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Offline Highlander

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OK, thought I‚??ll just post a short report here on our trip up into Africa during Des06/Jan07. Did this trip before joining this site, so no pressure in posting fast.

This was an epic ride, no words that I could write or photos that I could post can do this journey justice, hope this gives you some indication however. Keep in mind that English is my second language and I tried my best here (especially my tenses). Km‚??s per day travel is not accurate as I don‚??t own a GPS. I depended on my maps and others to ensure that we are on the correct path each day, it however should be fairly close. The time of year might not have been the best to do this trip, but was the only time of the year when the whole group could get enough leave. We therefore had very hot days and also monsoon type rain at times. In some funny sort of way, it made it really interesting at times and I enjoyed it. Most of the ride was on tar, I would say about 99% of it. Doing long distances pillion each day didn‚??t really lend itself to much offroading. A lot of the pics in this report were taken by 2 other friends, thanks to Coenie and Johan.

I spoke to a mountain bike friend of mine in Jan 06 who told me about this group of friends (all from Joburg) of his going to Zanzibar on motorbikes. That sounded great to me. I however didn‚??t own a tent, a sleeping bag, or wait for it‚?¶.. a motorbike. So I told my wife that I think we should try and tag along. I rode a lot of motorbikes at school, but have not been on any in the past 10 years, and never anything of a fair size.

So I started to think about this thing, is it doable, what type of bike, will my wife be able to do pillion? Made an appointment for learners in end of Jan for June and went to the shop to buy the only thing I know that would say something about 2 wheels with a motor: Bike SA. Spent the next couple of months going to bike shops and the like. Started of with the 650 Dakar but quickly realized that fully loaded with pillion it‚??s probably not the most comfortable around. Started to look at the bigger bikes, fancied the KTM but eventually settled for a 2005 BMW 1200 with 11 000 on the clock, approximately R50 000 over my budget. O yes and passed the learners in the meantime.

After a couple of mails and telephone calls a spot opened up on the trip for us and I booked it and paid the deposit (mostly towards fuel for the backups and some chow) Had to tell a few white lies about my riding skills and history to put the rest of the group at ease, sorry guys.  Passed the full license at the end of Aug 06.

So with the bike in the garage and the trip secured, people sort of figured out I was serious about this. Hats off to my wife who was probably a bit concerned about her mad husband and now he was also pulling her along. Bought a lot of things over the next few weeks of which the best was 2 pairs of BMW all-round boots, which eventually was the only boots on the whole trip that stayed bone dry inside. Went camping over weekends twice and flew up to Joburg to meet all the people going on the trip in Oct 06. By this time my friend from CT pulled out and we were the only southern bike on the trip. Proudly CY offcourse.

Many people said I should ‚??post‚?Ě the bike up to Joburg by train or truck, but decided that would almost be like cheating. I wanted to ride my bike out my garage and back into it again. Decided to fly Ingrid up at the start and down at the end of the trip.

So to make a long story short I left for Joburg on Wed the 13 of Des 06 with this in mind:



DAY 1:   Cape Town to Bloemfontein (990km) ‚?? Wed 13 Dec 06
This was probably the hottest day of the year, in SA at least. When I into Colesberg after lunch things felt a lot cooler through my airflow jacket, and I almost fainted when the thermo at the garage said 36C, so much for cooler there. Finished my Camelback a few times that day before ending up at a mate of mines place in Bloem. He is a doctor and laughed at all the injections I had in me, YELLOWFEVER off course, typhoid, hepatitis, polio drops and malaria pills.

DAY 2:   Bloem to Joburg (400km) ‚?? Thurs 14 Dec 06
A cool early morning with thin air meant I could go almost flat out, getting used to the bike and the long hours in the saddle. This was a great ride and reached Lyndhurst Auto for a service booking by mid afternoon, after a few stops in the freestate. Shucks what is wrong with that M1 of you guys up there? someone nearly took me out. Anyway I was seriously impressed with the size and professionalism of Lyndhurst.

DAY 3:    Rest day in Joburg ‚?? Fri 15 Dec 06
Stayed at my brother-in-law‚??s place and collect my wife from the airport. Also sorted out the bike including new tyres. Chilled on the couch ant watched a bit of test cricket.

DAY 4:   Johannesburg to Francistown (722km) ‚?? Sat 16 Dec 06
Basically the first day for all the other people in the group. Being a Capie we got lost from Midrand to Harties, not a good start to the trip. After a quick stop and a brief look at the position of the sun and the setting moon, we found our way again. I needed a couple of km‚??s to get use to the pillion riding scenario, but it was great to have my wife with me now.

Our riding companions for the next few weeks:
BMW 1200GS x 5
BMW 1200GSA x 2
BMW 1150GS
BMW 1150GSA
Honda Africa Twin
Aprilia 650
Land Cruiser with 3 bike trailer
Jeep Wrangler with food and dop trailer.
Nissan Double cab with extra luggage trailer.

Met up with the rest of the group at about 6:30 and we left shortly afterwards on the R501 towards Thabazimbi where we had our first fuel stop.

Get together in Harties


Fuel and Breakfast stop in Thabazimbi


I had a home made Perspex screen on the front to ensure we had proper wind protection, being tall has its cons aswell. It looked a bit shit but did the business. The bike was still nice and clean here:


Continued over the border fairly easy into Botswana, making sure all the passports, carnets, cell phone roaming and the likes were in order.

Some guys had to cool off at the local liquor store:


For the rest of the day we continued on the A1 after we turned right/east at Palapye towards Francistown. We made sure the speed stayed within 120km/h, and got stopped fairly quickly on this main road. The cops asking whether this was a race or what? Got to Francistown late afternoon where we camped and had some chow in a restaurant.




 

Offline Highlander

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Re: Zanzibar and back........................but you need a bike first!
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2007, 07:13:42 am »

DAY 5:   Francistown to Livingstone (600km) ‚?? Sun 17 Dec 06
Fuelled up the next morning and used my petrol card for probably the last time before entering south Africa again a few weeks later. Here we are leaving the Shell garage:


The road to Nata was a great ride and we struggled to keep to the speed limit:

The road was unbelievably flat and straight in places with very little traffic. On our left we passed the Makgadigadi Pans, a place we are sure to visit in the future again.

Turning right towards Chobe the scenario changed with Zimbabwe now also only a few km‚??s to the right. The road was fairly good and just as you settle into a stride one would hit these sets of potholes. One nearly caused us to prang but a bit of throttle saved the day but not the number plate. Luckily we were not last in the queue and one of our friends turned around and collected it again. We were a bit shaken up after this ramp, especially after I was told that there was a couple of centimetres worth of clear air between the road and our wheels as we lifted out of the hole:


Pit stop to make sure we were OK:


Riding into Kazungula we found 40 odd trucks and various other vehicles in the queue to cross the Zambezi. Being on bikes we off course just moved to the front and loaded our two wheels next to a truck onto the ferry. The backups had to do the detour through Zim and it cost them aprox R1000 extra to do so. We were worried about them but was very glad when they arrived later that evening at camp.

O yes, we also had the first rain of the trip coming to cool us down:






The border crossing was again fairly painless before we headed off towards Livingstone. We again found plenty vehicles on the other side waiting to cross the river. I don‚??t think it‚??s the best idea to attempt this with a car, at least not over the December time period:




We all where in great spirits that we have come so far with such ease, and stopped for some group photies and a chat:


The road into Livingstone was also nice, we had light rain which wasn‚??t a hindrance at all. At our campsite one of our group found a Touratech metal plate, which was part of a competition as advertised in some of the bike magazines. Not too shabby.

DAY 6:   Rest Day (0km) ‚?? Mon 18 Dec 06
I don‚??t want to say to much about this day, we did most of the Vic Falls touristy things. The group split up here to do as they please, amongst others some did white water rafting, helicopter flights ect ect.






The president and his vice:


It was a great day and we had some nice steaks to braai in the evening, enough to charge our batteries for the long road ahead to Dar es Salaam.

DAY 7:   Livingstone to Siavonga/Kariba (543km) ‚?? Tue 19 Dec 06
Leaving Livingstone we where now finally heading into the heart of Africa. I for sure didn‚??t really know what to expect from here. This day was particular difficult day for two reasons. One being a long pass under construction and the other a gravel and sandy road before or final stop at Sandy Beach next to Kariba Dam.

The long road ahead:


Some riding buddies, thanks Neil for being the mastermind behind this trip.






Fuel is cheap, or is it now?


Me and my lunch buddie:


Our accommodation next to Kariba dam was nice. This was the warmest day and night of my life. I didn‚??t get to much sleep due to the extreme heat. At least we didn‚??t have to pitch a tent that night. Funny to see all the fisherman boats on the dam during the evening, bright little lights trying to attract the fish to them. The owner of the lodge is also a very interesting person, he comes from Britain and married a female minister of Zambia. Received some tips from him which proved valuable for the next days riding.






Luckily there was a pool, with some ‚??waterhondjies‚?Ě in it I might add. I‚??ve never heard of this little creature before to great amusement of the Gauties. Anyway, together with some beers it helped with the sweltering heat.



DAY 8:   Siavonga/Kariba to Forest Inn/Central Zambia (500km odd) ‚?? Wed 20 Dec 06
The next day about 3 bikes including us decide that we want to go see the Kariba dam wall, while the others continued to Lusaka to organise insurance papers. The wall is situated between Zambia and Zimbabwe in ‚??no-mans land‚?Ě. We temporarily had to hand in our passports to view this awesome site:


Coming from Zim you can‚??t miss this sign:


The detour took about 2.5 hours and being far behind the group now we had to move to try and catch up. The Africa Twin with it‚??s exhaust modification sounded good at 140km/h in front of us. Luckily we did this detour as about 200km down the road we found one of our group members without a front sprocket. A few extra hands are of great value in Africa. And no, that is not a brown eye:

We had to call it quits due to time running out, we loaded the wounded bike onto the backup vehicle where it actually hitched a ride for the rest of the vacation. The lady rider jumped onto the back of her husband‚??s 1200, which resulted is some great photo and DVD footage for the remainder of the trip.

Ag shame, we couldn‚??t save everyone:


Rolling into Lusaka in the rain was an eye opener, I expected far worse and was happy to see things in a fairly good state. It‚??s a very big city with everything in working order, lots of traffic though. Spoke to some friendly locals aswell:


We got held up in Lusaka with insurance issues for another 2 hours and resulted that we didn‚??t make our final evening destination as previously planned. A quick stop over in Kapiri Mposi for some samoosas, and we headed on to the Forest Inn just off the T2 main drag. This was now straight towards Tanzania close to Mkushi. It was cool evening in the forest with some light rain. Managed to sleep properly and felt great the next morning:




DAY 9:   Forest Inn/Central Zambia to Kapisha Hot Springs/East Zambia (400km odd) ‚?? Thurs 21 Dec 06
Had lots of rain this day, you can see these ‚??little storms‚?Ě come from far, some you miss to the right, others to left, but offcourse you smack some of them head on. Lots of rain and wind. Riding in rain for most of the day there is no raincoat that can keep the water out. As bikers you would now that the first place to get wet is ‚??between your legs‚?Ě where you meet the seat. Here is our first pit stop to put some rain coats on:


Kapisha hot springs is on a private farm and we had to do 40km of wet gravel and mud at the end of the days riding. It added some fun with one or 2 bikes falling over, luckily with little damage. Just a few blue spots on the legs.


Some low water bridge on the farm, this oke probably can‚??t understand all our rain gear:




The springs itself was superb, very nice and hot after a whole day of wet riding. The hot water keeps on bubbling through the white sand into a crystal clear swimming pool area. We stayed in for a few hours.


The river next to our campsite moving rapidly along due to all the rain:


For the first time in days we found some bread and only had some jam on it for supper, it was great. Funny how the smaller things in life is suddenly so tasty. Plenty rain overnight leaked into our tents, luggage and our helmets, testing our patience to the limit the next morning.

Making sure tire pressures are fine and also trying to dry some stuff while waiting. The built in compressor on the Johan‚??s 1150 GSA saved the day a few times.

« Last Edit: June 05, 2009, 01:43:57 pm by Highlander »
 

Offline Highlander

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Re: Zanzibar and back........................but you need a bike first!
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2007, 07:14:38 am »
DAY 10:   Kapisha Hot Springs to Mbeya/West Tanzania (441km odd) ‚?? Fri 22 Dec 06
Officially the most difficult day of the tour, so spare me a moment if I gripe a bit. We had to cross the border at Tunduma into Tanzania. Before we got there we nearly ran out of petrol, riding at 60km/h for more than an hour, freeing into Isoka the gage was on 0km to ride for the last 20 odd kays. We got there last and found all the other bikes scrambling around cause the garage in town ran dry. Eventually we had to buy on the black market out of containers at a hell of a price, and also risky:

No fuel in Isoka:


Lets hope this helps to ‚??clean‚?Ě the fuel:


Lots of attention:


The border post was a damn hell hole, took us nearly 3hours to get through. Somehow our bike group got split up for a few minutes and on official ran of with all but 3 carnets (import export docs). Some of the ‚??agents‚?Ě around there even threatened us that if we don‚??t bribe them we won‚??t leave Tanzania alive. Then while hanging around outside the rain started to fall again adding to frustrations. After bargaining and fighting a bit we left the border post for Mbeya, which we reached on the brink of darkness in the wet. Water leaked through the black bags inside our oxford luggage panniers and we didn‚??t have on single dry item to wear. I ordered beef that evening and received chicken, the explanation: beef is finished so take this. Luckily I had a warm beer to flush it down with.
Back at the bungalows there was NO running water and we received one bucket of water between the 2 of us for washing and all else. We climbed into bed only to be awaken by the Muslim mosque singing their songs at 3 in the morning.

The bungalows at the Greenview Inn, Mbeya, maybe on another day it could be better:




DAY 11:   Mbeya to Ruaha River/Iringa (545km) ‚?? Sat 23 Dec 06
Waking up to a new day was great, not having to camp has its benefits. Only 2 more riding days to go before Dar Es Salaam. Again the landscape was green and small little vegetable farmers and so on along the route. The day warmed up quite nicely after all the rain riding of the previous day. We found a little shop next to the road that stocked a lot of things inside a small room, best of all were the Crocs at R21. The image is a bit blurry, but it shows the amount of stuff available in there. Here I am buying some cheese:


The long road ahead‚?¶.


We had our first rear puncture a few minutes later. The nail or dog bone that caused it was in and out of the rubber in a flash, resulting in an almost instant flat at 120km/h. The bike snaked to a halt and we were lucky to be able to plug it:


Our campsite for the evening was close to Iringa and we decided to go into town to visit their world famous fruit and veg market. Approaching the town you can‚??t see a thing, it sits on-top of a hill similar to one of the gauteng mine dumps, just bigger. You travel up and up, and the closer you get the more traffic you find along the road until you suddenly round a bend and see this town:
 

Another one:


The market was great and we bought all sorts of things there incl honey and condensed milk. There was lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and the people were amused at us.

Another one:


The whole day we found lots of trucks and busses that just ran of the road, bad maintenance and poor driving skills I would guess:


Riding into the campsite was great fun, approx 3 km‚??s of washed away muddy tracks. Another couple of prangs later en we could pitch camp on the wettest lawn around I‚??ve seen in a long time. The smoke in the back is from a donkey hot water system which worked well:


And here is the answer as to why we needed some backup vehicles:

Some of our friends made little stews that night while we backed some vetkoeke from dry dough we bought from outdoorwarehouse (just add water). The honey and cheese with it was great.



DAY 12:   Ruaha River/Iringa to Dar Es Salaam (352km) ‚?? Sun 24 Dec 06
Early on in the day we travelled through one of the most amazing passes I‚??ve ever seen, up and down and very twisty. We stopped over a guy selling mielies and I had to make sure I get my exercise in for the Argus:




Some riding mates at the mielie stand:






A bit of geotechnical issues here, think you guys need a good engineer:




Lets make sure all in Dar Es Salaam know we are all proudly South African:


Look at this guys pillion, a bokkie:


Riding into Dar was another experience on it‚??s own. They apparently don‚??t really speak of traffic jams here cause it looks like this 24/7. It is a huge place and we saw some really nice houses into the distance on the hills. Traffic was really hectic and again because of our yellow light we were asked to take the rear. (The yellow light indicates to the leader where the end of the group is). In some places the tar road was washed away and in others it was just poor gravel roads inside town. It made life a bit difficult with taxis sniping at your tail light:


Waiting, waiting, waiting:


Traffic, traffic, traffic:


We stayed overnight in the Silver Sands Hotel in Dar with air-conditioned rooms which was nice. Had some green banana stew that evening and some red wine for the first time in a while, some of the meat was a bit tough however:


The view form the hotel towards one of the islands south of Zanzibar:


Krap se kind:



DAY 13:   Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar (by ferry) ‚?? Mon 25 Dec 06
After drawing a wack load of Tanzanian shillings, we left for Zanzibar. The harbour was crowded as expected and we got whittled out of US$5 (on top of the $35 fee) each  before leaving on the ferry. The ride was about 2 hours and fairly similar to the Robben island ferries back home.


Arriving in Zanzibar we were met with a sign requesting all ladies in bikinis to be as discreet and careful as possible, this being a Muslim country. The island was a great place, even better than some of the more optimists explained it to us. Very friendly people, fairly cheap, peaceful and offcourse the island vacation feel about it. It was for sure worth the ride. Our group split up here, and little groups went together for the few days as they see fit. IF YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN THERE BEFORE, MAKE SURE THAT YOU GO!!!!!!
I WILL DEFINITLY AGAIN GO BACK FOR SURE, DEFINITLY!!!

Being away from our families for Christmas was not great for all, but I must say I rather enjoyed it. Had a hamburger and chips in the Old Fort in stone town for Christmas lunch:


After another few beers we needed some wheels, the options were to get a taxi, get a minibus tour operator for the few days, but there was only really one‚?¶.some vespas.


The renting/owner guy told us he wanted to take us to the open field for 10 minutes motorcycle training. We started laughing and the poor guy didn‚??t know why, after we explained to him he was quite happy to let us go for $10 per day per scooter. The guy on the right is the famous Ali Keys himself, Mr vespa renter, making sure we know how it works:


For the first couple of minutes we couldn‚??t ride these little things from laughter, it was serious fun. Fully loaded with a luggage bag at the back and pillion it was difficult to steer this underpowered machine through the heavy traffic. Taxis, vespas, little trucks and normal vehicles everywhere.

The next step was to get some accommodation and we decided that the north of the island at the town of Nungwi would do for a start. After getting the knack of it, these vespas really started to ride nice, even some off-road and gravel stuff:


Checking out some accommodation:


Found a place at an englishman‚??s lodge almost where the road ends in the north for $90 a night. It was great.


DAY 14:   Rest day -  Zanzibar ‚?? Tue 26 Dec 06
Sleeping a bit late before exploring the north with the vespas. We accidentally landed on the beach and had to get off very quickly, these little off-road machines went quite far on the thick sand but couldn‚??t do the last rise onto the road again:


And offcourse we had to do a bit of snorkelling, clear water resulted in great views underwater. Being Capies doesn‚??t mean that we love the sea, and it took us few minutes to get used to the water and the shallow diving scenario:




Some more views from the north during midday, it was really hot and we had to do a bit of a beer break:








If you don‚??t believe me about this place, read the beer label yourself, relaaaaaxing:


Our little house/room for the first two nights;

DAY 15 & 16:   Rest day -  Zanzibar ‚?? Wed 27/Thurs 28 Dec 06
So we decided to put the vespas to the test on the long road, going from Nungwi in the north to Paje in the southeast, if I must guess I should say about 70km‚??s or so. With a pillion and full tanks and luggage we managed about 50km/h tops, ringing its necks as fast as we could in some places:

Somewhere close to the Jozani forest in the middle of the island, one of my favourite pics, the camera is balanced on the other vespa:


The view in the southeast at sunset:


Although it says Caf√© its only accommodation, found that a bit strange, but it was the only available place to stay in the whole village, so we had no choice. I did get a ‚??nice‚?Ě massage here from one of the local ladies for US$10:

« Last Edit: June 05, 2009, 01:46:56 pm by Highlander »
 

Offline Highlander

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Re: Zanzibar and back........................but you need a bike first!
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2007, 07:15:13 am »
DAY 16:   Zanzibar to Dar Es Salaam (by ferry)‚?? Fri 28 Dec 06
Starting our scoots every morning was a great commotion, the batteries ran flat overnight. We had to do the running start thing in second gear and making sure that our heart rate was nice and high for the rest of the day. This particular morning I also found out that the buggers stole the petrol out of the tank, welcome to Africa. We had to head back to the ferry for our trip back to Dar, was quite sad to leave the island behind. We spent the last couple of hours shopping in Stone Town;




Lekker KFC:


Back onto the ferry:


On the way back from the harbour in Dar to our Hotel we saw a bride in her wedding car, we cheered a bit out of our taxi van and being very friendly she waved back at us:


The best part of it was however the band on the bakkie just behind providing some fine tunes in traffic:


DAY 17:   Dar Es Salaam  to Ruaha River (400km) ‚?? Thurs 29 Dec 06
We woke up at 4:30 that morning heading out at 6:00 to try and miss the Dar early morning traffic. A huge monsoon rain storm broke out and some of the roads exiting town started to wash away already. It was hectic, side roads flooded and cars up to their roofs in the water. No photos unfortunately, was to wet to get the camera out. I cropped some pics from the DVD footage to give an idea. We cruised out at 20km/h careful not to aquaplane off the roads:








About 200km out of town the rain stopped and we found some wild life in the Mikuma reserve:


Heading all the way back on the road we came in with was putting my mind at ease, at least familiar territory. We camped that night under a big lapa at the Boabab camp site:


Even the bikes had their own one:


Our new friends, the Masai, who looked after us very well for the evening:



DAY 18:   Ruaha River to Tukuyu (545km) ‚?? Fri 30 Dec 06
Me and my wife left early that morning and rode ahead on our own for a few km‚??s. Along the route we stop and spoke to these road building workers. They actually heat the bitumen in these huge tanks and then add some fine stone to use as road surfacing:


Turning left at Mbeya towards the Malawi border was great and we were now heading straight south for the first time on this trip:


And there I was thinking we had a heavy load on board:


Some of the landscape:


Ended up in Tukuyu for the evening only a few km‚??s away from the border. The Landmark lodge was a nice 3 story hotel with hot showers and great food. We had a buffet supper and afterwards when we thanked the waitress, she called almost all the staff form the hotel to share in our compliments. The view from the hotel:


The other view, the best one:


We also found a tumble drier in the hotel and we could wash and dry most of our clothes that evening, which was great.

DAY 19:   Tukuyu to Chinteche (450km) ‚?? Sat 31 Dec 06
The border crossing into Malawi was one of the easiest the whole trip, very friendly people, especially on the Malawian side. The air smelt a bit different there with a feel of a more wealthy developed country. We saw lots of bicycles along the route and met up with the lake fairly fast close to Karonga. This was now a stretch of tar I‚??ve been on before back in 99 when it was just a gravel road. The lake was beautiful as ever and for sure another highlight of the vacation. We stop at the first spot we could see it:


The road from there was great because it went up and down a twisty mountain pass, my wife at the back was now used to riding and we all had a bit of bike fever that day. We couldn‚??t keep up with some of the single riders, but I‚??m pretty sure we came close to riding our chicken strips from the back wheel. All along the route it looked like this:




We had to dodge a cow or 2:


Here I‚??m coming out of the bush somewhere after a toilet brake with the camera in hand, a veltie with a view:


This bridge suddenly sprung out in front of us from around a blind corner, we couldn‚??t brake fast enough a ramped over the unmarked speed hump at the start. Here is some of the other guys crossing:


A bit of gravel road to end of the days riding:


The view from our campsite:

Another one:


I travelled my braai grid with the whole trip and was adamant to put a fish on the coals that night. I put some flippers on and swam about 40mins into the lake to where I found the first fishing boat. No fresh fish with them due to the weather and the full moon of that evening. Arriving back at shore the owner of the campsite told that I‚??m mad to challenge the crocs in the lake. I never knew this so my luck was in, anyway he gave me fairly fresh fish which I braaid that night for oujaars:


At 12 that night we celebrated new years with another swim in the lake, closer to shore this time. We were very surprised to see a bit of fireworks aswell:


O yes and I made sure I enough vodka for a change!

DAY 20:   Chinteche to Senga (304km) ‚?? Sun 01 Jan 07
Packing up the site each morning was usually about a 1.5 hrs affair, having a bit of weetbix with box milk made sure we could see it through till lunch if there was any for that day:


A fairly easy days riding and the group split up as they please and left for Senga as the babelas would allow. Unfortunately not a lot of pics on this day. Arriving early afternoon at Cool Runnings campsite, it was interesting to listen to the ex South African lady owner. She spoke about South Africa and why she left, but mostly about the cultures and differences of the Malawian people, also the challenges they face on a daily bases.

The camp site:


View of the lake towards ‚??lizard island‚?Ě, I think?


Another one;


A friend of ours also went fishing on one of the local boats, and caught some nice colourful fish.

DAY 21:   Senga to Tete/Moz (580km) ‚?? Mon 02 Jan 07
The first time along this trip where we ran out of fuel. Our 1200 and the Africa Twin at the same time. Here I am sucking a bit of fuel out of an Adventure. Got some of it into my mouth and out my nose:


Last time when I was in Tete was in 1999, the place was a dump, and we were warned to be careful as this was one of the most dangerous corridors in the 80‚??s and early 90‚??s. We were pleasantly surprised to see the difference, fuel stations, atm‚??s, bakeries and more.

Here we are crossing the river:






I was really starting to become tired from this day onwards, fighting the sleep on the bike for a couple of times before reaching home.

DAY 22:   Tete to Vilankulo (865km) ‚?? Tue 03 Jan 07
To do 865km on one day after 21 days in total was really a bitch. We ran out of fuel for the second day straight and also had our second puncture of the trip. While plugging the wheel we very quickly had a crowd:


Some of the landscape:


That evening we had a bit of a mishap as our friend on his 1150 GSA took a wrong turn in the dark and landed up on the beach in some soft sand. It was rally a struggle to get him out, we eventually had to kick it sideways to fill the gap under the wheel. Who said that a 1150 Adv can‚??t do any riding on the beach:



DAY 23:   Vilankulo to Tofo/Inhambane (350km) ‚?? Wed 04 Jan 07
When we woke up the following morning we found out what the rain sound of the previous night was, I pitched the tent under a tree with a birds nest in. They poo‚??ed all over it the whole night long. The best comment towards me was: dis nou deur die k@k.


Leaving Vilankulo:


Although it was a short day‚??s riding ahead, I was very tired and about 100km in to day I had to ask the guys to stop in order for me to take a 5 min nap:


Although they didn‚??t say, the others were also happy to take a break:


Back on the road again:


It was a bit of a culture shock coming from Africa to find the town of Tofo full of expensive SUV‚??s and little kwats racing all over the place. The campsite at Tofo was quite nice and I would like to go back there one day to experience it without being so tired. The bar was full of people who looked in the mood for some serious partying.
The campsite:


The view of the beach from the bar;


Another one:


DAY 24:   Tofo/Inhambane to Bilene (350km) ‚?? Thurs 05 Jan 07
Some stretching on the way to Bilene:


We stayed at a camp site owned by South Africans. We braaid some skaaptjops and boerewors which was great.

Sorry not to many nice pics of this day.

DAY 25:   Bilene to Sodwana Bay (500km) ‚?? Fri 06 Jan 07
My wife hitched a ride back to Joburg with the rest of the group, to catch a flight back to Cape Town. Here we are just east of Maputo at the toll gate a few km‚??s before the turn off to Swaziland. I was now on my own again heading home. It was quite sad to say good bye to my riding companions of the past few weeks:


Cheers guys:


I turned South towards Swaziland and eventually onto Sudwana Bay. It was a fast days riding, especially in Swazi where I went almost flat out. It is another beautiful place and I will go back there again for sure.

DAY 26:   Sodwana Bay (Rest day) ‚?? Sat 07 Jan 07
Stayed at a friend‚??s campsite. He had his caravan and whole family there, organized and sorted out. Very different to what I was used to over the past few weeks. Took it easy that day with some good food, beer and great snorkelling.

DAY 27:   Sodwana Bay to PE (1300km) ‚?? Sun 08 Jan 07
This was my dreamy day. Not 100% sure how a did this. Got pulled off in a speed trap in the transkei and after telling the officers a bit about my adventure, they let me go with a warning only. They didn‚??t even know where Zanzibar was. Not much more to say, but this was the longest ride of the whole trip. Here is the last photo I took of the vacation, it was in my ‚??backyard‚?Ě in the northern transkei somewhere:


DAY 28:   PE to Cape Town (770km) ‚?? Mon 09 Jan 07

Got home before lunch that day resulting in a 12 hour sleep that night.

So that was it folks, my longest bike ride ever, and probably also forever. This is now why I am a biker again. It was a vacation I will never forget, one that was a true achievement for us being mostly relaxed type of people not used to such adventure. Adding up all the km‚??s above I short changed myself somewhere, my odometer said 12 500km, and that was in 28 days. If we kept going north we would‚??ve probably reached Cairo on the more or less the same amount of km‚??s, scary thought. Strangely enough the first few days back at work at the beginning of this year felt like a vacation.

Thanks to all involved in the organisation of it. We also made great new friends.
Will I do it again if givinn the opportunity, HELL YEA.

And again, thanks to my wife!







« Last Edit: June 05, 2009, 01:48:36 pm by Highlander »
 

Offline Tin-Tin

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Re: Zanzibar and back........................but you need a bike first!
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2007, 07:57:07 am »
Briliant report.
Beeing an ex overlander runing trips Cape town to Kenia you bring back lots of memorys.
Tin-Tin on adventure
 

luislang

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Re: Zanzibar and back........................but you need a bike first!
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2007, 08:08:38 am »
Nice man ,epic trip there !!
 

GS-holic

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Re: Zanzibar and back........................but you need a bike first!
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2007, 08:11:29 am »
Fawkin excellent sou ek se ;) :thumleft: - well done!!
 

Offline JdJ

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Re: Zanzibar and back........................but you need a bike first!
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2007, 09:57:21 am »
ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT !!!!

 

bobnob

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Re: Zanzibar and back........................but you need a bike first!
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2007, 10:34:52 am »
awesome stuff...

one day i will do that trip

then after that i'll do the cape to cairo to london trip  ;D
 

shark_za

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Re: Zanzibar and back........................but you need a bike first!
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2007, 10:40:59 am »
Thanks for that, now you made me lus!
 

Offline Eisbein

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Re: Zanzibar and back........................but you need a bike first!
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2007, 10:41:45 am »
Ek sal graag met aandag wil lees, so dit sal moet wag tot vanaand...

:(

Die 'quick scan' lyk baie belowend...

02/02/12 - RIP Glen - the Arrow of Elliot and the little man with the big heart that truly was larger than life.

You have touched us and left us better for having known you - even if it was only briefly.

For grabbing the moment and living the day It's been way too early that you were taken away
 

Offline LuckyStriker

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Re: Zanzibar and back........................but you need a bike first!
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2007, 11:20:46 am »
Wow!
Epic!

thanks for the great report
I hope to be doing a similar ride soon

thanks again for posting it
 

Offline Scrat

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Re: Zanzibar and back........................but you need a bike first!
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2007, 11:43:32 am »
Hey excellent report!! maak mos nou slapende honde wakker hier!!  ::)Damm
Call us Crazy!! But what an ADVENTURE!!
 

Offline bmad

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Re: Zanzibar and back........................but you need a bike first!
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2007, 11:48:30 am »
Awesome report YellowFever :thumright:

One of my dream trips too.
You really pick the right time to post, don't you  >:D (just before the holidays)
I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!
 

Offline luke

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Re: Zanzibar and back........................but you need a bike first!
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2007, 02:12:58 pm »
Bliksem.......I want to go too
Grey haired riders don't get that way by pure luck ! !
 

Offline JonW

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Re: Zanzibar and back........................but you need a bike first!
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2007, 03:45:30 pm »
Thanks for taking the time to post this YellowFever, very enjoyable.

I reckon you lit a fire under lots of our arses to get out there and do something like this.
How can I be lost if I've got nowhere to go?
 

Offline Ratel

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Re: Zanzibar and back........................but you need a bike first!
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2007, 04:17:18 pm »
You have done what most people only dream of - lekka stuff!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
"Stercus accidit..."
 

Offline bud500

Re: Zanzibar and back........................but you need a bike first!
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2007, 10:53:47 pm »
Awesome report, well worth the year long wait...
Big thanks for taking the time and the effort to compile this report.
Makes me feel 2 opposites, 1 I wanna go ride, 2 damn my 2 week December trippie will never be this epic.
May the bridges I burn light the way...
 

Offline X Banana Boy

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Re: Zanzibar and back........................but you need a bike first!
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2007, 11:40:22 pm »
Awesome.  thanks
 

Kev

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Re: Zanzibar and back........................but you need a bike first!
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2007, 12:00:26 am »
Yes! :notworthy: :thumleft: