Murphy you basted! Part2
It was just after Christmas and Cha Cha Backpackers was overflowing with an unsavory dodgy bunch of Indian travelers, coughing, belching and convulsing to such an extend that the entire camp were up early at 4am. Harold as the passive one nearly got physical with one of them just before sunrise. It was the funniest thing to see this normally calm pacifist lose his temper that bad. He eventually also had to crack a smile at the situation.
There are better places to stay in Lusaka, we just had to stay there due to the spares we were waiting for.
The owner of the backpackers maybe didn't understand what backpackers meant when he allowed an entire village with kids and elders to move in. In any case so you learn.
We set out of Lusaka for the nearly 800km trip to Monkey Bay hopeful that the bikes are sorted and we will be able to hit the sandy beaches in two days’ time.
CROSSING THE LUANGWA RIVER BRIDGE
Unfortunately the basted Murphy had other ideas for us. I was still riding with the smell of fresh rain in my nostrils when my bike suddenly over heated and dumped hot radiator water all over my left leg. This was not the kind of engine trouble I was hoping we would have to deal with on this trip, and especially this early into the trip. Shocks, tyres, chains, but not over heating engines or similar problems that can potentiality stop a trip. Fuuuuck!!
BOYS SCOUT PEDDLING AFRICA TOP TO BOTTOM, THEY CONSUME BAGS OF RICE AND MAIZE PORRIDGE TO KEEP THEM GOING.
WE OFTEN MADE BEER STOP, THE HEAT AND HUMIDITY DEHYDRATED US QUITE QUICK .
As a troubleshooting exercise we took out the thermostat, rode it and the red light came on, next swop out the heat sensors, nope, not that, red light comes one after 2km. Then only option that was left was to check the water pump, but for that we had to get to a place to stay. We had no choice but to tow the bike to the nearest town. *Just before Nyimbi we came past a motel that looked like a ghost place, hotel Baghdad came to mind.
MURPHY THE EVIL BASTARD HAD TO PLAY A TRICK ON US AGAIN
Hotel Kacholola’ owner George and his grandson Richard were so helpful. We were very great full for the cold beers, in a Paraffin fridge, and the clean rooms even without running water. *The place is run down but you will go far to get a more friendlier and helpful host.
HAVING ICE COLD BEERS IN A GHOST HOTEL, BROKEN BIKE CAN WAIT.
VIEW FROM OUR ROOMS
The next morning Harold and myself got the surgery underway. I called Kurt a friend in South Africa his advice was a easy check, take the pump cover off and see if the impeller spin by hand, if so the waterpump gears are fucked.
ZAMBIA BIKE WORKSHOP
The only clean place we could found was a dilapidated grass thatch that were used to be part of a veranda many moons ago. The view over the mountains from there was just jaw drop beautiful.
It took us a bit of time to figure out what's what, eventually we got the clutch cover off and all the other bits. Our worst fear came true, the waterpump gears were stripped.
At this point, I was really a bit down and out on the bikes, I so wanted the bikes to do this trip without issues. The Dakar's are suppose to be bullet proof bikes, I made sure the last few years that I got to know everything about the bikes and what needs to be looked at. It took me 3 weeks to prepare the bikes before the trip and make sure everything was looked after. My bike was on 40000km and never gave one problem.
How I could have missed the the fact that the waterpump gears could fail was a mystery to me. Only now after the fact and lots of research the problem is more related to 2004 and 2005 year models and later.
CANDLE LIGHT DINNER AT HOTEL KACHOLOLA
ABOUT THE ONLY THING A GAS CANISTER IS USEFUL FOR
What to do next? We had no spare gears, we had a waterpump kit but no gears. It was around 500km back to Lusaka, but we cant tow that far it will take us forever, and then we miss the Malawi new years party. We decided to try and get the bike to the border where Metaljockey can come and fetch us.
THESE WOMAN OVER CHARGED US!
GETTING MY ASS KICKED BY A BOY.
We spend the rest of the day trying to find transport for the bike to the border, washing and cleaning stuff. We had a great time with all the locals, playing chess and just sit drinking beers. These rural towns are small gems, we left everything on the bikes at night, nothing gets lost or stolen.
FIVE STAR LIVING, NO REALLY THIS IS FUN
It’s good to have good friends around. Metaljockey and Lindsay convinced another South African man, Sarel to borrow them his brand new VW Transporter to come and fetch us in Zambia. If not for that we would not have been able to get there in time for New Year’s, and both Lindsay and Metaljockey made considerable effort meeting us their.
FIRST TRY TO GET TO THE BORDER. LUCKILY METALJOCKEY MADE IT.
We tried from our side to arrange a truck or van to get the bike to the border and have Metaljockey only drive to the border. As things go in Zambia it’s African time, and as the day pasted all prospects that we tried to arrange turned to nothing.
At last after 5pm a local teacher arrived with his borrowed Chinese van we started loading the bike. As luck would have it, as we set off to get to the border which would have taken us till after nine that evening, Metaljockey called and said he has just cleared the border and will see us later the evening. We can then leave the next morning early for Malawi.
Metaljockey had to lie at the border post to get the car through and took a huge risk if they found out it was not his car they could have confiscated the vehicle. But that is what lengths he will go to for a friends.
With all the trouble our stay turned out to be an enjoyable time, we had a great experience with the locals and their heartwarming helpfulness.
Malawi here we come!!!!!