2002. Ellen and me have rejoined the ranks of the working
population again (snif!) but I'm glad to say that we found
a way to scare ourselves silly even in the bit of spare time
left to us.We just got back from Sénégal from
a great one-week guided run with a company called Motordakar
on rented Honda XR600's which we had decided to take in order
to work on our rather rudimentary sandriding skills.
(that would be Ellen, myself and Jean-Marc, a friend from
Luxembourg ) started in Lake Rose close to Dakar where we
were initiated the very first day in the noble arts of crashing
in deep sand, digging yourself in and out, how to somersault
over your handlebars and various other recreational acrobacies.
Some of those we were already quite familiar with, but with
these kinds of bikes (and Michelin Deserts), it was a lot
more fun than trying to wrestle a totally overloaded Africa
Twin through the same terrain, I have to admit. The following
days saw us riding along the beach, followed by some more
dune hopping, after which we headed inland and up to Saint
Louis for a little rest.
the way down again, we rode pretty much according to compass
heading, passing countless tiny villages where the people
must have thought we were some pathetic leftovers from this
year's Paris-Dakar. Still, they cheered us on. Very positive
thinking. The locals were great in general, confirming the
impressions we got when riding through West Africa last year.
was a great mix of decent and less decent pistes, dunes, beach,
rough tracks and savannah, with the occasional boring bit
of asphalt thrown in just for contrast. The planning was very
flexible, allowing us to choose our preferred routes and terrain.
Accomodations were original to say the least, ranging from
mauritanian tents over straw huts to luxury bungalows.
Food also ranged anywhere from the typical bicycle chicken
to fantastic seafood (Pointe des Almadies near Dakar is the
place to go if you like vast amounts of oysters and assorted
seafoods. Bring your own wine though...).
was small (three people), Charly, our guide (and owner of
Motordakar), went out of his way to keep us happy, the weather
was bearably toasty, it was a great week. Neither Ellen nor
me are great fans of guided tours, this one being the first,
but as you can tell, we were impressed. It's not RTW, but
for a short vacation, it's about as good as it gets. Charly
also did a very cool little video of the tour that you can
download under http://www.motordakar.com/ontheroad/otrmd128.wmv.