Saturday, February 28, 2009

Good Samaritans in Africa!

On my recent trip into Africa on motorcycles, my friend Ray and I passed through Zimbabwe en route to Kenya, where I met with an unfortunate accident by hitting a cow on the road between Bulawayo and Hwange (Wankie). The hotel we were looking for was much further than we were told and at around 7pm that night I ran into a herd of cattle crossing the road. Needless to say the bike was beyond emergency repairs and would not start. Continuing the journey was out of the question. A truck stopped and informed us that there was a Catholic Church Mission Hospital and police outpost some 10 km up the road.

Ray then road on for help the hospital was so poorly marked that he rode a further 30km before he turned back. On his return he spotted ST Lukes Hospital and Church. He went and knocked on the doors and speaking to the staff they simply said: “that type of thing happens in Zimbabwe” and offered no further assistance. Even the doctor refused to come to the door to speak to Ray or offer any assistance knowing I may have been injured. The police were there but with no radio or vehicle to assist they were little more than useless.

While standing there several cars and trucks passed without stopping. Eventually around 10pm a bakkie with two young South African guys ( Chris Loggerenberg and his colleague Ertjies) who were working on contract in Hwange (Wankie) stopped to see if they could assist. After seeing the damage, they loaded the bike and Ray riding behind we travelled a further 350 km to Hwange. Chris was amazing. He gave up his bungalow so Ray and I could have beds to sleep on. Hwange is a small coal mining town but being in Zimbabwe, having my bike repaired would be impossible. The following day Ray then returned to SA without support and Chris assisted me in reporting the accident to the police. I was so thankful for his help as he had a good relationship with the station commander making the process painless. Chris then began making arrangements to have my bike transported back to S.A. He had my bike stored behind security at the coal mine and then out of the kindness of his heart, took me a further 100km to Victoria Falls so I could catch a plane back home.

I wonder what would have happened if Chris had not stopped. Here I am alone on a dark road with S.A. number plates. Surely any person with criminal intent would know I would be carrying Forex. We also found out later that Elephant, Hyena and Lion roam the area as the National Park fences are down. Locals in the area do not walk alone as a result. It seems Chris was more worried about me being mauled than being attacked for my money. Maybe that is why the cars and trucks did not stop. However I owe a debt of gratitude to Chris and Ertjies for their help. Two nicer people you couldn’t hope to meet. I was so taken by Chris and his willingness to make sure I was safe and my piece of mind that I managed to get his father’s (Rusty van Loggerenberg) number in Glentana in the George area and phoned him to let him know what a fantastic son he had and that I count myself very lucky that Chris was travelling along that road that night.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bugger Up

This SMS between my Brother in the USA and myself sums it up.

Ray and I broke the cardinal rule, we rode at night, we were to sleep in Francistown Botswana but we had such a great ride we thought we would push on into Zim. The border post was kinda empty so we shot through in a flash and late afternoon we were filling up in Bulawayo. Well this is were it goes a bit pear shaped, we were told Bulawayo was no longer a very safe place to stay and we should look for somewhere out of town, so we opted to ride to the Halfway Hotel which they said was around a hundred km or so, well needless to say it was a frigging a lot further than that, it got dark and we just missed a tree in the middle of the road, we were told later it was pushed over by Elephant, well you can imagine it was dark and no moon and in a flash I saw some shadows moving across the road, shadows my behind, they were cattle I saw only one of the many, primary because it was black with white spots over its body, just in case you were wondering, I saw the white spots and grabbed a handful of breaks, everything is not that clear but it seems I parked the Tiger up the rear end of one cow and bounced off another which I believe I knocked it off it's feet. The reason I know I parked the tiger up one's rear end is my bike is full of cow Sh*t, I got hurt a bit, I was lucky to miss all those dam horns.

Well needless to say the cow got up and ran for them hills, I figure, if it ever hears a Bike again, it's eyes will bulge, cry Moooooooo and run for its life..
Getting help in Zimbabwe is a fantastic story and will post over the weekend, just need to get permission to use their names.

Ray had to ride back all on his PAT with hardly any cell phone coverage to talk about...

Never fear my bike is on its way back, I will have it fixed and hopefully we start over in 3 to 4 weeks time, please God this is true.....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The bikes are ready!

Well the bikes are ready, I got mine back this morning and Rays later today, thanks to Traditional Truimph for going through our bikes with a fine tooth comb and doing their best to make sure we have a hassel free trip, also thanks to Luca for organizing the tyres, you know that we will need new ones when we get back!

As Nick from Traditional Truimph pointed out our trip may just be longer than we have rubber on the tyres.

-- Post From My iPhone

Ray had his Birthday!

Ray has his birthday today, 21 I am told, well maybe not, but let's not be nasty and just say that pills are needed every morning to stay aliveand reading without glasses is a bugger.
Look who is talking, the only way I know these things is because I am in the same boat!

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Ok, thought I would put up a map of where we are travelling so those interested can take a peek. 
The GPS indicates that the distance from place to place without any running around is 9945 km, so we expect to do 12,000 km by the time we get homeAdd ImageAdd Image.Add Image
Yip as you can see, Zimbabwe is a country we are heading into, I hear you, you said fuel, so we are lugging 20lt each on the back of the bikes and if we ride like -- well civilised, we should make it through to Livingston at Vic Falls.
Remember you can click on the map and a large image will load to see better.
We will camp mostly and those of the "Phookawi Bike Group" will remember my dollhouse tent, well you will be happy to know, I am taking it along, I know - Oh Bugger !
--Post From My iPhone

Pic of Ray and Myself

Thought I should post a pic of Ray and Myself so so you can regognise us in a crowd...
Ok that's me on the right, Ray on the left and Gerry a good friend of ours in the middle..

-- Post From My iPhone

Having to carry everything

One has no idea of all the goodies you need to take with you, we will be 2 x motorcycles without any support so what we need we have to carry and as most will know, there is not a lot of space on a bike, here is a sample pic of what I mean, what an adventure this is going to be!

Starting Point

I will be travelling with a good friend Ray Herholdt we both have Tiger 1050 and plan to leave 5 am on the 20th Feb 2009 and return around the 14th March 2009, I will endeavour to keep the blog up to date internet access permitting and the ability to post from my iPhone, -- Oooh bugger this is going to be fun!