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Old 12-07-2013, 02:40 PM   #31
acejones
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Very cool report !
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Old 12-07-2013, 03:43 PM   #32
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nice.
thanks.
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Old 12-08-2013, 11:54 AM   #33
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Thanks for the messages :)

Here's today's report :

50 km's on the C14 after leaving Solitaire I came to the Tropic of Capricorn for the obligatory photo :



I spotted a cave (called "The Grotto") and decided to go investigate. It was pretty steep and with all my luggage and yet to be acquired off road skills I came off. I chose the wrong line and started using the brakes which wasn't a good combination. heh.

Bike was fine. I am fine. Lesson learned!



The Kuiseb Pass was break taking. It was made even more spectacular for me as I'm most of the way through "The Sheltering Desert" by Henno Martin which took place in this same area.





Solitaire to Swakupmond was around 270 km's which was out of range for the meagre 8.5 litre tank on the CTX. This is only the second time I have had to use my 10L. I never have it full but fill it with an 5-8L's depending on what I think I will need. There's no point in lugging 10L's around all the time if it's not needed.

Its nice the amount of people who enquired whether I was OK when I stop for photo's or refuelling etc.. Gives me confidence that if I did have a problem someone would be there to help. I met an Italian guy (who lives in Nairobi) on holiday with his family at this stop. He had a blow out and rolled his 4x4 a couple weeks earlier. He even showed me his scars! Nice guy... He rides a Honda XR125 back at home.



After the Kuiseb Pass there's over 100 km's of plains before you get to the coast.



I'm currently staying at Villa Wiese Backpackers. It looked pretty nice from the website but now I'm here you can tell its been neglected for a while. The kitchen is filthy. I'm going to try a different backpackers the day after tomorrow. Find somewhere cool to hole up.
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:58 PM   #34
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I'm In with you all the way

What a great ride and interesting report. Your ability to share the experience is outstanding.

It seems everyone I know is talking smaller bikes now days. I'm riding a 650KLR and may try one of the smaller rides. They've got to be a lot easier to pickup once they fall over.

Joe
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:03 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoJoOkie View Post
What a great ride and interesting report. Your ability to share the experience is outstanding.

It seems everyone I know is talking smaller bikes now days. I'm riding a 650KLR and may try one of the smaller rides. They've got to be a lot easier to pickup once they fall over.

Joe
I've dropped the CTX a fair few times now in the sand and even loaded with my gear its easy to pick it up. Thanks for the message Joe :)

---------

I moved hostels to Desert Sky Backpackers which is much nicer. I plan on spending Christmas and the New Year in Swakopmund as I have heard its the place to be with plenty of parties and people. I booked a bed from the 23rd to 3rd so will have 10 nights of a proper bed and a break from the bike which is a good idea on this sort of long trip. I also met some cool people there including someone I met in Cape Town and Mat and Jaap on two KTM 990's :



I haven't been feeling too well since Luderitz. I suspect that the fresh oysters I ate at the Oyster bar there were bad. I was getting stomach cramps and a pain down my right side especially when I took a deep breath. I thought it was getting better slowly but it had been nearly 2 weeks so I decided to go to the doctors to be sure. I got prescribed some anti-biotics which sorted it out straight away. The doctor reckoned it was some kind of colon infection.

I was looking for a 10 day mini trip before Christmas and decided to head up to the Brandberg (burnt) mountains. A Malaysian guy I met at the hostel called Yien was planning on a few days up there too. He was also a biker and decided to hire a Yamaha XT 250 from the local dealership. They have a pretty funny "wall of shame" in there :



So we both set off around 10:30 and drove through Henties Bay and soon came across one of the ship wrecks that the Skeleton coast is famous for :



Wanna buy some salt ?



We carried on as far as Cape Cross which has a massive seal colony. There must have been 10,000's there and loads of seal pups.



One of them wanted to use my bike as shade :)



After Cape Cross we headed inland taking a 4x4 dirt track towards Messum crater. It was quite easy going at first with fairly solid rocky ground and we make it to the crater without seeing any vehicles. We didn't see anyone else for the rest of the day.



After a while though we hit some increaing longer stretches of sand and both Yien and I fell off but fortunately only at low speeds without injury.





We didn't quite know where we were going and the lack of any other vehicles did have me slightly worried at times but we eventually made it to a not much better "D" road where we came across this burned out bakkie. Pretty mad max!



I also spotted my first wild Zebra. They were running quite near us beside the road :



With the Brandberg mountain on our left side we made our way into Uis where we set up camp at the Brandberg rest camp.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:49 AM   #36
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Here's our camp :



The next day Yien and I headed up to Twyfelfontein to see some of the bushman art. Before heading in we stopped for lunch at the lodge. This little fellow was scrambling about on the rocks :



For 50 NAB$ each we got a guide called Dion who showed us around the bushman art for an hour.





The circles represent water holes and their location relative to each other.



After our tour we visited the "Organ Pipes" :



Next the not so impressive "Burn't Mountain" :



We were relying on filling up to get back to Uis but unfortunately the new owner of the pumps decided he didn't want to operate them any more. It looked like we had enough fuel to get to Khorixas but it would mean a 70 km detour :(



Fortunately after hanging around for 10 minutes debating what to do and trying to gauge how much fuel we actually had a worked there took pity on us and offered to sell us 5 litres each. Result!



We didn't see any but I do love this sign. Beats road works!



A bump in the road provided a nice opportunity for some air :)

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Old 12-22-2013, 07:59 AM   #37
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I met Basil the owner of Brandberg Rest Camp who rides a Honda Africa Twin and also gives discounts to bikers who stay at his place (50 N$ for camping). He had just returned from a trip down to Langebaan and introduced himself as soon as he clocked my bike. Next thing I know he announces another biker has arrived so we went to introduce ourselves to Vian who also recognised me from my planning a ride post on here and even remembered my name. I'm famous now apparently! hehe

Later that evening we were having dinner and Basil kindly offered to take us on a loop around the Brandberg so naturally Vian and I jumped at the chance. The next morning we set out. I found it quite a technical ride with lots of varying terrain from loose rocks to sand. Probably one of the most challenging days of my trip. I'm definitely getting better!

Quick rest stop :


I'm getting better at sand riding and this stretch of sand was quite tough. Keep the power on and let the bike do its thing. Turning was tough whilst trying to maintain your speed.



We all made it through without stopping which was great :



We stopped for a spot of lunch :



Onwards!



Basil pointed out this rock which is used my the Rhino's as a kind of rubbing stone :



Another rest before we went fo visit the waterfall which was unfortunately not flowing.



We were running low on water so we stopped at this small farm and topped up.


We came across the native Namibian meat tree. No wonder they eat so much meat here!



You can download the GPS Trace of the trip (in GPX format) here :


Thanks again to Basil for an awesome day out. I really recommend you stay with him if you are in the area.

Here's a short video I edited too : https://vimeo.com/82489136
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:15 PM   #38
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Cool Ride Report- Happy New Year!
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:45 PM   #39
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Great RR

Enjoying your RR - Excellent pics and great story with it - enjoy.

And Happy New Year to you.
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:39 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billmags View Post
Cool Ride Report- Happy New Year!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gobby View Post
Enjoying your RR - Excellent pics and great story with it - enjoy.

And Happy New Year to you.
Thanks! Happy new year to you too :)

I had a funny image posted on the wild dog forum by a guy who's not far behind me :



Quote:
What do you mean someone ordered more sand?!?* ....* Who the hell is Jim???
I've just been chilling in Swakopmund for Christmas and the new year. I'm heading into Windhoek on the 3rd for a service on the 6th then north to Outjo and then Etosha. Afterwards I reckon I will head head to Ondangwa and then east on the C45 to the Caprivi. My visa expires on the 21st January so I need to be in Botswana by then. I need to get a move on!

I'm driving 350 km's to Windhoek tomorrow via the C28. Looks like some real nice mountain passes. Should be a great drive. Looking forward to getting on the road again.
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:54 AM   #41
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have a good trip

Hi,

we met on the Sesriem campsite. we were on the 2 rented BMW's F700GS and F800GS.
We could get a ride the next morning to the sossusvlei dunes. It was spectacular!
Have a good trip and a I will follow your RR,

Udo
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:51 PM   #42
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great RR, your bike is cool, it reminds me on the local XR200 which I rode for many years in the Philippines, very similar, just the CTX is a bit more prepared for the country side.

Cool to use such a bike. I have done many long trips as well with the XR all over the Philippines. Now I am living in Thailand riding around with my KLX250 and enjoying it.

By next year I will probably move to South Africa or Kenya, not sure yet which makes the run.

Following closely and enjoying it...
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:53 PM   #43
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Quote:
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Hi,

we met on the Sesriem campsite. we were on the 2 rented BMW's F700GS and F800GS.
We could get a ride the next morning to the sossusvlei dunes. It was spectacular!
Have a good trip and a I will follow your RR,

Udo
wow have you guys retired? DR's slopen? and then BMW's rented he he he.

I had to sell my beloved DR650 as well as I could bring it to my new country.

Absolutely amazing what you guys have done...

sorry for off topic...
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:03 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikeBrother View Post
Hi,

we met on the Sesriem campsite. we were on the 2 rented BMW's F700GS and F800GS.
We could get a ride the next morning to the sossusvlei dunes. It was spectacular!
Have a good trip and a I will follow your RR,

Udo
Yes :) Awesome. Glad you guys made it in OK. It truly is a spectacular place! Thanks for taking to the time to find my ride report :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuyaoli View Post
great RR, your bike is cool, it reminds me on the local XR200 which I rode for many years in the Philippines, very similar, just the CTX is a bit more prepared for the country side.

Cool to use such a bike. I have done many long trips as well with the XR all over the Philippines. Now I am living in Thailand riding around with my KLX250 and enjoying it.

By next year I will probably move to South Africa or Kenya, not sure yet which makes the run.

Following closely and enjoying it...
Thanks man! I'm always glad to hear of other smaller bike fans. Where about's in Thailand are you ? I've spent a few months over there myself and done a bit of biking there. I lived on Koh Phangan for a month and did the Mae Hong Son Loop.

---

KM's so far ~8000.

So after an awesome time riding around Brandberg I wasn't quite ready to head to Swakopmund for Christmas so I took the D1930 past Spitzkoppe to Usakos where I stayed at the Namib Oasis Farm Stall campsite. The food here is quite good but the camp site is right next to the main B2 road and bearing in mind all the people travelling from Windhoek to Swakpopmund I didn't get too much sleep :/ I decided to just head back to Swakop early (on the gravel D1918 of course!) via Henties Bay and pop in to Spitzkoppe.

I should have just camped at Spitzkoppe. Pretty neat place



I think it was only about 20 NAD for a day pass. They let the bike in for free which was nice. I think it was perhaps because I was English and the guy on the gate was a BIG (Chelsea) football fan.





Surprising to find a rock pool in all this heat.



I took the gravel road (D1918) as usual instead of the boring (B2) tar into Henties Bay and then south to Swakopmond. I tried to book into the Desert Sky Backpackers early but they were full and my Christmas booking didn't start until a couple of days later. I stayed at Skeleton Beach Backpackers for a few days and then came back.

I perhaps shouldn't have taken a long break for Christmas in Swakopmund as my Visa expires on the 21st although I imagine a lot of places close up shop so perhaps it was for the best. Some of the Christmas "highlights" include spending Christmas eve trying to sleep in a dorm that someone has puked all over, learning of a fellow dorm occupant doing a runner without paying their bill and getting arrested by the cops (with an expired visa) and generally avoiding very wasted annoying people. heh.

I ate a lot of fish while there and my favourite resturant was the Fish Deli. I must have eaten there over a dozen times! Also worthy of a mention is the Brauhaus where I had an obligatory Stiefel :)



So on the 3rd I set off for Windhoek along the C28. It really is a cracking road and you can really appreciate the slow change from parched desert to lush greenery. You see the plants slowly appear and get bigger the further you drive. Awesome. It really felt great to be on the road again!







I did have some problems though. I hit a particularly large pot hole at speed and bottomed out the bike which in turn ripped some of the plastic from under the mud guard. It wasn't helped by the fact my extra 10L fuel can was full. There's no petrol stations on the C28 and the CTX only has a 8.6 litre tank. I cable tied the plastic back into place and emptied 7 litres into my tank which helped but the tyre was not scuffing against the exhaust when the suspension was compressed. I took it pretty easy on the bumps for the rest of the journey. The problem was figured out when I got the service later...



chrisL on the wild dog forum mentioned a visit to the old German building :

Quote:
Jim 40kms before Windhoek on the righthandside is an old German house/fort.
Do yourself a favour and go walk through it.
The German soldiers of war that drank too much at their outposts were sent there to dry
out so to speak. :eek7:
Beautiful building. :thumleft:
I would probably have just driven past if he hadn't mentioned it. I do like wandering around old buildings. Thanks Chris!



I also took some video which I will hopefully get the time to edit together soon.



I arrived same and sound in Windhoek and stayed at the Chameleon Backpackers over the weekend ready for my 8k service on Monday 6th.
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:27 PM   #45
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So I took the bike into Honda Windhoek and explained a few of the issues I wanted looking at and was told no problem come back at 2pm. Its quite exciting knowing the bike was going for some TLC. It deserves it after all the abuse I've been giving it in Namibia. The mechanics there seemed very helpful and knowledgeable so I was happy to leave it in their capable hands.

Apparently the spark plug was a bit loose! Can't say I checked it but it did get replaced in Luderitz by the mechanic there. Perhaps he didn't tighten it enough or it vibrated loose. Also the oil was in a bad way apparently but I had it replaced 3k's ago in Luderitz too. Guess I should change it even more often then! I'm now carrying 1.5 litres of castrol 10/40 which they supplied me with and I will change after 2k's.

The main issue with the bike that was causing the back tyre to scuff the exhaust was the fact that one of my back plates was missing. I noticed it was missing after the service in Honda Upington 4.5k's ago! It may have vibrated off but they did adjust the chain then and I wonder if it was perhaps forgotten to be put back on !?! Anyway this combined with hitting the pothole combined with the fact I have a fat E07 on the back cased the scuffing of the exhaust. They bodged a plate together for me and even put a spacer where the exhaust attaches to the frame giving some more room. Good stuff! I wasn't sure that the plate was important when I noticed it was missing and presumed not. I now know!

They also said my air filter was dry implying it wasn't soaked in oiled properly at the last service. I'm not sure myself but on the other hand oil doesn't evaporate as far as I know! Thinking back on it I remember not being that impressed with the mechanics at Honda Upington. I kinda got a bad feeling. Then again I can't be sure these issues were definitely their fault. I bought a spare air filter like we mentioned before and another spark plug. All good.

I forgot to mention before that while on my way to Twyfelfontein I lost my tool kit off the back of the bike :( So I replaced my tool kit in Cymot Windhoek.

Next I headed up to Waterberg National Park on the C/D roads and guess what ? I lost my toolkit AGAIN! FFS! So annoying.

Anyway I arrived in Waterberg and immediately saw lots of wild life. These little fellows popped out of their hole to have a look at their new neighbour. Not sure what they are. Meerkats ?



Camp all setup. I decided to go for the simple hammock without tarp setup today. Only takes about 5 minutes.



Next I took a dip in the pool. Nice!



The next day I hiked to the top. Nice view :





Then some of the shorter trails around the camp.



I got to within about 5 metres of this female klipspringer i think ?


Very cool.



In the afternoon I went on a 4 hour game drive and saw my first Giraffe along with plenty of other game.



The next day I headed down the D2512 towards Tsumeb. Its a really nice quiet gravel road with lush greenery with lots of farms and gates to pass through.



Just outside Grootfontein is the worlds largest meteorite. Just watch your head!



I had to pop by and see it. Very cool!





Now I'm up to date and staying in Mousebird Backpackers. *I like Tsumeb. Its a really nice chilled out town with a couple of good cafe's and lots of greenery. I was hoping to meet up with some other travellers and hitch a lift into Etosha but I'm the only one here! An Austrian turned up earlier and talked about getting a taxi in for a day trip but I will probably just hit the road tomorrow morning. Not sure exactly where I will head but probably towards Oshakati and camp somewhere for a day and start making my way East towards the Caprivi. I could go direct to Rundu but its a long boring road apparently. Any thoughts ?
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