Hey hey people!!
So sorry we haven't posted for a loooong loong time! In short, wifi in Africa has been diabolical with pages taking 30mins to open and normally crashing when we go to post!
We have, however, had the most amazing, yet challenging time ever in the past 7 months and have finally managed to ride down through Africa to the very tip!
Here's a few snippets of our Charity Chasing Horizons trip so far from Europe to Cape Agulhas:
We arrived and had our bikes serviced by KTM Basel before a loooong long trip down to Kenya where we had our next. Superb guys with an awesome new kit for us to try out (Defy Series - Quest - genuinely top kit!)... we were excited and new to it all
A week on we were battling horrendous weather and frustration from breaking in our new routine, the kits and just coping with the organisation of last minute things (visas etc). We were already exhausted. It was just after Christmas and I had become very dizzy but put this down to tiredness. Two days later I ended up being rushed into hospital with suspected encephalitis. The next two weeks was diabolical after nasty hospital visits, being inappropriately touched by a doctor and passing in and out of conscious states. Fortunately, it turned out to be a sort of hepatitis strain and I made a full recovery. This piccie was taken at mid night on New Years Eve... hospital loving!
Tunisia... our first country in North Africa! We were excited and glad to slow up a bit travel wise. We met some lovely people, stayed at some beautiful places and in random peoples homes, brushed up on some Arabic and French skills, met 3 foot high chickens, were offered by the police to camp up on a roundabout in the city centre, went to Star Wars sets and rode salt pans and sand storms... we felt the trip had begun!
This place... is just simply amazing. Yes we had the heebie jeebies put in us as it was during the time of the hostage takings in Algeria and also the week previous when the ambassadors were assassinated... but we loved it. Genuine people, AMAZING Roman Ruins, so much culture and a fascinating history. We simply cannot wait to return to explore the deserts in the South.
Lady praying in the Roman Ruins at Leptis Magna
Having been held at the border at gun point for hope of sexual favours and due to not being able to speak arabic, to riding out in the middle of no where for hundreds of miles in a stunning desert... we had a varied experience of Egypt. Granted, we will never EVER go through again with our own vehicle... the expenses and pain to do so along with the abundance of corruption just far out weighed the enjoyment. But we did experience some seriously stupendous artefacts, history and culture as well as some great desert rides. A hard hard country to travel but having met some amazing people there, we did okay!
Alexandria - probably the top or on parr with the top City I enjoyed in Egypt. Lots of beautiful buildings and bustling streets.
Pyramids! Yay! Although we kept our distance and enjoyed them from a ride around the perimeters in sand instead :)
Tehir Square amidst the protests a burned out riot van. Popped there to say hi and enjoyed watching all playing football!
A trip through the deserts with wild camping.
This one took us by surprise. Loved it. Yes, we were boil in the bags (55 degrees celcius) and yes, being a Muslim country I suffered a fair whack with having to stay covered up but the riding, camping, company and people just blew us away. More pyramids than Egypt there did you know? Plus, a national park with lions and an insane amount of wildlife! Hard for climate, awesome memories.
The Aswan to Wadi Halfa ferry... this was the cargo ferry which rocked up with both our bikes on and two big cars (a landrover and land cruiser). Can you spot them!? ;)
Just one of our few campsites... no one for miles. Simply stunning.
My personal highlight... I think a top one for the whole trip up til now. The Whirling Dervishes in Khartoum, Sudan. An amazing weekly ceremony where guys dress up and spin round and round and round in circles for hours. Lots of singing, beating of the feet and just a superb ambience. Loved it.
A place which was top on my list to visit and well, it was truly gorgeous. We did have a slight concern just before having met some insane South Africans who had just travelled through Ethiopia in their car and claimed that the people there were so scary and threatening to them at one point they had to pull a cattle prod on them (we... were horrified at this!)! But, despite being quite a challenging place to get things done in (service is not high on their list ;)), the views and sites were one of a kind. I had a bit of a harsh time after I managed to get first degree burns on my legs (combo of kayaking, sun burning in 30mins and then taking doxycycline - a malaria tablet that makes sun burning UBER bad!). It meant I had to be driven about for two weeks which broke my heart but we had an amazing friend with us at the time which just made everything a million times better!
Around 4700ft up, the view was simply flabberghasting in the Simien Mountains!
My first degree burned leg. Swollen, blistered and having been trapped up a mountain in a thunder storm I made it all worse by tripping and catching my leg on a truck causing my skin to slide off. Very... very... unpleasant!
From this point in we had to pick up our feet a fair bit as we had lost about 5 weeks from my illness in Italy, delays in Egypt and a 10 day delay in Ethiopia. With the pressure to catch a flight from SA to make it to Alaska in time we had to get a move on. But. We did some awesome riding :) Kenya was so varied. We rode in via the Moyale Road as Lake Turkana was experiencing major flash floods and we had no one we could ride with there. The Moyale was an experience and a half... not necessarily technical for a biker but absolutely mentally and physically exhausting. We made it though and satisfied our three month craving of no bacon with a whole plateful from a friend in Nairobi! Nairobi itself was an eye opener... we had realised that security and safety was a major issue but not to the point of electric fences, big dogs, guards, cameras and interior gates to a house. Not only that but as we looked like tourists we had to get taxis everywhere as we were a robbery target (taxis required blacked out windows so people couldn't see us!) Madness! We met some amazing people though and it was very nice to be back in a place with supermarkets and sit down toilets! So much we didn't see which was a shame but what we did whilst riding out was beautiful.
Muddy Moyale Road
Equator Line... wooo
Again, a country we had to fly through but by far it had the most divine and just breath taking roads to ride which is all we could ask for. The main road down to Mbeya... it just stops you in your tracks. Mind blowing. Loved it, best road riding we did without fail (minus the mental buses!). Plus we got to go to the Indian Ocean which was cool as in a couple of weeks we were then at the Atlantic Ocean!
A funny little country and stupendously pretty. With a MAHOOSIVE lake surrounded by winding, perfectly tarmaced roads, a bundle of cyclists and curvaceous mountains it was a complete pleasure to ride through.
Our morning break!
We were so excited about Zambia as we were meeting up with a project which our Charity Riders has set up in Chipata! When we met them we were just in awe of the work they do, so much dedication and passion to help deliver aid, results and help out their fellow community. It blew us away. The generosity of this country is phenomenal too, all muddled in with some truly wonderful sights too. Beautiful country.
Riders for Health HQ in Chipata
I think we found another favourite country here. So so vast, so varied and extremely camping friendly. We thoroughly enjoyed it here from riding with elephants, spotting dinosaur tracks, stroking a wild rhino, visiting ship wrecks, riding to the edge of Fish Canyon, dunes, the atlantic and seals that sound like a million chewbaccas. We are definitely returning here!
Ship wreck on the skeleton coast
Keeping fit - skipping in the morning mists
Dirt track riding
Again, sad we had to cut this one short but a really stunning place to be. We saw some sweeeeeet sunsets, amazing coastal lines, mountains and well so much more.
Actual colours... lush eh?
Agulhas - the tip of Africa - we made it!!
Leaving our mark in the Agulhas Backpackers place... wicked wicked hostel!
A complete culture shock being back in a fully fledged westernised world. Traffic, people, more people, everything at the tip of your fingers and more, food and lots of it and super high costs after being used to paying peanuts for everything! We have met some incredibly kind and sweet people and had a thoroughly great time. It took a few days to get over the manicness and jet lag but we're back into the swing of it all now. Cool city to be in!
Not so much graffiti in NYC which is a shame really, we like street art! See... it looks awesome
The end is nigh... but the beginning of our USA trip has only just begun!
Annnd that's a brief up of what we've been doing! Our website has been a pain in the derriere to upload anything and it's very out of date but this is all changing now we have wifi. Generally speaking though we have posted loads on our Facebook page and we are now updating it frequently (daily now, although some of the off road we will be doing in Canada may reduce it to weekly).
We have a load of reviews coming on things we've done, taken, ridden with, ridden on, visas, how to cross etc but this may take a couple of weeks to get up to date fully!
Please do come join in the fun:http://www.facebook.com/chasinghorizons
Thanks all for your support to date, you've all been mega :)