Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => 'Roll of Honour' - Best Ride Reports => Topic started by: Nardus on August 20, 2008, 04:07:08 pm

Title: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on August 20, 2008, 04:07:08 pm
MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!


(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/DSCN2492450x600.jpg)

(Please note that I am writing this report really for my own recollection and the fast fading memory. Also, the pictures presented herein were scanned images from slides that I have taken. As my empty slide spools were stolen on my trip, I had only a limited amount of slides that I could take, hence the lack of picture quantities)

I have always thought that I should write something about my trip through Africa, but never got around to do so. I still have one of the three Michelin maps which I took on my trip and realized that I am struggling to remember what little tracks we took in some of the countries.

During the last year, a friend of mine, Michnus (some of you might know him and those who do will know how he is), nagged me into writing something. Hi Michnus how are you? No fine, when are you writing something about that trip of yours. A month later: Hi Michnus how are you? No, fine, when are you writing something about that trip of yours? And so on and so on ...

Another motivation for starting this trip report was when I was sitting on the couch last week watching Long Way Down on National Geographic. Everybody will have their own way of doing things, but Johan and I did it quite differently. All I knew about Africa, is that you need a passport, some money, a map (optional) and enough time. We honestly did no planning at all. Throughout our 10 months of riding, we never could tell you where we would sleep the next night or which road we will take in two days time.


How it all started


I think my adventurous spirit and love for Africa were inherited from my parents, old Kobie and Ans. Most siblings, especially when older, appreciate their parents to some extent, but once you have met mine, you will love them. My moms eldest brother, Oom Retief Oosthuisen (who is now over 83 years old), was a true adventure seeker. Back in 1954 he organized the first ever overland trip from South Africa across Africa to England and back. It was on this trip where my parents met each other. After returning from this crazy adventure, my Dad opted to stay in Tanzania for another six years as a tour guide where he took tourists around central and east Africa. Not surprising then that I inherited a couple of genes which could easily be triggered to follow some of their tracks left years ago.

So, after spending 12 extremely frustrating years nailed to a school bench, thereafter two as a conscript in the military to fight an enemy that never existed and then another four to obtain a degree which I thought would automatically bring me somewhere worthwhile in life, I eventually found a gap to escape from this cycle of life. Hunting feral cats on Marion Island for a whole year, isolated from most of society for hours/days/weeks to think, reflect and try to find out who I am. Although I never managed to place myself in a definable category, I realized that I needed to start doing things which will make me happy. Sitting on Marion Island alone in the middle of the sub-Antarctic, was one of them. One picture, that kept on flashing through my mind was riding over a hill on a little dirt track when the most stunning view would appear of these planes as you go over the crest miles and miles of short green, green grass with animals roaming on it for as far as your eyes could see, somewhere in the middle of Africa. I think it was a scene from one of the stories my Dad used to tell me when I was a little boy. More of this much later in the report I will refer back to it.

Because Marion Island was so special to me, I have decided to share a couple of pictures with you Enjoy!

A group photo on New Years Day

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Marion/A23.jpg)

Me, the Cat Hunter

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Marion/A82.jpg)





A party in the early morning hours at the base camp it actually started the previous evening

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Marion/A18.jpg)

Lots of open space !

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Marion/A48.jpg)

And my favourite lots of time to think, re-think and plan ahead
(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Marion/A61.jpg)

Some of our friends from the island, who did not want to come back:
Wandering Albatrosses

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Marion/C03.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Marion/C04.jpg)

King Penguins (chicks)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Marion/C42b.jpg)

Arctic Skua

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Marion/C63a.jpg)

And Elephant Seals !!

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Marion/B07.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Marion/B19.jpg)


In 1993, I ended up in a commune with a whole lot of mates in Pretoria. I had no money to go anywhere not even back to my parents in Stellenbosch. I got myself into this situation after a months backpacking trip to Malawi, which turned out to be much longer than a month - until all my funds were depleted. In Pretoria, I eventually teamed up with one of the commune dwellers selling pots, pans and crockery in the homelands north of Pretoria. We actually made fairly good bucks and I managed to spend only half of that on parties and booze. After a couple of months, I think it was in July, I bought myself a ten year old second hand Yamaha XT600 Tenere for R7000  - regarded at the time as the ultimate adventure bike.

I remember phoning my Dad, informing him of the bike. He gave the usual - But why, it is dangerous ..crappy story, until I told him that the intention with the bike was to cross Africa and all of sudden the whole bike thing turned into a - now that sounds like a brilliant idea!!.

My idea was to pack the bike and venture into Africa for as long as I could, that is until my funds dry up. Except for my little 50cc I got from my older brother back in high school, I had never owned a motorcycle. Of all the options considered, it made most sense to ride through Africa on a bike cheap, fun, not caged in, can go almost anywhere and of course you dont have to talk to anyone. Can you imagine having to spend a couple of months in a cage having to talk and listen to the same persons stories and opinions?  Even worse, put the cage in 40 degree heat and then shake it violently from side to side! At least on a bike this will only happen when you stop hopefully with no shaking.

Well, I struggled to convince any of my fellow commune dwellers to join me, so alone it might have to be. I would have preferred a good buddy to accompany me for safety reasons, but rather alone than not at all. It remains strange how adventurous these things sound and so easily attainable to a lot of people around midnight with a proper intoxicated brain! The next day, it was only me again - no real takers. To my surprise at the end of September one of my mates who was about to write his final exams at the end of the year told me that he is considering doing something like this and that he might join me. I think, as with me, the whole school, army and study thing got to him too especially after spending quite a bit of time with me during the past few months and drinking lots and lots of beer together. In any case it worked, because in two months time I sort of wanted to leave and Johan not only had never owned a bike before, but he still did not have one. In October he found an old XT500 for R3500. I was kinda hoping that he would also get himself a XT600 for obvious reasons, the most obvious being that he is a very long stretch of a fart - a term used to describe Johan by a not-so-much-lady-like lady a year later after our arrival in England.

By mid November, I was sort of ready to go. That means that I had my bike, a tent, 3 x Michelin maps, organized a Carne de Pessagne, a brand new Mandela-passport and R3500 in my pocket. I knew my budget was rather tight, so decided to quite smoking and drinking. To now wait for Johan for another three weeks was getting a bit painful, so I told him that I will slowly head off to Mozambique. There is really only one coastline in Mozambique, so it should be easy to find me and with that I was off.


My test-run with the bike


Before I start with the trip report, let me quickly share my test-run trip with you that I did in September of 1993 to Mozambique.  I had to make sure I can ride the bloody thing and it would be nice to do a quick trip with a couple of buddies (and my good little best friend sister from Stellenbosch).

The Friday night before our departure, we spend all night drinking and partying from the one pub to the next in Pretoria. We ended up at Eds, a real yuppie and crappy joint, but open nonetheless. So at 03h00 on Saturday morning, we were having our last one for the road!! I saw this really beautiful chick sitting at the bar, so I went over and by now feeling very confident, I started to chat. I obviously mentioned the fact that I am off to Mozambique with my scooter in a couple of hours time. What a great pick-up line it almost always works!! She then mentioned that she has so much shit here and how she needed a break like this and how she wished she could just get on the back of the bike and ride away.

So, the next morning at 10h00 Carina woke me up with a backpack over her shoulder. If she wasnt so damn pretty, I would most probably not have remembered her, but I did and I obviously had told her where I stayed and I obviously invited her to hop on the bike with me! Well, I thought, this must be some chicky if she only met me the previous night (or same morning) more than half pissed and decides to come with me.

Well, two days later sleeping in our little 2-man tent, Carina informed me that she was actually married and has a child of 5 years, but that she is not happily married and thinks she might get divorced. Oh fuck!! But what the heck, nothing I (we) can do about this bit of information now, so lets just have fun and enjoy the week long holiday.

I cannot remember much about the trip, although, looking at the pictures we obviously were at Praia do Xai Xai and Inhaca Island and it was really nice to hang around with my buddies and sister. Carina was such good company that we spent another week in Mozambique after all the other people went back to Pretoria. And oh yes, I cannot really ride the bike well and not at all in a sand track.

Here is a picture or two from that trip:

A quick pitstop before crossing the border

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Moz93/Moz10.jpg)

Enjoying a local Bob Marley Siggie

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Moz93/Moz13.jpg)

Crossing over to Inhaca Island (Carina in the middle, my sister Hanna on the far right and Skua on the left)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Moz93/Moz18.jpg)

How romantic.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Moz93/Moz3.jpg)

Somewhere during our 2nd week

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Moz93/Moz9.jpg)

Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on August 20, 2008, 04:10:12 pm
THE TRIP - November 1993

Mozambique

A few good-byes (especially to Carina- maybe one day..)... and the next thing, I was packed, on the bike and hitting the road out of Pretoria, east towards Mozambique. Oh boy, what a feeling it was!! Excitement, yes a lot of that. A feeling of real freedom, yes a lot of that. Nervousness, yes a little bit of that.

Back in 1993, Maputo was a fairly wild place. None of the buildings have been repaired or repainted, hundreds of vehicle wreckages were scattered all over town, very little of the essential infrastructure was operational and only a few tough and dodgy characters were starting up (often dodgy) business. Exporting LM Prawns, opening up night clubs, wheeling and dealing with things of course, there were a couple of ordinary businesses selling groceries and coffee shops and so on.

A Bar in Maputo - one of the hot spots!

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Moz93/Moz12.jpg)

I was sleeping over in the old caravan park. Goodness, now there were a couple of dodgy characters. One lady in particular, called Gloria or something, was running the whole show and she was also the best person to change your Rands into Meticcais. I received my first offer for the bike he said: now with that I can go anywhere and nobody is going to catch me. But no, not really keen to sell it yet.

Potskerf in Maputo

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A01.jpg)

I stayed an extra night in Maputu just to experience this lovely old city a bit better. I actually bumped into a mate of mine from Pretoria, called Potskerf. He was also trying to make a quick buck with the LM Prawns, but realized that the bucks were not as quick as initially anticipated. O well, I had to stay another night then to kuier a bit with Potskerf, who by then knew quite a bit more about the nightlife and the hot spots in town. Must say, prefer this Maputo to the lovely stories I was told about the old Lorenzo Marques, before the war destroyed everything. The war could not destroy the real beat that you hear in Maputu. Man, those Portuguese knew how to mix contrete - concrete pavements, concrete lamp posts, concrete walls, concrete roofs, concrete stairs, concrete sign boards, concrete bloody everything!! Yes, I drove up these steps with the scooter.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A03.jpg)

The next day I rode to Bilene and camped there for one night. Absolutely beautiful with no other travelers, no toilets, or water, or any other service just me, the bike, the lush bush and the lake this was good. I only saw two people the whole day; the one had a receipt book and requested about R10 for the camping. I told him to come back a bit later as I just want to relax a bit. Five minutes later, another youngster come to the tent and requested R5 for the camping. I obviously paid the R5 and established later that the campsite was actually owned (or at least sold) to two different people. This, I learnt on my trip through Mozambique, would become quite a common phenomenon.

On the way to Bilene

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A07.jpg)

Next day, off the Xai Xai just to really get the feel for the trip in my veins and for the sense of freedom to start settling in. The bike sounds sweet and the country side is absolutely stunning. The new bridge over the Limpopo River is already completed. Things are really starting to happen in Mozambique. O yes, how fortunate I was to be on this trip, absorbing the place, cruising along. OOOH FAAAK !!! A little boy that was crossing the road miles ahead of me, was now standing on the other side of the road, saw me coming, got a fright and took off back over the road. BANG, straight into my one pannier box. Oh shit, should I duck or turn around ? It is only a little boy, he must have got hurt. Dammit, I will have to turn back and make sure he is okay.

I waved down an old landrover and explained in my best Portuguese that this kid has broken his femur badly and needs to get to the hospital urgently. I followed the landrover to the hospital only to hear that the bloody Doctor refused to help the poor little boy until he has some file number from the police a road accident procedure. Oh great, oh bloody great, now I have to hand myself in at the police station. As most low budget traveler would have done, I jippoed the third-party insurance thing at the border crossing into Mozambique saved a good R30 for a piece of useless paper. Of course, the first thing the policeman asked for was my third-party insurance papers. So, there I was on my fifth day in Mozambique and in the chooky!! The policeman gave the Doctor a file name, but he took all my papers, bike keys, etc and locked me up in the Xai Xai jail a mere 10 kms from the beautiful beach at Praia do Xai Xai where I was suppose to be.

To make a long story short - I ended up negotiating with the police Capitanos for the whole of the next day and halfway through the next night. I mean after all, it was a fucking accident and no, you cannot charge me 1000 US Dollars, because that is R3000 and that is all the money I have and I am not ending my year-long trip on day five!! It also does not help to argue in English if the Capitanos cannot understand a single bloody word of English, in fact I still do not know why I did not argue with him in Afrikaans, because then at least it would have been easier for me. We settled eventually on 200 US$ and a letter for me signed by the Captain that this 200 US$ would go towards contributing for any additional medicines or medical expenses by the poor victim the little boy. Well, at least, that was what the Portuguese letter was supposed to read!

The next day and evening was spent at Praia do Xai Xai relaxing and being happy that my trip did not end on day five, and being pissed off that I have just lost 20% of the budget in one day, which could relate to at least one month of traveling. There were no camping facilities at Xai Xai, so the tent was pitched on the beach and I just loved the cement patterns and paintings on the old buildings that survived the war.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Moz93/Moz6.jpg)

Riding by myself was great and the trip to Praia do Tofo was awesome a little sand track through miles and miles of Coconut Palms. I was wondering (and hoping) that Johan had left Pretoria and was slowly making his own way up the coast. Tofo was just idyllic. There could not have been more than about 20 locals, mostly fishermen and the odd woman who tapped sap from the Coconut Palms. What must have been cottages were merely concrete skeletons and I opted to camp under the Cassorina trees. The hotel was pretty much intact, but not really functioning. I saw somebody inside the building either the owner or a watchman of a kind. It was damn hot and the sea was lovely with miles of white beach. I saw the local fisherman catching huuuge Sailfish and Baracuda from the beach. I watched them as they cut the fish up into big slices and cooked it in coconut milk and wine (more like a liqueur) mix to this day I have never tasted tastier fish than that day.

On route to Tofo

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A04.jpg)

Apart from the little mishap at Xai Xai, that was now slowly fading and being replaced by scenes of these most breathtaking places. No sign of other travelers, such friendly locals. I think I will hang loose here for another day or two.

Camping at Praia do Tofo under the Cassorina trees

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A05.jpg)

It must have been around 20h00 that evening, just before nightfall when I hear that sweet sound that could only be coming from another thumper making its way through the sand tracks, yes, Johan has caught up with me. I was not expecting him for at least another whole week! He drove from Pretoria to Tofo in two days! Why, I do not know.  I have never asked, but it was good to have somebody to share these amazing places and experiences with.

We planned to camp for another few days. But then, lo and behold the good Lord knows how to make rain in large quantities. It felt like the big rains experienced by Noah a couple of years back. When we woke up the following day, it was raining so hard that the water could not even be soaked up by pure beach sand! Everything was wet, including the two of us. We both bought what we thought were very good tents, but they were no match against the wrath of God!! We decided to pack up and ride in the rain just for the experience of it.

The main road north had more potholes than tarmac, which is normally not a big issue for a scooter but when the whole road and potholes are now all under water it is rather difficult to guess how big the next hole would be that you are going to stumble upon.

Taking shelter under a tree

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A08.jpg)

Villanculos had a brand new little lodge and the owners were very pleasant. We bought a couple of really big squid from the locals which we ate that evening.
Cleaning the squid

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A18.jpg)

Cooking the squid

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A19.jpg)

On route to Inhassoro - first of many flat tyres for me

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A20.jpg)

At Inhassoro we met a crazy Kiwi with a beautiful cherry and (of all things) his main breeding male Pit Bullterrier. What the fuck do you do with a Pit Bullterrier in the middle of Africa? Any case, we teamed up and decided to ask one of the local dow owners to take us to one of the islands about 10km from the coast. I think it was called Benguella. It was really nice and we enjoyed the company, until the Pit Bullterrier got dehydrated (like us). Not a pretty sight he got very moody and I remember at one point, with no real pre-warning, decided to take on his boss. Being a breeder of these nice dogs, the owner knew he had no real chance, so he backed off until the dog had the last of our water and then he grabbed the dog and hanged him from his choke-chain for at least 30 minutes, whilst beating the crap out of him. Being not really used to treating animals like this, he assured us that this is the way to do it with a Pit Bull if he dares to challenge you !! Okay ...

Dow trip to the island

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A09.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A10.jpg)

Camping - Island style

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A11.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A12.jpg)

Well, the deal with the dow owner was that he would leave us on the island for two nights and then retrieve us from the same spot on the third day. He obviously got involved in some other business, because we were waiting on that beach until very late on the afternoon of the third day.  Hanging loose on such an idyllic beach and island is normally rather desirable, but if you have run out of water the previous day, it would have been appreciated if the dow owner had stuck to our plan. We eventually waved the only other dow we saw down to take us back to the main land. An interesting experience it was.

Waiting for the dow to pick us up

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A13.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A14.jpg)

Beira was rather eventful with Johan's bike's timing chain sprocket coming off as we were leaving. The city itself was also interesting in that it was rather big and located in a marshy area, with no functional sewage system and obviously no effort to do much about it during the war.

Johan, investigating ...

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A26.jpg)

We were in a way fortunate that the bike broke down before we left town, but when the local engineering firms best effort was to cut off a piece of 4 inch nail and drive it through the sprocket into the casing and fit the sprocket back, off balance, I wonder whether we were that fortunate. Having said that this event changed our sort-of-plan to head in a roughly northerly direction (which would have been Malawi), because our only option at the time to fix this fuckup of an engineering attempt was to go to Mutare in Zimbabwe to get it fixed properly. So off we went at about 40km/h.

On the way from Beira to Mutare we turned off the road to have a look at the Gorongosa National Park. Johan did his Masters degree in Nature Conservation in Pretoria, so we could not drive past a National Park. It was sad to see that big trucks were hauling loads of indigenous trees off to somewhere - a commercial operation. The few kilometer long track to the entrance of the park was rather scary has not been in use for some time and we were somewhat nervous of land mines. There was not much left of the entrance complex into the park.

A scenic view from the road into the National Park

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A25.jpg)

The remains of the main entrance gate into the Park

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A24.jpg)

We overnight in the bush - this was how and where we slept for most of the trip

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A22.jpg)


Zimbabwe

To follow shortly .........
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: michnus on August 20, 2008, 05:38:45 pm
Be-bliksem!Freaking hell Nardus, this is a lekker trip, sounds even better when you told me about it.  :eek7: :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Metaljockey on August 20, 2008, 05:50:00 pm
Son of a B.......

That's the biggest hairdo I've ever seen on a white man!

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Marion/C03.jpg)





Moerse impressed that you started the report, you just scored yourself a massive amount of effort to come.



Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: PARAMED on August 20, 2008, 05:52:50 pm
Wohoooo.Nardus I am stoked you have started this report,cant wait to see more... This type of travel is what inspires me to dream,and then realize them... Thanks bud. :thumleft:

I still ride a tenere and this for me is still adventure travel in its infancy!

Great stuff,I'm going for a spin now,just to get a taste of what you accomplished......

Lekker.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Yefimovich˛ on August 20, 2008, 05:59:12 pm
Really Awesome! Cant wait for the next installment..  :mwink: :deal:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Cave Girl on August 20, 2008, 06:00:48 pm
Wow thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: dustsucker on August 20, 2008, 06:05:57 pm
 :love10:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Lito on August 20, 2008, 06:06:36 pm
Nice one Nardus. Those Akras couldnt have found a nicer owner  :thumleft:

Tell me - WTF was going on with that hair man.. :o

And second question: is that a Isodome tent in the last few pics? I still got mine - 14 years later - and it works.


Bedonnered report - baie lekker  :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: MrBig on August 20, 2008, 06:29:41 pm
Cool stuff!
But dude.
that hair..

Very happy that you're finally sharing this with us!

:notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Brink on August 20, 2008, 07:01:01 pm
Absolutely awesome story and memories :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Sláinte Mhaith on August 20, 2008, 07:30:37 pm
Cool
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: EtienneXplore on August 20, 2008, 07:36:35 pm
Thanks Nardus,

What a trip !!!!!

Can't wait for the rest  O0

Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Captain Zef on August 20, 2008, 08:14:13 pm
Excellent... can't wait for the rest

:happy1:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Goose on August 20, 2008, 08:17:10 pm
Lekker one Nardu - thanks for sharing. Just watch out for EV wif that "Katskiet-pic" :mwink:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Johnnie Bok on August 20, 2008, 08:37:31 pm
What an experience!!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Smithey on August 20, 2008, 08:46:22 pm
FANTASTIC PHOTOGRAPHS   :thumleft:

Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: JO GSA on August 20, 2008, 08:55:24 pm
Great report, cant wait to read the rest....and yes, the hair do is impresive. Bet you changed it to put on a helmet :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: dieterf on August 20, 2008, 08:56:03 pm
brilliant stuff, keep it up!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS on August 20, 2008, 09:15:54 pm
I want my Tenere back!!. Those bikes have souls.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Lootch67 on August 20, 2008, 09:31:40 pm
I've been waiting for this report ever since Michnus started nagging you on the forum. Brilliant start. Thank you very much for sharing this experience.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: BigEd on August 20, 2008, 10:24:26 pm
Amazing Nardus. Some okes are just free spirits...

Can't wait for the rest.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Plothond on August 20, 2008, 11:33:59 pm
I've been waiting for this report ever since Michnus started nagging you on the forum. Brilliant start. Thank you very much for sharing this experience.

Likewise
Thanks a stack !!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: GundaGunda on August 21, 2008, 06:40:17 am
Hell, this is good stuff, and thanks for it.

Love those wandering albatross' My ole man spent some time on Tristan da Cunha (he was researching copepods) and said he could have spent the rest of his life on the slopes of the volcano watching them.

Pleased he didn't - he came home and made me.   
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on August 21, 2008, 07:54:07 am
Thanks for the replies. I have changed a couple of grammar mistakes.

Dustsucker, my favourite was Gainor Goodman - unfortunately I had to share her with a couple of guys on the Island, but wow she was good (and worked well!!)

Yes, the only good quality items (apart from the XT's) we took with were the two tents. We bought them a month before we left at an Outdoor show there in Midrand (Kayalami) back in 1993 - they were about R1000 each then. Isodome and Isotec tents. You will see later that mine got stolen - was so angry, almost cross.

Glad you guys like my hairdo - damn it was pretty !!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: letsgofishing on August 21, 2008, 08:01:23 am
An amazing experience Nardus - thanks for sharing!
Looking forward to the next instalment!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: bmad on August 21, 2008, 08:12:03 am
Absolutely bloody amazing  :thumleft: :thumleft:

When i saw the author of the topic, i knew it would be epic  :mwink:
Looking forward to the rest.

I am however convinced that that is my Tenere you bought from me. Did it come with an extra engine casing as well as some other crappy parts?
I lived in Arcadia (naby die Hotel 224  :biggrin: :biggrin:)
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: IceCreamMan on August 21, 2008, 08:15:52 am
:love10:

Looks like Linda Lusardi to me not Donna ..

Excellent report
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Kykdaar on August 21, 2008, 08:17:32 am
Fantastic  :thumleft: I also recognised that poster instantly  >:D

Bring on the rest  ;D
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Stofstreep on August 21, 2008, 08:54:50 am
Wow!
Can't wait for the rest.
Thanks for taking the time Nardus.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: eSKaPe on August 21, 2008, 09:19:58 am
Excellent story - man you have lived life a lot...
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Trailrider on August 21, 2008, 09:27:54 am
Looking forward to the next instalment!

+1

(http://trailrider.route42.co.za/Smileys/default/waiting.gif)
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: malgat (RIP) on August 21, 2008, 09:33:34 am
dammmmm,,,,what a scoop,,,,thanx for sharing
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: tok-tokkie on August 21, 2008, 09:52:52 am
I so appreciate that you are writing a report for yourself and then sharing that with us.  What was important and interesting to you adds so much to the story as against reading about stuff that is supposed to be of interest to us outsiders.
I knew you did a trip to Israel but had no idea it was so long ago & under such extreme 'take what you find' circumstances.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: dustsucker on August 21, 2008, 10:04:05 am
:love10:

Looks like Linda Lusardi to me not Donna ..

Excellent report

Only to the UNTRAINED EYE my man  ;D ...That is Donna Ewin 36D cup, i will recognise her blindfolded....Nardus, Gaynor Goodman was second choice, she looked like an elve with those blond hair. Was a boob man back in the days and Gaynor lacked some balloon size  :imaposer: ...also love Sian Adey Jones.

Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: GundaGunda on August 21, 2008, 10:35:11 am
Lekker one Nardu - thanks for sharing. Just watch out for EV wif that "Katskiet-pic" :mwink:

From me good that you take those cats out.

Nothing like a feral cat for stuffing up an ecosystem - ask the Dodo if you can find one.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: growweblaar on August 21, 2008, 10:38:13 am
Fantasties, Nardus :thumleft:. Ons wag vir nog!

Nie geweet daar is iets soos 'n professionele katskieter nie :biggrin:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Yefimovich˛ on August 21, 2008, 10:38:27 am
Just dont touch my kittie! He only looks like one! :patch:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: IceCreamMan on August 21, 2008, 10:43:01 am
Lekker one Nardu - thanks for sharing. Just watch out for EV wif that "Katskiet-pic" :mwink:

From me good that you take those cats out.

Nothing like a feral cat for stuffing up an ecosystem - ask the Dodo if you can find one.

Deja vu ..... is we going to have a repeat?  :pot:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: bradleys on August 21, 2008, 11:37:05 am
COOL REPORT keep it coming,o to be young again ::)
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: MrBig on August 21, 2008, 12:07:29 pm
:love10:

Looks like Linda Lusardi to me not Donna ..

Excellent report

Only to the UNTRAINED EYE my man  ;D ...That is Donna Ewin 36D cup, i will recognise her blindfolded....Nardus, Gaynor Goodman was second choice, she looked like an elve with those blond hair. Was a boob man back in the days and Gaynor lacked some balloon size  :imaposer: ...also love Sian Adey Jones.



Aah â?? Gaynor Goodman.. the memories of a misspent youth comes flooding back..
A short musing if I may:
To say that Kelbrick (my colleague and partner in crime during a stint in Lohatla) â?? had an obsession with naked woman would be like saying that the sky is black. Every centrefold and picture he got his grubby hands on went onto the wall above his bed. He eventually covered 2 complete walls to the ceiling - (I shared a room with him in the barracks.)
So there we were snoring away on that lovely Sunday morning â?? still stukkend after the previous nights â??activitiesâ??, dreamland offering blissful shelter from the fact that we were supposed to be in charge of â??Kerk Paradeâ?ť on that particular day.
A loud bang on the door woke me. I managed to half-open one eye â?? o FOK! â?? the harsh reality of truth dawned on me. HKGK! Next moment the door bursts open and the RSM storms in. I closed my eyes quickly, faked a snore and pretended to be asleep. Secretly hoping that itâ??s all just a bad dream.
My heart raced and I was surprised when the uitkak didnâ??t start raining on me and sneaked a peek to find the RSM in a bemused/shocked/surprised state leisurely inspection our walls. When he got to a particularly racy pic showing some peeking curlys, he tapped the wall with his ever present riding crop and mumbled through his moustache â??Maar hierdie foto is mos onwettig!â?ť 
This didnâ??t seem to deter him though as he kept staring at it.. Finally I couldnâ??t hold it anymore and let out a muffled giggle.  He turned from red to purple in a millisecond and came down on me like a barrel of bricks.
Suffice to say that the story became less funny from there on!

Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: KiLRoy on August 21, 2008, 12:50:55 pm
Befffaaaarkkk  Nardus... thanx for sharing

Gaynor Goodman :-[ :-[ - the troopie's choice ;) Love is never further than an arm's length away... :imaposer:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on August 21, 2008, 01:42:41 pm
Zimbabwe


(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B16.jpg)

We quickly had the cam sprocket sorted out and we decided that we might as well ride through Zim towards Kariba, maybe following the Zambezi River for a bit and so we were on our merry way. We found an awesome spot along the Kariba Dam to camp, about halfway between the town of Kariba and the Matusadona National Park. It was still early, but this is beautiful. We soon realized that the little track we found towards the Dam was leading to a Tsetse Fly Research Camp. All it meant was that there were 2 locals not too far off in their huts, huge herd of cattle that were being monitored and some nets in the bush to catch Tsetse flies.

The friendly folk of Zimbabwe. And who said there are no inventors in Africa? Still cannot believe that Mugabe would turn out to be so cruel towards his own people

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A28.jpg)

This one is for Michnus - a water melon !!

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A33.jpg)

The road to Kariba

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A35.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f3.jpg)

The next morning when we woke up, I saw a Narina Trogan sitting on the tree trunk right in front of my tent. The mozies were really terrible especially at dusk and dawn. In fact, I remember waking up in the morning, hardly being able to see through the tents mosquito net at the door. Each one had its straw protruding through the holes of the mosquito net.

The perfect camping spot - between Kariba and Matusadona

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B7.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B8.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f6.jpg)

We had food for only two days, but it was such a spot that we ended up staying for 5 days. I had a packet of pre-mix pronutro, powder milk and sugar. We ate that for 3 days and it was actually great.

Yes, we did wash from time to time - do not know what my finger was doing in my ring-piece ?!

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B12.jpg)

The Dam, or Lake Kariba as some call it - it must have killed millions of trees and other wild life

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B9.jpg)

We were invaded a couple of times by huge herds of elephant - one night a herd of well over 30. I have to admit that I felt very vulnerable and often plain shit scared. Johan, who grew up in National Parks and the like, handled these situations much better and I was often very glad that I had him as a comrade rather than another scared moegoe like me.

This one surprised me on the way to fetch water

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B10.jpg)

We found a link through to the main gravel road heading south to Victoria Falls. This was really a nice ride and we were slowly getting the feel for the bikes - these roads had those 2 to 4 cm marble like stones and which were rather slippery when any quick maneuver was attempted.

The A1 road along the dam was awesome

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B18.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B19.jpg)

I also remember going for a crap (veltie) in the bush (we often did this together) and whilst pushing out that last terd a couple of dung beetles would make a crash landing next to you and would start hacking away at your droppings. This was generally fine if it was of a firm substance, but more often it was not. Very amusing to watch them though.

We found another lovely little track that appeared to go into our desired direction. We could see that it was not used often and slept there in the middle of the track. That night we heard a lion or two roaring far too close to the tents for my comfort. You can actually feel the tent vibrating as it roars. Again, Johan kept his cool and we survived. As I have expected throughout the night, we found lion spoor a mere 20 meters away from our tents.

Wow...

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B15.jpg)

As we drove off, nothing more than 5 km, we arrived at a homestead with a local guy approaching us and looking very pissed off. We were in some hunting concession area and not actually allowed to be there. He reminded us that it was X-mas day, after introducing himself as Christmas (obviously being born on this great day his parents decided to call him that). He then invited us over for a delicious breakfast- bully beef, tomatoes and a touch of curry powder with stywe pap. What a nice guy and an awesome view of the Zambezi river. He convinced us to stay another day and then we were off, heading for Zambia by now we had decided to follow the Zambezi a bit longer. She really gets prettier and prettier the longer you follow her ...

Johan and Christmas - notice how thin Johan is - he lost almost 20kg already

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B23.jpg)

We all have one of these

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B20.jpg)



Zambia

To follow shortly ........
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: EtienneXplore on August 21, 2008, 01:51:13 pm
Good stuff,


Keep it comming !!!!


Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: KiLRoy on August 21, 2008, 01:52:05 pm
Into the Wild - the movie....????
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Yefimovich˛ on August 21, 2008, 01:53:30 pm
Awesome! Keep it coming!  :drif:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: lonerider on August 21, 2008, 01:58:27 pm
Och man, hte yearning just grows! Thanks Nardus...!

(On an aside, do you know Jan Skoene? Did several trips to Marion, was with me G41 and later mech for my last SANAE takeover (S37).)

Mods, I nominate this for hall of fame already. :)
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Yefimovich˛ on August 21, 2008, 02:14:45 pm

Mods, I nominate this for hall of fame already. :)

+10000
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: ROOI on August 21, 2008, 02:17:57 pm
Fuck man this is awesome true adventure no planning or backup plans just go . :ricky:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: CrazyPorra on August 21, 2008, 02:18:26 pm
Excellent Nardus, hats off to you for doing the ride report, waiting the next installment.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Trailrider on August 21, 2008, 03:12:55 pm
Great! Keep it coming.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: michnus on August 21, 2008, 03:42:15 pm
Moer, Nardus jy doen die report op die verkeerde tyd jou moer!  :biggrin:

Bliksem hoe lus het ek nou vir ry.  :drif: 


Elkeen kies hoe om hulle lewens te geniet waneer hulle nog jonk is. Ek moet se, as ek kyk wat jy met joune gedoen het, het ek myne gemors. Om die grootmens werk lewe te begin met so n trip agter jou moet vir altyd voel soos om in n tronk te wees.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Fidel on August 21, 2008, 03:49:21 pm
My trips seem so insignificant at this very moment.


Nardus, youve inherited the spirit for sure. True adventure biking in all sences of the word.

Exploring our surroundings
Exploring the people of this diverse world
Exploring your own abilities and limits

This is what its about.

Respec

Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: brettp on August 21, 2008, 05:04:49 pm
Man, this is an excellent report. Free spirit, free mind and a free soul!!!

Nice!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: wino on August 21, 2008, 06:41:58 pm
awesome beginning to the report, nardus! this one's heading for a cult following!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Maya_The_Bee on August 21, 2008, 06:54:38 pm
very very inspiring...not many people have the guts to leave being lost in the system and do this..amazing story, enjoying every bit of it. thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: MudCakedFace on August 21, 2008, 06:59:17 pm
Awesome adventure, excellent report. I am not blessed with enough superlatives in my vocab...

Dare I point you to Burt Munro's quote below?

PS: I own a bike like the one in the tour  :pot:  :biggrin:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: GreenMamba1974 on August 21, 2008, 07:01:16 pm
been to zim and zam, you got many stored up memories of mine flooding back, africa is the best, love it

thanks for the post, excellent pics.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Doerengone on August 21, 2008, 10:11:57 pm
Afro s, leather sandals, Yamaha thumpers. Timewarp stuff. Great. Had a SR500 back then as well. Will be following this one for sure.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: CaptainWobble on August 21, 2008, 10:53:39 pm
BRILLIANT!

I want my XTZ600 baaaaack  :drif:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Oppad on August 21, 2008, 11:24:17 pm
Bef...This is the real thing
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Jacko on August 21, 2008, 11:33:25 pm
Nardus

Jy's 'n adventure-biking legend. Ek wonder wat Charley en Ewan daai tyd gedoen het?

Soms dink ek ons worry te veel oor die bikes en farkles en vergeet van die doel van ons passie en belangstelling, ie, die verken van die vreemde en die ontmoet van ander mense. En face it, 'n mens kan dit op 'n Yamaha Passola ook doen (maar hy kan nie groot panniers vat nie  ;D).

Die doel is - en ek dink ons almal is soms skuldig daaraan om dit effens te vergeet - om plekke en mense te ervaar. Of jy nou op 'n gefokte DT50 of 'n pimped-out 1200GSA ry. Die bike is eintlik 'n tool, 'n medium of 'n "enabler" waarmee ons hierdie ongelooflike dinge ervaar.

Ek stel dit as 'n feit dat wat julle gedoen het, iets is wat geld nie kan koop nie. Dis soos The Right Stuff - 'n man het dit, of hy het dit nie.

Jy het dit by die bucket loads, Sir.

Maximum wespec, aai!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Stofstreep on August 22, 2008, 09:29:14 am
:drif: :drif:
Zim is one of the most beautiful countries.
Hope to be able to do something similar one day. Just pack up and go.

Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on August 22, 2008, 09:38:05 am
Kobie and Ans - my Stomp Tande!

As was mentioned at the beginning of the report, my adventurous genes come directly from my parents. I thought you might find this interesting too. I have asked my dad for a couple of slides he had of their trip through Africa, back in 1955. Scanned them onto my computer and will share a couple of pics with you. It was on this trip that they met each other for the first time.

Both of them were not too bad looking, in fact Ans was actually quite a looker (and sexy!)

On their arrival in Europe.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/KobieAns1955/bw8.jpg)

One hundred years later ... these pictures were taken beginning of this year in Lesotho - they went camping !

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/KobieAns1955/23175325.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/KobieAns1955/24180846.jpg)

The group that left Pretoria in 1955 - the oldest member of the group was over 60 years old.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/KobieAns1955/bw9.jpg)

Mokoros tied together as a pontoon in the then Congo

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/KobieAns1955/bw1a.jpg)

Pushing the busses through the Congo

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/KobieAns1955/bw3.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/KobieAns1955/bw4.jpg)

One sunshine day

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/KobieAns1955/k13.jpg)

Over 50 pontoon crossings in Congo (DRC) alone !

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/KobieAns1955/k14.jpg)

Into Sahara Desert - thats my mom

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/KobieAns1955/k38.jpg)

Somewhere

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/KobieAns1955/k42.jpg)

Into the soft stuff !!

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/KobieAns1955/k44.jpg)


And pushing the busses through the Sahara Desert - FAAAK !!

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/KobieAns1955/k33.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/KobieAns1955/bw6.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/KobieAns1955/bw5.jpg)


Now, if you want to know why my Uncles (Oom Retiefs) wife (Tannie Bessie) divorced him eventually 30 years after this trip. The main purpose of this trip - it was their HONEYMOON !!

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/KobieAns1955/bw7.jpg)
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: malgat (RIP) on August 22, 2008, 09:42:37 am
it all makes sense to me....

die appel val nie ver van die boom af....
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Trailrider on August 22, 2008, 09:49:05 am
Wow wow wow
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Red on August 22, 2008, 09:54:45 am
it all makes sense to me....

die appel val nie ver van die boom af....

You lucky man.  Your mother probably send you off with her blessing as well.  She is very special for sure.    :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Biesie on August 22, 2008, 09:56:13 am
Ek bedank sommer en begin ry !!! Die dae toe manne nog manne was en regte bikes gery het ...  :biggrin:

Brilliant RR !! :thumleft:

Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Hidalgo on August 22, 2008, 10:28:32 am
What a report !!!

Thanks for sharing this with us Nardus.

Reading a report like this conjurs up something in me and all I want to do is pack the bike and riiiiiiiiiiddddeee with no worries about bills and all the day to day stuff ....

Awsome  :thumleft:

THX
H
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: albert smit on August 22, 2008, 10:35:00 am
Ek bedank sommer en begin ry !!! Die dae toe manne nog manne was en regte bikes gery het ...  :biggrin:

Brilliant RR !! :thumleft:



Stem ve daai een (regte bikes) - ek ook bedank planne soms - het al dele v Afrika gedoen - maar sal die hele ene moet aandurf... April 2010 is my plan...ook noord sonder defnitiewe planne.....

Dankie vir die report sover Nardus.   :thumleft:

Groete,

A.   ;D


Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on August 22, 2008, 11:54:59 am
Zambia


We actually had to first cross into the Caprivi Strip, part of Namibia, before crossing over into Zambia. I still cannot figure out why Namibia has this loooong protrusion wedged in between a number of other countries.

Ferry crossing over Zambezi River

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C14-1.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B42.jpg)

This part of our journey was fortunately not very eventful, but it surely had some of the most beautiful parts of this continent. The people were extremely friendly, especially towards South Africans. A vibe us white African fellows were not used to experiencing. We would often drive off the road, into the lush bush for a couple of hundred meters, pitch the tents and just sit around with a binocular doing some serious bird watching.

Camping, bird watching, this was life - this was great !!!

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B30.jpg)

Friendly Zambian Kids

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B28.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B26.jpg)

Zambezi sunset

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B27.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B35.jpg)

Cleaning pot and brushing teeth

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B25.jpg)

We followed this road all the up to Mongu, a couple of kilometers from the Angola border and then all across via Lusaka to Patauke, heading for Malawi.

A rapid - upper section of the Zambezi

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B31.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B32.jpg)

The planes between Mungu and Lusaka

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B45.jpg)

A restaurant in the outskirts of Lusaka - the original one !

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B44.jpg)

Filling up with water on the way

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B41.jpg)


One of the local residents, Abel, in the town of Patauke spotted us when we were refueling and invited us to sleep at his place for the night. We had done a couple of hundred kilometers on tarmac and it was time for some adventure again. We noticed that the map showed a track running past the South Luangwa National Park and enquired about it. Abel felt very strongly that we should not attempt it. According to him it has not been used by a vehicle in eight years. Apparently the locals warned the uninformed French tourist with a Landrover that he should not venture on that route but he did so in any case. It took people over 2 months to get the Frenchy and his Landrover out of the mud. We, on the other hand, were on motorbikes and obviously much tougher than a Frenchy. Abel said that we could try, but if it rains we will also get stuck in the mud. No, Abel, look the sun is shining and it will only take us a day or two were my words.

So off we went. Well we were nothing more than 20 km from Abels house when some strange dark clouds appeared from nowhere. About fifteen minutes later it was pouring buckets. We were fixing a flat tyre when 3 local fellows came past on bicycles and they warned us: You better ride while it is still raining, or you will struggle in the mud. Surely I thought, riding in the rain was not so nice, it can only get better once the rain stops. Well, we must have done another 5 km and then the rain stopped. We were slipping and sliding and were all over the place, but not often in the track. I will never forget how Johan started kicking his bike with all his might - he was so angry, frustrated and generally pissed off from all the struggling, almost in tears!! The black mud was slowly turning into a very sticky putty that would clog up both the front and rear sprockets, so much that it stalled the Tenere's engine - not even full throttle in 1st gear could get the rear wheel to turn. It took about 15 minutes to fish out all the mud with a stick and as you were going again the front wheel would stop. It picked up so much mud that the wheel got stuck between the two forks. Needless to say, the 3 locals on their bicycles came walking past us and we never saw them again. We then decided to pitch our tents in the road and wait for the mud to dry out. Two days later we packed up our tents, got on the bikes and rode on. We obviously did not plan for this delay, so we were eating mielie pap mixed with a bit of Bisto sauce for five days!!

This is where the rain started - I hope you have noticed the luxury chair on my handlebars !

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B47-1.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B50.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B52.jpg)

We left the bikes 50m apart and pitched the tents in between for 2 nights

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B54A.jpg)

Note the clogged up front wheel

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B53.jpg)

By the third day, most of the roads were negotiable, until we got to the place where the Frenchy got stuck. Yes, his 8 year old tracks were still there. His tracks were so deep in the mud that our pannier boxes would rest on the sides of his track and the wheel would hang in a puddle of water. The locals helped us to push the bikes through. We gave them our Malaria pills, as we had decided to stop taking them - cannot keep on taking them for so long - cant be healthy.

Pushing our way through in the Frenchy's tracks.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B55A.jpg)

Apart from loosing some sweat and struggling a bit in the mud, it was exceptionally beautiful in this part of Zambia. It must be worth coming back to stay at this National Park one day (which I did, in 1996)

Safe at last!!

This was close to the National Park entrance gate

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B49.jpg)

And our last nights camping at a Rhino Camp before heading off to Malawi

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B48.jpg)


Malawi


Most of you have probably been to Malawi - what a great place! Cape Maclear in those days was a bit wilder (less commercial). The only place to stay was at Mr Stevens, who would cart all his stock and tourists with a very old Datsun 1600 bakkie. Nowadays, Mr Stevens dont really feature anymore, but Cape Maclear is still a great place to park off at.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/29.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/29a.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/29b.jpg)

Cape Maclear Nature Reserve

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f9.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/img2_6.jpg)

Johan had a friend that worked and stayed in the Liwonde National Park, so we stopped over for two days with his family (Riaan, was his name). He was at the time constructing the Mvuu Camp and did some work on the Rhinos. Again, a very nice Park worth visiting.

A view from within the Liwonde National Park - long ago Malawi would have looked like this, but with the overpopulation we mostly see mangos, mielie fields villages

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B57C.jpg)

At Riaan's house in the Park - what a nice place to live and the kids are getting home-schooled here - lucky bastards !!

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B57D.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B57E.jpg)


Let me take a short diversion and tell you a bit more about my riding companion and good friend Johan Robinson.

What a man !!

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/img1_4.jpg)

I met Johan during my studies in Stellenbosch, he stayed in a house across from ours. His dad is Robbie Robinson, who was the Director for National Parks in SA for a while. The result of having a very eccentric father with very eccentric genes is that your child will often be even more of an oddball than yourself. In fact, Johan was somewhat of a misfit in society. He grew up in the bush (in Parks and the like, throughout SA) with no friends of the human kind and it was only when he went to high school in George that he started socializing with people. Johan was extremely shy and withdrawn in front of people he didnt know. I will never forget when a group of our friends sat in a room in Stellenbosh, drinking a beer and chatting, when somebody that Johan did not know entered the room to join the discussion. Johan would, without anybody realizing it, stand up walk over to the far corner of the room and sit there on the floor - not participating anymore. (He has improved slightly over time).

As a riding partner on a trip like this, you could not really ask for a better partner. He is very familiar with being in the wild, keen for adventure, low maintenance and will only speak when necessary. Johan and I are good friends to this day. Johan is now married with two kids and has been working in Africa ever since.

Daai Johannes Kerkfiets Deng. Taken last year on my farm.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/DSCF4123.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/DSCF4121.jpg)

Back to my story

We slept a night right on top of the Zomba plateau. As we were not allowed to do that, we had to leave early in the morning. That night I developed a helluva headache. It can only be Malaria fever. I did not want to take the Fansidar tablets, not knowing what the result would be as I still had to ride bike in the morning.

We left for Mulanje and it was extremely painful. The last 70 kilometers I had to stand on my footpegs just to keep the vibration of the bike and road away from my head. I could not recall any memory of the last few kilometers or arrival at Mulanje. Apparently, Johan pitched my tent, threw the three tablets down my throat, dragged me into the tent, appointed a local skivvy to keep on eye on me, purchased a huuuuge Mulanje pineapple and a bunch of bananas, which he left in my tent. Seeing that I will not be around for a day or two, Johan then left to climb Mount Mulanje. A recall a couple of times where I wanted to turn around or go for a pee, but the pain kept me lying in the same position.

I woke up three days later with very full bladder and the headache gone. Took a ten minute wee and ate the pineapple and bananas. Found a river close-by and took a nice swim - very refreshing. Johan returned that afternoon and was glad that I am okay. According to him the mountain was a must-see, so the next morning we both climbed the mountain - very steep, with real Fynbos at the top.

Mt Mulanje

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/img2_3.jpg)

On top of Mount Mulanje

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f7.jpg)

Locals are felling and sawing Mulanje Ceder trees on top the mountain and were getting paid 5 Kwatcha (50cents in USD) per 6m plank for carrying it down !!

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f8.jpg)

Then we were off to Mangochi and back into Mozambique



Back to Mozambique !

Will follow soon ...
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: popipants on August 22, 2008, 12:30:13 pm
STOP THIS NOW!!!!

I have got work to do!!!!!



Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: letsgofishing on August 22, 2008, 01:05:16 pm
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Nardus, this is THE best ride report EVER!
Well done man!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: CaptainWobble on August 22, 2008, 01:13:23 pm
The thread is turning into an obsession.  :drif:

But Is still can't get over that hair on the first page...   :)
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: funacide on August 22, 2008, 01:18:23 pm
Nardus

Awesome stuff. This is so inspiring and makes me want to leave tomorrow.. Well done and keep it coming  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: JohnST on August 22, 2008, 01:45:08 pm
This is the mother of all ride reports!! Well done!!

Maak my moer lus om sommer via Namibie huistoe te ry vanmiddag!!  ;D
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Yefimovich˛ on August 22, 2008, 02:00:06 pm
STOP THIS NOW!!!!

I have got work to do!!!!!





+10000000000000000000 :thumleft: :thumleft: ;D ;D
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: dustsucker on August 22, 2008, 02:33:59 pm
ek vlieg elke maal heel ingedagte op, stap in die kombuis in en soek in die yskas vir `n milk stout om aan te suig terwyl ek lees...net om te besef ek is by die werk en al wat in die yskas is is `n bakkie yoghurt and gemufte kaas.  ;D
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Stofstreep on August 22, 2008, 02:41:11 pm
.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: zetman on August 22, 2008, 03:17:52 pm
Hel my maat jy is die koning van Adventure  :drif:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Malice on August 22, 2008, 04:45:59 pm
Respect.

That is all.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: u-go on August 22, 2008, 06:06:32 pm
Awe-inspiring! Baie dankie vir die deel
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: JustBiking on August 22, 2008, 11:06:49 pm
Awesome and inspiring - what an adventure. Thanks for sharing. :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: David van Breda on August 23, 2008, 12:17:53 am
Humbling reading this Nardus . . . my goodness! :salut:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Geoff on August 23, 2008, 07:38:35 am
Thanks for time and effort ,big kahoonas to do trip like this .
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: LanceSA on August 23, 2008, 08:39:20 am
I have heard 'urban legend' stories about this ride from a number of people over the years. Now it's great to read the actual story. Please keep it coming, I can hardly wait.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: durtseeker on August 24, 2008, 07:07:58 pm
Greate RR  :thumleft:
Dis genoeg om enige iemand net te laat oppak en ry. Thanks
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Uiltjie on August 25, 2008, 08:37:38 am
Jou moer Nardus, jy smokkel nou met ons almal se koppe! >:(

Well done! :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: dustsucker on August 25, 2008, 08:41:38 am
Ag nee kom nou Nardus...ek het vandag my bunsen burner wat ek in by die skool gezop het en marshmellows werk toe gebring en nog boggerol storie  ???  Ek gaan `n aartappel in een van daai Akropof`s druk Desember.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on August 25, 2008, 08:45:11 am
Small world...

I was checking this photo which I posted on the first page and thought I need to explain something. We were a small crowd of crownies on the island. Both Hennie (Houtvoel/Jors) and Donald Mathewson (Posner) are both living in East London. Hennie has been a good friend since the island days - he was one of the moegoes in Pretoria that was suppose to do this trip with me - he even bought a bike. Although he was not able to at the time, since then Hennie and I must have done about 10 bike trips together. This is the Hennie that did the Angola and Kaokaland trips that you might have read from the Metaljockey reports.

Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: bradleys on August 25, 2008, 10:06:28 am
Cool report,keep it comming ;D,Must go do some work now.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on August 25, 2008, 10:56:31 am
Back in Mozambique !


The border post at Chiponde was non-existing. We entered Mozambique and realized that there was no border post. We eventually found a local that called an official over. The official signed our passports, but no stamps or paperwork for us or the bikes.

This track was a biker's paradise. Miles and miles of dirt track, meandering through the most beautiful Miombo Forests and granite outcrops. The road surface was fairly firm, but would be a complete mud pool if it rains. The people were very friendly and only a couple of locals had moved back to this area, since the end of the war. Cuamba was nothing more than a ghost town. The only sign of life was a newly erected clinic.

The road from Malawi to the Mozambique coast - what a beauty !

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f11.jpg)

Camping at the clinic at Cuamba
(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f10.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/img2_8.jpg)

Remnants of the war

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/img2_1.jpg)

We must have crossed over a hundred little streams and rivers, all of them had at best a couple of tree trunks as a bridge and it was quite a battle sometimes to balance yourself and the bike on them. After a day or so, we entered a town called Ribaue. All the buildings were pretty much intact, but no people. As we stopped we could hear some cheering noises. We followed the noise and got to a sports field, in fact it was one of those typical Moz cement structures - more like a proper stadium. The town population was nothing more than about 50 people and they were all at the stadium, either participating or cheering in a local football match. Johan and I joined them and stayed over in town for the night. Wow, this northern Mozambique was really special.

The granite outcrops on the way to Ribaue

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f12.jpg)

A local fellow - as you can see, the people are really poor

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f15.jpg)

We eventually reached the coast at IIha de Mozambique (south of Nacala). We found a 5 or 7 km long bridge running into the ocean to the little village on the island. There was a serious thunderstorm brewing, so quickly nipped over the bridge, but as we got to the island the wrath of God again manifested in the form of a thunderstorm that burst out upon us. We followed a little track west and pitched our tent at the first flat area we could find. Needless to say we were soaking wet but remained in the tent for about 3 hours until it ended. We crawled out and waited about half an hour for all the water to disappear. We had pitched the Isotec tent on a tarmac parking area in front of an old Fort. That explained why we could not get any of the tent pegs into the ground!

The bridge to the Island with the looming thunderstorm

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f17.jpg)

Dhow repairs on the Island

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f18.jpg)

The island was great and the village centre was buzzing with people who were amazingly colourful - especially the women who wore a lot of bright green, yellow and orange material.

We also then realized that we took a 6000 km detour, via Zim, Zambia and Malawi and we only moved about 200 km north towards our target. Ooops !!

Johan and I got lost at some point and followed the wrong road. We were stopped by soldiers. We soon realize that it was a Bangladeshi United Nations camp. The officers invited us over and we had coffee and cornflakes with milk and sugar. In fact we had 5 bowls each. The officers were stunned at our hunger and they could see from the smiles on our faces that they need to give us another full packet of cornflakes and a litre of milk for the road - which they did ! O yes, they also gave us a big poster of Bangladesh - the kind you find at a travel centre, why?  We couldn't figure that out?? Such nice people.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f14.jpg)

We consumed the cornflakes and milk with vigour and notice the poster

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f13.jpg)

We thought we were rather tough to ride these roads, until this fellow biker came past us - his destination was a good 40 km further !

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f16.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/img2_4.jpg)


The higher up we went in Mozambique, the more people warned us about crossing the Rovuma River - no ferry, only ordinary dugouts (makoros). So, at our arrival in Pemba we went straight to the habour to enquire about a possible boat ride up the coast. The first thing the officials requested was our passports and documents for the bikes. We replied that we are only enquiring, but will come back later with all the paperwork. We realized that without any proof of our entry into Mozambique, we were going to struggle to convince an official somewhere to let us out of the country - ooops! A boat trip would be possible, but it could take a week or two for one to come past Pemba. Our real problem was our illegal entry into Mozambique.

Camping spot at Pemba and using some local knowledge before exploring further north

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f19.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f20.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/img2_21.jpg)


We drove a couple of kilometers south and pitched our tents away from most people along the beach. There was quite a neat looking resort area close-by. The plan was to duck early and make some other plan to get out of Mozambique, before we get asked about our paperwork. As we were sleeping that night at about 22h00, we woke up with a moerse commotion outside and the sound of rifles cocking. Somebody was by then shouting at the door of the tent in Portuguese. We opened the tent doors and were greeted by spotlights and about 10 AK47s were being poked into the tents. Both Johan and I (by then white as sheets) stumbled bare naked out of the tents shouting back at the army guys - tourists, tourists!!. The actual Portuguese word for tourist must sound fairly similar, because it often seems to help when in such a dilemma. We hauled out our passports and as soon as the commotion had started, it ended. Thank God !! We ended up spending a good hour talking crap to the commander and showing him where we came from and where we were going, on the Michelin map.

The next day we rode up to Mocumboa de Praia. Not a very scenic place, but we tried in town to get hold of local fishermen or dhow owners to see if somebody was not willing to take us across the border to Tanzania. No takers.

The roads north of Pemba were actually in good condition - the road reserves needed a bit of clearing

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f21.jpg)

Camping

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f2.jpg)


We again slept on the beach, just north of the town. Again at about 04h00 in the morning, we woke up with a helluva commotion outside our tent. There was this scruffy looking chap that could not speak a word of English pointing north and we could recognize the word Mtwara in some of his rumblings. We agreed a price with him and at 05h00, as it was getting light we were ready to board the ship. The dhow was moored about 20 meters off shore. I still do not know how we managed. We were four people and we managed to pick up the bikes and carry them across to the dhow. The water was close to 1 meter deep where the dhow was waiting. That means that we had to lift the bikes over our shoulders and over the side of the dhow. Holy smacker - all I could remember is that it was a real mission. Well, by about 06h00 we were on our way to Mtwara, Tanzania.

Bikes loaded and ready to go - note the distance we had to carry the bikes to the Dhow

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f22.jpg)

Everybody cozy - the Captain used my helmet to appear more like a real Captain

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f23.jpg)

What the Capitanos forgot to tell us is that it will take us 3 full days to get there and we had no food or water with us. It was quite an experience to sail with the dhow. We sailed passed a couple of little mangrove islands and moored next to one at about lunch time. Then we waited and waited. After about 2 hours, we realized that he is waiting for the tide to subside. What appeared like a normal rock in the sea, slowly got exposed into this huge mushroom-shaped rock. The mission of this dhow we then realized was to cut firewood from this island. We assisted a bit to load the dhow, but we were now rather hungry. Johan disappeared for an hour and came back with a huge octopus. We cooked it right there, and believe me it tasted like butter!

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C1.jpg)

The last night, the dhow moored off shore at the most northern village, called Palma. We wondered through town before sleeping on the beach. The people in town were extremely friendly and all the houses were constructed from coral reef and palm leaves. It was really a great experience.

I had the fright of my life when we left the next morning early. We poled the dhow out of the bay at about 04h00 in the morning - still pitch dark and there was no wind for sailing. I was getting hot from the exercise, so I took off my homemade leather jacket and threw it over my bikes handlebars - it also had my pocket  money and passport in the inside pocket. At about 04h30, the wind picked up and the Captain hoisted the boom and let go of the bottom corner of the dhows triangular sail. Hii-haa, and off we went. It soon become rather chilly, so I wanted to put on my jacket again - hmmmm, which jacket !!

Hi Capitanos !! Pasaporto - it fell into oceanos, we must turn back to Palma, por favor !! He eventually understood something was wrong, not so much from my explanation I guess, but from my panic attack and hand signals. Down came the boom and we started poling the dhow back to Palma. What a disaster - one could not be further away from anywhere being stuck without a passport and money. Now picture the scene: we are about 1km from shore, pitch dark and looking for the black leather jacket that fell off the boat into the black ocean a couple of hundred meters back. I remember telling Johan that this experience must have been similar to the one who invented the needle lost in the hay stack story. After a couple of minutes, realizing that we cant see anything, I started to connect a little florescent tube I had in the pannier to the battery - and sending up a little prayer! I shouted to Johan to rather come and look here where I will shine the light. As I stretched my arm out with the light, less than half a meter from the dhow is the leather jacket drifting past us. It had obviously trapped a bit of air between the jacket and the water when it fell over. The timing and place was spot on. Thank you, Jesus. I promise to never be naughty again !! This was very close to another end of my trip.


Tanzania

Will follow shortly (with pictures)....
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: CrazyPorra on August 25, 2008, 11:14:14 am
Eish. Now this is good.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: dustsucker on August 25, 2008, 01:27:24 pm
Flippit Nardus, jy mag maar `n storie vertel  :thumleft: tjomp marshmellow tjomp tjomp.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Joyride on August 25, 2008, 01:36:33 pm
Fok Nardus, you must've scared the birds on the island to death with that hair!!!

Moerse nice report, please keep it coming!!

Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Stofstreep on August 26, 2008, 08:32:58 am
Wow!
I enjoy this read very much thanks.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Operator on August 26, 2008, 08:53:13 am
Thanks Nardus..........this is good reading.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: bradleys on August 26, 2008, 01:18:32 pm
Nardus shit man ,really a cool story, cant wait for the next instalment
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: masehare on August 26, 2008, 01:48:06 pm
Dankie dat jy hierdie storie met ons deel.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Maverick on August 26, 2008, 03:11:00 pm
Simply awesome dude  :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on August 27, 2008, 08:18:06 am
Tanzania


For everybody's sake, I wish that Tanzania was a bit closer to South Africa. Miles of hidden gravel tracks, tropical coastline, sparsely populated central area, Lake Tanganyika, Ngorongoro crater, Serengeti planes, part of Lake Victoria, Mount Kilimanjaro, really only one tar road - getting the picture - a bikers paradise !!

So, the dhow dropped us off at Mtwara. To our surprise, there was a little hut about 30 meters from the beach - an immigration office. I think we arrived there during lunchtime, because it was closed. As we waited, one or two local fellows came closer to have a look at these whities with their big scooters. As always, the first thing they would ask is where we were from. And we always replied: South Africa/Afrique du Sud.  Unlike before, we received a rather unwelcome glare. The one guy in particular was rather difficult. Both Johan and me kept our cool, remained friendly and answered all their questions. He kept calling us (in a derogative manner) Maburu. After some time he could not keep it in any longer and asked us directly: Why do you hate black people? and Why are you killing them?

I grew up in a house where my parents hated the previous government and I think Johans parents too. So we calmly explained that there were, and still are, some white folk, but not all, that have no respect for other people, but that we belong with people who were not like them ...blah, blah, blah ...

By then the immigration office opened so we went over rather nervously, also because we had no visas for Tanzania. The official was extremely friendly and helpful and issued us with visas, stamped the passports and booked our motorbikes in  legally, with the Carne's and all.

We were walking back to our scooters when the difficult fellow came over to us and explained that he is looking after a developer's land about 10 km up the beach. We are welcome to visit him, look at the place and sleep over if we want to. Holy smacker, how is that for a quick change of heart. Johan and I looked at each other, evaluated the pristine coastline with its long white beach, crystal clear water, sunshine, palm trees, we nodded to each other, climbed on the scooters and drove up the beach until we saw his palm-leaved hut.

This was the spot !!!! Is this idyllic or what ?? Damn, should have stayed for a week.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C03-1.jpg)


As you know, Tanzania was one of African countries that were sympathetic towards the ANC and very hostile towards the old government. No SA whities were allowed into Tanzania for quite some time. We were most probably the first ones to fart around in this part of Tanzania. He explained to us that Maburu is a Swahili word that was invented for white South Africans and it literally means that you hate and kill black people and are un-rehabilitate-able (his words). We assumed it derived from
Boer, but these people had never heard of boere before. We spent the whole evening around a fire explaining the SA politics to him and his girlfriends. As you can imagine, they also did not get the whole story from their sources. (Remember that we were there in about February 1994).

Well, we were treated like kings. Rice fried in a pan and then cooked in coconut milk and a variety of fish. Went snorkeling with him the next morning - stunning !! He wrote us a long list of Swahili words that we would need to know for our journey. I wish we had stayed there for a couple of days more.


We slept one night at Lindi, again what a spot !! Back in those days nobody catered for tourists that far south along the Tanzanian coast, so one could pretty much do what you want. This was also the last night that I slept in my tent - sad, sad, sad.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C04.jpg)


Taking a quick crap before arriving at Lindi

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f24.jpg)

A local restaurant

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f25.jpg)

Wow, look at the track running up the coast !! This was unreal, but I would hate to be here when it rains !!

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C09.jpg)

Lush bush all the way

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C06A.jpg)

I assume that this road would be tarmac by now - hope not!

I bought my bike with a Kenda K270 rear tyre - obviously with a couple of miles on it. I must have done at least 6000 kilometers prior to this trip. This trip was now standing on about 13 000 kms. The tyre, therefore, had done at least 20 000km. Not bad. But now was the time to change it.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C14B-1.jpg)

We got to our first coastal T-junction after about 300 kms -  a turnoff heading to three different places, each starting with Kilwa. We choose Kilwa Kuvinje.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C14A.jpg)

Wow !! What a beautiful spot.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C12.jpg)

Not sure how they get such a big dhow back to the water. Repair work being done, replacing one plank at a time, like a puzzle.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C11-1.jpg)

Johan showed signs of Malaria, so he popped his Fansidar pills and we decided to only pitch his tent so that he can sleep. With some bad luck, it was the month of Ramadan, so no food was available until very late at night. I grabbed my camera and Johan slept in the tent. The ruins in town are apparently from old slave trade buildings - a really stunning place.


(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C10-1.jpg)

That night at about 01h00, we both woke up from somebody falling over the tent line. Johan stuck his head out of the window and shouted :JOU FOKKEN BLIKSEM  KOM HIER!!!  AS EK JOU VANG DONNER EK VIR JOU !!! (Sorry, this cannot really be translated, but it relates to something like this. Your dirty rascal come here. If I catch you, I will beat you up!) And with that he leaped out of the tent with only his underpants on. I was stunned, but also maneuvered myself out of the tent. I saw Johan chasing a couple of kids down the road, he turned around eventually and picked up his bike and pushed it back to the tent. I still said: Damn, Johan that was a close shave and thinking to myself that I am glad it was not my bike. I walked around the tent only to realize that my bike is GONE - YES, GONE, NOT THERE - MISSING  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let me cut this short. Eventually we found the bike the next morning at about 05h30 on a secluded beach, but all my belongings were gone. This experience was bad - worst than the mud, sand, or the leather jacket with my passport in the ocean experience. I then had to decide if and how to carry on.

Fortunately, I had the bike - most important item - that was close  very, very close. Because Johan was sick and in the tent, I threw my jacket with passport, money and Carne into the tent that previous afternoon. All my other belongings were on the bike. My tent, raincoat, boots, bike spares, a shirt, my only jeans, my 10 empty slide films (and one full one), and all other pieces of crap were all gone. The decision was easy - carry on !! Since then, we slept a bit more lightly and more aware of what went on outside and where our bikes were. (MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT THE BIKE AND THE REST OF AFRICA ....!!)

The crime scene.  After finding the bike, we packed up and left with a very bitter taste in the mouths.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C13.jpg)

We headed north, crossing the mighty Rufiji River, past Dar Es Salam and stopped for a day or so at Bagamoyo - another interesting little town with a lot of history and character. Burton and Speak, the famous explorers, started some of their expeditions from here. Those of you that have watched the movie Mountains of the Moon will know how they got fucked up here at Bagamoyo. But what a beautiful town.

The Rufiji River

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/B38-1.jpg)

On the way out of Bagamoya, Johan and I took our daily crap in the bush together. As always we would examine the remains. I think we thought that any signs of health problems could well manifest first in the crap. Generally we were of exceptional good health, but that morning we discovered that Johan had worms !

Johan cleaning the carburetor and points - the coastal air did from time to time cause the XT500 to struggle to start.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C07.jpg)


We turned west (again) at Tanga, towards Mochi. We are now close to the Kenya border and exactly below Mount Kilimanjaro. It was very nice at the time to get out of the tropical coastal area. Around Mochi it is dry with only grass and thorn trees - lovely. It was great that all our scratches, cuts and bruzes (that turned septic at the coast) were able to heal - wounds that we had carried for over a month got better within two days. Betadine, acts like a growing medium for germs generally, but at the coast it is even worse.

The savannah veld, around the Moshi area

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C15.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f26.jpg)

Camping in the dry air was a nice change

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f27.jpg)

We found a track running past the foot of Mt Kilimanjaro via Sanya Yuu. Another thunderstorm was approaching and Mt Kilimanjaro was covered with clouds, so we pulled into the bush and started to pitch our tent. A local fellow came up to us and promptly invited us to rather stay at his house. On arrival we actually felt a bit awkward as he kicked his wife out to sleep outside and offered Johan and I the bed. We did not want to get involved in a family brawl, so we accepted the offer. He told us that we will only see the mountain between 05h00 and 06h00 in the morning, the rest of the time it will be covered with clouds.

The friendly man that was willing to kick his wife out of bed to make space for Johan and me

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f28.jpg)

Again, the local knowledge was spot on and we managed to capture a couple of shots before 06h00 the next morning. It was really a special moment to see this mountain - there is something majestic about her.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C17.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C16.jpg)

With that, we were off to Arusha via a little gravel track.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C18.jpg)

An interesting story that we were told by one of the locals was that Tanzania is rather unique in Africa in that it has around 140 different ethnic groups, which have had no internal conflicts between these groups for over 30 years. This was due to some forced removals that took place in the 1960 (I think), when the government mixed all the tribes forcefully to prevent any infighting in future. It was very traumatic at the time, but the end result was successful.

It was really awesome riding in this savannah veld where your mind struggles to absorb the beauty of everything that you see. And then, as we thought it can't get any better, there it is - an exact picture of the dream I had had on Marion Island and subsequent recollections of that same image !!!! I stopped the bike, got off, watched the scene in front of me and started to cry (Moffie, I know), but this was just too much for me. By the time Johan caught up with me the tears were flowing vigorously. Johan is not really the emotional type. I think he struggled a bit with how to deal with the situation, so he did what Johan did best. He walked off for about 50 meters, sat down on a rock and watched the scene of these African planes for about an hour. With no words spoken, we got back on the bikes and drove off to Arusha.

Not such a nice picture, but this was the emotional highlight for me

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C19.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f29.jpg)


Down in the valley, Johan feeling pity for the Masai boy who is slightly thinner than him (must say, not much)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C20.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C21.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f30.jpg)

We spent a day or two at Arusha - a rather nice little buzzing town with a couple of government departments and a lot of tourists, restaurants, lodges, etc., catering for all the people going to the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro National Parks.

With our money getting rather low and Johan's lust for staying and working in Africa, we parted our ways here. Johan stayed in Arusha to see if he cannot find a job in one of the National Parks. In addition, we had now spent over 4 months together - riding together, every time we stop we really only could share things with each other whether good or bad, and since my tent was stolen we now also had to sleep together. If the partner was a pretty immoral woman with nice boobs, it might have been different, but neither one of us fitted the above criteria. So yes, it was becoming more and more difficult to tolerate each other. Poor Johan, I have to admit, struggled here a bit more than me. (My current wife will also have sympathy with Johan's situation - and she has nice boobs !) It was, therefore, not too difficult to agree, or to concoct some scheme to part for a while.

From all the staring at the map over the past few months, I developed an urge to ride around Lake Victoria. We agreed that we will meet up in Nairobi in two to three weeks time - that is if I do not get stuck somewhere and if Johan had no luck finding a job.

I drove to the entrance gate of the Ngorongoro National Park, knowing that I will not be allowed in, but this is the only road through to Lake Victoria. It is a stunning ride to the Park, passing Lake Manyara.

Climbing up to Ngorongoro with Lake Manyara in the background

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C22.jpg)

After spending a couple of hours at the gate, a truck carrying maize flour arrived and were en route towards Lake Victoria. I convinced the driver to load my bike in the truck and with that I was off for a drive past the Ngorongoro crater and through the Serengeti planes - hiii haaa !!! Smackers - it is really amazing to see the crater with its tropical forests at the top and savannah down below, and all the animals in the Serengeti (thousands of wildebeest and zebra). I must admit, apart from the wildebeest and zebra, the white tourist combi's were the second most sited attraction in the park - it does depreciate the experience to a large extent.

The Ngorongoro Crater

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C23.jpg)

The Serengeti planes

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C24.jpg)

A rock showing signs of wear from years of drumming

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/img001.jpg)


Close to the exit of the park

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C25.jpg)

The journey through the park was long, the road was badly corrugated, and the driver had only one tape - Lucky Dube. Now of all men, I can appreciate Lucky Dube (the saviour), but that was tough. On arrival at Bumda, at least half of the cargo of flour had accumulated and penetrated every possible part of the bike - it was bad.

Offloading the bike at Bumda

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C26.jpg)

Although Mwanza was the next destination, something drew me to see what Nansio look like. On the way I stopped in a small village, somewhere around Kibara, at a building with the words -Rafiki Hotel- written on it. It was in fact no Hotel, but a little shop that sold nothing more than tea and a bread roll type thing. It was getting rather late so I asked the shop keeper if I could crash in a little room at the back of the hotel. He felt very uncomfortable with the idea, but agreed eventually.

Growing Kasawa in between the rocks

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C29-1.jpg)

Marabou Stork at Lake Victoria

 (http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C27.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C32-1.jpg)

Visiting a local family - had to taste fresh milk and blood from cow

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C28-1.jpg)


Well, six days later I left the Rafiki Hotel. It felt like a couple of hours. I had made such good friends with a crowd of people in this village. You must have heard (even if it was from a movie scene) those real African drums playing until late at night, coming from the bush. Well, I was even taken to see where that comes from. They showed me everything that Kibara had to offer - it was a very sad moment to leave my friends behind. Rafiki in Swahili means friend - now how is that.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C31.jpg)

Due to my unplanned delay at Kibara, I opted to take the ferry across the southern part of Lake Victoria to Bukoba close to the Uganda border. I also heard that there was sone turmoil in Rwanda and Burundi and did not want to venture too close to the action. The ferry departed late from Mwanza harbour and I had the opportunity to watch the African Cup football match between Bafana Bafana and Zambia in a local pub. Wow, that was a great match. The journey on the ferry was mainly at night, but one thing I can recall was the bad engineering (or ergonomics) that was applied in the men's toilet. It was a standard stainless steel almost 3 meter long urinal -piskrip-. As a typical African ferry, it was overcrowded and cigarette butts (for example) were also thrown into the urinal. Within an hour the urinal was filled with piss and that together with the rocking of the ferry caused the piss to run from one side to the next. Each time it hits the far end, it explodes, and so on !!

Boarding the Ferry to cross a part of Lake Victoria at Mwanza

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f32.jpg)


Uganda

To follow soon .....
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: bmad on August 27, 2008, 08:50:58 am

I am in awe....

Now this is a fine way to start a day, with an epic journey installment.
Thanks Nardus, you're a LEGEND  :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on August 27, 2008, 09:05:40 am
Och man, hte yearning just grows! Thanks Nardus...!

(On an aside, do you know Jan Skoene? Did several trips to Marion, was with me G41 and later mech for my last SANAE takeover (S37).)

Mods, I nominate this for hall of fame already. :)

Lonerider, yes I know Jan Skoene. He was a frequent visitor to our commune in Pretoria - we had a couple of common friends - Botes (Francois) - may he rest in peace, Jo, Sua, etc...
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Operator on August 27, 2008, 09:08:25 am
Keep it coming.................. :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: malgat (RIP) on August 27, 2008, 12:17:56 pm
dammm,,,this reading the memoirs is becoming the hilite of my day,,,,

thanx for sharing,,,,respect
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: MrBig on August 27, 2008, 02:26:54 pm
fantastic! keep it coming PLEASE
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: michnus on August 27, 2008, 03:05:40 pm
Kenda K270, still being made 20years later?  :)


(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C14B-1.jpg)
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: bradleys on August 27, 2008, 03:09:31 pm
KEEP IT COMMING ,what a great read,respect BRO.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: keithk on August 27, 2008, 05:56:21 pm
Nardus this is an amazing RR you should have it printed and bound , for the last couple of days I have been rushing home to read the latest chapter. This RR will take a lot of beating WELL DONE  :thumleft:  :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Miena Moo on August 27, 2008, 09:01:29 pm
I have no words.Excellent.........
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Yefimovich˛ on August 28, 2008, 12:35:13 pm
Amazing!! :thumleft: Thanks my workday just became better!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: bobnob on August 28, 2008, 12:40:31 pm
cool stuff  :thumleft:

when you doing an anniversary tour  :ricky:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Maverick on August 28, 2008, 03:10:02 pm
Ja thanks another lunch time in sy moer  :biggrin:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on August 29, 2008, 08:21:23 am
Uganda


Both Johan and I had a fear of big cities. Now, being by myself I did not have the balls to pass through Kampala. The alternate route was somewhat of a detour but looked as if it was really passing through the rural areas of Uganda. I must say, it was quite different from what I expected, but still amazing. My expectations were that it will be much more tropical, but a mountain range on the then Zaire side of the rift valley obviously caused a bit of a rain shadow over the rift valley on the Uganda side.

A view towards Zaire (now DRC)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C34.jpg)

I found a track of about 60 km that run through some indigenous forest, but for the rest it was mainly plantations

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C40.jpg)

Having said that, without a raincoat and some serious thunderstorms which do not get affected by the mountain range, you have to take shelter - even if it is in the local butchery

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C37-1.jpg)

The food in Uganda was interesting. Their staple diet, instead of pap or rice, is stewed green bananas - called Matooke. The bananas are picked when green and still rock hard. They are peeled with a panga and then stewed in banana leaves in a black pot on the fire until it is of the same consistency as pap. Because they are picked green, it does not have a banana flavour.

A lot of land in Uganda has been cleared for agriculture, mostly sugar cane and banana plantations. I assume the sugar cane gets into a processing facility, but the bananas is all over - in cars, on trucks, on shoulders, on bicycles, in taxis and in the people's mouths. Banana's, banana's all over. The souties and prostitutes from KwaZulu-Natal will really feel at home here !!

Banana country.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C33.jpg)


Passing through the Queen Elizabeth National Park, I noticed a white line across the tarmac road with two white concrete -wheels- on either side of the road - it was the Equator!! Bloody wow - this is roughly halfway through Africa. It was a bit crappy not being able to share the moment with anybody. I took this picture of myself - it was quite tricky to balance the camera on my sleeping bag, then to run and stand next to the sign and the bike.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C36.jpg)

Inside the Queen Elizabeth National Park

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C33a.jpg)

(Side note: After the trip, when I showed this picture to my parents, they asked me why I took a picture of the sign on this side of the road and not the other one. I replied that the one on the other side was broken. They laughed because when they passed through there in 1955 the other one was also broken ! Can you believe it - such a landmark in a National Park and it is still broken !)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C35-1.jpg)

Well, the road took me past Lake Edward, though Fort Portal to Lake Albert. What I found strange is that the map showed only one town located next to this whole part of Lake Albert, called Butiaba. I drove down to Butiaba and it was just a small fishing village. What I found strange in Butiaba was that there was only one place that could accommodate a visitor like me - a tourist to town. But what was really strange is that this place had only one room with only one bed. Well, I was lucky, the bed was unoccupied and I spent two nights there. Not a lot of entertainment but still rather interesting to behold the life of the fisher folk along Lake Albert.

The one room, one bed Kent Lodge at Butiaba

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C38.jpg)

Butiaba

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C39.jpg)

I had interesting discussions with some of the locals. The one I remember is that Idi Amin, the dictator that killed so many people, is not really a well known figure to some of the local residents. According to them Uganda has had several Governments during that time that were equally bad. Idi Amin was not really different to any of the others, the difference being that he was in power for about seven years - slightly longer than the other dictators. The others were in power for usually less than one year. I cannot recall the correct facts, but part of the problem that Uganda had when it came to government powers and acceptance of powers is that there are at least 20 different ethnic tribes within this small country and none of them really want to be ruled by the others.

All these lakes, together with Lake Victoria feed into the Nile River. It was quite a spectacular sight to cross the Nile River - it is really huge with wild rapids.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C41.jpg)

I took this picture of the local taxis in Tororo, the last town in Uganda before entering Kenya.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C42.jpg)

Kenya

To follow soon ...
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Whethefakawe on August 29, 2008, 09:19:50 am
Now THAT'S an adventure ride! The ride of a lifetime.  I love Tanzania, seems you did some ecellent diplomacy cause when I was there in 96 the people were incredibly friendly.
Thanks, keep it coming!
Do you still have that bike?
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Grondpad ™ on August 29, 2008, 09:51:42 am
Nardus,  firstly let me congratulate you on your excellent technique of taking me on a wonderful journey.  It is incredible the way you describe what you experienced on your trip I can actually imagine myself with you on that trip.  You are a explorer!  there is no way that I would of explored Africa in those years.  I salute you and respect you.     
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: LeonDude on August 29, 2008, 10:11:37 pm
Well, you still have me spellbound. Spent the night drinking a beer or two and catching up on your story - and boy what a story it is. Thanks man, it really makes good reading. I've read other adventure stories, but reading a biking adventure on an adventure site, and being a rider myself, your story means a lot more.
By the way, I hope you have many more adventures like this one!

LeonDude
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Abel on August 31, 2008, 06:45:18 pm
This is the stuff most people dream of few experience, well written would like to leave now and pack along the way.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on September 01, 2008, 09:44:35 am
Kenya


As per our arrangement, I headed a bit south to Nairobi to see if Johan will be joining me for the rest of the journey north.

We had pre-arranged that we would stay with Joyce Poole in Nairobi. Joyce Poole is a well-known person in Kenya - she grew up in Kenya and had been studying Elephant behaviour for many years. She stayed in the most beautiful little stone house south of Nairobi, next to the Ngong hills overlooking the rift valley. One cannot describe this place - you have to see it for yourself. Her house is on the property belonging to the very well known Richard Leakey. Richard Leakey also grew up in Kenya. His parents really put the Leakey's on the map through their anthropology work around the Lake Turkana district. Richard Leakey, head of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) did the tremendous task of saving a lot of animals from being poached over the past decade or so. He built up an anti-poach unit that was eventually much stronger than the Kenya Army, which had some obvious political repercussions. In any case, eight months or so prior to our arrival, his airplane had a rather strange technical problem soon after take-off and he had a bad crash. He lost both his legs. He visited us at Joyce's house one afternoon and it was amazing to see a huge man wobbling along on his new prosthetics - not much more than 8 months after the accident. It was really an honour to have met both Joyce and Richard.

A view from Joyce's house overlooking the Rift Valley

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C44.jpg)

When I arrived at Joyce's place after my Uganda detour, Johan was not there. I used a day or two to do some repairs to the bike. I arrived in Nairobi with only 7 teeth left on my rear sprocket and sail protruding on my front tyre. It was quite a job to find these items in Nairobi, but succeeded eventually. Johan was still not in Nairobi, so I took a three day trip to Magadi. If he was not in Nairobi after my trip to Magadi, I would assume that he had found a job and I would be left to carry on by myself. Joyce recommended Magadi and it was really amazing. It was the top part of Lake Natron - a pink salt lake.

A view from Magadi of the pink lake, Lake Natron

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C45.jpg)

My camping spot along a river at Magadi
(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C46.jpg)

On my arrival back, Johan was there. I must admit, I was very glad to see him and although Johan is not liberal with words and emotions, I knew that he was very glad to see me too.  We spent another whole week with Joyce. It was just so nice to be at such a special place with such special people and to have the priveledge of listening  to her stories for hours and to meet some of her friends. It was also nice get some beers for free - it was almost the only beer we had on our whole trip - Tuskers, and lots of them - normally with Joyce at sunset overlooking the rift valley. I will never forget that place. She was at the time writing an autobiography, which was published a couple years later.

Joyce's cottage, at the foot of the Ngong hills

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C43.jpg)

We ventured into Nairobi a couple of times, using the local taxis, called Matutus - what a unique experience. Bigger than our taxis back home, very colourful, very loud music and much more people inside than the recommended allowance - you can even hang on to side of the vehicle.

Swahili is such a rhythmical language - I can still recall a couple of words: bara bara = road, pole pole = go slow, piki piki = motorbike, habari = hello, kubwa sana = very big, tea = chai, karibu = welcome, safari = travel, etc..

Well it was time to head north again.

Johan with some Masai

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f31.jpg)

And his Bokkie

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f34.jpg)

Some beautiful spots further north

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f35.jpg)

This was a rather interesting part of our trip. Riding north from Nairobi one passes Mount Kenya, which I think, is the second highest peak in Africa. The peak is always covered with ice or snow. It was rather chilly even on the main road below. With Mount Kenya still lingering in the shaky rear view mirror of the Tenere one passes the equator and then within 20 minutes riding you drop down into the hot rift valley - stopping briefly to take off the leather jacket and then on to Isiolo - more or less at the centre of Kenya. At Isiolo we were stopped by police officers who informed us that the road to Ethiopia is dangerous and we will need to join a convoy. Somalian gangs operate in this remote part of Kenya and often ambush vehicles to steal valuables and even kill occupants. So, we waited for about two hours and realized that this could take more than a day to have a convoy ready and then we will have sit in the dust of all the vehicles for many hours. We looked at each other, then at the map and concluded that we have no valuables on the bikes and that not even a desperate Somalian thief would go to all the trouble to harass us. With that, we started our engines and off we went - a police officer was still waving and shouting as we rode off.

It is almost possible to do the whole of Africa with a Corsa bakkie, or a Vespa scooter, because there are tarmac roads in all the countries we have been through, but here is a 500 km section that would not be possible. It started off with very deep ruts, sometimes over half a meter deep, then to stones and eventually to powder dust. The dust was rather scary as you would sometimes drive almost half a meter in this powder pool with a stone or two lurking at the bottom. It looked rather spectacular, so I went a bit faster to get a real action shot of Johan speeding through the dust. Well, I waited a good 10 minutes and then Johan approached the camera at nothing more than 25 km/h. I was obviously pissed off with his performance, but then he told me he hit a rock at the bottom of one dust pool and had a rather nasty separation. I did not have enough film to redo any photos, so had to be content with what I had.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C50.jpg)

This was a bad road and very VERY HOT!!. We stopped at the Bushmillah Hotel for some shelter, but the tin building was even worse than outside and again the Hotel offered nothing but hot tea.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C49.jpg)

We arrived late that afternoon in Marsabit. Woweee - what a spot.  In the middle of nowhere there were only two buildings and about four huts. Both the buildings were a sort of rest-over spot with a bar. We chose the one on the left side of the road as it had a big signpost that read -Free Accommodation-. It was a tent behind the bar with a couple of camel skins on the ground, probably crawling with bugs and lice, but free.

A dry river bed in the Marsabit National Park

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C48.jpg)

The people from here on were chewing Chat (From Wikipidia - Street Names: Khat, Qat, Kat, Chat, Miraa, Quaadka, deriving from the plant Catha edulis a flowering shrub native to the Arabian-Peninsula) imported mainly from Yemen. As we had no money for beer, I made the mistake of bumming a piece of Chat from a local - tasted like any piece of leaf would, but I could not remember any high or hallucinating experience only a stomach ache and I was sick for the whole evening - must have vomited at least 20 times !

I don't know whether we were lucky or what, but we got to the border of Ethiopia without any ambushes and we were very glad that we did not end up in the convoy's dust.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/C47.jpg)



Ethiopia

To follow soon ....
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Hidalgo on September 01, 2008, 10:52:35 am
Hey Nardus

Joyce's cottage looks amazing, I don't blame you for wanting to stay there.

This report is great, keep it coming.

Thanks
H
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Kaboef on September 01, 2008, 11:00:31 am
Stunning report. :thumleft: 8)

Keep it coming man.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Maverick on September 01, 2008, 03:14:15 pm
Holy smoke or is that dust, don't know which report to read first now your's or Whethefakawe  ???  :biggrin:

Great stuff Nardus!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Yefimovich˛ on September 01, 2008, 04:59:04 pm
Awesome! :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on September 02, 2008, 07:36:20 am
I have found a couple of pictures that Johan have taken - I will scan them and add them tomorrow. One or two from northern Mozambique, for example.

Thanks for the comments and replies.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Frankie on September 02, 2008, 10:03:19 pm
gREAT ! AWESOME ! Thanks for sharing  - such an amazing trip.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on September 03, 2008, 09:51:00 am
Some of Johan's pictures added to previous part of report
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Fidel on September 03, 2008, 11:01:39 am
What compels certain men to do these things?.... is it that hunters spirit, hunting for answers or those explorer genes, which beckons in a few of us?


While most men where trying to make riches........you where out there enriching your character and existence. These gains you can share with others and take to your grave, not the big house and SUV.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Frog on September 03, 2008, 11:35:21 am
Nardus, you are privileged to have been able to do a trip like this. In 1993 I backpacked through the whole of Europe, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Israel etc. The life experiences gained and the sights seen are something you never forget & live with you forever. In 1995 back in S.A. a friend of mine & myself bought a Unimog and had plans to drive up to Cairo. I met a girl a few months before we were about to leave and got engaged 6 months later (I am still happily married to her) So that was the end of the Africa trip. The yearning to explore Africa has never gone away hence me buying the bike this year. I am hoping to do trips into Southern Africa over the next few years.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on September 03, 2008, 12:11:47 pm
Ethiopia


If ever you want to visit a crazy country - very beautiful, unique, but crazy, then Ethiopia should be your first choice.

A language like no other, a culture like no other, a calendar like no other, time table like no other, an attitude like no other, and the people - looking like no other.

Our experience started at the border post when the date for our arrival in 1994, was clearly incorrect - it was stamped as 1987. Even after a lengthy explanation, we still could not figure this out. Apparently the Ethiopians know the real birth date of Christ and they cannot help that the rest of the world have it all wrong.

It was amazing how quickly the landscape changed. As we crossed the border at Moyale, we started climbing in altitude and within 15 minutes the climate and vegetation changed - cooler, greener, more shrubs and trees.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D01.jpg)

A rather decent tarred road turned north towards Addis Ababa (meaning New Flower). We could not stomach the boredom of tarmac and found an alternative route from Yabelo to Awassa. Man, were we glad we took this gravel track - it was wild.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D03.jpg)

We saw the strangest looking black faces - people, especially the kids, with pitch black skins, western features, and big affro's (almost like mine from page one of the report!). I doubt whether they had seen a white man on a motorbike before, as they were shit scared of us. They would vanish into the bush as soon as we stopped or even just looked at them for too long. This was odd.

The track we were on was amazing, it winded through savannah bushveld and down into river beds - often the track would end in the riverbed and one had to negotiate up the river, over the stones for sometimes a couple of kilometers before the track runs up on the other side and then up the next hill - some of them were rather steep. My Tenere's engine sounded very rough and we assumed that the main bearing might be faulty. Johan's XT500 was making  worse noises and lacked a lot of power. We were very worried about it, but realized later that it was the low octane fuel that was causing the bike to ping badly.

The higher north we went the higher the mountains became.  It was mind boggling how people can survive in this harsh and isolated environment - it was getting much drier the more north we went.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D04.jpg)

Back on the main road and we stopped in some of the towns - what a disaster !! These people's behaviour is just so different to what us South Africans are used to. The kids throw stones down the road as you approach - knocking the shits out of your kneecap, chin, or feet (remember no shoes, or long pants!). If you have to ride through a crowded area in the centre of town, people push you from the side - sometimes we were knocked over. The kids screamed, shouted and jumped up and down - really, really weird shit.

The residential and population density increased significantly as we started to approach Addis Ababa. We were really NOT looking forward to staying in this shit-hole, but we had to get visas for Sudan. We would stop at a lodge, which was obviously not full, only to be told we are not welcome to stay there. As I have said - strange place, strange people.

We were now about 5 km from the city centre and we realized that it will only get worse, but we have to find a place to sleep - hopefully only for one night. We stopped at a Mobil Filling Station. There were some fairly decent looking fellows working there and they could speak English, so we asked them if they know of a place. We would prefer just pitching the tent in somebodyâ??s backyard. The guy went into the office and had a lengthy discussion with his colleagues. He came back to say that his family owns a smallholding about 5 km back from where we came. Johan and I were EXTREEEEMELY excited. He then asked where we were from and we replied that we are from South Africa. He got a very suspicious look on his face and disappeared back to his colleagues. After about 15 minutes he came back to inform us that his family is not prepared to have us, but that he will assist us to find accommodation in the city. FAAAAK ! Well, it took Johan and I about another hour to convince them that even though we are white South Africans, we are fairly normal human beings and that we would really appreciate it if they allowed us to stay with them - eventually, they agreed.

The Mobil Filling Station

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D07.jpg)

We soon found out that even our limits will be tested to the extreme - and even beyond. We went to the Sudanese consulate the next day, and the next day, and the next day and the next day !! With our money resources running thin, it did not take a lot to drive us MAD.

The complete and utter arsehole of a consulate refused, with absolutely no reason, to issue us with visas.

We did not have enough money between the two of us to make it back to South Africa, so we could only ride up to Djibouti and take a ship across to Saudi Arabia. So off we went. What a ride it was - all the way up to the start of the rift valley - damn, but it was hot - very hot!! The landscape mainly consisted of either red or black rock. It was like riding in an overheated oven. I must admit that Johan took the heat slightly better than I did. Djibouti was a rather unfriendly place for an African country and very expensive. No passenger ships docked at Djibouti and the cargo ships were not allowed to take any passengers.

On route to Djibouti

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f40.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f42.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f41.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D21.jpg)

Very hot, rock desert

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f44.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D20.jpg)

Johan pumping mud !

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D19.jpg)

The one night we spend in Djibouti was quite an experience. We could not afford any type of accommodation, so we slept with the street children and homeless on the street. A fancy car stopped next to us at about 02h00 in the morning with a lady asking us whether we were all right - the news obviously spread around that some travelers were sleeping on the streets. She warned us that it could be very dangerous on the streets at night. We thanked her for her concern but assured her that we felt safe enough amongst these people. Although we could not communicate with them, they appeared friendly and I think it was a first for them also to be joined by some whities who sleep on street corners with no food.

We had no option but to return to Addis Ababa. Now, we were really low on resources. So, seven days and 1200 km later and we were back in Addis Ababa - back to our Muslim family.

By then, we new this family fairly well, also their friends, their extended family and all their servants. They were extremely good to us. The mother cared for us as if we were really part of the family.  She was caring and sympathetic towards us. The elder brother was a medical doctor (studied in Russia). He was a rather influential figure in the city and he also could not assist us with obtaining the visas. However, he took us out for dinner or supper a couple of times in town and treated us to the local cuisine - Anjera. Anjera is a very large pancake-like thing, made from a type of Teff  and served with very hot and spicy food - something Johan could stomach, but not me.

Our house with the local family

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D06.jpg)

At a local restaurant, with the Doctor and a colleague

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f49.jpg)

We learnt a lot about the Ethiopian history, people and culture during our four weeks in Addis Ababa. We even went to the sister's wedding - she was very pretty - Ethiopian/Italian mix ! We were told that Ethiopia was one of the African countries that had the shortest duration under colonial rule. The Ethiopians had had enough of the Italians within only six years. And apparently, with no fire arms, they drove the Italians out with spades and shovels. Later on our trip, we appreciated the Italian rule, as they constructed the most amazing mountain passes through the northern highlands.

Live band at the wedding

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f37.jpg)

Have a look at the girl with the pink dress on the left !

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f38.jpg)

We also learned that the great famine that we saw on our national television during the early to mid eighties was not as bad as it was portrayed. According to them it was obviously some scam by somebody to make some money for himself  by exploiting people's emotions. They were aware of the famine and drought that was experienced by the whole of Africa during those years. Having just ridden through most of those countries we could understand their explanation - most other countries in Africa have much less resources than Ethiopia - less water, less rain, less cattle, less everything and often more people. They knew that most of the other countries (Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana, etc..) were much more affected than them. During the drought a lot of people from the rural areas migrated to Addis Ababa in search of work and food. A huge informal settlement developed around the city and with very limited employment opportunities, people were worse off in the city than in the rural areas. Those terrible pictures we were shown on TV, must have been in these shacks around the city. But still, as far as they know, all the other countries were affected much worse than Ethiopia. Interesting ...

We also heard the whole story about the start of the Rastafarian cult. When we entered Ethiopia, I thought that the Ethiopian flag looked rather familiar - it resembled the Rastafarian colours !

We obviously went back to the Sudanese consulate and one day on our way back, we bumped into a group of ten cyclists who were on a trip cycling from Norway down to Cape Town - how mad is that !! Well, they convinced us to try Eritrea for visas and insisted that we ride through Sudan. Apparently, the people in Sudan are amazing!

(Side track: Over six months later, when I was back in South Africa and driving between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, I saw this same group of crazy Norwegians struggling against a howling south easterly wind along the N2 road. Fuckit, now how is that. I obviously stopped them, forced them into the closest pub and bought them all a beer.)

Anyway, after fighting with the arsehole of a consulate for another few days, Johan lost his patience with the man and THROTTLED him - well, needless to say, we then had no option but to try our luck in Eritrea. We were not allowed back at the consulate and were afraid that the incident might have been reported to the police. With a lot of kisses and tears, we left our Muslim family early the next morning. (Johan found it very difficult to hug other men, especially the kisses - first on the left cheek, then the right and again the left) Wow, by the time Johan was through with the whole family, the poor man was in a state of shock !

The ride from Addis Ababa to Eritrea was most probably the highlight of the whole trip as far as the biking was concerned.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D08.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f43.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f45.jpg)

The people were very interesting - look at the silver jewellery

 (http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D12.jpg)

And rather western facial features

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D11.jpg)

A small little track heading straight for a 2000m high mountain range. Every time you approach such a mountain it looks impossible to get over it. When you are about 7 kilometers from it, you notice a very twisty little track running straight up and straight down on the other side. There must have been over 10 of these mountain ranges, called the Ethiopian highlands. In between these mountain ranges are fertile valleys - full of cattle (literally millions of cattle) and lots of fruit trees and other fields next to permanent flowing rivers. We would stop at a little village next to these rivers or streams and were served ice cold fresh fruit juices. This was an experience we will never ever forget. Bloody impressive, overwhelming and absolutely breathtaking.

On top of one of the mountains

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D09.jpg)

The fertile valleys in between with thousands of cattle

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D10.jpg)

Close to Eritrea - the people look similar to the other nomads of the Rift Valley

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D17.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D16.jpg)



Eritrea


(Sorry, no pictures - I had only about 10 more pictures left on my last spool by then)

We were very fortunate to have been able to slip into Eritrea when we did. For years prior to our arrival and years thereafter, Eritrea and Ethiopia were at war over some silly reason. Eritrea used to be a northern province of Ethiopia.

But, WOW, Asmara - what a spot !!

I have never seen such a clean, beautiful and friendly city (not even in South Africa). It was like walking in a dream world â?? whoever can, should go and experience this place.

We obviously drove straight to the Sudanese consulate, where we again were greeted with a hug and a kiss (lucky Johan!). He insisted that we show him every little road we took all the way from Pretoria - he could not believe people ride all that way on a bike. He listened to our plea and apologized profusely for the fellow arsehole comrade in Addis Ababa. He was so glad that we are going to Sudan, because we have to go - the people in Sudan are amazing! He said he would see what he can organize for us and told us to come early in the morning. Well, we both fell asleep that night with huuuge grins on our faces.

We arrived back at the consulate at about 09h00. The consulate was waiting for us at the front door (it was a Saturday morning) I have been here since 07h00 he said, I thought you guys were eager to get going. Well, he had all the paperwork sorted, charged us about half the fees and sent us off with yet another hug and a kiss and lots of blessings from Allah, and his prophet Mohammed ...


Sudan

To follow soon ....
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: JackShit on September 03, 2008, 01:07:29 pm
Nardus, dis regtig wonderlik om van julle wedervaringe te lees......elke ou (of vrou) wat julle verhaal volg begin sekerlik reeds droom van sy/haar eie Afrika reis. Ek wil nie jou verslag vooruitloop nie maar kon julle kontak behou met sommige van die mense wat hul harte en huise vir julle oopgemaak het?
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: BirdDog on September 03, 2008, 01:24:14 pm
Your writting style sucks you into the momment. Great adventure. Keep it comming. Love it.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: CrazyPorra on September 03, 2008, 01:27:35 pm
Unbelievable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: malgat (RIP) on September 03, 2008, 01:31:48 pm
angs bevange great,,,,,,eks al bang die stories gaan ophou,,,eks bang ons is by die einde,,,se vir my dit gaan nog weke en weke aanhou asb
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Yefimovich˛ on September 03, 2008, 01:38:16 pm
AMAZING!!! :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on September 03, 2008, 01:41:15 pm
Hi JackShit

We kept contact with only a few and by now, almost nobody.

I kept a bit of contact with my friends at the Rafiki Hotel, my last letter I received of about 3 years ago was from Moja (the guy with his hand on my shoulder). Moja means "first" - he is the first of twins. It was rather sad, most of the guys on that photo has died since - mostly from Aids.

The Doctor brother of our family in Addis Ababa and one of his mates (also a medical doctor) arrived at Johan's parents house in Pretoria a year after our trip. They stayed with his parents for a good 6 months until they got working permits and jobs in South Africa. Not sure if Johan has any contact with them. Johan (or at least his parents) might still have connections with Joyce and Richard from Nairobi.

We were more often in the bush, than really mingling with the people, so we did not make too many friends on the way. If we had more time and money, it would have been quit a different trip.

Cheers
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Metaljockey on September 03, 2008, 03:26:19 pm
Fokkit maat, jy maak dit damn moeilik vir my.

Hier's 'n bike onder in my garage...  en 'n rugsak en 'n spaar tjoep.





Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: zetman on September 03, 2008, 05:11:17 pm
Nardus my maat jy vertel die storie op so n wonderlike manier ek kani wag vir die volgne stuk nie ...Jy is wragtag die DS Adventure se Camelman...
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Goose on September 03, 2008, 07:21:26 pm
I read... I absorb and am flabberghasted and amazed.... don't want to replay and say too much... the story is what it's about! Nardu - you write the book... it will outsell Ted Simon - no doubt!
Absolutely fantastic story telling and pictures - as they say "Charlie & Ewan se moer!"

Looking forward to the next episode..... :thumleft:  :notworthy: :notworthy:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: growweblaar on September 03, 2008, 08:52:40 pm
Fantasties, Nardus!

Weet jy, een van die mooiste meisies wat ek ken is van Eritrea - soos jy se^: Westerse features met blinkswart vel en pragtige haredos. Daar moet iets in die water wees...  ;)
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: BigEd on September 03, 2008, 10:02:34 pm
BLIKSEM!

NOG!

Asseblief!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: LeonDude on September 03, 2008, 10:25:36 pm
Nardus, thanks for this instalment once again. Damn I really enjoy this story.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: bmad on September 04, 2008, 07:42:30 am
WOW, again!!

It was nice to catch up with this installment. I almost had a tear in my eye today.
I could visualize Johan cringing as he had to hug and kiss those folks. I felt your pain of battling to getting a visa and worrying about what next!  :3some:

You have me addicted as well as amazed  :thumleft:

So where do i place my order for the book? I would also like the coffee table version as well with added photies ;D
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: MrBig on September 04, 2008, 09:33:44 am
This is the highlight of my day.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Frohan Visser on September 04, 2008, 12:41:44 pm
Nardus
Excellent so far, amazing how nice your pictures still looks after all these years!!!!!!!

I didn't like that Anjera as well, but if there is nothing else to eat, it still fills the stomach, I remember I paid R3.50 for an  Anjera and a 500ml of beer, not to bad for a meal!!!!!!!!!!!

Keep it coming, I am waiting for Sudan!!!!!!!!

Cheers
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: mrg46 on September 04, 2008, 04:01:48 pm
Hi Nardus

I've just finished reading your report up to date (very slowly to savour it)

What an increadible read - you really are a pioneer of adventure riding.

Can't wait for the rest

Mark
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Whethefakawe on September 05, 2008, 09:41:39 am
My sentiments exactly - a REAL adventire ride back when carrying a SA passport was dodgy.  Big balls needed.

Please continue! NOW!! :biggrin:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Beltzer on September 05, 2008, 10:57:06 am
WOW! what a wonderful story, If Wilbur Smith had to write a book with bikes in, this would be it!  Now i cant work anymore
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: I&horse on September 06, 2008, 09:34:48 pm
Ek is so jaloers, ek sal seker nie weer in my lewe n kans kry om so iets aan te vat nie.

Het ek reg gelees, jy het die trip op n budget van R 3 500 gedoen? En dan met shorts en plakkies aangehou.

RESPEK!!!!!!!

En dit nog met XT's geen happy buttons nie, jy noem ook geen groot probleme met die bikes nie. LEKKER!!!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Saddle Up on September 07, 2008, 05:30:19 pm
Ongelooflik. Jou manier van storie vertel maak n mens verlang na goed wat ons nog net van gedroom het. Nou meer as ooit.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on September 08, 2008, 08:16:31 am
Eritrea


(Sorry, no pictures. I had only about 10 more pictures left on my last spool by then)

We were very fortunate to have been able to slip into Eritrea when we did. For years prior to our arrival and years thereafter, Eritrea and Ethiopia were at war over some silly reason. Eritrea used to be a northern province of Ethiopia.

But, WOW, Asmara - what a spot !!

I have never seen such a clean, beautiful and friendly city (not even in South Africa). It was like walking in a dream world - whoever can, should go and experience this place.

We obviously drove straight to the Sudanese consulate, where we again were greeted with a hug and a kiss (lucky Johan!). He insisted that we show him every little road we took all the way from Pretoria â?? he could not believe people ride all that way on a bike. He listened to our plea and apologized profusely for the fellow arsehole comrade in Addis Ababa. He was so glad that we are going to Sudan, because we have to go - the people in Sudan are amazing! He said he would see what he can organize for us and told us to come early in the morning. Well, we both fell asleep that night with huuuge grins on our faces.

We arrived back at the consulate at about 09h00. The consulate was waiting for us at the front door (it was a Saturday morning)! I have been here since 07h00, he said, I thought you guys were eager to get going ?! Well, he had all the paperwork sorted, charged us about half the fees and sent us off with yet another hug and a kiss and lots of blessings from Allah, and his prophet Mohammed ...



Sudan


We arrived on the other side of the Sudan border post at a tarred road. We stopped and had another look at the map. Sudan, the second largest country in Africa and it has one helluva loooong and straight road from Port Sudan at the Red Sea running way down south and turning with a slow bend north to Khartoum. This was not a pretty sight, bet we decided to head south to Khartoum. Nothing more than 20 km and we both stopped to have another look at the map. We agreed that we cannot drive in this heat on a black road. Apart from that, it was much closer to drive through the desert to get to the Nile. We could do about 500km on our petrol and figured that if we go straight across the desert, we should eventually ride into the Nile River - so, obviously we can't get lost.

And so we drove off into the horizon in search of the Nile.  Again, 20 km on, we realized that this might not be so easy to keep in a straight line - it was just too flat and some confusing tracks that would lead in all different directions. But if we push on, using the sun as our guide - we should fall into the Nile River some time before nightfall. By 20h00, we were still riding - sort of straight, but it was getting tough for me as I had my headlight no more (lost it somewhere) and Johan's XT500 was not of much help - like all XT500's the beam coming from the headlight did not even straighten out at full revs. So we pulled over for the night and decided that we will turn back on our tracks the next morning. What a nice feeling it was to sleep in the middle of the Nubian Desert - right there next to your bike and knowing that you are so, so far from anybody, anywhere.

It was not that easy to keep direction - very flat with no landmarks and a couple of misleading tracks !

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f46.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f47.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D23.jpg)

When we woke up, we had another quick look at the map. I spotted a yellow dot on the big white area which represented the flat desert area. At first it looked like a stain on the map from a squashed insect, but then we agreed that it could be the only higher ground in this whole desert and on the horizon we could see something slightly higher than the flat surrounds. According to the map, a dry river bed on the other side of this hill runs straight for the Nile River - if we are lucky that could be a lifesaving beacon in the desert. (You must remember that we had no odometer working on any of these bikes - we could estimate our distance traveled by multiplying the hours spend and the revs and gear selection which gives us an idea of our speed). So, off we went ... and there it was  - a hill, nothing more than 30 meters high and behind it was a couple of dry thorn trees which could only indicate a water course if ever the good lord would send rain to this part of the world.

Some local nomads staying along the dry riverbed - this guy looked more like a camel than what the camel did !

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D27.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/f50.jpg)


White clothing is sort-of the in fashion in Sudan

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D28.jpg)

The dry riverbed

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D24.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D22.jpg)

So we followed it all the way to Atbara. The local police issued us with permits for petrol, we refueled and off we went to Abu Hamed (petrol was not available to the public, but there was a policy in Sudan that tourists would get preferential treatment). I remember riding out of Atbara, nothing more than an hour, when the track we were on and the map were making no sense at all. I assured Johan that I have it all under control and drove off with Johan following. After about an hours riding I noticed another bike track. I was rather excited - another biker in this end of the world !! I stopped and show Johan the bike tracks - he looked at me, shook his head, mumbled something ugly and rode off. I have managed to do a huuuge loop only to end up on our own track - arsehole !!

It was really stunning to ride all along the Nile River - winding its way through this dry desert. There are a couple of thorn trees and maybe the odd palm tree next to the river for about 20 or 30 meters and beyond that only sand.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D31.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D32.jpg)

We carried 4.5 liters of water between the two of us and the only food we had was a tin of Japanese sponsored pilchards that was given to us by a local guy somewhere in Tanzania. We never ate that tin as it was our emergency supply - only to be opened when we are really in the shits.

I will never forget our next stop here in the middle of nowhere - somewhere between Atbara and Abu Hamed. We were very hungry and almost out of water. We would only eat when compassionate locals will offer us something. We saw a local nomadic family -kraal/homestead- and stopped. As always, the head of the household would come out to greet us. He would show us to a shelter outside their homestead and hand-signed us to be seated. (Remember no English from his side and no Arab language from our side) He gave us ice cold wate,  called Nubian water. We waited for another 2 hours for the food to arrive. It looked terrible - a bowl with pieces of Anjera in the bottom and the rest filled to the top with a light green slime. It looked like the stuff you would scrape off the camels mouth after it had eaten grass and it tasted like it too. We had no idea what it was and it was very difficult to keep this stuff down. Nonetheless, it was appreciated, like always. Normally, the food was very good and as always we have experienced the people of Sudan as extremely friendly and really -amazing!-. We think it must be a desert thing - being nomads for thousands of years, there is an unwritten law that anybody traveling in the desert should be given a shelter, water and food. This was the same experience for every day and night that we were in the Nubian Desert. This was unreal !!

Locals on the outskirts of Atbara stopping us to give us food and water

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D29.jpg)

We filled up at Abu Hamed and left in a bit of a dust storm. Luckily it only lasted about half an hour. From then on it was actually easy to navigate - just follow the railway line all the way to Wadi Halfa, at the bottom of Lake Nasser. It was such fun riding here - miles and miles of nothing, but keeping an eye on that railway line. From time to time you would plow into what you thought was a bit of sand, but in fact it is powder dust blown into the shape of a dune. You and the whole bike would disappear into it. It was hard work getting you unstuck and going again - even the 600 cc engine would take some strain to turn the rear wheel, but for the rest, it was much fun.

Johan managed to hit the only stone in the whole desert and got a flat front tyre- his second flat tyre of the whole trip for him !

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D36.jpg)

On route to Wadi Halfa - this is dry country !

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D35-1.jpg)

At some point, as we were taking a water break, we saw the train coming down the track. We were almost a kilometer away, but as the train come passed us it stopped and there were a helluva commotion going on. After some time we realized that the people were waving and yelling at us. We waved back, got on the bikes and rode towards one of the locomotives in front. Again no English, but we could figure out that the people (passengers included) were worried about our well-being and offered to load the bikes to give us a lift to Wadi Halfa. We assured them that we were okay and off it went. Just before dusk we met up with the train again - it was about 17h00. Again the train stopped, but this time all the passengers and crew stepped out, threw little rags on the desert sand - facing east, they all did their prayers for about 10 minutes or so and then left again. Strange, strange, strange ...

We got to Wadi Halfa, very tired and keen to head north to Egypt. By now, we had nothing more than 60 US dollars between the two of us. It took us a full day, to establish that we have missed the ferry by a day - it was here yesterday and will only be back in five days time. You must know that nobody at Wadi Halfa works with a calendar of any kind - they do not know that there are seven days in a week and that the ferry only comes every Wednesdays. It was very frustrating, but we eventually realized that we will have to camp out in the desert for at least 4 days, before returning to Wadi Halfa. We rode back about 20 kilometers and camped there amongst a couple of rocky outcrops.

I have to mention that Johan and I have had by now about as much of each others company as we both could handle - being over six months in each others faces, six months of sharing everything, six months of - it was getting a bit much.

Oh, but the desert were special - look at this - absolutely stunning. I wish our circumstances were different, because here one could spend months.

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D37.jpg)

Playing in the sand, whilst waiting for the ferry

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/D41.jpg)

Back at Wadi Halfa and trying to get out of Sudan was a very frustrating ordeal. The Sudanese officials were not closely as nice as the nomads in the desert. This time, it was Johan that had to keep me from throttling an official, but in the end we managed to board the ferry with all the fucking paperwork completed.


Egypt

Will follow soon ....
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Trailrider on September 08, 2008, 08:37:40 am
What a story! Keep it coming ;D
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Oetie on September 08, 2008, 06:53:09 pm
Nardus

Amazing story!! Keep it coming!!!

+1 on Eritrea and Asmara. Been there a couple of years ago. Haven't seen such a clean place and met such friendly people any where in the few African countries I have been to!!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: mrg46 on September 08, 2008, 07:38:27 pm
Amazing & pioneering as ever. Can't wait for more

Mark
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: bobnob on September 08, 2008, 08:44:05 pm
a must do for every adventure biker  :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on September 09, 2008, 12:10:08 pm
Ek is so jaloers, ek sal seker nie weer in my lewe n kans kry om so iets aan te vat nie.

Het ek reg gelees, jy het die trip op n budget van R 3 500 gedoen? En dan met shorts en plakkies aangehou.

RESPEK!!!!!!!

En dit nog met XT's geen happy buttons nie, jy noem ook geen groot probleme met die bikes nie. LEKKER!!!

Hi Andy

Yes, low budget it was. Maybe around R10k in todays money. I would not recommend it, but at least it shows that it is possible. We did over 20 000 km on this trip and it took almost 7 months to reach Israel. It was so safe to sleep in the bush and our meals consisted mainly of mangoes, bananas and bread. We often went to the local markets - can get a nice plate of local food for about 50 cents (maybe R2 now).

Long pants, boots, rain coat, tent, etc. are luxury items. It should also be much easier these days with a gps, at least you will always know where you are in relation to road or town. The maps did not work always, but yet we got to all the places.

The bikes are just amazing - both were old and we had no problems with them. I never had to kick more than twice to get it going. The XT 500 with its points required some attention, but nothing serious. I had well over 100 punctures on my rear tyre. Nowhere in Africa could be get a 5.10 x 18 tube and I could not afford courier service from SA. This, I must admit was rather irritating, especially for Johan who had to assist most of the times. A puncture never happens near any shade !!

I hope that this report inspires a couple of dudes to "just do it" !!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Frohan Visser on September 09, 2008, 01:09:12 pm
Hi Nardus
The report brings back the memories, one by one!!!!!!!
My trip in '94 was 3 months long and I had R3700 to use and I still used a lot of money as bribary money in prison in Egypt, so it was cheap to travel then!!!!!!!

Flat tyres...........!!!!!!
I got 12 flat tyres in one day on the strecth of road between Marsabit and Moyale in Northern Kenia, and none were near shade..........that was shitty!!!!!!!!! I know that feeling!!!
 
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on September 09, 2008, 03:40:30 pm
Hi Frohan

Ha ha - ja goeie memories !!

Stop talking crap and write your trip report - we all want to see it - the 50 odd days in prison sounds like fun !!

Remember, my family knows who you are, so don't think you can get out of this one ........
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: BigEd on September 09, 2008, 10:55:34 pm
...I still used a lot of money as bribary money in prison in Egypt, so it was cheap to travel then!!!!!!!

Hey, hey, don't you still owe us this story? :clock: :drif:

 :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Goose on September 09, 2008, 11:13:47 pm
...I still used a lot of money as bribary money in prison in Egypt, so it was cheap to travel then!!!!!!!

Hey, hey, don't you still owe us this story? :clock: :drif:

 :thumleft:

ahem..... lets hear it then!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Frohan Visser on September 10, 2008, 03:04:31 pm
Boys
Just a minute, I have scanned all my photos last weekend, was sitting inside the whole Saturday, and it was perfect bike riding weather, so I am getting there.........last night I got a PC so now I must just start typing....I promise it is on its way!!!!!!!!!!
The problem is that Nardus and Mark's reports were of such high standard's, I will have to pull up my socks with mine !!



 
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: albert smit on September 10, 2008, 04:37:16 pm
FV,

As ek dinge so bekyk is jy dalk innie poef??  Sterkte daarmee, en ek glo die Afrika liefhebbers sien uit om te lees...

Mooi bly,

Allie.

 :ricky:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Ama ride ride on September 12, 2008, 10:37:06 am
Nardus

Just one word to sum this up......Befok :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Swanniebraai on September 14, 2008, 08:51:15 pm
UITSTEKENDE RR! JULLE IS YSTERS!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: topbox on September 14, 2008, 09:07:58 pm
Boys
Just a minute, I have scanned all my photos last weekend, was sitting inside the whole Saturday, and it was perfect bike riding weather, so I am getting there.........last night I got a PC so now I must just start typing....I promise it is on its way!!!!!!!!!!
The problem is that Nardus and Mark's reports were of such high standard's, I will have to pull up my socks with mine !!



 

i think a certain Mr Le Cap also needs to pull something out of the bag
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: husky on September 16, 2008, 06:37:04 am
Right up there with Ted Simon and Chasing the Moon. At least you guys could ride! I was in Namibia in 1985 and saw the odd trans Africa traveller, usually a mad German on an 80GS, boy I envied those guys. Friends went to Moz in 1977/78, right after the Porra's ducked. Hairy, but their stories, like yours, are the things of legend.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on September 17, 2008, 11:48:41 am
Egypt

(No pictures - Johan's last film was lost during the Israel border post search and I had nothing left)

The ferry across Lake Nasser was really nice and interesting. We relaxed, enjoyed the views and had some informative discussions with a couple of fellow passengers. It really looked appealing to ride the bikes across the desert.  We just could not understand why the whole area to Aswan is restricted.

We had an interesting conversation with a black guy from Southern Sudan. After years of hatred, killings, wars and oppression in South Africa, we could really relate to the plea of this young African fellow from Southern Sudan. According to him, the black Africans have no rights, no schools, no health care, no votes, no representation in the Muslim government and the struggle for freedom has been carrying on for over twenty years. As with the ANC, the black Sudanese are now really going full out for an armed struggle against the government. That is the result if talking does not yield results. Both Johan and I sympathized with him and realized that some painful years lay ahead for these poor people. He was -studying- in Egypt, but was actually recruited back home to organize and smuggle arms for the struggle. THIS SHIT JUST MAKES NO SENSE !!!

We went past Abu Simbel (amper simpel) and could see the rock sculptures and the temple clearly. Apparently, it was some American organisation that funded the move of this temple and the sculptures to its current location. The Egyptians dammed the Nile River at Aswan and this temple would have been under water.

Similarly, the Sudanese town of Wadi Halfa was located years earlier on the Egypt border, but as the dam filled up after construction of the dam wall the water pushed Wadi Halfa back a good few hundred kilometers to its current location. It appears that public communication and political courtesy were non-existent.

Before I carry on, let me rather summarize our trip through Egypt. We had an extremely frustrating 2-day experience at Aswan to get the paperwork completed for ourselves and especially for the bikes. It was a nightmare - we even had to re-license the bikes and were issued some Egyptian number plates. We struggled to relate to the people and the culture. They were very loud, not really friendly and tried to rip us off wherever they could. We followed the main road north past Giza to Alexander. From discussions with various people who have visited Egypt, the only ones that have enjoyed their stay were the ones that never really interacted with the people of Egypt. They would fly in to Egypt, take a taxi to their air-conditioned hotel, then get picked up at the hotel to enjoy a boat trip on the Nile River, or visit a temple or pyramid. The only ones that had a -nice- experience with the Egyptians were the ones that venture a couple of hundred kilometers away from the Nile River into the remote desert areas. (My personal opinion reflected here, but I think it is not too far from the truth).

It was interesting to see all the fertile flood planes of the Nile River and wondered what the effects would be of the Aswan Dam (Lake Nasser). For millions of years, the Nile flooded these flood planes - a complicated ecology and synergy between man and river that is now destroyed.

We stopped briefly as we drove past some pyramids in the city centre at Giza, but we enjoyed a pizza at Alexander more. I have always wondered why most of the photographs of the pyramids were wide-angle shots from the ground level up â?? it is not to get the whole city in the background that will spoil the ambiance one tries to bullshit your friends and family with. Due to some anti-government sentiment, some people had killed a couple of tourists during 1994 and as a result no passenger ships were crossing from Europe to Egypt and we had no option but to ride over to Israel. It was a memorable experience to cross the Suez Canal.

Finally, we can exit Africa. What was suppose to be a euphoric feeling of accomplishment (we had a bit of that whilst eating our pizzas in Alexandria), it was horrible trying for the last time to get through the immigration and customs on the border post. Because we had little money left (I had nothing left and Johan had about 40 US$ left), we tried to establish how much we need to pay in total in order to change the right amount into Egyptian currency. The officials refused to help us and instead they made it very tough not to loose our tempers. Again, Johan had had enough and become a bit aggressive - to such an extent that some armed guards were ordered to watch us closely. Eventually when we got to customs, our passports were confiscated to ensure we pay all our dues before we can have them back. They wanted to charge us again for the bikes, road tax, departure tax, tourist tax and the best one (even we had to laugh!) - the very last office had a sign board that reads -DEBT- !! Fuuuuckit, how on earth can we have debt that we now have to settle? I had to calm Johan down as the guy at the gates with our passports had a cocked rifle and he looked rather keen to test it on us. With freedom on the other side of the gate, I eventually managed to convince Johan not to do anything too foolish and we were let out of Egypt.


Israel

We arrived at the Israel border post at about midnight. We were so sure that we will have an easy last few days before figuring out how to get to Europe. The security checks were extreme at the Israel border post. Our bikes were stripped with only the engine and frame intact. It was rather funny because we had never on this trip cleaned our pannier cases and a good kilogram of dust, sand, stones and the likes were dumped next to each bike on the cement slab.

The official was friendly, but very stubborn. He refused to let us into Israel - we did not even have enough money to pay for the 3rd party insurance for the bikes. He had never heard of a tourist arriving at a border post with no money at all. He asked us nicely to return to Egypt as he is not allowed to grant us permission to enter Israel due to our lack of money.

Well, to cut an hour long negotiation session short, we obviously refused to turn back. We convinced him that we will take out a two week 3rd party insurance for half the cost and he can issue us with a 3 day visa then we will be out of the country, I promised. Reluctantly we were granted permission after spending over 4 hours at the border post.

We drove up to Haifa - well almost. Just to end our trip properly, I got my last flat tyre on the rear wheel about 30 kms before Haifa. I had no patch left, so we picked up a piece of old car tube that was lying beside the road and it lasted the last couple of kilometers. I had stopped counting, but I had over 100 flat tyres. Nobody in Africa stocked large tubes and I never had the funds to courier a tube from South Africa.

We stopped at a rather nice beach in Haifa. We hovered around until late with the intention to sleep on the beach. Just before dusk, an old beetle (VW) parked next to us and a very short young Israeli with his very sexy girlfriend got out and started chatting to us. His intention was to convince me to sell my Tenere to him. At the time it would have been a great plan - cash in hand and I do not have to bother to get it to Europe or back to South Africa. The problem was that the bikes were stamped into your passport and it is illegal to sell second hand bikes in Israel - only dealers may sell bikes. He planned to destroy the passport and report it stolen and then to get a new one that does not mention the bike. Well, with the limited time we had on our visas and the thought of getting mixed up with the Israeli authorities, I gave up on this idea. We were, however, invited to stay in their apartment and I was even given a nice bell-bottom jean. At least I had some impressive pants for the outing that evening  by then, my shorts were more or less falling apart.

We found Israel to be a very interesting place and would have liked to stay a bit longer. It was amazing to experience all the different genetic mixes in Israel - due to the fact that Israel, back in 1994, was only about 45 years in existence, since their independence.    A lot of Israeli's were scattered all over the world and obviously copulating with some of the locals and the end result was a healthy and beautiful race now occupying Israel. The young chicks in army uniform also did it for me - almost like school uniforms !!

Well, we convinced a friendly lady at a travel agency to issue us with one-way air tickets to London (Gatwick) for basically half the cost and we shipped the bikes to London. Three days after our arrival and we were on our way to England.

At the time, it would have been easier to find a quick job in England, repay the debt on our credit cards, save up some pounds and then plan our journey back.


England

Well, now our Africa expedition was officially over and I have to admit the thought of having driven through Africa on a motorcycle made me feel happy, excited, a real sense of achievement, somewhat more superior to most other human beings (it lasted for about 10 days!!) and definitely eager to do a lot more riding in future.

We were lucky to get into England with hardly any cash - I think Gatwick airport is slightly less stringent than Heathrow. We took a quick nap on an airport coach and then took the train to London at about 05h00 in the morning. Our mission: To see the new South African flag at Trafalgar Square !  Wow, we were stunned and even a bit emotional - damn, but it must be one of the most beautiful flags - and at last one can feel proud to be a South African - fuck the past !!


Somewhere in London


(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/E5.jpg)

I have to explain what I looked like when arriving in England; very sun baked, old t-shirt that a local gave me in Ethiopia, homemade leather jacked (full of holes), bell-bottom jean that I got from the short shit in Israel, broken sandles which are tied to my feet with orange bail rope. I purchased green Wellingtons from my first wage which I could then wear on the farm and for an evening out in town. O yes, no backpack - I carried my few belongings around in one of my bikes pannier cases that I unscrewed from the bike in Israel and covered the top with an orange â??carrimorâ?ť plastic body bag (the lid disappeared somewhere in Sudan).

To cut this whole England part short - we found a job quickly and tried to find some other crazy bastards that would join us riding down to South Africa. After about three months, we had only managed to find one guy that was serious about riding with us (Johan and I had decided that our friendship would not endure another trip - we would need to split up or make the group bigger). Our bikes were not in very good shape either, so we couldn't attempt to do solo trips back to South Africa. Rory, the guy that was keen for the trip, fixed up an old Yamaha IT690 (2-stroke) - he was convinced that it is possible. Well, 2 weeks later an old English lady drove over him and his bike and that was the end of that plan.

Feeding the wild chickens (Pheasants) on an old established hatchery near Wokingham

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/E1.jpg)

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/E7.jpg)

Our luxury house in England for a couple of months

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/E4.jpg)

We eventually canned the plan to ride back and decided to fly back to South Africa as soon as we had enough money. And so it was.

The ultimate traveling machine !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/E10.jpg)
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: u-go on September 17, 2008, 12:04:06 pm
 :happy1: Thanks again Nardus! Indeed somewhat superior to us lesser adventurers!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: JohnST on September 17, 2008, 12:24:34 pm
Ag nee! Beteken dit nou dis klaar....  :'(
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: u-go on September 17, 2008, 12:31:38 pm
Ja-nee, ek dink hy moet hom weer ry sodat ons meer kiekies kan kry!  ;D Dis sad om nou nie meer vir updates te kan wag nie, en om nie meer die dinges in te raak as dit net weer een van julle anner honne is wat sĂŞ hoe cool Nardus is, en nie Nardus wat 'n update gee nie.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: MrBig on September 17, 2008, 12:32:49 pm
Wow thanks Nardus.
What a GREAT read!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: malgat (RIP) on September 17, 2008, 12:36:21 pm
yea nardus,,,,thanx for sharing

you should print this into a coffee table book,,,,,

respect,,,a man amongst men....well done,,,bravo bravo bravo!!!!!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Frohan Visser on September 17, 2008, 01:00:22 pm
Nardus jou doring!!!
Dankie vir 'n bitter goeie RR!!!
Bly om te sien julle het net soveel shit in Egipte gehad soos ek!!!!!!
Ek's besig om myne te tik, trek nou in Ethiopie, so binnekort kan julle begin lees.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on September 17, 2008, 01:20:39 pm
Lekka lekka !!

Dankie al die ouens-hulle vir die replies.

I have added a couple of England pics - boooorrring !!!

Now we wait for the others to either finish their reports, or for the others to do their trips - hiiiiii haaaaaa !!!

Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: LuckyStriker on September 17, 2008, 01:28:13 pm
Thanks Nardus

Now that it is complete I am going to print it out and read it at leisure (aka in die kleinhuisie)
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: NAZM on September 17, 2008, 02:13:20 pm
Amazing!  :thumleft: Great read Nardus!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Beltzer on September 17, 2008, 02:34:43 pm
bloody awesome!!!


<bows>
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Swanniebraai on September 17, 2008, 02:48:58 pm
Wow,  dit was nou 'n great experience,  die trip saam met julle! Sorry dis oor, wag vir die volgende! Wenners!!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: zetman on September 17, 2008, 03:16:39 pm
Neeeeee wat het van jou bike geword en die res van jou storie komaaaan jy kan ni nou op hou nie .....jy is n YSTER  :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky: :ricky:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Geoff on September 17, 2008, 06:33:19 pm
Thanks Nardus .
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Abel on September 17, 2008, 08:19:52 pm
Dit was skiterend n wonderlike trip en goed geskryf baiedankie.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: dieterf on September 17, 2008, 08:35:40 pm
awesome stuff, thanks for a superb read!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Watermat on September 17, 2008, 08:43:36 pm
Hardcore, Nardus, Hardcore

Baie dankie om dit te deel
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: LeonDude on September 17, 2008, 09:30:31 pm
Thanks Nardus, that was one helluva story.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Trailrider on September 18, 2008, 12:15:59 am
Thanks man. Great RR!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: CaptainWobble on September 18, 2008, 10:29:38 am
This one definately belongs in the 'Roll of Honour' best rider reports.  :deal:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Dory on September 18, 2008, 12:10:20 pm
wow - fantastic adventure.  ive been reading your story since i arrived at work and just couldnt stop till i finished - lunchtime.

It sure has given me inspiration to carry on with my own adventure plans.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Goose on September 18, 2008, 05:17:59 pm
Absolutely fantastic and inspiring!!!

Nardus - just one final request mate....  as with all good stories and movies... there's ALWAYS the "Outtakes" - so please don't delay to post those you forgot about!!  :thumleft: :pot:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: bradleys on September 19, 2008, 08:03:22 am
Just finished reading the last bit,so sorry it has ended,going to miss my morning coffee and your report,thanks for agreat story. :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on September 19, 2008, 10:13:51 am
Absolutely fantastic and inspiring!!!

Nardus - just one final request mate....  as with all good stories and movies... there's ALWAYS the "Outtakes" - so please don't delay to post those you forgot about!!  :thumleft: :pot:



Ha ha ha ..............
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: mrg46 on September 19, 2008, 05:54:06 pm
INCREDIBLE adventure. Really, really well done!

I'll say it again, you okes were serious pioneers. Doing a trip like yours with zero bucks and almost no gear or clothes is unheard of these days. Thanks for taking the time to scan the slides & write the story.

Respek
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Yefimovich˛ on September 20, 2008, 07:40:52 am
Amazing Stuff!! Thanks alot!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: JourneyMan on September 20, 2008, 07:50:47 am
Ja. With the report finished now, I will enjoy it at leisurely pace.  :biggrin:

Ongelooflik en baie dankie vir die effort om dit te post! Net om die foto's in JPEG formaat te gekry het moes 'n helse job gewees het.  8)
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Andy660 on September 22, 2008, 08:42:12 pm
Nardus ,
Awsome adventure you had , very envious .
Furthest I went was Antartica for 2 1/2 months and Gough Island.(Airforce Choppers) the same that vissited Marrion Island
But I think that was far safer than what u and Johan had accomplished.
WOW !

Oh and good choise of Bike !
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Poffmuis on September 25, 2008, 08:11:00 pm
AAAaarrrrggghhh, I finally get a internet connection that doesnt block photobucket and now it says something about maximum bandwidth exceeded!!!!!!!!

Can one of our tech savvy Dogs put this report in PDF?  ::)
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on September 26, 2008, 07:44:34 am
OOOOooo Gits !!

Photobucket has send me a warning - I need to upgrade to the Pro version. I am sorting out the problem.
Sorry about that.

Hang so 'n week bal !!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: letsgofishing on September 26, 2008, 09:00:46 am
Nardus, what an absolutely stagering experience!
Thank you for allowing me to live the experience with you - my greatest respect to you.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: ROOI on September 26, 2008, 10:35:20 am
Fok Awesome that is all I have to say  :ricky:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: tok-tokkie on September 30, 2008, 01:20:35 pm
That was a 'proper' trip for a young man with no money.  Brilliant. Just do it like Nike says.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on October 01, 2008, 08:39:31 am
Photobucket problem sorted !! Sorry about that ......
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Copernicus on October 06, 2008, 09:53:53 am
Wow!

Nardus, so you have done your long way up and the Angola trip with MJ.  Isn't there a prize for being involved in two trips listed in the Roll of Honour?  How about a year or two free subscription to Hustler or Huisgenoot or any symbol of appreciation?  You have my vote.

Congratulations for having the guts to live!

Kind regards,

Leon
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on October 30, 2008, 08:19:37 am
Just for interest sake - here is a rough idea of the route we took.


(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/XAfrica/A00.jpg)
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Frohan Visser on October 30, 2008, 09:22:15 am
Lekker....lekker
Daai kaart is ouer as baie ouens hier op die forum!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: LuckyStriker on October 30, 2008, 11:10:53 am
Just for interest sake - here is a rough idea of the route we took.

What's the story behind the other line through Central Africa?
previously planned route or road back?
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: I&horse on October 30, 2008, 11:13:49 am
Lekker....lekker
Daai kaart is ouer as baie ouens hier op die forum!!!!!!!!!

En nogal in Afrikaans ook!!!!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: LuckyStriker on October 30, 2008, 11:23:52 am
Just for interest sake - here is a rough idea of the route we took.

What's the story behind the other line through Central Africa?
previously planned route or road back?

doh!

ek sien nou eers. dis seker die roete van die 1955 overland bustoer
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: rubiblue on October 30, 2008, 09:21:31 pm
UNBELIEVABLE! A true adventurer, i am green with envy!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on October 31, 2008, 01:56:04 pm
Luckystriker - jy is darem skerp man !!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Tubeless on November 05, 2008, 01:33:09 pm
Some people's dreams are other people's realities.

Thanks Nardus for sharing - just spent the entire morning and some serious bandwidth enjoying this report.

Nike - just do it!

I can mention a million excuses why I will not be doing this - although I am sitting here drooling all over my keyboard.

Allow me just one question - what background knowledge/experience did you have of bikes (technical or otherwise ) before taking on this trip?? ???
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on November 06, 2008, 10:00:19 am
Hi Tubeless

Thanks for the reply. I must admit, 15 years ago I would say that I was fairly clueless and had very little knowledge. If one is just slightly logical and practical it is not too difficult to understand the working of a single cylinder motorcycle. With the help of a manual it is possible to do about any operation on a scooter.

I would suggest one of two criteria: Either do any long trip with an old, but reliable bike (like the XT600, Xt500, DR600), or purchase a very reliable new bike that is not likely to give any trouble (like the BMW650, KTM950). Also, it is "safer" and provides more peace of mind to do any extreme trip with a good buddy or two. Emphasis on the "good" and "or two". Nothing worst than an irritating arsehole or too many people with various ideas and agenda's.

Lastly, South Africa is one of the most "unsafe" countries and it is actually not very unsafe, but most of the rest of Africa is much safer than SA. You need some balls and confidence to deal with a couple of Arabic countries north of Equator, but a lot of bikers do go there without serious consequences.

Have fun !
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Yefimovich˛ on November 06, 2008, 06:09:13 pm
I keep reading this report and it never fails to drop my jaw!!

Thanks again!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Tubeless on November 06, 2008, 08:49:24 pm
Thanks Nardus

I will not be tackling the rest of Africa but my dream is at least our own country and southern africa. I'm a late starter but with such inspirational reports on the forum , I seem to develope some funny symptoms - something like an itch - Google  calls it restlessness >:D - the government calls it a MLC  :eek7:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Gee S on November 11, 2008, 08:51:56 am
Wow
This is what dreams are made of.
Gets my vote for best RR.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: onderbroek on January 27, 2009, 11:02:31 am
ekt dit nou geniet, sjo. O0
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: AnyWhichWay on April 23, 2009, 09:19:25 am
I'm in love with this trip.

Has ALWAYS been my dream to do the big C2C!! Thought the Twin would be perfect for the job (& I'm sure it will be) but I just love the look of these oldies in the wilderness.
And Absolutely LOVE the bit about your parent's bus tour. That is ....wait for it....LEGEND.....& I hope your not lactose intolerant cause the second part of that word is....DAIRY!!!!   
LEGENDARY!

Nardus, we'll def talk again bro! Respect!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: TVB on May 28, 2009, 12:53:29 am
Hi Nardus
In general I enjoy all RR’s, but this one kicks ass, and I love the way you kicked of as I’m also an Islander. The 1955 adventure of you family was madness, loved it especially the DRC part!!  Just a question, have you ever given the DRC a thought? You know in my opinion the way most guys travel (RACE) through Africa in record times (for obvious reasons like work and time available) they miss out on 95% of what that country actually have to offer. You have done it the right way round; spending time, chat to the locals etc. Like so many bikers report about rushing through Sudan, why? I’ve been working there totaling 2 years and great overall!

My advice, before getting intimidated by gunslingers, rumors etc, get into contact with South Africans that work and live there (like Mechem demining etc), they will give you the real ins and out, all about safety and you might end up in a UN camp as a guest, new friends and a couple cold ones. Amazed to see they report Sudan is a ‘dry’ country, Yes in the northern part under Arabian leadership, but in the South which is ruled by the Dinkas, we bought on a weekly basis even South African branded beer! Sudan is Huge! If one considers doing the DRC some day, it should take at least 2 months; otherwise you waste time and money. So much to see and to do out there, a few simple rules for safety but well worth of the trouble. Any aggressive local or rebel can be turned into a friend by offering a cigarette; don’t make eye contact with rebels etc….but you know!

You are a living DS legend~!!
Salute!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Off-Road-Adventures on November 19, 2009, 06:35:44 pm
Geez Nardus, I have just stumbled upon your trip report, and MAN what a reall awesome trip and write up!! Thanks so much for sharing it!!

Allan
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Laban on November 27, 2009, 06:53:48 pm
Respect, Respect, my Man!!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: TornadoF5 on January 20, 2010, 02:18:43 pm
Thanx a million times

(http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/5466/utheman.gif)
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: KTM Jagermeister on February 25, 2010, 12:23:42 pm
Balls of steel!  Well done!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Rock Rabbit on April 24, 2010, 08:13:21 pm
Wow, although this was written a while back it makes excellent RR reading. Fantastic story of true adventureship. Bloody marvelous ol chap.
And all thos miles aboard a Yamaha!
 :thumleft:

Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: bungycool on April 24, 2010, 10:35:20 pm
Aaaaaaarrggghh just when I had started to sleep again now I stumble upon this. awesome Nardus awesome. looks like you not only have good negotiating skills but also large angels looking after you! take it you sold the bikes in the UK. All the best.
Jim
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Huggels on April 24, 2010, 11:44:07 pm
What a trip
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: ®©errie on May 18, 2010, 10:55:03 pm
Going to read this report again and again.........GREAT STUFF!!!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nomad on May 21, 2010, 04:42:30 pm
EPIC!! Truly EPIC!! I am going to read the whole story again. I cant believe that was done! Its like something out of a novel!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Husky Boy on May 25, 2010, 11:06:07 pm
Going to read this report again and again.........GREAT STUFF!!!

Me tooo! :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: MOGGIE on July 18, 2010, 06:47:56 pm
Hi Nardus.
There ere only 3 moutains in Africawith the same fynbos. It is Table Moutain. Mariepskok outside Hoedspruit and Mount Mulanje in Malawi.
The report is great.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: goingnowherequickly on July 29, 2010, 09:36:23 pm
Flip Nardus, what a read!!
New here, been glued to the story.....
Mucho respect man ..
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Tonteldoos on August 01, 2010, 08:26:16 am
Weet nie hoekom ek jou RR nou eers lees nie, maar dit is bevange!!

Thanx for sharing  :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on September 14, 2010, 08:49:25 pm
Another stunning read !!

Shows what one can do with nothing other than a lekker good idea !

Excellent.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Dreyer on September 22, 2010, 10:07:03 pm
 :drif: :drif: :drif: :drif: :drif: :drif: :drif: :drif: :drif: :drif: :drif: :drif: :drif:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Nardus on October 08, 2010, 10:12:04 am
Thanks for the replies! Much appreciated. Wish I had time for another one like this
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Scrat on October 08, 2010, 12:19:48 pm
Dammmm!! dit was nou 'n GREAT read!! was lus om bier in te smokkel hier by die werk!! Awesome awesome!! :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Uiltjie on October 09, 2010, 06:15:47 pm
Thanks for the replies! Much appreciated. Wish I had time for another one like this

Mens moet hierdie RR ses maandeliks weer lees, dit hou jou spirit hoog!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: buzzlightyear on October 09, 2010, 09:47:44 pm
What an inspiring trip, I cannot believe it's the first time I read it. Thanks Nardus for taking the time  8)
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Airguitar on October 27, 2010, 06:06:58 pm
What a great read, what a great ride. I am once again reminded of this:-

When you plan a trip and it executes flawlessly, That's an excursion, When you plan a trip and things go wrong, but you press on, it's an ADVENTURE.

Now when's the next one?
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: ambro1 on November 02, 2010, 04:43:54 pm
when the big man comes knocking what stories would we have shared ? i think you just set a precedent thank you !
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Baches on November 16, 2010, 05:55:03 pm
Jis Nardus. Bevange RR. Moet 'n helse indruk op jou as persoon maak. Afrika toe Angola , wat is volgende ???
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: keithk on November 16, 2010, 07:02:21 pm
Nardus respect to you and Johan I have read this RR a couple of times and the second time I actually felt the sense of adventure you experienced What and achievement well done ! I thought that when I did my first Cape to Rio yacht race in 1976 it was the ultimate challenge but this beats it hands down. (Thinking to myself maybe I need another challenge) I really think you should go to press with this.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: slicknick on November 16, 2010, 10:14:14 pm
Nardus, you the man. Just read the final chapter of your ventures and I'm sitting here and contimplating the idea of resigning my job and doing the same. Jeez this report was inspiring. SALUT!!!!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: KwaiPappaGaai on January 20, 2011, 05:44:06 pm
WoW! Just read the whole thing for the last couple of days an I am amazed! Flippen awesome! Nardus, I wonder if your other trips seems small compared to this one? Do you ever feel like "Ja dit was lekker, maar nou nie so lekker soos daar deur afrika nie" ? dit was nou n lekker lees! hoop ek kan dit self ook skryf
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Charka on March 20, 2011, 05:55:25 am
Dit is befok!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Freak on March 20, 2011, 08:02:40 am
Im in. Like it.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: chicco on March 20, 2011, 09:03:15 am
So when will the book be published? Awesome stuff, your generation is in another league. :thumleft:
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: ZooDog on July 14, 2012, 08:00:12 pm
shit this was a great read hey im planning on leaving next yr april same side throu africa fuck im now def keen.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Hoorn on August 01, 2012, 09:49:15 pm
Uitmuntende leesstof! Hou van die panniërs en daai ding agter op die een motorfiets wat soos 'n bierkrat lyk.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Noneking on August 20, 2012, 09:17:39 am
Awesome read!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Uiltjie on August 30, 2013, 10:12:58 pm
Time to revive the best adventure trip ever written on WDs.

For those who haven't read this, go to page 1, you will not be sorry!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: ALLEN I on September 25, 2013, 02:42:45 pm
Awesome. awesome. just bloody awesome. a grate trip excellent reading and it just makes one jealous. thanks fore the RR. good one
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: cruizaman on November 18, 2013, 12:13:38 pm
Just had the privilege of reading this report, after a reference to it on Michnus' report. Wonderful and a fantastic adventure! Well written too!
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: advwannabe on November 23, 2013, 07:39:16 am
Hats off to you, what an awesome adventure in the true spirit Of the word !!!
Im sitting here pondering how one could acheive something like that today ???
Major RESPECT !!!

Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Off-Road-Adventures on December 07, 2013, 09:13:56 pm
Write the book Nardus! ;D
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: BigRED on December 07, 2013, 09:57:32 pm
Awesome adventure, wow.
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: Halfadog on March 22, 2014, 08:29:45 pm
AMAZING! Thanks for this report - so so cool  O0
Title: Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
Post by: grim101 on March 23, 2014, 05:50:01 pm
Nou die eerste keer op die report afgekom en dit laat my diep dink! Laat mens se lewe sommer vervelig voel na jy die gesien het! :)

AWESOME