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Old 04-15-2014, 08:21 AM   #361
rms56
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Cool2 Amazing ....

absofknlutely amazing!!!!!!

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Old 04-15-2014, 08:39 AM   #362
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ummm, yeah i dont surf......or go on long motorbike trips to Africa but this trip looks fu*&%ng 'totes amazeballs' ;) !!!!!! haa
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:47 AM   #363
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I just caught up, great report!
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:03 AM   #364
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great report

outstanding stuff......boggles. i can't get over the empty breaks, then the idea of it all.
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Old 04-16-2014, 02:46 PM   #365
DustyRags
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Oh man, this is spectacular! I remember seeing this when you first posted, and then lost track of it- just read the whole damn thing (and didn't work for two days)

Excellent, excellent job all around! Great trip, great attitude, great write-up!
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:54 PM   #366
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Waiting...
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:44 AM   #367
Freddan
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Surf

Great adventure and thanks for sharing. Do you write more about surfing on for example a surf forum? I would like to read more about your surfing experiences.
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Old 04-23-2014, 04:47 AM   #368
garnaro OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddan View Post
Great adventure and thanks for sharing. Do you write more about surfing on for example a surf forum? I would like to read more about your surfing experiences.
Hey Freddan - thanks for the kind words. Everything that I post here comes straight from my blog linked in my signature at the bottom.

I'd like to post stuff on a surfing forum but I actually don't know any of them. Surfing has been part of my daily life for so long I never really seek much out on the internet about it. Riding bikes and mechanical stuff is all new to me, so I spent loads of time around here before the trip, mostly soaking as much up as I could.

Can any of the surfers out there tell me the surf forum equivalent of ADVrider?
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:28 AM   #369
shimazaki
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Wicked

Just to put you guys a bit jealous, I'm going right Now to ear some stories about the trip in first person, around a couple of Beers around the pool
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Old 04-23-2014, 08:09 AM   #370
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Surfing Hippos and Other Equatorial Legends



In 2004 National Geographic ran a story about a national park in Gabon with what they called Ďsurfing hipposí that make their way right into the surf zone from the adjacent estuary. Iím not sure thereís a better way to enliven the imagination of an adventurer in Africa. More recently, there have been reports from surfers of reeling left-hand barrels in the same area. Like surfing hippos, some things have to be seen firsthand to believe. A perfect ribbon of virgin tarmac stretched out in front of me as I swung the bike over from one side to another through the curves. Along the sides of the road, the vegetation was neatly trimmed for 20 feet away from the tarmac. Charming villages with lined the sides of the road with children smiling and waving as I passed. There was hardly any traffic on the road as I headed south from the border with Cameroon. There was no trash by the road. The temperature was cool. Iíd somehow found this perfect riding scenario embedded in my usual African riding experience that includes feeling like a blow drying is blasting in your face all day, dodging massive square edged craters, and being hunted by truck drivers.
I rode about 10 hours each of the next 2 days, making quick work of the road through Gabon. It was fun riding and it flew by as I rode in a relaxed, nearly meditative state. I crossed the equator just north of Libreville and soon after, Dyna Rae turned 30. I told her that she didnít look a day over 20 thousand.

A cloud burst forced us to hole up under a church roof until the squall passed. Fortunately, church was not in session.

The reason that there are hardly any people on the road is because hardly any people live in Gabon - only 1.5 million in the entire country. Compare that to Nigeria with 170 million or Ghana which is similar size to Gabon, but with 25 million people. For the first time since I was in the Sahara desert, there was wilderness without people. I saw untouched hills and clear rocky streams that werenít crowded with people doing their washing. It all reminded me a bit of being back home in California on a road trip into the backcountry. Finding a spot to wild camp in Gabon would be a breeze. On the afternoon of the second day, my pace slowed somewhat when the tarmac dissolved into red earth. It looked like an endless track into the clouds.

Gabon is hard at work changing some of the bumpy dirt sections of the main roads to tarmac, and they arenít doing a halfway job of it; with massive terraced hillsides lurking around several corners in the work zones.

Heading out to the coast, the dirt road became ungraded and strewn with rills and ruts that creates and incredibly rough riding surface. The clay rich soils dry into sequences of these undulations perpendicular to the road as solid as cement.

In addition to hacking up the road, the recent rains had swollen the rivers to engulf the treetops.

You have to wonder whether what youíre getting yourself into when the roads disappear.

On the map I saw that I was approaching a large inlet and had no idea how I was going to get to the other side. I imagined that it was going to be something difficult and long. As I approached the inlet I couldnít believe when I saw a massive modern bridge spanning the water and it was nearly complete. This bridge was a total divergence from what Iíd been traveling on the last 3 hours and simply didnít make any sense to be there at all. I later learned that this place is to be one of the largest shipping ports in West Africa; with waters deep enough to host even the largest container ships. The road to the interior of the country is being built to transport goods to and from the ships. All of this building and the perfect roads that Iíd enjoyed nearly the entire way across the country are the result of the usual agent of prosperity in African countries: oil. As it turns out, Gabon has plenty of it.

I heard a shout as I motored out onto the bridge. Apparently it wasnít quite finished yet. So unless I fancied getting Evil Knievel over the unfinished section I would have to take the floating road instead.

After nearly 8 hours of travel on rough dirt tracks, I arrived at a village on the coast. As usual, orientation upon arrival takes some time. Itís not like when you want to go visit a national park and can find that on the map and simply head that direction. I usually have a vague notion of where a surf break is and often end up doing a fair bit of looking around before I do anything else, since deciding where to stay usually has to do with where the surf is. Per my usual routine, I motored up to the beach, walked out and looked up and down the coast for a clue of where I should head. To my south I could see a prominent sand point with what looked to be left breaking waves peeling along it. That was good enough for me and I set off to find a way to access the coast nearer to where Iíd seen the waves breaking. After a bit of looking and some help from local village folks I found an overgrown, barely visible pathway from a road into the brush A quarter mile mile walk through the brush dumped me onto sandy white beach, near the waves Iíd spied from about 2 miles north. As I emerged from the tangle of branches and vines, I stood staring slack jawed at what was in front of me.

The setup was perfect. It was an overhead grinding freight train of a wave. It was difficult to pick the right one that let me in early enough and didnít heave an giant unmakable section unloading in my path. But I got as many tries as I liked. Making one all the way to the end with a few good snaps along the way was cause for a loud howl on kicking out. There was no one to hear anyway.

It wasnít quite the endless ruler edged perfection that Iíd dreamed of during long hours on hot, rough, dusty roads, but legends do loom large in the imagination. The wave had power and speed a plenty and I could hardly complain having it all to myself for a few days. I was stoked. Never did get to drop in on a hippo though. Now that would have been legendary.

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Old 04-23-2014, 07:43 PM   #371
trevhead
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OMFG..........incredible. must be a bit nervy paddling out by yourself sometimes at such isolated places......until that first kick out of course.
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:52 PM   #372
DustyRags
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I got nothin'. I'm green with envy. No way to improve that.
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Old 04-24-2014, 05:50 AM   #373
Lacedaemon
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Any updates on the well

Sent from my SM-N900T using Tapatalk

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Old 04-24-2014, 07:54 AM   #374
shimazaki
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Garnaro is fine, reached Luanda and now is taking a well earned vacations

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Old 04-24-2014, 04:47 PM   #375
rpet
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He's taking a vacation from his 7 month (and counting) vacation?!
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