Jurrian Snyder, Wisse Rhebengen and Sjoerd Hettinya are boat builders but with an interest in exploring Africa hence their decision to ride on motorbikes for a trip which started with a journey to Barcelona, Spain for the necessary entry permits to the various countries they were going to travel across.
Jurrian said ‘it took us over seven weeks to get here. We intend proceeding from here to Togo, Benin and Nigeria. It has been a trip without incident. It is a pleasant trip and people always want to talk to us. Others want to buy the motorbikes but we are unable to sell them because of the duty component. So we would ship them back to Holland when we finally reach Cape Town, South Africa.”
They inform the various Dutch missions in every country they reach. The tracking system on them also makes it possible for their families in Holland to follow their movements.
Continuing, he said 'we make about one hundred and thirty miles an hour just moderate speed and do not travel at night.'
On the maintenance of the motorbikes, he said 'we fix problems ourselves but when it is beyond us we engage repairers and observe as they fix them.'
The motorbikes depend on a water-cooled system and looked rugged, cut for the kind of trip the trio is undertaking.
They looked dusty and appropriately kitted for the trip and I engaged them in a chat having been attracted to them by their looks.
“The trip began from Spain from where we went to Morocco, then Senegal and the Gambia then Cote d'Ivoire. We have changed our tyres once and we do 450 kms on 23 litres of fuel. We do not speed and that saves fuel. We are young and single and this is the time to be adventurous. Our ages are 31, 25 and 29 respectively”.
Unlike the explorers of yore when technology had not yet reached the level it has today, these three young men are embarking on a long trip under the watchful eyes of their families at home through an efficient system.
By A.R. Gomda