Saturday, 3 December 2011

Home Bitter Sweet Home

Andy arrived back home to the U.K. just over a week ago now. It truly Has been 'home bitter sweet home'.

As Andy has had to get used to the cold bitter wet Manchester weather again while he wears a glowing tan that only a man travelling through Africa for the last 6 months can! All his friends and family have been over joyed by his return.Not to mention the end of such a great achievement.

Andy has expressed the Love he has for Africa and has mentioned all the many people that helped him along the way and showed him such great kindness.He feels he has grown as a person and evolved.  He has also said that his feet are itching to return to South Africa soon!

Last Saturday evening Andrew attended a Royal Green Jackets formal dinner, Where he was formally congratulated for his great efforts in raising  money for the soldiers Charity's. Andy has asked me to extend a great big thank you to ALL OF YOU for all your support and donations/Sponsorship.


We are currently waiting for the return of the final raffle sheets in order for Andrew to draw the winning number for the Royal Green Jackets Teddy Bear. We will also post the person with the closest mileage in due course.

Over the run up to Christmas, We will also be posting new photo's and adding captions and details from Andrew himself-So keep checking. If you have Any photo's of Andy please send them to us at spionkop2kop@gmail.com

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Sunshine

Remembrance day was a Highlight for Andy as he knew he had finally made it!  He was also able to pay his respects to the Heroes on the top of Spionkop that day! To read the Newspaper reports log on to http://www.witness.co.za/index.php?showcontent&global[_id]=71680


Andy was Gutted that he didn't get around to visiting Sani Pass but over the moon when Mack & Ashni visited him at spionkop Lodge!


Since then he has Bid farewell to Lynette & Raymond at Spionkop Lodge. He hopes to see them again in the not so distant Future. If you are in the Area call in and stay a couple of days! http://www.spionkop.co.za/index.cfm?pageID=5 then you will see why Andy is so drawn to the place! Andy would like to send Spionkop Lodge a plaque from the ROYAL GREEN JACKETS.



Andy returned to Johannesburg on Monday evening to stay with good friends. He has spent the last couple of days working along side Alex Riddell . Brain Dawson was also kind enough to  send us Photo's after spending a  night with Andy.

Over the last few weeks Andy has looked back on all the people that have crossed his path, He has felt so overwhelmed with the friendships and generosity he has been lucky to experience. Even when you look back at the political climates Andy has travelled through. An Angel of some description has looked over him and guided his travel!

Andy is One of life's rough Diamonds! If you have crossed his path you will know what we mean! Even if your meeting has been brief, the man will leave a lasting impression!

As those here in England count the days down to his return I am sure there are many back in South Africa sorry to see him leave.

To follow Andy's itchy feet into the next Adventure , keep dropping in as the details will unfold shortly. Until then keep sending your us your photo's!!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Andrew has arrived a Spionkop Lodge!

RAYMOND HERON (FRGS) CONGRATULATES ANDREW NORRIS ON SUCCESSFULLY CYCLING FROM THE KOP IN LIVERPOOL TO SPION KOP LODGE IN SOUTH AFRICA. 10.11.2011
We will be following Andrews story  through Remembrance day and until he arrives back  Home to the UK.
If you have anything you would like to add to Andrews Blog - Please get in touch spionkop2kop@gmail.com

If you would like to sponsor Andy there is still time!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Well wishes from The Dome Riders!

We received this Message from Yvonne and sakkie this evening:

Hi Andy,

Your days is counting down in south Africa
Well we are the bikers that you met at the rhino rally in harrismith
We are the people from the dome riders in parys
This is just to send you your picture
All the dome riders send their greetings.we have a few more pictures of you .
For us boertjies ...was it a pleasant thing to meet you
Thanks for what you did and you did make a great inpact on us.
May god be with you all the time!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Clarens the jewel of the Eastern Free State

Andrew spent the last weekend in a place called Clarens, which can be found in the Eastern side of the Orange Free State in South Africa. Andy is now on the Approach to Spionkop Lodge! Keep checking for more details as He Nears the end of his Epic Journey to Salute the Hero's on Remembrance day!
The village of Clarens is situated in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains in close proximity to the Golden Gate National Park and the mountain kingdom of Lesotho.
It is known as the Jewel of the eastern Free State because it is Rich in Beauty while offering sheer Peace & Tranquillity!
While Andrew was there He was introduced to the Well Known & Loved Artist 'Enslin Voster' .
Enslin Vorster paints in the traditional manner revealing the South African landscape in a way that people immediately respond to. This would explain why he Chose Clarens as his Home.


After hearing about the wolf sanctuary Enslin has offered to do a painting to raise money for Romi, which is incredibly generous! Andrew is in complete awe & was stunned for words at Enslin Fosters Gesture. If you would like to learn more about Enslin Voster, you can at
http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=478001875239
If you ever get the chance to visit Clarens, Please visit The Enslin Voster Gallery!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Andrew at Romi

Andy has spent the last couple of days visiting  The Husky Romi Rescue & Wolf Sanctuary, Thanks to Larry & Thea , Andrew is having the time of his life helping out with the dog's!

Husky Romi is a non-profit organization providing a safe haven for abandoned and abused huskies and wolves in South Africa. They provide a home to huskies and wolves that can't be kept as pets, because of their complicated nature. Many of the animals arrive in poor condition, some not even knowing what grass is, and are rehabilitated with loving care by Larry Paul and his team of helpers and volunteers. This group was started to provide support to the Husky Romi project and to promote the protection of wolves and other wildlife. The sanctuary is open for the public to come and learn about wolves, entry is free, but they appreciate donations for the buying of food and for veterinary bills. All the huskies are spayed and neutered when they arrive at Husky Romi.  They currently provide a home for twenty Huskies and one hundred and four Timber wolves.

Husky Romi encourages people to come to the sanctuary in Reitz, South Africa for a visit.  The wolves range in age from puppies to eighteen years old.  Under the watchful eye of Larry, visitors can view the camps to meet and pet the ancestor to all breeds of dogs. The Huskies on the farm love visitors and start “calling” at the moment of arrival at wolf camp.  Husky Romi also offers camping facilities giving visitors the opportunity to lie back and listen to the howling that continues throughout the night. ( Now we know why Andy feels so at home!)

You follow them on Facebook :
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=35310247568

To donate to HuskiRomi securely online:
http://www.payfast.co.za/donate/go/huskyromirescueandwolfsanctuary

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Strike

After a couple of brief messages from Andy we can tell you his last couple of days have been full of adventure out in the wilderness! He asked us to extend his Gratitude to Villom's wife who gave Andy a brand new tent. The one he had didn't stand up to the stormy weather over the weekend. Andrew sends a great big Thank you to you!

Yesterday Andy had a close call with a 'Rinkhals' (Snake) for those of you who aren't familiar with the name-
The Rinkhals look fairly similar to the Cobras but has keeled scales and only has a single species in the Genus.
 The hole in the fangs are  not at the tip of the teeth as with the Cobras but has a canal that ends in an elbow that projects the poison up and forward. Venom in the eyes can be very painful and cause blurred vision and the eyes should be washed with water or milk

Fortunately The snake struck and MISSED!  Andy did hurt his back a little dodging the strike! He said it would be another story he would take with him and share with others .



Kenn Slater also met Andrew over the weekend at the Rhino Bike Rally and was kind enough to send this picture to us!



Monday, 31 October 2011

"Shenanigans & Fate"

We received this message today from Brian Dawson:

This past weekend (Friday 28th October) I bumped into Andy Norris for the SECOND time, at the Rhino (motorcycle) Rally in Harrismith in South Africa.  Last time I met him on his previous trip to South Africa, at the White Mountain Music Festival at a place called Thabamhlope near Estcourt in SA, in September 2009.



Here is a picture of Andy in the Rhino Rally office.  I will send another couple, of him in the "shenanigans" street in Harrismith on Saturday, where the motorcyclists were doing "wheelies" etc!

Andy was looking well, and really enjoyed himself at the Rally.  He was awarded a special prize by the Rally organizers at their prize-giving on Saturday night.  They have a special category for the person who has travelled the furthest to get to the Rhino Rally.  Although there were two Americans who had travelled further than Andy to get to RSA, they awarded Andy with a "special additional prize" for someone who had made the most effort to get there, recognizing his amazing achievement in cycling from Liverpool across Africa!!  Due to the lack of luggage space on his bike, they gave him a leather bikers skull cap, and a box of wine (for him to drink and enjoy before leaving Harrismith), and in true Andy Norris spirit he proceeded to give the wine away to people he had befriended!! (and I got one of the bottles!).

                                                                                        

                                            Thanks for contacting us Brian!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Start the Countdown!

After a short stay in Johannesburg Andy hit the road again this week! He is well rested and Gunning for Glory as he heads down to Spionkop Lodge. We Received these photos yesterday. Below you can see Bernard Le Cordia helping Andy load Gerty up for the next Journey.








These were taken Near 'Villiers' close to  the N3 road in South Africa.

As the End of the Kop2Kop Journey draws closer by the day, now is the time to look at your mileage guess! How many miles do you think Andrew has clocked up over the last 5 months? If you would like to stand the chance of winning £25.00 - sponsor Andy & contact us by emailing spionkop2kop@gmail.com with your guess! We look forward to hearing from you!

You can also Buy your very own Kop2kop Calendar  for a Minimum donation of £5.00!  Email your order to us and we will post them out to you! All Proceeds from the Calendar will go to support Andrew's chosen Charities!

We've got our Poppies lined up for Remembrance day- Don't forget to wear yours!

Kop2 Kop Calendar 2012

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

SONY lending a helping hand


Andy has been very lucky! The photo Above is of Andy with a Lovely Lady called Chantell Weatherill from Sony in Johannesburg. She was Kind enough to Lend Andy a camera for the remainder of his Journey to Spionkop Lodge.
Thank you to Chantell and SONY for the Loan. We are assured great quality in  Andrew's future Photographs as they will be taken with the Cybershot Camera.

Andy also wanted to say Thank you to Cecilia who also works at Sony- She noticed Andy's Jacket was Badly burnt & arranged Andy a new Jacket! Which has also been kindly donated by Sony.

Andy has asked if Anyone has a 2 man tent that they no longer require or a sleeping bag? As he is going to have to replace his kit for the Next planned trip in May 2012! You can click on  'Future events' on the top of this page for more info.

If you have Any photos of Andrew in Zambia, Zimbabwe or South Africa please email them too spionkop2kop@gmail.com
Due to the Fire Andy has no Photographs of that part of his journey.  It would be fantastic to hear from you!

Monday, 24 October 2011

No smoke without...

Since our the last Blog entry things have taken a rather wicked turn for Andy. Shortly after leaving Livingstone lodge &  Bulawayo, Andy set up camp one evening. As he was unsure of his surroundings he kept everything close together while cooking his well deserved meal -when suddenly a gust of wind blew from nowhere causing the flames to come alive ..setting alight his tent, sleeping bag, jacket, clothes and just about all of his long travelled and much depended on belongings! Andy managed to fight the flames and save his bike, bag and paperwork but sadly everything else was badly damaged. Thankfully Andy got away with suffering only  minor burns on his hands and feet.

Andy continued his journey South in search for a new blanket and basic items to keep him going till he crossed the  final border into South Africa.

Once again Andy came across some wonderful people who helped him along his journey by feeding him, supplying him with blankets, a roof over his head and friendship. He is so bewildered by the kindness of the people he has come across!

He is currently travelling down  through South Africa now! Thank you to Pricilla Noeth, who wrote to us this morning to let us know that Andy was seen in  Riverside Lodge in Mpumalanga .






These are photos of the damage the fire has caused.(Thank you Alex Riddell & Family for sending these to us this evening!) Take note of Andrew's camera..Think of all those photos that were lost! If you have seen Andrew on his Travels and you have any photos that you could forward us to complete the story of his journey-please send them to spionkop2kop@gmail.com .

Andy is set to reach Spionkop Lodge in 2 weeks time. Will he make it on time?

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Hi From The Caribbean!

We have received another wonderful email this evening from Lies -l this is what she had to say:

'I am Liesl from Guyana & Barbados. I was in Zambia as a Commonwealth Observer for the Elections. I stayed on an extra day and went to Victoria Falls on September 27th and I am glad I did! I bumped into Andrew at the Falls and it was one of the highlights of my trip. We hiked to the Boiling Pot, we talked, shared stories and jokes - we spent a wonderful afternoon at the Falls. If I didn't have a bus and a plane to catch I would have joined him for dinner that night as he was treating himself to a steak :)

I am now back in Barbados as I left Zambia and spent the next 2 weeks in Kenya but I promised him that as soon as I got home I would check his blog out and track his progress! When I met him he was in such great spirits! When you hear from him tell him "Hi from the Caribbean" and let him know how he is impacting people that he meets, without even realising it!

Here are some pics of our afternoon together!








Have you seen Andy? spionkop2kop@gmail.com

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

'News From Out There!'

Since Andrew has been without his phone, The kop2kop team have received several messages from passing travellers that Andrew has met on his journey.

Yvonne  from Johannesburg sent some lovely photos of when Andrew was in Livingstone. This is what Yvonne had to say about Andy:

'I  spent 3 days at the Livingstone Safari Lodge with my kids (Thomas and Alexandra) from 26 to 29th September 2011. There we met Andrew, an exceptionally kind, humorous, sociable and gregarious character who had the courage to cycle through Africa, encountering pleasant and not so pleasant human inhabitants. We spent a day together visiting the Livingstone Museum, looking at a  steam train that served as a 5 star restaurant in the evenings, and we had a  beer at the exquisite Livingstone Royal Hotel.'





Thanks to Yvonne, Thomas & Alexandra! We are sure Andy will meet up with you again when he arrives in South Africa!

Since then We have also received the following messages:

My name is Michael, from Costa Rica...
I met Andrew at the campsite here in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and he asked me to let you know he was all right.
Yesterday he had three flat tires, though when he suddenly saw a 10$ bill on the street he cheered up and wondered about God's message to him...
This morning he looked ready and fit to make his way to South Africa!


Just let you know that I passed Andy on my way up to Vic Falls on Saturday and then I met up with him this morning in Bulawayo after returning from Vic Falls yesterday. He's in good spirits but seems a little knackered.
Regards Shaun.


Thank you to all of you that have emailed in to let us know how Andy is doing! If you see him on your Journey please contact us on spionkop2kop@gmail.com
We would love to see and share your photos and stories!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Mufulria - A Visit for Julie

If you have been keeping up to date with Andy's news via the kop2kop facebook page you will already know that Andrew had his mobile and Ipod stolen last week. Since then it has been very quiet on the African front. However we do know that Andrew is on the road again heading for South Africa.

We were lucky enough to have received Andrew's pictures from his camera. Francis from Kitwe in Zambia posted them home for us to see. There are over a thousand pictures, so keep checking the blog daily for updates. To see the photographs & film clips please click on the links above.

Andrew visited a place called Mufulria for his friend Julie who used to live there. He sends his regards to Julie and hopes these pictures will jog her memory.


video


video

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Bush, Bananas & Big Feet.

Andy has spent the last few days catching up with himself and feeding himself up for the next part of his journey. Gerty has once again had a good spit and polish, with her bits having been tweaked & repaired- perhaps when Andy reaches Spionkop in Ladysmith next month, we could consider changing her name to 'old faithful'. After so many thousands of kilometres she has carried Andy's tired body over dirt tracks & long simmering hot tarmac.


Andy is smack bang in the middle of the driest part of the year in the southern half of Africa. Even the Elephants are becoming  frustrated by the heat and lack of water. They have raided Andy's camp in the evenings in search of bananas from the tall shaded palm Trees.



He took a swim in 'The Hole' at the top of the Vic Falls, which must have been an experience that was truly awesome.Even in the dry season it was 10 m deep! A memory that will stay with Andy forever! I can only imagine a sheer feeling of freedom and awe as he peered down at the breathtaking view below him! A truly Humbling experience!  (perhaps something to add to the bucket list?)    
                                                                         

Monday, 26 September 2011

Gerty's Day Off!

Andrew is out of the saddle today for the first time in over 29 days! He is giving Gerty (His Bike) a well deserved rest! Having reached Livingstone safari Lodge just near Vic falls. you can Visit the web site: http://www.livingstonebushlodge.com/index.htm where you can read about manager  Tjisse Kamstra & what a unique and special place he is running!

Tjisse Kamstra manager at Livingstone Lodge

Andy has Travelled through Zambia during the election period  finding it to be peaceful although Andy has met some spirited locals on his travels.  He has also crossed many police check points along the way. While wild camping his main issues were with  monkeys and Dogs.

Poor Gerty has experienced more punctures than ever! No doubt- Andy has become a complete pro at puncture repairs!

If you have met Andrew on his travels and would like to share any Photo's or stories, feel free to email them to  spionkop2kop@gmail.com .

Monday, 19 September 2011

Say Cheese!


If you  have been following Andy's journey on the blog, cast your minds back to when Andy was in Aswan in Egypt- He met up with 'The Irish Lads' that were driving Dorris to the most southern tip of Africa to aid and support a Charity  Called 'CAMERA' To read more about Camera have a look at the Lads blog again - http://endaafrica.com/camara/ (Trust me , all will make sense shortly)

Now Andy has been on the road for nearly 10 straight days without a break! Partly to make up the mileage but mainly to get to a town where he can obtain some funds to replenish goods and have a well deserved rest. Along his way through Zambia He has lived off the kindness of strangers and thrown all caution to the wind. He reported that Zambians are the kindness people he has met on his travels so far, they are warm friendly and Giving.

He remembered that Red (one of the Irish lads ) had told him about a place in Zambia that the charity CAMERA was based at! So Andy called in on them!  A man by the name of  Francis sent me an email over the weekend explaining to me that Andy had visited also that he was  looking fit & well! He also Included these photo's!




Since then Andy has been in Contact, He mentioned that after leaving the Livingstone memorial he was taken in a looked after by a headmasters wife. That his close got a good wash, He managed to wash & was well fed! Gerty (His Bike) also got a well deserved oil!

Another gentleman called Clay has been in touch to say that he was able to meet my wonderful friend Andy while he was passing through Mkushi, Zambia on Thursday the 15th. He sends his regards. He also asked for the blog details so he could read more.

Over the next few days the elections are taking place. Andy has been strongly advised to stay out of the towns. Although the protests have been reported to be peaceful - He has already witnessed High Spirits brought on from the occasion.

News just in  tonight..Andy has reached his benchmark and will be taking a well deserved rest over the next few days! It's not to late for you to show your support..send Andy a message or make a donation! Don't leave it much longer ..before you know it , he will be on home ground again-planning the next journey!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Hakuna Matata!

                            

Andy has been on the road 100 days now! As he approaches the Livingstone Memorial in Zambia.
 I can imagine a little boy sat in the back of Andrew's mind constantly nagging 'Are we there yet?'

Andy has had little money and relied heavily on the kindness of strangers. He has mentioned that he met up with some Lovely Peace aid workers (Rae Walker & company) on his travels over the weekend. That they advised him what to look out for on the Journey. He also said he met a wonderful peace corp Scott that gave him some High Protein food and pasta to last him until he reaches his destination.  

                                                                        


The further South Andy now travels the dryer the conditions will become with very little water. One of the basic elements we all seem to take for granted! Lets hope Africa gets some much needed rain and Andy's journey is made easier by the elements.

Andy Wishes everyone his best and Hakuna Matata!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Another Border

Autumn seems to have arrived Early in the UK over the last couple of days! It makes me wonder what sort of weather  Andy is experiencing as he passes another boarder! This time into Zambia.

He is now more than half way through the journey , Yet I am certain the Challenges are now going to hit Andy head on as he peddles on South.

If you see Andy and you are able to do anything for him..I urge you to present him with a puncture repair kit! Andy has had 22 punctures since may!

He has mentioned that he is striving to visit  the Livingstone memorial. The Livingstone Memorial was built in 1902 & marks the spot where missionary explorer David Livingstone died on 1 or 4 May 1873 in Chief Chitambo's village at Ilala near the edge of the Bangweulu Swamps in Zambia. His heart was buried there under a mpundu (also called mvula) tree by his loyal attendants Chuma, Suza Mniasere and Vchopere, before they departed for the coast carrying his body.In their party was an educated African named Jacob Wainwright who carved the inscription "LIVINGSTONE MAY 4 1873" and the names of the attendants on the tree.

Did you know the National Dish of Zambia is 'Nshima' which is a bland but filling Maize Porridge like substance. It's normally eaten with your hands and always accompanied by a 'relish', such as beans or vegetables..or chicken & fish if you are fortunate.

'Opaque' Beer is made from maize and is sold in Cardboard Cartons! If anyone Fancies buying Andy a round...press the 'buy Andy  a Drink on the road now' button. - Just remember to remind him to shake the Carton before drinking!