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Old 05-07-2009, 01:44 PM   #1
Tapeworm OP
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Location: Tanzania, East Africa
Oddometer: 15
Mozambique on a KTM690

The plan - From Indian Ocean to Lake Malawi and back.

Based in Tanzania, we have been talking about this one for a long time and finally got a gap after a short rainy season left the area not-flooded for a change.

"Prego no Pao" - as we planned it:




The crew: Klavs (KTM690), Babu (KTM525), myself (KTM690)

Pulling the bikes down to the Mozam border we ran into yet another KTM rider coming up from South Africa. These orange things are getting pretty popular in the bush over here...




Heading for the border early sunday morning, we went 20km on broken tar in the wrong direction, with 2 gps switched on... finally figuring out how the arrow works, Babu's KTM started loosing power. Twisting the throttle, the problem seemed to go away momentarily. Looking back, Babu noticed a shiny back rack where his fender pack used to be and the smell of burning socks coming off the exhaust... Yup, a great start indeed...

Babu's one and only T-shirt




The new improved fender pack with the old medical kit ripped to bits (including the contents).




Passing through the immigration and customs with no issues, we reached the river crossing. Starting price for a boat ride was $150 per person, but after Klavs's kiswahili bargaining skills kicked in, we got onboard for $25 each.







The Ruvuma river - 2km wide at the crossing point




Finally into Mozambique and again no hassles at the border post. Moz can be quite dry and barren, but after the rainy season the jungle is lush green with elephant grass shooting up everywhere.




With dry throats we chased through the twisties until we finally reached the coast in a cowboy town of note - Mocimboa da Praia. Feeling very pleased with my make-shift-rig for holding a giantloop bag, i noticed something black on the exhaust, that sidi boot kind a black...







Finding some cold ones, spirits were high and things were looking promising with all the bugs sorted out, or so we thought.

Tapeworm screwed with this post 05-08-2009 at 04:06 AM
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:35 PM   #2
Sideoff
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Awesome! Looking forward to more. Headed over to southern Moz with some buddies next US winter...

Sideoff screwed with this post 05-07-2009 at 03:45 PM
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:43 PM   #3
GB
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Buckled in for an epic adventure

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Old 05-07-2009, 11:15 PM   #4
metaljockey
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Bliksems! This is going to be good, I can feel it in my pants.

You've got scarily little luggage for a trip of that magnitude.
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:16 AM   #5
DaveDownUnder
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I'm seated

Ready... you can start now.

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Old 05-08-2009, 01:45 AM   #6
ERIC DN
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Hi
thanks to share, go a head more pics

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Old 05-08-2009, 05:09 AM   #7
Chanderjeet
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Mozambique - These afrika RRs are good.
Keep going dudes.
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:43 PM   #8
crazybrit
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Yeah, another Africa RR. Bring it on.

I like the pic of the kid bailing water out, encouraging.

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Old 05-09-2009, 03:28 AM   #9
Tapeworm OP
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Location: Tanzania, East Africa
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Starting off the next morning with the usual bike maintenance, the plan was to stick to the coast all the way down to Pemba.


Accommodation in Mocimboa da Praia, with AC!




The port - most of the activity here is to run fresh supplies, water and building material to the exotic island resorts a few kilometers offshore.




The breakfast spot




The setup: Tank bag in front for spares, tools and map on top - use with gps on the fly, GL bag on the back (it takes a surprisingly huge load) with fishing rod on top. One thing that did not work well was the exhaust wrap i put on. It burned a couple of trousers while scooting through town, so i wrapped it - which worked, but as soon as i started throwing it down the twisties, my boot ate through the wrap and exposed the red hot mounting bracket for the original heat shield... guess the 60 engineers who designed it was right... so you learn... The Leo Vince pipe is just awesome, down here loud pipes saves lives.




With a few tidal rivers on our route, the locals advised that it will not be possible to cross some of them. Hence we kept on asking around until we found someone who said there is a slight chance that it might be possible. That's all we needed to hear and off we went.

Dense vegetation after the rains.










The reason why they call it elephant grass...




Halfway down our route, it turned out that those locals were right, it was not possible to cross the big tidal river on the coast and we headed inland looking for bridges.

Momentary laps of concentration for me...




...and 30 seconds later for Klavs...




Loosing a lot of time on this river loop, we had to steek it down to Pemba on some broken tar, which at least did not have any helmet high grass on it... Arriving in the dark we got accommodation, food and our dusty throats sorted out in no time at all.

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Old 05-09-2009, 02:19 PM   #10
picoda
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veeeery nice
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Old 05-10-2009, 03:54 AM   #11
Tapeworm OP
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Location: Tanzania, East Africa
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As per the usual bike inspection the next morning, we noticed Babu’s front sprocket was wearing out fast. With a small oil leak from the shaft seal, it seemed like the lubrication effect was not working, but it was creating a grinding paste with sand and dust, wearing it out quicker. So we went looking for some sprockets which could be modified onto the ktm if needed.

Some pics from Pemba
:













One of the few west facing beaches in East Africa








After scooting through town for a while with no luck, time was running out and we had to hit the road. Problem to be resolved at a later stage… On the way out, we popped in to say hi to one of Klavs’s mates. Turns out he had an old XR500 which is out of service. Luckily we found the engine with the sprocket still intact, taking it along for a spare.





We were invited to stay over and a BBQ that night, since the area we were heading for was buffalo and elephant country, but as usual, we knew better…

Gunning it out of Pemba, we thought we will make our destination with very little night riding… As it turned out we reached “wild country” just as the sun sets with about 100km to go, single track in tall grass – giving you about 5 meter visibility with the headlight…






We have done plenty of rides in Tanzania (where we live) in elephant, hippo and lion territory, but this was the first time that the hair on our necks were standing up… Getting stuck on trees that have been pushed over by elephant that same day and seeing flattened green grass where huge herds of buffalo just passed, got us a bit nervous to say the least. Also it’s not really advised to go off any track in this area due to the huge amount of landmines left over from the war. But for sure the worst case scenario would be to ride into a fresh lion kill, carrying no weapons, besides a leatherman and a pencil canister of pepper spray... As per the advice from fellow African rider Metaljockey – “use the leatherman to cut your own throat when they get you, there is no way out.”




Halfway through we got showered in cold rain as we were making our way up the escarpment, reaching our destination 3 hours into the night. Glad to be alive we celebrated with a warm beer enjoying the crowds of people around us for a change; even the hassling cop could not annoy us. Finding accommodation, we dried out some kit and had chocolate with whiskey for dinner.







Tapeworm screwed with this post 05-10-2009 at 11:52 AM
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Old 05-10-2009, 05:47 AM   #12
pdedse
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Wow!! Got to the end and Bummer! It's on page 1 still. Unbelievable ride. This looks like one that I'll never be able to do. All of Africa looks that way to me, actually. Then again...
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Old 05-10-2009, 08:18 AM   #13
wachs
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Excellent Willie! Thanks for taking the time to post . . . more please!
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Old 05-10-2009, 05:35 PM   #14
Roostn
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Quote:
Use the leatherman to cut your own throat when they get you, there is no way out.
I HAVE GOT to remember that one! Keep it coming pal!
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Old 05-10-2009, 07:53 PM   #15
dave6253
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Thumb Subscribed!



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