Tallinn to Cape Town

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by memento13, May 25, 2019.

  1. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

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    Rode to Limbe but ride back to Douala (70km) took 12 hours and ended with last 15km on 21 inch front tire tube in my rear tire.

    Out of rear tubes and rear tire probably now useless also. Spent another day trying to find these without any success. Some friends were looking also in Yaounde, but also nothing. So kind of stuck in a not so nice city, seems like I have to make expensive order from Europe.

    A lot of time in Africa it really feels it is not worth the struggle, countless hours and days go with having to solve trivial problems, often without much success.
    Ian.H likes this.
  2. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

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    in the Africa regional forum,inmate is in Douala looking for a BMW part.
  3. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

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    Thank you, messaged him, maybe he knows where i could get tire & tube.
  4. Johnnydarock

    Johnnydarock Been here awhile

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    Cool report so far.
    memento13 likes this.
  5. 7800

    7800 n00b

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    Hi Memento13

    I have loved reading your RR so far and have gained some great information. Good luck in your search for a tyre and tube. Are there any local motorbike clubs, they seem to exist in the most unusual places. Just a thought
  6. cmattina

    cmattina Been here awhile

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    So they did not mind that your arrive 9 days before you were supposed to?
  7. cmattina

    cmattina Been here awhile

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    Perhaps you're feeling a bit down, but perhaps you are just being honest with yourself!

    I am currently watching Long Way Down right now and have read other African ride reports and sometimes get the impression people are just keeping a stiff upper lip.

    i.e. kids throwing rocks, stuff getting stolen, food poisoning, bed bugs... "it's all part of the adventure"

    Regardless of the above, you will truly remember it forever, the good times and bad, and having that memory is invaluable. Plus, you can tell all the ladies about it. :killen:rayof
    memento13, 7800 and DunkingBird like this.
  8. rattis

    rattis Long timer

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    Nice RR, are you travelling with a carnet de passage or is it possible to get around anyway?
    Keep it coming!
    Check out some big embassy, the might be someone who has a bike and maybe a tyre to spare.
  9. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

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    I arrived exactly on a date my Cameroon visa started.
  10. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

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    Yes, I have Carnet de Passage. Was thinking long whether to get it, but it has been one of the best decisions I have made. No brainer to get when going through West Africa:
    • Senegal border mafia - people without Carnet paying 200-250$
    • Ghana just changed rules and you can't enter without Carnet, going around through Burkina Faso is too dangerous now
    • Makes every border so much easier, no Tip fees
    At least in Europe it is easy to get, ordered while I was in Spain and took only 3 days to exchange papers with ADAC in Germany. Not too expensive also: fee ~300€, deposit 3000€.
  11. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

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    I have no regrets making the trip, but there's just quite a lot of pointless days and I don't try to sugarcoat it and tell how I feel. People also have different level of tolerance for BS, I guess mine is quite low:D Thank you for the encouragement, it is well needed on a long trip.
  12. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

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    My tire problems got resolved and resumed riding yesterday. My travel friends found used Pirelli Scorpion Desert in Yaounde and brought it to Doala. Also one of my friends went to wedding in UK and brought proper inner tube back. Will use small thin local one for emergency backup.

    20191012_110458.jpg
    You do really need friends in Africa, because sooner or later you have unexpected break down. Really hard to get through just on your own.

    So yesterday left my friends to Douala and rode to Kribi, was good to ride again. Today was waiting for the rain to stop and hopefully can continue tomorrow. As I didn't find good oil in Douala, will be extending oil interval longer than would like to. It will be more than 3k km when I get to Libreville, Gabon.

    Rain pouring all day, but it is rainy season:
    20191014_175514.jpg
  13. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

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    While I was in Douala, got robbed one night. Went out with friend Jim to nearby bar, but it was closed at one point and we took a mototaxi to some bars a bit away.

    Was quite fun and got quite drunk. One point we decided to take another mototaxi to some other random bar, I think clock was around 3AM at this time. We rode one a small 125cc Chinese bike, driver plus 2 of us, music blasting from small speaker I had in my hand, as we were cut off by another moto and probably a car.

    My friend jumped off from the bike, but fall into dirty sewage ditch. One guy run to me and grabbed money from my pocket. As I had speaker in one hand and was quite hammered, was quite slow to obstruct him. My friend got out of the ditch and started throwing punches, hitting first one. I got off the bike and tried to punch one guy also, but missed badly. Robbers jumped on the bike and rode away.

    It was a bit hard to even understand who were robbers and who random people, I guess beers had done its job. We decided to cut our losses and head back to our Airbnb. Was not big loss, maybe 30 euros, if anything we had good laugh about it in a morning.

    While friends were in Yaounde before, they got also into a bar fight. Seems like Cameroon has been one of the most dangerous countries at night so far. Or maybe we have been drinking more as there is really nothing else to do as most interesting parts are off limits because of Civil War.
    squadraquota and DunkingBird like this.
  14. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

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    Also checked bikes valve clearances. After adjusting them in Cote d'ivoire, they were all in check. Changed also spark plug as old one looked really bad with a lot of brownish stuff on it, bike seemed to run better also now.

    Most of the time our Airbnb looked like a moto garage:
    20191015_000823.jpg 20191015_000739.jpg
    Saso and DunkingBird like this.
  15. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

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    It was pouring rain nonstop yesterday, so I knew I will have great day today. 200+km of mud and deep puddles. Some sections were quite slippery and lost grip once and crashed straight into a bush, luckily just sprained thumb. Can't wait to get new rubber under the bike, hopefully will find something in Libreville, if not Luanda.

    20191015_120515.jpg
  16. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

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    Has anyone experience with Giant Loop warranty process? Have 200 euro leaking gas bladder with me, kind starting to think of throwing it away. Reading their return policy page seems like I need a lawyer to return it. Used 4 times and was just rolled up in the saddlebag.

    20191012_173354.jpg
  17. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

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    Nice dirt road near Lope National Park in Gabon:

    DJI_0325.JPG
  18. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

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    It has been raining every day past week, so riding back from Loango National Park managed to drown bikes engine. This pic is a 40km earlier:

    20191101_115708.jpg
  19. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

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    So lost control in one of the puddles and bike fell in the airbox side. Luckily engine stopped when I lost control. Got bike out of the puddle and checked airbox and air filter and there was water in there. Had spare air filter so cleaned airbox and installed new airfilter.

    Checked oil and it was clean, so thought I was lucky and no water in engine. Tried to start bike, but it struggled so I gave some throttle and it started running. Was already cheering with local guys and getting ready to leave, but the bike stopped.

    Checked oil in crankcase and indeed it was mushy, like coffee with milk. Luckily I had spear oil also with me, so asked local guys for a bucket and drained oil and put new in. Also took spark plug out and cranked engine, put didnt notice anything coming out of the engine. Should probably cranked it longer.

    Installed tank and tried to start, but engine struggled to fire into life and when it even started, it died on idle. Checked also oil in crankcase, but the class was mushy, so at this point was starting to lose hope, there was also no mobile reception.

    Also battery run dead, but installed battery booster and started bike again. This time it finally didn't die when idleing and oil seemed to also clean now. So kept bike running and backed my stuff (have to take of everything off the bike to remove gas tank and access spark plug).

    So run off and after 5 hours arrived in first town and hotel. While riding, engine seems to run fine, but it still struggles to start. In hindsight I think I made mistake of not removing spark plug immediately, but have not drown bike before, so was not sure of exact procedure.

    Will change oil again asap, but closest towns for buying new oil are Libreville (450km) and Pointe-Noire (650km). Will also check valve clearances as this seem to be usual starting problem, but cant see how it would connect to the situation.

    Any idead what should I check or do next?
  20. memento13

    memento13 Travelling in Africa

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    As I got late and had to ride last 3 hours in dark, almost rode into 2 forrest elephants who where walking on the road. Luckily they went back to the forrest.