Honda XRV Forum banner

1 - 1 of 1 Posts

257 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Thought I'd post this on behalf of a good friend of mine. Figured you fellow travellers might be interested. His intro below.

On Monday 15th September 2008, I got home from work after a particularly demanding day and thought to myself “wow, I’m thirty years old in three months time, what can I do that will be memorable?” Needless to say, in the spur of the moment I started to rack my brain with the aim of finding something new, and lets face it, it was going to be something to do with motorcycles!

Two weeks later I found myself sat in a public house in Manchester, UK, with two strangers I had met through the internet who had similar, crazy ideas! Experiences were shared and ideas for a crazy motorcycle adventure were passed around the table. Beer after beer, the logistics did not get any easier; this was not going to be straight forward. Late into the evening, plans were discussed….and evolved!

In brief, the trip would involve a small band of well travelled adventurers from the UK heading off deep into the Saharan dunes in the heart of Africa. Following ancient camel routes, (but eschewing 4-legged beasts for motorcycles), the ride would head East from Atar in Mauritania, through Chinguetti and Tidjikja. From there an 800km piste would take us to Tichit, Nema and finally through Dogon country where we would cross the river Niger into Timbuktu and this is where the 'real riding’ would begin!

After reaching Timbuktu, the plan was to push north into the unridden ‘Empty Quarter’ of the West Sahara. Following the only remaining ancient camel route still used today ‘Azalai’, we would travel over 1600km of sand dunes through the fearsomely remote and lawless lands of the Touareg.

Our goal.......the fabled salt mines of Taoudenni, a solar-blasted outpost, rarely visited by Westerners (and never by motorcycles from Timbuktu, or at least to the best of my knowledge / research). This place once powered the Trans Saharan salt trade and helped shape the medieval world.

The plan also involved taking a HD video camera with us to capture the entire experience on camera. We would then make a documentary type DVD on our return to allow us to share the experience with others. Little did I realise it would take over 1 year to edit and produce!

The team had a real challenge on their hands. To succeed, each would have to contend with phenomenal distances over near-impassable terrain as well as searing desert conditions, mechanical problems and scant resources. And as with any good trip the expedition target will see the trip only halfway complete as the return trip to Timbuktu would continue to test both riders and machines.

Each night will be spent under the stars, each day in the saddle. But the difficulties won't end there - corrupt officials, Touareg rebels, bandits and the everyday pressures of an expedition on the edge will always be over the next dune. Salt and Gold 2009 was to be an adventure set in a unreal context of alien landscapes, nomadic tribes and sands soaked in myth and history.

The first section of the route would see us riding some of the harshest Paris to Dakar Rally pistes (the bits where they get rid of everyone) and hopefully making some routes of our own. We reckoned on about 4-5000km of riding without any black top. Our longest piste on the first section would be just over 800km.

But this was only the plan, and what really happened is something that has only really been discussed with family and close friends, or at least until now, because now the editing is complete and the long awaited Salt & Gold 2009 DVD is now available.

If you are interested in seeing this, the DVD can be purchased using the following links:

Link for UK (PAL) version and European sales is here LINK

Link for US (NTSC) version and US sales is here LINK
1 - 1 of 1 Posts