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Author Topic: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!  (Read 9906 times)

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Offline Just Blip It!

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Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« on: October 12, 2012, 11:12:53 am »
After many months of planning and anticipation leading up to the 14th of September the day had final arrived. Having the honours of setting the route and arranging the accommodation I was especially looking forward to the trip! I had spent many months plotting routes on Mapsourse, T4A and Google Earth, having seen the route by satellite, it was time to experience it for real! Also, the trip had a nostalgic side to it too as I was returning to my country of birth and visiting all the places that I had grown up in as a boy.
With four guys planning to travel from the Gauteng region  and 2 of us from Mpumalanga and Limpopo area we made the call to trailer the bikes up to Louis Trichardt where we would all meet, then ride from there. Unfortunately Heine Engelbrecht had to pull out at the last minute due to unforeseen work commitments so this then left just the 5 of us. We were all strangers to each other with the exception of BM and myself, so I was hoping and praying that we would all get along and that the riding skills of each guy would meet the demands of this 10 day trip! The other problem was that only 2 of us were Wilddogs, so I had no reference on any of the riders to go on either!

Let me introduce the guys;

Ed Kelsey (BMW R1200GS) Gauteng, don't judge this toppie by his looks, man can he ride a GS like nobody I have ever seen!



Henry Whitcombe (BMW R1200GS Adv.) Gauteng. All round great guy, asks more questions than my wife!



Treffon Smith (KTM 990 Adv.) Gauteng. Owner Khwela Adventures, my roomie for the trip and our photographer.



BM Van Tonder (KTM 990R Adv.) Phalaborwa, a quiet spoken Engineer who until the trip had only been riding for less than a year.



And myself Mark Taylor (KTM 990R Adv.) White River.

« Last Edit: February 24, 2013, 09:55:36 pm by Just Blip It! »
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Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2012, 11:19:34 am »
I always enjoy your RRs Mark but somehow I end up being jealous once Im finished reading it :eek7: :biggrin:

Proceed please sir :thumleft:
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Offline Brandt

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2012, 11:21:34 am »
 :sip:
 

Online onderbroek

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2012, 12:09:12 pm »
Sub
hak vrystaat
 

Offline Oupa Foe-rie

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2012, 01:16:45 pm »
Introduction done ................. :thumleft:

Now the ride report ....................  :sip:
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Offline HB 9

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2012, 03:26:52 pm »
Subscribed...  :thumleft:
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Offline JMOL

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2012, 03:30:34 pm »
 :sip:
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Offline Just Blip It!

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2012, 06:19:13 pm »
Day 1.

The ride started off with a bit of a damper as we headed up the Soutpansberg Mountains in the rain but not long after we made it safely over the range and were welcomed with the typical hot dry climate of the Beitbridge border post.
Surprisingly the border was relatively quiet on the SA side and we left SA crossing a very low Limpopo River.
Now the Zim border! Disorganized chaos!  Dirty, confusing, irritating and typical third world disorder! We paid some runners to assist with these formalities as we could not leave the bikes with all their luggage unattended, even with the assistance we spent almost 3 hours here! Can you believe that we were each charge R45 toll to cross the bridge over the Limpopo! The cheek, especially since SA built that bridge!  :eek7:
With everything almost sorted we ran into one last hick-up, or more like a fark-up! Henry had brought a copy of his bikes Registration document, the Zim authorities do not accept uncertified copies, he was instructed to go back to SA and get the document certified! Ja farken right!!  >:(  It was already nearly 15h00  so this would have seriously buggered our plans up!
Henry a man of strong principles, (told you he was a good guy  ;) )absolutely refuses to pay any bribe and was prepared to go back to SA and sort out his papers rather than pay to have a blind eye turned. Fortunately Ed was more experienced in the ways of Africa and took Henry's papers and after a US$50 changed hands we were out of there! CASH is KING in Africa and Zim is no different!




Zimbabwe Cops!!

Shortly after leaving the dirty border town we came across the first Police road block,  :-\  I must mention that sticking to the gravel roads has one major advantage, no PIGS! We found the cops in Zimbabwe rather irritating, there is ALWAYS a roadblock approaching a town or leaving a town, there are speed traps on all major routes especially the Beitbridge to Harare road, they will fine you US$20 for speeding no matter what your speed is over the limit! You do get a receipt in exchange for your money and autograph which is required on the spot!  :-\  To avoid donating to their ‘Yellow Jacket Fund’ don’t do anything illegal, make sure your bike is 100% roadworthy, your license and paperwork are all in order. They do look for excuses to fine you! Every roadblock they want to see your passport, they want to know where you come from and where you going. They are polite and courteous though we found them rather unfriendly on the main routes, and completely the opposite once we were off the beaten track.
BM was fined for having a learners license, an SA learners is not accepted in Zim! We were fined for towing, (another story on its own for later in the RR   ;D )and Treff was fined twice for speeding in less than a kilometre, which was so farking funny I nearly fell off my bike!  :imaposer: :imaposer: We were all fined for riding into oncoming traffic at some confusing vaguely marked road works near the border and the cops were on the spot to take advantage of this confusion! Entrapment? Definitely!
Don’t let these fuckers greed spoil your trip, we didn’t, but we enjoyed lots of ‘Yellow Jacket” attention and we donated handsomely to their fund! CASH is KING in Zimbabwe!!

Here I am negotiating for us all a US$100 fine down to US$10 for riding down a one way! Lucky I have a natural charm with the woman!  :biggrin:



After a few more uneventful kilos we arrived at our overnight stop, the well known Lion & Elephant Motel. For a cool US$120 we had or rooms. Ed, who is a light sleeper prefered to have his own room, so the rest of us shared double rooms which worked out well.
This was the first opportunity that we all had to get to know each other over a good meal and a few Golden Pilsners and it wasn't long before the KTM/BMW jokes were flying to and fro!  ;D
For the first time it felt like the trip had actually started, we were in Zim, drinking their beer, breathing the clean bushveld air, talking kak with the other riders!
I went to sleep that night with sweet dreams of the endless gravel roads to come!

Still in SA at the Tollgate, changing out of our rainsuits.



My first photo taken in Zim!



Ed Kelsey cruises the well worn Beitbridge highway.



The Bubi River Bridge, I tried to see why they gave it that name, still have no clue!



Arriving at the Lion and Elephant Motel.



Glad to be through the border!



The Guys!



Our accommodation.









« Last Edit: October 13, 2012, 09:42:16 am by Just Blip It! »
Riding Africa's lesser traveled tracks, discovering true adventure!
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2012 KTM 990R Adventure.
 

Offline ALLAWYN

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2012, 07:51:12 pm »
Lekker Blippie, bring it on. I feel very sorry for myself not being able to go with.

Don't let us wait for the rest :ricky:
 

Offline Casting from Turd

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2012, 09:57:48 pm »
 O0 :blob8:
I dont want to ride fast, But I want to ride FAR
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Offline HONDAKAWA11

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2012, 01:41:26 am »
Sub  :thumleft:
 

Offline Bie

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2012, 05:01:01 am »
Looking forward to the rest of this RR.
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Offline White Rhino

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2012, 05:21:51 am »
Cool one .... I met Henry at the LDPA - great chap - look forward to the rest :thumright:
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Offline Swart Baard

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2012, 07:16:37 am »
 :sip:
Mens leef net een keer. Doen dit nou of jy kry dalk nie later kans om dit te doen nie.
 

Offline TCS

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2012, 08:16:37 am »
Sub............
As my gat jeuk krap ek hom met my bikes se seats!!!!


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Offline Tonteldoos

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2012, 09:17:14 am »
 :deal:
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Offline JacoSwart

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2012, 09:48:04 am »
 8)
 

Offline Hinksding

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2012, 01:40:48 pm »
 :sip:
Eet vleis! 'n 1 000 000 jakkalse kan nie verkeerd wees nie.
 

Offline Bring It On

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2012, 02:25:45 pm »
Subscribed for sure :thumleft: :sip:

I was born in Rhodesia (Bulawayo), left when I was around 3 or 4 (when my parents moved to SA), & have never been back there since. Would be nice to follow this thread to check out the country.
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Offline Mooch

Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2012, 06:02:34 pm »
Sub - My Home Country. Also an ex Zimbo/Rhodi. Came here at the beginning of High School...
Would have loved to join this but still nursing my broken knee..
If in doubt, flat out.