We are in Cape Town, South Africa, our bikes parked behind us. Bathed in the pink glow of the evening sun, our bodies weary and worn, we have ridden 24,000 miles through 11 African countries. We walk over the sand down to the water's edge, where the cool green waves of the Atlantic lap against our bare feet. A moment to savor - feels so good to have the boots off. It has taken us nearly eight months of demanding riding to traverse Africa's west coast, and we are sporting our cuts, bruises and scars like badges of honor, commemorating each hard-fought mile.
Africa in all its intoxicating glory has us hooked, and we are eager to experience more, hungry for our next fix. Once rested, we plan to ride north, relying on the trusty R 1100 GS and F 650 GS to see us through Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, before returning to Cape Town via Mozambique and Malawi. Lisa and I consider the ride ahead while the lights of Cape Town turn on, glinting and twinkling in the shadow of Table Mountain.
In the chill of the early morning we pull our riding jackets close around our necks. We are north of Gordon's Bay. The rugged peaks of the Western Cape's coast, known locally as the 'Twelve Apostles' are behind us, and we are riding the fast sweeping back roads that skirt the vineyards of Stellenbosch. The laden vines, heavy with dew, scent the air. It's mid May, and we are bound for South Africa's northeast region, where we'll start our northward leg.