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Story by Dieter Sowade
 …. and in this case the “ three goats” were Peter Löffler (HOG Free Chapter Cape Town) and Dieter & Devon Sowade (Father / Son – Members of HD Chapter Cape Town and Owner – The Viper Lounge Cape Town).

Peter, Devon and Wolf-Dieter setting off from Cape Town

Peter, Devon and Wolf-Dieter setting off from Cape Town

Although most people declared us totally insane when we told them what we were planning and what BIKES we were taking, being “Zee Reeesonable Germans” that we are, we stuck to our guns and proceeded to get our “affairs in order”. This amounted to a number of visits to the Travel Clinic for shots against every known disease (and some still to be invented) as well Malaria Tabs and some general health advice. Fortunately EBOLA had not yet reached where we intended going so that wasn’t really ever a threat. As far as visas go, do yourself a favour and avoid the mind numbing exercise of doing this yourself and get an accredited visa bureau to handle these matters for you. Yes, it costs a bit but it’s worth it.

With regard to the bikes, get a Carnet de Passage for you bike from the AA and besides whatever insurance you may have for your bike, use the first opportunity you have along the way, to buy COMESA insurance which is currently valid in 16 African Countries. Whilst you will STILL be “ripped” for country specific insurances, road tax, carbon emission tax and every other nonsense they can think of, the carnet and COMESA make life a lot easier at borders, road blocks and so on. While you are at it, get an International Driver’s License (also from the AA) and make multiple certified copies of everything AND take photographs of all your documents with your phone. Like that, should any “ossifer of the law” wish to “retain” your papers for “official purposes” you can tell him to keep them – provided of course you gave him copies in the first place.  The bikes amounted to:

My 2012 POLARIS VICTORY Cross Country which started out with 65,500km on the clock

Our 2010 HD Ultra with 96,000km on it and

Peter’s 2010 HD Road King with around 11,000km on the clock

……and I’m pretty sure that once we were beyond Lusaka NO VICTORY or HD has been to some of the places that we visited and this claim is largely supported by the reaction of the locals that MOBBED us whenever we stopped anywhere.

All 3 bikes got the “Full Monty” before we departed and were shod with brand new Pirelli Night Dragon tyres and in spite of (each bike) taking an ELEVEN THOUSAND KM beating on often, non- existent “tar roads” they and the tyres performed faultlessly and the worst mishap was a blown fuse on the Ultra.

With our personal gear and all the other stuff that we took with us (99% of which we didn’t need – but you never know) each bike weighed in at around 700 kg once we were on them and on Monday 1st September 2014 it was finally time to “rock and roll” and we left from The Viper Lounge, Table View at around 9h00.

Day 1 took us to Springbok with all the usual stops at Klawer and so on and I will NEVER moan about the “same old- same old” at the WIMPY ….. little did we know what was to come. The same goes for SA in general and believe me when I tell you that in SA we DON’T live in Africa – THAT starts a little further North!!!!

Day 2 saw us crossing into Namibia and having been there many times I simply LOVE filling in the Arrival/Departure Form which clearly NOBODY ever reads, as follows:

How much money you going to spend – LOTS!

Mode of Travel – SEA!  (Vioolsdrif is in the middle of the desert)

Final Destination – Joe’s Bierhaus Windhoek

Contact Person – The Barman at Joe’s

Somewhere in Namibia and no waitress in sight!

Somewhere in Namibia and no waitress in sight!

This has now been accepted a few times with not even a raised eyebrow but I suppose one of these days my luck WILL run out and someone will read my form.

Anyway, we DID make Joe’s Bierhaus that night and the accommodation around the corner at Hotel Pension New Nouveau was very good and judging by all the hunting trophies (including a Grizzly Bear) that the lady owner has hanging all over the place she is a shot crack ….. or is that a crack shot?

For me, Day 3 was actually the real start of the tour as I hadn’t been beyond Windhoek in years and with good roads and little traffic once past Okahandja, we were soon headed for Rundu and the Ngandu River Lodge. Whilst the Lodge itself wasn’t bad, the rooms were NOT great (nothing worked and no hot water) and when I asked about their (advertised) casino the reply was “eish – she is steel coming “. I wasn’t going to wait ….

The first crossing of the Tropic of Capricorn. We would cross it again two weeks later.

The first crossing of the Tropic of Capricorn. We would
cross it again two weeks later.

Day 4 and we were heading for Katima Mulilo (The Place that Quenches Fire) and The Caprivi River

Lodge and I now have a great collection of roadside danger signs warning you about everything from wild pigs to elephants to painted/wild dogs.

The Caprivi Lodge on the banks of the Zambezi proved to be a real GEM and the only “downer” was that the security guard pinched a jacket (which he of course denied) but, finding the (detachable) sleeves in his guard hut “kind of” sealed his fate and we believe he has been fired and the lodge reimbursed us in full for the jacket – 10 out of 10!!!

The Botswana border crossing

The Botswana border crossing

The next day, Day 5, we struck out for Botswana and the border crossing at Ngoma was easy enough.

A short distance beyond the border the tell-tale dung on the road actually turned into REAL elephants and it was an uncanny feeling sitting on a BIKE with these gentle giants grazing just a few meters away. As I couldn’t remember if elephants were carnivorous I kept the motor running “just in case” and when my son blipped the throttle on his Ultra they took off.

By lunch we had reached the oasis that is The Chobe Safari Lodge and in spite of the price we treated ourselves to a River Boat Safari which will be etched in my memory for ever. Elephants, Hippos, Crocs, Buffalo and all types of buck as far as the eye can see and from the top deck of our river boat, cold beer in hand, we could almost reach out and touch them whilst observing that fabled Chobe River Sunset.

Day 6 was a hop and a skip into “Mad Bob” country and my ever efficient PA (Elaine) had found us rooms in The Kingdom Hotel at Vic Falls.  The porters and a Chinese (?) Tour Group couldn’t get enough of “Ahhh Sahh – Victoly & Hally Dahvidson – Hahhhhh !”  Once checked in we booked a Helicopter Flip over the falls and its true what they say, unless you’ve seen them from the air, you cannot fully comprehend how they “work” and the sight of the falls from high up in the sky is simply magnificent. They truly are “The Smoke that Thunders”…

Day 7 next and we were in Zambia where, at the border post, they had the most scary looking nurse checking your temperature to see if you were a possible EBOLA candidate. As I had a bit of a cold I was petrified that I would need to be “examined” by her but fortunately I passed her “Draculanian Stare” without a hitch. Whilst an AK 47 armed soldier “looked after” our bikes, we were “dragged” behind a wooden hut where we (dubiously) purchased our COMESA insurance and by the way, the smaller your engine capacity, the less you pay, so in no time at all our 103 Ultra and the 106 VICTORY Cubic INCHES became Cubic CENTIMETERS and off we went. Its NOW that you get your first “taste” of the REAL Africa …… starting with GOATS that do roam!

In Chichi they had plenty of petrol but no ‘lek-tricity so we waited until that came back. Apparently Lusaka was having a party and it (the ‘lek-tricty) was needed there. On the point of petrol we didn’t REALLY need the spare 5L we were carrying per bike but a) NEVER trust the map or “Garmin” with regard to petrol stations as, what was here today could be gone tomorrow and b) wherever you may find yourself, some enterprising local will have a stash somewhere which he will sell you – at exorbitant prices of course. c) In any event make sure you have a range of at least 300kms in your tank and remember that you will hardly ever get over 120 km/h due to the road conditions so most bikes with 23L (+) should easily cope with the distances between fill ups.

Around Kafue the roads get pretty rough and with no shoulder or run off area it’s SUCH A THRILL when you crest a blind rise and there are THREE trucks side by side coming at you,  vying for “who gets over the top first”. Hiding in the road side bushes was the ONLY option. The road down to Siyavonga on the shores of Lake Kariba could be any bikers DREAM as its superbly curved and banked but you dare not run this stretch at speed due to the pot holes, the often unmarked METER high (I exaggerate) speed bumps as you come through villages and the 2 METER high discrepancy between the road surface and some bridge approaches.

On the final stretch to Kariba we were suddenly being “hunted” by a blacked out Nissan Navara only to discover that this was my friend (Ian Shriek) who works and lives on Kariba and who we were going to see. Once we stopped trying to outrun him we were rewarded with a VERY welcome cold beer (Mozi) and from that moment on Ian and his friends were THE most incredible hosts on the entire trip. You may not know him but call me and I’ll give you his number and I’m sure he’ll welcome your visit as, down there, they are starved for folk who “smaak praating English PROPER”.

En route to Siyavonga on Lake Kariba

En route to Siyavonga on Lake Kariba

After 2 days of boating, wining & dining at Kariba we HAD to say goodbye and headed back the way we came to Lusaka. One interesting fact (Urban Myth?) about Kariba …… The Engineer that designed the dam(n) wall designed a total of 13 dams in his life and out of all of them, Kariba is the ONY one left standing….. F(l)ood for thought ????

The approach to Lusaka is “terrifying” to say the least and from around 15 km out, you hit road-works and stop-goes which are controlled by a little man with a green and a red flag. There’s just ONE problem! The little man is talking to another little man and in doing so, is explaining himself with the 2 flags so the result is that NOBODY knows what is going on so EVERYONE GOES! This results in a Chaos of Epic Proportions and all you can do is close your eyes (against the dust) and ALSO GO! The city center is not much better and robots of ANY colour (if they work) mean absolutely NOTHING and it took about 3 hours to fight our way through this mayhem to reach the “Great North Road”. Just as you exit Lusaka, on your left, you will find the (under construction) Stadium of Heroes that was meant to be finished in 2010. I trust they will now affix a plaque for us as well as, once we had made it, we felt like Hannibal crossing the Alps.

Beyond Lusaka you are now on THE GREAT NORTH ROAD but trust me there’s nothing GREAT about it and between GOATS, 1000s of people walking about, trucks, taxis and HUGE, runaway veld fires that engulf the road for km on end, you get exhausted just watching out for all that  – never mind the potholes. At Kapiri Mposhi the road splits and we were now on the T2 headed for Serenje skirting along the border to the DRC. The traffic calms down a bit but everything else stays the same and just to make sure that we didn’t  relax too much, we ran into a severe thunder storm and the heavens opened.

They said it never rains this time of the year in Serenje

They said it never rains this time of the year in Serenje

Whilst Serenje is pretty much of a muchness and makes a down trodden impression, The Mapontela Guesthouse was GREAT and whilst basic, it was clean, had a bar (that could have used a bit more stock) and the T-Bone that we had for dinner was good – although we couldn’t figure out T- Bone of WHAT it was.

The evening was spent chatting to the VERY friendly staff and the locals and as had become our habit by now, it was lights out by 22h00.

Day 8 and we’re still heading North. Based on the recommendation of a friend we decided to brave 35 km of “good” dirt road to get to Kapishya Hot Springs and after a river crossing or two and nearly 2 hours of wrestling our monsters along this “not so good” road we had made it and were rewarded by PARADISE! On the way we passed Shiwa House and the whole area is stunningly beautiful and steeped in colonial history (Google it). At the entrance to Shiwa stands a steam tractor which, when it first arrived in Dar Es Salaam in the early 1900s, took TWO YEARS to drive to where it is today and had I been the driver I would have told the boss where to stick his job ….

Kapishya Lodge

Kapishya Lodge

Situated on the banks of the Mansha River, Kapishya is HEAVEN ON EARTH and Mike (the Major Domo) is a wealth of information about the area. A beautiful main lodge, fabulous chalets, a sparkling river, good food, a WELL stocked bar and the NATURAL HOT SPRING POOL in the middle of the African Bush really captured our imagination as a result of which we decided to stay for 2 nights.

On day 10 we “fought” our way back to the tar road and headed (still North) for the Zambia / Tanzania border at Nakonde / Tunduma. Now The Great North Road gets really “interesting” and at times there’s no tar left for km or, it’s actually better riding on the dirt next to the road. The countryside is littered with shattered and burnt out truck, trailer, bus and car wrecks and with 1000s of tankers hauling fuel to Zambia from the coast it’s like riding in a Demolition Derby. We had more than one close call. The villages (which had started as far back as Caprivi) carry on in an unbroken chain and you’ve hardly got into top gear when it’s time to slam on anchors again to slow down for the next one. Let’s NOT discuss the rumble strips, speed bumps and other “traffic calming devices” such as police checks and GOATS.

God alone knows what all these people do and how they make a living but (sadly) everywhere you look, poverty is the name of the game. One industry which is already having disastrous side effects is the making of charcoal which the locals make by cutting down ALL the best hardwood trees (as they make the best charcoal) and the result is that as far as the eye can see very few “good” trees remain and it’s only a question of time before there’s nothing left.  Thankfully Baobabs which can be 1000s of years old have a special place in African Folklore so for now, they are relatively safe from harm. The same by the way goes for anything edible outside the game reserves and in some places even birds are a rarity and they reckon that in the next 10 – 15 years the population is going to double . Then came the border crossing from the darkest corners of HADES…

As you approach Nakonde the tar road has given up a long time ago and endless queues of trucks line the road on both sides. Apparently some have been there for “weeks” waiting to get across and while I didn’t count them, there’s at least 10 000 people trying to get IN and the same amount trying to get OUT of Tanzania.

Vendors selling every conceivable thing under the sun are offering you their fly covered wares and there are NO signs telling you were to go or what to do.

In 37°C windless heat, the dust simply hangs there and (at all borders) make sure you have plenty of liquids with you as we consumed at least 3L of water each while we waited in the blistering sun. As camouflage clothing appears to be quiet the vogue, you have no idea who is an official and who isn’t and you are surrounded by so called “helpers” who promise to get you across the border in no time at all.  When I grabbed one guy’s lanyard to inspect it, he WAS an OFFICIAL … Shelf Packer at Shoprite!!!!!!

Fortunately by now however, we had become wise to these characters and my best advice is DO NOT use them or, at the very least determine EXACTLY what they are going to do for you and agree on a price BEFORE you take them on as, anything else can get VERY costly (and nasty) afterwards. In our case we decided that we were perfectly capable of getting OUT of Zambia by ourselves and in most cases this is pretty quick and easy. If you really don’t know where to go, watch a “truckie” or any local and simply follow them.

To get into Tanzania we decided to make use of a “helper” that was pointed out to us by an armed security guard who also chased away at least 50 “helpers” that were trying to “help” my son draw money from an ATM. In spite of this it eventually took 100 000 Tanzanian Shillings and about 5 hours to get IN and the biggest problem was that the guy that needed to stamp the one form we still needed,  was on lunch and – wait for ithad taken the stamp with him and was nowhere to be found.

The high light of the next day was that when we were leaving Tanzania, the guy at the other border post informed us that the paper we had waited for so patiently was not needed at all and with that he tore it up and chucked it away. We were ready to kill!

One other thing….. DO NOT change money with an of the “helpers” as a) you’ll get a lousy rate b) they may try and give you money that is outdated and worth NOTHING and c) if you have no choice and MUST do business with them, count what you’re giving and taking THREE times in front of the “helper” and even then, the one guy managed to make 50 000 shillings disappear in front of my eyes. By comparison Houdini was a beginner!  (By the way – if anyone is interested, I have about 20 000 Malawian Kwacha that are no longer valid and as the paper is too hard to be used on your “nether regions” {I tried} you may want to use them as wall paper.)

The “Great North Road” beyond Lusaka

The “Great North Road” beyond Lusaka

All of this border nonsense resulted in us running very late and with the roads unchanged from Zambia we only made Mbeya well after sunset. NOT a good idea as besides everything else, Tanzanian Motorists do not believe in switching on their lights after dark but fortunately they all “decorate” their cars with cheap Chinese “disco lights” so you have a 1 in 10000 chance of spotting them in time but it’s like riding through a swarm of giant fireflies.  Needless to say we lost our way until a “knight” on one of millions of cheap 250cc Korean “Junkets” took pity on us and led us through the bush to our accommodation – The Utengule Coffee Lodge. Unlike the knights of old who did things out of chivalry, our one charged us 40 000 shillings for the “guided tour”. The Lodge and the staff however made up for it ALL and once again we had a great evening, with good food and plenty to drink and the Souf Efrican Contractor we met there had tears in his eyes when I addressed him in “The Taal”.

Just beyond Mbeya was as far North as we intended to go and at Uyole we swung right towards the Karonga Border Post and into Malawi. Down the shores of Lake Malawi we went and whenever the potholes allowed it, we enjoyed the splendid views over The Lake as well as the stunning pass that takes you back “inland” again.

During a roadside smoke break, just past some huts, we experienced REAL Rasta Hospitality when the owner of the huts, with dreadlocks down to his knees insisted we come and sit in his “bar”. Moments later cold Carlsberg Beer was served and dried Kapentas (Fresh Water Sardines) were offered but we declined the generously sized “doobies” that could also be had. Whilst we chilled in the shade of the little “afdak” Bob Marley was “doin his thing Mon” from a tortured little TV and when it came to paying the bill it was “Hay Mon – whatever you think….” So we left him R200.00.

Next up was Mzuzu where we “took refuge” at Joy’s Place – a basic, but clean backpackers run by a feisty Korean Lady called Joy. Hence the name I suppose.

The Rasta Pub in Malawi

The Rasta Pub in Malawi

There was a bar, she made us a good stir-fry dinner, the showers were hot and we were tired.  Life was good!

The following morning , staying on the Lake Road we motored through Rubber Tree Plantations where youngster try and sell you football sized “bouncy balls” and we wondered why half the population was walking and cycling South and the other half North? By nightfall we reached Blantyre and from the basics of Joy’s we ended up in the 5 Star luxury that is The Protea Ryalls Hotel in Blantyre.  Just before we reached the hotel, we came to a complete standstill in the middle of the road as we were “mobbed” by 1000s of fans whose soccer team had obviously just won their game so, what initially was a frightening scene to behold as they descended on us like locusts, turned out to be a great welcome as they streamed past us in obvious ecstasy.

Then it was Mozambique’s turn and we crossed the border at Zobue headed for Tete.  Whilst Tete is surprisingly big, the North of Moz is very rural, dry, looks poverty stricken and during the day the temperature gauge on my Victory showed 43°C! FRELIMO was doing their best to get the local population to “VOTA FRELIMO” in the upcoming elections and like ALL political parties the posters and banners that covered every available space promised a better life for ALL. Like everywhere else of course, nobody really knows who “ALL” are but I pray that ALL really means ALL and not just ALL politicians that come to power. Time will tell….

The (tar) road to Chimoio is mostly a rutted hell ride and after filling up at the only petrol station for MILES and the “jockey” only offering 20 Meticais (as opposed to 30) to 1 USD , I was ready to plant him when he said : “You want petrol or better exchange rate ? Petrol you ride – exchange rate you walk!” How do you argue with that?

As a result of the road and the bush fires that were raging everywhere, which made the air unbreathable and the sun set at 16h30, we reached Chimoio after dark only to discover that “Hab – Dab” was a Halaal Guesthouse with not even the whiff of a beer in sight. I suppose the name should have been a “warning”. Too tired to really care we checked in and once again it was clean and tidy and in any event we found a decent enough restaurant and bar around the corner so the evening was saved by the Bell(s).

Dusty and untarred as Chimoio was, I was most impressed with the “all night” street sweepers that ensure the whole town was spotlessly clean at sunrise. Job creation ….. THERE you go!

The next day was an easy ride and we reached Vilankulo by lunch. As this lies on more or less on the same latitude as “Mau Rish Ass” it felt and looked the same but the heat and the humidity were forgotten as soon as we had checked in at the Vilankulo Beach Resort (Lodge). We were once again in PARADISE and the manager (Roger & his wife) made us SUPER WELCOME. A stunning chalet, crystal clear and warm Indian Ocean waters, a pool, lush lawns and a seafood platter “wat skrik vir niks” made for a superb stay. Did I mention the bar ……?

Vilankulo Beach Resort

Vilankulo Beach Resort

The following morning the road beckoned yet again and we were off to Xai Xai (pronounced Shai Shai) where we were “hijacked” by Scott – the very gregarious owner of the Reef Lodge who led the way along a very sandy beach road on his Quad and I promptly dropped my bike. Fortunately, no damage done in the soft beach sand. Yet another stunning lodge and the restaurant “Café Pescador” which we promptly renamed “Piss Cat Dor” served a fine dinner and the wine was chilled to perfection. Somewhere in the evening’s conversation Scott mentioned that the Prime Minister of Moz was also staying there that night and in hindsight I should probably have taken note.

The next morning when I stepped out onto the balcony of my chalet with coffee and smoke in hand to watch the whales in the bay I greeted the fellow on the veranda next to me with a friendly “HOWZIT !” Upon my enquiry as to his “personage” he explained that HE was the Prime Minister (Alberto Vaquina) of Moz and having forgotten about Scott’s “caution” the night before my reply was: “Yeah Right You Are – and I am Donald Duck”. It was only then that I spotted the 2 bodyguards brandishing AK 47s and with that I apologized for my oversight and crept back into my hole. Geeez – talk about getting it wrong!!

From Xai Xai we headed for Maputo and although we had been warned, NOTHING could have prepared us for our next encounter. About 20 km out, the road is under SERIAAAS construction and the (red) sand that makes up the soil around here has been pulverized into the finest Talcum Powder which gets into every orifice. The temperature rose to around 47°C and we were locked in a maelstrom of traffic. We couldn’t see, we couldn’t breathe and for about 1 hour we were riding in a road melee of Biblical Extent. Close to the city center I spotted a tree and with our last strength and gasping for air, we managed to “Moto X” into the shade where we took a while to recover.

Once ready to go we however discovered that the bikes had sunk into the damn sand, so after much heaving and pushing we were as exhausted as we had been by the time we got back on the tar again. Thankfully the 10 Star oasis known as the Polana Hotel beckoned and we felt like “time travelers” when an hour later we were sitting on the shaded veranda with white gloved waiters serving us Vodka Tonics. In a word, The Polana is UP THERE with the best in the world and by the time Sushi was served that evening, the day’s tribulations were a distant memory. The following morning, as we headed out of Maputo towards the Namaacha Border Post to Swaziland, we discovered that the rumble of the bikes was setting off car alarms and as we watched in our review mirrors we observed 7 kinds of pandemonium breaking loose as 100s of cars started hooting as we went by. A fitting “au revoir” don’t you think?

The road to the border was a welcome relief and as we started climbing the escarpment that leads into Swaziland the air cooled and cleared and the view was stunning. Along the road, crumbling military installations and fortifications still whisper their tales of the (hopefully) bygone war in Moz and the town of Namaacha was downright eyrie with HUGE churches, palaces and other government buildings abandoned and staring silently down at us. What stories they could tell and WHY leave them to crumble and collapse when all around people are living in hovels??

Traffic stop in Swaziland, but only to check the bikes out!

Traffic stop in Swaziland, but only to check the bikes out!

The Swaziland Border folk were probably the best anywhere as they were friendly and welcoming and getting through was a breeze.  With Ok – ish roads and some great mountain scenery we arrived at Piggs Peak mid – afternoon and whilst this resort’s “hey days” are long gone it was GOOD all round. A surprise meeting with an old friend and the fact that it was raining the next day “decided us” to stay for 2 nights, which gave us the opportunity to explore some of the surrounding sights such as Maguga Dam – well worth a visit but watch out for cattle and ….. you guessed it ….. GOATS!

With only Sunday traffic and the first real High Way since we had left CT 21 days ago on the way to Mbabane, we swept through Swaziland. Along the way we met a really friendly traffic cop on a bike who was patrolling the area in anticipation of the King’s arrival and when we rode past the HUGE PARTY he was having in some roadside marquees we waived – but I don’t think he (The King) waived back. We exited at the Mahamba Border Post and now “blasted” down to Vryheid where ……. we had our fist WIMPY in 3 weeks and nothing ever tasted better.

From Vryheid to Harrismith and down into the Golden Gate National Park we went and in a nutshell, I was “gob smacked” at the sheer beauty of this ride as well as the mountains and rock formations that we motored through. Note to self: “Go there (Golden Gate) again soon!” As you come out of the park you arrive in the tranquil little town of Clarens and WHAT a pleasure this place is. Whilst it’s a little out of keeping with its surrounds, The Protea Clarens proved to be a good choice and it’s just a bit “HIP” for the rural setting but “lekker” nonetheless.

Monday 22nd September saw us heading for Lesotho which was our 9th and last country that we “HAD” to traverse and after a short stop in Maseru we headed for Mafeteng. The “K R S” (K** Road Syndrome) so prevalent in the rest of Africa has already “infected” Lesotho but in spite of the warnings regarding an impending coup d’état everything appeared normal and calm. WHY would anyone want to fight about running this postage stamp sized country anyway?

Finally back in South Africa

Finally back in South Africa

Our final re-entry to SA was at Van Rooyensnek Gate (Redneck Gate?) and just to REALLY peeve us off, someone has taken away the tar road that is clearly shown on the map down to Zastron and a hot and dusty gravel road has taken its place. Once again we were “running late” so a bit of a high speed cruise into the setting sun had us at Gariep Dam just as it got dark and the De Stijl Hotel (a favourite haunt of mine) had organized a stunning electrical storm that broke over the dam as we settled down for dinner. It just DOESN’T get any better!!

The following day it was time to say “good bye” to Peter who needed to get back to Cape Town and seeing as my son had had enough of me he chose to accompany him and they made The Mother City by late afternoon.

My adventure wasn’t entirely over and after another chill day at Gariep I set off to East London via Tarkastad and Hofmeyer. With the thunder storm still “hunting me” I rode for over 150 km without seeing a single other vehicle or human being and once again I had that “on another planet” feeling which was only underlined when a bolt of lightning hit the road side so close that I actually felt the heat coming off it. AMAZING and as the saying goes, if you have to ask, you wouldn’t understand.

In East London I caught up with a few of my “Ghabas” and on Friday I struck out for The Camdeboo Rally In Graaff Reinet  via Fort Beaufort and Somerset East.

Who said a heavy tourer can’t do dirt roads?

Who said a heavy tourer can’t do dirt roads?

Just outside Cookhouse with me watching my odometer like a hawk, the long awaited 10000 km came up on “Trip 2” and I celebrated the event in the Somerset East Hotel Bar with a beer in the company of the barman – “Ek weet Nie Piet”. I had met him some years before and my nickname for him stems from the fact that you can ask him ANYTHING and his answer is: “Ek sal nie weet nie – Oom”.

Great as the GR (Camdeboo) Rally Set Up and meeting up with many friends from CT was, on Saturday morning I NEEDED to get home and I turned my back on Africa one last time and headed down the N1. 7 hours later and with 10 854 kms on the clock I stopped outside my shop and now……. my beachfront flat seems SO VERY small and the city is just SO noisy and crowded!

I once took a ride through Africa …

Wolf-Dieter, Devon Sowade and Peter Löffler

Hein Jonker

Editor & Chief Instructor of Bike Talk SA

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2 Responses

  1. Gys says:

    Would like to contact you. Please mail your details to email below.
    Got some questions on the tour.



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