September 27, 2006 GMT
Ola Amigos, as we ride into beautiful spain, the terrain becomes rockier, more arid and dry, the roads appear with more cracks and potholes but the Honda Baja prevails. We ride to Barcelona and mosey past Gaudiīs Le Sagrada Familia
As we head down the east coast of "Sunny" Spain we were hit with torrential rain that flooded our camp site into streams of rivers, everything is wet!
Rob overlooking a beautiful lake in Spain, inland from Valencia
We rest and recuperate in Granada for a few days and see the infamous Alhambra.
YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!!
On the way to Gibraltor, we discover a beautiful town hugging these enormous cliffs called Ronda in the south. As we ride, the idea of Africa becomes closer and closer and more of a reality.
GIBRALTOR in the distance
As we get new MT21 Pirelli tyres fitted in Quickfit Gibraltor, Rob discovers a broken fork seal on the Africa Twin! We frantically search all of Gibraltor and Algeciras for spares... no luck. We met a lovely guy called Paco (Frank) who helps us to translate with the non-english speaking mechanic and informs us that we have to wait 5 days for the spares and hence, Africa!!! So, Paco takes us out for delicious spanish cuisines and points us to Tarifa, a beautiful coastal town for some sun and relaxation until our spares arrive!
Here we meet some Germans and a sweet Dutch Couple and their dog (Woody) and share days of great food, sun, laughs and games of chess.
Finally 5 days and 185 Euros later, the spare fork seals arrive. The Honda Africa Twin is fixed and we head from Algeciras to Cueta via ferry!! Africa.....................the adventure begins.
Posted by Amy Lee at 10:41 AM
Beautiful Beautiful Pyrenees! we ride through the crisp early morning air with spectacular views. A sense of not wanting to leave France, friendly people, yummy baguettes, great riding conditions, treelined roads and camping on green grass. Ridings becoming easier now, I donīt grip the handlebars as tightly!
My view of the pyrenees!
We pass an abundance of other motorcyclists on these windy roads towards Andorra - an interesting tax free haven. Spacey tall buildings, strange haircuts, bad traffic. A stern Andorra customs officer asked if we had bought anything in the city? I answer "No, just passing through" I get queer looks and I canīt work out why until Rob mentions that he was looking at new invention dryer where I had strapped my underwear to my roll bag! Espana, here we come.
Posted by Allan Roberts at 10:34 AM
We ferry it over from Dover and make it to Calais with no dramas but absolutely exhausted, so we make camp along the beach for our first night of the trip. We met a lovely english couple who were very hospitable, offering us oysters and wine for dinner! (thoughts were that my friends were thinking we were roughing it)
our first camp
We ride through gorgeous France, open windy roads, lush green hills and absolute feeling of freedom. I was amazed by how much I enjoyed riding! I did however managed a stationary stack whilst trying to take a photo of Rob and I couldnīt pick the Baja. Petrol leaking everywhere. Rob to the rescue!
A Moulin in France
We ride over the hills to see Le Mont Saint Michel, spectacular!
How very French! Baguette on a Baja........
Posted by Allan Roberts at 10:04 AM
Leaving - Date 15th Sept 06 !
After a manic 3 weeks back to London trying to pull everything together! I now have a wonderful Honda XR 250 Baja (that my boyfriend purchased without me even seeing it), a crash course in how to ride, pumped full of vaccinations and as prepared as you can be in 4 weeks.
I also met the lovely Paul and Zoe Jenkins who have been invaluable with information and all those handy hints, along with the laughs! Thanks for the great weekend in Salisbury (note, the Spork is going well, still harry high pants and we havenīt needed a mallet yet)
So, this is all we are taking
and Voila, it fits!
On the 15th Sept 06, we are overwhelmed by the departing committee that turned up at 18A Chelverton Road, Putney, London which left me an emotional rollercoaster of joy, fear, excitement and the unexpected travels ahead. We wave our goodbyes only to be stopped by our local red lights and a twat who tries to cut me off. Normally, I would be quite subdue but as I was on high adrenalin, I tell him where to go. We ride for 15km in the first hour, get us out of London! we ratrace through London traffic and head for Dover
Posted by Amy Lee at 09:37 AM
September 25, 2006 GMT
Africa, here we come
2 months ago I was in Australia working on the sunny Queensland coast when my boyfriend asked me to join him on his motorbike adventure from London to Capetown.... I thought "are you kidding? I canīt even ride a motorbike!" (well my trusty Piaggio Vespa)
After some mighty convincing and been repeatedly told not to worry! I spontaneously agree to farewell Australia again (lived and worked overseas for 2 years) to begin the adventure of a life time. But how under prepared can one person be? I had 4 weeks to buy a bike, get spares, learn to ride and cram everything I need to know Africa. arrghhh
Posted by Allan Roberts at 08:44 PM
September 14, 2006 GMT
People we've met on the road
Lovely spanish guy who helped translate english to spanish to help fix Rob's forkseals in Algeciras.
Marcel & Monique The sweet dutch couple who we relaxed with in Tarifa, Spain. Playing chess, drank and ate Hagel Slag. Thanks to Marcel, we now have hemi lights for our travels! (they still havent run out yet) and of course Woody, the Siberian husky became my new buddy.
Stefan & Steffi
lovely Germans holidaying in Tarifa. Hope the wind picked up for you.
Grant, Lara & Justin (fellow Aussies) we met on the ferry to Africa! Accompanied at the border and travelled with them towards Chefchaouen and Fes. All I can say is crazy camper van driving around blind corners.
Nice one Justin! I'm still in shock
Olly Vine, this crazy valve chattering English guy on a Honda CBF 1000 road bike where we continued to bump into in Morocco. We couldn't get rid of him! but he provided with great amounts of laughter and cooked us delicious meals.
Mark or spiderman? who gratefully helped us out with the Honda guidebook when the Africa Twin was a bit worse for wear.
Axel, a Wonderban German on KTM who we travelled parts of the Moroccan pistes with. Thanks for the great lessons and looking after me!
Another Wonderban German, who cooked us bread and gave us his touratech table! Cheers, hope the ribs are better.
Carl & Sylvia, a German and Italian couple who we travelled with through parts of Morocco and Western Sahara with. Thanks for the cooked meals, carrying our luggage and letting us use your hot shower.
German couple on BMWs, Chris managed to bring the rains to the Sahara
Katti & Blair
the wonderful Kiwikraut duo in a 4WD that we travelled the Nouadhibou to Atar piste. Loved the Antipodean humour and thanks for completing a successful open heart surgery to the Baja!
Kei, a sweet Japanese man who has been hitchhiking around Africa and has been travelling for nearly a year. Good luck finding what you desired in Africa....rice and soy sauce.
Heini, Isabella and Ken
Swiss heading to Benin to start another solar energy project in Nattatingou, North Benin
Jon & claude, 2 older French guys whose information was very helpful as they have travelled all over North Africa for the last 16years
A Thomas Cook Pilot who we meet in St Louis who has gratefully donated his back tyre to the Africa Twin.
Cassandra & Steve running Demining Projects in Guinea Bissau, kindly looked after us whilst they were extremely busy with meetings and proposals. Loved the chicken & chips..... perhaps we'll catch up again one day in Goughs Bay!
Felix The Cat, riding a BMW
Travelling round the world by 4WD
Mat & Doreen
Lovely English and German couple who made us laugh and told us how to say apple strudel properly
Leopoldo & Dereck
Posted by Amy Lee at 02:36 PM