Have been loading larger photos.
They now go back as far as Tanzania. Much better than the previous small ones.
(Links to different countries are down the right hand side)
We have photos of motorbikes, bicycles, trains, a ferry, an airplane, Nile sailing boats, papyrus canoes, ships in the Suez Canal, camels and elephants, a Transit van, but not many of the true Kings of the African Road, the buses.
I found a few amongst the back-ups.
So, some African buses in full flight, mainly in Tanzania:
I pay a little tribute here to those travellers I met exploring Africa by public transport. That truly is an adventure. I little more so, I suspect, than the luxury of your very own pair of wheels.
Here's another Transport of Delight - border crossings.
Looking back, on the whole, they're OK.
Some are incredibly welcoming, Syria sticks in the mind, and Zimbabwe.
Others are memorable half-day or whole-day projects, like Egypt.
At some, it's difficult to shake off the fixers. Ethiopia, plus one other somewhere between Kenya and Zimbabwe. Don't remember where so it couldn't have been a big problem.
For anyone interested, the only borders on our route where a fixer is necessary are Egypt and Sudan.
This border was about the worst.........
There was a steadily moving, not-very-long queue leading to the passport desk. Just beyond the desk were two growling faces, huge arms folded, steely eyes firing daggers at everyone arriving. One or two more clerks of similar appearance hung about at the sides. This wasn't Uganda, yet there seemed to be more gorillas here than in the western highlands of that country.
At least the queue moved along OK and at last I could see a smiley welcoming face, the Asian-looking woman behind the desk. She was cheerily dealing with each passport, so that was OK. More like the border scenes I had become accustomed to in my progress across Africa.
I wondered if it would be safe to ask someone why the gorillas were hanging around, without the risk of being arrested.
It was a little strange, only one solitary smiley face in the whole immigration room. At all the passport controls up to now, you'd always hear "welcome!" and "how are you?" at least a couple of times.
Now I was closer to the front of the queue. I couldn't work out what the two bouncers beyond the desk were looking at so intently, it didn't seem to be anyone or anything in particular, and the ones at the side were trying to make their folded arms look as huge as possible. Almost as though they wished all these people would go away and not clutter up the room. Really strange. I suppose it stops the knuckles scraping the floor.
I thought maybe they'd start playing "I Wan'na Be Like You" on the PA system. I have it on my MP3 player, I could offer to put it on for them.
No, probably not a good idea. I'd probably not make much more progress on this journey. And I didn't have the player with me anyway. It was outside with my other luggage.
(As always, here's a link in case anyone needs to know what that tune is about)
Just as I was thinking, "Must avoid this country next time......," it was my turn. The immigration officer gave me the same smile as she gave the previous travellers, so I thought I should venture some enquiry about these grim-faced attendants.
The contrast to previous border crossings was so marked.
"Hello, it's nice to get a nice smile and welcome as usual, but what's wrong with these fellows behind you? They don't look too happy!"
"Oh, they're OK. Quite harmless."
I got my passport back, and suggested, "Maybe when you've finished you can try to cheer them up, they look really out of place, not very welcoming."
"Well, I could try, but I think they might be immune to that sort of thing!"
This, for some reason, was definitely the darkest border crossing of any I'd passed through on this African journey.
Then, all was explained.
Beyond was the big sign.
One of those "This is not Africa" moments.
I wondered what to make of it.
It definitely wasn't Africa:
- Welcome To Heathrow -
Pictures directly from the homepage of the 'Welcome to the UK Border Agency' website.
Delightful welcome after over a year away.
Marginally more despair was to follow. Outside I found The English Winter.
It continues to be strange here, having jumped instantaneously from African sunshine to no sunshine.
And I'm grateful to my cousin in Edinburgh who offered the following piece of research she found in a book about modern man, modern society, and the environment.
A lot happens to a white north-European person who suddenly returns to the home country in midwinter after spending a year or more in continuous tropical sun. The rapid change is so great there's a tendency for the body to attempt a regression to the characteristics of the mammals of these northern latitudes. "The returning traveller's physiology may prepare for, or even start to enter, hibernation."
Well! Am I glad to learn that! At last I have the word that describes how things feel since arriving home.
Like I'm about to hibernate.
My computer has a switch: "Restart - Sleep - Hibernate - Shut Down"
Can I have some "Restart" please?
A couple of days ago, the light bulb in my front room blew. A hundred-ish 'equivalent' Watts from one of those energy-saving bulbs. So I put in a traditional 150W tungsten bulb, to get some proper light from white-hot metal instead of from mercury vapour.
Wow, what a difference.
I asked for 'Restart', and my lightbulb obliges!
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
- USA California: Sep 25-28
- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
- Aus Perth: Oct 10-12
- Germany Autumn: Oct 23-26
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! Aus NSW: Oct 31-Nov 2
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 13-16
- NEW! USA Virginia: Apr 9-12, 2015
- NEW! HUMM Morocco: May 13-16, 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!