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Old 04-17-2013, 04:02 PM   #34
pip_muenster OP
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Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Karlsruhe, Germany
Oddometer: 410
Around Zagora

We had already noticed that there was a Russian rally team staying in the same hotel, but unfortunately they didn't speak much English. One of them explained to me that they were involved in the Dakar which sounded strange to me: The Dakar Rally would start in about 4 or 5 weeks in South America, so to make it to the start line in time, it should probably be already on a ship. Later when I googled it, I realized that this was a factory Kamaz rally truck - and there are several identical looking trucks out there. If you look at the red rings around the aux lights on the front: they were black on those in South America.



With Maddin being stuck in the hotel I looked on the map for a short route which could be done in a day. There was one route in my gps which was supposed to be quite nice and easy, named the MS1. I would ride north through the valley for about 50km and then loop back through the mountains. The first part through the valley was all asphalt, with the cliff on the left and palm trees on the right.



There are many small villages, all of them in the Kasbah style: Build like a fort with clay houses wall to wall and few windows. Some of them were deserted and collapsing, some where brand new and inhabited. You could see masons working on wooded scaffolding, using tools that looked like being centuries old. And of course the inevitable cell phone. In fact, this road leading from Marrakesh to Zagora is part of the 'Route of 1000 Kasbahs'. Here's one:



The route into the mountains started somewhere in a small village and it was kind of fun trying to find the right way through the houses and gardens.



There were some spectacular views, I especially like the colors on this one:



One thing I noticed on riding alone was that I started having fun riding faster and faster. That escalated when I got some air and almost flew into some larger rocks beneath the road at some point. Not a good idea to crash on the first day alone, so I dialed it down a bit.



The last bit back to Zagora was a road in construction through a sandy plain. Parts of the road already were hard gravel, parts were soft and showed ruts from heavy trucks. Traffic either drove on it or next to it, as it suited the drivers. My speed when up again and I had a terrifying moment when I oversaw a patch of fesh-fesh going 100+. That would have ended quite badly if I had been on the heavy GS.


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