Parties all behind us it was time to tackle the broken Dakar. The bike was standing beneath the big old Mango tree since we arrived and we decided to conduct the repairs there as it offered the most shade.
METALJOCKEY AND HAROLD CHOONING THE BIKE
The parts for the bike took longer than expected and I still had to get the bolt that broke off in the water pump casing fixed. That in itself is a problem sitting at Monkey Bay. It is not the kind of town that offers engineering services or anything more than what you would get in, some other small place around the North Pole.
The only other town capable of drilling and tapping a screw is Lilongwe and that is a full day’s excursion getting there and back. It is slow going in Malawi the roads are narrow and there’s always people on the road, the average speed is less than 70km/h.
HIGH-TECH WELDING SHOP
There is a port at Monkey Bay that also repairs ferries and cargo ships that cruise Lake Nyasa. With nothing to lose I took Elsebie’s bike and head off for the works hoping that they would be able to repair the casing for me.
When talking to people and they seem confident enough making a repair but the first thing they want to do is weld, I get a bit worried and I had to explain to these artist that if they fuck-up this casing I will have to get a new one from SA and that is another week and 800USD down the drain.
Yes, yes we understand came the answer with a broad smile on the face, and no, it still does bugger all to my confidence meter. They then proceed to weld an extra piece on the stud with a welder that draw enough power that will dim all of Japan's nuclear facility’s lights for a few seconds. *The works was taken over by a new company and the equipment is not in the best shape
RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB? NO....IT'S THE ONLY TOOL FOR THE JOB
When that did not work they clamped the casing on to the biggest and oldest drill press they had and with old drill bits the one technician had to fetch at his home, started drilling into the casing. The drill bit was also bent but that did not deter them on their quest to show this pale face that they can fix this small problem. *Well two hours later and 7USD poorer I set off with a skew drilled casing that I was hope would work.
BIKES GOT THEIR NEW PAINTINGS
The hole drilled and tapped as scew as a cork screw pig's penis and tapped with two or three threads able to pull the bolt I got the thing back. Kurt was on speed dial in South Africa and had to help out with information. I could not buy radiator fluid and used the lake water instead. I did not think it was such an issue and will replace the water in Tanzania once we get there.
BUSH MECHANIC EXTRAORDINAIRE
Jenson Button, aka the Neill helped me fit everything together and I must say I felt a bit red faced that a man travelling on an a bike the same age as Jan van Riebeeck’s boat, 6Volt Yamaha is helping me to fix the supposed to be best bike for this kind of trip. All in good spirit and teasing from Neill while fixing the bike we set off North to Nkhata Bay and Mayoka Village.
Stupid bloody mistake with the radiator fluid that would come back to haunt me!
JAMBO THE SKIPPER FROM SHA-NANA COOKED US SOME FISH AND RICE
Fat Monkey's is a popular place for overlanders to chill and enjoy the local beers. While there we met up with Thomas and Ruth. He is a Optometrist that bought this 30 year old truck in East Germany, load his bike and set off straight through Africa and the Sahara desert to SA. Eventually after 2years he stopped in Malawi on hs way up again and got Bongi fewer.
It' now 3 years later and they are still there. He married Ruth, she did a solo trip on a Transalp around Aus, Tanzania, New Zealand, and then the East. She also ended her trip in Malawi and the Transalp are still her only bike.
HIPSTER HIPPIE INTERIOR OF THE EAST GERMAN ARMY TRUCK
Then these two mad Brits pulled in, both on their way to SA.
James came down the East side of Africa with his normal 2001 GS heading towards SA. He strarted last year August.
JAMES AND HIS TRUSTY 650GS
Ted also came down the East Coast and also quit his job to do this trip. He did South America and Europe before trying Africa. He insisted a DRZ is the bike to do this trip and it is still going strong. Some of us disagree but with the Dakar breaking all over the show we can’t argue. All with soft luggage.
TED AND HIS DRZ400
As things go, we scribbled on each others bikes for good luck.
Malawi really crept deep into our hearts, it’s a wonderful country with equal measures of friendly faces and colourful people, Malawi people are a laid back bunch there’s not much that upset them. *It is different to a sea vacation the water is clean and makes for easy swimming compared to sea swimming, no tides or currents when snorkelling and we spend more time swimming than normally when having a holiday at the coast.
kIDS DO THE DARNEST THINGS
EXCHANGE ROUTE INFORMATION AND DRINKING BEERS....WHAT A LIFE
It was time to get going, we have spend a good 3 weeks hanging around there, the fewer was getting to us.
TIME TO GET OUT OF THE WATER AND GET GOING