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African diaries (or When we were young)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Thomas B., Aug 17, 2020.

  1. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

    Joined:
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    1,270
    Location:
    Switzerland and around the globe
    things got rockier on the way back

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    After that we took the boring paved road down to Nouakchott. Going north from there you had to follow the coast as the common route was on the beach for around 200 km. There was no paved road yet. Because the dunes go directly to the ocean you had to watch the tide and could only ride the beach at low tide. We got a tide time table in Nouakchott and since low tide was in the afternoon we planned on spending the night in the dunes and ride the rest the next day. It was a very special ride with the ocean on one side and the dunes on the other.

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    waiting for food in a restaurant on the way

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    on the beach of Noakchott

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    getting close to the beach

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    Waiting for the tide to sink

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    and onto the beach

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    oncoming traffic

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    sun is low already

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    at a spot where the dunes were low we pulled off of the beach to find a place for the night

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    our place for the night

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    Sandra enjoying the sunset

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  2. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Here and there... but more there than here
    As many have said (and I might have already too), thank you for sharing these adventures. The "historical" aspect makes it all that much better.

    (Trying not to say you're old...)
    Bunyip1260 likes this.
  3. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Thanks for the kind words and the "old". (but you're right although my mind doesn't think so :-))
    LaurensT, DKCJ and ScotsFire like this.
  4. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    And on we go the next morning

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    Sandra chasing seagulls

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    At the park entrance where we had to sign a big book they had the bones of a big fish laid in the sand

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    It was hot so we bought a warm soda in the first shop we came across. Yes that is the shop.

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    Playing in the dunes

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    Still looking good

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    Starting to get out of hand

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    Fail

    The small dent in the dune was filled with soft sand that just held my front wheel tight, making me summersault with the bike.

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    Getting going again

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    Last night in the open, at the foot of that dune

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    Last day riding up to Nouadhibou

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    First thing to do once we reached Nouadhibou was to find a place to wash the bikes and get the salt off of them again.

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    Leaving Nouadhibou the next morning heading back to Morocco

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  5. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    One hell of an endo, bet that put sand in every nook and cranny:lol3

    Also hell of a good capture on the photo:thumb
    GringoRider, DKCJ, MZ5 and 4 others like this.
  6. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    You bet - it took some time to get my eyes open again and even my mouth was full of sand not to speak of my cloths. But what do you do for a good action picture :D.
    GringoRider, Watercat, DKCJ and 3 others like this.
  7. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Then we rode up to Morocco and had a look around there. The old king cities Marrakesh, Medina and Fez and some interesting roads in the mountains. Then it was time to go home again, but we would be back soon.


    Back in Morocco we went for a fish snack and had a creative cook.

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    Last meal of the trip in Africa

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    View from our hotel room the morning we left Africa.

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    We will return.
  8. squadraquota

    squadraquota mostly harmless

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    At first I wondered about the look on Sandra’s face, then I saw the fish :lol3

    I love the architecture shots, the way these traditional houses are build, with the thick walls, narrow entrances, the atriums, everything of course to adapt the house as much as possible to the climate.
    Thomas B. likes this.
  9. BornAgain

    BornAgain Been here awhile

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    Rosenberg, TX
    She did not look very happy to have her meal staring back at her :lol3
    Thomas B. likes this.
  10. MZ5

    MZ5 Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    The agricultural fields in Morocco: Were those irrigated, or is there more rain there than I realized? It seems a prettier place than I realized, too.
    Thomas B. likes this.
  11. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Sorry I don't know if they were irrigated. Morocco does get some rain and in the mountains even snow in the north in the winter months. I don't know if it is enough for what they are growing there. Could be if it is a plant that doesn't need much. Further south I would guess most is irrigated.

    Morocco is a beautiful country and has a big variety of things to see.
    MZ5 and ilten like this.
  12. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    8. Trip (2005)

    It was early in the year and we had a couple of days time so we bought a ferry ticket and went to Tunisia. I had some tracks I wanted to do and the most challenging one was the direct route from Douz to Ksar Ghilan. It ran mainly through small dunes for over 100 km with nothing else in-between.

    On the ferry we met an other German couple on bikes helped them filling out the custom forms (that were not in German) on the ferry and spend a nice first evening with them in Tunisia. We then parted and made our way down to Douz. After getting ready for the sand - mounting sprockets with two teeth less and mounting dustcover over the air filters -we pointed the bikes the way the GPS showed us. The first kilometers were easy, but once we got to the dunes going was slow. The sand was soft and the dunes so close by each other that it was impossible to get enough speed to really ride on the sand. We had to fight the whole day but didn’t cover much ground. And on top of all that it was hot. I remember at one point after working hard to get a bike going again while I was catching breath I though I would loose my consciousness, but it luckily didn’t happen. Exhausted we set up the tent and after a good nights sleep we covered the rest of the route the next morning.

    on the way to the ferry - again

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    Waiting for the boat

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    Boat is coming in

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    Just look at that load , how did he ever make it to the ferry through Europe?

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    On the ferry

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    Enjoying the night on board

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    First night in Tunisia

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    Going south to Douz

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    Getting the bikes ready

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    From Douz to Ksar Ghilane

    It was soft

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    In the dunes

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    Its getting late

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    Well deserved dinner after a tough day

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    In Ksar Ghilane
    had to move the bike ATGATT

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    Our bed for the night

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    In the this tent, where we met the Germans again that had come over the "normal" route


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  13. beltipox

    beltipox Adventurer

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    For once something I'd done too :lol3
    Thomas B. likes this.
  14. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

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    “Honey, I’m bored. Let’s ride to Africa for the weekend.”
    MZ5 likes this.
  15. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Only 2 days and we are there - if you have a couple of days time, just go :-)
    roog909, ilten and ScotsFire like this.
  16. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    During the rest of our time in Tunisia we explored some more tracks I had and did some sightseeing in villages and cities. It was just a warmup for a bigger ride at the end of the year.

    Leaving Ksar Ghilane with the German couple

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    Looking at other places in Tunisia

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    GringoRider, CruzCtrl, ilten and 15 others like this.
  17. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Roman ruins

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  18. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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  19. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Mint tea (full and empty) with loads of sugar

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    Had a stylish hotel room

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    Riding over a salt lake "Chott el Jerid"

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    and on the ferry back home

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  20. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    9. Trip (2005-06)



    After our last Mauritania - trip I was looking at other routes in the country and found an interesting one that lead from the oasis of Atar to Tidjikja. 400 km of nothingness with lots of sand sounded like a cool challenge. We then found a good option to store the bikes in Dakar. Sandra’s mother had an old school friend that lived there and when she came to visit Switzerland we could ask her if she had a place to store our bikes for a year, and she did. So we could plan a nice one way journey and an other one the following winter. As I didn’t want to do that route with only Sandra I asked in a couple of forums if anyone wanted to join us and got an answer from another German couple on bikes that wanted to come along. We agreed on a meeting point in Morocco and waited for the end of the year.

    On the last day of work before the Christmas holidays I had the fully loaded bike outside the office and jumped on it as soon as I could leave. The sun was low already, but the forecast promised dry weather all the way to Marseille. By the time I picked up Sandra and we were on the bikes again it was almost dark and pretty cold already. We wanted to ride as far as we could bare the cold, then get a room, and do the rest of the way the next day. When we stopped the thermometer said -10°C and we were freezing. You can wear as much as you want in sub zero temperatures the cold always creeps in at some point especially riding on the freeway. After a hot shower and a warm meal we felt better and got a good nights sleeps. The next morning it was an easy stretch to reach the ferry.


    much better when the sun is shinning

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