Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => Topic started by: Captain Cook on August 09, 2019, 08:01:01 pm

Title: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on August 09, 2019, 08:01:01 pm
Evening

Just returned from a 5 week 15000km Solo Adventure through Africa and let me tell you it was a life changing experience.  I started a thread in planning a ride that did not get much traction,  to be honest I did not do much planning.  I heard it said before "don't plan to leave, plan to return to normal life when you get back."  This could not be more true.  So with the map below I set off and dealt with each day and each situation as it arose.  The aim was not to ride the most difficult gravel roads or see as many tourist attractions as could,  but to get to know the local people in each country and experience their lives as they lived them.  As Riaan Manser said in his book Around Africa on my Bicycle "don't take a picture, be part of the picture".   I commit to giving you a short day by day update for the next 5 weeks.  Hold me too it and join me as I take you along with me to relive this amazing experience.  Just busy resizing my Photo's and learning how to post videos then we will be on our way.(http://IMG_20190627_095548 (1))
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: CruiserBMW on August 09, 2019, 08:12:41 pm
Can’t wait to see the rest
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on August 10, 2019, 05:00:02 am
That looks like quite a ride you didn't plan there.

 :thumleft:
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: roxenz on August 10, 2019, 07:03:14 am
Looking forward to hearing about your journey - sounds like a fantastic adventure. Your attitude is right!
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: KiLRoy on August 10, 2019, 07:29:36 am
Subscribed :thumleft:
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Tony the Boney on August 10, 2019, 07:35:20 am
Amin  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Mark D on August 10, 2019, 07:40:49 am
Amin2   :thumleft:
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Dustbiter on August 10, 2019, 08:12:03 am
Looking forward to seeing your photos and hearing of your experiences  :hello:
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on August 10, 2019, 06:30:00 pm
Let me start by asking for a little help.  I want to be able to insert the pictures in the text.  Our corporate IT policy prevents me from using a hosting site like Photobucket and only allows Google Drive.  I have copied the pictures to Google drive and make them public,  if I insert a URL I can open it so I am assuming there are no access issues.  If I insert a picture it does not work.  See examples below.  Any ideas so that I can get the show on the road?  I have looked through the thread above where this is discussed in length with no success.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1l0gRqbXwGueJ6keId9uSVWZDUCK0DyKm/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1l0gRqbXwGueJ6keId9uSVWZDUCK0DyKm/view?usp=sharing)
(https://drive.google.com/file/d/1l0gRqbXwGueJ6keId9uSVWZDUCK0DyKm/view?usp=sharing)

 
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: MRK Miller on August 11, 2019, 02:20:15 am
Also looking forward to this, and learning how to insert pictures ::) ::)
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Rooikoos on August 11, 2019, 12:30:37 pm
Let me start by asking for a little help.  I want to be able to insert the pictures in the text.  Our corporate IT policy prevents me from using a hosting site like Photobucket and only allows Google Drive.  I have copied the pictures to Google drive and make them public,  if I insert a URL I can open it so I am assuming there are no access issues.  If I insert a picture it does not work.  See examples below.  Any ideas so that I can get the show on the road?  I have looked through the thread above where this is discussed in length with no success.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1l0gRqbXwGueJ6keId9uSVWZDUCK0DyKm/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1l0gRqbXwGueJ6keId9uSVWZDUCK0DyKm/view?usp=sharing)
(https://drive.google.com/file/d/1l0gRqbXwGueJ6keId9uSVWZDUCK0DyKm/view?usp=sharing)

Try this method to embed the picture into your post ,hopefully it works (I haven't tried it):
https://gist.github.com/evansims/f23e2f49e3d4be793038
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Fransw on August 11, 2019, 01:04:51 pm
Evening

Just returned from a 5 week 15000km Solo Adventure through Africa and let me tell you it was a life changing experience.  I started a thread in planning a ride that did not get much traction,  to be honest I did not do much planning.  I heard it said before "don't plan to leave, plan to return to normal life when you get back."  This could not be more true.  So with the map below I set off and dealt with each day and each situation as it arose.  The aim was not to ride the most difficult gravel roads or see as many tourist attractions as could,  but to get to know the local people in each country and experience their lives as they lived them.  As Riaan Manser said in his book Around Africa on my Bicycle "don't take a picture, be part of the picture".   I commit to giving you a short day by day update for the next 5 weeks.  Hold me too it and join me as I take you along with me to relive this amazing experience.  Just busy resizing my Photo's and learning how to post videos then we will be on our way.(http://IMG_20190627_095548 (1))

Lekker Captain! That's the way to do it! To add to your travel philosophy the words of Kingsley Hollgate: "Don't take the route, let the route takes you"
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: OomD on August 11, 2019, 01:17:58 pm
 :sip:
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Oubones on August 11, 2019, 04:05:08 pm
Cannot help with the photo's but hope you get it sorted fast as I am looking forward to this one!
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS on August 11, 2019, 04:22:53 pm
Sub!! :thumleft:
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on August 11, 2019, 08:16:10 pm
Let me start by asking for a little help.  I want to be able to insert the pictures in the text.  Our corporate IT policy prevents me from using a hosting site like Photobucket and only allows Google Drive.  I have copied the pictures to Google drive and make them public,  if I insert a URL I can open it so I am assuming there are no access issues.  If I insert a picture it does not work.  See examples below.  Any ideas so that I can get the show on the road?  I have looked through the thread above where this is discussed in length with no success.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1l0gRqbXwGueJ6keId9uSVWZDUCK0DyKm/view?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1l0gRqbXwGueJ6keId9uSVWZDUCK0DyKm/view?usp=sharing)
(https://drive.google.com/file/d/1l0gRqbXwGueJ6keId9uSVWZDUCK0DyKm/view?usp=sharing)

Try this method to embed the picture into your post ,hopefully it works (I haven't tried it):
https://gist.github.com/evansims/f23e2f49e3d4be793038

Thanks Rooikoos.  I followed the link to the article and played around a bit and got it working.  First post on its way shortley. 
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: MillionMiles on August 12, 2019, 03:54:12 pm
.
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Bernoulli on August 12, 2019, 04:37:13 pm
[Thanks Rooikoos.  I followed the link to the article and played around a bit and got it working. First post on its way shortley.

Just thought I should mention - it is now 21 hours and 30 minutes later  :peepwall: :drif: :imaposer:
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: RobLH on August 14, 2019, 10:52:28 am
Sub for sure
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: ClimbingTurtle on August 14, 2019, 11:39:50 am
I'm in.....
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on August 15, 2019, 05:15:11 pm
Tonight I promise.  Been in hospital but back home now.
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Oubones on August 15, 2019, 09:33:50 pm
We will wait! I impatiently! :thumleft: :peepwall:
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: big oil on August 16, 2019, 03:36:59 am
 :sip:  :happy1:
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: 0012 on August 16, 2019, 11:54:59 am
I hereby commit to subscribing to this thread, has all the makings of an epic  :biggrin:   :sip:
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: edgy on August 16, 2019, 12:02:19 pm
 :peepwall:
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on August 16, 2019, 07:06:41 pm
Planning or lack thereof

I had been thinking about this trip for over a year but never got down to any real planning having spent most of my time sitting in a sunny spot dreaming of riding for days on end without a care in the world.  This year had many ups and downs and then all of a sudden all of the stars lined up and the trip was on.  With four weeks to go I decided that to leave my front gate, ride 15000Km and return would be a bit pointless and decided I needed to ride for a reason and that is where all my energy was focused.

First of all I needed a name and a logo.  Having always been passionate about these three things Africa, our Flag and the first two versus of our National Anthem  I started stitching things together.  I chose the name Hlola Africa as this means Explore Africa I was told.  The logo below was designed by my son in-law and included the flags of all the countries I would be traveling through

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1K_AF0wE4BKGro0_1GDzWgIhhjsr_sEi7)

Next was to find a reason to ride.  I Googled the translation of the first two verses of our National Anthem and the phrase "God bless the children of Africa" stood out,  Stuck in the traffic on the way to work I mulled over this and it came to mind that the company I work for support Qhubeka that is a charity that provides bicycles to Local Communities so that scholars, health care workers and entrepreneurs save time by not having to walk so far.  This resulted in a visit to the top floor of our building where all the decision makers sit and it did not take long for them to offer their support.  Before I knew it I was on my way to JHB to meet with Qhubeka in order to get a fundraising project started.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1vhTR6MNroFkbmw56EZQbqtcT4Z0Jrw_J)

Now I needed to be visible so it was back to the seventh floor asking for some branding for my Honda Africa Twin and some new riding gear.  Once again I was smiled upon and contacted MIRA Active wear who in consultation with the brand police did an outstanding job under time pressure on designing riding tops, a rain suite and riding jacket.  Bike decals were sponsored by Somerset Signs

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=12wx-VXu0azKT0TL2KBsWjlFKVAzbm1pI)
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1sjaxUUyVxinaitiDCJDtCMGbGnHVUM28)
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1wotHCckG4f94uDBssca69nikWy1jvSCr)

With all this coming together my mind was racing.  Next on the list was a theme song.  My daughter is a musician and it did not take her long to do an arrangement of the first two verses of the national and put a band together. A father has to boast and the beautiful Lady playing the trumpet is my daughter.  We found a church with a digital sound desk and within two days had the recording done.


Now I was cooking and over a cup of coffee at my favorite breakfast place Café Racer in Strand I organised a send off where tickets would be sold and proceeds would go to my fundraising effort.  The idea was to raise enough funds for pay for the two Qhubeka bicycles. 

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1HJzY1k1T4u-_1nV75h27uj7MUTUpKWO2)

Next on my list was some publicity, prepping the bike and planning the trip.  I will cover this in the next post.

Just to put your minds at ease this is not a fundraising effort but an opportunity for me to share a life changing experience with fellow Adventure Riders




Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: big oil on August 16, 2019, 08:13:38 pm
Yo, I can see the video, unable to see your pics?
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on August 16, 2019, 08:52:33 pm
Is it the same for others?  That's a disaster.  Will look at it tomorrow I can see them :o :o
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: DisasterRelief on August 17, 2019, 07:15:01 am
Is it the same for others?  That's a disaster.  Will look at it tomorrow I can see them :o :o
I can see pictures using TapaTalk. Not sure if that makes a difference. Haven’t checked the website.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on August 17, 2019, 09:04:46 pm
Panning part two

By now I was neglecting my work and totally focused on creating awareness around my African Dream.  Although I have followed Lyndon Poskitt for a few years now and although I was useless when it comes to social media but realised that if I wanted to attract followers, I needed to get my story out there.  There is a college just down the road from us that offers a course in social media so on my way to work one day I made a U-turn and walked in and asked to see the principle.  After sharing my story, they agreed to offer me access to one of their final year students that would help register a webpage and setup a Facebook page and an Instagram account.  In return I would have their logo added to my riding gear in order to give them sum publicity. Next on the list was shooting a promotional video so after finding a drone pilot we headed off to the back of Grabow one Saturday morning in order to shoot some footage.  This was edited and the background music produced by my daughter was added.
The video is a bit slow in the beginning, but I encourage you to watch it to the end

Next area of focus was on the bike.  There is an add that has the punch line “Join the Honda Family” well they reside in Durban Road Durbanville.  I purchased my Africa Twin from them and have had all its services done there as well.  Their service and support are outstanding.  I popped in a to show them how sexy my steed was looking with all its stickers on and next thing I knew they were fitting a new front tyre and giving the bike a good lookover to make sure it was fit for the journey ahead.  If you had to ask me about bike to buy, I would say without hesitation, an Africa Twin from Tygerberg Honda.  Thanks to the team there you are outstanding.
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1NjOPdoyy4F972zg1f7g-cNB8hgW36JVn)
I also removed the bac k seat and fitted a luggage rack made by Africa ADV,  purchased a Desert Fox fuel bladder from  Flying Brick ad acquired a Spot Satellite tracker.  I have a Cat Phone that I use for navigation using Maps.me and iOverlander to look for accommodation.  Other than that, I had all the other kit I needed.
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1ULeF0n65ehMxxeTMjdjK6UfpNkEJlcbA)
I should have stopped now but publicity was still on my mind so next thing I was in the local newspaper and had arranged for a radio interview with a weekly follow-up call to me on the route
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=127NRi3ALEvzFii3H2s1Xat-mMFbf0ANH)
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1roJ6Hl4QKwbYJt6oqkQi3xglb__clnsy)
I was now rushing around tying up work, arranging a breakfast,  going for clothing fittings and trying to make out all was under control.  My name was all over town, the breakfast sold out,  Honda Tygerberg brining some demo bikes through for my send off,  the local newspaper ready to cover the event, Dr Joseph Okori one of the worlds best Rhino Veterinarians booked to send me off and Qhubeka flying in from JHB.  I was committed.  All I needed was a route to follow.  This was the start of meeting amazing people that continued throughout my trip.  Jera approached me as I was looking over my map in a coffee shop wondering which border posts to cross and how to get from Tanzania into Mozambique after the Cyclones in the area and political trouble in the top east of the country.  He was born in Zimbabwe and had done construction work in most of the countries I was traveling through.  With a pink Highlighter we drew out a route on the map.  There was no accommodation or petrol stops planned just a pink line I would follow.  I was ready to go and could not wait.
 (http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1079ThbSEI4sq1-VGDgPZp9QxNer7nm-k)
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on August 18, 2019, 09:33:44 am
Morning all.  Before I continue I want to confirm that you are able to view the pictures.  Please can one or two of you let me know.  I am able to see them on my iPad and phone.
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Solo on August 18, 2019, 09:38:00 am
Vids & pics OK in Chrome on Android.

Looking fwd to the rest.
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on August 18, 2019, 09:40:36 am
Thanks good to know.  Its now a post a day as promised
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Fudge on August 18, 2019, 09:41:44 am
No problems on this side  :thumleft: Please continue  :ricky:

Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on August 18, 2019, 10:41:57 pm
The big day had arrived and with only a few hours sleep we arrived at Café Racer in the early hours of the morning so that we could take My Africa Twin inside and put it on display together with the Riding Gear that MIRA had done such a good Job on.  In no time she was standing proud and waiting to go with the first two Qhubeka bicycles that had been donated on either side.  A proud moment for all.
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1nQA614oXsCdy7jAwi3RguStwS_mY1wtp)
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1XQ21KRBtORsHxeqhqq8t1KgMiRXxsN-m)
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1ytaEfurwGAerFLgDf4YCac5K19m2Bblw)
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1UeoaU2ELUvnLZg3uZea1M8Etx5Q1jcsQ)

Next to arrive were the team from Tygerberg Honda and the door of Café Racer was flanked by two looking steeds.
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1WbLpMFuBzsi2wGxfE3Q9Ko4dx4J-v8h4)

The place was filling up fast coffee being served and the guests enjoying of Café Racers excellent breakfasts
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1DCEW1Mm0Ii9VECJB1MkOpqK87_rSVhMC)
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=18i0kfb_0Ol8uuxUUtFTv8sUcN89fu76z)
I wanted to be out by 11am and was eagerly watching the time, fortunately all was running as planned and next up was Matt from Qhubeka.  We showed the video below that we had prepared.  Worth watching it has some interesting stats and scenes that will make you want to get on your Bike and head north.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1C4_e70Yi1yM9Ts2YSA2HyzBE5kRq7O2R)

Then the moment I had been waiting for, a few words by Dr Joseph Okori  very good friend of mine for who I have a lot of respect.  He grew up in rural Africa walking to school barefoot and that is where his heart still lies.  Now let me state at this point that I am no bible puncher but do try to live my life according to Christian principles and the prayer at the end meant a lot to me. I carried the words “Not in haste or in flight but the Lord God, the God of Israel shall go before him”  in my head every day I was on the road.  There were many days I met people and encountered situations where I knew although it was a Solo trip I was not alone.
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1Q3SiSXpz-oEurn3dLr6_h9O2T5bVAjHu)


With the formalities over my bike was returned to the street and pointed in the right direction.  I felt like Neil Armstrong and with three giant steps I was on my way to the sound of my daughter playing Nkosi Sikelele’ on her trumpet.  A very special moment indeed and one I will never forget.
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1oHYgZ1LmySIXtIZ6Z1ke6T1--reeFmEc)
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1OO3mFkVMJWdNtexB3M5T7cxxWmnNxCtn)
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1bM7emxttMRIWCBUKcU6MAbYGVNh4d_G3)
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1_OtOm7kZ2GflYklapyXJT8UFcMr3JYPR)
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on August 19, 2019, 04:17:07 am
Kudos to you for taking this and running with it.

Thanks for sharing!

 8)
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Wooly Bugger on August 19, 2019, 05:52:22 am
Well done, so far!  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: 0012 on August 19, 2019, 10:46:24 am
schweeeeeeet here we go, let her rip!!!   :ricky:
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: big oil on August 19, 2019, 05:07:07 pm
Well.....................shit, lol. 

I can see the tube vids, no peeekchas on this side of the Atlantic.

Anyhoo, no worries, don't sweat it, I'm sure it was epic.  I'll make the best of it and read your report.
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Bundu on August 19, 2019, 06:45:44 pm
Well.....................shit, lol. 

I can see the tube vids, no peeekchas on this side of the Atlantic.

Anyhoo, no worries, don't sweat it, I'm sure it was epic.  I'll make the best of it and read your report.

that's weird, the links looks something like this "http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1K_AF0wE4BKGro0_1GDzWgIhhjsr_sEi7"

http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1K_AF0wE4BKGro0_1GDzWgIhhjsr_sEi7
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: big oil on August 19, 2019, 08:05:34 pm
Well.....................shit, lol. 

I can see the tube vids, no peeekchas on this side of the Atlantic.

Anyhoo, no worries, don't sweat it, I'm sure it was epic.  I'll make the best of it and read your report.

that's weird, the links looks something like this "http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1K_AF0wE4BKGro0_1GDzWgIhhjsr_sEi7"

http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1K_AF0wE4BKGro0_1GDzWgIhhjsr_sEi7

Yeah bundu, I don’t get it, I’ve not experienced this with any RR yet.  Occasionally ZA newssites block us Yanks but, yeah, I’m at a loss.  But I don’t want to rain on the authors report so I’ll quietly search for a solution.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on August 19, 2019, 08:22:45 pm
I am no IT boffin any help offered will be appreciated
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Rooikoos on August 20, 2019, 09:11:29 am
I can see all the images in Google Chrome
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Bliknêrs on August 20, 2019, 06:28:14 pm
Maybe it helps someone - I can see it in Safari on my iPad but not in chrome on the same device.
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on August 22, 2019, 10:22:43 am
29 June 2019

Rode through Stellenbosch to Malmesbury through Darling onto the Namibia Route.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1nMfyUVWPbH-aAdrh6RM76Qfyn5gINvqk)

Got as far as Bitterfontien and was falling asleep on the bike so used iOverlander to look for a place to stay.  They recommended Dawn Ridge Guest Lodge.
Drove around Bitterfontien for a little until I found it right at the top.  Painted bright pink and looking a bit run down with a hand painted sign outside I was reluctant to go in.  An old lady that was working in the garden introduced herself as Dawn and Invited me inside.  I got an outside room also painted bright pink with a bathroom ensuite.  Looked very clean and decided to stay for the night.  When I enquired about the price, I was surprised to hear it was R240 that included and lovely home cooked meal with Roast Chicken, roast potato and veg.
At about 8pm her husband returned home.  He had been to Vredendal on a 125-motor bike to collect supplies. Sad to see two good hearted old people living such difficult life.
Tried to talk to him for a while but then realised he was a bit deaf and just rambled on about anything, so I took an early night and went to bed

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1qlaT_1WggrTIIrK0OEU_saX_96QrHTso)
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=13L8AIyWI9c4DldQ7qfTrunnljsHWvIdz)

30 June 2019 (Bitterfontien to Vioolsdrift)

Left Bitterfontien at about 8am and stopped at the petrol station to fill up.  The sky ahead was looking a bit grey, but I thought nothing of this as it looks like it has never rained on that part of the world.  About 50 km there was a fine mist that started falling.  Just enough to make you wet and drop the temperature to 8 degrees.  I rode on but when I got to Steinkdopf I decided to stop and put my rain jacket and a warmer pair of gloves on.  Only then did I realise how cold I was when I couldn’t hold open the zips on my luggage because my hands were so cold a stiff.  After some perseverance I managed to put on the right gear and head onto springbok.

When I reached Springbok, I sought refuge in the Wimpy and wrapped my hands around a cup of their Mega Coffee.  On my way out I met a delightful fellow with an orange hat and orange shoes.  He was so impressed with himself when I complimented him on his colour co-ordination, I was sorry I did not take a pic.

Rain had now cleared, and I set off for the Namibian Border crossing.  Had to fight a huge crosswind for about 120km.  Much relieved that that strip of the journey was over I confidently walked up to the customs official, greeted her and handed my passport over.  Then came the words But Sir your passport is expired.

Now I was in a real pickle as I had an expired passport and a motorbike that was empty because I had planned to fill up at Vioolsdrift and would never had made it back to Steinkopf.  After some panic and thinking of riding all the way back to Cape Town common sense prevailed and I started exploring the idea of having it couriered to me.  Who no better to call on than Mr CapeAg himself a good friend of mine that send product to the farmers all the time in that area.  One phone call and the problem was solved.  My passport would be in Springbok on Tuesday.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1_ZSaOe5tzmMRStCWg8r_OA6igd9I6x5X)

Now to find a place to stay for two nights.  I nursed my bike along the Orange River waiting to run out of fuel any minute.  Fortunately, I managed to make it to  a
Camp site on the Orange River and I set-up for a two-night stayover. 

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1Ya78ZEkjozt9aZOhmiDtBKb3aQW7X09)
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1l7laNyzijuW4gn5UTaP93c71JY_TXetO)

The camp site had a pub that I strolled down to later in the afternoon and initially it was filled with a group of people that work on oil rigs in Angola.  They were a rowdy bunch that had obviously been there for a while and not quite m kind of people.  Later in the evening a father and his three sons who had also been to Angola for a fishing trip arrived for supper.  We had a nice evening together chatting about all sorts of things.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1TyozV3Pq2s8lcpUionjglHY8qpnm0wf1)

The following day I hung around the camp site sorting out my tracker and answering the last of my work emails.  My fuel issue was solved when the guy I had spent the evening with offered to fill my bike up with fuel he had brought in from Angola.  Apparently in Angola fuel is only R5 a litre.  Later that evening I went back to the Pub for another relaxing evening

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1m0pKqMVGkzn64_Yhs5reR6Di0zkShnF8)
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Bundu on August 22, 2019, 05:48:50 pm
 :thumleft:
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: eSKaPe on August 24, 2019, 08:13:40 am
And then.......
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Oubones on August 24, 2019, 10:28:48 am
And then.......
We say thanks for so far and wait impatiently for the next instalment! :sip:
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on August 24, 2019, 08:55:48 pm
31 June Vioolsdrift to Keetmanshoop

Today was an early start as I needed to go back to Springbok to collect my passport.  I had charged all my electronic devices using a USB charger that have connected to my bike battery.  When I tried to start it, the battery was flat.  The campsite owner had jumper leads so we connected them up and I was away.



The drive back to Springbok was frustrating and seemed endless.  When I arrived, I had a Wimpy breakfast and updated my Instagram and Facebook pages using their free Wi-Fi.  Then I was off to the courier to collect my passport and made my way to the Vioolsdrift border post.  With the correct passport I was through and on my way to Windhoek.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1ZZ6-BHa0jvhWSbS95XuUJi-yOg07UDoG)

The Namibian road was long straight and boring.  I opened  the bike up a bit to try and get it over with which did not do much good for my fuel consumption.  I managed to get a far as Keetmanshoop and started looking for a place to sleep.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1LUR1yPlWmKH_yM6xcWYmoIgShGJXk6-M)
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1hV-Z9MRrl7jmfz8bV7Rgm1rB-F1ENvAZ)

  I looked on iOverlander again and chose Quiver Tree Rest camp.  It was a bit expensive, but I had no option.  On the way to the reception I rode alongside a cheetah enclosure and one of the cheetah’s started running alongside my bike.   I was doing 60km and it was keeping up with me effortlessly.  I was sorry I did not have my Go Pro on my helmet as it would have made some good footage.  I found a spot between some huge boulders in Giants Playground and setup camp for the night.  Saw the most amazing Milky Way that brought the words “the stars Declare your majesty” to mind.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1GYIvdI42Xt_C6ifObOpDPNg6Wm8umYVd)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1s2UwdJJcJlRdnVdCRLfu_bDUDTWGeJCQ)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1kcwFW-fu5DEZEL4t-ZbdxJK4rmkmzrXN)
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Bundu on August 25, 2019, 11:29:33 am
I like your writing style  :thumleft:

Best keep an eye on that battery - it could have been damaged, depending on how far it was discharged - Also never leave these 12 to 5V USB chargers connected to the bike electrics when parked
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: big oil on August 26, 2019, 02:33:40 am
I too like your writing style, videos, pics and layout. 

I'm grateful to announce I can now see all pics and fabulous pics they are.

Thank you for all your effort.
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: GravelFox on August 26, 2019, 05:29:58 am
Thanks for the updates. It stays a challenge to keep these things updated while on the road. In the process also puts a lot of pressure on oneself during the trip, so make sure the enjoy factor and the spirit of adventure is still worth it.

Safe trip


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on August 26, 2019, 03:32:28 pm
Thanks for the comments I appreciate them.  I am back from my trip and left the ride report for when I got home.  While I was traveling I sent updates on Facebook and Instagram as I had these published on the Fund raising website.  Keeping those up to date was bad enough as I am not a Social Media person.  I must say though that it was inspiring to see the followers growing and reading the comments that were left. 
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on August 26, 2019, 05:50:45 pm
1 July  Keetmanshoop to Gobabis

It was an early start again as I headed for the border post between Namibia and Botswana.  Feeling a bit surreal as I was only sort of getting the feeling of being on a 5 week solo trip through parts of Africa.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=14R6tcri0EfA4WhT5A60JpWMNBUQtHkQ9)

On the way out of Giants Playground I made a quick stop at Quiver Tree Forest.  I must say that I think the owner rips you off a bit as I told him I was not going into the forest or going to see his Cheetah's being fed in the morning but he insisted that I needed to buy a permit.  All that I got for my money was a night alone  in the middle of some huge boulders with a beautiful Milky Way.  Was it worth the money no. Did I have a wonderful evening and early morning coffee yes.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1duJStmm6IBvn-YuxWc1T6Re2AbK1GloX)

Another long strip of road lay ahead with nothing much to see and the only entertainment was a lot of warthog that were grazing next to the road as I got closer to Gobabis.  I stopped t take  pic of one, but he ran away and as I pulled off and I hooked my jacket on a thorn tree.  Did not think much of it at the time but when I got to the camp site Gobaba lodge I noticed the seam on the left arm had been ripped open.  I was rather upset and started thinking about how I was going to mend the tear as the wind just rips it further as you ride.  The lodge was very quite and I spent the night working on Instagram and Facebook.  Both of these were new to me and getting  my daily updates done was quite a challenge.  After a hot shower it was off to bed.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1agwqbdizPLfBT1XU8WZHP73jlUu5OGtt)
http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1tFhWBC2kGw5qaNZ_coUP0k9yPH45_Lh2[/img]

2 July Gobabis to Botswana Border

I must say I did not expect the mornings to be so cold.  I am sleeping in a jacket and track suite pants with two pairs of socks on, so after getting the blood flowing in my feet again I went back to the dining room to look for updates to my Social Media posts.  There was a group of Koi San in the dining room that were there for a conference that I greeted, but we didn't Click and they made out I was invading their space.  I sat and listened them talk to each other in their mother tongue.  Must say I found it quite intriguing.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1sPHd4cXyWHDbrGUlETtaVurOOaX1rXwR)

Next thing on the to do list was to find a local lady who I was told could mend my ripped jacket sleeve.  After a little asking around, I was taken to a typical African market and taken to a little shop at the back.  There I met a lovely lady who makes traditional Herero dresses and I left my jacket in safe hands.  Ten minutes later it was all sewn up and I was on my way to the Botswana Border.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1Yft8XGT_xSxyTdPo-gOm8R9UTPFGhnwE)
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1RJN0LHJeYNnUiUmF3dy8l6kzjtvrbZE1)

Crossed the border into Botswana with no issues and headed to Maun where I planned to spend the night.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1QdoFcEGDdoKWoXSHrzWtbVz_k9GrQoDm)

The first 100km of road was not very nice apart from chatting to a Lady in one of the dresses I mentioned earlier, but  than as I got further into Botswana the vegetation changing and for the first time, I felt like my African dream was coming true.  The words of Dr Okori at my send-off came to mind.  “all you need is someone to believe in you”  It reminded me of the reason I was riding and the all the support I had from the people back home in supporting the cause I was riding for Qhubeka.
 
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1Kc2mzO_Noe1NlgpAe52nzHCns-TfkOK-)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1mMvmr5hq3RhMXP3eBjsWE-GMZY9m-jgI)

“Bicycles change lives”







Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Stones on August 28, 2019, 12:32:46 pm
  :peepwall:     :sip:
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on August 28, 2019, 05:41:12 pm

Arrived I Maun late afternoon as I had underestimated the distance from th border.  Met some children walking home from schools and stopped for a pic of them.  They told me that they walk 10km every to school and back.Despite this they all had big smiles on their faces I guess it is just part of life for them.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1nZEJ8oakxmLYJNZjPEgPw-En2lQzG6vY)

Maun was a bit of a disappointment as I expected it to be more geared for tourism, but it was just another dusty African town.  As I have a secret passion for aviation I drove down to the airport as I was hoping to find where the "would be" Bush Pilots camped as I would have liked to have spent the night with them, but this proved a little more of a challenge than I had expected.  It was getting dark now and accommodation was becoming a bit of a problem.  All the places I found did not look Good.  At this stage of the trip I had still not gotten into the african way of things where any bed or patch of lawn was acceptable and in all instances as I learnt was as good or better than what we are accustomed to at home.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1RJFvXDcbQpvBpJnbDgEIMDC_wdBIvQwS)

A finally found someone who directed me out of town and down a road I would not have taken where I found a lodge that had camp sites.  I had a nice hot shower and set my tent up in the middle of a lot of over-lander trucks.  As it was dark already I just set-up camp and continued with my Instagram and Facebook posts enjoying a nice cold beer at the Lodge.

3 July  Botswana to Caprivi Strip

Today saw me leaving Maun and heading to the Caprivi strip.  It was about a 500km stretch.  As I travelled along the scenery became more beautiful and the potholes in the road got more and bigger.  At times with oncoming traffic I had no choice to take one or two head on.  They were big and deep and all I could do was to try and get the weight off the front wheel as I hit them.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1LI0-Uvkoc8X5EiS5ZKrfgScDfHyREdRz)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1fQhaAOKrTURfrZQZGw5vQiOTHLVW9FwY)

The road was quite busy with SUV’s towing 4x4 trailers.  About halfway through the trip I saw a group of fellow travellers who had stopped for coffee on the side of the road.  I stopped and joined them and was offered a nice cup of hot coffee and a homemade rusk.  Now that is the  nice thing about traveling solo and having riding gear that has been made for the trip with your name, route and charity you are promoting printed on.   You can rock up at anyone’s braai, gate-crash morning coffee or just join a campfire.  People just want to know where you from and where you are going.  It creates a good opportunity to tell your story and the reason why you ride.  QHUBEKA “ mobilize me and I will make my dreams come true”

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1rS3a_JBTwyE-X1a0Yo8VcuFP4UGDUJi2)

Around midday the temperatures got to around 30 degrees.  I stopped to zip the sleeves off my riding jacket made for me by Miraactiveware.  I am wearing full body armour under my riding shirt so have all the protection I need.  A very clever design.



Made it to the Mohembo border about 3pm and crossed back into Namibia to start traveling through the Caprivi Strip.  This section is going to be beautiful and I plan to slow down a bit now and enjoy the beautiful scenery.  Not long after  passing through Muhembo border saw elephant, Buffalo, Zebra and a whole variety of Buck.  Found that they are often in the distance and without a proper camera it is difficult to get nice pics.

(http://http;//drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1u23JbX7qBIGf2PcCF-0EEDGlz1JFbZJh)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1prhTajRrlnfv5n5McYYWcX3WaD2Igw8g)

After reaching the Okovango riverbank I set-up camp for the night and went to sleep with the sound of Hippo’s next to my tent

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1HnQ4kbEXZ4sq2aZb3bqkTEMvWb17IF0a)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1FGK3ptoJCEghK2LfRZVQa2TjRu_uUo3U)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1mUq9N5JW_wmQdeyo36LEuDSH_NyZq5P6)

Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Bundu on August 28, 2019, 07:00:25 pm
some images don't seem to be loading?

edit: sorry, now fine, probably just my bad connection
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on August 29, 2019, 09:34:40 pm
4 July Kutima Mulilo

I was up early again only to be rewarded to a magnificent African sunrise and the call of the Fish Eagles while I sat back in my chair enjoying an early morning Cup of coffee. 

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1uivTDEnqVx9hji5okGLb78t6srzxUDKJ)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=16yRwuOWfOOrXzuCvL3HgeG7nTJvtvaQ3)

Planned to take the day slow and head to Vic falls.  I had the choice of crossing into Zimbabwe through Zambia or Botswana.  Following the advice of the locals I decided to cross back into Botswana as the route was more scenic going through Chobe than a potholed ridden road to the Zambian border. Stopped on the way at the Popa Resort to see the Popa Falls and I must say the resort is very nice but the falls are a bit disappointing

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1AtwQjBK4auoM8fnZBnoRUFpjNyI_l5-K)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1BklnKt4A0jI3z03LX-_N4O3UKl5Qpcmt)

Lunch consisted of tinned Vienna’s and an apple and orange I bought from a lady selling them  a table outside.   I settled at the next roadside table to make a cup of tea and enjoy my healthy lunch and  this time I was gate-crashed by a group of tourists from Hamburg.  We chatted about traveling solo and once again I got to share the Qhuebeka story of how Bicycles change lives

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1335WsEIVrXvkjuw8Fmf-SBxO4P73kkKe)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1cJd9zAI4JO57B6K3Yjw708cgKCB_sqwj)

Around 3pm I reached Katima Mulilo and as I was about 100km from the Botswana border where I decided to call it a day and look for a place to stay for the night.  I turned right down a newly tarred road and saw a sign to Mutoya Lodge that offered campsites and Wi-Fi.  I chose a nice green piece of grass next to the Zambezi River.  It was then the normal routine of unpack the bike,  set-up the tent and get settled before looking for a nice cold beer.  This was followed by a nice hot shower and then back to the bar area to connect to the Wi-Fi so that I could update Facebook and Instagram.  Went to bed to the sound of hippo’s again.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1nj6VwHx66ecr2aAyHn0px6XiQE7JCIRS)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1jH_e2D9aSk3Lp1QOjlOAFnn0zzcOphVo)




Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Stones on September 03, 2019, 10:33:46 am
 :clock:
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on September 05, 2019, 07:26:30 pm
5 July Kutima Mulilo to Zim Border

Woke up again to a beautiful sunrise and wondered back to the deck in front of the bar to look at updates to my social media posts.  I was beginning to feel like a teenager as I realised the power of social media and although you are alone and remote it can still make feel very connected to your friends and followers.  It is amazing the amount of encouragement you feel when you see the reaction to your posts and the number of followers grow.  I guess I am beginning to realise that social media has its place when it is not abused. The lady behind the bar made me a nice hot cup of filter coffee as I sat soaking up the warmth of the morning son enjoying the view from the deck.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1VHW9d8fWiD88OrsPMPVt7AwR15CyXAjn)

 I was joined on the deck by the owner of the lodge.  We did the normal introductions and then he fetched some coffee for himself and pulled a chair next to mine.  We started chatting about life and all the westernised trappings that led him to tell a bit about his life. He was a farmer from Zimbabwe whose land had been reclaimed so the travelled the world working on various mines including one in Russia.  His speciality was going into a non-profitable mine and turning it around to make a profit.  He used the money he had made on the mines to negotiate with the local community to acquire a lease on the land on which he had built the lodge.  He was thinking of selling it and taking the money to start a new one on the Garden Route.  We then moved onto speaking about life and the curved balls that come your way and he said some very true words.  “You need to turn your back on your losses and take a step into the exciting unknown.  Very true words that I thought about a lot over the remainder of my trip

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1mhuzeAL_6Ej9DKO_n4U52pMzKOMa_VVi)

I left the lodge and continued my journey the Caprivri Strip to the Ngoma border post where I would leave Namibia and enter Botswana again to get to Victoria falls.  Just before the border post I stopped to take some pictures of the locals fishing with neds in a small dam from wooden dugout canoes as well as the first Baobab trees id see on route.  This was the typical African scene I had always dreamt of seeing.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1_D-lUq_xApcr5clfg0eaNx0cd9b5qC__)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1I3_NcwIlzSRldvygxmO8S1DNofs3eOum)

Two large overland trucks had arrived at the border post just before me and as they are constructing a new building the customs officials are temporally making use of a container converted into offices.  This meant that there was a long queue of people standing in the hot sun waiting to be stamped out of Namibia by one official.  Fortunately, he saw me arrive on me Africa Twin and left his seat to a lot of muttering of the people in the queue and wanted to pose next to my bike with me for pictures.  He then went into a long conversation about the Honda 125 and what a good rider he was.  Next he took my passport and stamped it and I was ahead of the queue.  Crossing back into Namibia was effortless and I was on the road through Chobe in record time.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1BdiQ4ZUs3c4Gz4va17xb5b-QzBN0Q1ts)

The trip through Chobe was beautiful and I saw lots of wildlife including buck, Giraffe and elephant.  Unfortunately, the traffic on the rod was heavy and I could the elephant crossing the road but by the time I close enough to take pictures they were already in the bush.  The vegetation on the side of the road is dense and once they are in there you cannot find them.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1bluI_YbMuBtL3opC99XIZ4O6mO_hpytM)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1_xpcF_WWlWwe8-0nAm33KQerIFuih2a5)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1-JFMldV8bZTFJmurwXBoulNhHniGN7no)

Halfway through Chobe I met Mark also riding Solo on his way back from Cairo to Cape town.  We stopped on the side of the road and compared notes on our routes and picking up tips on how to travel and where to go and not go.
 
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1oMQaW8JmHbCV7zC0BK1YNFricHW-usIu)

Next stop will be Vic Falls

Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: big oil on September 06, 2019, 03:03:10 am
 :headbang:
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Ian in Great Brak River on September 06, 2019, 04:27:29 am
Nice to see some places I have been to on a previous trip.

 8)
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: RobLH on September 06, 2019, 08:47:32 am
Loving this, thank you.
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: stcomza on September 06, 2019, 09:00:52 am

Great TRIP  :thumleft:

Following with interest
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Bundu on September 06, 2019, 07:42:03 pm
 :thumleft: :sip:
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on September 09, 2019, 09:25:35 pm
6 July Zimbabwe

After crossing the border into Zimbabwe I headed straight for Victoria Falls.  Entry to the Falls is a bit expensive but worth every cent.  They are truly amazing and the pictures I took do not do them any  justice

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1mX34Vwx0oTFf3V9u3XeG97cjE-fLIWE3)

I walked the whole route looking at the falls from all the vantage points in my riding gear and the spray from the Falls blowing across the path in places was welcome.  I managed to drop by bike key on the way.  Before I left, I thought of hiding my spare somewhere on the bike but did not get around to it, so fearing the worst  I retraced my steps and found it not far from where I was in the grass next to the path.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1KKjAX-lNnwd4xBXIN_1n9bsbl4tR_Omp)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1IxB7C1NAnPm0NAgAFOZTtrAAQDZuREwG)

I then headed to the bar for a nice cold Zambezi beer and met the Owner of Blue Planet Films from Germany who specialises in wildlife documentaries.  We had an interesting conversation on following your passion and how he landed up a Wildlife Photographer after his parents forced him to study civil engineering.  Social Media also came up in the conversation as I was telling him how I was not a social media user before I left 10 days ago and now found myself posting daily and how it was giving me a feeling of belonging and connectivity tom the outside world just by reading the replies to my posts and seeing my number of followers growing daily.  I shot the Video below to put on Instagram and  was then approached by a group of Tourists and some locals who all wanted to be photographed with me for some reason.  The one poor guy did not smell to great and had terrible teeth like an old crocodile.  Somehow I managed to put my arm around him and smile for the occasion.
   
[/youtube]

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1Ep5iiPkBYjScirzWm98xJurE9DW_isPi)

The Vic Falls marathon was run earlier in the day, so all the camp sites were full of out of town runners and bars and eating places were full of blearing music.  This was quite a change from what I had experienced the week before and took some time getting used to.  I managed to find a spot in the municipal campsite with nice green grass and clean ablutions setup for the night.  A couple from Johannesburg who were at the site next to mine arrived back from a sunset cruise and were headlining into town for supper.  I went for a shower and when I returned, they had lit a nice campfire for me and set-up their camp stove and kettle.  Later when they returned, we sat around the fire together as spoke while the noise in the town settled down and the Falls thundered in the distance.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1x0BCUHELKWcX-fyG95ChkWJ1ONJ3hDAs)

The next day I was about to learn that I should have planned better and perhaps leaving home with only a Visa card was not such a clever thing to do.
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1m5g11J6FoU1b5_8cOq5GoYTaR1JofXGr)
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Offshore on September 09, 2019, 10:10:04 pm
 :sip:
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on September 16, 2019, 09:49:20 pm
Apologies posting has been delayed due to some surgery that was required

8  July A short Visit to Zimbabwe

As you will remember in my First post I met Jira at Café Racer and he helped me plot a route on my map that I using to navigate my way through Africa.  He had mentioned to me that his Mother had started a school in Gewru and as I was raising funds for bicycles for school children a I promised him that I would go and visit the school and meet his family.  This was a last minute decision and having left my home town with little planning and only a Visa card un beknown to me I was about to encounter my first challenges.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1g3oqRBRQMPXWp7WcK4NHjT_6C-iQ0Gnm)

 All packed up and ready for the road to Gweru I left Vic Falls and stopped up to fill my Africa Twin with Fuel as well as my Desert Fox Fuel Bladder that holds 6 Litres.  So, with 25 litres of fuel and a consumption of 20 km per litre if I kept my speed at 100 Kph I pulled out of town with about 540 kilometres to cover between Vic Falls and Bulawayo.  Vic Falls is a tourist town so currency and using a Visa card is not an issue.  Riding under a blue African sky and a scenic road lined with African bushveld my spirits were high and I was in my African heaven.  A little way down the road I came across a big truck that had tried to make a U-turn and the weight of its load had caused it to roll down an embankment.  I stopped and spoke to the driver who had exited the cab through where the windscreen used to be,  he was not injured so I moved on. 

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1PrwzWtGLrCGwOlmaAYEh1udDCB-XBvLt)

 It is a beautiful scenic road to Gweru and not in bad condition but not a highway by any means, so I was surprised when I approached a very rundown toll gate.  Fortunately, motorbikes don’t pay tolls, so I was waved through.  I also encountered numerous roadblocks on the way that were manned by very friendly Police officials.  Only once was I asked to produce my drivers’ licence, otherwise it was the normal Hello how are you are you enjoying Zimbabwe and waved through.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1qUpprl0q-zLGFMTQYxnh8b5BSIcQ75QV)

  There were many places where big seed pods were hanging next to road on pieces of string between two sticks and I was wondering what they were.  A bit further down the was a big Baobab tree with the big pods hanging from the string again so I stopped to take a picture.  Too my surprise I found an honesty box with a sign saying please leave $1.  I thought this was something quite unique for Africa.  I later enquired from a local as to what the pods were and found out  that it was the Baobab fruit.  The locals eat the seeds inside the pods that are very sour but evidently supposed to be very good for you.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1iA6HLe-Ihs9EiwchX6usZJ1M0VUqgbuK)

First town was Hwange that was very small.  The petrol station with a sign saying, “No Fuel”.  I had made the decision to fill-up wherever a saw a petrol station.  I drove on hoping the next town would be a bit bigger.  Next up was Lupane and this time the petrol station had been all taped closed.  Wondering if I would make it on the 19 Litres in my tank and extra 6 Litres in my Fuel bladder I pushed on and slowed down a bit to try and improve my consumption.  There were no other towns of meaningful size but a few small petrol stations that were all closed.  At about 330km on the trip meter my reserve light came on so and my computer said I had another 60km before I would run dry.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1ptHXFJueK4di4NuViomEocutIlh-R1qU)

 I found a roadside table and stopped for lunch that consisted of 2-minute noodles and a small tin of Pilchards in tomato sauce which had now become my staple diet.  I also took the opportunity to empty my fuel bladder into the tank.  I nursed my bike over the remining stretch and managed to make it to Bulawayo.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=16pLRQKaZC-HtdCnOTgnJahH-xGRCw2rY)

Bulawayo is a big city but very run down.  There were lots of petrol stations all closed or else they had long queues down the road, but I now had a different problem.  They only supplied account holders or took Bonds which I did not have.  Unlike in Victoria Falls a Visa card was not accepted.  I headed for the City centre in search of an ATM of which there is are a few but none of them were working.  It was just passed 5pm and all the banks were closed.  Working my way through the city on congested roads and with no robots working became very frustrating. 



There were also people in Gweru that were expecting me an I had no way of contacting them.  I finally found a petrol station that accepted a Visa card very reluctantly.  I filled up and headed for Gweru as the sun was setting.  I broke my own rule about not riding in the dark.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1ig8mfaalVo9JXLR06NXDiKRMQy3rvqc-)

On the outskirts of Gweru there as a Hotel that where I stopped in search of a room.  At this stage I willing to pay anything just for a bed and a hot shower.  Once again, I was turned away as I did not have bonds and they could not accept Visa cards.  I headed for the town centre that was very dark as the streetlights were not working.  The town was very congested and full of people.   Some just walking around other standing in ling queues at fast food outlets.  I was looking for a backpacker’s or a hotel of sorts.  The problem was I did not know if I was at the right or wrong end of the town.  I saw an old faded sign showing the direction to the country club and headed that way as I thought I might find someone there who recommend a place to stay.  The building was old and dilapidated and had been turned into a bar full of people drinking beer out of quarts and music blearing.  Realising that this was not going to help my situation at all I headed out again and turned right into a big traffic circle,  as I chose the second exit not even knowing which direction I was heading in my head light shone onto a green wall with Kiya Guest house painted on it.  I turned in and the place looked deserted but found a lady wrapped in a blanket at the reception desk.  She called the owner and to my surprise and utter amazement he said he could make a plan.  I now had a bed and a hot shower and that was all I wanted.  I called Jira’s father and apologised for being late and not making it to the school and we greed that he would meet me at the guest house in the morning.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1SbjcA29Hs8TqTCnLNEUHjeUr0ZMleaCL)

I was up early, and Jira’s father arrived as we agreed.  I followed him to the outskirts of the town and into the area where the school is next door to the family home where he had raised all his children.  The staff were cleaning and getting ready for the day.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1S6lnfRgW239teWRRBiMMA5NO8CFbrRc1)

One by one the children arrived all neatly dressed and each one came up to me and said hello Mr James how are you.  They had clearly been well prepared for my visit.  Jira’s father and I sat outside and chatted as he kept record of the children coming through the gate, we joked that he was older than me and new them all by name.  To me they all looked the same big eyes,  some shy and others confident.  They all had big smiles and perfect white teeth. 

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=18rwUsmR4pGYeKdnmgrJvTPwuuhXNBBiN)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1_zUYzsZGj_PkcoVwzdzuj0dnMVJ4N-y1)

Once all the children had arrived, I was taken  on a tour of the family home.  When we got to the room they had prepared for me with a double bed and white linen, the supper they had prepared still on the table I felt guilty that I had not been better prepared and made it to the school the night before.  My apologies where graciously accepted and we moved onto the living room where I enjoyed breakfast with Jira’s father and his future wife.  They had truly gone to great trouble to prepare for my visit which was very humbling.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1SNFvFeWugCmbSyyW-aUFLK9JL-jg0-4q)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1oBELD0ItzODkKA7ran9fjAVC64DUbZCw)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1cluvRabs_7PH0TjazGlFIUgFnvnID29p)

Back at the school the children were busy having breakfast and when done they stood in a group and said the Lords Prayer and then sang the Zimbabwe National anthem.  Before starting they, all took their beanies off and one little boy shouted Attention at which the all stamped there feet together and out their hands at their sides before they broke out in song.  I remembered it was my daughter’s birthday on 18 July and I would be on the road somewhere, so I recorded them singing Happy Birthday Mousie which I planned to post on social media the morning of her birthday.



Once all the singing was over, I thanked the staff and encouraged them to continue for the honourable role they were work they were doing in moulding and shaping young children’s lives for the future.  They may not see the fruits of there labour but do not labour in vain.  Just one life touched, and one future changed will make it all worthwhile. There was a bit of a photo session and we all shook hands and I headed into town in search of an open Petrol Station that i did not find

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=10h2pwStNLS8TYruJ_6I4meflBvOL0g5d)





Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Bundu on September 17, 2019, 04:25:00 pm
Loving your thread - keep it up @Captain Cook   :thumleft: and best of luck!
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: KarooKid on September 17, 2019, 05:59:38 pm
Inspirational!!

Once again the good people from Honda Tygerberg and Mira seems to feature.
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on September 17, 2019, 09:36:31 pm
I could not agree with you more KarooKid.  The support and encouragement I got from The Mira and Honda Tygerberg Team was unbelievable.  Some pics below of them at my breakfast the day I left.  You will also recognise some other familiar faces.  Amazing how a common interest can make you feel like one big family.  Good luck to you, Gerrit and Claude this weekend sure you will do well being backed by the same team.  Following you all the way :ricky:

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1VJ2pSQ0D9nnCcAK6Rq1Yc3cNwEVUIdyf)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1qubtjpb4Ai0xuV0mMM2SqUv7TmpoxwwH)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1fmY8x_DL9KCoNAiYG3cI1Tgo9mskpyCx)
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on September 18, 2019, 06:43:07 pm
9 July Zimbabwe Exit

I had half a tank of petrol left and 6 litres in my fuel bladder and no cash so there was a decision to make.  Do I follow my planned and head off into the unknown taking the road, or do I take the road that I had come in on?  There I knew what to expect and what my limits were. I had planned to do a circular route in Zimbabwe and travel from Gweru to Kwekwe, Gokwe, Kamativi and then onto Mlibizi where I was hoping to travel up Lake Kariba on the ferry.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1l3jxg0pTRxqoefCjWceZ1hWnQEIa817k)

 I took the decision to head back the way I came.   Between Gweru and Bulawayo, I stopped at a roadside table for a cup on for morning tea alongside an old Steam Engine where in the distance I saw a tall man walking down the fence towards me with an axe.  For a moment I thought my last day and come, so as he approached, I stood up and said morning you looking for Wood?  I got the normal friendly Hello how are you are you enjoying Zimbabwe?  He then sat down and told me he was mending the fence of the farm behind us where he had 95 Brahman cattle,  he was a former policeman and had been given the land in 1995.  This led to a very interesting conversation about land reform. 

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1iPZx6Fmd0uayW9kHglAoQWq91wyf_No-)

Time was moving on so I packed up and resumed my journey to Bulawayo where after a couple turns and looking for which landmarks, I could remember  I found the same petrol station and the same attendant served me the day before.  Cars were queuing all the way down the road, but he ushered me to the front, filled up my bike and swiped my card.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1rK8PvXnxYUMrlyu-yd9_YlUd3MJ-FZwo)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1WQip-p-LmRlfFStdXMbth1ajX0XrzLUY)

It was already mid afternoon and I was getting worried about doing the last part of my Journey to Victoria Falls in the dark.  As I did not want to spend the night in Bulawayo, I headed off keeping my eyes open for lodges or campsites I may have missed the day before.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1CSLLkdoQxRyZWOJSskhVH4uoX8JthYOm)

About 250km into my Journey I stopped at a thatched house with tables and thatch umbrellas close to the road.  There was a rusty sign saying Halfway House.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1ppk4UdRdFFJK2ZzQRc1FbC-BNIunWtjK)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1OwAqO6zELdQpAcVOA6SinXdIQ39L-acU)

 I walked up some steps onto a veranda and walk towards what looked to like the reception area, but it was the Bar.  It was dark, dingy and dilapidated and you could see that at some stage it could have been an upmarket hotel but had suffered the same fate as most of the rest of Zimbabwe.  There was a tall man sitting at the counter smoking holding a glass of whiskey,  he had neat dreads and look as he could have been Jamaican.  I introduced myself and he did likewise saying his name was Lanford.  I explained my situation no local currency and only a Visa card and I needed a room as I did not want to travel the rest of the road to Vic Falls in the dark.  The day before I had seen a car that hit a baby elephant and there was also a chance that I may not make it all the way with my fuel situation.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1m4gt5-1q8L2MdAzy3wPWR-zDIXlTZdP)

After a quick photo session a staff member took me to a room and gave me the number of a lady in Zambia called Bertha.  I was to contact her when I reached Zambia and settle my account.  I had a bed a warm shower and another fond memory of Zimbabwe.  Nkosi Sikelele Zimbabwe.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1ill1MLgaRMTj8GXSjG-FATqzuLspd7U3)

Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: eSKaPe on September 19, 2019, 04:02:42 pm
Looking forward to more of this...
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on September 20, 2019, 09:07:00 pm
10 July Leaving Zimbabwe for Zambia

Crossing the Zambian border is complicated.  You need to visit about six counters and none of them are in order.  You need to move from building to building and my road insurance was sold to me under a tree.  Currency is also confusing as some is paid in Us dollars and some in Zambian Kwacha. Fortunately I was met at the gate by a retired customs official who offered to take me through the process for a small fee.  His first task walking to a resort about 1km from the border post that had real money.  Next was guiding me through the various counters in a hot a busy building.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1M-O01XYsmtq1Sa2vaGRDLj8Ww_Aq7Km4)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=18ib_-eIsoZEDcwe7C3d4Sy0O4MBR8qwP)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1QnehPNg4uzUNaerlPuThRq5FLQrWSw4Z)

I crossed the bridge just after the border post lined with bicycles and took my last look at the falls.



My first impression of Zambia was not that good.  It was dry and smoky and some of the vegetation was burnt and the air was full of smog There are huge bags of charcoal next to the side of the road . That was something I did not see in Zimbabwe. 

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1oZqBJDoHsgNhyJw_GX0ggKRhAg-VJdEh)

I headed up the T1 and turned right at Chisekesi where I turned right  and headed down to the banks of lake Kariba on the most beautiful gravel roads I have ever ridden. My impressions of Zambia were changing  now as I road through neat little rural villages.
 
(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1vFZ2_XnvGOGHfBOfqA0RGMGrp6CvqKvL)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1J3laB1z7uyxrP5vWIpAOz6BGOWkAQGxX)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1WeH6jIOodH_eHc5OGDwmvog0BE87E0VG)

I was so taken in by the scenery that I almost missed the most beautiful sunset behind me.  It was time to look for a place to sleep and I realised that I was in a rather remote area and finding a campsite or lodge here was not going to happen.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=14zXB5qSgQ5iiv2SBz_sEFc53a0fT7I6P)

Just as I was considering approaching one of the little settlements, I saw a brick building on the top of a hill. So, I headed in that direction.  There were two men sitting outside I asked if they had a place I could sleep.  There was a little conversation in broken English and then they opened the door and took me to a room with a bed and a shower.  It always amazes me how you find what you need when you expect it least.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1_uGyslsQUbHhL6x156NYE1nE5Fjvrkc4)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1B5RhQYOIGmRwdHj0JhVMNzJgIL4Zule_)


I spent the night outside with them cooking noodles and mushroom sauce on a charcoal fire.  They then fetch a car battery and huge speaker and I sat back and watched them dance in the night to the rhythm of Africa.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1NOAJTOgvYTUqifC1MzyFTFvhqLsDNT3x)





Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: GravelFox on September 20, 2019, 09:44:47 pm
Interesting how you have to pay carbon tax for the motorbike but as soon as you through you see charcoal bags all over the place


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Captain Cook on September 24, 2019, 09:13:10 pm
11 July The road to Lusaka

In the morning from the top of the hill where I had spent the night I looked out over the valley at the road I would be traveling dissapearing into the distance

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1vxAjU6Kl_TLwlao_P0jX81pO1QhLPxkV)

After finishing my early morning cup of coffee I bis my two new made freinds goodbye and continued my journey in search of Lake Kariba.  On my way to its shores I passed through many peaceful looking settlements with the whole family going about their daily chores.  As I was collecting funds for Qhubeka (www.Qhubeka.org) I was struck by the use of the bicycle in Zambia.  They were used everywhere from carrying charcoal on the main roads, to selling chickens and turkeys on the street corner and now in the rural areas to carry dishes to the closest river.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1DfcUC8GDSrSiT9JCrWkIjmSReHFA6Ktq)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1fTdcyrtjHBjvhSDgvNIAwO25FI2-84ul)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1ldU6tqVvzoog7pLje6GdayBb_NfS8jHN)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1jBRxw210aDSTh_XaT2ffgVKvBz36o1Ao)

With-in the next few kilometers I past some more bicycles, a cart pulled by oxen and had a chat to local on a motorcycle.  Just goes to show how diverse methods of transport can be in Africa

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1rQQBHFFo9E295o7hv0WxE1P_vazsJOes)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=18XzwS49kkw9sURONHthU1c6pvQI84Vl3)

I reached the shores of Lake Kariba and found them as deserted as the bicycle under the tree.  I could see some locals in dugouts fishing in the distance.  I understand that I was on the "wrong" side of the Lake due to my change in route but did expect a little more.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1_jO54x9kJxEd2HSox_bBcNyMV76tu1lB)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1yluylyBkiys3FGSVCWuvUoVyNHfkOM6t)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=19I-qaOSp2ZRXaxGnp4nTBla_a1ncRbPw)

Leaving the Lake I travelled back up the gravel road I had come down on and then turned right onto the D500 up to Chirundu then onto the T2 to Kafue and then onto Lusaka.  The D500 was a beautiful road in good condition with no traffic and beautiful scenery.  I stopped for a snack and watched two men young men playing draughts on my way before passing through a few compulsory stops where I was greeted with friendly faces and smiles before each Village on my way to my destination.  I must say contrary to what I was told before I left up to this stage I was not approached for a bribe of any sorts at any of the roadblock's I had passed through and there had been quite a few.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1xChdtznK5uoErvd-r7LXeNE7RTdaLLQh)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1DV6dRLvx8GBNukRxhOtGIYFCZDHDmAXL)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1_dzmbeahl9bjUXVTjbFzZMoqFs-rQHJc)

Lusaka was just like any City,  lots of traffic, shopping malls and roadworks.  After taking many wrong turns I finally found the coffee shop where I met a good friend of mine who stays In Lusaka.  After being treated like a celebrity by the coffee shop staff and an extended photo session I followed him to his house where I spent the night.

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1S39XTuxj5O9YNeY9TMituG98AUXpOIx1)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=17Pw8R7vaVfmJz1l6WAEKa0iOPCA_F1wg)

(http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1ExtnRxLqgyNxkb5wfgUTl-XpcdEwmH12)
































Title: Re: Hlola Africa 2019
Post by: Stones on October 29, 2019, 10:03:13 am
Still hope full to see the rest of this report.   :sip: