October 19, 2008 GMT
Desert AT LAST

Them Thar Hills over Yonder...

Now the month and mileage is really kicking in. Im now in Nouchkutt, Mauritania after a mad few days putting in some hours on the bike and am having a wee rest in town.
After leaving Ouzazate we headed down south to Tata and Foum Zigoud it was starting to get interesting in the scenery, being dryer and more arid. i was enjoying with the bike the hill climbs and the awesome views around each corner but felt the bike was struggling somewhat carrying my fat arse and the 1/2 ton of kit ive brought with me, I need to dump sopme of this and give the bike a break.
i,ve been looking for maps again and as usual come up with bugger all for africa, only Morocco and Spanish maps on offer. Thats even in the main cities which was suprising.
Headed off to Tiznit, further south and had an admin day for the bike as we were waiting on a fourth rider to join us, Peter and his BMW. So the bike had a fresh change of oil, the chain was taken off and given a good clean and lube, spokes and tyres checked and a general look see to make sure everything was in shape. No problems found but managed to the reichmarschall off, the camp ground manager, by spilling a little oil on the gravel. So he went into a bit of a huff.
After evening meal we went to a town hotel for a beer and am not sure if the credit crunch has anything to do with this trip but its gonna be the killer of me and my thirst for beer as after paying exhorborant amounts for a beer and asking why its so expensive, the answer was....... Credit crunch in the world. ha, cheeky git!!

Pushing further south from Morocco I was aching to get away from the place and into the desert areas and into `real` Africa, not it`s european wannabe brother. So firstly Western Sahara had to be crossed and the bugger all nothingness inside it. good tarmac roads but I was glad when it was finished. When I worked in Iraq there were many days on the roads with nothing to look at but straight roads and the chance of devices left for the unsuspecting and found myself in excactly the same train of thought in the Western Sahara. (I was tempted to go counterflow ha ha ha).
I southern Morocco and wester Sahara the police checkpoints were becoming more frequent and proper checks on passports instead of the usual wave through. So with each checkpoint and extra 15 or so minutes had to be added to the trip and it didn't take long for them 15 minutes to add up to 1 1/2 hours or more in the days total.
Just before we hit the border we stayed at a the town of Dakhla and I felt as rough as a dog, waking up with D&V and as the day progressed it was getting worse, with the shivers and sweats. Obviously something I had eaten the day before which was kicking the hell out of me and riding the bike was a real struggle having to halt, hop off and either try and rip the pants down at the side of the road, luckily it was the desert, or spew like a Saturday night 4am lager lout!! Jesus I was rough so a hotel was required instead of a campsite so I could die in peace.
I had to go to a chemist and drug myself up for the forethcoming crap nights sleep and amazingly found a store that sold GPS car charger cables! As my GPS was going through batteries like a tramp eating chips then I shelled out the 200DhM's and went to bed feeling a little better with myself.
Not feeling the best after having a nights sleep we pushed on and headed for the border with Mauritania and some of the suprising sighhts we saw en route down......... Mines, Jesus Christ!! what next.... a london cab?

Posted by geoffshing at October 19, 2008 07:22 PM GMT

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