Several friends of ours took an expedition into the Sahara and brought a camera. This DVD is the result, and it is fascinating, beautiful, engrossing, and outstandingly well produced.
In brief, the trip would involve a small band of well travelled adventurers from the UK heading off deep into the Saharan dunes in the heart of Africa. Following ancient camel routes, (but eschewing 4-legged beasts for motorcycles), the ride would head East from Atar in Mauritania, through Chinguetti and Tidjikja. From there an 800km piste would take them to Tichit, Nema and finally through Dogon country where they would cross the river Niger into Timbuktu and this is where the 'real riding’ would begin!
After reaching Timbuktu, the plan was to push north into the unridden ‘Empty Quarter’ of the West Sahara. Following the only remaining ancient camel route still used today ‘Azalai’, they would travel over 1600km of sand dunes through the fearsomely remote and lawless lands of the Touareg.
Their goal.......the fabled salt mines of Taoudenni, a solar-blasted outpost, rarely visited by Westerners (and never by motorcycles from Timbuktu, or at least to the best of my knowledge / research). This place once powered the Trans Saharan salt trade and helped shape the medieval world.
The team had a real challenge on their hands. To succeed, each would have to contend with phenomenal distances over near-impassable terrain as well as searing desert conditions, mechanical problems and scant resources. And as with any good trip the expedition target will see the trip only halfway complete as the return trip to Timbuktu would continue to test both riders and machines.
Each night will be spent under the stars, each day in the saddle. But the difficulties won't end there - corrupt officials, Touareg rebels, bandits and the everyday pressures of an expedition on the edge will always be over the next dune. Salt and Gold 2009 was an adventure set in a unreal context of alien landscapes, nomadic tribes and sands soaked in myth and history.
Runtime is approximately 70 minutes