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Thread: Going Bezerk Amongst the Berbers (Moto Morocco Apr 09)

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    Going Bezerk Amongst the Berbers (Moto Morocco Apr 09)

    So this will take a few hours to get loaded up, what with the photos and the writing. About the photos, some of them are mine, some are taken by others (for which I am truly grateful). Equally important, I hope this is as much the story of the folks I shared my great adventure with.

    Day One: Tuesday 31st March 2009

    It's a long old bash down to Portsmouth. I stop in the City of London to have coffee with a great friend of mine. I haven't seen him for weeks, I really love meeting up with friends it's fun watching the conversation continue with all of the same gusto and where we left off

    I cut my time a little short and end up doing a mad stomp down to Portsmouth making everything in good time but I know I've rushed myself. I get a sound telling off from some pompous old fool about not wearing my lid as I rid onto the ferry, "it's against the law you know".....






    The Pont Aven is a lovely little boat, seems ship shape and bristol fashion for my arrival, a flurry of texts between myself and Fanum and I meet up with Reg who's also doing the trip with Moto Morocco (enjoyed a rather nice steak and chips with Reg who was my dinner companion....). I also meet Tim Cullis and a buddy (Steve I think) who are heading to Morocco to find dinosaurs. I feel naughty for not recognising Tim and when we properly introduce ourselves, I excuse my ignorance by saying his photo makes him look taller, I'm sorry Tim....

    Day shifts to night, the booze starts to flow and the entertainment makes the stage. Of particular note was Elvis, he was awesome to be honest, the rest of the acts garbage. I get very drunk on red wine and enjoy the company of other Morocco bound travellers (some nutters from Sheffield or rather they worked with nutters - mental nurses 1 think and I copper in their group, who I insulted I think by tipping red wine over him....)






    Another one of the group is young Chris. Heading for a french resort to be a watersports instructor. He had his Thundercat fully loaded and clutching a ferry ticket bought by his gran (and a bag of bread, cheese and ham).... It's great hearing his story though, I smile constantly, the get up and go of youth, embarking on his own big adventure....

    I turn in for bed, utterly pished around 4 a.m. thank goodness I have most of tomorrow to sleep it off.....



    .....more to follow
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    DAY TWO: Wednesday 1st April 2009


    A nice day on the ferry, time passes comfortably because of the brilliant company of Reg. It's not long before we're in Spain. I managed to convince Reg to come and stay at La Pisa in the Picos, he duly obliges.








    The ride down to Aniezo is awesome (N621) and to think I get to do it all again tomorrow on the way South (by going North first)

    La Pisa is gorgeous, a truly wonderful place. Dinner arrives, a big old omelette and a large glass of Banda Azul Rioja 2003, I can feel myself slipping into tiredness....alcohol induced tiredness that is.....



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    about fecking time mind

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    DAY THREE: Thursday 2nd April 2009


    I say cheerio to Reg, we're going to follow our own routes to Alhaurin, mine is North first and then South taking in as much of the Picos in the time allowed. I have a general route to follow but not expectations of where I will end up tonight

    In the end I cover 326 miles. The Picos stage is slow because of the amount of weight on the bike, it's like the front wheel is coasting in the slow corners.... The Picos are however just stunning. I made it as high as 1303m, a text from Reg makes me sad I think he made 1353m in the Picos today....






















    The rest of the journey is pretty flat, through farmlands and stuff, not unpleasant though.



    I find a hotel in Salamanca next door to the football stadium, only 414 miles to cover tomorrow down to Alhaurin near Marbella....
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    edit: Oops more added.. my mistake

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    DAY FOUR: Friday 3rd April 2009

    I hit the road from Salamanca. What struck me most was that most of the journey (down to Bejar anyway), you're travelling at 1000m above sea level. Quite a few snow covered mountains in Spain today

    Getting close to Herves however and you fall around 800m in height very quickly down towards a lake/dam. I get to see more of rural Spain today which is just beautiful. I know I have to come back.

    The one road that did capture my imagination today was heading into Andalucia, outstanding....

    Of equal note was the P.N. Montfrague. I loved watching the eagles soar above my head

    I think a lot when I ride and start to cast back over the roads I've ridden today. Some stinkers (the A8100 for example, and some stunners, EX200 for example), the journey I've had today becomes a metaphor for life, sometimes you have to put up with the sh*t for the good times to mean as much as they do

    It's a hard day's ride however, my backside has given up and I take a couple of shortcuts before meeting Bill at his campsite lodgings. I smile as I ride up to him, he pulls his sunglasses down as if trying to make himself even more cool than what he is..... What must he have thought though, the first words out of my mouth are, "my a*se is in tatters".....start as you mean to go on.....

    A short bit of chit chat, I source a nice little hotel and Bill and I head off to get some knobblies fitted to the bikes. It's a bit pricey to be honest but hey I'm on holiday and celebrate the fact that I've made the sun with pizza and beer. Riding the bike with its new boots on are terrifying, haven't been on knobblies for years, feel like an octopus trying to stand up on an ice rink....

    At least tomorrow is going to be a rest day, I'm looking forward to it.







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    DAY FIVE: Saturday 4th April 2009


    I sleep through breakfast this morning, but get up slowly and once organised go over to meet Bill and Speggo (Steve) who arrived last night. I have a little bit of joshing with Speggo about having my hand shaken in the pizza restaurant last night because of the bike I ride mentioning, "you wouldn't get that with an 1150"

    Quick as a flash Speggo replies, "probably shook your hand for making it this far without breaking down"

    ...... ....card marked I have a long memory.... ....I wonder if the voodoo doll will have any effect on Speggo's holiday..... I get an early reply in by mentioning the havoc I can cause with a roll of gaffa tape though....

    It's not long again and Reg has arrived. I convince him to come and stay at my hotel (you see a pattern forming here....). A quick change over and we all go out for some food, tomorrow the rest of the gang arrive but for now we're enjoying food and beer. Speggo and Fanum tell stories of Scooters to the Sahara, I'm enthralled by it all. Being an African and knowing the answer, we all agree once you visit the place it gets under your skin and you can't shake it off

    Back to the hotel though and I wander about the Bhuddist temple grounds barefoot connecting with the earth, not even Fanum's scary talk of Morocco can disrupt the peace I feel inside today....



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    DAY SIX: Sunday 5th April 2009


    Another lazy start to the day although I spend some time channel surfing until I find WWE in Spanish....

    Never mind, it's an old bout between Hulk Hogan and the Rock, the Rock wins the fight with the most electrifying move in sports entertainment, the peoples elbow.

    I also watch Rick Flairs very last fight, 36 years of wrestling, the crowd are in tears and so is Kirk Michaels who can't finish him off and so a legend leaves the stage with a great reputation.

    Only plan for today is to move into our lodgings in the Mirador Hotel (fantastic by the way), once done I have a bit of a blast down to Marbella with Reg, we have Burger King for lunch....

    Back to the hotel and the group have all arrived now, introductions are made and bikes are worked on, OMG, we're going to Morocco tomorrow....














    more to follow tomorrow, I'm off to bed now.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by garfield View Post
    more to follow tomorrow, I'm off to bed now.....
    Oooh ya big tease! Geron wi it

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    I find WWE in Spanish....

    Never mind, it's an old bout between Hulk Hogan and the Rock, the Rock wins the fight with the most electrifying move in sports entertainment, the peoples elbow.

    I also watch Rick Flairs very last fight, 36 years of wrestling, the crowd are in tears and so is Kirk Michaels who can't finish him off and so a legend leaves the stage with a great reputation.
    Watching half naked men being beaten around the ring

    Wouldn't have that thats your sort of thing

    Kettles on BTW cya soon

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    Yeah

    Hurry Up

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir James Burton View Post
    Yeah

    Hurry Up


    popping out for breakfast with Stumpy, more to follow this afternoon....
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    DAY SEVEN: Monday 6th April 2009


    The way time goes (re ferries), we all make our way to Tarifa to get the Tangier ferry. Reg gets lost on the motorway..... Mr Ifan finds him. Hey ho, we get ferry tickets and free cake.



    Leaving Spain is straightforward, getting through Moroccan Customs is exciting, speaking French all the way, endless queues to navigate, I'm already loving the hustle and bustle. Money exchange is problematic, Bob has his card swallowed....

    I go to buy some water, do a good deal and then they try to palm me off with local water.... .....mercifully I spotted it, didn't want to be sh*tting through the eye of a needle at the start of the holiday....

    Once we clear the border entry, it's a road ride to Chefchaouen .



    The views are beautiful and according to Fanum will only get better.





    We soon arrive at our first hotel, it's pretty and interesting in part....



    I love you to decide what might have had me quivering under the blankets....but to help you along Fanum was standing at the door....

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    DAY EIGHT: Tuesday 7th April 2009


    Today we travel from Chefchaouen to Azrou via Zoumi, Fes and a coffee stop in Imouzzer-Kandar and lastly Ifrane

    I liked Chefchaouen, an exquisite mountain town. The town is famous for its blue and white buildings (apparently the colours get rid of mozzies). Couple of tourist facts for you, Chefchaouen has its own jellabah designs, rather like clan kilts. The town is also the weaving capital of the region with around 1,500 looms.....

    (Photo below is leaving Chefchaouen)



    Zoumi's a bit of a sh*thole to be honest, dirty with rubbish everywhere. The Rif mountain that we travel through is lovely (forward note, you'll hear me say lovely often, I've run out of superlatives and to be honest, most of the things I used to describe the views are unrepeatable in decent company....)

    The kids are friendly as well, always with a smile and cheery wave. Strangely policeman guard traffic junctions in Morocco, suppose they are marginally more strategic than nuclear facilities....

    The Royal Palace (which we didn't see) but more appropriate Ifrane is beautiful, it is a stunning Alpine town, you could almost be in Hollywood, lots of Police and Soldiers though

    Bill leads us through a rocky road to Azrou, we get up to 1660m on the way to the hotel. We find ourselves however on the edge of the cedar forests.

    Reg has gone down twice today, Speggo was to blame for one of them....there I've said it.... .....

    Lunchtime stop is nice, omelette baps, I could get to enjoy these....

    We nipped through Fes, unbeknownst to me, the not so Secret Police followed which explains why we did some nippy filtering through the traffic....

    (FES)



    Reg later tells me about the text he sent home, I think he trusts predictive texting too much, instead of telling his wife, the lady he has loved for 40 years that he had a great tagine, it comes out I had a great vagina last night....oh well.....





    Our Hotel in the Cedar Forests

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    DAY NINE: Wednesday 8th April 2009

    Azrou to Midelt


    Just an awesome day. I don't know what else to say.....

    Some photos:

    very nearly dropped it coming up here....



    Speggo however did.....



    Some Cedar Forest photos: (Speggo doesn't smoke so don't let SWMBO see it....)





    Making biking look cool, yours truly....



    the truck following the bikes



    Steve Martin or James Dean, I'm not sure.... (here's Bob)



    Lunch stop



    a little off the shoulder please.....



    More reliable than a KTM.....



    Problem with the snow, we paid some locals to dig and carry the bikes through



    I decided to walk the helmets through, went down a bloody big hole and had one of those belly aching laughs, I like laughing, it might however have been induced by the altitude we were at....



    We make our hotel though, just splendid....



    and then find out we're round the back.... .....cue more laughing.....



    Paul and Bob play in the building site that is our bed for the night..... To be honest once you walked in the front door, the small house that we had to ourselves was just lovely....

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