Crossing Southern Africa

Crossing Southern Africa

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Dear friends

This is the last mail about the Nairobi Cape Town trip. I am right now at the airport waiting for a flight to London. I am wearing jeans and sport shoes like any other stupid tourist. But I am alone and sad meanwhile they go and come excited because they have lived the fucking African week experience watching animals from their buses.

I have reasons to be blue. The princess is kept in a brick coffin. We have split up after 11,000 km. My heart got broken when I locked the door and I could hear the silent cry of her two cylinders. They are not going to move for a while. “I had to go”, I said. She didn’t say anything. “I told you the truth from the first time. This was going to be just an adventure. You told me that it was Ok and we were going to enjoy it while it lasted”.

But, you all know, that kind of words are always soft lies the short time lovers say just to love what shouldn’t be loved. “You are going back because she is younger”, she whispered from her exhausted. I confessed, “She is younger, but that is not the reason. She is not like you, she is a GS 1200 from 2006, but too much electronic and, even more, she is much fatter than you” Then she smiled, “Is she fat?” I looked at her sweet handle bar and promised. “Ok, honey, I will be back soon, but now I have to ride north, the summer is coming and I want to go near the North Pole. From there I will bring you a piece of ice shining like a diamond.

Now I am the airport like any other stupid tourist, but they are going and coming and I am drinking a beer, smiling and thinking in just one word: Alaska. Will I arrive or not? I am not sure, but you will be the first to know.

Thanks for be there and sorry if I collapsed your connection.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Dear friend:

We got it. Finally, we are in Cape Town. We are about to have dinner and drink a bottle of Constantia wine. From Lion´s Head Mountain, I see far away two oceans and the lights of the city. I feel good but I heard the wind whispering “It is time to go home”. And I know the wind says the truth. It is time to be at home with my people. It is time to speak Spanish again. Someone has asked me why I write these mails in so terrible English, especially when a lot of my friends are Spanish. The reason is simple: I was living this adventure in English and in English I was trying to get by with people. My English is terrible, but is Ok to understand jokes. I felt that I have to tell my trip in the same language I was riding it.

But arrive here was not easy. How we say in Spain: “till the end of the tail, everything is bull” (hasta el toro, todo es rabo). When I was so self confident and thinking the adventure is over, I got sick. Maybe too much relax, maybe something I ate, maybe the hard rain and the cold wind, or maybe all together at the same time, but the fact is that I felt like dying on the bike. Riding was a torture. During the last three days, I have spent more time seated on the toilet and sweating in bed than never before. You can trust me, is not good at all being sick alone in a hotel room 20.000 km away from home and asking you in the dark if it could be malaria, food poisoning, a simple cold or the fucking ebola virus.

The first night in South Africa was a nightmare. In a place I don´t want to remember the name, when I was about to fell down of fever under a heavy rain, I stopped in a dirty petrol station. When I was about to ask for the nearest hotel, a guy asked me where I came from. “From Spain”, I murmured. “Oh, I am Portuguese, we are brothers, you are going to pay nothing. I´ ve been here for 30 years. All of this is mine, No te problema”. I looked at the fat guy and his 9 fingers, I looked around the stinky shop he runs, I looked at the crappy rooms he was kindly offering me, I looked at the suspicious workers who were staring at me with big and ugly smiles, and then I looked at the clouds pouring cats and dogs and I heard the bad wind beating the road. God sometimes uses hard jokes. That night my landlord kindly explained everything about the illegal market of diamonds he runs (no te problema), I had whisky with two other Portugese brothers, and from my bed I heard till the 4 am the loud noise of the crowded pub he also runs. And, of course, in the “no te problema” place someone picked few things from my bike.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Dear Friends

I feel sorry. My little princess and me are about to split up in few days, and even more, we have had our first lover´s fight. She asked me “Am I fat?” and I said “Of course not”. As you all know, that is a dangerous question coming from a woman and never could be answered without a fight. But let me tell you the whole story. We were in the best part of our relationship. Namibia is a real paradise. Beautiful landscapes, smooth gravel roads, friendly people, shining deserts, great sunsets, stars by thousands at night…As you can see, we even took a romantic picture on the Namib Desert just before arrive Skeleton Coast.

Skeleton Coast. Dammed name for ever! From the Indic at Dar es Salaam, I was expecting to meet the Atlantic there. It will mean I crossed the whole continent from coast to coast. From Korishas, I rode 179 km on a sandy road just to arrive to the Skeleton Coast National Park. But 45 km far from the sea (I even could see the Atlantic blue in my GPS), is a gate with guards. “No motorcycles allowed”, they told me. “It´s impossible”, I said really annoyed. “I´ve been suffering 8000 km and 7 countries just to see here the sea and ride your Fxxxng Skeleton Cost.” No way. “The rules are clear and well written” they said. It was true. I tried then the bribe. “Maybe if you help me…” No corruption in Namibia. “Ok”, I told them. “It´s been a very long trip and I´m gonna stay here with my tent camp until you let me in, or someone else pick up us to the other gate on a truck, but I will not go back”.

We slept that night at the barrier and had barbeque with the guards. At the following morning, they phone someone who phoned someone, and finally I got the permit to ride to the other gate 100 km far away. We both were so happy, but then the sand started. Sand, sand, sand. Tons of sand. Sand as in a hippy shoe. No gravel road. Just sand. Deep and deep. And I wanted to see the sea. So I cut straight to the dunes. And then the tragedy happened. The princess got blocked in the sand one, two, three times. Every time she got blocked, I had to put the luggage off and lift her by arms and back. Then she asked me “Am I fat?” I was sweating and telling bad words, so I had no mind for tenderness. “Of course not”, I said ten seconds later. Too late. She got angry and she tried to throw me out every time she could. But, I managed to ride the fuxxxng Skeleton Coast and keep us safe.

5 hours later, exhausted, dirty, but happy again, we arrived to Cape Cross, where are over 150.000 stinky seals on the beach. But, you all know, that is another story I´m gonna write another day.

All the best.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Dear friends,

I left South Africa, but not after visited Johanesburg and Soweto, a new touristic place if you book a crowd trip in a bus to see the Mandela´s House and the Historics sites of fighting against apartheid. But what can I do without my german princess? I went there alone just to check that gps don´t work in Soweto. Too many fences and too much fear in South Africa. People are scared of people and maybe they are right. For me, in South Africa were too good roads and too many toll gates to pay. Bostwana is real Africa again and people are very friendly. After just one night in Gaborone, I got a big hangover because beer is cheap and locals thirsty as this spanish biker.

I´m now in Grootfontein, Namibia, using a terrible and slow internet conection. I´m trying to keep an elephant into a narrow door. If you look beyond the bike you will see him. He was making big pieces of shit (it´s not a bullshit, it was real elephantshit) beside the road near the Okavango Delta, Bostwana, when we met. I stopped the bike, he didn´t stopped of making shit, but I think now he was a little bit anoyed of the noise in the middle of his task because few seconds later he faced at me. I could have done the picture of my life within an elephant aproaching to the camera, but I prefered to save it (my life, I mean) and run away as fast I was able to do, about 70 kmh because Bostwana Goverment gives goats for free so they are everywhere, especially crossing the roads like fucking hornets with horns.

All the best.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


Dear friends:

Finally, I got a cable clutch in Lusaka. But engine start was totally out of order, so I´ve been pushing the bike every time I wanted to ride it. Fortunately, in Africa there is no lack of people to push. I had a crowded demonstration in each city of border I stopped. No too many problems so far, but in Zimbaue border I had to pay the first bribe. The policeman didn´t want to allow me going in with a Kenyan Bike. “Maybe if you help me, I can help you”, I remember me saying in a dark, dirty and stinky room. “How much is the help you are talking about?”, he asked me with a toothpick in the middle of his big smile. 50 $ later, the bike and me were riding Zimbaue as fast as we could do. About 80 KpH.

Now we are in Pretoria. I´m in a hotel with internet access and drinkable water, and the bike in the BMW dealership. She is an old lady not used to ride for a long way. The former owner kept her for ages and only rode shorts urban trips. She is enjoying now her new life on the dust roads but sometimes she gets hurt. She is like a German princess and needs some sweets tools and good oil for drink. She will be ready by Monday. Then will be heading Mozambique for a while because South Africans roads are too good and here we both are lacking the feel of the adventure. We can get fat and lazy so easily in this country. We´d better go to ride again among donkeys, cows, goats and holes deep as swimming pools.

All the best.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I´m at Lusaka with mechanics problems. I broke down the clutch cable and the engine start, so I don´t know when we will be heading Bostwana, but I´m looking forward to do so. I´ve found a british guy who fixes the United Nations car here and seems to be a good mechanic. I wish as good as Christofer, the german one who owns Jungle Junction in Nairobi. He can fix the Discovery Nasa with a rust wire. I send you a picture of my broken down bike and me on a junk track. It´s been 9 hours driving from Mpika to Lusaka. Apart from the clutch, the mosquitos, the bugs and the dust, the hot and the dirty, everything is going well. Especially if you don´t drink tap water and eat fresh fruit. I did it and I´m still alive but just because the ugly men we are always lucky.