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Africa Adventure 2010

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Chapter 01 Dispacth from Dan Townsley


Do to a number of issues we are late with Chapter 01. But, the good news is, here it is.


My week in review. . .


When I purchased my R1200HP2 Enduro, it was with the intent that it would be my "off-road" bike and all-around work horse when the R1150GS Adventure was inroute to or from a tour. In the back of my mind I had hopes of one day riding this unique machine in Africa. That day has come!


It's been almost forty years since I last set foot on African soil.


The first week has been a mix of nice towns and even nicer country side but these are not unlike many places around the globe. Our starting point is Cape Town which is very nice and modern city. We took a half-day excursion to Robben Island the prison Island where many of South Africa's anti-apartheid leaders (including Nelson Mandela, who's prison garden was a hidding place for many pages of is writings - to keep them safe from the Guards) were incarcerated for speaking out against apartheid. These people were typically treated more harshly than murderers and other hardened criminals.


What really sets a country apart for me is it's people and it's wildlife. We are in Africa after all! In the southern parts of South Africa there are a lot of Game Farms the most abundant of which are Ostrich Farms. The people are most always quite friendly. When was in the back country stopped alongside the road passing cars always stopped to make sure I was OK. You see, in Africa, there are a lot more animals than people and many of the animals will eat you given the opportunity.









Dan Townsley




Chapter 02 Dispatch from Roger and Emily

Dear Friends and Family,

This will be our first and our last entry for this trip, so you will have to forgive the length. Hopefully you will continue to read the weekly Journal to see how the trip is going and to see the wonderful photographs that everyone will be taking.

On to Africa . . .

We left Albuquerque, NM at 11 am on Friday, October 8th. We arrived with all of our luggage in London at 7 am the next morning with very little sleep under our belts. Our flight for Cape Town was not scheduled to leave until 9 pm that evening, but there was no place to store our bags, and we couldn’t even get boarding passes until 2:00 in the afternoon. So we scraped our plan to go into London to see some sights and have lunch at a pub, and instead checked into the airport Hilton, where we got a shower and clean clothes, a couple of naps and a good lunch. Heathrow is a huge airport and it took a couple of trips to figure out when and where we needed to be when our flight left for Cape Town. Once loaded we sat in the airplane for an hour (somehow they had to repack the luggage because of weight issues), but we soon took off and after a good hot dinner, we were finally able to get a good night’s rest—well, as good as you can get sitting up in coach!

When we arrived in Cape Town we took a cab to the Quayside Hotel in Simons Town, south of Cape Town and on the Indian Ocean side of the peninsula. Our driver pointed out two whales swimming side by side in the water in the bay as we neared Simons Town. We had planned a stay there so we could participate in a dive to see the great white sharks—we had a confirmation from the company that takes you down in cages to see the sharks, but alas, it did not materialize—a disappointment, but a lesson in being flexible. At the hotel we were upgraded to a water-front room which was beautiful, and we thoroughly enjoyed decompressing, distressing, and getting restored for two days in that quaint little historical town. It rained quite a bit but then the sun would come out, and we would walk around to see the town. Felix, the resident cat, would visit us in our room and take naps while we read—he was great company! The seafood was plentiful and delicious. Hake and calamari were our favorites!

On Tuesday, the 12th, we repacked and took a taxi to Breakwater Lodge in Cape Town, where the other Globeriders were beginning to arrive. The hotel was once a prison, established in 1859 to house the long term male convicts that worked on the construction of the breakwater in Table Bay. It is within walking distance of the waterfront area which was highly developed with restaurants, pubs, stores, a huge mall, grocery store, and vendors selling helicopter rides, speed boat adventures and cruises, including one to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for many years.

The next morning, the 13th, we went by van to the warehouse where the motorcycles were being kept; they had already been unloaded from the container they travelled in all the way from Seattle, and had passed through customs. Helge said, “I don’t know how they did that but I’m not asking any questions!” You could feel the excitement of the group and they each claimed their bike, reconnected the battery, added enough gas to get it started, and then took off for the nearest gas station to top off the tank. We all attended the welcome dinner that evening, and everyone told the group, at Helge’s request, why they were making this trip. It’s a great group of fellow travelers, and I know we are going to have great fun and adventure.

It’s the 14th already! Most of the group went by boat to Robben Island to tour the prison where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for twenty-something years. I stayed at the hotel to do the laundry and to save my knees. We set out tomorrow morning on the first day of the trip, and will ride to Swellendam (255 miles); Roger and I have decided to take the “longer, scenic, more technical” route along the coast. Maybe we will spot some whales in Hermanus Bay.

Friday, October 15 –the longer, scenic, more technical route did take us along the coast, with baboons on the side of the road; and then along some dirt roads, with a little rain here and there. I thought we must be lost, but we finally saw signs for Agulhas, the southernmost point in Africa where you can stand with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other—their meeting point. We stopped to fill up the bike with gas before heading to that spot, and when Roger tried to start the bike back up, no juice! Some of the others had caught up with us and stopped to get gas, too. They all jumped in to help solve the problem. Ben, who is the youngest in the group, and who is an EMT back in the States, actually took off the full gas tank and tested some wires. Jeff, who is riding two up with his great wife, Debbie, brought out some jumper cables, and someone else also had a pair. Among all of them they jump started the bike, but when it died right out again, we all knew the battery had gone bad. They jump started it one more time, and Roger kept his hand on the throttle and we headed for our hotel about 50 miles away in Swellendam. Of course, we had to slide through a few STOP signs in order to make our destination, but Roger is a pro! Once at the hotel, Roger set out to find a new battery. Vincent helped and within two hours a new battery had been purchased (for $50.00), charged, brought back to the hotel and installed. Everyone else started showing up with tales of seeing whales and eating a great seafood lunch, and seeing where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian Ocean; oh well, we will borrow one of their pictures.

Sat, October 16 – great ride today, starting off at 8 am! Up into the mountains above Swellendam, then across an amazing range with low scrub growth beneath rocky tops; there was the most beautiful valley; ostriches everywhere! An ostrich ride was offered, but we’re too wise for that! When we got to George, we went west to Mossel Bay and had a delicious lunch at a nice seafood restaurant (the mussels were terrific!) with a great view of the blue, blue ocean—the sun was out all day, not a drop of rain. We’re staying in cabins (fairly upscale cabins) in Knysna, at the Knysna River Club. Roger says we rode 275 miles today. I managed to get the laundry done and write in the journal and it’s still another hour until dinner. More later …

Sun., October 17 – We rode from Knysna to Port Alfred with Helge and Sterling and Ben, mostly on the paved N-2. Then somehow we got off track and took the wrong turn. Ben saw a road that would be a short cut back to where we needed to be, but there was a gate across the road with a guard stand. Helge asked if we could go through, and it was a game preserve, and they said we could! Not far down the road and off to our right we saw the grandest giraffes! And also zebra, and antelope! It was amazing, and I felt like I was finally in Africa! We stopped and took pictures. We went on and came across a herd of water buffalo—they are the biggest man-killer animal in Africa. It was a big herd and they had some babies, so we stayed on the bikes with the motors running. More pictures. They were trying to smell us but the wind was blowing toward us, so they didn’t come after us. I said to Roger, “don’t you think we should get out of here??” We did eventually move on, and through another gate that let us out of the preserve. Then around a tight curve, Helge motioned us to ride up a hill, and there on the top was a huge globe, built as a monument to the people who settled that land; the family name was Landman, and the dates of death were 1938. We got some great pictures sitting in front of it, pointing to southern Africa, and Sterling pretended he had the world on his shoulders. Then Helge got the idea of all of us riding our bikes around and around the world while the video rolled. We yelled at the camera, “we’re Globeriders, yahoo!” It was really fun. Then we went on to the hotel with our great stories to tell.

Monday, Oct. 18. Debbie Hower and I decided to ride in the chase vehicle with Andrew, to give our knees a break, and so our husbands could ride the alternate, challenging route. As it turned out, it was fortuitous for me that I was not riding that day, but Roger was not so lucky. Around noon, he was on a dirt road that had a lot of stones and ruts and gravel, and he hit a place in the road that was washed out, so he bottomed out, and the right pannier came off the bike, which threw off the balance. Jeff was riding behind him and can tell you what really happened, but evidently the bike rolled over sideways several times with Roger on it, and then it finally came to stop by the side of the road with Roger several feet away. He was very lucky. The riding gear saved him. His helmet was destroyed, and there was a hole in the motorcycle pant on the right knee. Andrew got a call from Jeff who told him the bike was bad but Roger was OK. Then Helge and Sterling caught up to the crash site, and when Helge called Andrew he reported Roger had a broken collarbone and several fractured ribs—he said to call an ambulance to meet us there. Luckily we were only about 50 kilometers away, but most of it was the dirt road, so it took about an hour to get there. When I arrived they had rigged up a tent of sorts to get some shade, and Helge and Roger were sitting underneath, with Helge behind supporting Roger’s back. Four other riders had stopped to assist. This is, without a doubt, the best group of people you could hope to travel with. I have never felt so supported in a difficult situation. It took at least another hour before the ambulance came, and they let me go in the ambulance with Roger. The part on the dirt road, which was very rough, was very painful for Roger. The ambulance driver said, “This road is killing us!” He got so tired he had the other EMT take over the wheel. There was a group of sheep in the middle of the road, and they didn’t move. They had the heads stuck under each other’s stomachs and they were not about to move. The EMT told me they do that when it’s too hot as a way to stay cool. Wow! I told him I thought it was a committee meeting! He laughed. Later, on the same painful road, there was a concrete bus stop, and it had goats lying down all around it. The driver said, “See those goats, they are waiting for the bus!” It really helps to have a sense of humor during these kinds of times!

The ambulance took us to Queenstown, and Helge followed us on his motorcycle. We got to the hospital emergency room, and they took x-rays -- fractured collar bone in two places and three broken ribs (in front). After holding up the x-rays toward the light, the doctor (a spunky young woman in a black velour pantsuit and sandals with heals and a flirty smile!) manually manipulated the collarbone back into place as best she could, and then put on a sling. They gave us two day’s worth of pain medicine. In the meantime, Helge had discovered a nice hotel right next to the hospital. An attendant rolled Roger to the hotel in a wheelchair (I wish I had a picture of that!), and we finally had a good meal, and went to bed exhausted. Roger didn’t sleep a wink that night, but I slept like a log.

Tues., Oct. 19 -- The next morning Roger said he thought he would feel better if he took a hot soak in the tub. Even though it was difficult getting him in and out, I washed his hair and cleaned his fingernails and he had a good soak, which lifted his spirits if nothing else. We met Helge for breakfast, and he planned to go find a driver with a car to take us to Umhlanga to catch up with the group. He came back soon with the mission accomplished and by 10:30 am we were on the road. It was about a 350 mile drive, and it took 9 hours. We decided we would continue the trip riding in the van, and we let our family members know what had happened and how we were proceeding.

Wed., October 20 – Again Roger had mostly a sleepless night. We went to breakfast, and he was having some trouble breathing and talking, and even walking. We went to a clinic next door to the hotel to get a better sling and some better pain medicine, but the doctor wasn’t there; they advised us to go to the local hospital emergency room, which we did, having Andrew drive us there. The emergency room doctor, Dr. Wenschel, another woman, took one look at Roger’s shoulder and said she didn’t like the way it looked and she was going to call an orthopedic surgeon to have a look. We were able to go to see him right away, and he sent Roger to have some new x-rays made. That’s when we learned why Roger was struggling a bit—he had broken the ribs on the front AND the back, and he had a collapsed lung! He said Roger would have to be admitted immediately to have the lung repaired. It all happened very quickly—and suddenly we were not going to be continuing our trip with the group. Helge called MedjetAssist, a medical evacuation company that we have an insurance policy with, and put them in touch with the orthopedic surgeon now following Roger in the hospital. Jeff from Medjet Assist then spoke to me and said they would wait for a further assessment the next afternoon, and then they will let us know how we are all going to proceed. I have lost all sense of time and the days. . .

Thursday, Oct. 21 –Had breakfast with the group and said my goodbyes; a little sad to know we were not going to continue with them. Headed for the hospital and found Roger looking better and in good spirits. The nurses are amazing! (see photo of Roger with Sally, the best nurse in the world!) Dr. Winter came and looked at new x-rays showing the lung had refilled, so they took out the tube. We talked with John, VP at MedJetAssist and he said the risk of flying was too great until the lung was stable, so 7-10 days of waiting it out here; he said he would talk to us again on next Monday. When I got back to the hotel, Helge called to say he had left the Bostwana money in the safe at our hotel, could I meet him for breakfast when he came to get the money. It was good to see him. He has been a solid trooper and has been a real support through this ordeal. We certainly owe him a debt of gratitude at least.

Friday, Oct. 22 – Roger is discharged from the ICU and taken to a ward on the fourth floor of the hospital where there is way less intensive care! And he is up and walking around, brushing his teeth, and having a lot more fun not being tied to tubes and IVs and oxygen. He has his Kindle with some good books and hopefully I can get a current Wall Street Journal for him to read. I buy him local newspapers just because he is so interested in knowing what is going on locally. I moved from the Protea Hotel to the new Holiday Inn Express which is across the street from the hospital, just so I could be closer and be able to stay longer in the evenings with Roger.

At this point, I need to submit my journal entry. As I said about the shark diving in Simons Town, it is a disappointment that we cannot make the complete journey, but it is a lesson in flexibility and gratitude, and the deeper meaning is yet to be discovered.
We hope you are all well and happy, and we will see you soon.


Emily and Roger






Chapter 01 Dispatch from Jeff & Debbie Hower


We made it to Africa after riding in the big sardine can in the sky for 26 hours. Interestingly the leg from Amsterdam to Cape Town is all in the same time zone. Looking out the window we see views of vast expanses of nothing, some desert, some forest, some in between, but the lack of tracks, roads and villages leaves you with the remoteness of this continent.


Cape Town is a very modern city surrounded by mountains. We rode to the top of Signal Hill to get a good view of the area. The people all speak with a British accent and for me it is difficult to understand as they use different terminology: i.e, Spanner is a Combination Wrench.


We're on the road and traveling mostly on paved roads with a few short sections of good dirt/gravel. We've seen a few Baboons along the road with all the assorted farm animals that seem to also call the roads home. I've only had only close cal with some sheep so far.


We dropped off our heavy panniers and ride some rough roads to the top of Sani Pass and the border of Lesotho at 10,000ft. The terrain is now mountains and valleys and very scenic.


People are walking along the highways everywhere. Many are school children as you can tell by their uniforms. They must have to walk miles each day to go to school. There are villages scattered along the routes and many have no signs of infrastructure. Everything is going fine and we are taking lots of photos.






Jeff & Debbie

Chapter 01 Dispatch from Dan Marks

Hi Folks—

This is my fifth full day in South Africa, the first three of which were spent in Cape Town which had me humming the Camptown Song - remember it? – the Camptown races “gwine to run all night; gwine to run all day”, and that’s what I and at least some of the others were doing during our stay there.

Cape Town is a small, very modern city set in a beautiful location on the shoulders and alluvial plain of 3,000+ foot Table Mountain.  And though the city has much to offer and an interesting story to tell, it is still not so different from others – Seattle and San Francisco come immediately to mind.  Besides partaking in some of Cape Town’s offerings, we had motorcycles to pick up and outfit, new people to meet, last minute shopping to do (my AC adaptor only matched the electric razor outlet in the bathroom) and glitches to fix (my ATM card wouldn’t work either in London or in Cape Town), and so on.  It was a hectic three days and all of us are glad to finally be on the road – doo dah!

And so far it’s been a fine road with just a smidgeon of rain, some dirt & gravel with lessons from some of the old pros, and some new things to see and mark.  For the latter, we rode to Cape Argulhas, the southern-most point of the African continent and the place where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet.  (I’d bet that some of you, as did I, thought that point is the Cape of Good Hope – nope – you can look it up.)

Our route took us roughly northeast from Cape Town along impressive sea coasts, unusually shaped mountains (one I’m sure must be named “Rifle Sight Mountain”) and through range land with the usual livestock grazing, you know, ostriches and such.  Some of us went to an ostrich farm which besides being touristy provided much of interest to learn and see – I claim that ostriches have Audrey Hepburn eyes (or vice versa), just a lot larger.  I haven’t seen much wildlife yet, just lots of unfamiliar birds and some whales in Hermanus Bay.
So far, what’s really different than other places I’ve traveled is the slow realization that one is like in color and culture to a tiny (about 10%) minority and another is the apartheid created townships.  From the air, as I flew in from my 8 hour layover in London (where I was nicely met by a nephew who barbecued lunch for us at his house – thanks again Robert), they (the townships) looked very orderly – square grids of tiny square houses on clean, dry dirt streets with a square grid of tall poles connecting power to all the houses in a May-pole arrangement.  Passing by, one sees the oleo of building materials and structural designs – lots of heavy rocks probably hold down a tin roof better than nails in the Eastern Cape winds.  But, I saw hardly a soul in the townships – why? – our guide Andrew pointed out that all the adults are out working and all the children are in school, which leaves just the grannies and infants in the townships during the working day, which are the times I’ve passed them by.  Perhaps, hopefully, that’s a good sign, especially the schools, though Andrew pointed out that not all the work is real.  For example, in almost every parking area there are black people in each row who point out a spot for you to park and, assumedly, look out for your vehicle.  For this service one is expected to tip a rand or two (about 15-30 cents).
Well I need to get cracking – even though riding has brought joy and greatly eased the franticness of Cape Town, there’s still a lot of kilometers to travel and a road rhythm to get in to.
Take care – I’ll do so too,






Dan Marks

Chapter 01 Dispatch from Randy McClanahan

Diary entry, Randy McClanahan, Sunday, 10/17/10


Well, we are finally underway! I never thought I would see Africa, but here I am, and on a motorcycle no less!


The trip over was much less painful than I expected. Nine hours from Houston to London, a hotel room at the airport for a nap and shower, and twelve hours from London to Cape Town. I wore my GlobeRiders tee-shirt on the planes in case I might meet a fellow motorcycle adventurer, and sure enough, Rich Lamph from McAllen, Texas, one of our tour participants, was on the same flights. Rich and I shared a taxi to our hotel, the Breakwater Lodge. Cape Town has a beautiful waterfront, somewhat like San Francisco, and the hotel was only a short walk from great restaurants, shopping, and people watching. The hotel was a prison in the 1800’s, and convict labor was used to build the breakwater for the bay. After a great lunch on the waterfront, we returned to the hotel and our fellow tour participants trickled in. After an early dinner, it was bed time, and I awoke the next morning feeling refreshed, with very little jet lag.


Bike Day! Contrary to previous experiences, obtaining the bikes was a snap. The bikes had already cleared customs when we arrived and were waiting for us in a warehouse. Hats off to a great freight forwarder and the sterling reputation of GlobeRiders for getting our bikes through Customs with absolutely no hassle! We simply pushed the bikes out of the warehouse, attached the panniers, hooked up the batteries and rode off to the gas station for fuel. I had never ridden (or driven, for that matter) on the left side of the road, so that took a bit of getting used to. We made our way back to the hotel safely, however, and had lunch at another beautiful restaurant on the waterfront. Then a few of us decided to ride to the top of Signal Mountain for a breathtaking view of one of the world’s most beautiful cities, surrounding mountains and the Atlantic Ocean.


Although I was ready to hit the road the next day, we had planned one extra day in Cape Town in case we were delayed in getting the bikes through Customs. To my pleasant surprise, Helge had arranged an unexpected treat. We rode a boat to Robben Island for a tour of the notorious prison where Nelson Mandela was kept for 28 years by the ruthless apartheid regime. The island is about an hour from the mainland and is reminiscent of Alcatraz. It left a grave impression on me. Our tour of the maximum security cellblock, including President Mandela’s cell, was led by a fellow political prisoner who gave us his first-hand account of life there.


After three days in Cape Town, we finally hit the road. Our first day took us to Swellendam, South Africa. GlobeRiders provides us with detailed maps and routes, including GPS tracks. Typically there are two alternatives for each day – a shorter, more direct route on paved roads, or a longer, but more technical and more scenic route that involves off-pavement riding. I plan to ride the longer, off-pavement routes as much as possible.


I had the great pleasure to ride this first day with Helge. En route to Swellendam, we stopped for lunch at Hermanus Bay and watched many huge whales at play. We parked our four BMW dual sport bikes very near our outdoor table, and a man and wife expressed great interest in the bikes. We learned that the man was a retired BMW Motorrad executive. When Helge introduced himself, the man said, “Are you the famous Norweigen motorcycle adventurer?” Helge confessed that he was, and the man hurried home to retrieve his camera for a photo of himself with the world-renown adventurer. I then asked if he knew my friend Pieter de Waal, the vice president of BMW Motorrad. He said that they were actually very good friends, and asked me to send his regards to Pieter. I did so by e-mail. It is, indeed, a very small world when you travel it by motorcycle!


After lunch we rode to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point of the African continent. Here we found one of the “bucket list” photo opportunities for any world traveler – the line at which the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet! Not being shy, I rode my bike onto the monument marking the spot, and photos abounded. GlobeRiders is making a DVD of our African adventure, and I was the “interviewee” for this moment. My exuberance will no doubt show in the film! Wow, what a first day of our Africa tour.


On day two, I joined several like-minded friends for the longer, off-pavement trip to Knysna. It was over 300 miles and wound its way through several beautiful mountain passes. We passed hundreds of ostriches, which showed only mild curiosity in our noisy passing, and to my delight, saw several families of baboons crossing the road. One of the neat things about motorcycle travel, especially off-road, is having to stop for wild animals. I have done this for cows in Texas, wild mustangs in Wyoming, moose and grizzly bears in Alaska, sheep, goats and llamas in South America, and now baboons. It will be great fun to see what is next in Africa. What did Dorothy say? “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!”


Today is Sunday, our third day on the road. I have found that I really enjoy listening to books on my MP3 devices while I ride. For this trip, I have downloaded several books about the countries we will visit. While riding through South Africa, I have now finished “Cry the Beloved Country” and I have almost finished “A Rainbow in the Night: The Tumultuous Birth of South Africa.” The first is a wonderful novel about the difficulties of native Africans leaving their tribal homes for life in the big cities, and the interplay between the whites and blacks. It is set in the mid-1940’s, and does not deal with apartheid. It was a beautiful story, made even better by being in the mountains of southern Africa as I listened to it. The second book is a detailed account of the birth and death of apartheid. Most of this occurred during my lifetime, and I was incredibly naïve about its cruel realities. I have learned that apartheid is amazingly reminiscent of the story of Nazi Germany, ripe with amazing examples of cruelty and genocide. Having been to the place where “Mister Nelson Mandela” (as he is reverently referred to over here) was imprisoned during much of my adult life has awakened me to a great people’s struggle of which I would never have been aware but for my motorcycle adventure. Thank you GlobeRiders!


This is an amazing place! I know that it will change me, and I can’t wait to see what is next!





More to come...Randy

Chapter 01 Dispatch from David Marsing


The last few days we’ve gone from Swellendam through an amazing set of back country roads that included going through the area around Uniondale that was famous for the Bohr war battles. This is a rich agricultural area that, after we left the coastal area, quickly turned into a setting like that in central Washington. The roads included going over 3 passes, Tradouws Pass (amazing winding road carved into the side of the rock), Meiringspoort Pass and the last, Prince Alfred Pass, bringing us out at Knysna, on the coast. This day included Ostrich farms, the Kango caves and some good mileage on dirt.


The next day (Sunday the 17th) we left Knysna and headed up the cost to Port Alfred. This day we saw the world’s highest bungee jump, 216 meters, or a bit over 700 foot drop! Ben, the young 31 year old fireman from Seattle did it and was lit up all day. Greg and I stopped for lunch at Jeffrey’s Bay made famous in the 60’s film, “Endless Summer” and the location of the longest rideable wave, over a mile if I remember right. The next day we left the coast and headed to Kokstad in area known as the Transkei. This was our longest riding day yet at about 400 miles. Usually we have two options in our routes. This day and its mileage was definitely in the alternative category. The “alt” routes typically are more interesting in both scenery and the people and animals we come in contact with.


Tuesday was the climb. Seven of us went up Sani Pass and entered into Lesotho. This is a grueling climb up a 4 wheel drive track of big rocks, ruts, mud you name it. It climbs the last 3-4 thousand feet in just a few miles. The switch backs at the top are out of this world. I about lost it on the third to last switch back from the top as Greg tore up the thing like a possessed 18 year old motocross racer. He was definitely in the groove and got from the border post of South Africa up to the top in just over 14 minutes.


One of the surprises after to clearing the border post in Lesotho is Africa’s highest pub. However none of us had a beer and I was still rattled a bit so I had tea and water before heading back down. Wow what a view. These switchbacks remind me of the black diamond runs of Taos in the Summer!







Chapter 01 Dispatch from Tom Petrillo


Hello from “The Cradle of Mankind” – Africa.


For me this trip to Africa is about the surroundings, the people who take the adventure with me, as well as the people we will see and meet on our journey. But most of all, it is the adventure. Let’s start with the place. Africa, a vast continent that most of us do not really know much about other than what you see on TV or read in the paper. Although the World Cup allowed many of us to see her best face, most of us do not really know Africa or its people. Although we have been here just a few days, the country has already shown me some wonderful sites. Table rock in Cape Town, Cape Agulhas, the Southern most point of the African continent, and the people of South Africa, who are very gracious, happy and seem to always smile.


In those same few days, the bonds with my fellow adventure riders are already forming. I have met some great people from all types of backgrounds. All very interesting in their own way, driven, and willing to do what it takes to make a trip like this one that takes you almost 7,000 miles over 37 days. They all are here for somewhat the same reasons, their love of motorcycles, interest in traveling to far away places, but most important, they all long for that sense of adventure and making more out of their lives than just the norm. I for one see this as a way to be able to meet great new friends, see places and things most people never get to see and do it on a motorcycle. You can’t beat it.


Great trip, beautiful surroundings, and great people!


All my love to my beautiful wife and kids for their support and understanding of a trip that takes me away from them for 37 days.


Honey, the next one is 53 days. I love you….






If you would like to follow Tom's personal weblog of his Africa Adventure click here

Chapter 01 Dispatch from Ben Jack


The first week here in Africa has been an amazing experience. The people, the country, and the food are wonderful. When it comes to the roads here, it is as if they were created for motorcycles. The twisties just keep on coming. I can not wait to see what is around the next turn!





Ben Jack


You can check out Ben's Africa Blog by clicking here.

Chapter 01 Dispatch from John Hall


I'M IN SOUTH AFRICA!! ..(I have found myself exclaiming repeatedly).


The people, beauty and infrastructure of the South Africa coast are all amazing! The peninsula south of Cape Town and the vineyards of Stellenbosch to the North were wonderful day trips before our group assembled.


I find myself finally settling in and very excited after what has been a week of many "firsts" for me: 1-1/2 months of "holiday", bike ride on another continent, (on the wrong side of the road!), with a large group of new (diverse as they are interesting) acquaintances. Add to that a house call for bronchial  pneumonia on day 2.


It's all coming together. This trip is quickly becoming everything and nothing I ever imagined! Perfect!






Helge's Photo Gallery



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