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Author Topic: Around Southern Africa on 2 small bikes  (Read 8847 times)

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Offline Fransw

Re: Around Southern Africa on 2 small bikes
« Reply #320 on: December 16, 2018, 11:58:37 am »
Lekker ostrich burger! :drif:

Great RR...merci!
 

Offline BMWPE

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Re: Around Southern Africa on 2 small bikes
« Reply #321 on: December 16, 2018, 12:11:23 pm »
Awesome ride report    :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Thank you for sharing
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Offline maria41

Re: Around Southern Africa on 2 small bikes
« Reply #322 on: December 18, 2018, 04:53:38 pm »

Day 108 – Swellendam – Thursday 13th September – 225kms


We went back down from the mountains to the Garden route and stop on the way in Swellendam, to break the journey to The Coast. The town is supposed to be one of the oldest in South Africa. It was ok. Nothing special.


Our guesthouse had no safe parking for our bikes but Alistair managed to get them inside the garden.

The lady owner did not seem impressed by this but there is no way our bikes would spend the night on the street.

Some guys turn up in a group, and had a big Braii. The next morning the lady was friendlier with us as it seems the guys caused more trouble than we ever did anywhere!

Not sure precisely what happened but they were told never to come back. Maybe they sneaked a hooker or got drunk and smashed stuff around? Whatever it was the lady in charge was furious. I hope she will be more welcoming to bikers as we, in contract, were on our best behaviour, as always! 


We rode route 62, but that section was very tedious, once we passed all the ostrich farms.

We had a walk in town. Accommodation was expensive, but restaurants were even more so.

I did not understand why, as there did not seem to be anything of much interest around. We decided to get a take away a pizza instead of spending stupid money for dinner! It was enormous but we still managed to eat it! No chance of losing weight on this trip!

The guesthouse had a book suggesting a couple of interesting places to visit. One, about 100kms away was the last hand operated pontoon ferry in South Africa. We had to go and check this out!
 
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Offline maria41

Re: Around Southern Africa on 2 small bikes
« Reply #323 on: December 18, 2018, 05:04:26 pm »


Day 109 – Hermanus – Friday 14th September – 285 kms

We left the main road and got through little dirt roads to the ferry. It was a lot of fun, riding through rolling hills and farmland, with beautiful views.





Eventually we arrived at the river and rode the bikes onto the barge. Only two men operate the barge. We gave them a good tip as it is a hard job they are doing!





Find my sticker :

And I believe everyone knows this guy:



We then continued through the dirt roads until we had to join a main paved road to L’Aghulas. The place there was ok, nothing special.




Our attempt to find a cafe for a hot drink and a snack failed. It’s so hard to find cafes around! So in the end we continued until we got to Hermanus, our destination for the weekend. The weather was cloudy and very windy so it was very tiring.

Hermanus and the surrounding area is famous for many whales coming very near to the shore while the females are nursing. We hoped to see some whales!

 
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Offline maria41

Re: Around Southern Africa on 2 small bikes
« Reply #324 on: December 18, 2018, 05:07:05 pm »

Day 110 – Hermanus – Saturday 15th September


We had a walk around town and investigated the boat trip to see the whales. At 800 rand per person, we thought it was a bit of a rip off! Instead we walked along the cliffs and saw many whales very close to the shore.





It was the season now and many whales (females) were coming in the area with their calves. We saw them jumping out of the water and playing around.






WE saw many of these things around. I think they are called Dassies, or Rock badgers. They were the size of a big rabbit. This little fellow did not look impressed at being us stomping around his nest!


Too soon it was time to pack up. We had booked a hotel in Cape Town that looked fairly well located, close to the centre and was cheap enough, with secured parking for the motorbikes and included breakfast!
 
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Offline maria41

Re: Around Southern Africa on 2 small bikes
« Reply #325 on: December 18, 2018, 05:07:43 pm »


Day 111 – Cape Town – Sunday 16th September – around 200kms?


We decided to ride along the shore. The views from there were superb and the weather sunny and not too cold. The road was nice and twisty and as it was Sunday, all the bikers were out riding.

We thought about going to the Cape of Good Hope, but the road to get there took us alongside many shantytowns. The road was pretty awful, so we decided to get to the hotel instead.

We arrived mid afternoon to the Best Western Cape Suites hotel.

Our room was actually a flat, with a small kitchen, a large bedroom with balcony, and a second bedroom with 2 single beds. It was useful, as we had to repack everything that evening, to sort what would go in the shipping container with the bikes. We had to deliver the bikes to the shipping agent the next day.



Day 112 to 114 – Cape Town – Monday 17th to Weds 19th September – about 10 kms


The next morning we loaded the bikes with the luggage that could be shipped and we rode to Econotrans’ offices. We parked the bikes and loaded our riding boots and jackets in the panniers. We left the helmets too this time. It was such a drag to carry them as hand luggage when flying! After disconnecting the batteries, removing the mirrors and signing few papers, we went back to the hotel in a Uber car.

We met for lunch with our South African friend Johan at a funky burger place called The Dogs’ bollocks / Bitch’s tits. It was quite something!

It seemed it was compulsory for the waitress to add the word “F**king” at least once every sentence. We had to ‘F**king” get our burgers ourselves as well, once they were ready…. the burgers were great though and they served funky beers. 

Offline maria41

Re: Around Southern Africa on 2 small bikes
« Reply #326 on: December 18, 2018, 05:09:08 pm »

Day 113 and 114 – Cape Town

The next day we explored the town on foot. The centre was nice. We found an amazing tapas place called Fork, in Long street. The food there was amazing. The weather was wet once again but it was worth getting drenched for such a meal.



With all the controversy about Rhodes, with students demanding its statue to be pulled down in at Oxford university, for being a imperialist, I was very surprised to see a statue of him in the town centre of Cape Town. Especially as the student who started demanding it to be pulled down was a South African student who accepted a £40,000 bursary from the same Cecil Rhodes Foundation. That is a lot of money to get from someone you despise. (don't mean to be controversial, just puzzled).




The next day our plane was at 5pm only. So despite the torrential rain, we walked back to Fork for a last meal involving Ostrich Goulash and other amazing stuff! If you get to Cape Town, make sure to pay them a visit!

So that’s it, we went back home.

Offline maria41

Re: Around Southern Africa on 2 small bikes
« Reply #327 on: December 18, 2018, 05:10:45 pm »
So this is the end my report.

We rode over 15,000kms, crossed 7 countries, in 4 months.

It has been an amazing and thoroughly enjoyable trip. This was our 4th long (over 3 months) overland trip and the first to be totally trouble free.

I expected it would be much harder, but the fact everyone speaks English (even in Mozambique) and that most regions we crossed are fairly touristic, makes it an ideal part of Africa to explore. We saw many fabulous animals and landscapes that will stay with me forever.

And most importantly, I kept the promise I made to Alistair a year ago: “it will be like a big holiday”.

And it was. Honest! We added only the fun challenges we were confortable with, rode amazing tracks and had the best time of our life.

for those reading this and not from SA, if you think Africa is too dangerous or too hard, or too poor and depressing, with little kids starving everywhere, like in the TV adverts, think again. The countries we crossed were easy and catering very well to tourism. 

You don’t need to be an Off Road God or a fearless explorer to cover this part of Africa (Or anywhere, to be fair). Anyone can do it!  And if you go, you will have the best time of your life!

I hope you have enjoyed this Ride Report and that somehow it will inspire you to plan a trip like this in the future.

In the meantime, I wish you all a Happy Xmas and New Year, with lots of adventures and amazing travels to come your way. 


 
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Offline JonW

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Re: Around Southern Africa on 2 small bikes
« Reply #328 on: December 18, 2018, 05:22:55 pm »
Thanks for all the effort you put into doing this Ride Report Maria, I know it is a tedious job and takes a long time to do, but it is much appreciated.

How can I be lost when I have got nowhere to go?
 
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Offline Nigel X

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Re: Around Southern Africa on 2 small bikes
« Reply #329 on: December 18, 2018, 06:07:15 pm »
A big thank you Maria.

I really enjoyed your report.
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Offline evansv

Re: Around Southern Africa on 2 small bikes
« Reply #330 on: December 18, 2018, 06:31:51 pm »
Thanks Maria for the great report!
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Offline Beebop

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Re: Around Southern Africa on 2 small bikes
« Reply #331 on: December 18, 2018, 09:06:06 pm »
It was a pleasure to "ride" along with the two of you.
 
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Offline Oubones

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Re: Around Southern Africa on 2 small bikes
« Reply #332 on: December 18, 2018, 09:30:05 pm »
Thanks Maria!
You did well with this report and me and the wife was at Alberts Falls last weekend! :thumleft:
Had a great time.
Thank you for taking the time to put this report together!
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Offline sackett

Re: Around Southern Africa on 2 small bikes
« Reply #333 on: December 21, 2018, 02:13:46 pm »
Fantastic - Thanks Maria!
Previously owned: Yamaha XT250, Honda XL500R, Yamaha XT600 Tenere, then moved over to the Dark Side with a great classic: Honda CB750F - all sold unfortunately.
 
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Offline ChrisL - DUSTRIDERS

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Re: Around Southern Africa on 2 small bikes
« Reply #334 on: December 21, 2018, 07:14:11 pm »
Maria thank you for your great RR. I am very happy you enjoyed Africa and that your whole trip was safe. :thumleft:

I would like to know how much this trip have cost you seeing that you used B&B's and hotels where possible?
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Offline maria41

Re: Around Southern Africa on 2 small bikes
« Reply #335 on: December 22, 2018, 12:16:15 am »
Maria thank you for your great RR. I am very happy you enjoyed Africa and that your whole trip was safe. :thumleft:

I would like to know how much this trip have cost you seeing that you used B&B's and hotels where possible?

The biggest cost for us was shipping two motorbikes from and back to the UK. That hit us near 3600 british pounds. Plus the carnet, cost 1000 british pounds for the two bikes, non refundable.

We camped  a lot in Namibia and even so it was super expensive. Beyond that, guess we averaged about 80 to 100 USD  a day for the two of us for accommodation, food and fuel. 

Backpacker lodges in SA were relatively cheap. Swaziland was cheap. Malawi backpackers were about 35 to 50 UsD plus food to add. It can be cheaper if you share a dorm, but with all our motorcycle gear we avoid sharing. If a helmet or some MC gear went missing it would be expensive stuff to replace.

So yes Africa was much more expensive than we expected. Much more than South America or Central Asia. But I am sure that it can be done in a cheaper way, by camping all the way and eating your own food. Or even wild camping, but we did not wild camp for safety reasons. We prefer to mix campsites and stay in guest houses from time to time or self catering places when  cheap enough (I.e. 30 to 50 USD).

But I must admit the last few weeks, once out of Lesotho and back in SA, it turned into a holiday. And we were rather tired. My throat infection lasted a couple of months and I ended up seeing my GP back home and taking antibiotics to shake it off.
All in all, not a cheap trip, but worth it, a once in a lifetime trip.

To compare, one of our friends ( he is loaded) went to a safari in Botswana and spent 10,000 pounds on a 7 or 10 days Safari, not including flights.  :o


 
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Online Noneking

Re: Around Southern Africa on 2 small bikes
« Reply #336 on: December 22, 2018, 07:36:28 am »
Awesome Report Maria!
Glad I was able to meet you!
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Offline Clockwork Orange

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Re: Around Southern Africa on 2 small bikes
« Reply #337 on: January 03, 2019, 05:46:48 pm »
Thanks Maria, I thoroughly enjoyed that report. As a South African now living in the UK it was interesting getting your perspective on the areas that you visited. If you are anywhere near Surrey it would be great to meet you guys.
When in doubt...grab throttle!!!
 

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Re: Around Southern Africa on 2 small bikes
« Reply #338 on: January 04, 2019, 05:50:53 am »
A fantastic ride report. Great balance of writing and photos!
Thank you for taking the time to share it.  :thumleft:

Offline Graemet

Re: Around Southern Africa on 2 small bikes
« Reply #339 on: January 06, 2019, 04:19:30 pm »
Fantastic RR, easy to read and brimming with anecdotes too, which really completes these kind of reports for me.
Just a note on the small bikes though; they are great due to their low mass and handling but the bikes you are riding also have full EFI engines and are just as vulnerable to connectivity issues as the BMW would have been.   A true African machine will need to run a carburettor and Chinese tyres!
Safe riding!