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Author Topic: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey  (Read 11106 times)

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Offline IDR

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2009, 08:42:19 am »
go well, be safe, and enjoy the trip!
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Offline Gooseneck

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2009, 10:49:38 am »
Geniet dit Mzee sterkte met die grensposte, baie geduld.God Bless
 

Offline Tonteldoos

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2009, 09:53:52 pm »
Subscribe!! I like your writing style
Enjoy your dream  :thumleft:
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Offline Pom

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2009, 08:28:13 am »
I am getting ms messages from Mzee on an almost daily basis, I don't want to spoil hid report, last night he was in Southern Tanzania and all going good, he has had a slight off on a bad road but all OK.
Success is a matter of hanging on, after others have let go.
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Offline Laban

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2009, 08:56:37 am »
I am getting ms messages from Mzee on an almost daily basis, I don't want to spoil hid report, last night he was in Southern Tanzania and all going good, he has had a slight off on a bad road but all OK.

Thanks Pom! :thumleft:
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Offline Mzee

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2009, 02:14:03 pm »
Sorry folks for getting lost. I am alive and well.  It has been hectic in the wild.  I have loved every moment of it.  Never thought I would travel in so remote a place.  No internet. just, me and the wild. Roads from hell: mud, rain, sand, forests, I tumbled fifteen times. I am well only by the grace of God. Story to come. Scorpion has performed beyond imagination. Need to tell her own story.

Thank you for your best wishes and prayers.  Can't post because not compatible with word 2007. will do so tomorrow. I left Tanzania on Wed spent the night in Burundi and now in Rwanda chilling. The best place to be. Might have fallen in... ;D :imaposer: :thumleft:
« Last Edit: December 13, 2009, 02:21:22 pm by Mzee »
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Offline ZAR

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2009, 03:39:03 pm »
Hey Mzee, glad to hear from you!

Stay safe. Lots of respects!!!

 :thumleft:
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Offline GundaGunda

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2009, 08:07:45 am »
Hey Mzee - good to see you safe and (almost) sound.

Rwanda looks like a drive and seven iron from Uganda - can walk the bike in from there !  ;D
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Offline Mzee

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2009, 05:57:20 pm »
Hey Mzee - good to see you safe and (almost) sound.

Rwanda looks like a drive and seven iron from Uganda - can walk the bike in from there !  ;D

I thought I would walk the bike to Uganda. I actually thought I would have lunch with my brother. I only arrived at Kampala after 7:00pm.   :imaposer:

You all make me proud.  I resume narrating my report.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 05:58:26 pm by Mzee »
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Offline Mzee

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #29 on: December 15, 2009, 06:01:05 pm »
The Goodness of the human Spirit Always Prevails

I rode from Gaborone (Botswana) to Kazungulu (Zambia) covering a distance of 1085km from a 4:00am to 2:30pm.  This means that ideally I could have ridden on much further.  Scorpion had won my heart without any reservations; she made me proud.  As a machine, she has been flawless and consistent in her performance making my heart fonder of her each passing day.    But I wish to speak of her on another occasion.

In my earlier post, I said that the process of crossing the border at Kazungula was a nightmare, firstly because of the numerous documents I had to complete; the many accompanying fees and taxes, which were always not clear but mandatory.  At Tlakweng (Botswana) it was simple: 110 Pula for road tax.  Neither did the large Zambian currency denomination make matters easier.  Secondly, because of the number of officials and pseudo –officials I had to deal with — everyone vying for a piece of me.  I had to go into several offices to do different things; it was all confusing.  When the process was finally completed, it was 5:00pm.   I still had pay George who, I must admit, facilitated the process of documentation — running from one office to another to provide support.  He was a good man who was trying to earn a decent living. He had told me that the government was not helping very much with jobs.  Well, he had actually gone as far as making some of the payments using his own money — he provided official receipts. The problem started when he inflated figures.  It could have gone unnoticed except that in his haste to milk me he started contradicting himself either lured by greed or rather in thinking I was naive.  I have a good ear for faults in someone logic.  I pointed this out and an argument ensued.  In the meantime his friends started to gather around us.  It was time to conclude this deal.   In the end, I refunded his money 40$ and gave him another 10$ for his services.  At this point he was yelling and cursing that I was being unfair.  I told him he was a good man and I was grateful that he had helped me, but to try and steal from me was no virtue and that in so doing, he had cancelled his blessings.   He kept demanding for more and was increasingly becoming hysterical.  I was anxious to leave for Livingstone, I rode off.  

It was now drizzling lightly; I was very tired and hungry.  The chicken I ate at Francistown was long digested.  But now I just wanted to get to Livingstone.  The road was paved and good.  When I am tired, I ride at slower speeds.  I cruised at 80km per hour and covered the 66 odd kilometers in no time.  I went through the city centre and to Livingstone Falls.  The receptionist, a gorgeous Zambian lady was kind to direct me to a decent money changer to change my dollars into Kwacha.  I paid another 10$ entrance fees and what a sight to behold.  

They said Dr. David Livingstone was the first man to discover the falls.  With all due respect to him, what about the indigenous folks living in the vicinity? Since this ride report is not about the morality of this statement, a discussion will not ensue.

I still had to find a place to lay this tired body.  One thing you will appreciate is that it is not always easy to find a place to pitch a tent for reasons of personal security.  I rode around town checking out the lodges and hotels.  In one hotel a night was 120$.  The lodges went for not less than 50$.  If I stayed in such places, my trip would soon come to an end.  After three attempts, it was now dark; I was anxious, I came to a place where my gut feelings told me this was it.  I met Rachael at the reception, who said it was 200,000 kwacha (roughly 40$) a night.  I hesitated.  She asked: “what I was going to offer”.  I said that I would rent a place to pitch my tent.  She said ok.  One of the things I set out to do during this trip is to rely on human goodness.  I have met with it so far.  This is a major theme of this Odyssey.  Rachael was a very sweet person to say the least.  Bless her Lord!

I set up the tent where she indicated, nothing occupied my mind more than sleep.  I didn’t care about eating; I managed a Heineken though.   It was the first time I was going to sleep in the tent.   It turned out to be comfortable just like it is at home.  The inflatable mattress was a deluxe.  Apart from the humid and stuffy night, I did not need the use of my sleeping bag until the wee hours of the morning, I slept soundly.  I remember the last thing on my mind was thanking God for bringing me this far.  I even dreamt of my favourite food — grilled potatoes and roast beef.  ;)

http://mzee-jaki.blogspot.com/2009/12/goodness-of-human-spirit-always.html
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 06:16:04 pm by Mzee »
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Offline Adventurer

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #30 on: December 15, 2009, 06:09:06 pm »
Intersting reading so far Mzee, good to hear you are safe and sound.
My mate Rob crossed into Zambia 3 days ago, also at Kazangula, also said it was a nightmare, took him 2 hours and lots of frustration.
He says next time he will go into Zim at Plumtree, up to Vic Falls, then cross into Zambia at the bridge.
Seems the Zambians are taking over from the Zimbabweans regarding border rip-offs....
If you can keep your head in the midst of all this confusion, you don't understand the situation!
 

Ganjora

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #31 on: December 15, 2009, 06:16:50 pm »
go Mzee,  go
good to hear from you
 

Offline Mzee

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #32 on: December 15, 2009, 06:18:40 pm »
First Experience of Dirt Road on this odyssey

I opened my eyes, and it was still dark outside my ‘home’.  I was awoken by a loud cock crow on its watch.  It was a beautiful sound.  He was somewhere out there claiming the right to his territory as cocks all do.  When you live in a city such as Johannesburg, these are some of the things you miss.  But the one thing ‘Johanesburgers’ can take pride in are the many trees that Johannesburg is renowned for. One obvious advantage is the ‘perch’ the trees provide for birds of all description.  If the Dutch created Holland, then ‘Johanesburgers’ created the ‘forests’ of Johannesburg. They are visible on a clear day when you came to land at Oliver Tambo International Airport.  My neighbour Jennifer has had birds’ feed in two places on her compound for years. It’s an amazing and a beautiful sight to see small birds of all sizes and colour converge on her compound to feed: birds clothed in yellow, brown, red, orange or black plums sometimes eating peacefully or sometimes fighting over food. They were doing what birds do best —foraging.

As the bird thoughts ran through my mind, I must have lain on my ‘bed’ drifting in and out of sleep for another hour.  I also prayed for a safe trip further north.  I was in no particular hurry today yet knew that 524km of road to Lusaka lay ahead of me.  

It has been sheer joy riding up to this point.  I was aware that with me I carried the dreams of many a rider who would have wished to be on a similar trip. In addition, I carried the dreams of folks who love sheer adventure or the story of good adventure.  I also have many friends and colleagues following the story on my web-blog; it astounded me on the last count that I had 513 visits all over the world.  Obviously, the ride was not just mine; it was also for them for different reasons. But importantly apart from my adventure, it was also for Malgat, who I had the inkling he was watching over me.

I crawled out of the sleeping bag reluctantly.  The rest at Gaborone had been most welcome, but the body was still tired. I had to bath and pack.  This was one of the pains I endured every morning: to secure everything tightly on the bike in waterproof material.  As I stepped out of the tent Michael, who I met the previous night was there waiting to greet me. He was an amiable and kind man of about 35. He called himself the caretaker of the property.  He was willing to help at every turn. We struck up friend on my arrival. He showed me the bath, which was not a very clean environment; I am not complaining— just stating the fact.  It was part of the travel.
After the bath, I put everything in bags and secured them on the bike. When it came to the tent, the outside sheet had collected dew.  The instructions were: “don’t park when moist”.  The day was overcast.  It meant a long wait. Patience was not going to help today.  I used my towel to dry it, packed it.

Meanwhile, I noticed, it was now about 7:30am, many pretty girls arriving.  
“Michael”, said I “how come many pretty girls are here this morning?”
He laughed and said “you have a good eye. The boss trusts ladies only for his business.  He claims they don’t steal as much as men do.  And if they should steal, they tell all when threatened with a police case, and spare everyone much trouble”.  On the contrary he added, “Men are difficult”.  He went on, “the other advantage is that women attract men to the club and the men spend their money here for whatever reason”.

I chuckled.  My thoughts had drifted away from the current subject.  I thought this boss had judged men harshly.  But this was his experience.  My experience was utterly different.  It is true the best people in my life were women, which include my late mother (May she rest in peace!) and a host of friends and girls.  By the same token, the worst people in my life were women. Angels on the one hand and something unspeakable on the other hand. And this is the point I wish to emphasise: it is not a gender question — man or woman. It is the goodness of heart and the capacity to evince it which is my concern.  You could be a bishop and you are so bad of your lot to the extent that even the devil will not make friends with you.  You could be a ‘pauper’ but having the largest human heart.  It will suffice to say, individuals are judge according to their deeds and not their gender.

Famished, it was time to have breakfast.  Is this what they call an English breakfast: toast with butter, ham, eggs, cereals and tea?   Since I slept with an empty stomach, eating was vital this morning to replenish lost energy.  I was now feeling pressed to depart; I ate hurriedly.  We posed for photos and after much hugging and wishing we had more time together and gentle smiles.  I was on my way to Lusaka; it was 11:00am.

Immediately, I was on a dirt road. I always pump my tyres hard and this worried me, yet I kept the pressure high.  The road was so bad that I rode between 10-40kms speed initially.  It turned out that this was a 135km stretch. After I mastered some confidence and on portions of the road which were good, I reached speeds of 100km.  Then the first sign of engineering trouble manifested itself.  After the first 25kms I became aware of a rattling noise.  I heard this same noise enroute to Kazungula on a dirt stretch but could not point its source.  I inspected the bike from front to back and noticed the plates holding the rear axle adjustments device were loose (see photo).  How did I miss this during the pre-trip inspection?  After I tightened them, the noise disappeared.

Comfortably ensconced on the saddle, I begun enjoying the machine: (my Scorpion).  In capable hands she will perform as best as she is engineered.  In addition, travelling solo, I had laden her with a lot of stuff including 10 liters of extra petrol. In summing this chapter, I wish to say that no sane wife or husband compares her partner to another.  Along this line of thought, I will merely extol Scorpion’s virtues on the basis of her performance in the next chapter.  ;) :D

http://mzee-jaki.blogspot.com/2009/12/first-experience-of-dirt-road-on-this.html
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 06:23:26 pm by Mzee »
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Offline Mzee

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #33 on: December 16, 2009, 06:58:54 pm »
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Offline Mzee

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2009, 07:04:02 pm »
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Offline Mzee

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #35 on: December 25, 2009, 09:09:41 am »
Merry Christmas.  I am well. Internet has been so slow that I could only post this message.  I am having all the fun.  I have hot stories.  Watch this space and make no mistake I am having all the fun. ;D :D :ricky:
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Offline krister

Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #36 on: December 25, 2009, 09:56:49 am »
Merry Christmas, Mzee!  Looks like you're having fun, Broer... Have fun and stay safe!
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Offline Griffin

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #37 on: December 26, 2009, 07:24:21 am »
I'm looking forward to the next installment. Be safe bro. Hope you have something special lined up for new year.
 

Offline darkhelmet

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #38 on: December 31, 2009, 10:08:32 pm »
Loving your stories so far, looking forward to some new stories!

Enjoy the tirp and be safe
 

Offline Laban

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #39 on: January 01, 2010, 03:05:43 pm »
Take care and enjoy!! :thumleft:
..."sometimes the people around you won't understand your journey, they don't need to, it's not for them"...Joubert Botha

...tie my own bootlaces…