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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by DeeGee, Oct 7, 2012.
Great stuff Gav, I'm loving the pics in the desert! :)
Ooh you are a one Allan.
It sounds like a lot of fun!
I brought a rotopax mounted on the pannier rack. I never needed it but would do the same again just for peace of mind and in case you do more offroad than we did.
One thing to bear in mind is that the village kids will be out in throngs for a high 5 from the big bikes. You may get your high 5 from a 4 yr old but also stand a very good chance of decapitating them with your panniers extra width.DAMHIK!
Me too..........though just enjoying the simple pleasures in life...........like a 'dry' fart!
Great report lads, enjoyed reading and seeing all the great pics! Any video off the GoPros anywhere? Wish I was along for the ride. Give me a shout if you are looking for more people to join in next year, Only fear I have is bringing the fat old GSA onto the dunes..
I was hoping to have some video for this post, but unfortunately there's been a breakdown in comms with the guy who's doing the editing, hopefully I'll have something for the next installment.
What I forgot to say in the last post was after we had breakfast we went to conquer the huge dune, this one in the centre of the picture.
Now from here it doesn't look all that big, hopefully the following pictures will give you an idea of the scale of it. Don't forget it was bloody hot too, so hot it felt like you were walking on hot coals!
Saw this as we set off and thought it'd make a good shot
Looking back at the hotel
Vast open space
We'd not been going long when Jack decided she'd had enough it was tough going though it was very similar to walking in deep soft snow, plus the heat was pretty intense. She turned around and headed back :huh
Terry, Pete and Rob near the bottom.
The white dot you see just right centre of the screen is Jack still on her way back.
Rob and Pete
Rob looking like a true adventurer
Pete doing the "Funky Chicken"
Me looking warm
Rob and Terry decided they'd also had enough as they turned back and headed down, then it was just Pete and I.
We were both knackered, we were just managing to walk ten yards or so and then we had to have a rest, we both decided that the pool was in need of a visit and our camel backs were almost empty so we called it a day and headed back to the others at the bottom.
Pete almost at the top!
In the following picture there's a white dot about three quarters of the way up to the right, that's Rob and Terry.
The views were stunning from up here and it hit home to me how damned hard it must be for the super heroes riding the Dakar, I mean not just the fact of riding the massive dunes, but they've also got to navigate over miles and miles of this stuff!
We headed back. Terry on the horizon.
Anyway we went back, jumped in the pool and then we went off for a cracking ride, came back jumped in the pool again, had some food and then we headed back out to play again. Rob was feeling a bit better and came along too.
On Piste, Pete.
Love this shot.
We saw these guys out testing.
After a couple of hours playing we called it a day and headed back to the hotel, I had to help Jack pack and tidy our room, messy business this adventure biking lark
We ate later and decided we should head back north the following day We asked one of the lads who took us on the camel trek the previous night about which way would be the best. We wanted to try a few more pistes on the way back. Sadly the one we were looking at was deemed to be too dangerous on the bikes :huh
Rob looking happy
Running an eye over the bikes
The pool looked inviting even in the evening.
After breakfast we headed out for the final time.
Quick stop for a couple of pics.
We picked a place on the map called Khenrifa and headed north, hopefully taking in Todra Gorge. But that's going to have to be next time, I've got to dash!
Nice one Gav, waiting patiently for the next instalment
Really enjoying the pictures but looking forwards to the video
Still waiting on the video I'm afraid Louis, but he is on with it now
Right where were we?
Yes we were heading back north and leaving the dessert behind us. First up we needed fuel and on the way down we passed a couple of petrol stations in Risanni. I had a bit of a panic as we took a diversion through the narrow streets, the first gas station we came to had no petrol and I was running on fumes. Turned out the second one we pulled into also had no petrol, luckily the third one we found had plenty
As we were fuelling up a local gent came out of nowhere (we had gotten used to this now) and tried selling us some of his wares. Terry finally gave in and bought some jewellery from the guy.
We then hit the road, we'd not been going long when we saw some camels roaming along on the plains beside us.
Care free they crossed the road in front of us.
Back home I'm a football referee and was amazed to see a few football pitches at the side of the road, no lush grass to play on though and I doubt if any of the players would have suitable footwear, I really couldn't believe that people would actually play football on there! :eek1
The ever changing scenery
We made our way to Todra Gorge, the village we passed through on the way once again lots of children came running, laughing and waving and the braver ones high fiving us. I found it refreshing and didn't think I could ever tire of this sight as I beamed in my hot helmet.
We decided to stop for food and drink just before we headed through the gorge.
Once we were fed and watered we moved on through the gorge.
We then headed back out of the shade and pressed on north.
The road was cut into the rock and a river ran below us, it made for a stunning back drop.
We passed a van with a load of goats on the roof sadly this is the picture (Jacks' effort )
We turned onto some fresh tarmac and the temperature dropped as we climbed higher and higher.
We got to a height of around 8500 feet and we just had to stop for pictures.
We came to a town called Imilchil and decided to call it a day, we found a hotel and made ourselves at home.
We had a strange dinner of cold cooked vegetables, cold fries and hot spicy chicken followed with fresh fruit. We broke the jetboil out again for a hot drink.
We got an early night after picking a destination further north for the following day (Meknes)
As I loaded the bike the guy who had booked us in and looked after us came to watch with his young daughter, as I climbed on the bike he lifted her up and sat her on the back, I handed him the camera. I love this shot.
We fuelled up at the local garage and then set off for the best adventure days riding of the trip, for me personally this day epitomised everything about the adventure riding.
We set off and rode through a small village (I really regret not having the helmet camera on) the village was run down, no tarmac on the road, locals waved as usual, but you could tell it was a very poor area. Women washed clothes in the river below us, even they took a moment to wave at us and the young girls accompanying them giggled. In the town people were fixing battered cars, they took a cautious glance at us. There was one guy ploughing a field with two donkeys harnessed to some large broken bough of an old tree. Goats, cows, chickens, donkeys and dogs roamed the dirty street, it was sureal, but the experience was priceless and it hit home of how little these people had yet the majority still smiled and waved at us. I felt kind of embarassed.
We came out of the village and hit tarmac, views were great again and as we stopped to take pictures an old truck passed us bellowing black smoke out of the battered exhaust. An old woman with three donkeys lost control of them as they ran into the path of the old truck.
On we went.
We continued over the Mid Atlas mountain range on adventurous roads!
Passed a shepherd.
No room for error :eek1
We made it down safely.
We passed El Kebab and made our way into the Cedar Forrest again.
We spotted some monkeys and Pete managed to get a snap this time
A few miles later my bike suddenly stuttered to a halt. I thumbed the starter...... Nothing, we were in the middle of nowhere, I tried the starter again and the same nothing, the bike turned over, but the engine wouldn't fire up. It had to be fuel we all agreed. I got out the tool roll and set to work dropping the sump guard to get at the fuel pump. I disconnected the outward flow fuel pipe and we tried the starter again, nothing. Luckily Rob had given me a spare facet to carry as a spare and I set to.
I don't think it took us an hour start to finish. I primed the new pump a couple of times and then tried the starter......... And she fired up first time
During this time a guy (again) turned up out of nowhere, I mean we were miles away from anything! He showed up and engaged in conversation with Jack and Rob pointing to his sore foot. They administered a bit of first aid as his heel had an open sore and was black in colour, Rob and Jack cleaned up the wound and put on some anticeptic cream and covered with a small bandage. The guy thanked them and simply disappeared.
We made it to Meknes and found an Ibis hotel where we checked into. The city felt very European and had a good vibe about it. We drank beers and ate at a Pizza Hut just near the hotel, we had had a brilliant days riding and was one of the best days of the trip for me.
Those mountain trails look fantastic. Thanks for the great pics
Tell your friend to get a taxi and keep posting.
Finally got a video montage done After two hours of trying to embed the video it's finally won. I can't for the life of me suss it out so you'll just have to click the link
<iframe width="640" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/TUbT5ZL3uWM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Catch you soon
Go on what did I do wrong??
Did'nt pay attention in school maybe.
I thought I recognised that hotel mate!! Looks like the trees have grown a bit though
I've just spent the last two fookin hours updating this RR and my bloody laptop has just crashed!
So we ate at Pizza Hut and washed it down with a few beers back at the hotel reflecting on the great days riding we'd had, then hit the sack. After a hearty breakfast it was time to load up the bikes again and head further north.
We set off into the European feeling city in search of a cash machine, after the first two weren't working we found the third one to be functional.
Next stop fuel.
We wanted to stay outside Tangier, but close enough to the port just in case we had any mechanical issues, that way at least we'd have enough time to fix any problems. We decided to head for Larache on the north west coast, we arrived in the early afternoon. Again it had a surprisingley european feel about the place and the temperature was still up as we rolled into town.
We stayed at the Hotel Espana which you can see in the background of the picture below.
We found the hotel had secure parking albeit a few streets away, so we checked in and then the guy who checked us in said he'd show us the way to the secure garage. Nothing strange about that other than the fact that the guy was a dwarf and he chose to jump on the back of my bike. The guy was in his element as he waved and shouted to his friends mulling around the streets and drinking tea in street side cafes. We secured the bikes once there then made the short walk back to the hotel.
A quick shower and change and we went for a stroll and a brew.
We had a wander round the market and shops.
Pete couldn't resist getting his body out in a shop trying on a shirt for his son back home
We then decided to split up before meeting up later for tea (or dinner if you're posh!)
Jack and I made our way back to the hotel after trying (and failing) to find a place for a beer. We saw Terry in the lounge area not looking too good, he'd had some sad news from home. Before the trip his nephew had undergone major heart surgery and he'd been picking up infection after infection. Sadly he passed away. We offered our most sincere condolences and gave him a hug and a shoulder, we then left him to be alone.
The guy who showed us the parking earlier in the day recommended a good restaurant to eat and he showed us the way through the crowded streets. Some of us had doubts about where he was taking us as we seemed to be walking for ages, but the doubts we soon quashed as we were led up some stairs where we ate and drank like King & Queen.
We could have stayed a couple more days in Morocco, but essentially Terry confessed that the trip was over for him now and he just wanted to get home to be with his family. We all agreed that we would go and get the ferry the following day.
Time to load the bikes once again.
We made the short trip to Tangier, we passed many of these on the way! :eek1 :eek1
Plan was to hang back just in case one of the bales were to come loose, wait until the road was clear and then nail it as quick as possible!
We soon arrived on the outskirts of Tangier and we braced ourselves for the onslaught of the rush hour. It was pretty manic as we weaved our way through the streets, we took a couple of wrong turns courtesy of the local police we then found our way relatively unscathed at the port. We were quickly ushered through as we were told that there was a boat in ready to go.
We all frantically searched for pens to fill in the correct forms and searched for the import/export forms, passports and tickets, we were all through in record time and Pete was that impressed with the guys help he gave him a €5 tip................ Which I noticed was a €50 note I loved Pete's reaction, he simply shrugged and said it's only money, easy come easy go. He then went on to say that the money would probably feed his family for a couple of weeks!
We waited for the ferry............... And waited................And waited some more.
We messed around.
And waited some more
We were then told that there was a problem with the boat on the other side and we'd have to get the next one, we had come to realise that this was the "Moroccan" way. As we waited the port started to fill with other passengers and cars, we got a guy to take a "team" photo.
Then the boat finally arrived.
There was a huge yatch in the port, not sure whom it belonged to, but it was impressive!
We boarded the boat and secured the bikes.
We were off and saying goodbye to a wonderful country and continent.
Terry wasted no time in getting some shut eye
Pete checking his phone still works.
Next stop Spain!
Wow! man You took some outstanding photos, great color Glad you all had wonderful holiday, guess your putting the pound notes in the can for the next one Huh?
Keep in touch ok
Hey Jeff! Hope you're well my friend? Cheers for the comments re the pics. To be fair I have used a few which the other lads took and some which Jack even took!! :eek1:eek1:eek1
We're coming over to the Mighty U. S. of A this year for a family holiday to Florida, leaving the bike at home hopefully we might get over to France for a week, but if not we're thinking of going over to watch the Dakar in 2015