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Week One Chapter: 04 October ~ 10 October 2005 - South Africa

National Flag of South Africa

"If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness." - Nelson Mandela (South African Statesman , 1993 Nobel Prize for Peace, born 1918)

"Nothing adventured, nothing attained." - Peter McWillliams (Author, 1950 - 2000)

"What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery (French Pilot, Writer and Author of 'The Little Prince', 1900-1944)

Map of South Africa

Satellite image of the V&A Waterfront area , Cape Town. Centered in the image is The Breakwater Lodge, where the GlobeRiders are staying (and forrmerly the city's prison).
(Image courtesy of  Google Earth)

Starting location for this week: Cape Town, South Africa
Ending location for this week: Kokstad, South Africa
Planned mileage for this week: 972 miles 1,555 kilometers)

Molo ("hello" in Xhosa )
Goeie dag ("hello" in Afrikaans)

Hallo ("hello" Afrikaans)
Thobela ("hello" in Sepedi)
Dumela ("hello" in Setswana)
Helele ("hello" in Sesotho - there are many other forms)
Howzit? (most common form of greeting I heard when in South Africa)

Africa!  Whether you've ever been there, or not, it should stir up genetic memories and feelings.  After all, many believe the ancient skeletal remains found by Leakey's team in Tanzania's Olduvai Gorge to be our most distant ancestor. What would Zinjanthropus and Homo Habilius make of the hustle and bustle of Cape Town, Africa's most prosperous city and embarkation point for this year's Africa Adventure?

On this year's tour, we have eleven people and eight motorcycles, along with our local guide and driver in an air-conditioned safari vehicle for our passengers, which doubles as a chase vehicle. In true GlobeRiders tradition, our riders are required to carry all their gear on the bikes - our goal is rider self-sufficiency at all times. You'll have an opportunity to meet the team over the next six weeks.  As for the bike, we have seven BMW GS-series machines (singles, oilheads and hexheads), and one KTM. All are equipped with a variety of panniers, and each rider also has a mandatory Garmin GPS loaded with map and waypoint data from our pre-run and previous tour.

On Day ONne(TUE 04 OCT), the riders arrive in Cape Town, and for many , meet one another for the first time over dinner.  Day Two is for reclaiming the container, unloading the bikes, clearing customs, and bike prep. Day Three is set aside for some good old fashion sightseeing Cape Town, and to the body and mind to adjust to the local time and environment.  On Day Four, they head out in the veld, savannah and bush.

Welcome to the Cradle of Mankind!

Mike, Your Webmeister

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Unless otherwise noted, all photographic images on this page were taken by Helge Pedersen.

The many forms of "Hello" in over 800 languages and other useful words and phrases are courtesy of Jennifer's Language Page.

To find out what time it is there (or anywhere!), visit The World Clock.

To see where they are now, visit the Navigation Technology Chapter.

For more information about South Africa please visit the resources listed below:

- The World Factbook, maintained by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States:

- The Consular Information Sheets, provided by the Department of State of the United States:

- The web-based, free-content encyclopedia entries at Wikipedia, maintained by "GlobeWriters" everywhere":

Thar' she blows!.

Anxious riders survey the vast container yard trying to find the one that matters.

Even though a significant buffer was put in place to allow early arrival of the container, delays brought it to Cape Town on the very day it HAD to be there.  Here, the group checks everything over in the Customs area.

Whether in Seattle, or Cape Town, or any other port that our tours may take us to, pizza is the universal foodstuff in the warehouse, as Rogers demonstrates.

The group's get-acquainted dinner, a private boardroom and buffet - not bad for prison food <g>.

06 OCT 2005 - Cape Town, South Africa

From: Helge Pedersen

Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005 3:43PM

To: Africa Live!Journal

Subject: Update

Cape Town, Republic of South Africa

It is incredible to me what a difference a day can make. Today we road our bikes out of the customs area in the container harbor here in Cape Town. Yesterday we did not even know if the ship that had the container with our precious bikes could offload. Gale winds were hammering the horn of Southern Africa. A cold front threatened the area with chilling weather and even snow was predicted to fall on Table Mountain.

Visit Cape Town and you will be amazed of how fast the weather will change and you never know what will happen next. Today we could not see a cloud in the sky and a T-shirt was plenty to keep me warm.

On my first day in town I had lunch with Linnea from Seattle, she studies at the University of Cape Town. As we were sitting, eating lunch at a harbor restaurant, I noticed a whale basking in the harbor. Well at first I thought it might be one of the many seals playing in the waters. But then I saw the barnacles growing on the nose of the giant. I could not believe my own eyes and Linnea, sitting with her back to the water, could not believe what I was telling her. Later she told me that she thought that it was the jetlag and my beer that got me fooled by a seal. Fortunately she too had the chance to see this rare event and I won my credibility back.

Flying from Seattle to Amsterdam to Cape Town was a grueling experience. Full flight cramped seating and screaming kids, no fun. Please let me just one time get bumped up to first class seating. Really, I would not mind. But it is all worth it, Africa is such amazing places that if you have been here once you will always want to come back and visit again.

So here we are a group of eleven people ready to ride southern Africa with our bikes. With a lot of planning and preparations for the bikes and our selves we are finally ready to start our journey. Some are more ready than others. We have people in the group that are incurable tour junkies, grabbing every chance there is to sign up on a exotic motorcycle tour, wherever in the world it might take them. Others are new to the world of group motorcycle touring, full of energy and ready to catch up with the rest of the group.

We will do our best to keep the stories and pictures coming to the Live!Journal. But should the frequencies of our stories vary, rest assured that we are to busy experiencing Africa.


Helge Pedersen

07 OCT 2005 - Johannesburg, South Africa

From: Harry

Sent: Friday, October 07, 2005 10:40 AM

To: Africa Live!Journal

Subject: Africa 2005


I just got back to Johannesburg from Cape Town yesterday, after spending Tuesday and Wednesday with Helge and the group - Helge looked very well and was looking forward to the tour - seems like marriage has done him some good?

The ship arrived just on time about 14:00 on Wednesday 5th and the bikes were being offloaded that night - I believe they got the bikes from customs around midday on Thu 6th in time to depart on Friday as planned.

Will be following the tour on your site and will keep you informed as we go along.

Kind regards


Bob checks things out on his KTM 950 Adventure.

Harrison and Curtis reassemble the rear end on a BMW R1150GS Adventure.

A smiling Steve sorts things out on his BMW R1200GS

Roger preps his bike, getting ready for departure.

View of Cape Town harbour, with Table Mountain in the background

Mom and baby amidst the flowers.

11 OCT - Umhlanga, South Africa

From: Roger Kersch

Sent: Tuesday, October 11, 2005 10:38 AM

To: Africa Live!Journal

Subject: Blurb for the Journal

So we left Cape Town some days ago, a bit concerned with driving on the left for the first time in an urban environment....

Cape Town has been rated #6 of the most 'beautiful cities in the world' and I concur. I took a city tour on a double-decker and jumped off at Table Mountain and took the famous 64 passenger cable car with the rotating interior platform and got the big view of the city. Beautiful Atlantic beachfronts, too. Anyway, back to the ride out of town.

A little ways down the picturesque coastline was our first sign indicating all was not what we are used to. 'DO NOT FEED THE BABOONS'. We stopped at an overlook and Curtis wouldn't share his energy bars with me. Later, after cresting a hill, I came upon a number of them on the side of the road and my first thought was 'dogs'. Apparently they like to follow up your arm and take a hunk out of you. Coupla' days later on a remote dead-end dirt road between some mountains I surprised two big ones in the yard of a deserted ranch and they high-tailed it like deer and went over a barbed wire fence like it wasn't there. And two days ago a family of monkeys scurried across the highway on the 'Garden Route'. We went by elephant parks and preserves. Didn't see any from the road but the electric fence uprights are made from railroad tracks. Ostrich farms. Different kinds of bugs on our faceshields but they are hard to put back together. Taking malaria pills in preparation for some exposure as we go north into warmer climes.

Dropped my bike when I stopped to figure out why I didn't have a rear brake. Rolled off the stand because I didn't leave it in gear, broke off my clutch lever but I can still use it with my middle finger, you know, that one, now it will be extra strong in a few more days. We brought a spare, I'll put it on tomorrow, and fix my mirror, bleed the brakes and a few other maintenances. Had to bum a piece of wire from Silent Bob to hold down my sidestand switch. There is a BMW dealer here in Durban. I think if I add all the falls of all the riders up to

Images of South Africa, by Helge Pedersen

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