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Kiwi Dreams - Europe & Morocco 2014

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by young1, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. Ajoy0000

    Ajoy0000 n00b

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    Thanks for the tip, the bnb combined with camping is the way to go for us.
    Safe travels
  2. GiorgioXT

    GiorgioXT Long timer

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    When you arrive in Italy, contact me, I have some hints and advices on Alps, Dolomites in particular and also Venice where I spent part of my youth.
    Nice report and pics!
  3. young1

    young1 Long timer

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    Thank you Ajoy0000, we do have a tent and sleeping bags etc with us, we will see how the budget goes and if needed will camp.

    GiorgioXT thank you, we have had help already planning a route from Nice to Venice over a number of days, we will get hold of you closer to the time.
  4. young1

    young1 Long timer

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    We can see Morocco from where we are staying. For the fellow Kiwis reading this it is closer to us than Kapiti is to the South Island. We can almost smell the tagines cooking in the casbahs!

    We have had another great day. We gassed up in Seville, were tempted to join the Harley riders but didn't think they would welcome a modern bike!

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    Heading out we came across fields full of sun flowers;

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    Carlos suggested a route that took us through Ronda (yes this is the town The Beach Boys sang about "Help Me Rhonda"). As you all know the beauty with a bike is being able to park it really anywhere you want. When I parked KT she was very much alone. Very soon she was joined by 6 bikers from Wales (a nice group of guys and aren't I glad that I didn't call them Poms!). You can just make me out in the blue loading up.

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    Ronda is well known for the ancient bridge (Puente Nuevo) in the middle of town that links the two sides of the town. It has a gruesome past, during the Spanish Civil War the fascists in the town were rounded up and thrown from it! It is very high, look how small the people look who are crossing it. I couldn't get the top and bottom in the same shot.

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    The road from Ronda to the Mediterranean coast was a dream for a biker. (In NZ) think the Rimutakas with a perfect surface, small amount of traffic and blue skies. Here is looking back;

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    Soon we came to the coast and the wealth WOW! Golf courses, big villas etc etc. The exciting part was seeing Gibraltar with Morocco behind. Here is the view of Morocco from near to Tarifa (where we are tonight)

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    Tarifa appears to be the kite surf capital of the world. I thought 20 or so off East End Beach back home was a lot, here down the long sandy beach there were too many to count.

    We have our ferry tickets for Morocco, we are on the 8am sailing tomorrow, keep your fingers crossed that immigration and customs (for KT) goes well
  5. Carlos M

    Carlos M www.motoxplorers.com

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    :D Can't believe you got away with that! :D Ronda must have something like ten permanent patrol officers whose sole mission is to stop people from parking in front of the Parador!! I guess the Guardia Civil today is in Atletico vs Real mode and cares only of the Champions Final :D By the way where will you be watching the game? It's going to be a Fiesta!


    :thumb It will work. You have a way with authorities :D
  6. young1

    young1 Long timer

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    Yes they were out and about... that is why we are packing up in that photo! Kiwi charm and good looks comes to nothing when surrounded by Welshmen. However I was also hoping that your Motoxplorers stickers would save us :-)
  7. young1

    young1 Long timer

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    We are in Fez in a fantastic old Riad (will share some of that tomorrow) after a day that saw us depart on the 8.00am ferry from Terifa to Tangier. Thanks again to Carlos for advice, once on board Leanne quickly got in the customs line and we were processed very quickly. A "helper" helped us with the importation of KT (yes being from New Zealand did cause a few delays). By the way Carlos a Croation chap we met with his bike paid 1 euro for his helper.

    We were soon out of Tangier and on our way! The differences we have seen from simply crossing a short stretch of water is amazing.

    Enough words, pictures is what we want!

    Approaching Tangier, a lot bigger than we expected

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    Sale yards, a LOT different to NZ, no sheep jokes allowed....

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    And some scenes from the road to Chefchouen (lunch) and Fez (tonight)

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    From what we have seen on the road today, this is still only half loaded

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    How are the blues in this lake?

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    Leanne doing a strip on the side of the road, well the lining of her jacket at least (from this angle she looks like a child next to KT!)

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    It was funny, coming into Fez we were pursued by a chap on a scooter who knew of accommodation, guides etc etc. We could easily lose him as we left the traffic lights (zoom zoom) but he would catch up while we followed a very scenic route into Fez. Luckily as we disappeared into a parking garage, well looked after there (thank you again Carlos) he disappeared.

    We have decided to have 3 nights in a Fez, have arranged a guide for tomorrow and will do our own thing on Tuesday. We will update this again Tuesday
  8. cold comfort

    cold comfort Been here awhile

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    St Leonards ,Dunedin NZ
    Cool photo there with the monster bike dwarfing Leanne. Very much vicariously enjoying the trip. Great trustworthy option for bike shipping. Also the AirBnB. Hatching a cunning plan for retirement. Looking forward to a taste next year with an Alps tour. What gear are you wearing as a matter of interest and how difficult was it to take considering the pathetic airline baggage allowance? I recall whilst diving in Vanuatu the Aussies got a huge allowance for sports gear, albeit on a direct flight.
  9. Two Moto Kiwis

    Two Moto Kiwis Homeless Somewhere

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    Heya Mike and Leanne

    Great stuff and beautiful places you are going to, so much culture and history there.

    Commendations with going to your fathers memorial too :clap

    Keep the rubber side down guys and we look forward to more write-ups and pics.

    Cheers from Sucre, Bolivia

    Andi & Ellen
  10. young1

    young1 Long timer

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    Greetings Cold Comfort, I understand you have snow on the ground at the moment?

    As we all know cunning plans are always the best plans :-)

    Regarding taking the gear with us, we were lucky as a lot of it went with the bike in the panniers, eg boots, front and rear tubes, electric tyre pump, tyre levers, my riding pants, the piece the tank bag mounts to, one bed roll (camping), tent (without the poles), bike padlock and the two little side bags (attach to the crash bars) that I have put on since Leanne has been with me. My helmet was strapped on the carrier. On the plane I wore my jacket and carried the tank bag as carry on luggage.

    Leanne carried her helmet on the plane along with a small back pack. The bag she used for her clothes, helmet etc we have left behind in Lisbon. In Rome we will buy her a new bag for the flight home.

    My checked in luggage was the orange dry bag, that is on the back of the bike.

    Our gear;
    Me
    Jacket Rev-It Defender GTX, it has two detachable linings, up until yesterday it had both thermal and waterproof lining in it. I am impressed with it.
    Pants Rev-It Sand, we have not brought the thermal linings for the pants. As they are not waterproof I have water proof over trousers.

    Leanne
    Jacket Rev-It Ventura Ladies
    Pants Rev-It Sand Ladies
    Also waterproof leggings and over jacket

    We bought Leanne new gear for the trip as her last pants were black and her jacket was not comfortable for an extended ride. She still has a black helmet, hopefully that will not cause problems closer to the desert.

    To ensure we keep hydrated Leanne is wearing a camel back.

    Hope this helps.
  11. young1

    young1 Long timer

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    Thanks Andi & Ellen we appreciate your interest :-)

    We also follow your trip very closely!

    Keep safe

    Michael & Leanne
  12. young1

    young1 Long timer

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    (I wasn't going to update our blog today but wanted to reply to Andy / Ellen and Cold Comfort).

    So briefly - a problem!

    Leanne was very good in the medina today. She ignored all temptation and said no to a very good salesman trying to sell her a rug.

    Then she again had to resist at the silk(?) place where they made more beautiful table covers, scarves, bags etc.

    Finally we made it to the leather tannery (and without going into to much detail I bet houses down wind sell for much cheaper than those up wind - think chicken farm) where somehow she came out carrying a very nice leather bag.

    So the problem is.....where the %#+# is that going on the bike lol

    For those of you who have not seen pictures of the centuries old tannery here it is.

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    And yes I did buy something, a sticker for the pannier (isn't the ADV rider motto "been there, done that, bought the sticker"?)
  13. Two Moto Kiwis

    Two Moto Kiwis Homeless Somewhere

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    Location:
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    :rofl:rofl ....welcome to moto travel and temptation :D like you we have seen so much stuff we want to buy but can't.

    When Ellen was riding her own bike I said you can buy what you want but you have to carry it, now we are on one bike it is easier and I just say you can't have it!! ... sorted :evil

    and stickers ... we have country and non country stickers, locations and places, things that all amount to places or events some which tell no story to anyone other than us, we were criticized by an armchair adventurer for ours but anything that means something along the way to us is fair game, plus they protect the cases for those small "moments" :D

    Keep it coming mate, really enjoying it :clap
  14. young1

    young1 Long timer

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    Monday we paid for a guide for the day and had a great day seeing the sites of Fez, being shown how the Arabic alphabet works (makes a lot of sense verses ours) and having the basics of the Muslim religion explained (fascinating)

    We are staying in the Riad Tizwa (a Riad is a large house with a garden in the middle). Unlike back home there are no external windows, instead all the rooms have balconies to the central area, that in our case, has a large glass ceiling to let the natural light in. There is no signage outside, no windows to see, just a door with a buzzer. We went in one yesterday that had a swimming pool.

    Above Leanne (having breakfast) you can see the "windows" at the top that are the rooms

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    Leanne and our guide in a famous mosque. For all you mathematicians out there (and this was one part of maths at school that I could never figure out) centuries ago this mosque was also a university and algebra and logarithms came from here, who would have thought! Our guide has just explained what the writing above him means

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    Got to have a bike picture! This guy lives in the Sahara and has had the XT for 24 years. Considering its age it looked to be in good condition. You can see the old city of Fez behind him

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    Do you think this will catch on back home, nappies on donkeys....

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    How about the load on this donkey (the way Leanne keeps buying things KT will look like this by the time we get to Italy lol)

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    And finally a couple of iPhone photos. We had dinner last night in the medina. Found a nice place to watch the world go by (there was a break in the "traffic" when I took this). Dinner, two soft drinks and bread approx NZ$16.00

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    On the walk back to the hotel I heard a whisper of wine and beer. Alcohol can be served here as long as it is done discreetly. Hence Leanne has her wine in a coke bottle (it was an "interesting" vintage) and my beer has a serviette around the glass

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    Today we will do our own thing in the Medina before carrying on travelling tomorrow (I have just booked next three hotels using booking.com)
  15. young1

    young1 Long timer

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    Sometimes I find it worthwhile when traveling to forget about the camera and to simply take everything in without worrying about a picture. We did that today.

    However in the medina we managed to talk our way (using about 3 different languages) into a pre school where the teacher suggested we take a photo. As I had my iPhone I used that to take this

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    By the way Leanne has solved the shopping and space on the bike issue...... Jewellery takes up virtually no space - hmmmmm

    We ride to Er Rachidia tomorrow.
  16. young1

    young1 Long timer

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    It was good to be back on KT today as we rode from Fez to Errachidia. Every corner appeared to open new vistas for us to look at. We saw countless number of sheep herders in the middle of (what looked to us to be) nowhere tending their stock.

    While at the start of the day we were glad to have our jacket liners in, once we were over the middle atlas mountains(?) and hit the heat past our lunch stop at Midelt they soon came off. At the moment it is 32c and there is a nice pool waiting!

    Enough talking, pictures from the road today

    There are ski fields here, we have just been past some tows

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    Big side open spaces and unlike New Zealand not a fence to be seen

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    Quick check of the map (yes that is snow on the hills behind me)

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    My 91 year old mum is a champion rose grower, this photo, of a park area on the outskirts of Midelt, is for her

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    Some French bikers we had lunch with

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    Then it got dry.... :-)

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    You can see the road going from the left

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    Swim (and maybe a beer if I can find one) time.
  17. cold comfort

    cold comfort Been here awhile

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    St Leonards ,Dunedin NZ
    Hi Mike. Thanks for taking the time to reply-yes it helps. Its either get some Sand pants to go with my jacket or go the Andi/Klim way (as they are waterproof). Your excellent pics remind me of my time in the Mid East and how HOT and DRY it was. Great to get my daily fix of sunshine and adventure via the net. (time to console myself with some snowboarding):D
    Cheers, Mark
  18. young1

    young1 Long timer

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    Although it was a short ride today from Er Rachidia to Merzouga again we were stunned by the scenery. We both are already feeling that our return to Europe will be an anti climax.

    Anyway today we had a late start, had a beautiful breakfast by the pool then loaded KT up. First stop was fuel for KT and water for us. The main road out of Er Rachidia at the start was surprisingly rough. Carlos (Motoxplorers) had suggested a detour off the main road which we took. As you can see it was wow!

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    Wide load coming towards us

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    My son, Tony, is a fine footballer and captains the Peringa United team. Tony do you think there is any home ground advantage with this ground?

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    The closer we got to Merzouga the hotter it got. I could feel the baking when I turned my head and exposed a bit of skin. Any stops today were planned to stop in the shade and we made sure before putting helmets on that we were all set to go and thus avoid being stationary all kitted up.

    Dunes in the distant, they glowed like the hills at home at sunset.

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    The view from our room (Marcel / Tony these are much bigger dunes than we used to ride at Foxton beach, wouldn't it be great to have those bikes here?), those are camels in the foreground.

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    Finally the pool, you can splash water onto the sand in the desert it is that close. There are also camels close by watching me type this. We might do a camel ride later to see the sunset from the dunes. (Yes I know ignore me and look at the view - Leanne wouldn't let me post her bikini pic)

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    Did I say it was hot!
  19. young1

    young1 Long timer

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    Family and friends on Friday we have a long day, with stops at two gorges that will be one of the highlights of Morocco, travelling to Boumalne Dades (weather forecast says it will be 36 Celsius tomorrow hmmmmm)

    However where we are staying on Friday does not have internet access so there will be no updates
  20. Phreaky Phil

    Phreaky Phil Long timer

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    looks great mate :lurk:lurk:lurk