June 18, 2011 GMT
Caroline And Beau Of Khartoum

It's high time to inject some new news into this blog.

This weekend Caroline departs Khartoum for pastures new - Juba - the capital of the new country of South Sudan.
There, she has a two-week project to set up new English classes for members of the new civil service of this new country.
She'll fly there, via Nairobi of all places, which is two countries away (new or old). It seems so many people are now travelling from Khartoum to Juba that no seats are available on direct flights for the foreseeable future.

After the two-week project, it'll be holiday time. So Caroline flies back to Nairobi, and meets Beau, making his own way there from Khartoum. Then it's back at last onto two wheels.
Caroline's Yamaha Serow and Beau's TTR250, still at Jungle Junction, have been started up by Chris, the proprietor, and they seem to be OK after a year in storage.

The next task will be to consider the road tax situation for both bikes, which in Kenya seems to be one of those unknown unknowns. No one seems to know what will happen about this at the border as they ride out of the country, a year after the bikes entered. So the safest option is to leave by the nearest border crossing in case a return to Nairobi is needed for paperwork, payments, negotiations or all three.
Hopefully, none will be needed, a spot of East African diplomacy at the border may fix it after a year of living in the region, learning the African ways.
The nearest border is with Tanzania, to the south, so that's the plan as much as exists at the moment. Other than the need to be back in Khartoum by September. That'll mean another delightful ride on the Moyale-Isiolo road with the added advantage of seeing it in the other direction, then crossing Ethiopia once again.
Who knows? We may even get a photo or two to paste up here.

So we wish them both bon voyage! and a safe journey.

In the absence of topical photos, I thought I'd crib from Grant's blogging (our host) and paste up some from a trip I did to Antarctica about eleven years ago. Not part of this journey of course, but a bit of an adventure nevertheless.
Except, they are all on paper, that old-fashioned white stuff that photos used to appear upon.
So I have a project to get them onto silicon chip, and here are the first I've done.
I came across no motorbikes down in the far south, but found 4-wheel conveyances, all huddled around a 'No Parking' sign.
So, that must be a cue for some adventurous soul to get his or her bike across the Southern Ocean and onto the Great White Continent, assuming it's not been done before. (I suspect it has).

Yes, you have to hunt for a parking place in Antarctica, just like in London or Cairo or, for all I know, Timbuktu.

And the AA will come and rescue you, just like on the M25.

This is New Zealand's Scott Base in McMurdo Sound, at the southern end of the Ross Sea.

I'll transfer some 'proper' photos onto the digital stuff for a future entry, including an example of the most outrageous parking I've ever seen on any continent.
Watch this space.....

And while the photos are flying around everywhere, what would you call a small crankpin?
Or more specifically, the new grandaughter of McCrankpin?

So here's Lucy McGudgeonpin, a few hours old, new niece of Caroline of Khartoum, sister of Oliver who appears at the very beginning of this saga, and daughter of proud parents Richard and Sam.


Finally, it's well recognised as a very sad thing when you have to wash the African or Asian or South American dirt off your bike once back home. Here's HM The Bike's rear wheel being cleaned of its Namib Desert memories, prior to the fitting of a new tyre for MOT purposes. A bit sad.


But still quite a bit of good African dirt hanging around the rear end of the bike.


Posted by Ken Thomas at June 18, 2011 08:01 PM GMT

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