In my last post I think I gave the impression that the past few months have been nothing but gloom and doom. But that’s not the case at all. I’ve had many grand adventures in Europe, despite the challenges and changes. Although I haven’t had crazy desert crossings or eaten cow brains, I have enjoyed spending time with some really great people.
Sometimes the the trip feels like a living breathing being, and sometimes that being doesn’t seem to like me very much.
Let me refresh your memory. I’d just shipped my bike from Nairobi to London (several thousand dollars), then my bike was stolen, smashed, and found. Bike needed serious repairs (many thousands of dollars) and I’d have to stay in London for weeks while repairs were being made (many more dollars). And then, after a wonderful stay in Spain, I arrived in Frankfurt only to discover that, somehow, I’d smashed my laptop. This was not good for a guy who’d just drained his bank account.
Yes, I’ve been gone a while. When I last left you I was heading south to meet Alicia Sornosa in Madrid. I did make it to Spain, but then I smashed my laptop and have been unable to update the site for a few weeks! I’m saving that craziness for a different post. First, let me tell you about Madrid.
Bike is finally out of the shop! BMW Motorrad Battersea called me yesterday and told me to head over to grab my bike. Just 26 days after my bike was stolen I’m back on the road. All of the significant damage has been repaired, there are still a few small things that need to be fixed but I can get to those as time and budget allows. And there’s no time to waste, I need to head south to meet one of my heroes.
Well, it happened. My bike was stolen. In London of all places, Greenwich to be exact. Here is the ongoing story of how my bike was stolen and nearly destroyed. And how I got it back.
If you’re following me on Twitter or Facebook you’ve heard fragments of this story already. But there have been many questions and things change frequently, the stolen bike saga is almost over now, so I’m at a place where I can finally give an update.
Today’s post is a bit different than past updates. I was planning to be at an incredible off-road training center for 3 days of learning this weekend. But several days ago I got the news that disaster struck, a hurricane destroyed the entire facility. Here is the news from Jan at Country Trax:
I recently made some significant changes to Bike. I wanted to give Bike a small overhaul for the ride through Africa. Most of the work was done with the help of Hex Microsystems and Bavarian Motorcycles in South Africa. They really did a great job. Here’s a rundown of the things I’ve added or changed.
It was mid-morning and I was sitting in a coffee shop in Cape Town. I was with Elsa Hoffman and her friend Eric Miller. The three of us were waiting for the weather to clear up so we could film an episode of Exploring Photography for AdoramaTV. Elsa had helped me with some previous episodes but thought it would be better if Eric came along to shoot this video. Little did I know this would lead me to Langa township.
This was my first encounter with Eric and so I thought I’d get to know him a bit while we waited for the clouds to part. I was stunned to learn that he was a photojournalist who had an impressive body of work; he’d spent decades documenting the end of Apartheid, he’d photographed Nobel Prize winners Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela, he was in Rwanda during the last weeks of the genocide. This guy is serious business.
South Africa has been so amazing, I’ve been going, going, going non-stop. I’ve finally made it up the Garden Route and am in Durban. But first let me tell you about my last week in Cape Town and Stellenbosch.