Anyone travelling alone to Morocco next April or may 2009

Farmboy

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My mate having survived this years Arctic Adventure has decided that Morocco is too full on for him - too much Offroad and the like.

And me being a solitary kind of person and a Cop ( albeit a Nice one ) means I dont have any other mates to go with.

So if anyone fancies a go at Morocco next year and is in the same boat as me feel free to post.

Ive got the planning in hand ( means I got a Michelin 742 map today ) and ive read most of the posts so far on the routes so it should be a good mix of road and piste riding ( the easy ones ) totaling about 2 weeks from the UK and back, somewhere around 2500 miles i reckon all in.

I am not adverse to being away and can be fully self sufficient ( for upto 2 weeks ) with all the gear if required.

I am no god offroad but I have ridden offroad a number of times badly, just completed about 450 miles on gravel roads in Scandinavia and have done the odd enduro in the past. ive got a KTM 950 Adventure and I will be mostly stopping in small hotels or camping the odd night if i get stuck out in the mountains and all else fails.

I will be following a GPS route pre programmed in before hand so it should be smoothish ( it packed up in the middle of our offroading in the Arctic ) but i fixed it and it wont be happenning again :rolleyes::blast

Like to keep the group small around 2-3 if possible ( probably ONE in the end )
but I am open to offers from like minded travellers.

Did initially fancy Mongolia or Kazakhstan but too long away this time

Chris
 
You may want to have another look at your maps Chris......

If you go through France, it's 1450(ish) miles just to get to Algeciras so that's close on 3000 miles round trip without even setting foot in Morocco.

If you use the Pompei-Bilbao boozecruiseboat, it's around 1500 miles round trip just riding Spain.

I'd say from experience you need to plan on at least 1500 miles to get a good view of Morocco, probably closer to 2000 miles which will let you visit some of the best areas and pistes.


You can certainly do England>Morocco>England in two weeks, (have a look at the various 'Steptoe's dash' ride reports) but even if you go fairly hard, it's three days (or two very hard days) each way, so that's a minimum of 4 days out of your schedule.

I'll be down there, so give us a wave if you bump into us! :)

(Give me a shout if there's anything I can help you with in your planning.....I may do it as a business but the more people who come back with tales of how good Morocco is, the better we like it ;) )

Cheers Fanum

I did it on mapsource just to get a rough guide, I think i forgot the return trip:blast oh well might have to keep going then.

I reckoned on 3 days to get there each way and about 8-9 in Morocco itself.

Another 1000 or so miles isnt gonna hurt and thanks for the offer of assistance.

My only real concern of the whole trip is the Pistes, I do want to travel on as many as possible but If I end up alone I dont want to be tackling anyhting too tricky that i could end up in trouble.

If I could find the easy pistes i wouldnt be bothered about going by myself.

The Michelin 742 map is great but it doesnt give any difficulty scales :p now that would be nice.
 
When you have a rough idea of your route, ask people what they think of your proposed pistes.

However, the problem with difficulty ratings of pistes is that they vary according to
- whether or not you are carrying luggage
- the direction of the ride (the other direction might be significantly easier/harder)
- the state of the piste that day (next week there might be a flash flood making it much more difficult)
- the weather that day (wet/cold makes a big change to track surfaces and stream levels)
- how I felt when I got up that morning.

You might also find you have more experience and a better suited bike than your companions. :eek:

Tim
 
If I could find the easy pistes i wouldnt be bothered about going by myself.

The Michelin 742 map is great but it doesnt give any difficulty scales :p now that would be nice.

When you have a rough idea of your route, ask people what they think of your proposed pistes.

Tim's right about asking here about the pistes...there are plenty of us around who are willing and able to help.......and you're right in one way about finding the pistes being the problem.

There's a 'road', the 'N12' (N=national route) that's marked on the Michelin 742 sheet between Foum Zguid and Zagora.....it's actually a piste that divides into 2, the southern route being very sandy and extremely tough for a GS- on the Touratech map it's actually marked as a tarmac road! (it does start as a tarmac road and indeed ends as one but the middle bit is just not there)

We've seen people start off along that 'road' late in the afternoon on utterly inappropriate bike (A Deauville 650 for one) thinking that they've got an easy 80 mile bimble to Zagora :eek:

Having said that, as long as you have some decent basic kit (tent/shelter, food, water) then you can actually have some of the best and most memorable times when things go slightly wrong...have a search for Steptoe's report and include the words Tictac and have a read....and indeed Tim's own thread on getting stuck in a wadi.

As long as you don't put yourself in a situation that is silly and thus life threatening, you'll find that getting it wrong can actually be the best thing that can happen when travelling :D
 
all fair points Tim and your right there are many variables involved

I have read all the threads you can shake a stick at in this section ( most of the good intel was from your good self and other Morocco veterans )

I will post up my planned route soon when ive sorted it out, I did watch the Dakar Route last night on Motors tv but it was no use at all apart from giving a bit of an insight into the terrain.

Reckon I might just go for it no matter what - As I found in a recent Arctic trip, the planning of it was more worrying than the actual trip itself.:rolleyes:

chris
 
Yeah Fanum I here you:

The Adventure part of a trip for me is when it goes wrong. Those are the bits you remember the most ( but when your alone it does not seem so funny ).

That route to Zagora you mentioned I had already read about - I might still do it but maybe take a local with me if needs be to get me through the tough bits.

getting my new compass this week so will be brushing up on my map skills ready for the inevitable GPS failure that seems to follow me wherever I go.

Thanks fellas you are a big help and a comfort to us Morroco virgins ;)

chris
 
We've seen people start off along that 'road' late in the afternoon thinking that they've got an easy 80 mile bimble to Zagora :eek:

...have a search for Steptoe's report and include the words Tictac and have a read....and indeed Tim's own thread on getting stuck in a wadi.

Ahh yes, it all comes flooding back. Oh how i [URL="http://www.ukgser.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63379&highlight=steptoe"]Laughed[/URL] in the face of fear :D The road is totally different now, much improved.
 
Hi Farmboy after reading Steptoe’s Tales (Thanks Steptoe first class reporting!:clap) a friend (or 2 not sure of 1 of them?) and I have decided a run to Marrakesh is in order, a far as I can tell April-May is the ideal time.
This will be my first long distance run, I haven’t been off road for years though I’ll get some training in beforehand and give it a bash (what the worst that can happen?)

I’m thinking 3 days to get there 7 days hooning around in Morocco and 4 days back hopefully with Pyrenees into the mix (Not too worried about schedules so long as were grinning).

We’re camping freaks so we’ll camp as much as possible (just need some of Vern's panniers!) we’d be happy to hook up with you if you like or go our own way as you like, we’re easy

Cheers Cormick
 
hey, almost certainly going april or may. i will be leaving from ireland and am not sure if i will be accompanied or unaccompanied.

Hi sijohnston, the other possible traveller I know is my brother who is also living in Coleraine, if he goes for it you guys could travel down here the day before, stay here over night and head out the next morning.

Whatever the outcome your welcome to a bed for the night if you want it, no funny sh*t mind!:ymca

Cheers Cormick
 
Hi Farmboy after reading Steptoe’s Tales (Thanks Steptoe first class reporting!:clap) a friend (or 2 not sure of 1 of them?) and I have decided a run to Marrakesh is in order, a far as I can tell April-May is the ideal time.
This will be my first long distance run, I haven’t been off road for years though I’ll get some training in beforehand and give it a bash (what the worst that can happen?)

I’m thinking 3 days to get there 7 days hooning around in Morocco and 4 days back hopefully with Pyrenees into the mix (Not too worried about schedules so long as were grinning).

We’re camping freaks so we’ll camp as much as possible (just need some of Vern's panniers!) we’d be happy to hook up with you if you like or go our own way as you like, we’re easy

Cheers Cormick

You do realise steptoe took all those photos on a sandy part of Salisbury Plains :rolleyes:
 
Right then,
Mr Cormick and SJjohnson - thanks for your offers looks like I wont be completely alone at best :)

After a lot of map reading and planning etc here is my first draft of the route for all you experts to take apart at your will ( dont be shy all feedback is positive )

Must renew my subs after this someone remind me by PM :p

Tanger to Casablanca to Marrakech - motorway to get the miles in

Marrakech - N9 to Tizi n Tichka
Agouim - piste to Taliouine
Taliouine - N10 to Tazenakht
Tazenacht - R111 to Foum Zguid
Foum Zguid - N12 to Zagora
Zagora - N9 to Ouarzazarte
Ouarzazarte - N10 to Boumalne Dades
Boumalne Dades - R704 to Agoudal
Agoudal - R703 Tinerhir
Tinerhir - R113 to Alnif
Alnif - N12 to Rissani
Rissani - N13 to Merzouga
Merzouga - R702 to Erfoud
Erfoud - N13 to Ar Rachidia
Ar Rachidia - N13 to Midelt
Midelt - R503 to Fes

Fes back to Tangier

Hard to say on the map as it looks like a good mix of road and piste but on the Maroc Topo Map the all look like small roads ??

I am sure someone will enlighten me shortly.

right off to sort my subs out :blast

Cheers Chris
 
Are those locations for each day ? some of them are only a couple of hours/half a days riding apart .

Foum Zguid = shitehole :D Not sure if there is any accomodation. If you camp you'll be eaten alive by the locals.

Some Foamy squid locals in front of THE town shop.

 
There's a nice little hotel tucked down a side street about 2km out of foum Zguid that's very cheap and clean, does the normal fare (Berber omelette, tagines etc)

Ride into Foum Zguid from the Zagora piste end past the petrol station, into the main square (good grub there and they'll make up picnics for you to take on the piste!) and then out on the road (N12) that goes west to Tissint...it's about 2km out of the town square area down a small dirt road on the right but it's signposted from the road.

They have rooms for 15 minimum :)
 
PS one or two of the shops in Foum Zguid still work in old money........divide the bill by 20 to get the price in modern Dirham ;)


Old money, or trying it on :augie we never did come to a conclusion. :D
 
Jesus Farmboy Plod saying “Right then Mr Cormick” brings back some bloody bad memories! :wasntme
Looks like you’ve done a fair bit of planning :reynolds, I was just going to plagiarise some ones previous jaunt (lazy but sound logic!)

The more threads I look through the more I’m up for it :bounce1, (except Snoopy’s that boy should have a carer :augiefor his own sake! Still very good reading & hilarious videos)

Whereabouts are you based?

PS the GS clowns are getting stronger in numbers!
 
Agouim to Taliouine: I haven't done this route but it's a mix of pistes P1, P2, O12 and O8 from Gandini's guide books (volume I) so presumably viable. O12 (which is shown on the Michelin map, but not on MarocTopo) runs from approximately N31 03.569 W7 39.308 via N30 54.435 W7 39.451 to N30 48.119 W7 46.051. If you do O12 I would appreciate a copy of the tracklog.

Taliouine to Tazenakht: you can do this offroad by either retracing your route north to N30 34.103 W7 51.357 then heading east, or by taking the main road east and turning off north at N30 28.414 W7 44.422 then heading east again. The last few km of this piste was being sealed when I travelled it. I believe this will be one of the tracks in Chris Scott's forthcoming Morocco Overland book.

Zagora to Ouarzazate: there are pistes running parallel (to the east) of this road from Zagora to slightly beyond Agdz.

Ouarzazarte to Boulemalne Dades: there are pistes running parallel (to the north) of this road that go via Bou Thrarar to Ait Youl.

Boumalne Dades to Agoudal: this road becomes a piste after Msemrir.

Agoudal to Tinerhir: piste from Agoudal to Tamtattoutche, then asphalt.

Tinerhir to Alnif: I believe this is now sealed all the way. A longer alternative would be Tinerhir south to Nekob.

Tim
 
Tinerhir to Alnif: I believe this is now sealed all the way. A longer alternative would be Tinerhir south to Nekob.

Tim

One of my absolute favourites :thumb2

Middle video HERE is from the top of that heading south towards Nekob.

The scenery up there is fantastic :thumb2
 
Sir Cormick I am up in North Yorkshire on the East Coast.

I have decided I am going no matter what, alone or with someone else I am GOING :thumb2
Got a new summer suit ( new to me anyhow ) my other jacket is too damn hot to be taking there. Just need to sort out my Sumpguard and my extra fuel and I am ready, the rest is already done.

I have altered my route to remove the Alnif and replaced with the Nekob piste instead, doesnt effect anything else but i would rather travel on a piste thean a road if i had the choice.

Just another thing, on the Maroc topo maps there is mention of removing the " topo overlay " how do i do that.

also on the topo map there are black roads then the odd dotted road called a Trail, these seem to very straight and go all over the place, are these pistes or are they for light offroad bikes only ( not a fully laden KTM )

Just wondered like before I started hammering Mapsource again

Cheers Chris
 
Trails and secondary roads are temporary markers to show where it is thought there is a piste or road. I've submitted tracklogs to replace many of these and the actual track is nothing like what was in MarocTopo.

Read the knowledgebase for details of how to remove the Topo overlay.

Tim
 
Ah damn it’s not going to be straight forward getting together over a beer any time soon then!
I’m thinking the same way - I'm going whatever, though if I end up on my own I will stick to the roads! (brave to a point)

I’ve only just started looking into it so I am way behind you on planning and I want to add a few things to my 1150GS (probably don't really need 'em but you know how it is)

Like Simon whatever happens if you need a room for the night 90mins from Dover you’re very welcome. I have 2 people who are very interested but both have to sort a few problems out first.

Cheers mate Jason
 


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