Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Going to visit a friend on the other side of Africa

How? Why? When ?

My friend, Chael (who is my Auditor)  left for his second business trip to Addis Ababa on Sunday the 14th August.   The previous day, Saturday the 13th August at 16:38 i Googled Airline prices (and found return tickets would cost between R5000 and R8000.
At at 19:38 i checked on Google Maps how far Addis Abab is:   5513 km (see screen shot taken on iPhone on later date)

15th August 2016 Monday

 I wondered how crazy would it be to go visit Chael by car, and then maybe even drive  a bit further north ?
15:00 I visited my father and jokingly said to him, i was thinking of visiting Chael in Addis Ababa and wondered if he would like to come with ( He just had his right leg amputated more than a month ago)
17:06 I called Pieter Holl another fiend of mine saying: "I know this might sound crazy, but I want to go visit Chael in Addis Ababa. Would you like to come with?"
His reply was: "Yes!" Followed by: " By the way where is Addis Ababa?"    then followed by: "How about driving there with Bikes." (Pieter is an off road bike machine)
I mentioned that instead of doing it with any preparation I would like us to decide who's car we can use and leave soon. Without any preparation. No fuel tanks, no supplies, no extra food, no camping stuff, ( I have an immense disliking to camping and preparation - i am probably classified as very lazy).Driving in a car would give us something to sleep in if we needed to sleep, and going with bikes probably needed a bit more preparation, which i did not feel like.

Maybe even not taking a 4x4 vehicle would be quite interesting.We could be like the "BMW z3 Guy" at Afriski ( from a few weeks back - give info here - and discuss the 3 type of people:

1. No preparation
2.  Think for a minute preparation
3. Too much preparation and never do it)

19:00 called Wally and ask if he would like to go - He is always open to leave at short times - and maybe he had access to a non 4x4 

Problem 1 - We Needed a Car - a normal, not new, non 4x4 to do this with

16th August 2016 Tuesday

Maybe we could use the BMW X5 I have - but it would be cheating it is a 4x4
 07:46 I asked Brenda that arranged the car i am driving - if she could arrange a "border letter"I was told I need to get insurance border letter first before asking the bank08:52 emaild stunderwriting@helfin.co.za asking what they require to issue border letter ?Wednesday

17 August 2016 Wednesday 

08:17  received Insurance border letter but Ethiopia where Addis Ababa is excluded from it.
11:51 emailed marco.abdol@absa.co.za asking for Bank border letter13:45 received border letter from Marco.Abdol@absa.co.za But was address that the driver of the vehicle  is the Owner Johan Van Heereden and this needs to be changed
17:13 Johan van Heerden sent email to ABSA letting them know that I may drive the vehicle across border
18:00 Shante' (my wife's cousin's daughter), had an Interview with me School interview about Entrepreneurs  - This interview solidified my thinking 
Tomorrow would be my 9th year anniversary with my wife Shantel ( The last year has been hard for both of us)(I have not told her, the kids or anyone else except Pieter Holl, Wally, Insurance and Bank about this)

18 August 2016 Thursday
07:30 i thought it well to start documenting what was going through my mind
I wanted to this WITHOUT any preparation -- But it has nearly been 3 days..... and it looks like this Border letter thing is going to cause problems/delays and I FEEL that the promise to myself was that this will be done WITHOUT PREPARATION - and looking at above A LOT of PREPARATION has already gone into it - without any progress....Could I leave soon? without preparation?Maybe I should give Nick from VW Hatfield a call ?   I was wondering if the car being bank financed, not mine, being a 4x4 was maybe not the right car.....Could Nick sell me a VW Golf one of those Bluemotions that are very light on fuel (diesel)  in the next day If I had a:

1. car, which is a sedan, which is light on fuel ( to show how cheaply you can get to the other side of Africa in a non 4x4) 

2. which is registered in my name
3. have the RC1 document
4. have insurance on
5. my passport is in my safe
6. and get a fiend to drive with
Then I can leave the next day.
How long does it take to register a car in a person's name and get the RC1 form, and insurance. 
Same day?Passport!?!   
Do I need a Visa for any of those countries?  
Does my passport have enough empty pages - Check 4 pages. is that enough? how long will it take to get another passport? 
Do I need a Visa for any of those countries?
Do I need to get that injection Chael got for yellow fewer? Malaria tablets?
I am loosing it - this is becoming too complicated - and this looks like Lots of Preparation - Not just' "I decide and I leave tomorrow!"
I become unsure.I have work to concentrate on, emails to reply on and meetings to attend - Can I afford to think / dream about this any longer
The BMW x5 I am driving has to go in for service tomorrow morning?

Action List: ACTION:
Get Car
Malaria tabs
How will do month end?
Money and USD?
Worse my friend Chael might be returning sooner - I have no one to go visit?Getting a car registered in your name seems to take longer than 1 day

16:01 I Buy a Car  2010 Golf 1.4 Petrol car fro Greyling Motors in Gezina - they will make sure it will be registered my name tomorrow, and I will have the RC1 registration Paper.

19th August 2016  Friday

Today i took the BMW X5 i drive in for service ( R7000 for a normal service - but that is another story) Link letter to BMW Motorplan

I am unsure if THIS is going to happen - i just calculated 5000 km at 1000km a day is 5 days.......   i was working on 3 days there and 3 days back.....i am worried that this can not be done

Pieter has indicated that he is tied down with his work, Jimmy has to get permission from parole offices
It is just me - and maybe i am drunk in my thinkig

14:01 I ask Schalk if he wants to join....  He first says he loves this crazy idea, but what planning have I done, I replied and said none.  He laughs and replies "You are going to die!" - and keep in mind you might spend some nights in prison. He would rather plan a trip with a small aircraft - I say THAT to me sounds more dangerous, and it sounds like that needs planning... We talk about us Flying to Maun,Botwana before and him leaving me behind somewhere after we could not get liftoff with plane again after precautionary  landing.

We decide that when he plans a trip to the top of Africa with a plane he will phone me the day before he leaves to join him..

15:00 Jimmy tells me that he spoke to his parole office and they cannot allow him to go - they can meet with him Monday  20160822 morning

15:35 Receive Yellow fewer injections, and go buy Malaria Tabs and mouth wash  ( dont want bad breath to ruin the friendship)

16:01 Herman from Greyling motor phones me to inform me that  the 2010 Golf has been registered in my name and he has the RC1 paper for me. I ask him to check that the cigarette lighter adapter works - We need to be able to charge our phones ( that do not have international roaming : )  I tell him i will probably get the car on mondayI have made peace with the fact that if we can not go it won't be the end of the world - and if we have to turn back at any point that is fine too....Chael has sent me a whatsapp that if i arrive by Tuesday we can leave on Saturday - He still thinks I might come visit by plane.....Not sure when to tell him - that I am coming by car - and will be a bit late.....He might not be there to gives me ( and my unplanned friend) accommodation...... MMMhhhhh - am I playing games with myself - what other people hold all this inside?????

22:44 I tell Chael "Ek is Dinsdag oppad. Maar letterlik oppad, Ek mag laat wees, Ek gaan probeer ry"

Translated: "I am on my way Tuesday. But literally on the way, (the Road). I might be late, I' going to try driving"

20th August 2016  Saturday

10:43 Chael asks if I have started driving yet, else he would like to fly back and drive with.
Chael is going to drive with me to go visit him in Addis Ababa ??
I message: " Sad that you will not be there, to drive to. Happy you will drive with!!!"
This is becoming really strange....
Spend day with Jasmine and Shantel at long distance Gauteng Competition 
With Family for Braai
Spend from 23h00 to 4:59 Sunday trying to fix drone display - reminded me why i started to hate electronics....

21st August 2016 Sunday
Lunch with the Dares- they are leaving for New Zealand as soon as their house is sold and paid, and their business.  I''m going to miss them - Shaun got to know me sleeping ON TOP of the bar counter at Crawdaddy's in Sunnyside in 1993. ( 23 years, sjoe)
12:51  Messages from Chael that he has lannded.

22nd August 2016 Monday

Chael arrives at my house to complete some Provisional Tax assessments for me to pay
He advises me that he is going to take Medical travel insurance at R700.00 and if I also want.
We make contact with Jimmy - to find out if he has Parole approval?
He sadly states we can go without him.  The soonest he will not know is tomorrow, Tuesday 23rd August.

Chael gets the Travel insurance for him and me.

And then also advised that we get International Driver's Licences...
I dont like this - I wanted to make it easy, unprepared 
These are all obstacles. Paper work, not REAL World reasons..... or is this the Real World - and paper work is the reason most of us dont climb the highest mountains and do those adventures
We get 2x International Drivers licences at the AA.
While picking up the International Drivers licenses - One start asking questions:
Visas, other Paper work, Signs on cars, Reflective Vests, Triangles, Stickers, Rules, Regulations
No!!!!! I cannot believe this. 
Let's create a list of all the reasons why we CAN NOT DO THIS!!!!

Chael, starts reading the AA site intensively. Also finds out that a Visum is definitely required for Egypt which takes 2 days, and a Visum for Sudan 2 months to got to Egypt will take 2 months....

Ok, I accept this - we are not going to get to Sudan, or Egypt.....
But still Ethiopia - "to go visit Chael" But Chael is driving with....
Chael then reads, there are complications taking a car into Kenya, and Ethiopia.  We need some or other Caveat - or need to pay a lot of money as a vehicle holding deposit when entering......

FUCK!!! you see the more you find out the more you decide this is not going to happen

Jimmy also sends an sms the Vehicle Police Clearance might be required.....


23rd August 2016 Tuesday

7:42 i send a message to Chael and Jimmy: "The more we know the less I want to go..."
Followed by "We will be leaving tomorrow morning at 4am"
Meaning if Jimmy cant come with he cant.
7:48 Jimmy Reminds me of Vehicle Police clearance
I reply, that he i welcome to have that done ;)
8:14 Jimmy sends a message "I have clearance from Parole"  (This is not the Vehicle Police clearance this is from his parole office)

10:50 What do we need?

1. Car: I need to go pick up the Golf I bought on Thursday

2. I need the RC1 Papers for the vehicle
3. Insurance: The car is insured - and I have an Insurance letter
3. I have: Passport, ID, Driver's Licence
4. Money: R4000 in Cash, USD400, ATM Card, Credit Card
5. Medical: Yellow fewer immunization , and immunization Certificate,  Malaria tablets

6. Other we have but so much bad contradictory info on: 

International Driver's licence
Red Triangle
ZA Sticker
Fire extinguisher
Reflective Vests

7. What we might need that we do NOT have
Food supplies
extra tyres
Lots of money
Deposit (Caveat)  to take car in - I still think I am going to wing this one - but lets see
Vehicle Police clearance certificate
2 months for Sudan Visa

Monday, 22 August 2016

Other Ideas:

Can We do same with Bike?
Can I do same with Uber?
Motorised paragliding?  PPG
Schalk now spoke of Plane and maybe microlight

Sunday, 21 August 2016

WHY? (From Bottom -> up)

Does it mean below was my preparation  ? - Or was it what happened in my life that got me to deciding what to do tomorrow?

13 August 2016 at 08:25 I came to know that a business colleague who became a friend Bryn Evans - that does all the notebook company's PR press releases passed away the night before ( after a few brain operations) he was in his mid 50s

2003 Schalk left me somewhere in Northern Botswana - and I had to make it to Maun

I had the opportunity to visit him in hospital in George, Western Cape in March 2016 - but thought all was fine after that operation
 The Bucket List we watched  had an effect on me
12 August 2016 at 10:00 I attended a Funeral service for a business friend i met in 2002 - We have been trying to meet up for the last few years without success - The service was 8 km from my house......

2 August 2016 at 13:17 SARS letter of Audit 201420160715 Africa expansion http://it-online.co.za/2016/07/14/notebook-company-plans-african-expansion/
30 March 2016 at 08:41 SARS letter of finalization of Audit over 4 Years
Started spending less time on my Phone the last few weeks-------  Explain the Lion, the rustle in the grass Concepts
8 June 2016 Father's leg amputated
22 April was left behind with a ship in Croatia - had to travel 1500km.... to catch up
20160211 Shantel and me go walk by Kei mouth and have close to no supplies
20150907 SARS audit notification
20151017 Decide to divorce from Shantel
20150126 My first NARANON meeting ( Family support group meeting for Addicts)
2014 Died : Antoon, Roelf meintjies
2013: Paradigm Shift I am Living in a BLACK African Country - and I should realise this , plan accordingly, and be thankful of been given the opportunity to Live and have a business here - What would my attitude, planning expectations have been in Nigeria or Zimbabwe
2004 Bloemfontein Air race near death experience against mountain with plane

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Notes from the Trip: DriveAfrica / AfricaDrive 20160824

DriveAfrica / AfricaDrive 20160824

0824 512km 32L p240
0824 801km 11L p144
0824 1161km 20L p203
0825 1549km 22L Kw
0825 1877km 23L Kw
0826 2384km 30L kw300
0827 2857km 28L ts
0827 3210km 31L ts
0828 4053km 36L ts72000
0829 4538km 28L K2700
0829 5127km 25L K2500 not full
0830 5594km 44L K44000
0831 6190km 35L K70000
0831 6671km 27L K52038
0901 7325km 43L K85000
0902 7859km 27L Mk21500
0903 8449km 12L Mk 9600 not full
0903 8628km 18L usd20 not full
0903 8747km 22L zar300
0903 9146km 16L usd20 not full
0904 9742km 51L R647
0904 10210km 20l 

R50  2xhippo
R200 Tanzania service fee
R200 room

K200 petrol
R600 Tanzania big room TS80,000 above
R100 sim card, data (given back)

4:00 leave Pretoria
8:30 Botswana, Groblersbrug
17:00 Kasane Botswana/Zambia Border
ZAR 1500 ( K100 Ferry, other)
Stay Livingstone K200 for room with shower, toilet, nice fan
Eat naan and 2x Mosi beers
Spar, shoprite, steers, Stanbic ATM

8am Victoria falls
Zar 360 entrance 
11:30am leave for Lusaka
Pemba strange mounts of sand:
Elephant graveyard?
Big ant hills?
Fuel, no take credit card
100km from Lusaka lots of potholes
Termite mounts point north

Kabwe to Tanzania border hopefully 11 house
1st tollgate K10 did not charge was included in usd20 charge
Lots pivot farming "the white farmers"
Harvey tile branding, think about it?
1st bribe/contribution request of K10 (usd1) we replied" No thank you"
Tanzanian border r1400+r200+r100
1 hour time change from 20h to 21h

Tanzania Mbeya to Nairobi
Wrong road too much east
15 minutes police discuss route
50km dirt road/construction
Makambako: 1st speeding fine 62km/h (50km/h) 
TS30,000 = ZAR200
Dodoma: first police request for reflective triangle
Getting tiring, short thoughts
Of how we going to make it home? Car going to last?
Need to remember salaries!
Rametsi, what to do?!
Enough money for petrol?
How expensive is this going to be?
2nd fine 55km/h ZS30,000
Just paid ZS15,000 (ZAR100) non fine

Dream: in car, brunette, dawie ask salaries, chael hooter wakeup
House of parliament
Dodoma to Arusha (Kilimanjaro)
Honey bought zs100,000
Great, Ask police directions before they ask stuff
All Tuscan hipped roof, exposed trusses
Rem: tapered, cylindrical jojo tank with lid, to collect water from roof 
1st white people on safari close to Arusha
18h20 Kilimanjaro 66km to east see it!!
Kenya car de passage
Usd340 + R100 + R100 + R 50 or 20% car deposit but then service fee

Start at 4:12
Got data to whatsapp
Wifi at hotel Moyale

Kenya/ Ethiopia border: do not have Ethiopian visa...
Yesterday was the first day we suffered to decide what we were going to do...
Today we can not go further...
Strange, some planning can assist. But sometimes it is not in your hands... No border visa 
Bike knee guards strange
Drove till 3am to Arusha in Tanzania

Arusha slept in car by fuel station
6am to ngorogoro 
To mbeya via google map western road.
Started sand road 16h
Had braai, mielies, beer
2x buses overturned barring road
Climbed over side of road ( 4x4!!!!)
Worst, longest, dirt road in life!!!! If one can survive this!!!!

Arrived Mbeya on way to Malawi ( drove right through night/ hallucinations
Into Malawi
Yellow fewer 10 days?!??
Chitimba lodge
Pig, beers

Leave for south malawai, to go moz, zim

Stayed over monkey bay, rikki, diane
Very spiritual place
Would like to come here again
Intercape to here R800
It is what it is!
Heading for zim via moz
Human rights laywer
Hakuna matata 
Into moz, into zimbabwe

0824 SA: buffelss, implala, warthog, Baobab (kremetart) lading
0824 BW: Steenbokke, elephants, giraffe, impala, kremetart/baobab
Car problems 20160824
Ignition switch sticks
Aircon goes off
Right mirror glass loose 

Own notes:
Can make it from Pretoria to Lusaka, Botswana in 1 day.
Leave 4am, Zambia border 5pm, drive 5 hours lusaka 10pm

Keep Polo, give citi back to moh, dont pay....
Pay r1500 for old beige golf... Or show moh what i spent: R750 windscreen, Radiator, handles, service, odometer....

Addis Ababa to Cape Town

Helfin: Insurance letter. Why Not zambia?

Jimmy get:
Brrr shocker
Led light passage 
Granadilla seeds
Lemon tree seeds

Usb music copy

Own notes:
Terry not leave... Employ her
Go to zim with her
Stay in more backpackers with kids
Take the bus
Show Africa
Make them not scared of africa
Read books
Take it slower
It is what it is
You can achieve nearly anything
East block
If u make a friend u r safe
Partners compliment one another