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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:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,268
    Location:
    Switzerland and around the globe
    Arriving in Atar we had a rest day I used to look over the bikes, we went shopping for the next leg, and relaxed a little. Then we filled all our water and fuel tanks and headed out towards El Ghallouia. That route is particularly remote. After passing the oasis of Ouadane - about 180 km from Atar - there is nothing and no-one on the rest of the way. El Gallouia is a military base out in the desert, but there is nothing there either. They do have a well and let you fill up with water, but they have no fuel or food. The way back to Atar using another route is about the same. 1000 km of nothing. We had 65 liter on fuel and 10 liter of water on each bike and if it was not too soft all the way we should be able to make it.

    filling the tanks

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    Leaving Atar

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    In the evening at our first camp in the open it was time to get some of the fuel out of the jerry cans into the tanks.

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    Car life

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  2. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,652
    Location:
    Okie near Muskogee
    Very well kitted looking Gwagen, looks like they are some Sahara hounds too. Amazing photos in the desert! Love your old travels
    Thomas B. and squadraquota like this.
  3. squadraquota

    squadraquota mostly harmless

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    873
    Location:
    Lowlands
    definitely a nice G, and you don’t see the swb version too often. I am under the impression most of those were used in the military and such.
    Thomas B. likes this.
  4. squadraquota

    squadraquota mostly harmless

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    873
    Location:
    Lowlands
    Thomas,

    did the car carry your spare fuel cans and extra water? If so, that must have been a welcome help.

    thanks again for keeping the story going!
  5. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,268
    Location:
    Switzerland and around the globe
    Yeah, the guys in the G-Wagon loved the Sahara as well and had done quite some travels down there with it. They had another one at home similarly equipped.

    No, we always carried all our own fuel and water. Even if they had wanted to carry any of our spare fuel - the G-Wagon was so full, there was no space, it was a short one.
    And you are welcome.
    steved57 and squadraquota like this.
  6. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,268
    Location:
    Switzerland and around the globe
    You don't want to drive over these. Hard as nails and they go right through your tire.

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    Good night

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    Around Ouadane there was a Shepard at a well giving his animals water.

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    Out in the big empty.

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    the only time in our time together that the G-Wagon got stuck.

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    We gave him a push and off he was.

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    then Sandra got going

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    Some places were rocky and slow going.

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    In the afternoon after a break I noticed a flat front tire on my bike. We decided to spend the night there and I got to work (well documented by Sandra).

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    it was so quiet out there that I looked for the hole by listening for the hissing sound.

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    Getting the patch on.


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    Not so fine sand.

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    The next morning, tea water is on the stove.

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  7. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,268
    Location:
    Switzerland and around the globe
    After passing the military and filling up on water we came to this valley that was no fun at all. Sand with rocks in it. Like riding a wild donkey. The rear wheel spins in the sand then hooks up with a rock and the bike takes a jump forward just to spin again until it hooks up again.

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    After that there was a dune to climb (with a lot af throttle)

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    Snack break

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    Yeah yeah - I'm coming

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    met these people that were not very happy - they were going no where

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  8. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,268
    Location:
    Switzerland and around the globe
    We made it back to Atar on fumes, but didn’t want to go to the campsite there again so we filled the tanks went shopping for some food and went onto the route along the train tracks back to Nouadibou , again. It was a windy ride. With the wind in our backs the bikes fans were running the whole time trying to keep the motors heat at a tolerable level. In the evening it took all of us to get our tent up and us into it before it blew away. In Nouadhibou we spent one night on the campsite in one of the big tents and then went on the long and boring ride up the „West Sahara“ in Morocco.

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    the youth of Atar was interested in the bikes

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    Sandra back from shopping with bread and some veggies

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    sandblasted rocks with round forms

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    on the way to Nouadibou

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    Made it to Nouadibou and glade to be out of the wind for a moment

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    Leaving Nouadibou

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    Going up "west Sahara" (Morocco)

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  9. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,268
    Location:
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    Leaving „western Sahara“ behind us we still had some time to spend and looked for a way to do some sightseeing and some more „off roading“. We spend a couple of days on the campsite in Agadir where we met some other bikers and then turned east aiming for a piste between Foum Zguid and Mhamid.

    Stopped for a fish snack on the way up

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    On the campsite in Agadir the lady from the camper next door came over and brought us a pan full of small grilled fish, yummy

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    A local was doing paintings on what ever you wanted one. One of the guys got one.

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    Sandra taking a picture of me taking a picture

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    It was cold up in the mountains, Sandra eating in full gear.

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  10. BarryB

    BarryB Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    903
    Location:
    Texas Hill Country
    I am really enjoying your photos and stories. I am wondering if the pics are from slides or print film that have scanned to jpg’s? I suppose they have to be. That is a project in itself. I remember well the days fo traveling with 30 or 40 rolls of 35mm film. My, how times have changed! Thanks again!
    scudo likes this.
  11. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,268
    Location:
    Switzerland and around the globe
    This was the first trip that was fully digital. All the ones before were a mix. Got a digital DSLR just before the trip. Glad I don't have to carry those film rolls anymore.
  12. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,268
    Location:
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    Guy beside the road ran out of fuel - we helped out

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    On the piste -Sandra kicking up some dust

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    tires didn't look too good anymore

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    Shadows were getting longer

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  13. Old Codger

    Old Codger Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    131
    Location:
    Ventura County Ca.
    Wow what a great ride report and pictures, :clapyou guys are tough. I was up all night reading thanks so much for taking me to Africa.. :-)
    Thomas B. likes this.
  14. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Since we were close to the Chegaga Dunes we thought it would be a good place to spend the night (and I could play around a little).

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    A little drifting

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    And Mrs. B. enjoying the evening sun

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  15. Geezerguy

    Geezerguy In the shadows

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    317
    Location:
    Base of Mt Princeton
    What, no spectacular endo’s or loops while you were playing around? :lol3
    Thanks, as always, for posting up some of your older rides, they are very enjoyable to follow and your photos are great.
    Thomas B., Watercat and scudo like this.
  16. XR Valdeez

    XR Valdeez Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,013
    Location:
    So. Cal
    The only thing missing from the sunset pic was Mrs. B and you enjoying a nice cold beer on the dunes! :beer
    Thomas B. and forgorin like this.
  17. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,630
    Location:
    GTA, ON, CDA
    Most excellent as usual B's!
    The colour contrasts pop!
    Lots of chain and air filter work l imagine.
    Thomas B. likes this.
  18. CruzCtrl

    CruzCtrl Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    807
    Location:
    Santa Cruz
    Sort of sad the organizers and teams just leave the cars out there. With all the money they have you'd think clean up would be part of their agenda. Still the best race ever. Just unfortunate to see this.
    Thomas B. and scudo like this.
  19. scudo

    scudo Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    57
    Location:
    Sheffield UK
    I'm sure they do clean up these days, I would be very disappointed if they didn't. Maybe back in the day they didn't.
    Thomas B. and CruzCtrl like this.
  20. CruzCtrl

    CruzCtrl Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    807
    Location:
    Santa Cruz
    Another epic read with amazing photos Thomas. Thank you for sharing. Love the story of how you and Sandra (Mrs. B) met.
    Thomas B. likes this.