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Old 05-13-2007, 11:53 AM   #31
Damir OP
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Location: Zagreb, Croatia
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Day five, 01.05.07, party at Chott El Jerid

After saying goodbye to Tomasso, we decided to wash our bikes before leaving Gafsa. Linza discovered that he also had problem with front fender. Washing was supposed to restore functionality of our bikes it was not esthetics that concerned us. In fact, we directed guys to wash only front fenders, and remove large chunks of mud.







At last, we were on the road again. Plan is to cross Chott El Jerid (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chott_el_Djerid) and end day in Douz.

Landscape is now more like as we expected.











Before entering Chott, one of Linza’s panniers suddenly opened. Some dirty underwear started flying around. He was in the lead, so I managed to stop him after a few seconds. Out of nowhere group of kids appeared and collected lost stuff. I drove back to them, and they politely returned everything. Then I reached for my pocket to give him few coins. Suddenly, all hell breaks loose, kids started behaving wildly. They almost threw me on the ground. I handed them few coins, started my bike and escaped. It happened to us few more times, so we learned to avoid large groups of kids.

Chott was full of water because of the recent rains. It was very cool place to ride, water and sky became one. Interesting thing is that water on one side of the road was red, and blue on the other side.









After some time, we saw two bikes coming from opposite direction. They stopped and waved to us. While I was pulling over I saw Slovenian plates. Nice surprise, people from two neighboring countries meet in the middle of salt lake in North Africa. Then, another surprise, they removed their helmets, and there were two girls standing in front of us. Petra and Katarina started their trip six months ago in Turkey. They were traveling trough Middle East and North Africa. We had so much to talk about so we settled in nearby cafe/souvenir shop. I really enjoyed their stories about traveling trough Egypt and Libya, really impressive. Owner soon joined us so we took out all our food out and had lunch together. It was time for toast. Linza had bottle of our local firewater. Drinking was in fact symbolic, because we were driving, but owner had two big glasses. After some time he was quite drunk. Two pleasant hours passed quickly, it was time to part our ways. We stayed in contact, girls are in Tunis now.











We arrived in Douz in late afternoon. There was still time for loop west of Douz, trough villages El Faouar and Nouil. This was first opportunity to see real dunes.













It was very hot, so we decided to eat and drink something before finding accommodation.



We found room in very nice hotel in centre of Douz. In hotel we met American couple traveling trough Tunisia using public transport and few French offroad bikers.



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Tunisia ride report

Ukraine, Russia and Romania

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Old 05-13-2007, 04:30 PM   #32
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Amazing report Damir, keep it coming!



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Old 05-13-2007, 05:36 PM   #33
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Great!
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Old 05-13-2007, 07:50 PM   #34
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:52 AM   #35
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Very nice trip indeed !
Quite challenging too are the tunisian roads with tourance !
Extremely pleasant encounter with the chicks ;)

Did u speak english all the times and have you been undestood ?
The reason I'm asking is that I have sicilian friends who went to tunisia (I think every italian biker goeas once in tunisia ;) ) and they spoke italian all the times. italian and french are quite similar.

And to follow EricDN explanation of Ksar, the word ksar came from the latin castrum, as castle / chateau / castel and so on.

/thierry
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:11 AM   #36
ClearwaterBMW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveRed
I just LOVE these kind of stories guys! Makes being a member of this Forum really worth while!! Thanks and cheers... Will be waiting for your next installments
i couldn't agree more......
what a terrific thread

..... more of what makes THIS forum unlike any other on the 'net
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:39 AM   #37
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Oh you are so fortunate!

You go riding through exotic countries and meet make new friends.
Really - what else could one ask for from life?

Thank you again for the Ride Report.
Q~
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Old 05-14-2007, 06:46 AM   #38
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fantastic!!

al
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Old 05-14-2007, 07:02 AM   #39
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Kick ass!!

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Old 05-14-2007, 08:27 AM   #40
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great stuff....i will be watching this space from now on aside from china or burst..
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Old 05-14-2007, 08:45 AM   #41
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Amazing!
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dr.chala screwed with this post 05-14-2007 at 08:56 AM
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Old 05-14-2007, 10:58 AM   #42
Damir OP
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Thanks again!

2 Thierry:

In fact we did not plan to do serious off-road, but as many times before trouble found us. We didn’t expect to find so much mud and we are not brave enough to go on trails like you and your friends.

Before trip I was concerned with road to Ksar Ghilane, I had information that work on paving the road is in progress. Now we know it was done month before we arrived.

I speak only English, know some German, and understand few common words in French and Italian.

Everybody speaks French, Italian is close second. English is understood and spoken by lot of people, but not everybody. In fact there was no problem with communication. We always managed to combine few languages, and arm signs are always helpful.
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Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.
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Tunisia ride report

Ukraine, Russia and Romania

Croatian Backroads
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Old 05-14-2007, 01:10 PM   #43
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Damir, you continue to amaze! What a fantastic adventure.

That bit about the crazy kids is pretty alarming--but what a great story.

Keep it coming!
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:07 PM   #44
Damir OP
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Day six, 02.05.07, Ksar Ghilane

Before heading towards Ksar Ghilane we tried to gather some info about road conditions. I knew that road, known as Pipeline road is in process of surfacing, but I didn’t know how far work progressed. All answers were the same: “Road is good.” So far we learned that it can mean anything.





There are approx. 50 km of road before turning south towards Ksar. It is still early, road is deserted, so it is fine opportunity for some posing in front of camera. No, it is not Lawrence of Arabia on his Brough Superior.





At last we turn towards south. First part of the road is very good. Around middle of the way is Bir Soltane with famous cafe. Whole interior is covered by stickers and business cards left by travelers. We left some marks of our presence there. Little explanation, HR is vehicle sign for Croatia (like F for France or D for Germany), because we call our country Hrvatska. You can spot same sticker on my rear fender. Pudla is in fact my nickname on Croatian.


















After Bir Soltane road is still unfinished, there are some gravel sections, but it can be passed on any type of motorcycle. We saw Gold Wing coming from opposite direction.







Ksar Ghilane, the most southern point of our trip. We found accommodation in tent, changed our clothes, and had lunch and a beer. In oasis nothing happened before 5 o’clock PM, so I took a little rest, and Linza had a long walk trough oasis.











We arranged camel ride, it was in fact quite uncomfortable and sometimes scary. Good thing is that we choose one hour ride, shortest one. After 15 minutes I had enough. I thought that I will enjoy riding because of my biking experience, but I was wrong.

















We fell asleep early. It was very exciting day, as we reached the furthest point of our trip. We will be on our way back home from tomorrow. But we didn’t know that desert still has one surprise for us…
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Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.
---Mark Twain---

Tunisia ride report

Ukraine, Russia and Romania

Croatian Backroads
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:17 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damir
We fell asleep early. It was very exciting day, as we reached the furthest point of our trip. We will be on our way back home from tomorrow. But we didn’t know that desert still has one surprise for us…

The Cliffhanger.


I'd say you've got a very firm handle on English. No apologies necessary!
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