Day 7 in the Big Brother house…..!!

WE MADE IT!!!!!!!!!!

We made it!!!!

We made it!!!!


We didn’t think much could better starting your day with the dunes glittering & golden by your side like we did yesterday, but it turns out that the Todra Gorge was absolutely as stunning, if not more so!


The terrain has been varied, challenging & stunning…


We were very excited to get cake at lunchtime!! A rare luxury as every meal usually finishes with oranges or, if you’re really lucky, oranges with cinnamon!!

The last river bed was, in Eliot’s words, “like riding on f***ing marbles”!! It was certainly a route designed to make sure we were properly exhausted on the last day!! But we were buzzing!!! (And also a little warm to say the least!!!)

Got a sweat on?!

It was a very social ride, with the road-work taking us through lots of interesting villages where all the kids absolutely loved our green machines!!!!

Nice bike!!

Nice bike!!

As the last straight road back to Ouarzazate took us through scenery reminiscent of the wild west it seemed fitting that we rode into a sunset!!!

Hugs & kisses were shared all round when we finally arrived back in the Hotel du Jardins & a beer has just been raised for a very impressive person…

Well done Colin!!

Well done Colin!!

Colin is 70!!! And our oldest customer ever to have completed this by a long way!!

Every body rode exceptionally well & we all agree that we had a brilliant group, but if I could ride half as well, or be half as fit as Colin when I am that age I will be extremely happy!!

We’re off to spend the last night with the customers now but I will share more snippets over the next couple of days as we reminisce the departing group & prepare for the next!!

Green in the Gorge!!

Gwion showing off!!

Gwion showing off!!

There’s smiles all round today after the longest days’s riding yet! We covered over 300km so will definitely sleep well tonight!

Although much of it was road work there were some fast trails with varied terrain to keep us on our toes!!

I think we were all a little sad to be saying goodbye to the dunes as we headed off towards Rissani & Arfoud. The trail off towards our road to the Todra Gorge offered fast, smooth trail, rocky sections, soft sand and washouts to make sure we were all paying attention!

Then, out of nowhere, were random structures! I wondered if we had diverted to Peru or were in an H.G.Wells book!!

Group shot!

As we continued at pace it was amazing how much the scenery changed. We could have visited many different countries today!! Riding off-road is a brliliant way to see parts of a country you would never otherwise see, smell or feel… But you do have to stop sometimes, otherwise you’d never realise the immense splendour of the scenery you have been speeding through….

Are you sure we're not at the Grand Canyon?!!

Are you sure we’re not at the Grand Canyon?!!

(That’s my bike gleaming in the sun by the way!! ;-) )

The temperatures got cooler as we headed further North &  through the gorges so each brief stop for fuel or coffee was gratefully received!

It was worth it though as the roads were great fun (to be recommended on any kind of bike!!) and the stunning views were easier to appreciate when riding smooth(-ish!!) roads sat on a bike that is not trying to buck you off on rocks that seem to jump from nowhere on any trail!!

We all had a little giggle to ourselves as a massive sign announced that we were passing through the centre of Assoul….. :-/

As a fantastic welcome to the heart of the gorge we stopped for coffee about 5 minutes before our hotel to really appreciate the views. This stop was made even better by our dramatic entrance – we rode down steps & over a narrow bridge over the rocky river!!

Todra gorge coffee stop

We are now at the hotel Dar Ayour and I’m very exciting to have internet connection, but probably a little more so about dinner then bed!!

Tomorrow we return to Ouarzazate…

The difference between Morocco & the UK…

Team shot!!

As I sat here at the reception desk of the Hotel Nomad Palace, using my best schoolgirl French to explain that I am not actually a receptionist, the owner’s brother asked me if I knew the difference between Morocco & the UK?! I laughed!! There are many!! I said the sunshine!! He said that in the UK we have watches but no time; In Morocco they have time  but no watches!!

As the wifi that would be fixed in 1 hour yesterday is still not working I can see his point!!


We have just returned from a beautiful camel ride up to the dunes to watch the sunset &, having finally got my hands on the required cable, I can tell you that everything runs at camel’s pace!!

That is except a bunch of nutters on Kawasakis in the dunes!!

For those with the energy, yesterday afternoon was our first go at the proper sand dunes; I think we were all surprised at how difficult it was. It was like learning to ride again! The bike control in itself is not the big issue – it’s all in the mind…

You have to attack everything with confidence to keep moving, yet you must read each dune for it’s shape & to find the harder packed sand & avoid the boggy, soft stuff… If you mis-judge you risk bogging the back wheel down, which is extremely tiring to free, or more dangerously, you fly over the top of a sharp ridge & the bike digs in on the other side, stopping instantly… I speak from experience…!!

Your bike's stuck!!

Your bike’s stuck!!

As we set off today, taking advantage of the cooler morning air, we were all a little intimidated by the kilometres of towering dunes standing between us & the Algerian border. Bikes & riders never faltered though, everybody raved about the smooth power delivery & how much easier it made the sand. We couldn’t believe they didn’t overheat with all that has been asked of them, the riders certainly did!!

I’m a bit gutted at the internet speed as there are so many great photos of the bikes at play here!! But they will come!!

For now we are going to have a late dinner & an early start tomorrow for a long day’s riding; waving goodbye to the dunes with most people already planning their next visit to conquer them!

We have another marathon day to get to the Todra Gorge tomorrow so I will leave you with a photo that shows a little of the beauty & fun we’ve been having as Mick & Gwion play in a sand bowl!!

Mick & Gwion playing!

…and peaceful until…

Well, it would be a riot right now, but the team have arrived at the Nomad’s Palace hotel to… no WiFi! Hehe! You couldn’t plan it better. They’re assured that the technical guys are working on the problem, but just in case there’s no immediate answer, here’s an interim post from me again!

The GPS co-ordinates I’ve been sent look a little out, but they’re not a million miles out. This is where they say they are :-

This is where I think they are :-

Taking in all the mod cons that the Hotel Nomad Palace has to offer. Well, everything except the Wi-Fi, naturally.

Not that they deserve it after a relatively short day today on their way to have a first look at the Dunes of the Sahara proper tomorrow. That’ll get the bikes and riders working harder than they’ve been used to and appreciative of another night in the Nomad Palace tomorrow.

Yesterday was mostly Dakar route and lots of it. No, more than that apparently. Waaaaaay more than that. I’ll wager Mick said “just keep up”, rode at half his race pace and still disappeared into the distance. ;)

Talking of race pace, Adam Extance, Mick’s son, had a good day testing at Donington Park today. Our partner Adam Griffin was there helping Adam get the very best out of his suspension testing and they made the most of the fine, sunny, but chilly weather. We’ll have some footage available from this testing on the youtube channel soon, so you too can learn how to set up race bike suspension, if you check back later.

For now that’s all I have. No photos, sorry, unless someone can get to Merzouga with a patch cable, like the one I have here in my rucksack. Doh! ;)

Another night with a little Bjork I think… like there’s any other sort of Bjork. ;)

It’s oh so quiet… it’s oh so still…

I’ve waited for as long as I could tonight, but it looks like it’s another night of “no news must be good news”, so here’s a post from me, snuggled up in bed.

I can elaborate on yesterday’s news by saying that they had a “massive” ride from Ouarzazarte to theNomad camp at Chicaga. If you look on the google maps link to the GPS co-ordinates I was sent in the report, you can actually see the tents in the desert. Try zooming in a little. Oh OK, I’ll zoom in for you. ;)

How cool is that? Can’t see the bikes though. ;)

The report was that they had had a massive ride out and that my Dad, Colin White, there for his 70th Birthday present, was mentioned in dispatches; in that he had done really well… for an old git. ;) The first day’s ride was long and over varied terrain, ending in very physically demanding sand in quite hot conditions. By all accounts all bikes and riders had performed really well and were settled down by the camp fire.

So what to do in the mean time? Well, last night I settled down to watch the documentary “Madness in the Desert: Paris to Dakar” (Madness in the Desert is available on BBC iPlayer) and really gives a flavour of some of the conditions in the Sahara around this time of the year. Well worth an hour of _anyone’s_ time. It’s going to be shown again on BBC HD on Monday evening, 9-10 p.m. so don’t forget to set your recording devices. More details on the Radio Times website

So, not really a lot to report. I don’t know about you, but I feel like listening to a little Bjork tonight…

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