Donna and the Zit - Africa

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by MishkakiMan, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. MishkakiMan

    MishkakiMan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2021
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Tanzania
    Donna - F800GSA (named after Donna in Suits the fiery red head)

    The Zit - ZT125 (my fiancé’s first geared bike)


    We live perched on the side of Mount Meru (Volcano / 4th highest peak in Africa) in a city called Arusha, the Safari capital of Tanzania. Arusha is blessed with superb adventure riding no matter which direction you decide to ride out in. My fiancé, who has been here a couple of years now, has finally been worn down by my constant nagging and has finally been convinced to get her own bike after many years of chilling as pillion. I think the idea of her being able to take her handbag, which was always the first to be refused boarding the F800 due to tight baggage regulations imposed as a result of any two up adventure. :imaposer

    So we purchased the Zit and after a few sessions up and down the block, much to the amusement of the locals at the open air bar on the corner, we were ready for a shamba run. Shamba means farm and the mission was to bring back a bunch of bananas. She passed with flying colours. :clap

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    After a successful shamba run I felt it was time for a longer trip down to the coast where my folks run a lodge on the beach. The trip is around 500km and although there was much chirping from Evie and her mother (visiting from Latvia) about the distance and the kamikaze driving of local buses in Tanzania. I was able to coax them into it with assurances of many stops for leg stretches and stopping for the night half way. My soon to be mother in law was also not quite sold having never been on a motorbike before, never mind across Tanzania as her first jaunt but her adventurous side won over and she agreed to ride pillion with me.

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    So a 5am takeoff was planned and we did the first little stretch in the dark to escape the city before any serious traffic started.

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    Thankfully we had timed our run perfectly having little to no traffic to contend with as we made our way down the foothills of Meru as dawn started to break. It was a crisp clear morning and we were lucky to have uninterrupted views of Kilimanjaro. On our first leg stretch we watched the sun rays slowly started to paint Kili in golden light starting at the top.

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    We arrived in Moshi and so our first big stop had to be the Union Cafe for a full English, Kilimanjaro coffee cappuccino and a cheeky slice of cheesecake.:dukegirl

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    After our breakfast we hit the road again and we were soon in sight of the Pare mountain ranges. We had another leg stretch after half and hour and I took the opportunity to take quick pic with Kilimanjaro’s head poking out the clouds in the distance.

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    Evie, seeming to have gotten comfortable on the Zit, was steaming ahead and so, much to our surprise, we arrived in Same (the place we were supposed to sleep the first night) at 10am. After a cold soda we unanimously agreed it was far to early to stop and so jumped back on the bikes to keep heading towards the coast. :super

    After about half an hour we thought we might find a nice shady spot to chill and wait out of the midday sun. We pulled up on the banks of the Pangani river. After we had setup our camp chairs and were lounging around like border officials :jkam when we noticed that it was teeming with birdlife all around us. Bee eaters, doves, kites, lilac breasted rollers etc etc..

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  2. MishkakiMan

    MishkakiMan Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Tanzania
    Once the midday sun had passed and we had gotten a good use out of our camp chairs we hit the road and pushed on to Korogwe. In Korogwe we were advised to try the White House Inn by a friendly gas pump attendant. It was cheap and cheerful with pink mosquito skirting hanging above the bed, AC and a comfy armchair positioned next to a little fridge. Evie feeling pretty shattered had a quick shower and jumped into bed for an afternoon siesta.:snore

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    That evening we felt it would be nice to see a little of korogwe so we hailed a Tuk tuk and asked where we can get some meat. Rasta (the tuk tuk driver) said that the best Mbuzi (goat) to be had in Korogwe is at Kimaros pub. So he zigzagged his way across town to Kimaros place where a bewildered looking waitress showed us upstairs. She was even more surprised when we asked for 2 kg of goat, 3 portions of chips, 3 Large Mzuzu bananas, side salad and a Mishkaki (meat skewer). Despite probably having never seen any Mzungus (white people) in the grill house before and seriously doubting that we could eat all the food ordered she said nothing and dutifully took the order to the lively kitchen below.:dukegirl:dukegirl

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    After succeeding to eat a huge amount of mbuzi :gdogwe staggered to the road to wait for Rasta to pick us up. We seemed to struggle to all fit in the tuk tuk now but this didn’t stop us from asking him if there are any Azam Ball cones (ice cream in a cone with chocolate on top) to be had? His eyes lit up and he launched back into the Main Street traffic barley missing an onlooker while muttering he knew just the place. In two mins i spotted a ball cone bicycle nearby but despite my calls to stop he just ignored my pleas while saying you will see.. A minute later we arrived at the Korogwe Azam Icecream depot..:lol3

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    We took our ice creams to the bank of the Pangani where we smugly enjoyed the last rays of the evening listening to the river while chatting about the events of the day.

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  3. MishkakiMan

    MishkakiMan Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Tanzania
    The next day after a quick Swahili breakfast we continued our journey down to the coast only stopping once for a leg stretch.
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    As we had pushed further the first day it didn’t take long till we were enjoying a mid morning snack of samosas, kebab, chapati and nyloni (fried chips with cheese) and ice cold passion fruit juice to wash it down. The Temperature in tanga being around 35C making the cold juice very refreshing indeed.

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    After the snacks it was time to do the last stretch to our place north of Tanga halfway to the Kenyan border.

    So now this brings us up to date, we are still here enjoying the beach with the folks. We have a lodge and as there are not any guests due to the current lockdowns etc, they have decided that they will join us on Sunday to continue the trip into the bush. Stay tuned for more. :super

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    #3
  4. Hedonist222

    Hedonist222 Been here awhile

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    wonderful

    thanks for sharing

    that indian food and chillis looked delicious
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  5. laurabells

    laurabells n00b

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    This looks amazing. I love the pictures! It looks like such fun. That food looks good too.
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  6. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Joined:
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    Nice pics and ride @MishkakiMan! Looks like a wonderful trip to the coast, seriously cool your mother-in-law (pending...lol) jumped on the back and joined you guys for the ride out.

    Beautiful scenery; and damn that beach looks fantastic.

    Look forward to more :D
    #6
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  7. MishkakiMan

    MishkakiMan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2021
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Tanzania
    25/01/2021

    Fish Eagle to Handeni

    Distance - 205 km (5% Off-road, 95% Tar)


    Having had a couple of days soaking up some sun it was time to head back into the Tz hinterland. :jkam

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    My parents 2-up on bumblebee, pending mother-in law and I on Donna and Evie on the Zit.

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    After reintroducing our buns to the saddle for an hour, we pulled in at the Tanga blue rooms for breakfast. Nyloni, kebabs, bajia & cold fruit juice :dukegirl was scoffed quickly by the gang, then a hasty escape inland before the mid morning coastal heat and humidity set in. The ride was pleasant & uneventful. After Turning off at korogwe the new tar road was smooth with little to no traffic. The Zit in-between Bumblebee & Donna was bombing along at around 90km an hour and so we made good time. :ricky

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    We arrived midday in Handeni. We stopped in-town and were recommended the Macheto Guesti by an eager plumbing shop owner who promptly hailed a bodaboda (Tanzanian motorcycle taxi) to lead us to the Guesti. I was slightly suspicious :hmmmmm as to whether the enthusiastic plumber had an Ndugu (brother or friend) at said Guesti as we were riding up the hill. I needn't have worried too much as it was just what we were looking for (cheap and clean).

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    :photog

    TSH 30,000/- ($13) per room inclusive of breakfast, AC, warm shower, Asian loo, cold drinks, pink mosquito net.

    We headed into town for dinner on foot and spent an hour or so wandering around aimlessly on the lookout for somewhere that might serve something appetising.

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    After seeing our fair share of unenticing street food we jumped into 2x friendly tuk tuks who took us to another part of town that was not too far from our Guesti. Here we were introduced to Beate who assured us that her pork dish is the best in town. The pork was indeed excellent and the home made chilly in tomato sauce that came with it on the side was so good that dad badgered her for her number and is still in-touchin with hopes to recreate the sauce at home.

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    #7
  8. MishkakiMan

    MishkakiMan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2021
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Tanzania
    26/01/2021

    Handeni to Turiani

    Distance- 112km (100% off-road)


    After a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, toast served with chai / coffee we left Handeni in a South western direction. The road was a decently graded dirt road that wound through lush patches of forest, rolling hills & fields interspersed with typical rural Tanzanian villages and smallholder farms.

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    Around halfway dad, who was leading the way, spotted a promising thatched hut with a lady outside cooking chapatis :dukegirl. She was serving chai maziwa (milky hot tea brewed with spices), chai rangi (just black tea) and chapatis. As we huddled in the little thatched tea room dad pointed out a freshly severed goat head and trotters under the tea table. I furtively glanced at my pending mother in-law and fiancé, thankfully both seemed unfazed and continued to have their chapatis & chai.

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    Refreshed we continued south west and soon the Kanga mountains came into sight. The land turned even more lush with the thickly forested mountains as a dramatic backdrop.

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    :wave

    We travelled along the range for an hour or so before we got to Turiani where we checked into the Kibo Guesti.

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    TSH 25,000/- ($10.50) per room including breakfast, AC, warm shower, Asian loo, cold drinks, pink mosquito net.


    As this was at this point the longest off-road ride Evie has done she was shattered and requested to not have to ride into town for Dinner. So we asked a taxi if he would take us to the river. He drove for about a minute and then pulled into a petrol station. He slid open the passenger door leaned over me and demanded 50,000/-. His eyes wide with expectation and breath heavy with the smell of alcohol and spittle:dutch , nothing could have prepared him for the reaction. We all disembarked howling & screeching with outrage :boid. The shocked look on his face made me think he was used to polite Tourists happy to pay ridiculous amounts and to the delight of the onlooking fuel attendants my parents, fiancé and her mum started walking to town despite his futile efforts to renegotiate & apologise. I shoved 10,000/- into his greasy paw, told him he has no honour and hurried to catch-up with the gang marching indignantly towards town. :fitz

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    Once next to the river we got a sweet spot next to the rapids under the shade of bamboo to have dinner. A superb end to the day listening to the rapids and chowing down on a mixture of local dishes.

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    #8
  9. MishkakiMan

    MishkakiMan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2021
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Tanzania
    27/01/2021

    Turiani to Songe

    Distance - 171km (5% Tar, 95% Off-road)

    We hit the road early and made our way up through the Mountains. The road was absolutely stunning, with no cars, just locals on motorbikes. Tanzania truly is a bikers paradise! We stopped for a pic next to one of the rivers we came across during the morning. Then we had a quick chai and chapati stop was a must, where a kid was enjoying his chapati was keeping a watchful eye on the newcomers.

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    Evie a-little nervous, as she hadn’t done any serious hills took her time winding around the never ending corners, ascents and descents. She did great and although the speed was sensible we covered a good 100km before we took our first lengthy break:snore. The pineapple dad had been carrying around since the morning was so sweet!

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    Not long after our break our trusty Zumos lead us over a single trail short cut. It was hairy in places with washouts & Sandy patches which was again a new challenge for Evie. Being tired and new to the washouts resulted in the Zit taking a little tumble, shortly followed by mother in law and I on Donna:muutt. After a few tears and words of encouragement we decided not to turn back but keep pushing on. Our bravery was rewarded, at the bottom of the hill we joined a well graded road. We stopped to take a moment on a drift before pushing on.

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    Soon the mountains were replaced with rolling hills and lush shambas. The villages were getting more sizeable and busy and after 170km we arrived in a village called Songe. Thankfully we were able to find a place to sleep. It was clear immediately that the accommodation would be very rustic judging by the 15,000/- ($6.50) per night price.

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    The toilet / shower was the size of a broom cupboard and you had to shower with legs apart as the toilet hole was directly below you. My first thought was this establishment is probably the kind that rents rooms by the hour, this suspicion was later enhanced by the saucy wall paintings we found in the “disco room”.

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    On an evening stroll I discovered a bakery opposite the "establishment" and organised a surprise cake and cupcakes for breakfast. I didn't have big hopes for great quality considering where we were.
    #9
  10. MishkakiMan

    MishkakiMan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2021
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Tanzania
    28/01/2021

    Songe to Kibaya

    Distance - 103km (100% Off-road)

    After a tiring night of shouting "occupied" every time a drunk patron of the establishment would attempt to come in as we were the first room in the corridor. Bleary eyed we packed our bikes and as the sun came up we were almost ready for the road. The cake bless them was ready so they must have baked through the night. I had requested "Well done Evie & the Zit" on the top and it was sure enough there it was, a perfect chocolate cake with the message in icing as requested on top. We presented the cake to Evie with coffee much to her surprise and delight. It's didn't take long before we were shoving copious amounts of cake into our gaping maws and discussing the route for the day. :rayof

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    Cupcakes and remaining cake carefully packed we bounced out onto the road to Kibaya aided by a sugar rush that cancelled out our sleepless night. Soon we were navigating a rather washed out road but we took it easy and all got through without any drama. Evie's second spill of the trip, the cause being too sharp on the brakes thanks to a coffee filled bladder and therefore desperate for a pee break. :doh

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    Around halfway we pulled in under the shade of a large candelabra and setup our camp chairs. Cupcakes and cake went down a treat and there was an extra two cupcakes for two Masaai ladies that came by to say hello.

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    We arrived in Kibaya in good time and checked into the Sleep way hotel. It seemed like the Buckingham palace compared to the last joint and we marvelled at the garden and general cleanliness. Then next, to further contrast the two accommodations, the last Prime minister of Tanzania arrived with the usual pomp and circumstance that's expected from an individual of great importance:johntm. The bodyguards, secretaries and other various fomo busy bodies rushed around securing the area while the main man checked out his room all the while the nosy parkers watched on. Then as quick as they arrived they were off to their next meeting, but not before the main man stopped to salamia bibi (greet mum) who in turn offered her "pole na safari" as she stood by the sleep way hotel flower bed still fully decked out in dusty adventure gear.

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    We had lunch in town, the guys at Masaai land restaurant setup a table for us in the shade on the street between two parked cars. It was good food served quickly.

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    After a nap we sat refreshed on the Veranda and enjoyed the evening with a couple of drinks while listening to the owners stories of how his father (previous TANESCO boss) had built the hotel. The Ex-prime minister returned from his day of meetings and stopped for a chat. He seemed pleased that we were taking the time to explore Tanzania and looked very tempted when he was offered a beer, but my suspicion was that he was nudged to move on from the entourage of secretary's & bodyguards to keep him on schedule. So he sadly bid us good evening as he was whisked away to more tedious affairs. :freaky

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    It was a lovely evening, the highlight being my sisters responses to the pictures of the goat head and trotters in the tea hut. With her being a vegetarian we made sure to send her a picture of us casually sipping chai with the grisly head on the table and waited with glee to hear what she had to say. :jack
    #10
  11. MishkakiMan

    MishkakiMan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2021
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Tanzania
    29/01/2021

    Kibaya to Orkesumet

    Distance - 167km (100% Off-road)


    There are some advantages of sleeping in the same hotel as an important individual. One being there are very serious looking security personal hovering around, so no need to worry about the boots left in the corridor or having to take little bothersome things off the bike like the garmin Zumo etc. After a good nights sleep we arrive at the breakfast hall and have the best breakfast a Guesti has ever served in the history of Kibaya. Ignoring the fact that all the bells and whistles were not intended for us we get stuck in.

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    We ride out of Kibaya in high spirits and are soon in the bush. On our first leg stretch / pee break a bluish black snake is spotted slithering onto the road a few meters in front of us. It hears us and turns its hooded head in our direction, freezing for a few seconds to gauge the odd group of individuals interrupting its morning routine. Then the cobra did a calm U-turn into the very bushes that had been designated as the pee zone. Pending mother in law had gone silent and Evie miraculously didn't need to pee anymore.

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    We were treated to vistas of acacia covered bushland as we dove deeper into the Masaai Steppe. The road would stretch out long and straight into the distance carving an unnaturally precise line through bush into the horizon as far as the eye can see. The road, well graded, was free of traffic and we only passed a handful of trucks delivering goods to the far out villages. Soon we turned off the main graded road into the bush. An area were we were hoping to spot more wildlife in. Unfortunately we took a wrong turn and soon sound ourselves in a very thorny thicket.

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    After a little bundu bashing we found our way back onto the road and pushed on. On the way we spotted a young male gerenuk. An antelope with a uniquely long neck adapted to its environment and only found in certain parts of East Africa.
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    We regathered under a tree and studies the elephant and various other animal tracks in the mud hole next to the road. This would be as far as we go due to time lost on the wrong turn earlier and being unsure whether or not there would be a Guesti in Orkesumet. With the Songe establishment still fresh in our minds we agreed getting to Orkesumet to determine whether there is a decent place to stay trumped whatever animals we might find further ahead in the bush track. We were missing our camping equipment badly at this point as we felt a little restricted by the need to find accommodation in the afternoons.
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    We rode out of the wilderness and rejoined the gravel road to Orkesumet with no drama. We reached Orkesumet a little behind my parents as they had pushed ahead to find accommodation. Thankfully there was a decent Guesti in Orkesumet. We had a hearty lunch in Orkesumet accompanied by a nice plate of fruit and veg sourced by mum and Evie who were probably desperate for some greens at this point. It was a substantial amount of meat on the platter and we were surprised to have been able to eat it all. Before the group succumbed to a food coma they staggered back to the guesti for a nap. I took the free time to source a local bike fundi to clean out the dust in Donna & the zits chains with kerosene.


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  12. laurabells

    laurabells n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2020
    Oddometer:
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    What an adventure. It looks like you passed through some amazing landscapes and met some interesting people.

    The goat head situation seems like a vegetarian's nightmare, lucky you were all relaxed about it!

    What a cute idea with the cake.
    #12
  13. MishkakiMan

    MishkakiMan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2021
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Tanzania
    30/01/2021

    Orkesumet - Arusha via Lokisale

    Distance - 238km (100% Off-road)


    The final day we hit the road earlier than all the previous days on the trip, feeling fresh while bombing along in the crisp morning air we made excellent time and covered ground quickly owning to a well graded gravel road. :ricky

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    We took a quick detour to see if we could spot anything at a salt flat, however I have a feeling the 1200 roaring through some wet patches made anything that might be around flee for the hills. :drums

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    We stopped on the slope of an uphill to take in the view around Namalulu.

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    Dad stopped to help this colourful chap cross the road.

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    We started to see wildebeest, grants gazelle, impala, Tommi gazelle, zebra and the odd ostrich as we neared Lokisale Mountian.

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    As we drew closer to Lokisale I felt the familiar wobble of a front flat tyre. We pulled up in the shade and I squeezed in a cheap imitation of slime sealant I had picked up in Arusha. After a few more km the front again went flat so we pulled up under a few trees to setup a bush garage. As the ladies setup their camp chairs, we pulled out the tools to operate. :knary

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    It didn’t take long for a few masai to come by and give a hand. The Mitas E07 tyres are great, but a bitch to put on / take off so extra hands were much appreciated. It’s amazing, as soon as Masaai found out there was a mini compressor in the neighbourhood other bikes appeared from no where to get pressure added to their tyres and borrowed some spanner’s to tighten this and that on their bikes.

    4D6D3BD0-BF7E-4B12-B2D8-565C8E2AE4A1.jpeg

    Once patched we went on and to my dismay after 20 mins the tyre was still slowly deflating. So for the last 50 km we just stopped every 15 mins to reflate the tyre. I have never been so grateful to have a mini compressor as I was running out of steam at this point. Finally we got on to the tar road and it was glorious! The last 50km had been quite corrugated and rocky so the silky smoothness of tar seemed surreal at first. From here Arusha was an easy shot and we pulled in feeling shattered. It was the longest day at 238km all off-road, but rewarding with the game we spotted and stunning scenery.

    Thanks for reading guys :beer
    #13
    68vette and Suncoaster like this.
  14. xbok

    xbok Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    Ft Myers, FL
    Awesome report. Thanks for sharing.
    #14
    theforthstooge likes this.
  15. thadf

    thadf Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2018
    Oddometer:
    150
    Location:
    Missouri
    Nice report... looks like a great time.

    Congrats on the pending marriage!
    #15
  16. Samanjo

    Samanjo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2016
    Oddometer:
    980
    Location:
    South Africa
    An enjoyable read, thank you.
    I see your bike has a South African (Gauteng) number plate?
    All the best with the upcoming wedding.
    #16