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Author Topic: Zimbabwe - 6 Friends & 6 KTMs in DS heaven.  (Read 6113 times)

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Offline Just Blip It!

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Re: Zimbabwe - 6 Friends & 6 KTMs in DS heaven.
« Reply #40 on: June 27, 2010, 04:48:33 pm »
Makes me wanna go home
I want to do another trip in September. You in??
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Offline Mahobo

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Re: Zimbabwe - 6 Friends & 6 KTMs in DS heaven.
« Reply #41 on: June 27, 2010, 05:21:10 pm »
WOW!! Makes me want to go home too!

My friends and I were in Zimbabwe in April. We had  intended to travel up to thge Eastern Highlands but never made it there as we realised we did not have enough time to do it justice. These pictures are just amazing.

I want to go back and do it!!
 

Offline Billbob

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Re: Zimbabwe - 6 Friends & 6 KTMs in DS heaven.
« Reply #42 on: June 29, 2010, 12:06:08 pm »
It always has been and still is a fantastic country, with magic riding. Pity about the politics and politicians but still worth seeing :)
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Offline hawkeye

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Re: Zimbabwe - 6 Friends & 6 KTMs in DS heaven.
« Reply #43 on: June 29, 2010, 08:09:23 pm »


Excellent RR :thumleft:
 

Offline flatty

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Re: Zimbabwe - 6 Friends & 6 KTMs in DS heaven.
« Reply #44 on: June 29, 2010, 10:23:13 pm »
excellent RR boys, just makes me wanna come home - (left Umtali - Mutare in 1985) this just brings back memories like you wouldn't believe - like civilian convoys in the 70's from Bulawayo to Umtali via Birchenough Bridge with Mazda bakkies fitted with Browning machine guns as protection. - the bridge looks different without all the sandbags protecting the guards and Spans.
Quick question....is Hot Springs still there, about 20 miles from the bridge on the Mutare side if my memory serves correct...probably not.
Take some pics at the top of Christmas pass as you leave Mutare...actually if you can, go up the Kingsley-Fairbridge memorial car park and there may still be access through a gate to the top of the mountain range overlooking Mutare, nice bit of offroad climbing and well worth the effort and the view is spectacular.
Sorry about the ramblings and ride safe.
My bro is a tobacco farmer near Marendera (Marandellas) outside Harare if you need accomodation/support - has bikes and loves offroading so will be pleased to see you etc.
We had a farm outside Mutare until my dad lost it through first land reforms in the early 80's. Dust bowl now I believe. :'(
....................Flatty
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Offline Just Blip It!

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Re: Zimbabwe - 6 Friends & 6 KTMs in DS heaven.
« Reply #45 on: June 29, 2010, 10:28:56 pm »
Thanks Flatty, we are already back though, just takes me a while to do the report. I went to UBHS, Umtali Boys, so I know the area really well, used to climb cross country and roll rocks down, used go and watch movies at the Vawdaville. I think you must join me for a ride that way in September again?
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Offline flatty

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Re: Zimbabwe - 6 Friends & 6 KTMs in DS heaven.
« Reply #46 on: June 29, 2010, 10:35:53 pm »
September...............I wish, just too far away.  :3some:I was UBHS 1978 - 1979
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Offline Nyala

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Re: Zimbabwe - 6 Friends & 6 KTMs in DS heaven.
« Reply #47 on: June 30, 2010, 08:22:05 am »
The area brings back some great memories from National Service - Army.  We were based in Umtali and sent to Rusape, Grand Reef, Chinga and other areas.

When we were doing National Service in Umtali we had a camp which was supposed to be secret off the Christmas Pass road to Cecil Kop, two guys were up there for a week at a time. It was like a camping holiday. The most scenic bosk@kke ever were overlooking the whole valley all the way to Mocambique. Visited the spot when I last visited the area in 1997.

One morning we got up to the whole valley below us covered in cloud with only the cross from Cross Kopje and the mountains in Mocambique showing through. It was like looking down on a snow field.

I would love to do the whole Eastern Highlands on my bike and not in an army truck some time.
 

Offline Just Blip It!

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Re: Zimbabwe - 6 Friends & 6 KTMs in DS heaven.
« Reply #48 on: June 30, 2010, 09:13:04 am »
The area brings back some great memories from National Service - Army.  We were based in Umtali and sent to Rusape, Grand Reef, Chinga and other areas.

When we were doing National Service in Umtali we had a camp which was supposed to be secret off the Christmas Pass road to Cecil Kop, two guys were up there for a week at a time. It was like a camping holiday. The most scenic bosk@kke ever were overlooking the whole valley all the way to Mocambique. Visited the spot when I last visited the area in 1997.

One morning we got up to the whole valley below us covered in cloud with only the cross from Cross Kopje and the mountains in Mocambique showing through. It was like looking down on a snow field.

I would love to do the whole Eastern Highlands on my bike and not in an army truck some time.

Great memories, thanks for sharing! It was the best place to grow up, I have fantastic memories of the bush war, when you are a teenager it was all so exciting!
On this trip, we rode up Christmas pass, past the turn off to Penalonga, we then took a wrong turn-off to the right at a little roadside butchery/shabeen, we were riding along this little road, came around a corner and rode straight into an army platoon armed to the teeth out on training patrol, they had RPGs, Motars, MAGs AK47s the whole nine yards, and here we come 5 white okes balls to the wall straight through their platoon, they fortunately just waved, looked like they had had a serious "opfok", they were to tired to do anything! We carried on with the road and rode straight into a full on army camp!! The guys were really friendly and just wanted to know about the soccer scores and if we had smokes for them! Do you remember this base, it looks like it might have been there a long time, about 10kms from Christmas pass?
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Offline Just Blip It!

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Re: Zimbabwe - 6 Friends & 6 KTMs in DS heaven.
« Reply #49 on: June 30, 2010, 09:15:40 am »
September...............I wish, just too far away.  :3some:I was UBHS 1978 - 1979

Flatty, I was there from 79 to 82, was a border at Crawford house.
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Offline fat b

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Re: Zimbabwe - 6 Friends & 6 KTMs in DS heaven.
« Reply #50 on: June 30, 2010, 10:41:11 am »
Nice RR , nice pics , thanx for sharing !  :thumleft:

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Offline Biker boy

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Re: Zimbabwe - 6 Friends & 6 KTMs in DS heaven.
« Reply #51 on: June 30, 2010, 11:05:30 am »
nice R R if you going please sent me pm I would really like to join you guys!

Absolutely awesome!


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Offline Nyala

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Re: Zimbabwe - 6 Friends & 6 KTMs in DS heaven.
« Reply #52 on: June 30, 2010, 11:29:10 am »


Great memories, thanks for sharing! It was the best place to grow up, I have fantastic memories of the bush war, when you are a teenager it was all so exciting!
On this trip, we rode up Christmas pass, past the turn off to Penalonga, we then took a wrong turn-off to the right at a little roadside butchery/shabeen, we were riding along this little road, came around a corner and rode straight into an army platoon armed to the teeth out on training patrol, they had RPGs, Motars, MAGs AK47s the whole nine yards, and here we come 5 white okes balls to the wall straight through their platoon, they fortunately just waved, looked like they had had a serious "opfok", they were to tired to do anything! We carried on with the road and rode straight into a full on army camp!! The guys were really friendly and just wanted to know about the soccer scores and if we had smokes for them! Do you remember this base, it looks like it might have been there a long time, about 10kms from Christmas pass?
[/quote]

I don't know this base, but there were so many different units operational in the area, that it could have been there a the time.

Is the Wise Owl Motel still active? Drank more than my fair share of beer there!
 

Offline Just Blip It!

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Re: Zimbabwe - 6 Friends & 6 KTMs in DS heaven.
« Reply #53 on: June 30, 2010, 11:57:14 am »
Wise owl was still there and open!
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Offline flatty

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Re: Zimbabwe - 6 Friends & 6 KTMs in DS heaven.
« Reply #54 on: July 01, 2010, 09:18:57 am »
September...............I wish, just too far away.  :3some:I was UBHS 1978 - 1979

Flatty, I was there from 79 to 82, was a border at Crawford house.
Nice.....
i was a border at the posh 5 storey hostel  :3some:near the tuck shop(forgotten what its called now) 1978/79. small world.
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Offline Just Blip It!

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Re: Zimbabwe - 6 Friends & 6 KTMs in DS heaven.
« Reply #55 on: July 01, 2010, 11:09:52 am »
September...............I wish, just too far away.  :3some:I was UBHS 1978 - 1979

Flatty, I was there from 79 to 82, was a border at Crawford house.
Nice.....
i was a border at the posh 5 storey hostel  :3some:near the tuck shop(forgotten what its called now) 1978/79. small world.

Wasn't it Elliot House? It was closed when I started there. You will know my cousin, he was also there Trevor Cuerden?
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Offline Gat Slag

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Re: Zimbabwe - 6 Friends & 6 KTMs in DS heaven.
« Reply #56 on: July 01, 2010, 04:46:19 pm »
Lekker sover!!  :thumleft:

 :happy1:
 

Offline Nyala

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Re: Zimbabwe - 6 Friends & 6 KTMs in DS heaven.
« Reply #57 on: July 02, 2010, 08:10:22 am »
OK, enough idle chatter, please don't disturb Just Blip It - let him finish the ride report!!!!!!!!!!!  :D  :D   :D
 

Offline Just Blip It!

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Re: Zimbabwe - 6 Friends & 6 KTMs in DS heaven.
« Reply #58 on: July 02, 2010, 06:58:05 pm »
Day 6; Vumba to Lake Mutirikwi (Kyle)

We woke up on Thursday morning to miserable cold and overcast weather. The original plan was to go up to Nyanga which our route would take us up into the mountains where the altitude would exceed 3000m in some places, but due to the bad weather we decided to head in land towards lower and warmer altitudes and where we could explore the many gravel roads on the map.

 
Our first stop was the Prince of Wales view point which looked out over the city of Mutare.



The view at Prince of Wales viewpoint.



We drove into the outskirts of Mutare at 8AM, straight into rush hour traffic, I was surprised how busy this bustling little city was, people were on there way to work, taxis, cars buses and pedestrians everywhere, it was the first time we had to ride carefully and defensively since entering Zim!
We headed straight for the Wimpy to have a breakfast and coffee.



Some of us didn't look so good after last night!



After some terrible coffee and a really crappy breakfast (not up to Wimpy SA standards  ::) ) we headed for a tour of the town. Many years ago I went to school here at Umtali boys High School, so we rode past the school, it was really depressing to see the condition of this once proud school, I decided not to take photos and rather to remember it as it was.
We then hit the road up Christmas pass and out of town past Penalonga, I saw what looked like an interesting road on the GPS we then took the turn-off to the right at a little roadside butchery/shabeen, we were riding along this little road, came around a corner and rode straight into an army platoon armed to the teeth out on training patrol, they had RPGs, Motars, MAGs AK47s the whole nine yards, and here we come 5 white okes balls to the wall straight through their platoon, they fortunately just waved, looked like they had had a serious "opfok", they were to tired to do anything! We carried on with the road and rode straight into a full on army camp!! The guys were really friendly and just wanted to know about the soccer scores and if we had smokes for them! We didn't dare take any photos here! :o
After re-calculating our route we turned off the Tar at the little farming town of Odzi, from here we were back onto the awesome dirt roads again, this would be the longest dirt section that we would ride without seeing any tar or fuel a full 228km!
Along this road the scenery was back to big rock and boulder formations with large baobabs and indigenous forests with the occasional village and settlement.











 We stopped around lunch time at a shabeen for a beer or 2, the locals all crowded round to look at the bikes. Next to the shabeen was a little maize mill and they were busy grinding maize with an old mill run by an even older Lister motor. There was also yet another carpenter making coffins.





The beers were cold!



Across the road was a school, the headmaster came over and started talking to us. He asked us if we wouldn't mind riding over the road to visit the school as the children were really excited to see the us on the bikes and they would really appreciate the visit. We decided to do one better and offered to do a little show and demonstration (show-off) on the bikes for them as long as they all stayed on the side of the road. This went down very well, and quickly the whole school 1600 pupils were assembled next to the road! Dave and Craig proceeded to give them a show of wheelies and ramps to their delight, they were cheered on with much enthusiasm, needless to say they will be talking about those white guys on their big orange bikes for many days!!

The school.



1600 pupils assembled for the show! ;D





Dave showing-off! 8)



The ride to Lake Mutirikwi was stunningly beautiful, we entered a region that was massive rock kopjies with smooth rock slopes running down into deep gorges, we rode slowly just enjoying the scenery, it was so beautiful. Words can not describe the natural beauty of this country, it is something you have to experience!







We came over the hill and arrived at Lake Mutirikwi, previously known as Lake Kyle.
Dammed at the confluence of the Mshagashe and Mutirikwi rivers, the 90 square kilometers of water make Lake Mutirikwi Zimbabwe's third largest water body. Boating and licensed fishing is allowed, but since the water contains both crocodile and the bilhazia parasite, swimming is not advised. Spreading back up the two rivers, the lake forms two sides of a 12 000 ha triangular game park. Undulating and broken hill country covered mainly by miombo woodland and grassland make this scenically one of the most attractive parks in Zimbabwe. The area owes much of it's undisturbed beauty to the absence of elephant. A lack of predators makes game-viewing on horse-back and unaccompanied game-walks a major attraction. Apart from a thriving population of white rhino, the park offers good viewing of tsessebe, reedbuck, oribi, giraffe and nyala, among others. The park has a good selection of raptors and grassland birds and the lake provides habitat for a wide range of water birds. There are hotels on the lakeshore offering chalets, lodges and camping.









On the dam wall.



After checking out a few accommodation options we pulled in to the Inn at Great Zimbabwe, a lovely place with a panoramic view of the lake. Here we paid $25 bed and breakfast, for a chalet that could sleep 8 people, the hotel was in a fantastic condition, tastefully furnished, well maintained and again we had exceptional service from the very polite and friendly staff.

Outside the reception, me, Craig, John B and John L.



Beautiful gardens with the Lake in the back ground.





Our Chalet.






We settled down to a tasty dinner, a few beers and some great company discussing yet another fantastic days travels!

Stay tuned for day 7 still to come!


« Last Edit: July 02, 2010, 07:30:50 pm by Just Blip It! »
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Offline Berm_Rooster

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Re: Zimbabwe - 6 Friends & 6 KTMs in DS heaven.
« Reply #59 on: July 05, 2010, 08:58:59 am »
Man, this is a nice report! Well done so far!