So we made it to Erg Chebbi. I couldn't get the Michelin map to route to our destiantion as we had to ride off the tarmac to reach it, but the next town down was Merzouga and that's the point I put on the map to give you guys who asked for maps an idea where we were. Where we stayed is approximately 10-12 miles north west of the finish flag on the map.
This was the track we had to take to get to the hotel.
Jack and I on the way down.
When we had finished our drinks we came to the conclusion that this was our final goal/destination of our trip and we all agreed that we would stay here no matter what the cost. The views were kinda surreal as we soaked up the vast sea of sand, I couldn't believe we were actually here!
We were shown our rooms and then once we were showered and changed I had to go back and look at the dunes, camel trains were setting off from all around us making their way into the heart of the dunes for a night under the stars.
As the sun began to set the colours on the landscape changed.
We ate a mixture of tagine and kebabs that evening Rob and I still not feeling 100% and Jack had started to get stomach ache by this time too
The next day we all had breakfast, I was feeling a bit better as was Jack, but Rob was still under the weather, but he braved on and got kitted up ready to go and play in the dunes. Jack was happy to have a day off the bike and was content with sitting by the pool and soaking up the sun.
To be honest it was pretty difficult on the big bikes, we were all just skirting round the edges on the flat surface looking at the tantalising dunes building up the courage to have a real go. The first small dune I went over I came down the other side and it was much steeper than I thought, I had my first experience of the fesh fesh and as the front wheel disappeared in the soft sand I went over the bars. Luckily I wasn't going very fast and the sand provided a soft landing
I wasn't giving up that easily and got a bit more confidence and ventured further into the sand. I'd had a few good runs, then went even further and got buried in more fesh fesh!
No side stand required!
Luckily Pete was on hand while Terry carried on taking the photos.
And it wasn't just me having the odd lay down just look at these in the sequence they're in
The "money shot"
It was my turn to repay the favour this time, with the help of one of the locals.
I think you'll agree it was awesome camera work by Terry
Pete bought a few trinkets from the local guy who helped him.
He was very happy to have made a sale.
A few stills taken from my helmet camera.
These guys made it look so easy.
Pete making it look......... erm
Boy it was so hot riding and picking the bikes up was hard work. After a couple of hours we decided to call it a day and we headed back to the hotel, parked up, got changed and jumped in the pool.
We soaked up the sun and chilled by the pool the rest of the day and when late afternoon arrived it was time for us to jump on a camel and have our own trek out into the desert for a night under the stars.
We arrived at our bivouac after one and a half hours, team photo.
We drank local tea, ate well (meat tagine), danced and played the drums and climbed the dunes in the dark to gaze up at the night sky, no light pollution made awesome viewing of the stars.
We were up very early the next morning as we all wanted to see the sunrise over the dunes, wake up call was at 5.30.
Rob feeling better nothing to do with him sitting between two lovely Chinese girls
The colours were amazing.
Back at the hotel in time for breakfast
Pete amused himself with a do-nut
Once breakfast was over Terry, Pete and I got kitted up for another blast in the sand, Rob was feeling badly again so he gave it a miss. We also headed down to Merzouga via a piste we'd been told about by an Italian guy who was also staying at the hotel on his KTM 640.
We went to Merzouga on the piste and it was simply amazing riding, nothing too technical, we just had a blast. When we arrived in the town it turned out that there was no cash machine, Terry went back on the piste to return to the hotel and Pete and I rode the road to Risanni where we knew there was a cashpoint.
Terry had a spot of bother on the way to Merzouga, legs not long enough
Risanni again, it was busy as there was a market on today.
On the way back we were riding the road, I was looking at the scenery we were engulfed in and I guess Pete was doing exactly the same, I pulled up alongside him and motioned us to slow down. When we stopped we both said at the same time "why are we riding on the road when there's all that land either side of us?" We both laughed and made our way off the road, no sooner had we left it we had to cross a dry river bed and I found some fesh fesh again!
I'd had a fair bit of experience with getting burried now and it was a simple fix of pushing the bike over on it's side, filling the hole with sand where the wheel had been and then gas it out on the throttle.
We got going again in no time and the landscape was again simply breathtaking, the riding was superb, no boundries and just Pete and I, sun, sky and a long horizon.
To try and give you an idea here's Pete, I took a shot of him and his bike to the left of the shot and one to the right, vast doesn't come close.
Once we neared the hotel we bumped into Terry talking to one of the locals.
Back to the hotel for another shower and a dip in the pool!