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Old 11-05-2009, 02:43 PM   #16
Navel OP
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Day 4 Part II

Hi Belle, thanks for your vote I will have to ask gadgetboy about posting the X rated stuff

So we were in Boudnib looking for gas, after some research we found a guy who sold gas, we had been warned of the variable quality of the gasoline sold in the street, but according to the restaurant owner who knew other sellers in town this guys stuff was ok.

So we went to the "gas station"





Then we had to find the track to Erfoud, we let a couple of local boys guide us for two or three km out of town where we found the track, they earned some Dirhams and we didn´t have to bother with the navigation for a while.



The track started right after a small ford





The track again was fast and we only stopped to take some pics and meet our first camels, er...dromedaries to be precise!









Out of who knows where appeared this young camel shepherd with his bike, again I felt impressed: more than an hour riding fast into the desert from Boudnib without seeing a soul, and when you stop you find this lonely boy with the camels...at least he had a bike!



Near Erfoud we found a broad dry river, the river bed was very sandy and with our heavy bikes it was a bit demanding….wished I had a KTM 690 enduro…nah that would have been too easy!







Who wants to go first?







On arriving at Erfoud we found a river crossing where we had our daily bath, the current was strong but there were some locals in the water too, so had to be safe. (sorry no pics).

Erfoud was quite a different thing from what we had seen so far, I mean it was a proper town and you could clearly notice the footprint of tourism there, people approached us offering restaurant, lodging, etc. They didn´t press on too hard on us though, but I can´t say I liked it, so we just had dinner and night on we drove a few km out of town to set up camp and get some sleep.

Sorry, only this bad pic from Erfoud (at the restaurant)



(to be continued soon)...just a teaser of Day 5





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Old 11-06-2009, 03:46 AM   #17
Andy G
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Nice RR & pics, thanks for posting. Morocco will be the place for my next Africa Desert ride. Keep on posting, I'm curious to see why the AfricaTwin is towed by the BMW.

Cheers, Andy
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:46 AM   #18
punisher_uk
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great report need more
hoping to go to the big M in for the new year
want to no wher the first pick was taken ?
must visit ther :)
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Old 11-07-2009, 04:32 AM   #19
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Grüss Gott

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy G
Nice RR & pics, thanks for posting. Morocco will be the place for my next Africa Desert ride. Keep on posting, I'm curious to see why the AfricaTwin is towed by the BMW.

Cheers, Andy
Thanks for your comments Andy, you will soon see what happened to the Africa Twin, I will resume the report on Monday because today I am going to Portugal for the weekend.

PS: Jetzt aber auf Deutsch mal! (habe selbst ein Jahr in Bayern gewohnt), sehr schöne Bilder auf deiner webseite, hast Du sie in Bayern geschossen?
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Old 11-07-2009, 04:39 AM   #20
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@ punisher uk

Quote:
Originally Posted by punisher_uk
great report need more
hoping to go to the big M in for the new year
want to no wher the first pick was taken ?
must visit ther :)
The first pic was taken somewhere up the Dades gorge between Ait Hani and Agoudal, I remember I saved a GPS waypoint near where the pic was taken, so as soon as I work out the data I´ll send you a private with the exact location.
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Old 11-07-2009, 04:57 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navel
PS: Jetzt aber auf Deutsch mal! (habe selbst ein Jahr in Bayern gewohnt), sehr schöne Bilder auf deiner webseite, hast Du sie in Bayern geschossen?
Danke! Von Bayern ist da leider fast nichts, die meisten sind wohl von Griechenland, Westalpen und Slovenien. Demnächst gibt's ne neue Serie vom diesjährigen Tunesien-Tip.

Viel Spaß in Portugal (ich sitz' in der Arbeit, WE-Dienst...)

Andi
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:46 AM   #22
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morocco 2006 | morocco 2007 | Traces of Kimangao: An HP2 in France, Spain and Italy | Morocco 2008: a F800GS test ride | where the destination is Anamur - Turkey via Greece...
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Old 11-16-2009, 03:05 PM   #23
Navel OP
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Cool2 Day 5. Erfoud - Goulmina

Another warm day in the moroccan desert, we hit the track South to Merzouga eager to get a peek of famous Erg Chebbi dunes.



We didn´t do much this day in terms of riding, as we made a long stop for lunch and to play and take pictures in the sand.

The dunes visit is a typical day trip for tourists, but we didn´t see many people out there, maybe because we got there when the sun was at its best.

I was surprised to know that many europeans were running the local hostels. The one we had lunch at, was run by austrians, and we also met a danish couple running another one…must be quite a challenge to change Jutland´s coast chilly dunes for this ones.







Finally, the sand










We had lunch at Chez Julia in Merzouga, a nice traditional moroccan house –become hostel run by an austrian. We found the dining room superb and confortable as the thick adobe walls provided for a much cooler temperature than in the street…turned out that we were at “only” 39ºC (102ºF). So we stood in the house for a couple of hours after we ate a wedding Cous cous (a sweet variety of cous cous containing raisins, shreded coconut and other delicacies).





Parking Lot at Chez Julia



The days were passing by fast and we had to meet a decission: further South-southwest to Zagora and Mhamid, or West to the Toldra and Dades Gorges. Luckily, we decided to go West. So we ended up in Goulmina for that night.

On our way we passed some traditional wells, now a touristic attraction, though we didn´t stop at them as the sun was setting and we still had to ride for a while and find a place for our daily bath, we stopped at the sandy bank of a river which meandered near the road as the sun was setting (sorry no light enough for pics) and got some relief from the day´s heat.







It was night when we arrived at Goulmina, at the small village there was a great atmosphere as it was wedding season, in the summer all emigrants return home and then celebrate weddings, so the main street was crowded with young people.
We fruitlessly searched for a Restaurant, but when we had already assumed that we would have to dine power bars, a woman who heard us asking for a Restaurant offered to cook for us at the bus station canteen (it was nearby and she knew the owner so he let her use the kitchen), it turned out she was the wife of the police chief of the village. The dinner was great (lamb brochettes) and it was so cheap I think we only paid for the drinks.
Did I already mention moroccan hospitality?
Then we got to our hotel of the famous hotel chain Holiday In...the sand.

In the morning we had some company.





Stay tuned for glorious day 6




Navel screwed with this post 11-17-2009 at 06:33 AM
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:18 AM   #24
zorsch
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this is outstanding, thanks so much for taking us along your trip !

i feel like i will have to visit that fellow austrian running his business in the desert maybe ;)

btw. how are the BMW F650 GS doing ? i am thinking of getting one myself, have they sofar behaved ?
(these are the "old" 1cylinder ones right )
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AUSTRIA - SOUTHWESTERN EUROPE - MOROCCO - 10000km solo on my 125ccm: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=607393

AUSTRIA - CORSICA - SARDEGNA - 3000km solo on my 125ccm :
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=485483
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:20 AM   #25
Navel OP
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Thumb F650 GS Dakar

Quote:
Originally Posted by zorsch
this is outstanding, thanks so much for taking us along your trip !

i feel like i will have to visit that fellow austrian running his business in the desert maybe ;)

btw. how are the BMW F650 GS doing ? i am thinking of getting one myself, have they sofar behaved ?
(these are the "old" 1cylinder ones right )
Hi Zorsch, thanks for your comments, I can say that although I have never been a BMW fan, I was more than happy with the F650GS (yep 1 cil.), as a matter of fact I bought the bike only for going to Morocco with the idea of selling it again in a few months, but I will keep her for now.

Only issue was that I broke two times the clutch cable (I think due to a faulty casing, and to not replacing the whole thing as this models do i.e. cable+casing), it was easy to fix it anyway.

The good thing about the F650 for a trip like this is that it is a reliable tough bike, with a very low consumption (4-5 liters/100 km) which means you can do 300-400 km on a single tank, and it has enough power to move you around quite good fully loaded (you will see her in my next installment towing an Africa twin with a 115 kg rider on her ), besides that, you can find a good second hand unit for less than 4.000 euro, so ok it is not a KTM990 but it is a good option as a second bike in my opinion (I have a TDM900 for road trips)

I don´t know if I would buy a new one though, as the model is now a bit old, on the other hand the new 1 cil-BMW´s are lighter but they lack a proper tank for this kind of trips (so you should buy an extra tank in the after market) and i don´t know if the rear alu subframe is as tough as the old frame if you put a heavy load on it.

Anyway if you get down to Morocco via western Spain - Portugal you may have a ride with my bike and try her on the dirt.
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Old 11-19-2009, 02:37 PM   #26
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DAY 6: Near Goulmina - Agoudal (almost)

We woke up to a beautiful morning, a bit cooler than the previous one as we were approaching the mountains. We took the road to Tinerhir, this town is the gate to the Todra gorges, and has a lively atmosphere, a huge palm grove in the vicinity of the city shines green in stark contrast with the reddish emptiness of the desert, and gives you a refreshing feeling, amongst the lush vegetation traditional adobe houses make for the perfect Morocco postcard.





In Tinerhir, as we were sampling traditional cakes we met a guy who had been working in morocco for a spanish company, we invited hin for a coffee, his spanish was perfect and we learned a lot from him about life in a moroccan city, however he did not consider to go to Spain to find a job, because he didn´t like some aspects of spanish society, in his own words "the fact that women wanted to be equals or more important than men thanks to our laws of positive discrimination towards women"...different countries different cultures!. Anyway we couldnt stay too long, so we rode on to enter the Todra Gorge.








Hey, you don´t need a trail to ride the gorges!



At the village of Ait Hani, we got a track to the west that linked with the Dades Gorge and then turned north to Agoudal, although we were told that the track through the mountains was closed, we had to give it a try...right?








A good part of the track was a stony river bed, by far the most technical part of the trip as many sections seemed designed for trial bikes.





We met some berebers near the track, most of them run to us asking for money no soon they see the bikes





We also crossed green valleys...







And finally started climbing the mountain track which would take us to Agoudal









This is the part of the track which was closed due to some landslides that had covered part of the piste, it was a bit tricky as some parts of the track were covered with mud, but we could slowly go forward





…but then something really bad happened, the Africa Twin stalled and refused to go any further, we are no pro mechanics so we tried a few things (sparks, regulator...) but there was nothing we could do, we thought it was some electrical problem.



We estimated we were like 15 – 20 km from Agoudal so as the sun started to go down we decided to camp on the spot, right on the track as we were in the middle of a steep mountain. As the night fell down, you could see here and there, in the opposite face of the mountains around us, the dim lights of the shepherds.

We went to sleep. At about 3 am I got awaken by a herd of sheep that passed along our tents and the young kids that were shepherding them, most surrealistic I must say, but I suppose it was more confortable to walk in the cooler hours of the night than in the sun, I guess I should never complain again of working odd hours.

But the new day came soon...





More tomorrow...
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:41 PM   #27
Andy G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navel


…but then something really bad happened, the Africa Twin stalled and refused to go any further, we are no pro mechanics so we tried a few things (sparks, regulator...) but there was nothing we could do, we thought it was some electrical problem.

my bet: either the fuelpump (you can bypass it) or one of the both battery connectors came loose.

Cheers, Andy
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:32 AM   #28
zorsch
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man i enjoy reading this !!!
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AUSTRIA - SOUTHWESTERN EUROPE - MOROCCO - 10000km solo on my 125ccm: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=607393

AUSTRIA - CORSICA - SARDEGNA - 3000km solo on my 125ccm :
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=485483
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Old 11-29-2009, 12:50 PM   #29
Navel OP
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Day 7: Near Agoudal - Agoudal - Errachidia...and Day 8

Sorry for the delay in updating my report, but here it goes.

We woke up amidst the beauty of the mountains and managed to start the Honda and make her ride for a couple of km (until the engine got warm again and stalled), so the only option was to tow her.

Ricardo had brought with him the same rope with which he towed Cesar's Yamaha XT a few years ago. The task was not easy as the track was at times very demanding.









Having a break, and yet more piste



We had to deal with the Lord of the piste





After 15 km we arrived at a Mountain Lodge, the guys there told us we still had 15 km more to Agoudal, where it was possible to hire a truck to have the Honda carried over there.



So Cesar and I rode on to Agoudal, and managed to hire the truck, only trouble was that we had to wait for more than 2 hours because the truck was at some construction works. Eventually the truck arrived.

Agoudal



Truck´s state of the art cockpit



Ricardo waiting for us with a new friend



Here we go. Maybe you cannot tell from the pictures but the track got a bit scary at times.





Our experienced driver



The guys helped us load the bike.



And..ready to go



At Agoudal we called the insurance company, and…GREAT, after more than 30 min. Trying to explain the guy on the phone where were we, they were sending a truck to pick the bike and his driver.
At this point I have to say something about this company just in case some spanish biker is reading this, the road assistance company is Club del motorista XL, they sent a truck from Errachidia (3 hours away) and drove bike and rider back there, where they had booked a nice hotel room for him. The next day, a mechanic had a look at the bike and, as it was not easy to arrange the bike on the spot, they put a taxi at the drivers disposal which took him to Nador (8 hours drive away) to be on time to take the ferry back to Spain. Then, they sent also the bike back to Spain at no cost…HATS OFF TO THIS GUYS!.

The truck had a long way to get there and we waited at Ibrahim´s auberge, quite a nice guy I must say.



Some locals saw the drum Cesar has bought in Tinerhir, and offered to play some traditional music for us.



Eventually the truck arrived…9:30 pm.



So there were we, night on in Agoudal. We planned to drive our bikes to Errachidia to meet Manel at the hotel, trouble was, Ricardo was very low on gas as his bike burned a lot of gas towing the Honda. After knocking on a couple of doors on our way, we met a guy who knew some other guy who might have some gas. We drove like 5 km with him and arrived at a house where a family was happy to sell us their only four liters of gas, not only they sold it to us at the same price than at a gas station, they also invited us for tea and at 11:30pm the whole family was there to say hello to us…did I say something about moroccan hospitality:



So after a while we hit the road again, it was a mountain road with lots of twists…a great one if you didn´t have to ride dog tired in the middle of the night, after 4 hours, for the first time in my life I had the feeling I was about to get asleep on the bike, we were only 10 km from Errachidia but I jus HAD TO stop, slept 5 min. at the side of the road, and rode on. We finally made it to Errachidia, and for the first time we slept at a hotel.

Day 8 was pretty uneventful, we just had to ride from Errachidia to Nador on tarmac to be able to get to the Ferry on time, it was by far the most tiring day as we had to ride fast without time for any large break or for taking pictures in a very hot day, but finally WE MADE IT!,

EPILOGUE

Morocco is very close to Spain but it is so different at the same time. The best of this trip was being out there in the good company of your friends, the people we met there and the feeling of freedom riding in the vastness of the Rekkam. It´s been quite an experience and I am just looking forward to get down there again, though probably not in the summer.

Thanks to all who have been reading this post and if anyone is considering to go there, I encourage you to do so.
شكرا Shukran (Thank you!)
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:35 AM   #30
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great post
but where one earth did you manage to get insurance with road side recovery ??
now that would be handy :)
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