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Ride Tales Post your ride reports for a weekend ride or around the world. Please make the first words of the title WHERE the ride is. Please do NOT just post a link to your site. For a link, see Get a Link.
Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



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  #76  
Old 28 May 2023
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Luanda to Lobito

The plan was to have a short day as Richard's ankle was swollen and painful. We set off towards Lobito and it turned out to be quite a day. The road more or less follows the coast and was a complete mixed bag. Some sections were absolutely perfect while other, smaller sections, were completely broken up. There were sections where the road was closed and dirt detours were followed. Pretty much all types of road in one day. Hopefully the photos can show some of that. At one town we passed some impressive looking hotel buildings. Two pink and one yellow building but unfortunately they were all closed up and the grounds derelict. Not sure what happened as the buildings looked pretty new. Without any other hotels in the area we rode on. It turned into a long day but Lobito has a peninsular with lots of hotels on it. First one was closed, second and third had no rooms, fourth was an apartment block and no secure parking for the bikes. I was concerned about that as we were swamped by people on the street as soon as we stopped and I had lost all my security equipment with my panniers back in Guinea. Interestingly enough, this would have been only the second time I would have needed bike security equipment since losing my panniers. The fifth hotel also had no parking but arranged for us to leave the bikes off the street at a neighbouring property. It also turned out to be a good hotel with proper food, water and AC. No internet though. The long day wasn't what we had in mind and it didn't do Richards injury any good so we decided to stay an extra day and see how things progressed.
Attached Thumbnails
Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-05-27  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-05-27  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-05-27  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-05-27  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-05-27  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-05-27  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-05-27  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-05-27  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-05-27  

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  #77  
Old 30 May 2023
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Lobito to Lubango

Straight forward ride to Lubango, started with a good road and cool temperature for the first half. Second half wasn't as good. The road had some major pot holes and was broken up in places so going was a bit slower. Lubango is a big place with plenty of hotels. The first one we tried was fine, reasonable price and secure parking for the bikes. Scenery has changed to hills, grass, trees. It's wasn't as humid which makes for much more comfortable riding.
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  #78  
Old 30 May 2023
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Lubango to Ondangwa (Angola Namibia border crossing)

It was a straight forward ride to the border. There are two crossing points and we chose the one to the East at Oshikango. As borders go it was one of the most organised but still took 2:10 to get through. On the Angolan side you drive up to some gates. There is an office for immigration where the passports were examined, stamped and then taken away. They said they needed copies but the passports were returned a short time later.

It was absolute chaos with the money changers. The initial guy gave an exchange on the low side but that would have been OK with me just for simplicity, except he then reneged on that and I decided not to deal with him. That just opened the flood gates to all the others standing around shouting and jockeying for position. The bike was mobbed and it all got out of hand. The police turned up to disperse the crowd!. The immigration guy had a favoured money changer and we went to the immigration office to discuss the rate in peace and quiet. His rate was OK and the money was exchanged from Kwanzas to Namibian Dollars. It's about N$24 to 1GBP.

Then we rode up to the next office which was for the bike check. The policeman who had dispersed the crowd earlier was on duty there. He asked for some documents we'd never heard of but didn't insist when we gave him what we had. He took the Angolan papers and returned the registration documents to us and that was it, we were out of Angola.

Over to Namibia. Some helpful police showed us where to park and which office to go to. Unfortunately we arrived just after a massive amount of people so there was a big queue for immigration. Not sure if they all came off a bus but it was bad timing for us.

Once the form was filled in, the passports were stamped. Then to the next window to register and pay the vehicle cross border tax. It was about £9.75 but took a while to get the paperwork done. With the green slip in our hand it was off to customs.

There a customs officer took the carnets. She knew what they were and how to fill them in. She just did it and returned them to us. It's a novelty in Africa having someone who knows what to do with a carnet!

Back to the bike, but by now I know that's never the end of it so I didn't put on gloves etc. We rode further until another set of gates. The gates were open but the shouting gave away the fact we were supposed to stop. A road fund officer asked for the green paper. She checked it and that was us done, clear to go.

We rode out into the mass of people, stalls, hawkers, beggars and past a few rows of proper shops. Further down the road there was a police road block. He wanted the drivers licence. After that we rode on but there was another roadblock, this time the officer wanted our passports. At both stops they were in uniform, friendly, checked the documents and let us continue, no corruption or problems.

Riding into Ondangwa we stopped at a convenience shop. Richard's rear tyre had lost pressure earlier in the day and it was at a low pressure again. It's a knobbly tyre and had worn very well but had started cracking badly around the tread. It was now losing pressure fast. It certainly wouldn't have got us to Windhoek so we had to fit the used spare we bought in Cameroon. We did make it to the local hotel though. Unfortunately my micro SD card became corrupted and I lost the days filming. Pity as it had all the border stuff on it.
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  #79  
Old 3 Jun 2023
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Day in Ondangwa

Changed the tyre on Richards bike for the used tyre we bought in Cameroon.

Tried to get a local sim card but it was not viable. The only shop in town had a huge queue in the morning. We tried again in the afternoon but wait time was estimated to be 2 to 3 hours so we gave up. Went to a supermarket and stocked up on food and drinks for the long ride the next day.

I was planning on going to Windhoek to find bike shops while Richard went off to Etosha game reserve to do a game drive.

Also filled the fuel bladder and bike tank to ensure I would have the range to get to Windhoek. There were plenty of fuel stations in town and no reason to believe fuel would be a problem en-route but it's nice stopping when you want to rather than when you have to.
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  #80  
Old 3 Jun 2023
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Ondangwa to Windhoek

The hotel manager took an interest in the bikes and when I said I'd need a new tyre in Windhoek he phoned around to find out where I could get one. Very good of him to take the time to do it and saved me the task of riding from shop to shop looking for tyres. After various calls to bike shops and contacts, he printed the name of a tyre shop, not bike specific but they do sell bike tyres. It was somewhere to aim for.

I set off early and rode the 430 miles to Windhoek. The roads were good with a 120kph speed limit. There were a few police check points but only one stopped me. Even then he just had a chat and a quick look around the bike before letting me continue on my way. An excellent ride, nice temperature, clear blue sky, open countryside, good roads and not much traffic. On arrival in Windhoek I went straight to the tyre shop the hotel manager had given me. They had a choice of Michelin or Pirelli tyres in the size I need. Unfortunately they don't fit them so I didn't buy the tyre at that time. I found a hotel near by and checked in.

Only hitch was noticing a wet area on the engine, Turned out to be coolant from the water pump drain. It's a CRF1000 issue where the water pump is inside the engine. If the seals start leaking the coolant flows out of the engine through a drain hole to prevent it contaminating the engine oil. It's a big job to change (unless you're in workshop, of course) as the side cover has to come off and parts are needed. A real blow as it really could mean the end of the trip.
Attached Thumbnails
Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-03  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-03  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-03  

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  #81  
Old 3 Jun 2023
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Day in Windhoek

I needed to get the rear tyre changed and see about parts for the bike. That was the job of the day. Went to Honda who said they don't sell tyres. There was a big sign behind the parts counter with 11 points detailing what they won't do to help you and not a single point about what they will do to help Honda riders. Clearly no assistance would be given with the water pump parts.

I asked if they could fit a tyre (Richard had the tools and was not back from the game reserve yet) and they said yes. I assumed that being a Honda dealer it would all be done properly so I went back to the tyre shop and bought the Michelin tyre.

Back at Honda the job seemed to be taking a long time so I went to have a look in the workshop. I was surprised by what I saw going on. Amongst other things, the back wheel was lying on the brake disc on a concrete floor with a mechanics assistant standing on the rim. No torque wrench used and the axel nut was done up so tightly with a breaker bar that the wheel was binding. I had to loosen it, check it all and tighten it up again myself. Then they charged N$700 for tyre fitting (about £28) and it wasn't even balanced.

I'm surprised a company like that is allowed to have a Honda dealership. I assumed the tyre and tube were at least fitted properly although I didn't see that part being done.

Windhoek itself is a nice place with good roads, shops, restaurants, traffic lights, industrial areas and a large shopping mall. I managed to get a couple of other jobs crossed off my list before going back to the hotel.
Attached Thumbnails
Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-03  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-03  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-03  

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  #82  
Old 3 Jun 2023
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Another day in Windhoek

While Richard visited the Etosha Game reserve, I stayed in Windhoek at the hotel. Plan was for us to meet up again in Windhoek and ride out together the next day.

I noticed the Honda dealer had tightened the tube valve stem nut so tightly I couldn't loosen it by hand. It's not supposed to be tight, it's not a rim lock! This is basic stuff that I'd expect a Honda dealership to know.

I didn't have tools to loosen it but made a mental note to use Richards tools to loosen it before setting off the following morning. I didn't ride the bike that day.
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  #83  
Old 3 Jun 2023
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Windhoek to Keetmanshoop

All packed and ready to go at 7am, I remembered I needed to loosen the valve stem nut. As I loosened it I realised the tyre was flat. Not only had the Honda dealer refitted the wheel incorrectly at the workshop, they had trashed my tube as well. Fortunately Richard had a spare tube (I lost my spare tubes in Guinea with the panniers) so I had to unload the bike and fit a new tube with Richards help. Not good for his injured ankle and I had a few choice words for the mess Honda had made of my bike. I can't believe the damage the Honda dealer did. Don't go to Honda in Windhoek is the lesson here! We finally got going later than planned.

The ride to Keetmanshoop went really well. I kept stopping to check the coolant but it wasn't leaking. I had bought some Honda coolant and topped up the reservoir, replacing the coolant lost on previous days.

The tyre stayed inflated, the weather, scenery, roads and rest areas were all excellent. Namibia is a great place to be out on a motorcycle.

Unfortunately, something smashed the side of the bike windscreen. Probably a stone from an oncoming mini bus. I didn't see the object, just heard it and felt something hit my shoulder.

Keetmanshoop is a small town and on a Saturday evening the streets were deserted. We found a hotel which turned out to be very good. Excellent food, bar and rooms. It even had a courtyard to park the bikes in. What more could we ask for. Apart from the bad start with the tube change it was a great days riding.
Attached Thumbnails
Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-03  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-03  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-03  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-03  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-03  


Last edited by Posttree; 3 Jun 2023 at 20:46. Reason: Spelling
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  #84  
Old 4 Jun 2023
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600 miles and one border to go! You must be getting ground rush.
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  #85  
Old 5 Jun 2023
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Keetmanshoop to Springbok

It was still dark at 6:30am while loading the bikes but starting to get light at 7am as we rode out of town. All very quiet as it was a Sunday. Great roads but much colder than expected at 5'c. We kept thinking it would warm up as the sun came up but it stayed pretty cold. That made for an uncomfortable ride as I'd lost my cold weather kit with the panniers. It was a straight forward ride to the border.

The border post was the most organised we've seen in Africa. One way through, all the buildings are laid out in sequence. All the offices are labelled and had entry and exit doors. Simply park up, go and get the carnet stamped, go to immigration for passport stamp and that was Namibia done. Ride through and down the road to the SA side. First stop was at a friendly police line. We were given a piece of paper and directed to some parking. From there, again, all the buildings in a row and sign posted to show what each building contained. Go to immigration for passport stamp, next window for carnet stamp, next building for police to stamp the piece of paper. Ride to the exit post and hand the stamped piece of paper to a friendly policeman and that was it. We were in South Africa. The whole process from arrival to exit took 45 minutes. A new personal best for African border crossings!

Then a ride to the town of Springbok. Good roads but cold again and it started raining. I already had rain gear on to try and retain some warmth and stop the wind chill.

Springbok is a small town and everything except the fuel station was closed on Sunday afternoon. We tried a few hotels. All had rooms but the first was expensive, the second had no Wi-Fi and we didn't reach the third as we spotted a suitable place on the way there. R900 per room with Wi-Fi.

Only thing left to do was to find insurance and buy a SIM card but that would have to wait until the Monday morning.
Attached Thumbnails
Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-05  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-05  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-05  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-05  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-05  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-05  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-05  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-05  

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  #86  
Old 5 Jun 2023
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Springbok to Worcester

We started the day at 8am at an insurance brokers. They couldn't help with 3rd party insurance but also said we didn't need any. Anyway, we went looking for another insurance office without success. As time was moving on we decided to continue without.

It's a lovely ride down the Cape Namibia Highway. Good road, stunning scenery, shops and fuel. Two police road blocks. First waved us through. Second one was stopping everybody. The police checked my driving licence and had a look over the bike. It was all efficient and friendly and we were on our way again.

There were some long stretches of road works but all well organised. Contra flows in place but the operators stopped traffic in one direction while coordinating the flow by radio with their colleagues at the other end.

The route goes past many vineyards and citrus plantations. The town of Worcester is neat and we booked into a hotel in town. It had a courtyard to park the bike in, although that was an extra charge, only R30 (less than £1.50) so better than leaving the bikes on the street.

We were looking forward to the ride to Cape Agulhas (southern most point of Africa) the next day.
Attached Thumbnails
Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-05  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-05  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-05  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-05  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-05  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-05  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-05  

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  #87  
Old 6 Jun 2023
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Good luck for the final push. Let us know when you get there.
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  #88  
Old 6 Jun 2023
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Worcester to Cape Agulhas (Southern most point of Africa)

Worcester is a relatively small town so getting out of town was easy, no real traffic. It was cold again. 4'c when we set off at 8am. No point setting off any earlier as it is still dark.

The ride to Cape Agulhas was spectacular. My Garmin and Richards Garmin gave different routes to the destination. Mine agreed with Google so I followed that but it did take me on an unpaved road for a shortcut. Richard was in pain with his ankle and going off road was not an option so he followed the longer paved road.

There was a bit of a delay as we lost each other and had to stop and send messages to agree to be on separate routes. Seemed ridiculous to ride through Africa together and then split up on the last 80 miles.

Anyway, it worked out well and we met up in the town of Bredesdorp which is before L'Agulhas. We rode down to the coast and along the coast road and back before finding the monument.

Of course we took the photo opportunity and walked to the sea front plaque and map of Africa. After the photos we just sat and looked at the ocean for a while. It's a beautiful spot and marked the end of a long and eventful journey through Africa.
Attached Thumbnails
Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-06  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-06  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-06  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-06  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-06  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-06  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-06  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-copied-data-2023-06-06  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-20230606_113504.jpg  

Motorcycle Overland 2023 UK to South Africa. West Coast Route-20230606_113803-lr.jpg  

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  #89  
Old 6 Jun 2023
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Congratulations! After all the drama with panniers, carnets, leaks and whatever else must have come up! Fantastic achievement, very jealous!
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  #90  
Old 6 Jun 2023
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Again Congratulations and thank you for spending the time to share your experiences with us all.
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