Morocco bound


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Sep 3, 2002
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Four desperados off to Morocco in May this year for the first time. Using Portsmouth-Bilbao route.
Can anyone help with a few questions.
Planning to use ferry from Algerciras to Ceuta. I understand it is turn up, pay and go. Is that right?
Anyone with any tips on purchasing insurance cover and changing money in Ceuta? I assume it's best to change from Euros.
We are away for 18 days, spending about 10 days in Morocco. Booked in at Desert Inn Erfoud on 14/15th May.
Any tips appreciated, Lumpsucker............
Went last year with FRS ( from Tarifa to Tangier. That was turn up and go, no problem.
But I STRONGLY recommend booking a ticket back. We booked from an internet cafe in Fes and if we hadnt, we would not have been able to get past the touts at the gates of the port to actually get to the ticket offices to buy a ticket directly.
And once you get involved with the touts, it is going to cost you time and/or money (and/or both).

As to insurance, I got mine through my own insurers, although this is not always possible. Money we just got out of the banks using debit cards. That way we didn't carry too much (and Euro's are always usable in a push).
Just carry two wallets. The second one is the only one you ever take out in public, and never put more cash in it than you want to give away. Whatever you have in it will be what it costs you to get through the border 'niceties', etc etc.
Have a look at the bulletin board on Plenty of people head that way so you should find lots of info if you do a quick search or you can ask the same question and I expect you'll get a good response.
When you get to Algeciras, you'll find several ferry companies plying to Ceuta - they are all much the same - but buy return tickets directly from the ferry company windows - DO NOT use the touts!

Getting your bikes through the Moroccan controls can take a little while. You MUST take all you orginal documents includinga Green Card insurance certificate. First you need to get yourself in - the passport control. Then the vehicle - if you haven't got insurance, you'll have to buy that at the border control first (don't assume that it'll do you any good if you have an accident - it's just to get you into Morocco). Once you have the insurance sorted, you can do the rest of the vehicle paperwork. You'll need GB stickers and the original V5. Don't loose any of the paperwork they give you- you'll need it to get out again!

If you don't know the form, it's helpful to buy the assistance of a local 'guide' to sort you through the process. If you already have dirham, that'd be useful, but they'll take any currency if it's paper. Keep small quantities of low demonination notes in various pockets - remember how much you have in each pocket. Don't show them more money than you intend to give them. Five quid to smooth the passage of four bikes is loads! (Five euros is better).

Tthe road surface can be shite in places - especially if wet - locals (drivers, pedestrians and animals) have no road sense. Get a set of City Slicker horns and be prepared to use them.

As you get towards the desert (after Legionnaires' Tunnel), the road surface can get covered with a layer of very fine sand - it's lethal! Watch the rear tyre of the bike in fronat to see if it's throwing sand up.

Have a good trip.

Take a puncture repair kit that you can use.
If any of the bikes going are near (or over) 36k check that the Poly v belt has been changed, I would take a spare regardless.
If you need a dealer in the South of Spain I can highly recommend G Guarnieri, Malaga. They are a main car dealership as well, and well known so easy to get directions to.
Ride across Spain in a day and you'll have more time in Morocco.

Ride across Morocco in a day and you'll have more time on the edge of the Sahara.

If you fancy getting into the thick of it quick, head for Katama when you leave Ceuta.

The roads south of Fez are fantastic.

If I where going again I'd want to get to the south of the high atlas quick and then explore some of the high passes.

Do ride off road from Erfoud to Mazzouga it may seem a bit daunting if this kind of thing is a first (it was for me) but it's not that hard.

Have fun...
Have a look a both of these books by Chris Scott;


You can get them from his Adventure Motorcycling website

The Sahara Overland book has a whole section dedicated to Morocco and how to get there, routes on & off road etc etc.

How to prep your bike, what you need, what you don't need.

Included is advice on getting through the border, much like Greg gave - "Pick the oldest guy at the border and get him to help you" as well as bits on local customs, getting hassled and so on.

Both a good read.

Well worth buying & maybe stuffing in your luggage in case you have a problem out there.

Also consider a copy of Rough Guide or Lonely Planet on Morocco - if you're in the poo, you can use it to find hotels etc. Nothing like a bit of local info when you feel like you're in injun country :D

I'm going at the start of May for 16 days using the Plymouth Santander route (saves a day stuck on the boat on the Bilbao route).


Avoid street-snorkers at all costs!


Do try the McSahara burger from the Golden Arches of downtown Fes.

If you can get a decent hi-res shot of the arse of McD's manageress, I know someone who'd pay top dollar for it!




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Greg Masters said:
Avoid street-snorkers at all costs!


Do try the McSahara burger from the Golden Arches of downtown Fes.

If you can get a decent hi-res shot of the arse of McD's manageress, I know someone who'd pay top dollar for it!



Thats why we go, to experience a different culture.
You just had to be there........


One of many great shots from the trip


Lumpsucker, check out the rest of the 'photos here

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