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Thread: Classic airheads and Norwegians invade Morocco

  1. #65
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Right....back to work on this......

    सत्यमेव जयते


  2. #66
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    The 24 hours of this adventure and our impromptu overnight stop in the village all took place in a rather beautiful area around the Ait Bouguemez and Ait Bououolli valleys.




    If you're planning a trip to Morocco, this is well worth pencilling into your schedule....it's not entirely suitable for sports bikes, as we'll get to in a minute, but it's paradise for a Dual sport bike




    Once we'd got back on the tarmac after re-fuelling, it should have been a nice easy and tremendously scenic ride back towards Marrakech.....and indeed, it started out like that.

    Meeting some locals at a junction where we stopped to take some pics





    The bikes were caked in the distinctive red mud that any off-roader in Morocco will recognise fondly

    सत्यमेव जयते


  3. #67
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    Slightly tired, and mucky as hell still, but the weather was perfect and we were all happy





    And it is a stunning area!!



    Anyway, on with the tale.....

    We bimbled along, until we came around a corner and were met with the sight of another river in full flow across the road.....this time, a proper tarmac road, and not only that, but the only road out of the area that we could take short of going all the way back and over the snowy logging trail that we'd done the previous morning......

    A couple of the guys went across, carefully.....it was JUST possible to walk it, but again, there were millions of little (and some not so little) rocks being washed along the bottom across the road, so you'd put a foot down into the murky flow only to find you were walking on marbles......





    It's impossible to convey how powerful this sort of flowing water is....every year,, hundreds of cars and even vans and trucks are taken over the edge of drops like this by water not much deeper or faster than this, but we reckoned that this particular crossing was about in limits, and to be frank, nobody wanted to go all the way back around again anyway, knowing that there was a luxury hotel and a proper cold beer waiting a mere 100 miles away in Marra

    सत्यमेव जयते


  4. #68
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    Dont Bogart that joint my friend, pass it over to me

  5. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fanum View Post
    One of the good things about staying in a different town is that we get to try some different routes, or timings along them, and there is a lovely and long piste that goes past the 'Cathedral rock' near Azilal.

    Neither myself nor Tim had done this piste, but we'd read Tim Cullis' reports from the area and were keen to go and explore it.....

    A pic pinched from Tim C on his Advrider/UKGser thread 'A piste too far' classic

    And the piste we were aiming to ride;

    It's just as well you didn't get to the start of the piste as it has been cut for several months at the far end near Anergui (N32 03.882 W5 56.119).

    But I'm lost as to where you ended up going! I recognise the junction in the first photo of post #67 (N31 37.997 W6 31.125) so where had you been before then?

    Weather conditions had been kinder for me a few weeks ago...


    Photo below is the dinosaur footprints at Iwarriden (aka Iouaridene)


    Tim
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    "For sheer delight there is nothing like altitude; it gives one the thrill of adventure
    and enlarges the world in which you live,"
    Irving Mather (1892-1966)

    Access the Morocco GS Knowledgebase

  6. #70
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    So one by one, with three or four guys (and a few locals piling in as well, ever hopeful of a few Dirhams coming their way) for each bike, we lugged them across, mine going first









    Getting back each time for the next bike was....'interesting'.



    Then Gary decided to try and ride his across......with a few guys on each side, he started off ok, then it suddenly started going tits up rapidly as a submerged/rolling rock took his front end round and he was heading straight for the drop off the edge!



    Gary made it......just!!


    This Panda(?) was lucky to get across without going over...it was close and it did shift sideways at the peak flow section.....it would have turned ugly as well, because there were two small kids and a mum in there

    सत्यमेव जयते


  7. #71
    Oh Yes.... Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Epic
    Perfekt ist nicht gut genug.

    UKGSER-A place where I've wasted so much time, learned so much, laughed a lot and cried a few times.

    Every bed of roses has pricks in it!

  8. #72
    * * * * * * Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ash View Post
    Epic


    I'm having bloody palpitations reading this.....
    <a href=http://www.nomadbiker.co.uk target=_blank>www.nomadbiker.co.uk</a>

  9. #73
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    JODER...FY FAEN

    Faen!!!!!What a trip Bill...nice write up.......takes me back to Sep. 2007.How did you handle 9 Norwegians for 2 weeks?
    Ser ut som dere hadde en fin tur.

  10. #74
    I should change this Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Nice report Bill. Keep it coming...
    Quote Originally Posted by Ronno View Post
    Then I remembered. He doesn't ride a GS. Therefore he aint at the sharp end of Dudeness...
    Quote Originally Posted by Wapping View Post
    'Where there's offence, there's brass'




  11. #75
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Time for a couple of pretty pics.....

    We climbed up out of the valley and stopped to look back at where we'd been......basically, follow the river all the way down the valley in the pic below, then around to the right at the end below the mountains. (see that distinctive ridgeline to the right with the snow on top? we'd been under or close to that for 24 hours and you can see it in many of the previous pics)

    A cracking place to play



    As so often happens, you're just trying to get a nice scenic shot and some grinning fool goes and parks his motorcycle right in the way



    And while you wait for the guys who'd stopped a bit further down the valley to take photos, be careful of people lurking behind rocks with cameras



    Ah here they come

    सत्यमेव जयते


  12. #76
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    An hour later, we were back in Azilal and stopped at the same cafe we'd had lunch in just 24 hours earlier....we looked and felt 20 years older though, and for Boerre and a few others, the warm sun and a 30 min sit down became too tempting and naps were taken

    सत्यमेव जयते


  13. #77
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    From Azilal, it's a ride of two parts back into Marrakech....40 or 50 miles of fast sweeping nicely surfaced tarmac with dips to Demnate, then some long flat and quite boring open roads across the wheat plains into Marrakech itself

    We made the most of the fast section, and after regrouping and topping up any tanks, pushed on into Marrakech and arrived at the Hotel Imilchil mid afternoon

    The guys who had gone to Marrakech directly from the Hotel Paris next to the Cascades d'Ouzoud were still out, having spent the day riding over the tizi N Tichka to Ouzazarte and back, so we got ourselves into the rooms, peeled off our stinking clothes and showered, arranging to meet in the lobby later on to go for supper in the Square.


    they are happy, honestly, they're both just a bit tired

    Sondre and Swedish Anders outside the hotel



    Just around the corner from the hotels we use in Marrakech is a petrol station that does great coffee and Oain Au Chocolates, so we're often to be found there if we have half an hour to kill and chill

    Geir having a relax and a drink at the petrol station


    Very often, the air in Marrakech is hazy with pollution and you can't see the mountains 50 miles away....today though, the aior was clear and we pointed the High Atlas out to the guys, promising a day of the most spectacular views and awesome riding the next day.

    Spectacular views (read on )



    Everyone knows what the Jmaa El Fnaa looks like with all the smoke, food stalls, flashes of flame as fat explodes and the joslting crowds, but its not often you get to see the stalls being set up.....it's as if they just appear in an empty square magically, but if you time it right, you can catch them setting the stalls up



    There are lots of dried fruit stands as well, and the almonds, pistachios, apricots, figs dates and various raisin type thingies are very nice, although a wise person will buy the same produce exactly (it all comes off the same trucks) for half the price from a more 'local' and less touristy shop just off the square for about 2/3 of the price of the stuff out in the square.



    The carts in the lower half of this pic will be miraculously turned into purveyors of Snails in pepper sauce very soon.....10dh (80p) buys you a small dish of ikkle snails in the juice....very nice they are too!




    The corner of the old city, as seen from outside the hotel Le Menara that we used to use..The holes in the pise built walls are from where they were built up, the exterior and interior walls held to gether and stable while further earthen blocks were laid and compressed, then when everything was dried and finished off, the wooden poles were removed leaving the holes.

    सत्यमेव जयते


  14. #78
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    Ok, back to the Hotel Imilchil....
    Like many hotels in this quarter of the city, it's past its prime, but still a nice place.....air con in all rooms, balconies and only a few minutes walk from either the old city or the main French new city.....it certainly has some nice enough cars parked up in the car park....



    Then we turn up and lower the tone considerably

    Look past the bikes into the far corner and you can just about make out a cardboards and reed shelter..that's where the 'guardian' sleeps, the guy who looks after all the bikes and cars everynight.



    The converted horse box we took down on this trip to act as secure bike recovery and baggage carrying/workshop...top bit of kit for this sort of thing, as you can ride in through the full height and width back ramp door, then ride out down the ramp door (front right hand side in the pic) plus it can carry 3 GS sized bikes, all the spare tyres (15-18 in there for this trip) and baggage. Being designed to take two full sized horses, they're also solidly built and well up to taking the weight we were taking in it



    Airheads looking like they ought




    though the next morning, we made sure we used the car wash booth at the garage on the corner to get the mud cakes off the brake calipers......we were going up and over one of the greatest biking roads in Morocco the next day and these would probably have boiled up big time if they weren't cleaned off a bit...The Tizi N Test is NOT a pass to ride with no brakes





    And a token action shot featuring thrilling petrol tank filling up



    Petrol (in an attempt to justify a boring pic) is around 2/3 of the price that it is in the UK, and four star has been completely phased out now...It's generally of good quality and pretty readily available, although most cars and all the trucks are diesel.


    There have been at least three national strikes in the last year or two though that have hit supplies badly, so it's worth keeping an ear open for information or you could get stuck for a few days in a city (or pay through the nose to get some from a local wide boy from the drums in his lockup )
    सत्यमेव जयते


  15. #79
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Every ride report from Morocco has to have at least one picture of the food in the square, so here's the token one from this report...




    The Merguez stylee sausages look tempting, but I'd recommend against ordering them....they are bland as a bland thing and pretty textureless, so we tend to have the mixed brochettes (meat kebabs), calamari (calamari ) and chips, the extra hot chilli dipping sauce, a couple of mixed salads (make sure you try the aubergine cooked variety of salad....lovely!) and half a Pastille ( the sweet pastry coated pigeon, almond, egg filled patties....more often chicken though) each....don't be tempted by the lovely looking cubes of battered fish unless you like spending more time picking bones out of your throat than it's taken you to ride to Morocco (though the fish is very tasty, it's just not worth it ) and don't be afraid to eat in the square...the turnover of food is so massive that it's very very fresh indeed, and you're actually more likely to get an upset stomach from restaurant food that's been sitting around for dog knows how long than you are from eating in the square.

    The round things that look like eccles cakes here are potato cakes and although a bit oily, they're pretty good....also here are fried aubergines, beans and roasted peppers....It's easily possible to pig out in Morocco and get great food if you're a tree hugging wierdo vegetarian

    सत्यमेव जयते


  16. #80
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    The can on Swedish Anders' HPN 80Gs special had started deteriorating and getting a bit loud, but after a bit of a forage in our spares box, Anders patched it up for the next day's riding.

    As Tim said earlier, these guys had sorted out their bikes extremely well....The cable ties on the hanger here aren't holding it on, they're in place 'In case', as Anders had decided that the bracket might be a weak spot with this lovely and extremely capable bike



    It wouldn't be the last time that the exhaust would be needing surgery either

    We also took Anders to a couple of the local bike shops that day, to find a shouldered M10 bolt that would be suitable to repair his centre stand, which was getting floppy.

    We found one, but from the next day and for the rest of the trip, it didn't work, so every time we stopped, Anders had to work out how to prop it up on something (not a huge issue, youi'd have thought, but bear in mind that we're now heading south towards the desert )
    सत्यमेव जयते


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