Sunday, June 13, 2010

Phase 1 - The wheels and life in SA


(I was running around the local neighbourhood the other day and noticed this on a neighbour's fence. To me, it is an interesting and humorous representation of life in Johannesburg right now. Many people have electric fences such as these surrounding their properties. An interesting place to show support of your country).

Welcome to South Africa. We are in the throes of world cup fever! The drone of the vuvuzelas is inescapable, they simply have to be heard to be believed, from what I hear however, the world is very aware of them and you either love them or you hate them. For most, it is the latter.

Meet Yele, our wheels and companion for the grand voyage north. Everything has come together quite nicely. Next weekend she will go in for a suspension overhaul, a major service and some new rubber shoes to ensure she is in the best possible shape for the epic journey.

Somehow, those panniers and a bag that is not visible in these shots contain all that will carry Karla and I through the next nine months of travelling. I have learnt that there are fuel concerns in certain places. Somtimes, there simply isn't any. To this end we will be travelling with an additional 2 x 5L jerries that sit atop the panniers for those long open desert runs. Expect images of the fully loaded bike with it's pilots in the next update.

Life here in South Africa is rather different in some ways if you are a motorcyclist. Speed signs are treated as an advisory rather than as a rule. If you ride a motorbike, it is expected that you will cut lanes, cars actually move over for you (I love that!). Interestingly, most motorcycles have no number plates. I asked a couple of racey looking chaps what that was all about, they replied simply by informing me that noone would even try and catch these guys, it would be a total waste of time (wish I had my old R6 here).

Karla will be here this weekend, a few days of acclimitisation for her and then we are off to Kruger National Park for a week with my family. We figure on an additional week after that for some socialising and then we will head off in a westerly direction into the sands of Namibia. Expect the next update from there.

To those of you whose countries are still in the world cup, best of luck to you all, there is every chance you might just make it, especially if you are aware of the recent French catastrophes and the woeful English. Our Tasman counterparts the Kiwis even managed a draw with the world champions Italy yesterday. Go figure...

Until next time, be well and masses of love to you all.

P and K