|02-15-2012, 01:30 AM||#1231|
Living on a DR
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: New Delhi - new 'home' for post RTW
Sudan, Part 1: Wadi Halfa, Entrance to the Sudanese Sahara
June 7 - 9, 2011
Welcome to The Soudan, the 'land of the blacks.' The present-day country of Sudan, while still massive, is only a fraction of the area that was referred to as The Soudan in centuries past. The name was a catch-all phrase for lands south of the Sahara that harbored black Africans. It also denoted a change in landscape, with the sands of the desert giving way to the savannahs in the south.
I traveled through northern Sudan just before another milestone in this region's history, that of secession of its southern region into the new country of South Sudan. The region of 'Sudan' has had a very tumultuous history since recorded inhabitation began in 8,000 BC. The harsh climate and resource-rich land has allowed it to be influenced by outside forces throughout its history. It was a part of Egypt in various times of the past and being close to Arabia, Islamization happened early. In more recent times, controlling access to the Nile drove European colonial powers into Sudan, who bear some responsibility for the current state of the region.
Even while Sudan happens to be in the world's consciousness for all the wrong reasons, such as conflicts in Darfur and Abyei and its authoritarian president, Omar al-Bashir, the people of Sudan were one of the nicest that I have encountered on this journey, so far. I felt extremely safe through my travels in northern Sudan and was welcomed warmly by all its people. It's too bad the news doesn't report on all the regular, good people of the world.
This first photostory documents my entrance into Sudan at Wadi Halfa, a port town on the southern reaches of Lake Nubia (Lake Nasser in Egypt).
The mad scramble to disembark from the overnight ferry from Aswan. It was all calm on the ship, but as soon as the doors opened, it was a rush to get out and get processed into Sudan. Before we could leave the ship, an immigration officer came on board and interviewed all the 'foreigners' before issuing us a travel permit so that we could move about independently.
The Sagalnaam, our wonderful ride across Lake Nasser from Egypt into Lake Nubia in Sudan. It was close to noon and the temperature was rising past 50 C (122 F).
From the pier, we had to board a bus to take us to the Customs and Immigration building. There were about 300 people who arrived on the ship and not enough buses, so a lot of pushing and shoving ensued. This is Ben, traveling overland in a Toyota Hilux with his friend, Edward.
After having our luggage scanned through customs and passports stamped, our group got into an old Land Rover Defender that served as a taxi for the short 5 km ride into town.
The town of Wadi Halfa, or actually New Halfa, because the original Wadi Halfa got submerged when the Aswan Dam was built. Under pressure from Egypt, the Sudanese government in the 1960s forcibly moved the residents of the old town to this new location and built them a small dam to encourage them to resettle and get into agriculture. Well, that all dried up and the current town is a ghost of its former self.
Having our first meal of the day after getting into town and right away we encountered the niceness of the Sudanese people that we were told about by other travelers. This restaurant owner went out of his way to procure different foods for everyone in our group as we slowly got used to the intensity of the heat.
The quiet streets of Wadi Halfa, where nothing much happens during the heat of the day. Most of the buildings were made of mud bricks, that have to get redone after the rains and the streets were sandy, choking the area when a strong breeze came through.
Desert lodging in Wadi Halfa at The Defintood Hotel, for 7 Sudanese Pounds ($3.20) per night. There was a fan that blew hot air down and cool drinking water in clay pots.
The town came to life after the sun went down and we gathered in the central square where the locals were focused on a football match being broadcast. All the businesses in the square were decentralized, meaning that you got tea from one stall, then falafel from another stall and shisha from another. Ed pointed this out and said if this was some square in Europe, there would be one boss who would be controlling all the services in this area, ensuring efficient delivery and making big profits. But, thankfully, this is not Europe and things happen on a much slower, relaxed rhythm where everyone can run their own business at their own pace.
Our beautiful Nubian tea lady for the evening. Being a Muslim country, and one that Sharia Law is enforced in, alcohol sale is banned, so everyone drinks tea. And they make some fantastic tea in Sudan; check out all the various herbs she had. I enjoyed her spiced tea with cummin. Northern Sudan is the land of Nubia, with the distinct feature of beautiful round faces of its people.
The next morning, we were alerted that the barge carrying our vehicles had arrived at the port. It usually takes 2 or 3 days, so we were all pleasantly surprised that things were moving quickly. We hailed a Defender taxi to get us to port. Just like how Bahariya in Egypt was the land of Toyota Land Cruisers, Wadi Halfa is the place that old Defenders go to have a second or third lease on life. The road to the port is paved and straight; yet, our driver was wildly swinging the steering wheel to keep the old Defender tracking straight ahead. Poor thing could use some new bushings.
Once in the port complex, we boarded a big truck to take us to the pier.
A bunch of friendly Sudanese dock workers riding past with a truck loaded up with fresh cargo from Egypt.
Back at the pier and we were all happy to see the vehicle barge docked across the Sagalnaam.
A big dent in the ramp from the barge. The pier is higher here than the one in Aswan, so off-loading was a bit trickier than getting on. I found that slanted rock nearby and placed it as a ramp for the bike and the other vehicles.
Guy, backing up his Defender under Ed's guidance.
Riding sanDRina off the barge and onto Sudan. I was glad to note that the bike hadn't moved at all during the voyage.
On the ground in Sudan and waiting to process through customs.
We handed our carnets over to Magdi, the local fixer in Wadi Halfa, who has a good reputation among the overlanding community. With a customs fee of SP 100 ($45), he got all the required stamps done and after having our VIN numbers verified, we were free to ride into Sudan. But, there was one last piece of paperwork before we could leave Wadi Halfa. Upon entering Sudan, all foreigners are required to 'register' their passports within 72 hours of entering the country and that costs $40. We paid Magdi $15 for helping us out and after tipping the barge captain $5, the total cost for entering Sudan, including the $100 visa comes up to a whopping $190. Just like Egypt, it's expensive to enter, but once inside, it's cheap.
A Defender, loaded up with cargo from the port, heading into town, which comes alive the two days after the ferry docks. Stocks are replenished and trade thrives, until the next ferry landing.
Cargo from Egypt piled up outside my hotel before it gets taken further south into Sudan.
The start of the highway to Khartoum from Wadi Halfa. I bid goodbye to my fellow travelers, as I stayed an extra night in Wadi Halfa.
I left Wadi Halfa in the late afternoon, to beat the heat and headed south to meet the Nile. All 900 plus kms (560 mi) to the capital have been paved in the past few years, taking some of the riding excitement away and making the journey a bit easier.
My route through northern Sudan, entering at Wadi Halfa and then following the Nile on its course from Khartoum and exiting in the south east into Ethiopia. The time zone changes as Sudan follows East African Time (+3 GMT). Click on it to go to the interactive version in Google Maps.
Past overlanders have regaled about the grueling ride through the deserts of Sudan, which nowadays are a thing of the past thanks to the Chinese who have delivered on their promise to improve infrastructure in exchange for oil and mineral resource rights. It's high time to ride the world, before it gets all paved over by the Chinese!
Curves in the desert, as I approached the Nile.
Riding into the sunset as I searched for a place to camp for the night in the deserts along the Sudanese Nile.
With a good introduction to Sudan, I was excited for the journey through this unknown land to me. Going with the flow, in the next photostory, I encountered some fishermen on the Nile who took me in for a few days and showed me a slice of their Nubian life.
|02-22-2012, 02:13 AM||#1234|
Living on a DR
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: New Delhi - new 'home' for post RTW
|02-22-2012, 02:14 AM||#1235|
Living on a DR
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: New Delhi - new 'home' for post RTW
Sudan, Part 2: An Encounter with Fishermen of the Nile
June 9 - 11, 2011
Sudan is one of those paradox countries, where the external, political image is in stark contrast to the everyday reality on the ground. The news would have us believe that it's a dangerous country, and whilst recognizing that there are dangerous parts of the country, such as the conflicts in the west and south, I heed more to the words of passing travelers who told me of safety and friendliness in the north. With this information in hand, I felt excited that I could wild camp again, having done it only once (in the White Desert) since crossing over from South America.
I enjoy wild camping because it makes me feel most like a nomad and puts me in easy reach of wonderful experiences. This next photostory tells of my encounter with some Sudanese fishermen along the Nile. I happened to pitch my tent next to their working camp and being such gracious hosts, they took me in and showed me their life.
About 190 kms (118 mi) south of Wadi Halfa is the small town of Abri. I had set off late in the afternoon and was looking for a place to camp for the night. My Tracks4Africa GPS map showed a campsite waypoint just past Abri, by the Nile.
There was no campsite here, but being a wonderful outcrop with a fantastic view of the Nile, I put my tent down and made home for the night. I usually setup camp before dark, but the heat of the day meant it was uncomfortable to stop riding before the sun went down.
Before I could take out my stove and start preparing some dinner, a young fisherman climbed up from the river bank and motioned for me to join them for food. My Arabic was still non-conversational, but the signs for food are universal. I walked down to the bank and found a wonderful little beach that the fishermen were using as a working camp. I jumped in for a bath in the Nile with all the privacy that dusk offers.
Two fishermen were manning the camp and this was their kitchen.
With a LED headlight, the younger of the two fishermen, Bedwa, was preparing a batter.
The batter was poured on the hot pan and it slowly baked into a thick, unleavened bread.
Having dinner with Bedwa and Fara at their fishing camp on the banks of the Sudanese Nile. The freshly-made bread was had with fish stew and eating is a communal affair here, just the way I like it. There wasn't much conversation, yet it was a wonderful meal. I bid them goodnight and thanked them in my basic Arabic for the meal.
I slept without the tarp on my tent to get as much air blowing through, but it was hot through most of the night, only getting slightly cool around 3 am. I was up at sunrise with the intention of getting going before it got too hot. However, after making some morning oatmeal, Bedwa came over and invited me down for morning tea.
With morning light, I could now see the camp in all its detail. It was a small beach that was sheltered by trees and felt cozy.
Bedwa and Fara were doing their rounds of rowing up the river, crossing it and laying down their net, then following it downstream for a bit before gathering up the net and its catch and rowing back up near the shore.
It's tough but honest work. They took turns with their fishing duties on their homemade felucca. Bedwa rowed this timed around and Fara cast the net. That plastic jerry can was used as the float for the net.
After an hour's worth of work, they caught a good five fish. Not sure of the variety.
At the end of each fishing round, it was time to sort through the net, mending any tears.
After spending the morning hours with Bedwa and Fara and observing their work, I wondered how the day would progress and was deciding whether to get moving or hang out some more with them. Pretty soon, this fiberglass boat with its outboard motor showed up and I met the boss of the operation, Saleh.
Saleh showing me the combined catch of his fishermen. There still wasn't much verbal communication, but I gathered that Saleh was the boss and he indicated for me to stay. Recognizing the wonderful opportunity I had, I made myself comfortable and let the day flow.
Everyone got down to their tasks and Saleh motioned for me to take a look at his outboard motor. It was firing poorly and he set about cleaning the spark plug. We took a test ride on the river and I enjoyed my first boating experience on the Nile (not counting the ferry).
Saleh's brother Waleed laying out his net in preparation for his round on the river.
By mid-morning, the middle of the river was flowing very quickly and made the fishermen's task of crossing it that much more difficult. The opposite bank is actually a huge island that the Nile flows around. I was told later that there are ruins among the palms with treasure hunters flying in to search for the gold bounty. The banks of the river are very steep and are indicative of the erosive power of this mighty river when it's in flood mode. After the rains in Ethiopia and Uganda, the Nile rises by a few meters before being stopped by the various dams along its length.
Saleh dishing out some water from his boat.
I sat myself on this mat and enjoyed the peace of being in a comfortable and safe location and most importantly, a shady spot along the banks of the Nile.
Where there're fishermen, there're birds looking for scrapes.
The first birdie was joined by his buddies and they combed the sands for something to eat.
This little birdie was looking down at some garbage and I felt guilty for being part of a species that easily dirties its surroundings without care for the fact that we share this planet with other life forms.
Bedwa and Fara rowing up the river at the end of another round. A river flows faster in the middle than compared to its edges, due to friction with the banks, and thus when rowing upstream, it's easiest to hug the shore.
Their homemade felucca made of beaten down oil drums and crude wooden posts for the oar masts. Fishing is already hard work, but their work is made harder with these crude tools.
After getting a few rounds in the coolness of the morning, Bedwa started preparing the first meal of the day. What else would fishermen eat besides fresh fish? He gutted them and threw the remains back in the river.
Other river creatures were quick to grab the remains of the gutted fish. Nothing goes to waste in nature's cycles. Waste and garbage are purely a human concept.
Bedwa, at 25, was the youngest among the fishermen there and he was tasked with food preparation. I guess all the others were tasked with this when they were young, too.
Leftover fish stew from the night before.
Baking some fresh bread and heating up water for tea.
The encounter shifted a dimension with the arrival of Mohammed Bashir in his shirt and jeans. He spoke English and asked me what I was doing here. After explaining my story, he said he was from Khartoum and was involved with buying the fish from these fishermen and taking it down to sell in the big city.
He spends a few days here, loading up his refrigerated truck with the fresh catch and then when full, heads back to the city.
Bedwa had a hefty catch of 30 kgs (66 lbs) already.
Mohammed's truck for transporting the fish back to Khartoum.
Bedwa inside the insulated truck with layers of frozen fish from previous days. The thick ice blocks keep the fish frozen until their arrival in the city, but I was amazed that all the ice didn't melt in this searing heat. Mohammed said all the fish freeze into one solid block and thus don't spoil.
A larger than normal fish that Bedwa caught yesterday.
Eating the first meal of the day of freshly-baked thick bread with fish stew. It's the same food for every meal at the fishermen's camp, but this is a working food; simple to prepare, low-cost and filling. The man with the trousers was a local government official and Mohammed explained that Saleh owns the license to fish this particular 6 km (3.7 mi) bend in the Nile. He then allows others to fish on his stretch of the river with payment to him being a cut of their daily catch.
Being a Friday, it was time to head into town for Friday Prayers at the local mosque. Everyone washed up and donned some fresh clothes.
We all went over to Saleh's house in the nearby village of Quikkah for a snack of sweet tea and sugary, fried bread snacks (like doughnuts). The tea was super sweet (two teaspoons of sugar in each little cup) but if felt refreshing for the intense heat of the afternoon. One can only drink so much water to hydrate in this dry heat and tea actually helps the body get hydrated, even though it's slightly caffeinated and diuretic. Coffee wouldn't work, as it's too strong of a diuretic and if these desert inhabitants have been drinking tea to hydrate, let me learn from them.
Saleh with two of his children, Magda and Hamoudi. Being the richest man in the village, I could see that he spoiled his kids with love and toys.
After a visit to the mosque, they gave me a little tour of the town of Abri. Colorful shop fronts on the main drag in Abri. Businesses were reopening after shutting down during the hottest part of the day. They still get their business hours in by staying open late into the relative cool of the night.
A cellphone tower in Abri, connecting this remote dwelling to the rest of the country and the world. Sudan's mobile network is very well established and their data rates are incredibly cheap. I was given a local SIM card from a traveler heading north and plugged that in to my phone and after topping up with some credit, I could get online and post a few updates. Places like this have skipped land lines and gone straight to mobile networks as they're cheaper to setup and provide better connectivity.
Waleed playing some pickup football on the streets of Abri.
We wandered over to the town hangout and had some tea and shisha. Yeah, I quickly realized that showing off my legs wasn't that appropriate, but it was so hot! Mohammed said I was excused as I was a visitor but I felt exposed in this land of Sharia Law.
Men at a nearby table playing a game with dominoes. It was highly energetic with lots of table slapping and bravado.
I spent five days in Quikkah and moved between the fishing camp and Saleh's house, taking things slow; reading, relaxing and washing clothes. These are the clothes that I wear regularly off the bike and they suit me in most situations. I have a few more t-shirts and base layers, but that's it. That little orange towel is a quick-dry towel from REI. It's all I need to dry up and it absorbs a lot of water. The clothes dried within an hour as the temperature peaked at 53 C (127 F) every afternoon.
Hanging out on the mat in the fishing camp and drinking lots of sweet tea made with water from the Nile. Everyone else there was drinking water from the Nile straight up, without even boiling it; a testament to the body's ability to adapt to its local bacteria and build a custom immune system. I was filtering the river water with my LifeSaver water bottle, which allows me to have sufficient clean water without having to buy it bottled from stores. In a place like Sudan, where I was drinking around 8 L (2.1 gal) of water per day, buying that much mineral water would become expensive and increase my contribution to plastic waste.
The kitchen at the fishing camp. We brought back supplies from Abri that consisted of onions for the fish stew, flour and oil for the bread, and tea, sugar and salt.
A fresh pot of fish stew boiling with onions and salt. Simple, tasty food.
Bedwa and another fisherman preparing bread for the meal to come. It was like a thick pancake and tasted excellent when warm.
The fire was taken off from under the pan as Bedwa poured on the batter and spread it out with his fingers.
Freshly-baked bread with fish stew.
Today's meal was a bit special as Saleh brought some extra items from home. There was fuul (fava beans), falafel and a thin variety of the usual thick bread. It tasted excellent; eating outside, next to the Nile, sharing it with these friends who absorbed me into their lives.
After all my travels, so far, I'm glad I can recognize when an interesting opportunity presents itself, like this stay with fishermen of the Nile. I was happy not to be riding on a schedule at this moment and enjoyed letting the trip materialize into this encounter. These kinds of experiences are present all around us. It's just up to us to slow down and become aware of our surroundings.
|02-26-2012, 07:47 PM||#1237|
Living on a DR
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: New Delhi - new 'home' for post RTW
Sudan, Part 3: The Fishing Village of Quikkah
June 11 - 14, 2011
This journey, for me, becomes magical when I meet strangers whom I have a great connection with. My decision to camp by the Nile opened up a wonderful experience of getting to know some fishermen of the Sudanese Nile. Saleh invited me to stay for as long as I would've liked and even though we couldn't speak a common language, I felt a genuine bond with him. Of course, it helped that Mohammed Bashir was there, who could speak English and Arabic and communicate for us.
This next photostory shares my view of Quikkah, the village that Saleh and his family live in. Their house is next to an old tomb that provided some excellent shots and I also managed to test my hand at rowing the fishermen's homemade felucca.
The mud houses of Quikkah, along the Sudanese Nile. It hardly ever rains here, so building with mud isn't an issue. The mud is taken from the fertile sediments that the Nile deposits along its banks. sanDRina was parked under the little shade that I could find.
This is Saleh's house that I stayed at for five days. They don't have any vehicles, besides a boat, so a gate for parking isn't a design feature here. But private property is extremely respected, so I had no qualms about parking sanDRina outside.
Detail of the swirls in the mud patio surrounding Saleh's house. The straw that's showing through is used to reinforce the mud.
Gelabiyas (men's robes) drying in the courtyard of the family's living quarters. Being a Muslim culture, outside men are kept away from the family women and I usually stayed in the guest quarters but was allowed to walk around to take some photos. Saleh's house sits under a towering tomb that I made way to.
The streets of Quikkah. It was quiet, as most inhabitants have moved to town or down to Khartoum. I enjoyed the softness of the colors and the rounded-edges of the mud construction.
Saleh's children followed me around and were extremely eager to show me the tomb.
Noussa, Magda and Hamoudi, children of the richest man in the village and being spoilt accordingly. Their excitement at this new stranger in their house was uncontrollable.
Hamoudi gesturing his displeasure at my refusal to allow him to hold my SLR camera. That looks like a pretty aggressive gesture to me.
The tomb at Quikkah. Mohammed told me it was more than 300 years old and that Saleh's family was probably related to the sheikh that was buried here. The survival of such a large mud structure is testament to how little rain falls here and of course, the great engineering skills of the builders.
Inside the tomb and looking up the multi-storied mud tower. The small openings for light and air lead your eyes to the central opening on top.
A stitched four-wall shot of the inside of the tomb. The green structure might be the actual tomb and on the right are probably family and other important members of the buried sheik. The globe mobile hanging in the left caught my attention.
A balanced shot of staring straight up the tomb's tower. The pattern of the windows was hypnotical. Early design for a worm hole...?
A wide-angle shot outside the tomb with a customary outdoor drinking water shed on the right. In the dryness and serious heat of northern Sudan, having access to water is critical and I saw clay pots with water outside many homes. It's a way of caring for your fellow human in this harsh climate.
Pillars in vain? There's a roof there; if you squint really hard you can see it.
When Saleh and Mohammed got back from their daily rounds of picking up fish from various camps, they took me for a tour of Saleh's farm. He was growing lots of dates, okra, tomatoes, onions, beans, greens and a lot more. Mohammed told me that they're very self-sufficient here and can live without money. But this new business of his, where he buys their fish has injected surplus cash into the village. And what do they spend their money on? Mobile minutes. Everyone is so excited to get a mobile phone and start calling up friends. It's made their social networks much more tighter, which is a blessing in a place like this where travel is hard.
A date palm tree on Saleh's farm on the banks of the Sudanese Nile.
Unripened dates, growing in thick bunches.
The sun setting across the Nile. Something about the hot, desert air and striking colors at sunset...
We took a little boat ride to enjoy the coolness after the sun went down. The beauty of random connections is that Mohammed studied for a pharmacy degree in the same college that my sister studied medicine, SRMC Porur, in the backwater suburb of my parent's home in Madras, India. It was interesting to hear about his experiences in my home town. He said he really enjoyed it, especially the food, but he did get insulted a few times for being African. He was called "karupu," which could be taken as a derogative term for black people, almost like "nigger." Just goes to show that there're racists everywhere.
A bird dipping into the Nile for a fish snack.
The wonderful afterglow of El Sol and its reflection on the Nile.
Saleh gave me a big bag of dates to take when I left. I really like them for snacking while on the go and it makes up part of my motorcycle diet when combined with nuts, such as walnuts.
The village of Quikkah at twilight.
Saleh firing up the local generator for a few hours of power in the evening, which allowed me to charge up my electronics. Quikkah isn't connected to the electricity grid, yet, but the Chinese are on it.
Sleeping outdoors, under the stars at Saleh's house. The mud construction kept the dwellings relatively cool, but it was still too hot to sleep inside. The nights started out around 33 C (91 F) and got down to say 25 C (77 F) at 3 am and at first light, the mercury shot up again, heading past 50 C (122 F) in the afternoon. Waking up in the morning, my throat would be completely dry and I had to guzzle down a liter of water to start the day off.
The bathroom at Saleh's house. Water was piped in from the Nile and I enjoyed the bucket baths. I took about three baths a day to cool down the body: morning, afternoon and one just before sleep. I've learned to bathe with very little water and can use under 3 L (0.8 gal) for each bath. One jug to wet the skin and soap up and two to rinse off the soap. It helps not having hair.
The kitchen where Saleh's wife prepared delicious meals ranging from chicken, pigeon, lentils, fuul and lots more.
Speaking of pigeons, Saleh woke me up one day to this sight.
Saleh is his pigeon coop. They were being raised just like chickens and taste much better.
On my last full day at the fishermen's camp, not much was happening and the shisha was brought out.
I asked if I could have a go in the felucca and Fara joined me to make sure I didn't float away down the Nile.
My poor felucca skills showing as I get dragged downstream from the landing. It was quite hard to row the homemade felucca as the oar masts were not aligned and the motion of each hand was not synchronized.
Finally getting into a rhythm and cutting across the Nile. This is hard work and I appreciate what these fishermen do to land a few fish each day and put money on the table.
Mohammed took this excellent shot from the landing and I'm that white dot on the opposite bank.
Coming back to the landing and doing the right thing by rowing upstream near the shore, just as I saw Fara and Bedwa doing on the previous days.
I made it back and Fara laughing after being asked by Saleh if he would consider swapping Bedwa for me. Mohammed joked that if I stayed any longer, I'd need to start fishing to pay my share.
After burning a few calories on the Nile, we went into the nearby town of Abri for a nice lunch. The delicious food consisted of fuul (mashed fava beans) with onions and cilantro, falafel, lentil soup, omelet, cottage cheese, salad greens and bread.
An oil tanker, Abri-style. A healthy-looking donkey, but check out his hind legs... Maybe that's how he relaxes?
The indoor mall at Abri. It's so hot outside that most shops open to an inner hallway.
Dramatic sky over Saleh's house in Quikkah on my last night there. What is it with the Sun in the Sahara that produces such wonderful colors for our eyes to feast on?
Sporting a gelabiya, the dress of desert men in northern Sudan. It's a free-flowing robe, allowing for air to circulate all over the body. Mohammed took this nice shot with the full moon rising at twilight in the Sahara. After feeling odd for wearing shorts on the first day, Saleh gave me a gelabiya that added comfort and allowed me to blend in much easier.
sanDRina enjoying her break for the past few days under this lone tree of Quikkah. I took this magical light on my last evening as a good omen for getting back on the road the next day.
I was thankful to Mohammed and Saleh for inviting me to stay and experience a bit of their lives in Quikkah.
Getting up just before sunrise and enjoying the lovely twilight of Quikkah one last time. After a bath and a cup of tea, I bid farewell and roused sanDRina as the open road was calling.
My stay in Quikkah captured a bit of what eudaimonia means to me. It's a concept that's found at the juncture of what's true, good and beautiful. There are no set definitions for these words but being aware of my experiences allows me to recognize when a eudaimonic moment is happening.
I left Quikkah with a sense of belonging to the human race. Connecting with random strangers and feeling like family after a few days is just what is prescribed for reaffirming faith in our species. There are good people out there, with good intentions and I hope by sharing this journey, I can spread the eudaimonia that I feel.
J A Y on a 98 Suzuki DR650SE (sanDRina)
Trip Website: JamminGlobal.com
Current Ride Report: Global South | Past Trips: CDR '09, Alaska '08, Mexico '07 | YouTube Videos
Jammin screwed with this post 02-26-2012 at 07:54 PM
|02-27-2012, 05:48 AM||#1238|
Wanna' B Hooligan
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Cumming, Jawja
I'm still with you Jay and continuing to enjoy every word and picture. I know you hear it a lot but thanks again for taking us on this wonderful journey of yours.
"I am ill equipped in the philosophies of failure"
When I die, show no pity, send my soul to Juggalo City.
Dig my grave six feet deep and put two Sidi's on my feet.
Put some leather over my chest and tell my family I did my best!
|02-27-2012, 07:27 AM||#1239|
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Paris, France.
Awesome report, great pictures, I just read through the whole thing!
Dat izzz niiice.
Don’t tell my Mom I rode 17,000kms from China to France on a stolen proto Yam XT250X.
|02-29-2012, 04:58 PM||#1240|
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: almost southern MD
Awesome as always, Jay. Thanks again for sharing!
vb (tr) bad·guyed bad·guy·ing bad·guys
1. To refuse to commit to an event, but most likely attend at the last minute.
2. To ignore an event until the last minute so as to avoid any expectations of attendance, but then show up anyway.
|03-01-2012, 07:49 AM||#1241|
Totally Normal? I'm not!
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Banana Republic of Black Gold
Very interesting updates Jay, great photos as always.
Keep them coming
SS. '98 BMW F650 / '06 WR250F / '07 KTM 990 Adv
|03-02-2012, 02:11 AM||#1242|
Living on a DR
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: New Delhi - new 'home' for post RTW
Just rolled back in to Nairobi after two months in the countryside of Kenya. Fun ride from Naivasha this morning. Rider and bike in top form; one of those rides where I wished I had a sixth gear One section of the route climbs up from the floor of the Rift Valley and lots of slow trucks but 2nd and 3rd gear were fantastic!
It's also my birthday today and marks two years since the trip began. I didn't get rolling till March 5, 2010, but I was gone in my mind before that
Thanks to everyone who's followed along from the beginning and others who joined along the way You've been a great support community
I have a few more months in Nairobi and plan to get going in June/July... Once I'm all caught up with the ride report (I will be! ) I'll post about my trip prep for Part 2. Been picking up a few more sponsors for replacement parts and will post on that soon.
|03-02-2012, 02:32 AM||#1243|
Joined: Feb 2008
Location: No home at the moment
sitting at school and checking your progress .. Happy birthday and enjoy the rest of Africa.
Holger and Anja
|03-02-2012, 11:32 AM||#1244|
on the road o'dreams
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Passing ADV Stalkers in California
Looking forward to your Ethiopia report. I'd love to do Ethiopia on a bike instead of a Land Rover / airplane. I was all over the country ... but never on a bike ... and never got to hang out and relax. Work Work Work.
(and it was all BS)
Part 2 planning ? Wow! Bring it on!
Let us know what DR parts you may need; maybe we can stir up some support in the DR650 community here on ADV rider? Lots follow your travels and may be able to help out.
Stay safe, stay healthy!
|03-03-2012, 09:03 AM||#1245|
Living on a DR
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: New Delhi - new 'home' for post RTW
I've crossed the half way point of my Nairobi stay and now an eye is on departure. Have to line up bureaucracies with new passport and difficult visas. And bike work has already started.
I'm actually looking for a rear brake caliper holder, the part that slides. I have excessive movement in mine and think it contributes to uneven brake pad wear. Mechanic friend here said he can weld a tab to stop the jiggling, but don't like that idea.
I had a fantastic birthday celebration! Cooked my curry for about 15 friends, including two bike travelers, Danielle on a DR350 and Mike on a DR650. She's from NZ, traveling solo, got here via India and Syria, heading south and then up the west coast. She'll be a source of fresh information for me Mike's from Holland, he traveled down the west side and now is heading north. He's also taking a break here and doing IT work to save funds to continue on. It was so good to be comfortable among other crazies We were sharing ride stories and our blissful ignorance of being in sketchy places Crazy woman, she's traveling with only 45 lbs of gear, compared to my 180+ load. Yeah, I have a lot of luxuries (like a knife sharpener), but she has hardly any tools! relying on her charm and luck. She bush-camped in Syria in November and spent 6 months in Pakistan. Lots of good info for me. Mike's DR and mine are going to meet and exchange their own stories. He's curious to see all the things I'm carrying (will post about that). Said he travels with a hammer... interesting
Two Canadians that are working at my research institute here bought me a bottle of Laphroaig Single Malt Quarter Cask Scotch. Mmm, enjoying a dram as I type this
I'm back to riding to the little bike, the Kinetic GF170, that I bought here. Poor thing had engine issues, worn piston rings and took about 3 months to resolve. But all good now and have possible buyers lined up for it. sanDRina's going to be taking a load off after running like a champ around Kenya for my field work. Need to preserve tire life. Mechanic rider friend here has a huge shop with space for me to do my maintenance. So happy I've found a space to work on her close to where I'm staying
Here's a bike task list that I'd like to get done in the next four months:
-replace the braking system (new SS lines, rotors, pads, caliper rebuild)
-deal with rear brake caliper holder fit
-rebuild the rear shock
-rebuild steering damper
-new bearings for wheels (rear done), swing arm and shock mount
-try to repair Stebel truck horn
-have a look at sparkplug thread issue
-replace clutch fibre plates (done)
-install: shorai battery, notoil air filter, new GPS mount
-inspect: throttle cable, pannier frame and chassis for cracks
I have a possible issue with the rear hub. I need to know how serious to take it. My last rear wheel bearing failure happened just after Ushuaia and I had access to an acetylene torch at a local mechanics and used that to remove the old bearing. I think that expanded the hub too much and I remember that the new bearing just slid in very easily. After 11,000 miles, I noticed excessive movement in my rear wheel and the bearings were shot, so I replaced all 3 rear wheel bearings. Mechanic friend here said that my hub was too loose (rotor side) and needs to grab the bearing better and scored the hub so that the bearing would fit tight. Is that good enough? Or should I try and replace the rear hub? Complicated logistics, expensive, but doable...
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