At the very basic Palma Hotel. Under different circumstances, I know Id be psyched to be here. Descending from the hill you can see past the Frelimo Monument down to an endless sea and a coastline completely covered in palm trees. Its a bustling place, and surely a very cool one to explore, but Im not enjoying it much since I crashed Rosie again today. Hard. Above: Palmas Frelimo Monument with fresh wreath Wed already covered some 360 kilometers by the time we reached Palma. From Pemba, it was tarmac through dense bush, then fast and fun dirt with slow technical rutted ascents and descents north of Mocimba da Praia. Lunch was amazing prawns and chips at a roadside joint and basically things were going great until Palma. We were pushing our luck and I knew it, but went ahead with it anyway. From Palma, there are 40km to the Tanzania border on a 4x4 track through sandy bush apparently lined with unknown thousands of land mines. We were advised to not even piss off the track in this place, so it seemed pretty serious. At 16:00, after a long day already, I looked down the track past Palmas huge church sandy already and wished I didnt have to go. I should have waited, could have waited, but was weak and gave into 620s urgency to get to Tanzania. My weakness, my punishment. Sod it, lets go! 620 and Katy burned up the sand and vanished. They were having no issues, but I was immediately struggling (heavy bike, smooth tyres, high tyre pressure = bad news). I was fighting to stay on the bike with all my strength and trying all the tricks Id learned to date for riding in sand: stand up, grip with the knees, give it some throttle, lean back slightly etc But your head has to be in the game too, and mine wasnt. I was busy trying to convince myself I could make it when every fibre was telling me I couldnt. 60 kph, 70 kph, engine racing, wheel spinning. The bike was supposed to be floating over the sand by now, but it wasnt. I was being pulled and pushed around and I was getting scared. I tried to focus on a point far ahead, grip with the legs, give it more throttle a recurring mantra and to not think about the landmines lying in wait just off the track. It happened fast, but not fast enough that I didnt know it was happening. I was standing, leaning back and giving it more gas, pretending I was in control when I wasnt in control, pretending I wasnt scared when I was scared. Then the front tyre climbed up the sandy berm between the tracks and I found myself sideways. The rear tyre eventually followed, but when it did, it lurched, and the front tyre jumped back to the other side. The sideswiping action like a whip. Id been twisting the throttle more and more with every weave until I finally lost my grip. Tossed free of the bike, I landed on my back in the sand and grass. As I flew through the air, I thought I might be blown to smithereens, but landed softly enough and experienced immediate relief that the deed was done. I lay there peacefully, aware as if in slow motion that my bike, still on her wheels but quickly becoming gravitys plaything, had dug into the sand and flipped forward, landing on her top with a shattering of glass and the hollow crunch of plastic and metal. Above: Crash site, bike in the grass, wreckage and busted parts I lay there a moment, after the motor died, content and serene, completely unharmed and totally clam. Warm and quiet, feeling the Earth holding me. But in Africa, somebody always disrupts your peaceful musings. The crash had villagers running toward me from all sides talking animatedly as though Id just fallen from the sky. I half wanted to feign death, if only to jump up and shout bugabugabuga! at the first person who came close! Alas. The bike looked twisted and hurt when I got her up on her wheels. It took an hour to free the handlebars from the munched headlight assembly. I had to bodge-wire the speedometer onto the handlebars to make the bike run, but the headlight was toast. The bike looked like a bombing victim, but she ran. How will I sort this out in the middle of Nowhere Mozambique? How will I face that sandy track again tomorrow? Maybe Ill find it funny tomorrow.