Friday, November 02, 2007

White beaches and wheel bearings

It was a teary farewell to Amy at the Johanessburg International Airport and as I walked out to my bike I suddenly felt alone and for what was ahead of me seemed daunting, as I pulled my helmet on I said to the trusty steed you look after me and I will look after you! I hit the starter and it roared into life with its deep thump with a little rev to clear its throat the local workers standing nearby gave there approval of the sound, I rode over to them and stated "I am riding to Australia via Russia", the look of dibelief is what I received and one man then said "I hope you are strong" I rode away thinking I sure bloody hope so!

Day 1 and the clouds rolled in!

As I headed west as I imagined Amy heading west over head also but the difference been Amy was above the storm clouds that I was riding under, I got soaked, day one of the next leg-what a start. Eventually I left the comforts of South Africa and crossed the border into Mozamique where it was evident I was back in Africa, hooray, but Mozambique has been a nice transition for what is to come.

When leaving London over 13 months ago I wondered when the first stories or adventure would present itself, does it just happen, do you see it coming, do you have to look for it, well it does come along in many shapes and forms from flat tyres in strange places to guns and corupt police, and this time leaving South Africa I wondered the same thing. Well it did not take long for something that was not ideal to occur, I have been carrying two spare tyres waiting for my current fitted ones to wear down to the canvas, one morning I set of on a sandy road and after traveling about 12 k's I looked around to see if my tyres where still there and the front was gone, I quickly turned around and raced back to hopefully find it on the side of the road, with thoughts of somebody already finding it and long gone, you have to reember this is Africa and there are alot of people walking along the roadside. I could not see it anywhere, it was not the fact that it was a huge amount of money but more the point that I needed this tyre to replace my already balled one and there been no such tyres in Mozambique. Eventually I came across two men that I remembered seeing walking the same direction I had been going earlier, one spoke broken english, I asked if when I went passed did I have two tyres or one on the back, they deffinatley said two, which was good and bad, good becuase now it was within a range of six k's but bad because it ment I had just come passed it getting to this point and did not see it. So I told my new friend to jump on the back and he can help question every local we passed to find the white mans missing tyre. We rode slowly scanning the bushes, still no luck and even asking more people walking the track, still nothing, I was annoyed with myself as I did not strap it on properly. But then we rounded a corner and there it was in the bushes on the right, a wave of releif washed over me as my helper started to thank god himself! So yes things just do happen when you least expect it.

The sand was deep and my tires balled
Mozambique has bueatiful white beaches and crystal clear waters, I rode up the coast staying in a few nice places on the way, stayed in Tofo with Dan and Danni, friends from South Africa and chilled out by the beach, from there I beached hoped to the north of Mozambique bush camping along the way.

Ilha de Mozambique
The road took me to Nacala in the north and after covering 3500 k's since leaving SA it was time to don the new tyres, which bought about the discovery of a destroyed wheel bearing, well the steed has done over 130 000 k's, 50 000 this trip, not to bad at all. With a grim out look that I may be stuck here in paradise for a few more days waiting for a part to be sent in I thought to try my luck in town and of course you would not beleive it, I found a bearing of the right size, not a Honda bearing for an Africa Twin of course but it will do the job. This continent of Africa never ceases to amaze.

Not the Hilton but cheaper thats forsure!

Salesman selling their goods to the bus passengers.

So from here it is a little more north then west to Malawi, the time line is looking good as not to hit Russia to early next year, due to the cold plus after a little research things may be looking up on the problem with entering China with your own vehicle, I have found some people recently acheiveng the impossible with the help of a chinese fixer, thats still awhile away of course.