Morocco, April 2020, just before Ramadan

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by GAMO, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. GAMO

    GAMO Adventurer

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    Hi,
    I will go to Morocco, in April 2020, for 3 weeks, just before Ramadan. Not clear yet if to take KTM 790 Adventure R or Honda CRF 250 Rally.
    I am trying to find information resources for helping me to plan sufficiently the trip.
    Have you been there? Could you recommend a blog etc., to inspire about the trip, the limits...?
    Many thanks!
    #1
  2. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Chris Scott, an inmate, has a bulging website, mostly about Morocco, travel there, clothing and equipment etc. He has been organising and leading tours since 1987.
    https://sahara-overland.com/ is just one page of many, you can navigate the rest from there.
    #2
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  3. pip_muenster

    pip_muenster curious

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    A search for Morocco in the ride report section would be a good first step to find reports such as this one.
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  4. b4thenite

    b4thenite Long timer

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  5. MotoMigrant

    MotoMigrant Been here awhile

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    If you are there during Ramadan, it will be very very hard to find a beer, ask me how I know :D What are your plans, more cities/culture or more dirtroads and camping?
    #5
  6. glitch_oz

    glitch_oz Long timer

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    Been looking at that one for a couple of years on+off.
    Good old Colebatch sure knows how to pluck the ADV-strings :clap
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  7. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Many years ago I was in Pakistan during Ramadan. There was no food or drink available during the day. I was accosted and "ordered" to stop smoking.
    Depends where you are, Islamic countries can have different ideas on how to enforce the "nothing past the lips" thing.
    #7
  8. pip_muenster

    pip_muenster curious

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    I worked through Ramadan in Saudi Arabia, and didn't starve to depth. You're still allowed to drink if you're traveling or working, but it's of course bad behavior to eat, drink or smoke in front of those trying to fast. Morocco is much more liberal, and I wouldn't expect problems. Instead, I wouldn't be surprised to find big banquets and feasts every night. What better opportunity to learn about people and culture can there be?
    #8
  9. Fishnbiker

    Fishnbiker Tire smuddy, hook swet

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    Maybe not quite up to date, but still mostly valid. ...
    http://morocco-knowledgebase.net/forum/showthread.php?t=73

    My online photos, sadly non biking, but with biking in mind ...
    https://fishnbiker.smugmug.com/Travel/Morocco

    Anything on Youtube ... search "Motorcycling Morocco"
    Eg;

    April weather should be as good as you could get. Possibly some flooding in the mountains from spring melt. Check routes first. Would you be there at all during Ramadan? Huge habit changes required if yes.

    Camping or hotels/auberges? Hotel prices are so cheap you don't need to consider camping unless you are way out in the boondocks.

    Your bike choice would depend on the riding style. Going for the ride, or using the bike as transportation to visit sight? 250 for the mountains passes. The 790 is a good all round choice if doing more mixed, if not loaded heavily. Most Moroccans use 250 or much less, your 790 may attract attention & ogling kids. If in cities & villages, Morocco has a system of "minders" who will watch your bike when parked overnight or all day. Last time for me was about 1~2 Euros /per day.

    Edit; the very last scene in this video is why I said the 250 for the mountains
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  10. pip_muenster

    pip_muenster curious

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    What he said.

    I'd only bring a tent if I'd expect an overnight stop in the desert. Cheap hotels offer a bed, good food, contact with locals ...
    We met a father/sun team on rented XR250s who struggled with mud after rainfall in the mountains and claimed that they only got through because of the lightweight bikes. I encountered some rocky roads with 8" high steps and some headsized rocks. That should be challenging, but doable on a 790 without too much luggage ...
    :lurk bring a camera

    Pip
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  11. PukaWai

    PukaWai Long timer

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    I spent some time there in May this year, going with little planning or research. It's supposed to be an adventure, right?
    Everywhere I went, my 1150GSA was fine although I did not go seeking remote mountain trails. Plenty of "offroad" on the highways as there were countless roadworks where the pavement was just gone for miles on end. I had camping gear as there were other countries on my trip where I made use of it, and I did use it a few times in Morocco, but as already mentioned, places to stay are cheap there. "Wild" camping is not a good idea as there are people crawling out of the bushes EVERYWHERE in Morocco, the only place I did it was in the high Atlas mountains. Unwittingly, I was there during Ramadan, which made it difficult to keep the bottomless pit that is my stomach happy. Some of the places I stayed served dinner (only after 7:00pm) and so did a couple of the campsites. Most everything is closed for a month during Ramadan, but there are plenty of fruit/vegetable stands where you can stave off starvation, and a few small convenience type stores with a few snacks. Restaurants are closed too since the Moroccans all go home to eat after sundown after fasting all day, they don't go out to eat. I found that the only people in Morocco that spoke English were "guides", "helpers", all scammers in general that will find hotels and other stuff for you at double or more the going rate. Other than these guys, most of the Moroccans can speak French to some degree, and it is a real pleasure interacting with the locals in that language, unless of course you speak Moroccan Arabic:rofl.
    Gorges du Dades and Vallee du Draa are rides I'd highly recommend, although they are out and back dead ends.
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  12. Fishnbiker

    Fishnbiker Tire smuddy, hook swet

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    Add: Road Report Required.
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  13. Fishnbiker

    Fishnbiker Tire smuddy, hook swet

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    But you get to places like this ...

    Upper Dades Gorge ...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And it's nearby to Ait Ben Haddhou, 11th century camel caravan city...

    [​IMG]

    If getting through the Atlas mountains from there to Marrakech, you will use this road ...
    [​IMG]

    After Marrakech, a 3 hour trip across the coastal plain & rolling hills, out to Essaouira is recommended. Ancient walled seaport & great surfing on golden beaches ...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
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  14. Fishnbiker

    Fishnbiker Tire smuddy, hook swet

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    What he said about Ramadan. Being seen eating during day time in Ramadan is filled with repercussion, subtle but noticible. Discretion or good planning is the way to go.
    #14