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Old 05-28-2014, 10:03 AM   #136
young1 OP
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Back on the bike

It was good to be back on KT today as we rode from Fez to Errachidia. Every corner appeared to open new vistas for us to look at. We saw countless number of sheep herders in the middle of (what looked to us to be) nowhere tending their stock.

While at the start of the day we were glad to have our jacket liners in, once we were over the middle atlas mountains(?) and hit the heat past our lunch stop at Midelt they soon came off. At the moment it is 32c and there is a nice pool waiting!

Enough talking, pictures from the road today

There are ski fields here, we have just been past some tows



Big side open spaces and unlike New Zealand not a fence to be seen



Quick check of the map (yes that is snow on the hills behind me)



My 91 year old mum is a champion rose grower, this photo, of a park area on the outskirts of Midelt, is for her



Some French bikers we had lunch with



Then it got dry.... :-)



You can see the road going from the left



Swim (and maybe a beer if I can find one) time.
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Europe trip 2014 http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=971014

young1 screwed with this post 05-28-2014 at 01:48 PM
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Old 05-28-2014, 05:09 PM   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by young1 View Post
Greetings, I understand you have snow on the ground at the moment?
As we all know cunning plans are always the best plans :-)

Regarding taking the gear with us, we were lucky as a lot of it went with the bike in the panniers,.

Hope this helps.
Hi Mike. Thanks for taking the time to reply-yes it helps. Its either get some Sand pants to go with my jacket or go the Andi/Klim way (as they are waterproof). Your excellent pics remind me of my time in the Mid East and how HOT and DRY it was. Great to get my daily fix of sunshine and adventure via the net. (time to console myself with some snowboarding)
Cheers, Mark
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:14 AM   #138
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Board shorts, bikinis, camels and the Sahara WTF?

Although it was a short ride today from Er Rachidia to Merzouga again we were stunned by the scenery. We both are already feeling that our return to Europe will be an anti climax.

Anyway today we had a late start, had a beautiful breakfast by the pool then loaded KT up. First stop was fuel for KT and water for us. The main road out of Er Rachidia at the start was surprisingly rough. Carlos (Motoxplorers) had suggested a detour off the main road which we took. As you can see it was wow!



Wide load coming towards us



My son, Tony, is a fine footballer and captains the Peringa United team. Tony do you think there is any home ground advantage with this ground?



The closer we got to Merzouga the hotter it got. I could feel the baking when I turned my head and exposed a bit of skin. Any stops today were planned to stop in the shade and we made sure before putting helmets on that we were all set to go and thus avoid being stationary all kitted up.

Dunes in the distant, they glowed like the hills at home at sunset.



The view from our room (Marcel / Tony these are much bigger dunes than we used to ride at Foxton beach, wouldn't it be great to have those bikes here?), those are camels in the foreground.



Finally the pool, you can splash water onto the sand in the desert it is that close. There are also camels close by watching me type this. We might do a camel ride later to see the sunset from the dunes. (Yes I know ignore me and look at the view - Leanne wouldn't let me post her bikini pic)



Did I say it was hot!
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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds. Explore. Dream. Discover.H Jackson Brown
Europe trip 2014 http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=971014

young1 screwed with this post 08-27-2014 at 04:06 AM
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Old 05-29-2014, 02:24 PM   #139
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Friday

Family and friends on Friday we have a long day, with stops at two gorges that will be one of the highlights of Morocco, travelling to Boumalne Dades (weather forecast says it will be 36 Celsius tomorrow hmmmmm)

However where we are staying on Friday does not have internet access so there will be no updates

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Old 05-29-2014, 10:51 PM   #140
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looks great mate
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Old 05-31-2014, 10:27 AM   #141
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Hi

We are in Ait Benhaddou, Crap wifi here, will update when we can
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Old 05-31-2014, 09:31 PM   #142
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Nice to see you are enjoying your adventure! Greetings to Leanne.
I am at the moment in Seattle, crossing to Canada in few days.
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Old 06-01-2014, 01:21 AM   #143
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Michael & leeanne you guys are truly living the dream.
keep them coming.

BTW was -2 here last nite, I went mtbing with the girls & rode over frozen puddles - enjoy that heat & sun
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Old 06-01-2014, 01:34 AM   #144
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Marko good to hear from you, we hope you enjoy Canada

Padmei - minus 2 ouch, you are keen. It was 35 here yesterday, every lining possible is out of our jackets and pants to keep cool (which of course presented the problem of where to put them on the bike!)

Hope to post photos and report tonight from Marrakech, wifi here is hopeless.
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Old 06-01-2014, 07:34 AM   #145
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Awesome stuff here Mike, looking forward to some more pics when wifi turns up.

Rubber side down bro

Andi
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Old 06-01-2014, 08:59 AM   #146
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Merzouga to Boulmaine Dades (Friday)

After Fez (where we were the only people staying in the Riad) it made a nice change having other people around. However I think we were the only English speakers.

Before the ride report one more photo of the Sahara, we found the different colours of the sand beautiful.



We took a route between Erfoud and Asrir, we had been warned that there were lots of pot holes on the road. At the start it was fun doing a bit of slalom, zig one way and zag the next with Leanne keeping an eye on any traffic coming towards us as often we would have to cross the centre line. However after a couple of times when the pot hole gods caught us out (in other words I didn't turn quick enough) we learnt how good KTs suspension is.

The worst of road hazards are very well marked, in New Zealand we have warning signs, road cones etc, here, as you can see in front of a rather deep hole that went most of the way across both lanes, they put large rocks as a warning! So if you are unlucky you will lose your sump when you hit the rock followed quickly by your suspension in the hole.



The scenery on this road more than made up for it.



Leanne made friends with a young Berber goat herder who was, to us, in the middle of no where, looking after his goats. Unfortunately we had no food to share with him, something we will make sure in future that we have.



We couldn't miss the Todra Gorge, here we are near the start of it



Heading up to and into the gorge



The road and a river squeeze through this gap





The rock formations in this country must give Geologists wet dreams, we have seen rocks squeezed, pushed, tilted and poured. With that all along the roads people are selling minerals (those rocks they cut in half that have colourful crystals etc inside) and fossils.




We saw quite a few other bikers today, especially at Todra and Dades. The vast majority on BMWs with only a few KTMs

It was a long day on the bike, we had strong head winds later in the day and we were both very glad to get to our hotel. Our hotel was in Dades gorge but we decided to explore the next day. We were the only guests (again!) We had nice views of bikers heading back towards the switch backs.

Here is the village idiot trying to block the view of our hotel (this is coming down the other side of the gorge after the "famous" switch backs).



There was no internet access, the generator went off at 8.15, lots of candles were lit, it was quite romantic.... Enough said.
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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds. Explore. Dream. Discover.H Jackson Brown
Europe trip 2014 http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=971014

young1 screwed with this post 06-01-2014 at 12:31 PM
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:12 AM   #147
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The difference 4 weeks makes!

Friday, just gone, it was 4 weeks since my last day at work



Can you spot the difference between that photo and this one (other than i did have a job in one of them) lol




Phreaky Phil very kindly gave me the Horizons Unlimited calendar as a gift at the beginning of the year. In April the photo was of two Africa Twins heading down the switchbacks. I am sure I bored most of the staff at ABMM in April, when they came into my office, by pointing out the picture and telling them that I was going to go there. Well team I made it, and just by chance, 4 weeks since leaving work, here is KT and I heading down the switchbacks.

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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds. Explore. Dream. Discover.H Jackson Brown
Europe trip 2014 http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=971014
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Old 06-01-2014, 02:53 PM   #148
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Friday Boulmaine Dades to Ait Ben Haddou

SATURDAY not Friday

Leanne has been looking for a creative way to be able to do more shopping and carry it with her. She liked the look of this bike, as she could put both feet on the ground. That was until I explained that it also had peddles (as in it was underpowered and needed human help!). She soon changed her mind



While the switchbacks are amazing to ride, what I found most impressive is that the little river has cut its way through the rock. If you walked down the river and stood below where the switchbacks are and looked up, now that would be impressive. Here is the stream, you can see the road to the left.



Looking back towards the hotel



The road back to the main road has been the highlight of Morocco so far. Little villages, people going about their business, different colours of rock, at times it felt like we were riding through a quarry with houses in it.



My previous post has a photo of the switchbacks (which I rode up and down a couple of times).

For a few days I had a very soft front brake and realising that the road to Marrakech was hilly and windy it was starting to cause me some concern. Carlos (Motoxplorers) suggested a stop in Ouarzazate (try and pronounce that!) where a motorbike tour company ran off road tours on EXC KTMs (they had a garage full of 450s!). We stopped there and their mechanic very quickly bled the brakes for me which solved the problem



It was nice to get to our hotel at Ait Ben Haddou. Even better there was an American family there who we had lunch with, so nice to speak English to English speakers!

With the temperature at 35 Celsius heat Leanne (Snow White lol) very quickly joined their two girls in the pool.



As I said earlier the highlight of the trip so for has been that 30kms or heading from the main road up to where we stayed at Boulmaine Dades. Amazing scenery, fellow bikers, friendly people, just awesome
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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds. Explore. Dream. Discover.H Jackson Brown
Europe trip 2014 http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=971014

young1 screwed with this post 06-02-2014 at 02:03 AM
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Old 06-02-2014, 01:16 AM   #149
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Hey Mike, that must have been an awesome feeling riding those switchbacks that only a month ago was a picture on your office wall of someone else's dream. Fantastic looking country
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Old 06-02-2014, 02:36 AM   #150
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Sunday Ait Ben Haddou to Marrakech

Approx 200 kms this day and we were lucky with it being a Sunday as there were less trucks on the road. The road was very windy and climbed quite high and the temperatures dropped. I was VERY happy that KTs brakes were sorted prior to this.

We are having some camera troubles so some of these pics are via the iPhone.

Hollywood knows Ait Ben Haddou, lots of movies have been filmed here (eg Gladiator)



The road





I wasn't quick enough with the camera but you can see the smoke from a truck that had serious problems, we at first thought it was on fire.



A women's work is never done, here three women carry the efforts of their mornings work



The Morrocan drivers are very polite, there have been a few instances where we have had to slow very quickly, or go to the far right, due to drivers ignoring us when deciding to overtake when coming towards us. We always get a nice friendly wave from the driver.

Yesterday leaving the hotel it was a two way road but the seal, down the middle of the road, was only wide enough for one car (so when two cars pass they both need to put their right hand wheels in the gravel). The local drivers are not keen on doing that. We followed a taxi and saw a local car approaching, I thought they were going to have a head on and actually braked in case they did. At the very last second both drivers begrudgingly gave each other room.

Last night went into the famous Djemaa el-Fna square and took in the sites



Fishing anyone



And finally Leanne has found, what she thinks is, a solution to her shopping / where to store on the bike dilemma. I particularly like the exposed fork springs



Today we ride to Essaouira where we are spending two nights so will have Tuesday off the bike.
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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds. Explore. Dream. Discover.H Jackson Brown
Europe trip 2014 http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=971014
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