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Old 05-13-2010, 03:10 AM   #1
stef25 OP
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Morocco on 5 GSs

About a month ago I got back from my first trip to Morocco. A friend and I (both from Belgium) took the ferry from Barcelona to Tangier and on the boat we met three guys from Slovenia who's bikes we'd already seen in the ferry garage. We ended up riding with them the whole time. There was one 1200GS, 3 1150's and then me on my 650 Dakar. Here are some pics from our two weeks on 5 GS's in Morocco

Clearing through customs when we arrived in Tangier:



My buddy Geert outside our Hotel ("Dar Zman") in Chefchouen aka "The Blue City". This town is easy to reach from Tangier so it's an ideal first stop. It's on the edge of the Rif Mountains, known for the growing the stuff you put in funny cigarettes.



Planning a route out of Chefchaouen to Fez:


My four riding buddies somewhere on the road between Tangier and Fez:


Team Slovenia setting up their helmet cam (Go Pro). This was a great piece of kit and they recorded a lot of our riding in full HD. We're still waiting to see some of the footage ...


We got "lost" pretty quickly (I think that's a good thing ) so we asked some passing cars for directions


I was leading that day and decided to ignore all the directions and just head out on some other road . The resulting views were not bad!
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:17 AM   #2
quicktoys2
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thanks for sharing ..... looking forward to the rest of your ride report.


If possible could you resize so that we don't have to scroll accross to read the thread and see the pictures.

Thanks
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:21 AM   #3
stef25 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quicktoys2
thanks for sharing ..... looking forward to the rest of your ride report.


If possible could you resize so that we don't have to scroll accross to read the thread and see the pictures.

Thanks
Soto
Yeah sorry about that ... I'll see what I can do
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:32 AM   #4
stef25 OP
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Once we got out of Fez the "real" fun started as you start approaching the Atlas Mountains. Despite the fact there are no real steep climbing roads, you do start gaining altitude, the surroundings get more barren, there is less and less green around you and the temperature drops a few degrees.

This is me somewhere between Fez and Midelt (I think, it could be along the N13 road). It was taken along a real long, dead straight bit that must have been about 30 - 40 Km long. It started getting dark so we picked up the tempo a bit. The odd pothole was always noticed too late and I was surprised at how my Dakar just ate them up.







We got to a little dusty town not far from Midelt. We were all a bit stressed cause of the high pace we'd been riding at and the fact it was now completely dark and we didn't really know where to find a place to sleep. As we drove out of the town we say a sign for "Camping Timnay" which rung a bell. It turned out to be a GREAT place. Nice, cheap rooms and a big restaurant to hang out in. There were several dudes there who ran 4X4 tours and we spent a few hours looking at maps deciding what to do next.

We talked about the "Cirque de Jaffar" (a rocky piste in the High Atlas, popular with hikers and bikers) but decided not to do it cause of the difficulty level. The next day I led everyone straight in to it by accident . For me the real fun / off road challenges started here!
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:02 AM   #5
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Some pics of the Cirque de Jaffar. It's basically a small track that runs along the mountain, down in to the valley and then back up and out again.

This is at the beginning, the first snow we saw





The piste is getting quite difficult for a big fully loaded bike


Some pics stolen from my buddy Geert's collection. He stopped a few times on the more challenging parts while I just wanted to get the f*ck out of there! I have no idea how they all did this on such big bikes.












Here you can see the path we followed down in to the valley, and the pic was taken from a more forest-y area you end up in when you climb back out. All the way down at the bottom there we didn't really know where to head. This is one of the few times GPS actually helped us. You can see a tiny little spec there that is a jeep. It was just parked with nobody inside.


Local shepherd dude on my bike


Meeting the locals




Soon enough this jeep caught up with us. Two English guys were driving it and they had spent a few days in the surrounding mountains on foot, collecting data on a hiking book they planned to write. Only at this point did we realise that we were in this Cirque de Jaffar, when they told us! They obviously really knew the area well and even spoke some Arabic. It was comforting to know they were behind us for the last stretch of this tough road .





Now we faced the issue of not being able to make it to our planned destination of Imilchil before dark. The English guys said "No way you'll make it before dark". We just kept going but had to start thinking about fuel.

We'd stop in these poor little villages where you would get flooded by local kids trying to get some stuff of you and even going so far as digging around in your pockets or luggage if you weren't looking. I hate the fact they associate bikers with "free stuff". Some of them got a little aggressive at times and I feel this whole culture of "visit far way countries and give out free shit" has just gone to far. The result is that kids throw rocks or even swing sticks at you as you drive past - dangerous for everyone. I'm all for helping people out but don't think it should go hand in hand with motorbiking / tourism.

Anyway, we pushed on and find this cool little oasis of peace - a small auberge run by a local farmer guy who wasn't quite sure what to charge for his rooms. "Just pay what you want" he said . We made a little fire outside, his wife cooked up a feast and we slept like babies.

The sign for this mini hotel. If you pass it and need a full belly and a comfy bed - it's got our stamp of approval! The owner was hands down the nicest guy we met during our whole trip.





Team Slovenia cooking up some soups pre-dinner


More coming soon!
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:43 AM   #6
GB
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Awesome Morocco adventure!!

Thanks for the great pics and the detailed report..

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Old 05-13-2010, 03:18 AM   #7
stef25 OP
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Soon enough we got to the outskirts of Fes. A local guy told us about a "Camping International" where we set up our tents. We checked out the Medina (market) in Fes which was amazing! I traveled a lot and the Fes Medina is definitely one of my top 5 must-see places in the world that doesn't involve motorbikes. It's one of the oldest medieval cities in the world and has more than 9000 little roads and alleys to get lost in. It's got a real Indiana Jones feeling.

Some pics of the Medina














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