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Thread: Moroccoshire in March.

  1. #1
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    Moroccoshire in March.

    To fill in the time between the 'Solitude of the Support Driver' and some proper reports from the Moto-Morocco March trip reports appearing, here's a short non-musical interlude!

    Obviously Bill's later than planned appearance in Marrakech provide the general topic of conversation of the group until he rolled-up with Peter (formerly Uncle Albert) some distance behind.

    Of course the riders whose bikes were all in the trailer were naturally concerned but they'd reckoned without the resourcefulness of Bill.

    I'll allow Bill to fill-in the details but the rough outline is that the Land Rover gearbox decided to call it a day in southern Spain.

    I'd have been inclined to set fire to it, run away and claim on the insurance!

    Not Bill though. He managed to get the Land Rover and the trailer (with its precious cargo) recovered to somewhere safe, find a local Land Rover version of our very own St Eptoe, source a replacement 'box (in Madrid), travel there, collect it, return and get it fitted, all with his Spanish vocabulary stretching to Cervesa! Pronto!

    All credit to the BGT, he did that and made it to Marrakech in time to have 24 hours spare before the trip actually was scheduled to begin. (Shame he couldn't find a suitable battery for the Kalahari 1100 for Ifan and Kim though! ).

    Of course, first things first and Bill had to "bond" with the group upon arrival.





    Being the Landy driver on this trip meant that I don't have many photo's of the riders, so I'll confine myself to some more general scenes.

    My working environment for the next 1,098 miles.





    When not driving the Landy, my job entailed getting ahead to check-in to hotels, fetching and carrying luggage, laying out the rider's dinner jackets and Tim's frocks.

    Most importantly, the role of the staff is to encourage the riders to enjoy themselves. In the case of me and Tim this takes the form of taking the piss out of Bill but once again, being the trooper that he is, Bill also did his best to make sure that the riders had every opportunity to do this for themselves.

    Take the first night away from Marrakech as an example.

    Bill specially laid on a failed final drive bearing just so that David could learn how to deal with such an eventuality should it ever happen to his bike.

    Here David begins his apprenticeship under the expert tutelage of Tim.





    Off with the old.



    The new bearing gets some heat while David's pyromaniacal tendencies seem to have been rekindled by the sight of flame! (Look at that expression!)



    On with the new and Tim displays his engineering finesse with a hitting stick.



    A new seal was fitted along with the new bearing but alas no O-Ring could be found. The old one was chewed and not making a seal.

    Fortunately, Tim had some PTFE tape in the bag with his spare F650 (I kid you not. The bag certainly felt heavy enough to contain a spare bike! And he accused me of being 'organised!' ).

    PTFE tape was wrapped around the deformed section of the O-Ring and apart from Bill speeding things up by topping-up the oil BEFORE the two FD halves were bolted together it all went according to the Gospel of St Eptoe. (In Bill's defence, it was well past beer-o'clock!).

    This wouldn't be the last time that Bill would selflessly volunteer his bike for spanner-work on this trip.

    One of the things about being here this time of year is the freshness of the colours. Morocco is colourful all year but that's often the variety of the geology. Now it was also green and verdant in places.





    Obviously the effects of winter snows.

    Another effect potentially wasn't as welcome.

    On the road from Igherme to Tafraout, there was some pretty savage frost damage to the surfaces.



    These were by no means the worst examples.



    In some places these frost eruptions stretched the whole width of the surface and were seriously deep. Not something you'd want to encounter in the dark on a bike!

    Just outside Tafraout, I turned and saw this lot!



    Peter and Richard opted to follow me to the hotel while the others took to a piste.

    On arrival we played "spot the lion."



    Can you see it?

    No?

    It's there. Honest.

    Oh. Okay then. Here.



    Catch the light wrong and it's not visible.

    A fine old time was had by (nearly) all. Kim and Ian sadly had to return to Marrakech and without Kim's controlling influence, the conversations took a more "earthy" tone, led by David Hale who regaled us at every opportunity with sordid stories of sexual conquest and bizarre peccadillo's!

    On the day that we left Tafraout, Bill decided that it was time for the next lesson on 1150GS repairs. Overnight he'd been out and loosened off his Paralever bearing adjuster.



    This gave David an opportunity to put his newly acquired, Tim-taught skills to the test.

    He passed with flying colours. As you can see, he immediately went for the 'hitting stick' (seen here laying spent upon the ground).



    As I drove away from Tafraout, I found evidence that Peter had passed this way on his way home that morning.

    Here for all to see was the evidence of the impetus that drove him home early.



    I'm assuming that this is what was meant when someone said "he needs to get his rocks off."

    Later in this trip I was to find similar evidence of that same emotion in an edifice raised by my predecessor on the November trip, to the love of his life.

    Today, it was certainly cooler. The clouds made lovely dappled patterns on the countryside.



    I can't actually point out the cloud that followed the riders and dumped hail on them. Perhaps one of them can do that.

    Nearing Foum Zguide, I saw this massive structure (the photo doesn't show the scale. Think Great Pyramid and you will be close), one man's tribute to Number 32.



    (I hope she knows the extent of his labours).

    Unfortunately, I didn't get many chances to take photo's on the Foum Zguide to Zagora piste. Once again Bill's team-building skills came to the fore and in order to ensure that David lost count of how many times he fell off, Bill buried his bike up to the top of the rear wheel requiring a tow out behind the Land Rover (before he went two bike lengths, buried it again and to keep up our morale set about his bike with his boots like Basil Fawlty attacking his car with a branch!).

    I'm reliably informed that some photo's do exist!

    Anyway, I did get a photo of the riders at the end of the Piste.







    We began to suspect that it was time to move-on when Rich went native (note David sucking-in his gut for the camera. Poseur!).



    Well that's enough. I don't want to give away the secrets yet to be exposed in the ride reports of the others. Perhaps the the mano-et-mano-et-mano menage-et-trois that saw all the other riders leave David, Tim and Bill to go off on their own for long days together won't be mentioned and who am I to blow the gaff?

    One last photo for those going on the May Road-Trip,



    I reckon you will have the best weather. The snow on the higher elevations might be gone but I reckon it will still be green but good and hot too!

    Have a great time!

  2. #2
    Deleted account W
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    Nice one Mike. Hope his bikes sorted for May when I'm out there with him

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waldin View Post
    Hope his bikes sorted for May when I'm out there with him

    It will be, 'phoned Steptoe yesterday to warn him

    So that's where the dog's blanket went.....
    plump ones ARE more juicy!

  4. #4
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    the conversations took a more "earthy" tone, led by David Hale who regaled us at every opportunity with sordid stories of sexual conquest and bizarre peccadillo's!


    I certainly had my eyes opened in more ways than one on this trip!

    Good write up, Mike. And a public thanks for sorting all the rooms and bags - lugging my panniers up and down all those stairs must have been fun... Top job!

  5. #5
    GRingo
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    Malaga pit stop

    Steptoe & son are raiding the carparks of Malaga in preperation for the next visit of BGT and his compadres!!

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