VIA MEDITERRA - The journey around the Med with an HP2

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by kimangao, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Well, you sure as hell should be! Absolutely amazing - more, please! :D
  2. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

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    Good morning everyone,
    thank you for your patience and sorry for letting you wait.
    @Jedimaster: I'm still waiting for someone to strap me :lol3

    Next leg of the trip will be there in a few minutes.

    Cheers

    Dirk
  3. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

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    Proceeding from Tinghir our next destination is the sandsea of the Erg Chebbi. We get some fuel for the bikes at a brickyard ...

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    ... and some morning fuel for ourselves.

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    Today is an incredible hot day and as we see the next village we're ready for another human-fuel stop. And our good luck is still with us ...

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    ... because Remis rear tyre decides to deflate just in time at our picnic-spot in the heart of the village. At least there's some kind of shadow.

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    Because 10 hands are to much to work on the puncture I do what I probably can do best in the meantime: Look around and see what others are doing.

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    Todays heat leads to a misty sky that swallows the horizon.

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    Our water consumption reaches a first maximum though we're still riding on a tar road. The Sahara breathes straight into our faces.

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    Who ever has experienced an endless road knows how boring it can be. But there's something beyond boredom. If you don't find it, the road was not endless ;-)

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    To me after a while on a road like this I come to a state of trance or unmeant meditation. I'm not talking about a delirium, more of a liberation of my mind that was filled with the common daily thoughts. All these thoughts are now all blown away and thoughts, that have never been thought before come up, thoughts that haven't been thought for ages are reborn ...

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    And all over sudden: There they are! The pink-coloured dunes of the Erg Chebbi on the horizon.

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    We're trying to avoid the village and seek our way through the Hammada, the plain filled with sharp-edged stones.

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    Again, what a landscape! A black stony desert that radiates the heat of the day though the sun has already set and the sandy desert that looks so inviting to us.
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    Aahh. Now this is riding-paradise, hallelujah!

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    Whatever may happen on my journey: this end of the day was already worth everything.

    Cheers

    Dirk
  4. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

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    We spend the night in one of the many little pensions along the westside of the Erg Chebbi. A sandstorm made the decision easier not to pitch the tent.

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    Our host is Youssef, a charming guy who says that there's nothing better than spending a night in the desert with a woman. And there are many women coming to his place :lol3

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    His place has a really nice interieur and we're pleased to stay with Youssef.

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    Breakfast is served in the atrium. That keeps most of the sand and dust ourside. Benj is not really awake and so it's Remi and me who decide to do a loop around the Erg. Should be something like 150kms.

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    Before we leave the village we bump into the celebrations of a wedding. It's only women including the bride around. I ask if I may take a picture and I'm allowed to point a the bride because she's the only one wearing a veil. All the others, and they were many, are hiding behind the camera and me giggling.

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    Look at that masterpiece!

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    Ok, time to set of! Along the Erg, especially on the west side, there are lots of Ksour, a kind of fortified village. In several of them there are hotels.

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    The further east we go the more desperate and isolate the area becomes. Tents of bedouins are the only signs of human life.

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    Seeking shade under a tree we meet this fellow. From our point of view he's pretty far away from everything. We're not surprised that he asks us for a lift ... into the direction we've just come from.

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    What shall we do? Follow our original intention to circuumnavigate the Erg or help this man? What would you've done?

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    We're giving him a lift to his friend Nasir. Nasir has been living as a nomad but was forced to settle down. The pasture for his sheep and camels is on both sides of the moroccan-algerian border. Depending of the time of the year people move from one of the rare good place to another crossing the border. Now the algerian army has become very strict about crossing the border illegally, he tells us. If they catch you, your family, yourself and your cattle is imprisoned. Under these circumstances he can't be a shepperd any more and he has built this tiny shop where he sells a few things and his family lives in.

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    Remi heads back to Youssef and the others. Me I'm riding north to see a special landmark called the stairway to heaven. On the way I pass through Rissani with it's magical city gate.

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    I'm riding without a GPS so I'm following a description to the stairway which is not connected to a major track or a road. From a distance I spot the characteristic triangle in the plain. How to get there? Straight! :D

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    Here we are! This thing was built by an artist called Hannsjoerg Voth. If you look closely to the wall you'll see some holes. These are windows of the rooms inside. Voth lives here for several weeks in the year. The entrance is on top of the stairway. Let's go upstairs!

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    Heyhey! What a panorama! And: Can you feel the silence?

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    The entrance on top is of course locked. But I am surprised to find something like an ironsight. What is that for? After I went back down I moved to the opposite side of the stairway and then I saw it: The sun. It went straight through the the little gap that formed the ironsite.

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    Cheers for today,

    I hope you enjoyed.

    Dirk
  5. JediMaster

    JediMaster Adam Lewis

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    OTR RTW since 2006 (currently in India)
    Ahhh....

    ...my morning coffee tastes so much sweeter...:thumb
  6. Don T

    Don T Bike Addict

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    Denmark-Europe.
    And I'll follow your journey to the end - even if it takes you two years to finish the story :norton
  7. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

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    Don, you make my day :-)
  8. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    From the stairway to heaven I'm not riding back to Erg Chebbi. Before Remi and me split up we've decided to meet again in Zagora. The French boys will make their way along the Algerian border meanwhile I will have a look at the Road of the Kashbas and another Gorge.

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    Once you follow the Road of the Kashbas you will immediately feel like being thrown back in time. There's almost no building that reminds you of the 21st century nor do the people. Only mobile phones and vehicles do.

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    Surprisingly most of these buildings are still inhabited.

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    I have a little look into the Gorge de Todra again. I'm still amazed of what water can do. Cut's like a knive ...

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    But then there is another Gorge right beside the Todra. The days when just a track made its precarious way through the Dadès Gorges are history. But even so, the road onwards to Imilchil in the High Atlas shakes off its asphalt after a few kilometres.

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    As I arrive on the edge of the canyon I see how a craftsman puts out a deal board. Before I realise what he's about to do he has placed the first one outside the tower that is going to be part of a hotel.

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    I am that scared that it takes me ages to fetch the camera and point it at that fearless worker.

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    The Road of the Kashbas ends in Ouarzazate. The town is a kind of moroccan Hollywood. A lot of movies that play in ancient times found their settings in the vincinity.

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    After a short break I'm back in the saddle to meet with Remi and his friends in Zagora. 160kms only. But they will take long time. Very long time ...

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    Shortly after leaving this track a little incident will confuse my timetable ...

    Cheers for today

    Dirk
  9. Viking

    Viking Ækt trønder!!

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    "Shortly after leaving this track a little incident will confuse my timetable ..."

    ???????
  10. Angelos

    Angelos Adventurer

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    Boy,you know how to built up saspens...:rofl
  11. kktos

    kktos on a bright side of life

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    Indeed ;)
    The man is a pretty good storyteller !
    I remember some time ago at Lefteris`s place in Athens where we had the first glimpse of the story with pictures and movies......
    Man, Lefteris and i were totaly baffled! It was simply amazing :)
    For the lucky ones living or passing by Deutschland, go to watch one of Dirk's diashow, u'll understand what i mean.
  12. mart´n

    mart´n Adventurer

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    Location:
    The westcoast of Denmark
    Please go on.......today!

    :-)

    Absolutely stunning picture of that fearless construction worker, and the rest of the pictures are world-class, as always.
    Hard to decide which one to use as background on the ´puter :D
  13. BSTT

    BSTT Adventurer

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    Braunschweig, Germany
    Hey Dirk,
    these contrasts of oasis and desert are wonderful in this photo.
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    Keep on with the good stuff.
    Ciao Gero
  14. jab1026

    jab1026 Adventurer

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    nice picture... more update please.. thanks
  15. kktos

    kktos on a bright side of life

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    Dirk, what are you doing !?!
    We need updates !!!:D
    Keep going, Mein Herr !
  16. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

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    Duesseldorf, Germany
    Hi everyone, sorry for the long duration between posts. I was knocked out for a while by a nasty influenza. But here we go again:


    After i did some kms on a stony track I found that irritating feeling in the handlebar that tells you: Your front tyre will be flat in a minute. Ok, things happen, so let's start working!

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    The first little dilemma I'm running into is the absence of a main stand/central stand (or how do you call that in proper English?). There are only rocks around and I soon find a decent one to support the bike. That beast is as heavy as three beer crates with the slight disadvantage that you cannot drink it after work is done.

    Next dilemma: The tyre sticks that tight on the rim, I simply can't get it of the rim.

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    To my surprise, two friendly Moroccans stop and offer their help. Highly aprreciated! We work for about 20 minuntes on the tyre and ... the d*** rubber still sticks to the rim. The younger of the Moroccans starts to pray to Allah, I shout out a collection of German swearwords and? The tyre is of the rim! Looking back to the situation I hope it was because of the prayer ;-)

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    I kindly thank the two Moroccans and they move on as I do some minutes later. Meanwhile the sun has set and I've done only a few klicks until I have that feeling in the steering again. NAAOOO! Not again!

    Now that I know that I won't be able to fix the tube I decide to ride towards the lights in the horizon. 14 kms with a flat tront tyre. Maximum speed: 5km/h

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    At 21:00 I find the workshop of my confidence in Agdz. The mechanic is on his way to the Mosque but is willing to repair the tube before he leaves. Waiting for the job to be done I smell a nasty odour: Petrol! Seeking the origin of the smell I have to realise ....

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    ... that it comes from my bike :huh
    How comes? The tank is a prototype, it was nearly full when I had the puncture. Due to the heat from the engine (14kms in first gear) and no cooling wind, the plastic will have expanded untill it touched the burning hot oil-cooler. And that thing melted a slim fissure into the left tank that now lets the 11 liters follow gravity. I cut off the connection to this tank and make my way around the Med with now 23 liters. Should be enough anyway:lol3
    (The series tank were lateron equipped with a heat protection shield and were given a greater distance to the oil cooler)

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    To keep a long story short: At 2 in the night I have the next puncture :eek1 Can that be true? After I vent my anger I start smiling: Everyone who does a longer trip knows that he'll encounter a certain amount of hassle and bad luck. But if that concentrates in a few hours that can only mean that the rest of the journey is free of trouble! :D

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    I arrive in the early morning hours in Zagora to meet again with Remi, Thierry, Thomas and Benj. But after this night I need a little nap first!

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    Cheers

    Dirk
  17. kktos

    kktos on a bright side of life

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  18. PorLaTierra

    PorLaTierra Por La Tierra

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    129
    Location:
    Madrid, the coolest city on the planet.
    As a buddy of mine once said, "a motorcycle without a center stand is a useless motorcycle." Nothing against your HP2, its a fantastic machine, but I hope you don't get to many more flats. Even my 30 year old Yamaha SR250 has got a center stand. I thought they came standard on BMWs. My dad's airheads have all got them and my F650 had one.

    I usually use the center stand to not only change flats but to get the tire of the rim as well, by carefully placing it under the center stand and using the weight of the bike to break the bead.

    Most of us dont get too many flats on one trip so I think your good for a while! Youve had your share!

    I love this RR.
  19. kimangao

    kimangao Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
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    660
    Location:
    Duesseldorf, Germany
    Thanks Ryan,
    considering that the HP2 was never meant to be a travel bike I'm pretty happy that, at least to me, the lacking center stand is the only disadvantage I could find on this bike for roughly 70.000kms now.
    And yes, I've never had a flat tyre after that day in Morocco.

    Hasta luego ;-)

    Dirk



  20. PorLaTierra

    PorLaTierra Por La Tierra

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    Madrid, the coolest city on the planet.
    And that, my friend, is why we ride BMWs. You rode it around the med and Im sure its just getting warmed up! 70,000km is young for that bike. I love your photos, I eagerly wait for your next update.