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Thread: Thunder's Road - Calum's Road 2010

  1. #17
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    Keep it coming Roger, its almost as though it was written by Whatton.... is that a good thing or a bad thing!!
    R100GS PD 1993
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  2. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyT View Post
    Keep it coming Roger, its almost as though it was written by Whatton.... is that a good thing or a bad thing!!
    I could not aspire to such high heights, I'm not worthy to touch the hew of his garment I'm not, it's just a personal view of the trip backed up by some photographic evidence.

    Be patient though, Africa awaits, camera batteies defrosted and we still have 2 days in Spain

  3. #19
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    Algeceris part 3, (Sunday)



    An early start on a nothing to do day as the tyres could not be changed until Monday found that the bikes had some personalisation be a not so "secret admirer" from the night before.









    In addition to the pink lippy hearts Sids freshly washed machine had been marked out for special attention by the local bird life! I blame the UKGS Club stickers, none of the other bikes had been crapped on!



    Mike was so shocked at what had been done he called the telephone number that had been left on his bike and spent 20 minutes asking all sorts of questions of the offender including what she was wearing. Dedication above and beyond the call of duty to ensure an accurate description for the local police.



    After a late breakfast people got ready for some Sunday activities.

    Mike, Gert Dave and Sid were heading for Gibraltar for some last minute duty free shopping, Andres and John were heading off to look for some trails to play on, while Glen had decided to spend the day dressed as a Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtle for no other reason that he had brought the costume.



    As I had decided to hang around the hotel, make use of the free wi-fi to contact the world and do some research on the Mauri situation before we crossed into the dark continent Sid kindly offered to take over my roll of last person to put on their helmet and gloves while everyone else sits revving their engines. He must have liked it as he did a repeat performance a few times but not with my style and panache according to Dave





    In historic Gibraltar our adventurous four parked up in a Morrisons car park



    and promptly headed off past the store to see the sights



    Dave found a traditional Gibraltese ice cream vendor and treated everyone to a local delicacy, a 99 with raspberry sauce,





    and a Sueeze Up for Sid as he did not understand what Dave meant when he asked " Do ya fancy a wee poke?"

    Luckily they found a handy map to indicate their current location and where Africa was as they had left their GPS units at the hotel.



    Luckily for the locals they had left their tools at the hotel as well, so it's still there!

    More Africa staring took place



    Followed by the traditional adventures bike wash



    and obligatory "this is my bike, look how clean and shiny it is compared to that 22 year old thing your riding!" pictures.





    All safely returned we adjourned to the terrace to see the little old man in the orange vest and discuss the day.

  4. #20
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    Algeceris part 4, (Monday)

    The day we changed our tyres, well most of us that is Andres had ridden down on a fresh set of K60's and Glen had his TKC's fitted the previous Thursday so the rest of us had to be sorted out.

    TKC's were strapped to the back of the bikes.







    Gert liked the adventure look so much he took a special picture of his new rubber and helmet.



    We headed off as a group to a local Harley/ Ducati garage, Andres and John had tracked them down on the Saturday and being a proper garage the owner agreed to fit our tyres at a discounted rate if we removed the wheels from the bikes ourselves.

    Being on Spanish time the garage could not trade before 10am so we left early to get the wheels off.

    Being on Spanish time the owner arrived at 10.25 am and we then found he used a manual bead breaker and tyre levers rather than a machine, so it was going to take a while.

    He was a nice guy though, spoke perfect English and appreciated classic motorcycles.

    No problem then we were not in a rush, well mostly









    Gert decided he liked the look of TKC's strapped to the back of his bike so much he would keep the set he had riden down on and carry the new set as spares for that true adventure look!







    Tyres off, owner doing his thing we admired some of his bikes.







    while Dave just admired the view



    before going for a little lie down to recover from a tiring admiring session



    By the time we had sorted the tyres, picked up some other bits and pieces it was past 2 in the afternoon.

    Dave, Mikey, Gert and myself had always planned to ship some of our winter kit home from Southern Spain and in addition Richard had had a replacement part for his bike shipped to the hotel which also had to go back to the UK.

    On the Sunday I'd spoken to the duty manager who had told me the hotel could arrange a courier to collect the packages from reception, but unfortunately when we went down on Monday morning we found it was his day off and the duty manager that day did not want to get involved.

    Given the time, the fact we still had to find and sort out a courier and reports we head read of getting through Moroccan immigration and customs we decided we decided it best to have another night here and the first ferry the next morning.

    While initially not a popular decision with everyone our experiences the next day confirmed it was the correct one.

    Tomorrow, Morocco

    TBC

  5. #21
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    19-1-10

    Morocco - Rabat



    An early start (took Mikey a week to get over getting up in the dark) found us battling the confusion and insanity of a bustling ferry port packed with wobbly boxes, over laden cars, lorries and some serious 4 wheel drive stuff. Still it was a gentle lead up to what was to come on the other side, but more of that later....................







    Dawn came up, she was a nice girl, that's her in the middle of the picture!



    We admired the ingenuity of the passenger who had a van packed on a lorry on the back of a bigger lorry, way to save on fares or what?



    Once on board the bikes were eventually secured where space permitted.



    With the number of wobbly boxes on board space was limited



    and Gert had his bike squeezed in beside a lorry. Luckily his extra tyres provided some protection.



    Upstairs we started on the paperwork for immigration







    before staring out at Africa



    posing for pictures at the back of the ferry,







    while one of us tried to work out which way to hold their camera



    Soon we could see Tangiers and headed down to disembark



    Soon many of us would have our first experience of Moroccan immigration procedures first hand rather than just reading about it on here. Well it could'nt be that complicated could it?

    TBC

  6. #22
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    Tangiers - Immigration

    Well we had read it was chaos but nothing could prepare you for the experience of entering Morocco for the first time with your own vehicle, there must be a system but to this day I can't work out what it is. It was also our first experience of Africa time, adjust your attitude, relax and go with the flow.

    Almost 5 hours later we had cleared the police checks, immigration (even though we had done it already on the ferry ), changed money and purchased insurance ready for the ride to Rabat.

    Not a lot of pictures of the event as the local authorities get pretty annoyed if they catch you snapping away in what they consider a secure area, but here's a few we managed.



    We stood and waited for the recorded announcement "Cashier Number 1 please! " queuing like good UK residents do before it hit us things did'nt work that way anymore.



    Sid's infatuation with Dave had taken a down turn, I personally think the pink lippy heart Dave insisted on retaining was the final straw.



    2 hours later we were through the immigration terminal, unfortunately our passports and documentation were still inside, the officials had moved us as we were getting in the way and the locals were complaining about the smell of Mikey's kecks



    he was not amused!

    Finally cleared we split into 2 groups to make the traffic easier to manage and headed off for Rabat. The brief was to meet at the Mauri Embassy to see if we could start the visa process that afternoon or if not all head off and find a hotel for the night and know where to go the following morning. Those with working GPS programmed in the co-ordinates for the embassy Sid had with him and off we went.





    An hour down the road Gert, Dave, Mikey and myself called in to a petrol station with a little cafe attached for a bite to eat. We ordered the menu of the day and were treated to our first Moroccan salad starter followed by lamb and paprika sausages, chips, rice and more salad, all washed down with water and coke of your preference.







    20 minutes later we heard the familiar roar of a boxer engines and the others rod passed heading for Rabat. They'd stopped off for petrol and a coffee at a previous service station.

    We finished out meal with coffees all round and headed off for Rabat and the Mauri Embassy, things were going well, we should have known our luck had to change.

    Heading into Rabat Dave took the lead following his GPS as beast he could owing to the crap base map heading teords the Embassy POI, next thing we knew Gert, Mike and I got boxed in at traffic lights going on to a roundabout, lost site of Dave and when we got clear of the lights found he had disappeared totally.

    Gert took the lead (my GPS had fried with salt corrosion back in Spain hoping to pick up Daves trail as he had the same waypoint. Problem was the traffic was our first experience of driving in a built up area in Morroco and like the immigration area normal rules of conduct don't apply, basically he who gives an inch loses.

    As we continued the hunt for the embassy it started to get dark making things even more confusing. Just when we thought we were nearly there we ran out of road, we kept circling for 30 minutes before deciding it was a waste of time and we should head back to the city centre and see if we could find the others.

    Thus started one of the most mental rides we had ever experienced, pitch black, no idea where we were going and local scooters and mopeds cutting you up and waving. I stayed close to Mike with Gert playing tail gunner, Mike says all he could here at each junction was me swearing like a trooper. The next day we heard some kids yelling "f*ck away off" in a perfect Norn Iron accent, he may have been right.

    We pulled off on to a side street and finally got the phones to work. Got 2 messages, one from Dave saying he was OK and sending us his co-ordinates, the second form the other group saying they to had given up on the Embassy hunt but had managed to find a hotel. When we checked the co-ordinates we saw it was only a mile away so forwarded the details on to Dave and headed off.



    Met up with Dave and the others at the hotel. Turned out the original waypoint we had been using was incorrect but he'd managed to find the embassy by charming the locals and found his way to it.

    Turned out there was some sort of convention on in Rabat and this hotel was the third one that had been tried the others all being full.

    We booked in and regrouped in the bar to discuss tactics.

    TBC

  7. #23
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    19-1-10 Rabat (continued)



    We settled into the hotel, got the got the bikes parked up for the night and met up with 2 English bikers who both groups had met individually earlier also looking for a hotel. They were not looking for the Embassy as they did not intend traveling in Mauri but where experiencing the same insanity of Rabat traffic.



    Feeling slightly intimidated by BMW's finest they elected to park in the scooter section of the hotel.

    Mike was approached by the hotel night porter who offered to keep an eye on the bikes overnight and ensure they were safe for 20 Dhirams (about £2) a bike. Given the fact we were on local 3rd party only insurance most of us thought this money well spent and I went out to sort things out. Initially I discussed half now, half in the morning but on reflection paid the entire "fee".

    Security sorted, gear dumped Dave, Get Mikey and myself headed off to find an Irish Bar that Glen had seen close by.

    Now personally I hate Irish Bars unless they are in Ireland but make a point of visiting them when abroad just to see what people view as being Irish and a bar, this one based in a 5 star hotel in the city centre was the worst ever, it's idea of Irishness were water colour pictures on the green walls and that was it!

    We started a kitty deciding to have a drink before we left and placed an order for 3 beers and the usual Smirnoff and diet. Beers arrived first (bottled poured in glasses) and the Smurf last with the bill and the beers have finished. It worked out at £34 for the round!!!

    At this point the rest of the group arrived, we mentioned the cost and suggested this we not the bar they were looking for, they headed off to find alternative refreshment and somewhere to eat, we stayed to finish our drinks and cried in the beer!

    Refreshment over we headed off to find somewhere to eat and after traipsing the streets came upon an eatery packed with locals (which is always a good sign).



    When we saw the illuminated sign we knew it was for us!



    "Coq Magic" just the job!

    After a decent salad starter we elected to try the mutton cooled on a spit just inside the door, it was great and came with frites



    Appetite sated we returned to the hotel and hit our beds, this adventuring is tiring business ya know

  8. #24
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    20-1-10

    Rabat -Visa time!

    Waking early I headed down to check on the bikes and see if our investment in the night porter had paid dividends. It had, I found him wrapped in an over coat, sitting watching the bikes true to his word.

    He'd even blocked them in with a couple of the hotel's cars for additional security.



    Even the 2 English guys bikes had been watched although they had refused payment until they inspected them in the morning.



    Bikes checked, breakfast eaten we headed off in true adventure style for the Mauri embassy to apply for our visas



    we took taxis!

    Outside the embassy we found loads of people waiting and filling in application forms, all types, including an Asian couple who were walking through Africa with all their possessions on a Mac Laren buggy. No baby, but they did have a guitar on board!



    At this point we regretted having the taxis drop us at the door!

    Sid managed to track down some forms so we adjourned to a nearby flat bed pick up, used it as a desk,( Mikey thought it gave off an appropriate image of adventure ) and headed back to be at the door of the visa section ready for the next time it opened to let applicants in.





    Sid's infatuation for Dave was definitely over which did not seem to bother Dave



    even if he was now infatuated with Gert

    Once inside the door we had our first experience of African government officials and found out very quickly that they don't have a sense of humour and don't like to be kept waiting.

    With the cancellation of the visa at the Mauri border they now no longer offered a 3 day visa, you got a 10 day one no matter what box you ticked on the form at a cost of 340 Dirham.

    Luckily I had a photocopy of my passport with me as he wanted that with my 2 passport photos but most of my currency was in Euros which he would not accept.

    As we did a quick calculation of who needed Dirham ( I was a 100 short) the official began clicking his fingers and telling me to hurry up or he would tear up my paperwork. Luckily between us we had enough for everybody so money paid I eft the building and headed to an ATM with Sid discussing the situation as we went. Next thing we know the officials out the door telling us to stop loitering and get off the premises! Made me feel homesick that did!

    Applications submitted we headed back to the hotel to meet Andres and head off to do some site seeing before returning to the Embassy at 3 to hopefully collect our visas.

    TBC

  9. #25
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    With time on our hands and the hotel bar closed some of went off for a walk and ended up at the tomb of Mohammad the fifth which had ceremonial guards on horseback at the gates, a bit like the guards at Buckingham palace but with sand to catch the droppings.





    Pretty impressive building but we didn't go inside as it meant taking your shoes off and we couldn't work out the protocol for a person with a false leg.

    Instead we admired the site









    and practiced our adventurers poses



    before heading back to the embassy to see if we had been issued with visas.



    We had!

    So in true adventurer style, went back to the hotel to prepare to celbrate the event!

    TBC

  10. #26
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    20-1-10 - Rabat - evening

    All of us who were intending to ride all the way to Gambia now had visas, unfortunately Sid had the same as the rest of us, a 10 day single entry visa rather than a longer multi entry one he needed for his return trip.

    We headed for the local market for a browse and to find somewhere to eat.









    I bought some nougat which was magic!



    Glenn bought some dried fruit which was not



    Glenn had already demonstrated a natural instinct for finding decent places to eat and as we walked through the markets his "spidey" senses started tingling in front of a dark stairway which you'd easily just walk past.







    Fantastic place, superb food, great atmosphere, attentive service and a fantastic view of the area from the rickety wooden balcony right beside our table.





    Some of us had a tajine



    which I renamed tangine in memory of Tangine Mc Queen, an old girlfriend with a pointy head, Sid did'nt understand and insisted on correcting us.

    Mikey and myself went into giggle mode, spent the entire time giggling and laughing uncontrollably. I blamed the magic nougat combined with an allegedly purloined supply of Dave's up market malaria medication

    Glenn was looking flushed



    which was an indication of things to come..............

    Meal over we returned to the hotel for a night cap, 5 minutes after we sat down Dave's phone rang. It was Andres ringing from his room. He'd broken his leg!

    Now in this case it was his prosthetic leg but still an issue which would have to be dealt with the next day.

    TBC

  11. #27
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    Superb Report......




    I don't want to appear Ignorant of all things Airhead and I know I'll be derided for years to come for not knowing about Weird Dakar bling bits BUT.....


    Isn't that an old FJ1100 fairing on the 80 Roger ?

  12. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beetle2112 View Post
    Superb Report......




    I don't want to appear Ignorant of all things Airhead and I know I'll be derided for years to come for not knowing about Weird Dakar bling bits BUT.....


    Isn't that an old FJ1100 fairing on the 80 Roger ?
    FJ1200 actually, but well spotted that man

    You can read all about it over on the Gambia on an Airhead thread, was a very special bike built in the early 90's by an enthusiast now deceased, I retained the fairing for the trip as that's how he had designed it.


  13. #29
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    21-1-2010

    Marrakech



    The day started with some issues which had to be sorted. Andres had a broken prosthetic which needed fixed, Sid had the wrong visa for Mauritania and Glenn was suffering from the healthy dried fruit he'd purchased the night before and had spent a restless night between his bed and the bathroom sitting on the toilet.

    Sid was going to return to the Mauri embassy to sort out his visa, John was going to go with Andres to find someone who could rivet the broken leg while Glenn would join Gert, Mikey Dave and myself to ride down to Marrakech and find accommodation for the night.

    Plans in hand we set off on our respective journeys but not before Glenn threw up twice outside the hotel. What made things worse was he did not give us any warning so no one had a camera ready.

    The five of us set off for our first ride away from the dreaded but essential motorways we had been forced to use so far.







    Once clear of the city we started to enjoy ourselves









    and of course there was the scenery..................











    Glenn was still feeling the effects of the dried fruit but never let it show, what a trooper



    Heading down through the mountains we stopped to stretch our legs.



    Dave had an idea



    and headed off to try his new tyres





    We let him get on with it before heading on to the outskirts of our destination but had another stop for some drinks at a road side shop.





    before the final hop to Marrakech



    where we found an Ibis hotel with secure parking, booked in and sent a text to the others telling them where we had ended up.

    We adjourned to the bar to await their arrival.

    Tonight we'd explore the market place.

    TBC

  14. #30
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    Roger you missed one of the classic moments!!!!

    Roger you missed one of the classic moments!!!!

    We took a wrong turning about 60km for Marrekesh.

    Looking at the map there was a single track road. Gert and I decided it was a good idea.

    Off we went.
    To be honest it wasn't too bad - that is when there was no other traffic on the road.

    At times passing became very interesting with the use of the verges and the tiny amount of dirt at the side of the road.

    On one occassion many "fecks" were heard as Thunder skittered off the side of the road narrowly missing a ditch he was forced to take this action as a large truck was bearing down on him, they passed each other with the truck driver giving Roger a pleasant smiled and continued on, how polite the Moroc people are.

    All good character building stuff for later in the trip
    old enough to know better, young enough not to care!

  15. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhud View Post
    Roger you missed one of the classic moments!!!!

    We took a wrong turning about 60km for Marrekesh.

    Looking at the map there was a single track road. Gert and I decided it was a good idea.

    Off we went.
    To be honest it wasn't too bad - that is when there was no other traffic on the road.

    At times passing became very interesting with the use of the verges and the tiny amount of dirt at the side of the road.

    On one occassion many "fecks" were heard as Thunder skittered off the side of the road narrowly missing a ditch he was forced to take this action as a large truck was bearing down on him, they passed each other with the truck driver giving Roger a pleasant smiled and continued on, how polite the Moroc people are.

    All good character building stuff for later in the trip
    Feck I forgot about that. Well blocked it out more likely.

    Was actually one of those days that scared you shitless yet had you whooping like a lunatic after a while.

    Bike's were doing a fine job, back ends all over the place, sun in your eyes and dirt in your face.

  16. #32
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    Marrakech by night.

    Andres and John arrived on four wheels and four legs. Thanks to a friendly hotel porter and a local saddle maker they got the repairs completed successfully. Sid also arrived with his correct visa so in true adventure spirit we headed off to the square in Marrakech by getting 2 taxis!



    Even off season it was a tourist haven.









    We wandered around soaking up the atmosphere with the smell of adventure in our nostrils.



    Bhud's bottle had broken in his saddle bag on the way down, it was not pleasant, even the locals were complaining!

    We selected one of the out door restaurants in the square and perused the menu



    between the smell of Davidoff and excessive flatulence Dave was not having a good day



    Food selected we tucked in to the evening meal



    listened carefully while the owner explained the billing system



    and posed for a picture while he realised he could finally afford that new Mercedes and his wife thought of how many pairs of shoes she could buy now we'd settled the bill!



    We went for a dander and found her shoe supplier had heard we were coming



    exploring the stalls Glenn was heading for a purveyor of dried fruit, but we dragged him away explaining it was his for his own good and oranges were not the only fruit!



    We decided to do something traditional so went to a local barbers



    Andres had a shave while we discussed the sad state of local football with the owners son.



    Sid had a trim while Andres fell asleep in the barbers chair.



    Gert had a close shave



    and Dave and I went for the full monty!







    much to Mikey's amusement



    All sorted we split into 2 groups, those ready for the hotel and those in search of sticky buns, I'll leave you to guess who was in what group but to give you a clue I was with Dave.

    Another day, another doughnut

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