Africa with Charley Boorman

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by globalpilot4, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. GSdog

    GSdog Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Bergen Cnty, NJ
    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.
  2. Frey Bentos

    Frey Bentos not listening

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    702
    Location:
    Fermanagh. Ireland
    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.
  3. Black-Ops

    Black-Ops The left one....

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    120
    Location:
    42 Deg South, Van Diemans Land, Australia
    [​IMG]

    A "stubby holder" being put to use, at N'Kwazi lodge.

    Cheers Global will follow along and throw in relevant photos we might have.
  4. globalpilot4

    globalpilot4 GSPilot4

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    AZ

    Gary is the man. I will share a link to his article when it comes out.
  5. globalpilot4

    globalpilot4 GSPilot4

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    AZ

    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.
  6. BobLoblaw

    BobLoblaw Comfortably Numb

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,507
    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
  7. GSdog

    GSdog Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    15
    Location:
    Bergen Cnty, NJ
    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?
  8. skirk

    skirk Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Perth Australia usually.
    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
    Steven
  9. Beesarider

    Beesarider Pete

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    The Peak District, UK
    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
  10. globalpilot4

    globalpilot4 GSPilot4

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    AZ
    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.



    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1512538835_GW3CBqv-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-GW3CBqv/0/M/IMG0984-M.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1512540047_QLBfGwG-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-QLBfGwG/0/M/IMG0986-M.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    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.

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1512545848_8DxBHKN-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-8DxBHKN/0/M/IMG0976-M.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    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.

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1478110074_tww5rxg-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-tww5rxg/0/M/IMG0561-M.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1478110359_N6PzVJD-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-N6PzVJD/0/M/IMG0546-M.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    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.

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1512541336_cCxxbsx-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-cCxxbsx/0/M/IMG0554-M.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1513437823_Vh3P7Bt-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-Vh3P7Bt/0/M/IMG0299-M.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    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.

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1520108226_vRKQnhn-A-LB" title=""><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-vRKQnhn/0/M/iphone-20110829204918-5-M.jpg" title="" alt=""></a>

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1512543574_Q584J9g-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-Q584J9g/0/M/IMG0586-M.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1512541365_X9v2tN9-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-X9v2tN9/0/M/IMG0573-M.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    We stopped at a plateau to watch the sunset.

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1478110191_gZSppRm-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-gZSppRm/0/M/IMG0592-M.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1512544806_Zxt6HMH-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-Zxt6HMH/0/M/IMG0584-M.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1512545234_9jq3L3f-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-9jq3L3f/0/M/IMG0596-M.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1512545424_8xPC9wq-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-8xPC9wq/0/M/IMG0609-M.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    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.

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1478110367_G7PbwTj-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-G7PbwTj/0/M/IMG0598-M.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    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.

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1512542270_fQmQmbK-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-fQmQmbK/0/M/IMG0620-M.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    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!

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1478110471_DnL5n8d-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-DnL5n8d/1/M/IMG0629-M.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    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.

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1478124529_zZ6Kpgp-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-zZ6Kpgp/0/M/IMG1007-M.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1512539882_F6dG89V-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-F6dG89V/0/M/IMG0643-M.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    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!

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1512544103_6xgXwj7-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-6xgXwj7/0/M/IMG0641-M.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    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!!

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1512540933_PP7fscz-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-PP7fscz/0/M/IMG0989-M.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>
  11. BRUTSQD

    BRUTSQD 2 scoops of stupid

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    339
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    OMG... Subscribed! Beautiful job sofar, can't wait for updates. You've already got me thinking about saving money for this. Mucho jealous! :clap
  12. wgabriel

    wgabriel Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    104
    Location:
    Vancouver,, Great North West
    Been reading your thread for last couple days and enjoying it immensely, sounds like you had a blast.

    Thanks for RR, keep it coming :clap
  13. BOBaloo22

    BOBaloo22 RIP Baby Girl

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,792
    Location:
    Orangeburgville, Va
    "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. "
    What a great statement (telling how you felt about this ride). If we all could just feel this way every once in a while we would live much longer. Now I want to go more than ever. Thanks for your time in letting us ride along with you.
    Bob
  14. globalpilot4

    globalpilot4 GSPilot4

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    AZ
    My buddy GSDOG provided me with this great photo of the rider who got pissed on Jager bombs and decided to pass out in Billy's hammock. They covered him with a blanket and put a pillow under his head. We should have shaved his head!!

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1514046766_pggwpV5-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-pggwpV5/0/L/Hammockmishap-L.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>
  15. globalpilot4

    globalpilot4 GSPilot4

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    AZ
    Thanks Steven. I hope this RR brings back some great memories!
  16. globalpilot4

    globalpilot4 GSPilot4

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    AZ
    Peter...I was just saving the best for last mate! I will include more photos of your old, bald British mug for all to appreciate!:rofl I will admit, you are the man...both on and off the bike!! You somehow managed to get through the entire 5000 Km without incident, and you were always the last to go to bed...especially when there was a guitar around for you to serenade us. I am looking forward to getting out to the UK so we can ride again my friend!!
  17. SS in Vzla.

    SS in Vzla. Totally Normal? I'm not!

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,217
    Location:
    Banana Republic of Black Gold
    :lurk

    Great writing style.... :clap
  18. globalpilot4

    globalpilot4 GSPilot4

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    AZ

    Alright Peter. Here you go my man. I told you I would get you into this RR!!

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1514995468_ZRWntMG-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-ZRWntMG/0/L/Peter-L.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    Why is Mick sleeping?? WTF!!

    <a href="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/19009247_SCGb4B#1514994415_rwJvrNh-A-LB" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="http://globalpilot4.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Africa-2011/i-rwJvrNh/0/L/Dancing-peter-L.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>

    You look like a native...no really!!
  19. ozmikl

    ozmikl Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    354
    Location:
    Sale, Victoria, Australia
    Subscribed Mate
    And it is your story tell it like YOU want to don't listen to the riff raff.
    I wouldn't spring the dough for a guided tour as I am a tight arse and like traveling by my self but I like Charlie and am secretly jealous ha ha ha.
    Michael
  20. Seattle Jimmy

    Seattle Jimmy happy dipshit.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Oddometer:
    37
    Location:
    seattle,wa
    Adam is going to be pissed when he sees the pic of himself asleep on the patio...What you failed to mention was how much fun a 450k ride was at 98 degrees with a ripping hangover...I drank 3 litres of water and still felt like shit..:rofl