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Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.

Mark Twain

The Story

Going back to my teen years I have loved motorbikes and always dreamt of owning one, but back in those days I always got the stock response from my parents "Over my Dead Body" or "Not while you live under this roof". So for many years owning a bike remained nothing more than a dream. Then Finally in 2006 now 25 Years old I had some extra cash and a yearning to get a bike, I wont lie here peer pressure did play a role as many of my friends and colleagues had suddenly all started getting bikes. So with too little knowledge and in retrospect a complete disregard for what I bought, as long as it looked cool and was cheap enough, I headed off and bought a Kawasaki ZL400 now I am not the lightest of guys around but I figured the 400 would be enough for me. For a while the ZL400 treated me well, taking me on trips around the Western Cape and most importantly giving me some bike skills.

But alas this was not to last I was quickly discovering the bike was actually too small for me and I was riding it hard all the time, this punishment eventually showed when in late 2008 on the way back from a weekend in Greyton she decided to start spewing water, now it was a hot day so I figured it was just the heat, so I let her cool off and refilled the system then carried on my way back to Cape Town. After reaching home I gave the bike the normal quick check over then I saw it water leaking around the head gasket, my heart sank with me fearing the worst.

With the aid of my Friend and Colleague Johan we Proceeded to strip the engine and replace all the seal etc. I managed to get the bike back together, but she just never ran right, it turned out the fuel tank had rusted badly and clogged the Carbs now being an inline 4 Carb work is a PITA. so months of fiddling went past, with me riding, running out of fuel (fuel economy got bad due to Carb issues). Then in May of 2009 Murray told me about a trip he was going on with another friend of his Martin, this trip was to run from Cape Town to Dar Es Salam in Tanzania. I was asked if I would like to join I eagerly said yes. Now the search began what bike should I get, there are so many options Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, BMW all having their tried and tested DS bikes. Now Murray already owned a 2007 Honda XL650V Transalp, Martin also still had no bike. Murray then contacted me telling me he knew of another Transalp a 2004 model with only 15000km on the clock for sale for only R30 000, but I was still in a state of uncertainty having nearly set my heart on a Suzuki DL650 Vstrom, so while I was deciding Murray up and Bought the Transalp figuring at that price he would take it even if he only used it for spared. Martin on discovering this purchase managed to convince Murray that selling the bike to him was a good idea, so there were now two people on Transalps. BY this point we were running short on time so a decision had to me made, I had looked at many bikes by this time, none of which really made me want to buy them, and fearing buying another dud I was being very picky and declining bikes at the slightest niggle. Then I found her an immaculate 2004 XL650V with only 22 000km on the clock, and best of all advertised for R38 000. I organised a viewing and took Murray along. I rode the bike and fell in love immediately, Murray then took her for spin and on getting back told me to take it the bike is perfect, the engine still feels brand new. So I made an offer of R35 000 this was accepted without much haggling, but I had to wait a week as he was going away and obviously needed time to sort out the paperwork. One Week later I pitched up having transferred the money the previous night. The owner was now having second thoughts he really did not want to sell, but after promising to take care of her he allowed me to take her away. And so we were now 3 Transalps. 

And now the stories begin. We ended up missing the Dar trip due to many reasons, but in its place we did our ill fated first trip into Namibia in September 2009.

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