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Morocco 2014, on a R1150GS


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I will post 4 ride reports from Morocco, from the past, from 2014 to 2017. Here is the first.

Early in 2014 I bought a BMW R1150GS, specifically to tour with Maria, my girlfriend. I had been without a road bike for a long time, ever since I had sold the Transalp, and we both felt like touring together. First trip had been to the Algarve, and served as a shakedown run, it was good fun, ever since I had updated some of my gear and the bike had been fitted with Heidenau K60 tires which offered a lot more confidence out of tarmac. Tires were fitted the previous day, so I wasn't too confident on them :classic_laugh:

On the 27th, early morning we fueled up on our local gas station and I was feeling properly excited like a hardcore adventurer 😎 

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We travelled with a phone and a small camera, Maria used the camera to take most of the onboard pictures, the reason there are none from the road during the first two or three days is that I deleted them all one morning while checking the camera when waking up. :classic_ninja:

We had about 8 or 900km to go to get to Tarifa and catch our Ferry. Had I not deleted the pictures we would have some great ones of us riding into a rain storm on the way there, and stopping under a motorway bridge to put our plastic overalls on. As such, there is only this one of a brief coffee stop in Portugal, before venturing into Spain and coffee instantly turning to shit. Weather was shit, but spirits were high.

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Like real VIPs, we rolled into Tarifa and into the port, must have waited no more than 10 minutes before arriving and passing a long line of cars, bikes being given priority into the Ferry. 

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Maria, unquestionably the better half of us

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We messed around taking selfies and making videos such as this one, of me trying for the first time pack Maria's plastic rainsuit into it's own pocket.

 

We thought we had all the time in the world, never having been on this boat we didn't know that customs immigration desk was aboard the boat, by the time we realized what the big line was about we had a nice long line to get behind of. At least you now have the rain suit video because of that.

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Getting off the ferry was easy, and customs were easy too, with just enough difficulty to make a newbie feel like an adventurer. We had booked a hotel in Tangier and only had a couple of km to ride to get to it. 

First meters into Morocco, for the first time:

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I'll never forget these minutes first entering this country, traffic was noisier, roundabouts weren't quite dealt with in the same fashion as in Europe, temperature was higher than when boarding the boat in Spain, you could smell Africa in more ways than one. I'm glad we have this short video, nothing really interesting to see but I remember how happy and fearless I felt doing this.

 

Easily made our way to our hotel, securely parked the bike on a guarded parking, and checked in. I'm taking my time describing all this because it really felt like everything was new, from the way we were saluted when getting in, to the hotel decor itself, not European at all

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The room didn't share any of the grandeur of the lobby, so no picture of that :classic_laugh:

A quick shower, a little rest, and we're off to have dinner and a walk. Also buying a mobile data card to use on Maria's phone. I loved leaving my own phone with an employee so that he dealt with everything while I was gone.

Mercedes station wagon converted into a snail selling food van (just to clarify, snails as food):

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Made our way into the Medina, which was pretty busy, and went into a proper restaurant to have our first meal in Morocco, I was starving:

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Here I am waiting for my full tasting menu viewed from the second floor:

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First some soup and light entries

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Pastilla, which is a some of sweet and sour pastry, with lots of cinnamon outside and curry chicken or vegetables inside:

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I was full by the time the tajine arrived, but I had never lost a fight against a meal before and wasn't about to either.

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Furniture was built with no regard for industry standards, here are Maria's feet while sitting on the restaurant :classic_laugh:

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After dinner, we made our way back through some deserted streets and went to bed early. Noisy street outside the hotel, heat, and most of all excitement prevented me from falling asleep early and I must have stayed up until 2 or 3 AM thinking of what would happen the next day.

Will continue later on.

 

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I will post 4 ride reports from Morocco, from the past, from 2014 to 2017. Here is the first. Early in 2014 I bought a BMW R1150GS, specifically to tour with Maria, my girlfriend. I had been with

So, leaving the golden dunes of Merzouga, we planned on sleeping on Mhamid. It's only around 400km but the trip would be what I longed for when dreaming of visiting the desert. After a hearty breakfas

So, after a cold night well slept in a big bed covered by the heaviest bed covers I've ever slept under, I then proceed to delete all pictures in the camera, and we go one to have a little breakfast a

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The next day we had a very nice breakfast quite early on, on a cafe near the hotel, and headed out with Maria showing her worth as navigator equipped with her phone. No camera pictures for this morning, as we made our way south and into Marijuana country, passing Chefchaouen where we stopped for a look around and bought some dry fruits for the road. 

I had some great footage of us slowly riding through a rural market, people were not happy to move over for the bike and until today it was the only place where I was truly made to feel uneasy in Morocco. The last stand had a few guns, and as we asked for directions to where we wanted to go, we were discouraged and directed further south. Upon what seemed like great advice we moved on. Stopping later on for lunch, there was no food for a while despite being near farmed fields, so we munched on the dried fruits, raisins and quite salty toasted peanuts.

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Little later one, we stopped in Volubilis for a coke and some touristing. Volubilis used to be important as a Roman city, it's quite impressive how they made it so far south. 

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Here after what I think was our first fuel stop, maybe not. This was near Meknes, I never liked Meknes enough to stop so we didn't.

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Made our way south and slept near Azrou, which is on the mountains and is a ski resort during the winter. I remember we got lost and it was chilly when we got there, a hot shower well into the night and a hot meal. We were the only guests and it was far away from anything within a walking distance, the hot chicken and fries tasted great. Here I am quite happy to have brought my warmest sweater to Morocco.

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Had a great night, nothing like a long bike ride followed by a hearty meal to put you to sleep.

 

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So, after a cold night well slept in a big bed covered by the heaviest bed covers I've ever slept under, I then proceed to delete all pictures in the camera, and we go one to have a little breakfast and get out, making our way to Azrou for some memory cards :classic_laugh:

Proper Moroccan hill scene, with plenty of space and big taxis. Old Mercedes E-class never die, they just regroup in Morocco :littleguy:

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From Azrou, we made our way to the Cedar forrest, first stopping to visit the monkeys and make some friends:

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And then on to the cedar forrest proper, first through what must be one of the roughest tarmac roads in Morocco

 

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This is sheep herders country, nomad people move their herds up here during the summer to feed, and then lower to escape the snow during the winter. It's a hard place to endure as you can tell by the state of the tarmac. We stop by a half dried lake, where eventually I think we'd make a point of visiting ever since.

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And onwards:

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Towards the big cedars:

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As we cross the cedar forrest heading south we appreciate the harsh environment these people live in

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These trucks drive at quite the pace considering their size and the gravel switchbacks we usually come accross them:

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Brief urination stop on an idilic location:

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Warning: baby donkey extreme cuteness alert!!!

 

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Heading south, exiting the forrest with it's grand trees, and heading towards more arid but still mid altitude landscapes:

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As we were negotiating our way out of the hills, we got properly lost. I had never been somewhere like this, it was obviously mid to high altitude for a Portuguese person's perception, starting to warm up but not desert. A very confusing place to be. Maria couldn't find the road we were on on any internet map, so we stopped to gather our thoughts and have a drink of water. 

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It was here that one of the best social encounters we ever had occurred. As I am marveling in the views, and Maria is trying to get some cell coverage to figure out if we're heading the right direction, someone slowly approaches us, you can see him away in the distance.

This man is tending to a few sheep or goats, and as he approaches us to say hello I offer some water. He accepts, and in return invites us to follow him, I park the bike in a way that it is less exposed to traffic and follow him to his home.

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We were parked less than 100 meters from his home, which was on the cliffside, and didn't even see it. In the picture below you see my bike parked from his place's viewpoint:

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We didn´t understand a word they said, nor did they understand us. Maria was fluent in french, but that wasn't any good, they didn't even speak arabic, only berber.

We were made to sit down, have a drink of water and just hang out a little.

 

 

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Above you see their living and dining room. It was pretty obvious that my water offer got us invited to lunch, and something was being prepared. In the meantime, we just hang out with the grandson who played with a kitten, his mother, and his grandfather, while the grandmother cooked lunch. I don't really know how long it took but eventually we got fed up with having a camera and put it aside except to take a picture of lunch:

 

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What you see here above is the best omelette I have ever had, berber style which means it's not folded. In the smaller dish you've got butter almost in liquid form. It was a proper feast, I didn't take a picture of the plate of honey comb they brought as breaking out the camera would have spoilled the mood. It was a great meal, shared by people who don't have much to share.

Our hosts eagered us to eat up, while they barely just tasted their own food to check if it was ok. It was a truly humbling experience. 

After we were done, out came the tea, and after three cups we were finished. As we prepared to leave their niece arrived, she knew french was was able to translate our farewells. I offered my opinel folding knife as a gift and it was well received, but the feeling that no gift was needed was pretty well understood. This had been an amazing experience, had the bike not been parked on the side of a cliff with truck traffic, we might have stayed the night as it was our hosts' intentions. To this day I treasure this memory.

 

Getting back on the bike feeling well fed and refreshed, the scenery started to open up. 

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We made our way through Midelt, and checked in on our hotel for the night. As we rolled in it became clear we came accross Europeans again, both rally enthusiasts and race teams, as well as touring motorcyclists.

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Although we were looking for some conversation with our fellow travelers, nobody showed up for dinner at the hotel's restaurant, so we entertained ourselves. Dinner is completely out of focus, but it was delicious if lacking for a nice wine. If there is something lacking in Morocco, it's wine.

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The next day would be a really great one as well.

 

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30 minutes ago, XTreme said:

This stuff is amazing Pedro! 

You seemed to be getting on well with the monkeys? :classic_laugh:

I made friends with the monkeys, Pete. A couple of years later, and I swear I recognize one of the little guys. A little older and fatter, but I swear it's the same dude. :littleguy:

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I apologize if there are too many pictures with crooked horizons, but Maria shot most of the onboard pictures one handed with a tiny camera, so you get what you pay for, I treasure them so I'm posting. I'm also making an effort to trim it down cause there are about 2000 pictures of this trip alone :classic_laugh:

Next day, leaving near Midelt and the goal is to visit somewhere called Cirque de Jaaffar, just because it sounded epic. On the way we got sort of lost, and just decided to make our way to Imilchil, just because (to me) it sounded like some last frontier from Star Wars :littleguy:. We would be taking small roads, but as always is the case maps don't tell the terrain.

First, some desolation

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And then we turned to the hills, to the Atlas, and it didn't disappoint. This is one of the best riding days of my life and also one of the ones which photos least tell the story. 

We started to make our way following a tiny road on one of Maria's maps, which to me were like some sort of dark magic, and the views were great and inspiring

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Passing through a few villages heading towards the mountains, we were pretty glad to follow this half dry riverbed, expect we came up to this:

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I walked a little along the riverbed, to see if there was any kind of road or path on the other side, but there wasn't. At least a full km had been washed out by the previous days' rains. My goal was never to try and do serious offroad with this heavy bike and a passenger, so we turned it down

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Instead went back a few kms and found a "detour" plate, and followed that road instead. Although it didn't appear in any of our maps it proved to be a nice one, and although not really deserted we rode for a long time with no other traffic whatsoever.

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High altitudes, high enough for me to be a little sick and feel weak.

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After a long climb to well over 3000m, I am feeling tired, and after a good couple of hours from the detour, we stop for a snack. The madeleines Maria decided to buy the previous day were very welcome.

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And we continued towards Imilchil ...

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Back then Maria didn't feel very much at ease on dirt without holding on so there weren't a lot of onboard pictured when riding on gravel. The road was very entertaining, lots of surface changes, whatever dirt there was was smooth enough and with plenty of moisture for grip but not mud, great stuff. After a while it started to get green and greener around us, and we started to drop in elevation, farming started to be more intense, and we were though the mountains and started arriving close to Imilchil.

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Roads in Morocco never lacking for drama: 

 

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Arriving at Imilchil, turns out it is indeed a small village with a few shops, cafes, grilled food restaurants, basically a small mountain towing which everything converges. I felt like taking it in and maybe staying there as I was proper tired, but decided to oblige Maria who wasn't happy at all with staying in a one horse town for a few hours before sunset, and made way for the Gorges du Todra. As always, her choice would prove to be the right one :classic_dry:

Rolling on from Imilchil we were dropping in altitude, temperatures increasing slightly but rain also starting, so out came the plastic overcoats yet again.

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Views were ok

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What's happening now is that we're dropping from the mountains to desert level, though the gorges carved by rivers over centuries. These are the most touristy place in Morocco if you're driving or riding bikes, but between the weather and the hours at which we arrived, we managed to arrive with an amazing dying light and also nobody else around. It was unforgettable, plus you could smell the desert more and more.

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We had booked into a hotel right on the gorges, near the exit where the palm trees and houses are, and arrived right after dark. Parked the bike in the dude's maze warehouse, had a cold shower and a hot meal, and were very happy with it all.

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It had gotten cold(er) during the night so waking up in a cozy hay mattress felt like something from the movies. Morning light revealed what a great place we had slept in, and we had a great breakfast with the greatest view.

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There is nothing like a palm field in the desert, it's magnetic and comfortable. We rode off after drinking all the tea we could stomach and just as it was starting to warm a little.

We needn't worry, as by the time we left the gorge and made it to Tinghir, only a few kms south, it was properly hot already:

 

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From Tinghir, we would go West and visit the Dades Gorges, maybe hook up a mountain (dirt) route back to the same place we slept in, before going to the Sahara.

Going to the Dades Gorges was a great idea, we had a brief idea of desert heat before going back up to a gorge:

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I like the idea of that building up there in the rocks, that two years later we would sleep there.

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To the right of this tiny road was the most intense drop and views I've ever seen, pictures don't do it justice.

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After this amazing stretch of road it already lunch time and we needed a break, so found somewhere under a cool shade to sit and had some great lunch

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The restaurant owner quickly put our hopes to rest by telling us that the route we planned to go over wasn't passable. Apparently the same rains that washed the previous day's road and made this one not passable, with the difference that being dirt and on a cliff face the mud slide had really deleted any way through. 

Our plan quickly changed to heading back down the Gorge again, back to Tinghir and then onto the Sahara proper and to head towards the dunes. This would prove to be a little too long as we didn't know the Morocco Rally was about to start.

Going back the Gorge du Dades 

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And onto the open desert

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We stopped at Tinghir, for a cold drink in an air conditioned cafe, and decided where to go next. A booking was made for the golden dunes after Merzouga, a mere 200km away, shouldn't take a lot longer than 2 hours on the open desert. 

That was the plan, but we didn't factor getting lost, nor for the palm fields before Merzouga, and the complete darkness riding through those palms, and to top it all we didn't factor in that the Morocco Rally was about to start, and all rally jeeps and trucks would be coming back from the desert to Merzouga at night, going quite fast with a huge amount of lighting helping them. Quite scary.

The plus, was looking at the desert's wide open spaces for the first time, and camel herds in the distance also for the first time.

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By the time we made it to the hotel, it was again too dark to appreciate the surroundings. As the hotel was located a few kms into a maze of pistes and google maps pointed it as being in the town's center, we were proper lost until someone showed us the way. This took an extra hour. Had a nice shower to wash the dust off, and tucked into a berber omelette and salad.

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I would have paid extra for a few cold beers, but no chance of that this time.

The plan for the day after was for it to be a rest day. Sleep in the same place, just a ride around the area, and lounge a little drinking cold water and enjoying the desert and the dunes.

 

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6 hours ago, Pedro said:

I think I forgot to resize a lot of these pictures, sorry if it's too heavy. Will try and remember to resize from now on.

No they're fine Pedro.......and this is a fantastic trip!

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After a hard evening of riding on very dark roads, getting lost with oncoming rally trucks blasting by at very high speeds with full blinding rally lights on, the shower and warm food, and sleep, felt like heaven. Sleeping in a hotel made of mud and powered by the distance hum of a generator, it means that when they turn the generator off you get an amazing night's sleep. In the morning, Maria's plan was to see the desert sunrise so sleep better be good because I wasn't going to sleep in :classic_laugh::classic_dry:

Good news is that the dunes are right on our back door.

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I discovered desert sand for the first time. Having never been, I was amazed at how fine it is, and at how it doesn't stick to your skin. Instead, it absorbs all moisture out of it and almost cleans it. I've loved this place ever since. Sand was proper cold, and he had our cardio by climbing a couple of dunes, if you're not born doing that is pretty exhausting stuff.

With an apetite, I enjoyed some nice msemmen for breakfast. It's a kind of hardish crepe or pancake, not really healthy but very tasty, usually eaten with honey, butter or jam. I have it with honey usually, although it's good when still warm with proper butter.

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The rest of the day was spent exploring the area around, we needed a rest so took the chance to ride the bike a little with no luggage, get it stuck a little too :classic_laugh:

So during the morning we goofed off in the sand and took "adventuring" pictures

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I had my first close encounter with camel herds, and again, was surprised at how fast they actually cover distance when appearing to walk calmly.

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Can't be in the desert without the Clint Eastwood snarl

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It had rained the previous night, so we found the water droplet marks on the sand, seemed every single drop made it's own impact. On some you could actually see a speck of green starting to appear

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Desert @Tym showed up, to try and sell some rocks and to show me that my 1150 motorcycle is not the best tool for riding efficiently here.

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The heat was starting to grow, and we hit the village center for some lunch, in Morocco you can't go wrong with some omelette and olives. Usually, away from cities you'll see the chickens pecking away around the cafes and restaurants, so you know the eggs and chicken meat is great.

Maria, going for the cool adventurer look.

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In the afternoon, we snoozed a little, and just hang out at the hotel drinking water.

My hotel room ceiling:

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That evening we climbed the highest dune close to the hotel to go and see the sunset, but our plans were foiled by a sandstorm, which was an event of it's own.

It starts with a refreshing breeze:

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And you start to see fast moving weather in the distance:

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And soon enough you're enjoying it from the comfort of a shelter, with your nose and ears full of sand. 

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I grew to love that place, and with time we went back but that is for other reports. 

On the next day we woke up at dawn and tried to have the bike packed before breakfast while it was still cool. I love having a relaxed breakfast and then just getting my jacket and helmet on and ride off, no faffing about with luggage. Allows you to not be all sweaty and yucky when riding off, and makes for much more of an enjoyable exit. You look cooler as well, for all the adventure amateurs that might be around. This is also one of the reasons we never carried more than our side cases, simplicity is coolness.

 

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40 minutes ago, boboneleg said:

What a marvellous encounter for you both, it seems that it's always the people who have nothing are the most generous.

Indeed, Bob, I also think it's a matter of culture and the Berber and Beduin think of generosity as the best quality one can have. I'll treasure those memories.

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So, leaving the golden dunes of Merzouga, we planned on sleeping on Mhamid. It's only around 400km but the trip would be what I longed for when dreaming of visiting the desert. After a hearty breakfast of Msemmen and lowering my heart beat on colesterol alone, we made way, it was a hot day and you felt it from early on.

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The rain drops that had fallen two nights before, along with the desert sand, left the bike a mess.

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Here I'm collecting an acacia thorn, the desert toothpick, and proceeding to stab myself in the finger.

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Halfway through the morning and we stopped for some tea. One of my favourite things is to sit at a cafe having a tea or coffee, and just allowing the street scene to unfold around you.

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Carrying on, further on the ride I stop for urination purposes, and take the chance to look at some desert trees.

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I read before, never park under an Acacia. If you look at the thorns on the pictures before you'll see why. Camels actually put whole branches in the mouths and suck out the leaves. On this stop my spirits drop as we notice an oil leak on the bike. Probably coming from between the engine and gearbox.

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We were in the middle of nowhere, so decided to press on to Zagora and figure out what to do there. On the way there we stop to check the oil level and Maria documented the occasion with a video.

 

Oil wasn't dropping noticeably, and I realized I didn't have a tool to open the oil filler hole even though I had a full liter of oil in my luggage. That was smart planning!

Anyway, on to Zagora!

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This was a hard road, lots of washboard, had to surf them at 120 for the bike to be livable, it felt like I was breaking it apart. The alternative would be to ride at 30kmh, which was not doable.

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We make it to Zagora, and stop to take our pictures next to the famous Tombouctou sign 

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Zagora, being a big town and a gateway to the desert, is used to having offroad enthusiasts passing by. A few mechanic shops are here, some of them are used to renting out their facilities to desert racing teams that use this as a base for testing programs. 

We came accross Mohammed, who received us with a smile and tea. As soon as we walked in his shop Maria noticed the pictures on the wall, and realized she and Mohammed had several friends in common from when she was involved with Baja racing teams and Dakar Rally mechanics. We spent a good while there, just laughing with them.

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Mohammed was a cool enough dude that i allowed him to put a sticker on my bike

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Next door, you could have your teeth fixed as well

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We came away with the oil leak still leaking, but now equipped with a tool to take the filler plug off. So now we had a way of replenishing the oil level if it lowered. I was still unsure if it was engine oil or gearbox oil that was coming out, but since it was on such low quantity we decided to ride on to Mhamid and sleep where we had planned. The ride there would be quite hard but amazing, but not before having a light snack of a little bit of crappy pizza, not worth a picture.

From Zagora South, were entering properly dry areas, here water is not a commodity but a luxury. Temperatures we slightly above 40ºC, and the wind was very high, those 100 or 120km felt like 300. Eventually the winds turned into a sand storm and we struggled to keep upright, the road was well visible so we continued.

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As the wind increased the temperature felt higher as well, which was very weird because you couldn't see the sun and it was almost as dark as night. We felt like we were on Mars but this was an amazing ride that made us appreciate how cool it was to be doing this trip.

We got to our hotel exhausted and parked the bike inside the compound next to our room

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We were asked to be our showers short as there was a severe lack of water in the area. Apparently during most of the year people here only have water pressure on tap for a few hours per day.

We went for a walk, and got a few unfriendly looks, presumably because Maria was wearing shorts. Our host took us on a small drive to the dunes in his Land Rover, to whatch the sunset before dinner. We talked a little about the desert and the people there, their way of life and difficulties. Also, we talked how much better life there could be with just minor adjustments like water management. A week after we left there were rain floods and some of those people drowned.

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Next day we start to head back north and starting our way back home. We still had a lot to see but I hated how the trip started to move back to reality instead of heading towards adventure.

Every pore of the road was saturated with fine sand, made for an amazing sight.

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Stopping for a little water, the bike was a sad state

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That day, unbeknown to us, Muslims were in celebration. We thought it was weird when we first started noticing slaughtered lambs outside people's homes :classic_laugh: and made for a little uneasiness, only to be explained at night on our next hotel.

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Brief stop for lunch, I think in Ouarzazate

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Ouarzazate is a major city in the area, it is mostly known for its ties with Hollywood, it's got cinema studios and is a base for whenever you need a western setting, or generic middle eastern or desert film location. It's also a little without character and didn't appeal. We moved on.

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That evening we stayed at a small family owned auberge, we shared a few travel stories and they did as well having travelled all over Morocco in a Fiat Uno. 

We were served delicious tea upon arrival and Maria made friends with the little girl

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Owner's runaround moped, it's seen things and been places:

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Dinner was enjoyed on the rooftop, she's not very impressed with my photography skills

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A nice night's sleep was had

 

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Next morning, getting out we had a nice surprise waiting for us. Having looked at the sad state the bike was in, the auberge owner took upon himself to clean it. Armed with a chamois and a small amount of water, some moroccan skill, and I had a shiny bike again. "Such a pretty bike shouldn't be that dirty" is what he told Maria.

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We were on our way for some mountains again 

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Riding this great mountain road, we stop for a little water, and I notice fluid flowing on the suspension leg. The left suspension sealant had given up and we had a wet fork. I wasn't too happy with this. This bike supposedly didn't have many miles but it was getting on with age, and had originally been registered in Hong Kong, it's true mileage was a mystery.

"They say a plug goes in here, by hell it´s going here regardless if there is wiring behind it or not!"

 

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Next morning I borrow a small towel from the hotel and wrap it around the suspension fork, just to prevent oil from being thrown at me and at the brakes

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Rabat was on our sights, we had gotten out of the mountains, slept in a hotel not worth a mention, and started to arrive at Rabat by lunch time.

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Rabat was a shock, two nights before we had been to the poorest place we had seen, and now we entered Rabat through an avenue populated by mansions, some of them embassies, and one of the royal palaces. Here is one of royal palaces side entries

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Took us a few minutes to ride around that to get to the main avenue, we did try to pop into the main entrance and say hello but we were declined. They weren't happy when Maria went for her camera either, so no photos of that :classic_laugh:

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Settled into our hotel in the city centre, in a not so posh area near the medina, and went for a walk.

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Rabat has got a massive cemetery by the sea, from afar you think it's a crowd but as you get closer you realize it's headstones. Well, still a crowd if you think about it.

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Taxis make you feel like you're in the eighties, and as the end of the afternoon arrives the center starts to come alive, and the Medina wakes up

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We find a nice place to eat, it turned out to not be that nice but we could see people moving about outside and gave us some rest from a tyresome day. An early night in, and we slept well.

In the morning, our poor hotel looked even more disheveled than the previous day, we waited forever for some breakfast, ended up having a stale croissant and some tea. It was a disgrace as pastry is usually as good in Morocco as anywhere you can imagine, a Moroccan patisserie leaves nothing to be desired to a Parisien one, except coffee here is better. 

We left Rabat and headed north to Tangier, for our last night in Morocco. Traffic was horrible leaving Rabat so we took the motorway.

Not sure where, but around Asirah or Larache, we stopped for lunch, a nice fish soup I thought we had. This area looks almost 100% European, except for the minarets.

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We continue north and enter Tangier through the posh side, very expensive homes with huge properties, everything very well trimmed, and I decide to splurge and stay in a luxury hotel. The place was so nice I just couldn't say no. We walked into the marble floored lobby, leaving dust where we stepped, and enquired as to occupancy. The rude lady replied with a price I just said ok to shut her up and later did the calculations in my mind :classic_laugh:

The place was amazing, and we lounged all afternoon:

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No pictures of the dinner that night, although it was amazing, in a balcony overlooking the ocean. I have since been there and have taken better pictures so you'll see those on the next reports.

Next morning we were in no rush so rode to Tangier center, and stopped in a cafe for breakfast

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Boarding the ferry was uneventful, but during the trip this random lady thrust a baby on my arms and went to the bathroom. 15 minutes later I was starting to worry she wouldn't come back :classic_laugh:

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Spain received us with a pork sandwich and nice weather. 

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Two days earlier, Maria had chipped a tooth chewing on some hard bread, and this is why we don't have many pictures of the last couple of days. We stayed in the Algarve to try and make her feel better, but eventually had to ride to Lisbon with a badly broken tooth and severe pain, through a rain storm in a motorcycle helmet. She cried with pain and it was a tough ending to an amazing trip that I'll never forget. 

I really liked reliving this entire thing, and will post three more reports of our other Morocco trips in the upcoming days.

 

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1 hour ago, XTreme said:

Incredible Pedro........this has to be the most outstanding ride report that we've had so far.

I'm on edge waiting here for the next instalment of the leaking Beemer!

What you say @Tym?

 

I forgot about the bike.

Well, apart from topping up the oil once she got home ok. Clutch got contaminated with oil and was slipping under heavy throttle but good enough to ride except in steep climbs. Dealer took the gearbox out and replaced the sealant under warranty, new clutch as well, and they threw in a few gearbox seals since it was out. 

Not everything was dreamy, but that is left to the next ride report which is going to be entitled "Morocco 2015, a lesson in changing plans" :classic_laugh:

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9 minutes ago, Pedro said:

 

I forgot about the bike.

Well, apart from topping up the oil once she got home ok. Clutch got contaminated with oil and was slipping under heavy throttle but good enough to ride except in steep climbs. Dealer took the gearbox out and replaced the sealant under warranty, new clutch as well, and they threw in a few gearbox seals since it was out. 

Not everything was dreamy, but that is left to the next ride report which is going to be entitled "Morocco 2015, a lesson in changing plans" :classic_laugh:

You're lucky that was under warranty! :littleguy:

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5 minutes ago, XTreme said:

You're lucky that was under warranty! :littleguy:

It's not luck, I bought it from a dealer specifically because I wanted to have warranty. On the second hand, I would have preferred to pay for it to be fixed at my mechanic considering what happened after.

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1 minute ago, Pedro said:

It's not luck, I bought it from a dealer specifically because I wanted to have warranty. On the second hand, I would have preferred to pay for it to be fixed at my mechanic considering what happened after.

What happened?

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