May 8, 2012

Meltdown

Caia-Dondo 240km

Stayed over at Caia hotel, thanks mike for letting me camp out! Had the most amazing views of the moon when cycled back to the hotel (other place couldnt help/understand me). Stunning, heard later closest moon has been in a while.

Headed out onthe tar road, really have no idea how people cycle through africa on tar roads and survive, let alone enjoy the ride. Although i'm sure its something you can get used to, like chinese footbinding and such.

Finally turned left (30km), and headed south towards beira. On the one map it states 4*4 only during rain. Good thing i've missed the rain and on a 2*2. Started hitting the first real sand of the trip, at times going was extremely impossible and walking much more fun. Luckily most of the road was rideable though, getting quite proficient at handling the tank through the sand.
Road soon deteriorated and is quite similar to the stretch from Willowmore to Prins Albert, only longer. There is a thin good line at times, otherwise the choice is between heavy corrugation and sand. After a few hours of struggling through this terrain ran low on water. And spirits. Finally found some locals and some water, even though they were a bit scared to come closer.

Headed off again, even after a month of rough terrain i realised you can never get your backside to adapt to this sort of punishment. Painful riding for most of the day. At Inhaminga found an escort, Samuel who works for the goverment. My house, food. Government, pointing to himself. Pretty much sums up the conversation, although my portugese isn't much better. Hello thank you goodbye.

With so much time on the bike a lot of thoughts grinds and mills through one's mind and sometimes some hard truths hit home. Was feeding off a lot of negative energy today and finally got to me, had a good break down session at the side of the road. The poor guy who waited patiently for me to stop crying tried to figure out what was wrong. Eventually we both had a good laugh and off i went again. Started being eaten by tsetse's again so realised not too far from Gorongossa NP. At the supper stop this was confirmed with the people cautioning me against going on. Lions crossing after 10km. Good so i only cycled 5,6km before stopping to pitch my camp. Was hoping to hear some lions but no such luck. Saw some massive paw prints the next day though.

With everything in the tent after my waterbottle shower sat back on my sleeping bag and faded out. Weird, was a hard day but have had much worse, bit unsure why i was so tired. Woke an hour later and finished getting dressed and ready for bed. Two hours later had another great view of the moon as i ran outside. Was losing fluids and food in all sorts of manners. Back to bed, immodium and sleep. Probably the water had some dodgy bottles today but was warm so had little choice. Same thing two hours later. As i was puking my lungs out realised that this is probably more than bad food or water. Still no fever so decided to delay taking malaria meds. Round three or so developed fever, cold sweats and all the rest. Time to take the meds. Still i was hoping for the best.

Next day had about 20km to do to next big village. Luckily the road improved a bit. Was extremely weak, good thing trained for this with last years freedom experience. Finally hit the town. Had some fanta, which was cold and stayed down and generally was just amazing.

Was't feeling too bad just extremely weak so decided to catch a lift out to Dondo which has a good clinic and friends of a friend. Felt bit bummed about skipping the next 80km but also realised there is little to no chance of me cycling it in a day in this condition. i probably have the worst luck when it comes to hitch hiking, well havent been in accident yet but have had some interesting/dodgy rides. This turned out to be no different.

Since little traffic on that road, due to its condition took first available truck out. Loaded to top and above with empty bottles (very unstable base) i squized in along with my bike and 4 others. Got going. Bumpy as hell. Truck would try and keep momentum for sand and hit holes and ditches at speed. At times all i could do was hold on and close my eyes for the going up, coming down, hard. And i thought cycling the road was bad. Completely understand why some of the locals have no travelling spirit. Wasn't sure who had it worse, me trying to hold onto the bike packback and myself, the baby desperately clutching a teat, the mother trying to holf onto the other child or the guys at the back who was in the unfortunate position of being the last line of defence for several charcoal bags and my bike. Pole pole. Ride took about four hours. When i finally saw the tar road my body was well and truly broken. Might turn into a smurf after this.

Malaria se gat daai trokrit was n duisend keer erger. Although all the admin and issues from SA was just as bad, family figured out i was sick. Had to phone several people who was desperately searching for me. Finally got all that unnessasary admin sorted out and could proceed to go to the clinic. Please mom just relax, i've already done over 3000km of unimaginable terrain and experiences and i'm pretty sure i can look after myself by now.

Cycled into Dondo and contacted the now new friends. Loaded bike and off to the clinic for the test. Drove to their home. Phoned to get result. Bad news, tested positive. Good thing its not my aids test. Malaria strength two. Still trying to figure out which strain, my portugese eish.

So going to spend a few days resting and recovering in Dondo before hitting the final thousand and a bit to the border. Time for a middagslapie (Lodiwikus!)

2 comments:

  1. Just like the road between Villa Moura and Prince Albert! But no Portugese spoken here, slegs Afrikaans.
    Sharp of you to deal with the malaria. Get well soon.

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  2. Bra, survive asseblief -- ons het jou nodig om lewendig uit die amazon te kom.

    fokus.

    -a

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