Michnus & Elsebie Piki-Piki Around the World!!

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

  1. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Our last stop over was in Jinja the town that is renowned for the source of the Nile, as it’s the only place where water flows out of lake Victoria and on route to Egypt.

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    There's a few South African run and own lodges on the banks of the Nile, stunning views and white water rafting on offer

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    The first part of the Nile

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    Source of the Nile, and if all work we would follow it to the end in Egypt. Cheap ass, did not want to pay nearly R200 to go down to the view point, so we did the second best thing and trespass.

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    Sunset over the start of the Nile

    We spend a total of 25 days in Uganda way more than our budget for time allowed, and it was still too short. To date it was my favourite country since we started the trip and I will be back for bloody sure!
  2. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    The plan with Kenya was that we had to get both our passports stamped. The reason for that was that travelers going North to Ethiopia could no longer apply for a visa in Nairobi and had to send their passports back to country of origin. Our plan was to go to Uganda with the second passport while our other passport was send back to the embassy of Ethiopia in South Africa.

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    Roadside restaurants are the cheapest to buy food

    Or we would spend two weeks sitting around waiting for our passports and we were on a budget for time that was not an option. I am not proud of it, but we had to convince the customs official at the border to stamp our second passports for us. He protested quite a bit but gave in after a while. Well, when travelling you have to do what is necessary to go forward.

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    Goatmeat with Chipati and beers, really nice!

    Kenya pulled our heart strings the moment we rode into it. We stopped for goat meat and Chapati at road side shop. These small little travel oasis spring up every now and then between nowhere and a rock. There's nothing better to kick the boots off for a an hour, sip some beers and enjoy the friendly chatter of the locals.

    The one thing that got to us quite quick was the absolute horrendous driving standards in Kenya. Basically they are in my opinion the most dangerous drivers we have ever had to deal with. Over taking on the wrong side of the road, passing on blind corners or just speeding with overloaded buses. In my 25 year driving I have never had to avoid a head on crash by driving of the road. In Kenya it happened more than 10 times.

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    That is about the only negative thing I can come up for Kenya. The people are overall friendly and easy going, even rural areas people would wave at us and come over for a chat when we stopped. We will have to go back to Mombasa as we missed it this time round. With the shocks and other parts we were waiting for our time was flying.

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    Jungle Junction gate in Nairobi

    We headed straight for Jungle Junction to get everything sorted from the shocks to sending the passports back to SA to the Ethiopian embassy. Chris the owner of Jungle Junction is one serious cool German that owns the place. a Bit eccentric at times but that is Chris for you.

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    Chris telling Harold to get the fuck out of his workshop while he is servicing their bikes. * :lol8:

    There's a great vibe at Jungle Junction with all the overlanders, beers and happy chatter of people. People fix cars and trucks and bikes, some mommies do home schooling for the travelling kids and others are consumed with internet blogs.

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    Jungle Junction camp ground

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    Charge the batteries, washing, fixing stuff, update blogs and beers plenty of them

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    The honesty fridge at Jungle Junction, we really ripped into it
    :D
  3. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

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    michnus,

    This is one of my all time favorite ride reports! Actually, you seem to be involved in most of my favorites.

    Thank you for taking the time to write up and post.

    Cheers,
  4. WIBO

    WIBO Will it buff out?

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    Superbe images....a real sense of being there.....



    :D






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  5. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    thanks men, much appreciated :thumb

    Poolman I had a look at your rides and loved them. It's places I would love to go and visit at some stage for sure.
  6. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    There was too much stuff on my bikes that I wanted fixed. Chris workshop are open for use, and if you ask upfront his tools are at our disposal.
    Harold rode around doing the shocks. With or without a Carne the customs people charge any biking stuff coming into Kenya.

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    Setting up the outside bike stand. Beers were consumed at such a rate the fridge struggled to keep up

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    I had to cool the tools in a bucket of water.

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    Some bikes did not make it

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    Marsabit took it's toll on shocks and bikes. If you want to overload a bike you will get shit

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    Thank you DHL, bastids!! These okes will take your last cent

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    No more camel riding
    :lol3
  7. Skitch

    Skitch Riding the range

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    Wow! Glad I found this report.
  8. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Since we have spend so much time in Nairobi without actually having to apply for permanent residency. It might be a good idea to tell and show a bit more about the place. *

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    Useless I just could not get it to zero

    Let me go back just a bit. After our trip through Uganda we once again we headed for Nairobi to fit our new tires for our journey further North. *We toyed with the idea of going to Mombasa for a few days BUT after a ‘hair-raising’ trip from the main border of Uganda to Nairobi we decided that Mombasa will have to go on our ‘to-do-later’ list! *Kenyan roads must be one of the most dangerous travelling routes in Africa – trucks and busses disregard anybody else on the road, passing vehicles on blind corners are normal and if you are the smaller vehicle, you must give way.

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    Would be forgiven if you think it's some where in Northern province

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    On our way back from Uganda to Nairobi we tried to avoid the main road and stuck to some back roads after some hair raising experience on the main road. Some of these roads were just plain rubbish and rattled everything on the bike to pieces

    Just outside a small town, Eldorette we stayed at a ‘mini Lost City’. *The owner is a very generous and helpful individual.

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    Naibeni River lodge, camping is cheap.
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    Grotto mini lost city, lots of cushions around like in a harem.

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    Lake Nakuru, not allowed in with the bikes so we had to zoooom moer toe to get a glimpse of the flamingos

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    Many houses and buildings displayed murals with various themes, some were quite strange
  9. tmotten

    tmotten Lefthand ride Dutchy

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    You should work for the tourist board for all those countries mate. You keep selling it well.

    :clap:clap
  10. Mcgee

    Mcgee Been here awhile

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    Wow! Just finished reading your thread and have been loving it! You are doing it up right, lots of beer and good friends around. Thank you for the great report. I would love to visit Africa one day.
  11. Skybaba

    Skybaba n00b

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    WOW, that's all I can say!!

    I'm from Nigeria but I've been living in the UK for over 10 years...........I never knew Africa was so beautiful!

    Your RR has left me mouth-watering longing for an Adventure ride in Africa!

    Thanks for sharing........God Bless you man!!
  12. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Thank you really appreciate the comments. Lots still to post. :wink:
  13. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Just before we set out for the mother of all trails we had to fix the bikes again and get everything sorted for the trip to Ethiopia via lake Turkana.

    Not to bore you too much here's some pictures of live in Nairobi and some of the people that love the same type of travels we do. The IT industry was over representative of travelers. Most made some good money and sold this-or-that IT company or business to travel.

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    Margus and Carina from Estonia traveled around the world for 5 years

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    Jami Naukkarinen from Finland.

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    Martin Erichsen, a biker and hiker from Germany

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    Laurant is a french balls to the wall traveler.

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    And then some local flavour.

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    Fuck, Dutchies you do not braai (bbq) meat like that!
    :lol3
  14. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    One thing about travels, you learn stuff fast and preconceived ideas fly out of the window fast. If you love travel and thought it to be impossible then look at this.

    People buy up old vehicles and then fly in and out of countries where they store their vehicles. They fly in for the time they have to travel. Then other travel to the next country or time allow and store it again. It's not a bus load of money. Also the vehicles does not have to cost a lot of money.

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    Elsebie and Martijn help to setup the gentleman's new laptop for him. He and his is 84 and they still travel like this in an old converted *Iveco ambulance

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    The fun never stops, and with a mix lot of middle aged travelers, well you know. :lol3

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    Some like a French kiss from a Giraffe

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    Local taxi's are a blast, they change the music from gospel to western rock the moment we get in the taxi. Nice of them to cater for us. And really cheap


    There are malls for expads and as we have in SA, but the fun is in the small markets around Nairobi.

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    Food is cheap, chips are made while you wait served with a beer or coke

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    Some were so exited to see foreign bikes they could hardly contain their excitement.

    Time to get going for Lake Turkana and get some action!! *
  15. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Lake Turkana

    There’s one popular route from Kenya to Ethiopia, well not that people want to drive it, it’s the only short cut connecting the two countries, and it’s the last bit of dirt road that connects Cape town to Egypt, other than that the entire route from south to north is tarred. It’s a bad 280km corrugated dirt road with lots of volcanic rocks and rutted from all the trucks, not technical at all but for the better part only tests a vehicle’s suspension and the driver’s patience. From Isiolo to Marsabit the road has been tarred teh last 2-3 years. Only this one piece is left.

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    Red route is our route, Yellow is the normal route from Kenya to Ethiopia and Pink is the last 280km shock killer that is left

    The other route (red) is a less travelled road for different reasons via Lake Turkana, it forms part of the lava fields from Mojale and Marsabit and runs all the way to Lake Turkana, formerly known as Lake Rudolph or locally called the turquoise lake. We got told at Jungle Junction about this route by a few travellers that came down from Ethiopia to Kenya. They warned us that this is not recommend as there’s much more to this route than just a scenic ride up to Ethiopia. The more they told us the more we wanted to go this way. It offers so much more than the Marsabit area, and frankly we needed a bit of excitement.

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    We tried to source as much info on this route. Marcus and Karina two Estonians on an 1100GS did it three or four months earlier and they broke their bike’s sub frame and had to pay silly money to get a pick-up van to take the bike to Jungle Jungle. They were sitting at JJ’s for nearly two months waiting for a new one. Besides that Marcus got heat stroke on that route and they nearly ran out of water and fuel. Another Turkish rider and his wife Deniz and Elif also did part of the route and he got out of it with a broken gearbox after a fall. He had a backup truck carrying his fuel and his wife Elif were at least able to ride in the truck.

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    No easing into the thing. Get off the tar at Isiolo and it turns into this.

    What makes this route so dangerous and interesting is that overlanders need to carry their own fuel and water for the nearly 900km of the route up Lake Turkana and into Ethiopia. Most travellers’ team up with 4×4’s or trucks to carry their fuel and water and for added support when things go wrong. Just to add some more zest to this mix for this adventure the route follows the lava rocks and sand that’s also crossing into Marsabit, making riding it slow, dangerous and potentially a killer of tyres.

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    The road do not carry much traffic and the rocks do not round off as nice as on the Marabit road. Which leave them nice and sharp for soft tyres. The main issue is that there is no back up whatsoever, it is remote and you can not just summons a helicopter or rescue effort if things go wrong. Another traveller told me they had heat stroke there and the man was in a coma for two days. When they eventually got a message out to Nairobi, the rescue people said that if the man does not wake up by the next day they are not going to start a vehicle.

    This is desolation valley!

  16. tmotten

    tmotten Lefthand ride Dutchy

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    Now we're talking!!!
  17. DakarGuy

    DakarGuy Been here awhile

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    Awesome report and pics Michnus.

    I'm originally from Joburgh, but live in the US now. I used to do safari trips throughout Southern Africa in my Mitsubishi Pajero, but nothing as daunting as you okes are doing.
    I have a 2007 Dakar. I'm planning a ride around the US next year. It will be mostly off road, and yes, off road here is nothing like off road Africa style :D

    I know that your bikes must be taking an absolute pounding on your trip. Do you think that the Dakars are holding up relatively well, or do you think they should be holding up better?
    You seem to be doing a lot of repairs, or is it a reasonable amount based on the punishment the bikes are taking?

    Thanks again for an amazing RR.
  18. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Dakarguy, I have this love hate relationship with the Dakars. :D They are actually good bikes. Yes I had enough shit from them but in hindsight was avoidable.

    The issues I had was the water pump gears and I did not knew they were prone to self destruct at 50000km on the dot. If I knew that I would have replaced them before we have set off.
    The second failure was in Sudan but that was the pin of the new waterpump shaft that self destruct and I would write that off as an act of god or something.
    Then the fuel pump wires on all of them are too short and with the vibrations the one broke off. I fixed it but then the fuel in Ethiopia is better described as Camel piss and it killed the one pump.

    What need attention on the Dakars are the steering head bearing. It must be adjusted properly and then checked again after a 1000km.
    The Cush rubbers, replace them after 50 000km or so. They WILL damage the carrier housing if worn. And make sure your swing-arm bearings and housing is in good condition.
    Get a proper rear shock that can carry your weight and luggage as well as front weighted oil.

    Also the handle bars I replaced works well and if you have time and money do that if you can. It makes riding the bike a lot better.

    The carrier rack under the rear lockable lid will crack so reinforce it even before you leave. I will post a pic for you.

    My bike has a stalling issues, but has not left me stranded. It can not be something serious.

    For the amount of abuse we gave them I am amazed they are still running at all. We are currently busy with another 6000km trip in Europe and they, touch wood, haven't missed a beat.

    Another thing is, if you go at a decent speed I doubt any other 650 can come close to fuel consumption of the Dakars. They really are light on fuel when you need to do distance with limited fuel stops on the route.
  19. tmotten

    tmotten Lefthand ride Dutchy

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    Yeah, she's a bit of a winger that one. Needs to be shown you care. :)
  20. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    And the times she is suppose to perform she does. :lol3

    Never let us down at crucial times.