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Author Topic: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey  (Read 11109 times)

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Offline TornadoF5

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #40 on: January 03, 2010, 02:17:36 pm »
Lovely stuff Mzee have a safe trip!

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Offline Mzee

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #41 on: January 03, 2010, 07:04:11 pm »
Happy New Year.  I am back on line.  Was in the middle of no where.  Even mobile phones had a bad network.  Needless to mention, the internet was none existent and even where there was one, it was so slow that I could hardly open a page on the WD forum. I have been doing some travelling in Uganda.  Went to Soroti about 450 km from Kampala, Arua, Katakwi and lots of other places.  Spent Christmas completely in the wild where the only vehicle was my Vstrom ;D.  But in all my years of life, it was the loveliest Christmas.  So plenty of stories and pictures.   Will resume posting possibly tomorrow. 

I am in Nairobi.  Arrived today from Soroti.  En route to SA.  Spending some quality time with my life time buddy.  See you soon.

Thanks to Pom for sending me the brake pads.  Received them on 31st when my brother Fred paid me a visit where I spent Christmas.  Have sent you a pm.
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Offline Groenie

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #42 on: January 03, 2010, 07:58:21 pm »
Great stuff Mzee!
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Offline Hagar

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #43 on: January 03, 2010, 11:27:34 pm »
Good reading, and thanks for sharing Mzee!
 

Offline Mzee

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #44 on: January 04, 2010, 07:29:53 am »
Folks I promised to post here is  the link with pictures.  http://mzee-jaki.blogspot.com/2010/01/my-first-tumble.html
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Offline 63magic

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #45 on: January 04, 2010, 10:01:09 am »
good to hear you are still OK and enjoying the trip, Jaki!

travel safely!
M
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Offline ADVENTURERIDER

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #46 on: January 04, 2010, 01:51:22 pm »
I am so glad to hear that you enjoy it. May God bless you during every kilo.
 

Offline GundaGunda

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #47 on: January 09, 2010, 02:18:47 pm »
Hey Mzee.

My big sister, Prof. Sue v. Z., wishes you well and a safe journey back :thumleft:
« Last Edit: January 09, 2010, 03:18:07 pm by GundaGunda »
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Offline GundaGunda

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #48 on: January 15, 2010, 01:40:37 pm »
Heard, but subject to confirmation, that Mzee is back in one piece.

Waiting for more news. 
 
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Offline ZAR

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #49 on: January 15, 2010, 01:47:24 pm »
For 10 days we haven't heard from Mzee....

This morning he phoned me! What a relief.  :thumleft:

He lost his phone, his computer gave trouble and were in the bush.

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Offline KiLRoy

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #50 on: January 15, 2010, 01:56:49 pm »
Good to hear from you again Mzee - all the best AND ENJOY!!!!!
 

Offline Mzee

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #51 on: January 18, 2010, 03:24:06 pm »
The road from Hell

I am now riding on a typical African ‘dirt’ road: rugged, portholes, sand, loose stones, and generally not maintained.  Let me mention that I did not have knobblies for tyres; I had Anakee 2 which handle very well on paved road surface as well as on firm dirt road, but that is about it.  The story takes on a new twist when I began to encounter different dirt road conditions as you will soon learn.

Part of this trip was to relish the riding on different road surfaces.   This being the aim, my first encounter on the dirt road in spite of my first tumble had wetted my appetite for more.  I picked up speed gradually climbing to 120km per hour.  I man the machine and Scorpion mans the road, it is a perfect scene for the duo to perform a perfect rode dance.   It is about 2:00 pm, my destination is Sumbawanga a small dusty town located about 200km from the border.  To say that the stretch from Mbala (Zambia) to Kasesya border post (Tanzania) was a bad road is an understatement.  It was the beginning of the road from Hell. If the truth be told then it is that I tumbled so many times that after the 15th tumble, I stopped counting.   Well the next stretch from Kasesya for the next 200 kms was firm dirt road with loose stones and lots of dust.  It was thrilling to leave a cloud of dust trailing behind me.   You see, the little joys of life are not in the big things but in the little links that make life worthwhile.   My delight was to be on this odyssey with all its attendant factors.   

Although riding required 110% of my attention to which I committed myself to the extent that I decided not to listen to music from an IPod a generous friend had lent me, I always allowed myself a little serious thought.  I did not want this to be a trip just for its sake: the fact that I was riding alone was a great source of pleasure.  It allowed me considerable measure of time to be alone and therefore room for some deep thought on many personal issues.  2009 was particularly a good year if such a thing can be said.  Part of the ride was to say thank you.  I was grateful to the Divine that I had received many blessings one of which was that I had landed a permanent job as a lecturer.  Yet in the midst of all these joy and laughter was raw pain, heart rending pain that left me sometimes numb and asking “why” to which I did not have answers.   I will return to this point shortly.

In the meantime, I wish to say that all my life I had spent time doing things for people, and one of them was to seeing my 4 siblings through school.  My mother had died when I was only 21.  That is the age when you want your mother around since it is the point when you are making some life-time decisions.  And even though you make the decisions, you need a trusted one to listen, to endorse, to question and even sometimes to remonstrate with you.  It is that time of transition from being a teen to being an adult.  It is an important time that makes or breaks you.  I was very close to my mom; she was my best friend and mentor.  I trusted her; I confided in her; I depended on her.  One day she summoned me to her bed side in hospital.   Without much ado she said to me, you are going to school – I was a just beginning my year as a sophomore – you will not find me when you return next vacation.  To cut the long story short, that is how it happened.  I remember the day vividly.  One day I met my neighbour Alfred on a street in Kampala – it was a clear hot and dusty day.  He called me by name and offered condolences for the passing on of my mother.   I remember sitting by the roadside and crying like a baby. 

In our discussion at the bedside, mom’s desire was that I marry a beautiful lady and have a family.  I wanted to join the priesthood; it was therefore necessary to obtain her blessings.   She had gone silent for an hour when I disclosed my heart’s desires.  In the end she said no.  I had to take care of my siblings when she was gone.

In 1993 I found and feel in love with a girl I adored so much.  Juliet, for that was her name, was everything a man desires in a woman: kind, hard-working, intelligent, beautiful, funny, and the list is endless.  I visited Juliet on the 24th of December 1993.  That was the last time I saw her alive.  She was tragically shot and killed on the 1st of Jan 1994. She was the second beloved person I was lost in a space of two years.  I was devastated.   What was the meaning of life?  First it was mom and now it was Juliet.  I cried so much until I had to beg God to stop the tears.  They did stop in a dramatic way; I never cried again about Juliet.

In June 1995, I joined the Jesuits for priesthood training – for the next eleven years I was in the training for priesthood against my mother’s will. 

In 2006, I quit.  In October 2008 I got engaged to a Xhosa girl – a great person, very intelligent, a great soul.  We planned to marry on 28th Feb 2010, but alas it was not to be!   She told me one day, she was not interested any more in the relationship.  She left the engagement ring on the table.  I subsequently disposed of it at Livingstone Falls.  It was painful – but what could be more painful than the loss of mom and the loss of Julie?  I had to learn to live with such pain.  Lots of friends gave me strength.  In this manner, delving deep in my life experiences, I covered ground to reach Sumbawanga about mid-afternoon without realising that I had covered nearly 200kms.  But my pains were not yet finished; a new wave was waiting somewhere in the realm of the unknown.

With Pictures: http://mzee-jaki.blogspot.com/2010/01/road-from-hell.html
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Offline Bessie

Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #52 on: January 18, 2010, 04:02:31 pm »
 :happy1:
 

Offline Laban

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #53 on: January 18, 2010, 04:07:38 pm »
Mzee,

Give it your all, cry my man cry, that's good for the soul, that's to be a human, Respect, Respect!! :angel8: :angel8: :angel8:
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Offline TornadoF5

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #54 on: January 19, 2010, 08:30:47 am »
It can be said that it takes a real man to share his feelings




Always outnumbered, but NEVER outgunned.....
 

Offline Mzee

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #55 on: January 19, 2010, 05:31:48 pm »
The Road From Hell II

When I set out on this odyssey, numerous friends prayed for the success of the trip.  I knew it was blessed by the Devine and that it was meant to be.  There are many reasons for saying this but an outstanding reason was that this trip was initially planned for December 2008, it simply failed.  Although everything had been taken care of, it seems certain mental preparations had not been met adequately.  I subsequently realised this in retrospect.  I supplied a bona fide but incomplete explanation to explain this state of affair on the Wilddog Forum.

Saint Ireneus once said that God works through nature.  I am not a theologian and will not give treaties on this subject, but my simple faith demonstrated this in a very ordinary manner.  I did everything as far as it was humanly possibly to prepare for the initial trip but it simply failed.  How many times does something fail to work in your favour but you are hard-headed and insistent that it must go on as planned?  How many times do you ever listen to yourself and the circumstances surrounding you?  In the subsequent preparations, which preparations were even better including trying to arrange for Travel Insurance from a reputable firm, one day after a long delay and on the eve of my departure, I was inconveniently informed that my trip was too risky and could not be insured.  In short, I departed without this facility.  I had done lots of travel preparations by trying to cover every conceivable contingency.  My Wilddog Forum colleagues were instrumental to this end either by way of advice, such as from the late Ibele Kruger, supplies from Kurt Beine among others, actual work on the bike, from my buddy Andy.  Among others, Cavegirl, for instance, sent her phone number saying that if ever I wanted to communicate she would provide this avenue.  It is not possible to enumerate every act of kindness that was offered but suffice to say that God works in mysterious ways.  Of all the preparations I did, neither my friends nor I remembered to think about the appropriate tyres for the trip – knobblies.  I had discussed every detail for most of the trip but hardly anything about tyres and even where I did it was more out of curiosity.  For some reason I assumed that Anakees would do.  As I pointed out previously they are good tyres but only to a certain point.  At this point of the trip these tyres were a none-issue. This oversight would result into many tumbles so that after  the fifteenth event, I stopped counting.

I did not spend much time in Sumbawanga.  I rode down its main street – the only tarmac portion of the road – filled up on petrol and headed for Mpanda Ndogo Mpanda about 250km to the north.  A full tank would cover this distance.  I wish to alert the reader that petrol in this part of the world was approximately two dollars a litres. As I left that town behind me, the sun was beginning to go over the horizon; I was anxious to reach Mpanda before it was dark.  On tarmac this was an easy trip but on dirt road my first real test of my riding skills on this sort of terrain was an ordeal.  As I gathered speed, I realised that the road was not as firm as the one I had just ridden on into Sumbawanga.  A close look determined that a grader had recently leveled this road.  This had many implications such as lots of sand collected together but disguised.  I could tell from the way Scorpion was dancing on the road that there was a lot of loose earth beneath my tyres.  In addition, if it were to rain as it did that night, the entire road become one big pool of mud that would make it very treacherous  to ride on.  Towards the equator the sun sets quickly.  I decided to maintain a decent speed to cover good ground before it was dark.  I was also worried by the fact that Katavi National Park was between me and Mpanda.  I decided that the first town I came across, I would call it a day. 

A Land Cruiser was in front of me and the amount of dust it was raising was blinding me and some of it was entering my air vents in the helmet and obviously my mouth. When I had a chance to pass it, they never saw me again.  It was not until 7:45 that I arrived at small town called Mitumba; by then it was pitch black; I could not see my hand in front of my face. I was tired, hungry but glad that I had enjoyed this portion of the trip although it had started in the morning with a tumbled. 

With Pictures: http://mzee-jaki.blogspot.com/2010/01/road-from-hell-ii.html
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Offline Mzee

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #56 on: January 19, 2010, 05:34:14 pm »
Hey Mzee.

My big sister, Prof. Sue v. Z., wishes you well and a safe journey back :thumleft:

Hey, the Prof is a very good friend of mine. She was once my boss.  She gave me a living when I could find none.  She does not know about it but I pray for her every day for her kindness.  For her it was probably just a job, for me it was everything.   And I mean everything.:D ;D
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Offline Cave Girl

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #57 on: January 19, 2010, 05:50:24 pm »
Hey just caught up with your posts - sounds like you are having a really great trip. Keep the shiney side up!!
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Offline GundaGunda

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #58 on: January 22, 2010, 09:16:18 am »
My big sister, Prof. Sue v. Z., wishes you well and a safe journey back :thumleft:
<snip>  For her it was probably just a job, for me it was everything.   And I mean everything.:D ;D

Thanks for the kind comment, but for my big sister work is never just a job. For her learning and teaching are totally integrated with any other part of her life. I admire that in her.
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Offline Mzee

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Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #59 on: January 22, 2010, 10:49:16 am »
My big sister, Prof. Sue v. Z., wishes you well and a safe journey back :thumleft:
<snip>  For her it was probably just a job, for me it was everything.   And I mean everything.:D ;D

Thanks for the kind comment, but for my big sister work is never just a job. For her learning and teaching are totally integrated with any other part of her life. I admire that in her.

Believe me I know her passion with regards to teaching and learning. ;D
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