Just uploaded the 20-minute section from Desert Driving II dvd in which Toby Savage and I describe how we set up our vehicles for long-range desert travel.
This was shot in 2002; no doubt gadgets have moved on since then but the principles remain the same.
Before we met up to make the film I was travelling in the deep south of Algeria, burying fuel and food caches for Desert Riders which we did in early 2003.
With that done, we filmed the whole thing from Illizi to HbG in about 3 days along the so-called ‘Graveyard Piste’ (A2 in the book). It runs some 470-km between Illizi and Hassi bel Guebbour and adds up to the perfect Saharan piste: pre-historic graves, dunes, gazelles, plateaux, old French fort, a couple of wells as well as nomad camps – Sahara in a nut shell.
Just as we were coming back from D Riders, it was along this popular piste a few months later that 32 tourists on motos and 4x4s (some of whom we’d met in Tam) were kidnapped, kicking off the current situation in the Sahara. The scourge continues (two more kidnapped today in Mali) and it left a lot of desert-ready fourbies all dressed up and nowhere to go.
Now, like most people, I shoot straight to youtube or vimeo (here’s a Sahara film from 2011), but back in 2004 I produced a couple of dvds in the Sahara.
Desert Riders was the story behind our ambitious expedition across Algeria to the Lost Tree in the northern Tenere of Niger aboard Honda XR650Ls. A shortened version was featured on National Geographic Channel and you can watch a preview here and another segment here. Feb 2016: Desert Riders dvd reissued.
The other film was Desert Driving – an instructional ‘how-to’ dvd shot with Toby Savage and Richard Gurr in southeastern Algeria featuring my HJ61 Toyota and Toby’s Land Rover Carawagon. Desert Driving 2 (right) features additional material shot in the Tassili Hoggar, Egypt’s Gilf Kebir and Great Sand Sea.
The film covers the various means of vehicle preparation, the best maps and using GPS, dune driving, recovery by winch, air bag, high lift as well as various types of sand ladders. Toby and I actually tried all the stuff they tell you about in the books and magazines to see what works and what doesn’t. A preview below.
Format: PAL • Duration: 134 mins • £14.99 Want a copy post free? Email me