The start of our 14 day Southern Namibia tour. It's hard to believe that we started planning a year ago and finally the time has arrived and we have hopefully remembered everything that will be needed. We decided to travel with a back-up vehicle so we were able to carry the minimum of luggage during the day. The Cape Town adventure riders are heading up to Steinkopf to rendezvous with Rick, who is riding down from Johannesburg, where after we will cross into Namibia at Noordoewer.
Day 1 is up to Lutzville with a stop for lunch at Isabellas in Lamberts Bay. Stuart arrived at our place early as he was to be driving the Hilux and we met Paul, Jorg & Lily at Richwood making 6 of us in all. As soon as you get into the country the holiday starts and the Cape is very green at this time of the year as we headed over the Durbanville hills, Occultdale and the tar road to Malmesbury.
After the customary breakfast at the Wimpy in Malmesbury, it was serious gravel up to Lamberts Bay via Misverstand dam and Die Brug which was built at the turn of the last century. A seafood lunch at Isabellas was great and the girls took a trip to photograph the Gannets at the bird sanctuary adjacent to the harbour. Later we headed on the railway road, which is thankfully no longer a toll road, through Doringbaai and up to Lutzville where we checked-in to our overnight stay at The Art Guest House.
Lutzville does not seem to be the centre of anything in particular, except maybe some wine farms which are closed on Saturdays, and so the boys caught up on the rugby scores and did a touch of bike maintenance before we headed off to bed.
|Route - Cape Town to Steinkopf via Lutzville|
|Rolex, Ang & Stuart - all dressed up and ready for our "Led Astraia" Namibian adventure|
|View from Contermanskloof on route to Malmesbury|
|Occultdale Road Durbanville Hills|
|Ang with Stuart in backup vehicle, hot on her wheels|
|The Bridge near Misverstand, built at the turn of the last century|
Did you know: The original road from Morreesburg, en route to Piketberg, crosses the Berg River with the aid of a steel girder bridge - originally destined for Australia. A vessel carrying the bridge stopped in Table Bay in 1850 for repairs that entailed removing the bridge from its deck. The bridge was forever abandoned as the result of a battle to get her back on board, and today it rests on the only river wide enough for it to span.
|The view from the other side of the Bridge|
|a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do - Ang getting down and dirty to capture the previous pic|
|Lambertsbay Harbour wall|
|Lily and Ang did a tour of Bird Island and enthusiastically shoot birds by the dozen - with their cameras of course! No birds were harmed in the making of this blog|
|View from the lookout point|
|Lily in action|
|Bird Island lies about 100m off the shore of Lambert’s Bay on the Cape’s West Coast. It offers visitors a rare opportunity to see the blue-eyed Cape gannet up close. Bird Island is one of only six sites world-wide where Cape gannets breed, and it is the only breeding site easily accessible to the public.|
Day 2 started off early in overcast and misty conditions which made riding cold and somewhat difficult on the gravel road to Kotzesrus. Around half-way there the sun came out and the roads through the farmlands ranged from gravel roads to tracks to sometimes sandy tracks. We made it through to Kotzesrus where Ang and I had stopped a year or two earlier after having tackled the (very sandy) coastal road. Hennie runs the shop and offered to open for us on the Sunday which we politely declined.
From Kotzesrus, we headed through to Garries where we stopped for a sandwich and a cup of coffee. The plan from there was to take a detour around the Namaqua National Park through Soebatsfontein and Wildeperdshoekpas to Springbok while the bakkie would take a direct route up the N7 and meet up with Rick and us later in Springbok. The road to Soebatsfontein goes along the Grootvleipas which is well worth a visit. Talulah (Paul's bike) decided to jettison the bolts holding the fairing to the frame and we stopped briefly to fix it up before heading up the next pass.
The gravel Wildeperdshoek pass is 21km long and was built by convicts in the early 1900's. The ruins of the barracks where they stayed can still be seen from the road. We reached Springbok without further incident and hooked-up with Stuart, who had done the shopping for the evening braai. Rick meanwhile had headed up to Steinkopf to clean his KTM.
We refuelled, and made the 60km trip to Steinkopf. It was good to see Rick again and we had a huge meaty braai for supper.
|Seeing stars in our breakfast already|
|Misty start to our morning|
|en route to Kotzesrus - hope we don't encounter too much sand!|
|No Gopro footage of this road!|
|hen pecked... NOT!|
|Paul leading the way|
|we encountered a locked gate but fortunately there was a plan B and we didn't have to turn around|
|When petrol still cost 72.5c per gallon..|
|and this is what Soebatsfontein looks like.|
|Talullah getting undressed again.... Rolex and Paul tightning Talullah's fairing|
|Lily waiting patiently up ahead|
|Talullah's faulty airbag|
|Jorg & Lily and Paul close behind ascending Windeperdehoek Pass|
|Rolex and Paul doing the BOLT|
|Ang manouvrering the Pass|
|Coffee stop in Garies|
|final stop for the day - Kookfontein Rondawels in Steinkopf|
The next installment (day 3 and 4 of 14) to follow within the next day or so.
Safe travels everyone
Blog written by Rolex (David)
Photographs by Ang & Lily