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

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  #1  
Old 18 Jan 2006
moro
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Solar eclipse Niger/Lybia

Hi, as you may well be aware there's a 4 min.+ full solar eclipse taking place at +/- 10.00 UTC on the 29th of march 2006. It's path is Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Lybia, Med, Turkey, etc...
Map:
http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclips...006-fig02a.GIF

I will be in Fachi (Niger) to observe it with a small goup of people (hope this doesn't qualify as cunningly disguised ad, Chris). I gathered, not surprisingly, that there will be other groups doing the same at the same spot. In time I started wondering whether it's going to be thousands or only hundreds - in both cases I'm going to move my group somewhere else.
So, my question: is any of you people planning to do the same and how many are you?
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  #2  
Old 18 Jan 2006
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Hi Moro,
I'm not going personally but I happen to know that this eclipse is no secret. I also know that a lot of Brits. are going to Lybia to watch. I guess that means that at least the French, Germans, Italians and probably the Swiss will be coming your way.
Ha ha,
Kevin.
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  #3  
Old 18 Jan 2006
moro
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Hi Kevin,
could you please call them all up and tell them to abort the mission (it really is not worth the hassle).
ahaha
moro
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  #4  
Old 18 Jan 2006
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I think there are going to be a lot of people about!

But, it's a big desert!

Sam.
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  #5  
Old 18 Jan 2006
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Myself and 3 friends are biking to Libya and we fully expect to see plenty of other tourists there for the eclipse. However, I have never found it a problem to find a good eclipse viewing spot, in fact the most memorable ones are those where the eclipse is experienced with locals rather than the hoards that have been coached-in.
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  #6  
Old 20 Jan 2006
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Hi Fragglecat

In order not be disappointed with the final result of your research in finding a good spot , I strongly recommended You to have a previous clear agreement on the matter with your local company , as our , like others all involved in this very important forthcoming event for Libya’s future tourism had already received since late august the fully instruction finalized by our government explaining were camps, meeting viewing points ecc will be allowed. (3 definite areas)

Above is to perform the minimum standard requested and , as far we have been instructed , those points are without distinction if people travelling by plane, coach, bikes , and … camels.

Budrina
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  #7  
Old 23 Jan 2006
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Thanks Budrinna. I have already discussed our eclipse viewing location with the agent we're using and they seemed happy to go along with our request. Using only Government approved sites has not been mentioned but then again many different agents have had very different ideas about what really is required to visit Libya with ones own vehicle so we've been trying to steer the middle ground as far as possible. Can you tell us the locations of these 3 eclipse viewing areas? It is very important to be on or very very close to the eclipse centre line in order to experience maximum total eclipse duration and I have not been convinced many of the tour agents fully understand that.

Thanks again.
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  #8  
Old 24 Jan 2006
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>>>In time I started wondering whether it's going to be thousands or only hundreds -

My prediction FWIW, Libya overall sounds much more popular than Niger but unless they really get to grips with it, Waw Namus (the obvious point) will be an open air toilet the day after.
Check this out:
http://www.eclipse-city.com/start.php
Not my idea of Sahara travel but it's a once-every-222-years break for Sahara tourism! (F-Cat I fully understand your reservations...)

As people say, it's a big desert and IMO it could be fun to experience it with the locals - for once their attention won't be focussed on you!

If you roll it into a Tenere circuit, you can't fail to have a great trip.

Ch
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  #9  
Old 24 Jan 2006
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Scott:
Check this out:
http://www.eclipse-city.com/start.php
Not my idea of Sahara travel but it's a once-every-222-years break for Sahara tourism! (F-Cat I fully understand your reservations...)

Ch[/B]
Yes, that is exactly what we hope to avoid!
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  #10  
Old 28 Jan 2006
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have you received your visa already? your group consists of 4 bikes, that's it? I'm on a bike too, alone as the group I wanted to join will definitely not travel and still determined to see the eclipse - but it seems impossible to receive a visa without a permit and a police escort in a hired car to follow...
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  #11  
Old 30 Jan 2006
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Hi rolf_w,

I won't be collecting our visas until end Feb/beginning of March because they're only valid for entry into Libya for about one month after issue (or so I'm lead to believe). You need an invite in order to get the visa and it's pretty late to arrange an invite now, tho' you may still manage it and be able to collect your visa at the border. The biggest headache (and cost) is the need for a guide, many of the agents are now fully booked for the eclipse period. However, some comments I've seen on the hub in the last few days suggest a guide is not needed for motorcycles. Unsurprisingly the agents do not mention this. I believe a (tourist) police escort is only required for groups of more than 4 or 5 people. No disrespect to anyone but this sort of confusion seems to be the norm for Africa.
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  #12  
Old 30 Jan 2006
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Hi FraggleCat

The selected viewing points are 3 areas near to :

1 Wau namous
2 Jalu
3 Tobruk (Jarcub)

In those places all services will be granted in order that the Namous Volcan as other natural and archeo sites doesn't have to run the risk to be turned in rubbish site.

Patrols ( air and car) will assure the respect of this point .

In the organization of the event and for its better result local as EU contractors, T.O., catering ecc are working and collaborating togheter.

Cheers
Budrinna

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  #13  
Old 1 Feb 2006
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Quote:
Originally posted by rolf_w:
have you received your visa already? your group consists of 4 bikes, that's it? I'm on a bike too, alone as the group I wanted to join will definitely not travel and still determined to see the eclipse - but it seems impossible to receive a visa without a permit and a police escort in a hired car to follow...

thx, i know i'm pretty late and i wont have the time to get everything organized. the best that i could come across is a group which would allow me to join (which has an agent organizing the nitty gritty...). would you have a hint? regards rolf
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  #14  
Old 2 Feb 2006
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When we were in Libya recently one Libyan said 3 million visas, another (Guide) said 1 million visas had been issued for the eclipse period of time. Doesn't seem feasible - where would all the guides come from???, where would all the Landcruisers come !!!
If they all go off to Waw en Namus it's going to be a very dusty, busy place.
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  #15  
Old 4 Feb 2006
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Regarding Libyan visas, I've just received an email from the agent I'm using saying all visas must be sorted at the border and not here in the UK where I was arranging to get them. This seems like a recipe for huge queues at the border and seems like an unlikely development so close to the eclipse and is making me rather uneasy. I spoke to the Libyan consulate here in the UK only 3 days ago to get the visa application forms and they made no mention of this change in procedure. Has anyone else come across this 'new development'?

Rolf - a search on the HUBB will show a list of Libyan agent's email addresses who may be able to help you and if you're quick and lucky you may be able to arrange a visa. I am not in contact with any other groups heading to Libya so cannot help you there.
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