The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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Relations between Mauritania and Algeria were strained after the Mauritanian army attacked an al-Qaeda encampment in the Wagadou Forest region of northern Mali last June, according to the analyst. Ould Dah said Algerian media inaccurately reported the Mauritanian army was defeated in the battle.
“Additionally, Algeria was reluctant to offer the Mauritanian army any intelligence information, or take part in the joint forces of the Sahel countries, leaving Mauritania alone in its confrontations with terrorists,” he said.
However, this latest step taken by Algeria marks a move toward more security co-operation among Sahel states. Political analyst Mokhtar Al-Salem said the visit was a “notable development” in terms of improving relations.
He added that the Mauritanian president has strong ties with Morocco, where Ould Abdel Aziz received his military training. “However, the fall of Kadhafi forced Algeria to shuffle the cards and search for new allies that may not include the Libyan interim council, after Algeria hosted Aisha Kadhafi,” al-Salem said.
“Algeria cannot afford to remain at odds with Morocco, Mauritania and Libya. Otherwise, it will be living in political isolation in the Arab Maghreb, which does not exactly serve its ends as a military power in the region,” the analyst noted."
The amount of arms they are believed to have at their disposal is alarming.
This quote from Fowler tells us the time to act is now. They're dedicated, but they are few.
"Robert Fowler, a former UN special envoy to Niger and Canadian diplomat who was kidnapped and held hostage for four months in 2008-9 by al-Qaida in the Maghreb (AQIM), said the 31-strong group of captors was well-disciplined and wholly concentrated on its aim of creating an Islamic caliphate embracing the Muslim lands of Africa and the Middle East.
"These men are highly motivated and totally ascetic," Fowler said. "These guys have no needs. They are dressed in rags. They have a bag of rice and a belt of ammunition and that's it. I was held in 23 different locations in about 70 days. They are organised. They can break camp in under four minutes."
Fowler continued: "This was the most focused group of young men I have ever encountered in my life. They are totally committed to jihad. They said to me, 'We fight to die, you fight to go home to your wife and kids. Guess who will win?' Even if it takes 200 years … They want to turn the Sahel into a new Somalia.""
With the new AQ franchise opening in WA run by sahrawi, algerians and west africans, problems are spreading.
Next year they have presidential elections in France. Sarko would really like to enjoy some measure of success before then by liberating the hostages in Africa, like he succeeded with the three who were kidnapped in Jemen.
So he sent minister Gueant to Algeria to talk with Bouteflika. Who didn't personally receive him.
France is putting pressure on Algeria by planning to set up a base south of the algerian border. Boutef doesn't respond well to threats and want the french to ask nicely (like Spain did, and that manhunt seems to ge going full blast). War of nerves by Franco-Algerian AQIM proxy | Latest News
If it turns out Nato can't use ground forces in the Sahel, for political reasons, then what?
-train malian peasants forever
-arm and set up tuareg units (possibly in the works, but how and with consent by whom?)
-make a deal with Boutef
I was just at another FCO meeting today on Sahel security for tour ops and interested parties.
To cut a long story short:
• They see no imminent prospect of final showdown with AQIM from Mali or adjacent countries/EU.
• Mali is more concerned about a new Tuareg uprising than the activities of AQIM. (And so, as had been mentioned, no prospect of a Tuareg militia to kick out AQIM from north Mali).
• There is still a US training base is Gao - but their efforts over the years appear to have been unproductive.
• The Brit govt guy from Bamako said the Malians were genuinely shocked by the Timbuktu events. The breaking of a 'non aggression' pact was spoken of, as well as a 'declaration of war'.[added] Also, a fairly plausible explanation for the slow reaction of the police/army to chase the 3 kidnapped from T'too: no fuel; no permission; too scared of ending up like the German guy. After all, it's not like T'too has been an effective outpost, poised to chase AQ into the desert. A few weeks before, security there had been reported as pretty slack during an official Mali Tourisme promo tour.
Rather tellingly 'Hombori' was never mentioned - until some of us referred to it later.
Also spotted this 6-month old news on El K which I don't recall reading before. Ties Alg in closer with AQIM and ABZ - not something you read so often and makes you think the tourism there may have been skating on thin ice. Of course, who knows if it's all as it reads...
Perhaps the clearest substantial evidence yet post 2003 that ransoms get paid. Until now, always just assumed to be true and generally denied by any authorities.
€1.7M would have been a substantial loss. But I thought the money was meant for the beards in the north?
In the past Moammar Khadafi paid the ransom money on several occasions, in turn getting favours from the west and allowing the European nations involved to pretend no money changed hands.
Now that route is closed and negotiations harder.
Another couple 4x4s from Libya loaded with rockets and what not were apprehended near Djanet a couple days ago. Why don't they play it safe and go south into Niger? Or is the Nigerian army as tough as the Algies now?
Another couple 4x4s from Libya loaded with rockets and what not were apprehended near Djanet a couple days ago. Why don't they play it safe and go south into Niger? Or is the Nigerian army as tough as the Algies now?[/QUOTE]
I don't understand this either. No way is the Niger military as capable/equipped/numerous in that part of the Sahara. Niger has bases in Dirkou, possibly Madama but nothing to speak of in Chirfa. I'd cut across the Djado plateau in Niger and head across the N.Tenere into the Air. Unless its Algeria they want to infiltrate, not NE Mali.
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