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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Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
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Five Algerians were arrested in the Kidal The four members of the GSPC released the same day were taken to Gao and given to negotiators appointed officials of the President, who were meeting with Abu Zeid, a terrorist leaders. Two South American planes were unloaded cocaine in recent days. Local sources accuse people close to the Malian presidency.
The article posted by Ulrich in El Watan paints a very murky world. But in many ways the content of the article helps us to understand things.
Mali is a very poor country, among the 10 poorest in the world. The real riches of the country in the form of mineral wealth is not something the population can get their hands on. But drug smuggling is. Ten tons of cocaine might have a street value of about 400 million dollars. Imagine the way the presence of this stuff distorts the economy of a place where very, very little is produced and where per captia income may be less than 1000 dollars a year. Its not surprising that officials and local population alike become involved. And therein is the problem - there is no plausible appetite to shut down the smuggling - not given the huge wealth to hand. Also, the skills needed to move the stuff are the skills that locals have - criss-crossing the desert is what they are particularly good at. Mix in a bit of AQ-IM and its hard to see how this lot is going to be dismantled. There's no will and probably no capability.
planes carrying drugs .... landed last February 6 in the circle of Kita ... 360 km west of the city of Timbuktu
Unless it was just a refuel or something, if coke planes are landing at Kita - actually 1000km southwest of Tim but only a couple of hours by road out of Bamako - that does not bode well for security in southwestern, non-desert Mali either.
The other spot mentioned, SE of Tin Zawatine (where Alg, Niger and Mali borders meet), is a more likely location for such goings on.
If Malian state officials are in on this business (and in that country who else would have the power/be allowed to get away with it?) then as RW says, "its hard to see how this lot is going to be dismantled", even if Alg claims to be gagging to do something about it. I read somewhere that they are putting the pressure on in the Kabylie/Tizi Ouzou regions of NE Alg and so AQ are getting stuck in in north Mali.
It was interesting too that the article pointed to AQIM bases NE of Gao in Mali (directly below Tin Zaw). Although it may be fairly obvious - water, shade, isolation and a dodgy zone even before AQIM etc came on the scene - after a long time wondering it's the first time I've seen such a clear pointer and explains the nearby grabs of Fowler, the Edwin Dyer party, and the recent French guy at Menaka, and even the reported attack in Tahoua (Niger) a couple of months back. Is it any wonder those Saudi hunters in that area got nailed?
So we know where not to go, but it's still a long reach over to the highway south of Nouadhibou, or up to the GEO in Tunisia...
This is going back a bit, to January 2008. Story of a 2 hour firefight with AQ-IM near Tin-Zaouatene involving 750 kg of cocaine, 3 pickups and military firepower - the last mentioned not of course in the hands of the Malian officials.
One wonders what has been bought with the proceeds of all this dope + the kidnapping ransom. One short answer could be the 'Sahara'.
Officials in Mali say they have seized 750kg of cocaine valued at $45m, after a two-hour gun battle on Thursday.
The cocaine, one of the country's biggest drug hauls, was found near the town of Tin-Zaouatene in two four-wheel-drive vehicles.
The smugglers abandoned the vehicles and reportedly fled over the Algerian border nearby, carrying their wounded.
Correspondents say West Africa has become a major trafficking route for Colombian cocaine bound for Europe.
"The seizure took place... following a car chase and gun fight, or a battle, you could say, as they had military weapons," a senior Territorial Administration Ministry official told Reuters news agency. "After two hours of fighting, the smugglers, who were driving three Algerian-registered off-roaders, abandoned two of them, loaded their wounded into the third vehicle and fled over the border," he said.
If the case of Boeing Cocaine has been a real source of embarrassment to the Malian authorities, the latter can now be rubbing their hands in favor of the largest seizure of marijuana that comes from successful research section of Brigade of the Judicial Investigation (BIJ) Friday, February 19, 2010: just under two tonnes or 1718 kilograms of marijuana and arrested six people!
A Boeing 727 cargo must be worth in the region of US $500.000 and of course you want it airworthy so you won't be flying a complete junker.... your pilot will know if you have the range to fly north stop off in the desert, unload, take off and land at your supposed destination.
So just imagine, going back to your boss who happens to be a drug dealer and say " sorry mate, got stuck in the desert, couldn't take off again, emptied the cargo and torched your plane"....
Damm he had a bad day in the office...
I guess the pilot asked the question, as we're flying a cargo plane, can't we open the cargo door and parachute the gear out, much more effective ... unless he was forced to land !
The case of seizure of 8 tons of drugs at the border between Algeria and Morocco continues to fuel the current security situation in the capital of the Saura, Bechar. From the simple method of interception and seizure of information and how to dismantle networks of barons, guides and escorts, and therefore complicit, the Algerian security services score points and recorded great progress in the war triggered, for years, against international cartels based drugs in the Moroccan Rif and beyond, in European capitals and the Middle East. And if the phenomenon of money laundering and connect these networks with terrorism has been established with this traffic, it is clear that illegal immigration is also exploited by drug traffickers to make recruits, and even goats emissaries to route their goods through the Gaza border between Algeria and Morocco and countries of the Sahel countries where Al Qaeda is clearly well established.
This 2 ton stash is worth more than the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Gambia.
I'm coming round to thinking that the whole drugs, arms, AQIM thing in the Sahara is not going to be stopped by any concerted intervention. The West has a knack of standing off until such time as the tide has turned inexorably. I reckon that moment has more or less been reached in the Sahara.
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