EDC in Morocco 2013 on Yamaha XTZ Ténérés...amongst others

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by WIBO, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. WIBO

    WIBO Will it buff out?

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,864
    Location:
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    So...after last years debacle of stupidity by nothing but a herd of goats (Équipe des Chevres =Team of Goats)behaving like Benny Hill,I decided another trip to Maorc was required.

    See here for a laugh http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=841901

    If anyone wanted to experience Africa we would offer our experience free of charge and assist where possible.....we're going anyway..so just turn up and we'll help with customs,passport control,hotels and routes/pistes


    So after a few weeks of answering questions here and there on the xt660 forum amongst others,a motley crew was press ganged into meeting in Spain,riding south to the port of Algeciras and onwards to Maroc. A few would drop out as things unfolded due to both mechanical problems and circumstances.




    We would get to where it's sunny ASAP and then ride as much off road as possible,both on pistes I know and ones that were to be explored.

    We would ride to Merzouga to the Erg Chebbi and play there one day and then ride overland to Ramlia and onwards to Zagora.

    After this roughly to Foum Zguid-Tissint-Tata-Ighrem-Taradant-Argana-Imintanoute to Marrakech,over the High Atlas (alt 2020m)by trail only with only the last part by autoroute. After here then the return ride home to 'normality'

    I left home with Phil on his Yamaha TTR600 and Will on his new to him GS1200. My weapon of choice was of course on my Yamaha Ténéré XTZ660Z with a new pair of Mitas E07 tyres. I used these last year and found they worked really well with hard pack and rock,hence the same choice this time around.







    Phil and Will welded up soft luggage supports without burning themselves from lengths of tubing and from pictures of supports from web sites selling same. Result!

    His soft luggage is ex army canvass. Will bought some BMW alloy panniers. I stuck with my Ardcases.

    All motos were given a good service without stripping any threads in any alloy...weird I know...and off we rode into the dark morning after bidding a sad farewell to our respective wives(yeah right)

    We were to ride to Caceres Spain where we would all meet up...UK riders(who were riding down from Santander after disembarking) and if any others wanted to join all they had to do was meet in the moto park at Algerciras port or at the hostel.


    We had one UK rider who was riding down through Spain and Portugal off road on a KTM 690 who ended up not being able to make it due to the usual typical problem of zapped fuel pump...that was the first unfortunate incident.

    We rode over the Pyrenees via Col du Pourtalet and on down for our first fuel stop for Phil as he has limited range(although backed up with a 5 litre fuel can). I don't even think anything stupid occurred ...no overshooting of corners....or slippy cow dung on the road...couldn't believe it!




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    Lunch at a fuel stop...sandwiches and a drink...we really know how to live it up!

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    It would turn out to be a sunny and clear day for the 845km ride....(means to an end..get down through Spain to the sun of Maroc)....We rode on to the hostel which I had booked as a rendezvous point;bed and breakfast for the princely sum of €18!

    We parked up,decide to give a both stern and stupid look to the camera and get our kit inside whilst waiting for others to arrive.

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    First to arrive were the Enfield and Triumph of Jacqui and John and then soon afterwards the UK contingent.

    If anyone is interested in a lone female riding on an old classic have a wee peep at her website.Some interesting stuff going on there

    http://jacquifurneaux.com















    .We dander into the town centre for food after introductions,return and bed down to get ready for the next days ride. (We ride as far as we can the first day so as on the second day we can get to the boat as early as possible so as to allow for goofy delays at Moroccan customs..and this in turn will allow us to ride to the hotel usually in daylight by autoroute) If riding after dark it's preferable to ride on an autoroute instead of a normal national route.(Here you have the possibility of riding into people,donkeys and carts at a minimum)

    Some of the group started to cry stating that they were afraid of the rain and the dark. They were given a stern telling off and told to get on their motos.

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    Directly after fuelling up the Enfields' engine races....duff throttle cable unmounting the cause. With all of her traveling,as can be seen written on the side panels,it zaps in modern Europe..always the way!!

    The spare was fitted.

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    In the meantime the group splits into two to ride on to the port moto park leaving the Triumph,2x Ténéré's,Enfield,BMW and TTR.


    So off we bimble along the autoroute in torrential rain both with poor visibility and low speed.





















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  2. WIBO

    WIBO Will it buff out?

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,864
    Location:
    64800French Pyrénées
    So..as we ride we realise that we're going slower than what's desired. The others will be close to Algeciras and I decide to ride on with Alistair to see if others will arrive at the moto park and to give details of the hotel in Asilah along with any info that might be needed relavent to passport/customs.

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    We arrive at the moto park to find no other riders.....

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    Alistair parks his moto beside the XT's big brother....

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    Luckily the others had winged it themselves after meeting 4 UK riders from Portugal and were on their way,but Alistair and I had no info of that happening or if any mishaps had occurred with their group en route.

    They couldn't be far ahead of us so I asked a ticket seller if he'd seen riders that I described and he stated they'd left about 30mins before. Result.

    We got contact via mobile phones and I explain where the hotel is....and all was well.

    We got an open ended return ticket for €90 and went to wait for the boat that has arrived and would leave in an hour...Maroc times/logic starts on this side of Spain..so of course when we arrived at the berth we found what we expected....


    This clip shows that anything is possible when you head over to Maroc.... :)


    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.liveleak.com/ll_embed?f=459857987927" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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    We get to the port and get through customs and make contact with Phil and Will who inform us that the older motos had been running poorly due to the rain and had pulled out until they could get repairs and continue on at their own speed.

    They say they're on the ferry and will arrive in a few hours. Alistair and I decide to wait at the port and we could all bimble along to Asilah together. We park up and wait for them to get through customs. We were too late for Alistair to buy insurance as the offices had closed. We'd have to buy it the next day.

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    Phil gets through due to having been registered before and Will takes longer to process due to his first time in Maroc and that a shift change was being carrying out. This is his first introduction to Africa so it'll not take too long for him to get into the swing of a certain logic. You can't fight it..just roll with it.

    A couple of hours later they exit sobbing complaining about the bad men. I give them a lollipop each and they soon calm down.

    We ride off 85kms along the autoroute to Asilah dodging the odd traffic cone left ion the middle of the road and book into an hotel Phil and I use.

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    Next morning we all had breakfast including the 4 UK ex-pat Portugal riders. I went with Alistair into Asilah to see if a local insurance office would be able to sell him insurance...but to no avail..it had to be at the port. We all ride and rule up at a station in the main street. Th ethers will head on to Midelt and Alistair and I ride to Tanger to find the insurance office there.

    He buys 3 weeks of insurance for about &#8364;90 and refuses to buy a carpet from a local dude...strange how they always try to sell you a carpet when you're on a moto........off we ride taking the fastest(though longest route)to Midelt via the autoroute. We press on in sunny weather and I think we'll actually catch the rest of the group up especially if they're taking a long lunch.


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    We end up doing just that a good distance south of Azrou.I see the group taking a break at the road side and pull over. A couple of the group began to blubber and tell us they were happy to see us as they thought we'd gotten lost. I calm them down and promise cartoons on the TV when they get to Midelt. We then all continue on together.

    We ride into Midelt to another hotel we use. After a few long days riding coupled with todays 590kms,I can tell everyone is glad of the rest because I see some sucking their thumbs and holding a cloth to their faces.

    We stash the motos within the confines of the hotel. I have to tell one off for having a piss in the garden in front 3 women and another for trying to pick pocket the guardian..citing that we needed him to watch our motos as we slept....


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    I catch one rider who had just drawn a lower lip mini beard on the picture of the girl in the below picture...so off I take him by the ear to the manager where he has to say he's sorry and that he'll never do anything bad again...

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    We leave the next morning,fuel up at a fuel station a few hundred metres from the auberge and ride into Midelt to hook up with the Portugal UK riders...the Kawasaki 650 of Andy is running poorly. (He'll end up getting a new battery and they'll all meet us on our rest day in Merzouga)

    Alistair very kindly pays for my fuel fill-up as a gesture for having taken him to get his insurance in Tanger...Thanks again.



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    We will ride sedately over the mountains to finally get to the Erg Chebbi....a total of 280kms and will include the excellent Ziz Valley.

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    We ride for a spell and one of the group pulls over when he see a goat. He wanted to make a bow and arrow out of twigs and string and shoot it. Funny;last year I had the same problem with a rider,although in this case he wanted to shoot a camel.

    I tell him we'll just take a few snaps and give the shepherd and his kids some breakfast bars if anyone wishes to do so....


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    I gave the shepherd some instant coffee sachets and his kids got a handful of breakfast bars from the others....







    Phil asks for a group photo that we'll use later to blackmail the riders,proving that they were all in Morocco with other strange men that they had only just met on the internet. We can make up stories later and anyone that needs to be informed will believe us.







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  3. stamp

    stamp Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    London
    excellent start freak keep it coming :deal I have been waiting for this I have a feeling its going to be good :lol3
    #3
  4. andymach23

    andymach23 Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Belfast
    Looking good Lad! :lurk :clap:clap
    #4
  5. Donkeyscarer

    Donkeyscarer n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    6
    Thanks Keith , looking good mate can we do it all again soon ?:clap:clap
    #5
  6. WIBO

    WIBO Will it buff out?

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,864
    Location:
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    Hey Freak Boy!!

    Good to hear from you!

    Yip...the usual applies.....as before...Marx Brothers on tour

    :D




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    #6
  7. WIBO

    WIBO Will it buff out?

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,864
    Location:
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    Hey lad...

    All well with you in rainy Belfast?


    :D




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    #7
  8. andymach23

    andymach23 Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Belfast
    Aye, all well.

    Just finished this years extensive LR welding project for the MOT. :cry:

    Interesting mix of bikes this year, with an Enfield n'all. Jacqui has had an amazing adventure so far.

    Looking forward to the rest of the story. :D
    #8
  9. WIBO

    WIBO Will it buff out?

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,864
    Location:
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    You're running with a secret ID.....which one of the goats are you?:D


    :D



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  10. dm8ajh

    dm8ajh AKA aliwakeskate

    Joined:
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    My guess is the goat with the exhaust that sounded like a gun going off :defend

    Cracking report so far! Looking forward to the rest...

    Alistair
    #10
  11. minkyhead

    minkyhead Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    564
    Location:
    uk gods county
    awaytogo keith keep it coming



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    #11
  12. oliwoof

    oliwoof Pyrenees - paradise

    Joined:
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    Hautes-Pyrenees, France
    This is going to be good :happay

    Do you think donkeyman might be the back firing Roger?

    Cheers, Phil
    #12
  13. WIBO

    WIBO Will it buff out?

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2002
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    3,864
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    As you and Alistair have said I think it just might be!!...One can never tell if the rider has named themselves 'Donkeyscarer' due to those exhausts or the amorous advances.....the desert does strange things to men.....:rofl




    :D
    #13
  14. WIBO

    WIBO Will it buff out?

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    So...we crew up and ride off over the mountains on numerous twisties polished by 1000's of vehicles and diesel spills over time...that polished that I don't even want to race for fear of washing out...

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    We descend briskly passing through villages and stopping for a tea break where we chat with a couple of other bikers. Great thing about riding moto...you can strike up a conversation with like minded people. Roger parked his moto close to them and pretended he was in their gang instead of ours. This made him feel wanted but the strangers a bit awkward.

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    We ride to the Ziz Valley on flowing roads and it's gorge,which is impressive along with 30c of sunshine.


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    We ride on south to Merzouga through Erfoud,see a few service trucks for the Rally of Merzouga,stop and get money at an ATM and on through the busy town of Rissani We watch the landscape change after being in the mountains,to the rolling sand dunes of the Erg Chebbi as we get closer.

    The Erg is on the LHS...there's a plethora of hard pack trails that lead to same.Locals in their overloaded vans think nothing of stopping for mint tea anytime and anywhere they chose as can be seen at the end of the below clip.....great Berber pace of life...

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    We arrive at the Palais des Dunes,(an auberge I've used several times before)park the motos up and relax before heading over to the dunes opposite to play. The perimeter of the Erg Chebbi starts just across the road....

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    A compilation of clips of everyone Factory Testing ....here can be seen the high calibre of factory riders which of course warrants their professional titles......as can be seen the final and definitive moto for a sand adv moto was the ruthless power that a 49cc engine can put down onto the sand through a bicycle tyre......

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    Later that afternoon the 4 UK Portugal riders arrived will all moto's running as per normal.


    After a steep learning curve of Factory Testing in the dunes a relaxing swim was called for by the riders....



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    Roger and Tom decided to sleep on the roof under the stars together......

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    After dinner was served all bedded down in readiness for the next days exploring day around Merzouga....









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  15. Donkeyscarer

    Donkeyscarer n00b

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    6
    Is it Donkey Scarer or Donkeys Carer ??
    Spot on Al and Phil :clap:clap
    like the sound effects on the edit Keith very good :rofl pity about the scotch:freaky
    Rog
    #15
  16. minkyhead

    minkyhead Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    uk gods county
    it aint just donkeys ypu scare rodger ......

    very classy shot with moon rising over the mountaintops ..not a donkey in sight


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    #16
  17. WIBO

    WIBO Will it buff out?

    Joined:
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    3,864
    Location:
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    You're getting those words all mixed up again....Black Bush is Ulster's best ...(after all we did teach the Scots how to make whiskey..even after all of that they can't even spell whiskey correctly :rofl )



    :D
    #17
  18. WIBO

    WIBO Will it buff out?

    Joined:
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    3,864
    Location:
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    Scary Minkeyhead.....just plain scary....


    :D
    #18
  19. WIBO

    WIBO Will it buff out?

    Joined:
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    3,864
    Location:
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    The next morning I make enquiries and find that the Parc Fermé for the rally is in Erfoud,55kms away.


    When I see the group they were huddled in a group beside their motos sobbing,saying they were afraid of sand storms coming and that they didn't want to ride too far...maybe just up to the shop to buy sweets.

    I comforted them telling them there was lemonade and cake at the check point and big fast motorbikes that make vroooooming sounds. This cheered them up somewhat and they then decided that it was OK to go and get fuel.

    We decide to fuel up in Merzouga and also meet 3 other riders who'd ridden down. One on an XT like mine,another on an ex rally 690 Katay and a GS650 Dakar.

    I have to retrieve one of the group as he'd dandered into the female toilets....they've been in the desert too long.

    At the fuel station I see a first aid van and ask where and when the rally will be.


    He tells me of two check points,one about 1km away and the other about 10kms,at Lac Yasmina. We have a chat and decide to just play and ride over to the check point 1km away and take it from there.

    We ride over and park up.We dander over to where there are other spectators and see a couple of European women watching the riders come through.....I'm going to have to keep a close eye on the group as I ...ahem...notice one of the women is French,wearing a cute red baseball cap which brings out the colour of her eyes and a long loose cotton dress in neutral colours that accentuates her fine build,is not wearing a bra and ......erm...ahem...

    Various comments were made in English and I try to shepherd the group away citing there'd been an horrendous accident just over the dunes and money had fallen out of the riders pocket.


    One of the group makes a dash for it,pretends to look at the big fast moto and I have to leave him to look after the rest.


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    The girl ends up leaving after the group threw stones at her because she wouldn't be their girlfriend and we continue to watch the moto's ride through.....


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    Even the good old faithful 2 bangers were making an appearance....

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    The most interesting for me was the Track Lever Yamaha...


    http://www.tracklever.com/wp-conten...icacion_tracklever_motorcyclenews_england.pdf



    Immediately obvious is the swing arm angle,small rear back sprocket and lack of rear disc. Zoom in on the picture to see primary drive set up.









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    After a spell we ride away from the checkpoint on to Lac Yasmina,about 10kms north just to see what we can see at the other checkpoint. The Erg Chebbi is surrounded by trails in hard pack. Great!

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    Roger fired a stone from a catapult made from an elastic band and a forked branch at the camel calf after the picture was taken. The shepherd told him off in Arabic.
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    We arrive close to the checkpoint at an hotel,park up and have lunch there. Anyone who wants to go look for racers can do so and anyone who doesn't can relax and catch a few rays....it's that relaxed of an affair.


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    We came across this moto being ridden from London to Cape Town....


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    After a spell we head back to Merzouga and prep for the next days over landing to Zagora via Ramlia......This was to be most eventful.



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  20. WIBO

    WIBO Will it buff out?

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2002
    Oddometer:
    3,864
    Location:
    64800French Pyrénées
    After a meal that night which incorporated a briefing as to what to expect the next day relative to the going,where we'd be going and where we'd be staying we all bedded down.

    After breakfast we shipped out for about 0900hrs to allow us time to get to our destination of Ramlia or the Auberge Marabout which ever the feche'feche would allow us to get to. As usual the group were afraid of the soft powdery sand an though that there were monsters living in it like that from the film Dune. What a job I had to convince them that it was OK and that there were no monsters there.......that I knew about anyway.


    There'd been two Polish riders traveling on a pair of XTZ660Z's staying in our hotel and we offered to let them tag along with us if they so desired.




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    I tell everybody that we'll be exiting the auberge and turning right to Taous by tarmac and where the road will turn to hardpack.

    They ride a total of about 100m and some turn left,some ride straight on to go and play in the dunes,some stop..forgetting and unsure as to which way to turn and one even gets off to look for loose sweet covered in fluff,from his pocket....


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    Once they were rounded up off we went,all giggling like schoolgirls on an outing.


    We ride until the hardpack starts and off we go,stopping about 30 mins later to regroup and to allow anyone that wants to suck cancer into their lungs to do so.

    It is cloudy so not too hot so this will work well for those who are learning to off road.

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    Of course in the middle of nowhere a couple of locals arrived on mopeds plying us with offers of guiding,selling carpets and they even tell us after a car rally the feche-feche after Ramlia is all cut up. I think into myself..."Great..that'll mean it'll be a challenge for sure"

    I think if we can press on and get there early enough then we'll have plenty of time to get through it before it gets dark. If it gets dark then we can camp there also...it'll be nice and soft to lie on.


    So..off we ride to where there'll be a yellow sign to regroup and a couple of small huts where we'll then turn left.

    Of course as it's a cross over point the locals are there plying their wares and we look at what they have to offer whilst waiting on the rest to arrive.

    One of group distracted the seller whilst another put a leather camel in his pocket. After a telling off he was forced to return it.

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    Of course when you go to ride off when in a group there's always one(usually me I must add) that just falls off for no reason other than not thinking straight. Now it was Tom's turn..so before anyone helped we all produced cameras first and took pictures. In the old days you just denied it happened when chatting over a camp fire...these days there's too much immediate proof...ho hum.


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    Roger finds a family cemetery and steals a bunch of plastic flowers off a grave....


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    #20