23.914901°, -15.764326° Ocean Vagabond, Dakhla, Western Sahara
In case you weren’t aware, the name of our blog comes from the names of our bikes, which are actually the names of two towns we rode by in England on our then unnamed motorcycles almost three years ago. Those towns are named Holt and Melton Constable. We’ve now got our Holt (Jackie’s bike) and Melton Constable (Aron’s bike) back in our possession and they’re up and running again.
We spent two days in Casablanca, and arrived yesterday back at Ocean Vagabond outside of Dakhla, Western Sahara (this is where Jackie’s accident happened, and we still owe you the story of the accident and how we got home). This morning we went into town to see Holt and Melton again after five months of storage. They were dustier and more covered in cobwebs than when we left them, but otherwise they looked pretty good.
Our motorcycling badass friend, Colin, who along with Freya helped us get home in July (like we said, we owe you that story), was there to help us again. We rolled the bikes out of the garage and pumped up the tires. We put in the key and the engines turned over (a good sign that the battery was still alive), but they wouldn’t start.
Colin suggested cleaning the spark plugs, so it was off with the plastic pieces around the motor. As it turned out, we had the wrong size spark plug socket. Off went Colin and back he came with the right one, but we still couldn’t get any good purchase because of the tight space. So, off came the gas tank on Jackie’s bike to allow for more working room, and out came the correctly adjusted and problem free spark plug. In with some starter spray. In with the spark plug. We tried to start the bike and got one putt. Hmmm.
Battery, check. Spark, check. Fuel? In our rush to leave last summer, we hadn’t closed the fuel valves or run the bikes until dry, so there was old gas that had been sitting in the carburetor for the last five months. Colin said that the easiest next thing to try was to open up the carburetor drain screw. With the twist of an Allen wrench, Holt started peeing fuel on the ground for five or ten seconds. We closed the screw, turned the key, pressed the starter button and the engine roared to life. Twist the Allen wrench again, Melton took a little tinkle and we had a second running bike.
By this time the customs office, which was our next planned stop, was closed for lunch. Colin took us to the “Oyster Farm” restaurant, which was really just an oyster farm plus some shaded tables. They served oysters picked 30 meters from where we sat, and octopus and mixed seafood tagines that were so fresh and good that even Aron (who doesn’t like seafood) ate them.
Lunch was followed by picking up our keys and paperwork from Customs in a process that took all of 10 minutes. It took about the same amount of time to look at pictures of the Customs official’s motorcycles on his phone as it did to get our documents and keys. We bought some snacks in town, went back to where the bikes were parked, and rode back to Ocean Vagabond, and successfully rode up the entrance rode without crashing. And here we are, ready to hit the road south again!