Archive for November 9, 2010

Western Sahara desert

Posted: November 9, 2010 in Africa Orbital, Western Sahara

Darren writes on 9/11/10

On the piste!

We set off from Tan Tan, in the south of morocco on the 5th to cross through the desert into Western Sahara by piste (track).

The end of the tar came after 40miles where we came to a small village where we asked for directions… We got laughed at and pointed east into the desert by 4 old men who seemed to be the only residents in town. The first patch of sand sent us into a wobble…

Yes, sand is difficult!

oh dear maybe we should have put on our knobblies, but feeling lazy we carried on with our road/intermediate tyres. The desert was beautiful. A vast expanse of nothing but sand and stone, with the odd camel herd here and there and the occasional Berber nomad. The first night camping, 60miles on, gave a fantastic show of shooting stars and the stars.. there were so many of them from horizon to horizon, 360 degrees.                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Sunrise cuppa

Best camp site ever


The next day we came to Labouriat, a village a hundred miles from the nearest community..

The people who live in the middle of nowhere

They were surprised to see us and we were surprised we had managed to navigate there as we had long before lost the piste.

We then tried to navigate to a town south of there where we thought we could find fuel. We got a bit lost but found a Nomads tent where we thought we could ask the direction. We were invited in for tea and bread dipped in warm goats butter.

Yahweh provides!

Yum yum when you’re hungry! We never did find the town, Jidiriya that night and started to become a little concerned about fuel and water. Ah ha the next day we did but it wasn’t the glass city full of restaurants and supermarkets we thought, but a dozen half built houses owned by old Landrover owners. We asked for petrol and nearly got filled with diesel from a chaps drum store.. We ate some bread, oil and dates but found no petrol. Opps we had a couple of litres in our tanks and 5 each in a can.

Whoopie, fuel! Prayer answered

We left on a prayer. 20 miles down the track we met a landrover. After greetings we were offered 5 litres of fuel… The answer to our prayer! So with that and the cans we were carrying we just about made it to a town. Passed on from there and another night in the tents before the last 60 miles to Laaynoune, which was rioting and slightly on fire, and south to Dakhla.

Miles and miles!

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Rabat to Tan Tan

Posted: November 9, 2010 in Morrocco

Darren Writes on 5/11/10

Nice Frenchman put us up in his riad

Nice French man Akim, his daughter, Tia and his Riad made for a nice couple of days in Rabat whilst we were picking up visas for Mauritania. Rabat its self is not like a lot of Morocco but more formal, clean and tidy- even the souks, comparatively.

Rabat medina

Rabat coast

From there a 340 mile ride took us to a coastal village near Agadir where we camped for the night. In the morning, doing our bike checks I found Russell’s water pump seals to be leaking… Oh no… but good job we brought along a spare. Decided to get a place to stay in Tan Tan, 200 and something miles south to do the work.

Tan Tan fixing water pump

Ouch, it took us the whole day to do it , draining the oil, coolant, and removing engine cover, which was a nightmare when it came to getting the clutch back on, but we managed it in the end and instead of celebrating with a beer as we had promised ourselves, we promptly fell asleep. Today we will take on some of the pistes through Western Sahara… Here’s hoping we fixed the bike ok! No smelly feet yet but day time temp is now about 30 around here.