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Thread: Gaels in Mozambique.

  1. #241
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    Simon suggested I should give an update on the XT250. The strange thing is, I'm taking for granted that gets me and my stuff where I want to go. However when I look at the map below, the bike deserves some credit for transporting me through these 7 different countries, sometimes on bad roads.

    It starts on the shortest press of the starter button, a great quality for an adventure bike. It runs well and pulls me along at between 80 to 100km/h, a good speed for travelling in Africa. Its 135kg with a full tank and oil, but a bit heavier with a pannier frame and topbox, not to mention my luggage. It copes with most road conditions but we have a deal that I won't ask it to take me through much sand or thick gravel. It uses from 3.3 - 4L/100km depending on speed and wind direction. With only 20bhp, it is impacted by a headwind. I hesitate to say this mid trip but it has been totally reliable so far.

    It carries the luggage well and the Magadan panniers suit it great. I'm known for not travelling light but the bike doesn't complain. It carries a little camel my granddaughter gave me, which has now done many thousands of kilometers in Africa. The bike also carries proudly an Irish sticker, which has been an excellent distraction at many roadside police checks. Overall an excellent bike for touring Africa and I can't believe I'm thinking of selling it!Name:  20221104_125705.jpg
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  2. #242
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    Fantastic stuff guys, great entertainment and escape from the terrible winds and rain here on the West of Ireland

  3. #243
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    Thanks! Today was a long and hot day, well over 600kms and a 9 hour ride with afternoon temperatures between 34C and 37C ….quite demanding but with lots of rewarding wildlife encounters.

    And before some bright spark asks why we did two sides of a triangle rather than one - I asked the same question when we first rode this route, in 2019, in the reverse direction.

    Simply because, I was told, the direct route is pretty likely to see the motorcyclist ‘et be a lion’ as it’s a hard long and sandy piste through the centre of the park!

    As it is, there’s a pride of lions around the 100km mark on the southwards leg and a good deal of wildlife. Watch this spot! (Plot spoiler: we are both intact as are our bikes).


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  4. #244
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    We had just only started on the southern leg of the ride yesterday when we saw the traffic backing up. Looking ahead I could see lots of animals crossing the road. This turned out to be a large troop of baboons(I believe) which had mostly crossed as we reached the scene.Name:  PH000378 (1).jpg
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  5. #245
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    The first 100km were pretty uneventful but there were lots of signs warning of the danger of wild animals, so we remained on guard. I've travelled this stretch of road about 5 times now and there's always wildlife to be seen. We were told that because if the good rains recently the grass in the bush would be lush, so we may not see many animals on the road. This proved not to be the case.Name:  PH000397 (1).jpg
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  6. #246
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    We'd been warned about the lions around the 100km mark but the position was less than precise. We used a service station to fill up and take a safe break, not wanting to have to stop by the side of the road. Soon after we'd left the lion danger zone we spotted our first elephant. It was a lone male grazing on the side of the road. We were cautious as elephants don't like motorbikes and can charge if upset.

    However, as this one seemed relaxed and Simon is always looking for photo op, I suggested he move forward and got this photo.Name:  P1020839.jpg
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  7. #247
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    Seeing the elephant lifted our spirits and we pulled in to one of the lay-bys. Yes, they do have lay-bys in the middle of a national park, with wild animals.


    This lay-by caught my eye as the sign had almost collapsed, I suspect it was used as a scratching pole by a large animal. Note the text on the sign. There are warning signs for elephants along the road and I think the elephants thing they are for them to scratch against e.g. this one!Name:  20221125_094503.jpg
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  8. #248
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    Just as we were leaving first part of the park, we had to stop and have our boots disinfected and ride through a trough of liquid. At that point we looked back and a small group of elephants were crossing the road behind us. One stopped at a pool of water and had a shower. It was warming up, so he had our sympathy.Name:  P1020843.jpg
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  9. #249
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    We stopped at Nata for fuel and a break, our half way point. It was hot. After fuelling up and having a snack, we headed for the toilets. One way we have found helpful in riding in hot temperatures is to take off our shirts and douse them in water and put them back on. This provides a cooling feeling for most of an hour which was quite welcome as we approached 35C.

    The road from Nata to Maun has a bad stretch where the top surface has worn away and has potholes. When we originally planned to travel from Maun to Nata in 2019 we were reading reports tvat this stretch can be impassable. In fact if you take your time, it's not too bad, not as bad as the road in Moz. However in mid 30C temperatures riding slowly is less than ideal. We made it however to Gweta, and the service station, our 2/3 point on the road. This service station, like a few in Africa, has a reputation for occasionally not having petrol. Today it had petrol and we doused our shirts again. It was now 36.5C.

    While Simon was being filled up, I noticed this sign, and thought how progressive, for a one donkey town in Botswana.

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  10. #250
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    More animals, you say, OK then... The surprise this time was that there were zebra on the side of the road. I had never seen zebra here before. I also hadn't realised they can be quite skittish, often panicking as we came along. This group were calm enough but had one keeping an eye on us.

    The next group we saw on the left of the road and they galloped off. I hadn't realised there was another zebra on the right hand side of the road and he decided to join his mates on the left, cutting across my path. The camera shows him some distance away but he was quite close. In fact when he made it to the verge, he kicked up some soil and stones which hit my leg. No zebras or humans were hurt in this exchange but I reckon it was more stressful for the zebra.Name:  P1020849.jpg
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  11. #251
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    OK then, what else did we see... Well, there were the shy giraffes and the ostrich.Name:  P1020853.jpg
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  12. #252
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    There were more elephants of course, a group of 4 around a water tank. This one broke away from the group and walked on to the road and stopped. We than noticed another elephant behind us. Clearly we weren't going anywhere for a while. We kept an eye on the one behind and he continued to graze. The front one was watching a younger one still having a bath, but not leaving the road. This stalemate lasted for a while, till the little one finished and the big one moved off the road and we could proceed. All part of the fun of riding this stretch of road.
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  13. #253
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    The photos for the post above.Name:  P1020860.jpg
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  14. #254
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    Our last elephant encounter was the most dramatic. Again it was near one of these water tanks. Clearly the elephants know there is water inside and have learned how to take off the heavy concrete lid. This one was having a good drink when we rolled up.

    He was relaxed at first but then his attitude changed and he didn't welcome our presence. We kept the engines running. Later, in this helmet cam photo, you can see his ears flapping and he gave a loud trumpet, so we thought it time to leave. Name:  20221125_143930.jpg
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  15. #255
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    Great photo's .... a great experience

    Thank you for sharing.

    Adventure.GS
    Domain name for sale, please contact me if interested.

    "If you want the rainbow then you have to put up with a little rain" Dolly Parton

  16. #256
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    After a long and hot day yesterday, we are having a chill day at The Old Bridge Backpackers outside Maun.

    I slept well and then sat on our terrace looking over the water; it wasn’t long before I saw the big crocodile glide through the water, doing his morning inspection for comestibles. (Locals advise he prefers small dogs to goats, they are his ‘chicken stew and rice’.)

    After doing my exercises (and the back is holding up well, hurrah!) I had a leisurely breakfast of Weetbix with the fresh milk we bought last night and out in the fridge here.

    Later in the morning there was lots of activity and it seemed a wedding was being photographed at the hostel so I went for a dekko and ended up being asked for photos. I apologised for my shorts and flip flops but ‘No’ wasn’t an acceptable answer!Name:  IMG_6786.jpg
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