DESERT TRAVELS: MOTORCYCLE JOURNEYS IN THE SAHARA AND WEST AFRICA
Today, following over a decade of kidnappings, much increased trafficking, banditry and terrorist activities, as well as nomadic rebellions and not least the recent spread of weaponry from Libya, tourism in the central Sahara has collapsed or has become severely restricted. But it wasn't always like that. The 1980s were a golden age of independent exploration: post-colonial nations had yet to be beset by internal strife, and the popularity of the original Dakar Rally, as well as the evolution of desert-capable motorcycles and 4x4s both saw adventure tourism flourish in the Sahara of Niger, Algeria and Mali. It’s unlikely those days will return soon, so for once I found myself doing the right thing in the right place at the right time.
In 1982 my first African ride on a ratty XT500 ended halfway across the Sahara with a cracked petrol tank. Once I got out of that one I vowed never to return, but the lure of the dunes proved too great to a youthful despatch rider. Over the next decade I made several more forays into the Sahara and West Africa on, or travelling with motorbikes. They included an ill-fated motorcycle tour from which only one rider returned riding. Most of this book describes that tour, and in between accounts of my travels, I weave in historical and cultural episodes from the region, and discuss on the nature and appeal of desert travel.
Desert Travels was originally published as a paperback in 1996. This 1.5 version for Kindle has been lightly reworked to match a paperback reprint available at deserttravels.wordpress.com along with photos, maps and other material.
Libro en inglés.
Sólo en versión digital.