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Visiting the giants

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Visiting the giants

Post by Daleen on 7th April 2010, 14:32

We left on Thursday afternoon, just in time to miss most of the traffic. We set off for Vaalwater along the N1, but decided to turn off at Hammanskraal towards the R101 as the traffic was getting busier by the moment. We traveled through Bela Bela and encountered the first rain for the weekend on the road to Nylstroom. Luckily it was only a short downpour and soon we were enjoying some nice twisties as we went through a scenic little pass. We filled up in Vaalwater and were on our way again to the lodge where we were staying for the night. The last 5km to the lodge was the first dirt road for the weekend – a little bit tricky as it was a sandy road and we could not always see where the track was as it was getting dark quite quickly with a storm looming. We stopped at Jobedi lodge just in time – it was now almost completely dark and the first huge drops started falling.

Our rondavel at Jobedi


Jobedi Lodge is a very rustic but peaceful lodge, definitely a place where you can relax and just sit around the fire talking nonsense. Each rondavel has its own little boma with a fire pit, but unfortunately we could not enjoy this as the rain was coming down quite hard. We settled for the stoep and some homemade pasta enjoying the rain and the bushveld.

After breakfast we left and took the road up to the Botswana border via Marken and Maasstroom. We saw quote a lot of animals along the road with all the game lodges lining the road – a herd of impala, kudu, warthogs, baboons, monkeys, lots of squirrels and meerkats and even a giraffe right next to the fence. We encountered a bit of rain again just after Marken but the sun came out just as we hit the dirt road and it was suddenly very hot and sunny.

Deflating the tires for the first real dirt road


We took the road that went all along the Botswana border and also saw our first Baobab trees. The road overall was not too bad but there were some stretches that were a bit more tricky and some stretches with quite thick sand. We had a couple of very hairy moments in the sand, but managed to get through without any incidents – thanks to Ettienne and Pieter for the Kosi trip training! cheers

Time for a break in the shade of a baby Baobab






We filled up again in Alldays and turned onto the road to Pontdrift – it was now very hot with temperatures turning at 35C. We made a quick stop for the photos and then turned around to get to our next stop as quickly as possible.

Pontdrift border post




We were now quite tired from the heat and long ride and did not stop for photos of the beautiful Baobab trees as we would have enough time the next morning for photos. We were very thankful to reach the shade and air-conditioning at Tovey Lodge just outside Musina. We settled for a cold drink on the stoep before we hit the swimming pool to cool down. Tovey lodge has got nice and spacious rooms with a huge patio in front overlooking the Limpopo bushveld, set in a tree filled garden.

Very welcome shade!


Our rondavel with a nice patio overlooking the bushveld




The main lodge hosting the restaurant and bar




We stopped first thing in the morning to take photos of some huge Baobabs






From Musina the road winded through lush green bushveld, filled with Baobab trees all the way to Tshipise. It was great riding weather – nice and cool and overcast with no wind.

On the way to Tshipise


From Thsipise we turned towards the Nwanedi game reserve where we turned south again. This took us on a 20km stretch of dirt road – the worst ever sinkplaat road that shook a tin of Pringles to crumbs! We were grateful to turn onto the tar road again and kept heading south. We filled up in Sabasa where we met a great fan of Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman and had a long chat about our bikes, the trip and the surrounding areas. From Sibasa we went to Giyani through a lot of colorful rural villages set amongst the trees and bushveld. This really felt like being in Africa. Everyone was very friendly and waving, especially the little children.

On the way to Sibasa


We reached Tzaneen Country lodge late in the afternoon and was once again welcomed with an airconditioned room and a cold drink on the stoep. The lodge is set in beautiful tropical gardens and our room faced the swimming pool. We made good use of the local restaurant and tea garden situated at the lodge.

Tzaneen Country Lodge


The next morning we took a leisurely outride towards Duiwelskloof to look at the famous Baobab tree. Our route took us on some great dirt roads winding through the Bluegum plantations. Little did I know that these same dirt roads would later on be my downfall. What a Face

Great dirt roads through the plantations










Pretty vegetation next to the road




The Baobab tree is huge with a small bar inside. The surrounding is however nothing like promised on the website, but it was still worth seeing the massive tree. We stayed for a drink while we waited for the looming storm to pass by.

Telephone inside the bar

Entrance to the bar


Massive Baobab tree




Our route back was on a tar road winding through the plantations. We decided to take one last dirt road to cut out some of the tar. Unfortunately the storm we missed went pass in this area and the road was suddenly very wet and very slippery – a very clayey soil that became like slime when wet. I was soon down in the mud and really struggled to get up again in the extremely slippery mud. We managed to get the bike and myself upright again and I paddled through the rest of the mud. My foot slipped again just as I was almost out of the mud. By now my bike and I was covered in mud – Mud 2 / Daleen 0. pig Luckily we didn’t have any incidents again. My bike and I had to be cleaned before we could enter the lodge again.

Time to clean ourselves and the bike






We woke up the next morning from the rain pouring down. It only eased up a little bit after breakfast.

The rooms and swimming pool with the rain pouring down


The weather forecast showed that it rained all over the country and we decided to take the shortest route possible home – the N1 which we had to share with about a million taxis going home from Moria. Luckily we could pass through when there were long queues. The trip back took us 6 hours of which about 4 in pouring rain. We were very grateful to eventually arrive home – very wet and cold, but safe and unharmed. It was another great trip through some very scenic parts of our country; what a privilege! cheers cheers cheers
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Re: Visiting the giants

Post by DaveS on 7th April 2010, 15:00

Seems like you had a very good trip! How many points do you still need? Cool

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Re: Visiting the giants

Post by LeRoy Olivier on 7th April 2010, 15:05

Excellent pics - seems regardless of the rainy weekend you had some very nice roads to ride. Also seems everybody stops at the large Boabab next to the tar road between All Days and Tzaneen. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Visiting the giants

Post by Daleen on 7th April 2010, 15:14

DaveS wrote:Seems like you had a very good trip! How many points do you still need? Cool

We now only need Alexander Bay still. Will try for that in August/September. Smile
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Re: Visiting the giants

Post by DaveS on 7th April 2010, 15:31

Daleen wrote:
DaveS wrote:Seems like you had a very good trip! How many points do you still need? Cool

We now only need Alexander Bay still. Will try for that in August/September. Smile

Club is doine AB and Agulhas in June as part of Gold run. Why not join them as far as AB?

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Re: Visiting the giants

Post by Corlia on 7th April 2010, 15:35

Lekkerte!! Baie dankie Daleen, dit lyk asof julle vet pret gehad het!! cheers cheers cheers
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Re: Visiting the giants

Post by BON on 7th April 2010, 15:52

Shame on me !!!!!
I've been at the same point (PontDrift) at the same day!!!!!!!!!
It was very boring to do it alone! (mainly in some wet and desert dirt roads)
Lesson learned ! Post yours plans on the Forum!
But....congratulations for the brave trip!!!!
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Re: Visiting the giants

Post by Daleen on 7th April 2010, 15:53

BON wrote:Shame on me !!!!!
I've been at the same point (PontDrift) at the same day!!!!!!!!!
It was very boring to do it alone! (mainly in some wet and desert dirt roads)
Lesson learned ! Post yours plans on the Forum!
But....congratulations for the brave trip!!!!

That is such a pity Bon, we posted on the forum a while ago to ask if anyone wants to join us. Sad Would have been fun to do the trip together.
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Re: Visiting the giants

Post by DaveS on 7th April 2010, 16:13

Daleen wrote:
BON wrote:Shame on me !!!!!
I've been at the same point (PontDrift) at the same day!!!!!!!!!
It was very boring to do it alone! (mainly in some wet and desert dirt roads)
Lesson learned ! Post yours plans on the Forum!
But....congratulations for the brave trip!!!!

That is such a pity Bon, we posted on the forum a while ago to ask if anyone wants to join us. Sad Would have been fun to do the trip together.

Looks like Bon should READ THE FORUM!! Twisted Evil Wink Cool

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Re: Visiting the giants

Post by BON on 7th April 2010, 17:30

DaveS wrote:
Daleen wrote:
BON wrote:Shame on me !!!!!
I've been at the same point (PontDrift) at the same day!!!!!!!!!
It was very boring to do it alone! (mainly in some wet and desert dirt roads)
Lesson learned ! Post yours plans on the Forum!
But....congratulations for the brave trip!!!!

That is such a pity Bon, we posted on the forum a while ago to ask if anyone wants to join us. Sad Would have been fun to do the trip together.

Looks like Bon should READ THE FORUM!! Twisted Evil Wink Cool

Ok, Ok....I deserved it...
I've been in Brazil for 3 weeks and did not see...
But my planning was a trip to Namibia this time, but I had to change 1 day before go!!!
See you on Friday for more "recommendations" Embarassed
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Re: Visiting the giants

Post by DeonP on 7th April 2010, 20:27

Thanks for the report back
Great pics !
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Re: Visiting the giants

Post by Sias on 8th April 2010, 10:26

Nice one! Thanks for sharing!
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Re: Visiting the giants

Post by Marnus on 8th April 2010, 19:05

Lekkerrrrrrrr! Brings back memories!

So who plans your trips - Daleen / Martin, or is it a team effort?

Thanks for the lovely RR Smile
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Re: Visiting the giants

Post by Daleen on 8th April 2010, 20:21

Marnus wrote:So who plans your trips - Daleen / Martin, or is it a team effort?

The overall plan is done together and then I work out the details such as where we are going to sleep and the detail routes (with Martin's approval Very Happy ). In turn for all my hard work, Martin cleans the bikes. Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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Re: Visiting the giants

Post by Marnus on 8th April 2010, 22:13

Hmmm... mapsource or hosepipe... difficult choice What a Face

But well done to the both of you. You make a GREAT team!
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Re: Visiting the giants

Post by KnopKop on 8th April 2010, 22:18

Nice one guys!!

I need to do a ride north soon. It looks great!

Thanks for sharing, and I am glad that the sand riding in Sodwana paid off!!!

Very Happy

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