In 1982 I visited South Africa and came across a little town called Belfast in Mpumalanga; sadly no pic of me or anyone else on the trip at Belfast can be found, but we also came actoss a town called Drysdale!
Being young, adventurous, and probably a ltttle(?) foolish, I immediately thought, "Now, that'd be fun, Belfast to Belfast on a bike!" The idea of riding a motorbike from Belfast to Belfast, the destination being Belfast, N Ireland, the town of my birth, was born.
I bought my CB750 K2 (Frame No: 2086###; Eng No: 2310###) in August 1978; It was 4 years old.
As a student I rode it for a number of years, including my first tour to France, until life dictated that I spend what little money I had on a car, rather than essential repairs to my bike. However, since this was the bike I’d always dreamed of owning, rather than sell it, I took it apart and stored it in boxes – this was mid-1981; the intention was to restore and rebuild it – sometime soon!
Little did I know that it would take 37 years to realise that dream!
Being Irish, it makes perfect sense that on a journey to a place 20,000km north, I should head 1,600 km south first; after all the most northern point of the country is in what’s euphemistically called “The South”. However 1600km south of Harare is where the story started, 37 years earlier, so considerably older, but probably just as, if not more, foolish the fun begins.
My initially planned route will take me from Harare, Zimbabwe to Belfast, South Africa, via Bulawayo and Botswana to take account of fuel shortages in Zimbabwe. Then there will be a further “detour” to Durban because my daughter’s PhD graduation is there on 4th April.
From there I start north, through the Sani Pass to Lesotho, then the following countries:
Botswana Namibia Zambia
Tanzania Burundi Rwanda
Uganda Kenya Ethiopia
Sudan Saudia Arabia
United Arab Emirates Iran
Turkey Greece. Rest of Europe
Ireland and BELFAST!