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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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  #1  
Old 19 Dec 2006
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Face down, I can see a large bit of gravel.

Its in front of my eye and I'm concentrating on it. Then I hear a scream, more of a wail. Like a pig or a cut getting stabbed and having the knife slowly turned while in its belly. My chest hurts...

So it all started a few days before. I decided to leave Nairobi and headed for Cape Town. Leaving the very cool people at Jungle Junction I was pretty excited about the route ahead. I enjoyed meeting some great people who I want to see again. Hope you guys are all well!

I got to Tanzania and made quick time through the place. It was cloudy so I could not see anything. But I did a fantastic route past the capital (Dodoma) through the mountains. All offroad and very muddy. So I kept going through Tanzania and hit the Zambian border in a few days. Crossing into Zambia was easy and soon I was on a fantastic road down to Lusaka. Then I met Jonathan.

I was doing 100kms when he decided to pull out in front of me on a bicycle. I hit him broadside. My pannier liquidised his femur and the bike flipped over, causing me to face plant the tar (at 100km per hour). I rolled up the road, wearing holes in my boots, jacket, trousers and smashing my helmet. The visor disintigrated. As I cartwheeled up the road, I saw the bike going head over heels, bits flying off as it ended up about 50m away in the bush.

I woke up face down. I got to my feet and ran over to the kid in the road and started screaming at him. Swearing at him. I wanted to kill him, I was going to start beating him with the remains of the helmet. Then people started arriving, appearing out of the bush carrying machetes and things. Sh!t. Street justice?

I saw people picking my stuff up and piling it up next to the remains of the bike. My bike. F%ck. Apparantly my anger saved me (according to the police and embassy staff) as I was not bothered on the road. I flagged down a truck while the screaming boy was dragged off the road, his leg trailing him. I got to a roadblock and got out of the truck. I then noticed I was bleeding, a lot. My motocross boots had been damaged and one of my toes (left,baby) had been pretty much ripped off. And I was bleeding from a few other wounds as well. I got the police to get the kid and send a truck for me and the bike.

An hour later, I was in the back of the pickup with the remains of the bike pulling into Nekonde hospital. The doctors had got the wrong end of the stick so thought I was at fault. As such, they were less than helpful. After another hour they looked at me. (The police had dumped me there and taken all my things to the station). I was in agony and could not walk, stand, sit, anything. The operating table was a door on a pile of spare tyres. They stiched my toe back on my foot. This hurt, a lot. Next time, I hope they use anesthetic. They just shoved the needle through my flesh and stiched away. It took 3 to hold me down and another to do the stitching.

As I was recovering from this care, a nurse (Mrs Ludako - a saint) came up and hugged me, telling me it would be ok. I cracked and broke down as the stress hit me. Pathetic really.

I'd managed to get in touch with my girlfriend and parents. They at least knew about the accident and the Irish Embassy were notified. Operation Rescue Ian was kicked off.

I spent the night at the hospital. No power, in agony and scared for my life in case of any "justice" about the boy. Even though I was not at fault. Then everything started to swing my way. The local MP heard about me. I was visited and checked over. The police came back to confirm that I was not at fault and that my belongings were ok. The Irish Embassy sent 2 guys (Fackson/Joshua) to drive for 10hours to pick me up. It was amazing and humbling.

And here I am in Lusaka, at the embassy. I fly tomorrow and am busy sorting my stuff out. I have just been offered free passage for the bike by a freight company.

I am in so much agony. I ache and cant move. My toes is not looking good but then I came off at 100kms. I'm lucky to be alive. And the boy too. Thats all that matters

So thats my news. thought I'd share it. There's more but thats enough detail for now. Can't type more as arms hurt too much. I'm still seeing the accident whenever I close my eyes and am petrified of the road at the moment. But it'll pass.

So take care out there people. Life can change in a moment. Merry Christmas and God bless.
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Old 19 Dec 2006
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Really sorry to hear your story, but it sounds as though it could have been a lot worse. Hope you get home safely and you are soon on the road to recovery.
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Old 19 Dec 2006
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Hi Ian
sorry to hear about all that, as you said it could have been alot worse. I am planning on your route next september. Do you plan to complete the rest for the trip at some point? Eye opening to read about your experences.
George
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Old 19 Dec 2006
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Hi guys
thanks for the kind words.

Will I complete the route? Of course. This was an accident, it delayed part of the trip, it didnt cancel it. I always said I wanted an adventure and this experience has allowed me to spend time with some of the most amazing people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Since the crash I have been staggered by the weight of compassion people/strangers have shown me. I can only hope I would have been as good to them if our places had been switched...

The important thing is that the boy is going to be ok. I will be ok too. Even the bike looks like I can save it. I am heading to SA(family there) as its Christmas and I cant move properly so there is no reason to stay here alone and miserable. Will put the bike in my Dad's garage when it arrives and then do some work on it to get it running again.

This trip has been the most wonderful experience of my life. I know that sounds lame but I have seen and experienced so much.

ian

ps - looking to some home cooked food, clean clothes and a once over at the doctors (LOTS of aches and pains that were not checked here)
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Old 19 Dec 2006
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Quite an amazing tale

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 02:38.
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  #6  
Old 19 Dec 2006
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Damn, what a story, man!
Glad everybody will heal.
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  #7  
Old 20 Dec 2006
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Great write up. It's pretty sad, but all part and parcel of the adventure.

Glad you and the boy are still alive.

Get well soon.
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  #8  
Old 20 Dec 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ianbaker
Life can change in a moment. Merry Christmas and God bless.
How true, the bad luck is the crash, the good luck is you are both alive. Always look on the positive side and the rest will follow.

It always gives me warm and fuzzies when I hear of total strangers helping out in times of need. Rest up and don't rush the healing. Merry Christmas and enjoy the time with your family.

Glen

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  #9  
Old 20 Dec 2006
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Glad to hear that you're okay!
I think that what happened to you can happen to anyone of us at any time - riding up the A1, touring through the Derbyshire Dales, riding to work and back.
Your compassion for the boy will probably go a long way to helping your own healing - how is he?
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  #10  
Old 20 Dec 2006
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Get well soon mate, you have a great story to tell your grand kids now. Live long and be happy.

regards.........marty
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  #11  
Old 20 Dec 2006
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Thumbs up

Jeez Ian, glad to hear you've coped with it. Get well soon!

I don't believe the type of deliberate accidents like in India happen in southern Africa - at least I have never heard of any such stories, but I reckon that the people don't react as 'tolerant' to whites everywhere in Africa. But my experience with the African people was always positive.

Good luck for the rest of your trip!
Hans
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  #12  
Old 21 Dec 2006
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thanks for this

Ian,

Thanks for putting this up. I thought I've had a rough couple of days trying to get a replacement shock out of customs here in Lima. Took twice as long and cost twice as much and I've been fighting the urge to be a whiney little brat as a result. I know, relatively speaking, the time and the money are of little consequence, my wife and i will be back on the road in 24 hours. But I couldn't break the funk.

Think I'm over it now. I'd never wish what you've been through on anyone, but reading about it today did me a world of good.

Thanks for posting.

Mark
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  #13  
Old 21 Dec 2006
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Thumbs up

Get well soon!

Truly, when you experience something like that, it puts everything into perspective. I wish you and your family a Marry Christmas, and a happy New Year.

I have been there myself, in the south of Mexico, but I went back on my iron horse, and in two month time I am going to Africa.

Stay cool

Cheers
Haakon
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  #14  
Old 27 Dec 2006
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Wow

What a great story. Sorry about the lack of anisthetic! That sucked more than anything I think.

What is the damage to the bike? Maybe I missed it, but what kind of bike.

Will
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