The end of an era:
After many years of blind support to Kawasaki (KMSA) I reached the point that I cannot support Kawasaki (KMSA) anymore. Kawasaki (KMSA) finally showed that the dreams and aspirations of an adventurer count nothing. More important to them is what the manual dictates and what the wallet contains.
No, I haven't asked KMSA for a sponsorship. I stood up, fought for and begged KMSA to save the dreams and aspirations of a fellow adventurer whose dream is threatened by the poor craftmanship of their company.
This year I am doing my last long tour on my KLR and then I switch over to Yamaha. I hope that many of you who bought KLRs on my advice, will follow. If arguments don't help, let leaving feet do so.
Goodbye Kawasaki, goodbye KMSA.
Lodie de Jager
The year 2012
This photograph (copyright National Geographic) taken on the Mongolian steppe shows all the reasons why I enjoy travelling with the KLR so much: Wide, open and desolated plains, testing tracks as there are not many tarred roads, new languages and cultures and strange foods that will be a cultural shock in many ways.
Therefore, my plans for 2012: Beginning of June 2012 I depart from Germany, heading northeast through Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. My final onslaught on the Russian border will be on 15 June. What hadn't realize in 2008 has to become reality on that day. .
I am going to travel eastwards through Russia on to Siberia from 15 June to 14 July. I will continue east through many time zones until some day when I will ride over the Ural Mountains, the official beginning of Siberia. Not only will that be a dream come true, to ride my KLR into Siberia, but also the KLR will hit its 100 000 km somewhere there. That will be celebrated with a huge glass of Russian vodka.
On 14 July I want to cross the border into Mongolia, which I believe will be the highlight of my trip. It is a huge and undeveloped country due to the permafrost which makes road building and development rather difficult. That resulted in more than 47 000 km unpaved roads. Can you imagine riding day after day on sandy, rocky and unpaved tracks, getting dirty and pray for petrol somewhere. My final destination will be the capital Ulan Bataar, which prouds itself with an annual average temperature of only 2,9 degrees centigrade.
Sometime during August the KLR is going to get separated from me. After reaching Ulan Bataar I will fly back to South Africa while the Legend will tackle a 47 day ride on the back of a truck to Germany. My good piece should be back in South Africa sometime near the end of the year.
Dear Reader, prepare yourself on exciting photographs and interesting posts about countries, regions and people so far from us in South Africa.
My book Noord van Naboom gets translated into English!
My internet diary (156 pages) in PDF on my 2010 tour back to South Africa.
My blog on my 2010 ride back to South Africa, and all trips thereafter.
My blog on my 2008 tour over Africa to Germany.
2007 model, on its way to 80 000 km, and something like 21 countries on its trip book.
2011 Long rides:
January 2011: Malawi - Photographs and my fuel log book.
June 2011: Botswana, Kubu Island, Makgadigadi - Photo's and short report
July 2011: Zimbabwe, Giraffe Run. What a ride! Report and photographs.
The year 2010
Ride for a Smile - My ride from Germany back to South Africa on my KLR 650 is after 17 573 km OVER!
Distance covered: 17 573 km
Still to go: 0 km
Date: 22 August 2010
Presently: Naboomspruit, South Africa
Soon I am going to have my full route on the website, downloadable as GPS tracks.
Fundraising for Operation Smile
The fund raising project for Operation Smile was a huge success! The final amount of R 137 500.00 was paid into the account of Operation Smile SA. That means that for 25 children soon a new life is going to start!
Thank you so much to all those wonderful people who contributed in so many ways. Our 2010 fundraising is now finally over.
List of donations.
Golden moments on my ride home via Cape Town
More golden moments ...
Monument High School in Krugersdorp raised and donated R 11 500.00 to our effort for Operation Smile! Thank you so much!
Short video clips
Fuel consumption of the KLR during the trip from Germany to South Africa.
Click on the globe below to get an indication of my route.