vendredi 22 décembre 2006

The TRIP

‘’Nous partîmes 6 et par un prompt renfort, nous nous vîmes ………….. 2 en arrivant au port d’Algeciras’’.

At the beginning of the project we must be three bikes with a four wheels drive car as assistance but at the end we were two. All the pictures here, the GPS track here.
The travellers : Patrick et Eric, the bikes : 400XR standard 8 an 10 years old ( the bikes ) fitted with big tank ( around 20L) in order to be self-sufficient for around 350 km, a pair of saddlebag, few closes, tools and some spares ( some tyre tubes, it will be important), a toothbrush a sleeping bag and go !!!.
Next.....
The trip in 4mn
(Clic in the frame to see the video)

video


Patrick --------------Eric

Next.....



jeudi 21 décembre 2006

21-10 Pujaudran Algeciras 1500 Km


Wake up at 2 AM, quick breakfast, loading the bikes on the trailer, and we leave at 3 AM for 1500km and 15 hours through Spain.

Not many things to say, we arrive at 6 PM to Algeciras, camp site La Casita. We negotiate the price to leave the car and the trailer during our Moroccan trip. In fact we don’t negotiate a lot, 22€ for this night and around 7€ per day for the car and the trailer in a closed park.

Next....

mercredi 20 décembre 2006

22-10 Algeciras Fes 260Km First tracks


Wake up at 6 AM, the logistic is not on the top, we have nothing for breakfast, only two apples and two bananas in the car.We leave at 8:30 PM to Algeciras port, we arrive at 9 PM, we book the tickets and we leave in the ferry at 9:45 PM, excellent organizationWe arrive to Ceuta, we fill in the tank and we move towards the border. We change money before the customs, we didn’t make a good deal we didn’t know the right rate but anyway we are on the road.At the customs a guy hassle us and want to help us for the formalities, we explain him we are able to do it by our-self. In front of the control office a guy say to me “hello!, I know you, do you remember in Tunisia with JSO organization”. It is true I did a trip in south Tunisia with them, it was in 2002. They are in Morocco with a travel agency, the world is small

All the paperworks are done quickly, without to pay anything, I put the GPS in place and GO .

We stop to Chefchaouen, where we would like to buy some things to eat, but it is Ramadan and all the stores are closed, we turn around in the city and finaly find a cake shop, we buy two apples tarts and French “viennoiserie” It’ll be ok.

On the exit of the town we arrive to the market, we complete our shopping with cans of sardines with olive oil, well known French cheese named “ vache qui rit “ ( laughing cow ) some bread everything for around 10 Dirham ( 1 € ). What feast. Picnic near from Chefchaouen with a beautiful landscape. I say to my friend ‘’ Hé Patrick, on est moulus, hein !!! ‘’. A personal expression, that means we are lucky.

At the village of Souk El Had, we take a road on the left towards Mokrisset where we expect to find the first track.The track begins soon, we catch up a band of 8 Italians bikers, we pass them quickly to avoid the dust they let behind, we will meet them later in special circumstances. In fact the track is an old road which has been covered with ground and mud. This track is easy to ride and perfect for a beginning, even the loaded bikes are easy to drive, the landscape on the RifMountains are wonderful.

The trip starts very well.

After Zoumi, we take a road towards FES. Before arriving to Fes, we stop for setting up the night. I found an address and a phone number recommended on an internet Forum, I call, ask for the price, 2000 Dirhams (around 200€), oups it’s too expensive for our budget. On the “ routard guide” we find a cheap hotel. We turn in Fes, a policeman give us a wrong direction (even if they don’t know, they give you an answer) and finally we take a guide with a moped to find the hotel. 200 Dh the bedroom for two, it’s not a luxury, but we don’t care, it’s clean with hot water.

We leave the bikes in a watched parking for moped.For the dinner we find and address in the « routard guide », we take the bikes and turn around and around a long time in Fes, before finally finding the restaurant……..closed. Return to the hotel, I’ve got an other phone number, found on the web, restaurant “La Menara”, I call, the owner advises us to take a small taxi to a cinema where he will await us. He is present when we arrive. We follow him in the Medina and after three or four turns we are lost, there is nothing to do but follow him in this labyrinth. After walking a while, he stops in front of a large wood door, we enter in a wonderful traditional family home, with mosaic everywhere and plaster decoration. Hassan welcomes us friendly, he explains us a lot of things about Fes and Morocco. The meal prepared by his mother is excellent, an address to recommend.For going back to the hotel, Hassan asks to a little boy to guide us through the medina.

Walking within the medina during the night when the tourists are away is a funny thing to do.
Next....

Restaurant La Ménara

mardi 19 décembre 2006

23-10 Fes Midelt 281Km Barbed wire


Wake up at 6 am, in fact we are awake since 4 :15 am, because of the call of the Muesin for the prayer. May be because the Ramadan the level of the “sound system” is very high, and we hear two calls, first at 4:15 am and the second at 5 am. And it’s during a long time.
Regarding the breakfast we don’t have to think about it, because of Ramadan
The caretaker is angry because 7am is too early and the day doesn’t begin well, so we can go.


Anyway, we load the bikes and we start, it is 7:30 pm and we have nothing to eat and to drink, we will find something to buy on the road. But all the stores are closed.

On the hill towards Imouzer kandar before arriving to Ifrane around 1800m high, the bike are running very bad, it seems that the mixture is wrong, specially Patrick’s bike. Following my advices, he changes the carburetor setup, in order to put back the baffle on the exhaust pipe, to have a quieter bike. Obviously it is not a success.

Before Ifrane, first trails, we take the track T1 describe in the Gandini guide book, superb tracks stony by place, super. Except that at one moment right in the middle of the track, a barbed wire is tended, emergency braking, I carry the wire, rattling noise. Once stopped, I note the damage, ouf nothing important , the engine protect, the exhaust pipe and a wing of the cylinder are well striped but it is all, not puncture, all is well. I have had a big fear nevertheless, especially because here the barbed wires seems very strong.
‘’ Hé Patrick, on est moulus, hein !!! ‘’
We saw two ski slopes just before Ifrane. With only one ski lift. It’s amazing for this country

Arriving to Ifrane , the « Switzerland of Morocco » in front of the royal palace an army of gardeners is working on the parks. It seems like we have changed of country. We stop at an hotel to buy some water, 15Dh the bottle oups “ this is a three stars hotel mister “.We fill in the tanks and we go down town, the stores are open, purchases for the picnic, sardines with tomatoes sauce ( to change a little bit ), “laughing cow”, toasts ( no bread until 1PM Inch Allah). Now we can go, we take a track on the left after the gas station, we pass to the Gouraud Cedar ( a tree Known I don’t know why ), we arrive on the sealed road Azrou Midel and after few kilometer we take a track on the left, towards the south, Gas...








Gouraud Cedar

Patrick’s bike is running more and more badly because of the altitude, now the high is more than 2000m. We stop for the picnic and organize a mechanical workshop in order to remove the exhaust pipe baffle which chokes the engine.


But it is rebellious and does not want to leave, using a cable, we attach the baffle to a tree, start the engine , first gear, acceleration and nothing happens, the wheel digs the ground but it is all.
At least, step by step we manage to leave it.
Testing, it’s Ok, it's running better.
Regarding my own bike the head of the screw is out of order and I need a drilling machine. So I remove the Sand-stop which I had put at the entry of the air filter, that is a little better but it is not yet fine.

Baffle doesn't move

We meet a French couple with a Toyota very well equipped, we discuss about our respective plans.
We set out again, in the Cedar forests, excellent sandy track, further we will see the monkeys but too far for a pictures. In a small village, as we doesn’t want to give pen or candy the children want to send to us on a wrong track, thank you the GPS.

Before Bakrit, during 2 or 3 km the track are covered with heaps of large gravels put here in order to remake the track, on the first part we can go on the right or on the left side but then the track is like a cornice and it is necessary to cross the woops formed by the gravel heaps, no problem with a bike, but with a 4x4 that must be less funny. Return on the sealed road, a straight line like there are a lot in Morocco, arrival on Midelt. Stop in a garage to see whether they can put in blow of drilling machine at my screw, they do not have a drill and propose to weld a piece of iron onto the screw to remove it, no thank you we will see later.
We arrive around 5 PM, hotel Atlas, 170Dh, for the night, meal for two, garage for the bikes and hot shower.



We meet a guy from Finistère, he is traveling with an old BJ45 Toyota, he offers us two beers, a funny guy.

During the diner we discuss with a couple from Quebec, After we walk through the town, discuss with Moroccans, purchases for tomorrow’s picnic, there is a lot of peoples in the streets during the night because of Ramadan. A good evening

Now, to the bed, tomorrow we have a huge stage.

Next.....





lundi 18 décembre 2006

24-10 Midelt Tinerhir 260Km Circus of Jaffar


As usual, wake up at 6 Am, once again the Muesin prepares us at 5. chocolatine and tangerine, it is frugal.

Departure at 7: 40, we turn around in Midelt before finding the track, of Jaffar circus, that we had made 8 years ago.

Arrived in overhang of the circus of Jaffar we stop for pictures memories, 8 years ago we get back here and there we will continue the track known as “shivers track” for the 4x4 drivers, with a bike it is not a problem, but by place the track's inclinations are important. Good feeling with a 4X4. To get out of the circus we take a wrong trail in a canyon, continuing on the right track now it is wonderful and the landscapes are very nice



Circus of Jaffar

shivers track

Near to the village Tizi’n zou, we stop in front of a large hole cutting the track (2m broad and as much of depth, ) a local guy explains us that not far the track is definitively cut and we have to return and take an other track on the north, of course he asks something for the information, we hesitate a little but the direction is good compared to the GPS and the ditch is passable with a bike. We decide to continue, there will be two or three crossings in the same type, a goat trail before finding the good track.

The first ford (It won’t be the last)

Sealed road until Agoudim, in the canyon we see the damage caused by the spring risings, it is really impressive, water carried whole parts of walls. The track begins again after Agoudim. Stop for picnic close to Tamalout in a oued ( river ) bordered of cedars.

The track continues, crossing a pass with 2650m high. Before Imilchil, we turn the throttle in the rise.

Return on a tar road, we avoid Imilchill and go directly towards Thodra gorges. We pass once again at 2670m high, we go down in the gorges, it’s a pity to have tar the track and also to have build a hotel at the entry of the gorges. We pass two 4x4, they are heavy loaded.

We arrive at Tinerhir at around 4PM, after almost 7 hours riding. We look for an hotel in the guide and finally we select a guesthouse named ‘’retour au calme’’ this means « return quiet », our guest Mohamed is very friendly and welcoming , the house is really typical, close to the palm plantation and clean, we eat there very well and the breakfast (the first in Morocco) is extra. An address to be recommended. (email :hote.calme@mageos.com) One of the best stopping place we have had.

Vue from the bedroom in the morning

It is the end of the Ramadan, it’s a feast day, people are in the street, very well wear to visit the family and the neighbors. We drink a Coke downtown, discussion with a guy who explains us the difficulty in following the Ramadan, and who is quite happy that finishes. As usual now, we purchase for picnic of the following day, this time we buy mackerels it is a feast day. A young guy guide us to the shop and to a bar where we can buy some bread, only to help us and not to sell us or to ask us somethings as it is often the case.We eat an excellent Tajine, the bikes are in the watched parking of the hospital, close to the house. I am finally able to connect the GPS and pocket PC and to download the tracks of the previous stages, at last, the memory of the GPS was full.

’ Hé Patrick, on est moulus, hein !!! ‘’

Tomorrow huge stage.


Next......


dimanche 17 décembre 2006

25-10 Tinerhir Zagora 310Km Italians lost


As usual, 4h30 Am Muesin, 6h00 get up, excellent breakfast . We go to the hospital to take the bikes, we don’t see the guard and nobody else, the bikes were well watched, but Morocco is a country very safe and that does not fear nowhere.

We load the bikes and leave at 8 Am. 25 Km on a road before tacking the track to Alnif. This track is in preparation for a future tarring, what Gandini calls a “Inch Allah road”, the old track which curves around the news is more interesting.

Passage of a small pass and we arrived to Alnif without problem, refueling the bikes and we set out again for Zagora.

After Alnif we drive a dozen of km towards East then on the right hand, direction South, we cross some villages and then in Tabourikt at the exit of the village, I take a wrong track. The GPS indicates direction SW and I’m going towards South straight to the Djebel (mountain), we try to find the good track while going off road but there are a lot of big stones and that becomes like trial. We go back, find an other track which seems to be good, but once again it brings us towards the Djebel, once again we try off road and finally we find the good track.

We are riding now in a stony plain, I stop to a well, the water is only at three meters . Patrick goes a head, but he misses a change of direction, it does not have a GPS, and just at this moment he loses a part of his headlight , I wait him at the crossing tracks. When he realizes, he makes half turn, we collect the plate and we set out again.


When we leave this valley, we approach a great plain which seems to be a shott ( dry lake ), the wind rises and blows rather extremely, and becomes into a sandstorm. We move right towards the cloud of sand which masks the horizon, a small anguish goes up, at the same time we ride on a dried ground and completely cracked (like chips) there is no more track. The dry ground plates, 20 or 30 cm of large and 3 or 4 cm of thickness, crack under the wheels, the more we advance and the less we see there, the visibility is less than ten meter.
We stop and decide to remain close together and avoid to lose sight of the other. We follow the direction given by the GPS, we hear the noise made by the dry ground under our wheels, It doesn’t take a lot of time, but what a feeling. Finally we get out of the cloud of sand, the wind is blowing quite strong.

Sand storm


Ground chips

Then we arrive to a village in a sandy area, we go around by the east side before to head west towards Zagora. Some kilometers further we see an auberge in the middle of nowhere. We stop for the lunch. Tajine Kefta, fresh water, it’s great regarding where we are. The young guy who serves, talks to us about the many rallies which pass here.

Auberge Marabout


On the track again, in fact there is not really one track but many parallel tracks. I go a head and decide to step on the gas, after a moment, having a look behind, I don’t see Patrick, I turn and go back, then I see 4x4, I head for them and ask if they have seen a bike, they explain to me that he is stopped not so far. Gas.

I see Patrick and in the same time a band composed by 8 bikes are going up to me, the Italians we saw the first day, they give me a wave. Patrick has already removed the front wheel because of a puncture. Mechanical workshop in this windy area is not very easy and the sand penetrate everywhere, there is a lot of sand inside the tyre, on the axle. There are many thorn planted in the tyre. Patrick has waited the last minute to prepare his bike, and as he couldn’t get tyres “Michelin desert”, so he put normal tyre type T63, “ it will be ok, you will see “ he said. We change the tube and put back the wheel. Now, if we want avoid riding by night we need to change pace, Gas.

Suddenly 4 bikes stopped in front of us, the Italians. They ask us if we have a GPS, I return the question, No they haven’t, a compass ?, No they haven’t, a map ? No they haven’t.

In fact they are lost. Because of the sandstorm the group has been divided in two and they lost sight of the others. Good. They ask if we can guide them to Zagora, If they pay a beer it’s okay. “Andiamo”, Welcome on board.

Italians.

There are a BMW 1200 GS (without plastics wears ) the guy is a very good driver ( he has made 5 Dakar and three time finisher), a Greek with an Africa twin who speaks a little French, one guy with an old Honda 500 XLR and at last a guy with a BMW 1150GS who is not a very good driver. He seems to be afraid and anguished. Our bikes are smaller and loaded but they have some difficulties to follow us, we have to stop after 2 or 3 km waiting for them, with this speed we are not yet arrived. We go through Oum jrane, once again at the exit of the town, I take a wrong track, as often, thanks to the GPS, I go straight off track in order to find the right direction, we cross a small stony field following a sandy area with very small dunes, this way is not very complicated but the guy with the 1150 is not able to follow, the Dakarist turn and go back to help him to cross over. We continue, finding the right track. We have to stop each 5 mn. We stop for drinking some water, the guy with the 1150 arrives, I give him my bottle of water ( they haven’t water also ) he throw the cap on the ground and after the bottle, “hola I don’t agree man “.

The Dakarist is anxious because the gas, hours are going on, everything’s going well

We start again, the front wheel of Patrick’s bike is becoming flat once again, but slowly he decides to continue like this. I would like to take the track which pass south of the Djebel Adafane before Zagora, but showing behind every time, I didn’t take care to the GPS and we took the North track more comon, anyway it will bring us to Zagora. Once again we have to wait for the Italians. I stop, Patrick decides to continue slowly because of the puncture.

I’m waiting for the Italians on the side of the track when two little girls, around 4 or 5 years old, come towards me. I can see far away a nomad camp. They are watching me without saying a word. In my backpack I have a part of the today picnic we didn’t touch, I give them bread water and chocolate. Regarding the clock, it’s possible that we stay this night on the track, anyway.



The Italians end up arriving, they pass in front of me without stopping, Patrick is coming back and, in the same time, the Greek arrives with two new Italians guys of the group, there are a lot of people suddenly, their group is reconstituted.

They succeeded to contact with the other group, thanks a cellular phone. So we can go now, Arrivederci raggazzi.

We let the Italians waiting the rest of the group. Before leaving, we blow up the wheel with a special cartridge for mountain bikes, It should be ok. But now is getting dark, we drive side by side, because the headlight’s bike are not on the top and we don’t see a lot, 5 or 6m no more.

I must to drive only with dipped headlight otherwise the GPS is shutting down. One eye on the GPS the other on the track or what I suppose to be in the dark. The GPS is set on the map mode, and thanks to the cartography I get on internet I can see where we are. Without this tool it is almost impossible to follow a track in the dark. We didn’t drive a lot of kilometers, but it seemed quite long.

Finally we arrive to Zagora, escorted with a lot of young beaters riding mopeds who propose hotel, garage, restaurants and so on.

Zagora has changed a lot during the last eight years. We stop in front of the new palace of the governor under a lamp. In the guide we select a guesthouse named Dar Raha at Amezrou close to Zagora.
(http://darraha.free.fr)/, good choice.

We are escorted by Said, mechanic in a garage, in the competition department please !!!

We park the bikes in the lobby of the guest house, there is not other customers like us. Fresh beer, hot shower, kefta with red wine from Meknes, the house is splendid and the hosts are friendly.

I sleep on the flat roof under the stars.

‘’ Hé Patrick, on est moulus, hein !!! ‘’.

Next....

The lobby of the guest house

samedi 16 décembre 2006

26-10 Zagora Zagora 5Km Clutch broken

I have planed to have a day off in Zagora, but as we’re feeling good we decide to do the first part of the following stage, this means going to Mhamid, a hundred km and to go to the dunes named the Jew’s dunes, in order to test how are the loaded bikes in the sand before crossing over the erg of Chegaga.

Zagora in the morning


Palm grove

At first, mechanical workshop in the lobby, to fix the puncture, Patrick removes the tyre and I paste the repair patch on the tube, team working. There still are thorns inside the tyre, Patrick try to extract the most he can. “ This tyre will be ok, you will see “ he said.


We go downtown to the Said’s garage to extract the baffle in the exhaust pipe with a drilling machine, Patrick buys a new tube. We change money in a bank, and we fill in the tanks in a station close to the bank, when I take my wallet I realize I lost my passport, great moment of loneliness aïe …

I run to the bank, closed, but the guy inside see me and go out to give me the passport , ouf.


Okay, now we can go. We find the track quickly, but less than 2 km and Patrick stops, “ I have a problem” he says, “ the clutch doesn’t work anymore, it looks like the cable has been broken but it’s not “Aïe the problem is inside the engine, he removes the clutch cover, all seems normal, but in fact a little part of an axle is broken, it is wedged between the fork and the casing, it is a less evil, that is better there that at the bottom of the engine.


Analizing the damage

It starts badly, we can drive without clutch but we have more than 1500 km to do.
Return to the departure, it should be a day off.
Patrick proposes to call his insurance, I propose to return to the garage, maybe they will have a solution, I read that in Africa they was the kings of the resourcefulness.
We explain the matter to Said, he looks for a spare in her parts stock and then goes away with the broken part.
Patrick calls the assistance of his insurance and surprise they say to him, “ sorry but you don’t have Assistance”, oups, hopefully it is not a broken leg, otherwise….
We are waiting Said for a long time, a mechanic offers us the mint tea. The mechanic calls Said and he informs us that they are welding the pieces of the axle and they are also turning a copy of the part.
We are surprised, Inch’allah, nothing to do but waiting. We picnic in the garage, we visit the workshops of the mechanics in the neighbourhoods. Spirits is raising.
Said come back, shows us the part rewelded, it seems not so bad, and the copy. We try it but it doesn’t work, return at the turner.While I return at the guesthouse, I meet Antoine the boss, he is laughing seeing me, we are back for second round, it wasn’t so bad.


The axle rewelded
Return to the garage, once again we try to put the part copied, but It doesn’t work. This time I pick up Said with my bike, we go together at the turner.
This time it works, at least engine stopped. We put back the casing. Patrick starts the engine, first gear ok, he moves on, second gear and……… nothing the clutch get blocked Aïe. Removing the clutch cover, the copied axle is blocked and it is impossible to remove it. But since this part has been turning with the clutch ( normally it doesn’t ) and it has been machined by the fork and now there are a lot of small pieces of metal in the engine oil. In fact the axle has not been well done .
The Turner workshop

We fight during an half hour with two screwdrivers and a hammer ( chirurgical kind of mechanical ) we achieve to remove it.
We put back the original rewelded part, we manage the copied axle and keep it as spare just in case. I ask to Patrick if we change the oil because of the filings, “lets it down, the filter and the strainer will stop that”.



It’s getting late, come back to the guesthouse Dar Raha, beers, tagine, red wine, daily routine.
We get a call from the insurance, Sorry it was a mistake, here the number of file, that makes us a beautiful leg as we say here.

Sleeping on the roof under stars.

Next.....





vendredi 15 décembre 2006

27-10 Zagora Foum Zguid 240Km Gas washing




We leave at 8 Am, on the track again, hoping to ride further.
We head off-track direction south in a stony area towards a small pass. Arrived to this pass, we see on the right hand a small path for goats which is going up to an other pass, we take it.


On the top, we go by foot to watch how is the downhill.


It seems to be ok, a small single track funny to ride. In the plain we turn around the Djebel and we arrive to Tagounite for taking the road towards Mhamid.



In Mhamid the wind rise and starts to blow extremely, We are badgered by the guides, they say `' the dunes of Chegaga are higher than Chebbi (lying), you will lose yourself (and the GPS then), the track is very hard and so on”. After a while I’m getting irritated and I tell to a rasta guide to stop to lie.





We purchase some foods, sardines, “laughing cow”, bread, basic meal.
Normally we have enough gas to reach Foum Zguid, but to be safe we decide to refuel with 5 l each. Someone indicates a store at the exit of the town which is selling gas in jerry-can. Good.
We stop in front of the shop and now is time for rock’n roll.
I put the crutch, unscrew the stopper of the tank, and I don’t know why I decide to get out of the bike by the right-hand side. I must specify that I have short boots ( I’m a small guy ) and the bike is high
While wanting to pass my left leg over the motor bike, I hang with the heel the luggage, I lose balance, fall on the ground, on the bottom
In the movement I drag the bike down with me. I see the bike falling on me with the tank fully open, the gasoline runs on me with flood
I get up, and pick up the bike.
I am soaked of gasoline from the feet to the belt
Obviously the gasoline starts to burn me you can imagine what (fortunately that nobody smoked in the corner)
Quickly I have the balls on fire. The legs a little also but it is nothing.
I leave the boots, socks, bike pants, catch a bottle of water in my bag and pours it in the boxer shorts, `oh shit, my bollocks are burning because of the gas, it stings”.
In record time I unpack the luggage (every morning it takes 20 to 30 mn to tie up ). I catch a boxer and my jean, I’m naked in the street, I’m pouring an other bottle of water, I wipe myself with a tee-shirt , I wear my pants, ouf it’s going better.A local guy goes out the shop and give me a roasting because of the striptease in the street ( we are in a muslim country ), I’m very sorry but it was urgent.




Well, this is not really the better way to cross a dunes erg. Since we are traveling light, I have only one jean and a bike pants. So I decide to wash my bike pants. I return in the shop, ask whether they have a basin and detergent. He sends me to seek that in the WC, I would avoid the description of this place. I filled the bucket in apnea and come back in the street to do the washing. Washing, drying, re-washing, Re-drying, even so it's stinking of gas, . The third washing I give up, It will be ok like that.


Washing (30° is written on the label)



Drying



I wear my trousers, it’s a little bit wet, but regarding the heat I have had, it’s not so bad.
The rasta guide is passing while, he is laughing.




We refuel with 5 l gas, as we planed, I buy two bottles of water. Lets go ???



We start on a sandy track, we pass two Toyota, it’s going better than previously. We drive on sandy area, following on a stony reg, again sandy , stony etc…We use the GPS to guide our-self
On an other hand the wind is becoming strong a bit.


In the small dunes I fall, it’s not easy to keep the right direction and find the best pass in the same time. The feeling to drive in the sand is coming back, but the bike is loaded, and with the luggage it’s not so easy.



Far from here we can see a sandstorm, we continue on stones, in front of us the sky is becoming dark, I get stuck in the sand. We stop, the weather seems to become bad. I have a look at the map and at the GPS, there is a solution to avoid the erg, heading north towards a track which goes round the erg. We discuss and decide to going out from here.



In the erg



Quickly we find the track, the sky above the erg is black. This track is a hell, riding here looks like a pneumatic drill session during 100 km.






The storm above chegaga



Before the village of Zaouia Sidi, some guys stop us and require gasoline for the moped, we propose to them to siphon in the tank of Patrick’s bike, during this time behind us we hear the thunder, there is lightning, I do believe we took the good decision.The guys want to invite us for the tea, but regarding behind us we prefer going a head



We arrive on the Iriki lake, this is a flat dry lake, because the sandstorm the visibility is less than 50m, hardly we can see the large cairns which borders the track. And then the stony track begin again
20 or 30 km before Foum Zguid we pass a group composed with 7 Jeep Cherokee, we stop and they offer us to drink a fresh beer, why not, they are very well equipped, fridge etc…



Further we meet two French guys who are on the road to Dakar, they have BMW overloaded, we discuss few minutes.




‘’ Hé Patrick, on est moulus, hein !!! ‘’



Foum Zguid center



We stop in the center of the town, exactly where we had stopped eight years ago with Gégé and Pierre. The shibani ( old man ) which made the skewers (when it is black it is cooked) is deceased, Rachid, his son, is now the owner. We explain him we were here height years ago. He invites us for the evening to have a drink..
There is only one hotel here , Iriki. Touring Hostel.
The shower is almost hot, I wash my stuff ( pants, socks scented with leaded super) We come back at Rachid bar, he serves us whisky, not berber whisky, real whisky, but it’s recommended to add coke and a lot, if you want to swallow it.



Return to the hotel, meal and go to the bed, the day has been exciting
« Hey Patrick, you don’t find that it feels a little the gasoline in the room ?? »
Outside the wind is blowing stronger

Next....