(Day 15) Kisolanza to Dodoma – 14 April 2011

Distance for the day    – 329 km              Odometer – 6 208 km

Hours on the Bike        – 06:40 Donations up to date for Adelaide Hospital – R 47 864.00 Last night we were unsure of which road to take up North. There is the short, adventurous, well known dirt road (A104) from Iringa through Dodoma to Arusha. Then there is the newly tarred B1 to the east, heading to Dar-es Salaam, missing Dodoma and Lake Manjara to reach Arusha. The latter is some 400 km’s further with little difference time wise. We met with a couple at The Old Farmhouse, where we stayed, who warned us not to consider the first option because of the state of the road.

Early morning start for long gravel road for the day.

High ground near Iringa

The adventurous part of the group got the better of us and we headed for Dodoma on the road of many surprises. Things went smoothly but at a slow speed due to wash aways, because of heavy rains, badly rutted sections, corrugations, areas with loose marble like stone, sand and a general bad state of a very course gravel road – much worse than any public gravel roads at home. The evidence is also to be seen on the state of the few vehicles we passed.

Early morning is the best.

We travelled through some beautiful, typical African landscape, with lots of thorn trees and the most Baobab trees we have seen thus far. We stopped often to cool our shocks, which got so hot that you could not touch it with your bare hands. Richard’s of course were cool because his were not functioning anymore, with the seal that fell out and all the oil gone. It made his ride more challenging and he complained that the bike was bucking him like a horse and that the rear end was all over the place.

Stelios leading the way

Beautiful African Landscape.

Baobab tree

Thunder storm in the distance.

A road that tests Biker and Bike.

Rough gravel road to Dodoma.

We were progressing well until 80 km’s then disaster struck! Norman’s bike decided it had enough and literally broke in half. When we arrived on the scene he was sitting on the bike, wedged in-between the tank bag and the luggage on the back and could not get out. The bike now looked like a cruiser, with the front part extended outwards and the engine now firmly on the ground. The main frame broke clean in two places.

Norman with his ship that has "sunk"!

The main frame broke in two places.

Richard holding the front part of Norman

Everybody was dumbstruck and the obvious words were spoken – This is the end of Norman’s dream. We were out in the sticks with no back-up and a problem too big to sort out! Rufus then said, “No we have to make a plan!” and started dismantling the bike – “..we need a welder and we will make a plan”. There was some new “moed” but with some scepticism and it was more a matter of hope? Richard took off to try and get to a village and a vehicle to load the bike. After a while he found one and was soon back with a group of locals on the back of a pick-up. The question now was, do we hire the vehicle to take the bike 160 kms further to Dodoma or back to the Village and see if we could make a plan ourselves. The latter was agreed on.

At the village we went to the local “handy man” that had some basic equipment and a welder, with only 4mm welding rods. The damage was assessed and Rufus, Norman and Richard got to work, with Stelios guarding the bikes. There was a huge contingent of onlookers standing around the Three Farmers and the Greek, at work.

Fixing a damaged radiator.

Rufus guiding a pipe into the frame.

Lining up the two ends,

Welding without a visor.

After four hours the frame was welded, bike reassembled and we were heading for Dodoma – heehaa!!  We realized that the night was going to catch us and considered to pull off and sleep next to the road, but the fact that we did not have any meals for the day and wanted a wash badly was the force that drove us into the night, to reach Dodoma after 21:00. After 150 km’s of dirt, Normans bike made Dodoma with no further incidents and a good plan had come together. We booked in at the New Dodoma Hotel. A cold beer never tasted so good before!

Thunder storm in the distance.

Sunset in Tanzania.


10 responses

  1. So bly alles is nou weer heel! Julle stories maak my dag – kan nie wag om die volgende dag se avontuur te lees nie. Hoop die dag by Ngorongoro was sommer lekker en dat julle lekker kon sit en ontspan terwyl iemand anders bestuur? Elma

    April 16, 2011 at 18:22

  2. Nee wat julle manne kan maar. Dis die eerste maal dat ek n ou sien wat n klr ry dat hy lyk soos n cruiser. Eks bly julle kon darem die spul weer aan die gang kry en die ‘tank’ weer op die pad hou. Weer bevestig – as draad, n tang, n stuk pyp en n welder het kan jy met n klr om die wereld ry – o ja en brandstof al is dit flou en op die swart mark gekoop.

    Net vir ingeval julle wonder die wereld hier is pragtig en kry elke nou dan reen. So moenie oor die boerdery worry nie als is fine hier.

    Geniet dit want ons geniet dit.(die lekker leesstof)

    Lekker ry

    Arthur, Erna en Melissa

    April 16, 2011 at 15:44

  3. Oh my goodness – I can”t believe how you guys managed to put that bike back together again! Hompie Kedompie sou kon doen met julle ouens in die omgewing! 🙂 Stay safe and take care.

    April 16, 2011 at 12:54

  4. montyme

    All I can say is that…. THE AWESOME FOURSOME …. are incredible, amazing, wonderful, fatastic, brilliant, unique, dynamic men! xxx

    April 16, 2011 at 12:33

  5. Well now I am even more impressed. As they say “n Boer maak ‘n plan”. I have also said that it is when things go wrong it is not so nice at the time but it builds memories and character. Well done to you all and especially to Magyver. “Vasbyt” and I can not wait to open the bogs every day.

    Safari Ngema.

    Oom Jan.

    April 16, 2011 at 10:04

  6. Hi Julle

    Bly jul het fiets weer min of meer reg!!!
    Hoe voel die lywe?
    Die fotos is pragtig!
    Geniet vandag se rit!

    Tom, Neil, Nicholas

    April 16, 2011 at 08:24

  7. montyme

    Amazing how competent and capable you guys are … you will all be sort after mechanics on your return! I am so impressed but I do recall the saying “A boer make a plan!” … so true, hey. Keep up the good work and here is hoping all the troubles are now well and truly behind you. Boet I am so pleased it is your bum in the seat and that mine is in the comfort of either a soft chair or the likes of one! xxxx Jane

    April 16, 2011 at 00:48

  8. Hi guys,

    Very impressed with the blog and how you have handled the first two weeks! Time is flying by so fast. Enjoy every minute! Greetings from Amsterdam!

    April 15, 2011 at 22:25

  9. Hallo aan die “Three farmers and a Greek”. Sjoe – julle blog is regtig ‘n hoogtepunt van my dag – ek kan nie wag om te hoor waar julle tans is en hoe dit met julle gaan nie. Watter ongelooflike avontuur. So baie van ons het ook sulke drome – maar gee nie uitvoer daaraan nie. Voorspoed ons hoop die Kawa’s gedra hulle goed tot die einde.

    Groete uit die Langkloof

    April 15, 2011 at 10:49

  10. My oh My. I can’t believe what you guys are having to face. Well done for not giving up and for making a plan. These are the things that will give you such unique and lasting memories and great stories to tell your grandchildren!!
    Go cowboys

    April 15, 2011 at 08:58

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