Wild Dog Adventure Riding

Riding: Plan, Report and Racing => Ride Reports => Topic started by: Metaljockey on May 15, 2010, 01:35:44 pm

Title: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 15, 2010, 01:35:44 pm
We wanted a trip with a bit of a challenge, something to get our teeth into.

Zambia stepped right up to the plate and shoved it down our throats.

Day one

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010188/857919343_GhWfw-L.jpg)



Day two

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4248/857886821_UuS8h-L.jpg)



Day three

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010262/857931975_UZCgV-L.jpg)

And every day thereafter we were challenged and rewarded.



If you want riding bliss, Zambia is it.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/why-zambia-map/867416620_9UDL3-M.jpg)


Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: LMG on May 15, 2010, 01:49:11 pm
This is going to be a "big" one!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 15, 2010, 01:49:48 pm
Livingstone to Sinazongwe

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/Zam1/867415428_KtDeo-M.jpg)



Neither me nor Hennie had any experience of Zambia, but we had heard good things, and we were keen to do a trip with a difference.

Normally our trips are at the end of the dry season. This helps with the terrain and the game viewing.  But I have grown weary of the dusty, dry and mono-chrome surrounds. I wanted some greenery, moist sandy tracks and the odd thunderstorm to pretty things up. So we planned to hit Zambia at the end of the wet season.

Our first target was to ride the length of Lake Kariba on the Zambian side. So we started from Livingstone and the first 60 potholed kilometers claimed my number plate.
As soon as we swung off the main road towards the lake, it became clear that we were gonna get what we came for.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010176/857916807_bLe5y-L.jpg)



I have never been able to ride mud, and I doubt that it is a skill that I will ever acquire. This red stuff however turns out to be not too bad. It’s scary stuff to encounter and it makes you build up a sweat in no time, but after a couple of kilometers you can actually ride it pretty effectively. It’s almost like sand, just let the bike move around and do it’s thing, the throttle can get you out of most situations.

Rivers are running fast and high. Not really a good sign because we intend crossing a variety of rivers that are only passable in the dry season. Zambia had a proper wet season this year, three weeks before we came, there was news of 12 people having drowned in floods.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010177/857917150_ZdXYP-L.jpg)



When we get to a village we stop for some refreshments. Have a look at my headlight and screen on the X and the headlight and screen on Hennie’s 800. We had just ridden the exact same road. Now please explain to me how BMW finds it appropriate to fit an ornamental fender to the most off-road biased model in their range?

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010179/857917881_gcvoV-L.jpg)



It turns out that this village has no beer at all. Well, not commercial beer. They do make a home made jobbie from milk and maize though; chibuku. Now this is upsetting news for us, we are on the first day of our trip and already there’s a beer issue. We may have to learn new vices if this is indicative of how things are going to be for us further on. So we have some chibuku. It turns out to be an acquired taste. We will have to put some effort in if we hope to become regular imbibers. On the plus side, it’s cheap, around R1,20 a glass (or plastic container). There, it tastes a lot better already.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010178/857917494_fAEmH-L.jpg)



After climbing a rough track we finally get our first view of Kariba in the distance.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4225/857884849_WMZNz-L.jpg)



We have left the road by now and the track we are on is proving to be very enjoyable. Stopping at a stream to cool down I take the opportunity to clean some of that mud off my radiator.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010181/857918257_vQayk-L.jpg)



We are by now riding parallel with the lake but the track is several kilometers inland so we never get to see the lake. Good riding however, crossing streams and the like every so often.


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4226/857884961_6tgLB-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010182/857918616_s6gn9-L.jpg)



We get some quality riding in and by late afternoon we notice that we are within striking distance of a lodge called Kariba Bush Club. Seeing that we are tired and dusty this looks to be the ideal spot to overnight. When we get there, there is a sign at the gate that they are closed for a private function.  We try our luck anyway but are shown away without so much as an offer of a cold one as consolation. The cherry on the cake being that the guys in charge stand there with beers in their hands. To be fair though, they were really civil about it.

The next lodge is 60 km away. A bit of a tall order as it is late afternoon already, but I reckon we can make it. I’m wrong of course, like I always am when it comes to getting somewhere before dark. And so it happens that on the first day, in the dark, we have to cross a river where the bridge washed away. Although it is not too deep it is flowing and has a sandy bottom (‘spoelsand’ in Afrikaans). I make it some way in before the back wheel buries itself.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010185/857918863_Pjbar-L.jpg)



Excellent, wet boots for tomorrow then. To our relief extra hands appear out of the night.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010188/857919343_GhWfw-L.jpg)



They are experienced in these matters too and we are sternly instructed by an 11 year old to shut the bikes down and put it in neutral. By pushing the bikes they are able to stay largely on top of the sand and although it is hard work and I have to take a short break to get my breath back, we manage to get both bikes across.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010187/857919059_fkBm6-L.jpg)



All this takes place just 3km short of our destination. And the last 3km we have to find our way through a flooded floodplain which can be tricky in the dark.

When we finally get to Lakeview Rest Camp, we are the only guests. Being tired, filthy and wet, we opt to take a bungalow and with an icebucket full of beers and fanta we retire to our stoep to reflect on Day One.

We are mightily impressed with Zambia. It’s seldom that the first day of a trip gets out of the blocks so decisively. We are well satisfied, this was not a day wasted.


Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: edgy on May 15, 2010, 01:51:29 pm
Cool - Eric`s on the go again!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: >>Thump°C on May 15, 2010, 02:06:24 pm
sometimes you just piss me off.

But thanks for posting, looks very exciting.
Will be following all the way
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Brink on May 15, 2010, 02:09:32 pm
Subscribed - as is usual for your RR's :ricky:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 15, 2010, 02:13:14 pm
Sinazongwe to bush camp

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/Zam2/867415442_nkqsf-M.jpg)



The next morning we get to see what Lake View Rest Camp looks like.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010193/857919640_NyiC3-M.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010192/867426445_PvUnx-M.jpg)



I unpack my saddle bags that got flooded last night to dry stuff out and also strap them up high, it looks like water crossings are going to be par for the course from here on.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4227/857885081_2zkdt-L.jpg)



I also do some waterproofing to electronics.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010196/857919965_DDYxh-M.jpg)



After a good breakfast and a chat with Keith, the manager, we get going. As we pass through Sinazeze we buy petrol out of 5l containers, as we won’t have the opportunity to fill up for some time from here. They rip us R20 per litre.


Anything with wheels can be a victim of the wet season.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010200/857920377_aWXRs-L.jpg)



Even caterpillar tracks in stead of wheels are no guarantee.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4229/857885332_Muqwf-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010201/857920731_7GHDx-L.jpg)



This proves also to be the last intact bridge, the next one and all thereafter are washed away.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4230/857885435_Pibfe-L.jpg)



From hereon only foot traffic. And of course us.

Wet boots for the second day.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010206/857921039_xUwnc-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4231/857885580_biLUu-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010207/857921539_8aufc-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010208/857921897_iBuH7-L.jpg)



It is really pleasant riding, good gravel and crossing streams every so often.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010209/857922206_CgjbT-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4233/857885688_hNeAu-L.jpg)



As we come around a mountain we see a river through the trees to our right, and it’s a big one. This could be a problem. After crossing a washed away part of the road on a footpath  we come upon a Hilux bakkie that has been parked in the road for months. Clearly caught between the washed away road and the river. And when we get to the crossing our fears are confirmed, the bridge have been washed away.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010210/857922525_Tk24w-L.jpg)



I make myself comfortable under a tree and Hennie goes to walk it. Things don’t look too good.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010211/857922810_pJeTP-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010216/857923168_5L3Pp-L.jpg)

We are not keen to backtrack for two days, so we sit down and start working out ways of dealing with this dilemma. The thing about rivers is that the longer you spend with them, the more you get a feel for them and what can and cannot be done. If you take your time, a solution will invariably make its appearance. We watch a local cross the river on a very different line and we walk the river a couple of more times to check the best lines. Finally we believe that it can be done and we offload the bikes.

It’s not too deep,  but the force of the water can easily wash the bike out from under you. With local help and a towrope we go for it. We figure that if we are able to stabilize the wheels , we should be able to get across.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4235/857885930_ZoorY-L.jpg)



It’s hairy, the river is flowing strongly and the bottom has large rocks.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4236/857886027_WZsE9-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4241/857886130_N6Huy-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4243/857886380_Av3JC-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4246/857886545_6CfCd-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4247/857886689_aXPxZ-L.jpg)



After getting the bikes across we also carry our luggage across and take a well deserved cool down.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4251/857889001_EkiQH-L.jpg)



We are quite chuffed to have made it across.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4253/857889109_Ujc2w-L.jpg)



Luggage strapped on again and ready to go. Close to the end of this rocky bit I go down and the bike falls on my leg, painfully so. It takes a couple of attempts from Hennie to get the bike lifted high enough for me to pull my leg out.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4255/857889243_Hok3e-L.jpg)



I am increasingly getting a dislike for the air shock on this bike. When you put a foot down to steady the bike and unload your weight on the seat, the shock pushes you right over because it has such immense travel.

Immediately after we cross this river it becomes clear that we are the first vehicles to travel here since the beginning of the wet season last year. We also again learn the value of Tracks for Africa as the main route has been abandoned, even by pedestrians. Something serious must have happened further on if even the locals do not use the route anymore. With the grass having overgrown the alternative route we have to go down to a 80m scale on T4A to find where the track begins, even so we ride past it four  times without seeing it.

The riding turns technical and we have a ball.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4256/857889355_cvCi8-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4258/857889684_xKNRZ-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010218/857923470_bkfq4-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010220/857924163_4n8Ph-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4259/857889803_K7hQP-L.jpg)



This well has a plaque that says it was sponsored by Canadians, and I just want to thank them, they made my day a lot better.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4260/857889917_44qxX-L.jpg)

I am generally against outside aid but I must say, these wells make a huge difference to the quality of life of the people living here.



We continue riding and get a wide range of terrain to play on, rocks, sand, mud, clay, ruts, cambers, water crossings, everything your heart can desire. We spend the whole afternoon on the pegs just basking in riding nirvana.

Because everything is wet we get a lot of practice riding all kinds of slippery surfaces, and we learn a new skill. We are used to using the clutch to control the power output on the back wheel. Here however, we learn to modulate the throttle only. Using it to get the weight off the front but being careful not to overdo it so that the back wheel does not start slipping, because we are continuously riding the center ridges between ruts as well as cambers.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4262/857890142_Rmw8W-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010224/857924489_ybTEL-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4261/857890030_STgTy-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010226/857925325_iWZub-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4265/857890431_CWepK-L.jpg)



Looking for a place to camp proves to be difficult because everywhere is wet.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010227/857925691_YmtVr-L.jpg)



We finally find a small sandy patch, still wet, but at least not muddy.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010228/857926103_Bgf2R-L.jpg)



I find that with all the falling over during the day, my spare engine oil popped it’s cap and everything inside the pannier is now well oiled.

The kids from some nearby huts come to have a look at us but keep a respectful distance of about a 100m. This is new to us.

We’ve just had the best day. We conquered a river, we rode the most entertaining paadjies possible and we both agree that even if we were to donner neer and end the trip tomorrow, it was already worth it. We are damn happy.

That night we lie down to the sounds of drums and singing, beautiful female voices. Very atmospheric. During the night we have a rain shower passing through and I am glad that I am sleeping off the ground on a stretcher.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS on May 15, 2010, 02:34:45 pm
Im jealous! :drif:
Waiting patiently for the rest :biggrin:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: KiLRoy on May 15, 2010, 02:40:13 pm
subscribed...
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Doerengone on May 15, 2010, 02:44:31 pm

 :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Oupa Foe-rie on May 15, 2010, 02:53:58 pm
 :drif: As good as always.................. :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 15, 2010, 02:55:25 pm
Bush camp to bush camp

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/Zam3/867415454_ugy59-M.jpg)



The next morning as we are packing up, the kids of the previous night appear and bring their parents with them. They bring us a gift of five mielies. How’s that, we squat on their land and they bring us gifts. So far we have found every single Zambian to be very friendly, courteous and helpful. We also get a lot of waving and cheering on when we ride past.

And the fantastic riding continues, interrupted every so often by river crossing challenges. Luckily Hennie seems to like wading rivers so I try to keep my fresh socks dry.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4266/857890536_3qpRP-L.jpg)



Which is of course futile. So, for the third day in a row, it is squelching boots for us.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010233/857927156_nWTc6-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4269/857890640_sBQFt-L.jpg)



It’s like enduro riding, just with a heavier bike and at a leisurely pace.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4270/857890754_Xcx6g-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010238/857928402_zk4Tb-L.jpg)



By this time I have already made up my mind that Zambia is going to see me again. Day after day of this kind of riding you do not find just anywhere. It is pure pleasure.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010237/857928096_M2AMu-L.jpg)



When we start finding vehicle tracks we know that we won’t be turned around anymore by some river, mud or washaway.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010231/857926811_exM2j-L.jpg)



We have a humorous moment where Hennie gets lost amongst some huts in a village and comes out the way we went in and keeps going. For several kilometers he is puzzled that he is now following two sets of bike tracks in stead of one before it finally dawns on him that he is backtracking.

And again we need to get the tow rope out.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010235/857927457_RTpRt-L.jpg)



You won’t believe how tightly that sand can hold a wheel. It took both of us and several villagers to get the 800 unstuck.

When the track opens up we know that we are close to Chipepo and we take a break to have some of those mielies raw.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010239/857928742_nSxuB-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010240/857929081_NHUrE-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010241/857929389_uQmNJ-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4272/857890868_kLMkB-L.jpg)



We are absolutely delighted to come across a settlement that we did not know existed and they have beer.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010243/857929615_MeWgS-L.jpg)



And a disco ball.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010245/857929943_Kt5GK-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010248/857930469_x6QFj-L.jpg)



We are also introduced to Whiskey Black. Double the alcohol content of beer, so we figure if we pack two each it means that we will have four beers each for tonight around the fire.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010247/857930182_mHeeJ-L.jpg)



From here we are riding blind as we do not have any mapping on the GPS. We are working off an old map that indicates a road through to Siyavonga. I have always found it strange that no two maps on Zambia ever agree on anything but the main routes. Being here it becomes clear that on an annual basis the wet season changes everything to the extent that from one year to the next, good, new roads can disappear.

Everybody is very helpful though and we learn that the road is known as the Bottom Road, and that it may be passable for us but not for other vehicles.

It starts out very nicely.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4274/857890989_Ld5T5-L.jpg)



Nice fast riding.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4278/857891391_iFeHC-L.jpg)



But, if you see a suspicious stick you need to tap off.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4276/857891124_qS7K8-L.jpg)



It was put there by some Samaritan to warn you of an impending teeth-on-the-handlebars situation.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4277/857891229_U37bp-L.jpg)



Fallen baobab. They are giants that live for hundreds of years, but once they topple they disappear quickly into dust as they are fibrous.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4280/857891539_uVsab-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010251/857931007_d7uH2-L.jpg)



Just look at this lovely stuff, now tell me you don’t want to enjoy that yourself.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010250/857930747_89njX-L.jpg)



I hear all kinds of shenanigans from the rear of the bike when I hit whoops and upon checking I find that my home made rack system had broken a weld. Hennie has the allen keys so I wait for him to turn back so we can make a plan.

Which just makes this funnier. He crossed this ditch and waited for me to take a pic. After some time he crossed it successfully again to go look for me. Then, when I’m there with the camera it’s third time unlucky and he fucks it up.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4284/857891817_qY88X-L.jpg)



All this mud and wet sand is deadly for brake pads. I once did a wet and muddy enduro with brand new pads and within 90km they were down to the metal.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010252/857931271_eofFi-L.jpg)



So we brought spare pads and lo and behold, third day of the trip and the 800’s rear pads call it quits.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4288/857892029_Hq7jf-L.jpg)



In East London, where we stay, the closest BMW dealer is a 600km round trip away, so the 800 gets bastardized. Thank you Simon (our KTM dealer).

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4290/857892248_Ucrc5-L.jpg)



The break also gives me the chance to modify my socks to protect my calf where the top of the boot has worn it raw. One of the things you learn happens when you stay wet for several days in a row.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4289/857892150_4UVAz-M.jpg)



The other thing you learn is that there is a massively potent and pungent algaebacterialvirusbastard that thrives in wet helmet environments. Not the common variety either, this one only kills off the others on about the third day. Fucking disgusting I tell you.

When the track dries out we don’t recognise it as a sign and blissfully go on a substantial trip in the wrong direction.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4293/857892497_2QmPA-L.jpg)



And still, wet feet guaranteed.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010254/857931425_xwQXB-L.jpg)



And still just fantastic riding.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4296/857892789_4kszE-L.jpg)



We get put back on the right track by locals. During the two days we spent on this track we must have asked “Is this the road to Siyavonga?” probably over 50 times, and every time we were given the correct answer by helpful locals. You try that in the Transkei and see if you get two answers that concur.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010255/857931672_igAoz-L.jpg)



It gets harder to believe them though, late in the afternoon and the road is just a voetpaadjie. Several times we take a wrong split and have to hunt around.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4297/857892906_c8fXe-L.jpg)



When we get to a substantial river, I just feel that we cannot possibly be on the Bottom Road anymore because we reach it on a sandy single track and the other side is just bush. There is a large bridge though that appears to have been abandoned a long time ago and the access to it has been washed away. After scouting around for a place to cross the river, an old man makes his appearance. I ask him if we are still on the way to Siyavonga. He lifts his arms over his head and casts them forward across the river as if he sees a wide highway and says “Yes sir, this the main road to Siyavonga”. This is the exact spot he indicates.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4298/857893066_sFJtD-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4299/857893228_YqHLR-L.jpg)



We have to cross with a circuitous route because a ravine deposited a whole underwater beach of custard like mud in front of our exit. Powering through is necessary because the bottom is a mess of sand and mud alternating.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4300/857893365_GURnd-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4302/857893495_f8Ric-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4305/857893631_egPVw-L.jpg)



Here Hennie has to cross the ditch and turn 90 degrees right up the hill without losing momentum which looks like a tall order to me.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4307/857893801_nVuKt-L.jpg)



He manages though.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4308/857893944_jFRNC-L.jpg)



I think it’s all done and I miss the picture of the day. The back wheel slides into the top of the ditch and with Hennie hanging full length on the bars the 800 flips over backward. I can see it is going to crush him down in the bottom of that ditch and catch myself shouting for him to get out of the way. Somehow he manages to get it sideways before it's too late.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4309/857894056_pjyfE-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010262/857931975_UZCgV-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010263/857932233_FHsoi-L.jpg)



Again we get help from the locals to get the bike upright and up the bank.

Then it’s my turn and I manage to avoid all the pitfalls only to get stuck in a rut right at the top.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010265/857932818_xpWWT-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010273/857933086_9mVzu-L.jpg)



It’s late and we are dog tired so we look for a place to camp.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4310/857894158_wEEiw-L.jpg)



The warm Whiskey Blacks are welcome but we feel well used. Four days of hard riding and the last full day spent on the pegs takes it out of you.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4313/857894297_zpGLD-L.jpg)



Personally I’m slowly getting gatvol of wet feet all day every day.

Again we find that the locals keep a respectful distance and again the night air brings the joyous singing of women. It is special to me because it is so Africa, villagers getting together to sing at night around the fire and you can hear the joy in the women’s voices. They really love the singing.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4317/857894520_3KGB9-L.jpg)

Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 15, 2010, 03:28:16 pm
Bush camp to Siyavonga

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/Zam4/867415468_4N3UC-L.jpg)



We get a relatively early start and another day of wonderful riding lies ahead on the ‘Main Road to Siyavonga’.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4318/857894660_6CDw5-L.jpg)



Siyavonga will mark the end of our Lake Kariba expedition. It is the Zambian counterpart of Kariba town in Zimbabwe. There is a border post and the road crosses over the Kariba dam wall.

Stopping to get water from a well again. Barack Obama conquered not only the USA but also the whole African continent.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010275/857933373_dwXhx-L.jpg)



Check out the height of the grass.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4319/857894773_cPpep-L.jpg)



Day after day we are blessed with the best riding you can ask for.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4320/857894899_S8GbK-L.jpg)



Here and there it reminds me of Northern Namibia.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010277/857933697_HseRb-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4321/857895006_rxeAg-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010278/857933988_TcCLg-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010279/857934289_VfcQr-L.jpg)



Then we start hitting dongas, which means stopping and finding a way through every couple of hundred metres.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010280/857934573_ZTXK2-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010283/857934824_96Ty9-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4325/857895252_Uuq8b-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010284/857935100_qtpvF-L.jpg)



It is engrossing riding because the terrain keeps you busy, and we lose the way a couple of times as there is a shortage of locals to ask directions from. So here and there we run into dead ends.

When we reach a populated area we hear that from here on further, the road is such that vehicles can get to there. This is good news, it’s excellent news. It means that we are going to successfully finish our first objective – travelling up the length of Lake Kariba.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4327/857895480_QiK2G-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010285/857935375_Tvqg4-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010287/857935638_PWtzM-L.jpg)



The road is not a highway yet but we see vehicle tracks and things open up nicely, we get to increase our speed.

And I’m in the mood for a lodge. Siyavonga has several.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010288/857935933_aBM6t-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4329/857895577_iAHuX-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4330/857895711_G8tF4-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4331/857895812_hzaCY-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010292/857936841_wgxfj-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010291/857936530_9DCY2-L.jpg)



Aaaaaaaaaahhhh!! Sandy Beach Safari Lodge

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010293/857937148_tqnzU-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010302/857937842_P6ME7-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010300/857937527_5RfLo-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010305/857938391_sv8Li-L.jpg)



Seeing this kind of thing is just heartwarming.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010306/857938650_eQ9F8-L.jpg)



The lake is filled to capacity. The sculpture is of the Nyaminyami, the river god that is said to live in the Zambezi.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010303/857938133_XMu3x-XXL.jpg)



We are the only campers and we set up in an idyllic spot.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010313/857939592_qzwck-L.jpg)



We are so ready for a bit of R&R.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4335/857895920_7wZHf-L.jpg)



As we sit there quaffing a beer or two, getting a feel for the place, I see what looks like a tiny human swimming out to the lake, elbows flailing. I wade out and find a chameleon that climbs up my arm hissing threats as he goes.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010308/857938991_iA7iC-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010311/857939280_dtwxH-L.jpg)



We are relieved to get our violently stinking riding gear washed.

My bike has also been giving me some grief with the handlebars having so much play that it has been very difficult to ride rocks. It is mounted on rubbers and there is obviously some problem. I can even straighten out the bars whilst riding by just hitting the one end with my palm. No need to wedge the wheel against something solid.

We take it all apart and finally grind the spacer sleeves shorter so that the rubbers are compressed more. I also inflate the air shock again because it has gone down to such an extent that I have to slow down for holes and the like in order to stop the rear from bottoming.

These and other issues were a continual hassle on this trip and I will get back to this in detail at the end of the report.

Sandy Beach Safari Lodge is not the most up market of places but they are well priced and serve good food and cold beer. It is really good to get our boots dried out for the first time since this trip started.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 15, 2010, 03:44:51 pm
Siyavonga to Ihmman's Camp

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/Zam5/867415528_iSEk6-M.jpg)

The next morning we do breakfast and leave to refuel and have a look at the Kariba dam wall. Filled to capacity.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010329/857940294_Pv5QC-L.jpg)



All nine sluice gates are open.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010316/857939923_8axTg-L.jpg)



From Siyavonga we intend to pass through Chirundu in order to get to the lower Zambezi. We opt not to take the tar road but to rather take a shortcut and stick close to the river.

Good choice, nice riding and very entertaining as there are a variety of footpaths criss-crossing the area.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010330/857940539_kXuH5-L.jpg)



Crossing rivers here are different to what I am used to because of the sandy bottoms. I am used to rocky bottoms and where one normally want to cross at a fast walking pace, pushing a nice bow wave, here you have to carry as much speed as possible to prevent bogging.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010331/857940834_ExBY9-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010333/857941089_ocU5s-L.jpg)



I am hoping for my first day with dry feet since the trip began, but Hennie, with shorty boots, are in for another wet one.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4338/857896035_uUR9Y-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010334/857941426_dvDy8-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010336/857941713_XS8AH-L.jpg)



That there is the Chirundu border post bridge, one of only three bridges to span the Zambezi in it’s 2700km length.



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010339/857941975_4WPSW-L.jpg)



At Chirundu we stop to buy petrol out of drums again. On the Zambian side of the border there are no fuel stations, because fuel in Zambia is so much more expensive than it’s neighbouring countries.

Again here in front of the bar I have to strip the headlight out to tighten the bars. As I pull away the bike cuts out, no electrics, dash, everything. It doesn’t take long to find a fuse had blown because of some exposed wiring making a dead short behind the headlight.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010340/857942244_FEZyh-L.jpg)



We are on our way to the lower Zambezi and the Lower Zambezi National Park. The ferry over the Kafue river.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010341/857942511_DEake-L.jpg)



And here we learn that the ferry is free, except if you drive a foreign registered vehicle. Then it’s US$5. And no, you cannot pay in Kwatsha.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010342/857942743_7CHPW-L.jpg)



My concept of the Lower Zambezi Valley is that it is an unspoilt wilderness area with a dense game population living by the river. It turns out it is Dollar Valley. From the ferry onward everything is charged in US currency.

The river has a large variety of high end lodges, and all of them are in the range of $400 to $1200 per person per night. The ferry is the only way in and out.

We pull into what should be the most budget lodge and enquire as to camping. They want $19 per person, the going rate in the rest of the country is $5 - $7.50. So regardless of the excellent view we head out again.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010345/857942996_mcUPC-L.jpg)



We look for, and finally, after dark, find a camp that we had heard about from a connection that we stopped at earlier the day to say hi. It is a private camp on the river and the owners are not there but the keeper lets us bed down for the night.

Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Sprocketbek on May 15, 2010, 03:46:07 pm
Hardcore, guys.
And not just the raw mielies.....
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 15, 2010, 04:03:41 pm
Ihmman's Camp to bush camp

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/Zam6/867415477_8exvm-M.jpg)



It turns out to be a lovely spot. Hennie has the unique experience of a vervet monkey urinating on his head while he sleeps.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010348/857943227_Udcio-L.jpg)



A spider making himself at home in my bedding.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010350/857943701_2N2aA-L.jpg)



It takes us a while to get going as I am kept busy trying to get the airshock to do what I want.

As we continue in the direction of the Lower Zambezi National Park the animals increase, we also see elephant but cannot get a good picture. The parks in Zambia aren’t fenced, they are surrounded by Game Management Areas which are populated by man and wildlife alike.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4340/857896149_dUt96-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010351/857943950_4d9JD-L.jpg)



When we get to the park and pull in at Nature Conservation the message is unambiguous – no pedestrians, bicycles or motorcycles allowed. But they turn out to be the nicest people and on seeing our disappointment, they organize us breakfast and a beer. How decent, especially as they do not cater for visitors. I have to juxtapose this against the treatment we got at Kariba Bush Club, who showed us away without as much as an offer of a drink of water.

We go to the Chongwe river, which is the border of the park, to have a look at what we are missing. The park is also only accessible to vehicles for part of the year when the river is low enough to cross. This is not that time of year. This is the crossing.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010357/857944861_Gg46b-L.jpg)


Looking at the frowning locals it may have been a blessing in disguise that we were not allowed in.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4341/857896275_uSRd9-L.jpg)



In this riverine forest the visibility is not so good and the bush is full of elephant. So what we do is ride very slowly to give them the opportunity to move away. Except that the track then turns and you are on the other side of the same lot that just tried to get out your way.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010355/857944527_HHm3f-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4345/857896614_iFund-L.jpg)



While we are riding on tenterhooks like this, swiveling heads checking for elephant, I suddenly see two lion slap bang in front of us, lying under a small tree. A full mane male and a female. They are close, maybe 30 metres and the track passes right next to them.

I jam the brakes and Hennie cruises on another ten metres before he stops, he hasn’t seen them, he is looking for elephant. He turns around to check why I’m stopping, by this time I’m already making turn around maneuvers, I motion with my head to look in front of him. When he sees the two lion not 20m away looking him in the eyes he goes into a stupor. For a further two seconds we look at them and they look at us, then, suddenly the lions jump up and race away. We also assist by putting some more distance between us and them. When it looks like we are clear I stop and take a pic, understandably a little blurry.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4344/857896496_4SXk9-L.jpg)



Bikes cannot be common here, and the fact that we were two might have been the little bit extra needed for the lion to be caught off guard. Where we were, if they came for us, we would have had no chance at all.

The Nature Conservation people had given us directions to a road that leads out of the valley to the north, so that we did not have to backtrack to the ferry again. It’s called the Leopards Hill road and we find it quite easily. Again a road that has not yet been put in use since the start of the wet season.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4347/857896728_M95y8-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4348/857896869_ba45U-L.jpg)



In places it is thoroughly overgrown. Not the most pleasant stuff to ride in. The seeds are sharp and your forearms gets cut. The seeds also penetrate your clothing and then gets to prick you many times over. Lastly you get a colourful collection of insects joining your forearms for a short ride, some of them repaying you by stinging, biting and whatever the word is for what the the hairy worms do to you.

In this grass it is easy to lose the track. We stopped here and as soon as the motors was shut off, the friendly chap behind me called out to come and show us the correct way. Zambians are really just the most helpful lot.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010359/857945179_q6EGS-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4349/857897108_mcfzj-L.jpg)



Then the track turns into a river. A blind one, you cannot see the other end, so you do not know if it gets deeper or gets overgrown or just turns into a big river.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4356/857897458_SUKyh-L.jpg)



Luckily it has a quality rocky bottom, so Hennie is off.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4351/857897300_YCWjj-L.jpg)



Some to and fro shouting and I know it’s safe, he’s on the other side.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010362/857945826_tv5Hd-L.jpg)



A nice 90 degree lip.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4359/857897545_aQhY5-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4360/857897665_VAEai-L.jpg)



As the afternoon shadows gets longer the track keeps moving upward and things start opening up.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4365/857898038_DVSGU-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010363/857946177_kn69q-L.jpg)



It turns into the most beautiful scenery. This area is not populated and we are the only ones around to enjoy it.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4364/857897917_t38WP-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010364/857946494_7dQaZ-L.jpg)



The pass going up turns out to be very steep and twisty as well as technical and we ride it in one go. So unfortunately no pictures. But really worth it and I can recommend this road to any 4x4 junkie.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010365/857946784_Vjxvr-L.jpg)



When we get to a river we are ready to stop for the night.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4368/857898169_szo2P-L.jpg)



Cool clear running water feels like heaven after a hot day of getting slapped by grasses. A bath is in order.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010367/857947416_XTemf-L.jpg)



There are beautiful pools upstream.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4371/857898288_NEdHX-L.jpg)



Little fish come and groom you from top to toe. Really pleasant, like little fingers all over your body.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4381/857898404_NFWxv-L.jpg)



It is impossible to find any open piece that is not overgrown, so we camp in the road.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010369/857947748_zBfju-L.jpg)


Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Blou Zebu on May 15, 2010, 04:39:41 pm
Metaljockey and his trips is one of the top 3 reasons why I love Wilddog.za.net

Thanx!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Crossed-up on May 15, 2010, 05:52:28 pm
Vintage MJ.  I love it!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: BMWPE on May 15, 2010, 06:08:50 pm
Awesome  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Thank you so much for posting and sharing this ride with us  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 15, 2010, 06:24:25 pm
Bush camp to bush camp

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/Zam7/867415493_r6FSf-M.jpg)



Early and we are up and at them. Hennie makes it through the river only to drop his bike 5m up the bank. Check out the dry feet.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4388/857898543_UothB-L.jpg)



I don’t make it up the bank and submerges most of my luggage, including my camera that is tied to the left mirror. I am very thankful for the waterproof ATG bag, thanks to it, my sleeping bag stays dry. But not my feet. FFS! 30m into the ride! Hennie has to come back and get his feet wet picking my waterlogged bike out of the river. Yeah baby, all for one and one for all.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010377/857948153_zs9mT-L.jpg)



And so I learn another lesson; don’t camp this side of a river, camp on the other side. At least then you can start your day with dry feet.

Again lovely riding in the morning but today we must get a move on, we are heading towards the road connecting Malawi and Lusaka, and we need to cover about 500km so that we can get back to the good stuff.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010379/857948482_RN2VS-L.jpg)



One or two stops for beer,

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010380/857948794_gR7P4-L.jpg)

two stops for fuel, and we are heading up the end of the rift valley. Half an hour after sunset we finally get a causeway to make camp on, the rest is just tweespoor flanked by 2m tall grass.

This is going to be interesting. We were told that this route from Petauke to Mfuwe should be avoided until June, that is when the first vehicles can get through. We intend doing it in April. So we are not sure of what we’ll find or whether we’ll be turned around.

We prepare by making sure we get some protein in, leg of goat.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010384/857949421_Z5Ybw-L.jpg)





Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: JC on May 15, 2010, 06:44:26 pm
epic as always!

 :thumleft:

subscribed
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: DRAZIL on May 15, 2010, 07:42:19 pm
Absolutely stunning,adventure riding at its best,thanks :thumleft: :thumleft:
Also makes me homesick.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: FarScape on May 15, 2010, 08:06:40 pm
Unbelievable. Just amazing.

The rest of the WD's will be in delighted to find this RR here when they get back to work and onto there PC's on Monday. And MJ is just blasting though it this time. He can't hold back. Must have been and amazing experience.

Did you guys towed the bikes into Livingstone and if so were did you leave the bakkie and trailer and in that wet terrain what precautions did you take against malaria?

Please don't let me hold you back from posting.

Please continue....

Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Skipskop on May 15, 2010, 08:22:30 pm
Inspiring stuff as always !!!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: dakardrix on May 15, 2010, 08:48:43 pm
 :paw: :paw: :paw: :paw: :paw:

:hello2: :hello2:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Baches on May 15, 2010, 09:13:05 pm
 :thumleft:

 Great report. Subscribed.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Adventurer on May 15, 2010, 09:41:31 pm
Legendary RR as usual.... :thumleft:
Seems the only places you get freindliness and good attitude from the locals is across the border....Fantastic when those people gave you guys mielies....they have so little.....yet so much. 8)
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Skipskop on May 15, 2010, 09:49:18 pm
Legendary RR as usual.... :thumleft:
Seems the only places you get freindliness and good attitude from the locals is across the border....Fantastic when those people gave you guys mielies....they have so little.....yet so much. 8)
Now that you mention,that actually brought a tear to my eyes,that was probably a whole days food for their entire family---it makes you think of how we value certain thing in life .That is why I just love those remote areas,so much to get inspiration from.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: eikeboom on May 15, 2010, 10:02:03 pm
At last - something by Metal Jockey again!
 :ricky:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Usurper on May 15, 2010, 10:14:29 pm
Truly epic! awesome pics too.    :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Tubeless on May 15, 2010, 10:40:20 pm
As usual - only the best  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: wayneh on May 15, 2010, 10:57:37 pm
Thanks MJ. Looking forward to the next installment.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: EtienneXplore on May 15, 2010, 11:07:47 pm
Thank you for another great ride report MJ!!!

Why would someone want to go on an overseas holiday, when we can go and do this, right here in Africa ???

Cannot wait for the rest!!


 :happy1:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Jan82 on May 15, 2010, 11:37:51 pm
Awesomeness
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Marnus on May 16, 2010, 12:19:29 am
Awesome stuff!  I don't know which is harder - doing the route, or writing the RR afterwards  ;D  But we appreciate you sharing it with us.  Makes me wanna go ride!!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Swanniebraai on May 16, 2010, 04:39:27 am
Manne met klippe!

Absolutely awe inspiring!   :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: popipants on May 16, 2010, 06:51:53 am
Remind me never to go on a "little" ride with you!!

Awesome stuff
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Fiellie on May 16, 2010, 08:06:31 am
Amazing !!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 16, 2010, 08:22:28 am
Unbelievable. Just amazing.

The rest of the WD's will be in delighted to find this RR here when they get back to work and onto there PC's on Monday. And MJ is just blasting though it this time. He can't hold back. Must have been and amazing experience.

Did you guys towed the bikes into Livingstone and if so were did you leave the bakkie and trailer and in that wet terrain what precautions did you take against malaria?

Please don't let me hold you back from posting.

Please continue....




Yes,I thought I'd do half now and try to get the other half out by Tuesday.

We had the bikes taken to Kasane where we were based and flew in. The idea was that myself and my wife would ride back from Kasane but the X's issues prevented us. So the bikes are still standing at Chobe Safari Lodge in Kasane.

We used Doxycycline for the mozzies. There were less mozzies than we expected. It was not really a hassle at all.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 16, 2010, 08:23:29 am
Awesome stuff!  I don't know which is harder - doing the route, or writing the RR afterwards  ;D  But we appreciate you sharing it with us.  Makes me wanna go ride!!

It's harder doing the report.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Pepe on May 16, 2010, 08:36:03 am
Amazingly beautiful. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: SlowPoke on May 16, 2010, 10:54:19 am
subscribed

Now this is giving life to the dream we all share!!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: >Herman< on May 16, 2010, 11:44:10 am
Baie dankie julle 2!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: JMOL on May 16, 2010, 01:40:17 pm
Manne van Staal.

Cannot wait for more . . . . .
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Wolweseun on May 16, 2010, 02:08:15 pm
Subscribe

Awesome so far  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Plothond on May 16, 2010, 02:10:26 pm
Excellent as usual.   :thumleft:

You do realise that the PopFunPlot crew is ready for an adventure again
You must by now realise that we inadventently end up following in your tracks
Watch your inbox, sometime in the next while the questions they are "a-coming"  :biggrin:

Great, love the report thus far.
I agree, the trip report is the hardest thing to do - keep it up
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: The Badger on May 16, 2010, 03:23:03 pm
Great RR and pics......Thanks.

MJ , would/could you do that route with a pillion...?
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: SlowPoke on May 16, 2010, 03:44:34 pm
Just love some of those pics. You guys did some truly hard core adventure riding - at least that's what I think. I am super interested in your preparations. what spares did you take along? looking at those deep river crossings I can only imagine how deep your fingers would up your butts with a bike drowning there deep inna da africa jungle. How do you prepare for such a trip? Doing something similar - perhaps a little drier - is what I really really want to do. Up and down (or left and right as the case may be) the kaprivie.

What about comms. If you do happen to have an off and break a leg or some such - what were your plans?

Sorry for asking what must seem like silly questions but before too long I want to do a similar trip and knowledge is power.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: yaartbrak on May 16, 2010, 04:21:12 pm
awesome awesome awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:

Totally subscribed !!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 16, 2010, 04:39:26 pm
Great RR and pics......Thanks.

MJ , would/could you do that route with a pillion...?

Yes, sure. Personally I hate carrying a pillion, but one should be able to take a pillion quite easily.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Cane Rat on May 16, 2010, 04:45:10 pm
Awesome stuff. Great pics. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to the rest :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 16, 2010, 05:02:31 pm
Just love some of those pics. You guys did some truly hard core adventure riding - at least that's what I think. I am super interested in your preparations. what spares did you take along? looking at those deep river crossings I can only imagine how deep your fingers would up your butts with a bike drowning there deep inna da africa jungle. How do you prepare for such a trip? Doing something similar - perhaps a little drier - is what I really really want to do. Up and down (or left and right as the case may be) the kaprivie.

What about comms. If you do happen to have an off and break a leg or some such - what were your plans?

Sorry for asking what must seem like silly questions but before too long I want to do a similar trip and knowledge is power.

Spares - a universal cable inner with connectors that can fit any  bike.
- wheel bearings
- brake pads (because we knew it was gonna be muddy)
- spare speedo cluster (my hangups)
- tubes
- spare key

Preparation - get as many maps as you can
- speak to people who have been there, the 4x4 fraternity can sometimes supply a lot of info
- speak to people who live there, Wouter, the guy that owns T4A knows the right people everywhere

Coms - none

If you break a leg - deal with it
We were in populated areas every day, people are very helpful. We came across a boy that broke his elbow falling out of  a tree, a vehicle picked him up 3h30 in the morning in aplace where I will not take my vehicle during the day. I believe he was in hospital within 36 hours of breaking his arm.

Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: mrhyde on May 16, 2010, 05:22:20 pm
great report! ... as usual.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Tweets on May 16, 2010, 05:44:24 pm
The guys have said it all. I salute you, and continue to "dream on". Great one. One day when I'm big, I'll try do these things.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Tonteldoos on May 16, 2010, 08:14:40 pm
Bevange!!
Nog 'n RR uit die boonste rakke!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: funacide on May 16, 2010, 11:47:36 pm
Hey MJ

Really awesome stuff, heard about your latest report at the SBK today, everyone is very excited about it...

Thanks for sharing awesome stuff.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Just Blip It! on May 16, 2010, 11:58:52 pm
Lovely stuff as usual MJ.
Subscribed!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: AntonDP on May 17, 2010, 09:06:37 am
Baie nice.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: letsgofishing on May 17, 2010, 09:26:37 am
True adventure riding at its 5-star best!  :thumleft:
An absolutely AWESOME report!
MJ and Hennie - I salute you.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: DrDirt on May 17, 2010, 09:32:17 am
Bliksem !!!!  is al wat ek kan se.
 :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Scrat on May 17, 2010, 09:46:13 am
MJ - Jy bly ma net 'n Legend!!  :thumleft: :thumleft:

I need to start plan my next trip again!! Thanx for the inspiration!!

So you say it can be done with a pillion... on a 950?

Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: KAT-WP on May 17, 2010, 10:28:36 am
wow, a truly inspiring adventure of note :thumleft:  the route, photos........sheez it has been stunning reading this.. EXCELLENT stuff
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: mannemerak on May 17, 2010, 10:43:42 am
Well done, RESPECT!

Subscribe
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: MrBig on May 17, 2010, 10:44:20 am
Is it Tuesday yet?  :P
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Watty on May 17, 2010, 10:50:53 am
A (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-happy112.gif) RR
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: cloudgazer on May 17, 2010, 10:56:15 am
Holy crap thats awesome.

A true adventure. and very very inspirational.

One of the reasons i hate living in CT, is that we're just s far away from areas like this.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Would I? on May 17, 2010, 11:03:19 am
Fantastic again...... When are you going to produce the Coffee Table Book of "Clasic MJ Africa Rides"  :biggrin: :biggrin:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Lem on May 17, 2010, 11:26:40 am
Wraggies kerels

Julle vattie kakkie, respect!!!

Dankie vir die great verslag.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Snafu on May 17, 2010, 11:50:09 am
En daar is my Maandag in sy m*(&&^&^(r !!

Well done guys, cant wait for the rest!!!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Bernoulli on May 17, 2010, 12:34:12 pm
En daar is my Maandag in sy m*(&&^&^(r !!


+1 :thumleft: :thumleft:

Guess what I will be doing Tuesday morning?

 :deal:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Huggels on May 17, 2010, 01:06:14 pm
Fantastic stuff !!!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Brandt on May 17, 2010, 01:07:28 pm
Respek vir julle en die bikes. Rowwe roete daai!!  :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Hentie @ Riders on May 17, 2010, 01:10:37 pm
Baie,baie nice  :notworthy:  :notworthy:  :notworthy:  :headbang:  :thumleft:  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Gat Slag on May 17, 2010, 01:27:02 pm
Bemoerd mag ek sê!!!   :thumleft:
Respek...  ;)
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Misty on May 17, 2010, 01:46:37 pm
Absolutely awesome stuff as always!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Wheelman on May 17, 2010, 02:22:17 pm
MJ, thanks for the great RR.... What a fantastic experience to meet Lions  ;) and be able to report back afterwards without any further mishap. Your sense of adventure is great and an example to us all. You again highlight to us all the fact that You cannot plan for every eventuality and mishap, but you can plan to have as much fun and sample the local delights  >:D as much as possible.

Looking forward to the rest of it :laughing4: :laughing4:


Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: mtbbiker on May 17, 2010, 04:52:31 pm
Subscribe
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Sasha on May 17, 2010, 09:06:41 pm
Well done and reported !
(Is there still any question about who should test AND REPORT on the new Yamaha 1200 ?)
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: DRAZIL on May 17, 2010, 09:56:48 pm
Well done and reported !
(Is there still any question about who should test AND REPORT on the new Yamaha 1200 ?)

I'll go watch MJ tset it out and have a glass of chibuku to settle the nerves.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Hagar on May 18, 2010, 06:15:41 am
Is there still any question about who should test AND REPORT on the new Yamaha 1200 ?

This trip would have been a good test for the big Yamaha.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: edgy on May 18, 2010, 06:31:37 am
I think that the big Yamaha might just have been TOO big!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Nardus on May 18, 2010, 08:48:08 am
Holy Smacker - bietjie rof vir my !! Great report, again...

Shot MJ and Hennie
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Spore on May 18, 2010, 09:05:13 am
Thanks MJ for another QUALITY & AWE-INSPIRING RR!! You guys are definately up there with the best in the world as far as adventure riding is concerned. Many thanks for sharing with us! I lift my hat for you... :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Diesel & Dust on May 18, 2010, 09:23:05 am
 :director:  Please continue  :director:

Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 18, 2010, 09:43:17 am
Bush camp to Flatdogs

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/Zam8/867415508_mNzuc-M.jpg)



We wanted to do two things in Zambia. The first was to do the northern side of Lake Kariba. We succeeded in that and it was just the most brilliant riding. Highly recommendable. The second is to travel up the bottom of the rift valley, skirting South Luangwa National Park and if possible cross the Luangwa river and ride the corridor in between the North and South Parks. Like this.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/Luangwa-parks/870851147_h8rZM-M.jpg)



Today we start this second stretch.

Camping in the road again.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010386/857949789_Fz9i2-L.jpg)



I tried to dry some of my stuff out overnight, but it had little effect.

The early morning cold makes the camera lens mist up. My camera that stopped working after it’s swim yesterday, seems to be recouperating, no screen yet, but it is at least switching on. The amount of grass in this place is just mind boggling.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010387/857950213_syzm6-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010389/857950494_nxSTE-L.jpg)



It looks like this hut was built using a tin can.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010390/857950803_PsCpt-L.jpg)



Again us and the grass. This was a proper road in the dry season. The only reason we can ride here now is that the villagers kept it open with foot traffic.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010391/857951111_4hp9g-L.jpg)



What makes the Luangwa valley different to the rest of Zambia is that it lies so low, 500m above sea level, and the fact that it consists largely of black cotton soil.

Cotton soil is the thing we fear most. If we are going to fail in our quest, it will most likely be because of black cotton soil in muddy form.

Cotton soil is a bastard. When it is wet it is clay that defies any vehicular travel. ALL vehicular travel. If you want to move, it’s on foot only, and even then it is very unpleasant. It has the consistency of…. well I can’t think of something.  Depending on how wet it is, it can be slush or clay that is soft and deep. I saw some elephant tracks that are easily half a meter deep, when I stand in it the ground level is above knee height. Yet it does not close up like normal mud, it keeps it’s shape. When it dries it goes rock hard. It has to be physically hacked apart into fist sized pieces to allow vehicles to travel there again. So it is kak when it’s wet and it is kak when it’s dry.

Throughout the morning we fight our way through grass on a single track, very little airflow here.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010393/857951790_yYLSi-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4391/857898671_nUsqm-X2.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4392/857898778_uZJnX-X2.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4394/857902246_RtvXk-XL.jpg)



The reason we are able to travel here at all is because this road was constructed of other soil brought in from elsewhere. When you stray off this surface, even just one foot, the cotton soil gets ya. Like so.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010395/857952358_PVPvB-L.jpg)



The fresh elephant dung isn’t helping to lift Hennie’s spirits. Towrope time again.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4396/857902390_Lof52-L.jpg)



Could this be the end of the road for us?

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4398/857902760_Dwkxf-X2.jpg)



The surface going in looks good, so we go with the hope that it gets better somewhere out front instead of worse.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010398/857952908_TVtgD-L.jpg)



We make it but shortly thereafter we come to what looks like the end.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4399/868613584_VTqyd-XL.jpg)



Deep water and a muddy bottom. No visibility through the water to see what’s going on below and we cannot see the end either. A friendly local appears from the bush and assures us that “this is a good road”. These Zambians, definitely a different frame of reference. He also walks in to prove his point and Hennie is convinced and he is off.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4400/857902939_HC4qk-XL.jpg)



I take a look at this shit and it really looks like a bad idea to me.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4401/857903112_Ai94T-XL.jpg)
 


Hennie stops somewhere ahead and calls for me to come, so I go.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010399/857953168_niNPB-L.jpg)



So we leapfrog and keep going.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4402/857903370_wXGxe-L.jpg)



Except for one hole where a side stream flows through it is actually not too bad and we make it through to the other side. From here on the road is gone though and the going gets more difficult. We have a track to follow on the GPS but it does not take into account the many places where the road had reverted to large muddy bogs and the various new tracks cut from the bush to go around it.

When we get lost down the wrong track however, you just need to shut down the motor and within minutes you will hear someone shouting to lead you to the right path.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010400/857953426_RHDFc-L.jpg)



Thick stuff though and sweaty work to get a bike turned around in there. Every time you put a foot out it gets snagged in the underbrush and you have to stop to extract your foot.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4403/857903524_mvXEt-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010402/857953998_5eqPD-L.jpg)

It doesn’t take long for us to start running low on water.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010401/857953724_BfGXf-L.jpg)



And then, out of nowhere you run into a teacher on a roadbike with slick tyres.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010403/857954264_WhFvg-L.jpg)



From here the road starts opening up and we see the first vehicle tracks. Good news, we are going to make it to Mfuwe at least without being turned around.

Also we get to a clear stream where we can fill up on water. Things are looking up.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010406/857954604_vC9Pr-L.jpg)



When we start to get good quality open tracks I start having visions of cold beers at a lodge.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010407/857954939_FNoSw-L.jpg)



The GPS shows that we should be able to get to Mfuwe by 13h30.That is of course a mistake. One should never get impatient to get somewhere.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010408/857955234_MLovp-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010410/857955511_RArAf-L.jpg)



We are in a Game Management Area adjoining the park.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010412/857955768_jc3hL-L.jpg)



We keep riding and riding and It feels like we are getting nowhere. Because this is an area used for game viewing, there are paths all over and with the rains playing havoc, it is dead end after dead end running into mud bogs and washaways.
On top of this I start feeling not so well. I need to stop to rest every so often and am a little disoriented.

I think our eating regime, which consists of coffee in the morning and one meal at the end of the day, is catching up with us.
We have also now been riding hard for more than a week straight and at some stage you can expect your body to figure out that there is a moron in charge and that it needs to protect itself.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4406/857903773_vGwDo-L.jpg)



We have some goat and kapenta to try to get some octane into the system again.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4405/857903638_ZivYt-L.jpg)



Thornycroft giraffe, it is different from what we have in South Africa. These are smaller and have a more defined coat. Should make a killer seat cover.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010414/857956014_Mmwst-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4407/857903976_QexZb-L.jpg)



Then Hennie again opts to ride next to the track to avoid a deep mud hole and gets the exact same result as earlier.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4408/857904153_iixHY-XL.jpg)



The mud holes may be deep but at least there is some traction if you stay in the track. And that brown muck is pleasantly warm when it fills your boots.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010416/857956273_juKyZ-L.jpg)



F@ck.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010418/857956587_m5zTS-L.jpg)



This stuff is not doing your chain, sprocket, bushes, bearings or brake pads any good.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010420/857956892_7yRff-L.jpg)



After having bodily ripped that loaded 800 out of the bog, we both suffer from pap armpies and shortly thereafter Hennie loses the front on a muddy patch and goes down hard. The right footpeg gets bent right back so that it is not usable anymore. Also one of the 5l petrol containers pops it’s top and floods a pannier.
We end up having to burn a lot of stuff that is now unusable.

And so 13H30 passes, as does14H30, 15H30 and 16H30. We finally roll to a stop at Flatdogs Camp just after 17h00. Man, I am glad to get here and man I am finished. It feels like I am living in someone else’s body and that oke is really not well at all.
We agree that we need to take a rest day tomorrow. Hennie needs some time to get his footpeg working again in any event.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010421/857957174_DNPgn-L.jpg)



The Luangwa river, we are planning to cross it in a couple of days time.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010423/857957424_df2k2-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010424/857957657_E3gB9-L.jpg)



Nice platform tent sites, hippos are in camp every night. You actually have guards walking you from your tent to the restaurant and back. They keep an eye on where the hippos are grazing and make sure that you avoid them.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010427/857957916_HJjQG-L.jpg)



I sleep like a dead man.


Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Brink on May 18, 2010, 09:59:41 am
Awesome :ricky:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Rock Rabbit on May 18, 2010, 10:16:35 am
What a fantastic adventure. Great report. Keep all those juicy details flowing.
RR
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 18, 2010, 10:45:21 am
Flatdogs to bush camp

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/Zam9/870851589_CCJU8-M.jpg)

By midday Hennie’s bike is sorted and we get restless so we hit the road.

Our plan is to head north on a track that passes through the Nsefu area of the South Luangwa National Park and continue into Luambe National Park where we hope to find a seasonal ferry, used by hunters, to cross the Luangwa. We were unable to get info on the ferry except that it may or may not have been in operation in 2007.

We ask the local guides and they reckon we should not be too worried about the ferry because we are not going to make it that far. It is the track leading north that is the problem, it crosses many rivers and have no bridges.

Hmmmm.

Some elephant just outside camp.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4410/857904331_aQYcw-L-1.jpg)



We buy fuel out of containers again in Mfuwe and have lunch of nsima and chicken.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010433/857958199_8fTnu-L.jpg)



At about 14h00 we hit the road north. We want to sleep as close to the park gate as possible because we are not allowed to be in the park after dark.

To my dismay the track lasts for all of 1.7km before we hit the first obstacle.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010434/857958533_qiPbD-L.jpg)



It has a steep and deep entry, so in order not to flood the air intake you have to enter slowly. This makes it impossible to get up the sand bank without getting stuck.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010436/857958907_FQZZ6-L.jpg)



After pushing my bike out with help of the kids swimming there, it is Hennie’s turn. You can check where the water reached upon entry, just under the air intake.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4412/857904480_QV9dY-L.jpg)



Predictably he also gets stuck and after pushing him out too he takes a different line than me and gets stuck a second time.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4413/857904598_xcVKC-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4415/857904737_xosfS-XL.jpg)



Some more pushing and flushing of the exhaust that filled up when submerged.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4416/857904865_KpmtD-L.jpg)



Then the second part of the river, easier because there is a run up to get some speed.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4418/857904992_ncqnY-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010439/857959423_Y4ghc-L.jpg)



Having just poured water out of boots and wringed socks out, we travel another two clicks when we hit the second river.
This one is too deep, there is no way we are going to be able to either ride or push through.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4441/857905930_gbr2r-L.jpg)



When we planned this trip we spoke to several people that know Zambia and the consensus was that April is too early, the rivers would be too high and the mud would not have dried out yet.

So we knew that we were going to have to deal with deep rivers. A friend of ours, Roger, is one of those crazy hard core enduro nuttters that populate Kwazulu Natal. He often comes down to East London to do a couple of days of Transkei riding. He showed us pics once of how the Natal boys deal with deep rivers. They float the bikes on pontoons that they carry with them.

So Roger puts us in touch with a specialist rubber duck manufacturer, these guys http://www.feralinflatables.co.za (http://www.feralinflatables.co.za). You send them the specs for your bike that include the weight and the distances between axles and pegs and they tailor make a set of pontoons for you.

Have a look at this pic again, the black thing on the back is one of the pontoons.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010434/857958533_qiPbD-L.jpg)



We are soon going to find out if they know their business or not. This will be the first time that we try this.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4427/857905260_gUGuy-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010441/857959735_4oBd6-L.jpg)



Works like a dream.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010444/857959986_vbTaE-L.jpg)



Coming back for the 800.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010449/857960249_RPQc5-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4431/857905400_gr5mA-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4433/857905513_736y9-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4437/857905640_3tFhV-L.jpg)



Check the happiness.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4438/857905778_kwycS-L.jpg)



The bank on the other side takes a bit of effort.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4448/857906075_NZGez-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4451/869713709_xYpU4-L.jpg)



I notice people slapping themselves hard and what looks like at random until the first tsetse fly lays into me. Then I do the same.

We are pretty chuffed that our pontoons are working, it would have been a bitch if we carried them the whole trip and never got the opportunity to use them.

Sunset and we make camp.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010451/857960486_skTyj-L.jpg)



We are well happy. This trip is just so much more man, so much more.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: funacide on May 18, 2010, 11:03:31 am
Damn I am loving this.... Awesome reading.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: madmike999 on May 18, 2010, 11:23:13 am
MJ for President!!!

what a read, like always.

those pontoons, how much weight can they carry, and how do you inflate them?

EPIC
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: JC on May 18, 2010, 11:24:21 am
nogmaals, thanks for an excellent report so far and well done!  :thumleft:

MJ I see the locals are very keen to help anywhere, do you feel obliged to pay them, or do you think they expect to be rewarded for helping? They sure look like a friendly nation.

Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 18, 2010, 11:30:48 am
MJ for President!!!

what a read, like always.

those pontoons, how much weight can they carry, and how do you inflate them?

EPIC

You spec them to carry what you need. These we specced to carry 250kg. It was more than enough, I have no doubt I could sit on top too with no issues.

I used one of these 12v matress inflaters. Inflates in seconds.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: rubiblue on May 18, 2010, 11:32:03 am
Inspiring stuff, well done on the ride and the report, nothing worse than wet boots!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 18, 2010, 11:33:22 am
nogmaals, thanks for an excellent report so far and well done!  :thumleft:

MJ I see the locals are very keen to help anywhere, do you feel obliged to pay them, or do you think they expect to be rewarded for helping? They sure look like a friendly nation.



If they did expect payment, they never showed it. But if a grown man wades through water and sweats to get your bike up a bank, then it's just the decent thing to do.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: JC on May 18, 2010, 11:44:14 am
nogmaals, thanks for an excellent report so far and well done!  :thumleft:

MJ I see the locals are very keen to help anywhere, do you feel obliged to pay them, or do you think they expect to be rewarded for helping? They sure look like a friendly nation.



If they did expect payment, they never showed it. But if a grown man wades through water and sweats to get your bike up a bank, then it's just the decent thing to do.

 :thumleft: I didn't expect anything less from you  :)

Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: letsgofishing on May 18, 2010, 11:50:51 am
This just gets better and better MJ!
ABSOLUTELY AWESOME :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: WheeLZ on May 18, 2010, 11:55:23 am
The stuff of dreams!!!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: PinkGoat on May 18, 2010, 12:48:50 pm
Loving the RR!! You guys are truly inspirational!!  :thumleft: :thumleft:

Enjoyed seeing the pics of the pontoons carrying the bikes over... You seem prepared for absolutely everything!!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: popipants on May 18, 2010, 12:52:28 pm
You gonna need BIG pontoons to keep my GSA from sinking.

Awesome report!!!!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Big E on May 18, 2010, 12:54:26 pm
Awesome stuff, realy makes you wonder what live is really about.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Frog on May 18, 2010, 01:12:33 pm
I've got just one word for this report  - f*cking awsome (sorry that's two words) :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: heti on May 18, 2010, 01:18:30 pm
Faaaaark!!!  :ricky:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: N[]vA on May 18, 2010, 01:32:11 pm
those pontoons are befok! :D

lekka read this
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: LMG on May 18, 2010, 01:56:42 pm
Orgasmaties!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: wimpie on May 18, 2010, 02:29:31 pm
I am sitting here shaking my head. No ways in the world I will even attempt those roads and lots of respect to you guys. Great photos and a great report. Just great stuff!!!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 18, 2010, 02:36:32 pm
Holy Smacker - bietjie rof vir my !!

Ja, sure.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Lesotho-trip-Feb-06/lesfeb06-100/58715586_Hgz56-L-1.jpg)
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: AntonW on May 18, 2010, 02:55:22 pm
Fantastic. Thanks
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: roxenz on May 18, 2010, 03:09:29 pm
When I had an hour of leisure, I knew this is what I wanted to do: read another MJ epic!  Bliksem, just got back to reality.  Thanks, MJ, always so rewarding reading and looking your stuff.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: buzzlightyear on May 18, 2010, 03:13:00 pm
First you guys used boats, and now pontoons, I see progress  ;D

Awesome, can't wait to see the rest.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Would I? on May 18, 2010, 03:14:45 pm
Fantastic..... now back to the real world and some work for me.  :( :( :( Can't wait for more.  :)
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 18, 2010, 03:20:51 pm
Bush Camp to Hunting Camp

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/Zam10/871027534_DUBV6-M.jpg)

We enter the park at the Milyoti gate. The reason that we are allowed in the park here is that this is a proclaimed public road and it is used by locals on foot and on bicycle.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010454/857961159_Lg3ky-L.jpg)



We quickly learn that sticking to the footpath is the way to go.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010456/857961430_DXz5Z-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4452/857906201_Scxjv-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4453/857906296_zAA4S-L.jpg)



It’s a leisurely ride and we cruise while standing on the pegs looking for game.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4457/857906412_kHQqm-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010459/857961718_sd9H8-L.jpg)



Recycling in action.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4458/857906537_CdHT6-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4459/857906656_Ny9Ye-L.jpg)



Now and then there’s a bit of an obstacle but nothing that proves to be a real problem

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010463/857962320_4ytB9-L.jpg)



What does prove to be a problem is the cotton soil. Where it has dried it is like volcanic rock.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4460/857906757_YQAMX-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010467/857962974_4Za8f-L.jpg)



Really unpleasant shit to ride this.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010464/857962660_ZHPmP-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4461/857906847_CU4wS-L.jpg)



On leaving the park we fill our containers again with borehole water but this time it is yellow, and smelly.

Then we come to the next river, a muddy one.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010472/857963266_bmXDR-L.jpg)



Luckily there is a circuitous route that leads to a good crossing. One with an excellent run up so you can hit it at speed.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4463/857906953_NaGp3-L.jpg)



There is something quite impressive about the morning silence being ripped apart by the booming of a big bore motor giving it horns.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4466/857907049_NdhoJ-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010474/857963635_sMfAX-L.jpg)



Since my rack broke I moved the ATG bag forward onto the seat and the light stuff like the pontoon back onto the carrier. I should have done this from the outset.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010476/857963882_afARd-L.jpg)



A view of the Luangwa.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4472/857907155_LbaYv-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4475/857907379_Nde2Q-L.jpg)



Nearing the Lukusuzi river things are overgrown again and we mess around to and fro within 1km from the river crossing but battle to find it.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010477/857964155_DSbGR-L.jpg)



When we do the whole village had gathered. Clearly this river has a history. When a vehicle comes this way they know there is money to be made.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010478/857964460_GqoxU-L.jpg)



I insist that I don’t want my luggage or bike carried over and give it my best shot.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010479/857964821_K5jCv-L.jpg)



Not much of a shot. As the bike digs in you can hear the whole village cheering.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010482/857965314_5YSsv-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010483/857965566_rzZgm-L.jpg)



Hennie tries another line.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4477/857907495_2t9Sh-L.jpg)



But the Lukusuzi will have none of it.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4481/857907638_ZUH3H-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4484/857907760_Nd3h9-L.jpg)



Here we have the first disagreement with the locals, they are clearly out to make some money off this and they want an exorbitant amount for their efforts. This sommer pisses me off in principle so we pay them enough to buy two beers between the nine of them.

We get to the entrance gate to the Luambe National Park and the warden tells us that we will not be able to cross the Lupita river further on. It is too deep and it is full of crocodiles. We explain the pontoon plan to him but he looks doubtful.

Within two kilometers we get stuck in a long cotton mud section. The warden and his assistant walk the two kilometers and with their help we get through.

When we get to the river we ride up and down to find a place to cross and by the time the warden and his assistant has walked the 7 km there, we have found one place that looks possible. It’s too deep though and it is mud in and mud out.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010488/857965912_JRaYA-L.jpg)



There’s a lot of discussion until Hennie goes in and walks through to check the bottom and to see if there are any crocs that would like a knibble.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4486/857907860_EE4qi-L.jpg)



When we go in the fisherman that have gathered flat out refuse to go in. This is normally not a good sign. In this brown water however even the crocs can’t see, so they will have to come to the surface to get their bearing, and we have a guy with a gun.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4487/857907980_HLJDP-L.jpg)



In the end it is just the warden and his deputy that is willing to enter. The deputy’s head swivels around quite a bit, checking out the water surface.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4491/857908216_LJgCZ-L.jpg)



To be honest my eyeballs also got quite a workout.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010489/857966212_Wbg8U-L.jpg)



The bottom consists of tree roots and the current has a stronger pull on the bike than one might expect.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010492/857966715_ZmjcG-L.jpg)



Exits are tricky because when your front wheel reaches land the rear is still in deep water. So you have to roll the front up the bank until the rear touches ground, before the pontoons can be untied.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010495/857967205_R2qbR-L.jpg)



The pontoon story takes a lot of time. More than an hour each time, from arrival until we are ready to roll again.

The tsetse fly have also increased exponentially and they more or less chase us through the park. The road through is just cotton soil pocked with elephant, hippo and other tracks, some wet, some dry.

We do not see much game and as it is getting late we do not stop for pics much. Also here we are not allowed in the park at night and we still have to find the ferry, if there is one at all.

When we get to the next crossing I don’t have the patience to first walk it and just attack.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010496/857967455_xAKK4-L.jpg)



With this result.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4496/857908484_UVYAu-L.jpg)



Hennie takes a totally different approach that I think cannot possibly work.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4493/857908350_8M6Yq-L.jpg)



But he’s right and makes it almost all the way, only getting stuck on the top lip.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4499/857908645_iafot-L.jpg)



After we fought my bike out of the mud we are pap again. And then another river. The Kazikaze. One of the deep ones with crocodiles and we will not make it up the other bank without help.

This pontoon thing gets old really quickly. Crossing this river on a bridge would take 2 seconds, we are in for another hour of work. Think about that the next time you zip across a small bridge.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010498/857967764_eKWEB-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010500/857968021_kHLEV-L.jpg)



We are lucky though, the previous day poachers shot an elephant about a kilometer from here and they were arrested by the game guards. So all the guards roaming the park on foot are congregated here and it is not long or we get the help we so sorely need.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010504/857968644_rDE8z-L.jpg)



For their effort I spin them full of mud fighting it up that muddy bank.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4505/857908751_2FaUW-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4506/857908880_XbH9V-L.jpg)



Good guys.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010508/857969066_E9YZX-L.jpg)



And good news too. This is the last river and the ferry is up and running. We are really happy about that. I was dreading having to cross the Luangwa. Hippos and crocs will give you hell there and you will have to sit on the bike and paddle. At the rate it flows you will get washed several kilometers downstream and then have to find a way out and back.

We spend a frustrating time trying to find the ferry and at sunset we finally see this beautiful sight.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4511/857909102_KrkTU-L.jpg)



Dry grass over logs in a rut looks like bad news to me so I sit and watch the inevitable carnage.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4512/857909217_3Lfzi-L.jpg)



Uhuh, I thought so.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4513/857909302_iZgsg-L.jpg)



Man powered ferry. Check that bank on the other side. This ferry is one hell of a stroke of good luck coming our way.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010511/857969600_pyRKx-L.jpg)



This is the anchor.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010510/857969315_Wxmik-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010516/857969974_KDZsY-L.jpg)



We are two really grateful souls at this point in time.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010518/857970198_8vbCz-L.jpg)



Hennie puts his foot on a drum and it rolls giving everybody a fright.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4517/857909452_S2i7c-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4520/857909656_UbLCv-L.jpg)



We are damn tired. We should have taken that rest day.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4518/857909532_mTgGG-M.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4523/857909734_CVZNa-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4525/857909932_GGDUM-L.jpg)



The ferrymen tell us that there is a hunting lodge just up the road and we take a newly made road as it gets dark.

What we see we ride, no stopping to check it out.
(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4526/857910073_b85BV-S.jpg) (http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4527/857910203_6e9Fo-S.jpg)



When we get to the camp we are met by Ahmed Patel. It’s his camp and he offers us a chalet to stay in. He tells us that it is his ferry and he only set it up three days ago. The reason we battled to find it is that it is moved every year depending on how the river changes over the wet season. Every end of the dry season he takes it down again otherwise it is washed away.

Regarding the hippos in the Luangwa he tells us that just the previous day a hippo bull attacked a mokoro, with two of his workers in, right in front of the camp. Knocking them into the water, he attacked again, luckily going for the upside down canoe and sinking it. Two lucky fellows.

He is now here in preparation for the hunting season and rebuilding camp after it was flooded and parts washed away. What he does every year is build log bridges over every river that we just crossed so that his vehicles can get supplies from Mfuwe. Every rainy season all the bridges are washed away again.

I get a feel for how difficult it is to get things done here. Most of the lodges are only open for six months of the year during the dry season, when the cotton soil is chopped up to make roads. No wonder the lodge rates are so high. Imagine having a business that only earns income for six months in the year. And every time you reopen you have to build your own roads to get access and then bring in all supplies.

The skill set that Ahmed needs to be able to run this hunting outfit is huge. I am very impressed. And even more so when we get a meal with chicken, chips, steak etc. I get embarrassed by the amount of orange juice I can not stop drinking.  He would not hear of us paying for anything.


Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: redtiger on May 18, 2010, 03:23:00 pm
Respect guys thanks for posting.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: SuperDave (RIP) on May 18, 2010, 03:38:54 pm
Excellent MJ! 

With a name like that nothing seems to stop you guys!

Friends of mine, Gary and Giuliette, met you guys in Botswana on your way back.
Hennie went fishing with them.

Gary and them were on the way up to the pans and beyond...!
Just told him about your RR yesterday!

Small world this Africa! 

Great RR!  Kept me out of work for most of the last 2 days!   :mwink:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 18, 2010, 03:48:23 pm
Excellent MJ! 

Friends of mine, Gary and Giuliette, met you guys in Botswana on your way back.
Hennie went fishing with them.

Gary and them were on the way up to the pans and beyond...!
Just told him about your RR yesterday!

Small world this Africa! 


Yes, I remember them, we went on a game viewing boat trip also.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Smithey on May 18, 2010, 04:15:20 pm
Top Notch Lads  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: WheeLZ on May 18, 2010, 04:55:40 pm
I am finding it diffcult to work today! :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: THROTTLE JOCKEY on May 18, 2010, 05:16:48 pm
Subscribed and captivated, Afternoon spent reading in awe :ricky:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: cloudgazer on May 18, 2010, 05:50:06 pm
This trip looks so hardcore... more loading and unloading, and paddling than actual riding.
I cannot imagine how tiring it must be... and fulfilling as well.
 :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 18, 2010, 06:16:16 pm
Luangwa to Mutinondo river

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/Zam11/871162143_cUb2P-M.jpg)

Our plan for the day is to cover the 120km corridor route to the Great North Road and then do a quick 200km on tar to get to an overnight spot as we head home to Kasane.

The Corridor road has not been used since last year. Lucky for us Ahmed had cut open the first 20km to the local chief’s village. He warns us that the elephant are very aggressive in this first 20km. Apparently, years ago they were the most heavily poached elephant in the country. It was so bad that there are now elephant born that never develop tusks. All the adults were shot out, leaving the young ones to grow up without their leadership. Now these ‘undisciplined’ ones are running amok. Not a week goes by that there is not an incident.

We are happy to not run into any.

The cut-open road looks like this. It would have been damn unpleasant if it wasn’t. We are again doing this route without the assistance of GPS.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010519/857970469_xok25-L.jpg)



It does not take long for us to figure out that this is going to be a long day. It had rained quite a bit during the night, and although this looks like Hennie moered neer for no reason, he did not.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4531/857910476_FZuTh-L.jpg)



Under what looks like a good surface, it is slippery as snot.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4532/857910603_5YtwA-L.jpg)



We have been paddling this stuff for a while and Hennie believes that he can ride it on the pegs. You can not. Check out the tyres.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4533/857910734_FuJWB-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4534/857910835_e7akh-L.jpg)



We had barely done 10km and Hennie is not feeling well. I think that once you have used up your body’s reserves, you don’t just get it back with one meal or a night's rest. We are just not in the best of shape anymore.

Crashing while on the pegs is not making things easier, I can see Hennie is less than happy.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4535/857910979_BAtBy-L.jpg)



From here we both ride in first and we slide around for the next ten kilometres. You would have the bike snake off into the bush arbitrarily, you then hit the brakes and nothing would happen, the bike just keeps going with locked brakes. And I keep on reading the track wrong. I would see the clay surface in the left track and the right track would be covered with dried grass. So I go for the extra traction of the grass. Wrong. The grass is just preventing the snot underneath it from drying so it is way more slippery than the exposed clay on the left.

We slip and slide in this shit until we get to the village.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4536/857911135_8NKGh-L.jpg)



Twenty kms in and we have already finished our water and we are sweating copiously.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010521/857971123_zndnZ-L.jpg)



Luckily the water problem gets sorted immediately.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010525/857971587_H7sNa-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010523/857971312_qp4V6-L.jpg)



By the way, have a look at these tyres. We knew we were going to need a lot of grip because this was going to be a muddy trip. I was also planning to ride the bikes back down to East London from Zambia, so we needed something that would last.

I opted for the Michelin Desert, a tyre I have used extensively and that I trust. Hennie is also a Desert fan and wanted one, but it seems Michelin does not import the 17 inch Desert. What he fitted instead is a Mitas E09 (imported by KTMJedi on the forum). The tread pattern is actually quite close to the Desert, have a look.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010520/857970830_BuqNt-L.jpg)



Hennie was very pleased with the grip of the Mitas. I might well try one of those in future, it certainly looks like it will give better mileage than the Desert.

When we leave the village everything changes, no more mud and the villagers had started reconstructing the road for the dry season. Immediately the tsetse fly start chasing us though.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010527/857971897_PW6VN-L.jpg)



As long as you keep your speed up the tsetse fly can not keep up, but the second you stop they catch up and lay into you. We do not get much of a chance to enjoy the scenery.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4539/857911572_X6eVW-XL.jpg)



And our luck doesn’t last, the road repairs last maybe 5kms and then we cannot outrun the tsetse anymore.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4541/857911808_DUypS-L.jpg)



When the tsetse gets in under your shirt they just go into a feeding frenzy, well, they are always in a feeding frenzy, they just get better opportunities. Check out Hennie’s back.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4540/857911686_eqB88-L.jpg)



The moment the road repairs stop the riding becomes very difficult. Long grass and ruts messed up with elephant tracks. Very technical.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4542/857911951_gWY8a-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010528/857972144_Ea8gc-L.jpg)



We spend most of the time trying to balance on the centre ridge to avoid the deep ruts, but the grass hampers your sight so that you often cannot see where your wheels are supposed to go. We ride in first gear on the clutch all the time. Meantime the tsetse is eating away at us. It is hot, there is no airflow in this grass.
Where ever there is a little open area you pull up to get some air.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4544/857912212_Qx7p4-L.jpg)



When you pull off it’s into the thick of it again. In this heat you are forced to ride with your visor closed because your face is used as a tool to part the grass. You can’t see shit where your wheel is supposed to go. So you ride blind feeling your way.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4552/857912727_yHVPv-L.jpg)



The grass seeds are making life hell. This is not enjoyable riding, not enjoyable at all.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4543/857912062_mJzvd-L.jpg)



When the savannah grass periodically opens up to something greener and softer it is bad news. This is, or rather was a wet area. Under that grass is a myriad of deep elephant tracks that have now turned to stone. But you cannot see them through the grass.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4548/857912332_qoV3B-L.jpg)



The road is just plain fucked. Everywhere, with no letup.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4550/857912575_MtVrz-L.jpg)



Hennie tries again to do the second gear thing and falls hard. Proper separation and all. Again his footpeg bends up, as well as his brake and his hand protectors.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010533/857972891_NEYzq-L.jpg)



Look closely, this pic is of my bike, 15m away.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010534/870255329_QTFhn-L.jpg)



We fall over often. And we do not have the strength to pick up our own bikes anymore. You just hit the hooter and the other guy makes his way back to you on foot. We haven’t seen any locals for hours now.

This is not fun. It just gets worse until we cannot manage more than 2km at a time, then we stop and drink one liter of water and rest a little right there in the sun. Pulling away again takes a lot from you because you are pulling off into a wall of grass. Two km on you are spent and forced to stop or fall down, and again drink a litre of water. I count 4 consecutive stops where we down a litre.

We have done by now maybe 40km of the 120km Corridor road. We misjudged quite substantially here. This hell may last for two days if we are lucky, three if we are not.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010531/857972407_vaB2q-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010532/857972633_ueVq7-L.jpg)



And then we come to this. In the state we are in this is insurmountable to us. The end of the road. We are not getting across here today.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010538/857973810_aqFzW-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010537/857973480_AHjLo-L.jpg)



We were sitting under the trees for a while before the two guys you saw in the previous pics showed up. We had not seen any people for about two hours already, yet when we stop long enough, someone comes to check on you.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010535/857973203_EyoQM-L.jpg)



And again, here where we are at our wits end, the good people of Zambia lend a helping hand, or rather, axe. We can get the bikes into the bush at the top of the wash-away, and there is a line for the wheels right on the edge of the wash, where the closest guy is standing.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010539/857974070_xt7cw-L.jpg)



Unfortunately, the branches will topple us over into the ravine and fortunately these guys know how to wield an axe.
They quickly chop the tree back and with some effort we get both bikes to the other side.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010541/870280058_Sbun9-M.jpg)

I am not doing well though, we again started without breakfast and the water we had been chugging seems to have washed all the good stuff out of me. I am dizzy and no amount of standing around waiting for it to wear off seems to be helping any. I feel weak, really weak. Hennie is also not in good condition. We figure out that we cannot drink water anymore as we have very little left over, we have to save it for emergencies. So we decide to lie under the bushes in this ravine until the worst heat of the day has worn off. This is the first time ever on a trip that we take a siesta.

Hennie has some peanuts and I try to eat a handfull, but without saliva I cannot get this lot swallowed. So in the end I spit out what looks remarkably like a baboon turd.

While we lie there we get stung.., no, sting is not the right word. We get punctured by these.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010544/857974225_PP8ur-L.jpg)



When the worst heat is over we head out again. And things are just the same as the morning but worse. So much worse that between the two of us, we have only one picture to show for the whole afternoon.

Some arsehole had been here in the wet season with a vehicle; so the center ridge is flanked by two wheel ruts deeper than what my belly plate is off the ground. When you donner in there, the bike has to be physically lifted up because the back wheel does not reach the bottom. Pulling on that bike with all I have, I fear that I will pop a vein in my anus any second.

The grass is still an impenetrable wall, we ride the clutch for hour after hour and my radiator fan never turns off. Sometimes I have to let the bike cool down when the warning light comes on.

The elephants have also more or less destroyed all of the road. Their muddy tracks, that had dried, makes it virtually impossible to ride, especially because you can’t see them in the grass. They are wide enough to take your complete wheel, so when you drop into one the bike slams to a dead stop and you topple over. I just do not have the strength anymore to try and stop the bike going down. I get so gatvol of elephant tracks that I swear that if we run into a herd I’ll fucking assault them.

The tsetse situation in the meantime had escalated into a full blown slaughter. We are riding seriously technical ridges, standing on the pegs with one hand on the throttle, and the other hand crazily slapping away at your backside like someone being attacked by a swarm of bees. The second you stop, they swarm around front and come inside your helmet, trying to bite you on the face. Both of us get bitten badly.

Here is the one pic we took. Elephant tracks, some as deep as your knee and wide enough to take any of your wheels. Try to put your foot out and it disappears down another hole.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010545/857974516_9tqCd-L.jpg)



We emerge out of the grass to find ourselves in a village, and at a gate leading into South Luangwa National Park again. We pull up, order water, drink it, order more, drink that, order more, drink that and order a last one and when I’ve finished that I hope I don’t puke it out again because it feels like I might have overdone it. We also fill up a 5l container. We must be looking pretty bad because all the faces staring at us have that “what the fuck?” expression.

Reaching a village is a hell of a thing for us, and these okes confirm the worst is over. Another 6km of the same grass, then 6km of good road and we should reach the Mutinonda river, where there is a community camp. We can sleep there. We ask if there is a bridge and the answer is; “There is a magnificent bridge sir.”

So we head off into the same shit, but knowing it is limited to 6km, makes it totally different. When we join a proper path we see fresh vehicle tracks and we know our world has changed for the better. The road is tweespoor with stretches of fine white sand periodically that lasts for a couple of hundred metres at a time. The center ridge is black mud that had hardened, with an edge like a 90 degree curb where the tyres of vehicles have shaped it. The sandy bits are somewhat tricky because they are a very narrow V, trees to the outside and the curb on the inside. Hennie seems to struggle more and drops back and I try to get more stability by going faster.

I exit another sandy stretch at about 70 km/h and I must’ve tapped off just a second too early. The front wheel slips two inches to the right and starts getting intimate with the curb. Trying to jump it would lead to a nasty cross up and high side so I don’t even attempt it. At 60-70 km/h we go down. I make sure I get shot of the bike, because the last time we went down at speed the X spent the best part of 40 metres sliding on top of me.

I get up quickly to check if all is working and walk off in the wrong direction for a second or two until I recompose. 

I get off extremely lightly. I have bruises and abrasions on my left leg, hip, arm and shoulder but I break nothing. The bike loses a mirror, my GPS holder breaks and the tank gets some houding, but everything else can be straightened and re-tightened.

Just like the first day, three km from the end.

After getting things up and working, we, and our tsetse cloud, work our way gingerly to the Mutinondo river, which turns out to have a nice new big bridge. Very beautiful river too. You can see straight to the bottom, yet it runs at a fierce speed. We appreciate all this while swinging shirts around us to keep the tsetse cloud humming.

The camp is right next to the bridge and we waste no time to get a rinse down in the river. We did 70 km for the day and we had to work hard at every single one.

We are told that we can have a bungalow, but that they do not have mattresses and bedding as they are not open for the season yet. How much for the bungalow? “No sir, it is free, we cannot charge you because we are not open.”

I get my tent and stretcher set up, but when I lie down I go into a feverish type of shutdown. I hear Hennie later, making food, but I cannot move. Late that night I force myself up because I am concerned at having not had anything to eat the whole day, but when I swallow the first mouthful I know the next one will have me puking so I leave it. I sleep very badly because of back pain.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010546/857974684_GPG7N-L.jpg)



I have always maintained that there is no such thing as a bad day’s riding. I was wrong.

This has been the worst day of riding I have ever had, by a long margin.

For example, there was a day, some six years ago, where it so happened that I raced flat-out into a field of semi submerged rocks. The surprisingly violent off that resulted, broke my forearm into six pieces. This was at about eleven in the morning. It also turned out that I could not get to a hospital until the day thereafter.

Now, if I had to choose between re-living that day, and re-living today, I would choose the broken arm day with no hesitation. I still have some good memories of that day. Before I crashed I was having the perfect ride, fast, in control, I was so in sync with that bike. It was fantastic, it still makes me smile.





There was nothing good about today however, nothing at all.




Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: JMOL on May 18, 2010, 08:00:35 pm
Nice, very nice.

Kamp Staaldraad.  ;D
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Pullaway on May 18, 2010, 08:07:19 pm
Some real extreme adventure riding, thanks for sharing Metaljockey!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: JackShit on May 18, 2010, 08:18:53 pm
Gr8!!! Thanks!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Would I? on May 18, 2010, 08:19:56 pm
Respect...... This is a awsome read!!!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Beltzer on May 18, 2010, 09:05:13 pm
I again stand in awe...  Sir :)


Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: oo7 on May 18, 2010, 09:14:31 pm
Liewe bliksem.

This makes "Angola - its not like they said" (which up until now ranked no 1 on my all time list of the hardcore of the ‘farking hardcordest’ ride reports ever produced here on Earth  and also on March, Jupiter and Venus) reads like a nursery rhyme.

You just know it must be tough if Mr Platinum Jockey starts complaining, taking siestas and ordering liter of water after liter of water instead of throwing back quarts.

In fact - I am starting to wonder if the whole thing was not staged and all pics were CGI's.

 :biggrin:

Couple of questions if you don't mind:

How much weight did you and Hennie loose during the trip? And why did you only eat once a day –due to unavailability of food or limited packing space?

What kind of stretcher did you use as a bed?

What front tyre did you fit on the BMX?

Thanks MJ – apart from the actual content itself, it is also refreshing to read such a technically well written ride report.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: domstes on May 18, 2010, 10:15:51 pm
MetalJocakey, you don't do normal!?  :thumleft:

I did a ride three weeks ago were 60km took us 8hours, but this day after day....

Hi My name is domstes and I am a wuss.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: funacide on May 18, 2010, 11:20:13 pm
MJ

Do you still think it was a bad days riding? I don't think I have ever done riding like that but I always get to take away a good thought or 2 after some time has past?

Also would like to know about the stretcher?
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: PeterO on May 18, 2010, 11:48:09 pm
It's not only the trip that is unbelievable, or the spirit, it's the way it's all captured in words and pictures that makes us feel the beauty, the frustration and the exhaustion.  This RR is pure genius.

Thank you is inadequate!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: KAT-WP on May 19, 2010, 08:57:12 am
again here reading ur report, u describe ur experiences so well, i can picture clearly how u guys must have felt, with the heat, the tsetse flies freaking u out by the minute, the gnarlied routes u were riding.......i feel exhausted just imagining the routes u conquered :D

u guys have ridden some really hectic stuff, been in places that not many of us can get 2 do..

u & Hennie work well 2gether as a team which is vital.... yet another trip of urs that is simply BRILLIANT ;D
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: letsgofishing on May 19, 2010, 08:58:26 am
I nominate this as the BEST ride report EVER!

Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: oo7 on May 19, 2010, 09:41:03 am
I nominate this as the BEST ride report EVER!

It makes me think of that old (and slightly adjusted) Chuck Norris joke:

"When Metaljockey crosses water, he doesn't get wet, the river get's Metaljockey'd"

Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: KTMjedi on May 19, 2010, 09:57:50 am
I actually hate reading your posts (well not really) because it makes me feel like a soft cock  :-[...BUT BUT I am going to toughen up and do a trip like this soon.....I hope ???.

Also THANK you for the comment on the MITAS TYRES and very happy that Hennie enjoyed them  ;D. Just as a note (and punt..sorry  :-[) Hennie used the MITAS E-09 Dakar rear which has a tougher rubber compound and additional ply to help avoid cuts and punctures and he also used the MITAS C-17 Dakar Front with the same construction (designed for the Dakar race). MJ Used the Tubliss back and front on his bike  ;D....nice to see my products helping guys to enjoy there trips....NOW I need to find a tsetsi fly killer  :D.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: cloudgazer on May 19, 2010, 09:58:07 am
Holy crap that last day was hardcore.
it would have been the death of me. i would have demanded to be airlifted outta there.

kudos to you guys.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Maverick on May 19, 2010, 10:28:31 am
Eendag as ek groot is wil ek ook trips soos MJ doen en sulke pragtige pennevrug voorendag bring vir die skares  :biggrin:

**Subscribed**

Awesome  :ricky:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: DirtyHarry on May 19, 2010, 10:29:27 am
Brilliant read and great pics. Thanks for going through hell for a great RR.
Just one question MJ.
Did you expect anything like this when you were planning the ride?
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 19, 2010, 10:36:51 am

Couple of questions if you don't mind:

How much weight did you and Hennie loose during the trip? And why did you only eat once a day –due to unavailability of food or limited packing space?
We did'nt check but I am almost back to original. We ended off the trip with three days at Chobe Safari Lodge in Kasane with our wives. Dinners are buffet affairs and we did our bit to resupply. Watching Hennie apply himself to a buffet is something to see. No conversation, not even eye contact with the other people at the table, just focus and dogged determination. He sees abuffet as a personal challenge.
The eating only once a day is not planned, it just turns out that way on trips. At home I normally have breakfast at 10 or 11, so we are not used to eating that early in the morning. We don't eat during the day because we are riding.

What kind of stretcher did you use as a bed?
It's an ATG stretcher.

I have been through a myriad of blow up and self inflating matresses. My problem is that I often bush camp, and it is just impossible to avoid punctures, no matter how hard you try to avoid thorns and the like.I have punctered every single one and I have never been able to find a stretcher that is light weight and compact enough to take on the bike.

This one is. Both light weight and compact. I carry it in my bag with my clothes and stuff.
Check it out.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Other/General-shared/DSCN4678/872030058_iagKx-M.jpg)

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Other/General-shared/DSCN4686/872031258_aUnfj-M.jpg)

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Other/General-shared/DSCN4681/872030483_5goku-M.jpg)

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Other/General-shared/DSCN4685/872031137_Zxeus-M.jpg)

Michnus is the guy to speak to. ATG is his brand, focused on quality light weight stuff for bikers.

What front tyre did you fit on the BMX?

Dunlop D606, probably the ideal tyre for the 650 and smaller class.


Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Minora on May 19, 2010, 10:37:33 am
Holy Smacker - bietjie rof vir my !!

Ja, sure.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Lesotho-trip-Feb-06/lesfeb06-100/58715586_Hgz56-L-1.jpg)

Nardus, hoekom was jy nie saam op die trip nie?  Lyk vir my dat jy een helse great trip gemis het!

Al wat ek wil sê is Dankie dat jy al die great trips met al ons honger honde deel!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 19, 2010, 10:43:43 am
MJ

Do you still think it was a bad days riding? I don't think I have ever done riding like that but I always get to take away a good thought or 2 after some time has past?

Also would like to know about the stretcher?


Yes.

 I often have rides where I am overstretched, and have always been able to enjoy them and the memory.

Not this day, it was one thoroughly kak day.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 19, 2010, 10:50:35 am
Brilliant read and great pics. Thanks for going through hell for a great RR.
Just one question MJ.
Did you expect anything like this when you were planning the ride?

Yes we knew there were going to be difficult days. We went against advice, so we got what we deserved.

We were prepared for lots of rain, mud and rivers. In the end we got less mud than we expected, no rain except the last day and fantastic rivers, lots of them.

We did not expect the grass to be so overwhelming though.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: IDR on May 19, 2010, 10:54:34 am
Dude, so far, SPECTACLAR!!!!!

I check back every half hour or so for updates... come on man, hurry up! :)

It's an ATG stretcher.

I have been through a myriad of blow up and self inflating matresses. My problem is that I often bush camp, and it is just impossible to avoid punctures, no matter how hard you try to avoid thorns and the like.I have punctered every single one and I have never been able to find a stretcher that is light weight and compact enough to take on the bike.

This one is. Both light weight and compact. I carry it in my bag with my clothes and stuff.
Check it out.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Other/General-shared/DSCN4686/872031258_aUnfj-M.jpg)

Michnus is the guy to speak to. ATG is his brand, focused on quality light weight stuff for bikers.

Nice hippy pants!

Michnus, care to elaborate?  Online catalogue?  How much?
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: SlowPoke on May 19, 2010, 10:56:35 am

Couple of questions if you don't mind:

How much weight did you and Hennie loose during the trip? And why did you only eat once a day –due to unavailability of food or limited packing space?
We did'nt check but I am almost back to original. We ended off the trip with three days at Chobe Safari Lodge in Kasane with our wives. Dinners are buffet affairs and we did our bit to resupply. Watching Hennie apply himself to a buffet is something to see. No conversation, not even eye contact with the other people at the table, just focus and dogged determination. He sees abuffet as a personal challenge.
The eating only once a day is not planned, it just turns out that way on trips. At home I normally have breakfast at 10 or 11, so we are not used to eating that early in the morning. We don't eat during the day because we are riding.

What kind of stretcher did you use as a bed?
It's an ATG stretcher.

I have been through a myriad of blow up and self inflating matresses. My problem is that I often bush camp, and it is just impossible to avoid punctures, no matter how hard you try to avoid thorns and the like.I have punctered every single one and I have never been able to find a stretcher that is light weight and compact enough to take on the bike.

This one is. Both light weight and compact. I carry it in my bag with my clothes and stuff.
Check it out.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Other/General-shared/DSCN4678/872030058_iagKx-M.jpg)

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Other/General-shared/DSCN4686/872031258_aUnfj-M.jpg)

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Other/General-shared/DSCN4681/872030483_5goku-M.jpg)

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Other/General-shared/DSCN4685/872031137_Zxeus-M.jpg)

Michnus is the guy to speak to. ATG is his brand, focused on quality light weight stuff for bikers.

What front tyre did you fit on the BMX?

Dunlop D606, probably the ideal tyre for the 650 and smaller class.



Ping MICHNUS - I want to order one please.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: FarScape on May 19, 2010, 10:58:28 am
That ATG stretcher packed away in that small bag. I like. Need to get me one of them for sure.

I've been told a long time ago that when you get stung by a tsetse fly you can get some kind of sleep sickness. Didn't you two go sick for been stung so many time?
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Diesel & Dust on May 19, 2010, 11:19:41 am
Come Michnus - own up >:D

Thanks again for the report MJ :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: atkinse on May 19, 2010, 11:22:03 am
Where did you get it and cost?
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: letsgofishing on May 19, 2010, 11:32:44 am

Michnus, care to elaborate?  Online catalogue?  How much?
[/quote]

Also interested!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: JC on May 19, 2010, 11:34:01 am
skep 'n nuwe thread vir die stretcher, moenie dié thread opvoeter nie
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: CorCorlia on May 19, 2010, 11:35:19 am
WOW!! Absolute stunning report!!   :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: JMOL on May 19, 2010, 11:35:57 am
. . . . . . enjoy there trips....NOW I need to find a tsetsi fly killer   . . . . . . .

Get Metaljockey  & Hennie to do it  :biggrin:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: SlowPoke on May 19, 2010, 11:40:51 am
MetalJockey and Hennie are my heroes  :peepwall:  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 19, 2010, 12:18:34 pm
Mutinondo River to civilization

We get our things loaded up and as Hennie swings his helmet onto his head his eye catches something sitting in the earwell.

A scorpion!!!!

Damn, that could have been unpleasant. When we poke at it to try and get it to pose nicely for a photo, it scurries off into the inner recesses of the helmet. Hennie makes it clear to me that we will not move from here until the scorpion is retrieved. So we spend the better part of an hour stripping everything out of the helmet until we get to the little guy, looking a bit worse for wear.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4554/857912844_gVaAy-M.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4555/857912954_r9ZCu-M.jpg)



Pulling out of camp, the road is ready to mess with us right from the word go.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4557/857913249_38N8j-XL.jpg)



Hennie gets himself stuck in a rut at 430m.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4556/857913087_uPMjK-L.jpg)



I make it to 640m before I topple over.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010548/857974937_57SWx-L.jpg)



Lekker demoralizing when basic obstacles make you look like a total incompetent.

Even more demoralizing when my bloody bike will not start after we picked it up, because the battery is flat. The alternator is specced so low that it can not even keep a charge up if the fan is continuously running , like it did yesterday.

So running it downhill to jumpstart it, I lose the 640m I gained for the day.

When I pull my helmet back on something with a proper venom bites me on the forehead. (Upon taking apart my helmet for washing some days later I found it to have been a centipede)

When we get up the hill things go a lot better and we are able to make rapid progress, still lots of sandy tracks, and my confidence is a bit bruised but in relation to the grass forest of yesterday, this is luxury.

We also reach the escarpment where we climb up out of the Rift Valley, very beautiful, tight and technical but we do not stop for pics, I need to get a charge into the battery.

We do stop halfway up for a rest when that Mr Bean feeling invades our limbs again.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010550/857975383_syex2-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010549/857975171_4N4sG-L.jpg)



When we get to the top of the escarpment we find a control point, (still no beer, four days now...)and in the control book we notice that the previous vehicle signed out in December 2009. That must have been the bastard that made the deep ruts.

From here the last 30 odd kms is beautiful hard packed road and we smile all the way to the junction with the Great North Road.




Well that’s about it as far as the real trip goes. From here on we did about 1400km on tar down to Kasane in Botswana where our wives met us for some R&R which we sorely needed.





I will start another thread to deal with the issues I had with the X. Suffice to say that when I go on a bike trip to another country, I want to see new and wondrous things, I want to drink beer with the locals and ride entertaining terrain. What I do not want to do, is to be making shims from Fray Bentos tins.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010554/857975639_yX3nP-L.jpg)



Nor do I want to be welding safety critical components in the bundu.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010569/857977523_PFhBY-L.jpg)


Although I must say, this tractor driven alternator welder is the sweetest welder I have ever used. Really sweet.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010568/857977280_UWEoY-L.jpg)



Nor do I want to spend hours under a hot tin roof having proper parts made up to replace the poor quality shit BMW chose to equip this bike with.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010562/857976441_TTEN9-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010561/857976161_UZnhG-L.jpg)




Crossing the Zambezi marks the end of the trip.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010572/857978104_VQXhG-L.jpg)



From day one until we hit the tar to return to Kasane, I only had dry boots for two days. The Zambezi makes sure we leave with wet boots just for old times sake. The river is so high you get offloaded in the water.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010573/857978433_kLKbL-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010575/857978723_icrid-L.jpg)



There you go guys and girls, I’ll do a final post to wrap up tomorrow.




Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 19, 2010, 12:24:34 pm

I've been told a long time ago that when you get stung by a tsetse fly you can get some kind of sleep sickness. Didn't you two go sick for been stung so many time?

Yes, I've been doing some reading up on that believe me. Sleeping sickness can be treated if you catch it early. If not it is irreversable and fatal.

We haven't shown symptoms, and the tsetse where we were has the Rhodensius strain, which is the most aggressive one, symptoms will show up quite quickly.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: GlenInk on May 19, 2010, 12:28:53 pm
Very cool  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: madmike999 on May 19, 2010, 12:30:57 pm
MJ you guys are the shit :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: funacide on May 19, 2010, 12:49:41 pm
Awesome stuff... I really enjoyed reading the report and am actually disappointed that it is now finished...

Thanks for sharing MJ... Well written and a great adventure.

Another one for the Role of Honor?
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Hentie @ Riders on May 19, 2010, 12:51:26 pm
Great RR MJ en dankie dat jy dit met ons gedeel het  :thumleft:  :thumleft:  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: PinkGoat on May 19, 2010, 12:59:52 pm
Disappointed the read is over  :'(
I could just feel your frustration with your hellish day of riding... There are two insects I absolutely despise... flies and mosquitoes... the tsetse seems to be both of these morphed into one hateful machine of a bug!! Can't imagine having to endure what you two did... Hats off!!!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Smithey on May 19, 2010, 01:07:14 pm
Waiting in anticipation on the bikes report and issues encountered  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: edgy on May 19, 2010, 01:22:51 pm
Waiting in anticipation on the bikes report and issues encountered  :thumleft:
No doubt! :biggrin:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: SlowPoke on May 19, 2010, 01:25:04 pm
This truly is the stuff of legends...

Do we now need like special badges or handshakes to buy you blokes a beer?
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: SandMan on May 19, 2010, 02:46:53 pm
Very cool read, thanks!!!

I have been planning a very similar route for sometime in the future, obviously not in the wet season like you! Would you share any GPS tracks, if any, for cross reference?
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Klomper (RIP) on May 19, 2010, 03:31:35 pm
I don't want to wait another six months for another read like this...so I reckon we should start a fund...send MJ and co on trips like these one more often!

Well done, this is just fkn amazing! awesome read  :thumleft:

Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 19, 2010, 04:06:33 pm
Very cool read, thanks!!!

I have been planning a very similar route for sometime in the future, obviously not in the wet season like you! Would you share any GPS tracks, if any, for cross reference?


Sure, pm me your e-mail adress.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Wheelman on May 19, 2010, 04:13:15 pm
Mj and Hennie, Congrats!

Fortune definitely favours the brave.... :laughing4:

I love reading about your adventures!!! What a pleasure. :ricky:

Someone should send a link of your RR to the R&D people who manufacture and design bikes. Perhaps then they will get it right.

Thanks for the RR.

Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: KAT-WP on May 19, 2010, 04:13:44 pm
thx again for taking the time & effort putting such an amazing RR together for us  :thumleft:

i wish there was more to come..
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Abel on May 19, 2010, 04:23:43 pm
This RR was a pleasure and a privilege to read thanks ones again.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Swanniebraai on May 19, 2010, 04:32:42 pm
MJ, this is not just a RR, not just the best read ever, this is sort of VIRTUAL REALITY!!!

You get sucked into this and almost relive the moments with you guys (without the hard parts that is)!

Write a book . . . nah write many books, you will not be sorry, your books will look after you once your too old to ride (whats the chance with you, haha)

MJ and Hennie, I respect you!!!!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Tagsy on May 19, 2010, 04:37:27 pm
Amazing report hats off gentleman, brilliant report.  HARD CORE

Curious as to where you got the stretcher, sleeping on a 10mm foam matress is making my back crash..............
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: LeonDude on May 19, 2010, 06:16:23 pm
Thanks for another great report. It's obvious that both of you have balls of steel and other parts of steel to match!  :thumleft:  :thumleft:  :thumleft:  :thumleft:  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: CrazyPorra on May 19, 2010, 06:23:49 pm
One word !!! Awesome !!!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Tonteldoos on May 19, 2010, 08:32:17 pm
Awesome stuff... I really enjoyed reading the report and am actually disappointed that it is now finished...

Thanks for sharing MJ... Well written and a great adventure.

Another one for the Role of Honor?
+1
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Sakkie on May 19, 2010, 08:52:54 pm
MJ  -Thank you once again for sharing this with us !
These trips of yours are most of our dreams !

:notworthy:  All I can say is RESPECT !   :notworthy:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Colyn on May 20, 2010, 01:19:58 am
Thanks ... great trip. Respek manne.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Excalibur on May 20, 2010, 06:54:09 am
Mooi manne, dis nou fokken mooi. Hats of, well done.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 20, 2010, 08:31:02 am
A last word

Zambia

We had both traveled through Zambia before  but only using it as transit. This time we spent enough time to form an opinion.

I was surprised to find the northern side of Kariba totally unutilized, I would think that there is massive tourism potential. It is very different from the Zimbabwean side though, no wildlife to speak of.

The people are great. A large proportion speaks English very well. We found Zambians to be courteous, interested and very helpful. The one thing that really stood out for me is that they are joyful. As a people, they are generally happy, you can see it in the faces and hear it in the singing and it is obvious when you speak to them.

We felt very safe, while bush camping we were always in the vicinity of a village or people. Only one night did I sleep with a knife in my tent, and that was more a general feeling of unease caused by the wildlife situation.

Alcohol seems to not have much popularity. On the whole trip we saw one, only one drunk. That is extraordinary.

The place is missionaried to death. Mud huts abound with signs of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists etc etc. A noticeable proportion of Land Rovers and Cruisers were missionaries. We were asked whether we were missionaries.

The country is very low on infrastructure. I think that is what sets South Africa apart from a lot of other African countries.

I was asked by a local in what he had to do, to be able to afford a bike like mine. The man was very earnest, he wanted advice on how to be able to make the kind of money that would allow the purchase of such a machine. I looked around, and the best I could come up with is “it is easier to make money in South Africa”.  Not very helpful, I know.

The village he stays in has two small shops selling the absolute basics. I was thinking he could build a couple of huts or shops and let it to others. But there is no need for commercial or residential rental accommodation. If people need a structure they build one. They grow and raise their own food. In any event, the disposable income in the village must be almost nothing. It is a subsistence lifestyle. The only way to make any useful money would be to leave and go to a city. And in these communities, you will be leaving behind all your friends and family, your home since you’ve been born, your support structure. I do not think that it would be a fair trade.

Although there is enough land and water to raise probably a variety of crops, there was no way to get those crops to a market, the road was only barely travelable when we were there, by November it will be useless again until next year April/May.

The way I see it, the rainy season shuts down most of the country for a good part of the year, there are basically just a handful of paved roads, the main routes. If you are not positioned next to one of them, commerce is not for you. So 90% of the population lives a rural lifestyle like it has been lived in Africa for thousands of years. Imagine being the government of a country with a population that can not be taxed, because they have no money.

I can see why South Africa is seen as a land of milk and honey by these people, hell, I see South Africa as a land of milk and honey. Roads, electricity, shops, industry everywhere you turn.

Travelling brings perspective.



The Trip

I made a big fuss about  the day we travelled up the Corridor road, because it was the worst day of riding I have ever had. But it is insignificant, it was one day only.

Every one of the other days was fantastic. I have never had so much quality riding condensed into one trip. I almost did not write this report. It is difficult to make it interesting because all you can really say is “we rode the best tracks, and then some even better ones, and then we rode some more that was mind blowing, and then we rode some fantastic paadjies, and then we rode a track even better than the previous one” and on and on.

This trip is for the kind of bikers that thoroughly enjoy riding. It’s a rider’s trip. I can highly recommend it. Also, if possible, do it at the same time of year. The fact that we had to deal with swollen rivers and washed away bridges and roads and mud, all contributed to the enjoyment. Timing is everything. If we came three weeks earlier of course, we would not have been able to do most of the trip. When I come again, I will do it at the same time of year.

This trip had many firsts, crossing rivers that anywhere else, I would have said ‘no way’, the pontoon thing, cotton soil, grass that tower 3-4m into the air, being wet for so long etc. It’s also the first time I have been called Bwana. I learned quite a bit about fine throttle control. I learned a lot about hunting operations.

Zambia combines some rare things, water available everywhere, friendly people, and the highest quality riding.




Kasane

Just a couple of pics to end off. This is the first time we ended a trip with a small getaway with the girls and it was well worth it.

Chobe Safari Lodge

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4672/857915471_JrWo8-L.jpg)

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010679/857982314_xPMm6-L.jpg)



Botswana has the tourism thing down to an art form. The staff at this lodge were perfect. Imagine the perfect reception staff, waiters and drivers, they are here.

The game viewing from the boat is also really excellent.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010584/857978997_j2nkA-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/IMG0844/857915999_tve7P-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010604/857980178_VCRhx-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010600/857979929_DT4KZ-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4632/857913742_mE6YL-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4635/857914215_5n5oa-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4645/857914554_LghAT-L.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/IMG0853/873879155_CXgW7-M.jpg)


(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4675/857915780_5WD7H-L.jpg)



Hennie got some Tiger fishing in.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010658/857982033_Hf4k4-XL.jpg)


And the chef prepared it for him at no charge.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010686/857982709_fmGwB-L.jpg)



This was one of our most expensive trips yet, what with flying back and forth, lodges and so on, but damn, it was well worth it.

Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: SandMan on May 20, 2010, 08:51:32 am
Chobe Safari Lodge is probably the nicest lodge for the price up there. We go just about every July for a few days (4x4, not bikes) and always experience something new.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: IDR on May 20, 2010, 08:53:18 am
wow - awesome!!

We're planning a trip (in the 4x4) through Zim and Bots next year - I suspect setting a week aside for Chobe might be well worthwhile! :)

Do you think it would be worthwhile to skirt Kariba around the North (Zam) or the South (Zim)?

Again, a fantastic RR MJ, legendary.

So, what about the bike then?
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: EtienneXplore on May 20, 2010, 08:53:38 am
Absolutely brilliant, thank you so much for sharing your adventure and for putting in the time and effort to produce yet another stunning ride report, I think I speak on behalf off all who read it.

It is clear that you had issues with the X-Challenge, and we will read about in the relevant thread, but how did the Hennie's bike hold up. Apart from the foot peg, was there any other issues? I would think the 800 would be a bit on the heavy side for a trip like this?

Thanks!!

 :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Gat Slag on May 20, 2010, 08:55:23 am
Thanks vir die "encore"!!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS on May 20, 2010, 08:58:27 am
Hel jy gaan eendag n klomp stories hê om in die ouetehuis te vertel!! :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Minora on May 20, 2010, 08:58:58 am
Weereens baie baie dankie MJ, jy is regtig 'n Inspirasie, jy en Hennie mag maar bike ry en stories skryf  :deal:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Diesel & Dust on May 20, 2010, 09:03:04 am
MJ , I would love to get your and Hennies opinion on the 800
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 20, 2010, 09:19:21 am
wow - awesome!!

We're planning a trip (in the 4x4) through Zim and Bots next year - I suspect setting a week aside for Chobe might be well worthwhile! :)

Do you think it would be worthwhile to skirt Kariba around the North (Zam) or the South (Zim)?



The South would be more rewarding for a cage, loads of parks and animals and usable roads. The North side is challenging terrain for a bike, but it will be downright unpleasant for passengers in a cage. There is also a substantial section that has been abandoned and you will have to clear bush and build road quite often, good for the Rambos but not a family outing.

Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: bradleys on May 20, 2010, 09:23:09 am
Just finished reading this epic story, what a trip ,well done,hats off to you sirs.I really enjoy reading your trips,looking forward to the next one. Hopefully see you at the ec bash  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 20, 2010, 09:32:44 am
Absolutely brilliant, thank you so much for sharing your adventure and for putting in the time and effort to produce yet another stunning ride report, I think I speak on behalf off all who read it.

It is clear that you had issues with the X-Challenge, and we will read about in the relevant thread, but how did the Hennie's bike hold up. Apart from the foot peg, was there any other issues? I would think the 800 would be a bit on the heavy side for a trip like this?

Thanks!!

 :thumleft:

No, that 800 is 'n yster. Hennie upgraded the front suspension through I think Martin Paetzold, and since then he cannot be happier. The bike had no issues whatsoever and ran cooler than mine when we were plowing into grass forests.

The 800 is heavier than mine and I am epic about going as light as you can, but the bike is very well balanced. Honestly the only place I could see that the 800 was not keeping up was when having to lift the front over obstacles at speed. I could get the front up at will to clear holes and ditches and the like where Hennie had to shave off speed to prevent too hard a hit.

The one benefit with a heavier bike is that it deals better with added weight such as luggage. Our water was carried by Hennie for instance, his bike didn't feel it.

I only ever get to ride the 800 in the heavy technical shit where there is a good chance of damaging the bike (Hennie is of the shortlegged variety). Obviously it is limited to the slowest clutch controllled kind of riding but I do not like the twitchyness of the throttle off idle at all, nor the grabbiness of the clutch. That bike is a lot harder work when you are riding slippery cambers and the like.


Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: cloudgazer on May 20, 2010, 09:34:08 am

It is clear that you had issues with the X-Challenge, and we will read about in the relevant thread, but how did the Hennie's bike hold up. Apart from the foot peg, was there any other issues? I would think the 800 would be a bit on the heavy side for a trip like this?


I was thinking about this trip and the bikes last night.
the 800 and X  performed just as well as a smaller bike would have. I think any bike would have got bogged down, pontooned, etc. no matter the size.
A smaller bike of course, would just be easier to extract from those situations.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: doublediamond on May 20, 2010, 09:56:03 am
BWANA,

I am humbled by your spirit of wanderlust, thank you for sharing. Your passion is infectious.

FREEDOM
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Would I? on May 20, 2010, 10:15:25 am
BWANA,

I am humbled by your spirit of wanderlust, thank you for sharing. Your passion is infectious.

FREEDOM

Hi jack on.

DD ......... you owe us the rest of your RR....  :pot: :pot:  I hope this inspires you to finish it  :lamer:

Hi Jack off.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Wooly Bugger on May 20, 2010, 10:18:16 am
awesome RR!  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
respect!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: HennieHoliday on May 20, 2010, 12:02:50 pm
MJ , I would love to get your and Hennies opinion on the 800

MJ, thanx for wording our xperience in a way only you can do.
As you all know by now i had the privilege to do a few trips with MJ & Nardus, & you have to choose your buddies very well when the going gets tough.
There were times on this trip when we both wanted to throw a Bitch Fit or get a piss paal to xcrete your frustrations on. Not once did MJ ever loose his cool or used me to piss upon.
You are my NR1 buddy for xtreme trips like this. ( Hereby do i confirm that i am not under the influence of drugs upon writing this. )

From all the available scoots the 800 is my weapon of choice. I can do a trip like this and back home use it as my vehicle to get along on the tar. The fuel consumption is great which is a thing when fuel is skaars. The only mod really necessary is the front forks.
But then again any bike is cool as long as you are on it.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Dewie on May 20, 2010, 01:03:55 pm

Couple of questions if you don't mind:

How much weight did you and Hennie loose during the trip? And why did you only eat once a day –due to unavailability of food or limited packing space?
We did'nt check but I am almost back to original. We ended off the trip with three days at Chobe Safari Lodge in Kasane with our wives. Dinners are buffet affairs and we did our bit to resupply. Watching Hennie apply himself to a buffet is something to see. No conversation, not even eye contact with the other people at the table, just focus and dogged determination. He sees abuffet as a personal challenge.
The eating only once a day is not planned, it just turns out that way on trips. At home I normally have breakfast at 10 or 11, so we are not used to eating that early in the morning. We don't eat during the day because we are riding.

What kind of stretcher did you use as a bed?
It's an ATG stretcher.

I have been through a myriad of blow up and self inflating matresses. My problem is that I often bush camp, and it is just impossible to avoid punctures, no matter how hard you try to avoid thorns and the like.I have punctered every single one and I have never been able to find a stretcher that is light weight and compact enough to take on the bike.

This one is. Both light weight and compact. I carry it in my bag with my clothes and stuff.
Check it out.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Other/General-shared/DSCN4678/872030058_iagKx-M.jpg)

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Other/General-shared/DSCN4686/872031258_aUnfj-M.jpg)

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Other/General-shared/DSCN4681/872030483_5goku-M.jpg)

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Other/General-shared/DSCN4685/872031137_Zxeus-M.jpg)

Michnus is the guy to speak to. ATG is his brand, focused on quality light weight stuff for bikers.

What front tyre did you fit on the BMX?



MJ, from what i gather is that Hennie did not have this stretcher, is there any reason for this, or was the one you took along a prototype?

Looks like a nice bit of kit  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: ThinkMike on May 20, 2010, 01:14:54 pm
MJ  - this RR is what it is all about (for me). The challenge and the reward - physical and mental hardship and the obvious elation where you just have to make a plan even when there is at first no easy answer – fantastic. The combination of all the components of your trip experience coming together, in a very well conveyed RR with the perfect combo of pics and commentary has us all chomping at the bit.

I read your discussion on the 800 (and the x) which is an area of interest to me. I would appreciate your opinion - I am also of the VERY Shortlegged variety. For those of us short shits – what would your bike of choice have been for this trip?

With your “pack as light as possible”, was there anything you could have left or should have taken with?  Also would you share your full packing list between the 2 of you.
MJ & Hennie Brilliant stuff - TM
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: fat b on May 20, 2010, 01:17:54 pm
Great great great great great RR !
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Berm_Rooster on May 20, 2010, 01:30:34 pm
Truly a great trip gents.

How manyth RoH report would this be for you MJ?
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Diesel & Dust on May 20, 2010, 01:37:18 pm
MJ , I would love to get your and Hennies opinion on the 800

MJ, thanx for wording our xperience in a way only you can do.
As you all know by now i had the privilege to do a few trips with MJ & Nardus, & you have to choose your buddies very well when the going gets tough.
There were times on this trip when we both wanted to throw a Bitch Fit or get a piss paal to xcrete your frustrations on. Not once did MJ ever loose his cool or used me to piss upon.
You are my NR1 buddy for xtreme trips like this. ( Hereby do i confirm that i am not under the influence of drugs upon writing this. )

From all the available scoots the 800 is my weapon of choice. I can do a trip like this and back home use it as my vehicle to get along on the tar. The fuel consumption is great which is a thing when fuel is skaars. The only mod really necessary is the front forks.
But then again any bike is cool as long as you are on it.

Thanks hennie - great to have you on the forum - RESPECT man :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Nomad on May 20, 2010, 02:39:14 pm
This is what adventure biking is about! You cant do anything like this anywhere else in the world.Africa is the only continent for adventure biking in my opinoin! Brilliant Ride report MJ! The most entertaining read out there!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Vosperd on May 20, 2010, 04:09:17 pm
Great RR.

Respect.


 :ricky:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: >>Thump°C on May 20, 2010, 04:53:00 pm
Welcome Hennie
And again, well done guys and thanks for posting this. was and awe inspiring read.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Madala on May 20, 2010, 06:08:35 pm
Thanks for posting such a well written, grabbing report. Respecting your "vasbyt"!
  :notworthy:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Brakenjan on May 20, 2010, 06:35:41 pm
MJ , I would love to get your and Hennies opinion on the 800

MJ, thanx for wording our xperience in a way only you can do.
As you all know by now i had the privilege to do a few trips with MJ & Nardus, & you have to choose your buddies very well when the going gets tough.
There were times on this trip when we both wanted to throw a Bitch Fit or get a piss paal to xcrete your frustrations on. Not once did MJ ever loose his cool or used me to piss upon.
You are my NR1 buddy for xtreme trips like this. ( Hereby do i confirm that i am not under the influence of drugs upon writing this. )

From all the available scoots the 800 is my weapon of choice. I can do a trip like this and back home use it as my vehicle to get along on the tar. The fuel consumption is great which is a thing when fuel is skaars. The only mod really necessary is the front forks.
But then again any bike is cool as long as you are on it.

HennieHoliday, please go and introduce yourself at New Member Introductions.  :deal:

 :peepwall:

Before I get banned for three years, I'm just kidding of course.   ;) You guys have inspired my first adventure bike trip and you continue to do so. I have made peace with the fact that I'll never be able to do such a hard core trip myself, but doing it yearly vicariously through you guys is almost just as rewarding.

Thanks for sharing guys - much appreciated!!  :thumleft:

Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: plonker on May 20, 2010, 10:19:46 pm
MJ back to the bikes,would anything heavier than the 800 be to much to handle the type of terrain you guys rode ie the 800 was as big as you would go on such a trip.And is the 800 a tough bike as far as handling the constant offs.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Major Tom on May 21, 2010, 12:27:43 am
 :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Bhos on May 21, 2010, 04:28:24 am
MJ and Hennie, great RR!  Joined this site just to post this message. Writing from the U.S. and heard about this on the Expedition Portal. It would be incredible to visit SA and do a ride.  Keep it up and thanks, truly inspiring!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 21, 2010, 04:42:24 am
You are my NR1 buddy for xtreme trips like this. ( Hereby do i confirm that i am not under the influence of drugs upon writing this. )

Sheez Hennie, I didn't know you were the sensitive type.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 21, 2010, 04:46:02 am
MJ, from what i gather is that Hennie did not have this stretcher, is there any reason for this, or was the one you took along a prototype?

Looks like a nice bit of kit  :thumleft:

Yes, it was field trials for the prototype. Apparently I wasn't supposed to make it public, caught Michnus on the backfoot.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 21, 2010, 04:57:34 am
MJ  - this RR is what it is all about (for me). The challenge and the reward - physical and mental hardship and the obvious elation where you just have to make a plan even when there is at first no easy answer – fantastic. The combination of all the components of your trip experience coming together, in a very well conveyed RR with the perfect combo of pics and commentary has us all chomping at the bit.

I read your discussion on the 800 (and the x) which is an area of interest to me. I would appreciate your opinion - I am also of the VERY Shortlegged variety. For those of us short shits – what would your bike of choice have been for this trip?

With your “pack as light as possible”, was there anything you could have left or should have taken with?  Also would you share your full packing list between the 2 of you.
MJ & Hennie Brilliant stuff - TM


As to what bike - I don't know, whatever bike suits you. We had to carry quite a bit of fuel in places, but having done the trip and knowing where to find fuel, it could have been done with less.

The packing list is in XL spreadsheet form and too long to put on here.

We took two hammocks with and this time they did not get used at all. What mine did was get wet on day one and stayed wet until we were back in Botswana. Soaked cotton adds quite a bit of weight. The only other thing that did not get used was my riding jacket, halfway through the first day I had to take it off and from there on it was luggage. It was just too hot to use, every day was in the mid thirties.

Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 21, 2010, 05:04:10 am
MJ back to the bikes,would anything heavier than the 800 be to much to handle the type of terrain you guys rode ie the 800 was as big as you would go on such a trip.And is the 800 a tough bike as far as handling the constant offs.

No, I would have no objection to doing this trip with the 1200. It was not that it was undoably technical, it was just continuously technical.

If we looked after ourselves a bit better, it would have been a lot easier.

So I guess you would work a bit harder, but really, this trip could be done by any DS with a committed rider.

There were a lot of offs, but the 800 only twice went down hard. Yes, it is quite hardy, you have to remember, bending parts can be bent back, broken parts cannot. Case in point - if a Dakar falls on it's gear lever, the lever bends, if a X-Challenge falls on it's gear lever, the motor has to be split.


Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 21, 2010, 05:07:41 am
MJ and Hennie, great RR!  Joined this site just to post this message. Writing from the U.S. and heard about this on the Expedition Portal. It would be incredible to visit SA and do a ride.  Keep it up and thanks, truly inspiring!

Thank you Bhos. Appreciated.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Dewie on May 21, 2010, 07:18:30 am
MJ, from what i gather is that Hennie did not have this stretcher, is there any reason for this, or was the one you took along a prototype?

Looks like a nice bit of kit  :thumleft:

Yes, it was field trials for the prototype. Apparently I wasn't supposed to make it public, caught Michnus on the backfoot.

thanks for that MJ, and enjoy the Yamaha launch  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: APO on May 21, 2010, 08:26:18 am
Somebody call National Geographic - that trip deserves to be on TV - epic stuff.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: TornadoF5 on May 21, 2010, 08:35:45 am
MJ & Hennie

Well done to you both and all up to you for utilizing your lives in the way a lot of us dream of and maybe some of us one day will take the inspiration from this to break out from out shackles and go for it!

Thanx again
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: fat b on May 21, 2010, 09:43:24 am
I absolutly love reading your RR's , great writing style , thanx for sharing this special experience with us !  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: tok-tokkie on May 21, 2010, 02:15:37 pm
Thanks MJ.
You write extremely well.  That was a lot of work (as you alluded to).
The locals are always part of your report.  Your respect and empathy for them always shines through.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: express on May 21, 2010, 03:19:07 pm
B E F O K !!!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: roxenz on May 21, 2010, 03:21:25 pm
Somebody call National Geographic - that trip deserves to be on TV - epic stuff.

Seriously MJ, you guys should consider doing one of your trips on video.  I'll miss your photos (they're good) and especially your lean, dry writing style.  But video may bring another dimension (don't censor the language!) and may just be sold to one of the doccie channels on TV.  Do consider it.

Thanks for another brilliant RR!  :biggrin:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Sakkie on May 21, 2010, 03:40:13 pm
Somebody call National Geographic - that trip deserves to be on TV - epic stuff.

Seriously MJ, you guys should consider doing one of your trips on video.  

+1000   :thumleft:

Like The Long Way Down . . .   Just better ...  :biggrin:  No backup vehicles and all ... Real adventure  :mwink:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: I&horse on May 21, 2010, 04:01:42 pm
I want to go to Zambia!!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Jughead on May 21, 2010, 04:08:51 pm
Awesome MJ!!

If you ever consider doing a video, can I come along to operate the camera?  :biggrin:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Biker boy on May 21, 2010, 04:20:06 pm
shit is al wat ek kan se ek voel ek wil op my adv klim en begin te ry!!!!!


Awsoen awsome!!!!!!!

I am not worthy!!! dit is hoe a bike trip moet wees!!!!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: GreenMamba1974 on May 21, 2010, 08:33:47 pm
thanks metaljockey and hennie! 

another amazing, inspiring read!!!!!!!!!!!!

 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Gee S on May 21, 2010, 08:40:10 pm
Its been said before but I just have to say THIS IS AN AWESOME REPORT!!! Tank you very much :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Big E on May 22, 2010, 12:09:32 pm
 :biggrin:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 22, 2010, 01:08:43 pm
Fuck, that's almost scary.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: >>Thump°C on May 22, 2010, 02:18:54 pm
Nah.
Chuck needs denim to protect his upper body
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Andy660 on May 23, 2010, 12:20:35 pm
MJ , thanks to you and Hennie for an awesome RR.
Your RR`s are very inspiring , we all just want to take leave now and head for Zambia.

And to think we never actually take pics of the real kak part of the ride , because we are tying to stay on our bikes.

I`m sure it was even more difficult than the pics portray.
For that kind of trip , I think the mental strength is what will carry you through all those hardships.
So well done , pity the RR is over , I really enjoyed it.

See you at the bash.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Mzee on May 23, 2010, 03:03:31 pm
Gee  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Iron Shark on May 23, 2010, 07:35:35 pm
Bloody nice man!   ;D
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Just Blip It! on May 23, 2010, 11:47:57 pm
That was f@cking awesome reading as usual MJ, well done to you and Hennie! Big respect to you guys! :eek7:

I know Tsetsi flies well having spent enough time in the Zambezi valley, I have been munched on, punctured and abused by these flies enough to know what you guys went through, they are by far the worst fucking insect that I have ever encountered. For those of you that have been bitten by Horse flies, the bite is as painful, only thing is you are being bitten the whole time, sometimes 2 to 3 at the same time, and they bite you through your shirt and clothes! Unbelievably irritating and totally uncomfortable. One thing I learned about them, is that they are attracted to certain colours, blue being their favorite colour! Lucky none of you were riding a Yami! :biggrin:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: warnabrother on May 24, 2010, 11:10:49 am
wow, bloody awesome RR..

makes me miss home a lot.. I used to work in Zim, Zam, Bots etc.. I miss the people and the veld..

well done guys, quite a trip by the looks of it..
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: TornadoF5 on May 24, 2010, 02:57:59 pm
Awesome MJ!!

If you ever consider doing a video, can I come along to operate the camera?  :biggrin:

Jughead u'll keep falling!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: bosvark1 on May 24, 2010, 04:10:35 pm
MJ  Great Report!!

                            Do you have a contact number where one can buy one of those strechers?
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Jaqhama on May 24, 2010, 05:29:33 pm
The pics are great, but the quality of the writing is what makes MJ reports a winner.
And I love the way I can pick up bits of info along the way, like the Baobab tree disintergrating back into the bush, because it is fibrous.
The big surprise of course, was discovering you guys had pontoons with you.
I would have been less surprised if you had suddenly pulled a hovercraft out of your boot.  :imaposer:
Years ago Aussie riders going to Cape York used to float their bikes across a couple of the (now bridged) rivers using semi-trailer truck inner tubes.
I understand what a chore it is to produce a long RR like this. Up-load pics to a photo-hoster, then linked back to the ride site, then the dialogue added as the story progresses...but thanks MJ...Linda and I have been reading this RR all night and loving it.
The little things, like the Chameleon you rescued, the two pigs cooling off in the mud, the native women singing into the night and of course Hennie almost parking up next to the lions...thanks for detailing it all.

Cheers: Jaq. :study:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: KwaiPappaGaai on May 24, 2010, 05:42:34 pm
I AM ALMOST LOOSING IT IN MY OFFICE NOW!I NEED TO BE THERE. it is so awesome looking at these pics. I love it!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Welsh on May 24, 2010, 07:25:46 pm
This truly is the stuff of legends...

Do we now need like special badges or handshakes to buy you blokes a beer?
No but you need a good liver :peepwall:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Bessie on May 25, 2010, 12:30:49 pm
Quote
(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010283/857934824_96Ty9-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/DSCN4325/857895252_Uuq8b-L.jpg)


julle ouens is verdomp trigger happy...

wie haal nou ooit die kamera so gereeld uit?

dankie hoor.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: BigEd on May 25, 2010, 01:58:00 pm
Speechless... :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Vaalseun on May 25, 2010, 04:39:26 pm
MJ vir president. Hennie vir minister van bike-wese.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: BikerSmurf on May 25, 2010, 04:49:48 pm
Wow guys!!! Inspiring  ;D

Just when I think "I wanna go do it!!!" Something really crap happens to you guys, but then I read on and the smile creeps back again.... Shit, wanna go do it someday  :thumleft:

Awesome stuff guys, doesn't get any better (or worse) than that. But I guess that's where the love come in.... You have bad days, but it always gets better and worth it all! Right?  ;)

Hats off to you....
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: g1_ on May 25, 2010, 06:14:17 pm
Amazing trip and report!

WildDog should look into setting up a book with all the best ride reports. I always find it easier to read long texts in book form rather than on a PC screen. Obviously with all the pictures it might be quite costly to print though.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: flatty on May 25, 2010, 11:53:10 pm
thankx MJ and hennie................Just so brought back Africa to me.........narrative made me almost smell the african bush...its been too long for me... I wanna come home.
Just take it from me if fellow WD;s you are in the area, just get out and do it - or something similar because it aint always going to be there like that, something to tell yor grandkids.........and I wish I had done it at the time.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: gobby on May 26, 2010, 02:44:21 pm
Top Shelf stuff guys.

Good reading, excellent photo's and such a spirit of ADVenture.

How do you rate the local beer in Zambia?
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Skipskop on May 26, 2010, 08:58:52 pm
Respect to you guys and some fine writing.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Lootch67 on May 28, 2010, 11:26:24 am
Awesome stuff!!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 28, 2010, 04:05:39 pm
That was f@cking awesome reading as usual MJ, well done to you and Hennie! Big respect to you guys! :eek7:

I know Tsetsi flies well having spent enough time in the Zambezi valley, I have been munched on, punctured and abused by these flies enough to know what you guys went through, they are by far the worst fucking insect that I have ever encountered. For those of you that have been bitten by Horse flies, the bite is as painful, only thing is you are being bitten the whole time, sometimes 2 to 3 at the same time, and they bite you through your shirt and clothes! Unbelievably irritating and totally uncomfortable. One thing I learned about them, is that they are attracted to certain colours, blue being their favorite colour! Lucky none of you were riding a Yami! :biggrin:

There, you know what I'm talking about. I do not know how to explain how bad those fuckers are. But you got it here "by far the worst fucking insect that I have ever encountered".

Ditto

Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 28, 2010, 04:11:51 pm
MJ  Great Report!!

                            Do you have a contact number where one can buy one of those strechers?

There's a thread running here http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=50032.0 (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=50032.0).

Check from post no 46 on.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on May 28, 2010, 04:21:00 pm

How do you rate the local beer in Zambia?

Mosi - tolerable, forgettable.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: MaxThePanda on May 28, 2010, 09:19:45 pm
You were planning on giving us some feedback on problems with the X...?
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: eSKaPe on May 31, 2010, 09:17:54 am
Just got back from our trip up north and on reading this RR words fail me...
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: flipper on May 31, 2010, 11:22:05 am
Fark!! I,m speechless after reading this.Best report ever.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Vosperd on May 31, 2010, 09:38:27 pm
You were planning on giving us some feedback on problems with the X...?

x 1 - if only to learn from a general point of view and how to fix problems in remote areas. please let us have the link if the fred was already started.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: krister on May 31, 2010, 09:50:09 pm
R E S P E C T  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Dieskaap on June 03, 2010, 12:54:13 pm
Wow , baie cool report
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: bud500 on June 03, 2010, 02:27:21 pm
MJ, Hennie - Great report, glo julle weet hoe gelukkig julle 2 is om kwaliteit riding buddies te he. Daai pontoon "trick" was onverwags.

MJ, sounds like the X was a bit of a let down, with the benefit of hindsight, what would be your preferred bike for this trip?

I second Funacide's proposal for Hall of Fame status.

 :ricky: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: BlueBull2007 on June 04, 2010, 05:46:39 am
As usual an excellent report. Thanks for sharing.  :drif:

Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Tr0jan on June 04, 2010, 06:58:21 am

I will start another thread to deal with the issues I had with the X. Suffice to say that when I go on a bike trip to another country, I want to see new and wondrous things, I want to drink beer with the locals and ride entertaining terrain. What I do not want to do, is to be making shims from Fray Bentos tins.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010554/857975639_yX3nP-L.jpg)



Nor do I want to be welding safety critical components in the bundu.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010569/857977523_PFhBY-L.jpg)


Although I must say, this tractor driven alternator welder is the sweetest welder I have ever used. Really sweet.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010568/857977280_UWEoY-L.jpg)



Nor do I want to spend hours under a hot tin roof having proper parts made up to replace the poor quality shit BMW chose to equip this bike with.

(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010562/857976441_TTEN9-L.jpg)



(http://metaljockey.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Zambia-2010/P1010561/857976161_UZnhG-L.jpg)



Mr MJ!

Ive been keeping an eye out, but have not seen this thread... My popcorn is finished by now :) If ive missed it, please point me in a direction. (search does not help). If im still sane, and its not been posted, Ill wait patiently  O0

Super RR btw, as always!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Excalibur on June 04, 2010, 07:17:11 am
Mods, verewig nou maar hierdie verslag in die "Roll of Honour" kolom, dankie
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Welsh on June 04, 2010, 07:34:11 am
Mods, verewig nou maar hierdie verslag in die "Roll of Honour" kolom, dankie
I Agree, should be enterred :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on June 04, 2010, 09:09:40 am
Ive been keeping an eye out, but have not seen this thread... My popcorn is finished by now :) If ive missed it, please point me in a direction. (search does not help). If im still sane, and its not been posted, Ill wait patiently  O0

Super RR btw, as always!

I'll try and d it this weekend.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Tr0jan on June 04, 2010, 09:57:44 am
Ive been keeping an eye out, but have not seen this thread... My popcorn is finished by now :) If ive missed it, please point me in a direction. (search does not help). If im still sane, and its not been posted, Ill wait patiently  O0

Super RR btw, as always!

I'll try and d it this weekend.

Thx  Its really appreciated!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: charlw on June 06, 2010, 11:08:21 pm
Enjoyed reading your report, MJ.

Awesome adventure.

 :thumbsup:

Does Tabard or other insect repellent not discourage the tsetse flies?
They would drive me bossies.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Tweets on June 07, 2010, 09:19:45 pm
Amazing trip and report!

WildDog should look into setting up a book with all the best ride reports. I always find it easier to read long texts in book form rather than on a PC screen. Obviously with all the pictures it might be quite costly to print though.

Print it I'll be buying :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: SGB on June 07, 2010, 10:17:42 pm
Thanks for another amazing story!   8)   I only got to read the whole thread now, enjoyed the way you are able to capture the spirit and emotions and realities in pics and words.   Another 12/10.  :thumleft
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on June 08, 2010, 07:04:08 am
Enjoyed reading your report, MJ.

Awesome adventure.

 :thumbsup:

Does Tabard or other insect repellent not discourage the tsetse flies?
They would drive me bossies.

I sort of doubt it, these things bite you through your clothing, I do not think they will be put off by Tabard. Also we were sweating so much, the tabard would not last 30 min.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on June 08, 2010, 07:06:23 am
Ok, the thread about the problems I had with he X-Challenge is over here http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=51061.new#new (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=51061.new#new)
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Tr0jan on June 08, 2010, 07:06:58 am
Ok, the thread about the problems I had with he X-Challenge is over here http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=51061.new#new (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=51061.new#new)

YOU DA MAN!

Thx captn MJ!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Minora on June 10, 2010, 11:55:52 am
I quote Manumai from Advrider forum:"I am speachless...this is absolutely amazing
you guys are blessed to live in a place like Africa" (He is from NY)

MJ en Hennie, julle is great Ambassadeurs vir Africa  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: bmad on June 10, 2010, 12:28:20 pm
MJ, this just cements your spot as my all time favorite traveller, again  :biggrin:

It took a while for me to get through your report. I have however not decided if it was an amazing one or a f^%king amazing one  :ricky:

Well done, you certainly have big balls to do something like this :mwink:

I recall on our recent trip to Malawi, when we did the river crossing in the boats, the thought that went through my head was "Metaljockey eat your heart out.."
Only to come home to this RR  ::)

Well done and thank you for sharing  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Metaljockey on June 10, 2010, 01:07:31 pm
I recall on our recent trip to Malawi, when we did the river crossing in the boats, the thought that went through my head was "Metaljockey eat your heart out.."
Only to come home to this RR  ::)

Is this the trip Pistol was on? Are we going to see a report?
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Minora on June 10, 2010, 01:15:35 pm
I recall on our recent trip to Malawi, when we did the river crossing in the boats, the thought that went through my head was "Metaljockey eat your heart out.."
Only to come home to this RR  ::)

Is this the trip Pistol was on? Are we going to see a report?

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=49760.0
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Dora 9 on July 02, 2010, 10:56:03 am
ABSOLUTELY WICKED!!! I joined this forum after being shown parts of this thread by a fellow WildDog. I was tempted to lurk and just check it out. After spending the last couple of days going through this RR I'm forced to post! AWESOME DUDES!!!! RESPECT!!!  8) Great commentary and pictures, great strength of character too guys. Very cool!!!  ;)
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Ruff Rider on July 03, 2010, 10:13:28 pm
ABSOLUTELY WICKED!!! I joined this forum after being shown parts of this thread by a fellow WildDog. I was tempted to lurk and just check it out. After spending the last couple of days going through this RR I'm forced to post! AWESOME DUDES!!!! RESPECT!!!  8) Great commentary and pictures, great strength of character too guys. Very cool!!!  ;)

Dora 9, I was was about to welcome you to the forum but this is not the place... go back to "begin" (New Member's Introductions) and we'll try again.  :deal:   ;)  :D  ;D
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Dora 9 on July 05, 2010, 06:26:41 pm
ABSOLUTELY WICKED!!! I joined this forum after being shown parts of this thread by a fellow WildDog. I was tempted to lurk and just check it out. After spending the last couple of days going through this RR I'm forced to post! AWESOME DUDES!!!! RESPECT!!!  8) Great commentary and pictures, great strength of character too guys. Very cool!!!  ;)

Dora 9, I was was about to welcome you to the forum but this is not the place... go back to "begin" (New Member's Introductions) and we'll try again.  :deal:   ;)  :D  ;D

Who's that?  ??? A dark knight on a red bike?  :P  ::) :D ;D I'm on it...  :pot: ;)
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Panjo on July 06, 2010, 02:15:48 pm
I discovered you RR lastnight and like a good book, I could not tear myself away from the words, that made sentences that, in places, when processed by my sleepy mind left me staring at the screen in disbelief.

But mostly I had this grin of admiration on my face as I subconciously cheered you on after reading each trial and tribulation.

Congratulations for completing this Odysssey (The word Ride or Trip does not do it justice), congratulations for even contemplating it and starting it in the first place and thank you for being great ambassadors for the DP community.



Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: mannemerak on July 06, 2010, 02:39:51 pm
Hhhmmm, I thought this would be on the Roll of Honor by this time....
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: krister on July 06, 2010, 08:17:42 pm
Hhhmmm, I thought this would be on the Roll of Honor by this time....

Me three...  :mwink:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: g1_ on July 07, 2010, 02:16:40 pm
Any chance we can get this RR in pdf format, like the angola one?
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: J-mo on July 07, 2010, 04:38:36 pm
Great trip, great RR and a lot of respect from me.

Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Kat on July 07, 2010, 09:07:52 pm
very nice !!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: TVB on July 08, 2010, 08:57:56 pm
Respect

Saluut!!  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: jaak on July 13, 2010, 02:49:11 pm
GROOT RESPECT

RAAK STIL BROERS...daar gaan 'n MAN (2) verby!!!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: ZAR on August 27, 2010, 01:34:50 pm
 :drif:   :salut: :notworthy:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Tr0jan on March 13, 2012, 07:48:33 am
hey mods!!! I know we cant take you on publically, but seriously!

WHY IN THE FUDGE IS THIS NOT IN THE ROLL OF HONOR YET?

(inappropriate for public part of the forum)

Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: DanToughSunday on March 13, 2012, 10:24:51 pm
Metal Jockey is my hero ...
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: IanC on March 13, 2012, 11:37:45 pm
Just an update on the road from Sinazongwe to Siyavonga. If you want to do this route do it soon they have already started to build the road from siyavonga towards sinazongwe. Alos the first two bridges from Sinazeze have been repaired but the road is still the same. I did a site inspection there about 18 months ago and one Zambian driver made it through with a two wheel drive Isuzu, with the odd tow. it was a hectic drive and took 2 full days to drive the piece from Siyavonga to sinazeze.
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: wolfman on March 15, 2012, 10:35:23 am
One thing I learned about them, is that they are attracted to certain colours, blue being their favorite colour! Lucky none of you were riding a Yami! :biggrin:

There, you know what I'm talking about. I do not know how to explain how bad those fuckers are. But you got it here "by far the worst fucking insect that I have ever encountered".

Ditto



The latest research done on Zebras and their stripes confirms the same "colour theory" about the tsetse flies. The flies don't like the huge contrast between black and white. The stripes apparently confuse and irritate their conical eye make-up, so they would rather go and zap something else. Same applies to horse- and other stinging flies. Zebras have developed their stripes through evolution to deter these buggers from chowing them. Clever!

MJ I've read this report just after you've originally posted it. I'm reading it again (like your other reports) and I enjoy it the same as the first time. Thank you for sharing so much detail about all the obstacles you've encountered and how to overcome these - though sometimes it seems to be just determination and guts - I am very impressed with the pontooning over rivers. This is great stuff and will surely inspire many riders reading this to venture outside the comfort zone of South African riding.

Well done to you and Hennie!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: GO GIRL on March 15, 2012, 09:31:13 pm
WoW what an epic RR... :thumleft:  everything that could be possibly encountered is covered...

I can imagine the spirit of you two having wet boots day in and day out river crossing after river crossing...

Technical stuff.. testing you both to the limit and and mentally

Hats off to you both what a super trip and well written ....RESPECT  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: landieman on March 16, 2012, 01:00:26 am
Respect,oneday when i grow up,i want to do that.lilyfontein was my primary school when i was a wee boy. :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Minora on May 20, 2012, 08:37:21 pm
MJ - I read this report when you posted it and always wanted to read it again since I have been living in Zambia for the past couple of months and everything you describe of Zambia is spot on!

The part from Siavonga to Chirundo forms part of the 'Siavonga 400 rally' http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.199414893441909.62298.165045283545537&type=3

 
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Beemer Mike on May 21, 2012, 05:31:40 pm
Sante Sana Bwana Makhubwa!!!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: kenderkin on June 05, 2015, 09:53:55 pm
Wow.
I know it's old but still wow!!!
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: kenderkin on June 07, 2015, 03:37:21 pm
Boy you are killing my work hours!  :lamer:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: HB 9 on June 07, 2015, 03:44:36 pm
You should read all the trip reports.....  :deal:

MJ writes them well  :thumleft: and don't forget all the other contributors... There are so many  :ricky:
Title: Re: Zambian Joyride
Post by: Clockwork Orange on June 11, 2015, 02:36:43 pm
Hands down still my best RR of all. Followed by Blue Bulls Road to Dos Sertoes.