SA bikers feel the heat in ride through Africa - Times LIVE
They were pelted with stones, chased and spat at by villagers in remote areas, scorched by the sun and lashed by gale-force winds. But for three farmers and a businessman who rode 13000km in 46 days from Cape Town to Cairo on their motorbikes, it was all part of the adventure.
Businessman Stelios Georgiou, 42, and Eastern Cape dairy and stock farmers Richard Bennett, 50, Rufus Dreyer, 41, and Norman Emslie, 53, undertook the journey to raise R1.2-million for a water preservation system for Adelaide Hospital in Adelaide.
The trio eventually managed to collect only R200000, but on their blog - Three Farmers and a Greek - they described their trip as "mind-blowing".
Emslie's journey was shortened by a week because his passport was stolen from an official's desk at the Ethiopian-Sudan border. The rest of the severely sunburnt team, having reached Cairo on Sunday, landed in Port Elizabeth on Thursday morning.
On their blog, the men described being attacked as they raced through villages in Ethiopia:
"We sensed a change in the people's attitude towards us in the more isolated villages deep into the mountains. Some were even spitting at us and we were all hit by stones. It is a helpless feeling when you sit, exposed on the bike, with stones flying all around you."
Border officials in Sudan presented another challenge. The men wrote: "In one of the offices, the official was sitting back with his bare feet on the desk while asking questions in limited English."
Emslie's woes weren't confined to the disappearance of his passport: "My motorbike (a Kawasaki KLR650) broke in half ... but we managed to put it back together," he said.
He said that, despite the challenges, the scenery on the trip through eight countries was breathtakingly beautiful.
"The views were spectacular and we must have climbed over four or five huge mountain passes with the road snaking up and down the sides with cliffs."