Two weeks, 24 people, 13 bikes (most days), 3 countries, and 7 276 kilometres – that was the trip undertaken by DFC members to attend the rally at Swakopmund in Namibia.
Early on 17 May the group gathered at HD Durban for the first leg of 620kms to Middleburg. Coffee and muffins were gratefully supplied by HD – thanks to Joe for this. With daily distances varying between 138kms and 1050kms (average of 660kms) the route chosen was as follows: Durban-Middleburg-Martins Drift-Nata-Kasane-Katima Mulilo-Grootfontein-Swakopmund-Keetmanshoop-Luderitz-Aus-Oranjemund-Uppington-Ladybrand-Bergville-Durban.
The one thing you ALWAYS felt was supported. Whatever happened you could count on the fact that there were people who were dedicated to helping and supporting you. People like Len, our faithful road captain, Johan, Ben and Mark would always be around when there were problems!
The days were long, with riding hours of between 7 and12 hours per day, and there were many a tired body and minds at the end of some of the days, but there was never a day that anyone wasn’t ready for what lay ahead in that day – despite there being 3 riders who were in their seventies. Respect!
Were there problems? Yes of course there were. We had 4 bikes give us problems. The driver of our support vehicle, Chris, ended up offloading his bike and riding for more than half of the trip. Gordon’s bike spent a day on the trailer before making room for Ben & Venishree’s trusty trike. A coolant pipe on Mark’s bike needed to have a repair job done. Len’s bike showed signs of yet another water pump issue. One way or another the problems were dealt with. We had one member who risked a sausage roll from a Rundu petrol station – no problem, with all that open space and desert around, but some unscheduled stops and rushing off to restrooms was called for! Service levels at some of the stops may have been below par but this did not detract much from the adventure, beauty and comraderie of the trip.
Of course what would a Rally be without Len's Dead Ants !!!!
See you all there in 2021.
Was the rally itself worth it? Who cares – at the end of the day it’s all about the journey. And what a journey it was!! The scenery is stunning, and forever changing. The wildlife is there on the side of the road, or in town, or next to your hotel. The hotels were always comfortable and good value for money – thanks to our experienced and hard-working organizer Elaine! If you were sore or short of energy in the morning there was Dr Ruth with her trusty jabs of vitamin B or voltaren (but only for those who don’t squeal too much!)
The mass ride through Swakopmund and on to Walvis Bay is just mind-blowing! With between 400 and 500 bikes taking part it is a sight and sound that brings the whole town to a standstill. The ride to Walvis Bay is surreal with desert on the one side and ocean on the other.
This is an experience all bikers should have – a long journey together. The reason isn’t important – the journey is what it is about! This is a vast and beautiful country and there is so much to see but is really is the best to experience it on a Harley with a bunch of like-minded people.