Tunisian Sahara Motorbike Expedition with Erik van der Meulen

We had the opportunity to travel with one of our local customers Erik van der Meulen on his recent adventure with his mates through the Tunisian Sahara. They travelled by motorbike and Erik gave us a short snippet of what went down.

Kyle: Erik, give us a little intro as to who you are and what you do for a profession and for enjoyment.

Erik: I’m a middle-aged social entrepreneur from Amsterdam. Former rugby player but now permanently in recovery of injuries from any attempt at any sport at all. I have a motorbike for daily commuting and one for off-road adventures.

Kyle: You've just got back from your trip to the Tunisian Sahara. Can you give us a bit of an idea as to what the purpose of your trip was and what exactly it entailed? We'd love to get a glimpse of what your day-to-day was like on your trip.

Erik: We are an international group of friends and bike enthusiasts who aim to undertake off-road adventures at least once a year. Exact group varies according to availability, financial situation (and occasionally family acceptance). Last trip to Tunisia we were 6: Three Italians, one Irishman, an Ozzie and me from Amsterdam. Main purpose of these trips for me personally: adventure, culture, friends, bikes and the occasional few beers at night. 

Kyle: That sounds like an epic opportunity to get away with your mates. What kind of training, exercise and planning goes into a journey in the Tunisian Sahara.

Erik: Well, training and exercise none whatsoever, but experience helps. Planning and preparation quite a lot. But fortunately we have Nicola for that!

Kyle: How much does your diet play a role in an adventure like this?

Erik: Riding in the desert is intense! The heat and the sand (and probably the lack of training and exercise) are exhausting. We carry backpacks with water and stock plenty of snacks. Biltong is my favourite because it is a compact source for protein and tastes great too! My fellow travellers have started to rely on my supply…

Kyle: Good to hear that the biltong is useful on your journey but can you give us an idea about the people, the environment and the local food on offer in Tunisia?

Erik: Tunisia was fantastic, after passing the customs in the harbour of Tunis (which was quite horrible) we found nothing but warm and welcoming people. Particularly in the small remote villages people went out of their way to chat, bring coffee and snacks (and fix the odd puncture too)!

The desert is majestic and overwhelming, just beautiful. As far as the food goes, they have lots of different types, from fish at the coast, to meat and veggies in remote places. Camel tastes nice! Camel biltong maybe? :)