Day 8 : 29th April : M'hamid / Zagora
Where's the rest of them?
It's later than expected, no more breakfast
only some 30 kms ahead
No way, the 950 is beyond fuel reserve...
let's find some black market gasoline
Welcome to the yellow world
5 litres of unleaded please
30 kms liaison
fuel station., fill up
another 8 kms liaison
Control de depart
"today noone breaks anything ok? i wanna arrive early and slep some 12 hours"
really fast tracks
even faster tracks, the kind with high probability of taking off, crash and burn
first signs of sand storm
One MT21 for the 950 breakfast
dry lake.. another one
another sand storm approaching
we can see an area filled with water
Ups... it's slippery
what was that?
looks like this ain't so dry at all
brake... that's water
Brrrrruoooommmm..... swosh! water! 2 fellas gone for a swim
looks like i can't stop, there's a 4x4 already rushing to help them
go around the lake
where's the track?
very faint track signs?
ups.. a tree
that tree passed just a bit too close
near zero visibility
turn off the engine
deafning silence of wind and sand
no tracks in sight
near zero visibility
trust in GPS for navigation
impossible to go on
the wind has stopped and the sand dropped for a few seconds, enough to watch the landscape
strangely unfriendly but at the same time confortable, noone is around, we can see only a few rocks and sand that insist on motioning through the air, changing the visibility, surface, the track that we can't see anymore, or if even it exists and everything else around.... ..
there's a constant mutation
i can hear an engine
it is vanishing
this one passed really close
simply didn't see it
what a strange inebriant loneliness feeling
starting to descend
in a minute we can see a few meters ahead and then suddenly another sand cloud apears and we see nothing, and the the wind stops and the sand fells on the ground
and then like a tornado, wind and sand arises again
strange clutch feeling
when reducing gears, the revs go to 2k and stay there, there's no engine brake
shifting gears won't do anything, there's no connection between clutch friction plates
that's my bike in the track 10 meters away...
cell phone coverage?
this is a strange situation, you know you are on the right path and someone will pass through you, but still it's the middle of the desert
i can hear engines, bikes passing by
left or right?
the heavy wind and sand make it very hard to identify directions
is the track here?
roadbook says so, gps confrms the location
where's he going?
couldn't see me?
how come he couldn't see me?
looks like a few bikes are heading this way?
more sand through the air
it looks like..
i know these
i'm here guys
they've passed 10 meters away from my bike
it's very hard to see anything else when you're through a sand storm and concentrated on riding and navigation
this ain't with the raid
"Who are you? What are you doing here? where are you going?
"we can't help you, we're heading to Algeria"
"do you need food and water?"
More distant sounds
the wind is playing tricks with the sound
it sounds like engines running
will they see me?
"we can't stay here, we'll advise at the next checkpoint that you are here."
that feels better...
it's just the wind
a nomad coming out of the desert
there's at least 2 guys that know my position
visibility is constantly changing
still can hear engines far away
Is it engines or the wind?
check food, water and find some shelter
hot air coming in and out
sand is everywhere, like if wind become thick
get some rest
no more bike passing by
strange new friend around
There's life after all in the desert
more than we can expect
get some sleep
where did that come from?
everything is covered with sand
what time is it?
visbility has increased
still loking around, that horn sound wasn't my imagination
another wind prank or my imagination?
that's a white 4x4!
load the 950 in the pick up
rythm is just too slow
just to shaken things up
Arrive at Zagora
nagging morocan guy thinking he is a mechanic
night shift on repairs
sleep at last!
no, not really.
get the next stage roadbook ready
a brand new bib mousse, ready for another 10.000 kms on a 90kg 2 smoker
worn out rear tyre
head back to the hotel..
more sand here?
sleep... in a rush
what a stage…
to be continued...