06-06-2010, 07:39 AM
Joined: Jun 2005
Location: Eastern Cape, South Africa
Mutinondo River to civilization
We get our things loaded up and as Hennie swings his helmet onto his head his eye catches something sitting in the earwell.
Damn, that could have been unpleasant. When we poke at it to try and get it to pose nicely for a photo, it scurries off into the inner recesses of the helmet. Hennie makes it clear to me that we will not move from here until the scorpion is retrieved. Wuss.
So we spend the better part of an hour stripping everything out of the helmet until we get to the little guy, looking a bit worse for wear.
Pulling out of camp, the road is ready to mess with us right from the word go.
Hennie gets himself stuck in a rut at 430m.
I make it to 640m before I topple over.
Bloody demoralizing when basic obstacles make you look like a total incompetent.
Even more demoralizing when my bike will not start after we picked it up, because the battery is flat. The alternator is specced so low that it can not even keep a charge up if the fan is continuously running , like it did yesterday.
So running it downhill to jumpstart it, I lose the 640m I gained for the day.
When I pull my helmet back on something with a proper venom bites me on the forehead. (Upon taking apart my helmet for washing some days later I found it to have been a centipede)
When we get up the hill things go a lot better and we are able to make rapid progress, still lots of sandy tracks, and my confidence is a bit bruised but in relation to the grass forest of yesterday, this is luxury.
We also reach the escarpment where we climb up out of the Rift Valley, very beautiful, tight and technical but we do not stop for pics, I need to get a charge into the battery.
We do stop halfway up for a rest when that Mr Bean feeling invades our limbs again.
When we get to the top of the escarpment we find a control point, (still no beer, four days now...)and in the control book we notice that the previous vehicle signed out in December 2009. That must have been the bastard that made the deep ruts.
From here the last 30 odd kms is beautiful hard packed road and we smile all the way to the junction with the Great North Road.
Well, that's about it as far as the real trip goes. From here on we have to do about 1400km on tar down to Kasane in Botswana where our wives will meet us for some R&R which we sorely need.
The tar run turns out to be a running battle to keep the X going. Suffice to say that when I go on a bike trip to another country, I want to see new and wondrous things, I want to drink beer with the locals and ride entertaining terrain.
What I do not want to do, is to be making shims from Fray Bentos tins.
Nor do I want to be welding safety critical components in the bundu.
Although I must say, this tractor driven alternator welder is the sweetest welder I have ever used.
Nor do I want to spend hours under a hot tin roof having proper parts made up to replace the poor quality shit BMW chose to equip this bike with.
Crossing the Zambezi marks the end of the trip.
From day one until we hit the tar to return to Kasane, I only had dry boots for two days. The Zambezi makes sure we leave with wet boots just for old times sake. The river is so high you get offloaded in the water.
metaljockey screwed with this post 06-23-2010 at 02:07 PM