The Golela border was another pleasant crossing. However, dense fog hit us when riding to Mbabane. Visibility was very poor. Many vehicles were travelling too fast and without lights. Insane. On two occasions, cows emerged from the fog in the middle of the road. Slamming on the anchors brought me to a safe stop; however, my concern quickly turned to any vehicles behind me stopping in time. Very risky but we arrived safe and sound.
Jaakko's friend, Dave, lived in the capital, Mbabane, where we could stay. They'd met previously wen couchsurfing in the USA. Dave was a dude and very hospitable to us.
Over three or four days, we tinkered with Dave's recent purchase of a Honda CTX200 motorcycle. Minor fixes were easy such as fork alignment, loose/missing bolts etc. The biggest issue was a burnt clutch. Jaakko had kindly agreed to bring new friction and steel plates! Fitting them was a challenge because a Honda-specific tool was needed to undo two nuts. Working around this, Dave made one by grinding a socket to create teeth that fitted the nut. Here's Dave using the grinder with PPE improvised from moto goggles gifted by Jaakko!
Dave's motorcycle was ridable, and a ride was now well overdue!
Dave has visited Eswatini multiple times with friends to build foot bridges in rural locations. Often, local people wade through dangerous rivers risking their lives just as part of daily life. For example, children would wade through rivers with books held overhead to reach school. Dave decided to show us the first bridge that was constructed. I was very excited, not just for the ride, but to see first hand the fruits of his labour that he talked about so passionately.
Here's a video I captured of the ride. The best bit was riding over the bridge! The not so great bit was bending a brake pedal from dropping the motorcycle against a large rock. Nothing a large bit of scaffolding couldn't fix! Thanks to Jaakko for the photo!
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