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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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  #1  
Old 25 Jan 2006
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Location: Lisbon
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questions LISBON / TIMBOUCTU

1
I have a bmw650gs / i don't have much off road experience / i have read 'adventure motorcycling handbook' and 'sahara overland' / I'm just back from a morocco 12 days, 6500kms trip (i located the starting points of some of chris scott pistes, but we were 2 on the bike, me and a girl, and we didn't do any of them, just some 30/40 kms) / i took a gps, i think i can handle it
2
In mid april / may i intent to go to Timbouctu
3
Questions:
Is too much for me going alone?
(the alternative would be to persuade a friend of mine who has a 1150gs with no off road experience as well)

Is it too risky concerning the weather? (temperature around Atar/ South Mauritania and Mali - begin of the rain season near Niger river)

Can i do M13 / R1/2/4-8 /?
What about R10? and B2/3?
Can i manage it without the 200 000 maps ?

One month from Lisbon to Timbouctu and back, doing some of the pistes, is it enough?

What tires should i buy? apparently T63 doesn't fit neither some other options alike - the alternatives being metezeler tourance/michelin anakee?
The bmw panniers are they hard enough to this trip (i guess i know this one...)

Am i forgetting something?

Wish someone could help me.
thanks



[This message has been edited by 8340SU (edited 25 January 2006).]
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Old 25 Jan 2006
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>>> Is too much for me going alone?
You will think so at times. Best to go direct to Tim the easiest way and think about pistes on the way back if you have the energy and confidence. Almost certainly, down south and by yourself in very hot weather you will think pistes are a bad idea (as you thought in Mk with a passenger).

>>> (the alternative would be to persuade a friend of mine who has a 1150gs with no off road experience as well)

Sounds like a bad idea unless you both stick to highways and easy dirt.

>>> Is it too risky concerning the weather? (temperature around Atar/ South Mauritania and Mali - begin of the rain season near Niger river).

It is always hottest before the rains begin. On a highway it is merely very hot (not unusual in Portugal) - stuck on a lonely sandy piste it can get desperate. But Maroc will be cooler - just right

>>> Can I do M13 / R1/2/4-8 /?
With your experience I would say only R4 (going up R3) would be safe to do alone.

>>> What about R10? and B2/3?
B3 maybe, B2 is hard work on a loaded bike - all sand ruts and no space to get off. R10 is risky alone though I have not done it.

>>> Can i manage it without the 200 000 maps ?
1m will be OK - but being with someone else will be even better.

>>> What tires should i buy? T63 doesn't fit neither some other options alike - the alternatives being metezeler tourance/michelin anakee?

Tourance and anakee are not options to a T63/MT21/TKC80 and the like - they are no better than road tyres. I am sure T63/MT21/TKC80 will fit your bike.

>>> 1 month from Lisbon to Timbouctu and back, doing some of the pistes, is it enough?

Souns plenty of time.

>>> Am i forgetting something?
Of course, it is normal!

Me, I think alone at that time of year you will have a nicer/ less stressful time riding around Maroc pistes that you just looked at, at times joining with with other riders for security, instead of schelepping all the way to Timbuktu. On a bike, where you are more vulnerable, it is better to leave Sahel places and pistes for the cool of winter when it will be more fun.

Ch
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  #3  
Old 25 Jan 2006
Ian Ian is offline
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Hi,

Sorry to sound unenthusiastic, but personally, I would avoid travel in Mali or anywhere else in the Sahel outside of November to February.

One route to Timbuktu is described here: Sahara Overland ~ the book and online resource

and in this thread:

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...periences-9310

it's implied that the route between the Niger river and Douentza may now be sealed.

You might consider shipping to/from Banjul or Dakar if you're pushed for time.
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  #4  
Old 1 Feb 2006
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Chris
Thank you for the answers and thoughs you post.
I will think about it.
Maybe i will leave Timbouctu for later and i will keep the idea of returning to Morocco alone, and try the pistes you mention on your book.
Thanks Ian,
for the links. And Antonio for the email.
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