Salt & Gold 2009 - The Heart of Africa!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Pyndon, May 15, 2009.

  1. Pyndon

    Pyndon Long timer

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    The story of an Epic adventure across the Sahara.......

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    SALT & GOLD 2009 DVD Now Available....

    Link for UK (PAL) version and European sales is here LINK

    Link for US (NTSC) version and US sales is here LINK

    ------------

    So it was Monday 15th September 2008, I got home from work after a particularly demanding day and thought to myself “wow, I’m thirty years old in three months time, what shall I get myself?” Needless to say, in the spur of the moment I posted a thread on ADVRider.com, because lets face it, it was going to be something to do with motorcycles!

    Yeah, there were the usual toys discussed, sports cars, superbikes and hookers but it was just the one reply that particularly caught my eye. It was about the early stages of planning for a trip to Africa, not just Africa, but the particularly baron and dangerous area otherwise known as ‘The Empty Quarter’. That moment, right there and then I knew this was it, I was on the case!

    Just two weeks later I found myself sat in a public house in Manchester, UK, with the two guys who had thought up this totally crazy idea. Experiences were shared and ideas passed around the table. Beer after beer, the logistics did not get any easier; this was not going to be straight forward. Late into the evening, plans were discussed….and evolved!

    In brief, the trip would involve a small band of well travelled adventurers from the UK heading off deep into the Saharan dunes in the heart of Africa. Following ancient camel routes, (but eschewing 4-legged beasts for motorcycles), the ride would head East from Atar in Mauritania, through Chinguetti and Tidjikja. From there an 800km piste would take us to Tichit, Nema and finally through Dogon country where we would cross the river Niger into Timbuktu and this is where the 'real riding’ would begin!

    After reaching Timbuktu, the plan was to push north into the unridden ‘Empty Quarter’ of the West Sahara. Following the only remaining ancient camel route still used today ‘Azalai’, we would travel over 1600km of sand dunes through the fearsomely remote and lawless lands of the Touareg.

    Our goal.......the fabled salt mines of Taoudenni, a solar-blasted outpost, rarely visited by Westerners (and never by motorcycles from Timbuktu, or at least to the best of my knowledge / research). This place once powered the Trans Saharan salt trade and helped shape the medieval world.

    The team had a real challenge on their hands. To succeed, each would have to contend with phenomenal distances over near-impassable terrain as well as searing desert conditions, mechanical problems and scant resources. And as with any good trip the expedition target will see the trip only halfway complete as the return trip to Timbuktu would continue to test both riders and machines.

    Each night will be spent under the stars, each day in the saddle. But the difficulties won't end there - corrupt officials, Touareg rebels, bandits and the everyday pressures of an expedition on the edge will always be over the next dune. Salt and Gold 2009 was to be an adventure set in a unreal context of alien landscapes, nomadic tribes and sands soaked in myth and history.

    The first section of the route would see us riding some of the harshest Paris to Dakar Rally pistes (the bits where they get rid of everyone) and hopefully making some routes of our own. We reckoned on about 4-5000km of riding without any black top. Our longest piste on the first section would be just over 800km.

    But this was only the plan, and what really happened is something that has only really been discussed with close friends and loved ones, or at least until now, because I now bring you Salt & Gold 2009, let the story begin!

    Pyndon.


    Direct Ride Report Links for this thread
    Day T-2
    Day T-1
    Day T-0
    Day 1
    Day 2
    Day 3
    Day 4
    Day 5
    Day 6
    Day 7
    Day 8
    Day 9
    Day 10
    Day 11
    Day 12
    Day 13
    Day 14
    Day 15
    Day 16
    Day 17
    Day 18
    Day 19
    Day 20
    Day 21
    Day 22
    Day 23
    Day 24

    DVD Front & Rear Cover


    Update 5th March 2010 - DVD in print!

    Montage!

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    Sneaky Peak...

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    Amoghar Pass...

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    ...and for those who have not met me without a helmet, this is Pyndon!

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    Saharan surgery, there's humour in this DVD!

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    #1
  2. river_rat

    river_rat Perplexed

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    :lurk

    lordy, this sounds like one hell of a ride...
    #2
  3. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Thanks for the intro Pyn, let the adventure begin :thumb

    :lurk :lurk
    #3
  4. Douf

    Douf Limey Bitch

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    Damn! I'm already feeling less than worthy, and that was just after reading the bit about drinking in Manchester.

    If anything - apart from the occasionally successful factory KTM support crew can keep a 950 going through Africa, I think a combination of yourself and a support truck full of long lead spares is possibly the team for the job. :evil

    Sounds like an adventure of epic proportions - Bring it. And if you haven't already, check out any of Metaljockey's reports, to get an idea of just how high you need to be aiming.

    I already have a question too: how do all you f$%kers get so much bloody time off work?

    Edit: after re-reading the intro, I'm not sure the actual report's gonna be that long, and I suspect I already know how it concludes..........'and then we all sobered up, I staggered outside, jumped in my Citroen 2CV and drove home, pausing briefly to throw up over my Chihuahua before passing out on the bathroom floor - the end' :poser

    Douf
    #4
  5. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

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    :lurk

    Can't wait to read this one.
    #5
  6. Mr. Tickles

    Mr. Tickles Been here awhile

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    This is gonna be a good read.
    #6
  7. dezertpilot

    dezertpilot Adventurer

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    How do I subscribe to this and other threads?
    #7
  8. river_rat

    river_rat Perplexed

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    when you reply, scroll down to the 'options' area below the message area. The subscription option is down there.
    #8
  9. Flood

    Flood F5lood.

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    I've been waiting for this one. :lurk
    #9
  10. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    This should be a most unique report, especially if sans guide. Skills will be put to the test here I forsee.

    I'm ready:ear
    #10
  11. Steffo

    Steffo Been here awhile

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    I am so in for this one. :ear
    #11
  12. flatmo

    flatmo Americano

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    Give me!
    #12
  13. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Sounds Awesome!:super Bring it on!:lurk
    #13
  14. Vicks

    Vicks gets stuck in sand

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    c'mmon man .. atleast post some teaser pics !!!

    eagerly waiting for the story tob unfold,,,,,,,
    #14
  15. Sacha & BJ

    Sacha & BJ where's my to do list?

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    The intro sounds good to me, give us the first chaper. Photo's are welcome too!
    #15
  16. Dessert Storm

    Dessert Storm Dances With Drunks

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    Sounds great: I'm in, with a capital 'in'.

    Which pub?
    #16
  17. no

    no dreaming adventurer Supporter

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    This is a journey I have dreamed of. :ear
    #17
  18. johnnywad

    johnnywad Out to Lunch

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    :ear :freaky
    Can't wait to hear more................
    #18
  19. Mileater

    Mileater Been here awhile

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    :eek2:ear
    Cheers :freaky
    #19
  20. GTMan

    GTMan Adventurer

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    Yeh Man...I am in...:ear
    #20