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Entry 21 // The Race...Day 1 of 4

Update by: Luke | February 27th, 2011

We Have 4 days to travel from Victoria falls in Zambia to Moshi Tanzania to meet up with our friend Timmer to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. The distance is about 2,000 miles. We got it!!!!

If we weren't eating, sleeping or broken down we were on the tarmac going 120 K, or for you English people. 75 mph. It all started after Vic falls. After the bungee jumping we found a very popular backpackers called Joey Boys. It's filled with travelers. It has everything you could ask for, restaurant/bar, swimming pool, pool table, secure parking, but most importanly INTERNET. we haven't done an update in 7 days so we got busy. We dumped the footage and got writing. I didn't end up going to bed untill 2:30 a.m. so not suprisingly the morning came early. We packed up and left with no photos of the colorful and unique compound, but one day was enough. After awhile the typical backpackers kind of wear on you with their idealistic views and one-uping each other with I'm been there, and I've done that.

Bank then Post office, then food. We are living real life here. It's not all bungee jumping and shark diving. We have daily business to take care of. Same stuff different Continent.

We have finally exited the SNLB countrys. (South Africa, Namabia, Leo....somthing, Botswana) These countries are all in kahoots, so our motorcycle import papers applies equality to all of them. Now that we exited the SNLB, we can send our documents back to Cape Town to get our $2,500 temporty import fees back. Well, the Post Office is in a shady part of town (main street) so I stay and watch the bikes while Nick does the mailing. It takes him about 1 1/2 hours to do this, so mean while, I am outside not buying sunglasses, exchanging money or anything else that I am targeted for. Eventually I start talking to a really cool taxi driver. He tells me all about the country. He explains why the value of money is so messed up (4,700 Q = $1 USD) and what every one does for a living. The unemplyment rate is 80% here. A typical taxi worker like himself makes only $100 USD per month. That's $1,200 per year. That would be ok, if rent and food were similarly priced, but that is not the case. Food here costs the same as it does in America. This is a very hard country to survie in.

Taxi man on the left. While looking for the post office we see stuff like this everywhere.Everywhere we go the locals ask about our bikes. You can see why too. Their bikes are so much different than ours.after we send off our motorcycle paperwork to South Africa, we gas up the bikes and eat some pre-made deep fried at this gas station that sells eggs by the bag.Now we are ready to start driving for the day, and it's already noon. Not necessarly a good start when we need to average 500 miles per day for the next 4 days. It is a relief to be done with that paperwork. We can drive until late tonight then start really early tomorrow. Everything will be fine. We pound out 100 miles and come across these guys.They came down from Europe 2-up on a ktm 640. Very impressive. That's a single cylinder bike that is know to feel like a paint shaker. They have been on the road for 3 months so far. That's a pretty quick pace for only averaging 80 K on the road. We usually go about 120 K. This encourages us for meeting our goal to hit norway in less than 5 months.

a few more hundred miles and more gas station food.
My choice Nick's choiceWe drive and drive and drive. I shoot some photos on the fly, but we don't ever stop. Finally well after dark, we pull into a road side truck stop. We barter a bit, and get different prices form different workers. We finally settle on 65,000. (around $12) Tired and exhausted, I'm ready for bed. We cranked out 400 miles today. We didn't make our 500 mile goal. The good news is, I'm not done for the day. I have to change my oil before I can go to bed. The cool thing about poor countries is that you can bend the rules, if there are any to begin with. You see everyone is so happy to get your business you can kind of do whatever you want to. So I begin to change my oil right in front of compound. One worker runs to get me a bowl to drain it in, while another guy hunts up a few spare nails so I can pull my filter out. I pull the plug on the oil pan and drain the oil. The oil flows from the bike to the bowl to the cobble stone I am working on. I now notice a huge hole in the bowl. A woker runs to get a new bowl, but not before about 1 liters of oil is all over the place.It's dark and hard to see, but the oil looks like it has a green tint to it. I check my antifreeze expansion chamber and it is empty. The radiator is full. There are no oil specks in the radiator.

Hmm...

I am just nervous about this bike. I don't trust it anymore. I read the forums just like everyone else, and hear all the problems that people have had with these bikes, but I take it with a grain of salt. Of course people will document their problems with their bike on the internet, but for every one guy that has a problem, there are 100 guys out there with no problems, and no reason to get on the forums and report that their bike runs great. I bought this bike with 100% confidence, but that confidence is slipping. I knew about the bad rep these bikes had on fuel pumps before I bought it, but what are the odds it would happen to me? Apparently the odds were good. haha.

There is nothing I can do now. Like they say in racing. "Run what ya brung"

It's time for some sleep then day 2 for the race to Timmer.

And yes, I saw the spider before I paid for the room. These ones won't hurt you, but there are some that will kill a man.However, I did NOT check out the bathroom before handing over the cash. It didn't matter anyway, we would have still chose the place. No running water. The bucket in the picture is full of water. You dump the water in the toilet when you are done and it gravity flushes it to a tank burried under the courtyard in the middle of the hotel. Look past the bikes in this picture to see the tank covers.

No trap, to keep the stink out.No one will get this except for Jesse and Pat.

 

 

 

 

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