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Author Topic: Zim Gravel Travel Tour 2014. Rough, tough and rewarding!  (Read 13210 times)

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Offline Vosperd

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Re: Zim Gravel Travel Tour 2014. Rough, tough and rewarding!
« Reply #60 on: July 28, 2014, 10:12:29 pm »
Oops....
Just asking can you pay in Rand at the petrol stations and anywhere else ???
Planning to go to Zim asap  :ricky:

Perhaps here or there so not a good option. Get USD in small denominations.  :deal:
Back on the horse!
 

Offline BryanOC6

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Re: Zim Gravel Travel Tour 2014. Rough, tough and rewarding!
« Reply #61 on: July 29, 2014, 05:57:06 am »
 :sip:
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Offline Varkboer

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Re: Zim Gravel Travel Tour 2014. Rough, tough and rewarding!
« Reply #62 on: July 30, 2014, 05:21:44 am »
 :sip:
Baai Geeles
 

Offline Crop Sprang

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Re: Zim Gravel Travel Tour 2014. Rough, tough and rewarding!
« Reply #63 on: July 30, 2014, 07:19:42 am »
Great rr so far !!!!!
Gooi !!!!
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Offline Bushtrotter

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Re: Zim Gravel Travel Tour 2014. Rough, tough and rewarding!
« Reply #64 on: July 30, 2014, 11:38:52 am »
Brilliant!! Can't wait for the rest. :thumleft:
 

Offline ALLEN I

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Re: Zim Gravel Travel Tour 2014. Rough, tough and rewarding!
« Reply #65 on: July 31, 2014, 05:29:26 pm »
Great ride thanks for sharing
Biking since the age of 11 nothing beats the freedom when u out there on u baby. Been doing it over 40 years now  (that's life)
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Offline Gabies

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Re: Zim Gravel Travel Tour 2014. Rough, tough and rewarding!
« Reply #66 on: August 02, 2014, 04:32:44 pm »
Great RR, keep it coming  :thumleft:
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Offline Draadwerk

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Re: Zim Gravel Travel Tour 2014. Rough, tough and rewarding!
« Reply #67 on: August 02, 2014, 06:58:33 pm »
Nice Mark. Is that all?  We want more !
 

Offline KTMRICK

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Re: Zim Gravel Travel Tour 2014. Rough, tough and rewarding!
« Reply #68 on: August 06, 2014, 11:26:22 pm »
Awesome RR. Itching to  :ricky:go now.
 

Offline Varkboer

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Re: Zim Gravel Travel Tour 2014. Rough, tough and rewarding!
« Reply #69 on: August 08, 2014, 03:11:36 am »
Mark are you alright making me worried now ....... Ibola maybe ???? ???
Baai Geeles
 

Offline Varkboer

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Re: Zim Gravel Travel Tour 2014. Rough, tough and rewarding!
« Reply #70 on: August 15, 2014, 04:51:55 am »
Moet Ibola wees want dit vat nou freeking lank of hy is weer op n ride. :biggrin:
Baai Geeles
 

Offline Just Blip It!

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Re: Zim Gravel Travel Tour 2014. Rough, tough and rewarding!
« Reply #71 on: August 17, 2014, 04:29:03 pm »
Hold your horses! Working on it now! Will post shortly.  :ricky:
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Offline Just Blip It!

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Re: Zim Gravel Travel Tour 2014. Rough, tough and rewarding!
« Reply #72 on: August 17, 2014, 06:37:32 pm »
Day 4   “Sorting the men from the boys!”

Some of us were up early to do some tyre changes and maintenance before today’s ride. The ride was to be the most challenging ride for man and machine so preparation was critical. Vosperd had a new tyre delivered overnight to him, his driver drove all night arriving at 5am with the new rubber after the Mitas he had on started disintegrating with only a few 100km on!  Jagsding also had a front puncture to repair.









After breakfast we all gathered for the traditional group photo on the front porch of New Years Gift Guest house. What a great place to stay, the main house is probably over 100 years old with it’s very colonial architecture. It is very amusing to me that Bob and his boys detest England and their colonial ways yet everywhere you go in Zimbabwe colonialism is still unwittingly practiced at all the places we stayed. Maybe it’s a case of sticking to what you know best or maybe it just works!







Leaving Chipinge behind us we turned onto a goat track through the msasa trees and over a mountain, the track was rutted and rocky and more a path than a road so whilst we thought there wouldn’t be any other vehicles on this track we were wrong, rounding a rough rocky corner we nearly rode into a taxi plodding through the holes and ruts with it’s expressionless passengers bouncing around inside. One thing I have learned about Zim And Swaziland is not to be surprised where you find vehicles travelling in these rural areas, these people can take a Golf GTI up baboons pass!







Just outside Chipinge, Padeses had a problem with his rear wheel, we quickly diagnosed the problem to a collapsed wheel bearing. We stripped the bearing out and rode the 20km to Chipinge very worried that this was the end of his ride, what were the chances of this little town having the right bearing!? After being sent from one shop to the next we eventually ended up at a little spares shop that was literally the same size as a toilet cubical! There was only room inside for its helpful owner, whilst we stood at the door peering in he climbed through the masses of spares boxes, fan belts and car parts hanging from the walls and roof took out a vernier, measured the bearing and with in 10 minutes produced the exact bearing! Wow! WTF! $10 later we were on our way back to the bike to fit the bearing!







.......And that they sure did!!!


The Triumph Twins also took the time to do some DIY maintenance!




Alas, after fitting the bearing we realised that the otherside bearing had also collapsed it was then decided that Pades and Eddie would ride back to Chipinge again to replace the other bearing then ride tar to met us at our overnight stop. The rest of us headed on for what was to be the best ride of the trip. Sorry Eddie and Lee, you missed a good one!


Whilst we were stopped next to the road trying to repair Padeses bike a local farmer in his 2.4D Hilux stops to ask if he can help. Now just to put this into perspective...............in Zim you hardly see a white face, especially where we were travelling, if you see a farmer he is a normally a black man, white farmers are extremely scares! This chap introduces himself as Dawie, from the outset he looks familiar to me, and after chatting to him for a few minutes it hits me! Dawie Joubert! I was at school with him in Umtali Boys High! I last saw him more than 30 years ago! What are the chances!? Great to meet him again after all these years!



We headed through a working Tea Farm towards the Ngorima valley, crossing the Risitu river and following the river along the Mozambique border. The views were stunning, endless views across the valley into Mozambique, steep accents and descents, the road deteriorating to little more than a goat track, the bush here was dense forming a thick low canopy over the road, it felt like we were riding through a tunnel. Every now an again the bush would recede to reveal little rural settlements with traditional huts, children would either run to see the bikes or head for the hills in fright!



















Vosperd in all his male glory!!  :imaposer:




In one of these villages we came to school built precariously on the mountain with children playing in the uneven rocky play ground. We gave out about 100 Bic pens to the excited children who in turn sang us a few English nursery rhymes in their strong Shona accents which was a real treat for the hardy bikers. The headmaster came out to meet us, he was very upset that we hadn’t first come to him to explain our “intentions”. After calming him down and letting him know our intentions were of a charitable nature and that we weren’t a bunch of biker paedophiles, he became very friendly and insisted that we sign the visitor’s book.









Chuck and the Headmaster.


<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/Qk4dhSoc6Ag" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/Qk4dhSoc6Ag</a>

Riding further down into the valley we came to a small town with a bottle store, we stopped for a cold beer then headed out of town, I noticed on the way out some big excavation machinery and the rivers running brown with silt, these were the first sign of the diamond mining operations happening in the area. Bob has got the Russians and Chinese to come and mine for him, there are no environmental impact studies done, just raw open cast mining at any cost! Very sad!









Just outside town Zulu’s bike rear end collapsed on the harsh road, at first it seemed the rear suspension had collapsed then we realized that the subframe bolts had rattled loose causing the rear subframe to collapse. Retightening the bolts and a little help from a few cable ties and we were good to go. At the same time Vosperd had a rather big off damaging his aftermarket triple clamp, this was to cause an ongoing problem for him as it caused the neck bearings to come loose every few kilometres.





Not a bad place to have a breakdown!


Vosperd doing running repairs after a hard fall.




Jagsding suddenly got tired!  :imaposer:


The climb out of the valley brought with it a big challenge that would come with a few wipeouts for Steve and Anthony. It was steep slippery narrow and rocky, the guys had their hands full as the bikes bucked, bounced and spun their way upwards.







Moment of impact! Caught on Camera as Paddy hits a lurker and goes down!




<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/-TJcoMtVmX0" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/-TJcoMtVmX0</a>









<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/Z8rXElK0Its" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/Z8rXElK0Its</a>

Anthony lived up to his water crossing reputation by choosing a muddy stream to take a dip in!  :imaposer:


By now we had only covered 80km for the day and it was late afternoon, the last section through to Chimanimani was open dirt, we ‘hit it’ flatout with the promise og cold beers and hot showers at the end.







However there were a few other challenges along the way!


I grew up in Melsetter (now called Chimanimani after the magnificent mountains the town is built below), it was good to ride into this familiar beautiful place, memories flooding back of a childhood spent running wild in the surrounding mountains. Tonight I would sleep at ‘home’!

A few photos of the Chimanimani Village.

















Pades (Lee) and Eddie were waiting at the Frog and Fern for us, cold beers in hand. They had had a great tar ride through to the lodge and had explored the town together. The team was back together, the beers were cold, the showers hot..........what more could we ask for? Live music maybe? Nope, we had that too! The owner of the lodge Anne invited 2 local chaps to come and sing to us, they entertained us with their guitars and a few self composed songs. Next!!  :imaposer:







Steve serenading the guys!  ;D






Pades and Eddie having ridden tar were still fresh and full of energy, they lead us all astray for pretty wild party that lasted late, and we laughed our asses off, drank, ate and partied till the early hours! A couple of tourists from Denmark who were camping also joined in the festivities but spent most of the time just watching these mad bikers! One of them asked Jagsding, “So where did you guys all meet?” to which he answered with a straight face “In prison.”   :imaposer: :imaposer:



Rolling Zim style!!


Hit it Pades!!!


Pades and I managed to hand on the pink tie to 2 the deserving Terrible Triumph Twins!

« Last Edit: August 17, 2014, 08:05:54 pm by Just Blip It! »
Riding Africa's lesser traveled tracks, discovering true adventure!
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Offline BLK

Re: Zim Gravel Travel Tour 2014. Rough, tough and rewarding!
« Reply #73 on: August 17, 2014, 07:00:23 pm »
Great story,thks.My parents met in Melsetter and named my family home in Bramley after it.great ,memories.paddy was supposed to ride with me today???

cheers
 
 

Offline JustBendIt

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Re: Zim Gravel Travel Tour 2014. Rough, tough and rewarding!
« Reply #74 on: August 17, 2014, 07:01:52 pm »
Great stuff JBI !

Keep it coming
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Offline THE EDGE 1

Re: Zim Gravel Travel Tour 2014. Rough, tough and rewarding!
« Reply #75 on: August 17, 2014, 08:59:09 pm »
Love it mark roll on 2015  :
THE EDGE
 

Offline Varkboer

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Re: Zim Gravel Travel Tour 2014. Rough, tough and rewarding!
« Reply #76 on: August 19, 2014, 05:13:51 am »
Excellent Marck aai that Pades always makes kak especially when he rooks and braai. Enjoying it feels like I was there excellent review cant wait  :drif:
Baai Geeles
 

Offline Vosperd

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Re: Zim Gravel Travel Tour 2014. Rough, tough and rewarding!
« Reply #77 on: September 16, 2014, 08:17:21 pm »
En nou??
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Offline Just Blip It!

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Re: Zim Gravel Travel Tour 2014. Rough, tough and rewarding!
« Reply #78 on: September 16, 2014, 08:53:05 pm »
En nou??

Hard drive crashed! Lost all my photos, need to get them from the other guys then I can post again! :lamer:
Riding Africa's lesser traveled tracks, discovering true adventure!
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Offline Vosperd

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Re: Zim Gravel Travel Tour 2014. Rough, tough and rewarding!
« Reply #79 on: September 16, 2014, 09:17:37 pm »
Eish, that is a bad one! Didnt know you could crash anything...  >:D >:D
Back on the horse!