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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Part 1 of this report is here http://www.xrv.org.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=23352
MY DAKAR RALLY ADVENTURE WAS SCUPPERED BY TERRORISTS BUT I WAS DETERMINED TO HAVE AN ADVENTURE.

Hill parking and getting a bump in the morning from Duncan




Marakesh square at sunset.



Night falls on the Marakesh square.

I made it to Marakesh after spending the 1st night in Rabat. The plans to go over the mountain passes were scuppered by snow. So I took the dual carriage way which runs down the western coast.

The snake charmers and preachers swap places with portable kitchens and restraunts.





Billy checks out a tile makers wares in the Marekesh backstreet bazzares.



You ca hire a guide to tour around the back streets and the maze of allyways but getting lost is far more fun.


After Marakesh we made for the Atlas mountains. My bike was not the oldest. I came across this guy who was doing a world tour on a bike constructed from lawnmower parts, a bobcat digger and was fueled by vegetable oil! It smelt like a chip shop when he was upwind of me.

Half bike half Bobcat half Lawnmower


I wasn't on an organized tour and I knew no one that was out there but there were plenty of bikers to tag along with along the route. Some broke away and did there own thing. Some met up with other riders with different objectives. It was reassuring to know that there was always some friendly help around if you needed it.



After stopping for a few pics on this mountain pass I felt confident enough to stop the engine thinking I would have enough charge to start again. I was wrong and resorted to bump starting it downhill:mad:

After 4 days of parking on hills and relying on a push to get started I managed to track down this little shop who had a large moped battery that was good enough to get my bike statred for the remainder of the journey.


The town was Ourazatat and was supposed to be a bivi stop for the Dakar race and I planned to catch up with all the action here. The Hotels were empty and finding a room was no problem but the locals were devastated that the race never came to town. (as was I)


A bunch of us decided it was time to test our camping skills. We hung a right here and headed off track to find a soft bit of ground to get our heads down for the night.
Seems like a decent spot to pitch a tent. Lets see if I can get the tent up before the sun creeps below the horizon?





The advantage of camping in January is that you don't get bothered by snakes and scorpians but its bloody cold!


The locals were very interested in why we decided to camp in the middle of the vally rather than stay in a hotel.
Within moments of arriving people were turning up offering firewood. We gave them some loose change and some food in return.




The following day we pushed onto Zagora for a clean up and some lunch then a big push onwards to Erfoud. We stayed at a great hotel with Eve meal bed and breakfast for about £16. The food was awesome. The hoteliers were all musicians and played some astounding tunes for us.



Again this area would have been a stage for the Dakar and the hotels were empty. Someone told me that Jimmy Hendrix wrote circles in the sand here.




Someone had a mad idea of getting up at 5.30 and climbing onboard a camel to go and watch the sunrise come up over the horizon!!!




A few Dakar riders still ventured out to the dunes to at least get some fun out of there months of planning and masses amounts of cash invested in the race which was not to be.

This bike belonged to a dutch rider who was staying at the same hotel as I was. It was heartbreaking to hear his story of dissapointment.



The hotels which are normally packed out with Dakar crowds were empty. This one was was my home for a night at the edge of the dessert which makes for a great sand dune exploring base. You can rent lightweight bikes nearby mainly KTM's for blasting around the Dunes.

Duncan having a Blast on his KTM


Its an amazing country for off roading.








Ozzy and Duncan take some time out.


So Do I on my trusty Transalp. ( The photographer never gets any holiday snaps of himself)


Ozzy slows only for Sheep!!


Ozzy forgets his helmet.. But we all decide a knock to the head could only be an improvement.




Dave on his Vara



If we ride long enough we might find a clearing amongst these rocks
s comfy enough to pitch a tent.....Perhaps?


Finally the author/photographer gets a picture to go in his scrapbook.


I picked up some pillion passengers.



Soft sand along hard gravel tracks like these mean you have to be nimble on the throttle and power through it or it will get ya!


Ozzy demonstates how to get a Transalp out of the sand.

And true to his word he does!


Ozzy gets some last minute riding in before the sun goes down and its time to set up camp. BMW 1200GS (His panniers cost more than my Transalp)

OK so it didn't cost me £12,000 and Ewan magregor has not ridden it to Capetown but my little transalp still looks the part after 20 years and I'd rather spend the money on travels than a expensive bike that I would be scared to drop or leave in the street.


More pics..http://Gnasher.smugmug.com/
what we missed http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6SSPY3nSoU
 

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Cant stop 'tinkering'
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Now that looks ace :thumbup:

I know where id rather be ;)

I take my hat off to you sir for having the cahoonas to do it
 

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Thats looks fantastic - am off there myself with a few friends in May - any tips/route ideas appreciated.
Did you ride across Spain?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thats looks fantastic - am off there myself with a few friends in May - any tips/route ideas appreciated.
Did you ride across Spain?
There is a healthy info section on the UKGSer forum site. Tim Cullis has been going there for years and he is a really good source of info, he has compiled a decent database of info here http://www.ukgser.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=212 You may have noticed from my notes that Im not great at planning. I prefer to let adventures unfold. However its worth knowing the basics. The boarder crossings are important and you need to make sure you take your V5 document and make sure you have insurance that covers you out there. You can buy it at the boarder. Hotels vary and I ended up staying in £60 a night rooms when there was nothing else and £17 a night. The expensive ones were in the cities. If I wasin a rural area I would have just camped. The people are amazing especially in the south. I can't vouch for Tangiers myself but Im told not to expect the same hospitality there and to be on your guard. Just go with the flow and enjoy your experience out there. I was blown away by the experience and will be returning on my new F800GS later in the year. You should try and arrange some light weight KTM riding whilst you out there. http://www.motoaventures.com/splash-en.html
I missed out on the oppourtunity but everyone that has been has loved it.
I didnt have anywhere near enough time out there and I plan to keep revistiting whenever I can.......Enjoy.
Oh by the way I used biketruck.com to get my bike down through spain. It was cheaper than me riding it there and the ride this time of year is not much fun when especially when its going to take another 4-5 days out of my itinery. Check them out I highly reccomend them. Go forth explore and enjoy!!!:p
 

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Sir FallofaLott
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Absolutely bloody brillant - buy a bike, saddle up and feck off into the unknown for an adventure. :D

It doesnt get much better. Fantastic mate.
 

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Bad news about the Dakar but it looks like you made the best of it anyhow.

The pics were good, especially half a TA in the sand...:rolleyes:
 

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Hi Gnasher,
great report,but really great :thumbup:photography:thumbup:make's all the difference to the sence of adventureyou must have experienced,

well done,

Tony K
 

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Glad you enjoyed it.
I see my panniers kept the back from completely disappaering into the sand:D.
Where did you put the kitchen sink?
 

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Fantastic pictures great report :thumb:

Would like to go there looks brilliant.

Well done for just going :D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Glad you enjoyed it.
I see my panniers kept the back from completely disappaering into the sand:D.
Where did you put the kitchen sink?
The kitchen sink was in a trailor which is just out of shot behind the support truck which housed the helicopter and Cheap way down production crew.
I could have traveled alot lighter if I had not planned to be photographing the Dakar rally. Most of my gear was camera equipment. If I knew the Dakar wasn't going to happen I could have gone with just your panniers alone and stayed in hotels. Every thing I needed for the tour fitted in your little oxford soft panniers with ease. The Tank bag held my Cameras and made them easily accesible and it also allowed me to keep my wallet/passport and valubles handy and easily detatchable from the bike when I popped into a shop or cafe. The yellow bag is a waterproof rolltop stash bag I found at the back of my dads garage from my camel trophy days. My tent, sleeping mat and sleeping bag fitted in there perfectly. The big back pack was just extra camera gear including multiple flash heads for lighting the Dakar boys but that bag never got used. I had the most amount of gear on the smallest and oldest bike amongst the travelers I met and yet I was still nipping past them on the mountain passes. This trip is a true testiment to the hardyness of the Transalp. And the cost of the bike was about the same as most of the panniers that were on the other bikes that were on the same route.
 

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amazing pics , and only a duff battery !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Hello Gnasher
Glad you had a good trip.Good meeting you too.I am back home in Spain now just preparing my ride report......got a couple of pics of you bump starting your steed to go on the report.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hello Gnasher
Glad you had a good trip.Good meeting you too.I am back home in Spain now just preparing my ride report......got a couple of pics of you bump starting your steed to go on the report.

Send em this way... It will be good to have em up.
I went to look at a Africa Twin today. Im tempted to get another just cus I like the looks so much but then again the little Transalp was a demon of a bike for the adventure.
 

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Some great photos in your smugmug album, even some of a Vara!! :)D) Candidates for the XRV club calendar?

In your story above there appear to be some pictures but they aren't displaying. Can you check and correct?
 

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Really enjoyed your report and images! Nice work.
Just wondering about buying another Transalp, I miss my old 650, have a 950 KTM but... still miss the Transalp, odd isn't it?
Anyway, please let me know if you have sold the Transalp and if not how much are you after.
Cheers
Col
 

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I'm jealous!!!, that looks amaaaaaaazing.
Great posting, and the pictures are really good. (what camera did you use)?
Thanks for taking the time to put it on, I totally enjoyed it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm jealous!!!, that looks amaaaaaaazing.
Great posting, and the pictures are really good. (what camera did you use)?
Thanks for taking the time to put it on, I totally enjoyed it.
All my gear is Canon. I chose to use my baby camera on this trip to save weight so i took my back up camera which Is a light weight Canon D30. I don't use it much and its not my favorite camera but at the end of the day it's the lens that makes the shot and I shot most of the riding pics on a Canon 70-200 F2.8. I'm starting some Photography ride out trips next month. Let me know if your interested. Regards- Jon www.jonnashphotography.co.uk
 
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