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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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  #1  
Old 28 Jan 2002
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Location: Berghuelen, B.-W., Germany
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Germany - Senegal and back with the motorbike

Hi Everybody,

I'm planning in September 2002 a Trip thru Germany, France, Spain, Marroko, Mauretania, Senegal and back. I'll use my motorbike, a old XT600. For that trip, I've got several Problems:
1. I don't know, if my bike will stay 'alive' the whole trip. Is there somebody who has some experience with spare-parts and machanics (most things I can fix by my own) in these countries?
2. I only speak german and english; poorly there are a lot of french-speaking countries on the way, is it very hard to have no skills in french for such a trip?
3. This is my first 'interkontinental' trip with the bike, do you think, this will be to much for a beginners trip (I'm travelling alone)
4. Does anybody has experience with the border Morokko-Mauretania AND back?
5. What about the border Mauretania-Senegal and back?

I think, this is enough for the moment
Thx for helping and have a nice day!!

Heiko

[This message has been edited by Bloody (edited 28 January 2002).]

[This message has been edited by Bloody (edited 28 January 2002).]
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Old 29 Jan 2002
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Penrith, UK
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Hi,

I also have an old XT600 (1984) which made the trip from Scotland to Senegal last year. Once you get into Africa, I woudn't bet on being able to get XT600 parts. Before you go, make sure your camchain and tensioner are okay and your piston rings. If in doubt replace them!

The drive through Western Sahara is very long and sometimes quite tedious. Because the road is paved, there is a temptation to thrash the bike a bit. Depending on your gearing and luggage, this has been known to kill the 5th gear on XT600's, which is a little prone to failure.

As far as languages go, I just learned a tiny little bit of French - just a few phrases to say hello and to buy food/fuel and understand forms. You'd be amazed at how few French words you can get by with, but you should learn some!

The crossing into Senegal at Rosso is a little bit of a hassle as there are a lot of hustlers. I think the secret is not to be in a hurry. Don't let them tell you that 'this is the last ferry of the day'!! Just be cool :-)

Hope you have great fun.

Andy
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Old 29 Jan 2002
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You should cross at "Diama" (I believe it's spelled like this). Small crossing, hardly anybody around and it's a great ride to that place (except when it's rain season).

Gert
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