Friday, 3 October 2014
After the previous day's difficult riding we were in the mood for an easy day. We decided to go look at three artworks in the desert, all created by the same bloke, but on the way to the first one we realised it's going to involve a lot of difficult sand riding and that we don't really have to time to do it if we wanted to get to where we wanted to end up today. Instead we continued past the area where the artworks are and went to ride through some gorges.
This was the first stop we made when we were into the gorges for a while already. I had to make sure we were on the right roads. while I was sorting that out Locky took some pictures.
We went through Todra Gorge on to Tinehir, then to Ait Hani and then to Amellagou. Riding through the gorges is a great experience, the roads are constantly going up and down and are twisty so things stay interesting. We also had very little traffic so we could go at our own pace so that we had some spare attention to look around. The road surface also varies from good tarmac to, in some places where rivers might cross, gravelly cement slabs. The walls of the gorges are really high it reminds me of the mountains at home in South Africa when you look up: you feel really small if you're right at the bottom and looking at the very top.
Near Amellagou I had to make an emergency stop.
We found the nearest place to stay on our satnav and set off for that, it was going to take us a while to get there. We rode for quite some time and then there was a really bad noise from the rear of my bike. I stopped to check what was wrong, it turns out my rear chain guard bolt had come loose and fallen out. The chain guard got caught on the chain/wheel and this was the result.
I removed the chain guard and it was quite obvious that it couldn't really be called a chain guard any more. I believe this was one of the first Cymarc chain guards ever made for the Stroms. It was sold to Fat Rat, but there was a vibration issue so it went back to Mark to reinforce the rear mount. This improvement was put on all the future versions and Mark also did the mod for free for anyone that already had one (he's a top bloke.) Fat Rat sold his Strom and I bought the chain guard off him for my Strom.
I wasn't going to carry it back to the UK so I flung it far away to the other side of the road into a rocky field. Locky reckons that whoever finds it will put it on their mantelpiece and think it's something that's fallen off a space ship!
With no damage to the tyre we set off again and, after it was looking like the satnav is taking is to a wrong place, arrived at Chez Pauline, where we would stay for the night (that's not the main building.)
The place is run by a little French lady and two blokes. It seems to just be a house that's been extended, a lot, and the rooms were converted to be used for hiring out to guests. The place was a maze and it took us a while to remember which way to go to get to our room and back out. Their English was about as bad as our French which made communication interesting, but by now we were used to it.
She allowed us to park the bikes next to the house under cover.
The decorations in the house were also interesting, lots and lots of African wood carvings everywhere along with various other African themed stuff. I think it would take a lifetime to gather this many carvings, it's almost something to be proud of.
This was our room, it was overpriced for what it was, but there wasn't any other choice for us that was near enough.
One thing that made up for the price was that, after a long hot day, we were served steak and beer! It's difficult to beat that for a good end to a good day's riding.