Joined: Jun 2005
Location: Eastern Cape, South Africa
The next morning before sunrise I’m up to take a couple of pics.
When the first rays flow down onto the beach, Hennie and his bike are there to receive the blessing.
Here’s my lodgings for the night.
This boat sank during the night.
Not a problem for the owner and in short thrift it is recovered and fitted out with mast and sails. The fish ain’t gonna catch themselves.
Feathered fishermen also start their day of toil.
I just love Baobabs. Nardus getting ready for the day’s ride.
Some of us applied our minds when we pulled up the previous afternoon, some of us did not.
The early morning riding is easy and pleasant as can be. The crop on the left is cassava, more about that later.
We get drawn to a pub by the blaring speakers. Nardus dances an ethnic jig because life is good man, life is great.
Maybe I should qualify that, life is great for all of us except Hennie. Look at that face (on the right).
Somewhere he picked up a stomach bug and today is going to be the day that he would rather forget.
We settle in to enjoy some breakfast beers while Hennie disappears off into the bush.
This is where the music is powered from.
We quickly draw spectators.
By the way, the beer we are having is Castle Milk Stout. Very dark, very sweet, plenty strong and it is often used by new mothers to get their breasts lactating.
Yes, good shit. You don’t need no breakfast if you have two or three of these. Did I mention they were warm?
Arty Aqualine pic.
Mattel hasn’t reached everywhere yet.
Self portrait; the day was heating up nicely.
I want to get to a 'lodge' owned and run by the local population. The problem is that I have only read about it and we have no idea where it is. It is on the lake though so we keep going north, hugging the lake on increasingly diminishing tracks. This is our second day of riding where the GPS has no tracks. The new version of Tracks 4 Africa will be more complete, you can thank me later.
Very good riding and lovely scenery.
Here and there we are made to work though.
That there is a brand new bike. Damn!
As the heat intensifies, so does the terrain.
This is bad news for Hennie, he looks like shit and we start to worry that it might be malaria. He does not have a headache though, so we hope for the best and he soldiers on. Well maybe soldier is not the word, more like flounder.
At one stage I take Hennie’s bike down an ugly section and the next thing Nardus and his behemoth come storming down the mountain and he takes out my parked bike. Those 950s can keep a line, whether you want them to or not.
Where ever we stop for a break, Hennie uses his opportunities, and orifices, all of them.
What can you do? We wait and amuse ourselves with tall stories.
We were to see many of these beautiful trees.
Hennie; wondering how long this day is going to be.
On the advice of locals we swing away from the greenery next to the lake.
We have to cross some mountains, or rather hills, to do a loop into the interior before we can reach the lake again. Like this.
A lot of it is navigating by intuition, we don’t do too badly though.
The heat is something fierce here, but the most excellent paadjies makes up for it.
Now and then we need to stop and regroup, as two of us scout tracks, while two wait to see if it is the right way.
Things are going a bit slow, so I amuse myself with the camera.
Another self portrait, I’m the guy in the glasses.
Hennie’s diminishing powers has him at wits end. Every time he needs a little muscle, he doesn’t have it and he goes down.
Even my bike seems to be feeling a little weak in the knees.
The bikes are starting to show some wear.
Still, when we get to ride on top of the hills, it is Nirvana.
We can finally get some airflow over the radiators, and our heads, which is a relief.
Periodically we come to areas that are burnt. This was to be a common sight for the full duration of our trip in Moz.
New life giving the ashes the finger.
We stop once we reach a marked road again with the idea to lie down in the shade for half an hour. Within two minutes we realize that the heat will kill us, much better to keep riding and generate air flow. So we continue.
After going down a couple of dead end tracks, we get back to the lake again.
We don’t waste much time getting in the water. Today is also the first day that we start drinking lake water. We used what water we had in the hills.
Not much further and we get to the lodge I was looking for.
It’s heydays clearly over, we are the only guests.
It has basic huts and wonderful views.
We are very happy to be here though and the staff are very happy to have us. Someone is sent to fetch beer and 20 minutes later we wade into warm Black Labels. When I say warm, I mean 28-30 degrees Celsius.
For a snack we have some cassava (or manioc as it is known elsewhere) prepared. It is a root that can be fried, boiled, mashed, eaten raw and much more. Throughout Africa it is used to still hunger pains, it can grow anywhere. This is what it looks like.
The lodge is situated on a scenic peninsula, really an ideal spot. Reminds me of the Seychelles.
These kids had a whale of a time until they were chased away by the staff.
While all this joy of life stuff is going on, Hennie is down for the count.
Check out the sail on this mokoro.
We ordered chicken and msima for lunch and it is served under the beach pergola. These guys are looking after us really well. Even the beer goes down to 26 degrees after being kept under a wet towel.
How’s this for lunch with a view?
Having eaten well, and deserving a bit of rest, we spend the afternoon horizontally.
Peace descends upon the valley.
metaljockey screwed with this post 04-05-2009 at 11:17 PM