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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Travel BooksMotorcycle and travel books to inspire and inform you!
DVDs - Watch and Learn!
Horizons Unlimited presents!
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.
Collectors Box SetAll 5 DVDs with a custom printed slip case. "The series is 'free' because the tips and advice will save much more than you spend on buying the DVD's."
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sub-Saharan AfricaTopics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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Spent a week in Mali coming into Kayes on New Year's Eve.
We were travelling with our Mauri friend and came in from Selibabi, Mauretania.
Had to sign a release form with the Mauri gendarmerie, twice, relieving them from any responsibility for my family. I had heard stories of expensive army escort and other problems on the Mali side, so I was a little concerned as we crossed the dry river bed to Melgue, and went to the custom's office.
But it was business as usual. "You should check in with the army post on the town exit." We did so, and the touareg officer (he was from TB2) asked if we wanted an escort? "No, we're good" I said. And he said Bonne route.
The passage to Kayes was an uneventful 4-5 hours on the piste. We did have time to check out the marvellous baobab forest.
Kayes was also like before. Surprisingly cool this time of the year. Slept rooftop on the rail hotel, which was even a bit chilly. Did the papers next day and we went on (couldn't get insurance until Bamako as everything was closed on Jan 1).
I had no intention of going near Diema or try the RN1. That would take us less than 200 kms from the beards. Instead we went SE on the goudron to Bafoulabe, following the railroad and the Senegal river.
From there, you take the ferry (5000 CFA)
This is a beautiful spot where the Bafing and Bakoy rivers join to make the Senegal.
Then follows a long and very dusty (even more so now when the chinese are working on it, preparing for goudron) piste along the Bafing river to Kita.
There is another possibly shorter/faster piste following the Bakoy that I will try another trip.
This piste took the rest of the day, stopping to see the hydroelectric project at Manantali. After a chicken stop at Kita, we continued to Bamako but the last two hours were after dark, thus breaking rule no. 1 for driving in Africa.
Tried to get the gendarmes at the checkpoints to take some interest in our safety without success. These few hours were the only on the entire 10000 kms trip that I was slightly worried that something bad could happen.
Coming into Bamako from the north at Kati I had to bribe the gendarmes and then we drove quietly to the Sleeping Camel (I found a much better route than the usual, avoiding a hundred doudans, most of the traffic and checkpoints - take a left at the gas station after the Douane stop. Takes you straight across a plain to Kolouba, the presidential palace, from where you descend right into Centre Ville).
Others at the near empty Sleeping Camel had been less fortunate. Some had to pay 50000 CFA for armed escort Melgue-Kayes, until before xmas. This was after the Frenchman was kidnapped in Diema.
Those going over Nioro had to pay 20-50000 CFA (less if they were more than one vehicle) and take one or two armed soldiers in their cars.
Now what those soldiers would do in case of an attack by even one truck with armed beards I wouldn't want to know.
Some drivers had been made to overnight at the garrison in Diema, sleeping next to the kidnapped Frenchman's campervan. Feeling very insecure with the Malian army guys around.
Traveller's are advised already in Nouakchott not to take the Route d'Espoir over Ayoun l'Atrous and Nioro to Bamako, for safety reasons. Most people do it anyway, like the French who was kidnapped - he had done it so many times without a problem....
I can't give any advice on this, other than:
-if you really have to go that route, sleep in Ayoun and leave very early
-make no stops before Bamako other than for passport police, customs, and for fuel.
Bamako itself was on the surface much like before, but with less traffic - you could actually breathe in Quartier Fleuve. Bistro Bafing didn't serve brochettes anymore. Many or most businesses are cutting down, people scrambling to get by. Police was more corrupt than ever, making driving around downtown near impossible - if I was waved at just one more time, I would not stop, not roll down my window, not talk to them (except, if I had to, in Swedish) and certainly not let them have any of my documents.
If you let them, you're screwed!
I got insurance and visas for Burkina, and we were relieved to get out of Bamako.
(I heard a few days ago, there were protests in the streets, two bridges were closed and some people were relieved of their 4x4s. So maybe we were lucky).
The road to Sikasso was surprisingly bump free and in excellent shape.
Islamism is strong in Mali, but the southern version of Ansar Dine is more benign than the northern version, so far
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Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events such as this one (18 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
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