South Africa (debrief)

Hi there, I’m very sad to tell you that I have now been back in the UK for almost a month.

Photograph over the Lea Valley (London)
Cold cold London

Yes, how did this happen? I cannot tell you! Suffice to say, despite being incredibly lethargic and depressed since returning things are good, I’ve been busy mending things around the new house, compiling a pimping CV and visiting friends I haven’t seen since the summer.

So the last country on the trip (South Africa), was somewhat a rushed thing. I cannot tell you exactly why, but looking back we seemed to do it as fast as possible. Of what I recall, our biggest event, was trying to book our bikes to be shipped home, the rest just fades off at the edges. I should point out, our bikes still haven’t arrived and we packed them up the day before flying home.  That’s shipping for you!

…in Summary:

From Windhoek, Cam, Craig, Eve (Craig’s girlfriend on the back of his bike) and I headed south towards Sossusvlei (big sand dunes, pictured as Namibia). From there headed down to the Fish River Canyon (a big gorge which has some breath taking scenery), then onto Orange River where we camped one night before leaving Namibia.  Following morning we met the Germans (Max & Jakob) at the border. Refer to the previous post with pictures.

Day 1 in South Africa (20/12/2010) we got as far as Strandfontein (Namakwa), where other than a near river crossing adventure the day was rather dull. We ended the day in some beach-resort camp-site/caravan village thing where we were following Jakob’s GPS which informed us of campsites in the area, alas, they were saturated and after poodling around for a while, discovered that that wasn’t going to work out for us. Luckily, while a couple of us waited for the others to find an alternative campsite, a local man came out of his chalet and offered us his driveway to camp on. Thankfully, the others returned to tell us there was no space in the other campsite either. So we turned to Stavi (our new host) who made our first night in South Africa amazing. Worked out he had been overlanding in Angola, and had lots of photos to show us, he also owned a vineyard and had lots of wine to offer the others, so the night ended quite merry.


Day 2 (21/12/2010) Stafi had booked us a reservation in a restaurant in Jacob’s Bay called Isabella’s, he also booked us a night in the camping ground in Jacob’s Bay, and planned our route out for us. What an amazing guy! A few hours later and there we were, eating in Isabella’s an epic seafood meal.  Off topic: check out the massive red grass hopper!


Day 3 (22/12/2010)  we arrived in Cape Town, met with Bernd (the guy in the Landy who we last saw in Tiwi Beach, Kenya) and headed toward the Cape of Good Hope where we did our little photo-shoot, turning round and heading back to Cape Town and I had a fuel starvation problem with Daisy, lost sight of the others and ended up lost without a hope. Pure Irony: I crossing Africa without a map and without tools, and at the very end when I’m at the destination I break down and get lost!? Thankfully, help came in the form of a telephone call from the others while re-fueling. I met them at the cable car for table mountain and off we went again. 🙂


Day 4 (23/12/2010) the day was spent ringing around for quotes on getting our bikes freighted home.

Day 5 (24/12/2010), Christmas eve was spent walking around the city centre for me, Cam Craig and Eve went wine tasting and then the evening celebrated with all of us (including our German friends) at a restaurant called Butcher’s Grill, meat there was amazing.


Day 6 (25/12/2010), Christmas day:  Craig, Eve, Cam and I went to the beach which was lovely to do on Christmas day, thinking that back home snow was on the ground and everyone suffering the cold. Fun to think about while lapping up the sun’s hot rays.

Day 7 (26/12/2010),  Boxing day; We went to a concert in the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens to watch Civil Twilight, not a band we had heard of before, but it was on, and Jakob and his girlfriend (Susi) were going to be there so we went along. 🙂


Day 8 (27/12/2010),  We climbed Table Mountain, prior to Eve heading home.  Sadly, the table-cloth was on the table (a euphemism for there being cloud on the mountain top) and the visibility was awful. After that Eve and Craig went to the airport, the rest of us went to the beach.


The following day we shipped our bikes and following that catching our flights home.  😀

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Neil, I so enjoyed reading your blog about your trip through Africa. I am planning a similar trip staring in Cape Town to Cairo. I have also decided on using the same type of bike you choose for your trip. I been doing a lot of research and planning for my trip which will happen in 2012. What I would like to ask you is there anything you would change if you did the trip again. Did you find that you carried things that you really never had any use for? Such as to many clothes, camping supplies etc. Did you wish you had brought along stuff you didn’t or more than you actually did? I did a two month motorcycle trip all over Laos and planning a trip into Cambodia now that will go from Nov to Dec and I learned a lot from my first trip.
    Any advice, tips etc. you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks and safe journeys, Ed

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