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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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Old 12 Jan 2003
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Just a follow up to say i've been and come back.

After sitting on the ferry for 36 hrs i was keen to get going and just went for it through spain getting to the ferry at algeciras in under 11 hours. Passed through Cueta with no hassles the next morning, headed south and found the new tarmac road all the way to Erg Chebi. Good for me on the hornet but i guess this road does take some of the fun out of getting there. Arrived in a minor sand storm so it was adventure enough. Sat there for a few days, and snowboarded the big dune before heading back over the Atlas to Marrakech via the most amazing road imaginable. About 4 hours of smooth, clear tarmac with almost constant even radius bends to swoop around. Then beach for a few days to chill out before the ride back. 2 days from Malaga to St Malo in France in sub-zero temperatures and much rain and snow, horrible but still an experience and not work! Glad i finaly succumed to getting heated grips on the bike, i honestly don't think it would have been possible to do it without in those temperatures.

For anyone thinking of the same who sees this i'll do my best to give you what i was having trouble finding out -

The roads are nearly all perfectly good, mostly like good UK B roads, usual clear of debris, well signed and marked for whats ahead, all constant radius bends(i didn't find one bend that might catch you out) the driving was fine by the Moroccans at least, watch out for the hire cars though as they are often more interested in the view than the road. Occasionaly there was gravel kicked up from the side of the road but not much. Do watch out on steep uphill bends though as often its a bit oily i guess from the old trucks changing gear and dropping oil.

Of the gear i took i'm glad i had small padlocks for the zips of my panniers. It wouldn't stop a determined thief of course but 90% of curious fingers and pilferers wouldn't cross the line of breaking a lock and making it obvious they'd been there. Its also nice for when there's a few people milling around the bike when you stop as you don't have to worry as much about whats going on behind you. They're not naturaly thieving people anyway but for piece of mind...

Glad i didn't take camping gear as it was mostly far too cold at night to camp. I did take a tiny sleeping bag and used it as an extra blanket one night but i really didn't need to take that either.

Wish i hadn't taken my disk lock and Kryptonite barbed wire, I never used it as in Morocco at least there is always somewhere to put your bike either in the hotel or a 60p a night secure car park. Saying that i have an alarm on the bike, though this beeps different when you turn it off if the alarm was activated and it never was. I really don't think theres much risk of your bike being stolen there, theres no market for stolen bikes in morocco, far more chance of having it stolen in Europe.

The Hornets tank range was interesting, i took a spare fuel can on the pillion perch but never used it. On the way down fast through spain i managed to use the 16 ltrs in exactly 101 miles before coasting into a fuel station, in Morocco while cruising around doing about 60 mph most of the time i did 170 miles on 13 ltrs so about 200 miles tank range! It goes to show...

There are masses of petrol stations in all the areas i went to, far more than are shown on any map. Getting unleaded would have been more of a problem if i needed it as they often didn't have any, but saying that i didn't look too hard as my bike was running better on the leaded stuff. The quality of the fuel was never a problem, infact it seems better than in the UK, the bike was smoother throughout the trip than it used to be and getting back to the UK i filled up and back came the vibes, i suspect UK fuel is not very good. I had a pair of ladies tights with me to filter fuel you understand if it came out of a barrel but i never saw this, i'm told it happens more the further south you go.

So a great trip, totaly recommend Morocco as a place for a ROAD trip, you do not NEED an off road bike!

Happy travels
Neil
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