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

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Old 6 Nov 2006
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Smile Still preparing 4x4 for Sahara UK to Mali

When I started, I thought it would take a couple of years,well its getting that way! I started to prepare a 3.5 Rangie to go to Timbuktou in the beginning of 2005, was planning Jan o6, but Co-Driver could not make it, so Ok.... delay for a year, bought another Rangie, 3.9 done loads of preparation, Big springs, gas shocks, shields, roof rack (full length) tent on roof, jerry can fitted, water and fuel, Solar panels, three Optima batteries, one for starting, one for winch and auxilaries, one spare in rear charged by solar panels, two spare tyres on rims, sat/nav and sat phone fitted, Auxilary tank fitted, plus usual lights, also now a 3 seater, took out two seats in back, plus a few other bits,and still going, I think new year will be ready to deal with mechanical things,belts, bearings, hoses, seals etc. I know im taking a long time over this, chris says preparation is paramount! but want to do the trip across sahara since I was 25, now 58. so a bit longer wont hurt. and raising money for charity, going from surrey uk, France,Spain,Morocco, Atlas mts, Western Sahara, Mauritania,Mali, target is Timbutou, AND back, cant do Jan 07, then too Hot? to I guess its Jan 2008, maybe too early to ask But anybody want to make up a convoy to do same route,(mixed crew) and any comments please........................Dave
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Old 6 Nov 2006
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Thumbs up Let's offroad!

Originally Posted by SaharaDave
... three Optima batteries, one for starting, one for winch and auxilaries, one spare in rear charged by solar panels
Careful, Dave, you’re starting to seriously sound like The Offroaders. Me, I’m off to get a new pair of spot lamps this week…
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Old 6 Nov 2006
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Smile sounds serious, Dave!

umf, serious prep! I am taking easy - just bought a Rangie (actually - 2 of them) and will take it to Mali in Jan - no preps at all, just me, mate, tent, and rangie. Now I'm in Latvia, but rangie - in Surrey. Will fly London on 25 dec, leave England on Boxing day. Take it easy!
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Old 6 Nov 2006
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Sahara Travel

I'm sitting at home in Christchurch NZ pouring over a Michelin 741 Map looking at doing that same route! We are heading over in a few months to settle in London and start making our second Sahara trip happen. Will my other half has been wanting to do a trip like this too for about 15years.

We will keep a look out for any other postings from you or anyone else who is keen!
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Old 6 Nov 2006
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Hi Dave,

You are only just down the road from me (we are in Sutton).

When my van comes back from the workshop - It would be cool to meet up for a cuppa / and compare notes.

We are leaving on Dec. 20th for our first Saharan voyage - should be 6-7 weeks in total.


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Old 6 Nov 2006
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it is not too hot in Feb. or March 07 neither in Mali nur in Mau, it could be allready hot in Jan.
Better goo soon, avoid to be over-equipped, travel light.
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Old 6 Nov 2006
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I wanted to do Morocco this year but it didn't happen, usual story, so I'm going March 2007, no excuses this time.....

Why don't you have a run down to Morocco, Jan 07, as a trial run.

As you say a bit early for '08' .

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Old 8 Nov 2006
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conventional wisdom is that gas shocks are unsuitable for africa, they overheat on corrugations, harden up and crack their mounts or your chassis. good synthetic oil ones are best. we went through to gambia in April this year
and it only got a bit hot once we got into serious desert. we did find though that the wind would get up at about 15:00, forsing us to an early stop, I think this was due to convection currents. even in April there was snow on the mountains and bits of morocco were quite chilly.

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Old 13 Dec 2006
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I could be interested in your trip, let me know your plans.
Cheers Daren
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Old 26 Dec 2006
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Dear Dave,

Please just go and stop planning. I remember reading your threads a long time ago, while I was preparing. Now i am back already from a round trip through Africa, 60.000 km down the West coast to Cape Town and back the East coast. And to my surprise I see you are still preparing!

We crossed the Sahara a few times and it was great. We did Atar - Tidjikja and Adagez - Bilma and Bilma Nguigimi and a bit more in Sudan. My revelation was that it was a lot less difficult or though than i thought it would be.

Do yourself a favour and just go! It is worth it.



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Old 26 Dec 2006
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Hi Dave,

I agree completely with noel di pietro. Stop preparing, otherwise your preparations will be endless - the car will never be "perfect", or to put it better, there will always exist a possibility of putting something more on it.

Even the temporarily worst things in life are good for something on a long run.

Don't dream your life. Live your dreams.

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