After the realization in Chipata, Zambia that Jan’s rear shock needed replacement, we went into solutions mode. We ordered a shock from Wilbers in Germany made to weight and bike specifications of Jan’s bike and luggage. And another supporter of our trip – Bosch South Africa – secured us some workshop space at their partner company in Dar es Salaam.
We had a few phone calls and exchanged some emails with the people in Dar. Both the deviating company name as well as the managing director’s name made us really curious and we did not really know what to expect. So once we got to the Diesel and Autoelectric Services (DAS) company, puzzle pieces came together: Shayo Wolf is the managing director of DAS. His dad is German and came to Tanzania in the 70s as a development worker. After his term, he stayed and founded the DAS. So when we rocked up at the workshop, we not only got a warm welcome by Shayo and his staff, Jan could also speak in his German dialect with the big wolf.
Shayo and the company’s good soul Pauline made sure that we could leave our bikes at the workshop and lock parts of our luggage in their offices while we went exploring Zanzibar. They also offered their assistance with getting the replacement part through customs. And Pauline booked us our flight to Zanzibar (for resident prices, so half the price we would have to pay otherwise), called a taxi, and off we went directly to the island – a very different ending to our day, we had expected to spend the afternoon looking for some cheap accommodation in Dar.
We spent a few days on Zanzibar (check out our article here), and returned back to Dar on the 9th, in hopes of being able to pick up our spare part soon. As it turned out when we stopped at Bosch and chatted with Shayo and Pauline, the spare part had already arrived on Saturday, and Pauline had given their DHL contact the tracking number in order to “intercept” the package directly.
So on Tuesday, the 10th of June we finally went to work. While waiting for the shock to be freed by DHL and customs respectively, we did what else could be done. We checked Anne’s bike because of some oil sweat, disassembled Jan’s bike and put in new grease in all the needle bearrings of the rear suspension. Anne also got some more experience in Aluminium bending, as her right bark buster needed to be put in form again (too many drops, nearly always on the right side, whyever…). With a vice and a hammer as tools, and the good-humoured help of Mr. Heinrich and Mr. Ali, Mrs. Anne soon succeeded.
The rear shock did not appear that day, but Shayo was positive they would have it the next morning. So instead of working till late in the garage, we spent a lovely evening at the Addis in Dar, an ethiopian restaurant, together with our friend Jay. Such good food! If it is just half as good is Ethiopia we will gain all the kilos we lost in no time!
In the end we had to pay not only around 100 Euro Tanzanian VAT, but also another 70 euro handling fee for the !$%!#!-DHL guys – nevermind that we had already paid for the delivery. Still, we think we were lucky in a way, as without the help of the Bosch guys we would have had to wait a lot longer than a mere three days. And thanks to the Bosch guys again, the spare part was fitted in the record time of 1,5 hours!
Shayo and his team from DAS/Bosch Dar es Salaam really saved the day for us! We can´t say it often enough: THANK YOU GUYS!! YOU ROCK!!