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Offline Biesie

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #80 on: September 03, 2008, 11:33:29 am »
Mark
Do u remember this "main road" between Abu Hammid and Wadi Halfa???
This picture of my DR 600 is 14 years old, but still keeps the memories high!!

Daar het jy nou 'n lat vir jou eie gat gesny  :biggrin: ....ek sien uit na jou RR  ;) ...al is hy 14 jaar oud ..volg Nardus se voorbeeld  :mwink: :mwink:

 

Offline Hondsekierie

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #81 on: September 03, 2008, 11:36:42 am »
Really well written report, makes it so much more enjoyable with all the pics and vids.  

Like the "mak piel" chirp, something new for the vocab.

Thanks again
“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more"
 

Offline Frohan Visser

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #82 on: September 03, 2008, 01:06:44 pm »
Biesie

"I can still picture that road from Khartoum to Abu Hammed and then that final stretch through the desert to Wadi Halfa, I spend 3 days in Wadi Halfa waiting for the transport ships to arrive, eventually I got permission from the Sudanese to travel via the Desert to Egypt and only 30 km into Egypt, just after the first Border/ Military post, I got arrested.
Long story short, after 25 days in prison, first in Aswan and then in Kalifa prison in Cairo, I got out with help from my worrying parents and the South African embassy. In prison I got to hear it was all one big corruption story, they confiscated my bike but luckily I got out unharmed���"

Ek het dagboek geskryf van die hele trip, 120 bladsye, maar ongelukkig in Afrikaans, is besig om dit op die oomblik in "Brits" te vertaal en moet al die 336 foto's nog scan, dan sal ek dit looi op die website............!!!!!!!
Ek lyk ook soos n hiepie, lang hare soos Nardus!!!!!!
1986 Suzuki DR 600, Confiscated in Egypt
1992 Suzuki DR 800, sold
1997 Suzuki DR 650, sold
2005 KTM 640 Adv, sold
201.. KTM 690 R in the next 2 years
 

Offline Hidalgo

Re: African Enduro
« Reply #83 on: September 03, 2008, 01:25:50 pm »
Hey Frohan

Like Biesie said, you have just sealed your own fate  :lamer:

Ons sien uit na jou trip report.   Volg Nardus se voorbeeld, ons almal geniet die verslae baie.

Thx
H



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Offline mrg46

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #84 on: September 03, 2008, 03:59:33 pm »
Mark
Do u remember this "main road" between Abu Hammid and Wadi Halfa???
This picture of my DR 600 is 14 years old, but still keeps the memories high!!


Howzit Frohan, man you were a real pioneer doing it in those days. Like the others say, lat loop with a trip report please. That episode trying to cross the land border and then ending up in jail sounds hectic. Apparently these days they shoot first then ask questions at that border. Can't wait to hear about it.

I know that road you're talking about, but I didn't take it. I went from Wadi Halfa down to Dongola and then across the desert to Atbara

Looking fwd to your report!
« Last Edit: September 03, 2008, 04:02:41 pm by mrg46 »
 

Offline Nardus

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #85 on: September 04, 2008, 12:33:20 pm »
Hi mrg46 (Mark)

I have been following your trip - awesome !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, you are partly to blame for me starting a trip report on a very similar route I did back in 1993/94. Dammit, but the memories are like sweet smelling pink rose petals. How I wish I could be back in Sudan.

Enjoy your trip and have safe journeys.

Waiting for the rest
Let the snake slide and the lizzard slither and LET IT BE !
 

Offline bradleys

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #86 on: September 04, 2008, 02:18:00 pm »
 :thumleft:Keep it comming,Hey Frohan cant wait to read your report.
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 mrg46

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #87 on: September 04, 2008, 04:05:26 pm »
Dammit, but the memories are like sweet smelling pink rose petals. How I wish I could be back in Sudan.

Hi Nardus,

I'm honoured - your report & adventure is phenomenal. Can't wait for more.

I've got a few photo's of my trip that are almost carbon coppies of yours - will post them on your thread when its done.

Cheers
Mark
 

Offline mrg46

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Ethiopia
« Reply #88 on: September 05, 2008, 07:03:46 am »
AFRICAN ENDURO - Ethiopia

So I was thankful to have escaped Khartoum in one piece, and although it was the only capital city I was really looking forward to exploring on my trip it wasn't worth the risk. I was now at the Ethiopian border and very soon everything would change dramatically, the countryside, the people and the language. For some reason (well apparently because they didn't ever have colonial occupation) Ethiopia is just so different to anywhere else in Africa. Its amharic language is nothing like its neighbours Arabic or Swahili and the countryside is some of the most green & fertile to be found on the planet. Hard to imagine they had some serious famine in these parts not too long ago, but i was to find out that many things are very primitive in Ethiopia, including agriculture. A few well placed boere could work wonders with this soil.


The dung-walled immigration office at the border.


The customs building, which was closed for the day.

I got my visa stamped at the very official looking immigration office but the customs office was closed for the day so I had to ride 40k's up the road to the next town where I could check my bike in. The tarmac had ended on the Sudanese side and was replaced with a very rocky dirt road. After checking my bike in I found the only hotel in town as this country was still a bit new & scary to risk camping next to the road. At the hotel I met some friendly local engineers who were in the area drilling boreholes. They invited me to a coffee ceremony, which I accepted, but having spent all of my time in Sudan without a dop I had to punctuate the coffee with several very tasty local beers. The Ethiopians take their coffee drinking very seriously and the ceremony involved the hostess roasting green beans on a coal fire, then grinding them with a wooden mortar & pestle and finally boiling & serving (as Espresso shots). I'm a coffee snob and that was the best I'd tasted in my life. My new friends invited me to dinner with them after the coffee and a large knife was taken to the goat that was tide-up next to my bike. The diced goat fillets were fried in garlic & green chilli's (a dish called Tibs) and served with their local sour pancake-like bread called Injera. It was obviously fresh but this was the tastiest meal I had eaten on my trip.


Coffee ceremony in progress


Luxury accommodation, with dinner tied-up in the foreground.

The next day I rode Eastwards and the terrain quickly changed from desert to green as I climbed the mountains into the Ethiopian highlands. Although the dirt track was very windy the surface was really nice gravel and the KTM was handling superbly, getting the back sideways every now & then just to let me know who's boss (sometimes).  As I climbed the mountains it got greener & more populous until after about 200k's I was on a tar road. I headed to a large town called Dongola for fuel, but there as none to be found. Some would say there is no electricity and others would say the pumps were dry. While riding around I spotted a couple of GS 650 Dakar's moving in the opposite direction. As they passed I saw a GP and then an EC number plate. Jislaaik. I gave chase and stopped them for chat. They were heading Northwards through Africa and were fed up with Ethiopia and more specifically the 'no fuel' business. After swapping stories it turned out a particular garage that had said to me there was no electricity had said to them there was no fuel in the pumps, so having bust their cover they had to give us petrol. This wasn't to be the last time a petrol station wasn't 'lus' to sell me some petrol.


Leaving the desert & climbing into the mountains.


The two South Africans I met looking for fuel.


I started seeing some burnt-out tanks next to the road.


KTM campsite wheelies.

The next few days I spent riding mostly on tarmac towards the capital Addis Ababa. At one point I rode into a storm and was very thankful for the feel of rain, as I hadn't had or seen any since leaving Europe and was now a third of the way through Africa. There were people everywhere (TIA), and in each village most used the tarred roads as a marketplace and it was frustrating having to slow right down to negotiate people & livestock. I started seeing the tell-tale signs of the famed stone throwing Ethiopian kids. Everyone who has traveled these parts warns of them and I always cast my eyes towards any kids before paying attention to livestock in the road. I had managed to avoid a few failed attempts but eventually out of nowhere a fist sized rock struck my left hand. It was quite painful but thankfully I had just swapped my motocross gloves for tougher waterproof ones for the rains. Little bastards. There were many more attempts but only one more hit, this time on a pannier. A few times I would see a laaitie bending down to pick up a stone and just aimed the KTM straight for them which worked well. The livestock in the road was also becoming particularly risky. The herd boys would just stand-by & watch cattle or goats walk into the road without trying to herd them off. At one point I had to knock a goat out with a size 11 Alpinestar to the head. The road was littered with roadkill, mostly dogs, which seemed to be the least intelligent form of life (closely followed by stone throwers). I would often herd a stray dog myself by aiming straight for them and then slipping to their rear at the last minute. Once this technique herded a dog in front of an oncoming truck and it was tickets for the brak. Later I also observed a large cow getting smacked by an oncoming truck in front of me. Most Ethiopian men I had met all chewed this mildly narcotic leaf called 'Chat' (pronounced GAT in Afr) which probably accounted for the relaxed attitude towards livestock depletion.


A typical Ethiopian countryside scene.


Another tank, and some begging children.


A lunch stop, I had to share my bread with these shepherds.

The highlight of this pretty stressful ride to Addis was passing through the amazing Blue Nile gorge. It was a 20km ride down 4000ft of winding road to the bridge that crossed the river and then a climb of 5000ft along another 20km's. The scenery was spectacular. The road through the gorge was under construction, a 50/50 mix of new tarmac and slippery gravel. I was surprised how much grip the TKC's were giving when I was leaning over on the tarred bits and took a bit of video.


A view of the gorge from the top.


No second chances for over-cooking these corners.

As I was approaching Addis I started hearing a commotion coming from my chain on the long downhills into the city. I thought it was just a bit loose and would adjust it when I got to where I was staying. When I inspected it the next day I saw that the plate link on opposite side of the masterclip link was broken in half and the chain was all over the place, only held by the clip. Close shave. This was the very expensive X-ring gold chain that I had fitted in Cairo and was rated for at least 20,000km's. I think that when I was keeping the chain oil-free in the very soft sand in Sudan the two o-rings had broken off and caused the loose play. Given the mileage I had expected from this chain I didn't have a spare and the only one I could find locally was going to cost me $300. Fok dit! I did however have a spare link that came with the chain (the rivet type as opposed to clip) so borrowed the tool that is used to knock the rivet in as I only had a conventional breaker with me. I borrowed this tool from a very nice guy by the name of Flavio who has a modest KTM shop in Addis. Anyway the chain looked good (for now) and the steel sprockets were in good shape. While I was in Addis I bumped into a South African guy riding a 26 year old Yamaha XT 500 Northwards through Africa, also solo. It was very humbling meeting this guy and I had so much respect for the routes he had accomplished on this bike. I felt a bit like those hot shot idiots Ewen & Charlie with my fancy bike and all my kit, which wasn't pleasant. If anyone here knows of him that would be an incredible ride report!

After Addis I cut a line Southwards towards Kenya. There were many more sights in the North of Ethiopia but apart from a few very friendly & helpful exceptions I wasn't really enjoying my experience of the locals so far. I think the ghat that most people chew renders a large proportion of the population terribly lethargic and disengaged from reality. In addition, hostile intent was noted yet again with more (failed) stone-throwing attempts. I once even had a whole pineapple hurtled towards me by an older trouble-maker. I wanted to stop & ask what the f*ck he was trying to achieve but good karma prevailed and I rode on. Ethiopia is known as the cradle of mankind, and I can only assume that this past-time of projectile throwing at alien objects is a very direct link to the neanderthals that roamed these parts in days gone by.


Impressive anthills started dotting the countryside.


Some aspiring young warriors.

Anyway the South of Ethiopia was very lekker. There were less villages & people on the roads and I started seeing more wildlife in the bush. Being a coffee snob I made a detour into a tiny village called Yirga Chefe, where my favourite coffee is grown. This coffee is pretty rare to find in shops and this proved to be the same where it was grown. I imagine every last morsel is exported. After a bit of exploring I found a young fella who was able to source some and I bought as much of the green beans as I could carry. It was a special treat roasting the beans over my camp stove in the mornings for a cup of moer koffie. I was now very close to the border of Kenya and about to take another large gamble; an infamously bad road through Northern Kenya, which was also home to some delightful bandits that prey on passers-by.


The general dealer where my coffee was sourced from.

I've cobbled together another small video clip - with some truly appalling editing (forgive me). I sped up the boring part but the rest is normal. First bit is the ride down the gorge, second bit a large truck blown over by strong winds, then me leaning at a silly angle to negotiate the winds, typical village congestion, and lastly a mad junction in the capital; six four-lane highways all coming together with no traffic lights or form of order. As per Cairo I used a car as a shield.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J43TcoYRQ1M

More soon...

Mark
 
 

Offline I&horse

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #89 on: September 05, 2008, 07:32:45 am »
I subscribe to this thread!!!!
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Offline Trailrider

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #90 on: September 05, 2008, 07:44:44 am »
Great stuff. Keep it coming!
 

Offline Hidalgo

Re: African Enduro
« Reply #91 on: September 05, 2008, 08:23:31 am »
That was amazing.

I get so excited when the report is updated  :deal:

Brilliant stuff !

Thx
H
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Offline Yefimovich˛

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #92 on: September 05, 2008, 08:25:09 am »
Excellent! :thumleft: Great start to the day!
If at first you don't succeed, lower your standards
 

Offline growweblaar

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #93 on: September 05, 2008, 08:48:33 am »
Great stuff  :thumleft:

Funny, this stone-throwing stuff. Apparently, it's just as bad in India. Do they hate whities? Bikers? Bikes? Whities on bikes?  :patch:
 

Offline Mark Hardy

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #94 on: September 05, 2008, 08:50:40 am »
It's worth reading twice.. ;)

 :thumleft:
 

Offline bushclown

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #95 on: September 05, 2008, 09:14:21 am »

Awesome solo ride report

 :thumleft:

 

Offline Whethefakawe

Re: African Enduro
« Reply #96 on: September 05, 2008, 09:36:38 am »
Hellofa ride, Mark! That's a REAL ride, I'm dying to do the same route. Have bike in soutern Europe, have time on hands........funds a bit short.....hmmmmmmmm........problem   :biggrin:

iI enjoy the descriptions of Ethiopia, I have worked closely with several Ethiopians and find them to be very dignified, hospitable people. The two best meals I've ever had were Turkish and Ethiopian.  Did you have any Tej?  The honey wine? Good shite :biggrin:

Khat, or Miraa as it's called in Kenya, gives you a buzz till about 3 pm, when the hangover kicks in, then people get nasty. I used to see that in Somalia every day. Problem is, those bastards all carry AK's or similar penis enlargers . Best you start your day early and be well away by afternoon tea  :laughing4:

Keep it coming!
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Offline cloudgazer

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #97 on: September 05, 2008, 10:28:51 am »
I'm loving this report.

All I wanna do now is go on my own adventure.
 

Offline Maya_The_Bee

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #98 on: September 05, 2008, 11:55:21 am »
great report , good days  :thumleft:

Quote
Luxury accommodation, with dinner tied-up in the foreground.

did u eat it ?  ;D
 

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Re: African Enduro
« Reply #99 on: September 05, 2008, 08:59:17 pm »
Great report Mark. Can't wait for the next installment :drif: :drif: :drif:


 :thumleft: