WR-ing about in Morocco

Where you've been and what you done
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Chris S
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WR-ing about in Morocco

Post by Chris S » Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:37 pm

A few pics so far while updating my Morocco book.
Got very hot in the desert for a while – wore me right out – but resting in Tan Tan and it’s cooling off for a few days, so hope to dive back in before the heat comes back for good.
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This time I used Fly & Ride to get the 250 to Malaga - didn’t fancy Spain at 57mph. Works out cheaper too when you add it all up. Done trans-Spain enough times.


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Gales meant the ferry took over an hour to dock at TanMed, and next day was miserable - down to 45 and 4th at times - but there’s no quick way to get south as nothing was going to Nador.
I try Airbnb and find this lost resort up a valley near Bzou.


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I inadvertently gatecrash a Berber soiree. No room at the inn so he feeds me and puts me up down the road.


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My first tajeeen of twenty-seventeeen


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Next day I got my bike back - pootling though the springtime Middle Atlas without fighting gales and showers and trucks. 95mpg thankyouverymuch.


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I take the old Demnate route over the High Atlas. Last did it on the XT660Z in 2008


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The road deteriorates in places - lots of landslides. Near zero traffic.


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I pop out on the south side overlooking the headwaters of the Oued Draa near Ouarzazate. There's a huge new solar farm down there.


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After some fumbling about, I pick up a new piste from OZT to Tazenacht.


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Nice colours on the ford


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Next day another new piste I’ve been wanting to unravel for ages.
Olaf map is confusing, but an old man in a village puts me straight
Wildflowers are out.


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I’ll take the odd mast over photo-bombing telegraph lines any day


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The ruins of Assaka ksar.


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No Canoeing? Shame.


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Perfect lunch at Foum Zguid roadhouse


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A good morning’s work - but it is now as hot as.


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I check out a flash place for a future Italian tour - then head into FZ for my reliable cheapy - 16 quid half board √


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At 14-47 my bike is over geared even on the road, and my weight and wide pans don’t help.
But the flat wheel wrench won’t fit - who'd have thought? - so I nip into town to blag a 27 socket as there's gnarlier dirt to come.
Last edited by Chris S on Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Chris S
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Re: WR-ing about in Morocco - 2

Post by Chris S » Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:51 pm

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West to Tata I ride the reg alongside the road. The WR takes the transition like a duck to water


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Why is the chain so slack? Because you fitted a 13T, idiot! The old brane is going.
I pull in at Tagmout to blag the open 12 I forgot too. Barely accessible chain adjusting lock nuts are cheap. Bring back snail cams!


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A lovely spot up the road to Igherm I recall from ’99 in our HJ61


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Nightfall in Igherm - but within an hour a riot flared up and the whole place got torched. Crazy!
I buy a 12mm for 80p. Morocco is easy like that.


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Been looking forward to doing the lovely MW3/8 route via Tazal’ also on the XTZ - the cover of the original edition of Morocco Overland.


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You ride the river bed past palms and folded rocks. It gets narrower later on, with big trackside boulders - not the best piste to ride on a flat twin on road tyres


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Up on the Tizkhit plateau.


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I come across a new haul road and get totally confused. I follow it anyway - a good fast ride.


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Amazing western Anti Atlas - you can keep your Erg Chebbi ;-)


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Ah ha, that clears it all up then!


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I back up to a tap to refill the hydrator while eating yoghurts and bananas. I am a master of multi-tasking.


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The lovely gite at Igmir: we were last here in an overheating dog of a 190D. Took an hour to get out of the gorge.


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Tea and bix served, and the day’s writing up begins. Notice my sunburned hands - need to wear gloves.


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Nightfall in Igmir. But it’s a Thursday so an hour of repetitive chanting from the mosque ensues.


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Now that’s what I call a Full Moroccan brekkie


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Trying a tank bag for the first time in years. I think they might catch on.


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They’ve nearly finished a road through the MA2 Smouguene valley but it now bypasses the villages so takes the soul out of the original route. Same story all over Morocco but locals won’t be complaining.


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The bike is on a steady 84mpg - with one burst up at 95 on that over-Atlas day from Demnate.
But then last year’s Honda CB500X RR did about the same AND could sit on 80mph - gale or no gale.
The real (only?) benefit is 60kg (or some 30%) less weight (standard bikes, wet). On the dirt that is a big, big plus.
This is why we want a 'CRF450L' but based on a detuned RX (or Dakar) motor.
Or a WR450R
Or a modern injected DRZ450. (No, I have not tried a CCM yet.)

550km to a tank is dead handy. It means you can wing it up some unknown track like that haul road just to see where it goes.


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Some days I feel more gazelle than jackal


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I light out to Zag on the off chance, but as expected, get cordially turned back at the checkpoint (closed section of border road too close to Polisario HQ in Tindouf, Alg)


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So I swing in down MW6 for Smara. Too risky to do this one alone in this heat, so I camp 100 clicks in.
I realise it’s my first solo moto desert camp since Libya ’98 on a Funduro.
Either I’ve become over-sociable or I need to get out more.

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Glenn_G
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Re: WR-ing about in Morocco

Post by Glenn_G » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:00 pm

Cools scenery and descriptions. Keep it coming.

'Bring back snail cams!'
Yeh I remember them on my old DTR and just push down on them with your boot - simples (thumbs)

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Chris S
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Re: WR-ing about in Morocco

Post by Chris S » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:04 pm

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I’m testing prototypes of Kriega’s new OS32 panniers on a Tusk rack. All good so far: rack is solid, bags are massive and rugged, strap on securely and easily via a plate, but come off with minimal faff too.
On a par with Magadan throwovers, but secure fitting included.

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Mitas MC23 Rockriders not doing so well after ~2000km, but what do you expect from a knobby.
Fine on the road and great to have grip in the dirt – means you can relax more and saved me many times


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El Bouriat - the Marie Celeste of the Sands.


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I swing off MW6 northwards and ride crossing-county to pick up MW3 at the base of the jebel.
This is real ‘off-road’ riding – fun but can get technical, so (at my age) a light bike is ideal to stave off exhaustion.


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Back on the pistes. I recall this spot from 2008 in the Mazda


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I pass through an old fortified berm from the Polisario war


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It’s darn hot - mid-30s? In Assa I hop in the town trough for s splash-down.
Ten mins later I’m sweating like a kipper again


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The incongruous gateway to Aouinat Lahna


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Newly born camies


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I spend a windy night in an old pump house


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The original one horse power


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The good thing with camping is it gets you on the road early - ideal when its hot.


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Cool ride to Aouinat Igoumane - that's route MW3.


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The new road ends at the mosque by the oasis. Pass through the gap in the hills and carry on west


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The abandoned fort of Ayoun du Draa


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There’s a lovely spring here - water as fresh as you like.
On this trip I am trying to avoid bottled water. Just like at home, tap water is fine (except Foum Zguid and other low-elevation desert towns).


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The WRs horn could not hoot its way out of a wet paper bag


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Track gets a bit rough up to Ain Kerma pass. Coastal 'fog' vegetation begins.


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From here you can see the coastal dunes.


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And I''m back in the Oued Draa riverbed, but now just a few miles from its estuary into the Atlantic.


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Tan Tan by night - unrecognisable since my last stay in ’97.


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£2.50? That will do nicely. I have not been eating enough. But then at home i eat too much, so waistband harmony may be restored.


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I tried to get to Es Semara via El Mahbes - turned back at Zag.
Will try Smara again via Mseid along an old Dakar piste, then swing up on Laayoune (or maybe even Dakhla) from the interior. Inch allah.

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Gavinskii
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Re: WR-ing about in Morocco

Post by Gavinskii » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:23 pm

Great write up and pictures Chris, it brings the memories flooding back (thumbs)
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ollydog
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Re: WR-ing about in Morocco

Post by ollydog » Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:07 pm

loved the pics, esp the blue in the sky, really depressed now :( :(

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DaleC
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Re: WR-ing about in Morocco

Post by DaleC » Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:02 pm

Nice one Chris, thanks for sharing (thumbs)

Love looking at these photos while stuck in the office :silly:
Keyboard Adventurer! :D

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halfpint
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Re: WR-ing about in Morocco

Post by halfpint » Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:05 pm

cant wait to go there good old wr keep plodding along . fantastic photos

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PHILinFRANCE
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Re: WR-ing about in Morocco

Post by PHILinFRANCE » Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:18 pm

Gutted just got you 2nd edition book :( it'll have to do, great RxR (thumbs) Back in Maroc in May B)
I'M HERE FOR A GOOD TIME NOT A LONG TIME



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Oop North John
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Re: WR-ing about in Morocco

Post by Oop North John » Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:26 pm

Is that Gara Medouar on the front of your book Chris?

http://thebondbulletin.com/gara-medouar ... llain-lair

Hoping to have a look at it in three weeks time :cheer:

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