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)


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