04-13-2013, 04:06 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Karlsruhe, Germany
With the good food, perfect weather and lots of sand around we decided to stay another day at hotel Yasmina. We headed east to see how close we would get to the Algerian border. For a start we stayed right on the edge of the Erg Chebbi which is basically a wide basin filled with Sahara sand.
In some areas the ground was covered with small black stones on top of the sand. These kept the wheels from sinking, so it was easy riding. Even the track of a light motocycle was clearly visible as the black stones were pushed into the sand. I don't know how long that holds, but even satellite images of the area show hundreds of tracks crisscross through the area.
Somewhere here Maddin discovered that the Tenere was still difficult for him to handle in deep sand and I had to stay close to him, so I could take photos when he fell down - solely for documentary purposes of course. One area was a little larger and I decided to just stay put and keep the camera on. I was rewarded with this shot, just when he hit the ground. I should have kept it in video mode.
It doesn't look that sandy, but believe me, it was. I couldn't really sympathize with him as I was just too happy that my XC did just fine. The last time we had been in deep sand I had been riding a heavy 1150GS and it had been me who kissed the ground most often. Now, with about 200lbs less weight it was so easy that I shortly considered riding with the camera in the hand to get some video footage. Of course, I didn't.
The track went through some smaller hills where we eventually came to a closed barrier, a border post. After waiting for a few minutes two guards arrived and questioned Maddin (as I don't speak much French). They discussed road options and advised us not to go any further eastward. That was about 5km from the borderline as shown on Google Earth.
So we headed back west and eventuelly run into a bunch of side-by-sides preparing for a special stage at oasis Sif-Sif.
Then our route went further west towards the main roads and back to the hotel. We also saw some more camels.
Later the day we decided to have some sand practise in the dunes next to the hotel. That was fun. We also met some other bikers and discussed road options with them over dinner. I don't really remember where they came from, but there was a guy on another Tenere and a couple from somewhere in eastern Europe. Maybe Maddin remembers more?
pip_muenster screwed with this post 04-13-2013 at 09:41 AM