We finally arrived in the town of Mezouga. A smaller town that smoothly transitions into the desert, beyond which there is only Algeria. We have already booked accommodation through Booking.com and when we arrive at the place, we are in for an unpleasant surprise.
There is no accommodation here!
Just a dilapidated tent. Whoops…
Fortunately, I have some other alternatives selected in reserve, so we set out to inspect them. In the end, we stop at one where, along with a nice environment, it also offers us the option of a trip to the desert on camels and an overnight stay in the desert. Which is the main reason why we arrived here. Great, another point that we can cross off from what needs to be arranged.
In addition, it was nice that we had camels parked right behind the barracks, so we could observe them in a meditative way after a long pilgrimage and think about what these creatures have probably already experienced.
However, a kind of memorable moment also arises at this moment. I bought the bike a few months ago, never ridden any long distance on it and thus had almost zero experience driving such a big bike (unless you count the driving school). And suddenly here I am in the Sahara desert. I arrived here from Prague.
Courage and stupidity go hand in hand right next to each other, they are two girls and you just have one of them left and you never know which one it will be, you will find out when when it’s over Just like in the story with the sharks, but I’ll come back to that when we get to Borneo together in the travelogues.
But now is a good time to tell the story of how I got into riding a big bike. Until 2 years before I went to Morocco on a motorcycle, I only had a small motorbike driving license, which you get automatically when you get a driving license for a car. I had never even ridden a small motorcycle at that time.
If any of you are confused about small and big bikes, if I could simplify it as much as possible, it’s about performance. If you start a small motorcycle at 90 km/h, it will probably only be because you are driving downhill and you are still pushing yourself off the ground a lot with your feet.
Owning a motorbike has been my dream ever since I saw the series Renegade with Reno Reynes (Lorenzo Lamas). I was about 10 years old and probably every other boy had this dream. And children’s dreams, no matter how demented (after all, they arise in the heads of not very experienced children), die in us very, very slowly. It only took 25 years for me to embark on a journey to fulfill just that with a motorcycle. And if it turns out really bad, we know who to blame. New Television!
And so in 2017, right after I returned from the Canary Islands back to the Czech Republic, I set off to enroll in a driving school. On the very first day, the teacher put me on the motorbike parked in front of the garage, sat behind me and said:
him: “I’m going!” …
Me: “I’ve never sat on a motorcycle, I don’t even know where to start it.“
him: “Here’s the brake, here’s the accelerator, here’s the clutch. I’m going!”
Me: “Eeeh… can you repeat that for me?“
I finally managed the ride in heavy traffic, although the teacher mentioned that I almost killed us only about 5 times. I had no idea, but I was still glad I wore brown underwear that day.
At the next lesson, he already took me to the training parking lot, where he taught me the basics of motorcycle control. In total, during the driving school, there were about 8 outings with a motorbike. During that time, I should have learned to control the motorcycle in such a way as not to endanger myself or anyone else. I had great doubts about this, which gradually grew surprisingly stronger. With each ride, my abilities sice they improved a bit, but it wasn’t a ride if the teacher didn’t hit me on the sides of the helmet with both fists while driving. Which isn’t really a criticism, because that way every mistake you make will stick in your head and you’ll probably never make it again in your life. And when driving a motorcycle, not making mistakes is quite essential.
However, after each drive there was also a verbal reprimand about how I’m a bad driver and that I’m probably a bad driver in the car as well and that I just don’t have it in me. At that moment, hearing something like that was not very encouraging, and I don’t even think that there was any deeper thought on the part of the instructor.
But in retrospect, I’m also happy about it. I believe him to this day, and I simply take care all the more, concentrate more and hit my helmet when I make a mistake. I would certainly approach driving a motorcycle differently if someone told me how great a driver I am. In fact, everyone should think that they are bad drivers and behave accordingly on the road, maybe it would be a little safer, who knows.
The day of the exams came, I had almost no mistakes in the written part and I was also the first to finish. Because of that, during the practical part, I fell in a corner with the inspector behind me and I didn’t get my motorbike driver’s license.
By the way, the very next year they forbade instructors and inspectors to sit behind students on motorbikes, and since then they have had to sit in another vehicle. If I contributed in any way to this general regulation? Definitely 🙂
However, no one was hurt, it all happened at a speed of about 5 km/h. It was just very embarrassing. And I mainly realized that the road would not lead here. I could buy more rides and try to do the practical part on the next try. But instead, I went to Mexico for a year, bought a small motorcycle there and started learning to ride from scratch. I traveled criss-crossing half of Mexico and then the north of Vietnam on a small motorcycle. 2 years later, in the summer I successfully get my driver’s license for a large motorbike, in the winter I buy a motorbike, in the spring I go to Morocco and we are back in the Sahara desert again.
What kind of wisdom did that come out of? Maybe being told you’re not good at something doesn’t mean you should stop doing it, but just try harder.