Michnus & Elsebie Piki-Piki Around the World!!

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by michnus, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Round the World - Do you have beer we are coming to visit?


    The initial "Hello Africa tell me how you doing?" trip was only intended to cover South Africa to Europe. There were no plans after that. Since we started in 2010 this trip has evolved into an odyssey that's now going around the world on a continuous basis. Let us introduce ourselves, we are Michnus and Elsebie, our home is in East London, South Africa. Our passions are motorcycle overland travel, amateurish photography, drinking beer while watching the sunset over a new horizon, and hooking up with cool people.


    Why? The aim is not to set records or to rush just to get the stamps. We are not the highway asphalt type, we love the backroads, the dirt roads and roads less travelled, the out of way places where tourist never go. Eat local, really dig into a place. We want to rub shoulders with the world, see the amazing places around the globe and get some first hand experiences of other people's cultures.
    Our trip is completely unsupported and without sponsors.

    Our website is: www.pikipiki.co.za. Or follow us on Facebook

    But most of all to have fun!!


    Warning: picture rich thread with stupid grammar and even worse spelling. :D


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    RED: COMPLETED ROUTE TO DATE. WHITE: PLANNED ROUTE FOR 2015BLUE:2016


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    The lucky bastards!

    We would love to hear from you, anything you are curious about.

    What you can see from this trip so far...:wink:

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    updated Jan 2015
    #1
    OnTheWay and Spank like this.
  2. ClayR

    ClayR Animal

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    :clap
    #2
  3. asphaltmueller

    asphaltmueller nomad acc. ยง 2(3)AVV

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    good luck man, in some of the areas you might need some of it
    #3
  4. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Is true, we have made it to Ethiopia by now. Just started the report now while I am ahead. :D
    The rest will follow.....
    #4
  5. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    This is gonna be good. :kbasa
    #5
  6. Flood

    Flood F5lood.

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    :lurk
    #6
  7. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    What an adventure! :thumb

    Looks like Libya's off your list...

    :lurk
    #7
  8. tmotten

    tmotten Lefthand ride Dutchy

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    Nice start. I was wondering when we'd see a RR from you.
    #8
  9. BullShatter

    BullShatter Been here awhile

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    Good Luck Michus! This should be an Epic Adventure...especially in N. Africa. Like Gadget Boy's post above, what's the contingency plan for Libya...maybe turn right at Egypt instead.
    #9
  10. alekkas

    alekkas Been here awhile

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    nice start .... I'm in.
    #10
  11. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Bikes and Boobs in Namibia
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    WELL YOU CAN SEE BOOBS ANYWHERE, JUST DEPEND WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND

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    No need for waterproofing it's too dry, build houses from reeds.

    Our first night in Namibia we stayed over in Ai-Ais, a hot spring in the lower part of Namibia. It’s a great place to relax for a few days and enjoy the moon-like surroundings. It forms part of the Fish river canyon which is the second biggest canyon in the world, the Grand canyon is bigger.
    Namibia is a arid desert type of country, only 2 million people in a area that is just bigger than Texas. It's a wonderful laid back country with different tribes of people making a living in this dry hot corner of Africa.

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    Fish river canyon, what a place, the beauty and size leaves you breathless. Second biggest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon

    On the road to Aus a small one horseman town on the way to Sossusvlei, we found a place called the Canon Roadhouse. Old rusted cars, engines, stickers and everything from way past when. It’s unbelievable that they were able to put this together in the middle of nowhere. Any real man deserve a garage like this, even the toilets are a work of art. Why don't we get adverts like this any more? Bloody feminist crusaders, and activist! :D
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    Have to make this part of my Man Castle one day
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    Yes these were still adverts for men
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    Many of these in the roadhouse
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    Talking shit with some local bikers that also visited the place at the same time

    Just outside the Fish River canyon we came across this French couple cycling all the way from France to Cape town. How dehell people decide to do this is beyond me, this is serious hardcore stuff. If you do cycling touring in Europe it's one thing. Doing it in Africa add quite a good measure of risk and danger to this adventure. The spirit and friendliness of travellers always amazes me. Maybe they are just a different breed of person, as they always seem in good spirit. This is extreme travelling and way past my abilities, respect, that’s all I can say.

    He came down the West coast of Africa which is the most difficult route you can do in Africa and had zero troubles, she joined him in Lusaka and they pedal around 100km per day, eating 5 times a day mostly rice. The draw back is they did not go to the Canyon or Ai-Ai's as it's 12km and 9km they must pedal in and out each time, and so with many other places.
    I wonder if doing a trip like this is really that a good idea if you choose to miss all the best places and just stick to the best roads as pedalling there and back are just too much work.
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    Crazy French cycling to CP


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    Cold beers and nice people at Seeheim hotel, we stopped for petrol, there's nothing in miles only this pre 19th century place build by some German settlers.

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    Oryx, one of the most beautiful and graceful bucks on the African continent. This one enjoy live at the Seeheim hotel entertaining overseas tourist.

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    Camping at Klein Aus Vista, and sharing a a camp site with a colony Sociable weaver birds nesting in the tree above us.
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    The famous Wild Horses from Aus, seems more dead than wild to me, I must add it's damn dry there and they get feed from the locals to help through the dry times.

    At this stage we hoped we could get some excitement along the way to take away the boredom of some of the never ending dirt roads. We read up in some magazine the best way to Sossusvlei is best riding the D707 a sandy road running along the edge of the Namib park. It’s also on this road that I had my wish come true for a bit of excitement.

    At Ai-Ais we were asked whether we were part of the gaggle of GS’s, all French people and around 30 of them, that were doing a loop of SA, Zim, Bots, Zambia and Namibia. Aus’s garage owner told us not to take the D707 … sand, sand, sand, apparently some of the French fell them into hell, on that road and one pillion broke a collar bone. Well, that’s the sign right there brothers and sisters!! We had to take this road!
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    Noooo uncle, if the French love falling themselves into hospital then let them, how can you tell me I can't go ride this road?
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    Sand, glorious sand!!!
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    D707 views
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    I broke in the trip with the first fall....yeeehaaa I feel like a child again!

    It's one of those roads where you want to stop every 10 minutes and take pictures. Breath taking jaw drop views, I stopped taking pictures knowing that my amateurish attempts will just not do justice to this place. I just took it all in and enjoyed the moment.

    It's easy to understand why so many people get injured in Namibia on bikes and why the locals keep telling us stories of people hitting the dirt. The wide long stretched out roads lures you to go faster and faster and then you hit a sand patch and everything goes belly up. For new riders and cat-piss drenched testosterone cowboys it’s the biggest danger. They normally fall them selves into a different blood group.

    As we rode into Betta, another small town, well it can't be called a town, there's only 3 houses. This young dirty Jenson Button look-a-like named Neil with an oooold XT500 6Volt bike was sitting sipping on hot water. He started riding bike a few months ago after drooling over Nardus’ ride report on his Africa travels MAN WITHOUT SHOES RIDE AFRICA Nardus is his all-time biggest hero, he nearly gave up his religion for Nardus and travelling. It inspired him so much he just had to do something similar, except he does not have the funds or time for the entire Africa he will do a loop of Namibia, Zambia, Malawi and back SA. Nardus is the same man that did "Angola is not what they said" with us

    This guy is a true adventure rider, and I am super impress with him and his exuberance. Only got his learners licence a few months ago and the previous owner had to show him how to ride a bike, he even asked if the bike got a reverse gear! He kitted his bike with empty 2L plastic Coca Cola bottles and set off to Springbok a small town close to the border of Nambia, he phoned ahead to make arrangements for his bike license and still had to stay a week longer in Springbok to get the booking and pass his license before he was allowed to enter into Namibia.
    This picture is dedicated to Nardus, he could not get a Heineken can so a Cream Soda had to do.
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    Neil the adventurer, aka Jenson Button

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    Eish, poor buck, wonder if the car, truck or bus that hit him stopped or just left the buck for dead

    In Solitaire I gave him a crash course in dirt road riding, the poor guy was taking strain on these roads. It’s humbling and makes one think about our perceptions of what we need in life. This guy does the same as us with a hellova lot less and still enjoys it. ​


    At Sesriem and Sossuslvei the border to the oldest desert, there’s only one place to stay and it’s the Oasis camp site. It’s cheaper and miles better than the National Park camp site. Each camp site has its own private facilities.

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    Infinity, if you look close you can see well into tomorrow

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    Zebra's on their afternoon stroll to a waterhole

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    Sunrise at Sesriem in the desert
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    Sesriem Camp Oasis, and a cold pool, the temp in this desert run well into 104F and best stay out of the sun during midday. Better spending time drinking beer
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    Warm evening wind and a bbq with hard red wood next to Sossusvlei, the sun sets on another stunning day in Africa !!

    #11
  12. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Man that's a bit of a sad thing, I really would have loved to go to Libya, from what I have seen and heard there's some stunning places to see and ride.

    It's not all lost, our 6 months came to an end in Ethiopia and we left our bikes there. We will go back in Sept/ Oct to continue the trip North wards.
    By then maybe who knows, we might be lucky to go into Libya, however seeing how things go there now, I doubt it.
    Second option is to go Israel, Jordan route. :wink:

    Tmotten, Metaljockey is our writer extraordinaire for the group. The English language can be a bit of a problem for some of us. :lol3

    As things work out he is a dad these days and I am childless so our trips differ a bit. This was the last long-ish trip we did together, Namaqua land, and the three adventurous girls.. We still do loads of short trips together. Maybe when Peanut is bigger and able to teach and learn herself on trips we can do these extended type trips together again. :D
    #12
  13. kktos

    kktos on a bright side of life

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    oh oh... interesting :)
    Looks like you left your 12gs for something lighter... I'm wondering why :D
    I'll follow your trip with interest... as we did a smaller one last feb following ur route, from namibia to kenya..... on my 12gs adv :huh
    what's ur plan when u'll reach tunisia ? Coz I'll be close... for a beer ;)
    Viel Spass.
    /thierry
    #13
  14. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Thierry, if things work out and we can do Tunisia we can stop over at your place for a beer. Just need to let me know where to get hold of you. :thumb

    With second thoughts I would have loved doing this trip with the 1200, air cooled, tubeless tyres, shaft. No water pump gears and tube replacements. :D

    Had the one Dakar, decided to buy another to keep stuff simple if one should break I can swap parts to find faults. Besides that Egypt wants a 200% Carne on our bikes. Expensive bikes are not the choice of weapon for this trip.
    #14
  15. dc1

    dc1 Adventurer

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    hi can you tell us about the zambia- malawi stretch.
    Gass stations , Stopovers, Anything special on the way?
    #15
  16. Signal

    Signal Cynical Idealist

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    crazy.....and beautiful :D
    #16
  17. AfricaWim

    AfricaWim Been here awhile

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    Living the dream ... make it happen boet!!

    :thumb
    #17
  18. sonnyboy

    sonnyboy Adventurer

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    Nice!!:wink:
    #18
  19. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    !Khai!Khari!-! & !Urihab *(Damara for cold beers and motorbikes) 08/12/2010


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    It’s also at this stage where we loaded the additional petrol to get us to Swakopmund. I crank up the preload a half turn and the next moment I hear this hissing sound and there’s oil leaking onto the ground. My 3500km old brand new revamped and improved shock have just broken the preload adjuster.
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    This bike only made it past Sossus

    I had a noise from the start of the trip on the suspension and this must have been the cause or part of it. We decided to head for Swakopmund and get hold of Martin the guy that worked on the shocks to assess the damage and decide on a possible solution. Martin’s advice to me was to ride the bike as is, the preload adjuster is only to adjust the spring it does not affect the shock itself and since we have the higher rated springs fitted we actually don’t need to have it adjusted. Luckily we travel relatively light at about 30kg luggage each.
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    Not nice having to start a 25000km trip with part of a shock failing. Luckily we have time on our side should we need to get a shock somewhere later. All four bikes now have MP revamp shocks in them and one has already shows failure. I hope this was just a once off and not a one of the rest that will break or go wrong on the shocks.

    Since we were not able to destroy the Sossusvlei dunes with our gas guzzling echo destroying bikes, we tried to conquer Dune 7 with the bikes but that plan did not worked out to well.
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    Conquer Dune 7

    The wonderful free feeling, meeting up with new people, experiencing new things, that’s all part of travel is addictive and I suspect it is going to get worse not better in the future, for us in any case. Not that I want a cure for this, I love this, and truly wish every person that has a love for travel and especially this kind of minimalist travel can have a change in their lives to experience it, even if it’s only once.


    Swakopmund certainly is picturesque with street cafes, restaurants, good Eisbein and even bad tempered Germans!
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    Met up with Neill, aka Jenson Button, again as well as 3 Belgium travellers at the Desert Sky Backpackers and enjoyed a lovely evening together , swapping stories and solving some of Africa’s problems. Our new Belgium friends travelled one by motorbike and a couple in a Toyota Land Cruiser and just came down the eastern side of Africa.

    All of them in their early 30’s have saved up, quit their jobs and embark on this new adventure. For them quitting a job is not a problem, they know they will find employment in Europe on their return after 9 months. It’s in stark contrast with the way we as South Africans go about our lives and decision making with regards to our future and how we live it. Just telling them we are taking 5 months had them laughing, it’s supposed to be 9 months to a year they say! ‘What do you want to see in 5 months’ they smirked.

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    The three Belgium's, Stefano, Stefanie and Johan.


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    Why they call it the Skeleton Coast

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    Faster faster!!!

    With the hot dry summer wind in our faces, we hit the dirt roads again, passing numerous road graders. Now, a bad dirt road is okay but one that has just been graded is well … interesting. Good for cars but we had to work our asses off sliding over the new gravel with zero hard pack line to follow!It still beat the best day at the office and after a day’s riding with dust in the teeth, it’s great to gulp down a!khai!khari! (beer in Damarala)

    We were heading towards Uis a small outcrop of a town and Burntmountain.
    It's December and Namibia is a hot place, any place with a pool and some beers are good for us. It's remarkable to see some of these lodges rose between the rocks in this arid country.

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    White lady lodge near Burntmountain.

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    Resident young Meerkat at White lady lodge.

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    The best camping spots in Africa and they are in Namibia.

    The Northern side of Namibia is showing a lot of development since we last toured here 15 years ago (now we are giving our ages away!). Hentie's Bay expanded quite a bit, lodges popped up everywhere along the river and scenic views. Lost is the ‘rough’ camping, hello to cool swimming pools, even cocktails, fancy restaurants and entertainment! The camp sites all are in very good shape and affordable.
    In land it also seems Namibia have embraced tourism to the fullest. Namibia is one beautiful country... with warm hearted friendly people.


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    Riding around at Burntmountain.
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    Ye, what can I say, at least it's not a piece of tar.
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    Damaraland the vistas and views are mind-blowingly beautiful.
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    Stopped often to take in the silence and expanses.

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    My arty pics will never be a National Geographic winner.

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    Palmwag lodge, cold beers!

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    Palmwag lodge camping, right next to the river and we hoped for some Elephants but they decided not to attend our cheese and wine evening.

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    Happy bike.
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    Barbecue meat, nice Oryx come closer!!

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    From bottom to top of Namibia on gravel, and the only water crossing! Yeehaa for this puddle!

    One sad thing about returning to Namibia is to see the influence that tourism has had on the local tribes. It's not nice to see the Himba (apparently the oldest Herero tribe) setting up ‘come see us’ shacks along the main routes – dancing in the road to attract attention, just like street beggars next to traffic lights, child on the hip. At least the crafts on sale are all actually made by themselves. Numerous curios shacks also line the once deserted roads. One even said ‘do not take a picture, come and see us inside’. Guess there’s positives and negatives for this. The influence of main stream tourism on this region has changed them forever.

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    You will not get me down!

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    Ongongo near Sesriem

    Ongongo is a place where water flow over rocks baking in the sun and then into this pool. It's the perfect place to take a relaxing rest for a few days. There's no people and the locals can get you beers in 2min flat.

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    First of many puncture to come, at least I taught her well to do it while I rest in the shade.

    I do not have the vocabulary to describe the astonishing beauty of the landscape and scenery to its fullest, if only I had paid more attention in school maybe it would have helped. Especially this part of Namibia with its zebra striped mountains and red coloured sand flowing from broken mountain sides. Why did we had to sit in school with rubbish subjects rather than being taught photography or something worthwhile to enable me to take some decent true too life pictures and to portray this incredible country.
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    Last time I camped here was on our Angola trip 3 years ago with Metaljockey and the gang. It's great being back.

    It’s unthinkable how people can live in this arid place called Damaraland. God burned this place black and dark red in anger over Eve’s infidelity, maybe not, but I can’t think of any other reason riding through this beautiful land. If this place does not touch your soul you either do not have one or you are an alien.

    The harshness of living in Damaraland is visible on people’s faces, but one thing that you do not expect is the friendliness and welcome smiles every single time you talk to one of the locals.
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    Bought Elsebie this necklace in Opuwo from a very persistent seller. I thought I lost it, as I took the seat off I nearly fainted from the horror, thought this fucking snake was under my ass the entire time while riding!! Well at least it's not gone.

    In the end we travelled Namibia from bottom to top on gravel and it is one of the most beautiful inviting countries and an absolute on the bucked list.

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    That's Angola in the back ground, yes baby your next!

    Angola will be a short visit and then back to Caprivi and onto Zambia.

    #19
    KTM_Pendejo likes this.
  20. Catalyst

    Catalyst Explorer

    Joined:
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    What a trip!

    :lurk
    #20
    jesionowski likes this.