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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Chris Conway, Jan 1, 2018.
The view from our room at Lake Chala
Getting gas from country vendor. They buy it gas and store it in jugs and then sell it by the litre buy the roadside for a couple of cents more per litre.
Inside the "tented lodge" it's a wooden floor and thatched roof with canvass as the walls.
Day started off fine. Easy ridding through flat lands dry savanna and small villages. As we entered a village they have small 12 inch dirt speed bumps that some times have a culvert underneath or are just bumps. John came over one of these and fell over,falling on his right side and twisting his ankle.
We thought it was just a sprain but Mohammed took him to the hospital to be checked out and get and ex-ray to find out that it was broken, ugh...
John had to have a cast put on, we expected to have to pay hundreds of dollars for this but the cost for an x-ray and the cast was about 25 dollars Canadian... Makes you wonder about the high cost of health care in Canada.
While John was at the hospital I continued on with David and Khalifa through dirt roads and farm lands in the Mamba Miamba mountains area stopping to take a picture at what I call an elephant tree but is really called a baobab tree.
We arrived in the town of "Same" to overnight at the Elephant Motel (no elephants), which unlike Lake Challa was just basic but ok accomatations around 4pm. The elephant motel had and outdoor area where I watched and feed vervet monkeys bits of food.
Roadside lunch stop. I'm careful what I eat to avoid intestinal problems
While John went into town to see about a cane or crutch to help with walking I continued on with David and khalifa into the South Pare mountain area.
We rode up and down three mountains to a height of about 3000 feet on dirt and stoney roads sometimes becoming very challenging trails with numerous switch backs and steep climbing. The Honda 250 XL's never let us down with tons of power, perfect for the riding we were doing, and a testament to Honda as my bike was a 1991, twenty seven (27) years old and still for the most part working perfectly.
The mountain trails lead us through numerous small villages where we stopped only for gas, short breaks and eventually a boxed lunch on the top of a peak. The riding was good and the guides let me set the pace at a level I was comfortable with.
Only animals we saw on the way was a group of monkeys along the roadside.
After about a 300km ride we arrived at the MambaViewPoint lodge in Mambo, at 1,890 metres (6,100ft above sea level).
I have never been to a place so quite and peaceful. Hardly a single sound in the air, as I sat over looking the magnificent view of valleys and mountain ranges around us there was only the brief sound of the occasional fly or bee passing by.
Has Wrong way Johnny Lee ever had an entire trip go right?
Hope he can ride soon!
We had one day of rest at the top of the mountain and then set out the next day.
Great riding today drove down from the top of the mountain through small villages on dirt roads and soft dirt trails for about 15 miles to where the road broke down to a stoney back and forth trail coming down the mountain.
At the bottom of the mountain we joined the asphalt road for about 20 miles stopping only briefly to rest.
We then went off the paved road again riding through gravel and stony roads for miles and miles. (We drove about 500km that day).
After about four hours of uneventful riding we came across a group of zebras grazing beside the roadway.
We stopped and ate our boxed lunches from the hotel while watching them. Once we finished we went off-road to get closer to the zebras.
To my surprise not only were they are zebras but ostriches, gazelles and wildebeest all grazing together.
Upon seeing the motorcycles the animals started running and we were able to ride along side them with the animals on either side and all around us.
We quickly broke off from them not to spook or scare the animals and then re-joined the roadway.
It was an adventure riders dream come true and a fantastic opportunity.
Roads that went on forever and you always had to pay attention because there were rocks ditches and hazards that could pop up at any time.
We were told that they had not seen any crocodiles in the river in a while...
After about 400km of riding we came to the road blocked by a flash flood. It had rained earlier in the day up in the mountains. The water was raging, as you can see to the left, once across the bridge the rapids began. At this point it was about 4 feet deep in the middle. There was no way around this for many miles, you just have to wait for the water levels and speed to drop.
The first vehicles to go through are the 4 x 4 trucks. Next was a lady with 2 donkeys, which were almost pushed into the rapids by the current. Eventually after waiting for about an hour for the water to subside I drove across with the water up over the foot pegs. Khalifa the guide came across next. As he was about 3/4 of the way across he suddenly fell in the water, the current started pushing him towards the edge. I ran down to help but I was about 30 ft away up the embankment. Luckily Khalifa got up, the bike was still running and he drove out of the water. Khalifa obviously shaken by the close call with death explained that when he is in water his head starts to spin and he thought he blanked out for a second, causing him to fall over in the water...
After riding almost 500km we came to the Maramboi Tented Camp. The road into the hotel of about 3 miles took us by a small herd of Giraffes. There were 4 in this group and as we continued down the road a herd of wildebeest started running, we rode along with them until they crossed the road in front of us.
After almost 500km of riding we pulled into great lodge over looking the lake, with zebras, wildibeest, giraffes and warthogs all around the lodge.
This small 3 wheeled motorbikes where everywhere. Mostly used as taxi's
Next morning we set off traveling through low mountain ranges into lush pastures and soft easy dirt roads. This winding dirt road was full of hair pin turns that went on for about 10 miles..., once at the top the road rolled up and down for another five until we came to a village to stop for gas, a great ride.