12,000km from Sweden to Kenya on a motorbike – Business Daily
Ali Said rode his motorbike from Sweden to Kenya. PHOTO | POOL
Ali Said rode a motorbike from Sweden to Kenya. He travelled over 12,000 kilometres, a journey that was once on his bucket list.
He flew to Sweden in August, bought the bike, and started riding it back to Kenya. He arrived in the country last week, October 5.
The 37-year-old talks to Business Daily Lifestyle about his love for adventure and motorcycles.
How many bikes have you owned?
11 bikes. My starter bike was a BMW 1150GS. It cost Sh1.3 million.
Which bike is your favourite?
My current bike, which is a KTM 1290 Super Adventure R. I used it on Sweden to Kenya trip. I rode it on the journey that had been on my bucket list for years. It took me three months to reach Kenya. My main goal was to complete the journey in a month. But it did not happen due to logistical issues.
Why take such a long trip?
Besides it being in my bucket list, I wanted to educate anyone I interacted with about Kenya and its magical adventures. I passed through 16 countries including Sweden, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Bulgaria.
Most memorable of these?
Egypt because of good food, fuel is cheap, the towns are beautiful, for example, Luxor, Aswan, and Abu Simbel, [which has massive rock-cut temples].
The other is Ethiopia. It is extremely beautiful with lots of mountains, valleys, and rivers, but very scary considering the security issues. Kenya also has amazing things to offer; oceans, mountains, forests, waterfalls, wildlife, nature…
How torturous was the ride?
I had to sacrifice sleep on some nights. On some nights I slept in hostels, and cheap guest rooms. Other times I was forced to spend the night outside under the stars. Some small towns had bad rooms full of insects and crawling bugs. Other days were good.
Travelling by road and crossing the borders of various countries has its challenges too. In Greece, I was denied entrance yet my visa had not expired. Also, my passport pages got full and I was denied a visa to Sudan, I had to travel over 950 kilometres to reach Aswan in Egypt to get my visa approval.
What’s your indulgence?
I collect helmets. I have 12 now. Biking is a super expensive hobby. It is also a form of therapy. Whenever you have a bad mood, and you ride it feels therapeutic.
What do you like about the bike that you have currently?
It easily handles on-road and off-road.
In your backpack, you will always find?
Two litres of water and snacks.
Long-distance biking is not for the faint-hearted. How do you boost endurance?
I keep fit, eat well, and I walk a lot.
What have you recently discovered about travel?
Everything is possible, don’t give up easily.
Two countries you would revisit each year if you could?
Three actually; South Africa, Tanzania, and Rwanda.
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