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Old 07-20-2011, 05:54 AM   #13
Gustavo.Ramos OP
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: May 2008
Location: Accross the pond
Oddometer: 962

Day 8 : 29th April : M'hamid / Zagora

Wake up!
Where's the rest of them?
It's later than expected, no more breakfast
let's go

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"
fast tracks

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

smooth surface
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
Allez Allez...
looks like i can't stop, there's a 4x4 already rushing to help them
go around the lake
sand storm

where's the track?

very faint track signs?
ups.. a tree

that tree passed just a bit too close
small dunes
near zero visibility

turn off the engine
deafning silence of wind and sand

more sand
no tracks in sight
near zero visibility
trust in GPS for navigation
stop again
impossible to go on
zero visibility
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.... ..
noone around
there's a constant mutation
i can hear an engine
is it?
it is vanishing
is gone
this one passed really close
but where?
simply didn't see it
keep going
what a strange inebriant loneliness feeling
more sand
starting to descend
phantasmagoric valley
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
Scooter 950
when reducing gears, the revs go to 2k and stay there, there's no engine brake
not here
it stopped
shifting gears won't do anything, there's no connection between clutch friction plates
that's my bike in the track 10 meters away...

what now?
cell phone coverage?
time: 12:30
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
but where?
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
a 4x4
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
another 4x4
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?"
Bonne chance
More distant sounds
the wind is playing tricks with the sound
it sounds like engines running
but where?
will they see me?
a 4x4
"we can't stay here, we'll advise at the next checkpoint that you are here."
that feels better...
More sounds
it's just the wind
a nomad coming out of the desert
there's at least 2 guys that know my position
Nomad continues

watch around
visibility is constantly changing
still can hear engines far away
Is it engines or the wind?
increasing wind
check food, water and find some shelter
getting warmer
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?
look around
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
get going
rythm is just too slow
Check Point
changining vehicles


now rocks
just to shaken things up


Arrive at Zagora

nagging morocan guy thinking he is a mechanic
dinner music
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
changing tyre
change mousse
head back to the hotel..
more sand here?
sleep... in a rush

Unique experience…
what a stage…

to be continued...
Growing old is mandatory... growing up is optional!

Raid de L'Amitié 2011 RR (link)
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