A Christmas Message from our own Overland Rider – Jonathan Blackburn
Greetings from South Africa. It’s been an epic journey down through the southern part of Africa. The adventure through the Congo (DRC) was something that I guess can only be summarised with videos as even pics can’t do that place justice. The roads were terrible, for a large distance it was just lorry tracks in deep sand. For 3 days a friend and I struggled though some of the hardest riding I’ve done, covering on average 50km in a full days riding. We were lucky to get out of 1st gear, and the heat made it even worse! There are few places to stay so often we’d camp in the bush, but sneaking off from the road to find a private space to camp is not easy – the downside if you’re discovered is about 100 people all gathering around watching and commenting on ever single thing you’re doing! A loud exhaust is quite handy for clearing crowds at the petrol station, where everybody seems to be looking for a litre of fuel or something else. All in all DRC was a fun but testing challenge.
Reaching Zambia was like night and day after leaving DRC. Quite well developed and civilised, it was a welcome break to have a few ‘luxuries’ and be able to go to a chain restaurant or similar and get what you order from the menu. I stopped by Zimbabwe for several weeks to complete the water well project I’d been raising money for during my journey. That went really quite well and it was fun to help with some hands on work. A few countries later, I ended up in South Africa, an amazing country with lots of good riding and fantastic scenery (not to mention the mountain kingdom of Lesotho where they have a similar race to Romaniacs called ‘The Roof’). I ended up riding in South Africa’s only navigational rally (like the Dakar) which was awesome. Unfortunately I got a blocked injector on the first Special Stage, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the last 4 days of the race.
Having travelled far and wide in South Africa, Namibia too I’m finally in Cape Town and ready to head back home for Christmas. I think that’s the adventure over for me for now! With over 62,000km on my 690, I guess that can qualify for a well travelled bike!
Looking forward to pop in and catch up once I’m back.
Wishing all a fantastic Christmas and a Happy New Year
Thank you all for your amazing support