Round Africa with a Surfboard

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by garnaro, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. trevhead

    trevhead Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    Loving it, in. Happy travels.
    #41
  2. Prettyboy

    Prettyboy BFLB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    592
    Location:
    Philly
    Definitely in for the ride. I'm curious to see the board rack too, when you get a chance.
    #42
  3. garnaro

    garnaro MotoBlunderer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    372
    Location:
    Somewhere in Africa
    The girl wants to come join the journey at somewhere along the way - maybe Tanzania. That is if I still have a girl by then :eek1
    #43
  4. akdora

    akdora n00b

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Ankara-Turkiye
    I.ll be watching.
    Good luck and be safe travels.
    #44
  5. Escaped

    Escaped Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    549
    Location:
    Northern California
    In, have fun and good luck :clap
    #45
  6. sloperut

    sloperut Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Sandy, Utah
    I'm in. Land locked ex surfer in Utah. Time to live vicariously.
    #46
  7. VTphoneman

    VTphoneman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2013
    Oddometer:
    350
    Location:
    New Hampster
    Sub'd, safe travels and enjoy.
    #47
  8. singletrackjack

    singletrackjack Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    39
    Location:
    Southern Illinois
    [​IMG] Will be following along -- wow what a trip - couldn't fathom the cost of that endeavor!! I bought an 07 dr back in march -- love the thing - I'd say by far the best choice as far as simplicity and reliability,,, I bought a ddm hid headlight H4 bulb for mine -- 5000 lumins 6000k color - love the headlight it's freakin bright 55 watt > http://www.ddmtuning.com/Products/DDM-35W-55W-Single-HiLo-Motorcycle-HID-Kit -- wished I could get this thing to allow me to post pics I would show you the headlight b safe !!!
    still don't know why it won't let me post pics!
    #48
  9. garnaro

    garnaro MotoBlunderer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    372
    Location:
    Somewhere in Africa
    Thanks buddy - it was a long time coming and its great to be finally on the trail. I'll try to last until your next adventure cycle...
    #49
  10. garnaro

    garnaro MotoBlunderer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    372
    Location:
    Somewhere in Africa

    so far, the single HID from DDM tuning had worked just fine, this will be a good test to see if it can go the distance
    #50
  11. garnaro

    garnaro MotoBlunderer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    372
    Location:
    Somewhere in Africa
    When you’re a novice motorcycle mechanic there is this subdued feeling of mild panic that happens when you push the magic button and your bike won’t fire up. When you’re somewhere far from any kind of help, like a lonely shipyard in the southeast of England, with no friends, online moto gurus, or even bike manual available, you can’t help but let the question creep in: what if I can’t get it started? But you put that feeling away because this is just the sort of thing that you’ve been tinkering with your bike for ages to the chagrin of your girlfriend. You know the diagnostic steps, just stop pressing the starter button in desperation, get the tools out and get to it. Once in motion, a calm ensues that comes with working methodically on something familiar with your hands. After checking for fuel flow and vacuum problems I removed the carburetor and started disassembling hoping that the problem was a clogged pilot jet. I didn’t drain the float bowl before I shipped the bike off and when the gas that collects there evaporates, the additives left behind can clog the tiny little holes of the jets. Sure enough, after poking a single copper wire strand through the pilot jet and reassembling, she fired right up and I let out a holler across the docks. I was ready to leave some gloomy days in the UK behind me.

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    Beneath the English Channel I went…
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    Since I’d unintentionally sent my wallet on a trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming I was down to my last dime of cash and eagerly awaiting our reunion. The airline folks found my wallet right in my seat and my girlfriend Jamie got on the phone and convinced them to send it FedEx it directly to London for me. She’s an adventure angel. I got a good lesson in London train routes finding the FedEx office, accidentally ended up at Buckingham Palace, but before long I was back in the money.
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    I spent 3 days burning across France from Calais to Bayonne. My body managed to transform the mild cold that I left with into an acute bronchitis during transit from California and I had been hacking away and barely sleeping ever since. Progress was slow and I pretty much barely left the motorway and avoided talking to anyone when possible. My voice was gone from coughing, my French is terrible, and I felt so awful that I just couldn’t be bothered to do much more that ape critical information or just whisper in English. French people think that a very dirty power-ranger looking guy whispering at them in English is weird. They were all very nice about it though. Campgrounds were just 5 bucks or I just found a nice patch of dirt to myself somewhere. In my fragile state with little appetite I virtually hopped from one McDonald’s to another for fries and free wireless access. I hate to say it, but I am loving it.

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    Crossing into Spain the landscape immediately became lush and hilly and the sun was low casting golden light on the green slopes crossed with fence lines and dotted with sheep. This was the Basque Country and the scene reflected my lightening mood as I rode south climbing one hill after another as the sun seemed to hang low in the sky for hours longer than it should have.
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    In Madrid I met my good friend Cristina who revealed to me the secrets of the historic neighborhood of Lavapies. Navigating the streets of Madrid was a bit of madness, but fortunately you can park a motorbike anywhere on the sidewalk. When I spotted Cristina standing on the side of the road in the middle of a monstrous 4 lane roundabout I simply hopped out of the maelstrom up onto the curb, jumped off, and gave her a hug. Walking in Lavapies, we toured an old tobacco factory that had been turned into a ‘squat’ where the community had built a place for artists to show their work, grow organic vegetables, make their own soap, build bicycles, and all sorts of other creative things.
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    From Madrid I motored south and approaching the city of Granada things began to feel distinctly more Mediterranean. I rode past endless hills covered with olive trees to meet my friend Maria who had been my housemate in Santa Cruz while working as a researcher in the Marine Sciences department of UC Santa Cruz. Maria’s house in the country surrounded by orchards was a welcome reprieve from long days on the motorway and busy cities. We ate from her garden, laid in hammocks, and enjoyed the calm of the place.

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    We spent an afternoon in the city of Granada climbing the ancient streets and enjoying canas and tapas. Granada is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain and you can spend the whole day just moving from one street side café to another.

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    The next stop is Gibraltar to make the crossing on the ferry to Tangier. I seem to have managed plenty of trouble not even having left Europe yet so I can’t wait to see what Morocco brings.
    #51
  12. Mosanator

    Mosanator DR dropper!

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    "The Monaro" SE Australia
    What no surfing in Europe at all?
    #52
  13. Aj Mick

    Aj Mick Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Oddometer:
    866
    Location:
    Phuket, Thailand
    A proper adventure in the making here....... i'm subscribed!
    #53
  14. garnaro

    garnaro MotoBlunderer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    372
    Location:
    Somewhere in Africa
    A lot to miss I know. In the past I'd spent months in a van surfing through France, Spain and Portugal. This time around I was keen to see some friends not on the Atlantic coast, sick as a dog, and in a bit of a rush to get to Morocco.
    #54
  15. Lacedaemon

    Lacedaemon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    628
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Subscribed. I love the ride reports that combine a motorcycle with something else like surfing or trekking or climbing or fishing. Makes for a much richer experience.

    :lurk
    #55
  16. Lurkin4Life

    Lurkin4Life n00b

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Gold Country, California, USA
    Sucks that you were that sick. You may have been able to catch the Rip Curl Pro in Porto. Anyway, hope you feel better and carry on!
    #56
  17. afewsketchymoments

    afewsketchymoments Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    Oddometer:
    142
    Location:
    Mexico
    Hope you score Morocco friend.
    #57
  18. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    21,595
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    sweet!
    i'd throw a red rag or towel at the end of your board.
    hard to tell sometimes how far it sticks out when crazies are rushing up your ass.
    #58
  19. woody1sa

    woody1sa n00b

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2
    Location:
    Brakpan South Africa
    Enjoy the ride and be safe. Will be watching your progress.
    #59
  20. garnaro

    garnaro MotoBlunderer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    372
    Location:
    Somewhere in Africa

    Thanks motosurf compadre. I'm in the Atlas mountains now ripping around some twisty roads, but looks like a swell on the way beginning Tuesday, so I'm headed to Safi hoping to get the legendary right, but it might need some more juice....
    #60