That year I discovered the desert, I still was a dead weight, three months later, in my 40s I put myself out there and I took my first motorcycle. The travel done in 2005 was a discovery trip around a continent about which I heard talking a lot but I would have never believed that it could captivate me this much.
In 2009, Miky and I decided to go back there with our friend Marco.
Marco goes down with a van which allows us to go on the road till the doors of the desert, to avoid a lot of “tar” and to put immediately the off-road wheels on the motorcycle! So for fun, I decided (since it fitted) to put my beloved XL200 Paris-Dakar inside the van too, the motorcycle I had just taken… the motorcycle which will be forever in my heart, my first motorcycle! As soon as we arrived in Tataouine, in the southern part of Tunisia, I asked for my “flea” (this is its name) to be unloaded and I tried.
Matchmaker was that moment! I haven't got off anymore! I knew that the “flea” wouldn't have deceived me, it would have allowed me to have fun like a child on the carousel! There was immediately such a feeling! I didn't even put the “sand shoes” on it! Since it should have stayed inside the van or gone only on some unlaced roads, I didn't change its the semi-road wheels!
But here it is, in all its magnificence! A beautiful experience, made of falls, pick ups, sweats, challenges and satisfactions but most of all fun!
But all good games come to an end. The week flew, but on the ship, going back, we already planned our next trip.
In 2010 another adventure sees us as protagonists. We’ll call it “Sea of sand”.
7 days full immersion in the desert! Only dunes, tent, the sound of silence, getting lost in the nothingness to find yourself in a natural paradise… this time I take with me my new motorcycle. I introduce it to you, its name is “the bug”, my Kawa 250 KLX! An indelible experience. In the evening the atmosphere becomes more magical. Our guide, who takes us the baggages (tent, sleeping bag and other personal stuff), welcomes us to a beautiful 5 stars B&B! Everyone around the fire, listening to the desert, while Moubar friend prepares hot bread cooked in the sand followed by the unavoidable mint tea! This was a really demanding trip, but really captivating as well. Feeling so close to nature, like we did, it's priceless and offerse you a baggage of emotions which only who lives the desert can understand.
Bye Tunisia… see you soon! Inshallah
After the trip of 2010 we immediately thought “next year we’ll be back!”. The “Africa ache” is inside of us, we can't live without thinking about being back there. Some issues, unfortunately, kept us apart for a too long time from Tunisia, every year we couldn't leave. Finally this year, on 21st of April, after 7 years we came back to these places, like we were attracted by an imaginary magnet!
It's time for Tunisia Raid 2017
They have been 7 days of pure fun! This time we're four!
1st DAY: left El Jem, after almost 200 km of asphalt we went in a track which goes towards El feja chot, crossing mountains which go from east to west. Those tracks were amazingly beautiful, even though difficult at some points.
2nd DAY: let's taste the sand! After a quite soft beginning from Douz to Ksar Ghilane, we lost the track so we had some difficulties with coverings with sand, falls and limited view because of the backwards dunes for the whole afternoon. Sometimes we couldn't even do ten meters without covering up with sand. Finally the unavoidable natural pool of Ksar Ghilane gives us physical and mental refreshment!
3rd DAY: a great day, even though we risked to run out of gasoline, but this too means “adventure”. The direction is Ksar Ghilane - Tataouine, all off-road, then Matmata and return to Douz! The previous day on the dunes made us use more gasoline than what we expected, so we travelled the last 40 km out of the 130 km to Tatouine more slowly. I think that my motorcycle only contained a tea spoon of gasoline at that point… my tank cries. At this point I take some gasoline from my companions, so that I'm ready to travel Matmata-Douz during the night!
(ah…ah… looks like I have a catheter in my hand!)