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Author Topic: Africa our way !! ( Complete...... or is it? )  (Read 42649 times)

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Offline JMOL

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #60 on: December 13, 2010, 08:22:31 pm »
Bad way to end a trip  :o
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Offline Heimer

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #61 on: December 13, 2010, 10:55:03 pm »
That is the kind of ending that we all dread. Sorry to hear about your bad luck. Your writing and pictures are excellent.

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Offline Husky Boy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #62 on: December 13, 2010, 11:04:22 pm »
I suppose that's why your mom never wanted you to have a bike...in fear of this, but you can't overcome if you do not face it! Well done and all the best! Thanks for sharing this adventure - we need to understand that sometimes things don't work out, it's a reality, not all trips have happy endings, but it keeps things real!
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Offline White Rhino

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #63 on: December 14, 2010, 07:11:42 am »
Sad ending to a great adventure. Look forward to your next trip, I enjoy your writing style.
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Offline letsgofishing

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #64 on: December 14, 2010, 07:55:45 am »
Man, what a kak ending to what promised to be a great adventure!
Really sorry to read this  :'(
There is nothing you can do about the past and you can't predict the future...all you have is the now...live it to the fullest.

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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #65 on: December 14, 2010, 08:52:38 am »
lol.. not an ending to the trip.. just the beginning trust me.

And so it was.. now it is hard to go through the emotions of what you feel when this happens, you blame yourself that is for sure.. bottom line, no one made me crash, it all came down to skill and experience. I feel terrible for Wayne, I  put myself in his position and it is hardly the experience he signed up for, but kudos to him, if there was any complaining from his side I didn’t hear it. A true friend, I can’t say it often enough.. thank you ! If I can give any advice to anyone traveling away from home.. write down a list in big bold red writing of things to do in event of an accident. It is amazing what shock and pain does, you just don’t think clearly and I made many mistakes, not getting immediate medical assistance was a mistake I messed up procedure which led to such a fight with the insurance company eventually leading to nothing being paid out, no matter how prepared I thought I was, it could have been better.

Waiting for evac was torture, there was nothing I could do with my foot that made anything feel comfortable, walking to the loo was just too painful so I would pee into a bottle and take a few loads to the loo at the same time, it sounds gross but trust me the embarrassment of walking to the loo with a days worth of pee is something you suck up with glee as every painful step reminds you of what an idiot you were.. on top of that, when we sat talking about what happened and what I could have done differently, it comes to pass that my foot probably finds itself in the state it’s in because of the panniers.. they are just too dangerous. I go through all my gear.. My jacket’s zip has been ripped and I have a hole in my shirt that matches the hole in my back.. My helmet is toast but it did a stand up job, I had a tear on a glove but the rest of the gear holds up, thank goodness I was wearing my Thor knee guards, they saved my legs big time. These events convince me that I need better boots.. much better.

Around the fire Wayne tells me the story from behind me. He hit the same 1st patch I did but he did’nt open up.. he stopped.. HUH ! he thought he had a puncture so he slowed down to check it out, by the time he hit the second patch he was going much slower.. I am glad for his fortune, we would be in a serious situation if we both went down ! At this stage I am pretty much relying on Wayne for everything and he does an awesome job.
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #66 on: December 14, 2010, 08:53:34 am »
We had time to discuss the situation we were now in, Martin was supposed to be one day behind us, we were on day 5 and he was still in SA, there was no way he was going to catch us as we stretched our legs in Nam, it looks like we were doing the nam tour solo but it did’nt matter now, for the time being we were happy that Martin was still in CT or we would have been stumped on how to get home.. I did’nt think to check that insurance indeed covered evac from countries you don’t reside in.. Hindsight is a bitch.

Martin in the mean time launched himself into the rescue mission low flying to us in record time, he was not sure what to expect, he just knew I was down and needed help, when he arrived at base camp I was sooo happy, “ dude, you are my hero” we packed up and headed home. Martin had been up for 2 straight days so Wayne took the lion’s share of driving back as Martin slept, we managed to bundle both bikes on the trailer and we had a one-way ticket home.

Well, I had a stuffed up foot, that much is true, what happened sucked but it was time to get to work because my bike was just as stuffed, and last time I checked nobody really mentioned the words “ it’s over”, I may have thought that as I lay on the road, but it was far from over..

When we got back the bikes got pulled into the workshop.. sigh, what a mess. I entrusted William who helped me prep my bike with the repairs.. “ dude, just patch it so it goes.. we are not hanging around” I brief him.. but I can see that it is not going to be that easy.. luckily the damage was not that hectic, the back end was 100’s, the front end was a bit like spaghetti, but no structural damage, the forks were not even bent, even the front wheel was perfect. The bike looks like it flipped up and landed square on the nose taking out the fairings, headlight, screen, dash and the tank had a nasty bash on it.. the handle bars looked like a boomerang and there were a few leavers and mirrors missing.. so there was a bit to do and it smashes the budget.

handle bars done.. now the rest


« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 09:11:07 am by Fuzzy Muzzy »
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #67 on: December 14, 2010, 08:54:27 am »
While the bike was being bashed back into shape, I had a sit-down with Martin.. “ Dude, those panniers don’t work on 3 levels.. 1. They are heavy, 2. They are dangerous and 3.. mine is broken beyond repair so I want a new set, but made in cloth..”, the reply was music to my ears.. “ dude, I hear you, leave it to me” anyone who knows Martin would be screaming.. GO BUY SOMETHING !! but time I had, and I had a bill coming my way for bike repairs, another R3k for awesome boots and a R3k neck brace made the check list, there is no way I was taking that chance again, it could have turned out so much worse. For this I was thankful, but now the budget was well and truly in its chops.

I, in the mean time was having more trouble with my foot than I could ever imagine, it just wasn’t healing. Week 1, week 2 week 3 and it was just as swollen as the day I crashed, something else must be wrong. I am one of those okes who never go to the doctor, it must just fix itself and lets get on with it, but this was becoming a problem, I wanted to leave and I was still on crutches 3 weeks later, so after much gnashing of teeth I went to a physiotherapist, awesome !! for 2 hours I got flapped at about how if I had have taken better care of myself immediately after the crash it may have been healed by now, instead I had been tearing the ligament more and making it worse.. for fuck sakes.. I leave the physio with a list of exercises to do and I  got the feeling the physio was just like my mother. We wont even go into what my mom said about this whole thing, yet alone her reaction when I told her as soon as I can walk we are leaving again !! kids under 18 may read this.

I gave the foot another week and I just couldn’t take it anymore.. I called Martin.. dude, we are leaving, tomorrow !! “ you are freaking nuts dude, you cant walk, how can you ride?”, I knew he was right, but I didn’t care, we were leaving.. lets make a plan.
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Offline Brink

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #68 on: December 14, 2010, 09:04:02 am »
Good read with the suspense and all :mwink:
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #69 on: December 14, 2010, 09:09:44 am »
There was no way I could ride, I knew this.. just standing was painful, so we devised a plan. The idea would be to take the train from CT to JHB.. from there we would ride to Martins mom’s place in Nelspruit..aka new base camp. From there we would keep an eye on the foot and as soon as I could ride we would be out of there, in the mean time while we are sitting around we can finish those cloth panniers Martin was so busy with.. it sounded like a plan.. it was Game on !!! bring it.

Getting to the train was torture, I had to ride from my place in Bothasig to Town.. how was I supposed to do that ?? Well simple, wearing a sock.. my brother pushed me off from home and Martin caught me at the station.. we were off again. The bike looked.. um, fair, it was ok., I fitted second hand plastics, one blue and one black on the front.. but it worked, it was straight and it will have to do, it seemed silly to buy new ones only to leave on a 12 000km trek, they will come back a bit more polished. By sand, mud and grass...

Time to load the bikes.. gosh what a pain, but we eventually sort it all out loading procedure and it is time to load, we have to push the bikes onto the train ourselves and we have to tie them down ourselves.. we have 3 min.. lets go. Without thinking I grabbed my bike and pushed.. POP ! I felt what felt like 300 red-hot pokers stabbing me in my foot and right up my leg.. my eyes well up with the pain and I know what this means.. my foot is back to square one.. I have damaged it badly again. “ I must be insane” I think to myself.. If I go into Africa and I fall on this foot, I’m done for, is it worth the risk?” I didn’t know, for now we have a 24h train ride ahead of us and at least a few days at Martin’s mom’s house. Lets play it by ear, I have already loaded the fucking bike anyway. I was so angry with myself.. stupid idiot, just because I did’nt want some Transnet employee touching my bike.

The train pulls away, I should be happy, I should be shouting woo hoo’s at the top of my lungs, but the mood is somber.. myself and Martin look at my foot as it swells up like a balloon. “ I’m not gonna lie” says Martin, ‘That looks shit” I smile and lie to him that it looks worse than it looks, I know the chances of us leaving are slim to nil but I had never seen Nelspruit so lets go go go. I organize ice and my foot stays in an ice bucket for as much of the trip that it could survive.

Further pain medication was administered and we settled down ! train is such an awesome way to travel.






« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 09:15:08 am by Fuzzy Muzzy »
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #70 on: December 14, 2010, 09:31:49 am »
Martin’s mom is an absolute card, typical mom, full of worry, full of chirp, but I love this old duck.. she plants down OB’s like it’s OJ and I have a blast ripping her off and getting her to repeat herself, she does not mind in the slightest that we have just taken over her flat – shot !!.. we setup our new home. My foot has been on ice for the whole train trip, the ride to Nelspruit was like having surgery without an anesthetic but we were there and my foot was back in ice water.. all I could do was wait and watch Martin working his magic with a sewing machine. I pack, unpack and pack 50 times, ask me anything, I know where everything is.

Here is the old bag !! she was awesome.



Sitting with my foot in an ice bucket, not a happy camper !

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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #71 on: December 14, 2010, 09:35:38 am »
Even just sitting there was uncomfortable, at every chance i had my foot elevated !! Bored to death and checking out how much our wet weather gear looks like we are going to the moon !!



It took me a few days, but I eventually lost my mind, it was either suicide or leave, the good news is that I was finally getting to walk around, it was sore, but I was walking unassisted.. right, time to go ! It’s time to trust in our faith that it will all work out, worst case scenario is that we go home defeated, you did’nt hear of those stories but I am sure they existed, our chances were on a knives edge.

Martin said to me “ we can leave if you can get your boot on”.. “deal” I replied and I wasted no time in putting on my hiking boot !! “ That’s not what I meant” came a stern reply.. “lets go” enough waiting, I will be careful mom.. he relented and at 1st light we were outta here.. Nelspruit decided at the time to throw a few thundershowers our way so we took the time to try on our full wet weather gear ( something by the way which is a total waste of time.. towards the end you see a rain cloud, you ride through it, you get wet and on the other side you dry.. smelling a lot better, you can leave rain gear behind )
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #72 on: December 14, 2010, 09:40:23 am »
We had had enough time sitting around to discuss the new route.. it was simple, we had lost just over a month, this dealt a hammer blow to our original idea of going around lake Victoria, but we adopted the same attitude.. lets just see how it goes and lets see where the road takes us to, for now, lets head to southern Tanzania and take it from there, we both agreed that going up through Namibia from Nelspruit was not going to happen, so Botswana it is.. one photo to signal the restart and we were off. I could not even think of putting this stupid foot into my new boots so it was takkie on one foot for a while..

One last photo and we are OFF !! take 2.. yeeeee haaaaaa, I will take some photos of how the cloth panniers yurned out ! they worked wonders, much lighter but not as accessable !! in any event that was the last thing on our minds. We jsut wanted to beat the approaching thundershower and get the hell outta here.. next stop Lydenburg, Polokwane and up to Franscistown, there was little doubt that we wanted to make up for lost time a bit, but never compromising on our belief that we would not chase km.



« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 09:45:00 am by Fuzzy Muzzy »
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Offline GlenInk

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #73 on: December 14, 2010, 10:02:52 am »
Yes yes yes, I`m so glad this story is not over !  :ricky:
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #74 on: December 14, 2010, 10:10:55 am »
lol.. well sit back and enjoy, it may be a long rr.
 :thumleft: and lots of drama to come !!

Traveling through to the border we passed so many interesting places, we even met Madiba ! At a petrol station as we were asking for directions, he even showed us his ID book to prove it ! cheeky fellow, but at least his name really was Madiba. It even saw us having a conversation with a biker riding around with one arm.. with his wife as pillion !!

It was awesome to be on the road again...







« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 10:31:11 am by Fuzzy Muzzy »
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Offline Johnnie Bok

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #75 on: December 14, 2010, 10:47:41 am »
Hierdie RR gaan afgaan as 'n GROOTE!
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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #76 on: December 14, 2010, 11:23:24 am »
I think it was while we were going through Lydenburg that we came across Piet.. he was soo oexcited to see bikers come into his campsite and he rushed off as quick as a flash ! moments later we hear a thunderous row !! holy moly what is that.. he was busy bilding this Trike up from scratch, and what a beauty it was !!



I will forward details of this place later, I need info from Martin. I think it was in Polokwane !! awesome place, awesome people. We were supposed to camp but they had so many rooms available they gave to us as a 2 for the price of one .. well worth it !







A welcome bar.. pool table.. it was awesome, but we were still in SA, we had no intention of hanging around, our goal now was to move north and as quickly as we felt was reasonable without killing ourselves.. we knew we still had between 10 000 and 20 000km to go !!



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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #77 on: December 14, 2010, 11:30:01 am »
At last.. at last, we hit the little blue line that makes us different from Botswana !! we flew threw the paperwork and customs !! yebo baby, we were in a different country. Mentally for some reason that makes a big difference.

Unfortunately we were going to make up a little time in Botswana, it is a country that you can easily spend a month in, there are some awesome tracks, but I was in no shape to be bashing it off road for the time being. I am thinking it would be better to avoid the more technical routes for the time being. Also, without maps or GPS we were having trouble identifying exactly where bikes were allowed, some parks say yes some sy no !!

We rolled into Franscistown quite late, I had a tinted visor which made night riding impossible, we had a smoke right above a petrol tank which caused mild panic at a petrol station, grabbed a grub at the local Wimpy but we had nowhere to sleep, the place we were looking for was about 10km out of town according to our knowledge, but we had no idea where we were really so we ended up cruising the main road looking for a sign.. Enter into the mix a place called The Nest, the most overpriced rat hole we ever could have stumbled upon, but the problem with accommodation in towns is that you can’t just pitch a tent so you conform to cultural standards even if you would prefer a tent or even a park bench. Our bikes may not be there in the morning but guaranteed, with all the burgular bars, nobody was getting in ! what a view ! Either way, we had a hot shower and a bed.

The awesome view of the disease infested rat hole they call The Nest !! At least we did'nt have to start unpacking to pitch tent in the dark.. always a bonus !






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Offline Fuzzy Muzzy

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #78 on: December 14, 2010, 11:43:30 am »
 The general agreement of not taking technical routes went out the window fast as about 50km north of Nata we followed a sign that said Elephant Sands..

Sands was correct! And we were thrust into the deepest sand we had encountered.. ever!! Holy moly. Martin had dropped his bike for the 10th time and was just too exhausted to pick it up again.. my foot was pounding from trying to walk our way through the sand, besides I was off for the 4th time (or so )and I was finished.. for my experience and with the weight of the bike there was not going to be an easy way through this one, I pictured how the okes doing the Dakar would have chopped this road up in 2 seconds flat and I can’t help but feel overwhelmed... as we stood next to our bikes catching our breath we heard a van of sorts coming.. it was a couple of game rangers returning from collecting wood..”you are about 300m away guys”.. well, that is all we needed to hear and we were off again..

Rounding a corner we came across a watering hole ! YES YES YES !! I was elated!.. Elephants.. big ones, male bulls.. yes baby, we were exhausted but this for me was what it was all about, awesome stuff ! it was as wild as it got.. just as I thought we could sit and check them out for a while the worst thing possible happened, my bike began to overheat in the sand and the fans kicked in, the only thing is that the metal casing around the back of the fan had taken a small ding from a rock during the crash, so the fan kicked up a nails on a chalkboard scream.. um !! elephants apparently hate that noise ! WTF the Elephant opened up his ears and took a step towards us.. I turn and look at Martin who is behind me and he is already abandoning his bike, shot mate ! I can’t run.. afterwards while sitting next to a pool having a beer, I retell the tale of how I had absolutely no plan whatsoever if the elephant decided to charge me to a group of overlander tourists, leading to similar stories, which led to the bar, where we met the cameraman from “veldspore” I swear, who looks like a naughty Tolla van der Merwe and just as funny.. I have never laughed so much and went to bed totally trashed...

It is in interesting places like this where we met a couple who were government sponsored to go mapping in Ethopia for a year, fully kited in the biggest 4 x 4 I had ever seen, it was like a 10 ton land cruiser! It makes out tale of riding a bike seem as interesting as popping out to get milk, some okes just command respect.




Martin and the Barman.. we became mates, what a lekker oke. The same evening we took this pic we went 10m into the bush for a um.. smoke, and an Elephant passed within 10m of us. it was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life.. but you feel alive !!








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Offline ®©errie

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Re: Africa our way !!
« Reply #79 on: December 14, 2010, 11:47:46 am »
This is on the edge of the seat stuff...Great!!!
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