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Old 10-27-2007, 12:05 AM   #781
grand Vizir
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Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Trento - Italy
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Fantastic reading! Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us.
My congratulations for your attitude and readiness to deal with the unexpected, always with a smile, always with a positive view.
It is similar to the attitude I found in StrikingViking, whose adventures described here are also quite interesting.

And then I find that Glen Heggstad (StrikingViking) pays homage and bows to your thread. Two of my favorite authors crossing paths ... or threads!

Originally Posted by strikingviking
Amigos--The word Angola in your title caught my eye enough times to finally sit down and read your entire thread. Holy fuck! In Mexico we'd describe you guys as having cajones grandes. What can I say? Killer content--phenomenal photos, suspenseful, trailblazing, great story telling and most important, the team spirit. This needs to be published.
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Old 10-27-2007, 07:48 AM   #782
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Port Elizabeth, South Africa
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Hi Guys,

Thanks for sharing your journey, it was fantastic, very inspirational.
I was born in East London (slummies,slondon) , finished school there. Great to know such hardcore explorers hail from my hometown!

Is it possible to meet up sometime, I am keen as hell to tour Southern Africa and being able to speak to you first hand on how to prep the bike, gear to take etc... would be invaluable?

Thanks again for the post, I have saved so many of the pics for the ol desktop, excellent!

Cheers for now.

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Old 10-27-2007, 09:01 AM   #783
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Thanks for taking the time to post this. Best one I've seen.
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Old 10-27-2007, 11:12 AM   #784
Beastly Adventurer
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Best Ride Report EVER.

I couldn't stop reading it.......

Amazing, fascinating, dangerously adventurous..OMG, what a trip!
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Old 10-27-2007, 11:40 AM   #785
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Joined: Apr 2007
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
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I've posted comments on this thread before, but of course kept coming back for the new instalments. This one is an absolute winner, gents. I have no idea how this report will ever be topped.
MJ. Your words and photos complement each other like a steak fresh off the braai and a glass of Cape Red wine. It doesn't end there. You summed it up so beautifully at the end and captured what set this ride apart. The people.
As a biker in the urban world we are often received in strange surroundings with much distrust and misgiving. Here, in a place reputed to be hostile and warlike, you experience an instant bond with its people, and are received with entheusiasm and warmth. I truly believe this is where your ride took on a new dimension. This is what we all hope to experience wherever we kick out the sidestand. You guys are prime examples of what we all aspire to..
Someone else in the thread said it also came down to yourselves, your personalities attracting this behaviour in people. I believe that to be true. It is evident in the pics of yourselves. This has made me hope to be as good an ambassador for South Africa as you are. Imagine if all of us did that, from all countries..
Jeez.. I'm sounding like John Lennon here..

Bakgat, guys !!
1988 Honda XR600R
(Thumping Thunder)
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Old 10-27-2007, 02:42 PM   #786
dot Indian snakecharmer
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Location: San Francisco
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Love you FFs

Originally Posted by RumRunner
All hands on Deck...


"One measure of a man is what he does when he has nothing to do." - Robert Fulton
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Old 10-27-2007, 06:59 PM   #787
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Houston
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Outstanding story and photos! Thanks for sharing this with us mortals. I, too want to hear how Fred is doing - what was the final diagnosis/prognosis for his injury?

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."
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Old 10-27-2007, 08:05 PM   #788
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Joined: May 2007
Location: Nirvana
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Thank you for sharing your story with us. That was awesome. You remind us all of the beauty of adventure riding. It's not about the destination, it's all about the ride and the experiences that are made possible by it. We're thankful that y'all made it without any seriously serious injuries.
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Old 10-28-2007, 12:46 AM   #789
Old Git
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Come on MJ one more post please coz we would all like to know how Fred is

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Old 10-28-2007, 01:11 AM   #790
Spain Transalp Rider
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Location: Barcelona
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All I can say about this trip is .... ACOJONANTE
I enjoy it as a pig in the mud
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Old 10-28-2007, 05:17 AM   #791
Into the remote places
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Joined: Dec 2005
Location: Logan, Australia
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Originally Posted by hairnet
can it be topped???

what shirt is that cant make out the badge
Newcastle United FC sponsorship (Northern Rock), Juventus badge
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Old 10-28-2007, 05:54 AM   #792
RaY YreKa
Palanquins RTW
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Truly stunning. I'd be lying to myself if I said I'd do a trip like this, but I'm just glad someone did. Bravo.

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Old 10-28-2007, 11:17 AM   #793
metaljockey OP
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Location: Eastern Cape, South Africa
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As far as Fred is concerned, finally, 14 days after he broke the ankle, and back in South Africa, he is operated on and the lot is screwed back together.

He is still on crutches but the cast should come off this week. His left knee that was injured on the last day is still giving him grief, but the x-rays don't show any obvious problem, so it will probably just need some time to settle down.

He is not discouraged though and have done short rides already. He will be fine.

About the next trip; difficult to say. We do shorter trips all the time, it's an addiction. Then, periodically, I do longer more road biased trips, but my mates are not overly keen on this, they are not happy unless the going is difficult. That brings us to the longer distance, offroad trips such as this Angola one. We have a wish list of about three options that are always on the cards. Angola re-inserted itself on this list. This trip report might create a bit of a skewed impression of Angola. The area that we travelled in is a small part of the country. The rest of the country is very water rich with mountains, waterfalls, many rivers, lush forests and no Himba. I'm really keen to see some of that.

While on the subject I would just like to add a rider. We are not experts on Angola, it's people or anything else for that matter. So, when I write these reports, keep in mind, I call it as I see it. Don't take everything as gospel. I have for instance in the meantime found out that the Himba and Herero do not share a language, it's just similar. But that's really the point of travelling; seeing new and exciting things.

As for the bikes, all were more or less modified to take luggage only . Otherwise they were all standard and all of them made the trip without any major damage. All of them had to be stripped down totally though, due to the sea riding thing. Almost all had some sand or water still captured in the suspension bearings and or wheel bearings.

I have been very critical towards the 640 in the report. That was how things were at the time though. It is thoroughly unpleasant to ride something like the doodsakker on a bike that cannot be allowed to stall. In the end I only had a fully functional bike the final two days of the trip.

The fact of the matter is that there were only two issues. One, the choke; I don't rate this as a problem, it can be sorted out easily on the road. Two, the battery; this has nothing to do with the bike. It was a battery problem only. The reason the new battery that I bought in Tombua died within the first 250km, is that it was not the sealed type and the battery box in the 640 lies at an angle. So the overflow allows the corners of the lead plates to protrude above the acid line. That's my stupidity. I should have foreseen that.

And let's not forget, the 640 is the only bike that had a kickstart. If any of the other bikes had been in the same situation, we would have had real problems.

My problems with the 640 did have one good result. From now on a multimeter will be standard in my toolkit on long trips. If we had just been able to diagnose the problem the first time it broke down in the desert, it would have removed all the mental stress for the balance of the trip.

As far as the phenomenal amount of comments posted (and PM's) goes, I would like to say thank you. Thank you to all. I do not write these reports with the intention to receive flattering comments, but I know the comments are posted for me and my buddies' benefit. It really means a lot to us when we see other people get to enjoy the trip as much as we did.

But let's just keep things real. None of us are exceptionally skilled riders (excepting when I'm drunk, then I'm fcking quick). We are just a couple of guys that have the opportunity to ride in exceptional places and meet exceptional people. And make no mistake, we are very aware of how fortunate we are to be able to do so.

Like someone's signature line says: "carpe the living shit out of the diem"

metaljockey screwed with this post 10-28-2007 at 11:47 AM
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Old 10-28-2007, 11:50 AM   #794
Joe Bar
Middle England
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What a fantastic trip, followed by an equally fantastic Ride Report. Many people go on some really great trips, but it takes something special to make readers feel that they've shared it with you. What an emotional roller coaster of a ride. Like so many others have commented, thank you seems so inadequate, but thank you for sharing this with us.

Thanks also to dceggert for his work - much appreciated as well.
"Style is not a decoration added to a functional structure, it's a work of art."
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Old 10-28-2007, 11:50 AM   #795
dreaming adventurer
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Location: right here on my thermarest
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Thanks for the great report.
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