Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register

Author Topic: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey  (Read 11105 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Mzee

  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: Yamaha Super Tenere
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 6,008
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Bikes: DL 650 Suzuki; Honda 250 Suzuki 125; Vespa
    • Mzee-Jaki
Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #80 on: February 15, 2010, 05:12:28 pm »
Enough of Tanzania

With Photos: http://mzee-jaki.blogspot.com/2010/02/road-to-kasulu.html

I had slept deep and sound with very little cares.  Riding from Mitumba to Uvinza had been the toughest ride. It tested my will, my physical endurance, my riding skills as well as Scorpion’s abilities as a machine of exceptional engineering. Yet, it was also the most adventurous and exhilarating.  I was happy to be doing something close to my heart notwithstanding the perils involved.  I refuse to live a boring life. I refuse to drift like a piece of wood down stream after a heavy down pour.  I have never been a drifter. I have resolutely chosen the direction I have wanted my life to take at every turn.  My secondary school history teacher use to say: “Every individual writes his own history and that is what the world reads”. This history emanates from the choices one makes be they good or bad choices.   When I set out on this odyssey, the support from my friends, funs and family was a mélange of different emotions and attitudes.  Charles my brother had categorically said no: in his view it was too risky.  Little did he know that a company that takes out travel insurance would echo his very words. Some of my very Christian friends had reiterated similar sentiments.  The response from my riding partners on the Wild Dog Forum ranged from very hot to lukewarm.  I could sense extreme eagerness and support to palpable fear and indifference for a variety of reasons, but there-in-lies the difference.  There are folks who wait for things to happen to their lives.  That has never been my style.  I have always made things happen to my life. When a travel insurance company declined to insure me claiming it was too risky an investment, I did not weep and mourn.  I simply set out on the Odyssey; here I was today at Uvinza.  I was in an upbeat spirit and in the mood for the next leg of the trip. I had remained in bed for a while assessing the previous journey.  In sixteen years of riding I had as many tumbles in one day on the same stretch of road. I chuckled remembering the consternation, the panic, the tears, the darkness, the rain, the lonely road, the exasperating insects and the fact that I was drenched from the neck to the toe of my boots.

I think part of my excitement was to do with my new destination.  It would be the first time I was visiting Burundi, which was about 150kms northwards.  I was looking forward to the ride with anticipation.  I refused to take anything for granted.  120kms was apparently a short distance but my yesterday’s experience had firmly convinced me not to underestimate the terrain and the elements.  Much as I love Tanzania, I had had enough of its beauty, the hospitality of its people, roads and air.  I had one thing on my mind — to get out.  So I planned on setting-off at the earliest opportunity. I was feeling hungry; I had to eat something.  

The sky was overcast and it did not promise a bright day.  I had this premonition that the ride was going to be equally tough.  Before I went to inspect the bike, I placed an order for chapati (some sort of pancake made of wheat flour, oil water, and salt (sometimes sugar)) and tea.  When the chapati is well made and it is a delicacy incomparable in its own right.

In the meantime, I checked my front brakes.  I was shocked by what I saw.  The front brake pads were non-existent.  A chill went down my spine like a bolt of lightening imagining the unimaginable.  I lost my appetite.  The imperative was to replace them.  I loaded Scorpion, and wasted no time in setting-off to look for a mechanic.

The roads were fearfully slippery.  Western Tanzania is situated on the western flank of the rift valley.  As a consequence, the soil texture is volcanic.  This makes it exceedingly slippery when wet. I was in no mood to explore Uvinza, and so did not see much of it.  As Uvinza disappeared behind me, the road led to Kigoma, a port on Lake Tanganyika.  

Scorpion was hurt from the many tumbles.  She had some mechanical problems whose gravity was impossible to assess at this point.  For example, there was a rocking noise emerging from the below the instrument panel that grew progressively loud on a corrugated road.  It took me another 1000kms before I discovered the source of this noise.  I looked several times but could not figure out where the noise.  The second problem was the brake pads, which I intended to replace either at Kasulu  

As I embarked on the trip, I was debating whether I should go to Kigoma.  To be absolutely sure that I was not putting myself in jeopardy, I stopped to ask about the road conditions to Kigoma.  The answer and my two mechanical problems dissuaded me from heading to that direction, for I was not looking forward to getting stuck in the middle of nowhere.  Kasulu had my undivided attention — a northern town, about 60kms away. I reached a junction and turned northwards away from Kigoma.  I soon realised that I was in for real trouble.  A grader had recently tried to improve the road surface.  The problem was that it loosened more earth, so that when it rained the road became one massive mud puddle.   I had learnt my lessons the previous day but this in no way lessened the hazards waylaying me. On a certain portion of the road the mud was so thick and sticky that even a Land Cruiser that was following me out of tacit agreement had difficulty navigating the stretch. It was not surprising that the 4km stretch took me two hours to cross but only because I employed two men to hold Scorpion on each side, literally walking her.

As it were, it remained overcast all morning and early afternoon, sometimes rain fell intermittently. The road to Kasulu was thickly wooded. During the early part of the journey, I met hundreds of folks going to the market being a Friday.  I would have loved to spend sometime at the market but the rain and the mud dampened my interest.  So I plodded on. I don’t know how many times I tumbled. I was no longer interested in the statistical details. But one notable one that would have brought my trip to an abrupt end is worth mentioning.  I was going uphill.  Both sides of the road had gorges more or less 3ms deep. My speed was about 30kms per hour.  Scorpion front wheel turned right in the slippery mud and the rear slide so that I was now travelling vertically on the road heading straight for the gorge.  I have never been as frightened as at that moment.  I don’t remember the actual thoughts racing through my mind at that time but for some reason the front tyre turned again and I was facing the direction I had just come from.  I let Scorpion roll down hill using the momentum of her weight.  I stopped and sat on a rock to rest my heart which was beating like I was in love with death.  Had I gone done that gorge, at best a crane of some sort would have been necessary to hoist me out, and at worst I would have sustained many broken bones.  I still look bad and a shudder goes down my spine. Someone definitely protected me.

When I had regained some normality and there was less adrenaline in my blood stream, I tried again this time with the help of two men and walked Scorpion up hill.  I soon left the wooded road behind and was riding on a terrain of rolling hills — absolutely beautiful.   In this manner gazing and drinking the beauty of Mother Africa, I arrived at Kasulu about midday exhausted but alive and thankful to God for His protection.

« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 05:14:58 pm by Mzee »
Life is kind to those who afford it kindness

              XT1200Z Super Tenere
 

Offline krister

Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #81 on: February 15, 2010, 05:50:21 pm »
I stopped and sat on a rock to rest my heart which was beating like I was in love with death.  Had I gone done that gorge, at best a crane of some sort would have been necessary to hoist me out, and at worst I would have sustained many broken bones.

Great RR'ing, Mzee!  I enjoy the way you're able to put your honest experience of situations on paper (or screen)...  Go well, Broer ... stay safe but never let paranoia kill the fun!   :ricky:
« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 05:50:49 pm by krister »
Previous Bikes: Suzuki TS50ER; Suzuki GS1000G; Kawasaki Z1000; Yamaha XT500; BMW F650GS; BMW R1150GS; BMW R1200GS Adventure
 

Offline BlueBull2007

  • Caribbean
  • Global Moderator
  • Bachelor Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: AJS (all models)
    Location: Other
  • Posts: 10,217
  • Thanked: 280 times
Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #82 on: February 15, 2010, 08:02:07 pm »
Excellent stuff Mzee!  :thumleft: Really,  this trip is an epic of note. And youre photos are so beautiful, I wish they were bigger.
Rally nut. What could possibly go wrong?
Living the Rally Dream - Ride Report
Current bike: KTM 350 EXC   Previous bikes:  2010 WR450F, 2006 KTM450EXC,KTM 450RR, BMW800GS, KTM450EXC, BMW650 GS, BMW650 Dakar, and Honda XR250
 

Offline Mzee

  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: Yamaha Super Tenere
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 6,008
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Bikes: DL 650 Suzuki; Honda 250 Suzuki 125; Vespa
    • Mzee-Jaki
Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #83 on: February 16, 2010, 05:00:12 pm »
I have bigger photos but trying to save space on the blog.  Thanks for reading and appreciating. More to come.
Life is kind to those who afford it kindness

              XT1200Z Super Tenere
 

Offline Mzee

  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: Yamaha Super Tenere
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 6,008
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Bikes: DL 650 Suzuki; Honda 250 Suzuki 125; Vespa
    • Mzee-Jaki
Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #84 on: February 22, 2010, 06:34:30 am »
With Photos: http://mzee-jaki.blogspot.com/2010/02/night-in-burundi.html

A Night In Burundi

Northern Tanzania is without a doubt a living Eden.  Yet the mud and the rain were seriously encumbering my ability to fully exploit my enjoyment of the scenery, since riding was reduced to ensuring that I survive the slippery roads. I reached Kasulu resembling the colour of the road I had been travelling.  My immediate concern was to find a mechanic to change my brake pads.  I had, by God’s grace, just covered some 70kms of the some of the slipperiest roads I had ever travelled on almost none functional brakes.  I came across a young man who boasted that he was the only mechanic in town who could change my brakes pads.  I was wary of a boasting mechanic; I simply rode-off leaving him speculating whether he had said something that offended me.

The kindly folks of Kasulu directed me to another mechanic who changed the brakes in less than 10 minutes for a fee of 5$.  Again, a crowed of young men around me was massive.  I rode away thinking: Was this mass of loitering young men not a recipe for crime?  In Johannesburg, if I came across a group of teens I would change direction. One evening, with my friend Horman who was visiting from Durban, I went out to shoot a sunset panorama view of Johannesburg on Kensington memorial hill.  While on the hill one can see anyone approaching it from any side.  I kept an eye on a group of young men who were on the road below.  When they came up the hill, I was scared stiff.  I packed my gear and we hurriedly went downhill on the same route they were using to come up.  We knew we had to keep calm. The only weapon we wielded was the Silk tripod weighting 3kgs. It was a formidable weapon.  I carried it in such a way to leave no doubt that I would use it in self-defence. At 6.1” tall, I must have looked menacing. One factor was in our favour namely, the speed with which we packed and hurried downhill.  I could see the dismay on their faces.  I think they had not counted on how quickly we would respond to this perceived threat.  I held my breath when we went past them.  One of them mumble something, but I was so focussed on getting away from them that I kept going. A Congolese friend had been recently knifed in the back and died of his wound. In Johannesburg one will get killed for a mobile phone of less than 150 rand.  These were familiar stories.  We did not want to presume anything. When we reached the main road at the bottom of the hill, to our horror, we saw that the teens were following us.  Our hunches were right; it was a suspect group. We bolted as fast as our legs could carry us.

Preoccupied with these thoughts I was just hitting the outskirts of Kasalu when I came across a police mounted roadblock.  It was not the first roadblock I had come across, but it was the first where I was asked for my international driver’s licence.  It was a youthful policeman making this demand.  In my experience, youthful police officers keep the law to the letter with zeal and zest in the name of serving mother country.  I have always had problems with them.  In this state of mind, I took my time to dismount opened my topbox and asked him what other documents he wanted.  He said, “Just the licence”.  I looked him into the eyes and asked in his language whether he thought I could possibly come all this way without a licence.  

I was not interested in his answer.  I was soon on my way.  A few kilometres down the road, I became aware of a noise from my chain. I knew it was so dry hence the noise.  I stopped to lubricate it.  Once again, I was on my way riding through beautiful rolling hills towards Mabanda the Burundian frontier about 90kms away.  The road improved so that for the first time in two days I could ride at 70kms per hour stopping only to photograph the scenery. The rains were also forgiving and never fell until Christmas day.  But my woes were not yet over — for the roads were still in a fearsome condition.  I would meet with the mother of these conditions soon after the border crossing.  

Today was the seven days since embarking on my odyssey.  I was glad that after two difficult days of riding I was going to sleep in a different place and in a different country. This piece of tiding was incredibly pleasant, and so in a cheerful state of mind I resolutely set to complete the rest of the trip.

I arrived at Manyovu boarder (Tanzania) about 2:30pm.  It was the only place I was asked for my vaccination card on the entire trip. Custom’s clearance was quickly settled.  I was in such a jovial mood that I parted with 10$, ‘donating’ it to the custom officer.  I think it was the joy of leaving Tanzania behind, but in truth he was also a very affable character who genuinely asked me about my trip.  I cleared immigration and the last of my problems started immediately.  

Mabanda was 500m from Manyovu.  To get there, I had to go round a bend and downhill at about a 420.  To compound this state of affair, a Chinese company constructing this road had recently dug it up.  Since it had been raining all morning, there was thick mud everywhere.  Even the custom official said that it would be a miracle if I crossed to Burundi.  

As I came round the bend, a group of about ten 10-15 year old offered to help for a fee.  How could I possibly refuse!  They attached themselves to the bike on both sides and the controlled slide downhill begun; that is how it felt. They pushed a little at a time. In one sense it was like skating but at very low speed.  All the while I felt like my heart was beating in my throat afraid that any time the entire bunch would end down-hill in a heap and possible destruction.  But these kids were adept at what they were doing.  I put my faith in their little hands.  But my faith was tested for the first time on this journey. It was very scary to say the least. It took us close to 45 minutes to descend to the bottom of the hill.  At last I could breathe a sigh of relief.  I looked back and could only shake my head in wonderment: How did we make it to the valley!  I settled my bill and off I road about 5minutes to Mabanda.  

Covered in mud, I knew I was an awful sight by the way the soldiers at the border looked at me.  I had last spoken serious French in 1997 in the DRC.  I was now in a French speaking territory and did not know if I still remembered any of it.  You know how sometimes you speak confidently thinking you are saying something sensible while you are unknowingly using obscene language or simply giving a wrong answer.  I remember my Ethiopian friend Tesfay who was asked “Comment tu t'appelles?” (What is your name?). And he answered cheerfully: “Je ne bois pas de bière”. (I don’t drink any beer). This was hilarious and we often joked about it for a long time.  Bonjour! I called out.  “Passéport sil vous plait” the immigration offer requested. My passport was stamped and I was soon on way.  I thought I would ride to Bujumbura but that was not to be as you will soon discover.  I also had to clear customs at Nyanza about 30kms away which was my immediate destination.  

I was able to keep a constant pace of 80kms per hour. I arrived at Nyanza at 4:40.  I paid customs 30$. I met an elderly man probably in his early 60s who was extremely polite. Once he knew where I was coming and going.  He said my son welcome home.  He took me to his place and had me wash some of the mud off. He made some tea and only after having it, did he allow me to go. I obtained some Burundian Franca and I headed for Rumonge. My host told me that I could not go to Bujumbura since the road closes at night.  He also gave me the name of a lodge, Chez David, where I was to reside for the night.

I glanced at the GPS; I was riding some 2400m above sea level.  Up in the mountains and looking below was a breath taking sight.  The mist in some places was so thick that I could hardly see more than 10m in front of me.  As I descended down the mountain, the tarmac road turned towards Bujumbura along Lake Tanganyika.  It was a delightful sight.  The best part of it, however, was the hero’s welcome I seem to receive in every little town along the way. Everywhere I passed I was given an ovation. I couldn’t help throwing up my leather gloved hand to wave as long as I could and put on an air of a hero.  After days of tumbling, my welcome to Burundi was befitting. I was in the glow of merriment. In addition, it was thrilling to learn that I was the first rider on a V-strom to visit this part of the world.

Remember Burundi in most of the 90s and recent times was in a state of war which eventually subsided with the signing of the Arusha Peace Accord chaired by the then South African second in command: Vice President Jacob Zuma.  But peace was still elusive; thus, explaining why I could not ride to Bujumbura in the night.  I was relieved to reach Rumonge tired but very pleased with the last part of the odyssey.  
« Last Edit: February 22, 2010, 09:03:12 am by Mzee »
Life is kind to those who afford it kindness

              XT1200Z Super Tenere
 

Offline eSKaPe

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS Adventure
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 971
  • Thanked: 20 times
  • As in "The Great Escape"
Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #85 on: February 22, 2010, 06:56:38 am »
Great going Mzee, amazing adventure
 

Offline krister

Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #86 on: February 22, 2010, 06:58:10 am »
Thanks for sharing again, Mzee!  Good luck with the rest of your journey...  :thumleft:
Previous Bikes: Suzuki TS50ER; Suzuki GS1000G; Kawasaki Z1000; Yamaha XT500; BMW F650GS; BMW R1150GS; BMW R1200GS Adventure
 

Offline Mzee

  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: Yamaha Super Tenere
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 6,008
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Bikes: DL 650 Suzuki; Honda 250 Suzuki 125; Vespa
    • Mzee-Jaki
Life is kind to those who afford it kindness

              XT1200Z Super Tenere
 

Offline Mzee

  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: Yamaha Super Tenere
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 6,008
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Bikes: DL 650 Suzuki; Honda 250 Suzuki 125; Vespa
    • Mzee-Jaki
Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #88 on: March 11, 2010, 12:42:30 pm »
I thought the rest of the stuff should be put in book.  I am terribly sorry.  But if you are dying to read then the blog might have some stuff.  Thank you so much for keeping me company, for reading, for the prayers and best wishes. I hope I was sufficiently entertaining.  ;D :thumleft:
Life is kind to those who afford it kindness

              XT1200Z Super Tenere
 

Camelman

  • Guest
Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #89 on: March 15, 2010, 05:33:09 am »
Hi Mzee. It has been great reading your reports. Having lived and worked in Tanzania and Uganda in my late twenties, I have always wanted to return. Make sure you let us know when that book is published!
 

Offline Gat Slag

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW F800GS
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 941
Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #90 on: March 15, 2010, 07:24:22 am »
I thought the rest of the stuff should be put in book.  I am terribly sorry.  But if you are dying to read then the blog might have some stuff.  Thank you so much for keeping me company, for reading, for the prayers and best wishes. I hope I was sufficiently entertaining.  ;D :thumleft:
:notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:

I also spent a year in TZ and Burundi etc...  Read your blog, let us know when the book is published  :thumleft:
 

Offline Mzee

  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: Yamaha Super Tenere
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 6,008
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Bikes: DL 650 Suzuki; Honda 250 Suzuki 125; Vespa
    • Mzee-Jaki
Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #91 on: March 15, 2010, 09:39:03 am »
Thanks Camelman and Gat Slag.  Will keep you posted. Working furiously on it.
Life is kind to those who afford it kindness

              XT1200Z Super Tenere
 

Offline BlueBull2007

  • Caribbean
  • Global Moderator
  • Bachelor Dog
  • ***
  • Bike: AJS (all models)
    Location: Other
  • Posts: 10,217
  • Thanked: 280 times
Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #92 on: March 17, 2010, 04:39:07 am »
You have been extremely entertaining! Thanks so much for sharing. :hello2:
Rally nut. What could possibly go wrong?
Living the Rally Dream - Ride Report
Current bike: KTM 350 EXC   Previous bikes:  2010 WR450F, 2006 KTM450EXC,KTM 450RR, BMW800GS, KTM450EXC, BMW650 GS, BMW650 Dakar, and Honda XR250
 

Offline MOGGIE

  • Member
  • **
  • Bike: BMW F650GS / Dakar
    Location: Limpopo
  • Posts: 121
  • There is nothing like the bush.
Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #93 on: August 01, 2010, 04:55:30 pm »
I love your writing  style.
You are also a great man of God.
I like you.
 

Offline Mzee

  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: Yamaha Super Tenere
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 6,008
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Bikes: DL 650 Suzuki; Honda 250 Suzuki 125; Vespa
    • Mzee-Jaki
Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #94 on: August 03, 2010, 04:25:29 pm »
Thanks folks. I thought this thread had gone cold.  I am looking forward to the next trip in 2012 on the XT Super Tenere 1200Z.  Will keep you posted.
Life is kind to those who afford it kindness

              XT1200Z Super Tenere
 

Offline Mzee

  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: Yamaha Super Tenere
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 6,008
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Bikes: DL 650 Suzuki; Honda 250 Suzuki 125; Vespa
    • Mzee-Jaki
Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #95 on: April 17, 2012, 04:40:49 pm »
Family Reunion
 
A family reunion is always an exciting affair as the movie Madea’s Family Reunion has shown.  In our case, among other things, it was even more thrilling since a member of the family had arrived on a massive dual purpose bike never seen in this part of the world.  For most of my village folks who have never travel more than 100kms away from home in their lifetime, it was hard to work out that I had travelled 5500kms from South Africa on a bike.  This state of affair was understandable given that none one was willing to believe that a bike was capable of travelling such great distances.  This belief was compounded by the Indian made Bajajs they ride, which is not only air cooled, but is of such low capacity that it was obvious a trip on a bike was not possible.  This said the commonest mode of transport is the bicycle; it is a way of life. 

More Here: http://mzee-jaki.blogspot.com/2012/04/family-reunion.html
Life is kind to those who afford it kindness

              XT1200Z Super Tenere
 

Offline Mzee

  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: Yamaha Super Tenere
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 6,008
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Bikes: DL 650 Suzuki; Honda 250 Suzuki 125; Vespa
    • Mzee-Jaki
Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #96 on: April 20, 2012, 10:47:25 am »
Towards Nairobi

It is seven O’clock in the morning; the air is crisp and moist in Bungoma.  It had rained during the night, and having fallen into a deep slumber, I had known nothing of it.  What an unholy way to sleep!  It had surprised me that if someone had stolen Scorpion, I would have woken up to a grave crisis.  And moreover, the unimaginable might have happened.  Needless to say, I was so tired that when I hit the sack, I had simply passed out.  But, the good news was that I was so refreshed and in a great spirits, which was good for riding.   I had a long day ahead of me.

More Here: http://mzee-jaki.blogspot.com/2012/04/towards-nairobi.html
« Last Edit: April 20, 2012, 10:48:10 am by Mzee »
Life is kind to those who afford it kindness

              XT1200Z Super Tenere
 

Offline Mzee

  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: Yamaha Super Tenere
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 6,008
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Bikes: DL 650 Suzuki; Honda 250 Suzuki 125; Vespa
    • Mzee-Jaki
Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #97 on: April 23, 2012, 11:52:18 am »
Towards Arusha

I had covered the distance between Bungoma and Nairobi (350km) in about 5 hours.   I went to Hekima College where I met my host Fr. Leander Kabutta, SJ.  He was missioned as a financial administrator of the retirement home for old and infirmed Jesuits situated in a Suburb of Nairobi.  Fr. Kabutta and I were friends at a college of Philosophy in Zimbabwe, but we had known each other way back in 1995, so I was in good hands.  I met many old Jesuits I knew who were now retired.  Leander and I spent many hours reminiscing the old good days late into the night.  This late hour did not bother me since my itinerary for the day was as far as Arusha, a distance of 269.6 km only.

Read More Here: http://mzee-jaki.blogspot.com/2012/04/towards-arusha.html
Life is kind to those who afford it kindness

              XT1200Z Super Tenere
 

Offline Mzee

  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: Yamaha Super Tenere
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 6,008
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Bikes: DL 650 Suzuki; Honda 250 Suzuki 125; Vespa
    • Mzee-Jaki
Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #98 on: September 15, 2014, 08:03:15 am »
There is Always An End to a Beginning.

Although I have never finished my story, there is an end to every beginning.  And some came along many moons ago, a middle class yankee well in his retirement who fell in love with Scorpion One. He wanted to travel through African and Europe.  The truest thing I know is that Scorpion had been a great friend, mistress and companion.  I had put about 45,000km on her. She was a work horse that had simply served her master beyond reproach. Before our relationship, I had shopped around, but eventually settled on a Vee Strom DL 650. That was many years ago.  In those days, it was simply the best thing I had ever possessd.  We had a relationship: it was time to let go.  It was the most agonising decision. I could not stop the tears.  We all do when our relationships are threatened.  Some cynics might cry out, but she was just a machine.  True, this one is not indispute, but what about the stories we wrote together during our relationship, the many hours we spent in each others' embrace in the middle of no where, the tumbles, the rain, the mud, the dust, the people we met, the many rivers we crossed, the the mountains and valleys we traversed, the very long straight roads that seemingly had no end, and the times we spent at the mechanics after some tumbles.  Surely these little memories become part of our psyche -- the story of a endless love between man and machine.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2015, 08:53:48 am by Mzee »
Life is kind to those who afford it kindness

              XT1200Z Super Tenere
 

Offline Mzee

  • Forum Whore
  • ****
  • Bike: Yamaha Super Tenere
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 6,008
  • Thanked: 16 times
  • Bikes: DL 650 Suzuki; Honda 250 Suzuki 125; Vespa
    • Mzee-Jaki
Re: The Johannesburg --Kampala Odyssey
« Reply #99 on: September 15, 2014, 08:05:36 am »
Double post
« Last Edit: September 15, 2014, 08:07:44 am by Mzee »
Life is kind to those who afford it kindness

              XT1200Z Super Tenere