Crossed into South Africa today, hopeful of twistier roads.
And I now think Einstein got it wrong.
He claimed there's no such thing as a straight line. Because time and space are all curved (he said).
Well, look at the picture:
The camera never lies.
"I thought of that while riding my bicycle," he claimed, about his General Theory of Relativity.
Well, not while pedalling along this road he didn't!
This is about 2,000 feet higher, and not very far from, the border crossing at Noordoewer. And this will be the last photo here of a straight road for a very long time, curved or straight (the time, that is).
There was no insurance office at the border. In fact, another one of those borders where there's nothing to pay at all. All very quick.
"Buy insurance in Springbok," said the customs man.
I tried, all afternoon, after ordering a new front tyre to be delivered from Cape Town.
The tourist information office spent about an hour phoning all over the place, to no avail. That left just the South African AA to phone. No luck there either.
As time went by, I remembered reading something about third-party motor insurance in South Africa, in the forums on this very website.
Search again - ah, here it is:
"Third-party insurance is included in the price of petrol."
Good! I'll use as little petrol as possible, that'll keep the insurance cost to a minimum.
Err, does that make sense?
Or is it like the madman who rushed into the bazaar proclaiming, "The moon is more useful than the sun!"
"But why?" asked someone.
"We need the light more during the night than during the day."
.......... Soon be time to go home.
Anyway, with new front tyre I can take the gravel roads along the coastal towns to Cape Town and get away from this insomnia-cure of a route.
While we're rambling, I'll mention that I was in the Post Office in Noordoewer a couple of days ago. I know more than one reader of this account has issues with the TV licencing people back home. Add me to that when I return home having cancelled my TV licence and not replied to any of the letters they will have sent me over the past year.
On the wall of the Post Office was a huge poster explaining, in simple steps, what you have to do in Namibia when you buy a new TV, a secondhand TV, receive one as a gift, sell a TV, export a TV, throw one away, or emigrate.
(I just realised, it didn't say what you have to do when you throw a brick through the screen in despair at what's on it. They must have better programmes here).
Well, the process in all these cases is the same as buying or selling a car back home. TVs must have number plates in Namibia, because the government keeps a close record of who has which television set. With the addition of, if you dispose of one in any way, sale, gift or scrap, or emigrate, you have to swear an oath at the police station and pin that to the papers you need to send off. So maybe Auntie BBC's system isn't so bad after all.
I'll find out when I arrive home.
While we're rambling (again), I've asked Caroline and Beau if they have any photos of life and work in Khartoum to pin up on here. And also if Beau can set to music a little poem about sleeping bags, that I had reason to dig out a short while ago.
Campers who ride bicycles or motorbikes have to pay some attention to how small a sleeping bag rolls up. Well, at one time sleeping bags were made of reindeer skin, and you'd certainly need two bicycles to carry one of them, maybe two motorbikes as well.
This ditty was written by Herbert Ponting while he was working as photographer on R.F. Scott's second voyage to Antarctica. It may be more entertaining to regular sleeping-bag users than a straight road:
THE SLEEPING BAG
Herbert George Ponting
On the outside grows the furside. On the inside grows the skinside.
So the furside is the outside and the skinside is the inside.
As the skinside is the inside (and the furside is the outside)
One ‘side’ likes the skinside inside and the furside on the outside.
Others like the skinside outside and the furside on the inside
As the skinside is the hard side and the furside is the soft side.
If you turn the skinside outside, thinking you will side with that ‘side’,
Then the soft side furside’s inside, which some argue is the wrong side.
If you turn the furside outside – as you say, it grows on that side,
Then your outside’s next the skinside, which for comfort’s not the right side.
For the skinside is the cold side and your outside’s not your warm side
And the two cold sides coming side-by-side are not the right sides one ‘side’ decides.
If you decide to side with that ‘side’, turn the outside furside inside
Then the hard side, cold side, skinside’s, beyond all question, inside outside.
...... What tune will that go with?
Posted by Ken Thomas at September 30, 2010 10:12 AM GMT
HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!
"The calendar is magnificent!"
"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"
We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!
Next HU Events
- Germany Autumn: Oct 23-26
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- Aus NSW: Oct 31-Nov 2
- South Africa: Nov 13-16
- NEW! USA Virginia: Apr 9-12, 2015
- NEW! HUMM Morocco: May 13-16, 2015
- Canada West: Aug 20-23, 2015
- USA California: Sep 24-27, 2015
- Aus Queensland: Sep 24-27, 2015
- USA North Carolina: Oct 8-11, 2015
- Aus Perth: Oct 9-11, 2015
Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!
Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).
"Inspiring and hilarious!"
"I loved watching this DVD!"
"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."
Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.
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
"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!
Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!
What turns you on to motorcycle travel?
Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!
New to Horizons Unlimited?
New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!
Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.Read more about Grant & Susan's story
Membership - help keep us going!
Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.
Books & DVDs
All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.
MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
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!