January 11, 2007 GMT
Nearly there

Not long now. The bike is actually going to Adelaide, South Australia to be sent from there. Seems that Sydney had to much on over the new year or something was amiss.

Recieved the Carnet documents just in time. Something ive learnt now is the Carnet must be signed off at the Customs House with/when the bike goes. The little things that need to be sorted, my hint to others is to get things done early so as to save on stress.

Ive booked accomodation in Johannesburg for a few nites, but i expect to be there for a few weeks, sort of looking around and doing the tourist thing.

Having a little problem getting the photos to work so youll see them once i have that sorted.

My next post will be in Joburg , all the best regards Brian B.
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Posted by Brian Bayley at 09:12 PM GMT
January 17, 2007 GMT
Arrived Johannesburg

After 22 flying hours , arrived in Joburg 6.30am to rain . Australia has been and still is in one of its worse droughts in 100 years so it was rather a shock and lovely for me to see rain .

At the airport i was meet by a local who i had been in contact over the net , a big thank u to u Ian .

Id booked my room at the local hostel and after a nice shower and a beer , i joined a free bus to the local shopping mall . I took a walk around had some lunch and spent some rand . Taking in all that i could but the flight was catching up with me and i was pleased when the bus arrived to take us back to the hostel .

After a broken sleep of some 12 hrs im now feeling like myself . Recieved an e-mail from australia about my bike , should be here on my birthday , the 20th of jan . For now ill do some local trips and catch up with Ian and some of his mates from the African bike club . Ill leave it for now . take care and regards to all Brian B.

Posted by Brian Bayley at 06:30 AM GMT
January 19, 2007 GMT
Taking in the sites

Well for me getting around Joburg is a bit of a struggle . I have not figured out how top use the local transport system yet . I did a paid tour to Soweto the other day 31/2 - 4 hrs cost R330 plus tips which as an Australian i dont understand . I gess im wealthy by their standards but i dont have a never ending pile of cash . The joys of being a self funded traveller .

My bike arrives on the 23rd of Jan . so ill have lots to tell about the exact cost and details of how i got it from Australia to South Africa .

The tour of Soweto (south west township ) was interesting and enjoyable . I bought a local beer at a drink house (pub) came in a carton and u shake it before opening . Didnt get to drink it all , dont know why , it was rather nice , i must be more assertive as i would have liked to have finished it .

Yesterday i did a big walk to the local shopping centre and post office . I realy had no idea of where i was going , but took of in one direction . Came across a shopping place but no post cards or post office but found a photo place to do copies of my pictures to send home . The lady at the counter could not have been more helpfull . She sketched a mud map of where the BIG shopping mall was for me , so of i went . You know i recon i was the only white fella walking . Its funny the things u notice .

While on my walk i noticed none or very few pushbikes or motorcycles , there was'nt even foot paths for me to walk on , if i was'nt on the road i was in the grass on the side and geen grass at that , wow . These are just observations no more no less .

Other observations are that the people are not a happy smiling race , i can get a smile from them but its does not seem to be there in their hearts . For an Australian the cost here in SA is the same as in Aust. and even sometimes more so eg. accomodation , food , cloths , m/bikes etc .

Thats it for now , wish u all well Brian B

Posted by Brian Bayley at 06:58 AM GMT
January 23, 2007 GMT
No Bike as yet

Somethings just dont go smoothly. No bike and when it does arrive (thurs. so im told) it will cost me over $3000.00 aus. to get it. The great thing is the guy at this end has said i can unpack it at their depot. This will be a great help to me.

While ive been waiting ive taken many walks. but the most fun was catching the local 'Black Taxi's' and the general 'Big buses'.

With a guy in the same room as i, off we went to the local Mall,where there is a TAXI rank. This Rank is all Toyota Hiaces in all manner of conditions. There seems to be no real logic to it all, although im sure there is. You keep asking and eventually u find the taxi that will go in that general direction u need, with, 15 other customers.

All customers pay a set fee, that fee seems to be known by some of the customers and u hand that money to the person infront of u and so on till it gets to the driver. If change is required it will come back to u in the same way. This is all happening while the taxi driver is driving, sorting the change, and sometimes all while hes on the mobile phone.

The goal to the taxi trips was to get to the Joburg Zoo, this took a good 5 different taxis to achieve our destination. After the Zoo we went to a Market place using one Big Bus and 4 taxis, then to get back home it took us 5 taxis and a fair amount of walking. Saw a great deal of Joburg and its locals during the day and it was a long long day.

Funny realy as it was my birthday, mind u i had not remembered till late morning.

That nite and i mean nite, when we returned to the hostel i was exhausted but partied with some of the other tenants. Had great if not blured chats with many of them as the nite continued.

The next day was spent lazing around with a rather sore head.

Posted by Brian Bayley at 04:49 PM GMT
January 31, 2007 GMT
moved on

I have now got hold of the bike, DR650. It was all there at the freight recievers in Joburg. The people at this end could not have been more helpfull, well actually they could have put the bike together for me. I say that because about 100ks out of Joburg a loud bang hit the bike, on stopping, which was a little worry as id lost a bolt out of the front brake caliper. This lost bolt had been the noise that i heard. A little walk back the road did not find the affending bolt so out with the tool kit and spares to sort it out.

On the road again after a few moments, i came to the town of Ventersdorp. Stopped in at the local pub at the end of town. With in an hour i had meet two lovely blokes and with in 2 hours i was invited back to one of the blokes (Gideon) home for the nite. This invite was ofcourse cleared with the Wife first. Gideon took me to his home where i parked the bike, then out in his car to do a tour of the town and his properties.

The next morning after a great sleep it was of on another tour with Gideon. He showed more of the town and to check on his farm fences.

The friendlyness of Gideon contiued all that day. I followed him on my bike to Potchefstroom, a larger town about 50klm away where we visited the local bike shop, shopped for batteries for my camera, went to the post office, took time out for lunch, then meet a friend of his, Kobus.

Kobus owns a local hotel and the Elgro river lodge. After meeting Kobus for no more than a few moments he offered me free accomidation at his lodge. I must say this blow me away. I could say no more than 'thank you'.

The rest of the day Gideon and i spent in the private bar at the said hotel meeting others and eventually getting to chat some more to Kobus. Turns out that Gideon owns a Harley and Kobus a BMW, i did not hold that against them.

I left Gideon at the bar to travel the 25klm out to the Lodge, it rain lightly on the way out and had a slite chill to the nite air. At the Lodge i was shown the room and asked if i would like the bar to stay open for me. I declined the bar offer prefering to run a nice warm bath and have a relaxing time while turning over the past 2 days events in my mind.

Posted by Brian Bayley at 09:54 AM GMT
 
 

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