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Author Topic: Hlola Africa 2019  (Read 2945 times)

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Offline big oil

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Re: Hlola Africa 2019
« Reply #60 on: September 06, 2019, 03:03:10 am »
 :headbang:
I’m da Yooper, eh and I like to party...
 

Offline Ian in Great Brak River

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Re: Hlola Africa 2019
« Reply #61 on: September 06, 2019, 04:27:29 am »
Nice to see some places I have been to on a previous trip.

 8)
1978. It's 6am, mid winter...two up on a XL 185S ... off to my first casino ever with all of R40 and we've got a full tank of fuel, so enough to get there we reckon.... that's determination...

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Online RobLH

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Re: Hlola Africa 2019
« Reply #62 on: September 06, 2019, 08:47:32 am »
Loving this, thank you.
 

Offline stcomza

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Re: Hlola Africa 2019
« Reply #63 on: September 06, 2019, 09:00:52 am »

Great TRIP  :thumleft:

Following with interest
Have you hugged your motorcycle today?
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Online Bundu

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Re: Hlola Africa 2019
« Reply #64 on: September 06, 2019, 07:42:03 pm »
 :thumleft: :sip:
 

Offline Captain Cook

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Re: Hlola Africa 2019
« Reply #65 on: September 09, 2019, 09:25:35 pm »
6 July Zimbabwe

After crossing the border into Zimbabwe I headed straight for Victoria Falls.  Entry to the Falls is a bit expensive but worth every cent.  They are truly amazing and the pictures I took do not do them any  justice



I walked the whole route looking at the falls from all the vantage points in my riding gear and the spray from the Falls blowing across the path in places was welcome.  I managed to drop by bike key on the way.  Before I left, I thought of hiding my spare somewhere on the bike but did not get around to it, so fearing the worst  I retraced my steps and found it not far from where I was in the grass next to the path.





I then headed to the bar for a nice cold Zambezi beer and met the Owner of Blue Planet Films from Germany who specialises in wildlife documentaries.  We had an interesting conversation on following your passion and how he landed up a Wildlife Photographer after his parents forced him to study civil engineering.  Social Media also came up in the conversation as I was telling him how I was not a social media user before I left 10 days ago and now found myself posting daily and how it was giving me a feeling of belonging and connectivity tom the outside world just by reading the replies to my posts and seeing my number of followers growing daily.  I shot the Video below to put on Instagram and  was then approached by a group of Tourists and some locals who all wanted to be photographed with me for some reason.  The one poor guy did not smell to great and had terrible teeth like an old crocodile.  Somehow I managed to put my arm around him and smile for the occasion.
   
[/youtube]



The Vic Falls marathon was run earlier in the day, so all the camp sites were full of out of town runners and bars and eating places were full of blearing music.  This was quite a change from what I had experienced the week before and took some time getting used to.  I managed to find a spot in the municipal campsite with nice green grass and clean ablutions setup for the night.  A couple from Johannesburg who were at the site next to mine arrived back from a sunset cruise and were headlining into town for supper.  I went for a shower and when I returned, they had lit a nice campfire for me and set-up their camp stove and kettle.  Later when they returned, we sat around the fire together as spoke while the noise in the town settled down and the Falls thundered in the distance.



The next day I was about to learn that I should have planned better and perhaps leaving home with only a Visa card was not such a clever thing to do.

 

Online Offshore

Re: Hlola Africa 2019
« Reply #66 on: September 09, 2019, 10:10:04 pm »
 :sip:
 

Offline Captain Cook

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Re: Hlola Africa 2019
« Reply #67 on: September 16, 2019, 09:49:20 pm »
Apologies posting has been delayed due to some surgery that was required

8  July A short Visit to Zimbabwe

As you will remember in my First post I met Jira at Café Racer and he helped me plot a route on my map that I using to navigate my way through Africa.  He had mentioned to me that his Mother had started a school in Gewru and as I was raising funds for bicycles for school children a I promised him that I would go and visit the school and meet his family.  This was a last minute decision and having left my home town with little planning and only a Visa card un beknown to me I was about to encounter my first challenges.



 All packed up and ready for the road to Gweru I left Vic Falls and stopped up to fill my Africa Twin with Fuel as well as my Desert Fox Fuel Bladder that holds 6 Litres.  So, with 25 litres of fuel and a consumption of 20 km per litre if I kept my speed at 100 Kph I pulled out of town with about 540 kilometres to cover between Vic Falls and Bulawayo.  Vic Falls is a tourist town so currency and using a Visa card is not an issue.  Riding under a blue African sky and a scenic road lined with African bushveld my spirits were high and I was in my African heaven.  A little way down the road I came across a big truck that had tried to make a U-turn and the weight of its load had caused it to roll down an embankment.  I stopped and spoke to the driver who had exited the cab through where the windscreen used to be,  he was not injured so I moved on. 



 It is a beautiful scenic road to Gweru and not in bad condition but not a highway by any means, so I was surprised when I approached a very rundown toll gate.  Fortunately, motorbikes don’t pay tolls, so I was waved through.  I also encountered numerous roadblocks on the way that were manned by very friendly Police officials.  Only once was I asked to produce my drivers’ licence, otherwise it was the normal Hello how are you are you enjoying Zimbabwe and waved through.



  There were many places where big seed pods were hanging next to road on pieces of string between two sticks and I was wondering what they were.  A bit further down the was a big Baobab tree with the big pods hanging from the string again so I stopped to take a picture.  Too my surprise I found an honesty box with a sign saying please leave $1.  I thought this was something quite unique for Africa.  I later enquired from a local as to what the pods were and found out  that it was the Baobab fruit.  The locals eat the seeds inside the pods that are very sour but evidently supposed to be very good for you.



First town was Hwange that was very small.  The petrol station with a sign saying, “No Fuel”.  I had made the decision to fill-up wherever a saw a petrol station.  I drove on hoping the next town would be a bit bigger.  Next up was Lupane and this time the petrol station had been all taped closed.  Wondering if I would make it on the 19 Litres in my tank and extra 6 Litres in my Fuel bladder I pushed on and slowed down a bit to try and improve my consumption.  There were no other towns of meaningful size but a few small petrol stations that were all closed.  At about 330km on the trip meter my reserve light came on so and my computer said I had another 60km before I would run dry.



 I found a roadside table and stopped for lunch that consisted of 2-minute noodles and a small tin of Pilchards in tomato sauce which had now become my staple diet.  I also took the opportunity to empty my fuel bladder into the tank.  I nursed my bike over the remining stretch and managed to make it to Bulawayo.



Bulawayo is a big city but very run down.  There were lots of petrol stations all closed or else they had long queues down the road, but I now had a different problem.  They only supplied account holders or took Bonds which I did not have.  Unlike in Victoria Falls a Visa card was not accepted.  I headed for the City centre in search of an ATM of which there is are a few but none of them were working.  It was just passed 5pm and all the banks were closed.  Working my way through the city on congested roads and with no robots working became very frustrating. 



There were also people in Gweru that were expecting me an I had no way of contacting them.  I finally found a petrol station that accepted a Visa card very reluctantly.  I filled up and headed for Gweru as the sun was setting.  I broke my own rule about not riding in the dark.



On the outskirts of Gweru there as a Hotel that where I stopped in search of a room.  At this stage I willing to pay anything just for a bed and a hot shower.  Once again, I was turned away as I did not have bonds and they could not accept Visa cards.  I headed for the town centre that was very dark as the streetlights were not working.  The town was very congested and full of people.   Some just walking around other standing in ling queues at fast food outlets.  I was looking for a backpacker’s or a hotel of sorts.  The problem was I did not know if I was at the right or wrong end of the town.  I saw an old faded sign showing the direction to the country club and headed that way as I thought I might find someone there who recommend a place to stay.  The building was old and dilapidated and had been turned into a bar full of people drinking beer out of quarts and music blearing.  Realising that this was not going to help my situation at all I headed out again and turned right into a big traffic circle,  as I chose the second exit not even knowing which direction I was heading in my head light shone onto a green wall with Kiya Guest house painted on it.  I turned in and the place looked deserted but found a lady wrapped in a blanket at the reception desk.  She called the owner and to my surprise and utter amazement he said he could make a plan.  I now had a bed and a hot shower and that was all I wanted.  I called Jira’s father and apologised for being late and not making it to the school and we greed that he would meet me at the guest house in the morning.



I was up early, and Jira’s father arrived as we agreed.  I followed him to the outskirts of the town and into the area where the school is next door to the family home where he had raised all his children.  The staff were cleaning and getting ready for the day.



One by one the children arrived all neatly dressed and each one came up to me and said hello Mr James how are you.  They had clearly been well prepared for my visit.  Jira’s father and I sat outside and chatted as he kept record of the children coming through the gate, we joked that he was older than me and new them all by name.  To me they all looked the same big eyes,  some shy and others confident.  They all had big smiles and perfect white teeth. 





Once all the children had arrived, I was taken  on a tour of the family home.  When we got to the room they had prepared for me with a double bed and white linen, the supper they had prepared still on the table I felt guilty that I had not been better prepared and made it to the school the night before.  My apologies where graciously accepted and we moved onto the living room where I enjoyed breakfast with Jira’s father and his future wife.  They had truly gone to great trouble to prepare for my visit which was very humbling.







Back at the school the children were busy having breakfast and when done they stood in a group and said the Lords Prayer and then sang the Zimbabwe National anthem.  Before starting they, all took their beanies off and one little boy shouted Attention at which the all stamped there feet together and out their hands at their sides before they broke out in song.  I remembered it was my daughter’s birthday on 18 July and I would be on the road somewhere, so I recorded them singing Happy Birthday Mousie which I planned to post on social media the morning of her birthday.



Once all the singing was over, I thanked the staff and encouraged them to continue for the honourable role they were work they were doing in moulding and shaping young children’s lives for the future.  They may not see the fruits of there labour but do not labour in vain.  Just one life touched, and one future changed will make it all worthwhile. There was a bit of a photo session and we all shook hands and I headed into town in search of an open Petrol Station that i did not find







« Last Edit: September 16, 2019, 09:58:10 pm by Captain Cook »
 

Online Bundu

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Re: Hlola Africa 2019
« Reply #68 on: September 17, 2019, 04:25:00 pm »
Loving your thread - keep it up @Captain Cook   :thumleft: and best of luck!
 

Offline KarooKid

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Re: Hlola Africa 2019
« Reply #69 on: September 17, 2019, 05:59:38 pm »
Inspirational!!

Once again the good people from Honda Tygerberg and Mira seems to feature.
Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies
 

Offline Captain Cook

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Re: Hlola Africa 2019
« Reply #70 on: September 17, 2019, 09:36:31 pm »
I could not agree with you more KarooKid.  The support and encouragement I got from The Mira and Honda Tygerberg Team was unbelievable.  Some pics below of them at my breakfast the day I left.  You will also recognise some other familiar faces.  Amazing how a common interest can make you feel like one big family.  Good luck to you, Gerrit and Claude this weekend sure you will do well being backed by the same team.  Following you all the way :ricky:





« Last Edit: September 17, 2019, 09:38:01 pm by Captain Cook »
 

Offline Captain Cook

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Re: Hlola Africa 2019
« Reply #71 on: September 18, 2019, 06:43:07 pm »
9 July Zimbabwe Exit

I had half a tank of petrol left and 6 litres in my fuel bladder and no cash so there was a decision to make.  Do I follow my planned and head off into the unknown taking the road, or do I take the road that I had come in on?  There I knew what to expect and what my limits were. I had planned to do a circular route in Zimbabwe and travel from Gweru to Kwekwe, Gokwe, Kamativi and then onto Mlibizi where I was hoping to travel up Lake Kariba on the ferry.



 I took the decision to head back the way I came.   Between Gweru and Bulawayo, I stopped at a roadside table for a cup on for morning tea alongside an old Steam Engine where in the distance I saw a tall man walking down the fence towards me with an axe.  For a moment I thought my last day and come, so as he approached, I stood up and said morning you looking for Wood?  I got the normal friendly Hello how are you are you enjoying Zimbabwe?  He then sat down and told me he was mending the fence of the farm behind us where he had 95 Brahman cattle,  he was a former policeman and had been given the land in 1995.  This led to a very interesting conversation about land reform. 



Time was moving on so I packed up and resumed my journey to Bulawayo where after a couple turns and looking for which landmarks, I could remember  I found the same petrol station and the same attendant served me the day before.  Cars were queuing all the way down the road, but he ushered me to the front, filled up my bike and swiped my card.





It was already mid afternoon and I was getting worried about doing the last part of my Journey to Victoria Falls in the dark.  As I did not want to spend the night in Bulawayo, I headed off keeping my eyes open for lodges or campsites I may have missed the day before.



About 250km into my Journey I stopped at a thatched house with tables and thatch umbrellas close to the road.  There was a rusty sign saying Halfway House.





 I walked up some steps onto a veranda and walk towards what looked to like the reception area, but it was the Bar.  It was dark, dingy and dilapidated and you could see that at some stage it could have been an upmarket hotel but had suffered the same fate as most of the rest of Zimbabwe.  There was a tall man sitting at the counter smoking holding a glass of whiskey,  he had neat dreads and look as he could have been Jamaican.  I introduced myself and he did likewise saying his name was Lanford.  I explained my situation no local currency and only a Visa card and I needed a room as I did not want to travel the rest of the road to Vic Falls in the dark.  The day before I had seen a car that hit a baby elephant and there was also a chance that I may not make it all the way with my fuel situation.



After a quick photo session a staff member took me to a room and gave me the number of a lady in Zambia called Bertha.  I was to contact her when I reached Zambia and settle my account.  I had a bed a warm shower and another fond memory of Zimbabwe.  Nkosi Sikelele Zimbabwe.



« Last Edit: September 18, 2019, 06:49:38 pm by Captain Cook »
 

Offline eSKaPe

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Re: Hlola Africa 2019
« Reply #72 on: September 19, 2019, 04:02:42 pm »
Looking forward to more of this...
 

Offline Captain Cook

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Re: Hlola Africa 2019
« Reply #73 on: September 20, 2019, 09:07:00 pm »
10 July Leaving Zimbabwe for Zambia

Crossing the Zambian border is complicated.  You need to visit about six counters and none of them are in order.  You need to move from building to building and my road insurance was sold to me under a tree.  Currency is also confusing as some is paid in Us dollars and some in Zambian Kwacha. Fortunately I was met at the gate by a retired customs official who offered to take me through the process for a small fee.  His first task walking to a resort about 1km from the border post that had real money.  Next was guiding me through the various counters in a hot a busy building.







I crossed the bridge just after the border post lined with bicycles and took my last look at the falls.



My first impression of Zambia was not that good.  It was dry and smoky and some of the vegetation was burnt and the air was full of smog There are huge bags of charcoal next to the side of the road . That was something I did not see in Zimbabwe. 



I headed up the T1 and turned right at Chisekesi where I turned right  and headed down to the banks of lake Kariba on the most beautiful gravel roads I have ever ridden. My impressions of Zambia were changing  now as I road through neat little rural villages.
 






I was so taken in by the scenery that I almost missed the most beautiful sunset behind me.  It was time to look for a place to sleep and I realised that I was in a rather remote area and finding a campsite or lodge here was not going to happen.



Just as I was considering approaching one of the little settlements, I saw a brick building on the top of a hill. So, I headed in that direction.  There were two men sitting outside I asked if they had a place I could sleep.  There was a little conversation in broken English and then they opened the door and took me to a room with a bed and a shower.  It always amazes me how you find what you need when you expect it least.






I spent the night outside with them cooking noodles and mushroom sauce on a charcoal fire.  They then fetch a car battery and huge speaker and I sat back and watched them dance in the night to the rhythm of Africa.







« Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 10:52:40 pm by Captain Cook »
 

Offline GravelFox

Re: Hlola Africa 2019
« Reply #74 on: September 20, 2019, 09:44:47 pm »
Interesting how you have to pay carbon tax for the motorbike but as soon as you through you see charcoal bags all over the place


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Offline Captain Cook

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Re: Hlola Africa 2019
« Reply #75 on: September 24, 2019, 09:13:10 pm »
11 July The road to Lusaka

In the morning from the top of the hill where I had spent the night I looked out over the valley at the road I would be traveling dissapearing into the distance



After finishing my early morning cup of coffee I bis my two new made freinds goodbye and continued my journey in search of Lake Kariba.  On my way to its shores I passed through many peaceful looking settlements with the whole family going about their daily chores.  As I was collecting funds for Qhubeka (www.Qhubeka.org) I was struck by the use of the bicycle in Zambia.  They were used everywhere from carrying charcoal on the main roads, to selling chickens and turkeys on the street corner and now in the rural areas to carry dishes to the closest river.









With-in the next few kilometers I past some more bicycles, a cart pulled by oxen and had a chat to local on a motorcycle.  Just goes to show how diverse methods of transport can be in Africa





I reached the shores of Lake Kariba and found them as deserted as the bicycle under the tree.  I could see some locals in dugouts fishing in the distance.  I understand that I was on the "wrong" side of the Lake due to my change in route but did expect a little more.







Leaving the Lake I travelled back up the gravel road I had come down on and then turned right onto the D500 up to Chirundu then onto the T2 to Kafue and then onto Lusaka.  The D500 was a beautiful road in good condition with no traffic and beautiful scenery.  I stopped for a snack and watched two men young men playing draughts on my way before passing through a few compulsory stops where I was greeted with friendly faces and smiles before each Village on my way to my destination.  I must say contrary to what I was told before I left up to this stage I was not approached for a bribe of any sorts at any of the roadblock's I had passed through and there had been quite a few.







Lusaka was just like any City,  lots of traffic, shopping malls and roadworks.  After taking many wrong turns I finally found the coffee shop where I met a good friend of mine who stays In Lusaka.  After being treated like a celebrity by the coffee shop staff and an extended photo session I followed him to his house where I spent the night.






































 

Offline Stones

Re: Hlola Africa 2019
« Reply #76 on: October 29, 2019, 10:03:13 am »
Still hope full to see the rest of this report.   :sip:
« Last Edit: October 29, 2019, 10:04:56 am by Stones »
Ride, Ride Safe, Ride Again Tomorrow.