Familiar Territory

The principle reason for choosing Africa to travel is because I was born in Africa.  Whilst I’ve been in Europe for over 30 years now, it is still very much a part of who I am, and where I feel safest.   An important factor when undertaking a journey like this.

As soon as we entered Zambia, I was starting to feel familiarity with my surroundings.  The Msasa trees and kids in khaki school uniform.  It had been raining, so the vegetation was lush and the ride in the truck down to Lusaka was dotted with abundant produce, there was so much I felt sorry for the sellers, I don’t think they could give it away and wondered about how much would rot before they had a chance to sell it.

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Picking up bike from workshop – Me, Ginty Melvil and Bobby van de Merwe
The bikers of Lusaka gave as a warm welcome, and we were well looked after (esp. Ginty the President of FIM North Africa who accommodated us in his lovely guest cottage).  Bobbie did a fantastic job fixing our structural problem, in fact, he improved upon what we had been riding with, which was great!  and together they raise $1000 USD to help cover the costs of the fix, which left a little left over in much needed cash to help us on our way.

Our troubles were not to be so easily fixed however, and a new twin coil later we continued to Kariba for Easter, and a needed break on home turf of happy memories and great weather.  Crossing Kariba Dam Wall has been a bucket list item since I was a child and there we were in our less than reliable sidecar outfit actually doing it!   At the other side, I stopped to take it all in and were immediately surrounded by an audience, shocked to hear that we were travelling from England.  It is funny how the shock gets bigger and bigger the further south we go!

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Easter was spent on the lake where Sofia landed her first fish, and for the first time actually put her face in water.  Something she has always been too afraid to do.  She was also very nervous about getting into a small speed boat, but once out on the waves bouncing she couldn’t keep the smile off her face.

We set off from Kariba in time to make World Autism Awareness Day in Harare where the bikers were organising a ride out for us to visit local events.  But even this journey didn’t go without hitch as it was discovered that the rear wheel bearing that had been done in Lusaka had been done incorrectly!  the whole assembly had started to fall apart!

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It took a while to work out what all the broken pieces of the assembly and where they belonged
Aside from being utterly livid because I had said that they should check the correct assembly before doing it as it was different, I was distraught at having yet another problem to deal with.  I was still running with an intermittent power problem that was a total mystery, so this was just about finishing me off.

Fortunately I discovered this parked outside a hotel where we had stopped for breakfast.  The manager as an absolute angel, and very calm and confident that a solution would be found.  He drove me around town find bits and people, and finally at 8pm at night we had finished the fix.

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Well met by the bikers of Harare – such a huge relief after such a difficult journey!
So next morning, once again we set off. I was determined this time we were going to enter a capital city on our own wheels instead of a truck, like the last 3.  We stopped 3 times due to power, but persisted, and were happily met by Natalie and the bikers to be escorted in.  Such a happy moment, and wonderful that others could observe what was happening with the bike.  It was embarrassing then to discover that reason for the next to power losses, were due to no petrol!

The main things was, that we made it.  Limping as we were, we arrived in Harare on our own wheels, and even better, surrounded by new friends ready to help sort out our problems.  It was a time to celebrate!

 

 

 

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