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Author Topic: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.  (Read 37217 times)

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Offline Gee S

Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
« Reply #140 on: March 18, 2009, 06:46:03 pm »
What a report!! It must have been an awsome ride. Well done
All that wander are not lost
 

Offline Mark Hardy

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Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
« Reply #141 on: March 18, 2009, 07:26:55 pm »
ok now I'm going back to the begining to enjoy it all over again.  ;D

Thanks for sharing guys  :thumleft: absolutly awsome RR
 

Offline Metaljockey

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Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
« Reply #142 on: March 19, 2009, 07:39:34 am »
I added a couple of pictures to the last post if you want to check it out.

On the countryside.
Being the last month of the dry season, one can expect that the place might be a little unpretty. And so it was, but really, the locals decimate large swathes of land. They burn to get access, and then they clearcut. I have pointed out before how they cut for sustainability, but you have to see the extent of the cutting to appreciate it. It took me by surprise because I expected wilderness.

This is the last major trip I do in the dry season. I'm gatvol of everything being dry, dusty and grey. Next time I'll rather try for the end of the rainy season.


On the population
These people are poor, really poor. You will notice that there aren't as many pics of the locals as I normally include. This is because not too many of them were friendly or smiling. Don't get me wrong, no-one was unfriendly, I just got the feeling that happiness was a scarce commodity here.

It appeared to be very much a hand to mouth existence. What commerce we saw was the very basic, stone age, live from the land type thing. Cutting trees for house building and charcoal, cutting grass for roofing, that kind of thing.

The trees are cut into logs which gets transported one by one on bicycles. Often we would come across a lone oke pushing his bicycle along the path 200km from the nearest town.

The second use for the logs is charcoal.



Again transported by bicycle.

In a lot of faces you could see that surviving was the sole activity that this human being was consumed with. It got to me a little. Poverty is everywhere in Africa, but here it was different to any other place I had been to.


On the trip
I am loathe to bring this up, but one has to be honest. I have no intention of writing fiction.

I was dissapointed with this trip. Ja, I know, you are thinking 'what a twatwaffle'.

It was like I was waiting for the real trip to start the whole time. I have tried to figure out why it did not work for me.
It could be the immense poverty that made it depressing.
It could be that the mindfuck of an Angolan trip spoiled me forever.
It could be that my expectations of the wildlife wasn't met.
It could be that not completing the trip by reaching the ocean made it feel inadequate.
It could be that it was too short.
It could be that it was too easy, there is nothing like a bit of suffering to make you feel accomplished.
It could be all of the above.

My wife said something that sounds about right though. Not all trips can be the best one ever. Like anything else in life there are going to be good ones and less good ones (can't really picture a bad one).

And so it is OK. I'm cool with it. It was still very memorable and I enjoyed it.


On expats
In Malawi we got to meet a good many of the expat community. Most of them know each other even though they may be scattered through the country. I liked every single one I met. Tanya, Maria, Kate, Mia, Julie, Dan, Jurie and many others that I do not recall the names of. There are of course a couple of odd ones, but like any small society, their quirks do not exclude them. They are a tolerant lot. I could see myself having a good life there. I was also surprised about the amount of young white girls just migrating around Zim, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia by themselves, finding a job at one place, staying a year or so and then moving on again. And they party hard when they get together.


Some arbitrary pics

This oke makes probably the best wooden cars trucks and excavating equipment in Africa. All of them have moving parts. Fascinating.







Here's his workshop. Hard to believe eh?





Taxi




Bike taxi




Local delicacy, birds on a stick.





At the odd village we would find boreholes like this.




This plaque is on each one. Looks like some biker connection?




Just for you sweat in the sun tyre lever specialists.



Yes that's a plug. Yes on a 640 tyre. Tubeless baby, tubeless. Or more correctly Tubliss. I've converted three of my bikes so far. Fantastic stuff, cannot stop myself smiling like I won the lottery everytime I fix a flat.


And a last Malawi pic, because it's pretty.




These weeks were not wasted time. We brought back memories, we brought back pictures, I brought back bilharzia and Hennie brought back malaria.

And I brought back an excellent idea for a new trip. Woohoo.



Oh, I almost forgot about John the Baptist.

We drop Brian in Blantyre to catch a flight and we stay over at Doogles. Doogles is a backpackers situated in a taxi rank. Thursdays are the unofficial party day there for expats. We are there on a Thursday. Big get together of locals, expats and overlanders, socializing and drinking till late. The owner of Doogles allow prostitutes (ugly word, there should be something better) on the premises. They are well behaved because if they are not, their priviledges are revoked. Some pretty ones too.

One of these girls, introduces herself as Sugar, or 'Shooogah' (in a husky voice). This ample bodied, very dark, heavily made up femme fatale (with no concept of personal space) leaves me speechless when she hotly breathes - "You look exactly like John the Baptist".

John the Baptist!

Me?


And there you have it, one man's Chucky Norris is another woman's John the Baptist




« Last Edit: March 19, 2009, 07:44:50 am by Metaljockey »
 

Offline Trailrider

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Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
« Reply #143 on: March 19, 2009, 07:50:32 am »
Bwaaaaahahahaha!

Cool report!
 

Offline sidetrack

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Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
« Reply #144 on: March 19, 2009, 07:53:54 am »
Really enjoyed that  :salut:
Little by little, one travels far

J.R.R Tolkien
Ride reports :
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=134175.0 Penge's pass and the Old Forest http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=9421.0 - Orange Atlantic adventure http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=7514.0 - 805 km day trip http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=20260.0 - East Cape Bash http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=70199.0 - Two KTM thumpers head north
 

Offline Mark Hardy

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Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
« Reply #145 on: March 19, 2009, 07:56:14 am »
 :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2: :hello2:
 

Offline Kaboef

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Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
« Reply #146 on: March 19, 2009, 08:08:02 am »

I was dissapointed with this trip. Ja, I know, you are thinking 'what a twatwaffle'.

It was like I was waiting for the real trip to start the whole time. I have tried to figure out why it did not work for me.


It's blatantly obvious!
It was the warm beers!
 :biggrin:

Thanks John , fantastic report.  :3some:
And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, "O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy."
 

Offline Ama ride ride

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Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
« Reply #147 on: March 19, 2009, 08:16:29 am »
Good report and pics MJ.

 :thumleft:
Gewoontlik n@@i ek reguit aan op fyndraai.

 

shark_za

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Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
« Reply #148 on: March 19, 2009, 08:35:38 am »
Shame poor Hennie always gets beaten with the long stick.

Thanks for letting us experience this through your words.
 

Offline TheAnt

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Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
« Reply #149 on: March 19, 2009, 09:15:17 am »
What a RR!!! Thanks so much MJ from keeping me out of work!!! You write really well and ride even better! Hats off!!!

How the heck am I going to go back to everyday work without this RR to look forward too every day?! :dousing:

THANKS GUYS!

 :ricky:
 

Offline surf

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Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
« Reply #150 on: March 19, 2009, 09:51:42 am »
"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them..."
 

Offline Spore

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Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
« Reply #151 on: March 19, 2009, 10:32:02 am »
Fantastic MJ and Co!!
Your unique way of capturing your experiences (words & pics) makes me actually taste and smell your sitrap!
Good luck with planning the next one - hope this will again be a great one for you - for us it will allways be!!

Mooi loop!
Courage without conscience is a wild beast...
 

Offline tok-tokkie

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Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
« Reply #152 on: March 19, 2009, 11:54:35 am »
I love your writing MJ.  I really respect your appreciation of humble people & the way it infuses your writing.

Those wooden toys blow me away.  I made some stuff for my children using some pretty sophisticated power tools.  Those ones are 2 orders of magnitude more complicated and elegant.  Craftsmanship.  I salute that man.
 

Offline Nardus

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Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
« Reply #153 on: March 19, 2009, 11:55:41 am »
Thanks MJ - well done !

Have to say that I enjoyed this trip a lot (knew that it should not compete with the Angola trip).

I will add a couple of pictures just for fun:


How is this for a crowd ?!



Kids at Mango tree



Local biker at a village in one of the hunting areas



Local transport in the Niassa Park - How romantic !



And then - a close-up that MJ did not want to post, so I will
Let the snake slide and the lizzard slither and LET IT BE !
 

Offline malgat (RIP)

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Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
« Reply #154 on: March 19, 2009, 12:05:55 pm »
wow guys,,,,words cannot describe sharing this trip

bravo,,,bravo,,,,,applaud!!!!!!
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Offline roxenz

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Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
« Reply #155 on: March 19, 2009, 01:28:02 pm »
MJ et al, great ride, great report!  Thanks.

Yes, the Angola trip seemed to have come together with everything a great adventure should have: the excitement, the weird, the painful, the tragic, the exultation of a hooligan chase to finish it off.  However, this still seems to me to have been a brill ride in its own way, and the "things lacking" give it a bit of zen appeal!  I think it will come back to your mind many times in the future, for where Angola presented answers and achievements, Niassa seems to query and tease...

Thanks again.
 

Offline bud500

Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
« Reply #156 on: March 19, 2009, 02:31:39 pm »
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :ricky:

Another one to be inspired by.

Not for me to say, but I suspect the let down has got a lot to do with preperceptions of it being wild, lush jungle with ample wildlife. Instead it was a lot of deforrested brushland.
That was my expectation when I started reading.

Thank you for the report.
May the bridges I burn light the way...
 

Offline Pistol

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Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
« Reply #157 on: March 19, 2009, 02:36:34 pm »
What a great report, and well written in order to "feel" the experience, thanks :thumleft:
 

Offline Blackball

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Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
« Reply #158 on: March 20, 2009, 11:45:50 am »
Gr8 retport MJ , you should think of writing a book Long way ....... with chuck and John the Baptist.

Once I start I can't stop reading .
Thanks :thumleft:
Ry hom Pappie , ry hom!!!
 

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Re: Niassa, Chucky Norris and John the Baptist.
« Reply #159 on: March 20, 2009, 12:21:29 pm »
Another excellent adventure MJ and the guys. Thank you for sharing it with use :thumleft: