Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register

Author Topic: Africa our way !! ( Complete...... or is it? )  (Read 45225 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

  • Merchandisers
  • Forum Whore
  • *
  • Bike: Honda TransAlp XL700V
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 9,418
  • Thanked: 320 times
Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #200 on: January 21, 2011, 11:54:22 am »
Diving in and around Mikindani was just short of spectacular, we had looked at a reef near Zanzibar but these were awesome. I could go on for days about the corals and fish we saw, being an avid marine fishkeeper it was heaven identifying the different species and wished I could take more than a few boxes home with me.

Here are some pics for the divers out there






















Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

  • Merchandisers
  • Forum Whore
  • *
  • Bike: Honda TransAlp XL700V
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 9,418
  • Thanked: 320 times
Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #201 on: January 21, 2011, 12:00:06 pm »
We ended up spending about 4 days right on the tip of Southern Tanzania and tensions were starting to run high, we were getting ants in our pants and were itching to ride again. It was frustrating being stuck in one place and it was even more frustrating not being prepared for the situation we found ourselves in.

There was no Mozambiquan consulate in the area and we really were not sure what would happen if we tried to cross over into Moz without the right paperwork. In hindsight we just should have tried 1st. Luckily the replacement carnet arrived by DHL fairly quickly and we were free to head towards the Moz border. There was simply no way to describe our mood, we were finally outta here, or so we thought. 

By all accounts the only way across the river into Moz was by tiny boats if we headed through Kitunguli.. Apparently the ferry had sunk a few months back and a replacement was far away. We heard stories of guys strapping boats together to get 4 x 4ís across, sometimes it worked and sometimes it didnít, not only was it risky but it was expensive with guys making a killing off lost overlanders charging well over $100 to get across which was out of our budget, we knew at low tide it was impossible due to mud but as the tide came in and the river mouth swelled there was a good chance we could strap the bikes onto a boat and take our chances, after the last few days we were not in the mood for taking any chances.. besides, we had news of another way. One was to follow the river up inland to lake Chidya and try to cross at Kitaya or there was a rumour of a bridge that was being built further up river. Apparently the bridge had to be built so far up because of how the tides affected the swelling of the river, the closer it was to the coast the wider it would have to be.
Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

  • Merchandisers
  • Forum Whore
  • *
  • Bike: Honda TransAlp XL700V
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 9,418
  • Thanked: 320 times
Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #202 on: January 21, 2011, 12:08:33 pm »
Either way we knew that construction of the bridge had been started, as rumor had it, construction had started as far back as 2007 or 2008 but information about the bridge had not really reached these parts, it was like there was no news of anything in this country, naturally the idea of trying to find an internet connection somewhere was not what this trip was about and it never crossed our minds to check out google maps.. taking our chances to find this bridge became our new quest, we had no idea what we would find, we had no idea what the roads would be like, we had no idea if fuel would be available or even if there would be places to stay.. we had been through so much, but this was venturing off track more than even I expected.

Along many of our other routes there were overland trucks, busses, trucks, something.. at the very least we knew we would find help along the way, this was slightly different.. and with the rains coming it was going to be interesting. Like excited kids before Christmas we could hardly sleep, the bikes were packed, I even washed the bike. It was time to leave the coast we had known for so long and head inland along what would be some of the best dirt Tanzania had to offer.

And so we bid Mikindani goodbye, we had a good idea on the general direction, but we had very little information on what was ahead, time would tell. We got a very early start, I was hell bent on trying to find this bridge before nightfall, and if the last few days was anything to go by it was going to be hot.. very hot.

The days ride was hard work in the heat but it was so rewarding, the scenery was awesome, the roads were insane and the people were friendly, passing through remote villages made it really sink in that we were in the middle of nowhere. In these parts a man has his wives who give him children and work the fields, in the midday sun they would chill in the shade and afternoons were reserved for getting drunk. The level of deforestation can sometimes be disturbing but with zero development or industry the need for wood for daily living is just something that has to be accepted. If a family needs maize to survive they farm the land but as they use the seed from subsequent yields and fail to look after the soil the yield gets worse, so they chop down more trees and plant more crops.. simple yet unsustainable.

We eventually had to leave the river and hooked up with what seemed like a main road, these parts of the trip are a bit sketchy for me, I remember we had to find guy in a town who stamped our passports, I think it was Lukula, from there he sent us to another village where there was more formalities, this wasted a lot of time as there were no offices to speak of and the chaps who work there are normally at home so someone has to run off to find them. In the end we were glad we asked in every town about paperwork stamping or else we would have had to turn back.


this is a typical main drag heading to the bridge, you know it is a main road cos it is flat.

« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 03:26:26 pm by Fuzzy Muzzy »
Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

  • Merchandisers
  • Forum Whore
  • *
  • Bike: Honda TransAlp XL700V
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 9,418
  • Thanked: 320 times
Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #203 on: January 21, 2011, 12:11:04 pm »
It seemed like we were riding for ages, the more I ride this Transalp the more impressed I am with it, these roads were putting them through their paces. We were heading along a sand track that cuts through a forest, the only evidence it was made by man is the occasional deep track in the sand left by a large truck, I was just beginning to wonder if it would ever end, I was becoming mindful that the sun was going down and we had zero idea if we were on the right track.. all of a sudden.. tar !! loads of it.. At 1st I didínt understand what was going on,  we had last seen tar in Mikindani and that was maybe 2 lanes at best, this was insane, it was the best tar we had seen since Dar, and it was at least 5 lanes wide ( well it seemed that way after the monkey tracks we had been following ).. best of all, it was deserted, it was like being in a dream.

THis pic is actually from the Moz side, you can see the construction still going on.



I think I was still stunned and unsure as to what we had found but I could almost hear Martin laughing. The flat, level tar was fantastic after the bone jarring ride over the last few hours, so with huge grins on our faces we headed off down this massive deserted highway.. About 3km later we came across a few okes riding bicycles, they looked at us in amazement just as we looked at them in amazement.. where are all the cars this highway was built for, it seems insane that such a massive highway was made for a few okes on bicycles.

Rising up in the distance was one massive tusk with another one clearly under construction, we knew we had found The Unity Bridge and just in time, we had maybe 45min of daylight left, we had no idea if this was good or bad news yet.

Arriving at the bridge just as it was getting dark






« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 03:31:34 pm by Fuzzy Muzzy »
Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

  • Merchandisers
  • Forum Whore
  • *
  • Bike: Honda TransAlp XL700V
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 9,418
  • Thanked: 320 times
Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #204 on: January 21, 2011, 12:12:58 pm »
For anyone interested I found this on the net about the bridge..

For other uses, see Unity Bridge (disambiguation).
The Unity Bridge (sometimes called "Unity Bridge 1") across Ruvuma River at Negomano, Mozambique[1], between Tanzania and Mozambique was proposed as early as 1975, shortly after Mozambique's independence. It was the idea of the two country's former Presidents, Mwalimu Nyerere and Samora Machel. Several design studies and limited construction work were completed in the early 1980s, but the Unity Bridge was not finished due to lack of funds.

In 2002 the two national governments made a formal agreement to build a new bridge across the river. First foundation stones were laid both on Tanzanian and Mozambique sides on October 10th, 2005. Construction was initially planned to be finish in 2008.

In 2005, Norconsult was awarded the contract for preliminary design and construction supervision of the bridge. It will be about 720 m long.

The project would boost development in Mtwara Region (Tanzania), Cabo Delgado (Mozambique) as well as in the Southern African Development Community region as it is an important component of the Mtwara Development Corridor. It will also shorten the distance along the Cape to Cairo Road.[2]

Environmentalists say it would destroy Niassa Reserve in Mozambique which is home to elephant, buffalo, sable and roan herds.[3]

The Unity Bridge over the Rovuma River was build by The China Geo Engineering Corporation and finally inaugurated on the 12th of May 2010 by the presidents of Mozambique and Tanzania.

The rehabilitation of access roads on both sides of the bridge is to be started.
Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

  • Merchandisers
  • Forum Whore
  • *
  • Bike: Honda TransAlp XL700V
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 9,418
  • Thanked: 320 times
Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #205 on: January 21, 2011, 12:17:52 pm »
So the bridge was opened in May 2010, we had arrived almost 6 months after it had been opened and I can tell you there was nothing happening and we began to understand why there was so little information on the bridge, it was slap bang in the middle of nowhere, a few houses and camps on one side and a guard hut on the other with nothing for 30km on either side.

After riding right up to the bridge we could see that 90% of the construction had been done.. YES !! we would at long last be able to cross over the river into Moz.. as usual the bikes attracted their fair share of attention, we managed to find one very happy oke who spoke English and pointed us in the general direction of the watering hole frequented by people passing through, he assured us that they would have rooms for us but upon enquiry it turned out the place was full.. business was good ! this did not help us. You have to understand that although we were at a bridge and there were buildings, we did not feel very safe.

The construction workers working on the bridge have very little to do all night except drink and with zero police force for a long way we were not very sure what to do. In the end the owner of the , dare we say Ďlodgeí offered us a patch of dirt in her back yard where we could pitch a tent.

This set the scene for one of our worst fights since Senga Bay in Malawi where I had a problem with Martin waking up too late, now, I have no idea what started it, I think it was because my tent was a few inches to the left but all hell broke loose with myself and Martin, after the shouting match of the trip finally ended we grabbed a few beers and tried to shrug it off but some things were said and we were both unhappy campers with each other. Sometimes after a hard days ride in the heat you just get frustrated, it is also a side effect of not being prepared, and yes having no maps contributes to this. Sometimes it gets you into situations you are not 100% comfortable with and then there is good old dehydration, exhaustion and hunger.. the smallest thing can set it off and within seconds your best pal is the biggest twat and you are hell bent on telling him all about it.

The said gent who referred us to the swell dwelling earlier returned a bit later with his girlfriend which calmed things down a bit, after all, we had a visitor. After a chat and a beer or 2 it was clear that his girlfriend was not very impressed with him drinking nor with us for offering alcohol to him, we buy her a coke to appease the lady love in his life alas it did not last long and the whipped lad bid us farewell all the while trying to look as cool as possible.
Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

  • Merchandisers
  • Forum Whore
  • *
  • Bike: Honda TransAlp XL700V
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 9,418
  • Thanked: 320 times
Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #206 on: January 21, 2011, 12:23:40 pm »
At 1st light the next day we packed up in relative silence, the bliksem session from the night before left a bad taste, bruised egoís and a few battle scars, there was only one thing that would make this right.. a good ride ! It took us all of about 1km and we were best mates again thrilled with the Unity Bridge and our ability to not only find it but we were finally crossing the river into Moz. Northern Moz had been the big thorn in our side, we just had no idea what to expect and we were very worried about the rains although almost every farmer we had passed we found in their fields scratching their heads, most of them had already planted and there was just no rain.

Our problem with crossing a bridge in the middle of nowhere is that there was nothing.. no border crossing for starters, I always ride in front, so looking ahead I didínt see anything, ok, there was a rusty old STOP sign but we never took notice of them, so I roared off into the distance, nothing except a massive strip of tar in front of me. About 1km later Martin overtook me signaling like a wild man for me to stop.. apparently there was a guard on the other side and he had to stamp our passports, his hut was so small I missed it. Never the less he had a rubber stamp and this was considered to be important.. awesome, we waited 4 days for a carnet and we didínt need it. To top it off the guard instructs us in Portuguese to travel 260km in a direction we had no intention of heading to get the proper documents stamped again.. we smiled and rode off ignoring his request figuring that we were in the middle of nowhere and we would be able to explain our situation if need be.. both of us were all smiles, we were in Moz, and we were heading for the coast again.

Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

  • Merchandisers
  • Forum Whore
  • *
  • Bike: Honda TransAlp XL700V
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 9,418
  • Thanked: 320 times
Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #207 on: January 21, 2011, 01:15:53 pm »
Well, it seemed that way for about 5km.. the tar stretch of highway came to an end, infront of us was.. well.. forrest !!  :imaposer: we could not believe it, there was no road, no gravel road, no mud path, not even a foot path, it was 100% rain forrest.

We stood around and took some photo's and decided the best thing to do was go back and ask where the road was..




one teenie problem, the guard did not speak english. So we had to draw pictures in the sand, a technique we soon found out we would become very good at. For anyone travelling Northern Moz.. take along a phrase book or something similar, communicating became a big issue.

After a while of drawing pictures we finally figured out that about half way along the strip of tarmac you had to dive off to the right, there would be a dirt road there whicj lead through the forrest.

Take 2.. we only found it because we saw a chap pop out of the forrest, wondering where he came from we went closer and sure enough we found a road, if you could really call it that.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 03:38:55 pm by Fuzzy Muzzy »
Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

  • Merchandisers
  • Forum Whore
  • *
  • Bike: Honda TransAlp XL700V
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 9,418
  • Thanked: 320 times
Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #208 on: January 21, 2011, 03:35:13 pm »
Many hours or riding along these roads, paths and tracks started to take their toll, it was very humid and hot, I was not prepared for the heat and frequently suffered from heat stroke. On our way heading to the coast i just had to stop, I could not ride anymore. I had fallen in some very deep sand about 500m back, picking up the bike was murder but we pushed on, at the 1st sign of shade I was done for !!



I could hardly stand here, for the 1st time since we started this trip I could not ride another second. Martin could not help capturing my buggered state.

« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 03:36:01 pm by Fuzzy Muzzy »
Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

  • Merchandisers
  • Forum Whore
  • *
  • Bike: Honda TransAlp XL700V
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 9,418
  • Thanked: 320 times
Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #209 on: January 21, 2011, 04:01:32 pm »
Unfortionately the road to the coast is bumpy and we were just keen to get there so we did'nt stop and take many photo's, I can say that if you have the opportunity to get her are ride around it is well worth it. Especially through Mocimboa do Rovuma through to Bomera.

We knew we were close to the coast again, all of a sudden, out of nowhere.. ahhh ! thank the sweet lord, tar. Again, it was quite surreal as far as experiences go, we would ride for 30min before we maybe saw one truck or car, then another 30min..



Stopping for a rest and some water,, it is a beautiful part of the world. Again, the extent of deforestation in these parts is shocking, you would be in the middle of a massive forest then for km there would just be stumps. Illegal logging here is rife.



We hit Mocimboa de Praia.. we were at the coast !! a few cold ones were waiting at a lovely bar overlooking the sea. Things were looking great.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2011, 04:19:43 pm by Fuzzy Muzzy »
Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline Baches

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: Yamaha Super Tenere
    Location: Namibia
  • Posts: 1,553
  • Thanked: 4 times
Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #210 on: January 21, 2011, 06:16:21 pm »
Respect !! Petrol doesn't seem to be hard to find !!
Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere
Yamaha YZ 450 F
KTM 690 Enduro R
 

Offline GO GIRL

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: KTM 950 Adventure
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 2,512
Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #211 on: January 21, 2011, 09:03:27 pm »
This has been really great reading, what a thoroughly enjoyable RR... :thumleft:
 

Offline White Rhino

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS HP2
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 3,918
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Save the White Rhino
Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #212 on: January 22, 2011, 07:24:14 am »
Those underwater pics look amazing!

Still locked in. Loving the "well let's see what happens".

This is proper adventure. Roll on...
I'd rather have a full bottle in front of me than a full frontal lobotomy
Nothing clears the head like a throttle twisted and the fresh air on the tip of the nose

Beta 300RR, WR450 Rallye, KTM990 Adv, HP2, HPN635, 1200GS LC
 

Offline Billbob

  • Deleted Users
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Bike: BMW R1200GS
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 614
  • Live and let live (to a point)
Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #213 on: January 22, 2011, 08:54:52 am »
Good one :thumleft: Keep it coming pleeez ;D
1200GS
 

Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

  • Merchandisers
  • Forum Whore
  • *
  • Bike: Honda TransAlp XL700V
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 9,418
  • Thanked: 320 times
Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #214 on: January 24, 2011, 09:48:16 am »
Traveling through Northern Moz was turning out to be awesome, the only real problem we were experiencing besides getting lost on many occasions was the massive language barrier, Martin and I would become increasingly frustrated with not being able to find out where fuel was or a place to try and find food. We knew that getting on the coast was key to solving many of these problems as the costal towns were simply more developed as the sea provided food and development along old trade routes.

Sometimes the information from locals was misleading and they did this on purpose, especially when it came to finding fuel in remote parts. On this occasion Martin and I were running very low n fuel, according to all the information we were getting the next petrol station was about 150km away and we had enough fuel for maybe 30km. We had no choice but to buy black market fuel. Something we generally were not happy with, mainly because we had no idea what it had been mixed with to make it more profitable for the seller, but also because it cost in some cases more than double the price. We had no idea that the bikes would cause such an attraction, it started off with about 20 locals coming to check out the bikes and the numbers just swelled by the second, at one point it became a bit unsettling, we never felt in immediate danger but we had to be careful of being distracted while the opportunists helped themselves to whatever they could swipe off the bikes and disappear into the crowd.




Thankfully everything went off without a hitch and we had more than enough fuel to get us to the next major town.. what do you know, as we exited the village about 2km out was a brand new petrol station that had been open only a few days.. we were their 1st bike customers.



Although we couldnít help but feel ripped off by the locals we understood that this is what they do to survive. All we know is that we have fuel, food, water and daylight, all we need to carry on. Stunned at the stark contrast between filling up locally with black market fuel and moments later standing in a petrol ststion so new you could still smell the paint. THe petrol pump attendant was so nervous putting petrol in my bike I had to give him some advice and a bit of training, the oke was shaking so much he kept on missing - clearly it was his 1st time, poor oke.

 Although we couldnít help but feel ripped off by the locals we understood that this is what they do to survive. All we know is that we have fuel, food, water and daylight, all we need to carry on.

We hit Mocimboa de Praia fairly early, we were amazed at how we churned up the km, the road was simply awesome to ride throwing everything from mud to sand at us, but it was the long straight bits where you could really twist the ear and fly.. We hit the shore and rode up and down looking for a place to have some chow which was easy enough, we ordered some food and had a good laugh about the days riding which was full of events, everything to my very animated bos kuk to Martin nearly being wiped out by a bush pig and her young who darted across the road right in front of him Ė it was sooo close !!. the view of the ocean was a welcome sight.



Martin having a chat with the owner after she gave a local a snot klup for coming into her establishment drunk. We were there on a weekend and apparently this one oke was a well known trouble maker. All I know id that the bar counter was one of the best I had ever seen.



« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 10:08:04 am by Fuzzy Muzzy »
Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

  • Merchandisers
  • Forum Whore
  • *
  • Bike: Honda TransAlp XL700V
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 9,418
  • Thanked: 320 times
Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #215 on: January 24, 2011, 10:34:31 am »
It was always our intention to stay here and move on in the morning but with daylight still burning we decided that if we hauled ass down the coast we could possibly make Pemba, it was going to be tight even if everything went 100%, if the roads slowed us down or we had a puncture, this would see us enter Pemba in the dark, something I hated with a passion. Our problem.. we had no currency, we had tons of Tanzanian Shillings but nobody accepted them.

We needed to hit Pemba so that we could find a bank and try to exchange some currency, something that is always a frustration. Banks in Mozambique will not change Tanzanian Shillings which stuffed us because when we were in Tanzania and we had no money they will not give you Moz Meticals if you begged on both knees and they will only give you Dollars if you have a plane ticket, so sorry for you if you are traveling by bike. We didínt know this when we wired enough money to Mtwara to last us the rest of the trip, we thought we could exchange it anyway we wanted, there is a host of other exchange rules that can get frustrating but as always in Africa you can make a plan. In our case, we had a ton of Tanzanian Shillings with no way to spend it. The guys who deal in black market currency rip you off but in many cases we had no choice. Finding currency solutions can take time and cost money, this is one area I would really research and do better with next time.

We had to go on local information of raod conditions here, Mos was ravaged by floods a few years back, not to mention a small war which simply stuffed their roads, by all indications going along the coast through Quitarajo to Pemba was a shorter distance but it was made clear it was suicide and we would never make it. Ordinarily this would put a grin on our face and we would do it anyway, but everyone we spoke to gave us the same information. With daylight not waiting for us we chickened out and took the 246 down through Chai and Macomia. When we hit Sunate we turned East and headed to Pemba.. we needed this town, it was our lifeline.

Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

  • Merchandisers
  • Forum Whore
  • *
  • Bike: Honda TransAlp XL700V
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 9,418
  • Thanked: 320 times
Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #216 on: January 24, 2011, 10:43:57 am »
We had been riding freaking hard in some sandy conditions which was made insane by heat reaching over 35 degrees. From fearing the rain we had ended up wishing for it. As predicted we arrived in Pemba in the dark, we were really surprised to find a massive beach party in full swing on the main beach, ordinarily this would make me excited, but after a long ride, not knowing where we are yet alone where we would sleep and now having to dodge drunk partygoers in the dark was a mission with my tinted visor, even with the visor up there are no street lights to speak of so dodging darkies was a mission, to make it worse the road turns from tar to deep sand !! aargh, you canít go fast or you are bound to whack someone and slow was torture.

At long last we are advised to find Russels Place, apparently a big hang out for South Africans who work out this way and a stop over for many travelers, we find the gate, enter and just smile as we find one of the nicest bars we have seen. Awesome spot, the bikes roaring up in the dark attracted the attention of everyone, nearly falling off the bikes when we stopped from sheer exhaustion did nothing for the ego but I was too tired to care..

Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

  • Merchandisers
  • Forum Whore
  • *
  • Bike: Honda TransAlp XL700V
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 9,418
  • Thanked: 320 times
Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #217 on: January 24, 2011, 10:46:43 am »
We got a good few greetings from South Africans who are there having pizza and beers and the night becomes one of telling tales, gaining valuable information and eventually setting up camp.

The next day was admin day, we needed supplies, foreign exchange and we needed to find out who was going to stamp our passports and carnets, we were now well into Moz and besides a small rubber stamp from some guard in a hut sitting next to a bridge, we didínt really have the formalities done. We tried the international airport but no luck, after following some advice from a South African working in Pemba we hit the port. The doom and gloom prediction he gave us turned out to be crap and we breezed in and out of the customs office with no problems at all.

The 1st thing that really struck us as we hit Russels place was equal and instant.. white people ! the one group had kids.. it has been almost 50 days since we had seen white kids with blonde hair, it was cool and made me miss my boy. The other thing that really stood out was the massive mentality change, all of a sudden we were sitting with people who were arrogant, had a sense of entitlement and although they were not native to the area felt like they owned it, they felt that without their gift to humankind the blacks in the area would not survive or would not have what they do.  The racial undertone was a bit of a culture shock. After being so close to families in Malawi and Tanzania and spending a lot of time with lodge owners who rely on the community for their success and who support local customs and traditions I could not help wonder why this mentality existed here.

Be that as it may, Russels Place is awesome and I would go back anyday.













Ahhh, this oke.. part time barman, part time spliff roller, part time trouble maker.. awesome chap and full of laughs.

Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

  • Merchandisers
  • Forum Whore
  • *
  • Bike: Honda TransAlp XL700V
    Location: Western Cape
  • Posts: 9,418
  • Thanked: 320 times
Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #218 on: January 24, 2011, 10:49:49 am »
Martin was now coming under some pressure from the girlfriend to get back home, and I use the phrase Ďsome pressureí loosely. It was becoming a nightmare with phone calls now flooding in 2 or 3 times a day if not more with crisis after crisis for him to deal with, there was nothing he could do about any of them and he was getting frustrated.. women !!

I was lucky, I left my cell phone at home. Martin was not so lucky and soon it became evident that this was a problem that simply was not going to go away. He had been dating his woman for 12 years and the relationship now hung in the balance. Not really willing to give up such a long and strong willed relationship over a trip into Africa he made the commitment to be back in Cape Town by the 19th of December.. a commitment I was not happy with, I was only planning on being back sometime mid Jan as this trip would include riding all the way down the SA coast from cozi bay through the Drakensburg all the way down the garden route. Martin considered splitting up and riding off alone to chase a deadline. That is the best way to find trouble and is just crazy. After much discussion and frustrating deliberation we agreed to cut the trip short by about 12 days and agreed ( with much protest and shaking of fists ) to not hang about and take our time as we had been doing, we would now be riding like many of the guys who do these trips and increase our average km per day, this means in real terms that we would have about 10 days to get from the north of Moz back home in Cape Town.. squeezed into that I planned at least 2 or 3 dives looking for the illusive whale sharks on some rest days so this cut it to only a few days left.

For now it was time to rest up, go into town to get the banking issue sorted, buy supplies, wash the bikes and go south, further it was time for some decent food and beer. While we were indulging in pizza and beer we met so many people travelling North, this was great as we could now milk them for information on places to stay. We were told that The Island of Mozambique is a must see. It is a small coral island at the mouth of Mossuril Bay on the Nacala coast of northern Mozambique, first explored by Europeans, in the late 1400s.. it was done and dusted, this would be our next destination.

We also met a very interesting oke who was up from SA.. he was doing a lot of road work up here and we chatted about our experience crossing the Unity Bridge, we all laughed about how the tar comes to an end. He was one of the okes who made the dirt roads after that.. the story of the bush pig and the bos kuk came up as we roared on about our experiences.. the oke turned white !! with a look of shock and horror on his face he asked.. " I hope you did'nt go more than 3m off the road for that bos kuk !!" I mentioned thet there was a fallen tree about 15m off the road which made for an excellent seat.. " I just ask" he croaks " because when we make the roads they only clear for landmines 3m on either side and that area is full of mines".. we all went a little silent.

Russels Place.. interesting place and well worth the visit.


« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 10:58:58 am by Fuzzy Muzzy »
Africa trip, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & Moz rr http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=61231.0
 

Offline Soundboi

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Bike: BMW F800GS
    Location: Gauteng
  • Posts: 1,013
  • Ninja Style
Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #219 on: January 24, 2011, 10:58:12 am »
Awesome  :drif:
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

Current Bikes: BMW F800GS, BMW G650 X Challenge, PGO PMX 110,  Vespa Piaggio PX 150