Through Africa on a motorbike

“We’re going to look like extraterrestrials on space plates,” Alexey told me when we picked the bikes. As a beginner motorcyclist, I have a Suzuki V- Strom of 650 cubes simple and reliable. For me, Lech, an experienced biker, bought the most expensive machine, an Austrian KTM liter. Powerful bikes like his take part in the Paris- Dakkar rally . In a way, he really looked like an alien. All in black, with a masked face on a huge red motorbike, a formidable futuristic Don Quixote, heading for a merciless war with windmills, in which the latter have no chance.

Our main task was to drive to Africa and take pictures and videos of this trip. It is probably not interesting to accept this adventure. Africa has already shown me its predatory smile. Yes, and on two wheels, I barely held up – so much to overcome the sand and knead the earth! But the desire “to try something new” has been mastered. After the light scooters of India and Southeast Asia, I climbed on a powerful Japanese motorcycle. It even had a name: ” Digger “, in honor of one of our partners’ brands. Later, I baptized my bike with another name – “Abu el Khol “. Translated from Arabic – “father of horror.” So the Arabs call the sphinx. With his mysterious and passionless gaze, my “Japanese” really looked like a sphinx with something, in addition to all kinds of horrors that were constantly associated with it.

Thus, a week later, on the way of Russian-Ukrainian cold, we left the port of Istanbul, from where we were taken to Odessa by the ferry ” Southern Palmira”. The first thing we saw on a busy street was past us, a fashionable motorcyclist. – Wow, “enduro”! – Alexey was delighted. He probably did not expect to see anything more modern than rickshaws in Istanbul. But the city was just flooded with motorcycles. – And that, look, the latest BMW model! Yes, it’s worth more than your Suzuki!

We turned heads, discovering motorcycles everywhere. Noticed and “my” Suzuki. Its owner has quietly attached a cabbage bag a handsome man in dark red tone. The Turk was obviously not going to the biggest car trip in history, he had just gone to a vegetable shop. And on the Galata Bridge, we saw a very young child on the same bridge as Alexei , Doroguschem KTM. The streets shone with signs of auto shops. Motorcycles of all kinds were worn on the road: expensive and cheap, ultramodern and old-fashioned. For most bikers, their hands were protected by bags attached to the steering wheel and their belly by aprons, like concierges. Nevertheless, the month of January is cold, even for Turkey.

After a few days in Istanbul, we headed south. Rather in warm edges, where snow, ice and cold wind will not scare. On the road, Alexei broke through the steering wheel. In repairing the damage, we met the local biker. Salim invited us to his home: eat, warm up and watch TV with the latest news from around the world. The news was bad, as always: pogroms in Kenya, tensions in Sudan, assassinations of foreigners in Algeria. And here is the local news: a man had a serious heart attack during a prayer in a mosque. The people around him noticed this, but the faithful Muslims did not dare interrupt the prayer. An ambulance was only called after the end of namaz . When the resuscitation device arrived, it was already too late – the man died.

During the night it snowed, but we decided to continue the trip. The asphalt froze and the wind was very strong. My bike was spinning, flickering and rocking at dangerous angles. On one of the passes, I noticed a truck lying in a ditch and covered with snow. Stopped to photograph him. It was so cold that, without gloves, the fingers immediately froze. The blizzard has begun. I quickly hid the camera, walked 500 meters and … slipped on the ice. The bike fell to the side and we slid along the road towards a snow drift on the road. I was saved by a protective suit. The bike had a broken flashing and a slight damage to the trunk. Lech entered. We raised a heavy bike, but it was scary to continue. A police car stopped near us: “Are you all right?” I was not sure of that, but the police insisted that the road be cleared. no snow and ice on it, “Go in peace. Aleikum assalam !

Indeed, after a few kilometers of dry asphalt began and in the evening we arrived safely in Izmir.

In the south of Turkey, it was pleasant to travel: the temples of Ephesus, the ruins of Miletus, the lights of Olympos . We spent the night in tents. At night, they were covered with frost, but we believed – soon, very soon, we will arrive where it is not cold.

We drove Beldibi , a Russian station on the Mediterranean coast. There they met a German motorcycle mechanic named Federal . The German was a small company: he rented scooters to Russian tourists.

“The Russians can not drive motorcycles,” complained the federal government. – Come drunk. How much is $ 25? Oh good! I say – “helmet”! And they – “no.” And then bam ! Oh, the head! And I told them: “helmet”!

Then there were nice zigzags from Alanya to Mersin. And how did Lech manage to deal with it so carefully? I have always been drawn to the sidelines or the oncoming track.

Funny names were found in the cities that paraded: “Internet cafe Dunya “, “Shed-photo”, “Baran- Petrol “, “Botanical restaurant”. In Mersin, I looked at a sign and did not notice that the car was coming from behind. It seems that the mirrors are still poorly adjusted, so that, from my own experience, I had the opportunity to learn what a “dead zone” is. That’s when you look in the rearview mirror, you think there is no car nearby, and at that moment it pushes you aside. A little effort is enough to discover the hardness of the Turkish asphalt.

The bike collapsed and I was dragged along the sidewalk, squeaking, tearing a new uniform. One leg accidentally fell under a plastic case and crumpled it. Finally everything stopped. I managed to think: is the leg broken or not? If so, then very bad. The pedestrians got up, took me with a motorcycle. A restless motorist appeared to ask me if I was fine. I was fine And he himself is to blame for this accident: he did not look badly in the mirrors, he was not attentive. With Alexey, we went one way or another to the nearest gas station. We had to take a breath. The road was just beginning and the first scars appeared on the bike. Yes, and I was worried about the leg that started to swell. We drove a little more, but the pain became unbearable and we had to close the highway to the nearest town to find a pharmacy. The locals, after a brief explanation in broken Turkish, plunged into the problem and drove us to the clinic. Ridiculous nurses stained my leg with a sprained ointment, pulled an elastic bandage and recommended several days to stay still and, if necessary, to get up – to wear a thong. The plan of the expedition was not in bed. The road called further. Oh, and I’ll be good in a trunk and a slipper on a motorcycle with the two broken turn signals – an invalid national engine movement.

It was decided to spend a day to find strength and health. Fortunately, the city was appropriate for this purpose. His name was Aji Su – “bitter waters”. Patients from all over Turkey came for treatment for these “bitter” mineral waters. We took a room in a cheap boarding house and spent the whole day eating, sleeping and using inside the healing waters that flowed near us from a metal pipe embedded in the ground. The next night, I was almost normal and I could continue the trip.

Travel to Africa : Kenya