Old bridge in Limpopo

A Motorcycle tour to Limpopo Province and the Magoebaskloof area, South Africa.
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Author: Steve and Carole Eilertsen. stevei@icon.co.za

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Motorcycle Touring is not only about the motorcycle, the distance and the experience. It is also about those we leave behind . . .

When I announced to my wife that I wanted ĎTimeí for my birthday, she viewed me suspiciously. Suspicion changed to resentment when I explained i.e. four days and three nights touring, in the forests, on my motorcycle, alone.

My sister said I had lost it. My aunt thought I had marriage problems. My sister in law pronounced me a bastard and my brother apologized for my insensitivity. How could I leave my wife and nine-month-old Joshua at home, all alone?


One thing they were right about, Joshua is no lightweight. He eats like a horse and is built like a loose forward. He already scrums and head butts the furniture. He makes a ladies book club sound quiet. He has an insatiable appetite for cuddles but is fiercely independent. These are all good things . . . But here is the rub, he does not sleep well at night. Nine months of broken sleep has left my wife and I shattered and here I was asking for a personal timeout, which would place an additional load on her already sagging shoulders. She would be at home doing my share of the baby duties, the bath time, the feeding, the getting up at night and a host of other small things that parents of babies have to do.

Me, Iím just gasping for air, not from lack of sleep but from being sucked into a vortex of female body parts, female bodily functions, housework, chores and a host of reproductive issues that have dominated our lives since my wife fell pregnant 18 months ago. Yes, woman have stepped into a manís world and damn, they havenít let us forget it. Equally however, men have stepped into a womanís world, doing things that donít come naturally. Frankly, Iíve done a good job. From pre-natal classes to baby massage, Iíve done it all. I can play Ďmother-motherí and Ďnanny-nanny' with the best of them. I can hold my own at any ladies tea party from stretch marks to nappy rash.

But, 18 months is a long time to wear a petticoat. In this time my BMW GS1100 has moved so little Iíve havenít had to buy new tyres! My brand new GPS that I got for my last birthday is still a mystery to me. I barely notice that my leather jacket has a broken zip. My GS has moved from a Ďmighty touring powerhouseí to a daily commuter scooter. And I not happy. No worse, Iím downright miserable! Iíve lost my centre. My body is so confused. When Joshua sleeps well my adrenalin pumps so hard I lie in bed awake staring at the ceiling for hours!

BMW GS1100

BMW GS1100. My mighty touring powerhouse in its natural environment in the Limpopo bush.

What about my wife, is she taking strain? Of course she is. Is she exhausted, exasperated and bored? Of course she is and so we have employed a full time nanny. Would she also love to have a break? Of course she would, but she cannot for a number of very practical reasons and anyway, itís my birthday and not hers and so I pack my motorbike, attach my GPS (with its manual) and head north on the N1.

The road north to Limpopo Province.


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