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Offline michnus

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Round the World - Do you have beer we are coming to visit?
« on: April 29, 2011, 03:41:27 pm »
Round the World - Do you have beer we are coming to visit?

The initial "Hello Africa tell me how you doing?" trip was only intended to cover South Africa to Europe. There were no plans after that. Since we started in 2010 this trip has evolved into an odyssey that's now going around the world on a continuous basis. Let us introduce ourselves, we are Michnus and Elsebie, our home is in East London, South Africa. Our passions are motorcycle overland travel, amateurish photography, drinking beer while watching the sunset over a new horizon.

Why? The aim is not to set records or to rush just to get the stamps. We are not the highway asphalt type, we love the backroads, the dirt roads and roads less travelled, the out of way places where tourist never go. Eat local, really dig into a place. We want to rub shoulders with the world, see the amazing places around the globe and get some first hand experiences of other people's cultures.
Our trip is completely unsupported and without sponsors.
Our website is: www.pikipiki.co.za  

But most of all to have fun!!

Warning: picture rich thread with stupid grammar and even worse spelling. :D



The lucky bastards!

We would love to hear from you, anything you are curious about.

What you can see from this trip so far...:wink:

updated Jan 2015
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 05:11:15 pm by michnus »

Offline Laban

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Re: Tell me Africa how are you doing? The ride report.
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2011, 04:00:45 pm »

Gooi mielies Michnus................check julle ook op Pikipiki :thumleft:
..."sometimes the people around you won't understand your journey, they don't need to, it's not for them"...Joubert Botha

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Offline EtienneXplore

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Re: Tell me Africa how are you doing? The ride report.
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2011, 04:07:23 pm »
Let me sit back, get some  :happy1: and enjoy this awesome report  :deal:

Looking forward to the rest, thanks for taking the time to share Michnus :thumleft:

 :headbang: :headbang:

Offline Wooly Bugger

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Re: Tell me Africa how are you doing? The ride report.
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2011, 04:28:45 pm »
subscribed................. :thumleft:
This is not life or death. It is an internet forum.

Offline Pistonpete

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Re: Tell me Africa how are you doing? The ride report.
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2011, 04:38:08 pm »
Glad you guys are ok :thumleft:

It was a hellave trip! 8)
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Offline michnus

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Re: Tell me Africa how are you doing? The ride report.
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2011, 04:40:43 pm »
Glad you guys are ok :thumleft:

It was a hellave trip! 8)

Well, for me and Elsebie it's not over yet, we are still in Africa, you will have to wait for the story.  ;) :mwink:

Offline michnus

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Re: Tell me Africa how are you doing? The ride report.
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2011, 06:00:27 pm »
Bikes and Boobs in Namibia

Our first night in Namibia we stayed over in Ai-Ais, the revamped Ai-Ais that is. They say it took R30milj to get the place in tip top shape again, it definitely shows. It’s a great place to relax for a day or so and enjoy the moon-like surroundings.

Fish river canyon, what a place, the beauty and size leaves you breathless.
On our way to Aus we found a place called the Canon Roadhouse. Old rusted cars, engines, stickers and everything from way past when. It’s unbelievable that they were able to put this together in the middle of nowhere. Any real man deserve a garage like this, even the toilets are a work of art. Why do we not get adverts like this anymore? Bloody feminist crusaders!
Have to make this part of my Man Castle one day
Yes these were still adverts for men
Many of these in the roadhouse
Talking shit with some WildDogs that also visited the place at the same time
Just outside the Fish River canyon we stop at this French couple cycling all the way from France to CP. The spirit and friendliness of travellers always amazes me. Maybe they are just a different breed of person, as they always seem in good spirit. This is hard core balls to the wall travelling and way past my abilities, respect, that’s all I can say.

He came down the West coast and had zero troubles, she joined him in Lusaka and they pedal around 100km per day, eating 5 times a day mostly rice. The draw back is they did not go to the Canyon or Ai-Ai's as it's 12km and 9km they must pedal in and out each time, and so with many other places.
I wonder if doing a trip like this is really that a good idea if you choose to miss all the best places and just stick to the best roads as pedaling there and back is just too much work.
Crazy French cycling to CP
In Seeheim we stopped for petrol just to be told by Marinda that they prefer not to supply bikes with petrol. The oke’s that did “Op die rug van ‘n Ysterperd of Donkie of iets” that was aired on Kyk-net said they got dirty fuel from Seeheim Hotel. What they did not air is that the Seeheim owners supply fuel as emergency only, they are not a proper fuel stop and cart fuel in drums from Keetmanshoop to assist people in need. Serious journalist error in my opinion. Locals around the area as far as Aus know about this and are not in the least happy about this program. Seeheim’ owners were told by friends that this program aired them and not once did they even make an attempt to contact them for comment. Some of the comments from the locals were right, why only one bike if all the bikes got petrol from Seeheim, from the same container?

With some convincing she gave us each 5L of fuel – no sand included. My comment: “not all of us are like that”
Cold beers and nice people at Seeheim hotel, we stopped for petrol.
Camping at Klein Aus Vista
 The Wild Horses from Aus, seems more dead than wild.

At this stage we hoped we could get some excitement along the way to take away the boredom of some of the roads. We read up in some magazine the way to Sossusvlei is best riding the D707 that run along the edge of the park. It’s also on this road that I had my wish come true for a bit of excitement.

In Ai-Ais we were asked whether we are part of the 30 GS’s, all French people,  that were doing a loop of SA, Zim, Bots, Zambia and Namibia. Aus’ garage owner told us not to take the D707 … sand, sand, sand, apparently some of the French fell them moer toe on that piece of road and one pillion broke a collar bone. Well, that’s the sign right there brothers and sisters!! We had to take this road!
Aaag nee man oom, if the French want to fall all over the place let them, how can you tell me I can't go ride the D707?
   Lekker sand
 D707 views
I broke in the trip with the first fall....yeeehaaa heeltyd speeltyd!
It's one of those roads where you want to stop every 10 minutes and take pictures. Breath taking views, I stopped taking pictures knowing that my amateurish attempts will just not do justice to this place. I just took it all in and enjoyed the moment.

I understand why so many people get injured in Namibia on bikes and why the locals keep telling us about people blikseming the dirt. The broad long stretched out roads lures you to go faster and faster and then you hit a sand patch and everything goes belly up. For new riders or ego laaities it’s the biggest danger.

As we rode into Betta we saw this young dirty Jenson Button look-a-like named Neil with a oooold XT500 6Volt bike. He started riding bike a few months ago after drooling over Nardus’ ride report on his Africa travels. Nardus is his all-time biggest hero, he nearly gave up his religion for Nardus and travelling. It inspired him so much he just had to do something similar, except he does not have the funds or time for the entire Africa he will do a loop of Namib, Zambia, Malawi and back SA.

This guy is a true adventure rider, and I am super impress with him and his exuberance. He is a native Nataler, and only got his learners licence a few months ago and the previous owner had to show him how to ride a bike, he even asked if the bike got a reverse gear! He kitted his bike with empty 2L Coke bottles and set off to Springbok, he phoned ahead to make arrangements for his bike license and still had to stay a week longer in Springbok to get the booking and pass his license before going into Namibia.
Eish, poor buck, wonder if the car, truck or bus that hit him stopped or just left the buck for dead

In Solitaire I gave him a crash course in dirt road riding, the poor guy was taking strain on these roads. It’s humbling and makes one think about our perceptions of what we need in life. This guy does the same as us with a hellova lot less and still enjoys it. This is a HUGE big up yours to the entire nose in the air poser D/S riders.

This picture is dedicated to Nardus, he could not get a Heineken can so a Cream Soda had to do.
Neil the adventurer, aka Jenson Button
At Sesriem there’s only one place to stay and it’s the Oasis camp site. It’s cheaper and miles better than the Park campsite. Each campsite has its own private facilities. The park wanted R380 plus R20 for the two bikes entry to the campsite. But the best is NO bikes allowed into the park! You pay the entry but you cannot enter!
Into infinity
Now if only these bliksems would make it known in all their marketing material. We asked why and got the ‘I only work here’ comment. Is it not because of groups of bikes hauling ass in the place with a backup vehicle carrying the luggage? Or smaller bikes making a moerse noise? Very disappointing … I stated it stronger, but Elsebie reprimanded me on my language ;-)
Sunrise at Sesriem
Sesriem Camp Oasis, and their lekkerrrrrr pool
Warm evening wind and a braai on some hard red wood next to Sossusvlei, what's better than that?

It’s also at this stage where we loaded the additional petrol to get us to Swakopmund. I crank up the preload a half turn and the next moment I hear this hissing sound and there’s oil leaking onto the ground. My 3500km old Martin P revamped and improved shock have just broken the preload adjuster.
This bike only made it past Sossus

I had a noise from the start of the trip on the suspension and this must have been the cause or part of it. We decided to head for Swakopmund and get hold of Martin to assess the damage and decide on a possible solution. Martin’s advice to me is to ride the bike as is, because the preload adjuster is only to adjust the spring it does not affect the shock itself and since we have the higher rated springs fitted we actually don’t need to have it adjusted. Luckily we travel relatively light at about 30kg luggage each.

Not nice having to start a trip with part of a shock failing. Luckily we have a time on our side should we need to get a shock somewhere later. All four bikes now have MP revamp shocks in them and one has already shows failure. I hope this is just a once off and not a one of more that will break go wrong on the shocks.

Since we were not able to destroy the Sossusvlei dunes with our gas guzzling echo destroying bikes, we tried to conquer Dune 7 with the bikes but that plan did not worked out to well.
Conquer Dune 7
The wonderful free feeling, meeting up with new people, experiencing new things, that’s all part of travel is addictive and I suspect it is going to get worse not better in the future, for us in any case. Not that I want a cure for this, I love this, and truly wish every person that has a love for travel and especially this kind of minimalist travel can have a change in their lives to experience it, even if it’s only once.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2011, 06:11:34 pm by michnus »

Offline Crossed-up

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Re: Tell me Africa how are you doing? The ride report.
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2011, 06:17:43 pm »
Subscribed!  I've been following you on Pikipiki, but I'm one of those okes that like to read it on WD.  Your trip has been amazing and I look forward to the rest.

Offline Johnnie Bok

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Re: Tell me Africa how are you doing? The ride report.
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2011, 06:53:48 am »
Great Trip!
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Offline alwyn_gs

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Re: Tell me Africa how are you doing? The ride report.
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2011, 08:17:57 am »
Awesome trip report!!! :thumleft: :thumleft:
RR:Sani 2013, http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=131550.0, Honeymoon 2014 http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=153612.0
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Offline madmike999

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Re: Tell me Africa how are you doing? The ride report.
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2011, 10:11:33 am »
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

this is going to be gooooooood!
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Offline BiG DoM

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Re: Tell me Africa how are you doing? The ride report.
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2011, 10:24:07 am »
Rock on  :thumleft:
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Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: Tell me Africa how are you doing? The ride report.
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2011, 04:50:51 am »
I read pikipiki and now I will read this one too. Awesome report boet! :thumright:

How do you centre the pics, just using the centre text function?
« Last Edit: May 01, 2011, 04:55:35 am by BlueBull2007 »
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Offline Just Blip It!

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Re: Tell me Africa how are you doing? The ride report.
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2011, 06:39:33 pm »
Subscribed! Living the dream Michnus, I salute you!
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Offline Would I?

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Re: Tell me Africa how are you doing? The ride report.
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2011, 08:00:09 pm »
Subscribed. Read your blog. Petrol problem in Nam at the hotel is a worry for my planned trip..... >:( >:(
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Re: Tell me Africa how are you doing? The ride report.
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2011, 08:02:47 pm »
awesome RR. enjoy the ride. im licking my lips!!!
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Re: Tell me Africa how are you doing? The ride report.
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2011, 08:16:37 pm »
Awesome - I'm subscribed...
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Offline michnus

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Re: Tell me Africa how are you doing? The ride report.
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2011, 11:27:43 pm »

!Khai!Khari!-! & !Urihab  (Damara for cold beers and motorbikes) 08/12/2010

Swakopmund certainly is picturesque with street cafes, restaurants, good Eisbein and even bad tempered Germans!  
Without boring you, a must visit is the Village Café.www.villagecafenamibia.com, definitely worth a visit, the best food and value for money in Swakopmund! Also the best pizza we ever had was at Wurstbude on Vrede-Redestreet (thanks for the referral, Mr Big!).

Why they call it the Skeleton Coast

Met up with Neill, aka Jenson Button, again as well as 3 Belgium travellers at the Desert Sky Backpackers and enjoyed a lovely evening together , swapping stories and solving some of Africa’s problems.  Our new Belgium friends travelled one by motorbike and a couple in a Toyota Land Cruiser and just came down the eastern side of Africa.
All of them in their early 30’s have saved up, quit their jobs and embark on this new adventure. For them quitting a job is not a problem, they know they will find employment in Europe on their return after 9 months. It’s in stark contrast with the way we as South Africans go about our lives and decision making with regards to our future and how we live it. Just telling them we are taking 5 months had them laughing, it’s supposed to be 9 months to a year they say! ‘What do you want to see in 5 months’ they smirked.
The three Belgium's, Stefano, Stefanie and Johan.

Faster faster!!!

With the hot dry summer wind in our faces, we hit the dirt roads again, passing numerous road graders.  Now, a bad dirt road is okay but one that has just been graded is well … interesting. Good for cars but we had to work our asses off sliding over the new gravel with zero hard pack line to follow!It still beat the best day at the office and after a day’s riding with dust in the teeth, it’s great to gulp down a!khai!khari!
We were heading towards Uis and the Brandberg. Spitzkoppe we had to give a skip of which we are really sad as it's a very beautiful place.
It's December and Namibia is a hot place, any place with a pool and some beers are good for us. It's remarkable to see some of these lodges rose between the rocks in this arid counrty.  

White lady lodge near Brandberg.

Resident young Meerkat at White lady lodge.

The best camping spots in Africa and they are in Namibia.

The Northern side of Namibia is showing a lot of development since we last toured here 15 years ago (now we are giving our ages away!). Hentie's Bay expanded quite a bit, lodges popped up everywhere along the river and scenic views. Lost is the ‘rough’ camping, hello to cool swimming pools, even cocktails, fancy restaurants and entertainment! The camp sites all are in very good shape and affordable.
Inland it also seems Namibia have embraced tourism to the fullest and it's right like. Namibia is one beautiful country.. with great people.

Riding around at Brandberg mountain.
Ye, what can I say, at least it's not a piece of tar.

Damaraland the vistas and views are mind-blowingly beautiful.

Stopped often to take in the silence and expanses.

My arty pics will never be a National Geographic winner.
Palmwag lodge, remember they have cold beers!

Palmwag lodge camping, right next to the river and we hoped for some Elephants but they decided not to attend our cheese and wine evening.

Happy bike.
Braai vleis!

From bottom to top of Namibia on gravel, and the only water crossing! Yeehaa for this puddle!
One sad thing about returning to Namibia is to see the influence that tourism has had on the local tribes.  It is not entertainment to see the Himba (apparently the oldest Herero tribe) setting up ‘come see us’ shacks along the main routes – dancing in the road to attract attention, just like street beggars next to traffic lights, child on the hip. At least the crafts on sale are all actually made by themselves.  Numerous curios shacks also line the once deserted roads.  One even said ‘do not take a picture, come and see us inside’. Guess there’s positives and negatives for this. The influence of main stream tourism on this region has changed them forever.

You will not get me down!

Ongongo near Sesriem

Ongongo near Sesriem is a must stay place. It's a place where water flow over rocks baking in the sun and then into this pool. It's the perfect place to take relax for a few days.

First of many puncture to come, at least I taught her well to do it while I rest in the shade.

I do not have the vocabulary to describe the astonishing beauty of the landscape and scenery to its fullest, if only I had paid more attention in school maybe it would have helped.  Especially this part of Namibia with its zebra striped mountains and red coloured sand flowing from broken mountain sides.  It makes me more de-moer-in that we had to sit in school with rubbish subjects like ‘LiggaamsOefeninge&Jeugweerbaarheid’ rather than being taught photography or something worthwhile to enabled me to take some decent true too life pictures and to portray this incredible country.

It’s unthinkable how people can live in this arid place called Damaraland. God burned this place black and dark red in anger over Eve’s infidelity, maybe not, but I can’t think of any other reason riding through this beautiful land. If this place does not touch your soul you either do not have one or you are an alien.
The harshness of living in Damaraland is visible on people’s faces, but one thing that you do not expect is the friendliness and welcome smiles every single time you talk to one of the locals.

Bought Elsebie this in Opuwo from a very persistent seller. I thought I lost it, as I took the seat off I skrikked my gat off, thought this fucking snake was under my ass the entire time while riding!! Well at least it's not gone.

In the end we travelled Namibia from bottom to top on gravel and it is one of the most beautiful inviting countries and an absolute on the bucked list.
That's Angola in the back ground, yes baby your next!

Angola will be a short visit and then back to Caprivi and onto Zambia.

« Last Edit: February 03, 2015, 05:05:39 pm by michnus »

Offline Battlestar

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Re: Tell me Africa how are you doing? The ride report.
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2011, 07:46:37 am »
Im in absolute awe  :drif: Excellent  :thumleft:
Pass this way once!

Offline edgy

Re: Tell me Africa how are you doing? The ride report.
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2011, 07:59:24 am »
Awesome so far boet!  :thumleft:

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