I know it has been a long time since our last update but here goes. Riding into Rome we did not encounter any of the aggressive driving we were warned against. The riding was safer and easier than the mayhem in African cities. Drivers make way for motorcycles and are quite friendly towards bikers. We stayed with Andrea and his son Massimo in Rome. Andreas went to great lengths updating us on the places to see, routes to take and places to avoid. The evenings spend with him and his son was great fun. Continue reading
The 11 months spent travelling up to Israel was a blast! To reminisce about our experience I made this short clip. I hope you enjoy. It is no Guy Richie movie, but the music is cool. It must be played with music and HD.
South Africa to Italy 12 countries 30000km 11 months
The Gran Bretagna docked late in the afternoon in Solerno, a small coastal town on the West coast of Italy. We have been sleeping and eating the time away on the Ro-Ro for 4 days since leaving Ashdod in Israel. Continue reading
The road to Jerusalem is a short distance highway from Ein Gedi. It’s a busy city, clean and organised with decent roads and many religious tourists on the streets that came to Israel searching for divine inspiration.
The border post from Egypt to Israel is no more than 30 meters, but the difference is enormous. One moment you are in Africa and 30 meters later you walk into Europe. Well not really, but that is how big the differences are between these countries.
The Israelis are seriously “paraat”* unlike the Egyptians and other African countries that looks “paraat”* but are more paranoid than “paraat”.
(*Paraat: Ready/preparedness )
NO MOTORCYCLES ALLOWED IN JORDAN!
WHAM BAM THANK YOU MAM!!
With a 200% deposit on a Carne de passage just for Egypt we knew the slow wheels of bureaucracy in Egypt will test our patience. The day we landed in South Africa while Elsebie went to book into hospital for her knee, I went to the Egyptian embassy in Pretoria. I wanted to inquire about the process which we have to follow to keep our bikes legal in Egypt until we get back.
After our stint in Ethiopia having to beg, kick and kill for petrol, we thought petrol would be an easier commodity to come by in Egypt. Well as it turns out, the Arab spring protest had a huge influence on the supply countrywide.
Petrol in Egypt normally cost around R3-00 (.30usd) per liter of petrol. For us as travelers, that is if you could get some, it was closer to R6-00 (.60usd) per liter. Yes, still cheaper compared to South African prices, but a poorer quality than ours. The bikes performance were more like cheap Chinese knock-off scooters.
Penning our experience with Egypt took me some time. It’s got more to do with the aberrant manner of Egypt. Take caution not to become cynical about Egyptians and try and see the real Egypt and people. But let me tell you the story and you can decide for yourself. It’s a love hate affair. Sometimes more hate than love and a bit of a culture shock until one learn to deal with Egypt’s eccentric and quirky ways.
We have lost so much time with waiting for spares we had to make up some distance through the northern part of Sudan on our way to Egypt. The days were still as hot as hell and we kept riding to early mornings and then again in late afternoons.
Yes, yes I know, they are in conflict with South Sudan for oil, and from what the media dish up that must make most of the people of Sudan evil heartless bastards. It cannot be further the truth.
By ‘good chance’ Michnus’ bike left us cooling it in front of a very small “Coffe Shop” ran by Ethiopian and Sudanese girls. The coffee shop is an old house with all the rooms opening up into a small courtyard, and each room has a couple of couches and low tables for guests.
Sudan is a wonderful surprise; you hear ‘Welcome to Sudan’ and ‘Do you like Sudan’ everywhere. The food is a blend of Turkish, Western and local dishes. And, for the pastries … we try it all!
Sinful pastries of Sudan!
We left Addis so excited to be on the bikes again but halfway to Bahir Dar Michnus realized that the legs of his pants was sprayed with oil …. Both the front fork seals were popping out …
” Michnus’ front forks spitting oil onto his pants
With as much gusto as a kid at Christmas opening presents, I rolled the bikes out of hibernation at Wim’s place. They were dirty, full of cobwebs, tyres flat and looked sad. It was a wonderful feeling to see and feel the bikes again.