Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day 1 to Day 6

Friday, 24th April - After all the months of planning and worrying the day of departure finally arrived. 

BMW Auto Umhlanga hosted a cocktail party for (Roger, Howard and Jaco) with the press there to see us of. It was amazing and mind blowing for us to walk into the reception area, realising approximately 150 people were there to wish us well and on our way. 

The Mayor of Durban the Honorable Obed Omlaba presented us with a letter of greetings to hand over to the Mayor of Dublin. We started our bikes, and very nervously rode out of the reception area. I think the thought was going through all of our minds that we dare not drop our bikes now!

On Saturday morning we were back at Auto Umhlanga bright and early to meet up with a group of riders that escorted us out of Durban and rode with us as far as Empangeni. What a fantastic sight to see three Dbn-Dub bikes followed by approximately 60 BMW motorbikes down the highway!

The trip has been planned and researched down to the last detail, but something’s where out of our hands and control, one of which was our visa applications. By Friday night we still did not have our Schengen visas and all the public holidays this past month did not help the situation.

We decided that we were still leaving Durban on our planned date and would travel around doing a bit of site seeing in Zululand, slowly making our way to the Swaziland border.

We have been welcomed and looked after by the locals in every town we visited. Our first stop was in Melmoth to attend a Hawaiian party at the country club. On our arrival at 19:00 we were asked to ride our bikes into the hall where the party was held. Well, I was riding in front leading Howard and Jaco when we had to cross over a small patch of grass, but in this grass was a brick lurking and the next thing I knew I was lying on the ground with my bike upside down in front of the Melmoth crowd (fully loaded) Howard and Jaco of course sat on their bikes and I heard them saying “Lets see if he can pick that up “ Not very easy! Well in true Zululand form the party was fantastic and a good time was had by all.

On Sunday we made our way to Eshowe for the next rest stop. While waiting outside the Pick and Pay to buy a few rations we ran into Dave Wylie the GM of Shakaland who invited us to lunch at Shakaland. We were entertained to a traditional Zulu dance in the great hut. This is the same venue where Kingsley Holgate starts all his expeditions. After a lovely lunch and a quick photo shoot with Larry from the local newspaper, The Zululand Observer, we had to say good bye.

Erick Howe invited us to stay over at his game farm in Empangeni and treated us to a braai in the African bush. 

We are now sitting on the Swaziland border and waiting for Howard to catch up to us with the visas. 

He volunteered to head back to Durban to collect them. Today we cross into Mozambique and will push on as far as we can in the next few days to make up time. 


  1. Hi Jaco & Roger. Dit is Bennie & Anton hier(ons het laas week in Greytown by die Wimpy ontmoet. Lyk my julle het glad nie enige probleem om 'n partytjie los te ry nie, want nie te veel gaan in Melmoth aan nie. Dit lyk net na een groot geseligheid, want almal is so gasvry en julle moet dit baie geniet. Hoop julle het nou all die nodige visums en paspoorte want daai ander ouens (Mugabe se manne) gaan nie afrikaans verstaan nie. Groete vir Johnathan Scot & Saba Douglas-Hamilton (Film-makers in Kenya van "Big Cat Diaries")Ons praat weer later en ons geniet 'n Wipsky (Bells nogal) op julle!
    Anton Marx & Bennie Beket

  2. Hi Roger and the Gang

    I'm sure the stress and worry that accompanies all the planning is starting to slip away. By now you are all hopefully starting to enjoy yourselves regardless of the situations you may find yourselves in!

    Just remember on the mornings that you wake up feeling stiff or tired and a little de-motivated that we are ALL getting ready to sit in traffic and battle our way through a day at the office! We are adventuring through you (for now) so kep it up and enjoy every experience!

    Thanks for sharing. Ride safely.

    Dave and Keith Moldenhauer

  3. Hi guys am I envious, sure. Was lead bike at a 50 Km mountain bike race over the weekend and it rained, it was a serious skills test, verticle descents and ascents and single track,not easy on a 1200 gs,now have sprained ankle and dented ego.Pleased your trip is finaly full-steam ahead.and am enjoying following your route Regards Trevor D

  4. Melmoth was glad to have you...and remember your promise to come back when you're done!! ...big plans happening this side ;-) ... Take care!!