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Old 04-29-2012, 11:15 AM   #46
tenderfoot
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Thanks for the report.
I hope to at least make Kenya at some stage.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:10 PM   #47
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Wink You show the way.

Great RR. Am hooked. Will hopefully get to ride Africa in a few years and remember your journey. and the beer.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:11 PM   #48
Johnnydarock
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Keep Posting

Keep posting!!! There's probably a lot of people reading your blog and we want more. Did you ever get the bike fixed?
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:58 PM   #49
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I am loving this.
Thank you for this report.
Seeing Africa this way is real.
Better than National Geographic.
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Lets ride !
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They just stand back and let it all be." Springsteen
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:11 PM   #50
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YOU'RE BACK!!!!

Keep it coming.

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Old 04-29-2012, 02:17 PM   #51
michnus OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnydarock View Post
Keep posting!!! There's probably a lot of people reading your blog and we want more. Did you ever get the bike fixed?
The blog entires is shorter as I update it \while travelling. I try and add more pictures and info on ADV making it more comprehensive. Hopefully making it more informative for you guys following the report

As for the damn bike, keep reading

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Old 04-29-2012, 07:46 PM   #52
Johno33772
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What a lekker ride report!

Waiting for the rest of trip
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:58 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michnus View Post
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.

Mama mia ! Madre de dios ! Holly Ghost !
Are you crazy ?
We, the people, are extremely interested by your report !
please, please, keeeeeeeeeeep it going, my friend !
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:40 AM   #54
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Mama mia ! Madre de dios ! Holly Ghost !
Are you crazy ?
We, the people, are extremely interested by your report !
please, please, keeeeeeeeeeep it going, my friend !
cool man good to hear from you again
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:52 AM   #55
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BOAT RIDE AROUND THE CORNER FROM FAT MONKEY'S WE SPEND A DAY SNORKELING AND HANGING AROUND THE ROCKY OUTCROPS WITH SMALL COLOURFUL TROPICAL FISH NIBBLING AT YOUR FEET.


SOME OF THE BEST SUN-DOWNERS YOU WILL EVER ENJOY IN YOUR LIFE




METALJOCKEY AND HIS DAUGHTER SNORKEL


MAGIC OF LAKE MALAWI, TROPICAL FISH AND CRYSTAL CLEAR WATER.





HOME BASE FOR NEARLY 18DAYS, BOUGHT BEERS AND SODA'S IN CASE LOAD AS IT'S MUCH CHEAPER


BEERS ARE CHEAP AND BREAKFAST AROUND 2USD


PLENTY OF YOUNG BACKPACKERS


CAPENTA'S FOR LUNCH, NOT BAD WITH COOKED PUMPING LEAFS


LIFE IS TOUGH, THIS IS A LOCAL TRAVELLING SALESMAN WITH HIS HOMEMADE DISPLAY CARTON BOX, SKIPPER OF THE BOAT GAVE HIM A LIFT BACK HOME

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

michnus screwed with this post 07-16-2013 at 08:13 AM
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:43 AM   #56
BcDano
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Loving it

Brilliant RR
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:17 AM   #57
michnus OP
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MALAWI PART 2


It was time to move on, the fewer in Malawi is bogging us down. The bikes was fixed and looked after as good as we could, and with some sad faces we rode out of Monkey bay on our way north to Nkatha bay, our next stop. We were bit behind on time for our 6 month planning but thought we would be able to make it up once out of Malawi as there's parts in Tanzania that we can skip.


INFRASTRUCTURE NOT IN GOOD SHAPE


KIDS ARE ALWAYS FAST TO GET SOME CAMERA ACTION

We hugged the coast line of the lake. It's a old narrow road with derelict bridges. For the first time we also saw the famous lake flies of Lake Malawi. Apparently they are so small they can fly through a mosquito net, the larvae at the same time shed their eggs and then get blown up by the wind in their billions to life for a day.




WE SAID GOOD BYE TO JENSON BUTTON AND HIS OLD XT AND BRANDED HIS HOME MADE PANNIERS AS TRAX

We heard some say they do not even have stomachs. It’s mind blowing to see these clouds of flies sweeping across the lake. We also wanted to try them as the locals make small cakes from them, but in the end we could not find any. People told us the flies stink of fish for some reason. It's unbelievable that such small creatures can make up such huge clouds. They are visible over vast distances on the horizon of the lake.


LIFE IS TOUGH IN AFRICA


MYOKA VILLAGE IN NKATHA BAY

Mayoka village in Nkatha bay is a must stay, it’s not really geared for kids as there’s no beach. For adults and young travellers its paradise! The lodge hangs on a cliff it was started 13 years ago. From the shower or rooms you can look down into the lake and see the small blue fishes play between the rocks. They offered some of the cheapest rates for their rooms and their food was the best we had in Malawi.
For the time stayed there our bikes were left at the gate with all our kit and they had a guard 24hours a day looking after our stuff.




ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY TOILETS AND OUTSIDE SHOWERS ARE ALL PART OF THIS COOL LODGE

*
FOOD AS ALWAYS ARE GREAT AND THE PARTIES NON STOP.

We went on a free boat trip they offer once a week for cliff diving, Fish Eagle feeding and beach games. The most amazing experience is seeing a Fish Eagle take a fish out of the water right in front of you! I don’t think anywhere else in the world will you see something like this.


FISH EAGLE DOING WHAT IT DOES BEST, CATCH FISH, AND HE NEVER MISSED

* * *
CLIFF DIVING

*



We end up spending another 5 days at Myoka, the Bongi fewer was seriously getting to us. We were behind on time and had to make up skipping other parts of Malawi but it was worth it.

The small town of Nkatha bay is a busy little place with it's own prison and harbour. It's great walking around there exploring the small shops and talking shit with the locals. Some straight out ask for money while others will at least say hello first.






A TRUE WTF MOMENT?


WELL JA, WHAT CAN I SAY, THEY ENFORCE THE LAW


THIS MAN WAS ONE OF THE FOUNDERS AND BUILDERS OF THE LODGE 13 YEARS AGO, HE EARNED HIMSELF THE NAME CHOCOLATE MAN. HE HAS BEEN SELLING CHOCOLATES EVERY NIGHT AT THE LODGE SINCE IT OPENED. THE LODGE IS A COMMUNITY OWNED PLACE.



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Old 06-07-2012, 03:11 PM   #58
tmotten
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Mate, you're selling it well. You should ask for a job on their tourism board.
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:49 AM   #59
michnus OP
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Mate, you're selling it well. You should ask for a job on their tourism board.
I try my very best
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:58 AM   #60
michnus OP
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The ghost of Ewan and Charlie

Tanzania was calling.............

Tanzania was calling and we had to get our asses off the beach and leave the paradise feeling behind. Us all were fighting Bongi fever. Eventually we had to concede the only way to get rid of Bongi fever was to get on the bikes and get outta paradise, the place was fast consuming our lust for travel.


REMEMBER THE FIRST RULE OF MUD, MUD MUST NEVER KNOW YOU ACTUALLY RIDING ON IT.

We got on the road with heavy rains predicted for our entire journey up to Tanzania. In the first town the GPS routed us through a market and the road suddenly ended in a muddy track that route through a busy wood market. Harold got out too late and dumped the bike into a ditch. The eager helpers broke off more stuff on his bike trying to get it out of the ditch than what the fall did in the first place.
The poor man was now without a rain suite, yes he lost it on his way to Myoka, and now his screen is in three pieces. Well at least half his face will be out off the wind.


ALWAYS SOME FRIENDLY PEOPLE AROUND TO HELP A MAN OUT OF TROUBLE, PAYMENT TALK LATER.

Halfway between Nkatha bay and the Tanzania border we came across this place where, they proclaim to have the only and oldest natural tree branch hang bridge in Africa, the bridge apparently date back to early days of evolution. They say at one stage a hippo tried to cross but got stuck halfway through. This is also currently the only way across the river for the locals, so everything they buy have to go across this bridge.


MALAWI HANG BRIDGE

At the same place they have a small stuffy dirty smelling dung hut of a museum with only the front door offering light into the place of worship. The story goes that they had two gods, the one for a man and the other for a woman. The one looked like the devil that's depicted in children's bibles and the other one like some ugly thing with horse tail for nose hairs. Donno why they show the woman statue with the nose hair, and if woman ever did grow nose hair that long? Maybe it was a sexual thing in the past, who knows?!



These were the gods they prayed to and worshiped for rain and good fortune. On a question what happened to the gods why are they not praying for them anymore? Well, the man said, the Christians came to Malawi and taught us that these gods are no good, they are just statues. We must change to worship the Christian God and so we changed, but now the Muslims are also wanting us to change again. Go figure! As with Uganda it seems the biggest growing faith is Jehovah witnesses in Malawi.



We had to sleep over at Sangilo lodge just before the Malawi border with Tanzania and is owned by Mike an old pommy with the usual faded "I love me mom" and anchor tattoo's on the forearms. We were sitting having a beer when I noticed a sticker on the fridge with Ewan and Charley on it. The owner immediately said that they stayed over at his lodge when they did their Long Way down trip. So where did they sleep, I asked? *


EWAN AND CHARLIE LEFT THEIR MARK

The last two bungalows next to yours was the answer from Mike the owner of the lodge. I had to go look, I could not miss the opportunity to stand at the same place legends walked and slept, and as I stood on the deck of the bungalow I could feel their presence, it’s a hair raising experience, seriously it's spiritual! I felt my skill level increase just standing there, it was stronger than religion! And then I heard it, a soft voice said, "may the force be with you" The others said I was just drunk, but I know better.


THE BUNGALLOW CHARLIE AND EWAN STAYED IN WHILE TRAVELLING DOWN AFRICA. GO THERE IF YOU NEED THEIR SPIRITS TO GLOW UPON YOU FOR MORE SKILLS

*
THEY LIKE THEIR VIEWS OF THE LAKE EVEN WHILE THEY DOING THE LOO THING, BUILD THE LOO HIGHER.

The place is a bit expensive but the food is good and the service you would expect from such an pricey establishment. I had to repair yet another puncture and Mike even offered to help. It seems quite a few bikers stay over with him.


FIXING PUNCTURES AGAIN, TUBELESS, FFS, TUBELESS!!


THIS IS MY LAKE, I AM THE BOSS, LIFE IS GOOD, NOW LEAVE ME!!



The next day on our way to the border we came across the birth place of a dugout. As fascinating as it may seen a boat carved and chiseled out of an entire tree. The sad part of this is the fact that's another old tree falling and currently Malawi is running out of old trees as most are being used for dugouts.


MALAWI LAKE DUGOUT

The prices of dugouts are also on the increase. I had a chat with some of the locals and asked whether we can help them look for better priced boats they can use that is cheaper to run and maintain and is environmentally friendly than the current option, as its unsustainable. It takes them around 2 months to complete a dugout and will according to type of wood sell from 250USD to 500USD per boat.

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