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Offline wildside

Re: RIDING the RIFT ~ East Africa 2011
« Reply #140 on: April 12, 2012, 11:41:51 pm »


Thank goodness we trusted our planning because after we turned off and travelled west along the lovely 32 km tarred road we caught glimpses of Lake Manyara on our left and the Rift Valley Escarpment appeared in front of us and in no time at all we were in Mto wa Mbu ( I can’t quite get my tongue around the pronunciation of this name ). It was a neat little village sporting several curio stalls and turn offs to various resorts. If one continued on this road it would take you to the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti –unfortunately, being on motorbikes meant that we would not be able to access these areas.
 With help from the locals we eventually found our turn off to MIGUNGA FOREST CAMP which led us along a narrow track passing through a small residential area.  After a short distance a brightly coloured curio stall marked the entrance to a breathtakingly beautiful yellow fever forest........it was spectacular. In initial planning, my enthusiasm to spend time here was because they offered game viewing bicycle rides around the lake area in the afternoons ..........well, having a swollen and painful ankle put paid to that!!!


Colourful Maasai wraps








We pitched our tent in amongst these tall, majestic trees. It was so quiet and peaceful – except for the bird song. There were various forms of accommodation available offering smart tented camps around the perimeter of the resort as well as some scruffy looking thatched tents, however, there was something special about pitching a tent in this magical place.....one couldn’t help but keep on looking upwards at the treetops in wonder. The ablutions were rather shabby but this couldn’t dampen our spirits.










This little Kingfisher entertained us while he was looking for his grub(s).

After a meal of crackers and tuna we headed off ( with me riding pillion) down the road through the thorn trees towards the northern lakeshore of Lake Manyara. This soon becomes a cycle track as the trees open up into a magnificent plain. It was quite breathtaking .I was overcome by the same feelings when I was in Botswana riding onto the Makgadigadi pans a few years back. It was a vast open vlei consisting of short light green grass bordered by a range of mountains on the east side and the Rift Valley Escarpment on the West side and in front was the shimmering mirage–like Lake Manyara. We tried to follow the cycle track but couldn’t resist the temptation to wander off in another direction towards what we thought looked like animals.

We could soon make out some wildebeest and Egyptian geese gathered around a puddle of water.  We were so engrossed in our surroundings that we realised too late that the ground surface had changed and we were soon trying to get ourselves out of slimy mud.







The eastern mountain range.


Egyptian Geese.


Wildebeest


This wildebeest got spooked by the noise of the motorbike.


In the background is the prominant Rift Valley Escarpment and  in the distance beyond that you can see the Ngorongoro Crater


Kingsley ~ stuck in the mud.




Lake Manyara is a shallow lake on the East African Rift and only has a maximum depth of 3,7 m and a surface area of 231 km squared. It was described by Ernest Hemingway  “.....to be the loveliest lake in Africa”. We spent a bit more time enjoying ourselves on the edges of Lake Manyara, avoiding the brighter green patches, but the heat on this exposed flat terrain soon drove us back to camp.













It was too muddy to take the bike closer to the shoreline.



A section of dried shoreline.


That evening we went to bed feeling satisfied from a filling buffet and from another exciting day in Africa.


DODOMA.....HERE WE COME!!    :ricky:

"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 

Online Ian in Great Brak River

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Re: RIDING the RIFT ~ East Africa 2011
« Reply #141 on: April 13, 2012, 08:30:18 pm »
 :thumleft:
1978. It's 6am, mid winter...two up on a XL 185S ... off to my first casino ever with all of R40 and we've got a full tank of fuel, so enough to get there we reckon.... that's determination...

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Offline netrom

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Re: RIDING the RIFT ~ East Africa 2011
« Reply #142 on: April 16, 2012, 12:24:14 pm »
I am so happy to be sitting at my office desk right now  :(
Keep it coming...
 

Offline wildside

Re: RIDING the RIFT ~ East Africa 2011
« Reply #143 on: April 18, 2012, 07:57:37 pm »
LAKE MANYARA to DODOMA

Day 25:  3 January 2012
Distance:  384 km
Time: 6.45 am – 4.45 pm




ROUTE TAKEN FOR THE NEXT 2 DAYS.



We had a long day ahead of us and decided on early start. We hadn’t travelled very far when we were treated to an early morning sighting of my favourite animals........giraffes! They were fairly close to the side of the road and we watched them grazing in the tree tops and loping slowly around the bushes. They were soon joined by another who nonchalantly walked across the road......stopped.....checked us out for a while and then calmly moved off to join the rest of his herd. We were so delighted as this was probably our last chance of seeing any wildlife.


















 We headed south on the A104. Better known as the Great North Road – part of the legendary highway from Cape Town to Cairo. It was still a good tar road and the going was good. We were anticipating a long haul of gravel road. In the early morning light everything looked so fresh and appealing. Tanzania definitely has a certain kind of magic about it ....... a place to return to and spend more time. After passing the Tarangire National Park all sights of tourists disappeared and we were the only ‘mzungus’ once again on this long and lonely stretch of road. Most tourists avoid this stretch of road and travel from Iringa to Arusha via Dar Es Salaam........a longer route but all tar.

By 9.00 am we had reached Babati and were back on the dirt road. There was quite a bit of road construction going on which slowed the going down and gave us the opportunity to take in the stunning scenery. We alternated between climbing up into the hills and riding back down into the hot, dry and dusty valleys.

It was late morning when we arrived hot and thirsty at Kolo, which is about 100 km south of Babati and it was fortunate that we came across the Antiquities Department office and Museum of the Kolo Rock Art.








The Kolo Rock Art Site is a World Heritage Site, about 9 km off the main road, with caves containing paintings believed to date back more than 1500 years. As we were pressed for time we only visited the small but interesting museum that we had no idea was there until we stopped for something to drink. ( another excuse to return)


I was fascinated by the lovely carving on the door frame


A few photos from inide the museum.






"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 

Offline wildside

Re: RIDING the RIFT ~ East Africa 2011
« Reply #144 on: April 18, 2012, 08:12:21 pm »

About 50 km north of Dodoma the roadworks started again and we were diverted onto the side of the road. I would hate to travel this road in the rain!! By mid afternoon we were no longer cheerfully greeting the people, admiring the scenery and feeling on top of the world. Instead, my attention was now on my sore hands, the knot between my shoulder blades, checking the odometer to see if it was still ticking over and on my sore butt!

Below are some pictures taken along the way.


Surprisingly few accidents considering the vehicles and driving conditions.






We had to have a photo of this sign as we where hundreds of miles away from the beach.




These locals were actually digging in the dry river bed looking for water.




Having a rest,


Some flooded plains.


Just when I thought I could continue no more there was the TWIGA HOTEL on the right hand side.





We had prepared ourselves not to expect too much but this was a lovely sight. Arthur, the manager, made us feel most welcome and at one stage we engaged in a long conversation with him and he took us by surprise as he had a firm grasp on the political situation of his country especially regarding corruption and deals with the Chinese. He left us with food for thought.



Our accomodation.


 A travellers palm –the sheaths of the stems hold rainwater which can be used as an  emergency drinking supply for travellers. I have also recently learnt that the fan tends to grow in a n east-west line, providing a crude compass


 For some reason there was no electricity here but we were not too concerned as it was clean and comfortable and Arthur reduced the price. We had a cold shower, washed some clothes and relaxed outside. The only food available was rice, spinach and tomato which we enjoyed in our room with the aid of our headlamps.

"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 

Offline wildside

Re: RIDING the RIFT ~ East Africa 2011
« Reply #145 on: April 18, 2012, 08:20:33 pm »

DODOMA to IRINGA

Day 26:  4 January 2012
Distance: 285 km
Time: 8.30 am – 4.00 pm


Feeling rested we said our farewells to Arthur and his granddaughter and headed off to Dodoma, 10 km away. We withdrew some cash and headed for Iringa.




The scenery was once again stunning and the baobabs started to replace the thorn trees and natural bush. The roads were a great improvement on yesterdays despite all the construction work interspersed throughout the whole trip. The down side to all this construction was the uprooting of some magnificent baobabs.











At one stage we came to the top of a pass and had a hazy but amazing view of a valley of baobabs.






We spotted this little guy resting in a bush next to our bikes.



One of the villages along the way were we stopped for something to drink. We were always grateful for the welcoming cold drink and bit of shade offered by the little stores. The locals never hassled us. They were always polite and respectful.












"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 

Offline wildside

Re: RIDING the RIFT ~ East Africa 2011
« Reply #146 on: April 18, 2012, 08:32:41 pm »


Mid way between Dodoma and Iringa we came across the Mtera Dam which is located on the great Ruaha River. It is the biggest hydro electrical dam in Tanzania measuring 56 km long and 15 km wide. On entering this area we were required to stop at a boom, sign a register and were given a permit which enabled us to pass through. We crossed over a dam wall with the dam on our right and a very dry rocky area on our left.


















We eventually climbed out of a valley into a lovely mountainous area with spectacular views but plenty of road works.








It was late afternoon when we arrived at Iringa, once again hot, tired and dusty.  After refuelling and stocking up with a few supplies we rode up and down the main street several times looking for the turn off to Rivervalley Camp as the GPS insisted that we turn off in the centre of town but we couldn’t find the turn off  and by now we were getting a little ‘tetchy’ with one another. We eventually continued through town and finally found the turn off to the main Tanzam Highway that leads east to Dar Es Salaam. The GPS picked up directions again on this road and about 10 km later we finally found our turnoff to the RIVERVALLEY REST CAMP. It was a lovely tidy little spot on the  overgrown banks of the little Ruaha River. Arriving late and tired calls for a G&T, cold beer and a relax.



This photo was actually taken the next morning as we were leaving.



Our campsite.



Preparing 'vetkoek' on the open fire.


Tomorrow would be our last day in Tanzania and it is going to be a looong day. Lay in bed with sad feelings of leaving this wonderful country – just another reminder that our adventure was nearly coming to an end.



NEXT......... a long ride back to Malawi.



"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 

Offline netrom

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Re: RIDING the RIFT ~ East Africa 2011
« Reply #147 on: April 19, 2012, 05:14:01 pm »
What a trip! did you ever have any bike issues?
 

Offline madmax

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Re: RIDING the RIFT ~ East Africa 2011
« Reply #148 on: April 19, 2012, 07:21:26 pm »
i am and have been captivated..very interested to hear your arthurs thoughts on the corruption and chinese etc
fornicate the proletariat
 

Offline wildside

Re: RIDING the RIFT ~ East Africa 2011
« Reply #149 on: April 20, 2012, 02:45:24 pm »
i am and have been captivated..very interested to hear your arthurs thoughts on the corruption and chinese etc

Hi Madmax. Glad to hear that you are enjoying the RR.
 With reference to Arthur, he seemed to accept that corruption in the country was firmly entrenched and this situation was not going to change soon. However, what did concern him more than the corruption was the problem that the government did not have the skills needed to negotiate these huge deals with the Chinese. He could accept politicians enriching themselves if only they could broker  better deals  for the country and its people.
Thats about it in a nut shell - hope it answers your question.
Take care.
"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 

Offline wildside

Re: RIDING the RIFT ~ East Africa 2011
« Reply #150 on: April 20, 2012, 02:55:01 pm »
What a trip! did you ever have any bike issues?

Hi netrom. Good to hear from you. The bikes gave very little problems but the mud did take its toll on Kingsleys break pads and mine suffered from a lot of dirt in the airfilter as I always seem to travel in the dust at the back and at one point the filter failed and blocked up the carb - which wasnt a real problem and just needed to be cleaned which we managed to do on the side of the road in Uganda.
Hope you enjoy the rest of the RR - its nearly complete.
Take care
"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 

Offline Bollie

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Re: RIDING the RIFT ~ East Africa 2011
« Reply #151 on: April 20, 2012, 04:15:50 pm »
Awesome awesome awesome!
Ek is baie jaloers, maar my dag sal kom!!!!!!
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
If you don't try you will never know!
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Offline wildside

Re: RIDING the RIFT ~ East Africa 2011
« Reply #152 on: April 20, 2012, 08:13:04 pm »
Awesome awesome awesome!
Ek is baie jaloers, maar my dag sal kom!!!!!!
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

Hi Bollie. Toemaar.... elke (wilde)hond het sy dag. hahahaha :D
Lekker ry.
"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 

Offline wildside

Re: RIDING the RIFT ~ East Africa 2011
« Reply #153 on: April 20, 2012, 08:31:20 pm »
                         

                             BACK IN MALAWI


IRINGA (Tanzania) to SANGILO SANCTUARY LODGE ( Malawi)

Day 27:   5 January 2012
Distance:  574 km
Time: 6.45 am – 5.30 pm




MAP OF ROUTE ALL THE WAY BACK TO FAT MONKEY (MALAWI)....4 DAYS RIDE


OH NO !!!!  It rained all night and continued to rain while we were packing up. My heart just sunk. We eventually moved bikes under the gazebo (shelter) in order to finish our packing. After putting on our rain gear we headed off into a gloomy day. A month ago we arrived in south Tanzania in the wet weather and now we were leaving south Tanzania in the wet weather. We shouldn’t complain as we were aware that it was there rainy season. Fortunately it would be tar all the way as we were now heading south on the lovely Tanzam Highway.

We rode very carefully for the first 150 km as it continued to rain.  We didn’t take much notice of our surroundings as it took all our concentration focusing on the wet busy road and staying alive. It eventually stopped raining but we were now soaking wet and freezing cold.......my teeth couldn’t stop chattering. After refuelling and having something to eat we started to thaw out and relax.

The rest of the way to Mbeya was overcast but dry and the scenery became lush green bush as far as the eye could see. One would expect to see wildlife around here but only cattle and goats grazed in this area. Because of the shortage of fuel in Malawi we decided check fuel stations while still in Tanzania and at Chimala we filled up our tanks and containers.



REFUELLING AT CHIMALA


 Which was just as well as most fuel stations from here on were empty.  We had no sooner turned off the A104 towards Tukuyu when my bike started spluttering again. Kingsley just took the cover off again and we continued with no problems. What he did notice was that it had started to use a lot of oil and it needed frequent topping up.

Heading towards the border post we encountered some beautiful scenery along this stretch of road. At one stage we were riding on the top of a ridge of mountains with healthy banana plantations and neat tea estates on either side and beyond this it dropped down into deep valleys with lovely views. We were lucky enough to find fuel again about 40 km before the border. It was so crowded with locals filling up their containers to sell to the black market.

The Tanzanian border was once again clean, efficient and nicely organised compared to the dirty, unpleasant and costly Malawian border. We were now qualified as wise old travellers and managed without any help from the ‘runners’. I must admit it was good to be back in Malawi and another 50 km took us into Karonga once again....... we had now done a complete loop in 25 days. It was quite amazing to think back to the day that we rode out of here, so naive, into Zambia and got ourselves horribly lost.

I insisted on going back to the Cultural  Museum Centre that we had missed out on previously as I wanted to see this amazing Malawisaurus ( meaning Malawi Lizard) that I had read so much about. This handsome chap that lived in the Cretaceous period, measuring 9.1 meters in length and 4.3 meters high, was found in the nearby hills of Karonga. There is an archaeology site called Malema Research Camp about 3 km out of town, where excavations are being done and it also provides accommodation.











A BIT MORE INFO ABOUT THE MALAWISAURUS


We were now tired and hungry and still had another 80 km to ride. We arrived at SANGILO SANCTUARY LODGE at about 5.30 pm. What a relief. We spotted this sign on the way up Malawi last month and what fascinated us was the motorbike signage. It also came highly recommended by Peter from the Mikoma Beach Resort were we had camped on the beach. One has to ride about 2 km on a sandy road and down an awful rutted track to reach the resort. The Chalets were too expensive so we pitched a soggy tent in a tiny little patch reserved for campers which sadly, only had a limited view of the lake.









After a cold shower we settled comfortably in the pub which was at the base of some stairs that led down to the beach and it overlooked a divine secluded private beach. We were definitely in for 2 nights!!! Winston, our friendly Rasta barman took care of our thirst and his sister took care of our hunger and served up a delicious meal of fish, fried potatoes and salad.




Later that evening I received a phone call from my sister-in-law informing us that my mother wasn’t doing too well. She had lost weight and was no longer able to walk. She had suffered a stroke 2 years ago and her health had been deteriorating slowly ever since. I couldn’t wait to get back home and tell her all about our travels.


"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 

Offline wildside

Re: RIDING the RIFT ~ East Africa 2011
« Reply #154 on: April 20, 2012, 09:00:06 pm »


REST DAY: SANGILO LODGE

Day 28: Friday 6 January 2012

Despite the rain throughout the night we had a good sleep. Spent the rest of the day relaxing and swimming at the beach. I have been trying to absorb as much as possible of this place and to hold on to these special feelings one gets when experiencing such beauty. This is a real little patch of paradise and we were the only people here enjoying it. As nice as it is to have this pretty place to ourselves, one must sympathise with the owners who are trying to keep things going when the countries economy is against them. The fuel crisis has really knocked the tourist industry.



NOTHING LIKE A KUCHE KUCHE EVENING NEXT TO A LAKE   :mwink:




A LOVELY WOOD CARVING OF A MOTOBIKE IN FRONT OF THE ABLUTIONS.



THE OPEN-AIR KITCHEN WHERE DELICIOUS MEALS ARE PREPARED AND THE TOTEM POLE.




THE PUB



THE BEACH LOOKING SOUTH



THE BEACH LOOKING NORTH



THE DINING DECK



INSIDE THE PUB





THE UPMARKET ACCOMMODATION


THE VIEW FROM THE CHALET


THE CHALET ABLUTIONS



LOOKING ACROSS TO THE TANZANIAN MOUNTAINS


I have to mention that this is also the resort that Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman  visited during their trip ‘Long way Down’ in 2007. They were lucky enough to stay in the chalets though. Apparently a lot of bikers frequent this spot and Mark, the owner, is also a keen biker.






MARKS PRIDE AND JOY IS THIS OLD TENERE



HE ALSO HAS THIS OLD BMW EX-MISSIONARY BIKE ( I THINK ONLY A 350 CC ?).... MAYBE A COLLECTORS PIECE?


 Nine years ago he built himself a lovely home on a rocky outcrop overlooking this little bay and seems to have become very critical of the locals in their expectations of the white man to make things happen.

By the end of the day we were feeling so chilled. What a divine place to start unwinding and to add to our many wonderful memories.






 TOMORROW..... SAD NEWS ......A SAD DAY!
"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 

Offline dassie

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Re: RIDING the RIFT ~ East Africa 2011
« Reply #155 on: April 21, 2012, 04:20:55 pm »
This is such a great RR, ive been glued to the PC trying to anticipate what hapens next.  :thumleft: Not looking forward to the sad news, but curious like ive been the whole trip with you guys....
uhhh yes doctor, i know im adicted.....
 

Offline spoedvark

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Re: RIDING the RIFT ~ East Africa 2011
« Reply #156 on: April 21, 2012, 07:31:17 pm »
WOW!!!! What a ride and RR.

Full respect to you both.

You CAN ride!!!
Go Big!
or
Go Home!!!!
Previous bikes:
Yamaha XS 400 Special Kawasaki ZX 10 Yamaha XT 550 BMW 650 GS BMW 1200 GS KEEP THE RUBBER DUSTY!!!!
 

Offline madmax

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Re: RIDING the RIFT ~ East Africa 2011
« Reply #157 on: April 22, 2012, 08:32:52 am »
i am and have been captivated..very interested to hear your arthurs thoughts on the corruption and chinese etc

Hi Madmax. Glad to hear that you are enjoying the RR.
 With reference to Arthur, he seemed to accept that corruption in the country was firmly entrenched and this situation was not going to change soon. However, what did concern him more than the corruption was the problem that the government did not have the skills needed to negotiate these huge deals with the Chinese. He could accept politicians enriching themselves if only they could broker  better deals  for the country and its people.
Thats about it in a nut shell - hope it answers your question.
Take care.


yes it does and very interesting...forget the corruption so long as the country also benefits...interesting thought that i guess could work
fornicate the proletariat
 

Offline wildside

Re: RIDING the RIFT ~ East Africa 2011
« Reply #158 on: April 23, 2012, 09:36:49 pm »
SANGILO LODGE to MAKUZI LODGE

DAY 29: Saturday 7 January 2012
DISTANCE: 240 km
TIME:  9.00 am – 1.00 pm


“Travelling makes one modest – you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”

                                                                                                         Paul Theroux


We awoke to some rumbling thunder and a few spots of rain. I was dreading riding out on the awful driveway as it was steep, rocky and no doubt a bit muddy after last night’s rain.......”I guess it rains down in Africa....”.  After a light breakfast down at the beach we said our farewells and went back up to the bikes.

 We were warming up the bikes when my phone rang. When I saw who was calling my heart sank.......I just knew it was bad news. It was a call from my family letting me know that my Mom had passed away earlier that morning. In the back of my mind I knew it was what Mom would have wanted as she was now in a better place and it was something that we had been expecting to happen sooner or later but one is still never really prepared for it. I just couldn’t image not having a Mom as Moms should be there for you all the time.

After the initial shock we decided that it was best to continue on our way. For me, it was therapeutic being on the bike where I could think and cry and just be on my own. Fortunately there was very little traffic as my concentration wasn’t too good. The country side and time passed by in a blurr and I couldn’t appreciate it in my state of mind. We were meant to have visited Livingstonia on this return trip but at this stage it was the last thing on my mind so sadly we gave it a miss.

At some stage we stopped for a rest on a quiet stretch of road and within minutes a man arrived carrying a bucket lid filled with water and 4 mangoes. He said that we looked like tired travellers and he wanted to offer us some fruit. We couldn’t believe his generosity. While we peeled and messily ate our juicy mangoes we chatted about his farm and he told us in well spoken English that they were “busy with agricultural activities”. When I asked him what they were actually busy with he said “weeding”.  He was joined by two others who spoke English very well. After washing our hands in the water from the bucket lid and scraping mango fur from between our teeth we said our goodbyes and moved on, once again taken aback by the kindness of the locals as no reward or payment was asked for or expected.

Our next stop was at Mzuzu where we withdrew cash and went across the road to a petrol station to find something cold to drink. We didn’t even attempt to refuel as there was no fuel anywhere. As we came out of the shop I noticed an attendant putting fuel into a container in the boot of a white mans car. Excitedly we moved our bikes closer to the pumps and indicated for him to fill up. He looked at us and shook his head and refused. Well... we argued and accused him of turning the garage into a black market outlet, but he was so arrogant about it and challenged us with “what are you going to do about it?”.  We both suppressed the need to punch him!!!


Fed up with corruption we rode off, out of Mzuzu, and to add to our misery, into a speed trap!!! I can’t recall how much we paid but you could imagine how we were feeling at this point. Our next stop was in the rubber plantation. A chap on a bicycle stopped to enquire if we were OK and offered us some fuel. He had 5 litres which he was selling at R60 per litre. We simply had no choice but to buy it. Soon there was another chap offering us the same deal. So now we were R600 poorer and only 10 litres in our tanks. Can you believe it!

Anyway, we enquired about the rubber trees and they gave us a guided tour and demonstration in the plantation of how the rubber sap is tapped from the trees. A coiled formation cut is made around the tree trunk and from that a straight line cut running downwards. The white sap now bleeds from the cut running down into a cup which is secured at the base of the cut. It takes about one and a half hours for the cup to fill up. The plastic wrapping around the trunk protects the milk in the cup from the rain. The dried milky liquid that remains in the scar of the cut can now be pulled away and the locals use this to wrap around a bit of old tyre tubes until a lovely bouncy ball is made. It was so good to learn something from these guys....perhaps our money was well spent after all.




THE UP AND COMING ENTREPRENEURS




THE WHITE SAP DRAINING INTO THE CUP.


A STRETCHED PIECE OF RUBBER TAKEN OFF THE TREE


We decide to call it a day at the Makuzi Lodge turnoff and a 4 km sandy track lead us down to another picturesque spot on Lake Malawi. We pitched our tent on the edge of the beach and were treated to a stunning view of yet another secluded beach. Once again we were the only visitors but sometime late during the night another camper noisily moved in. The rest of the afternoon passed by while we swam, relaxed on the beach, communicated with family back home and mourned for Mom.
"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle
 

Offline wildside

Re: RIDING the RIFT ~ East Africa 2011
« Reply #159 on: April 23, 2012, 09:42:18 pm »





















"Heading out to where pavement turns to sand"
                                                         Neil Young

RIDE REPORTS:
*Namibian Meander 2009 * Botswana 09 *A(nother) Sani Sunday * Saturday Ride Fever * Welcome to the Wildcoast * Riding the Rift ~ East Africa 2011 * In and out of Snow Valley * Wildsides ride to the Bash 'n back *  Bali with my Baby~2013  * Unwrapping the Cape for Christmas~2015 * Back to Bots~Kubu Island @ High Tide 2016 * A Piece of Pondoland~2018 *Squaring the Circle