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Thread: Gael warning in the Congo

  1. #529
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    What an incredible journey.
    I have enjoyed this blog so much. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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  2. #530
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    Thanks Rachael and all who provide welcome feedback and support when the road gets tough

    So reluctantly this morning I tore myself away from the beautiful Yellow Aloe B&B with its fabulous gardens and lovely pool.
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    But first a hearty breakfast
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    It was cool but sunny with a heavy autumn dew on the saddle.

    Until noon I wore a jumper and felt comfortable. But as I left the beautifully irrigated Cape the temperature started to rise.

    Soon it was jumper off and not long after, my tee shirt was removed at each fuel stop and drenched in the washbasin of the gents and out in dripping, giving some welcome evaporation cooling for 30-40 minutes.

    I stopped by the road at a shady picnic table to eat my (nicked from breakfast) sandwich of salami and goats cheese and Brie. (I was conscious I might not be able to bring it into Namibia).


    The bike shyly tried to hide behind the dustbin...not easy for a Bavarian tractor!

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    The border crossing was straight forward. I handed in the temporary import permit to SA customs. The chap grilled me on whether I was part of this Brexit lark and I reminded him that he (a week or so ago, when I entered S Africa) had told me it was foretold in the Bible...Book of Daniel, he muttered today in cheery fashion.

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    Once through the border I stopped to refuel, wet teeshirt, change my SIM and and buy some more Namibia credit. All to no avail as the numbers I wanted to phone were not recognised!

    The greenery of SA now replaced by Namibia’s lunar landscapes
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  3. #531
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    Beautiful setting for the border, on the Orange River

    Finally made it to the hamlet of Grunau (whose only street is sand!)
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    Amazing to see this Moto by the next room...I used to commute on one of these in the early 1980s and this one has done (apparently) 197,000 kms and travelled around the world (it’s on Australia plates).

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    Respect! Will report more when I meet its owner....

    Also met two elderly cyclists (yes, even older than me!) whom I had briefly seen on the way down. They are cycling from SA to Morocco over a 14 month period and were very interested in my experience.


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  4. #532
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    BTW it’s a DT175 I believe


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  5. #533
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    So I met the owner of the DT175, and here he is:
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    Meet Davy, a Glaswegian who has spent most of his adult life in Oz. We chatted over a beer and then dinner.

    I will relay a little of his history as it is both inspiring and instructive for those of us who think of ourselves as ‘adventure motorcyclists’.

    Davy left the UK age 21 riding a rather scrappier, black version of this Honda CD175

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    He rode it across Europe and then on through Iran and Asia to Australia, surviving crashes with U turning motorists and the like.

    Later in the 90s he rode his MZ250 from UK to the Middle East and Syria to Egypt where he had to abandon it due to military conflict.

    He has ridden the DT 175 from Glasgow through Egypt and Eastern Africa down to here over 8 months and is headed for Capetown.

    He built that DT panniers from large Diesel containers; removed the auto lube for simplicity and so he could vary the mix as a way of coping with the altitude of places like Ethiopia; and enjoys the simplicity of the kick start and magneto which removes the need for a battery to start. He cruises at 80-90 kmh as (in his words) he likes to crash slowly .

    I was struck by the simplicity of his approach by contrast to the high speed convoy of S African GSAs that passed me earlier in the day.

    And most impressive is that he has suffered from debilitating arthritis since his youth and so finds the 100kg weight and slender fuel tank of the DT a good way to cope with his physical limitations. Respect!


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  6. #534
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    Quote Originally Posted by simondippenhall View Post
    So I met the owner of the DT175, and here he is:
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    Meet Davy, a Glaswegian who has spent most of his adult life in Oz. We chatted over a beer and then dinner.

    I will relay a little of his history as it is both inspiring and instructive for those of us who think of ourselves as ‘adventure motorcyclists’.

    Davy left the UK age 21 riding a rather scrappier, black version of this Honda CD175

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    He rode it across Europe and then on through Iran and Asia to Australia, surviving crashes with U turning motorists and the like.

    Later in the 90s he rode his MZ250 from UK to the Middle East and Syria to Egypt where he had to abandon it due to military conflict.

    He has ridden the DT 175 from Glasgow through Egypt and Eastern Africa down to here over 8 months and is headed for Capetown.

    He built that DT panniers from large Diesel containers; removed the auto lube for simplicity and so he could vary the mix as a way of coping with the altitude of places like Ethiopia; and enjoys the simplicity of the kick start and magneto which removes the need for a battery to start. He cruises at 80-90 kmh as (in his words) he likes to crash slowly .

    I was struck by the simplicity of his approach by contrast to the high speed convoy of S African GSAs that passed me earlier in the day.

    And most impressive is that he has suffered from debilitating arthritis since his youth and so finds the 100kg weight and slender fuel tank of the DT a good way to cope with his physical limitations. Respect!


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    Aye. No bad for a Weegie!








    Fair play to yer man. As you say, it's not necessary to go the big bike route.
    Start every day with a smile ... Get it over with!

  7. #535
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    Quote Originally Posted by simondippenhall View Post
    So I met the owner of the DT175, and here he is:
    Meet Davy, a Glaswegian who has spent most of his adult life in Oz. We chatted over a beer and then dinner.

    I will relay a little of his history as it is both inspiring and instructive for those of us who think of ourselves as ‘adventure motorcyclists’.



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    Top lad, good for him and, as you say, teach most of us about adventure biking. Travel comes in many ways, all fine and what fits works. Not everyone had to be a Ted or Ewan and some do much much more . All relative to your comfort zone.

    What was the UK reg of his CD175? Just cos I sold a blue one in 78 that I wish I'd kept as it would have gone round the world

  8. #536
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    N/Jock: afraid I don’t know as he only had Australia reg. Told me he recovered it from a dump! And to his credit he has ridden it further than most of us have gone on a bike.

    So at Grunau where I met Davy, I was passing near the famous Fish River Canyon. Supposedly second only to the Grand Canton, it really was not to be missed.

    However it required a 200+km round trip on gravel roads and I was anxious not to damage the bike or puncture as I needed to be in Windhoek on Sunday.

    But I overcame my reservations, left panniers and tank bag at my lodgings to reduce weight, and set off.

    Once I got into the swing of it the gravel road was one of the better Namibian ones and I found myself rolling along at 90kmh to smooth out the corrugations, but keeping an eye out for sandy patches of which there were thankfully relatively few.

    It was worth it!
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  9. #537
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    After a pleasant time gaping at the vastness of the canyon and wondering if I would come back to walk it sometime (I believe it’s a demanding 8 day affair), I set out for home as it was already heating up
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    But a roadhouse by the trail caught my eye and tempted me to a cold Coke
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    Inside was like a small motor museum...odd in the middle of the Namibia desert
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  10. #538
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    Three S Africans cane in and got chatting. There were on a one week off-road trip (complete with support vehicle!) and were having their 11h00 beer (in fairness only one was having an alcoholic one!).

    Their equipment ranged from an 1150gs like mine
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    to this 690 which swallowed the Rally Raid catalogue
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    They had apparently done 300kms of deep sand (my personal non-favourite!) and if you look at the front tyre of the 690 it has clearly been used hard on rocky trails.

    I left them to it and headed back to home to pick up my gear and continue the road north, this time in searing heat
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  11. #539
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    After a great nights sleep at Pension Gessert in Keetmanshoop I set off reluctantly, calves aching slightly from the dirt road ride of which I probably did 2/3rds on the pegs.

    Expecting great heat I was quick to douse my teeshirt.

    Met some old friends as the countryside turn des to red Kalahari dust

    Weavers nests
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    Flowers abundant by the roadside in response to the rare rain of a week ago
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    I was cheered also to see a troop of 26-30 baboons ambling in the road. There were quite a surprising number of large ones (males?) and they moved off in a leisurely fashion.

    Seen this sign before
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    Any kind reader tell em what these are for? (They appear periodically here and I assume are for telecoms?)

    I end up staying in Rehoboth, just short of Windhoek, at the rather basic Ochsenwagen hotel.

    At least I get o park next to the Ochsenwagen


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  12. #540
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    “Any kind reader tell em what these are for? (They appear periodically here and I assume are for telecoms?)”. I suspect there is a photo missing?

  13. #541
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    There is a picture missing and for some reason Tapatalk is not allowing me to attach photos...will try again tomorrow


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  14. #542
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    Quote Originally Posted by simondippenhall View Post
    So I met the owner of the DT175, and here he is:

    Meet Davy, a Glaswegian who has spent most of his adult life in Oz. We chatted over a beer and then dinner.

    I will relay a little of his history as it is both inspiring and instructive for those of us who think of ourselves as ‘adventure motorcyclists’.

    Davy left the UK age 21 riding a rather scrappier, black version of this Honda CD175

    He rode it across Europe and then on through Iran and Asia to Australia, surviving crashes with U turning motorists and the like.

    Later in the 90s he rode his MZ250 from UK to the Middle East and Syria to Egypt where he had to abandon it due to military conflict.

    He has ridden the DT 175 from Glasgow through Egypt and Eastern Africa down to here over 8 months and is headed for Capetown.

    He built that DT panniers from large Diesel containers; removed the auto lube for simplicity and so he could vary the mix as a way of coping with the altitude of places like Ethiopia; and enjoys the simplicity of the kick start and magneto which removes the need for a battery to start. He cruises at 80-90 kmh as (in his words) he likes to crash slowly .

    I was struck by the simplicity of his approach by contrast to the high speed convoy of S African GSAs that passed me earlier in the day.

    And most impressive is that he has suffered from debilitating arthritis since his youth and so finds the 100kg weight and slender fuel tank of the DT a good way to cope with his physical limitations. Respect!
    Respect

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  15. #543
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    The whole report is fantastic..also loving Davy's story, top man

  16. #544
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    Cheers mspenz

    This chapter is drawing to a close as I have now parked near Windhoek airport next to Jim’s machine.

    On the way yesterday I did some tortoise rescue

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    He was stuck in the middle of the blacktop. Hope I carried him to the side he wanted...he wasn’t saying much!

    Safely tucked up TIL later in the year

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