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Thread: Classic airheads and Norwegians invade Morocco

  1. #33
    Shedi Knight Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    oh yers - done that.
    if you've ever lead or 'backmarkered' a ride in difficult circumstances, it will make total sense
    Mrs Og puts it well; Herding cats.

    great read! MORE please.
    appears bright from a distance / dim up close

  2. #34
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    Thumbs up

    Jiiii-ha; the Vikings-in-Morocco-report!
    More! Please give me more!

    Liv.

  3. #35
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    That's all?
    No more pictures from this tour?

    Liv.

  4. #36
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liv,Norway View Post
    That's all?
    No more pictures from this tour?

    Liv.

    There are hundreds more Liv, don't worry, this story hasn't got started yet
    सत्यमेव जयते


  5. #37
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    We set off from The Cascades D'Ouzouod and went through Azilal, where we refuelled all of the bikes....standing instructions on trips are that we refuel all bikes every night, even the big tankked ones, as we know how quickly things can go wrong sometimes.

    From Azilal, the weather started improving and the sun broke through for a while, so we had a lovely ride along the fast twisties after Azilal to the reservoir [COLOR=#191970] Bin El Ouidane, which boasts the biggest Hydro-electric dam in Morocco.

    It's forbidden to take photographs of the dam so you'll have to go there yourself to see it, but it is a beautiful place

    The view of the reservoir from the road above;



    5 miles up the road along the side of the Reservoir, we found a wash out that a bunch of guys were digging out.....it was easily taken though and we carried on for another few miles until we came around a corner and found this



    A 20 metre wide 3 metre deep gap in a fairly serious road, with boulders bigger than cars and 4 foot diameter concrete water pipes strewn around the landscape as if a petulant giant had gone amok with a house-sized spade

    The destructive power of water never fails to impress, but this one was going to be a problem



    सत्यमेव जयते


  6. #38
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Tim said at this stage that it would be silly to attempt to cross, as it was the first proper day offroad with huge potential for damage to bikes and riders, the only route would involve several hundred metres of serious rubble and anyone attempting it would be a fool.

    So off I went







    Of course, Tim was right, and it could only end one way
    It took Gary 3 hours to get across the boulder field to where i was lying 3/4 submerged in freezing crappy brown water.....well, probably nearer 30 seconds but after my lips had turned blue and I'd lost sensation in my legs and left arm, all of which were submerged in the rather fekking cold water, i sort of lost track of time

    सत्यमेव जयते


  7. #39
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    After managing to get back to the end of the road to join the others, it was concluded that it wasnt worth trying to get all of the bikes across.....we probably could have done it, but there was a significant chance that the road betond would be blocked and although the weather was improving, the piste further on could easily be totally impassible, so we looked at options and decided on another route to Marrakesh that evening, going over an easier pass .

    The bored coppers at the dam looked slightly amused as we went back past them for the second time that day, and we found our way onto our new route, which very soon started getting prettier as we got higher and higher



    As usual, a photograph on a screen can't hope to capture the scale or beauty of scenery like this

    सत्यमेव जयते


  8. #40
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Gary decided to try and out-stare some local kids in one of the villages we stopped next to.



    C'mon then, if you think you're hard enough!!!

    सत्यमेव जयते


  9. #41
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Paal decided to break the ice with the kids though, letting Gary off the hook




    Then we saddled up and rode through the tiny village the kids came from.

    These are routes that are fantastic....you can see where they may go, but you don't know exactly, but it just doesn't matter.....you just follow the track, enjoying the riding and wondering what's around the next corner

    सत्यमेव जयते


  10. #42
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    We rode higher and higher, along a fast and surprisingly good condition gravel track...The sort of route that the Vikings were very used to, and boy did it show!



    We hit the snowline and kept going upwards



    सत्यमेव जयते


  11. #43
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Looking at the map afterwards, I concluded this was probably a mining access road, but it was a lovely place to be, even if by that time my balls were numb and my whole body was freezing from being encased in a waterlogged aerostich





    Soon though we descended and the sun got warmer



    सत्यमेव जयते


  12. #44
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    There's one thing I hate riding in.....

    Mud.

    I used to hate sand more than anything else, but then i took the DR650 over and learnt to ride in it, but Mud is something i just don't lilke riding.....I do very little serious off-roading in the UK, so most of my riding not on tarmac is in Morocco, and the majority of that is rocky, gravel and stony type stuff....so Mud is something i really need to get some more practice on, particularly on tracks where there are ditches rather than ruts After we left the valley, we started climbing up and over a wide plain, with a meandering and vague track.

    It reminded me very much of the mountain on Achill that I tried to do a hill climb on, but the mud here was different...slimier and slippery, only a few inches deep over solid rock, so it was sodden wet.

    Add to that that I was very cold and had been off the bike for a year, overweight and still smoking, and this day started turning into a nightmare for me.








    It doesn't matter what tyres you have, this sticky crap will turn them into slimy hoops. Brakes start playing up as well



    Carnage



    Ruts? Ditches more like



    This plain was hard work....very, VERY hard work.....poor Gary, coming up the back, was helping me pick up mine as I was obviously in a bad way, and had a few episodes himself..we were all getting tired at this stage, and the day was getting on!





    Finally at the top of the mud plain



    But the mud went on as we followed the track up a valley
    Boerre had a lucky escape and ended up parking his HP2 in a novel way

    सत्यमेव जयते


  13. #45
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    By this time we knew we wouldn't be in Marrakech in daylight, but we pressed on, wanting to be reunited with the rest of the group, dry warm clothes and cold beer, and not necessarily in that order of priority

    We got to below a village where we were expecting one more river crossing, then an easy piste out to the main road out of Azilal, from where we knew it would only be about 3 hours to Marrakech......................



    But then in the village, we came around a corner and found the river.



    Doesn't look much from the picture, and you can't hear the roaring, the loud white noise that filled the valley
    The ford should go to the left of the big boulder in the river and then out to the other side....another thing that you cant see from the photo though is the depth (2 feet plus, variable) and the large rolling rocks in the flow itself....6 inches of water is plenty to take a man off his feet, and this bugger was flowing fast and was several feet deep, with a shifting rocky stony bottom and bloody cold water




    We attempted to see if we could get a bike across...being the smallest (and being mine, so they didn't care ) the DR650 was strapped up and after getting a couple of guys into the flow (fekk that was hard enough on its own!) the bike was lowered towards the water..



    The kids started going wild, knowing that they were going to see some idiots killing themselves and throwing a bike down the river, where it would probably have disappeared forever.



    It quickly became apparent that there was absolutely no chance of getting the bike/s across, and we were actually risking too much by attempting it, so the bike was hauled back up and ten minutes of confusion set in as everyone realised that we were either stuck in a tiny remote village, or would have to ride out of there.



    In the dark



    Over the mud plain

    सत्यमेव जयते


  14. #46
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    I do like these kinds of adventures!!

  15. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fanum View Post
    In the dark
    The cold, lonely, dark?

    Paging Steptoe............
    Ride Faster!..........I hear banjo music!

  16. #48
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Amidst the crowd of loud, excited Moroccans, there was much hilarity, a little concern and a fair bit of opportunism being displayed at our predicament...several of the louder men were quite insistant that they knew of a place to cross the river further up, which they would very kindly show is for a large consideration

    Checking the GPS and the general state of the group, both of which showed that such a crossing would probably be impossible, we focussed on one more mature guy who was standing with an air of calm in the crowd, and asked him if there might be anywhere in the village that we could stay for the night.

    Calmly and quietly, he showed us up a very steep stone/rock ramp to his house, and although he didn't speak a word of French or Arabic, and our Berber was equally non-existent, the universal language of waved hands, smiles and miming made it clear that he was happy to invite us into his home

    20 minutes of huffing, puffing and daredevil riding later, we'd got all the bikes up the ramp (it doesn't look bad in the pics, but as always, they never do ) and we took some last pics of the village before the light completely failed and went inside to meet his rather large family

    Not a good pic I'm afraid, butt he light was going and the camera was struggling;






    One of the younger adult women of the house...at a guess, there were a dozen people living here, from 5 years upwards, and the guy's brother and his family arrived later to meet the mad strangers who had given the village so much entertainment



    सत्यमेव जयते


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