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Author Topic: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days  (Read 19299 times)

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Offline schalk vd merwe

Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
« Reply #100 on: February 20, 2012, 05:32:06 pm »
Thanks for taking the effort do put this together for us!!!
Thanks for the motivation, I do it for guys like you. The trip was only a year ago but the memories are like yesterday. Regards Schalk
1/The only way to get experience is to get experience-Schalk                
2/Ride Reports>Long Tours>Africa Tour To The Equator And Back In 40 Days
3/A stranger is just a friend you have not met yet
4/Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe in and enthusiastically act upon must come to past-Paul J Mayer
5/Use the rocks in the your way to build stepping stones-Herman Zapp
 

Offline Ratt

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Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
« Reply #101 on: February 20, 2012, 09:59:23 pm »
Sub
I'm not saying kill stupid people, I'm saying, remove the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

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Offline schalk vd merwe

Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
« Reply #102 on: February 21, 2012, 09:16:53 am »
1/The only way to get experience is to get experience-Schalk                
2/Ride Reports>Long Tours>Africa Tour To The Equator And Back In 40 Days
3/A stranger is just a friend you have not met yet
4/Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe in and enthusiastically act upon must come to past-Paul J Mayer
5/Use the rocks in the your way to build stepping stones-Herman Zapp
 

Offline schalk vd merwe

Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
« Reply #103 on: February 21, 2012, 01:29:43 pm »
Day 13         17/12/2010               Mbeya—Ilambila                            298 KM
The next day as early as 7 am there were staff at the church offices and when we enquired why they start so early they said that it was already 8 am. We then discovered that they use daylight saving. So in Malawi it is 7 am now and here in Tanzania it is 8 am. After a nice breakfast and settling the bill we hit the road. We then discovered that Juan had lost 2 bolts that hold the small front fender. No problem just down the road was an open air bike shop where they repair Chinese bikes in the street. (See photo) They spoke in Swahili and we spoke in English with finger linger and in no time they had 2 bolts for us. We put them back with Loctite. Off we went from here to withdraw some Tanzanian money at the ATM. From here we went to the town of Tunduma which is also a border crossing between Zambia and Tanzania. The trucks were queuing for 2 KM coming into town and after we turned right to go out of town again another queue of about 2KM. So there were trucks in two directions trying to get into Zambia from Tanzania. We managed to pass them by driving in between and over pavements with a lot of pedestrians walking across the road that we had to give way to. We soon got out of town and from here on it was all gravel roads as there are no tar roads on the western side of Tanzania. We later came to a beer truck that has turned over. (see photo) In Tanzania they build the centre of the road about 1, 5 meter higher than on the side in order for the rain water to run off quickly. This is a problem for a truck that is a little top heavy and if they keep to one side to let another truck past they just fall over. It was also a problem for us where the roads were wet as your bike would just slide down to the lower part and we came short quit a few time because of this. A bystander told us that a white guy on a 1200 BMW died the previous week just 100 meter away from there on the same road. The road became extremely bumpy from there on due to the rain water causing erosion. It look like big corrugations. After about 30 KM we stopped to see if the shocks were getting hot. The front one’s were normal but when I push my finger in between the coil spring to feel the mono rear shock I burnt my finger a blister. Lekker stupid ne’. We soon found the road that turned left. This road was much better and we never saw another vehicle again for the next two days. As the GPS showed no roads from here on (I think nobody from tracks of Africa has been on this road before) we then set the GPS on off road mode and pressed on the GPS the point where we thought the Kalambo Falls are close to Lake Tanganyika. It would then show a straight line. We then would stick as close as possible to that line on the GPS. We were still about 300 Km from the Kalambo Falls. The road soon ends when we came to the first village and from here it was just foot paths as the lady at the border told us. We quite enjoyed this and every 10 KM or so we travelled through a village where all the people would wave at us. This is the real Africa that we came to see. We travelled the whole day until close to sunset. We then came to a village called Ilambila which is not on the map (paper map). As it is proto call to always first ask the chief for permission to sleep over we did exactly that. Normally you would fill your name in a book and pay a fee. Apparently that fee goes to the government. I in turn bought the chief a beer and he never asked for money. Out of the whole village only one young guy could speak English. He automatically became our interpreter. He won a price from the government and was sent to America for a course and that is how he came to speak English. For the other kids I do not think they ever went out of the village in there live yet. As we pitch our tents on a piece of open ground in between the clay huts the kids formed a large circle around us. There were about 200 kids and a couple of grownups. They watched our every movement out of curiosity. I ask our interpreter if the kids have ever seen a white man as I pointed to a girl of about 17. He then asked them and all the kids said no never. This village is very remote. By now we had astronaut status as the kids have never seen a tent or a white man or a gas stove or any of the equipment we had with us. We then sat down to make food with 400 little eyes watching us as they moved closer and closer inch by inch sitting on their haunches. Juan lid the little gas stove and put a pot on and poured instant mash potatoes into the pot and all the kids went aha and when Juan put something else in the pot they go ooe. By now we not only had astronaut status but alien status as well as the kids have by now moved up real close and they were touching my hair one by one as they have never seen or felt something like this before. I just allowed it as I never have forgotten what it is like to be a kid. As a matter of fact my wife thinks I am still like a kid the way I carry on with motor bikes. We later called the kids paparazzi kids as they would crowd us and the way they took little photos with their eyes of every movement we made. After dinner Juan and I went to bed but the kids would not. I could hear them around the tents and I suppose they were hoping that we would come out again. We eventually fell asleep and I am sure I dreamed about the Paparazzi kids.
1/The only way to get experience is to get experience-Schalk                
2/Ride Reports>Long Tours>Africa Tour To The Equator And Back In 40 Days
3/A stranger is just a friend you have not met yet
4/Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe in and enthusiastically act upon must come to past-Paul J Mayer
5/Use the rocks in the your way to build stepping stones-Herman Zapp
 

Offline schalk vd merwe

Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
« Reply #104 on: February 21, 2012, 01:37:12 pm »
The open air bike shop in the street where we found two bolts for Juan front little fender.
1/The only way to get experience is to get experience-Schalk                
2/Ride Reports>Long Tours>Africa Tour To The Equator And Back In 40 Days
3/A stranger is just a friend you have not met yet
4/Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe in and enthusiastically act upon must come to past-Paul J Mayer
5/Use the rocks in the your way to build stepping stones-Herman Zapp
 

Offline schalk vd merwe

Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
« Reply #105 on: February 21, 2012, 01:40:19 pm »
Another ATM protected by an armed guard where we withdrew some Tanzanian money.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2012, 05:23:32 pm by schalk vd merwe »
1/The only way to get experience is to get experience-Schalk                
2/Ride Reports>Long Tours>Africa Tour To The Equator And Back In 40 Days
3/A stranger is just a friend you have not met yet
4/Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe in and enthusiastically act upon must come to past-Paul J Mayer
5/Use the rocks in the your way to build stepping stones-Herman Zapp
 

Offline schalk vd merwe

Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
« Reply #106 on: February 21, 2012, 01:42:25 pm »
The beer truck that fell over.
1/The only way to get experience is to get experience-Schalk                
2/Ride Reports>Long Tours>Africa Tour To The Equator And Back In 40 Days
3/A stranger is just a friend you have not met yet
4/Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe in and enthusiastically act upon must come to past-Paul J Mayer
5/Use the rocks in the your way to build stepping stones-Herman Zapp
 

Offline schalk vd merwe

Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
« Reply #107 on: February 21, 2012, 01:45:16 pm »
The road became much better after we turned of. We never saw a car or truck for the next two days.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 02:28:23 pm by schalk vd merwe »
1/The only way to get experience is to get experience-Schalk                
2/Ride Reports>Long Tours>Africa Tour To The Equator And Back In 40 Days
3/A stranger is just a friend you have not met yet
4/Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe in and enthusiastically act upon must come to past-Paul J Mayer
5/Use the rocks in the your way to build stepping stones-Herman Zapp
 

Offline schalk vd merwe

Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
« Reply #108 on: February 21, 2012, 01:47:39 pm »
A vlei area with beautiful little flowers.
1/The only way to get experience is to get experience-Schalk                
2/Ride Reports>Long Tours>Africa Tour To The Equator And Back In 40 Days
3/A stranger is just a friend you have not met yet
4/Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe in and enthusiastically act upon must come to past-Paul J Mayer
5/Use the rocks in the your way to build stepping stones-Herman Zapp
 

Offline schalk vd merwe

Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
« Reply #109 on: February 21, 2012, 01:50:12 pm »
Where ever we stopped we got crowded by curious onlookers.
1/The only way to get experience is to get experience-Schalk                
2/Ride Reports>Long Tours>Africa Tour To The Equator And Back In 40 Days
3/A stranger is just a friend you have not met yet
4/Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe in and enthusiastically act upon must come to past-Paul J Mayer
5/Use the rocks in the your way to build stepping stones-Herman Zapp
 

Offline Gene

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Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
« Reply #110 on: February 21, 2012, 01:52:27 pm »
Jirre  - Schalk wat n awesome trip, wat het julle betaal om oor die grense te gaan, ek sien op "Voetspore" betaal die ouens R4000 plus, wat het jou totale som gewees vir so n trip, dis regtig baie insiggewend .
 

Offline schalk vd merwe

Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
« Reply #111 on: February 21, 2012, 01:59:17 pm »
The village chief having the beer that I bought him with curious kids looking at us. They have never seen a white man in their lives before.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 03:19:11 pm by schalk vd merwe »
1/The only way to get experience is to get experience-Schalk                
2/Ride Reports>Long Tours>Africa Tour To The Equator And Back In 40 Days
3/A stranger is just a friend you have not met yet
4/Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe in and enthusiastically act upon must come to past-Paul J Mayer
5/Use the rocks in the your way to build stepping stones-Herman Zapp
 

Offline schalk vd merwe

Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
« Reply #112 on: February 21, 2012, 02:15:28 pm »
Jirre  - Schalk wat n awesome trip, wat het julle betaal om oor die grense te gaan, ek sien op "Voetspore" betaal die ouens R4000 plus, wat het jou totale som gewees vir so n trip, dis regtig baie insiggewend .
Dit het ons so plus minus R350 by elke grenspos gekos. Die totale bedrag vir die hele trip sal ek na dag 40 sę. Groete en dankie vir die belangstelling. Schalk
1/The only way to get experience is to get experience-Schalk                
2/Ride Reports>Long Tours>Africa Tour To The Equator And Back In 40 Days
3/A stranger is just a friend you have not met yet
4/Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe in and enthusiastically act upon must come to past-Paul J Mayer
5/Use the rocks in the your way to build stepping stones-Herman Zapp
 

Offline schalk vd merwe

Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
« Reply #113 on: February 22, 2012, 04:14:28 pm »
Day 14       18/12/2010      Ilambila—Kasanga (on Lake Tanganyika)       139 Km
When we woke up the next morning at 6 am the paparazzi kids was already waiting about 20 metre away for us, sitting on their haunches. As I needed to go to the toilet I went to see what their long drop looked like. Although it had a neat concrete slab over I never liked long drops. As I grew up on a farm I instead took the bike and went out of the village. There was a nice big mielie    field with some thorn trees in the middle. I tried to miss as many of the 7 day old mielie plants as possible and reached my new found toilet without any hassle. Getting back from my relief cession I just brushed my teeth in front of 200 paparazzi kids. There were no washing facilities so we just washed our faces and put the same cloths on as the previous day. We packed up thanked everyone and said good bye (alamsiki) in our newly learned Swahili. The kids came to say good bye by running next to the bikes as far as they could keep up. Just out of the village the government was busy to make a new gravel road to this remote village. They don't make short stretches at a time but rather long ones, about 10 km at a time. As it was Saturday, only a grader was on duty. It levelled the soil that was tipped there to a thickness of about 300mm (30cm).  This was extremely difficult to ride on and Juan and I fell quite a few times. Eventually I rode in the Mielie fields next to the road, although the soil was soft it was better than the road. We enquired from someone who was passing by about the waterfall. He was quite clued up and drew a nice map for us in my diary. From there we rode to the next village. As we stopped some young men came running and asked us if we wanted to see the waterfall. Yebo we answered. For a fee they were prepared to go and show us, in the end it was a bargain. Again like our previous entrepreneur at Lake Malawi they ran in front of the bikes for about 3 KM. We rode until the road came to an end and from there rode on a foot path until we could go no further (see photos). We had to climb down the mountain for a kilometre or so. One guy stayed behind to watch our belongings. The falls which have a single drop of 235 metres were nice and I belief we proofed a point. The kids by now caught up with us and went for a swim just above these very high falls. Then we went back to the village to pay our fees to the chief and sign the log book. We then went back the same road that we came and stopped next to a huge Mango tree to pick up some Mangos. These mangos are very nice as they don't have any hair in. All over Tanzania Mango trees have been plated to feed the population, the same as in Mozambique where Palm trees bearing dates have been planted by the previous Portuguese government. We travelled a little further and stopped in the bush to make some Weatbix and water breakfast. ( see photo ) After a cup of Rooibos tea we were of again to Kasanga on Lake Tanganyika.  As we came over a hill and down a very steep downhill my bike started to run away as I was in a too high a gear and there was no time to gear down as by now the bike was in an erosion trench. I just closed the throttle and handled the bike until I was out of the trench. As we came over another very steep rocky downhill with Lake Tanganyika appearing on the right Juan fell off. As I was already at the bottom of the hill I turned around to go and help him. It was a hard fall and his gear lever was bent double and we could not get the bike out of gear as it was pushed against the engine. As the bike was stuck in 3rd gear I told him to just ride it in one gear until we can find a level place. We stopped next to a big rock and took the gear lever off. On the big rock and with another rock we managed to bend it back to its original shape. After fitting it back we went to look at the harbour as that is all that Kasanga is. I remembered that I saw a camping and accommodation sign just before the hill where Juan fell. We went back to the top of the hill and then turned left down another very steep and long downhill. Here we met Oscar the Tanzanian owner of a lodge and camping site right on Lake Tanganyika. Oscar was fluent in English and made us feel at home while pouring us a drink. He told us his life story of how he was a fisherman before and eventually got tired of that and pulled the boat onto the beach. The boat is now a dining room with a thatch roof over (see photos). His lodge then grew from there and he now has a couple of rooms with some permanent tents and a camp site on the beach. (See photos). Oscar told us about a big boat that comes into the harbour ones a week and then goes up all the way up. Lake Tanganyika is the longest fresh water lake in the world at 676 KM and second largest by volume and the second deepest 1,470 metre after Lake Baikal in Siberia. Juan wanted us to take the boat that was going to arrive there that afternoon and then get off at the Mahale Mountains National Park with the bikes to go and see the Chimpanzees. I in turn wanted to camp there for the night. Oscar's price was the same whether we use his permanent tent with a bed in or our own tent. We opted to stay in his tents for the night. With hind sight it would have been far better to have taken the boat because of things to come. So Juan was right. We had a good time there as it was still early. Our Washing was also being washed by Oscars staff as we were by now out of clean clothes. That night I went to bed at about 9pm while Juan, Oscar and some other guest from Kenia were swimming in the lake till 12 pm.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 10:31:15 am by schalk vd merwe »
1/The only way to get experience is to get experience-Schalk                
2/Ride Reports>Long Tours>Africa Tour To The Equator And Back In 40 Days
3/A stranger is just a friend you have not met yet
4/Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe in and enthusiastically act upon must come to past-Paul J Mayer
5/Use the rocks in the your way to build stepping stones-Herman Zapp
 

Offline schalk vd merwe

Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
« Reply #114 on: February 22, 2012, 04:21:46 pm »
A guy selling pots and pans a long way from the closes town and just before the Kalambo Falls
1/The only way to get experience is to get experience-Schalk                
2/Ride Reports>Long Tours>Africa Tour To The Equator And Back In 40 Days
3/A stranger is just a friend you have not met yet
4/Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe in and enthusiastically act upon must come to past-Paul J Mayer
5/Use the rocks in the your way to build stepping stones-Herman Zapp
 

Offline schalk vd merwe

Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
« Reply #115 on: February 22, 2012, 04:24:42 pm »
Beautiful bush just before Kalambo Falls
1/The only way to get experience is to get experience-Schalk                
2/Ride Reports>Long Tours>Africa Tour To The Equator And Back In 40 Days
3/A stranger is just a friend you have not met yet
4/Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe in and enthusiastically act upon must come to past-Paul J Mayer
5/Use the rocks in the your way to build stepping stones-Herman Zapp
 

Offline schalk vd merwe

Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
« Reply #116 on: February 22, 2012, 04:28:07 pm »
We rode on a foot path till we could go no further to Kalambo falls.
1/The only way to get experience is to get experience-Schalk                
2/Ride Reports>Long Tours>Africa Tour To The Equator And Back In 40 Days
3/A stranger is just a friend you have not met yet
4/Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe in and enthusiastically act upon must come to past-Paul J Mayer
5/Use the rocks in the your way to build stepping stones-Herman Zapp
 

Offline schalk vd merwe

Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
« Reply #117 on: February 22, 2012, 04:29:53 pm »
We rode on a foot path till we could go no further to Kalambo falls.
1/The only way to get experience is to get experience-Schalk                
2/Ride Reports>Long Tours>Africa Tour To The Equator And Back In 40 Days
3/A stranger is just a friend you have not met yet
4/Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe in and enthusiastically act upon must come to past-Paul J Mayer
5/Use the rocks in the your way to build stepping stones-Herman Zapp
 

Offline schalk vd merwe

Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
« Reply #118 on: February 22, 2012, 04:33:13 pm »
The Kalambo Falls. Look at our guides next to the water.
1/The only way to get experience is to get experience-Schalk                
2/Ride Reports>Long Tours>Africa Tour To The Equator And Back In 40 Days
3/A stranger is just a friend you have not met yet
4/Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe in and enthusiastically act upon must come to past-Paul J Mayer
5/Use the rocks in the your way to build stepping stones-Herman Zapp
 

Offline schalk vd merwe

Re: Africa tour to the equator and back in 40 days
« Reply #119 on: February 22, 2012, 04:35:14 pm »
Kalambo Falls.
1/The only way to get experience is to get experience-Schalk                
2/Ride Reports>Long Tours>Africa Tour To The Equator And Back In 40 Days
3/A stranger is just a friend you have not met yet
4/Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe in and enthusiastically act upon must come to past-Paul J Mayer
5/Use the rocks in the your way to build stepping stones-Herman Zapp