Monday, November 8, 2010

A taste of off roading

Errachidia, the fall out base for the next couple of days is a pleasant little town. We get ourselves a not too dirty hotelroom ans busy ourselves without too many hassles. About that practise... It seems like a good idea to do some dirt tracks without luggage first, to get the hang of it a bit. We leave our stuff at the hotel room and dash off to a little used piste that branches off the main road to Erfoud for some 65 km's before joining it again near the beginning of the town. I'm still a bit whobbly on the bike in the beginning
For more pics see First off-road riding
and Nicolaas has to take over for the first Oued (=stream) crossing, but it did take some time and a larger stretch of sand to make me fall down. That's one and counting... 
We also get a little concerned about our fuel consumption (maybe we should've filled up the tanks beforehand?). Because of the low speed and a lot of riding in first gear the bikes seem more thirsty than usual. But  after some carefull calculations we decide to go on and by noon I feel a lot more stable. Lunch break in the shade of some thorn bushes and in the company of a small flock dromedaries, with 'only' 40 kms to go.
Seems like we got our second breath, because afterwards our speed rises and we progress steadily. Nicolaas even breaks the 70km/h mark on a straight strech of nice gravel piste. As we follow the course of a now dried up river, the road gets a bit rougher with sometimes sharp rocks and some small loose boulders. Being near the end of the speedcourse 'off road riding' I manage well enough, but I can't deny that I wasn't a tiny bit happy to see the tarmacked road again. Tired but content we ride 'home' under the setting sun.

The next day we prepare ourselves and the bikes for the real thing: "Boudenib - Merzouga the remake". Nicolaas tried this piste 7 years ago, but got to the first few kilometres as it was easy to get lost in the many winding tracks of the open plain. Now we'll make a new attempt. Armed with better equiped (though heavier) bikes, a GPS and high spirits, we might just pull it off this time... ?

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