Hel!



What an amazing place to ride to have Lily cooked up a fantastic meal!!



Lots of history in this valley, that is far from anything else up this rough gravel road.

What a great start to our ride! Left in the rain, arrived into a beautiful remote area to warmer temps and clear blue skies! Thanks Jorg and Lily!
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Ride of my Lifetime...... Thread started 5/11/2011 http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...0#post15950430

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Old 09-18-2013, 01:20 AM   #5627
bhuwan
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hi ! Mark, have a pleasurable time in Africa.

Really liked the pic of Lilly cooking with her Helmet on. Had you not told that you were checking into the system, it would have been fun and lots of questions arising on this
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:03 AM   #5628
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Here is were we stayed in "Die Hel"





As we relaxed last night!



Leaving "Die Hel" in the morning. Had a nice wake up and breakfast before riding back out of the Hel . about 45KM or so. Then over the other side of the Swartberg pass and down into Oudshoorn Then onward east to Baviaanskloof (park) and to the next great place that Jorg had organized. Makkedaat Caves. Lily is taking great photos ! as I do not have too many of me riding! This is really a treat.



On the first KM of the day, Jorg clipped a trailer that was partially in the road.... Wide load that he is not used to on the GS



This is what he hit. But he is a good rider and stayed upright

Jorg having a little help getting the rear bag pounded back into shape, and re-attached to the bike.





Then we continue on. The owners of the Trailer were great.... came out to help get the bike back in shape, and offer us coffee




Then we make it back to the bottom of the switchbacks out of the valley. 35 KM or so out of "The Hell"





and a few water crossings. Nice photos' Lily







more water. Watch out for the green slim....



The terrain varies



Then back up the switchbacks





Great ride out!





Lily likes that I am standing on my Helmet



Had to laugh at this photo. The mountain looks like a Bum Crack





Just so much to try and show in this post.....



Two very happy Adventure Riders!





Stunning! Makes me want to Jump!





Made it in and out of "die Hel"



Love the sign



Reviewing the route of the day.



Adding a Radiomanridestheworld.com sticker to "die Top" of Swartberg pass on our way out !





Great view over the next valley!!



Then down the Swartberg heading East. Great Photo Lily! Just starting to capture the vastness of the pass, mountains that we are riding!





Stop for petrol and lunch in Oudshoorn



Back on a bit of Tarmac .... Loving the warmer weather and blue skies!



One set of mountains behind us!



Then into the Baviaanskloof Reverve (Baboon)



More valley's and mountains.





Stunning mountains, gorges and rock formations this day!



and some Baboons along the way. We have also seen Kudu, Monkeys, and other wildlife. But the roads need focus for riding, so no photos!



And another great place to stay in Makkedaat Caves!! They have 5 accomodations in caves on their property. With great fire pit out front and more good food and a surprise bottle of local wine.





No internet or cel service but need to capture my thoughts of the last couple days of riding.



Being in South Africa, I am struck with the difference between, "rich" and poor. Poverty has made security everywhere a real issue. For me it is striking. Still observing and trying to understand the culture, before I post more.

Lily cooking up some Braai, and stir fry vegetables :bg



Inside the Cave..... Very interesting place to stay.





cooled down at night, and a nice cup of tea in the evening!



Another great day riding!
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:37 AM   #5629
FLARider1
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Henrie from Germany and I like Jorge's bike!!!



Looking like a great start in South Africa!!!
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:20 AM   #5630
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Beautiful country.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:23 AM   #5631
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Originally Posted by FLARider1 View Post
Henrie from Germany and I like Jorge's bike!!!


Looking like a great start in South Africa!!!

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Old 09-18-2013, 08:03 AM   #5632
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Beautiful country.
and I am just getting started :) to you two!
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:57 AM   #5633
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After staying the night in a Cave.



Upstairs has room to sleep as well. Cool view



We rode further into the Baviaanskloof Reserve, some of the riding got more challenging.
















Lily captured some of the action!



See my smile?



We knew that one of them had a huge hole that you want to avoid, and also some very slimy green slippery moss..... This is good why not!



Wonderful riding, as the mountains, rivers, gorges changed often.



Stopped to check on this one...... It had a huge hole 3/4 of the way. You would not want to go into this one. The rocks were large, loose and slippery.



When I stopped my bike...... It hesitated starting We are in the middle of nowhere. So I kept it running the rest of the day... Not sure what was wrong but suspected a bad battery. This was the first sign of an issue.

http://radioman.smugmug.com/Other/Ri...0%20-112-L.jpg

But headed on and blasted through Wahoo! Cool.



We were both through the long challenging water.... Have lots of video.... :) will be posted later. Photographic evidence if you will more on this later



And at the top of the last pass.



Great views riding along the ridge!



Great riding!!







Then we rode onto the next accommodation called Glencoe.



As I stopped the bike at reception it would not start Fortunately I have Jumper cables. Not great having bike issues in the bush.





It jumped OK, so we decided it was a battery that had gone bad. I was able to use the owners phone, No internet or Cel service out here. Reached BMW dealer in Port Elizabeth that was only 130Km away They put a battery on charger for me overnight. Changed our plans a bit and figured once the bike was started I could ride the 130KM in the AM to the dealer!

So we just enjoyed the evening in our place.



Great place with a thatched roof.



Lily busy working on her photos



Jorg helping out!



Jorg has done well. This Chalet has two bedrooms and lots of space. Good deck and Braai Area. was 485 Rand for 3 people ($49 USD)






Next morning we rolled out early and headed straight for Port Elizabeth. Had to keep the bike running or it would die.

But we made it to the BMW dealer. It is attached to a Full car dealer and very fancy place.





But the battery was ready. Since I now had error codes decided to have the battery installed and codes cleared while we had a nice latte



These guys were great in getting my bike in and battery installed/Codes cleared. Battery was $200 USd and install was $24 USD. Thanks to Rhett and Paul Appreciated getting me sorted out so quickly and back on the road!!



They even washed my bike



Loved the sign on the Workshop area. So true!!



We rode onto Port Alfred on the coast for a couple nights! Awesome riding through the reserve. Saw more Baboons, Monkey's, and other animals, but were too busy riding to shot photos!
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:08 AM   #5634
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I'm thinking bum crack with road rash each side. Now that's gotta hurt :)) rj
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:09 AM   #5635
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Looks like you've found some great ambassadors down there Mark. Some of those pictures from your new partners are amazing! Love the cave hotel - very cool!
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:24 AM   #5636
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Now isnt that just the best riding in the world, whats your itenerary look like for the next while.
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:48 AM   #5637
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Front page material.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:43 AM   #5638
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Die Hel

That scenery reminds me of a certain other Hells of a ride.

Coincidence?
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:41 AM   #5639
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Now isnt that just the best riding in the world, whats your itenerary look like for the next while.
for the next 6 weeks riding with Jorg! Lestho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Walawi, then Namibia Not too much
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:43 AM   #5640
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That scenery reminds me of a certain other Hells of a ride.
But more challenging :) Stay tuned for video
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