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Old 07-14-2013, 01:52 AM   #46
Radioman
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Bravo!! Loved reading your RR. Harrowing to say the least, but like a true adventurer you carry on with your dream! Very inspired!!

I will continue my own RTW ride and arriving Capetown in September. Working on my plans for the southern part of Africa with another ADV rider ...... Will see what I will do once I arrive and start riding!

Cheers
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Old 07-14-2013, 04:23 AM   #47
flyingdutchman177
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Wow

What an amazing story and ride report.
You are making my RTW adventure ride seem like a girly ride.........wait, maybe I need to rethink that.....LOL
I want to ride thru Africa too but it scares me.
Fear of the unknown
But you are showing me that it can be done.
And I have not let my fears stop me yet
It seems like you have a lot of friends and support. I am sure that helps.
I hope to have some help along the way by the time I get there.
I will be watching and maybe bump into you along the way.
Lalo
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Old 07-14-2013, 06:32 AM   #48
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great ride report

Wow! Good thing you decided to change "bikes" huh? This is really a cool RR plus a great looking bike, (and rider!) Thanks for taking the time.


Gary "Oldone"

Grampa’s Lake Superior Ride
Grampa’s National Monument Ride

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Old 07-14-2013, 07:22 AM   #49
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I love these rides, after all the media, all the propoganda from political sources how evil everyone is, along comes somoene like you to prove what I have found in my travels, that most people are all the same, they just want a job, a family and to have fun.
Wonderful adventure I am loving every post.
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:39 AM   #50
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Wow, Just finished reading up to now. I am so impressed!!!! Makes me want to go to Africa right now. You are a big inspiration to me and I can happily report I am definitely IN for the rest !

Btw, do you have any rough breakdown of your average costs over all per day (incl border crossing stuff)? It would be very much appreciated and will put it to good use!
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:05 AM   #51
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Part 2: Back on the Road!!


Morocco to Spain:


It’s been ten months since I had to leave Morocco and return to South Africa! Can you believe it? Time flies!

I set foot back on Moroccan soil on Saturday 6 July’13 and from the get-go I was in for some fun and games. A friend whom I was supposed to stay with had gotten the dates wrong and thought I was only arriving the next week, so he wasn’t in Casablanca. I phoned my good old friend Madani, who quickly came up with a solution and put me up in a hotel near the Airport for the night! What would I do without Madani here in Morocco?

Fifteen hours travel from South Africa to Morocco and another 2 waiting around on the airport. I was thoroughly exhausted! I settled into my room. (Beautiful hotel. Hotel Atlas near Casa airport). I had a shower and went down to have a coffee on the terrace next to the swimming pool. By 8pm I was back in my room and fast asleep. *

Madani picked me up from the hotel the next morning and we went to watch an enduro race on the beach and camels standing in the waves at Mazagan, a beach resort in El Jadida. Madani showed me the casino in the hotel. We wanted to have a beer, but seeing as it was just days before the start of Ramadan, we weren’t allowed. Well, I could have a beer if I wanted. I just needed to get a special bracelet from reception, but Madani wasn’t allowed. I didn’t think it fare on my friend to have a beer without him, so settled for coffee instead.







The next few days were spent in Rabat, which has now become a bit like a second home to me. I stayed with Madani’s cousin, Momo (Mohamed), in the center of town and he absolutely carried me on his hands! Taking care of my every need. He helped me to sort out my precious Dax. For three days we went up and down between customs head office in Hay Riad and customs in downtown Rabat. Between Momo and Madani they wrote an impressive letter in French on my behalf, explaining my situation and hoping this might sway the chief of customs to drop the fine they had slapped on me for leaving Dax in Morocco for so long. A hefty 10 000 Dirham (USD 1200) fine to be exact. At first we were told that it was not possible to have the fine dropped. But we eventually got it down to 6 000 Dirham (USD 700). Still a bit much in my opinion, but that was the offer on the table and I took it.

Madani paid the fine for me and will try to get a local club to maybe ‘sponsor’ the expenses. If that doesn’t work, I’ll pay him back.

After we had paid the money to customs and got my keys and paperwork back, Madani took me to fetch my Dax! What a joyous moment, seeing my bike again after such a long time! I couldn’t help but get the feeling that she was a little miffed with me for leaving her alone in a strange place for so long. I don’t blame her. She’d get even on day one back on the road…but more on that later.



Madani organized a mechanic who changed the tyres for me on my bike and give her a quick once over. The guys from Speed Moto in Casablanca serviced her for me the last time round, so there wasn’t much to do. New tyres, change battery and we’re good to go!

Ramadan started on the 10th and I decided to also take part. Well, at least until I got to Europe. It’s an interesting experience. I’d say the only thing I really miss during the day is something to drink, like a glass of water or a cup of coffee.
At night, Momo and I would go to eat at a little Italian restaurant near the Rabat train station. A traditional Ramadan meal, consisting of a kind of vegetable soup with chickpeas and spaghetti in it, almost like minestrone. Some dates and Moroccan honey cookies called chebakia. (I love these honey cookies!!) A bread roll accompanied with some kind of meat, it differs every night. First it was chicken kebabs, then fish the next night etc. A glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, a yoghurt and a hard-boiled egg. I know it all probably sounds pretty plain, but I found it to be pretty heavenly!

Chebakia
I've been carrying a stash from Morocco. :)


I also love that, during Ramadan, everyone seems to be out and about at night between 21:00 and 1:00am. After dinner, you walk through the streets and it’s chockablock with people walking around, men lining the outsides of café’s drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes, groups of children playing all over. Hordes of men standing in front of the mosque before going in to pray. The city comes alive at night. I guess because during the day everyone is half asleep as a result of no food or drink.





When the time came to hit the road once more, Madani and a friend of his, Patrick, said they’d ride about halfway to Tanger with me. Madani on his Ducati monster and Patrick on Madani’s Harley.





Momo and Dax



We left just after 10am on Sunday. It was absolutely fantastic being back on the bike! Though it did feel a bit like Dax and I had to become better acquainted again after all this time. So we stopped off halfway to Tanger and I had an interview on SAFM (South Africa) and chatted to a friend, Stephen Kirker. We stopped off at a friend of Patrick’s which is a bit off the main road and I got to hit some thick sand on day one of being back on the road again! I was a bit wobbly but all went well on the way in. On the way out though, Dax got her vengeance for my leaving her alone in Morocco for so long and promptly plonked down in the sand.

My friends were very concerned and rushed to help me pick up Dax. I just laughed and said: “This happens pretty often, don’t worry about it.” Now the trip had really begun! I always feel like the trip only REALLY starts after the first fall. Luckily it happened very early on. So no more falls from now on all the way home!



I then bid my companions farewell and set off to Tanger on my own. The road to Tangier is easy and straightforward. When I arrived in Tanger I phoned Hicham, a guy who I met on couchsurfing.com and on who’s couch I’d be sleeping for the night. He gave me directions to a meeting point and I set on through Tanger city to the beach. Hicham met up with me and led me to his apartment. And WOW! What an amazing place he has. Right on the beach on the 4th floor looking out over the ocean and the entire city and port to the left. We got along fabulously! Later the evening I sat with my legs dangling over the balcony, looking over the ocean and the pink limousine down below in the street, squinting and trying to see Spain off in the distance. It was a wonderful relaxed evening, lying on the couch and dozing off to music being played on the beach outside.





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Old 07-19-2013, 11:33 AM   #52
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Crossing to Spain

Next morning I had to ride to Tanger Med port. At first I wanted to try and changed my ticked from Tanger Med to Tanger Ville as the city port was right around the corner from where I was staying. But I had booked my ticket with Acciona and they only leave from Tanger Med. Madani and Patrick had told me that Tanger Med is pretty hectic as you have to negotiate your way through so many people. In my mind I saw Rosso border between Senegal and Mauritania in my mind. I had a choice of route between either taking the highway or the coastal road. I’m sure you can guess which one I took. The curvy coastal road of course.

I was pleasantly surprised when I finally got to Tanger Med. Maybe it’s a bit different at the pedestrian entrance, but with a vehicle you go to a different entrance which is clearly marked and easy to find. At the ticketing offices you park your vehicle and get your ticket. There were maybe 50 people in total that I could count and it was very clean and organized. It all seemed pretty new as well as I could see a lot of recent road and construction works around me. After I got my ticked I head off to the ferry. I had to stop at the police checkpoint, then at customs, then at another two security checkpoints. The customs official didn’t fill in my carnet correctly. That irked me slightly but other than that there were no fuss or any hassles.





I arrived at the ferry and rode on. (This ferry crossing is FAR easier than Senegal/Mauritania!) The crew secured Dax and I went up to find a seat. There were maybe 20 people with me and many open seats all over the place. I picked a spot near to the lower deck so I could check on Dax if need be, but fell asleep before we even left the dock. I only woke up when an announcement came over the speakers to inform us that we’d arrived in Spain.

I stumbled down below, still half asleep, and arrived just as the crew was freeing Dax of her constraints. There was another loaded BMW parked behind me and a guy and his girlfriend had been riding in Morocco on his f800gs. They were out before me (still in snooze mode), and when Dax and I rolled off the ferry we head straight for customs. It took all of one checkpoint and 5 minutes to get checked into Spain. Quick and easy and in no time I was heading toward Malaga. Initially I had planned to stay in Almunecar at Patrick’s (In Morocco) mother’s house. But then I also had a potential place to stay in Motril with Jose and his wife. Jose met me on the road at Malaga and rode with me to Motril.

I stayed over in Motril with Jose and his wife in their house on top of the mountain, which is just absolutely amazing! The view from up there is just spectacular. And it’s so quiet and peaceful which is fantastic. We spent the evening eating, drinking, chatting and laughing. I had such a good time.









The next morning we had breakfast in town and Jose helped me to get a local sim card for my phone. He rode with me to the city limits and set me on my way to Valencia.

It was a bit of a stretch at about 600 km to Valencia, but I have a bit of a schedule to maintain as I have friends in Montpellier, France, Genoa and Tuscany that I need (want) to see. *

It was along day’s ride to Valencia. Though I love being on my bike and on the road. I stopped off 3 times to fill up and take a break. I also like that one has to fill up your own vehicle here. (In South Africa you have attendants that do this). It has a kind of ‘Route 66’ feeling to it. Don’t ask me why, that’s just how it feels to me.

From Motril toward Alicante there are a lot of greenhouses and plantations next to the road. For miles and miles you see greenhouses lined next to one another pretty much as far as you can see.

All the way you have the mountains on your left and the Mediterranean on your right. It’s so beautiful! And the closer you get to Valencia, the greener it is all around. Pink flowered shrubs line the road in the middle all the way and you ride through so many tunnels all the way along the coast, from the South of Spain all the way toward France.











Tomorrow, Carlos and his wife Alicia whom I am staying with here in Valencia, will ride about halfway to Madrid with me and in Madrid I’ll meet up with another fellow rider – Alicia Sornosa who has also been all over on her bike. Search for “Amigos de Alicia Sornosa” on Facebook to like her page.

I’m really loving Spain and people are really taking care of me! And I’m really, really, really loving their sangria and paella!!!

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Old 07-22-2013, 01:57 AM   #53
jorrie
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AWSOME RIT KAN NIE WAG VIR DIE RES NIE
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Old 07-22-2013, 02:52 AM   #54
roadspirit
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Fantastic trip so far!

So if I counted right, it took you about 5 months from start until the Morocoan finish?
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:27 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by roadspirit View Post
Fantastic trip so far!

So if I counted right, it took you about 5 months from start until the Morocoan finish?
Yep, about five months from SA to Morocco...and it will take about another 4/5 months to the finish line. But I'm not finishing in South Africa. The official finish line is in Luanda, Angola. Seeing as Angola is my sponsor I will finish there.
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:32 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by ZS6AF View Post
So when are u returning to complete the journey, Would love to do this trip also one day , Write the book i will buy it .

U really really have massive patience with all the border checks and customs .

Would it be possible to get a GPS tracking program to run on ur phone ALL the time , it uploads the info to a website . That way it is possible to follow u LIVE where u are moving if u have cellphone coverage. Do u need differant sim cards in every country ? ur does ur local MTN /Vodacom card work only in certain countries.http://http://mobile.instamapper.com.

Update the GPS maps if that was the problem.

Also get urself a GPS data logger called Little Logbook , its a small USB type device that just needs 12 volts , It records where ur bike have been since its connected to the ignition switch , Every month or so u remove it ,connect to laptop ,download the info , i assume u had one with u ?


Johan Visagie

Nelspruit
I am very lucky to have been born with all the patience in the world. There are times, of course, when I get a bit nervous or worked up at the borders...but I just don't show it and it happens very rarely. It's only when people start grappling at me that I feel a bit like pulling a ninja on them.

I have a tracker in my bike, but it gave in months ago, in the Congo. It was just too much of a hassle to have to change sim cards in every country so I stopped using it.

I log my tracks on my gps and I think that will suffice. I'll upload the log for the first half of my trip on here at some point if you'd like. Or if anyone would like the tracks, just drop me an email and I'll send it to you: jolandie.rust@gmail.com

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Old 07-22-2013, 06:40 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Wanted View Post
woahwoahwoah hang on a second, let me get one thing straight

Am I the only one that is sitting here speechless? I've only tackled the first few posts but I couldn't resist the urge to post my own reply;

You're a WHITE - SOLO - FEMALE - CYCLIST circumnavigating AFRICA, this made my jaw drop in the first few seconds, only to learn you'd been bikejacked by 4 machete wielding Africans who thankfully didn't do any worse, and left you in the middle of nowhere. This I would have imagined would have terrified anyone enough to fly out of Africa and never come back in their entire life.

And yet without what seems a care in the world, you go BACK to AFRICA where this all took place, and continue as a WHITE - SOLO - FEMALE - ADVENTURE RIDER taking the SAME ROUTE and then get taped to a chair in a home invasion by gun wielding Africans...

and then continue without a care in the world...


I am a self proclaimed fearless 6'1 225lbs male and I felt my balls tingling just reading that, you sure you're a female cos yours must be dragging on the ground!!!! I've never seen such courage in my life, I am going to get straight back to reading but this is so inspiring, West Africa is on my route for a RTW trip starting 2015 but I have a tonne of doubt... This will just put me to absolute shame if I bail now

Goodluck to you! incredible :)!
"you sure you're a female cos yours must be dragging on the ground!!!!" - 'checks pants...feels boobs...', YEP, it's confirmed. I am indeed female.

On a more serious note - I guess it all boils down to one's attitude in life, doesn't it?

If you want to do West Africa and want info, routes and contacts, drop me a message at any time.
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:47 AM   #58
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In Montpellier at the moment. Just booked my ferry ticket to Tunisia. Leaving on Friday at 20:00 from Civitavecchia (Italy). Will arrive on Saturday at 20:00 in Tunis.

Riding through Europe is a bit like being on holiday.

Back to Africa I go.
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Old 07-22-2013, 08:06 AM   #59
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Wow what a journey...Amazing!!!!
Glad everything turned out OK with the guy in the hotel..what a scumbag.

Good luck on your epic journey and be safe.

Fred
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:18 PM   #60
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Subscribed!!!
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