Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Off to Cairo and the Pyrimids

We had our breakfast early this morning in the hotel in Alexandria, packed our bikes and were off to Cairo. It was hot and the city pretty mucky, a true taste of what is to come I guess. The open roads seem to be a bit nicer than just being stuck in the city and about 200km later we arrived in Cairo at the pyramids, were we managed a few pics before being hassled to move on, how the heck did Charlie and Ewan manage to get it right.
This helped with the decision to push on into the desert on the long way round to Aswan.

Monday, 27 September 2010

.......Up to Egypt

Sorry for lack of updates, below are exerts of Andre's blog to get us a bit to date
'We are now on the Visemar ferry, four days at sea, arriving at Alexandria, Egypt on Monday afternoon. Very kindly the crew on the ferry organized us a UK to Europe mains converter so that we can charge our laptops.

I met up with Lindsay and Delilah at the Visemar ferry port this morning, so now we are re-united for the trip down to Cape Town.

We also met a few other travellers, some on bikes, some with trucks and some with land cruisers, from German, Italian, British to some South Africans. There are also loads of rally cars and bikes onboard as well as some helicopters, assuming to film the rally in Egypt.

The check-in process was quite painless, but quite a wait, but in no time we were on the ship, only 50 or so passengers on the whole ferry … I also managed to organize my own 3 berth cabin

Food on the ferry is quite expensive as you can imagine, a beer is 5 euro and food for the 4 days are about 89 euro, but what can you do. The internet on the ferry is 7 euro per hour .. which is also expensive, but I reckon is not too bad for internet on the ocean. There is also mobile phone coverage, not sure how that works.

Two days later.....Last night was quite rough at sea with some rain, but this morning again, nice and sunny with just vast ocean around us. It’s beautiful and quite cool just to stand outside and watch the water …

It’s the third day on the Visemar Ferry and I think we are just south of Greece and due to stop over in Tartous, Syria tomorrow morning. Some of the guys on the ferry are getting off tomorrow in Syria, these include a German couple also on BMW motorcycles (G650 Xchallenge and G650 Xcountry).

During the day it is quite boring, nothing much is happening, a few TV’s, but all in foreigh language, so nothing we understand. The ferry itself is only 18 months old, so pretty new, modern and clean … very cool and well recommended !

We have met some other travellers, Peter and Matt, also from South Africa. They are travelling in a Land Rover, doing more or less the same route. They even have a freezer and fridge in the back for beer and ice for the gin and tonic, so I guess we are sticking with them as much we can. Matt will only be travelling to Aswan and will then be flying back to London. Peter’s wife will be joining him in Alexandria, Egypt, so from Aswan it will only be Peter and his wife.

The other guys, 2 english, Ted (http://www.touringted.com) and Neil (http://neils.in) will also be travelling the same route, but they still need to get all their visas, so might be slighly behind us on this trip.

There are also 2 kiwi guys, Craig and Cameron (http://cam-africa.blogspot.com) and they have more or less the same route and timescale as us, travelling on a Transalp and a Yamaha Tenere, so we might end up travelling together.

In the evenings, we just sit and chat, play cards, drink “expensive” beer and try and watch foreign TV …

..... and finally the last day on the ferry.....Yesterday after breakfast on the ferry we just hung around the ship waiting for the 14h00 arrival in Alexandria, Egypt.

We finally arrived, but man, was it hot !! I was boiling. The customs and immigration boarded the ship and went through our paperwork, but that was only the beginning. Once we received our passports back and stamped, we were allowed to go down to the bikes to disembark.

We basically rode of the ship, 100m and was ordered to stop. This was in the midday sun, sweating my ass off. We now had to go through the police control, more customs and security checks. Think it took us a total of about 4 hours and we were eventually on our way.

Outside the port gates, lies Alexandria, what mayhem … words could not describe, traffic is hectic, doesn’t seem to be any rules and they are all over the place, not the mention the speeding.

We were looking for a hotel, but everytime you stop just to talk to each other, people surround you, shouting stuff and all try to help in their own way I guess.

We finally found a local guy, nicknamed Micky … quite good english and he found as hotel with “secure” parking for the bikes accross the road. He then spent all evening with us, taking us around the city, taking us out for a meal at a seafood restaurant … lots and lots of food !!
SAM 0226
Walked around the city again for a bit … actually quite a long time .. and eventually headed back to the hotel where we are now … about 01h30 in the morning local time. Everything is buzzing, this place is non stop, apparently some the shops stay open 24hrs in the summer !

We will be heading to Cairo tomorrow and after that hopefully some open road away from the cities. We then plan to take the Western Desert route on our way down to Aswan.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Venice and Jesolo beach

We headed off to Venice today, trying to get most of the riding out the way. The weather was great for riding, but still, we had to contend with all the crazy Italian riders on the road.
Eventually arriving in Venice, we headed to find the port where our ferry boat was sailing from, before we headed to find a suitable campsite. It was suggested by one of the locals that the coast of Jesolo was beautiful and that we would be able to find some nice accomadation there, so we headed off in that direction, finding that most of the camping, motel's and hotels where all closed for the season.
With not much luck finding anything, i then suggested to Lindsay that we try some one star hotels that seemed to still be trading, which is when we came across the Perle Hotel. We explained that we were doing a trip down to South Africa and would appreciate there help, they allowed us to stay and even offered to park the bikes in there breakfast area, which made everything soooo much easyier, because we wanted to explore Venice city the next day before we headed to Egypt on Thursday.
We were so blessed to find Hotel Perle Jesolo, they went out of there way to help us with internet, breakfast ....they were amazing and we definately recommend them and will definately go back.

Also, dont let the one star fool you, i've seen 4 star hotels with less to offer than what you get and the hotel is a family business too.

The next day was an early start as we headed off to Venice, the weather was beautifully hot, we decided to catch the bus towards Punte Sabionne to catch a ferry to Venice. We did eventually manage to get there with a few issues along the way..
Wow....Beautiful in its own way, loads of people, gondolas, boats, venders everywhere, really great. It was a total maze......it would take ages to just see every single street and alleyway. A lot of the streets where only accessible by boat and all post and deliveries were done by people on foot, where possible,.......it was great....no bicycles, cars, scooters......a whole different world.
We got off at St Marco square and walked through some of the city, but then decided to get a ferry heading back round on the river to St Marco square to be able to get sight of all the other sights not available by foot, what a great ride and way to see some of the city.
Later on we headed back to Jesolo to try and catch some rays on their beautiful beach, afterwhich we headed into the little city for a spot of Italian cuisine, which is where I managed to spill red wine all over Lindsay's new white t–shirt.....(by accident.....might i add, sorry.........).
Another early start the next morning with a great breakfast again from the Zanon family, we were ready now to head to Africa.
We made it to the check in at 10am where we meet up with Andre and we noticed 6 other bikes and a few Land Rovers doing the same trip.....which was great.
So we were really excited now...that we finally starting our African Adventure.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Rent-a-dream & BMW Due Route Milan

I did think it would be necessary to write anything till after embarking on the ferry to Egypt, but boy has Italy surprised us. Thanks to Diego at Rent a dream situated in BMW Due Route Milan, we were able to sort out all the issues we picked up throughout our European adventure and fit our brand new knobbly tyres for the African leg of the trip. Diego is a really great guy and has gone out of his way to help us out (and all of his customers, i noticed) in every way he could, if you're looking to rent a great bike while in Italy or would like a more specific tour in the area, please do not hesitate to give him a shout (click on the link above).

The photo below shows just how relaxed the day was, imagine spending 6 hours at your dealer and actually enjoying it, all the customers just gathered round the bikes, some speaking english, other not, but everyone understanding the stories that were being dished out, while the mechanic/owner of the store was slaving away on Delilah's bike (happily i may add), what a great way to spend a Monday.

Diego at his HQ in BMW

Sunday, 19 September 2010

The good and the bad

Well, what an awesome day with the sun shining, we had a great tan on the beach for a few hours.
Come lunchtime we decided to go for a ride to get some supplies. All i can say is, if you are going on a long trip like ours, make sure you have a spare key for your vehicle with you, Yes you guessed it, i managed to drop my key in one of the big super markets without realizing it, Delilah being the lovely wife she is took the bus back to our campsite to get the spare set. So hopefully the store finds the key tomorrow morning and all will be as it was, with some of us the wiser i hope.
Well the day ended as it started, on the beach listening to the waves lap in and out again :)

Thank you

Thanks all once again for following our journey and donating to this very important cause.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Now or never

Today was no better , and we decided if it was to keep on raining that we would just stay at the site we were at for another day, but seeing a gap in the weather, we were encouraged to head on, and wow, what a great decision.
Once again Italy delivered with the amazing roads, winding through the mountains in and out of villages. 5hrs and 143km of pure adrenalin, ending at a campsite on the beach, where we will stay for at least 2 days to get that well deserved r&r we have been looking for.

Monday we head for Milan where we get our new tyres fitted and Delilah's bikes water leak fixed.
Thanks for reading, and keep following us as the journey truly begins in Africa.
The heavens opening up

Friday, 17 September 2010

Pisa but no pizza

So we left our campsite near Pisa at about 12h30, after sorting out the blog and all other bits still tying us to our lives in the UK. This we found out later to be a grave mistake as we had a bit of time on our hands. The rain hit hard and we were soaked to the bones. The riding experience became …..well dangerous, as we were still travelling twisty coastal roads. “Oh well, you only live once” has become our motto. We travelled from campsite to campsite searching for a dryer for our clothes (how western is that mentality). Eventually after 3 sites and 30km we settled down to rest, enjoying our first true taste of Italian food, campsite spaghetti and sauce

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Milano here we come.....

An early start again to gain more ground....Not quite the Italian experience we were expecting for our first night....but hey, the mountains were beautiful, the weather was perfect, now we just need to find the amazing food.
On our way to Milan we stopped at a cafe/garage and this elderly Italian man approached us and asked questions..... Strange thing is he didn’t speak a word of English, we didn’t speak a word of Italian, but we all understood each other, and he understood what we where doing. He then gave us some amazing plums.....that is what i think they are but someone told us they were prunes. All i can say time will tell.....
So we headed for Milan.......great ride in, Lindsay even took the opportunity to swim in Lake Garda along the way.
Back to Milan, what a horrible city, i mean its definitely nothing to write home about (except to tell you of course), and Italians are such bad drivers, changing lanes with no indication, riding up our asses all the time, scooters come from all directions......... not for me thanks.
We then meet up will Diago, who Lindsay met to arrange for our tyres to be changed for Africa. We wanted to check the tyres had arrived and to sort my bike, we noticed that my bike was leaking some water......and we needed to sort it before we left on Thursday. Diago works along side BMW and his offices are based at BMW which made it soooo much easier and he spoke English. Once we sorted everything with him we headed towards Lake Como, as per his advice, he said its definitely a must and all i can say is that was the best evenings rest we have had in ages, no train, car, truck, party noises anywhere , just us and the ducks on the lake....was great.

The next day we woke up to fantastic view of the lake......no sounds but the lake lapping onto the sand, church bells in the distance and a few ducks quacking .....great...this is the life, cant wait for Africa. Im sure there will be many more of these mornings.
We decided to try and head off to Tuscany area aiming to get to Poimbino, apparantly the 5 islands are great. On route we stopped In Pisa.......had a look at the leaning tower of Pisa.....really amazing and loads of tourists. Lindsay and i took turns going to see the tower....its a bit difficult when you have all your stuff on your bike and you need to step away from it, but hey......it was great and really warm in the city. We then decided to head back north and head up to Cinque Terre and stay 1 or 2 nights before we have to head to Milan on Monday to get our bikes sorted. We also want to spend a night in Venice where we plan to meet up with Andre to hop onto the ferry to head to Egypt.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

A bit cold through the lake district

Another early start this morning aiming to reach Milan before sunset, we headed off from the lake district Gmunden towards Salzburg, B-roads again but brilliant to ride, cold as any heading through the mountain and getting caught up in quite heavy mist. Temperatures were at 14.5 degrees but then dropped to as low as 9.5 deg C. Eventually we gave in to temptation and stopped off at McCafe for a 'hearty breakfast'.

Checking the GPS, it looked as if getting road tax vignettes to travel on the Autobahn was our best option to get through the rest of Austria into Italy. This was definitely a good decision as it saved us 600km and 6hrs of riding through a very cold snow capped Alps. The Autobahn weaved and out of Germany towards Innesbrook where it basically ends and becomes more of a mountain pass, a brilliant road with long winding bends climbing to its peak at about 1300m above sea level just before reaching the Italian border. The scenery is another story, all the way through Austria; everything seems to be picture perfect. Huge houses, massive properties and everything in its place. Northern Italy thus far has managed to surpass this by just enhancing the natural beauty in the mountain when crossing the border and headed up one of the nicest passes I have been on, which snaked up around the mountain to reach its peak at 2223m above sea and just 7 deg C. What a high point.

 Well you know what comes after a high. Our first experiences with Italians were not impressive, the ones we met were quite abrupt and rude and everything was too much trouble, Lets hope this improves.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Cape Town or bust

We finally had a good chance to sit down and check out our schedule, noticing that we were about a day or two behind what we had planned, we decided to push on, leaving Linz and the Tube hotel behind, was a shame not to have met Andi, the owner of the hotel, who is recovering from a heavy bicycle accident. Get well soon Andi.

>We thought we would make our way to Salzburg via the B roads and then check again from there, well we got as far as the lake district, riding in the rain, spotted an amazing campsite on the lake and settled in for the night after a nice soup (very nice actually, highly recommended if you are in the area) from the restaurant next door called ‘Schweizerhof am See

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Hello Ceske

On Saturday we arrived in Ceske Krumlov around 1ish, finding a great place to stay for the night, Pension Teddy (B&B), he had a room plus a garage for us to keep the bikes as we explored the city.

Wow...what a great city it was, and great food. Most of the city is build into the rocks, definitely amazing. The people we found were not as adaptable but hey,there is a language barrier. We found this amazing little shop with some traditional trdenik pastries (see pic)....yummy.
Lindsay mentioned we should head back tomorrow for some more, mmmmm.

The city was filled with tourists so we didn’t feel out at all. The river running through the city is an adventure itself. Loads of boats and canoes for hire, and everyone travelling down the river really loving it. Truly a relaxing town. We ended the evening eating goulash for dinner and cranberry and cheese starter really great, very yummy.
Today we had an early start with breakfast served by Teddy at 8am, and what a different breakfast, rolls and sausages, like having hot dogs for breakfast with some great coffee.

We then took a last stroll into the city for Lindsay’s cinnamon trdenik ...yummy...before getting back on the road again to meet a friend in Austria.

We arrived in Linz, great little town, the ride in from Ceske Krumlov .......INCREDIBLE. How amazing, so far one of the best rides I’ve had. We met our friend in the town centre of Linz, which, when he arrived, he mentioned to us that he had just come off his bike on his way to meet us. All because of the GPS and poor road design (he did mention something about lack of concentration)....oh dear, thank goodness all is ok with him....just some nasty bruises to follow...the bike is fine too....just some scratches. We headed to a coffee shop had a great chat, then rode off to set up camp. We later met up with our friend in town to watch an orchestra being broadcast onto big screens just next to the river Danube...it was great

Friday, 10 September 2010

Bye Bye Berlin

On our way again...so we left rainy Berlin on Thursday morning heading to Czech Republic. The journey was not too bad....besides the mad drivers, the weather was getting better. Nothing much happened on the road, however we reached our destination which was a camp site just north of Prague, called Triocamp......mozi’s galore. We figured the mozi’s were around because of hundreds of fruit trees. There were also loads of Harley Davidson riders from Netherlands camping but they had chalets...nice!!!!
We had a good dinner...chips and bread...woo hooo.
Camp food here we come...we had a great rest except some weird guy at 5am shouting and singing....I suppose he had a great night.

Friday morning, an early start, earlier then all the other mornings, we’ve been really lazy and taking it easy....early mornings are a no no for me at the moment.
So we got up at 8am...did our bits, had breakfast.....still trying to train Lindsay in getting me coffee first thing....... Sorry Lindsay first one up has to make the coffee :0).

Leaving Triocamp we headed towards Prague which ended up an interesting ride through the city, it first started off as a nightmare all the cobbled roads and loads of tram lines on the street. It just made it a little bit harder to ride on but I suppose it’s a start to our African adventure.
We then continued on towards Ceske Budjavice, where they produce all the Budvar for us lucky folk., stopping off in Kutna Hora to visit a church, well not your typical church but the Church of bones, which was very weird but kind of interesting, however the trip there was great, I haven’t seen so many fruit trees along the side of the road before all bursting with apples, pears, plums and much more. There were times that I just felt like stopping and grabbing a few, but we are so overloaded as it is, we can’t afford to.
So we eventually arrived at our next camp site, autocamp Motel Dlouha Louka. It was pretty empty but looked ok. So we set up camp before sunset, Lindsay again being attached by mozi’s. Poor Lindsay’s bald head, bitten all over. When we finally got to rest for the evening, the two guys next door staying in a van, decided to have a party until the wee hours of the morning, one of them eventually getting sick close to our tent...nice!!!!
Then something woke Lindsay up suddenly at 5h30am, noticing a shadow passing over the tent. Unzipping the inner tent, he noticed that someone had unzipped the outside part of our tent. We quickly checked to see if anything was taken but fortunately for us everything was accounted for.
It made me very nervous knowing there were thieves around, so we decided to head off elsewhere in the morning. We managed then too doze off again, waking up at 9am to a great shower in the morning, and by the time I was finished, Lindsay had made some great bacon and eggs for breakfast, ready to move on to Ceske Krumlov.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Remembering why we are doing this trip.......

Remember, if you would like to donate anything, and i mean anything at all, please go to the charity page by clicking on the tab above or simply click on the 'Donate' button on the right


Berlin street karaoke

Sunday, 5 September 2010


We arrived in Berlin at about 6pm to a hearty welcome from Susan and Frans, still struggling in traffic with the seemingly unnecessary weight we were carrying and would soon have to lighten. I reckon we could get rid of at least 10kg each  if not more, what were we thinking??

The first night here we met up with a great couple from Canada, Jordan and Nicolene (who is actually from South Africa), who dined us in traditional South African cuisine to lovely curry and fetkoek (curry bunnies). Mmmmmmmmmmmmm how long has it been since we've had that, and now we get it in Berlin of all places. And here i thought i was going to loose weight on this trip!!!

Yesterday was amazing, took a walking tour through Berlin, wow the culture here is just amazing,

Today we went out for a huge breakfast, we did not see fit to eat again till late in the evening. the people in Germany surely do know how to eat, keslar chops, sausages, scrambled eggs and bacon and roast potatoes, wow.

We also happened upon a street theatre where they were performing karaoke, some of the performances were just ridiculous as you can imagine, videos to follow

Friday, 3 September 2010

To Berlin we go

Apologies for not updating sooner guys, but it has just been such a busy last week for us to finalise all the last bits. Not only did we have to plan this amazing trip but we have to move all our homely goodies into storage......well enough of that let me tell you how the trip is going.
We departed really early Wed morning 01 Sep 6am.....but got up at 4am(mad i know)......not quite sure what happened to the 2hours , but we figured as we were making our way to Dover that we packed waaaaaaay to much, and boys you will be happy to know it had nothing to do with me.
So we finally got to Dover at 7h30, to a passport control that just allow you to pass through without even checking any documents or stopping you at all. Even this did not help us much with the ferry having to depart at 07h30am, we were asked to take the next one at 08h30.....oh dear.
We then stopped in the queue with other bikes which made the trip even more real. I then decided to get us some hot drinks just before we got on the ferry not knowing that as i walked outside ....all the other bikes had boarded and we were suppose to get onto the ferry riding our bikes with hot drinks........you calculate the problem....well as South Africans....anything is possible......so Lindsay managed to ride off with his hot drink no problem, however I’m still figuring out where to put my hot drink.....then i get this amazing idea to open my tank bag and slip it in the front. (Now for all you non bikers....my tank bag is a little bag that gets strapped to the tank of my bike therefore sitting in between myself and the handle bars).
Well very impressed with my idea i start off really slowly heading to the ferry when this truck pulls in front of me which then forced me to stop suddenly and yes you guessed it hot drink on my tank bag.......a little annoyed but laughing to myself at the same time.
We then reached Calais all excited and much warmer then chilly UK.......,getting off the ferry and Lindsay reminding me to keep to the left. We decided to stay off the toll roads and go the scenic roads.....which was great and i love ride through the country.....however when you over loaded and stopping go stopping go.....its not so exciting anymore. I had to remind Lindsay twice that he was on the wrong side of the road.......and a pedestrian almost ran into me....i say that because he ran though not realising that there was traffic in the road damn pedestrians.
Not doing too many miles on Wed meant we had to camp in Gent, Belgium....really great camp site, still really busy with holiday makers. We set up our tents......laid down for a bit......which was a bad idea...because we didn’t get up until the next morning.
When we got up the next morning, we quickly showered, had some left over dinner for breakfast (yummy)... and our aim for today was to get to Berlin. We had a long ride ahead....so we packed up and headed off.
In Germany at the moment in a little campsite off a main river ( Porta Westfalica ) we still have 220 miles to Berlin tomorrow . We met this couple cycling down the river camping every 50-60km over 15 days, the river is only about 800km long, but good to see others on little adventures too. Nothing much more to say about today other than the drivers in Germany are crazy and the speeds they drive are insane. Had a few hair raising moments.....but nothing to write about.Just really difficult when riding at 120km/h to judge someone travelling at twice that speed for overtaking.
Oh...i can’t forget not to mention, we had to stop off at McDonalds in Germany....apparently they taste different in different countries.....I’m still wondering if that was Lindsay’s way of saying he needs McDonalds....well it was a first for me.....really it was a first for me. I have never had McDonalds before.....always a first time for everything.
Night night guys and a further update is soon to come

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Lindsay and Delilah ...

Hi, Andre here ... since Lindsay and Delilah does not seem to update their blog, I will do it for them :)

Lindsay and Delilah left London on the 1st of September, apparently missing their first ferry service over to Calais ... nothing unusual for Lindsay, always late :) hehe

They seem to make good progress and it now somewhere in Germany where they stopped for a McDonalds

I am still stuck in London, leaving London on the 21st of September meeting up with them on the 23rd in Italy .. I can't wait !

Just the two photos Lindsay posted via twitpic (follow Lindsay on twitter here), makes me very excited, it surely will be an adventure and most probably once in a lifetime trip, although I hope not ... hope there are many more !

Just hope this doesn't mean Delilah is already "gatvol" (fedup) ... she kinda looks like she had enough, hehe

Look forward to joining them later this month ... ride safe guys, take it easy, you have lots of time ! :)