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Author Topic: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars  (Read 7007 times)

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Offline wildside

Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
« Reply #120 on: March 03, 2019, 05:28:29 pm »

DAY 13 :  FRIDAY  -  28 DECEMBER 2018
SKINNY HIPPO  to FAT MONKEYS
Distance :   65 km



“Well it’s all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it’s all right, if you live the life you please
Well it’s all right, even if the sun don’t shine
Well it’s all right, we’re going to the end of the line.”      Traveling Wilbury’s




There was only a short ride ahead of us today, with all being on tar, so we decided not to rush our departure. I also wanted to slow things down as this was our last day and despite all the hard work and distance we had covered I was still quite saddened by the fact that it was our last days ride and that our adventure was almost over. Today we would be closing the circle.
This resort didn’t accept cards so Kingsley needed to go the 20 km back to Mangochi to withdraw cash from the ATM. Roxy and I started to pack up for our departure and in doing so  had a bit of fun photo time with our buffs. There was never a dull moment on this trip.





We then made ourselves comfortable around the pool and enjoyed relaxing until Kingsley returned ...without any cash.







Nicely swept beach




The Mozambique mountains in the distance.




Catching a relaxing moment.



 Once again the mastercards wouldn’t work. Fortunately Roxy had an American Visa card which was readily accepted at most places. On returning to Mangochi,  Kingsley was successful in getting some cash.  By noon we were eventually on our way and enjoying the last leg of our adventure that would finally complete our loop around the lake.


Both a little tired of photo shoots  ::)



One more stop for photos  ;D

















We stopped for some final photos and went to check out the curios under the massive baobab tree where we turned off the main road to ride the final stretch to Cape Maclear.



"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk

Offline wildside

Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
« Reply #121 on: March 03, 2019, 06:03:39 pm »









This was the last leg of the journey.



We all decided to swop bikes. :ricky:






The final count down :-\









It was a proud moment for me and one of relief for the other two as we approached the comfortable Fat Monkeys Lodge.  We had completed what we had set out to do... achieved our goal...despite avoiding one section of road due to advice, bad weather and troubled roads.

 Roxy had displayed amazing strength of character and had taken the good with the bad, popped out at the end still smiling and, believe it or not, scheming about our next trip.  It was a tremendous relief for Kingsley as he had returned us girls safely back home after maintaining and repairing the bikes, navigating us through rain, mist, mud and water, cooking for us, doing the occasional laundry and just always making sure we were happy and safe.








HIGH FIVE ALL !!   :hello2:



"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk

Offline wildside

Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
« Reply #122 on: March 03, 2019, 06:44:10 pm »

We had been so fortunate to still be able to participate in these adventures as a family and these memories will always treasured.











We chilled for two nights at Fat Monkeys before loading up our tired bikes and heading back home.




















                                                MORE TO FOLLOW SHORTLY   :rolleyes:
"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk

Offline wilfwalk

Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
« Reply #123 on: March 04, 2019, 11:43:23 am »
Sincere congratulations on your achievement, all of you. AND a massive thanks for sharing the experience with all the photo stops - appreciated.
 

Offline chicco

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Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
« Reply #124 on: March 04, 2019, 11:59:49 am »
Great report...thanks for sharing :thumleft:

Will we see you guys at theKZN Bash?
KLR650, KTM 950, KTM 990, HONDA CRF 230, KTM 990S
 

Offline Knucklhead

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Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
« Reply #125 on: March 04, 2019, 12:24:06 pm »
great report  :thumleft:
 

Offline RobLH

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Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
« Reply #126 on: March 04, 2019, 12:40:17 pm »
Amazing, thank you.
 

Offline punisher

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Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
« Reply #127 on: March 05, 2019, 12:05:58 pm »
again i say .......... you guys are amazing

thank you for the RR
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
just wanna have fun , and ride ... and ....... ride
 

Offline windswept

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Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
« Reply #128 on: March 05, 2019, 01:01:38 pm »
Good stuff. I reckon a report like this would be a temporary sticky on advrider, it is so good.  :thumleft:
 

Offline wildside

Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
« Reply #129 on: March 05, 2019, 07:24:04 pm »

RETURN TRIP HOME :     30 DECEMBER 2018 – 03 JANUARY 2019  (+/-2600 km)


“A story should have a beginning, a middle and an end...but not necessarily in that order.”                 
                                                                                                              Jean-Lue Godard     

                   
It was with a heavy heart that we turned our backs on the lake for the last time. We had got so much pleasure from ‘the lake of stars’. This would probably be the last time we would see this place.
We departed through a different border post as we were told it’s not as stressful as the one we entered through. It was a beautiful drive on the S127 as we wound our way up into the mountains which offered some stunning views as we looked back down the valley.













This pretty drive took us to Dedza and it was quick and easy getting out of Malawi and entering Mozambique. The 223 was a fairly good road and after a few hours we turned right on to the EN103 again making good time to Tete.  It was already dark when we arrived in Chimoio just south-west of Gorongosa National Park. We found the Pink Papaye Backpackers which was fully booked but they gave us permission to squeeze into the tiny garden, use their facilities but sleep in our vehicle accompanied by a squadron of mosquitos. Needless to say we didn’t have a peaceful night.

We left early the following morning and once again punched in our destination on Google Maps. For some strange reason it was keeping us off the EN1 and taking us on the 216. Even when we missed our turn off to the 216 it kept redirecting us onto the 216 and wouldn’t acknowledge the main road south to Vilankulos...not even showing it as a second option. My gut feeling was not happy about this but we knew the EN1 was a shocking road so assumed this to be the reason. So we took Google Maps advice and turned south onto the 216. Within a few kilometres I just knew that this was not a good idea but I didn’t want to sound like the nagging mom....and so we continued down a narrow gravel road. The passing traffic thinned out and the villages slowly disappeared. The road became narrower, and appeared to be less travelled and in bad condition. We bumped and bounced our way slowly along this route for about 2.5 hours covering about 40km. But then Google Maps said 10 km more to the EN1 and within minutes our ‘road’ turned into a single pathway. Surely this was not possible!!

We now had to reverse out some distance with the trailer till we found a suitable place to turn around.  Slowly we headed back the way we came and stopped to ask directions at a stationary vehicle. He directed us to Dombe and we were to take the next left turn. Well the roads just got progressively worse and we were crawling along carefully at a snail’s pace. It was too late to turn around so we forged ahead. The next minute we broke out of the bush and crossed over a lovely bridge that led onto a tar road.





We were so chuffed until we drove into a hydro-electrical power station and were instructed to turn around and go back to the next turning, which we did and once again it was on a horrific ‘road’.  We bounced around these muddy roads in a shocked state not quite believing what we had got ourselves into. We were still on the correct route though. We were in the middle of thick bush and there were no villages that we could see with only the occasional person on a bicycle. 

We had been travelling for about 5 hours when suddenly Kingsley stopped the bakkie, exclaiming ‘For f***k sake!!’ as his glance darted to the mirror.  The trailer drawbar had snapped mid way, ploughed into the road and managed to cartwheel the trailer. We were all so fed up with this blasted road already and now this...!!!  There was our trailer and bikes upside down...it was a sickening sight.






We stood there and stared in a shocked state not quite believing our bad luck...surely this couldn’t be happening again. Our last Botswana trip ended like this as well. What the heck do we do now? It took another few minutes to sink in that we were now unable to recover this trailer as the hitch had completely snapped off.



 Eventually we started to think clearly and tried to turn the trailer over. We only managed to get it onto its side. Kingsley suddenly made the decision that we had to ride the bikes out of here. We actually got a bit nervous being in the middle of the unknown. We couldn’t afford for anything else to go wrong so we had to move quickly. Hurriedly we cut all the straps off the bikes and with some difficulty managed to drag them off each other onto the road and assess the damage. Roxy’s bike was leaking oil and too damaged to ride, the bigger bikes had lost some mirrors and my clutch and brake lever was broken off, handle bars bent and gauges broken off... other than that quite useable.











 The other problem was that we had used up most of our fuel. While Kingsley salvaged whatever spares he could from Roxy’s bike to make the 650’s rideable, she drained the fuel from hers and shared it between our two bikes while I cleared out the back of the canopy and repacked everything onto the backseat. Roxy preferred to ride rather than drive so I got all their smelly and dirty riding gear out for them and things just happened smoothly with no complaining or fussing. We just kind of knew what we each had to do. The front wheel, mud guard and shocks were removed from the 200 and with all our strength we somehow managed to lift and load up the remains and shoved it into the back of the canopy. It was a sorry sight.












"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 

Offline demonoid

Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
« Reply #130 on: March 05, 2019, 07:34:23 pm »
Oh no ..... did not see that one coming
 

Offline Oubones

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Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
« Reply #131 on: March 05, 2019, 07:44:48 pm »
Eish, not good. :dousing:
And there I thought it is going to be a boring end to your trip.
You lot have the right attitude! :thumleft:
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Offline Phillip Flap

Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
« Reply #132 on: March 05, 2019, 07:55:21 pm »
Sjoe, The END is not the end after all!
sad to see the bikes and trailer bottoms up!
Fantastic report!
“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.”
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Offline BMWPE

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Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
« Reply #133 on: March 05, 2019, 07:59:07 pm »
 :'( :'(
definitely not a nice ending
Rallye
 

Offline wildside

Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
« Reply #134 on: March 05, 2019, 08:36:10 pm »

In this space of time we only saw one chap on a bicycle and he just sped past us in a nervous hurry. About an hour later and with much surprise our 650’s spluttered back to life. I couldn’t believe it! I just loved this bike of mine even more...it just never let me down!
It was a relief to be mobile once again. Roxy and Kingsley led the way with me following close behind. I couldn’t believe it when we had a few river crossings to make. I was now so angry with Google Maps and myself for not following my gut feeling but we were now committed and just had to continue. Thank goodness this vehicle was a 4x4 as we needed it to get us out of a few problematic areas.






After about another 1.5 hours we popped out onto a tar road...such a relief. We found some fuel and headed off to Dombe where we turned left onto a good gravel road that would take us back onto the EN1. We needed to get to Vilankulos, and still had one hell of a long way to go. I was now concerned about Roxy getting tired as we had all had a very bad night’s sleep. There was still about another 300 km to go. We had frequent smoke breaks along the way as the road was in a shocking state up until Inhassoro. On a bike the going was faster so they often had to wait for me to catch up as the potholes were a nightmare in the darkness, making travelling slow and stressful.

 It was about 9.30 pm when we reached the busy turn off to Vilankulos and as expected Kingsley missed the turn off, which Roxy was aware of, so she promptly followed her dad to warn him. I immediately stopped at the turn off, put on my hazards as there was so much traffic around and waited for their return.  Roxy thought she was chasing her father but when she caught up it wasn’t him. Somehow she had lost him in the mess of taillights and the New Years Eve busyness. Fortunately she had the sense to continue for another 7 km or so till she reached a fuel station and there she found a bewildered Dad who had lost both of us. After about 20 minutes they both arrived back at the turn off. These two were now so exhausted and battled with the last 19 kms to town. Fortunately, being New Years Eve, Baobab Backpackers was in full swing and very much awake. We were fortunate to get something to eat before heading off to pitch our tents shortly before midnight.  It was such a relief to end this last day of 2018.

We spent a day and another night enjoying the wonderful atmosphere and beach of this great place and recovering.




















Our new buddy








Thinking about the long haul home!  :P

02 January 2019

 We set of for Maputo, which was another long haul of 715 km for Roxy and Kingsley, and required an early start. These bikes work hard when travelling at 110km/hour so frequent stops were needed and fortunately the roads were good. It took us ages to get through Xai Xai and cross over the bridge but late that afternoon  we worked our way to the our accommodation which was close to the beach front of Maputo. Again Google Maps was taking us on all the narrow back roads of Maputo. These two were amazing and managed to keep up their spirits.

03 January 2019

We were planning on crossing over the new bridge that had recently been completed.  In order to get to the Kosi Bay border at 8 am., when it opened, we needed to depart at 6 am. The wind was howling and it was raining once again. It felt good to be warm and dry inside the bakkie as we worked our way along the Maputo promenade but I felt so sorry for the two in front of me as the rain lashed out at them and the wind blowing off the ocean buffeted them continuously.




If you look carefully you can see the new bridge in the distance.


Finding the entrance to the new bridge, built by the Chinese and officially opened on 10 November 2018,  proved to be a bit tricky as there was no signage leading up to it. We battled our way around asking directions and eventually found the start where we saw the first and only sign indicating the new bridge connecting Maputo, on the northern bank to Katemba, on the southern bank. It is the longest suspension bridge on the African continent, with the main span measuring 680m but in total 3 km long. With the new road leading south towards Kosi Bay in KwaZulu-Natal, travelling time is reduced a great deal, now taking only 90 minutes as opposed to 6 hours via Swaziland. It was a great feeling being able to drive over this amazing engineering feat.













There are two tolls on this wonderful stretch of road which totals about R40 in fees as well as a fuel station.  We were treated to some lovely sightings of giraffe as we drove through the Maputo Elephant Game Reserve, but sadly no ellies. Definitely a recommended route.





It rained intermittently up to the border and on arrival here there was just rain and chaos as all the holiday makers from the various Pontes gathered to depart Mozambique. Vehicles parked anywhere and everywhere, people running in all directions from vehicles to get a good position in the queue, hoodies over heads, brollies covering several bodies dodging in and out of stationary vehicles and excitement oozing all over as we all got soaked standing in outside queues.

We were now a bit concerned about our paperwork as we no longer had a trailer but I think the rain and chaos was in our favour and at the customs office there was a bit of mayhem as  rain soaked people crowed round declaring good. While Kingsley and Roxy waited in the rain I handed over all the paperwork and was asked if all was in order which I answered ‘all was fine’ and rushed into the rain again and crossed through the boom. No one questioned the motorbike hanging out of the canopy and they waved us through.

The two on motorbikes now had another 530 km ride to get home.  The roads were extremely busy and slow until we reached the N2. Once again rain lashed out occasionally but they continued on taking regular breaks. With the rain came the cold and a few times Kingsley wanted to just dump the bikes somewhere safe and get into the vehicle but somehow they bravely persevered. As we passed Durban the mist tumbled in making it even more stressful. We stuck close together and looked after each other as best we could in the busy traffic. Heading up Town Hill and Hilton was like driving through pea soup, slow going and very stressful.  It was awesome arriving back at home all in one piece albeit cold, wet and miserable. I only have admiration for these two who rode back all that distance in such awful weather conditions just to get our precious bikes back safely.

Thank you, Kingsley and Roxy, for the wonderful opportunity to experience such an awesome holiday. Roxy, you brought so much pleasure and fun into this trip and I shall cherish every moment spent with you.  :love5:

“We‘ve been through some things together,
with trunks of memories still to come.
We found things to do in stormy weather.
Long may you run.” 
                                                                               Neil Young




                                        Now that is the end of one amazing adventure!!
:thumleft:


"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 

Offline Crossed-up

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Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
« Reply #135 on: March 05, 2019, 08:49:36 pm »
Such bad luck about the trailer! But like all the problems you chaps encountered you just forged ahead, not letting it bog you down. Well done!

Thank you for taking us along on this amazing, epic, beautiful, exciting trip.
 

Offline demonoid

Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
« Reply #136 on: March 05, 2019, 09:18:33 pm »
Awesome ..... just bloody awesome.
May you cherish those memories for ever.

Thank you wildside for this fantastic ride report. I'm sure you've reignited the passion in many.
 

Offline wildside

Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
« Reply #137 on: March 05, 2019, 09:18:57 pm »
Such bad luck about the trailer! But like all the problems you chaps encountered you just forged ahead, not letting it bog you down. Well done!

Thank you for taking us along on this amazing, epic, beautiful, exciting trip.

Thanks for taking the time to follow the story and giving encouraging feedback. Somehow we rose above all it all, stuck together and popped out at the end happy to have fulfilled a dream. Glad you enjoyed it. ;)
"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 

Offline wildside

Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
« Reply #138 on: March 05, 2019, 09:31:08 pm »

For any one who is interested, Roxy (WILDSIDES Offspring) will be posting a video of our adventure sometime soon.   :happy1:
"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 

Offline MRK Miller

Re: SQUARING THE CIRCLE ~ Lake of Stars
« Reply #139 on: March 05, 2019, 09:56:37 pm »
I can feel a tear happening. You all are a inspiration, hats of to all of you. Finished your rift ride report while waiting for this part and it was worth the wait. I have never had a better ending to any book or movie. Ok maybe a couple which also brought a tear, but this was awesome stuff. Eagerly awaiting your rr on your next trip. A inspiration for me to really put efford into my photo's and rr for our trips. Thank you so much
Op God vertrou ons vir wysheid om Sy wil te aanvaar