Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => Topic started by: Xpat on February 21, 2016, 05:15:28 pm

Title: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on February 21, 2016, 05:15:28 pm
Intro

Another year of rat race gone, another Christmas upon me, it was time for another african bushveld shindig (yep, lots of another in this sentence). Previous Christmases I have headed north west to Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe, so it was time to check the north-east. I have managed to score a month off so I got ambitious and wanted to loop through Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana backcountry.

Unlike the second Christmas Safari, which went more or less to the plan (OK, I killed the clutch halfway up the Van Zyl’s pass, but in the bigger scheme of things it kind of went OK), this one ended up much more like the 1st one in that the plan went to shit from day one and the trip turned into my usual hotch potch day by day improvisation.

Which was a shame, as I have spent many a night plotting a killer route on the Google Earth, following little bush tracks through the 4 countries, including many dune fields along the Indian ocean coast, and 100s of kms of national park boundaries with the big 5 supposedly roaming freely. The plan was to ride the sand tracks up the Mozambican coast from Maputo to Vilanculos, then head west to Eastern Highlands in Zimbabwe, follow little tracks along the Zim east and northern border to Kariba, cross to Zambia, follow the tracks west along the north shore of Lake Kariba. After Kariba head further west to the southern border of NP Kafue, turn north along the Kafue boundary all the way up to Angolan border and the source of Zambezi. From there follow the little tracks on the western side of Zambezi all the way down to Kasane, Botswana. Then just head back to Joburg on as much dirt as possible travelling Hunter’s road, Kalahari cutlines and Tuli Block. Like so:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/TdOqssuG-V0dAjY1oZRyF9zyyYOY3rUF3CPT4Y247DvNOIk9S3E-5pPUej3XnzCVOBrpF_phaCC4rZziTkdgahWSmWETjgHlZSJRCKv-NQcvxDtj01SjlK-qX5ChlvdUIZshQNb5bgHVbG0MewKzMiXqGcVh1Sl2c9BcBPP7yUnfHzK879McGauFIWLqx3PgR1VxlwEMb7mvVu0v00Eaq4F47L4u_THEboCnkMDczr5pZ1GOBtGEg-xwoiy3Tevu58t97E-rvtYSZmOfxJuhvHMt4szUcYn2q2hUkJPBtRknb2VKPmy1BzCgvptVTNssv_kvB3HEkG4WumdsWvp3xN211pUgd1YU4EXXCBo4h9UorL1vdn5xrsOh5eH9Zhf2ehS7gmR_TqBoKdBrpwbaFobPaphTBg1PlQHQk00GC82AtGHt8Ni6lwjLPQMZD3fhjeQ5TyVW40fUWpscteKYrGW7JTyFGUjdlb5OGgy4yAQU456Ajd5SORfOmqjCpH5xO-URd6cYK7cnDwA3tnHHSEDnUx0Zrxc_J297ymxILUcTS53Ed5Gyz-7jLy5Xyc9_66p3=w1772-h1580-no)


It was a good plan. The only glitch was, it failed to take into account that I have barely ridden a bike since the last Christmas and spent most of the year farting in the chair in my little Sandton office. I haven’t done any sport/exercise for few years now and have tried and failed repeatedly to quit smoking. Which didn’t stop me to plan about 200 km a day of Mozambican sandy coast few days in a row each of them more than an equivalent of a DeWildt loop. And of course I ignored the season - both prior Christmas safaris were done in summer, so what can possibly go wrong?

The above was enough to make the plan questionable even if I would have managed to use the full month for the trip, which I didn’t. After 3 years of trying to chisel the perfect adventure bike out of XT660Z, I have decided to move on and bought KTM 690. So far I have stayed clear off KTMs for adv riding because of their iffy reliability record. But assuming that after 6-7 years or so KTM finally either resolved the issues, or rather - they were known and rectifiable, I bought second hand 2014 690 with Omega rally kit and about 2000 km on the clock:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/n1_DyrSBgOa0zYIAHjldDY-olQyUHhykBLuokp-bh67Z6AH1390V0Kzv7Lh6f8iEP37ekk4fVFsTp3TqCmOg3B3m9KpuOy_VPo6CkF8XYZutcv03_2ADrZidxICCmsqRX2vYVkfVS8GAb-4g_NXuHn6HozPuR5cNpLLtrsJh54H7mdq-6DfGOpi9m6-j0ctr5QumU42-aSkt05ULV5ozwPFoHwba-0PxzjOXuAzVN1EMmsMIfbCxkYaIBWvaqLGYUBuRU1DFwfxYH74Ojt70T6F1uHmpeLeTkXFMp2OPP70013wFOvEM1ritDeesnMafqJyqy5rEPPiwfpu8dPFi-y17ffXsw2EHFl8x1ENzCFCNxq1YnGRb4JZWawW8rYA62o_p1si7aY8fCXtyTVWDXhI_Ky9HvG7usoUx9Tstv83-kfbh3CBzU750-e_X_8clCEA6D7ZNFWZUcNrFH59O6zPUDhGEycIqZn2TrEMEftcgSe9fMeXPYvIDARzZZKz5NP5QoFUz-6PnK8Z_M1IbrzlBjqZgyRfV5oUBwEVxyizLAv3DPiesB3GPLUSnRjfybbIS=w1843-h1382-no)


After one quick ride I pulled the bike apart to get it ready for the trip and rectify some of those shortcomings, including: new top and bottom tank bolts to prevent the reported collapse of the rear end with luggage on (this one thing is an eternal shame for KTM as the fix is so easy and cheap), Wings pipe that hopefully will not burn my soft bags, Unifilter, rear luggage rack, Mitas E09 Dakar tyres (why KTM sells these bikes with road tyres - Scorpion or some such - is beyond me), and most importantly took the suspension out for set-up by Hilton Hayward (I was unpleasantly surprised what a crap stock WP forks on 2014 are):

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/RVK3oSb9vFrLqow2AWS_ZC9FPJ6DF5JgOHUXZ2P4WBmYRGxBuT2FTukPeoGVbGliUTVb3H-e5kld8l-MRfGq5aYq0ODxsX1yTmpMGxlsXmsWnn0sZbO6-xI-Z21nJJId58szplJmsDzamfNk16x4GPIFRXMFH3Cv6F_1n44atmqRJgSt5oRRgDyVC0f7ggU1fPGrkiLSor4jJEow8zUUDb6Aa6A5YCJDBjgZEVc4uRIItnRz3YkO5uTa8IWWC_L_d89PmcFCqYuTukFOaJGoRnKY_gZ8D_RYkXlWtbDlJ2W2hJXBD6Wei88qBn2pOzk7Hk9jK13rNQ_tq9D7TtG3rmqWi7rLLyImvUz-dEZeTd1dEwD1NT0KEx_8jmijXqkbdBC4xxWMjxftuMR3mCatq5pdbnPJ10weQuMbeyYURkdiMG3SlRrNkZmGhiQCdKosxglIy8bbts7lcejCZUzgnYav3wT9mMQlzB8PPikxwjufBul5PmpXScGcpB28UzoZFj2yvIx0KNPOK5H6-FBjHMj61MVZvjCrJWvSAbeYDgHPX0LUjsug1BYVIdAdKd9TVlY_=w2514-h1676-no)


Things never go to plan in Africa, so I gave myself two months head start to sort everything out. I have managed to source all the things on time except for a rear spring that kept being postponed week after week. Which was problem as I needed the rear shock to assemble the bike - the rally kit tanks are held in place by the top tank bolts that I couldn’t put back in place without rear shock.  For once it wasn’t Africa’s fault, but Dutchmen’s. For some reason (some kind of internal company disputes), Dutchies (Hyperpro or Yacugar - I never know who is who in the Dutchland suspension world) failed to deliver ordered springs week after week. They finally arrived to SA on Friday before my planned departure, but then got lost somewhere in the DHL bowels. Eventually Hilton located it in the airport, where I fetched it on Monday evening and Hilton installed the spring on Tuesday. I then immediately proceeded to procrastinate on the assembly and packing for next 5 days (it was really exceptionally hot during the day this year - sigh of things to come), so I have lost effectively 9 days thanks to the late spring delivery and my lazy ass and lack of mechanical proves.

So no, I didn’t manage to ride the planned loop, not even half of it, due to fatigue and lack of time. But I still managed to ride lots of nice tracks that seem to be rarely (if at all) frequented by bikers (or even 4x4s), and confirmed that these countries offer fantastic riding opportunities for  people willing to get off the beaten track - much more than SA and Namibia combined as most of the land is communal and freely accessible. So this trip ended up being initial exploration for the future more focused ventures into this part of the world.

Here are some teasers to whet the appetite - of course, ridding solo, most of the pics will be the bike pictures. So if you don't like 690, you might as well stop reading now:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/lO3xLpPcbynj0WgJOTZ_FKcJf43jekxVrtWnXp_QmfpvhTLJsdWt00n5VNX3aowZT7oclUwo6zAb5sWAuriP6gwWlsy_xYgSPQrBgjYpIFeQ5pyHgaK0oZg4RIJmmvBHsbqBEqks2YPkoTEIYs0XLURs30Fg5FKYCcpVWQdkbdD4V7WTwq-kOen8CdoV6AgX3FNwWGXw7M7HQT5aJ_pG46UQj5M6wVnpkZfg0MI1HdD7LDBQyilJdVjIFxD28nYIMWhTid9zE5egM4WfBMw2q8uPMGGa8ebkPHHWa0xPoLs3Hda2je_KdNCAbN1peHYCAurb6yA6-UAeZSGqCsQ3uHod9Fo10A6HBKVGnckxtq16D1liJdWmyRmPb8yh0lbPbv13qKIcxVa8bS_KskzX0WfV9XWjivleQIZ1fQ1DHV-tLSjPV86GyF4aJLwJ9TfetjJVC9bnC7dRw9jfYn_6XEx1hWmwtSwwCthbxOBKLSZwZu5k6zUGYmCHjHzNWTzlwDr64V2rp3NM6dnTv_9LWQZVVbcw0-NCJWNfZeOeeu8ld6ZHevdyHhQFIrjgA8IiDKor=w1024-h575-no)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/rHR-3rX5IY7nVlkFIVlI7ez3aAmCdiWmYGaZKsUD1upJIysnONmfUU0BM34eHoz1QTY0rvnl6gxd92rg-Kgl1UWiTtmyNL_NtkcT43ayHn0dd2V9FpPaywVGHwRx2LygGbi2sLxOXXYiqOYp7AFJ1OfTLVvIXS6P-zs5c0KKqSCMjc0isU_ZAN-O8LeiaQ0rP161mUF7te9Sm24hLOsgrZeMTWPk28m_it57N9ai9MYFQGRiHsJdBXURcLnsl3XqYv8WLRnxOrDMhcrYaFrK0mB-Aie2ELNHhxhZ1d2Bj_YJ14EnEWGKqzxa7WDmTdbZrTRlYDnsrdbTJLQSkHBHruujGXxOtAodvsZ5IsDS9p532ku65Hrjf2Ja-QTBSwoBXzJkWYNyPiySz-NjusFpRSW78St480XFD2vasgus67xvAO-KKsLeGf4I9vIVV29UD4oreWOfCHBJUjkFtJII8luJsp5gcQ1GDYx04CCCbryPL9bOtjqRpgbisrWHu9Aben-AHBWnomvhQQLRzjJ5T6JYwtEaNXaGnco11AQO0iUSLRC_PAyMejADMfI8cm5MJuA-=w694-h390-no)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/M7ge2bGg47Tc8WHn97O_y_fyzyGPG2s_GFjslr1i_jPkG6sbS34WjwOViVApxCVrcAFH1BADT4ReWU95p8ALKUDcdIqU9yeuOAE10IdEXmNbp78G-1gTBP7_17GKoa2x3Q5E6SNSvwszmkNGdOIEHaVUAHZcj-VEkDKqs3Ajphatg1trVUQ40vS8L2ogg65EmaxgrMOHyYxmhMPAG1lr_AzlG2phL8KUv58FldfwEOrwoN99cUZ9PpxpqWpeaT2dOAC7Guxldnav6-t1Fb87mdFYsbNRZJS-nR5rxuFqcO68pfogpy_HnLmbwP6QrviDuXVAE1gLLFWyXAFqm4WSoyu_uxA7Qar5KL-1nKDSJS6wDLs2KLl57sRw6O-jNIR7qmoSXtdu4YhaxHpBsIDONlzoPlebGHWWQqSj0IOz3S2vL59bPFGR8AeRVpbtHy1Gey72Zo8w6wR7u8lyRRELQSHAk5yeCoJkeSvZ0l8wY5GpzMXN-KPhKZdsbxM4EId4oWz06Cq9jaXkRPmEN9MVFa11LjrerMPCfxIrVLyco7oGwiObVo6CSB4J2lJIY-C1FT9L=w1024-h575-no)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/i8Gz4A2HRYrwgm1xrrLCpUwG0lx3-oREgNaGL9XVwRoJ6UW7wl5zAjLrRazuAB-Rjfwrs0PXp0EvQNGFzN--Y443dWY7mcQ99aKXg1jtSyM9ira-Sclu92SJ7U0zk-PBnJ-5kElXtxvTEL-BU5iyJQpijI60gVfn72X1jTjlLflS3weyOjQVgdrg_cAGcDw9YNNgg8K9c6rBqKM9nxBQU4R40XRJ6BH6GMlSW-mEZC0a1UhtqQuV0iNPoTwfWdACPs20SdymOIfnK0pn-db-RbqReLAMHReTNbmLrngFu3KhKjiGd2TEUm8YTcnhoHKh5rit-8Lpr7RXFHqTmb6iZiXP8DEsLhAqOmVWMRyM25w9LGtD0p1ZjkTezWwC7bs-rlilWqd2loPPvvNs4lKyrdrNlzjdn_9X7CIpq4pSqEYfFQ_mhKbSiNLqPNnBoRpkjHVFJjPPeIbUa8M-GRVCg2IGUOUTQMyFG7HU1D_CAJQXAraR_J7AqyVuAOaonWb1LTWQQ2tVhCJ0uoaiCU7jTxjgWn6-erRzDfXFo1ICbei44ve086FSvKmJOPSBH1psrK_Q=w1024-h575-no)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/yAeuaNMssYaXET3E2CbNYGvCCRpns-0j5IlV3vNWsY0pdpjRpyMx8GwVc_ySaSyhBcZIkmBd6-BY1S7C8ip2CTST1zqnIWlpaBnx029RbS8zLgsQsFPh1ER00rz6_5V4-de4kE5JB1gXTXR5i8MB4ry1hpiNOCW43p5ERSAzROiV20xiS2S_Oml8L40L6E4buc23y4bs0-H6UujQp6Oe1-KJQcUsUaKmHUoOHOiDrhD24-KgKUjPfUcdXI-DI2dzt6iHZFQv4hqXHGQ2zcS8xRL_wKZgN4EFf-ZzYipTh1YcLzzvj8vs3WXSBGL-4kHQCOpjUabSGA11b3UBwG1TnBR-NlZQ8TA-Y1qspPWMpuTPaWA4JuuTnLxRT7J5iLgVbXQuLzuinkYMKSUlIQwz9ybbRnyL59svyCdjT8VXftb0vMDQscqnBHSKwWv4bhMsftngR6fOJT1GMf58sEmImyeYeqDBPgCgEvTf5xNpc1iE-YTL3jvOfoKRNzAR38z-xZxhCXP4d4o9QmUwN-vWzVwtah97y696mu8afvFqn1b3N6tSU_IeYpoRT9SuhetHAswr=w1024-h575-no)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/mYiYKVMr4506OrhwB6ibjW_0UkT_1E7Mh7pIVSD_EUk3xB8zMtdF8JevzeBLGNn7GboTFROe6f8XibKhj0EAAN5L7BJmx7Adj6ViVGb9BMkOsmCoaE6vElBcrund8fGhMT1MgQyugl9fS6uEtU7bL9L0fo75M5f45cr-NXEZ5CM_bPSX-0sN3oe0mNnuL5pOY-DbytQLbBVq2fbJeMc5bsyh2JhO95VAopImvLInxFlTa3oiVH0m1K9sjO8FXNr37YhrnbGqYhuGRWFwPbWIgnWmdcu9cC4A9hLDWV6zNH5bXnLSNeoCma1AvG64HB5Qq8Tqezvge2yFwob4duvrd9E1o_QUFlyLr-gRHYuGXm4QmHn2yBMr_NpHZYOrHgrgErfjy_yQfrUP9cHnGHf7w1cK4p0t8HZ3HwSeQR8y2TO1AlEOvduki0kmkt1orkxSsJaH1AoSo-N_VHyis7n8uMZboMxU1WUYI30AvTTfLiZqaZqziIA0sSv4D9l_1pfe_SQTlWC8mM8umRIvdFl1xuTkqjPIUPQKzyXUZ4gn3FvtT2mlyzOhCLDgERsENivecc8A=w1024-h575-no)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/iZ2Y4MODjSBhmoiHy8tRovMaM7w_iMSANPSNDBnCBEvRY7hfEOhrTh-y4o1vFkZvWOt_mB5Gc7G3ibR-iugkARQQLZ97U9STpMIy8uDlarKJvfdokClWgpi_u23iC5Z1TcdB22kyc414XAaq9ft9Qnca9OGMxPSDrrq25A2rb9I0UJddY1fv5IR8XR-x6LYjWnM9cj3-xThDdbdcm_AvmmWEZFUVsS4EuxpGbN0PNz8qvYlVmD0mYHtcZMGPUN-ATaEMyuL4lNO0dHQhBk6Zpb97m0ZNm6wdnerjZ-RlJv2ZsWXdvInWYCdfEUGLLr974wJ8bCNpkE7QKtYhpJ_jCA8hL0CVEWWS_-lHSijJfzsaMm_lIDGvMR6grv0hDsWjAXACqHjpVJpLSo74uCyerjFIydGyJyrgy_A3rbSCl0LnSW-g3L-i2hVpWtfOuUFNp2ctSKLtJLrIauINCKCWrrwaZQCu0GYTcjEmvqVfseZn1iBkyrGiV_gCEdu9RJBm9AuqtEzXzy2WpeI1GQcA9t_MP-j9Zgb3jKh_5y2IiI7h1UddyDoeCnuMaXrWsbNyaKDc=w1024-h575-no)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/vwO7LB2tCVSfnOk_TMEmjA608QLg6kPcQ0r2Lq7V3aL8JIXVn6VdjBVaPUgJMqacrM4y_aF2OJ-q0pxS-nXhgNrno93i5LHiDtkDi2WnQhVM3kc3w96-IUKHZt_7lHkhqO6g0qjhOm13bb-z_4Sm44cIIE1x3il2Y7jWF_zuNICrme-Ppwqzfpa0eXj0HyvtJwKXcgLjfDgfiKjNy8HKvZ2JmKqMxzqkgLQqCMKDJd8_3vN0_feev3tvhjNvCF9pgmVH78w4-udBnh_Gk7qTi4v7Mi41MYo6CXcS-u6j3FqpxumRvjJtfk53H-uPEBlI2eBWAW1IJD28g3w9xOAdVRhFOB8AjcwDUifx_GyNGXJ4vMWU-0PvJxvXFkvCjJS951o8t3CmO2MnLSpMRRN_4kcJ7476pkOw5COyjuaMtLidCUuB0QSPbmRSR6ku3ygYudCQeQezOwKf06_iDL_vZqqCIbwstirPRP8m42lGp67uhFGEATsswSFQwg1UQReYUTjg0hkWZdzBgDOV-0hPPZmKVIC-5CcoP8xgdd60Fxj_azmjs4cemaSdtQzeF-_1F8ac=w1024-h575-no)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/FjL4UYkpTDudJUoOlyuwnS7EaRxG3IQrYDWDYeSFIZJukp7UNR_dvdy8YWJnErCYVlvXS6XeYA10EH2u-atGeHl7N2yWvP7LkIJgNMDAtFWL_AWxycLfPnGFP7rGBET-Z-mJKxoHn-nShclxephwPU1lzSrcfQfrBavabGCJhSVPWL2V8b1ST521CkNvrG2vWBQY8q93DJJu--Hswu0WATqIMmqkH7sOSMfSBGfrkAdjz9MLahVPvlBGh_xigKOHfnda_kzxV_GbItYk9TpkLoD2zuuj9_YKRxAAVYH4ijAWTFjTn2xpIMkc-y5yBdQuJoPAm5yBPLSPIG5seFUlMfjzXAwa0zIhdD1bxjmag396B-UgudyCTJy1rkrkdPG3hqVLMwUPfLzp_pYeDMd5wtRa3yCK5KDPTfewo8ujw87jgX1oxxZytXT59EJk75mQQ4AKKmeeypgHXuTDNTp7Nz9ZzQmCMGNkyV3-WgIDthYC0ygDq1jOcVIOEXSmVp5NWv7dxXs-JWBgdLdPC0DRijYd64hcKt3UqG2cd7u-SiBt3moKImr8nBPmucu6s46teGyZ=w1024-h575-no)


I will add here the GPS tracks as I plough through the report:

GPS track for the planned coastal ride from Marracuene/Macaneta to Vilanculos (unfortunatelly download works only on Firefox - Google Drive error that hasn't been resolved for 5 years now. I will try to find other solution later): https://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&id=0B9kOx7wDkTe_Y3JrSXA1SEV1MGs (https://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&id=0B9kOx7wDkTe_Y3JrSXA1SEV1MGs)
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozabmique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Ratel on February 21, 2016, 05:30:52 pm
Looking forward to the rest  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: sidetrack on February 22, 2016, 03:50:17 pm
Yep also would like to hear how you found the 690 as a trip bike vs 660
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: DirtRebell on February 22, 2016, 04:02:19 pm
Looking forward to the rest  :thumleft:

+1

Lekker sover :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: YamaV on February 22, 2016, 04:06:28 pm
Yep also would like to hear how you found the 690 as a trip bike vs 660

+1

Beautiful pics Xpat!
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on February 22, 2016, 07:58:35 pm
Day 1

I have finally managed to set-off on Tuesday, December 22nd. The plan/hope for the day was to make it to Marracuene on the northern outskirt of Maputo, the start of the sandy double track up the coast, cca 600 km away. It was a long liaison stage, most of it boring tar where the main challenge was the Komatipoort border crossing to Mozambique - the only main border post between SA and Moz. In the middle of summer holidays just three days before Christmas it was shaping up to be a character building exercise. And there was a real risk that I’m not going to be let into Moz. I hoped to get Moz visa on the border as I did on my prior trip, but just before my departure there was a thread on WD forum where people in the know advised strongly for foreigners (I’m not SA citizen) to get the visa upfront as the visa issuance on the border seemed to be pretty arbitrary, especially in the peak season. So there was a real possibility that I may just bounce off the border and may be gunning it next day in the opposite direction north west to Botswana.

To give myself a fighting chance I started early before 7:00. First 15 km on N1 went without a glitch, until I stopped at the Shell garage to fill-up. The bike has 3 separate interconnected tanks and I closed them off to prevent the fuel spilling out of the lower two tanks. However I haven’t taken into account though how deep the filler caps stick into the tanks and ended up with petrol spraying all over me and by now hot engine anyway. So I’ve spent next hour in the parking lot sucking the excess petrol off the tanks with paper towels and waiting for the spilled petrol to evaporate.

An hour later I was back on N1 reeking of sweat (it was properly hot by now) and petrol. Somewhat intoxicated by the fumes I managed to miss the N4 off-ramp - a real Sandton bushtracker that I am - and had to turn back on the next off-ramp, having to paying toll in both directions getting off and on again. Then I got sprayed again by petrol from the front left tank - I was almost starting to like it. Who says you need to leave Gauteng highway network to have an adventure?

Quick stop and opening the tap between the tanks resolved the problem and I have finally reached N4 and headed into the sun towards Maputo. The ride was the dull slab enlivened only by antiques of overjoyed swarms of Moz heading holidaymakers and my sore ass. I have stopped for late breakfast in one of those rest points near Belfast and then again in Nelspruit for a refuel.

On stops the bike draws a lot of attraction - naturally, I have never had a bike with so many letters on it, including first owner’s name, initials and date of birth - in the form of race number. The downside is that it makes you (well me for sure) unwittingly act like a blase elder brother of Marc Coma in front of any spectators, particularly of female disposition. Those nonchalant moves came to bite me at that petrol station as I managed to pull the bike off its side stand while fastening a strap at the back, and the bike come crashing down right next to the fuel point. This came to become far too regular occurrence on the trip - posturing aside, the sidestand is just too long once the sag in the suspension is set-up correctly and the bike is filled up with petrol and luggage, and parking the bike turned out to be pain in the ass. I’ll have to sort that out before my next trip.

Once filled-up I continued on N4 towards Komatipoort, but I was feeling some serious misgivings about what laid ahead. There was a mass of traffic heading that way and I wasn’t keen to face the resulting mayhem on the border, including possible visa rejection by too busy officers. Quick check of the map brought up a possible solution - I turned south and headed to Swaziland about 30 km away. I have made it across the border to Swaziland without a glitch in less than half an hour where I turned east again heading along the SA/Swazi border for the Namaacha border crossing to Moz. By now the sun was getting low and I thought they may close the border for the day, so I was pushing to get there before border closes. I made it to the border on time and even better - there was no traffic whatsoever. I fully expected it to be pretty busy, surely I couldn’t be the only one to figure out this way around Komatipoort only about 30-40 km to the north. But I was, which amazed me even more when I was told later that the line in Komatipoort was 4-6 km long. Those people waiting in those line must have been comatose not to see the obvious workaround.

The officers were friendly - they gave me a cursory pep talk about how dandy it is to get visa upfront in embassy, but then proceeded to issue me one without a problem. Score! They even had official price list for it, so I guess it is still legally possible - I wouldn’t try it in Komatipoort in peak season though.

Once in Mozambique, the urban scenery immediately changes into a Brazilian favela with bright colours and plaster peeling off the decrepit concrete buildings - the portuguese influence is clearly visible, as are the scars of the civil war. Nevertheless, to my amazement, I was able to withdraw Meticais from the only ATM in town (and to my much bigger amazement it turned out later on that you can pay almost everywhere with payment cards - even in remote villages hundreds of km from tar) and afterwards pushed hard down the serpentines off the mountains towards Maputo racing the setting sun.


At the bottom of the hills I came to a T junction, where I had a decision to make. Left going north to Moamba  on my original route from where I had plotted dirt roads all the way to Marracuene, bypassing Maputo completely. Right would take me straight through the middle of Maputo. Normally I would turn left without a second thought, but it was almost dark by now and the Maputo route was only half the distance, so I made up a theory about most of the Maputan’s already out of town in their beach houses up the coast and turned right. That lasted for few kms until I hit the peak traffic head on still way out of the Maputo proper and had to switch into full street-fighting mode.  Unlike most westerners I do enjoy a bit of the trademark African traffic chaos and disregard of rules (SA, Botswana and Namibia do not qualify as Africa as people follow the rules more or less there) and soon got into the swing of things riding like an idiot swaying around stationary traffic alternating between the dirt riding on the shoulder and lane splitting  against the oncoming traffic. It was fun, but with 550 km and two border crossings under the belt for the day I tired soon and persevered in the dark through the heat and fumes driven only by fantasies of medium rare stake and nice bed in Jay’s lodge in Macaneta.
 
The slow, stop and go traffic and the tropical heat were ideal for the KTM to show its character. The rev meter started acting erratically and eventually quit completely, the fan was on more or less all the time, and I was getting cramps in my left hand clutching my way through the choke a block traffic thanks to that truly stupid close ratio gearbox. Oh and my speedometer quit already in Joburg – I was sure it was blown fuse, but didn’t bother to change it as it also disabled permanently ABS, which is how I like to have it.  I eventually came to like this bike a lot with all its ‘character’( especially as it didn’t leave me stranded which is all that matters at the end of the day), with exception of that stupid close ratio gearbox, that IMO is an epic KTM fail.
 
It took about two hours of intense urbane fighting to get me to Marracuene which I’ve reached at about 7:00pm. I still had to cross the Incomati river to reach the bliss of cooked meal and bed and was greatly relieved to see that the ferry was still operating. Normally they close at 6:00pm, but due to high holiday traffic they kept operating longer – bless their soul. Being on bike I jumped the long queue of cars (the ferry has limited space and according to locals it takes regularly about 4 hours wait to get car to the other side) and took the next ride to the other side. Then it was quick dash of about 5km or so on a good dirt road until I reached turnoff to Jay’s Lodge another 5 or so km away. I’ve been here before and knew that the double track to the lodge is one of the most brutal sands you can find even in Moz as it crosses the coastal dune field. So uncharacteristically for me, I have stopped and lowered the tyre pressures to about 1.3 bar and set-off.  And I battled, battled bad. Tired from the long liaison and checked out mentally too early assuming I’m already there, I even had to resort to a duck-walking in places – not a good sign for the next 600 km or so of the same shit I had planned for me.
 
I have made it eventually to the lodge, where I inhaled in quick successions few sodas and beers, followed by some kind of meal that I don’t remember. Somewhat recovered – or so I thought – I still had to brave about 1,5 km of brutal sand to the chalet following the two ladies from the lodge leading the way. It was easy for them in their hard core Daihatsu Terrios 4x4, but me and my Dakar replica suffered badly in the deep uneven weaving sand and they had to wait for me couple of times. To say that I was relieved to see the chalet would be a gross understatement. I was tired like a dog and hit the bed straight away.
 
Sorry I have no pictures from this day - it will improve going forward. Route for the day:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/QawjIrKZ5XGDE1uOwT5D3rHTA-D13cQE_T1h1KrlsEMtn3S6tniRbXAI83uqBH46XwcfBycdAPqc_SjJpw5UXzvHrUlo_zxO1YqGilX-CPWZp-W--pnuumixm-3SBglCm8tGEZdb5945qljRTj7r3ONHb6ycqDFIHE8sOCCFSR7iNCfVfhSgZR3ptdUzWNDlGaj7wJqAlVIQfvwUlMKb5OIXb3YpBlYj0_huY9vGViazBAq3bSvxQ2WHNWnp9T5la6aa82vDoQH465mk1dwtOls_tyjY7HCTW2zdhZZty_oy5i3bcEHFWjTvYVnSZQWeSLG2RlWb6Cl3wjkRRggGQ5rbsTKERBHMEyh78MZQ-jxGqNPncG_oJ8_l1IMW-t78-kHJRy6f4xnJM8ctSNiCISEakonyhh1-ZZNL5UVxjOPhYOfzKjZQ0QD4QcDptOIoSN8LyBckbCCBWTa4FOFp2bT2CT5apzEt_E-VAZn_UYLUk8_D6ngy6wJGX8BC7l_aRHScT-QzzPBG0AOkVdVwquKhqi7r3YoIl412a7kXxw_UCXupN-YnWIta3Eaxgop_1Kcj=w2540-h1412-no)
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Kobus Myburgh on February 22, 2016, 08:18:57 pm
 :sip: Ek ry graag saam
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Draadwerk on February 22, 2016, 08:39:42 pm
Gooi, ek ry saam...👍🏻
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: lj111 on February 22, 2016, 09:45:37 pm
 :ricky: :drif:
 :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: dirtyXT on February 23, 2016, 10:55:52 am
cant wait to hear the rest!
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: SchalkL on February 23, 2016, 11:19:37 am
I read all your RR, so in my kraal.   :3some:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on February 23, 2016, 12:20:40 pm
Thanks.

@sidetrack re Tenere vs 690:

 XT660Z is better all-round travel bike - more comfortable to eat up long distances, even in good dirt (but then of course twin would be even better). That's where more weight and real estate of the bike helps with creature comforts and stability. For those mainstream trips most people like to do, like Sani pass and surrounds, Baviaans or Tankwa Karoo it is the better bike.

690 is better tool for the focused trips off the beaten track (i.e. not just off tar, but routes rarely ridden by bikes or even tourists that you will often not find even on T4A - kind of what you and Wolfskaap do on Google Earth). To give some examples:
- Christmas Safari 1 where I've spent most of the time on tar and relatively good dirt (those Kalahari cutlines are quite OK, especially after rain) - Tenere was the better tool.
- Christmas Safari 2 - I would say 50/50. For most of the route actually Tenere is the better tool (including the tracks in southern Botswana that were used for Amageza), but then in Damaraland and Kaokoland 690 takes the win.
- Christmas Safari 3 - 690 hands down. This was my physically toughest trip so far and I would have most probably had to skip most of it on Tenere due to exhaustion.

But to be honest, I couldn't help feeling that TE630 would have been even better in Moz...

Yes, I know I should probably get help   ;)
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: M3X3Z3 on February 23, 2016, 01:23:24 pm
Hey Xpat

Your RRs are the best !   :thumleft:

Looking forward to the rest.  :drif:

Jup, poor physical fitness is a real passion killer when out on a bike.  :-[
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: woody1 on February 23, 2016, 01:25:49 pm
 :ricky:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: andrew5336 on February 23, 2016, 02:00:10 pm
Yeeeah!
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Steekvlieg on February 23, 2016, 02:04:41 pm
 :sip: :sip:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: ROOI on February 23, 2016, 03:02:27 pm
SUB  :spitcoffee:
Title: Re:
Post by: dirtyXT on February 23, 2016, 04:46:10 pm
And now we wait... Hurry!

Sent from my D6603 using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on February 23, 2016, 04:52:25 pm
Sadly I still have to work to eat, will post next installment in the evening, thanks for following.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on February 23, 2016, 09:24:15 pm
Day 2
 
I woke up early before sunrise still sore from the prior day liaison and decided to take the day off - a record of a kind for me, a rest day after just one day of riding.
 
Me casa:
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-roskaRFoPeE/Vq5EKkQ01GI/AAAAAAAAGTQ/UOzyKbuZYYU/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%2525202%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-CychszZiUOo/Vq5Gs5Drh1I/AAAAAAAAGVU/Upcllb9fZ_Q/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252033%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8AIe_w6i6M8/Vq5GDA5kDfI/AAAAAAAAGU8/MTqbUxBDYPY/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%2525203%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jPya9_C9NZw/Vq5CGORdfAI/AAAAAAAAGQs/thu9Z4qPB5k/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%2525201%252520of%25252079.jpg)


 
I went for a walk on the beach, where the local fishermen were getting busy to rope their daily catch in.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VGER26iZvSI/Vq5CFDalyDI/AAAAAAAAGQk/wSwQrfrkJl4/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%2525201%252520of%2525201.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-GQKUwD5SK3c/Vq5H06iLcTI/AAAAAAAAGWU/bVNX9qIptIY/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%2525204%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-2rCOOE0ZHA0/Vq5Lmz8d46I/AAAAAAAAGZM/6GvDAC5DbhY/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%2525206%252520of%25252079.jpg)

This little girl picked me up at the chalet and accompanied me staying always exactly out of reach:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-h5nojnD_pHA/Vq5O3y6pYbI/AAAAAAAAGcc/KE3lj3YtGI0/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%2525209%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-W-2nvsM8oA4/Vq5OzEiLPRI/AAAAAAAAGcU/OB9naNQZC7E/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%2525208%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-SBpxss0hQuY/Vq5Ccy38ZcI/AAAAAAAAGRM/R7bAqs7ITrw/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252011%252520of%25252079.jpg)


The fishermen playing the tug of war with the sea:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-N5w6LzikzHM/Vq5CmB5Bv_I/AAAAAAAAGRY/UnEMneDPUQk/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252012%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-H1jOZGU-l5M/Vq5DKRr4mRI/AAAAAAAAGSM/d49_X8am-rw/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252015%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-n2AXRfjzhl4/Vq5C-mLwL8I/AAAAAAAAGR8/4fAzV7IN14M/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252014%252520of%25252079.jpg)

They used boats to get the nets out to the see and musle on the shore to pull it out:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-S7h9cDPWG9M/Vq5EsFKR0lI/AAAAAAAAGT0/j3NJWV26SWE/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252023%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PcN5Xp11CB0/Vq5ELFAopZI/AAAAAAAAGTY/G88j0sn8m3k/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252020%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-DGKO8Nqx_O0/Vq5Fpk74w_I/AAAAAAAAGUk/rxusN0RylOY/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252029%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ktPbAv7AGdc/Vq5F_YLp3NI/AAAAAAAAGUs/gD8BMQUE1I8/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252030%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xcMpnSPBgtg/Vq5DzBnn6nI/AAAAAAAAGTE/uVEjCxLcmPQ/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252019%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jvYGZRBFr0Q/Vq5DsstbanI/AAAAAAAAGS0/OOwnHJkIbP4/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252018%252520of%25252079.jpg)

Biggest catch of the day:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xw5MJ9VXVhE/Vq5FJfB5_vI/AAAAAAAAGUE/3t69nAZ4k88/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252026%252520of%25252079.jpg)

Not much actually for all the effort, but good enough for me - I have a suspicion this one ended up being my dinner:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-FkbCehVgdEk/Vq5FKlNStDI/AAAAAAAAGUM/r5JHaIT07sM/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252027%252520of%25252079.jpg)


Yesterday in the mad dash to make it to the ferry before it shuts down I didn’t stop to refill, so one chore for the day was to go back to Marracuene for a fill-up. Still painfully aware of my yesterday’s struggle in the sand I took the luggage off and set-off in shorts and t-shirt for the 20 km round trip, stopping for a breakfast at the lodge. I hit the sand with apprehension remembering yesterday’s fiasco, but well rested and without the luggage it was a breeze and I was able to sail the double track mostly in third sliding rear into the corners. My sand riding mojo was back! Which was a good news considering I had about 600 km of sand to cross to get to Vilanculos.
 
I’ve made it to the ferry in no time, jumping the queue again. With all the developments on the beaches around Macaneta, the ferry is a major choke point causing serious delays. So it is probably a good thing that Chinese are busy building a bridge across the river, though I shared the lodge manager’s concern that this will bring in crowds from near by Maputo with all attendant issues destroying current tranquil vibe of the place.
 
Ferry across Inkomati - note the bridge on the right being build by the Chinese:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-qPMUG9vBWlU/Vq5G1iX1zTI/AAAAAAAAGVc/6RpEjVNKOxg/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252035%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-GApYj9jgvds/Vq5HDVK22ZI/AAAAAAAAGVk/4qGbuwcuhm0/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252036%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-X-61PE40dSY/Vq5HIRlM7FI/AAAAAAAAGVs/jHbbkAcn7is/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252037%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-_NkVE5ntb_M/Vq5HcRcee0I/AAAAAAAAGWE/v7jvuBdvduk/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252039%252520of%25252079.jpg)


Once in Marracuene I have filled up and withdrawn more money as a reserve, and made it back to the lodge before lunch to the amazement of the staff, for whom this 20 km round trip usually takes whole day due to the delays at the ferry.
 
Back at the lodge's parking lot:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-rBEaoKPhsS4/Vq5HykB12gI/AAAAAAAAGWM/kLnXsjKBQAI/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252040%252520of%25252079.jpg)


After yesterday’s mad dash I’ve spent rest of the day feeding at the lodge and chilling in the pool next to the chalet. Relaxed, not even the playlist at the lodge consisting from the Afrikaan’s folk-pop (or whatever is this curious genre called), Brian Adams, and Modern Talking could destroy my inner peace - at the end of the day I still have sweet memories of shaking vigorously to the tunes of Cherry, Cherry Lady as part of the early mating rituals in the late 80’s. I also chatted to the lodge boss-lady who saved my ass on my first visit 4 years ago, when the subframe bolt on my TE630 snapped and she managed to fabricate one from an old bolt we found in her shack. At the time my mate and I were the first people who made it to the lodge on bikes and not much has changed since – they had probably handful of people in plastics there since, but no adv bikes. So if you are looking for an initiation ritual, just take your GS to the Jay’s lodge, you won’t be disappointed   8).
                                                                                                         
I wrapped the day with hearty dinner and few beers at the lodge, hiked back to the chalet, and packed up for an early departure next morning and hit the bed early.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: SchalkL on February 23, 2016, 09:57:22 pm
Hijack on :
This makes me think back of my brave days. I was at Ponta de Macaneta in 2002 with a bit of different bike  :snorting:
Went across the ferry and it took me around 2 hours to get to the beach. (No 690's those days  :P )
 Is that shipwreck still on the beach somewhere?
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/lRTzg7Vx5SsKnVNXAN7JY4zkhuodVR8alSFJ-2GJIvttGuEcvMj8n5enUIG6hY2WhlAiIdPILmDCUrg1a9JX-y1Zav6unZakSkJ1AINegETMRsaQ21Wtfq8ynUFnGlHFRIa4KkHBM_NjLq3u3xm5qzc6uKbR0GYtDKwiYMY7ZCFC8tu0dRgFqCReqKfV4JdMcui4N1aIzNB5WwDH90fPLqHbhRFyjktN1lIWTPyRh5HHUx20Sh1IHUxu9RAxPoVhy6KGjLgwjYobzTvAarfswde6oSCkIERfOBFAKVpHkri32wOeBEDxIGiea4ATlB0sBrrgHlL4RqEnaB28OzlwUgYXVPKgyx6C51cOmIGv55gefiF_hthFp8dTJHarnl0VTAtUx50Np53tvGfQWWwTnkziCNl9Aya8iFKnOzyTXrBgzEjn5U5vpDQB_ld7o494Pi_uYfprL_l0c0_AOKO2dE9lAnlYPOEKCnhz2ii1iPULyBIFeIv9b_n7rwbHRE1ySHg2SPvLPtysN-aLK7el_7xdeBuA69i8CfXKCiXAeUu7CwmI6RCa_mWjw6iyCABNTs7S=w640-h480-no)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/u1wLoXEJOO1GZMbInt6u10w-kAl2uxUEbGUQFH5h-r-PSENiccBZsrsfgDT05nxCcyHvNIsdMMLM48h_LW1buH4oDJJD9OfG_bzw-GHMyGy-Kaktg1gPar7nwAAuH2iuctNY7FJlztYPVgZPgtb6lt3lVvoODyz3mwH7tnTliZQ334ZNGzxWK6ipoZG5FXj5gxRSlNXQx2FvRoXufjtfH2OKSphGo7QsrRx8vVtUvDPLmiYym77CDIQPP7MaPh-aAewOd6awLEZMv73ltmmloy758L122DlM_2K7BSPU22gfbKIFBIjpg9ffw0KKEINYOGBkGEUSTZ1VEVdur_T9BFCGchiDDm-_9H3xFNtDhemUFw65l5eihvHXQZ3AP8B1EbP0aOgbr7AhkdvOQuY9kzFf8oyF38bASwAKFVDIED8GdMWy_QDIB0Rq4LaoPiHpwWtMKdTLAQ-D1v9pQqIjZGVaAcponWAfDPqafb-ydo3okfbxe0zp_RMHBVTqGzdW1ln47eTF7z8f48bmuiBrZWvxPW4-SqMIzascvwLHeISRXgQZXFMnxI9Fbk42ia5TJxqb=w640-h480-no)
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/AgQdtx4ENz-tv1pQFWqLWO6sqoo8sNCrPBt3fRTmhwTa8M9a5iCPtCcA8Kd9k9QIUXspRgzTVlmvWkMvt0NwWFEU3nHeSoDJhOWPXji9yZOS5pfl3OmR7xPC1lyMzJ2b4TOpHAEvcJ39SezRmNa1h-BVKv3uc2S3wJNjUTf0COZsmv_y-rs7DxJzFhK93qMuw3LdPVPDtzJQVzXgIodShKP6R31IIeJt6CwvpAlYS3XKBvjHo-HVlSv3D7t7aI7QjvpS8qn8siwHkln9epZZQiy0ZdfJyxhYkIW7CDD_ih_4B0nJrMcl46cU6I6NW7fMbOhxF-5C-P22FJlmREa1z0iCayDyhUzhtdPLpOQcgDUQj2zSAhHlpm9LARB7rQnJyx5Hlbz8_WUr-EK_MFWnEKzkxsjiVIi8m8niu_a5DtnqM4RQJoSq_Zav0H_MCDYu4ho0mauQ1WAHCyo06b4tBALY0F1R0Tyb7mQj3RdoGTRQX5mucs9hhEnWqQ4toElG4aM6qNOp-r7tTYeSrV5iJEZypz6r7fk0Bub1yPyL65b4WlouNBKHRy5KkZ1tKMTbpkSS=w640-h480-no)
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on February 23, 2016, 10:25:27 pm
All right, I can play this game  O0. Not Macaneta, but on heavier bike without proper suspension (that telelever/paralever doesn't qualify as real suspension for this):

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-OhMq4eMGZ5Y/Vsy_HZ9tjLI/AAAAAAAAHDA/0A_nd9OGWjY/s1024-Ic42/060902%252520191-37.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4SEgn-_sz3E/Vsy_ETt7Q9I/AAAAAAAAHC8/f1rcPIYBLFo/s1024-Ic42/060902%252520190-88.jpg)


Back on topic - I haven't seen the wreck, now or 4 years ago. But to be honest I'm not sure I ever was on the Macaneta beach. The Jay's lodge is about 5 km to the north from where I believe the main tourist centre is. When you are coming from the ferry and reach the dunes, most people turn right where most lodges are. For Jay's you need to turn left on little double track, which then crosses the dunes - that is the tough section, getting to Macaneta itself nowadays is non-event.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on February 24, 2016, 09:44:25 pm
Day 3

I woke up before 5:00 am keen to start early while the temperature was still bearable. Still on my Sandton inner clock, it took me a whole hour to get ready to go.

As I’ve said in the intro I spent a lot of time planning this trip. By that I mean squinting for hours at the Googlemaps satellite images zoomed in to the max, and clicking every 20-30 meters at anything that resembled some kind of track going more or less in the desired direction. I didn’t spent any time planning where to stay as that seemed pretty obvious: Day 1 – still fresh for a nice ride from Jay’s lodge to Zavora, day 2 from Zavora to Tofu beach, a day of rest and ride up to Vilanculos on day 4. To put it differently, 350 km for day 1, 100 km for day 2 and about 250 km on day 4. Navigating winding double (and single as it turned out) tracks across one big coastal dune field all the way to Vilanculos, in the middle of one of the hottest recorded summers. Somehow I missed that in the plan.

So the objective for the day was Zavora 350 km away, most of the route following the sandy coastal tracks, with the exception of about 30 km in Xai Xai where I had to hit tar to cross the Limpopo river bridge. Delusional, of course, but I didn’t grasp it yet. Buoyed by yesterday’s good form I set-off, realizing very soon that it wasn’t a mojo I found yesterday, but the luggage I lost that made all the difference. Fully loaded I was battling from the get go - the bike front end was very flighty and unpredictable throwing me off the balance – I just couldn’t get into the rhythm. To make things worse, unlike yesterday when the morning was nicely overcast and cold, today the sky was clear. As soon as the sun was up it was getting unpleasantly hot even though it was still before 7:00 am. It took me undue long time to backtrack 3 km back to the village on the verge of the dune field, where I turned right onto  the sandy double track running between the coastal dunes and inland flat fields heading north towards Bilene.

I’m quite used to having to find my foot in sand after a long break, so I pushed on. The problem was by now very evident lack of fitness.I was losing my clearly small energy reserves way faster than recovering those forgotten sand riding muscle memories. Lacking the energy I was riding tentatively which inevitably led to the bike/sand bossing me around, rather than the other way around, sapping my energy further.  I had to stop every km or two to recover, losing precious early morning riding time, getting hotter and hotter, losing more energy, resulting in more frequent stops … the usual snowball.  

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-A_1VnqSqJZk/Vq5H3Czv3XI/AAAAAAAAGWc/aFYLfsmdPMo/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252041%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-oF7cw-6O9TU/Vq5IOHVKVVI/AAAAAAAAGWk/7EpR9ZZ8nEU/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252042%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-kagjV2qyPDw/Vq5Ke9kWZSI/AAAAAAAAGYU/okscv_ymzVg/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252054%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-1hM6R50DTmw/Vq5KdK6z9PI/AAAAAAAAGYM/2noL7TXVKaU/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252053%252520of%25252079.jpg)


I’ve ridden this particular trek before and  knew within about 10 km from the village I will have to cross another 10-15 km of a dune field. By the time I made it to the entrance to the dunes I was more or less wasted - about 13 km into the 350 km planned route. A bit delirious I have made half-hearted tentative attempt at the dunes - never good in sand which requires nothing less than total commitment. Within few 100 meters I was defeated, not having an energy even to attempt the duck walk. I laid down in the shade of the bush contemplating the situation. It was exceedingly clear that I will not see Zavora that day and the chances of making it at least to Bilene 80 km away seemed very remote. What was worse, this whole trip was in balance as I seemed not been able to make it even through the very first dune field (Jay’s approach excluded) I faced – there were 100s of kms more ahead. What made it especially depressing was that I have ridden this very same track 4 years ago on TE630 and it was a joll - admittedly after heavy rain though.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ATWOVJl-SNs/Vq5IWCOzmHI/AAAAAAAAGW0/9kVwHYRaP-4/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252043%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-SuflOmGopY0/Vq5IWDDAIVI/AAAAAAAAGWw/45UyVUesnis/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252044%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-_Y-EHXnVfcs/Vq5Ir66avzI/AAAAAAAAGW8/9Xp5TRR8XMo/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252045%252520of%25252079.jpg)


But there weren’t many options left – yes I could turn back, but even in my state it was still too early to throw the towel in, I had almost 3 weeks to kill. Once my body temperature and associated monkey-mind settled back to operable levels, I checked GPS and noticed that there was an alternative track on T4A swerving inland and then back looking like it may be bypassing the dune field. As far as I remembered from the last trip, the track became much easier on the other side of the dune field, so it seemed like a plausible solution. So when I was able to muster enough energy to turn the bike back I backtracked to the start of the dune and turned right following the GPS track inland. It was sand of course but more manageable as the track was flat and mostly straight, with no bushes trying to fight with. I was able to ride again, and didn’t have to stop all the time.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-T5s7OIusIaU/Vq5FfKOsM_I/AAAAAAAAGUU/wdtcakITZsw/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%2525203%252520of%25252018.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-SsANWenmN-Y/Vq5Dy_Xh3iI/AAAAAAAAGTA/wNSZiz4Di1g/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%2525202%252520of%25252018.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xUF2c7yltu4/Vq5HTBo4BpI/AAAAAAAAGV8/DafZP4304CU/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%2525204%252520of%25252018.jpg)

Eastern European thrilled by the unlimited sand riding opportunities:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-3E9v6ZeQ_Z0/Vq5IsViaNtI/AAAAAAAAGXE/9_xrGYDf4YA/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252047%252520of%25252079.jpg)


The point where the T4A track turned back to the ocean – which I assumed was on the other side of the dune field – turned out to be just another entry point in the dunes, albeit at least few km further up. This one was less steep and better-trodden, I could see tracks of heavy truck which conveniently flattened the track a bit. By now I didn’t care anymore, so I hit it with reckless abandon resulting in my first wipe out about 200 meters up the dune – no biggie, soft sand is nice to fall into. I took a breather waiting for the radiator fan to switch off. So far, KTM was taking it in its stride. I had to stop regularly to let it cool down, and when hot it did hesitate to start – took usually two tries, but otherwise OK. But I had an uneasy feeling in my gut as it had to take a lot of abuse to compensate for my lack of talent. One thing that didn’t help was that stupid close ratio gearbox I have moaned about yesterday. So far due to  the lack of talent I have spent most of the time winding my way through the bush lugging in 2nd and way too much time in wound up 1st in dunes. Only occasionally I managed to lug it in 3rd as it was just way too fast for comfort on the tightly wound track. And I had to clutch my way through many tight spots adding to my fatigue and worries about possible clutch burnout. I cursed myself for not swapping the 15 front sprocket for the 14 in Jay’s lodge – I considered it, but got complacent after the false success of the prior day’s round trip to Marracuene. And I couldn’t help to ponder how much easier this would be on the TE630 – partially due to its wide ratio gearbox and partially due to its Enduro form, better suited for this shit than rally IMO. But then I may have been just delusional.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jEvRgTb9bhU/Vq5JC1C99hI/AAAAAAAAGXU/4Is6L8dnSuo/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%2525205%252520of%25252018.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ejIF42D33ps/Vq5JKygryUI/AAAAAAAAGXc/SUuXzEZrRng/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252048%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Y_NlTsgcDos/Vq5LQ0F_hNI/AAAAAAAAGY8/3e7CttEMsjo/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%2525206%252520of%25252018.jpg)


Anyway, without many options left I have resigned myself to the fact that I have to make it through the bloody dunes one way or another, and as it usually happens I finally got my mojo back and started making good progress (funny that the surrender so popular in religions seem to work really well for sand riding too). I moved on gear up and managed to swerve around bushes most of the time in 2nd and 3rd. I had one scare when I came too fast into a right corner, and the momentum thrown me straight in the air, narrowly missing a tree and landing in somebody’s garden.

The breakpoint came on the other side of the dunes. I have fully expected the track to ease up significantly and was very unpleasantly surprised that it didn’t. If anything it got worse, turning into the bottomless powder pit. Funny how much difference a rain or rather lack of can make here. I still had about 60 km of possibly same sand to Bilene, and my heart was not in it anymore - especially as I there was a much easier alternative (no not crossing the dunes back). There is a mud road heading inland across the fields in one of the villages ahead, crossing a bridge over Inkomati in the middle of sugarcane plantation and then joining the main tar road in Manhica.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-HGP3UtyP3EI/Vq5KvW7e7nI/AAAAAAAAGYc/BOhcL8WJ7Kw/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252055%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-EC4Ic37PNPQ/Vq5JxIWvLXI/AAAAAAAAGX0/ZuC_uKbKg4k/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252050%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PZ6vY_R3Gm4/Vq5Oeult-9I/AAAAAAAAGb0/5kC5cXUHGpU/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%2525208%252520of%25252018.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VJbtiq3vhHs/Vq5OvdbImyI/AAAAAAAAGcM/MD-CYIrg-24/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%2525209%252520of%25252018.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-0TrNS9A7LLg/Vq5J5XvGheI/AAAAAAAAGX8/xzYcn8RDd0o/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252051%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-R6hwySfw6gA/Vq5JOywEAeI/AAAAAAAAGXk/6kDFIMsy9JA/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252049%252520of%25252079.jpg)

Refreshment stop in the village where I was to turn inland for a dash to tar. Not in my best shape I first laughed at this pretentious guy clad out all in white - unitil I realized that he indeed is a doctor:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/--Tp_jjOrPaw/Vq5K7wwMBtI/AAAAAAAAGYk/5d4d0jtq5No/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252056%252520of%25252079.jpg)


But I still had to navigate about 10-15 of deep powder to get to the village, which took me with one long pause about an hour/hour and a half. From there it is easy10-20 km on compacted mud roads to tar in Manhica, where I stopped at a garage for drink and a brainstorm. Initially, feeling defeated I just wanted to give up on this whole sand riding and just ride up to Zavora about 300 km away on tar – it was about lunch time, so it was perfectly doable. Few cold Cokes later some of my original resolve cropped up again and I decided to head for Bilene about 100 km away (tar loops inland so it’s much longer than the sandy track), recuperate on the beach for the rest of the day and pick the track up again from there tomorrow morning.  

Bilene, overseeing postcard lagoon, turned out to be this beach resort kind of place with one strip surrounded by lodges, restaurants and souvenir shops. After being rejected in two different backpackers that were full I resigned myself to stay in something called Complexo Palmeiras. I thought it to be one of those pompous beach resorts, but it actually turned out all right with good restaurant and relaxed non-pretentious atmosphere. I have settled in one of the chalets and spent most of the afternoon in the lagoon cooling down. Sufficiently soaked I went for dinner in the restaurant full of family holidaymakers (it was Christmas Eve) and then headed back to the chalet to prep for the next day.

I decided to make few changes, to give myself a chance after today’s fiasco: I swapped the front sprocket from 15 to 14 to get more manageable gearing and lowered the front end in the triple clamps about half a centimetre. Now it may seem counterintuitive as that would normally make the bike less stable, but I felt that my front end was just too light (especially with about 35 kg of luggage at the back) and therefore lacking traction and unpredictably flighty. The theory was more weight upfront equates more traction. We’ll see.

Good rest and food did miracle for my mood and I felt cautiously confident that with the better gearing and traction I might be still able to salvage this trip. Universe also seemed to agree, as it started raining. I was probably the only one in that resort who really rejoiced at that.
 
Bilene - Complexo Palmeiras:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-3euVk7hvX64/Vq5LK8BO61I/AAAAAAAAGY0/2GGm1IoNZ4U/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252058%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ehvb0-kyjmM/Vq5Ls3IJHeI/AAAAAAAAGZU/e5e2lEOW_fo/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252060%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-D5LrWcbiu_U/Vs4C75hU0XI/AAAAAAAAHDg/RftbXlNvenw/s1024-Ic42/TWH00673.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-cKnfCx_NQ-w/Vq5Lwvoj61I/AAAAAAAAGZc/yIRQLdFjnY0/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252061%252520of%25252079.jpg)


Route for the day:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LMgFzR4IMjc/Vq5ZTj8f7mI/AAAAAAAAGdU/-VftCnRhrZI/s912-Ic42/Maracuene%252520-%252520Bilene.png)
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: dirtyXT on February 25, 2016, 11:40:38 am
tuning into an epic tale, as sad as it makes me the tenere would have been murder and under powered in that sand. good choice.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: SchalkL on February 25, 2016, 11:52:51 am
Can't wait for the rest, tx again for sharing XPat.
(This is how a ride report should be done ! )
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Hondsekierie on February 26, 2016, 09:51:45 pm
Waiting in anticipation!!!!  Thanks for sharing

That Jay's Lodge most likely same road to El Paso (Western theme).  If so you need to carry a lot of speed to ride that shit - respect for doing it with a loaded 690 ;)

That section between Macaneta and Bilene is quite well known as extremely tuff - doing it with a 35kg load makes it almost undo able.  Lotsa respect

Can't wait for the rest, tx again for sharing XPat.
(This is how a ride report should be done ! )


Schalk - awesome to see that you have been such a real adventure rider for such a long time -  jy's n yster en die volgende dop is op my :thumleft:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on February 27, 2016, 11:01:07 pm
Day 4
 
I woke up to the heavily overcast sky. My heart has flooded with joy and hope - the weather gods were clearly on my side. A beautiful grey gloom - none of that stupid turquoise blue sky with the bloody sun trying to boil you alive! Yep, riding a deep sand in Moz in the middle of summer leaves one somewhat at odds with the rest of the humanity.
 
The track headed from Bilene north east along the coast and then about halfway turned north following Limpopo to Chicumbane where it joined tar on EN1 tar about 80 km away, just ahead of the bridge over the Limpopo river and Xai Xai (I couldn’t find any other way to cross Limpopo so had to take tar for 20-30 km here). The track was bit of a mystery. No one, including locals in Macaneta and Bilene, seemed to have heard about it, yet it was clearly visible and routable on Googlemaps – I didn’t have to plot this one myself. Well I was about to find out if it really exists.

The objective for the day was simple, yet crucial for the fate of this trip: try to ride the whole track all the way to Chicumbane. Once there, I would figure out where to next depending on the daylight left. However, if the yesterday’s fiasco happens again and I wouldn’t be able to make it, I would have to rethink seriously this whole trip.
I didn’t bother to raise too early as  I found yesterday that the bikes/quads are not allowed to enter my track before 7:00 am. The track initially passes by few upscale private beach properties and the fat cats clearly don’t enjoy sound of a four stroke in the morning. Bloody private investors screwing it up for us, adv riders! (Should I own one of those properties I can assure nothing would be allowed past at least till 8:00!)

I set-off soon after 7:00 and straight away had to get up a big dune raising inland from the lagoon. It turned out the whole section from Bilene to Limpopo river about halfway through, was one big dune field. The dunes were very different from the ones I rode from Macaneta. Macaneta dunes were low white sand heaps, overgrown with thick coastal bush and the track had to weave in-between the heaps and bushes. The dunes today were much bigger - more like small mountains of thicker reddish sand, with some grass but very little bush and the track crossed them more or less in the straight line.
 
The clouds, kept the temperature bearable, sand was nicely compacted by the rain yesterday, short gearing and straight faster track definitely helped and I was able to stick to the 3rd for relatively long sections. Yet, I still couldn’t get into the flow and was constantly finding myself on the wrong foot when the bike bucked underneath me. Again I was losing way too much energy way too quickly and had to stop for a breather every km or two. It was kind of like trying to swim 50 pool lengths under water: Psyche yourself up, set off, hold on for dear life until the things are more or less out of your control (almost drowning in the water to stick with the analogy) and then stop within km or two exhausted trying to regain your breath for next few minutes. Repeat.
 
It was depressing business realizing how useless I became, and after about 10 km I was ready to throw the towel in. The fact that that I haven’t made it yet out of the gravitational reach of comforts of Complexo Palmeiras aircon chalets and restaurant didn’t help. Few cigarettes later I calmed down sufficiently to be able to see that it was way too early to give up – I had plenty of time left, the sky was still nicely overcast, the sand was still much easier than yesterday. Remembering advice from Bill the Bong on WD I have lowered the pressures in my E09 Dakars to about 0.8 bar. That sounded quite radical - I have used these tyres on most of my prior trips and usually run them at about 1.3 front / 1.5 back, admittedly on much heavier Tenere (well, and on about the same weight TE630). But who am I to argue with someone who spent few Amageza’s figuring this out, so I just followed the advice. I wasn’t riding any rocks so the risk of snakebite seemed pretty low.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-3w2mkNl9-2Q/Vq5MCz3qquI/AAAAAAAAGZk/-3OdQXhPW6U/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252062%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-M6XYw_kFhLc/Vq5MHCnQD1I/AAAAAAAAGZs/DwAlkHTQqBY/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252063%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7RiBfz1xjA0/Vq5MKuaw-nI/AAAAAAAAGZ0/qU2T935kIlw/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252064%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-zSe1DTYOvfA/Vq5CcTD72mI/AAAAAAAAGRI/kEBjdHOAIiQ/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252012%252520of%25252018.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-MPIMvWxO_Bs/Vq5CmaXG3lI/AAAAAAAAGRc/LM3oea5mDxU/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252013%252520of%25252018.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Ciw9zxbZozY/VpGIUp7wHjI/AAAAAAAAGH4/oais9JS2xBI/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%2525205%252520of%25252084.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-UBlLDqM0BuE/Vq5MlU6uGKI/AAAAAAAAGaM/WsHMIRGhZgE/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252067%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-zyTYF4Ti2ZU/Vq5MgdrFzhI/AAAAAAAAGaE/3n3HwKsSrok/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252066%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-357aLVTYQuI/Vq5M8ud5DUI/AAAAAAAAGak/HKRqhqWKXS4/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252069%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5yb0WvIoGp8/Vq5M7W1NSiI/AAAAAAAAGac/oIbkqwBqA4U/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252068%252520of%25252079.jpg)

Those mountains on the horizon are just bigger dunes:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-2R2K0yOqy4w/Vq5NYtrHJ8I/AAAAAAAAGa8/nSQ2HjmVfvw/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252070%252520of%25252079.jpg)


It seemed to help and things eventually started to come together. I was able to ride more consistently, conserving energy, extending the stops to about every 4 – 5 km. Finally I was actually riding, rather than just trying to  make it through, which really did helped to raise my mood melting the snowball that seemed to build up again earlier.

First about 20 km were running more or less straight across red dunes following telephone cable  with relatively little growth and  no settlements or villages - probably just a service road for the cable:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-QbrL1ziKdJA/Vq5NV_SCz1I/AAAAAAAAGa0/adRZXVi0Ge4/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252071%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vrV8DX-03KU/Vq5NyneaS1I/AAAAAAAAGbM/jWa1yeChK1k/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252073%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-nYCImvRHpW4/Vq5OB-VRcfI/AAAAAAAAGbc/cqSNxqVbNhg/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252075%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-GFTH-apLApg/Vq5ORwWrnBI/AAAAAAAAGbs/ccJIP4j2z8M/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252077%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5bOF7CW4OEc/Vq5OPNcex6I/AAAAAAAAGbk/2FtZgBZr4MU/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252076%252520of%25252079.jpg)


To be continued.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on February 27, 2016, 11:18:45 pm
Day 4 - part 2

Eventually I came upon a first village on the  other side of the sand dune - Novela. It was sitting next to a lake in the middle of the dunes and from there on the track has changed and there was even occasional car - clearly this was the connection with the civilisation and Novela sit at the end of it. It was still mostly sandy double track, but was running through a dense bush and through frequent little hamlets and villages, with attendant foot traffic.

Novela spaza shop:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Iednedc0dow/VsoKOPMF-_I/AAAAAAAAHAo/gbUpB3nlsSE/s1024-Ic42/p46.jpg)

And on the other side of Novela remnants of a dirt road:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-WHcu7ZaRH7k/Vq5DOvS-FLI/AAAAAAAAGSU/VTwgsWeO-5M/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252017%252520of%25252018.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8aUWYvo2ydY/Vq5OgIJRqwI/AAAAAAAAGb8/JogC-UN0kUU/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252078%252520of%25252079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fDVWMgPHye0/Vq5OtbuyG0I/AAAAAAAAGcE/0EjUTkTXjv0/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252079%252520of%25252079.jpg)

That just reverted back to a sandy double track, albeit much more inhabited one:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5a_BWOl7bH8/Vs9sL4-HOCI/AAAAAAAAHFE/TmD2lSxqQkk/s1024-Ic42/p11.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-YM9zpqaUIGI/Vs9sTAYur2I/AAAAAAAAHFE/13Myz8CtNyk/s1024-Ic42/p14.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Ccxt0rr_8Fw/Vs9sUzeQ-1I/AAAAAAAAHFE/fUGm-7J7n98/s1024-Ic42/p16.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-z5zEkaNli-k/Vs9scMy0CeI/AAAAAAAAHFE/2FAAU_yjIz8/s1024-Ic42/p19.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-SF51hFcha8M/Vs9sfH5BAiI/AAAAAAAAHFE/z-xsCAfT5tU/s1024-Ic42/p23.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-cV7FtxjhZSs/Vs9soqldQNI/AAAAAAAAHFE/Z8XsdbAa80M/s1024-Ic42/p24.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-TRNh38FMWu8/Vs9sv3ZwmCI/AAAAAAAAHFE/yocLR7POdvw/s1024-Ic42/p34.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-mEvqfWEM1wU/Vs9sxVKhUYI/AAAAAAAAHFE/cZsWdXn49n0/s1024-Ic42/p36.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-YLzN23Ysxyo/Vs9sydBvNDI/AAAAAAAAHFE/UyPSjDpafCM/s1024-Ic42/p37.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/--L0ii8xKdck/Vs9tF-iiHkI/AAAAAAAAHFE/bn2q8r-Q3hM/s1024-Ic42/p8.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xYP6vM4biVo/Vs9s4U47x3I/AAAAAAAAHFE/ac5shkYT86U/s1024-Ic42/p39.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-SUjHcQz_Xqo/Vs9s5q4WDcI/AAAAAAAAHFE/wBjsTKskf7Y/s1024-Ic42/p43.jpg)

Turn-off to Chicumbane

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ab8nLiZTyQU/Vs9tAcMxt5I/AAAAAAAAHFE/Urpbq9qBfuY/s1024-Ic42/p46.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-BhqET7XgJZ0/Vs9tBVXBKRI/AAAAAAAAHFM/huCaRncEb1k/s1024-Ic42/p49.jpg)


Eventually, for last 30 km or so the track turned into a road - still sandy but one where two cars could pass each other without one of them getting off the road.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uTIaJAUXDFI/Vs9tDqCbQuI/AAAAAAAAHFE/aeHP_P0-Ipk/s1024-Ic42/p51.jpg)


I knew from the map that the road will pass through a village called Vladimire Lenine so I had to stop for a picture. Now I had a vague idea that the current Moz government has some kind of commie association - they have an AK47 on their national flag at the end of the day, but as someone who grew up in communism/socialism or whatever that crap was called, I still find it bizarre that today there are still places called after a cretin who inspired some of the biggest mass killings ever. Even Russians have by now renamed Leningrad and Stalingrad to something more palatable (though I have no doubt many of them still consider those c&#ts heros).
  
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-UmEvouRIPn0/Vq5Dc8atRtI/AAAAAAAAGSk/AoYhH2zVHCA/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252018%252520of%25252018.jpg)


I have reached Chicumbane elated to make it through, turned right on EN1 and headed 20 km or so to Xai Xai, where I’ve stopped at the garage for re-fill. I went through by now standard routine of closing up all the taps, watching closely attendant to not overfill and slamming the bike against ground watched by two carloads of local lovelies while trying to tighten one strap or another. That sidestand will need attention.

I had a burger and coke for lunch and contemplated my next move. By now it was close to 2 pm. The original plan was to head for Xai Xai beach about 10 km away where I would reconnect with the GPS track I plotted up to Zavora. But Zavora was about 200 km away, which even at my today’s top form will take me at least 2 days to ride. More probably 3, as today I have  ridden  just about 80 km off tar, with last 30 km being easy sandy road - and while elated, I was also pretty tired. It would just take too much time - I could have done it if I was to stick to Moz only, but I still had plans for Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana, however unrealistic they were beginning to look. Just for the kicks: you might recall that in my original plan I expected to make it from Macaneta to Zavora - 350 km of sandy tracks - in one day. Just shows how delusional one can get in the comfort of his Gauteng living room.

So I decided to get up to Zavora on tar and pick-up my track from there next day. The ride up there was the typical boring tar chore - well with Moz rural scenery  and human/animal traffic for entertainment. I was interested how the shorter gearing will do on tar, and was surprised to like it actually. It kind of naturally kept me at about 100 kmh, with very lively bursts above it when overtaking - which is just fine as that is the speed limit outside of villages anyway and I was still the fastest moving vehicle (with exception of few bus driving crack-heads). The main annoyance are frequent and long villages with 60 kmh speed limit and underpaid police gangsta’s hiding in the bush behind a speed camera eager to subsidise their meagre income. My speedometer wasn’t working since Joburg and I couldn’t be bothered to try to figure out how to set-up GPS to show map and the speed at the same time. So I just went with the flow of the traffic and made it through most of the traps undetected. I’ve got nailed eventually by a jolly plump lady officer in riding about 85 kmh in a village. She asked for 2000 Meticais, which I laughed of - in a friendly winking kind of way - and offered half without doing the math first. She took it beaming and I realized too late that I overpaid. Well next I’ll try harder.

I’ve made it to Zavora in the late afternoon and managed to get a room at Zavora lodge. The beach was very busy with the locals from the nearby villages having their end of year celebrations and the beach, watched by the whitey holidaymakers from the lodge deck.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lus4uvOB3YM/VsjgzLbe2UI/AAAAAAAAG7k/P5iwAzSkcd8/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%2525202%252520of%25252022.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xmveA0PZDTI/VsjgzO-NKII/AAAAAAAAG7Y/1Erct2lp5rk/s1024-Ic42/TWH00746.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-31HZ_xAOc0w/VsjgzCTd5yI/AAAAAAAAG7s/i4lX11vyBHQ/s1024-Ic42/TWH00742.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-O642nRb4Ips/VsjgzOAmUOI/AAAAAAAAG7o/aG3oCu8m-yU/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252013%252520of%25252084.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-faF9YPchBOQ/VsjgzBEzC4I/AAAAAAAAG7o/NzFKANxIhY0/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%2525209%252520of%25252022.jpg)


Route of the day:   

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-HAuFRVghUDA/Vq5aakTGYEI/AAAAAAAAGdc/AMF14xrb3sM/s1024-Ic42/Screen%252520Shot%2525202016-01-31%252520at%2525209.32.50%252520PM.png)
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on February 28, 2016, 08:30:19 am
tuning into an epic tale, as sad as it makes me the tenere would have been murder and under powered in that sand. good choice.

I have ridden bits and pieces of this route (one still coming between Zavora and Inhambane about 60 km long) on Tenere. But that wasn't in December and was after rain, which made it easier.

Overall I agree, Tenere would be way too heavy for this, at least for average bimbo like me.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: popipants on February 28, 2016, 12:43:26 pm
Wow, this is great.

Interesting to read your opinion on the 690. I thought it would  be a dream in the sand  :P :P
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on February 28, 2016, 04:22:57 pm
To be fair, you cannot blame the bike for my lack of talent/fitness. And I have eventually managed most of the sand I intended.

The thing is - without the luggage I would probably be fine, on that quick round ride in Macaneta I was riding like a champ. Next day with luggage I was toast. The added problem of 690 is that due to the rear tank-subframe combo it is pretty wide at the back and the luggage was hanging way too far out, compared to 630 or Tenere where it is much more snug. Later on I started to strap it with additional strap just to keep it closer to the bike.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on February 28, 2016, 05:49:40 pm
Day 5

Next morning I woke up stiff from the prior days' heroics, and called a rest day straight away. I've spent most of the day fine tuning this mean machine by protein and carbo loading, drinking a lot of sugary stuff (both fermented and not) and smoking.

The only real extertion was raising the front end of 690 back up - I have lowered it initially in Bilene to get more planted feeling up front and now raised it back half way up  as the bike seemed to be digging a bit too much. We'll see tomorrow how that will work.

Gods still seemed to be with me as it rained both nights in Zavora hopefully making for much more enjoyable ride up the coast to Inhambane and Tofu beach next day.

Not much to report, so here are the pics of the Zavora lodge and surrounds:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-36ZXCDEzjOQ/VsjgzK3KSjI/AAAAAAAAG7s/cBwJwGIfYZw/s1024-Ic42/TWH00758.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-XxLsVLjym-Y/VsjgzHZbd4I/AAAAAAAAG7o/K9nlv2Op5Y4/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%2525204%252520of%25252022.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ZKXx0d24-GM/VsjgzBTzJdI/AAAAAAAAG7Y/Vd4Eh15mW-E/s1024-Ic42/TWH00752.jpg)

The lodge:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jta4iKpJE2c/VsjgzARdZGI/AAAAAAAAG7Y/wl2xOS2c_7c/s1024-Ic42/TWH00771.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Z8_5mSF4VUA/VsjgzG6n0jI/AAAAAAAAG7k/jGbJww1B-IY/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%2525205%252520of%25252022.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6bCAtesVZyA/VsjgzPPZ9KI/AAAAAAAAG7k/y8om2fMf4CY/s1024-Ic42/TWH00765.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-pWyiaWz8UvQ/VsjgzHhl8iI/AAAAAAAAG7g/U0qggb-YuFs/s1024-Ic42/TWH00786.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-B2kRtiRuRFk/VsjgzP-F1HI/AAAAAAAAG7s/9ocIDfPQ3IU/s1024-Ic42/TWH00777.jpg)

The locals and I were similarly perplexed by this woman's strange behaviour - what's wrong with just chilling in the shade? Ah, these white people...

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-D-W9RvYiY14/VsjgzB3X_XI/AAAAAAAAG7k/yFoiL4aEwzA/s1024-Ic42/TWH00780.jpg)

Like so:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-F4Y_f41WMvI/VsjgzHmAoPI/AAAAAAAAG7g/eyFlOVcazqM/s1024-Ic42/TWH00772.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-n4fB-Y0GaUE/VsjgzDnmMBI/AAAAAAAAG7s/ciqPckb4oBM/s1024-Ic42/TWH00793.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-S501R9e8WdA/VsjgzEChhJI/AAAAAAAAG7Y/5alnIFOS0U4/s1024-Ic42/TWH00794.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-retOIXVp4ww/VsjgzPuGFPI/AAAAAAAAG7g/5UIAhTTSiQ4/s1024-Ic42/TWH00791.jpg)

I got a bit bored, so I even got intereted in an artso-fartso stuff - I'm sure you will appreciate break from 690 porn:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LzI5temhpLo/VsjgzEBZ9QI/AAAAAAAAG7g/EYayD7zCkig/s1024-Ic42/TWH00817.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-WeRKU-KRfes/VsjgzDFSlMI/AAAAAAAAG7k/pjhpNc98LXA/s1024-Ic42/TWH00852.jpg)

Not sure what this is, but I'm sure glad that it is small:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-E61-KEMEI9w/VsjgzHWMJPI/AAAAAAAAG7k/KaI8hPy1gL0/s1024-Ic42/TWH00904.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Lf8yEzwE9os/VsjgzMHbWcI/AAAAAAAAG7Y/9EDR2ljw-bA/s1024-Ic42/TWH00905.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-gIU9X7UP2TE/VsjgzP2DlLI/AAAAAAAAG7Y/G9RJRqk3OvM/s1024-Ic42/TWH00920.jpg)

Other sea stuff:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-li9E6ucmz3Y/VsjgzAV9E9I/AAAAAAAAG7k/_wj2-moNkx8/s1024-Ic42/TWH00926.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-rKWM8HUOf9Y/VsjgzE2wzLI/AAAAAAAAG7Y/j1Ry4ImTJ28/s1024-Ic42/TWH00930.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/--ihVqjOArIc/VsjgzEB_xuI/AAAAAAAAG7k/dLvx1jR9fP8/s1024-Ic42/TWH00937.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-irP5AUDuTHI/VsjgzHt_w1I/AAAAAAAAG7Y/leYbHWmy7oc/s1024-Ic42/TWH00934.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ckTdtinpucA/VsjgzMSoJpI/AAAAAAAAG7g/cUywGbIrN1w/s1024-Ic42/TWH00870.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-yx3trWSeLk4/VsjgzOzIEwI/AAAAAAAAG7o/bV6DUTetXas/s1024-Ic42/TWH00888.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vy2Z1UmAjW4/VsjgzCyWjpI/AAAAAAAAG7U/70pEyjVhvtY/s1024-Ic42/TWH00949.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PueaWq7K8u8/VsjgzAXQArI/AAAAAAAAG7g/9e7JNU69nJs/s1024-Ic42/TWH00973.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-oV3xab4vExI/VsjgzFEnuxI/AAAAAAAAG7Y/A5ffq3ZjkaQ/s1024-Ic42/TWH00961.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8GBTbtt8_08/VsjgzDClpUI/AAAAAAAAG7o/An76E4i1BXY/s1024-Ic42/TWH00982.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-s6AvvujFRf4/VsjgzCmE-SI/AAAAAAAAG7k/2rHIqg8zFqk/s1024-Ic42/TWH00981.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8X-5cSqIMTc/VsjgzCk5CdI/AAAAAAAAG7o/Qf06HdvXpTA/s1024-Ic42/TWH00985.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-O4bAJ_BSGG8/VsjgzMAmrsI/AAAAAAAAG7o/hIF7ny9NFBM/s1024-Ic42/TWH01005.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-BBj42cxRzVU/VsjgzP0B3hI/AAAAAAAAG7Y/xUanMauIe00/s1024-Ic42/TWH01004.jpg)

Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: dirtyXT on February 29, 2016, 07:50:59 am
nice story cant wait to see how the rest of your trip panned out. can only be better once you leave the sand behind.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: andrew5336 on February 29, 2016, 10:52:19 am
Can only imagine how tricky even a mid weight bike with luggage must be on a hot day in that sand.

My TW was too easy and so much fun but it weighs 110kg, no luggage and fat tyres...
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on February 29, 2016, 01:42:06 pm
@dirtyXT: this trip ended up being mostly sand, but I got better at it so it become enjoyable at the end.

@andrew: I like that you call 690 mid-weight bike, which is what it exactly is IMO. Some (majority) of people for some reason think that 220 kg Tiger is middle weight. I'm sure TW with those huge tyres and no luggage would be much easier, but to be honest so would be 690 without luggage. Did you ride those tracks up the coast to Vilanculos?
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on February 29, 2016, 07:26:47 pm
Day 6

Objective for the day was Tofo beach about 100 km north of Zavora. Again I wanted to follow the sandy tracks along the coast up to Inhambane from where I would do the last 20 or so km on tar. Like so:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xADOByUWeg8/VtRw9VcvXsI/AAAAAAAAHF0/kE-veRqqJbE/s700-Ic42/Screen%252520Shot%2525202016-02-29%252520at%2525206.51.17%252520PM.png)

It was raining whole night, but by the time I got up in the morning the rain stopped. The sky remained nicely overcast though - score! I backtracked about 10 km on a dirt road heading back to EN1, and then connected with my track in a small village, where I turned right on the usual sandy double track heading up north.

The scenery was alternating between bush and palm tree forrests (is that the right word) and the track has crossed many villages and little hamlets with quite a log of foot traffic moving on the track. The locals were clearly in a jovial holiday mood, many of them in their best clothes on the way to meet up with families in other villages. I have seen number of gatherings in bigger villages with people milling around and music booming from the speakers wired up to the car batteries.

As I hit the double track straight away I knew the spell was broken. Not sure what did it - wet sand, better weight distribution in tripple clamps or something completely different, but I was immediately in the flow, riding relaxed in 3rd and 4rd most of the time sitting which helped greatly with energy conservation. The stops now were to smell the flowers and admire the scenery, rather than just to catch my breath and get my heartbeat out of the red zone.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-OAFbIEnxKe0/VsjgzAO43AI/AAAAAAAAG7o/vnH4MMHSgfo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01043.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-YS4fxSjzBlg/VsjgzIJVD4I/AAAAAAAAG7o/YRsgbR7E_MI/s1024-Ic42/TWH01055.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-McBYtyn7BHQ/VsjgzJCVkrI/AAAAAAAAG7Y/EET0GsJ4kx0/s1024-Ic42/TWH01048.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-gC7UrE5KU90/VsjgzM3_w-I/AAAAAAAAG70/CxdiVdZhc8s/s1024-Ic42/p52.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-bIAxp5w6_0s/VsjgzAgX-JI/AAAAAAAAG70/CaAwH-MXrAM/s1024-Ic42/p55.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-eNsLykpJX4Q/VsjgzK95OkI/AAAAAAAAG70/qmBbA_-ba4A/s1024-Ic42/p61.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fweS1Hz0Ebk/VsjgzJOYAaI/AAAAAAAAG70/NNfs2fwm8ww/s1024-Ic42/p63.jpg)


Now people were generally very friendly and replied enthusiastically to my Bon Dia in passing - this is why an open face helmet IMO is a must for adventure riding, much better rapport with the locals.

That said, there was something ominous about this bunch - they resembled very much a lynch mog in the waiting. Group of guys in their good clothes clutching machettes each side of the track. And they weren't all smiles either. No, I wasn't thinking they were waiting for me, but it seemed like they expected somebody to make their day helluva lot of worse. There wasn't much I could do about that so I just smiled broadly, hollered 'Bon Dia' and opened up the get some momentum going through the group:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wCULCv9K1ZU/VsjgzIrdbOI/AAAAAAAAG70/BOJYm2pKYJQ/s1024-Ic42/p72.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-N-1esXvwJ08/VsjgzEx9WjI/AAAAAAAAG7w/JN2B8KKKzG0/s1024-Ic42/p71.jpg)

I was hopefully just imagining stuff and they were local Scouts waiting for their transport to take them to help old lady clean up her garden or something. As I said other people seemed generally friendly and glad to see me, even with my Wings exhaust.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-GqZRULusMMs/VsjgzGjACDI/AAAAAAAAG70/tIaSVG8ff60/s1024-Ic42/p78.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vfXyr1s2vSk/VsjgzNpB5zI/AAAAAAAAG70/fnBVrg2wUM4/s1024-Ic42/p95.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-WEt1CpO4KKk/VsjgzH8B5vI/AAAAAAAAG70/9jARBtX2DYQ/s1024-Ic42/p115.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-0YKQZcSWcSY/VsjgzCzsjYI/AAAAAAAAG7g/H3JrX9XEiq8/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252015%252520of%25252084.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NSDNGSXqCNM/VsjgzIQBmeI/AAAAAAAAG7o/mljs-zViq0I/s1024-Ic42/TWH01061.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-hhUkfKfvuLI/VtRtn4StJjI/AAAAAAAAHFo/mf0fIx1Zwtg/s1024-Ic42/p139.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-x5RaZocEKGM/VsjgzCr5djI/AAAAAAAAG70/6moB7FwEcHs/s1024-Ic42/p152.jpg)

One of the coastal lakes with the ocean behind:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-CIZXG4ohgMk/VsjgzGM2GDI/AAAAAAAAG7Y/B-SkiKI50wo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01077.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ePJg256ycF0/VsjgzJYm_aI/AAAAAAAAG7k/0wP_flzJzL8/s1024-Ic42/TWH01064.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-gpPEwsTE7x4/VsjgzFfE4ZI/AAAAAAAAG7g/tSwCBzifJTo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01068.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vBv41pivRvk/VsjgzKf873I/AAAAAAAAG70/aHsA_sK_VyQ/s1024-Ic42/p159.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-EQNn8pewRus/VsjgzFCfA5I/AAAAAAAAG70/C2dW2qzgFOA/s1024-Ic42/p162.jpg)


About 30 km into the ride I had to reconnect with my track using a dirt road going to Ligogo village and lodge:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-s8BL8crq6-o/VsjgzDi5vFI/AAAAAAAAG70/3sS8r0_NB0Q/s1024-Ic42/p164.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Q1I4zaPV93c/VsjgzKYy_cI/AAAAAAAAG70/uceUYIHKKNk/s1024-Ic42/p166.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Io3Tf31yIcA/VsjgzKqh2GI/AAAAAAAAG70/xn6xU3yz10c/s1024-Ic42/p167.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-WImxmgh8bFo/VsjgzInDddI/AAAAAAAAG70/Z7sEyg3Z09w/s1024-Ic42/p169.jpg)

Back on track:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-9Mc_d_B3hL0/VsjgzCg59FI/AAAAAAAAG70/lL5IiDpTGBs/s1024-Ic42/p171.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JVr_yrTfYvM/VsjgzMe7ftI/AAAAAAAAG70/Rv4NSNlzPPM/s1024-Ic42/p175.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lakImLel5lU/VsjgzEnDRBI/AAAAAAAAG70/ISkDm_wR494/s1024-Ic42/p181.jpg)

Ligogo village:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-YBm9hFSmZbM/VsjgzKct4tI/AAAAAAAAG70/DLmLyrmmmrY/s1024-Ic42/p183.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Fk5FHjmnpAQ/VsjgzOIdZ0I/AAAAAAAAG70/xw3oGOc8WdU/s1024-Ic42/p186.jpg)

In Ligogo my track ended up on the footbal stadium and I had to find way around:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-V9wrwAgnUr8/VsjgzFAXuKI/AAAAAAAAG70/hBGaZzQg8Gc/s1024-Ic42/p190.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5Ff-o8afJrA/VsjgzFFfhlI/AAAAAAAAG70/Ec5LVmFqR8Y/s1024-Ic42/p195.jpg)


Back on the main road:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-rwzQXIRyN3w/VsjgzJ7MCkI/AAAAAAAAG70/9TxkqODJXaU/s1024-Ic42/p197.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-nekNgQsgnt8/VsjgzI0yXSI/AAAAAAAAG70/1PDZ-YY_r1I/s1024-Ic42/p199.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PxKahqkEo7c/VsjgzDab94I/AAAAAAAAG70/gbhAY3DxSzo/s1024-Ic42/p204.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6kahViErLzI/VsjgzLO9b-I/AAAAAAAAG70/F494t-gqiG4/s1024-Ic42/p209.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-rnPthVVVsHM/VsjgzDD5ZWI/AAAAAAAAG70/kqXxpyLjNW0/s1024-Ic42/p211.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/--jFYoPXF3Tg/VsjgzPfIO0I/AAAAAAAAG70/-PiKJ8M6V4E/s1024-Ic42/p212.jpg)


To be continued.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: andrew5336 on March 01, 2016, 09:14:11 am
@andrew: I like that you call 690 mid-weight bike, which is what it exactly is IMO. Some (majority) of people for some reason think that 220 kg Tiger is middle weight. I'm sure TW with those huge tyres and no luggage would be much easier, but to be honest so would be 690 without luggage. Did you ride those tracks up the coast to Vilanculos?

Only around Ponta Do Ouro and up to the Elephant Reserve but in mid December on hot days so I can feel your pain haha.

But I agree, any bike over 170kg or so is huge to me! That's why I sold my 640 - was too big and heavy for what I use a bike at this stage of my life and if I want to go on a long trip I drive - bike just for day trips.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: sidetrack on March 01, 2016, 09:23:57 pm
Would have attempted this with my 610, Z I think not. Great pics  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: popipants on March 01, 2016, 09:28:11 pm
tick tock tick tock....where's the rest :)
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on March 01, 2016, 11:56:01 pm
.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on March 01, 2016, 11:57:55 pm
Day 6 - part 2

I was making great progress having reached a crossing about two thirds of the way by 11:00. I had a decision to make at the crossing - I could either continue on the double track following the coastal dunes inlands, or cross the dunes to the Island Rock Resort and follow the coast up. Feeling strong and having a score to settle (in 2011 my mate and I had to turn back at the dunes as he didn't feel like pushing on - he had sum total of 10 day's of motorcycling experience and was on the Tenere heavyweight, so probably the right choice), I went for the dunes.

The coastal dunes and approach to them:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wEDhOtMPsb4/VsjgzIUwvkI/AAAAAAAAG7g/1D9zL30klUc/s1024-Ic42/TWH01079.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jtj2Ea-liMw/VsjgzFFhw6I/AAAAAAAAG70/v6pqp-07_TE/s1024-Ic42/p227.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-zmydY24chlM/VsjgzE983KI/AAAAAAAAG70/0kbrbgUhx-0/s1024-Ic42/p229.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-cXUGrIrun0A/VsjgzCmzK8I/AAAAAAAAG70/odEggqvi7rE/s1024-Ic42/p230.jpg)


At the bottom of the dunes I took a breather before setting off up the dune:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-YLPVlcxg4Wg/VsjgzMhuHZI/AAAAAAAAG7s/fU_UYI5r1BM/s1024-Ic42/TWH01103.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-MZ7n0kW8538/VsjgzObDhXI/AAAAAAAAG7o/g7LDyd6KqM8/s1024-Ic42/TWH01097.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JF7p4LlDK5w/VsjgzC0r-1I/AAAAAAAAG7k/VGgSnJZz4ag/s1024-Ic42/TWH01091.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-X6lolyUveTA/VsjgzK_JxwI/AAAAAAAAG7o/XZI2bILgFhA/s1024-Ic42/TWH01093.jpg)


And then I was off to Island Rock Resort about 7 km away. I have made it up the first dune fine, but realized quickly that the perceived strength was just an illusion caused by me mostly sitting down for the most of the day. As soon as I had to stand up and control the bike with my legs, I was loosing energy in spades. Also the clouds finally opened and the temperature jumped at least 10C. Pretty soon I was battling again and managed to fall down twice:

At the top of the first dune with the sea at the horizon:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-0bnfWsRP7Ww/VsjgzIF3igI/AAAAAAAAG7g/7XxTjzwoBwk/s1024-Ic42/TWH01106.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6_nAH42VRT8/VsjgzE-IxrI/AAAAAAAAG7g/EWd1jMElePk/s1024-Ic42/TWH01114.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-M2SxFZn5JO0/VsjgzEhZGFI/AAAAAAAAG7M/PHgO0hHDZn0/s1024-Ic42/p233.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-_XE8tmQb8Ug/VsjgzCeQCII/AAAAAAAAG70/tH23vhB-y8Y/s1024-Ic42/p237.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-G0tFi-8uU4o/VsjgzFYJdLI/AAAAAAAAG7o/Air7D5PmKJs/s1024-Ic42/TWH01115.jpg)


The second fall was at the worst possible place on the steepest uphill section of the last dune right before a left turn dug out all over by 4x4s battling to get to the beach. By now battling in the midday sun I was almost completely out of energy and had to rape 690 up that slope clutching my way up with the engine revved up to the max. To the 690's credit, it made it up without any run-up, which I was very gratefull for as I didn't have another try in me.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-FRH55hnYoy0/VsjgzMdUIhI/AAAAAAAAG70/vby5wnoBy2Q/s1024-Ic42/p240.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5J4Ho3yWA34/VsjgzI3so5I/AAAAAAAAG7k/jv7c2Ou7IKg/s1024-Ic42/TWH01117.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NkJlfIY_xog/VsjgzHl-nTI/AAAAAAAAG7g/Ks4PgqT1qAk/s1024-Ic42/TWH01118.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Baz0j28BP14/VsjgzPJonsI/AAAAAAAAG70/dKi9iUPlpVo/s1024-Ic42/p241.jpg)

Bar in the sight:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5r5BkHg3UgM/VsjgzHOZDxI/AAAAAAAAG70/YSzkjIbgAx4/s1024-Ic42/p243.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6JX9asYdJW8/VsjgzBkWBdI/AAAAAAAAG70/GIE1Kaytoeo/s1024-Ic42/p244.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fVHe4_t9OxU/VsjgzMdAn9I/AAAAAAAAG70/xGjVB5NhWv4/s1024-Ic42/p246.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-a9vJ8tEZrIE/VsjgzIkDJwI/AAAAAAAAG70/dAyVVsyiaNg/s1024-Ic42/p249.jpg)


Luckily there was a bar open where I have refilled my camel bag and inhaled few litres of cold drinks. The kitchen was closed, but the nice owner lady seeing my sorry state made me a plate of french fries as I needed desperately to get salt down my throat. I asked about accomodation and they offered me some kind of basic chalet/room for a very friendly R100.

Island Rock Resort and surrounds:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6qlL1Y8L_nM/VsjgzEY_n5I/AAAAAAAAG7k/lrUcL64O4cE/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252012%252520of%25252022.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-YIf3K5bb9WA/VsjgzJ4zNUI/AAAAAAAAG7g/o_2_YmAzqa0/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252011%252520of%25252022.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-qW1NUES8KB4/VsjgzN_xZdI/AAAAAAAAG7Y/cESFgQI2Q3I/s1024-Ic42/TWH01134.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-zqOSFcUaALE/VsjgzLT30AI/AAAAAAAAG7s/g4kyb_SNX1w/s1024-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%25252013%252520of%25252022.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-yLQMH38c50s/VsjgzJu0w7I/AAAAAAAAG7Y/Ex2u-8YGiKA/s1024-Ic42/TWH01149.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tZ0FkGh4EQM/VsjgzA4Kb-I/AAAAAAAAG7o/ILO3xduD1SY/s1024-Ic42/TWH01151.jpg)


I thought about it for an hour or so laying in the shade, but then decided to push on to Tofo. By now I have recouperated enough energy to push on and as it was only mid-day I was keen to finish at least one stage as I have planned it. The owner told me that the route I wanted to take along the coast is closed and I had to retrace back through the dunes, after which I would turn right back on the north bound double track I came on in the morning.

Going back at the turn where I fell - bloody 4x4 make it with boats in tow, I feel ashamed:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NGgdHCztuKA/VsjgzLXpR3I/AAAAAAAAG70/PwPm3qRByHo/s1024-Ic42/p254.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-MI2frwYQLUo/VsjgzMe8TMI/AAAAAAAAG70/Bz0aFKD3XBg/s1024-Ic42/p255.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-aNYFUUK0coI/VsjgzNjFq0I/AAAAAAAAG70/x4MKm81_p1g/s1024-Ic42/p256.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ChVBg5BPvuk/VsjgzEYJkoI/AAAAAAAAG70/pfKHkygPfLk/s1024-Ic42/p257.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-1ySzJOQUsxs/VsjgzIISStI/AAAAAAAAG70/piTUGorIUDA/s1024-Ic42/p258.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4EQhi3bAVBs/VsjgzLorSeI/AAAAAAAAG70/lChheta65HY/s1024-Ic42/p260.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-41yyD11krNI/VsjgzN0QLfI/AAAAAAAAG70/GqjbAmh5LeY/s1024-Ic42/p263.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-3fe55K8__6w/VsjgzIAYgpI/AAAAAAAAG70/wL4WdL6vJmM/s1024-Ic42/p266.jpg)


Back on track to Ihnambane - well first I got lost and had to ask my way:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-MutTlXhQUFQ/VsjgzPkg7OI/AAAAAAAAG70/P6nE4-haSfA/s1024-Ic42/p272.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-36ruVSEXrgw/VsjgzI8YJRI/AAAAAAAAG70/flWcAerM_1g/s1024-Ic42/p271.jpg)

Then I found it:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-eCPz5hxTjl0/VsjgzFvzGYI/AAAAAAAAG70/jyIBmasLQFk/s1024-Ic42/p273.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-pK7s52bCJIU/VsjgzP6I0AI/AAAAAAAAG70/IE8fxsw2b6A/s1024-Ic42/p276.jpg)


After about 10 km the track connects to the dirt road going all the way to tar in Inhambane

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NFxbXfN_NHk/VsjgzL_MzhI/AAAAAAAAG7o/VF5wwGpdr1s/s1024-Ic42/TWH01156.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Nhqc-SAm4zg/VsjgzNFLteI/AAAAAAAAG7k/9z5CxLAf1m0/s1024-Ic42/TWH01160.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-HeYWbed_-3Q/VsjgzBBM3KI/AAAAAAAAG7o/zJAaqiddGw8/s1024-Ic42/TWH01158.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-GAmvGSzu9Oo/VsjgzEvcbtI/AAAAAAAAG70/t55GBLMPNww/s1024-Ic42/p1.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-GYnWnjwdNB0/VsjgzONn-cI/AAAAAAAAG70/dkIOcVz4WrE/s1024-Ic42/p8.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-v4BZOd1Jvg8/VsjgzEyVWNI/AAAAAAAAG70/f3qKCp7EnU4/s1024-Ic42/p11.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-KR2d_r1mnI4/VsjgzHAfTSI/AAAAAAAAG70/6BhvaB4dim0/s1024-Ic42/p20.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-B6IFYLiyJ74/VsjgzApDVKI/AAAAAAAAG70/1uFeHjOMYWY/s1024-Ic42/p22.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/--nvFqRH0Fcc/VsjgzE7rceI/AAAAAAAAG70/guUqh_wkyRo/s1024-Ic42/p28.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-iPFVbBI9uY4/VsjgzFzb6oI/AAAAAAAAG70/dms9A7eNZEs/s1024-Ic42/p30.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4PtOEyU74MI/VsjgzC9WogI/AAAAAAAAG70/hzUqHm20XzA/s1024-Ic42/p31.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-0lnWfk8TwyQ/VsjgzJ-sBhI/AAAAAAAAG70/EyYOBqzJZII/s1024-Ic42/p32.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xq7En82QQk0/VsjgzPThbWI/AAAAAAAAG68/lKwp97jaXf4/s1024-Ic42/p39.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-q4bR_mDXt14/VsjgzPglKjI/AAAAAAAAG70/-9k-12FlIrs/s1024-Ic42/p43.jpg)

Whitey's having a conference on the road:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-FYUAVQfc5n4/VsjgzBzgb0I/AAAAAAAAG70/3kKVzcFRP5Y/s1024-Ic42/p46.jpg)


After another 20 km of dirt road I made it to tar and Inhambane:

Inhambane:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-mOGdV_Nr7e8/VsjgzJX-XAI/AAAAAAAAG70/OyabjhfdbFo/s1024-Ic42/p47.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Rb8JhZEUu3A/VsjgzH8RpeI/AAAAAAAAG70/GbiKqj4QXRs/s1024-Ic42/p48.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tj5q_nkKLW8/VsjgzJzCimI/AAAAAAAAG70/OqupBXo39rw/s1024-Ic42/p56.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-3PfB84V-Y9c/VsjgzC0FdhI/AAAAAAAAG70/iOSb3u3Prag/s1024-Ic42/p58.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jO0Qh9q9noA/VsjgzPkJ-kI/AAAAAAAAG70/usPXe830tr8/s1024-Ic42/p59%252520%2525281%252529.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-zx_hnm5lBDQ/VsjgzJH-DUI/AAAAAAAAG70/3FWnsVsByAw/s1024-Ic42/p61%252520%2525281%252529.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-GwkNZp3WCkE/VsjgzGYnXuI/AAAAAAAAG70/mGW6FriHoVc/s1024-Ic42/p62%252520%2525281%252529.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-BTk1CXEhu-s/VsjgzAITA4I/AAAAAAAAG70/fnixgprBBrA/s1024-Ic42/p64.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-gufHYn0LZys/VsjgzOrCpiI/AAAAAAAAG70/id3H2BlhckQ/s1024-Ic42/p67.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-kMaAyoPoXMs/VsjgzO-4I2I/AAAAAAAAG70/evy5fYY6KaQ/s1024-Ic42/p70.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Ee_PcXNvKGw/VsjgzMCkA5I/AAAAAAAAG70/YV2ClE5fI5I/s1024-Ic42/p80.jpg)


I have arrived to Tofo at sunset. The place was overrun by tourists and I passed straight through the market and headed out of village to Bamboozi  resort about 2 km out of village - I was looking forward for nice quiet place and I knew Bamboozi is exactly that. Except, when I arrived there the place was abandoned and slowly falling apart. How the fuck you go bancrupt in place like this full of tourists with minimum costs is beyond me. Grudgingly I had to return to Tofo and try my luck in one of the many overbooked establishments. Eventually already in dark I had a luck in a Barry's Lodge right on the beach and settled in for a next rest day.

Tofo: getting to Bamboozi - passing the famous Fatima's backpackers:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-loEfKmFYCEQ/VsjgzPF9lII/AAAAAAAAG70/Pznj50867Tg/s1024-Ic42/p87.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Wl3PF-Vb0Bg/VsjgzIfkXCI/AAAAAAAAG70/3PSR9dj7Id8/s1024-Ic42/p88.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wKh_UiJME7I/VsjgzP4oRuI/AAAAAAAAG70/RhMOLrpcQFQ/s1024-Ic42/p90.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-kfxRg4zjZSE/VsjgzNctTMI/AAAAAAAAG70/My6sJFtjBkE/s1024-Ic42/p93.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-DROCG4tMagI/VsjgzNWBXzI/AAAAAAAAG70/-GKdxy81dKQ/s1024-Ic42/p94.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jFqh6RPuUGA/VsjgzOVwJZI/AAAAAAAAG70/r6Qq2qOKMq4/s1024-Ic42/p95%252520%2525281%252529.jpg)

And sadly boarded-up Bamboozi:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-gfrZC2_dirI/VsjgzJP4uhI/AAAAAAAAG70/BoZnsyepqCA/s1024-Ic42/p96.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-yq9ANNJNB9Q/VsjgzJh7JXI/AAAAAAAAG70/iSeLzSkqhzA/s1024-Ic42/p98.jpg)
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Man from Nam on March 02, 2016, 01:14:32 pm
Beautiful pics, do you use a Go Pro?
You are surely a very skilled sand rider. :thumleft:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Draadwerk on March 02, 2016, 02:23:45 pm
Gooi some videos please - keen to see the sand monster in action v a 690  :thumleft: :pot:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on March 02, 2016, 06:39:47 pm
Beautiful pics, do you use a Go Pro?
You are surely a very skilled sand rider. :thumleft:

Thanks.

I use Drift Ghost S on my helmet. I do not take pictures but 1080p video and scrap pictures off the video back home, that way i have both video and pictures and can just switch the camera on and forget about it. Only the riding pictures are from Drift - hence their lower quality (it's fine when there is good light but in low light it goes down quick). The stationary pictures (better quality) are from Olympus EM1.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on March 02, 2016, 06:41:37 pm
Gooi some videos please - keen to see the sand monster in action v a 690  :thumleft: :pot:

Videos are lots of work - I use them now to scrap pictures. I may make some video later on, but not sure when - I haven't finished the video from my prior CS trip yet.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on March 02, 2016, 08:14:17 pm
Day 7 & 8

In my optimistic original plan I expected to have the first rest day here in Tofo. As you know by now it didn't work out that way. The sand took its toll and I was now 4 days behind my plan and was starting to get reconciled with the fact that I will not explore Zambia on this trip.

Late or not, the rest day it was as I was keen to swim with the whale shark - I tried for years ago but we didn't manage to find one. So first thing in the morning I have booked myself for the trip scheduled for midday and then spent most of the morning on WIFI in the lodge bar, shoveling food and liquids down my gullet. This and prior days' shenanigans took its toll and by 11:00 I was really tired. So I called the trip off and decided to do it next day - thus keeping my delay for this trip consistently at 100%. That sorted I retreated to the chalet where I blacked out for the rest of the sunny day and woke up just in time for dinner - my kind of beach holiday. At the dinner I found out that the group that went for trip got really lucky having not only a whale of a time with shark, but also with two big manta rays. I had a hunch that that may not repeat two days in a row - but hey, I had a good nap! 

Next day, much more refreshed I booked myself for the trip again glad to get a spot - the place was overrun with South Africans of all denominations. Again I spent the morning preparing intensely in the bar and at noon walked into the dive shop office, where I was told that the trip is cancelled due to the swell at the ocean. Well, I guess that is what you get for being a lazy mother, but it's all good - at least I still have a reason to come back (apart from the fact that I have a score to settle with that stupid coastal double track).

Instead I went for a dip in the ocean and spent the rest of the day patrolling the water/wifi-hole in the lodge. Here are some pictures I squeeze into my busy schedule:

The waterhole in Barry's lodge and the main Tofo beach:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-FbeMdrqoOgg/VtcEf_aWMHI/AAAAAAAAHH4/JS7QOpCPXwM/s1024-Ic42/TWH01201.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-x6WudMVApWo/VtcE86HT7KI/AAAAAAAAHII/SGlQWIgM4uE/s1024-Ic42/TWH01207.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-M40Ld5PBcGI/VtcE-sgBLbI/AAAAAAAAHII/Yd0fb783SAM/s1024-Ic42/TWH01206.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-g3ZfQZpQ920/VtcDZOBaRrI/AAAAAAAAHG4/Xqd_PJnVqdc/s1024-Ic42/TWH01173.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Rb9zPbzrluU/VtcDckObbiI/AAAAAAAAHG4/Vc7esqFPfik/s1024-Ic42/TWH01176.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-XpMuhC6BvAk/VtcDgE08ipI/AAAAAAAAHHA/C1VvduoqBC4/s1024-Ic42/TWH01180.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-RRWr5gBGer0/VtcDzJujZPI/AAAAAAAAHHM/BOlgrT5TzXo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01185.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6hSUfiujzCw/VtcD7CqkMhI/AAAAAAAAHHY/nxF9w7AwHyY/s1024-Ic42/TWH01189.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lO6BTNWEu6o/VtcEHU9uc7I/AAAAAAAAHHo/jbIQ4Psth3c/s1024-Ic42/TWH01192.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4j8J381EerI/VtcEbAI_eVI/AAAAAAAAHH4/lDsnYWdVu4c/s1024-Ic42/TWH01197.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-axE99Fvllno/VtcDG9fyrII/AAAAAAAAHGo/cDxUcFdUbRI/s1024-Ic42/TWH01164.jpg)

My chalets - I had to move for the second night as the first one was booked:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-kXlB-GZmHWo/VtcDFZ44obI/AAAAAAAAHGo/PVr7w3oElAQ/s1024-Ic42/TWH01163.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-gstr6TKKGNk/VtcFXdvSbLI/AAAAAAAAHIY/xNQb9MV_d3U/s1024-Ic42/TWH01209.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-QLjaqb0cQc0/VtcFaQJBkXI/AAAAAAAAHIo/mgvQTv8k6FY/s1024-Ic42/TWH01211.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-KH3O3jyFkw4/VtcFdPSykqI/AAAAAAAAHL0/mBFICZb1R8c/s1024-Ic42/TWH01212.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-BBtJnDLnKkg/VtcFs_6DMqI/AAAAAAAAHIo/bbsOW8YGHKQ/s1024-Ic42/TWH01214.jpg)

The beach again:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7qT4TOIJaAQ/VtcF0mGqpkI/AAAAAAAAHIo/hWlF2H0hb2o/s1024-Ic42/TWH01216.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-G_T6DHRaGP8/VtcGMCFUl4I/AAAAAAAAHI4/9ZAlOE7f8mQ/s1024-Ic42/TWH01219.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PqNgNMkqigM/VtcGLUC3fhI/AAAAAAAAHI4/rH1saUbRXi0/s1024-Ic42/TWH01221.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-3Eyo6WhWq04/VtcGOa8gWsI/AAAAAAAAHI4/jSsJPEN5FdQ/s1024-Ic42/TWH01224.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-XsVRekkmmEE/VtcGoCE673I/AAAAAAAAHJI/onIMvuth0fU/s1024-Ic42/TWH01228.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-0zgiFwd7Ls8/VtcGmzzAhdI/AAAAAAAAHJI/Ndbg1xCzL7g/s1024-Ic42/TWH01241.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-MgjpPzzUSCk/VtcG8KIsvkI/AAAAAAAAHJY/coTOjrnRT44/s1024-Ic42/TWH01249.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-16ux4wFigF8/VtcG_DYH_WI/AAAAAAAAHJY/qNy8WtT4liM/s1024-Ic42/TWH01250.jpg)

While the main Tofo beach was overrun by beachbums, the local ladies and kids were busy literaly scrapping the livelihood off the ocean floor on the adjacent beach out of sight of tourists (well except this one - didn't manage to find out what they were actually collecting, I'd like to think pearls, but probably not):

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-3UuVPSw6vQ0/VtcHwqLqqiI/AAAAAAAAHJ4/Awj_qVjCoU4/s1024-Ic42/TWH01284.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-hHw3bJ-3k5I/VtcIG1IRdVI/AAAAAAAAHKI/OFglLmShDHc/s1024-Ic42/TWH01286.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-mKPEcUIoHSM/VtcIe9VZ0vI/AAAAAAAAHKY/h9c3k18pi6U/s1024-Ic42/TWH01296.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Te8_R8JKmDo/VtcI66RcreI/AAAAAAAAHKk/198vcb22pTg/s1024-Ic42/TWH01316.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-zFWCTtzbLsQ/VtcJFJVa4cI/AAAAAAAAHKs/oU54xH5xdyI/s1024-Ic42/TWH01322.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Ryc1DCoCwXI/VtcJvWso-XI/AAAAAAAAHLM/qv2EaTIYNgg/s1024-Ic42/TWH01329.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Xrj2Dib4cmg/VtcKJ-tRGkI/AAAAAAAAHLk/jRoH3RD0x-8/s1024-Ic42/TWH01340.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-QykXXBIYFN0/VtcKN5qxyJI/AAAAAAAAHLk/1LcRFLTTueE/s1024-Ic42/TWH01344.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-bqqndfqlmr0/VtcJxOI_kEI/AAAAAAAAHLM/-vL2vg4tqCM/s1024-Ic42/TWH01330.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xpoQtZIQyCg/VtcKlyPYwQI/AAAAAAAAHLs/I0vEkdLV5Vk/s1024-Ic42/TWH01347.jpg)


Stupid swell that killed my whale shark date:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-bAYn9xAIY-Q/VtcIlYg3Y_I/AAAAAAAAHKY/pZgkPBV_Q_Q/s1024-Ic42/TWH01308.jpg)
Title: Re:
Post by: dirtyXT on March 02, 2016, 08:29:24 pm
Sounds like a good trip to me, glad you not pushing to a strict time frame


Sent from my D6603 using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on March 05, 2016, 10:25:22 pm
Day 9

After two day rest I was ready to move on. The plan was Vilanculo about 200 km north as the crow flies. This was supposed to be the last day of the Moz coastal sand fun - after spending more than week blowing Moz beaches I was keen to move on to Zim.

The original plan to get there was to follow the sandy track following coast all the way from Maxixe (inland accross the bay from Inhambane to which I had to backtrack on tar) to Vilanculos. Somewhat wiser now, I knew that I will not make over 200 km in deep sand in one day - especially as it hasn't been raining last two days and the sun was up and ready for me. So I decided to skip part of the track and ride the first 70 km up to Massinga on tar. There I would turn onto a dirt road heading east to the Pomene lodge at the coast, intercept my track somewhere along the way and take it all the way up to Vilanculos. With the detours this would come to about 150-160 km, but part of it looked like good dirt so I thought I may have a chance. Again.

In Massinga I stopped to fill-up. I filled up only the rear and left tank - I had less than 200 km to go and I didn't want to carry unnecessary weight through the sand. Massinga was the hive of activity typical for an African town serving as a hub on the main tar road for the bush villages/homestead in the area:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Kw0sqm0977g/Vtnv35JhF5I/AAAAAAAAHT8/o8Xn_1V6Jps/s1024-Ic42/p106.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-qomw3uhMlWo/Vtnvld0gdjI/AAAAAAAAHPo/rjUxew5Puh0/s1024-Ic42/p101.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-mvDhXjBa4HI/Vtnvs2UWSQI/AAAAAAAAHXY/NcUfqKuYXSk/s1024-Ic42/p102.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-TmDEuc5xrxY/Vtnv6ta493I/AAAAAAAAHT8/BZRV6sEHwCM/s1024-Ic42/p109.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-zaaR9JVCfUs/VtnwAz7WhJI/AAAAAAAAHT8/628iiO-uamw/s1024-Ic42/p111.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NZCwYXScjow/VtnwCkLccBI/AAAAAAAAHT8/WzYz4RUKlYY/s1024-Ic42/p114.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-sPPlW8AGtBs/VtnwIbPeuvI/AAAAAAAAHQU/Xg43ajp818g/s1024-Ic42/p123.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JWjFUlfXnTI/VtnwJIna2zI/AAAAAAAAHQU/izd4YaY_0R8/s1024-Ic42/p118.jpg)


Few km up the road I stopped at the turn-off onto the dirt road heading to Pomene:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fhLEKNUlWQ0/VtnsvZksCjI/AAAAAAAAHNo/QviDvUHTNVY/s1024-Ic42/TWH01357.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-R32kNItWq64/VtnscwpBD1I/AAAAAAAAHMg/Vk9112p7Iic/s1024-Ic42/TWH01355.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8AdrpVLVoKg/VtnscR8XpQI/AAAAAAAAHMg/LaDzoPyG9Wk/s1024-Ic42/TWH01354.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lpfZXOGWYEg/Vtns0FfQZCI/AAAAAAAAHNo/qVbhZK_8WX8/s1024-Ic42/TWH01363.jpg)

The dirt road:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-zO_6G_Zrhdw/VtnswkK9EsI/AAAAAAAAHNo/0X0aE13m76k/s1024-Ic42/TWH01361.jpg)

The whole coast from Maputo up was overrun by SA holiday-makers, at least judging by the cars. About 70-80% of the cars had SA plates, it was actually rare to see Moz plates once you moved off the main road. Now, I know Mozambique is the prime destination for stolen SA vehicles. But hey let's be positive and assume that these were genuine South Africans ejoying their well deserved break. Like this merry bunch from Gauteng:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-GDN7qgDwJcg/Vtn0CPxDB7I/AAAAAAAAHWI/mXKIijysCmQ/s1024-Ic42/p4.jpg)

Or this fellow Gauteng gentleman:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lNxQBace5HM/VtnxtAsUygI/AAAAAAAAHSM/WpBBPK9gL4c/s1024-Ic42/p23.jpg)


Some more (plenty actually) pictures of the road down to Pomene:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wSHFHcYjITg/VtnxShx-YhI/AAAAAAAAHRw/TNxXMC_jegI/s1024-Ic42/p2.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8zUyhNMJ0UI/VtnxHQvqGII/AAAAAAAAHS0/nTzJgev-x8I/s1024-Ic42/p19.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-n1EHss0QC9U/VtnwvT8k9AI/AAAAAAAAHQ4/e3KLdiwl_zo/s1024-Ic42/p16.jpg)

Came accross little town or two along the way:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-d6JS9wPP_N0/VtnyNtTqCQI/AAAAAAAAHS0/xwwaFghh28g/s1024-Ic42/p28.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/--CEQ9Ek3HHg/VtnzJfBPQVI/AAAAAAAAHT8/BWLqky7QpX8/s1024-Ic42/p31.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-cxSdf9EHo70/VtnzWTtTmZI/AAAAAAAAHUM/4vJFI2IG3ww/s1024-Ic42/p32.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tkC3hgKg7eU/VtnzjkpQ_pI/AAAAAAAAHUc/OahQxGuZ9Es/s1024-Ic42/p33.jpg)

Looks like neat little bike shop - considered stopping to get replacement rev-meter for 690, but it didn't bother me that much so I just pushed on:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-gs2iLHkqMFI/Vtnz2pq5buI/AAAAAAAAHUw/By4Rmm0FLuw/s1024-Ic42/p35.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-23Y9bwTYJwQ/Vtn0CxnY6BI/AAAAAAAAHVI/5qwxrV1Q5OY/s1024-Ic42/p39.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ecJ45pRR12Q/Vtn0LCdlMdI/AAAAAAAAHVc/jcM5d6oJ4rE/s1024-Ic42/p42.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Hwys8RC7URk/Vtn0M40Q3tI/AAAAAAAAHVc/s8I5f1NsZpw/s1024-Ic42/p44.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-9GhX0zip8U8/Vtn0QOt9bII/AAAAAAAAHVc/02oxXFGHp1o/s1024-Ic42/p46.jpg)

Some more holiday-makers, these almost look legit Dutchies carrying their home with them wherever they go:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xnmfTIXayZA/VtnwAB8n-3I/AAAAAAAAHT8/sBpE6wCWzCc/s1024-Ic42/p11.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vLaAyMY6h_M/Vtn1Eyo7lBI/AAAAAAAAHWI/e6wZH3iRizU/s1024-Ic42/p9.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-c9rRocdCZYE/Vtn0aVXr9tI/AAAAAAAAHVs/P-c-RoZxGKA/s1024-Ic42/p53.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6rG2aJ8zMGI/Vtn0gYmUiXI/AAAAAAAAHVs/8xFJXnRSzBY/s1024-Ic42/p57.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ZO0mKhg6t68/Vtn0m8yZzuI/AAAAAAAAHXI/KeH78jtA4fc/s1024-Ic42/p59.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wTo4k21F34A/Vtn0nOoUBhI/AAAAAAAAHXY/K0p7TL_K-tI/s1024-Ic42/p6.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-DvfLv5iAWuc/Vtn0YVpOVKI/AAAAAAAAHXI/u4wGxyOMnio/s1024-Ic42/p49.jpg)

The crew building the new road - the road was getting more and more basic as I was getting closer to the coast, from a good dirt close to tar back to basically sandy double track further on:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-hP6NoVOdFZU/Vtn0aPxygEI/AAAAAAAAHVs/wlqAs5mmAlc/s1024-Ic42/p51.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uKS_2hjjQVw/Vtn0w-NajrI/AAAAAAAAHWA/xKCMfMAk_0w/s1024-Ic42/p65.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-qqy9FiMvICY/Vtn0pUJ-MLI/AAAAAAAAHWA/TV8qbbAEI9M/s1024-Ic42/p61.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-RWrC1wf4hDw/VtntEUZhQ1I/AAAAAAAAHNI/WHL52_pn20U/s1024-Ic42/TWH01373.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xa7ZB_3pi3c/VtntCik5yAI/AAAAAAAAHNI/lAWT9UkchlM/s1024-Ic42/TWH01367.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VeTGHNrRIPQ/VtntH5rwcaI/AAAAAAAAHNI/W78rblYSW0w/s1024-Ic42/TWH01374.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JcGa9EZ4s0o/VtntVLYUjPI/AAAAAAAAHNY/OZJBy5utjfg/s1024-Ic42/TWH01382.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JfLB_rsHu3c/Vtn1Ee6s7pI/AAAAAAAAHWI/b-8Qhn9DvlA/s1024-Ic42/p86.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-QQgLL_yJ3Q8/Vtn0yG8dSKI/AAAAAAAAHWI/BSZSc4kDdZ0/s1024-Ic42/p80.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-yRCyaJ41L0M/Vtn07hNPvEI/AAAAAAAAHWI/qBM2XtkFurk/s1024-Ic42/p81.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8T6BvNW6MLQ/Vtn06mVpnPI/AAAAAAAAHWI/8F9myXD0gKI/s1024-Ic42/p83.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-nmbfBOltrD8/Vtn0wAInBOI/AAAAAAAAHWA/A--q1SWIl0c/s1024-Ic42/p70.jpg)

As I approached the coast the sand turned red:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5du5s_vS1uE/VtntUiZC8LI/AAAAAAAAHX4/Tj48fViFrI4/s1024-Ic42/TWH01385.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uqIC2XTfmE0/VtntXsaAn8I/AAAAAAAAHNY/I5A5mUk9gF4/s1024-Ic42/TWH01387.jpg)


Soon after this I hit my track and turned north - to be continued in next part.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: adamktm on March 06, 2016, 12:36:39 pm
Sub......been waiting to hear how the 690 went
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on March 06, 2016, 11:07:50 pm
Day 9 - part 2

I have connected with my track at about 11. It was hot and the sand looked quite dry and intimidating so for a while I considered continuing on the dirt road (by now also just deep sand track) few more km to the Pomene lodge on the beach, taking the rest of the day off and starting again early next morning. But then I had to admit to myself that this resting was becoming a bit of a plague, costing me too much time so I turned left on the track and set-off north to Vilanculos. That track looked pretty remote and was basically one big dune field, mostly running through coastal bush, in places passing little homesteads and fields and in places running through forrests.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-TbzZA_d2Dwk/Vtn1Eb7qNsI/AAAAAAAAHWI/CxO7UDHykeQ/s1024-Ic42/p89.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/--WCONWY66kg/Vtn1HvdPzUI/AAAAAAAAHWI/Ffwpzvr7P5o/s1024-Ic42/p97.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tgRwTj0AKTc/Vtnvvtlxg5I/AAAAAAAAHPo/zh76lBlxgrE/s1024-Ic42/p105.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6B1Eur5FlBQ/Vtnv07Y1DMI/AAAAAAAAHT8/AXp8fZSMd7I/s1024-Ic42/p106%252520%2525281%252529.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-K3dQdsNK4XY/Vtnv46VeS0I/AAAAAAAAHT8/LcHnJr6uylU/s1024-Ic42/p107.jpg)

Came here accross another road heading towards Pomene:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jyD52ywQQlc/VtntlppHwXI/AAAAAAAAHNY/BMdzoKtkj-E/s1024-Ic42/TWH01396.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PjIZrWmgqZM/VtntnAaPnXI/AAAAAAAAHNY/dOMI7hp1yDI/s1024-Ic42/TWH01399.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-_NJqSjwiPAE/VtntrKez1TI/AAAAAAAAHX4/GT1Kw-AsBUA/s1024-Ic42/TWH01404.jpg)

Crossed that one and continued north on my much less used track. Soon I came across a settlement where I stopped to check the direction. There were few guys sitting there, most of them already pretty greased - it was holidays, so they were busy drinking from early morning. One of the guys spoke kind of English, but wasn't much help getting confused by my question whether the double track I was on leads to Vilanculos. To be fair it was typical stupid 'first world' question. People here naturally look for the easiest route which in thes case meant to head back to the main track to Pomene I came on and take that to tar and then on tar to Vilanculos - so that was his advice. The notion that there is such a thing a bored white snob who despises perfectly good tar and is actually looking for the hardest possible route was understandably lost on them. So I thanked him and to their confusion continued on my track.

Note the bike in the settlement - this is at least 30 km of deep sand away from closest dirt road. I have suspicion that this thing is better in sand than my Dakar replica:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-HMmsu4LulWk/Vtnwr62H7HI/AAAAAAAAHQ4/NFfLQ1kQMmE/s1024-Ic42/p154.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uk6BELHfK8Q/Vtnt6T1ilpI/AAAAAAAAHNo/4kZ8IH7zvN8/s1024-Ic42/TWH01407.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-p_ZJD5OZDB8/VtnwuWIIFmI/AAAAAAAAHQ4/e5PRFFW9-GQ/s1024-Ic42/p158.jpg)

This picture nicely sums up the level of understanding between us:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-MH-JrugOOXA/Vtnw1JoEB6I/AAAAAAAAHRI/dM4SEDbBxYc/s1024-Ic42/p161.jpg)

I pushed on - these forests were great as they provided shade and the sand was covered by leaves and branches making for much more relaxed ride:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-d_0V9Hv_HpQ/VtnwWDgXf-I/AAAAAAAAHQo/uZ0h2TcP4Tg/s1024-Ic42/p130.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-yAZtK7gDfOk/VtnwTxoVcHI/AAAAAAAAHQU/h_5tjdY8m5A/s1024-Ic42/p138.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-h8Fyi4dmWMU/VtnwV_RBeBI/AAAAAAAAHQo/_zx5wDykXKw/s1024-Ic42/p141.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-rLn9Qo1KTeA/VtnwdEGkByI/AAAAAAAAHQo/6FMVIJoIE-4/s1024-Ic42/p143.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-AG-Bjo98Jhw/VtnwhmTxeDI/AAAAAAAAHQo/o-bLkwz4-Ug/s1024-Ic42/p145.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wAgKCiY2L9k/Vtn0DD8vDxI/AAAAAAAAHVI/TySLFI5VUm4/s1024-Ic42/p354.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-y4aNCJZtlLI/VtnwmuxI8WI/AAAAAAAAHQ4/nAJ2_BQm5Nw/s1024-Ic42/p152.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wtOwkSRybKE/VtnwjreqneI/AAAAAAAAHQo/5T3m7vRBcEM/s1024-Ic42/p149.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uPb_1spquvg/Vtnw7MxEGcI/AAAAAAAAHRI/acgIitxk0c8/s1024-Ic42/p164.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8RSoRNu866I/VtnxAOltU1I/AAAAAAAAHS0/C_ukBN9Xznw/s1024-Ic42/p182.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xP3fJBzMMIM/VtnxGt9FtnI/AAAAAAAAHS0/aD8uN3oRyTM/s1024-Ic42/p196.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uPyjFRJCoW0/VtnxJCaJ8UI/AAAAAAAAHRw/Ac9qvRjnHgI/s1024-Ic42/p199.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-yYHRDZy4xic/VtnxTVOl0tI/AAAAAAAAHRw/S3VsTycwkSM/s1024-Ic42/p210.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ERn5bV9EskM/VtnxU8zHGlI/AAAAAAAAHRw/rc_wqOyq09A/s1024-Ic42/p213.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-MNEUCqvmlYY/VtnxfcwkvVI/AAAAAAAAHSM/0Y6wSnSraJM/s1024-Ic42/p220.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-m_JS0DY3a9g/VtnuMbRkkRI/AAAAAAAAHOE/0otgW5p4wJU/s1024-Ic42/TWH01416.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ghEhr--EYfo/Vtnt6upF1GI/AAAAAAAAHNo/bEY4uZJclME/s1024-Ic42/TWH01411.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-CHTzwp7lC90/Vtnt_Sf97QI/AAAAAAAAHOw/glYrfL8KlwU/s1024-Ic42/TWH01412.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7QuQ5ZLafio/Vtnuel7sx_I/AAAAAAAAHOU/azUV9Jk6y88/s1024-Ic42/TWH01425.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-QjO3bhm9flM/VtnxgoNEVjI/AAAAAAAAHSM/rxmid0yT5B4/s1024-Ic42/p228.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-TEIxmCwAGpc/Vtnxqzkbn9I/AAAAAAAAHSM/SMMWXOlvWH8/s1024-Ic42/p229.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-U53UAmdBm8E/VtnxtCyJzPI/AAAAAAAAHSM/PivZtKx7eO8/s1024-Ic42/p231.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ScaF-esoR6M/Vtnx11Dxn4I/AAAAAAAAHWo/YvCsg2li1PE/s1024-Ic42/p236.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-OaB-DIipFZE/Vtnx59AB0-I/AAAAAAAAHWo/syQyEYaq4Pc/s1024-Ic42/p238.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-T5dRV8RCiAg/Vtnx5-1snwI/AAAAAAAAHWo/4ugIFerBt1k/s1024-Ic42/p241.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-AJPWLw_ZCTE/VtnyC373HwI/AAAAAAAAHS0/snmCfWkZlVE/s1024-Ic42/p255.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uImCsKvPXW4/VtnyEV24I_I/AAAAAAAAHS0/eMDe9twLgdM/s1024-Ic42/p263.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ImLqo7P0v-M/VtnulCwF1II/AAAAAAAAHOU/58BPDk7uNTw/s1024-Ic42/TWH01430.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/--eKjrI5N3Tc/Vtnuj1Mai7I/AAAAAAAAHOU/cZn0fITUHPY/s1024-Ic42/TWH01429.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-BQDgOSA3pZ0/Vtnu5PUnDGI/AAAAAAAAHOw/TsV1MkeVUcU/s1024-Ic42/TWH01432.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wAcN50CIA0Q/Vtnu58KojXI/AAAAAAAAHOw/I_CQgkVvk7g/s1024-Ic42/TWH01433.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-kICWlrHDgng/Vtnu5c_Nf3I/AAAAAAAAHOw/vlvUQW7OFtc/s1024-Ic42/TWH01436.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-dEB9nIsiwoU/VtnyEJBEDDI/AAAAAAAAHS0/l1xo-BSZWRM/s1024-Ic42/p267.jpg)



I was making good progress, but not good enought to make it all the way to Vilanculos still at least 70-80 km away. At one point I got lost and had to backtrack to look for the right track, a local guy came for a chat. He spoke perfect English - quite a rarity here. He worked in Secunda in SA and was home for the holidays. He told me that white guy has some kind of place somewhere nearby along my route and recommended that I sleep over there. I wasn't yet looking for an overnight spot and expected to bush camp further up the road, but the image of steak and cold drinks caught my attention and I decided to give it a try. I got and impression that the place should not be far ahead and set-off. At each settlement I asked for the place and was directed just to continue on. Eventually I reached village with the name the local guy gave me and they just waved me on some single track into the bush - I fully expected that I'm tere, but I've spent another about 10 km navigating overgrown single and double tracks looking for the place checking with every local I came accros.

Doesn't look so, but I was chuffed with my progress:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4XX0Ou77AwM/VtnyLJ_PT8I/AAAAAAAAHS0/fPrLnYHR5rU/s1024-Ic42/p280.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-RPDv4h2AYMA/VtnyG-KOBWI/AAAAAAAAHT8/ox5qwCTA00E/s1024-Ic42/p279.jpg)

The single track:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-anc4jhLIe_U/VtnyW4Tb1yI/AAAAAAAAHTQ/SM7lYv_bcd8/s1024-Ic42/p283.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-aKbQDbkt7NE/VtnyYvxoqeI/AAAAAAAAHTQ/NJ3TJkg_Lmk/s1024-Ic42/p285.jpg)

And barging into somebody's courtyard to check direction:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-cUF2U2bezv4/VtnyYXghfPI/AAAAAAAAHTQ/x29uuYRViFI/s1024-Ic42/p286.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-90gHnIU6e94/VtnykJNPe-I/AAAAAAAAHTQ/l71LlNrGSHs/s1024-Ic42/p290.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LjrQYPaP_6w/VtnyjsLVGaI/AAAAAAAAHTQ/Id5pcsjxarU/s1024-Ic42/p293.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VY-5wJAUKGQ/Vtnyu6sMSOI/AAAAAAAAHWU/-EviPFkQDd8/s1024-Ic42/p296.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jQSqGyVw00Q/VtnywUPMAPI/AAAAAAAAHWU/yUFPYodtG0o/s1024-Ic42/p298.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-geehTRJfXss/Vtny7ZB8EnI/AAAAAAAAHTg/d4_ebQThjwY/s1024-Ic42/p300.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-86cWJZwSmUk/Vtny9bi8KDI/AAAAAAAAHTg/rC4RkhKGRZ8/s1024-Ic42/p302.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-DPi6nm2Fr1I/Vtny_IDWMNI/AAAAAAAAHWI/LW3j2Jx-6-A/s1024-Ic42/p304.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VTrr4nBBpuw/VtnzKWEy2yI/AAAAAAAAHT8/gpuIYOn3x2A/s1024-Ic42/p305.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fXhUr-G5Rlg/VtnzKkpZRWI/AAAAAAAAHT8/NIoQohAZd-0/s1024-Ic42/p306.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-N8GXkKzOxYo/VtnzWxMFUJI/AAAAAAAAHUM/6ccGDmYkmp8/s1024-Ic42/p310.jpg)


Finally on the main track eager to get to the lodge asap:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-GBl1yevA7uw/VtnzevAbp0I/AAAAAAAAHUc/hz6r6PlDkKY/s1024-Ic42/p320.jpg)

But of course getting to the beach means crossing dunes again:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-bvggWA-7sYI/Vtnzfc1CJPI/AAAAAAAAHUc/u4LjAwWzuc4/s1024-Ic42/p323.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-UIYChkDMVdE/VtnzqHqLFTI/AAAAAAAAHUw/IdnAmIiRMMU/s1024-Ic42/p332.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-yvfCsa_furg/Vtnzq1ndbxI/AAAAAAAAHUw/3fiiRhEO-yI/s1024-Ic42/p334.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-U8dnHt0jP98/VtnzsDlKwRI/AAAAAAAAHWU/Z2HyR209Zx8/s1024-Ic42/p340.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ruk6IrFO1eI/Vtnz1wh0kVI/AAAAAAAAHUw/TgNJdune1XI/s1024-Ic42/p342.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-KJ29aDKFbTE/Vtnz2UyntXI/AAAAAAAAHUw/rBJb89OLA3U/s1024-Ic42/p343.jpg)


I have made it to the lodge just as sun disappeared behind the horizon. The place was a set of interconnected luxury challets overseeing the beaches and ocean - it was nice upmarket private deveplopment with not guests in sight. Didn't look like the usual lodge with bar or restaurant. In the main house I found the owners - a South African couple Eddie and Courtney, and asked if I can stay over. Sure, they said and set me up in the adjacent luxury challet with one of those freestanding bathtubes in the room overseeing the ocean, white towels and stuff. This was way above the places I usually stay in and I could see that it will cost - but hey, I didn't care for one night.

Once settled in I went to ask if there is any chance to get food. Sure, again they said and invited me to their house where Eddie first fed me 5 - 6 beers and then we had a dinner of fantastic chicken curry they have made. We chatted about many things, but the topic of the day was Eddie's spearfishing trip earlier that day. Somehow he and his pilot underestimated wind or swell or something, didn't take enough petrol and barely made it back almost getting swept out into the ocean. I'm not an ocean/sea person and am always surprised how easy can beautifull turquoise to my eye mellow water kill you.

After dinner they were heading for a party with some friends in another lodge up the coast and I was keen to hit the bed beat from the hot sandy day. I wanted to head off early in the morning so I asked how much do I owe them. Eddie just scratched his head and said that this is actually not a lodge but their private holiday property which they use for holidays with their friends, hence he has absolutely no clue what to charge so let's just forget it. Nice. So dirty and smelly from a day's riding in the African sun and sand talking in weird accent I have barged into somebody private house in the middle of Mozambican bush, and without batting and eyelid they lodged me, fed me got me somewhat drunk to enjoy nice sleep in clean sheets.

Of course I protested, feeling awkward about abusing their hospitality, but they persevered, so I got away with a free night in great company and in luxury accomodation. It is really nice to know that there are still generous and hospitable people like Eddie and Courtney out there.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: dirtyXT on March 07, 2016, 09:41:52 am
now thats a good story, the people you meet on trips...
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: funacide on March 07, 2016, 11:04:45 am
Loving this report as usual Xpat.

Please keep it coming.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on March 07, 2016, 11:11:30 am
Thanks for the comments guys, they really help not least to move to the next page - there are too many pictures on this one.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Takashi on March 07, 2016, 11:16:28 am
Great ride report Xpat.

How are the roads around the Pomene area?
We are going there in 2 weeks time in the 4x4s.

I just want to make sure my tow strap will be able to pull the poor land rover going with... :pot:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on March 07, 2016, 11:29:57 am
I don't think you will have a problem in 4x4. If you look at the pictures in the first part of Day 9, you will get pretty good picture of what it is like - most of the road is good dirt, just closer to coast you will encounter deep sand. The last 10 km or so I didn't do but as it is on the coast I would expect you may need to cross a dune or two. But again I wouldn't expect it to be tougher than the dunes I did on Day 6 and those were negotiated by 4x4s - and with a bit of skill were no problem for them.

I'm sure you will need to lower your tyre pressures and know little bit what you are doing, but I wouldn't expect it to be too much drama.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: adamktm on March 07, 2016, 01:32:03 pm
Loving the RR so far!
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: punisher on March 07, 2016, 02:29:26 pm
joh   joh    dis be laaik a velly  naaice report
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on March 07, 2016, 09:30:17 pm
Day 10 - New Years Eve

I woke up early, thanked Eddie and Courtney who even packed up some of the Chicken curry for the road and set-off. The plan was simple make it to Vilanculos. Eddie wasn't sure if I will be able to go on my track all the way to Vilanculos as there is some kind of conservation area that way, but worst case I would just cut back to tar.

I backtracked about 10 km accross the dunes, found my track and set-off. The track initially started as a single track, making me wonder about how far it is going, but eventually turned into the usual remote sandy double track:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/--BlTUPRccGI/VtoIr9dtfDI/AAAAAAAAHfE/tu1FfkpRb24/s1024-Ic42/p7.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Z-StQQQu2lU/VtoIRUbMeFI/AAAAAAAAHfQ/ZPne54ukcfA/s1024-Ic42/p25.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-S6NC_B4ciQo/VtoIJDyPPqI/AAAAAAAAHeo/qDgd9CGyZdU/s1024-Ic42/p12.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Ab9-jV4lONA/VtoIJgBD9aI/AAAAAAAAHeo/UdXEHKGr4FA/s1024-Ic42/p20.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Ho-lp2DPn_g/VtoIMazWMMI/AAAAAAAAHeo/T-BKy8v4-zU/s1024-Ic42/p23.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wNvt34ZdGCU/VtoIVxzVaxI/AAAAAAAAHfA/0g671BNpfI8/s1024-Ic42/p31.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ZVNm1o7zmM4/VtoIXkzXt1I/AAAAAAAAHfA/9m9JtIiA9hA/s1024-Ic42/p33.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-P39sA1l5xeg/VtoIc_X30dI/AAAAAAAAHfA/LbZKdu8qrt4/s1024-Ic42/p37.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/--94MuFOJr-I/VtoIhmZjWvI/AAAAAAAAHfA/Ym_BE8Ueyc0/s1024-Ic42/p38.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LvKLJ5H_GSQ/VtoIj-sXhCI/AAAAAAAAHfE/EC5fx4rJYc0/s1024-Ic42/p46.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jyEtKAs3xNI/VtoIovbtbTI/AAAAAAAAHfE/EzI344DA9zQ/s1024-Ic42/p65.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-UyyOz5tBGTY/VtoIs2RHxPI/AAAAAAAAHfE/Krz3sa6lqdU/s1024-Ic42/p75.jpg)


Somewhere along the way I lost my track (there are many small inter-crossing tracks in the area) so I just followed the biggest one, which eventually brought me to a dirt road. I knew from its direction that it will probably take me back to tar, but I was a bit tired from yesterday so just went for it. As soon as I hit it my low fuel warning light came on - I just ignored it as I have done only about 150 km since the last refill and the fuel light is not reliable when you have petrol spread among three tanks. As expected the dirt road took me to a little village on the EN1 about 50 km south from the Vilanculos turnoff.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Rcm62tIn6u8/VtoIwgltMfI/AAAAAAAAHfQ/pD2d06VCdLg/s1024-Ic42/p79.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-n3esSjskRd0/VtoI1JhDMBI/AAAAAAAAHfE/oStKt-ZWVRI/s1024-Ic42/p85.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-t4f-Esm5IxI/VtoI3NTg_VI/AAAAAAAAHfE/zR5iyvHtNFA/s1024-Ic42/p91.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-K40b7DEUtNE/VtoI5Jq7kPI/AAAAAAAAHfE/oM-Cjy6-I4A/s1024-Ic42/p95.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-emYSWZz1AiM/VtoI78MUc2I/AAAAAAAAHfE/sFvKGsnhpxU/s1024-Ic42/p97.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-KmGG7727Q1o/VtoI8j0u7zI/AAAAAAAAHfE/jOblv59WtNo/s1024-Ic42/p98.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-3HBQcxkvDPM/VtoIE01i9xI/AAAAAAAAHeo/1MXoLshYBqc/s1024-Ic42/p100.jpg)


When I hit the tar I stopped to get some cold drink at the local spaza shop.

Mozambique - Vodacome country:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4-eR7Gd8Bak/VtnvMwWy2wI/AAAAAAAAHOw/d9NzjmxdTEU/s1024-Ic42/TWH01444.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-h8uxYTskPHs/VtnvbLBHk9I/AAAAAAAAHPM/LQcLLU6GFcI/s1024-Ic42/TWH01448.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-SpxqCV2LESE/Vtnve5fw4rI/AAAAAAAAHPo/-nDwXsWINZk/s1024-Ic42/TWH01453.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vIzhrlktp_E/VtnvevDe2XI/AAAAAAAAHPo/afT8MBVxipY/s1024-Ic42/TWH01458.jpg)

Refreshed I jumped on the tar to deal with the last 70 km. At about km 40 the bike stuttered to halt clearly out of fuel - WTF. I gave it some time started and made another km or two. This way I continued another 10 km where to my immense relief I came upon new garage at the turn-off to Vilanculos still 20 km away. To be honest I don't know what the consumption was as I didn't fill up completely at Massengena. But I have started with at least 18 litres, and have done maybe 220 - 250 km. Sure, I was riding about 120 - 130 kms in deep sand but still the consumption seemed too high as I was most of the time lugging it in 3rd gear. Well, I guess it will remain a mystery.

After that I made it to Vilanculos without any other glitch. I have never been there so I rode along looking for some suitable accomodation. Eddie recommended something called Smugglers, which I found eventually. They had a room available, but they were also clearly getting ready for New Years party - which they warned me about. Assuming it's going to be the same everywhere I took it - just asked them to give me room as far as possible from the bar. The plan was to partake in the celebrations as long as my fatigue will allow and then sleep it out next day. I will get to how that worked out in the next part.

Smuggler's courtyard:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-zkRhaP53iq4/VtnvvUbMtqI/AAAAAAAAHPo/40kR5LOT2GM/s1024-Ic42/TWH01465.jpg)

Route covered in last two days:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ktUvBbYch74/Vt3QOPVRBtI/AAAAAAAAHgg/J_vZ7suDSBs/s600-Ic42/TOfo%252520-%252520VIlanculo.png)

Vilanculos was the end of the first main objective of this trip - to ride from Maputo to Vilanculos on the coastal sand tracks. As you've seen I have managed barely half of it and it took me 9 days instead of planned 4 (inlucing rest days). But given the sorry state I started this trip in, I was satisfied. Still I don't like to be defeated like that, so I'll be back to settle the score - probably at more appropriate time of the year.

In the meantime - should you feel bored or something - here is my little challenge to you: I will buy anyone who will ride the whole track unsupported (I don't care if you will haul kitchen with you or just credit card, but no 4x4 tailing you) a beer. I will attach the GPS track to the first post.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on March 07, 2016, 09:38:13 pm
OK, the GPS track file is too big to get attached on WD. I have to figure out another way how to link it - will update here once I find a way.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: popipants on March 08, 2016, 09:51:48 am
I need friends like Eddie.
Building a luxury resort for you and your friends!!
Thanks Xpat. Awesome riding.

Some-one once posted that you use a lot of fuel doing sand riding for extended periods. Not because high revs but because your rear is spinning most of the time. You rear wheel ends up doing 300 km when in fact you only covered 130km.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Malcolm on March 08, 2016, 10:09:20 am
Xpat you are a legend!
Looking forward to seeing the track, then maybe maybe i will give it a bash.  I am a sucker for free beer ::)
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on March 08, 2016, 11:16:04 am
Thanks. I'll try to link it from somewhere, just don't know how yet - will try to figure it out in the evening.

Or does anybody here have a suggestion how to do it? Can I just put it on my Google Drive and share it with the public?

Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: 1ougat on March 08, 2016, 11:27:52 am
 :sip:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: E.T on March 09, 2016, 11:08:51 am
Once again great R.R.
Also when are you going to finish the Africa- Photo report?
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: YamaV on March 09, 2016, 11:20:23 am
Thanks. I'll try to link it from somewhere, just don't know how yet - will try to figure it out in the evening.

Or does anybody here have a suggestion how to do it? Can I just put it on my Google Drive and share it with the public?



To share with anyone with the link:

In windows, right click on the file,
Click google drive -> share
Click get shareable link

You should then get a link that you can paste in here, and anyone with the link will be able to download.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on March 09, 2016, 11:20:28 am
@E.T: I don't know, I stalled on that one - it is a lot of work (well they all are). But it picked up some interest on advrider, so I would like to finish it. First I need to finish this one though and I have a trip into Botswana lined up for Easter, so it is not going to happen in the immediate future.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on March 09, 2016, 11:21:44 am

To share with anyone with the link:

In windows, right click on the file,
Click google drive -> share
Click get shareable link

You should then get a link that you can paste in here, and anyone with the link will be able to download.

Thank you YamaV  :thumleft:. I'll do it in the evening.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: GSpear on March 09, 2016, 04:08:27 pm
Great RR, thanks for sharing, makes me just wanna go out and ride !
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Roulof on March 09, 2016, 05:24:53 pm
Xpat, as always absolutely fantastic!

Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on March 09, 2016, 08:20:06 pm
Thank you all for support.

I have managed to add link fo the GPX files in the first post per YamaV suggestion - unfortunatelly it works only in Firefox, on other browsers it just loops around and then gives error message. This seems to be known issue with Google Drive for past 5 years, and the mighty Google have done so far bugger all about it. I will research some other options, but if you are really interested now you can either click on the link in Firefox or copy it to Firefox from other browser.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on March 09, 2016, 09:55:36 pm
New Year

Once settled in my room I've spent rest of the day eating and driking in the bar, watching party preparations and gangs of local guys coming in to buy tickets for the party - it was shaping up to be a big one. As the sun was setting down I went to take pre-emptive nap in my room waking up in the dark. I could hear music pumping, but so far nothing dramatic, so got my hopes for quiet night slightly up (I know how sad that sounds - high hopes of quiet New Years night, but quite frankly I'm perfectly reconciled with that, especially after few days of hard sand riding in the middle of Moz summer). I did make a token attempt to join the festivities in the bar and was surprised that it was fully occupied by whitey university students in the standard beach attire. At 43 I stand out like a perv in this demographics and frankly there aren't many common themes I share with the youth of this world (last year I was a pub quiz where I literally didn't know a single answer; the best was when it got to music where I thought I stand good chance  - not only didn't I know the singer/group but even when told the answer I didn't have a clue what they talking about - something like pitbull, which I thought is a dog, and Akon, which I assumed is an industrial detergent or something).

So I parked myself in a corner and fortified myself with few beers hoping that somewhat greased (not much really) I'll be able to catch some sleep. And it worked - kind of. I actually managed to sleep through the New Year, but then the bear wore off and I was woken up at about 5:00 am by that stupid sub-woofer thingy (I'll pay good money to anybody who will kill inventor of this satanic thing - slowly). By this stage all the whiteys were gone and the demographic changed to blacks only - all dressed in white, I guess this was Sensation White kind of party. They also moved to the courtyard to the pool in front of my room, which was off limits in the evening.

All things considered it was actually pretty civilized. Yes there were dressed people in the pool, lots of merriment, and intersex mingling. But by the standards of my youth party like this may or may not have involved stealing our teacher's car for a bit of joyriding, cupping hands over the eyes of a policeman while he is driving your shitface to the police station and saying 'Can you drive now?' (no communist police cars didn't have separate compartments for delinquents) and copious amounts of vomitting, this was kindergarden party.

Still, I needed a rest before I will hit the bush again. The party didn't seem to be petering out even at 7:00 and by now my room was already very hot. The plan to sleep it out during the day wouldn't work even if the party ends soon. Grudgingly (I hate packing - especially on a rest day) I decided to move somewhere else - I didn't care where as long as it has an air-con. I eventually found a luxury lodge slap bang in the middle of the town's beach strip, and settled in for a day of idleness in nice air-conditioned challet in a lush tropical garden, with my private chef (I was the only one there) cooking up a storm for breakfast and dinner:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-N4Aa4zRxWmY/VtoAVD-zRVI/AAAAAAAAHXo/G5tMW1HBYCY/s1024-Ic42/TWH01470.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xXo--lPZ2Zs/VtoAWt_WE8I/AAAAAAAAHXo/SvJnTxENRGU/s1024-Ic42/TWH01472.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-pnCG1q_iJWc/VtoAq-keP8I/AAAAAAAAHXo/TGtp4on1wBs/s1024-Ic42/TWH01474.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-KUiVxZmJKxk/VtoArRLPPmI/AAAAAAAAHXo/Xny2ZQJbj2g/s750-Ic42/TWH01476.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Wc83Cn2dn74/VtoAqF-CkwI/AAAAAAAAHXY/XUYjSF0HNXE/s1024-Ic42/TWH01480.jpg)


In the meantime the whole Mozambique was strolling on that beach about 70 meters from me celebrating New Year. There was a nice communal atmosphere with crowds strolling on the beach, while local drivers drove nonsensically up and down the adjacent dirt road causing one huge traffic jam. Of course there were trucks with big speakers peddling each their favourite tune, but most of it was an African music fitting nicely to the atmosphere. The only problem was that I couldn't sleep, which made me a bit cranky. Well,  if you cannot defeat them, join them - so that is what I did, causing quite a bit of amusement as I was the only whitey - seems all the world weary backpackers were hiding in their den. Here are some pictures from the beach - stupidly I brought wide lens and forgot to increase the ISO so many pics are blurry, but hey - nobody's perfect:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PYN5s5q15c0/VtoBNcIS9gI/AAAAAAAAHX4/aIljNdieZeQ/s1024-Ic42/TWH01489.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VHPp_hnJA84/VtoBcUPPCgI/AAAAAAAAHYI/bL4zK3Z7SfI/s1024-Ic42/TWH01494.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NE0AodpM4m0/VtoBd31ad1I/AAAAAAAAHYI/t5uT5-DgduU/s1024-Ic42/TWH01500.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fQy2PYz3WQ0/VtoBuB9EOMI/AAAAAAAAHYY/e4FGJJHAgLE/s1024-Ic42/TWH01502.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-bRkyDb2hJK0/VtoCAvJZJ6I/AAAAAAAAHYg/ETEX6Ghl5nc/s1024-Ic42/TWH01507.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uJ-XOJMusHA/VtoCN_6swSI/AAAAAAAAHYs/Wi_0fQepwPU/s1024-Ic42/TWH01511.jpg)

There were number of different sub-cultures represented, such as gangstas, cool cats, etc.. Here is one of the nerdy tribe:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wftjI1nlsKE/VtoCSzTEA9I/AAAAAAAAHfc/BITdGH9HByk/s1024-Ic42/TWH01514.jpg)

Not sure who these are - probably rappers:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-H7lJcT-uJrA/VtoCkBpzftI/AAAAAAAAHZI/l63kdSOHOZI/s1024-Ic42/TWH01516.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-qXNxmihz2IE/VtoCkilQdKI/AAAAAAAAHZI/X5zkLwn0QR8/s1024-Ic42/TWH01517.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7fq1nM_Ynac/VtoC1aAQm8I/AAAAAAAAHaM/AK7Rxs4HrcM/s1024-Ic42/TWH01522.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xdYSd06SPWY/VtoC-bxdxeI/AAAAAAAAHZg/kQDK2aB8A14/s912-Ic42/TWH01524.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-FVaiV_mxpps/VtoDF78j5KI/AAAAAAAAHZo/ixiO7McSM74/s1024-Ic42/TWH01528.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-XfiPOUrh9Ac/VtoDU5GY-4I/AAAAAAAAHfc/V6mPfT1gUV8/s1024-Ic42/TWH01533.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VATSHQWRvj8/VtoDNBvlmLI/AAAAAAAAHZ0/UCGpVToF-Nk/s1024-Ic42/TWH01532.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xyd-ShdFfPo/VtoDYf21hAI/AAAAAAAAHfc/sADHfIW4cWk/s1024-Ic42/TWH01535.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-rL0tt6N_H_o/VtoDpFY7pFI/AAAAAAAAHaM/JvfbzWATwx4/s1024-Ic42/TWH01539.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-txn05CvhkHE/VtoDtAYhTQI/AAAAAAAAHaM/99I0IRsOJO8/s1024-Ic42/TWH01540.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-DCp5APbG6xs/VtoETtQQY7I/AAAAAAAAHfc/tuDJ5Ru9qK0/s1024-Ic42/TWH01547.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-In_7tW0Ml6M/VtoEbYd2n4I/AAAAAAAAHas/Dx8P2aZvpww/s1024-Ic42/TWH01552.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-sHhPybE8KYo/VtoEpSS8mlI/AAAAAAAAHa8/98DE4GS-bIM/s1024-Ic42/TWH01555.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-z91vdLX50JY/VtoErHlOXXI/AAAAAAAAHa8/A8DibVycsTM/s1024-Ic42/TWH01556.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-QiIM-DZtegM/VtoEtKUzfFI/AAAAAAAAHfY/TZkNQWlEdc0/s1024-Ic42/TWH01559.jpg)

New Year's is clearly the time to show off your cage on 1km long dirt strip:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-9d_WypGX3FU/VtoE-e1PUFI/AAAAAAAAHbM/DeGj3CzfNog/s1024-Ic42/TWH01564.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-0OB3l88KujM/VtoFBMkE-iI/AAAAAAAAHbM/XcJYkkMn68I/s1024-Ic42/TWH01567.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-P3OFccpIdl0/VtoFM5GS0gI/AAAAAAAAHbk/u-fGWMaQcWM/s1024-Ic42/TWH01571.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ODEUINoV2B0/VtoFSj_apqI/AAAAAAAAHbk/3ap3Fyjoa7M/s1024-Ic42/TWH01573.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/--wHdLBsXOXM/VtoFf82FdZI/AAAAAAAAHb0/X7l7q3B8q4I/s1024-Ic42/TWH01575.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xxcl1Nf5ROs/VtoFl_lyT8I/AAAAAAAAHb0/XGprjHXcK_o/s1024-Ic42/TWH01576.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PRbRb2rkwc8/VtoFoHyYxCI/AAAAAAAAHb0/UY1Yq4eFe_U/s1024-Ic42/TWH01581.jpg)

Nerdy Nerdeson again creeping in:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8gAGxXD2Rbg/VtoF5kId3zI/AAAAAAAAHfY/vOkzewEsHY4/s1024-Ic42/TWH01585.jpg)

Gangstas:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-0uAB4_yBxBI/VtoGCAZIkjI/AAAAAAAAHcM/wHDsxn8ggJc/s1024-Ic42/TWH01589.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6xhojLIwt2Q/VtoGSpu-hhI/AAAAAAAAHcg/LwX28a0pq4g/s1024-Ic42/TWH01596.jpg)

These mammas were keen to get into few of my pictures - well, some parts of them:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-livEOsTR-mw/VtoGXl_HKDI/AAAAAAAAHcg/CdoDh19WicY/s1024-Ic42/TWH01597.jpg)

Cool cats:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Ib7FqhQWkgE/VtoGa3WUrjI/AAAAAAAAHcw/LGy-5KE_2M4/s1024-Ic42/TWH01599.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jahDemCk25c/VtoGrhLohJI/AAAAAAAAHdE/sL4hvk93uiY/s1024-Ic42/TWH01605.jpg)

Then I've been attacked:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-hXHDy04Jb0I/VtoG16UhiOI/AAAAAAAAHdE/itboGxYsF-I/s1024-Ic42/TWH01615.jpg)

But I prevailed:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-DwEhcILb1IM/VtoG8Fkh9rI/AAAAAAAAHdE/zRw4IFf_lss/s912-Ic42/TWH01616.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-dFcSz1zd5Dc/VtoHGE2PIVI/AAAAAAAAHdU/wUgCvR_GW-o/s1024-Ic42/TWH01617.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4LADS40FCho/VtoHHDk-QAI/AAAAAAAAHdU/BO0ip2wB1HQ/s1024-Ic42/TWH01618.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vJLEkDQddsg/VtoHM6jeMSI/AAAAAAAAHdU/fv_mw5W1iyc/s1024-Ic42/TWH01620.jpg)

These two had a hard time trying to manage the chaos:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vuOKLjB6X1U/VtoHdO-QXzI/AAAAAAAAHfU/q4ZR5JTH1OE/s1024-Ic42/TWH01624.jpg)

These two had a good time:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Avh9gk4iLi0/VtoHphiwpPI/AAAAAAAAHd8/_uO14gx918k/s1024-Ic42/TWH01626.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vhTPzDG0HPk/VtoHtDgw5aI/AAAAAAAAHd8/45mNfuF1HD8/s1024-Ic42/TWH01633.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-OPCIWIcxxP4/VtoH_SgFB8I/AAAAAAAAHeM/ND_rgA_Q4Gw/s912-Ic42/TWH01635.jpg)


So much for my botched attempt at street photography. In the next part we will return back to the regular bike porn.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: schalk vd merwe on March 09, 2016, 10:48:10 pm
Eish ne' lekker Africa
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: funacide on March 10, 2016, 07:58:16 am
Bring on some more please. Can't wait to see where to from here.

 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Malcolm on March 10, 2016, 12:42:55 pm
Route downloaded just fine on Google Chrome, thanks X
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on March 10, 2016, 06:28:12 pm
Route downloaded just fine on Google Chrome, thanks X

Good, it still doesn't work on my computer so it is probably just my settings.


I have to take a break from this ride report - I have some work to do and also prepare for another trip over Easter holidays. Will finish it once back.

Thanks for following!
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on April 12, 2016, 08:21:15 pm
Day 12
 
Keeping up the record of missing every single tourist highlight of my route so far (whale sharks swim in Tofo being the first one), I decided to skip Bazaruto islands – the main and probably only reason why people come to Vilanculos. I was way behind the schedule and keen for the change of scenery – there is only so long I can bum around beaches.
 
Next on the menu were Eastern Highlands in Zimbabwe. The plan was to head from Vilanculos north-west for the Espungabera  border crossing on the little dirt roads I could see on Googlemaps, skirting the Zinave national park boundary along the way for some African game viewing. Like so:
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-WxYnFQqhlC4/Vw0xm9qacnI/AAAAAAAAH6k/Peh2OTDq9vsNVDhz2cP6ujxYVp07KUzvACCo/s912-Ic42/Vilanculos%2B-%2BEspungabera.png)

 
It was about 450 km to Espungabera, so based on my record so far in Moz at least 3 days of ridding. However, I was moving inland away from the ocean (which I interpreted as away from the sand) and would be riding tracks that exist already and are routable on Googlemaps (contrary to most of the tracks along the coast that I had to plot myself), so I expected the roads to be gravel and hoped to make it to Zimbabwe in one day. As usually, I was wrong.
 
Despite my ambitious plan, I was not willing to forfeit the royal  breakfast in the lodge and managed to set-off only after 8:00. At the outskirts of Vilanculos I caught up with a dude on BMW 650 Dakar with German plate. We stopped and chatted for a bit. Stephan (if I remember correctly) rode from Germany to India, shipped the bike to South Africa and was not on his return leg back to Germany. I gave him some pointers that I remembered from my trip down from Europe and we rode together for another 25 km or so north on EN1, where I turned on a road heading west.
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LjkocUw2AEo/Vwvor1EyhAI/AAAAAAAAHnQ/_PYlpToGJxcoWY8U81TCZVE6wm8d-5fywCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01639.jpg)

 
To my surprise/dismay, the road turned out to be tar and after few km I found myself stopped in front of something completely out of place - a spaceship like factory with lots of intersecting shiny pipelines with hissing chimney’s, high fence and watchtowers. Officially it was a gas field, but I’m not stupid – I know a hidden lair of an evil trillionaire hell-bent on world dominance when I see one! The guards were well fed muscly pros, not the malnourished skinny jobbies normally masquerading as security in these parts of the world. And dead giveaway – they spoke English (probably ex-SAS)!
 
I informed them that they landed their spaceship in the middle of my route and WTF they intend to do about it. Unlike movie baddies, these had a sense of humour and politely directed me to the dirt road running along the circumference of the plant. On the other side there were couple of routes venturing into the bush in my intended direction – I took the best looking one. It run by 2 or 3 other gas fields and after the last one turned into single green lane running through the bush that clearly hasn’t been used for a while. I could see on GPS that I was not on my intended route, but this one was going west as well so I assumed it will sooner or later reconnect with my route and just continued.
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vHXn2I-Y-sU/VwvpGBB-_TI/AAAAAAAAHn8/70ylqo3Aw7A7B2XtM5ovfJj62ycDqNodQCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01645.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-TFfC5M2_lDM/Vwvoyp_nu5I/AAAAAAAAHnQ/GXi8lr-dwYYE_FoSv9VasagzcrZHYhVZwCCo/s600-Ic42/TWH01641.jpg)

Green lane behind the gas fields:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-TFZZpI0WaJg/VwvpMa-7LII/AAAAAAAAHn8/z9R8wNbT5ywsN8r1KQRw81ycYrnrv03PQCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01648.jpg)
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-BODMslo1t8Y/VwwGMm1MmNI/AAAAAAAAH6E/0jB7Qfh3SkgCGdeViJRKVnjXZwzbYY3egCCo/s1024-Ic42/p22.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-FC8rpTisNJk/VwwCxuDX0OI/AAAAAAAAHyU/y0w6r6lTvLww0UBN9JEI3kWH3qGTzl65wCCo/s1024-Ic42/p14.jpg)

 
After about 10 km it was clear that it really isn’t used and it is actually starting to bear north away from my route, which was not about 10 km south. I didn’t want to go back so I just took a footpath into the bush heading in the general southern direction, dodging/crashing through gradually more and more dense trees and bushes.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VkYRdWOagB4/VwwFZMLLRDI/AAAAAAAAH1o/anfGeaZCKtIl9-QIDGgEKoP9Ho1o8vKrACCo/s1024-Ic42/p19.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Xuny4h9yHO4/VwwGeeOBPyI/AAAAAAAAH24/5C7J_PJvYswoV3gvfe99GL97RMdBpa4pgCCo/s1024-Ic42/p27.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-rVsfziwZYAo/VwwGjo4HduI/AAAAAAAAH24/TNnrue3xoroszYZVfwuvwUQ27YvB6MQsgCCo/s1024-Ic42/p30.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Odmn5cOkeyI/VwwGuMmIeGI/AAAAAAAAH3I/SheWkdYbFwIQL4z7boMKxVbbQXL8kL0RwCCo/s1024-Ic42/p31.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-L9gxWmzjs5Y/VwwGqcupStI/AAAAAAAAH3I/3rvM2B18HzEWiUmXqcfqYba2D_P7kWa5gCCo/s1024-Ic42/p33.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-U6nMLPRdapY/VwwG09Lj1bI/AAAAAAAAH6A/oDiZnuLVhMcU2jcS0YNoTZUDwZ1-2Vk_ACCo/s1024-Ic42/p35.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tvtXQdc6ZFY/VwwG54PwoVI/AAAAAAAAH3Q/TI6yW9vjEwYQpIKVbBrFMsXopV_C8QgSQCCo/s1024-Ic42/p37.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-aDUBEJTThQ0/VwwHBOu1G-I/AAAAAAAAH3Y/ynFI4ZLSAbcClOu56sJ95mUjty8kTmV-ACCo/s1024-Ic42/p41.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-L2IsB1lAJ8M/VwwHBTtku9I/AAAAAAAAH3Y/z9VyS1_3tTsW_Y12963Uc3uE2VyXUp2rwCCo/s1024-Ic42/p40.jpg)

 
I came upon number of little one family settlements (the reason for the foot paths) and stopped to ask the locals for direction. I’m not particularly social animal, but here in the bush I do turn into regular chit-chat. Luckily for the locals I don’t speak any Portuguese (and I’m not sure they do either here) so I couldn’t bother them for too long.
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-HNi5DHuE1Dc/VwwHO7c8WwI/AAAAAAAAH3w/0DvcsLCXfFoo7V-TaQmhJiWtEFMyGCMZgCCo/s1024-Ic42/p46.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-gN5BBDBnzr4/VwwHdH6LrUI/AAAAAAAAH4M/2oEgpA4VtSoz_PPpUXEzau5UahdSW-YKwCCo/s1024-Ic42/p50.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-mel3TjOt8EE/VwwHhlTiHiI/AAAAAAAAH4M/CHTGJPllZkUk7Bj4j4oQ1_mJ3fpPIUvggCCo/s1024-Ic42/p53.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PgUbUZSDjaQ/VwwHpfcqPVI/AAAAAAAAH4Y/05_p30ZKw7UsybsMXMIaBSLz4wJTFfcogCCo/s1024-Ic42/p58.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-iZsMPPAQF-o/VwwHv5bSStI/AAAAAAAAH4o/qNCwi75FWNMVgQgLTdBFkE9Dn5YfjmcSgCCo/s1024-Ic42/p59.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-SNHOtfY4nc8/VwwH15aG1mI/AAAAAAAAH44/bhGZHZegNucP7Onn7D-ZyB3Jwtf8gJBcwCCo/s1024-Ic42/p63.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-hk5PCXs0ow0/VwwH6BhnKyI/AAAAAAAAH44/QlmYfA-9RlwuqiDec6CzreCDErEtrWpjwCCo/s1024-Ic42/p65.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-2RubK7EvzlM/VwwIE_pBKvI/AAAAAAAAH5E/fP8yoP4fb4cFd7QrnzIPcQYOUl1LmzLEgCCo/s1024-Ic42/p70.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Wbia7uh965A/VwwISwMtuzI/AAAAAAAAH5Y/xAikThsVk4s4m9eYpcm00Vg0mf6_51pwwCCo/s1024-Ic42/p74.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xeJM8wbiskQ/VwwIUUwbZrI/AAAAAAAAH58/g23FRN-IcHky3Z6s67jFkS5AD4jCY70VQCCo/s1024-Ic42/p76.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-A53Ql6kkIHM/VwwIaZBYXVI/AAAAAAAAH5k/-06Ijh1PDSwMZEcuw00W3F5Z7D52PfnSACCo/s1024-Ic42/p78.jpg)

 
Eventually I found the main road, turned west again and pushed on
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-nklNmysVOPQ/VwvpbroLHkI/AAAAAAAAHn8/_DnhEd2GXr4aq3r1XBpI7Az3ERHSyh4egCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01654.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-zxelCVLLdig/VwvpGHtypII/AAAAAAAAHn8/EjCk4e0HAdULA-6lEKVycR2om696vBH7wCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01653.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-BuyMAFI3KHs/Vwvpey4vT1I/AAAAAAAAHn8/3w-Nh5wtuNUHUnb0tHH9E7Ya64YNWKjrgCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01655.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Z1D3IYhaLiY/VwwIf15XUYI/AAAAAAAAH5s/XPMEbwbo6mwbghebqk_0--gIW8TyWrtXQCCo/s1024-Ic42/p80.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6bb5wK3Z1Ik/VwwIlln8xjI/AAAAAAAAH5s/8MOD7x4x4pYfnuaFzliuUyLVCQ8allu5QCCo/s1024-Ic42/p83.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-BYn2Cy18Bcc/VwwAjrtsTJI/AAAAAAAAHvw/lrGgqIqKtn4XxqBtR3R0AqJmJ7B4wkZAQCCo/s1024-Ic42/p100.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PTQxWIQZP6Q/VwwIq13eogI/AAAAAAAAH58/RxsDUIsGRXgYZeafVv0F90yTp7gjvPo9ACCo/s1024-Ic42/p88.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-aNJ7FpGMqcU/VwwIyuZP68I/AAAAAAAAH5s/HtogtyAtoTsyCsyBtW53VSjNy-JbRbVVgCCo/s1024-Ic42/p90.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-CapWW664nLM/VwwI6x5m9II/AAAAAAAAH58/QE3C0fVnfbYJjmuwFjWvt0tQ5Yy0R2ZUQCCo/s1024-Ic42/p97.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-82vv4nd96sc/VwwA0dERdfI/AAAAAAAAHwI/K8eIzJdGc-QKG7xLwPiYErH0OGn0r4rRACCo/s1024-Ic42/p105.jpg)

About 20 km later I was stopped by a local on bicycle telling me that there is a truck stuck on the road and I will not be able to pass. Being on bike I knew I will find a way and pushed on soon coming upon the truck. The crew has been there for 2 days now trying to find a way to get unstuck. They were running out of water so I gave them about a litre I could spare. After a bit of recon I passed the truck through the bush on the left, getting stuck for a bit between a bush and truck;
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vfQN9wp5Qdk/Vwvp0h8AUmI/AAAAAAAAHn8/voFRFVm4Yz02H-kt87F3iiiBjlSZmdq-gCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01660.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jfiHJ-w42wk/Vwvp18H6kII/AAAAAAAAHn8/CnrmPcqfmLg44lNkPds-merFgTQNBcgSACCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01662.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tG-C8pijclc/VwwCEsKMFCI/AAAAAAAAHxg/9oYOlMH4sLsWbX4m-SoBmt94zfcpjZsnQCCo/s1024-Ic42/p131%2B%25281%2529.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-bvtCf93X-Q8/VwwB7AtPDRI/AAAAAAAAH54/XDQXEwF2Nsg95Xvf8gvQwiM4FHhPYt3vgCCo/s1024-Ic42/p130%2B%25281%2529.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NrWznrYKnEk/VwwCTNPD6wI/AAAAAAAAHx0/YFpCo7shuuAbltSreXfvvcsRbebhM72LACCo/s1024-Ic42/p132.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Zbsx4UXJv2U/VwwCjEC_4RI/AAAAAAAAH54/_Kt2Ga3UYQ0ytushN-ubg_QvTk4e6_QvwCCo/s1024-Ic42/p138.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-bX4uF8N8RGk/VwwCnAFdxEI/AAAAAAAAHyE/TDNFjQyEAzANLikyfuqJonhfmMnunEI-wCCo/s1024-Ic42/p139.jpg)

Once I cleared the truck I continued west following the GPS.

To be continued.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: dirtyXT on April 13, 2016, 07:55:11 am
good progress. eish that truck isnt going anywhere.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Malcolm on April 13, 2016, 12:45:04 pm
Awesome, service is restored!

Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on April 13, 2016, 08:27:40 pm
Day 12 – Part 2
 
Another 20 or so km later I came to Comatela, where I asked for direction to Mabote, where I wanted to refuel. I had the route on GPS, but they recommended a different one – who am I to argue, so I just followed the road they pointed out.
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-V-nYuInU4rw/VwwBJ0AUe9I/AAAAAAAAHwo/9lRVtWOWXYM47XXNd12HXlQrvR1fqIyIgCCo/s1024-Ic42/p115%2B%25281%2529.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-iWlUFULHT4Q/VwvqIzg3DjI/AAAAAAAAHoU/6jxQ5RNkOFISUxHS565BFjurI62QXYeeACCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01667.jpg)

Pretty complicated intersection - locals had to be consulted for direction:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-593qlz57fPs/Vwvp1Jo_t2I/AAAAAAAAHn8/PM1r05R8bRcIlG5jbxJ9a7GmQveV4LmCwCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01663.jpg)

I pushed on in the general west direction – I didn’t have the track in the GPS so when I came upon one of many crossings (there was whole maize of what I believe are logging roads) I just chose the track going more or less in the right direction.
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8JA3yOvG3J0/VwvrUtABs5I/AAAAAAAAHpM/8Ly9QJ4knl4qHd38NAKxEcD87oRzNqP8ACCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01701.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5gKnPwicwOk/VwvrHH8oy-I/AAAAAAAAHpM/_cUb_bP4eRkt7cuRTr-P_WyewrJ9ZgAcwCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01698.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-z_aYIDYygA8/VwwBVjgbAfI/AAAAAAAAH58/wg4pJjwbfrIWPeYJm0Emi4Pc_1dv-QgewCCo/s1024-Ic42/p119.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PwfKau9IzY8/VwwA9zr49qI/AAAAAAAAHwY/T5f5RpP68j0yKbWatYnDLuTXu2-dNOziwCCo/s1024-Ic42/p111.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uXPTBLigfJA/VwwDWpB3xxI/AAAAAAAAHy0/YBMZrZN58oAFsOzrMCFr_hCM-vIl9JrewCCo/s1024-Ic42/p148.jpg)


At one stop I found these:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wVCsaNrSxU8/Vwvq9VNj2SI/AAAAAAAAHo8/K_pTTtSkd1srR-QEFven8ryASjfIziFNACCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01696.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PEzpqs3yJWA/VwvrN0VwQgI/AAAAAAAAHpM/3yDK1WXA3IgVD9zenOjYH_FHPTfh_9clQCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01699.jpg)

Seemed to explain one puzzle I was pondering for a while - with exception of what I think may be baboon tail disapearing in the bush, I haven't seen any animals. No little antelopes, no monkies, no warthog - nothing. Which was strange as I was riding deep in the middle of dense and very sparsely populated african bush - in remote places of Botswana or Namibia I would have encountered by now dozens of animals. The sad conclusion was that the bush has been eaten out. I didn't come to appreciate conservation efforts in Botswana, Namibia and SA fully until now. I hoped the situation will improve closer to tne NP (not that I was far), but it didn't. I understand that people have to eat, but in the process they are destroying one of the most precious resource they have which doesn't bode well for Moz future.

On the way I came upon few settlements here and there and stopped for a cold drink and chit chat in the spaza shop:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-YuXPlp6yg4U/VwvqKMeAdrI/AAAAAAAAHoU/DhVNpNccR2YhJyVadMBu3IFZf56t7XMhACCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01672.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LXs1ZJEpybQ/VwvqfSXbYhI/AAAAAAAAHoc/AkLHAGt9vxkqFiwab3qgMHEDSH5q5bNswCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01680.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-3EMM0_T4EJI/VwvqeFxRdMI/AAAAAAAAHoc/8j3ZSwlKfwYrUU-AU8popKR0WppZYrnwQCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01678.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-H-FSL4M0AwA/VwvqnyhD6wI/AAAAAAAAHok/b9V4NGYr1TU0cKiW4LxRh2_CWi_gffrIgCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01684.jpg)

 
Just when I thought I’m almost done and about to hit the main north/south dirt road between Mabote and Zinave NP, I hit about 10 km of proper deep sand. I wasn’t thrilled as I was getting a bit tired, but made it through without a glitch and finally hit the main road.
 
The sand pit:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-CA4tWkPLf3s/Vwvr56ekcNI/AAAAAAAAHu4/NLJ_ciD-WEsoGGVDbGScPJ1Bbk_kPLt6ACCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01711.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-sjebUvB8a3E/VwvrjCHPHzI/AAAAAAAAHu8/Z8OF1488mDQYDAE6adg1omDSGyRu8PWMwCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01705.jpg)


Main south north road between Mabote and Zinave NP:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-yzZt64SzvNE/VwwFd4fIGXI/AAAAAAAAH1o/ZtzJFHte0eoPdx8Z_qk93Ccz_LN3B67KQCCo/s1024-Ic42/p191.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-hvyZQi8AiTs/VwwFjxwi-KI/AAAAAAAAH10/cb2tmK00uT8HtbXsyTaED0kqIVm6JUHCwCCo/s1024-Ic42/p194.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Fy7OA97Meok/VwwFo-ceQfI/AAAAAAAAH3Q/By5ErjT1EJwpvE2JT7WRZeY0EMJFxBmiACCo/s1024-Ic42/p195.jpg)

 
It was already late afternoon when I finally arrived to the dirt road. I decided to skip refuel in Mababe as it would require 100 km detour (50 km there and 50 km back) and my map was showing that there should be fuel in Massangena about 200 km west on the other side of Zinave NP. I have done so far about 160 km so thought I should be able to make it. So I turned right and headed for about 30 km north where at a T-junction I turned west again following track heading to the northern boundary of Zinave NP. After few km I have arrived to a junction – left heading to Zinave with a campsite indicated about 60 km away, right to a local village Jofane.
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PGCanf_a2pw/VwvsGpkqADI/AAAAAAAAHpk/T6h5IP5mCOoRIzp5IX8veVHWPCUDN3xSgCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01716.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Qfw9zGOsdSY/Vwvr4wp4uII/AAAAAAAAHu4/23l4u5By4Cc4GDT7TAUwuRqBqz7HbwJCQCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01713.jpg)

 
It was quite late now. The road to Zinave turned almost immediately to a deep-sand double track and I started to worry if I will be able to make it to the campsite still during daylight. I wasn’t keen to ride deep sand in darkness in what I expected to be prime Big 5 country. One worry led to another and I started wondering if I have enough water and fuel –normally I would expect at least 400 km from my 26 – 27 litre tanks combo, but remembering how I run out of petrol in mere 200 km in deep sand, I started to have my doubts. My map indicated petrol in Massengena about 130 km away, but seeing how remote the area was, I had some doubts about how much I can trust that.
 
Eventually I decided to take it easy and backtrack to Jofane about 10 km north of the road and see if I can score some supplies. I couldn’t find anybody in first few roundavels, but eventually found a nice family sitting outside the local clinic, who kindly gave me few litres of cold water straight from the fridge. Unfortunately they didn’t know about anybody around who may have any petrol available. They told me though that about village 40 km back east on the main dirt road (the one I connected to on a T Junction few km back) where they are selling petrol. With daylight diminishing quickly I jumped on the bike and gunned it east to re-fill before I will try to figure out where to crash for the night. The main road was good dirt road, and I gunned it through number of villages – but when I stopped to ask about the village with petrol they always send me further, with some random km distance indication. By now I passed the 40 km mark and realized the initial info was just a random thumbsuck – distance for people here is something foreign as most of them do not drive/ride have been mostly only two villages away from their home. And they all live under impression that my bike will get anywhere in 5 minutes (or 1 hour if it is Maputo 600 km away).
 
Needless to say I made it all the way back to the main EN1 highway about 80 km away, where I finally came upon the village I was looking for. There was no petrol station, but there was a dude selling petrol from the drum. The whole operation looked pretty dodgy and I contemplated while waiting in line if I really want to ride 400 km of deep African bush with lots of animals roaming around on something fishy. I decided not, jumped on the bike and gunned it in quickly diminishing sunlight40 km  south on EN1 to a turnoff to Inassoro beach resort, where the map indicated petrol station. I have made it there just as the sun disappeared behind horizon. I filled my tanks as well as my 7 litre bladder.  The Portuguese owner of the petrol was surprised when I told him about potential petrol in Massengena and said that South Africans farming in that area (yes they are quite a lot of them, which surprised me a bit considering that there are occasional shootouts between army and RENAMO rebels in the area) do come regularly all the way here with big drums to get their petrol – not a vote of confidence for my map. Once filled, I crashed for the night in the adjacent motel used mostly by truckers and other long distance drivers.
 
So, after day of hard riding - over 300 km mostly in dirt and sand, when I half expected to end up in Zimbabwe about 400 km away, I found myself about 40 km north of Vilankulos where I started in the morning. It’s been a while since I lost the plot like this.
 
Route ridden:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-CujDZw5uapo/Vw0xmIM170I/AAAAAAAAH6k/qA96jnJNHhI9w6Ve7gGvZr7qKLi9WiUyQCCo/s1024-Ic42/Vilankulos%2B-%2BInhassoro.png)
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: dirtyXT on April 14, 2016, 07:49:14 am
haha thats a pity, nice adventure. impressive loop you did there.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: shanti on April 14, 2016, 08:30:27 am
Excellent as always - enjoying your RR
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on April 14, 2016, 10:50:37 am
Thanks for the comments.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: adamktm on April 14, 2016, 08:21:56 pm
Really glad it's back! That single track looked awesome!
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on April 14, 2016, 10:09:03 pm
Day 13
 
Second attempt on Espungabera. I started early at about 7:00 to give myself fighting chance. To save time I planned to gun it back to Jofane on the main dirt road I found yesterday during my dash back.
 
The plan lasted about 15 minutes –  about 3 km after I hit the dirt the rear brake pedal went limp. Now I knew that the spring has broken already somewhere around Bilene (just another one of the known little 690 idiosyncrasies KTM engineers didn’t manage to fix in 8 years of production – little cable tie sorts the situation out I found out later), so I was already used to the brake failing on occasion after a bit of hard riding, but this was different. The whole rear brake pedal was hanging lose down. The root cause turned out to be trivial – lose bolt holding the pedal, but not so trivial to fix for this mechanically challenged bimbo.
 
I turned off the road into the shade of a nearby tree – it was already properly hot – and took off the luggage to be able to get to the bolt. The bolt is a bitch to get to (unless you loosen the master brake cylinder, which I’ve learned only after few failed attempts) but eventually I managed to pull the bolt out as I wanted to put Loctite on it. That wasn’t particularly smart as it was even more difficult to put it back, aligning the holes in brake pedal and all. When I finally got it in and screwed it in little bit with my fingers, I couldn’t get there properly and tighten it with my spanners coming to a conclusion that the Austrian illuminati used a 9mm bolt there –of course I didn’t have 9 mm spanner as it is generally not used on the bikes I use. So I just stood by the road to see if somebody with 9mm spanner may not come by. Eventually South African farmer with his family in a bakkie pulling another 4x4 came by and stopped – they didn’t have 9mm (at least in terms of spanners), but said they have one on their farm few km up the road. I didn’t want to hold their errand up as I still had to pack the whole bike, so I thanked them and they went their own way.
 
Before:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vqJVT6tDfkQ/VwvsSgLIydI/AAAAAAAAHp0/2qAMZSJMFrA-J1OCSi2ra6wGLktfcaQnwCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01719.jpg)

After:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-P54osUenovg/VwvsVaTZTJI/AAAAAAAAHp0/dnMe1CPm0RQUOj7e3jnR5Ff2LfruO_ilwCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01724.jpg)

 
I have packed the bike and turned back to tar and a village in the search of 9mm.  I stopped at the first shack resembling some kind of workshop and asked for 9mm. They didn’t have any, but sent somebody out into the bush to look for one. We waited about 20 minutes during which I took the bolt off again. One of the more perceptive mechanics sensing my Sandton credentials asked to have a look and yes – as you guessed by now – it turned out to be 10 mm. Well, no points dwelling on it I used their spanner to tighten it up after a dollop of Loctite.
 
By the time I was done with the farce it was about 11:30 and really hot. Little hurt brat in me demanded a day off on the beach to compensate for all the suffering, but after a minute or two I snapped out of it, jumped on the bike and headed back to the bush. I’ve got lost once or twice, but eventually made it without any other glitch to that Jofane junction by about 1:00pm.
 
After short break when I poured the petrol from the bladder o the tank, I set-off towards Zinave NP. The track was sandy double track with occasional mud-hole from yesterday’s rain. I was making a good progress, but somehow not ridding few km north of the track indicated on my GPS. I came upon a cutline heading west with seriously deep sand, and rather followed the double track that headed more south – towards the track on my GPS.
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-DvXQ97rAebE/Vw_pR-lCsJI/AAAAAAAAH94/rWi2XkwF7GkBjdYGTadAyVjZVmAjnfTugCCo/s1024-Ic42/11.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Bjvlye2wpes/Vw_plTp4U2I/AAAAAAAAH94/3C6eVSvdH7IyO24U53lo0mElc0tEdyGEwCCo/s1024-Ic42/15.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-MN1CWjJQ33M/Vw_ptAZ5NJI/AAAAAAAAH-Q/g1l1OH_h2rc9HX-G7-aZduB7wsN0VwmcgCCo/s1024-Ic42/18.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Qj0-iDNKCO8/Vw_pwl-vI4I/AAAAAAAAH-Q/9p621W2Yt1gAQSBWEsXy76lrXJNimItlgCCo/s1024-Ic42/19.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-x7mSj8zYqYQ/Vw_p1BG0x6I/AAAAAAAAH-Q/dpTFE_0rMOwiiTlcGyTHduZ89-sZMBWHACCo/s1024-Ic42/20.jpg)

 
Somehow I missed the track (or googlemaps got it wrong), so I just followed the double track winding through the proper African bush in the south-western direction. I didn’t mind – I was having way too much fun. The sand was nicely compacted after heavy rain prior night and I was sliding through corner’s like nobody’s business. I didn’t care where I’m going anymore, as long as the going was that good. After about 100 km from Jofane junction the track brought me to the eastern border of ZInave NP (according to GPS – there was no sign) and I may have ridden about 5 km into the park, before I turned back not wanting to test vigilance of the park rangers or anti-poaching unit (if there is such a thing there).  I had a great time, except for one thing – again I couldn’t help but notice that while I was riding in the absolute archetypal African bush  with no settlements at all for the last 100 km, there was no game at all. No warthogs, no baboons, no impalas, nothing. Sadly, this place seemed to have been truly eaten out by the locals. Some people I met next day told me that there is tons of animals, but I quite frankly I just didn’t believe them. What a shame.
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Mz4gn_3pUE4/Vw_qFnepMdI/AAAAAAAAIDo/Qk-VO2zWqPcRbGnrPgHMPjNEFhgzlnUqACCo/s1024-Ic42/24.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-_RhsLJ8sH6Q/Vw_qMASmoTI/AAAAAAAAH-s/PwWL5ZLaNBEjdtKHG-unbM75qSE9PIiqACCo/s1024-Ic42/26.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-C1zVzeFQiao/Vw_qWFWtzlI/AAAAAAAAH-s/BG-OZrPn9lATWHIPqQLZB25EoYKH14tUQCCo/s1024-Ic42/28.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wNtPPeni7YA/Vw_qfhygulI/AAAAAAAAH_I/TtHc5Qq294Q9ZErkruN0DAI3sWMQRXWXQCCo/s1024-Ic42/3.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Q64LFL3Ff1U/Vw_qmBFdZWI/AAAAAAAAH_I/xC3vcPLtkEUxvVb_JD-QXUTHZDOUfXBlQCCo/s1024-Ic42/31.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-kSR2rOhT8CM/Vw_qscwZ_AI/AAAAAAAAH_I/Pr7F7v0ANikb-CtEqGit2UFDT_yvxVgfgCCo/s1024-Ic42/33.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-C9dvU-PuhXY/Vw_q0NetOQI/AAAAAAAAH_k/IFKy4cFB88o1KNj9G8Wz8A7MLQIi0CHZgCCo/s1024-Ic42/34.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JzyA25C_Wcc/Vw_q5dt0SOI/AAAAAAAAH_k/aaWUlYXxzmUhob8JqKB_Q5DkFa_pCHkOACCo/s1024-Ic42/36.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vuDO_vNB2v0/Vw_rBEEb-rI/AAAAAAAAH_k/tT64rTJEciAdD65C9AnXcL_Bibvni7_RACCo/s1024-Ic42/37.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-py0iJZjAsGo/Vw_rGgDzxPI/AAAAAAAAH_k/GDOJCBi1saMqFOMbI-a4YPNdS9dL8xcdQCCo/s1024-Ic42/39.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-XSozMz-IYZE/Vw_rKFhaqSI/AAAAAAAAIAA/pCaLA96rRzYzQOPLAactI5SYejo0Yy-tQCCo/s1024-Ic42/4.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-mGgkRoCdgmU/Vw_rSjKtGKI/AAAAAAAAIAA/VPxVCUJni-40kPxT6zdi4x8FWfgMdwBogCCo/s1024-Ic42/40.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-G-4WvigxeLs/Vw_rUMNyX0I/AAAAAAAAIAA/-2V2iMEtVIUSurDdzmT0X-DUMTZf8pMyQCCo/s1024-Ic42/41.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-AotI1frIrFg/Vw_ri7wnQwI/AAAAAAAAIAY/CgIi3vPGPNcMuudTXi-9ZIuyrhiNcplMACCo/s1024-Ic42/44.jpg)

I backtracked about 30 km to a junction where I’ve seen another track heading in the general direction of the north / south dirt road between Mabote and Jofane I came on yesterday. On the way I got caught out by short torrential downpour which I waited out under a big tree (first checking carefully if I’m not trespassing on some cricket’s backyard and with my bear spray safety off – just because I didn’t see animals doesn’t mean a lion or leopard may not have survived the locals’ feeding frenzy).
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lP8MhVUaykQ/Vw_rtmh041I/AAAAAAAAIAY/asWo6PvHXIktsW31fsAC-BYgZUIuR3BEwCCo/s1024-Ic42/48.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-i7q1orrTmfg/Vw_sE7-QLnI/AAAAAAAAIA4/eHvesb9wXM8kBmdp7lajwOL-JkihZSA2ACCo/s1024-Ic42/53.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4g16Lg96Cyg/Vw_sMlSuDuI/AAAAAAAAIDk/tl1rQkc-1wQlHlnFxnY1l4Ph2kp3FRg-ACCo/s1024-Ic42/55.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-kssafymOZOw/Vw_sNaa0f6I/AAAAAAAAIDk/-pkrsc_PXi0w0EdYGCLoT7T8Ns0efnQIACCo/s1024-Ic42/54.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-pRU7_eP5xLg/Vw_sUgbNskI/AAAAAAAAIBM/ZAodG6cPCE8iMO5DmgmADx80rFRUsjLhwCCo/s1024-Ic42/56.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8TbZDLwP92o/Vw_ssJllaeI/AAAAAAAAIBs/Y5tB4LyxWeId4_gbO6uUqSDZv5aBKwWFQCCo/s1024-Ic42/61.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tYAzX_MNAMM/Vw_szj6IJII/AAAAAAAAIB8/3aNnnEoe610HHkzg7DShkTVcDPVO5-M2gCCo/s1024-Ic42/63.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vF7UolAk4co/Vw_s-HQkK6I/AAAAAAAAICU/SBzX79-zFzEnCEGeFmT1S8oV8t6jMKjCQCCo/s1024-Ic42/65.jpg)



(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7FfCDEL0YE8/VwvsdDJGikI/AAAAAAAAHqE/3RlkUbphaLshMVh3sjiXroytYpmTD1pIACCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01727.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-TpDDeZ_GT2c/VwvsvJJ1_YI/AAAAAAAAHqE/KIZGFBtyPeM5n8lGX3pQton9EqHC0LzKACCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01729.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Ylt9Rj_ei4M/Vwvsu-Z2FlI/AAAAAAAAHqE/5WyS8lVa3jkM81ZI3NCKlccQCmJA2NCWgCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01730.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-yKYVbgf3PsQ/Vwvs1TcWXPI/AAAAAAAAHqE/wEpK4sDKFHkXy1OJBzVbtWCCKmnAcJ-KACCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01732.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JsQSocfpLac/VwvtIrZmeJI/AAAAAAAAHqg/vps_wFhN7Lw4ddk_0H2bPaZkSYLlrVm9ACCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01741.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-gM-rye0PO78/VwvtPuQzx4I/AAAAAAAAHqg/GEE9I5XITHYDOHkgYpw0icLFFebregUDACCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01746.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-BS2HqvHSYGk/VwvtgIYl4jI/AAAAAAAAHqs/t506fqxDUrk1D0JnmYC9q78fcWS4RqODgCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01752.jpg)

 
The east heading track eventually brought me to about 1 km from the Mabote road. The sun was setting down and with Mabote still at least 70 km away, I decided to camp, turned into the bush and found quickly nice camp spot about 100 meters from the track. I’m not keen camper (too much work – I prefer to sleep out, but no, not here, some hyena may still wander in), but did enjoy this spot. With the tent up I got a fire going and after delicious dinner of Bully beef and Salticrax I hit the sleeping bag, contemplating how after two day’s of hard riding I made it about 100 km closer to Espungabera (and 1 km away from where I was yesterday in the afternoon), still at least 250 km away. I wasn’t too bothered though – I’ve accrued too much joy riding that heavenly double track along the outskirts of Zinave NP.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Poxc9cHslbg/Vwvtg_VU7eI/AAAAAAAAHqs/_Dl3SbG7kLo22kz9KCnhBfmf_M8cCq4kQCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01753.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-slO8IQodcgE/Vwvt0X04n0I/AAAAAAAAHq8/9vf8FmUF3tkKEeCeZD47OJASgumvBNsWQCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01757.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-QX_BrQiXqMQ/Vwvt6DP6V0I/AAAAAAAAHrM/CMTMHjRutNwdkrdM5Mjh6YdVu6fo9QFjQCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01761.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-F_l8YFxt61E/Vwvujl0HtrI/AAAAAAAAHrs/Ra7OykbbVzoXpNm6UtjdsIl3yUMCWW79QCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01773.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-C5TyjcMr4gM/Vwvu5BG6DMI/AAAAAAAAHr8/E3ixWWTIAdAaRHvIByOkrAQGSRG3ntu9wCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01784.jpg)
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: popipants on April 15, 2016, 07:34:24 am
Bush camping in Botz!!! Lekkkkerrrr. Just watch out for land mines!
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: exkdx on April 15, 2016, 08:57:59 am
Awesome campsite!
Stunning pictures!
Epic ride report (as usual from Xpat)
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on April 15, 2016, 11:22:02 am
Thank you.

@popipants: Hmm the landmines didn't cross my mind - probably should have. Not sure why you mention Botz though - do you mean Botswana (I'm still in Moz) or is it some abbreviation for bush I'm not aware of?
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on April 18, 2016, 06:22:35 pm
Day 14
 
In the morning I had to decide which way to Espungabera. I was about half way between Jofane in the north and Mabote south and had two options – back to Jofane for a third time and try to find the northern route I have missed day before, or circumventing Zinave NP from the south on what the map indicated like main dirt roads through Mabote and Machaila, reconnecting to the original route at Massangena on the western side of Zinave. The northern route was significantly shorter, but I have already failed to find the track once and on top of it there was no guarantee I will find petrol in Massangena – I have already spent the extra 7 litres fooling around on the wrong track the day before. Going south, there was petrol station indicated in Mabote about 70 km away – of course there was also no guarantee that it is actually there, but if not I could still ride out 100 km back to the main tar and get petrol there for the third attempt. Also, the southern route seemed all good dirt on the map giving me better chance making  it finally to Espungabera after two day’s of getting lost and tired. South it was then.
 
With that settled, I broke down the camp, hit the dirt road south and cruised 70 km to Mabote. The place turned out to be a charming little colonial town with colourful main street and most importantly - proper petrol station. I could even pay for petrol with credit card. Nice!

With the full tank, I headed back to the main street to buy water and food. I stopped at one of the shops run by local Indians. Interestingly for Indians they didn’t speak English, only Portuguese. But again I could and did pay with credit card - I was really impressed, considering this was a remote outpost in the Moz bush - their telecom must be doing something right. I have eaten my breakfast on the porch of the shop, watching and being watched by the locals mingling around.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xDYWznRgP3U/VwvvFgYSFYI/AAAAAAAAHsI/esOo2eh5Ul00lXs7vw7WBNOt0QvTm8ObgCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01790.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tuaCQ6jUP3M/VwvvKjKvdoI/AAAAAAAAHsI/Xl7JAN2DdPEUsyAvuh4hNDdsZEtBTQXdgCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01795.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Hbq8pSx3MWA/Vwvu4_WBehI/AAAAAAAAHr8/jTkRul1mP2kXFZVu_EqBQbqyzfnZCmI4QCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01788.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-0hVry6p-ov4/VwvvVS8ygKI/AAAAAAAAHsY/ior-y_ltAokRWRTPmta3FTUpqL52T6GNgCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01801.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LBpaF0YyvO0/Vwvvau2ccyI/AAAAAAAAHsY/hlal4fRVThYHCwAbV1EgCuH-eUT-tiMiQCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01807.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lm75usZwCWk/VwvvcoNEpiI/AAAAAAAAHu0/xAVeh0202ZMq-gFdECGtWqKCJU4FHldnQCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01805.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wVREkFdpgy8/VwvvjxvdVeI/AAAAAAAAHso/G0_EHVU1d6YbdV0fyiNGIZ-0Ke1LKkIMwCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01808.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5QzFfgh83YI/VwvvrTchOcI/AAAAAAAAHu0/zr0AXC42dgsrWIdeS257qAXPN-QUT4XHACCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01811.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-f3PC8uBSc6s/VwvwEoLW1WI/AAAAAAAAHs4/JA_M-y657d8MEe33l1rqXIYK__dk707HACCo/s912-Ic42/TWH01826.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-TKY4z8ospgk/Vwvv96mLCnI/AAAAAAAAHu0/dIrb08dGvp8ZXaLnNwEPjMxsvoBmupnlACCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01821.jpg)

Eventually the local capo turned up - a Chinaman whom one of the locals introduced as ‘one of yours’. He seemed the local version Mr Burns from the Simpsons - a man with power despising locals and being feared and despised in return. He immediately felt strong kinship towards me, assuming we share the same racial worldview. Man, it must have been lonely existence at this remote outpost for him. In the name of racial reconciliation I played it cool and let him bully his local assistant to take picture of us and the bike with his tablet:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-FRldvMzfVJ0/Vw_tHvcN3QI/AAAAAAAAICU/3LD2-pZBfoQ0F6cNJoRKOhxAbDpKaqV9wCCo/s1024-Ic42/69.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ZkpanAQBQdQ/Vw_tPX54GUI/AAAAAAAAICk/1HOWFUDlnwcWQcgzDHdFPn7A5H9f3G-TACCo/s1024-Ic42/70.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-p-4vQD80NIM/Vw_tWruEuhI/AAAAAAAAIC4/6NKNdWwrpBQ9MOF-Va3dYN8t2tc6b6krgCCo/s1024-Ic42/72.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-qr_9H5Un1QE/Vw_s-mlf_II/AAAAAAAAICU/7CE44c_pOV4jJtpYwwhvLhT5sKh8EL_8QCCo/s1024-Ic42/67.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-oSGtlJfVMdQ/Vw_tb9gs6LI/AAAAAAAAIC4/rvEXzMSgPrISp79U5cSojECyWGIplAXPQCCo/s1024-Ic42/73.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-zYdPiSoiYXA/Vw_th6Xa0aI/AAAAAAAAIC4/MJ3I31oZeLoZfIBKRCRCkyaUBqRTCc8UACCo/s1024-Ic42/75.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NnUjORbuWJo/Vw_tmXvKyqI/AAAAAAAAIDg/lZYoPjQDukY8ScDnATbrfjFPWvaVX04TwCCo/s1024-Ic42/77.jpg)

With that out of the way, I geared up and set-off, turning on the dirt road heading west to Machaila. The road was good and I could cruise at 100 kmh sitting down and soaking the surrounding bush - welcoming change for my tired self from the Rally Raid of the previous 2 days. With the road like this the odds were good for me finally making it to the by now mythical Espungabera.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-u3rWSwjRhz8/Vw_tyKBp8QI/AAAAAAAAIDQ/GsyvIe6eVLcpL6jsykLBf8AnSPLursHWgCCo/s1024-Ic42/79.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-1eMXeA4-ITI/Vw_t3nF0j6I/AAAAAAAAIDY/KMLMcRRREnEVZtN14XvqCpjcNoKqD3_fACCo/s1024-Ic42/80.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7CtwUrT5BG0/Vw_t7TixKDI/AAAAAAAAIDY/LmYETfOVxsg59ZaDmlu1ib_fHU1iiQLhQCCo/s1024-Ic42/81.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6PPekh6kiMI/Vw_uBZAQsSI/AAAAAAAAIDg/rtRWFM-0hEwOoplmNsw9gUgXoILBpJ1lQCCo/s1024-Ic42/83.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Q6GhX_zOJpU/Vw_uF27C5pI/AAAAAAAAIDY/x5il_GuOLBEB8nhCsf8y1lCylFCVm8lRACCo/s1024-Ic42/84.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ZVps74ipxaU/Vw_uIuOeEYI/AAAAAAAAIDY/BXu06gprM9EQvjt5-zc-1rxl2frSheLNwCCo/s1024-Ic42/85.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-1VVTqmBxR-Q/Vw_uPra0UsI/AAAAAAAAIDg/KQm3hQDMppQPbcF-mBP5JmhtgfneEs9YgCCo/s1024-Ic42/87.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-k5Tzk_r_iAU/VwvwTKsMnxI/AAAAAAAAHtI/Rq6FSut8etovGYky6BD859A1ws1mJl9RACCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01828.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-TusHfNmdRDs/VwvwYhWKOQI/AAAAAAAAHtU/_Wbz9kV2TLs2nzDEH4P9O2kNEjxKhERsACCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01830.jpg)


About 50 km from Mabote, I came upon a STOP sign at the place where the road crossed a deep sand double track. I smiled at the diligence of the local traffic authorities (surely whoever comes out of the bush should give a way to whoever drives on the main dirt road) and continued on feeling grateful for the good gravel. That is until 5 km later when I noticed on GPS that I’m completely off my track and realized annoyed that I was actually supposed to turn right at the sign onto the double track. The track turned out to me the main road west to Machaila and Pafuri border crossing to South Africa, while what I considered main road wasn’t on my GPS, nor on my map.

I retraced back and took the double track west. Normally I would enjoy taking the route less travelled, but I was tired and wasn’t sure I have what it takes to make it through however far the deep sand lasts. Could very well be all the way to Espungabera still more than 250 - 300 km away. About 5 km later with radiator fan working overtime and myself about to boil over in the body armour - it was properly hot by now - midday, I stopped under a tree to cool down and think over this whole thing. I had at least 80 km of this shit to go to Machaila, where the track crosses another (supposedly) dirt road running north to Massangena. There was a campsite indicated on my map in Machaila, so at least I had somewhere to sleep, but I wasn’t sure I will be able to make it even there. Judging on the first 5 km I was able to ride the sand at 40 - 60 kmh, but was getting tired very quickly and had to stop way too often to catch my breath and cool down.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-YUcD7kH8QEM/VwvwY6y50WI/AAAAAAAAHtU/N5lyqreHOx04qInONhOo7rtghOV2DD7gQCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01834.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Kig2UbnQDc0/VwvwnfUwXeI/AAAAAAAAHuw/3BLoHKfR8XE6WCeYQ9OxVJx8XlQZATWNgCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01835.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-KvqmYA7_0kI/Vwvws3-RXRI/AAAAAAAAHtk/G0Z1RqXACmMpBK-OqfUNSnBeioU1nM8hACCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01837.jpg)


That main road 5 km back was just too big of a lure. It must be going somewhere, right? Some nice locals came out of bush to check what is going on and after a bit of misunderstanding they  explained that the road goes to Chigubo about 50 km south, where I could see it will hit the road I wanted to connect to in Machaila. It was a detour, and there was no guarantee that that other road isn’t just another sandy double track, but at least initially it seemed to give me much better chance to make it. And worst case scenario I could take another border crossing to Zim - Malvernia on the road running through Gonarezhou National Park. It would bring me into Zim way too far south from Eastern Highlands, but I could figure that one out later.

The southern detour  was clearly the smart option, but once I caught my breath and managed to recuperate some of my resolve, I wasn’t keen to give up yet on Espungabera and taking the road less travelled (though this track is probably the route travelled quite a bit by SA 4x4s taking shortcut to Vilanculos through Pafuri border crossing). So I decided to try the sandy double track for few more km and see if I can get my sand legs back.

And I did manage to get into the swings of the double track much better after and while and was able to ride 15 - 20 km between the stops, which should get me at least to Machaila before sunset. I was eventually able even to ride the sand sitting down (the sand got marginally easier more west I went), which did miracles to energy preservation.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JndBgGHceNE/VwwAgTVJveI/AAAAAAAAHvw/N5-26nyrPyUcfMOQuXnA_dN4_cg0PSIiwCCo/s1024-Ic42/p103.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-or3ToEZZouM/VwwA-63fNDI/AAAAAAAAHwY/t0kDK6d0S1gCnHiXe4Gqy2Fa6gZ6c5JQwCCo/s1024-Ic42/p113.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-GH0hYp3GqAY/VwwBBxyuQNI/AAAAAAAAHwo/vRI-zHin1i8eVhhh1KaRCMnGNgNkzeZUACCo/s1024-Ic42/p114.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-izSsJTd6XkY/VwwBJUEHMJI/AAAAAAAAHwo/rBnYTzMAMXwquWMucL5kM-JNK3kt4mSSACCo/s1024-Ic42/p115.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-bf2mKIB35Z0/VwwDEr0x44I/AAAAAAAAHyg/qmnyBb8D0YwbXF3vJxls-oBmUvPR7QHRACCo/s1024-Ic42/p144.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-p3L-NXwC0Ls/VwwDTbVoWGI/AAAAAAAAHy0/8lHTP8f4dZUSuMu1CPKYenoIgcArfrE6gCCo/s1024-Ic42/p146.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-v5o8PnCT3vU/VwwDiMpFx7I/AAAAAAAAHzA/SSiK3foqDzkxEmbMUZEwWBQRumiP8duLwCCo/s1024-Ic42/p150.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-_xtqQGiQW20/VwwDnN3qCoI/AAAAAAAAHzU/OKLdHT1K06cC5eYc1XQnivXN_FHcx0TPACCo/s1024-Ic42/p151.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-EyJKk1DDbQk/Vwvw9JE5iiI/AAAAAAAAHts/s3jhdU5sHr0NqmjS1khuiZ6jY1ZWPyIPACCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01842.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-gWgqtVaRHjw/VwvxMY31SkI/AAAAAAAAHt4/AGbl5I0NzPAwk2p-bAsWhscScz7Wl4mQwCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01846.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uzyYOlwqMD8/VwvxQjndaRI/AAAAAAAAHt4/fJM6e8oFhZghdfSq_oP1A0eCdgkpt-u8QCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01847.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-EVxNGJ1BhPc/VwvxmE4rTKI/AAAAAAAAHuM/BV2YHBVH4M8Ku2eCDYae5ZFbHRaPS9lQACCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01849.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-hdqJmWiaSh0/VwvxtDGDmEI/AAAAAAAAHuM/dF7GIc60MdYkzmviIacTrhGcj7tFSrzGQCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01855.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-D3_qloo3ckA/VwwDye9BZEI/AAAAAAAAHzU/9VFQoeTLtH8FfEztT09ZpQ4v6kbKTDkpgCCo/s1024-Ic42/p154.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LxukmgcTKW4/VwwD_Jh2RnI/AAAAAAAAHzk/VZb9N_0Wg3sZIM3lS7lGmRMZ7u58IggNACCo/s1024-Ic42/p158.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tVNZdQp4KP4/VwwEDfmBK5I/AAAAAAAAHzk/gEg1rIobo4w11HMfe5frgc6sjShNEp4zACCo/s1024-Ic42/p162.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-hjfUAylNUKo/VwwENEQGDeI/AAAAAAAAHzs/KDxVuIIfNkUZS9TEJov4dAU3FFp7Rk0kACCo/s1024-Ic42/p163.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-dvd58GeJGeE/VwwEfqxntnI/AAAAAAAAH0M/0N9Tze3nwd07fugu5xUoZuacHuPEyk5NgCCo/s1024-Ic42/p168.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-9r7mC6rQUMg/VwwGUmT2IBI/AAAAAAAAH6E/WBY7IcYKdQ8Lkb_JnejvFAecH7-IfnoIgCCo/s1024-Ic42/p25.jpg)


I have made it to Machaila in the late afternoon. I have stopped at the spaza shop to get some cold drink and bread - it was clear by now that I’m not going to make anywhere close to Espungabera and I was up for another night of camping. I considered staying in the campsite in the village, but there was still a daylight for another 1 hour or so of riding, the road to Massangena turned out to be sandy but good dirt road, and the pissed locals starting to ask for shit (which wasn’t common in Moz) were starting to get annoying. I was pretty sure they would try to keep me company even in campsite, what else was  to do there?

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-pt9fVZtrb_8/Vwvx25yv1EI/AAAAAAAAHug/wffkzVNkitQlfkbjz3GJLncYzmcWo_3nwCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01857.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-MHoIfk44Z0I/Vwvx8TcG7fI/AAAAAAAAHug/p8hXNe06A5oe_2tlfDmMOWEl4tn5f7LVwCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01861.jpg)


So I rather opted for the solitude of the bush, jumped on the bike and set-off heading for Massangena about 100 km away. The road was quite sandy and I had to stay focused as it would catch one out very quickly. But it was a nice ride with the road and bush beautifully illuminated by the setting sun.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PHTTuOsKevA/VwwEl2q0FOI/AAAAAAAAH0c/hBpMjFMrG0UulPnuRrV_jIvBEk19MUlAACCo/s1024-Ic42/p169.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-1mg3Gd09mpk/VwwEzut0lzI/AAAAAAAAH6E/Hg9ccurTwaw81LvxdxJLEDek9j0w_5OwQCCo/s1024-Ic42/p171.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-sCfFQb35TZo/VwwFJfLZbcI/AAAAAAAAH1E/5udeJm7iQUYJxOHjvRT1LSDD28zAG0WAQCCo/s1024-Ic42/p174.jpg)


About half way to Massangena, I turned right off the road, rode about 150 m into the bush, found a suitable spot and set up a camp. For diner I had Pilchards sardines with bread, and to replenish the energy and fortify myself for another at least a day of bush riding I devoured a can of sweetened condensed milk. Which came to bite me in the ass - literally, as I had to take a dump in the middle of the night, swerving around like a dancing dervish trying to keep an eye with headtorch and another torchlight on the 360 degrees of my surrounding. For improved comical effect I almost electrocuted myself few times, as the torchlight was one of those jobbies that combine a handlight with a taser and the safety switch was somewhat unreliable, causing me to fire the bloody thing few times unexpectedly, for example when trying to grab it in the dark of my tent. Oh well, the joys of adventure riding…

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-T_ImSoCNKsw/VwvyAT0j7qI/AAAAAAAAHuo/uG6Uaftcp7Q-zGWtxydv20cuPIL6GkodQCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01863.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wBrxdpGI4AI/VwvyOxFEMBI/AAAAAAAAHuo/_ZcTASkJmrMKVW2e1gufZyK75v4EdaV2QCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01866.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wU4Q2hhJEgQ/VwvyQDn8wkI/AAAAAAAAHuo/mfrSyq6iqTwkZq8V0FqppoQ_f5nmUJzLACCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01869.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-OLGVxW6Z9W0/VwvydJHcH3I/AAAAAAAAHuw/QbTcgVIEaYkSKit62Us6sKwVMrNl7VJoQCCo/s1024-Ic42/TWH01877.jpg)


Route for the past two days:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LcgiyWdgs-Y/VxUDEeeakFI/AAAAAAAAIEE/GSkipTO3XboAgt-S5ZOkYk6Q2Z672zcUQCCo/s912-Ic42/Day13-14.png)
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: onderbroek on April 18, 2016, 08:13:54 pm
Subbing
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: funacide on April 19, 2016, 07:21:23 am
Got my morning fix, I am sorted for the day.

This is awesome thanks for sharing!!!

Keep it coming. :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on April 19, 2016, 08:35:17 pm
Day 15
 
Another day, another attempt at Espungabera. I broke the camp and cruised remaining 40 or so km to Massangena. There was a petrol station (man, I could have saved myself hundreds of km and a day or two if I would have believed the map) and again I could pay with credit card. Impressive considering what it took to get to this remote bush outpost. The petrol station doubled as a bus/taxi station and there was quite a crowd of to be passengers. A prime opportunity for the usual party trick, and Katoom dully obliged by smacking to the ground while I was tightening a  strap. Funny how Katoom and I have ridden 100s of km since Tofo - many of them in a sand Amageza would be proud of - without a single wipe out, but give us little audience and we just cannot resist the temptation for a little comedic sketch. Well, they were nice people, didn’t laugh too much and picked the bike for me, so all was good at the end.
 
I knew I have to cross the river (I think Zinave) in Massangena. Map seemed to indicate a bridge there, but this time it was wrong and I had to go look for a ferry. Which was easy as the owner of the ferry happened to be at the petrol station and led me to it in his Hilux. I have paid the fare – don’t remember how much as I was distracted and frankly worried by the look of the vessel. It  was a normal fishing boat with criss-crossing railings on top allowing theoretically car to came on board. Like so:
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-cCcYP6z2p7k/VxZpipWmcNI/AAAAAAAAIVs/rYSUhjbURmQ43dKx1oKtWZw-VD9TqUcIACCo/s1024-Ic42/1.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-TGK62y9M6hA/VxZqaQMSDFI/AAAAAAAAIWE/mLbBGcy1hUQbImR-oHEDYw00jpqwV43nwCCo/s1024-Ic42/2.jpg)

 
Knowing  propensity of the 690 (with sidestand too long for the weight of luggage and petrol) to lay down should a butterfly flap its wings within 2 meters, there was a very distinct possibility it was going to end up at the bottom of the river. Most likely with me underneath as I was to be standing next to it supporting it right at the edge of the boat. The owner was very confident that everything will be OK and I eventually took a deep breath and went for it. To my surprise, we weren’t paddled across (the boat didn’t have an engine), but walked across by two helpers with water never reaching above their knees. There clearly were no crocodiles - I’m sure they used to be, but now were part of the history as any other wildlife in the area. Should I know the river is that shallow I would have just ridden across – especially after the owner (once safely on the boat) pointed out staked out route for cars to take across about 100 meters downstream.

On the other side:
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-r4CuZUDvyb4/VxZs3rARSyI/AAAAAAAAIX4/EtbLQ8dOkB8PO9NNPEkdKzuqq_tJYEJAACCo/s1024-Ic42/4.jpg)

You can see the stakes downriver delineating crossing lane for cars:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-m14DhS9FMwY/VxZuynn4jSI/AAAAAAAAIY0/7EKQHtjvoF8DLVhs-mPSRFkBIPC74u6pgCCo/s1024-Ic42/8.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-KnaLU8Tpnkk/VxZphcGnSeI/AAAAAAAAIVs/tLyt2Y_3zvYVLp-bMHX0E4uK24UUvfrWgCCo/s1024-Ic42/10.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Z-Xor8o8UHU/VxZulay-3HI/AAAAAAAAIY0/o9i8zK2toKQWIOrroan3viVvhae1PaGHwCCo/s1024-Ic42/6.jpg)

 
On the other side, I stripped down and jumped into the river for a bit of refresher. I haven’t washed for two days of hard sweaty riding as Moz bush doesn’t come with ablutions readily available yet – it supports credit cards though. While busy splashing around, few locals gathered at the boat for a ride to the other side. Some of them couldn’t be bothered to wait for the boat and just walked across in their best clothes, rubbing in humiliation of the wannabe adventure rider.
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Qg6MRdPYDOU/VxZpyn_K9QI/AAAAAAAAIVs/6q1L0GIraF0Op3vVEa56SLaEl22a_WaNACCo/s1024-Ic42/12.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-M3Sz0IMJ4-I/VxZp0GhdDXI/AAAAAAAAIVs/1pg3Kcvlp3kz9rBmbv4UQZ6_TkcKgCNpwCCo/s1024-Ic42/14.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-bUYO15MxWf4/VxZqGwPdYOI/AAAAAAAAIVs/J5vyj-gB3jogMejoIp0EyfKoZO1HmB0qACCo/s1024-Ic42/17.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vYsmmRr-zck/VxZphK_I7II/AAAAAAAAIVs/WzSBq8dVkU0aQlmO2ybaVARhjPJFR596wCCo/s1024-Ic42/11.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-XSzFyIPAnFI/VxZuyzwtkBI/AAAAAAAAIY0/9trnHa-i3jIzgxe-_XMvHyfTQX3cN3t_QCCo/s1024-Ic42/9.jpg)

Refreshed I hit the dirt road at the exit of the beach and rode few km into the next little town, where I stopped for the usual staple of cold Coke, chips (or something else with salt) and water for the road. As on the coast, judging by the number plates this place was also overrun by SA holiday makers – even a Gauteng biker on a little Honda thingy.
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uGaqrXuhsWE/VxZqpvdNveI/AAAAAAAAIWE/KBpvp3ofPWgAQg4ttsFWFnL3ujKpCq0mQCCo/s1024-Ic42/21.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/--bSuqIfMXQU/VxZqndogqBI/AAAAAAAAIYw/GjYgkTT9FnAEHICAereJwdpRTBSZ7yXmQCCo/s1024-Ic42/20.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6mGuBuJEJHY/VxZq9QLgK9I/AAAAAAAAIWg/AlHdwllwICggKc54XNidSc1khpLIp65swCCo/s1024-Ic42/25.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tcVVMiLLSNs/VxZq6plnZaI/AAAAAAAAIWg/b4vz7CvWS5MQF4liHXHE55P8CHHUR6ZQQCCo/s1024-Ic42/23.jpg)

Wrong shop:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-rD7hkIyqPHI/VxU-Zm-UeMI/AAAAAAAAIUo/BV1zyIKCa9EhIryKr85SAA1Lxf9WcY6ZQCCo/s1024-Ic42/3.jpg)

Correct shop:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-d3tp0AtJFKw/VxU9p5D-MkI/AAAAAAAAIUo/3jaMITYAf5ImeQBJIOmtvWzbTSDeWrwkwCCo/s1024-Ic42/2.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-DomhyjtD2zc/VxU_G2nerNI/AAAAAAAAIUk/lFxPXxHRk_gAwI4dchEeeRX2w9wAqbSAgCCo/s1024-Ic42/4.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-2gBO0ohSsIU/VxU_x2Z_dCI/AAAAAAAAIUk/ghp4rZHQ1GoNs-JcX1gZTvIkdq1AZgXiACCo/s1024-Ic42/5.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-QlSsGDAa3sk/VxVAjk4zUgI/AAAAAAAAIUk/Mc6BLCzd1A8Lc7-mIV0EpY6jwlntIM87QCCo/s1024-Ic42/6.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8scsi-eUM9Y/VxVBJ3LGkKI/AAAAAAAAIUk/mmtCvCnhzCUSv2WdgcegTxhYmyaPPK9GwCCo/s1024-Ic42/7.jpg)

Gauteng holidaymakers:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-CphZpSlIFb4/VxVByjuL0HI/AAAAAAAAIUk/axj6TbfD_xMkPmlV07McSxMlavKVr2pzwCCo/s1024-Ic42/8.jpg)

 
I had another about 120 km to go to Espungabera border. Based on the map I expected the road to be a main dirt road all the way (except for one 30 km shortcut that I have plotted myself on the satellite map to avoid a detour). But as it turned out Mozambique wasn’t done with me yet and the road quickly turned into rarely used one lane track running through a forest.
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-AlXbxvq8C_w/VxVClNifS1I/AAAAAAAAIUk/dTeS9nXBwlUohnh6DvN7l3y5DJTTM8iOgCCo/s1024-Ic42/9.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-cg-WFmNZe9Q/VxU6YfNpXzI/AAAAAAAAIUk/1FbOUZ7fNkMa6dywKDdOAqiEYqZbyBikgCCo/s1024-Ic42/10.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-HHGhV2x88aM/VxU7IMxfDYI/AAAAAAAAIUk/4kKcJMExQ9I5m-9YkKtd3pj0Mm9k9_etQCCo/s1024-Ic42/11.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5V5TyonKXps/VxU7vltZo3I/AAAAAAAAIUk/SGMMu3HZvsQkW0EAs7LB-OiwgkvRYoUlgCCo/s1024-Ic42/12.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-3s70iRFBRLA/VxU8Nc4CkWI/AAAAAAAAIUk/sQeru6vsugMycHo2PHiMtBln43y3Rm88wCCo/s1024-Ic42/13.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-numY2MEjmLw/VxU822UYFXI/AAAAAAAAIUk/q-Hrcgr-IFkBaQpDamXNFZt6R_mQ72DjQCCo/s1024-Ic42/14.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-GFFnrXGqL0s/VxU9c4LHWfI/AAAAAAAAIUk/4lHGTbzCtA84YiU0RFxA9iVXrdstcjqDACCo/s1024-Ic42/15.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-3UtM6XmXQb0/VxU9dvT9WFI/AAAAAAAAIUk/c9Q8o9helnkOt5MUe7soDxtsVK9MGMsOwCCo/s1024-Ic42/16.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jOBizDTOPEM/VxU9gPfaD9I/AAAAAAAAIUk/VyjhBn2mrxQfEpxnFB2Bpzr3zPEAPLIXwCCo/s1024-Ic42/17.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-51M5b7ZcJU4/VxU9oT4K4rI/AAAAAAAAIUk/PBkRECJMhw8hHANVDm4UxVxz1yeYtPpZACCo/s1024-Ic42/18.jpg)

That is until it turned after 40 km or so into an overgrown single track. Of course I thought I got lost again, but I was slap bang on my GPS track so decided to push on and see what happens. I fully expected the track to  lead to some dead end remote settlement, but it continued for the next 20 km or so through the forest, hitting some rocky higher ground in the second half. It was weird, but also great fun dodging the bushes and trees at close quarter, so I just went with the flow.
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-pKVi5BdTj-8/VxU9z0DG4FI/AAAAAAAAIUg/6UoLTr35W1of0LcPaUkCk5wNsTCOiKTAgCCo/s1024-Ic42/20.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-kGW-Nds3qXg/VxU93hQCqvI/AAAAAAAAIUg/4Y1HiEyjYBMVAhZJpeETl3RjaBNVzUmSgCCo/s1024-Ic42/21.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-_-nkIwvZ-bs/VxU93WM4zbI/AAAAAAAAIUg/p-zV5G9nTQ04ddip83BvXCJYdyoufGhrQCCo/s1024-Ic42/22.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-r_NFMks7a4g/VxU-AfxU_xI/AAAAAAAAIUg/cPuG0VeHsbgevVCeJZre-EHpxGoJ8WILwCCo/s1024-Ic42/23.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-642WlW_7jkQ/VxU-L96EDlI/AAAAAAAAIUg/ooMg-jF8jwA1rwkvVybboZLoISCLpBodwCCo/s1024-Ic42/26.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-R664Qeg4-xQ/VxU-SMimfqI/AAAAAAAAIUg/En_LoUHSJ50e3r04KFNYiv8hQw1vzJfdgCCo/s1024-Ic42/27.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Bst2cMDGt8A/VxU-TecFrFI/AAAAAAAAIUg/frRHTf4avagAoIun3o28OxCClmxg9gUkACCo/s1024-Ic42/28.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ols3cIFgWZQ/VxU-g9K53rI/AAAAAAAAIUg/r7Kk1elWy3EeVTC8hUp9mH-20bbQtEbBwCCo/s1024-Ic42/30.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-r3zX4lGAXQI/VxU-iq5RKgI/AAAAAAAAIUc/gtRCaygHMicZnUvUUNz4hxxR9JrXrR5NgCCo/s1024-Ic42/31.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wzJsINlG5K8/VxU-oEksN-I/AAAAAAAAIUc/hhlaAD1sPqkkPWJDOhCeZiAXScd7O8Y6wCCo/s1024-Ic42/32.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-qELWlLlMc5I/VxU-0RGTY6I/AAAAAAAAIUc/jQMA2rnB9CobDxdmaS2tNgHIdcaDYKXhACCo/s1024-Ic42/35.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NKhCfFUK4XA/VxU-6hgFmdI/AAAAAAAAIUc/iNU7BAi7tik6ZURFi8PuExSe8MZ_pUUAgCCo/s1024-Ic42/36.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-EsWE1fE9gh4/VxU--qLfgrI/AAAAAAAAIUc/cimMcCYgR0o_w3fnv6yniUkJGQidckwxQCCo/s1024-Ic42/37.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NCC8stlwzl8/VxZrR-rlydI/AAAAAAAAIWg/TJ9bGaSilwMmeWiEnPtoAxxQm8978LDzgCCo/s1024-Ic42/26.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ZDtKX2GDxU8/VxZrWyXbFPI/AAAAAAAAIW8/_zJc2kyDiMwTZk4rcUjec1ByyPZRSnDhgCCo/s1024-Ic42/28.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ELhdjAbt3p0/VxZrnxFB0vI/AAAAAAAAIW8/Eu7sBdhXXG4pWXW1IVPGmvkQZJVBjex4QCCo/s1024-Ic42/29.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Gz8Y24678Hg/VxU_HVOOXcI/AAAAAAAAIUc/yPG7yx0d7-sEpfT8BbY72Mxze9Zm2gk2wCCo/s1024-Ic42/39.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-r-D0zo2pnIY/VxZsKcbqE8I/AAAAAAAAIXc/zSwwMYGXpD8HqpEqPM1xPq1bYARPOa2uwCCo/s1024-Ic42/33.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Yng6DsffpcU/VxZrwM-sYFI/AAAAAAAAIW8/yQaKbw_wcbkVkCgdO1GTnDFM9MZwh4dwgCCo/s1024-Ic42/30.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-mAISSAtMpI0/VxU_T5iJRvI/AAAAAAAAIUc/JIJe_eM0sQA1uyYcIPK1rT5RRKJAd8W5QCCo/s1024-Ic42/41.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7Ucsx8kVB-A/VxU_etCeJoI/AAAAAAAAIUc/NNMa5tMk-1g7JIDJUkqJ9_wWTnuKbYZBwCCo/s1024-Ic42/44.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-oumoOnPf9jE/VxU_h8Kg_BI/AAAAAAAAIUc/QWxJkWTumBwmFSBa8Atct5pAkG4-RV-4QCCo/s1024-Ic42/45.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Z8LV0fyYOVc/VxU_hX8oQlI/AAAAAAAAIUc/kT7PXDm1sc8JzFzoiXQqHshl3GbWYW2YwCCo/s1024-Ic42/46.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-iUneGBGPrhQ/VxU_q2RBVbI/AAAAAAAAIUc/rHbYFfA9VuU0y-Pwi_v1JVV59TcLeXAnQCCo/s1024-Ic42/47.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5piVMNFmgCQ/VxU_vesY2wI/AAAAAAAAIUc/zkVMQvLZy_sZ2FNVOqRqaehmKMTyMvo9gCCo/s1024-Ic42/48.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/--G3_EclqaS4/VxU_wSXJPUI/AAAAAAAAIUc/Au2vfEYsBood96VEywsq0j5EemtgGxqEgCCo/s1024-Ic42/49.jpg)

 
The track eventually morphed into a forgotten rarely used double track – the track I have plotted myself. I was gaining an altitude clearly on an approach to the highlands further north-west. The vegetation changed as well into a lush dense green forest. I came only upon one remote settlement where I stopped for a drink, but it wasn’t to be. The place was quite eerie – while there were few locals sitting in the remote corner, there were no swarms of kids running around to check a bike and whitey that they probably never seen before and the locals didn’t pay me much of an attention. I walked to them to check if they have a spaza shop, which they didn’t. They weren’t hostile, but not exactly outgoing either – quite a stark contrast to people I’ve encountered so far in Moz. I had a feeling these people weren’t exactly supported by the government and assumed they may have been Renamo supporters (rebel group in Moz that occasionally has a shoot-out or two with the government forces). But of course I may have been completely off.
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-3AduFJDra1Y/VxZsSA9H7GI/AAAAAAAAIXc/RMTNnaJpmRcmLFPJRVeCH2aNy14sOmF4gCCo/s1024-Ic42/34.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-C8WcHeF2a_E/VxZsS7I9DWI/AAAAAAAAIXc/O9BlhOsOdpgiggJVREifBR32aoz0E2znQCCo/s1024-Ic42/35.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-0B6GM-B4HNc/VxZsbjJaw_I/AAAAAAAAIXc/a5FLcQx0Xr01aC5kJiMUNTYjHGc23dE4gCCo/s1024-Ic42/36.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-sxUzb6LL7AY/VxZslpQ_BmI/AAAAAAAAIXc/P_mvch3SHBUA7vXGS5T2eBCgMq3bXv1IgCCo/s1024-Ic42/37.jpg)

Anyway, with not much hospitality at hand, I jumped back on the bike and pushed on to the main dirt road heading to Espungabera, about 15 km away.
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Pul8LkXjHIY/VxZs2ibBNPI/AAAAAAAAIX4/DXxtWQbsiNw5jvNu0JhQutifUjYwP6UCgCCo/s1024-Ic42/39.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-eh38PdJatKY/VxZtJrrHZ4I/AAAAAAAAIX4/is48wD3d0y0pFNeWOOdkp4vq11drTytUQCCo/s1024-Ic42/40.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-AzMGNvb_kYM/VxZss-zlKdI/AAAAAAAAIXc/EpyivsxIGjAb6dppgQ-2qv-z6jC87Nr-wCCo/s1024-Ic42/38.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-HrntyHqqESU/VxZtlkvlogI/AAAAAAAAIYU/ZqhWDuSsFBAy95iq_WDiybH8VgWdnn2fwCCo/s1024-Ic42/43.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-GQRcfGaVUVI/VxZtrpyOlYI/AAAAAAAAIYU/KnhaN4kzuwgKnc04t3zE2CBRMyWf72yIwCCo/s1024-Ic42/45.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-EAO8hv2BJC4/VxZt_5P4mjI/AAAAAAAAIYU/CADQpJY6qro9yiRoHmPKHJRXU4PCG4JfwCCo/s1024-Ic42/46.jpg)


To be continued.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: popipants on April 20, 2016, 07:18:55 am
Thanks for the effort, it's really worth a read!

BTW. what kind of helmet cam are you using?
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Bushtrotter on April 20, 2016, 07:28:58 am
Brilliant RR. thanx for the effort! I have been following your RR from the start. what a read to start a working day!
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: schalk vd merwe on April 20, 2016, 10:17:06 am
Hi Xpat respect my man you can ride, I think I must come for lessons. I still want to read your whole RR the moment I have a chance. My son and I also did the whole length of Mozambique when we came back from the equator in 2010. It was sand from the moment we crossed into Moz. Very nice country. Keep up the RR and the riding and once again respect to you.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on April 20, 2016, 10:41:54 am
Thank you for comments guys, appreciate them!

@popipants: I use Drift Ghost S. I like it's form (much better for bike IMO than GoPro that sticks out) and batter life. But I'm sure other cameras would work similarly well.

@schalk: Thank you, but I'm very average rider as I can see whenever I venture to De Wildt.  I have ridden northern Mozambique from Tanzanian border to Isla de Mozambique (still need to get there in my African RR) and it can be quite challenging, especially first 50 km or so. On this trip, the ridding along the coast through the dunes was really tough. But once inland it eased up considerably, though there were still dozens of km of deep sand here and there.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Pavlovski on April 20, 2016, 11:16:54 am
Fantastic ride port-brilliantly written and stunning photos. I love reading your ride report :thumleft: :ricky:

Keep on riding & enjoy every minute of it
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on April 20, 2016, 09:00:11 pm
Day 15 – part 2
 
 
By the time I reached the main red dirt road between Chtobe and Espungabera it was getting late, so I pushed on to make it finally to Zim. Not without an obligatory stop at a spaza shop in one of the villages along the way though:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-sPVJFo6qKtY/VxZuBtj_YbI/AAAAAAAAIYU/k7qbkF3_aF0i8J0EY80rt4vhqI1hx_TSwCCo/s1024-Ic42/48.jpg)
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ct85AWaDwiE/VxZt7GUqC2I/AAAAAAAAIYU/GdKfcL6tn4kDTLBaKVG-sHyGQLVeEXegwCCo/s1024-Ic42/47.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wkYfoKZ5PUw/VxZuRY1-pRI/AAAAAAAAIYs/7RDtONKMx8AgTYevFc8_S925HQbnt3rnwCCo/s1024-Ic42/49.jpg)

And up into the mountains:
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-AjMkp6Lw-7k/VxZuVYzlp_I/AAAAAAAAIYs/28XBimwTcOka3cUzeHh_5m882r3SV_3fgCCo/s1024-Ic42/50.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-nC4prz3ceUc/VxZukzTzE2I/AAAAAAAAIYs/z3PvmjGCCjsQFb3ldydFB3kCXS0GoggZACCo/s1024-Ic42/51.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-_rIZwuA-FiU/VxU__w4x8_I/AAAAAAAAIUY/qc3Ara41dCYHKI0P3ZrEfq_SydAVn3DGgCCo/s1024-Ic42/52.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ByFqJqqLKng/VxVAPKEYJVI/AAAAAAAAIUY/SgGxwSLtzbcDqggFU9yl9JrtqnvgPp-EgCCo/s1024-Ic42/55.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fwJm53LCsiA/VxVAaCXYD_I/AAAAAAAAIUY/qO-DP_Vk4p4SwtJJnd38N4TOAnx_Y5HPACCo/s1024-Ic42/56.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-BXXJUlCea-k/VxVAZLiC6wI/AAAAAAAAIUY/Lfzf6cLPN0sp2rtBufdas9XEDlFHziBkgCCo/s1024-Ic42/57.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-itOkQ9u5rH4/VxVAuC51KYI/AAAAAAAAIUY/xPMPrN97NYYb_SyjQnQKG5n-fQ6ifJtNQCCo/s1024-Ic42/61.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ebtVLiUX8pE/VxVAxEPK_ZI/AAAAAAAAIUY/hUynWcUdDZoakxoREDH304jLfQkeU1qDgCCo/s1024-Ic42/62.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-65WqemdluH4/VxVAy31LZHI/AAAAAAAAIUY/CTivv4zBuWQMxp4pxg--qlqvVkJn7TqSQCCo/s1024-Ic42/63.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-WOxQ2ddiwgc/VxVBBU5PFqI/AAAAAAAAIUY/M-ktf6QdysMS6U5Ad_8woFaBbKQXAPefgCCo/s1024-Ic42/67.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-k2i2gAQKjJ8/VxVBI_yrEfI/AAAAAAAAIUY/1UXwmDoZovQq5bsrE4Q-DCcbSFVodulKwCCo/s1024-Ic42/69.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-R1B3Hkn4ijk/VxVBUYwRcOI/AAAAAAAAIUU/MHjkcAkEPz0kAxfd-ULXTwHNGFBE5UmLgCCo/s1024-Ic42/70.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-IBK4JsvDlQ0/VxVBUX1HkiI/AAAAAAAAIUU/UJIBt9HVL4QhOGlBI7QV5_dZFSCJiMw7ACCo/s1024-Ic42/72.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-E7yevyIkvSU/VxVBe4ybVvI/AAAAAAAAIUU/yg6Urk8PWN8vaPKgtGCN461Xht7l7bn0QCCo/s1024-Ic42/74.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jU2eAWk5QvU/VxVBf0PC7FI/AAAAAAAAIUU/EFzoFzRoo2AhT_Hp_lukXB92afF59bjgACCo/s1024-Ic42/75.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-S2sh_atYlT8/VxVBlMkU0eI/AAAAAAAAIUU/X2dilcJ41fwCUPlV_xjqhsAJw062_OhMQCCo/s1024-Ic42/76.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jRsmC_V0YUk/VxVBpcEGs3I/AAAAAAAAIUU/F4GIm1-yxzI1ZXzHoouc5ZryLsUsfKNmgCCo/s1024-Ic42/77.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-pA8bfYWLXtY/VxVBq9uLVRI/AAAAAAAAIUU/7fnCS_Up9pwO5KUuffVstcHFGq1bNEg_gCCo/s1024-Ic42/78.jpg)

As a city pussy, I'm always scared of these:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tTx1VH1pJ1w/VxVBzCseiTI/AAAAAAAAIUU/BZ4SYFQo1PMScRoOCh4lE_wb-lkShcSWACCo/s1024-Ic42/79.jpg)

And it always takes real bad-ass to boss them around, like this one:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-YbS_9avfvzs/VxVB7smnOZI/AAAAAAAAIUU/hskIPicZeMg05K9vtwUYcm4V7tJGXI_wQCCo/s1024-Ic42/80.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NbOfZVubi0Q/VxVB_lsLiuI/AAAAAAAAIUU/5CBJeTjHp_sB9EZg84pRH_NQeuXP17p8wCCo/s1024-Ic42/81.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-mZ12mw8MCT4/VxVCAMyY28I/AAAAAAAAIUU/WmiwVt4iW58bU2yi-4lgW3WJX6v2gOb_gCCo/s1024-Ic42/82.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-nF2MxmfVTgo/VxVCHvBYfDI/AAAAAAAAIUU/9nVTyIFxCRU7mK2E1mRjufXXaikikolMwCCo/s1024-Ic42/83.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-FLbHIJcLuTs/VxVCTmpkmTI/AAAAAAAAIUU/0LVLgGPqbE80txT6JeuigsgREUC1hEzbQCCo/s1024-Ic42/86.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6PbIPXSF2Tg/VxVCXp1jCfI/AAAAAAAAIUU/mClgc_DFLF4KUaXAlrdE0EUKW4-klBKLgCCo/s1024-Ic42/87.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-iuTmnWDoMUI/VxVC7iMForI/AAAAAAAAITs/twxoewy9AEIcX9avwTO27tdFhvi0U5Z_ACCo/s1024-Ic42/95.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-D-lk7zut3Ok/VxVC-wpeW-I/AAAAAAAAITs/18Yu1Ns1U40G2l_YXbBYxDy-PxWH_vqJQCCo/s1024-Ic42/96.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Dh0YvOLMxzM/VxVC9_MglxI/AAAAAAAAITs/6R3VnzrzsJoH5-kzofhcXn7-fmdKue3tgCCo/s1024-Ic42/97.jpg)

Then finally - the mythical Espungabera looking good in the golden hour:
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-XBfeA3eA4Lw/VxVDE2zl6II/AAAAAAAAITs/96WHDHTZ7xcs81JTe9wsNUiwuFerTfTJwCCo/s1024-Ic42/98.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vIwvLuK1ZI4/VxVDGr_ko_I/AAAAAAAAITs/Zq3k2xf_9mMEgWm2QG3HcnSiXrLc-K7IgCCo/s1024-Ic42/99.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-pSM17SliUb4/VxU6YixV8OI/AAAAAAAAITs/hr1FwTCv0OEHZqktkmhjUOcfGIk_UTSXgCCo/s1024-Ic42/100.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-mCtQaBjYQZM/VxU6f1AdODI/AAAAAAAAITs/rEl1EIyHBkQoPg4cFlvD3K6YfCz_C-kQwCCo/s1024-Ic42/101.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ACv8qvHHvhE/VxU6k77rVhI/AAAAAAAAITs/-BMChFj1kcs7uJcFHFz2Mad3DCrplgNpACCo/s1024-Ic42/102.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LyVUnvVkQDE/VxU6ukMl2MI/AAAAAAAAITs/N7M9Fxl3EzABCtHwKJkuffo4RFzmoWGIQCCo/s1024-Ic42/104.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fLyOSk8t4zk/VxU6yeOn4-I/AAAAAAAAITs/Uv6SEXdzpxUNNZsBycA-1DLLOXUjDf6nwCCo/s1024-Ic42/105.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-1wCQnKmg83Q/VxU6ywJPcJI/AAAAAAAAITs/bRod6qbdZncfeLvAMzRgCJevwYDWCm9GQCCo/s1024-Ic42/106.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-MG2Q6Xz_vYc/VxU67gDCssI/AAAAAAAAITs/qDndlGq7Qgg3drz16PbuKljqUGxrbk8iACCo/s1024-Ic42/107.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jgJQdsInf9o/VxU7HWoH99I/AAAAAAAAITo/EdipDRWgnsk6730pCE0QW8hzV_a5cnE5ACCo/s1024-Ic42/110.jpg)

No traffic made the border crossing a pleasant and quick affair. I was a bit worried if I’m going to be let into Zimbabwe – technically I should have arranged the visa upfront. But I have made it in twice getting visa on border (albeit in Kazungula on the way to Victoria Falls, which may have a bit more relaxed attitude to the tourists) and choose to wing it again. And it worked without a glitch – relaxed officialdom is definitely one of the reasons to like Africa. Try getting into Shengen like that (OK unless you just take a boat from Libya, then you may not even need a passport).
 
On the Zim side I entered the Eastern Highlands proper. Riding the higher ground directly into the setting sun was quite a challenge – the visor on that trial helmet of mine is useless, but provided for nice rich colours for the camera (no colours for me, I was riding blind most of the time). I was disappointed a bit by the fauna though. For some reason I expected rich thick rain forest, while all I got for the most part was an industrial timber. To me – spoiled by European forests, a collection of timber trees is about as close to a real forest as a Sasol refinery.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wZ8hE8vjlYE/VxU7I7ix6UI/AAAAAAAAITo/e6KjFm9L89srXIiUdocS5CmuaAzoMcOWQCCo/s1024-Ic42/111.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lIue1URAFPE/VxU7SvE6KFI/AAAAAAAAITo/KTM_xeT-Gjc4EyLUYHrrV8i_2mBLoDiNwCCo/s1024-Ic42/113.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-o9gndeG6fT4/VxU7UkgPrbI/AAAAAAAAITo/TskHfl5xrAY9KMn6SvDG3D9SssrjUoaeACCo/s1024-Ic42/114.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-bxoWGQrJCwM/VxU7c8DcqCI/AAAAAAAAITo/e3saFm6zDD4uyr-kmzDyzmP6AJDxsuCIwCCo/s1024-Ic42/115.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5v84diAPdsc/VxU7eHB72NI/AAAAAAAAITo/_PCMWfn64KgHtCSEpqCLX4_4U6UZ5MQfwCCo/s1024-Ic42/116.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-rt4foQxS5Fw/VxU7uz5ZgoI/AAAAAAAAIS0/tmXbRQsNmLwHVao6pWVRzHcTwOlvpumDwCCo/s1024-Ic42/121.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-SORLqJrN5ag/VxU76TMQbvI/AAAAAAAAIS0/dRQJkj8SRm0G_TgIZHcRqa3Bb0maFZw4wCCo/s1024-Ic42/122.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-aiteGDU9n4U/VxU8APlJAVI/AAAAAAAAIS0/NJDtr2sDmOs7Mu0CiXetac5gptqgCG0pgCCo/s1024-Ic42/125.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-mQbH2nq5Pgk/VxU8CPVWfvI/AAAAAAAAIS0/wzeHR2BRWEwwlmpvI1c0VUowso-KrhQzwCCo/s1024-Ic42/126.jpg)

I have eventually hit tar again at Mount Selinda eagerly looking for a lodge with a Michelin starred restaurant (or any cooked meal, whatever comes first). To no avail. Somebody told me there should be one (without the Michelin bit), but I must have missed it with the sun in my eyes.
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-MnYjhopZTLc/VxU8DuObKnI/AAAAAAAAIS0/XYv9usjrC7IkqNtU1PLo7CPs-rmSeL5UgCCo/s1024-Ic42/127.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-TUlDa6U6XRQ/VxU8I-76byI/AAAAAAAAIS0/xtPJ0PyYlDEihUDHjUIT4OHRGy148mRQgCCo/s1024-Ic42/128.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-DGLK4iQ8qE8/VxU8KBRGFkI/AAAAAAAAITo/3ID1oN9eBMoTqONm-m4hhdFcsQDwhcRvQCCo/s1024-Ic42/129.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-qjVenqkejGE/VxU8S42PQ9I/AAAAAAAAIS0/VKJXeJd4ubQ38DcD-X7jALYH_NaVMei8wCCo/s1024-Ic42/130.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ozyywYIjKcE/VxU8TkgEsTI/AAAAAAAAIS0/8pm_5m0ZxwIJ98dKdPMJCQDiYqmVf6j_gCCo/s1024-Ic42/131.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-CwoX42WZM2A/VxU8cXt9qVI/AAAAAAAAIQA/L8lXDL5toVcRWNQNcPHrlSzMl_dW8M2bACCo/s1024-Ic42/132.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vAalx4QniUU/VxU8emj5AmI/AAAAAAAAIQA/Uuluvw0-XGsKXym1yneeceFUiJKLLNnNQCCo/s1024-Ic42/133.jpg)

Driven by an overpowering need for food after two days of self-inflicted malnutrition, I have gunned it in the last sun rays down the serpentines on one lane tar road 40 km to the closest town - Chipinge. I have heard on the border high praise for a tranquil place called Sunrise (or Sunset) lodge and couldn’t wait to get there and shovel a steak down my throat with my hands.
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-HqM4C4l9sfI/VxU8qth2LgI/AAAAAAAAIQA/iKovxTGZqAkLwRIf_LroaUMupt61LcWVACCo/s1024-Ic42/136.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-BRNC0lqyphs/VxU8q4L7f9I/AAAAAAAAIQA/Av2xy7xMISgTiEJucRYdkr29Ce-Q6a2fACCo/s1024-Ic42/137.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-sEO1Qgm4ExA/VxU82yLlKPI/AAAAAAAAIQA/SWiGzT5HJ2otcPVKvCgKIWlsYBJLxx-2ACCo/s1024-Ic42/138.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lbsex3RGUro/VxU8_rqAzMI/AAAAAAAAIQA/e8pf8boa3DsUOFPy82TVlk_WtjprSP5ygCCo/s1024-Ic42/140.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-mmnptz-RFQU/VxU8_v6F86I/AAAAAAAAIS0/rUc5OyYRLAQZNfGdA0MQiodSE5XKbVm7ACCo/s1024-Ic42/141.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4INzObcfIw0/VxU9HzWJ8BI/AAAAAAAAIS0/KJMqD40dZ5MX0UPk-WVfzYIDkLgS8IUgwCCo/s1024-Ic42/143.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-9r0G3F27Tf8/VxU9SO54Z2I/AAAAAAAAIQA/4hQo8EAkp4k9tjdDXIJVDrVezM9eDiWiwCCo/s1024-Ic42/147.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-QT92fOB7a6I/VxU9T0Z9OqI/AAAAAAAAIS0/86IhKcvy6PgPM3VpJWIY0tAOBPAPtcdkwCCo/s1024-Ic42/148.jpg)

Chipinge turned out to be a run-down African town - for some reason I have expected alpine like resort town, assuming Eastern Highlands were the main Zim tourist attraction run not so long ago by whites. After getting lost once or twice, locals eventually pointed me in the right direction. When I spotted completely bleached out billboard for the Sunrise lodge, I started to worry. And, as you expect by now – the place was a real disappointment. The standard U shaped building with concrete inner courtyard for parking, it was frequented mostly by minibus drivers on their way to/from SA. I could live with that no problem, but the clincher was that they didn’t have any food and/or drinks. After build-up of the past 2 days, the disappointment was crushing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Pissed off I jumped on the bike and gunned it back to the town centre, where – while accosted by number of locals looking for an angle to ease up my wallet (the best one was educated polite dude faking interest in bikes and asking for contribution so he can buy his own) – I picked up random collection of junk food to drown my frustration with. With that sorted I tried to look for an alternative accommodation, but eventually ended up back at Sunrise – it really was the best pick in this junkyard of town. After dinner of yoghurt, salami, bread, beans and 1 litre of custard with lady finger biscuits for desert, I passed out on the king size bed taking most of the space in my dingy little room.
 
Route for the day:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-RvIs1ix2zsM/VxfJJvDraXI/AAAAAAAAIZQ/od2rETt6wjEavMpOhAavCRClJkqQ6nOswCCo/s576-Ic42/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-04-20%2Bat%2B8.56.01%2BPM.png)
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: dirtyXT on April 21, 2016, 07:17:23 am
well done, tell me did you pay any attention to the RENAMO threat in your planning?
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: ROOI on April 21, 2016, 09:57:21 am
It really seems like an awesome trip  :thumleft:  seriously in the sticks
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on April 21, 2016, 10:41:25 am
well done, tell me did you pay any attention to the RENAMO threat in your planning?

Nope, didn't pay any attention to Renamo at all. I have thought - wrongly as this thread (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=190641.0 (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=190641.0)) shows  - that Renamo operates only up north, mostly in Tete region.

That said, I didn't feel any threat anywhere whatsoever. Would I go again now knowing about those attacks (the one described in that linked thread happened just to the east of where I was on EN1)? To be honest most probably yes. I know nothing about rebel movements, but I doubt that they will - at this early stage of resistance when they still probably care about external support - target foreigners (which of course could change if the things go pearshaped, which they didn't yet and hopefully will not). Plus I was ridding really deep in the sticks - it would have to be extreme coincidence for me to run into an ambush. I would be actually more worried on EN1.

Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on April 21, 2016, 10:44:29 am
It really seems like an awesome trip  :thumleft:  seriously in the sticks

Yes Kobus, it was a great trip and much more 'sticky' than I expected - at least after Vilankulos. I think you guys should consider doing a round through there (I have posted link for the sand track up the coast in the first post), maybe coming back down along the Kruger park on Moz side - I think you may really enjoy it. And it is not far and wouldn't require too much time.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: ROOI on April 21, 2016, 11:45:10 am
Only if u guide us  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: dirtyXT on April 21, 2016, 08:15:23 pm
well done, tell me did you pay any attention to the RENAMO threat in your planning?

Nope, didn't pay any attention to Renamo at all. I have thought - wrongly as this thread (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=190641.0 (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=190641.0)) shows  - that Renamo operates only up north, mostly in Tete region.

That said, I didn't feel any threat anywhere whatsoever. Would I go again now knowing about those attacks (the one described in that linked thread happened just to the east of where I was on EN1)? To be honest most probably yes. I know nothing about rebel movements, but I doubt that they will - at this early stage of resistance when they still probably care about external support - target foreigners (which of course could change if the things go pearshaped, which they didn't yet and hopefully will not). Plus I was ridding really deep in the sticks - it would have to be extreme coincidence for me to run into an ambush. I would be actually more worried on EN1.
Probably better that way, would never go anywhere trying to plan for the what ifs. Lekker style

Sent from my D6603 using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Poena on April 21, 2016, 09:54:40 pm
Beautiful pictures. What camera did you use.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on April 21, 2016, 10:16:30 pm
@Poena: The riding pictures are screen-scraps from videos from Drift Ghost S,  the better quality / real photos are from Olympus OMD EM1.

I will not manage another instalment tonight - will try to finish the report over the weekend. Thanks for following.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on April 24, 2016, 02:27:36 am
Day 16

In the morning I finished for breakfast whatever junk I had left from day before, packed up and set-off. The official objective for the day was to explore little serpentine tracks running through the Eastern Highlands north along the Mozambiquan border. Another objective was to find a nice lodge with bar and restaurant. After 4 days of hard riding and dodgy food, the second objective became the priority one.

I had no idea what to expect from Eastern Highlands, except that few random people who I've met over the years on my travels sang praises about the beauty of the place. My idea was a highland (naturally) hopefully still supporting lots of the original tropical forest, which I knew to be intersped by coffe or tea plantations (sorry I cannot differentiate them in plant form). It turned out that way - kind of like Lesotho but with real vegetation, except the tropical forrest - sadly most of the original forest have been replaced by those ghastly timber plantation. There were few pockets of the original jungle still left in places, but far too few for my liking. But still better than Lesotho, where there is nothing - not even that bloody timber.

The track was the usual mountainious track of hardened red dirt with embedded rocks winding around and over the mountains - most of the time in pretty steep uphills and downhills. It was a slow going. In 5 hours of riding I have managed only about 90 km to Chinaminami where I finally found a lodge I was looking for and took the rest of the day off to try to recover from the prior days rally raid. The place was called Heaven's lodge or some such - the name definitely didn't inspire confidence at first (if something sounds too sweet it probably is either exactly that, or some stinky arsehole). It turned out to be great - run by a white couple with all the usual amenities of backpacker's place. Most importantly they had bar and would cook for me. Score!

I'm not going to blabber much more and rather let the pictures tell the story.

Tea/coffee plantations (feel free to let me know which one they actually are):

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-YcqSpNlhqSs/VxqXIQAvzII/AAAAAAAAIZ8/QF4YoeJdC9IFJK6b9i7I1caJthllL6dzACCo/s1024/1.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-d92ou5oH8D0/VxqYcnO2KjI/AAAAAAAAIa4/X2de3xTyVFwSwqoQs4RLbsqbFlWJueyBgCCo/s1024/2.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tGroEHI_Xjg/VxvRAiUR7_I/AAAAAAAAIq8/QaC9ZWCj_iMm5-gGIy0Q2ArdTRv9L3yPwCCo/s1024/1.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-c-916mmRCls/VxvRAny2eDI/AAAAAAAAIq8/eMtilREOMPoO51QsC52CZdvNah-mMNI4wCCo/s1024/2.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-HmbQgSQfchw/VxvJ4CwIGKI/AAAAAAAAIlM/p5Sa03kxbEgBvSQmHxCaO9yUsQS3Yn1LwCCo/s1024/4.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-sZbN7irQ_FY/Vxu-4DvVWyI/AAAAAAAAIf0/EeoavGDVq8gXMXEtVKCYYEumh0iMfQScgCCo/s1024/10.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-x63K6gYfGnE/Vxu_GWNXwbI/AAAAAAAAIgA/aVIa22t77UM5JbYybU-L5NedZuOrk0BuQCCo/s1024/101.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-EioVpG2l6Ss/Vxu_q8i8vkI/AAAAAAAAIgQ/WN0HdsQZFYYOBKbv3WlhlS8N26H4epIngCCo/s1024/104.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-s8b415om4Uo/Vxu_062GaQI/AAAAAAAAIgc/9Lxj0e3X5PwJXHtf8mRjhIoVWt7i-ipngCCo/s1024/105.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-bh8qlFGjsic/VxvAVe2pGSI/AAAAAAAAIgo/lEAicggnNdAQjgL5L1xmO4kh2V5e_Gm-ACCo/s1024/107.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tRMexTvHVJk/VxvAb-8ACoI/AAAAAAAAIgo/pTJmFlX1k0sVicWpMYSDVEMOlo_rxLvEwCCo/s1024/108.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-z9QYnE60GVs/VxvBGmoHkZI/AAAAAAAAIqY/BEq5RL-7VxgYk-OyXpfjVKsZ6-hEJF9EgCCo/s1024/109.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jeVBioYpHbE/VxvA859hrbI/AAAAAAAAIg4/vJcDG3_mQlUF8zyzbcK9RQbyFrJ7Wp-rQCCo/s1024/11.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ZLplCWhlquc/VxvBJYz9dqI/AAAAAAAAIhA/zGmopQRhinkxkbWapSCtKM5tYSJiVZQxQCCo/s1024/110.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8O0h8e9xZB8/VxvBoTWJZ4I/AAAAAAAAIqY/eqVnNCVtl44KJRq3y9_w3_4sh04e2hWLgCCo/s1024/112.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ZLywCTa_3tk/VxvCTLuFxbI/AAAAAAAAIhc/j52KwNY1glkkoEbMUH0tjILTw-wzU5GrwCCo/s1024/114.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-sqvePMsMQOk/VxvCcPECBxI/AAAAAAAAIhc/k4AEvQzumEUb5xS0HUIKJ3HpV01SQIJNACCo/s1024/115.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-aBpTb1f_D4U/VxvCjHveahI/AAAAAAAAIho/cuhVZJW-cQM8F7B84VUusQ98umMK9AN5wCCo/s1024/116.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-E6vzi7WlG1U/VxvDC4pcd_I/AAAAAAAAIh8/Z6Cv4AcANwo0SxldfmPCLwOhh-IL8YcxQCCo/s1024/118.jpg)

And finally a pocket of the original tropical rain forest:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5j38LcrjOiI/VxvENd9lS7I/AAAAAAAAIic/Q64WxvUxLgQGz0wAxdwXJmOoweSF-T-zgCCo/s1024/15.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-aO6XMNym2Eo/VxvEjvL8IHI/AAAAAAAAIio/Jc8kWo9yMSIWMLT0MvNBw1aRuhrvd2SSgCCo/s1024/16.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Yu27XK_Q59Y/VxvEsQo6zzI/AAAAAAAAIio/7rfMYKRg9tEFnceKaCO-sbCk6PzcLJCyQCCo/s1024/17.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tP-hLTeLxRc/VxvFWh64qXI/AAAAAAAAIi8/fKd_ZtbtstALIxh7F9L-SmHFmkjxB0l0QCCo/s1024/19.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lNlhQjcBTSg/VxvFhd6qK5I/AAAAAAAAIjI/3BDdWOINsbAukff4_mJuJfS1WcIroOovgCCo/s1024/20.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-R0DtXt4bVXA/VxvF4nG--gI/AAAAAAAAIjY/Sut8PadIUE4IXMAlex8aa1vssyH_WSknwCCo/s1024/21.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-IzBXkB3iWv4/VxvGJTwC65I/AAAAAAAAIjY/HOwyU2uqK-QL4g-zYRVETM5RxNHFcHfPgCCo/s1024/23.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-WoEexdofzzE/VxvGpYvveoI/AAAAAAAAIjk/duPOLx4Nh50LemLGOgMxXN56l4yZpC8SgCCo/s1024/24.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VzllLG_jyaU/VxvHUhA78XI/AAAAAAAAIqw/Xcvj5aCxghU_sN-fgJgiJtw0ywNEovIFgCCo/s1024/28.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-X-eOC4VFqEE/VxvHXX4ZUlI/AAAAAAAAIj0/35cnLi2FzycTepvsenv8IG9paXd47RHFACCo/s1024/29.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5o-S38b6fiQ/VxvH6KExbCI/AAAAAAAAIkI/Zq6YMs73TF8Uuz3KsDcLg19e-HgR12ECwCCo/s1024/30.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-eTa5uCYIHmc/VxvJR15gHUI/AAAAAAAAIkw/eNBUpXM0c_U1565Kdwk1hfh4U1yvcPN7gCCo/s1024/37.jpg)

Local bikers:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-f-AXmYuuP00/VxvIUU1nrAI/AAAAAAAAIkU/vwQ-UkVnvrE8SoXiLwJalc_Dki3GKtMfACCo/s1024/32.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wGI9RYpmEtg/VxvIqaNpfEI/AAAAAAAAIkk/RVmwSXTlBawj0kGqerRqv6vvLZGwlb82wCCo/s1024/33.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-zgKQmnZWWZ0/VxvIttiDm1I/AAAAAAAAIkk/_v6YW3AwovIM2HAXtTTe2zizO_uMPfhrwCCo/s1024/34.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Xfa9eVKVYYY/VxvJDSHbBtI/AAAAAAAAIkw/K7aE23shNaQscMRV-BStdh9UoACrh9dcwCCo/s1024/35.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-P49ULNHPJXs/VxvJ9wIwQQI/AAAAAAAAIlM/-eadcHECD0AdIYBv4BcbAJZe_GHzWa-6ACCo/s1024/39.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fUAhmW6GzLs/VxvKHMNdwFI/AAAAAAAAIlM/u_gnincyHLEWcm7-rYi3ibtczX48tQXwwCCo/s1024/40.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-MX5Je5_Z_U4/VxvKmxrMhsI/AAAAAAAAIlc/VKm_ccIB1fUaQqtIb6gviAiST5nt14YpQCCo/s1024/41.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-aCeXZ0eB_eg/VxvKsBJiniI/AAAAAAAAIls/NjJdZ1uMcos4oPihTnyoI59ZqZJuX9q3wCCo/s1024/43.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xKXOX9hpdPc/VxvLAWr_9qI/AAAAAAAAImI/s156b_joaEAu0Jgwugxx5Yw3JUyOhCL6QCCo/s1024/44.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-_qVaKAZ1kMc/VxvLA0MUV8I/AAAAAAAAImI/EmxETcqivzAE6DkJow3CGe_JBowCaPBNgCCo/s1024/45.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-qFj7qSHAz_o/VxvLOYn5qbI/AAAAAAAAImQ/-atXsAtFOEMQeTlNSxc7YMPjtjKx7JXBgCCo/s1024/47.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-1bkywylANHQ/VxvLQYwktqI/AAAAAAAAImQ/41Ad41Q2WHoPg8xXqEngm8bUoibKk3-CwCCo/s1024/49.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-v0_0pQtue60/VxqdIcphG2I/AAAAAAAAIe8/f0_ucodDoP0mGIW1pBI60B9S6lXp_wy8ACCo/s1024/7.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-1PfIr_6_9T4/VxqdFjGid6I/AAAAAAAAIe8/Fphz0qppzT0WQ0ELqWRYYOaancrykMiVwCCo/s1024/8.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ff_pbLzr1Pc/VxqXjWQGDHI/AAAAAAAAIaM/CFCgk4ydLFgYfRPtbcfEuUr0h1J81yaGACCo/s700/12.jpg)        (https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-TQqNDkXSB6w/VxqXD_tj-vI/AAAAAAAAIZ8/4_xS2TmuZmY47_Ex7QFgflqU68W2gXJlgCCo/s700/11.jpg)

The track winding up and down the highlands:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-zSvTU673SyY/VxqXjL_BjJI/AAAAAAAAIaM/chQsy2M_NfYWcw-FR26cGdTZg_qZedZPgCCo/s1024/13.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-bZHRL0nyM8A/VxqX4IPss_I/AAAAAAAAIaY/A8c63XmPgXATub6WRKZlmp8w_ZlrOoJswCCo/s1024/15.jpg)

To be continued.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: evansv on April 24, 2016, 08:20:44 am
 :sip:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on April 24, 2016, 01:38:17 pm
Day 16 - part 2

The southern half of the track run through remains of the original rainforest and was heavily settled with villages and small settlements with their fields spread all across the valleys.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Tx1077Sp1qU/VxqXjsy8obI/AAAAAAAAIaM/WF36RUSTuZgBJgQiCbgDPobttwIpGGJ6ACCo/s1024/14.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lcBuyPMLZ7A/VxqX9mrVBdI/AAAAAAAAIag/YC4-8Z1uP90cgR4I7C2LaCfHwL8uTYZ1ACCo/s1024/16.jpg)


Must be hard work toiling at this slope:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-hiuMGaXZMyg/VxqYVUa07MI/AAAAAAAAIaw/znLbKSY5gGo0W6Bwm2iKhkka_CRnACtZACCo/s1024/18.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fmbJHzyZ7qI/VxqYC_A4GnI/AAAAAAAAIag/NnrcClMRlvkJFB_HpM5Mot2l3GijcxEzQCCo/s1024/17.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Jt3Ic6OnlWA/VxqYWEnsv5I/AAAAAAAAIaw/N7wgu1D7Ffo6mn9wjMtJh4shIgp2rWkIgCCo/s1024/19.jpg)


This little fellow stopped me, shook my hand and said 'Give me my money'. I didn't, leaving him behind to work out more charming sales pitch:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-GIKsJoIH8SQ/VxvLcKCJdNI/AAAAAAAAImg/27x8oNyZuakvHrUdsSXlq6kDdJ5fnRROQCCo/s1024/50.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-jjVU0dj78yM/VxvLhY_-DKI/AAAAAAAAIms/Jj_c5iRZkeQrIA8anqoXWxHCfmdNHklJACCo/s1024/51.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-nn2Fyj2_3TU/VxvLoxquvtI/AAAAAAAAIqs/Wx9fnqQ0yZ8n8bMr_vNIBxfwKa9FeAd4ACCo/s1024/53.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-bKNZlHSigrE/VxvLzTN-VmI/AAAAAAAAInE/u0ErZ5KjlAwL-xGdBL5xOg9at47yXOfIQCCo/s1024/55.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lS829CDe85A/VxvL2fq4n3I/AAAAAAAAInE/iTwUDV4oJJ8QGe9fV-lSf2qPvFCAhxYxACCo/s1024/56.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7oR5BABVgr8/VxvL5RNQViI/AAAAAAAAInE/aIsgp2ORbJMKkddMeE0Vsdimkc3aP0XcwCCo/s1024/57.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-81Z16CCmXRw/VxvL-DbdqDI/AAAAAAAAIqs/OhynDQkz-24mSe6Xq4KACBlJWt7qjVCWwCCo/s1024/58.jpg)


Free State visitors (one way or another - if they weren't from Free State, something tells me they have visited there at one time or another bringing souvenirs back home):

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-H66Fgf-9a-E/VxvMDAruX-I/AAAAAAAAInU/jpRdA1XnvRA33pXDDXzmzeEmtqUltLklgCCo/s1024/6.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-9PLFnzaVMGg/VxvMLubWAyI/AAAAAAAAIno/gusQ26071m4imaI9ZBC0h3sPXFwiaZCogCCo/s1024/60.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Ze1J0ShJTQk/VxvMQ-WdLbI/AAAAAAAAIno/zPCXyCXMgaUcerSjiEH2L9GQtTxQegDRwCCo/s1024/61.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-kzRfCGXqXGo/VxvMZ3wmEKI/AAAAAAAAIoA/cNMZVWxpKNUDOwPIHuhhJx60h-vt2iHmwCCo/s1024/63.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-dngpLHQFpMk/VxvMnVxrB0I/AAAAAAAAIoQ/A2pG1_lM5jAJ2nISljEevIpl8G8Fw3x7wCCo/s1024/67.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uWjMDAZbc10/VxvMwEK14fI/AAAAAAAAIoQ/H1kQuCfkx6oc51Z8S9zaegehecE8IktggCCo/s1024/69.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-k821IGKVftM/VxvM0RfrtzI/AAAAAAAAIoQ/Fh0opSdFYCkXK6yJYuNgP9PQ9k7XLhK-ACCo/s1024/7.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-SCLkxONb6uA/VxvM0-rWvUI/AAAAAAAAIqg/UBSwDmI4AXc8elBYcMNtIfY-w56iDlMPACCo/s1024/70.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Us-icpM3nGk/VxvM9lWY4rI/AAAAAAAAIog/vIcRRjUwIt8gTiK3A8cqAZFuV_FwM4ezQCCo/s1024/72.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-s5m-vzFR8DE/VxvNDk6j_TI/AAAAAAAAIog/0aEwsG-jjjEqhN5jyjWZpGM-gZmqzXdwwCCo/s1024/74.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-spgJMYWzfO4/VxvNObzwCFI/AAAAAAAAIow/Si48RInyypM1UVV3VA54jVA9Jp1cfvYvQCCo/s1024/76.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xP2W8TfuoTE/VxvNPG1R-aI/AAAAAAAAIow/55WHrO339hgQLZWvkBGfG-Rmv4-QrG0IACCo/s1024/77.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xmXRdgeNMQ8/VxvNOsubDPI/AAAAAAAAIow/VxOQruZWAVMJ3pwOQI8atmXAxXuuMg5pgCCo/s1024/78.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Cl1tKfHc1dY/VxvNZDcLPdI/AAAAAAAAIpM/MutY4PVJPu0r22v_tA2r5Gal46f19USBwCCo/s1024/79.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-YTF_AxMlPw4/VxvNmcLVe-I/AAAAAAAAIpY/Cqg_7ATzHm0EP7onth28UnVqEQjzRKg2gCCo/s1024/81.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-di2H0eC9KkY/VxvNv5E3CaI/AAAAAAAAIpo/KS-_X1To-BozZUmZV4ktj9C0UiqQZaNtgCCo/s1024/84.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-vkMjUsumPX4/VxvNy3aSl6I/AAAAAAAAIpo/oNaaP3oZp_YX_sRnoH7INNXC-rc7WCmIQCCo/s1024/86.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-DQGO998exRQ/VxvN4EjIVwI/AAAAAAAAIpo/P999AN4YUgId3Q2L4oULFnh0xNfGyMyHACCo/s1024/87.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-9OEXlprGDUo/VxvN9HpOwRI/AAAAAAAAIp8/jShD6iUsI4YLymvEhThejBTH2B9dDRBywCCo/s1024/88.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-gP_DMrXSYLg/VxvOEMdjAxI/AAAAAAAAIp8/dQXltrKI9oIn0I_hpSL1gJrSiCu3Yz2tQCCo/s1024/9.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-CvedWx13OAQ/VxvOKJeZPAI/AAAAAAAAIqc/0vTzsTnws2I-yTeGt2X_AzIkGvUkIR3cQCCo/s1024/90.jpg)


Furhter north the original rainforest was replaced by timber plantations and there seemed to be noticeably fewer settlements:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-_DrsRG2P4zY/VxvOLXHoHtI/AAAAAAAAIqI/onUe2UTE2IQt7uRA_5jFqWy_hTC0Y_BPQCCo/s1024/91.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-moQGZW5uq1Q/VxvOT7oy5vI/AAAAAAAAIqM/vXAJJVlKfpEyfMjtIQU__Feoxsp20WeEACCo/s1024/92.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4SjLRxjKw0c/VxvOah8B0hI/AAAAAAAAIqM/Wwt2aA5Th-g2e-y6pQkqM5FPJvCUwhzmQCCo/s1024/94.jpg)


I have enventually crested the easternmost range of hills providing views of impressive range standing over Chinaminami to the north as well as lowlands to the east in Mozambique:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-BZb4f3YpfpM/VxqYqgOlpAI/AAAAAAAAIbE/tJvArE6XzqcVF647WebAQt-o_yAC_AicACCo/s1024/20.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-YzW6i1Yw_7Q/VxqYwjBI3tI/AAAAAAAAIbE/SpaQcyQOTEQ0_ZoFfVqJJqr7006ngMOdgCCo/s1024/21.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-hO5nWdInL7Y/VxqY0CZGtOI/AAAAAAAAIbQ/TXV7WJy5tSMQ5hB_gmv04zw2euK8DKxXwCCo/s1024/22.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-pV8lDf6q2cc/VxqZEvWKWRI/AAAAAAAAIbQ/8LzKnMN32WkT3-YDocs-C6KSb5q9JKoeACCo/s1024/23.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-MGimZX_2FOg/VxqZPYMTd4I/AAAAAAAAIe4/h8nE_wBwNYoE9Fp1h_hMaLhgwB8MuEb-wCCo/s1024/25.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-FtgzznXq4-g/VxqZdgVKkPI/AAAAAAAAIbo/4EhqC59I7jMWyVtHahXWJB8NeafPw_f0QCCo/s1024/26.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-sV0wYKW7Stw/VxqZgm15JLI/AAAAAAAAIbo/A1ppZJ_aeOg3xxjumrtBad6Ibbq8tIe9QCCo/s1024/27.jpg)


From there it was mostly downhill to Chinaminami about 30 km away:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lF6R4-mvGiQ/VxvOfejNp3I/AAAAAAAAIqM/dW5_M9bEPqs5wZx3hTnOznoIahw9jjXqgCCo/s1024/95.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-IzXPkYodYHU/VxvOgQGrRFI/AAAAAAAAIqM/m1PJill3T_Msy4-M5YkhkEsqRg0NuvzdgCCo/s1024/96.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-0Vho1lk0jxc/VxvOq9eiLvI/AAAAAAAAIqM/f5dZUl7NHSIjLy9BiDSPXr0wNiPv44SlgCCo/s1024/99.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ADZbIZThB6U/VxqZqfja3qI/AAAAAAAAIb0/bFPreszdeow8yZg5FNr_ARx9GoNfrl3mgCCo/s1024/28.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-nikBoVwD_Oc/VxqZ5XZ2a4I/AAAAAAAAIb0/dKWw3Jny_b8x60IWWqWj4eCG_ZvdCA-IwCCo/s1024/29.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-_gaWpHgVccA/VxqZ5iWDF5I/AAAAAAAAIb0/BKOGt6GWN38P0SvmTWiIHU05rcmr_HVnACCo/s1024/3.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NDx7bW3fzhA/VxqaCJLMlCI/AAAAAAAAIe4/EMTKICfG5D8PZoDw3pOuvLYQeKqBfDOowCCo/s1024/30.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-C6zq35ijCJk/VxqaZBPwy8I/AAAAAAAAIcY/icA4oUauk3EmWMPzSuH4kB9V21Ma_P4vwCCo/s1024/32.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-HPN0KFIc0Ow/VxqaeNxMi0I/AAAAAAAAIe4/1CCVR2E5gFYr71h50vN07Po__waGNgt8gCCo/s1024/33.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-1R6piMPSeBE/Vxqap0Y_xdI/AAAAAAAAIcY/Awaye3ccFCsb7wfbuvULI6G41jab420gwCCo/s1024/34.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-pqVYxxrLJs4/VxqatsmxsiI/AAAAAAAAIck/mWsY-5vCbgMVqbuZywptwEwJqKvGOu9MgCCo/s1024/35.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-81vfmpMC8k8/VxqaynZjDKI/AAAAAAAAIck/u0TzZqifOqs_UmUNAFD9B462TfgHJ4_rACCo/s1024/36.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-P7er4Of6V24/VxqbBZ4SfxI/AAAAAAAAIc8/e7PI1aZ4gaEU3WC184ooyBmWZIAs2zAUwCCo/s1024/38.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-CAUMhw8-okE/VxqbVE66w8I/AAAAAAAAIe8/C_igePga82w90yfD240Dz8712ONLen3VwCCo/s1024/4.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-3DMx31_IeiA/VxqbmC2thgI/AAAAAAAAIdc/5kGcSxKmVBwbIF-oncOapyARw546z_PnwCCo/s1024/42.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ictWYl5pVBg/Vxqbv1KIgzI/AAAAAAAAIe0/mAFJnFF5RG0msO_tG78ADHJDebPrU-4sQCCo/s1024/44.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-1FOAp9IWNRI/VxqbnyXseEI/AAAAAAAAIdc/8OjqaC7KN2EleL7nwWxGhlzhoyOwhxAowCCo/s1024/43.jpg)


I Chinaminami I finaly found what I was looking for - backpacker's lodge with bar and working kitchen. As I said the place was called Heaven's lodge or some such romantic name that initially threw me off, but after I failed to find any good alternative, I checked it out and it turned out to be good. With exception of one American student on his way down from Malawi (where he partook in some kind of charity work) on public transport, I was the only guest. But they were busy preparing for a big wedding starting next day, so I could stay only one night - idea of rest day did naturally cross my mind after 5 days of pretty hard ridding.

I have arived in the early afternoon taking my time through the mountains, and spend the rest of the day showeling food and drinks down my throat listening to Johny Cash on pretty high quality stereo (owner was clearly a music affecionady with wall plastered with posters of albums of famous as well as long forgotten bands - mostly from 60s and 70s) and sleeping trying to alleviate a bit accumlated fatigue.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-sTJqbUiXW2w/Vxqb30_r-bI/AAAAAAAAIds/Ks7R_yAJBMsPWAjQ_8T2qGxiC2h-6wX1wCCo/s1024/45.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-1V-fWnqBQDI/VxqcXKcOquI/AAAAAAAAIeM/njHCTrpO4zQGoHNj9HU4bsUQnCIOfD1YACCo/s1024/51.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-3bJ55SUui2Q/Vxqcxx42FMI/AAAAAAAAIes/qyvwA9YeIoEDoM2U6BRY5fSjB8MROv3JACCo/s1024/55.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-WogG-zUvtNM/Vxqcy3iWJTI/AAAAAAAAIes/1u85dSqr6bYP9SBZsBdSFdXuZ8kVdo3qwCCo/s1024/57.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-M87GtYewBMQ/Vxqcj6XXX4I/AAAAAAAAIeY/eY6IhGS5dRo0ZfaxgFMeOxwpC3Xy-OU5QCCo/s1024/52.jpg)


Route for the day:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-u4HlbxuONu4/Vxy15pv0D4I/AAAAAAAAIrk/_YN8Z6azuzIoBQ56sQimPBgKWIgGiXGAgCCo/s576/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-04-24%2Bat%2B2.35.27%2BPM.png)
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: funacide on April 25, 2016, 10:43:37 am
Awesome, some more please!

Beautiful part of the world.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on April 25, 2016, 04:26:22 pm
Excellent as ever!

I wonder sometimes how Xpat would arrive for a braai at a mates place: I recon he drops in by helicopter from 3000m in a flying suite and then crawls down the braai chimney ... backwards. 

 8)
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: 0012 on April 26, 2016, 12:44:21 pm
hahahahaha, awesome Xpat, loving this report, great pics, wow you did some really hard work in all that sand!

looking forward to next installment    :thumleft:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on April 26, 2016, 03:38:51 pm

I wonder sometimes how Xpat would arrive for a braai at a mates place: I recon he drops in by helicopter from 3000m in a flying suite and then crawls down the braai chimney ... backwards. 


Well thank you Ian, but not really. If anything, these reports try to show how much fantastic riding there is around for an average Joe, if one is willing to get off the beaten track - and is smart enough to get proper bike for the job  :peepwall:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on April 26, 2016, 03:40:42 pm
hahahahaha, awesome Xpat, loving this report, great pics, wow you did some really hard work in all that sand!

looking forward to next installment    :thumleft:

Thanks.

I'm going for another ride for the rest of the week, so will be able to wrap this up only next week.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: 0012 on April 26, 2016, 04:13:21 pm
hahahahaha, awesome Xpat, loving this report, great pics, wow you did some really hard work in all that sand!

looking forward to next installment    :thumleft:

Thanks.

I'm going for another ride for the rest of the week, so will be able to wrap this up only next week.


Don't let typing get in the way of riding  :ricky:


I will wait (semi) patiently for my next fix, till then, ride safe  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: BlueBull2007 on April 26, 2016, 09:47:29 pm
I always read your reports, they're excellent. :thumleft:  Loving this one. Massive respect to you for doing this alone with an open face helmet.

I am definitely going to take you up on that offer to ride the sand road - Good training for the Amageza, I reckon! Speaking of, why don't you enter?

It would be like a normal trip for you! :peepwall:


Re the KTM: I fully agree its a great choice of bike. I have never ridden on of those 690 Oryx's but its interesting comparison to the 2012 450 Rally Replica, which I was lucky enough to have before I left Peru.

It also has the same problem with the side stand. Just look how high it stands parked on this slope in your pic
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-roskaRFoPeE/Vq5EKkQ01GI/AAAAAAAAGTQ/UOzyKbuZYYU/s2000-Ic42/Favorites%252520-%2525202%252520of%25252079.jpg)

Its a hang over from the Dakar racers input I reckon. Its high so you can stand the bike up in deep stand using the side stand. The racing breed coming through.

The same with the short gear ratios. Really, really useful in gnarly stuff but not much use if you're doing lower speeds in deep sand. Again the 450 RR is also the same. On the 690 I understand the part you have to watch out the most for is the fuel pump. Its worth having one on hand for when they fail without warning.

Which brings me to ask: What have you got in those panniers? Not nearly as much as some I have seen, but it seems like you are carrying quite a bit given your minimalist approach.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Mikie on April 28, 2016, 07:39:48 am

I wonder sometimes how Xpat would arrive for a braai at a mates place: I recon he drops in by helicopter from 3000m in a flying suite and then crawls down the braai chimney ... backwards. 


Well thank you Ian, but not really. If anything, these reports try to show how much fantastic riding there is around for an average Joe, if one is willing to get off the beaten track - and is smart enough to get proper bike for the job  :peepwall:

Agree there, the GSA isnt the best bike for this kind of riding, how does the KTM compare to your previous XT??
I have been toying with the idea of an XT for these kinds of rides
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on April 28, 2016, 09:09:13 am
I always read your reports, they're excellent. :thumleft:  Loving this one. Massive respect to you for doing this alone with an open face helmet.

I am definitely going to take you up on that offer to ride the sand road - Good training for the Amageza, I reckon! Speaking of, why don't you enter?

It would be like a normal trip for you! :peepwall:


Re the KTM: I fully agree its a great choice of bike. I have never ridden on of those 690 Oryx's but its interesting comparison to the 2012 450 Rally Replica, which I was lucky enough to have before I left Peru.

It also has the same problem with the side stand. ...

Its a hang over from the Dakar racers input I reckon. Its high so you can stand the bike up in deep stand using the side stand. The racing breed coming through.

The same with the short gear ratios. Really, really useful in gnarly stuff but not much use if you're doing lower speeds in deep sand. Again the 450 RR is also the same. On the 690 I understand the part you have to watch out the most for is the fuel pump. Its worth having one on hand for when they fail without warning.

Which brings me to ask: What have you got in those panniers? Not nearly as much as some I have seen, but it seems like you are carrying quite a bit given your minimalist approach.

Thanks BB. You raise quite a few points, let me try to answer them:
- going alone: I genuinely do feel safer going on my own as I'm able to keep my ego in check without too much effort - which is unfortunatelly not the case with other people around. That said, I like the company in the evening, so I have asked around for somebody to join this (and following trips). Usually it is not easy to find somebody who can do it, but I have done part of a trip to Bots with Straatkat, and really did enjoy it (even though he hurt my feelings once or twice, by just gunning past me and disapearing in the distance without me not being even able to try to keep up :dousing:)
- open face helmet: as I said before IMO it is much better choice for adventure riding - much better contact with locals, peripheral visibility and much better ventilation in hot weather (I do not cope with heat well and in full face I usually have to rip the helmet off as soon as I stop - I can sit with open face no problem).
- Amageza: I thought about it for a bit, but it just seems too much effort (and investment into the navigational gear not usefull for anything else) for relatively small amount of ridding. I'm confident that I can ride the tracks, but definitely not in the time frame (I would take more like 3 weeks to ride what they do in 1). Also it seems to change every year from quite technical to relatively easy desert race, and I'm not suer 690 would be the right tool for for example this year which I suspect is going to be more technical. And I do not want to have another very specialised 450 rally bike in my garage (I have 7 now, which I need to trim down as it just doesn't make sense).
- side stand: actually the side stand is probably fine for standard 690. The problem is that with adding the kit, another 14-16 litres of petrol and luggage, the bike sags down and that is where it becomes a problem. I had it shortened now, so not a problem anymore.
- gear ratios: I didin't now Dakar bikes have close ratios. I would expect them to have wider ratio to minimise fatigue - and KTM500 has wide ratio gearbox I think. I believe KTM is just saving money by putting Supermoto gearbox to Enduro. I am now reasonably happy with 15/48 combo (instead of standard 15/45), but of course I have to stay off tar and easy dirt as much as possible as cruising long distances at high speed is just not fun. Of course it would be better with 45, but then the technical riding becomes real pain.
- luggage: I do carry way too much crap, I'm not very systematic in my packing. I have trimmed it down for this trip (I went from 50l rollie bag to 30 litre), but there is still room for improvement (I stopped carry compressor for example - just hand pumps). That said, if you are going on your own deep into the sticks, you need to carry some amount of stuff to be able to survive in the case you break down out there. So I carry: tools (too many I think), spares like bolts, levers, even brake pads, fuel pump assembly and injector (it is KTM after all), full camping gear, including cooking pots (I stopped that on my next trip), if going out into sticks (which is most of the time) I carry 9 litres of water in the bags (+3 in my camel bag), in one section I carried 14 litres (2 foldable jerry cans) of spare fuel, some canned food, clothes (which I have managed to trim down quite a bit), cameras (I carry two + helmet), chargers, etc.

I'm sure you realise this, but this kind of riding is very different from for example Amageza, where you carry absolute minimum for survival and have support at the tip of your finger. I have to be able to untangle myself should I get into bind. That said, I'm working on getting lighter still.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on April 28, 2016, 09:19:03 am

Agree there, the GSA isnt the best bike for this kind of riding, how does the KTM compare to your previous XT??
I have been toying with the idea of an XT for these kinds of rides

Well, it depends on what kind of riding you want to do.

I wouldn't attempt this trip on XT. I would be able (and did) ride parts of those sandy bits on XTZ, hell even GSA probably. But after a day or two of that (and that with much shorter distances per day) I would be wasted and had to resort to easy roads, which in Moz means mostly tar.

This trip was like riding every day a loop through DeWildt on big bike (taking into account that I had luggage). So energy conservation is paramount and lighter bike just helps with that. Not to speak about fun, which is just 100 times more on smaller bike.


That said, if you want to ride mostly good dirt (like those roads you did/planned on the last trip - but assuming that you wouldn't do it after few days of heavy rain), I would probably rather recommend XT. That said, if I would go XT route, I would probably go for R and modify it heavily (as I did with Tenere).

Not sure if you are aware of it, but MT07 (twin) Tenere is in the pipeline (there is thread with leaked pictures). Assuming they will keep it at the XTZ weight (which quite frankly is too much) or lighter, that would be my choice then (and I may buy one to complement 690 and 630 for commuting and less technical long distance trips - e.g. like the Christmas Safari 2 trip to Kaokoland).
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: BlueBull2007 on April 28, 2016, 06:40:35 pm
Xpat, thanks for your answers. True thing said about the ego! I think we all suffer from that one a bit! ;D

You have clearly given everything a lot of thought - Interesting to read about your packing list.

Thanks again for a great report! :thumleft:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Bushtrotter on May 04, 2016, 10:57:01 am
 :lamer:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: dirtyXT on May 04, 2016, 11:05:10 am
waiting for the next installment!
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: aka.Goliath on May 04, 2016, 12:01:37 pm
You not alone!
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: dirtyXT on May 04, 2016, 12:04:13 pm
 :happy1: :help: :sign12:

what he giveth he taketh away.  :patch:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on May 04, 2016, 12:33:06 pm
Sorry, I'll try to finish it today - came back from bush only on Monday.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on May 04, 2016, 08:18:36 pm
Day 17
 
Already in Vilankulos it was clear that I have lost too much time wasting week in Joburg and taking much longer than anticipated to navigate the sand tracks and beaches along the coast. I knew that at that stage I have no chance to complete the whole planned route and will have to skip most of the route planned in Zambia. At the time the revised plan was continue the original route along the eastern border of  Zimbabwe north to Zambia, follow the northern shore of Lake Kariba west per the original plan, but then turn south and cross to Botswana effectively cutting out the originally planned loop north along the Kafue national park and the source of Zambezi.
 
Now, 5 days later I have managed to lose another 2-3 days in the bushes of Moz and the revised plan had to be looked at again. I had 4 days left to get back to Joburg, was knackered from the last 5 days of pretty hard ridding and all indications were that the tracks up north are going to be at least as exhausting as the ones I just did. Still a bit delusional, I have played with an idea to gun it up north to Kariba and then follow southern shore on Zim side west to Kasane in Bots, and then gun it back south to Joburg in 2 days. But it just didn’t make sense – no point gunning it up and down. I would have to probably stick to tar most of the time and miss the really good dirty stuff I came for. It was a bummer as this was my second failed attempt at riding north east of Zimbabwe – it will have to be tackled next time.
 
So south-west to Joburg it was then. However there were few things to iron out still. One, the shortest route back to Joburg goes through Beitbridge – the only border crossing to South Africa and as such one with the worst reputation for the heavy traffic and corresponding delays. It is probably an exaggeration, but it was holiday season and I wasn’t keen to try to prove its reputation wrong. Two, this was supposed to be safari, and I haven’t seen any animals yet. Mozambique turned out to be complete disappointment in this respect with most animals eaten long time ago. So I was looking for a place where I may see some game – and the only one that seemed a safe bet was Tuli Block along Limpopo river on the Bots/SA/Zim border.
 
So the plan was to slab it on tar (in the lieu of rest day – I was really knackered) 400 km west to Lion and Elephant Motel located few dozen km north of Beitbridge for an overnighter. Followed next day by a dash to Tuli block long way around, following the dirt roads through southern Zim west to Mpohoengs - the southernmost border crossing to Botswana, and then taking a sharp turn south east and following the Bots /Zim border all the way to Tuli  block. It was a massive detour compared to Betbridge option, but would enable to exchange hassle of Beitbridge for tranquillity of Mpohoengs (remote and little known crossing about 60 km south of Plumtree crossing not indicated on any map  I have seen – I’ve found the place just by accident few years back) and hopefully provide some game viewing opportunities in Tuli.
 
With that settled, I have packed up after breakfast and set-off. As said, the plan was to stick to tar for the day to recuperate some energy for the next day’s over 600 km, majority of it dirt. First 80km or so from Chimanimani, were twisties through the forest descending  down from the highlands to the plains below. Once on the plains I hit the main road south, dialled in 100 kmh or so (remember, I had KTM geared short) and tried to go to sleep. But it wasn’t to be. It was hot. The kind of hot when you prefer the windshield on your helmet fully closed down as the inside feels colder than the air blasting through, even at 100 kmh with its supposed chill factor. Like staring into a blasting hot oven while riding on a pudding of melting tar. And of course closing a windshield is not an option on my trial open face helmet, so I just had to take it literally on the chin all the way.
 
The drought that has affected SA so badly has clearly taken toll on the southern Zim as well. The surrounding plains were baked and bleached solid, the trees remaining the only sign of plant life as far as eye can see. The place looked just like Somalia – huge contrast to the lush green Eastern Highlands.
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-SToAYqSdd2s/Vx0Nj9wCEYI/AAAAAAAAItU/g7-UCf1902cE5Vm5xEjV60Eq-Dh1PRRpACCo/s1024/2.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-RxTRNK0Yzv8/Vx0OH65MTfI/AAAAAAAAIuo/K3LjllRpMwMpzCneGvAgyAbgpj4aGGJGwCCo/s1024/3.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JxaWMiFalkg/Vx0OkNFIr5I/AAAAAAAAIvg/As6owUWM1Cw_PSCgDcjoMCCPNrL9Jo4mQCCo/s1024/4.jpg)

 
274 km of the same later I made it to Triangle where I couldn’t take it anymore, and turned off tar south onto the gravel road shortcutting to Lion & Elephant via private plantation. Which turned out to be noticeably  better as the dirt road didn’t reflect the heat back as much as the melting tar. And of course it was shorter and stimulated by the gravel I was ridding faster than on tar (I usually sleep on tar).

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-xM6BNeJAkfs/Vx0UcVTFajI/AAAAAAAAIyc/HcqhvhFEs2UXeTuNGMQGsa0lGFgaDW6rgCCo/s1024/4.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-oppkgJA5pp0/Vx0UTefpDoI/AAAAAAAAIyQ/nlB5SiDsfmkyiuALJHxnyJUBvZKTI8TPQCCo/s1024/3.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-OY7X-CNDe9A/Vx0TA8_oWsI/AAAAAAAAIxg/FttXYPLYk5IV7AbW3zpjnCd6mVIeVojtgCCo/s1024/2.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5EviJs79ens/Vx0R_odOS5I/AAAAAAAAIw0/ATT_KjNXlxUG97cl9NGeA-TTov-Oq7A-wCCo/s1024/1.jpg)


I have eventually made it in the afternoon to the Lion & Elephant where I got a room after quick refuel in the adjacent petrol station. Lion & Elephant motel is famous overnight stopover for people entering Zim via Beitbridge and I expected it to be relatively basic backpackers/motel type of accommodation. It was actually significantly more upmarket (pricewise and facility wise) than I expected, which was fine with me - I was looking for a cosy refuge from the accumulated exertions of the prior 5-6 days. The place is run (and I assume owned) by I dare to say very elderly white couple, who still manage to keep the place running in top condition. I couldn’t help to wander for how much longer and had this sad sense of foreboding of what will happen once they are gone. Somebody may consider this racist – and quite frankly I don’t care if they do, but I find it fascinating how white folks with limited resources and in in an adverse environment are able to build and run and oasis of comfort and amenities, that would easily qualify as cosy upmarket lodge in the first world. And leaves me wondering how quickly will the bush reclaim the place once they are gone – which I think will be shame for everybody, including Zim fatcats. 
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ujpQbjst2c8/Vx0UasHY9WI/AAAAAAAAIzE/LKe2oBblpmgUAy0uRAAdyCYhmyZ6IkxvgCCo/s1024/5.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wfYA3ArwloY/Vx0UnihtW-I/AAAAAAAAIyc/oQGbXm2EMYgMHK289TS2QkvVj2S7Ois6ACCo/s1024/6.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-20A8Gbfx5Uw/Vx0UyUJfcMI/AAAAAAAAIyc/i1Dx4HFFOk8srFzxP9UDdCDo6dbELa5jwCCo/s1024/7.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wBy_XMtIVZI/Vx0Uxa_HcfI/AAAAAAAAIyc/i234qSemu1gO7xUkRoho24tgVpQngB-6ACCo/s1024/8.jpg)

 
After shower, nap and excellent schnitzel with mash for dinner I went to check with the owner my route options for tomorrow. The oven ride didn’t do much for my energy and I was seriously considering to cut home short through Beitbridge 60 km south even with the expected hassle. The alternative was to retrace about 30 km north on A4 and then turn west on a dirt road running through a concession with possible game viewing all the way to Makado, where I would hit A5 for about 80 km up to  Gwanda. From there it was dirt roads all the way west to Mpohoengs border crossing to Botswana. The owner advised that Beitbridge should actually not be that bad going from Zim to SA, except in the morning when all the buses come. On the alternative he believed I may not be let into the concession on the bike as there may be hunting going on there, or just as a precaution as the place hosts full spectrum of African crickets, including big 5.
 
Fed and anaesthetised by few Windhoek lagers I decided to give the Bots route a try. If I get turned back at the concession gate, I will just revert back to Beitbridge option and take easy ride back home to Joburg through Waterberg or some such.
 
Route ridden:
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-h_ABbojJg8w/Vx0Qt_Z_H4I/AAAAAAAAIwE/rCyIaDR1V08Cr6j_sE6J6-fAhOpqkETgwCCo/s640/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-04-24%2Bat%2B6.51.16%2BPM.png)
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on May 04, 2016, 08:41:26 pm
Day 18
 
This was supposed to be a long day with over 600 km, majority in dirt taking me to Tuli block for a bit of game viewing (of course the irony being that I was less than 200 km from the Tuli block on the Zim side – however there were no border crossings to SA or Bots nearby, barring Beitbridge). I have half expected that should the things not go to the plan I may need to sleep in Francistown or thereabouts.
 
So I started early, skipping the breakfast. Soon I’ve been at the concession gate, and to my relief the guard just wrote down my details and let me in without any complaint. He confirmed that concession is home to big 5 and the rest of African fauna, and I set-off. Proceeding slowly, scanning the bush for the sign of animals. I have come across few giraffes and a herd of Kudu’s (I think) and impalas in the dry riverbed. Much better than Mozambique, but no lions or elephants. Well, hopefully Tuli will step it up later.
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-cQ-YbmdYPz4/Vx0PZjAnCZI/AAAAAAAAIvw/qChYvTW8aZonS5YGqqDhpVamQLxTO4MhQCCo/s1024/6.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NarSghzCchI/Vx0PGjvVPXI/AAAAAAAAIvw/DmJVYF5HMt40II0IIqcnV2gazxGrBOQrgCCo/s1024/5.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lOfcniDFGBs/Vx0NKllBBXI/AAAAAAAAItU/YVciVg0gz5Eclkynq4gqK3Q9dQat1FnXgCCo/s1024/10.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-kGQY-aohe9g/Vx0Pe-VLcLI/AAAAAAAAIvw/JRML6ro7TGwCVAFFTYRjIlIVgeaz6KIXwCCo/s1024/9.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Gv64OQhfbeM/Vx0NMlmSucI/AAAAAAAAItU/KPTf_K4YkLwcb6Jrflh6schJQfIcuq5fQCCo/s1024/11.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-KlMAn8yGXvI/Vx0NUGo0koI/AAAAAAAAItU/uSASJmId9286gJM6DoDk7Shqsh6hnpDSACCo/s1024/13.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-e5JUBNKQ8TA/Vx0NdJNQSfI/AAAAAAAAItU/E7Ohe5QCFqgbIB9GvdKtd70Ni1mAzNLpgCCo/s1024/16.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fUFm-NV_KQU/Vx0Nd3DRmkI/AAAAAAAAItU/ebcMyLazX3wSizQ97FNJpkIeQZxJeBObQCCo/s1024/17.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-e5LRJcvJr9c/Vx0NjOdudkI/AAAAAAAAItU/lLfvbIWOzvsKsVgE-XYfmd0qBx-0B82bACCo/s1024/18.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-mTXyAOQp5z8/Vx0Nr8IABqI/AAAAAAAAIuo/gNsP4jm1FFMgxYoNDUVgSKXybsdj92X8gCCo/s1024/20.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6ogoGZGAFiY/Vx0SaZs9TUI/AAAAAAAAIxI/SYElK6BvDnYhrwKXnBUAWf-EnW24Ush_QCCo/s1024/12.jpg)


Herd of Kudus and Impalas:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-foDYH0juB60/Vx0R7rqw_jI/AAAAAAAAIw0/j6mqfVAf1IMwVsvcpnYma1Gk9OEUDp3HACCo/s1024/10.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-pn6pYyr-IdI/Vx0SafnecnI/AAAAAAAAIxI/shmuNvG85u4W9BPoJaBl57Oj9vdXs3Q3QCCo/s1024/13.jpg)

This was the sad sight on the northern side of the bridge with this mudhole being the last remains of water:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Ggj1kST_dLc/Vx0SpxO8tFI/AAAAAAAAIxI/HGn9aDNDLxE2luw9pIcQNuw7c2cFuSOwACCo/s1024/16.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-AB_61zY22bs/Vx0Sp3pOALI/AAAAAAAAIxI/BXRwAgwQOUsNOJ-bekW8z8G0QlWabEWJQCCo/s1024/17.jpg)


This monitor lizzard passing by probably just checking if the time is ripe for a meal yet:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-eDkcQfnOq9g/Vx0S4ilVuwI/AAAAAAAAIxI/_g78rbWIIugftoUegcT5bzXORPI0uuq4QCCo/s1024/18.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-IYoIyHZZfXA/Vx0TZzLJupI/AAAAAAAAIxg/11DPNFNPmlMUymP4kt-b9zM_PAHSNNzXgCCo/s1024/20.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-dNJWkIWtikw/Vx0TYI-PiUI/AAAAAAAAIys/cV6AS1AtIY4a4F5NgpofDS-s1XjCjZDcACCo/s1024/21.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7LTtlvXHUSA/Vx0Td7w9QCI/AAAAAAAAIx4/KV3ARlR9Iwwunvs9Zro8HLM8d_iRFp_VACCo/s1024/22.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-kIUjxvCH1Tk/Vx0TtT3ZPxI/AAAAAAAAIx4/tZHJ4-eudDAkEZ53O6BdY9j3RFZ1yigjwCCo/s1024/23.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-nKmUeV9eAew/Vx0X6JDZ7GI/AAAAAAAAIzE/vXrLOdzId7AeLXfrBMIfPMsV5a1YlmSvgCCo/s1024/1.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-iK1TqE63fAc/Vx0YKGAR-kI/AAAAAAAAIzQ/Im9q7tKM8OIN5qletE78i0cgXhJkbj9kwCCo/s1024/4.jpg)

Met this guy (walking relaxed in the big 5), who was a ranger and asked him to fetch the fishes from the mudhole rather than just letting them slowly rot away. He smiled and agreed, but I'm not sure he really could have been bothered:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NUi1Cw9dXLI/Vx0NuqvclgI/AAAAAAAAIuo/jvApwbDW4b8WzVO71dVnPxJQRp2sd6GgwCCo/s1024/22.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-UB1EZTn31Oo/Vx0N2N7E4AI/AAAAAAAAIuo/nnsdtXqBdyQtRcpk5fiM_y-_0TYK_uumQCCo/s1024/23.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PWW3TP2ENNM/Vx0N4QYIh1I/AAAAAAAAIuo/qiN1dHDFbhIZpdNErEG5dlUByMGmNtL5wCCo/s1024/24.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-zyWIWqQC43U/Vx0OAHDnXJI/AAAAAAAAIuo/2n1y1gicJ1IHLRyInfN0jLAq85RMFw5xQCCo/s1024/26.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-BmMXUfuehKg/Vx0OAxjblzI/AAAAAAAAIuo/dtMP5h4nMCkIzuPlJPOvK0eVf7q4431CwCCo/s1024/28.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-MHPfRBf4mLg/Vx0OG_fwN-I/AAAAAAAAIwE/GjV36JpqGtYCxTHdNR6j51LwfzEp7EeOwCCo/s1024/29.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-k2s4o5u1Ml8/Vx0OP4phCcI/AAAAAAAAIuo/gSmWW5HRlOkD4-htv46ItzD63JHlJTjRwCCo/s1024/32.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-f4pf1bUlxwo/Vx0OXRzgv8I/AAAAAAAAIuo/cXTxxR7kY2U1AN5gmCIPDjz-N_bi2e-zgCCo/s1024/35.jpg)


About 100 km later I hit tar A5 in Makado and turned north up to Gwanda, where I filled up and turned west on the dirt roads heading to Antelope mines and Mpohoengs, eventually connecting to the dirt roads I did in Christmas Safari 1 trip. The section to Mpohongs was tiresome as the road was gravel, later on it eased up as it turned to compacted dirt.
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-qQrS3I32Mig/Vx0OdCkrs8I/AAAAAAAAIvg/5C5xJyVfHUYDT8sg9OXmyshohF9cDRzUwCCo/s1024/37.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-l0EXqW0B73U/Vx0OfkUmsVI/AAAAAAAAIvg/PSLzM83aDzAS1USso1jOC-MQGKB2m9siQCCo/s1024/38.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VKbJLNYgC5U/Vx0OhfKNxqI/AAAAAAAAIvg/5BHhchSiXOAPw0KGPeCqYWHCIXD9WlYAgCCo/s1024/39.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-HAUy-gsAIGE/Vx0OoyQ13_I/AAAAAAAAIvg/c27J_QSSs0I79WsO3_BTH_Cn9FkAhIwbgCCo/s1024/41.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-2LFL9EcI7rM/Vx0Otje8WQI/AAAAAAAAIvg/Yo9NKBalrJgIEVFFlANIvghh1n86-uu9ACCo/s1024/42.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-XQfXeRzA1ms/Vx0OwiD0gzI/AAAAAAAAIvg/uN1ZR7GFr7I3WU4GD0aNXEtJDsCRq9YeQCCo/s1024/43.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-FKS6FiZsBpw/Vx0Oy2uvMxI/AAAAAAAAIvg/X5mEVC_5l0Y9sq4U24kSfYaQ9z6C-RekQCCo/s1024/44.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5BkC6V3j9BU/Vx0O19kk8TI/AAAAAAAAIvg/OcEZ8hAGYAk7Ft4rcN4vMaAn2Vc4EPXFQCCo/s1024/45.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-qKDagwBnWr0/Vx0O9-z5wkI/AAAAAAAAIvg/aE160fLBl94IoMgYgSXhG-cRsOg4wssXgCCo/s1024/48.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-MwljofMsbLY/Vx0PEMjO9yI/AAAAAAAAIvg/35xKtgq4BFUwYrs9wkTGdMH3FAckqQNBwCCo/s1024/50.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ZijHGTe1Cx4/Vx0PI1-qmKI/AAAAAAAAIvw/TZeyTNlt-4kBol9pEoXpIUKrKJDn5QfyACCo/s1024/51.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-L3I7BxftSdk/Vx0PL4oBCuI/AAAAAAAAIvw/TCgzJSXuPDIyeIgqn2wwyIgwioQ5Dj7dACCo/s1024/52.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Y3hb-QUPSl4/Vx0PPE6N1QI/AAAAAAAAIvw/qwNFt3m5GcUvE3ugmlgVPUSXaHSrHpQGwCCo/s1024/53.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-PsbIUt2iubA/Vx0PUij-tJI/AAAAAAAAIvw/FxpSA7pLCys4jGdpEF0E_HtYQ3DgxWbZwCCo/s1024/55.jpg)

 
I have made it to the border at about 2 pm. There was quite a bit of traffic of Zimbabweans returning to SA after holidays – they clearly prefer detour through Botswana rather than going straight through Beitbridge. There was a jovial post-holiday atmosphere between travellers and officers and the proceedings went without a glitch. That is how I like it and why I came all the way here!
 
That is until the things went completely pear-shaped 100 meter later at the exit boom. A young dude on a phone there stopped me and indicated for me to wait. Once he was done with his call he requested and proceeded to take out go literally through every item in my luggage, including going through the pictures in my camera (he just missed the helmet cam). Despite my better judgement I was very hostile throughout the act and came close to punching the mother fucker senseless few times (I’m no fighter, but no, he wouldn’t have a chance). Normally I’m much better at handling these situations, but the fatigue was getting the better of me and I didn’t have much resources left to control the animal.
 
Now it was the fatigue induced lack of judgement that got me into this situation in the first place. You see there was a police checkpoint about km before the border, where they stopped me and asked to inspect my luggage. Hot, tired, grumpy and keen to make it through the border asap, I gave them an earful about why the fuck they bother people a km before the border – why don’t they just check everything there like civilised people would do. I did used more polite language, but I’m sure it came across more or less the way I formulated it here. To my surprise they just smiled and let me go. Well, I think it is pretty safe to assume, they called their buddy at the boom to give me proper check-up. To be fair, should I have made that mistake in a police state like let’s say America (actually in any first world country), I would probably end up in jail or at least with bodily search.
 
I took a lot time to repack everything diligently as I was holding up quite a few cars behind me (hence taking my anger on innocent bystanders – I guess you might call it displaced anger– anything just to make myself feel a bit better) and then rode across the dry river bed to the Bots side, where I was met by diminutive Bushman in the veterinary controller capacity. I understand the drill, rode the bike through that stinky disinfection water and walked on the wet math, but somehow it was not enough and he continued to point to my luggage and blabber something about meat, which I indicated clearly I do not have. He didn’t speak any English but persevered with what I have interpreted as a request to inspect my luggage. Being a man attuned with the nature he sensed quickly that the end may be nigh and let go after few tense seconds, while I battled to keep the beast within. Which I’m very grateful for as he saved me from rotting in the jail for the rest of my life (well actually they still have death penalty in Bots, so I might not have to rot for too long).
 
To continue with the theme, the Bots border took quite a long time mostly because of the stupidly inefficient process for paying the obligatory road tax, with people jostling in and out of the queue randomly and me waiting there in the alternate state of consciousness trying to muster any last drop of equanimity I still had left. To round it all nicely up, when I was finished and came out of the building, my bike was laying on its side (yes the fucking side-stand) with people who waited with me inside strolling casually around, not considering it worth mentioning. This fall resulted in only damage sustained on this trip (except for the half-expected failure of the usual KTM components like speedo/revmeter, and rear brake pedal spring) – the front brake lever broke. Which, as it turned out wasn’t a bad thing, as it turned into a short brake lever, which I prefer. I didn’t see it that way there and then though. You know that Beitbridge – it may not  be such a bad idea after all…
 
I made it finally out of the border probably at about 4 pm and didn’t even stop at the little adjacent spaza shop, but rather continued with undone body armour and googles hanging from the mirrors through the village looking for the road south to Selebi Phikwe. As every single time before in this village (about 1 square km big) I got lost even with GPS resolution at about 50 meters), but eventually found the road and proceeded few km - until I was sure there are no people around – where I stopped, calmed down with a ciggy or five and geared up properly. Once sufficiently calm, I jumped on the bike and gunned it down the dirt road which after few dozen km passes a dam on the Shashe river (Di…. .something). I didn’t make any pictures on the way, but it looks the same as on my first Christmas Safari trip I did, so you can check pictures from this route on this link:
 
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=151222.80 (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=151222.80)
 
I hit the tar for the rest of the day in Selebi Phikwe, where I filled up, and pushed on. In the next town Sefhophe I hit a crossing where I knew I have to take the right road so I consulted GPS closely before taking the right turn. With the sun setting fast behind me I hit 70 km later the T junction with main Tuli road at Zanzibar. It didn’t look familiar and after consultation of GPS I have confirmed that indeed I did the wrong turn in Sefhophe (quite an achievement with only two roads to pick from and GPS at hand) and Molema campsite I was heading for is at least 50 km further away. So I have ridden 600 km round trip to see some game around Molema, just to miss it at the end due to unbelievably silly navigation mistake. A fitting end to a bitch of a day.
 
At least there was a border crossing about 150 meters in front of my nose(closed by now of course) and Oasis lodge right in front of me. So that is where I retreated into an expensive air-conditioned chalet to lick my wounds.

Oasis lodge in Zanzibar right on the Bots/SA border:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8GaipwhnSnw/Vx0Tz2-uStI/AAAAAAAAIx4/s0bUN3aONewlmF-UaTryUIP_yNTjY4tAQCCo/s1024/25.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Kw406c3YpKo/Vx0UHWRRKvI/AAAAAAAAIyQ/t8sdA-c9NOwo-lFuX3MvJiUjiJI3odRjQCCo/s1024/27.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-mot8K0wn1l0/Vx0UHUzA8fI/AAAAAAAAIyQ/Yguy605ChpIcNex2TTjxnjEQlMkWS4oZgCCo/s1024/28.jpg)

 
Route ridden:
 
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-dmw_aF7Snrg/Vx0Qv17ateI/AAAAAAAAIwE/N6ORZRKT38MvzMY1n6o5mFjIVuAADsRRgCCo/s912/Screen%2BShot%2B2016-04-24%2Bat%2B6.54.13%2BPM.png)
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on May 05, 2016, 11:12:05 am
Day 19 - the end

Last day of the trip was just a liaison involving more or less straight dash from Zanzibar to Joburg. The route south involved riding dirt from Zanzibar down to Baltimore, then tar to Marken and Vaalwater, where I stopped for lunch. From there on I hit dirt again down to Rankin pass, Roiberg, Assen all the way to Letlhakaneng in De Wildt area, where I hit tar for the last push home. I had to stopover and wait out huge storm with hail in Hartbeespoort Total garage, and eventually arrived home just as the darkness fell.

Overall this was a good trip, despite the prior day's  border melodrama and the fact that I have ridden less than half of the intended route. It was the shortest of the Christmas Safari trips so far (about 3500 km compared to over 5000 km of CS1 and about 6500 km of CS3) and yet by far the toughest. It was much closer in spirit to the CS1 trip in that the plan went to pieces more or less from day 1 and the whole trip turned into one big day by day improvisation (CS2 went much more to the plan, though there were deviations mostly due to killed clutch).

I have to say from now on this type of trip - discovering and riding remote and rarely ridden routes, is what I'm after. Nothing against the usual tourist traps, but I've done most of them already, and this kind of trip provides much more sense of exploration and enjoyment. The physical exercise this kind of riding provide is also very welcome change for this office rat.

And the 690 - I came to like this bike, a lot. Initially I was feeling iffy about reliability (and sure enough it has shown its KTM idiosyncrasies), but it didn't (or even try to) leave me stranded which is what matters. And this despite the abuse I threw at it while running out of talent (very often to be honest) for dozens of km at a time. And the lightweight was just blessing - I wouldn't be able to do half of this trip on the routes I did on Tenere in given time.

The one thing that I believe would make this trip even more enjoyable would be right tyres. I used E09 Dakars front and back. They are great for back as they last, but I came to realize only too late how much they suck up front. I have since moved on Runner's advice to Maxxis CrossIT Desert (not pushing them - I'm sure there are other tyres like that, but it must be real hard core dirt tyre, none of those 50/50, 80/20, whatever concoctions) and the difference is unbelievable. I was actually a bit pissed off realizing how much more enjoyment I could have had on my prior trips. I have done two more longer-ish trips with the new front (one 3000 km to Okavango and one 1800 km through Limpopo and Tuli block), as well as few weekends in De Wildt, and haven't fell once and not because I didn't try. I'm ridding much more aggressively and faster, yet with complete confidence. I even lost little bit of respect for those Amageza warriors once I found their secret  :peepwall: (just kidding, I couldn't ride the distances they do over multiple days for a week).

That's it - thanks for following.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: dirtyXT on May 05, 2016, 11:16:43 am
thanks xPat great story, good advice and accounts. wish i too wasnt an office rat.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: onderbroek on May 05, 2016, 08:15:01 pm
Thanks Xpat

Another great RR.

the lodge you visited that was run by the elderly couple reminded me of this book:

http://www.takealot.com/the-last-resort/PLID34472714 (http://www.takealot.com/the-last-resort/PLID34472714)

a very good read
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: BlueBull2007 on May 05, 2016, 08:32:58 pm
Thanks for finishing this report, what a nice read. Your writing is engrossing and very funny at times!

That Zanzibar gate must be the best border crossing in Africa.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on May 06, 2016, 11:18:33 am
Thanks for the comments.

@onderbroek: I have heard about this book before, but haven't read it. Will give it a try.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Malcolm on May 06, 2016, 04:03:09 pm
Thanks for the Writing Xpat.  i am making plans for the Mozambique section...  Keep the beer cold :biggrin:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: lj111 on May 07, 2016, 09:32:57 pm
Thanks for another great RR Xpat :thumleft:
Your RRś have got adventure written all over it.
That 690 looks  :drif: :drif:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: funacide on May 09, 2016, 10:34:19 am
Xpat, thanks again for sharing.

I just had a chance to finish reading the report. Awesome as usual, I really enjoyed it!!

I know the feeling at the border post, you know you shouldn't shout and make a scene but it is sometimes very difficult. Also costs you time in the long run.

Thanks again!
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on July 12, 2017, 01:37:27 am
Here is a video clip from the ride from Bilene to Inhambane on the sandy tracks along the coast:

Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: BlueBull2007 on July 13, 2017, 02:17:45 pm
Lekker little vid, thanks :thumleft:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: landieman on July 19, 2017, 10:52:31 am
wow wow wow wow wow wow  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Slim Jim on July 19, 2017, 12:38:22 pm
HI Expat , unreal RR , I am never going to get any work done with all your RR!!!!!!  You made a coment on the old folks at that resort that if they left you would wonder what would happen to place , you quite correct ! I did a 3 day ride last week and went to all the parks bourd parks in the KZN midlands and it has gone exacly that way [no hot water,broken toilets , leaking taps exct] maby some time they will figure out that tourism makes money and if people have a good experiance they will come back and spend more money.You make me envy to go further and more confidence to do that , I want to do a 10 day from Home to bivianns and die Hell and home through Tankwa solo [mates think I'm nuts] but you are a real inspiraton for me [ I must only learn how to spell though if I'm going to do RR like you]
Thanx for the awsome read , still got xmas1 and the last 2 to read I will leave that for another day as my family think I'm a computer gurroo spending all day infront of this laptop [if they only new!]
Thanx Budd
PS : many safe adventure in the future
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on July 19, 2017, 05:10:45 pm
Thank you  :thumleft:, I'm glad the report is still useful.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Gee S on July 20, 2017, 04:00:12 am
Thanks for a great report Xpat.  :thumleft: Looking forward to your next ride :ricky:
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on July 28, 2017, 11:16:38 pm
Continuing up the coast of Mozambique - first part of the track between Inhambane and Vilankulos:

Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on September 30, 2017, 12:32:07 am
And the last one of the Moz coastal track - continuing up to Vilankulos:

Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: aka.Goliath on September 30, 2017, 12:42:03 am
Nice one. Definitely my next trip after Namibia. I want to try make up to Tanzania and back down through Malawi.
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on September 30, 2017, 10:16:28 am
Nice one. Definitely my next trip after Namibia. I want to try make up to Tanzania and back down through Malawi.

That would be a nice loop, HoweverI think you would need 2 months to do it the way you and I like to ride. If you want to do it faster you will have to take a lot of main roads. Or be extremely fit - that sand takes it out of you like nothing else.

Did you give up on Angola, or are you going to do it with Nam? I still need to do that Doodsakker thingy and I hoped you can figure out for me how the visa crap works  :peepwall:  :)
Title: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: aka.Goliath on September 30, 2017, 10:04:57 pm
That's unfortunately why I haven't gone further afield as I just don't have the time off and there no real point just following main roads. There's a report on Advriders about someone going from Tanzania to Moz and how there are no road up there. I get excited just thinking about it.

I haven't completely given up on Angola yet. It's all hanging on if I trailer up to Windhoek or if I travel by bike and then head to Namibia via the  makgadikgadi. Going by train seems to be a no go. But if I travel by bike I won't have time for the Angola leg. I've got a very nice looking route going up to Kunene Lodge from Windhoek keeping close to Etosha, mainly river beds in the mountains which is very enticing. Being my first time up there I may not push myself too much and rather just take it easy and a few more rest days.

When are you planning on going?
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: the ruffian on October 23, 2017, 07:27:58 pm
Love your RR, Xpat, and those vids with their badass soundtracks...yo!!
Title: Re: Christmas Safari 3 - Mozambique & Zimbabwe
Post by: Xpat on October 23, 2017, 09:35:31 pm
Love your RR, Xpat, and those vids with their badass soundtracks...yo!!

Cheers  :thumleft: