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Old 03-29-2014, 09:28 PM   #331
scottmac
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That Ebola outbreak in Guinea is getting bad. It has spread into
the capital city of Conakry.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/eb...s-fears-n66901

No retreating now...
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Old 03-30-2014, 12:51 AM   #332
garnaro OP
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yikes. hope it doesn't go much further...

meanwhile in Sierra Leone.. our well is nearly funded

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Old 03-31-2014, 02:27 PM   #333
brownstoner
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[QUOTE=garnaro;23812349]meanwhile in Sierra Leone.. our well is nearly funded

Another little bit to fill the gap! Great cause!!

Congrats on a wonderful ride report! Extremely envious

Looking forward to more
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:50 AM   #334
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Subscribed and donated. $20 closer to clean water.

Keep it up Gary. My wife and I circumnavigated for a year and only wish we would have shared our experience as well as you have. It's easy to float around, take it all in and even snap some pics. It's another thing entirely to take the time to provide inspired updates to those following. Great stuff.
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:53 PM   #335
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thanks for the help guys - every bit is appreciated.

CFLsurfer - hoping that I'm successful at completing what you've already done! Sharing the whole thing is fun for me - happy to make the effort
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:26 PM   #336
MotoProf
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$125 donated. Is there a website we can go to to see the progress made on the well...when that happens? Would be gratifying to see...
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:27 PM   #337
Lacedaemon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoProf View Post
$125 donated. Is there a website we can go to to see the progress made on the well...when that happens? Would be gratifying to see...
Way to get us over the finish line!
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Old 04-04-2014, 05:00 PM   #338
NICHE
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Old 04-06-2014, 04:13 AM   #339
garnaro OP
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Mission Accomplished

And that my friends is all she wrote. Next step is wire transfer to Coco's non-profit org bank and then get this thing dug.

Coco visits the villages up there regularly and he will provide me the info on progress and images that I'll post on the website (see my signature) and here on this thread. Nice job guys, more than anyone, the riders made it happen.



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Old 04-06-2014, 04:21 AM   #340
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Congrats Garnaro...

it was your inspiration and motivation that put it into gear.

I'm happy to have been a very small part of it. Its great to see money go to something that will provide a huge daily benefit for years and years.

Now get surfing
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Old 04-06-2014, 05:25 AM   #341
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCP View Post
it was your inspiration and motivation that put it into gear.

I'm happy to have been a very small part of it. Its great to see money go to something that will provide a huge daily benefit for years and years.

Now get surfing

Go team!

Yep, I'm overdue for some saltwater therapy - its been a couple of rough weeks...
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Old 04-06-2014, 05:28 AM   #342
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Straight Up Togo



Arrival in Lome, Togo landed me back into a maelstrom of motorbikes on the road. It occurred to me that the reason motorbikes generally didn’t follow any rules in Accra was because there were so few of them cruising the streets. In Lome, with so many bikes about, it would create a lot more chaos if everyone were blowing through red lights. There was something very comforting about being back in a sea of motorbikes – surrounded by my African two wheeled brethren!



In Lome I sought visas for Benin, Republic of Congo, and Gabon. On arrival at the Gabon embassy, they wouldn’t let me enter wearing shorts. Mind you, the temperature was 98 degrees F with 70% humidity. Since the visa window was to close within 20 minutes, I raced off to the local marketplace for a very quick shopping trip. I returned wearing the cheapest pair of pants that I could find in the 5 minutes that I had to look. They were very colorful and I looked ridiculous. On leaving the Gabon embassy in my festive pants, I made a momentary wrong turn into a street that led to a military facility of some kind. There was no sign and I had just gone about 20 feet from the intersection before I tried to turn around, but of course the military guys who happened to be on the corner ordered me to stop, demanded my documents, and detained me for an hour. The delay caused me to miss the morning visa submission for Benin, which would keep me in Lome over the weekend. Thanks guys. Must have been the colorful pants that made them so suspicious.

The new tires that I’d mounted in Accra (Continental TKC80s) started with the usual squirmy new tire feel, but quickly wore in and felt far better than the Mefo Explorers that I’d had been running up to now. Hopefully this set will make it all the way to Cape Town since there is nowhere in between to get tires. Getting this set from another traveller who’d had them shipped to Accra was no more than a stroke of luck.

In Lome I joined Mikayla who I’d met in Cape Coast, Ghana. She had been living in Lome for a few months already and she and her roommate Sylvie took it upon themselves to show me some of what the city had to offer. Mikayla hopped on the back of my bike and we sped around the city to find restaurants, bars, and beaches.



Near the Benin embassy I found a guy to repair my seat, which had blown a seam due to abrasion from my boot when I hopped on from the high side (since the surfboard was mounted on the low side).





By the end of the week, my passport was tanked up with visas and I was ready to roll. Unfortunately, Dyna Rae was not. Just outside of Lome she began to stumble occasionally. I’d felt the same issue back in Ivory Coast and had used the tried and true approach of ‘ignore it and hope it goes away’, which had worked fantastically well up to now. After riding some distance, her stumbles became bad enough that I decided to pull over so that we could discuss what the problem was. It seemed as though she was having trouble breathing, so I cleaned and re-oiled the air filter as best I could along the roadside and had a look inside the top of the carburetor. The entire time that I was tinkering away a woman working at a nearby toll both was trying to convince me to give her my phone number so that I could meet her sister. I had trouble making her understand that I was only passing through and wouldn’t be here at all if I hadn’t broken down and I would never be here again as soon as I could get moving. Dyna’s problem improved somewhat, but it was still evident that she was very irritated about something. I had a long ride ahead, so I just carried on and tried to ignore her complaints.



I spent the day riding the wrong direction: straight north along the entire length of Togo. The next day I was happy to make the turn eastward and I burned across Benin on excellent roads,entering and exiting the country within just 5 hours. Oddly enough with such a well-maintained road, I didn’t find a single petrol station on the traverse. In Togo it seemed that there were petrol stations on practically every corner. It reminded me not to rely too strongly on assumptions for what lies ahead.

Upon entering Nigeria, the road disintegrated completely. It turned into my least favorite kind of dirt to ride: a narrow, grooved track filled with about 6 inches of sand. The hard sides of the grooves seemed to continually knock your front wheel sideways to start it plowing forward and have you jump out to the groove where the sand was deeper. Local guys on 125cc bikes flew past me smooth as could be and I told myself that it was because their bikes had narrower tires, running lower pressures and were unloaded. But I honestly fear that I just can’t seem to figure out how to ride in this stuff.



Since crossing into Nigeria, military and police checkpoints resumed that had been nearly absent in Togo and Benin. Some were legitimate and some were not. I’d read about the Nigerian ‘Stick Men’ who stand at the roadside laying spiked barriers across the way to demand money from travelers and truckers. Part of the reason for taking a route through the middle of Nigeria via Abijan is that these characters and other lawless folk are more prevalent and aggressive in the south of the country. My route seemed to be a good choice as all I encountered were friendly people. At every village smiling kids ran towards the road as I passed shouting 'Oyibo! Oyibo!' which is the Nigerian word for a white person. Even the Stick Men were nice let me take their photo.



I was trying to make it to a village called Kaima, but soon found that was a terribly optimistic target given the road condition. As night fell I turned off of the dirt track to find a campsite amongst the giant termite mounds that dotted the forest floor. The ground was flat, solid, and free of low brush so it was easy to ride into the trees and out of sight without even a trail. Unfortunately I’d lost a water bottle during the journey along the bumpy road and had been sweating like crazy moving slowly in the dirt. That night I learned that trying to go to sleep thirsty is a lot less fun than trying to go to sleep hungry. I had to focus to stop dreaming of a giant glass of iced tea or a bottle of Gatorade straight out of a California gas station refrigerator. As I lay sweating in my tent my thirst grew and eventually I became so desperate that I climbed out to suck out the few drops of water still trapped in my water filter. I swear that I nearly packed up and motored to one of puddles I’d seen on the road to suck some water through my filter.

Since my tent was broken, I’d rigged the rain fly to press against the tent body to keep insects out. It worked well for anything flying around, but the giant ants that prowled the forest floor were a different story. One after another, I would feel one crawling on me, I’d shoot up, click my headlight and punch them into the floor of the tent. As I lay there surrounded by ant corpses, swallowing against the dryness in my throat, and trying to slip into sleep, I wondered what in the world I was doing in the middle of Nigeria.
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Old 04-06-2014, 03:06 PM   #343
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Another first rate post.
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:57 PM   #344
kuyaoli
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Wow, I love to read your adventures
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:48 AM   #345
Sroz
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Motorbikes, tracks, adventure and now suspense can't wait to see how the ant fest ends!
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