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Transkei 2015 reports
08-17-2015, 07:38 AM
Post: #1
Transkei 2015 reports
Hi All

please post your pics and trip reports on the awsome transkei trip here.

thanks stuart

I may be a mechanic, but i can't fix stupid
Bad planning on your part does not make your issue an crisis to me
Bad workmanship by other garages does not entiltle you to better rates at me
Syncro, syncro , syncro and more syncro, this is the syncro way of life
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08-23-2015, 01:03 PM (This post was last modified: 08-23-2015 01:16 PM by Picasso.)
Post: #2
RE: Transkei 2015 reports
Transkei Trip 2015 / Trip Report / Picasso

The long way down

Lunch Stop at the banks of the Orange River

Up the Jouberts Pass near Lady Gray / desperately in search of Snow.

First Overnight Camp / Cold Night, crisp Morning, beautiful scenery

In search of more Snow.... up the Lundeans Neck Pass

Riding on the crest of the Mountain down to Morgans Bay

Next Morning from Morgans Bay across the Kei River with a Ferry into the Heart-Land of the Transkei

Another River Crossing .... this time without a Ferry followed by a steep and rocky river exit.... Was a long Day .... arrival in Cwebe Bush Camp after dark

Next morning...Two Great Whites are spotted.

On the way to Dwesa.... stopover at a River for late Breakfast.

The following day... exploring the Dwesa Nature Reserve and Dwesa Point.

I told our friendly local Tour Guide that we do drive ordinary 2WD vehicles.
He was then so friendly and created a new pass next to the mud track ....
however .... some of us still needed to see what the Kombi can do...
    [attach ment=5264]    

Beach walk to Dwesa Point / Sand & Titanium

The old Man and the sea ... & and some old Bones from the sea

On the way to Coffee Bay.. Down the embankment... another ferry-less river crossing coming up

Brush cleaning ... Bushman Style

Friendly locals... always willing to build a road were there is no road
Dire Straits.... Money for nothing .. and ticks for free...

Hole in the Wall

All in all once more a great Trip, great people, great experience.
Special Thanks to Stuart and Lindy for making this possible.
It is acknowledge that this is not an easy task...
the upfront organization of the trip, holding the crowd together all the time,
the various Bush repairs etc.etc

Thank you !!!

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08-24-2015, 11:54 AM (This post was last modified: 08-24-2015 02:53 PM by syncromad.)
Post: #3
RE: Transkei 2015 reports
Thanks Picasso,

Report and Lovely Pics are Much Appreciated!!

Paul, Melinda, Tomiko and Kaden-Rose.
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08-25-2015, 08:17 AM
Post: #4
RE: Transkei 2015 reports
Transkei 2015, 10 syncro’s, awesome scenery, some great 4x4ing and an amazing group of people.
Our trip started on Friday evening, we left Pretoria at 6 pm, and headed south to Heidelberg. Here we stopped at the new Mall for dinner at Ocean Basket. After a great meal we headed to Bethlehem.
It was freezing cold when we got into town at about 11pm. We found a nice garage to fill up at and use the ablutions. We then found a quiet place to park and sleep for the evening. It was seriously cold with the windows freezing on the inside of the vehicle. We got up early at around 5:30 am.
We went back to the good garage for some coffee and ablution use again. We then headed to Fouriesburg for breakfast. The only place that was open was the hotel. We had a superb breakfast there. Upon leaving there was a small crowd around the syncro. It was the RSG 4x4 tour group, they all wanted to see this 4x4 camper. Two hours later we managed to leave.
Just outside town we lost a fan belt tensioner. I did not have a spare so we limped into Ficksburg, there we found a tensioner and fitted it in a few minutes. We were back on the road again. The beauty of a golf motor, spares are easy to find. Next stop was Ladybrand to buy the last few things we needed to braai that evening.
We met up with 5 of the other syncro’s in Lady Grey. We met the owner of the campsite in town and paid for the evenings camping. We then headed up Joubert’s Pass. Here we found small remnants of snow from 2weeks prior. It was the first time Lindy and I had seen snow, so it was quite exiting, small patches but still snow, there was still a fair amount of snow on the surrounding mountains.
We then headed back through Lady Grey to Karingmelkspruit campsite. It is a very basic but functional campsite, it will be great in summer with a nice stream flowing next to the camp with crystal clear water flowing from rock pool to rock pool. We had a nice braai and all went to bed fairly early as it was really cold.
Next morning we headed to Lundean’s Nek pass to look for more snow, lots of nice gravel road, after going through the military check point we headed to the top of the pass to look for snow but once again we only found small remnants of snow. Then we headed to Barkley East to refuel. Only one garage was open so we all filled up and headed towards Morgan’s Bay. At the Kei River Gorge Alan radioed that is clutch was starting to slip.
He made it to the top of the gorge and we decided to tow him into Morgan’s Bay. At Morgan’s Bay we met up with Chris, our guide from East London. It was decided to take out Alan’s syncro’s gearbox that evening to see what the cause of the clutch hassles were, we found a slight oil leak from the spigot shaft seal. Luckily we had a spare new clutch kit with us. I had brought it down for Geoff. Hassle was we had no spigot shaft seal. After a nice dinner at the hotel, Chris decided to drive back to East London so he could get a seal first thing in the morning.
He was back at the campsite just after 8am. We fitted the seal and refitted the gearbox. While we, Alan, Org and myself were doing this Chris took the other 8 syncro’s to the ferry to cross the Kei river so long. The ferry takes 2x vehicles at a time. Once we had the gearbox in org left to join the rest of the group. Then we discovered the slave cylinder was not building pressure. Seals had got damaged. We stripped the slave cyl, used an emery board to clean the internal rust of the cylinder, swopped the 2 seals around and refitted the slave. We had clutch but not 100%, but enough to continue.
We headed to town to fill up and cross the Kei River to join the rest. At the fuel station Alan’s syncro’s starter motor stopped working. Push start from here on. We crossed the ferry only to hear Org had snapped a track rod on his syncro. Dirk and he were welding it at Seagulls resort. The rest had gone on towards Cwebe. At 2 pm we left Seagulls towards Cwebe. We now had radio contact with the rest of the group. They had just done an awesome river crossing. We were about 20 mins behind them, so they waited at the river for us to join them.
After a steep downhill into the river valley we headed through some palm trees into the river. The river was shallow but with a 30cm step out on the opposite bank and a grade 3 to 4 rocky climb up the other side. Alan stalled in the river, so Dirk pulled him backwards up the other bank and he roll started again. This time he made it all the way.
The locals had closed a gate exiting the river valley and wanted money for us to leave, so R100 later we left. It was getting late and Cwebe was still a way to go, we arrived as it was getting dark, set up camp and started to braai. Chris left us at this point to head back to work on tues am. Then the rain came. And it rained most of the evening.
Next morning was beautiful and clear, Paul’s bus would not start, we tried pushing, pulling and still nothing. We decided to remove the immobiliser and it started first turn. We were now heading for Dwesa Nature Reserve. We stopped along the way for a brunch on the banks of a nice wide River, after that we headed down a mountain pass, into the next river valley. The locals stopped the rear vehicles to say the road was not useable, i was already about half way down, the locals were right, huge deep ruts, 500 to 700 mm deep all across the track.
I now had to turn around, track one and a half car widths wide, deep ruts everywhere, no place to reverse to, after about a 20 point turn I was turned around and headed back up the pass, luckily there was another road going in the same direction.
Dwesa is a great Reserve, nice campsite, adequate ablutions, a bit far from the one campsite. Most of the group went on a guided tour for the 2nd day there. Three of us decided to stay in camp and relax, and also to try and fix the starter motor on Alan’s syncro. We had a spare starter from Tim. Fitted it and nothing, we then discovered that the main battery had died on the bus, if we charged it up the syncro started. But after 10 mins of standing it was dead again. So no luck with that fix.
We went for a nice relaxing walk on the beach and rocks, Alan fell into a waist deep hole while walking in ankle deep water on the rocks. We saw dolphins in the waves, first time Lindy and i had seen dolphins. There were vervet monkeys in the camp including a young albino monkey, it was very shy.
Early the next morning we headed for Hole in The Wall, on route Org’s syncro broke a 2nd track rod. We now needed to get it welded again, we tried a place that said they could help but the Owner was full of stories, so we moved on slowly, and found a guy with a generator and a welder busy fixing a truck. We used the winch on my syncro to pull the track rod forward and started the repair. About an hour later it was done. We left to try and get to Hole in the Wall, about 2 km’s down the road the welding broke, so we went back to try again, this time it held. It was getting Dark and we had 60 odd km to get to Mdumbi backpackers for dinner, 45mins to get there. They had made a supper for us.
With about 25km to go we got radio contact with the rest of the group. They were 10km in front of us. We were almost at Mdumbi but the others were missing. On the radio again to give them all the correct GPS point and they found us. We were now nearly 2 hours late for dinner. But all were safely there. Mdumbi is a nice setup with good clean ablutions and a small but sufficient campsite. It is more orientated for the young backpacker crowd, but is fine for us more mature overlanders.
Mdumbi has made a basic pasta dish for us with salad. It was nice not to have to cook a meal when running this late. Org, Alan, Marius and ourselves decided we needed to leave early for Hole in the wall before heading to Port St johns the next morning. So we rearranged the campsite to get our Vehicles ready to leave at 5am for a sunrise at Hole in the wall. The staff had told us it was a 2 hour drive to get there,
We left just before 5am, an hour later we were at hole in the wall, an hour before sunrise, so we made coffee, and relaxed, seeing the “mountain” emerge out the darkness of the sea was awesome. It was worth getting up early for this. It is a must see attraction for anyone. Local yougsters were selling some crayfish so Marius bought a few as he had an EC fishing permit.
We then headed back to Mdumbi, they were serving breakfast from 8:30. We made it back in 45mins in the light and in time for an awesome Omelette breakfast.
At 9:30 we left for Port st Johns, the road was good but we had to do one small river crossing. The locals advised that we would not make it to PsJ on that road. With that said we pushed on, and with one steep rutted 4x4 section later we were on the good gravel road to PsJ.
We arrived at PsJ just after lunch time on Friday, some filled up at the 2 fuel stations in town. But the queues were long. We decided we would fill up in the morning before the sat am rush. So we headed to the Jetty campsite, just across the river. It has a nice large flat campsite amongst some tall trees and nice clean basic ablutions with steaming hot water.
We had a nice evening braai after a relaxing afternoon in the camp, Richard from Tawi joined us for the braai. He would be travelling back with us to Gauteng to collect his new syncro and do some personal medical stuff that is not available in PsJ.
Henning who was travelling alone offered that Richard drove with him back to Gauteng. Every one was leaving at different times as they all had different plans to get home, we were doing the 900km in one stint, so we could have Sunday to unpack and relax at home. We left for home at 8:30 a, filled up and headed for Kokstad via Lusikisiki. We had a wimpy Breakfast in Kokstad.
Then we travelled via Underberg, Hilton and the boring N3 towards Gauteng. We arrived in Gauteng at 9 pm, Richard joined us for the last 20 odd km home. 5 mins after Henning left us, the alternator bracket on my syncro broke and it started to splutter, battery was at 9 volts with lights and ecu etc running. Ecu needs at least 10 volts to run. So a quick bush fix was needed, we switched of the fridges, looped the 2 aux batteries to the main battery, used the park lights and LED DLRL’s and made it home safely.
Thanks to all of you that came on the trip, you guys, make it worthwhile doing all the planning. We met new people and had a great time with old friends.
Now to start planning the next trip, it will be either in Dec this year or after Saamtrek next year, any suggestions for some new places to go to? Thinking Northern Transvaal, Mpangubwe area or Gonarezhou in Zimbabwe again, but we still need to do Lesotho in the snow!!!
Thanks Lindy and Stuart

I may be a mechanic, but i can't fix stupid
Bad planning on your part does not make your issue an crisis to me
Bad workmanship by other garages does not entiltle you to better rates at me
Syncro, syncro , syncro and more syncro, this is the syncro way of life
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08-25-2015, 10:58 AM
Post: #5
RE: Transkei 2015 reports
some pics

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I may be a mechanic, but i can't fix stupid
Bad planning on your part does not make your issue an crisis to me
Bad workmanship by other garages does not entiltle you to better rates at me
Syncro, syncro , syncro and more syncro, this is the syncro way of life
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
08-25-2015, 12:50 PM (This post was last modified: 08-26-2015 07:57 AM by syncromad.)
Post: #6
RE: Transkei 2015 reports
Thanks Stuart and Lindy!!

Another Great Report with some more Excellent Pictures
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08-26-2015, 07:34 AM (This post was last modified: 08-26-2015 07:42 AM by Miskruier.)
Post: #7
RE: Transkei 2015 reports
some pictures of the trip

and more

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