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Why am I doing this again?

The first leg in Tanzania is over and I've thus driving the glorified scooter more than 10 times further than ever before in one go!

semi-overcast 32 °C
View Kurdistan Summer & Dar to Cape Town on askgudmundsen's travel map.

Safely arrived

Safely arrived

After five hours of driving, I’m rolling into Morogoro, 200 km west of Dar es Salaam. My hands are sunburned, my butt is sore, and I will have to find someone who can make a small adjustment to my motorbike’s handbrake. But I have actually managed to drive my glorified scooter the first leg towards Cape Town—and in the expected time too. In inequivalent success!
I had never ridden a scooter, let alone a motorbike when I arrived in Tanzania a year ago. Over the last twelve months, I familiarised myself with my small Yamaha Crypton 110cc, driving it to and from work, but I never rode it longer than 15 km in one go. On this first leg, I beat that distance ten times over.
Whatever compelled me to (try to) drive a small motorbike 12,000 km from Dar es Salaam to Cape Town I don’t know. The adventure and freedom of the roads are surely going to be exciting. The romantic notion of African exploration sounds a bit colonial, but that’s also going to be great. Yet, the simple facts were that my contract was up, I had nothing better to do, and I was in Dar es Salaam anyway. So why not.
Going to Cape Town, rather than driving to bike back towards Denmark has a much more clear-cut explanation. I don’t have a motorbike licence that’s valid in Europe. It is, however, valid in all of Southern Africa, so that was a no brainer.

Ready for 12,000 km

Ready for 12,000 km

Having already backpacked plenty of strange places (Central Asia, West Africa and the Middle East), I’ve been on my fair share of chicken buses, shared taxis and ridiculous slow trains. So the idea of having my own wheels really appealed to me. However, a big 4x4 was out of the question price-wise, and braving congested traffic in a city of 5.5 million people for a year just begged for a motorbike, so here I am.
Surprisingly enough, I have no real expectations for this trip. No butterflies were basking around in my stomach as a set off in the morning. It’s all, just another trip. Whatever happens, happens. I don’t even expect the bike to last the entire journey we’ll simply have to wait and see.
So karibu (‘welcome’ in Kiswahili) to all of you, who – like me – are just curious to see what happens when someone, who’s not overly prepared, tries to drive a bike that’s not made for such a ride 12,000 km through Africa. I see this blog as a chance for us to learn a little about Southern Africa, motorbikes, and life on the road. Of course, if you are only here making sure I’m not maiming myself on the way south, you’re more than welcome too.

Entering Morogoro Region

Entering Morogoro Region

The second leg will be another day on the road. 300 km to Iringa, which should also take around five hours as I do not have to deal with the hectic traffic of Dar es Salaam. I’ll remember to cover my hands in sunscreen this time around, but my butt will just have to deal with being sore…

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Posted by askgudmundsen 09:29 Archived in Tanzania Tagged travel overland tanzania motorbike southern_africa reasons

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