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Old 10-27-2009, 02:02 PM   #1
fullgs OP
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Joined: Sep 2009
Location: France, Paris
Oddometer: 32
Morroco, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali on a 1200GS

HI, i'm just coming back from a trip from france to Mali
here a copy of the blog I made. in english and en francais
sorry for the low resolution of the pix ,hope you won't mind, but to send them everyday from africa I had to reduce them a lot.
thanks to dakarblues, that made all the translation job.
First part:
presentation and goal of our trip:
From 09/26/09 to 10/26/09


Fabienne (pillion)


Business Manager at TYCO Electronics



Store manager Espace moto Saint-Ouen-l’Aumone (95)

We are married with 2 kids (5 and10)


I am also a pilot in Road racing and Endurance

amaury Macau 2009

amaury 24H du Mans

We discovered Africa while on a trip to Senegal 4 years ago.

We fell in love immediately and it’s a regular destination since.

Being members of an association
, >ASTOU< , we are sponsoring kids in Mali and Senegal.




We felt like going back by bike for discovery of Senegal deep inside and the land of our godchild nearby Bamako.


The trip is supposed to take a month, but preparing took us 10 months.

First, the bike, a 1200 BMW GS Adventure, fully equipped.


First mod was to upgrade the OEM rear shock with Ohlins, better quality and adjustable. Then fitting of Zega luggage from Touratech, sturdy and practical. Then a good quality

GPS, waterproof and practical, a Garmin 276 C where I could upload maps of Europe and Africa along with all needed waypoint and tracks. Against drops, the GS Adventure is outfitted with cylinder guards.I added the carbon protections on the cylinder heads.

List of modifications to the bike:

- Ohlins rear shock

- Zega luggage + rack,

- Topcase Givi 36 L

- Touratech tank panniers

- Low pilot Touratech saddle

- Decatted Leovince exhaust manifold

- MIVV exhaust

- Front arm (telelever) protection

- Cylinder head carbon fiber protection

- Radiator guard

- Headlight protection

- Sidestand extension

- Tank bag and card holder

- Touratech foam airfilter

- Iridium spark plugs


Preparation of trip and bike wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the following sites and blogs:

barbouze photos

papy et mamy en afrique


July 22 2009

Tests in Vercors Verdon Gorges and Mount Ventoux

To test pilot and pillion we took a 3 days trip to Vercors, the Verdon gorges and mount Ventoux. Results, pilot saddle too hard, garments too warm and Zega luggage not that sturdy. I destroyed on on a very simple laydown at 20kmh. Anyway, Fabienne, not used to bike trips enjoyed it enormously.


La bataille pass

test in Corsica


Departing for Corsica for our second test

Mountains roads are narrow and sometimes on hillsides, like around Corte.



 Or even here between Corte and Ghisonaccia in the Sorba pass.



Or even here between Corte and Ghisonaccia in the Sorba pass.

Corsican road ghisoni ghisonaccia

Result, summer jacket would be more suitable, as well as light gloves. However the thicker OEM saddle thicker is as butt-numbing as the Touratech.
The Luggage


Dilemma is to carry the least while having the most possible!

All in all I have:

- a left pannier 35 liters (10 kgs max)

- a left pannier 41 liters (12 kgs max)

- a top case 36 liters (8 kgs max)

- 2 smaller tank panniers

Their content:

- toolkit

- spare parts

- clothing

- sleeping bags

- first aid and toilet bag

- miscellaneous (phone, cameras, laptop, GPS, chargers, …)

I shouldn’t have volume issues, but I would like to keep the overall weight around 40 kgs.

Not warranted!!!


Missing here are clothing, first aid and toilet bag!

Here is the detail:

- 1. toolkit (9kgs)


Just copied on
Barbouze , give or take.

- 2. Spare parts and fluids (4 kgs)


-3. clothing (4 kgs)

     2 pants, 3 changes, 1 sweater each

-4- Sleeping bags (6 kgs)


   2 downs, 2 mattresses, 2 mini pillows and a tent.

    Visible on the picture 2 Camelbacks and 2 compact towels.

-5. First aid and toilet bag (1.5 kg)

-6. Miscellaneous

I have weighted yet but it should be around 5 kgs.

It sums up to 32 kgs, not including hard luggage (2 panniers and 1 top case, 15 kgs.)

It’s too much indeed, but the 48 kgs of the passenger (on a weight gain diet) balance it.
The trip

 Departure planned for September 26 2009, from Paris

The first 1200 kms would be at night, but not by motorcycle!!!

The GSA will loaded on my pickup that I will leave at a firned’s residence in Barcelona.

(Not willing to inflict myself 1200 kms of nighttime ride on Karoo.

The boat leaves Barcelona Sunday September 27 for Tangiers (Morocco), ETA September 28 at 15h00.

Trip back home will take place end of October via Algeciras (Moroccan side of Gibraltar Straits), right up towards Barcelona whre pickup is waiting.

First stage is Marakech, taking residence at friends.

Then I planned the following stages,

in white going South

in blue the trip back North

-Marrakech         to  TanTan

-TanTan               to  Dakhla

-Dakhla                to  Nouakchott

-Nouakchott       to  St Louis

-St louis                to Saly

-Saly                     to  Tambacounda

-Tambacounda   to  Dindefélou

-Dindéfélou        to  Kayes

-Kayes                  to Bamako 


 Some stages will certainly take too long, but we won’t turn down any supplementary ones.

We intend to spend a minimum time between Paris and Saint-Louis, Senegal, so we’ll have plenty of time to spend in Senegal and Mali.



The road might seem lengthy, but we needed to pay a visit to our 3 godchildren.

Gora is a 12 years old boy, he lives in Medina-Gounass, a Dakar suburb.


He lives in a slum, we might hustle to find him back there, an ounce of patience and a pound of luck. We are supporting him through the Association ASTOU The human size of this association greatly eases the contact and we’ll enjoy meeting him again.

Seynabou is a 12 years old young girl, she lives in Thies 80 kms East of Dakar (The one on the left for simplicity sake).


On our last visit her family offered us lodging with our kids. It will be easy to find our way there. We support her too, through ASTOU.

Moussa is a 13 years old boy, he lives in Kourouba 80 kms South of Bamako (Mali).


We support him through the Association PLAN

The sheer international scope of this NGO is such as it’s very difficult to get in touch with the local staff.

So the getting together with Moussa should be set up from the top dwon, through a special French service through PLAN France.

It’s as complicated as trying to get a Cuban visa (for Americans)


I was however able to get the address and phone number of a local PLAN staffer in Bamako. We’ll see…

Macau GP 2009 #5 on a Triumph, 14 to 21 nov 2009
Macau GP 2008

Maroc, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali 2009

Burkina Faso 2010

fullgs screwed with this post 10-29-2009 at 02:08 PM
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:08 PM   #2
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Wow!! Another great adventure ride through Africa!!

Thanks for the detailed intro and links to your blogs.. We hope you'll be able to update this thread with added pics and details

I've been perusing your blog and it's fantastic.. great pics and detailed report, et pour moi, je n'ai pas de difficulté à le lire.

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Old 10-27-2009, 02:13 PM   #3
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part 2
On the road
On the road

September 27 2009

We left Paris at 20h00, after much rain and fogwe were 200 kms from Barcelona at 6hr00 AM. Amaury was driving (just a one hr rest).


We’ll have some rest in the 25 hrs it takes the boat to reach Tangiers.

Thank you for your support (SMS and emails), we appreciated it very much.

It was difficult for me to leave the kids amd my parents, but I know they’are in good hands. See you.


Time is up, we are on our way to Barcelona. Tahnk Cecile for your awesome welcome and your time.


We made it to the boat.



Since luck is in ample supply we even got a room with hot water. That’s luxury. Onboard, we were joined by Noelle, Fritz and Jacky (2 French and 1 German we met over the Internet before we departed), they are doing the same trip but with more time. 

After this day off, we’ll set foot on African soil in Tangiers, and then take off towards Marakech.

September 28 2009

We beheld the famous Gibraltar Straits


It comes at a surprise to find the two continents so close.


We set foot on African soil. Unfortunately we lost a lot a time in customs procedures, so we couldn’t start on our first satge (Marakech) as planned.

We found a very cool hostel


We had our first “tajine” in a local inn.


Tomorrow stage wil be very long and tough, we are already 250 kms behind schedule.

Tuesday September 29 2009

Yes, we Tan

We were able to make up our delay through getting to Tan Tan via Marrakech and Agadir.

We were on the bike for 10hr30 with just a 30 mins pause, guess what, we had another great “tajine” for lunch.


We had a speedy wake-up, Amaury forgot to set up the timezone on his phone, he though it was 08h00 while in fact it was just 06h00.

So at 7h00 we were already ready to take off, but we stayed in till 08h00 at the inn.

We had hard time getting out off Casablanca because of horrible gridlocks downtown and some hectic driver behavior.


We beheld splendid vistas, all different.





So far, we found Morocco to be very beautiful and we are amazed by the cleanliness around in this country.

We had our first two police roadblocks entering Tan Tan. They briefly verified our passports and let us go.

We arrived at an inn listed in the “Guide du Routard” (Michelin Guide sort of) at 19h30.

No power, no hot water nor Internet, but we had a broken window right by the local Mosque.

Our dinner tonight, Fish tajine + fruit tajine….

Tomorrow we depart for Dakhla 800 kms away, a tough day ahead indeed.

A great thanks to those who are caring for our kids, without them we wouldn’t be living this adventure.

Hug them on our behalf, we miss them so much.

Wednesday September 30 2009

Tan Tan – Dakhla – The Sahara

800kms through Western Sahara, magical.



We quietly took off around 9h00 after a good night.

Tan tan is really the last real city of Morocco.

From now on it’s just the desert, with evry now and then a city sprouted off the desert as by a magic wand, just like Las Vegas.


Very soon after departure we see the first sand dunes.




Very often the road snakes by the seaside, sometimes barely skimming the cliff.



We stopped to take a pic of the “Devil’s Hole”, and while I wa taking the photo, my helmet fell from the bike and stopped rolling 50 cms from the hole!

It got a large scratch, but it could have been worse.


The road is smooth, but beware of what crosses it!



We might have been going 150 kmh (90 mph) all the way, past Tan Tan police is found only at the numerous checkpoints where one must systematically submit passport and information File, already prepared.

We arrived in Dakhla for the first time at 17h00 and we stopped at a campground for kitesurfers.



When we arrived, there was over 100 kitesurfers in action, but not a single BMW.

After a super dinner, we went to bed early to get up at 07h30 so as to reach the mauritanianian frontier and pass the famous no-man’s land and maybe make it to Nouakchott.

Macau GP 2009 #5 on a Triumph, 14 to 21 nov 2009
Macau GP 2008

Maroc, Mauritania, Senegal, Mali 2009

Burkina Faso 2010

fullgs screwed with this post 10-29-2009 at 01:52 PM
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:57 PM   #4
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Je vous conseille d'attendre un bout de temps et d'ajouter peu à peu pour attirer le plus grand nombre de lecteurs, comme a fait le bonhomme au sommet de cette page. Ensuite, je vais coller ce rapport là haut.
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Old 10-27-2009, 03:27 PM   #5
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Nice one !!!

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Old 10-27-2009, 04:29 PM   #6
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Petit a petit

Ton voyage a été vraiment spécial Amaury, je n'ai encore jamais vu un récit comme celui-là, j'ai lu Sambor, CAcevedo, MetalJockey, TricePilot et bien d'autres, mais le niveau d'interconnection avec les populations, les aventures, la galère avec ta tendre moitié, ça c'est vraiment autre chose.

Tu m'as deja contaminé et je suis déjà en train de concocter comment je peux envoyer ma KTM 950 sur Tanger et descendre sur Dakar l'été prochain.
He, whose nuts skim the ground while airborne, won't crash very far!

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Old 10-27-2009, 05:51 PM   #7
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This will be good.
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Old 10-27-2009, 05:52 PM   #8
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Ahh merde...

Maintenant je dois réfléchir mon Francais...

Merci pour les photo et la raconte... Je les trouve merveilleux!
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Old 10-27-2009, 06:45 PM   #9
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Thanks for the stickys on these Gadget Man.

Hate to miss this.
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:01 AM   #10
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10+ years ago.. have been there many times.....

Your RR sure brings back memories.... thank you

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Old 10-28-2009, 05:44 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by nwgs
Thanks for the stickys on these Gadget Man.

Hate to miss this.
With our exponential growth and our world-wide audience, these little gems tend to fall off the first page before they are fully appreciated.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:52 AM   #12
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Thanks for you're detailed report!

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Old 10-28-2009, 01:02 PM   #13
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super, continue

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Old 10-29-2009, 04:26 AM   #14
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Excellent report
Pics look like a great time

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Old 10-29-2009, 04:50 AM   #15
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I'd rather die living than live dying.

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