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Author Topic: Africa our way !! ( Complete...... or is it? )  (Read 45228 times)

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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #220 on: January 24, 2011, 11:21:26 am »
At long last we had sorted out all our money troubles.. we could pay our bill, what a relief!  :eek7: We had now overstayed, time was not on our side and we made plans to split. It was tough leaving Pemba, it is an awesome spot.

Leaving Pemba on the tar road.. I think. The sign says N1  ???, not following maps I have no idea, I think it is the EN1 but i was convinced we were on the 106 leaving Pemba.. not sure



We had a short days ride planned although we had hoped for some nice off road conditions, if it failed badly we would be able to double back and go on the main tar drag that heads south. I think we only had about 150km planned for the day, but the plan was to hit Island de Mozambique and explore the island in the afternoon, sleeping over there and heading off the next day.

I have no words for the road to lle de Mozambique, you have to go ride it yourself, WOW !! We hit a small place called Naguema and from there it was tar all the way to lle de Moz.. my eyes did a dance when I saw that we would cross one of the longest bridges to get there.



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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #221 on: January 24, 2011, 11:33:11 am »
Nothing and I mean nothing can prepare you for this place.. it builds up so much emotion within you in such a short period of time.

The Island of Mozambique bears important witness to the establishment and development of the Portuguese maritime routes between western Europe and the Indian subcontinent. The town and the fortifications on the island and spectacular, and on the smaller island of St Laurent, are an outstanding example of an architecture in which local traditions and Portuguese influences are everywhere. At one point you can see it was simply magnificent and you can't help it but picture what people were doing when it was in it's prime !

Inhabited by a Bantu tribe now, it is sad to see the reality of what it has become as squatters now inhabit what used to be, in some cases magnificent courtyards>

I had to look up a bit of history surrounding the place :  "the territory of Mozambique was occupied around AD 900 by Arabs who set up trading posts. In their search for a maritime route to India to avoid Muslim forces, the Portuguese decided to go around the continent of Africa. King John II (1481-95) sent Bartolomeu Dias to explore the African coast. Sailing beyond the coast of the Congolese kingdom, the great navigator rounded the extreme southern tip of Africa, unaware of the feat he had accomplished. It was not until his return that he discovered the 'Cape of Storms', which John II renamed Cape of Good Hope.

Manuel I (1495-1521) ordered Vasco da Gama to continue the search for a maritime route. Leaving Lisbon in July 1497, he reached the Island of Mozambique on 2 March 1498, where he was well received by the sultan and the people, who thought the Portuguese were Muslims. During his second voyage, he occupied the territories of present-day Mozambique and returned to Lisbon in 1503 laden with gold."


Some years later, Mozambique had become one of Portugal's principal ports and trading posts on the sea route to India. The first fortress, St Gabriel, was built in 1507. At the end of the 17th century, after enjoying strong economic expansion, the town with its fortifications, along with the smaller island of St Laurent, went into a period of decline. In the second half of the 18th century, the economy was revived by the slave trade.

In 1898 the capital of Mozambique (the Portuguese colony) was transferred to Laurenšo Marques (Maputo), considerably slowing down the economy of the town on the island of Mozambique. The town had developed unequally over some 400 years. Less than half of it was built from stone, a little more than a quarter in macuti (straw), with the remainder being the various fortifications.




















« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 11:36:20 am by Fuzzy Muzzy »
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #222 on: January 24, 2011, 11:35:40 am »
The llha fortim de Sao Lourenco looks like it rises out of the water.

« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 11:46:52 am by Fuzzy Muzzy »
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #223 on: January 24, 2011, 12:08:04 pm »
We spent that afternoon exploring the island with the help of a very young lad !! I still don't know where his mom was, but these lighties are very enterprising. In order to make some bucks they offer to escort you wherever you want to go, so while we were riding our bikes around he was either following us or leading the way. At one point he bacame a bit anoying so we decided to ditch him and darted off with a blast.. ha !! never, within a few blocks he had taken a shortcut and had caught up again.

We found a place to stay that was in budget and it was frankly crap, but it was just a bed for the night and teh bikes were safe. lle De Mozambique was a treat and worth the visit.. of all the places we visited this place is still very vivid in my memory bank.

The following morning we had no real plans, it was one of those days where we just decided to ride and see where we end up, as long as we were going south it was fine. We started up the bikes, twisted their ears and got out of there looking forward to a full days riding. We had little or no information on anything in the area, we may have missed some lekker places, but off we went. The idea was at about 3pm to look for the nearest town and settle in for the night.. little did we know that not having a plan can end up in disaster.

« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 12:08:45 pm by Fuzzy Muzzy »
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #224 on: January 24, 2011, 01:51:02 pm »
Moz has something like 2500 or 3000km of shore line, it is vast and unpredictable, I swear you could spend 3 months exploring this shore line and not even come close to visiting everything. That was the case with this part of the trip, it just seemed like we were passing jewels but there was nothing we could do about it, if you had to stop for everything we simply would never get home and nor would you want to , it is a gorgeous stretch of beach.

Moz is full of interesting places but you can sure see the effects of the War out this way, development has taken a large step back, deforestation is rife and everything can be sorted out by slipping over a few notes. For this reason it was fair to say we started to skip some places we ordinarily would have stopped at in countries like Malawi. the people are friendly enough but there is something lacking in Moz, I can't put my finger on it, I am not sure if it comes down to a 'vibe'.. in Malawi there was a collective happiness even though times are tough, in Moz it is like there is an underlying current of sadness although everyone will make time for you and will be friendly, maybe because feeding their families depend on it.

As things turned out we really did not have much of a plan for the days riding, all we knew is that we would ride until we saw something we liked or until the sun went down. Our plan not to plan failed dismally on us on this day as we wondered a little off direction, well so it seemed.. we were just having so much fun riding in this region we simply did a crap job of gathering information. Stuff my 3pm cutoff for finding a place to stay, by 4pm we were in the middle of , well, who knows where. Short on food supplies, short on fuel and short on daylight, just the mix of things that makes me happy - not !! Again I stress children, after a long days ride, don't pick a fight with your riding partner over things he has no control over, like a sinking sun! It is a display of how to achieve nothing.. instead just nod, agree and enjoy the situation.. one day when you sit back in your armchair at home, bored to death, kids screaming, wife burning the food while the lawn needs mowing and the car needs servicing.. you will look back on your trip and wonder why you picked a fight in the middle of nowhere about a setting sun !

Eventually we figured out more or less where we were and were directed away from the westerly swamp lands we were heading towards and turned south. We headed in the general direction and found a few villages and small towns, we thankfully found fuel which sorted that out but dismally we did not find a place to stay so we headed onwards using up the bit of daylight we had left until we saw a sign " Gongorosa National Park" we were out of time and out of ideas, the sign had a little tent on it so we were pretty sure we would be able to find a spot.

Riding into the park was another one of those awesome experiences, awesome dirt roads through a forest with the dying sun creating a fantastic light display through the trees. About 15km later we came across the main gates and were welcomed by the park guards.. however, not only had they closed for the day bt even if they were open there was no way bikes would be allowed inside. This made foe a bad situation, the campsight was 2km in from the gates and was quite secure from wild animals but the park rules were very clear about bikes. We were in a jam, we had no daylight left to ride in and the roads were just too dangerous at night, never mind the animals, the potholes will highside you in a second.





After a bit of negotiation we all became mates and they allowed us to camp outside the gates and offered us the use of their water supply from a tank as well as their fire to cook on. I need to mention that the fire was inside a small room to the one side, It felt like being inside a burning building but we could not make our own fire so with a smile I endured 2nd degree burns and a collapsed lung from all the smoke.. when all was said and done we at least had a camp, some food and water and some of Mozambiques finest tobbacco to smoke.





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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #225 on: January 24, 2011, 01:54:57 pm »


Armed with new information from passing tourists in the area we figured just how far inland we were and made a bee line for Beira which was where we were supposed to have spent the night before.. oops!  :imaposer:
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #226 on: January 24, 2011, 02:09:35 pm »
Once we got our orientation we figured it was not as bad as it seemed, we were not that far from Beira, once we were on the road I told Martin that we coudl skip Beira which was one of the places I remember having family holidays when I was a jellytot, I was much more keen to hit Bazaruto which was easily within striking distance and we were guaranteed to get some diving in !!.. and so it was that we found ourselves once again with full bellies, full tanks and not a care in the world.. well I did'nt, Martin was still fending off his girlfriend.





We wasted no time once we found the EN1.. ahh, tar and a good day. We passed through places like Chiboma past the Rio Save Game Reserve and onto Pambarra where we turned towards the coast and headed to Vilankulos following the citi golfs packed with college students hanging out the windows. Ok, I saw one car with sexy babes in it and created my own reality.




« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 02:12:00 pm by Fuzzy Muzzy »
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #227 on: January 24, 2011, 02:30:15 pm »
ok, for anyome who has not been to Vilankulos.. for the love of everything awesome, just GO! what a lovely spot.

Quite popular with South Africans we hooked up with 2 gorgeous babes from Stellenbosch but by far the most interesting okes were a group of travellers who had just spent 6 months in South America and were now heading up through Africa.. I coudl have spoken to them for weeks and it is because of one 4 hour conversation one night that I am convinced that my next big bike trip will be from Central to South America, without doubt!

Vilankulos itself is a great little town, Martins Back tyre was on its last legs, we managed to find a guy who owned a tyre exchange place on the side of the road, we had to give him a lift home but somehow he dug out an old second hand tyre that was better than the one Martin had. We found our camping spot for the night, right next door to a dive shop.. woo hoo.. all was well.

Some images from Vilankulos.













We loved Vilankulos so much we stayed an extra day just to take it all in, this is not a place you want to just pass through in 2 hours. Unfortionately the okes at the dive place were idiots, I was so excited to go for a dive but they wanted a min of 4 people, deposits, perfect weather.. blah blah. Even when I found 2 other people to join us there was an issue so with a big fat middle finger i left them aolne. We did hear that the whale sharks were moving south and heading for Tofo, so we made that a destination to dive.

Vilankulos has some awesome resturants, prawns for Africa, great beaches.. lovely. We met a chap from SA there who loved the place so much he flew there in his plane, bringing along his daughters and their boyfriends for a dive.. divorced and full of bucks, but a great oke, we had fun getting him so trashed he could hardly stand.. enjoy your dive tomorrow bud!
« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 03:01:36 pm by Fuzzy Muzzy »
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #228 on: January 24, 2011, 03:18:30 pm »
It was so cool to meet up with so many travellers again, we had mostly been on our own for the last few days, many of the overland trucks pass straight through Northern Moz or head through Malawi, but we were finally getting to the bottom bits and travellers were starting to picth up, this gave us access to some information that was somewhat a lot more reliable than local information, now that I think about it I may have messed up the story about the one petrol stop as now that I think about it it happened somewhere about here..

anyway.. we were looking forward to the next leg, basically down through Massinga to Baia de Inhambane and onto Praia Tofo, whil ewe were there we would take a spell offroad to Miramar to have a peek at the end of teh bay, see what the fuss is all about.
It would end up being a short day , only about 300km for the day, and all tar, so it was a lekker ride, taking it easy and taking it all in.

Inhambane is fantastic, you can see it is really becoming a holiday destination for South Africans as we start to come across more and more of the god damn aweful 4 x 4's with blow up pool toys stuffed up against the windows. That being said, you can understand why, awesome beaches, good accomodation and food is offered and the diving is magnificient.

This is what you get .. relaxation


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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #229 on: January 24, 2011, 03:22:16 pm »
Tofo.. what a place, we mainly went there to take on a dive, I was after giant manta rays and whale sharks, we chatted to some okes who had dived the day before and they had seen both so I was super excited. After catching a camp at a really awesome place in Tofo the next day we headed for a dive and some well deserved resturant food.. I was going to post the pictures of the menu, I think I counted 23 spelling mistakes on it, we could not help but laugh.



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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #230 on: January 24, 2011, 03:41:08 pm »
I remember reading on WD that a chap wanted to ride to Xai Xai, so all dived out for the time being - by the way I never did see whale sharks much to my dissapointment, the dive was spectaculer never the less and I hope to return to these areas one day to dive again.

So I could not help but think Xai Xai must have something special in it in order for a WD to go there, on the way we were just haviong a blast riding every road we came across.. this is the reason why I think the Haidanu K60 rear tyres are the biggest pieces of shit ever made, I dare anyone to tell me differently, I beg anyone, pick with me on this.. The Haidanu K60 IS A PIECE OF SHIT! I put a brand new one on before I left, it did exactly the same thing just into Malawi. So 2 for 2 the tyre failed.

The tyres tear long before any tread has gone..



So distraught and having used up all our spare tyres we had to limp along for a lot of the day till we hit Xai Xai. Martin had some really old Tyre with him we could use in an emergency, it had no tread but it did not have a hole in it.. we figured we should just change it out and carry on. Now I mentioned earlier, if you get a puncture or have to change a tyre just do it yourself, but in 35 degree heat and being a bit lazy and flustered I opted to have it done for me, bad move. I could hear the paint coming off my rims from over the road. I did'nt care, I was pissed off with the tyres performance and it was hot, I was just happy I could carry on, Xai Xai never got explored because of this delay.



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Offline Baches

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #231 on: January 24, 2011, 03:56:04 pm »
Excellent Muzzy !!!  :thumleft:
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #232 on: January 24, 2011, 04:04:30 pm »
We did have a long discussion while in Xai Xai as to where to go to from here.. I wanted to go to Maputo. A few years ago I went to Inhaca and I wanted to go again, from there I wanted to go to St Lucia, but it was not to be.. we were heading for Martin's moms place and the start of the whole trip nearly 60 days earlier - Nelspruit.

It would nearly be the end of the rr except for one event that nearly changed everything, Komatiepoort !! as we headed through Moz to komatiiepoort all was well, it was in our sight, a lovely full sunny day. As I headed to the post I saw a building on my left, i for some reason thought that this is where we had to stamp our passports and carnets so I pulled over to the side of the road, Msrtin followed me, I signalled to him that we have to turn around and check it out and we both did a u turn. On the side of the road where we pulled over was an official on his cell phone leaning against his car, I glanced at him thinking he would point us in the right direction, then I looked at  the building which was elevated up a bank, I could see a big truck coming down from there along a dirt road, so I crossed over the road building up speed to hit the dirt road.. all I heard was screeching breaks.. I looked up and saw a white Hilux 4 x 4 about 3m from me swerving out the way, I did'nt have time to even react I just closed my eyes. The car missed me by inches.. he must have been doing at least 120km/h.. I stopped my bike on the opposite side of the road.. Martin was following me.. he could hardly get off his bike.. he ran up to me and gave me a huge hug, already crying, he could hardly speak.. the official who saw this happen right in front of him was shaking so badly he could hardly hold his phone..

"I thought you were gone for sure' is all Martin coudl say to me, later he said he had no idea how that driver missed me, it was that close.. From what I understand it was all my fault, I simply crossed over the road without even looking. Thinking about it afterwards I know that it was from riding so many deserted roads for so long, you just dont think!

It was nearly a fatal end to a long trip. I am not going to write on our trip back to CT, most okes know that way, in any case we did'nt ride, we took the train from JHB - CT and spent hours chatting about the whole experience. It was life changing for the both of us and was full of drama, advenutre and total enjoyment even through the bad times. To finish off I will post pics of the bike restoration, the Honda Transalp was an awesome bike to travel with, not a seconds mechanical problem the whole trip.


« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 04:09:03 pm by Fuzzy Muzzy »
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Offline White Rhino

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #233 on: January 24, 2011, 04:51:22 pm »
Really damned inspiring and such a good literary journey. I keep looking at the calandar to find dates where I can head out to the north of Mozo!

Thanks for such a great report!!
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Offline Ian in Great Brak River

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #234 on: January 24, 2011, 06:49:51 pm »
Stunning RR !! TG you were not totalled by that bakkie...

Thanks for sharing, it's been a magnificent read.

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Offline ernies

Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #235 on: January 24, 2011, 09:15:42 pm »
Fuzzy Muzzy, thanks for sharing an excellent ride report.
 ;)
 

Offline zetman

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #236 on: January 24, 2011, 10:30:16 pm »
Nooo... it cant be finished what happend to martin and his girl?... and did they live happily ever after...
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Offline yahoo

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #237 on: January 25, 2011, 02:56:13 am »
Listen boet, thanks a million for this I know how much effort goes into these rr's.

All being well, we're doing southern africa anti clockwise starting mid-May and after stumbling on your trip 2 days ago I could'nt stop reading. I am now well and truely fired up for this. Who know's when we end up in CT we might have to say a personal thank you with a few beers!

Definately a "Roll of honour" candidate.

Cheers!
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #238 on: January 25, 2011, 10:16:43 am »
Thanks very much.. yeah an epic rr like this is a labour of love but it was really cool doing this and I enjoyed every bit of writing it, remember the ride was done a year ago, since we have been back we have done 'The Revenge of Namibia" you can find Waynans rr. It was just cos my mates kept on bugging me that I did this rr. I had to really dig deep and try to remember where we went and what we did because so much of what we did was by the seat of our pants and unplanned but as I got back into it everything all came back to me.. i am still a bit sad that we never made it to Uganda but all in all it worked out well.

What I try to express to people I know who are not bike riders is that trips like this just simply change who you are, you stop sweating the small stuff and really start to appreciate what you have because the people you meet and the places you go have so much less than you do at home. For sure the Africa trip was a teenage dream of mine. No regrets.

All I can say to okes thinking of doing a trip of 60 days plus is to just go for it.. don't wait, don't delay, don't overplan.. you will love every second of it even if you find yourself in a deserted place with no fuel, no food and a puncture. Everything can work out if you use common sence and don't take hectic risks. The people you meet change your mindset and the places you see alter your reality.

Getting home was awesome, we had some friends waiting for us and special braai's were organised because so many people wanted to know all about it. Stories were told for months afterwards.

For me personally it was a tough trip emotionally and I did not go too much into this in the rr. My fiance and I had split a few monthe before the trip and I was having a hard time with getting to grips with the situation, the trip was also my way of getting out there into a different environment and finding myself, who I am.. you get so bogged down with daily life, work, commitments and the daily slog that i wanted to get back to raw living and reconnect with who I was.. I am just so happy that I did this trip because it was mission successful in that regard. I had no contact with anyone for the whole trip except my son who i phoned twice. It was that total disconnect which made the whole trip so hectic spiritually for me.. I am pleased to report that whan I got back my ex and I knew that we just had to be together.. we started dating again as soon as I got back and we got engaged again 4 months ago.

Martin had a different experience personally and emotionally, he left when things were stressed with him and his GF, his business had failed and things were in a very rough state, so this trip for him was for very different reasons. Upon his return he saved his relationship by getting back before Xmas and spending the holidays with his GF.. they have just sold their house in CT and are moving to JHB.. they are trying for a baby.

My next dream trip is Northern to Southern America in possibly 2013.

Happy riding guys, be safe out there and remember, we do this because we love it.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2011, 10:20:04 am by Fuzzy Muzzy »
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Offline Waynan

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #239 on: January 25, 2011, 10:31:29 am »
Awesome stuff bud simply Awesome stuff!  :ricky: