Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register

Author Topic: Beach bumming Mozambique  (Read 8991 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Xpat

Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
« Reply #80 on: January 31, 2019, 09:38:32 pm »
Thanks again for nice comments and following  :thumleft:

I will reply to some of the comments tomorrow - too tired now to formulate clear answers.

Offline hedleyj

Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
« Reply #81 on: January 31, 2019, 10:18:11 pm »
Sub
I'm sure the sun goes around the earth twice a day.
 

Offline Mr Zog

  • Well fuck me, I'm a
  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: Honda XL500S
    Location: USA
  • Posts: 7,330
  • Thanked: 280 times
  • Without the gutter my mind would be homeless...
Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
« Reply #82 on: February 01, 2019, 03:45:38 am »
Wow Martin, what an awesome trip  :drif:  :ricky:

And the way you describe it, and all the beautiful pics, it's like I am riding alongside you...

Thank you  :thumleft:
Young enough to know I can, old enough to know I shouldn't, stupid enough to do it anyway.
 

Offline StofVreter

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: BMW R1150GS
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 168
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Bliksem!!! Maar dis lekker!
Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
« Reply #83 on: February 01, 2019, 12:05:20 pm »
When we got to position and got the go ahead we jumped into water and I got lost straight away. Clearly there were some pro shark swimmers who set-off at the speed of torpedo, while I was trying to figure out how the frigging snorkle works. It's been also long time since I have swam with fins (probably 12 - 13 years) so I was flailing hopelessly around, and of course I had water in my google. Neithless to say - I saw fuck-all. Some of the other managed to follow the shark for a while, but I just bailed and got back to the boat by now reconciled with the failure.

Luckily the tour guys, once everybody was back at the boat, took us for another turn getting ahead of the shark in the boat. This time I was slightly more successfull and sighted for a brief moment big shadow diving into the depths as one of the other tourists must have got too close. Not great, but better than nothing - especially as I was trying to leary how to use this whole snorkle/google contraption in the process.

Again - kudos to the tour company, they took us for third turn. This time I smartened up and left the stupid googles and snorkle. I also misuderstood the guide and heard her sceam 'wait' already flying over the side of the boat. That turned out to be an advantage as I was first in the water, and within seconds found myself face to face on colision course with moerse big fish. I flailed out of its way and to the side and succeeded in not freaking it out and turned around and tried desperately to swim with the shark for the next minute or so, which wasn't easy as that thing had some kind of turbines under its fins. I couldn't see them, but the sharks tail fin was almost motionless, and yet the thing was moving through the water at the warp speed. What also doesn't help was that as I had to turn now I was last in the row of overexcited tourists getting kicking in my face along the way.

But all that couldn't dampen the experience. I had a goose-bumps and all the grumpiness and foul mood were gone in an instant. I tried my best to keep up but eventually lost the animal, but I was completely satisfied and contentedly swam back to the boat with big smile on the face. That German guide chick probably haven't seen such pleasant eastern european yet (well if they saw the shark she might have). I have done the white shark cage dive about 4 times and been in most national parks in Africa and seen all the big 5 and stuff, but I have to say this was special.

 :imaposer: :lol8: Hoooooh Boy! Loved that bit! But then I enjoy your RR's! Thank you very much!  :thumleft:
Gooi!!!
Daar is nog baie om te sien!

Suzuki TS185ER Honda CG125, Motomia 125, Suzuki DR650S, Yamaha XT660Z, BMW GS1150R.
 

Offline Frog

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 990 Adventure
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 1,613
  • Thanked: 2 times
Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
« Reply #84 on: February 01, 2019, 12:50:04 pm »
Only one word - EPIC!
Triumph Thuxton R
Triumph Bonneville T120
KTM 990R
KTM 990 Adventure (sold), BMW 650 Xchallenge (sold)
BMW 1200GSA (sold)
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
« Reply #85 on: February 03, 2019, 09:07:09 am »
The next day, rest day number 2, I opted to change the oil. Originally I wanted to do it at the halfway point in Vilankulos, but there wasn't anything else to do apart from chilling on the beach and by now I was already super cool and chilled up the wazoo. So nice little oil change - which with my mechanical abilities has always potential to turn into melodrama - would help to keep me real and grounded.

So the first order of the day was to go and get the oil. I rode up to the garage with little strip mall about 10 km outside Tofo. They had some Catrol 10W-60, which - at least in terms of specs - is even better than required 10W-50, but only in big 4 liter container. I needed only 1.5 liter, so I headed out to the next major town Inhambanne about 30 km away, confident to get what I want there.

Well my confidence was not rewarded - I tried everywhere, but couldn't get anything close to the required specs in Inhambane, only heavy duty car and 4x4 oil. The lack of sidestand made parking often tricky around the oil shops and I had to make an ass of myself couple of times leaving the bike on the pedestrian walkways leaning against random stuff:




Unsuccessful, I rode back to the first garage, bought the 4 liter cannister of 10-60 oil and headed back home to the Casa Barry. At the lodge I asked their mechanics for a bowl to drain the oil into, took the bashplate off and run into a problem straighaway. No matter how hard I tried with my little T wrench, I couldn't losen the 13mm drain bolt at the bottom of the engine. After many attempts in vain and seeing that the bold is getting slowly chewed up, I headed back to the mechanics for a rescue.

They couldn't find bigger wrench in their tool box at the lodge, but the head mechanic had one at his home, so we jumped into his minivan and drove to his house about 5 km out of town. The house was right by the main tar road, with noone around and completely open. I don't mean unlocked, I mean with doors left ajar all day and with his - I'm guessing - quite valuable tools laying about for everybody to see. No, he wasn't worried that somebody it going to steal something. I have seen this lack of concern for one's property many times in Africa and elsewhere, but it is always a good reminder of how safe the world actually is outside the paranoia of modern media (and outside of South Africa with it's undercurrent of racial tensions).

Back at the lodge I was able to losen the drain bolt, but run into another problem straight away - I couldn't get the oil filter out, as it is sitting snug in the oil casings and there is no easy way to grab it (and of course it is oily). Yes, I have changed the oil and filter before few times, but forgot the wire I used to get behind the filter lip to be able to pull it out. So the head mechie came to my rescue once again (luckily he kept straight face and I couldn't read what he was actually thinking) and with a little piece fo wire he got somewhere was able to get the filter out.

After that I was finally able to finish the rest of the procedure on my own. Feeling that  I might have lost a little bit of the coolness in this botched attempt at mechanicking, I retreated back to the beach and restaurant for the rest of the day to re-chill a bit again.
















The credit card snafu still wasn't resolved by the end of the day, but I was too chilled to care anymore, so I just exchanged contact details with the lodge manager to be able to deal with the matter remotely and packed up to continue push north towards Vilankulos early next day.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 09:08:58 am by Xpat »
 

Offline Xpat

Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
« Reply #86 on: February 03, 2019, 09:53:52 am »
Hi Xpat, thanks again for a super trip report and equally great photos. Never having been to Moz before, having been put off by the numerous reports of intolerable treatment by officials and police, I find myself thinking of getting to these resorts by means other than travelling by road.  Perhaps the Dept of Tourism and the police and border officials need to sit down and plan how to encourage tourism, rather than the opposite, but that's for them to figure out.
Do you submit your trip data to Tracks4Africa ? The single track parts would not help the 4x4 community, but the rest would surely be appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time and trouble - appreciated.

You have to be very careful to just follow information spread on the internet and in the media - at least if you are actually into adventure riding, not just holiday-making. I'm not saying it is all wrong, but it tends to be heavily skewed towards negative because that is what grabs attention, and - quite frankly - the average Joe who just wants to go on holiday with as little hassle as possible, is not the best benchmark to look at when looking for proper juicy adventure riding.

Quite frankly if you want to go explore areas off the beaten track in Africa (but not exclusively to Africa), some level of hassle is to be expected - if a little hassle bothers you, then quite frankly you are not into exploring and hence adventure in my book. However in my experience the hassle can be minimised or in many cases even eliminated by staying off the beaten track. The scum of all walks of life - including corrupt officials - are not going to be waiting for you along some remote path, where sometimes no tourist ventured ever before (or at least for very long time). They are going to wait for you in the natural choke points where tourist converge - airports, border crossings and along the main roads where their chances to shake you down are the best. I.e. slap bang on the most beaten track there is - which is exactly what I would expect an adventure rider to avoid anyway.

All those beaches I have visited, can be also easily visited in family 4x4 or even on big adventure bike (less so than on 4x4 as one has to be willing in some instances ride km or 2 of deeper sand). The only difference is that most people in 4x4 or on big bike will stick to EN1 and that makes all the difference. EN1 as the only main thoroughtfare through Moz (at least in the south) is a natural choke point at which all the traffic as well as local population and their settlements converge. So even without any corrupt officials EN1 is a bit of nightmare with 60 or 80 kmh speed limits for very long sections of the road as you are most of the time crossing some kind of town or village. That on its own is a recipe for frustration. Add the local officials - (they don't even need to be corrupt at all, just sitting there as they do with speed traps every few km) and you will most probably hate the experience very quickly even if just caught up actually speeding, and not shaken down for some other trumped up nonsense. And you will probably let people know about your frustration somewhere on the forum. Leaving aside that some of those tourists attract the wrong kind of attention by flashing their wealth way too much - some people just lack common sense.

Now, with just a little change - ridding mostly off the EN1 (but sometimes only 1 - 2 km away) like I did on this trip and like I believe anybody who actually aspires to ride off the beaten track should do, the picture changes completely. Apart from the border (and police roadblock in Xai Xai where they just waved me through as I was pretty dirty after 2 days of sweating in sand already), I don't think I have seen single policeman on this trip. Quite frankly - what would they want to do on those little footpaths that nobody but locals use? And as a result I had a fantastic ride among friendly locals for most of this trip. So just little change in approach like staying off the beaten track, will affect your perception (and actually your reality) of the trip fundamentaly. As suggested by CT, you can use some other border crossing like the one in Pafuri (though you are not guaranteed not to get in trouble there either - I have done Namaacha twice before without any issue), or just do what I did and just come mentaly prepared for a bit of hassle.

The only hassle I really had on this trip from officials was the first border crossing (and little bit on the second crossing in Komatipoort but I was more clever then and brushed them off). Yes it did piss me off like I described it. But would I rather not do this trip if I knew about he hassle upfront? No frigging way! Would I do this trip again? Of course, without any sliver of doubt. I would try to be more clever and use other border crossings like the one suggested by Swazi Phil or even Ponto de Ouro one, but quite frankly even if I knew that the kind of hassle I got is not common on all border crossings, I would just factor it into my expectations (i.e. just be ready to pay the bribe and approach the tout on the border myself just to go with the flow) and go anyway. Main part of the reason why I was so pissed of in Namaacha was because  they took me by surprise. If I would have known about the hassle upfront and couldn't figure out any workaround, I would just go through the process greasing my way through and I wouldn't probably be even pissed off at the end of it, because I expected that. I'm pragmatic, not moralist puritan. If the most important thing in your travels is that that things must be done right and by the book, then I'm afraid you are limited to Switzerland, maybe Germany and Singapour. None of which make for great adventure riding.


No, I didn't send my tracks to T4A. I will post them in this thread once I'm done with the report. But I have already posted most of them (the ones I did now are more or less the same with some diversions) already in my prior report 3 years ago, and as far as I know there were so far 0 takers on them. So let's see how it will go this time.

Offline Xpat

Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
« Reply #87 on: February 03, 2019, 09:55:37 am »
Really nice rider report Martin  :thumleft:

Your bike looks great! Very well set up for this type of thing. Really must plan to get a 500 and do the same thing!

You are becoming an authority on this type of harder core travelling IMO  O0

Thanks Alan  :thumleft:

And yes, you should start riding again - either on 500 or whatever else you might like.

Offline Xpat

Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
« Reply #88 on: February 03, 2019, 10:04:16 am »
If you want a trip, go via north Kruger Park (no bikes in the KNP, but arrange a lift), cross at Pafuri border post and drive to Vilanculos - I did this a while back - brilliant drive!! The border is easy too!

Thanks, that sure is a consideration ! Would be good to add some time into the trip and visit KNP as well. Thanks !

I've done that trip in my Daihatsu Rocky a few times, its one of my favourite trips because its so quiet and rugged, until you get close to the coast.

Need to camp in the bushes though one night on the way in (although that's at least what we did).

We camped 2 nights actually - in 2006 the road was pretty rough as far as Mapai - took us 2.1/2 days to drive the 450km to the coast in 2 x Raider 4x4's - camped first night in a clearing next to the Limpopo and next night at a place we called "Iron Bridge" - fantastic trip - inspite that there were still MANY Danger - Landmine signs right next to the road, maening you dont dare step off the road....

Agreed really nice trip. On one of the trips, we were cut off between two flooded rivers between Mapai and Pafuri which caused us to set up camp for two days. When we eventually got back to Pafuri we found that the whole of the Northern parts of Kruger had been evacuated due to flooding. They were shocked to see us. One of the best trips ever.
Just after you cross the limpopo at Mapai there is an old army base that you can visit also. Just dont drive off the roads as that place is full of landmines. In teresting also that in 1978 (i think or 79) Mapai was the site of a big shoot out invovling Freelemo, Renamo, Zim (Rhodesia) and SA. Over 2000 people were killed there.
Did you visit the "Zimbabwe de manyekeni (excuse spelling) open air museum? Aparently one of the trading posts related to the Great Zimbabwe ruins.


I haven't done all the way to Pafuri, but I explored quite far east from Vilankulos all the way to Machaila, but then turned north to Masangena and from there to Espungabera border crossing and onto to Zim. It is described in my prior report in quite a detail including plenty of pictures that will give you a good idea how does the area that side looks. It starts on this page;


http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=188438.60

Offline Xpat

Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
« Reply #89 on: February 03, 2019, 10:05:49 am »
Wow Martin, what an awesome trip  :drif:  :ricky:

And the way you describe it, and all the beautiful pics, it's like I am riding alongside you...

Thank you  :thumleft:

Thanks Gary and everybody for nice comments!  :thumleft:

Offline Xpat

Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
« Reply #90 on: February 03, 2019, 11:34:06 am »
Day 9 - Tofo beach to Pomene


In the morning I set-off early to utilize cooler morning temperatures as much as possible. Objective for the day was Pomene national reserve about half way up the coast between Tofo and Vilankulos 240 km away:




First 100 km was tar - the longest tar section I was to do in Moz - because I had to circumnavigate Baia de Inhambane to be able to hit the shoreline again north of Maxixe. I hoped I will be able to cut it much shorter using about ferry running between Inhambane and Maxixe across the bay, but when I arrived I was told it is for passengers only, so I had to go long way around the bay.

After hour and a half including refuel I have made it to the point past Maxixe where my track finally turned off EN1 and I hit the sandy tracks again. It was more or less the same variety of tracks and surfaces I have ridden so far up, it was just less populated and had a bit more remote feeling:








































Wonder if these were locals or some old settlers from times long gone:



















Finaly after few dozen km I came to the main dirt road running between Maxxinga on EN1 and Pomene national reserve. After short break I cross the road and continued on my concoction of little tracks I have plotted at home.











« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 11:39:24 am by Xpat »
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk

Offline Xpat

Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
« Reply #91 on: February 03, 2019, 11:49:26 am »
The tracks I have plotted got more and more remote the further north I was heading. The are was much less populated that further south with vast swathes of dunes untended and bush left alone. The sand got deeper and more coloful, ranging between white and deep reddish orange:































I was heading for a place called 'Paradise Beach Lodge' that I found on googlemaps. As I came closer to the Pomene national reserve there were number of track veering off into the dense bush and heading for the shore. I took a wrong turn (probably at the crossing at the next picture) and eventually got to little UNICEF camp, which clearly wasn't the lodge I was looking for:













Initiall the camp looked deserted, but eventually a local emerged from one of the tents and pointed me back to the right track I had to take to the lodge which was few km further north.


« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 11:51:13 am by Xpat »
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk

Offline Xpat

Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
« Reply #92 on: February 03, 2019, 12:03:34 pm »
I had few more km of deep sand to navigate. By now it was about noon and stupidly hot, but 500 made everything much easier:










Eventually I arrived to the cringly named Paradise Beach beach. Initially the place looked completely deserted but I found some workers doing repairs on the other end of the resort. They pointed me to a bar, where a local guy told me they are open but he doesn't know the prices. I wasn't going anywhere in about 50 degrees Celsius so he made call to his boss, who told him to give me one of the thatched huts for R200 (or about less than third I usually paid) and all was dandy again. He even had a cold beer for me and promised to cook me a dinner. Score!

I was the only guest and I settled into my hut for a lazy afternoon on an indeed paradise like looking beach:






















Me casa:





« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 12:05:12 pm by Xpat »
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk

Offline Xpat

Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
« Reply #93 on: February 03, 2019, 12:14:27 pm »
Some more paradisy kitsch to finish off the day:












































« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 12:18:44 pm by Xpat »
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk

Offline Xpat

Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
« Reply #94 on: February 03, 2019, 12:24:01 pm »
I didn't do any videos on this trip, but last time I made one roughly covering these tracks. On 690 I cut off first half or the tracks and made it on tar further to Massinga, but from there I connected to pretty much the same tracks I have ridden now. So the video gives reasonably good idea about the type of riding one can expect visiting Pomene national reseve.



Offline jaybiker

  • Old school=Old's cool.
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW R1150GS
    Location: Eastern Cape
  • Posts: 3,332
  • Thanked: 177 times
Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
« Reply #95 on: February 03, 2019, 07:21:24 pm »
A World's Greatest Motorcycle Ride.

Wouldn't you say, Henry?   :lol8:
 

Offline Straatkat

Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
« Reply #96 on: February 03, 2019, 09:24:06 pm »
Martin I just read the whole report up to here, you are living your dream my friend! These are memories like no other and you are very fortunate to have the resources and time to do all these amazing trips, but that said you are also a special kind a guy doing this all on your own (yes I know you asked me to join) but let the truth be told, not many guys have the balls to do the trips you have done, even if they have those 2 things at their disposal. And thanks again for taking the time to document all of this, awesome read! My heart is crying that I could not join you on this one!
18 till I die.
If hard work pays, show me rich donkey.
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk

Offline Bokveld

Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
« Reply #97 on: February 03, 2019, 10:20:47 pm »
  Thanks Xpat,though it's not my kettle of fish, I enjoyed your  RR very much.
 

Offline ClimbingTurtle

  • Forum Vendor
  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: BMW (all models)
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 6,718
  • Thanked: 201 times
  • Give It Horns - Save Our Rhino's
    • Majita Tool Supplies
Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
« Reply #98 on: February 04, 2019, 08:31:59 am »
Hi Xpat, thanks again for a super trip report and equally great photos. Never having been to Moz before, having been put off by the numerous reports of intolerable treatment by officials and police, I find myself thinking of getting to these resorts by means other than travelling by road.  Perhaps the Dept of Tourism and the police and border officials need to sit down and plan how to encourage tourism, rather than the opposite, but that's for them to figure out.
Do you submit your trip data to Tracks4Africa ? The single track parts would not help the 4x4 community, but the rest would surely be appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time and trouble - appreciated.

You have to be very careful to just follow information spread on the internet and in the media - at least if you are actually into adventure riding, not just holiday-making. I'm not saying it is all wrong, but it tends to be heavily skewed towards negative because that is what grabs attention, and - quite frankly - the average Joe who just wants to go on holiday with as little hassle as possible, is not the best benchmark to look at when looking for proper juicy adventure riding.
etc.

Very good points made in the above - we have been to Moz (albeit in vehicles) many times - once in a Renault Scenic, made it to Zavora - but I have yet to pay a bribe - always stick to their somewhat tedious speed limits, smile, be friendly and that solves a myriad of problems. Moz is one of my favourite places ever, but the Border crossing at komatipoort is something of nightmares - but as Martin says, if you are prepared, and dont get flustered, it can be done - but there are other easier options.

Stunning pics - brilliant writing - appreciated.  :thumleft:
www.majita.co.za - we sell tools!

"And if I knew I was going to be this thirsty, I would have drunk more last night"

2010 R1200GS Adventure SOLD - 2007 BMW G650x - 1981 XT500 - 1980 XT500 - Gone to Mud Island for a better life with Roadcat the Lordly, Keeper of the Mead...!
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk

Offline Xpat

Re: Beach bumming Mozambique
« Reply #99 on: February 04, 2019, 12:26:16 pm »
Day 10 - Pomene to Vilankulos


This was the last day of the ride up the coast - the last 138 km before Vilankulos. The temperatures over the past few days were getting quite extreme, so I started very early to make it to Vilankulos before the afternoon heat.




Again, the tracks were of the same variety as earlier, just more and more remote. Thanks to the early start I hit the golden hour and the colors were even more vibrant than usually:



































« Last Edit: February 04, 2019, 12:28:53 pm by Xpat »
 
The following users thanked this post: wilfwalk