At the Erg Chebbi everything started quite harmless: the truck trail (in the sand, by tightly positioned position poles, to get a better feeling for the vehicle dimensions) was helpful, but posed no real challenges. When Karin returned to the entrance gate of the truck-Trail on really solid sand it happened: Shujaa suddenly sagged deeply in the left-side, a new gas-giving aggravated the situation and we sat with both rear axons in the deep sand. The freestanding with energetic support of two random Canadian motorbike cyclists showed the cause of the misfortune: Under a 40 cm deep sand layer was very moist clay and mud – we practiced our truck trail on a dried out lake. After 2 hours of free-shoveling with 6 persons, our new kinetic tow rope was used. Hans pulled me out of the sand / mud …. smoothly as if nothing had happened. Training can become reality quickly and we have gained further valuable experience.
After rounding the Erg Chebbi on the lonely east side, we crossed over Merzouga, Hassi Fouggani to Mhamid on challenging sand and stone trails in beautiful desert landscapes. Several workshops such as tire changes with and without rim, navigation also in areas without tracks, use of the sand plates in the sand as well as the correct application of tow-ropes etc. enriched our experience. Once again, the workshops were followed by direct “real-life” applications. Hans, who had just tried to clarify the price / performance advantages of like-new, but already used road tires, had three tire flats within half a day (only to illustrate the relation: Hans and Nancy had during 10 years of their world trip 4 tire flats only), but luckily we had the same tire size and could help out with our spare tires.