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Author Topic: Round the World - Do you have beer we are coming to visit?  (Read 100091 times)

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Offline michnus

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Time to leave. We had a good few days and time in Lalibela. The last night our host made us a chicken stew with Njera. The feathers and skin was quickly and unceremoniously ripped off with one hard tug.

Our dinner was cooked in the small stuffy kitchen. The chicken is as tough as any other we had in Africa.










Bike get it's Ethiopia tattoo done by a local artist.


« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 05:36:50 pm by michnus »
 

Offline michnus

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Till next time lalibela.


Offline michnus

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En route to Addis we had to say goodbye to Martijn, Wibien and the brave 72’ VW Chuck Norris pick-up. This is what makes a trip like this memorable and the forging new friendship.



The luck and spirit of St George smiled on us again as we rode into Wim’s place with a local beer in the hand the welcoming committee waving us in. That Saturday evening they were going to have a wild Reggae live band playing at Wim’s!



Lunch at roadside stop. Bread and Coke


Side stand of the bike could not handle pushing the bead of a rim one more time. I must have used it around 25 times now and it is just too much for the stand attachment. Another lesson learned, a sidestand is not designed to take a bead off a rim multiple times. On our way back to Addis before we said goodbye to the Dutchies we were able to use the VW to push the bead off the rim.


« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 06:01:54 pm by michnus »
 

Offline michnus

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This is what is left in a coffee paper filter after filling up with Ethiopia petrol. This eventually was part of the reason we had to import a new petrol pump for one of the Dakar's.


It was rather sad when I pushed the two dirty bikes into the room that Wim had opened for them to have their well deserved rest.











Offline michnus

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That evening with our new gypsy friends Bernd, Elke, George and Emma we had one helluva carouse, even the 80-year-old Wim himself joined in.

Whooa baby, what a nice way of ending a 6 month trip!!

During the evening and seeing all the happy smiling faces with the occasional wassail, my friend Nardus’s words came back to me. The missive is so literal I understand it now and feel humbled by it.

-The message is simple and sweet, ‘Just be’! I was truly happy!






Wim and Rehal the owners of Wim's Holland House in Addis. Super nice people!.




« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 09:46:04 pm by michnus »
 

Offline Wolzak

 :thumleft:Looks like a lekker Party.
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thanks fore the good RR. took a lot of time reading it and checking out the photos, but was worth it
Biking since the age of 11 nothing beats the freedom when u out there on u baby. Been doing it over 40 years now  (that's life)
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Offline michnus

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Back in Addis 2012


Addis also has some Yellow New York look-a-like cabs. This Peugeot 404 is owned by Ato for the last 43 years, it runs like a crab, stutter and has over 400 000km on when the odometer broke, while his dad still used it as a taxi. Or so goes the story.!


We enjoy our long awaited St George’s beer and bitterballen at Wim’s Holland House. Such a groovy place to come back to. Friendly family.


Enjoying a traditional coffee ritual with the locals – strong coffee, good conversation and popcorn!


Working hard under a palm tree, chatting away with an American and abusing a Hollander. Mitt the American giving advice from his truck to Bob the Dutch traveller while I try my best to fix the waterpump on the Dakar.

« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 10:44:48 pm by michnus »
 

Offline michnus

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Elsebie helped fixing the bikes - grease monkey hands with a beer is such a turn on for me.   :lol8:

With as much gusto as a kid at Christmas opening presents, I rolled the bikes out of hibernation at Wim’s place. They were dirty, full of cobwebs, tyres flat and looked sad. It was a wonderful feeling to see and feel the bikes again.

Elsebie’s bike looks a bit worse. For some reason the left front fork decided all on its own to start push out all the oil. How the hell this is possible from standing is a mystery. The strange thing is the oil on and around the fork is clear clean oil. The oil inside the fork is dirty black oil.

Besides that, the biggest job awaiting was to replace the waterpump seals, again! I replaced them in Nairobi before we started our trip to Ethiopia and they could not have done 5000km. I am now a self-acclaimed and qualified outdoor tree shade mechanic. All the repairs to date were under trees.


The great outdoor bush mechanic workshop

Bought more petrol, thinking it was a shortage of petrol. Nope not that!

First, I stripped the petrol pipes and checked for petrol going to the engine, and nothing! What fresh new hell is this? The petrol pump is not working. I swopped it with my bike’s pump and it seems the culprit is the petrol pump that gave up the ghost. In Uganda already the pump stopped working due to the electric wire on the pump vibrating off but it was easily fixed with a new wire.


New fork seals with hydraulic oil. I could not find fork oil in Addis and had to make do with hydraulic fluid from a 200l drum.


With very few tools, I had to carve a broom stick to size to hold the inside of the fork in place.

Kurt (Adventurer) our good friend in SA took the time to source us a new fuel pump and it will be with Ethiopian customs next week sometime. Thanks Kurt!

Wim the owner of Wim’s Holland House, where we stay, is helping to go about roughing it through the bureaucratic horseshit with customs to get the part.

There is no fork oil to buy in Addis, the best alternative I were able to source was 10W hydraulic oil (not sure) and with basic tools and a broom stick carved- to-size to fit the inside of the shock to hold the barrel. We were able to fit a new secondhand seal I brought from home for good measure.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 09:49:43 pm by michnus »
 

Offline michnus

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Poprivets and flat sheet will fix most things. Blood was drawn to fix this bitch.

Another small problem is the Uni-filters I fitted for ease of cleaning and to re-use instead of carrying paper air filters - in the time the bikes were standing it also started to disintegrate. The only solution was to cut sponge from a mattress as a thin liner inside the air filter and use DW40 as foam filter oil. Lets hope it works!

This is now cutting nearly 2 weeks off our trip sitting waiting for parts again. Together, the time we lost last time and now, totals more than a month sitting around waiting for parts for the Dakars.

Look, drinking beers while waiting are a useful past time, but we want to hit the road.


Very relaxed business dress code in Ethiopia.


Orthodox tattoos. Kiss on the crosses.  :lol8:
Everytime Elsebie disappears behind me, I expect the worst, I was struggling to enjoy the trip the last few weeks of our previous leg. My thoughts were constantly consumed with thinking they are going to break at any time and then it will cost us more time and money. Not to mention the amount of money it cost to recover a bike in countries where people see whites, or better “faranj” or “feranj” as cash cows. it’s the term for whites or Westeners and thus the ones with money.

Now I sit with the same. How do I get my confidence back in the bikes and we still have 5000km to go just to get to Cairo? Granted we did not stick to the usual highway racing of travellers between Cape Town and Cairo on asphalt. The bikes had a rough time with the likes of Uganda and Turkana and we used them properly.

This is the nature of the beast. In addition, as mildly irritating as it may be, we knew things would never be plain sailing. The beers are still good, the people we meet up with lends itself the potential to develop into longterm friendships. That all make up for the bit of shit we have to take from the bikes.

I guess, the bikes are just mad at us for leaving them alone for so long. If you think a bike is just a piece of metal with no soul, you will be making a huge mistake. They have feelings and I know now they were not happy about us leaving them to stand there in that small room.

We will find a better hotel for them to stay next time round.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 09:35:13 pm by michnus »
 

Offline Rynet

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 :thumleft: Hope you get the bikes sorted out soonest , and great that you have such good friends to help out . And at least you guys have beer. :biggrin:
 

Offline michnus

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Cheers Ethiopia, until we meet again …

We left Addis so excited to be on the bikes again, but halfway to Bahir Dar Michnus realized that the legs of his pants were sprayed with oil …. Both the front fork seals were popping out …


On our way to Bahir Dar and the other bike's fork seals blow. Both! Tried to clean the dust seal with no luck, well, then just ride it like that.

Never the less, with my bike hiccupping (tired battery) and Michnus’ spitting oil we decided to keep heads up and carry on. Unfortunately, it meant that we had to skip our planned visit to Kim & Tim’s Village close to Gorgora, but we will be back!

Some pictures from Debre Markos where we stayed over for one night:




The locals enjoying some lazy 'street viewing' in the afternoon.


Ethiopian serves food in style!


This was normal practice all over, the management of the hotel let us park our bikes right in front of the hotel entrance and assigned 3 guards to keep an eye!


Pfffttt disabled what?  :lol8:


On the way to Gonder, the other finger of God still standing.

Gonder is the last big town before the border of Sudan. Much smaller than Addis Ababa and with a bit of an ‘touristy’ flavour to it. Centuries ago it was the capital of Ethiopia and the cobblestone roads and castles are evidence of this.


No need for a burail in Ethiopia, the vultures will finish you off in no time. Can save a lot on funeral cost, and they are everywhere.




A night out on the town gave us a bit of insight into the different classes of people in Ethiopia. Although Ethiopia is a poor country, a lot of people can afford good clothing, taxi rides, cell phones and even a few nights out of town.


Young Ethiopian girls enjoying St Geoges & Dashen beer with straws! Not sure what the straws are for - maybe to add some zing.


Last backpackers on our way to the Sudan border.

Lazy days drinking beers talking shit, sharing travel stories with a German backpacker.

salaam aleikum Sudan!
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 09:59:49 pm by michnus »
 

Offline michnus

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Sudan, what fresh new hell is this?
« Reply #412 on: January 08, 2014, 11:10:57 pm »
Sudan is a wonderful surprise; you hear ‘Welcome to Sudan’ and ‘Do you like Sudan?’ everywhere. The food is a blend of Turkish, Western and local dishes. And, for the pastries … we tried it all!


Sitting at the Sudan border post waiting to get our Carne's stamp. They are waiting for us to pay a bribe. We decided to wait it out. While we crossed the border on no-mans land, we got a puncture.

We arrived at the border post on a Saturday, which overall was maybe not such a good idea. On the Ethiopian side, we had to wait in the hot sun for the Custom officials to finish their loongg extended lunch. This gave a couple of ‘fixers’ enough time to harass us to exchange money and to gossip about the ‘qat-chewing’ officials.

On the Sudanese side, things were a lot more organized and clean. BUT after all the paperwork for our Carnes were done, we waited almost 6 hours for the OFFICIAL MONEY COLLECTOR to release our papers. They filled in all the forms, then proceeded with lunch, then stamped our papers and said “we will be right back, just going to pray” … for SIX HOURS!? Well, this gave us enough time though to use some fellow travellers’ car to do a tube change on my bike.


Enjoying some pasta, camping in the Customs' Compound. Eventually at 8 o'clock that evening they figured we are not going to pay a bribe and stamped the papers. We then informed them we will be sleeping in their compound.

Sudanese roads and small towns are very different from Ethiopia, for one there are a lot less people and animals on the roads – must be the heat! We did however meet two Italian bikers, doing Milan to CapeTown in a very short time.


Charlie Boorman as he would look like when old.


No big tanks like HPN and such poofter poser shit. 5L water bottle and otherwise standard.


And the owner. No nonsense guys.


Roadside stops. Between 10 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon everybody takes rest. It is just too damn bloody hot to do anything.


Really friendly inviting people. Taking our rest and colddrinks with the local gathering of men.


A lot of time are killed by using a very harmless (or 'useless' as per the locals) 'Hubbly Bubbly'


Sudanese pastries will kick you into being a diabetic, it's that good.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 10:00:51 pm by michnus »
 

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keep it coming M. great stuff.
 

Offline michnus

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Everywhere families offer water for any passersby.

Yes, yes I know, they are in conflict with South Sudan for oil, and from what the media dish up that must make most of the people of Sudan evil heartless bastards. It cannot be further from the truth.

It took us some time to wrap our minds around the dynamics of this strange weird society. Sudan is a Muslim-run law country, no alcohol or anything that is against the laws of Sharia. Woman are indoors, mostly men are around and can be seen working around towns and on the street.

Taxi drivers are scoundrels the world over and in Sudan there is no exception. We went to lunch with this Saudi man. On our way back the driver over-charged us and he immediately got a good scrub down by the Saudi man

It is safe to go around Sudan, you can leave your wallet lying around for a week and it will be there when you get back, not so sure about a woman though. Shops leave everything as is when they go to pray, nothing gets locked up. People are the most warm-hearted, inviting people we have ever met. We got invited for meals and drinks where ever we went. They even insist we stay over in their homes.


Piki-piki loads of them, like in most other African countries this is what drives the local economy in cities and towns.

Whether it is their religion that is the foundation of their good or because they are just honest-to-good people at heart, I am not sure. But in a country where it is desert as far as the eye can see and the heat reaches a scorching 50 degrees just after 11am, it takes a special kind of human to uphold a sense of humor and a smile. There must be a special heaven for Sudanese, they are good honest people living in a hell I would not have been able to endure. The heat and haziness from sand storms everyday will drop the best motivational speaker into depression.


The sign says it's not allowed to take pictures of the Blue and White Nile coming together. Why not is anyone’s guess, and like many other African countries paranoia is big. Google earth is a spy tool of the West; here it is ladies and gentleman.


Local bikers' curiosity overcame them and we had a welcome chat about all bike related.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 09:25:58 pm by michnus »
 

Offline michnus

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Sudan - a fresh new hell.
« Reply #415 on: January 14, 2014, 09:02:10 pm »
It is easy to figure out that as with most other countries, Angola as example, are in the same situation, the 5% connected politicians ruining it for the rest of the 95% of the population. The deal for oil could have been settled without the war, no doubt.

I do not want to write about this, but that is part of travel and we will be travelling to countries in future not on the tourist list. The bad comes with the good, which is the reason why I loved Sudan so much. It’s a harsh unforgiving land with a deep rich soul.


Spot the buildings housing the oil companies. There’s no high rise buildings in Khartoum, except the ones from the oil companies.

There’s one big huge bloody calamitous issue with Sudan, NO BEER! And I am no dipsomaniac, far from it, but drinking Coke, tea and water in 45° heat is acceptable and tolerable for maybe a day. After that your body wants something bitter and cold. With that heat very few fridges were able to cope with the heat. This is not South African mid summer Richtersveld heat. This heat is downright evil. Anything after 11am and people get out of the sun, to take rest.

How in the name of all that is holy, can an entire nation deprive themselves from the healing powers of beer is beyond reason and logic.


National Camp site Khartoum. Left all our belongings for a week like that with nothing getting ‘legs’.


Tuk-Tuk’s pimp my ride and blinged to the extreme.

Back to our travel, Elsebie’s bikes battery got worse and it came to a stage where the bike had to start first time round or we had to jump start the bike. We set up camp in Khartoum at the National camp site. It’s not really a camp site, it use to be sports grounds with accommodation converted now into army type housing with grassy patches and shrubs fences. In the back of our camp refugees from the South got trucked in during the night with help from NGO’s.

Unable to source a battery in Khartoum we had a battery couriered to us at an obscene amount. DHL take no prisoners, damn assholes!


Again the water pump, did I mention I got my masters in bush mechanics?

While ‘tracking down’ a battery for Elsebie’s bike my Dakar’s water pump impeller broke while we were in over 50° heat in the middle of midday traffic. The cotter pin holding the impeller to the shaft decided to disintegrate leaving us stranded 10km away from the camp. We were using only my bike at the time.


Alfresco breakfast. Eggs and Nubian flat bread with tea.

Offline michnus

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Frans and Joke build this impressive overlander, they have done most of Africa. And he had beers, it’s worth the 100 lashes per beer!!

Late the afternoon we made it back to camp, wanting nothing else than hard liquor and beers. We “imported” some whiskey which had us smiling about the events. Hey, it’s part of travelling, you get shit at some stage no two ways about it.

We stayed at the National campsite for a week and then moved to Mally my old friend flat near the center of town. He has been working in Sudan for a quite long time. For now we enjoyed the luxuries of aircon and a big room with nice company. The bike parts would took a while to get to us and then customs still had to deal with it.



Osman, the man that helped us with the bike, invited us again for an meal. It’s hard to say no to him. He is really a very jovial type of guy. Always up with a joke and a laugh. We met up with some of his mates. They range from a Proff in English to a CEO of a very big cigarette company. It did not took us long to talk about the ‘water’ they are not suppose to consume. Low and behold, it seemed the 100 lashes for each beer, is a thorn in their sides but not enough to deter them from enjoying some locally made Date concoction. It’s vile tasting, as bad as Mampoer or Grapa but not as strong and I would have to consume litres of the stuff to drop my inhibitions.

In the end it turned out the middle upper class are much more open minded that I perceived them to be. Even religion were talk about and they are not the hardcore followers they act to be.


The quite side of the religion. They drink alcohol and generally do not practice what they preach. At least they know how to enjoy themselves.Not far from the same musical talent as Cacofonix in Asterix and Obelix.  ;D

One of our other rules is never to ride at night. It’s just not safe. Well, we broke that rule when we got invited again to dinner. With 35° heat in the evening we putter around with our normal clothes, no bike stuff. It’s just too damn hot.

Now, bear in mind most roads in Sudan are less than 10 years old, yes, oil paid for it. No lines, sand storms leaving a thin layer of sand on the road and road designs can go from four lanes wide pitch black road to two lanes quite easily. Half meter islands in the middle divert traffic in the same direction.


Our tea lady. They make a very sweet spicy tea.




Refugees from South Sudan had there home in the same camp as us. They still had smiles and lots to talk about. It is tough to see them, and brings sadness to our hearts.

We got up both looked okay and went on the camp. Once at the camp, we tended to our tar burns. Nothing looked to serious, the only wound that was a bit suspect was just below Elsebie’s knee cap. The size of a R5 coin, it did not look too bad. It was too small for stiches but we could not see how deep it was. The next few days she was a bit sore but the wound looked like it was sort off healing.

And, hell no it’s not because I had some Date water.


Hotel Mally, 5Star living! We were sad to leave the aircon behind.

Time to hit the road, too much pastries can bring on a bad case of laziness.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 10:29:11 pm by michnus »
 

Offline michnus

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5 fishes from the Nile
« Reply #417 on: January 14, 2014, 09:29:14 pm »
By ‘good chance’ Michnus’ bike left us cooling it in front of a very small “Coffee Shop” ran by Ethiopian and Sudanese girls. The coffee shop is an old house with all the rooms opening up into a small courtyard, and each room has a couple of couches and low tables for guests.

As we entered, we met Osman sitting contently waiting for his coffee, lovely spiced coffee that he immediately shared with us.
His friendliness extended into translating dishes for us, offering advice, showing us alternative accommodation, his friends’ offices and then took us out for fish …


Ethiopian/Sudanese combined ‘Coffee Shop’ where we met Osman

We arrived at his friend’ property, adjacent to the White Nile – a half build treasure. The Nile here is beautiful, a bit littered with rubbish, but still a sight. We were introduced to numerous people and after we ‘took some rest’ were invited to see some of the guys fishing.


Osman introduced us to some of his friends in the construction business. Always a damn photo taking thing.   :biggrin:

We arrived at his friend’ property, adjacent to the White Nile – a half build treasure. The Nile here is beautiful, a bit littered with rubbish, but still a sight. We were introduced to numerous people and after we ‘took some rest’ were invited to see some of the guys fishing.




Sunset on the White Nile




I had to earn my dinner.

And the result:


Five fishes, caught by a ‘hundred’ men!


They somehow multiplied.


The end result was delicious!

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Michnus where did you enter from Ethiopia into South Sudan? It seems you have missed the 'South' and the Dinka people which are Christians. They (obviously) do not see eye to eye with the Muslum Sudanese of North Sudan. Remember there is also a bit of grey area between the Noth and South where both North and Southern Sudanese live in harmony. The South Sudanese (which is mainly Dinka people from former African leader George Garang -amazing man but he died in heli crash) are very tall people and very tribal but Very aggressive nature. Even the woman are tall and the men or boys get inituated on a young age and cut in te face and the cary that 'family mark' (couple of scars and looks really visious!) The do not like 'short' people and the (like the Ethiopians) take a lot of care of their teeth by brushing it with a special plant/branch. Pure white healthy teeth. Their capital city is Juba in South Sudan as you enter from Kenya on the trans African Highway (although gravel av verry badly corrigated)

We lived their on the banks of the mighty White nile while demining and UN trying to disarm local citizans.

Love your report, I wonder when it will be moved to the nr1 spot in roll of honor!?

You and your wife have surely lived!

Keep on posting please