Wednesday, January 30, 2008

 

More Photos

Hi All - more photos here.  Blog update coming shortly.
In Bamako ! 
Having great time, off to Timbuktu in a couple of days after limo repairs - need new rear shocks !!
 
 
If the link doesn't work then the limotoafrica tag should get you there.

 

Off to Timbuktu !

Spent the past two days in Bamako working on new rear suspension for Vegas. Amazing process, working on dirt street with junkyard African mechanics. New customized rear springs via blacksmith, new rear shocks from a toyota - rubber inserts from who knows where. Job done three times over Africa-style. Better than ever. Off to Segou to Festival on the River tomorrow, then on to Timbuktu.
Rally organizers are planning a special auction for Vegas - hopefully will raise several thousand euro !
Off to dinner, xo
M

Monday, January 28, 2008

 

Direct updates...

If you want to keep an eye on occasional reports from the Limo, please visit this page:

http://www.pdcinfo.info/fieldreports/8502fr.htm

These are text messages sent directly from Mark or Suna to the rally site.

 

In Bamako - More Photos

Hi All - more photos here. Blog update coming shortly.
In Bamako !
Having great time, off to Timbuktu in a couple of days after limo repairs - need new rear shocks !!
If the link doesn't work then the limotoafrica tag should get you there.

Cheers
Mark


Sunday, January 27, 2008

 

Report from Bamako

The team reports that they have arrived in Bamako, three days ahead of schedule and plan to head to Timbuktu in a few days. The limo required a minor suspension rebuild in the desert today but "that's just part of the fun."

Roger and John in the London cab made it through, but sadly, the boys from the Isle of Man were forced to abandon their Land Rover after losing their rear axle in the desert.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

 

In Mali

Team Running Amoc (the London taxi) has sent news that they've arrived in Mali after some hard going through the desert and hope to get to Bamako tomorrow. If the convoy is still together, Mark, Suna and Pinar should be in Mali as well.

LATE UPDATE: The limo kidz report that they are almost in Bamako having spent a lovely night under the stars.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

 

.mac web gallery

Piles of pictures from the first half of the trip, very little editing. Enjoy.

Monday, January 21, 2008

 

Report from Dakhla

This text from Mark, Suna & Pinar:

Leaving Dakla now @ 6.30am in convoy with guide - off to the desert we go. All are in good spirit & Vegas is ready as she'll ever be.

"Vegas" is convoying along with a few other teams: The London taxi piloted by Roger and John, the Land Rover Discovery driven by Juan (not pronounced like you think), Ben & James and The Farmers.

ODOMETER: ????

Sunday, January 20, 2008

 

Sump/Oil Pan Protection

Here's a close-up shot of the oil pan rails Abdul added, following Mark's design. He did this in a about an hour. Looks vicious, and if it doesn't protect the oil pan, at least it will intimidate a few desert rocks.

 

Report from Essaouira


After a day and a half in the Moroccan port city of Essaouira, January 20th found Mark, Pinar and Suna leaving Payo standing by the beach with Cynthia. They will be returning to work while the hardcore crew of three heads for points south. While in Essaouira we were able to find a terrific local welder/fabricator, Abdul, who modified the Hi Lift jack for us and added some reinforcing rail shields to the undercarriage of the limo to help protect the oil pan/sump. He also brews up a great mint tea, with not too much sugar.




By about noon on the 20th, Suna, Pinar and Mark were reporting that they were in 'Armageddon,' with wind-blown dust rivaling the kinds seen in the Nevada desert at Burning Man.

From this point on, updates will be few, as the amount of cellular and internet access drops off until they reach larger cities again.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

 

Wave-off in Essaouira

video
Mark, Suna, Pinar and Vegas head south. (Shot on my "still" camera since I'd handed the hi-def over at this point)


ODOMETER: ????

Friday, January 18, 2008

 

That's the signpost up ahead...



This thoughtfully placed sign was located about 27km outside of Essaouira, right where two Moroccan gendarmes decided to pull us over. They then made Pinar get out of the car, Suna delete some photos she had taken and Payo consider shaving off his beard. Power trips aren't just for U.S. cops.

 

Not available for purchase in the souks


Here's a shot of "Vegas" in the Jemaa El Fna in Marrakech, just before we hit the road for Essaouira. At night the entire area at the passenger side of the limo is buzzing with food stalls.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

 

Photos!!!

Hey all, having trouble uploading lots of photos to the blog, here they are on flickr.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/88296296@N00/sets/72157603736900463/

Having a great time, currently in Marrakesh, heading to Essa tomorrow. More photos soon....

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

 

"Vegas" and some fans



As Suna mentioned, we headed out to meet the kids from Cara's class and talk to them about "Vegas" and the purpose of the trip. They were amazing, full of questions and energy. I have no idea how Cara handles them every day.

 

Reda & "Vegas"


Here's one of our hosts in Casblanca, Reda, looking like he might want to keep "Vegas" in town for a few more days.

 

EN AFRIQUE!

Wednesday January 16th and we're in Casablanca. Steve (Payo), myself (Suna), Mahk (Mark), Pinar, and we will meet Cynthia in Marrakech tonight. Every day has been a different city or country, and despite taking a slightly more relaxed pace than some of our other rally mates, it still has blurred together a bit, waking up to new sounds everyday, not quite sure where we came from, where we are, but still focused on where we're going.

Our chief rally mates to date have been Roger and John from Team Running Amok, two certified nutters who side car race in the UK, and three boys from the Isle of Man, a commonwealth country with official emblem of three legs joined together , meaning any which way you through an Isle of Man-ner they will land feet first. I'm sure that doesnt make sense but Google might be able to help you get the picture!

Reports back from prior teams are that Mauritania is safe, more police on the road and friendly, reassuring people all along the way. So we'll push ahead.

A few more hours in Casa and we're off. We enjoyed the generous hospitality of my dear friend from Japan Cara Warkentin and her Fiance Reda. We'll head to her school where she teaches English to talk about our little trip, do some fun games and let the l'il ones climb all over the limo. To date, we've certainly attracted our share of attention.
A bientot!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

 

The Road to Casablanca

We parted company with Roger, John and the Isle of Man guys this morning - they are off to the Atlas mountains and we'll meet up with them again in Marrakech. We spent the morning in the Medina in Asilah and then headed off towards Casablanca where we'll meet up with Suna's friend Cara and her fiancé Reda.

ODOMETER: 5948

Monday, January 14, 2008

 

Farewell and adieu to you fair Spanish ladies...

We loaded Vegas onto the ferry Alacantra Dos for the 3 PM sailing to Tanger, leaving the Rock of Gibraltar and the continent of Europe behind. The distance from Gib to Africa seems so small that on a good day you can probably throw a rock across the Strait.

Once we arrived in Tanger we spent about an hour getting processed through customs, with the help of a "fixer" who walks you through the 5 or 6 steps required. Passports stamped and paperwork cleared we were off towards the port city of Asilah, wehere we rendezvoused with Roger and John (London taxi) and the Isle of Man guys at the Hotel Sahara.

 

Wet early morning

We woke at 7 AM today to find the sky pouring down water on us, and a slight leak from the sunroof of the limo. After some quick rearranging of stuff, we hit the road to get down to Algeciras, stopping at a Carrefour for supplies, and at the local Feu Vert (Pep Boys) to get a replacement for our blown tire. Once we got Algeciras, we did some negotiating with a guy from the Acciona ferry line to get our tickets changed from Algeciras to Ceuta to the Algeciras to Tangier run.

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