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Old 01-05-2010, 08:58 PM   #76
Jedediah
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This is my favorite

Of all your great photos, and there are many, I like this one.



Jed.
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:43 PM   #77
Oldwin1
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Glen
I guess I quit following you after you gave up the Mexico scenery pictures.
Just ordered the new book. Can't wait to read it.
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:57 AM   #78
strikingviking OP
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Malawi!

Wandering eastward across southern Africa from Zambia into Malawi, lush tropical fields waver in warm afternoon breezes.



Wary natives greet me with mild suspicion, wondering about this strangely-dressed foreigner's intentions--am I there to convert them to a new religion, to kill them or feed them?









As usual, curiosity prevails amongst the youngest.





With English spoken as a first language, communication everywhere was easy. After selecting a dirt road entering the forest leading toward the mighty Lake Malawi, I sought refuge for the night.





Villagers seldom refuse a stranger shelter for the night



But there are always questions first. Who am I? Where do I come from? And why am I there.



After explaining that I've come a long ways to meet them and to learn from them, the mood changes.







Relaxing along magnificent Lake Malawi for a few days was the perfect way to recuperate and study maps revealing the route north into Tanzania.

An elongated body of water covering half of the country, life centers around gigantic Lake Malawi for fishing and maintaining surrounding rubber tree plantations. A long tiring day ended at the edge of darkening blue waters lapping at pebbled beach coves. Ringed by simple huts hidden in shaded forests, this scene has likely not changed for a thousand years. Camping in native villages evolves into a deeper experience as the lives of locals unfold. Crowded and lively, after sundown every hundred yards another group of laughing youngsters kicked up dust as they practiced singing and dancing for upcoming tribal festivals. If lacking a drum, they clapped in encouraging beats as performers in the middle shimmied and pranced to chanted rhythms. Wandering through the smoke clouded village, fire lights and a full moon reflected off shiny black faces flashing dazzling white teeth. While passing in between huts made of simple material, teenage natives grabbed my arms, guiding me into their circles to see the clumsy white man flail.



At dawn, with a last glimpse backward at an east African sunrise scene to be remembered, I bid farewell to new friends who I will never see again.

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Old 01-20-2010, 06:34 PM   #79
PackMule
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Bump, for one of the best photo essays on humanity ever recorded.
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Old 02-17-2010, 07:21 AM   #80
strikingviking OP
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Tanzania!

With its sharp rise in socioeconomic status from Malawi, eastern Tanzanian countryside became a worthy distraction bursting alive in vivid natural colors and wild animal life. From a half-mile away, women were easily visible, reflecting sunlight off soft cotton fabrics of brilliant ruby reds and dandelion yellows coming into focus from distant blurs across the canvas of African savanna earth-tones.




















With dozens of major game parks throughout Africa, all prohibit motorcycles except Mikumi, the only one with a highway passing through.



In a scene out of Star Wars, silhouetted against the pale blue glow of an early sunrise sky, towering, long-necked giraffes paused to consider the intruder. Once violating their safety zone, a half dozen magnificent spotted beasts casually stepped across the meadow into graceful slow-motion strides, vanishing into forests of Camel Thorn Trees.



Animals accustomed to the rolling thunder of speeding diesel rigs panic at the sight of any slowing vehicle. Even when cutting the engine to coast in silence, herds of grazing gazelles with sweptback corkscrew horns immediately bolted in methodic sprints for the security of faraway tree-lines.



With hairless pink butts thrust high in the air, roving families of arrogant baboons sauntered fearlessly back and forth across the road. Roguish creatures known for unpredictable behavior, they are a force to reckon with. Sinister dog-like faces baring sharp curved fangs confirmed warnings that close-up encounters could go either way.



Curious, black and white striped zebras grazed in nearby fields but always at safe distances, warily eying a two-legged trespasser on a shiny rumbling machine. After spooked into short dusty gallops, they stopped to return my gawking amazement.



Every hundred yards, more wildlife scenes commanded a halt, yielding either to trumpeting bull elephants trampling highway shoulder grasslands or wondering at the groan and growling from within quivering underbrush.



Back in the cities.


Nearing the eastern coast, traditional Islamic garb replaced Western pants and button down shirts for all but Africa’s most noble tribesmen.



Evidence of past invading cultures contrasts with traditional Masai, erect in royal postures clutching trademark long-handle herding sticks. Tall and thin with beanpole legs sprouting from beneath baggy Roman-style tunics, these princely, jungle warriors now contend with tourism and twenty-first century technology while battling to survive government relocation plans.

















Between pressing cellular telephones against gaping, pierced earlobes and controlling vast herds of cattle, they hold an eye to maximize any circumstance.



All my suspicions are confirmed—this mighty landmass is more a separate universe than just another continent. With a day left before Christmas, a mesmerizing plunge into Africa continues in an evolving alternate saga a million years old.
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:47 AM   #81
zorsch
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this is awesome, ordered both books yesterday !
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AUSTRIA - SOUTHWESTERN EUROPE - MOROCCO - 10000km solo on my 125ccm: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=607393

AUSTRIA - CORSICA - SARDEGNA - 3000km solo on my 125ccm :
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=485483
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Old 02-21-2010, 04:15 PM   #82
Mizumoto
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Hey

I've been following your thread for about a yr. I love your approach to it all. I envy you. Perhaps I will shed this domestica soon and do the same. Your portrayal of the word is magnificent. The world wants to live rather than fight some war, according to your travels. Thanks man.
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:46 AM   #83
strikingviking OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zorsch
this is awesome, ordered both books yesterday !
Thanks. Enjoy the read.
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:31 PM   #84
Homeslice1970
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Wow

What a fantastic journey. Just ordered both books and can not wait to read them. Great job!!
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:45 PM   #85
Chinalee
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Old 04-04-2010, 08:50 PM   #86
RForestR
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Glenn,

Just finished "One more day everywhere"...Man, you have the gift for great storytelling, and what's cool about it is the ability to come here, to this very thread, to check out pics from the trip.

Love your style, and your heart. If ever I find myself stuck out on the road all I need remember is a smile and a handshake and faith in humanity just might get me through.

Awesome read bro,
Chris
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Old 04-13-2010, 06:36 AM   #87
strikingviking OP
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FYI I'll be doing a book signing in Escondido this Saturday at North County BMW in San Diego County. If nothing else, come on out to meet the Hooters girls and chow down on some free food. Location
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Old 05-07-2010, 05:09 AM   #88
madleemark
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WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! ,can wait to read your books.
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Old 05-20-2010, 05:07 AM   #89
strikingviking OP
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Ali Hussein
December 24, 2005
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
After visiting a few mostly white enclaves and small African towns, Dar es Salaam was my first predominately-black, major city heading north. Aside from decaying old European-era buildings, because there is not much to see, the drab capital of Tanzania serves mainly as a commercial center and transit point for tourists visiting the offshore islands of Zanzibar.



A small contingent of foreign aid workers and businessmen are hardly noticed alongside African born Indians busy managing hotels and stores. From dusty, congested street-markets to grimy corner cafés, Dar es Salaam has become pure African with little Western influence and no Western franchises. In matters of race, it’s a reversal of roles now being a minority judged by a suspicious majority.

But passive Tanzanians lead simple lives and don’t require overbearing authority to keep order. Except for scattered unarmed men in worn-out, blue polyester uniforms directing traffic, it’s hard to find a cop.



With rougher edges than villagers, city folk are always harder to approach, but even when idle young men stand staring from street corners, most are happy to talk if acknowledged properly. Swahili was easier to learn than I first thought and like everywhere, greeting in native language buys instant acceptance and conversation. “Jambo! Haguri gani? Jina langu ni Glen. Nimekuja kutoka amerce kuku tembelea” Hello, how are you? My name is Glen and I’ve come from America to visit you.



By five o’clock, I had made my first Tanzanian friend, a tall, heavy-set motorcyclist, who, although a third generation Indian, considers himself African. Preparing to meet his family for dinner, the unshaven Ali Hussein was closing his motorcycle workshop when struck with an unexpected vagabond’s wish-list for repairs. Shiite Muslims are strict family men and staying late to work on some distressed foreigner’s faltering bike was the last thing on his mind. But once hearing my situation, he offered, “Since you are traveling such a long way, me and my men will work tonight.” But wrenching in the dark leads to errors and lost parts so we agreed to wait until sunrise.

In the morning, uncomfortable with his non-English speaking crew, when an overly concerned Ali Hussein suggested disassembling the entire drive section for inspection and cleaning, I argued that the rest of the motorcycle was fine and all that was necessary was to unbolt the rear swing arm to replace a worn chain and sprockets—a one-hour job with the correct tools. Fluent in Swahili, Hussein turned, yelling words to his men that made them laugh aloud.

Curious as to the joke, I asked, “What’s so funny?”

“I told them that you are afraid of their skin.”

Embarrassed because he was right, I tried to deny it, “No that’s not it, I just prefer not to take things apart unless absolutely necessary. You never know what can break or get misplaced in the process.”—Still, the truth was, I foolishly questioned their competency because they weren’t Germans in white smocks.

“You worry that they won’t remember how to put it all back together?”--more comments and more laughter.

But Hussein is forceful and to my dismay, wins our debate, directing two young black men with callused feet, to disassemble the suspension mechanical arms for further inspection.



An hour later they handed me two sets of rusted bearings—the same ones we had just replaced in Borneo.



After riding the washed-away coast near Banda Aceh, saltwater from low-tide beach-runs had leaked past protective rubber seals, corroding hardened steal balls and needles designed to spin free. Had this damage gone unnoticed, they would have disintegrated and left me stranded on the most rugged section ahead in Africa.

Hussein continued, “See, you don’t have to worry about my workers, they know their job.” Thirty minutes later, a winded errand boy returned with new bearings and fresh oil while another prepared a homemade arc welder to remove a stripped-out drain plug.



Annoyed at my constantly questioning each maneuver, Hussein takes me by the arm, “Come, let’s get out of their way so they can make everything new for our traveling brother. You need to see my empire”

Importing a dozen shipping containers a month, except for South Africa, Ali is the largest motorcycle parts distributor on the continent. This will be good news for Internet linked international riders who until now, have been unaware of his presence. In a Developing Country with limited industrial base, I am amazed to see a warehouse stocked with hundreds of tires and engine re-build kits. Yet skilled labor remained questionable.
A one-hour chain and sprocket swap had turned into eight with a lengthy list of replaced parts, but by the end of the day, a minor job turned major repair was complete. Preparing for the worst, my meek request for the bill was met by Hussein’s stern gaze. “There is no bill for you. My shop is absorbing the entire cost for our traveling brother.”

And he wasn’t listening to steady objections—even when insisting that I at least pay for parts only made him angry. “I have made up my mind, this is between Allah and me.”

Convinced of his determination, I made a final demand. “Okay but I’m taking you to dinner.”

Every big city has good restaurants but for travelers to find them unassisted requires extensive exploring with more misses than hits. Hussein knows of the best, where only black Africans go to eat. In north Dar es Salaam, an empty block normally jammed in daytime traffic becomes a nighttime bazaar of street barbeque kitchens and temporary dining rooms of uneven wooden tables and flimsy plastic chairs. Hussein is well-known among crowds of jabbering patrons—even cooks and waiters shouted back and forth as we approached.

At first, ordering food was awkward as he issued commands to the cook without asking me what I wanted. With fierce expressions and aggressive verbal exchanges, both men dickered as though in serious confrontation about to turn violent. Suddenly, each was laughing and clasping hands while shirtless waiters in baggy shorts set down huge platters of sizzling lamb and chicken. Hussein translates. “I told them that this is my motorcycling brother who knows Judo and if the food is not good, he will kick your ass.” When the bill arrived for far more than two men could eat and drink, the scribbled numbers on a piece of torn paper only amounted to a fraction of a tourist area price.

Two days accompanying Hussein on his daily rounds of slapping countertops while shouting negotiations ending in laughter, was a fascinating side-journey into the business culture of Dar es Salaam. Even the briefest glimpses into the lives of those in distant lands are the ultimate prize of adventure travel.

But the sourest moment of this unforeseen detour neared and after reminding Hussein of the sacred coin he promised, the time had come to say goodbye. As he closed his eyes reciting an ancient Shiite prayer, a hundred-shilling Tanzanian coin carefully folded in a printed handkerchief became a belief from the both of us that continued safety lay ahead. “When you reach Ethiopia, you must stop and give this coin to a poor man and Allah will guide you the rest of the way.” As he shuffled his feet while looking down, I noted that Hussein also disliked goodbyes. With two sets of watery eyes, we touched cheeks Muslim-style with an enormous American bear hug. Tomorrow is Christmas and a long ride toward the northern plains of Serengeti.


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Old 05-21-2010, 06:15 AM   #90
kojack
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I am truly blown away. amazing thread!

I am going to order this book asap!

You will have to visit newfoundland some time! its a great place here.
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