The Motley Crew

Three years later and the Motley Crew finally rides again!!!

Yes, your favourite bunch of rapidly waning wrinklies from the bottom of Africa (physically, not metaphorically) have changed their adult diapers, coughed up a few years of congealed phlegm, cleaned their collective eye glasses, re-charged their never empty alcoholic beverages and fired up their trusty metal steeds to ride once more into the deepest darkest depths of Africa!


There have been a few sad soles lost by the wayside of work commitments (Tim and Euge) and health attacks (best of British luck to you Barry) but a couple of hardy virgins have stepped up to the plate to endure the everlasting ignominy of joining “The Motley Crew”.

Cue drum roll…


Sharpie (aka Skaapie)

The eminently flappable, anally retentive, nit picking lead organiser is still with us. This despite several attempts to kick his walking stick(s) out from under him! Sharpie will once more be driving us (both physically and mentally) around the bends of Africa again.

He has (finally) turfed his ancient warrior Toyota bakkie for a new Ford Ranger (gasp, shock, horror!) but will be towing his ever trusty heavy duty trailer with to ensure that there is some continuity.


I really should have had my bran flakes this morning…

The Botswanian goats have been forewarned of his (ahem) coming and apparently the queue to exit, in the opposite direction towards Namibia, has reached biblical proportions.

Marko (aka Kwacha Man)

Once again designated accountant for the trip, he is already badgering us with demands for more and more money on a weekly basis. His recent purchase of a kings ransom in pula has sent the Botswana currency from strength to strength with a reciprocal plummeting of the SA Rand.

And you though it was all about Jacob.


Banting… feed me… feed me NOW

He is still, in his own words, “riddled with good health” but is now, apparently, on a banting diet. Lets see if that can last the trip…


Sigh. Getting better looking every day. What can I say.

Three weeks without shaving and I still can't grow a beard...

Three weeks without shaving and I still can’t grow a beard…

Will be taking photos again, getting lost again, throwing a temper tantrum or two again.

John W (aka John Green Shirt, aka Christmas Father)

The first of our virgins for the trip, John Green Shirt gets his nickname from his ability to wear the same shirt for three days running. Totally unphased by the abuse he received last time we were away for a long weekend where he only remembered to bring a single shirt – he demonstrated the “one shirt, three day” cycle by turning it inside out for day two, and back to front for day three.

And it was green.

John W

Shaving is for pussies…

John weighs in with many a trip (with other less important people) through southern Africa and we welcome him and his trusty bucket of bolts to our pleasant little band of land pirates.

Dietwin (aka Our Belgian Brother)

The second of our Men virgins, Dietwin jets in from Belgium to join the merry band for his first long trip. He was a welcome addition on one of our long weekend trips when he was last working out here in South Africa. His discovery of the pleasant effects of sipping Sedgwicks Old Brown sherry (OBS) rapidly lead to his downfall and subsequent acquaintance of the OBS hangover 6 hours later.


Aaaaah … who do I love more, Mady or OB’s?

Dietwin’s enjoyment of his last little outing with us had him chomping at the bit for a “real” trip through some of the lesser travelled parts and he has been partaking – albeit at a distance – in all our planning. One of the potential substitutes for our missing barman for the trip?


Johno (aka Cousin It)

We take our collective hats off to Johno. With the pending nuptials on the near horizon (about a month away, I believe) Johno has committed to join the Boys trip for its two duration.

Maybe its a stress relief thing. Or planning overload. Or typical male denial. I don’t know.

Either way, I think we should start a lottery to see how long it is before his better half starts talking to him again…

First make an 'O' with your lips, like this, then...

First make an ‘O’ with your lips, like this, then…


I am pleasantly surprised to see that the Dog Doctor has joined the trip WITHOUT his mountain bike. I sincerely hope that the withdrawal symptoms are not too bad. Without his daily 30km cycle there is going to be an awful lot of testosterone and un-utilised energy floating around that is doomed to have an unpleasant ending that involves the rest of us downing large quantities of liquor when he ends up in one of his legendary party modes…

Chillin' like a villian...

Chillin’ like a villian…

Trust me – the picture above is not normal for him.

“The Flash”, with ADHD, is a more like it.

Nico (aka ?)

The first of the Boy virgins, Nico was in like a shot when he heard we were heading into Botswana. I’m sure there was along story about being there thirty years ago and involving dusky wenches, wide open skies, endless beers, salt pans…no? Must be someone else I’m thinking of.

Ja, its just tea boet, I swear!

Ja, its just tea boet, I swear!

Anyway, as an engineer, he is probably the best person to have on the trip.

That, and the fact that now we don’t have to worry if a lion chases us…


Boy virgin number two.

What can I say about Rais other than…next time, check your passport when you first sign on for the trip. Not two weeks before we leave…

I am sure I will find a lot more to abuse him with after two weeks of close living 🙂


The following bunch of reprobates have signed on for the ZimZam tour (2102).

Heaven help me…


Sharpie (aka Skaapie)

The acknowledged lead organiser, which is not the same as being an organised leader – not that he isn’t organised, or good at leading, but since we don’t really have leaders per se we can’t, by definition, actually have an organised leader – but I digress. He is organised, very much so. Almost to the point of being anally retentive over the matter.

I think I’m sitting on my vibrating phone…

Actually, he is so far past anally retentive he is about to pass it again.

His attention to detail means that he has to get to the bottom of every challenge, analyse it, organise it and put it in the correct list, cross referenced and colour coded.

Has a penchant for Blue Top and goats, giggles infectiously when inebriated and has been known to out-haggle the downtown Durban traders.

Timotei (aka The Barefoot Barman)

Born in Zambia in the last millenium he uses this as an excuse for removing his footware within 5 minutes of arriving at any destination (assuming he even put some on before departing).

His barkeeping skills are legendary. If he had been on the Titanic the iceberg would have ended up in being served as cubes in a round of drinks to passengers and crew before the berg could even hit the ship. And all this would have been barefoot on an icy deck!

I better check out our stock…

Also has a penchant for serving Bloody Marys for breakfast and it is rumored that he does not know what a single tot is…

Marko (aka Kwacha Man)

Designated accountant for the trip he is already sending out letters of demand to all attendees… still not sure why he needed all our account details so that we could get that money from the Nigerian princess whose father owned gold mines filled with oil soaked diamonds but died before he could lodge his will and whose evil brother wants it all for himself?  Mmm, oh well, at least I’ll be rich!

Should have brought a chair from the shop…

Has attended the infamous intercity fun run between Durban and Pmb enough times to earn a greenie but also holds a legitimate record for the race that no-one wants to break…


Genius, philanthropist, olympic styled athlete with body to match, magnificent lover (ahem, so he is told), self proclaimed King of the World (move over Leonardo) with a face that broke a thousand hearts…

Also author of this blog.

Damn, caught on the wrong side of the camera again…

Generally ends up as the photographer because he prefers that side of the camera, he also shoulders the responsibility of navigator although this is normally because he is the only one who can read a map. Actually, I think he is the only one who can read. Full stop.


Johno (aka Cousin It)

The man with the facial hair with a mind of its own, Johno is one two dog doctors that travel with the team to handle such important things as hangovers, minor cuts and abrasions and general well being. The rest of the team tries to get them inebriated as fast as possible each day in case any of us actually needs serious surgery so that we can use their lack of sobriety to go search for a real doctor…

Mmmmm.. looks like that leg needs to come off.

One day we are going to pin him down and shave him clean … still trying to find a pair of sheep shears, though. Heavy duty ones. Really sharp, heavy heavy duty ones…


The Other Dog Doctor, his recent eyesight restoration has lead to a gratifying leap in patients at his practise. This because the pet owners have regained their trust in him since he now strokes the animals and not the owners! Amazing what 20/20 vision can do for you.

Where the hell did I leave my sunglasses?

Normally the ringleader when it comes to hyper-active sports (this is a second reason to slow him down with a few stiff ones early on) he can often be seen peddling forth on his bicycle when others are reclining gracefully under the nearest palm tree.

The Young Kid

This man is so smooth he slides up hill while standing still. The head peacock in the group (unfortunately his trusty Peacock #2, Erik, will not be joining us this trip), he is the nominated negotiator when chatting up of female persons in positions of power.

I need more bling !

Makes a mean Hooligan Juice but tends to disappear when the Bacardi runs out (see below).

BT Overdrive

Our pet refugee from Cape Town, he shows his loyalty to the team by travelling the extra 1200 km every few years to join us on our trips. Remains a jocular member of the team until his Bacardi gets used up in making Hooligan Juice (see above).

I can’t wait to get back to that cold, wet and windy mountain …

He can be relied upon to keep up team spirits when in emergency situations. This is normally done with well aimed sarcasm from the nearest point most comfortable to his posterior.


11 thoughts on “The Motley Crew

    • We’ll be most happy to have you along! The posts will be a bit eratic once we begin travelling, due to the lack of comms in some areas, but I will catch up onb our return.


  1. If this is the level you’ve set for the blog, I’ll be reloading the page every day for my dose of humour… and will no doubt be laughing at Skaapie’s expense! Nice one 🙂


    • Hey Skaapi jnr – I hear you are having a great time on holiday. I will, naturally, continue to abuse my fellow travellers literally, as we go. I just hope I can find enough places to connect from so the running commentary can keep running, or even walking! Eye say cheers.


  2. Owen Sharp referred me to this blog. Most entertaining reading! However, where is Andrew Ogilvie? Will look forward to reading about your Zim trip.


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