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Author Topic: 3 African Countries - 4 Day Solo - RSA, Mozambique and Swaziland  (Read 749 times)

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Offline cono

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This relates to the LDBA and my own Recce down to Macaneta, Mozambique.
Hey, I did the Prawn Run, I did it my way, the only way know, on a BMW 1200 GS.

Now ...... If you guys and girls do not yet know, the only reason, Rieks, rides a KTM, is because I bought it for her. Yep, she always remembers me as her Sugar Daddy.  :3some: Sounds like a exciting story on its way ... wat dink jy  :biggrin: :lol8:

I bought Rieks BMW 1200 GS and she had plenty of change to get that other fun machine. She was busy planning the 1st LDBA and i promised to be on the ride. Alas, with a busy life I lead ... you know, gardening on Saturday and Sundays, taking the wife off to the shops, etc, etc......i never got on the ride. Damn ... did i lose out on a big discount and an even bigger trip of a life time?
But, then this year, I decided i will be doing the LDBA ..... so I rode up to Nelspruit to spend the evening with Rieks. You see when i took over her BMW, I promised to return her specialized "Rieks" number plate. Started up my BMWobbleU, Rieks old bike and took it for a ride, to show her I have kept it all new and shinny like the day she gave it to me.

Arrived Nelspruit from Johannesburg ...ok...along the winding and lekker tar roads, late ...very late afternoon, as the sun was dropping behind some rain clouds, which I was chasing to get under. Luckily, i got to Rieks all dry  >:D OK...perhaps i did pee a little in my pants, as there was no time to stop along the road. Apparently, they lied in that movie about those old dudes who rode across America. Never ever stopped for a pee. I did stop at Milly's (Machado Dorp) for a great Trout Pie and coffee. ......so I am an El Cheap Ou, ... coffee comes for free only if you buy a Trout Pie.

Rieks was more excited to see her old bike than she was to see me. I guess it was expected. And then I did it....I kissed her on the cheek and handed her the old number plate. Score.   :thumleft:  I kept one promise since meeting Rika, almost a year later. Hey... I am a man of my word. Needless to say, the lady got me up into her bedroom  :3some:  ... where I left my bags, in my owm room ....." wat dink jy", went downstairs to a moerse big steak, she was going to feed to me. She did a braai with a couple of wet ones, to sooth the parched throat. I felt like a cowboy, arriving back at the ranch after riding a couple of 100 km's. My gat was sore ... it was a entire days ride. Lekker meal and we got busy.

Anyway, had a great night's rest, after Rika plotted my GPS, doubled checked my paper work, kept reminding me how to deal with Border Control, how to swop Rands to Metical and how to do what, how much, etc, etc. Hey...this old boy was on his way to Mozambique on a solo 4 day trip. Why, because he can and there were roads, not yet travelled.

Seeing as I really want to be on the next LDBA, I was doing a practise run. Now, if this old fart, could make it there and back in one stuk, anyone can do it. Since pawning my old KLR650, I now had the right wheels and needed to test it to see if I can cross Africa. (Add to bucket list) - not done Lee Soen Toe, maar sal nog.

Spent most of the next day riding around Nelspruit .... looking for a battery for my video cam. Struths ...... Johannesburg never had one, but found the elusive battery at Vision 2000, in Nelspruit. The guys there, were fantastic and bent over backwards to run through their stock until they found the last battery. I was now ready, for my Border Crossing at Lebombo.
What a great ride to the Border and then I fell down right in front of the Wimpy and Chemist at Komatipoort. Forgot to put my foot down when stopping and bike fell over with me. At least that gave the locals a good laugh. hey .... I really enjoy falling ... you just gotta keep practicing to pick up a heavy loaded bike. When you are on your own, there is no-one there to help pick up a bike for you. Check, test passed .. ready for the trip. Sat in the Wimpy rather long, while I charged up my new video cam battery, so I could start taking pics and video. And we all know, a ride report is not a ride report with outs pictures. OK.. did run out of memory as I forgot to delete old stuff from the video cam.
I found my first off road route ... donner the GPS took me over a bridge covered in water and a gravel road of a couple of meters, threw me out at the filling station and couple of hundred meters from the Border Post. Next thing, a moerse lot of woman started to run towards me with piles of cash in their hands. I kaked myself ... ok, just farted and then started to haggle about the exchange rates, etc. Ended up buying R500.00 worth of Metical ( Mozambique Currency), which worked out to be MZN 1,700.00. (http://coinmill.com/MZN_ZAR.html - link takes you to a great Currency Exchange Rate Conversion Calculator.)

Anyway, i had a "last meal" at Wimpy, which would not give me a runny nose, I was expecting across the Border. I was ready for that mysterious Mozambique I have always heard about. It was exciting knowing, that after a night a Rieks place, she taught me everything, (Ok, I never done the dishes ....but hey, what are woman for  ::)) I learnt about foreign cash, border control etiquette and how to deal with the Police, etc, etc. I had all the confidence to take on Mozambique with my new found knowledge.   :3some:

It's A Good Day To Die, But The Day Is Not Yet Over
.....there are far too many places to go ....
 

Offline cono

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Re: 3 African Countries - 4 Day Solo - RSA, Mozambique and Swaziland
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2013, 01:55:29 am »
Now, you must know, crossing the Border can be scary, with many hands pointing this way and that way, everyone wanting to help you across ... or to short change you. I walked into the RSA side, banged a stamp into the Passport....( :deal: my first stamp ... I am so proud). Less than 30 minutes later I was in the Lebombo Moz Passport Control Office, filled in some details on a form to allow the bike through, got a stamp ( :deal: my second stamp). I walked out the office like ... let's say Arnold - (The Terminator) and almost blurted out to everyone "I'll be back".

There I was, Thanks to Rika De Bruyn, in Mozambique. OK... what now..... i rode as fast as I could, not attracting any attention from any cops or army dudes and hit Maputo late afternoon and got caught up in some major rush hour traffic .... ok...apparently it was normal traffic, but hey, it was better than riding a roller coaster at Gold Reef City.




Just loved all the dudes, two up on scooters, with out AGATT, zooming past me between the traffic. Bloody GPS, started to take me into circles and funny places.


We had plotted a scenic route, ....se' moer, se ek ..... only safe photo opportunity was the Railway Station. [Insert photo here]. The sun was setting, in .... I have no idea which direction ... but I was planning to go North .. at least that what the GPS said. Great ride along the beach front, ending on sand roads, getting stuck ..... locals help to push and pull with great enthusiastic laughter, thinking to themselves .. this idiot is crazy.

Turned back in the dark and started to look for that elusive Holidays Inn, I plotted on the GPS. Needless to say, it does not exist.
i stopped at a Filling Station and ....damn ... they sell beer right there.... I grabbed a bottle or two of Super Bock (non-alcoholic) .... ok ... i am not that brave or stupid to drink and ride.  I asked a dude at the till point if it was ok to drink in the street in front of the shop ... no problems mate....he said. Turned out he was one of the local dudes crossing the Lebombo Border Post with me and he recognized me and asked me where i was headed and all that .... i joined him and few of his mates, in the car park ... to drink my Super Bock.... and had a educational discussion of what to see where to go and what to look out for. Man and woman...there was a massive street party at Game, with music bleating out of one moerse big set of speakers in the car park. I think they lied about the Super Bock being non-alcoholic, as i was now buzzing with the sounds and lights around me and the people all friendly and nice. It was like I was in Rio at a Carnival. Never been there but have seen video's.

When I came to my senses, after riding through many ‘burbs of Maputo, still not finding the 2nd elusive Holiday Inn called up on the GPS, I ended up in the Maputo Mall, at 11pm, which was booming, with people... obviously the rich tourists ... I kinda understand a few words in Porra and gave it my best shot, asking for a Hotel. Anyway, i ended up going North out of town again and ended up at the grand Southern Sun Hotel. I got the feeling; I was now going to kak and betaal. I guess at R1,700.00 a night any one will crap themselves. Half my budget already handed over in a foreigner country. Unpacked the panniers and got a Bell Boy to carry everything up and gave him two (2) Metical. He smiled, said Thank You and left the room. Did I feel like a total dick the next morning, when i found out the poor bugger could not even buy a can of Coke, which costs thirty three (33) Metical.

So, boys and girls, it is custom to tip someone when offered some form of help and assistance, but please don't give the locals the coins, which are 2 and 5 Metical. That's lower than low. I did a lot of locals in with the useless coins I was giving out like Bill Gates, who would give you a free laptop, just for “clicking here”.
Anyway, I was just another doff tourist trying to boom the economy of Mozambique. By the way, they have the fastest growing economy in Africa, as we speak and it can be seen from the houses being built and cars they drive. This is no backward African country. The people I met are proud and really are not beggars, even those I met out on the rural roads.

Now, my original plan, was to have my own Prawn Run, which was planned by Rieks on my GPS. Originally i was hoping to go far North to Praia do Sol Beach Resort, Bilene, (www.pdsol.co.za/) about 150 to 200km from Maputo. Time was against me, being a slow safe rider, not wanting to end up in a Mozambique Jail. I would just be another lost white boy somewhere in Africa. I am not as newsworthy as our Julie-arse and our Government would not give a shyte until the next income Taxes returns are due. I’m sure only then would Trevor Manuel give a damn.

So, I ended up arriving after a few hours of heavy Saturday afternoon traffic on the N1 Super Slow Highway and got to the Ferry, which will cross me to the other side of the river. 100 Meticals, gives you a two way trip.

Remember Christo Berg who sang that song "Don't pay the Ferryman". Nooit, rather pay, it is a lekker ride and worth the cost (Actually you have no choice it was the only way to continue on my journey).

And then off I went to find Riek se famous Lugar do Mar Resort. GPS kinda stopped working after I got off the ferry. Beautiful gravel roads (gets scrapped on a regular basis), which you could roller blade down and some great woopies which even your Granny could ride on a Vespa. Then the first intersection, deep loose dry sea sand pushed up by all the 4 x 4's running along the road. The oke’s in their 4 x 4’s had a good laugh seeing me on a bike and must have been pissing themselves thinking I would not make camp, before the next day.

Hey, I’m a Wild Dog. Nothing scares me, except loose sand, muddy tracks and wet grass and ou’s riding in front of me, while I pass through thick clouds of dirt and dust, with the visor open to get a breath of fresh air.

I started duck walking the heavy bike and was concentrating so hard, very hard not to fall. I ended up going right past Lugar do Mar Resort. No sweat. NOT. I learnt my first lesson in packing panniers after the first fall. OK, I was tired and my foot slipped and the bike really needed a rest. That’s when I realised the only muscle in my body that works, is my sphincter. Like they said in the Army, “Jy gaan vandag afkak”. 30 Odd years later, I have found out what it means. Luckily, the corner I dropped down in, had a local selling fishing on a long washing line. 



Old Johan,  for 2 Meticals, picked up the bike and I re-packed it before looking down the road, seeing my destination, but already thinking it was time to turn back home. The couple of hundred meters, looked like an impossibility. OK, after the 3rd down, had some drunk local walk alongside me, as I slowly walked the bike down the road.  I guess he deserved the  3 x beers I bought him before he went home. I felt so guilty, that I actually left a lot of changes with the barman, asking him to give the guy at least 3 beers on different days when he saw my dronk bike picker upper. Beer cost is 150 Meticals and here I was handing out 2 and 5 Meticals, to the locals like I was a multi-millionaire.

I just kept going until the road dead ended right in Praia de Macaneta (30km North of Maputo) (http://www.macanetaaccommodation.com/home.htm)

I’m not going to tell you about Praia de Macaneta... this is my secret place, which I do not want to share with anyone. Ok, just a little bit about it. Check out their Photo Gallery: http://www.macanetaaccommodation.com/gallery.htm

On arrival I met some pale skins from Piet Retief (RSA). Had my dinner is a nice open air restaurant, being 3 big Rock Lobsters, plenty of Prawns and Fish and Mozambique Slap Chips and salads.

Then, ended up on the pristine beach playing in the sand with the Piet’s. 
Donners where throwing sand down my crack, but thank goodness I had the sense to pack me a spare pair of jeans. Riding out the next day covered by sand paper would have been really fun, but not my idea of fun. What nice warm water, when we jumped into the sea, like excited little boys, whose ugly cousin just flashed her left tit.(accidentally) .

Perhaps, I should not have spoken about the sharks, I believe frequent these waters, as the two Tannies refused to join us in the sea and just looked on and laughed. One dude is Piet’s Chemist and the other a Farmer. ( Add to bucket list – ride down to Piet Retief and pay for beer paid for by these Boere and go collect Biltong, as promised from the farm).


I could have died and gone to heaven. Actually that was at 3am when I was still strolling the beach looking at the stars and moon, waiting for the Aliens to arrive in their UFO's and take me away.

Then the beer buzz wore off and it was time to go sleep. Not before I was scheming I’d like to suck on a long toke (zol - jou poopal), blowing smoke hoops into the air, laying under the trees  playing some Rasta music and being one with the Island, which could have been Jamaica. (Rastafarian English (or Iyaric) is an English dialect primarily spoken by Jamaican Rastafarians. It's much easier to learn than Jamaican English (or Jamaican Creole) because instead of being a whole different dialect, it is mainly a set of vocabulary that reflects Rasta beliefs by eliminating negative words (such as death and hate) and replacing them with positive ones (like live and love).) .

Take note live and love… what a great reason to smoke a joint. OK, I have never ever done it yet (I know I am boring, however added to bucket list for next trip. Place your orders here and now before your next trip). I used to live in Hillbrow. I’m sure I could find a baggie or two for the trip.

Juss make sure dat Mon Babylon, no mess with dat di best eva mek, dat Lambsbread. Me be lang time mi a wait. Kill mi dead, I an mi naa jesta. (http://www.speakjamaican.com/glossary/#m)

I noted a lot of Rasta’s along the beach road, outside of Maputo. Wonder if zol is legal there, seeing as drinking in the street is. Never saw one ou piss in the streets, like we see here regularly. Just a observation of a well-managed system. OK, roads need some attention, but it never bothered me and found a dodge to the left and to the right manageable, unlike a ride to Vaal Dam, which is a nightmare.


Got under a 3:30am hot water shower and then got under a beautiful white mozzie net to sleep like a Princess. Sun was up before me and I was back on the beach watching the local fishermen pull in their nets with the days catch. Team work by all, no Bosses, just one big team working together.




This being a lesson who should all learn. We are far too ignorant and self-important to realise “Unity is Strength”. We as South Africans have forgotten our morals and need to be reminded that survival is about a joint effort in everything we do, or else we will lose it all. If we cannot work together, we have then lost our direction in life.
It's A Good Day To Die, But The Day Is Not Yet Over
.....there are far too many places to go ....
 

Offline cono

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Re: 3 African Countries - 4 Day Solo - RSA, Mozambique and Swaziland
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2013, 02:00:40 am »




Left Macaneta and on the way back through Maputo decided to do something different. I hate the feeling of been there and done that ... the road already travelled. So, I crossed into Swaziland, aiming back home through Oshoek Border Post, arriving as the sun was setting and then chasing the rain clouds up into Machado Dorp, where the sky dropped down on me and it took another 4 hours in the pouring rain, getting home after midnight. If you ever plan to ride in the rain at night, don’t  try it. Jumping off a 10 storey building ... is much quicker if you plan to kill yourself.

But sometimes we do foolish things, look back and then say   …. “Never Again”  at least until the next time.

Amazing ....absolutely ..... flipping amazing. No words can describe the feeling of freedom, excitement and rush you get, knowing many have not gone where you have been.
And I am not talking about  4 x 4 trips. I am talking about GS 1200 BMW’s mostly only rode across the highways of Johannesburg.

OK... we are all Wild Dogs and love bragging about our trips, but hey..... you have not done a trip, until you join up on the LDBA and add the Prawn Run, where you get only the best advice and guidance from Rieks. This friend, is a trip of a life time. Don't think about it, just do it. It's not debatable and if you are on the trip with me, I will tell you about how I swam "kaal gat"  >:D, in the sea, telling Jaws to "footsek jou vissy". 

I am the King of my own destiny; nothing could or would stop me from seeking adventure and my destiny of living life large.

Like I always say" it is a good day to die, but there are still far too many roads not yet travelled"..

Check you on the 2nd Lowveld Dual Bike Adventure (LDBA) and you too could be writing about that one memory, which will last a life time.  Safe Riding - Out





It's A Good Day To Die, But The Day Is Not Yet Over
.....there are far too many places to go ....
 

Offline Rieks

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Re: 3 African Countries - 4 Day Solo - RSA, Mozambique and Swaziland
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2013, 06:36:19 pm »
Awesome ride report my friend. Nice to see my old former red baby visiting Moz again. You should be proud of yourself doing this on your own! Nice to see you again and hope to see you at www.ldba.co.za in June.
 

Offline Rieks

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Offline Just Blip It!

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Re: 3 African Countries - 4 Day Solo - RSA, Mozambique and Swaziland
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2013, 09:56:32 pm »
Lekker RR Cono! See you at LDBA!
Riding Africa's lesser traveled tracks, discovering true adventure!
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2012 KTM 990R Adventure.