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Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Location: Ludaritz, Namibia

Hi All
Just a very quick update.
I spent a week in Cape Town (just an amazing city hope everyone is green with envy). Glad to be going back there to end the trip.
I got itchy feet being without a bike as mines not due untill 2nd of March. So ive hired a bike (BMW 650 Dakar). A bit small and gutless but cheep and almost new so happy days .
I headed North along the Cape coast road with Namibia in my sights. Finally cracking the 500miles in a day. ( no need to hurry just a personal goal i wanted to achieve).
Into Namibia.
I had no real idea of what to expect , but soon realised that there are only TWO TARMAC roads east to west and ONE north to south. The rest is gravel tracks . S***T , B*****er , A****le , P****s.
And a few others thrown in .And Namibia is MUCH bigger than England!!!!!!!
Well this is NOW an adventure and IM on my OWN.
First day Fish river Canyon (the second largest Canyon in the world to the crappy one in USA) .
I ride for FOUR hours and dont see a soul no bugger anywhere. No cars pass me and none coming the other way.
I Shit you not this is a lonely place to be. But this is what adventures are made of. When the going gets tough some people go home (sorry).
Foolhardy, stupid , oh yea too bloody right but exciting oh my god yes. With the fuel light on! no service on my phone!.and NOTHING as far as the eye could see.
Well thats it till next time folks !!!!!!!!!!!!!! as bugs bunny would say.

Saturday, 09 February 2008

Location: cape coast, Ghana

Mr Bill.. ( yes or no ? )
After 2 hot as hell days trying to sort bike in Tema . Plane or Boat or throw it in the sea? I decided I needed a little R&R.
A look at the map and lonely planet book (my bible ) said go West towards Cape Coast.
3hours later dripping with sweat covered in road grime and sand I rock up in Cape Coast . The Bible comes out and tells me that there is only one place in town to stay. "a nice clean hotel a few years ago but lost its shine and now is rather scruffy"
Sounded just like my kind of place.( Well there wasnt a choice)
I rode into the deserted car park down a potholed drive. Umm!!
Leaping from nowhere 3 security guards rushed to my aid.
Reception? I asked.
The first bloke ripped my tank bag out of my hand and becconed me to follow him.
An Enormously rotund ( Fat cow ) greated me with a smile.
" How much is your cheepest room" " well have you got anything cheeper ?? " By the state of the empty car park the hotel was deserted.
Yes Sir 45 cidis about 20 quid a night . " I will have a room if you include breakfast" Of course Sir . IM IN !!
7pm and Im bleedin starvin . Nice clean room but yes very rough around the edges.
Down by the pool YES pool. the resterant. More important than belly is always throat. " any cold beer? " No just wine . Ok a bottle of white please .
As normal after a couple of glasses my hunger has gone.
I take a sneeky look into the carpark to check on the bike in the now stinking hot darkness.
Three figures are stood around it gently talking . I creep up behind and shout loudly. DONT YOU f--kERS TOUCH IT .
The 3 mighty security men Shit themselves .!!!
Making light of the situation I offer a handshake to them in turn.
Still feeling guilty my glass of wine is handed round to calm their nerves. That does the trick.
Questions are soon fireing . Where are you from ? Did you ride this bike the whole way? ETC ETC
I sat down with the three mighty men for 6 hours .
Every subject was covered from bikes to religion ( this being their favorite subject)
After acouple of hours I became aware that these men were looking and listening to my every word intently. Very unnerving at first . But then it seemed quite nice. Better than being ignored.
Before I retired one of the men Francis said that he would look after me for my stay . Odd I thought , but hey ho.
Yhe only thing I had seen of interest in m,y bible was a 300ft high rope walk . I told my new friends and Francis offered to accompany me next day. I said I would be ready at 10 am . We chatted till 230 am and off up the wooden hill I went.
They didnt finnish their 12hr shift till 6am
At 9am on the dot a knock at the door woke me .
"Mr Bill Im ready to accompany you. "
I rushed a bit of breakfast and went to my bike .
It had been washed and pollished . ( I had kept it looking shitty so as not to look too flash)
Removing all the stuff from the back ,Tent etc left just enough room for my guide. " hey Francis Im NOT paying you to come with me" " OH no Mr Bill Its my duty to look after you "
For the whole day I was treated with complete reverence.
Francis would rush ahead with my cold bottle of water waiting for me at every turn .
This must be like being Prince Charles I thought .
Francis can only speek the most broken english but im convinced he has had a great couple of days . Being on the back of the bike and showing me the sights of Ghana .
My room has been tidied and cleaned immaculatly washing done etc etc and MR Bill Is the talk of the hotel.
Im leaving tomorrow and will be sad to go. But will I be sad to no longer be Mr Bill??


Livvy and Mum are coming to see me in Cape Town soon I CANT WAIT . Not long now Girls . Get them boddies tanned xx I will be flying back with Livvy ,looking forward to being back home with her . The love of my life its too long to be apart. The South America part of the trip will happen soon but we will do it together .

Friday, 08 February 2008

Location: cape coast, Ghana

Hi everyone.
By now im sure most of you know that Steve and I have parted company. No big fall out or anything just got on each others tits too often. I wish him all the very best with the continuation of his trip. Stay safe my friend.
I have ridden from the top of Ghana to the bottom. A fantastically beautiful country with the southern half being lush rainforrest. The only downside is the weather,Its SPASTICALLY hot and humid. Ten mins on the bike and your wet through with sweat.My plan now is to try and get the bike to South Africa .The countys main port is Tema .Where I spent 2 days pulling my hair out.Anyway the upshot is that airfraight is stupidly expensive. So Im shipping bike to Cape Town.And im flying. I will arrive Tuesday 12th. Bike arrives 3weeks later. In the mean time Im going to hire a bike and ride up to Namibia.Hope this makes sence.
So next entry from Cape Town
Sorry no pics Steve has card reader for camera.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Location: Near Banjul, Gambia

Arnt we lucky . Another internet cafe that works just.
Well we are now in The Gambia. We had a couple of days riding through Senegal. The difference between Senegal and Mauritania is amazing.Some people even pick the litter up here . Not many mind you but a few. Senegal is so much greener than anything we have seen before. Everyone seems happy and the women dress is such colourfull clothes. We met a solo biker on another BMW just as we were getting toward the Mauritanian border. This turned out to be a godsend as his gps was far better than our.(he actually knew how to use it). The border crossing at Rosso was apparently a total nightmare so a ride of 70 miles all off road was needed.This beat he shit out of us and the bikes. Dust; pot holes that tried to swollow my bike as I was looking at a bloody great warthog by the side of the road.Just a really hard road that we were glad to see the end of.
So in Senegal. We arrive at a coastal town St Louis. Tim the other BMW rider stayed with us for 2 nights .
St Louis is a great place Fish Fish and more Fish. We all watched a local bloke stand on the shore with a net about 3mtrs round. He just threw it into the sea and pulled out 6 or 7 bloody great fish each cast. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
We carried on south towards Gambia . WE stopped at a town called Thies Near Dakar. The only place to stay in the whole town was a hotel in the looset term.But hey did have Beer GREAT.
We were so knackered we just took our beer and sat out on the street . We were soon the centre of attention. A couple of great hours spent talking to the locals. See photo of the old boy with the mobile. He pleeded poverty for 2hours begging us to buy something . Then promptly pulled his phone out of his pocket and called a cab. Cheeky old sod,But great fun .
We rode into the Gambian boarder . The best Queens English spoken by all . Well not quite but we could just about understand what the 15year old official guard was saying . So into the Gambia we didnt even have to bribe the officials to let us in .
We had arranged to do some charity work for Riders for health who are a large charity based in Banjul .
A few frantic phonecalls to a bloke I couldnt understand (Lemin). Who was to meet us off the ferry at Banjul.
So the ferry crossing .
Try to get 6 40ton trucks 50 cars 4 motorbikes and 200people onto a boat made for 1 truck 20 cars and 50 people. You get the picture.
Steve and I were danced around the deck like twats on ice (you know the program). Until we both said F**k it got off our bikes an refused to move .
An hour on the sardean packed boat and into the dock at Banjul.
A large black gent lept infront of us. Trying not to flatten him we guessed this was our man .
We followed Lemin to the RFH main depot. Quite an impressive place but being Friday at 4pm it was empty. After a brief look round we followed our guide to our accomodation .
A lodge /hotel on the outskirts of town . Clean and tidy even a small pool ,well happy.
We spent the next 2days buggering about and doing laundry etc. Excited about our weeks work starting Monday.
Being TRUE BRITS we arrived at work bang on time 8 27am .
Ummm where is every one ????????
By 8 50 Lemin turned up and made us a coffee. We Must wait for the big boss Thereese. Milling about doing nothing much we decided to change the tyres on our bikes rather than do nothing.
10 50 the boss arrives by choufer driven Suzuki jeep.
11am is the official lunch break till 1pm
Thereese wafts around like the queen mum everyone treating her with reverance.(except us)
Oh! you rode your motorbikes here she exclaimed !
What do you want to do to help us??
This had all been explaind months before so Steve and I looked at each other in dissbelief.
Well Steve you go with this man and Bill you go with this one.
We went outside and eagerly awaited instuction .
The 2 hour lunch time had finnished (officially) so now was the time for the (workers to start their sarnies)
With a staff of 35 in the workshop 33 sat and chatted with feet up the whole time we were there 5 hours .
We began to loose heart and made our excusses .Beer oclock for us.
The next day we were taken on a trip to a couple of remote villages. this was great for Steve as there were water treatment tanks being built ( steve loves that stuff)
It was good to see places that so few people ever get to see. Steve got all emotional I Didnt .
Anyway our charity work has ended sadly. We felt we were waisting our time. between us we think we are a couple of pretty usefull fellas but they just had nothing for us to do.
The next bit of our trip will probably be the most difficult. We are heading Due East towards Bamako in Mali . Very few of the roads are paved and this makes rideing hard dusty and bloody knackering .
Not sure when the next report will be as internet is becoming harder and harder to find .
Love to everyone .

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Location: Near Dakar, Senegal

Hello Again everyone,
We are in Senegal; Hot Hot Hot , This will have to be brief because the internet cafe is from the stoneage and could crash at any moment.The last page left off in Marakesh; well weve come a bloody long way since then.
We went on the train to Rabat to get our visas from the Mauritanian embassy.The thought of an embassy usually coungers up thoughts of a grand building nice polite security guards and a nice cup of tea for the English gentlemen . Not on your Nelly.
This was a shitty little basement in a back street a small hole cut in some plywood was all that is between you and the scruffy man in charge . Well all apart from the throng of noisy smelly pushing and shoving muslims.
48 hrs later back on the train to Marakesh 800 mile round trip in first class for 12 quid Bargain.
Leaving Marakesh we headed west for the coast and Essouria.
As soon as we arrived i had a text message from my old mate Toby Moody. Dakar rally cancelled BOLLOCKS !!!!!!
Hey ho. well how the hell are we going to get through Mauritania I thought . 5 French tourists had bin shot ( no loss there then hey ).
Anyway we pressed on down the cost through Costa Del Morroc or Agadir as its known. We had a few days here but not really a place I would want to spend too long .
A good sspurt across the Western Sahara hot and bloody windy due south to a small peninsula calld Dakhla. Just the most amazing scenary ever . like the surface of the moon . we found the only hotel in town where we met a poshly spoken English girl . she invited us to stay on her and her husbands campsite ( campshitte)
Oh yes its got toilets she said oh and a Resterant .
Right by the sea she said free fishing . So the next day we left the hotel in search of the campsite . Steve had been suffering with the shits big time and when we arrived he almost fainted in disgust . Oh well I sat by the sea and waited for the poor boy to feel better .
Our next hurdle was Mauritania . we had decided that it would be safe to ride through as long as we were quick and didnt stop unnecessarily . We got to the boarder by lunchtime and qued like civilised Brits . When that didnt work we shoved our way to the front . That worked just fine . We rode out of Morroco int nomans land . Oh my god A 6 mile bumpy dirt track with blown up cars on either side . Dont worry we were not going to stray off course . We were sweaty nervous recks when we dripped up to the impressive NOT wooden hut of the Mauri national guard . Ha Ha Ha . Stamps in passports and a few grim looks we rode forth to Nouadiboo.
When I said Cassablanca was a shit hole I Lied . This town consisted of 3feet of stinking rubbish lineing the streets a couple of miles before town and the pile got higher as we approched town centre . Goats everywhere donkeys the main form of transport . You get the picture .
We then headed for the capital Nouachott . slightly more upmarket there were horses as transport ;
The country was pretty much desert sand all over the roads and a distinct feel of poverty .
Out of Mauri and into Senegal . You will have to wait for the next eppisode as that Dave Kimberly Is hastleing me to look at his email ; Will try and add photos soon ; Love to everyone

Tuesday, 01 January 2008

Location: Marakesh, Morocco

Happy New Year !!
Well we are in Marakesh :Again: And for all you buggers who think we have been here for a week , Your wrong . We have actually done about 1000bum numbing miles since Christmas day! Yes we bloody well have .
So while youve all been scoffing mince pies and falling asleep in front of the telly whilst watching another episode of Only fools and horses, 2of us hve done a bit of exploreing .
We need to get visas for Mauritania , But the embassy in Rabat is closed until Jan 2nd.
We packed the bikes up and waved a fond farewell to marakesh and headed South east for Ouarzazate , Pronounced Whazzat.
To get here we had to go over the Tizi n test pass. 7000feet up in the high Atlas mountains Bleedin freezin on the bikes but a great ride . It would make a bloody good hill climb , and I prtended I was on one . much to the disgust of on coming traffic Ha Ha .
A bloody cold night in a stupidly cheep hotel and a couple of beers in the posh hotel up the road with Steve and Jim ( still got the cockerknee following on ) . Then we pressed on towards the Dades george . Steve woke up with Marakesh movements and had to insist on a fresh roll of bog roll in his tank bag in case of any Emergency stops .
Again we climbed up and up into the snow covered mountains . the old rangerover blowing puffs of smoke at every gear change . we Finally arrived at a very remote village where we found A TRAFFIC JAM . oh yes the mountain hopping bus had arrived and about 100 men were trying to clamber aboad ( honest there wer loads of the buggers all shouting and yellin )
Light was falling as fast as the temerature so we turned around and headed back down to a tiny hotel at the bottom of the mountain 20 a night each inc Dinner and Breakfast cant be bad;
Next morning the 3kings head for the Desert . Our destination was Maaaaguusssa ( perfect spelling)
Mile after mile of amazing scenery perfect roads 90mph sweeping bends a bikers shangrila.
Jim flicked through his rough guide at a fuel stop and we decided on our hotel for the night was to be the Timbuctoo;
We found the sign on the side of the road and it pointed 2km across the desert . Ummmmm. Our first bit of off roading . The rangey went first kicking up a sand storm behind, so the to Somerset lads blasted past in style . Somerset 1 Cokerney 0
Well the sandy twats arrived only to be told No Rooooms No Rooooms . BALLS or something like that !!!!
Well what have you got Mr Nice Man ???
A tent ! A loverly Bedowin tent for you sir .
By Bedowin he meant a few blankets hanging over some wooden poles . At 10 pounds a night it suited us just fine .
We were cajoaled into a camel ride which we all enjoyed especially as I had a full hip flask ; just to keep out the evening chill you understand .
Next day we headed back 2 more days towards Marakesh . Over the mountains again leaving Steve for dead on the hillclimd sections . ( not that its a competition or anything )
We managed to get back in the Ibis the room next to our old one great ,
What did we do New Years eve Bugger All
Steve was Asleep by 11 30 and I wandered about aimlessly .
But even Explorers need a rest sometimes !!
+


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Recent Messages

From Willem & Sue
Hi Bill
Sounds like the adventure from heaven and hell all mixed together but certainly an adventure. We both like the thought of you being able to do some of this together with Livvy, I (Willem) would certainly struggle for any length of time without Sue. When you're back in old blighty please let us know 'cos I'd like to catch up.
Response: Hi Mate great to hear from you.Fly to Cape Town later today then Namibia with hire bike whilst im waiting for mine to arrive. I Should be back by the start of April . So I recon if your cars not sold we could get a couple of races in fairly soon . Cars all ready to test so keep that in mind. When does your season start ? Please give my love to Sue and Livvy and I WILL come and see you soon PROMISE .
From Rod Eyles
Hi Bill. Been following your adventures. Very amusing. Looking forward to the full uncensored version!! Been going to send you a message several times with our stories but they seemed so boring by comparison. So, a few days in Cape Town then back home. What is it they say about abscence?!! Maybe see you in UK. We're back 1st April. All the best. Rod.
Response: Hi mate so good to hear from you. First message I believe . Fly to Cape Town tonite 11th Fed . Few days there then. Hire a bike and ride up to Namibia. Then back to Cape town by early March to meet up with Livvy and my Mum. Should be home similar time to you How Strange. Hope all your travels have been great. Few pints together early April . Put it in your Diary. Love to Sandra. See you soon my friend Bill
From Toby M
Mr Bill!

Good to hear you are being spoilt over there.

All well here.

1st MotoGP event is this coming week so that was the winter...gone!

When do you think you might get back for SA?

Take care Mr Bill.

Mr Tiger
Response: Hi Tiger .I will be back by beginning of April. Got a few racing ideas but want to run them past you over a pint or three. I will be in cape town by tomorrow 12th Feb. I will be here just for a couple of days then plan to hire a bike and ride up to Namibia. Then back to see Liv and my mum by 12th March. Enjoy the first race guess its Australia? but not sure. Take care my friend Mr Bill
From mum
If you will be happy to see us, we will be ecstatic to see you!!How could I have turned down the opportunity of visiting that super place!!! You still have decisions to make for a few weeks, how about some more R and R? oxo
Response: Hi Mum . Too much Relaxing makes Mr Bill a lazy boy and we dont want that .Love to dad x
From mum and dad
Thanks for texts, we feel very releived to get them! 1/2 inch on the map, but 100s of miles in reality!!and we are with you all the way ( in spirit!) we wonder where you will be when you read this!!! BBC tells us it is 35deg. out there, it's 50deg. here!! Shall look forward to your next installment, till then, love you lots.oxo.
Response: Hi Mum Dad . just got to Bamako. longest ride yet 459miles today. Only got really short time on computer.No mobile service in Mali AT ALL . so cant get or recieve texts. Heading for Bobo tomorrow In Bakina Faso. No idea if phone will work there. Cant remember what our time schedule was like that we told you. But guess we are pretty close. If You can answer with the time we reconed to be in Accra That would be good thanks. Love to you both. Counting the days till 11th March . xxxx
From Jon
Sussed it at last. You didn't mention why steve had the shits, was it your turn on the cooker? Mind you its gotta be difficult to poison someone with double egg and chips? Sounds like your having a great time, and its good to see your negotiating border control like locals (pushing & shoving). This is a great site for you guys, stay in touch and stay safe. You've gotta be down to 14stone by now? Jon
Response: Hi Mate .Glad you got the hang of weorkin a computer. Just texting and you will be as good as me ha ha > all good mate no worries. There was no sign of your mate Eddie in Morroco. Oh well. Stay in touch my best mate . Love to Sandra
From Willem
Hi Boys,

Been enjoying the blogs although Sue and I did get a bit worried by 16 days between bloggings last time. F1 budget caps or else significant aero restrictions will be the order of the day for 2009. That will cramp my style a bit I suspect. Mean while working on making a better F1 car for this year and next and working on the skiing. Hope it's all a blast for you!!!

Willem
Response: Hi Willem my old mate . We are doing fine .now in the Gambia where we start a weeks charity work on Monday.Im teaching some trainees how to weld and Steve is looking at water treatment.We have had a good time so far only some crooked cops to deal with . Same everywher I guess. Shame about the F1 budget so how many million can you spend now?Tell me how your getting on with the skiing .Have you had a go at the bobsleigh yet?? dont forget I want a go at that . Love to you both. Bill
From mum and dad
you will possibly be updating this page any minute now, but as we shall be eating haggis for the next week, just want you to know we are thinking of you all the time!It's cold, wet and windy here. We have a feeling that you will be starting 'real camping' soon!!did you remember to pack mosquito nets? love always oxo
Response: Hi Mum and Dad . Yes mossy nets packed . Not much camping because the ostels and hotels are so so cheep and camping can be pretty dangerous if not on a proper site . Sorry to hear the weather is crap. Hope you had a great time in Scotland Love to you both . Dont worry im fine fit and healthy Just the odd runny ass thats all .
From Rob Moore (Bob)
I can only suggest you don't go east to Kenya, the weather's terrible and everyone's leaving!
Response: Hello Son . Nice to hear fom you . All good here in Senegal Hot as hell Beer shit but no real complaints . Any news from the pub? Hope your keeping an eye on everyone , Cheer s my friend look after yourself
From abdelali
hi bill and Steeve !! how r u guys ?? hope u are having great time!! still remember me; i am the boys who helped u in asking for your coffe in the small village when u were heading for Ouzoud Cascades still remember ??? called All for short with my brother Rachid and had a picture on your bikes ! :). but i cant see my picture or any word about me in your travel page as u promised ! bye take care and plz mention me to Steve ! enjoy your time and take care byeee!! hope to hear from u soon !!
Response: Hello All Yes of course we remember you . we have the picture but its hard to find a computer that can load them at the moment . dont worry I Will send you a copy. Keep up the English lessons Best Wishes Bill
From Dave
Hiya Mate

I suppose you thought it looked easy on the tele, have you made the 2nd page of the travel guide yet ?

Cheers

Dave, Simone, Jess & Ben
From Tobe
Top reports Bill!

Have you working for Autosport in no time by the time you get back.

Told you Africa is... errrrr...interesting with it's decor... You wait until you get into Mauritania. Plastic bag farmers there they are...

Keep in touch, and don't forget the Christmas cards we gave to Steve for your Christmas Day.

Tobe

Response: Happy Christmas to you all from Marakesh . Warm and sunny .great to hear from you . Any gossip Dave ? Have a good Christmas Love to you all
From mum and dad
xmas at bodmin 23rd - 27th
shall be thinking of you
love you Please stay safe.
Response: Hi Mum and Dad . writing this from an internet cafe in the middle of the medina in Marakesh. The weather has just brightened up .got pissed off riding the bikes in heavy rain and wind. Nice and sunny now . we have met a bloke called Jim a London market trader and bloody nice bloke Hes traveling in an old landrover to Dakar . We are staying in a cheep hotel/hostel in town which we intend to stayin for about a week as we can use it as a base and unload the bikes . we are off to Rabat tomoto get visas for Mauritania :Goin on train as its so cheep;Love to you both and HAPPY CHRISTMAS xxxxxxx
From Willem and Sue
Hi Bill (and Steve)
Hope you boys are having fun. Has the money run out yet?!!! We noticed that you didn't come past Switzerland on the way - damn! (Perhaps on the way back?) Life is here is great and we're working hard as always. Snowed again and have my first proper skiing lesson on Saturday. Have had no news on the Forced Pilbeam so we're glad that it's wrapped up snug and warm for the winter.
Keep the info and pics coming.
Willem&Sue
Response: Hi Mates We have just stopped at Casablanca for the night . we wanted to get as far as Marachech today but weather too bad . Yup winds blowing like a bugger and RAIN big style . Just like rideing a bike back home . We are safe and sound Email again soonBill
From Mum and Dad
Areal thrill to read your message, constantly in our thoughts. It's still freezing here,so shall envy you the gradual warmth of Africa.Dotry
aMorrocanTagine( hot and Spicy) love as always
Take care oxo.
From Tobe
Aye Aye Bill!

Got your page now so keep in touch.

Speak soon.

Tobe

Response: Hello Mate just arrived in Jarez done 318mls today knackered so a quick beer then bed will have a look at the circuit in the morning . You forgot to give us some VIP passes Ha Ha . So good to see you before we left a real lift to the spirits . Keep in touch my friend
From mum
just practising, william, hope to perfect this before you start your travels.
love you.
Hi Mum just arrived in Jarez . Did 318mls today . We are eating well but not much sleep for Steve although Im sleeping like a baby . Heading South tomorrow to Tarifa. Then a rest day before we hit AFRICA . Love to you both x
From mum
love you lots