Piki-Piki

an African motorcycle adventure, now into Europe.

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

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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.

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Tel Aviv street markets offers anything from hippy underwear to fresh foods. It is a busy, noisy, vibey affair.

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.

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Israel border at Taba from Egypt.

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 )

For the first time in our travels we lost data on camera cards. We lost all the pictures from Israel, these were some we were able to recover using recovery software.  Read the rest of this entry »

Jordan- what a fart!

Posted by michnus under Jordan

NO MOTORCYCLES ALLOWED IN JORDAN!
WHAM BAM THANK YOU MAM!!

 Our plan was to ferry from Egypt to Jordan. Spend time at Petra and Wadi Rum, one of the most beautiful deserts. The ferry is very expensive for that 3 hour trip. We opted to go into Israel and then to Jordan and back t Israel and ship to Italy. Road crossing into Jordan would save us bucket loads of money.

We cleared Israel with ease and the next day head off to the border post between Israel and Jordan. It’s a mere 10km from the borders of Egypt and Israel.
On arrival we got handed a paper that read, NO MOTORCYCLES ALLOWED IN JORDAN. As it said it must be with early approbation. So we went to several travel agents in Taba that takes tours into Jordan daily and they told us it will take 2 weeks to arrange and even then we have to follow them as part of their tours we were not allowed to travel on our own.

Motorcycles and bikes not allowed

So here are two pictures of what we could have seen.

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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.

a camels back is no sofa.

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On route to Luxor behind a camel truck

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 Arabic spring protest had a huge influence on the supply country wide.

Petrol in Egypt normally cost around R3-00 per liter of petrol. For us as travelers, that is if you could get some, it was closer to R6-00 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.

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Easy going

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.

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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.

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Every where families offer water for any passers by.

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.

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Ethiopian/Sudanese combined ‘Coffe Shop’ where we met Osman

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.

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Sweet Sudan … 25/03/2012

Posted by Elsebie under Sudan

 

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!

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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

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Elsebie help fix the bikes, she looked like a real grease monkey.

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.

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Back in Addis! 10/03/2012

Posted by Elsebie under Ethiopia

 

Addis also has some Yellow New York look-a-like cabs. This Peugeot 404 is owned by Ato for the last 43 years, and even Ethiopian has them!

 

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It’s not a video clip it’s a snazzy new slideshow I am trying

This was the second time we were trying to get away from Addis but the VW stuttered to a halt 60 kilometres outside of the city. Addis was holding us back not letting us go from her spell and with some luck also the cold beers! Or maybe just the VW that was full of shit?!

Martijn had a slightly worried smug grin on his face as we push him and the VW up the hill to a monastery. The 1972 VW just gave a huff and a puff going up a hill and stopped dead in its tracks like a tired Ethiopian donkey.

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