Coffeetime with Chris Scott
Desert adventurer Chris Scott has released his Desert Travels memoir in amazon Kindle format for the price of a cup of coffee.
Desert Travels covers Chris' motorcycle adventures in the Sahara during the Eighties, starting with his first aborted trip aged 21 aboard a Yamaha XT500, right up to a ride seven years later with the temperamental ‘Steve’ from Algeria to Mauritania via Timbuktu.
“It’s clear now that the 1980s were a Golden Age of independent Saharan exploration,” says Chris, who's spent the last 30 years riding, driving and trekking in north and west Africa. “In winter, the overlanders’ campsite in Tamanrasset was packed with VW buses, Land Rovers and Peugeot station wagons as well as early GS BMWs, Yamaha XTs and Honda XLs, all with the Dakar Rally look which was then in its heyday.”
“Most of Desert Travels describes my first organised motorcycle tour in ‘88, when I persuaded five guys to follow me in a cantankerous Landrover Forward Control through the Algerian Sahara for a month. Only one of them finished the trip still riding, but by then no one was speaking to each other anyway”.
Today, following nearly a decade of increased banditry, kidnappings, nomadic rebellions and not least the security vacuum left by the recent fall of Libya, independent tourism in the central Sahara is unrecognisable from the free-for-all Chris enjoyed in the 1980s. Desert Travels recaptures that pre-GPS era when you made your own gear and navigated with a rosary. The new e-book format of the book links to a website featuring maps, photos and a 'missing' three-minute Super 8 movie of the 1988 Sahara Motorcycle Tour in action.
“One day I’ll get around to writing Desert Travels II,” he says. “There’s certainly another book’s worth of yarns to be spun.”
Travels – Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa is available to download from amazon.com for $3.44, or less than a flat white from Starbucks.