Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sak river day 9 Kenhardt to Kakamas


Sak river day 9 Kenhardt to Kakamas 091001 Thursday 124km

I was really rescued by Eeton & Suzette Wickens of the Kenhardt Hotel. The chaps who helped me when I got the flat said I should go to the hotel as it is the bike place. As I rode in with a flat tyre Eeton came walking up and offered his help. I explained that I wanted two new tubes as both had patches on & I did not trust them. He helped me strip the back tube &, sure enough, the patch was peeling off. I had ridden 69 km on that patch from where I had fitted it (from my GPS track). Eeton phoned some locals he knew were in Upington but it was too late – they were on their way back already. He did manage to find someone who was going in early the next day who would not be there very long and would pick up some tubes for me. He then phoned the Yamaha agents & organised that two tubes would be collected next morning. So all I had to do was wait until the next day & I was rescued. Had some beers, a nice supper (fantastic salad Suzette – where do you get such nice feta cheese?) with local wine. After breakfast I sorted through my photos (I had my computer with me so could match the time on the Garmin tracks to the time of the photos to see exactly where the photo was taken).

I really liked the logo on the crockery. Black faced Dorper & kookerboom. Is he well hung? In the bar there is a wall that only bikers can write their names on. I saw Lucky Striker, Pistonpete & Newguy as Wild Dogs there. I am extremely grateful to Eeton (who only speaks Afrikaans despite his Irish name; Eeton is actually a contraction of his given names of Henry Teeton). My room was great with shower etc attached and I had nice food there. A biker friendly place and I would much appreciate it if you used it or at least had a drink on your way past. Eeton has an immaculate FJR1300 and a recently bought KLR. Since he got the KLR the FJR has just stood there as he finds the KLR much more fun.

I took the tyre to the co-op to have a gaiter fitted over the cut that had caused the original flat. Soon afterwards the tubes were there & I put the bike together and was on my way again.

That is the wheel lift that Eeton made for himself just the day before I arrived. It works really well – just turn the pipe & the foot screws out (the head also swivels) and it lifts the bike against the side stand. What is very nice is you can adjust the height when fitting the wheel back so the axle lines up while the tyre is on the ground so you don’t need to hold the wheel in the air while trying to get the axle in. (At Verneukpan I had to dig a hole to get the wheel back in.) . Brilliant. It can be used under my toolbox to raise the front wheel too. I am going to make myself one. If anyone else follows the idea I would be pleased if you call it a Kenhardt lift so it becomes known where it came from and that there is a bike friendly bar in town. Calling it an Eeton lift would not have the same effect.

On my way again to Kakamas. That is the Hartbees with the trees all along it. I suspect many are the invasive Prosopis

This tree with two full sized social weaver nests. No telegraph poles nearby?

Front doors.

Saw this windpump along the way. It is HUGE. Those two windpumps are very close together. A normal windpump is 2,4m (8ft) in diameter; I reckon that one is 7,5m (24 ft). Unfortunately there was no visible name on the double tail. Notice how many blades it has on the fan.

The road to Loeriesfontein branches off just before Kakamas so I went to get this photo of the river there. That is definitely a flowering Prosopis on the left.

This is actually in the drift & would be flooded when the river is flowing. Eeton said it had been flowing quite well between March & May this year. Notice that I have a gaiter on only one side of the front forks. Martin Praetzold had made cartridge emulators and I wanted to see how much fork travel I was using so took one gaiter off and fitted a zip tie on the fork which gets pushed up marking the most the forks get compressed. I did bottom the forks out twice but I think I will lower the fork oil level a bit to make them slightly softer.

These are known as Norias . The water flowing in the canal turns the paddle wheel. On each side of the paddle wheel are buckets that dip into the water and tip it out at the top into the gutter leading to the drum then through pipes and channels to the vineyards.
I went straight through Kakamas as the Hartbees joins the Gariep (Orange) a little past the town at Alheit.

There is quite a long bridge in two parts with massive reedbeds each side where the Hartbees passes through to join the Gariep

Hartebees Kontant Winkel (note the conventional spelling) at the end of the bridge.

I asked around but no one could tell me where the Hartbees joined the Gariep so I rode into the vineyards and looked for it myself. I got to this (end of top left track):

That is the Gariep and the Hartbees is just to my left. Bakgat. The correct word is confluence = where two rivers meet – somehow that seems somewhat inappropriate here.

The Gariep has more than one channel here so there is more to it than just this.

Looking for the confluence.

I had a real good try to photo where they actually joined but it is overgrown with reeds and the mud is deep black stuff up to the top of my boots.

The Hartbees is joined by one of those irrigation canals and the excess water from the canal runs down back into the Gariep. This is the combined canalised flow through the vineyard.

Job done; I went back to Kakamas & checked in at the self catering part of the hotel although I did have supper there.


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