Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Ride Tales, Trip Reports and Stories > Ride Tales
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



Like Tree69Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #16  
Old 6 Mar 2024
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Tucson
Posts: 70
Boots

Quote:
Originally Posted by Habii View Post
Chibia (Angola) -> Ondangwa (Namibia)

On that day, I was also once again multiple times mistaken for the famous Dutch motorcycle traveller Noraly / Itchy Boots. As a blond woman on a Dutch-licensed motorcycle, I am very used to the conversation. ‘Yes, I know who you mean. No, I’m not her. No, really not’. But her currently airing episodes take place in Angola, which seems to magnify the awareness significantly. I am getting daily false fame, as people think I am Noraly. Sometimes, even if I assure them repeatedly that we are not the same person, people don’t believe me. They pull up screenshots from Itchy Boots videos and try to compare. I hope Itchy Boots knows that she leaves a trail of enthusiasm in the countries she crosses (which is really great).
You both are pioneers!! I am glad you are accepting the comparsions with her, instead of making this a competetion. I have been following her since she has traveled some of the same rides I have done in North America,South America, Norway, and EU. I have been to places that tell me she has been through or stopped, all very proud of her. Now you!!!

excellente!!
Smiles
Jeff
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 7 Mar 2024
Contributing Member
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 28
Ondangwa (Namibia) -> Namib’s Valley of a Thousand Hills (Namibia)

On my first full day in Namibia, I went on a 700 kilometre trip straight to Windhoek to buy myself a new tent, as I had to leave my old tent along with my bulky old sleeping bag behind in Ghana to reduce luggage.
On the night I arrived in Windhoek, I stayed in a dorm room in a hostel. After weeks of eating too much fish out of lack of alternatives, I cooked myself a nice big plate of pasta and veggies that night. It was delicious!
The next morning, I went to the biggest Outdoor Shop in Windhoek, but they literally only had one small ground (show) tent available, which didn't leave me any choice regarding tent selection. Is it the best tent out there? No. But will it at least be good enough to withstand a bit of wind and rain if really necessary? Also no. But it is better than nothing and I was happy I got my camping option back. I will just have to be a good-weather camper and hope that the material lasts for the weeks to come. My new purchase does feel much more luxurious than my old hiking tent, which essentially was only a small roll that barely offered space for me to crawl into, and no space to sit up or move in any other way. My new tent is super-sized in comparison!

My plan was to head East into the desert, but that involved crossing a National Park. In Namibia, some parks do allow motorbikes, but not all. To avoid riding out and being turned away at the park entrance, I went to the Tourist Information Center in Windhoek to ask for information, and soon was referred to Ricardo, who I think is responsible for tourism and wildlife conservation. He was super friendly. After he confirmed I was allowed to cross via my intended route, we ended up studying the map of Namibia together and he gave me very nice tips.
My last stop in Windhoek was the gas station to fill up my fuel bladder, as my regular tank would not have sufficient range for my tour. Then I was off to the most Southern road leading to Walvis Bay.

I'm not used to riding gravel, so the first 50-100 kilometres I went slowly and carefully. Most parts of the well maintained road were very easy to ride on, but sometimes short sections with more gravel or sand suddenly appeared, and I didn't want to be caught riding into those at a speed I couldn't manage. But after a while I got into the flow and rolled more smoothly through everything, even the (slightly) sandy riverbeds.
The road was very scenic, included a curvy pass, and I saw a group of monkeys as well as two big antelopes.
After 200 kilometres of this amazing ride, I stopped at a campsite in the middle of nowhere, with the best view a camping spot could possibly have.

After I set up my tent, I filled the petrol from the fuel bladder in my tank, and cleaned my chain. I then had a comfortable 2-course dinner up in the lodge the campsite belongs to while viewing the sunset.
After sunset, I was up for an amazing star gazing experience. In absence of any light pollution, I saw the stars as clearly as I only had a few other times in my life. But more importantly, I have never been so far South, which meant different patterns and constellations compared to the Northern sky that I’m used to and know very well. I also saw the Milky Way clearly for the first time. Just for this, it was worth coming out here.
In the next morning, I could admire the sunrise from the inside of my tent. What a place to be!

While on my trip I have often been guilty of being an overland-rusher, completing many kilometres per day along major routes, I felt my mindset change as soon as I crossed into Namibia. This is a country where I feel 100% in my comfort zone and where I’m not on alert all the time, which allows me to feel more relaxed and switch from rushing to exploring. Additionally, with the touristic infrastructure being so developed, travelling here is very easy, easiest it has been since Morocco.
I stayed at the desert campsite for another day to hike around and discover the area – because no matter how much luggage I have, my hiking shoes will never go.
Attached Thumbnails
Netherlands to South Africa 2023/2024 - Ride Report-img-20240307-wa0040.jpg  

Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 8 Mar 2024
Contributing Member
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 28
Namib’s Valley of a Thousand Hills (Namibia) -> Swakopmund (Namibia)

The following day I left the campsite with the beautiful view and headed further West towards the coast. The last trees and bushes disappeared and soon I found myself in the vast sands of the Namib desert. The road was sometimes good, sometimes sandy, sometimes rough, but all-in-all it was easy to ride. The temperature dropped significantly to around 20 degree Celsius as I reached Swakopmund at the coast.
I had been told that Swakopmund is a nice town, but it still exceeded my expectations. As a German, I felt at home right away, as everything here seemed to be Germanized. The Reibekuchen mit Apfelmus (potato fritts with apple sauce) reminded me of my childhood.
Also, something amazing happened: As rode back to my accommodation after getting some groceries, I happened to pass a Bushwhawckers, the outdoor shop chain that I bought my not-so-optimal tent in Windhoek from. Even though I didn’t have high expectations, I decided to stop and check it out. And I couldn’t believe my eyes, they actually had a tent of genuinely good quality (Helio II 3 Season Hiking Tent) – and I bought it immediately. That made my day! The tent I bought in Windhoek (investment of ~15 Euro), which already had tears in tent and package after using for two nights, went into the trash on the same night.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 9 Mar 2024
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 17
Locking your write ups. Keep them coming! Glad you found a decent tent - hope you continue to find lots of stunning campsites to enjoy it at!
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 14 Mar 2024
Contributing Member
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 28
Swakopmund (Namibia) -> Kamanjab (Namibia)

On my second day in Swakopmund, I temporarily traded my motorcycle for a quad bike to tour around in the dunes, which was a very cool experience. I had never ridden a quad before. For someone who is used to motorcycles, the steering of a quad is counterintuitive at first, but I quickly got the hang of it. I started on automatic, but after the first ten minutes, Nesta, the instructor, let me switch to gear shifting to be able to ride properly.
Riding through the dunes was a blast. When Nesta saw that I was too comfortable, he continued to challenge me to get up dunes as high as I possibly could, and made me go down drops that got steeper and steeper. I noticed that going up is not so much of a problem, but going down is the scary part – these dunes are huge and steep! It was a thrill.
I really liked the quad’s stability its four wheels offered. I could blast through the sand and do cool drifts without fear of consequences. With my motorcycle, I probably would have broken all of my bones if I would have attempted the stunts I did on the quad after only a couple of hours.
After turning in my quad, all I wanted is to take my motorbike into the dunes. However, as I don’t know what I’m doing and don’t have any particular death wish, I just rode back via the normal road .

I headed back North and went through the Skeleton Coast National Park, which was spectacular. Along the coastline, the moon-like landscape was now defined by grey gravel instead of beige dunes. Later, when turning land inwards at Torra Bay, the environment changed to beautiful red rock formations. The scenery was amazing. Unfortunately, the road at that point was less amazing. It was gravel, sometimes soft and unstable, sometimes so rough that I was afraid every part of my motorcycle would break just from the vibration. The riding wasn't pleasant, but it was all worth it to see the amazing nature of this area.
Because of the worse-than-expected road (my paper map falsely shows a tarmac road) I didn't make my original destination Kamanjab, and stayed at a nice campsite in the town of Palmwag, where I tried out my new tent for the first time. It felt like a palace. At night, there were rains and winds, but in that tent I didn’t worry about a thing and slept like a baby anyways.
In the next morning, I went to a nice lodge in Kamanjab, where I was allowed to camp for free because I’m a long-distance overlander . Thank you Oppi-Koppi!
While I sat on my bench on the campsite and contemplated how many kilometres my front sprocket and rear tire might still survive, I was surprised by the head of an curious ostrich that suddenly appeared one meter away from me behind a low wall. Good thing Africa is keeping my adrenaline level high, even when I’m not riding.

Last edited by Habii; 14 Mar 2024 at 19:01.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 14 Mar 2024
Contributing Member
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 28
Kamanjab (Namibia) -> Sesriem (Namibia)

Considering my tires now had 18,000 kilometres on them, they were doing amazingly well. Still, when the ostrich nearly gave me a heart attack (see previous post) I had been in deep thought about route and motorcycle maintenance planning and whether I should replace my tires rather sooner than later. While examining my rear tire I noticed a metal part, and a little later I pulled the remainder of a small nail from it. The nail had exactly the length of my tire profile, so I had been lucky. I did however take that as my sign to go to Cape Town first, organize some things from there, and then do a potential additional leg of the trip through Southern Africa separately.

When I left Kamanjab in the next morning and started to head towards the Southern part of Namibia, I must have gotten a real nail in my tire somewhere along the way. Nothing was wrong while riding. I noticed it while just sitting at that day’s campsite (where I was happy that my tent and bike could squeeze in together under a roof, as the sky looked suspiciously cloudy that night). For all I know, the nail could have been stuck in there for any amount of time already.
I can't express how happy I am to have tubeless tires. I wouldn't have stood a chance replacing or fixing a tube on my own, let alone the rear one. But my bike was easy: I pulled the nail out, screwed in a patch, pumped up the tire with my compressor, and everything was good to go again within a matter of minutes. During the next couple of days, I regularly checked my tire pressure but it didn't seem to be leaking. The patch dug itself deeper into the tire and is annoyingly close to the edge of the profile, but I think it will do.

Previously, I had admittedly been sceptical of my tire patches. I had carried them around for my entire trip, knowing that in theory they should be able to seal a broken tire, but I didn't know if it would actually work in practice. Well, they do! In the future, I will be able to tour around with less anxiety about a potential flat tire.

After one day of tarmac, I already started to miss the small roads and desert, which is why I decided to head to Sossusvlei, a place with big dunes and 1,000 year old dead trees in the middle of absolute nowhere. Studying the map to decide how to get there, I had the choice between a curvy-looking road and a straight road - I took the curvy one and it was an excellent choice. The road wasn't particularly well maintained, but it was fun: left and right and up and down, with the surface structure being exactly on the right level for me to practice my “off-road” capabilities without pushing my limits too much. The Namib roads surely taught me to read and ride non-paved roads properly, which is always a good skill to have.
The landscape was amazing, as always. At that point, I had already stopped taking photos of my bike in the landscape at every amazing viewpoint, because I couldn’t justify stopping every ten minutes.

The last part of the road leading up to Sesriem, where I would spend the night, was slightly less fun: a 60-kilometer long sandy washboard through the burning desert sun would be the right description. Only on the last 12 kilometres I was surprised by a perfect new tarmac road.

In Sesriem, I camped in the windy sandy desert which meant that every pore of every item I own got sandblasted. My tent may be waterproof, but the sand blew to the inside from underneath the flysheet. I got a bit jealous of the car campers for the first time. It was all worth it, getting to sleep outside in an amazing place like the Namib desert.

Thanks to my lack of preparation, I only realized after arriving in Sesriem that I could not enter the National Park with my motorcycle. Later that day, a guide told me that in the past people had entered with their motorcycles and left the road to ride in the dunes, which is why they unfortunately banned bikes altogether from the place. Such a shame! In the next morning, I went to the park gate anyways to try my luck, and (also thanks to help of the very friendly gate keeper) I soon met Robert and Heike from Germany, who where kind enough to take me in their car through the park.
Attached Thumbnails
Netherlands to South Africa 2023/2024 - Ride Report-img-20240314-wa0004.jpg  

Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 15 Mar 2024
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Northampton, UK
Posts: 114
You've done well to get 18000km out of your tyres. Is that tyre a Continental TKC70?

TKC70's worked well on my bike.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 15 Mar 2024
Contributing Member
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posttree View Post
You've done well to get 18000km out of your tyres. Is that tyre a Continental TKC70?

TKC70's worked well on my bike.
Thanks Gordon, I'm amazed myself by the tire performance. They are Heidenau K60 Scout. On my other big trip of 20,000 kilometres on the same tires they were changed halfway through in Kyrgyzstan.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 16 Mar 2024
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: UK
Posts: 414
Really enjoying this write up, congratulations on the trip and thanks for the RR.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 18 Mar 2024
Contributing Member
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 28
Sesriem (Namibia) -> Sutherland (South Africa)

It became time to leave Namibia behind me, but not before one last amazing sight: The Fish River Canyon, Africa’s largest canyon.
First things first: I stayed at a unique campsite near the canyon, The Canyon Roadhouse, whose interior theme is all about old-timer cars and the culture around it. When setting up camp, something felt weirdly clean about this place. For a while, I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. Then I realized that, oddly, there were no bugs. I didn’t see a single fly, mosquito, spider, ant or any other bug during my stay there, which was unusual compared to all my other camping nights in Namibia. I did however see a total of seven(!) wild ostriches in the area when arriving and leaving. Have they eaten all the bugs? I will never know.

I went to the canyon in the morning. It was so large that my brain could hardly process what my eyes were seeing. However, it was too busy around there to stay for longer to really take in and enjoy the place, so I admittedly only rode there, snapped my pictures, and took off again. Next, I headed towards the South African border on yet some more gravel roads. Then I was here, South Africa! I had expected it to be cooler, but the temperature was still sweltering, so I simply rode the main road down to Springbok. In the evening, I returned to my favourite activity: Looking at the map, and deciding where to go next. I was shocked to discover that Cape Town was only one day ride away. I needed to go there soon to organize some things (some of which not related to the trip), but at the same time I didn’t feel ready at all to finish this leg of the journey. I had the feeling I just started. So I wanted to drag out crossing the (interim) finish line just a little longer, and decided to head a bit land inwards on smaller roads and see where that would take me – and it would take me to Sutherland, famous for its astronomical observatory.

When I turned onto the gravel road that mark the last 160 kilometres to Sutherland, I realized that the road is in terrible condition. For a brief moment I thought about turning back. It was late afternoon already, there likely wasn't going to be an accommodation along the road, and also I felt like I had abused my poor bike enough with the bad roads I had ridden it on all across Africa. Still, my mind was set on Sutherland at that point, so I decided to ride on, with the idea that I had a tent, food and water, which meant I could always wildcamp. I didn't realize yet that the entire way was going to be fenced left and right, so there was no way to just pitch my tent anywhere.
The road was sometimes okay (60-70 km/h possible) but sometimes just outrageously degraded. But it was beautiful landscape which, as always, made it all worth it! As the sun was setting the shadows of the rocks around me looked amazing.
I arrived in Sutherland just before dark, and managed to pitch my tent on the campsite with the last light of the day. Later that night, I participated in a star gazing session that the campsite owner organized, and the following day I went to see the close by South African Astronomical Observatory.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 19 Mar 2024
Contributing Member
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 28
Finish line

After crossing 20 amazing countries over the course of 9 months (includes breaks), I have reached the Southernmost Tip of Africa, where the Atlantic meets the Indian Ocean. One leg of my big trip completed, more to come! Thank you so much for following my journey, I really appreciate it!
Attached Thumbnails
Netherlands to South Africa 2023/2024 - Ride Report-20240319_084931.jpg  

Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 19 Mar 2024
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Northampton, UK
Posts: 114
Fantastic ride. Well done and thanks for posting. Nice to be able to follow along.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 29 Mar 2024
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 17
Congratulations! Great write ups and photos, have really enjoyed following along.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 2 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 2 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
South Africa trip Tonyoakey sub-Saharan Africa 6 5 Sep 2022 08:18
Discharging Carnet or TIP in South Africa (Ugandan bike) Stuartlm Trip Paperwork 0 5 Sep 2017 20:22
Carnet from South Africa and Not Returning cfsandiego Trip Paperwork 4 1 Sep 2016 23:07
2015 - Heading east from Europe, add your itinerary / plans kim Travellers Seeking Travellers 190 5 Mar 2016 07:38
Landrover Defender Td5 110 - South Africa registered - 1999 Bundubasher Overland Vehicles and Equipment for Sale / Wanted 0 13 Feb 2012 19:18

 
 

Announcements

Thinking about traveling? Not sure about the whole thing? Watch the HU Achievable Dream Video Trailers and then get ALL the information you need to get inspired and learn how to travel anywhere in the world!

Have YOU ever wondered who has ridden around the world? We did too - and now here's the list of Circumnavigators!
Check it out now
, and add your information if we didn't find you.

Next HU Eventscalendar

HU Event and other updates on the HUBB Forum "Traveller's Advisories" thread.
ALL Dates subject to change.

2024:

Add yourself to the Updates List for each event!

Questions about an event? Ask here

HUBBUK: info

See all event details

 
World's most listened to Adventure Motorbike Show!
Check the RAW segments; Grant, your HU host is on every month!
Episodes below to listen to while you, err, pretend to do something or other...

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

"Ultimate global guide for red-blooded bikers planning overseas exploration. Covers choice & preparation of best bike, shipping overseas, baggage design, riding techniques, travel health, visas, documentation, safety and useful addresses." Recommended. (Grant)



Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ combines into a single integrated program the best evacuation and rescue with the premier travel insurance coverages designed for adventurers.

Led by special operations veterans, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, paramedics and other travel experts, Ripcord is perfect for adventure seekers, climbers, skiers, sports enthusiasts, hunters, international travelers, humanitarian efforts, expeditions and more.

Ripcord travel protection is now available for ALL nationalities, and travel is covered on motorcycles of all sizes!


 

What others say about HU...

"This site is the BIBLE for international bike travelers." Greg, Australia

"Thank you! The web site, The travels, The insight, The inspiration, Everything, just thanks." Colin, UK

"My friend and I are planning a trip from Singapore to England... We found (the HU) site invaluable as an aid to planning and have based a lot of our purchases (bikes, riding gear, etc.) on what we have learned from this site." Phil, Australia

"I for one always had an adventurous spirit, but you and Susan lit the fire for my trip and I'll be forever grateful for what you two do to inspire others to just do it." Brent, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the (video) series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring!" Jennifer, Canada

"Your worldwide organisation and events are the Go To places to for all serious touring and aspiring touring bikers." Trevor, South Africa

"This is the answer to all my questions." Haydn, Australia

"Keep going the excellent work you are doing for Horizons Unlimited - I love it!" Thomas, Germany

Lots more comments here!



Five books by Graham Field!

Diaries of a compulsive traveller
by Graham Field
Book, eBook, Audiobook

"A compelling, honest, inspiring and entertaining writing style with a built-in feel-good factor" Get them NOW from the authors' website and Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk.



Back Road Map Books and Backroad GPS Maps for all of Canada - a must have!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80G/S.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events all over the world with the help of volunteers; we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, or ask questions on the HUBB. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 20:45.