By William Coleman
Just over two year ago I was asked to be part of the Bailey Britanbul tour where we would cover 21 counties in 21 days. As we approach the 2 year anniversary of that trip we find out that we are going away once more with the team, but this time to somewhere very different.
This trip marks the third time CaravanTimes have been on the globe trotting Bailey of Bristol tours. The first trip was the voyage to the Arctic Circle, the second was the Bristanbul trip and for the third we will be driving all the way from Bristol to the Sahara and back. I wonder how easy towing across sand dunes will be..
The trip will start in March at Bailey’s HQ on South Liberty Lane where the team will travel to Spain and Portugal across the Strait of Gibraltar into Morocco over the Atlas Mountains and as far south as the edge of the Sahara Desert before returning home. These locations in Morocco are birth places of the first caravans. They just used camels instead of tow vehicles.
We will be using 2 touring caravans, a pair of Discovery D4-4 models which will be pulled by SsangYong vehicles, an Alliance SE 76-4T. Across the 20 days we are on the road we are expecting some very varied, dare I say challenging, road surface and ever changing weather conditions and I am excited to see just how hot some of the countries are. Will the caravan be able to take on the Sahara heat?
I have no doubt that this tour will be very different to the Bristanbul tour as the locations we are visiting offer some extremes in both weather and driving conditions. Roads in France, Italy and Spain are as good as you’d expect, where as some of the trails we are taking are, well..desert passes. And yes, I will be installed a very strict so sandy shoes policy for whatever caravan I end up in.
Where before we were driving around parts of Europe that have very well maintained roads it is clear that some destinations on the Sahara Challenge will not be quite as smooth. Crossing the Atlas Mountains is the part I am most excited about, even if I am a bit unclear as to just how good the roads will be.
Regular updates on the team’s progress will be posted on the Bailey of Bristol website as well as on the company’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds (#SaharaChallenge). Updates will also appear on all Caravan and Motorhome Club social platforms and not to mention the CaravanTimes Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.