Our first trip included lots of natural disasters and extreme weather, but usually had the decency to wait until we’d got out of the country before happening. But not this trip.
Given the amount of coverage the snowy weather has been getting on the local TV, we’ve come to the conclusion that it’s definitely not normal weather for this time of year. This was confirmed when it mentioned on CNN that Turkey was having their worst snow in 10 years – just our luck really. Sub-Saharan Africa is not going to know what‘s hit it once we get there!
March 27th: Arranging the ferry proved to be a bit of a nightmare, with misunderstandings all round. The manager at the ticket office was a bit full of himself and came up with a document we had to produce (which no-one else has ever mentioned) which entailed a visit to the Traffic Police. He was adamant that we should get this document for both bikes, and then deliver the bikes to the port all by 12:00 otherwise the barge would go without the vehicles and we would be waiting around for another week. So we rushed through everything, and turned up at the port as soon as we were able, which was about 14:00. There was another hour of paperwork (and some greasing of palms), but eventually they said we could load the bikes on to the vehicle barge. This goes separately to the ferry, and travels more slowly, so they look to send it off the day before the Tuesday passenger ferry.
April 19th: We seem to have broken Robert’s GPS completely (who’d have thought a piece of marine-standard equipment wouldn’t have liked being washed!), so it was good that Sheila had a back-up one, even though she had no idea how to use it. Fortunately it was a straight road out of Nairobi (Kenya) and into Tanzania.
The border crossing took a couple of hours and we had to buy insurance for the next few countries, so that used up the last of our dollars which may prove to be a worry. We’ve been trying to buy dollars in various countries since we entered Africa, but no bank will sell them to us, I don’t know why. The border crossings are always asking for payment in US dollars, so we really could do with having some.
We had to go round four ATM’s this morning before we found one that either worked, had money in it, or accepted a foreign VISA card. But at least we now had enough cash for fuel and for the border crossing. At most crossings there are a few shady characters hanging around to change your currencies for you – usually they’re appalling exchange rates, and today was no exception. But with no large towns on the horizon we felt we had no choice. So, we eventually got into Zambia, which didn’t look much different from the last 4 countries, but which was very lovely nonetheless.
Today we drove to the southernmost point of the continent of Africa – Cape Agulhas. The Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic at this point, and we got our bikes as close to it as we could, so we’ve gone the whole length of Africa. The further south we’ve come, the more familiar things have felt – although the most-of-day power-cut made us feel as though we were back up north! I suppose the pizza by candlelight was fairly romantic though.
As close as we could get.
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