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Old 02-02-2007, 02:53 PM   #16
ERIC DN OP
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We are riding now in a stony plain, I stop to a well, the water is only at three meters
. Patrick goes a head, but he misses a change of direction, it does not have a GPS, and just at this moment he loses a part of his headlight , I wait him at the crossing tracks. when he realizes, he makes half turn, we collects the plate and we set out again.

When we leave this valley, we approach a great plain which seems to be a shott ( dry lake ), the wind rises and blows rather extremely, and becomes into a sandstorm.
We move right towards the cloud of sand which masks the horizon, a small anguish goes up, at the same time we ride on a dried ground and completely cracked (like chips) there is no more track.

The dry ground plates, 20 or 30 cm of large and 3 or 4 cm of thickness, crack under the wheels, the more we advance and the less we see there, the visibility is less than ten meter
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ERIC DN screwed with this post 02-02-2007 at 03:36 PM
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:57 PM   #17
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We stop and decide to remain close together and avoid to lost sight of the other. We follow the direction given by the GPS, we hear the noise made by the dry ground under our wheels, It doesn’t take a lot of time, but what a feeling. Finally we get out of the cloud of sand, the wind is blowing quite strong.
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:59 PM   #18
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Then we arrive to a village in a sandy area, we go around by the east side before to head west towards Zagora.
Some kilometers further we see an auberge in the middle of nothing. We stop for the lunch. Tajine Kefta, fresh water, it’s great regarding where we are. The young guy who serves, talks to us about the many rallies which pass here
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:00 PM   #19
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We take the track again, in fact there is not really one track but many parallel tracks. I go a head an decide to step on the gas, after a moment, having a look behind, I don’t see Patrick, I turn and go back, then I see 4x4, I head for them and ask if they have seen a bike, they explain to me that he is stopped not so far. Gas., I see Patrick and in the same time a band composed by 8 bikes are going up to me, the Italians we saw the first day, they give me a wave. Patrick has already removed the front wheel because of a puncture. Mechanical workshop in this windy area is not very easy and the sand penetrate everywhere, there is a lot of sand inside the tyre, on the axle. There are many thorn planted in the tyre. Patrick has waited the last minute to prepare his bike, and as he couldn’t get tyres “Michelin desert”, so he put normal tyre typeT63, “ it will be ok, you will see “ he said. We change the tube and put back the wheel. Now, if we want avoid riding by night we need to change pace, Gas.
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:02 PM   #20
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Suddenly 4 bikes stopped in front of us, the Italians. They ask us if we have a GPS, I return the question, No they haven’t, a compass ?, No they haven’t, a map ? No they haven’t. In fact they are lost. Because of the sandstorm the group has been divided in two and they lost sight of the others. Good.
They ask if we can guide them to Zagora, If they pay a beer it’s okay. “Andiamo”, Welcome on board.


There are a BMW 1200 GS (without plastics wears ) the guy is a very good driver ( he has made 5 Dakar and three time finisher), a Greek with an Africa twin who speaks a little French, one guy with an old Honda 500 XLR and at last a guy with a BMW 1150GS who is not a very good driver. He seems to be afraid and anguished.
Our bikes are smaller and loaded but they have some difficulties to follow us, we have to stop after 2 or 3 km waiting for them, with this speed we are not yet arrived.
We go through Oum jrane, once again at the exit of the town, I take a wrong track, as often, thanks to the GPS, I go straight off track in order to find the right direction, we cross a small stony field following a sandy area with very small dunes, this way is not very complicated but the guy with the 1150 is not able to follow, the Dakarist turn and go back to help him to cross over. We continue, finding the right track. We have to stop each 5 mn.
We stop for drinking some water, the guy with the 1150 arrives, I give him my bottle of water ( they haven’t water also ) he throw the cap on the ground and after the bottle, “hola I don’t agree man “.
The Dakarist is anxious because the gas, hours are going on, everything’s going well.

We start again, the front wheel of Patrick’s bike is becoming flat once again, but slowly he decides to continue like this.

I would like to take the track which pass south of the Djebel Adafane before Zagora, but showing behind every time, I didn’t take care to the GPS and we took the North track more comon, anyway it will bring us to Zagora.

Once again we have to wait for the Italians. I stop, Patrick decides to continue slowly because of the puncture. I’m waiting on the side of the track when two little girls, around 4 or 5 years old, come towards me. I can see far away a nomad camp. They are watching me without saying a word. In my backpack I have a part of the today picnic we didn’t touch, I give them bread water and chocolate. Regarding the clock, it’s possible that we stay this night on the track, anyway.
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:04 PM   #21
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The Italians end up arriving, they pass in front of me without stopping, Patrick is coming back and, in the same time, the Greek arrives with two new Italians guys of the group, there are a lot of people suddenly, their group is reconstituted, They succeeded to contact with the other group, thanks a cellular phone. So we can go now, Arrivederci raggazzi.
We let the Italians waiting the rest of the group.
Before leaving, we blow up the wheel with a special cartridge for mountain bikes, It should be ok. But now is getting dark, we drive side by side, because the headlight’s bike are not on the top and we don’t see a lot, 5 or 6m no more. I must to drive only with dipped headlight otherwise the GPS is shutting down. One eye on the GPS the other on the track or what I suppose to be in the dark. The GPS is set on the map mode, and thanks to the cartography I get on internet I can see where we are.
Without this tool it is almost impossible to follow a track in the dark. We didn’t drive a lot of kilometers, but it seemed quite long.
Finally we arrive to Zagora, escorted with a lot of young beaters riding mopeds who propose hotel, garage, restaurants and so on.
Zagora has changed a lot during the last eight years. We stop in front of the new palace of the governor under a lamp. In the guide we select a guesthouse named Dar Raha at Amezrou close to Zagora.

(http://darraha.free.fr), Bonne pioche.


We are escorted by Said, mechanic in a garage, in the competition department please !!!
We park the bikes in the lobby of the guest house, there is not other customers like us. Fresh beer, hot shower, kefta with red wine from Meknes, the house is splendid and the hosts are friendly.
I sleep on the flat roof under the stars.
‘’ H Patrick, on est moulus, hein !!! ‘’.
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ERIC DN screwed with this post 02-02-2007 at 03:36 PM
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:05 PM   #22
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Morroco report good, black font, bad. (That's ok, I'll just look at the pictures.)
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:07 PM   #23
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Eric,

I'm loving the story as I'm sure others will. If you can, can I request that you format your posts so that your text shows up in white rather than black? That way we can easily read your story .

Thanks again and its looking like a great adventure!!
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Team "Fingering The Bean"

Looking for the woman that takes the wheel when I'm seeing double.
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:08 PM   #24
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Thirsday 26th October Zagora Mhamid 100 Km :

I have planed to have a day off in Zagora, but as we’re feeling good we decide to do the first part of the following stage, this means going to Mhamid, a hundred km and to go to the dunes named the Jew’s dunes, in order to test how are the loaded bikes in the sand before crossing over the erg of Chegaga.
Before this, mechanical workshop in the lobby, to fix the puncture, Patrick removes the tyre and I paste the repair patch on the tube, team working. There still are thorns inside the tyre, Patrick try to extract the most he can. “ it will be ok, you will see “ he said.
We go downtown to the Said’s garage to extract the baffle in the exhaust pipe with a drilling machine, Patrick buys a new tube. We change money in a bank, and we fill in the tanks in a station close to the bank, when I take my wallet I realize I lost my passport, great moment of loneliness ae … I run to the bank, closed, but the guy inside see me and go out to give me the passport , ouf.

Okay, now we can go. We find the track quickly, but less than 2 km and Patrick stops, “ I have a problem” he says, “ the clutch doesn’t work anymore, it is like if the cable has been broke but it’s not “
Ae the problem is inside the engine, he removes the clutch cover, all seems normal, but in fact a little part of an axle is broken, it is wedged between the fork and the casing, it is a less evil, that is better there that at the bottom of the engine.
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:11 PM   #25
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It starts badly, we can drive without clutch but we have more than 1500 km to do.
Return to the departure, it should be a day off.
Patrick proposes to call his insurance, I propose to return to the garage, maybe they will have a solution, I read that in Africa they was the kings of the resourcefulness.
We explain the matter to Said, he looks for a spare in her parts stock and then goes away with the broken part.
Patrick calls the assistance of her insurance and surprise they say to him, “ sorry but you don’t have
Assistance”, oups, hopefully it is not a broken leg, otherwise….
We are waiting Said for a long time, a mechanic offers us the mint tea. The mechanic calls Said and he informs us that they are welding the pieces of the axle and they are also turning a copy of the part.
We are surprised, Inch’allah, nothing to do but waiting. We picnic in the garage, we visit the workshops of the mechanics in the neighbourhoods. Spirits is raising.
Said come back, shows us the part rewelded, it seems not so bad, and the copy. We try it but it doesn’t work, return at the turner.
While I return at the guesthouse, I meet Antoine the boss, he is laughing seeing me, we are back for second round, it wasn’t so bad.
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The part re welded

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Old 02-02-2007, 03:12 PM   #26
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Return to the garage, once again we try to put the part copied, but It doesn’t work. This time I pick up Said with my bike, we go together at the turner.
This time it works, at least engine stopped. We put back the casing. Patrick starts the engine, first gear ok, he moves on, second gear and……… nothing the clutch get blocked Ae.
Removing the clutch cover, the copied axle is blocked and it is impossible to remove it. But since this part has been turning with the clutch ( normally it doesn’t ) and it has been machined by the fork and now there are a lot of small pieces of metal in the engine oil. In fact the axle has not been well done.
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We fight during an half hour with two screwdrivers and a hammer ( surgical kind of mechanical ) we achieve to remove it.
We put back the original rewelded part, we manage the copied axle and keep it as spare just in case.
I ask to Patrick if we change the oil because of the filings, “lets it down, the filter and the strainer will stop that”.

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Old 02-02-2007, 03:13 PM   #27
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Its getting late, come back to the guesthouse Dar Raha, beers, tagine, red wine, daily routine.

We have a call from the insurance, Sorry it was a mistake, here the number of file, that makes us a beautiful leg as we say here.

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Old 02-02-2007, 03:17 PM   #28
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Friday 27th October Zagora Foum Zguid 240 Km :


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We leave at 8 Am, on the track again, hoping to ride further.
We head off-track direction south in a stony area towards a small pass. Arrived to this pass, we see on the right hand a small goats way which is going up to an other pass, we take it.
On the top, we go by foot to watch how is the downhill. It seems to be ok, a small single track funny to ride. In the plain we turn around the Djebel and we arrive to Tagounite for taking the road towards Mhamid.
In Mhamid the wind rise and starts to blow extremely, We are badgered by the guides, they say `' the dunes of Chegaga are higher than Chebbi (lying), you will lose yourself (and the GPS then), the track is very hard and so on. After a while Im getting irritated and I tell to a rasta guide to stop whoppers.
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:24 PM   #29
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goat trail

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Old 02-02-2007, 03:25 PM   #30
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We purchase some foods, sardines, laughing cow, bread, basic meal.
Normally we have enough gas to reach Foum Zguid, but to be safe we decide to refuel with 5 l each. Someone indicates a store at the exit of the town which is selling gas in jerry-can. Good.
We stop in front of the shop and now is time for rockn roll.
I put the crutch, unscrew the stopper of the tank, and I dont know why I decide to get out of the bike by the right-hand side. I must specify that I have short boots ( Im a small guy ) and the bike is high
While wanting to pass my left leg over the motor bike, I hang with the heel the luggage, I lose balance, fall on the ground, on the bottom
In the movement I drag the bike down with me. I see the bike falling on me with the tank fully open, the gasoline runs on me with flood
I get up, and pick up the bike with a rage not contained.
I am soaked of gasoline from the feet to the belt
Obviously the gasoline starts to burn me you can imagine what (fortunately that nobody smoked in the corner)
Quickly I have the balls on fire. The legs a little also but there it is nothing.
I leave the boots, socks, bike pants, catch a bottle of water in my bag and pours it in the boxer shorts, `oh shit, my bollocks are burning because of the gas, it stings.
In record time I unpack the luggage (every morning it takes 20 to 30 mn to tie up ). I catch a boxer and my jean, Im naked in the street, Im pouring an other bottle of water, I wipe myself with a tee-shirt , I wear my pants, ouf its going better.
A local guy goes out the shop and give me a roasting because of the striptease in the street ( we are in a muslim country ), Im very sorry but it was urgent.
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