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Offline Airguitar

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Re: Southern Africa on a Honda CTX200 Bushlander
« Reply #260 on: May 24, 2014, 10:21:36 pm »
What a great read, and the pictures are magnificent!
Your English self-deprecating humour gives us a great look inside your mind as you ride and write.. It's like I'm there.  :thumleft:


OK now that you've kept me reading for 2 1/2 hours straight can I please go to bed?

Moderators, I believe this RR qualifies for entry into the Roll of Honour!  :deal:  ??
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Offline YamaV

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Re: Southern Africa on a Honda CTX200 Bushlander
« Reply #261 on: May 25, 2014, 10:29:32 am »
What a great read, and the pictures are magnificent!
Your English self-deprecating humour gives us a great look inside your mind as you ride and write.. It's like I'm there.  :thumleft:


OK now that you've kept me reading for 2 1/2 hours straight can I please go to bed?

Moderators, I believe this RR qualifies for entry into the Roll of Honour!  :deal:  ??

+1 epic trip
 

Offline TechnomadicJim

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Re: Southern Africa on a Honda CTX200 Bushlander
« Reply #262 on: May 25, 2014, 08:43:00 pm »
Thanks for the enjoyable and informative rr....:thumleft:

Oh..... and it was good meeting you today.

as above...+1 !!!!!

Thanks to both of you for the great day out! Sorry its taken so long to get the ride report written.

It was a pleasure meeting both of you and your mrs's. I've put some of the pictures up below. :)

What a great read, and the pictures are magnificent!
Your English self-deprecating humour gives us a great look inside your mind as you ride and write.. It's like I'm there.  :thumleft:

OK now that you've kept me reading for 2 1/2 hours straight can I please go to bed?

Moderators, I believe this RR qualifies for entry into the Roll of Honour!  :deal:  ??

Thanks man! and reading the whole way through! Yes you can sleep now, you've earned it :) heh.

Thanks for your kind words. I really love that people like yourself are enjoying the rr so much. It means a lot.

+1 epic trip

Hey Vian! Good to see your still on board. Hope you're well!

---

I drove down to beach in St Lucia and had a walk around for a while. Its a really nice long beach and almost nobody there.



After a drive around the town and lunch at the yacht and boat club. I headed to the crocodile sanctuary. I got chatting with the owner who was also a biker. Nice guy.



I don't remember learning this one for my theory test!



The next day I drove to Durban and checked in to Gibela Backpackers Lodge which wasn't cheap at 240 rand a night for the dorm but its a very well run place. I guess you would call it a "flashpackers" rather than a backpackers. I got in contact with "The Badger" on the forum and he suggested we go out for a ride in the valley of 1000 hills. We met up Sunday morning along with EssBee and his wife and headed out. The weather was great and the views stunning as we weaved off road through the hills.

Taking a tight corner a bit too fast I managed to lowside and my foot got trapped under the bike as I fell forwards. I didn't actually fall over but must have twisted my ankle under the bike. It didn't feel too bad initially so we kept on riding.



Stopping for a rest by this cascading river. In the distance were some "plastic bikes" (as The Badger called them) riding up and down the side of a very steep hill. Impressive stuff.



We finished up the rider about lunch time with the awesome view of the Umgeni river.



Here's a panoramic my The Badger.



We headed down to The Badger's house where his wife kindly made us some lunch and we sat around chatting for an hour or two. After sitting down for a while my foot began to hurt more and by the time I made it to the backpackers it was really quite painful. Here's the bruise that was starting to form a few days later after the swelling had gone down. Ouch!



After resting my ankle for a few days in Durban I could nearly walk again so I booked my bike in and got it serviced at the Honda dealership in Pinetown. It cost me 1330 rand! I had got used to cheap services on my travels and this was a bit of a shock but they did a good service and drove me around which is was being serviced. In fact I'm not entirely sure that the Honda dealerships in Malawi and Zimbabwe were official dealerships just because they had Honda painted on the wall outside. Ohh well.

The next day I was feeling better and decided to head off to the Champagne Valley in the Drakensburg. After taking the motorway about 2/3rds of the way I set my GPS to avoid motorways and took an R road and then some dirt roads the rest of the way. I came across this bridge full of cows.



As it became for hilly I could tell the scenery was going to only get better as I got deeper into the mountains.



The mountains in the background as you drive into the Champagne valley.



I headed for Inkosana Lodge which was recommended by the last backpackers. The place is pretty much empty because it's low season but its a really nice place to stay and very reasonable at 150 rand per night for my personal dorm. The day after I arrived I regretted leaving so early. My ankle was really hurting again and the bruising had got worse. Perhaps I had pushed myself a bit too much! 

One evening I had a nice long chat with a friendly Australian lady and a fellow Wild Dog who I didn't actually get the name of in the end. Please post up here if you read this so I know who you are. It was a pleasure to meet you and have a good chat :)

This morning I decided that I should probably go and have the ankle x-ray'd just in case it was broken and needed treatment. I hopped on the bike drove 5 meters and noticed I have a flat front tyre! Noooooo! This is really not what I need right now. Its Sunday too and nobody is about to help me out so I soldier on and manage to get the tyre off and with the aid of some washing up liquid I managed to break the bead and inspect the inner tube. That crappy repair I had done in Mozambique was back to haunt me again. The rubber band that protects the tube from the spokes had snapped where he had bodged it together with glue and thread. Its a lot colder now so I wonder if that was what made it break now as opposed to earlier. I managed to get some thread, glue and gaffa tape and repair it. It seemed to hold and was a bit of a pain to get on the rim again as its much smaller than it was originally. I must replace it soon before it goes again otherwise I will probably have to make one with an old inner tube. I decided to use my new spare tube instead of patching the old one as its a slightly better brand and will hopefully last longer. I managed to get the tyre back on again with the aid of more washing up liquid only to pump it up and realise I had pinched the tube. Grrrrr.... So again I remove the tube and repair it and replace it. Guess what ? I pinched it again! Remember I'm trying to sort all this out with a really sore potentially broken ankle. Not my best of days. I carry on though and repair the tube again. This time I pinched it twice.



I decided I needed a different method so I went online and researched some extra tips. This time I inflated the tyre slightly and used the other side of the tyre lever with more of a hook to get it back on. This worked perfectly. Success! 



Very happy with myself after 3 hours of hobbling about and 4 patches later I have fixed both inner tubes and finally put the tyre back on the bike so I can get myself to Ladysmith for an x-ray tomorrow. I notice this evening that my ankle if feeling better than yesterday and the bruising has gone down a lot. I think I will see how I feel tomorrow. I'm hoping to explore the Drakensburg and then drive the sani pass soon so I hope to get better sooner rather than later.

KM's so far 24,800.
Live Ride Report : Southern Africa on a Honda CTX 200 // Live GPS Tracking : http://www.whereisjames.com
 

Offline 777

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Re: Southern Africa on a Honda CTX200 Bushlander
« Reply #263 on: May 25, 2014, 09:16:42 pm »
Did I see your bike outside the FNB bank in Pmb on Friday ?
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Offline TechnomadicJim

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Re: Southern Africa on a Honda CTX200 Bushlander
« Reply #264 on: May 25, 2014, 09:18:53 pm »
Did I see your bike outside the FNB bank in Pmb on Friday ?

Yes :) I was changing some money. heh. Small world!
Live Ride Report : Southern Africa on a Honda CTX 200 // Live GPS Tracking : http://www.whereisjames.com
 

Offline Tiger8

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Re: Southern Africa on a Honda CTX200 Bushlander
« Reply #265 on: May 26, 2014, 11:47:37 am »
If you are getting down into the Eastern Cape, PE way, give me a shout, would gladly have you stay with us for a few days, before you push-on to further explore  :thumleft:
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Offline Casting from Turd

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Re: Southern Africa on a Honda CTX200 Bushlander
« Reply #266 on: May 26, 2014, 11:50:40 am »
If you are getting down into the Eastern Cape, PE way, give me a shout, would gladly have you stay with us for a few days, before you push-on to further explore  :thumleft:

Like wise here.
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Offline The Badger

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Re: Southern Africa on a Honda CTX200 Bushlander
« Reply #267 on: May 26, 2014, 03:11:52 pm »
Eeeish James...... sorry to hear about your ankle man.
I hope it is not broken.
Good friends and fresh mud......

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Offline EssBee

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Re: Southern Africa on a Honda CTX200 Bushlander
« Reply #268 on: May 26, 2014, 03:53:06 pm »
Wow, Jim, that does look sore... ( "Eina" as us SAfricans would say  ::) ) Sorry, man, hope it pans out okay....
 

Offline TechnomadicJim

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Re: Southern Africa on a Honda CTX200 Bushlander
« Reply #269 on: May 26, 2014, 06:01:18 pm »
It's been a pleasure following your adventure. Keep it coming. If you have another service in George, (like your 1000 service) give me a shout. Would like to meet you.

Sorry oldmannorman I missed your post. I will indeed keep it coming and it would be my pleasure to meet up with you in George. I will PM you when I'm a bit closer and hopefully we can work something out :)

If you are getting down into the Eastern Cape, PE way, give me a shout, would gladly have you stay with us for a few days, before you push-on to further explore  :thumleft:

Like wise here.

Thanks guys. Will message you both when I'm nearing PE.

Eeeish James...... sorry to hear about your ankle man.
I hope it is not broken.

Not broken :)



Wow, Jim, that does look sore... ( "Eina" as us SAfricans would say  ::) ) Sorry, man, hope it pans out okay....

Its feeling much better already and I rode into Ladysmith today and back without problem. I reckon a few more days of rest and can prepare to drive the Sani pass.
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Offline mox

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Re: Southern Africa on a Honda CTX200 Bushlander
« Reply #270 on: May 27, 2014, 09:13:00 am »
Great news that nothing is broken! When you get to the top of Sani make sure you have a few of these  :biggrin:
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Offline woody1

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Re: Southern Africa on a Honda CTX200 Bushlander
« Reply #271 on: May 27, 2014, 09:37:34 am »
Just take enough money with.  Beer at the top is EXPENSIVE.  Any Shebeen elsewhere in Lesotho the same beer is half the price.

I WOULD RATHER BE AN HONEST ASSHOLE .... THAN A FLIPPEN LIAR !   


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Offline EssBee

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Re: Southern Africa on a Honda CTX200 Bushlander
« Reply #272 on: May 27, 2014, 09:48:16 am »
 :thumleft:
 

Offline The Badger

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Re: Southern Africa on a Honda CTX200 Bushlander
« Reply #273 on: May 27, 2014, 11:12:18 am »
Good friends and fresh mud......

It is not about what you ride...... but WHO you ride with !
 

Offline oldmannorman

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Re: Southern Africa on a Honda CTX200 Bushlander
« Reply #274 on: May 27, 2014, 06:26:04 pm »
 :sip: Looking forward to your PM
 

Offline Deep6

Re: Southern Africa on a Honda CTX200 Bushlander
« Reply #275 on: May 28, 2014, 11:28:22 am »
Quote
One evening I had a nice long chat with a friendly Australian lady and a fellow Wild Dog who I didn't actually get the name of in the end. Please post up here if you read this so I know who you are. It was a pleasure to meet you and have a good chat

Hi there James

That would have been us that you met at Inkosana Lodge in the Drakensburg. (Harry and Julie).

I had been following your adventures on the forum and when I saw your bike parked outside the lodge I knew I had to look you up and make our introductions.

We could see that you were in a lot of pain from your damaged ankle and wished that we could do more for you than just offer you anti-inflammatory tablets and pain killers. Good to see that the x-rays showed no serious damage which would have been very bad news for you I'm sure, here at the tail end of your journey.

We had a great evening talking with you and hearing of your fascinating adventures and your impressions of some of the countries you had ridden through. If we had not been so tired I'm sure we would have carried on talking into the small hours of the morning.

It is a privilege to meet someone who has the determination and courage  to follow their dreams and to live the life that they choose.

We wish you many safe miles in your future journeys and we're looking forward to seeing the videos that you have made of your adventures.

Regards

Harry and Julie
 

Offline Dirt Junkie

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Re: Southern Africa on a Honda CTX200 Bushlander
« Reply #276 on: May 28, 2014, 06:21:36 pm »
Great RR, epic trip
Something to think about...
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Offline TechnomadicJim

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Re: Southern Africa on a Honda CTX200 Bushlander
« Reply #277 on: June 09, 2014, 06:10:31 pm »
Great news that nothing is broken! When you get to the top of Sani make sure you have a few of these  :biggrin:

For sure! Would have been a bit of a bummer this late on in the trip. I didn't manage to try the beer unfortunately but maybe I can find some here in SA.

Just take enough money with.  Beer at the top is EXPENSIVE.  Any Shebeen elsewhere in Lesotho the same beer is half the price.

I had enough money up there but didn't try the beer. Doh! I don't really drink during the day or by myself so there wasn't really much of an opportunity. Perhaps I will find it here in SA.

:thumleft:

 :thumleft: Glad to hear...

:thumleft:

Quote
One evening I had a nice long chat with a friendly Australian lady and a fellow Wild Dog who I didn't actually get the name of in the end. Please post up here if you read this so I know who you are. It was a pleasure to meet you and have a good chat

Hi there James

That would have been us that you met at Inkosana Lodge in the Drakensburg. (Harry and Julie).

I had been following your adventures on the forum and when I saw your bike parked outside the lodge I knew I had to look you up and make our introductions.

We could see that you were in a lot of pain from your damaged ankle and wished that we could do more for you than just offer you anti-inflammatory tablets and pain killers. Good to see that the x-rays showed no serious damage which would have been very bad news for you I'm sure, here at the tail end of your journey.

We had a great evening talking with you and hearing of your fascinating adventures and your impressions of some of the countries you had ridden through. If we had not been so tired I'm sure we would have carried on talking into the small hours of the morning.

It is a privilege to meet someone who has the determination and courage  to follow their dreams and to live the life that they choose.

We wish you many safe miles in your future journeys and we're looking forward to seeing the videos that you have made of your adventures.

Regards

Harry and Julie


Hey guys! Thanks for commenting :) Ankle's doing much better now and thanks again for your concern at the lodge. It is appreciated when you are on your own. Also thanks for your kind words about my trip. I hope to have a good video done after im back for a couple of months. Will post it here for everyone of course. All the best!

Great RR, epic trip

Thanks man!

---

After leaving the hospital happy that my ankle wasn't broken I was greeted with another flat tyre. That bodge repair I had made on the rubber band that that protects the tube from where the spokes screws must have given way. Luckily there was a petrol station close by so I got them to pump it up again temporarily which gave me just enough air to get to a local motorcycle shop. They replaced the inner tube and the rubber band for me while I had lunch at Wimpy (Dagwood and chips, nice!). Unfortunately I must have dropped or left my gloves somewhere in all the mayhem as they wern't with my helmet when I picked up the bike. That's my second pair lost now! Doh! I blame the relaxant / pain relief they injected me with before the scan.

Unfortunately my speedo wasn't working again and upon further inspection back at Inkosana lodge I noticed that they had not seated the speedo gear properly and it had pulled the cable out. Not a problem though as I fixed this up myself and the speedo actually works 100% now as opposed to before where it would falter when I wasn't accelerating therefore giving a slightly (~12% according to my gps) mileage reading. All good now though :)



The bike working well again I was bored hanging around the lodge (as nice as it was) and decided I needed a day out riding round the Drakensberg so I headed off first to the Cathedral Peak hotel for some tea (of course!). Here's a couple of pictures of the peaks :





Next I took this windy gravel road towards northern Drakensberg :



I popped in to the Amphitheater Backpackers for some lunch and then looped back round to the northern Drakensberg.



I came across the graffiti on the way and had to stop for a picture. Always makes the bike look cooler when there's some colour matched artwork behind it!



Time was getting on so the next day I decided to head towards the Sani pass and drove across some pretty remote windy gravel roads. On the last stretch with the sun setting I came around a corner with the sun in my eyes and just about saw a truck at the last second parked at possibly the worst part of the road with no warning triangle. I hope the next drivers that come along see the truck in time! I checked in to Sani Lodge Backpackers where I spent the night in one of their dorms.

In the morning I set off down the pass and got stamped out of SA no problem and began working my way up the pass. The scenery really is spectacular here.



The view from about half way up down the valley.



As I was working my way up I noticed a guy walking down and as I got closer recognised him. His name was John from Ireland and we had met in Malawi at Nkhata bay so we chatted for about half an hour and swapped details. Small world!

Next I tackled the end of the pass with its tight hairpin turns. Doing it on the CTX200 was actually pretty easy if I'm honest despite my tires not having so much grip left in them.





The Lesotho immigration was pretty run down but quick and efficient. I had to pay 30 rand for the bike and that was all.

I popped into the highest pub in Africa and had some lunch where I met some other tourists who were very interested in hearing my story after they heard how long I had been on the road. One of these characters was a south African called Rudy who gave me some pointers on a route and explained about Prince harry's involvement in Lesotho and his motorbiking across it quite frequently. Interesting.



It must have been about 3pm by the time I left the pub and headed off to try and find some accommodation. I couldn't find very much information online about Lesotho so I was relying on a poorly drawn map I had been given by a guide at the last backpackers. I made my way down the very rocky roads and wondered, at the pace I was going, whether I would actually make it somewhere before dark! I took a turning just before Mokhotlong and after about 10-20 km's reached a turn off to a lodge that was on my hand drawn map. The locals pointed me down a terrible road which lead to some stone houses. The guy in the local shop showed me the hostel / lodge that was 150 rand a night. I was the only one there but glad to have found a bed for the night. It was freezing cold and there was no heating or electricity of course. I cooked up some baked beans and tuna and made myself a cup of soup to warm up. Luckily I had my sleeping bag the duvet and 3 blankets to keep warm.

I slept pretty well and had my breakfast then went outside to check on the bike and came across this guy who I thought was a night watchman. He didn't speak any English nor I Sotho. He seemed to be pointing at some sticks so I just nodded and gave him the thumbs up which is pretty standard when you can't speak the language. After breakfast I began packing up the bike and he started to play one of the sticks which have a really weird sound. It was pretty interesting and entertaining while I packed the bike so I gave him 10 rand which I think was perhaps too much. He was so pleased he tried to kiss my hand!



Setting off I came across the first ice I had seen outside of a drink. It really is cold up here and its not even properly winter yet! 



The road was in pretty bad condition and my ankle was still a bit sore so it made it tough going in places. Looking at the distance involved and my lack of accommodation options I was again a bit worried I had bitten off more than I can chew. Still the scenery was amazing!



Another village up in the mountains.



One of the rivers winding its way through the mountains. Spectacular.



They seem to be working on extending the roads towards the Sani Pass and I wonder how long it is before its tar all the way!



After averaging 20 km's an hour (with breaks) I made it to Thaba Tseka and that's where the proper tar began. They also sold fuel there which was a relief as I wasn't sure at all on how easily obtainable fuel would be. I had been carrying my extra 10 liters of fuel just in case. I had some lunch and then headed off towards Roma where I planned to spend the night on the advice of Rudy the previous day. If I had more time and my ankle was a but better I would have liked to have perhaps explored up to the Dam and stayed there for the night.



I worked my way through the many mountain passes including this interestingly named one. Must have been tough back before it was paved!



The decent down towards Roma was impressive too. Nice twisty roads to ride along.



The landscape become less mountainous the further west you travel through Lesotho. As I drove into Roma I came across this rock jutting out of the ground next to the church.



I stayed at The Trading Post Lodge which I gather is where they start the Roof of Africa race from. I met a really nice Canadian couple who were adopting two local orphaned boys. One of them sat on the bike with my helmet on for some photos. Kids do love motorbikes.

The next morning I headed for the border. I avoided Maseru and headed south exiting and entering SA at Sepapushek. I do prefer small border crossings as I find they are quicker and friendlier like this one.



I didn't really have a plan so I headed towards east London and met another biker on the way called Johan from Bloemfontein so we stopped at Wimpy and I had some lunch while he had a coffee and some ice cream. I left it a bit late to make it to East London so ended up staying at a small B&B in Queenstown. That evening I released I had missed the "Wild Coast" area. "The Badger" had recommended Port St Johns to me so rather than heading to EL I headed there the next day.

Port St Johns was OK I guess. I stayed at Amapondo Backpackers for a couple of nights as I needed some rest. I usually like to spend at least a couple of nights at places because its getting quite tiring getting everything ready each day and also it allows you to actually experience some of it rather than rolling on through.

Some backpackers I met recommended that my next stop should be Mdumbi instead of Coffee Bay so I checked it out. Here's a picture of the river joining the sea on the way in.



Mdumbi beach. There were a few surfers staying at the place too. Seems like a popular spot.



I checked into Mdumbi Backpackers and decided to stay for a couple of nights. I met some friendly people to hang out with in the evenings and spent the next day visiting Coffee Bay and the "Hole in the wall" :





On my way back I was riding a gravel corner when a cow ran in front of my bike at the last minute. I grabbed a fist full of front brake and fell off again on the same bad foot. Damn! I swore at the stupid cow that ran off and expected more ankle pain. Fortunately for me it wasn't crushed under the bike and it didn't seem to do much damage so I was lucky and drove a little slower round the cows on the rest of the way back.



I get most of my travel advice from other travelers. Its the most up to date information and almost always a good choice. I was recommended to stay at Buccaneers Backpackers in Cintsa as my next stop instead of heading into East London. I drove a lot of gravel through the hills and eventually popped out on the N2.



The next day I headed to Hogsback and checked in to Terra Khaya Eco Backpackers. Its an interesting off the grid eco farm with very friendly people. I managed to snag myself a room for 100 rand as their dorm is full of laborers working on some new buildings. They even have an out door bath which is pretty cool to use at night looking out at the stars above.



I spent the next day exploring 60 km's of the forest trails around the area.



I rode across the side of this hill which I guess looks a bit like a hogs back (?) and round the back. Really nice trails.



Tomorrow I'm probably going to head off somewhere else. I haven't decided where though so lets see what happens. Just over 2 weeks until I want to be in cape town giving myself a week to sort things out and sell the bike.

KM's so far 27,000.

I also need to begin looking into selling the bike. I've just put an advert up in the Wild Dog small ads section so check it out here. I'm very interested in any help selling it so if you know anyone who might want it or if you yourself want the bike let me know by PM. All the details are in the thread there. I'm also interested what you think about the price (22,000 rand) and description etc.. I plan on listing it on gumtree soon but thought I would try here first.
Live Ride Report : Southern Africa on a Honda CTX 200 // Live GPS Tracking : http://www.whereisjames.com
 

Offline MegaPix

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Re: Southern Africa on a Honda CTX200 Bushlander
« Reply #278 on: June 09, 2014, 06:59:09 pm »
Jim, if you didn't drink some Maluti Beer you lost out
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Offline Tiger8

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Re: Southern Africa on a Honda CTX200 Bushlander
« Reply #279 on: June 09, 2014, 09:30:16 pm »
NIce RR Jim, welcome to the Eastern Cape  :thumleft:
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