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:
|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 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
|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
|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|
Most difficult stretches or encounters en route
|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!