2011 October -- Our Great African Eastern Cape Adventure in the Drakensberg Mountains..

RUSTY- Russ Rathbone's picture

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2011 October -- Our Great African Eastern Cape Adventure in the Drakensberg Mountains.

 

What makes a "good" dual sport adventure "GREAT"?

And why is it always about the group of people with their individual  characters and group dynamics that always seem to make these rides so.........."lakka"?

 

Besides great people, what else sets these good rides apart from the others.

 

 Our Group: The magnificent veiw behind

Our Group in front of the magnificent view showing off his colours in front is Badger the mighty steed of Charles Oertel.  

We should also have good weather? Yes!!!!! When the weather is moderate and kind as it was then this too plays its part. Most of the time the clouds seemed ever present, however it did not rain "much" on us. This kept things nice and cool most of the time.  

  Our Captain Geoff Russell

What also helps is a good ride captain, and our Captain, Geoff Russell is just such a man. He made the tour............ stratergising the Individual characters and their mixing and matching were perfectly placed, handled  and manipulated to optimize the peace and harmony of the groups dynamics.

If we have good company, great weather, good safe sound leadership what else do we need? You guessed it!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Some times I realized that I was holding my breath because of the beauty that surrounded and wondered how best to capture?

An area less traveled with lots of dirt roads or twee spoor tracks, massive passes with breath taking views and vistas with a touch of extreme technical bits.

Ja, I think that just about does it.

This is obviously besides a warm bed, hot food, hot shower and cold beer.............this trip I'm describing is just about perfect...............and................at a price I could afford.

This sounds like a winner to me?  I'm reminded by reality.......shucks I was enjoying that escape for a while....oh well its off to work I must go.

 

The areas setting is in the Eastern Cape, south of Lesotho and west of the Transkei. The altitude was at times around 2500m above sea level. I found myself holding my breath involuntary because of the beauty that surrounded us all the time as we rode BeeM'ers wondering how best to capture what we were experiencing so that we could share the experience with our loved ones back home?

 

 

Brent showing off the view I want to share

Brent showing off the view I was writing about.

When wanting to share this experience with loved ones and friends one is always confused by the choice of media at ones disposal. Do I use a still camera? Do I use a video camera? Or do I capture the image directly onto my cell phone, that way I can up load immediately to Facebook or to You Tube or even better directly onto our Club web site?

The more I use and think about these options the more attractive my cell camera option looks. Perhaps Charles could perhaps offer some help here? 

Well hopefully our friend Brent who is in the multi media industry will soon have a fantastic dvd movie for us to watch. 

Then once he has done that I would like to offer him one of my multi media conference venues to old and new prospective Eastern Cape Trippers to view the trip?  

 

 Baster Pass: A little more technical on a big adventure bike in the wet I'm told

Bastervoetpad Pass (L.A.P.A. Munnik Pass): A little more technical on a big adventure bike in the wet I'm told

 

  

John with view.

John with view.

 Bob the builder

Bob the builder

Wayne with an even better view

Wayne with an even better view

Charles with either a big hart or BIG ballas. When I think of this okie riding his big bike, I just laugh and shake my head.Charles with either a big hart or BIG ballas. When I think of this okie riding his big bike, I just laugh and shake my head.

By the way Charles found and met some unknown Oertels who were the managers and owners of the Barkley East Hotel we were staying at. Mt. and Mrs. Oertel. Lakka story. Charles to add.

 

I've hi jacked Geoff's post.........so badly..........so to add salt to the wound......... I cut and pasted it below, with some of my personal replies to his unanswered questions. 

The bold is my reply to Geoff's un bold writing........and I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

We were very fortunate to have Wayne Fritz from Atlantic Motorrad on the Tour with us and he kept both mine and Andy's hands clean by attending to all the puncture and other minor running repairs needed on the Tour. I doubt he has worked this hard in these conditions for years.

 

I remind Wayne that Rome was not built in a day and that he has to do many more rides with us so we can be absolutely certain he is as good as Geoff says he is........ No pressure bud...........but sure was great riding with you and being exposed to your level of skill........... however we must just make certain we keep you away from the terrible four musketeers. Hennie, Gunther, Phillip and John boy!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot wait for you to join Geoff on his famous West Coast trip to Jurg se Kaya.

             Waiting while SA cowboys herded sheep across the road.: Farming community

Waiting while some SA cowboys herd sheep across the road.:

The farming community in Elliot and Barkley East seems to be thriving and is truly a nice place to be, however there is a town called Sterkspruit?????I think??? where the traffic moves from the Transkei through it which reminds me of the Philistines in the Bible. Not lakka?

The other interesting point made by Andy was that stock theft is so bad in this area and has been for many years that most cattle sheep and horses don't actually know if they are SA, Lethoto or Transkei animals. The black barman at the Rhodes hotel thought this was very funny.

Then my carefully orchestrated arrest in Rhodes when a police van comprising 7 officers entered the premises and arrested me as the group leader for various transgressions of the Rhodes Conservancy act. This included frightening sheep, cattle and locals, noisy exhausts and various other trumped up charges.

I wish you could see me now. I'm laughing behind my desk knowing that no one dared to take pictures as we were all too scared cowering behind our dinner tables, not wanting the blame but also wanting the blame to build the name "LEGEND" .

Ha Ha Ha!!!!!!!!! Just ganna have to try and paint this picture in words.........all of us innocent okes and okies sitting down for dinner at 7pm.

Cops arrive (seven of them) and beckon Geoff out of the dining room to confront him outside the Walkabout Hotel. ..............with allegations of him being the responsible person and leader of our group who have miss been accused of misbehaving as they grieved the local population in the town or village of Rhodes who have now layed criminal charges.

Geoff too knew the first course of the evenings at the hotel was pea soup however the cops told him he would be having "pee soup" in jail that night and the night there after as the magistrate of that district only visited every other day. Shucks ...........the boys had Geoff sown up good and proper. This was not the first time Geoff was fielding one for the team or should I say taking one for the team................so obviously he was taking the complaint seriously.................I can only imagine what was going on in his helmetless head..............FAWK...........no I won't venture there............but I'm laughing.

The seven serious, ranked black cops, some with attitude were all dressed in their smart full blue SAP uniform. They were brilliant and did a stunning job of setting Geoff to task..........the informed, back in the lounge we were giggling nervously, wondering when and if this "joke" would back fire and us only to be sent home packing.......the not informed wanted to know what was cutting.....I held them back as best as I could. This all lasted 15 to 20 minutes.....................eventually the quite dining room exploded no blasted into roaring laughter after the cops could not hold a straight face any longer. Geoff coming out of it smelling like roses and YES he can take a good joke........I look forward to the next quality joke.........do it soon......... I know he can take it........and no, he is not the chairman and "shouldn't ask you to leave the club"!!!!!!!........ however he does know the Boss man Warren????????????? Common..........takema chance!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to Russell Rathbone who was saying "Grace" at the time of my "arrest" and who asked our Good Lord  to look after me in the Police cells.

Now here is the kicker......how do I say grace with an untruth on my tongue knowing that I too wanted to burst into laughter..........Sorry Lord!!!!!

Devils Bellows (Devil's Bellows Pass, or just Devil's Bellows, is situated in the Eastern Cape, province of South Africa, on the regional road R351, between Fort Beaufort and Sada, Eastern Cape.) was closed due to strong winds in the area blowing numerous trees over and onto the Pass. We had good fun finding an alternate route to get not only all the bikes down but also the fully loaded back up vehicle and trailer.

 I think this was devils BellowsI

 think this was devils Bellows

 

 

Many pictures.......

 

Stunning stone bridge from the trans frontier settler era.: I'm told that at the turn of the 1800's the settlers were sent to buff the fierce black Zulu nations moving into Africa from Natal . I am unsure of this information and would love to be certain. If anyone can help?

Stunning stone bridge from the trans frontier settler era.: I'm told that at the turn of the 1800's the settlers were sent to buff the fierce black Zulu nations moving into Africa from Northern Natal area. I am unsure of this information and would love to be certain. If anyone can help with this History?

Geoff says;

But don't let me steel the thunder of whoever is going to write the report. Watch out for the next couple of Tours planned for next year (road and off road)..............book early to avoid disappointment.

Oh and by the by..........my wife informed me last night that this year alone I have spent 36 days away on Long Club Tours. This excludes weekend and day rides she sarcastically reminded me.

"Ek dink dit is tyd dat jy ophou" I was told..................!

Now about those 3 new Tours I am working on??????????????

The Roadies Tour, a "laid" back Eastern Cape Drakensberg Tour so the wives and less experienced riders can join us. Then this flippen place called Le.............Les...............Up there in the mountains by that silly Pass called.........S...........Sani or something like that.

Anybody know a good lawyer.

 

Ha Ha Ha Geoff......we love and appreciate you.........especially Hennie and I with our small harts..........Ha Ha .....just another tease....

Anybody know a good lawyer.

This post is RIM............research in motion........in constitute.........progressing..................we have a problem.......time........and will be with you shortly...........

Wayne and Stan sharing a quiet moment under a tree

Wayne and Stan sharing a quiet moment under a tree.

 

Group waiting for Andy to hurry up and fix another puncture.........Wish he would'nt take to long to plug a tubeless Hiedy.......: OK Geoff.............nows the time to say...........anyone know a good attorney.........chaffs.......we love and appreciate you too Andy.

Group waiting for Andy to hurry up and fix another puncture.........Wish he would'nt take to long to plug a tubeless Hiedy.......: OK Geoff.............nows the time to say...........anyone know a good attorney.........chaffs.......we love and appreciate you too Andy.

                         Hopefully this nice R "oe" ster picture will show Andy how much I admire him.

Hopefully this nice R "oe" ster picture will show Andy how much I love and admire him.

Geoff and Jean

Geoff and Jean. Well done to both of you.

Adie our host with his wife Angie

Aidie our host with his wife Angie at the fundemental but nice Tsitsa falls area.

Andy advertizing Walkabouts Hotel

Andy advertizing Walkabouts Hotel

 

I just love this picture of our trip to the local cemetery where Charles Andy and myself learnt soooo much of the area.

I just love this picture of our trip to the local cemetery in Rhodes

where Charles Andy and I learnt soooo much of the history of area

 from the many tomb stones.

 

Ttitsa Falls where we over nighted with Adie and Angie: You cannot see the zip line but its there

Ttitsa Falls where we over nighted with Adie and Angie:

You cannot see the zip line but its there.

 

Wayne was my partner and wingman and I loved sharing this time with him.: Until next time bud

Wayne was my partner and wingman and I loved sharing this time with him.:

Until next time bud.

 

Herman takes the zip.

Herman takes the zip.

 

This was quite spectacular behind the falls and more so in rain season.

Behind the falls quite spectacular and more so

in the rainy season I was told .

 The first night we have Tomatie John John, Pers Hoed Hennie, Drag queen Phillip and All Black tattooed in the face Gunther

The first night we have Tomatie John John, Pers Hoed Hennie,

 Drag queen Phillip and All Black tattooed in the face Gunther. Almal met te veel drank met te min tyd.

 

Geoff

Geoff Russell

 

The Sargent Major Rooster on Duty.

The Sargent Major Rooster on Duty.

 

Here Andy poses outside a very up market and clean red cross clinic.

Our very own level 5 paramedic, Andy poses outside a very up market and clean red cross clinic.

Too much straf doppe makes John a tired Chipper.

Too much straf doppe makes John a tired Chipper.

 

Rusty

Rusty

 Roses

Roses

 

We had some forest riding.We had some forest riding.

 

Brent I think?Brent I think?

 

Many pucturesMany puctures

 

Graham I think on Bastervoet PassGraham I think on Bastervoet Pass

 

Buckled Rims and plenty punctures: the question begs is this the tyres fault?Buckled Rims and plenty punctures: the question begs is this the tyres fault?

 

Wayne in our Dorm at Tsitsa Falls. Jurg se Kyia, but different.Wayne in our Dorm at Tsitsa Falls. Jurg se Kyia, but different.

 

GreatGreat

Thanks for the support John Deedee and for the very spiffy nice back up vehicle Geoff.Thanks for the support John Deedee and for the very spiffy nice back up vehicle Geoff.

 

Tsitsa FallsTsitsa Falls

 

The fallsThe falls

Zip line very highZip line very high

 

Herman and Just John having a lakk swim with Wayne and I.Herman and Just John having a lakk swim with Wayne and I.

 One thing I've noticed throught South Africa in every town big or small is the unique church buildings. Ive told Gizzy that I ou

One thing I've noticed throught South Africa in every town big or small is the unique church buildings. 

 

 Another road less traveledAnother road less traveled

Technical stopTechnical stop

Bridge too farBridge too far

 

AnotherAnother

 

This is the un manned. Carantool Stock theft Police Out post station on the border of SA and LethotoThis is the un manned. Carantool Stock theft Police Out post station on the border of SA and Lethoto

A road less travelledA road less travelled

WayneWayne

This pic does not do justice to the actual area and road.This pic does not do justice to the actual area and road.

 

The RoadThe Road

John's off leg which had a miraculous recovery.John's off leg which had a miraculous recovery.

Hayleyscomet's picture
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Joined: 2007/06/30

Nice

Ride Like the Wind

Cool

Geoff Russell's picture
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Joined: 2007/09/25

Thanks Russell................

Committee: Chairman, Trips and Tours

RUSTY- Russ Rathbone's picture
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Joined: 2007/09/04

This is work in progress and I just can't seem to get to it. But thanks for your encouragement.

Hayleyscomet's picture
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Joined: 2007/06/30

Russ were you alone on this trip ?

Where is everyone ? Why the SILENCE ?

What really happenned that nobody wants to talk ?

Wayne

Ride Like the Wind

Cool

Charles Oertel's picture
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Joined: 2007/04/14

What happened is we had a superb time.  The trouble is we are now all so busy catching up with work and household chores that we just have not had a chance to write it all up.

Committee: Website Administrator

Hayleyscomet's picture
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Joined: 2007/06/30

 

Thanks for the UPDATE Russel

 

Wayne

Ride Like the Wind

Cool

Geoff Russell's picture
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Joined: 2007/09/25

Thanks Russ for all the hard work.

Committee: Chairman, Trips and Tours

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