We’ve put 3 posts on at the same time. you may want to scroll down and read them in reverse. Remember you can clic on pics to enlarge and leave your comments as its always good to hear you feed back… Cheers, enjoy our story so far

Russell writes on 31/1/11:

Can we put it together again?

There are many things on our trip that are challenging, some are down to rider error, route choice etc. but other challenges just seem to come upon us. My bike’s mechanics being one of them. I’d been suffering from poor fuel consumption since Ghana and advice had been not to leave it in case things get worse. We’d tried looking at the more obvious things first, hoping to avoid the scary prospect of taking the engine apart, but unfortunately, the scary day came. Bike mechanics of this kind is over my head completely, and even beyond Darren’s considerable competency, so I employed the services of Lucas, a local ‘big bike’ mechanic.

The special BMW tool

We’d been careful to select a skilled, knowledgeable and experienced guy, who didn’t have any ‘bush’ mechanic about him. However, this is Africa and if you don’t have the correct BMW tool, a lump of teak will do just fine!

So now my engine is in pieces all over our dorm room floor waiting for parts to arrive from the UK. The worrying thing is we’re still not 100% sure we’ve found the source of the fuel problem, just a couple of small things that may have contributed to it. We will put it all back together this week and hope our changes improve the fuel consumption, but if not, our next BMW Motorrad is Windhoek, Namibia!

Mohammed

Our time in Bamenda has given us a chance to explore the area and to make new friends. The Baptist Mission rest house where we are staying has a mechanic and workshop on site where we met Mohammed, his 14 year old apprentice. He’s a lovely kid with a great attitude, hungry to learn and eager to help us in any way, including laundry, shopping and making us Fufu meals. He’s also been a great help to us with the mechanics.

The Fon's place

He’s never been far from Bamenda before so we took him with us to do some sight-seeing. He’d also never been on such a big motorcycle before so with the 3 of us astride Darren’s bike we took off to see the palace of one of the most powerful Fondoms in the area. On one evening Mohammed took us out to a bar where we were able to relax in front of a Manchester United FA cup game and a couple of beers. A little ‘luxury’ we’d been missing ever since the UK.

Buying the yoghurt

 He doesn’t get the chance to visit his family much so we took him to his home village some 30 km away, where we shared a meal and cup of red Cameroonian tea with his mother, grandmother and siblings. Afterwards he took us up the mountain on a horse, bare-back, to see the spectacular Cameroonian mountain vista. We’re here in the dry season so the Harmattan blocks a lot of the view, the rainy season is the best time to visit Cameroon, but that would make travelling on dirt tracks very difficult for us.

Darren in full flow

On the way back Daren enjoyed the bare-back gallop, and Mohammed took us to buy some cheese and yoghurt. The people here are of Fulani origin and traditionally rear and herd cattle, so it was nice to sample some of the local dairy products.

Harmattan

It was lovely to take some time and get involved in local culture, however, we don’t wish to get too involved, his mother was apparently very impressed with us and seeing as she has a couple of unmarried daughters, it was time to leave or stay forever…we will finish our mission I think!

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Comments
  1. You’ve obviously met another spot to stay at. The bike ib pieces doesn’t help. But taking 3 on Darren’s bike must have been a bit of an adventure too. You have met up with another family and it appears you will have to make a couple of sidecars for the 2 daughters. Marriage is simple in Cameroon. So watch out. (Just Kidding)!!

    Hope you get on the road again soon, and I pray that then you will have a good journey on your mission.

    Albert

    • frank Price says:

      Hi Darren and Russ,

      It looks a bit scary with your bike all in pieces. Hope you manage to fix the problems. You never know you may come back with a couple of wives! Your story was in the Journal the other week, it was a good write up and it made you sound quite heroic!

      Keep going

      Frank

  2. Mark says:

    Hi Guys, just wanted to pass on that we are thinking of you guys and looking in wonder at the pictures and the amazing adventure you are both having.
    Have a great time whatever you are up to and we’ll be in touch soon.
    Be encouraged.
    Mark Murrin-Earp

  3. Catrin T-J says:

    Hey guys,
    Im still reading in total wonder at your trip, it’s a lush distraction from the essay writing!!! 🙂
    Hoping and praying that your bikes are behaving themselves now and that all is going smoother for you both 🙂
    Well impressed with your write up’s, you could publish your blog into a book on your return!! “long way down” have nothing on you…!! 🙂
    Hope you are both well and continue having an awesome time 🙂
    Take care
    Curly Cat!! xx

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