2 Police Stops
1 Speeding Ticket
2 Suspension Breakages
1 Army Landcruiser nearly hit
1 Diplomatic Incident
Photos (more to be added)
Morocco Overland 2012 - a set on Flickr
7th Oct to 10th Oct
After a fantastic trip to the Western Sahara with Waypoint-Tours
last November 2011, my good friend Rod Hunt
and I decided an Overland trip back to Morocco was a definite for October 2012. We’ve both been visiting Morocco for 10+ years so know the country well but are relative newcomers to 4x4 and Overlanding, this did not deter us.
After trouble with the Landcruiser 95 I purchased last year I rejected it under the Sale of Goods Act and got a 99% refund back in March. First requirement was then to get a replacement and the search was on for another 95. Somewhat surprisingly my old rejected cruiser turned up at a garage just round from the Ace Cafe in London, but £1500 cheaper than my refund. I knew it had a Moroccan repair and suspension lift but otherwise sound so went and had a look.......and bought it back
One of last year’s lessons learnt was I don’t do ferries well, so to minimise we took the Plymouth/Santander route saving 4 hours of ferry time. Then a blast from Santander down to Jerez De Le Frontiera.
Next was supposed to a quick blast to Algeciras then early ferry into Morocco. Got to Algeciras fine but found we were too early to get tickets from Carlos so hung around had a coffee and then got the tickets (with cake and cider), wouldn’t bother again but more on that later. We were supposed to be on the 11am ferry and all was looking good until Acciona’s highly proactive and diligent staff decided to wheel in and unload a lorry load of 45gallon drums, at 10:50 :facepalm:
This delay meant we arrived at Tanger Med just behind a ferry full of local fresh back from pillaging Greece of its cheap tat. Probably 100+ mobile bric-a-brac stores were waiting to get through customs ahead of us. Needless to say with this getting through custom was delayed.
This is where our first incident happened, officially in that no man’s land between Spanish exit and Moroccan entry. One of the mobile junkshops in front of us suddenly reversed back, I did the same to avoid a shunt, straight back into the car behind! Slowly getting out of the truck, it occurred that we probably didn’t have insurance cover, then I saw what we had hit a beaten up old Renault 19, hitting probably straightened out of few dings! The driver was ballistic, shouting in French, doesn’t really wash with us, it’s English, Arabic or Tashlehait. Words were exchanged; cars passenger confirmed no damage so off we went.
Somehow in our haste the clocks on the gps, mobile and truck ended up 2 hours out of sync, we blamed all the automatic time adjustment. Next destination was Azrou, gps said arrive 19:00 and the truck said it was 14:30, sounded like an easy drive. About 19:30 passing through Meknes was when we realised the clocks were out. Anyway got to Camping Amizigh at Azrou for our first night camping.
Next day was our first day off road, on a route I picked out from Olaf/Google Earth from Azrou to Midelt. We headed from Azrou along the Route Touristique to Lac d'Afennourir then up over a 2000m peak through to our destination at Centre Timolay. Turned out to be an amazing first day, saw the first wild monkeys I’ve seen. Lac d’Afennourir would make a fantastic camping spot and the mountain involved a lot more low range than expected.
Then we hit my first navigation error, all the routes were meticulously planned and loaded onto both the lap top and my Garmin Montana gps. About 5km after crossing Oued Oum Er Rbia the route on the Garmin stopped dead in the road. Still not entirely sure why but probably my IT skills. This left us picking our own route on the fly, sure we may have crossed someone’s freshly ploughed field and made a few wrong turn choices but eventually we hit the road into Midelt.
Accommodation for the night was camping at Centre Timolay just outside Midelt, nice modern facility with camping, motel and rooms in the newer building plus a good restaurant and a bar! Not long after setting up camp Peter Girling of Atlas Overland arrived with his latest tour group. After introducing ourselves to Peter it was time to share tales of Moroccan adventures over a few
s with the group.
Very Nice to meet you Peter, hope the trip went well
More to follow