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Old 06-02-2014, 08:32 AM   #151
young1 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phreaky Phil View Post
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
Phil it certainly was a good feeling :-)

I chatted to the German rider of this bike and knowing your attachment to air head BMWs thought I should share it with you. A spotless bike considering they had just ridden a 4WD track linking Todra Gorge and Dades Canyon.

He was in a group of three and they were stopped at a gas station as one of the KTMs had some bad fuel which they were draining.

A cool bike.

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Old 06-02-2014, 10:03 AM   #152
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So I still can't believe that I ended up astride a BMW 1000 weapon heading down pit straight! What a scary, exciting time. These bikes are so fast, their brakes are so good I think my eyeballs hit my visor when I first applied them.
Hi Michael!

Probably feels like it happened 1000 years ago but BMW Motorrad Portugal released the pictures of the event you attended 2 weeks ago:





Distracted by the camera??


Overtaken!


A nice movie here, no Michael though. The rest of the pics is on BMW's facebok. I believe they are all by www.manuelportugal.com .
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Old 06-02-2014, 11:45 AM   #153
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Hi Michael!

Probably feels like it happened 1000 years ago but BMW Motorrad Portugal released the pictures of the event you attended 2 weeks ago
.
Wow! Thank you so much for posting Carlos, and no I wasn't being overtaken, I think he was unlapping himself :-)

(You certainly went through a few photos to find me!)

We are safely in Essaouira and will update our blog (including our "discussion" with the Gendarmerie) tomorrow.

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Old 06-02-2014, 12:41 PM   #154
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Phil it certainly was a good feeling :-)

I chatted to the German rider of this bike and knowing your attachment to air head BMWs thought I should share it with you. A spotless bike considering they had just ridden a 4WD track linking Todra Gorge and Dades Canyon.

He was in a group of three and they were stopped at a gas station as one of the KTMs had some bad fuel which they were draining.

A cool bike.

I have pics of that bike on our computer in my favourites ! Great to see it in use
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Old 06-02-2014, 03:56 PM   #155
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Good stuff guys, really enjoying following your travels.

Quote:
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at times it felt like we were riding through a quarry with houses in it.
Be careful the Moroccan Tourist board don't steal that for a slogan

One thing I quite enjoyed about riding through the desert in Oz was the feeling that this was absolutely, definitely, not NZ. Such a wildly different landscape from home. The cultural dimension in North Africa must amplify that much further.

Cheers
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:46 AM   #156
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One thing I quite enjoyed about riding through the desert in Oz was the feeling that this was absolutely, definitely, not NZ. Such a wildly different landscape from home. The cultural dimension in North Africa must amplify that much further.

Cheers
Clint
You are quite right Clint, the cultural dimension here is so different to back home. At times when we are riding I might say to Leanne something like "this road is like the Rimutakas leaving Wellington but xxx longer etc", but the Rimutakas don't have women carrying loads of cut grass, donkeys loaded with produce etc walking down the side of the road. I first read your post at 4.45am as I was woken by the call to prayer from the local mosque.

Here in Essaouira there seems to be more of an African influence to the people verses the Arabic further North.

We are also at a sort of cross roads here, the road North takes us back to Europe, while South leads to Mauratania and more of Africa. Wouldn't it be great to head South?

Morocco certainly is an amazing country and with all the conflict in many similar countries it is nice to be able to visit and meet the locals and learn about their culture in relative safety.
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:10 AM   #157
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Gendarmerie

Well it was like this Officer. We came through this delightful town, nice and slowly behind a tractor, as we came around the corner KT got a wiff of the sea air, she saw the 100 km/hr sign about 100 metres up the road and we were off!

Well we were off until we saw the Gendarme step out from behind a radar gun just in front of the 100 sign. Out came the drivers license etc.

He showed us some official looking document and told me the fine for 75 km/hr was 300 dirhams (NZ$43 or Euro 26). Bugger! So I did what all the blogs suggest and asked for a receipt. Suddenly the fine went down to 200 dirhams :-)

So I gave him the money. For some reason he then gave me 100 dirham back "for the madam"

I didn't think it was appropriate to ask if we could take a photo!!

(Carlos did warn us about speeding)

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Old 06-03-2014, 10:55 AM   #158
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Marrakech to Essaouira

We rode to Essaouira on Monday and have had two days here. Today (Tuesday) we have had a break from travelling which has been a good chance to catch up on the washing (both pairs of my riding socks are clean yay!).

Other than being stopped for speeding the ride here was uneventful. Mo (our ZuMO GPS) took us on a very scenic route out of Marrakech, down little alleys that, with the panniers on, was a squeeze at times, fun :-)

We were surprised to see these goats in a tree, not sure if they were placed there (as in as soon as I took the photo the goat herder was alongside us with his hand out) or they climbed. Argon oil comes from this region, the goats eat the berries, their digestive juices remove the flesh, the nuts are then gathered from their "droppings" for the oil to be extracted (see you learn something every day!)



We really like Essaouira, it is not as hot as the other places we have been and is a laid back, quite cruisy town. Shop keepers are not pushy and wow some fantastic art to be had. We have enjoyed being back by the sea, with the sea gulls etc. Dawn you would like it here, there seems to be very well fed cats (fishing port) everywhere.

We would have loved to have bought a couple of the oil paintings but the old storage problem raised its head. On that(!) Leanne did get a head, packing the bike tomorrow is going to be interesting (along with the wooden box, necklace and table runner)....



The old sea wall with cannons still in place



Leanne wanted me to buy some (it is obvious which one THANKYOU) but I didn't think New Zealand customs would be too impressed!



As I said this is a cool town, it is Leanne's favourite spot, so far, in Morocco, for me it is my second favourite after Dades Gorge.

Street scene this morning



Tomorrow, Wednesday, we start to head back to Europe with a ride to Azemmour
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Europe trip 2014 http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=971014

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Old 06-03-2014, 06:53 PM   #159
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great report, love the pictures
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:34 AM   #160
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Wednesday Essaouira to Azemmour

Not a big ride today which was quite good as we "treated" ourselves last night to a nice restaurant which also had a full bar. So we were a bit slower getting away this morning, I will blame the bottle of Moroccan red for that.

We loaded up and as we now have to make room for the head, one of the bed rolls (we carry camping gear) has been now strapped to the top of the pannier.



These medinas are wonderful with their little alleys and arches





It was a fairly flat ride but we did find one nice view point, very dry, the river is also a bed of rocks



Leanne has again given serious thought to how she can carry her shopping. After the run in with the gendarme she looked for something with a little less horsepower (suppose that is the end of my 1190R dream...) and liked the look of this



She then realised that the driver came with it! It was funny - I gave the guy some dirhams as a thank you, although in hind sight (seeing the smile on his face) he might have thought that I was paying him to take Leanne away!

Tomorrow (Thursday) we will ride to just short of Tangier and get the ferry to Spain early on Friday. That removes the need to get to Tangier and means we can cruise again. That puts us two days behind our "plan" but we won't now overnight in Gibraltar (bloody expensive to stop there!) which will give us a day back.

By the way lots of love to my (24 yr old) son who is in hospital with a badly infected ankle.
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Europe trip 2014 http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=971014

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Old 06-05-2014, 10:59 AM   #161
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Azemmour to Assilah

An ugly day on the bike, one of those days that the longer you rode the later the GPS arrival time became. At the start of the day the ETA (without stops) was 2.30pm, we finally arrived around 6.00pm! First 200 kms took over 4 hours due to traffic, for some reason (I am still looking for someone to blame..) we rode right through the middle of Casablanca during lunch rush, then when we finally got to the motorway we had 185kms at a steady 115 km/hr.

So I didn't see much from the bike seat except cars in the mirrors and in front. We also had a semi mutiny as to whose job it was to find a lunch stop meaning lunch didn't happen until 3.15pm, after the kitchen had closed.

Last night we had a walk around Azemmour with a guide who befriended us (an elderly women with very little English - however we still got the jist of what she was saying). Typical I left the camera behind...

Anyway some pictures :-)

We stayed in the medina last night, getting KT through the narrow lanes this morning was exciting



Looking back to the medina from the main road



We thought we had found a lunch stop (pre mutiny) but it only served coffee



And after a long day on the bike what better place to stay than Berbari (hotel, guest house???), our door is bottom right and we have our own Stork on the roof (don't worry mum the stork WONT be visiting us)



This is an Eco lodge and here is the view from where I am now, just what we need after today


Friday morning we will get the ferry back to Spain and we will stay for two nights in Granada.


Tony hope the antibiotics kick in and no surgery is needed
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Europe trip 2014 http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=971014
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:05 PM   #162
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Quote:
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First 200 kms took over 4 hours due to traffic
Not to "told you so" but that's why I recommended the highway.

Quote:
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we rode right through the middle of Casablanca during lunch rush,
Casablanca is not the administrative capital (that's Rabat) but it is Morocco's biggest city and quite a nightmare to cross. The A5 goes around it and and after that the A3 would have taken you to Rabat. At Rabat there's still no highway but the "Rocade de Rabat" is fairly quick to ride until the A1 that goes north to Tangiers. Pity that Mo couldn't tackle that right

Glad you are relaxing at the Berbari after the traffic
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:13 AM   #163
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Assilah to Granada

Had a nice evening at Berbari. We played scrabble and had dinner with an American couple. Scrabble was the French version, they have different scores for some letters and different amounts of the letters. Eg far more letter "U"s.

We were away early this morning to catch, what we thought was, the 9.00 am ferry to Tarifa. Customs etc in Morocco was quick, the ferry left at 9.45 am.

I like the way they tie bikes down, an arm comes over your seat, they put lots of padding under the arm, and the bike is secure



We used Kiwi charm and were the first vehicle off the ferry, we also beat all of the walking passengers to customs. It took less than 5 minutes from riding off the ferry to be in the streets of Tarifa :-)

We headed to Gibraltar for lunch. Had to line up there for customs (which I thought unusual) but we soon got through. The road in crosses their airport runway (which appears to go from one side of the country to the next). Barriers come down when planes are using it.



The "famous" rock from the runway.



Traffic was horrendous, streets are narrow and there are lots of cars. We had lunch, nice to be back amongst English speakers. Although I paid in British pounds the notes in the change were Gibraltan pounds. I had to go and change them at a money changer. Also surprised that they drove on the right hand side of the road.

We stopped briefly at one of the beaches on the Costa del Sol, just beautiful. We rode past the sign to the nudist beach but I couldn't find an easy park for photos...

From there it was another 270kms or so on motorway to Granada, not very adventurous I know :-(

We went straight to the pool when we arrived, another long day we arrived here around 6.00pm (I did take the wrong turn and ended up in a car park. To avoid having to pay to get out, as after all I hadn't parked, I had to ride along the footpath to get around the barrier arm!)

We have Saturday in Granada.

By the way we are also looking at our plan over the next few days, Leanne has picked up a nasty cough (sounds just great through the intercom) and I have quite a sore throttle hand (yes I know - take some concrete pills and harden up lol). Maybe stop and have a couple of days "holiday" at one of the Spanish beaches?)
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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 06-06-2014, 08:17 PM   #164
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Noooo don't go back to civilisation - you should have headed south

As always loving your work.
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Old 06-06-2014, 10:54 PM   #165
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Noooo don't go back to civilisation - you should have headed south

As always loving your work.
From Essaouira it was two days ride to Mauratania, now that would be an adventure!
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