Sunday, 13 January 2008

Journal Agadir to Senegal Border

8th Jan. Mileage at start: 19906

TanTan Plage down to Laayonne

Had 2 good fish with chips at a cafe at Tarfaya for lunch. Met another BMW rider there who is travelling from the port there to the Canaries. [You can travel from the CIs back to the UK - another option for other Adventurers.

We passed into the Western Sahara just north of Laayonne. Whilst looking for a wild camp spot just south of Laayonne I hit a pot hole and had a blow-out. Not going too fast so no problem to stop. Dennis changed the tube in 10 mins only to find the tyre was split and the rim bent. A hammer fixed the rim, but we decided to change the wheel with Steve's spares bike. Another more serious problem with my bike was also found - a broken exhaust manifold. The same problem was also found on Chuck and Steve's bike - the same as happened on Paul's bike earlier in the week.

So now we need to get 4 exhausts fixed tomorrow somewhere.

Paul needed "IM" today and could not fart at all. He was in trouble for most of the day infact.

Finally I bashed my finger with a rock. Ian soon sorted me out with a plaster.

9th Jan
Mileage at start: 20114 No GSM

First of the daily Malerone

100 miles with no exhaust - no problem.... The bike dealer at Boujdour dropped everything to fix-up all the broken exhausts. He was ably assisted by a 12 year old who was totally combortable yeilding spanners. The mechanic had my exhaust off in 5 minutes and dissapeared round the corner to the brazer who joined the 2 seperate pieces with great skill. The beaming 12 year old duly refitted said exhaust and my bike was done. All within 30 mins! A similar process was repeated for the other 3 broken exhausts. Not bad eh?

Whilst waiting - it's best to be on hand to chivy the tradesmen on - a smartly dressed man befriended Ian, Dennis and I. Mouhammed lives above the garage and he invited us up for tea. Well - it turned out to be a lot more than that. First off he offered a hot shower which we declined so he then went through an elaborate hand washing ritual before offering sweet cakes, bread, honey and an oil. Then there was the tea and coffee, then then photos in all his best garments and then the offer of couscous as an evening meal. Meanwhile the bikes were still being fixed outside.

Rough camp ln on windy cliffs. foxes close to the camp

10th Jan M@S 20262 No GSM

Western Sahara to the deadly campsite

During the day the exhausts blew on my bike and then Chucks bike.

We both rode the last 50 miles with no exhaust at all!

Rough camped 95 miles north of the border. Someone told us we were camping in a place not allowed so we ended up pitching in the dusk on an old quarry. Very hard ground underneath.

11th Jan M@S 20516 No GSM

Western Sahara to Mauritania

Dennis spent the first hour fixing the exhausts on my bike and Steve's bike. He tryed to epoxy weld the manifold, but actually it only lasted 1 mile, but a well positioned jubilee clip held fast the silencer and thus meant some attenuation was afforded.

Ian had a spill when running into the back of Jo's bike and bruised if big left toe. later on the bruising was quite spectacular.

Rode down to the border. Very hot and dry indeed. Arrived at the border at 2pm. 4 of the group were processed by the customs straightaway, but the other 4 were left waiting for 90 minutes for no reason. The we had to be processed by 3 other authorities before finally leaving Marocco after a 3 hour stint.

Crossed the 3km minefield successfully!
During the process we ditched exceess beer and spirits which was immediately picked-up by someone living in the no man's land. He was very pleased with the 3 slabs we left there.

20616 miles at Mauritania border - friendly reception. Lots of spirits in the customs office.

We left the border at 6.30pm so ended up looking for a campsite in the dark. Luckily
Sahara campsite - pre-pitched teepees with pillows and candles. 2 mile oil train.

Used the mosquito net for first time - just as a practise.

Sat 12 Jan M@S 20634 No gsm

Mauritania to south of Nouakchott

Very pleasant stop yesterday at the Sahara campsite.

Rode from 9am till 8.30pm and then we. rough camped 60 miles south of Nouakchott (the capital). In total about 310 miles virtually all of which was desert. Lots of wind and sand in the eyes. Chuck had a blow out under the blazing sun. All in all a very hard days riding. Nouakchott is an absolute tip and anything goes as far as driving is concerned. On leaving we encountered out first "official" request for money from 2 policemen. They asked for 60Euros for car tax and were adament that we paid. Paul used his get out of jail card and said the Met would require an official receipt. This caused the to stop and rethink.

Mauritania is a desperately poor country and it's difficult to see how people survive in the desert especially.

Sun 13th M@S 20940

South of Nouakchott to ZebraBar

Rode 80 miles to Rosso and filled up there. Dennis gave a copy of the book he wrote of the first trip to one girl there - a girl who's photo is actually in the book. She was quite dumbstruck and is was a very nice moment indeed.

From there we rode the 70 offroad trail (through mosquito alley) to the senegal border near the coast. this was completed around 15.30

A Park official near the end tried to charge us 10 Euros each (park tax). After some of Paul's negotiation theis was reduced to 8000 oobijoobises.

Then at the Mauritanian border there was the Police (10 down to 5), then the customs 20E per car 10E per bike and then the community tax (500 oobijoobises per person). All just to get out of Mauritania. Mileage @ exit of Mauritania 21071

Crossed the bridge to Senegal and the gateman wanted 80E just to open the barrier. We only managed to get him down to 50E, but that was too much for Paul [who later said that was the worst "deal" of the trip].

Sengal Police 10 Euros per person
Sengal Customs. 440 Euros - negotiated down to 360 Euros
Sengal Insurance (we'd prearranged this)

I now have GSM/GPRS coverage again after 5 days. The last time I had coverage was 150 miles south of Agadir. (My home network is Vodafone. Elaine has had much better coverage - though not complete and her home network is O2).

This evening (and tomorrow) we are staying at the Zebra bar. It was set-up by by 2 Swiss people 10 years ago. It will hopefully allow us to have showers, a shave for me and wash ALL our clothes - the first time since we were at Marrakesh - about 6 days ago. Its got a cult status and all the Plymouth Banjul people are heading there also. We are not sure who will get there first though since they have an Australian with them and the Senegalise police are refusing to let him in.

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