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Introduction:

Who are we:
: Nol Visser
: Bob Visser
Our bikes:
: Nol's bike
: Bob's bike
Why we do this:
: Cape to Cape sponsor tour

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Reports:

Land reports:
: Report of visiting countries

Preparations tours:

: Testdrive to France

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Welcome to Cape to Cape Ride


Report of visiting countries
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Update: 13 february 2010

Holland.

Week 13 till the End.
Etosha and the Cape!


We had a very good time in Swakopmund! This beachside town is the most sporty town of Namibia with all kinds of sports such as sand boarding, para sailing and dessert quad driving. It has a special atmosphere because it is very German and could be situated at the Ostsee!
It has a genuine German style beer hall and several German style restaurants. For us it was the first time we went to the cinema since we left and that was fun! We had very good food and with all modern facilities available we indulged our self in luxury.
We slept at the Desert View lodge which is very OK! We made a daytrip to the north to see the largest fur seal colony in the world. As they give birth in November/ December it promised to be special. And special it was! The road up north is a so called salt road and runs along the skeleton coast.
It is a desolate area and very windy to ride. More over the salt is very aggressive on the bike as well. We reached the seals in the afternoon and were met by a very pungent smell. We also saw a lot of newborn seal puppyís which looked very cute! What was less nice is that a lot of them were dead or dying.
We found out later that it was normal for them to die in large numbers as the outside temperature was to high! I looked very sad although.

We went back to Swakopmund and spent the night with other campers and had the best seafood meal I ever had. The next morning we were to go to Windhoek to meet the first group of Skyriders which would join us for the last 2 weeks. We opted to ride via Walvisbaai and then the 365 kilometers trough the desert from there.
Bobís bike started to leak oil from the front springs immediately as soon as we hit the gravel. His whole bike and himself started to be covered in red oil and what was even more serious he also lost the indication that his battery was charging properly. That problem halted us in Ethiopia before and we had no intentions to do it again here in Namibia and in another F@#$­≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠%^g desert! Also the unpaved road had been far more difficult to ride with our heavy bikes than expected.
So after some consideration we decided to go back and take the 450 kilometer detour it ment for granted.
We reached Windhoek around 18.00 hours that evening and where met by Jaap the Ghostrider We met Jaap in Nairobi before. We didnít expected him there but he had run into some mechanical problems with his KTM. We had a beer and spend the evening together.

Next day we brought Bobís bike to Dieter the local BMW repair Guru. He had no time but would repair the bike. The lower fork seals had both been blown out because we had overfilled the forks by 4 fault. No wonder it didnít work. Later that day we met the Skyriders group and it was wonderful! We talked all evening and had a very tasteful braai. The group would go to the Etosha National Park and we were invited to join them. Bob would ride in their minivan and I would follow on my bike as we had to return one day earlier to Windhoek to meet Wilma and Henk.
The time we spent in Etosha was unforgettable and will be remembered as one of the highlights of the trip.
The park is totally different than Lungwa in Zambia which is very green and looks more than the jungle you expect of a safari park. Etosha is very dry but forms a stark contrast of what animals can survive and still reproduce. It is very special to sleep in your tent and hear the lions some 200 yards away fighting over there fresh kill. Bob couldnít get enough of the tutorship of Ron de Poorter, one of the Skyriders, who just finished a ranger course the month before. He learned quickly and enjoyed himself.
The Etosha park is very big and the landscape very dry. The majority of the animals will come to the many waterholes during the morning and evening. It was spectacular to see such a variety of animals so close to each other. The small jackal were the most brutal of all. They even came into the resort to steal all they could get! This to great enjoyment of Evert who once was good handball player and thought that he could hit one with a stone? Luckily he didnít hit one and he never became a famous player on any team! After 3 nights we had to return to Windhoek to be on time to greet my wife and Bobís mother the next day.
The ride is some 400 kilometers and we had a good ride. The only problem we had was that I lost my number plate. I found out while fueling up and made a new one from cardboard. Lets hope it will not get me any tickets. We returned to the backpackers lodge in Windhoek and put up the tent.

The lodge is a real good place to stay with very friendly staff and good food. You pay only 7 U$­≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠≠ per person per day. It was a early rise next morning and we rode to the airport at around 6 with the sun directly shining in our face and surprisingly a very nice and winding road. We looked for a place near the airport fence and waited for the big airbus to arrive. As they flew with Air Berlin, a German Charter company it was smack on time! And then the moment I longed for a very long time! We were trilled and very happy to see them both.
Henk being the last Skyrider to join and one of my best friends and Wilma of course my soul mate who made a lot of efforts to make the whole trip possible.
We rode to the Casablanca hotel Windhoek where they had to sleep for a wile and the others would arrive later from Etosha. In the hotel we found 3 brand new BMWís standing ready for the trip to Agulhas. They were brought specially from South Africa for the Skyriders and had to be returned to George at the end of the trip. In the afternoon all arrived and we had a wonderful evening and made plans for the next dayís. It turned out that we all needed it and stayed for another day to relax and enjoy the town and the local restaurants! After Swakopmund we rode along the coast to Walvisbaai and then into the desert to the east to ride the dirt road to Sossusvlei National Park some 300 kilometers away. The road is unpaved but at some places very good to ride with speeds up to 100 kilometers. But the problem is that it has also sudden sand dunes and gravel pits and that requires constant alertness and a lot of concentration.
I was glad that we were all well rested by the extra day we took in Swakopmund and would reach Sossusvlei save and unhurt. We stopped for lunch in Solitair, a small village with a lot of history to it, and had a splendid lunch. We filled up the bikeís and passed the tropic of Capricorn the before last landmark of importance of this trip. The last part of the day became more difficult and we were glad to reach the beautiful lodge at the vlei.
,br>The next morning we woke up at 5 and went into the park to watch the sunrise and all the massive red sand dunes for which the park is famous for. It was very impressive! Before noon we were on the road again to ride south to Maltahohe and then east to Marienthal to stay for the night.
It was a hot and dusty day with an even more challenging road. The dreaded sand board road came back to haunt us and we had to visit the welder again to fix Bobís bike. This time the welder took more effort to make a long lasting repair and that took some time but brought good results. We waited at the local gas station and had some food and drinks. After one hour we proceeded to Marienthal and I had big problems to keep my eyes open and focus on the road. When I pulled over to have a drink and pee my friends told me the same and we immediately looked for a place to sleep.
As by now the Christmas holiday had Started in S.A we could not find a place right away and one that had a reasonable price. We ended up in a family hotel wich then was fully booked by our group and me and Wilma sleeping in the tent in the familyís garden! Next morning we found out we had slept the best due to the temperature in the rooms.
After breakfast at the fuel station we headed South again and followed the route to the border at Vioolsdrif. Once there we had to do our final border crossing paperwork and that was a special feeling. When finished we crossed to S.A and the emotions I felt took me by surprise! Maybe it was the fact that all friends and Wilma my wife where there or just the fact that we had made it to our final country to cross.
As the day came to a end once more we stopped after a hour or so and rode into the village of Springbok. We stopped more or less where it smelled the best and walked inside to see if they could sleep 10 persons. No problem and it turned out to be in a former monastery dorm. After a very nice meal we slept like angels near to heavenÖ. The goal for the next day was to reach Swellendam via Citrusdal and some nice offroad mountain passes. Swellendam proved to be to far away and we encountered our first problem with one of our tires. Complete sections of Bobís rear tire knobbies were gone and he didnít even notice!? We called it a day and found a extremely nice B&B in Ceres.
We were welcomed as if we were family and made our own BBQ with lots of wine and stories.

The next morning we had to find a new tire which proved to be more difficult than thought. With the now so ďusedĒ to help of the locals one was found 60 kilometers away in Worcester at the local Suzuki dealer. Bob and I rode there very carefully and had the tire mounted. The group followed later and together we rode trough beautiful countryside to Swellendam and the African Shade B&B where we were welcomed.
I had stayed there many times before and it has a special place and atmosphere. We made plans for the next day on how to reach the South Cape during dinner across the road.
It was a Italian style restaurant without a menu. You eat what the wife of the owner has prepared and it was delicious. Personally I enjoyed every moment of the evening and felt very relaxed and privileged to be here and among friends. I wondered how the next day would be and if it would be a climax or anti climax. The next morning after the standard breakfast and motorcycle checks the group rode to the South for the last time. We rode to Napier to drink some coffee and enjoy the famous Lemon cake at the Gunners Inn. The owner flew for the South African Air Force and likes to talk about it when you show interest. Our pensioned Captains did and they chatted about old dayís. After the coffee break we proceeded to Elim, a small village on the way.
It is very small and with all the little white houses the huge church looks immense! The village is owned by the church followers and is so more or less a commune. The mayor, who I met in previous visits, is called Emil and greeted us and explained the history of Elim. After Elim it was time to go to Aghulas. Via dirt roads and the wheat fields of the Cape we rode the last kilometers. We stopped just before the cape to get the setup right for pictures and film. Ans then we rode side by side passed the lighthouse to th Southern most point of the African continent which we rode trough. The intercom went quiet and I felt the emotions running through every muscle in my body.
Bob rode beside me and I felt very proud of him. He is and had been my buddy and mate for the last 4 months. We parked the bikeís next to the monument and took our helmets and gloves off.
We walked to each other and gave a bear hug with tears in my eyes!!! We made itÖ. We rode safely from Holland via the North Cape to here and made our dream come through. A feeling I cannot describe and I was the luckiest man in the world.
We drank our Vonkelwine and phoned home to our friends which were following our progress for so long. And the feeling of having a climax? Yes, it was a climax and having my wife there did the rest. Lots of tourists congratulated us as well which made us feel like celebrities ! after a while we had to return to Swellendam but not without some adventureÖ. One of our friends had a flat tire on his F 800 GS and we had to repair it. As we had a professional kit with us I started right away. On the tire it sad that it was tubeless so I started to put a plug in it. After pressurizing the tire it leaked air at the spokes???? Shit., the F800 has a inner tube which I had punctured some 3 times by putting in the plug.
So we dismounted the rear wheel and put a new inner tube in and the problem had been solved. Upon arrival in our B&B the staff had some more vonkelwine ready and I started to feel the effects of the day. It had been a long day and we now had nowhere to go but home!
The next day we took the long road to Cape Town trough the mountains and parked the bikes in our crew hotel to be picked up later and been shipped home. We had a wonderful dinner in Cape Town and went to the airport around 22.00 hours to catch the KLM flight to Amsterdam and arrive the 25th of December.

Holland was covered in snow and the temperature was well below zero. We had welcome comityís at the airport as well at home. I flew back to Cape Town mid January to get the bikes crated and been flown back by KLM as well. The trip is over but the adventure never dies.
Thanks for following us during our trip and thanks to all the wonderfull people who helped us achieving our dream.

Nol & Bob.



6 september reached the North Cape //==// 22 december reached the Southcape

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