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Colombia, that’s a wrap folks

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I’m queuing at the border to get stamped out of Ecuador and I see one of the pesky moneychangers outside standing on my bike. I walk out and tell him to get off. He starts getting aggressive, making gun signs with his hand and shouting that he has friends in FARC, the Colombia terrorist group, waiting for me on the…

Ecuador and the Amazon Basin

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The border crossing from Peru into Ecuador is one of those crossings where everything changes. The scenery changes dramatically, from the dry Peruvian desert into lush rolling hills covered in sugar cane and banana plantations in a few short kms. Ecuador produce the most bananas in the world, almost twice as much as their nearest rivals, Costa Rica – they…

The PanAm through Northern Peru

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My Peruvian trip has had 2 distinct halves to it. The first half from Bolivia to Cuzco took me through cool, lush highlands; whilst the second half was hot, flat desert coastal roads.
From Nazca, I continue north along the coast of Peru through the Sechura Desert. Dead straight roads and painfully slow speed limits make the 1,700km slow and…

Southern Peru

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Entering Peru could not have been easier, friendly and professional border control. OK, the guy entering my bike details took his job very seriously. Like 30 minutes worth of forms seriously.
First stop is Cusco. Leaving Lake Titicaca is a slow descent through winding valleys. Slowly it gets greener and more lush. Progress is slow due to the fact that…

Bolivia, north to Lake Titicaca

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From Uyuni we continued north on to Potosi. Apart from 20kms which was not yet finished, the road was brand spanking new. And as with many of the roads here, it is designed like a race track, awesome bends to get your footpegs down on. I was not expecting much from Potosi, was heavily based…

Bolivia, towards Uyuni

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Bolivian border formalities were quick and straight forward, nothing like the horror stories that I had heard about. The differences between Argentina and Bolivia are immediately obvious, the shops explode out onto the streets and old ladies in bowler hats and traditional dress sell food from pavement stalls.
I had met up with 2 Canadian riders just south of the…

Buenos Aires to the Atacama

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Having freed the bike from the airport, I was all set to go. Driving out of Buenos Aires was a bit chaotic. They have wasted an awful lot of paint marking road lanes, those lines count for nought here. More confusing are their intersections, which are treated somewhere between 4 way stops and traffic lights,…

Muy buenos Buenos Aires

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Ah yes, Buenos Aires. It is hard not to like the place; with its gorgeous architecture, good food and beautiful people. Very beautiful people. It is just how I imagined it to be, very European, the Spanish influence extremely noticeable. I arrived a few days before the bike which gave me some time to do…

Pikipiki Safamerica

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Yes, the title says it all, Pikipiki Safari lives on! Well, one half of it at least. Not being quite ready to return back to London and the land of the big smoke, I’ve decided to carry on. Unfortunately Adrian has already returned to London so it’s just going to be me, Russell, on my…

Almost Famous

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Here at Pikipiki we are regularly stalked by the paparazzi. Here are two articles in local South African newspapers that recently featured our African trip. The Zululand Observer (view full size)   And another article by the Gansbaai Courant (view full size)…

The Final Push To Cape Town

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Having been extremely well looked after by various members of the Jonson clan over the last few weeks, we continued on our final leg of the trip towards Cape Town. By now we are very much on the main South African tourist trail. Roads are good, accommodation excellent and the food even better. Our first…

South Africa Part 1 – The Big Easy

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Completing our final border crossing of this trip and entering South Africa was such an emotional experience. This time I was experiencing the sites and roads of my country of birth on a motorcycle, a mode of transport I had only become passionate about after leaving South Africa over 11 years ago. We stopped in…

Zimbabwe

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It has been 25 years since my family left Zimbabwe; I was about 8 years old at the time. With all the negative press I was quite nervous about returning back for my first time. From Blantyre, Malawi we made a quick blast through Mozambique via the Tete corridor into Nyampanda, Zimbabwe. Border formalities were…

Zamawi

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Yes, I’m doing it again. But Zambia and Malawi would do well to join forces. Zambia is empty, but has potential, whereas Malawi is overpopulated, and could do with some more uncultivated wide open space. After our unbelievable turnaround in the DRC, overnight we found ourselves on practically the other side of the continent. During…

Riders for health

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Ah yes, it’s easy to forget there’s a whole world of problems out there when you’re on an adventure of a lifetime. Actually, we’re in Africa, who are we kidding – we are regularly exposed to the problems these people experience as part of their every day lives. And so on a quiet day on…

DRC and the curse of the Angolan visa

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The plan was to head straight down to Matadi on the DRC border, where we would pick up our Angolan visas, but we had heard that people had recently been turned away and told to return to Kinshasa. So we decided to stay in Kinshasa and try to get the visa there. This would mean…

Do the Congo

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After our session in the mud, our trip from Kinkala to Brazzaville was over in a flash. The road was excellent, and being a weekend, relatively quiet. We made straight for Hotel Hippocampe, where it is known they offer refuge to weary overland travellers such as ourselves. The owners Olivier and his wife Catharine let…

Republic of Congo

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Immediately after entering Congo the gravel road deteriorated, it’s clearly not maintained like the road on the Gabon side. Mud puddles quickly became the norm. After the first village we come across a truck stuck in waist deep mud, completely blocking the road. Some locals had cut an alternate track and wanted to charge us…

Gabon-Bon

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Sweet, sweet Gabon, how we loved your roads: smooth, new and awesome! Gabon was one huge surprise for us. Reading other travellers accounts of this place did not paint it in a favourable light. Unfriendly people, especially if you couldn’t speak French, bad roads, poor facilities and amenities, the list of grievances went on. And…

Cameroon

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The roads entering Cameroon, if you can call them that, were an absolute mess. The 30km of rutted mud tracks from Ekong to Etu took us 3 hours and this was the dry season. It would have been completely impassable in the wet. The road improved marginally as we continued to Bamenda in the western…

Motorcycles in Africa

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All of the bikers out there will no doubt be familiar with KTM, the well known Austrian off-road motorbikes. However, most will probably be unaware of KTM’s presence in Africa, they are massive out here. KTM appears to have a … Continue reading →…