Our local adventurers living the life

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Our local adventurers living the life

Adventure bikers conquer the world
Peter Martin

Picture Supplied

There is little doubt that many residents of Buffalo City are adventurous souls and enjoy venturing out into the wide world to discover new places to travel, perhaps on two wheels or even by walking. Or maybe they’ve had a hankering to climb a high mountain or swim a section of a dangerous sea, all because “it’s there.” Peter Martin investigates how three families took time off to fulfil their adventurous dreams.

Adventure bikers conquer the world

If any couple of Buffalo City folk personify living adventurous lives, it must be the Oliviers, Michnus and Elsebie of Gonubie.

The pair, who have no children, have so far travelled around Africa, Europe and North America on motor cycles, and are currently heading to Central and South America. Future trips include Asia.

The Oliviers maintain that to leave home and travel as they do requires that one has sufficient monthly income. They have invested in property over the past years and the rental income has enabled them to travel and live their dreams.

Their motor cycles, complete with South African flags, tend to act as magnets to many caring strangers, many of whom have opened their homes to the two South Africans.

Elsebie says: “Travelling for extended periods places you in situations where you are not only out of your own comfort zone, but also often in someone else’s comfort zone. People all over the world are inherently inviting and friendly. We were swamped with invitations to meals and stay overs and these experiences often became some of our most treasured memories. We have also forged life-long friendships.

“We learned that what we thought to be normal manners, etiquette and conduct for us was not always the same for others.”

The couple offer various ways to fund travelling.This includes sticking to a budget. So invitations from very giving individuals are most welcomed as they help saving on accommodation and meals. Check out their blog www.pikipiki.co.za where they have written an article on how to afford long term travel.

“We found it very difficult in the beginning to just trust invitations,” says Elsabie. “But ultimately we found these invitations to be one of the most rewarding sides of travel. To meet new people in their homes, be exposed to the local cultures and food, gain new friendships, it is all so good!”

However, the Oliviers warn travellers not to abuse or misuse the generosity of any inviting folks. It is tempting to save money. “We have heard horror stories of travellers moving in for weeks at a time, contributing nothing and in some cases not even doing their own dishes,” says Elsebie.

Needless to say, you must be careful and not just accept any invitation.

“Always use good common sense and rather be safe than sorry.”

Elsebie recalls one experience while travelling through Africa: “In Sudan we were invited by very upstanding citizens to a not-so-legal drinking session.

“We ended up following a taxi through a maze of streets, parking behind a wall and we were escorted down stairs into a very dark basement. Not the cleverest move from our side, but by taking care we made good friends. Bear in mind drinking alcohol in Sudan is illegal.”

The Oliviers, as a further safety measure, suggest that the traveller in a strange land should always tell family and friends at home their movements. They are also considering investing in a satellite tracking system which will pinpoint for those at home exactly where in the world they are at any given moment.

On many occasions, when invited to spend a night with complete strangers, who have opened their homes to them, the Oliviers, instead of going out with their hosts to an expensive restaurant, have offered to cook a traditional South African meal. Even a braai goes down well.

The couple have stored three motor bikes in Germany and three in Texas, United States. Then it is just a matter of flying over, collecting two of the bikes, and they’re on the road again!

Their latest plan is to travel down South America, right to its southern point.

“We don’t stick to any time-table at all,” says Michnus. “If we want to stay in one place for a few days, we will. Right now, we can’t think of a better way of living life!”

MBSA Leaders

MBSA Leaders during a Q & A session at the 2017 MBSA Annual Results event held in Pretoria, from left: Johann Evertse, Carsten Spohr, Nadia Trimmel, Jasper Hafkamp, Joerg Essig, Florian Siedler and Mayar Bhana

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