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Thursday, 18 April 2013

Day 9, Cirque de Jaffa

After an early start and another bad nights sleep due to more dogs and moving furniture until the early hours in the room above us, not sure why?

We were up at 7 ready for breakfast that we think was included, the the cafe was shut, so we headed off to buy provisions and fill the tanks before we hit the piste. This is the 1st of the planned routes and in total 380 over 2 days, maybe 3 depending on the road conditions.

Easy to find the start and we did well until point 13 km where we went left as directed, but as we found out later, there are 2 lefts and we took the wrong one, no problems 25 km later, a steep down hill rubble decent and a very rocky river bed crossing we made it back to the start, and started again.

When we found the right left all was fine and and we proceed for fairly easy trails for about 28 km, until the Cirque de Jaffa, now there are 2 takes on this.

1, Justin. I have never been so scared in the whole of my life, heart pumping, sweating and clinging on for dear life, I nearly gave up half way down, and said to ian through the radios I can't go any further (what I was going to do neither up or down I'm not sure) luckily ian did not hear me, or chose not to so I had to carry on. The Cirque is a route that goes round the mountain to the basin and descend's at such a rate on a rubble track, with washed out sections bumps that you have to accelerate up going down, sometimes only big enough for a bike, the drop to the right is anywhere between 200 and 400 ft and the track sometimes cambers that way so you feel that your going. Glad I have done it yes, pleased with finishing it, yes would I do it again NO. Until tomorrow of course when I'm not. So tired!,

2, Ian. Ok ....here we go ........it was fantastic.......a couple of rear wheel slips next to the steep drop ,which probably scared Justin more than me and then it was GO !!! A steep decent that got the heart racing but once you started there was no stopping !Literally ! So it was go go go to the bottom whilst enjoying the superb view to the right (probably best not to look down ) but why not!
I did suggest we go back up but for some reason Justin did not seam keen !
At this point I need to mention I have ridden a fair amount of off road so I am going to say this only once .........Well done Justin ....If this had been my first attempt at off road riding I think I would have got off my bike and laid in the middle of the track and lit a cigarette .....something Justin is normally very good at .....but not on this occasion ....to do The Cirque De Jaffa was a fantastic accomplishment !

A lot of children all the way, all trying there little tricks to get money or cigarettes out of you, like blocking your way with stones, chasing you down but all harmless, the rest of the tracks were firm mud with the odd splash and apparently it customary to fly past the new boy while going through a ford and soak him, cheers ian.

In total we covered 233 km at altitudes of 2608 meters, 175 off road on track and trails, we have made it to a small mountain village at 2000 meters called Imichilli, and now the sun has gone down and its cold. We have selected another no star hotel for £16 each a night including diner and breakfast and diner was great, but there is no alcohol in the town at all, so our first dry night!! I'm sure you are wondering why we are not staying in even a 2 star? They don't exist, or if they do we can't find them!!

We have carried out some more maintenance on the bikes tonight, including pulling a nail out of my tyre! We were so nearly camping in the mountains.

Tomorrow it's another 180km ish to the famous dondades to just under 3000 meters, where there apparently is a 4 star hotel, but I won't get my hopes up!!

Early night tonight and again another sensible start,.

The card tonight is spending some loving time with Ian feet, rather the card than me!,

You won't read this for a couple of days after it is written as there is no wi-fi in the village at all!!































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