Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => 'Roll of Honour' - Best Ride Reports => Topic started by: Metaljockey on February 25, 2009, 11:29:18 pm

Title: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Metaljockey on February 25, 2009, 11:29:18 pm
The plan was to do a coast to coast ride. Thatís lake coast to ocean coast.

Start at lovely Lake Malawi and work our way through Niassa and Cabo Delgado provinces in Mozambique to the Indian Ocean and the Quirimba islands, then double back to Lake Malawi again.

Like this;

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/474261756_azxr6-L.jpg)


It did not work out like that though, we got sidetracked before we got started.

As luck or Lucifer would have it, on the very weekend that we were to depart from Malawi the ďLake of StarsĒ party kicked off at Senga Bay, Malawi.

Lake of Stars is a music festival slash club gig with a difference. DJís are flown in from all over the world to do an open air show on the lake shore lasting three days.

They also fly in several plane loads of freaky, friendly, fascinating, club groupie type chicks from Europe and the UK. How can you say no to that?

We couldnít , so we sacrificed three days worth of riding.

The participants this time around;
Myself and Hennie

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471675183_8SavV-L.jpg)
 

Nardus and Brian

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471597824_pVZPS-L.jpg)
 

Our base was Fat Monkeyís. Best spot on Cape Maclear.

While we had a day or two to kill, some had their bikes individualized by Richie, the village artist. This is the same guy that did my 1200 in 2006, when my wife and I came through here.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471693073_BzTbG-L.jpg)
 

And I know you are eyeing that twenty litres of fuel in the saddle bags. Yes, we were going to need that later.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471642868_7EJqJ-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471647433_HEnu5-L.jpg)


Nardus and myself playing bawu.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471695772_DL5LL-L.jpg)


Visiting friends.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471697446_KpxiX-L.jpg)


Hell of a spot ainít it?

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471699354_Zo42x-L.jpg)


Cold beer and lazy sunsets, I just love this place man.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471699939_A8eYJ-L.jpg)


Anyway, the day comes and we load up for the trip, we intend to do the Lake of Stars and then leave from there for the Mozambique border.

Immediately as we pull away from our undercover parking in Cape Maclear, I donner neer. No idea why I lost the front, but not encouraging to hit the deck in the first 4.5m of your trip.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471650274_BSNZg-L.jpg)


Our route for the day, Cape Maclear to Senga Bay.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/474286432_QTwCw-L.jpg)


Pulling into the venue, we score a quality camping site.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471701283_qVvxi-L.jpg)


The setup basically works like this. There are two stages, a main stage with live acts, and another smaller stage, both on the beach. There are many temporary bars and eateries and a hotel that serves food. Most people camp though.

The music starts at 12:00 on the Friday and then continues until the next day at 06:00, just after sunrise. You then have 6 hours to clean up, eat breakfast and sleep, before the music starts up at 12:00 again, until the next day at 06:00. Then the same again until Monday morning.

We snapped a couple of pics that afternoon.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471702263_7AYBg-L.jpg)

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471704202_j7KoR-L.jpg)

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471705812_2TV6J-L.jpg)

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471706418_nFCHx-L.jpg)

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471705416_WkMFc-L.jpg)

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471703188_RDwvS-L.jpg)

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471671633_vfqoT-L.jpg)

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471705621_y9tPs-L.jpg)

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471702514_2TuoR-L.jpg)

Then we partied.

I learn that European House Music is basically crap.
I learn that the local drug pushers stock some pathetic stuff.
I learn that European club chicks are helluva friendly.
I learn that the Malawian expat chicks are really nice.
I learn a lot of other stuff and see some wonderful things, but this is a bike forum, I don't wanna bore you.
I learn that I wonít last three days, and so after watching the sunrise on Saturday morning and participating in the booing when the music stops, we decide to get breakfast and get going.

Yeah baby, bike trip at last!!!



Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Lootch67 on February 25, 2009, 11:48:27 pm
Wow! Hot chicks and bikes!! This might just be the perfect ride report...
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Matroos (aka JJred) on February 26, 2009, 03:47:02 am
........Nardus and myself playing bawu.........

Interesting game that, a barman there in Quirimba tought us to play  ... about a year ago. (Pity I was not there on a bike)
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Bakkie on February 26, 2009, 04:06:53 am
hehehehe this is going to be good  :mwink:

Nice RR sofar Metaljockey......
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: edgy on February 26, 2009, 05:25:24 am
Awesome so far......
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Pistonpete on February 26, 2009, 06:20:20 am
Well balanced visuals ;D Love the local artists work on yer bike...very original....did it stay on?
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Plothond on February 26, 2009, 07:15:39 am
Although I know this will be a good report and am enjoying it already, I am somewhat disturbed at the blatent display of human flesh and alchohol

Please keep it clean  8)
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: KiLRoy on February 26, 2009, 07:25:30 am
I also feel uncomfortable when I see MJ with a beer in hand...  Bastards just shoot through the Big Smoke without saying hello.....  next bash.... ;) :biggrin:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Captain Zef on February 26, 2009, 07:29:21 am
I will follow closely..... very nice  :)

I also feel uncomfortable when I see MJ with a beer in hand...  Bastards just shoot through the Big Smoke without saying hello.....  next bash.... ;) :biggrin:

The poor kids.... he is no role model  :laughing4: :laughing4:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Malibu on February 26, 2009, 07:33:22 am
Ooooh, I'm on the watch too...  the pics so far are making my mouth water...  :drif:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Ama ride ride on February 26, 2009, 07:59:22 am
hehehehe this is going to be good  :mwink:

Nice RR sofar Metaljockey......

+1
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: TheAnt on February 26, 2009, 08:30:51 am
This is going to be good!!! Keep em cumin... :ricky:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Metaljockey on February 26, 2009, 02:11:04 pm
Love the local artists work on yer bike...very original....did it stay on?

Yes, except the white, there was some problem with it, never dried.

Bastards just shoot through the Big Smoke without saying hello.....  next bash.... ;) :biggrin:

We stopped over for only 6 hours. Had to sit at some Rasta place in Pretoria while Hennie had his conjugal visit. Left again just after midnight. On the way back we didn't even stop for fuel, sorry.


Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: malgat (RIP) on February 26, 2009, 02:27:12 pm
i hope there's more......

soon.....
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: veldskoen on February 26, 2009, 02:40:16 pm
Send more, just got my pay check and WTF!!!!  Need to dream
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: growweblaar on February 26, 2009, 03:25:16 pm
Lake Malawi was one of my favourite trips. Looking foward to see more of yours :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Frohan Visser on February 26, 2009, 03:50:57 pm
Lekker...lekker.....I was waiting for this Ride report!!!!!!!!!!   hi...ha....very good !!!!
It would have been difficult to leave that party!!!

Just by the way...it looks like Bruce Willace and his African girlfriend...nice one!!
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Doerengone on February 26, 2009, 04:36:09 pm
Africa sucks eh. Sucks real lekka.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: EtienneXplore on February 26, 2009, 04:59:23 pm
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:


Great stuff MJ,

Can't wait for the rest, another AWESOME Ride Report  - Thanks !!!


 :deal: :deal:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: bushclown on February 26, 2009, 05:08:20 pm
Sweet cant wait for the rest :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Metaljockey on February 27, 2009, 05:15:56 am
So, not having slept, we hit the road at about 08:00. It will be a long day. Hereís the route.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/475910114_cs6Bc-L.jpg)

 
We ride the whole day to arrive in Lichinga at night. Lichinga is the capitol of Niassa and quite a sizable place.

I have only one picture to show. A quick pitstop at the first bar just past the Moz border post.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471593818_EC9xy-L.jpg)


Finding camping in Lichinga at night turns out to be quite a mission. We get lost and ride around a barrier to go down a closed street. This turns out to be the street of  the Governer of Niassaís residence. This road gets cordoned off after dark and is guarded by AK47. Our patent ignorance shows though and we get redirected and luckily not shot.

We finally find a Ďlodgeí where we can camp. It looks abandoned and has no electricity, pitch dark and we are the only people there. Two staff members make an appearance and indicate that we can stay but there is no food. They have cold beer though and no man can ask more after a long day of riding.

We are happy, we made our target for the day and we are nice and deep into Mozambique where none of us had been before.

Our first impressions of this part of Moz is that it is not pretty. For the hundreds of kilometers that we did, everything around was either burnt or cut down or both.

Where the lake is about 400m above sea level, Lichinga is situated in the highlands,  1500m up. It is a little fresher but we sleep in the open as the bungalows that are offered are on the expensive side. Especially as there is no hot water, lights or anything else for that matter.


Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Metaljockey on February 27, 2009, 05:40:42 am
 
Today we want to get back to the lake. Maps of the Mozambican side of the lake shows almost no roads, so we expect the place to be sparsely populated.

Our route for the day;

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/475948435_dg8ca-L.jpg)


Everybody ready, bikes warming up and there goes my clutch cable. The one I personally inspected before the trip. And it breaks inside the housing, no end sticking out.

Itís Sunday morning. Luckily the informal sector doesnít respect business hours.

The owner of the lodge pitches up and and after having stripped the cable out, he takes us  around Lichinga to find a mechanic.

Hennie has a spare length of cable that we can slide into the housing, we just need to fit the ends which we donít have. The knob on the KTM cable is made of plastic, so we cannot re-use it. So we make one up and braise it onto the cable.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471560464_4yTsd-L.jpg)


Meanwhile the locals show off their skills.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471708350_NUjsE-L.jpg)


Iím again amused at what holds vehicles together over here, check out the leaf spring fix and the tie rod end.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471707471_gkQJa-M.jpg)

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471707776_5qx7o-M.jpg)


Anyway, the short version is that when you heat up a cable like that it goes brittle. Twice we go back to fit and twice it snaps before we can even get out of town.

So finally with local help we trace a used cable that came off some abandoned jalopy. This one has the lead knob on one end and when we fit it, it seems to work.

Our guide that took us to a variety of backyard mechanics.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471708600_tLWdV-L.jpg)


With all this commotion we get away a little late. I am really keen to get to the lake again. Over here it is called lake Niassa. A little silly seeing as niassa means lake. Iíve never visited the Moz side of the lake and there are not many tourists that do.

Niassa province has always been known as the forgotten province. Its over here.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/477246059_BXCGC-M.jpg)


To reach it from within Moz you have to brave some pretty bad unpaved roads for several days. There really is just one arterial road connecting Lichinga to Pemba. In the rainy season, it becomes unusable, even to 4 wheel drive vehicles. This effectively cuts Lichinga off from the rest of Mozambique until the rivers go down again.

Ironically, this remoteness is the very reason that the civil war had less impact than in the rest of the country. Many people fled to live in the bush here and even the animal population survived the war.

The previous night we ate dinner in town and met one of the locals who told us some interesting things. The previous leader, Samora Machel, had a habit of sending a truck to criticís houses at night to pick up the whole family, who then were unceremoniously driven up to Niassa and dumped in the bush. The understanding was that this was very accommodating of the President and if the unwanted person was so foolhardy as to make his way back down to Maputo to reclaim his house or business, he should not expect to live very much longer.

We hit the road on the way to Metangula, a settlement on the lakeside. It turns out to be a very entertaining road as Lichinga is situated on the highlands and the road winds down with many twists and turns. What makes it even more entertaining is that the asphalt is covered with a thin layer of river sand, maybe to make it last longer, who knows?

When we get to Metangula we are met with not much more than some huts and this ancient tree.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471594635_WAtmi-L.jpg)


We see a road split off to the north skirting the lake edge, this is not indicated on any maps we have, but we decide to follow it as far as it will take us. If we are lucky, it will take us right up to Cobue, our target for the day.

It turns out to be a lovely road that quickly turns into a lovely track that quickly turns into a lovely voetpaadjie. We also find that contrary to expectation, there are many people staying here and we pass through village after village, scaring the poop out of chickens and some people.

We notice that the houses here are prettier than in Malawi, check these out.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471709137_jMeCG-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471564457_Y4L3g-L.jpg)


Interesting titbit; the roof lasts about 6 months before having to be re-thatched. The thatch is not personally collected, you buy it from grass cutters, whose only job is cutting thatch and selling it.

Our late start have us running out of daylight pretty quickly though and we start looking for a place to camp. Some locals direct us to a wide beach and we pull in.

Very quickly the local chief pitches up and there are all kinds of discussions re permission to stay over, what mission we are on, where are the others etc. The fact that we are just four guys riding for pleasure is a concept that turns out to be almost impossible to grasp here.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471709366_25GSN-L.jpg)



This beach is one of the places that the Ilala Ferry stops. It has a lighthouse, and taking pictures apparently is a no-no. Iím sure it is still some suspicion left over from the war. This area is clearly not visited much by strangers. After writing down all our details we are welcome to make ourselves at home.

That night we are backlit by a huge brush fire. We finish off the warm beers that we brought and unknowingly set a trend for the next two weeks. This would be the first of too many too warm beers.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471594940_qSsWV-L.jpg)


Finally I am where I wanted to be, the western shore of Lake Malawi. I sleep well.




Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Smithey on February 27, 2009, 09:11:04 am
You do some fantastic rides MJ, keep it coming  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: growweblaar on February 27, 2009, 09:28:49 am
Nice! True adventure :thumleft:

I remember when we were at the lake on the Malawi side, there was always a pall of smoke hanging on the Moz side. Are these just bush fires? Sugar cane?


I love this pic :). Classic mud-brick house, owner-built:

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471709137_jMeCG-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: >Herman< on February 27, 2009, 10:13:27 am
 :thumleft:

Nice  :ricky: report MJ.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: bmad on February 27, 2009, 12:15:07 pm
As always, very well written and even though i cannot see the pictures, i can imagine it  :thumleft:

Will check the pics out over the weekend at home
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Nardus on February 27, 2009, 12:19:52 pm
Daas hy - goei mielies MJ !!!!!!
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: redtiger on February 27, 2009, 12:24:00 pm
Nice report and great photos thanks for posting.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: CHorse on February 27, 2009, 12:37:49 pm
Brilliant report and great pictures.

Can't wait for the next "chapter"
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: IceCreamMan on February 27, 2009, 12:41:27 pm
........Nardus and myself playing bawu.........

Interesting game that, a barman there in Quirimba tought us to play  ... about a year ago. (Pity I was not there on a bike)

Barlady taught me the game at planet boabab in botswana on a bike trip  :biggrin:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Jules on February 27, 2009, 03:21:26 pm
Wow Nice!

Gota make my way out there ASAP


Jules
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: JourneyMan on February 28, 2009, 05:47:24 am
Another classic from MJ. 8)

Great RR! :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Paulsky on March 01, 2009, 04:26:09 pm
Shit what a cool ride so far!
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Chuck U Farley on March 01, 2009, 05:00:02 pm
When I'm big one day, I want to be a fearless adventurer like MJ!!!

Don't leave us waiting too long for more chapters!!
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Metaljockey on March 01, 2009, 06:53:40 pm
The next morning before sunrise Iím up to take a couple of pics.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471595242_5Bxa4-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471595433_NBavu-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471595918_yUsQG-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471595526_8UANj-L.jpg)


When the first rays flow down onto the beach, Hennie and his bike are there to receive the blessing.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471595623_SqsFA-L.jpg)


Hereís my lodgings for the night.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471596012_zWgh4-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471596104_xkACH-L.jpg)


This boat sank during the night.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471595715_wPPse-L.jpg)


Not a problem fo rthe owner and in short thrift it is recovered and fitted out with mast and sails. The fish ainít gonna catch themselves.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471596381_g6yUA-L.jpg)


Feathered fishermen also start their day of toil.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471596809_ekwoV-L.jpg)


I just love Baobabs. Nardus getting ready for the dayís ride.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471596898_T5YAL-L.jpg)


Some of us applied our minds when we pulled up the previous afternoon, some of us did not.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471597159_LKN2R-L-1.jpg)


The early morning riding is easy and pleasant as can be. The crop on the left is cassava, more about that later.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471597257_o6nVk-L.jpg)


We get drawn to a pub by the blaring speakers. Nardus dances an ethnic jig because life is good man, life is great.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471674473_daVWF-L.jpg)


Maybe I should qualify that, life is great for all of us except Hennie. Look at that face.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471565972_jviGi-L.jpg)


Somewhere he picked up a stomach bug and today is going to be the day that he would rather forget.


We settle in to enjoy some breakfast beers while Hennie disappears off into the bush.

This is where the music is powered from.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471597448_6RkkK-M.jpg)


We quickly draw spectators.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471676542_WBcZr-L.jpg)


By the way, the beer we are having is Castle Milk Stout. Very dark, very sweet, plenty strong and it is often used by new mothers to get their breasts lactating. Yes, good shit. You donít need no breakfast if you have two or three of these. Did I mention they were warm?

Arty Aqualine pic.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471597675_czXpd-L.jpg)


Mattel hasnít reached everywhere yet.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471599743_r58pj-L.jpg)


Self portrait; the day was heating up nicely.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471599956_wYTBE-L.jpg)


I want to get to a 'lodge' owned and run by the local population. The problem is that I have only read about it and we have no idea where it is. It is on the lake though so we keep going north, hugging the lake on increasingly diminishing tracks. This is our second day of riding where the GPS has no tracks. The new version of Tracks 4 Africa will be more complete, you can thank me later.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471600297_dHJTp-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471600841_yKEfa-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471569219_UipyQ-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471601260_gEyXX-L.jpg)


Very good riding and lovely scenery.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471601480_c49UY-L.jpg)


Here and there we are made to work though.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471711914_Dtyar-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471711469_K6w7R-L.jpg)


That there is a brand new bike. Damn!

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471602009_LKLZV-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471602257_LBPap-L.jpg)


Hoe later hoe kwater, as the heat intensifies, so do the terrain.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471711660_fV9nz-L.jpg)


This is bad news for Hennie, he looks like shit and we start to worry that it might be malaria. He does not have a headache though, so we hope for the best and he soldiers on. Well maybe soldier is not the word, more like flounder.

At one stage I take Hennieís bike down an ugly section and the next thing Nardus and his behemoth come storming down the mountain and he takes out my parked bike. Those 950s can keep a line, whether you want them to or not.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471712184_YfJEB-L.jpg)


Where ever we stop for a break, Hennie uses his opportunities, and orifices, all of them.
 
(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471571695_zEdQM-L.jpg)


What can you do? We wait.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471602885_JNiLF-L.jpg)


We were to see many of these beautiful trees.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471602677_i5NgS-L.jpg)


Mango trees.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471602773_sEewj-L.jpg)


Hennie; wondering how long this day is going to be.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471602498_JTEar-L.jpg)


On the advice of locals we swing away from the greenery next to the lake.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471602996_2JXUC-L.jpg)


We have to cross some mountains, or rather hills, to do a loop into the interior before we can reach the lake again. Like this.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/481512833_5RrcB-M.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471603662_FLdwu-L.jpg)


A lot of it is navigating by intuition, we donít do too badly though.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471677789_xHbxF-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471607879_W2NGY-L.jpg)


The heat is something fierce here, but the most excellent paadjies makes up for it.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471712411_5Zanw-L.jpg)


Now and then we need to stop and regroup, as two of us scout tracks, while two wait to see if it is the right way.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471608496_vR3XE-L.jpg)


Things are going a bit slow, so I amuse myself with the camera.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471608612_TnYsx-L.jpg)


Another self portrait, Iím the guy in the glasses.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471609669_3u7qw-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471608735_roGy5-L.jpg)


Hennieís diminishing powers has him at wits end. Every time he needs a little muscle, he doesnít have it and he goes down.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471712927_27E5D-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471713639_hCuN5-L.jpg)


Even my bike seems to be feeling a little weak in the knees.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471714261_5QaAJ-L.jpg)


The bikes are starting to show some wear.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471610277_ayLzX-L.jpg)


Still, when we get to ride on top of the hills, it is Nirvana.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471572301_5QG6B-L.jpg)


We can finally get some airflow over the radiators, and our heads, which is a relief.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471611254_MWSXs-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471572630_2A3Rz-L.jpg)


Periodically we come to areas that are burnt. This was to be a common sight for the full duration of our trip in Moz.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471611376_xyZTH-L.jpg)


New life giving the ashes the finger.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471611535_dWMm4-L.jpg)


We stop once we reach a marked road again with the idea to lie down in the shade for half an hour. Within two minutes we realize that the heat will kill us, much better to keep riding and generate air flow. So we continue.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471573514_ZNk75-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471611941_CJxQ9-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471619514_xRnr5-L.jpg)


After going down a couple of dead end tracks we get back to the lake again.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471574138_fY5Y9-L.jpg)


We donít waste much time getting in the water. Today is also the first day that we start drinking lake water. We used what water we had in the hills.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471574786_9SXQS-L.jpg)


Not much further and we get to the lodge I was looking for.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471624036_owEP2-L.jpg)


Itís heydays clearly over, we are the only guests.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471622314_jG8Ty-L.jpg)


It has basic huts and wonderful views.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471621296_BX8pc-L.jpg)


We are very happy to be here though and the staff are very happy to have us. Someone is sent to fetch beer and 20 minutes later we wade into warm Black Labels. When I say warm, I mean 28-30 degrees Celsius.

For a snack we have some cassava (or manioc as it is known elsewhere) prepared. It is a root that can be fried, boiled, mashed, eaten raw and a lot more. Throughout Africa it is used to still hunger pains, it can grow anywhere. This is what it looks like.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471622465_8Qppe-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471622693_wuW36-L.jpg)


The lodge is situated on a scenic peninsula, really an ideal spot. Reminds me of the Seychelles.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471620071_ptvwn-L.jpg)


These kids had a whale of a time until they were chased away by  the staff.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471620352_aFrAA-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471620823_gjzYP-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471620966_qPam5-L.jpg)


While all this joy of life stuff is going on, Hennie is down for the count.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471621456_sDLH3-L.jpg)


Check out the sail on this mokoro.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471621759_qVeAK-L-1.jpg)


We ordered chicken and msima for lunch and it is served under the beach pergola. These guys are looking after us really well. Even the beer goes down to 26 degrees after being kept under a wet towel.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471624159_XMTo8-L.jpg)


Howís this for lunch with a view?

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471620202_gVin5-L.jpg)


Having eaten well, and deserving a bit of rest, we spend the afternoon horizontally.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471575399_K7x7L-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471624291_ybW9K-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471625244_hooxf-L.jpg)


Peace descends upon the valley.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Kaboef on March 01, 2009, 07:21:50 pm
Very nice.
Impressive photos, respect.   :thumleft:



Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Paulsky on March 01, 2009, 08:12:45 pm
All I can say is "Fuckit but this is a cool ride report"
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Bakkie on March 01, 2009, 08:20:02 pm
jusso
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: GreenMamba1974 on March 01, 2009, 08:45:09 pm
man oh man, brilliant.  you guys are d/s riding the way most of us wish we could, and we/i will one day, thanks for the inspiration!  :thumleft:

africa is amazing.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Chuck U Farley on March 01, 2009, 08:53:23 pm
Hardcore man!!!
Mods, like all of MJ's RR's, this one should go straight to the roll of honour!!!
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Plothond on March 01, 2009, 09:01:12 pm
Excellent !

Do you choose the kakest paths on purpose, or is your route planning decidedly up to shite  ;D :biggrin:
Nice going  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Carnivore on March 01, 2009, 09:47:32 pm
Lekker, Meneer... baie lekker.  :thumleft:

Daai lake is darem groter as die Blue Lagoon se dammetjie, of hoe?
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: SADivemaster on March 02, 2009, 07:29:05 am
Excellent stuff guys!

Can I come on the next one? Pretty pleez
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: shark_za on March 02, 2009, 07:42:43 am
Seriously cool report.
Imagine if the beers were cold.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: surf on March 02, 2009, 10:21:58 pm
Ek weet dam nie ouens :-\, al daai warm bier,wortel eet en hitte, siek word , om val en baaik reg maak, op draande, afdraande, rotse en  sand :o

Where do I sign up :drif: :drif:

Respek ouens  :thumleft:

Great report :ricky:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Matroos (aka JJred) on March 02, 2009, 11:23:41 pm
Een Befokte trip !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: bmad on March 03, 2009, 06:58:07 am
As usual, your reports are top class.  :thumleft:

In my view, this is adventure biking at it's best.   :ricky:

Now please sir, can we have some more  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: ROOI on March 03, 2009, 10:39:06 am
Gee another classic in the making thanks  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: JackShit on March 03, 2009, 11:02:20 am
Suggestion : next time take an extra few days  leave and finish the ride report in one go. The suspense is killing us.  ;D  Thanks, excllent report!!!
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Frohan Visser on March 04, 2009, 07:55:18 am
Nice RR Metaljockey!!!!!!!!!!!  Where is the rest?????
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: popipants on March 04, 2009, 08:46:05 am
tic tock tic tock...come on people...the clock is ticking...where is the rest?
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: blainec on March 04, 2009, 08:51:40 am
What a ride , it brings on evil thoughts like tipping this bloddy desk over and going home to pack the scoot and start heading for Malawi . To hell with the consequences .

Great report keep it coming.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Misty on March 04, 2009, 11:12:02 am
One awesome RR I am really enjoying it so far - ahh... so many stunning places out there!  :ricky:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: eSKaPe on March 04, 2009, 04:23:15 pm
Great trip, great places, great pics, and thats really why we buy adventure bikes
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: briv on March 04, 2009, 08:30:35 pm
Thank you for showing me all these places  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Hammerhead on March 04, 2009, 08:55:50 pm
Absoluut uitstekend!!!
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Mark Hardy on March 05, 2009, 07:35:15 am
Excellent RR as usual made possible by your adventures.
Thanks for sharing these far out places.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: KAT-WP on March 05, 2009, 11:32:27 am

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471711660_fV9nz-L.jpg)

difficult routes u guys r riding 2 ;D

these pic's & RR are absolutely AWSUM :thumleft: :thumleft:  such beautiful surroundings, heaven on earth :drif:  truly a adventure ride at its best, fantastic ;)
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: SteveT on March 05, 2009, 02:46:23 pm
Wow is all i can say - makes the Long way down boys look a bit weak doesnt it
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Metaljockey on March 05, 2009, 07:47:11 pm
Suggestion : next time take an extra few days  leave and finish the ride report in one go. The suspense is killing us.  ;D  Thanks, excllent report!!!

Ok, I'm back in town, sorry for the delay. I've been trying to do this report offline so that I can post an installment a day, but I get impatient and start posting before I have enough of a head start.

I'll try and speed it up.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Metaljockey on March 05, 2009, 08:07:52 pm
The next morning dawns slow and peaceful.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471681077_rwSGC-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471715511_5Jkg4-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471715768_eYjQm-M.jpg)


Brianís spot.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471716044_FQ3K8-L.jpg)


Ablutions

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471716309_97ykG-M.jpg)


We hit the road, we are going to be passing through Lichinga again on our way east.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471716517_JuNuG-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/485670389_TDrLA-M.jpg)


Everybody is feeling perky today.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471576657_eBhqm-L.jpg)


And we get the right kind of roads too, nice and fast.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471576839_Nk64E-L.jpg)


Many of the villages we pass through have specially made structures for shade. 

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471716702_UReuq-L-1.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471625348_RV2Dz-L.jpg)


When we hit Lichinga again we have lunch and as chance would have it we meet Warrick, an ex-South African. He farms in the area that we are going to be travelling through today and we are invited to stay over on his farm.

This is very fortunate as Lichinga is our last fuel stop for the next 600 odd km. He will cart our fuel drums to the farm.

Leaving us to steek it without all that dead weight.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471683577_or3RV-L.jpg)


This river later cuts through the farm.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471682293_2RWSm-L.jpg)


When we pull up at the farm we introduce ourselves to his wife, Fenn, who immediately offers us something cold and sends us to the river to swim with the kids. This river is right below their house, and it supplies their drinking and irrigation water all year round.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471686316_9q4Qx-L.jpg)


We spend most of the afternoon in Fennís lovely company, Warrick only arriving at about 21H00 from town with our beers.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471684603_F5bPn-L.jpg)


Some of you will remember when Moz invited commercial farmers from SA and Zim to relocate to underdeveloped areas of the country. The basics were that you get the land for free as long as you create a farming enterprise from scratch.

Warrick and Fenn came here to an area of complete wilderness, and have turned it into a sizable well developed farm.  Hectares have been cleared, irrigation installed and thousands of cashew trees planted. Still some years to the first harvest, but I am mightily impressed by what Warrick is creating here by himself. I certainly have neither the skill nor the tenacity required.

For instance, he has a generator and irrigation pump running off a Land Cruiser engine 24 hours a day. Except this engine is not running on petrol or diesel, it is running on wood. Check this out.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471686783_6LSYZ-M.jpg)


The first cylinder is burning the wood, the suction of the engine pulls the gases down so that there is no flames or smoke, just glowing coals. These unburned gases then moves through the next cylinder which uses water to cool it. What the third one does I do not remember, but this gas then goes straight into the inlet manifold where the carburetor normally would be.

Like so.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471687535_y29L8-M.jpg)


Amazing stuff, a R24 000 a month diesel bill sent packing.

Like I said before, on every trip I learn some new shit.

Hopefully Fenn will follow her dream to have a guesthouse here, it will be the only one in a radius of several hundred km. They are wonderfully hospitable people and a treat to talk to.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471577904_ozTnE-L.jpg)


On top of eating like kings, having cold beers and sleeping in a proper bed, we are also lucky enough to be joined by some professional hunters that will pass through Mavago the next day. We also are to travel through Mavago and they offer to drop our fuel at the government office there.

Most excellent, this takes our fuel far enough that we will now certainly have enough to reach the next fuel quite comfortably. One of our main obstacles sorted.



Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Chuck U Farley on March 05, 2009, 08:24:10 pm
Welcome back. Not a moment too soon. Shit, I thought I was going to have to join my family watching re-runs of Idols!
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: growweblaar on March 06, 2009, 09:13:05 am
Fantastic :thumleft:

I dig that wood burning engine - never seen anything like it 8)


Just be careful of over-stepping the forum porn rules:  :biggrin:
(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471716309_97ykG-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: popipants on March 06, 2009, 10:01:42 am
Fantastic :thumleft:

I dig that wood burning engine - never seen anything like it 8)


Just be careful of over-stepping the forum porn rules:  :biggrin:
(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471716309_97ykG-M.jpg)

yip, and rule # 1 is: NO NAKED MEN

 :biggrin: :biggrin:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: growweblaar on March 06, 2009, 10:59:23 am
yip, and rule # 1 is: NO NAKED MEN

 :biggrin: :biggrin:

I would post it on the "Nurse EV" thread, but then I'm stuck with it on 'New replies'  for the rest of my life  :biggrin:

And that's just a tad metro-sexual, even for a Capetonian.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: roxenz on March 06, 2009, 12:21:27 pm
Great stuff!  Vintage MJ: beers, bars and beautiful women!  Oh yes, some spectacular riding too.  With a great eye for composing outstanding photos.  Keep it coming man!
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Nardus on March 06, 2009, 01:40:25 pm
yip, and rule # 1 is: NO NAKED MEN

 :biggrin: :biggrin:

I would post it on the "Nurse EV" thread, but then I'm stuck with it on 'New replies'  for the rest of my life  :biggrin:

And that's just a tad metro-sexual, even for a Capetonian.

Wow, what a sexy ass !!!!!!!!!!!

You also have to agree that THAT is ART !
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Stofdonkie on March 08, 2009, 04:47:55 pm
yip, and rule # 1 is: NO NAKED MEN

 :biggrin: :biggrin:

I would post it on the "Nurse EV" thread, but then I'm stuck with it on 'New replies'  for the rest of my life  :biggrin:

And that's just a tad metro-sexual, even for a Capetonian.

Wow, what a sexy ass !!!!!!!!!!!

You also have to agree that THAT is ART !

No, I think it's an ism!

 ;D
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: bradleys on March 09, 2009, 08:51:41 am
BRILLIANT STUFF KEEP IT COMMING :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Camelman on March 09, 2009, 09:18:52 am
jire. i smaak this ride report stukkend ...  :ricky:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Paulsky on March 09, 2009, 09:35:58 am
Wheres the next instalment?
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS on March 09, 2009, 09:59:43 am
Stunning story and pics. My kop is te plat om te verstaan hoe daai waterpompenjin werk!!!C.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: TheAnt on March 09, 2009, 11:19:30 am
Wow! very nice MJ! Keep them rolling... :ricky:

Hoe sÍ hulle... BOER MAAK 'n PLAN! What feet of engineering that engine is!!!
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Metaljockey on March 10, 2009, 07:19:47 am
Today is the day that we get to Reservo do Niassa.

Reservo do Niassa is the reason we came on this trip.

The reserve is massive. Twice the size of Kruger National Park. Itís northern boundary is the Rio Rovuma, the border between Moz and Tanzania. Itís western and southern boundary is the Rio Lugenda. Around the park are what is called buffer zones. These  zones are hunting concession areas. Check it out.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/487939886_XPhea-M.jpg)

Aerial surveys have shown it to have 12000 elephants, 6000 lions etc.

 It has always just been wilderness and was only proclaimed in the 90ís. Tourists are rarely seen. The ones that do come here get flown in from Pemba by the hunting concession holders. The reserve has only one official entrance, coming up from Marrupa. We are not using that entrance.

The riding is easy, nice hardpacked track with the odd rut. The only thing that upsets the cart are the bridges. Every couple of kms we cross small streams that cut across the path. The bridges are made of raw logs suspended lengthways. Like this

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471625687_KmH5s-L.jpg)


Of course, I have to be the first schmuck that gets it wrong.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471625792_wH4WZ-L.jpg)


Iím thankful for the axle nuts though.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471625917_GUu6M-L.jpg)


Every one is different and I inch my way across. The bloody logs does not have a flat top, it is round and tend to not only go up and down but also bend from side to side with knots sticking out here and there.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471718014_ae8od-L.jpg)


Just like every where else in Moz that we have ridden to date, the miombo woodland has been burned and clear cut in vast areas. The locals build their houses and then start clearing the forest around it until they have to travel about 30km to get to the edge. Then they abandon their homes and move to start the cycle again. What I do notice is that the trees are cut off about a meter above the ground. Presumably so that it can regenerate for the future.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471578096_uvUjp-L.jpg)


On this picture you can see how the trees are cut higher up.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471737311_qMsQu-L.jpg)


This is what the virgin bush looks like. Miombo woodland, no thorns, just like Nardus said it would be.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471626327_AKxtR-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471626669_bXRYY-M.jpg)


When we get to Mavago we create quite a stir. The moment I remove my helmet a general shout goes up : ďChucky Norris, Chucky Norris!Ē  Iíve been called Vincent Van Gogh before but never Chucky Norris.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471579090_aDVg7-L.jpg)


We fetch our fuel drums from the government offices and fill the bikes and 20l containers each.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471579263_sKn7x-M.jpg)


We try to sit down to enjoy a warm to hot beer but we get crowded so badly that we canít seem to breathe in the stifling heat. I am very used to drawing crowds in rural areas, but here it is just extreme. Kids crowd right up against us. It seems the only white people that come here are people on organized safaris and they donít step out of the Land Cruisers.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471718255_86gta-M.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471579460_ynPsP-M.jpg)


We are just about halfway through our beer when a local policeman tells us to put it down and follow him to the office. We get ushered into the office of what I gather to be the regional head of the police. Here we are interrogated on what our mission is and which one of us is the leader. Again we find it next to impossible to explain that we are just friends riding bikes because we like to. This goes on for quite a while and I am concerned about our bikes standing in the village unattended. It turns out that they are concerned that we have come to abduct their children! Freaky.

Finally after taking down all our passport and vehicle details we are released and we part on friendly terms. Not wanting to spend much more time in Mavago we hit the road.

When we stop for a break some time later there are hundreds of little muggies trying to force their way into our mouths, noses, eyes and anything that is wet.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471718503_dZmFG-L.jpg)


I find it easier to bear the heat and give the muggies the finger.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471718761_bvsEx-M.jpg)


And the log bridges continue.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471627217_iFMRa-L.jpg)


I get the feeling that most of them are rebuilt every year after the rainy season. This is what the construction looks like.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471719003_NhnHZ-M.jpg)


Some are better than others.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471627371_jaM3e-M.jpg)


Late afternoon and we are now well into the park. We start looking for a place to camp, but it is difficult to find an open area.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471579867_QDLSm-M.jpg)


Hennie is still dealing with the remains of his stomach bug.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471580502_PDuXJ-M.jpg)


And we still cross one log bridge after the other. On the sparse ones like this I walk next to the bike.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471719676_mUptd-L.jpg)


Brian though, rides many of them at speed and seems to get away with it. I try to follow suit and I pay the price. As I am just about across the bridge my back wheel slides off a log and gets thrown sideways. I stamp down hard with my left foot to avoid going down and I save it. Unfortunately this move exceeds the design specification of my foot and I am the unhappy recipient of a blue ankle. Brianís wife had packed some serious painkillers though, and I remain indebted to her.

When we finally make camp in the dark, my hammock comes into itís own. I have progressively trip after trip become obsessive as far as weight saving goes. Every trip I have paired down and paired down until I am so lean on packing that I have excess space left over.

Look here for instance, that black bag on the rack carries everything except my tent. It has my clothes, personals, food, water, bedding, spares and tools. When on a trip where fuel is not an issue, the saddle bags are empty. Here they carry only fuel, 10l a side.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471629182_4MLWf-L.jpg)

I read a ride report of a solo Trans-Africa traveler once. He mentioned that his hammock was the single piece of kit that gave him most pleasure. That stuck with me and on this trip, seeing as I had loads of space, I packed a hammock and a camp stool. Believe me the hammock is heaven. Especially when you have a sore foot. I will include one on all future trips where possible.

We finally go to sleep in a burned area of forest. Bright moon and deathly silence.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471720182_YhK4U-L.jpg)




Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Groenie on March 10, 2009, 08:05:40 am
Nee man!!!! Moenie nou stop nie
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: TheAnt on March 10, 2009, 08:17:59 am
Scary bridges! Keep em rolling!!! :ricky:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: veldskoen on March 10, 2009, 08:19:43 am
Kos vir die siel!
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Paulsky on March 10, 2009, 08:26:59 am
This is one of the cool RR's I have read, what an awesome place
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: roxenz on March 10, 2009, 09:40:26 am
Hit the keyboard MJ!

Thanks so far, great!
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: growweblaar on March 10, 2009, 10:27:20 am
 :hello2:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: the_BOBNOB on March 10, 2009, 11:23:55 am
awesome ride guys  :thumleft:

another one for the hall of fame  ;D
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: edgy on March 10, 2009, 01:38:07 pm
Man what a coincedence,i know the couple you met(Warrick and Fenn) He comes from near Alexandra here in the E-Cape and Fenn is Noxious`s sister that you and Michnus met at Baviaans Bash!
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Metaljockey on March 11, 2009, 08:31:55 am
Man what a coincedence,i know the couple you met(Warrick and Fenn) He comes from near Alexandra here in the E-Cape and Fenn is Noxious`s sister that you and Michnus met at Baviaans Bash!

Ja, funny also how the Eastern Capies have a look about them. As soon as I spoke to Warrick I knew he came from the Eastern Cape.

We spent a lot of time with Fenn and it was very interesting to hear about adapting to the new life with the kids. Especially now that home schooling has reached it's limit with the eldest.

Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Metaljockey on March 11, 2009, 08:48:33 am
Like I said, we go to sleep in deathly silence.

This is because there is no wildlife. I mean NO wildlife at all. We donít see a living thing, there is not even some droppings to show that something is around, no spoor at all and not even birds. It is like riding in the bush, but the only living thing is humans. Every hour or so we would pass one or two solitary figures pushing a bicycle.

The riding is still easy and pleasant.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471720687_R5HXW-L.jpg)


And the bridges still gives us trouble.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471688686_8s2K2-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471689749_PbxcG-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471628158_Voitd-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471581952_uhfcL-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471583330_VbSeb-L.jpg)


Someone is going to ask, so I might as well tell. That red thing on Nardusís bike is an air horn.  Why it is there is a long story.

When we planned for this trip I researched as much as was available re Niassa and Cabo Del Gado Provinces. One of the things I came across was a news item about two women who had been caught and eaten by lions in Cabo Del Gado. This was not good.

It was three months before the trip. Further research confirmed that these two women were victims number fifteen and sixteen in the same area. Sixteen people eaten by the same lions in a period of six months! Bloody hell! Why does the whole world not know about this? Here is a pride that preys specifically on humans; it should make international headlines.

Further research brought me to a research paper by Craig Packer. The mind blowing data is that from 1990 to 2004, in the Southern Tanzanian  / Northern Mozambique area, lions have attacked over 800 people and killed over 500. What the fuck man? Eight hundred people! Several prides and more than one generation of lions are eating people like they are a food group.
 
The methods followed by some of these lions was even more upsetting. They climb up the walls of the mud houses and then come crashing down into the house with the roof. We were on bikes, fast-food you know. And we were going to sleep out in the open. Tasty snacks just lying about.

Just about the same time that thread about the big lions in the Krugersdorp Lion Park surfaced.  I was less than comfortable with the whole idea I can tell you.

We were going to have to take some sort of preventative measures. When you are sleeping in the open you do not have any real options, if a lion is intent on eating you, heís gonna fucking eat you.

Here is the funny part. Our prevention plan was first up, air horns, to scare the bastards with noise. That is where this hooter on Nardusís handle bars comes in.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471720410_wWwrG-L.jpg)


If we happen upon a pride of lion lying in the road unexpectedly, hit the hooter and ride straight at them. Except that about twenty km after fitting this magafter, Nardus is suddenly overcome by acute cold finger syndrome. The canister wore through against the mirror stalk and released all the compressed air onto his hand.

At the risk of ridicule I have to tell you about our other measures.

Our first line of defence is some fire crackers that Brian brought. Little bomb thingies that we can throw at them when they circle the fire. Sounds like gunshots.

These lions have also shown themselves to be unafraid of fire, so Brian got hold of an electric fence that are energized by six batteries. I carried this in my bag.

Should the lion just get pissed off by being shocked by our fence, I also had an air horn with me. I would wait for the big boy to be sniffing my tent and then scare the piss out of him.

The noise can of course just excite the bastard, and in light of a hut not being a real obstacle, my tent was never going to be much of a deterrent.

So I was also going to sleep with a can of mace. I could not find anything on whether it is effective on lions, but it is effective against bears and American mountain lion, so the odds are in my favour.

These are only effective at close range though. Studying many videos on the internet of people being mauled by lions, I have noticed that more often than not, the first bite is across the shoulders and chest, where the lion then holds on until the person dies of suffocation or what not.

That is why I will wait until he has me in his jaws and walks away with that cocky walk that they have when they caught something good. Then I will use my good arm to get the mace from my pocket and let him have the full shot straight up his nostril. That will sort him out. There is of course also the chance that he might clamp down on my head, but thatís what helmets are for. Iíll still get him up the nostril with a blast of hell fire.

Lastly I have my leatherman. Should the mace prove ineffective and things take too long for my sensibilities, Iíll just cut my own throat, you donít want to piss him off more by irritating him with a pocket knife.



Nardusís finger having defrosted, we continue, still with no sign of any life.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471628401_2Bd89-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471628522_wnXhr-L.jpg)


And of course still dealing with these confounded bridges. The biggest problem with these things are that should you try to cross normally, and your wheels do slip in between two logs, you are going to come off pretty fast. This is OK, but if your rider less bike should topple over, your rims are going to be destroyed. Spokes all over and trip over.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471582449_2Uost-L.jpg)


Some leftovers from the war probably.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471583441_xWqcq-L.jpg)


And some sign of life (or death).

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471628287_YCdSC-M.jpg)


We also move into an area where these beautiful rock domes come straight out of the veldt.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471721688_ShwPi-L.jpg)


We also come across one or two small villages. In the park. All of them draw water from boreholes like this. And even in the park they still harvest wood.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471722126_rMesn-L.jpg)


These granite domes fascinate us.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471628936_3p2Nb-L-1.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471629433_5qPpW-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471722386_d5gbp-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471629747_fYBA3-L-1.jpg)


Finally after 265km of riding in the park we come across the first antelope.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471629850_LfSV4-M.jpg)


At the same time the terrain starts getting sandy. Lovely. This is more like the Mozambique I know.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471629947_suQNA-L.jpg)


Brian likes the sand so much, he lies down in it repeatedly. But he is up as quick as he goes down. He takes that Ďopen upí thing to a new level.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471630254_vvpKP-L.jpg)


You know the riding is good when you have blood on your face.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471630394_qQtzz-L.jpg)


We also now pick up a lot of animal spoor, including elephant. The reason, it appears, is that we are now near the Lugenda river. This being the dry season, the game congregate around the rivers.

When we get to Mecula, the only town in the park, we also drop in to the ranger station. They focus mostly on anti poaching it seems.

The reason we drop in there is that we intend going into the concession areas. Contacting the concession people proved fruitless from South Africa. It also proves fruitless by radio from the rangers. We donít want to be rude and crash through there area unannounced, but the ranger (another ex- South African) says he will keep trying to raise them on the radio.

We figure it thus: in these concession areas are villages, so it is not a case of a sole right of use thing. They do have the sole right to hunt and put up lodges, but we are not conducting business within their area, we are just passing through, so they lose no revenue.

On the way from Mecula to the Lugenda Bridge I have my first off at speed from a DS bike. I came off from the plastic many times at speed , but to date all my offs from a DS was at 30km/h or less.

I am the last rider and as the road is a well made, wide, fast one I sit at a relaxed 100-110km/h. I come upon a tributary with a cement causeway, so I donít back off the throttle. The causeway is low on the river and both the approach and the other side is cut down into the river bank. Too late I notice that my line ends about half a metre above the causeway. All I can do is whack the throttle open and pull to try and get the nose up.

When I land the bike bottoms really hard and it gets thrown back up into the air. In this fashion we fly across most of the causeway and come down right where the other bank rises up with a little 30cm step.
Coming down from the sky the suspension can not deal with this either and we again get thrown into the air going up the bank.

This time my backend comes around to the right, quite far, so I can see my saddlebag. This is the bag that is carrying ten liters of fuel, the other one is empty. I still have hope that I can save it if I can just keep things upright when we hit the ground in this sideways position at speed. I almost make it, managing to stay on top and get the backwheel behind the front.

Unfortunately we are pulled off line so much that we leave the road. This being a river bank the side of the road has a drainage ditch and a wall. When we go into the ditch I know that this is not going to end well. All I can do is try to stay on top as long as I can so that we go down at as slow a speed as possible. I believe we went into that ditch at about 80km/h.

Twice I use my right foot against my better judgment and twice it gets ripped past me and mangled between the ditch and my saddle bag. Then we go down. When the dust settles, it appears that there is no real damage except my right ankle that is good and well sprained. I am lucky.

When I get to the others on the Lugenda Bridge Hennie tells that he got caught out in the same way. He and Nardus was riding abreast with Hennie on my line when he also bottomed, flew, bottomed again and then rode most of the uphill balanced over his front wheel.

Our plan is to turn left just over the bridge and follow the Lugenda through Hunting Area C and Hunting Area B.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/489247179_ALKwb-M.jpg)


This is the bridge.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471723330_Kf46n-L.jp)


Itís late afternoon and we want to find a place to camp asap. Here we come across, or rather, are seeked out by tstetse fly. Phenominally quick, painfull, aggressive little fuckers. This is what they look like.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471631792_g2YPM-L.jpg)


These things have evolved to follow and feast on herds of game. They sit patiently and wait for as long as it takes until something kicks up dust. Then they go mental.

Hennie is in front and his dust raises clouds of these things. I can see him surrounded by easily 50 tsetse fly. Behind him I have about 30 travelling with me. He is riding without a shirt.

When you stop you are swamped, they come in under the helmet. The only skin showing on me are a couple of centimeters between my glove and shirt. I get bitten here repeatedly while Iím riding at 30 odd km/h. The only times they sit still long enough for you to slap them is when they are feeding. And they bite hard. Remember, they are equipped to go through buffalo hide.

As we look for a place to camp it slowly becomes clear that when you stop and the dust settles, so do they. Thatís a good thing, otherwise we would not have been able to stop.

We finally make ourselves at home on the river bank.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471723534_bwKws-S.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471723829_5fwdC-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471724013_oi2KB-L.jpg)


That night it feels like being in the bush for the first time. Loads of animal spoor and a hippo that crashes around our camp site during the night.

Sort of ironic, the only place with animals are the hunting areas.



Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: oo7 on March 11, 2009, 08:56:52 am
Reports like this make me hesitant to post anything at all.

Awesome dude.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: KAT-WP on March 11, 2009, 09:26:52 am
guys this has 2 b the best RR i have read so far, stunning :drif:  very interesting reading :thumleft:

the logs look like a real challenge, good balance on top of this 2 get over it, tough :o
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: growweblaar on March 11, 2009, 11:51:33 am
Wow, a real adventure! Thanks for sharing :thumleft:

Studying many videos on the internet of people being mauled by lions...

 :laughing4:



That is why I will wait until he has me in his jaws and walks away with that cocky walk that they have when they caught something good. Then I will use my good arm to get the mace from my pocket and let him have the full shot straight up his nostril. That will sort him out. There is of course also the chance that he might clamp down on my head, but thatís what helmets are for. Iíll still get him up the nostril with a blast of hell fire.

 :laughing4:


Lastly I have my leatherman. Should the mace prove ineffective and things take too long for my sensibilities, Iíll just cut my own throat, you donít want to piss him off more by irritating him with a pocket knife.

Ah, lest we not forget Mr. Wolhuter  :mwink:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Skirt on March 11, 2009, 12:43:48 pm
I'm enjoying this RR immensely - thank you


...........That is why I will wait until he has me in his jaws and walks away with that cocky walk that they have when they caught something good. Then I will use my good arm to get the mace from my pocket and let him have the full shot straight up his nostril. That will sort him out........

This cracked me up   :imaposer: :imaposer: :imaposer:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: roxenz on March 11, 2009, 01:27:38 pm

a section on very dangerous, hungry lions snipped, then this:

Nardusís finger having defrosted, we continue, still with no sign of any life.


Sh!t! You mean the lions ate EVERYTHING!?
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Smithey on March 11, 2009, 02:06:14 pm
MJ, how long does it take you to plan your trips ?
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Metaljockey on March 11, 2009, 05:00:03 pm
MJ, how long does it take you to plan your trips ?

These kind of trips, six months, Lesotho, 6 minutes.


Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Miles on March 11, 2009, 05:42:39 pm
Great reading your RR thanks, you could write a book on this. :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Crossed-up on March 11, 2009, 05:44:15 pm
Fantastic stuff - keep it coming, please, please.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Smithey on March 11, 2009, 05:55:38 pm
MJ, how long does it take you to plan your trips ?

These kind of trips, six months, Lesotho, 6 minutes.

Thanks, i got me some overtime homework for the next 2 months  :thumleft:

Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Brink on March 11, 2009, 06:36:28 pm
Subscribed :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Metaljockey on March 11, 2009, 09:15:14 pm

Our camping spot the next morning.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471725827_tfzBi-L.jpg)


Some elephant on the other bank.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471725448_wPqfF-L-2.jpg)


Beautiful area.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471724781_UfJs3-L.jpg)


Now thatís what I like to see on a GPS. Itís gonna be a great day.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471630919_oVrD5-S.jpg)


Well, thatís not really the full picture, the data used to compile the route is based on the average speed of others who had been past here. They were either hunting or looking for game. So the 7 hours thing is way out.

We climb one of the domes to get a bit of a view. We like this place. Even when planning the trip we knew we were going to like this river section.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471726561_P9EJx-L.jpg)


Check out these polle that grow on the rock. They make their own peat to grow in. They are damn hard too, you only try to ride over them once, then you ride around them thereafter.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471727035_A7g2r-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471631262_GJb5j-L.jpg)


Today we intend to stay next to the river, we are in no hurry.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/489458937_iaPSt-M.jpg)


The place is suddenly teaming with game. And tsetse fly. In fact, I shouldnít be so hard on tsetse fly. If it wasnít for them, livestock would have been able to survive here. They are probably the main reason this area is still a wilderness.

Some elephant.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471727466_FMa7H-L.jpg)


We cross many rivers and Brian is still sweating.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471727847_sFSRm-L.jpg)


Unexpectedly we come upon a lodge type setup. We meet a friendly and welcoming barman. And they have COLD EVERYTHING. So we drink COLD EVERYTHING. Beer, orange juice, brandy& Coke, water and some other stuff I do not partake in. Damn, it is good! After all those revolting hot beers weíve been having it is just fantastic. (Especially the beer at Mecula, it was damn near scalding)

Some pics.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471584990_RXQpv-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471728335_3efMY-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471728463_NpRja-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471728602_CtCsc-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471585796_zNXtT-L-1.jpg)


Ok, letís have it with the hairy jokes. Give it your best shot.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471585493_V89qa-L.jpg)


When we want to leave we run into an unexpected problem. The barman does not want us to pay. It is not the done thing. He is obviously under the impression that we are guests of the concession holders, and this bar has no facilities for someone that wants to pay cash. He has no idea what to charge us. The perils of going where no-one else does.

So what we do is tally up what we drank (quite a lot actually) and leave enough money to cover normal bar prices. I hope he doesnít get into shit on our account.

We continue on our merry way. Much merrier since all the cold drinks.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471729232_smAD7-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471631678_Tp9Wy-L.jpg)


The drinks also put us straight into a pampered holiday mood, so we ditch our plans for the day and look for the first place that looks lekker to camp.

When we find it we waste no time to hit the water.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471730835_6Wbap-L.jpg)


Damn, it feels good. Hot as hell and we are spending the day up to our necks in the river. Perfect.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471729422_BCg9u-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471730060_uLzqm-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471586241_ZnawG-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471586393_Qo4tq-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471586543_jfnvu-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471586860_Uvarm-L.jpg)


Dit was befok.




Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: BigEd on March 11, 2009, 10:29:07 pm

Dit was befok.


Amen :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: growweblaar on March 12, 2009, 04:19:06 am
 :thumleft: :thumleft:


Um, het julle 'n geheime kameraman gehad...?  :patch:

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471730835_6Wbap-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Ektoknbike on March 12, 2009, 06:44:43 am


Sekerlik een van die beste RR wat ek nog gelees het, die manier wat jy 'n ding vertel en die foto's, uit-fokken-stekend.

Moet nou net nie sÍ jy verlang huis toe nie :peepwall:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Big E on March 12, 2009, 07:31:43 am
 :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Stofdonkie on March 12, 2009, 07:33:59 am
Did you at least have a looksee for crocs?
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Frohan Visser on March 12, 2009, 08:13:19 am
This RR can go straight to the Roll of Honour section!!!!!!!!!!!!

MJ, what Canon are u using???? There is some really excellent photo's.

Just by the way, how the hell can one sit behind a computer and try to work now after reading this..........????

Lekker...lekker....I'm waiting ..........................
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: eSKaPe on March 12, 2009, 09:51:17 am
Geez brilliant RR - started off briliant and just gets better and better.. keep it coming
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: JackShit on March 12, 2009, 03:40:30 pm
MJ, can we please have your report in PDF format (like the Angola trip) when finished? Stunning report. Congrats!
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Mark Hardy on March 12, 2009, 06:01:11 pm
You guys are an inspiration to all adventure riders


 :notworthy: :notworthy:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Kamanya on March 12, 2009, 06:53:51 pm
Quote
Ok, letís have it with the hairy jokes. Give it your best shot.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471585493_V89qa-L.jpg)

Bet you have a fear of velcro?

Like me, I see you were also born with dry cleaning instructions.


So far a FF rating.


Foken Fabulous
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Mark Hardy on March 12, 2009, 07:04:10 pm
 :laughing4: :laughing4:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: TheAnt on March 13, 2009, 01:05:58 pm
NEXT NEXT NEXT!!!! Please pretty please!!!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Ama ride ride on March 13, 2009, 01:22:28 pm
Quote
Ok, letís have it with the hairy jokes. Give it your best shot.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471585493_V89qa-L.jpg)

Bet you have a fear of velcro?

Like me, I see you were also born with dry cleaning instructions.


So far a FF rating.


Foken Fabulous

MJ

Did you wax around your man boobs? :laughing4:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Maverick on March 13, 2009, 05:59:01 pm
Simply awesome MJ, thanks for sharing  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: X Banana Boy on March 13, 2009, 08:00:36 pm
Awesome keep it coming.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Ganjora on March 14, 2009, 04:04:50 am
an epic adventure,  like this,  like all of yours,  must take a lot of time.   do you work???   

brilliant read,  as uaual.   thanks.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: LanceSA on March 14, 2009, 02:44:00 pm
What a great ride report. Thank you for sharing.
I am very keen to hear what you think of the 800 gs and how they performed. I know how capable Nardus is but personally think the 990 is a bit too heavy for the rest of us mere mortals for a trip like this. What do you think.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Nardus on March 16, 2009, 08:01:53 am
Hi Lance

The 950, in my opinion, is still the best dual purpose bike on the market. The 950 with the luggage and a 40 liter fuel tank is rather heavy, but will be similar to the 990 with extra weight. It still handles great and can negotiate fairly rough terrain. The 800gs is definately the best bmw to date for adventure travelling. A close competitor for the 950. The only real advantage of the 800gs is the much better fuel consumption. As for the rest - not bad for a glorified road bike !  >:D
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: SGB on March 16, 2009, 01:57:16 pm
Another great story with a difference by the king of adventure riding and his army.  Entertaining as always - thanks MJ and friends.  You sure know what DS riding should look like!  Looking forward to the rest and wish you lots more, as long as you do the RR's!
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: surf on March 16, 2009, 03:20:41 pm
WOW
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: LanceSA on March 16, 2009, 07:50:28 pm
Hi Lance

The 950, in my opinion, is still the best dual purpose bike on the market. The 950 with the luggage and a 40 liter fuel tank is rather heavy, but will be similar to the 990 with extra weight. It still handles great and can negotiate fairly rough terrain. The 800gs is definately the best bmw to date for adventure travelling. A close competitor for the 950. The only real advantage of the 800gs is the much better fuel consumption. As for the rest - not bad for a glorified road bike !  >:D

 :laughing4:  :laughing4:  :laughing4:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: funacide on March 17, 2009, 12:24:31 am
Awesome report as usual guys, thanks. now please finish it.........
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Metaljockey on March 17, 2009, 03:13:15 am
The next morning it is a quick wash and stock up on drinking water, before we head out.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471731064_i77yj-L.jpg)


And right away the dust brings these tstetse bastards swarming.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471632528_hYyvc-L.jpg)


This time I get a handle on them though. It appears that their top speed is about 40km/h, go at 45km/h and you loose them. I get some enjoyment picturing them going apeshit in the dust and finding nothing.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471632668_pBVJH-L.jpg)


We go through riverbed after riverbed, all leading into the Lugenda.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471635366_UAn2w-L.jpg)


Flotation like this is just a thing of beauty.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471637832_HQvbQ-L.jpg)


We stop for some playtime.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471731937_yJPHV-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471732333_LmGhg-M.jpg)



Today our plans change. We did some calculations and figured out that there is no way we can make it, time wise, on our originally planned route. We wanted to stick to the Lugenda to where it flows into the Rovuma and then head to the coast. 

We can still make it but there is no way weíll get back to Malawi in time. So we turn away from the river and start heading south. Again our GPSís have nothing to show, but where you see a string of villages all in a line, you know there must be a track. As soon as we head away from the river, we  hit some exceptionally lekker roads. Just really good riding.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471637967_xxfVs-L.jpg)


We donít get many opportunities to cool off, so we use them.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471732921_s7e9K-L.jpg)


When we get to the control gate for Hunting area B we cause some consternation. The guards are not used to people wanting to get out. Sort of difficult to refuse though. By the way, like the sign says, if you want to hunt in this area, look for Kambako Safaris. From all reports they are pretty good.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471587287_bUQqn-L.jpg)


The first village we find, we stop for the obligatory warm beer. And again we get swamped like you wonít believe. Iím starting to know what it feels like to be Paris Hilton.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471587463_hZeyn-L.jpg)


I manage to sneak away to watch the circus from afar.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471587819_tR4tk-L.jpg)


Our navigation turns out to be quite easy as there is only one road to follow and it finally deposits us in Montepuez. Civilisation, fuel station, restaurant, that kind of thing.

Coming from Pembaís side, maybe more like the end of civilization, because here the road to Lichinga turns rural.

This kind of rural.



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471733815_cz99D-L.jpg)


Except for mud, this has to be the shittiest stuff to ride. Under that red sea of bull dust lies the cemented remains of the last wet seasonís tracks , criss crossing each other and you just have no idea whatís going on down there. Of course having a sprained ankle, it is inevitable that I go down on that side and get that foot caught under the bike. Instead of wriggling and screaming like a girl I just lie there blowing little dust puffs until a local pulls the bike off me. Rather take my chances in the bush.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471733987_zMqLr-L.jpg)


We ride through a town I never knew existed, called Balama.

Iím leading so the police are just too slow off their behinds and I get through. All the others are pulled into the cop shop. The same shit again, who is your leader, what is your mission?
A couple of kmís out of town I pull up as I donít see my mates. I decide to wait. A severely drunk chap on a small bike pulls up, the police wants me back in town. When I try to start the bike the battery blows up. Same exact problem as in Angola. Lovely.

I show the guy my bike is caput, he offers to give me a lift. I politely say fuck off. I make myself comfortable against a tree.

Meanwhile back in Balama things arenít going too well, every bike has to be unpacked and searched. Searched to the level of throwing open bedding, matrasses, foodstuffs, tools etc. One cop eyes Nardusís hand pump with swivel head suspiciously, Nardus explains itís a pipe, you smoke it. The cop sucks the one end tentatively and looks satisfied with the answer. Finally, about an hour later, they are let off.

The lesson : if you are wanting to smuggle contraband through Balama, donít get a white man, dressed like a power ranger, standing on a 950 with two bellowing Akrapovics, to be your mule. He might look like he is trying to slip through unseen, but these cops are sharp. They will get him.

When they finally find me under the tree, I give them the good news about my bike. I learned some things in Angola though, so this time I have both a multimeter as well as a set of jumper cables.

We put some kiloís between ourselves and Balama before the sun sets.

The area is pretty populous and it takes some time to find a place to sleep.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471587976_ZbYjb-L.jpg)


Brian snaps trees with pure body weight.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471734331_fZSqF-L.jpg)


We covered a lot of ground today and the bikes have been working pretty hard. 

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/492964352_S7Gcx-M.jpg)


One last thought before we go to bed, if you see this stuff somewhere. Stay the hell away from it.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471734512_2u3X4-L.jpg)




Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Ektoknbike on March 17, 2009, 03:57:11 am

 :drif: :drif: :drif: :drif:

Eendag as ek groot is.

Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: buzzlightyear on March 17, 2009, 04:00:01 am
That is REAL adventure. Keep it coming!  :thumleft:

A penny for your thoughts
(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471587819_tR4tk-L.jpg)
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Mark Hardy on March 17, 2009, 07:16:41 am
Your pics of the Bull dust road brings fond memories of Botswana  :mwink:

damn this a good RR... :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Dakota on March 17, 2009, 07:47:39 am
You guys are my herosÖ   :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: AnyWhichWay on March 17, 2009, 08:29:28 am
Awesome RR....

I agree...Roll of Honor here we come! SOOO jealous! Well done...
LOVE the paintings on the bike! Looks great! Is it perm or did it come off?
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: KAT-WP on March 17, 2009, 10:50:34 am
really looked 4ward 2 reading ur reports every morning - such INSPIRING stuff guys :drif:

 this is the real thing :biggrin:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Trailrider on March 17, 2009, 11:43:42 am
I am really enjoying this. Keep it coming MJ. You're an inspiration!
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Metaljockey on March 17, 2009, 02:35:17 pm
Did you at least have a looksee for crocs?

Ja, we did. No sleepsels anywhere and both up and downstream from our spot was fairly shallow.

Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Metaljockey on March 17, 2009, 02:37:24 pm

MJ, what Canon are u using???? There is some really excellent photo's.


A Powershot A460. Sommer a cheapie I bought in Upington on the way to the Namaqua/Richtersveld trip.


Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Metaljockey on March 17, 2009, 02:38:45 pm
MJ, can we please have your report in PDF format (like the Angola trip) when finished? Stunning report. Congrats!

Jackshit, that shit is over my head man. I'm not clued up enough to help you there.


Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Metaljockey on March 17, 2009, 02:41:37 pm

Bet you have a fear of velcro?


Haha, that one is new to me. I like it.

Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Metaljockey on March 17, 2009, 02:54:36 pm
What a great ride report. Thank you for sharing.
I am very keen to hear what you think of the 800 gs and how they performed. I know how capable Nardus is but personally think the 990 is a bit too heavy for the rest of us mere mortals for a trip like this. What do you think.

Lance, I only rode the 800 here and there where I was helping Hennie out. On the negative side, I found the throttle response a bit too twitchy to my liking. Otherwise they are not bad at all. They appear to have none of the negatives that the older GS's had. Personally I like having a lighter bike, and between the 640 and 800 the difference was marked. I will probably always go for the lighter bike. The last two days, when we were steeking it on tar, I really envied the bigger bikes though.

As for the 950, yes it is heavy, but the terrain on this trip was not really demanding. I would not have minded to ride one myself. It is only when you really start to sukkel that the weight becomes an issue.

Nardus is of course talking crap when he downplays the benefit of fuel economy on the 800's. Personally, on an adventure bike, I rate fuel economy of an equal (if not higher) importance than supension.


Awesome RR....

LOVE the paintings on the bike! Looks great! Is it perm or did it come off?


Permanent. My 1200 is still wearing it's painting three years later.

Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: cloudgazer on March 17, 2009, 03:34:33 pm
Fantastic stuff.
An adventure of dreams.

Two things though, would scare the hell out of me.
Soft sand
Warm beer

Dunno if i could cope.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Beemer Mike on March 17, 2009, 04:57:14 pm
Well the amazing and thought provoking question for me out of this RR is would I manage it on my 1150 GSA? The bike is more than tough enough, and comforfable enough...... but eish the weight... on those tracks....and mud... and sand and...  My self answer to this will determine the longevity relationship with my beloved iron pig. Die Hell and Baviaans was just as rocky in some places, and the Bots sand was prolly just as deep but... Hmmmmmmmm the GS(A?) 800 is starting to look pretty. ???
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Metaljockey on March 17, 2009, 08:55:42 pm
This day should be our last day, lots of distance to cover; tonight we want to be at the lake again. The day starts badly.

First, the jumper cables prove to be less effective than I had hoped. It appears that when a battery gets an internal dead short, it interferes with the current passing to it from the donor bike. Thanks to our very own Lecap, I now know to jump directly to the starter in future.

Nardusís quote for the day; ďAll you need for a lekker trip is two KTMísĒ.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471735287_Lw8XD-L.jpg)


The second reason this day starts badly is this:
When we planned this trip I did a lot of research on the landmine situation, seeing as this is such an out of the way area. I found this.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/493359435_b4EtD-L.jpg)


So itís not like the place is infested. But there are several areas on our route that is suspected to still be mined, and the info comes from the villagers. Youíd be stupid to ignore it.

Basically you are safe as long as you stay on well used pathways. Mines are generally planted close to villages. If there is an area close by a village that is not being worked or walked, then you would do well to first enquire from the villagers before going there.

The previous evening we broke all these rules. We followed footpaths that led to huts with planted fields. We went off these tracks to the only area with trees, no paths and no sign of agriculture. This is where we slept. For some reason we did not even think about the landmine risk. I really donít know why we slipped up like this.

We have about a two hundred meters to cover to get back to the road. About eighty meters out we start riding into and out of 4 Ė 5 landmine holes. Lucky for us there had been a sweeper team here at some stage that detonated them.

I am mightily pissed off at myself. I donít like making mistakes in general, and I hate making mistakes like this. This is not the kind of mistake you can fix afterwards if it goes wrong.



Back to the ride. As the morning progresses we get to ride entertaining tracks again, bush, no bush, short sand pieces and a rut or two. Actually quite relaxing and I am able to let the landmine mistake go and just enjoy the ride.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471638285_d75wU-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471735643_DDqon-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471588357_5iH72-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471589231_d48uD-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471589491_77czF-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471588858_xiaKU-L.jpg)



We pass through villages,

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471589705_zEoFp-L.jpg)



and do the neverending bridges. I am almost embarrassed to say I just never picked up any skills in dealing with these confounded bridges. They just plain out-psyched me.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471590744_VzapX-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471736839_K9LJm-L.jpg)



Hereís Brian, waiting for us to catch up.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471590418_XJRr3-L.jpg)



The dream.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471736316_fiK78-L.jpg)



The reality.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471736064_gParo-L.jpg)



We make it to Marrupa. We stop for lunch. Apparently they also have taxi problems.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471737518_uKuzA-M.jpg)



We get cold beer, and spectators.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471737642_fGh3i-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471591653_BmNPS-M.jpg)



Oh, and I learn something new. I always look at these Portuguese menus and the only thing I recognize is Ďfrangoí Ė chicken. And everytime we get served the toughest motherÖker of a chicken you ever had to remove from in between your teeth. This has been going on for years now.

Finally the penny drops. Frango does not mean chicken. These people do not serve chicken, they serve either hen or cock. ĎGalinhaí means hen. ĎFrangoí means one badass werfhoender rapist, baas vannie plaas, muscle and sinew, agro, fight to the death cockerel.

Every single time I thought I ordered chicken in Mozambique and Angola,  Iíve been ordering rooster. Things are looking up for next time. Portuguese peri-peri galinha is in my future.

Leaving Marrupa, we still believe that we can make it to the border before closing time. From where Iím sitting now, that wasnít so viable an expectation.

Itís me and the bridges again and with the battery now dead, the bikeís idling is also getting worse, stalling in the most awkward of places. Normally on a bridge. And a bridge is normally the lowest point around.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471738120_SLHWZ-L.jpg)

Que my mates to run-start my bike going uphill.


We ride again on tracks that is not in agreement with T4A. And we ride fast, because we want to make the border, a couple of hundred kiloís away. It closes at six. This time we get lost quite a bit though.

In the end I set the GPS to compass and this proves to be quite effective. Just make sure you are heading within a 30 degree variance of where you want to be.


This is the second day straight that the bikes are ridden hard over uneven terrain and it begins to show.

On my bike a bolt on the carrier goes itís own way and my back wheel eats all my stretchies, my side cover and part of my tent.


Brian donates his pannier bags and brackets.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471592149_5waPh-L.jpg)



Hennieís  bags are also showing serious wear.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471735034_GWDio-L.jpg)


Steeking like this makes for not many pictures, but the scenes are still worthy, even though it is entrusted to the feeble memory.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471591923_MrHUj-L.jpg)



And everytime we stop, this scene repeats itself.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471592327_vKf5o-L.jpg)


One thing happened that sticks in my mind. Late afternoon we are backtracking again and it is hot, wevíe been steeking for hours already. I ask a local directions, which he takes to be a request for water. A little girl of about 4 is summoned and she returns from the hut with a tin cup filled with the best tasting water I can remember ever having. Cool, clear, sweet and beautiful. Just a little cup in which a universe of peace and quiet and reflection. Weird.


At dusk Nardus again getís pulled off by police and given grief for speeding. Justified I would say, but it wastes another half an hour.

Check out the young one on the back.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471738310_SFQs4-M.jpg)


We keep going after dark, and when we finally reach the border post we pull into the shebeen we stopped at that first day. They are kind enough to let us sleep in the yard.

The riding part of the trip is just about over. We sleep 50m from the boom.


This is Mandimba border post, I have always had a pleasant experience here.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471592725_8txcj-M.jpg)


Packing up the next morning, and it appears that I may need a little wipe down before I meet the Missus.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471738511_YxKfk-L.jpg)



That's about it folks. I will post some thoughts on the trip and a last couple of pictures that did not make it into the report tomorrow.

Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: >Herman< on March 17, 2009, 10:09:47 pm
Thanks MJ & Co for another great report!!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: bmad on March 18, 2009, 06:57:19 am
I am so jealous  :biggrin: :biggrin:

I am a huge fan of your ride reports, they are inspiring :thumleft:
They just get better and better.

Thanks for sharing :ricky:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: funacide on March 18, 2009, 08:22:30 am
Awesome report, I always judge ride reports on how I feel when I finish reading them, the key is do you want to go ride there right now and are you unhappy that you have reached the end... This fitted both of those criteria.

Thanks for sharing again.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Kaboef on March 18, 2009, 10:00:01 am
Thanks MJ. Outstanding as always.

I got the Niassa part
I got the Chucky Norris part
But what about John the Baptist?

Or did I miss something?

Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Metaljockey on March 18, 2009, 10:41:55 am
Still coming.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: TheAnt on March 18, 2009, 01:00:00 pm
Wow I am really enjoying this RR! Great great work MJ!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Gee S on March 18, 2009, 06:46:03 pm
What a report!! It must have been an awsome ride. Well done
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Mark Hardy on March 18, 2009, 07:26:55 pm
ok now I'm going back to the begining to enjoy it all over again.  ;D

Thanks for sharing guys  :thumleft: absolutly awsome RR
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Metaljockey on March 19, 2009, 07:39:34 am
I added a couple of pictures to the last post if you want to check it out.

On the countryside.
Being the last month of the dry season, one can expect that the place might be a little unpretty. And so it was, but really, the locals decimate large swathes of land. They burn to get access, and then they clearcut. I have pointed out before how they cut for sustainability, but you have to see the extent of the cutting to appreciate it. It took me by surprise because I expected wilderness.

This is the last major trip I do in the dry season. I'm gatvol of everything being dry, dusty and grey. Next time I'll rather try for the end of the rainy season.


On the population
These people are poor, really poor. You will notice that there aren't as many pics of the locals as I normally include. This is because not too many of them were friendly or smiling. Don't get me wrong, no-one was unfriendly, I just got the feeling that happiness was a scarce commodity here.

It appeared to be very much a hand to mouth existence. What commerce we saw was the very basic, stone age, live from the land type thing. Cutting trees for house building and charcoal, cutting grass for roofing, that kind of thing.

The trees are cut into logs which gets transported one by one on bicycles. Often we would come across a lone oke pushing his bicycle along the path 200km from the nearest town.

The second use for the logs is charcoal.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471716961_ULaTe-M.jpg)

Again transported by bicycle.

In a lot of faces you could see that surviving was the sole activity that this human being was consumed with. It got to me a little. Poverty is everywhere in Africa, but here it was different to any other place I had been to.


On the trip
I am loathe to bring this up, but one has to be honest. I have no intention of writing fiction.

I was dissapointed with this trip. Ja, I know, you are thinking 'what a twatwaffle'.

It was like I was waiting for the real trip to start the whole time. I have tried to figure out why it did not work for me.
It could be the immense poverty that made it depressing.
It could be that the mindfuck of an Angolan trip spoiled me forever.
It could be that my expectations of the wildlife wasn't met.
It could be that not completing the trip by reaching the ocean made it feel inadequate.
It could be that it was too short.
It could be that it was too easy, there is nothing like a bit of suffering to make you feel accomplished.
It could be all of the above.

My wife said something that sounds about right though. Not all trips can be the best one ever. Like anything else in life there are going to be good ones and less good ones (can't really picture a bad one).

And so it is OK. I'm cool with it. It was still very memorable and I enjoyed it.


On expats
In Malawi we got to meet a good many of the expat community. Most of them know each other even though they may be scattered through the country. I liked every single one I met. Tanya, Maria, Kate, Mia, Julie, Dan, Jurie and many others that I do not recall the names of. There are of course a couple of odd ones, but like any small society, their quirks do not exclude them. They are a tolerant lot. I could see myself having a good life there. I was also surprised about the amount of young white girls just migrating around Zim, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia by themselves, finding a job at one place, staying a year or so and then moving on again. And they party hard when they get together.


Some arbitrary pics

This oke makes probably the best wooden cars trucks and excavating equipment in Africa. All of them have moving parts. Fascinating.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471739238_fQ273-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471739649_E7C93-L.jpg)


Here's his workshop. Hard to believe eh?

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471738982_EFuFS-M.jpg)



Taxi

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471740478_8Ano9-M.jpg)


Bike taxi

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471593258_EemTJ-L.jpg)


Local delicacy, birds on a stick.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471740642_zXFkf-M.jpg)



At the odd village we would find boreholes like this.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471739892_knvWV-L.jpg)


This plaque is on each one. Looks like some biker connection?

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471740076_BZvLH-M.jpg)


Just for you sweat in the sun tyre lever specialists.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/494378344_9q26s-M.jpg)

Yes that's a plug. Yes on a 640 tyre. Tubeless baby, tubeless. Or more correctly Tubliss. I've converted three of my bikes so far. Fantastic stuff, cannot stop myself smiling like I won the lottery everytime I fix a flat.


And a last Malawi pic, because it's pretty.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/photos/471639655_frzNU-L.jpg)


These weeks were not wasted time. We brought back memories, we brought back pictures, I brought back bilharzia and Hennie brought back malaria.

And I brought back an excellent idea for a new trip. Woohoo.



Oh, I almost forgot about John the Baptist.

We drop Brian in Blantyre to catch a flight and we stay over at Doogles. Doogles is a backpackers situated in a taxi rank. Thursdays are the unofficial party day there for expats. We are there on a Thursday. Big get together of locals, expats and overlanders, socializing and drinking till late. The owner of Doogles allow prostitutes (ugly word, there should be something better) on the premises. They are well behaved because if they are not, their priviledges are revoked. Some pretty ones too.

One of these girls, introduces herself as Sugar, or 'Shooogah' (in a husky voice). This ample bodied, very dark, heavily made up femme fatale (with no concept of personal space) leaves me speechless when she hotly breathes - "You look exactly like John the Baptist".

John the Baptist!

Me?


And there you have it, one man's Chucky Norris is another woman's John the Baptist




Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Trailrider on March 19, 2009, 07:50:32 am
Bwaaaaahahahaha!

Cool report!
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: sidetrack on March 19, 2009, 07:53:54 am
Really enjoyed that  :salut:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Mark Hardy on March 19, 2009, 07:56:14 am
 :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Kaboef on March 19, 2009, 08:08:02 am

I was dissapointed with this trip. Ja, I know, you are thinking 'what a twatwaffle'.

It was like I was waiting for the real trip to start the whole time. I have tried to figure out why it did not work for me.


It's blatantly obvious!
It was the warm beers!
 :biggrin:

Thanks John , fantastic report.  :3some:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Ama ride ride on March 19, 2009, 08:16:29 am
Good report and pics MJ.

 :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: shark_za on March 19, 2009, 08:35:38 am
Shame poor Hennie always gets beaten with the long stick.

Thanks for letting us experience this through your words.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: TheAnt on March 19, 2009, 09:15:17 am
What a RR!!! Thanks so much MJ from keeping me out of work!!! You write really well and ride even better! Hats off!!!

How the heck am I going to go back to everyday work without this RR to look forward too every day?! :dousing:

THANKS GUYS!

 :ricky:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: surf on March 19, 2009, 09:51:42 am
Bwaaaaahahahaha!

Cool report!

+1
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Spore on March 19, 2009, 10:32:02 am
Fantastic MJ and Co!!
Your unique way of capturing your experiences (words & pics) makes me actually taste and smell your sitrap!
Good luck with planning the next one - hope this will again be a great one for you - for us it will allways be!!

Mooi loop!
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: tok-tokkie on March 19, 2009, 11:54:35 am
I love your writing MJ.  I really respect your appreciation of humble people & the way it infuses your writing.

Those wooden toys blow me away.  I made some stuff for my children using some pretty sophisticated power tools.  Those ones are 2 orders of magnitude more complicated and elegant.  Craftsmanship.  I salute that man.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Nardus on March 19, 2009, 11:55:41 am
Thanks MJ - well done !

Have to say that I enjoyed this trip a lot (knew that it should not compete with the Angola trip).

I will add a couple of pictures just for fun:


How is this for a crowd ?!
(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Mozambique%202008/12162115.jpg)


Kids at Mango tree
(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Mozambique%202008/14155214.jpg)


Local biker at a village in one of the hunting areas
(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Mozambique%202008/15125223.jpg)


Local transport in the Niassa Park - How romantic !
(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Mozambique%202008/P1000257.jpg)


And then - a close-up that MJ did not want to post, so I will
(http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa266/Nardus950/Mozambique%202008/P1000054.jpg)
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: malgat (RIP) on March 19, 2009, 12:05:55 pm
wow guys,,,,words cannot describe sharing this trip

bravo,,,bravo,,,,,applaud!!!!!!
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: roxenz on March 19, 2009, 01:28:02 pm
MJ et al, great ride, great report!  Thanks.

Yes, the Angola trip seemed to have come together with everything a great adventure should have: the excitement, the weird, the painful, the tragic, the exultation of a hooligan chase to finish it off.  However, this still seems to me to have been a brill ride in its own way, and the "things lacking" give it a bit of zen appeal!  I think it will come back to your mind many times in the future, for where Angola presented answers and achievements, Niassa seems to query and tease...

Thanks again.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: bud500 on March 19, 2009, 02:31:39 pm
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :ricky:

Another one to be inspired by.

Not for me to say, but I suspect the let down has got a lot to do with preperceptions of it being wild, lush jungle with ample wildlife. Instead it was a lot of deforrested brushland.
That was my expectation when I started reading.

Thank you for the report.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Pistol on March 19, 2009, 02:36:34 pm
What a great report, and well written in order to "feel" the experience, thanks :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Blackball on March 20, 2009, 11:45:50 am
Gr8 retport MJ , you should think of writing a book Long way ....... with chuck and John the Baptist.

Once I start I can't stop reading .
Thanks :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Red Adventure on March 20, 2009, 12:21:29 pm
Another excellent adventure MJ and the guys. Thank you for sharing it with use :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Frohan Visser on March 23, 2009, 11:12:56 am
Thanks MJ, I think everyone on the WD forum should sponsore u guys for petrol once a year for a nice trip, that way we will have a really good Ride Report once a year............!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is real Adventure Riding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: onderbroek on March 24, 2009, 10:40:49 am
 :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :headbang: :compress: :compress:

after reading that, i know my productivity is going to reach a all time low
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Maverick on March 28, 2009, 09:53:48 pm
Excellent read and thanks again for sharing  :thumleft:

I think our expectations and mental picture of the wild adventerous Africa has sadly long gone. This makes it so much more important to do this trips rather now than later........
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Swanniebraai on March 29, 2009, 03:54:20 am
Once again this was AWESOME! MJ, you and ur friends did a great rip and you painted an excellent RR that will feed most of us that will probably never do this. That is why okes like you are there on the forefront, leading the way and being pioneers so we can sort of "ride with you" through each trip!  :thumleft:

Thx, I drank it down to the last drop!  :salut:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: moto-moto on March 31, 2009, 05:18:51 pm
Metaljockey, i spotted the KTM with a long range fuel tank, can you mayby assist were the fellow optained such item???
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Metaljockey on March 31, 2009, 09:34:25 pm
Imported from Australia. PM Nardus, he'll give you the details.

Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Nardus on April 08, 2009, 12:17:02 pm
Metaljockey, i spotted the KTM with a long range fuel tank, can you mayby assist were the fellow optained such item???

Correct. RV Aqualine in Australia. I suggest you google it and find the correct link. It is part of the Safari range of fuel tanks. I landed mine a year ago for R12k. Comparison: 1 x KTM tank was R16k and the two tanks from Touratech were R18k.
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: IceCreamMan on April 08, 2009, 12:37:00 pm
Awesome ...thanks again for a great read
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Madala on April 08, 2009, 04:52:39 pm
Great report! Inspiring to see you guys doing trips like this.  :cheers: :cheers: :cheers:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Camelman on April 09, 2009, 09:33:12 pm
Jislaaik man! What an awesome report. Thanks a mil!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: FLIP on April 22, 2009, 12:17:25 pm
looks lekker . thats what its about hey ! O0
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: bradleys on April 23, 2009, 08:57:38 am
Cool report ,only finished it now great pics andstory well done guys :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Shredder on April 23, 2009, 12:49:18 pm
makes me sick! W H A T    A    T R I P !!!!!!!!! awesome scenery! Africa what a beautiful place we live in! just a pitty some "retards" make it so F@%$EN unpleasant!   
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Sakkie on April 30, 2009, 11:01:31 am
I'm off to sell everything I have, house, car, wife - EVERYTHING !
But this I HAVE to do !    :drif:

Thanks for a great RR!
 
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: mulder on April 30, 2009, 01:29:42 pm
Great adventure guys, everyone should do atleast one trip like this in their life. great pics and very good information.
Surely Roll Of Honour material ??
 :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: goingnowherequickly on December 30, 2010, 10:12:25 am
Great Report MJ
Myself & 2 mates rode from pemba to lichinga in Jan 2010 on 640's
Think we used the same road in places - had lunch in morrupa at the same restaurant where we had some trouble from a drunken
cop after a handout - didnt have to pay luckily....
thanks for sharing
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: Just Blip It! on November 17, 2014, 06:13:32 pm
Love reading your reports MJ, 2nd time is even better!
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: KiLRoy on November 17, 2014, 09:23:42 pm
Agreed, and moved it it its rightful place  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
Post by: shanti on August 20, 2015, 07:02:05 pm
second time reading through this gem , amazing !