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Author Topic: Into Africa - DASKOP's 12000km drive  (Read 86282 times)

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Offline DASKOP

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Re: Into Africa - DASKOP's 12000km drive
« Reply #680 on: February 17, 2014, 08:55:46 am »
Early morning on the road about 3 km before Chimoio. It is still dark and I hope to get away as soon as I have filled up in Chimoio. But, that is where the problem lies. Since yesterday, Chimoio has been without fuel and I strike it lucky at filling station no 7 where the fuel delivery truck has just arrived.

In the meantime, I have a chat to the owner, a young Portuguese guy who is actually studying in London. He has come to Chimoio to help his family. They are in the process of closing down the filling station as they are being stolen blind by their own people. Fuel theft, it seems, is taking on nightmare proportions in Mozambique. Every precaution they take, remains effective only for a while until they find a way around it and continue helping themselves.

They also have a transport company and there, apart from also contending with diesel theft, theft from the vehicles and theft of the vehicles, there is the accident danger. Apparently, the majority of truck drivers in Mozambique have false or bought driver's licenses and PDP. The company owners are many times the ones who buy these licenses due to the lack of properly trained and licensed drivers to drive their rigs. They then put this fraudulently licensed driver with an experienced driver for a few trips and then give him his own rig.

This explains the reason for the amount of truck accidents I had seen during my trip.

For now, it is time to get back on the road. I have been stuck and cannot wait to get back on the open road.



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« Last Edit: February 20, 2014, 07:58:45 pm by DASKOP »
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Offline DASKOP

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Re: Into Africa - DASKOP's 12000km drive
« Reply #681 on: February 17, 2014, 09:48:04 am »

Filled up and I head out to my next destination........... Vilanculos.
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Offline DASKOP

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Re: Into Africa - DASKOP's 12000km drive
« Reply #682 on: February 17, 2014, 11:58:45 am »
You will notice in the photos above how quiet the roads are. The two vehicles I encountered on the roads were both broken trucks. For the rest of time the roads were desolate. It was eerie.

For some unknown reason, I had been feeling rather uncomfortable traveling this section through Moz. I, at first, just thought that the uneasiness must be due to my concern whether the bike was 100% and that I did not want to break down in Moz where there was such obvious tension at present. Then I realised how quiet the roads were and then I started seeing more and more heavily armed soldiers in camouflage outfits all along the road. At one river, there were plenty of soldiers at a meccano type military bridge in place of the original that must have been blown up.

The soldiers were all very friendly and waved at me. So I thought everything was hunky-dory. I waved back and continued on my merry way. If there was c....p ahead, or if I was in any way in the wrong, they would have stopped me.

Well, that is what any sane person would think, right?

 ???



« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 02:07:16 pm by DASKOP »
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Offline jeff

Re: Into Africa - DASKOP's 12000km drive
« Reply #683 on: February 18, 2014, 04:16:00 pm »
this is just too much antisssssipation....................... :)
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Offline DASKOP

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Re: Into Africa - DASKOP's 12000km drive
« Reply #684 on: February 19, 2014, 02:12:03 pm »
this is just too much antisssssipation....................... :)

The rest of the story was supposed to form part of that post, but as I got to that point I was called to a site meeting and it has not stopped until now.

Hopefully I can finish that story tonight.                :lol8:
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Offline cruizaman

Re: Into Africa - DASKOP's 12000km drive
« Reply #685 on: February 19, 2014, 02:23:01 pm »
Hopefully I can finish that story tonight.                :lol8:

Its about time, you started this RR in August last year!! Sit down and finish it, man!  :lamer: 
 

Offline jeff

Re: Into Africa - DASKOP's 12000km drive
« Reply #686 on: February 19, 2014, 10:46:40 pm »
Aaargh still nothing
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Offline DASKOP

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Re: Into Africa - DASKOP's 12000km drive
« Reply #687 on: February 21, 2014, 02:26:22 pm »
I was traveling on a long straight section of road when I noticed bright lights in the distance. It turns out to be a military armoured personnel carrier with mounted LMG’s and soldiers all over the top, all armed with machine guns.

Behind them is a convoy of 50-60 vehicles, and because they are not expecting any traffic coming from the north, they are occupying both lanes. Imagine the surprised looks on the faces off the drivers at seeing this solitary bike coming at them. There were buses, trucks, RSA bakkies towing trailers, boats and 4x4 camping trailers. They were literally twisting their necks off staring at me whilst trying to move into the northbound lane so that I can pass. I was just as surprised.

It seems that I was supposed to travel in a convoy. Nobody stopped me and told me and there were no signs indicating as much either.

By the time that I gathered my wits at the sight of this and realized I should actually take some photos, I was nearly at the end of the convoy.

I have to admit that after this encounter, the reality of the whole situation in Mozambique was so much more clear and I realised that I was actually quite blessed not to have encountered any problems. That is in view of the fact that about 80km from Chimoio, I had just crossed a bridge, when the bike spluttered and died. I went absolutely cold, it was a very desolate section, I did not want to get stranded here.

I flicked the newly installed toggle switch off and on again and the engine fired. One huge sigh of relief.

I had also stopped a few times along the road to have something to drink. I was very fortunate. I was to hear from someone at Vilanculos later, that a few days earlier, the rebels had attacked the vehicles that were at the end of another convoy that was passing through the area. So the threat was real.

.

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Offline DASKOP

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Re: Into Africa - DASKOP's 12000km drive
« Reply #688 on: February 22, 2014, 07:01:06 am »

Lotsa time to think, sometimes not a good thing when you are in a country in turmoil on a bike at a dubious level of mechanical repair.




Crossing the river at Save.


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Offline DASKOP

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Re: Into Africa - DASKOP's 12000km drive
« Reply #689 on: February 22, 2014, 07:08:49 am »
After my sobering reminder of where I was riding and what the conditions were due to greed disguised as politics, I was acutely more aware of my surroundings and my actions. The feeling of uneasiness remained with me for several hundred more kilometers.

I saw a road contracting camp along the side of the road, which was curious, as the roads were in a very good condition. Was this Joe, brother of Manuel, cousin of the governer, who had provided a lucrative contract to do non-existing work for big rewards?

Then the signs of repairs started and shortly after that the potholes appeared. I now knew why the road repairers were there.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 03:53:20 pm by DASKOP »
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Offline DASKOP

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Re: Into Africa - DASKOP's 12000km drive
« Reply #690 on: February 22, 2014, 04:12:54 pm »
Oh yes, and then there was the trio of tip trucks, one of which can be seen in the first photo below. They came screaming past me on a good section of the road. Then I caught up to them when they were slowed down by trucks dodging the potholes. I passed them at this stage.

Then I got to a very potholed section and slowed down, weaving from one side of the road to the other side. All of a sardine, these truck overtook me and the other vehicles on the road, driving at least 90km/h +, whilst on the verge on the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic. The trucks were bouncing around and as the last one was about 50m ahead of me, the tailgate sprung open and a whole load of timber spilled out on the road in front of me. Fortunately, I was traveling very slow and was able to avoid this heap of timber and then noticed, as the truck careened down the road at breakneck speed, that there were passengers on the back.

You can just make out the truck in the dust to the right of the truck with the green tarps on.

Only in Africa.

As you will notice, it also started raining...................this was to spell trouble for someone further down the road.


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« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 05:36:33 pm by DASKOP »
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Offline DASKOP

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Re: Into Africa - DASKOP's 12000km drive
« Reply #691 on: February 22, 2014, 04:26:10 pm »
A closer look at utter madness.


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« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 04:26:43 pm by DASKOP »
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Offline DASKOP

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Re: Into Africa - DASKOP's 12000km drive
« Reply #692 on: February 22, 2014, 09:13:51 pm »
About 40km from Vilanculos, I pulled into a filling station. There was a Land Cruiser 4x4 with 2 families that was parked in the lane next to me. They pulled out as I started filling up. I finished and hit the road as, once again, the rain came.

I noticed some vehicles that had stopped on the verges in the distance. As I got there, it was that same 4x4 that I had seen at the filling station. They had rolled the vehicle. Wet road, small pothole, over correction, verge, gravel, fishtail, roll. Fortunately, there were only some cuts and bruises, no serious injuries and the 2 children were unharmed.

There was a roll-back that had stopped and after a while when it was obvious that the vehicle might not start, the driver offered to load them up and take them to the next big town so that they can get assistance.

That is, after he had moved the goat that was strapped on the back.

I took their contact number, which was a number in the UK, as they did not have a cell with them. That, I could not understand. When I got to Vilanculos, I tried to phone to see whether they got sorted or whether I needed to get help to them, but without success. So I went in search of the cops to report it, let's just say that it was a effort in futility.

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« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 09:15:45 pm by DASKOP »
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Offline DASKOP

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Re: Into Africa - DASKOP's 12000km drive
« Reply #693 on: February 23, 2014, 07:10:35 am »

Vilanculos

You drive through the village to get to the accommodation on the southern side of the town. And it is SAND.

I get to Baobab Beach Backpackers. I am told to go out again and enter via a different gate to get to my hut. I do so, take a wrong turning and get stuck in the sand right up to the rear axle. Fortunately, there is a young man that helps me to get it unstuck and I arrive at my grass/bamboo hut, spinning in the sand all the way. Also quite tricky trying to hold up a bike while at the same time trying to maneuver a flat piece of concrete closer to put under the side stand.

The hut is right next to the camp fence and on the other side, a mere meters away, are the village huts. You can hear everything that is happening in the village. Women preparing a meal for the evening, children playing, babies crying, chickens running for their lives.

Unusual.

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Offline DASKOP

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Re: Into Africa - DASKOP's 12000km drive
« Reply #694 on: February 23, 2014, 03:39:12 pm »
I did some exploring around Baobab, but the weather was not really conducive to sunbathing and it began raining at one stage. There were signs at the entrance to the beach that visitors were to beware of thieves and are not to take any valuables on to the beach. Not only a problem in RSA.

The hut is open between the top of the walls and roof. There is nothing in there apart from the bed, a fan, a pole to hang clothes on and a shelf. The ablutions are also typical backpackers style. I had a hamburger and chips for late lunch. The accommodation and meal cost me 1000 Meticals, about R330 / R340. I got some hot water from the bar to make hot chocolate. It was an early night as I wanted to leave before sunrise.

There are security guards patrolling the property of Baobab all the time even right through the night. One such very friendly guard assured me that he would check my bike until he goes off duty and that he would instruct his cousin, who was coming on after him, to do the same for the rest of the night and that nothing will disappear.

Well, he kept his word and when I got up at 03h00 to pack for departure, his cousin was there. I contributed to the unofficial watchman compensation fund.


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« Last Edit: February 24, 2014, 11:23:41 am by DASKOP »
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Offline DASKOP

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Re: Into Africa - DASKOP's 12000km drive
« Reply #695 on: February 24, 2014, 11:21:48 am »

It was very early when I left Vilanculos. Just on 4 am. Eerily quiet.

Photo 1 shows the sand going out, not pleasant to attempt in the dark
Photo 2 shows where I got stuck the previous day. The empty bottle is not mine.
Photo 3 shows the road between the shops and houses on the verge of town.
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Offline pietas

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Re: Into Africa - DASKOP's 12000km drive
« Reply #696 on: February 24, 2014, 07:22:43 pm »
Sho! You sure have had some experiences on this trip
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Offline DASKOP

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Re: Into Africa - DASKOP's 12000km drive
« Reply #697 on: February 25, 2014, 08:35:26 am »
Sho! You sure have had some experiences on this trip

It definitely was not boring. Good preparation for my Tanzania trip in June 2014. Looking forward to that.
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Offline DASKOP

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Re: Into Africa - DASKOP's 12000km drive
« Reply #698 on: February 25, 2014, 06:49:29 pm »

Early morning on the road in Mozambique. These photos were taken around 06h30.

What would any part of an Africa trip be like without the obligatory truck accident?
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Offline DASKOP

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Re: Into Africa - DASKOP's 12000km drive
« Reply #699 on: February 27, 2014, 02:40:58 pm »
Tropic of Capricorn in Namibia (with Murphy) and in Mozambique (all solo).
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 05:08:02 pm by DASKOP »
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