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Rene

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Piet Human

Piet Human will be joining the Vic Falls to Cape Town safari later this month. Life’s journeys have brought him full circle to where he started, and he says “It’s all progressing upwards.”

Piet, now 43, grew up on a sheep and cattle farm in the Free State Province of South Africa. Before his feet could touch the ground, he’d learned to ride a Yamaha XT 500, putting the bike on the side stand so he could kick-start it and ride it away.

 

PH Dunes Background

 

After high school, he traveled in the U.S. and Israel for a year before attending university and completing a commerce and law degree. He followed that with another two years of travel before returning to Johannesburg to complete his attorney training.

Marriage and a move to the U.K. came next, before returning to Johannesburg to work as Internal Counsel for a bank. That eventually led to a move into finance and Cape Town for eight years.

When his wife, a medical doctor who’d worked aboard Princess Cruise was offered a senior position in Santa Clarita, Los Angeles County last June, they moved to the U.S.

While waiting for his work permits, he went to Afghanistan on contract with USAID (United States Agency for International Development), providing training in commercial credit principles to locals.

Throughout all his moves, he’s been able to fit in solo motorcycle travel. For years, South Africa was his back yard and he traveled around the Western, Eastern, and Southern Cape, through Namibia and up into Europe. He had to sell his motorcycle when they left Cape Town but he bought a BMW 1200 GS in Charleston and rode it on a circuitous route back to L.A.

 

PH Mongolia wildflowers
PH Mongolia Badlands

 

PH UB

 

 

Mongolia had always held a mystique for him, sparked by Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman’s Long Way Round. This year he joined Renedian’s tour of the land of Khan.

 

PH Prayer Flas
PH Yurts and Temple

 

PH Taking Stock
PH Camels

 

 

“It was such a wonderful place to be riding through,” he said. “It’s full of interesting cultures in a diverse and beautiful countryside. The mountains in the north felt somewhat like Switzerland.

 

PH Horses
PH Riding Through Sheep

 

 

“It’s sparsely populated with not a lot of paved roads, or even proper gravel roads. When riding in a group, it’s amazing to ride freely. Horses belonging to nomads race in front of you or on the plains below.

“Politically it’s stable with no security issues. I can’t wait to get back.”

 

PH Grill & Smoke
PH Sign in Desert

 

PH Oasis
PH Solitude

 

The solitude was one of Mongolia’s most appealing factors. He loved the ever-changing scenery of the Gobi desert, riding for days on end without seeing any cars and not a lot of people.

His favorite Mongolian stop, however, was at the hot springs, the setting for several interesting conversations.

 

PH Stream
PH Water crossing

 

PH Mongolia
PH Water level crossing

 

 

Piet’s South African accent gets him noticed wherever he goes, something he uses as a conversation starter.

“People know more about South Africa than they did 20 years ago when it was only known for apartheid. Generally being South African differentiates you from the American person next to you. You’ve got an extra background you can talk about that people find interesting.”

Later this month when Piet returns to Vic Falls and Cape Town, it will be a new experience. With his thirst for adventure, who knows where it will lead!

 

PH Guys with Rene
PH Feet Up

 

PH Riding EveningiOS

Photo Credits: Piet Human