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Old 09-27-2011, 09:14 AM   #136
VikB
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Fortunately, he walked away with only minor bruises, and a deflated ego! His bike was done!
Were the bikes insured against all damage or was there any stuff the riders were responsible for when bikes were crashed/damaged?
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:27 AM   #137
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Were the bikes insured against all damage or was there any stuff the riders were responsible for when bikes were crashed/damaged?
VikB. The bikes were fully insured and the cost was included in the tour. However, we were responsible for a deposit. It fluctuated based on which model and year GS you had. My deposit was $4,000 USD's based on a 2010 1200GSA. It was promptly returned to my credit card the day after I got home. We did have a few people, 3, who lost their full deposit based on excessive damage to the bike. There was an insurance company who offered to cover the deposit, but most of us turned it down. It's a bit of a gamble I guess!
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:46 AM   #138
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Very nice travelogue, thanks for sharing.

Couple of questions. How well did English serve you as a language to get around? Did you pick up any other bits of language to facilitate communication on the trip? And, how did you handle fueling of the bikes? Was that generally handled by the tour operators?

Thanks again.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:18 AM   #139
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So you still riding your F800 or have you traded ? Just wondering, thinking!! Thanks enjoying the report!
As much as I enjoyed the GSA, my F800 is a perfect match for my riding style. I plan on keeping it around for awhile. How sweet it would be to have one of each!
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:43 AM   #140
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Question

Count me in. Wanna' see more of this one.

Outstanding video, but what really grabbed me was the sound track. Can you tell me the name of the artists and tune playing in the background???
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:53 AM   #141
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GSDOG! Great to hear from you. How is the recovery process going? When I cover your epic accident in this RR, it would be great to get some first hand knowledge of the event from you...if you can remember anything!
Recovery is going well - thanks. The lingering after effects of the concussion are gone and the back is starting to feel better - that will take some time though. Back riding again against my doctor's and everyone's wishes. I have an off-road GS event this weekend I'm hoping to get to.
You are doing an outstanding job of describing the adventure. I'm really relying on you to tell the story of my crash though - since the only thing I remember is being lost in Adam's dust trail and me saying to myself: "Sh_t! I'm going to crash." Then it was lights out. Please take it from there when you get to that part of the tour.
Got an email from Su today...two went down on the way to the Mirage and had to fly home. I'll shoot you her email.

It was a pleasure experiencing Africa with you my friend. And don't be so modest.. you are a superior rider.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:39 AM   #142
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Man standing on extreme left of this picture. Gary Inman. Probably one of the best motorcycle journalist going. Better keep an eye on the UK mags to see if he has writtena bout this.
Good RR by the way.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:20 PM   #143
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A "stubby holder" being put to use, at N'Kwazi lodge.

Cheers Global will follow along and throw in relevant photos we might have.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:21 PM   #144
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Man standing on extreme left of this picture. Gary Inman. Probably one of the best motorcycle journalist going. Better keep an eye on the UK mags to see if he has writtena bout this.
Good RR by the way.

Gary is the man. I will share a link to his article when it comes out.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:26 AM   #145
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Very nice travelogue, thanks for sharing.

Couple of questions. How well did English serve you as a language to get around? Did you pick up any other bits of language to facilitate communication on the trip? And, how did you handle fueling of the bikes? Was that generally handled by the tour operators?

Thanks again.

For the most part, we had no problem with the language. In Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia, we almost always found someone who spoke English. Fuel was covered by each individual rider, and fuel stops were plentiful along our route. We did a few rides that consisted of 300+ km in between stops.
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:18 AM   #146
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Recovery is going well - thanks. The lingering after effects of the concussion are gone and the back is starting to feel better - that will take some time though. Back riding again against my doctor's and everyone's wishes. I have an off-road GS event this weekend I'm hoping to get to.
You are doing an outstanding job of describing the adventure. I'm really relying on you to tell the story of my crash though - since the only thing I remember is being lost in Adam's dust trail and me saying to myself: "Sh_t! I'm going to crash." Then it was lights out. Please take it from there when you get to that part of the tour.
Got an email from Su today...two went down on the way to the Mirage and had to fly home. I'll shoot you her email.

It was a pleasure experiencing Africa with you my friend. And don't be so modest.. you are a superior rider.
On the downtrip, one crashed trying to avoid springbok on the road. Cuts and bruises only, he spent the rest of the trip in the landrover. Later in the day number two crashed trying to avoid a car on the wrong side of the road on a curve. Three broken ribs and a collarbone. He flew home . Both bikes totalled
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:39 AM   #147
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On the downtrip, one crashed trying to avoid springbok on the road. Cuts and bruises only, he spent the rest of the trip in the landrover. Later in the day number two crashed trying to avoid a car on the wrong side of the road on a curve. Three broken ribs and a collarbone. He flew home . Both bikes totalled
Sorry if I got that information a bit wrong. I had met Steve in Wales so I reached out to check on him. Glad to hear he is healing up. I wasn't sure on the details of the other rider who I don't now. Hopefully he's doing well.
Sounds like you were there. How did you like the tour?
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Old 10-03-2011, 06:52 AM   #148
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like the video

Hi

I caught this from Charleys FB page. Great video. I did the one the year before with Ross on the way up. I have 6 hours of video still needing edited. Too busy with work and other stuff.
You have done a great job here.

Cheers
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:39 AM   #149
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What about us old fella's ?

Yo Global (see the way I slip straight onto post modern Advrider greeting mode)

As one of the less than young members on this awesome trip I'm hoping that my intrusion here won't water your achievement down, I just wanted to add that being one of the steadier riders (for steady in my case read average 120 to 140kph on gravel) I was blown away with your skill and total enthusiasm, not so say how impressed I am with the story so far and the brilliant videos and photos you've posted here.
But come on mate, what about showing the faces of the more experienced riders, we who were riding motorcycles before your Ma was out of diapers, we who spent 2 weeks eating your dust, we who (and please excuse my Brit arrogance) showed you how to drink beer by the gallon, we who - well certainly in my case - didn't hit the sack each night by 10pm. Guess you young 'uns need your beauty sleep eh ?

Looking forward to the next episode.

Pete

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Old 10-05-2011, 01:06 AM   #150
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Springbok to Noordoewer, Namibia!

To tell you the truth, I am having a hard time writing today's ride report. Going back through all of the photos and videos, I am reminded at just how incredible and surreal this whole adventure was. The camaraderie amongst fellow riders was immeasurable, the level of daily stimulus was off the charts, and the riding was so inviting and liberating. All of this combined to create a tranquil riding experience, devoid of any chaos or stress. I felt so alive and comfortable on my GSA. Rider and bike had fused creating a symphony of bliss. It was something that my mind and body grew accustomed to after 5,000 km in the saddle...and it is something I crave here back in the real world.

I have to talked to quite a few of my fellow mates on this adventure and we all are experiencing some sort of "post Africa depression." I hope it's not frickin' malaria!! It is hard to get back into our daily routines of work, family, e-mail, blackberrys, ipads, iphones, TV's, bills, deadlines, etc. I long for the simple life. I felt like a little kid in Africa. I would go to sleep each night without a care in the world. I would just lay my head down and fall asleep. Like a child, I would awake each morning eager to start the day and "play" with my friends in the sand on giant dirt bikes. What a great feeling! I really don't ever want to grow up. I am a giant toddler!

Well, this particular riding day was bittersweet for me. Like Charles Dickens stated, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." I awoke at our lodge eager to start the day. We were crossing into Namibia today. The border crossing was a highly anticipated event and we were all eager to get a move on. I was feeling extremely comfortable on the GSA. I felt like I could do no wrong. After a great breakfast, I grabbed all of my gear and headed out to the gravel drive to mount my bike.

I noticed that I had parked the GSA on it's center stand facing uphill with a slight camber to the right. I grabbed the 500+ pound bike and tried to yank it uphill to get it off the stand but it didn't budge. I thought about asking one of the other riders to help me, but I decided I would try one more time. I leaned into it and propelled the bike off its stand. It landed with a thud and the shock compressed and recoiled. The only problem was that it shot away from me due to the camber of the hill. The bike tipped over and struck another bike. I watched in what seemed to be slow motion as it fell over despite all my effort to keep it upright. I was embarrassed and pissed at the same time. I picked up the bike...fortunately the only thing damaged was my ego and attitude. It put me in a terrible mood.

I hit the road for the 90 mile ride to the Nambian border. I could not stop thinking about how I had dropped my bike in a frickin' gravel parking lot in front of Charley. By the time I arrived at the border, my mood was back in full swing, and my excitement had returned.



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The temps were pushing the mid 90's as I huddled into an un-airconditioned office with all of my riding gear. To make matters worse, there were many families traveling with screaming babies waiting in line with us. I kept telling myself that this was all part of the experience, but in reality I just wanted to clear the border, and hit the open road.

It was amazing how everything seemed to change at the border.

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The landscape shifted to a more lunar, desert landscape, the climate shifted slightly, the smells changed, and there was even a change in the road conditions. After about an hour or so, we were leaving South Africa and looking forward to Namibia with its promises of vast, wide open vistas and fast gravel roads. It did not disappoint!

We stayed at a great little lodge on the Orange River that night.

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It turned out to be one of the greatest nights of the entire trip. We checked into our huts and then proceeded to the bar for a few Windhoek Lagers.

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We were told that we were in for a bit of a surprise. John and Su had arranged for a sundowner cocktail "party" on the top of a mountain, followed by the most unique dining experience I had ever had. We loaded into a couple open aired toyota Hilux trucks and our support vehicles and drove into the surrounding mountains.



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We stopped at a plateau to watch the sunset.

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Numerous cases of ice cold beer appeared from the trucks and the "party" began! After hundreds of photos of the sunset and each other, we loaded into the trucks again and drove along a narrow jeep trail deep into the canyons.

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We rounded a corner and saw what appeared to be a scene from Survivor. Tiki torches illuminated the canyon walls and the smell of varoius meats cooking filled the air.

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This was our restaurant! We dined on lamb, beef, chicken and washed it all down with smooth, South African Pinotage wine. What a surreal dining experience!

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After dinner, we loaded back into the trucks for the 45 minute drive back to the lodge. Charley and I stood up front in the back of the open Hilux and talked about life and my father, who had just passed away three weeks prior to this trip. It felt great to talk about it, as I had been silent for so long. The stars were vibrant with the Southern Cross constellation shining bright enough to guide us home.

We decided to have a hell of a great time that night. The jagermeister was flowing in the form of double shots for all, and the bartenders were loving all of the attention.

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We convinced them to sing for us, and we decided to sing for them as well. One girl even claimed to be a prior Miss Namibia...I believed her. She was beautiful!

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The singing and drinking went on until the wee hours of the morning. We all managed to find our way back to our rooms, except for one. He passed out in Billy's hammock and refused to be moved!! I know Jimmy has a photo!! What an incredible day! Bring on Namibia!!

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