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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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  #1  
Old 17 May 2010
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Talking Back from Algeria

Helllo

We have just arrived from Algeria.

Excellent country to travel even with all misleading information that we receive everyday.

The guide is only necessary in the north of the country and I believe that someone that wants to travel in the north can do it without much fuss.

The guide is necessary in the south and we (travellers) should make an effort to leave more money to the guides and less to the tourism agencies. The amount that the guides receive is ridiculous (at least in our case) compared with the amount we par to the agencies.

We travelled with a diesel land rover lightweight from 1977 and with a modified KTM 950cc

The route: (I will give all the details if some one is interested)
Almeria
Gnazaouet
Bechar
Reggane
Aoulef (Akabli)
Fort Ouallen
In Ziza
Tam
Ideles (near)
60 kms sought Amguid
In Salah
Gnazaouet
Almeria

We had an “gendarmerie” escort from Figuid to Aoulef. 25 Patrol GR, 50 “gendarms” and 50 kalashnikovs! Two and an half days with very pleasant traveller companions (I obviously would prefer not to have them but almost no complains about them)

The reason: “for your security”. We tried hard to have a more complete answer but it was always the same “for your security”.

After Aoulet we fill all water, diesel and petrol tanks and started our first off road section. 910 kms passing near fort Ouallen, in Ziza and finishing in Silet.

We only catch humans again near Silet 3 days after departure J

Then Tam.

This was the first part of the trip. I will complete this topic ASAP.

Bernardo Feio
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  #2  
Old 31 May 2010
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Wishing more data about your Algerian journey

Hi Bernardo,

please, share with us more information about your Algerian trip. At Tamrarasset you had 44º C... and what about the 1977's Land Rover?

Rui
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  #3  
Old 1 Jun 2010
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I'm back as well!

And here is the KTM driver back in Holland as well.
I spend an extra week in the north of Algeria (without any problems due to not having a guide anymore!) before 2 extra weeks in Tunesia.

The Land rover cooped with the heat perfectly IMHO. Better then the KTM anyhow

The climate was harsh to say the least, but i guess whe knew that before departure to a may trip in Algeria. Sand storms and especially a problem to me, the dry wind from the south drying out my eyes while riding. This harsh environment was part of why i wanted to go, so i felt in my element. It was a perfect trip and all the story's about how butifull the algerian sahara is where true in my opinion. and it is HUGE overthere. Distances are vast and terrain slow to change. so plenty of time to soak up the incredible environment before it changes again.
Definately a trip to remember.

Bernardo and Tobe, thans again!
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Old 2 Jun 2010
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Hi Steven!

Welcome back. Bernardo and Tobe told me about your journey. I'm very interested on your "two wheels point of view". What about the long crossing from Akabli to Silet? Too hard and too remote to do it alone? It´s a 900 km route without any water and fuel support, right?

Rui Pedro
Alentejo, Portugal.
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  #5  
Old 2 Jun 2010
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"Bernardo and Tobe, thans again"

it was a pleasure! it’s always fun to make a trip with some one with a so vast Africa travel experience!

...and obviously I can now tell everybody that I had to pull a KTM for more then 40kms! :P





BTW
We manage to do all my planed routes except the direct route from Amguid to In Salah. The guide and the agency were not very relaxed about it. The guide said it was forbidden and still dangerous (?) . Can any one coment this?

Bernardo

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  #6  
Old 3 Jun 2010
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I’m now out of Portugal but as son as I return I will download the GPS and then I will send the tracks to any one interested

bernardo@Barsinghausen, Germany


ps: CH recomended Erg Mehejibe. It's a very nice loop to every one that wants’ to experience dune driving or, if that's not your cup of tea, to any one that just wants pist travelling avoiding tarmac. If you go around it you can avoid roughly 110kms of tarmac



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  #7  
Old 3 Jun 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rui Pedro Tremoceiro View Post
Hi Steven!

Welcome back. Bernardo and Tobe told me about your journey. I'm very interested on your "two wheels point of view". What about the long crossing from Akabli to Silet? Too hard and too remote to do it alone? It´s a 900 km route without any water and fuel support, right?

Rui Pedro
Alentejo, Portugal.
Hi Rui Pedro,
The route was definately not to hard, i recon a fast driver can do it in a day with the terrain your on, i would count for 2 easy day's on bike's. Water is not your issue, exept when you come to a stand still. there is none, exept for 2 locations we passed by, although the fort probably has water as well, be we did not bother to say hello to the possible gendarmery on the site.
Remote it is, and fuel will be your major issue on most bike's.

It took me 56 liter's and came about 3 liter short (hence the 40km being pulled by Bernardo ) So next ride, i'd take 70 liter for this stretch. and a 20 liter water. I drank an easy 10 a day. But only with intell IF the water holes are wet. We did not check if the water listed on the map is there. If they are still alive and with waypoints of them water won't be the biggest issue.

I'd love to do that route again, it's absolutely butifull there!
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Old 6 Jun 2010
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Hi Steven

Thanks a lot for your text. Who knows.... maybe we can do it together. But now I'm in a hospital bed with a light fracture in vertebra T5 e T6. All ok, apart from pain. I had a big crash on the road, two days ago with my GS.

Cheers,

Rui
Portugal
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  #9  
Old 7 Jun 2010
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Ai Rui,
Don't you know that driving on the road is very dangerous?
(in Algeria i only crashed once, on the road, on a big big diesel trail in a nice corner)

Best wishes with your recovery!
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  #10  
Old 9 Jun 2010
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Hi Steven,

That´s right. You know...
Good asphalt, beautiful mountain road in Algarve, last friday morning, downhill, happy, speed, very happy, more speed... too much; crash and hospital. Vertebra T5 in bad condition. The neck brace save me from the wheelchair. Anyway, 3 months stop.

I believe it´s safer in the Sahara!

Do you want to repeat the Tanezrouft crossing with me, next March 2011? You and another portuguese, this time 2 wheels. Planning keep me alive in bed!

Thank you.
Rui
Portugal
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  #11  
Old 9 Jun 2010
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hello travel friends!

I’m already preparing my R100GS…. (and myself)

We have to plan the route. I don’t like to follow my own footprints J

Ps: the LRPG is very inspiring…
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  #12  
Old 11 Jun 2010
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Back to Algeria with motorcycles?

Hi Bernardo and Steven

The R100 GS is ready for action? Good! So prepare yourself for the return to Tanezrouft, in a different route. Action will start in Timimoum and direct south to stay and sleep at Fort Ouallen (see photo). Follow to Bidon V and piste to Tam. After....maybe Djanet.

Just look this picture of Fort Ouallen!

Rui
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  #13  
Old 13 Jun 2010
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Dont know if you know but Ouallen and several other abandoned French-era desert forts like Serenout, Chebaba, (as well as key wells like Tim Missao) have been re-occupied by the Algerian army in recent years.

Ch
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  #14  
Old 15 Jun 2010
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Our guide noticed something at the fort and therefor we decided not to go to the fort itself. So fort oualen is probably 'in use' again as well.
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  #15  
Old 15 Jun 2010
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Hi Steven.

It´s possible that the fort is in use again. This picture has 4-6 years, maybe. I found a french man that worked there in 1957-58, as radio-telegraphist. Anyway, we could check by ourselves. Do you have binoculars?

See you,

Rui
Portugal
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