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Thread: MA For Morocco: Apr to May 2012.

  1. #33
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    Day 5 26/04/2012: We're Not Lost. You're Having an Adventure!

    Today was the first day when I didn't wake up too early. It was likely I was feeling the effects of spending a bit of time on Grez's bearings replacement the evening before and sharing a litre of very cheap wine with Mr IFan after dinner. In fact he and I also had the privilage of sucking the last few drop of the Morgan's Spiced Rum from Skygod's secret stash.

    Even though I may have had a and extra half an hour in bed there was still plenty of time for look around the orange groves within the hotel's garden and to find Bill checking his emails whilst waiting for breakfast to be served: We frequently caught out hotel kitchens in the morning by being ready for an early scran before they were ready and was usually told what time they would be ready and when we could eat.

    Once fed, packed up and checked our rooms, some of us were hanging around the bikes to see off Paul G, Lucy and Phil & Becky (I think that's what their names are) through the massive steel gates to wherever they where going for the day in two well spec'ed 4 x 4's. However it had been noticed that there was someone missing and with only half an hour or so before departure I went to knock on a door...

    Come on Grez get your breakfast because we're moving soon! Apologies for showing this image again.

    Right, let's go"! We're away just before 09:00hrs, down the same road which Matt and I had already seen yesterday evening when we overshot the turn for the hotel and all seems well on a straight road heading for the horizon. That's is until I noticed that a couple of riders had disappeared from my mirrors just moments before Gaz pulled off the road and onto the wide verge. I went straight to him and reported the missing riders whilst he then reported another puncture.
    I went back to find Grez had a rear tyre puncture and he and Matt were about to start an analyisis of the fault and instigate a repair. What Now? Back to report our Leader for further instructions. "Get yourself back there and see if they can limp the bike to here and we'll do them both together" were the orders. Oh well! Here we go again, burning valuable fuel from my 10L tank, and I get to guide Grez and Matt along the verge, at the appropriate speed to avoid overheating the tyre and tube, to the scene of what became our bad start to the day.

    There it is. Sygod's rear tyre & tube is already being dealt with (Again we're fortunate it's a single sided swingarm) and Grez's bike is getting ready for surgery

    Grez's KTM required a bit more work and to be honest we were struggling to keep his bike upright on the soft surface. We managed to wedge it up with a couple of sticks and some massive cactus leaves which also were used to keep the spindle's components away from the sand and grit. That was a fruitless exercise and after all it probably didn't matter too much because the bike are here to get dirty.

    Even though we had had some practise a couple of days ago it turned out to be a difficult job in the ever increasing temperatures. Several squad members had a crack at spannering, squezzing tubes and pulling at tyre beads with both hands and levers...

    Whatchya reckon then?

    I don't know...

    We're getting there...

    Gary's bike is done...

    ...and I do a dance to celebrate the inflation of Grez's rear tyre.

    We're done and what a relief. Now for some riding although we stopped again sometime later for a five break to rehydrate and take a look across the plain...

    I don't know where we are in the above pictures but we are on our own for the day because Mr IFan isn't with us (and he usually know's our location). This is because the support vehilcle will not be able to manage the designated pistes we are taking today and he has to get a move on because it's a long way when not taking the direct route we were on.

    It wasn't long before we made an instructed turn from the GPS and headed off down a dusty road for a short while, through another randomly placed village and ended up looking at this...

    Whilst looking at the grey building on the left a local Geezer tried to offer it as "For Sale" but we saw him off. once it was explained that we were on motorcycles and couldn't take it with us.

    "Right Chaps! We're here, the enemy is here, and we're going to take them on here, here, and here. Let's go!!!"

    Why were we here? It was for a GPS check with Skygod's mapping versus Bill's mapping. We could couldn't find the expected piste we were looking for and had to stop to try and find our bearings. We found what we thought we were looking for and set off again but, soon afterwards we had to stop because the trail faded away and it was difficult to tell which was to go. From our position we could see a definite track going over a hill in the distance, and because it was heading west (our known direction) we decided to go for it because it was better than turning around and going back to the road.

    The run to find trail was in itself more fun than we had together since our first practise days together in The Peak District (When Bill had his spectacular crash on his F800GS) with some real offroading across the grasses and earth.
    The going was good on our new trails and as the minutes went by we were up and over hills and loving every second of it: The weather was good, we had plenty of water, and were on our own again lapping up the pistes and making the best of our time in Morocco.

    Eventually a few houses came into view and a few more, and we entered another hamlet located miles from anywhere and with no observable purpose. We ploughed on for a short while but soon stopped when our route started to look as if it was going awry. Matt the came to the front of the pack and told us that some people were waving us to go in another direction. We turned around and went back to the fork in the trail and saw a group of local children indictating to us that there was another way out. That way it was then. We rode for a minute down a rocky avenue and stopped for a conflab...

    What do you reckon? Is this the way to go?

    There are buildings here so it could be a valid route.

    Again it was decided it is better to go forward than to go back and waste the fuel we have used to get here: Onwards it is then.

    It soon became apparent that we were in a river bed and although this may have seemed to be wrong, there was some evidence of four wheelers having been here recently. We were forced to stop a couple of times within the first twenty minutes on the river bed to check our sanity and make sure everybody was up for it. The going was really tough with the surface consisting of nothing but stone. Stone which ranged from small pebbles, cricket ball and basketball sized rocks, to the boulders which lined our way. It was so loose that the front wheel was pushing all the time and the easiest way to deal with this was to go faster but, it was difficult to do because of the consequences of falling off and hitting something hard. There were short moments of relief when arriving at a high point (possibly a small island when the river flows) but they were few and far between and not giving us enough time to recover form the hammering we, and our bikes were receiving. Number plates and indicators were being knocked off but no one actually witnessed any of this because of the concentration required to ride on and it was only pointed out when we found a place to stop and take on some water.

    A nice place to stop.

    Look at how firm it is under wheel...

    This torture went on for hour upon hour, mile after mile, and we were beginning to make contingency plans when we stopped for a breather: Skygod had looked at the GPS during one stop and commented that all that and he could see was contours lines, our position, and which way north is. Some were starting to ration their water and even though we could make a fire for the night we were not carrying any food.

    At one point we noticed a building part way up a hill and Gary went up to see if we could find out where we were and get some tips about which way to go to try and find a road...

    Get up there Gaz and don't come back until you've interrogated them thoroughly.

    What a waste of time. All they did was laugh at our leader and they didn't seem to speak French or Arabic and probably wondered what this European was doing here on a motorcycle with such a tricky ride up and down the narrow cliffside track.

    It might look good here but it was reported to be very basic further back.

    We're alright down here.

    We'd better get on with it then. It's more river bed, or what was now known as The River of Death, the occasional short sandy track on a diversion away from a bend in the river bed and course a couple of dropped bikes pick up over our time there. One thing to point out here is that is was very hot within the valley of this wadi and, being surrounded by the protection of the mountains and hills the air was mostly still. The heat was coming up from the ground as well as down from the sun.

    After over three hours we saw a trail that went up. We weren't sure yet but this could be our way out or come back into the river. We had one last push against the rocks were the River of Death was the broadest we had seen but on the other side there was a place to stop and prepare ourselves for what would hopefully be an easier ride and would continue to take us towards our westerly bearing.

    The end, and what a relief.

    The trail we saw turned out to be what we needed and led us to a road junction...

    A sign of civilisation.

    Now which way? It turned out to be left to Tafraout.

    It was another hour on the road before we arrived at our hotel in Tafraout and decided that we all deserved an immediate beer without removing any of our riding kit except our crash helmets. This was a Man's Day and even though it appeared that we were a bit unsure at times throughout the day of our whereabouts, it was well worth the effort to pursue the adventure we were having and just see what happens.

    We had arrived at a nice hotel...

    ...with nice facilities...

    When the right time arrives on the following morning we will have the opportunity to see if we can see the Lions Face in the shadows against the rock face and, those who can't see it have to buy the beers in the evening.

    ...but we had to take the time to check our bikes...

    Further to that we are also promised another Man's Day with a few more tests to our riding skills to be completed in the morning before having an afternoon at the pool.

  2. #34
    getting away with it so far! Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    South Notts, England
    I love this ride report. It's great.

  3. #35
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    Ditchwater, you're doing a great job with this, loving the read so far. Theres alot of work gone into this!

    Come on, next installment please

  4. #36
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    giv us more

  5. #37
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    Day 6 27/04/2012: A Day in Tafraout.

    I been away for a couple of days to celebrate Jono's birthday, he of Adventurebike Warehouse, to do some trails in the Peak District with Gary and have a few wet one's, some dinner and bike chat. I must admit that I was a bit late for the start because I got lost when choosing the less direct route and found a road had been closed. I then went round and round for a while before I worked it out with some help from a tanker driver. Also, the internet wasn't working here last night so I gave up after a while.

    After yesterday's Man Test on The River of Death we were due for a lie in. This was very welcome to allow us to recover from the hard day' riding, last night's tagines and chicken brochettes, and the several rounds of beer & wine with dinner, and the port in the bar afterwards.
    Even though it was a late start plans had already been laid down to continue our bike maintenance if it hadn't been fininshed last night, get some inner tubes repaired, change Skygod's split tyre and then get ready for some more Man Tests before lunch. Phew!
    The scale of the problems with the bikes was in no way serious but simply a matter of a few drops of oil for the KTMs and my Yamaha and taping up or removing broken indicators and number plates. In fact number plates were starting to break a couple of days ago but more damage was done by the stones of the river bed getting thrown up and simply taking lumps out of parts which stick out. Gaz and I went into Tafraout to arrange for the inner tubes to be repaired and have his rear tyre changed and it all went swimmingly well for the princely sum of less than a tenner (including tip) if I remember correctly. Whilst waiting we met a couple of Ural Combination riders but no this time.

    We're done. What now? "Get kitted up and get to your bikes. We are going to The Blue Rocks for a couple of hours of fun. There's a test, and don't forget your CamelBak."

    We arrive here around noon and it is getting hot...

    The painted rocks are spread over a wide area and can be seen in the most inaccessible places, unless you are a rambler or climber.

    It took us a little while to find our way across the sand, rock and bush to get closer to this feature but it was all good fun and training. The rocks were painted blue by a Belgian artist, I have been informed, and once his work was started he soon employed the help of the Moroccan Fire Brigade to help with the task and made use of their engine pumps to cover larger areas.

    Our first challenge seemed to be getting close and we took a route away from the marked trails and left ourselves with a down hill ride from a large rock and over some boulders at the bottom. No Fromage was last to go and it took him a minute to get going but I must say it would've been very painful at the bottom if your front wheel suddenly stopped rolling.

    One of several places to find yourself looking around for the easiest way off.

    We moved on a bit and met quite a few other tourists who had come to see what was here...

    ...and when we left them we gave them a show of our own and went blatting around the scenery to get our eye in on the sand and rock. It was a bit up, a bit down, vegitation to be avoided be cause of the thorns, and gritty sand to try pushing your front wheel, and not crashing into each other: We were all over the place like a rash, zigging and zagging, round and around each other but having to keep an eye out for where everyone else was to ensure that head on collision didn't occur from the other side of the greenery. All this and then another Man Test.

    We were herded to flat spot in front of a large rock with lots of boulders sitting on it: "There you go. Ride up there and stop on the flat bit to right, turn around and come back down" were the intructions. There isn't a path over to the other side so you must get it right or lay your bike down on the hard stone and hope for the best.
    This is the veiw from the top, were you need to back off and make your three point turn, and even though the image doesn't show all the detail when you're at the bottom it's worth a walk up to have a look at what you're going to do.

    Matt is looking for new ways to get off this rock and confirms that yes, it's to portside if you can get between those two.

    Obviously Sunray has to go first, being our ABW tourS leader, and makes it look easy on a HP2. Momentum is everything on the rough stuff and the power and weight of a 1200 just rolls over the looser rocks at the bottom.

    Go Sunray! (Loose rock not seen here.

    Don't drop it now...'s not your bike anymore.

    One up and back down safely so it's all of us now...

    Bill, without any fear, does it easily on his KTM...

    And seems to be on his way back down before you could blink...

    Steve's next and as said, momentum is everything (even on a XTZ), but Steve is a big lad and makes up the mass on his own to balance the equation...

    From those pictures one might think Steve needs stiffer springs on that bike but it looks so easy.

    Now it's my turn. It take a good run up, gas it over the rocks, have a little bounce around, and aim for the place to stop and turn around. Now, for anyone who hasn't done any of this sort of thing before (just like me), every challange requires a deep breath and reliance on yourself and your bikes' capabilties. Even though we have done plenty of piste, twisty road, Nipple Hill and The River of Death you simply have to go for it or buy the first round in the evening.

    It looks like I need to adjust my springs as well...

    I even managed to turn around at the top with falling over, even though I tried.

    Now it's time for the newbie. No Fromage's license is probably only three weeks old by now but I know he has already done more miles and proper riding, than some of the geezers I chat to at the local bikers burger bar do in a year or more. He goes for it on the pegs...

    ...thinks about stopping for a pose...

    ...and barrels down taking a completely different exit at the bottom to everyone else.

    finally, and by no means least. it's The Grezmiester.

    Easy Up...

    ...and easy down. There's something to be said about those KTMs.

    It's not over yet though so we have a picture together to acknowledge our derring-do before the final phase of todays' excercises...

    The AdventureBike Warehouse new intake group.

    Albeit not compulsary we now take on some more trails, ride in circles through the bush, and try our hand in the sandy ditch.

    Let's go...

    Push it...

    ...avoid the campfire... just carry on (Yeah Right!)...

    ...lean back and the front wheel do it's own thing...

    ...but not easy with a three week license...


    Note: I have no idea how Grez manages to get all that sand into, or out of, his engine as seen in this picture.

    That's the way Grez, avoid that campfire...

    "Go on Boss. You show us how to do it."

    Nice job.

    Some decide to have a little rest (including me)...

    ...but get up and keep on going...

    ...whilst others just crack on with it...

    and maybe try someone elses bike for size.

    With another CamelBak nearly emptied there was just time for a cigar and a few poses with our bikes.

    The GrezMiester

    No Cheese for me Please.

    No Fear Bill.

    Steve, and Bill (with a head shot this time).


    MrIFan and Skygod.: ABW Tours Geezers.

    Yours Truly.

    Time for lunch in town, but not before we have to ride over a few pavements to get there, or the pool for the sun lovers.

    It's down town for Skygod, MrIFan, No Fromage and I. We are presented with the best, or biggest, meal of mixed salads, cumin flavoured chic peas and chicken and pomme frits we have seen in a week. Eveybody dives in to a wholly satisfying lunch for next to nothing in a locals diner and even though there is no beer the cola & Poms goes down well.

    After and walk through the square with MrIFan...

    ...and we see some more interesting fare on offer...

    ...before finding this lot...

    Don't get burnt lads...

    ...and don't get your hair wet.

    With our lazy afternoon done and dusted it was dinner and the bar again...

    This Geezer sees to know Ali Baba, sorry MrIFan in mean, from his previous time inTafraout. He is certainly when known in these parts. preparation to get on our way again tomorrow morning. The tomorrow morning for which we do not yet know quite what to expect. We been told where we are going, if you know the language, but after what we'd done the day before it should be just fine.

  6. #38
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    Feb 2006
    Chesterfield Derbyshire
    Great write up Paul
    Could I ask a question - I think I can already guess the answer mind
    Which in your opinion was the best/most reliable/suitable bike on this trip ??

  7. #39
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    S/W London.
    I recognise that pool

    Did you see the rock called napoleans hat inbetween the hotel and the blue rocks - you have to be at the right angle, and blink and you'll miss it.

    All your BMW servicing needs at the, including 1200 models

    Recommended as an "excellent independant" in Ride magazine 2009.

  8. #40
    Dream Maker
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    Worcester, England
    Never mind your dancing, what happened to grez's feckin head
    Attached Images Attached Images

    "Of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so powerful as hope.
    With hope, one can think, one can work, one can dream.
    If you have hope, you have everything."

  9. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steptoe View Post
    Did you see the rock called napoleans hat inbetween the hotel and the blue rocks - you have to be at the right angle, and blink and you'll miss it.
    Don't forget the lion in the rocks.

  10. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by MickDB1 View Post
    Great write up Paul
    Could I ask a question - I think I can already guess the answer mind
    Which in your opinion was the best/most reliable/suitable bike on this trip ??
    Hi Mick,

    How was Spain? There's probably one place there where we'll have to beg to be allowed back.

    There was Team BMW (HP2 & F800GS), Team Yamaha (XT660Z & TT600RE) and Team KTM (EXC450 & EXC500): All of the bikes were reported to have their advantages and disadvantages as anyone might expect.

    Early on, when pushing south, it was seat comfort problems for the KTM riders and less so the HP2. I was just fine all the way and never really suffered too much and I think it was the same for the XT & 800.

    Puncture's aside, the only notable mechanical problem was Grez's rear wheel bearings. It is only he who may know when they were last changed or checked. Nothing was broken on the HP2 although He tried. Number plates were taken out on the XT and EXC500 and I think a couple bits were knocked out of others. Yamaha rear indicators seem to suffer with getting snapped on both bikes by stones or rocks flying up, and my clock surround snapped off the top yoke but was repaired with a couple of cable ties.
    The KTMs and my TT required their oil topping up and as far as I know there may have been a dribble into a couple of others.

    Sir, to answere your question from a personal point of view I'm glad I didn't take my R1150GSA. It would have been nice on the couple of days which we were mainly on the roads and it would have been perfectly useable on most of the pistes with its' momentum but it would have been a right Royal pain, you know where, on many of the other pistes and river beds with loose sand, stone and rock. In fact Gaz pointed out to me that I probably wouldn't have got the GSA past the support vehicle when Ian parked it on a cliff edge to take pictures of us riding up one of the passes.

    So. I'd take my TT600RE again (especially now it has its' large tank) because it did everything well enough: it could do with some adjustments for the suspension because it was bouncing around a few times and speed was a worry when I only had the 10L tank.
    Otherwise, it's any bike you can handle on sand, rocks, mud and stone and get it up some pretty steep climbs. I'd still recommend a tough 600cc single though...

    Quote Originally Posted by Steptoe View Post
    I recognise that pool

    Did you see the rock called napoleans hat inbetween the hotel and the blue rocks - you have to be at the right angle, and blink and you'll miss it.

    We were not made aware of the short Frenchman's hat shaped craggy edifice so next time I'll be looking out for that.

    PS. That LandRover looks heavy at the rear.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeP View Post
    Don't forget the lion in the rocks.

    Nobody got the picture as good as that but most of caught it at the right time, and I think I'm owed a couple of beers from those who couldn't find it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt Bilco View Post
    Never mind your dancing, what happened to grez's feckin head
    He pulled it in after having to remove his rear wheel for the second time in twelve hours.

  11. #43
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    Rochdale, Lancashire
    Great report. I think I did about 90% standing up as the KTM seat is a razor blade. I got good at rear wheel bearing replacement, not that I wanted to. I agree any big single would do. the KTM's crash well but by the last 4 days mine was vibrating so badly I lost all feeling in my fingers and hands. It was like riding with boxing gloves on and the pain kept me awake most of the night. Even now I still have nerve pain in my finger on the right hand and left thumb. I think a service mid-way might have been the way to go. I am awaiting Jono to tell me how bad everything ended up when he services it.
    So KTM - good points, light, good fuel economy, rugged, go anywhere, crash well. Bad pints - bit to small for fast road sections, seat (should be done under trades description act) bloody awful - even with a sheepskin on it, vibrates like mad when needing a service, hard to bungee stuff on.
    Oh for a mid-sized twin KTM.

  12. #44
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    Day 7 28/04/2012: All The T's.

    There seems to be a lot of place names in Morocco which start with a "T" and sometimes when we are told where we are going to or through, it simply gets lost in our minds and have to rely upon our Leader and ensure that we don't lose the group.

    After a useful, fun and relaxing day in Tafraout (in the Tiznit Province) it's off to Taliouine today. It's an early start for our departure from Tafraout and actually a bit disappointing to be leaving because it is a nice place. There were quite a few Europeans in Tafraout either passing through or stopping over with their bikes, combo's, old Renault (4's I think) trail cars and 4 x 4's. It wasn't too difficult to communicate either because English was widely spoken by those who were offering something to eat, or for sale, and they'll even take you away for the night in the desert on a camel train. Nevertheless we got on just fine in Tafraout and there's lots of places to play on your bike nearby.

    Even though it was fairly warm when we left the hotel the temperature soon changed as we rode upwards again into the mountains and the thick cloud which covered the peaks. The twisty road on the way up led us to a plateau and being remarkably clear of cloud, it was a relief to get some sun on our gloves again. It was neccesary to ride over the mountains to get to the valley below for a ride through the palmery at Ait Mansour on the piste like road they had attempted to lay down. It was a nice place to be but it felt like we were invading other peoples privacy on the ride through the village within the palms so we stopped just away from the houses.

    After a swamp and cigar break it was back to the pistes and trails for another few hours of Man Test riding. Almost straight away we were at the piste and heading for another goat trail on the side of a cliff then a ride across some ridges and into the valleys whist looking for fun all the time...

    This'll do but let's check the GPS first...

    This piste looks like it's been swept sometime in the past

    The places we stopped at nearly always had something interesting to look at and inspect. This ranged from the strata in the hillside, the new to me foliage, or the bikes.

    Button up Grez

    I wonder what's being discussed here.

    All the time it was something different from one corner to the next but we were now getting good at this and everyday seems to be better than the last. The variations in terrain with its' twists and turns are keeping us both busy and content: In the following images it maybe camera settings or simply the output of the different cameras used but hopefully you can see how the land changes over a few hours riding...

    A landscape shot from Bill.

    A well defined piste which is kept clear simply by use.

    This one is probably the path of least resistance.

    And this one, which looks like it may be receiving flood debris, requires a bit of respect and a bit more effort of you're fast.

    The fun just goes on and on, up and down, until we find a random road and then taking on some more piste. This is a great day...

    Not quite a goat trail but it still keeps you focused...

    If you want to ride this get in touch with Skygod: He's a good guide, honestly.

    Is it go around or up & over? Noboby knows until we get there.

    After a couple of hours there's a road in front. It's not very long but it has a junction and some sort of graffiti daubed mile stone so Matt rolls up for the location shot.

    Thankfully it's not back onto the roads for long and again there's more pistes to take on. This time it is less up hilly but more twisty, which encourages a bit of enduro racing in a few of us and at sometime Bill ends up in a tangle with a bush. I could see the riders in front most of the time, and Bill was somewhere in front of me, but I soon arrived at the scene of the incident. Bill was explaining how he ran a tad wide and engaged an item of local flora and had bashed his right shoulder at speed (speed again). Anyway, he seemed to be okay so we all set of again across the plain before we were back into the hills and valleys and we encounter this when heading to another River Bed...

    Wait for him patiently...

    "Why don't you get off your bike and show him you can wait without scaring his flock?"

    Did anyone see that?


    "Come on. We'll stop again in ten minutes" and its off again through river bed and tracks to a well positioned layby were we hear engines. A group of KTM riders, on French plates, came past while we were having our break and only one of them bothered to wave but non even considered stopping for a chat. I think it would've been nice to try and talk for a minute or so but so be it: I hope you all break down.

    Ignorant Galic Git.

    Whilst there someone got ten...

    I missed how He earned his forfeit but it was probably No Fromage drawing him in.

    After another cigar, and a swamp break for others, we carried on in the dust left by the KTMs but soon realised there was too much space behind us to Bill & Grez and we stopped and waited...

    Another hot bed of rock for a wait...

    We turn around and go back after a few minutes to find that it's this again and guess who...

    Another river bed claims another victim! Now then, who owns a KTM 450EXC?

    Yep. It's Grez's front tyre with a puncture...

    This is the fourth puncture we've dealt with now or more accurately they have because someone has to smoke a cigar and take pictures for the records, and they are starting to look like a Formula One pit crew at work by now.

    It was easier doing a front tube change because the bike can be balanced on its forks, the tyre is warm making it easier to move, and the radius of the wheel is larger which helps the lever the tyre bead over the rim. All in it took only forty minutes with water breaks, techincal discussions, and some quad riders who again didn't stop, to do the whole job in that heat...

    Get stuck in...

    Getting the tube in is easier when is has talcum powder on it, and is smells nice too.

    The quad riders are miles the KTM riders but we think they are part of the same group...

    ...and by now the tyre is being inflated...

    That's the way to do it: Use a high powered compressor for the Land Cruiser.

    This all gave me a bit of time to find an interesting rock with a 12mm layer of quartz on top...

    It must have been very hot to get that silica to stick to that...

    Something else that became clear was another geological feature within the hills in the background: Here, the strata of this hill would have been laid down horizontally but now they are vertical having been pushed through 90 degrees by the movement of Africa towards Europe.

    If you're a Geology student then come here for a look around.

    With that done, and yes I did help for a while, we are back to it on the trails. Even though it's turning out to be another Man's Test we are all stronger and bike fit and, eager to carry on riding. As the crow flies we don't actually have far to go to get to our overnight destinations during this part of the trip but we are not crows and we are here for a good time so it's more piste and trails.

    These aren't my pictures, although they are in chronological order, and they again show how frequently scenery changes...

    More good piste for the KTMs...

    ...and more rocky river bed(?) with amazing geology surrounding it.

    The approach to another random village...

    ...and another place that sees water from time to time.

    Unfortunately all of this couldn't last forever and it was back to a road later and a stop for a late lunch IIRC...

    Probably another shared tagine or brochette here, or maybe teas if it was earlier in the day. The fact is I can't remember and hopefully someone will come along and verify my thoughts.

    What I do remember about the place above is that it was a one horse town. There didn't appear to be anything going on except us being there and we caught the attention of those passing through and doing whatever people do around here.

    The road to Taliouine was a struggle after the hard riding in the morning. We had seen and done a lot up to this point and now it turned out that because of the pistes we were taking it was time to settle into our saddles and get moving for some mile munching to get to civilisation: What could possibly go wrong?

    Grez's rear wheel bearings. That's what. They had failed again and his rear wheel was wobbling like about its spindle and therefore the bike was back onto the trailer and it was another passenger seat snooze for Grez in the support vehicle. Thankfully MrIfan had the foresight to purchase some additional bearings somewhere because we didn't have a seal on one side (keep up...) of Grez's rear wheel and that job became our evening task upon arrival at the hotel.

    It was straight to imported Spanish beer at the hotel in Taliouine, dump your kit in the rooms and then onto Grez's wheel bearing.
    Once we were done it was time to sort ourselves out for dinner and a few drinks but not before recording a nice sunset from the hotel roof...

    After dark the bloody ignorant KTM riding Frenchmen arrived and, contrary to popular belief, they were the noisy tourists abroad: Obviously their first day away...

    Tomorrow we are promised some sand to test ourselves again and will be reaching the most southerly latitude of our ABW Tour...

  13. #45
    What Tyre pressure you running
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Peak District
    Your`e doing a great job with this report Paul, can we have a few more references of how awesome I am though please

    (Plenty of enquiries for our October trip this year,,,,ta)
    Be Safe............and if you cant be safe..........BE LETHAL.

    1200 GS
    KTM 500 EXC Rally
    Aprillia Tuono
    KTM 1190 R
    KTM 625 SXC
    KTM 1290 SD
    Honda MSX 125

  14. #46
    Subscriber Click here to find out how to Subscribe
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Darkest Surrey
    can I come along? in my truck? as I don't have a motorcycle anymore....

  15. #47
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Peak District
    Quote Originally Posted by Lo-IQ View Post
    can I come along? in my truck? as I don't have a motorcycle anymore....
    Yes Especially if you bring your cameras

    If you're serious then give Gary a call and we'll sort something out.

  16. #48
    Subscriber Click here to find out how to Subscribe
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Darkest Surrey
    will do, I've got few ideas and just need to outline the rough list of shots and what kit I need to take.



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