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michnus 06-11-2011 12:28 PM

Hello Africa tell me how you doing? The 11 month trip from South Africa to Italy.
Hello Africa tell me how you doing?

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

The words from DR Alban keeps popping in my head as we ride the last few kís into Upington, a small town in the North West of South Africa after a damn hot day sitting on tar. Itís the start of our 6 month trip up into Africa and itís slowly starting to grow on me that itís actually happening. If all works out we will try and get to Germany to leave the bikes there. If we do not make it and love this too much we will leave the bikes in whatever African country we can store them and go back home to try and beg money from friends and family to go again.
It does not matter this is the start of a continues trip that hopefully in years to come will take us around the world.

Mr and Mrs Livingstone
Itís been a long year of planning and getting things organised for the businesses and to make sure they can work without us. The planning for the trip was the least of the issues. It is unbelievable how difficult it is to just close the door and walk away from your way of life as you know it and to let things go. We do not have kids and I thought it surely had to be easier for us, just close the door, say good bye to the old Staffie and leave. Not te hell, we are so tied down in our daily grind and business it takes effort to let it go and trust all will go well while away eating dust.

Apart from that hoping nobody gets injured or a bike decide to call it a day while on the trip and ends it prematurely. Sitting here next to the Orange River at Sakkieís place in Upington sipping a cold Carling beer the worries are fading fast, whatís the worst that can happen anyway?

We left East London our home town in the rain with Dreyer and Lincha and Carina friends that decided to ride with us for a short distance. We were still waiting for our passports that were with some African embassies. Lesotho borders around Lundeans neck was a good second alternative on our way up to Namibia to kill some time and one of my favourite places to ride, the scenery is spectacular and offers some of the best riding in SA.

On our way to Vioolsdrift on the North West border of South Africa and Namibia we stayed over at Riemvasmaak near Upington, it is one the nicest places to stay around there. The road into Riemvasmaak will put a smile on any biker and it is so isolated you can skinny dip and drink beers in the pool the entire day. The stay over at Riemvasmaak added a nice start to our trip.

We will meet up with our other friends that will do this trip with us, Harold and Linda at Ruacana in Namibia just before December where we want to enter Angola, they insist they want to work till near death instead of leaving earlier, not even a cheap wine bribe worked.

Namibia is where the trip starts for us as we have seen most of South Africa.

GSpot1200 06-11-2011 12:33 PM

Good Luck and God Speed

asphaltmueller 06-11-2011 12:42 PM

good luck man, in some of the areas you might need some of it

michnus 06-11-2011 12:55 PM

Is true, we have made it to Ethiopia by now. Just started the report now while I am ahead. :D
The rest will follow.....

Drif10 06-11-2011 02:14 PM

This is gonna be good. :kbasa

Flood 06-11-2011 02:39 PM


GB 06-11-2011 03:42 PM

What an adventure! :thumb

Looks like Libya's off your list...


tmotten 06-11-2011 06:14 PM

Nice start. I was wondering when we'd see a RR from you.

BullShatter 06-11-2011 06:19 PM

Good Luck Michus! This should be an Epic Adventure...especially in N. Africa. Like Gadget Boy's post above, what's the contingency plan for Libya...maybe turn right at Egypt instead.

alekkas 06-11-2011 06:30 PM

nice start .... I'm in.

michnus 06-13-2011 03:16 PM

Bikes and Boobs in Namibia
No need for waterproofing it's too dry, build houses from reeds.

Our first night in Namibia we stayed over in Ai-Ais, a hot spring in the lower part of Namibia. It’s a great place to relax for a few days and enjoy the moon-like surroundings. It forms part of the Fish river canyon which is the second biggest canyon in the world, the Grand canyon is bigger.
Namibia is a arid desert type of country, only 2 million people in a area that is just bigger than Texas. It's a wonderful laid back country with different tribes of people making a living in this dry hot corner of Africa.

Fish river canyon, what a place, the beauty and size leaves you breathless. Second biggest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon

On the road to Aus a small one horseman town on the way to Sossusvlei, 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 don't we get adverts like this any more? Bloody feminist crusaders, and activist! :D
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 local bikers that also visited the place at the same time

Just outside the Fish River canyon we came across this French couple cycling all the way from France to Cape town. How dehell people decide to do this is beyond me, this is serious hardcore stuff. If you do cycling touring in Europe it's one thing. Doing it in Africa add quite a good measure of risk and danger to this adventure. 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 extreme travelling and way past my abilities, respect, that’s all I can say.

He came down the West coast of Africa which is the most difficult route you can do in Africa 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 pedalling there and back are just too much work.
Crazy French cycling to CP
Cold beers and nice people at Seeheim hotel, we stopped for petrol, there's nothing in miles only this pre 19th century place build by some German settlers.
Oryx, one of the most beautiful and graceful bucks on the African continent. This one enjoy live at the Seeheim hotel entertaining overseas tourist.
Camping at Klein Aus Vista, and sharing a a camp site with a colony Sociable weaver birds nesting in the tree above us.
The famous Wild Horses from Aus, seems more dead than wild to me, I must add it's damn dry there and they get feed from the locals to help through the dry times.

At this stage we hoped we could get some excitement along the way to take away the boredom of some of the never ending dirt roads. We read up in some magazine the best way to Sossusvlei is best riding the D707 a sandy road running along the edge of the Namib park. It’s also on this road that I had my wish come true for a bit of excitement.

At Ai-Ais we were asked whether we were part of the gaggle of GS’s, all French people and around 30 of them, that were doing a loop of SA, Zim, Bots, Zambia and Namibia. Aus’s garage owner told us not to take the D707 … sand, sand, sand, apparently some of the French fell them into hell, on that road and one pillion broke a collar bone. Well, that’s the sign right there brothers and sisters!! We had to take this road!
Noooo uncle, if the French love falling themselves into hospital then let them, how can you tell me I can't go ride this road?
Sand, glorious sand!!!
I broke in the trip with the first fall....yeeehaaa I feel like a child again!

It's one of those roads where you want to stop every 10 minutes and take pictures. Breath taking jaw drop 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.

It's easy to understand why so many people get injured in Namibia on bikes and why the locals keep telling us stories of people hitting the dirt. The wide 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 and cat-piss drenched testosterone cowboys it’s the biggest danger. They normally fall them selves into a different blood group.

As we rode into Betta, another small town, well it can't be called a town, there's only 3 houses. This young dirty Jenson Button look-a-like named Neil with an oooold XT500 6Volt bike was sitting sipping on hot water. He started riding bike a few months ago after drooling over Nardus’ ride report on his Africa travels MAN WITHOUT SHOES RIDE AFRICA 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 Namibia, Zambia, Malawi and back SA. Nardus is the same man that did "Angola is not what they said" with us

This guy is a true adventure rider, and I am super impress with him and his exuberance. 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 plastic Coca Cola bottles and set off to Springbok a small town close to the border of Nambia, 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 he was allowed to enter into Namibia.
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
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.

At Sesriem and Sossuslvei the border to the oldest desert, there’s only one place to stay and it’s the Oasis camp site. It’s cheaper and miles better than the National Park camp site. Each camp site has its own private facilities.
Infinity, if you look close you can see well into tomorrow
Zebra's on their afternoon stroll to a waterhole
Sesriem Camp Oasis, and a cold pool, the temp in this desert run well into 104F and best stay out of the sun during midday. Better spending time drinking beer
Warm evening wind and a bbq with hard red wood next to Sossusvlei, the sun sets on another stunning day in Africa !!

michnus 06-13-2011 03:30 PM


Originally Posted by Tomilg007 (Post 16142015)
Good Luck Michus! This should be an Epic Adventure...especially in N. Africa. Like Gadget Boy's post above, what's the contingency plan for Libya...maybe turn right at Egypt instead.

Man that's a bit of a sad thing, I really would have loved to go to Libya, from what I have seen and heard there's some stunning places to see and ride.

It's not all lost, our 6 months came to an end in Ethiopia and we left our bikes there. We will go back in Sept/ Oct to continue the trip North wards.
By then maybe who knows, we might be lucky to go into Libya, however seeing how things go there now, I doubt it.
Second option is to go Israel, Jordan route. :wink:

Tmotten, Metaljockey is our writer extraordinaire for the group. The English language can be a bit of a problem for some of us. :lol3

As things work out he is a dad these days and I am childless so our trips differ a bit. This was the last long-ish trip we did together, Namaqua land, and the three adventurous girls.. We still do loads of short trips together. Maybe when Peanut is bigger and able to teach and learn herself on trips we can do these extended type trips together again. :D

kktos 06-14-2011 02:08 AM

oh oh... interesting :)
Looks like you left your 12gs for something lighter... I'm wondering why :D
I'll follow your trip with interest... as we did a smaller one last feb following ur route, from namibia to kenya..... on my 12gs adv :huh
what's ur plan when u'll reach tunisia ? Coz I'll be close... for a beer ;)
Viel Spass.

michnus 06-14-2011 08:13 AM

Thierry, if things work out and we can do Tunisia we can stop over at your place for a beer. Just need to let me know where to get hold of you. :thumb

With second thoughts I would have loved doing this trip with the 1200, air cooled, tubeless tyres, shaft. No water pump gears and tube replacements. :D

Had the one Dakar, decided to buy another to keep stuff simple if one should break I can swap parts to find faults. Besides that Egypt wants a 200% Carne on our bikes. Expensive bikes are not the choice of weapon for this trip.

dc1 06-22-2011 09:45 PM

zambia malawi stretch
hi can you tell us about the zambia- malawi stretch.
Gass stations , Stopovers, Anything special on the way?

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