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Author Topic: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!  (Read 45965 times)

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Offline Malice

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Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
« Reply #80 on: August 22, 2008, 04:45:59 pm »
Respect.

That is all.
ts  better to have a firearm and not need it, than to need a firearm and not have it!
 

Offline u-go

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Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
« Reply #81 on: August 22, 2008, 06:06:32 pm »
Awe-inspiring! Baie dankie vir die deel
 

Offline JustBiking

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Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
« Reply #82 on: August 22, 2008, 11:06:49 pm »
Awesome and inspiring - what an adventure. Thanks for sharing. :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...but a true friend will be sitting next to you saying........."Damn..We F*cked Up" - Anon.


 
 

David van Breda

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Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
« Reply #83 on: August 23, 2008, 12:17:53 am »
Humbling reading this Nardus . . . my goodness! :salut:
 

Offline Geoff

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Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
« Reply #84 on: August 23, 2008, 07:38:35 am »
Thanks for time and effort ,big kahoonas to do trip like this .
 

Offline LanceSA

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Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
« Reply #85 on: August 23, 2008, 08:39:20 am »
I have heard 'urban legend' stories about this ride from a number of people over the years. Now it's great to read the actual story. Please keep it coming, I can hardly wait.
It's a friggin' motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The windnoise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you scared every now and then. Suck it up. -- Scary Gary Mc
 

Offline durtseeker

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Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
« Reply #86 on: August 24, 2008, 07:07:58 pm »
Greate RR  :thumleft:
Dis genoeg om enige iemand net te laat oppak en ry. Thanks
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of a memory filled with guts and glory"
 

Offline Uiltjie

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Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
« Reply #87 on: August 25, 2008, 08:37:38 am »
Jou moer Nardus, jy smokkel nou met ons almal se koppe! >:(

Well done! :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
"Sit vis vobiscum."
 

dustsucker

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Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
« Reply #88 on: August 25, 2008, 08:41:38 am »
Ag nee kom nou Nardus...ek het vandag my bunsen burner wat ek in by die skool gezop het en marshmellows werk toe gebring en nog boggerol storie  ???  Ek gaan `n aartappel in een van daai Akropof`s druk Desember.
 

Offline Nardus

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Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
« Reply #89 on: August 25, 2008, 08:45:11 am »
Small world...

I was checking this photo which I posted on the first page and thought I need to explain something. We were a small crowd of crownies on the island. Both Hennie (Houtvoel/Jors) and Donald Mathewson (Posner) are both living in East London. Hennie has been a good friend since the island days - he was one of the moegoes in Pretoria that was suppose to do this trip with me - he even bought a bike. Although he was not able to at the time, since then Hennie and I must have done about 10 bike trips together. This is the Hennie that did the Angola and Kaokaland trips that you might have read from the Metaljockey reports.

Let the snake slide and the lizzard slither and LET IT BE !
 

Offline bradleys

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Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
« Reply #90 on: August 25, 2008, 10:06:28 am »
Cool report,keep it comming ;D,Must go do some work now.
ROUTE DIFFICULTY
1 = tar
2 = good gravel /pillian friendly
3 = interspersed with sand, mud, sand , bush / not pillian friendly
4 = lots of sand, technical riding 5 = expert only
 

Offline Nardus

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Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
« Reply #91 on: August 25, 2008, 10:56:31 am »
Back in Mozambique !


The border post at Chiponde was non-existing. We entered Mozambique and realized that there was no border post. We eventually found a local that called an official over. The official signed our passports, but no stamps or paperwork for us or the bikes.

This track was a biker's paradise. Miles and miles of dirt track, meandering through the most beautiful Miombo Forests and granite outcrops. The road surface was fairly firm, but would be a complete mud pool if it rains. The people were very friendly and only a couple of locals had moved back to this area, since the end of the war. Cuamba was nothing more than a ghost town. The only sign of life was a newly erected clinic.

The road from Malawi to the Mozambique coast - what a beauty !



Camping at the clinic at Cuamba




Remnants of the war



We must have crossed over a hundred little streams and rivers, all of them had at best a couple of tree trunks as a bridge and it was quite a battle sometimes to balance yourself and the bike on them. After a day or so, we entered a town called Ribaue. All the buildings were pretty much intact, but no people. As we stopped we could hear some cheering noises. We followed the noise and got to a sports field, in fact it was one of those typical Moz cement structures - more like a proper stadium. The town population was nothing more than about 50 people and they were all at the stadium, either participating or cheering in a local football match. Johan and I joined them and stayed over in town for the night. Wow, this northern Mozambique was really special.

The granite outcrops on the way to Ribaue



A local fellow - as you can see, the people are really poor



We eventually reached the coast at IIha de Mozambique (south of Nacala). We found a 5 or 7 km long bridge running into the ocean to the little village on the island. There was a serious thunderstorm brewing, so quickly nipped over the bridge, but as we got to the island the wrath of God again manifested in the form of a thunderstorm that burst out upon us. We followed a little track west and pitched our tent at the first flat area we could find. Needless to say we were soaking wet but remained in the tent for about 3 hours until it ended. We crawled out and waited about half an hour for all the water to disappear. We had pitched the Isotec tent on a tarmac parking area in front of an old Fort. That explained why we could not get any of the tent pegs into the ground!

The bridge to the Island with the looming thunderstorm



Dhow repairs on the Island



The island was great and the village centre was buzzing with people who were amazingly colourful - especially the women who wore a lot of bright green, yellow and orange material.

We also then realized that we took a 6000 km detour, via Zim, Zambia and Malawi and we only moved about 200 km north towards our target. Ooops !!

Johan and I got lost at some point and followed the wrong road. We were stopped by soldiers. We soon realize that it was a Bangladeshi United Nations camp. The officers invited us over and we had coffee and cornflakes with milk and sugar. In fact we had 5 bowls each. The officers were stunned at our hunger and they could see from the smiles on our faces that they need to give us another full packet of cornflakes and a litre of milk for the road - which they did ! O yes, they also gave us a big poster of Bangladesh - the kind you find at a travel centre, why?  We couldn't figure that out?? Such nice people.



We consumed the cornflakes and milk with vigour and notice the poster



We thought we were rather tough to ride these roads, until this fellow biker came past us - his destination was a good 40 km further !






The higher up we went in Mozambique, the more people warned us about crossing the Rovuma River - no ferry, only ordinary dugouts (makoros). So, at our arrival in Pemba we went straight to the habour to enquire about a possible boat ride up the coast. The first thing the officials requested was our passports and documents for the bikes. We replied that we are only enquiring, but will come back later with all the paperwork. We realized that without any proof of our entry into Mozambique, we were going to struggle to convince an official somewhere to let us out of the country - ooops! A boat trip would be possible, but it could take a week or two for one to come past Pemba. Our real problem was our illegal entry into Mozambique.

Camping spot at Pemba and using some local knowledge before exploring further north








We drove a couple of kilometers south and pitched our tents away from most people along the beach. There was quite a neat looking resort area close-by. The plan was to duck early and make some other plan to get out of Mozambique, before we get asked about our paperwork. As we were sleeping that night at about 22h00, we woke up with a moerse commotion outside and the sound of rifles cocking. Somebody was by then shouting at the door of the tent in Portuguese. We opened the tent doors and were greeted by spotlights and about 10 AK47s were being poked into the tents. Both Johan and I (by then white as sheets) stumbled bare naked out of the tents shouting back at the army guys - tourists, tourists!!. The actual Portuguese word for tourist must sound fairly similar, because it often seems to help when in such a dilemma. We hauled out our passports and as soon as the commotion had started, it ended. Thank God !! We ended up spending a good hour talking crap to the commander and showing him where we came from and where we were going, on the Michelin map.

The next day we rode up to Mocumboa de Praia. Not a very scenic place, but we tried in town to get hold of local fishermen or dhow owners to see if somebody was not willing to take us across the border to Tanzania. No takers.

The roads north of Pemba were actually in good condition - the road reserves needed a bit of clearing



Camping




We again slept on the beach, just north of the town. Again at about 04h00 in the morning, we woke up with a helluva commotion outside our tent. There was this scruffy looking chap that could not speak a word of English pointing north and we could recognize the word Mtwara in some of his rumblings. We agreed a price with him and at 05h00, as it was getting light we were ready to board the ship. The dhow was moored about 20 meters off shore. I still do not know how we managed. We were four people and we managed to pick up the bikes and carry them across to the dhow. The water was close to 1 meter deep where the dhow was waiting. That means that we had to lift the bikes over our shoulders and over the side of the dhow. Holy smacker - all I could remember is that it was a real mission. Well, by about 06h00 we were on our way to Mtwara, Tanzania.

Bikes loaded and ready to go - note the distance we had to carry the bikes to the Dhow



Everybody cozy - the Captain used my helmet to appear more like a real Captain



What the Capitanos forgot to tell us is that it will take us 3 full days to get there and we had no food or water with us. It was quite an experience to sail with the dhow. We sailed passed a couple of little mangrove islands and moored next to one at about lunch time. Then we waited and waited. After about 2 hours, we realized that he is waiting for the tide to subside. What appeared like a normal rock in the sea, slowly got exposed into this huge mushroom-shaped rock. The mission of this dhow we then realized was to cut firewood from this island. We assisted a bit to load the dhow, but we were now rather hungry. Johan disappeared for an hour and came back with a huge octopus. We cooked it right there, and believe me it tasted like butter!



The last night, the dhow moored off shore at the most northern village, called Palma. We wondered through town before sleeping on the beach. The people in town were extremely friendly and all the houses were constructed from coral reef and palm leaves. It was really a great experience.

I had the fright of my life when we left the next morning early. We poled the dhow out of the bay at about 04h00 in the morning - still pitch dark and there was no wind for sailing. I was getting hot from the exercise, so I took off my homemade leather jacket and threw it over my bikes handlebars - it also had my pocket  money and passport in the inside pocket. At about 04h30, the wind picked up and the Captain hoisted the boom and let go of the bottom corner of the dhows triangular sail. Hii-haa, and off we went. It soon become rather chilly, so I wanted to put on my jacket again - hmmmm, which jacket !!

Hi Capitanos !! Pasaporto - it fell into oceanos, we must turn back to Palma, por favor !! He eventually understood something was wrong, not so much from my explanation I guess, but from my panic attack and hand signals. Down came the boom and we started poling the dhow back to Palma. What a disaster - one could not be further away from anywhere being stuck without a passport and money. Now picture the scene: we are about 1km from shore, pitch dark and looking for the black leather jacket that fell off the boat into the black ocean a couple of hundred meters back. I remember telling Johan that this experience must have been similar to the one who invented the needle lost in the hay stack story. After a couple of minutes, realizing that we cant see anything, I started to connect a little florescent tube I had in the pannier to the battery - and sending up a little prayer! I shouted to Johan to rather come and look here where I will shine the light. As I stretched my arm out with the light, less than half a meter from the dhow is the leather jacket drifting past us. It had obviously trapped a bit of air between the jacket and the water when it fell over. The timing and place was spot on. Thank you, Jesus. I promise to never be naughty again !! This was very close to another end of my trip.


Tanzania

Will follow shortly (with pictures)....
« Last Edit: August 19, 2009, 02:37:18 pm by Nardus »
Let the snake slide and the lizzard slither and LET IT BE !
 

Offline CrazyPorra

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Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
« Reply #92 on: August 25, 2008, 11:14:14 am »
Eish. Now this is good.
 

dustsucker

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Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
« Reply #93 on: August 25, 2008, 01:27:24 pm »
Flippit Nardus, jy mag maar `n storie vertel  :thumleft: tjomp marshmellow tjomp tjomp.
 

Offline Joyride

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Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
« Reply #94 on: August 25, 2008, 01:36:33 pm »
Fok Nardus, you must've scared the birds on the island to death with that hair!!!

Moerse nice report, please keep it coming!!

Thanks for sharing.
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Offline Stofstreep

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Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
« Reply #95 on: August 26, 2008, 08:32:58 am »
Wow!
I enjoy this read very much thanks.
Be careful of the words you say.
And keep them soft and sweet.
For you never know from day to day.
Which ones you'll have to eat.
 

Offline Operator

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Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
« Reply #96 on: August 26, 2008, 08:53:13 am »
Thanks Nardus..........this is good reading.  :thumleft:
 

Offline bradleys

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Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
« Reply #97 on: August 26, 2008, 01:18:32 pm »
Nardus shit man ,really a cool story, cant wait for the next instalment
ROUTE DIFFICULTY
1 = tar
2 = good gravel /pillian friendly
3 = interspersed with sand, mud, sand , bush / not pillian friendly
4 = lots of sand, technical riding 5 = expert only
 

masehare

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Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
« Reply #98 on: August 26, 2008, 01:48:06 pm »
Dankie dat jy hierdie storie met ons deel.  :thumleft:
 

Offline Maverick

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Re: MAYBE NO SHOES, BUT A BIKE AND THE WHOLE OF AFRICA !!
« Reply #99 on: August 26, 2008, 03:11:00 pm »
Simply awesome dude  :thumleft:
Harry Dunne: According to the map, we've only gone 4 inches.