Dune 2009: Mr. Black and Mr. White in North Africa

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Andy G, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. Andy G

    Andy G 2wheeled alpinist

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
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    551
    Location:
    eastern Munich outback, Bavaria, Germany
    let me introduce you...

    The tour:

    Munich / Germany to Tunesia / Africa and back. To show what we're talking about, the so called world, planet Earth, Euro-Centric view:
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    Green is Germany, yellow is Tunesia. To get there we had to ride down to Genova / Italy on approx. 750 boring clicks on motorways, just interrupted by one evening at a wine-fest in Bardolino (I) and a short break at a friend of mine in Milano (I) where we left some warm clothes for our return. There we went on a boat for another boring 23h which took us to the harbour of La Gulette, Tunis, Tunesia.

    In Tunesia we rode about 2000km, some on tarmac, some on gravel roads (called piste in Africa) and some just cross country through the sand. This is our track:
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    #1
  2. Andy G

    Andy G 2wheeled alpinist

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    551
    Location:
    eastern Munich outback, Bavaria, Germany
    let me introduce you...

    the team.

    Mr. Black aka Hardheader:
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    Mr. White aka Andy G:
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    the (sometimes not so) trusty steeds, guess who rides which :evil:
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    and, our special guest, Mr. Niceguy aka Bacon, the famous ADVrider mascott:
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    More to come during this winter!

    Cheers, Andy
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    60,266
    What? :eek1 You're going to make us wait till winter??

    :lurk
    #3
  4. Andy G

    Andy G 2wheeled alpinist

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    eastern Munich outback, Bavaria, Germany
    c'mon, it'll be over 300pics and a great story, that'll take some time!
    #4
  5. drmracni

    drmracni Montenegro

    Joined:
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    314
    Location:
    Niksic - Montenegro
    :lurk
    #5
  6. Andy G

    Andy G 2wheeled alpinist

    Joined:
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    Location:
    eastern Munich outback, Bavaria, Germany
    we met Friday afternoon after work (Hardheader) and after waking up after nightshift (me) on the Autobahn restarea Höhenrain, close to Munich. We didn't even really start the trip when I got my tools out for the first time for adjusting the blacks' chain...

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    Bacon was still looking a bit weak after his visit to the Oktoberfest with Hardheader. Our goal for the day was to get to Bardolino at the shores of lake Garda, Italy. There's a nice hotel there we got to know in 2006 when going down to the western Alps for enduro riding and we were forced to make an unplanned stop because Hardheaders rear wheel bearings failed (there is no RR about this trip here on ADV, but if you'd like to see some pics just check here: http://www.agrimm.net/reisen/cuneo2006/index.htm text's german only, sorry; to skip throu the pages follow the links at the bottom of each page). What we didn't know was that the annual winefest was going on there and we were lucky to get the last free room in "our" hotel.

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    We had some nice Lasagna for dinner and a walk through the town

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    we met 4 (or was it 5?) girls wearing classical Bavarian Dirndl (sort of dress) there... one of them should get married soon, so they celebrated one last free weekend, playing a game that the future bride got a basket full of things (pencils, sweets, condoms...) she had to sell to the people around during the evening. Sorry, no pics of that episode :evil.

    Cheers, Andy
    #6
  7. Thorne

    Thorne Sherpa-ing around

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Lone Pine, ON, Canada
    :lurk ...........
    #7
  8. Hardheader

    Hardheader Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    Hi all,
    yeaaaahhh, the wine-fest... and these bavarian girls :D ...
    It was the best option to end the first day of an absolute ADVtrip. Next pictures will be posted on coming weekend by me....
    #8
  9. Hardheader

    Hardheader Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    Ok, after having a great time in Bardolino again we headed next morning to Milano. As already mentioned we left our winter clothing for interim storage, for the way back three weeks later. A few hours later we arrived on schedule at the port in Genova. This was the ferry:
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    Mr. White and Mr. Niceguy dirty and happy
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    Inside the ferry. We are in good company:
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    After leaving the bikes down the garage we went to the place where we killed a few of the next 22 hours.
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    Some impressions of the start and port Genova.
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    On the ferry we met these italian guys. Actually they came from nearby of Bardolino. It was nice conversation, sharing knowledge about offroad-tracks in Italy (on our way to Africa...). We met thes guys four days later in Tozeur.
    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. Hardheader

    Hardheader Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    This was our cabin, were we had a nap between the Heineckens we had. It was an act of piracy to sell a beer for 4,50 € :eek1 to people who are bored beyond belief...
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    Aaaahh, La Goulette the port of Tunis... :clap
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    Mr. Whites tribute to Heinecken (app. 15 min. before the ferry landed)
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    The last few minutes after 3 years (the first idea) and 6 months of planning (waiting for) the trip.
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    The competitior has already landed
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    So, on this day we touched african ground. The trip is about to start at last:thumb. We took it easy, and drove to our hotel near Tunis, Ezzahra/Rades. The challenge was to manage north-african traffic after 22 hours of boredom. See Mr. Black parking his bike at the hotel. The door at the left was to narrow for the Renthal handlebars, so we had to go thru the lobby :evil :
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    The view from our hotel room
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    This was the passage, so far... Mr. White - your turn.
    #10
  11. drmracni

    drmracni Montenegro

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    Niksic - Montenegro
    how much is the ticket for ferry?
    #11
  12. Hardheader

    Hardheader Adventurer

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    Nov 19, 2008
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    45
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #12
  13. Andy G

    Andy G 2wheeled alpinist

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    551
    Location:
    eastern Munich outback, Bavaria, Germany
    This 254€ is both ways including a bed in an inner cabin (no windows, 4 beds, air conditioned) and the transport for the bike. Just having a pullman seat is a few bucks cheaper. The later before departure you buy the ticket, the more you'll pay. We met people who payed 350€ for the same. Mr. Hardheader organized the tickets half a year in advance (thanks again!). Food and beer is extaordinary expensive on the ferry (0,3l can Heinecken = 4,50€, simple pasta ~ 10€), so think of bringing your own food and drinks.

    Cheers, Andy
    #13
  14. tokenboy

    tokenboy Gnirly Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    496
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Keep it coming boys.

    I'm back to Tunisia for 1.5 weeks and need something to think about other than meetings in Tunis.
    #14
  15. Andy G

    Andy G 2wheeled alpinist

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    The next day is a tranfser day. We leave the hotel in Ezzara rather early after breakfast.

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    The goal is to reach Tozeur before dark. The roads were all paved, but of varying quality.

    Northern Tunesia resembles southern Italy. Some hills, fiels, lots of Olive trees:

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    We had a short stop for lunch under some olive trees and a coffee in Gafsa. The cafes in Tunesia (or more or less all arabic countries) are an experience for themselfes. All men of the village meet there to have a drink and / or a shisha. As a motorbiker you are immedately involved in talking. The only bikes in Tunesia are some 50 to 100ccm scooters, so everybody wants to know if you really rode the long way down there, how fast you can go and asks you to do a wheelie when you leave.

    Slowly reaching the Djerid region:
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    on these desert roads you get the impression that we tied the whole world with our cables
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    it became a race against the sun
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    WTF?
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    we made it just in time before darkness. There is almost no dusk, it's like somebody just switches off the light. We found a nice, small camping under palm trees in Tozeur. We and a couple from Italy, Flavio & Kati, who were travelling on a brand new Tenere, were the only guests.
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    Cheers, Andy
    #15
  16. philofax

    philofax lifetime noob on wheels

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    :lurk

    -.- wanna go africa ..
    #16
  17. Hardheader

    Hardheader Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    This was the tour we did (the yellow line) on the next day:
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    Every oasis in southern Tunesia has a city gate, so as Nefta. Normally it´s not easy to take pictures of city gates because they are guarded by police-men.
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    This was our first gravelroad/ corrugated piste we took
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    This was the moment where I made my first experience of a real vibration test
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    At a certain point my lockout relay of the fuelpump took a free flight into the desert and the bike suddenly started to stammer and the engine stopped. No need to say that you´ll never find something again that flew off into a cleared sandy area.
    Mr. White went back to the camp to get some wire and a tester. For me it was one hour of making the acquaintance of the desert (it was 36 C). After the return of Mr. White we hot-wired the relay and went ahead.
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    My mindset at this moment
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    A well on the way
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    Watch the dromedaries (they´re stupid!)
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    Finally: Mos Espa!
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    Greeting of the ADVrider
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    a view into the surroundings
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    On the way back
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    This was the excursion the scenery of Mos Espa. After the relay-thing and our first ride on a corrugated piste at nearly 40 C, we decided to have a siesta at our camp. The should bring much fun in the evening...
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    The date palm in front of our tent
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    Aaaaahhh - this is brik l´ouef. A crunchy and thin sort of dough filled with ground meat, herbs and an egg. The glair is solid and the yolk is fluent. Yummy!
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    Later that evening Flavio (the Italian Tenere-Rider in the pictures above) wanted to show us some nice tracks around. We agreed and we went there...
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    ...into the Chott el Djerid. Geez, this was fun!!!!!!:D
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    Additionally the sun was setting and the light became nicer by ervery minute
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    three guys who have a shitload of fun
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    After a few minutes Mr. White wanted to throw some dirt - so this was my cue to get the cam ready... This was what happend next...
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    crop cicles?
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    the track
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    HA! Another Star Wars scenery. Nice light, isn´t it?
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    As already mentioned there is no sunset in the desert, its more like someone is switching the light off. So we headed back to the camp when we saw this
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    So, another day of riding around in Tunesia ended with a lot of fun and some impressions of vastness....



    #17
  18. tokenboy

    tokenboy Gnirly Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    The deep fried food you are eating is called Brik. Very good. I'm on my way down to Monastir for the Eid long weekend. I will most likely be eating some more Brik ;-)
    #18
  19. A-Wind

    A-Wind Andreas RD07a

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2008
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    Location:
    Redondo Beach, CA
    Nice pictures. Keep 'em coming...

    Among all the great pictures, it was interesting to see the inside of ferry with all the other bikes. It is a small hint for the amount of bike traffic North Africa gets from Europe. I guess bringing the bikes into the hotel is a hint for the existence of a dark side of the region.

    Andreas
    #19
  20. Andy G

    Andy G 2wheeled alpinist

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    Location:
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    Not deep fried, freshly made by the Chefs wife :D
    #20