By Keith Futcher Photos: Jason Howe
Senior-citizen, middle-class, PC-perfect trio decide late in life to become motorbikers for no other reason than to journey on heritage motorcycles on a Safari to the Sahara at Seventy to see a Sunrise. It is pointless, it is risky, and it is absurd. Yes, that is the beauty of it.
Absurdly determined to metamorphose themselves into a glossy photograph seen in a glossy magazine that caused a spark of desire within the tinder-dry kindling of their imagination, they were consumed with all that the photograph promised until that reality could be made theirs: to achieve all of the experience, the life’s journey implied within it, to redefine their already long lives, to change themselves, to fast-track to the achievement of the decades of experience exemplified by those young adventurers in that glossy photograph in that glossy magazine.
What an absurd notion. For no other reason, it had to be: three quickly became five guys on heritage motorcycles, hooking up with an ex-Special Forces operative and a combat zone photographer to make it seven for a safari across the top of Africa. From Spain to Tangier, they traversed the Riff, navigated the Atlas Mountains, circled Cirque du Jaffar, and rode through the Gorges du Ziz. Rough-riding across Morocco has never been so much fun.
Wild camping on the way under star-spattered sky, across unforgiving terrain where luxury is a warm sleeping bag. In places where if you don’t guard it you lose it, and where changing co-ordinates on a fast and furious basis makes good sense. Through oft sudden lows where the warmth of a Moroccan welcome exceeds the heat from black coffee, honeyed mint teas, or a meal from a hot tajine. Until dusty boots touch down on the sands of the Sahara at Erg Chebbi to witness a new dawn rise.
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