Round Africa with a Surfboard

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by garnaro, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. garnaro

    garnaro MotoBlunderer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    333
    Location:
    Somewhere in Africa
    thats actually not a bad idea eakins as I've already nearly been plowed into from the back... I think I will do
    #61
  2. SoloSurfer

    SoloSurfer iheartducati

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    Rossland BC, Canada
    Subscribed!

    I'll be following along Bro. Great pics so far, keep 'em coming.

    I did something similar a couple of years back on my KLR..., moto-surfed from BC to Panama and back - and I just surfed Morocco last fall too, you'll enjoy those waves! :clap

    Your trip looks amazing, good work all-round for getting at it.

    Stay safe and the rest! Cheers. :freaky
    #62
  3. rideforsmiles

    rideforsmiles Sheldon

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,724
    Location:
    Byron Bay Australia and Earth
    Hey Dude rode through Morocco and being a surfer myself was looking for waves along the coast which you will certainly find. I found this spot Moulay Bousselham (you will find it on Google maps if not let me know) its a few hundred k's north of the more popular spots down there and hopefully when you arrive you will be greeted with what I was a fantastic view of a left and right hander on either side of the smallish bay, when I asked the locals does anyone surf here they said "yeah we have a few windsurfer's come from time to time" ahahahahah you get the drift. There is a back beach not far that has reefs all along it and you may be lucky to find others surfers to share it with.

    Ride safely and rubber side down always

    Sheldon
    www.ride4smiles.com
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=699326

    PS lets hope you don't have any troubles getting through Angola a lot of people do even with visa's already granted, if you do however have any issues contact me and I know a French guy that followed that route he might be able to help you with information to move the bike through. Of course don't let anything stop your dream just deal with those problems as they come up with the help of friendly locals from every country you will have the good fortune to visit. Good luck and happy surfing.
    #63
  4. garnaro

    garnaro MotoBlunderer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    333
    Location:
    Somewhere in Africa
    motosurfers unite!

    #64
  5. garnaro

    garnaro MotoBlunderer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    333
    Location:
    Somewhere in Africa
    Thanks for the tip Sheldon! I'm in Safi now with a swell due in Wenesday. I see it on the map and looks like I've blown right by your spot! If I have to go to Rabat to extend my Mauritania visa, I'll surely go for a look there.

    Yes, Angola could be a show stopper. Reports are always changing of success getting visas at various embassies along the way and plenty of stories of utter failure with weeks or months waiting. The visa is only good for 3 months after issue and beginning this year Angola requires you to actually show up at the embassy in Houston to apply. Those two facts made getting it in the USA a no to for me. Hopefull I don't have to send you a desperate PM in my darkest hour on the Angolan border.



    #65
  6. garnaro

    garnaro MotoBlunderer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    333
    Location:
    Somewhere in Africa

    and of course last night a guy on a moped plowed into the back of my board in Marrakech..
    #66
  7. Domiken

    Domiken Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2011
    Oddometer:
    674
    Location:
    Manhattan
    Subscribing! Epic journey you have started, great writing style and pics, hope you catch some great waves along the way! :D
    #67
  8. rms56

    rms56 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Oddometer:
    970
    Location:
    Alberta, Canadia
    Ride safe ... wet or dry
    #68
  9. Mongle

    Mongle Knuckle dragger

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,359
    Location:
    North Carolina Y'all

    Moped = Drunk.

    Did he catch a board end in the chest? That would be worth a laugh.
    #69
  10. manban9888

    manban9888 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Oddometer:
    66
    Suscribed. I'll be following your ride the whole way. Great set up and start to a great RR. I hope you have the adventure of a lifetime. It'd be silly to tell a guy riding a motorcycle around Africa in search of good surfing to be careful but trust your gut over there and make it home w some awesome stories to tell.
    #70
  11. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Oddometer:
    326
    Location:
    Alajuela, Costa Rica via MN.
    Glad I finally clicked on this one. Can't finish now, alarm in four hours.

    Lucky you. No alarms for a while I bet.

    :lurk
    #71
  12. Todd34

    Todd34 Toubab

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,036
    Location:
    Dakar
    In
    #72
  13. thecanoeguy

    thecanoeguy just a yobbo from oz

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,931
    Location:
    Albury N.S.W.
    just wondering did you have the new red flag on when you were ass reamed
    #73
  14. johnnybgood8

    johnnybgood8 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Oddometer:
    124
    Im in:clap
    #74
  15. rootsy

    rootsy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    126
    Sounds like an epic adventure! I'm looking forward to your future postings. Enjoy those waves!
    #75
  16. garnaro

    garnaro MotoBlunderer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    333
    Location:
    Somewhere in Africa

    nope. but I do now :D
    #76
  17. garnaro

    garnaro MotoBlunderer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    333
    Location:
    Somewhere in Africa
    [​IMG]

    In Granada, I’d met up with a British rider named Jonathan who accompanied me to Algeciras where we boarded the ferry to cross the strait of Gibraltar for our first steps onto African soil that night. Jonathan is riding the most kitted out overland bike I've ever seen: a brand new KTM 690 Super Enduro with a full fairing, 3 auxiliary tanks, custom made stainless steel crash bars and back rack, bash plate that holds a plastic tank with a spare 2 liters of oil, custom made gps and Go-Pro camera mounts and plenty of other fancy bits. He made most of the custom stuff himself, making it a one-of a kind bike. The thing literally looks like you could run the Dakar Rally on it. And win. The KTM generates 66 horsepower and weighs less than my DR650 which supposedly makes 43 horsepower measured at the crank. The price for all of this performance is the added complexity of a highly tuned engine, fuel pump, fuel injection system, and liquid cooling system, all of which are potential failure points on a long journey. However, with all of those extra horses, he flogs me at any race away from an intersection or up a twisty grade.

    [​IMG]

    Arrival in Tangier took some time, as there were things to do and forms to fill out that no one actually tells you about, but can cause problems and you progress through the arrival and customs proceedures. By the time we started moving, the sun was setting but we were excited to be finally in Africa and keen to make some miles south. Since we knew that we’d need to be in Rabat as early as possible in the morning to get to the Mauritanian embassy to procure our visas, and with no better options in mind, we just kept riding well after night fell.

    [​IMG]
    Upon entering Rabat, we were reminded that we’d landed on a different continent where the rules of the road were substantially different or absent entirely. On an uphill curve we were surprised by an explosion of sparks coming down the other side of the roadway as a small motorbike that had lost traction was now careening down the road horizontally with the rider close behind looking like he was doing a backstroke to catch up with the bike. Fair warning. We put our game faces on.

    The next morning we managed to get our Mauritanian visas without much trouble other than our pathetic attempts to translate the forms which were only in French and Arabic. Navigating the city streets became more natural after a couple of days. Its as if the city traffic is a living organism to which we are foreign bodies. Our job is to find our niche in this system, to learn to flow towards path of least resistance without reacting to dangerous things constantly happening around us. While it takes time to see, there is some kindness in all of this chaos, with people doing lots of things that seem very rude in a very polite way. While motorists' apparent degree of faith in the will of Allah is unnerving for a western rider, it gets easier easier when you realize that while Moroccan drivers don’t seem to mind a close calls all the time, no one wants anyone to get hurt. After all, we were surrounded by all walks of Moroccans deftly navigating the same tumultuous scene on mopeds in sandals with no helmets. The preferred approach for the family of thee on a single moped seemed to be to wedge the kid facing backwards between the two parents with little breathing opportunity for the munchkin leaving little arms and legs protruding from either side of a loving mom and dad moped sandwich.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    At the Mauritanian embassy we met another British rider, Will, who like Jonathan and I intended to ride the entire west coast down to Cape Town. He was at the opposite end of the performance spectrum from Jonathan, riding a Suzuki 125cc with old canvas army bags as panniers. He was severely underpowered when fully loaded which necessitated staying off any motorways while in Europe. Amongst our company of riders, we represented the range of performance and technology for overland bikes with my DR650 falling in between their two extremes.

    <img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/Sp7sXJxa2OLOGf-2RqeSZ1pkH25rLRPBnVMVcKpOVYM=w750" alt="" />

    The three of us pitched a camp at the beachfront north of Casablanca for a few days talking about gear and chatting with other overland travelers moving this way and that. The dining room consisted of a stack of our spare tires with my surfboard laid across the top as a table.

    [​IMG]

    Some of he travelers we met piloted these big Mercedes Unimog trucks that looked like fully self-contained desert battle cruisers. The consensus amongst the Unimog folks seemed to be that I wasn’t taking this crossing the Sahara business seriously enough. They would exclaim, “For God's sake, you’ve got a bloody surfboard attached to your bike!”. I usually just asked where theirs was. Of all things, to be caught in the middle of the Sahara Desert without your surfboard!
    [​IMG]

    <img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-jk1rc3U7SiE/UmLoYbE7XxI/AAAAAAAAC8k/oqwC31QNq-8/w750/FXPhotoStudioExportedImage+12.jpg" alt="" />

    <img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-eFjpyUZI-S8/UmLtA3FTXEI/AAAAAAAAC9A/ZmwEYRqv8D8/w750/P1050284.JPG" alt="" />

    There were some mapped surf spots just near our camp and I set out to have a sniff of what was in the water. Though the blue water and rocky headlands looked inviting, these are early days for the surf season here and there just wasn’t much swell moving through.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    Jonathan, having nearly already burned through a rear tire, collected a new set in Casablanca that had been transported down by other travelers in a Land Rover from Europe. With his already overloaded bike and the new set of tires strapped to the top, the load now nearly overpowered his side stand so that he would have to park his bike ever so gingerly whenever we stopped to keep it upright.

    [​IMG]

    Jonathan and I rode south to Marrakech to collect his Carnet du Passage en Duane (temporary import document for the bike) and meet up with some other riders who had been there for some time already dealing with some debacle in receiving the documents. We stayed in the heart of the walled center portion of the city called the Medina, navigating the labyrinth of narrow streets. We visited the Souk, the local daily marketplace, to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the place. The Souk is filled with people bustling about their daily business, hawking wares or food, haggling, arguing, or shepherding their families along through it all. In the Medina, you feel the soul and light of the place in the very corridors through which you walk.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #77
  18. k7

    k7 Ancien cyclist

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2002
    Oddometer:
    19,943
    Location:
    SOP - south of Phoenix, hotter n hell
    Having spent time in similar locations on another continent, I can only image the odors - not entirely pleasant but again, not entirely unpleasant either.
    #78
  19. MeinMotorrad

    MeinMotorrad Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,610
    Location:
    UK for now.
    In.

    I've been aiming to ride down the coast of Morocco to Dakhla in Western Sahara for some time now. Dakhla is a very popular destination with Kite Surfers so I think you should be in for some fun there (also very good eating to be had, so I've been told by someone who's recently come back from a kite surfing holiday there).

    Mention of a Land Rover and then a pic of a Yam XT660Z makes me wonder if you haven't bumped into: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=841901 They should be in Morocco about now for more fun and games.

    Maybe I'll get there next winter. In the mean time I'm looking forward to your RR while I relax in front of the pc. :1drink
    #79
  20. mr.joke

    mr.joke Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    Barcelona, Catalonia
    nice, like the plan !!:deal
    I'm in !! :clap
    #80