Rideforsmiles, Solo Australian to Africa Europe and Beyond, starting June 26th 2011.

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by rideforsmiles, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,724
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Its been over a week since I last blogged, ive just taken time out from doing anything as i've just been feeling pretty stuffed so decided to go see the quack and get things sorted out. Between the pain in my back and neck the flu I really needed to just sit still for awhile and get myself feeling better. While she was listening to my chest she spotted the long scar across my rib cage so I told her about the accident and that my right lung was collapsed and the left partially and that I had bled internally into my chest and had to have an operation on all of it so she took her time listening.

    She did say my lung that was damaged in the accident wasnt sounding to good and wanted me to go get some xrays but I just said let me try this medicine you've given me first and if im still having issues ill go get the xray. I must admit ive been feeling like crap but I have been pushing myself a little even as much as I know it seems like ive been on a leisurely cruise through Southern Africa. I've only done 12 500 k's in 4 months and people do that standing on their heads but go get smashed up by a semi trailer then do it a few years later and you'll have some idea how im feeling . Theres so much more to it as well and im seeing that come into play cause im a little run down. Losing things, leaving things i dont know how it happens the dots just dont connect lets say.

    Like today walking out of the mall after going to the shop, oh wheres my sunglasses, shit look in all my pockets, no not there, not hanging on my shirt, oh bugger I must of left them back at the pharmacy, so just about to start walking back, oh hang on there they are on my head, thought i checked my head, friggin hell idiot. Just as im doing that one of the security guys comes chasing me down the mall, you left this paperwork, oh great thanks mate, go to get my reading glasses on to read it and there gone and they are gone, oh f%^k it forget it just take a few minutes to compose myself and concentrate when you get on the bike. I know we all do that stuff at times but ALL THE TIME, its just so annoying, I guess im just getting an early look into what its like to be an old coot. They did say it may of been caused by the hit on the head I got in the accident or the blood loss when I was bleeding internally and lack of oxygen I had at stages but FUCKING HELL it shits me, makes me more determined to kick it in the nuts and push on.

    In the week or so ive had off ive had the bike serviced which was good, had a warning light that came on in the last 50 to 100 k's before I got into Windhoek was a bit of a worry when your in the middle of nowhere but checked the oil water and everything else and kept going, ended up being the headlight lamp so that was replaced and so far in the few k's ive done just riding around town ive had no probs.

    Been nice to stay awhile somewhere again, getting to know Sylvia, Ingrid and the crew that work here. Slyvia's little Grandson Janu is a classic, the little fella was shy at first but now I let him sit on and start the bike any time im going out. I took him down the shop the other day to get and ice cream and bought him a little toy motorbike and car to play with, he loves it, I think ive learnt more Afrikaans hanging around Janu whose only 4 in the last few days than I have in the last 4 months. Ive definatly made a little mate he just came over before to say good night. Slaaptyd (bedtime) I said to him he just nodded Ja and waved and off to bed he went.

    Ive decided im going to the north of Namibia then up to the Caprivi Pass from there then back down the West side of the Ochevango Delta across and up to the Vic Falls. I talked to a bloke today that said the Caprivi Pass was just a long straight road dry with not much happening other than a few elephants, sounds pretty familiar in Namibia.

    He told me to give Egypt a miss to he said he and his mate had set up camp and in the middle of the night were grabbed by soldiers or someone and were forcibly thrown on the ground at gun point and threatened saying they were illegal fisherman or spy's, they had one of the cops military fire the gun into the ground while they were lying there. Seriously though some of the stories that come out of there it sounds like a comedy almost. Maybe it was where they set up camp who knows maybe they were in a restricted area and the way things work up in that neck of the woods the soldiers just weren't taking any chances. They went through his tent and stole his camera, it really is starting to sound a no go zone but we'll see.

    He also said the bikes had been stuck in customs for 2 weeks sorting out paper work which didnt help their cause. There is a few options when i get up there Option 1 is I can go to Khartoum and get visas for Saudi Arabia then go to Port Sudan over to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and then head to Jordan then up through Syria to Turkey. Option 2 is Port Sudan to Italy by boat through the Suez Canal or Option 3 Just meet Jared in Ethiopia crate the bike up and fly with him to Europe get my bike and piss off into the sunset again which sounds easier.

    In all my researching before I left I have read so many different ways but in the end im not sure what im doing tomorrow let alone a few months. The good tip I got was that the northern Kenyan part I keep hearing about is 340k's and took them 15 hours in two days to do with no dramas at all other than being pretty hard riding. Im looking forward to heading north but have decided to just get these pills into me see how im going then take off, whats a few days in the washup to make sure im ok

    Riding around Windhoek im starting to know the place just riding around and around around its good, its not that big a town but even riding today I came across a sort of side street and came out and went oh shit there I am, its a little different these inland cities surrounded by hills its ok when you ride in and ride out but once you start going all over the place the north south east and west start to become a little blurred but just riding to anywhere every day the city just becomes familiar if you know what I mean.

    Anyway im jibbering now im having a few more days break if any of the family are reading this im ok, im still breathing and ive still got the energy to beat up on a 4yo so all good.



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    Attached Files:

    • Janu.jpg
      Janu.jpg
      File size:
      44.1 KB
      Views:
      1,955
  2. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,724
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Tomorrow im back on the road and just for something different im going to ride to the centre of the Kalahari desert, and yeah im not joking.

    From here in Windhoek its about 540 k's to Ghanzi and i'd expect it to be quite warmish once it gets into the day so it will be sunblock water and more sunblock tomorrow, apparently the anti malaria tablets im taking make you more sussectible to the uv factor so makes perfect sense to ride into a desert doesent it. Oh well mans got to do what a mans got to do. I could just sit on my ass and flick through the channels on the tv but been doing that basically for two weeks now. I certainly needed it though feeling so much better taking those few weeks off. I've really been enjoying just flying around the city on the bike every day and riding to nowhere getting to know Windhoek.

    Anyway the blogging and pictures will start again and hopefully ill get some decent pictures in the next week or so in the Ochevango Delta as I head towards the Caprivi Pass and the Vic Falls. The Vic Falls are only about 2 days riding away if I got stuck in but the way im going ill be there in a week or so, im looking forward to getting to the Delta who knows how long ill stay there. but in saying that im looking forward to getting to Lake Malawi as well and that isn that far away either. I dont actually know which way im going when I get to Vic Falls but ill leave that decision for the next few weeks.
  3. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,724
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Fair dinkum what a day that was hard work but fantastic in the same breath. Ended up getting up around 6:30 yeah I know surprise surprise WTF anyway decided since im up to pack up and piss off early. Ok that took a little time, little Janu was knocking on my door at 7:30 his grand ma must of told him I was leaving so we played and hung out while I packed the bike up, classic standard games you play with kids, you know the ones oh look at that then he turns and you chase them, lended up chasing him around the lodge 30 times, to funny him screaming in laughter was certainly a nice way to start the day. He helped me start the bike then helped put my gloves on and directed me out of the carpark was a classic. Gave him the high 5 and the gate was shut behind me and off I went.

    I hit the road at 8am so a pretty early start for me which was good I was worried about the heat in the middle of the day riding into the Kalahari Desert so was happy to get away at a semi reasonable hour. Got stopped just out of Windhoek by the cops asking for my insurance I bought when I came into Namibia, I did have that the other day where the hell it was now I have no idea. Jumped off the bike and started going through all my paper work in my panniers I didnt give a rat ass Ill take all day if i have to and just go book into the next lodge up the road. I think he got bored way before me but had a nice chat to him and his mate as I was frigging around. Ended up telling him what I was up to and the little bit extra im trying to do in my travels, in the end he says look I dont want to hold you up God Bless you have a safe journey.

    Got back on the road the highway is pretty damn boring you could take a picture at any stage in the journey and it would look all the same well pretty much. Got to the Namibia Botswana border and went in filled out the rego part of the deal which is the first step then the departure card and the chick at the desk stamp stamp smile and im through that part. Ride over to the Botswana gate its already hot by this stage well not to bad but 39c but hot enough for everyone to be whinging. I was laughing last night I froze my camel pack that I wear in my rallycross pro jacket so I had icy cold water, I was surprised how long it lasted wish I had thought of it beofre it certainly made riding in the heat a little more bearable with an ice pack on my back and icy cold drinking water whenever I wanted it. I go into the Botswana office repeat the process sign in book entry card and hand it all over, they were really friendly probably cause it was so quiet and asked me where im going, i just said Ghanzi and then im not sure they just said welcome you have 3 three months and off I go to pay my road tax which was 240 Pula or whatever it is which is about 30 odd Aussie bucks, I thought was quite x'y but oh well I dont care what ever.

    Got back on the road had a few more hours to get to Ghanzi and it was getting hotter all the time I was watching as the thermometer on the bike just kept clicking up and up, it funny you can sense even the half degree rises in the temp. By the time I got to Ghanzi it was 2pm and 44c , stopped to try and book into the Kalahari Sands there, oh no vacancies ok I saw a lodge just back south as I came into town ill just hook back there and see. I did think about just giving it a miss and going north but it was so hot i thought ill give it a go. Ok get there no vacancies either. So ride back into town go to the servo and fill up while I decide what to do, its chock a block inside everyone trying to find some comfort from the heat inside the shop and the air conditioning, talk to some European dude he looks at me and just sighs and says you must be hot with all that gear on, yeah I say its pretty warmish isnt it as I sculled down a Fanta while I stand at the counter waiting to pay for it.

    Walk back out the the bike and think oh f&8k it im out of here its to damn hot around here surely its got to be cooler up near the Ochavanga Delta and its only just under 300 k's away at the speeds im knocking up on this road ill be there in a few hours or by 5ish at the latest. Well the temperature didnt go down to much but at one stage it went down to 36c and was pouring with rain and started to hail, pouring with rain, in Australia we would call it a passing sun shower over here in the Kalahari Desert im sure it was flogging down for ages. The funny thing was after it rained all the animals came out onto the road to drink the puddles so slowed me up no end dodging cattle, donkeys, Ostrich's, goats and wild boars, made it a dodgathon for the last 150k's burr was a fun interesting ride all the same. By this time I was getting pretty rooted, the icey cold water was well and truely all gone and my back was starting to give me some grief, well I had been on the bike for 7 and a half hours with only limited breaks and it had been well over 40c heat for the last 4 hours, I know harden up ya big pussy.

    Stopped off in some remote village just had to try and get something cool into me, it was still 42c at that stage they obviously they dont get to many Aussie dudes on motorbikes stopping by so was the centre of attention, here I was trying to chat and stand up at the same time. Didn't stay long just wanted to get back on the bike and kill the last 150 k's to Maun on the edge of the Ochavango Delta and find somewhere to stay and relax. Rode and rode it was still a major dodgathon so the going was fast at times but almost to a stop at others but seeing all the animals certainly gave m something to look at, its pretty much desert scenery out here not much to see.cWas getting close to Maun at around 5 and it was still 40.5 on the thermometer so still hot i was thinking well that didnt work out like I planned thinking it would be cooler up in this neck of the woods.

    Arrived in Maun and by this stage I was really getting exhausted and starting to struggle, I just needed to just find somewhere and somewhere quick. The one I had put in my Gps was anopther 4.5 k's through town and I thought theres got to be something in here surely so wacked it in my Gps and up came a joint I had just past so turned straight around and rode the 100 metres back up the road and went in.

    Cool vacancy but expensive at 950 pula thats like 125 bucks aussie a night but F&*k it im not in a position to argue I just want to chillax and this joint is pretty ritzy. Get booked in taken to my room and just hit the bed and turn the air con down to 16 and sit there under it for a few minutes. Go back out get my bike all sorted take what I need off it and head back to my room. Went back out just on dark to move my bike and put the cover over it and jump on it with my thongs on and the bike rolls forward and the stand crunces my big toe breaking the nail in half and ripping the top off, oh well shit happens, its funny the last time I did that I judged how bad my back and neck were because they were still hurting more than my toe I had kicked, well today was no different. Here I am blood pissing out of my toe my nail broken in half and im just going shit I can hardly stand up my back is so sore, f*&k the toe. I guess thats the benefit of having bad pain in some part of your body nowhere else is going to be sore.

    Wll just had a really nice rump steak for dinner wasnt that hungry but hadnt eaten all day so thought I might as well chuck something into my guts and have a few drinks plus the restaurant is the only place that has Wifi so its killing two birds with one stone so to speak just checking my facebook and updating the blog.

    It was a really hard days riding in that heat today covering just under 800k's but in saying that I was just on my bike thinking how much I love doing this, just riding and riding and riding some more, the two weeks off were great and just flying around Windhoek was fun but this out there on the open road with no destination, well sort of, is where its at for me, it just reaffirm's to me just how much I love just being on the bike riding. What a top day, loving life as sore as I am.
  4. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,724
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Wow its so friggin hot here in Maun 45c is a killer at the moment. Plus that and im sore as f$&k from yesterdays 800 k ride in high 40+ degree Celsius heat. I really did bugger all today. Got to talk to my little fella Logan this morning which was real nice other than the connection cutting out which sucked big time. I miss him sometimes though there is positives and negatives to not catching up with him but oh well ill always love ya logie bear wherever I am in the world.

    When you think about it having to fight his mother every step of the way to be part of his life, 20 odd times in court over 5 years, the constant battle to just be his father to the day I left on my trip, chuck in my accident and the recovery to that riding around Africa and the world on a motorbike is a peice of piss. Certainly made it easy to leave, the constant shit fight she gave me just to be his dad, im sure theres more than a few blokes that understand what im talking about, it's much easier being one of those deadbeats dads that just pisses off let me tell you and it's probably better for him as well not having that conflict in his life as well.

    Anyway back Maun f$&k its hot ok hot outside for the poor folk, im in a room watching tv with the air con on 16, I feel for anyone outside camping today yeah thats right I feel 16c for ya. I did go over to the airport to try and suss out some of the ways you can tour the Ochavango Delta and met a pilot who worked for Moremi Air whose boss died in the crash last week killing 8 tourists. He said the planes just have alot of issues flying in this heat. Ok im not flying into a camp especially after another one crashed the other day as well even though everyone survived this time.

    Walked outside and this guy Adam comes up says hello and we had a chat, he tells me he's a pilot and looking for work, I said to him obviously theres one job vacancy right now, we had a chuckle on how f$$ked a joke it was but oh well when its your time its your time at least they got to make the papers around the world. Went into one of the tour agency across the road and talked to the girls oh yum yum oh come on keep your mind out of the gutter Sheldon, I must admit theres some pretty nice looking chicks in Maun. Anyway in a nutshell it was seriously hot today basically just sussed out the tours and cheaper accomodation if I could be bothered to move and just hung out in my air conditioned room.
  5. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,724
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Rode over to the camps that the girls had told me that do boat rides and trips by road into the Moremi Game Reserve. There's a boat going for a cruise this afternoon im welcome to jump in, ok cool ill cya at 3 for a couple hour cruise of the delta. From there I went back into Maun about 10k's, it was still so hot in the low to mid 40's, im over Botswana if its going to be like this all the time ill go to a country thats got a beach if it is.

    Unhappily my computer shit itself keeps going into startup repair, pain in the ass so hopefully its not all lost again after losing everything on the portable hard drive. Left about 2 pm to go for the cruise and dropped the computer off in the shop, ill see what they can come up with, ive had no luck.

    The cruise up the Delta was interesting lots of bird life apparently the delta is very full from last years floods so the animals are away from the river. Im glad he said that, I was going to do the boat ride up into the Moremi Game Reserve so luckily as I probably would of seen sweet fa other than birds of course. Was interesting seeing some of the local villages along the river bank in parts, all in all a fun cruise and it was very pleasant temperature wise too.

    Once I got back from the afternoon cruise I hung around with Bei and Christof a nice couple from Belguim as they had planned a day drive into the Moremi for tomorrow and the chick was coming back to see them so hung around to see if I could jump in with them.

    So that worked out alright day trip into Moremi but we have to leave at 5 to get in there before it gets to hot.

    Back at the Cresta Riley in town eating a nice stir fry for dinner. They say its going to be cooler tomorrow lets hope so. Of course ive got it easy cause i've got my air con but I did come here to stuff not sit in my room and this heatwave really just limits how long you can be outdoors for without it becoming a friggin mission.

    Attached Files:

  6. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,724
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Woke up at 4am to get organised to go on the drive to Moremi Game Reserve, got to sleep really early so that helped. I had organised late last night that i'd leave some of my gear in the room and if the room was still available id stay again. I had checked with the Alpha Guest house as a back up as I knew id be stuffed by later in the day and the last thing id feel like doing is running around looking for somewhere to sleep. I took off from Maun and rode over to where the guys were leaving from, gave myself plenty of time didnt want to hoot along the road in the dark, its not something you would make a habit of in Africa theres animals everywhere not to mention the local inhabitants are pretty well camouflaged as well in the dark, I've just been told that last statement is politically incorrect pffft whatever its the truth, what am I supposed to say all you see is there bit white smiles, gawd help me what is the world coming too when you can't even speak the truth for the fear hurting someone's feelings.

    Arrived at their lodge at 4:50am so had a few minutes up my sleeve to get what I needed off the bike. Christof and Bei turned up shortly after so we started walking up to the gate, as we did the guide turned up in what can only be described as a shit heap, my immediate reaction was this is going to be a loooong day. There was another older couple from Belguim so that was nice for Christof and Bei to have someone from their own country. I ended up jumping in the front seat with the guide Innocent, and yeah that was his name. We hit the road, the shit heap just putting along at about 70k's id be surprised if it did more than that. Was a long trip to Moremi at that speed and as it was dark was just a long slow drive. We finally arrived at the park, Innocent went and did all the paperwork and I walked around and had a look at the boards and then read the local paper which had an in depth article on the plane crashes that happened in the delta in the last few weeks.

    Innocent parked the car over the road and set up for breakfeast and I went over and joined them. Breakfast was just a roll with peanut butter on it and coffee pretty basic but it was all I needed to be happy. We packed up after breakfast and all jumped into the truck and headed off into the park. We had only gone about 15 minutes and Innocent spotted a cheetah and its cub sitting under a tree, ok thats pretty cool. We sit there for 10 or 15 minutes watching them then decide to move on and click click wizz yep you guest it the shit heap isnt going anywhere. Innocent gets out to have a look and theres no bar to hold the hood up so he's standing there looking like what the fuck i dont know puts the hood down pretty much straight away walks back to the drivers door to try it again and turns to me and says do you know mechanics Sheldon, Hilarious, Ok ive owned a few shitheaps in my time and that wizzing sound to me sounded like the starter motor so I say give me a look. I grab one long stick and jam it in the hood to keep it up and another shorter one to bash the starter motor. Bang bang bang getting a strange look from Innocent and im sure the others were thinking what the hell is this Aussie bashing under the hood. Walk back to the drivers window and broom broom away it goes. So the crew grab a picture of me holding the saving stick and the cheetar in the background behind me, I jumped back in and just said thats what we call bush mechanics baby hahaha was quite funny.

    Drove on saw a few crocs hippos lots of birds, giraffe, monkeys, stacks of impala, kudu and a few others. As we got to where we were going to turn around and head back Innocent put it in reverse to do a uturn and crunch crunch, i said mate that doesent sound good. We drive about 2 k's down the rough sandy road and theres just smoke pissing out from somewhere underneath the truck. Innocent says ill find some shade and we will have some lunch and have a look. This really didnt look good i tried to lighten the mood by saying go easy on lunch we might need that in a few days.

    Obviously the chick that owned this vehicle and set up had bought it 25 years ago and not upgraded a single thing since. I was having a laugh about it but I could tell the older couple were far from impressed and I must admit even for me whose pretty easygoing it was pretty friggin ordinary. So here we are 45k's into the park major dramas with the truck Innocent asking me if I have a satelite phone, i asked him why and he says just in case i have ring the rangers. I said they arent going to help you cause when we first arrived I talked to one of the rangers about how he works and he told me they do 5 weeks in the park and then 10 days off and thats its quite fun they usually just drive around but all the vehicle's are in Maun at the moment being serviced so there isnt any rangers coming to help. On a seriously note operators like this should be reported its quite dangerous taking unroadworthy vechiles into a game reserve with no way of getting help. As we packed up lunch I just said to him your just going to have to drive mate and not think about whats going on underneath and hope it doesent stop.

    We start off and it just keeps chugging along we had to take the the main route back to the gate and not along the water so there was no animals to be seen. Finally we got back to the main gate with still a few hours driving to go but at least we were out of the wild life park and the killer donkeys dont really pose to much of a threat. I turned to the others and said the sad part of the day is that the best thing we will probably see all day is home lol we ended up arriving home not long after 4 and we were all the very relieved that we got there.

    I talked to Innocent on the way home the operator pays him just under 50 Aussie bucks for the whole 12 hour day its such a rort over here if you ever want to start a business and dont mind shafting the workers, Africa is the place for you. 600 odd bucks 50 for labour obviously nothing on the up keep of the truck there's good money to be made here, I find it pretty disgusting actually and one of the main things I dont like. Its not an isolated thing its just part of the way it works over here as unfair as it is. It really is just wrong. Anyway enough of my whinging.

    Stayed and had a drink with Bei and Christof then had to make tracks I wanted to grab my pc out of the shop so I could hit the road early in the morning. Picked that up, they couldnt work it out so no joy on that front. Got back to the Cresta and my room is still there, oh happy days thats a releif im stuffed. Walked over grabbed a rump steak for dinner and back to the room to chill.Pretty good day with lots of interesting stuff, my back is pretty sore from bumping around in that shit heap, but harden up princess. Ill head somewhere tomorrow where to im not sure.



    The old shitbox we went into the park in



    [​IMG]



    Some of the animals we saw on the day in the Moremi Game Reserve



    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    Attached Files:

  7. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,724
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Was pretty tired so fell asleep early last night so was up at the crack of dawn oh ok 6 oclock so started packing to leave. It was pretty reasonable had cooled down alot and when I thought where id ride to i thought if I get up to the pan handle of the delta to see that end of the Ochavango and the Poppa falls that would be cool, thats only 400 odd k's, so had a light breakfast then hit the road, if I get to where I planned I'll be there by lunch time and before it gets to hot, well that was the plan anyway.

    Rode for about two hours and came across a servo so thought id stop for juice. Well that aint going to happen their computer system is down so no petrol. Fortunately the 10 litres i carry will get me to the next town but theres so many people turning up wanting petrol. I was just about to get on the bike and i say to the guy would you like me to have a look i know a bit about computers. So back into the shop check all the power and make sure everythings plugged in. Ok the button looks broken on the front that shouldnt be hard to fix so off with the side to get access and whoa this thing is so full of dust and cobwebs and i mean full. We get it cleaned by using compressed air but im pretty sure thats half there battle its an old pc and been sitting there for donkeys years by the look of it.

    Cant get it going so i ask if they have another pc as we could transfer the hard drive with the program they need to run the pumps from the one with a fault. So we do that the guy loads it up, the programs loaded in so all looking good, I go to pack the bike back up and have a drink. I come back into the shop to see if its working and the chick cashier says the manager needs to put in his password in and he's having lunch in the office, I knocked on the door to no answer, it wasnt as if he was trying to not pay me or something cause i told him i dont want money id fix it just so the guys can get back to work and earn some tips. So when he wasnt coming out i just thought stuff this ive just spent an hour and a half fixing this guys system and he's to busy having lunch to come put his password in, we are on African time so no big deal so I think oh well it'll work sometime ive got enough fuel im out of here. so walk out the door and start getting organised to leave.

    Met a few South African guys cruising around and they weren't going anywhere, they were almost out of fuel and the next nearest servo was far enough away that they were no chance of making it, im sure they weren't lone rangers out of all the cars sitting around waiting. Being somewhere by lunchtime and before it got to hot was gone, ok it wasnt that hot 39.5 so reasonable compared to the last few days. Only about 170k's to the Poppa falls and the pan handle ill get there and call it a day, that still included a border crossing as well. As i left one of the young guys came out with two bottles of frozen water oh cool straight into the front of my jacket they'll keep me cool, well cooler was very nice of them to give me them, it certainly makes a big difference having that icy cold water.

    All the pump attendants were saying goodbye I had tipped them even though they only filled the bike up with my own fuel. I could probably be accused of being a tad generous with my tips while im travelling but if you take the time to see how badly they are all exploited a few sly bucks from some Aussie bum will help just a little. Makes a big difference being able to be generous with tips you instantly become their mate and they just want to help you in any way they can which is always nice. Like the other night I slipped the waitress 50 rand then went and slipped the chef who cooked my dinner a few bucks as well and the way they get paid over here ive probably just given them a few hours wages and with dinner drinks and tips it still works out about the same price as buying a dinner down the pub at home so im still walking out happy and so is everyone else. I know people say you shouldnt tip unless they deserve it but from what I can see they all deserve it for just being there smiling and getting paid what they do.

    Back on the road I crossed the border from Botswana to Namibia no real dramas must admit was getting pretty tired by now it was still sitting just on 40c The Namibian customs guy says where you staying in Namibia i just say i dont know, where should i stay. He gives me a tip on a few lodges not far away and puts it in the paperwork and away i go. Go outside and have a chat to one of the local guys hanging around outside the office the people in Botswana are really pretty friendly. We stood around jibbering for 10 minutes and then I said goodbye and hit the road, standing around in 40 degree heat in motorcycle gear isnt conjusive to staying cool.

    Rode off onto the Namibian dirt roads again and headed towards where the customs guy had told me the lodge was. Was a little bit further than he said but thats standard. Eventually I come to the turn off its only a few k's down to the camp but its deep soft sand, damn no way I think im riding 50 metres in this shit so turn around and hit the road again, the border cop did say there was 5 or 6 along here so it's no drama I'll find something, the next one sign had a hotel the road looked ok but the sign had no pool on it so I thought mmm maybe the next one, flying along oh shit there was another one and that had a pool on the sign oh well I've gone past it now ill get the next one, you guess it no pool on the sign, ok the next one, sandy crappy road ok the next one I'm going in whether there is a pool on the sign or the road is crappy I'm running out of options.

    Ride in and by this time im so rooted my back is killing me and im struggling to stand up straight, its so friggin ordinary. It certainly is a pain in the ass to have to push yourself so hard all the time but the alternative of just sitting on my ass and doing nothing and still being sore all the time isnt really all that appealing. I asked the girl if theres any vacancies which she says yes then i ask how much, WTF HOW MUCH ahahahah oh well stuff it im not in much of a state to go look anywhere else im already struggling badly. Put it this way any guys camping aren't going to stay here there a few weeks camping fees in one night. Im so lucky to just be able to walk up to any place of any standard and just go yep im in, certainly takes a lot of pressure off me, id certainly have to reevaluate how far I travelled in a day if I had to stuff around looking for something cheaper especially in this heat.

    So grab a key to the room start walking to it and its down this big hill a few hundred metres from the reception and carrying all my gear to it isnt really an option in the state im in so I drop what i have in my hands and walk back to get the bike and ride all my gear down to the room. Walked in, its really nice 5 star stuff so lie down in a lounge and put the air con on and take a few minutes to let the pain die down a bit. I was only out on the road for 7 hours including that effort to fix those pc's but thats enough when you feel like I do and its 40 odd Celsius. Take all my gear off which takes 2 minutes and the phone rings and the girl says you cant take the bike down there and are you coming back up to pay, I felt like saying go F$&k yourself but just said I had to get all my gear to my room and ill be up in a minute.

    So I ride the bike back up to the car park and walk over to the office and pay, order a couple of cokes and ice and go and jump in the swimming pool. Ahh now thats better. While I was relaxing in the pool I noticed a few oldies starting to hang around the office so I asked the girl what are they up to and she tells me that they are going on a cruise on the river, cool book me on too so off I go to get my camera and head on over to the boat cruise. I was still pretty tired but im only here the night and i really did want to go for a cruise on this end of the Ochavango Delta. Obviously being the kind of place it was the boat was pretty nice so that made for a very relaxing enjoyable cruise to see hippos, crocodiles, the Poppa Falls and all the locals that live and use the river for their every day life from fishing bathing and just staying cool.

    The other tourist's that I was on the boat with were probably in their late 60's to 70's and some of them looked absolutely exhausted must be hard to travel in one of those big bus trucks they use with activity after activity trying to fit everything into a few weeks. I did have some sympathy for the old dude sitting next to me he looked so stuffed he certainly looked like he'd had enough for the day, he was probably looking at me thinking this young whipper snapper looks like death warmed up or whatever they say in German.

    Got back from the cruise feeling alot better after relaxing for a few hours on the beautiful delta and headed back to my room for awhile. In the room there was a big bath and I thought why not so turned the taps on and went and relaxed waiting for it to fill. Jumped in and it was actually so relaxing soaking in a hot tub spent over an hour in there then a nice shower got changed and headed up to the four course meal that was part of the price. I must admit the dinner was absolutely beautiful starter was some tuna shit but bloody nice then the brought out another pasta mornay dish of some type, he asked if im enjoying i said yes you keep bringing this food and ill keep eating it, its beautiful. Had rump steak for main again then a chocalate putting with custard. "Ohhhh yes rather nice" hahaha im saying that in a snobbish tone if you cant hear it.

    Finished dinner had a quick chat to the South Africa guy that was the tour leader of the other group that I had met on the river cruise and he gave me some good tips on the Vic falls and Kasane on the border and that I should spend a bit of time there as the animal life is amazing, ill work that out as I go and get closer. All in all a pretty exhausting day but finished off brilliantly. Ill head off tomorrow and head across the Caprivi strip and get to Katimo Mulilo or over that way somewhere. Wherever I end up I wont be far from the Vic Falls. What a day, had it all again, very exhausting, lots of pain, lots of relaxing, lots of beautiful scenary and more importantly great memories.



    [​IMG]



    You just have to put up with some accomadation dont you



    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]



    Guess where the lonely guy is sitting for dinner, bloody beautiful 4 course meal though.



    [​IMG]



    Poppa Fall Botswana

    Attached Files:

  8. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,724
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Had a good nights sleep I actually was dead to the world not long after hitting the fart sack and didnt budge till i woke up at 3:30 with all the lights still on so im guessing I was tired.

    Ended up waking up at 6am bloody hippos making a racket outside my window, fair dinkum, thought about hurling some abuse at them but im trying to find inner peace ahahaha not to mention me and that huge hippo might be related, im sure ive been with his mother somewhere along the line. Yeah thats right, you bitch ahahahah i wonder why im single, ive got no idea.

    Went over had breakfeast and packed slowly so ended up hitting the road a around 8am. Im only riding to Katimo Mulilo the border crossing between Namibia and Zambia and it was only about 350 k's so should be there at a good time and nothing to strenuous. Top up with fuel up the road and that was it I had 3 odd hours of just riding along a dead straight road.

    At one stage I had to stop as I was getting sore again but I thought I haven't got far to go today so I wont push it and when I feel like I need a break ill have one. They had said ill see elephants on the Caprivi Strip but not only did I not see any elephants I didnt see one elephant crap on the road so a good sign there was f$&k all of them around. There were signs saying elephants everywhere and a speed limit of 80 kmh but I wasnt to fussed and sat on a cruising speed of about 150+ k's.

    Came across two brothers Simon and Phillip that had cycled from Luzern in Switzerland down the west coast of Africa but then had to fly across to Nairobi as they had some issues getting their visa's sorted for Angola. We chatted for awhile talking about the roads in Namibia and pointed out which the roads they had penned in on their trip that were dirt. They had been travelling for just over a year. I gave them my South African sim card for the phone cause im pretty sure it had a few hundred rand of credit on it and I wont be using it again. That reminds me I should email them the phone number that goes with it. Simon asked me what I want for it I just said you can buy me a beer in Switzerland. They still had a fair bit of riding today, they asked me if there was a village up ahead where they could get something to eat, I told them there was a village not far up the road but after I got back on my bike and rode off I thought hang on I was doing 150kmh it might take them awhile longer on a pushbike in the heat, oh well they'll get there eventually.

    Back on the road and only a 150k's or so to go was starting to get a bit warmish 37 up to 39 but after the last week 37 was paradise. Arrived in Katimo Mulilo and saw a lodge right on the town with a soccer game going on across the road so that was me, firstly though ill go check out the soccer. Stopped and watched in the shade for half an hour talking to a few of the boys found out there were a few other games on today so said ill go check in a come back over.


    Got a nice little cabin air con fridge so all good and 240 rand a night 30 odd aussie bucks or whatever it is. Parked the bike went inside and relaxed for a little while. I still had a few Namibian bucks that once I crossed the border would be useless to me so went for a walk to the servo next door to get a drink and there was a group of kids collecting water as the town water was off, so grabbed 10 cans of drinks and went outside with a few bags of cokes fantas etc and the kids all hooked in. While I was walking back in to get my own drink a few older blokes who were working there saw what I had just done and with a smile on their faces were jestering where's ours, I went into the shop and thought why not and bought the boys a 6 pack of Windhoek Lager to share. When I walked over with them they were stoked, at 48 rand a six pack or about 6 bucks Aussie it was a good way to make friends.

    Headed back over to the soccer and watched for a few hours, not real flash standard but the pitch looked crap though it had grass and was pretty even contests the games I saw. It was still really hot so they certainly were doing it tough out in the middle. Said my goodbyes to a few of the boys then left about 5 to walk over to Pick and Pay the local supermarket to get dinner, they always have hot meals for sale in the supermarkets and alot of people eat in them so they have to be ok. Went back to the cabin and chilled watching tv. Walked over to watch the Sharks Golden Lions Currie Cup Final unfortunately the Sharks got touched up. Was thinking of Tizi, Caryn, JJ and all the crew would of been upset but cant win it every year I guess.

    Basically a pretty good day sort of undecided what to do tomorrow may even stay a day or two here im pretty sure Victoria Falls isnt going anywhere and theres another day of soccer on tomorrow.
    Adios or in Namibia I should say Guten Nacht.

    Attached Files:

  9. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,724
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Well woke at a reasonable hour slept ok but once I ventured out of bed I thought stuff it im staying again and going to watch some soccer.*

    So did bugger all rode up to the border post had a squiz where it was then rode back to the soccer ground a settled in for awhile.

    Everyones really nice around here feeling quite relaxed and enjoying being in Katimo Mulilo.

    Maybe ill leave tomorrow ha ha

    Oh tried again with the computer with no luck getting it to fire up makes it hard to up load pics so sorry for anyone wanting pictures and I must admit ive got a few good ones id like to upload.

    Attached Files:

  10. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,724
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Woke up at 7am thinking good time to leave but looked at all my gear and thought stuff it im just going to go for a ride around here and see if I missed anything. Well surprise surprise I didnt but spent time on the Zambezi River which was nice. Thought id go to the bank while I was in town to get some US dollars for when I cross the border so thats just another thing taken care of.

    Had a chat to a few of the security guys outside the bank, I must admit this town is supposed to be lower on the socio economic scale than a few other places in Namibia but I havent been approached once so far and asked for anything, ok other than the boys the other day after they saw me giving the kids a drink. It seems really nice and the people pretty friendly.

    Came back at around 10ish it was already 38c so came inside and enjoyed the air con for awhile. Hung around, my little cabin is right up the front of this place which is cool I just have to sit on the verandah and someone eventually stops for a brief hello. They are all Namibians or whatever around here so english isnt their first language so the conversations are generally fairly brief but its fun trying to chat anyway.

    Went for a walk to grab some lunch and one of the boys that I grabbed the beers for the other days waved and shouted howsit. I went into the shop and while I was waiting for my burger to be cooked I stuck my head out the door and gestered to him does he want a drink, as you can imagine in nearly 40 degree heat a big smile came to his face and he came over to the shop. I just said grab what you like so he goes and grabs a strawberry yogurt and I pay for his drink and he takes off outside while I wait for my burger. As I walk out I see him giving his mate a slug so I walk over and ask if he wants one too and of course silly question so I slip him 50 rand and off he runs to grab it.*

    He comes back hands me the change and we all sit around having a drink jibbering, they reckon they could live on one of the yogurts a day for the rest of their life so im guessing they are enjoying it.

    I head back to my cabin theres a few little tackers near the gate their mums have a little stall selling bits and pieces to make a few bucks.

    This afternnon I thought Id go over to the shop and buy a red texta to colour the red in on my aussie flag on my bike which has faded. While im walking over one of the security guys I was talking to this morning comes past on his shitty old push bike and with a big smile on his face shouts out this my BMW hahaha to funny

    While im at the shops I decide to buy a full pack of texta and a drawing book for the kids over near the entrance to the lodge. As I walked back I stopped at their stall and said I bought these but I only need the red *one would you like these for the kids. As you can imagine they were very happy and I went out a little while later and the kids and mums were all drawing and colouring. Its not much it cost like 30 rand or about 4 aussie bucks *but they probably dont make enough money to go lash out on things like that and its nice to see people smiling.

    Its really nice to just hang around and slowly get to know people around here and meeting a lot of them at the soccer over the weekend, I can imagine this town is one that travellers would rarely stop for more than just a night which is fair enough cause there is sweet fa here but the people are really nice, I like it here but tomorrow im leaving for the Victoria Falls. I think at 240 rand a night im saving money on my budget hahaha budget who cares, trip of a life time, ill do whatever I want cause when I go home im just going to grow old become a cranky old f$&k and complain about how bad my back is. I can hear it now piss off ya young whipper snapper or ill give ya a strappin to an inch of your life. I cant wait.

    Attached Files:

  11. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,724
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Got up and left Katima Mulilo this morning enjoyed my few days here but time to head to Livingstone in Zambia and the Victoria Falls. This is the first time I had to use the carnet as the southern African countries all come under one umbrella so you only need it stamped in then South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho its just a general crossing stamp stamp smile smile and your through without the worry of the carnet. Getting into Zambia was a little trickier but still ok, rode up to the Namibian gate go in fill the book in, give the customs guy my carnet he fills it in stamp stamp and its done. Got to the exit gate the dude there wants the road tax receipt I got the other day when I came in from Botswana oh shit where the friggin hell did I put that. No worries mate I got it here somewhere give me a minute so jump off the bike and start hooking through the pannier its 7:30am and already 32 degrees I froze my camel pack in my jacket last night so thats a bonus in all my gear having that frozen brick of ice on my back. As he was just saying saying dont worry about it oh cool here it is i knew I had it here somewhere. So hand it over and off I go to Zambia.



    [​IMG]



    Ok ride up the road to the Zambian border office and its a pretty run down building ok its a dump theres a line up of about 30 people going into the office and 150 scamps trying to flog you kwacha or anuthing else they can, im thinking ok this might take awhile. Then one of the little insurance dudes in a Barcelone shirt comes up to me and just says no no come straight in and takes me straight past everyone to the immigration desk the immigration guy pushes the paperwork of the three people in front of me to the side reaches past them and grabs my passport ok stamp stamp that will be 50 dollars US heres your visa and says go to the office down the hall to customs Im looking around a my little Barca shirt mate who by the way was really friendly and not pushy at all came over and showed me the door I was meant to go in. This office was tiny the desk basically gave you room to walk in and stand there probaly just enough to swing a cat around, he cracked a joke about the broken window being his air con, he gets up and hits a button and on comes the air con, thats better. I hand my carnet over, had to pay something in there f$&ked if I know what it was and I really didnt care either he stamped the carnet and stamped it alright so I was happy. Had to pay in Kwacha not US dollars so dont let anyone tell you its all US dollars cause these guys wanted Kwacha, so my little Barcelona shirted mate changed it for me and fixed the customs dude up, ill check up what it was for he gave me a receipt it may of been a carbon tax i think. I gave my little mate a 10 buck US tip for his help so far, as you can imagine he was fairly stoked at that.

    Thats all done we walk up to a another office ok it might of been a shipping container with a window cut into it and pay some other tax, with that done where off to old mate's shitty old caravan for third party insurance, if you've ever seen a caravan thats been left in a paddock for 40 years well compared to this it would be a mansion. I walk in with me ol mate, a big smile on my dial and say "oh you guys are living it up wheres the air conditioner" to which the girl points to the hole in the wall and says here it is ahahah by this stage where all having a laugh I say to ol barca shirt this isnt your wife is it mate making her sweat it out in here in the heat, they cracked up laughing, no no shes my aunty, oh I say thats ok then. They needed Kwacha for the third party too and he hasnt got enough so he calls one of his mates in to change the money. By this stage I was getting low I only had 160 US with me and had heard it was about 130 to cross into Zambia so I wasnt far away. Got all that sorted and then gave another 10 bucks US to me ol mate so im all done everyones happy smiling weve all had a laugh along the process and im heading back to my bike with a few Kwacha in my pocket so all good.

    Ride off to waves from me little mate he was really nice a good salesman not pushy just really helpful and i know he appreciated the tip, he said it would be nice if there were more people like you. It might sound like im a little generous with my tips but f$&k it in reality its bugger all to us maybe a mac attack with my boys but it means so much to them.

    So off I go riding across the bridge spanning the Zambezi river pretty spectacular view. Drove through the border town in Zambia of Swhaweke or something like that ill check later its already a change down again in living standards again. Old wooded stalls line the main drag pretty much how I pictured Africa actually so heading in the right direction.

    Livingstone was another 190 k's away and it was getting warmish it was already up to 35 and rising. Rode for awhile theres alot of little villages along the road all very interesting everyone waving as I ride past. Riding for about 20 minutes and I come across this guy pushing his motorbike so I pull over and ask whats up mate. Out of gas he says so I say well that aint going to help is it how long you been pushing it for and he says about 5 kilometres, i guess that explain why he looks like hes about to drop dead hahaha I said to him ive got 10 litres how far you going i can give you some. You can imagine the look on his face one of relief and joy lol it was a good look. Hes going a few kilometres to his mates and he has petrol. Ok no dramas so take my jerry can off the bike and pour half of it into his machine. So he jumps back on trying to kick start it and hes so exhausted He hardly has the strength in his leg to kick start it so after a watching him struggle a few times and hes just sitting there on the machine looking rooted. I just say to him do you know how to cluth start it and he just shakes head and says no. By this time weve got a little crowd watching whats going on so I just say look get off let me start it for you. In neutral push push jump crunch brum brum away she goes. That was easy. He puts his helmet on i jump off he jumps on saying thank you thank you thank you, i slap him on the back saying no worries mate and off he rides. I bet you he was thinking as he rode off "f$&k that was a bonus" ahahah he did say god bless you so im guessing maybe he wasnt thinking that lol*

    Hey im just trying to earn breakdown Karma credits my turn will come eventually probably.

    In the end it turns out I had less juice in my tank than I thought so in the end after dumping the remaing half in my own tank a bit further on I only just made it to Livingstone. It was a good lesson to learn as much as its nice to help people dont leave myself in a predicament where i might be stuck. But anyway it all worked out good in the end.

    Arrived in Livingstone No gps as I havent loaded the maps on yet so riding around blind but thats no big issue its a t interection you can go one way or the other and theres plenty of hostels around.



    [​IMG]

    Ride through the main part of town and the first thing you notice is the only multi story building which *looks like it was buily a million years ago all discoloured yellowish paint black mould all over it broken windows looks like its ready to fall down lucky its not under the flight path of the local airport im pretty sure that would be enough vibration to bring it town. They just dont grasp the word maintenance over here in Africa, maybe its not even a word lol.

    Found a decent lodge the Crossroads which is on the north side of town heading towards Lusaka all very friendly people so checked had a drink and jumped in the pool. Its a very local lodge so was nice to be the outsider so to speak. Got talking to the girl on the desk Inonge pretty little thing she is from Lusaka down here working.*

    Went and had dinner and I got talking to the chef Winner thats probably not the way you spell it but its how its pronounced. He's seems like a really nice dude married 3 kids 10 and 9 just very kind dude from what I can gather obviously religion plays a big part in the lives of people around here im seeing that already anything you do is greeted with God bless you.

    Hit my room to watch the champions league soccer and brinng brinnng the phone rings its Inonge asking what im doing, i tell her im watching the soccer she says why dont you come out here and watch in the foyer, ok why not. We chat for awhile jibbering small talk I must of made an impression on her when I had my shirt off in the pool this afternoon ahahah f$&k im choking quick someone slap me on the back.

    Eventually shes gets called back to work so I take the chance to piss off again so I can watch the match and flick back and forth to the other games at the same time, 10 minutes to go in the game brinng briinnng the phone rings again why dont you come back out. Ok ill be out in a minute, so 10 minutes pass finish watching the games then i flick over to some stupid movie and start watching it then brinng brinng the phone rings again and Inonge says im going to bed, the night staff sleep on a mattress behind the desk, ok ill go out and say good night. Walk out all the lights are all off shes on the bed i think nows my chance to find that paperclip behind the desk so i can get the sim card out of my phone ahahaha being the gentleman and a scholar i am i said sweet dreams and chooffed off to bed....... Ttttttrust me I went to bed. Another nice day and nice friendly people, the people in Zambia are very very friendly.

    Attached Files:

    • croc.jpg
      croc.jpg
      File size:
      47 KB
      Views:
      2,116
  12. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,724
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Woke up around 9 to the brrring brrring of the phone I thought thats it im going to go punch this chick in the head ahahahah im knocking off shes says, great tell someone who cares I reply, I'm glad she doesent quite get my accent and just said, what, ok ill come out and see you I say. I told her I was booking out today as im going to go stay at the jollyboys backpackers which I had read about but said to her give me your number and when I get my Zambian card today ill give you a call, last night I had told her I would take her to Vic Falls on the bike since shes lived here in Livingstone for 10 months and shes never been there. I said goodbye and go back to my room a chill for awhile.

    Jump on the bike around 10 and head to town to find jollyboys, found it booked in air con room pretty crappy but ok, surprisingly this place reminds me of Bali so many years ago, cusions around everywhere people lounging around all over the place pretty good feel to it. Booked 3 nights ill see how it goes. Hang around for awhile then decide to go grab my Zambian sim card so walk down the road and suss it all out. Why im there I grab a munch at the Hungry Lion fast food joint, baby where have you been all my life, like Kfc but nowhere as greasy and the burger was friggin lush. Im sitting there pigging out on enough food to feed a small army and opposite me theres this bloke that looks like he hasn't eaten in a month watching my every bite. So naturally I do what any one would do I take a bite look at him and growl we both have a big smile and I grab my bag of chips and offer them to him and ask if he would like a drink, of course silly question so up I get and go buy him a Fanta.

    Lunch done sim card organised im heading back to Jollyboys to grab the bike to go for a ride around to see the rest of Livingstone. Pretty warm today about 39 but still reasonable. I decide to ride out to the Vic Falls just to have a look at the setup entrance etc so when I go there it will be somewhat familiar. Ok done that heading back and theres the Falls resort, I had read about this place it has access directly to the falls so in I go and ask where's the reception. Talk to the guard for a few minutes he says if I want to go to the falls I can ride over and park in the car park and just walk up to the falls 100 metres down the road, so thats all cool.

    Head over to reception and theres a group of guys in traditional dress dancing chanting and welcoming the guests. I walk in ok how much 487 US a night yeah right, dream on hairy legs. I walk back out and the guys in the traditional dress Patrick, Martin, Francis and Pintabi. The names are a classic here alot of western type of names ill have to ask someone if thats there real name or just the western name they have given themselves. Zambia was part of the commonwealth and has deep connections to Britain obviously Victoria Falls Livingstone etc so it may be there actual names.

    Pintabi seeing my helmet asks am i on a bike and when I say yes he asks if he can have a sit on it. I say sure mate ill go get it and bring it around. So off I go and grab the bike and come back to reception. There all dancing around again welcoming other guest so I park by the side and wait for them to finish. I grab my camera out as they walk over Pintabi jumps straight on saying I dream to have a bike one day. They all gather around the bike and I grab a photo of them then I go into my pannier and break out the printer connect it to the camera and print them one each. They are amazed as has everyone ive been able to give a photo too. Pintabi asks if he can get one with just him on the bike so yeah no problems at all, so he jumps back on the bike take the pic and print it out for him. Patrick said I could make alot of money if I had something like that and asked how much it was. I said it was 200 US but with the battery and cartridges i think it was more like 300. When. I left they said make sure you come back to see us before you go which I will do but I wont be staying at that price.



    [​IMG]



    Head back into town and cruise around all the backstreets then just head up towards the Crossroads Lodge was and as im turning around and just starting to head back into town here's some guy arm out the window waving frantically flashing his lights i think is this guy waving at me, im immediately thinking whats wrong but as I pass him its Winner the chef from the Crossroads. I throw him a wave as I go past and see that hes pulling into the carpark out front of the lodge so I do a uturn and go back and say hi. We talk for awhile he had seen me in town at the lights and waved and honked but I hadnt noticed him and now he's on his way to just pick the kids up from school. I asked if he would let me take him his wife and the kids to the falls or something else thats fun to do around here. I just said we can talk about it later and we said our goodbyes and I jumped back on the bike and off I went.

    Rode back into town then took a left just off into some street and started riding down the road. Came across a soccer complex pretty crappy field but good for around here. Start heading back and theres this young bloke with a flat tyre on his push bike trying to juggle to large sacks of some sort of grain. I did ride past at first but then thought stuff it i might be able to help this guy out ive got 4 or 5 spare hockey straps in my kit. So jump off say gday and introduce myself to Swift. I ask him how far hes going and its only a kilometre, so thats ok. I said ive got something that might help so I go to my pannier and break out the hockey straps and strap one sack to the handle bars and the other to the back. I tell him I cant help him with pumping his tire up as ive got the compressor but the connection to plug it into the bike is at home. Ill have to remember to take that out of the tank bag and leave it on the bike somewhere permantly. We talk about school I asked if he played football but he plays volleyball. Its interesting the fact that most of the kids ive talked to that dont play football have played volleyball.



    Swift pushing his bike with flat tyre with his new hockey straps to hold his stuff on.



    [​IMG]

    I go back the bike and grab the camera out while im at the pannier and ask him if I can get a photo and he says yes so I snap away then crack the printer out again and he stands there just looking as it prints and then I give that to him say here have a spare hockey strap you might be able to use it somewhere. Following the standard God bless you God bless you I watch him as he pushes the bike away looking at the picture in his hand he looks back throws me one last wave as he goes around the corner.

    Head back to the backpackers and cruise over to the bar for a drink and get chatting to Toby and Stephan two German guys sharing a room in one of the dorms. End up having a few beers which was different, its been since I was in Swakopmund and at the bike rally in Walvisbaai since ive had a beer and a ciggie, harden up princess and get some piss into ya. Since my computer died its been a real pain im blogging on my phone and although its pretty fast it takes shit loads longer than typing on the keyboard plus uploading photos has become a non event but there on the sd card so ok for now ill get to them in the next day or so. Had quiche for dinner tonight, I know real men dont eat quiche but Toby ordered it and I couldnt be f$&ked getting off my ass to look at the menu so just said ill have one of them to please.

    After dinner I txt Inonge and got a call back we will hook up tomorrow and do something either the museum or the falls. Hit the fart sack at a reasonable hour after a million beers, all in all a real cruisey day just riding around Livingstone chatting and meeting the local crew. They certainly are very very friendly people around here. Maybe cause everyones so religious around here and they see that im a hethan they take pity on me lol.

    Attached Files:

  13. Edventure

    Edventure Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    45
    This is a great ride report. Was in Zambia 3 years ago, very friendly people. Keep going!

    Looking fwd to seeing the pictures.
  14. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,724
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Thanks for the support Edventurer even if this ride report is like being on a slow boat to China i'll get there eventually, I probably should give more thought to where there is I suppose hey, oh well i'll just keep riding till I get bored but as we all know on the open road with no destination in front of us is far from boring its like waking up and having your first ciggie in the morning bloody brilliant ahahahah*

    Ill make point of getting some pics up.

    Cheers mate

    Attached Files:

  15. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,724
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Got woken up by my phone vibrating away it was Inonge txting asking what are we doing i txt back that I wasn't feeling the best and id txt her later. And really I was feeling a little crook must of been that quiche I ate bloody hippi food, of course it couldn't of had anything to do with the copious amounts of alcohol I consumed.

    Hanging around the lodge then decided to go get my hair cut up the road so off I go walk out the front door and theres the boys hussling to buy their stuff. So end up having a friend along for the walk Duncan seems a nice enough guy they are just peddlars trying to eek out a living. He takes me to a hairdresser which i already knew but it's all ok, it was pretty crewed out so thought id go find a computer shop, so he asks a bloke and showed me where it was. They were closing for lunch so I said to Duncan have you eaten ill buy you lunch if you dont hassle me again while im here. He agrees so we go off to the shop I say to him what are you going to order a rump steak and 20 beers, we both laugh he has a pie a bit of chicken and a drink, cost about 4 or 5 bucks or something like that. We enjoyed out lunch having a chat, me learning a bit more of life of the local in Zambia

    Ok hes had a succesful morning I guess you know they probably are annoying but their just trying to survive its just that you no sooner get rid of one and you got another one hassling you. Its probably the worse ive come across in my travels in Africa so far but having spent time in Asia at times its all just part of it, the difference in Asia they dont follow you cause theres another tourist along behind you in 20 seconds where as here there is just not so many.

    Went back and got my hair cut, im looking at the place didnt see any sciccors just clippers so he starts hooking into my head with them. Im sitting there thinking this will be interesting. 5 minutes later its looking a little dodgy so just say to him take it all off mate that will make it easier. So 15 minutes later im walking out with a shaved head, i only ever had it done once before 16 years ago after winning the grand final with Umina on the Central Coast in 95, shit hey 95 that was 16 years ago, how time flies, its bullshit. What an amazing year that was everyone in the team said it was the best years soccer in their life, was an amazing team all ages all mates playing great football under a good coach and an inspirational fantastic captain ahahaha yeah you guessed it I was the captain lmao was a great year we won everything and were and still are all great mates.

    Anyway this is supposed to be a blog on motorbike travel through Africa not me playing wog ball with a group of bums in the ancient history so back again to the blog. Txt Inonge and said would you like to go to the falls so ok ill pick you up in 30 minutes at the lodge. Ok im there but no Inonge so I sit down and have a drink with Winna and say is it the same with chicks here you say a time and add 2 hours on, he just laughed and said yes. Inonge turns up looking pretty hot in her get up so chuck the helmet on her head and off we go. Shes never been on a bike or to the falls so its a day of firsts for her.

    We arrive and my security mate at the Falls waves to me as I pull up and comes over for a chat. Park the bike and walk on over to the Victoria Falls. Pay the entrance fee and off we go Inonge is in high heels and is struggling on the path so I say just take them off and carry them its ok we walk down and around the falls its quite spectacular but they do say the view from the Zimbabwian side is better and you can see that with the water volume coming from up that way so ill definately be making my way over there at some stage. We walked around for a few hours stopping to take it all in getting to know her a bit better and talking about her dreams of becoming a teacher and how much it costs. Its only 400 bucks a term 3 terms a year but as you can imagine thats alot of money for the normal worker over here. I take her home and we go into her pad ok most of us would call it a shed with a tin roof, very very basic but its her home and from what I have seen of some of the workers its probably a pretty plush joint.

    As I was on the way back to Inonges place we past a guy on a 1200 adventure obviously just coming into town through him a wave and I wonder where he's heading. Got back to Jollyboys and theres the adventurer in the car park so cool I will find this dude and have a chat later. Hung out chatting to Stephan and Toby the German guys they both had good days Toby with his kayaking Stephan with his full day of rafting so everyone was happy. Bump in the guy on the adventurer ask him where he's from and turns out he is a Russian from Moscow flew into Nairobi and done Lake Malawi and heading south.

    I said to him dont tell me your names either Yuri or Petrov and he say no its Andre to which I said I knew it would be something stupid like that so we got off on the right foot having a laugh. We all hung out for a few hours dribbling shit about where weve been and where we are going the standard jibber when your travelling. Another good day at the office but beddy byes for this little black duck. Arreviderchi

    Attached Files:

    • vicf.jpg
      vicf.jpg
      File size:
      131.9 KB
      Views:
      2,187
  16. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,724
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Had a really great day today lots of nice people and an amazing experience in the Devils Pool on the edge of the Victoria Falls.

    Got up at a reasonable hour and headed over to have some breakfeast. Andre's there chatting with Stephan so I join them and we get jibbering. Andre is going for a ride this morning to the falls and Stephan had mentioned last night that he was going to the Devils pool on the edge of the Falls so when he reminds me of that I say im want to that im just going to book in so off I go and do it.

    Came back and just hung around the bar area and met a few South African guys, their doing the booze cruise later. One of them was from Sandton City the other from Port Elizabeth. I tell them the story of while I was in Sandton City mall where theres the 50 foot high statue of Nelson Mandela that I had to ask the bloke I was with Kill who the hell is that of course knowing it was Mendela.*

    I told them that I posted the pic on my facebook page telling how I had to ask who it was and got a reply from my mate Deavsey saying shit your an idiot Sheldon everyone knows thats Mohammed Ali, to funny.

    Just continued to hang around, the Devils pool trip isnt till after lunch so got plenty of time to check out the european eye candy and theres some here too. Theres a nice German girl Anne long blonde hair blues eyes umm yes please ahah sorry Anne couldnt help myself shes a teacher back home and we chat for awhile how she got into teaching etc etc im not 100% sure and it was hard to know with absolute certainty cause of the reflection of her blue bikini top *but im pretty sure she had a head, ok im only joking she was really nice. She was only down here for a few weeks in Zambia visiting her girlfriend who lives in Lusaka organising volunteer places here and is heading home in the morning.

    So me being me I thought i'll do my best to impress her so I strut over to the pool and rip my shirt off and dive in. I come up and look over at her and she looks at me with those beautiful blue eyes but has a strange look on her face like she's about to spew and just holding it in, I guess she must of had that quiche for dinner last night poor thing ahahahah ok that didnt happen but its the thought that counts and im sure thats what she was thinking off my Hoff impersonation, maybe I should of worn some red budgie smugglers ahaha

    Hang in the pool for awhile then get out to go get organised to go to the Devils Pool at the falls. Give Stephan my helmet and we jump on the bike to head over to the falls. The guy at the gate says oh you need a helmet or the police will charge you and I just say they have to catch me first. The price of things over here its probably only going to cost me about 5 bucks even if they do so I dont really give a rats ass.

    We arrive at the falls im not totally silly at the border and the entrance to the falls theres shitloads of coppers so I just park in the Falls car park again as its only 100 metres up the road. Slip me ol mate a tip this time as he was gone yesterday when me and Inonge left so he was happy.

    We were on time so we headed over to the entrance paid our entrance fee and a little while later met our guide Leonard and we head off to the falls.

    Its only a k or two but im really struggling my back is killing me not a good sign it friggin sucks and the back pack im carrying doesent help. Theres only me Stefan and an american guy Justin so its all good Justin's struggling a bit with the rocks which im coping with ok so keeping up with him is no probs. Leonard is setting a fast pace Stefan is with him but they just stop and wait for us to catch up. We stop at a few points right on the edge and look over its pretty amazing. By the time we are almost at Livingstone island and had been walking for probably just on an hour it must of been obvious I was struggling. I had told Stefan about my accident the other night and that my back and neck are pretty shit now so he offered to carry my pack which was really nice of him but I just said ill just plod along mate ill get there. The bummer is being in this much pain just takes that enjoyment factor down a tad which is a shame. I must admit though it was f$&king killing but I said to the boys its just shit I have to deal with but look where I am at the Victoria Falls walking to the Devil's pool it could be worse with a bit of a laugh. Justin says yeah you could be at home in your couch in pain to which I resonded "exactly". He told me that his old man had a bad back so maybe he's seen that a bit.

    I remember after the accident I got my little guy Logan to draw a picture of me while we were just mucking around one day, he was 7 a half at the time 18 months after the accident with me still pretty sick and sorry and he draws a picture of me lieing in bed not the kind of image you like your kids to have of you obviously. I tell you that little guy was a deadset legend throughout my recovery I'll never forget how much he showed just what a beautiful caring gentle soul he has inside him. I guess its pretty obvious im missing my little Logie bear right now. Daddy loves ya buddy.


    Anyway getting over that little episode, harden up princess.We get to Livingstone island and the Devils pool is just a short swim across the next part of the Zambezi. There is a rope across but thats only there to grab if the current gets you as the next stop is a 100 odd metres below. You swim up stream diagonly agaist the current then let it bring you back down onto a little rock platform and then theres the Devils Pool.

    Now when picturing it in my own head I was thinking ok it'll be just sort of near the edge but nothing to suss You know there not going to do anything to unsafe are they. Leonard starts explaining that you put a foot here a foot there and the throw yourself out towards the falls, ill tell the three of us are sitting there looking at each other going GET well you know what, it was off its head, you want us to jump out where the water humping over the Falls right there. The pool itself is about 10 feet to the falls and 10 feet wide with the main part of the Zambezi river flowing just to your right and I mean just to your right. So here we are standing on a rock shelf about 3 feet above the pool and the edge of the falls. Leonard says you have to jump right in the middle cause theres rocks under there and dont jump to the right cause you will go over the falls, great so in he goes and the he moves to the edge and up he jumps up and sits on a little 2 foot ledge with nothing but the falls cascading down over the edge around him. I'll be totally honest I felt safer jumping into the water with a 12 foot great white shark next to me than doing this but oh well if he can do it I can do it so we all stand up and look at each other a pretty large crowd of onlookers on the Zimbabwian side of the falls just pointing waving and watching and one after the other we all take the leap of faith and in we go lol

    Wow I have to say I had read this was a must do and there not joking amazing stuff, if you ever do come here to the Vic Falls on the Zambian side spend the 50 odd bucks and do the Devils Pool absolutely amazing, im pretty sure if I was feeling like I was there would be some people that would just go no way jose and dog it at the last minute but its perfectly safe probably as safe as sticking your tongue in an electrical socket id imagine.

    While your in the pool you plank over the edge of the falls surely everyone knows what planking is now. I had some real issues doing that lieing on my chest on the rock platform arching my back is pretty much a no go zone for my me but pushed myself hard to do it and hang my head over the falls, I havent enjoyed pain for awhile but that was just so mad. We hung around in there for awhile getting a few pictures and then all climbed out looking back on what surely will be a great memory for us all.

    By the time we left the weather had cooled a fair bit so was a much easier walk back and from what it seemed Leonard took us and easy way back I guess thats standard they like to make it as adventures as possible and take you the long way so they feel taking that amount of doesent seem a jip but for me personally that thrill and to be able to do that would of been worth 50 bucks even if was a 10 second walk to the pool.

    Justin got a lift back to town with a Norwegian couple and me and Stefan walk back through the markets, he was buying a few things, and haggled around and got the deal he was looking for, i didnt want anything so once thats was all done we walked off to grab the bike and headed back to Jollyboys.



    [​IMG]


    Get back and chill out talking to Andre and a few of the other crew. Had a message from Winna hes had a few problems and would like to talk to me. Ive had those phone calls before generally means hes going to ask for cash. Was putting off calling him but hey he's a nice bloke with a young family it may be something else ill ring and talk to him and find out whats up.

    Well my first hunch was right turns out the Lodge he and Inonge work for has a problem and cant pay them this week and wont be able to till next week. That sucks, the system in Africa is fucking digrace I tell ya the rich get richer and the poor well who gives a f&$k. I might of said this before but if your an unscrupulous businessman and dont mind shafting your workers and paying peanuts Africa is the place to be. Of course you will have to endure overseas holidays and driving large Range Rovers but hey you cant have it all your own way.

    I did give him a fair bit in his standards but in Australian standards about what I take for a night out so im sure it will tide him over till he gets paid, I don't really care what he does with it he is a nice family man struggling to make ends meet and they have invited me into their home on several occasions. (UPDATE early 2013 got an email from Inonge and Wina at got sick and has died) I was going to make a contribution to the orhanage so ill just deduct it out of that amount. You know I like helping out people I meet who are friendly and helpful but it sort of feels like your propping up a corrupt system but whats the alternative they starve. You try and do the right thing but it so little. Ive been watching these occupy wall street etc sit ins around the world and im proud to say my son Jared is part of it. Protesting that the distrubution of the wealth is totally all wrong at the moment bailing out banks countries etc so all the nobs can keep there flash cars houses and give themselves nice fat bonuses while so many in the world are living in absolute poverty and im seeing it first hand here as I travel through Africa and im not liking what I see.

    Dont be surprised to see that occupy protest gain in momentum it reminds me a bit of the climate change debate 20 years ago you were a tree hugging hippi if you mentioned the climate nowadays its probably past the tipping point of people that believe there is something going on rather than those that just deny it.

    These redistrubution of the wealth protests I can see are only the beginning and interestingly I saw that a few courts have thrown out charges agaisnt some of the protesters which is a pretty significant step if the courts refuse to punish the people involved in these peaceful sit ins. Lets just hope the anarchist dont get involved and cause trouble cause it should be about the love of our fellow man. Like everyone else that has pondered the question, well what do you do, I guess you just care.

    Anyway political ranting must have to much time up my sleeve, oh thats right I do. Youve got the clock ive got the time as they say.

    Devils Pool Victoria Falls Zambia. WOW


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    Attached Files:

  17. snoopy

    snoopy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Oddometer:
    265
    Location:
    Newcastle UK
    Fascinating insight, I'm thinking hard about doing a 1yr stint next June. Hows the diesel supply in the remote places compared to petrol? :evil

    Do you have a house to go back to or did you sell up and leave? (I scanned the first few posts).

    Thanks for sharing all this. :1drink
  18. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,724
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Hey Snoopy, other than my sons back in Australia ive got 4 boxes of personal things to go home to. I didnt own the home I was living in and basically gave everything else away beds, lounge suites, all electrical gear tvs, dvds players, the Wii, Playstation 3, all kitchenware you know pretty much everything that would fill a four bedroom house so everything went other than my other motorbike and that nearly went as well, I probably should of given that to one of my mates its just sitting in my mums garage going to waste. When I do go home ill just start again which im able to do as I should still have a few bucks up my sleeve so its all good.

    I see your in England 90% of the riders ive met from Europe have flown into Nairobi and headed south. Getting out of or into northern Africa in your case is a hassle, from Libya sort of out of bounds at the moment and the bit of trouble in Syria, by the way the Syrians wilk take all your Gps and electrical equipment then post it to you when you leave. Of course there are other ways to get in and out but all have their own complications hence why most have just been jumping straight to Nairobi in Kenya. They do say also the north part of Kenya into Ethiopia has troubles with bandits and if you are going to that section to do it in a convoy or even put your bike on a truck. I'm going through there in a few months so ill be able to give you first hand details on it. I carry an extra roll of duct tape just in case I get shot, duct fixes everything so they say plus the pain my back and neck are giving me they'd be doing me a favour to put a bullet between my eyes plus id get to make the newspapers probably. Speaking of Nairobi I was talking to a few guys that had just been there in the last few days and cause the Kenyans have crossed the border and bombed a few towns theres been a few retailtory strikes in Nairobi so obviously you have got to keep and eye on things, the political situations can change pretty quickly over here.

    Fuel and deisel in southern Africa is fine though Malawi at the moment has major fuel shortages and apparently its got to the point now that there trashing servos in frustration which obviously is going to help improve the situation any quicker but by next year when your thinking of doing your ride it maybe all fine. Even the black market fuel is scarce so they say so thats a worry as im heading there next week. The secret anywhere down here outside of South Africa which is totally fine, if you see fuel stop and get it. Enjoy the preperation June will come around very soon. I just thought id add that dont be put off by any negative talk from outside of Africa its safe as a bank with common sense and everyone ive come across since June here has been so friendly, you would have an amazing time.

    Attached Files:

  19. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,724
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Had a day off from doing anything but hanging around the pool relaxing so very nice day still about 37ish but all good. Met a few crew who arrived they had been up in Zanzibah so got a few good insights into that part of the world which will come in handy. Hung around in the evening with the south African boys Tyronne and Gregg really nice blokes just to remind me of how friendly everyone was in South Africa, their off to Malawi, Rwanda and Uganda. That basic route I had in my head when I left home. Time will tell if I get there to be honest im sore as f$&k which is no fun at all at the moment and im starting to question my ability to keep going, but whats the alternative go home and sit on a couch and winge, no thanks.*

    I think I know what it is, ive been staying in this busy backpackers Jollyboys in Livingstone and have been meeting some fantastic people and having alot of fun but its surprising how much just being social all the time drains me. Alot of my trip so far ive stayed in places where im one of very few people or the only person there so I can go out and talk to the owner/manager or possibly a few people but then just hang around and chill in my own space whereas here you walk out the door and theres 40 odd people around and you sit down for 5 minutes and your having a conversation with someone then you or they walk off and someone else sits down you know what I mean. Dont get me wrong I love that and the people are all great but im finding its draining me badly which seems to effect me physically and my back and neck are just giving me f$&king hell, I dont know im no quack maybe im just being a skirt wearer, I could do with a break from this pain though, winge winge winge winge winge SHHHUUUUTTTUP

    Anyway thats my bitch session for the day, yeah I know Harden up princess.

    Just throwing in random photos

    Attached Files:

  20. Edventure

    Edventure Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    45
    Where are the pictures?????

    Enjoying the ride report but you need to get some pictures in there so we can all see what you're talking about.