(:Back in Africa:)

By February 1, 2011 news No Comments

Hi there!

Last minutes in Istanbul, Turkey

I am very glad to inform you that I am back in my beloved home country, the Republic of South Africa. It is so good to be back after 10 months and 6 days!

This is how it happened: last week Monday I got all my things organised for the bike shipment back to Durban, South Africa. Due to bad weather, travel fatigue and travel over saturation I decided not to waste any more time and asked my parents to book me a ticket back to Johannesburg for Wednesday 26 January 2011. Emirates was the cheapest option with a 3 hour stop over in Dubai. It was cool, at least now I can say I saw the big city of Dubai!

The flight from Istanbul to Dubai was about 4 hours and from Dubai to Johannesburg about 8 hours. Adil, Zeki and Osaka from the motorbike club dropped me off at the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul and we said our last goodbyes! Thanks again to the motorbike club for their tremendous support and help, you guys deserve 5 stars and 10 golden medallions!!

Flying back to Johannesburg

We got airborne at 19:25 and I waved Istanbul, the finish line and 2Wherever goodbye…….at least for now!

On our way back I followed the route on the monitor in front of me and was so glad to see the sun rise over the United Arab of Emirates. We also flew over Oman and Yemen. A few hours later I was so glad to see the African continent for the 1st time in 4 months again. I just love Africa!!

When I saw the sun and the good weather I was happy and satisfied and just realized that I would never stay in a country with wet and bad weather!

Thirty minutes before landing I was amazed to see the green pastures near Johannesburg and this was evidence of the great amount of rain in the last few weeks!

And then we landed….back in my country! It was so nice to hear the local languages spoken by people around me. These languages include Afrikaans, Sotho and Zulu. I practised my English for 10 months now and I’m sure I have improved!

I got all my bags, loaded them onto the trolley and could not wait anymore for MP (my friend) to receive me at the arrival hall. For the fun of it I decided to Put on my bike and jacket as well as my helmet…..the people was laughing so much at me……I scanned through the crowds, but there was no trace of my friend who was supposed to come and pick me up. I asked a local guy if I could borrow his phone to make a quick call because I had nothing on me, no money, no cell phone….only 40 euros and 5US dollars.  So I phoned him and he stood on the balcony above me. He was on the phone and saw this guy with the helmet but did not recognise me because he was busy on the phone!

I could see some development and improvement on the roads mostly due t the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It was awesome to walk into the shopping malls and actually understand people making conversation in close vicinity. It was absolutely awesome to be able to do business and local communication in Afrikaans again!

Most of all, it was wonderful to see family and friends again! This is one thing I learned, to appreciate family and friends even more, they are valuable and we need each other!

Stats on Amandla (my bike)

Below are stats on how my 200cc BAJAJ Avenger did including all the things that broke:

PART COUNTRY
Replaced 3 chains Namibia, Tanzania and Sudan
Gear Speedo meter broke, but fixed it and then replaced a new one in Ethiopia Rwanda
8 Flat tyres Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Syria, Turkey
2 Rear tyre spokes broke Maybe in the desert of northern Kenya
Replaced battery Ethiopia
Replaced rear bulb and fuel gauge broke twice Ethiopia
Replaced a screw that fixed the exhaust Uganda
Speedo meter broke and I had to keep it together with cable ties Istanbul, Turkey
Thread of oil compartment stripped  Ethiopia

 

Most Kilos in one day

KILOS COUNTRY
1 482km Kahama (Tanzania) to Kigali, Rwanda
2 433km Gambela to Pedras Negras, Angola
3 431km Dongola to Wadi Halfa, Sudan
4 425km Atbara to Gebeit, Sudan
5 423km Windhoek to Kamanjab, Namibia
6 417km Wadi Halfa to near Dongola,Sudan
7 408km Dongola to Atbara, Sudan
8 400km Adis Ababa to Dessie, Ethiopia
9 382km Tasucu to Antalia, Turkey
10 380km Kamanjab to Opuwo, Namibia
11 380km Meroe to Karima, Sudan

 

Longest stretch without switching off the machine to rest

KILOS COUNTRY
226km Dongola to Abri, Sudan
160km Kahama to near the Rwanda border, Tanzania
130km Somewhere in Uganda
125km Sudan, Gedaref on the way to Kahartoum, Sudan
120km Menongue,Angola

 

Most difficult stretches or encounters en route

 

PLACE REASON
Xangongo to Cahama,Southern Angola Tarmac roads to badly potholed and corrugated that one has to ride next to it on bad and uneven gravel roads
Namibe, southern Angola My bike is not built for the sand and I had to do a 3km stretch through very thick sand on the coast. I had to get off and push the bike for long distances
Pedras Negras, Northern Angola My bike got stuck to it’s chassis in wet sand and had to overnight there. The next morning 7 locals helped me to free the bike
Kwanza river, northern Angola Had to put my bike in a very small dug out canoe with both sides of the bike leaning over the edge. The current was quite strong and we had to go upstream 1st to compensate for the strong current. My heart was pumping!!
Numala, central Zambia Totally washed away roads, with the help of 3 guys we carried the bike down a 1m step. Had to put my bike in canoes again to cross the Kafue river and a small stream where 7 school children helped me
Lake Tangiynika, northern Zambia Had to carry the bike down a small and very steep foot path with the help of 2 locals. Then I had to put it in a canoe again to cross a river.
Desert of northern Kenya 375km of corrugated roads and sharp volcanic rock. Not many people and long time ago bandit region. Neville and I had an average of 25km/h. This stretch was one of the highlights for me. Off coarse also quite hot
Bale Mountains, eastern Ethiopia Much rain resulted in muddy and slippery roads at 3000m above sea level. I slipped a few times and Nevill helped me to push my bike through a ditch in the road.

 

 

Most kilos on one tank (14 litres)

502km in Northern Cyprus with 1 litre to spare

Average fuel consumption

 

35km/litre and 38-40km/liter when going slowly on gravel roads

 

Most consecutive days of riding without resting

7 Days of riding from Tasucu to Istanbul over a distance of 1736km

Average kilometres on Amandla

 

34 817km / 312 days = 111.6km

 

Record Speed on trip

 

120km/h on a downhill with a tailwind in JordanJ

 

Days on trip

 

21 March 2010 to 27 January 2011 = 312 days

 

Cost of trip

Priceless….the experienced and adventure gained is priceless:)

 

If there are any questions or things that I have missed, please leave comments and I will answer them on my blog. Also, any future travellers who have some questions that I will be able to answer please feel free to ask!!

Keep following the blog for more interesting info…

To be continued…cheers!

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