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Entry 15 // Finally on the Road

Update by: Nick | February 11th 2011

In the morning we woke up early to tow Luke's bike to the KTM dealership. We are starting to get pretty good at this.We spent the rest of the morning at the dealership working on the bike. Luke and mechanic decided to take a fuel pump out of another 690 which was owned by the dealership. If it was the fuel pump that was wrong, then this would solve the problem. Along with swapping fuel pumps, they also changed the fuel filter. After the bike was put back together we took it for a short, 15 minute, test drive, everthing seemed to be ok; but we were still skeptical. Last time we packed up ready to leave and ended up on the side of the road 100 miles away. This time we decided to take a second "test ride". We decided we should try to drive to Cape Agulhas to test it out. The dealer gave us a number to call in case we died again and they would come pick us up for free. So we took off in the afternoon to try to make the Cape. We were so excited when we passed the side of the road where we broke down last time we had to stop and celebrate. Maybe it's acually fixed? We made it to Cape Agulhas around 5:30 pm. I was so excited we made it I got stuck trying to drive to the water. Joke was on me though, the acual southern tip of africa was 100 yards away down a board walk. The joke was also on Luke, he had to push me out.We drove our bikes down the boardwalk and took the mandatory pictures.By the time we left the Cape it was 6:00 pm. This was good news because we had nothing but our mesh jackets and didn't bring any extra gear, since it was just test drive. This means the ride back was going to be chilly. On the bright side, we probably wouldn't make it back to Cape Town before it got dark and there was a good chance it could rain on us. At least the bikes were still running good.We made it back to Cape Town with no problems. Luke woke up early the next day and went to the KTM dealer to pay for the fuel pump. The good news was they would sell him the pump that he used on the test drive. This was good since we didn't feel like waiting around for a few more days while a new one was shipped. The used fuel pump was sold to him at half price, which is funny since it was still more expensive than buying a new fuel pump in America.
Luke immediately drove back to the hostel and we packed up to make up some ground. In all the excitement of starting our trip we missed the first, and only exit we needed to take. We drove parrallel to the road we needed to be on for 5 miles. Finally we spotted a hole in the fence and could sneak our way over. I was still too excited and drove staight into some loose sand. This is becoming too much of a habit.It's ok though, Luke enjoys it. The next few hours we just hauled the mail. After awhile we came to 2 miles of traffic backed up. Since we were on bikes it was no problem, we drove past all of them and got to be first in line.We found out the reason traffic was backed up. The road was closed for blasting.It looks like we had 30 minutes to waste. No problem, we entertained ourselves by doing handstands and playing hacky-sac with some of the boys waiting in line.The roads in Northern South Africa didn't turn much. It was good for making up lost time.Since it was our first day on the road, Luke wanted to test out his fuel mileage. He did, and there wasn't any signs of a gas station nearby.When it started to get dark we started looking for a place to buy food so we could camp. The city we stopped in didn't sell any food. That's right, there wasn't a store in the entire city to buy food. The man at the gas station pointed us to a bed and breakfast and said them might be able to sell us something. He was right, they made us dinner for only 10 Rand each. They also let us pitch our tent in their backyard for free. Not a bad deal.The next morning we woke up early so we could make it to the Namibian boarder early. We drove through a lot of the same roads as the day before.After hours of nothing but straight roads we decided to open a gate and do some playing.After our break, we made a bee line for the boarder. This was going to be stressful. We needed to take our time and do it right since we each paid $2,500 in temporary import fees, hopeing we got it back when we exported our bikes. We went to the first customs office we came across and they said they couldn't help us. They did point us to another cusoms office that was a trailer up the road. These guys did seem to know a little more. While they did some paperwork we decided to eat lunch.While we were waiting we heard some interesting stuff. One of the guys next to us at the customs office kept saying words like: AK 47, rocket launcher, semi-automatic, grenade, ect... We think he had something to do with movies, since one of the papers said "Namibian Film Armory Supplier" or something like that. Either way he was getting a police escort over the boarder. After we waited an hour or so, they sent us to another customs office. This one seemed more legit. I mean it wasn't a trailer on the side of the road. The first thing they asked us when we walked in the door was, " are you the guys with the motorcycles and guns?".
After we cleared up the fact that we had no guns, we started trying to get the paperwork we needed. It took a few calls and a lot of explaining, but we started making progress. The bad news was what they were telling us we needed to do to get our money back was different than what our custom clearing company in Cape Town told us. It was similar, but one major difference. We wouldn't be able to get our money back until we exited Botswana. Apparently, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Lesotho are all in-kahoots. We had customs call our people in Cape Town (That's right, we have people) to double check that was correct. It was and that made us a bit nervous. Now we had to do more boarder crossings getting our paperwork perfect. At least South Africa's was finished. Finally we could cross into Namibia.We only had to clear customs on the Namibian side now. This went a lot quicker. All they needed us to do was fill our two forms, one for us and one for our bikes. Then they stamped our passports and gave us a slip of paper for motorcycles allowing them into the country. The slip of paper did cost us about 130 Rand, which we had to scrape the bottom of the bucket for. It's never, or usually never, a good idea to cross a boarder with a lot of old currancy left over.It was 1:30 pm and we could start exploring Namibia. At least it was 105 degrees to start that adventure.

 

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