RTW on a H.A.T. In the slow lane.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by gperkins, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. BarryB

    BarryB Been here awhile

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    I know what you mean about getting “churched out!” I will add you’re other suggestions for consideration to my bucket list. I’m still thoroughly enjoying being along for your ride.
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  2. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    There is no doubt about it markinthailand it's the people contact that is most enjoyed. Either the locals or fellow overlanders swapping tales and info. Additionally when we look back, these are the memories we hold most.
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  3. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Pleased to see you are still enjoying our postings BarryB. ABC is an often quoted saying amongst long time travellers, especially to England and Europe generally. "Another Bloody Cathedral" or "Another Bloody Castle". :D

    Ok, gotta pack up and make a run down to the tip of Spain and guess what. It looks like there is some light rain on offer. Seems the mountain route is out and it's the boring slab down to and along the coast. All good, we've both been to the tourist mecca of Ronda before. :lol3
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  4. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    Good one, I hadn't heard that acronym before. Although it takes a hell of a lot for me to get "ruined out". But I sometimes think I should take in a few non-ancient sites.

    It's difficult to get the balance right. My new method is sequential, not parallel - visit loads of sites and then take a bit of time off. That worked fairly well on my recent trip to Turkey. With a rental bike, you think you need to use it all the time to get your money's worth - quite hard to take a day off.
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  5. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Greek & Roman ruins I can wander about all day long, no problem whats so ever DavidM1. Just one of the many reasons why we will return to Turkey next year.
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  6. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    So we decided to take a punt and head off into the mountains as originally planned, with the option to high tail it to the coast if the weather turned on us and thats just how the day turned out. Andalusia is certainly a great motorcycle destination. Very little traffic this time of year, great roads and fantastic vistas. We had to push on so didn't get too many photos. Heres some typical countryside around here.

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  7. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    We were given very good advice when crossing from Spain across to Morocco. It's tempting to head for the closest port when heading down to Morocco. Typically thats Algeciras, don't. This port is very busy, especially with commercial traffic going back and forth, which will slow you greatly being processed. Additionally the ferry's from here cross to Tangier Med, another very busy port, also meaning slow processing times.

    Instead, go just a further 20 minutes south to Tarifa where there is no commercial traffic. Two minutes in the ticket office and we had our tickets at 195 Euro open return. Seems a bit rich, but it is what it is. One hour across and you are berthing in Tangier. One caveat to this crossing, is that it is the most westerly of all the Spain - Morocco crossings. In fact it crosses the Atlantic and there for can be subject to rough conditions. So if you plan to come this way, be sure to check the weather report and go in the morning when the weather is typically better. Oh, the ferry's are fast catamarans that don't cope with rough seas well at all. Built in Australia by the way.

    Waiting for the ferry.
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    When you buy your ticket you are given two pieces of paper a white one and a yellow one. A little similar to a customs declaration that you will get when taking an international flight. You fill in the white one and hand it to the police officer on the ferry along with your passport. The police officer is doing the role of an immigration officer, whom stamps your passport. He keeps the white copy that you just handed him and you do the same on your return to Spain with the yellow copy that you were given earlier at the ticket office.

    Now for those that are traveling with a vehicle like us. You will have a number stamped into your passport above your visa stamp. This number is referred as a C.I.N. ( customer identification number ) Once you have disembarked on the Moroccan side you are handed some paperwork in triplicate. This is you T.I.P. ( temporary import permit ) The C.I.N. is recorded on your T.I.P. One copy is kept by customs and both the white and green stay with us until we leave. It is absolutely imperative that you don't loose these two pieces of paper. The green one is handed in on your departure and you keep the white one for your own records. if you don't have these on your departure your going to have a LOT of explaining to do. Any subsequent entry's into Morocco you will continue to use this same C.I.N.

    Ok, having completed your T.I.P. and have been queried by customs about guns and drones that maybe in your possession you are free to go. Well not quite, in the case of Tangier, about 100 metres beyond the security gate there is a white and blue building to the left where you need to get you obligatory vehicle insurance. That will cost you the tidy sum of either 95 Euro for 1 month or 3 months @ 190 Euro. We wanted 2 months but that is not an option, so 190 Euro later we were free to go, ouch! Maybe the above info is helpful for any doing something similar.

    Time to embark.
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    The 3rd party motor insurance immediately behind the two guys.
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  8. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Tangiers like most border, port or frontier towns is no great shakes. But to be honest it wasn't all bad i thought. Katrina spotted a Moroc Telekom office and within 20 mins we had a local SIM card with credit & data, next door was a bank. So now we were cashed up with local dirham and ready to hit the road. The obvious destination being Chefchaouen. Probably the most visited town in all of Morocco for it's old medina, uniquely painted in a mixture of white and blue is certainly worth a visit. Very touristy for sure, but it's a relaxing way to settle into a month or two in this part of the world. I think back in the day the local stall holders and hawkers used to hound the tourists incessantly. We got a little of that, but not too bad. At first you politely decline their insistence to assist you. But sadly some do not understand the word no. Only one guy was so damn persistent I had threaten to call the police.They pretty much back off immediately if you go down that route.

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  9. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    It'll be a blue Christmas!

    Any other pix of the Cat Ferry?
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  10. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    It appears to be the HSC Tarifa Jet. A very space-age looking machine.
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  11. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi Love my Tranny Super Supporter

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    Hi ya Graeme :wave.

    I'm looking forward to your tales from Morocco. Summer hasn't arrived in NZ yet, still blowing southerly storms.
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  12. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    We were only talking to some fellow travellers the other day about Xmas, not that I fuss too much about it now days roadcapDen. But we might catch up with a Canadian couple over Xmas, whom are also on the road, not sure where yet. Anywhere thats half warm with sunshine would be a good start.

    Sadly no more pics of the Cat. There were two major builders of fast catamarans in Australia. Austral over the west in Fremantle and INCAT down in Tasmania. The GFC about 10 years ago put INCAT on it's knees as orders dried up, then to my knowledge Austral took them over. I believe they have since shut down and only Austral survives.
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  13. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    The ferry company was FRS. The first fast Cat i went on was across to the Isl of Man back in 97. It's bloody impressive standing at the stern and watching the two huge plumes of water out the back as you cruise at damn near 40 knots or what ever it is they do. Just don't get caught in heavy seas on one though or else your pretty much guaranteed to be be feeding the fish. :puke2
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  14. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    How's it going MrKiwi? Summer usually arrives in UN Zed about the 3rd week of Feb and finishes about the 2nd week March doesn't it? :hide

    We too are really looking forward to this leg. Both Katrina and I needed a change of pace. The people of Spain & Portugal were fantastic. But the weather for the last month has been a bit grim and we just feel we need to be re-energised or stimulated with less familiar surrounds.
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  15. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    Yes, I took the HSS Discovery from The Hook of Holland to Harwich in '03, we hammered across the North Sea in a flat calm (4 water jets on this one).
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  16. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    Yep, pretty damn impressive DavidM1. I do know I wouldn't want to be paying for the fuel, kerosene presumably.
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  17. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    Yeah, Jumbo Jet engines (nautical version) by General Electric.
  18. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    No trip to Morocco is complete without visiting the city of Fez. It's one of those places that conjours up all sorts of romantic and exotic images. Well I'm here to tell you that there's not a lot of romance here. I'm guessing it vanished with the exotica some decades ago. The old part of the city encompassing the medina is still worth a visit, so long as you can handle the caos of the myriad number of tiny alleys and lanes that you will inevitably get lost in. All the time negotiating or not as in our case the incesant hawkers, towts and con artists. The ploys they will engage to lead you to this shop or that or over charge you for a simple meal are many. One for example is that they will ask you for the time. What they are trying to ascertain is, is what type of cell phone you have and if it's worth trying to pick pocket. Another is after sitting down for a meal having read the menu, then when it is time to pay they over charge you. You protest of course, but they produce a menu to show you the prices. This is inevitably a different and more expensive menu than the one you saw earlier with lower prices. This stunt was pulled on us last night. I looked the guy in the eye and accused him of being a lyer and a thief, well fuck me if his glare back wouldn't kill at 20 paces, I don't know what would have. It's all part of the charade & scam of course. "How dare you besmirch my hounor by accuseing me of being a thief". The owner of the business was exremely reluctant to see me putting up a protest in front of any prospective customers and he quickly refunded my money. He of course was a party to the scam. I just get so tired of this BS, we first copped it about 20 years ago in Egypt and Turkey to a degree. But Turkey bless their cotton socks have lifted their game and no longer employ these annoying tactics or at least not too much.

    So plunge into the malestrom of the old Medina we did.
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    Hmmm, let me guess. I'm thinking camel cuts are available here.
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    Next time you are moaning about your 9 - 5, spare a thought for these guys. A big part of visiting the Fez Madina is to view the tannery. We were told about the smell before hand. To be honest it wasn't all that bad. But then again I'm an old farm boy and i've seen and smelt my fair share of sights and smells.

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    Cleaning out the tanning pits. I would not want to even begin to guess what this concoction entails.
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    The guy bent over is slicing the part of the hides that were once around the calf of the beast, so as to open it up before being placed in the pit.
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    The white pits in the background are full of lime. The guys working there were all wearing waders. The other pits they could be wearing shorts and flip flops.
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    A random bit of art to finnish of our day in the Medina.
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  19. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    We found ruins. :D Roman no less and possibly the best collection of mosaics we've seen and we've seen a few. :nod

    Volubilis, here in Morocco was about as far as the Roman empire reached, in Africa at least. It's not so far outside of the town of Meknes where we are going to kick back and rest for a little while. We've seen far grander and more extensive Roman ruins thats for sure, but the mosaics made up for any other deficiencies.

    Orpheus
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    Athlete or acrobat the experts are unsure.
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    Dionysus and the sleeping Ariadne.
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    The labours of Hercules.
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    Apparently a lot of what can be seen standing today has been re-errected in the last 100 years or so.
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    Note the storks nest. We've seen them all over Europe. They have mostly left Europe for the winter and now we are seeing them again here in Morocco.
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    Who says you can't get beer in an Islamic country? Here's looking at you kid. Apologies to Mr H Bogart.
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  20. gperkins

    gperkins graeme

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    I made mention a while back how Katrina had been doing a little book keeping and tallying up our costs. We set out to Europe with the goal of trying not to spend more than Aus $100 per day on average. That is about US $73 @ todays exchange rate. We don't follow any formula religiously. If money has to be spent then so be it. Having said that there are times we declined to reach into our pockets. The salt mines in Poland were an example. In any case here are the raw figures for the last 6 months in Pacific Pesos, aka Australian dollars.

    June 30 x $120.61 = $3619.3
    July 31 x $76.11 = $2359.4
    Aug 31 x $91.96 = $2850.7
    Sept 30 x $85.01 = $2550.3
    Oct 31 x $131.44 = $4074.6
    Nov 30 x $83.02 = $2490.6

    Total days 183 x $98.02av = Aus $17937
    = US $13183 aprox

    To be honest I'm pretty happy with that. The lumpy months of June & Oct include expenses like numerous ferry's, disc brake rotor, tyres, Isl of Man TT (that sucker always costs, but WOW!) & MotoGP tickets amongst other items. A couple of weeks back we forked out a little over Aus $4000 for our upcoming 6 week break back home this coming Feb/March. That cost has not been included for the above figures, but of course should be if you are flying in from some where other than Europe. If you were to really skimp, I recken you could shave 20 - 30% off those figures. But hey your probably not coming back so spend the money.

    I don't feel that we have skimped on anything. We've eaten well, had a beer & wine when ever we felt like it and I could count on one hand how many days we camped in those 6 months.

    Accomodation costs are kept in check by connecting with other travellers and bikers. Friends from years gone by when we used to live in England. Various forums, such as tent space here on Adv and Bunk a Biker on FB. But what has really brought accomodation costs down here in Europe is the advent of AirB&B. We regularly get places for as little as Aus $25 a night. Often you can't camp for that money. Of course minimise your time in places such as Paris, Rome & London. Go if you must, but search out some of the other smaller citys like Gdansk, Poznan and others. Still full of history and sights to see but without the eye watering prices.

    Maybe this little bit of data will encourge others to do something similar. If you do you'll love every bit of it.
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