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Thread: ABW does Morocco October 2012

  1. #49
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    It looked a very steep climb, with rough ground just before the top. “There’s not much room on the top, so stop quickly when you get there”, was Garys only advice.

    Whilst preparing ourselves for this “Mans Test” we noticed that Jonos HP had a piece of wire stuck in his rear tyre, which when pulled was slowly leaking air. Before repairing it Jono decided to recce the climb and went on ahead on foot.

    My inner Mr Sensible told me I would be stupid to risk attempting the climb on only Day 4 of the tour, but after seeing Gary roost and bounce his way up onto the top I couldn’t help myself, and helmet and gloves were quickly on and a second gear charge soon had me up on the top. Yeeehaaa!

    The summit gave spectacular views of the very strange dry landscape, with mountains further to the south.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    '06 HP2 E...................2006 - 2016
    '02 R1150 GS Adv........2004 - 2006
    '01 F650 GS Dakar.......2001 - 2004
    '91 R100 GS...............1995 - 1999
    '83 R80 G/S...............1986 - 1993
    '81 R80 G/S...............1982 - 1985

  2. #50
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    The descent was as equally interesting as the ascent, and once all down Jonos puncture was repaired with a can of sealant. Thankfully Dean had a mini air compressor with him, as Jono had taken his valve out to ease the sealants path in, and lost all the pressure in the reinfalted tyre on removal of the can.

    We continued heading towards the mountains along the fast sweeping piste (one of the tours highlights) and stopped in the first village we came to. It was the first bit of shade we could find. Did I mention it was hot?!!!

    As we neared the mountains we hit the foothills and a badly damaged (cracks, craters, washouts etc) road wound its way up through a pine forest. I thought it was too badly damaged to have other traffic on it, but of course this was Morocco, and sure enough the odd vehicle came the other way. Nutters.

    Following the GPS we turned off onto another piste, but soon came across a damaged river crossing.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    '06 HP2 E...................2006 - 2016
    '02 R1150 GS Adv........2004 - 2006
    '01 F650 GS Dakar.......2001 - 2004
    '91 R100 GS...............1995 - 1999
    '83 R80 G/S...............1986 - 1993
    '81 R80 G/S...............1982 - 1985

  3. #51
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    I spotted a way through and found a nice bit of shade:
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    '06 HP2 E...................2006 - 2016
    '02 R1150 GS Adv........2004 - 2006
    '01 F650 GS Dakar.......2001 - 2004
    '91 R100 GS...............1995 - 1999
    '83 R80 G/S...............1986 - 1993
    '81 R80 G/S...............1982 - 1985

  4. #52
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    The piste on the other side showed little sign of use, and after a mile or so the track disappeared (down the hillside). Again it was apparent that phut phuts and donkeys were still getting through via a ledge in the side of the hill. No photos of this section as the last quarter mile or so were rather cheek clenching – riding along this thin ledge with a big drop to the right. It had to be ridden feet up trials style as there was nowhere to dab.

    The ledge popped us onto a rough track (had the air of construction activity about it) which brought us to the wrong side of a chain across the track with No Entry signs. Easy to get by, but the next locked gate and stone wall was a bit more difficult. Another bit of trials riding had us on the right (legal?) side again.

    A nice freshly laid tarmac road followed, and at a junction we met up again with Ian and Paul.

    Over to you Paul......
    '06 HP2 E...................2006 - 2016
    '02 R1150 GS Adv........2004 - 2006
    '01 F650 GS Dakar.......2001 - 2004
    '91 R100 GS...............1995 - 1999
    '83 R80 G/S...............1986 - 1993
    '81 R80 G/S...............1982 - 1985

  5. #53
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    2 places left on April`s trip if anyone fancies it?????
    Last edited by SkyGod; 07-01-13 at 12:02. Reason: ......

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  6. #54
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    Who's confirmed for April?

  7. #55
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    april

    what dates ? how long would be very interested.....

  8. #56
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    Have a look HERE and give GayLordGary a call to book a training session or simply take one of the remaining places for a mega-fun-two-weeks-riding and an early start to your adventures for 2013.

    PS. He's not really a Lord...

  9. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyGod View Post
    2 places left on April`s trip if anyone fancies it?????
    Get thee behind me Satan

  10. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDiddy View Post
    Get thee behind me Satan

    He will occasionally, but mostly he'll be at the front leading the tour

  11. #59
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    mr ifan
    look what i found

  12. #60
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  13. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDiddy View Post
    Get thee behind me Satan
    Thought that's what your the ex called me?

  14. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrIFan View Post
    He will occasionally, but mostly he'll be at the front leading the tour
    Maybe next year -

  15. #63
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    Day4 03/10/2012: Rush Hour in Marrakech.

    What a bummer! My bike needs oil before I go anywhere today. It's supposed be straight to Nipple Hill this morning and I don't want to miss out so it's an 07:00hrs start for Ian and I to set off to a merchant which we think will be open early and have a product I can use. Upon arrival there is no sign of life, not a heart beat, and we try the nearby neighbour but it's the same sorry story here. Okay, let's try the petrol stations: Nothing. There's plenty of car and truck oil at the countless places we try but no suitable oils for a wet clutch'ed moto. After several attempts and 50 minutes of scything our way through the city traffic we have to give up for now because the other riders are due to leave the hotel soon and we need to be there to load their luggage into the Land Cruiser. It looks like I'll just have to wait a while and miss out on the mornings' ride and catch up later.
    After having to accept that none of the other bikes were going to donate a few cups of their engine lubricants it was MrIfan and I who returned to the streets of Marrakech with both the Landcruiser and my following TTR. We went back to the first workshop we had tried earlier this morning but they only had oil for four wheelers. We noticed another hole in the wall accessories supllier had opened its doors just a few meters away and tried him but it was the same. He did however offer to take us somewhere who could help us. He closed his shop jumped into the car with Ian and led to down the narrow sandy streets to a motorcycle parts dealer who had everything we wanted. After buying a couple of litres of Motul 10W40 and a can of unusually green chain lube we dropped the Geezer off at his shop, I gave him a tenner, borrowed a funnel, did the job and buggered off sharpish to a rendevous point to meet up with the rest of the team.

    We sped off to another dusty layby at the side of the road near Ouirgane and to be honest, it was a relief to stop and rest after the racetrack road. Apparently this place is an hotel and seems to quite posh from what I've read.


    There's an hotel down there somewhere.



    We had a bit of a wait for the rest of the crew and eventually went to have a look in the direction from which they should be arriving but there was nothing to be seen. Eventually they all turned up with stories of derring doo on Nipple Hill, river crossings and trials riding techniques just to get here, and that before riding the Tizi-n-Test.

    I'll just lob in a few pictures, since I've edited and saved them, from the other guys and whatever they were upto...













    The Tizi-n-Test is a fairly fast twisty mountain pass on the western end of the High Atlas. The road getting there is probably more fun than the tizi road itself and somewhat less dangerous should anything go wrong. There is however spectacular views from many locations and the opportunity for a sit down with a nice hot mint tea.

    Once the real climbing starts the road's condition become variable with concrete slabs dropped onto hairpin bends, pot holes inconsiderably positioned and selfish oncoming traffic driving on the right hand side of the road just when we need it most. The first stop at the top is here, the plaque marking the completion of the road back in the 1930's and our chance for a photo shoot...



    Parking is easy around here and we can have all the time we need to rest for a few minutes and smoke a cigar...







    The trouble here is that there's no tea and a limited view so it's off around the corner to the cafe and another wander around a loosely protected cliff edge.








    These are the views we're here for. It's a long way down (no pun intended) and a far away horizon which we will be chasing once we'd had our tea and a good look at the landscape.













    If you have noticed those sandy coloured stripes on the edges of the hillsides in the images shown above and would like to ride those then get yourselves up here because that's our route down to the valley floor.

    It was quite a tricky ride down those pistes with some very tight sections and a typical selection of changing surfaces from one corner to the next but, it's a much better descent than using the road because it keeps you away from the traffic.

    Once at the bottom and on the long straight road towards Aoulouz I have a look over my shoulder to see where we'd come from and decide it's worth a few moments to capture the scene...





    This little set of pictures were taken on the same day as far as I can tell but for the life of me I can't remember where. I'm sure they are late afternoon and may have been taken during our tizi decent or somewhere near the end of the day?











    We are on ourway to Taliouine for the night. There's accomodation there that we weren't supposed to be using tonight but a change of plan forced our hand. Overall the place is not bad but the rooms themselves take a bit of getting used to because they are quite sparce and the bedding is well out of date. They have a pool which most of us used (I think Dean was asleep again) and the food is okay but it was the worst nights sleep I have had in a while. It's Tafraoute tomorrow and I know that will be just fine.

  16. #64
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    Day5 04/10/2012: Taliouine To Tafraoute.

    I'm up early this morning. Actually I'm up early every morning because I like to have a shave in the morning before a shower and I've found it's better to lose half an hour in bed to avoid hogging the bathroom and then making whomever I'm sharing with the possibility of being late or missing breakfast. The other factor for getting up early this morning was that I was hating my bed. It was lumpy and clothed in layers of nylon sheets and heavy wool blankets which seemed to either fall off or wrap themselves around my limbs until movement was completely restricted. I even kept the Boss awake with all the shuffling going on, apparently. I'm sure this will be the last time we stay here. At least there's breakfast to look forward to because there are fruiting orange trees outside and surely a glass of juice must be on the menu.
    Obviously there's no menu so it's the usual coffee pots. which is just fine by me, bread, cheese triangles , jam and of course the orange juice. I suppose I'll have to wait for sausage, egg, beans and buttered toast until tomorrow. I guess it's just a matter of having to get used to the meals we are given when on a trip and look forward to something different when you arrive elsewhere: I'm looking forward to Spain again (I can't believe I'm moaning about the food after only four days and a night. )

    Other early risers were Ifan and Alan who both went looking to capture the morning light of the surrounding area and our accomodation.

    A couple of views from the roof...





    The peak altitude in view around here is over 2000m and falls to 1000m if you could look back to the way we came in; it is afterall a mountain range. Down at ground level the rooms we used last night are shown...


    Not too bad but could do with some investment.

    Once packed and loaded it's off to find out which way we're going today.


    The Boss leads us on our way...


    Jono's KTM HP2...

    I know Tafraoute is the final desintation for today but the routes have been tweaked to include as many pistes that we can fit in during daylight hours and not give ourselves any problems. The trouble with this is that so many trails and tracks are ridden that sometimes a whole day gets lost in confusion as to what you've been doing and when: This was one of those days.
    I know we had an immediate fuel stop and rode for about 30 minutes on the road but after that it was piste, tracks and trails which occupied most of the day, and all are so different yet similar, it become confusing to stitch together what happened. I suppose what that all boils down to is a good day's riding.

    I reckon we're going up there...



    ...and then given a five break to contemplate what's coming up next:



    The climb starts on roacky piste and then patches of tarmac and concrete which wind's it's way up the sides of the mountains. The road is completely traffic free and we have the whole place to ourselves...


    Look who's peeing again...


    Sky. Often underrated until you catch this. Mr IFan's work...







    Stopping for a while in locations like this, where ever it is, make's the effort well worth while. If we had bacon here we could have got away with a second breakfast and not upset anyone at all.

    We ride on and the surfaces change all the time. I suspect this has something to do with what the local road management team know about the problems which occur when the weather changes and the amount of use each road is subjected to. Here we have found a superficial layer of tarmac:


    The Boss leads the way.


    Greater Manchester and Derby is represented here.


    The Tail End getting dropped by quicker riding...

    This has all been fine and dandy but there's no lunch up here and we have to drop down to the road and into Igherm (or was it Timzit?) for an omelette lunch. The lunch was fine, if not protracted, because the Boss found the the cafe with the village idiot in charge for today. All of what was asked for arrived on the table but I think we overwhelmed him with the fact that we were probabley the most unusual customers this Geezer had seen in months.

    Getting back onto the trails took no time at all after lunch. It was a short three minute ride and a left turn to digest our meals before we had to get back into shape and our next piste. You have to be careful at lunch time because too much food can make a man weary and lose the will to go on. Omelette, bread and mint tea is just right to provide enough energy for the remainder of the day and not put you down for the rest of the afternoon. This turned out to be crucial today because our real riding challenge came upon us soon enough.
    The first post lunch trails where fairly standard for around here. The width of a truck, a hard packed stoney surface and lined with more rocks:


    Jono chases his roommate's rear.



    Spout: The HP2's make it look easy and do good times.


    No hurry here...


    It is like riding alone up here.

    As always the Boss leads the way, or should that be finds our way. It can't be easy at the front because that's where the problems on the road are found first.


    Skygod.

    He did have good back up though with Spout closely following on another HP2.


    Spout.


    Jono.

    Is it better to stand up or sit down on the corners? The two HP2 riders above show a different technique on the same corner. The surface is more rocky now so, do you go for more control or less height to fall from and land on a rock?


    Alan.

    It's becoming a long a day today with so many pistes to ride and there have been many changes of scenery. The one change we didn't want though was the disappearance of the trail. We arrived in another valley but there was no sight of which way we should go. The GPS showed our route to be between two hills which was full of rocks the size of a washing machine. This would have been too much for even the best trials rider, let alone us on these big bikes, and now we'll have to find another way out. Rather than turn back it was to be another unplanned river bed ride. Thankfully this time it wasn't as bad as the River of Death on our last trip but it was challenging at times when bouncing over the banks to the short stretches of stoney land winding it's way out the valley.

    We followed the path of the riverbed until we found ourselves back on track and climbed our way out and in the general direction of Tafraoute on some nice wide graded pistes.



    It can't be too far now but the day has been taking it's toll on us and some more than others...


    Dean.

    That's become an increasingly familiar sight over the last couple of days with Dean. He seems to have picked up a little bit of a bug and it's not doing him any good whatsoever but he has managed to keep on riding. It'll all be over soon because we are now starting to see some signs of civilisation and we're getting closer to finding a road.



    Somewhere down there will be Tafraoute.



    It's nice to be on tarmac again for a run into the town and we're all tired now. There's beer at this hotel, a pool and a nice view...





    There's no swimming this evening because it's getting cool now and the patchy cloud looks threatening. After a cold drink, or three, a table of tagines and an hour or so chatting it will soon be time for bed because tomorrow we have a day off to go a play on our bikes, and come back to the same hotel again.


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