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Photo by Ellen Delis, Lagunas Ojos del Campo, Antofalla, Catamarca

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Ellen Delis,
Lagunas Ojos del Campo,
Antofalla, Catamarca



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  #1  
Old 31 Jul 2011
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Smile Sydney to Germany - the African way

It's only one week to go, one week and the greatest adventure of my life will start. On Sunday the 7th August 2011 early in the morning my good old bike will be packed and I will leave my lovely hometown Sydney, not seeing this beautiful city for a whole entire year.

The plan is to first ride across Australia from Sydney to Perth, 4000km away. When I say 'we' I mean my humble little Suzuki DR650 and myself because for this first leg of the journey it's only gonna be the two of us. From Perth we will fly across the Indian Ocean to Johannesburg, South Africa. And then keep heading north towards Westafrica and Morocco. Catching a ferry from there will see us arriving in Gibraltar and will start the final leg of the journey to Germany. Finally we will arrive in the small town of Schoenheide in Germany, the place where I grew up and which most of my family still calls home. But at this stage Germany still seems a world away, much too far to worry about. For now.

Somehow our story will remind you of the famous tales of Don Quichote and his fearless horse Rosinante. A very able horse ridden by a rather clueless hero through the most incredible of adventures.
The 'hero' in our story would be me. A 1977 German born Australian who, until last year, has never ridden a motorbike. So the term 'clueless' fits perfectly. My own 'Rosinante' stood by me on the big adventure of me learning to ride motorbikes. And she is the one who paid the price, being dropped many times in sand and dirt and dust by her swearing rider. She's the one teaching me the secrets of her kind while bits and pieces of her spread out across the footpath in Sydney during various 'improvement' surgeries. She was always there and never complained and we properly checked each other out on a 3700km team bonding tour through the Australian outback and became good friends there and then. By now we are a proven team for almost 10000km worth of good times together. I am a very happy man to have her by my side for our first ever adventure trip.

But back to the real topic here – the journey. Once we made it to the other side of Australia we will both fly across the Indian Ocean to get the adventure really started. My old best friend Martin will be eagerly waiting for our arrival in Johannesburg. He will be there on his Honda Africa Twin. And we all will then travel together through Africa. Back to the old home country, back all the way to Germany. Passing through Central and West Africa on the way and meeting as many people as we can.

At this stage I would be incredibly nervous if I hadn't had the support of the Horizons Unlimited community. You guys gave me lots of great advice and patiently answered all my questions . So here I am, still nervous but ready to go. On a second thought – still incredibly nervous actually.

Provided there is an internet connection where we are going this thread will tell our story in text and pictures live from the road. So stay tuned and wish us luck and see if this newbie on his bike can make it through Australia and Africa and Europe!
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  #2  
Old 31 Jul 2011
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Good onya Marco! I look forward to hearing more about your adventures!
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  #3  
Old 31 Jul 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikingMarco View Post
It's only one week to go, one week and the greatest adventure of my life will start. On Sunday the 7th August 2011 early in the morning my good old bike will be packed and I will leave my lovely hometown Sydney, not seeing this beautiful city for a whole entire year.

The plan is to first ride across Australia from Sydney to Perth, 4000km away. When I say 'we' I mean my humble little Suzuki DR650 and myself because for this first leg of the journey it's only gonna be the two of us. From Perth we will fly across the Indian Ocean to Johannesburg, South Africa. And then keep heading north towards Westafrica and Morocco. Catching a ferry from there will see us arriving in Gibraltar and will start the final leg of the journey to Germany. Finally we will arrive in the small town of Schoenheide in Germany, the place where I grew up and which most of my family still calls home. But at this stage Germany still seems a world away, much too far to worry about. For now.

Somehow our story will remind you of the famous tales of Don Quichote and his fearless horse Rosinante. A very able horse ridden by a rather clueless hero through the most incredible of adventures.
The 'hero' in our story would be me. A 1977 German born Australian who, until last year, has never ridden a motorbike. So the term 'clueless' fits perfectly. My own 'Rosinante' stood by me on the big adventure of me learning to ride motorbikes. And she is the one who paid the price, being dropped many times in sand and dirt and dust by her swearing rider. She's the one teaching me the secrets of her kind while bits and pieces of her spread out across the footpath in Sydney during various 'improvement' surgeries. She was always there and never complained and we properly checked each other out on a 3700km team bonding tour through the Australian outback and became good friends there and then. By now we are a proven team for almost 10000km worth of good times together. I am a very happy man to have her by my side for our first ever adventure trip.

But back to the real topic here – the journey. Once we made it to the other side of Australia we will both fly across the Indian Ocean to get the adventure really started. My old best friend Martin will be eagerly waiting for our arrival in Johannesburg. He will be there on his Honda Africa Twin. And we all will then travel together through Africa. Back to the old home country, back all the way to Germany. Passing through Central and West Africa on the way and meeting as many people as we can.

At this stage I would be incredibly nervous if I hadn't had the support of the Horizons Unlimited community. You guys gave me lots of great advice and patiently answered all my questions . So here I am, still nervous but ready to go. On a second thought – still incredibly nervous actually.

Provided there is an internet connection where we are going this thread will tell our story in text and pictures live from the road. So stay tuned and wish us luck and see if this newbie on his bike can make it through Australia and Africa and Europe!
Sounds like a brilliant trip!! God luck matey!!
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  #4  
Old 2 Aug 2011
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Nice One

Good luck Marco, have you got a trip website we can follow?
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  #5  
Old 2 Aug 2011
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Cancel That

Argh! Apologies, cancel the above, I just found your website through your profile:

foreverfree for anyone else who wants to follow his adventure.

Cheers,

Bruce
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  #6  
Old 2 Aug 2011
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Thumbs up Sydney to Germany - the African way

BikingMarco i wish you the best for your trip...!!
I will waiting for your reports!

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  #7  
Old 3 Aug 2011
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Follow your journey

Hi,
I'm preparing my own RTW. And I have lot of interrogations for my road thru Africa.

I'll follow your adventure with a great interest.....

Safe travel.
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  #8  
Old 4 Aug 2011
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Thanks for your thumps up guys!

Just a quick update about the remaining few days. Departure day is getting really close. Everything is still set for an early Sunday start. And Sunday is only THREE DAYS away!

All those of you who went on a big trip before surly can remember what the last few days at home felt like. It will be the first such long adventure for me. And so, not unexpectedly, I feel like living on pure happy adrenalin at the moment. There are lists everywhere: Things-to-do-lists. Stuff-to-buy-lists. People-to-call-lists. And whenever something gets ticked off a list it results in another little celebration. The perception of everyday’s things seems to change because these everyday’s things will soon disappear for a long time from my life. Things like having a place to live. Or a TV. Or a job. Day after day means saying good bye to another friend. And there is all those little farewell dinners, last drinks, going-away-lunches to go through, each putting a big smile in my face.
And despite all those million things in my head my life has now such an incredibly intense focus. What a feeling!

Can’t remember the last time when excitement did let me get some sleep at night but that doesn’t matter because adrenalin keeps me awake during the day.

Three more sleepless nights to go!
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  #9  
Old 5 Aug 2011
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South Africa

Hey Marco,
I noticed that you plan to go from Jo'burg north... I know this is not of my business (and that you have to meet Martin in Namibia) but please be aware that the garden route (near Cape Town) is one of the most beautiful rides in the world! You probably know this... but just to convince you that it may be worth it! I have done it and it is amazing.
Have a wonderful journey and try to keep us updated when you can!
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  #10  
Old 5 Aug 2011
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...and the baviaans kloof to PE as well

LG, Tobi

Riding the rough west coast through Africa part 3
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  #11  
Old 5 Aug 2011
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This sounds absolutely fantastic. Good on ya matey!
p.s.
Make sure you remember to pack a couple of pairs of shoes!!
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  #12  
Old 8 Aug 2011
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Finally the big day has come. I can't believe it myself but the tour has started!
Early today, after another sleepless night in an empty appartment, it was finally time to get the packed bags onto the bike and get started. Some of my good friends in Sydney got up really early to come around to say good bye, some even joined me for the first few km. It all mixed around heavily with my emotions. Excitement to get the trip started, sadness to say good bye to good friends, happiness to sit on the bike riding west and more sadness to ride out of Sydney, my beautiful home for many years. But alltogether an overwhelming urge to go and live the life on the road. Just go. We started with four bikes from Sydney, riding west, along Broadway, Parramatta Road, the M4 motorway and the Bells Line of Road through the Blue Mountains, a beautiful winding road through the National Park. One by one my fellow riders had to turn back to Sydney. The last one in the town of Orange, some 250km away from Sydney. And then it was only me, still going west.
And so I kept riding, happy for having had such a great start to the journey. And for having had such good company at my departure and for the first leg of the trip. The sun was shining now, the sky was blue. And west we went, my little Suzuki and me. With a big smile on my face. And a happy bike enjoying 5th gear. Just cruising. Cruising west. Into the sunset. As we will do for many more days to come.
It really feels good to be able to just keep riding without the need to be somewhere at the end of the day. I finished the day camping in the Goobang National Park near Peak Hill. I have never heard of this National Park before. And it might not be as spectacular as the Blue Mountains. But for my little Suzuki and me - it was just perfect. Perfectly located for our arrival at sunset. And it is a great spot for camping. Not much else to say about the first day.

The plan from here is to go along the Barrier Hwy through NSW and via Broken Hill into South Australia. Going the distance mainly on paved roads but also finding little loops of gravelroads whenever possible to have some extra fun.
I'll keep you posted...
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Old 8 Aug 2011
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Thanks emiraff and ta-rider for your South Africa advice! Both, Martin and me went to South Africa before. And we loved the Garden Route. You are absolutely right, it really is one beautiful stretch of road. Not sure though if we will do it again this year. Main reason is, it is so cold in South Africa and we are both keen to get into somewhere less cold. Somewhere north. But we will see, once we are all in South Africa including our bikes and we managed to find each other - we will just take it from there.
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Old 8 Aug 2011
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I wish you a good start and the best for your trip.
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Old 9 Aug 2011
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Three days into the tour - it's time for some pics!


About to play with the big fellows.


The old open cut gold mine in Peak Hill. One big hole.


The Barrier Hwy - not changing my road for a thousand km.


Aboriginal rock art at Mt Grenfell.


How would you like a few thousand km of this? Just you and your bike? Same in the rear view mirror.


For all you Mad Max fans out there: this is Silverton, NSW, where Mad Max was filmed. And this is the original Mad Max film car. Chatting to my proud little Suzuki.
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