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  1. #251
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    amafarenga

    You're now at most four years out of date, three at the least, with your reconnaissance reports. Much changes in that time -- vis a vis the security restriction in the US and Britain.

    And I would consider drinking in a pub with border officials to be a form of graft and corruption... not obvious, but alcohol is as good a lubicant in officialdom as oil in the palm.
    Great, so my advice is irrelevant cos I haven't set foot in Africa for a year and a bit. How many times have you set foot in Africa?

    Drinking in a bar with border officials who actually did nothing to help me other than offer a bit of advice is not graft and corruption. We chatted about my country, their country, I bought them some beer, they bought me some beer.........pray tell what exactly is corrupt about that?

    Isn't the point of travel to meet and talk to people?

  2. #252
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    Quote Originally Posted by chromedome
    But are you familiar with schistosomiasis?
    Yes. You can even get it if you're not riding a bike if you wade or bathe in stagnant water. Probably why almost every guest house I stayed in insisted on boiling bathing water.

    Quote Originally Posted by chromedome
    And once again, you say that anyone relying on their embassy to bail them out is an idiot. But you also said that her family or friends can contact the embassy to look for her if she's late in showing up? Which is it? Rely on the embassy or not?
    Read what I wrote. It was very simple, even an idiot would understand it.

    Quote Originally Posted by chromedome
    But you're right: if she gets tired of riding the bike, she can just pull over to the side of the road and wait for the bus. Simple as that. Easy peasy.
    Yes. Actually as easy as that if you're on a main road. Buses passing probably every hour or more during the day. Plenty of 4x4s if there are no buses. Never been a problem for me on the occasions I've needed to hitch. Sorry to spoil yet another of your disillusions about Africa. Some of the buses even have a/c.

  3. #253
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    And bungees... in my experience, they are the only way to go on rough roads, so long as they are tightly attached over your load. The bungees on the side of road come from cars and trailers, not bicycle tourists. I've lost more off the back of my bike with straps and buckles in the short time I used them; I've not lost a single thing with bungees.
    Well, that's your experience, not mine and I've been over rough roads too. How do you know where the bungies on the road come from? Are there specific bike bungees versus car bungees?

    The thing to make sure with whatever you use is that everything is tightly cinched down.

  4. #254
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    Quote Originally Posted by amaferanga
    Never met a single corrupt border official. In fact without exception they've been incredibly friendly. Same goes for the police and soldiers I've met in Africa. This may not be the case all over, but it certainly is the case on the route Flic is planning.
    Ok, that first sentence basically shredded your credibilty here.

  5. #255
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    Quote Originally Posted by amaferanga
    I don't wish to argue with you Machka, as I've said before when it comes to your thing you do give some great advice, but this thread isn't about randoneurs and I don't believe you've set foot in Africa or taken on a big adventurous tour so I'm really not sure why you're posting here. You have offered lots of advice, but most of it is irrelevant (e.g. the stuff about some hostelling association - you really think there are hostels in Ethiopia or Uganda or Zambia that are members. Do you think there are hostels all over Africa?)
    I have toured quite a bit in various parts of the world, including one (so far) extended tour with someone whose idea of touring was like doing a randonnee every day for 90 days, complete with bush camping and everything. I also have plans to do more touring this summer, and much more in the years to come.

    And I know where the hostels are in Africa - there are several .... if you'd taken a moment to look at the link I posted, you could see where they are too. I'd encourage Flic to ignore your comment above and have a look at the link. From the sounds of what was written on the hostelling international site, those hostels could be like an oasis to her.

    Keep in mind ...... You had experience with a bicycle before you went on your tours ... Flic does not have any experience with a bicycle. You are a man ... Flic is a young girl. Very different situations.

    I agree with chromedome when he says: "And if I may say so, amaferanga, you are completely irresponsible for encouraging her to the extent that you have to do something as risky and poorly planned as what she has in mind. Maybe you got away with it, but not everybody does. If you have so little respect for other people's families, you should just leave them alone."

    I almost wonder what you have against Flic.


    As I've said in many of my posts (which you would have noticed if you'd taken the time to read them) ... I have few issues with her going to Africa. I'm sure there are some lovely areas there. My main issue revolves around the fact that she has chosen a method of transportation which she is completely and utterly unfamiliar with. As I've repeated time and again, I'd express the same concerns if she had decided to tour Australia by bicycle. My next concern revolves around the fact that she has left any sort of planning to the very last second ... and can't even be bothered to ride her bicycle for practice. As someone else mentioned, it makes us wonder how serious she really is about all this ... or if it has been an amusing joke for her. I must say, this has all been very entertaining!!

  6. #256
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    Quote Originally Posted by amaferanga
    This part of the route is notoriously difficult to cycle unescorted. Options are either to give up and take some alternative form of transport or to have the police escort you. Both are possible.

    But this is a tiny part of the journey.

    Note the difference between sailing round the world and cycling across Africa - you can stop cycling at any time if it doesn't suit you.
    A tiny part? It's three-quarters of Egypt! And, how do you get the police to escort you through hundreds of kilometers of potentially hostile territory?

    And there is no difference, you just got to make it to the nearest bit of dry land same as if you got to make it to the nearest safe haven such as a consulate.

  7. #257
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    Quote Originally Posted by amaferanga
    Great, so my advice is irrelevant cos I haven't set foot in Africa for a year and a bit. How many times have you set foot in Africa?

    Drinking in a bar with border officials who actually did nothing to help me other than offer a bit of advice is not graft and corruption. We chatted about my country, their country, I bought them some beer, they bought me some beer.........pray tell what exactly is corrupt about that?

    Isn't the point of travel to meet and talk to people?
    Let's get this straight... I have not made any direct comments about the African situation. What I *have* said I would have said to anyone seeking advice on *cycle touring* irrespective of where they are travelling... I even pointed that out in one of my previous posts.

    As it is, yes, your advice is still a year out of date irrespective of what sort of spin you try to put on it. It is almost, but not quite, as irrelevant as Barabara Savage's book. International dynamics can change in a instant, not because *you* have control over them. The Somali conflict is one. The Bali bombings (note, bombingS) and those in Thailand currently, are examples. I used the American and British security measures as a non-violent Western illustration because they are an impediment to travel.

    And, yes, socialising with government officials and drinking with them makes you familiar to them, and they are more liable to usher you through the procedures, than not. It is a form of corruption that perhaps you dismiss, but it still remains such, in my opinion.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  8. #258
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    They exist, but there are very few of them, particularly in the countries on Flic's route. Most African countries want tourists and hence try to make it easy for tourists to enter. Hence friendly immigration officials.

    Never been asked for a bribe at a border. Of course if you head to Africa convinced that everyone is corrupt then I'm sure you could find many people who will take your money, but a smile and respect goes a long way. This is something many tourists seem unaware of.

    Really, if people here start doubting my credibility then I won't be overly concerned. I'm talking from experience, not from the US or UK travel warnings.

  9. #259
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronMac
    Well, that's your experience, not mine and I've been over rough roads too. How do you know where the bungies on the road come from? Are there specific bike bungees versus car bungees?
    So your experience differs with mine. Your questions are just fatuous nonsense -- because the volume of bungees is not commensurate with the volume of cyclists. And yes, there *are* bike specific bungees.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  10. #260
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    I have toured quite a bit in various parts of the world, including one (so far) extended tour with someone whose idea of touring was like doing a randonnee every day for 90 days, complete with bush camping and everything. I also have plans to do more touring this summer, and much more in the years to come.

    And I know where the hostels are in Africa - there are several .... if you'd taken a moment to look at the link I posted, you could see where they are too. I'd encourage Flic to ignore your comment above and have a look at the link. From the sounds of what was written on the hostelling international site, those hostels could be like an oasis to her.

    Keep in mind ...... You had experience with a bicycle before you went on your tours ... Flic does not have any experience with a bicycle. You are a man ... Flic is a young girl. Very different situations.

    I agree with chromedome when he says: "And if I may say so, amaferanga, you are completely irresponsible for encouraging her to the extent that you have to do something as risky and poorly planned as what she has in mind. Maybe you got away with it, but not everybody does. If you have so little respect for other people's families, you should just leave them alone."

    I almost wonder what you have against Flic.


    As I've said in many of my posts (which you would have noticed if you'd taken the time to read them) ... I have few issues with her going to Africa. I'm sure there are some lovely areas there. My main issue revolves around the fact that she has chosen a method of transportation which she is completely and utterly unfamiliar with. As I've repeated time and again, I'd express the same concerns if she had decided to tour Australia by bicycle. My next concern revolves around the fact that she has left any sort of planning to the very last second ... and can't even be bothered to ride her bicycle for practice. As someone else mentioned, it makes us wonder how serious she really is about all this ... or if it has been an amusing joke for her. I must say, this has all been very entertaining!!
    Flic would be doing this trip regardless of what anyone on this thread had to say.

    You are right that she may actually hate cycling, but then she can travel by bus or any other way she chooses. It really will be simple should she choose to bus or hitch it. Thousands do it every year.

  11. #261
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    Quote Originally Posted by amaferanga
    I've spent 12 months cycling in Africa usually drinking untreated water, didn't take any prophylactic for malaria and rarely used insect repellent, but I survived with only a few bouts of Giardia and got malaria once. That's what I chose to do, not saying everyone should do the same. IT'S REALLY NOT THAT BAD!
    Giardia and bike touring? Not that bad?

    I caught that one time and it ain't fun having to squat down every ten or twenty kilometers for days on end.

  12. #262
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronMac
    A tiny part? It's three-quarters of Egypt! And, how do you get the police to escort you through hundreds of kilometers of potentially hostile territory?

    And there is no difference, you just got to make it to the nearest bit of dry land same as if you got to make it to the nearest safe haven such as a consulate.
    Get in touch with reality mate. 3/4 of Egypt is not unsafe. The police will insist on escorting you through the dodgy parts. I can put you in touch with a guy who cycled through Egypt last year with a police escort for part of the way, you can ask him about it. In fact, Flic could probably point you towards the same guy.

    If you really believe that its necessary to jump from consulate to consulate to stay safe in Africa then I give up. I'm guessing that should I ever come to the US then the only safe place for me will be the British consulate? Kinda figures.

  13. #263
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronMac
    Giardia and bike touring? Not that bad?

    I caught that one time and it ain't fun having to squat down every ten or twenty kilometers for days on end.
    Cured in a few days with the right medication.

  14. #264
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    So your experience differs with mine. Your questions are just fatuous nonsense -- because the volume of bungees is not commensurate with the volume of cyclists. And yes, there *are* bike specific bungees.
    And your assumption that all bungies on the road belong to cars is based on? Supposition?

    If Flic can find bike-specific bungies then she's all set to go on this trip because I've never seen one in my life.

  15. #265
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan
    As it is, yes, your advice is still a year out of date irrespective of what sort of spin you try to put on it. It is almost, but not quite, as irrelevant as Barabara Savage's book. International dynamics can change in a instant, not because *you* have control over them. The Somali conflict is one. The Bali bombings (note, bombingS) and those in Thailand currently, are examples. I used the American and British security measures as a non-violent Western illustration because they are an impediment to travel.

    And, yes, socialising with government officials and drinking with them makes you familiar to them, and they are more liable to usher you through the procedures, than not. It is a form of corruption that perhaps you dismiss, but it still remains such, in my opinion.
    I don't put any spin on my advice. Been a while since I was in Africa, but I have friends who live there and take an interest in developments in the countries I've been to.

    The border officials in question played absolutely no part in getting me across the border so I really don't see where the corruption might lie. Especially given that I crossed said border entirely legally.

  16. #266
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    Quote Originally Posted by amaferanga
    I haven't cycled in Egypt or Sudan, I never said I had.

    I don't need to tell her where to stay as such information is easily had from locals.

    Do you think there are hostels all over Africa?)
    You haven't cycled in Egypt of Sudan? Those are a couple of pretty big countries. She'll be covering a lot of real estate there. Certainly, she'll have a lot of sandy broken asphalt to cross, a ferry to take with an irregular schedule, and a sometimes hard-packed sometimes non-existent sand track that runs next to the RR tracks south of Wadi Halfa to Khartoum. Is this the route that she will be following? Or am I missing something? The route with no water, food or shelter from the sun or wind? If I remember correctly, there are about a dozen "stations" in a long stretch of tracts, but no town or village. Just a hut, often with nobody in it. The RR veers away from the river at one point and in in the middle of sand storm heaven for a couple hundred miles. Once she gets back to the river there are more towns with food and cleaner water available. Is this the route she is planning to take? Or is she going along the coast? I don't know. I didn't read every post in the thread. There were some details I missed.

    She will find inexpensive places to stay? In Cairo? I do know where, but I've lived there. And I can muddle through the language pretty well. And I still have friends there to help. And I know my way around the city well. But she'll get off the plane in Cairo--which is a place you've never been, and neither has she--and meet some locals which will offer to take her to places they know are cheap. Yes, the info will be easily had, and so will her money. And the next stop for her will be.....where? Is there an inexpensive place for her to stay there? And the next day? And the next? Where wil she stay in Assuit? Is there an expectation they will speak English to her? Or does she know enough Arabic at that point? Is there an expectation anybody will even be friendly to her there? And is she supposed to grease the hand of a police officer in a bar by buying him a couple of drinks in lieu of his help? And what does that mean in the mind of the police officer? And which locals is she supposed to approach to ask for directions and help? Clearly, you haven't thought this through.

    And if she doesn't join HI, that leaves even one less option for her to rely on. And she can always use her membership elsewhere in the future.

    Do you have children, mate?

  17. #267
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    This is the most bizarre discussion of cycling in Africa I've ever been part of.

  18. #268
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    amaferanga- when it comes to traveling and travelers are you the exception or the rule?

  19. #269
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    Quote Originally Posted by chromedome
    You haven't cycled in Egypt of Sudan? Those are a couple of pretty big countries. She'll be covering a lot of real estate there. Certainly, she'll have a lot of sandy broken asphalt to cross, a ferry to take with an irregular schedule, and a sometimes hard-packed sometimes non-existent sand track that runs next to the RR tracks south of Wadi Halfa to Khartoum. Is this the route that she will be following? Or am I missing something? The route with no water, food or shelter from the sun or wind? If I remember correctly, there are about a dozen "stations" in a long stretch of tracts, but no town or village. Just a hut, often with nobody in it. The RR veers away from the river at one point and in in the middle of sand storm heaven for a couple hundred miles. Once she gets back to the river there are more towns with food and cleaner water available. Is this the route she is planning to take? Or is she going along the coast? I don't know. I didn't read every post in the thread. There were some details I missed.

    She will find inexpensive places to stay? In Cairo? I do know where, but I've lived there. And I can muddle through the language pretty well. And I still have friends there to help. And I know my way around the city well. But she'll get off the plane in Cairo--which is a place you've never been, and neither has she--and meet some locals which will offer to take her to places they know are cheap. Yes, the info will be easily had, and so will her money. And the next stop for her will be.....where? Is there an inexpensive place for her to stay there? And the next day? And the next? Where wil she stay in Assuit? Is there an expectation they will speak English to her? Or does she know enough Arabic at that point? Is there an expectation anybody will even be friendly to her there? And is she supposed to grease the hand of a police officer in a bar by buying him a couple of drinks in lieu of his help? And what does that mean in the mind of the police officer? And which locals is she supposed to approach to ask for directions and help? Clearly, you haven't thought this through.

    And if she doesn't join HI, that leaves even one less option for her to rely on. And she can always use her membership elsewhere in the future.

    Do you have children, mate?
    Ah an expat working for an NGO/GO/Aid agency if ever I saw one?

    Stop scare mongering. Cyclists pass through Sudan every week. There are people there in those huts, by the roadside, only you don't see them as you bump along half asleep in your truck. A bit of forward planning and you can be fairly sure to have enough water. Local people again, full of useful information if you stop and chat to them (pretty easy to ask about water with even just a few words of common language). I've met (yes actually met) a total of 7 cyclists who have cycled through Egypt and Sudan and though none describe it as easy, none describe it as the most difficult part of the Cairo-Cape journey either. The most difficult part for most is Ethiopia.

    I didn't even bother looking at the HI website, but clearly it does go as far as Eqypt. Great.

  20. #270
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas
    amaferanga- when it comes to traveling and travelers are you the exception or the rule?
    What might you be suggesting?

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    Quote Originally Posted by amaferanga
    Cured in a few days with the right medication.
    Does Flic know what the right medication is? And of course, there will be an ample supply of it at all the pharmacies she'll be riding past? Will she know a bacterial dysentery from amoebic? Different treatments there, mate. And while she's laying around recovering from Pharoah's Revenge, she'll be hanging out in the comfort of her inexpensive hotel room.

  22. #272
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    Just perusing the crazyguyonabike website and, frankly, there are very very few bicyclists who have done Africa and no one has done Cape to Cairo.

  23. #273
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    Quote Originally Posted by chromedome
    Does Flic know what the right medication is? And of course, there will be an ample supply of it at all the pharmacies she'll be riding past? Will she know a bacterial dysentery from amoebic? Different treatments there, mate. And while she's laying around recovering from Pharoah's Revenge, she'll be hanging out in the comfort of her inexpensive hotel room.
    No, but the doctor she could see in the next town will. They do have doctors in Africa. And very experienced in the sort of problems likely to afflict a tourist in Africa they are. And pharmacies in any town will have the medication for treating giardia, dysentry, etc. In Zambia you can even have most drugs for free once you pay the 1US$ to join the health centre.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IronMac
    Just perusing the crazyguyonabike website and, frankly, there are very very few bicyclists who have done Africa and no one has done Cape to Cairo.
    crazyguyonabike is hardly the last word in cycling in Africa. The majority of cyclists in Africa are European, and out of that most are probably German or Dutch. Go check out the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree On Your Bike branch - there area number of posters there who are actually cycling through Africa at this very moment.

    Just a couple of recently completed trips:

    http://www.africabybike.org/
    http://www.trafalgarsquaretotablemountain.com/index.htm

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    C'mon amaferanga, the holes are starting to appear in your stories. Now, just what is the difficulty with Ehtiopia? Why is it more difficult than Egypt? What is difficult with Egypt? Be upfront with *us* so we have a better understanding if and when we decide to follow in the wheeltracks of you and Flic.

    You see, you have spun this so well up to now, but when you have been challenged, you haven't really been convincing in backing up your theme of "adventure but no problems" throughout your posts. "A bit of forward planning"? Haven't you followed the tenor of this thread -- there has been almost no forward planning, so what can possibly be expected when getting there?

    And I'm sorry, but I found your response to chromedome as to be particularly presumptuous to the point of rudeness. And in four years you have met seven cyclists who have ridden the places you discuss. Any chance *any* of them were women travelling by themselves?
    Dream. Dare. Do.

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