Summary or our Final Months

It was not my intention to suddenly stop posting about the trip in blog format, but we ended up spending 3 months in Zimbabwe waiting to get the bike on the road.   In that time we had periods of activity, including a couple of trips to Mozambique and a week travelling around Zimbabwe courtesy of someone lending us a car.  But as you can imagine, that doesn’t exactly fill the time, so the rest of it was ostensibly waiting and Sofia took over the laptop to keep her entertained and it became hers for the rest of the trip.

After sun down, the baboons return to the Great Zimbabwe ruins for the night.  Sofia was very excited about how close they were – me not so much!

I’d like to say that having sent the bike down to South Africa to the Ural expert there, that the rest of the trip became an effortless breeze through the deserts, bush and savannah, but sadly we were to have a further 5 more break downs.  One of which whilst driving the bike back from South Africa, which caused a moment of travel crisis and I almost fast track the journey to its end.

Another wonderful example of how wonderful people in Africa are.  These two chaps helped fix the bike when the missing collet was discovered. 

Happily I didn’t, and with the continued support from Zimbabweans in Bulawayo and Victoria Falls (Victoria Falls hotel remains the hight light of the trip for Sofia)  we finally managed to exit the country to Botswana, where we stayed one night before heading to Namibia.

Like an African, when all else fails, consult a witch doctor… and that is exactly what I did!  I decided that the bike must have an evil spirit causing all the problems and could he please get rid of them.  Sadly it wasn’t an evil spirit, because the problems continued for the rest of the journey!

After being rescued in the desert and once again receiving the amazing support of the local Namibians, once in Windhoek I decided it was time to stick to the tar roads for the remainder of the trip.  The words of our Zambian friends that the bike was over loaded definitely had meaning on the rough corrugated roads that make most of the routes in Namibia, and the bike was clearly struggling.

Sofia’s favourite hotel in the world – so glad, because it has always been mine, and what a joy that we were hosted by them for 7 days whilst we were stuck in Victoria Falls.

Crossing into South Africa was not to prove an easy task as a current immigration law requires all children under the age of 12 (or 13, I’m not sure) to have extra documentation.  Thankfully the British Consulate in Namibia who had been our host in Windhoek managed to put together a document that met the immigration need and finally we found ourselves in the final country of our journey.  Sofia was so happy to be in the first world once again.  She had enjoyed the trip, but she missed home comforts.

Ah! the roads of Namibia!  next time i won’t carry any luggage!  

We took our time reaching Cape Town, and had a wonderful ride in supported by the bikers of Yzerfontein.  In fact the hospitality we recieved in all the way through South Africa was amazing, we had people contacting us and offering us a place to stay most nights and in terms of publications, we were front page of at least 3 local newpapers telling our story.

Walvis Bay on the Skeleton Coast

Finally we arrived in East London!  and we did it on our own wheels – which was really the best bit.  After countless break downs, it felt like nothing short of a miracle that the bike wasn’t sitting on the back of another lorry!  But that was as far as I was going to go with it.  With the help of the local autism organisation we were offered transport for the bike back to Cape Town, where shipping had been arranged.  And just like that, 7 days later we were back in Blighty with the bike safely tucked up in a container to travel back to the UK.

We made it to the most Southern Tip of Africa.  A momentous occasion – the trip wasn’t over yet though…  A few days later a long the coast in East London, we could finally hang our coats and put away our helmets – we were complete.

I realise this is a horribly brief summary of our final months, the book (yes I have started working on it! ) promises to have a lot more detail to enjoy.

Thank you Kargo for transporting the bike back to Cape Town for us 
Thank you Econotrans and Motofreight for sponsoring the shipping of the bike back to the UK







4 thoughts on “Summary or our Final Months”

  1. Oh well done Mel and Sofia – I hope Sofia is settled and happy at school now

    Very best wishes


    Carrie and Don (the Teapot Guesthouse, Harare)

    07949714596 (UK)

    Carrie Lapham 31a Willowmead Lane PO Chisipite Harare +263 4 885013 land +263772238685

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Mel,

    It’s so nice to have news from you and Sofia. I send you big kisses. We take the plane on next friday to meet our daughter in Capetown. From there, we’ll take the road (by car) to Port Elizabeth.

    Have good time to your country

    Liked by 1 person

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