Ｍｏｔｏｒｂｉｋｅ transafrika safari riding down the east coast
WerbungSince in Malawi one has to wear a motorcycle crash helmet, we bought a salad bowl and attached some chin straps. At the Roadblock, the police did not realise this. They only complained the missing front number plate and wanted to see "some documents" of my bike.
I refused and told them I had already shown my documents to the previous police and drove on.
In Luchenza, I spent some very nice days. I enjoyed living in a permanent home with super nice people, wrote this travel report and helped painting the pre-school building. Masha, Petras roommate, who helped her again and again when everything seems pointless, cooked for us very deliciously.
When we took a minibus 80 km to the next town Limbe to buy some paint, we were stopped at a road block by the police. As the minibus, which the factory build for nine people, was overloaded with 22 people + luggage, the driver had to pay a fine or bribe. Then the bus left with 19 people squeezed on 5 rows of seats. That's Africa ;-)
It surprised me to see how little the villagers cared about the generous donation from Austria. Only very few people helped with the construction of the Child Care Centers. Even after the men were paid for the construction and free food was provided, many people did not come to work. Especially not one days after they got paid. Because then they had money. So why shoud they work?
There, a motivated person - also to watch them, for otherwise all the material just disappeared. If one refused to pay for the days they did not come to work, they called you racist who is not paying them because of their black skin color. This argumentation has not changed since my journey with the 12 tonnes firefighter truck.
No wonder that most state road projects in this country are built by the Chinese companies. Almost all the bigger shops belong to Indian or Chinese people.
The children always greeted me with "Mosungu give me money" (white man give me money).
Now I understand why I have seen the ruins of so many school buildings and other abandoned projects, which were provided with large European logos. Its not good to help people who are not interested in this kind of help. Talking about help: In Malawi, the government "clinics" are free even for whites.
Most people here life from Nsima, a paste made of boiled corn flour. The corn everyone growes for himself. Recently a foreign company distributed seeds to the local population. It was sown with joy, as it promised more corn than traditional varieties of maize.
Bingu, the current president of the country, supports this foreign company of the maize. The logo of his party DPP has four ears of corn. To be re-elected, he has given out lots of blue T-shirts and skirts with a much younger photo of himself and the words "vote DPP". The fact that they use the seed of genetically modified hybrid corn which is banned in Switzerland and Austria and since two months even in Germany, since the modified genes suddenly turned up in honey and in other human food, does hardly interest anyone here.
A big disadvantage for many small farmers will be the fact that the seeds of the new corn are no longer growable. They will find out when their crop fails. In the future, people can no longer use their own seed, but need to buy expensive corn from the foreign company. If they will not re-donate them. Usually, the government, however, prevent that "donations" coming into the country. For a container full of old clothes from Europe, one has to pay such a high import duty that it would be cheaper to buy clothes right here.
Even to volunteer in this country is not easy. If someone wants to stay longer than 30 days, he must get his visa extended in a complex and expensive procedure. Petra and many other volunteers I have met on the road, had to pay bribes before they finally had the necessary stamp in their passports.
As to me, 30 days in this beautiful country were enough. I bought five preventive pills against schistosomiasis (bilasia), extended my insurance and went on to Mozambique. I got the visa for $ 25 + $ 5 tax with no problems at the border. Previously, Avishai had E-mailed me that he as an Israel man he was stopped at the border and had to go back to Blentyer in order to obtain his visa for Mozambique there.
In Tete, where I got fuel for the next 300 km pothole street, Marco invited me to camp in a small local village, where he wants to build a guest house in future (GPS S16°09'51.0" E033°37'34.0").
The next night, I was the guest of a small local village again. I got Nsima served with pea soup. In return, people were happy about my great biscuits and some T-shirts. There are still many landmines in Mozambique. Therefore wild camping in this area is not advisable.
The route to Villancoulos was rather monotonous, but needed my full attention because of many potholes. The vehicles with less attentive drivers were laying beside the road. Their load was recovered under the protection of armed policemen. I only stayed one night at the Baobab Camp (GPS S22°00'32.9" E035°19'21.3"). Because of the too loud music from the bar and from the overlandtruck with 20 Australians, I could hardly sleep.
The Camp Fatima's Nest at Tofo Beach in Inhambane was much more quiet and provided a gas stove and a fridge for their guests (GPS S23°51'05.0" E035°32'35.1"). Here, I spent a few cozy evenings with many other guests, joints and lots of alcohol (not for me) and fascinating stories.
Daina and Robin, originally from Liechtenstein, only wanted go to Mauritania, but then they went off the entire West Coast and could give me the latest information about the condition of the roads in numerous countries. Great.
Jerone and Dorien from Holland and Belgium had travelled the western coast as well. Mavin and Nicol who came to a little later wanted to travel to Dortmund. on the road they had met Marc, who helped in the neighborhood of Barra in the construction of a lodge. Marc invited us to the lodge a Barra Lake and Sea.
The lodge is located on a small hill and surrounded by many coconut palms. It offers a beautiful view to the mangroves at the Wadden Sea (GPS S23°48'23.1" E035°29'19.3"). The owner Abbri spoiled us with chicken and roasted potatoes, green salad and very delicious home-made three bean salad which tasted similar to chutney. In addition, there were fish and Brade sausage, a specialty from South Africa. For dessert he served fruit salad with vanilla sauce from the Tetra Pack. Why cant you get this in Germany?
The food in the next few days remained, like everything else here, at a high level. Especially after a long journey, this was like a culture shock for me. All the work was done by the staff. This is not arrogant, but creates welcomed jobs. On Sunday, we drove to the neighboring Palm Grove Lodge and watched a church service on DVD. Here this is called "going to church" ;) Then we drove into the lagoon for barbecue and to go jetskiing.
It was great to feel the strong centrifugal forces when you take away the power at full speed, turn the steering and then give full throttle again. The small vehicle then turned almost on the spot, jumped over his own wave, before it chases into the new direction.
At the lodge, I made myself useful, and supervised 10 local workers, while Abbri went to South Africa to renew his visa and get more building material. My jobs among other things was to ensure that employees do not produce worse concrete mixtures and steal the rest of the cement. I also had to take a pick-up to the next city to buy material. Unfortunately, I could not always prevent that during my absence, numerous tools and other things of Abri's belongings disappeared forever.
Frans, who produces exclusive furniture made of mahogany, had to fight with similar problems. Orders are always welcome: frans at kruger rocketmail com. After 30 years of civil war, it seems almost reasonable that people in Mozambique always try to cheat each other.
They use false scales on the tourist fish market in Tofo Beach. Anyway I really enjoyed the time at the lodge before I went on to Maputo. In Maputo, I camped on the roof of Fatima's Backpackers (GPS S25°57'42.8" E032°35'09.3") for 200 Metical per night low season price. I met many people again. The small kitchen was the point of contact for all guests.
I drove towards Southafrica on a beautiful gravel route and pitched my tent in an uninhabited area well hidden at the edge of way (GPS S25°36'30.9" E032°09'51.9"). To enter the country the next morning was uncomplicatedly and fast.
In Komartipoort I visited some friends. In Marloth Park, where I had the luck to see zebras, giraffes and wild boar on the road, but also crocodiles, hippos and elephants through the fence of the Kruger National Park, I met a very nice couple from Germany. Both invited me for a delicious meal in her house and took me to a ride through the Kruegerpark the next day. Since I was not allowed to ride a motorcycle in the Kruegerpark, I very much apreciated this chance.
A short time after entering the park, we saw our first lion. He was unfortunately injured in the hind and emaciated. We drove 50 km to the north west before we turned off and then drove back to the south. Once and again we had the luck to see impalas, giraffes, elephants, wild boar, zebras, hippos, crocodiles and many different birds.
The next day we also saw buffalos, when my friend Fransis showed me a farm, where bulls were brought up by hand for the hunting. The valuable calves are separated from their mother after four hours, in order to protect it against tuberculosis and other diseases.
After a few days I travelled through Swaziland into the Drakensberges. Swaziland has developed remarkably well, unlike most African countries many beautiful winding asphalt roads reminded me of Switzerland, which somehow I miss very much.
I could pitch my tent on a huge cattle ranch on a small lake. In the night it was almoast freezing. The next morning I followed the road through the mountains and over the 2873 meters high Sani Pass into Lesotho. Lesotho is a very high and surprisingly undeveloped small kingdom.
Here were no mobile phone reception or trees. People were living in round houses made of stones. They were watching their herds of sheep, goats, donkeys. In the village a local family allowed me to pitch my tent and offered Maispub with beans for dinner. They were very happy about my Chinese dynamo flashlight, which I left behind as a gift.
I followed a small dirty road when I met Andrew from southafrica who was traveling with a friend in a pick-up.
When I mentioned that I was looking for an opportunity to ship my bike back to Germany because of the height import tax in South Africa, he handed me his business card and offered me to ship the bike in a container of his company in Port Elizabeth. Thanks a lot :)
The next night I spent as the only guest of an empty hotel, after I had bribed the security guard with some beer. Outside it was hailing when I was comfortably sitting in a dry room reading a book. Since it did not stop raining, I decided to spend another day here.
When it began to snow, however, I packed my things and left the country at sunset fled. The risk of getting stuck in the snow at almost 3,000 meters altitude, with only little food was simply too big.
Near the town Wepener, a farmer and his wife invited me to a rich dinner, when I asked for the permission to pitch my tent under the roof of the garage. The people here are amazingly friendly and could not hear enough stories about my long journey through Africa.
Luckily the sun was shining in the next day. I followed a nearly straight road for hours through the vast Karoo desert until I arrived in Port Elizabeth. I spent some very relaxing days at the fireplace of Andrews comfortable villa and updated my website. Outside it did not stop raining. The winter had come.
Andrew recommended me as soon as the rain stopped to travel the well-known off-road route through the Baviaanskloof and then to follow the R62 to Cape Town.
Due the heavy rains there were deep waterholes and rivers in the Baviaanskloof. I had to walk trough them first to find a save way for my bike. These were mostly between the far-milled grooves of local trucks. I removed many big stones. Unfortunately I did not see any of the wild leopard living in this area.
After two days I reached the city Willemore. From now on I followed the sometimes beautiful curvy R62 past few ostrich farms and about the Baviaanskloof Pass (GPS S33°37'24.0" E019°05'50.6") to Camphill Village Alpha in Atlantis (GPS S33°35'10.6" E018°33'58.6").
In the Camphill Village people who life with disabilities work and grow vegetables, produce yoghurt and cheese, bake bread or prepare scented cosmetic products for the Farmshop.
I arrived in time for the official farewell party"sexy time" organized by five young co-worker from Germany who have done their community service or a social year.
A few days later, Paul and Marius started with a rented VW Beetle, a tent, flag and a plastic Christmas towards Mozambique. You never know how long you will be on the way "up down there" ;) The words "Africa is not for sissy's" both have chosen all right.
In order to ship my motorcycle from Port Elizabeth, a couple of weeks later I went through the Baviaanskloof again. On a fairly steep place, I made a mistake and went too close to the edge, because there it was less rocky. Suddenly the road slipped and I fell with my motorcycle about 25 meters deep.
My bike overturned several times behind me, while I ran and stumbled to get away from it. Luckily my machine arrived relatively undamaged at the bottom.
I climbed back up and set up a roadblock with my pieces of luggage. In this way, two hours later I stopped other tourist, who brought me the 100 km back to the small gas station, where I had spend the night before.
It turned out that the local police inspector was the brother of the gas station owner. He immediately started with a 9-man crew, a long rope and two vehicles in order to help me with the recovery of my motorbike.
Because of the bad road condition, it took several hours until we reached the point that I had marked on my GPS. With combined efforts, we pulled the 200kg metal back up again.
In pitch black night we reached my starting point of the day. I even had muscle pain in places, where I did not even know I had muscles there.
The police did not want any money, but were proud to have helped me. They really can be called "friend and helper". The next day, I left the police station at dawn without a front brake, mirrors, turn signals, instruments or any unnecessary plastic parts and reached Port Elizabeth, were i could buy used parts and repair my bike. Who cares about CE signs in Africa?
The Garden Route along the coast back to Cape Town, I followed with the Intercape bus. The Jehovah's Witnesses really went on my nerves by praised the "Creator", and that was certainly not the company that built the bus. With such a rubbish you can not relax in the comfortable seats of the Sleep liner.
Instead of praying loudly for a safe arrival, it would have been better to educate the driver. Even with very low traffic we had two hours delay.
I was invited to stay for a few days with friends in Fishhoek. From there I visited, among other things, the penguin colony at Simonstown. When I came back again in the evening, the entire mountain behind our house was burning. A bush fire was out of control. Luckily, the firefighters could save all the buildings.
Some days later, a friend and I climbed over many steps, ladders and along a river up to the top of Table Mountain. When we reached the top the weather changed. Thick fog and a strong wind came up. The cable car stopped working. We did not start to cry but enjoyed the way down.
I reacted a little unkind, as we reached the bottom and one guy said I should give him my cellphone, our cameras and our money. He was counting to three, and otherwise he would kill me with his knife. When he realized I was close to break his nose, he ran away. I enjoyed my days in Cape Town and met Manon Ossevoort, who drove her tractor with 25 km/h maximum speed all the way through Africa on the way to the South Pole.
Time went on too quickly. After one year my carned de passage had expired. The Souch African customs send me a letter claiming 3000 Euro import tax for my 700 Euro bike. Because I knew thiswould happen, I had allready tryed to get Visa for Angola but with no success. Continue to next page.