Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bye Bye Bike

It started raining heavy this morning, especially when we left for the shipping company (Pioneer Freight) to deliver our bikes. We managed to get there quit easily and met Neil and Dean who took over the bikes and the carnet and got us a ride to the airport to get a taxi to the hotel. Tomorrow we leave Cape Town and expect to arrive in Kuwait the day after.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Meeting the BMW Motorcycle Club

We have been in contact with the BMW Motorcycle Club here in Cape Town all the way down Africa and today they picked us up from the hotel and took us first to the dealer, then to a ride around the peninsula. 

We ended up in Hout Bay for lunch and then went back to the hotel, thanks to Peter and Tony for the ride.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The dirt road to Cape Town

While in Pretoria we found out from the Ambassador that the only Kuwaiti citizen living in South Africa Mr.Tala Al-Shuaish is in Hermanus so we got in contact with him and decided to visit him and his family then take the coastal road to Cape Town. 

There are two ways to get to Hermanus, the easy way which means backtracking 30 Km of Tarmac on a road we have already been on  , or take a dirt road across Agulhas National Park for 45 Km. We took the dirt road it was more interesting and in the spirit of the adventure.

We managed to see Ostrich on the road and the Blue Crane as well as some type of dear. The road was great and we really managed to practice our off road skills. When we reached a tarmac road I turned to the guys and realize that their bikes were full of dust from the ride.

We continued to Hermanus had some tea and coffee with Bu-Aziz, then continued on to Cape Town reaching there around 3:45 pm.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The southern most point in Africa

We had breakfast on a seafront view restaurant, then continued heading to Port Agulhas the southernmost point of the African continent, and the contact point of the Indian ocean and Atlantic Ocean.

The day started with heavy fog on the roads for the first hour and a half, then it got wormer and we started to enjoy the lovely scenery with all the farms and mountains. We stopped for some coffee and muffins then continued on to the Port Agulhas.

To reach the southernmost point we had to ride for a kilometer in gravel, and then there was a trail to walk to the plaque erected to mark the place. I managed to squeeze my bike through the wooden poles and ride the rough trail to the plaque while Ali and Hussain thought there bikes were too heavy to manage the trail.

After taking a few pictures we went to the Agulhas Country Lodge and got our rooms, then we went into town for some lunch at a great restaurant "Angelo's" with the freshest and tastiest fish we had ever tasted. 

hen when we left Hussain mentioned that he would not be able to sleep tonight if he didn’t attempt to go to the plaque especially since the bike is lighter after putting the bags in the hotel.

So we rode back and both Ali and Hussain managed to get their bikes to the plaque and took really nice pictures.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

To Mossel Bay

Today we start the fun part of the trip and go down the garden route to Cape Town.  We left PE and headed down N2 highway , it was still cold outside especially in the mornings. 

When we reached Storm River Bridge we started looking for the entrance to the Tsitsikamma national park so that we get close to the mouth of the river. 

The park entrance was 50 Rand per person (2 KD) and the view was spectacular. We rode down until the restaurant and had something hot to drink before riding on to Mossel Bay.

We passed many bays and seafront towns that were very nice and roads along the coast that reminded us of Pacific Route 1 in California. 

We arrived in Mossel bay around 3 pm and stayed at the Point Village Hotel which was right by the seafront, we had lunch at a restaurant that overlooked the ocean where we could see surfers trying to catch waves.

Friday, June 10, 2011

To Port Elizabeth

We leave early since we know it will be 680 km to Port Elizabeth and it is still cold. We left at 8:30 in the morning and it was around 7.5 Deg. C. we rode for 410 km none-stop except for the road construction stops that were frequent.

We had lunch in Cradock and then continued on reaching Port Elizabeth at 4:20 pm. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Big Hole in Kimberley

It is still cold and there is some slight rain. The forecast is for partly cloudy later in the day and the rain stopping. 

Today we visit the Big Hole here in Kimberley. This is the biggest man made hole which started as several diamond mines that collapsed into one hole. 

We viewed a video history of Kimberley, saw the big hole, and visited the big hole museum and diamond vault which had several types of diamonds with different cuts and colors.

We then got on our bikes and headed to Bloemfontein as a stop on our way to Port Elizabeth. During dinner the hotel Duty Manager approached us and informed us that due to severe flooding the road to PE was closed today and thinks it may re-open by the time we get there tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cold and wet road to Kimberley

We woke up to the sounds of thunder and rain and realized that we hadn't really checked the weather forecasts since the weather hardly changes in Africa. But in South Africa the situation is different and there is a storm front crossing the nation. 

We left the hotel at 9:30 in the cold and the rain; it was 10 deg. C and got down to 8.5 along the route to Kimberley which was 530 km away. We stopped one midway to have something warm to drink and continued until we reached the Hadida guest house by 4:30.

Shivering from the cold we called a taxi to take us to the only restaurant open that night for dinner, and slept with the heaters running all night.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Visited the Embassy

Today we visited the Kuwait Embassy in the morning and met the Ambassador Mr. Hasan Al-Oqab, and his staff Mr. Mohamad Al-Ruwaished, Mr. Bader Almunayekh , and Mr. Abulaziz Al-Ajmi .

We then picked up the bikes from Bavarian who have excellent after sales service (thank you Lynn and Pierre), and went straight to the Ambassador's  house for lunch. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Hello South Africa

 We have been in contact with Bavarian Motorcycles with regards to new tires since mine has a patch, and Ali's tire has a bump. We left Botswana and crossed over into South Africa with the easiest border crossing that took about 45 Minutes.

We headed straight to Pretoria and along the way we entered our first real tolled highway, with modern rest stops along the way which reminded us that the real adventure has ended, and what we have to look forward for is a nice vacation.

We arrived at Bavarian Motorcycles at around 2 pm and delivered the bikes. These guys a super-efficient they started right away with putting on the new tires which were reserved for us. We had some tea and coffee, and they ordered a taxi for us to go to the Hotel. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Monkey Attack

After the morning prayers I restarted the camp fire so that we can cook out breakfast. We then took down our tents, packed our bikes and headed for the Botswana, South African Border where we spent the night at the Kwa Nokeng Lodge.

We each took a Chalet and Ali went and got us lunch where we decided to eat on one of the picnic benches in front of Ali's Chalet. While I was getting something from the bike a woman who works for the lodge shouted something at me but I wasn't sure what she said until she pointed to our food and the monkey on the table. I quickly chased the monkey before he could take our food. Later while eating the monkey brought his friends about 5 and they surrounded us trying to disorient us and then take our food. We soon took our food and went inside Ali's Chalet to eat.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Camping at Nata

We left the hotel for the town to get some money from the ATM and then continued on to Nata through several national forests and reserves. 

We were told that the animals are mostly visible very early in the day or very late afternoon which meant we would miss many of them along the way. 

We did get to see Giraffe, elephant, and ostrich along the route to Nata. We had lunch in Nata at a nice rest stop, and then continued on to the bird sanctuary rest camp where we would stay the night under the stars.

We put up our tents cooked dinner under the camp fire and went to bed early since we would be up with the morning prayers.

Friday, June 3, 2011

What Kasane ?

After having a good breakfast we headed early to the Kazungula border post which is where we leave Zambia and then get on a ferry that crosses the Zambezi River into Botswana. 

The paperwork was mostly straight forward immigration, then customs for the carnet (KT) , and buying the tickets for the ferry. 

We got to the Botswana side without having a visa since Botswana recently open an embassy in Kuwait and were not equipped to give out visas when we left. So they did the next best thing and issued us a letter requesting the border immigration to issue us the visa on site. 

We waited for four and a half hours for that visa. By the time we left it was almost 3 PM which was too late for us to drive to Nata so we decided to spend the night in Kasane and ride to Nata tomorrow.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lions at Victoria Falls

Don and Jennifer also recommended the Micro Flight over Victoria Falls so we booked a morning flight which was great. We got to see the falls at a good time right after the rainy season when the water was still flowing through the whole gorge.

We also got to see the gorge and many animals from the air including elephants, giraffes and hippos. Ali got to see a crocodile. 

Hussain and I went first, and then Ali went last with a pilot who is a biker also.  We went back to the hotel for some pizza and prepared for our Lion walk. Yes the receptionist at the lodge told Ali that you could walk and touch lions so he booked us for an afternoon stroll.

At first we didn't know what to expect, but soon saw that we were not the only one's doing this. We got to watch up close and touch two sister young lions.

We went back to the Lodge for a restful night since tomorrow we will enter Botswana.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

To Livingstone

We left early as usual happy that we managed to save one day by traveling a little further than planned. We continued on to Livingstone where we wanted to see the famed Victoria Falls.

The road was fairly good with many farms along the way and some factories. We reached Livingstone around 2 PM and went to Maramba Lodge and camp site which was recommended by Don and Jennifer back in Nairobi.

We stayed in a modern tent covered by a roof, each with its own bathroom. Two beds a desk and a porch to sit and look at the river where hippos swam all day. At night we could the roar of the falls as well as frogs and crickets, it was quit peaceful.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

All the way to Lusaka

We left early for the Malawi Zambia Border thinking it was going to be difficult based on what we have read , however when we got there it was really straight forward especially for motorcycles since we do not go through the road safety paperwork. 

The exchange people came out of the woodwork trying to sell us Zambian Kwacha luckily we already had some from Lilongwe, got insurance and finished in little over an hour. 

 Initially we were headed for Petauke, however since the road was fairly good and we were doing go time we decided to continue on to Lusaka.  

We got to the Intercontinental hotel by 5:30 pm just as the sun was setting.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Rest Day

Today we mostly rested, washed some cloths, fixed Hussain's CB cable, and updated the blog.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hello Lilongwe

In the morning I tested the rear tire and found that the mend was not holding, so Hussain and I removed the tire from the rim and patched it from the inside, and then put it back on the rim. Ali took the tire into town to seat the tire with a burst of air from a big compressor at the local repaire shop. We left the hotel by 10 am and continued along the costal route with the view of the lake to one side and the green hills most of the way.

When we reached Lilongwe about 3 PM we noticed that Hussain was not responding when talked to on the CB radio. It turned out that he no longer can hear nor talk to us, most likely due to a kink in the cable. Tomorrow Ali will get a multi meter from town to try to fix the wire.Before dinner Ali discovered that his laptop was covered with ants. He got the bag cleaned and then opened the laptop that was not working and we found even more ants inside the laptop which have hitchhiked from Nkhata Bay inside the laptop.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Puncture at Nkhata Bay

We left early for Nkhata Bay which is on Lake Malawi. Along the way we were stopped several times at police check points asking to see our license and insurance.

The M1 road was very nice and twisty at times. We stopped for a break on top of a hill overlooking the lake, then continued on until 5 Km from Nkhata bay when my bike started to give me an alarm that the rear tire has a puncture.

I continued on the deflating tire until we reached Mayoka Village Lodge where we found out that they had rooms for only one night since they had a big group coming in the next day.

We patched the tire from the outside and decided to go tomorrow to Lilongwe for two nights to rest.