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Author Topic: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!  (Read 9907 times)

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Offline vigilant

Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #40 on: October 18, 2012, 10:21:13 am »
What a lekker story!

Keep it coming please  :thumleft:
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Offline Tryblogs

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #41 on: October 18, 2012, 11:52:32 am »
what a fantastic RR; can not wait for the rest.
thank you !
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Offline CoolBreeze

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #42 on: October 18, 2012, 12:36:53 pm »
Nice read :thumleft:
Why can I not see the pics?
'One life, Live it...so...Live to Ride & Ride to Live' :)
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Offline Just Blip It!

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #43 on: October 21, 2012, 08:52:08 pm »
DAY 3


After filling up in the small town of Chiredzi, we set out on day three in much needed rain for the area, following the water canals through the sugar cane plantations where the roads became quite tricky to ride.
We stopped at the local cop shop for some local advice, the Captain insisted on taking a spin on the KTM 990 as he had done his training in the Motorcycle Corp but due to the lack of motorcycles in the police force had never used his training. As he pulled off we all broke out in prayer that we could continue our tour with a full fleet of bikes but after scaring himself with the power of the KTM he fortunately decided to hand the bike back undamaged to the thankful owner! I anticipate that Robert will be receiving a request for a KTM 990 with a blue light fitted. :biggrin:





Our route took us through Devuli Game Ranch another access controlled area, the ranger was happy to raise the boom and wave us through. How grateful we were as it was an amazing ride 180km of gravel,  where we again saw a lot of game including fresh signs of recent elephant activity, but due I think to the drone of Akropovic exhausts we didnít actually see any of the big 5!  
The road twisted through untouched wilderness with towering Baobabs and shady Acacia trees. The rocky outcrops scattered here and there along the route were beautiful.
















We did however get fleeting glimpses of Impala Kudu, Wildebeest, Steenbok and a few tortoises! 8)




We stopped under a Baobab tree for a little mid morning snack. We were all wet and a bit chilly but we couldn't help but enjoy the awesome scenery and the feeling of being in wildest Africa on our bikes! What a privilege!



The gravel road became quite corrugated at one stage, forcing us to pick up the pace, it was the only way to get a comfy ride! The corrugatins were about 30cm apart and about 40mm high! :eek7:



As we exited the game farm we proceeded by tar for about 30km to the small town named after the arch bridge called Birchenough Bridge. Birchenough Bridge is the name for both a bridge across the Save River (pronounced Sa've) and a village next to the bridge.
 The bridge was funded and planned by the Beit Trust, a foundation chaired at the time by Sir Henry Birchenough. It was completed in 1935. At a length of 1080 feet (329 m) it was the third longest single-arch suspension bridge in the world at the time.








This was our next fuel stop................however the pumps were dry, the attendant informed us that the truck was on it's way though. So we decided to stop at the local Birchenough Bridge Hotel for lunch.



Lunch! African style! Sadza (Pap), Stew (Beef, goat or donkey, not sure!  :eek7:) and Marogo. (African Spinach).



A swim in the hotel pool was not an option!



After lunch, we went back to the garage to fill up, the truck had arrived and was filling the tanks.



Where ever we stopped the bikes caused quite a stir!



Birchenough town market.









After quenching the bikes thirst we crossed over the famous bridge and immediately turned onto an awesome gravel road that took us along the Save River through little rural villages with excited children waving and running along the road to get a better view of the big bikes.




We then started our assent up through the mountains of the Chipinga area towards the mountain village of Chimanimani . Riding a beautiful section of twisty tarred mountain passes where some of us practiced our best cornering that would have impressed even Max Biaggi! What a great piece of tar!!









We arrived at the top of the pass known as Skyline. Here we stopped and bought apples from some locals, possibly the juiciest sweetest apple I have ever eaten!









We were now in familiar territory, this is where I grew up, my home town. The memories came flooding back, the smells the sights all contributed to an emotional nostalgia that brought a lump to my throat. How I loved this place! It was very sad to see the decay that had set in, but the natural beauty was still there.




Soon we rode past Charter Sawmill where my Dad was manager for many years.



We rode into the small village of Chimanimani, named after the spectacular mountain range that dominates the skyline. The village of Chimanimani was founded by Thomas Moodie in 1892 and in 1895 it was moved to its current site and was officially called Melsetter after Moodie's family home in Scotland. The name was changed in 1982, after Zimbabwean independence (1980).













We booked into the local one star Chimanimani hotel where we stayed in the chalets they were well maintained, basic and most of all clean with hot showers. Many years ago, my Mom was the hotel manger here! In those days the hotel had a beautiful garden, now after years of neglect it was still pretty but not as beautiful.









That night we drank and ate like kings!








« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 08:57:23 pm by Just Blip It! »
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Offline Brandt

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #44 on: October 21, 2012, 09:07:10 pm »
Great trip  :thumleft: Thanks for sharing.
 

Offline GSLaaitie

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #45 on: October 23, 2012, 11:09:40 am »
Aaa, lekker man!

Zim is a loverly place with lots to offer. We camped in that hotel in Chimanimani's garden 3 months ago on our trip there. Jou RR laat my nou baie verlang.

:thumleft:
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Offline Just Blip It!

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #46 on: October 28, 2012, 07:13:02 pm »
Day 4

Well Day 4  has to go down as one of the high lights of the trip. I managed to convince the guys to spend another day in Chimanimani, I grew up here and  was keen to share this beautiful place with them.
After a brief shop for some fresh bread and crisps for a  picnic lunch we rolled out of town towards the towering Chimanimani mountains about 2440m.







The Chimanimani Mountains are composed mostly of sandstone, but it is distinguished by its huge volcanic peaks. These peaks stretch for fifty kilometres, and the main plateau reaches a height of 2,440m, dropping to 320m in deep gorges and river valleys.  The mountains are only accessible through a series of footpaths. Chimanimani National Park is full of wild, natural beauty - an area of yellowwood and cedar trees, proteas and wild orchids, massed purple lassandria, bushes of wild sweet peas, clear mountain pools and several waterfalls.
Once we arrived at the deserted camp site where we changed into our hiking gear and started off up and over the rocky ridge.





The amazing sight of a Msasa tree forest, indigenous to the area and in full bloom was a sight to see as the leaves changing from deep red to oranges and yellows. Brachystegia spiciformis Benth., commonly known as Msasa, is a medium-sized African tree having compound leaves and racemes of small fragrant green flowers. The tree is broad and has a distinctive amber and wine red colour when the young leaves sprout during spring (August-September). It grows in savanna, both open woodland and closed woodland of Southern and Eastern Africa, mostly Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique. The word Msasa is commonly used as a proper name in African place names.



In the distance we saw the waterfalls.





 Walking down the gorge that separated Zimbabwe from Mozambique we came across the most beautiful crystal clear waterfall. Within minutes we were all standing under the falling water and floating in the huge icy cold rock pool like little boys all over again.













  We spent the whole day hiking in this incredibly beautiful mountain range, swimming, climbing and exploring. Words do not describe the beauty of this untouched paradise.
















We even came across the wise old man of the mountains!  ;) :biggrin:



We stopped and had our picnic lunch blow a rocky cliff shielded from a sudden down pour.



Then we started our climb back to the bikes.



The ride back to our hotel was spectacular!







Clambering around in the mountains had tired us all out, but what an incredible place, what an awesome experience, One we will all treasure and remember forever!





Riding Africa's lesser traveled tracks, discovering true adventure!
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Offline Heimer

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #47 on: October 28, 2012, 07:38:43 pm »
Great ride report.

But so many of the pictures don't diplay, as if they were moved away in the hosting site

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Offline Marnus

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #48 on: October 28, 2012, 08:11:01 pm »
Nice!!! More!!!  ;D
 

Offline wayneh

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #49 on: October 28, 2012, 08:14:52 pm »
Really enjoying this RR.  ...Bringing back many great memories of growing up in Zim.

Thanks for sharing  :thumleft:
 

Offline Takashi

Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #50 on: October 28, 2012, 08:50:56 pm »
Some of the pictures have gone missing...

That aside, very nice ride report. :thumleft:
 

Offline Just Blip It!

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #51 on: October 29, 2012, 06:57:56 am »
Some of the pictures have gone missing...

That aside, very nice ride report. :thumleft:

Problems with Photobucket! >:(  Sorry! I didn't remove the photos but they are gone! busy sorting it out.
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Offline Just Blip It!

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #52 on: October 29, 2012, 07:49:35 am »
Some of the pictures have gone missing...

That aside, very nice ride report. :thumleft:

Problems with Photobucket! >:(  Sorry! I didn't remove the photos but they are gone! busy sorting it out.

Fixed!  :thumleft:
Riding Africa's lesser traveled tracks, discovering true adventure!
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Offline Mooch

Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #53 on: October 29, 2012, 08:37:23 am »
Beautiful... as I remember. You are killing me with this ride report!!
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Offline GSLaaitie

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #54 on: October 29, 2012, 09:01:21 am »
O my soul, eks so jaloers op julle met die stap in Chimanimani! Ek sou dit baie graag wou doen.
Beer isn't the answer. It's the question. The answer, is Yes!

True story
 

Offline jeff

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #55 on: October 29, 2012, 10:50:38 am »
that looked like a great trip . very jealous , sitting here in my office looking at those photos
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Offline JonW

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #56 on: October 29, 2012, 11:33:44 am »
Awesome Trip!

Hiking in the Chimanimani Mountains is an experience I will never forget.

Looking forward to the rest  :thumleft:
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Offline Dirt Junkie

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #57 on: October 29, 2012, 01:13:05 pm »
Nice RR thanks for sharing  :thumleft:
Something to think about...
When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation, change the situation, or accept your it. All else is madness.

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Offline ThomTom

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #58 on: October 30, 2012, 05:26:48 am »
Great trip report.  I think it is because most of the people in Zim are realy nice,  thats why Bob mananged to get away in ruining their lives by stripping and robbing the country.  That landgraps halted any economic growth and now the rich is just stripping, a pity.  I can also recommend that it is a great place to go to, other than border posts, theirs and ours, people friendly!
 

Offline GPW

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Re: Zimbabwe Gravel Travel Tour 2012. Epic!!!!
« Reply #59 on: November 09, 2012, 11:51:40 am »
has this trip come to an end ???????