Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => Topic started by: Xpat on January 29, 2019, 08:48:51 pm

Title: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 29, 2019, 08:48:51 pm
Intro

Few years back I tried to ride on the little tracks I plotted on sat images along the Moz coast from Marracuene just north of Maputo all the way to Vilankulos. I have managed way less than half of the planned tracks and had to chicken out the rest on EN1 tar as I was just not good enough to drag heavy ass rally kitted KTM 690 through all that sand in the available time. That failure has been recorded for posterity here: http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=188438.0 (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=188438.0)

So I had a score to settle. Being few years wiser I upgraded to KTM 500 to avoid big bike fatigue that defeated me last time. The plan was simple - start home in Midrand, make it to the coast at Macaneta in Mozambique through Swaziland to avoid Komatjipoort, and then hit the tracks I have plotted along the coast all the way to Vilankulos. For return leg Runner gave me a pipeline track that shortcutted inland almost straight from  Vilankulos to Komatjipoort and then back to Midrand via whatever dirt roads there are. Like so:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4909/39932172133_0f43008e6f_b.jpg)


I pinged Straatkat and JustBendIt, whom I used for company on my last trip through Kaokoland, but they both used elaborate and improbable excuses to stay out - I'm pretty sure they wussed out because they were just scared of the sand and myself. So solo it was.

With that sorted, I packed up and set-off on November 5th.


Edit: All the GPS tracks from this trip are too big to be attached to single post. Hence attached to this post are the GPS tracks for the Moz portion of the trip along the coast up to Pomene. The rest of the tracks from Pomene, through to Vilankulos and then back to SA are posted here: http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233639.msg4206141#msg4206141 (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233639.msg4206141#msg4206141)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: silvrav on January 29, 2019, 08:50:52 pm
 :sip:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Draadwerk on January 29, 2019, 08:51:43 pm
Sub.....
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 29, 2019, 09:17:24 pm
Day 1 - Midrand to Maguga dam (Swaziland)

Day 1 was just a long liaison, something to get done and over with as quickly as possible. To ease the pain of the long commute I plotted what I thought will be shortest route on as much dirt as possible.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4828/46845076602_ecffe36f6f_b.jpg)


To my dismay that route turned out to be about 80% tar as most of the little roads I expected to be dirt have been tarred or cemented to handle the heavy mining trucks traffic. I hit the dirt properly only few dozen km before Swaziland and followed it to the Bulembu border post.

I have managed to score my first flat within first 50 km near Bapsfontein when I stopped off tar for a piss. That must be my record as it was so far all tar, except that little dirt on the side of the road. I could not find more scenic spot - to be fair, at least there was garage on the other side of the road so I didn't have to pump the tyre up once fixed:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7903/46917155111_761fe0162d_b.jpg)


I run Tubeliss, so the flat was quickly sorted with one plug. The only problem was that I didn't have that rough piercy thingy that is used to make the hole bigger before inserting the plug - luckily there was tyre repair shop behind the garage and I could borrow one there. The plug was leaking a bit, but nothing that pumping the wheel up a bit in the morning wouldn't fix.


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7801/46192335934_81b6a4b0e5_b.jpg)


From then on it was just sheer boredom through the SA mining heartlands until the mountains at the Swazi border popped up ahead and I fiinally hit proper dirt. The track along the border to Bulembu is very scenic and enjoyable.


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7906/33020985538_e172facb4b_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7839/46896317521_d69dd7fbf8_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7836/46844262122_2e34717e51_b.jpg)


A crossing where the dirt track I rode hit the tar road between Barberton and Bulembu. This is not an art - something went wrong with the colors in this picture when I exported it.


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7873/33042264738_e57c567766_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4905/46896354141_e34017d327_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4907/46844296412_d4951610a3_b.jpg)


The border crossing was a pleasant non-event and I hit the dirt road down to Piggs Peak and from there tar down to Maguga dam for an overnighter at Maguga lodge.

The road to Pigg's Peak runs through the big forestry area and I was surprised at the method they use there to harvest the trees - they basically flatened huge areas of forrest giving the whole place an eerie post-apocalyptic look. I know nothing about forestry, but where I'm from in Europe they usually cut certain usually long and narrow stripes, that are intersped with lines of standing trees, so they never cut the big huge area. No idea what is better, but our way at least looks better.


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7810/46844314852_9a026f75a5_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4817/45981689925_3f42671711_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7894/46896397221_29d42d8f8e_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7839/46844362962_48c71335be_b.jpg)


I arrived at Maguga lodge in the late afternoon, settled into a chalet and after early dinner retreated to bed early:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7821/46896443401_5a5a1a5965_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7875/31955127687_3c67b28c46_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Offshore on January 29, 2019, 09:35:00 pm
 :thumleft:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 29, 2019, 09:39:31 pm
Day 2 - Maguga dam (Swaziland) to Macaneta (Mozambique)

The route for day 2 had three distinct parts. First to follow in reverse a track I haven't finished few years back on one of the JustBlipIt's Swazi hardcore weekends due to flat tyre. The track ended in the middle of Swaziland and from there I would take whatever dirt / tar would take me fastest to and through the border in Namaacha. From the border I plotted dirt tracks to Macaneta, circumnavigating Maputo from the north via Moamba - I have been to Maputo twice before and I knew better than to get stuck in it again. It was a long day and I hence I started early at around 6:00 am.


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7879/46845082322_73aa6d2b63_b.jpg)


Mark's track running for about 40 - 50 km turned out to be quite tricky in places due to mud and land errosion. But I managed fine and it had plenty of fun. Maguga dam lake behind:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7819/46171559834_83b07ccb3b_b.jpg)


And onwards east.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4879/46171549744_03411f7f8c_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4835/33021168438_561af0620e_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7816/46171597444_f2b7bfcb6b_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7907/46171614554_d80a45311d_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4878/31955242847_7ccfd2ea0e_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4841/33021235498_af9b4a606e_b.jpg)


Some sections were properly washed out and required a bit of scouting to find a way around:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7817/46844571222_6b793ab3c8_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7890/46171699344_5feb070d40_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4893/46896625791_a41f1e9b9c_b.jpg)


And onwars I rode:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4816/46896673761_b61a2bcc0b_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7912/45981980225_f1fe0224e3_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7923/46844691402_20f13df2d9_b.jpg)


I made an half-assed attempt to ride over this palm tree instead of doing the clever thing and ride around it and paid the price - those things are slipery:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4803/31955409567_fced5e66b3_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4844/46844711652_ae452b8756_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 29, 2019, 09:48:26 pm
There were few more tricky sections before I hit the main dirt road heading east towards Namaacha, but nothing 500 wouldn't take in its stride


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7831/31955446107_975eb53c8a_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4888/45982084435_27ed0628a9_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4901/46171900984_0afd91d5dd_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7889/39931903843_ac4250574f_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4828/46844817192_22f1815ae2_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4888/45982166205_56d8713fab_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7915/33021539858_037f68f169_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4821/46844887582_6c36f286c2_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7915/33021593638_f2d536d213_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7805/46172018134_2aacaa4679_b.jpg)


Eventually I have emerged from the bush and hit the main dirt road heading east towards Namaacha. Here crossing the Komati river (I think):


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4841/46172031674_79431202d8_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: lone riderer on January 29, 2019, 10:04:22 pm
Nice. How tough was that first day mostly sitting in the saddle or did you upgrade the stock seat?
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 29, 2019, 10:07:18 pm
Nice. How tough was that first day mostly sitting in the saddle or did you upgrade the stock seat?

No, I have a stock seat. It will toughen you up - for one day it is bearable. But after 12 days I did sit in very funny positions just to make it back. May have a look at the Seat Concept seats one of these days.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: aka.Goliath on January 29, 2019, 10:48:27 pm
Definitely have a look at the AirHawk seats. The 690 seat must be made of the same teak wood as the 500 and the AirHawk makes a huge difference and is  a much cheaper option.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: dirt rat on January 30, 2019, 07:20:56 am
See you are making peace with Tubliss.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 09:18:13 am
Definitely have a look at the AirHawk seats. The 690 seat must be made of the same teak wood as the 500 and the AirHawk makes a huge difference and is  a much cheaper option.

Thanks - you reminded me that I actually have that AirHawk somewhere in my cupboard. But to be honest, I don't like to clutter my life more than absolutely necessary on trips like this (its just one more thing to carry, adjust etc) so will probably prefer different seat even at high price (it is still probably cheaper than just new windshield on CRF250Rally from what I have seen). But most likely, being lazy and all, I will just suck it up and keep the standard seat  :)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 09:21:11 am
See you are making peace with Tubliss.

Peace is such a big word...   ;)

As we will see, Tubeliss came to bite my ass on this trip big time. That said I kind of habituated myself to it by now (i.e. carry spare inner tubes) and will stick to it as it seems to fit my kind of riding where I want solution that is less prone to puncture (or easy to fix if one gets one) and at the same time be able to variate pressures for tar (to save knobblies) and dirt (ability to ride extremely low pressures all the say down to 0), best.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: I&horse on January 30, 2019, 09:40:42 am
sub
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 10:33:51 am
I arrived at the Namaacha border at about 14:00. I prefer this normally very quiet border crossing to the hustle and bustle of Komatipoort - on my prior two visits it was always pretty smooth going, even though I didn't have visa arranged upfront and had to go through the whole visa issue procedure at the border.

But this time it came to bite me in the ass properly. It was pretty quiet, except lots of trucks loaded variety of second hand cars. That straight away gave it a bit dodgy feel, as I would bet at least some of those vehicles were not obtained legaly - seemed to me like the totsies found a new route to smuggle stolen cars from SA.

More relevant there were quite a few bored touts milling around who naturally immediately zoomed in on me. Now I have done by now dozens and dozens of African border crossings, so I'm pretty adept at keep them at bay, but these clearly worked in cohoots with the border officials and I was badly outnumbered. The immigration was no issue (this time I got visa at the consulate in Pretoria), but the piece of c&*t officer at customs pretended not to speak English and one of the lingering touts conveniently swooped in to help fill some new customs form. I kept being an asshole as much as possible short of punching the guy, but I was clearly coming short in this game. The racket was, that I had to declare the value of the items I had on me and if it was over R1000, I would have to pay some kind of deposit on the border (like 30 - 40%), supposedly refundable on the exit of Mozambique. However if I kept the value less than R1000, I didn't have to pay any deposit.

Now the tout who adopted me explained this to me (whether correct or BS I had no way to check as the officer was just incommunicado) and proceeded to change the value I have put in (about R3000 which was BS of course, but at least remotely believable) to R400 under watchfull eye of the piece of shit custom officer. Where they had me by the balls of course (unless they were bluffing all along and there was no such a thing as custom deposit), was that there were other custom officers waiting outside by the barrier who would according to the tout check the content of my luggage and easily estabish that my crap is worth way more than R400 (the smartphone on its own would probably suffice as evidence for them). So I had to fork out coule of hundred rand to grease the snakes to avert their eyes. From pure business perspective I would merrily pay that if it saved me hassle with the deposit (yes I'm pragmatist, not a moralist), but of course the whole episode left me with the sour taste in the mount as the situation was just stacked too much against me, and I felt that there most probably wasn't any such a thing as import deposit.

I have somehow managed not to punch anybody and not call anybody too outrageaus names (except probably the tout, but he merrily took it for the cut he took from the bribe), but shot out of the border at pretty foul mood. The weather wasn't helping either - there were heavy low clouds rolling about threatening proper tropical downpour every minute.

I rolled into the Namaacha town and stopped at the cash machine to get Meticais. Namaacha is a stark contrast to anything on Swazi side. It is very desolate and decreipt, looking like the war finished only a month or two ago. I've been here twice before so I knew what to expect, but with the bad weather closing in, it just looked particularly shitty.

This can be actually extended to the whole of Mozambique. It is sunny day country. Meaning, when the weather is good it looks like tropical paradise with green palm trees, red dirt roads, white sand, deep green grass, turquoise seas and colorful houses provide myriad of dazzling colors and contrasts. People smile and even the neglected buildings widespready everywhere have nice latino kind of charm with sun shining on them.

But as soon as the sun hides behind the consistent cloud cover, the place gets much more omnious and unpleasant feel. All the colors disappear into dark mush of grey and brown, people seem distinctly gloomy and the abandoned carcasses of ghostly moldy buildings (that has previously been clearly nice big properties) many of them with bullet marks that dot the landscape everywhere make one inevitably wonder about who built them, lived there and what end did they meet.

In short, Mozambique didn't welcome me with a nice vibe, so I just put my head down and focused on getting to my planned overnight spot on the beach of Macaneta as fast as possible.  I have made the mistake of riding to Macaneta through Maputo twice before, so this time I came ready and plotted a route bypassing Mapute in wide north west angle through Moamba. I thought I plotted it on tar, but to my this time pleasant surprise it turned out to me mostly very remote double track runninig up to Moamba mostly on rocky/muddy tracks along the Swazi hills and later from Moamba on sandy tracks roads towards the coast.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4825/46844957732_396ea44fdb_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7866/46844968302_f1272cfd97_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4882/45982325925_6903f20011_b.jpg)


I got caught out by quick intense downpour, that turned tracks in one section into a bit of clay nightmare. Even on light agile 500 I was sliding all over the show and duckwalking the bike for km or two. I don't know how to ride mud - I guess speed is key to keep tyres cleaning themselves, but I didn't have cojones to try that one out.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4829/46897014411_f947e1a108_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7835/31955692957_f58fd3c78c_b.jpg)


So the sand after Moamba was a welcome change. I followed my track for about 20 km until I came upon two guardhouses with slits to shoot out from and was met by two soldiers with AKs and stuff. They didn't speak English and kept saying something about quarter or some such - which I figured is either prison or military camp (I couldn't see any other buildings in the bush though). What was clear was that I was not allowed to pass so I backtracked few km to a little settlement where I turned onto another much less used track that was heading towards another track I have remembered from my map research. After getting lost in the bush few times I have eventually found the other sand road connecting Moamba nad EN1 past Maputo and about 10 - 15 km short of Marracuene and pushed on as it was getting late.


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7848/39932118463_a6d0bea7e0_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4845/46897065421_232a636b80_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7908/46897070471_a160a78faa_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7854/45982410225_6cddacf2d4_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7802/45982412875_5f1c405ee7_b.jpg)


On tar I filled up and headed for Marracuene where I turned off and crosse Inkomati river on the newly built toll bridge. I have finally arived to Macaneta already in dark and headed for one of its oldest establishments (that I have never visited before) - Tan-N'-Biki lodge. It turned out to be big establishment and to my surprise it was almost completely empty. I got a chalet and rushed to the restaurant as they were about to close due to lack of clients I assumed. That would have been a disaster after testing day as I eat only once a day in the evening and the idea of that proper meal in the evening kept me going all the way from that bloody border.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4854/31976761957_1fd81b3e21_b.jpg)


Anyway, I managed to get my obligatory 4 - 5 courses evening meal, so at the end of the day all is well that ends well.   O0
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Flouw on January 30, 2019, 10:35:51 am
sub
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Black_Hawk on January 30, 2019, 10:38:38 am
Now this looks like a awesome adventure, thanks for sharing  :thumleft:

Subscribed  :sip:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Offshore on January 30, 2019, 10:54:29 am
Nothing grates my Arse more than those corrupt Mozambique Custom Officials. Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 11:54:27 am
Day 3 - Macaneta to Bilene

The original plan for the day was to make it past Xai Xai along the coast and find a lodge or bushcamp somewhere on the beach. However when I woke up the weather was still pretty shitty with heavy low clouds all over the place promising plenty of rain soon. Which is not necessarily a bad thing on this track as this section to Bilene is probably the heaviest sand I have seen anywhere and the rain will make it easier to ride. But being wet through and through as I eventually ended up being gets old eventually, so I ended up calling it a day in Bilene where I retreated in heavy rain to my favourite there Complexo Palmeiras.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4855/46845086062_8e62628163_b.jpg)


I waited a bit in the morning to see if the weather wouldn't clear up a bit, but if that didn't happen I just geared up and set-off. First half up to Machubo I managed to stay dry, but afterwards the heavens opened up and very quickly I was soaked through and through.

Leaving Macaneta:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7873/46917824331_569f5ed9c9_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4831/46917849541_464dc9320c_b.jpg)


Then I hit the first set of dunes. Last time on 690 I battle here quite a bit, but this time it was a breeze:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7905/46844512102_94b460406d_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7811/46171628344_c8ae6c6e95_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4825/46844538722_c2f94cef61_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4818/45981877895_696a8d9084_b.jpg)


At places the track was quite a bit overgrown, but nothing to worry about too much:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7842/46003604755_523bab7e14_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4885/46865778532_a137080bc3_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4841/33042610098_01ae048b0d_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4879/46917909141_589e28e016_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7870/39953190503_b50b9d77b1_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4807/33042654598_b5451f3f01_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4834/39953233903_c7f0181a47_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7813/39953239063_55162b87d2_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4854/33042687018_17a507b8df_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7837/33042695458_504cb0edd7_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS on January 30, 2019, 12:03:04 pm
 Last time on 690 I battle here quite a bit, but this time it was a breeze:

The sand being wet helped a bit too and the lightness of the 500?
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 12:05:58 pm
Last time on 690 I battle here quite a bit, but this time it was a breeze:

The sand being wet helped a bit too and the lightness of the 500?

The sand was wet last time as well - I had rain night before if my memory serves me right. Its the weight that matters - on 690 I had to ride all the sand standing up in attack position and that whole shebeng - getting properly tired in the process. On 500 I rode most of it sitting down jumping up on pegs only few times for few dozen meters or so each time.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 12:30:57 pm
I pushed on throught deeper and deeper sand. Clearly the track past Machubo towards Bilene is used much more as most people turn inland in Machubo and head for Manhica on EN1 via private plantation. I have also noticed only once deep into the track that T4A tracks call this track 'Restricted'. I didn't see any signs or barriers saying the same thing so figured I can always plead ignorance and pushed on:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7828/46917996591_dcd0f46297_b.jpg)


Eventually GPS started squeeking at me right about here:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7836/31976938727_fe393fbae5_b.jpg)


I don't follow GPS most of the time - use it just to record tracks, but the squeeking was annoying so I stopped to check it out. It said something like - 'Warning - land mines'.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4840/46201101994_fa1747d457_b.jpg)


Now I remembered reading few years back in one of those Enduro magazines an article from a group of guys including one of my mates who were doing this track and turned back because of the possible mine hazard. I have forgotten about it completely - it maybe explains the 'restricted' designation of the track.

Anyway, the track I was on was well trodden and I had a bashplate anyway, so hey - what could go wrong? So I just pushed on along the lagoons heading north to Bilene:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4912/46865905932_9704235767_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7862/46003740855_6e2fc30621_b.jpg)


Something went wrong here, but hey, at least it is different:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4888/31976967787_b6b0dd5b85_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4873/39953357173_6919fe3a75_b.jpg)


I have made it to Bilene without any undue explosion. I stopped at garage for petrol and to my pleasant surprise found out that I can withdraw money from my card at the garage - they just swipe your card for whatever cash you need and then give you cash. No need for ATM, may come handy in one of the more remote places.

After that I ducked into the Complexo Palmeiras on the main lagoon. It was only about noon, but the weather continued to suck big time, and there is only so long I can ride with wet shrunken balls through mine fields.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4915/33042823138_5760e77e83_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7857/39953377253_922898e131_b.jpg)


The weather continued to suck, so I just lazed about for the rest of the day in my chalet and restaurant nearby:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7889/46003797805_5f5bcc6378_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7827/46866018462_6d66c656b4_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: IDR on January 30, 2019, 12:42:15 pm

... and I had a bashplate anyway, so hey - what could go wrong?


;D bash plates make a vehicle mine proof, surely???

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Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: ROOI on January 30, 2019, 12:47:07 pm
SUB  :deal:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: ButtSlider on January 30, 2019, 12:48:03 pm
Subscribed  :sip:

This is an awesome trip.  :ricky:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: frankmac on January 30, 2019, 12:48:35 pm
I couldn't make out whether they travel on the left or right hand side of the road when I went through to Zinave Park the year before last. In Portuguese times it was the right hand side.

Keep it coming, Xpat  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Oupa Foe-rie on January 30, 2019, 01:04:15 pm
I like this kind of Ride Reports and Xpat you're a master in the way you share it with us ................. :thumleft:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 01:19:07 pm
Day 4 - Bilene to Zona Braza


Next morning I finally woke to the clear sky and Mozambique improved straight away 1000%. So did my mood. Actually from now on for the rest of the trip in Moz I didn't have any more rain. This posed its own challenges as it turned horribly hot, but I managed just fine most of the days before 6:00 am and arriving to the destination at noon, or at 2:00 pm latest, to spend rest of the day lazing about the lodge and beach. That, plus light weight and agility (and lack of windscreen) of 500 which allowed me ride at quite a clip even in deep sand sitting down and hence have plenty of airflow to cool down.

Initialy the plan for the day was to ride up the coast as far as possible and try to find somewhere along the beach to sleep over. I didn't know any place which made me a bit nervous - I came ready to bushcamp, but in my heart I'm a gastro-tourist and prefer creature comforts at the end of hard ride. Plus as I said I eat only once a day and then I eat like sabre tooth tiger on crack (or rather ganja, as most of sabre tooth tigers on crack I have seen looked like vegan zombies), and I didn't fancy to try to satiate myself with varienty of bully beef and bean cans I carried for self-defence.

So I was very glad to discover on the internet that in about the right distance there is a nice beach place called Zona Braza and that became my objective for the day. Here is the route I planned and did end up riding:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7832/46897117591_f59f532c28_b.jpg)


To contradict myself right away, I started only at 7:00 am because the track runs initially through some rich man development and they had a sign up that no bikes and quads before 7. Who am I to argue with a rich man so I obliged.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4806/33043106948_2f5434f32e_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4826/33043076068_8241671fac_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4803/33043101948_ed18ac8ae2_b.jpg)


I got lost almos straight away. I got lost well, if that makes sense. Like so:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7832/46004069485_8faaa59df8_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4906/39953734953_4593d19fda_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7808/39953746133_2917dca793_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7823/33043164728_082bff3367_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4873/33043170518_629287c95c_b.jpg)


I somehow found myself on top of the dunes overlooking the beaches below:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4878/33043206638_bbf31ae901_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4813/39953783833_1906517cfc_b.jpg)


Another screwed up picture that looks like I'm riding Yamaha - not sure how to fix it so it will have to do:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4909/33043215658_0a143ca2d3_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4890/33043221458_a4d291cf1d_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7802/39953800523_7ba439c9cd_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4838/39953804583_905b2e7370_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7883/46004211635_39e3258826_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4894/39953826443_d3a47a435d_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7802/39953837713_bf6a91f3d2_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4831/46866501762_99d885584a_b.jpg)


Now, on the account of the bike laying around like a piece of discarded garbge - yes, the sidestand - or rather the bolt holding the sidestand - wiggled itself lose and broke off before I hit the dunes. While this was mildly annoying at the time (the scenery helped to sooth me), it came to bite me hard later on in the trip. So from now on, only pictures of bike leaning against something or laying down.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 01:39:15 pm
From the first set of dunes I then moved on to the next one, where I managed to get all the way down to the beach where I joined two Toyotas with Saffers with local holiday houses:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4825/33043306378_5f0e49d5f3_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7851/46918635971_94e05d0111_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4814/46918639881_6c30aee947_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4849/46918650301_d5dde5e9e8_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4898/31977549607_1c29349a42_b.jpg)


Approach down to the beach:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7842/46193900884_14dc4e6ebb_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4813/46004358435_9fe857bd00_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7807/46193933604_417efe44d6_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7912/46193938874_548c852cb9_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7834/46918714781_5762029fea_b.jpg)


Hilax nad the wounded Katoom:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7812/31977616017_9b79c34876_b.jpg)


Another screwed up picture:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7803/33043069428_8d830caa44_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4804/33043418838_3f12a48788_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7810/33043426038_48a72723e5_b.jpg)

Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 02:08:01 pm
After I bummed this beach long enough, I set-off again finding my way back inlands and towards the EN1. However hard I tried in my planning, staring for along time at satellite images in a vain effort to find some ferry landing, I couldn't find any viable crossing of the mightly Limpopo river, apart from the bridge on EN1 (if anybody knows about ferry or some such down there - I'm sure there must be something). Plus I needed to fill up so I had to make a stop in Xai Xai - one of my least favorite places in the whole of Moz.


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7891/31977643387_563a64b86c_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4820/33043444848_6d9c669463_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4876/46918781721_ffdc8fc073_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4859/39954075823_b1cb73a62b_b.jpg)


On the way to EN1 I crossed village called succintly Vladimir Lenine. I am repeating myself, but I'm sitll intrigued who outside of USSR had the great idea to name a place after one of the biggest mass murderes of 20th century. I don't think there is  place called Adolf Hitlere - actually I'm pretty sure there may be one tucked away somewhere in Argentinian Andes.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4856/46194044454_77ecd87a86_b.jpg)


Shortly after the leader of international proletariat I hit the EN1 for about 20 km to Xai Xai, where I stopped for petrol.

Quick stop over at the Engen garage:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7856/46866746122_18ef725407_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Matewis on January 30, 2019, 02:58:48 pm
SJOE!!! Mooi wereld!!
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 03:02:41 pm
After the refuel I gunned it through the choka a block traffic using pushing myself through every little gap I could find. Xai Xai is basically one big choke on EN 1 and hence always traffic jammed with people driving which and every lane they can to gain a meter or two here and there in typical african fashion. It was also early afternoon and properly hot, with fumes everywhere, so any civilized pretenses went out of the window and I just rode as fast and recklessly as I could through the town.

Once I turned off EN 1 towards Xai Xai beach few km down the road, the traffic and myself calmed down and I quickly got beach bum vibe back, especially once I hit the very pictoresque sandy track following right along the beach for next 10 - 15 km. Like so:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7882/31977703927_18b55a0d1e_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7805/46194073374_4fa45a504d_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4824/33043530968_ded0669c15_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4850/46866769702_b6847f9521_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4817/46866782412_325e21603e_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4836/46004549585_fd6b29a008_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7899/46866829242_3e79c2fb2b_b.jpg)


Eventually the track came to a fine speciman of one of those old abandoned carcass of previously grand building (couldn't figure out if it was former factory or beach resort). At this point the track turned inland, away from the beach:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4822/46194179044_570fc9b564_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7865/46194181874_feba1f9e6b_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: saklx650c on January 30, 2019, 03:15:58 pm
One word.............Awesome.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 03:34:53 pm
The sandy road headed inland most probably all the way to EN 1. I followed it for few km and then turned north again on the little tracks I have plotted on sat images. And I have to say I have done a great job  :snorting:

Main road:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4819/31977844877_6a598dcd8a_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4848/46004647685_0775223c6d_b.jpg)


And onwards north following the coast through the sticks:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7883/46194229664_3f806042d0_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7895/33043715588_873f6faa55_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7874/46004693815_9fbd1d1dd5_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7869/39954329583_ef3d6bbc53_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7880/46866995312_255429a38b_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4901/46867011932_310771e905_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4821/31978028577_996c3a3359_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4860/31978062427_27f0e1fff2_b.jpg)


There are plenty of inland lagoons like this one dotting the Moz coast. I took a break here and chatted to couple of locals who came out of the bush to check what is all the ruckus about:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7876/46919258431_8b3d5f4d82_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7923/46004897775_f4eb4efb0d_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7804/31978085667_8199b5c448_b.jpg)


And onwards towards Zona Braza and medium rare fillet steak, followed by king prawns for a bit of Omega 3. Admitedly, even without the food option ahead, the riding was just sublime, the garden of eden kind of stuff (as long as the sun shines...):


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4901/46919298971_cc0dd8555e_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7916/33043949798_a10e240828_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4894/46919327381_7c4e063398_b.jpg)


Eventually I T-boned sandy road heading straight for the dunes on the beach that would take me to the Zona Braza lodge:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4908/46867176482_f211bed864_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4847/39954547773_8fc891a200_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7880/46867195712_ba4e15b4b7_b.jpg)


The lodge was just what doctor ordered to get me back on the Moz side after the border debacle. See for yourself - first me casa:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7861/39954620133_10a8808154_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4837/39954588923_044ba7664f_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4904/31978203907_40aba7a783_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7871/31978225537_8a5a371ce5_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7899/39954639453_b90aabecc6_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7918/46194573454_faf0886aca_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7805/46867317222_934ae29b29_b.jpg)


The amenities and scenery. What more can a gastro-tourist wish for?


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7858/33044303788_f8e35e5746_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7864/46867464892_841f4b59e6_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7913/46194763204_608e798171_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7880/39954824523_9971acc409_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7872/46005233005_c272bf31db_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7905/46194727984_fd970f9172_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4817/39954782683_8f76046d29_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7818/46919487571_61b95120e3_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7905/39954725383_970276736a_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7882/46919453501_e2deb94e7a_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4891/46005155425_281eda478f_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7877/46005149905_8eac1af65a_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7850/46005182675_ab027e4ec7_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7879/46867380192_6d67e80779_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4893/39954741843_1b231317a4_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 03:42:19 pm
One word.............Awesome.

Yes I also enjoyed it mucho  ;)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 03:42:55 pm
I like this kind of Ride Reports and Xpat you're a master in the way you share it with us ................. :thumleft:


Thanks  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 03:43:27 pm
Thanks all for following and comments  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: ClimbingTurtle on January 30, 2019, 04:00:16 pm
This is so brilliant!

I am going to have to change my plans for my 50th and do some testing up these routes instead

Thanks for taking the time to type it all up - much appreciated!!

 :thumleft:  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: BLK on January 30, 2019, 04:21:05 pm
A fantastic RR.Thks for sharing.The pics just added to the drama.You have courage as well knowing that you may have to deal with these dodgy officials etc.

thks
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: sidetrack on January 30, 2019, 04:42:43 pm
So Bots cutlines, Koakoland, Moz beaches or Lesotho rocks - if you had to choose your favourite ?
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: ClemS on January 30, 2019, 04:43:43 pm
 :sip:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: sackett on January 30, 2019, 05:23:33 pm
Hardcore!!!
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: fcprinsloo7@gmail.com on January 30, 2019, 05:44:59 pm
@Xpat.

How did you like the Motoz Desert HT for that kind of trip. What mileage did you get out of the tyre?
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Amsterdam on January 30, 2019, 05:51:08 pm
One thing I don't understand about your ride reports.  You often refer to yourself as a gastro-tourist yet you keep running around the more obscure places in this part of the world.  Often not much of a culinary choice around.

One thing I have been told is that to prevent the side stand bolt failure issue is to always have the little rubber band over the end to prevent it bouncing around.  When you have the camel toe on the end of the side stand this is not much of a pain as it hooks quickly and easily that way.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 06:28:29 pm
One thing I don't understand about your ride reports.  You often refer to yourself as a gastro-tourist yet you keep running around the more obscure places in this part of the world.  Often not much of a culinary choice around.

One thing I have been told is that to prevent the side stand bolt failure issue is to always have the little rubber band over the end to prevent it bouncing around.  When you have the camel toe on the end of the side stand this is not much of a pain as it hooks quickly and easily that way.

The gastro-tourist is a bit tongue in the cheek, but there is also some substance to it. If I have a choice of making my own food or going to restaurant on a trip I would always go for the latter, even if quite pricey. And on number of occassions I have altered my plans on a whim and have gone through a lot of effort and risk (for example deciding to ride in the dark in Botswana which is one of the most stupid things one can do on the bike) just to make it to medium rare steak, especially after day or two of eating crap from cans somewhere in the bush, I'm very susceptible to this. I'm no gourment or anything, but I will go the extra distance if it is going to get me better food (or at least ability to buy condensed sweetened milk, which is my comfort food of choice on trips like this (I don't eat/drink that crap at home)).

As for the sidestand you are probably right, and my situation was even worse as I had already steel sidestand that was heavier and hence wiggling the bolt out much more. However as we speak I'm having the final solution installed - ProMotoBilles stand that clamps to the frame: https://promotobillet.com/fastwayproducts/all/ktm-husqvarna-kickstand-730 (https://promotobillet.com/fastwayproducts/all/ktm-husqvarna-kickstand-730). JustBendIt has it, Straatkat has it and all the worries about broken sidesstand are gone. Moreover, it is so sturdy that you can step on and off the bike when it is on the sidestand, which is quite an advantage for non-flexible/older people for adventure riding as otherwise you have to lift your leg all over your luggage strapped at the back.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 06:49:00 pm
@Xpat.

How did you like the Motoz Desert HT for that kind of trip. What mileage did you get out of the tyre?

I have used them only for this trip - which was about 3000 km long. At the end they still had IMO at least 1000 km in them, probably more (see attached images of the tyres at the end if the trip - just bear in mind that I have done relatively limited hard surfaces on them and always pumped them up for that). I didn't have any problems with their performance while riding, but I'm not going to be using them going forward and rather stick to the tried and tested C02 for trips like this (not for Lesotho where I'm going to go for softer tyres next time).

The reason is I had about 6 or 7 punctures on the way back home as we will see later, when my tubeliss failed and I had to use tubes (and source them continuously along the way). To be fair, it was extremely hot and I'm not sure if it really was caused by the tyre, but it is very soft walled tyre that definitely doesn't provide much protection for the tube and probably makes the tyre to heat up much more while riding in hot conditions at low tyre pressures, as I was in the sand. I have no way to prove that it was the tyre - may very well have been the tubes (though I went through like 3 of them), but my gut feel is to stay away from them and rather stick with the tried and tested C02 (which to be fair has its own limitations in terms of lower grip on hard packed surfaces, but I'm used to it).

Here is the Motoz after the trip

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4884/39964855103_62d70ce5a4_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4900/33053945688_bd46ffa08a_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7868/39964866103_7f3c36e07a_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 07:17:17 pm
So Bots cutlines, Koakoland, Moz beaches or Lesotho rocks - if you had to choose your favourite ?

That is easy - all of them, why do I need to chose?

Look, they are all very worthwhile doing, but at the same time (or maybe because of being) very different.

Kaokoland (and I include Damaraland into this as they are for me tightly interconnected) is the tourist hotspot with the best visual experience of them all provided by combination of stunning desert mountains scenery, freely roaming wild animals, and Himbas. On the other hand the riding there - while prety extensive is relatively limited to the main tracks, as it is conservation area and you are not supposed to ride off the main tracks. Now those tracks are very worthy and extensive, but the fact is that if you take your time and do them properly (which isn't going to take more than 2,5 - 3 weeks), you are kind of done with it. It may be worthwhile to come back few years later for refresh, but generally speaking it is not the best place for free form exploration.

Mozambique (I'm talking lower half here up to Vilankulos) is very differen from the rest because of its tropical (or sub-tropical) vegetation, Caribean like beaches, great food and latin vibe (it reminds me strongly of Brazil - though I have never been there  8)). It is the most user friendly of them all as it is very close compared to Kaokoland (if you live in GP, Mpumalanga, KZN, Limpopo and maybe eastern FS that is), there are lodges with good restaurants all along the coast so no need for selfcatering, and it is also very low risk compared to other locations as the south along the coast is heavily populated (it doesn't show in my report as I dont' like bothering people with pictures) - there is always some kind of settlement within km or two from where you are and tar EN1 for most part is only few km away with plenty of little paths to take you there. That means you don't need to carry excessive amounts of water or petrol like you might need to in Kaokoland and especially Botswana, and there is always help readily available should you get in trouble. So it is quite fine to ride there even solo (and yes, people are very friendly once you get off the main roads). I see sometimes people here going on bike tours to Thailand or some such (nothing wrong with that at all), while there is very similar scenery and probably even better riding available right here for much less (granted, you will not get the Thai culture and cuisine in Moz, but you will get very tropical treatment/vibe anyway). Also - if you chose your bike carefully (your Rally should be perfectly fine even though a bit heavier than mine) riding that sand is no problem even for relative bimbo like me - unlike Lesotho, where you better be on top of your game.

Botswana is by far the wildest and most risky of them all. It is unique, because in its north half (past veterinary fence0 you have wild african animals roaming freely everywhere. That, together with dense bush and deep sand gives it very unique character, that will be appreciated by people who like to explore and really get out of their comfort zone. It is also by far the most risky of all these areas (Moz being the least risky) - you will probably not find more remote places anywhere else in Southern Africa (if not in the whole of Africa) than in Bots, so you better be ready to get yourself out of bind if riding solo. For example those cutline often go for over 200 km of wild bush with big 5 everywhere. That means that if your bike breaks half way through, you have 100 km to walk. I was told by locals that healthy man can walk 30 km a day in deep sand - but I doubt it in hot summer. So your choice is to walk during the day in hot sun, or walk in the night when lions and hyenas are prowling everywhere. And you better have enough water for that walk. For me Botswana is one of the last places (if not the last) on this planet where one can explore in almost complete wilderness. But because of the dense bush you will be often limited to the already existing tracks as I would not advice trying to just crash through 100s of kms of virgin bush.

Lesotho is unique because of the mountains, but more so because of the complete freedom you have to explore. You can literally ride anywhere you want, as long as you are good enough. Your only limitation will be your skills and terain, which makes for great fun trying to plot and then ride routes connecting different places over the mountains. It is the best place if you want to explore off the beaten track - even more so than Bots because you are not limited to existing tracks. You can literally spent months discovering new interesting routes from one place to another. But you have to have right tool - bike for it. Out of all these I believe this is the only place where your Rally would be extremely limiting.

So pick whatever suits your fancy  ;)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 07:21:05 pm
Hardcore!!!

Not really - you could have easily done this on your Xt250 or XR600. No worries whatsoever. And as I said in the response to sidetrack, this is the most user friendly riding compared to other remote places in Southern Africa as it is heavily populated (so help and water and food is available readily) and also there are enough nice lodges and restaurants to provide for nice overnighters.

I'm actually wondering often why that place isn't crawling with adv bikers from north east SA (that for me would probably be North East of Bloemfontein. Obviously it is not a territory for big adv bikes, but any old school single up to 600 cc and any modern DS will do just fine (depending on ones riding abilities of course - but no you don't need to be riding god to ride that sand, just pick lighter bike).
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 08:24:57 pm
Day 5 - Zona Braza to Zavora

I woke up before sunrise and went for a stroll on the beach just as the sun came up:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4808/46013820965_dfcb5ef1f8_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7922/46875853692_edd3b185f3_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4808/46203239594_eb59962189_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7831/31986970407_1bcf6a28f4_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4856/31986991477_268e8ccecc_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4860/46928114891_6afee258ff_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7814/31987033637_474d74f4a6_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4872/31987045037_e54e8159cb_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7825/33052681398_5651e6f085_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4805/33052702318_b3a62b19ed_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7873/33052715068_2f0eaf39ff_b.jpg)


With that sorted, I packed up and headed out.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4917/39963525423_352d12c5e7_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7927/33052740548_2a78b9c046_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 08:38:08 pm
Objective for the day was Zavora beach some 155 km away.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4838/31955786197_149666146c_b.jpg)


I continued on the tracks I have plotted - they mostly followed the coast just behind the coastal dunes, and was glad to see that they continued to deliver  :ricky:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4872/46203419214_af7ea1738f_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7843/46203429414_6bc86f6cd9_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7925/46013979125_094e5ca16c_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7829/46928235751_42af4f2f4a_b.jpg)


There are plenty of inland laggons like this all along the Moz coast:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7859/33052807798_9a667b122c_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4803/46876039132_2318dcb82e_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4901/46203497494_595f2d4cf2_b.jpg)


The track run mostly on a little foot paths used by locals and their cattle, crossing the main east west running dirt roads connecting EN1 and coast once in a while:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7883/46876072402_db94d04cbb_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7820/46014084685_89b36a68bb_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7872/39963702793_4db8ffb51c_b.jpg)


The tracks connect little settlement - often housing just one family - dotted with their little fields along the coast:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7868/39963737133_17b810b295_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7880/46928374611_c9967e2dc5_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4816/46014169355_d4309d32d0_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 08:54:12 pm
The whole coastal area from Bilene onwards is one big rolling dune field overgrown by bush, populated by the locals and crisscrossed by numerous footpaths. The more north I went the less used the tracks seemed to be. Often I had to navigate on the little divides of little plots of fields and little footpaths through dense vegetation to get to the next section of the track.


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7844/39963769813_eb6c08cba2_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7908/46203640054_1f33d7c410_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4866/46876204442_340d7f4058_b.jpg)


I often came across this kind of decreipt buildings in the bush and for some reason they gave me heebeegeebees - though much less so on nice sunny day like this. Most of the settlements were empty as people were out tending to their fields or whatever chores they had to do.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4835/33052991198_efc7a8e326_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7887/46203675444_425624e7df_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7914/46203686454_666f386d41_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7867/46014342805_a0d82380a1_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4902/46928557981_7b7fd4d5bc_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7874/46928525011_4414543e9e_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 09:06:15 pm
And another turquoise lagoon:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4866/33053113948_8eef5f8c35_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7922/39963986633_12f0a821e0_b.jpg)


Most of the day was like riding through a tropical garden (excuse the un-biker like sentiment):


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7836/31987585127_0ec68b41ac_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4892/31987598467_4e9747d5c8_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4803/31987611537_4227740f53_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7800/39964052513_fd156e44e7_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4873/46014493065_5080bcdc20_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7922/31987672697_4528da8fd3_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7869/46203936784_341a2bf7fa_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7848/46928764601_6c92fa74a8_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4857/31987758367_4dbc193c04_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7841/39964137173_e8a21472ae_b.jpg)

Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: NoRush on January 30, 2019, 09:16:23 pm
Nice RR as always Xpat. You make a lot of effort with photos. Thanks
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: RobC on January 30, 2019, 09:33:05 pm
Epic RR with all the pics. :thumleft:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 09:38:54 pm
In the track I have plotted at home about 20 km before Zavora I had to divert inland to Inharrime on EN1 to bypass big lagoon sitting in the way. However in one of the stops I have noticed on a german map I had on my smartphone that there could be little bridge across the lagoon at its narrowest point. So when I reached the lagoon I turned right instead of left and took a little footpath to see what is at the other end. And sure enough, there it was - a bridge!


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7917/31987772237_ac556a3bcb_b.jpg)


Note the high tech side stand I fixed myself  :snorting:

The bridge looked a bit finicky so I went to investigate on foot. This is what I found:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7903/46928858991_d04ae6f094_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7921/31987872147_cbc9bdd91e_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7921/46204094994_652ee4f19a_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4887/46204102814_906df4194b_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4889/46204126584_e78bfca0c9_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4855/46204157734_66edbaa702_b.jpg)


Sorry for too many pictured - I got a bit mesmerised by this contraption. It felt dodgy in places, but was able to carry me to the other side (and another probably 10 locals who crossed while I conducted this thorought study). As I'm heavier than the weight on each individual wheel of 500, I argued in my head (well I might have actually spoke to myself loudly as well to crank up the currage) that the planks should be able to take it. But I wasn't exactly sure, until two locals rocked up and told me it is perfectly safe. Who am I to argue (plus I was too lazy to go around the whole lake) so I decided to give it a go. Fully aware that flooded engine here would be moerse pain in the ass, I decided to push the bike across with engine switched of, so should it crash through I would hopefully not end up with flooded engine.

The two locals helped me to push it across - for a small fee of course - and I was elated to find this little nifty shortcut that eliminated need to go through big smoke Inharrime.

Job done with my two helpers (and structural engineering experts):


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4862/33053459608_7362937513_b.jpg)


Seems like locals do not question the world famous Moz bridge building quality at all (yes - an excuse for more picture of the bridge):


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4807/46014813465_ef26c533e3_b.jpg)


OK - the last two  :peepwall:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4864/33053529988_80e1c0da45_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4830/46014893085_f46f4531cd_b.jpg)


After a short break, I jumped on the bike and pushed on following along the eastern shore of the lagoon and some bushes covering the dune separating the lagoon and the ocean:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4806/46929132141_0b6c57bbc8_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7811/46014918395_ce14d845ee_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4815/31988058017_708bb9fec2_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4809/33053597158_1531313400_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7874/46876839452_1a0390b341_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4881/33053626428_03e487f360_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7858/46014977565_97a1c4a210_b.jpg)


Once past the lagoon I T-boned the main dirt road between Inharrime and Zavora beach in a little village and rode it the last km or two to the Zavora lodge.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4861/46876888292_4fcd65affd_b.jpg)


In the lodge I booked a room in one of their wooden baracks on top of the dune. They are pretty stuffy as they have no aircon and are sittin in direct sun. On top of it for some reason they recently tarred them and the vapours were to rob me off few years of my life in the night. But hey - with no other options availalbe, still better than slumming it in the tent  :snorting:

View from my tarred dune room:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4906/46204377364_b59b76f2e9_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7819/31988131797_2158fa1308_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7889/33053685248_ac6ac60655_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4908/31988151027_8ec9a60b91_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7920/46204423204_8a00de129e_b.jpg)


As a proper beach bum, I spend the afternoon soaking in the ocean and lazing about in the lodge restaurant.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: wildside on January 30, 2019, 09:48:16 pm
Wow....an awesome solo ride and an interesting route. Nice to see some new places as well other than the usual popular holiday destinations. Lovely photos showing great scenery which all makes up for the frustrating border experiences. Well done and thanks for sharing  :sip:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 09:51:39 pm
Wow....an awesome solo ride and an interesting route. Nice to see some new places as well other than the usual popular holiday destinations. Lovely photos showing great scenery which all makes up for the frustrating border experiences. Well done and thanks for sharing  :sip:

Thanks wildside  :thumleft:

And sorry about your accident on the way home from Malawi. I'm going to catch up with your RR now.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 30, 2019, 09:52:45 pm
@RobC & @NoRush : cheers and thanks  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: ClimbingTurtle on January 31, 2019, 07:26:42 am
Zavora was one of my favourite places for a long while - we hired one of the houses at the other end of the "resort" for 3 weeks for my 40th - was a brilliant holiday, one of my best ever. Stayed there for about 2 weeks a few years after that again, booked the same house - had a great time!
But its now changed ownership, so i dont know if its better or worse - was very rustic (  :biggrin: ) when we used to go there, only had power in the day-time etc.
I should go back at some point and see - however there are soooo many other places to see......
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Brucet on January 31, 2019, 07:45:17 am
Epic trip. I have travelled Moz since the late 80's and never done this route.....Ive have been dying to do it. My old man used to own a resort in Vilankulos (Blue Waters) which he sold.
So great to see someone doing this route.

Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: sidetrack on January 31, 2019, 08:31:46 am
So Bots cutlines, Koakoland, Moz beaches or Lesotho rocks - if you had to choose your favourite ?

That is easy - all of them, why do I need to chose?


Just for a bit of fun if one had to choose one must do trip. My dad used to go on family trips when he was a boy from Pta to Xai Xai in an old Ford. Must have been quite an adventure for them.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: ButtSlider on January 31, 2019, 09:07:53 am
This is epic. Well done and thanks for sharing.  :thumleft: :sip:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: ROOI on January 31, 2019, 09:24:02 am
Really enjoying the report thanks  :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Slaaiblaar on January 31, 2019, 09:44:00 am
What n nice RR and sure it was epic. I love Mozambique and a trip like that is on my bucket list

Your pic of the old hotels just past Xai-Xai made me think of these pics

Extreme  Fridge buying
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: wilfwalk on January 31, 2019, 10:43:11 am
Hi Xpat, thanks again for a super trip report and equally great photos. Never having been to Moz before, having been put off by the numerous reports of intolerable treatment by officials and police, I find myself thinking of getting to these resorts by means other than travelling by road.  Perhaps the Dept of Tourism and the police and border officials need to sit down and plan how to encourage tourism, rather than the opposite, but that's for them to figure out.
Do you submit your trip data to Tracks4Africa ? The single track parts would not help the 4x4 community, but the rest would surely be appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time and trouble - appreciated.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: ClimbingTurtle on January 31, 2019, 10:48:42 am
Hi Xpat, thanks again for a super trip report and equally great photos. Never having been to Moz before, having been put off by the numerous reports of intolerable treatment by officials and police, I find myself thinking of getting to these resorts by means other than travelling by road.  Perhaps the Dept of Tourism and the police and border officials need to sit down and plan how to encourage tourism, rather than the opposite, but that's for them to figure out.
Do you submit your trip data to Tracks4Africa ? The single track parts would not help the 4x4 community, but the rest would surely be appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time and trouble - appreciated.

If you want a trip, go via north Kruger Park (no bikes in the KNP, but arrange a lift), cross at Pafuri border post and drive to Vilanculos - I did this a while back - brilliant drive!! The border is easy too!
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: wilfwalk on January 31, 2019, 11:02:20 am
If you want a trip, go via north Kruger Park (no bikes in the KNP, but arrange a lift), cross at Pafuri border post and drive to Vilanculos - I did this a while back - brilliant drive!! The border is easy too!

Thanks, that sure is a consideration ! Would be good to add some time into the trip and visit KNP as well. Thanks !
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Swazi Phil on January 31, 2019, 11:59:03 am
In future you can use the Siteki / Goba border post, its open 24hrs and is a lot smaller than the border you used, its usually hassle free.

Great trip, thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: RobLH on January 31, 2019, 12:02:26 pm
Hi Xpat, thanks again for a super trip report and equally great photos. Never having been to Moz before, having been put off by the numerous reports of intolerable treatment by officials and police, I find myself thinking of getting to these resorts by means other than travelling by road.  Perhaps the Dept of Tourism and the police and border officials need to sit down and plan how to encourage tourism, rather than the opposite, but that's for them to figure out.
Do you submit your trip data to Tracks4Africa ? The single track parts would not help the 4x4 community, but the rest would surely be appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time and trouble - appreciated.

Had zero hassles with the cops over December / January en route to Malawi and back.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: sidetrack on January 31, 2019, 12:49:04 pm
In future you can use the Siteki / Goba border post, its open 24hrs and is a lot smaller than the border you used, its usually hassle free.

Great trip, thanks for sharing.
Good one thanks, quite small and one would guess a lot less scammers around but then you need more paperwork for Swaziland as well ?
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: RobLH on January 31, 2019, 01:26:51 pm
Nope, Swazi very easy to get in and out of. No forms to fill out, they scan your passport and you pay 50 ront road tax 

Sorry Xpat, hijack off. Carry on the good work  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: alanB on January 31, 2019, 01:45:53 pm
If you want a trip, go via north Kruger Park (no bikes in the KNP, but arrange a lift), cross at Pafuri border post and drive to Vilanculos - I did this a while back - brilliant drive!! The border is easy too!

Thanks, that sure is a consideration ! Would be good to add some time into the trip and visit KNP as well. Thanks !

I've done that trip in my Daihatsu Rocky a few times, its one of my favourite trips because its so quiet and rugged, until you get close to the coast.

Need to camp in the bushes though one night on the way in (although that's at least what we did).
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: alanB on January 31, 2019, 01:48:48 pm
Really nice rider report Martin  :thumleft:

Your bike looks great! Very well set up for this type of thing. Really must plan to get a 500 and do the same thing!

You are becoming an authority on this type of harder core travelling IMO  O0
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: ClimbingTurtle on January 31, 2019, 01:51:25 pm
If you want a trip, go via north Kruger Park (no bikes in the KNP, but arrange a lift), cross at Pafuri border post and drive to Vilanculos - I did this a while back - brilliant drive!! The border is easy too!

Thanks, that sure is a consideration ! Would be good to add some time into the trip and visit KNP as well. Thanks !

I've done that trip in my Daihatsu Rocky a few times, its one of my favourite trips because its so quiet and rugged, until you get close to the coast.

Need to camp in the bushes though one night on the way in (although that's at least what we did).

We camped 2 nights actually - in 2006 the road was pretty rough as far as Mapai - took us 2.1/2 days to drive the 450km to the coast in 2 x Raider 4x4's - camped first night in a clearing next to the Limpopo and next night at a place we called "Iron Bridge" - fantastic trip - inspite that there were still MANY Danger - Landmine signs right next to the road, maening you dont dare step off the road....
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Brucet on January 31, 2019, 02:50:45 pm
If you want a trip, go via north Kruger Park (no bikes in the KNP, but arrange a lift), cross at Pafuri border post and drive to Vilanculos - I did this a while back - brilliant drive!! The border is easy too!

Thanks, that sure is a consideration ! Would be good to add some time into the trip and visit KNP as well. Thanks !

I've done that trip in my Daihatsu Rocky a few times, its one of my favourite trips because its so quiet and rugged, until you get close to the coast.

Need to camp in the bushes though one night on the way in (although that's at least what we did).

We camped 2 nights actually - in 2006 the road was pretty rough as far as Mapai - took us 2.1/2 days to drive the 450km to the coast in 2 x Raider 4x4's - camped first night in a clearing next to the Limpopo and next night at a place we called "Iron Bridge" - fantastic trip - inspite that there were still MANY Danger - Landmine signs right next to the road, maening you dont dare step off the road....

Agreed really nice trip. On one of the trips, we were cut off between two flooded rivers between Mapai and Pafuri which caused us to set up camp for two days. When we eventually got back to Pafuri we found that the whole of the Northern parts of Kruger had been evacuated due to flooding. They were shocked to see us. One of the best trips ever.
Just after you cross the limpopo at Mapai there is an old army base that you can visit also. Just dont drive off the roads as that place is full of landmines. In teresting also that in 1978 (i think or 79) Mapai was the site of a big shoot out invovling Freelemo, Renamo, Zim (Rhodesia) and SA. Over 2000 people were killed there.
Did you visit the "Zimbabwe de manyekeni (excuse spelling) open air museum? Aparently one of the trading posts related to the Great Zimbabwe ruins.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 31, 2019, 03:45:30 pm
Day 6 - Zavora beach to Tofo beach

I was lucky to wake up next morning albeit with slightly distorted vision. I'm no builder, but who the f@#k tars their cottages???? Unlike ClimbingTurtle, I'm not a fan of this establishment I have been here twice before and it just gets more and more dilapidated every time - and not in a charming kind of way...

I stumbled half blind out of that death trap and after about 20 minutes of fresh ocean air I got enough of my vital body functions re-established to be able to pack up and bugger off.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4805/33061489718_f543fbbcef_b.jpg)


Objective for the day was Tofo beach only about 110 km away on relatively easy tracks that I have done twice before already on heavier bikes:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4873/46172216924_bb82e1108a_b.jpg)


So I took it easy and soaked up the morning scenery with people just waking up and going about their daily business. Here locals hiding behind tall grall doing their laundry in the lake:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7922/46212336154_522ddf87ef_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4874/31995856067_4575c0fa94_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4825/46212328514_7654799c7b_b.jpg)


The tracks were the variation of the prior day's riding - little footpaths that in placed turned into jeep tracks running through palm tree alleys, dense tropical vegetation and over rolling sandy dunes:

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4916/31995849917_857716f56f_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7834/31995888697_e2b59dba71_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4888/33061531278_c7a7a040a2_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4827/46212369884_bb21530ddf_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7813/39972612743_9baf31eb1e_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7867/39972617323_55d7abaeda_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4885/33061559268_39ab32740c_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4852/31995934917_803d743bce_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7918/46212412674_20c70ba7d1_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4916/46936989971_7131de06c0_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7901/31995960497_851fbd6e3b_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 31, 2019, 06:33:51 pm
About half way through I came to Legogo - small town with the charm of wild west town on Mexican border in a midday heat:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4822/39972665893_5b1985dc40_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4881/46212434764_291c4c1fb5_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4883/31995981387_3a01d5a285_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4905/46022981615_847b09cbb7_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4889/46937016491_ed396444d7_b.jpg)


Local school:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7828/46937024531_c65243e80e_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7836/31996004637_f9870a6e14_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4883/39972704433_24f88c8225_b.jpg)


After the Legogo it was more or less the same track until I came to the dune field where I took detour across the dunes to a resort on the beach I have visited last time I was here. If I remember correctly I haven't fallen yet on this trip (at least in Moz - I have dropped the bike once in Swaziland trying to jump over fallen palm tree), so I had a lot of catching up to do. Which I did in the bloody dune field which dropped me on 15 or so km going probably 3 times.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4910/46937045101_1b8111edce_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4825/39972728173_71059afa25_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7866/39972735393_c1bc3cfdf6_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4907/46023197745_063e84b0b6_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7811/46884933372_7e3b1487dc_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7898/31996069067_208c5d157a_b.jpg)


When I arrived at the beach resort, the place seemed basically abandoned. The bar and restaurant were closed and there was no one to be seen - quite sad sight really as the location is great:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7902/39972759323_ddde68beb3_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7864/39972761593_db0da1d1af_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4847/46212617954_897d182550_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7812/46937190101_bccea60e76_b.jpg)


Eventually the owner - an middle aged Saffer living for a long time in Moz showed up with a friend and invited me for a tea to their house where their respective wifes were hairdressing each other (hope that isn't a code word for something kinky). I got my tea and we had nice chat about the life. The resort indeed wasn't prospering and if my memory serves me right they were looking either into selling the place. It is a shame as it is a nice place bot for some reason that now elludes me they were able to get enough customers in. They blamed to an extent government and some of their policies that were according to them scaring away tourists, such as the whole Renamo conflict and things like hassle on the border I have experienced.

Anyway, they were nice hospitable people and I hope the situation turns for better for them. After I finished my tea I thanked them and moved on. I crossed the dunes back and hit the trail heading north towards Tofo beach, which was still about 20 - 30 km away.

Taking break just as I got out of the dunes (and buying few plots on the way):


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4905/46885067442_a41f513490_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7827/46937198791_2a239e1442_b.jpg)


The rest of the way was combination of the trademark Moz red sand roads and more of the little footpaths running along the coast, until I hit the tar road from Inhambane and took that for the remaining few km to Tofo beach:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4913/33061793858_2607f81953_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7900/46937229041_cf825dc62a_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7808/46212686704_730618bc37_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7851/31996244787_886af2ca75_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4894/33061840418_2e74612185_b.jpg)


I arrived at Tofo shortly after noon. Since my favourite place in Tofo - or rather outside of Tofeo, Bamboozi lodge has been shat down for few years now, I headed to the next place I knew - Casa Barry sitting slap bang in the middle of the town right on top of the main beach. It is expensive, but conveniently positioned with its restaurant and bar overlooking the main beach. A good place to rest a day or two after 6 solid days of riding, so I booked a thatched hut for a two nights and moved in:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7808/46023399625_68e6b18f82_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7834/31996272767_fe71874708_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4842/39972944533_d0e355292f_b.jpg)


I have spent the rest of the day on the beach and gorging myself in the restaurant & bar.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Sheepman on January 31, 2019, 08:04:24 pm
Love the report and pics a helluva lot.....the only thing I still simply cannot get my head around is the solo tripping  ;) ( know you aint afraid of your own company etc. etc.....but still )
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 31, 2019, 08:55:12 pm
Day 7 & 8 - Tofo beach, rest days


The originaly planned rest day turned into two when I run into some problems with my credit card on the day I arrived. I have basicaly tried to pay in the restaurant and it got declined with the slip saying so, tried again with the same result, and then repeated the whole process in reception in an attempt to pay for the accommodation. So far so good (I had cash reserve), but then I received confirmation SMS from my bank that all the payments went through. The receptionist tried to validate with their bank and they said the transactions went through. As a former bank employee with good idea of internal bank operations I dived into the call center people with gusto, but to no avail. The helpfull lodge manager found out somewhere that some kind of interbank payment interface went down in the whole of Moz and said it hopefully will be resolved next day. So I was into a waiting game.

Main objective next day - the first rest day - and one of the main objectives of the whole trip was to go and swim with a whale shark. I have tried and failed on my prior two visits here due to no shark on the first trip and bad swell on the other, so I was very keen to settle that score. I went first to the nearby diving shop, but they were fully booked for the day - not a good sign.

At least I have scored some malaria treatment pills from their doctor - I was feeling funny few days back in Bilene (no I wasn't taking any prophylaxis - though I had the pills on me  :peepwall:) and it did remind me a bit of malaria symptoms - I had malaria 12 years ago in nortnern Mozambique of all places, so had personal experience. But it went away, so I just assumed it was just normal flu from getting soaked on the ride from Macaneta to Bilene. But I mentioned it to the Saffers with the lodge south of Tofo (the one they are selling), and they said I should rather get malaria treatment course which isn't expensive and take it anyway - it is not going to harm even if I don't have malaria. So that was the plan and now I had those pills to execute later on.

With that sorted I moved to the other diving shop across the town and there I got lucky - they had place available for their afternoon 'Ocean safari' tour and I booked it. Here some pictures of Tofo town to break the long text:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7897/46212772954_ec970eb508_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4805/46023457035_df30b059e4_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7800/31996340497_580ec92f1d_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7892/46212813504_51cb117492_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7833/39973038783_2910b993d5_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4903/31996376327_4eb5d1967b_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7837/31996383357_d1031607a3_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7803/46885253552_9902b94965_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 31, 2019, 09:30:39 pm
I have spent the rest of the morning lazing about the beach getting more and more grumpy. I have a confession to make - I am not a beach bum at all. I can tolerate it for a day, but I get bored very quickly and the forced tranquility and cool leisuredness and joviality of the cats and kittens on the beach gets to my nerves. Yes, I am turning into old grumpy man. But after the exquisite riding that filled all my prior days, this felt like a letdown and waste of time.

Anyway, I distracted myself my taking pictures. I got particularly interested in what looked like surfing school for local kids - that looked pretty cool:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7836/33061888438_8c6e5d19aa_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7862/31996310647_15a8f9aee6_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7821/46885271212_f56c6c0cd6_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7800/39973084663_78d1cf483d_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4814/46885292782_118d4e2a77_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7829/31996424997_5cebcd09fe_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4864/46023575665_f8dbecf3e4_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4859/46023559215_fe4862ffc6_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4831/46937495811_cd72f2f27e_b.jpg)


Finally the time has com to go and see the shark, so I grabed whatever I needed for that and headed to the dive shop still in foul mood. The dive shop was a hive of activity, they had plenty of people coming for the ride, most of them Euro backpacker types, many of them exprienced beach hoppers by the look of it (with their own fins and gopros strapped to their bodies and shit). We got the briefing, I got my fins, snorkle and googles from the shop and we walked to the beach, where we launched a boat and jump in. We have been riding (do you ride a boat?) around for a long time without so much as a glimpse of shark, dolphin or manta and in my mind I started to reconcile myself with the fact that this is going to be another failure.

But then other boats pointed us to a whale shark and the whole boat turned from tense searching to hive of excited preparation. When we got to position and got the go ahead we jumped into water and I got lost straight away. Clearly there were some pro shark swimmers who set-off at the speed of torpedo, while I was trying to figure out how the frigging snorkle works. It's been also long time since I have swam with fins (probably 12 - 13 years) so I was flailing hopelessly around, and of course I had water in my google. Neithless to say - I saw fuck-all. Some of the other managed to follow the shark for a while, but I just bailed and got back to the boat by now reconciled with the failure.

Luckily the tour guys, once everybody was back at the boat, took us for another turn getting ahead of the shark in the boat. This time I was slightly more successfull and sighted for a brief moment big shadow diving into the depths as one of the other tourists must have got too close. Not great, but better than nothing - especially as I was trying to leary how to use this whole snorkle/google contraption in the process.

Again - kudos to the tour company, they took us for third turn. This time I smartened up and left the stupid googles and snorkle. I also misuderstood the guide and heard her sceam 'wait' already flying over the side of the boat. That turned out to be an advantage as I was first in the water, and within seconds found myself face to face on colision course with moerse big fish. I flailed out of its way and to the side and succeeded in not freaking it out and turned around and tried desperately to swim with the shark for the next minute or so, which wasn't easy as that thing had some kind of turbines under its fins. I couldn't see them, but the sharks tail fin was almost motionless, and yet the thing was moving through the water at the warp speed. What also doesn't help was that as I had to turn now I was last in the row of overexcited tourists getting kicking in my face along the way.

But all that couldn't dampen the experience. I had a goose-bumps and all the grumpiness and foul mood were gone in an instant. I tried my best to keep up but eventually lost the animal, but I was completely satisfied and contentedly swam back to the boat with big smile on the face. That German guide chick probably haven't seen such pleasant eastern european yet (well if they saw the shark she might have). I have done the white shark cage dive about 4 times and been in most national parks in Africa and seen all the big 5 and stuff, but I have to say this was special.

Unfortunatelly I didn't have camerat that I can use under water so I asked an English guy who was on honeymoon and had some kind of cheapo casio camera on him if he could send me some footage and he kindly obliged. It is not great, but better than nothing:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4856/46937639541_0092885d20_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4880/39973271273_8bc3dbfde7_b.jpg)


And a little shaky video:




The rest of the day I spent in the lodge restaurant in perfect contentment. I even almost started to like the beach. When the lodge manager informed me appologetically that the credit card snafu hasn't been resolved, I said no worries, I will wait one more day. And that is how I ended up with the second rest day in Tofo.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on January 31, 2019, 09:38:32 pm
Thanks again for nice comments and following  :thumleft:

I will reply to some of the comments tomorrow - too tired now to formulate clear answers.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: hedleyj on January 31, 2019, 10:18:11 pm
Sub
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Mr Zog on February 01, 2019, 03:45:38 am
Wow Martin, what an awesome trip  :drif:  :ricky:

And the way you describe it, and all the beautiful pics, it's like I am riding alongside you...

Thank you  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: StofVreter on February 01, 2019, 12:05:20 pm
When we got to position and got the go ahead we jumped into water and I got lost straight away. Clearly there were some pro shark swimmers who set-off at the speed of torpedo, while I was trying to figure out how the frigging snorkle works. It's been also long time since I have swam with fins (probably 12 - 13 years) so I was flailing hopelessly around, and of course I had water in my google. Neithless to say - I saw fuck-all. Some of the other managed to follow the shark for a while, but I just bailed and got back to the boat by now reconciled with the failure.

Luckily the tour guys, once everybody was back at the boat, took us for another turn getting ahead of the shark in the boat. This time I was slightly more successfull and sighted for a brief moment big shadow diving into the depths as one of the other tourists must have got too close. Not great, but better than nothing - especially as I was trying to leary how to use this whole snorkle/google contraption in the process.

Again - kudos to the tour company, they took us for third turn. This time I smartened up and left the stupid googles and snorkle. I also misuderstood the guide and heard her sceam 'wait' already flying over the side of the boat. That turned out to be an advantage as I was first in the water, and within seconds found myself face to face on colision course with moerse big fish. I flailed out of its way and to the side and succeeded in not freaking it out and turned around and tried desperately to swim with the shark for the next minute or so, which wasn't easy as that thing had some kind of turbines under its fins. I couldn't see them, but the sharks tail fin was almost motionless, and yet the thing was moving through the water at the warp speed. What also doesn't help was that as I had to turn now I was last in the row of overexcited tourists getting kicking in my face along the way.

But all that couldn't dampen the experience. I had a goose-bumps and all the grumpiness and foul mood were gone in an instant. I tried my best to keep up but eventually lost the animal, but I was completely satisfied and contentedly swam back to the boat with big smile on the face. That German guide chick probably haven't seen such pleasant eastern european yet (well if they saw the shark she might have). I have done the white shark cage dive about 4 times and been in most national parks in Africa and seen all the big 5 and stuff, but I have to say this was special.

 :imaposer: :lol8: Hoooooh Boy! Loved that bit! But then I enjoy your RR's! Thank you very much!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Frog on February 01, 2019, 12:50:04 pm
Only one word - EPIC!
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 03, 2019, 09:07:09 am
The next day, rest day number 2, I opted to change the oil. Originally I wanted to do it at the halfway point in Vilankulos, but there wasn't anything else to do apart from chilling on the beach and by now I was already super cool and chilled up the wazoo. So nice little oil change - which with my mechanical abilities has always potential to turn into melodrama - would help to keep me real and grounded.

So the first order of the day was to go and get the oil. I rode up to the garage with little strip mall about 10 km outside Tofo. They had some Catrol 10W-60, which - at least in terms of specs - is even better than required 10W-50, but only in big 4 liter container. I needed only 1.5 liter, so I headed out to the next major town Inhambanne about 30 km away, confident to get what I want there.

Well my confidence was not rewarded - I tried everywhere, but couldn't get anything close to the required specs in Inhambane, only heavy duty car and 4x4 oil. The lack of sidestand made parking often tricky around the oil shops and I had to make an ass of myself couple of times leaving the bike on the pedestrian walkways leaning against random stuff:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4840/46212983084_239d88e21c_b.jpg)


Unsuccessful, I rode back to the first garage, bought the 4 liter cannister of 10-60 oil and headed back home to the Casa Barry. At the lodge I asked their mechanics for a bowl to drain the oil into, took the bashplate off and run into a problem straighaway. No matter how hard I tried with my little T wrench, I couldn't losen the 13mm drain bolt at the bottom of the engine. After many attempts in vain and seeing that the bold is getting slowly chewed up, I headed back to the mechanics for a rescue.

They couldn't find bigger wrench in their tool box at the lodge, but the head mechanic had one at his home, so we jumped into his minivan and drove to his house about 5 km out of town. The house was right by the main tar road, with noone around and completely open. I don't mean unlocked, I mean with doors left ajar all day and with his - I'm guessing - quite valuable tools laying about for everybody to see. No, he wasn't worried that somebody it going to steal something. I have seen this lack of concern for one's property many times in Africa and elsewhere, but it is always a good reminder of how safe the world actually is outside the paranoia of modern media (and outside of South Africa with it's undercurrent of racial tensions).

Back at the lodge I was able to losen the drain bolt, but run into another problem straight away - I couldn't get the oil filter out, as it is sitting snug in the oil casings and there is no easy way to grab it (and of course it is oily). Yes, I have changed the oil and filter before few times, but forgot the wire I used to get behind the filter lip to be able to pull it out. So the head mechie came to my rescue once again (luckily he kept straight face and I couldn't read what he was actually thinking) and with a little piece fo wire he got somewhere was able to get the filter out.

After that I was finally able to finish the rest of the procedure on my own. Feeling that  I might have lost a little bit of the coolness in this botched attempt at mechanicking, I retreated back to the beach and restaurant for the rest of the day to re-chill a bit again.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4911/39973147203_f00d457042_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7909/46885365282_4f61e8652c_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7872/46212962904_f6de04bc26_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4905/31996519037_6f44bd29e9_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4830/46212993794_75619144b7_b.jpg)


The credit card snafu still wasn't resolved by the end of the day, but I was too chilled to care anymore, so I just exchanged contact details with the lodge manager to be able to deal with the matter remotely and packed up to continue push north towards Vilankulos early next day.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 03, 2019, 09:53:52 am
Hi Xpat, thanks again for a super trip report and equally great photos. Never having been to Moz before, having been put off by the numerous reports of intolerable treatment by officials and police, I find myself thinking of getting to these resorts by means other than travelling by road.  Perhaps the Dept of Tourism and the police and border officials need to sit down and plan how to encourage tourism, rather than the opposite, but that's for them to figure out.
Do you submit your trip data to Tracks4Africa ? The single track parts would not help the 4x4 community, but the rest would surely be appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time and trouble - appreciated.

You have to be very careful to just follow information spread on the internet and in the media - at least if you are actually into adventure riding, not just holiday-making. I'm not saying it is all wrong, but it tends to be heavily skewed towards negative because that is what grabs attention, and - quite frankly - the average Joe who just wants to go on holiday with as little hassle as possible, is not the best benchmark to look at when looking for proper juicy adventure riding.

Quite frankly if you want to go explore areas off the beaten track in Africa (but not exclusively to Africa), some level of hassle is to be expected - if a little hassle bothers you, then quite frankly you are not into exploring and hence adventure in my book. However in my experience the hassle can be minimised or in many cases even eliminated by staying off the beaten track. The scum of all walks of life - including corrupt officials - are not going to be waiting for you along some remote path, where sometimes no tourist ventured ever before (or at least for very long time). They are going to wait for you in the natural choke points where tourist converge - airports, border crossings and along the main roads where their chances to shake you down are the best. I.e. slap bang on the most beaten track there is - which is exactly what I would expect an adventure rider to avoid anyway.

All those beaches I have visited, can be also easily visited in family 4x4 or even on big adventure bike (less so than on 4x4 as one has to be willing in some instances ride km or 2 of deeper sand). The only difference is that most people in 4x4 or on big bike will stick to EN1 and that makes all the difference. EN1 as the only main thoroughtfare through Moz (at least in the south) is a natural choke point at which all the traffic as well as local population and their settlements converge. So even without any corrupt officials EN1 is a bit of nightmare with 60 or 80 kmh speed limits for very long sections of the road as you are most of the time crossing some kind of town or village. That on its own is a recipe for frustration. Add the local officials - (they don't even need to be corrupt at all, just sitting there as they do with speed traps every few km) and you will most probably hate the experience very quickly even if just caught up actually speeding, and not shaken down for some other trumped up nonsense. And you will probably let people know about your frustration somewhere on the forum. Leaving aside that some of those tourists attract the wrong kind of attention by flashing their wealth way too much - some people just lack common sense.

Now, with just a little change - ridding mostly off the EN1 (but sometimes only 1 - 2 km away) like I did on this trip and like I believe anybody who actually aspires to ride off the beaten track should do, the picture changes completely. Apart from the border (and police roadblock in Xai Xai where they just waved me through as I was pretty dirty after 2 days of sweating in sand already), I don't think I have seen single policeman on this trip. Quite frankly - what would they want to do on those little footpaths that nobody but locals use? And as a result I had a fantastic ride among friendly locals for most of this trip. So just little change in approach like staying off the beaten track, will affect your perception (and actually your reality) of the trip fundamentaly. As suggested by CT, you can use some other border crossing like the one in Pafuri (though you are not guaranteed not to get in trouble there either - I have done Namaacha twice before without any issue), or just do what I did and just come mentaly prepared for a bit of hassle.

The only hassle I really had on this trip from officials was the first border crossing (and little bit on the second crossing in Komatipoort but I was more clever then and brushed them off). Yes it did piss me off like I described it. But would I rather not do this trip if I knew about he hassle upfront? No frigging way! Would I do this trip again? Of course, without any sliver of doubt. I would try to be more clever and use other border crossings like the one suggested by Swazi Phil or even Ponto de Ouro one, but quite frankly even if I knew that the kind of hassle I got is not common on all border crossings, I would just factor it into my expectations (i.e. just be ready to pay the bribe and approach the tout on the border myself just to go with the flow) and go anyway. Main part of the reason why I was so pissed of in Namaacha was because  they took me by surprise. If I would have known about the hassle upfront and couldn't figure out any workaround, I would just go through the process greasing my way through and I wouldn't probably be even pissed off at the end of it, because I expected that. I'm pragmatic, not moralist puritan. If the most important thing in your travels is that that things must be done right and by the book, then I'm afraid you are limited to Switzerland, maybe Germany and Singapour. None of which make for great adventure riding.


No, I didn't send my tracks to T4A. I will post them in this thread once I'm done with the report. But I have already posted most of them (the ones I did now are more or less the same with some diversions) already in my prior report 3 years ago, and as far as I know there were so far 0 takers on them. So let's see how it will go this time.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 03, 2019, 09:55:37 am
Really nice rider report Martin  :thumleft:

Your bike looks great! Very well set up for this type of thing. Really must plan to get a 500 and do the same thing!

You are becoming an authority on this type of harder core travelling IMO  O0

Thanks Alan  :thumleft:

And yes, you should start riding again - either on 500 or whatever else you might like.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 03, 2019, 10:04:16 am
If you want a trip, go via north Kruger Park (no bikes in the KNP, but arrange a lift), cross at Pafuri border post and drive to Vilanculos - I did this a while back - brilliant drive!! The border is easy too!

Thanks, that sure is a consideration ! Would be good to add some time into the trip and visit KNP as well. Thanks !

I've done that trip in my Daihatsu Rocky a few times, its one of my favourite trips because its so quiet and rugged, until you get close to the coast.

Need to camp in the bushes though one night on the way in (although that's at least what we did).

We camped 2 nights actually - in 2006 the road was pretty rough as far as Mapai - took us 2.1/2 days to drive the 450km to the coast in 2 x Raider 4x4's - camped first night in a clearing next to the Limpopo and next night at a place we called "Iron Bridge" - fantastic trip - inspite that there were still MANY Danger - Landmine signs right next to the road, maening you dont dare step off the road....

Agreed really nice trip. On one of the trips, we were cut off between two flooded rivers between Mapai and Pafuri which caused us to set up camp for two days. When we eventually got back to Pafuri we found that the whole of the Northern parts of Kruger had been evacuated due to flooding. They were shocked to see us. One of the best trips ever.
Just after you cross the limpopo at Mapai there is an old army base that you can visit also. Just dont drive off the roads as that place is full of landmines. In teresting also that in 1978 (i think or 79) Mapai was the site of a big shoot out invovling Freelemo, Renamo, Zim (Rhodesia) and SA. Over 2000 people were killed there.
Did you visit the "Zimbabwe de manyekeni (excuse spelling) open air museum? Aparently one of the trading posts related to the Great Zimbabwe ruins.


I haven't done all the way to Pafuri, but I explored quite far east from Vilankulos all the way to Machaila, but then turned north to Masangena and from there to Espungabera border crossing and onto to Zim. It is described in my prior report in quite a detail including plenty of pictures that will give you a good idea how does the area that side looks. It starts on this page;


http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=188438.60 (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=188438.60)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 03, 2019, 10:05:49 am
Wow Martin, what an awesome trip  :drif:  :ricky:

And the way you describe it, and all the beautiful pics, it's like I am riding alongside you...

Thank you  :thumleft:

Thanks Gary and everybody for nice comments!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 03, 2019, 11:34:06 am
Day 9 - Tofo beach to Pomene


In the morning I set-off early to utilize cooler morning temperatures as much as possible. Objective for the day was Pomene national reserve about half way up the coast between Tofo and Vilankulos 240 km away:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7809/46053526245_d03b964b0c_b.jpg)


First 100 km was tar - the longest tar section I was to do in Moz - because I had to circumnavigate Baia de Inhambane to be able to hit the shoreline again north of Maxixe. I hoped I will be able to cut it much shorter using about ferry running between Inhambane and Maxixe across the bay, but when I arrived I was told it is for passengers only, so I had to go long way around the bay.

After hour and a half including refuel I have made it to the point past Maxixe where my track finally turned off EN1 and I hit the sandy tracks again. It was more or less the same variety of tracks and surfaces I have ridden so far up, it was just less populated and had a bit more remote feeling:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4865/33070357998_8282ff2ef9_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7854/33070360858_083e210655_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7863/32004974837_01e40799ca_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7893/46221316704_d66cb5750b_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4813/39981483503_cc131405dd_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7844/46893828962_280b703f39_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4851/46221340784_c0b6bfc609_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7846/46031988515_2442838a69_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7831/39981512533_b5864dd348_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4829/46946060981_b82d2b5666_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7874/39981519103_1208061261_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7877/39981534113_f03a85cd6e_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7828/32005043847_08d3bf1cdb_b.jpg)


Wonder if these were locals or some old settlers from times long gone:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7904/46893885752_2afc90f9af_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7805/46032041405_f99ae69c69_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7872/39981564123_a86ceb059e_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4880/39981569733_2375f66e2a_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7923/46032068135_e37c6b7235_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4903/46032082305_20f62c7f99_b.jpg)


Finaly after few dozen km I came to the main dirt road running between Maxxinga on EN1 and Pomene national reserve. After short break I cross the road and continued on my concoction of little tracks I have plotted at home.


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7827/33070518608_2052ec5816_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4835/46946152391_5bc97bf21e_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4868/46032094355_2e88b6952a_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7862/46946169441_c70cd9137a_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 03, 2019, 11:49:26 am
The tracks I have plotted got more and more remote the further north I was heading. The are was much less populated that further south with vast swathes of dunes untended and bush left alone. The sand got deeper and more coloful, ranging between white and deep reddish orange:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7911/46893978482_50650ce71a_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4848/39981641253_44bb18e8b3_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7889/46893996512_872c45099f_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4819/33070568948_40d14ecd30_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4864/32005179257_e37ea1060b_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7866/46221544844_13ccb12e17_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7871/46946255291_66a662aece_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7885/46032198995_788f1a653e_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7834/46946265941_23c3a6799e_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4811/32005236817_52fb4004d8_b.jpg)


I was heading for a place called 'Paradise Beach Lodge' that I found on googlemaps. As I came closer to the Pomene national reserve there were number of track veering off into the dense bush and heading for the shore. I took a wrong turn (probably at the crossing at the next picture) and eventually got to little UNICEF camp, which clearly wasn't the lodge I was looking for:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7842/32005241337_2e89d0278f_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7809/32004947697_99320d0fcd_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7893/46946283141_e6c734ef69_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7873/32005252067_e809d226af_b.jpg)


Initiall the camp looked deserted, but eventually a local emerged from one of the tents and pointed me back to the right track I had to take to the lodge which was few km further north.


Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 03, 2019, 12:03:34 pm
I had few more km of deep sand to navigate. By now it was about noon and stupidly hot, but 500 made everything much easier:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7870/32005271307_474beddbd8_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7827/46946326741_6fa6450a3b_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4862/39981771263_7505f76ed7_b.jpg)


Eventually I arrived to the cringly named Paradise Beach beach. Initially the place looked completely deserted but I found some workers doing repairs on the other end of the resort. They pointed me to a bar, where a local guy told me they are open but he doesn't know the prices. I wasn't going anywhere in about 50 degrees Celsius so he made call to his boss, who told him to give me one of the thatched huts for R200 (or about less than third I usually paid) and all was dandy again. He even had a cold beer for me and promised to cook me a dinner. Score!

I was the only guest and I settled into my hut for a lazy afternoon on an indeed paradise like looking beach:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7821/32005311337_178498ae40_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7846/33070701638_075f09df1e_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7853/33070706298_b5bf78e073_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4810/39981804133_9de5ab7bdb_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4813/46032289225_4abfd1dd1a_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7834/32005332427_92e102a13e_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7809/46946355081_0b886098af_b.jpg)


Me casa:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4892/33070729018_ac2e742492_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7835/46946361511_f1a6f76771_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 03, 2019, 12:14:27 pm
Some more paradisy kitsch to finish off the day:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7900/46032316885_63d5efdf64_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4810/33070753398_089977a183_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7831/39981847863_877df83e81_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7829/46894219122_7db3b2ae02_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4892/33070749558_3a70c817ac_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4892/32005379257_6344db7645_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7913/32005382097_f09dd83a1a_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4880/46894247472_5ea2fa53fe_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7870/32005416117_dae38b2475_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7884/32005457217_3eb09e4f96_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7903/32005461027_6442c11a3b_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4838/39981915793_d66ff1d6f1_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4907/46221718564_d8ac0a8c64_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4823/46894242522_18eb70fa46_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7906/46894303072_0bdbc0a460_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 03, 2019, 12:24:01 pm
I didn't do any videos on this trip, but last time I made one roughly covering these tracks. On 690 I cut off first half or the tracks and made it on tar further to Massinga, but from there I connected to pretty much the same tracks I have ridden now. So the video gives reasonably good idea about the type of riding one can expect visiting Pomene national reseve.


Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: jaybiker on February 03, 2019, 07:21:24 pm
A World's Greatest Motorcycle Ride.

Wouldn't you say, Henry?   :lol8:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Straatkat on February 03, 2019, 09:24:06 pm
Martin I just read the whole report up to here, you are living your dream my friend! These are memories like no other and you are very fortunate to have the resources and time to do all these amazing trips, but that said you are also a special kind a guy doing this all on your own (yes I know you asked me to join) but let the truth be told, not many guys have the balls to do the trips you have done, even if they have those 2 things at their disposal. And thanks again for taking the time to document all of this, awesome read! My heart is crying that I could not join you on this one!
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Bokveld on February 03, 2019, 10:20:47 pm
  Thanks Xpat,though it's not my kettle of fish, I enjoyed your  RR very much.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: ClimbingTurtle on February 04, 2019, 08:31:59 am
Hi Xpat, thanks again for a super trip report and equally great photos. Never having been to Moz before, having been put off by the numerous reports of intolerable treatment by officials and police, I find myself thinking of getting to these resorts by means other than travelling by road.  Perhaps the Dept of Tourism and the police and border officials need to sit down and plan how to encourage tourism, rather than the opposite, but that's for them to figure out.
Do you submit your trip data to Tracks4Africa ? The single track parts would not help the 4x4 community, but the rest would surely be appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time and trouble - appreciated.

You have to be very careful to just follow information spread on the internet and in the media - at least if you are actually into adventure riding, not just holiday-making. I'm not saying it is all wrong, but it tends to be heavily skewed towards negative because that is what grabs attention, and - quite frankly - the average Joe who just wants to go on holiday with as little hassle as possible, is not the best benchmark to look at when looking for proper juicy adventure riding.
etc.

Very good points made in the above - we have been to Moz (albeit in vehicles) many times - once in a Renault Scenic, made it to Zavora - but I have yet to pay a bribe - always stick to their somewhat tedious speed limits, smile, be friendly and that solves a myriad of problems. Moz is one of my favourite places ever, but the Border crossing at komatipoort is something of nightmares - but as Martin says, if you are prepared, and dont get flustered, it can be done - but there are other easier options.

Stunning pics - brilliant writing - appreciated.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 04, 2019, 12:26:16 pm
Day 10 - Pomene to Vilankulos


This was the last day of the ride up the coast - the last 138 km before Vilankulos. The temperatures over the past few days were getting quite extreme, so I started very early to make it to Vilankulos before the afternoon heat.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4817/46915441942_f9e681e620_b.jpg)


Again, the tracks were of the same variety as earlier, just more and more remote. Thanks to the early start I hit the golden hour and the colors were even more vibrant than usually:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7905/32006010027_9a95e67bf4_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7892/46222384234_e4ffc54905_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4861/46947043091_9ddd80dd24_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7903/46894930302_d11b7bcede_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4886/39982525723_321f660344_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4865/46947069611_c11955d972_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7917/46947081921_107ae35ac6_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4854/46894963202_329c490144_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7886/39982550513_ba3b8c2193_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7826/46894977082_ed013fb469_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4848/46033080655_5f4b271482_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4859/39982571713_6f7552f165_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 04, 2019, 12:37:16 pm
There were still settlements here and there, but the area was much less populated than further down south. And the tracks were also more sparse and less used:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4838/46033100915_5f48b5a60a_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7924/46222470934_23abb5c838_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7889/39982589153_da37ff2337_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7840/32006099417_7ca6d03ffc_b.jpg)


Slash and burn is still the preferred local operating procedure for dealing with the indigenous vegetation:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7868/39982620013_c533042dc3_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7816/32006130937_f526f44dbf_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4852/46947161061_ecf3bb7928_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4830/46033155315_1c6b826554_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7845/46947176251_05145f565c_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4887/46947188811_edb891f837_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7844/46895083072_4774f1898e_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4824/39982678283_bb612dcfa3_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7884/32006182427_67bb7cf8aa_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7891/32006191427_1f03b5d6ec_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4914/39982702743_5e7870881c_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4910/46895122602_363b027c02_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: MM on February 04, 2019, 05:15:47 pm
Thanks for sharing this with us Xpat. It is an awesome ride report ! You are a true inspiration to all of us and especially wannabe adventure riders like myself.  :ricky:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 04, 2019, 06:18:20 pm
At one point I came across a river/swamp and took a bit of walking around before I found a way across:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7912/46895125542_89ffb0cf12_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7886/32006224437_34f60f78f7_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7843/46895140832_eefe8bd998_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7923/46222618074_b2300b15bb_b.jpg)


I was walking around thinking I'm alone and then I turned and these kids who were not there just a second ago were standing few meters from me. Clever African kids, they have hidden in the reeds when they saw the white devil walking around their laundry room, but their mother I have noticed only now indicated to them that it is OK to show themselves, so they did, giving me a fright:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7889/33071430588_f09ffabb12_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4874/33071705608_18712160f4_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7895/39982775093_a1809e6189_b.jpg)


I eventually found the way across and pushed on towards Vilankulos not far away by this point:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7892/32006279507_bc81aa58d6_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4877/39982802093_90294cf62f_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7816/46222693404_6890e9e701_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4812/46222711564_e63b4113c4_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4858/46895247022_0f0e8c46da_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7878/46947386701_68487de058_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4897/46033401695_03986cd5e8_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7916/46033421525_3501e858a4_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4895/46033428965_b14a1a1804_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7825/46947457351_941cd96d3d_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7819/32006457997_c819f27fbf_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4906/39982978493_d7de40cb7a_b.jpg)


Finally, I came to the outskirts of Vilankulos at about noon and rode leisuredly through the town admiring the turquoise ocean with split mind. On the one hand I was glad I have made it, on the other hand I was a bit bummed that it was over.


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7807/32006483117_0fe1f16af9_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4819/46895408532_e98b807377_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4843/46895422482_d1af2c2b7b_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4827/46895426662_ae72ef8737_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4899/32006534307_8ca151f4c5_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4870/39983050163_f905839e2a_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7914/39983066523_9375e81c23_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7850/46222929274_f545d16631_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7816/46222937614_361e86a515_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4898/46895496462_10009e6a5c_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4825/39983121023_fc645ec4ed_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7867/46947629421_0cda68c92a_b.jpg)


I didn't dwell on that for too long, rode right across the town towards my favourite joint in Vilankulos - Smuggler's, where I have spent noicy New Years celebrations 3 years ago. And seems to be way too often the case with my favourite places in Moz - Smuggler's was closed and slowly falling apart. How the f@#$ do these places go out of business when they are usually the favourite hangouts with quite a bit of customer traffic?

So I turned back and headed for another place I spent night of two previously in - a bit more upmarket, but completely emty and therefore surprisingly well priced this time. I have found about another place nearby  with what old man like me can just guess is considered cool name - Zombie Cucumber and something - that became the new favourite backpackers hangout in town, and to my surprise their shittier challets were noticeable more expensive than the lodge I was staying in. But that staff acted way more cool and ironic and stuff - I eat there few times as my place didn't have restaurant.

I settled into my airconditioned chalet just as the midday heat hit, and fell promptly asleep. That kept me busy for the rest of the day - apart for a evening dash to Zombie Cucumber for some animal protein and fermented gluten.


Me casa:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4892/39983252463_2d5d449626_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4869/39983243033_cc761426b0_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 04, 2019, 06:24:22 pm
Here is another video of my prior ride in that area between Pomene and Vilankulos. Not the same tracks - I have again chickened out on tar way too eary last time, but still gives good idea about the type of tracks in the area:


Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 04, 2019, 06:25:52 pm
Thanks for sharing this with us Xpat. It is an awesome ride report ! You are a true inspiration to all of us and especially wannabe adventure riders like myself.  :ricky:

Cheers MM  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Oubones on February 04, 2019, 08:24:27 pm
Thanks for your inspiration and effort to put these great Rr's together!
Moz is still on my list, but Kaokoland first!
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 04, 2019, 08:27:55 pm
Thanks for your inspiration and effort to put these great Rr's together!
Moz is still on my list, but Kaokoland first!

You are in KZN, which is more or less on Moz border (depending where you live of course). This trip (or most of it) can be done in a week (i.e. 9 days including both weekends). To do Kaokoland properly you need at least 16 days IMO if you factor in commute there and back.

So purely from marginal benefits/marginal costs, Moz is much better deal  and better bang for buck (monetary buck, as well as time buck) - all you need is a week.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Oubones on February 04, 2019, 09:16:37 pm
Thanks for your inspiration and effort to put these great Rr's together!
Moz is still on my list, but Kaokoland first!

You are in KZN, which is more or less on Moz border (depending where you live of course). This trip (or most of it) can be done in a week (i.e. 9 days including both weekends). To do Kaokoland properly you need at least 16 days IMO if you factor in commute there and back.

So purely from marginal benefits/marginal costs, Moz is much better deal  and better bang for buck (monetary buck, as well as time buck) - all you need is a week.
I agree there as to bang for buck, but I am going to Kaokoland with Hardy in April.
My family do not want me to just disappear into the unreachable!
They do not agree with my view that I have reached my sell by date.
Kids raised, grandkids seen, so if I die falling off a mountain or dying in the bush with a smile on my face, who cares!  :thumleft:
 
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: met eish on February 04, 2019, 10:22:53 pm
Great trip report !! thanks for making the effort with pic"s and a well written journal.
Good choice of bike, a big dualsport bike will be challenging big time,
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: evansv on February 05, 2019, 07:43:25 am
 :sip:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: DikZol on February 05, 2019, 02:11:16 pm
Your report convinced me that I should go there!  Well written and thanx for all the advice! 
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: sidetrack on February 05, 2019, 02:13:02 pm
Awaiting the next installment, would love to visit the turquoise sea and chill under a palm tree !
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: mtr89 on February 05, 2019, 06:24:38 pm
@Xpat , your ride reports are THE shit man!
Thanks for taking the time to post em up :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 05, 2019, 09:13:45 pm
Day 11 & 12 - Vilankulos


The next days I spent mostly chilling in my little airconditioned chalet, apart from an early morning dips in the ocean and dinners at Zombie Cucumber. I was feeling a bit sickly so to prevent any nasty surprise I used up the malaria treatment pills I got in Tofo and just be be sure got some more in local farmacy for back-up. The main attraction in Vilankulos is visit to the highly acclaimed Bazaruto islands nearby, but I have been there before and feeling under weather I gave them a miss this time.

I had also a little fright when I noticed that outside of the 500 engine was all covered in oil, with quite a bit of it dripping on the ground. Upon closer inspection I couldn't find any leak and the oil level in the engine was fine, so I assumed that I just overfilled the oil during oil change in Tofo. I still had about 1500 km return leg ahead, and I kept close eye on the oil, which seemed going down a bit, but very slowly without getting below the minimum level. Once back home Runner checked the things and confirmed that the oil was actually leaking around the front sprocket seal, but I'm pretty sure that the initial leak was because of the overfill (though I have no idea where the overflow for oil is on 500).

Here few postcard-ish images of Vilankulos and surrounds:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7835/46895533172_6cca889a76_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7827/33072067428_4d16550a4e_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7924/46947655651_172237454e_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7835/46223029254_19b8ea7d22_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4914/46947694921_25739bbbef_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4863/33072135548_ea116c51b5_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7861/32006692097_d5bd981ca6_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7900/32006708107_3275270c42_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4823/46895671572_b4db4fd22e_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4821/46223139274_95570b7ca0_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7810/46033796595_e300d71c1e_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7893/33072231418_a9b6378c7c_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7891/33072233098_bb91560ee7_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4894/46895697482_430db93847_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7902/33072243458_f91064e014_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 05, 2019, 09:16:17 pm
Thanks again for following and nice comments  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: ClimbingTurtle on February 06, 2019, 07:48:55 am
Lekker Pics!!

I have extremely bad memories of Vilanculos after a group of hyper-aggressive fisherman demanded compensation for the "damage" i created, resulting in his boat being damaged beyond fixing after i put a foot up against a f@cked up shell of wood he called a boat to tighten the velcro on my slops... Problem was we were way up the beach, walking, my wife & I, with a back-pack full of camera equipment - they were screaming in our faces and going hysterical - we calmly walked away, but it could easily have got nasty... But I suppose its my skewed vision and I think I must rather go back and visit again.... Just shows once again how experiense influences perception!

Looking forward to the ride back - bring it on!!!!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: sidetrack on February 06, 2019, 09:38:48 am
The Etrex 20 you use does it have enough memory to store the tracks for the entire trip ? I need to upgrade from my old units and they are seriously limited on memory.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 06, 2019, 09:42:13 am
The Etrex 20 you use does it have enough memory to store the tracks for the entire trip ? I need to upgrade from my old units and they are seriously limited on memory.

Yes, no problem with the memory, though now I have Etrex 30 as I'm about to destroy that 20 in the next episode. That said, I rarely use GPS now to navigate (though I have tracks on it and I have it on to record tracks). I use mostly mobile phone applications nowadays to navigate, as they are much more powerfull and user friently than those overpriced Garmin pieces of garbage.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: sidetrack on February 06, 2019, 09:50:36 am
The Etrex 20 you use does it have enough memory to store the tracks for the entire trip ? I need to upgrade from my old units and they are seriously limited on memory.

Yes, no problem with the memory, though now I have Etrex 30 as I'm about to destroy that 20 in the next episode. That said, I rarely use GPS now to navigate (though I have tracks on it and I have it on to record tracks). I use mostly mobile phone applications nowadays to navigate, as they are much more powerfull and user friently than those overpriced Garmin pieces of garbage.
Yes the phone is an option and so much easier to load and save data and just about anything else you can think off. I have even played with a small 7 inch tablet idea, issue is just always mounting it securely. I played with Locus last time and for me it was much better than OSMmaps (sp)
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 06, 2019, 09:53:42 am
The Etrex 20 you use does it have enough memory to store the tracks for the entire trip ? I need to upgrade from my old units and they are seriously limited on memory.

Yes, no problem with the memory, though now I have Etrex 30 as I'm about to destroy that 20 in the next episode. That said, I rarely use GPS now to navigate (though I have tracks on it and I have it on to record tracks). I use mostly mobile phone applications nowadays to navigate, as they are much more powerfull and user friently than those overpriced Garmin pieces of garbage.
Yes the phone is an option and so much easier to load and save data and just about anything else you can think off. I have even played with a small 7 inch tablet idea, issue is just always mounting it securely. I played with Locus last time and for me it was much better than OSMmaps (sp)

I don't mount it - have it in my pocket and take it out if I need to check where I am. To be fair, that ETrex probably came a bit handy even when checking if I"m on track in Moz (in Lesotho it is much less needed). The phone in pocket is not great solution if you need to navigate in busy town, but if you just need to check turn off every 10 or so km, I have no problem to stop, take picture and check the map. It is just so much more useable to get your bearings beacuse much faster than GPS.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: wilfwalk on February 06, 2019, 10:28:07 am
Thanks for your time and detailed response earlier Xpat, I didn't mean you to take up so much of your time ! Appreciated. Thanks too to Climbing Turtle and Sidetrack for your comments, also appreciated. Been off-line for a while, thus this late response. A great trip report, and I echo the comments about your confidence to do a trip in such remote areas, alone. WoW !!
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: sidetrack on February 06, 2019, 10:30:44 am
I went to the Kalahari once on my own, the wife almost had a fit  :biggrin:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: ClimbingTurtle on February 06, 2019, 10:38:05 am
XPat - what mobile phone apps do you recommend?
We use maps.me - what say you?
Thanks!!
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 06, 2019, 10:40:34 am
Sorry, but the supposed remoteness is just wrong perception that I probably unwittingly created - though I tried to explain before that it is really not the case. This ride through Moz is by far the least remote out of the ones sidetracks was enquiring earlier (Kaokoland, Bots and Lesotho). Unless seriously injured (unlikely as there are no lurkers and the speeds are generally moderate due narrow winding deep sand tracks), you will be easily able to walk out and within few km find somebody if you need a help. This is absolutely no more remote than riding DeWildt as far as I'm concerned - you will be able to reach somebody equally easily. Just look on the maps - the track runs most of the time parallel to EN1 and ofter very close. That is the most densely populated area of Moz.

That is why I said that this trip is by far the most user friendly of those other options and if I would be newbie adventurer, this is the ride I would go for first (assuming I'm willing/enjoying ride sand of course). This genuinelly feels like nice daily rideout between kitsch beach resorts, and as I said, I was done with riding by early afternoon most days and spend the rest of the day chilling around the beaches.

Believe me, you cannot even speak about this trip in the same sentence as Bots cutlines - that is a different planet and whole different kettle of risks. Moz in comparison really is nice beach holiday with some cool riding thrown in between the beaches.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 06, 2019, 10:44:38 am
XPat - what mobile phone apps do you recommend?
We use maps.me - what say you?
Thanks!!

I use:

- Mapout, which is German app and you have to pay R70 to get it in app store - after that the maps of the whole world are for free. What I like about it is you can very easily load gpx tracks on it, by just sending them to an email address you get assigned when you register. It automatically uploads to your device and you can see it. And of course it has very detailed countour maps of the whole world (you download only the ones you need) - for example it has many of not most cattle tracks in lesotho as well as hersmen huts in remote areas - no idea how they managed that.
- Mapy.cz: this is free czech application from the same people who do windity and windify. It has better maps than Mapout and it is easier to plan a route on it, but I didn't figure out yet way to load gpx tracks to it, so I use it inconjunction with mapout. Mapout for navigating while on the track, mapy.cz for route planning at base.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: ClimbingTurtle on February 06, 2019, 11:33:57 am
XPat - what mobile phone apps do you recommend?
We use maps.me - what say you?
Thanks!!

I use:

- Mapout, which is German app and you have to pay R70 to get it in app store - after that the maps of the whole world are for free. What I like about it is you can very easily load gpx tracks on it, by just sending them to an email address you get assigned when you register. It automatically uploads to your device and you can see it. And of course it has very detailed countour maps of the whole world (you download only the ones you need) - for example it has many of not most cattle tracks in lesotho as well as hersmen huts in remote areas - no idea how they managed that.
- Mapy.cz: this is free czech application from the same people who do windity and windify. It has better maps than Mapout and it is easier to plan a route on it, but I didn't figure out yet way to load gpx tracks to it, so I use it inconjunction with mapout. Mapout for navigating while on the track, mapy.cz for route planning at base.

Thanks - I will look into these now -  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: andrew5336 on February 06, 2019, 03:20:48 pm
ANOTHER awesome report.

I miss my little TW on those tracks.

As soon as I'm back on two wheels a trip up North is on
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 06, 2019, 10:17:33 pm
Day 13 - Vilankulos to Chokwe


After two days of chilling it was time to move on. Last two days I have contemplated pushing west towards Pafuri and there turn south and follow the Kruger park (or whatever it is called in Moz) eastern boundary down to Komatipoort. But it was a long ride through very remote area with unkown petrol availability (there aren't any major settlement on that route), the daily temperatures were insane, and - most importantly - by now I was after almost 2 weeks of beaches ready for the change of scenery. I was keen to not waste anymore time and get back to Joburg to get ready for the next trip in Lesotho (part of which has been documented here: http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=232705.0 (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=232705.0)).

So I decided to take the shortest route back to Komatipoort, which was taking an almost straight dirt track running along a pipeline through the bush towards Chokwe (treck I got from Runner) and then onwards on dirt roads towards Moamba and onto Komatipoort about 660 km away. Keen to get as far as possible I have decided in an uncharacteristic bout of ambition to try to get over the border in Komatipport on the same day - i.e. a very long day on 500 indeed. To do that I set-off very early at about 5:00am. As we will see shortly, it didn't work-out and I ended up sleeping over in Chokwe two thirds of the way to Komatipoort, like so:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4916/46944071712_40f3c92c4c_b.jpg)


First 30 km were on the tar connecting to EN1 and then taking about 20 km south before turning west onto a dirt road and following that for a dozen or so km until I reached the dirt track heading south west more or less straight through the bush following regular milestones indicating position of the underground pipeline.

Short stop along the way to sort out some little technical glitch I don't remember anymore:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7911/46270430874_a034d6576c_b.jpg)


And the pipeline track that will take me down to Chokwe. This track runs over 300 km more or less straight through the bush and doesn't cross a single settlement in those 300 km except one or two little dirty empty camps of maintenance crew.


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7862/32053196577_e92f797e55_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4853/46994788311_c4722f0931_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7886/46080791955_b71a984d9c_b.jpg)


About 50 km into the track I came across stranded bakkie with flat tyre. They flagged me down and one of the people in pidgin portuglish asked for a wheel spanner, which of course I didn't have. But eventually I gathered that he is asking me to take one of the little jeep tracks branching into away into the bush west where after according to him km or max 2 I was to find some kind of camp where they will have a wheel spanner, that I was to bring back. I wasn't thrilled as I was keen to make as much distance as quickly as possible while the temperatures were still bearable and I was little worried about my fuel situation, but hey - the code is not to leave a fellow human stranded in these remote places, so I turned onto the track and gunned it as fast as possible through the weaving bush track. I made it at least 5 km deep into the bush when I started seriously doubt wisdom of this endeavour as I was burning fuel and I couldn't see any camp so far.

Annoyed I hesitantly decided to persevere few km more until I came upon a clearing with a little hut and home utensils strewn all over the clearing. I called out, but there was nobody around, so I had to resort to going through the shack and other storages I could see looking for the spanner, which was nowhere to be seen. However I found other interesting stuff such as stereo and amplifies hooked up to a solar panel, home made crude rifle and bullets, as well as few steel traps. Clearly a poachers camp, as there was quite frankly nothing else to do or eat in this back and beyond.

Just as I was about to turn back I have registered loud and long 'Pfffffft' and I replied straight away with some particularly colorful obscenity. The rear wheel was flat - just like that, no riding or anything, just standing there for about 10 minutes, and it decided to call it a day. I hoped for a thorn or something that could be plugged quickly, but quick check if the Tubeliss inner pressure confirmed that the plug is not going to fix the problem.

At least it happened in probably the best possible place for the 100 km each side, as there were stumps and stick laying around that I could use to support the bike to remove the wheel as my sidestand was broken, and I couldn't use my normal procedure to support the bike. I took the wheel and tyre off and indeed, the valve on the Tubeliss inner ripped partially out of the liner. The same failure I have seen with JustBendIt in Kaokoland on his bike. It seems these inners have finite lifespan - especially in extreme heat I was riding in with low pressures in sand - and one needs to carry spare inner for this kind of long distance riding.


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7884/46270411654_3fed211e75_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4910/46942676192_9019a8d845_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4897/46942686902_a9ed035324_b.jpg)


That thatched roofed boma or whatever it is called is where they kept their guns, ammo and steel traps for everybody to see. They clearly don't have a problem with crime here:

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7805/40029874253_0a7395247f_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7909/32053252027_990c1b1ca5_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7859/46994866971_c9e9b0367e_b.jpg)


By that point the locals - a guy with his brother, wife and kid - returned and watched the procedure from the shadow of little shack, probably hoping to learn something as they had a bike with flat tyre parked there as well. In typical african fashion which doesn't recognize private property much, they didn't mind me mingling around their property (is there such a thing in Moz?) unattended and using their utensils for props, even with guns and ammo laying about in clear sight. But no - they did not have car wheel spanner.


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7841/46270527714_c4103c876e_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7824/46270534224_9e3f3c8b61_b.jpg)


I have taken the tubeliss hard liner out and packed it for emergency (it has rimlock and should I run out of tube as well I could put it in to hold the tyre on the rim while I will try to get to civilization), put the spare tube in and assmbled the wheel back together. By now I have lost at least an hour and it was properly hot. So I didn't linger packet up my belongings and hit the jeep track heading back to the pipeline road.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: sidetrack on February 07, 2019, 05:06:40 pm
An African with Euro roots might take pot shots if you invade his private property :biggrin:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 07, 2019, 05:07:55 pm
Back on the pipeline road I pushed on hard to make up for the lost time:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4887/33119143838_88ab67ff63_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7849/46080859075_779b1f41e0_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7844/46994909561_2228c0d653_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7910/46942770872_1b5f58c7bd_b.jpg)


Just as I approached first village at the end of the pipeline after more than 300 km of bush, I felt the familiar mushy feeling at the back again. By now it was afternoon and stupidly hot. I parked under the first tree that provided some semblance of shadow and took my tools out. There was no stump or rock to support the bike without sidestand and my brain wasn't working right in the heat, and I ended up throwing the bike on the ground and taking the wheel off the bike on its side. That went dandy, but in my haste I didn't think through any viable  plan to put the wheel back on. I had other more pressing issue to attend to first - and that is patching the tube. Now I wasn't good at that in the best of circumstances (I have practiced since at home and figured out where I used to go wrong - too much glue) let alone overheating in the baking temperatures with the water disapearing fast from my camel bag. I didn't have anymore an option of spare tube - apart from the front 21 inches one, that I was keeping as the last resort, should all other options fail. Well actually the last option was red tubeliss liner with rim lock that would hopefully keep the flat tyre on rim long enough to ride out the next settlement about 10 km away.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4838/46080908115_8ae6107ab6_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4880/46270604554_4023676ff0_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7872/40030000153_4779418836_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7925/32053410627_5f80c6925c_b.jpg)


I patched that bloody tube probably 4 - 5 times and the patch came off every time, when I tested it after 10 - 20 minutes waiting for it to set. Eventually - after few hours uner that tree it seemed to hold well enough, and I could turn my attention to the real problem - trying to fit the rear wheel on the laying bike. By that stage I was out of water, badly overheating and in properly foul mood. Trying unsuccessfully to put rear naked choke on the lying 500 from a rear mount for about half an hour didn' help one bit to elevate my spirits, until I had a brief moment of clarity - just enough to get a brainfart: I remembered I have long strap somewhere and decided to try to hang the rear of the bike off the tree to alow me install the rear wheel back on. It worked like a charm, but not before few failed attempts at positioning the hanging bike just right, one of which resulted in bike's front end flipping over onto the supporting tree exactly in the right angle to take part of the tree off with the GPS screen - which naturally destroyed the screen. Now my mood really improved...

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7884/46080970455_6544c87489_b.jpg)


At least I was mobile again which couldn't come to soon as I was properly thirsty. I packed up in a haste jumped on the bike and gunned it towards the first settlement. The patch lasted about 2 km before I started to twerk my ass around again, but I didn't care anymore. I wobbled the remaining 8 or so km on the sand to the village, where I crashed straight into the first shebeen I spotted. I inhaled a Coke or 4, and broke the ice with few lingering locals by checking if they didn't have by any chance a spare tube on them (nope). Once my brain function was somewhat restored I decided to push on tar that started in the village another 30 km to Chokwe, much bigger place where I should hopefully be able to get a tube. By now it was dark and the tar proved to be mixed blessing, as there was quite a lot of traffic running up and down the road - some with lights some without - which added a thrilling element to me twerking 500 at about 30 kmh through the dark Moz landscape.

Well I made it in complete darkness. Chokwe after dark turned out to be quite bustling and hustling place - it even had one set of robots on probably the only main crossing in town - and it was working! At the garage I checked for tube, but no luck so that would have to be dealt with next day. Googlemaps found me a hotel in one of the side streets and I wobbled over there for a dinner feast and beverages overload.

I have done a lot of travelling and know intinatelly the first rule that shit always happens in three instances following each other in quick succession, so wasn't entirely surprised by how the day went after the Tubeliss failure, but I still didn't particularly enjoy the trials and tribulations. As usually I did figure out a solution once in a pinch, but I may be getting a bit old for this shit...
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 07, 2019, 05:11:22 pm
An African with Euro roots might take pot shots if you invade his private property :biggrin:

Don't worry, that is still coming. Though South Africans (of all colors) are for some reason quite deferential to Euros - they let them get away with shit they wouldn't let fellow Africans (especially of darker disposition) get away with. I guess you can call it Euro privilege... I enjoy it whenever an opportunity presents itself  >:D
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 07, 2019, 08:25:48 pm
Day 14 - Chokwe


The first order of the day was to go source tube. I got lucky quickly and just to be sure bought three. Then I took my bike to the tyre repair shop to take care of fixing my rear wheel and I went for a hunt for engine oil that most resembled the W10-60 I had in. While there was still enough oil in the engine, it was getting closer to the minimum level so I decided to get more oil and take it with me should I need to fill up on the way. Getting good enough oil proved to be tough so I eventually bought some W20-50 oil that should get me home in the worst case scenario (or at least to Nelspruit where I could get oil changed for proper one).

With that sorted I returned to the tyre shop where they were finishing the bike - I have to admit they did a good job they even stuffed the old tyre in as an extra layer - a trick used here often but I didn't expect guys in the Moz stick to know about that:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7921/40030079063_407bd72528_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4844/33119317778_23714d21cc_b.jpg)


By the time I was done it was almost 10:00 am and again very hot. After prior day's ordeal I thought - screw it - and decided to rest in Chokwe as hotel was OKish and start again early next morning when temperatures will be more bearable.

I spend most of the day chilling under aircon in my room and went out only in the evening once the temperatures got bearable again. Chokwe turned out to be pretty lively place with lots of people milling around and just enjoying evening vibe. Once think that struck me through were number of big bikes I have seen parked or riding around. There were two local guys on big GSA1200 riding aimlessly around (i.e. showing off), I have seen a Tracer 900 parked in front of one shebeen and also one KLR with SA licence disk still on. So if you are missing bike like that, Chokwe may be place to go and have a look...
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Offshore on February 07, 2019, 08:34:57 pm
Great RR !  Did you encounter any Game between Vilanculos and Chokwe?
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 07, 2019, 08:41:31 pm
Great RR !  Did you encounter any Game between Vilanculos and Chokwe?

No, no game in Moz as far as I have seen. Last time I have even ridden through NP and haven't seen a single bok or anything else. I did find some spent shells though indicating where did all the animals go. That place has been completely eaten out.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Offshore on February 07, 2019, 09:10:19 pm
Riding at Night in Moz is like playing Russian Roulette, you were lucky. So many Obstacles that could end your Journey,
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 07, 2019, 09:34:57 pm
Day 15 & 16 - Chokwe to Dullstrom to Midrand


Keen to get going early I packed up most of the stuff night before and set-off early at about 5:00am. I took the dirt roads towards Moamba. The roads were very quiet and I was making good progress:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7905/46270709744_08aa89fe1b_b.jpg)


In Moamba I turned onto little dirt roads heading west to Komatipoort and took those almost all the way, jumping on the highway only for the last 5 or so km. I have arrived at the border crossing still relatively early in the morning. There was quite a bit of a traffic and local touts immediately zoomed on me. As I was leaving the country and therefore not caring about any potential weird custom nonsence they may have tried to invent I brushed them off and after waiting a bit in the immigration que, I cleared the border without too much hassle and was back in good old SA. From the border I took the N4 road to Nelspruit. But turned off the N4 at Matsulu as the plan was  to ride up along Kruger fence following track I had from Losper and sleep over somewhere around Graskop or thereabouts.

Here the state of my jacket after 2 weeks of heat in Moz:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7865/46995056731_36c51ef6c1_b.jpg)


I managed to get lost the the Matsulu township (at least that is what I think it is called), but after flapping around I have eventually found my way onto the dirt road running between railway tracks and Kruger fence. The road was actually quite enjoyable and pretty soon I have seen herd of elephants in the distance:


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4849/46995062541_908c87e77d_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4854/33119375258_cb0fcb5876_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7831/32053526257_17dd392dfe_b.jpg)


So it was a bummer when mere 10 - 15 km into the ride 500's ass started shaking again. WTF - this was new tube that lasted less than 300 km!

Well there was nothing to it, but to find suitable tree to hang the 500 off. Which took another almost 5 km to my surprise - there were plenty of trees along the road, but most of them were surrounded by very thorny bushes, or were badly accessible. Finally I found a tree that I could get close enough to without having to crush through a thorny branches, but it was on a slope. I tried first to hang up the rear wheel with front wheel up slope like so:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7804/33119403028_99a0680e9c_b.jpg)


That didn't work out as the bike was sliding backwards and I couldn't get the rear wheel up in the air, so I turned the bike around and this time got it right:


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7801/40030193453_fc62484d08_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4874/46995169381_bb303854a9_b.jpg)


I set-up my workshop on the road and started to change the tube. I got interupted once or twice by the Kruger guards patrolling the fence in bakkie. They were friendly and stopped to ask if they can help with I declined and told me to watch out for lions. Smirking I pointed at the massive electric fence about 2 meters behind me noting that I'm pretty safe, but they explained that animals regularly make it over the fence and that indeed there were lions on the loose in that area.

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7884/40030221503_613bb80f08_b.jpg)

There wasn't much I could do about that, so I just reasoned that it is so hot that the cats are sleeping anyway and just continued with the repair. Once finished I assembled the rear wheel, packed up and contemplated where to from here. Normally I would just push up the Kruger fence, but the issue was that I was again out of spare rear tubes and at the rate I was going through them I will need new one in the next 50 km, which wasn't going to happen. The annoying bit was that I started in the morning from Chokwe with 2 spare tubes, but once I made it to SA I have thrown one of them away earlier, as it was in a bag with the oil which spilled and I was too lazy to clean it up and pack it away. So like a dumbass I threw away perfectly good tube. So annoyed again I hesitantly decided to error on the side of caution, and turn back to N4. At least the elephant heard has over an hour to move and they got much closer to the fence for at least a bit of wildlife experience.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4902/46995197931_eee257b850_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7926/46081169015_6a9c9841ac_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7893/46943052462_876ccb470d_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4897/46943084922_e8b04a9400_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4868/46995260801_e37f880459_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4917/46943217702_4b1bcdd371_b.jpg)


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7906/40030370133_228dd98631_b.jpg)


By the time I made it back to N4 it was quite late. The logical solution would have been to sleepover in Nelspruit - chopperpilot kindly offered to host me, but by now I had enough of the mishaps and wanted to rather push on towards Joburg and sleep along the way. I was still not keen to do that on tar so I headed towards Dullstrom where I haven't been before hoping to find some nice accomoddation there. Next day I would just take dirt roads from there along Loskop back to Gauteng.

It was getting late and I was gunning it on tar as fast as I could, but eventually I came upon massive storm few dozen km before Dullstrom. In a blind panic I just turned into the first trout farm I came upon and luckily they had guest room into which I settled just as the deluge started. So finally some good luck.

Next day I rode to Dullstrom which is one of those artso fartso places like Clarens or some such with themed resaurants and stuff. It is quite pretty, but one thing they don't have there, are tubes. So there was nothing to it but to head west on the dirt roads towards Loskop and then onto towards Pretoria.

Sure enough, somewhere after Loskop the rear started dancing again. The tubes just seemed to disintegrated in the heat - none of the punctures was caused by puncture or snake bite - the tubes basically fell apart at the seams. The problem was I was on a highveld dirt road and there were no suitable trees along the road. I found a ditch and tried to see if I can somehow stabilize the bike enough in it to take the wheel off, but no luck.

Eventually I found good looking tree, but it was behind the fence on a private farm. Nearby there was a wired up gate they used to move cattle around, so I just opened it up and headed up about 100 meters to the tree. where I performed another one of my hanging performances. By now I was pretty smooth with it and almost chuffed with myself. What I wasn't chuffed with was that I didn't have spare tube, so my only chance was to patch the tube. Which I tried to do for the next 3 hours in hot sun, but sure enough all the patches came off.


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7849/46943242052_33f3da9743_b.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4883/33119727368_093254c081_b.jpg)


Eventualy I had enough, squeezed in the spare 21 inches front tube, packed up and pushed on. I have made it without without further drama to Bronkhorstspruit just before 5 and even managed to still buy spare tube in local bike shop just before they closed up. Happy that I had a solution should I get stranded again in the last 100 or so km to Midrand I pushed on through the more and more dense commuter traffic. There was a massive storm brewing ahead over Joburg and I was pushing hard trying to outrun it, lanesplitting quite recklessly, even riding shoulder to get around long queues at robots. I have made it back home literally as the first drops started falling and low and behold - at turn to my street i felt the by now very familiar mushy twerk from the back. But I was on the home stretch, hobble the remaining 100 or so meters home.


(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7829/32053836097_cfbc40b706_b.jpg)


Overal, great trip where I have ridden all that I wanted and on which I have learned how to change tube on a bike without sidestand.

Thanks for following, I will attach the GPS tracks to the first post for reference.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 07, 2019, 09:40:59 pm
Riding at Night in Moz is like playing Russian Roulette, you were lucky. So many Obstacles that could end your Journey,

Nah, I was riding with flat rear tyre at 30kmh max on a remote tar road with very little traffic. And whenever there was car coming from the front or back, I just pulled over and let them pass. And there weren't any animals

Now riding at night in Botswana, which I have foolishly done twice in a desperate dash to make it to the medium rare fillet steak in Audi campsite, is completely different story. Weaving between zebras, cows, donkeys and elephants (with hyenas thrown in to keep things interesting) while trying not to get overrun by massive track from behind, really is pinneacle of risk and stupidity.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: billy-joe on February 07, 2019, 10:21:22 pm
you must have the worst luck when it comes to flats.  Mouses (sp) not a better solution?  or woodies wheel worx from USA?

thanks fore rr. looking forward to your next adventure!
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Straatkat on February 07, 2019, 11:20:12 pm
Martin at least you got your stand sorted, it's very kak to ride without one, ask Tony....and you!
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: lowrider on February 08, 2019, 07:19:59 am
Excellent RR! Thanks for sharing!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Ross Riddle on February 08, 2019, 07:54:18 am
Awesome RR,

Looking at the route has got the juices flowing and going to start the planning!
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Charel on February 08, 2019, 08:18:06 am
As always, GREAT RR Xpat
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 08, 2019, 10:30:46 am
The GPS tracks for the section from Namaacha to Pomene are attached to the first post in this thread. The rest of the GPS tracks from Pomene through to Vilankulos and then back to SA are attached to this post.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 08, 2019, 10:32:37 am
Thanks again for following and comments  :thumleft:

Cheers
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: boland on February 08, 2019, 10:59:37 am
Very Epic!

Just out of interest, what pressure were you running the tubes that kept failing?
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: africanSky on February 08, 2019, 11:17:25 am
Awesome RR!! you have the worst luck of anyone when it comes to punctures though. is there not possibly something wrong with the wheel / tyre?
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 08, 2019, 11:32:57 am
Very Epic!

Just out of interest, what pressure were you running the tubes that kept failing?

I kept if always above 2 bar - more like 2.5 bar - to prevent pinch flats. With tubeliss in Moz I was riding somewhere in the 0.5 - 1 bar range, as I was mostly riding deep sand.

As I said, the tubes mostly failed at the seams - they basically fell apart and didn't have punctures, if I remember correctly. I believe extreme heat had something to do with that as tau at about same time was doing Khaudum circimnavigation in Nam and Bots and was running into the same type of problems with tubes disintegratign and patches not holding on.

I have a hunch that the rear Motoz Tractionators didn't help, but of course cannot prove it. Compared to C02 that I usualy use, they have very soft sidewalls that flexed much more and - I'm guessing here - probably heat up more than stiff walled C02s. Now it is possible that I contributed to that by riding on them flat for 30 km on tar to Chokwe - I'm sure that may have caused some structural damage that may have then came to bite me in those later flats. But the tyre was soft even before I rode it flat so who knows.

@billy-joe : I will stick with Tubeliss as for my kind of riding it offers the best in terms of ease of puncture repair (plugs) and versatility in terms of tyre pressure, that comes handy on trip like this. For example first day and last days there were mostly on tar of fast dirt and I kept my tyre pressure high to prevent excessive wear on the knobblies. And then in sand I was riding at less than 1 bar to get best traction.

Mousses, while even more robust (though not unfallible) solution in terms of flats, doesn't give me that flexibility. I came to accept that there seems to be limited time span on those Tubeliss inners, but they still last few trips for me, so from that trip on I just pack a pair of spare Tubeliss inner tubes (as well as my last resort spare tubes permanently attached to my front fender) and that should in my opinion cover me sufficiently for basically any remote trip.

That is my view - most other people riding 500 prefer mousses and had a good luck with them so far, so you have to do your own research and decide for yourself what fits you best.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 08, 2019, 11:38:21 am
Awesome RR!! you have the worst luck of anyone when it comes to punctures though. is there not possibly something wrong with the wheel / tyre?

Thanks. I just happened to be typing answer to that while you posted so please refer to the prior post.

That said, for a long time I have been more or less imune to the punctures. After this Moz trip I have spent more than month and a half riding rocks in Lesotho and had zero punctures. To be honest, I don't get too fazed by a flat here and there - on this trip it was exacerbrated by the broken sidestand and unusual frequent failure of tubes I had. The only other trip I can remember from top of my had that was really plagued by punctures was the Okavango delta one http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=192974.0 (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=192974.0).

Apart from these two trips, I don't think any of my other trips was particularly bad in terms of flats. Sure I had them here and there, but nothing out of ordinary, and quite frankly if you ride mostly long trips off the beaten track, they are to be expected to an extent.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Mikie on February 08, 2019, 11:42:08 am
Thanks for sharing another epic ride report and sharing those routes.

I am so thankful my bike is Tubeless, dont you have an option of fitting tubeless rims?
I know they are pricey but considering the headaches you went through I would think it justifies getting a set

My gf has an AT now, I dread going on trips with her and having to sort out punctures all the way along.
I am seriously looking at how I can sort that out, Tubliss conversion is currently on my radar but from your experience it seems it isnt full proof

Tubes are for bicycles IMHO
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 08, 2019, 12:00:20 pm
Thanks for sharing another epic ride report and sharing those routes.

I am so thankful my bike is Tubeless, dont you have an option of fitting tubeless rims?
I know they are pricey but considering the headaches you went through I would think it justifies getting a set

My gf has an AT now, I dread going on trips with her and having to sort out punctures all the way along.
I am seriously looking at how I can sort that out, Tubliss conversion is currently on my radar but from your experience it seems it isnt full proof

Tubes are for bicycles IMHO

I'm sure there are some Sickaflex solutions for tubeless, Tubeliss is superior for my riding to Tubeless. I can ride extremely low pressures - even flat with Tubeliss as the inner (if working) keeps the tyre on the rim. With tubeless, the tyre would lose bead. Also there are basically no proper offroad tubeless tyres availalbe (TKC80 is mostly tar/dirt road tyre IMO).

While this was a bit of bitch, if I would have been carrying spare TUbeliss inner, I would have been fine. And this kind of experiences fundamentally belong to adv riding IMO - it may sound perverse but I often even enjoy them as I don't work manually normally and this is a nice reality check that also keeps the brain exercised, as just getting tyre on/off without pinching tube is quite an interesting puzzle and enjoy findingi tricks to get it right.

Spare tubes are absolutely indispensable on trips like this - as they are the only solution that works when everything else fails (includingi tubeless - I have ridden many km on my 1150 GSA with tube in) and also can be repaired. So I will always carry them.

This whole raging debate about tubeliss vs tubes to me is clear symptom of how undifferentiated this whole adventure riding thingy became where on one extreme end it is basically people who just want to ride supersports with upright riding position and on other the traditional dual sporting, which is basically plated enduro riding off the beaten track along the lines of this trip.

If you ask anybody who has done this kind of DS trip rather than long distance touring, I think they would all agree that spare tube as a back-up is a must, regardless whether they use primarily tubes, mousses or some kind of tubeless solution. On these trips losing an hour chaning the tube is not such a big deal as these trips are open ended (I don't have to make the destination every night) and measured in hours and not in km (I spent 2 weeks riding 3000 km, which is what some people on those big tourers do in 2 days).

And vice versa, when your trips are well planned with bookings and stuff and involving eating lots of kms on relatively easy tar/dirt, then a puncture or two can throw your whole plan in the air. So I can understand the hate of tubes.

It is about specific application.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Amsterdam on February 08, 2019, 03:16:14 pm
First of all, thanks for the tracks (my Basecamp has a folder called Xpat tracks).  Secondly something about punctures.  This was unlikely to be the problem you had with the tubes but I have had it once before (okay, it was in 1979 but still, it can happen again) where I had hit a big rock that damaged the inside of the tire.  This damaged bit became almost like a pair of pliers that kept pinching the tube.  I would patch it and it literally ate the patch off my tube.  Only after several repairs did I properly inspect my tire and found the problem.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: adamktm on February 08, 2019, 03:49:22 pm
XPat - what mobile phone apps do you recommend?
We use maps.me - what say you?
Thanks!!

I use:

- Mapout, which is German app and you have to pay R70 to get it in app store - after that the maps of the whole world are for free. What I like about it is you can very easily load gpx tracks on it, by just sending them to an email address you get assigned when you register. It automatically uploads to your device and you can see it. And of course it has very detailed countour maps of the whole world (you download only the ones you need) - for example it has many of not most cattle tracks in lesotho as well as hersmen huts in remote areas - no idea how they managed that.
- Mapy.cz: this is free czech application from the same people who do windity and windify. It has better maps than Mapout and it is easier to plan a route on it, but I didn't figure out yet way to load gpx tracks to it, so I use it inconjunction with mapout. Mapout for navigating while on the track, mapy.cz for route planning at base.

Hi Xpat

Loving yet another of your R&Rís! What do you use to plot your routes? Youíve mentioned before that you find the tracks on google earth so how do you go from that to having it on your Mapout app?
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 08, 2019, 04:25:34 pm
I don't use Google Earth, I use My Maps from Google. This application is for some reason hidden away in Google portfolio - they don't seem to be keen to promote it for some reason, but I like it much more than Earth, because it allows you to combine layers, where in one you for example plot track on satellite image (same as Earth), while in the other you route track on existing Googlemaps maps (i.e. you don't need 'draw' the track yourself but just put points on existing tracks - and googlemaps have suprising amount of very remote tracks already in it - you just need to zoom in quite a bit as they don't show when looking on big map). The second way is of course much much faster, but it requires for the tracks to already exist in googlemaps (which they often do - even some that no bikers have done so far - like transit road between Khwai and Seronga in Okavango delta that I rode first time last year). So the preferred option is to use already mapped tracks, and where they don't exist on the map (as was the case for most of those Moz coastal tracks), I plot them manually looking at satellite images.

The easiest way to find My Maps is to type in google search bar "My Maps" and they will come up. You have to have google account though (for example gmail) as you are creating and storing those maps online.

Once the tracks are plotted - whichever way, I just export them as KML file (same as for Earth) to your computer and then use online converter (there are plenty just google) to convert them to gpx file. And then you proceed like with any other gpx file - you can load it directy to your GPS, or into Basecamp, or - in the case of MapOut - you just mail them to the dedicated email address you receive when you register with MapOut. After you mail them you just refresh your tracks on your phone/tablet (you have to be connected to internet of course) and they will appear there.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Just Blip It! on February 09, 2019, 10:44:44 pm
Great report Martin! Recognized all the Swazi sections and everything up to Bilene. I have ridden those a few times! Lovely photos and scenery. Thanks for sharing!
Title: Flats are life
Post by: Osadabwa on February 10, 2019, 08:07:35 am
You properly enjoyed those beach tracks! Only time I went that far down in Moz I was on a totally useless BMW F650 Dakar which fell down just looking at deep sand. Now on my XR, or on that 500 of yours, itd be a joy. I never fear sand anymore, in fact, after 5 years in Kenya I appreciate how smooth and not rocky it is!

Here comes one more opinion on tires/tubliss etc. You ride a lot of variety. The Lesotho trip and this one are totally different. Lesotho is technical, rocky and mostly slow. This one was fast, hot blasting... sand heats up those tires a lot, like you say. I reckon for the faster trips, you might want to try the Bridgestone E-79 Gritty. I finally had to change over to it after years of the CO-2 because it has an even tougher sidewall. Lasts me about 2x as long as the Mitas as well, but it's stiff... you can let air out, but she doesn't smoosh. As for the Tubliss... I also had the valve rip on me, so add me to the list. But I've decided it's still a good option for the rear. I put a mousse up front now (but again, it's always fast riding and always on horrible rocky tracks).

Sweet riding man. Go rest and go ride some more.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Straatkat on February 10, 2019, 10:53:58 am
You properly enjoyed those beach tracks! Only time I went that far down in Moz I was on a totally useless BMW F650 Dakar which fell down just looking at deep sand. Now on my XR, or on that 500 of yours, itd be a joy. I never fear sand anymore, in fact, after 5 years in Kenya I appreciate how smooth and not rocky it is!

Here comes one more opinion on tires/tubliss etc. You ride a lot of variety. The Lesotho trip and this one are totally different. Lesotho is technical, rocky and mostly slow. This one was fast, hot blasting... sand heats up those tires a lot, like you say. I reckon for the faster trips, you might want to try the Bridgestone E-79 Gritty. I finally had to change over to it after years of the CO-2 because it has an even tougher sidewall. Lasts me about 2x as long as the Mitas as well, but it's stiff... you can let air out, but she doesn't smoosh. As for the Tubliss... I also had the valve rip on me, so add me to the list. But I've decided it's still a good option for the rear. I put a mousse up front now (but again, it's always fast riding and always on horrible rocky tracks).

Sweet riding man. Go rest and go ride some more.


Osadabwa, have you tried the fatty front tyre? Golden tyre and Michelin make them as far as I know. Don't have my bike here now, it's being prepped for Koakoland, but I seem to remember it is a 90/100 or something like that. They are awesome on rocks and sand, but you have to get a fatter mousse to go with it, obviously

Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: dirt rat on February 11, 2019, 07:43:40 am
Just a theory on tubliss- the failures mentioned on this forum have one thing in common- high temperatures.
Tubliss warns the user not to exceed 110 psi.Could it be that if you are already on 110 psi - added heat factor could take the pressure way beyond 110 psi causing the failure.
I have now done in excess of 25000km on tubliss and have noticed that they still work well between 90 and 100 psi and have had zero problems so far.
Maybe in really hot conditions you should not inflate the tubliss to 110 but rather run them at slightly lower pressures.
Anyhow I am doing Kaoko Land in April and will post feedback.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: adamktm on February 11, 2019, 02:13:57 pm
I don't use Google Earth, I use My Maps from Google. This application is for some reason hidden away in Google portfolio - they don't seem to be keen to promote it for some reason, but I like it much more than Earth, because it allows you to combine layers, where in one you for example plot track on satellite image (same as Earth), while in the other you route track on existing Googlemaps maps (i.e. you don't need 'draw' the track yourself but just put points on existing tracks - and googlemaps have suprising amount of very remote tracks already in it - you just need to zoom in quite a bit as they don't show when looking on big map). The second way is of course much much faster, but it requires for the tracks to already exist in googlemaps (which they often do - even some that no bikers have done so far - like transit road between Khwai and Seronga in Okavango delta that I rode first time last year). So the preferred option is to use already mapped tracks, and where they don't exist on the map (as was the case for most of those Moz coastal tracks), I plot them manually looking at satellite images.

The easiest way to find My Maps is to type in google search bar "My Maps" and they will come up. You have to have google account though (for example gmail) as you are creating and storing those maps online.

Once the tracks are plotted - whichever way, I just export them as KML file (same as for Earth) to your computer and then use online converter (there are plenty just google) to convert them to gpx file. And then you proceed like with any other gpx file - you can load it directy to your GPS, or into Basecamp, or - in the case of MapOut - you just mail them to the dedicated email address you receive when you register with MapOut. After you mail them you just refresh your tracks on your phone/tablet (you have to be connected to internet of course) and they will appear there.

Thank you, I will give it a bash!
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: adamktm on February 11, 2019, 02:22:42 pm
You properly enjoyed those beach tracks! Only time I went that far down in Moz I was on a totally useless BMW F650 Dakar which fell down just looking at deep sand. Now on my XR, or on that 500 of yours, itd be a joy. I never fear sand anymore, in fact, after 5 years in Kenya I appreciate how smooth and not rocky it is!

Here comes one more opinion on tires/tubliss etc. You ride a lot of variety. The Lesotho trip and this one are totally different. Lesotho is technical, rocky and mostly slow. This one was fast, hot blasting... sand heats up those tires a lot, like you say. I reckon for the faster trips, you might want to try the Bridgestone E-79 Gritty. I finally had to change over to it after years of the CO-2 because it has an even tougher sidewall. Lasts me about 2x as long as the Mitas as well, but it's stiff... you can let air out, but she doesn't smoosh. As for the Tubliss... I also had the valve rip on me, so add me to the list. But I've decided it's still a good option for the rear. I put a mousse up front now (but again, it's always fast riding and always on horrible rocky tracks).

Sweet riding man. Go rest and go ride some more.


Osadabwa, have you tried the fatty front tyre? Golden tyre and Michelin make them as far as I know. Don't have my bike here now, it's being prepped for Koakoland, but I seem to remember it is a 90/100 or something like that. They are awesome on rocks and sand, but you have to get a fatter mousse to go with it, obviously

Mitts also do the fatty style front three in the C19 and C27
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: wildside on February 11, 2019, 09:09:33 pm

An interesting RR and choosing that hectic route encourages one to really discover Mozambique. I don't think I will be putting this one on my bucket list though....a little too rough for the likes of me ::). Loved your photos but sad to see the old bike always strung up and looking broken. Thanks for sharing
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Xpat on February 11, 2019, 09:45:57 pm
Thanks again for comments  :thumleft:

On the account of Tubeliss failure - yes it is entirely possible the heat and correspondingly increased pressure in the inner may have been culprit. Before I set-off for the long ride back from Vilankulos, I have made sure that the inner was in the 7 - 7.5 bar prescribed range. And unlike the prior days when I was winding through the bush most of the time at relatively moderate speed, on the day Tubeliss failed I was pushing quite a bit more on a mission and also riding straight dirt track through the bush that allowed it. So maybe going lower on tubeliss inner when it is hot may help to prevent this. But quite frankly, if you use Tubeliss, I recommend carry spare inner.

@wildside : Apart from the section from Macaneta to Bilene which is really tough sand, most of the other tracks (with wrench thrown in here and there) are really not that tough if you come on small bike. I don't know how much you enjoy sand on the XRs, but on your daughter's bike (it is 250, right?) you might be surprised that this isn't that tough. And unlike your ride around lake Malawi, you can bail out very easy on these tracks as they run in parallel with EN1 and there are regular connections going to the tar. And also it is much closer to SA so doesn't require such an big time and monetary investment like lake Malawi.

So as long as you enjoy riding sand at least little bit (and may be able to borrow your daughter's bike), you might actually enjoy this ride very much  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Mooch on February 11, 2019, 10:44:00 pm
Sub... I still need to read this properly but it looks awesome and a great RR.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Straatkat on February 20, 2019, 11:41:54 pm
Martin we need to ride this , I think the beach holiday thing will strike a chord with me.
Title: Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
Post by: Highsider on February 22, 2019, 05:04:23 am
Thanks for the entertaining RR Martin.


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