Since Zoe has done such a sterling job writing our web journal entries I thought I should make some sort of contribution. I started a poem about our trip while we were waiting for our Angolan visas in Libreville and have now completed it. Although it is rough round the edges as I have the writing skills of a gorilla (no offence to gorillas), I think it captures some of the things we experienced and learnt on our trip.
ODE TO AFRICA TRIP 2004
I remember how they started this rather daring trip,
Their confident walk betrayed by that shaky bottom lip;
“We’re going to travel Africa, to be one with the land!”
They exclaimed with shiny white faces and guidebook in hand.
They began by riding 500 kilometres per day,
“Well we have to you know, South Africa’s so far away!”;
But riding like this meant there was much they didn’t see,
So soon they chilled out and lost that sense of urgency.
Raging rivers, sinking sands and razor-sharp rocks,
With their faithful steeds, all these obstacles were crossed;
“Oh yay, it’s like the Dakar Rally, it’s going to be such fun!”
Oh no, it’s not so easy when your bike weighs a quarter ton!
“Look at them farming and hunting, aren’t their ways amazing!”
“With big families, village life and animals out grazing”
Don’t be a fool you naďve tourist; their lives aren’t that carefree!
All they want is a pair of Nike’s and stuff like you and me.
“Hello and welcome white man, I have a special price for you”,
“Of course it’s not a tourist price, I’d never do that to you!”;
“Oh I’m really not that rich you know, you must understand!”
“All I have is this bike and equipment worth 50 000 rand!”.
“Relax white man, I don’t want anything, just to be your friend”,
“But I see you have some money, is there any spare that you could lend?”
Who are we supposed to trust, it’s a difficult thing to decide?
When money and our nice things could be their grand prize.
In a place of such hardship it’s also the animals that suffer,
Skinny dogs with haunted eyes, trussed up pigs that know they’re supper;
“It’s so awful how they treat these animals, so cruel and without feeling!”
“Excuse me waiter please bring me my steak, I’m absolutely starving”.
Where’s all the money go and why’s there so much poverty?
You only need to look at the size of the president’s property;
“Let them do it their way, why should they be part of our charade?”
But it seems that doing it their way, has to rely on foreign aid.
In this wild land of adventure and discovery,
With all its corruption and its tragic poverty;
There are some good things just let us remind,
Like kindness, beer and laughter, were never hard to find.
And now after all that riding is there anything you can advise?
“The honest answer has to be, you must just try and stay alive!”
“Potholes, children and donkeys are just some of the obstacles”,
You must be alert to stay out of those African hospitals!”
So they arrive in South Africa with their tans and sun-bleached hair,
An altogether more experienced and worldly-wise pair;
Where are they going next, is it Nairobi or Tripoli?
Or is it time to settle down? Well we’ll just have to see.
"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."
"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"
Next HU Events
- Canada West: Aug 21-24
- USA North Carolina: Sept. 4-7
- France Mini: Sep 5-7
- Canada Ontario: Sept. 11-14
- NEW! UK - Haggs Bank: Sept. 19-21
- USA California: Sept. 25-28
- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
- Aus Perth: Oct 10-12
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! Aus NSW: Oct 31-Nov 2
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 13-16
- NEW! HUMM Morocco: May 13-16, 2015
What others say about HU...
"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!
What turns you on to motorcycle travel?
New to Horizons Unlimited?
Membership - help keep us going!
Books & DVDs
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!
Story and photos copyright © All Rights Reserved.
Contact the author:
Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.
Hosted by: Horizons
Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!