Posted by: returnoftheheroes | January 18, 2011

even more photos


I should have mentioned that all these photos are from 2 years ago, I only just discovered the gallery feature on wordpress hence putting som ephotos up as i saw we are still getting traffic from africa overlanders and i thought they mighte be itnerested in the photos.

If you want to see what i am up to now in Australia go to  or click here

Posted by: returnoftheheroes | January 18, 2011

Photos in an easier format


Jere are a few more photos fromt he trip, various ones along the way, no particular order

Posted by: returnoftheheroes | October 20, 2008

Africa Overlanders

I noticed that we’re getting a lot of traffic from the folks at Africa overland, which is awesome. Great site which we used a lot as well when we were plannign our trip as well.  Feel free to drop us a line if you have any questions about our route or visa’s either here or at our email

heros_in_hawaiian_shirts (at)

I’d also check out the the link to Team Africa Battle Star which is over to the right of the page. they wrote a really good blog as they were going along. they went from bukina to Niger  before going through nigeria and onto cameroon.  There was another blog called travel africa as well which is the in links to the right which where a good source of info too.

Generally we stuck to the red routes on the 741 Map as we found deviating from them led to some pretty crap road conditions.

We ended up going through morocco, muaritatnia, mali, bukina faso, togo, benin, nigeria and cameroon.

We had visa’s before hand for bukina, benin, nigeria and cameroon and got the other ones at the border.

generally the main travel documents they were after was our car ownership papers, carnet, local insurrance (you can get one that covers french speaking africa at the border in mauritania), passports and very occasionally yellow fever certificate.  the police when they stopped you were usually trying to get soemthign out of you by finding fault with your papers but provided you have them all you shouldn’t need to worry.

We heard stories of peopel beign checked for their saftey stuff, i.e warning triangles x 2, high viz, fire equipment etc, but we only got stopepd once about that.

Check what the rules for right hand drive cars in cameroon is as that is goign to be changing soon but that might only affect importation of these cars.

There is another team (can’t remember which) on the links who went through algeria and northen niger if you plan on that route and need soem info.

Posted by: returnoftheheroes | September 18, 2008


So Flickr has made it damn near impossible to load photos up being slower than molases so i have stuck soem photos here.

Yes its a good month after our trip but…. well no buts i’ve got nothing.

Posted by: returnoftheheroes | August 27, 2008


So soem fo the Photos are up on Flicker, and when i say sum I mean 8 because its being retarded and not doing it for me, plus i’m limited to 100mb and we have about 3 gb of photos, so yeah  I’ve got more problems if you want to hear them but if not feast your eyes on these pictures

Pictures at Flickr


and yeah if it doesn’t work  let me know.

Oh and to make the transition easier for you all, I’ve continued wioth the spellign mistakes at Flickr as well.

Posted by: returnoftheheroes | August 27, 2008

Africa just keeps on giving

So we’re back after our voyage, I’m still meaning to put the better photos up but in the mean time i thought i would jsut pop a photo of a larvae of the Tumbu Fly or also known as the Mango Fly. I just thought it might be of interest as the little blighter was pulled out of my arm on sunday afternoon after having a nice time gorging itself on my soft tissue (i’d say muscle but lets be honest) in my upper arm.

7mm long little criter that was pulled out of my arm. Cordylobia anthropophagia

7mm long little criter that was pulled out of my arm. Cordylobia anthropophagia

 These little chaps apparently are laid by the mother  as eggs on clothes that are left out to dry  after being washed. The irony of this is not beign lost, don’t worry seeing as i didn’t wash anything for the 3 1/2 weeks we were on tour  but i digress. The larve then apparenty hatch or soemthing before pullign a reverse alein like move and burrowing into your arm/back etc in under 20 seconds before staying there for up to 2 weeks before popping out and flying away. 

So its off to the lab down in winchester for a better analysis, i’ve been told that they are solitary which is good news as i don’t fancy finding more of these chaps.

Posted by: returnoftheheroes | August 12, 2008

End Of Days

So We’ve made it; the warm palm tree lined beaches of Kribi are welcoming Dusite qnd I as well as the green machine, happy days indeed with a cold beer in hand.

9755 miles through 14 countires in just over three and a half weeks. before we get to this i will pick up from where we left off, so cast your minds back to Nigeria;

So after we left the internet cafe where we last updated you we found out that the nigerian who had shown us the place deliberatley took this long route to get there; turned out it was 150 meters from our ‘hotel’ he didn’t get any fee for that.

so we left once again at the crack of dawn and head north west to the town of Biu well that was the plan. unfortunatley Mr murphy and his bag of tricks turned up. in the shape oa flat tire. not any flat tire mind you. one that had been so worn out that the metal in the tires were showing. quick check of the other tier confirmed the same problem. so back to town  at a snail pace where we bought two new montstor tires at the obligtory white boys fish out of water price. that was pleasent. but the green machine now looked like it had been taking a healthy dose of steroids with some punped up wheels at the back. on wards we continued tot he town of Biuy. the roads where much better in the north but the we encountered fuel shortages for fuel all over the place. stayed ina decent hotel for a reasonable price and had some tasty but spicy food. 

left again in the early hours for the cameroon border. checkpoints picked u^p but no where as near as bad as the ones in the south. one solider had a very aminated decprition about how he fought rebels in the Ivory Coast witht he Un complete with noises and sound affects. we then proceeded to hit the worst road yet. only 10 km long but took us 3 hours to cover even with a local guiding us. everyone tried to persuade us to go somewhere else but this was the offical entry point. so after three hours of the biggest ^potholes and obstacles along witha touch of heat exhuastion we made the border. that was very smooth turnign up just after friday prayer. stamped out of nigeria jsut as the rains hit. and we talking monsoon african rainy season rains.

this is where i mention the border is a dry river bed with 10 ft banks on each side. of course these dry river beds fill up pretty quick witht he rain. Cue us  tearing across the river bed and enlisteing some locals to help push the green machine up the river bed which had an angle of about 45 degrees. 5 mins after we crossed the river it was in full stream complete with kids washing in it. no major hassle at the border cameroon side. roads where soaking for the 30 km to the main road. flooded the engine a couple of times and had to enlist some mlore locals to help ford a 100m wide river which was in full flow. caused a riot when we hande dout free sweeties to say thanks.

we now jsut had to get the 1000 miles to kribi. stayed th enight in mora and had another early start the next day. motered alogn the inthe lornign quite nicely until i hit a pothole at 60 mph causing us to dent the wheel. 30 mins of beating it back into shape. unfortunatley we discovered that the front wheels had jsut about worn through. so we picke dup some loe beefy tires at the next tozn. we should have clocked on how quickly they wore out seeing as we had only put them on the day before at the front. but we didn’t.

stayed the night in a very longosunds name right up inthe mountains. which was very pleasent. hit up the markets for some great street meat and snacks that night. left at the crack of dawn again to bertou. roads where decent except for one strecth which took us 3 hours to cover 100 km but thats jsut part our bread and butter these days. no problems after all we had 4 beefy tires now and some serious ground clearence. only one slight probmlem as we were nearing town i noticed the steering was very heavey. quick look at the front wheels revealed that when piointed straight the wheels where point at two different directions outwards. it appears that the roads had finally taken their toll and ‘realigned’ the tracking on the wheels and not for the better. the brand nez tired we had bought the day before had become alost worn through. so a quick 5 wheel change we moved the back ones tot he front and vice versa. pulled into tozn very slozly that night.

next morning after a bit of a confab with his dad Dustie went to work on fixing out tracking with only a ruler and a spanner. and what a job he did. managed to make it so onlmy one was pointing at a slight  angle. top work. as there was no way we would make the remaining 600 km otherwise we set off the next mornign through the jungle which was an awesome dirt track through the rainforest. constant checking of the wheels revealed minimal tire loss and despite a very wonky steering wheel we rolled into Kribi at 6 pm that night. Ants was there with some cold beers which was ,uch aprreciated. the hotel is awesome and for a change dustie and i aren_t having to shack up inthe same bed.

So thats it, 9755 miles in a ford fiesta covered in astroturf. two very dirty heros . a bunch of money rasied for a very worthy charity donated by some very generous folk. which we can’t say thank you enough to. 5 days of chillign out before we fly home first thing on sunday morning. we will try and tidy up the blog over the next fez days and weeks and put some photos up when we get a decent speed. so check back. no doubt dustie will have some stuff to add to it all.


Happy Days

Posted by: returnoftheheroes | August 6, 2008


So nigeria, the bogey man of the trip, the big headache the big stress. how to go about it and quickly as possible. our orginal plan of enerting by Nikki halfway up was scuppered by the road which was a pian, it would have destroyed the car. so we were forced to head south and cross jsut north of Port Novo which is meant to be more relaxed.

and suprisingly it was very relaxed, the crossing itself took 3 hours lots of form filling but everyone was very pleasent and no bribes were offered or taken. the only hold up came with Quarrine, apparently our car had to be disinffected before we were allowed to procced, so the green machien got a very through going over by a couple of lads and we were on our way.

how naive we were. we hadn’t even left the compound before the circus and its friends arrived, admitally if you drive a car with astro turf on it you can expect a certain amount of attention, this was pretty much like india all over again, the copper tried to tell us our paper were out of order and he needed a present, i told himn lets take a walk and see the chief 30 m’s away, he waved uson our way and we forced our way through the crowd who were all asking for something. quickly filled up with petrol with the circus in tow.

we manged about 2 km before we hit our first roadblock, literally.  some dude tried to spike our car with a nail board, i manged to avoid him but then 10m later his buddy with the AK 47 stepped out and waved us over and we decided to stop. we were told the first lie that right hand cars are illegial in nigeria and we need to pay a fine, fortunatley the guy fromthe first road block turned up and hauled uas back. these guys were immigration, now you are probably a little confused and thinking, surely we jsut passed through immigration at the border. but no this crack squad of geniuses were looking for terrorists and th elike, this took about 15 mins to sort out and i am not joking this guy was pulling up profiles of random africans and seriosuly comparing us to them, like some how we jsut had a lot of white make up on.

to save you the details this process of roadblocks continued for the next 20 km, not even kidding we passed easily 30 blocks, they were all a  variety of immigration, customs, qurrantine, police, anti-terror you name it they were there, there was even one guy from the union, all our papers where in order but they were all in it for  the cash, all looking for a “present” well they got nothing from us, we got our routine down pretty well and after a while of banter they would get bored and evenutally waved us on our way, fortunatley this crap started to thin out and we found our way onto the express way to Ibhadan. we also saw how locals delt with these checkpoints, there was one on the motoer way and we followed all the locals off the highway across the central verge onto the otherside of the expressway forcing the incoming traffic to the hard shoulder until we were past the checkpoint where we crossed the central median onto our side again, Genius!

IBhadan was pretty cool we couldn’t get into our htoels of choice but ended up staying at a very nice guest hous ein the city centre and had some super homecooked food, only downside was our roomw as next the the generator, so i managed to grap 3 hours of sleep from 2am to 5am when it was turned off!

Today we had a massive day leaving from Ibhaden at 6 am and headed to Abduja, took us 13 hours partly because the roads are terrible, a miniumum of road blocks a few attempted shake downs but we left them feeling like the ametures with our routine.  we crusied into abduja this evening all in one piece.

A Nigeria round up.  The pople couldn’t be happier or friendlier, in all honestly they have been great, except when they are trying to shake you down or think they can get something out of you. then they’re , well we’ll leave it at that. so its a very funny feeling,you’re never quite sure which side of the coin you are going to get. but generally they guys with a uniform are all looking for a present, no different from the rest of africa but there are a lot more of them here and they have a lot more guns.

the roads here though are the biggest problem. they dirve even worse than anywhere else and there are thousands of trucks on the road. and they are all fuel bowzers. literally hundreads of them and what is more worrying is we have seen at least a dozen of them burnt out by the side of the road, happy days! the conditions of the roads are appallign as well, pothols, sinks, massive ridges, ripped up pavement they have it all. it took us 3 hours to do about 60 km on a main road this morning. just such slow going, but like heroes we perserve.

So one more night after this before we are in Cameroon.

Posted by: dustieorton | August 6, 2008

Togo and Benin

The journey into togo was short but sweet. We crossed the border with, by african standards, very little trouble. We headed straight to , where we spent the night in a Dapaong, a pretty small town in the north of the country. The town had no electric but nonetheless we had a pretty good night. The hotel was basic but liveable and dinner of cous cous was delicous.

The border crossing into  Benin was not so smooth, we were asked for “presents” more times than we can remember (none given) on the togo side and on the benin side there was nobody there! Fair enough it was a sunday but we had to search for someone to stamp our car import documents which took forever, but was pretty amusing.  Being repeatedly sent back and forth between posts by irritated guards in monsoon was certainly a refreshing experience. After this the situation didn’t improve much, the road from the border was awful, the green machine, errr i mean the car, took a pounding.

Things looked up once we stopped for the night in Parakou. We got another cous cous dinner (delightful) and went out on the town with a couple of locals. I would love to expand on how the night went more than that it was very good, but i cannot really recall. Phil will have to expand.

Anyway after a quick 4 hour detour (cheers phil) it was time to hit the nigerian border

Posted by: returnoftheheroes | August 6, 2008

Bukina Faso

Well we rolle dinto Bukina Faso which i have to say has the best names for a country yet. we stayed in a city called Bobo and the captial has a name like ogodogo or soemthign along those lines.  not only that they are masters of town planning. we manged to find our hotel in Bobo brilliantly becuase the city is laid our ina beaut fo a grid pattern! so unliek th chaos that greeted us in Bamako and Marakesh and the like it was a piece of cake.

so ended up camping in this very nice hostel in Bobo and rolled out ther pretty early the next day, zero int he way of roadblocks through the country . a slight crazy diversion through the capital but somehow we managed to make it out the other side in one piece. we crossed into Togo pretty effortlessles to be honest,

Bukina kind of jsut passed us by as we got through it with out any problems. happy days.

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