Team Bulldog and Lipstick decided to use as short cut and enter the Gorongosa National Park from the East rather than from the Western site. On the map this looked to be the perfect option cutting about 120 km of the trip.
Early morning traffic was hectic out of Beira and the teams had to realise that the traffic law is neither left or right hand traffic but rather the side on which the least potholes can be found without forcing any head on head collisions.
At Dondo some 40 km out of Beira both -according to the Garmins and the map -they turned right with the intention to turn right some 40km later in Muanza on the road leading to Chitengo .
This road was clearly indicated on the map and shown on the Garmin but could simply not be found. Where the Garmin voice requested a turn to the left there was simply bush and veld and not even track indicating the way to Chitengo.
The teams decided to use the next turn off at Inhaminga – same story no road as indicated on the map and the Garmin as well wanted them to go where no road could be seen.
Of course by this time the road consisted of sand, gravel, potholes and small African villages.
By this time contact was established through sms ( every now and then there was reception showing 1 or 2 bars ) with the other teams entering Gorongosa from the western side . Needless to say that they were already happily at Piet and Ria van Zyl’s campside and fully set up.
Lipstick and Bulldog by that time had reached the point of no return as going back would have meant the same mileage then going north and then turn south again. The other option would have been to put tents up North and skip the park and then meet up with the other teams the next day.
In true team spirit it was however decided to go south west and meet up with the others again – biting the extra 220 km .
Bulldog and Lipstick arrived at the campsite at around 18.30h and joined the others around the braai fires.
The most amusing story however came from Doug the Biker. Having had lunch at a restaurant he felt a bit bloaded and thought that a rest in the toilet would assists in sorting the problem out. Together with the other bikers they proceeded to the petrol station in order to fill the bikes up. When it was Doug’s term to pay for his fuel he could not find his money belt where he keeps his cash and passport – With the maximum of adrenalin he told Jenny that this is the end of their trip through Africa – he jumped onto the bike and speeded back to the restaurant. There he looked under every table in the hope that it was there where he left his money bag.
After this unsuccesfull search he confronted the Manageress in the restaurant for most probably having stolen all his eartly belongings. As he speaks English and the good lady only Portuguese Doug used side language , showing the belt and the purse normally located in the middle of his sizeable abdomen.
This put a smile on the Ladies face and she turned around and clapped her also sizeable buttocks with both hands. Doug at first was stunned – then moved both his hands to his bag and there it was : His money belt hanging down his bum like a tail – he simply forgot to run it around his waist after releasing his stomach from bloadness – of course he blamed the thick bikers trousers outfit for having no feel around the bottom half of his uniform.
All teams were quit in harmony to again name Doug The “ Dick of the Day”