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Author Topic: Norway to South Africa. 37 000km. Solo.  (Read 3288 times)

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Offline Robski

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Norway to South Africa. 37 000km. Solo.
« on: January 19, 2013, 01:10:24 pm »
Been putting this off for too long. So over the next few weeks I will share some of my stories about my travels from Norway to Cape Town. I am starting from the very beginning. Hope you enjoy.

When I was young, about 6, my older brother's friend had a motorbike, which I think it was a Suzuki 50 scrambler.
I can remember riding on it with my brother in the front of him, holding the middle of the handlebars with the largest smile on my face.
Then a year or two after that when I was allowed to stay up late in school holidays, and watch TV with my father, he used to watch the Paris - Dakar. I think from the time I saw those big bikes doing breakneck speeds in the deserts of Northern Africa, I fell in love with motorcycles.
My father promised that if he ever bought a farm, that I would be allowed to get a motorbike. When I was 12 he bought a 2000h piece of land in the Koue bokkeveld. So I gathered all my money I had saved from unpacking boxes at a sports shop, the money I saved selling stolen avocados from the neighbours house, the money I saved selling chestnuts I had picked from the trees up the road to an Italian deli and found myself a KX60. If you had seen how happy it made me you would of thought my parents had me on some seriously strong happy drugs.
I got into MX shortly after when my father was buying me protective gear from Mike Hopkins and a guy asked him if he wanted to take me to the track to give it a go. I got into it for 4 years, and did pretty well.
My father died when I was 15, and after that I rode for another year until girls and beer's sounded like a better option. At the time it did.
I have always had a love for Africa. I remember most holidays, the 4 kids, of which I am the youngest being carted in the Kombi up to the Kruger, the Karoo National Park, Umfolozi etc. I always found a great fascination in animals and the 'bush'. And my relationship with the bush has gotten stronger and stronger over the years.

After school I travelled around Europe for a year and a half with a skate board strapped to my backpack, meeting people, sleeping in parks, partying, getting up to no good and working jobs a week at a time to save enough money to get me through the next few weeks. I came home and studied business for 3 years after my travels, but towards the end of it, never felt I was ready to start my career.
It took me very little time to remember what I wanted to do. What I have always wanted to do. To ride a motorbike through Africa!
So in July/August 2009 varsity holidays, in a spur of the moment decision I bought a Africa Twin and two days later was doing a one month long trip through Botswana, Zambia and Namibia to see if this long distance stuff was for me. Turns out it is.

2010.
Over the next 6 months I researched everything besides my route in detail. I got everything I needed to keep myself self sufficient for long periods of time. Decided my direction of continental travel. Planned a rough route through which countries I wanted to go to. Decided to take a map book and compass rather than a GPS. Thought of maybe doing the ride with someone else, but felt I wanted to do it alone rather. Tried to get sponsors. Tried to raise money for the IAPF anti-poaching, but found this to be to tiring and something I couldn't find the energy to do after being turned down by so many companies. Booked my flight to Olso, Norway. Bought a 2nd hand KTM 990Adv.R 2010 model with 5000km on the clock, after trying many other large bikes and finding this to be the most agile and powerful, and most importantly, the one that suited my riding style the most. Put all the extras onto the bike. Took them off. Did a 2 day apprenticeship at KTM CT. My brother offered me his 1969 Porsche 911T if I promised not to do this trip. Turned the offer down. Found I had left it to late to ship my bike. Found a company which handled the logistics to fly the bike to Olso. Had a farewell party. Left Cape Town International for what was to become the biggest thing to happen to me in my 24 year life.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 09:11:56 pm by Robski »
Kawasaki KX60 (1997). Yamaha TW200 (1998). Honda XR 200 (1988). Yamaha YZ80 (1998). Yamaha YZ125 (2000). Kawasaki KX250 (2006). 5 Vespa's  ('63 - '69) . Aermacchi / Harley Davidson Brezza 125 (1967). Honda XRV750 Africa Twin (1999). KTM 990 ADV. R (2010). All gone. Now have.. Vespa 125 Super '67.  KTM 690 (Oryx RS kit to come)
 

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Re: Norway to South Africa. 37 000km.
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2013, 01:19:04 pm »
We are waiting.
Please post as fast as you can between nappychanges!!! :deal: :thumleft:
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Offline Rodlau

Re: Norway to South Africa. 37 000km.
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2013, 01:36:05 pm »
Looking forward to this
 

Offline OOOOMS

Re: Norway to South Africa. 37 000km.
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2013, 01:49:48 pm »
Sub!
 

Offline madmike999

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Re: Norway to South Africa. 37 000km.
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2013, 01:50:31 pm »
 :sip:
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Offline Swanniebraai

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Re: Norway to South Africa. 37 000km.
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2013, 02:05:49 pm »
Subscribe
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Offline Karoo Rider

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Re: Norway to South Africa. 37 000km.
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2013, 02:30:24 pm »
Waiting...
 

Offline Crossed-up

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Re: Norway to South Africa. 37 000km.
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2013, 03:18:04 pm »
Looking forward to this one ...
 

Offline Crab

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Re: Norway to South Africa. 37 000km.
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2013, 06:36:11 pm »
Subscribed!!!!
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Offline Onetime

Re: Norway to South Africa. 37 000km.
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2013, 06:39:27 pm »
 :ricky:
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Offline Robski

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Re: Norway to South Africa. 37 000km.
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2013, 06:50:01 pm »
The list of countries I ended up going through.

1. Norway
2. Sweden
3. Denmark
4. Germany
5. Austria
6. Lichtenstein
7. Switzerland
8. Italy
9. France
10. Spain
11. Portugal
      back to Spain.

12. Morocco
13. Western Sahara
14. Mauritania
15. Senegal
16. Gambia
      through the Southern region of Senegal
17. Guinea-Bissau
18. Guinea
19. Cote d'Ivoire
20. Ghana
21. Togo
22. Benin
23. Nigeria
24. Cameroon
25. Central African Republic
26. Democratic Republic of Congo
27. Uganda
28. Kenya
29. Tanzania
30. Malawi
31. Mozambique
32. Swaziland
33. South Africa
34. Lesotho
      back into South Africa

So lets go through the list. I think I am not going to go through Europe in much detail, because frankly, on a Dual Sport bike, it's a bit bland compared to Africa. Btw, I think I am leaving a country off that list, but I cannot bloody remember. hmm.

Kawasaki KX60 (1997). Yamaha TW200 (1998). Honda XR 200 (1988). Yamaha YZ80 (1998). Yamaha YZ125 (2000). Kawasaki KX250 (2006). 5 Vespa's  ('63 - '69) . Aermacchi / Harley Davidson Brezza 125 (1967). Honda XRV750 Africa Twin (1999). KTM 990 ADV. R (2010). All gone. Now have.. Vespa 125 Super '67.  KTM 690 (Oryx RS kit to come)
 

Offline 1ougat

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Re: Norway to South Africa. 37 000km.
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2013, 06:59:09 pm »
sub
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Offline Robski

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Re: Norway to South Africa. 37 000km.
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2013, 07:30:21 pm »
Rough direction of route..



Kawasaki KX60 (1997). Yamaha TW200 (1998). Honda XR 200 (1988). Yamaha YZ80 (1998). Yamaha YZ125 (2000). Kawasaki KX250 (2006). 5 Vespa's  ('63 - '69) . Aermacchi / Harley Davidson Brezza 125 (1967). Honda XRV750 Africa Twin (1999). KTM 990 ADV. R (2010). All gone. Now have.. Vespa 125 Super '67.  KTM 690 (Oryx RS kit to come)
 

Offline Robski

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Re: Norway to South Africa. 37 000km.
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2013, 09:25:05 pm »
I arrived in Oslo 4 days before my bike did, with my small waterproof backpack, one of the side panniers and a side pannier. I stayed in the same hostel I stayed at while backpacking around Europe a few years back. The day came to go and reconcile with bike. I had to take a train then a bus to the airport. I walked around for over an hour trying to find the warehouse and company which was holding my bike, then found the place but was told to go back to the airport as I didn't have customs clearance. I had to bullshit the customs officer by flipping through all my papers quickly and speaking in a South African accent at a faster than normal pace after I had noticed that I didn't have all the necessary paperwork they required. I got away with a couple lightly pressed stamps on the clearance forms and left the vaguely informed customs officer. I got back to the warehouse just before they closed for the day, and shared a beer with the Swedish fork lift driver who felt it was more important speaking to me about my optimistic travel plans than leaving work after his twelve hour shift. The excitement and anxiety was getting to me, and I must admit that it was difficult holding the spanners without shaking while I put the partially disassembled bike back together.









I left the airport area with a hoot to my new friend, and the smile that I would become so fond with during the next few months grew on my face. I travelled for a couple of hours, doing a few wheelies out excitement to a hilltop campsite next to an old castle overlooking the town below. That night I saw a hedgehog for first time in my life, and felt it was a sign of many wildlife viewings to come. I was partially wrong, but I didn't know this yet.

In the next few days of Norway I stayed in a couple farmers fields, and found a couple of scenic dirt roads between them. Scandinavia for those who don't know, manages to eat away at your budget at a worrying pace. I was in Contact with a friend of mine, Dale who was studying Naval Architecture in Sweden, and we had planned that I would meet him. So off to Sweden I headed.
Kawasaki KX60 (1997). Yamaha TW200 (1998). Honda XR 200 (1988). Yamaha YZ80 (1998). Yamaha YZ125 (2000). Kawasaki KX250 (2006). 5 Vespa's  ('63 - '69) . Aermacchi / Harley Davidson Brezza 125 (1967). Honda XRV750 Africa Twin (1999). KTM 990 ADV. R (2010). All gone. Now have.. Vespa 125 Super '67.  KTM 690 (Oryx RS kit to come)
 

Offline Teapot

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Re: Norway to South Africa. 37 000km.
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2013, 02:38:22 am »
Nice one. I've been enjoying your story. Wish I did that when I was a pup. Keep it coming. :thumbleft:
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Re: Norway to South Africa. 37 000km.
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2013, 06:24:08 pm »
Looking foreward to the next instalment.  :biggrin:
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Re: Norway to South Africa. 37 000km.
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2013, 06:28:50 pm »
 :sip:
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Offline Robski

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Re: Norway to South Africa. 37 000km.
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2013, 07:43:49 pm »
Quick show of hands, should I carry on with the Europe side of things or fast forward to Africa?
Kawasaki KX60 (1997). Yamaha TW200 (1998). Honda XR 200 (1988). Yamaha YZ80 (1998). Yamaha YZ125 (2000). Kawasaki KX250 (2006). 5 Vespa's  ('63 - '69) . Aermacchi / Harley Davidson Brezza 125 (1967). Honda XRV750 Africa Twin (1999). KTM 990 ADV. R (2010). All gone. Now have.. Vespa 125 Super '67.  KTM 690 (Oryx RS kit to come)
 

Offline Sir Rat

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Re: Norway to South Africa. 37 000km.
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2013, 08:03:57 pm »
I'm in.  :happy1:
 

Offline Sir Rat

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Re: Norway to South Africa. 37 000km.
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2013, 08:04:54 pm »
Quick show of hands, should I carry on with the Europe side of things or fast forward to Africa?

I would like to read about it all please.  :thumleft: