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Morocco Overland: From the Atlas to the Sahara - 4WD, Motorcycle, Van, Mountain Bike

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  #1  
Old 25 Sep 2013
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Assa - Smara on Tarmac??

Hi,
My husband and I were hoping to get from Assa to Smara on tarmac as we are not too keen to be lugging our bikes through the piste sand.
Can we head south from Assa on the R103 through Zag, down to El-Mahbas and follow the N14 to Smara?
On page 209 of Morocco Overland (2nd edition) it shows the road closed in between Assa and Zag?
Is this still the case or can we get through?
Thanks
Laura
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Old 26 Sep 2013
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I'm not going to say no, because I have never driven along the road past the turn off for the piste, but I was chatting to Moroccan asking the possibility of being allowed to Zag and he informed me that Zag was even off limits to him. The road after Zag towards Smara also runs very close to The Berm for 100 miles or so.

Never say never, but I think it would be highly unlikely for you to be allowed on that road, I might try it on my next trip to see how far I get though.

I have driven the R101 from TanTan to Smara it's tarmac all the way and no problem to use.
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Old 26 Sep 2013
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As twenty4seven says, never say never, but given the road passes through a military zone, I think your chances of getting through are slim. When I did the Assa to Smara piste, the police officer at the checkpoint just outside Assa rather ominously said, 'whatever you do, dont go to Zag'
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Old 26 Sep 2013
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Cheers guys
The R101 is our 2nd choice.
Thanks again
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Old 3 Oct 2013
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I have heard that route MW6 (Assa Smara) is being sealed and may well be completed down to Labouriyat, about half way.

Ch
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Old 7 Oct 2013
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In Jan 2013 there was a very nice, wide, smooth gravel road from the R103 just south of Assa to the first (only??) town on the route. Can't remember its name though. At the other end near Smara, once off the lakebed you can take asfalt for the last section too (some old and bad, most new and fine)

Much easier riding, but unfortunately the loss of a great, fun track.
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Old 7 Oct 2013
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Quote:
Can't remember its name though...
I think that could be Labouriyat.

Quote:
the loss of a great, fun track...
Another one goes, but I think there are quite good cross-country options in this area between the Jebel Ouarkaziz to the Zag-Smara-Tan Tan roads. Largely flat and open, unlike much of Morocco, but still short range.

Ch
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Old 7 Oct 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
I have heard that route MW6 (Assa Smara) is being sealed and may well be completed down to Labouriyat, about half way.

Ch
If people want to go on the graded or maybe even sealed road now, it starts at N28 21.488 W9 22.803 green track, the red one is the old piste. I will take a look in December to see how far the tarmac was got now.

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Old 10 Oct 2013
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The Gendarmerie Royale won´t allow you to continue fron Zag.

The piste of Leboirat will not be sealed. It will rest as it´s now. Perhaps now it´s plenty of tolé ondulé
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Old 10 Oct 2013
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Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
I have heard that route MW6 (Assa Smara) is being sealed and may well be completed down to Labouriyat, about half way.

Ch
They have continued works abot five km beyond Leboirat
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Old 13 Oct 2013
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Mw6 update. New Tarmac from the Spanish road as you exit the lake bed all the way to Smara now
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Old 13 Oct 2013
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Yes, tarmac reachs Hausa 80 km fronm Smara
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Old 13 Oct 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
I think that could be Labouriyat.



Another one goes, but I think there are quite good cross-country options in this area between the Jebel Ouarkaziz to the Zag-Smara-Tan Tan roads. Largely flat and open, unlike much of Morocco, but still short range.

Ch

Not so flat nor open, there are many hills and little ranges. Mostly stony. This area can be dangerous, you must go only on used tracks avoiding the old militar ones unused. I like very much this area, it´s lonely with some luck you can find no one.
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