Archive for the ‘Tanzania continued’ Category

Russell writes 16.08.11

Actually, our journey hasn’t continued for a while now but our knowledge of bike mechanics continues to grow in leaps and bounds. With both bikes in need of serious work, parts to order from the UK, route issues through a drought and troubled countries, the prospect of arriving into Europe during winter, shipping the bikes home from the port in Dar es Salaam was never an option for either of us. Even though our families want us home sooner rather than later, and so do we, we’d both rather completely disassemble our engines, diagnose and fix them than give up this far into our trip. This is exactly what we had to do with my bike. After replacing a part in my engine it ran for a while and we thought ‘job done’, however, we hadn’t got to the route cause – swarf!


These little metal menaces destroy engines; they run around like London looters damaging everything they touch. The swarf from a worn out bearing circulated in the oil system scoring key metal on metal surfaces in the cam shaft and piston. They then congregate around a magnetic terminal causing a short in the starting circuit – time to get your spanners out! And we love our spanners now, especially the 13, you can press valves into a cylinder head with that one. The good news is that our spanners worked and both bikes are now up and running, well, nearly;  300 miles north of Dar, Darren was Q-bonding  an oil leak from my engine shell around the gasket, it worked wonders by the way.

The 3 Fantastic kids of Lulu and Malcom

Wedding Dance

We arrived one last time at Mama’s to say goodbye and a huge thank you to Mama, Malcolm, Loulou, Natasha (10), Natalia (4) and Nathan (2) who have helped up, fed us, played with us and tolerated us for so long; it really is appreciated. This time though we must say goodbye to our family in Dar, we will miss them though, it’s so nice to finally have working bikes and to be on the road again heading towards home. Although after leaving Dar it only took half an hour before we saw a motorcyclist lying on the road, Darren thought he saw him move, I thought he was lying in the ‘dead’ position, but either way it was a timely reminder to switch our wits on and pray for protection as we push on