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Author Topic: Africa our way !! ( Complete...... or is it? )  (Read 44665 times)

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Offline Baches

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #160 on: January 07, 2011, 08:27:23 am »
 ???
Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere
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Offline charlw

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #161 on: January 10, 2011, 07:31:05 am »
very interesting. Look forward to the rest.
The traveler sees what he sees.  The tourist sees what he has come to see.  ~G.K. Chesterton
 

Offline charlw

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #162 on: January 10, 2011, 07:31:28 am »
excuse the pun.
The traveler sees what he sees.  The tourist sees what he has come to see.  ~G.K. Chesterton
 

Offline Soundboi

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #163 on: January 10, 2011, 03:16:05 pm »
I NEED my fix.
Type dammit, NOW!!!!

Pwitty pleeease. 
But for me, it's like a night out with a porn star, every time I press that starter button. Schneller! Schneller! Tiefer! Ja, ich bin geil! Ich komme!  >:D

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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #164 on: January 11, 2011, 02:41:50 pm »
Next installment on its way tomorrow... promise  O0
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #165 on: January 11, 2011, 03:28:38 pm »
It is worth mentioning something about us unlucky okes who have tubes : getting a puncture in the middle of somewhere with 35 degree heat beating down on your fully packed bike is no fun, you can just imagine having to unpack the bike, pull the wheel off, take out the tube, attempt to fix it and pump it back up, get everything together, repack the bike.. then realise it did'nt work only to start all over again... so when you have a bit of a leak and you find a tyre repair place behind some dodge garage, you pay a few bucks with a smile to have them do it for you while you sit in the shade with a Fanta.. however, when you can hear the rims being murdered from 100m away clearly you get second thoughts, guilt creeps in, but it is too late now.



These okes did an amazing job of scratching my rims to hell and back.. they fixed the puncture but somehow managed to put the tube back in all fucked up.. so in the next 60km I had a ripped tube again.. sometimes it is just better to do it yourself.
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #166 on: January 12, 2011, 09:29:57 am »
I can remember walking into a Pick n’ Pay in Plattekloof a few months back and on the cover of a magazine was a chap who rode from SA to Zanzibar solo on a BMW 1200GS, I can remember being that guy who was just itching to do something epic like that. It may have been the Getaway Mag I’m not sure, but I thought of that cover as we headed into Dar which was surreal. Dar had always been a destination we would see on this trip, I just did’nt think we would be here so soon. We should be in Uganda by now. Anyway, I was trying not to think of what should have been and just take in as much as possible without getting totally lost. Besides the narrow winding streets overflowing with people the 1st thing you simply cannot miss is the traffic, I had to remind myself to look for traffic lights, after so many days of just riding wherever you wanted it seemed strange and annoying to stop at a red light. Where there are no lights the general rule of thumb is biggest bike goes 1st, and that was us.!!

It had taken us 25 days to reach Dar, that was about 10 days more than our mate Jerry who did this trip 2 months earlier. We may have been slow, but we were here and in one piece. Dar was an important stop over for us, it was to be more than just a rest day or 2, it was our chance to catch up with some crazy banking and currency exchange issues we were experiencing , Martin was in desperate need of a back tyre and needed to attend to that oil squeezing out the head, I needed a tube to replace my one which had multiple slow leaks from hastily applied patches, we both needed new oil filters and oil and the bikes needed a good lube service. Up to now the bikes had really performed well and we were very pleased but a little TLC was in order.
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #167 on: January 12, 2011, 09:36:45 am »
As always, before I would do anything I insisted on finding a place to stay while there was daylight. I like base camps, it makes me feel much more secure and you can dump all the weight. From there the search can proceed for finding a spare parts place, a workshop of sorts, explore and take in some local flavor
.
From what I observed he overland trucks generally don’t stay in Dar, they head out to the Northern or Southern beaches and from there they take their clients over to places like Zanzibar and Pemba. After trying a few recommendations gathered from locals within Dar like the YMCA of all places, we realized they had the right idea so we hit the ferry and went in search of something a bit more quiet and exotic than the bustling streets. One of the 1st things I noticed was the queue of massive container ships that were waiting for their turn to come into port. Waiting for the ferry I got the chance to observe the locals, we must have stood out like sore thumbs. Trying not to look like a tourist was impossible, but I was very impressed, we were not swarmed, there were no beggars asking for some Shillings and no kids wanting to touch the bikes and ask for sweets. We were just left alone to do our thing and that was appreciated in the thick, sultry 35 degree heat. Getting onto the ferry was an experience, 1st the trucks and cars go on, then they allow bycicles and motorbikes to filter through the gaps of the parked cars and lastly the passengers filter through whatever is left.. on the other side mayhem is controlled only by the fact that the road narrows as you disembark. The passengers gap it off 1st then there is a free for all.. on my way out I thought I bumped into a truck but chose to ignore the sound of scraping metal, a short bit down the road Martin caught up to me frantically waving for me to stop. I had apparently ripped a bumper clean off a truck and the annoyed driver was in hot pursuit. Not wanting to challenge local temperament we waited a few min for him to catch up and a negotiation on damages was immanent. Upon inspection of the said damage I was not in the least surprised why the bumper and light fell off. A butterfly could have landed on it and caused the same damage. A cable tie and a handshake later we were on our way heading up South Beach.

Waiting on the ferry to cross over to South Beach.







Getting off.. where I managed to dislodge a chaps bumper..

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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #168 on: January 12, 2011, 09:40:36 am »
Riding along the coast I saw a sign from heaven .. I was not sure what the whole sign included but I saw the words “Swimming Pool” I think it was the quickest I have ever turned.. boy oh boy was it worth the extra time and ferry ride.. we found a slice of paradise called Mikadi beach Camp. I will let the photo’s speak for themselves. We settled down for the day after securing a sweet deal for a boma right on the beach.



The bar where we ended up spending a bit too much time chatting to overland chicks..





Our home for the next few days.. awesome !!

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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #169 on: January 12, 2011, 09:44:14 am »
Martin making friends with the maasai guard.. there were 3 of them, one at the gate and 2 on the beach, their job was to ensure we stayed safe. They watched over us all day and night and were very particular about what they did.









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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #170 on: January 12, 2011, 09:50:25 am »
Make no mistake Dar has everything life can offer if you have the budget and the time but we were tight on both so there was no 3 star lunches for us, this was our local roadside dining experience. It was dirty, smelly, hot and the food was suspect to say the least, there was no knives or forks and flies just come as a side dish if you order them or not, that being said, we ate ourselves silly for almost nothing ad we never suffered any side effects. There is the option of eating king prawns at one of the hotels, but that money just always seemed better spent on petrol.



While I was there i got a local haircut, it was an experience for me and the oke cutting. I think I was his 1st white customer, he took so long and made such a huge effort the sun went down on us.. it was a huge attraction for the locals.



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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #171 on: January 12, 2011, 10:02:31 am »
The next day, with a slight hangover, we headed off to source supplies and find that illusive back tyre for Martin’s bike.

After riding through Dar and making some enquiries we found an enterprising chap who asked us what we were looking for, without him the effort would have been much greater as we just followed him.. boy could that guy run. We were led to a shop supplying local bike spares. He had tyres and after a long chat the owner offered to take us to his workshop to service the bikes







I could not believe it.. check out this impressive gem of a workshop. Seeing them strip Martins bike on the side of the road made me glad I was not him, but the chaps were friendly and always had a smile to go along with what seemed like some pretty crazy solutions to their daily working conditions. I am not convinced that given the choice I would ever have my bike serviced at this bikers paradise.



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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #172 on: January 12, 2011, 10:26:15 am »
With all of that out of the way we were free to explore or ride on, once again we had to make a decision on where to go next, I was keen on going north to the Kenyan border to revisit Moshi and the surrounds but we were running out of time, the reports of the expected rains and the unsure conditions of the roads in Southern Tanzania and Northern Moz were playing on our mind. On top of that we were in freaking paradise and neither of us were keen to leave just yet. There was enough to explore right here.

This is such a gorgeous part of the world for the most part and taking a day or 2 off the bikes to catch a local boat out to a deserted tropical island for a guided tour, lunch and an afternoon of diving a reef sounded like the best idea since we experienced the rapids of the Zambezi. It just gave us the chance to forget about the bikes for the day and have some fun. Happy with the decision that we would rather spend more time heading south we now had no need to rush off North and we made the most of it.

With 28 - 30 degree water and a setting like this we were in our element.





















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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #173 on: January 12, 2011, 10:31:52 am »
After 3 or 4 days of riding around, exploring, taking trips out on boats, giving the bikes some TLC and filling up on beer, the sun was setting on our stay in Dar.. it was time to make a move.





By the time we left Dar for Southern Tanzania it felt like we had barely scratched the surface, we were already discussing the possibility of shipping the bikes back to Dar one day and taking another look at this fascinating region.

Dar had been interesting and fun, we had met so many travelers and drunk a lot of beer, now it was time to head south. We had no idea what to expect, most of Southern Tanzania is very remote and unmistakably traditional with a load of wild animals roaming around. The plan was to head for the old Swahili trading towns of Mikindani and Kilwa, my goal, besides trying to deal with the sand we were about to encounter was to find Whale Sharks and I think I know the spot.. We had heard that they are around Mafia island around November and that would be a treat.
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Offline Waynan

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #174 on: January 12, 2011, 11:16:31 am »
Awesome stuff Murray, keep them rolling in Bud! Seeing it all like this makes me all the more sorry I could not join you guys for this leg of the trip...
 

Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #175 on: January 12, 2011, 02:47:55 pm »
Destination Mafia Island.. I had heard that there was a ferry from Mchungu, but then again that depends on who you ask. Stories change the closer you get and you just have to try to judge the character giving you the information. We were also told that there is no way we would be able to get to the coast on bikes from here unless we stayed on the main drag.. hmm !

We soon found out why this part of Tanzania becomes very difficult in the rainy season, in a nutshell it becomes a nightmare with the heavy bikes and although our skill level had improved, it had not improved enough to deal with deep mud. The rule of thumb is that no bikes or cars can pass on this road for 3 days after a good rain, it is really only open to large trucks and even then they take their chances, every now and again we would come across a truck that simply slid right off the road and had become bogged down, they come past with recovery trucks once the road dries out. There has been an attempt to try and make the road better but it has not helped as far as bikes were concerned, it just created larger ruts. In our case we got lucky, the road was just drying out, and although at times it was nothing but mud and sliding around, where it really counted we were able to get through. Our only real concern was that if it started raining it would be a long wait to get out of the area.. so we wasted no time and went like bats out of hell.

Boy oh boy, it was hard riding, but it was awesome fun.












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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #176 on: January 13, 2011, 10:24:44 am »
It sure seemed like we made excellent time on the dirt roads in Southern Tanzania, in part because the dirt and riding conditions changed up all the time making it so much fun to ride and in part because there is really nothing to distract you, apart from the sporadic scattering of kids as you pass through straw hut villages. I cannot for the life of me remember why we rode past Mafia Island, it is quite swampy in the area and reports of road conditions were dismal so it may have been adverse road conditions, maybe we missed a turning or just were not paying attention, what I do remember is being told on more than one occasion that Kilwa was a must see destination and so it came to pass that we headed in the general direction and ate up the dust and mud along the way. I have to admit some of these roads were pushing the boundaries of my skill limits and with the short rains on the way it was bound to get interesting.

I lost a few things off the back of the bike along this stretch of road and on more than one occasion we had to stop and readjust the strapping holding everything down, what appears to be unusually large dips in the road are actually potholes big enough to fit cars in often sneaking up on you creating spectacular bouts of absolute terror. The bike simply drops away from underneath you and as you launch out the other side you can swear the wheels have been knocked square. So we arrived in Kilwa a little more shaken than expected and the search was on for a place to camp. In these parts tourism seems almost non existent at this time of the year so it was not surprising that as soon as we were spotted we were given a personal escort to a place called Kilwa Beach Resort by an excited chap who turned out to be the chef, he ran his little legs off that day and it set the tone for how desperate these regions are for a slice of the tourism pie that pumps through Tanzania..
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #177 on: January 13, 2011, 10:30:34 am »
sigh, exactly, another little slice of heaven. Warm, calm tropical blue water and palm lined white beaches It would have been perfect if not for the fact that we were the only people in the whole resort. It did however make for a great opportunity to strike a bargain and all was well.









The next morning I woke up a bit earlier than usual and took a stroll along the pristine deserted beach for a few Kodak moments until almost by mistake I stumbled across the deserted restaurant / dining area where our mate the chef tempted me with crispy fried bacon and eggs.. I almost felt guilty leaving Martin snoring away in bliss but just as I was coming to grips with the guilt in walked Martin making it a grand total of 2 for breakfast that morning.



Fully satisfied and ready to push further south we headed back to our lush accommodation to pack the bikes, I was pretty keen to ride around Kilwa Masoko which is simply stunning. Kilwa Kisiawni was once East Africa’s most important trading settlement, the seat of sultans and the center of a vast trading network linking the goldfields of Zimbabwe to the orient. The ruins that remain together with nearby Songo minara are considered to be one of the most significant groups of Swahili buildings on the East African coast and have been declared a Unesco World heritage site..

..however it was not to be.. When Martin wondered off to come and find me that morning and also got distracted by the lure of crispy bacon he had left the door open. The seemingly deserted beach resort was clearly not that deserted and an opportunist had run off with Martin’s tank bag that was on his bed.. thank goodness they did’nt take my tank bag, it contained my passport, carnet, currency.. my life..  we were equally thankful that Martin was carrying his passport with him, but the loss of the tank bag was significant for him as it contained valuables, glasses, chargers, his carnet and other documents, cash and a bunch of other stuff .. Within a few min a search party was organized by the locals who scattered in different directions. The local police do not have transport so I took off on my bike with a local as pillion to collect a policeman and Martin went searching for his prized custom made, bright yellow tank bag..
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #178 on: January 13, 2011, 10:34:43 am »
For most of the day it became a series of frustrating and fruitless activities, carting police around to known hotspots, filling out reports and hanging around in vain as information or lack of it to trickle in. Eventually we called it quits, the day was running out of daylight, we were frustrated, pissed off and exhausted. We were not going to spend the night at Kilwa Dreams where we had being staying, we knew that it would just make us stew in misery and a change in scenery was the order of the day. Staying in Kilwa, the Kilwa Seaview Resort came highly recommended and we could see why, with gorgeous A frame cottages perched on an escarpment overlooking Jimbizi beach, restaurant deluxe, swimming pool however it was a very expensive option, running low on light, choices and energy we negotiated a much more agreeable rate for setting up camp on the far end of the resort.

Our view of Jimbizi beach as the day was ending

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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #179 on: January 13, 2011, 10:46:17 am »
The view of the A frame cottages from the beach









The following morning we were still feeling the effects of being inconvenienced and there was a bit of debate as we tried to identify which documents were missing and how this would impact our ability to get out of Tanzania and into Mozambique. My spirits were low as I abandoned the idea of seeing the Arab fort, great Mosque and the impressive Husuni Kubwa but there was a lot of road ahead of us and much to see, the best thing for us was to move on and try to enjoy the ride.. I suspect this was a lot easier for me than it was for Martin. I try to make Martin feel better with coffee and the fact that over 600 people have been killed by lions in SE Tanzania over the last 15 years, at least we wer’nt one of them.

I had met a group the previous day who were from the UK and were presently working at a hotel in Mikindani called the old Boma.. it seemed that we at least had our next destination and we would be in a much better position than we were in now as we would have access to internet, post offices, couriers etc so that we could sort out our paperwork>



Lets go, we pack up camp kick up a bit of dust and got out of Kilwa.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2011, 10:49:04 am by Fuzzy Muzzy »
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