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Old 08-31-2011, 08:38 AM   #31
michnus OP
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Namibia roads

KKos I think that part is somewhere on the road up Damaraland, I can't remember exactly. Namibia sure is one hellova special place.
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:17 AM   #32
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that's correct ;) Going north towards Palmwag ;)
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:40 PM   #33
michnus OP
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Zambia - Murphy you bloody basted!

Murphy you bloody basted! PART1

They say when things go too well, Murphy will end it soon enough. Much did we know that when entering Zambia from Katimo Mulilo Namibia border post.




ZAMBIA BORDER POST

It's a small border post and things went quick on the Namibian side. However the Zambian side was a laugh a minute. Chaos and run down dirty buildings with hordes of people standing around. Everything paid we were out of pocket around 100USD for all the stupid taxes the Zambian charge. The one tax was payable in a old caravan wreck that had no seats and only a box and table for the man to write down the stuff.

Then if that was not bad enough, his stamp was warn down and the ink pad was dry, eventually I made him lick the stamp to get something visible on his tax paper.


FAWLTY TOWERS BACKPACKERS IS THE ONLY PLACE TO STAY IN LIVINGSTON.


We ended up at Faulty Towers backpackers in Livingston the small town close to the famous Victoria water falls, a vibrant hip happening spot. Across the road from Faulty Towers in the main road on the way to the falls is a restaurant The Spot.


The owners are a South African born woman and a Zambian woman, they make the best Piri-Piri chicken in Africa and at very reasonable prices. They will also make you any local dishes if arranged before the time. They really are a friendly bunch of people.


FOOD IS EVERYWHERE AND CHEAP


IMPORTANT THINGS FIRST

The idea was to head for Kariba Lake and take the dirt roads that run along the lake up to Siavonga. We knew they had plenty of rain but thought we would go that way and if stuck just turn around and take the tar road up to Lusaka. *None of the Livingston folk could give us any indication what the roads along this stretch were like.

Livingston is a best experienced for two or more days. It's a small happening town with friendly folke and a busy town centre. Famous name hard liquor cost on average 30% cheaper than is SA. Obviously we stock up on Johnny Walker Black and other expensive stuff we normally don't indulge in when in SA.
There's quite a few private game reserves around Livingston that offer camping for cheap.

When at the falls on the Zambia side you can ask the customs police at the bridge to walk over to the Zimbabwe side to get a look over the falls from that side.




FAMOUS VICOTRIA FALLS

Harold and Linda did not feel up to dirt at that stage and set off for Siavonga via the main road, we would meet up again in a day or two. *As we rounded a bend on our way to Kariba Lake near a small town called Sinazeze, Elsebie’s bike suddenly became a low rider. *The top shock bolt sheared off and the shock moved out of its bracket and, well ………………… the top part of the shock broke off dropping all the oil on the tarmac.


SHIT HAPPENS SHOCK TOP BOLT SHEARED OFF.

As we were standing there still trying to make plans how to get the bike to Lusaka or Livingstone an ex South African farmer pulled up next to us offering some help. He farms for Zambeef close to where we got stranded.

He immediately phoned his workshop manager, Servaas, to come and collect the bike and take it to their workshops. From there their farm compound was 12KM further located next to the lake. We could stay there and try figure out how to get the bike going again.




RELAXING NEXT TO KARIBA

The entire compound consisted of ex South Africans working for Zambeef, according to them, Zambia is South Africa 20 years ago with regards to ease of living. Everybody is safe and crime is virtually zero. A beautiful spot with very generous people.
That evening we were invited to a braai with the farmers, that turned into a party that lasted well into the early hours of the morning.

They say booze don't solve your problems, it sure as hell helped with the shit feeling I was sitting with. The entire night I was mulling it over how to get this bike out of there and the bloody time it is going to set us back with. The only thing I could do was to get the shock out the next morning and see if there's any thing I can do to get us out of the place.


WE LOVED EATING AT THESE FOOD STALLS, CHEAP AND TASTY

The biggest problem was the farm is so remote, it's nearly 400km back to Livingston and 450km to Lusaka. The previous day when we offloaded the bike the spring unhook and the bike stood as if everything was okay.
We decided to pack up greed the friendly farmers and try and ride the bike as is to Lusaka. As long as the spring work we will be fine. At this stage I still did not know what exactly broke.

Elsebie insisted on riding her own bike and like on a pogo stick unceremoniously hopped her way as we road on to Lusaka.

FIXING THE DAKAR'S SHOCK

I got hold of Kurt our friend in South Africa and he was able to get us a new (2nd hand) shock flown into Lusaka within the next few days. We ended up in Lusaka at Chachacha backpackers.

As we rode into the grounds Neill aka Jenson Button was sitting on the floor with a despondent look on his face motorcycle tube in one hand and a knife in the other contemplating cutting it up as a liner for his front tyre. Nice surprise to see him and the XT made it so far. Fuck it mate, lets drink beer and then I will help you sort it out.


CHRISTMAS CAMPING AT CHA CHA BACKPACKERS IN LUSAKA

There’s not much to be said about Lusaka it’s a big busy African city. The big South African companies are all represented there together with China taking over with big gusto.










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Old 09-19-2011, 11:28 AM   #34
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Bad luck, but Zambia sounds great! How about part II?
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:10 PM   #35
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Awesome trip! Cant wait till next post =)

Good Luck!
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:24 AM   #36
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update ?

Hi

We are all waiting for more to come


Safe travels

Thomas & Andrea

www.miles-to-ride.com
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:03 AM   #37
michnus OP
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Zambia - Murphy you bloody basted!

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!!!!!


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Old 04-27-2012, 09:13 PM   #38
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I'm not clear, Michnus-- did Erik bring repair parts for the Dakar water pump to you? Maybe it's answered in next post


You ZA lot are heroes, full stop.
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:54 AM   #39
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Love the report. Clicked on it as I recognized your name from the Angola report.

One thing I always wonder is how safe is it to camp in Africa? I understand that you need to stay away from larger towns, but what about the wildlife? Over here in America our understanding is that elephants will trample you and lions and hyenas will eat you overnight. I'm assuming that these animals are pretty much only found in wildlife parks now? I know in California it is not uncommon to be attacked by a mountain lion while running or hiking. Doesn't happen very often but it still does. That's why I was wondering about camping in Africa.
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Old 04-28-2012, 06:54 PM   #40
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What happened to the report?

Last update was 01/29/2012
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:39 AM   #41
michnus OP
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Mugwest, sorry about that, at that stage we figured out that it was the waterprump gears that gave up the ghost. Metaljockey was at Malawi at the time with his family on holiday and we were n our way there to meet them for new year and a big party.

He borrowed a van form one of the campers at the lodge and drove the 1000km to come and fetch us and the bike.

Katoom119. it is fairly safe to wild camp in Africa. Not near towns are a safe bet, not that people will harm you, but for a bit of safety and not having to worry about petty theft.
There are still many places you can ride where there are wild animals, Uganda Murchison's falls, Zambia Lake kariba in Kenya at lake Turkana as examples. We did some of those places and it is amazing to ride where there's still buffalo's, rhino's and hippos's and Elephants meters away from you.

But, as sad as it is, wild animals are losing the battle with humans for space.

I will post those pictures later.

BikeFx, I thought people were not really interested in this report so I stop posting. I will update this one in the next few days.
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:38 AM   #42
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MALAWI'S "NEVER LEAVE DISEASE CALLED BONGI FEVER" part1







In short, Malawi turned out to be this warm exotic paradise people told us about. Golden sandy beaches with clean water, super friendly people, cheap beer and food, and the best snorkelling. It's easy to understand why so many people get such a serious infection of Bongi fever. The local term when referring to over landers or travellers that get stuck in Malawi and just never leave.




FAT MONKEYS, MONKEY BAY

Lake Malawi is not your average dirty smelly dam, the water is crystal clear, it's clean and the most beautiful coloured tropical fish swim around the rocks in the shallow water. Why Lake Malawi is this way I don't know. It's not a typical lake *as with Kariba for example.



It's a small country with not much industry other than tourism, and some tobacco exports. Their money is not worth much and you look like a drug dealing gangster with all the cash you have to draw at ATM's. Driving around Malawi is slow as most people live next to the road nothing more than 80 is about the max for safe driving.


DRYING RACKS FOR KAPENTA FISH


DUGOUTS, BOAT CAN LAST FOR AROUND 10 YEARS.



The land is cultivated and worked by old people the hard way. For the rest it's a dirt poor place. South Africans have made this a popular holiday destination and some locals can utter a few funny sounding Afrikaans words.




ANY TOY WILL DO


THEY ARE WORKING COPIES, THE DETAIL IS AWESOME. ROAD SIDE SHOP IS CALLED TOYS'R'US

As we drove into Fat Monkeys in Monkey Bay Cape Mclear, Plottie as appointed head of the local welcoming committee promptly shoved some beers into our hands as we climbed out of the Kombi. Elsebie rode her bike from Zambia as the Kombi could only take the one Dakar. Unceremoniously we parked the broken Dakar under the Mango tree to be fix after the new year and we wasted no time setting up camp. Linda and Harold have decided to stay over in Lilongwe for a few days before meeting up with us again.




DRUG DEALER AMOUNT OF PAPER ONLY PAID FOR FEW BURGERS

There is no other place near the Southern side of Malawi with the same island style feeling. Loads of young people from all over the world frolic around on the beach with golden brown tanned bodies. It's hot and humid, even at night it's hot and the mosquito's are the kind that can drag a small kid out of it's bed by the legs.


FAT MONKEYS BAR, GIN AND TONIC'S AND BEERS, FOR THE REST READ THE DAYS AWAY.

The water is a comfortable 25"degrees and perfect for sitting around at the shore with friends consuming copious amounts of beers. The clean water had the kids spend their days in the lake. It's a very cheap holiday, camping cost around R50 per stand per day. Breakfast at the lodge cost around R80 for two people. Beers go for R8 and soft drink cost cheaper. *


SHA NANA
The first thing the next day was to go swim at a secluded beach not far from the lodge. The boat's name is Sha nana and it's skipper is Jumbo, a super friendly chap with a huge white smile. The man and his crew got this cool laid back attitude to them. Noooothing is a problem.







Just after Christmas many of the South Africans that holidayed their left to spend New Year in South Africa. The next day the camp was empty and only Metaljokey and family stayed over to enjoy the New Years party. Around the same time two bikers riding from the UK to CP arrived.


HAROLD AND LINDA TRYING TO GET RID OF BONGI FEWER WITH WATER MEDITATION THERAPY

It's really great meeting up with people doing the same kind of trips, exchange ideas, news, places to stay and avoid. We still had the difficult part in front of us and they are on the holiday side of things going down to SA.




*SUN DOWNERS AND SUNSETS *



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Old 04-29-2012, 07:18 AM   #43
BOBaloo22
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WOW! What a great ride report! I just found it this morning and the pics and commentary are great. Riding on your side of the world is a dream of mine that's on my bucket list.
Thanks,
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Old 04-29-2012, 08:43 AM   #44
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Enjoying this...

I really enjoy seeing and reading about parts of the world that I have never traveled. Thanks for the time and investment in sharing with us.

Continue please...

Dave
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Old 04-29-2012, 09:00 AM   #45
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thanks for taking us along
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