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Old 11-18-2013, 12:25 PM   #16
TechnomadicJim OP
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Been hanging out in Augrabies the last few days. The backpackers is a nice chilled out biker friendly place to use as a base camp. I have been exploring the local grape farms and getting a few things sorted.

Yesterday I drove a big loop to Riemvasmaak. There's some great 4x4 off roading to be done in the area.





I stopped off at the hot springs (50 rand) and chilled in the water by myself for an hour or so. Its really beautiful down there with two pools to choose from.







I got the bike serviced today in Upington. Its been 4000 kms so far. I also picked up a 10 litre fuel can which gives me a total range of around 450km's. Should be enough for Namibia ;) I also got the tracks4africa Namibian paper map as a backup to my GPS.

I'm hoping to head to the Augrabies falls tomorrow.
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:22 PM   #17
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Hello Jim. Was great to see you at Cederberg!

I will be following along from half way round the world ! By the time your done riding in Namibia you will love sand (maybe not)

Enjoy your travels!! Ride safe!

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Old 11-24-2013, 03:43 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radioman View Post
Hello Jim. Was great to see you at Cederberg!

I will be following along from half way round the world ! By the time your done riding in Namibia you will love sand (maybe not)

Enjoy your travels!! Ride safe!

You too Mark! Was a great weekend. I'm starting to get on top of this sand riding. Acceleration and not fearing the wobble is key!

Take Care and I hope to meet up with you again at some point.

All the best!
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:19 AM   #19
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Augrabies Falls Gorge walk. Was a crazy hot day to go hiking but the views were very impressive :



Two balloons took off at 5:30am from the backpackers. Pretty cool to watch. The wind was up and it was touch and go whether they would make it.



Just south of the Namibian border crossing at Onseepkans. You leave the N14 by Pofadder and travel 50 km 's on gravel / sand to get there.



I made it across the border. The guys on the South African side were really sound. I was chatting them for about half an hour. I crossed at 2pm and I was their second crossing that day. Somehow I managed to loose my little disc along the way as it was attached to the swing arm. Fortunately the cape town municipality issued me two by mistake :)

Goodbye for now South Africa! :)

Hello Namibia!

After crossing the orange river the Namibian's weren't so friendly and berated me for not quite filling out their form's. I was also asked if I was a spy and asked to explain why I wanted a 2 month visa. The small bike was also criticised as the only bikes I think they see are BMW's or KTM's. After stamping me through and reluctantly giving me change for the bike 140 Nab$ fee the guy came out for a cigarette and completely changed his tune. He was interested in my trip and even wanted to buy the bike from me when I was finished! Random...



There hasn't been much tar in Namibia. Its all pretty much like this. I drove to Warmbad and tried to get some accomodation but was told there's nothing as the hot springs has shut down. Pretty much a ghost town! I drove up the C21 to Karasburg and stayed in the Zebra B&B for 250 NAB. It's run by a nice old man who was more than happy to point out places of interest on my map.



After Karasberg I drove to the fish river canyon via Grünau where I stopped for a coke and got told a joke about the English leaving Namibia and promising to come back and then they did with land rovers of something. I didn't get it...

This is my hammock camping setup where I have been for the last 3 nights.



Yesterday I went to visit Fish River Canyon via Hobas and parked by the edge of the furthest viewpoint. Very easy to bypass all the barrier's and road blocks with the smaller CTX.



Parked on the edge of Fish River Canyon :



Namibia is still waiting for it's rains so the river is running almost dry at the moment. This was taken with my Canon from the main viewpoint.



Same shot but with the GoPro2 :



After the canyon I headed down to Ai Ais camp site / resort for the afternoon and chilled by the pool as a day visitor (20 NAB$). Came across this old bullet ridden truck so had to stop for a photo or two.





Pretty cool so far! Off to Lüderitz tomorrow.
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Old 11-24-2013, 09:52 AM   #20
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Namibia is awesome, enjoy your time there.
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Old 11-26-2013, 08:26 AM   #21
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Some extra photo's from fish river canyon. Here's inside the Canyon Roadhouse bar :



Some of the old trucks outside :





An old Honda :



This is Derek. He's cycling the same route I'm doing :



Gotta do my laundry! :

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Old 11-26-2013, 08:48 AM   #22
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What a great report. Love that you are on a small bike and doing a minimalist/camping route. The pics are super, and you had to take time riding alone to set up for some of those stills of you riding by. Well done!

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Old 11-26-2013, 02:01 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Mustang28027 View Post
What a great report. Love that you are on a small bike and doing a minimalist/camping route. The pics are super, and you had to take time riding alone to set up for some of those stills of you riding by. Well done!

Dave
Thanks Dave :) I'm camping some of the time and doing dorm rooms when I find a hostel. Its also nice to meet other travellers as the road can be a lonesome place sometimes.

On with today's report :

I drove 388 km's from Fish River Canyon to Ludertiz yesterday and the bike was a bit sluggish and not giving me a very good fuel economy like I was getting before . I think the air filter needed a good clean. I had been doing mostly gravel since the last service when it was last cleaned so makes sense. Because of this I also managed to nearly run out of fuel on the way to Aus. I kept my speed at 80 km's an hour and my head down and fortunately made it.

I changed the oil today. It was black so certainly looked like it needed to be changed. The local mechanic here helped me and only charged me the 40 NAB$ for the oil. What a nice guy! I will be leaving 100 NAB$ behind his local bar (where I met him yesterday) for his beers. I also took a look at the air filter and blew it through with an air compressor. Not much dust came out but I didn't have the solvents required to clean it properly. I have heard petrol could be used... Not sure on this though and would like to see it done by a professional before I attempt it myself. I'm very much learning as I go here and the last few days have been great for bettering my understanding.

The bike is performing great again after the new oil and air filter cleaning so I went to visit Kolmanscop today.







Sitting in another bath of course! Couldn't help myself ;)



This place is so photogenic!









Hello ? Hello ? Yes Jim here. I would like to order some more sand...

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Old 11-28-2013, 06:36 AM   #24
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On the way into Ludertiz I came across a road block just outside Kolmanscop. It turns out that a veichle transporting a boat had bought down the 22,000 volt power lines that were now just lying in the road. I saw a Honda Transalp 700 so pulled up along side and met Stefan who had also bought his bike in South Africa. We drove round a few poles down in sand to get by. I dread to think how long the non 4x4 cars were waiting.



Stefan follwed me to the hostel and the day after Kolmanscop we drove a loop round to Diaz point :



This place is so desolate. The wind was also incredible.

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Old 12-06-2013, 01:09 PM   #25
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I spent a few more days in Lüderitz‎ staying at Element Riders hostel. Its run by an all round sound guy called Rainer. Its actually the premises of the old Lüderitz‎ Backpackers.

I took a drive down to Agate beach and tried to find some Agate's. I didn't find any, probably because I have no idea what to do apart from picking up random stones. I later found out you should hunt at sunset / rise and low tide. The low tide exposes fresh Agate's and the sunset / rise makes them appear reddish and more easy to spot.

There's loads of flamingo's in the area too so I snapped a couple of nice pics :





I also came across this dead shark on the beach. He doesn't look too happy :



Next I drove to Betta and stayed at the camp site there. Its really good value at only 250 Nab$ per person for a chalet. I met Werner who is managing the farm and had a few beers with him in the evening. Nice chap! Hopefully will meet him in Swakopmund for Christmas.

I stayed 3 nights in Betta and did some day trips. On the first day I went to Duswib castle which to be honest was a bit crap. It isn't that well looked after and unfortunately they saw me as I was about to leave without paying so I had to pony up 65 N$ (i think). Not worth it really.



Fortunately on my way back round I drove through the Zarishoogte Pass which was awesome and made even more spectacular when it started raining!





On the second day I backtracked down the D707 until I hit some sand and got a bit stuck. My sand skills are still a bit rough so I headed back after about 85 km's down the road. I got to see the dunes on the side which was the main thing. Werner said that the sand only lasted a couple of km's so I would have been fine to push on through.



After Betta I headed the 150 or so km's to Sesriem. Came across this burned out car on the way. Had to grab a picture. Hope nobody was hurt!



In Sesreim I camped at the national park camp site which is cheaper than the other two and you can get entrance to the dunes 1 hour before everyone else (5am instead of 6am). It costs 140 N$ per person to camp plus 80 N$ dune permit.

Unfortunately no bikes allowed :(. Fortunately my neighbours were a friendly South African family from Knysna who offered to let me join them. We had a great morning hanging out and visiting the dunes.

Here's the famous dune right next to Sossusvlei. (vlei = Swamp)



Here's a picture from the top taken with the GoPro's wide angle lens. I was pretty knackered after I got to the top. The two boys must have run up and down it at least 4 times!



Next we walked over to Dead Vlei which was my favourite :





Had to get in the picture for one at least. (photo taken by Brian, 8 years old) :



On the way back some oryx took shelter under one of the few still ive tree's :



At about 11 it was too hot to do any more so we drove back and chilled by the pool. At about 6 pm I went to check out the Sesriem canyon which was pretty cool as you can walk down in to it. Worth an hours exploring.





This morning I packed up and drove to Solitaire where I'm currently camped for 2 or 3 nights. Going to explore the local area tomorrow and if it's worth it stay a 3rd night and do some more.

Currently KM's : 6269.
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Old 12-06-2013, 08:36 PM   #26
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Great trip so far, love the photo’s of the country. Thanks for taking the time for a report like this, looking forward to more!
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:03 AM   #27
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Hi Jim,
I just bought a Ctx 200 for our farm , great bike for farm work, I never would have thought it would travel around South Africa like your doing.
You sure have some balls man. I love the low gearing on the Honda, did you gear it up or is it stock?
Great report , look forward to more
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Old 12-07-2013, 02:15 AM   #28
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Jim I don't know what your planned route is, but you are in the area so I would recommend that you ride Spreedtshoogte Pass, Gamsberg Pass and Kuiseb Pass.
Cheers Jorg.
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Old 12-07-2013, 05:59 AM   #29
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There is some quality in people such you, Radioman, and the bicycler Derek that fascinates me. You each take the time to acknowledge each other's feats of travel and exploration in your personal realm and the geographical sense. You as individuals each seem in awe of the other. It is a distinct pleasure to read your journal. The photo requesting more sand is a great example of that healthy perspective that combines humor with adversity. Both are essential for balance.
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:33 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by capeklr View Post
Jim I don't know what your planned route is, but you are in the area so I would recommend that you ride Spreedtshoogte Pass, Gamsberg Pass and Kuiseb Pass.
Cheers Jorg.
Thanks! This was advised by another wild dog rider too. I will probably drive the Gamsberg Pass on my way Windhoek for the 8k service.

Spectacular. One of the bends caught me off guard and I nearly came off which was quite a sobering experience. I calmed my riding down a bit after that. heh. I also hit a few small rivers unexpectedly. Those signs that indicate a river I had been ignoring as they never have water. I also spotted a Jackal whilst taking a rest. The first I've seen in the wild. Cool!









Coming over the top and seeing the panorama of Streetshoogte pass was amazing. The descent was surprisingly steep too!



On the way back I popped into camp Gecko for some lunch and had a nice chat with the farm manager.

I'm probably going to drive to Swakopmund tomorrow and use it as a base until after Christmas and the new year. I'm due my 8k service soon so will be popping in to Windhoek at some point for a day or two.

I'm pretty excited to drive Keiseb pass on the C14 as I'm reading The Sheltering Desert and thats the area where they were hiding out. Pretty cool!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcgee View Post
Great trip so far, love the photo’s of the country. Thanks for taking the time for a report like this, looking forward to more!
Thanks for coming along :) Enjoy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispan View Post
Hi Jim,
I just bought a Ctx 200 for our farm , great bike for farm work, I never would have thought it would travel around South Africa like your doing.
You sure have some balls man. I love the low gearing on the Honda, did you gear it up or is it stock?
Great report , look forward to more
Nice! Always cool to hear from fellow CTX riders. Thanks for stopping by :) I'm interested to see how far I can go on this cool little bike. Its currently stock apart from Mitas E07 tyres. I'm considering changing one of the sprockets as I've had it recommended to me by a couple of other CTX riders. Will report back on how I get on with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post
There is some quality in people such you, Radioman, and the bicycler Derek that fascinates me. You each take the time to acknowledge each other's feats of travel and exploration in your personal realm and the geographical sense. You as individuals each seem in awe of the other. It is a distinct pleasure to read your journal. The photo requesting more sand is a great example of that healthy perspective that combines humor with adversity. Both are essential for balance.
Thanks Rutabaga. Kind messages like your's stay in my mind on this trip and give me a boost just when I need it. Thanks for taking the time to write it.
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