Sahara (with Michael Palin) ep1
(GRUNTS OF EFFORT)
Headquarter Company, the Royal Gibraltar Regiment,
will fire a Royal gun salute
on the occasion of the birthday
of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second.
Number one gun... Fire!
Number two gun... Fire!
I always have bad dreams before a new journey.
Dreams of being late, forgetting to pack my underwear or...
being shot at.
What do I need? Maps. Boots.
Mosquito net... Mosquito net!
Stay calm. Read the newspaper.
It might be the last you'll see for a while.
My destination isn't that far away now.
From here, you can almost see it.
It all seems so easy - last lunch on British soil
whilst looking out across the Straits of Gibraltar to Africa.
What terrors can the Sahara hold
when it's only 300 miles from a British Home Stores, or a bobby,
or a pint of warm beer?
Setting off's like getting up on Monday morning.
I know I've got to do it,
but I'm putting it off till the very last minute.
There are no more last minutes. It's time to go.
The Sahara Desert is huge -
the size of the United States - with the population of Norfolk.
It's as alien and hostile as anywhere on the planet.
It's also completely unknown territory for me.
I'm ready to be tested again -
if necessary, to the very limits of endurance.
Ooh, good heavens.
It's like going up a lift shaft, 15 floors at a time.
Well, I'm not in the desert yet, but I'm on a camel on the sand.
You may laugh - this is the sand of Tangier beach,
but it's a good place to practise camel riding.
It doesn't come naturally to me.
I get vertigo on top of these things.
We're going to have a go. OK, Mohammed.
Imagine the dunes around.
Forget the hotel blocks.
There won't be girls walking around the Sahara either.
The beach at Tangier is only 12 miles from Gibraltar,
but it feels unmistakably African.
Thank you, Fatima.
It's a friendly place. There's always a game of football on.
I haven't played for years, which soon becomes obvious.
I've done the splits.
Screwed my leg up.
It really does hurt.
I shouldn't have done it.
Never play when you're over 57.
That's the time to stop!
Injuring yourself on camera is a good thing.
Doing it on day one, not so good.
But this is the Arab world and treatment is close at hand.
The oriental steam bath - the hammam -
is not just about cleanliness,
it's also about meeting new people,
doing interesting things.
Stretching my groin. Ooh.
That's good. Feels good.
It's amazing how quickly you make friends here!
Before this, we hardly knew each other.
Yeah. That's OK. It's good.
Within half an hour, I feel completely cured.
From the 1920s to the 1950s, Tangier was a free port
in which Europeans and Americans built elegant villas,
seduced by blue skies and relaxed morals.
(STIRRING ORIENTAL MUSIC)
Today, it's part of Morocco.
The morals are less relaxed,
but the streets that drew the likes of Oscar Wilde,
Ronnie Kray and Errol Flynn, are largely unchanged.
This innocent-looking square, the Petit Socco,
was once described as ''the sinkhole of iniquity.''
I asked a present-day resident, writer Jonathan Dawson,
if this wasn't a bit strong.
- Was it ever that? - Yes, it really was that.
When you say, ''Is it still?'', it's not obviously here,
but, everything is there if you want it.
''Seek and ye shall find.''
You can have boys or girls or cockerels or anything you want.
Hashish. It's a national pastime to smoke kif for the Moroccans.
It's not legal, but it's sort of slightly not illegal.
I don't encourage it.
To find out what brings people to Tangier today,
Jonathan recommends I go to church on Sunday -
if I can only find it.
Ah! The Anglican Church of St Andrew.
- Hello. - Hello.
- I'm Michael. - Oh, good. I'm Mustafa Chergui.
- Mustafa..? - Chergui.
- Church cantica... - Church catholic? Excellent.
- I wanted to see the church. - I've been here 38 years.
- 38 years? - 13-8 years.
I'm really happy for English church being here.
- Can I see the church? - Thank you.
109 years in the church. Thank you very much.
- 109 years old. - Yes. Thank you.
Thanks to Mr Chergui,
the church and its gardens are immaculate -
a rich mix of Arab and Anglo.
(PRIEST) And to share with one another the sign of peace...
The congregation is a pretty rich mix too.
(MOBILE PHONE RINGS)
(DIFFERENT RING TONE)
(ANOTHER RING TONE)
The ex-pats of St Andrew's are outnumbered by Nigerians,
who've crossed the Sahara on their way north.
Do they have particular problems?
I suppose they're trying to move on into Europe.
What's life like for them here?
Well, very precarious.
Quite a lot get arrested and shunted across to Algeria.
The Moroccan and the Algerian governments tend to play a game
of putting their undesirables across each other's borders.
Half the congregation is Nigerian.
Well, it was about 200 people
with perhaps seven old hands and about 200...
But they're wonderful people.
Did you hear the phones ringing in the service?
Yes, I did. There were quite interesting themes.
At Christmas, they all rang with Jingle Bells.
We had a great laugh then.
- You must come and meet Birdie. - I'd love to.
- Tomorrow, if you're free? - Yes, sure. I think we are.
People have been very friendly. Lots of invitations.
- So what time? - Eleven, if you want to.
Mid morning. Excellent.
- OK. - Great.
Just as I'm thinking how dreadfully British this is,
Mr Chergui has someone he wants me to meet.
- Lovely. Thank you. - This is a pretty courtyard.
Very nice. Lovely tiles.
- Hello. - Oh, hello.
- La cusina. - Yes, yes, yes.
Come and say hello.
We're all from London. Very nice to see you.
He has been very good to us today. He's shown me round.
- Very good. - Thank you very much.
Ah, 40 years. There must be something right.
She say before, ''Oh, Mustafa!''
We're going to leave you to your Sunday lunch.
Next day, I arrive at Jonathan's apartment, eager to meet Birdie,
whoever Birdie is.
In these sorts of circles, it could be his wife,
auntie, maybe an old golfing chum.
I'm completely wrong. Birdie is a bird.
- Jonathan. - Yes.
It's a bit of an unusual pet.
Well, I thought he was a hen and would lay me eggs for breakfast.
It was in the market, passing out in a box in the sun,
I thought I'd grow him for a breakfast...
Stop it, Birdie.
- A bit of nerves. - He's nervous.
I thought he'd be good for... I quite like the odd boiled egg.
But he turned into a fella, which was a shock.
Tangier is one of those places
where it's hard to tell who's a fella!
I think he's trying to sum me up a bit.
- So you bought an egg. - He's going to crow.
- How did you know that? - I know if he's going to crow.
It's four o'clock in the afternoon.
When he doesn't stop at one, you need ear plugs.
It is completely abnormal
for a bird to be sitting on a sofa in a library.
- Yes. - He's not reading a book.
He is a dog with feathers.
I love that bird. I'm sorry to say that, but I do.
There's no way of reaching the Sahara
without crossing the Atlas Mountains -
a series of long, steep ranges that stretch across Morocco.
In amongst them are some of the oldest cities in North Africa.
Fez is thought by many to be the most perfect medieval city
in the Islamic world.
Is this the point where the cars stop and the donkeys take over?
Once inside its walls, you might as well be in a maze,
but it's one that delights the senses - sight, sound and smell.
If you shop at Sainsbury's, it'll not make much sense,
which is why I need my indispensable guide -
Abdul Fettah, a local artist - to guide me through this labyrinth
of souks and sweatshops.
Busy everywhere, isn't it?
Yes. Those pots are for cooking preserved meat.
Which lasts for the whole winter.
Like all the best guides, Abdul wants to end on a high note.
Ah, good heavens.
That is amazing.
It's exactly how it looked in medieval times.
It's extraordinary. First, from the narrow passageways
there's suddenly so much space.
But also this... I've never seen anything like that anywhere.
That's incredible. So what's going on here?
Obviously, dyeing and tanning.
All the different colours.
Talk me through it, as they say.
It's different stages of treatment of the hides.
There's a washing machine there,
then they get the hide into the holes
with some lime and pigeon poo.
- Pigeon poo? Pigeon droppings? - Yeah.
Is that good for stripping...
Yes. It's got some sort of acid in it
and it also feeds the hide.
Yes. Because it's quite a pungent smell.
It's quite high. Then?
After that, they get them into these vats
where they are going to take the final colour.
Either yellow for baboushes...
or red for pouffes or other uses.
How old are these vats? How old is this system here?
It's actually as old as Fez.
Fez started by producing hides
and selling them into the open markets, sometimes in Europe.
So it's a really very old...
A thousand years old. Something like this?
Twelve centuries, with no exaggeration.
It is the most extraordinary sight.
It's like a great paintbox. When I was young, I had a paintbox.
I opened it up and it was just like that.
Yes. It's a nice comparison.
Fez is a magical city and I have to leave it far too soon,
but I suspect it won't be the last temptation
that lies between me and the Sahara.
If Fez was a little reserved,
then Marrakech is wide open.
If you've got it, you flaunt it -
whatever it is and whatever it costs.
It's a very nice shoe, but I can't go as high as 350.
It's good quality. How much can you pay?
- 150. - Yes. 150 each.
(LIVELY PIPE MUSIC)
I'm not good at maths, but that equals 300.
350 for both.
- No, I can't... - For one, 350.
One's not really enough, is it, really?
- You need two. - Two. 300.
Two for 300. Ah, you're coming down.
- How about 200? 200. - 280.
- 220 for two? - 250.
- No. Sorry about that. - 240.
- How much your last price? - 220, that's it. Sorry.
Anyway, yellow isn't really my colour.
No, it's slippers I'm after.
From Marrakech, it's all uphill to the Sahara,
passing first of all through the land of the Berber people,
one of whom is my companion, Amina,
though she's spent so much time in America,
her accent is more Mafia than Moroccan.
- Are we in the Berber...? - Yes, we are.
We are in the Berber villages.
They were the original inhabitants of Morocco
- before the Arabs came through. - Yes, absolutely.
We don't quite know the origins,
but they sure were here before the Arabs, yeah.
Sorry to go on, but what are the characteristics of the Berbers?
Very ambitious, hard-working.
You're a New Yorker really!
Not really. I'm a Casaoui, as they say.
- Casaoui? - Casaoui. From Casablanca.
Casaoui. That's good. I like that.
Casaoui. I'm from Sheffield! I'm a Sheffielder-oui.
Talking of that, I must go and find the toilet.
Here we transfer to a more rugged form of transport -
the luxury pick-up we've been promised.
- Yeah. - OK.
- Shokran. - Thank you. Shokran.
It may look like we're doing this to save the BBC money,
but out of the village, you can see why they don't encourage cars.
- How are you feeling? - I feel great.
That rush of blood that comes with nature...
Yeah. The air is fresher.
- Yeah. - How do you feel?
Yeah. It's fantastic.
We're so suddenly out of the valley
and the trees and cherry orchards and walnut trees,
and now there's nothing. Just bare rock.
I can't believe there's a village up ahead.
- Yes. - They're not fooling us?
No, they're not. I hope they're not! I'm sure they're not.
- He's laughing, so we're OK. - Is there a restaurant?
The Berber village of Aremd, 8,000 feet up in the Atlas,
is so well camouflaged you could easily miss it.
It looks cold and inhospitable, but we're in for a surprise.
OK. We're not the only ones eating here. We have to share.
Is this the national dish, the tagine, of Morocco?
- Let me see. - The national dish.
- That's the tagine. - And in there... Oh, wow.
It's meat, potatoes... Olives.
Are those beans or are those olives?
(LIVELY BELLS AND DRUMS)
The Berbers are a minority in a predominantly Arab Morocco.
A dance like this is celebrating more than just a betrothal.
It's celebrating the survival of their own culture.
A coach service connects up the last towns and villages
of the Atlas Mountains.
It should take me to the end of Morocco,
where the road runs out and the desert begins.
The sound of the Koran fills the bus,
ensuring that Allah will protect us on our journey.
(CHANTING OVER TANNOY)
At the village of Tademt,
we pull in at a motorway service station.
If it's fast food you're after, the signs are not encouraging.
- Just deux. - Deux?
With a little help from a friend, I negotiate for a kebab.
You have to watch what they put in it.
Dear Delia, I've just eaten a bit of sheep's head.
Would this be best with white wine sauce or a roulade?
When Muslims talk about making a journey,
they always add ''inshallah'' - God willing.
It seems appropriate
as we climb the highest pass on the Atlas mountains.
Now we've crossed the High Atlas we are,
for the first time in this journey, on the edge of desert,
yet this village is one of the most familiar on the planet.
If you've seen Gladiator, you've seen it.
Or if you've seen Lawrence of Arabia, Romancing the Stone,
or The Four Feathers, you've seen it.
If you've seen Sodom and Gomorra,
which I saw as a ''treat'', you've seen it.
Ait Benhaddou is one of the great film sets of the world.
The towers of Ait Benhaddou are beautiful.
but it's hard to tell which are made of red desert earth
and which are made of four by two plasterboard.
In this Moroccan Hollywood,
illusion and reality play strange tricks.
From now on, signs of life are few and far between.
The last river sinks into the sand.
The last salesmen make their pitch.
Quinze? We have a vingt, we have a quinze.
- Quinze? - Oui.
How about dix?
Tomorrow, I'll be in the Sahara at last.
So this is it.
The last hotel for a while,
but to be honest, I feel pretty good. Glad to be alive.
I'm glad that I'll no longer have to ask anyone else
what the Sahara Desert looks like.
The comforts of Morocco are now well behind us.
We've come beyond the protective arm of the Atlas mountains.
Ahead of us is a thousand miles of sand and stone.
Unlike Morocco, the Sahara is not welcoming.
It's hard and it's hostile and from now on, it gets serious.
South and west of Morocco lies the disputed territory
of Western Sahara.
It was once a Spanish colony,
but when they left in 1975, the Moroccans moved in.
Those inhabitants who didn't want to be Moroccan had to flee.
They were given land near Tindouf in Algeria
for four temporary refugee camps,
which is where they still are a quarter of a century later.
Their military and political organisation
is called the Polisario Front.
Their job is to keep the flag flying,
make sure the world doesn't forget their plight
and ensure that nearly 200,000 people are fed and watered
in one of the most inhospitable corners of the Sahara.
The nearest water supply is 16 miles away from the camp.
Over centuries, this water has filtered down from the mountains
to fill huge underground reservoirs.
Because the water is impure, bleach has to be added.
Where does it come from?
My host Bachir has been a refugee for half his life.
Well-educated and travelled, he lived for a while in Leeds.
That water is for everything they need -
for cooking, washing, bathing?
Yes. For everything except for tea.
Because this is a little bit salty -
relatively salty -
so it's very good for cooking, washing, for everything,
but not for tea because tea needs very good water.
- And it needs unsalty water. - Unsalty water.
Where does the tea water come from?
From another well which is very, very far from here
- and you can't see it. - How far?
It's about er... Something like about 50 miles.
- 50 miles for a cup of tea! - Yeah.
The tankers shuttle back and forth across the desert,
day in and day out.
Without them, Smara Camp would die of thirst.
How many people are there in Smara, in this camp?
In this camp...it's the second largest camp of refugees
and we have here something like 40,000 people.
40,000. Do people have to pay for their houses here?
- Do they pay rent? - No. Absolutely nothing.
But education is free?
Education is free. Health is free.
- Water? - Water. Transportation.
Each house has a tent, I notice.
Yeah. Yeah. It's er...
The fact that we keep the tents here is very symbolic.
It shows that we always have the desire
to go back to our country.
This is not our definitive land or homeland or something.
Despite Bachir's unquenchable optimism,
there are more of his people each year
for whom the time to return home has already run out.
It's sad, isn't it? A lot of people here...
I don't know how many are in this area,
but they must be people who've died outside their own country.
These are all exiles.
(BASHIR) They have fled from their old country
and they have come to live here in these very hard conditions
while they were waiting to go back to their country.
But unfortunately, they died here.
So this is the main market of Smara Camp.
This is where the main shops are?
Where the main shops are and they are very recent.
- All this since '94 or '95. - What did you have before that?
(MICHAEL) A shopping mall, however basic,
would have been unthinkable in Smara Camp ten years ago.
Recently, the Spanish government agreed to pay pensions
to those who'd once served in its army.
This has given some refugees the money to start a business.
I need two bottles of water and some dates.
Which kind of dates do you like?
Have you got any British dates?
No, no, no.
The best. I'll take a recommendation.
- Some Sheffield dates. - Sheffield dates!
You know about those, having been to Leeds.
The only meat I've eaten for the last three days is camel.
I suppose this is where it comes from.
How much is a camel's head?
400 Algerian dinars.
400 Algerian dinars. How much is that in...?
- In pounds? Four pounds. - Four pounds? That's not bad.
- Do you boil it? - Yeah. You boil it.
But it takes a lot of time. Three or four hours to cook.
Because it's not the best part of the camel.
Before my next camel dinner,
I retire to the bathroom for a shower
whilst Bachir's wife, Krikiba, conjures up another meal for us.
Sadly, the hot water isn't working.
We're moving on tomorrow,
on around the Sahara,
and one thing I remember about Smara here -
apart from the way you've looked after us and the hospitality -
is that it's a very well-organised, well-run town.
I keep forgetting it's not a town it's a refugee camp.
You are, to all intents and purposes, refugees.
Your children have never seen the country you were born in.
I wonder what the future is.
I mean, how do you see the future developing?
For us, the future is very clear.
We will fight. We will continue this fight until the end.
(WHISTLES AND DRUMS)
At a school in the desert,
these children are rehearsing for a parade
to mark the anniversary of the founding of Polisario.
With Spanish and Cuban teachers,
they are among the best-educated children in Africa.
But where they go from here is by no means certain.
For us, it's time to hit the road, or rather, the sand,
as Bachir escorts us through the flat, treeless wastes
along the borders of Western Sahara.
And when, at last, they do find a tree, they chop it down.
Well, not all of it. Just enough to get a campfire going.
While the stew's cooking,
I test one of the advantages of flat, treeless wastes -
terrific telephone reception.
You'll never guess where I am.
Oh, you did. Sahara, yes, but what bit?
We're just in Western Sahara. We've just come in from Algeria.
The desert's fantastic.
It seems the same, but it changes all the while.
We're just having a lunch. They chopped down some wood,
making a fire. We'll probably be having camel again. Yes.
I've had over the last few days a lot of camel.
Most of the bits of the camel, yes.
Just to say that we're here and I'm fine. Any messages? What?
I've won the Lottery, yes, and...?
Pat's in to paint the sitting room. Fantastic.
Listen.. No, tell him I don't want that.
Not that buttermilk we had before.
Can we have it lilac with a purple stripe rising up
and the dado in brown, OK?
Yeah. No, no, it's much better.
No, it's better. We all get athlete's foot at some time.
No, it is better. I am putting the ointment on.
OK. Bye, love.
Bye from the Sahara.
A hundred miles further south, I'm with an armed guard
climbing a ridge incredibly rich in fossils -
a reminder that the Sahara was once under the ocean.
It looks out over a valley
where a wall and a minefield mark
one of the least-known armed confrontations in the world.
I'm feeling a bit jumpy up here because only a mile away
there's a wall built by the Moroccans
to keep the Polisario out of what they see as their homeland.
The wall runs for 1,600 miles.
There are 160,000 Moroccan troops patrolling it -
some are probably looking at us now.
The situation is more tense since the Polisario,
who weren't asked if the Paris-Dakar rally
could enter their territory, abandoned the ceasefire.
So it's all a bit dangerous. I'll stick to fossil hunting.
The Polisario may have abandoned their ceasefire with Morocco,
but the army detachment I met up with near the wall
looks ill-equipped to back up any sabre-rattling.
- ..Against tanks. - Against tanks, yeah.
They have very basic equipment -
a few anti-aircraft guns
and Russian tanks, third-hand from the Algerians.
There's no doubting their courage, but it seems clear
that if these defiant exiles are to win their land back,
it'll have to be with the ballot box, not the gun.
We spent last night at an old Spanish fort.
This morning, there's a sandstorm brewing
as a convoy arrives to take us over the border to Mauritania -
a country, I confess, that I've barely heard of before.
But that's what travel's all about - learning something new,
and, of course, constantly having to say goodbye.
Bye, guys. Thank you.
We never got to play our game together.
Bye. Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you. Thanks very much.
Hey, my driver. My man.
Best driver. Best driver in the Sahara. Goodbye.
The chef. The chef man. The cook.
I'm very sad to be leaving Bachir,
who shows his British connection by apologising for the weather.
Sometimes we don't have this kind of sandstorms.
You've given us a little of everything.
We get to disappear into a cloud of dust. You've laid this on.
- I hope you find your way back. - We will find it for sure.
Left at Coventry and take the spur road!
As you find your way through the fog,
we'll find our way through the sand.
I hope to see you all again. OK, Bachir.
Bon voyage. Bon voyage. Merci. Merci.
As the conditions worsen,
I fear we might miss the Mauritanian border altogether.
But suddenly we're upon it, bouncing out of the sands
onto - luxury of luxuries! - a tarmac road,
the first we've seen for over a week.
Even in a sandstorm, the usual formalities have to be observed.
Or in this case, rather, unusual formalities.
Ah, merci. Un passeport.
What a noise. Things like that can spark a conversation.
C'est finis? Merci.
The hotel may not be four star,
but it does have things I haven't seen for a while -
hot water, a flushing lavatory,
and, unfortunately, a mirror.
Oh, my God.
Dear Delia, can't get sheep's head for love or money.
Can I do with warthog soup?
Out on the streets, the weather is getting worse.
A ferocious wind is whipping in the sand,
stinging the face and blinding the eyes.
The locals, of course, know how to deal with this.
This is the first time I've worn the howli,
as they call it in Arabic, or turban, as we know it.
This is not cosmetic. This is essential.
If you've ever had to tie someone else's tie,
you'll understand why most of Mauritania has turned out to help me.
I can't, as yet, tie it myself.
There we go.
The howli, as it's called in Arabic.
The turban, as we know it.
I see 6.1, 5.1...7.3. It's a good score.
Zouerat is a company town.
Rich iron ore deposits have turned this corner of the Sahara
into a multi-million dollar asset.
Iron ore makes up almost half of Mauritania's foreign earnings.
Production goes on round the clock to fill the huge trains.
Despite the presence of the mine,
Zouerat has pockets of great poverty.
Here, everything is recycled.
An oil drum becomes not only the side of a house,
but the roof and the doors and the garden wall.
Five years ago, this family were farmers
till drought forced them into the town.
The wall of their tent is made from material
once used to wrap mining explosive.
I wanted to know how they stayed so happy.
Qu'est-ce que...que faites vous...
Que sorts de celebration ou parti?
What makes you so happy?
The country, the calm and the beautiful house. Very good.
My beautiful house.
Every day, seven days a week,
iron ore trains more than two kilometres long leave Zouerat.
And, unlikely as it may seem, some of them carry passengers.
After a week in back-breaking vehicles,
the chance to cross the desert by rail is not one I can ignore.
I've got a ticket, but I'm not quite sure what for.
The railway officials aren't over-helpful.
Their primary role appears to be to stop anyone getting on.
I don't think he's very keen to let us on.
Thank goodness I got a reservation.
They're getting in now. Shall we try down there?
Come on. Let's go.
There's one last hope -
the recycling bin at the back of the train.
C'est le première?
C'est le première classe ici?
I'm very confused, but I'm told this is first-class.
Though you'd be forgiven for thinking it was rubbish-class.
The iron ore express may take a while to get going,
but then it is the longest train in the world - probably.
It may look a bit like climbing into a bottle bank,
but, actually, once you get in, this is première classe
on the iron ore train in Mauritania,
and people get onto their bunks and people talk.
The unlucky ones, the people who travel with nothing at all,
just scramble on the wagons with the iron ore or the rubble,
and they can sit there for nothing.
I'm going on this train down south.
This goes to Nouâdhibou - takes all the iron ore to the coast.
We're going to be getting off before that.
After that, I'm prepared for rush hour anywhere in the world.
We've got six hours now to settle down.
Read a newspaper, join the frequent traveller's club.
It's not bad. Très intéressant.
The iron ore goes on its way to the coast
and we turn inland to a classic Saharan town
and an even more classic relic of French colonial days -
the fort, now hotel, Saganne.
(VINTAGE RECORDING OF FRENCH FEMALE SINGER)
Fort Saganne seems to represent something quintessential
about the French empire in Africa - the Foreign Legion.
The glory of France, but largely a German force.
But the image persists.
This place was used by Gerard Depardieu
in a film called Fort Saganne.
What I like up here is the amazing view.
You have to one side Chinguetti -
seventh holiest city of Islam -
and on the other side, the sort of sand dunes
you only see on the front of date packets.
This is my first sight of a sand sea -
a landscape as beautiful as any on Earth,
created only by grains of sand and the force of the wind.
So intense is the midday heat -
well over 40 degrees -
that Chinguetti only comes to life in the hours before dark.
Then the streets become meeting places, playgrounds,
and sports pitches.
One of the great desert sports of Mauritania is Dhaemon -
a game rather like draughts.
All you need to play it are some sticks
and a lot of camel droppings.
This is the local grandmaster and before I know it,
I'm given some jobbies and told to take him on.
Merci pour votre assistance. You're going to lose me this.
Do it for himself. Doucement, doucement, they say.
Carefully. My whole reputation's...
Bon. He comes in and grabs that.
Don't move my shit.
With a combination of luck
and assistance from just about every man in Chinguetti,
I get him into a bit of a corner.
Next thing I know, I'm the champion.
Beginner's luck! Beginner's luck.
I'm just a natural-born player.
I've got to work out the strategy.
Merci. Thank you, grand master.
He's not taking it very well. Doesn't look me in the eye.
Early next morning, I walk out across the sand sea
before the heat becomes intolerable.
The desert looks wonderful, but somehow it doesn't sound right.
(LOW ENGINE ROAR)
If that's a mirage, it's moving awfully quickly.
Oh, my God!
No. It's not a dream.
It's the 24th Paris-Dakar Rally.
320 vehicles attempting to be the fastest
to drive from France to Senegal.
And this is just a press call.
For one day, the local airport becomes a media city
as live coverage is beamed across the world.
No one complains, because without TV rights
these competitors would never get the chance
to do something as pointless as racing across the Sahara Desert.
At the furthest, least comfortable end of the airport,
is the only British team left in the race -
Dave Hammond, the motorcyclist -
sponsored not by Mitsubishi or Mercedes,
but by Webb's Garages of Cirencester.
Dave's technical team is Martin.
52 bikes have already crashed out
and this David is in with a chance against the Goliaths.
But I'm more interested in what he thinks of the Sahara.
Do you get any feeling of the country you go through?
Have you any sense of Mauritania?
No. Not at all, I'm afraid.
I know we're going south because it's getting hotter.
What are conditions like?
You're at the edge of the airfield, tent on the rubble.
What's it like? Have you got showers, rest facilities?
Very little really.
Sleeping bags and roll mats for sleeping on.
Showers hanging off the back of the van.
It is sparse, there's no doubt about it,
but it's all part of being on the Dakar Rally.
I've scribbled a good luck message on Dave's bike.
As he lines up next morning,
he's lying 21st out of the 166 bikes that started.
There are only six stages left, but with loops and time trials,
that's still 2,000 more miles to go till the finishing line.
This is Atâr airport the morning after the rally
and the circus is packing up and leaving town.
They're heading remorselessly for Dakar,
which is where I'm going too.
Dave Hammond had moved up to 12th place with two stages left
when he fell into a chasm on the blind side of a sand dune.
He was rushed to hospital and is making a slow recovery.
SNL Best Of Eddie Murphy 1998
S Diary 2004
Sahara (with Michael Palin) ep1
Sahara (with Michael Palin) ep2
Sahara (with Michael Palin) ep3
Sahara (with Michael Palin) ep4
Sahara (with Michael Palin) video diary bonus
Sahara interview with Michael Palin
Salaam Bombay CD1
Salaam Bombay CD2
Salaam Cinema 1995
Salems Lot 2004 CD1
Salems Lot 2004 CD2
Salesman - Albert and David Maysles (1969)
Salo Or The 120 Days Of Sodom
Salton Sea The
Salvatore Giuliano (Francesco Rosi 1961) CD1
Salvatore Giuliano (Francesco Rosi 1961) CD2
Samsara 1991 CD1
Samsara 1991 CD2
Samurai - Miyamoto Musashi - 03 - Duel at Ganryu Island
Samurai 2 (1955)
Samurai 3 - Duel At Ganryu Island 1956
Samurai Assassin 1965
Sanbiki No Samurai 1964
Sand Pebbles The CD1
Sand Pebbles The CD2
Sands of Iwo Jima
Santa Claus 2
Sante Trap The
Saragossa Manuscript The (1965) CD1
Saragossa Manuscript The (1965) CD2
Satans Brew 1976
Saturday Night Fever CD1
Saturday Night Fever CD2
Satyajit Ray - Apu Trilogy 2 Aparajito (1957)
Sauvage Innocence 2001 CD1
Sauvage Innocence 2001 CD2
Savage Innocents The 1959
Savage The (2003)
Save The Green Planet (2003) CD1
Save The Green Planet (2003) CD2
Saving Private Ryan CD1
Saving Private Ryan CD2
Saving Private Ryan CD3
Saving Silverman (R Rated Version)
Say It Isnt So 2001
Scalphunters The (1968)
Scanners 1981 CD1
Scanners 1981 CD2
Scar The (1976) CD1
Scar The (1976) CD2
Scarecrow - (Kakashi) 25fps 2001
Scarlet Empress The (1934)
Scarlet Empress The - Criterion Collection
Scary Movie 2
Scene At The Sea A (Japanese)
Scenes From A Marriage (1973) CD1
Scenes From A Marriage (1973) CD2
Scenes from a Marriage CD1
Scenes from a Marriage CD2
Scenes from a Marriage CD3
Scenes from a Marriage CD4
Scenes from a Marriage CD5
Scenes from a Marriage CD6
Schippers van de Kameleon CD1
Schippers van de Kameleon CD2
School Of Flesh The
School of Rock
Scooby-Doo - A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts
Scooby-Doo - Thats Snow Ghost
Scooby-Doo - The Headless Horseman of Halloween
Scooby-Doo - Vampires Cats and Scaredy Cats
Scooby-Doo - Which Witch is Which
Scooby-Doo 2 Monsters Unleashed
Scooby-Doo and the Legend of the Vampire
Scooby Doo Project The
Scorpion King The
Scream 3 CD1
Scream 3 CD2
Secret Agents 2004
Secret Agents Into the Heart of the CIA
Secret Ballot 2001
Secret Lives of Dentist The
Secret Window 2004
Secret life of Walter Mitty The (1947)
Secret of My Success 1987 CD1
Secret of My Success 1987 CD2
Secret of the Ooze The
Secret of the Sword
Secrets of Women
Seducing doctor Lewis
See Spot Run
See no Evil Hear no Evil
Seinfeld Chronicles The
Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Seppuku (aka Harakiri) CD1
Seppuku (aka Harakiri) CD2
Serpents Egg The
Setup The (Robert Wise 1949)
Seven (1995) CD1
Seven (1995) CD2
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Seven Days in May (1963)
Seven Samurai (1956)
Seven Year Itch The
Seven Years in Tibet CD1
Seven Years in Tibet CD2
Seventh Seal The - Criterion Collection
Seventh Sign The
Sex Is Comedy
Sex Lies And Videotape CD1
Sex Lies And Videotape CD2
Sex and Lucia (Unrated Spanish Edition)
Sex and Zen
Sex and the City 3x13 - Escape From New York
Sex and the City 3x14 - Sex And Another City
Sex and the City 3x15 - Hot Child in the City
Sex and the City 3x16 - Frenemies
Sex and the City 3x17 - What Goes Around Comes Around
Sex and the City 3x18 - Cock A Doodle Do
Sex is zero
Sex lives of the potato men
Sexo Con Amor 2003
Sexy Beast 2000
Shadow The Universal
Shadow of a Doubt
Shadow of the Vampire
Shadows In Paradise
Shadows and Fog
Shakespeare In Love
Shall We Dance
Shanghai Knights CD1
Shanghai Knights CD2
Shaolin Soccer UnCut (2001) CD1
Shaolin Soccer UnCut (2001) CD2
Shaolin Temple CD1
Shaolin Temple CD2
Shaolin Temple The 1979
Shape Of Things The
Shark Tale CD1
Shark Tale CD2
Sharp Guns (2001)
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Shelter Island 2003
Sherlock Holmes - Hound of the Baskervilles
Sherlock Holmes - The Eligible Bachelor
Sherlock Holmes - The Last Vampyre
Sherlock Holmes - The Master Blackmailer
Sherlock Holmes - The Pearl Of Death 1944
Sherlock Holmes - The Sign of Four
Sherlock Holmes 1x01 - A Scandal In Bohemia
Sherlock Holmes 1x02 - The Dancing Men
Sherlock Holmes 1x03 - The Naval Treaty
Sherlock Holmes 1x04 - The Solitary Cyclist
Sherlock Holmes 1x05 - The Crooked Man
Sherlock Holmes 1x06 - The Speckled Band
Sherlock Holmes 1x07 - The Blue Carbuncle
Sherlock Holmes 1x08 - The Copper Beeches
Sherlock Holmes 1x09 - The Greek Interpreter
Sherlock Holmes 1x10 - The Norwood Builder
Sherlock Holmes 1x11 - The Resident Patient
Sherlock Holmes 1x12 - The Red Headed League
Sherlock Holmes 1x13 - The Final Problem
Sherlock Holmes And The House Of Fear 1945
Sherlock Holmes And The Spider Woman 1944
Sherlock Holmes And The Voice Of Terror 1942
Sherlock Holmes Faces Death 1943
Sherlock Holmes Returns
Sherlock Holmes The Eligible Bachelor
Sherlock Holmes The Scarlet Claw 1944
Sherlock Holmes in Washington 1943
Shes All That
Shes So Lovely
Shes out of control
Shes the One
Shield The 2x01 - The Quick Fix
Shield The 2x02 - Dead Soldiers
Shield The 2x03 - Partners
Shield The 2x04 - Carte Blanche
Shijushichinin No Shikaku (1994 aka 47 Ronin)
Shiki-Jitsu (Hideaki Anno 2000)
Shin Zatoichi monogatari (1963)
Shinjuku - Triad Society (Takashi Miike 1995) CD1
Shinjuku - Triad Society (Takashi Miike 1995) CD2
Ship of Fools CD1 (Stanley Kramer 1965)
Ship of Fools CD2 (Stanley Kramer 1965)
Shiver Of The Vampires The
Shocking Asia CD1
Shocking Asia CD2
Shogun 1980 Part 1
Shogun 1980 Part 2
Shogun 1980 Part 3
Shogun 1980 Part 4
Shogun 1980 Part 5 and 6
Shogun 1980 Part 7 and 8
Shogun 1980 Part 9 and 10
Shop Around The Corner The 1940
Short Circuit 2
Short Cuts CD1
Short Cuts CD2
Short Film About Killing A (1988)
Short Film About Love A (1988)
Short Film About Love A 1988
Shot In The Dark A
Show Me Love
Shredder (Greg Huson 2003)
Shriek if You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th
Shuang tong (2002)
Sib - The Apple
Siburay Bate Cafe
Sicilian The 1987 CD1
Sicilian The 1987 CD2
Siege The (1998)
Silence of the Lambs The
Silencers The (Phil Karlson 1966)
Silent Trigger 1996
Silver Streak 1976
Simon and Garfunkel - The Concert in Central Park
Simon of the Desert
Simpsons 01x01 - Simpsons Roasting Over An Open Fire
Simpsons 01x02 - Bart The Genius
Simpsons 01x03 - Homers Odyssey
Simpsons 01x04 - Theres No Disgrace Like Home
Simpsons 01x05 - Bart the General
Simpsons 01x06 - Moaning Lisa
Simpsons 01x07 - The Call of the Simpsons
Simpsons 01x08 - The Telltale Head
Simpsons 01x09 - Life on the Fast Lane
Simpsons 01x10 - Homers Night Out
Simpsons 01x11 - The Crepes Of Wrath
Simpsons 01x12 - Krusty Gets Busted
Simpsons 01x13 - Some Enchanted Evening
Simpsons The 05x01 - Homers Barbershop Quartet
Simpsons The 05x02 - Cape Feare
Simpsons The 05x03 - Homer Goes To College
Simpsons The 05x04 - Rosebud
Simpsons The 05x05 - Tree House Of Horror
Simpsons The 05x06 - Marge On The Lam
Simpsons The 05x07 - Barts Inner Child
Simpsons The 05x08 - Boy Scoutz N The Hood
Simpsons The 05x09 - The Last-Temptation Of Homer
Simpsons The 05x10 - $pringfield
Simpsons The 05x11 - Homer The Vigilante
Simpsons The 05x12 - Bart Gets Famous
Simpsons The 05x13 - Homer And Apu
Simpsons The 05x14 - Lisa Vs Malibu Stacy
Simpsons The 05x15 - Deep Space Homer
Simpsons The 05x16 - Homer Loves Flanders
Simpsons The 05x17 - Bart Gets An Elephant
Simpsons The 05x18 - Burns Heir
Simpsons The 05x19 - Sweet Seymour Skinners Baadasssss Song
Simpsons The 05x20 - The Boy Who Knew Too Much
Simpsons The 05x21 - Lady Bouviers Lover
Simpsons The 05x22 - Secrets Of A Successful Marriage
Sin noticias de Dios
Sinbad - Legend Of The Seven Seas
Since Otar Left 2003
Since You Went Away CD1
Since You Went Away CD2
Sinful Nuns of Saint Valentine
Singin in the Rain
Singing Detective The
Singles (2003) CD1
Singles (2003) CD2
Sink The Bismarck
Sinnui yauman II
Sister Act 2 - Back in the Habit CD1
Sister Act 2 - Back in the Habit CD2
Six Days Seven Nights
Six Degrees of Separation (1993)
Six Feet Under
Six String Samurai
Six Strong Guys (2004)
Sixteen Candles CD1
Sixteen Candles CD2
Sixth Sense The
Skammen (Shame Bergman 1968)
Skazka o tsare Saltane
Skulls The (Collectors Edition)
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Slap Shot 2
Sleepers (1996) CD1
Sleepers (1996) CD2
Sleepless in Seattle
Sleepy Hollow 1999
Sleuth (Mankiewicz 1972) CD1
Sleuth (Mankiewicz 1972) CD2
Sliding Doors 1992
Sling Blade CD1
Sling Blade CD2
Small Change (FranÇois Truffaut 1976)
Small Time Crooks 2000
Smell of Fear The
Smokey and the Bandit
Snake Of June A (2002)
Snake Pit The
Snatch - Special Edition
Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs 1937
So Close 2002
Sobibor 14 Octobre 1943
Solaris (Tarkovsky) CD1
Solaris (Tarkovsky) CD2
Solaris - Criterion Collection
Solaris 2002 - Behind the Planet
Solaris 2002 Inside
Soldaat Van Oranje 1977 CD1
Soldaat Van Oranje 1977 CD2
Soldiers Story A (Norman Jewison 1984)
Solomon and Sheba CD1
Solomon and Sheba CD2
Sombre 25fps 1998
Some Kind of Monster CD1
Some Kind of Monster CD2
Something The Lord Made CD1
Something The Lord Made CD2
Somethings Gotta Give CD1
Somethings Gotta Give CD2
Son In Law
Song of the South
Soul Guardians The (1998) CD1
Soul Guardians The (1998) CD2
Soul Keeper The (2003)
Sound of Music The
South Park - Bigger Longer and Uncut
South Park 01x01 - Cartman Gets An Anal Probe
South Park 01x02 - Weight Gain 4000
South Park 01x03 - Volcano
South Park 01x04 - Big Gay Als Big Gay Boatride
South Park 01x05 - An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig
South Park 01x06 - Death
South Park 01x07 - Pinkeye
South Park 01x08 - Jesus VS Satan
South Park 01x09 - Starvin Marvin
South Park 01x10 - Mr Hankey the Christmas Poo
South Park 01x11 - Toms Rhinoplasty
South Park 01x12 - Mecha Striesand
South Park 01x13 - Cartmans Mom is a Dirty Slut
Soylent Green 1973
Spanish Prisoner The CD1
Spanish Prisoner The CD2
Spark the Lighter
Spartacus 2004 CD1
Spartacus 2004 CD2
Spartacus Fixed 1960
Spartan 2004 CD1
Spartan 2004 CD2
Spawn (Directors Cut)
Species 3 CD1
Species 3 CD2
Speed 2 - Cruise Control
Spellbound (Hitchcock 1945)
Spider Man 2 CD1
Spider Man 2 CD2
Spies Like Us 1985
Spirit of the Beehive
Spirited Away CD1
Spirited Away CD2
Spirits of the Dead 1968 CD1
Spirits of the Dead 1968 CD2
Spongebob Squarepants The Movie
Springtime In A Small Town
Spun (Unrated Version)
Spy Who Came In from the Cold The
Spy Who Loved Me The
Spy Who Shagged Me The - New Line Platinum Series
St Johns Wort - (Otogiriso) 25fps 2001
Stage Beauty 2004
Stage Fright 1950
Stalker 1979 CD1
Stalker 1979 CD2
Star Trek Generations CD1
Star Trek Generations CD2
Star Wars - Episode II Attack of the Clones
Star Wars - Episode IV A New Hope
Star Wars - Episode I The Phantom Menace
Star Wars Episode 4 (A New Hope) CD1
Star Wars Episode 4 (A New Hope) CD2
Star Wars Episode 5 (Empire Strikes Back) CD1
Star Wars Episode 5 (Empire Strikes Back) CD2
Star Wars Episode 6 (Return of the Jedi) CD1
Star Wars Episode 6 (Return of the Jedi) CD2
Stargate SG1 1x01 Children of the Gods
Stargate SG1 1x02 The enemy Within
Stargate SG1 1x03 Emancipation
Stargate SG1 1x04 The Broca Divide
Stargate SG1 1x05 The First Commandment
Stargate SG1 1x06 Cold Lazarus
Stargate SG1 1x07 The Nox
Stargate SG1 1x08 Brief Candle
Stargate SG1 1x09 Thors Hammer
Stargate SG1 1x10 The Torment of Tantalus
Stargate SG1 1x11 Bloodlines
Stargate SG1 1x12 Fire and Water
Stargate SG1 1x13 Hathor
Stargate SG1 1x14 Singularity
Stargate SG1 1x15 The Cor AI
Stargate SG1 1x16 Enigma
Stargate SG1 1x17 Solitudes
Stargate SG1 1x18 Tin Man
Stargate SG1 1x19 There but for the Grace of God
Stargate SG1 1x20 Politics
Stargate SG1 1x21 Within the Serpents Grasp
Stargate SG1 2x01 The serpents lair
Stargate SG1 2x02 In the line of duty
Stargate SG1 2x03 Prisoners
Stargate SG1 2x04 The gamekeeper
Stargate SG1 2x05 Need
Stargate SG1 2x06 Thors chariot
Stargate SG1 2x07 Message in a bottle
Stargate SG1 2x08 Family
Stargate SG1 2x09 Secrets
Stargate SG1 2x10 Bane
Stargate SG1 2x11 The tokra part 1
Stargate SG1 2x12 The tokra part 2
Stargate SG1 2x13 Spirits
Stargate SG1 2x14 Touchstone
Stargate SG1 2x15 The fifth race
Stargate SG1 2x16 A matter of time
Stargate SG1 2x17 Holiday
Stargate SG1 2x18 Serpents song
Stargate SG1 2x19 One false step
Stargate SG1 2x20 Show and tell
Stargate SG1 2x21 1969
Stargate SG1 3x01 Into The Fire II
Stargate SG1 3x02 Seth
Stargate SG1 3x03 Fair Game
Stargate SG1 3x04 Legacy
Stargate SG1 3x05 Learning Curve
Stargate SG1 3x06 Point Of View
Stargate SG1 3x07 Deadman Switch
Stargate SG1 3x08 Demons
Stargate SG1 3x09 Rules Of Engagement
Stargate SG1 3x10 Forever In A Day
Stargate SG1 3x11 Past And Present
Stargate SG1 3x12 Jolinars Memories
Stargate SG1 3x13 The Devil You Know
Stargate SG1 3x14 Foothold
Stargate SG1 3x15 Pretense
Stargate SG1 3x16 Urgo
Stargate SG1 3x17 A Hundred Days
Stargate SG1 3x18 Shades Of Grey
Stargate SG1 3x19 New Ground
Stargate SG1 3x20 Maternal Instinct
Stargate SG1 3x21 Crystal Skull
Stargate SG1 3x22 Nemesis
Stargate SG1 4x01 Small Victories
Stargate SG1 4x02 The Other Side
Stargate SG1 4x03 Upgrades
Stargate SG1 4x04 Crossroads
Stargate SG1 4x05 Divide And Conquer
Stargate SG1 4x06 Window Of Opportunity
Stargate SG1 4x07 Watergate
Stargate SG1 4x08 The First Ones
Stargate SG1 4x09 Scorched Earth
Stargate SG1 4x10 Beneath The Surface
Stargate SG1 4x11 Point Of No Return
Stargate SG1 4x12 Tangent
Stargate SG1 4x13 The Curse
Stargate SG1 4x14 The Serpents Venom
Stargate SG1 4x15 Chain Reaction
Stargate SG1 4x16 2010
Stargate SG1 4x17 Absolute Power
Stargate SG1 4x18 The Light
Stargate SG1 4x19 Prodigy
Stargate SG1 4x20 Entity
Stargate SG1 4x21 Double Jeopardy
Stargate SG1 4x22 Exodus
Stargate SG1 5x01 Enemies
Stargate SG1 5x02 Threshold
Stargate SG1 5x03 Ascension
Stargate SG1 5x04 Fifth Man
Stargate SG1 5x05 Red Sky
Stargate SG1 5x06 Rite Of Passage
Stargate SG1 5x07 Beast Of Burden
Stargate SG1 5x08 The Tomb
Stargate SG1 5x09 Between Two Fires
Stargate SG1 5x10 2001
Stargate SG1 5x11 Desperate Measures
Stargate SG1 5x12 Wormhole X-Treme
Stargate SG1 5x13 Proving Ground
Stargate SG1 5x14 48 Hours
Stargate SG1 5x15 Summit
Stargate SG1 5x16 Last Stand
Stargate SG1 5x17 Failsafe
Stargate SG1 5x18 The Warrior
Stargate SG1 5x19 Menace
Stargate SG1 5x20 The Sentinel
Stargate SG1 5x21 Meridian
Stargate SG1 5x22 Revelations
Stargate SG1 6x01 Redemption Part 1
Stargate SG1 6x02 Redemption Part 2
Stargate SG1 6x03 Descent
Stargate SG1 6x04 Frozen
Stargate SG1 6x05 Nightwalkers
Stargate SG1 6x06 Abyss
Stargate SG1 6x07 Shadow Play
Stargate SG1 6x08 The Other Guys
Stargate SG1 6x09 Allegiance
Stargate SG1 6x10 Cure
Stargate SG1 6x11 Prometheus
Stargate SG1 6x12 Unnatural Selection
Stargate SG1 6x13 Sight Unseen
Stargate SG1 6x14 Smoke n Mirrors
Stargate SG1 6x15 Paradise Lost
Stargate SG1 6x16 Metamorphosis
Stargate SG1 6x17 Disclosure
Stargate SG1 6x18 Forsaken
Stargate SG1 6x19 The Changeling
Stargate SG1 6x20 Memento
Stargate SG1 6x21 Prophecy
Stargate SG1 6x22 Full Circle
Stargate SG1 7x01 Fallen
Stargate SG1 7x02 Homecoming
Stargate SG1 7x03 Fragile Balance
Stargate SG1 7x04 Orpheus
Stargate SG1 7x05 Revisions
Stargate SG1 7x06 Lifeboat
Stargate SG1 7x07 Enemy Mine
Stargate SG1 7x08 Space Race
Stargate SG1 7x09 Avenger 2 0
Stargate SG1 7x10 Birthright
Stargate SG1 7x10 Heroes II
Stargate SG1 7x11 Evolution I
Stargate SG1 7x12 Evolution II
Stargate SG1 7x13 Grace
Stargate SG1 7x14 Fallout
Stargate SG1 7x15 Chimera
Stargate SG1 7x16 Death Knell
Stargate SG1 7x17 Heroes I
Stargate SG1 7x19 Resurrection
Stargate SG1 7x20 Inauguration
Stargate SG1 7x21-22 The Lost City I n II
Starship Troopers (Special Edition)
Starship Troopers 2
Story Of A Kiss
Strange aventure de Docteur Molyneux
Street Of Love And Hope (Nagisa Oshima 1959)
Street of shame (Akasen chitai)
Streetcar Named Desire A
Summer Tale A 2000
Sunday Lunch (2003)
Super 8 Stories
Superman IV - The Quest for Peace
Surviving the Game
Swedish Love Story A (1970) CD1
Swedish Love Story A (1970) CD2
Sweetest Thing The (Unrated Version)
Swordsman III - The East is Red
Sylvester - Canned Feud (1951)
Sylvester - Speedy Gonzales (1955)
Sylvester and Elmer - Kit for Cat (1948)
Sylvester and Porky - Scaredy Cat (1948)
Sylvester and Tweety - Canary Row (1950)
Sylvester and Tweety - Putty Tat Trouble (1951)
Sylvester and Tweety - Tweetys SOS (1951)