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Author Topic: African Enduro  (Read 41294 times)

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Offline N[]vA

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2008, 11:34:10 am »
will def keep an eye on this one :D
So much of win it hurts! ^.^


Offline Misty

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2008, 11:35:12 am »
Great intro to a RR to keep us all on the edge of our seats in anticipation - keeping an eye out for the rest of the story  :thumleft:
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Offline Hammerhead

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2008, 11:49:41 am »
Very much looking forward to the rest!!!  :drif: :drif:
C'mon, put down the klippies and post already!  :biggrin:

Offline kwassi

Re: African Enduro
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2008, 02:21:16 pm »

Ek wag

Waar is die res    :angry1:


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Offline KT-emmer707

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2008, 02:42:14 pm »
Nice one dude :thumleft:
Looking forward to the next episode. ;)
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Offline mrg46

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2008, 03:45:16 pm »

Glad I've got some interest here - I'll try & write each post within a couple of days.

This picks up from my first post; where I found myself in London, UK waiting anxiously to be re-united with the somewhat necessary ingredient of my trip (my bike).

London the freighting flight was delayed by a couple of days, and then another three days added to that with the useless staff at UK customs & excise trying to come to terms with the fact that all my paperwork was actually in order.

After declining the subtle request of a bribe by an employee of BA world cargo (what a twatwaffle), my bike was finally released to me at 2am in the morning on the day I was supposed to depart. An SA friend in London with a GS helped me unwrap the freight, inspect the damage and re-assemble the bike. This only took us 20 mins and I was then able to pour some fuel into the beast and crank it up for the ride back to Gary's place. Despite the sub zero temperature this 20 minute ride was the first since the run-in service AND having the Akra fitted. It was a good feeling being able to ring the neck of my dream bike through the streets of London at 3am. The un-silenced Akra was setting off car alarms and emitting the odd flame out of the rear. Yes please.

My bike package, looking decidedly smaller than when I last saw it. Hmmmm.

My bent fairing

The freighting company was a bit cavalier with the plastic wrapping an had bent my fairing out of shape. It would take a couple of weeks and much bending to set back to normal shape. Bastards.

Ahhhh, my brand new akra. Very sexy looking and sounding compared to the stocker.

I caught three hours of sleep that morning and then woke up to fit the final bits of kit I'd bought in London (Pelican top box, side-stand & electronic bits), and then proceed to pack the bike for departure. I was seriously tired but had no choice but to leave ASAP. I had already booked the ferry ride from France to Tunisia in advance, and the customs delays meant that I now had 24 hours to get from London to Marseille (approx. 1,300 km's). I didn't mind this at all because I had backpacked through Europe before and my trip was only really starting on African soil.

Team orange, ready to hit the road. Witrivier or bust.

Odometer at start, 1000k's on the clock in the background.

Gary rode with me out of London and we stopped at a service station to fill up, where I proceeded to drop the bike off the newly fitted side-stand. Great start champ! Thankfully no camera's were rolling. We did the 130k's to the port of Folkestone where I said goodbye to Gary and got onto the train that runs underneath the English channel to France.

On the train going under the English channel, where I bumped into an oke his way to Holland on his GS.

The route to Marseille was pretty much on one highway all the way, and after adjusting to riding on the wrong side of the road and having such a heavy load I focussed on dispatching the km's one by one. I was able to comfortably cruise at 130kmph and used this to calculate that if I kept my average speed on the GPS odometer above 105km/ph I could stop for a total of 5 hours during the 24 hours that I had to get to the ferry in time. After a good 5 hour session in the saddle it was finally cold (snow) and not fatigue that got the better of my and I pulled into Dijon to find somewhere to get my head down.

I chose the best looking hotel so that I could park my bike somewhere secure, have a quick bite & dop, sleep and then get up and back on the road immediately. My bike was parked in the locked basement parking lot but when I got back to it after my nap I noticed that the locks on my topbox & pannier netting had hacksaw cut marks on them and my ignition looked as though it was jimmy'd with a screwdriver. Thieving bastards. The twatwaffle must have been startled as none of the locks were cut through an nothing stolen. The ignition still worked. At this point I decided that I would be sleeping next to my bike from now onwards.

I did the final 700k's to Marseille early that morning despite being blown around like a balloon on the highway. They were experiencing gale-force winds and my bike & luggage was exhibiting the aerodynamic properties of a sherman tank. I pulled into the Marseille port at full tilt and made the ferry with 10 minutes to spare. Although I was in need of some sleep a more important duty called at the bar of the ferry where I celebrated with numerous French lagers and the good company of an Englishman named John. I then retired to my shared cabin, where my three Freddie Mercury lookalike room-mates were hosting a snorning competition, but I slept well and woke up the next morning busting to get back onto my bike.

Next post coming in a couple of days, and many more pics next time I promise.



Offline cloudgazer

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2008, 03:54:04 pm »
keep em coming.

Offline MudCakedFace

Re: African Enduro
« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2008, 08:17:44 pm »
It's gotta be close to xmas: two awesome reports posted in one week of each other...Keep it coming!!
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Offline Trailrider

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2008, 12:19:56 am »

Offline Lito

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #29 on: August 23, 2008, 09:14:23 am »
Stuff dreams are made of.... excellent storytelling and pics  :thumleft: - and youre right - thieving bastards  >:(

Offline dieterf

Re: African Enduro
« Reply #30 on: August 23, 2008, 09:43:21 am »
so they thieve everywhere  :-\

great stuff, keep it coming!

Offline JO GSA

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #31 on: August 23, 2008, 10:06:46 am »
Respect to you Mark, I truely admire you're guts for travling alone. All of the best luck to you, and keep the rubber side down mate  :thumleft:
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Offline ratrap

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2008, 09:18:46 pm »
Excellent read!!
« Last Edit: August 24, 2008, 06:38:33 pm by ratrap »
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Offline husky

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #33 on: August 24, 2008, 09:05:25 am »
This is going to bugger up my working time - keep it coming.

Offline durtseeker

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #34 on: August 24, 2008, 05:02:41 pm »
Greate RR Mark.  This is the kind of trip we all dream off.

Hats of to you for doing it.   :thumleft:
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Offline edgy

Re: African Enduro
« Reply #35 on: August 24, 2008, 05:18:25 pm »
Alright already....we ready for more :ricky:

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Offline LeonDude

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #36 on: August 24, 2008, 05:35:04 pm »
Nice, sounds like its' going to be a good one.
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Offline EtienneXplore

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #37 on: August 24, 2008, 05:47:21 pm »
Great stuff

Can't wait for the rest  ;D ;D

I can see, between this report and Nardus' report, most of the WD's productivity is gonna go for a ball of S#IT !!!! :laughing4: :laughing4:

But who cares !!!



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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #38 on: August 24, 2008, 06:11:40 pm »
great stuff!

keep it coming  :thumleft:

them thieving bastards!

did you have any problems with theft in africa?

i have heard of numerous guys doing cape to london type trips and only ever had stuff stolen once they reached EU - i would have guessed it the other way round  ???

Offline mrg46

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« Reply #39 on: August 24, 2008, 06:36:00 pm »

As I said in the previous post, I was busting to get back into the saddle and onto African soil. I kitted-up and rode off the ferry - for the first time feeling that this dream was actually taking place. I was spared a lengthy customs procedure as they were more interested in the 200 French 4X4's on the ferry that were attending a rally somewhere in the desert.

As I rode out of the port I experienced for the first time the amazing feeling of adventure riding. I had (purposely) only researched places to stay in the major Capital cities where I would be doing bike services, so here I was riding through a very foreign land not knowing what was around the next corner, where I would be kipping or what I would be chowing next. Befok!

Well actually I had seen what I could be eating - fresh roadside braai'd lamb. I passed through a number of road-side stopovers where you chose your preferred cut of meat and it was then thrown on the flames. I noticed a local oke who fancied a cut that wasn't available on any of the carcasses so another one of the tied-up animals bit the dust. Africa is not for vegetarians!

Lamb braai. Just a pity there was no dop on offer. Hulle moet nog leer.

A local adventure rider

I tracked the coast for a couple of days, heading in a Southerly direction. As I was to find out throughout my trip, camp sites don't really exist in some countries and I didn't want to chance road-side camping by myself so early in the trip so I clocked into cheap hotels I found along the way.

El Jem, an impressive Roman Colosseum I passed-by

These people had clearly come for a show. I would have loved to do some donuts for them but access was tricky.

The riding was mostly on tarmac but the surface was pretty rough - prefect for the KTM's suspension. In many of the small villages I passed through the locals would gesture me to lift the front wheel - but I didn't want to be showing off so early in the trip (bad karma). As I suspected a bike as big as mine (above a 125cc) and packed with loads of gear is an absolute rarity in almost all of Africa until the South. It was flattering being such a main oke.

After the attempted theft in France I slept very close to my bike - in this case next to it in this courtyard. I felt a warm feeling every time I saw my MP number plate in a remote location. MP can be like a black hole - some people can't leave for generations.

My final leg in Tunisia was to leave the coast and hit the desert in an Easterly tangent to get to the border of Libya. This was my first encounter with the sahara desert, which would be my constant companion for at least the next 8,000km's until Ethiopia. I was stoked to be out in the middle of nowhere and on some dirt.

Ahhh, a kak road.

When I was a few hundred k's from the Libyan border I started looking out for a top-up of petrol. There was none to be found except this oke selling a large variety of octane's out of dirty containers. He wouldn't accept my petro reward points and was all out of cappuccino's so I took my business some place else.

Thats all for now - the next post (Libya) would be my biggest border-post gamble as I had heard of countless travelers being declined entry recently.