What do you mean, there’s no wifi in the desert?

Tonight I’ve had a text from Mel and the gang, saying they’re having a little trouble updating the blog from the middle of the desert. Mick can’t even do his usual trick of running a bike up the nearest mountain to get a signal.

Nomad Camp, Chicaga

Nomad Camp, Chicaga

So today we have to picture them, bikes lined up at the Nomad camp, in the middle of the desert. All sitting round the camp fire, getting to know one another a little better. Telling tales of first day wobbles and wheelies, river beds and trails, stunning skies and sand… everywhere.

Really, they’re in the middle of nowhere.

Meet Team Green in the sun!!


Watch the stone!!

Watch the stone!!

We’re still enjoying Ouarzazate and, after a good check-ride yesterday, it seemed remiss not to do the same again today… Just to make sure the bikes were completely ready for the customers!!

The sunshine was scorching & there wasn’t a cloud in the sky as we blasted along some great tracks, the bikes nailed the the ground, into a river-bed & then into some rocky sand. Check-out Mick’s shadow above to see what happens when you hit a rock a high speed!!

How do you deal with it? “Keep it pinned”!!!

Keep it pinned!!

Keep it pinned!!

The bikes are so balanced that the speed we could carry was impressive & we all had massive grins on our faces as we got back to town to clean the dust off the bikes!

While you're down there!!

While you’re down there!!

After hearing all these adventures & as the customers start to arrive & see what they’re letting themselves in for, we thought it was about time to introduce the team…..

The team!!

Team green!!

First it’s the one.. The only…..


Mick!! He is the big cheese, the grande fromage, the head honcho… You get the picture!! 7 times competing in the Dakar, he brings the bikes, the team & the clients here to guide him around his spiritual home…

He’s always laughing & can eat more cake & chocolate than anyone you’ve ever met….!


Mark is the essential fix-it-all mechanic, no job will defeat him!!

Ex-army he is always ready with a sarcastic comment but he is there quicker than a flash when things go wrong. A fantastic asset to any team.


Gwion spends his life riding bikes, speaking fluent Welsh & doing impressions of everything!!

He’s ridden the dunes with Mick many times now, seeing them ride together is pretty impressive! He is also mad as a hatter!


Mel’s supposed to be the organised one of the tour! Oh dear!!

I’m doing this blog, as you may have guessed! I’m a road rider at heart but am doing far more off-road now & am loving it!! Can’t wait to christen my new Kawasaki in the desert!!

Red nose Kawasaki

Red nose Kawasaki

As you may have seen from Gwion’s photo we have a bit of a red nose them going on!

We finish our 2nd tour on red nose day so we thought we had better raise some money!

The four of us are carrying red noses with us at all times & are looking for every opportunity to snap photos with them. We’re looking for ideas of things to do & places to wear them so do give us ideas on our facebook page.

And please give generously here

Red Nose Team Green!!

Red Nose Team Green!!

The customers have just started to arrive & tomorrow morning we set off early for Camp Chicaga, 250km riding!! As the name suggests these are nomad camps so I won’t be able to update the blog but we shall try & keep updated briefly via our brilliant website man – Ian.

The next day is 230km to Tafrout, again this may prove difficult to update from, but rest assured, there will always be big updates as and when we can!

For now, we are looking forward to meeting the rest of the customers & getting out on 16 green bikes tomorrow!! Brilliant!!

Where are we?!!

Sneak preview…!!

Bike shot 1Having gently coaxed the bikes out of their tightly packed, cold, bumpy home for the last 5 days we reassured them as they squinted, confused, in this new thing called sunshine!

We made sure they hadn’t suffered on the journey & were ready for the tour, then let them warm up & recover with a great view of the newly snow-covered Atlas mountains…

Enjoying the view of the High Atlas! After a bite to eat it seemed obvious that the only way to check they were really ready was to ride them…!

So off we popped!! Quick stop for petrol & soon we hopped off the road & into the dust! The terrain looked solid but was simply lulling us into a false sense of security as it was loose sand covered in loose rocks!! Great fun when ridden in a cloud of dust & stones left my Mick & Gwion racing ahead!! We like a challenge!!

The bikes were quickly tested in their new surroundings & it turns out they were absolutely made for it!! Obstacles & wash-outs jumped out of nowhere but the bikes coped with it all! Thick sand on off-camber corners were laughed at as the bike remained planted & seemed amazingly suited to this unknown!

The back end of all bikes spent very little time actually sitting behind the font wheel & everyone had a sweat on when we stopped to admire the amazing views…

Gwion looking happy!

Gwion looking happy!

Dusk arrived quickly & it was funny following a trail of dust across the wilderness but it was obvious why Mick was in such a rush…

He hadn’t had any cake all day!!!

Where's the cake shop?!

Where’s the cake shop?!

I had a giggle to myself as I saw a man on a scooter CARRYING a bicycle going the other way!!

We hit Ouarzazate in darkness at what appeared to be rush hour – another challenge in itself!!  And headed for caaake!!!

Mick was now happy..! Bikes working; LOVING the way they handled the trails and CAKE!!!

Mmmm Cake!!

Mmmm Cake!!

What a great end to a great ride…


Stop the clock, stop the clock!!

Are we there yet?!

Finally we reach the Atlas mountains… Are we there yet?!

Hooray!! After 4 days driving & 2,150 miles we’ve finally made it to our hotel in Ourzazate at about 8:30pm!!
Sorry for the lack of communications, but it has been a driving marathon of some note & McDonalds near Tours has been the only place with successful wifi!!

So….. The story so far…

We have spent every night sleeping in the van as every plan to stay somewhere has been scuppered!! Every time we’ve made up time, something has happened!!

Sleeping beauty...?!!!

Sleeping beauty…?!!!

Our first night, in France, was absolutely freezing!! We got to “bed” at around 3am in a rest area & it was a bitter night!! We had the hunger to go South then for the heat!!

Day 2 saw excitement as we started on page 7 of 12 on my directions!! We got to San Sebastian where I managed to get us going the wrong way up motorway having tried to find a hotel in town!! My mistake was only eclipsed by Mick leaving the back door to the van open after a petrol stop!! As we were towing a trailer this was only spotted when The Welshman & “skid” Mark saw tyres & blue-roll rolling down a slip-road towards them!! We managed to retrieve everything safely though!



Eventually another services was found & we had a slightly less cold van experience that night…

A very early, dark, start heralded day 3 as we tried to crack Spain in a day & get the Algeciras ferry to Tanger Med then, hopefully Rabat!! A challenge but we were determined!! Almost as detemined as Mick was to polish off an amazing amount of cakes and biscuits per day!!

We were not expecting snow near Burgos (just South of Santander) & certainly not lots of snow-ploughs poised ready, but luckily the weather was on our side & we were glad to see some sun…

That is until the Sierra Nevada, where it rained, and rained and rained!!! As the downpour started Mick & I had a bit of a giggle about Rihanna’s “umbrella” being on the radio!! We had not signed up for this English weather!!


We arrived at Algeciras at 8:20pm & bounded across puddles & sprinted across busy streets to buy tickets for the 9pm ferry. We then waited for 2 hours for it to sail….!

A man In full Land Rover desert kit who’d even painted his top-box camo amused us on the boat, but not for long as we all grabbed 40 winks….

Desert hero!!

Desert hero!!

At Tanger Med we were sent to the customs pen where they search every van & check all paperwork… This was not good! We had a schedule & this was not in the plan!! Concerns that we would still be here in 12 hours time had to be ignored  as we watched other drivers settle in for the night…

Of course we managed to get the customs men on side in the end, Mel even wore one of their hats in return for our limited edition Morocco 2013 tour hats!!

A pile of papework & lots of hanging around later we were free, but the 2hrs35 we had been impounded was then charged!! Luckily, between us, we had exactly the Euros needed for our release, but absolutely no more!! We now had no money for tolls, for fuel, anything!! And it was around 3am!!


As the usual exit was closed at this daft time it took a further 15 minutes & 3 more paperwork checks to get out!! We found a services on the way the Rabat & slept in the van once more at around 4am. Although an amazing storm went through in the those hours, Mick & Mark slept through it!! But it was much warmer & we were all ready for our “omelette fromage” & a push through to Morocco & a taste of sunshine!!



It’s easy to forget quite how big Africa is!! We stayed on 2 motorways for 130 miles apiece!! That’s 2 hours each!! This tedium was soon broken by the madness of trying to Circumnavigate Marrakesh!! After this we then had the Atlas mountains to conquer as the sun started to set. This was a beautiful drive, offset only by the fear of a Dakar nutter & a crazy Welshman racing down mountains in vans!! The over-taking manoevres from us, & the locals, caused much amusement as we knew we were close now!!

Which side of the road do we drive on?!

Which side of the road do we drive on?!

Ourzazate was a beautiful place to arrive in, relieved & tired; And who better to greet us with hot drinks & a smile than Ali in the hotel Les Jardins.

Now we were being looked after!

We’ve had our dinner & are off to bed now. Tomorrow the bikes are having their final checks after their long journey & we’ll be making all the final preparations ready for the customers arrival on Monday & the big off on Tuesday!

Can’t wait to paint this place Green!!!

On the ferry to Afrikakakaka…

Got a late night text from Mel saying she couldn’t get a wi-fi signal to post her blog. She didn’t even have a 3g signal, just a telecoms carrier.

So, on behalf of Mel, et al., they were aboard the ferry to Ceuta, all safe and sound. Snuggled up in their onesies, teddy bears and cocoa in hand…

Next post from Afrikakakaka…

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