Up early again but this time we were determined to depart at 6am which happened - we reversed our route back across the railway bridge and we were out of town by 6.40am.
We did 100km in the first two hours - the road was bad and there were patches of sand. We had to wait a bit and then off again and the road just got worse. Mike Puzey, who is the expert rider, claims it was a relentless day! Dust, potholes, washout and sand and more sand! There was not a kilometre break the whole day from just trying to stay on your bike - it was a record pink duct tape day at 9! Six to Rob and one each to Paul, Charles and Mark.
This does not really tell the real story - every biker had a series of near misses and everyone was very tired by late in the afternoon with lots of km still to go! Mike and Rolfe also swapped bikes with Rob and Mark to give them a break from driving failing bikes.
We had two river crossings - one we drove through and the other, River Nyemba, we took a ferry over. The ferry was late in the afternoon and we still had 130km to do and although the rumour was that the road was good, it was not true - almost unbelievable! Then quite suddenly we saw roadwork trucks, hit some unconsolidated road metal and then on to a great dirt road for the last 60km to Kalemi.
Didi Modogo and his team from MD were there to meet us at the 25km mark, 5 of the 7 Boyz came in together but Paul came in a little later and John Miller eventually arrived some time later riding Rob’s bike.
It was an unbelievable experience arriving at the Hotel Musalala on the beach at Lake Tanganyika - we all had bucket showers and then dinner with the Provincial Governor representative, Didi and the Provincial Minister of Mines as well the Minister of Tourism.
Lake Tanganyika is beautiful and it’s a crying shame that there is not a tourist industry here!
As already stated, we have two broken bikes which are limping along - between Kerry Puzey and the Randgold logistics team, parts are on their way to Pwetu via Lubumbashi but in the meantime we have two bikes to get through 410km - Rob is taking a break tomorrow so we need to find a pick-up to carry his bike but the other is going to be driven by Mike.
This was as tough a day as we have had so far and yes there was a sting in the tail!!!
Looks like another tough day tomorrow and what we learnt is that an early start helps.
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