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  #1  
Old 30 Oct 2005
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Best way TO Morocco

Hi,

I am having problems planning the route to Morocco, figured out where I want to go when there but the trip to the ferry is killing me with indecission! Do I

A. Take the ferry to Spain then drive down the middle.

B/ Go to Calais and train the bike to the south and go France / Morocco

C/ Ride Calais / south of spain across..

What have you done, would you do it again or try an alternative? any suggestions / stories are more than welcome.

Cheers

Wilso

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  #2  
Old 30 Oct 2005
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I have similar decisions to make with the car and visiting Tunisia. My final decission is always based on two things, time and cost.
I live near Poole. Poole - Cherbourg costs £400 return, Eurotunnel £100. I have a 180 mile drive to Folkstone, 20 mile to Poole.
Cost of hotels for overnight stops, Diesel (in my case) tolls etc, all have to be considered. For me 350 miles a day is enough, although this time I have to make Beaune in the first day, with the Poole - Folkstone drive that is 500 miles, but split by the waiting at the port and then time on the train, about two and a half hours.
I guess being on a bike you could include potential poor weather in France, that could be a bummer, but then so can being stuck on a boat for the best part of 24 hours in rough seas in the Bay of Biscay.
For me the journey there is not as much a part of the adventure anymore, the sooner I arrive the less money I spend on a daily basis. In the end I've chosen to drive for the maximun time in the country, making the journey as cheap as possible.
This is relevent to your question as I did consider Morocco as an option but it was going to cost about the same as Tunisia even taking the cheapest option.
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Old 30 Oct 2005
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Would love to find quick easy route. Done the long ride through France & Spain a few times and everytime I say it will be the last. It takes the shine off of the trip, no matter how good it's been and eats into two or three week trip. Did the Portsmouth-Bilbou. Never been sea sick before but, everyone else puking everywhere set me off as well. Looking at the possibillity of sticking the bike on Motorail down to Avignon. For one bike the price is the same as a car but, if you can find someone else going on a bike at the same time it's half price. LB.
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Old 30 Oct 2005
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Riding through France is OK if you are either visiting lots of places on the way and taking it very leisurely, or getting your head down and doing an 'iron butt' and hoping you don't get nabbed by the police. For the normal rider I'm afraid it's the ultimate in boredom.

We really enjoyed the Plymouth to Santander ferry. It's more like a cruise ship and at 19 hours it's a lot quicker than Portsmouth to Bilbao. It arrives 11am, then nice roads due south to Burgos, before joining the motorway through Madrid to the south. It's about 700 miles in total. If you have time for detours, ride through the Picos de Europa (west of Santander) and the Sierra Nevada (in the south near Granada).

Our trip May 2005: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80408

Tim

[This message has been edited by Zmeagol (edited 30 October 2005).]
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  #5  
Old 30 Oct 2005
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I agree with Kevin, Time and Cost, but would also add Time of year.
Do you really want to ride accross France in January or February?
I took the Plymouth - Santader route, and was in Morocco in two days of leaving home and the ship is like a mini cruise.
Bill
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Old 30 Oct 2005
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or you could do what we`re doing;stick the bikes in the back of a van and drive flat out to the bottom of spain, and just ferry the bikes across. hey diddle diddle, boring bit done in 24 hrs and everything fresh for the fun bit.we may even have space for one more...........
dave

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Old 31 Oct 2005
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I recently did the trip.
Portsmouth to Bilboa- bags of time to get lashed & Sober up again. Cost us £300 Return

Rode from Bilboa - Marbella on fisrt Day of boat.

Then rod teh 60 Miles to Algeciras - Ceuta and into Morocco by mid Morning on the second day.

Baz
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Old 1 Nov 2005
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Depends where you are in the UK, but I would always go for the easy option - I'd never ride through France.

As for the ferry to Spain, I am an hour from Portsmouth, 4 hours from Plymouth. I would much rather spend an extra 10 hours lazing about, reading a book or having a massage (really! on the way back it's well worth it) than 4 hours riding across the UK - especially on the way back. If I was closer to Plymouth I would go for that option.

As the previous poster said, you can get to Marbella (or similar) in a long day - 12 hours minimum. As the ferry gets in at about 8am, you're looking at an 8pm arrival at the earliest.

On the way back, assuming (like me) you've just high-tailed it across Morocco up the excellent motorways on the Atlantic coast (watch out for stray donkeys, though), you will want a more leisurely trip across Spain. This worked really well for me - I was so excited on the way to Morocco that I was happy to put in some long hours in the saddle, but on the way back I was happier to take it easy and see some stuff along the way.

(Top tip for the return journey: stay in Vittoria-Gastez, a beautiful and happening city with a medieval centre, backdrop of snow-capped mountains, plenty of nightlife. It's not far from Bilbao, an easy trip to the morning ferry...)



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Old 3 Nov 2005
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Dunno about 12 hours to Marbella. We got off the ferry at 08:15 and were booked in a hotel by 17:00 and that include 25 minutes trying to find a vacant hotel. I suppose it depens on the rider & bike. We were 2 up on a 1200 GS fully loaded with luggage

Baz
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Old 5 Nov 2005
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Thanks for all your posts, Although the ferry to france is 45 quid as opposed to 250 to spain I think the spain plymouth santandar looks like the best option so far. Thanks again for all the posts, really helped.

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