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Old 05-21-2010, 06:50 AM   #91
mlkdash
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Just started reading but have an early conclusion...

You are the man.
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Old 05-22-2010, 12:30 PM   #92
achesley
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Heck, enjoying this as much as the original one. Keep it going. Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2010, 02:25 PM   #93
Lornce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strikingviking
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.
How did I miss this? This is great stuff.

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Old 05-22-2010, 05:47 PM   #94
timk519
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Originally Posted by Lornce
How did I miss this? This is great stuff.

Apparently SV and another inmate are in the process of reconstructing the original story.
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:32 PM   #95
Lornce
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Originally Posted by timk519
Apparently SV and another inmate are in the process of reconstructing the original story.
Sometimes a ghost writer is just what a story needs.

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Old 05-24-2010, 07:25 PM   #96
slowpoke69
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Happy Birthday

Just wanted to wish you a happy one, the least I can do given how much I've enjoyed your writing! I hope it was a good day.
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:58 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by slowpoke69
Just wanted to wish you a happy one, the least I can do given how much I've enjoyed your writing! I hope it was a good day.
Thanks amigo. Some dude known only as Misery Goat is down here in Mazatlan celebrating the good life with me--even took me to dinner last night at my favorite restaurant.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:16 AM   #98
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Deserted deserts

When it Rains, it Pours
January 5, 2006
Northern Kenya



Guidebooks are correct when claiming the beaten path terminates in Northern Kenya. Since first entering South Africa, except for riding smooth graded tracks the length of Namibia and a few subsequent, intentional dirt detours, all roads have been lightly used, smooth flowing asphalt that wound through lush tropical jungles or spectacular desolate plains. As all good things come to an end, a wanderer’s pleasing dream has just concluded at the equator.



In Africa, crummy food doesn’t matter, vagabonds don’t eat for pleasure or even health, only to minimize hunger. Up until now, meals and accommodation had been understandable, though unsuccessful attempts at Western standards---yet at the frontier town of Isiolo, Africa abruptly turned bare-bones-basic, reverting to a sandy meshing of old and ancient.
In the animated jabber of a garbage-strewn market, arriving in Isiolo was a return to Islam with colorful veil-shrouded women bartering with Masai tribes-people for withered fruits and vegetables. A sundown visit to the town center mosque yielded questioning from worshippers after prayers.

“You don’t worry when traveling so far alone?”

“Why should I? Allah protects me.”

“Ah, so you are Muslim?”

“No, but Allah still blesses my journey and keeps me safe.”

“So if you believe in Allah, you must become Muslim.”

“Maybe, but I’ll hold off making decisions until returning to my home.”

“All right, but in the meantime remember that Allah protects us all.”

With a hard day ahead, just before dawn, imagining the misery of riding in a dust storm of commercial trucks in convoy, I skirted the final military checkpoint requiring foreigners to travel under guard. As the last chance for supplies and fuel drifted by in a reluctant haze, a starker image of Africa emerged.



Fashion statements became blade scarred faces above elaborately beaded neck disks and pierced bodies against deep midnight skin so black it was almost blue.





Walking sticks morphed into bows and arrows as wary herdsman stopped to eye a trespasser traversing a parched and drought stricken land. If disregarding a long pale strip of mangled dirt track, this was an evolutionary step back into primordial survival, with nature prevailing. Everyone is thirsty. Only a single river contained enough shallow pools of trickling water to supply scattered villages for twenty miles. The rest were dried sandy creek-beds with stooping women digging barehanded in fruitless searches for traces of underground streams--and as a two-year drought continues, there was little left to find.



During unpredictable bursts of desert struggles, there is no backup plan, just faltering beliefs that when masses begin to die, a world community will again, send more aid. Africa is a cruel and unrepentant provider that challenges humanity to contend with its whims. But as the newest species on the planet, only man considers himself a higher form more deserving to live.




Other than indigenous natives, the empty, rocky desert is only traveled by occasional caravans of aid workers, and the odd, determined adventurer transiting from Cairo to Cape Town.



There is no other reason to pass through an environment so hostile to life. Armed soldiers may fend off roving bandits and murderous warlords but there is nothing to protect even the hardest tires from slices and punctures punched by razor edged volcanic rock.



Directly after re-securing a gushing high-pressure fuel line, a dreaded rear-end sway signaled the first flat tire of the day. There may be only four hundred miles to the southern border of Ethiopia, where a paved road leads direct to Addis Ababa, but wretched conditions stretch that into a miserable three-day event. Severe washboard turning unexpected soft sand and back, to deep gullies of fist-sized stones defy even the best of suspensions--but since mine was rebuilt ten thousand miles ago, hard rubber seals should have weathered the strain. They did not.




Mind-numbing jarring and bucking was so intense that more gas spilled through the tank breather-vents than was burned by the engine. Even sloshing battery water slapped high enough to drip from an overflow tube. And that was the good news. Normally when shock absorber fluid begins seeping past worn seals, lack of oil shouldn’t cause a compression lockdown. Treated liquids and pressurized gases regulate rebound action and without them, handling deteriorates into a tolerable, bouncing, pogo-stick ride. Although a blown shock should not remain compressed, mine did, resulting in zero vertical travel to relieve explosive jolting from a jagged road. And that guarded convoy so carefully avoided, was several hours ahead.



Even at ten miles per hour, vertical forces generated were difficult to endure with the rear section kicking up and slamming back down. Ridges on a deep-cut washboard surface turned spine-snapping slaps equally destructive to metal frame welds. With nothing but thorn-tree desert ahead, the only solution was a ten-mile retreat to relieving shade of the last tribal outpost, with a hope that the natives were friendly.

Competing for resources in the midst of a drought, water is too scarce for washing. Barefoot in filthy ragged Western clothes, Muslim Kenyans coexist in détente with spear toting Masai tribesmen festooned in sparkling metal trinkets. Only a few offered greetings. Language barriers kept most from understanding each other but the message resonated, one angry woman did not want a foreigner to linger. Her reasoning was valid. In a robbery-plagued region, I could draw unwanted attention and they had no protection against marauders with guns. Absent governing authority or troops to keep order, violence and murder is the law of the land. Cattle rustling and cross-border reprisal raids have resulted in retaliatory slaughters of entire villages.



And a traveler in their midst was a legitimate concern considering news of a treasure-laden American could draw roving cutthroat Somali bandits eager to pillage his precious cargo. In a heated exchange of English and Swahili, a verdict was returned that the alien be sent on his way. And who can blame them? Why should they fret for the plight of white man with more riches in his wallet than they earn in a year? Still, it was early evening and after a long hard negotiation, my desperate plea for sleep was considered. A simple bribe of four hundred shillings was sufficient incentive to conceal my bike in a straw hut and allow a four-hour rest, if promising to be gone by midnight.

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Old 09-18-2010, 10:06 PM   #99
slowpoke69
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Thanks!!

I read the original awhile after posting and many photos had been deleted, I'm glad I got to see more of your GREAT trip! Thanks again, glad you are well.
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:47 AM   #100
barefootrider
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Eek

STRIKINGVIKING, After staying up most of the night to read your fabulous adventure rides , I bought both your books this morning. One day rained out in a motel or tent I know the time will pass quickly reading them.
Having ridden a bit myself, and alone, (South America in '78-'79) I can really identify with what you had say. My father financed my Carnet de Passage back then on the condition that I fly over Colombia to cross the Darien Gap.
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:32 AM   #101
strikingviking OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barefootrider
STRIKINGVIKING, After staying up most of the night to read your fabulous adventure rides , I bought both your books this morning. One day rained out in a motel or tent I know the time will pass quickly reading them.
Having ridden a bit myself, and alone, (South America in '78-'79) I can really identify with what you had say. My father financed my Carnet de Passage back then on the condition that I fly over Colombia to cross the Darien Gap.
Glad you enjoyed the book amigo. And yes, riding solo is generally a deeper experience as we are compelled to interact more with locals.
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:34 PM   #102
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Absolutely amazing! Thank you so much SV!
Kinda makes me hate my own life :)

Sorry to the inmates i didnt notice this thread was 4 mo old. My bad.....
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:22 PM   #103
strikingviking OP
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Originally Posted by CO_Native View Post
Absolutely amazing! Thank you so much SV!
Kinda makes me hate my own life :)

Sorry to the inmates i didnt notice this thread was 4 mo old. My bad.....
Thanks again for the kind words amigos. If you like this thread, you'll love the book.
gh
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:31 PM   #104
GSdiablo
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oh man

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Originally Posted by strikingviking View Post
Been working on adding photos but can't upload from these Internet joints here. Still using Windows 95. I just get blank screens when I try.
Not only traveling beyond most of our dreams but using Windows 95
Ah, 7 years has been a blink in time.
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Old 01-29-2011, 12:33 PM   #105
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Not only traveling beyond most of our dreams but using Windows 95
Ah, 7 years has been a blink in time.
Yes and even back then Windows 95 was ancient. But now...it's all about my more efficient but constantly overheating Macbook. The fan seldom stops running.

Although the operating system sucks that Toshiba runs on, it was still the most durable computer I've ever used. Even after bouncing around in an aluminum pannier for two years and dropped more times than I can recall, with a twice-warrantied hard drive, it is still going strong as a guest computer in Mexico.
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