was all rather silly, really.
I stopped for a photo, and did what almost every motorcyclist has done
at least once.
It was gravel. Having stopped, I put my feet down, and my left one
slipped and I and the bike fell over. It's just that I caught my wrist
A couple of chaps in a bakkie (pick-up) stopped and helped me pick up
the bike. I just thought I'd sprained the wrist. Had a ciggie, then got
back on the bike and carried on. It hurt a lot, but at least one can do
clutchless changes easily. Stopping meant gauging the moment and simply
stalling at the appropriate moment. Starting meant using my right hand
to put my fingers around the clutch lever then pulling the right-hand
bar back with my left arm rigid, and screwing up my eyes as I let the
It was 200 miles up the road that I saw the first red H sign at the
turn-off for Springbok, and that for Annie's B+B which instructed me to
follow the H, so that was easy. I managed to time myself at the robot
(traffic light) so I didn't have to stop, and ground to a halt in the
B+B car park. I got off the bike and more or less collapsed in a heap.
The owner is Pet, who has been magic. She gave me a big mug of coffee,
then sent me round to the hospital. They strapped me up and told me to
come back in the morning for an X-ray.
There were no rooms available so I slept at Pet's flat. Thursday morning
I went back to the hospital and was filmed.
"It's a Colles fracture. We see a lot of these in older women."
"Are you calling me an older woman?"
"Er, well, anyway, report back to the operating theatre at
noon so we
can reduce it, and don't eat or drink anything." So I did, and didn't.
After being sedated, manipulated and plastered, they had one of the
security guards walk me back safely round the corner, where Pet revived
me with a large G+T.
The shippers have been great, and Pet found a local guy who's taken the
bike to Cape Town to the agent there, from where it will be on a ship to
arrive in (probably) Felixstowe in a couple of weeks or so.
Getting me to the Cape is a little more difficult - no air taxi, and I
don't fancy the overnight chicken bus or a crowded minibus taxi in my
state. But Pet's found a lady driving to Stellenbosch tomorrow morning
who'll take me, and I can get a private taxi from there. I'll need to
find a hospital and get a fibreglass cast - this plaster weighs a ton
and is extremely uncomfortable.
The hospital seemed unable to charge me for anything but the
I'm making a donation if I can catch Matron in her office. Cecilia the
theatre nurse (a motorcyclist) came to see me at Annie's and is
arranging that for me.
Reg and Mo are in Poland until the end of next week, so I'll fly back
then and stay until I can get back into my house in November. And Des
and Marina in Velddrif have said that when I come back to do the
Cape-to-Cairo leg I must start from their house. Marina's an artist, and
I've asked her to paint me and The Old Dear.
It will happen - just not at the moment, I'm afraid. I'm just pissed off
that I haven't been able to do the whole circumnavigation in one hit, as
was the intention. But at least I've managed to visit all seven
continents, which in itself is an achievement. And 39 countries, 12
pairs of tyres, 8,000 litres of petrol, three GPSs, 74,000 miles, three
years, six broken bones, a language, the ability to swear and say
thank-you in around a dozen others, and made loads of new friends in
many countries and most continents (all of them if you count the penguins).
But I couldn't have done any of it without the help and encouragement of
you lot. It's been a privilege. Thanks is not enough.
|'Under Asian Skies', Sam Manicoms'
latest book to be launched November 3rd at CW's in Dorset - knowing Sam
it'll be another cracker so why not get down there and support him.
Should be a great read and is endorsed by that old favourite, Ted
adventure motorcycle travel book from Sam Manicom
'A unique and
A year of
dramatic adventure evolved into an eight year, 200,000 mile journey around
the world. Sam’s first motorcycle adventure travel book ‘Into
received high acclaim from reviewers and has sold all over the world.
biker Sam Manicom left his job and sold his house to ride his R80GS the
length of Africa. But once the travel bug bit, he couldn’t stop.
Under Asian Skies is the sequel to his first book Into
Africa, and is similarly packed with adventure. Sam narrowly
escapes a serious wipe-out in the vast Australian Outback, falls
critically ill in Thailand and is rescued by a prostitute, gets arrested
in Madras, dodges the manic traffic of India’s Grand Trunk Road and rides
sheet ice on the road home through Turkey.
ends meet, he works as a fruit picker in Australia. He meets hippies,
aborigines and escapees from the law, gets involved with smugglers and
falls in love.
through is his sheer joy of being on the road, and the pure adrenaline
buzz that each day can bring. Every day holds an adventure and once again,
those adventures demand that Sam’s Guardian Angel is on hand to work
overtime. Just one man, a motorcycle and a dream being lived – every day.
Sam get arrested this time? How many of the dreaded lurgies can you catch?
What happens when a solo adventurer decides to take a pillion on board?
How is a trip like this funded? What’s ‘Full Moon Fever’? Is Asia really
mystical? How does a biker deal with the poverty? Is smuggling really a
good idea? What kit worked the best? Who else is out on the road? What was
that about romance? And what was that about two wheels being the best
possible way to see the world?
worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -
Release Date: November 2007. £12.99
Colour photographs, and line drawings throughout.