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Old 07-14-2011, 02:02 PM   #16
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Location: Byron Bay Australia and Earth
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Day Off

Took a day off from doing anything today, ill be leaving tomorrow so thought all i'd do was hang out get all the gear prepared and drop into Eastgate and get myself a jerry can to carry some extra fuel, Im sure its going to come in handy wth the tank size on the Bmw F 800 gs being only 16 or 17 litres and a range on the highway on a good day cruising of 350 k's. It was always one of my concerns with this model bike on this type of trip.

I got all my gear on the bike so ready to go in the morning at this stage ill be on the road South somewhere.

For dinner I had the best chicken Snitztel ever so bloody tender, Soloman from the Sunrock Guest house cooks a great feed. Not to mention Arthurs steaks on most other nights, I have been eating really well.

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Old 07-14-2011, 02:04 PM   #17
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Johannasburg to Dundee

Slept in a bit today as it was overcast but still up just beofre 8:30 so still early for me, went in had the eggs on toast and a bit of the other stuff on offer.

Said my goodbyes to Arthur and Una they have been realy nice hosts highly recomend if your ever going to Johannasburg to lob there and get your start, its close to the airport very secure and great hosts.

So off I went the start of my road adventure really, I had a good ride from Johannasburg down the coast to Dundee around 350 k's towards Durban, mostly stuck to the main roads but got on to a few minor roads so all good, the Beemer is so nice to ride im glad I bought it, the heated grips are unreal to have on days like this as it got down to 7 degrees Celcius, fortunately had a fair bit of warm stuff to put on and still didnt get my thermal pants on, so not all that bad.

The countryside was very brown, dry long rolling hills with bugger all around, the roads are pretty good as a rule. One thing I have noticed is there is a surprising lack of roadkill, whether it gets eaten or there just isnt any wild life to be killed by cars, its actually quite strange after living in Australia and seeing it all the time, I actually only saw one squished animal in 300 odd k's and coming form Oz that would never happen. I might ask about that cause it certainly is strange not to see it in a country that is supposed to be full of wildlife, my first impression of that is when you look at some of the houses and places where people live if there was any road kill it would be picked up and eaten pretty quick, that might not be the case maybe there just isnt any left.

At one point I stopped to put on my balaclava and another jumper, while I was stopped this little kid came over to the fence to say hello. I took his picture then walked back over to the bike and got out the pen I had and gave it to him, he immediatly ran off screaming out all excited with the pen above his head, I was surprised by his reaction, was a good tip to give the kids pens so will be buying more when I get to the next city.


Arrived in Dundee around 4 pm, wasnt to fussed about where I was going to stay so as soon as I got into town just rode till I found a nice enough hotel. It was a little expensive at 500 rand or 70 bucks ozzie but still really nice place and that includes breakfeast and the way ive been hooking in at breakfeast time since I got here thats worth 10 bucks.

Helen from the front desk ordered me some dinner from down town which was delivered so that was cool, tried to use their internet but its not as good as what we are used to back home, was lucky enough to get on to check my mails but couldnt do much else.

Tomorrow i'll head over to Rorkes Drift where the Zulu British war took place. There is another site not far from there where 20000 Zulus actually over ran the British but as a kid watching the Zulu British wars on the tv and movies it was always Rorkes drift where the 100 British held off about 4000 Zulus, 11 Victoria Crosses were handed out still to this day the most ever in a battle so pretty important spot in our commonwealth history, some say it had a lot to do with the loss of the men the week before to try and paint it as a great victory rather than a miserable defeat in that region.




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Old 07-14-2011, 02:05 PM   #18
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Rorkes Drift

What a great ride today, I left Dundee around 9:30am and headed for Rorkes Drift which was only 40 odd k's away, 30 of it on dirt which was pretty good riding. Arrived there and did the museum which isnt that big.The thing that grabs you when your riding out there is what were they fighting about, theres shitloads of room for everyone, even today the population out that way is sparse to say the least. Had an interesting time there to see where that battle took place and the hill behind the fort its hard to imagine why and how the Zulus didnt just over run them when it was 4000 to 100.

Did think about going over to the other battlefield where the 20 000 Zulus over ran the British and killed them all but you seen one battle field you seen them all so gave it a miss.

Before I drove in I had stopped to talk to an African woman to ask directions and as my bluetooth part of my helmet was playing my music out loud i flicked it open off my helmet to stop it quickly and you guessed it forgot to push it back in properly so when I went to leave Rorkes Drift the bluetooth part of my helmet was missing. I thought at first it had been nicked as I left my helmet locked to my bike but I was the only person there so I thought maybe I dropped it so got all geared up to leave and rode slowly back down the road I came in on and there it was right near the gate sitting in the dirt, how lucky, its worth a few hundred bucks so was nice to have it back although I had already plugged the cable in so may still use that, its pissing me off every time I start the Gps its a real pain to get the bluetooth working.

From Rorkes Drift I got back on the dirt road and instead of taking the road back to the highway I headed South East and boy im glad I did, dirt road amazing scenary and the little townships I came across were amazing, totally off the tourist map obviously. The kids and everyone was waving at me and shoutiung out I probably did a third of the trip one handed the amount of people I waved at.

Stopped quite a few times and everytime someone would come up and say hello. The ride wound up and down the mountain range a few times, it really was a fantastic ride.

At one hillside I came across a group of guys playing soccer on a dirt pitch so had to stop for a watch. If you ever complain about having to run uphill again you will need to come and play on this pitch was to funny not hard to see why alot of the play was at one end.

While I was watching a group of girls came up they had obviously just finished school and had a chat for awhile then thought I better get moving so hit the road.

Kept driving along the dirt road for another 30k's all the while just checking out the amazing scenary stopping more than a few occassions.

Was driving down one part of the road and came across my person carrying a AK 47 he wasnt pointing it at me but smiling waving as I rode past and looked like really friendly person even if he did have a weapon on his shoulder. I wished I had stopped now and got a photo but im sure i'll have ample chances to take a picture with someone with a AK 47 in my travels.

Came across this township and there was a market going on as you can imagine they probably dont get to many guys from Australia riding through on a Bmw so got heads turning, felt a little rude not waving at everyone as I cant ride no handed. Stopped at the end of town before I crossed the river where it was a little quieter but still had a few people around.

All up I drove around 80 or 90k's through the hills on the dirt roads and im so glad I did, what a fantastic day of riding plenty of smiling faces and lots of fun and now in Greytown in a nice B&B so all good.

Just went into town to get something for dinner, dont know what they do in this town but there is a hell of alot of razor wire and security around the houses. Dundee was surprising in alot of the houses had no razor wire or security, the first township ive been in like that so it was a nice change.
The guy that owns this B&b just lent me his vodaphone internet dongle but forgot to give me the password so this blog is going to be a bit late.








There so much room out here it makes you wonder why they had to fight theres no one living here today let alone well over a 100 years ago, why cant we all just get along.







Oh now I know why they were fighting to have control of the prestine thoroughbreds of the area



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Old 07-14-2011, 02:06 PM   #19
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Greytown to Durban

Left Greytown for the coast this morning with all good intentions of going to St Lucia which was to the coast and north but when I got to the coast I took a right instead, so Durban it was.

Stopped off at the surf contest at Balito originally it was called the Gunston Pro but has been moved and renamed. The surf was pretty decent about 6 to 8 foot, apparently they have had unreal surf for the contest but today was blowing an onshore gale so not ideal.

Drove right up the entrance gate and spoke to a copper at the main gate and asked him if id be shot if I parked it right here at the entrance next to the cop cars and he was cool, he said no problems and that they would keep and eye on it, so was able to walk straight into the area where they had a carnival and down to the contest site on the beach. Had a chat to him about where I was from and where i was heading and that im just going for a ride to the shop to get some milk, its just going to take me a little longer than usual he just gave me a strange look and laughed.

Left there after awhile and headed down the coast towards Durban its suprisingly like the north coast of New South Wales back home in Australia with the cane fields and the ocean on the side and the hills on the other side so felt very comfortable riding into Durban.

Stopped off just north of town on the beach to take a photo and thought why not look up the Bmw dealer to make sure its not on the northside of town and sure enough it was 10 k's back up the road so thought id hook on over to see how long they needed for me to book my bikle in to get the first 2000 k service done.

Arrived there mid afternoon and to my surprise they said we will do it for you right now, so poured me a coffee, took my bike, rode it out the back to the repairshop and got to work, they even gave it a wash and so all to easy.

Was made to feel very comfortable by Stephan, Sullivan and had a good chat to Roy about my travels the do's and dont's and on some of the places I will be heading in the next few months. Roy gave me some good travel spots on the coast to head for so will be following that down the coast.

Roy invited me for a ride on Saturday if im still around with a crew form the Bmw dealerships so if im still here I might just go, it would be a good way of seeing some spots i might not see and roads I might not ride otherwise, but who knows I might be out of here by then ill just see how im travelling and if i feel like moving on, so far I feel very comfrotable in Durban so theres every likelyhood ill be here on Saturday and maybe even longer.


The boys gave me a tip on where to stay so after they had finished my bike which took an hour or two and headed off in the general direction they told me.

Checked out one place, no one home, the next place was full so ended up in this nice little place and got a friendly greeting by a really nice chick, HELLO lol

Asked about the internet and got the tip from Alexa about where to go and get one of them pre paid dongle things in the local shopping centre so ill do that in the morning, she actually said she will drop me down there tonight but I wasnt in the mood to go anywhere just to relax and chill out.

As I arrived a Dutch couple well there not a couple just travelling business partners, turned up as well so we ordered pizza together and had it delivered and sat in the lounge room and had a pig out and chat for awhile.

Anyway time to roll over and watch some tv, its state of origin tonight which is our Australian interstate Rugby league match, well actually its over well and truely, i could of checked that while i was online at Bmw but forgot about the time difference. Go the blues hope we smashed those stinking Queenslanders and if we didn't, oh well we werent supposed to win anyway.


Looking down to Durban


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Old 07-14-2011, 02:07 PM   #20
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Had a pretty cruisey day today, got up had breakfeast with Yoran and Elanor they were off to the wharves today to do their research on this project this company is wanting to set up with exporting oranges to Holland from South Africa, sounded like a exciting fun day learning all about how the ports work in South Africa, im sure they are sort of organised chaos if everything else is anything to go by.

After breakfeast and relaxing for a few hours I went down the local shopping centre which is apparently the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere, and yes it is absolutely massive, they have this indoor rock climbing thing for the kids which is like 5 stories high its amazing, thought of Loges getting into it.

Got some internet credits so uploaded some of the blogs I had already done without internet connection so that was good, the internet has been pretty ordinary over here so far but here's hoping ive got it sorted now.


Came back to the guest house and relaxed, Alexa was here for awhile I had met her briefly yesterday shes the daughter of the couple, that own this place, bit of a sort too, mmmm ok

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Old 07-14-2011, 02:09 PM   #21
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Durban

Was hanging around after breafeast and Alexa turned up with Channing her son so had a chat to her about how she went at the markets selling her olives yesterday evening, it's a small business she runs which she seems to do ok out of, she said she didnt do as good as she liked but picked up another two resturants to supply so thats always a positive. We chatted for awhile and she said if I wasnt doing anything later to drop over for a coffee to her place.

Went for a ride around town again, just checking everything out riding as many roads as I could and see as much as I can in the limited time I have in Durban.

Headed over to Alexa's and had a bit of trouble finding which complex was hers, she said it was the one with the security guard on the gate, well they all have security guards on the gate. Went back down to La Lucia to grab a pack of ciggies.

Had a cigarette and then thought stuff it, ill just go ask at one of them and see if they know her so rode back up the road and asked at the first gate, sure enough they did and they let me in and told me up the top. So I wound my way up the hill to Alexa and Channing house pretty nice view from up there I must say and the pad itself is really nice.

When I arrived Channing and his mate Daniel were cooking pizza, I suggested we do the masterchef judging. They actually watch the Australian version of masterchef over here but its from a few seasons ago. We did the judging of the pizzas having a bit of a laugh everyone scored them and we worked it out to be a tie so everyone walked away happy and of course I got to taste them all ha ha

Me Channing and Daniel started having a game of french cricket in the little back yard they have and as its right up the top of the hill a ball over the fence would require a 10 minute hike to get it I suggested lets go down to the park and have a real game of cricket Aussies versus South Africa. As you can imagine the kids were up for it. Rode the boys down the hill on the bike giving them both a ride up and down twice which they enjoyed.

Alexa said she would drop her maid home and would come down in a little while but as standard we played about 30 ininnings beofre she actually turned up, to funny. I know how that deal works single mums looking after boys in the holidays, as soon as someone says they will take them to play in the park they are sitting on their ass or off to meet up with a girlfriend for a coffee and gas bag lol

When she turned up later she said she had fallen asleep but that was cool me and the boys had alot of fun. I let them lead right up till the last innings and then won by 1 run just to let them know us Aussies are still the best at cricket, even if we are shit these days. Alexa turned up just in time to see me hitting the winning runs so I said thats it lets go, where's my winners hug.

We all piled into the X5 and drove back up the hill, Daniel's mum Caroline was there so we all relaxed on the balcony overlooking La Lucia. Shes actually into real estate and property management so was interesting to see what the cost of real estate is over here and the returns you can get on it, in comparison to the Australian market its quite cheap here in South Africa..

Daniel and Caroline left just after 6, Alexa wanted to sit down and watch this soap you know the deal one of them Home and Away, Neighbours deals soaps that the girls all watch, its the same everywhere in the world with soaps obviously.

Most of the female cast look like they have been to Thailand for the plastic surgery holidays which was ok by me. Farrow is a baddy but shes a hottie too and I dont reckon she died in the plane crash, see it doesn't take you long to get sucked in.

After the soap we decided to go to dinner in one of Alexa's favourite restaraunts down town so we piled in the car and headed off to dinner. Was a nice chinese restaraunt that had a sushi train as well so we sat down and hooked in. We had a bit fo sushi and then me and Channing just took the easy route and ordered chicken fried rice as well you can go wrong with that and was quite filling.

Me and Alexa went out for a cigarette and there was this guy selling these really nice wire beaded sculptures. Alexa picked up this one chicken thing and said that would be great to put egss in so I bought it for her as a gift for her kindness and a little wart hog one for Channing they were pretty cool and in Australian money pretty cheap too.

She told me her parents owned a lodge up in Kruger National Park and I should head up there for a stay so might take that advice even though it is backwards from where I am but always heard about Krugar National Park in South Africa so could be a good experience.

We finished up with dinner and headed home to Alexas and chilled for awhile.

Channing went to bed and me and Alexa sat up for awhile but it was getting late so i thought I better get out of there and head home. So was a really nice afternoon and evening spent with very very nice people.
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:11 PM   #22
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Durban

Got up this morning for breafeast and Vern Alexa's dad and the owner of this place asked me if I wanted to come to the club to watch the Crusaders Reds Rugby Union final, at first I said i wasnt going but then thought why not get out and meet a few more people. Got to the club about 15 minutes away at Virginia airfield and met up with all their crew and sat back to watch the footy.

One of their friends must be a journalist as we got talking about why im doing the trip etc and he wanted to do a story on me and invited me to come back to an airshow next week and he would get me some VIP tickets for it. Could work out well if I go back up the coast to Kruger National Park and then come back next week.

I watched the footy and as much as I hate Queenslanders it was good to see the Reds win the final and by the sound of it they had the majority of support in the club they are all mad on rugby union over here.

I got up to go to leave and thought id go for another ride this time over to the south side of the city to have a look around and as I was walking out Alexa and Channing were walking in. Stopped for a chat for a few minutes then headed off, was tempted to go back in and catch up a bit more with Alexa but wanted to see a bit more of Durban as im thinking I might get out of here soon either way up or down the coast, I will decide in the morning, ill be moving on at some stage soon as much as I like it around here and feel very comfortable.

The south side of the city is the poorer side of town there is no doubt about that. I pulled off the highway and turned into one of the areas and stopped at a set of lights. A cop car pulled up beside me and wound down his window, I thought hello what have I done here, I said g'day and he said where are you heading? I just said im just staying in Durban and going for a ride to have a look around to which he repsonded be careful around here. So I kept going it didnt seem to bad and I wasnt to worried, They do say follow your gut instincts when it comes to being in suss places and I felt really ok. I havent come across anywhere that ive felt to bad in South Africa, maybe im just riff raff so it feels normal to me.

Got back to the guest house and hung around for awhile then just cruised down to get KFC for dinner, had the chips and gravy and didnt even hit my burger and chicken so the breakfeast are doing their jobs so far.

Just chilled out watched Tv tonight not much on but relaxing and blogging and facebooking, its good to be online again, im sure that will be an issue as I get further and further into Africa but for now its all good.

Will have to suss out my charger converter adaptor thing I plug into the South African electrical sockets for some reason it wont let me charge the computer which sort of sucks, I can only charge it off the bike at the moment so might look into that tomorrow.

Alexa and Channing mentioned the movies tomorrow, whether I go or not is another thing but it would be nice to see them again before I go anywhere.

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Old 07-14-2011, 02:12 PM   #23
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Another nice beautiful sunny day in Durban but I must admit im getting sick of bacon and eggs for breakfeast, but hooked in anyway just started with cereal for bashing down the eggs and bacon.

After breakfeast I went back and chilled for awhile, one problem of eating such a big breakfeast I feel like crashing out again or at the very least lieing down ha ha good one fat boy any excuse.

Caught up with Vern and told him that I would be heading up to Krugar National Park tomorrow to their lodge and maybe stay at St Lucia on the way up. He just said leave it with me and ill organise everything. Asked him how much it is and he said not to worry about that. It was only by chance I stayed here, the guesthouse in my gps down the road there was no one home, the next one was full and ended up here, I'm so glad i did, they are such a nice family. Vern invited me back down to the Virginia Aero Club for a drink later in the afternoon so will be heading out with the crew again.

I jumped on the bike and headed down to Gateway to buy some more internet data credits, man that place is huge but knowing where to go this time made it alot easier. Had a bit more of a walk around got a drink and some money out of the bank to pay my bill and then headed over to the service station to get some fuel.

The servos over here are not just drive up self service then walk in and pay they have attendants that do everything for you, I guess they must have heaps of runners so you actually have to get a guy to swipe a card on the bowser before you can use it.

Waited a few minutes for someone to come and serve me, obviously some servos are better than others, there were quite a few disgruntled people waiting for fuel at this one and by the looks of it the guys supposed to be serving they weren't to fussed as they were all just hanging around jibbering. In the end i thought stuff it hopped back on my bike and pissed off.

Got home and then dropped some stuff off and then headed for the Aero club to hook up with the crew. In the two times Ive been at the club ive met some really friendly people.

Today one of Verns friends JJ who I got talking to has invited me to a corporate box for next saturdays Sharks v Bulls Rugby game, apparently its the big local derby here, im not right up on the South African Currie Cup but have watched some of it on Fox back home in oz, so next Saturday ive got VIP tickets to the airshow and then im off to the Currie Cup, will be a big day. Worries me a little bit as I know ive still got some issues with when I get tired, its like i dont get any choice everything just shuts down and it happens quickly. I've certainly lost alot of confidence when it comes to doing things like that especially when I dont have control on when I can come and go, well I always have control but I would hate to be rude and back door it, im sure it will be ok i'll just make sure im rested up before hand.

Its all just part of the recovery process that is taking longer than I thought to overcome, it's probably more a confidence thing that's all, I know I hear ya harden up princess.

Tomorrow morning im heading off to Kruger National Park about 600k's north of here so I came home from the club and packed the bike up ready to go, it takes about 30 or 40 minutes to do so basically all I have to do is have breakfeast and jump on the bike and go in the morning.

Doesent look like im going to catch up with Alexa and Channing which is a shame I really enjoyed their company but hopefully when I get back ill see them. I actually really like Durban, I know I havent been to many places yet but this is really nice here and feel very comfortable. So far the people I have met in South Africa have been absolutley wonderful, all so friendly and helpful im sure there is a bad element here somewhere but I havent seen one bit of it.


The adventure continues in the morning, Im really looking forward to getting to Kruger National Park everyone i've talked to has amazing stories of the animals they have seen there so it shoud be great, though I dont want to get to excited, you know how things have a tendency to let you down when you are expecting something special, in the wash up we are dealing with wild animals here, they dont work to scripts just for the sake of some tourist so ill take what I get and be happy. When you hear of South Africa you hear of Kruger National Park so im sure it will be good.

Gave one of the young fellas a sit on the bike and let him start it then took a few pictures and printed them out for him they were quite happy with that then headed back to my room to watch tv and chillax.
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:13 PM   #24
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Durban to the Boabab Inn

Finished packing the bike up this morning then relaxed for a little while then headed off about 10:30am. The ride was pretty much just straight up the N2 its amazing how much the north coast of Durban looks like the north coast of New South Wales in Oz, Drove the 200 odd k's to St Lucia where I had all good intentions of staying tonight but as I got there at around 1:30 I thought I might head a bit further north and find somewhere to stay.

I was having a break there anyway and saw a sign saying danger crocodiles so thought have to walk down there only to be comfronted with 2 pods of hippos, cool although all they were doing is sitting on there fat asses sleeping, I could do that, wondered if I should throw something at them and stir em up a little, yeah maybe not, I had just chugged down a ciggie and wasnt in any mood to run either. Well there you go my first hippo's in Africa, my immediate thought was arent they supposed to get up and sing and dance like in the movies, oh well maybe the next pod will do that.
Started to head off out of town and thought where are my gloves, ok better stop and find them, oh ok there they are in my pannier leaving stuff behind or losing things is a constant issue with my memory, while I was stopped a couple on a Kawasaki Ninja 1000 pulled up and we had a chatted for awhile, they showed me a few places on the map and talked about the Sani Pass ride in Lesotho, dont know why but I thought it was up in Swaziland there you go I could of nicked over and had a look a that ride in the last week its only a few hundred k's from Durban I might do that on my way back its apparently one of the amazing motorbike rides of the world but its actually not the best time of the year to do it as it raises up to 3000 metres and gets very cold and snow but it will be worth a look to see if its possible at least.

Headed off and but by the time I actually got out of St Lucia it was closer to 3:30 now so running out of daylight so it did cross my mind to just find somewhere in St Lucia but nah I want to cut the k's down as much as I can for tomorrows ride through Swaziland and on up into the Kruger National Park, ive still got around 400 odd k's well probably closer to 300 now as Ive ridden up to the Boabab Inn 300 Rand a night about 40 bucks its a really nice motel seperate bungalows pretty good actually highly recommoned it if you ever head up this way. Walked in to be confronted with a few Zebra's so today seen my first hippo's and now Zebra's, cool.

Got talking to a guy staying in one of the villas at the Boabab Inn Dave, hes been here before and apparently there is 3 game reserves around here and all very good so he uses this place as a base to go to them all.
Im just chilling in my room stopped for a burger at some random servo earlier so that will get me through, there is a restaraunt and bar here but might just hang out get up early and get on the road again if I get to the lodge early enough might get to see some animals tomorrow up there.


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Old 07-14-2011, 02:15 PM   #25
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Boabab Inn to Royal Kruger Lodge

Left the Boabab inn about 10 and headed up to the Swaziland border which was about 60k's up the road. I got there wondering ok here we go with my first border crossing in Africa lets see how i go with this, it was always going to be the one thing that worried the most paperwork and organizing things.

Got directed into the carpark by the guys and got off the bike and headed into the South African part of it and ok they just stamped my passport and got my bike registration, no need to worry about the carnet as its an internal border, so they say, I was a little apprhensive about that but ill go off what they say. 5 minutes later my passport and everything is ok and im off to the gate and straight through into the Swaziland gate, its surprising the difference a 100 metres makes, straight into a run down building and have my passport stamped and give them the card and im through.

Walked back over to my bike and had a chat with the crew at the gate to Swaziland, they were all so friendly, had a ciggie break with them for 15 minutes talking about the bike where im going etc standard stuff. The young guy at the gate asked if I have an old bike and asked if I can give it to him, I said id post it to him which we all laughed at.

Drove straight through Swaziland which is only a about a 2 hour ride, stopped off at a little town for petrol all very friendly people as has everywhere Ive been so far. I've come across alot of servos out of petrol already in South Africa, the 10 litre jerry can I got is going to come in handy even before I get out of the main stream towns.

Got to the north border of Swaziland, had my passport stamped again only 5 minutes and headed to the South African side of it. So far no dramas being the internal border, im sure that will change as I go to cross an internatioanl border but its a good learning curve being so easy but gives me some idea how it all works crossing over land.

Rode up to the girl at the gate of South Africa and I hadn't declared my computer and camera gear which supposedly your meant to do but no one till her had said anything so after a brief chat she said next time declare it, ok no probs.

I had heard that you had too but as no one asked about it so I thought bugger it. All you need to do is keep the serial numbers of your computer camera etc and the make all pretty basic really, I wonder if it will be any different when I cross international lines ill have to make sure to ask just to save any hassles.

Drove the rest of the way to where Vern had told me on the map then realised I had one small detail missing that of the where I was going, he had given me the area but not the name of the lodge and with there being lodges everywhere I though I better ring and see actually find out.

He probably had given me the name but maybe it was me overlooking the fact, something Ive got to be alot more careful about. I learnt that lesson in Thailand taking off not remembering the name of where I was staying riding 20 k's away and then going hang on a second where the f&^k am I staying, I am sure I'm not the first person to have done that.

Luckily I had a few bucks credit left in my phone it costs heaps to ring on the SA numbers so went through my credits quicker than expected. Had the Lodge number so thought id try them and got no answer and as I had stuff all credits thought id hang up and just ring Vern. Got onto Vern and as I got him the phone rang and it was Arianna the girl who runs the lodge with Gavin replying to my call so I quickly hung up and took the call and they gave me the name and final directions to where they were. After they gave it to me I put it in the gps and there it was so no dramas at all. I had used the paper maps Vern had given me all the way so far with only looking at the Gps to see when the turn offs where coming up so the paper maps defiantly come in handy still.

Arrived At around 3:30 so had a good 5 or so hours on the bike was a little tired chuck in the unstressful border crossings which seem to take a little of my energy, but thats just me most people would cruise through with no dramas.

Seems to effect me physically still a little having to use my brain even for a little while wears me out probably a bit more than id like to admit, (harden up princess) got to keep telling myself that all the time.

Got a really friendly welcome Gavin and Arianna, they are so nice been absolutely blessed to meet some extrodinarily nice people so far on my adventure.

There was another couple from the UK Peter and Jenny that had arrived today too so after they had been given the tour of the place we sat down and had a chat then headed over to the area where they have and open fire and sat around it for dinner, very very nice it was too, four courses which included a beautiful rump steak, they love there meat over here in South Africa which suits me just fine.

Was pretty stuffed and we have decided to do a half day game drive in the Kruger in the morning so have to be up at 4:30am to get organised and hit the gate of the park at 6 to get the best of it, so adios amigos sleep time at 9:30pm pfft early for me but ill need it my back and neck is pretty sore today after the 5 hours in the saddle.
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rideforsmiles screwed with this post 12-17-2013 at 02:03 PM
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:17 PM   #26
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One word for today Kruger National Park and today is WOW what an amazing place, ive had certainly one of those days that go into the memory bank of life as much as every day is fantastic this one was pretty special spent with some pretty special people.
We got up early and I mean early, everyone who knows me knows im not a morning person but it wasnt hard to be excited about what lay ahead.

After going to bed so early I woke up at just beofre midnight standard stuff with my back and neck hurting like they do and had a little trouble going back to sleep with the excitement of what lay ahead which I was trying to control.

We had a quick coffee and a muffin and reminded me of Gribbos bucks when there was chocalate muffins flying around when we went deep sea diving, by the way which I didnt partake in any of those evil enriched muffins, poor old frenchy did that day he scoffed down heaps, needless to say he paid the price for many a long hour on the high seas.

I had discussed with Peter and Jenny who hadnt brought to many warm clothes with them as the temperature has been great like 23 degrees celcius during the day, Gavin had said rug up it is cold in the morning so I mentioned that they can use some of my bike gear to keep warm and boy was it lucky I had all the warm gear it was very needed by everyone. It was one thing I made sure I had plenty of when I left as being cold on a bike just makes it all that much harder.

We sorted out all the warm gear I made sure I had plenty for me which I know keeps me pretty protected and Jenny ended up in my Dririder motorcycle jacket with one of my thermals underneath, my gloves and balaclava, so she was sweet, Peter borrowed my jumper and the woollen liner to the jacket so he was pretty right too. I had my thermal a few t-shirts, long thermal underwear that I had bought which has paid dividends already, I also had the wet weather part of the Dririder jacket which is a really good and a wind resistant jacket. Luckily I had all the gear as it turned out to be a raining overcast day which apparently is very out of season for this time of year here and as we were in an open vehicle it was cool or damn cold depending on who you are.

We arrived at the gate and were pretty much right on time so were the first vehicle into the park. Off we went and straight away its animal after animal ill post pics as i go but there is the big 5 they say you have to see in Kruger and they are the Leopard, Lion, Buffalo, Elephant and the Rhino so got to see all of them on the morning half day drive which was fantastic, thats not to mention all the other animals Giraffe, Impala, wilderbeast, eagles all manner of bird life hippos, crocodiles and im sure ive forgotten something.

We came home and as we had a 4:30 start we were al pretty tired so we had a quick lunch and had a rest for about an hour then it was off on the night drive We went with a another tour company that runs from inside the park as they are the only ones allowed to drive in the park at night so there was only our vehchile and one other driving around the park.

Myself Jenny and Peter joined with two other girls from South Africa I think they were from Pretoria They had done the day tour also but had missed the lions and rhinos so to complete their big 5 they needed to see them. I said to them ok lets just knock them out and head on home. No sooner had I said that a guy on his way back to the camp stopped and said up the road take the next left theres two lions on the side of the road, so off we went in search of them and sure enough there they were sitting as calm as you like right there by the side of the road amazing, in the morning we had seen a lioness and her cub now we were seeing two regal male lions so was fantastic. Stopped and took a bucket load of pictures of them and then as they made a move so did we.

We drove up the road a few k's and by this time it was getting dark and then all of a sudden there is three rhinos sitting on the side of the road perfect so the girls had completed their big 5 in the first hour of the night cruise and we had got to witness both the rhino and lions so close it was great. The rest of the 2 hour night cruise was pretty uneventful but the guide Dingan was pretty good and and was a most enjoyable evening but by the end I think we had all had enough after such a long and full day.

Gavin and Ariana were there to pick us up when we got back to the main part of the park so it was off home for dinner, bloody beautiful again eating really well here..

Simply amazing one of those magic days and spent with some amazing beautiful people all in all I was very fortunate to be where I was in the world today, thank you so much Gavin, Peter and Jenny for sharing such a special day full of fun laughter and amazing sites one that I will remember forever.

Im so sore and exhausted though ive really pushed myself, well my back and neck in the last few days, I was sore yesterday after the 5 odd hour ride today im absolutely rooted so ill enjoy sleeping tonight which im going to do right now bla bla bla zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz





Peter and Jenny from the UK














































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Old 07-14-2011, 02:19 PM   #27
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Royal Kruger Lodge

Woke up this morning at 8:30am with all good intentions of sleeping in but oh well since I was up thought id venture out and have breakfeast, so after the standard cereal bacon and eggs sat around for awhile out in the lounge as Peter and Jenny organised there walk with Rick one of the other local guides around here. I did toss up on the idea of going for a local walk with them into the bush but my back and neck was so sore I thought I might just give it a miss and just chill. They left about 9:30am and basically as soon as they walked out the door I went back to bed to lie down and fell asleep till after 12:30pm. I certainly needed it felt 100% better after I got up. Checked my emails and there was one from Gary a South African who I had met in Thailand that had given me some great tips on South Africa telling me I had been drinking where he used to hang out at the Virginia Aero Club and he knew of Vern and all the guys there such a small world hey, I guess ive meeting with the right people where ever I am in the world.

After lunch I just relaxed some more and actually had a bath for the first time in forever, it was nice to soak in a hot tub.

Got one the computer to start organising some of these pictures I had so many of the animals. Peter and jenny came over and copied the pics onto Peters computer. I showed them the videos withwe made in Tasmania Logan doing his Bear grills impersonation, made me miss him a bit well alot actually but ive got used to that sort of deal so all good hes always in my heart.

Went over to the edge of the park for a drive with everyone, obviously the bush telegragh works well here there was a few lions chewing on a zebra they had caught right near the fence line well not that close but close enough to see them through binnoculars. It was actually surprising how many people were down there watching when your in the guest house its like your in your own little world but there was just so many people down on the river front watching the wild life, elephants giraffe and the lions and their kill pretty amazing afternoon in itself.

Got back to the lodge right on dark and then hung around for a few minutes I actually printed out Jenny and Peter a picture I had just taken with Gavin and Arianna down the river front as a gift for being able to share the last few days with them. Cheers guys cya when I cya.

Briefly met one of Gavins mates from Johannasburg who I had a quick chat to, he gave me his card, I may see him in the morning im not sure if Paul will be here but seems to know Namibia very well and he did say his Namibian number was on his card so it might be good to have a better chat with him when he's not so tired from his drive to here tonight.

Tomorrow i leave to head back to Durban, I will probably stay half way or thereabouts again, ill work that out as I go, it will be shame to leave but I have to push on ive been invited to the aero show and to the sharks v bulls game on Saturday so beter start making my way back down to Durban if im going to make it. Big big thank you to Gavin and Aarianna for your welcome and hospitality through the last few days its been great. As they say in the good book "live long and prosper" oh hang on that was star trek oh well its all good.


Royal Kruger Lodge as you can see im not slumming it but Vern did me a really nice deal on the price which helped.






The lounge room is really nicely decorated and gives you the feel you are in Africa ha ha funny that.






The beds were comfy but had ot be out of it at the crack of dawn, well actually before she even got up. The lodge even though it sits along the border of the of the Kruger on the Crocodile River the main gate is a 20 or 30 k's away and we had to be there by 5am so it was a very early start, as you can magine was excited to get into the Kruger and to see what was happening in there.










As soon as we entered the Kruger there were animals everywhere.







The animal shots ive uploaded arent in any particular order but this lioness was the first of the big 5 we saw throughout the day











Stacks of giraffes, while I had been at the Sunrock Guest house Arthur had told me a story about a Chinese lady that had come to Africa to hunt a giraffe with a bow and arrow, theres certainly some weird and wonderful people out there in the world, I wonder if she let it lick her face before she killed it.



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rideforsmiles screwed with this post 12-17-2013 at 02:23 PM
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:54 AM   #28
Tom-Traveller
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Switzerland ?

Hi

there is always a guest room and cold beer in the fridge for any overlander, RTW, Transafrica, etc.

our location

http://maps.google.de/maps?hl=de&sug...ed=0CBgQ8gEwAA

Good Luck and happy trails

Thomas & Andrea

www.miles-to-ride.com
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Old 07-18-2011, 02:09 AM   #29
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Wow, that was a nasty car accident, glad you survived. I'm in to follow this RR. Cheers and all the best from across the ditch.
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:03 AM   #30
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Subscribed. Looking forward to the journey.
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