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Old 11-25-2011, 10:05 AM   #256
F650Dakar_Norway
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Originally Posted by Steffo View Post
It is indeed a Dainese. The model is "Wave V Neck". I've got the same myself.
Same as mine. But it appears to shrink. Must be some strange material it's made of.

Excellent trip report! Made me want to do it myself
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:43 AM   #257
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Sorry to hear about your crash. I know the feeling. Namibia gravel road 70 mph just going straight when bike went into a severe head shake. They found me knocked out in the middle of the road. Didn't break anything other than the 6" crack up the back of my helmet and of coarse my bike. Like your stories.
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Old 11-26-2011, 12:50 AM   #258
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Bad wreaks not good

Thanks for the R.R. really helping to pass the winter and Africa is defiantly on the bucket list
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:43 PM   #259
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Etosha to N'kwazi - 490 km

I was really looking forward to a new, fresh day of riding. Tim's crash yesterday had really shaken up the group quite a bit, and we all needed a good night's sleep to put it behind us. Su decided to stay with Tim last night in the Namibian hospital, which meant that we had no bags. Oh well...it made packing up for today's ride a breeze. It also made for some foul smelling riders!

After another excellent breakfast, we all gathered by the fire pit to await our day's briefing. Our daily briefings were conducted by Charley and John, one of the owners of Motoaventures.







It was a great combo. Charley was the cheerleader who would get us pumped up and excited about the miles of riding to come. His enthusiasm for riding in Africa is absolutely contagious. John, on the other hand, paints quite a different picture of the days ride. He tells us of all the dangers to watch out for. He critiques people's riding styles and offers stern advice on speed, cornering techniques, and group riding. He talks about the consequences of not paying attention to his advice. He tells it how it is! Everyone there had the utmost respect and admiration for John. The riders usually left the briefings with mixed emotions....excitement and terror!!

Today's ride was a big one, 490 km split between asphalt, gravel roads, and a little sand. We were told to top off our bikes due to the fact that the next available fuel stop was over 450 km away in a town called Rundu. This really pushed the limit of the F800's and 1200GS's. In the wake of Tim's crash and the need to conserve fuel, we all decided to stay close together and keep our speed down.

The riding was relaxing today. Adam and I rode side by side 90 percent of the way. I will try and post a quick video of the ride when I have some more time. We rode through numerous small villages with hundreds of kids playing along side the rode.










They live in rondevals, which are grass huts lined with branches. They appeared to be very nomadic, moving around wherever food and water could be found.





We had quite a few punctures today.



I had one regret today...I wish I had stopped more to take it all in. I passed numerous photo ops and incredible smiling faces today for the sake of riding. Today, I just wanted to ride and process all the thoughts that were swirling around in my head. Some of the other riders stopped and took great photos. They met great people, and high five'd all the smiling children.

About 40 km from Rundu, Adam's trip computer on his bike said that he had 0 miles left until empty. We pulled off the road under a tree and waited for the others.



As people arrived, we realized that everyone was running on fumes. I was fortunate to be on a 1200 GSA. My computer said that I had a reserve of over 175 km. This machine rocks!! We decided to push on with the notion that I would tow whoever ran out of fuel first. To all of our surprise, we all made it.

We pulled into the gas station and were met by African Paparazzi.





They wanted to give us a police escort to our hotel and they wanted to film it for African television. Due to the fact that not all riders, including Charley, were here, we decided to press on.

The last 20 km to the hotel were quite sandy. It got so bad that numerous riders elected to get off their bikes and have others ferry them in. With all the bikes through the sand, we settled upon our accommodations for the evening...true African rustic style.









The first thing that caught my eye were the signs to beware of crocodiles, snakes, and mosquitos carrying malaria. Where the hell were we??



After a few celebratory cocktails and beers, half of us decided to go on a sunset "boat" cruise down the Kavango River.



We were told that we could have a bit of a sundowner on the banks of Angola. We were off to a rocky start as Scotty decided to joke with the boat captain and start up the boat while the captain was getting the beer.



He revved the engine to get his attention and tried to pull off the dock. Let's just say that the captain was a little annoyed with our rowdy bunch!

After a few photos and a lot of beer, we watched the sunset and slowly motored back to the lodge.













Here's Billy trying to impress Gary. Who knows what Billy was talking about!!



We decided to do a drive by "mooning" for all of the guests to appreciate. (I hope someone has a picture of this...Bryce???) Once again, the captain was less than amused. Tim and Su rejoined our group tonight. We were excited to see Tim...and our luggage. Tim was out of it most of the night...the result of his concussion and the meds. He went to bed early while the rest of us sang and drank by the fire until they turned off the lights.



They literally turned off the generator and left us in the "lobby" in the dark. I hustled back to my room terrified of crocodiles and snakes.

After nearly two weeks together, I have made some incredible friendships. Our group of riders have bonded, and we are so fortunate to be able to share this amazing experience with each other. In the beginning, it was all about me and the riding. Charley was the main attraction in the beginning. A weird shift occurred near the end. The focus shifted off of the riding and Charley, and more onto the friendships and experiences. Charley became more of a friend rather than a celebrity. We were just a group of riders having the time of our lives in Africa...
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:42 PM   #260
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Wish we had had a decent cameraman on our expedition. The film is superb...really captures what its like in Africa.
We have now completed 21,000 kms and are now in Egypt and about to cross the Med to Turkey and then carrying on the www.bigbiketrip.net
Max Hastings. Thanks for reading this RR, and good luck to you guys on your epic trip. I am extremely envious. I will kick in some $$ to help you guys out. Happy holidays!!
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:33 PM   #261
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Greetings from the down trip!

Hey globalpilot, great RR on your leg of the journey!! I enjoyed all the pics and vids and reliving the trip once again. Looks like you guys had the same great experiences we did on the way down from Vic Falls. I find myself thinking about it every day since the trip ended.

I think the wife and I may try and do the new second leg from Vic Falls to Joberg that John and Su are offering in 2013 and can't wait! It was definitely the trip of a lifetime.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:12 PM   #262
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Just signed up for the same trip this August. Thanks for the great trip report and your enthusiasm about the journey.
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Old 02-27-2012, 06:21 PM   #263
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Very enjoyable report, envious of you!
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:16 PM   #264
Seattle Jimmy
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Just signed up for the same trip this August. Thanks for the great trip report and your enthusiasm about the journey.
You are stoked..it really was the trip of a lifetime. Su and John are top kit. I am going back as soon as a can save the $$
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:21 AM   #265
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Global pilot, your RR is fantastic and your writing is brilliant. Thanks for taking the time and effort to share your epic journey with the rest of us jealous inmates. If it wasnt already asked, I was wondering about how the Mitas tyres performed. Also, I am a little surprised they didnt equip the bikes with better skidplates
One jealous inmate.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:13 AM   #266
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Absolutely EPIC!



Even though you have a 800 at home, having been exposed to the GSA on the varying terrain in S.A; do you think the 800 would handled equally well, or is the GSA the way to go for larg(er) scale tasks/trips like yours?

I'm looking forward to the rest of the RR - though I'm jealous as chit; could you go back for another round please? This RR might end too soon!

M.
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Old 04-22-2012, 04:14 PM   #267
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Death jump and ball sacks!

After two weeks of solid riding, life was good. We had all settled into a newer, slower pace of life where time was measured in kilometers and laughs, rather than by deadlines and demands. Gone was the daily stress from work, bills, kids, spouses, etc. By this time, friendships were firmly cemented and countless memories were forever embedded. Plans were made for future rides and get togethers with promises of bringing spouses and getting entire families together. We were all aware that our trip was coming to an end soon, and we were all frantically trying to post pone the inevitable goodbyes.

The pace of our riding mellowed out more so in these last few days. Nobody had anything to prove, and the scenery was becoming more desolate and uninspiring.





Our ride today took us from N'Kwazi to Divava. It was 230 km of small African Villages along dusty gravel roads. The biggest concern today was dodging all of the numerous animals and small children along the side of the road. We rode in large groups with each of us just enjoying the company of our fellow adventure riders. Charley was in great spirits as usual as we rode. He and Billy are two of the most genuinely upbeat people to travel with. No drama. No moodiness. No hostility. Just pure fun, laughter, and entertainment.





Since the ride was rather lackluster along this section, this report focuses mainly on the sweet accommodations for the evening, the river safari, and Jimmy's alcohol induced "DEATH JUMP!" We stayed at one of Africa's premier lodges that night. The Divava Okavango Lodge and Spa. This place was off the charts luxury! I have stayed at some nice diggs over the course of my travels, but this place has got to be in my top 5.







After our 4 hour leisurely ride today, I checked in and went to my private hut. Tim was still in the support vehicle with Su so I had the place to myself for awhile. The first thing I noticed was the private out door shower looking out over the Okavango River.



I grabbed a beer from the mini-fridge, stripped down, and relaxed in the outdoor shower just soaking it all in. That has got to be one of the coolest things to do...drinking an ice cold beer, in a shower, outside, in Africa!!

We all met for a river safari that evening that promised to be as spectacular as the lodge itself. It did not disappoint. We saw numerous crocodiles, hippos, birds, etc. The boat was a rickety old thing which had two decks.



Most of us clambered up to the top deck to get a better view of the action.













Now, I am not really sure how the next part of my story came about, but I do not that it involved numerous Windhoek Lagers!! Myself, Charley, Adam and Jimmy were having a great time checking out all the crocs near the waters edge.











I do believe it was me who offered somebody 1000 Rand to jump in the water and swim to shore. We all laughed at the absuridy of the proposition, and continued drinking our beer. Jimmy, however, was seriously considering the wager. He was nervously pacing the upper deck with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other. He was like a fighter getting ready to go into the ring. He was totally psyching himself up for the the jump. He then shot me a look, and I knew he was going to go for it. "Fuck it dude! I'm gonna jump off the boat!" I grabbed Charley and then told Jimmy to let me get my video camera rolling, but it was too late. Jimmy had reached the mental point of no return. It was now or never. He ripped off his shirt, jumped on the bar and walked to the edge. He was a good 15 feet in the air, 10 yards from the beach, and about a six pack in. And then he just went for it!! No warning. No "hey look at me!" He just jumped.







I barely had enough time to grab my still camera. I pushed the shutter down and just let it shoot continuosly. We were all in shock when he first hit the water. There were crocs everywhere. "Oh shit!! Oh shit!! What have I done. I just dared Jimmy to jump in the water and the crazy bastard did it!!"

He touched bottom, shot to the surface of the water, and calmly swam to the shoreline. The group broke out in screams and applause, and a legend was born. He got back on the boat, and the captain was less than amused. He commanded his first mate to "shove off" and with a start of the engine, we were heading back to the lodge. Charley and I were amazed. "You're a nutter Jimmy...a fucking nutter mate!" he said.

I will attach a quick video clip in the next ride report!!

That night back at the lodge, we were treated to an authentic African choir followed by an amazing outdoor dinner. The food was top notch, and the wine was incredible. One could almost call it a "classy affair". That is until Charley, halfway through the meal realizing that people were being somewhat reserved, jumped up on the table and pulled up his "skirt" and showed his ball sack for all to admire. We all broke out in laughter having been slightly traumatized by the event. He definitely knows how to keep a party going!!





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Old 04-22-2012, 06:59 PM   #268
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After GP4's last post, I am cashing in my retirement, and selling some bicycles, and I am going to take a trip with Charlie. Not that I want to see his balls, but I want to be around him when legends are born. Great RR!
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:37 PM   #269
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Wow! Great stuff.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:42 PM   #270
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"JUMP" video!!

As promised, here is a quick video of Jimmy's Death Jump! This man is a legend and I am proud to call him one of my closest friends. Enjoy!!



http://youtu.be/Twvn4Ml1lAE
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