Nubian desert camping

30 September 2008

How Did It Go?
A overview of the whole journey - leaving Kilkenny in December 2006, riding down the Atlantic side of Africa to Cape Town, back up the east coast of Africa, across the Middle East, Turkey and Europe back home. A summary of the route, the riding experience - including mud and sand - communications and the website, health, any injuries, and acknowledgments.

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30 August 2008

Stopnik 300 1
Journey’s End

The pleasures of Slovenia – walking to Croatia, spit-roast wild boar, fantastic riding around the Julian Alps. Tent etiquette in Germany, eventually becoming legal, a satisfying ‘French experience’, meeting other bikers, catching up with an ‘old Africa hand’ in London… And the trip is finishing – reflections on ending a year and a half on the road, and the satisfaction of getting the bike and myself back home.




Turq red 200L 1
20 August 2008

Europe

Repaying respects to the Sufi mystic Rumi, before arriving at the city astride two continents Istanbul. Violated in Bulgaria, dreary Soviet relics, crossing the Balkans in mud, rain and darkness (“beware of bears”). Through beautiful Transylvania - Vlad the Impaler territory - the Evangelical Lutherans, a welcome from ‘Romaniacs’, and warm hospitality. A brief spell in Hungary, then “Where is Slovenia?”











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Rabbi w shadow 265L 1
08 August 2008

Across the Middle East

The hardship of hanging around the Gulf of Aqaba waiting for a Libya visa, (and disappointment at not receiving it); Egyptian Customs fail to endear themselves to me once again; the lowest road on earth; an eye-opening visit to the Promised Land; lovely Syria and the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities; the Mac Guru of Damascus; Eastern Christianity and exotic Aleppo at the confluence of ancient trade routes between Asia, Persia and North Africa; and... heading for home.







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Yellow t-shirt Edfu 200 1
08 June 2008

Land of the Pharaohs

The intriguing country that is Egypt. Luxor and its famous sights, including awesome Karnak, travelling in convoy, diving magic in the Red Sea, and exposed Russian flesh in Hurghada (no pics) on my way to the desert monastery of the ‘father of Western monasticism’. The adrenalin rush of negotiating Cairo traffic (And that means I made it up the other side of the continent from Cape Town!)








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Sudanese 200 1
26 May 2008

Crossing to Egypt

Making it to the desert border town of Wadi Halfa, farewell to Sudan, the ferry crammed with 450 passengers, attempted shakedowns, and excitement and frustrations of arriving in the Land of the Pharaohs. Oh… and THAT photo of the bike.







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Nile evening, 2 men 200 1
20 May 2008

Nubian Desert

Leaving Dongola and following the Nile north through the desert. Coffee with the professors, sand, trackless desert, ‘bull dust’, more sand, a memorable Nile beach evening, and some of the most enjoyable riding on the whole trip!








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Passenger 200 1
18 May 2008

North Sudan

Leaving Khartoum into the great desert expanse of Northern Sudan, camping in the dunes at the ancient Meroe pyramids, bike difficulties riding in the sand, South Africans and ‘Landies’, a policeman’s warning about the desert, serious heat, and Nile ferrry crossings.





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Camel head 300 1
12 May 2008

To Khartoum

Dropping 2,000 metres from the refeshing climate of the Ethiopian highlands down to semi-desert plains of Sudan, and towards Khartoum, the city at the confluence of the Blue and the White Nile. A strict Islamic republic, movement is restricted, women absent, and alcohol forbidden! Another engine problem, stories of great generosity, and anti-American sentiment.
And coming uncomfortably close to being shot.


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Old man in white 200 t1
02 May 2008

Northern Ethiopia

Back on the road again, travelling through the mountainous north of Ethiopia. Ancient island monasteries, Sunday dinner and AK47’s, ‘Bleeding Heart’ baboons, and spectacular scenery in the Simien Mountains… and an extra page of photos to open.








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Man,red 200 1
08 April 2008

Tales from Addis Abeba

Delays (but not the worst of cities to be detained in) - successful heart transplant and major surgery on the bike, but then medical treatment needed for me! How effective has SELF HELP’s presence in Ethiopia been, and the exciting One Laptop per Child initiative. And an extraordinary story of coincidence (or serendipidy as some call it) in Addis Abeba. Finally preparing to get back on the road again!







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Nomad woman 200 1
10 Jan 2008

Hello Abyssinia

Relief and pleasure at arriving in exotic Ethiopia. First impressions – the beguiling music, interesting food, and the most beautiful and friendly women in Africa (so far). Getting to know the sleepy, dusty provincial town of Yavelo, coffee and ‘chat’… and after heroically getting me across the North Kenya desert through great suffering, the bike says that’s it! But help is at hand – and inspecting the damage!






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Samburu 200 1
23 Dec 2007

The Notorious Route North to Ethiopia

Recalling the highlights of Kenya, dealing with 'challenging' mud, and an encounter with Samburu warriors. Then tackling that tyre-shredding, vehicle-wrecking, bone-jarring, bandit-marauding two to three day stretch of ‘road’ to the Ethiopian border. And with bike problems in the Dida Galgalu Desert - the most difficult and demanding day on the journey so far.







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Hangover 200 1
18 Dec 2007

Eldoret and Kisumu

Since visiting the cities of
Eldoret and Kisumu in western Kenya, they have seen scenes of serious political violence. Also in this update - the last remaining virgin tropical rainforest in Kenya; veteran Africa travellers; a temporary address - YMCA or ex-Colonial Club?; and a green mamba too close for comfort. And ready to continue northwards to Ethiopia.

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Masai running 200 1
12 Dec 2007

Kenya Travels

Kenyan politics; a visit to the site of Louis Leakey’s first archaeological discoveries; the ‘English countryside’ of the Western Highlands, Colonials and ex-pats; Lake Turkana options; river crossings with a motorbike; the magnificent Rift Valley lake of Baringo… and an African ‘moment’.









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30 Nov 2007


Development Aid in Kenya

A visit to SELF HELP projects, Jeffrey Sachs' Millenium Village Project in Sauri, and some observations on the issue of Development Aid.

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Yawn 250 1
16 Nov 2007

Nairobi, and ‘on Safari’

Entering the notorious capital of Kenya in the rain, meeting up with other Road Warriors in Jungle Junction, a ‘Nairobi handshake’, Safari to the magnificent Masai Mara, observations on photo tourism. And maybe the Lonely Planet’s not so bad…










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Ears 250 1
2 Nov 2007


Northern Tanzania

The invigorating Usambara Mountains rising up from the Masai plains; Mother Teresa and Bono, East African roadside cuisine, Lake Manyara National Park, elephant
‘deeks’, Masai, snakes and dead dogs; on being an overland driver; kicking cars in Arusha; and a fond farewell before entering Kenya.




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... Earlier Updates can be seen on the Return up the East side page

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Hugh Bergin left his home in Kilkenny Ireland the beginning of December 2006, on a solo motorcyle ride through the continent of Africa.

He is raising awareness of, and funds for
Self Help
Development International
(www.SELFHELP.ie).