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After lunch where we had eaten Impala off the spit, it was time for a few people to take a ride out to the low level bridge some 15km from the venue for a little ride. Not everyone went, but for those that did they really enjoyed the ride. before heading out however, we were looking at some of the old bikes that had made their way to the rally.

A whole selection of bikes parked out under the trees

 

A chap called Howard from SA Bike Magazine was at the rally and he was collecting pictures for an article in the magazine, so he wanted all the KTM riders to line up, and then all the BMW riders in a separate picture.

The giraffe was such a friendly chap, that I wanted Klaus to see it. We had been chatting near the pub. We went down to find it and one of the farm workers who knew where it was offered to go and call it for us. he wondered off and came back later with Toddy the giraffe. Once it was there other gathered around and patted it's head.

Boyz will be boyz! After the sunset, and after a few beers, the boys playful nature came out. Now it was time to rev the bikes until they popped, screamed, smoked, turned red-hot or died completely. Luckily none did!

After the first few beers when we had arrived, we decided to look around the place and see what was around. Todds Motel had one of the most African feels to it. The smells of the bush and the firewood. The diesel from the generator, the old trucks and wood used for the fire, everything about this place was very African.

 

Within no time, we arrived at Todd's Motel, for the much spoken about Giraffe Rally 2011 - actually called the Giraffe Run 2011. Welcomed at the gate by a huge poster confirming we had found the right place (from the main road it was not that obvious).

Today was Friday and we were now going to be staying here for the next two nights, heading off back to South Africa on the Sunday morning early. This was a typical African venue with loads of dust, bush, animals and of course music and beer.

Well after a wonderful dirt road through some of the best riding and most beautiful scenery we had experienced on the trip so far, we reached the tar and were on the outskirts of a small town called Gwanda.(see map picture below for more details).

This is just a picture story - showing in the pictures of the places and where we going. Nothing much to be said except for those who ride know what goes on in your own mind when you are experiencing true freedom of riding a bike with a bunch of mates in a amazing setting out in nature.

Except for one of the chaps in our group this was the most enjoyable part of the whole trip from a biking and riding point of view. Why? Because there was a small "oops" on some loose gravel shown in one of the pictures below as he was coming down the hill.

After stopping at the shop, one of us blasted up ahead and waited for the rest to come riding past, to try and get a picture of the bikes within the beautiful rural setting we had the privilege of riding through. The following distance between bikes was rather large due to the dust and lack of visibility from being too close to each bike, so it was difficult to get a picture of everyone together.

After we had had a refreshment or two, we suddenly noticed there were many kids around because by now school was out and suddenly a whole lot of kids who had heard the bikes came to see what was going on. It's not often they get visitors on bikes in their village.

After quite some distance we arrived at a small shop in a village. We needed a break and it was about beer o'clock so we looked to see where we could get a drink. The first shop didn't have anything but told us to go down the road about 300m and there was a small shop there selling beer.

Wow - onto the Dirt after all these many miles of travel for the first time for real! That's always my favourite part of the trip. The most fun part and the part where you get to truly experience real rural Africa for what it is.

This was our hotel in Bulawayo, the Hotel Rio on the outskirts of town. Today were up early, had breakfast and packing to get ready for what promised to be an absolutely amazing ride. We only had about 350km to go to the Todds Motel where we wanted to be for the Giraffe Motobike Rally, but had picked a set of dirt roads just on the outskirts of the Matopos National Park (as bikes are not allowed in the park). Our route was for some 250km through the rural areas. Definitely an off the beaten track route, that not too many people would do.

We arrived in Bulawayo at about 7pm and finally found the hotel at about 8pm. Bulawayo was much bigger than most of us thought and our Hotel Rio was on the outskirts in a subburb somewhere. It had been a long day and given a chance most of us would have just gone to bed as it had been a very long day already getting up at 5am, but one of the guys had some friends here and they had organised to meet up and have an evening on the town in their local pub.

450km doesn't sound like a long way, but to do it in half a day, and with a raging hangover suddenly makes it rather a challenge. When I travel I hate deadlines and rushing to reach the destination. I like the journey, and being able to stop and take in the scenery and the pictures, etc. So with this days ride, we were passing through lots of interesting places I'd have stopped at and taken in. We were pushing against time and a setting sun so just had to get on with it. A few of us did sneak a few stops though for a small mini-break.

This is the daily blog from Africa4Adventure.com, in particular a short series on the Botswana and Zimbabwe - Giraffe Motorbike tour we attended during July 2011. Check out the original plans and route for the trip here.   We had a mad dash to Bulawayo since we had left quite late and had to make it before sundown. As a group we only ever stopped about three times in the 450km, which was pushing it a bit. Below are pretty much some of the only pictures we managed to get when we stopped twice at one garage (where we saw old trains) and some oth...

Well what a two days blast we had just been through! A Helicopter flight over the falls, A 101m Bungi jump, A Zambizi river raft booze cruise, an authentic Zimbabwean restaurant lunch and a night on the town. Best fun for a long time!! Now it was time to get back on the bikes and head off to Bulawayo, nursing lack of sleep and a hangover.

Now it was the second lot of the eight of us on the bike tour to make the bungi plunge. Harder for the rest as they had to wait while the first lot went. The comments and chirping was well worth it though and we all had a good laugh, especially once you'd been already.

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