Update: 19 november 2009

Malawi.

Day 82.

Update where we are now..
Follow the route thru the great Malawilake to Zambia..


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Update: 18 november 2009

Malawi.

Day 81.

Update where we are now..
In Malawi on the great Malawilake.


Click images for enlargement

^ Up ^

Back to civilasation?

We left henri’s resthouse in the early morning well rested and in good spirit. The road was going to be better and We should be able to reach Isiolo at the end of the day.
Temperatures were still high and around 40 celsius. The road was better but far from ideal. There where still a lot of sections with challenging riding and the fact that we were now more prepared and knew how to divide our strength made the difference. But anyway I had another bad fall and this time the other valve cover ripped open. Not as bad as before but it had to be repaired at the end of the day. The windscreen splatterd and a big ugly dent in the tank were the other results. The engines run loud because of the high outside temperatures and slow forward movement. BMW boxers have no liquid cooling systems, only air and oil and there for need forward movement more than others. Also the poor quality of the fuel made them running more rough. At the end of the afternoon we had Isiolo in our sight and the first of roadworks to improve the “Dragons Back” as locals call it where to be seen. Also the first signs of civilization appeared.
The British Army has a large base here from the Royal engeniers who train here before going to Afganistan. Might as well build the road then !? We reached Isolo and the Gadessa hotel around 17.00 and were welcoSomaliamed by the Dutch owners. We opted for the more expensive room because we earned it and had a lovely evening with them. There were no other guests, and when I asked about it they explained that in the previous 3 months around 1100 people, all locals, had been killed between Isiolo and Marsabit, the stretch we just finished. It had all to do with the drought and starvation of there livestock.
They started to steel each others animals and for that killing each other. Also “new” settlers from who took a lot of weapons with them were blaimed. Result for them whas that no tourists are visiting the area and there for no income could be generated. The hotel was basicly doomed. The next morning I first repaired the valve cover with metalcement and after a lovely Dutch breakfast we set off in the direction of the Equator and Nairobi later. The view of mount Kenia was spectacular and although the summit was shrouded in clouds it was a very satisfying feeling. The road was tarmac and we could finally make some speed.
The traffic became more dens than before and they were riding like madman. We stopped at the Equator line for the foto and some souvenirs and proceeded as soon as we could to Nairobi where Jungle Junction was our target. J.J as it is called is the place to be for overlanders and specially for motorcyclist riding BMW’s. J.J’s has a german owner called Chris who has a fully operational repair facility. He also repairs other brands of course. We reached it just before dark and were greeted with applause from other bikers when the found out we had survived “The Dragons Back” Beers were offered and accepted and we felt very much at home for the coming day’s. There was free internet and all other facility’s you could have dreamed of. One in particular was the Chinese restaurant around the corner serving excellent food!
The next day’s were filled with repairs and other cleaning duty’s. I also visited the hospital to find out where the pain had come from and if it would be “wise” to continue. Thanks to the help of the KLM company’s doctor in Nairobi I could visist the next day one of the most modern X ray institutes of the country and got the news that the stone I had in Holland had split up in 4 pieces of which 3 where blocking my urine channel between my kidney and bladder. The only solution the had was to drink a lot of fluid and hope for the best. Beer, Tusker the local brew, would be fine and you have to do what the doctor tells you!! There was no kidney stone cruncher in Kenia and operating was never a option. So carry on and go south where tehe medical services are best in Namibia and South- Africa, the place where we were going anyway! We still had get our communication problem to sort out because one cell phone was stolen and the other damaged beyond repair. A Dutch friend and colleague whas so kind to take a few cell phones to Nairobi and we greathfully picked them up at the Intercontinantal Hotel. Thank Frank. We then set off to Tanzania and the city of Arusha.
We had a nice ride to the border and to our surprise found our good English friends Duncan & Lyle we had traveled before with there! Instant joy and plans to ride together were the result and we continued to Arusha were we stayed on the very noisy masai Camp. It is now more a discotheque with camping than vice versa. We all wanted to have some rest and as we did not wanted to spend all our money on the very expensive Safari tours in Tanzania we opted to go for the coast and stay there a few day’s. We choose Pangani and, Peponi’s beach as our resort and it was magnificent!! Friendly people and very good food for a acceptable price. If you are in the area go there. Whe had a lovely time and met some real nice people. Most of them young volunteers who worked there for NGO’s in the medical or social area’s. But life goes on and we left Peponi’s for the Old farm House some 600 kilometers away in the direction of Malawi. We would pass Mikumi national parc, which is the only park in Tanzania were you may pass on a motorcycle. We hoped for a chance to take a picture of us with animals in the near background and it worked! Giraffe and elephants. Whow, we felt real small beside the large animals.
The Old farmhouse is a very nice place with excellent food but no vieuw other than the bushveld. We slept in our tent but inside a open hut because they had a temporary snake problem of mamba’s and cobra,s?! We decided to leave next day for Malawi because of the weather which looked very threatening with a lot of rain. Just after we rode off all valves of heaven were opened and we were soaked to the bone. We had to stop and put our raingear on because believe it or not it was to cold to ride on! After thet it was fine and we reached Bongocamp just before the Malawi border. This camp is operated by locals on behalf of a help program. Run by locals was nice to experience as when we ordered food, Chicken with rice, all came from local resources. And by local I mean real local. A chicken was caught and slaughtered and the rice had to be filtered before being boiled. Nice and we felt privileged to stay with them.
The next day we rode to the border and filled out the formality’s. No visa for the first time! After asking if we were clear to go we set of South for Chitimba were there was a beach resort on the coast of lake Malawi. After 5 kilometers we ran into a police checkpoint as we had done so many time’s before. So engine off, helmet open and wait for the “normal” questions like where are you from and where do you intend to go? But this police officer was different. No friendly welcome and no handshake for which a always take my dirty gloves off. Drivers license and passport he barked. O.K. so I opened my wallet and looked for the international ones, which are worthless in my opinion. No he wanted the Dutch ones. He took them and walked around the bike’s. Where are you from? Holland Sir, and he is my son, I answered. Insurance! Oeps, what did he mean by that? We didn’t bought any at the border because we didn’t see any venders nor were we pointed to the fact that it is the law to have it. I told him we didn’t have a specific one for Malawi. He exploded. You have committed a serious crime against the people of Malawi and I have to fine you both 30 US$!! Step from the bike and follow me! Now wait a minute I said, first how should we have known, we asked didn’t we, and secondly if we didn’t know you can hardly call it a crime against the people of Malawi! So now you are insulting a officer of the law and are ridiculing the Malawi law which was founded on the bases of England!! He barked. No, we are not but we think that leyying us go back to the border and buy insurance would solve the so called crime! You cannot drive without insurance I tell you so pay you fine! Yes but then we still do not have any insurance Sir and still have to return to the border to get one.
It became worse and worse between him and me and Bob toke over because I just told the man that I would not speak another word with him simply because all odds were against us. He did his best but the police officer didn’t move his standpoint. So I toke the papers from his hands and went back to the border and bought the 50US$ per bike insurance. Our English friend showed him the Egyptian insurance policy, which is all in Arabic exept for the Alliance logo and came trough!!!!! When we returned with the insurance policy he wouldn’t let us trough. We had commited the crime and had to pay or he would arrest me. The treat of calling the Dutch embassy didn’t impress him at all. We parked the bike’s and Bob started talking to him and tried his best with results to keep me out of trouble and jail, because that was my next staion the officer sad. But then things changed when he asked Bob if he knew that I was his biological father? He went red and I could tell him in Dutch not to react. We sad there for at least half an hour and the after apologizing to him could go. And so we did, welcome to Malawi!! His name, David Mbewe nr A 8420. And he is well know by all tourist and locals it seemed to be. He is always behaving like this. Whether you have insurance or reflective tape on your car, he is always bullying you for money. Asshole!!! The next week we enjoyed the realMalawi hospitality at different locations and loved it.
We stayed at Chitimba. Kande Beach and Cool runnings and had a great time. There was although one growing problem and that was the fuel shortage. We were fine but could only reach Lilongwe but not Zambia our next country to visit.

We will tell you more about it in week 11 & 12.