Some personal facts, related to this trip.

Asain motor girl

After I graduated and saved my first money, I felt a kind of a magnetic field. Pulling me to new countries. When I met Klaas-Jan, a friend of a friend and also a biker, we both knew this picture of a beautiful Asian girl on a motorcycle. We wanted to see that by ourselves. This picture was the start of everything. Getting all the info we could get, we talked to some people who made this trip also by motorcycle. At this time Irak took Kuwait and it seemed too dangerous for us to take the overland route from The Netherlands to Turkey, Iran, India and Asia to Australia. A traveller must be flexible, so we decided to go from The Netherlands to Africa's Algeria, Central Africa and then to take a boat from Kenya to India. Later, in Kenya, we split up because I liked Africa very much and wanted to see the South of it.

fiets We both bought for this trip an Yamaha XT 500 off-road motorcycle. So we could exchange spare parts. And because of the simplicity of this bike. But the most important reason was that a XT 500 is the mother of all off-road bikes made for mass production. With it's very own special character. Two wishes came out at the same time: to owe a XT 500 and travelling!
The bike never abused my confidence in it. It was a '80 model. I had to overhaul the bike completely. An opportunity to get familiar with it. I left with synthetic oil in the bike. It had until Tanzania an oil consumption of approx. 1 litre oil on every 4000 km. Not bad, keeping the bad roads and high temperatures in mind. In Tanzania I had to change to a local brand. And after that time I had to poor every 500 km's 1 litre in it. But it lasted until home with this high thirst (25.000 km's). Maybe I do have to change the rings now ... .


I used also for my bike:

The price of one litre of petrol varied between US$ 0,08 in Nigeria (same as one bottle of coke) to US$ 1,80 in Zaïre on the black market. Since everybody bought all the petrol, locally available, I could only buy it there from the local man with some jerry-cans! And to bargain with these people is quite exhausting, sometimes you'll take the loss.


Zaire banknote

I took US$ 500 with me in traveller checks and US$ 500 in cash. The cash in small and bigger notes because of the black money market. And the same amount of money in French Franks because the first half of the trip all countries are French speaking. This amount lasted until Kenya and over there I had to transfer some extra money from Holland to Kenya. It was quite difficult to get some cash US$. The banks prefer to keep the hard currency themselves. A credit card is useless if you travel through remote area's. They simply never have heard of them! And in the main cities the banks will give you a local currency and so you cannot go to the black money market. Sometimes the black market will give you twice a much as a bank does.


My expenses:

Actually, travelling with a bike is quite expensive. When I overlook my expenses, I do have to conclude that I spent the same amount of money on my bike as I spent on myself. It's like you have to pay for two people. This proves again that your bike is like a girlfriend ;)

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